Sail Date: July 2010
I have travelled both the carribean and Medditeranean in recent years and each time on a Royal carribean Voyger Class Ship, The Mariner in 2007 around the Western Carribean and this year the Adventure of the Seas around the Western ... Read More
I have travelled both the carribean and Medditeranean in recent years and each time on a Royal carribean Voyger Class Ship, The Mariner in 2007 around the Western Carribean and this year the Adventure of the Seas around the Western Medditeranean. The biggest surprise was the Cost, fair enough the exchange rate from pound to doller was more favourable a couple of years back, but no way did i expect to spend over 1200 dollers on booze alone and still not feel tipsy in any way. On both cruises the boat was full but in the carribean space was constantly prevelant,and everything felt more relaxed. This time around the Med, space was at a premium and the deck area was constantly full to capacity, (you had to get up very early to get a bed)Even the Soarium area that usually allows only adults and is generally more peacefull allowed kids in probably because their area was manic-knock on effect, the adult only area was also boistrous and noisy. Not all bad the waiter service in the dining room was fantastic and Ibrahim, Robin and the drinks waiter Melchiot were exceptional- well done! To sumarise, the cruise was fair the boat packed, will travel with Royal Carribean again, but certainly not around the Med Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Sailed from Malaga, Spain Thankfully we only had 5 days. Check in/out was good and fast. Entertainment very poor, went to see Comedian in Theatre, only spoke Spanish. Cabin very good and comfortable. Food diabolical in main ... Read More
Sailed from Malaga, Spain Thankfully we only had 5 days. Check in/out was good and fast. Entertainment very poor, went to see Comedian in Theatre, only spoke Spanish. Cabin very good and comfortable. Food diabolical in main restaurant choice limited, poor service, ordered a Medium/rare Steak on last evening, so tough I could have repaired my shoes with it , complained to waiter who replied "That's how they come!" and implied I should not have ordered Steak. 50% of passengers, Spanish pensioners, who all refused to use Disinfectant gel in restaurants, they smoked in non smoking areas, when an officer was asked, I was told that they turn a blind eye to it, as they are buying drinks. None turned up for dinner on last evening, so they did not give tips. Drink prices are exorbitant. A 750ml can of Fosters worked out at £6.20 which included 15% service charge and 20% Spanish VAT. Spent only £40 on board as I refused to be ripped off, 5 days tee total. Best food was cabin service which was good quality, well served and hot. Two ports visited Toulon and Majorca should have been Corsica, some excuse "Too windy" Bus transfer to Toulon £12 each return,didn't bother Majorca transfers to city £6 each, enjoyed a reasonable priced litre of beer. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
This was our third transatlantic cruise, the first two having been with Celebrity on their Millennium and Century. Using that experience as a standard, this cruise did not quite measure up. It could be that RC is doing some product ... Read More
This was our third transatlantic cruise, the first two having been with Celebrity on their Millennium and Century. Using that experience as a standard, this cruise did not quite measure up. It could be that RC is doing some product differentiation, allowing its Royal Caribbean brand to slide, while promoting its Celebrity brand as their 'premium' cruise line. Or, it could be that the very large newer ships in the RC line are posing new service/management issues. Then again, maybe it's both. This cruise left from Barcelona. For us, this was deja vu because we've sailed from Barcelona on two previous occasions. Embarkation in Barcelona has always been a model of efficiency and superior service. This embarkation was no exception. Incidentally, if you have an opportunity to spend time in Barcelona, do so. It's a wonderful city; one of Europe's very best, in our experience. From Barcelona, the Adventure of the Seas visited several Mediterranean ports (Toulon, Ajaccio, Mallorca, Cartagena) and two Canary Island ports, before setting out across the Atlantic to San Juan... 14 days in all. The selection of ports was very good, but the timing of some of the visits left room for improvement. For example, we visited Toulon on a Monday. Does RC not know that the French normally work Saturdays and take Mondays off? Disappointingly, this interesting port city was closed! This experience was replayed in Cartagena. Our favorite port was Ajaccio in Corsica, and we plan to return there for a land holiday. Onboard, the Adventure of the Seas is a marvel -- lots of room, lots of glitz, and an excellent smooth performer in rough seas. The maintenance on this ship is superb. Our stateroom was on deck 6, roughly amid-ship, with a balcony. It was excellent; and the service from the stateroom attendant was flawless. Some guests were complaining that their rooms were being serviced annoyingly late in the day. Later, we were to learn that RC had a lot of 'new recruits' among the crew on this voyage, and they were running daytime training sessions for the rookies... who were expected to catch up after class, I guess. Anyway, the problem was affecting some staterooms, and quite a few of the bars. Until the evening hours, fully half the bars were not open, and quite a few of the bar-tenders had difficulty mixing some of the drinks that were listed in the bar menus. The dining room was mediocre in many respects. On the first day aboard, we arrived at our reserved table for 6 to learn that it had been assigned to 8 guests. Anyway, the problem was addressed for the second evening, and all affected parties seemed satisfied. But, how can this kind of rookie mistake happen? Let's move on to the food. The quality of the entrees was inconsistent -- some evenings it was superb; some evenings it was difficult to choose an acceptable entree from the day's menu. Inconsistency! But the deserts were consistently bad. Indeed, we noted that the desert offerings at the buffet were much better than those being offered in the dining room. Incidentally, our table service was excellent; probably the best we've ever experienced. But we did note that some of the guests at nearby tables were not so fortunate. We used the buffet for breakfasts and lunches. The quality and choice of food was very good cruise fare. The only negative was the service, in terms of speed of clearing tables, etc. We did not frequent any of the extra-charge restaurants. And, speaking of costs, the cost of alcoholic beverages has been creeping up at RC. The cheapest bottle of wine that I could find was $27 + an automatic 15% gratuity. This is for a bottle of wine that I could have purchased for the equivalent of $6 in Barcelona. The activities aboard were typical of any very large cruise ship. We can't imagine anyone being bored. Still, this area of service was not without its problems. The gymnasium is probably too small for 3100 passengers, with much of the more popular exercise machines (treadmills, for example) being impossibly over-demanded. Also, the quality of the entertainment aboard was a huge disappointment. Except for an excellent Ice Show and one entertainer (an Elton John impersonator) the entertainment was dreadful, dreadful, dreadful. Generally, we enjoyed the cruise very much, and I have chosen to focus on the areas needing improvement. Would I repeat this cruise? Probably not; but that may be attributable to the very bad disembarkation that we experienced on arrival in San Juan (home port for the Adventure of the Seas). The ship was scheduled to clear port at about 7:30 AM and we booked a San Juan tour, since our flight only left at 4:00 PM. However, the ship did not clear until after 9:00 AM, and then the problems began in earnest. Passengers were off-loaded into a large metal building where, in 80 F heat, and without water or bathroom facilities, we stood in-line for three hours to clear US customs. During this experience, NO Royal Caribbean crew were in evidence. I can't believe that this is normal procedure in the ship's American home port! Welcome to the USA. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
When we arrived at Malaga airport, we had disabled assistance from the plane to the couch for our transfer to the port. When we got to the coach it was two thirds full and we thought we had held it up as all of the passengers seemed a bit ... Read More
When we arrived at Malaga airport, we had disabled assistance from the plane to the couch for our transfer to the port. When we got to the coach it was two thirds full and we thought we had held it up as all of the passengers seemed a bit cranky... an hour later, still on the coach and waiting to fill 4 seats we realised why they were cranky as they had been on the coach for 2 hours now and the staff just kept saying "we need to wait for more passengers and fill the bus before we go to the port"... this was our first complaint as the company appeared very inefficient! So on we went to the ship, embarkation was good... no problems, fairly straight forward. Once onboard we made our way straight to our cabin to see if it was ready, which it was. First impression was great, good size, double balcony... large enough room, nice bathroom and clean beds... On closer inspection of our room we found that the balcony was never cleaned, the furniture was marked by dirty shoes and pen marks, and the toilet seat had been scrubbed so hard the white lacquer had come off!! We had left Glasgow at 4.30am and it was now 1pm, so neadless to say we were starving... only eatery open was the windjammer buffet, which was packed with a queue of about 200 people squeezing into the entrance... so we decided to retreat to our room and order room service. unfortunately room service was not available until after 5.30pm when we would be leaving port, so that was another dead end. we had a look in our fridge/cooler to have some nibbles as we were absolutely starving!!... and found that everything edible in our fridge was out of date by months! shocked, we told our suite attendant who said it wasnt her job to fix it, but she would tell her superior. okay we thought... but by day 3 our fridge was still stocked with expired food stuffs... so we phoned reception who had our fridge emptied but never re-stocked... such a simple task but we fought a losing battle to have it done. staff all appeared to be bored and unhappy and wouldnt say hello to you if you walked past them on the ship. the BEST part of our cruise was going for dinner in the evening... our waiters Daniel and Ephriam were exceptional! also bar man Neville was a pleasure... they remembered everything you said to them, what we ordered form the bar, if we took pepper and if we drank coffee... little things like this made it a better holiday. however, i dont think i would go on another royal caribbean cruise as they just lacked a certain spark... a spark that i find to be present on NCL cruise's 100% of the time. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Pre Cruise: I arrived on Friday into San Juan and took a taxi to the Caribe Hilton. The hotel is beautiful but felt it was very overpriced. The weather was clear and sunny on Friday. Friday night there was a 5.4 earthquake. The service ... Read More
Pre Cruise: I arrived on Friday into San Juan and took a taxi to the Caribe Hilton. The hotel is beautiful but felt it was very overpriced. The weather was clear and sunny on Friday. Friday night there was a 5.4 earthquake. The service in the hotel restaurants was very slow and over priced. Small offering of restaurants on Friday evening and the same on Saturday. Yes I understand it was Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Cruise: We took a cab from the hotel about 12:30 and arrived at the ship. Our travel agent ordered our luggage tags but my sister ordered them online which was easy to do. It seemed a little disorganized but I saw a holder stating - Platinum Members luggage drop off. We all dropped off our luggage at that spot and then got the piece of paper that you had to fill out if you had been sick etc. Why can't they send it prior so you are not trying to find a pen quickly. We went through security which we had no issues. Got in line for the Platinum and checked in pretty quickly and got on board. The weather on Sunday was not that great to lay out so we sat by the bar and then went down to the room to shower and change and wait for our luggage. The luggage came later than when we were on the Serenade in 2006-2009. My sister gave the room steward some money - and voila our bags were there. We went into dinner the first night and was disappointed at how slow the service was. One of the "red" coats maitr'd told us to leave so they can get ready for the next night. Gee that wasn't our fault service was slow. My sister was very nice and went and talked with another maitr'd and the service was better the next night (we had 3 tables of 8). He hovered to make sure everything was ok but never came and said how is everything. I didnt even bother handing in my ticket to him due to that fact. I felt some were just there to do a job and that was that. How boring is that - why not make the best of it - better service = better tips and so much fun for all. It even took awhile for the bar service to catch on that they can make bigger tips since we would order about 17 shots every night. What a miss on their part. We had a great bartender on the Adventure when we went 04-05. Entertainment - I felt the entertainment was bad. No "special" entertainment like we have had in the past. If felt like after dinner there wasn't much in entertainment. Who heard of ice carving at 11 pm??????? We were disappointed in this cruise and the state of the ship. Friends of ours had a balcony room and the wood on the balcony needed touch ups - it had scrapes of it chipping. The "towels" idea needs to be refigured. My sister was charged $20 for a towel that she returned. It was easier to have them in the room. I understand people leaving them on the beach etc and it costs the cruise line money. If there are 2 people in the room - leave 2 towels. If they are not back that night in the room then CHARGE them. Seems alot easier. Stores on board: Disappointed in the apparel choices as always. Why can't they offer pads of paper with the RCCL logo on it. What about dish towels with the logo on it. The weather was fair. One day we had lots of rain in St Kitts. Dominica we did a private tour of the waterfalls. We had 2 vans since there was 23 of us. The tour was great - the walk to the "warmer" waterfalls was very hard and a little scary since it was raining and somewhat slippery. Again the tour guys held our hands and helped us down. Boy I had trouble sitting down the next day. It needs to have strenuous noted in there. Barbados - what can I say! It is one of our favorite islands. St. Croix - first time there and we booked chairs at this hotel. Later it got very crowded when we were leaving. St Thomas was our usual Sapphire Beach and then back to the beach. We have booked next year on the same ship but hope that it is fixed up! We were very disappointed in the islands when we booked on the ship. We even looked at the Celebrity ships but didn't like the islands. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
My sisters 50th birthday cruise, it started in San Juan we arrived two days before the ship sailed, we stayed at the Marriott Renaissance great place $ 20.00 from the airport, $ 20.00 to the ship, hotel on the beach located downtown, great ... Read More
My sisters 50th birthday cruise, it started in San Juan we arrived two days before the ship sailed, we stayed at the Marriott Renaissance great place $ 20.00 from the airport, $ 20.00 to the ship, hotel on the beach located downtown, great place to eat Across the street from hotel, cafe De Angel ( says best PR food in town ) great food ( MUFUNGO WAS GOOD ) Rum was good, there is a Starbucks it was all good the local coffee was OK!, our group of 16 Arrived on Saturday they were slowed by the snow in NC, they had a great time in San Juan with us.12/19 Sunday ship day our board time was 2:00 pm hotel staff was great they rushed us off in two taxi like vans when we were ready, $ 4.00 each with bags, we Arrived at the pier and there she was a GRAND SHIP ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS , we had Doug with us a Diamond Award card holder he said and we all went in and were on board in 15 min and in our AFT 9692 cabin, my wife and i went right back down off the ship and they were selling water and soda we brought it back on the ship, CABIN: was big with a big balcony no obstructed view from the structure, cabin was WOREN OUT scuff marks all over, stains on couch, carpet dirty, this was my 12Th cruise first with RCCL, brown water came shooting out of the sink when we went to was our hands, ALL WEEK NOT GOOD!, after second day told hotel mgr, said its all over the ship clogged pipes, he had water brought to the cabin twice a day! MMM!! we headed up to explore the ship went to the windjammer cafe BIG problem the food was good oh boy my diet is done, there was a big selection of all kinds of food for all people, we went on the ship decor was in the holiday spirit, Christmas decorations all over , there were lots of pools and fun on the lido deck waiting to be had, all bags arrived , drill was mandatory but fast, cabin boy Envied was good in and out get you what you need, OK here its is water all week brown out of bathroom sink, room wore out, we went through 5 room card keys they would not work this was a issue all over the ship replaced with no problems by front desk staff, food great, windjammer good , johnny rockets OK you no, portofinos great food great service must try once, dinning room food was good the head waiter Chandler was above and beyond with his service thank you , Jose the asst waiter was good and on top of things, the server Marisa was from south Africa very judgemental, OK service she had to be there i guess, service in all of the lounges were great , Matt at the champagne bar was good, Day1 ST THOMAS was good lots of shopping four ships in town had a great lunch at a local cafe, good buys DAY 2 ST MARTAIN went to Orient BEACH BOOM BOOM JAM CAFE ON THE BEACH ,went in the ocean water was great, went to the butterfly farm also it was a fun day. DAY 3 ST KITTS we all 16 of us went to the beach and party ed all day swimming jet skiing and buckets of beer, DAY 4 GREANADA spice island is right smelled great was raining allot hard when we arrived very pretty island went on the west cost spice tour, DAY 5 ST LUCA rained all day but did not stop us all 16 of us went to the beach in the rain had local beers (pitons) cold and ate in a cafe and went shopping, DAY 6 Christmas its was all i thought it would be Santa coming aboard eggnog friends and my wife on the cruise ship, the holiday on ice show was great, Disembark was smooth off in 5 min this was a birthday cruise for my sister Carmella's 50Th, we sang every night and all night happy birthday all week to her , i love you SISSY. if we were to loud for those that were there were all very sorry. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
I should preface my comments by saying I am a big Royal Caribbean fan. I love the value for money the company provides, the programs for kids and the amenities they have on their ships. I have sailed on many Royal Caribbean ships ... Read More
I should preface my comments by saying I am a big Royal Caribbean fan. I love the value for money the company provides, the programs for kids and the amenities they have on their ships. I have sailed on many Royal Caribbean ships from the smallest in their fleet (The Majesty) to all of Freedom Class Ships (Freedom, Independence and Liberty)and was certainly looking forward to sailing on the Adventure of the Seas because of its itinerary and because it came highly recommended from a couple we cruised with the previous New Year's (on the Majesty). Unfortunately, it did not end up being our best cruise experience, although we certainly enjoyed bringing in the New Year in the Caribbean. While it was cold that week even in Florida, we had beautiful weather. HITS - Itinerary - The itinerary was lovely. St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Croix, Domenica and Barbados. A jam packed week to snorkel, powerboat, beach and shop. Gotta love duty free shopping! Cruise Director - Anna Bass was a wonderful cruise director (and the first female cruise director I have experienced on 15 + cruises). She was delightful, energetic and clever. Cabin Stewart (9308) - We had a wonderful attentive cabin steward. I think Royal does tend to put their top attendants with customers in Junior Suites and Suites. Diamond Bar - As Diamond Members we had access to a wonderful bar on Deck 14 overlooking the ocean. This was very nice. Free champagne every night. Wine Selection - Surprisingly a very impressive wine list - one of the best on any cruise I have been on. MISSES - Entertainment - By far the WORST entertainment I have seen at sea. Comedian was tragic, dance shows were amateurish and who needs to see another juggler? and the pool side band was TRAGIC. Portofinos - Very slow service in alternative restaurant with just average food. Plus no large wine glasses for the $160 bottle of Cabernet we ordered. Pretty rinky dink until we made a fuss and they found two and a decanter. Overall food - Average Recognition event - Royal usually puts on a lovely event for their frequent cruisers (Platinum, Diamond and Diamond Plus). Here representatives from all of the departments are present, the Officers and the Captain, who always says a few words. This event was very poor. No captain, no receiving line as we left, nada. Hardly made us feel special. So overall I would give the Adventure 3 stars. A nice ship but I had a much better experience on her sister ship The Navigator two years earlier. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Stayed at the San Juan Water & Beach Club for one night post cruise. Great! This was our 12th cruise, 3rd with RCCL. Once we FINALLY boarded on Sunday, most everything was fine. We arrived at the pier at 10:15 AM on ... Read More
Stayed at the San Juan Water & Beach Club for one night post cruise. Great! This was our 12th cruise, 3rd with RCCL. Once we FINALLY boarded on Sunday, most everything was fine. We arrived at the pier at 10:15 AM on Sunday. Did NOT board until 3:00 PM!!! Apparently since the ship had just arrived from a TA crossing after 6 months, a full immigrations/customs inspection had to be done. RCCL should have known about this and planned accordingly. They really let us down. Absolutely horrible lack of planning on their part. No excuse for it. Fortunately, we arrived early enough that we had a seat inside. But once the boarding began, it was organized chaos. People started pushing and shoving. Some of the RCCL staff managed to get it under control a little bit. Passengers talked about it all week. It didn't really do us any good to fly in a day early as a result. We would have boarded around 3:00 anyway had we flown in that day. Cabin - Cabin was always very quiet. Bed was very comfortable. Typical cramped closet space. Shower was great - no shower curtain. Had doors instead (round) so it was a little roomier than others. Balcony was nice, but kind of confined. No glass on the bottom - solid metal so you couldn't see through to the water unless you were standing over the rail. Weird. Cabin steward was great! RCCL no longer places chocolates on your pillow nor do they provide robes unless you book a suite. Other cruise lines still have these touches. Food - Main dining room service and food was excellent! Breakfast buffet was average at best. Lunch buffet was horrible. Pizza was the absolute worst. I took one bite and thought I would toss it! Ugh! Ship - One of the best we've sailed on. The Promenade area was really nice. Had a very open feel to it - like being outside almost. Theater was very large and comfortable. Even if you arrived at show time or later, it was always very easy to find a good seat. Ice skating rink was neat. We tried it one day - only lasted 15 minutes!! Shops on board were not great. Not many good sales. Spa - Made an appt for a pedicure. When I arrived, they had screwed up the reservation and had no room for me. They didn't seem to really care that I was ticked about it. Horrible. However, I was telling the head waiter about it, and he called and made an appointment for me. Pitiful that the head waiter had to take care of it. No massage chairs in the pedicure area. Entertainment - Only 2 big production shows, and neither was outstanding. Beatle Maniacs (Beatles cover band) was absolutely incredible!!! Comedian was really good. Not any great bands in the lounges. Several parades down the Promenade that were okay. The ice skating show was fabulous! Barbados - did a half day tour with Glory Tours (recommended on Cruise Critic). Disappointing. St. Lucia - Cosol Tours: one of our best tours ever! St. Maarten - went to Maho Beach and watched the planes come in. Outstanding day!! Antigua - stayed on board. I slept most of the day. Good thing - it poured down rain all day so that worked well for us. St. Croix - went to Sandcastle beach. Gorgeous! San Juan - took a tour before going to the airport; nice way to end the trip. Overall, we had a great time. Staff was very friendly! (Except for the spa!!) However, RCCL is no better than others we have used. They seem to be cutting back on little things. Princess has the best cabin layout since the closet space is much more user friendly and larger. Carnival gives you more for the money. Still love Holland America, too. It will definitely be a while before we sail out of San Juan again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Well, we're back. We arrived in Puerto Rico on Friday, December 10th for our Sunday, December 12th Cruise. We stayed at the San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino. Nice hotel, the pool bar and restaurant were HORRIBLE. Avoid it at all ... Read More
Well, we're back. We arrived in Puerto Rico on Friday, December 10th for our Sunday, December 12th Cruise. We stayed at the San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino. Nice hotel, the pool bar and restaurant were HORRIBLE. Avoid it at all costs. We arrived at the Port on Sunday at about 12:30pm. There were 2 large lines, but very little organization. We stood in one line to deposit our luggage (luckily we found someone to take our luggage), and then stood in another line to get into the terminal. We stood in line for over 4 hours. They were having Customs issues. I heard a number of reasons, 1. someone died on the cruise before, they only had 10 customs agents for over 3000 people...I really don't know but RCCL never sent anyone to tell us. We had an elderly member of our family who became ill waiting in the heat with no chairs for over 4 hours and when I discussed her condition with RCCL, I was basically told "sorry, nothing we can do". I'm not used to that when it comes to RCCL. I'm going to be general with everything, please feel free to contact me if you need more specifics. Room - We had a Deluxe Oceanview with Balcony on the 6th floor (Rm. 6308). The room was neat the balcony confining...no glass doors, all metal, large enough for us. Our friends were in a connecting room in 6306. Our Room Attendant was Al, and was our personal star for the week. Ship - The ship is lovely, no big difference from the others in her class. We have and will always LOVE Royal Caribbean ships. Food - I'm not a picky eater, but quite honestly, it wasn't that good. The EXACT same breakfast every morning, and they were always running out of food, and all the stations were never open in the Windjammer. In the main dining room we had the surf and turf on Friday evening, only to have one of the lobsters be spoiled...that wasn't cute. Our waiter was ok, our Asst. Waiter was very personable and our Headwaiter was also very nice...Dining was not our favorite part, which it usually is. Not so much the food, but the interaction with the Waiters. The Crew - Well, this was disappointing...everyone had a very laid back attitude...almost to the point of lazy. No extra efforts, no nothing. We met some stars but most everyone was quite laid back. Ports - We went to: Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, and St. Croix. St. Maarten was the best as it always is for me. I love the shopping. I have been on 5 cruises with RCCL, and by far, this was the worst. If there was one event to epitomize my trip, here it is: We made an appointment with the Loyalty Ambassador on Thursday evening at 7:30pm. There were 12 of us. We arrived at 7:30pm only to find a sign that said that she wouldn't return until 8:45pm. When she returned, she apologized and explained that she was alone and had to attend the Platinum and Diamond event. No problem at all. We completely understood. We made a reservation for the Allure for next year. Gave her our specifications for dining, and rooms and made our deposit via our credit cards. She asked that we write each card number down on a piece of paper. She said that she would send me the confirmation numbers later that evening. I gave her my room number and made myself the lead contact. Nothing came Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Please note that I went to her office daily to ask, only for her to tell me it would be there that evening. On Sunday, during debarkation, we saw her in front of the Platinum meeting area (We are Platinum members) and I asked her again. This time she said that she sent the information to one of our rooms the night before. Noone received it and she only had my room number....so it all sounded fishy. I called Royal Caribbean in route to the airport and asked about our reservations. They were made, but not held with a payment, so that meant that she lied to me. She couldn't have sent any paperwork until she made payment. She did eventually do everything yesterday (Monday) morning. 2 names misspelled, no crown and anchor numbers, and incorrect ages. So basically, thats how I felt the whole cruise...like I was being told one thing, and given another. I still love Royal Caribbean, I will continue to be a loyal supporter, but I won't do Adventurer, I won't come out of San Juan, but I will be on the Allure on December 4, 2011. We enjoyed our cruise and our vacation, it just wasn't the quality of service we expect from Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Pre-cruise night we stayed at the Intercontinental Resort, Spa and Casino. $125 thru Priceline. The lobby, shared space and outdoor pools, bars, restaurant,etc. were BEAUTIFUL. The room was nice but rather "tired" looking. I was ... Read More
Pre-cruise night we stayed at the Intercontinental Resort, Spa and Casino. $125 thru Priceline. The lobby, shared space and outdoor pools, bars, restaurant,etc. were BEAUTIFUL. The room was nice but rather "tired" looking. I was happy with it though, until I went to lay down. What's that on the pillowcase? Looks like spaghetti sauce. And no, not stained with the sauce but the actual sauce. Like the pillowcase has not been washed! EEEEEWWWW.Next morning, day of embarkation, breakfast. Very few options at the resort itself. They have a breakfast buffet and I completely misunderstood the cost. What I thought was going to be a $50 breakfast for 4 was actually $125. Yes, you read that right. $125 for a breakfast that wasn't even very good!!!Embarkation - arrived at approx. 1:30 and the line was GIMUNGOUS! HUGE! By the time I got on the ship I was drenched in sweat. Needless to say we didn't buy that picture! They really should try to come up with a better embarkation process in San Juan.Speaking of San Juan, taxi drivers are crazy and think nothing of texting, talking, eating and doing their taxes, all at the same time, while driving. Just sayin.Room 1688 - Yes, one of the huge rooms in the back corner of the ship. The good - it's a really large room! You can find pics. of it by doing a search of the room number. The bad - the balcony is very large and fits 2 loungers, 2 chairs and a small table BUT much of the balcony spends it's time in the shade. It's very cave-like. The "roof" comes down at a steep slant and there is a large support beam that you could really knock your head on! I guess the best way to describe it is, very large but really not very spacious. The ugly - well, the room is just ugly. The same goes foe most, if not all, of the staterooms. This ship needs a facelift. Blues and mauves went out in the 80's, worn carpeting has never been fashionable and the furniture just had an overall dirty look to it. ESPECIALLY the dining room chairs. Now THOSE were kinda gross.Barbados - I really don't have much to say about it. We just rented a taxi/tour guide and he showed us all around for $100. We especially loved the monkeys that he took us to!Antigua - We were out on a boat all day with Antigua Adventures taking the Xtreme Adventure. I can't recommend this tour enough. We had such a great time and swimming with the sting rays was AMAZING. They don't just lightly touch you as they swim by. These things are BIG and they will RUB themselves HARD against your legs! VERY COOL and although it's a pretty expensive tour, it's worth every penny!St. Lucia - Cosol Tours - We enjoyed this tour very much. Your day is jam packed full of activities and the drivers keep you right on schedule. The homemade food you get is WONDERFUL! Then only bad thing about this tour, and it's no reflection on Cosol Tours, is that it was pretty depressing to see all the super skinny dogs wandering around. There were horses at the side of, and IN the road, that had their ribs sticking out. The animals are just not cared for the same way I am accustomed to.St. Maarten - All we did was hang out at Majo Beach. Great for the hubby because the bar was right there and because the kid in him was entertained by the planes. Great for the teenage girls because they got to lay out and because the planes were "kinda cool". Great for me because everyone else in the family was happy which meant they wouldn't be nagging at me!St. Croix - We went to the Sandcastle on the Beach Resort, rented chairs and umbrellas, and just laid around for the day. Now, if you like Sea Glass, THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOU! It's everywhere on this beach. So my hubby sat under the umbrella all day, the girls snorkeled and laid out and I searched for Sea Glass, FRYING my back. Evidently SPF70 wasn't good enough. Disembarkation - In the sea of bags, we were missing one. A big one with lots of stuff in it. On top of that, it was my daughters. OMG the world will come to an end if we don't find it!!! We searched EVERYWHERE for well over an hour when what does my hubby see? A lady walking back in to the bldg. with our bag. We go up to her and see that all of her other bags are a MATCHING SET of a completely DIFFERENT COLOR! Seriously? She tells us that she just grabbed bags and left the terminal, checking name tags once she was outside. Hubby then asked her if she could not see the completely different color. She giggled. People like that are the reason there are so many inappropriate jokes about women.Back to the Intercontinental for one night. What's that I see? A HUGE smear of make-up on the pillow. This pillowcase was not washed. I think that I can safely assume that they don't wash their linens, or at least not the cases, after each guest leaves. NICE.So to sum it up, I wouldn't stay at Intercontinental ever again and, unless the itinerary was amazing, I wouldn't cruise on the Adventure again either. It was a very nice cruise but I know there are many other ships out there that I would like much better. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
Malaga Cruise Port is undergoing building work, but no major inconvenience, at check in desk no more than 5 minutes and on ship within 20 minutes of arriving at port. As we were on the ship around 1.15pm we were able to go straight to our ... Read More
Malaga Cruise Port is undergoing building work, but no major inconvenience, at check in desk no more than 5 minutes and on ship within 20 minutes of arriving at port. As we were on the ship around 1.15pm we were able to go straight to our stateroom and leave any hand luggage that we had brought. As with all voyager class ships all staterooms are nearly the same regardless of what ship you are on. A general summary of the cruise is that, there were too many people on board, this sailing was at full capacity and didn't we feel it. Sea days were a nightmare!!! the windjammer was the worst I have ever seen, long queues for lifts, not enough deck chairs and not enough seats in Windjammer. 85% of the people on board were Spanish, with the majority loud and downright rude, they get into the lift before you can even get out, they squeeze in, even if there is no room and don't seem to have any control over their children, they run about screaming, congregating in door ways for a loud conversation with each other, refusing to move to let people past. I have been told this is the norm with ships going out of Malaga, well, never again. Never had these problems with Barcelona. Ship was nice, although you could feel you were on a ship from the moment we left Malaga, Adventure has a constant vibration that I have never felt on either the last 2 trips on the Voyager or the Liberty of the Seas. Bar staff as usual were excellent, although speaking with them, they are not keen on the number of spanish people on board either. Would I sail with Royal again, looking at the prices for next year probably not! Drink is very expensive on board, but you do get good measures, probably why the Spanish don't spend any money! We are trying NCL in October so we will have to wait and see if we will be back with RCCL in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2011
Have just returned from a Mediterranean Cruise embarking at Malaga on Adventure of the Seas. This is a beautiful ship, the staff are really nice and friendly, it has lovely, bigger than usual, inside cabins, the food is great, especially ... Read More
Have just returned from a Mediterranean Cruise embarking at Malaga on Adventure of the Seas. This is a beautiful ship, the staff are really nice and friendly, it has lovely, bigger than usual, inside cabins, the food is great, especially in the Strauss and Vivaldi dining rooms, but I found the drinks very expensive, especially the wine - 9 dollars for a small glass, cocktails - 8 or 9 dollars, spirits approximately 5.50 dollars, although generous measures but sometimes too strong to enjoy. If you want to go ashore there are shuttle buses provided but it costs between 8 and 12 dollars per person. P & O and Island Cruises put on free shuttle buses. Passengers were mainly Spanish and very loud at that and I noticed quite a few who never seemed to wash their hands when leaving the toilet and never used the hand cleanser machine when entering the dining rooms. Staff didn't seem to enforce this rule like they do on other ships I have been on - yuck. Also when on the lift they didn't seem to realise that it could only hold so many people and kept pushing and pushing until you were crammed in like sardines - very rude in my opinion. There were lots of children on this ship and at 1.00am in the morning the last thing you wanted to listen to was screaming tired children in the bars. Lastly, our flight home to Glasgow was 9.00pm but we were told we had to leave the ship at 9.00am unless we paid an additional 35 dollars each in which case we could stay on the ship until 2.45pm when we could get a bus to the airport. We felt we had no option but to pay this as the alternative would have been to walk about in Malaga all day with our cases. To summarise, because we were with friends, we had a great holiday but felt it was very expensive - a big percentage of non British passengers were rude and some very unhygienic and Royal Caribbean - shame on you for being money grabbers, however you should be proud of your staff, they made us feel very welcome. Having said all that I doubt I will go on another Royal Caribbean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
So, now for the 2nd report. We took our children and grandchildren on this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We have done several cruises but this was a first with our children and the little ones. It was also their first ... Read More
So, now for the 2nd report. We took our children and grandchildren on this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We have done several cruises but this was a first with our children and the little ones. It was also their first time cruising. The check-in at Malaga was excellent and because we had 3 little one with us, we were directed to the priority check in desk. So that all went very smooth. A great shame that the photo shop managed to lose our group embarkation photos as those were intended to be bought and given as gifts to the children (and ourselves) to mark the event. Disembarkation was also very smooth with my request for a later time being given without problem. I must also commend the cabin steward from my daughter's cabin No.7650 who came to collect the travel cot from her and take it over to the terminal at 6.30am so she would not have to carry it off herself. Unfortunately the steward from my other daughter's cabin was not able to offer the same option. Next I must say thank you to mowplsu for posting so honestly in September on Cruise Critic. It made a huge difference for us and the difference between acceptability and potential disaster! My initial comment to RCI would be.. If you are not prepared to fully cater for children under 2yrs old don't accept them. We paid £139 each for the little ones. I don't begrudge it for the 4 year old but for the 13 month old and the 9 month old it was an insult. Cots - we booked 2 cots one for each of the babies. One in a E1 cabin and one in a D1 cabin. Confirmed on the reservation and to be fair they were in the cabins when we arrived. As in mowplsu's report - minus mattresses! Having read about this in advance the girls had decided to take their own travel cots complete with mattresses. Fortunately we live along the Coast to Malaga and didn't have any baggage allowances to worry about but if we had been flying in.......... However, this is not really acceptable. I also find it amazing that there are no baby changing tables in any of the toilets throughout the ship. There were a lot of babies on this cruise and I expect many on other dates, so not to provide this facility when the brochure states very clearly that babies are welcome............ Having read in the report regarding the food situation for babies, my 2 daughters decided that the safest thing was to take their own supplies. Good thinking you would presume. However, you just try and get the food heated up in either the Main Dining Room or the Windjammer. Do they have a microwave in either - no! So the food has to go to some far off place to be heated. It then comes back still cold and has to go back again. Try explaining that to 2 little hungry babies and then take into account the staff who felt it was some huge imposition to have to do this. Goodness, I could have bought them at least 6 microwaves with what we paid for these two little ones!! High chairs in the main dining room were at the table each evening after we eventually got it sorted out the first night. (these were confirmed on our reservation!) however in the Windjammer it was hit and miss and the children ended up being fed in their push chairs on several occasions. Additionally, I do fully understand the situation of not blending food for babies in the kitchens. Again very disappointing in the Main Dining Room. We spent 4 days trying to find suitable food to possibly give to the little ones rather than just heated up pre-prepared things. Was it possible to get some salmon or vegetables cooked without salt that we could mash them up. No, you have to give at least 24 hours notice to have anything prepared without salt! Everything we asked for or needed for the children, seemed to be a problem (this was the same for the 4 year old too). On the last evening my daughter with the seafood allergy and the aversion to nuts, asked if there was anything plain she could maybe have for dessert. "Only what's on the menu" was the reply. "But, you could maybe have a brownie from the CHILDRENS MENU!" What children's menu??? We had spent 4 days struggling to find food alternatives and at no time had our waiter informed us that there was a special menu for the little ones. He was very apologetic (it was tipping night!) but to be honest if he knew his job even a little bit, when you see a table of 6 adults and 3 children, that menu should have been given to us immediately! Like I said it's all very disappointing. Water was offered at dinner but unless you asked several times for lemonade (which was also included), it was never freely offered. Not really what we expected from RCI staff. The 4 year old had a brilliant time. Signed up to Aquanauts, she almost didn't want to know us for 4 days! Between activities, Halloween, the talent show and making new friends, we were pushed to get her to meals and finally to bed. Room service was a plus for the adult children once the little ones were in bed and asleep. They were also happy with the quality of the television programmers and films which filled the evening hours. The Ice Show was a definite hit and the two little babies sat mesmerized through the whole show (as did we all!) We were fortunate that between us all we managed very well and had a really nice time. However, with a little thought and training of the crew members the cruise certainly would have been much more enjoyable and less stressful at times. Personally, we may think about another cruise on Adventure in the autumn next year without the family but we shall see. I would however have serious doubts about recommending RCI to anyone with small children unless changes are made. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Malaga airport was not as we expected. We had a long wait for our luggage and then a stressful time being pointed in the right direction by different RCI staff. Arrived at the ships terminal and went through the various checks etc and ... Read More
Malaga airport was not as we expected. We had a long wait for our luggage and then a stressful time being pointed in the right direction by different RCI staff. Arrived at the ships terminal and went through the various checks etc and eventually boarded the ship. The ship was impressive and very large looked like the start to a great holiday. Our balacony cabin was comfortable with plenty of space and we met our stateroom attendant, Judith who was excellent throughout the cruise. Our only disappointment was no tea making facilites in the cabin. We went on two excursions one to Rome and one in Livorno. They were ok and we felt the Rome trip could have been planned better. The boat trip in Laverneo was nice and relaxing. Valencia was disappointing after paying $12 each for the shuttle bus to find everything was closed. Ajjaccio town was a short stroll from the ship. There was little to do but it was realxing. Overall the ship was a good standard with the odd bit of flakey paintwork but kept very clean. We never bothered with the restaurants and used the cafes for all our meals. Even on the formal nights a lot of people wore smart casual. The food was great with lots of choice catering for all nationalitys. The staff were very friendly, shows ok but the Bee Gees were excellent. Tea, coffee and iced water were free and available 24 hours. We steered clear of alchohol a 16oz Heiniken cost $6.77 and a small lemonade with lime $2.77. Paying the gratuties prior to cruising was peace of mind but don't forget this does not include the drinks service charge or room service tipping. We were not impressed with the long winded embarkation and general free for all getting our luggage then on to a coach for transfer. It felt like RCI had deserted us. All in all the cruise was good except the behaviour of the Spanish passengers. Speaking for ourselves the Spanish were rude, bad mannered, selfish, aggressive (pushing people out of the way not)so if your not used to their ways I would recommned not taking a cruise departing from Spain. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2011
We arrived in Puerto Rico on the Adventure of the Seas on their transatlantic crossing from Malaga. We remained on the ship for the Southern Caribbean cruise, departing San Juan November 21, 2011. We had really enjoyed the transatlantic ... Read More
We arrived in Puerto Rico on the Adventure of the Seas on their transatlantic crossing from Malaga. We remained on the ship for the Southern Caribbean cruise, departing San Juan November 21, 2011. We had really enjoyed the transatlantic crossing and were looking forward to remaining on board for the South Caribbean. It did not take long until we were wishing that we had disembarked in San Juan and flown home. When we re-boarded the ship in San Juan, we thought we were on the wrong ship. Gone was the luxurious, pleasant cruise with 2,800 other guests. Of the 2,800 previous guests, 2,400 had disembarked. Only 400 of the previous guests were on board. The rest were all Puerto Ricans, and 600 of these were children /teenagers. They pushed in front of you in lines, they shoved their way around the ship. The teenagers (and often their parents) would sit in the stairways sending text messages and speaking on their mobiles. The teenagers sat on the floor of the elevators, thus limiting the number of people who could use them and were not even willing to stand up and make room when disabled guests wished to use the elevator. Kids were allowed to run up and down the corridors all times of day and night, screaming their heads off, same in the dining rooms and on the pool deck. As Europeans, we had not realised when we booked that we were cruising in the South Caribbean during the week of Thanksgiving and that children were not in school. Given the behaviour of most people on the ship, it would seem to me that RCCL gave away the tickets for this journey at rock bottom prices. If we'd known this, we would have disembarked following the transatlantic crossing. It was almost impossible to get a sun lounger on the pool deck and the whirlpools were full of kids and their ignorant parents. Luckily employees from security kept an eye on the pool deck and children and teenagers under 18 were told to get out of the whirlpools. The whole cruise was just noisy. Luckily we had scheduled a land excursion in each port and so this got us out of the way of the rabble. Most of the land excursions were good, except for the fact that several were cancelled because there were not enough participants. Annoying however was the fact that "all aboard" time was always 4.30 pm., departure time 5 p.m. which means that you miss out on at least 1 ½ hours of daylight in each port. All other ships left at least one hour later than we did. At least we were able to stay in the same stateroom for both the transatlantic portion and the southern Caribbean. Some unlucky people had to change cabins. Thank goodness that we also kept our cabin steward, Simeon Downes. He is just the greatest. He managed to keep us sane on many occasions. Unfortunately, we were not able to keep our waiter, Gennaydi Petrenko, in the main dining room. We were 4 couples on the Transatlantic portion and we were able to keep the same table but not the waiter. This caused huge problems, since we had all booked a wine package and still had some bottles left on our accounts and all of us had a half-full bottle from the previous evening. After much discussion and much delay, we finally got our half-full bottles. But every evening, there was a discussion as to how many bottles we still had left. Why in heaven's name they were not able to leave Gennaydi as our waiver, only RCCL management can know. It would have made everybody's life easier! In our opinion, the fault lay with the head waiter, responsible for our table, and not with the new waiter. Due to the fact that we did not disembark in time in St. Thomas on the previous voyage, we missed out on our land excursion to St. Johns. We were disappointed, but thought that we could do the excursion on this voyage, since we also stopped in St. Thomas. Unfortunately, this trip was cancelled on the previous evening, due to "operational reasons". We were really upset about this and complained to guest relations and to the excursion desk. The manager of the excursion desk was very understanding, and gave us two complimentary tickets for a catamaran tour in place of the trip to St. Johns. We really appreciated this gesture and enjoyed the trip on the Catamaran. However, the "operational reasons" were due to the fact that the Oasis of the Sea was in St. Thomas at the same time of us, and since she 1. carries twice as many passengers as the Adventure of the Seas, 2. leaves St. Thomas two hours later than the Adventure and 3. the Oasis is on Eastern time and the Adventure is an hour ahead, the schedule for the trip to St. Johns was changed to suit the Oasis passengers, thus bumping the Adventure of the Seas passengers. Of course, RCCL do not tell you this, we found it out from the company who organises land excursions. As in my previous post, we also experienced the "shuddering" of the ship. This was again probably due to the fact that we were moving slowly between the islands. On this voyage, the food and service were as good as ever. The entertainment in the evenings was good, however, as I said previously, no decent dance floors. The Thanksgiving dinner was very good, considering that there were over 3,000 guests on board. In order to avoid the noise and chaos and pushing and shoving in the Windjammer, we had breakfast in the dining room. Unfortunately, given that the dining room is only open for lunch on sea-days we did have lunch in the Windjammer when we returned from one excursion. Never again. I'd rather go hungry. Absolutely dreadful. There were announcements being made that guests who had finished eating should leave the Windjammer to make room for other guests. Following that experience, we made sure we had lunch on the excursions. It cost more, but it saved our sanity. Disembarking in San Juan was very easy. Since our flight was not scheduled to leave until 5.40 p.m. we participated in the tour to the rain forest with drop off at the airport. Since we had booked this tour, we were escorted from the ship at 9 a.m. in a very orderly fashion. We cleared customs in no time. We heard from other passengers that those who had not booked a tour were not so lucky and it was organised chaos (yet again!) All in all, I don't know whether we will cruise with RCCL again. They really disappointed us in several instances during this trip. There are so many other cruise companies around, maybe we'll give them a try next time. It's a shame, because we have "platinum" status with RCCL, but if they cannot be bothered to reply to our letters of complaint, we obviously are not of any importance to them. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Just back off the Adventure and there are big changes and not for the better I really enjoyed the Ship, Portofinos was brilliant. The service was great Embarkation a breeze but didn't enjoy the 10 children under the age of 8 in ... Read More
Just back off the Adventure and there are big changes and not for the better I really enjoyed the Ship, Portofinos was brilliant. The service was great Embarkation a breeze but didn't enjoy the 10 children under the age of 8 in the conceige lounge every night so we stopped going in there .......... Couldn't move for strollers. Although we were in a Grand Suite and are Diamond Plus the conceige lounge was not for us. You could clearly see that the children were bored and were crying and screaming and the Conceige was very busy dealing with them . We decided to go to the over spill lounge for suite guests which again had children running around playing on the piano and screaming. So we decided to go to the Diamond lounge for some final peace and quiet only to find that a young Mother with a two year old child and yet another stroller was shouting at the bar server demanding to be served a drink because she was stating that she is in a suite and she is also a Diamond member and that there was no room for her to sit in the Conceige lounge and no room for her and her husband and child to sit in the over spill lounge because that was also too busy so although technically the child should not be allowed in the Diamond area the barman gave in because of the fuss the Mother was making. The then said child decided to lie and crawl all over the floor. RCI should find an alternative for children being allowed in bars that serve alcohol it is clear to see that this is not going to work. RCI will lose many loyal and suite guests as a result. I really am considering looking at alternative cruise lines Disembarcation was easy but we had to wait for 25 minutes in line for a taxi. Some people had to wait a lot longer. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We have sailed several times with RCCL, including last year at the same time out of San Juan. This cruise was just not as impressive. We selected this cruise because of the itinerary - including Aruba and Curacao, which were spots we ... Read More
We have sailed several times with RCCL, including last year at the same time out of San Juan. This cruise was just not as impressive. We selected this cruise because of the itinerary - including Aruba and Curacao, which were spots we wanted to go and far enough south that it would be really warm. It was warm and the weather fairly nice but the cruise just wasn't as good as previous. SAN JUAN We have been to SJ several times and enjoy the city and the island of PR. I have worked there previously, so am very familiar. We stayed at the Embassy Suites by the airport for convenience to airport and to ocean. Got in a day early and went into Old Town which we love. EMBARKATION Agree completely with another post on this process. It was the worst we have experienced. Waited for HOURS to offload luggage, then another HOUR or so to actually get checked in. This was so horrible and it was hot. We did not find the people to be friendly. Again, I love PR but 2/3 of ship was PR and being local, many just didn't think they should wait in line. MANY people cut in line and were just rude. This process has to be improved. We barely got on in time for dinner. There was no time to explore the ship prior to dinner. ROOM Room was fine, a balcony near the aft. We were far from the elevators but didn't mind the trek. The layout was similar to previous ships but I also felt the "shuddering" mentioned by another reviewer. It was MUCH worse than any other ship I have been on. I usually love the rocking of the boat but this was not rocking. FOOD The dining room was good and we had great service for 6 pm seating. There were 4 of us including my grown daughter and her fiancee and we enjoyed the meals. My daughter and her fiancee even had two of many of the appetizers and he even had two dinners on a few nights. We also went to the main dining room for breakfast on several occasions after having terrible food in the buffet and just no room to sit down. All of the eggs in the buffet were bad, and it was just not as good as on previous cruises. I even mentioned to the head waiter that I felt the food in general was just not as good, that I felt like RCCL had really declined in this area, especially in the buffet. And if you wanted ice cream on the deck, FORGET ABOUT IT. The lines were always so long and a big group decided to camp out by the ice cream machine every day so you couldn't get to it. We did have dinner in Portofino one night and were extremely happy with the service and food. Just didn't want to pay for it more than once. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS The ports were good. We are snorkelers and did 4 snorkeling excursions booked through RCCL. The first was cancelled at St. Thomas but we were put on another and really loved it (St. John Half Day Champagne Cat Sail). Also did Fan-ta-sea in St. Kitts and had the best time. Great crew and lovely trip there and back. We would not recommend the one in Curacao (don't remember name but small fishing style boat and seemed like inexperienced crew). It took too long to get everyone gear, there were not really "snacks" onboard, and we stopped to snorkel next to a huge freighter! DePalm Island in Aruba was good, just not enough time with the drive. It also rained that day which didn't help. The food and drinks were good and the snorkeling was great here. ENTERTAINMENT We weren't impressed by the entertainment at all. The ice show was ok, probably good for a ship and the size. We did enjoy the Schooner Bar and the piano player there. We also loved the trivia games but it seemed like there were fewer of these than on past cruises. I think it was the mix of the people onboard, but they were not well attended. Didn't seem like there was as much to do as on previous cruises. OVERALL We did enjoy the cruise and there were highlights but not specific to RCCL. I have another cruise booked with Princess for southeast Asia so I'll be able to compare another cruise line. I will think again before booking RCCL, even though we typically book because of the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Upon arrival in San Juan, it took approximately 3 hours to board the ship. There was a problem with passengers from a prior cruise that were still on board, which was a security breach (this was the rumor, we were never officially told the ... Read More
Upon arrival in San Juan, it took approximately 3 hours to board the ship. There was a problem with passengers from a prior cruise that were still on board, which was a security breach (this was the rumor, we were never officially told the reason). There were 3000 passengers waiting outside in the hot sun. No beverages were offered, there was no place to sit and when we finally boarded the first person we saw was someone who was selling cocktails for $7.50. Even though I was very thirsty I refused to pay for a drink after the ordeal we were put though. The entire process was extremely disorganized. Disembarking was just as bad. It took three hours. There were no announcements as to why it was taking so long to leave the ship. We just finally went to exit the ship and we were allowed to go out of our turn. People were furious because of having flights to catch and not being told when they could leave. This was just down right rude. Overall the food was what I would refer to as mess hall food. It was just unappetizing. The food many times was lukewarm or overcooked. That goes for all dinning rooms. We didn't eat in the Portofino. The day before the trip ended we noticed that staff were very attentive to your needs, asking if you needed anything, coffee, water, whatever. Before that we didn't know they existed except for cleaning off the tables. We would show up at a restaurant for a late snack in the afternoon and they would be closed at 5 only to reopen at 6 pm. We signed up for mytime dinning and that was fine. We had the same staff waiting on us each night and they were just wonderful. Their names were Nick and Merry. Juliana the hostess was also very helpful and fun and made sure we sat facing a window. Our experience with the staff that attended bar on the 5th deck was great. Their names were Sofia (from Portugal) and Gia (from Romania). We thought they made the best drinks ever and were very friendly and just a lot of fun. At the end of the day they were a pleasure to talk with. Our room attendant Maria was also a lot of fun and kept the room spotless. The ship itself is in need of a face lift. It's dated. Sometimes the elevators did not work. Press the down button, get in, and it goes up. They were also servicing two elevators so they were not in use for at time. The ice show was fantastic and so were the comedy shows. As I think back on the trip there really isn't any reason for me to want to return to Royal Caribbean. I didn't feel this way when I sailed Norwegian Cruise line a few years ago. I praised the entire trip and wouldn't hesitate to cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
We arrived in San Juan a couple of days prior to the cruise (Southern Caribbean, visiting St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba, and Curacao). We stayed at the Sheraton Old Town, and while it's not the classiest hotel on the planet, it's ... Read More
We arrived in San Juan a couple of days prior to the cruise (Southern Caribbean, visiting St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba, and Curacao). We stayed at the Sheraton Old Town, and while it's not the classiest hotel on the planet, it's in a very good location and the rooms were clean, comfortable and reasonably quiet. We also took a separate tour (via Viator) of the El Yunque Rainforest, fairly near San Juan. Highly recommended. You can also book something similar via the cruise line, if desired. EMBARKATION. The cruise really got off to a horrible start with one of the most inefficient embarkation processes we've ever experienced. We showed up at the advertised boarding time of 2pm to find 2 long lines. Neither of the lines were explained via signs and there was an absence of cruise line personnel to answer questions and help direct cruisers. We finally found out that one of the lines was intended for people with large bags to check, the other for those that had already checked their bags. Yup... that's their system. You get to wait in a VERY long line (hours long) to turn in your bags. Then, you have to go to the back of the other line (also VERY long) and wait again until you can clear customs, process in, and board the ship. Naturally, many people had little patience for this and felt it appropriate to simply join the second line in the middle or front in order to reduce their time waiting. This generated a lot of tension as these line crashers obviously contributed to the line being far slower than necessary. What's more, many of the locals felt it appropriate to invite a huge number of their friends into the line, further slowing things down. Complaints to the very few cruise line reps present had no effect. Overall, the boarding process took us nearly 3 hours, and we were the lucky ones. We were allowed to turn in our large bags after having worked our way half way thru the first line -- then had to wait in the entire second line. Others who were not randomly selected had 4-5 hour boarding waits, some of whom missed the lifeboat/evacuation drill as a result. Totally unacceptable. Some of this is attributable to incompetence on the part of the San Juan immigration department, however, the cruise line did nothing to help sort things out and ensure that people kept their place in line. Our experience with Celebrity from the same embarkation port was far better a year previously. PUBLIC SPACES. Always seemed very crowded, particularly the main promenade. Shopping and variety of goods offered seemed fairly disappointing for a ship as large as this one. Our previous cruise on the Celebrity Summit offered significantly better shopping and seemingly higher quality goods. The main promenade was certainly dramatic and beautiful to look at, but once the first impression wore off, it didn't seem to add all that much value and it was pretty crowded a good portion of the time. DINING. This, I'm afraid, was very much a mixed bag. Dinner in the main dining room was fairly good most of the time, with a nice selection of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. We very much appreciated having low calorie choices and a dedicated menu with specific recommendation and calorie counts for those who are trying to watch their weight (yup... even on a cruise). The highlight, interestingly, was the preparation of vegetables, usually the absolute low point of any high volume food operation. It's clear that there is a strong emphasis on getting this right on this particular ship. Every vegetable we ordered was done perfectly and was of good quality. In general, meat dishes were cooked properly, though notably a filet we ordered (at an additional cost) was very undercooked (blood rare but ordered as medium rare). To their credit, when this was pointed out, no questions were asked and the steak was redone accompanied by many apologies. They got it dead right the second time and it was excellent. We were told by others that getting meat properly done can be a bit of an issue, so we would recommend making a point of asking that they take care to cook the meat as ordered. One rather irritating thing to point out was the nightly waiter parade in the main dining room. The music is turned up high every night at the same time and the waiters and staff parade around the dining room around some sort of a theme. Not only is this disruptive to the meal and service, but seemed extremely self serving. The one specialty restaurant on board (Portofino) was quite good and worth the additional cover charge. We asked them to slow the pace down and allow a more relaxed meal and the staff were more than happy to honor our request. The food was well prepared with a good set of choices for appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Service overall was very friendly and attentive. The biggest disappointment was the Windjammer, the Adventure of the Seas buffet restaurant. Unfortunately, with the exception of sea days, the only real option for lunch is the buffet. The quality of the food here is at best similar to typical cafeteria fare. There are pitifully few choices for people who are not interested in a large, hot meal for lunch, but would prefer something simpler and lighter. There is a salad bar, but few choices for proteins that you can add into the salad. Same goes for salad dressings... again, pitifully few choices of lighter dressings. For days at sea, the dining room on the 3rd deck is opened up and a huge salad bar with custom made salads and a ton of choices for meats, vegetables, and fruits is offered. Royal Caribbean would do well to consider adding this option for ALL days of the cruise, not just the sea days. There are a few pre-made small sandwiches offered in the Windjammer, but only very limited options to assemble your own sandwich. We didn't even bother having breakfasts in the buffet and took advantage of the opportunity to have them in the main dining room. While not exemplary, the breakfasts were certainly good enough and offered a reasonable set of menu choices. CABIN. We really had no complaints whatsoever about our cabin. We stayed in a balcony cabin on the 7th deck, port side. It was in a terrific location very near the library and stairway towards the aft end of the ship. There was adequate storage space, a very comfortable bed, a great balcony with complete privacy, and a wonderful cabin attendant who spoiled us throughout the cruise (Kefon). Temperature controls worked well and the cabin was comfortable. The showers initially seemed a bit small, but in reality are plenty large enough and very well designed. ENTERTAINMENT. Frankly, we were also pretty disappointed with the available entertainment, at least as compared to other cruise lines and significantly smaller ships. We skipped the production shows and, based on a small segment we happened to see (plus comments from other fellow cruisers), we made the right decision. The performers in the various night clubs and bars were just OK and in one or two cases, not all that talented. One notable exception was the big band group that performed in the main promenade as well as an electric violin/piano duet. Both were terrific. Also excellent was the ice show. When we inquired at the desk about getting tickets, the agent noted that we were first time Royal Caribbean cruisers and was kind enough to give us a set of VIP tickets. This was most appreciated and the show did not disappoint. They do an amazing job considering the relatively small size of the ice rink. Good show with some very talented skaters. SERVICE. Probably the absolute high point of this cruise. With the exception of those associated with the embarkation process, the service on this ship is exemplary. Everyone is very friendly, always smiling, and happy to help with any and all needs. Any special requests were always honored with a smile and people genuinely went out of their way to ensure that we were satisfied customers. Without question, the service was the best of the 4 cruises we've taken previously. One final note (and an apology is this offends anyone). A few others here have noted their frustration with the overall noise level on some cruises departing from San Juan. Trying hard not to seem judgmental, but it's hard to disagree with this. It was very difficult to find a quiet place to read, other than in the cabin. Supposedly quiet areas like the library were constantly filled with loud and boisterous groups of people (primarily locals) who had little regard for others present. Cruisers would do well to consider the timing of their cruises. Mid December cruises have a particularly high percentage of locals, due to the heavily discounted rates. Also, this cruise (early January) took place during a local holiday, and that, coupled with reportedly heavy discounting near the departure date, resulted in a huge percentage of locals on the cruise. Consider picking dates carefully if the noise level is a concern. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
We sailed on the Adventure of the Sea Jan-28 / Feb 4, 2012. This was our 3rd cruise overall in the last six years. Our first cruise was on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the seas and the 2nd was on the Dawn Princess. Both the Adventure ... Read More
We sailed on the Adventure of the Sea Jan-28 / Feb 4, 2012. This was our 3rd cruise overall in the last six years. Our first cruise was on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the seas and the 2nd was on the Dawn Princess. Both the Adventure & Explorer are in the voyager class. They both have the Royal promenade, with parades & duty free shops, one of the reasons why we decided to return. Overall this time around, unlike our first Cruise six years ago with Royal Caribbean which we loved, we were not impressed. The food selections went downhill and the entertainment lacked all those nice production shows every day. The food selection at the Windjammer buffet were kind of chinsy. It seemed we ate a lot of salads, because most of the time the choices were below par, offering hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, ect. One day they had a beef & turkey carving station which were great, then one day a meatloaf. In the dining room, quality lacked in many choices, especially the steaks, prime rib & the size of the lobster tails, maybe 4 ounces if that. For example, of the choices offered Wednesday, (2) couples we dined with told us they decided to eat a salad at the windjammer buffet after they previewed the selections for dinner Wednesday night. One thing I must admit, our servers were top of the line, and they got to know all of us like a family. As far as the entertainment, we were not impressed at all, like we were on our first Royal Caribbean cruise. The main reason was the number of production shows offered (music & dancing) and the time they started 7:30 PM. Most of the shows were mediocre & they interfered with our 6: pm Dinner seating. We would have to miss desert, rush to try to get a seat prior to the show starting. Unlike our first cruise where all the production shows started at 9 PM, and we had ample time to get a seat in the theater. One night they had an awesome production show, and then from there it went downhill, a juggler & comedian, a singer comedian, another night a juggler and comedian. Overall, our first cruise on the Explorer of the seas six years ago was outstanding, but for our recent cruises, the Princess Dawn was way above the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the sea. Being on two Royal Caribbean cruises, with the past one not up to par, most likely we will not cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
Personal Information: We are in our early sixties. This was our third cruise with Royal Caribbean. Hotel Information: We flew to San Juan the day before the ship sailed and we stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel. We stayed there ... Read More
Personal Information: We are in our early sixties. This was our third cruise with Royal Caribbean. Hotel Information: We flew to San Juan the day before the ship sailed and we stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel. We stayed there last year and came back because of the service and cleanliness. The only issue we had was in securing an elevator when we were ready to leave. The floors above us got the down elevators first so by the time the doors opened for our floor there was no room for us. Everyone was leaving for the ship at the same time. Leave plenty of time. Travel to the Port of Embarkation: Three ships were in port so traffic on the way to the ship was awful. Our cab driver took the back roads which helped. Embarkation: Check in was very slow and confusing. Hard to know which line to go to. One was for checking bags and the other was for check in. Many locals budged into line ahead of us. It took us 2 hours to check in. Many people we met on the ship said it took them 4 hours. This is unacceptable. Stateroom: We stayed in a junior suite with a balcony on the 10th deck. Room was very nice. Chairs on the balcony were dirty and I had to wipe them down. Major problem was the bed--we could feel the springs in the mattress. Our cabin attendant was very attentive and wrapped the mattress with two comforters so that we would be able to sleep. The other problem was that our room vibrated for most of the cruise. It stopped at the end of the cruise after work had been done by a diving company under the boat when we were in port. Ship Information: Adventure of the Seas is showing it's age and could use sprucing up. Balcony showed rust, and mattresses need replacing. Elevators were very crowded, especially after shows. Dining: This is one area that needs improving. Dinner choices left a lot to be desired. Some nights it was very difficult to find something for dinner. One night we went up to the buffet. Even this left a lot to be desired. Choices on both sides of the buffet were the same and often leftovers from the day before. If I didn't like it the day before don't serve it to me again. Fruit was overripe and hot dishes were not hot enough. Meat was overcooked, dry and tasteless. Activities: Not much for people in their sixties even though there were many people in this age category. Music from the 60's would have been nice. Activities on the Promenade were much too crowded and there was no seating available. Staff and Service: Cabin attendants and food service workers were excellent. I have health issues and everything was done to meet these needs. Entertainment: The ice show was excellent. We got tickets for Wed afternoon. Had we know that there would be no other entertainment Thursday except for the ice show we would have waited until then to see the show. Two of the acts were the same that we saw on the Serenade last May. Shore Excursions: Two of our excursions were changed at the last minute leaving us no other options since all others were already full. Ruined St. Thomas for us. Disembarkation: This was not planned well. We were dismissed by deck instead of by the time of our flights. Many locals budged into line whenever they wanted which slowed things down. They should have been the last off the boat since they did not have a flight to catch. We finally caught on and got into line before our number was called. Had we not done that we would have missed our flight. Summary: I don't think we would sail this ship again because of the disorganization and all of the locals that took over the ship. We were on the Serenade last May and loved it. Adventure needs to look at that ship and see what works and adapt it. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
Where do I start!? Let me first say that I read hundreds of reviews here before our trip and always found them to be very helpful, so I hope this will give you some insight into our experiences and maybe others can learn from our them. ... Read More
Where do I start!? Let me first say that I read hundreds of reviews here before our trip and always found them to be very helpful, so I hope this will give you some insight into our experiences and maybe others can learn from our them. Pre-Cruise: We flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Saturday and arrived at approx. 7:30pm. The airport was virtually empty, so it was very easy to get our bags and to a taxi. We stayed at the Coral Princess hotel. It was much more reasonably priced than the hotels right on the ocean but was only one block away and we were able to easily walk to all the attractions and the beach. We enjoyed their indoor/outdoor continental breakfast area and the bed was comfortable. Everything was clean and we felt it was a good value for the money. It was nothing fancy, just very nice and very adequate for a short, one night stay. We spent the evening walking around outside and at the beach anyway. Day the ship sailed: We decided to get the pier early as I had read there would likely be a long line and we hoped to beat the crowd somewhat. The taxi driver picked us up at the hotel and gave us a tour of Old San Juan before dropping us off at the ship - it was a wonderful tour! Thanks to our driver Charlie!! We arrived at the pier around 1pm, even though the boarding process was not to start until 2pm. The line was already incredibly massive (literally probably 1,000 people lined up before us). We found two huge lines and no one from Royal Caribbean to explain the process or what we were supposed to do. Chaos and the lines barely moved. We found out from other passengers that one huge line was merely to drop off our baggage, and the other line (which was twice as long and moving about 5 times SLOWER) was to go through security and onto the ship. We were standing in the baggage line for an hour and in the security line for 2 hours. I don't know how some passengers were able to stand for so long. We are young (in our 20's) and our legs/backs were killing us. Everyone in line was furious and frustrated. Not a great start to a vacation that you've spent thousands of dollars to enjoy! However, we decided that maybe it wasn't the fault of Royal Caribbean and that it was an issue at the port. However, as the week progressed we spoke with numerous passengers at ports from both Carnival and Princess ships that ALSO sailed out of San Juan the same day and they experienced NO DELAYS with boarding or exiting the ship. We then began to believe Royal Caribbean is the one with the issues. By the time we got on-board we were absolutely starving and needed to sit down. We headed to the Windjammer for lunch and found the food to be mediocre at very best. No variety and very bland. We hoped it was because they were so crowded from everyone boarding, but found throughout the entire week we should avoid the Windjammer if at all possible because the food was lousy. On Carnival, the Windjammer seemed to be open at all hours and I don't remember the food being so bad. Please see my ports review for St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba and Curacao. I hope to provide lots of insight on things we experienced/learned about cruising to those ports. The greatest thing about the Adventure of the Seas is the ports of call, which is why we picked this cruise in particular. We enjoyed our time very much at all of the stops!! A Word on Entertainment and Dining: We were placed at a nice table in the dining room that was in a terrible location. It was directly in front of the main entrance to the dining room so everyone that went in or out had to walk around us. We considered asking to be moved, but loved our tablemates so decided to stay. At least Royal Caribbean placed us with people our age that were very fun. Our wait staff was very polite, but very boring. When we sailed with Carnival, our waiters were so fun and energetic, constantly playing games with us and making us laugh. It was great fun to go to supper. On Royal it was more of a straight-forward "here is your menu, what do you want to order" feel. We felt there was a decent selection in the Main Dining room but the desserts (in general)were awful in our opinion. We usually just got sherbert or ice cream instead. The food on Carnival was better, as was the dining experience. Our waiter during this cruise talked on more than one occasion about how all the ship staff is far over-worked and gets no sleep. He probably shouldn't be sharing that info with us! We had heard that the Ice Show was wonderful, but of course you had to stand in ANOTHER line to get tickets. We stood in line for an hour to be sure we got tickets for the showtime we wanted. They were supposed to hand the tickets out at 10:30 and finally at 10:40 announced that the tickets we wanted were not done printing and we would have to continue to wait. We could NOT believe that they would make everyone wait in a line at a certain time without even being prepared to dispense tickets! However, finally they took our room number and delivered the tickets to us later. The show was wonderful and brought tears to our eyes - don't miss it! It was worth waiting in line. We also enjoyed the comedians and the special entertainment. We felt that the Adventure Singers and Dancers were "just ok." We ate at the early dining (6pm) so that we didn't miss any shows. The Quest game show was hilarious - we laughed and laughed. NOT appropriate for kids! We couldn't believe how much Royal Caribbean charges for the little things on the ship. You could only get free ice-cream from noon to 6pm, so of course the line was constantly 20 people long. Outside of those hours, you paid for Ice Cream in the Promenade (unless you got it while eating in the main dining room). I know we could get free ice cream 24 hours a day on Carnival, soft-serve. We did spend one evening meal eating at the specialty restaurant "Portofinos." We thought it was maybe alittle better than the main dining room food, but since we had to pay $20 per person to eat there we thought it should have been a lot better. They charged us $7 for our water without even asking if we wanted specialty water! All in all, Royal Caribbean seems to nickel and dime you at every opportunity they can, even though you've already paid alot for your vacation. We got formal pictures taken on several occasions, and at the end of the week had several pictures to choose from. We couldn't believe they actually were charging $20 per picture. Unbelievable pricing, again. We wanted to see a few of the pictures in black/white since we were sunburned, but were told this was not possible. Fairly amateur photographers - for example, there were scuff marks on the canvases they had us sit on to take the pictures, and they were very obvious on the final pictures they showed us. Pretty silly we thought. Again, much better photography experiences on Carnival. The pictures were more professional, cheaper, and we were able to get black/white. We did enjoy the main pools and the Solarium (adults only) pool. The staff was great about making sure there were no kids in that pool area. We never struggled to find a chair, but we are early risers and usually beat the big crowd. They did have one midnight buffet (poolside) and the fruit carvings and ice sculptures were really cool. Again a 15 minute wait in line to get to the food, and then they didn't provide any drinks. Probably wanting you to obviously purchase drinks - surprise, surprise. A Word on Diversity I want to start by saying that I respect all people and nationalities and knew that there would be a spanish-speaking crowd - especially since we sailed from Puerto Rico. However, we Engligh speaking folks were by far in the minority. The elevators were packed full of people screaming over us in spanish, and many of them were down-right rude. Karaoke was half in Spanish, half in English. Royal Caribbean really catered to this crowd and had numerous Latin themed music night and events. We tolertaed it well at first, but by the end of the trip, this was VERY annoying. All of the main entertainers had to do at least one number in Spanish, at every single show. The rudeness that always seemed to come from that population was over-whelming. I realize this is not Royal Caribbean's fault; I simply want to make you aware of what the experience was like for us. Departing the Ship They informed us the day prior to departure what time our group was scheduled to leave. We went to our gathering place (the main theatre) about 30 minutes before we were scheduled to depart, and found that they were 1 hr and 20 minutes behind schedule. Of course many guests were freaking out about missing flights. Finally, we left the theatre and just got in line to leave the ship. We saw that the computer system to check people out and off the ship had crashed and they were trying to fix it. We were pleasantly surpised when they were able to get it running within about 10 minutes. Another long line to get off the ship and to customs, but fairly painless. Our MAJOR issue occured when we got to the main building to pickup our baggage and then go through customs. They had taken our bags from us the night before and gave us numbers to place on the bags. Once we arrived to the main building to find our bags, only one of them was in the marked area for our number. We started to panic, but calmly asked the Royal Caribbean staff for assistance and politely asked for their help. We were informed that we would have to go through each bag in the building to try to locate it. Seriously!? 4,000 passengers on the ship, many of them having more than one bag, and you want us to go through them all?? It's all on the honor system, so we worried someone else had either intentionally or accidentally taken our missing bag. After searching for well over an hour, it was finally located. I couldn't wait to get as far away from the port as possible by that point. Overview: We only go on one big trip every 5 years and want to make the most out of it. Cruising is the ultimate way to vacation because you get to see so many places at once! To be honest, we had a great trip because we had fun together as a couple, not because Royal Caribbean did such a great job. Even though it was a nice trip, I felt we enjoyed it because we chose to do so. Many others were very upset throughout the week. Next time we cruise, it will not be with Royal Caribbean, and it certainly won't be out of San Juan. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2012
So prior to embarking to San Juan to leave on our January 8 sailing on the Adventure of the Seas, I peaked at some of the latest reviews on CC to see what to expect. There were a couple complaints about San Juan's difficulties in ... Read More
So prior to embarking to San Juan to leave on our January 8 sailing on the Adventure of the Seas, I peaked at some of the latest reviews on CC to see what to expect. There were a couple complaints about San Juan's difficulties in boarding the ship and smattering of complaints about local passengers. I took some of these with grains of salt as some of the reviewers sounded like they were a bit hard to please to begin with. I am a pretty easy going guy and my wife is pretty low maintenance. We expect things to move smoothly but don't expect "Four Seasons" level service on a cruise. That being said, this was by far the most underwhelming cruise experience I've had. I almost exclusively sail RCCL and I am determined never to sail out of San Juan again and will be considering other lines as well for our next cruise. Embarkation - Everything you've read is true and worse. We came in on January 7 and stayed overnight so we had a full day on embarkation day. We were told to arrive at the pier at 2pm. Based on the reviews on CC, my wife and I decided to hang around Old San Juan for the day rather than wait in the lines. Unfortunately, that didn't work. We arrived at the pier at approximately 4:30pm. The line to drop off the bags was not that long, however to get in the port to get the Sea Pass was. We waited about an hour outside and watched a number of the locals sneak ahead of the line. We finally got our Sea Passes at about 5:30pm, but of course at that point they had shut the door to board. Yes, that's right. People were filling the embarkation hall but no one could board. There was no communication other than that the door was going to remain closed for about an hour. We watched as we were locked in the hall as the passengers on board completed the muster drill and did not begin embarking again until approximately 6:15pm. Luckily we had the second seating but our bags had still not arrived by that time. My parents, who was Diamond Plus members, arrived at 2pm and complained that it took more than 2 hours for them to board as well. RCCL provided some guests a bottle of champagne - on the 2nd to last night of the cruise - to apologize for the delay in boarding. A nice sentiment but it would have been nicer a little earlier in the cruise. Debarkation - This was a mess too but less so than embarkation. Our tag said that we were to be called between 9am - 9:10am. We were not called until 9:30am. Once we left the ship, we stood on the gangway to get into Immigration to pick up our bags until about 10am. Once inside the process was smooth. Picked up the bags easily and the customs line moved quickly. I did like how if you hired a porter they managed find another porter further up in line and cut in with them for customs...a fitting end to our San Juan experience. St. Thomas - Charlotte Amalie is always busy but the locals are friendly. Luckily there was only 4 ships in port, which is relatively slow for them. I always feel like getting a taxi is a cattle call in St. Thomas. Almost all of them are big bus like things and they just pack in as many as they can until its full and you may just end up waiting 10-15 minutes to leave as they try to fill it up. Here was where we got our first glimpse of the Puerto Rican locals on the ship acting uncouth, drinking beers out of bags, spitting, harassing the taxi drivers for cheaper fares, etc. My wife and I went to St. John for a quiet beach - Trunk Bay. Between the taxis and ferries, it was about $40 round trip/person to get there but the beaches are stunning and it is away from the bustle of St. Thomas. St. Kitts - To be honest, we didn't do much in St. Kitts. Mostly because there wasn't much to do. The view of the island from the ship was beautiful. I didn't hear anything good about the beaches there. There was a fort to visit but that was about it. There is a shopping area outside the port but the downtown had little attractions or shopping. The locals seemed to really want you to like their island but there wasn't much there. Perhaps in a few years, they'll find their niche but unfortunately I can't comment too much about this port. Aruba - My wife has been to Aruba probably about 8-9 times on a family vacation but always during summer and always for a week or longer. I have tagged along 3 of those times. Aruba has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean and is one of the more enjoyable islands I have visited...but not this time around. Coming in on a ship is vastly different than being there for an extended period. The locals were not quite as friendly in Oranjestad as we were used to. My wife's favorite beach, Arashi Beach, was much windier and cloudy water than in summer. The water temp was almost cold - too cold for a Caribbean water temp for our taste. I think it may have been the time of year but this was perhaps my least favorite stop. Curacao - After our stop in Willemstad, Curacao may be the next place we decide to take an extended vacation. We did not get to take in the beaches we really wanted to go to due to time (we got a later start than we wanted) and cost. We wanted to go to Casa Abou or Portomari but were told that a 1 way cab ride was about 30 mins and $50. So we walked into town, looked at the pretty Dutch architecture and the floating pontoon bridge. We hopped the bus ($1/person vs. $15 - ask the info booth in Punda about it; the info booth at the port was useless) to the closest beach - Cabana Beach - which was serviceable but the type of beach we normally avoid. It was nice water but crowded with the chairs packed together closely and is basically a tourist money trap. We headed back and were able to take a lot of good pictures of Willemstad from the boat. The colors of the buildings during sunset makes an excellent postcard shot. The Ship - Some have mentioned that since the Adventure is an older ship, it may not be as well maintained. We did not notice much as far as maintenance issues or dramatic aging. In fact, we constantly saw the staff performing maintenance. Someone else mentioned the vibration they felt in their room, which we also felt. This is different from the rocking of the boat and was not overly annoying but noticeable. The only other spot where we saw clear signs of aging was the mini golf course, where there were a number of holes in the greens exposing the flooring underneath. Onboard Experience: Service - As always the RCCL service onboard was excellent. Our main waiter, Dias and his assistant waiter, Marcos, were extremely friendly, helpful and professional. Our experience with other dining room, Windjammer, stateroom or any other staff was more than satisfactory. The service was one of the few areas that did not disappoint. Food - RC's food has pretty much gone in the toilet. The best quality food we had was in Portofino's and it was about par with what they used to serve dining room when we first sailed with them about 7-8 years ago. And of course now you have to drop $20/person for it. The dining room food was very hit or miss. Some of the appetizers, soups and desserts were quite good but most of the entrees were just terrible. Food was just soggy and/or flavorless. As for the Windjammer, I don't have high expectations for buffet food but the food there was greasy, cold or both. I must have tried almost every dish for breakfast and lunch and could not find one thing I would consistently recommend. Oh wait yes, the lemonade was actually quite good. But the coffee...I've had Seattle's Best coffee on land before and think its pretty good. I'm not sure what they did to this coffee but it always tasted burnt. Not the worst I had but it did not give Seattle's Best a good name. Entertainment - The Cruise Director tried hard but he was not funny and did not have much personality. With the exception of the ice show, none of the shows were remotely entertaining. The comedians were not funny. The Love and Marriage show included a 10 min unfunny stand up routine about farting by our Cruise Director. The singing and dance shows were just not original or engaging. The piano bar singer felt the need to talk and put his own twist on every song which I didn't care for. The band, Casablanca, was one of the highlights of the entertainment. There seemed to be a lot to do as indicated in the Compass but a lot of it was hampered by fellow guests, which I'll elaborate on now. Fellow guests - While the embarkation (and to a lesser extent, debarkation) at San Juan was a contributing factor to my decision never to leave out of there again, a much bigger factor is the locals that infested the ship. There were approximately 800 PR residents on board. Some were quite nice and civilized but either majority or the very vocal minority made the experience for the rest of us very poor. Some examples: - I mentioned at boarding that they skipped the lines. They continued this throughout the sailing. Countless times other passengers would be lined up orderly but as soon as the doors/gates/booths opened, they would flood the area and push their way to the front. - Would come into the movies playing on Deck 2 during the middle of the show squawking on 2 way radios and taking flash pictures of themselves and friends. - Ran up and down the suites area ringing all the door bells, so much so that Guest Services disabled them. Of course I was victim to having all buttons on the elevator pressed as well once. - Saw many of them acting boorish in various places. Spitting, being loud around other guests and in the hallways, kids being allowed to throw tantrums in public areas without any attempt to stop them, taking seats from tables without asking and just general bad manners. The funny thing is that I've been to Puerto Rico before and know many Puerto Ricans in the US and have never had a poor impression like this with any of them. The individuals on this ship acted very low class, which I know alienated quite a few people on board. A staff member mentioned that locals get cut rate prices when the ship is not full. I understand RCCL wants to fill the ship but by doing so and not keeping their behavior in check, they are alienating their Crown and Anchor and full price paying guests. Overall, the Adventure of the Seas is still a fine vessel. RCCL needs to step up the food and entertainment. I felt like since it is an older ship that they throw it the scraps of what is left over from the Freedom and Oasis class ships. They continue to excel at their hiring of qualified staff and service training. Avoid taking this ship from San Juan at all costs. Between the port (and airport but I didn't get into all that here) hassles and the clientele they are allowing on the ship, your cruise experience will be much worse. Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2012
GENERAL INFO: Please read through to the bottom where I have posted comments about cruises departing from San Juan. We arrived in San Juan 3 days before so we could tour El Yunque national forest and Old San Juan and I highly suggest ... Read More
GENERAL INFO: Please read through to the bottom where I have posted comments about cruises departing from San Juan. We arrived in San Juan 3 days before so we could tour El Yunque national forest and Old San Juan and I highly suggest arriving at least the day BEFORE your cruise if not earlier. Just remember that choosing a hotel is like paying taxes in the United States: you get what you pay for. From the airport you can take a cab at a defined rate by zones, just ask the driver what it will cost, and also be aware it is posted at the airport by the baggage claim. From your hotel the next morning you can again hail a cab and pay a defined price to the pier. You can ask the front desk for info on cabs and typically cabs hang out at hotels for morning travelers. RCCL TRANSFERS: Trust me on this one and learn from someone who has been burned in the past. Do not, and I mean DO NOT, and I'm saying you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT take the RCCL transfers and here's why: 1) They pay a local cartage company to transfer your bags FROM the airport TO the pier. Problem 1: Bags are often pilfered due to the locks being cut off. This violates your privacy and trust in them. Cruise lines do nothing to stop this so its YOUR problem, not theirs. Problem 2: Bags arrive at the pier whenever the cartage company truck arrives. On a prior cruise we bought the cruise company transfer and arrived at the pier just before 6:00 PM but our bags didn't arrive at our cabin until nearly midnight. Until they arrived we presumed them to be lost and sought help from the cruise line who gave us a small pouch with a tooth brush, past, and comb: big deal. The bags arrived with locks cut off and contents rifled. 2) RCCL hires local buses to transport you to the pier. The problem is they decide to fill the bus and that means waiting around for passengers to arrive, which can take an hour or more and that delays your transfer to the pier and boarding time. Several years ago on a Celebrity cruise we got off the airplane at 4:00 and didn't make it to the pier until 6:00 PM. After checking in we were late for our 6:00 dinner seating and denied access to the main dining room - because the bus had to fill every seat before departing the airport. You'll probably spend less on cabs to/from the airport/pier than the RCCL transfers, and you'll arrive when YOU want, not when THEY want you to, and with your bags intact. The lesson is to handle bags yourself to insure their safety and your convenience. ONLINE CHECKIN; We used Royal Caribbean's online check-in and this is a must because it saves a great deal of time at the pier. Either you fill out personal information (name, address, phone, various data) online yourself or they do it at the pier, which will take at least half an hour. When you arrive at the pier all they need from you at that point is your signed "Set Sail" agreement where you basically agree to pay your ship account, and a swipe of your credit card. EMBARKATION: In general the earlier you arrive at the pier the better off you are going to be. If you arrive in morning you will likely have to wait as passengers are still disembarking and RCCL will delay entry. But the line is short that early in the day. Unfortunately, you are going to have to take some initiative and ask about the lines into the terminal. There were 2 lines: the line to the RIGHT was to drop off bags to be handled by RCCL. Meanwhile the line to the LEFT goes into the terminal and first through security. Note that large bags cannot go through their xray machines and must be handled by RCCL. You should hand carry (roll) all other bags to insure their safety and timely arrival on the ship. This insures you'll at least have something. Cruises start on day "one" which obviously is your first day. But if you arrive at the ship at 6:00 PM you don't have a very long "day one" so the goal would be to arrive as soon as RCCL will allow you to board the ship, which is around 12:00 noon on day one. THE SHIP: Adventure of the Seas is huge. OK, its not in the Oasis class (new ship) but its still huge with lots of features. It's been very tastefully decorated, far more so than Carnival ships, which tend to be gaudy & overbearing. You can find images on the RCCL website. The Royal Promenade is a great place to hang out having shops, bars, and a cafe with pizza & deserts (included in your cruise price). On this cruise we began to notice the ship is getting a bit tired and needs a few weeks in drydock to recondition rails, replace carpets, etc. But its still a great ship. CABIN CHOICE: Most likely you already know the differences between inside cabin, outside with window, outside with balcony, etc. But what you may not know is you are vastly better off with a room towards either bow or stern. Rooms mid ship tend to be burdened by lots of traffic. People pass by those rooms at night, drunk, and conduct themselves like noisy recalcitrant children. But when they get near THEIR cabin they quiet down and behave like an adult (you hope). Midship, having lots of traffic by fact of location, offers little protection from jerks. We chose a room aft for less traffic. Unfortunately there can be misbehaving inconsiderate jerks in any section. CHEAP ROOMS: In case you are not aware of this cruise lines offer rooms VERY cheap at the last minute to keep cabins full. Be aware that cruise ships have relatively fixed costs (crew, food, etc) which doesn't change from week to week. Because of this the cruise industry maintains a business plan to fill rooms at almost literally any price and after that they can then make their profit on excursions, booze, and gambling. HOWEVER - keep in mind this is usually only possible for locals, which in the case of Puerto Rico led to noisy, unruly, barbarians (more on this at the end). You ALWAYS want to carefully consider the departure port for this reason. DINING: Food is very good and most people typically eat lunch and breakfast at Windjammers on deck 11. Some choose the dining room instead. Breakfast at Windjammers tends to have some of the same items every day, but with many choices it shouldn't matter because you can't eat everything. Lunch tends to be similar also but they do vary some of the meats, fish, and sides. The deserts change daily and are very good. The main dining room, which is 3 floors high with each having their own name, is excellent. For us service was very good and the food was great. Waiters work for tips so they highly motivated to please you. DINING ROOM DRESS: This is one major flaw in cruises and not due to the Royal Caribbean but rather very lax social standards. Many people don't understand the etiquette of dressing for dinner on cruises. There are 2 formal nights in which the majority of people actually dress formally. If you are the kind of person who refuses to dress up then I suggest having dinner at Windjammers Cafe on deck 11. Also, if you cannot get to dinner on time you should have dinner at Windjammers Cafe. It's informal and buffet style. When people refuse to dress properly in the dining room they disrespect their fellow passengers. When they refuse to arrive on time they disrespect the dining room staff and make life very difficult for them. If you need a reason why its because waiters typically have 3-4 tables they serve and it works much better if all tables are on the same schedule, which is to say serving starters at all tables, serving main courses at all tables, and not breaking up the rhythm due to diners coming in late, forcing wait staff off their schedule. This affects service at tables where guests did arrive on time. BEDS: Other reviewers talk about how bad the beds are and if they are talking about the edge of the bed they are right. But what people forget is the cardinal rule of beds - which is you DO NOT sit on the edge of the bed. In addition you don't sleep on the edge. The beds are large and though the mattress is a bit thin it's not bad in the middle. My wife and I had plenty of room. Unfortunately the mattress was past its prime and I noticed some room attendant had stuffed a bag full of towels or sheets under the bed in the middle to keep it from sagging, another reason the ship is due for maintenance. Still it was adequate (not good but acceptable). ALCOHOL: RCCL is pretty chintzy about this and want to make sure you ONLY buy THEIR liquor at their inflated prices. In ports of call, for the purpose of confiscating liquor under a guise of "security", they x-ray your bags so you are not going to sneak on liquor. If you purchase liquor they WILL confiscate it from you and it they return your liquor to you on the last night of the cruise. PORTS OF CALL & EXCURSIONS: Renting a car VERSUS excursions: It certainly is cheaper to rent a car than go on an island excursion, and this is true for any island. However, you have to consider that first you are driving in the 3rd world and if you are American you take for granted the roads you drive on. If you drive a highway in America there's likely local police who will offer assistance if you pull over with a problem. It is rare to find police on roads in 3rd world countries. On the other hand if you can manage the roads the advantage of a car rental is you can come and go as you please. And it will cost less. But note that all Caribbean islands heavily push "collision damage waiver" which limits the amount you are responsible for. And worse some require a "deposit" which is island speak meaning a promissory note to pay $500-1000 in case of an accident claim. We purchased an insurance policy through CSA Travel Insurance over the Internet that covered the trip INCLUDING cruise, air, and the collision damage waiver so don't take their coverage - it stinks and is just another way to get money out of you. St Thomas: Rented a car from Budget Car rental at Havensight Pier, very convenient. HOWEVER, the map provided was virtually worthless and its only purpose was to show where restaurants were, which we didn't use. We parked the car at the pier during lunch time and went back out and drove. Driving is on the left side of road. Avis is across from Havensight pier and had a better map on a prior visit to the island. For that reason I suggest Avis because driving without a map is a waste of time and money. St. Kitts: A very pretty island which has some interesting attractions such has Romney Manor and Brimstone Hill Fortress. Rented a car which actually worked out well, driving is on the LEFT with steering on the RIGHT. Note they require a $24 local license. Aruba: Did an offroad excursion through Port Promotions (find them on the Internet) for $84 each which included lunch, it was OK. Interesting sites that could not be seen without an offroad vehicle. Aruba is essentially one big rock. Curacao: Nice little town with a Dutch harbor. The bridge moves back and forth for ships passing through in which case it closes. Town has all the usual tourist trap stores. In general there are tons of excursions offered by Royal Caribbean, but what's not generally known is there are other companies providing excursions. One such and previously mentioned is Port Promotions who we used in the past. They have any number of excursions on many Caribbean islands and are comparable to those provided by the vendors selected by RCCL, and may cost less. BUT - if you choose them you MUST keep track of the time returning to the ship and let your guide know. DO NOT expect them to keep track of ship departure time because they won't. You DO NOT want to arrive late for the ship since it may not still be in port. ENTERTAINMENT: This is pretty subjective and depends upon your personal taste so that must be up front. The ice show is fabulous and not to miss and consists of various Olympic skaters from around the world. Get your tickets as soon as they are offered because they go fast. There typically is a musical shows that is 'Broadway' and/or Las Vegas quality. Around the ship there are various other musicians and usually pretty good. ART AUCTIONS: Auctions are held on most cruises lines and on most ships. I've sailed Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Carnival, and Park West Galleries was on all of them. Royal Caribbean has now established their own inhouse auction vendor due to a particularly checkered history of Park West Galleries which is a lightning rod for complaints. Just check any cruise review website and you'll see what I mean. DISEMBARKATION: People leave the ship in groups and you are provided with a group number, which they call for disembarkation. RCCL wants you off the ship as quickly as possible so expect a knock at your door by 7:00 AM. This cruise required us to go through customs which took more time than without a customs inspection. OVERALL CONCLUSION: On this cruise we had a great deal of problems with obnoxious people, and because America's economy is so bad Americans are not sailing. As talked about earlier the cruise industry works on the business model of filling rooms at whatever price needed to get people on board and make money on excursions, booze, and gambling. The problem with that is you get locals who are NOT the classiest people and often are poorly behaved, which sadly was the case on this cruise. PUERTO RICAN LOCALS: In the past there has been a limited number of Puerto Rican passengers and typically well behaved and respectful of other passengers. This time was entirely different and it got downright ugly with half or more of passengers being Puerto Rican, it was easy to see a cultural gap that created real problems. This time we noticed they moved in squad and platoon sized groups that made people feel very uncomfortable overwhelming people nearby, and they were completely inconsiderate of others and quite rude like they didn't know how to act in public. Here are some of the problems encountered: * They played drums and sang loudly in public areas without concern for others (I'm not making this up). * Teenagers were typically unsupervised by parents and unruly. * Many sat on and stood around stairwells blocking them. * Walked into elevators without letting people off first and you were shoved in by a large group who insisted they all get on the elevator. * Very loud in hallways at night, often yelling. * Came into the dining room late, often one hour or more late, disrupting wait staff flow. * Disrupting movies in the Screen Room by being noisy, getting up and down constantly. * During disembarkation notice one man repeatedly spoke very loudly of "Gringos" while waiting in line so that Americans could hear him. This was intentional and designed to goad us. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Hi Ya! Well, this is my first review --- so please pardon any grammatical and punctuation errors. A big thank you to our travel agent for the Wine. That was quite lovely. And, greatly appreciated. Went well with our Fruit and Cheese ... Read More
Hi Ya! Well, this is my first review --- so please pardon any grammatical and punctuation errors. A big thank you to our travel agent for the Wine. That was quite lovely. And, greatly appreciated. Went well with our Fruit and Cheese Basket. Her arrangements were perfect! We loved the islands...and were grateful for them too. Gave us time off the ship. It's a matter of staffing the right people...and having enough people to take care of such a crowd. We were disappointed in the service. And, the quality / options of entertainment. However, the Ice Show was cool. We found a few bright stars in the group and noted them on the cruise survey. Agnello, Susana, Emilio, and Alicia. Our waiter for most of the cruise was incredible. One night we were not seated with him. And, that was a nightmare. It included dirty napkins, dirty plates and terrible service. Not to mention we were seated in aft dining room where they were experiencing issues with the plumbing: PU! We mentioned the incident to an Asst. Waiter in the Windjammer who promptly took our names and cabin number...and then drifted two tables over to discuss with the Food and Beverage Manager. After that we had NOOO issues. And, were greeted in the hallway each night by the Head Waiter @ Mozart who promptly seated us and regularly checked in with us. Dining in Portofino was EXCEPTIONAL. We chose that as our option for the first night. We left Puerto Rico while dining by the window on Osso Bucco and a Mixed Grill. YUMMY! The food in Mozart was quite good. Especially since Agnello our Waiter was intent on pleasing us with only the best of the best. The Windjammer...since when do you leave the tails on shrimp in a Paella?! I'm from New Orleans...I can peel me some Shrimp. But to me this was lazy. Now having said that the breakfast options were good. But the service quite slooooww or non-existent. Puerto Rico: Intercontinental was quite nice. Loved the accommodations. The Restaurant across the street: Mi Casita...is a recommendation for casual dining. And, Platos down the street a nice dinner experience. The Paella was divine. And, I wanted to take the waiter home. So adorable and professional. www.platosrestaurant.com/ It was raining so we made the most of it around the hotel. We will cruise again. When sailing solo it will be Celebrity or Radiance Class. We will as always choose to book with The Goddess Of Travel. As our travel arrangements were perfect. Soon to sail again!!! Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.0

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