Sail Date: October 2003
After 16 cruises I have to say this was one of the best. We departed from San Juan and arrived a day early so we could relax and this was a good idea. The check in was not the greatest. We had to stand in line for about 1 hour in the sun ... Read More
After 16 cruises I have to say this was one of the best. We departed from San Juan and arrived a day early so we could relax and this was a good idea. The check in was not the greatest. We had to stand in line for about 1 hour in the sun with our bags just to hand them to the porters. After that it went little faster but I was rather disappointed concerning we did all our paper work online ahead of time. The ship was great. Really good waiter and bus boy. kept us entertained. and the food was The dining room is beautiful. We ate a couple of times at Jonny Rockets and enjoyed it mostly because you could eat outside. In Aruba we did the jeep tour and it was fun but someone in out party flipped her jeep as we were leaving the natural bridge. No Serious injuries but I have to say, some of the people in our tour were very rude. Only cared about getting to the beach and not being delayed. In the mean time, a girl was laying on the ground. Also the tour bus were taking pictures out of their windows as they were passing us. Very Rude. There are many beautiful beaches in Aruba and De Palm Island is not one of them. Lovely view of the oil refineries. Lunch was good though and the snorkeling was very goading Joes's is a great place for a drink before heading back to the ship. It's located across from dock and is a great place to people watch. At night don't miss Carlos' n Charlie's. St. Maarten we did Orient beach with lunch. I recommend this tour. The beach and waterare BEAUTIFUL and lunch was wonderful. We had our own little table nesseled under the shade on the beach. WE were back in town in time to do some shopping and walk around. Beer is cheep and you can carry the bottles with you as you walk. In St. Thomas we did the AM snorkel tour to St. John's. The ferry ride is pretty and the guide in St. John was interresting. It's a good way to see the island. Snorkeling was Beautiful. (TIP: Don't try to feed the fish, I brought dog biscuits and almost lost a finger, Stupid). We shopped in the afternoon. There's no need to go into Charlotte Amille. The shops at the mall by the ship are more then enough. Try to save time for the tramway to Paradise Point. You can walk there from the ship and the view is breath-taking. The speciality drink is the Bushwacker. Very tastey. Over all this was a great cruise. There were 8 of us and we all agree. Sometimes everything just clicks together. Good room good friends good waiters. This was one of those times. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2003
Saturday, Nov. 8 Our flight to San Juan was uneventful. We left sunny skies and seasonably cool temperatures and arrived in cloudy, humid, rainy weather. We waited 30 minutes for our luggage, then took a taxi to the Wyndham Condado Plaza ... Read More
Saturday, Nov. 8 Our flight to San Juan was uneventful. We left sunny skies and seasonably cool temperatures and arrived in cloudy, humid, rainy weather. We waited 30 minutes for our luggage, then took a taxi to the Wyndham Condado Plaza ($17 with tip including three pieces of luggage). Check in was smooth and our room at the end of the hall was quite large: a table for four, sofa, coffee table, armoire containing the television and a separate bedroom. The bathroom was marble and had a shower stall with two shower heads. Our room was in the tower across the road from the reception desk and required using two separate elevators and a walk past the casino and through a glass tunnel over the road, which was inconvenient. The hotel was likely very nice when it was new, but it was showing a bit of wear. Nevertheless, we were comfortable, and the wine, bottled water, cheese and crackers, and free high-speed internet access in our room was a terrific bonus we received as Wyndham-By-Request members. One note for people using Priceline.com: We heard from several sources that people who booked through Priceline.com were turned away Friday and Saturday because the hotel allegedly had no record of their reservations and no available rooms. They were found rooms in local hotels, but the process seemed quite long and neither the guests nor the reservation staff looked too happy. We had dinner at Ajillo Mojillo (I probably didn't spell that correctly), which was a two-minute walk from the hotel and served delicious, reasonably priced Puerto Rican food. The service was very slow, so be ready to wait, but the food was terrific. Dinner for two with one glass of house wine, an appetizer, two entrees and one dessert with coffee was $64 including tip. We felt very safe walking to and from the restaurant, and just wish we had brought our umbrella as it drizzled on the way there. Sunday, Nov. 9 - Embarkation We ate at the buffet at the hotel, which was overpriced but convenient ($11 pp for continental breakfast: juice, coffee, milk, cereal, fruit and pastries). Check out was quick, although I had to remind the desk to remove the charge for the internet access. We took a taxi to the pier at 10:30 (around $17) and were dropped off at the arrival area rather than the departure area. Once we figured that out, we walked to back to the correct area and were the third couple in line. The couple in front of us turned out to be people we had been chatting with on the roll call board and the person behind us was part of that group as well. We passed the time in very humid weather until our luggage was collected and we were given numbers to represent our places in line. We were let into the building around 12:15 and we checked in around 12:30. Check in was faster than any other in our experience (about three minutes because we had prepared our documents online) and we returned to our seats only to wait almost two more hours to board. There was some problem disembarking the passengers (we heard conflicting reports that the dock workers wouldn't unload luggage in the rain or there was a customs/immigration problem) and the SeaPass machines weren't working either, so many of us did not have our photos taken until Monday afternoon. Once we were able to board around 2:30, we went directly to our cabin (which was ready for us) to drop off our carry-ons, hit the salon for formal night hair appointments, went to the Windjammer for lunch, and then went to Portofino's to make our dinner reservations for Tuesday and Saturday night. We picked up the equipment we needed for our internet connection and then toured the ship with video camera in hand. The early evening was spent attempting to set up our Cybercabin internet connection (the first phone/modem was broken and had to be replaced). (Note: Cybercabin is a dial-up connection and averaged 46 bps.) Our luggage didn't arrive until after dinner (despite our early arrival), but unpacking was a breeze in our category C cabin. There was a tremendous amount of storage space in addition to the walk-in closet. The bathroom contained shampoo, body lotion, shower gel, a shower cap, a body scrubber, and a container filled with cotton balls and cotton swabs. There was plenty of room for all our toiletries and the bathtub with shower was such a treat after struggling with the round shower and floating shower curtain on Brilliance. The balcony was large with solid metal walls on each side, a lounge chair with a footrest, two regular chairs and a small side table. Unlike balconies on our other cruises, this one did not have a high table at which we could eat. On the other hand, it was either raining or exceedingly humid every day of this cruise, so we rarely used the balcony. The muster drill was held at 8:30. We missed the welcome aboard show, as we discovered the Cafe Promenade and enjoyed a latte and cookies and then watched the World of Adventure parade. (The cafe offers coffee [regular which is free and specialty for which there is a charge] and other beverages, pastries, pizza, sandwiches, and cookies 24 hours a day.) We thought the parade itself was just okay, but it was fascinating that it was taking place aboard a moving ship. We felt as if we were at one of the cafes at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Monday, Nov. 10 - At Sea It rained all day and the ship was rocking and rolling. I tried to play bingo in the Imperial Lounge (deck 5 forward), but I was too uncomfortable and headed back to the room to take a Dramamine tablet. Ed participated in the adult ping pong tournament (the only one of the week as it turned out, much to his disappointment) which started at 9:15 and required us to speed through breakfast. We ate the first of many lunches at Johnny Rockets. The burgers are good, the onion rings delicious and the shakes, flavored Cokes and floats were well worth the extra charge. The rest of the day was spent investigating the ship until my hair appointment at 4 p.m. We then attended the Meet & Mingle on deck 14 at 5:00 for about 30 minutes before heading back to the cabin to dress for formal night. We had no time for pre-dinner photos, so we did that afterward. We attended the show featuring Paul Boland, comedy impressionist. Most of his impressions were of singers and anyone under the age of 30 might not have recognized most of them. We thought he was good and very much enjoyed the show. Tuesday, Nov. 11 - Aruba It was hot and humid and most of the passengers were off the ship early for excursions, so we had breakfast and went to the pool for a few hours. After lunch we headed into town for an hour or so and did a little shopping. We stopped by a grocery store and picked up two large bottles of water for about US$4, which we drank for the rest of the week along with the water served onboard. Tuesday evening was busy. We ate dinner at Portofino's, which offered the same menu as aboard Brilliance. Service was excellent and the food was very good. However, we cancelled our second reservation for Saturday evening, as we didn't think it was worth investing another $40. Immediately following dinner we attended the Crown & Anchor party for all members (there was at least one additional party for Platinum and Diamond members only) at which they served free drinks (rum punch, red and white wine, and whiskey sours, among others). Captain Remo spoke about the company and the ship, and we were surprised that he was a poor public speaker. We left before he finished because we had tickets for the ice show at 9:15. The show was awesome, especially the woman who did acrobatics with a round hoop. It was amazing what the performers were able to do in such a small space, and it was probably even more interesting when the ship was at sea. The show is a must see although the volume is extremely loud. Wednesday, Nov. 12 - Curacao We headed into town after breakfast and the floating bridge started to open almost immediately after we stepped onto it. We enjoyed watching it open to let a boat pass through and were surprised at how many people tried to get off and take the ferry rather than stay on it. We walked around town for a while, and we enjoyed the architecture, colors and wide sidewalks of this town more than any other we have visited in the Caribbean thus far. We purchased a holiday tablecloth with matching napkins and priced the Swarovski crystal, but found it was the same price as on the ship. We had lunch on board and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. After dinner, we walked outside on all the decks and discovered shuffleboard. After playing several games incorrectly (despite having read the instructions conveniently posted on the wall), we were hooked, and played several more times (correctly) during the rest of the cruise. Thursday, Nov. 13 - At Sea It rained on and off during the day and when the sun was out, it was almost unbearably humid. We spent most of the day indoors. I attended bingo and did not enjoy it. One of the female staff members was difficult to understand, and the staff didn't do anything to make it fun, unlike my experience on other ships. Anyone who has experienced bingo with Bouncin' Becky Bingo, whether she drove them nuts or not, knows how bingo can be made fun and amusing. I had another hair appointment at 4:00 and we were dressed and downstairs by 5:30, beating the crowds for formal portraits. We had our pictures taken at every station and asked the photographers to try something a little different. This gave us more photos to choose from and we looked less stiff in most of them. The Love and Marriage Game Show was held at 8:15 and featured newlyweds, and couples married 14 months, 42 years and 51 years. It was funny, as always. The variety show featuring comedian Tom Parks was hysterical. He started off a little slow, but once he got rolling, we couldn't stop laughing. He is a definitely a must see if he is appearing during your cruise. Friday, Nov. 14 - St. Maarten Several excursions were cancelled due to the weather. We went into town for a while until a huge dark cloud appeared, and then we hopped into a taxi and passed through a rainstorm on the way back to the ship. We took advantage of the port day by playing a round of miniature golf, some ping pong and basketball. We attended the production show "Can't Stop The Rock," which was better than most of the production shows we have seen in the past. The female singers were outstanding. After the show we decided to go to The Duck and Dog Pub, because we had heard that the singer (who did mainly Jimmy Buffett songs) was good and everyone enjoyed it. The Latina Parade started shortly after we arrived and we were watching from inside the pub when a fight broke out between two men at the next table. As they wrestled to the floor, our table was hit and our drinks went flying. It was a total mess. In the end, only one man was escorted out and the other was left to continue his good time, which we did not think was fair. The bar replaced my lost drink after I asked for it, but no apology was offered and we had to go to the front desk on our own initiative to request a dry cleaning voucher for our slacks, which were wet with beer and wine. We were very disappointed in how the incident was handled by the security and bar staff. We ended up at the Blue Moon, which advertised "An Evening of Jazz" that began at midnight and ended at 12:45 a.m. After a few minutes of listening to Shannon and Michael, we ended that evening and went to bed. Saturday, Nov. 15 - St. Thomas St. Thomas had received 17+ inches of rain in the four days prior to our arrival, and several of the beaches were closed. There was a lot of silt in the water that we could see from the ship, and several excursions were cancelled. We originally planned to take a ferry on our own to St. John and go to Trunk Bay, but it poured shortly after we woke up and we didn't want to get stranded on a beach in the rain, especially since we didn't know if the water was clear enough for snorkeling. We headed out to the pool after the sun came out until lunch, played some shuffleboard and then, from the Blue Moon, watched people at the pool get wet as more rain passed over throughout the afternoon. We spent some time before dinner packing, then hit the photo shop to purchase our pictures before the crowd showed up. After dinner, we played the final jackpot bingo, which someone from Puerto Rico won in the amount of $5,100. We watched the farewell production show, which was pretty good, and the comic, Ed Regine, who we thought was not so great. After stopping for more cookies, we headed up to our cabin to finish packing and hit the sack. Sunday, Nov. 16 - San Juan We met friends for our final breakfast in the dining room at 7:45, dragging our carry-ons with us, and then we waited at a table outside the Duck & Dog Pub for several hours. Unlike other cruises where passengers were called off the ship by the color of their luggage tags, on this cruise they called passengers by their flight numbers. Our flight wasn't until 2:30 but we finally decided to disembark at 10:05. By the time we cleared customs, picked up our luggage and got in a taxi, it was 10:55. The lines moved very slowly for customs, but the luggage was easy to find. A taxi to the airport was $23 including tip and took about 15 minutes. Check in was swift, and we picked up a sandwich before heading down to the gate, where we waited about three hours until we boarded for our flight home. Overall impressions: The ship was awesome, and we really enjoyed the Royal Promenade. The art is eclectic and the decorating is lovely. Everything is easy to find, and we rarely experienced a wait for the elevators. Our category C cabin was fabulous, and we were definitely spoiled by its size and amenities. It's impossible to be bored on this ship, especially if the sun is shining because a lot of the activities are held by the pool. Unfortunately, there was only one ping pong tournament for adults (not enough to satisfy Ed), and the two tables on deck 11 were shoved in a corner, while the two on deck 13 had pitted tops. The volume everywhere onboard was too loud. We enjoyed relaxing and reading in the Crow's Nest until the bar opened. After that, the music was so loud we couldn't hear each other. Several times we asked the bartender to turn the volume down, but it was never at background music level. The ice show was terrific, but the music was so loud we couldn't speak to each other. In speaking with other passengers, we found that many people agreed that everything could have been turned down a few notches. The food was mediocre. The menus seem to be the same on every ship, but on Adventure the food seemed bland. There was no problem having seconds or multiple entrees: one man at our table had at least two entrees each night. Our waiter brought extra lobster tails to the table for everyone. The service we received in the dining room was good but not excellent, despite the fact that our waiter requested we rate him at that level on our survey. He did ask us on the second night if the pace of our dinner was appropriate or too fast, which we appreciated. The assistant waiter asked Ed every night if he wanted coffee, even though we mentioned early on that he didn't drink coffee. I mentioned the first night that I preferred skim milk for my coffee, but he didn't bring it again. I know I could have requested it each night, but I didn't. On the other hand, after the third night, they knew one of our tablemates preferred a regular salad with Thousand Island dressing, and that's what he received each night. Another passenger I spoke with was extremely impressed with her waiter and assistant waiter, so it must be the luck of the draw. We found the dining room service at breakfast and lunch to be poor. Our waiters were not friendly, the toast was cold and/or burnt, and the juice was warm, and after a few days we began ordering from room service for breakfast (excellent) and ate at Johnny Rockets or the Cafe Promenade at lunch. In our opinion, the crew in general seemed distant and disinterested in the passengers. The exceptions were the crew in Johnny Rockets, who seemed very happy to be there, and a few of the bartenders at the Pool Bar in the afternoons. One of the staff members at the Cafe Promenade was completely rude, neither speaking to us nor acknowledging our thanks. Our cabin steward was efficient and polite. Almost everything, including bingo, was repeated in Spanish, and most nights there were Latin-related activities (Latin Fiesta, Love and Marriage Game in Spanish, Latin Cabaret Showtime in Spanish). There were many passengers who were from Puerto Rico, so I assume these are regularly scheduled activities due to the high percentage of Spanish-speaking passengers on each sailing. While we enjoyed our sailing, we would not sail out of Puerto Rico again. And while we enjoyed Adventure, we would not seek out this size ship again unless offered a deal we couldn't refuse. The myriad activities and unique offerings were great to experience, but this ship simply didn't have the warmth and friendliness we enjoyed on Brilliance. In sum, despite some disappointments, we had an extremely relaxing and enjoyable vacation, and it was great fun to meet the people from the roll call board. We made some new friends, sailed on the largest ship afloat, and ate more cookies in one week than we did in one year. I'd say that adds up to a wonderful vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2003
Our cruise was great, the ship is one of the best ever. The cruise offered anything & everything. There was really no down time. Sometimes, there could be too much going on to know what to do. The cabins we had were balcony cabins, ... Read More
Our cruise was great, the ship is one of the best ever. The cruise offered anything & everything. There was really no down time. Sometimes, there could be too much going on to know what to do. The cabins we had were balcony cabins, and this was our first cruise with the balcony. This is probably the way to go because of the fresh air, scenic views, romanticness, and they are just plain relaxing. This is our 3rd cruise, second with Royal Caribbean. I can't complain except for our dining service which were very slow, had no timing, and had way too much WAITING for each course. The choice of foods, however, was great. Our shore excursions were the best, especially the "BOB". Everyone should try this excursion at least once...I can't say enough about the feelings of everyone who tried it in our group....2 THUMBS WAY UP.....Our ports were all beautiful and breath-taking, especially St. Martin, St. Thomas & Curacao (Willemstad).  We had a great time.  The only other complaint (and from what I Heard. I'm not the only one) was embarking & Disembarking the ship. We all understand there are over 3000 people on board, but enough is enough. There was nothing but chaos from beginning to end. Nothing made sense, they kept calling for flights & decks,. and everyone was hanging around the exiting deck (4)..not enough employees there to direct or even not direct people where they should go. There was the biggest mess I have ever seen & been in, and I'm being nice about it. Most other people I overheard, I CANNOT repeat what they were said...... Read Less
Sail Date: December 2003
ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS - 12/7/03 This was our first time on Royal Caribbean. We chose the AOS because of it's size and variety of things to do, as well as the itinerary, with an overnight stay in Aruba. The ship is amazing. When we ... Read More
ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS - 12/7/03 This was our first time on Royal Caribbean. We chose the AOS because of it's size and variety of things to do, as well as the itinerary, with an overnight stay in Aruba. The ship is amazing. When we first board, we like to walk around the whole ship, top to bottom. This took 2-3 hours. There are plenty of spaces and plenty of things to do onboard. During the entire 7 nights, we barely had time to "hang out" in all of the wonderful public spaces. The ship has wonderful decorating and is very clean. The public rooms are elegant and provide plenty of visual variety. Some of our favorite spaces to spend time were -- the Solarium (adult pool) and the Cafe Promenade (for getting coffee, croissants and ice water). We tried (but did not succeed) at having a drink at every bar on the ship! Our inside room was very well designed and comfortable. Every inch is used for storage space. Our cabin steward was friendly. The first day our room did not get cleaned, but because of our in-out times, our steward may have been thinking that we slept in the entire first day! Beyond that mis-read, his service was excellent. One thing to remember, it was a long walk from our stateroom to the staircases / elevators. It seemed like a long trip from our room, but our cabin position was not that bad. This is just a big ship. The food was good, but our dining experience the first few nights was not good. We had a table, but then were "bumped" to another table -- with some very obnoxious guests and not-very-good service. We had been thrilled with the original table, and don't know why we were bumped for no reason. We complained at the guest relations desk and to the Maitre D', who then re-seated us, fortunately, at a table with wonderful service and a wonderful couple. We got lucky on that. But our 2nd night of dining and getting the situation corrected was stressful. Also, we had to have our wine moved around from 3 tables, because of the shuffle. We did eat at Portofino's one night, which was very good. The desserts are by far the highlight of the Portofino's experience. It was a nice treat, but not a must-do. Actually we found ourselves eating so well and so often, that we had a day long mid-cruise fast (no breakfast or lunch, light dinner) in order to feel more comfortable. We were so full! Nightlife on the ship provides plenty of options. I liked Kareoke Idol, and the finals were very well done in Studio B. We saw a fight almost break out among 2 guests though (over Kareoke!) and that was a downer. We went to the Love and Marriage show, but saw the more aggressive guest from Kareoke there, and decided to leave. Also, we attended only one stage show, which I felt was mediocre. We left about 1/4 of the way through the show. Our favorite performers were the pub singer at the Duck and Dog (I think his name was Brian Kennedy). We also found the ice show to be entertaining -- although the guest acrobat was the star of the show. The skaters did a nice job overall. As for other onboard activities -- Dear Husband played virtual golf (OK, not great), we did mini-golf, saw one of the horse races, and Dear Husband played a little in the casino (won a little, lost a little). We had a couples massage, but the spa is very over-priced and next time, we'd choose to have spa treatments at home rather than on the ship. Jester's nightclub is a very cool place, but we did not find time to stay and dance. I wish we could have found more time for that! Overall, we loved the ship, had good food and great service. Unfortunately the down moments for us were the result of rude guests rather than any problems with the cruise line. The AOS is a beautiful ship and we enjoyed it very much. Ports of call were Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. Because of tropical storm Odette (very rare in the S. Caribbean), the sand was stirred up and water was rough for snorkeling in Aruba. The most fun we had in Aruba was having beers at an outdoor cafe in town. In Curacao we went to the Seaquarium and went to a time-share presentation to get access to the time-share beach. The Seaquarium beach next door is also very pretty and has a small entrance fee. In St. Martin, we went to Orient beach and did some skinny dipping, which was actually very fun. The rest of the time we lazed under a rented umbrella at a beach bar. In St. Thomas, we took the ferry to St. John and visited Trunk Bay -- which was the MOST FANTASTIC HIGHLIGHT of our trip. It is gorgeous and we had wonderful beaching and snorkeling there. We met some of our fellow Cruise Critic posters at the CC party, and they are all very nice people. Hope this review is useful for your trip planning! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2004
INTRODUCTION This was our eighth cruise and our fourth on Royal Caribbean. We were traveling with my parents and two other couples. While we were traveling from Atlanta, my parents were departing from Newark so we elected to spend the ... Read More
INTRODUCTION This was our eighth cruise and our fourth on Royal Caribbean. We were traveling with my parents and two other couples. While we were traveling from Atlanta, my parents were departing from Newark so we elected to spend the Saturday prior to sailing in San Juan to afford an extra day in case there were weather related travel delays. We arrived Saturday afternoon and spent the night at the Caribe Hilton. The hotel is a five-minute ride from the pier and is a primo resort facility. EMBARKATION We had transfers from the hotel and the shuttle picked up the passengers at 1:00 p.m. Our baggage was tagged and was picked up later by another vehicle. Without question, this was the fastest boarding any of us had ever experienced. In no time we had dropped off our carry on luggage in our rooms and were having lunch in the Windjammer by about 1:30. The other two couples that flew in that morning from New York City were on the ship at 11:30 a.m. The ship sailed out of San Juan and into the Atlantic at 10:00 p.m. with a very prominent escort from the U.S. Coast Guard to keep any bad guys away from us. THE SHIP WOW! We've sailed on the Radiance of the Seas twice, which is a pocket cruiser version of the Voyager class ships. The Radiance is 90,000 tons and the Adventure is 140,000 tons or better than 50% larger. We docked right behind Brilliance of the Seas (a Radiance class sized ship) in Aruba, and the size differential is very apparent. Up until five days earlier when the Queen Mary 2 sailed on its maiden voyage, the Adventure of the Seas shared the title with its sister ships as the largest cruise ship in the world. The ship absolutely gleams everywhere you look. A New York City Fireman, a NYC Policeman and their wives christened Adventure of the Seas in October of 2001. With all lower bunks filled, the ship's capacity is 3,500 passengers with 1,200 crewmen. Our cruise had 3,348 passengers or just about full. There was something like 50+ nationalities represented by the passengers with the vast majority from the U.S. Despite the number of passengers, we never experienced crowding. You could always get a seat or a lounge chair in any bar, pool area, theater, etc. There are more bars and lounges than you can experience in a week without a loved one signing you up for AA. If you were willing to explore, I wandered around the decks and found places where I could pull up a lounge chair and be the only passenger in sight. This year we are celebrating our 25th anniversary and we splurged on a deck 10 suite. Our cabin was port side number 1574, which was a "Grand Suite". It was in essence a double sized cabin with a large sitting area with a TV, DVD player, Stereo CD player and a bar. We had a concierge service that we never utilized. I think we were too busy to do so. The bathroom was huge for a ship and had twin sinks set in a granite counter and a full bathtub/shower. There was an enormous amount of storage space with three big closets and plenty of drawers and cabinets. Each day, the cabin elves delivered a tray of fruit, cookies, cheese, chocolate covered strawberries or other treats to nosh on. We hosted several cocktail parties in the room for our party of eight. Don't try this in a conventional sized cabin. The four story Royal Promenade is the focal point of the ship's interior. It is a marvelous invention with shops, lounges, bars and a coffee shop-snack bar. Two sets of elevator banks and two staircases at each end of the 400-foot long promenade keeps passengers flowing through the ship. The three-story dining room is spectacular with the dEcor matching the cuisine. Our waiter Viveck or "V" made our meals fun and entertaining. If ever you couldn't decide among appetizers, entrees or deserts, V would bring a plate of each of your top choices to try. THE ICE SHOW Don't miss it. There were performances on two nights during the cruise. You get to see former Olympic skaters do an "Ice Capades meets Cirque du Soleil" show in a very intimate setting 1/3rd the size of a conventional ice rink. You can also rent skates during the day and ice skate your way across the Caribbean. That is, if you're not too busy sunning, rock climbing, miniature golfing, in-line skating or working out in the superb fitness center. My mother loved the fact that Adventure of the Seas had soft ice cream machines located in the Royal Promenade, out at the pools as well as in the Windjammer. ARUBA We walked off the ship with the intention of getting an orientation tour of the island. For $15 each, we got a two-hour minibus tour of Aruba which included northeast coast with gold mine ruins and the natural arch and on to the California lighthouse and the beautiful western beaches. The island gets only around 20 inches of rain a year and is surprisingly desert-like. Something like 14 species of cactus populate the island and because it's so far south, Aruba doesn't get the hurricanes the more northern islands excite in. In Aruba you are about 13 miles off the coast of South America, which is visible on the horizon. After lunch, back on board, we wandered around Oranjestad browsing the shops and having a beer in Carlos'N Charlie's. Later that night, a beach party was in full force up on the pool deck when the ship sailed at 1:00 a.m. At the witching hour, lines were hauled in and 140 thousand tons of cruise ship glided silently back into the Caribbean for the short run to Curaçao. CURAÇAO This is another island where, like Aruba, you get the impression; tourism is not the islander's primary mission. We docked at the "Mega Pier" about a five or ten minute walk to the Pontoon Bridge that leads you into the picturesque town of Willemstad. We strolled around the colorful waterfront and the floating market, where fishermen from neighboring Venezuela ply fresh fish to the locals. In the afternoon we booked a snorkel excursion. The snorkel boat picked us up right at the dock and sailed about 40 minutes down the coast to a sheltered bay. The site featured a sunken tugboat, lots of colorful fish and corals in warm, crystal clear water. Even better, an 80 foot, twin-masted sailing ship anchored with us and released a school of sleek-profiled, thong-flossed beauties to snorkel with us. Afterwards, I mentioned to Joanne, that not all the shots I took with our disposable underwater camera were of the swim suit models. My parents joined us on our balcony to enjoy a sundowner and snacks as we left Willemstad and sailed down the coast of Curaçao to our sea day to St. Maarten. After we passed the eastern end of the island and hung a left northward, the lights of Bon Aire, the third of the ABC islands, passed by us to starboard. SEA DAY A good break in the action. There are no bridge tours, given security concerns. However, head forward on deck eleven, the pool deck, and check out the Peek-a-Boo Bridge. Windows allow you to look down on the bridge and watch the officers drive the boat. The captain's chair has a joystick in the armrest that appears to be all you need to steer the ship when the computers are disengaged. There are monitors up there that repeat the crew's navigation data so you can check out speed, course, position, etc. Today was our second formal night and was the Chef's lobster night extravaganza. Our waiter, "V", told the table that he once had a nineteen-year-old young man order and consume seventeen lobster tails at dinner. Given we had already had about six dining events so far that day, we we're not inclined to take up the challenge and kept ourselves to a limit of two tails each. ST. MAARTEN Damn! Philipsburg is full of super salesmen that know how to permanently hang jewelry around my wife's neck. The local economy benefited by our visit. We took a water taxi into town from the pier and besides visiting every jewelry store on the Dutch side of the island; we had a nice lunch overlooking the harbor. Sailing just before sunset, we cruised past the airport watched the last few arriving planes of the day catch the three wire, and snag a safe landing at Princess Juliana Airport. Sailing is definitely the low risk way risk way to enter and depart St. Maarten. There is a web site called airliners.net that is full of interesting aviation photographs from around the world. Fully 1/3rd of the pictures feature planes landing at Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten. Check it out and you'll see what I mean. ST. THOMAS Here is where we had the only problem with the cruise. Everyone on the ship was ordered to present themselves to U.S. Immigration authorities on board between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. There were exactly two inspectors to eyeball 3,500 passengers and 1,200 crewmen. We went down at 8:30 a.m. and couldn't find the end of the line, which extended from the main dining room on deck five at the stern and went forward through the Royal Promenade and down the forward staircases. An hour later, after breakfast, the line was no shorter and the crew was not to be found. After an hour on line, two customs officers thanked you for showing them that you possessed a Passport. I don't believe that any Al Qaeda were ferreted out that morning with the completely bogus security check. The crew at the purser's desk told me this was the usual Saturday ritual. Most passengers that had excursions booked for the morning, missed them. This was not a good way to spend your last morning aboard. Upon finally getting cleared, we caught a cab to Mountain Top to enjoy the view of Megan's Bay, the other Virgin Islands and taste the world's best banana daiquiri. The Queen Mary 2 was anchored out in the harbor about a mile away from the nearest ship or point of land. This was the ship's inaugural cruise, having sailed about ten days earlier from Southampton. It was the Queen's first day in U.S. waters and passengers tendered into Charlotte Amalie. All day long, four U.S. Coast Guard vessels ran a picket around the ship with a Blackhawk helicopter circling overhead for good measure. We watched small craft from the harbor, try to get close to the Queen, probably for photographs. One of the Coast Guard ships would move to intercept and if the intruder tried to evade, the Blackhawk descended to about six feet above the offending craft and "dusted" it with its rotor wash until it hove to. A Coast Guard warship would then inspect and send the boat on its sorry-ass way. A very good show to observe your tax dollars at work. When the Adventure of the Seas sailed that Saturday evening past the Queen, we gave the traditional three long blasts on the ship's horn which was answered with three by the Queen then one again by each of us. Very cool, and perhaps we participated in a piece of nautical history. The Queen Mary 2 sailed just behind us and quickly sped past us to starboard to arrive in Ft. Lauderdale on Monday morning under the escort of a U.S. Guided Missile Cruiser. Not a bad time considering most other ships take an additional day for that leg of a cruise of such length. DISEMBARKATION - SAN JUAN Very smooth. We had breakfast in the main dining room for the last time and waited in the ice rink venue to be called for departure. It was a quick wait and in no time we were ashore and sadly on our way to the airport and home. This was a great week with the exception of the immigration debacle the last day in St. Thomas. I noted this on my customer survey and also called the Royal Caribbean executive in charge of customer satisfaction upon my return. They need to get this problem fixed. Apart from that, take this cruise. The ship is beautiful, has plenty of room and visits some of the best islands in the Caribbean. Please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to answer any questions on the cruise that I can. Austin Kearney pepperdog@mindspring.com Read Less
Sail Date: January 2004
I cruised on the Adventure of the Seas on 1/4. Just some background on me so you know where I am coming from. I am 22 y/o and I was cruising with Family. We flew direct on Northwest from St. Paul, MN to SJU. FLight was on time and very ... Read More
I cruised on the Adventure of the Seas on 1/4. Just some background on me so you know where I am coming from. I am 22 y/o and I was cruising with Family. We flew direct on Northwest from St. Paul, MN to SJU. FLight was on time and very smooth. We arrived at SJU at approx 230pm. We were met at the gate by RCCL agents and were told that if we booked air sea thru the cruise line that we could go straight to the bus and luggage would be brought to the ship. We walked to the bus out front, and we left almost immediately. There was about a 20 minute bus ride to the ship. EMBARKATION- All I have to say was WOW. We got to the pier around 3:15. Saw the check in for deck 10. (Check in is split by decks. 1-3 per line). Only 1 couple in front of us. When it was our turn we showed ID, Birth Certificates, credit card, and were given our Sea Pass Cards and poof we were on board by 3:30!!!!! THE SHIP- FOr being 2 years old, honestly this ship was in just as good of shape as the navigator was when we sailed on her when she was 7 months old! Everything was clean and In great shape. We were on Deck 10, INterior, cat M. (A little small but nothing to complain about. We weren't in it enough anyway) Our stateroom attendant "Buddy" was great. We had a piece of luggage damaged by NWA, and he brought it to the fix it shop on the ship and they fixed it at no cost to us. WE had towel animals every night! EATING - MMMMMMMM - Windjammer and Island grill were open right when we got on the ship for lunch (And each day for lunch as well) They were both open for breakfast each day (Island grill had omelets, long line for them if you didn't get there before 9ish) Lunch was in Island grill, as well as snacks. Dinner was in Windjammer. Dinners were really never crowded. Hours- Breakfast 630a-11a. Lunch 1130a-3p Snacks 3p-6p Dinner 630p-930p Dining room - 3 floor dining room Seating around 1750 guests (So we were told by our head waiter) Food was always great, as was the dining staff. Formal nights were Mon and Thurs. Thurs was lobster night. Portofino - SOrry, Did not eat there! Promenade Cafe - 24hrs. Breakfast rolls in the morning, Pizza, sandwiches and desserts the rest of the day as well as free coffee and ice water. I went to the disco a lot at night. DJ was great. Usually played current top 40 hits, but would play anything upon request. Usually busiest from 1230a-2a. POOLS - Solarium - Not covered, unlike the rest of the RCCL Fleet, however the hot tubs were covered. No children rule followed 99percent of time. Main Pool 4 hot tubs, 2 pools. The deck was crowded at sea days, but not too bad. No real chair hogs spotted. DAILY STUFF Sunday, Again Embarkation in San Juan, WENT VERY WELL. No real complaints heard from anyone. HOWEVER, some almost missed ship due to weather in US causing delays. Muster Drill at 8:30. Dinner at 6:30 and 9p. Johnny Rockets Closed from 7p-9p for muster drill. Headliner Show Time was great. Comedian Very Funny (Forgot his name). MONDAY - At Sea, FORMAL NIGHT. Hmm, sat in hot tub most of day! A little rain in AM but lasted 10 minutes. Seas were wavy and wind was a little strong, ESP at night about 25-30mph. Sexy legs contest and horse racing were held at pool, as well as an art auction. I forgot what the show was that night (Sorry). Tuesday - ARUBA. Went shopping in town during day, and on the Kuku Kunuku party bus at night. Had a great time, stopping at 3 bars and then Carlos N Charlies where the real party was. Got back to the ship at 1215, just in time to beat the rush that hit at 1225. There was a deck party that night from 11-1 on the pool deck (11) with food and Ice Sculptures. Also that was the first production show night. Wednesday - Curacao. Went for a walk thru the town in the am, then went to the Aquarium beach. No waives there = a boring beach for me. We had on and off rain thru the day. (Lasting about 3-5 mins each time). I had 2 complaints the entire trip and this night was one of them. We had Ice tickets for Thursday (ICE SHOWS ON WED AND THURS) All entertainment this night including the deck party was in SPANISH!!! So you had 1800 english speaking passengers walking around commenting on the fact that there was nothing to do. I spoke to the cruise director and he said it was an error in scheduling entertainers for that week. Oh well, what can you do? Thursday - At Sea. Final Horse racing, Belly Flop Contest, the Love and marriage Show (DO NOT MISS) and The quest game (Also Very funny, and I was talked into playing this year by a fellow cruise criticer!) This was also the second Ice Show night, and the Second production show night! Friday - St. Maarten - Walked around and shopped, and then went to EVERYTHING's cool and had a few frozen drinks. El Goucho was the entertainer that night, who we have seen twice on RCCL prior, so we had a family Mini Golf Turney instead. Saturday - St. THomas. Walked around town, and took the sky ride (15.00pp) To paradise point. Great view! Worth the money for something to do! Fairwell comedy show on board that night. Sunday, Debarkation, AKA DISASTER! We had a 4p flight to MSP so we booked a tour thru RCCL. WE had to meet at 845 in the Imperial Lounge (Deck 5). At 850 when it became time to leave the ship to the tour bus (After the early flights had gotten off) Customs was so slow, we did not get out of the ship terminal until 1115! The line barely moved at all. The tour guide barely spoke any english. When we got dropped off at the airport 2hrs before, Northwest put us in a staging area, and forgot about our flight until 1hr prior to departure. THe security line was 1hour 30 mins long. A group of us found a NWA rep and they escorted us thru security. I can not believe SJU airport can not find a better way to do this since it happens Every week.. I will not fly to SJU in the future due to the airport size problems! Ship Tips. Ice Show - If you want to go, get tickets Monday 9-noon. They are free but since size is an issue you need a ticket. Sports deck All activities (In line skating, BBall, Mini Golf) are free. Unknown about simulator. For breakfast, try to eat before 9 as that is when things picked up. RCCL Has a 1am curfew for age 17 and down. There were 1500 Locals on board, and to answer previous comments, yes they are very loud people, and a select percent are rowdy and VERY LOUD, however, i would suggest booking this cruise if you wanted to take it. The other thing that really got on my nerves was the 2 way radios. Not that I minded that everyone and their brother had one, Just TURN THEM DOWN! PS HI TO ALL THE MINNESOTANS THAT I MET! ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE ASK ON FORUM OR E-MAIL! hoopster3145@yahoo.com Scott All in all, the Cruise director (Kirk Detwieler) and his staff did a great job and we all had a wonderful time and will definitely cruise again, and I do recommend this cruise, however recommend flying out of san juan on Monday instead! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2004
This was probably the worst cruise (of 5) we have ever been on. The reasons were too many to list. I surely would sound whiny if I go on and on, and I don't mean to be that way. I will not complain about the crew, but I tend to ... Read More
This was probably the worst cruise (of 5) we have ever been on. The reasons were too many to list. I surely would sound whiny if I go on and on, and I don't mean to be that way. I will not complain about the crew, but I tend to think their good attitudes may have been more about their tips and the incentive plans their bosses have in place(we grade them, in essence. very odd) than about the love of the job. Or us. Although they all were very nice, no one was EXCEPTIONAL. Unfortunately this cruise still cost 5G and then some. Not as personal in service as I would have liked. I must mention the Food- Mediocre at best, and I am NOT picky/ this Johnny Rockets thing is way overdone- I have had better burgers at McDonalds, quite frankly. 4$ shakes were ridiculously overpriced. Overall the food was too ethnic (but somehow still bland) for my tastes. And much too recycled. Could it have been because what seemed like 80% of the ship was not American? We gathered that the bookings were extremely low, and RC just about gave away the empty rooms to last minute bookings, out of SanJuan, I'm pretty sure, and this made for a ship in which 60% paid full price and the rest paid 25%. Too many bratty, rude, foreign speaking children and some very nasty, rude and uncaring parents. The bathrooms were filthy (especially on the LONG debarkation day). Not necessarily because of the shiphands, but how can you clean every 1/2 hour? Someone, and I am not exaggerating here, put out 3 cigarettes right upon the carpet! at the casino! one night. They must have sat there unnoticed for an hour. There were 3 BURNT spots and ashes still everywhere! Nasty people! I was pretty disappointed and will NOT travel RC aver again. Even the ship was really nothing to write home about, nice but not for the price. It will be Carnival or Celebrity next time (if there ever is one- my memory may not allow it). Good Sailing, hopefully my trip was the exception, not the rule :) PattiB Read Less
Sail Date: January 2004
We flew into San Juan the day before the cruise. Coming from the Northeast in the middle of winter, this is always a good idea if possible. We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Condado. The rate was $116 per night. While not a great property, ... Read More
We flew into San Juan the day before the cruise. Coming from the Northeast in the middle of winter, this is always a good idea if possible. We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Condado. The rate was $116 per night. While not a great property, it was clean and the staff was very friendly. They were also one of the few hotels that did not require a 2 night minimum stay. The ship is now docked at a new pier area that is away from Old San Juan. Taxi fare from Condado was $12 plus .50 for each piece of luggage. We arrived at the dock around noon, and the porters took our luggage right away. You then go inside the building and get in line depending on which deck your cabin is located on. The computers were down when we arrived but came up in about 30 minutes. After you check in, which takes about 2 minutes, you are directed to chairs in the room if the ship has yet to totally empty out, or if the ship is empty, you proceed right on board. If you are not a US citizen, they will hold your passport until you arrive in St. Thomas. We boarded at about 1245. Cabins are not ready until 1:00, but there is lunch in the Windjammer lounge, and the bars are open up on the pool decks. At this time you can purchase soda packages. They were over $40 for adults and over $30 for children (plus the 15% gratuity) Seemed high to us so we did not get the packages. However, the wine packages are a very good deal. 7 bottles for $125 (including 15% gratuity). You have your choice of 8 different wines, plus an inexpensive champagne. My wife figures we saved over $50 based on our drinking habits. Our cabin was 7360, a verandah cabin, and i will never book and outside cabin again. Breakfast on the verandah every morning is very nice. The cabin is a good size, but there seems to be a lack of drawers, and the bathroom is a little tight for large people. Always had plenty of hot water, and our cabin steward kept the room spotless. The television had the usual shipboard information, and a couple of movie channels. CNN international and what i would call TV Land television. Lots of old shows. You can also purchase first run movies and adult films to view. The muster drill is done at 8:30 in the evening prior to sailing and is over very quickly. For dinner, there are 2 formal nights, 2 resort casual, and the rest are casual nights, including Caribbean night in Aruba when you can wear shorts in the dining room. We were very surprised by the number of tuxedos and long gowns being worn on this ship. We were expecting a little more casual group being Royal Caribbean, but everyone was dressed very nicely. ARUBA We rented a Jeep in Aruba and drove over to the Wild Side. This is a beautiful drive, and the Jeep ran us $60 from Hertz. Car rentals are available at the pier in Aruba. I suggest a hardtop Jeep due to the broiling sun, and bring liquids as there are not to many places to get any on the wild side. The Natural Bridge area is very busy and commercialized. They charge a quarter to use the restroom, and there is a $20 minimum in the junk store. In the evening we did the pub crawl shore excursion. JUST DO IT. It's a blast. Be sure to bring your camera. I didn't and i won't ever hear the end of it. CURACAO Spent the day just wandering around downtown. Great deals on linens (according to the boss) ST. MARTEN The ship docks out of the downtown area, and you need to take a water taxi to get into town. $5 all day per person. The stores don't open until 9-930, so don't rush in the morning. Did some shopping and picked up some Guava berry liquor and some mango liquor. Good prices on clothes also. From what we heard, the jewelry prices are better in St Marten then in St Thomas. Went on the Sunken ship snorkel tour. Very good and the guys working the boat are a hoot. ST.THOMAS Did the Buck Island snorkel tour in the morning, and it was the best snorkeling we have ever done. Turtles, stingrays, and a lot of coral and fish. Watch out for the "painkiller punch" on the way home. It's not painless after you've had a few. We've been downtown to many times to count, so we just did our booze run at the dock. Prices were good and if you shop by 230, they deliver to the ship. Upon arrival in St. Thomas, you need to clear immigration. People from outside the US go to one room and US citizens go to another. This was the ONLY time we ever saw a line up on this ship. Once you clear immigration, you are given a pass that allows you to get off the ship. NO more waiting for some guy who's hungover to come down and clear before everyone else is allowed off the ship. This was a great cruise. The service was great in all the restaurants. There was never a line up to wait for anything. The ship was clean. The food, while not up to Celebrity standards was very good. There was always someplace to sit, even though we had a full ship. 3500+ passengers. Our only complaint was the entertainment. One of the singers could have scared every cat within a 100 miles of her voice. Terrible. But don't miss the Adventure Quest, it's a riot. (adults Only). We'll book RCCL again, with no hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2004
We just returned from our trip on the Adventure. I have cruised eight times and this was simply the best cruise ever! Even though there were over 3000 people on the ship, the lines were very light. The food was great. The entire staff ... Read More
We just returned from our trip on the Adventure. I have cruised eight times and this was simply the best cruise ever! Even though there were over 3000 people on the ship, the lines were very light. The food was great. The entire staff including our cabin steward were excellent. The ship is a bit overwhelming at first. The shops and bars on the promenade deck were amazing. After a day or two, it was easy to navigate around the ship. The ports of call were a blast. In Aruba we hired a taxi to take the four of us around the island. It ran $40 per hour but the personalized service was worth it. Our driver dropped us off at Eagle beach and rented jet skis. The sun was hot and the drinks were cold. It rained a little in Curacao so we shopped and got a few great deals. St. Maartin is an awesome island. We were there last year and visited Orient beach and this year we decided on Dawn beach. It was peaceful and great for swimming. St. Thomas is a beautiful island. We went to Megan Bay for the second year in a row. It just doesn't get any better. The weather was picture and floating in the water was heavenly. I've cruise on Carnival and Royal. For us, it was definitely spending a little more to go on Royal. You will not be disappointed if you decide on this cruise. We hope to do the same cruise next year! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2004
The AOS was really a beautiful ship! It was clean and well kept and our Superior Oceanview Suite was beautiful with a nice big balcony. However, I think I am going back to Carnival with the next cruise. Embarkation was a complete ... Read More
The AOS was really a beautiful ship! It was clean and well kept and our Superior Oceanview Suite was beautiful with a nice big balcony. However, I think I am going back to Carnival with the next cruise. Embarkation was a complete breeze...five minutes to board was about it. I did not like the activities on the ship...they were all kind of blah...and I never saw the cruise director except for the few times we attended a game or show...and even then the assistant was the one who took over. The food in the Windjammer was ok but nothing to rave about...the pancakes were often cold or just barely warm at that...the food in Johnny Rockets was however pretty darn good. The food in the dining room was ok...the presentation was great...the taste was ok. However, the service in the Dining Room was excellent and I cannot list one complaint about the waiters...only praise!!! Overall the staff of the ship was not too friendly...you often felt like you were inconveniencing them for just being there. The ports of call were excellent but there should have been no reason for us to leave St. Martin and St. Thomas so early since we were so close to our next destination. We were told by one of the staff that RCCL would have to pay more if they were to stay longer. Also...one other point...there were 5 Catholic priests on board and so Mass was offered on a daily basis in the chapel which was excellent... There was always only standing room only. For the Saturday night vigil they moved us into the Blue Moon Lounge which was really far from appropriate. The priests said they had tried to get more suitable accommodations but that Royal put them were they wanted to put them....on such a big ship they could have spared one of the rooms not being used (and there were plenty since very few activities were ever planned). Overall the cruise was excellent...even the worst cruise is a good cruise and really this can't even qualify for bad...it's just that we have seen better. Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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