588 Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Since we're from the UK, we flew from London to Barcelona (booked our own tickets). We were travelling with friends. The taxi from BCN to the harbour was about 20 minutes and I think it cost about €30. From there, we checked in - ... Read More
Since we're from the UK, we flew from London to Barcelona (booked our own tickets). We were travelling with friends. The taxi from BCN to the harbour was about 20 minutes and I think it cost about €30. From there, we checked in - queued for about 20 minutes which we haven't had before, but were soon on board. We had nice rooms - 1252 and 1260, room review below. The concierge room is a nice touch with free alcoholic drinks (thr only one's you'll find on board!) and nibbles in early evening. The concierge herself - I think it was Vanessa, was superb, giving us lots of useful advice and booking restaurants. Food on board was generally of a high standard. Main restaurant was very good, as was the speciality restaurant and Jonny Rockets. The buffet was so so, and there was always trouble getting a table. The outdoor areas seemed really busy all the times (except when in port)although there were hardly any kids on board (it was during term time). The seating areas reserved for the suites is a nice touch. All the bar staff were fun - in fact ALL the staff were excellent - RCI clearly spend time and money on training. We always felt we were special! Tried my luck in the casino (and won several hundred dollars!)one evening. Also visited the nightclub on a couple of occasions - we made a request to the DJ, but never heard the song. Went back to the DJ booth later, to find it completely empty - they were playing a cd of a pre-mixed selection of songs!! Overall, this is a huge ship with plenty to do. In fact, in five nights, we never saw a show, and never saw the ice skating rink. Adventure is an older ship, and I'd like to try one of the newer ships next. RCI have a good offering, the headline price was reasonable (about $2,700 for the two of us), but drinks are expensive - we ran up a $1,000 bill quite easily (cheap wine was nearly $50 a bottle after Spanish tax and 15% gratuity). Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
This was our 5th cruise, two previously with Royal Caribbean (RCI) two with Princess. Transfer from Barcelona Airport to the ship via pre aranged transport with RCI was smooth and efficient. We had a 30 minute wait at the ship in a long ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise, two previously with Royal Caribbean (RCI) two with Princess. Transfer from Barcelona Airport to the ship via pre aranged transport with RCI was smooth and efficient. We had a 30 minute wait at the ship in a long queue for embarkation, possibly as so many passengers had arived at the same time, shortly after 12 noon. It seems the queue is much shorter nearer 2pm which is worth bearing in mind. The actual formalities on reaching the end of the queue are quich, especially if you register on-line as we did. Our stateroom was ready when we arived. We had chosen a Promenade View as at the time of booking no outside staterooms were available. These staterooms have a window to the centre of the ship but the amount of light is limited so you need a light on at all times.In addition, there is entertainment on the Promenade Deck some nights going on up to midnight. If you want an early night as we did for an early start next day for a tour, forget it! Also as you have the light on there is no privacy from the staterooms oposite. Frankly, save some money and book an inside cabin. The ship decor was to a generally high standard although we personally are not fans of 'modern art' which was much in evedence on this particular ship. The layout of the ship is similar to others in the RCI fleet with the addition of a climbing wall and ice skating area. The Promenade Deck area had some interesting themes such as bar areas, a 'cafe' open most of the day and shops. We found staff generally to be polite and friendly. Out Stateroom Attendant, Anthony, was delightful and shared several amuzing moments with us. He kept our stateroom imaculate. The dining arangements were as we had experienced previously with a choice of set dining or 'my time dining' where you dine at a time that suits you best. We choose the latter. Be aware, however, that RCI insist on all gratuities to be pain at the time of booking the cruise if you chhose 'my time dining'! Their argument is that in theory you could have a different waiter each night. The food in the Dining Room was to a high standard and well presented with a choice each evening. The self service Windjammer Cafe provides food to cover all tastes including an impressive variety of salads and of course sweets, fruit and cakes. Tea, coffee, cold 'tea' and lemonade (still tasty bitter lemon) are available. We ate here for breakfast and lunchtime if on board. Finding a seat was sometimes difficult at busy times. I found cold plates anoying; obviously this cools hot food! Entertainment in the full-sized theatre was varied with combinations of specialty acts and singers and dancers. Mercedes, the Cruise Director from Argentina,introduced all acts in both English and Spanish. We attended an excellent Ice Show. There was always a full programme of events throughout the day to keep passengers active. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
I'll start by saying that I am a 17 year old so I will try and write this review from my perspective so as to help any families with teenagers thinking of going on this cruise. Firstly embarkation: This was well organised with lots ... Read More
I'll start by saying that I am a 17 year old so I will try and write this review from my perspective so as to help any families with teenagers thinking of going on this cruise. Firstly embarkation: This was well organised with lots of people and very long queues however the queues were very fast moving overall we were onboard after about 25-30 minutes. Once onboard we spent time exploring the ship which is very large and visually impressive from the inside we then decided to head to the windjammer for lunch. Be Warned the amount of people trying to get in was unbelievable easily above 100 in the queue outside alone once we were inside after about half an hour the chance of finding a table is virtually impossible so we gave up and took our food outside. I took part in the adventure ocean 15-17 year old youth programme and went to some of the activities such as the disco and it is a great place to meet new people and make friends. The service onboard is mixed ranging from outstanding to very poor, the waiters in the main dining room are exceptional always willing to change a meal if you dont like it and even cutting up my sisters food for her even though she is 15 and perfectly capable herself. The service in the pool bar was usually poor with the bartender very grumpy then again it is the busiest bar on the ship so it is probably understandable. The entertainment onboard is very good with the production shows, but there was a guest musician who only played the violin and was very good but not really suitable for a family audience The main bad points we encountered were that around 85% of guests were spanish and found it necessary to shout at each other even whilst standing right infront of each other aswell as being rude and pushing past you. You may think well its departing from malaga what do you expect but we were on ncl gem last year from spain and we did not have this issue. Also the price of drinks if you do not purchase a drinks package is very high. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
I got a good late deal for this cruise. I read recent reviews of Adventure of the Seas after I booked. I was a bit worried about the negative comments, especially about the level of service, but I should not have been concerned. Either the ... Read More
I got a good late deal for this cruise. I read recent reviews of Adventure of the Seas after I booked. I was a bit worried about the negative comments, especially about the level of service, but I should not have been concerned. Either the crew got better, or the poor weather this spring affected passengers' perceptions of the ship. I had my purse stolen on the short train journey from the airport. I could not praise the port staff highly enough for their help and lending me a phone so that I could cancel the cards. Thankfully I only lost a small amount of cash and not my passports which were beside the purse. It was my fault for not being careful enough... Anyway we got over that crisis and got into our stateroom. This was our first cruise without our kids - how big the stateroom feels with only 2 in it!! We had a promenade view. It was very airy but we were right above the English bar and the noise when there was entertainment was annoying. I had wondered how an internal would work out and if it would seem claustrophobic. Of course having your own balcony is fantastic - but given the difference in price I would not hesitate in getting an internal again. The first thing I did was go an see the head waiter to change our dining reservation. We had first seating which is far too early for us. No problem changing and by the second night we were put on a table of couples of a similar age to us. They were all good company. Malaga is a new port. The ship has attracted a high number of first time cruisers. We heard a few grumbles from other passengers but we were quite satisfied. Yes the Windjammer was jam packed if you went for lunch after 1.15 pm. The pool was not big enough to swim if you went in between 9 am and 9 pm. The ship is big and it was full!! Possibly my biggest gripe was that there was a pool party on the same night as the second formal night. The suggested attire was white - I had nothing white to wear - and I was already dressed up, why would I change at that point? The party was crowded though, so I accept that I was in the minority. We did not use the entertainment much, but there was plenty - I went to one show and the Ice Show and they were good - we never seemed to have time as we were just finishing our meal at 11.15, other table mates rushed off a couple of times but we were still talking. I went to a film which was a good way to spend an afternoon at sea and stay cool. If I had been bored there would have been a lot more to do. The point of my holiday was to relax so I didn't get around to it. The ports were fairly low key - apart from Rome which is wonderful (we caught a local train in from Civitavecchia station), but they were all worth a wander around followed by a short dip in the sea. I could not have been able to join in a 'tour' - it was much too hot to stand around and listen to someone tell me about the birth of Napoleon or the Corsican fight for independence followed by a recommendation for which shop to visit. The food all tasted good, but the cost of food has been lowered compared to our 2 previous cruises. The midnight buffet was nothing compared to last time. There were no lobsters or big steaks. I have still eaten too much. I never used the lift in an effort to keep fit - but have all my clothes suddenly shrunk ??? We used the bars on the Royal Promenade and the Cafe for late night cups of tea. They were never overcrowded - maybe because so many of the passengers were children. The drinks are not cheap but really our bill at the end of the week was not excessive. It would have been nice to have a big win in the casino to cover the bill, but I think that the machines were doing the most winning. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
We left from Malaga on our 7 day cruise, the embarkation process was a bit hectic, but it flowed nonetheless. There is no parking at the port so it is necessary to park off site if you drove in, which we did. Use Red parking it was quite ... Read More
We left from Malaga on our 7 day cruise, the embarkation process was a bit hectic, but it flowed nonetheless. There is no parking at the port so it is necessary to park off site if you drove in, which we did. Use Red parking it was quite affordable and they offer a shuttle to the pier, pick up, and a car washing service that is included. This cruise was mostly bilingual due to the large amounts of Spaniards on board. Food in the main dining room was consistently good, our waiter was excellent, and had a great sense of humor. The service was outstanding from all the staff, so long as your not rude to them. We opted out of doing the tours, and just would putz about the towns and see our own things. We caught the train into Rome, jumped on a double decker bus for 15 euro and hopped on and off as we wanted to. Its tough to fit in a bunch of things so better to just pick a couple. There is a great gelato place along the walk back to the train station. Ajaccio had such beautiful crystal clear water, we just spent the day swimming at the beach and collecting sea glass. There is a great public market if you happen to be there on the weekend. Cagliari was loaded with graffiti and mostly a shoppers strip mall, but a hike up to the old section of town was a nice surprise and offered great views. Don't miss the shows every night, they were the highlight of our trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Having cruised previously our expectations were high of Royal Carribean . Embarkation was like a day at the January sales hectic to say the least approx 1 hour & once on the ship we were looking for the nearest bar for a cool drink [ ... Read More
Having cruised previously our expectations were high of Royal Carribean . Embarkation was like a day at the January sales hectic to say the least approx 1 hour & once on the ship we were looking for the nearest bar for a cool drink [ aquarious deck 4]where I was promptly charged over $100 for four soft drinks ! I spotted the mistake the grumpy bar tender had charged me for 52 cokes not 2 this was in the first ten mins of being on board . It took 2 days chasing customer services to remove the charges from my account ! There was a repeated incident later in the week where I had been charged four times for the same item & once again it took 2 days chasing customer services to remove these charges I'm on holiday for heavens sake ! Beware Some of the staff were surprisingly grumpy taking into account they are the 'face' of the ship its not nice when you have paid a lot of money to be there . I think its fair to say 80% of our fellow cruisers were Spanish who speak amongst themselves at volume level 9 & have never heard of forming a line or keeping quiet while watching a show you have been warned . Smoking areas .Passengers were smoking on all the outside decks & in two of the bars [ dog and duck & Schooner ] which made them no go areas if you dont smoke .Its a great shame there should have been one area outside designated for smokers & once again I paid money to be able to go in these bars . Speaking of bars I dont think they know how much to charge for drinks - a complete rip off . I don't think I had a hot meal all week in either the Windjammer or Mozart dining room - just warm . The evacuation drill was an unsupervised shambles ,if it was needed in a real incident well who knows what would happen . Apart from the above , the Adventure of the seas is beautiful ship the activities & shows on board are brilliant plus the guys who look after the state rooms & waiters do a marvelous job but are let down by the rest oh & by the way you are service charged every time you buy a drink whether the bar tender is grumpy glad to serve you or not. As a comparison to the other end of the scale we have cruised on the island escape & to be fair the ship is in need of a refit the cabins are awful but put their staff on the Adventure of the seas & it would be a different ship, policed correctly , hot meals & service with a smile . Come on carribean you have lost my money next time around its a great ship but let down by attention to detail. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Adventure of the Seas Western Med 7 August 2010 We flew to Malaga with Ryanair on the Thursday before our Saturday departure. No real problems with Ryanair other than the need to scrupulously check that the luggage was not over the ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas Western Med 7 August 2010 We flew to Malaga with Ryanair on the Thursday before our Saturday departure. No real problems with Ryanair other than the need to scrupulously check that the luggage was not over the weight allowance. We arrived in Malaga late at night where I had booked a hotel in the city centre. I showed my Internet map to the man at airport information & he directed us to a public bus that stopped within about 200 yards of the hotel. The bus only cost 1 euro 10 cents (as opposed to 30 euros for a cab) so we felt ahead of the game. I considered the savings a sort of rolling ice cream slush fund. The hotel we had booked was Room Mate Lola. The room was very comfortable, the location convenient and the breakfast (6 euros extra) was great. The staff were all friendly & helpful. Our first dinner was in the pedestrianised area a short walk from the hotel. The restaurant was El Trillo. I loved everything about the place: staff, ambiance, food, location, view. My husband sort of agreed but said he had had better paella elsewhere. The following day it was very hot so we decided to take the hop on hop off tourist bus to help with getting around. That worked really well & we enjoyed the city, visiting the citadel and the Picasso sites as well as the motorised part of the trip. That evening we decided to try another restaurant called Strachan. Not such a good idea. Again it was near the cathedral. It was full of Spaniards, usually a good sign - we even had to wait for a table. Unfortunately we found the service poor & the food unpalatable. I was actually pleased to find a long dark hair in my meal so I wouldn't have to eat anymore of it (I'm a short-haired blond.) We were very favourably impressed with the Malaganans & their city, including the charming taxi driver who took us to the port. We arrived for embarkation at about 11:30AM. My heart dropped when I saw a large disorganised group of people standing around. I didn't realise at that point that milling about in amorphous groups was the Spanish way. Once we actually got into the embarkation queue we were through the process in no time and everyone we dealt with was very nice. Cabins were not available until 1:00PM so we had a leisurely & delicious meal in Windjammer until the room was ready. After that I changed into swimming gear & spent the afternoon at the Solarium pool. The next day was a deliciously idle sea day. The vast majority of the guests were Spanish & almost all of them were travelling in largish family groups. This made dining arrangements different from other cruises I've been on. Very few people wanted to share a table & meet new people. Most of the guests wanted to dine as late as possible, e.g. 9:15PM. We were on My-Time Dining & requested a large table to share. On 2 nights they made some attempt to find someone to share but basically there were very few English speakers and even fewer who wanted to share a table & dine at the same time as us. Having said that we did meet a few very nice people. The first port was Sardinia. The local people were very well organised, so much so that they spoiled us for Civitiveccia the next day. As soon as we stepped off the ship there was a city tour open topped bus there to take us on a familiarisation tour of the town for a small fee. At the same time there were people there promoting the Segway tours & a beach excursion. I actually did the lot. My husband didn't want to do the Segway or beach. The Segway tour was good & reasonably priced at 25 Euros. My criticism would be that it was a little too organised. Probably a bit more time spent on training & health & safety than necessary. The actual tour was very scenic & well worthwhile although the tour leaders appeared very nervous. One would call out slow down at the same time the other would say hurry up, for example. Mixed review of the beach trip. The bus was comfortable, the beach was beautiful, changing room was spotless, welcoming drink was lovely cold juice. Unfortunately for me, & I confess to being a bit of a coward, the water was a bit too cold for total immersion. Sardinia seemed to be a beautiful island, the flamingoes were spectacular & all the people I encountered seemed charming. The next port of call was Civittiveccia & here I have mixed reviews. We were left waiting for ages for the free port shuttle to the town & again later to return. We were told not to walk & in any event it would be a very long walk. As it was very hot & we had been to Rome several times before, we chose to go to the nearby town of Tarquinia. It is only about 15 - 20 minutes away by bus but there seemed to be a conspiracy to keep us from getting there. The people in Tourist Information said we could buy bus tickets at any news vendor or tobacconist. I tried several of each, all of whom said they had no tickets or they were all sold out. We finally went to the bus stop & met an English family who had had the same experience. We spoke to a local policemen who said we could just buy tickets on the bus. When the bus finally arrived the driver said we needed tickets in advance. We all just got on anyway and went to Tarquinia without actually paying. On arrival we all went to Tourist Information where the people were supremely helpful. They gave us free tourist books and and loads of good information. We took the local free shuttle bus which takes you on a beautiful route through the medieval town to a stop near the Etruscan necropolis. It was too hot for us to methodically go up & down every staircase to look at all the caves but I managed to make it through 6 or 8. I had rented the audio guide which was excellent & without which I would have understood very little. I thought the tombs were beautifully maintained and very interesting. I liked the town shuttle bus & the driver was so good that I asked if it was OK to stay on for a second circuit. We then alighted approximately where we started where we did a little walking tour of the beautiful walled town and then viewed the museum housed in a 15th Century former palace before heading back to Civitiveccia using tickets which were easy to buy at the tobacconist in Tarquinia. The next port was Ajacio, Corcica & that made a strong favourable impression. I previously knew very little about the place except for the Napoleonic connection. I was totally enchanted and hope to return for a proper visit. The ship moors right in the centre of town which is a great plus. We first did the little tour on the motorised train. Then we had a great wander around the local farmer's market which had started at 4:00AM. I then did a walking tour of the town going up one street & down the next. I went to the town beach where there are showers & toilets, if needed. The water was a bit warmer than Sardinia although the beach next to the sea was pretty fiercely pebbly. I went back to the town & took the open top bus tour which went a bit further along the coast & gave a different view. I would recommend getting ticketed in advance if you want to do this as they sell out & you are then obliged to wait. The last port of call was Palma de Mallorca. Our arrival time was a few hours later than normal as a passenger had a medical emergency causing us to return to Corsica. We arrived a couple of hours late in Palma and didn't leave until midnight. Palma, what a beautiful city. We have been there several times before so we didn't have as great an impetus to sightsee as some other people. We did re-visit the cathedral, however and some of the outdoor sights. We did some great shopping as the sales were in full force, and I had one of the best ice creams ever - watermelon flavour. I do still love Palma but it was very hot & humid so it was nice to get back to the lovely Solarium pool on the ship. We dined in Windjammer that evening as our timing was out of kilter and we missed our MTD booking. I was pleasantly surprised with evening Windjammer as we have only done that once before, on another cruise. I had the Mongolian barbecue which was delicious. My husband had the fish pie along with some curry and that also looked good. On the subject of food, one good thing on this cruise is the presence of a large Spanish inspired platter at each lunch. That gave me a good opportunity to try these dishes I usually wouldn't get to eat. There were also some serious negatives about food. You have go figure out the times the Spanish don't eat in order to get a place in Windjammer otherwise it is impossible. MTD times are very limited because the Spanish monopolise the later times. It is a real issue, but one you can deal with. There were some other issues raised resulting from the great majority of Spanish guests. They kept bringing small children to the adult only solarium area and taking the infants and toddlers into the adult only pool & hot tubs. Aside from the sanitation considerations of having these pre-toilet trained kids in the water, there was the very annoying issue of the screaming. Whenever I tried either to read a book or to relax a screaming toddler would destroy the moment. There were also older children running back & forth unsupervised. I informed guest services and pool attendants of my dissatisfaction with this situation, as did other guests in my hearing, but RCI seemingly did nothing to discourage these families from spending the days with their small children in the adults only area until the final sea day when people in security uniforms were in evidence and small children were not. The catering on the cruise was excellent in my estimation and the staff & crew were, as usual, charming & helpful. Most of the shows were very good. Some things I loved, others I didn't, which is a normal reflection of life in general. It has to be said that for anyone who is not Spanish there is something of an issue. Having such a large complement of such a strong culture does change the dynamics of the cruise. They come in large impenetrable family groupings. They, for the most part, ignore the RCI rules. They have a totally different out-look on queuing, which involves having one or two family members creating a block and kicking or blocking anyone who wants to pass. This creates chaos when trying, for example, to disembark when one person will stand in front of the sea-pass machine and keep anyone from going through. They do the same in the theatre and lifts so in the end you are obliged to overcome your own good manners and push through or be left behind - altogether not a totally satisfactory state of affairs. One of the bar staff let slip the fact they had had a meeting where they were told the Spanish guests had complained about the presence of the "outsiders" on the ship. With a few very welcome exceptions they made their dissatisfaction with our presence pretty clear. One man kicked me in the pool very hard. This was probably by accident but when I cried out in pain he refused to apologize and the rest of the group he was with called me names. A bit of a mixed review for the cruise, as the itinerary is great, the ship is lovely, crew is great, food is delicious, shows are entertaining, the cruise director, Leo Papa, is good but the fellow travellers can create some problems. I think the best approach is to find the humour in the situation and just relax & enjoy the cruise. We elected for late departure to get maximum use of the solarium and Windjammer. It seemed well worth the money to me as our schedule did not involve rushing from ship to plane. On departure morning we left our carry ons in a lounge where there was a crew member on duty to look after them. We didn't feel like bothering with breakfast but it was available. It was a lovely extra lease on life to use the solarium pool & hot-tub & Windjammer lunch. It was a strange wistful feeling, however, as the new guests started arriving full of hope & enthusiasm for their holidays and we knew we had to leave in a few hours. I still think late departure is a good deal if you are staying on or have a late flight. Leaving the ship was a doodle. I was the last person to collect my carry on bag at about 2:30pm. We then left the ship and easily found our bags in the terminal and a taxi to our hotel. The driver explained there is a fixed fee of 10 euros into the city centre. That seemed fair enough. The driver seemed surprised but pleased when we gave him a 3 euro tip. On arriving in Malaga again we learned there was a big fair going on in town. After a bit of a rest & re-group we went out to explore the fair. It is called the Malaga Feria and happens once a year. There are stalls selling food & drinks such as Mojitos and Margaritas & the local wine Carbajal by the litre and people in all forms of dress including some in traditional Spanish dresses. It is colourful to say the least. By about 8:00PM we found ourselves surrounded by thousands of drunk but good-natured Spaniards. We lost our way at one point as we were swept away by the crowds. I asked a young girl the way to the cathedral. She said, "I think it's left but I drunk - too drunk". She had a lovely smile and her directions were right despite her condition. We finally stopped wandering and shared a jug of sangria and sat and watched the colourful, and mainly under the weather, multitudes pass by. By about 9:30 we were too tired and hot to eat so we skipped dinner and returned to the hotel to refresh ourselves for the following day. Our final day of holiday we slept in and had a comfortable air-conditioned morning before braving the heat and the fair. We had planned a day at the beach but abandoned our plan in favour of the unique opportunity of the Feria. Again the fair was amazing! People were so good natured. There was music & dance everywhere; colourful costumes; interesting stalls. All in all a perfect party except for the intense heat. We took the public bus back to the airport. By then we were experts. Despite changing the departure gate twice causing people to engage in competitive cross-country runs with their carry-ons the flight home was fine and the car parking company, AHS, was fantastic. A bit of a let down now to be home but looking forward to the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Myself and my wife went on our first holiday without the kids for 16+ years but unfortunately we still had to go in the school holidays, we spent a few nights on the Costa Del SOl before hand. On our confirmation documents it said you must ... Read More
Myself and my wife went on our first holiday without the kids for 16+ years but unfortunately we still had to go in the school holidays, we spent a few nights on the Costa Del SOl before hand. On our confirmation documents it said you must not board before 14.00 we thought we would try & get there a little before so arrived at 13.30 to be greeted by massive queue, apparantly they try and stagger check in at the Malaga Port. Once on the ship after dropping off our hand luggage we thought we would have some lunch, again massive queue we had to wait 20 minutes before we could get into the restaurant but once in food was plentiful and of a good standard. I have to say after this everything went very well, food in the restaurant was of a high standard, portions sometimes a bit small especially if your a bit of a pig like me!! but the waiter was always willing to bring a second portion. I think one of the major disappointments of the cruises was some of the shows mainly the ones which the cruise performers presented, the first night was very average, i think it was the second night that had 4 guys singing who were very good, 3rd night cruise performers again very average, 4th night they had a second group of performances of the ice show which incedently was brilliant but no main evening show which is unheard of on any other ship I have been on, the next night there was an English guy who played the violin with the ships orchestra he was very good but 45 minutes of the cheesiest comments and violin music was enough to send you to sleep, I felt especially sorry for the Spanish guests on the ship who he only catered for in the last 5/10 minutes of the show, but I have to say on the last night the cruise performers who were joined by a professional dance pair were very good. I felt the ship overall was pretty good and so were the staff. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We have just returned from a family holiday on the AOS. Overall we had a great time and I hope you find this review useful. Embarkation was quick and efficient. We were on board by 2pm and our luggage arrived at 4.30pm. We had booked our ... Read More
We have just returned from a family holiday on the AOS. Overall we had a great time and I hope you find this review useful. Embarkation was quick and efficient. We were on board by 2pm and our luggage arrived at 4.30pm. We had booked our flights via RCI however, with hindsight I would not recommend this as I suspect we would have made significant savings if we had travelled independently. Our cabin on deck 8 was spotlessly clean and there was adequate storage space. Our cabin Steward, Leo, was excellent and really looked after us throughout our stay. We had 2 at sea days which were not so enjoyable due to the amount of passengers on board. The ship was absolutely packed. It was impossible to use the swimming pools - standing room only. Port days were better. We did not disembark at Palma and the ship was very quiet which I suspect was down to the significant amount if Spanish guests on board visiting this area. I would recommend eating breakfast in the dining room as opposed to the Windjammer as whilst the quality of food in the latter was excellent It was always packed at breakfast and chaotic. Dinner in the dining room was lovely and Taylan, our waiter excellent.Dining times were frustrating though and I understand these in addition to the show times had been altered to accomodate the Spanish guests. It was frustrating that fellow guests did not always adhere to the rules especially in relation to the swimming pools. e.g. children using adult only fscilities such as the jacuzzis and babies in nappies using the pools when for health reasons this is not allowed. I did raise this with guest relations but enforcement by the pool staff was not consistent. Evening entertainment ranged from excellent (the ice show) to mediocre ( the onboard singers). We did not purchase any excursions as we preferred just to find our own way at each Port and with children the excursions appeared restrictive. We tended to leave the ship in the morning, returning early afternoon to enjoy the facilities on board whilst it was quieter. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We are experienced cruisers,this being our 25th cruise.Previously we have enjoyed cruising with NCL,P&O,Princess as well as 2 previous cruises with RCI on Grandeur & Enchantment.We had been curious about cruising on a larger ship ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers,this being our 25th cruise.Previously we have enjoyed cruising with NCL,P&O,Princess as well as 2 previous cruises with RCI on Grandeur & Enchantment.We had been curious about cruising on a larger ship (the largest ship we had used previously was the Diamond Princess).Another attraction of this itinerary was the direct flight from Belfast to Malaga.We had 1 night pre cruise in the Maestanza Hotel, Malaga--very good service & breakfast & an excellent location,close to beach,port etc.We had checked in on line for the ship & once we found the correct queue at the rather chaotic boarding shed we were processed surprisingly quickly.Our cabin was fine-the bed very comfortable with beautiful bed linen but where were the toiletries??? A bar of soap & shower gel are rather basic! We also missed the "chocolate on the pillow" that we had enjoyed on other cruises.The cabin balcony was pleasingly private & was certainly needed with so many on board and so little pool space available. The crew were all very pleasant and helpful,the ports very enjoyable so our main problem was with the food.The Windjammer was a nightmare--too many people, so food hygiene suffered as you walked round looking for a table and people walked into you,food also became cold.We soon realized the Dining Room (a beautiful room with its 3 deck height & chandeliers)was the only place to get a good meal.This meant we were more curtailed to eating at certain times than on other cruises. The Dining Room was serving buffets at breakfast and lunch to cope with the number of passengers.Dinner was basically 3 courses--soups being included with other starters--again something we had not encountered previously.The food we were served was adequate but not exceptional and no lobster or crab were on any menu in the Dining Room. Overall we now know cruising on this size of ship is not for us personally--it was an interesting experience and we met lovely fellow cruisers from around Ireland &the UK as well as a charming French Canadian couple. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Embarkation went fairly smoothly but the main holdup was because of the ships photographer who made you feel that you ought to have an embarkation photo. We declined all of his photo opportunities as did many other cruisers. We were in an ... Read More
Embarkation went fairly smoothly but the main holdup was because of the ships photographer who made you feel that you ought to have an embarkation photo. We declined all of his photo opportunities as did many other cruisers. We were in an inside cabin for the first time - the bathroom fittings were showing some wear & tear but everything was spotlessly clean. The bed had been made up into a double with a small side table on each side but you couldn't actually get down the side of the bed as there was no room at the end of it due to the furniture on one side & a double settee on the other!You had to crawl in from the bottom end of the bed!! Once the bed had been converted to 2 singles there was plenty of room & we really didn't mind the inside cabin. A la Carte food was excellent at 6.45pm (first)sitting, staff were too. Buffet food in the Windjammer was not the best & once you had chosen your food there was often nowhere to sit & eat it. Why let diners in when there is nowhere to sit, especially on embarkation day? We saw long queues for My Time dining & were glad we had not chosen that option.Drinks were expensive & staff were always trying to sell you bottled water, speciality coffees, freshly squeezed orange juice etc & this became annoying. Ice show was great, other shows were professional but little variety & for our sitting often did not start until 9.30 or 10am. There were few available seats in bars/lounges so you just had to wander around aimlessly for an hour or more until the show started. Shops looked good but there was little worth buying, just the usual cruise ship brands of watches, jewellery & clothing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We've just returned from a med cruise with Royal Caribbean International. We were four people just over 50 with young mentality, reasonably fit, expecting to be bowled over by the whole experience. On the last evening we sat to ... Read More
We've just returned from a med cruise with Royal Caribbean International. We were four people just over 50 with young mentality, reasonably fit, expecting to be bowled over by the whole experience. On the last evening we sat to debate the Pro's & Con's of the trip; the following is our assessment which overall was a good one. Pro's; food excellent and plenty of it, whether you want to quick serve your self or to be waited on, staff were very friendly and the service, again, excellent. Entertainment, plenty to do and see but was a bit bland i.e. shows were amateur, boring quizzes, karaoke; party nights were good but delivered to cater for the Spanish, see Con's. Very clean ship, rooms made-up twice per day, decor modern, sometimes had to pinch yourself that you were on a ship. Con's; drinks very, very expensive; a bottle of Corona Beer was $5.50, plus 8% Spanish Tax, plus 15% service charge. Wine started at around $45 a bottle, plus tax & service charge. We picked up the ship in Malaga where apparently the Spanish are offered last minute deals to fill the rooms; on our particular cruise they made up 70% of the passengers. In my humble opinion; they are the most arrogant, ill-mannered, uncouth race I've ever experienced; pushing past to get into lifts first, no waiting to be seated in restaurants; and smoking must be a national sport, the show hosts spoke mostly in Spanish and rarely acknowledged English and so you didn't know what was going on. To reiterate; overall a nice holiday but not one that we will experience again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
This was our third RC cruise and we have done one cruise with Celebrity who are now owned by RC. When we arrived in Malaga it was pouring down and the embarkation procedure was quite chaotic! There were lots of Spanish people outside the ... Read More
This was our third RC cruise and we have done one cruise with Celebrity who are now owned by RC. When we arrived in Malaga it was pouring down and the embarkation procedure was quite chaotic! There were lots of Spanish people outside the embarkation shed, all with umbrellas and blocking the way! Once we had checked in, we went to the stateroom on deck 8 which we found to be spotlessly clean but showing signs of some wear and tear. Our luggage soon arrived and we were very well served by our cabin boy all week. Risto was always smiling and was always efficient but never intrusive. Our first visit to the restaurant was disappointing. We were on a table for 8 people but on the first night, most of us left food as the meat was tough and under-cooked. The service was slow so after the second night of dining in the Mozart restaurant, we decided to eat future meals in the Windjammer. In the evening, it was quiet there, and the food was always good. Sometimes at breakfast time, the Windjammer was crowded but if you went early enough, there was no problem. The staff were always polite and were keen to ensure you were happy with your meals. The entertainment on board ship was good on the whole, but the ice show was absolutely fantastic! We enjoyed all the ports of call and just did one RC excursion into Rome. The organisation of this trip was first class and the courier was very informative. The disembarkation from the ship went like clockwork and we were soon whisked off to the airport. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise but the ship was very full and I think we will consider a Celebrity ship if we cruise again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
As we were on a selfdrive tour into Portugal and Spain we thought being a good idea to insert a short cruise and the 6 night Western Med. with Adventure of the Seas was just convenient despite we decided to avoid big ships after our ... Read More
As we were on a selfdrive tour into Portugal and Spain we thought being a good idea to insert a short cruise and the 6 night Western Med. with Adventure of the Seas was just convenient despite we decided to avoid big ships after our transatlantic experience onboard Navigator of the Seas last year; after all it was for a short week and only 2 seadays. Check'in was perfect (we booked parking for our car with RedParking near Malaga Airport for 54 Euro inclusive a return transfer to the ship; just great !). Only after being recognised as Platinium Crown & Anchor member we got a nice table for two for dinner. As we were early on board, the cabin was not ready yet, so we went for a drink to the windjammer and heard some guest ordering a glass of red wine and paying 9 $ ! So we ordered a nice bottle instead at only 27 $ (plus Spanish VAT and service = 33 $). Afterwards we experienced drinks in the bars are really expensive (cheapest cocktail about 7 $ plus VAT and 15 % service). We bought a Platinium Wine Package (average per bottle about 20 $ + VAT and service) but twice the bottle we ordered was out of stock ! Dinner in main restaurant was ok, menu with enough choice (although reduced compared to the extensive menus we got with RCI on earlier cruises) and the service was friendly and professional (waiter from India, ass.waiter from Servia). We saw a lot of guests going to the buffet dinner (good quality and enough choice) in Windjammer, especially young people and families with kids. Real disappoining are the two formal (gala ?) dinners: no special menu, no champaign, no special dessert and the same boring spectacle of singing (?) restaurant crew with the same songs as 15 years ago, no captains table ... time for change ! For breakfast we went only once to the overcrowded Windjammer; for breakfast we tried once also the à la carte (slow service) but the breakfast buffet in the main restaurant was ok. For lunch same problem in Windjammer especially on seadays; but lunch in the main restaurant was fine and at ease. We preferred to explore Ajaccio and Cagliari on our own so we were very happy with the free shuttle service; Rome we visited many times before so we just walked around in Civitavecchia and we enjoyed it. The ship itself we do'nt like so much, the promenade is to crowded and noisy and as we said before every drinkstop costs ! It was also disappointing to see a nice quality coffee machine serving only ... hot water and the free coffee was poor quality. Conclusion: it was a fair cruise for the price we paid (about 600 € pp) but too many small irritating things that we never experienced on smaller RCI ships; overall we quote this cruise not higher than our earlier cruises with Costa Cruises and MSC and even lower than NCL Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
For my first cruise, a bunch of American spouses living in southern Spain took a girl's only trip. There were 19 of us. I suppose there were other Americans on board, but we didn't see/hear them. There were approx 75% Spanish and ... Read More
For my first cruise, a bunch of American spouses living in southern Spain took a girl's only trip. There were 19 of us. I suppose there were other Americans on board, but we didn't see/hear them. There were approx 75% Spanish and the rest other Europeans. The crew was very friendly and I was amazed at how attentive our room steward was. I wish there was coffee/tea in the rooms, but none was available. Possibly in suites, but not in balcony rooms. The room safe quit working after 2 days and wouldn't lock closed. We had a problem with the on board cleaners, which took 2 days to get clothes back. My roommate really went to bat about not being charged and eventually they agreed. She wore the same pants for 4 days because of that snafu. The food was great in the Windjammer! Our big party had a certain table each night and the waitstaff were awesome. Only con was being on the ground floor and getting some water spilled on me during one of the events where the cook crew comes out and people stand at the balconies to watch. Had me wary the rest of the time we sat there! The photographers did a pretty good job, but the prices are ridiculously high. We went together to purchase the trip CD for $300 and I am glad I got that out of my system. Take your own pictures and save money. The formals shots were good, but each photo is $20 to buy. The excursions were fun, but not a lot to see in France with the weather colder. Most shops were closed in St Tropez. The entertainment was okay, the one Spanish band was good, but only sang 2-3 songs not in Spanish. Which brings up another issue. Spaniards do not have personal space and the way they crowd into hallways, elevators, rooms, doors, whatever, caused some minor skirmishes with the British. They are also loud, case in point, during the mandatory muster, the Spanish lady immediately to my right was loudly talking on her cellphone while the crew member was giving us a briefing. She ignored our many stares in her direction and continued her loud conversation until she was finished. A matter of different cultural behaviors. With the majority of people on the cruise being Spanish, it got a little crazy at times. Spanish also include their children in everything, so just add that chaos and you can understand how older British were fuming. I live in Spain and my mother was British, so I am familiar with those two cultures! :) Johnny Rockets was an extra $4.50, the Italian place was $20, but wonderful (I heard). Johnny Rockets hamburgers weren't that great, but the dancing waitstaff, soda's, fries, and onion rings were spot-on. Aside from the high price of everything purchasable on board, I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and can't wait for my Norwegian cruise in Feb! Adios! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Before I dive in, just want to take a moment to thank all of you trip-report-writers. Your reports were an invaluable asset in planning our vacation. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your experiences. WHAT WE ... Read More
Before I dive in, just want to take a moment to thank all of you trip-report-writers. Your reports were an invaluable asset in planning our vacation. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your experiences. WHAT WE LIKED Overall, my husband and I really enjoyed our News Years' cruise on Royal Carribean's Adventure of the Seas and would definitely recommend it. It wasn't the biggest, best, newest ship in the world, but it DID offer an awesome itinerary and something for everyone in our widely-diverse group. If those are your needs, then this is a great cruise for you. We loved the itinerary because every morning (except the last) found us in a new port, and at a pier (as opposed to tender) by 8:00 am. This gave us the freedom to get on and off the boat quickly and easily, and explore for a full day. Having been on 7-day cruises with 2-3 days at sea, we found this a huge plus and would look for it again! We departed from San Juan, PR on Sunday, were in St. Thomas on Monday, St. Croix on Tuesday, St. Kitts on Wednesday, Dominica (pronounced dom-in-EEE-ka) on Thursday, Barbados on Friday, and at sea on Saturday. This trip was a family vacation, generously provided by my father. As a result, our group included my dad (a gentleman in his 80's who has cruised many many times), my husband and I (a couple in our young 40s, who have been on just 4 cruises), and my sister's family (also in their 40s with four kids - ages 17, 16, 13, and 12 - on their second cruise). This ship worked well for us because the youngest enjoyed the mini golf, inline skating, rock wall and (I must include) soft-serve machine, while the teens enjoyed the freedom of hanging with their own, and the adults liked being able to retreat to the relative calm of the solarium area. We were also fortunate with the weather. The temps ranged from about 79-degrees in Puerto Rico to about 85-88 degrees in Barbados. While Puerto Rico was a most cloudy and windy, by the time we hit Barbados it was truly tropical - a real treat as the northeast got hit with 30" of snow. Previous holiday trips departing from the mainland never got us the warmth and the sun we enjoyed during this trip ... though I heard we were a bit blessed this week! Overall, we found the ship clean, the crew friendly and helpful, and the food to be 'very good.' We did not experience any of the rudeness that had been reported in some of the earlier summer posts (thought the premium price of a holiday cruise could be the cause of that), nor did I hear of any thefts or illness. I also have to thank the Christmas Cruisers, as they appear to have worked out any water issues by the time we boarded. WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE While I understand it, I did not like the new trend to offer up-sells. I don't think I should be asked to pay more to use a golf-simulator or attend a wine tasting or eat at a specialty dining room or add a cut of Filet Mignon to my menu while on my cruise; it takes a bit of the glamour out of a vacation like this when you constantly have to pay more to get the luxury experience you thought you had already paid for. I miss the shampoos/conditioners/etc. that used to be provided, chocolates on the pillow, and the midnight chocolate buffet. We ate all of our dinners in the dining room at the early seating and had very good meals... on all except the last night. Our waiter's recommendations - not the Chef recommendations - were nearly always the BEST option by far. In particular, I really enjoyed the prime rib the first night, the shrimp scampi, rack of lamb, filet and shrimp, and lobster tail dinners. The very last night was the only one in which nothing wowed me and so I went with basic salmon and it was okay. The Caesar salad was consistently good too. For appetizers, I really enjoyed the escargot and asparagus soup. Getting hungry just thinking about it all! Our waiter Boon often spoiled us by bringing out 'samples' to try before we ordered and often second dinners once he learned our tastes, so we never missed a special item. We did not attend any of the shows because none of them sounded particularly interesting - except the ice show which we missed getting tickets for. Like a previous post noted, we didn't run into any particularly great musicians in the lounges and found the few interactive games to be too short and/or canceled. That said, this didn't really disappoint us because we tended to go to bed early in order to enjoy full days. From the talk around the boat, it sounded like the best shows were the newlywed game and the ice show. What else? Oh! Flying in a day or two early - and/or buying insurance - I think is critical during winter months with unpredictable weather. My husband and I flew out of DC on the Friday before our cruise. A mechanical failure had us delayed for over 5 hours in Charlotte. The 40 passengers on our flight that were catching a cruise that day were frantic. Also, we heard over 1,000 folks missed our own boat's departure on Sunday due to snow that hit the northeast. I think they caught up to us in St. Thomas, but am not really sure. OUR DAYS/EXCURSIONS Day 0, Sun., Puerto Rico - My husband and I checked out of the Conrad hotel in Condado and went to the airport (a short 10-15 min. ride) to pick up my dad who got in at 11:00 am. Since it was a cloudy/windy day and we had bags, we went direct to the pier, even though we were told NOT to bother arriving before 2:00. We figured, if we had to wait somewhere, why not on line at the pier? Well, we got lucky - we got to the pier around 11:45 (only 20 min from the airport) and I think they started processing folks a little after 12:00 because we weren't waiting long before the line started moving. We were on board and having lunch in the Windjammer by 12:45. My sister used the afternoon to book spa visits for our dad, find our dinner table, and get the kids settled and unpacked - my husband, father and I used the afternoon to learn the location of the bars! Day 1, Mon., St. Thomas - Deep Sea Fishing with About Time Charters The one thing my father really wanted to do on this trip was go deep sea fishing with his grandsons. This is the one excursion I didn't book through the ship. Having been to St. Thomas before, I knew we could find a cheaper alternative on our own - and we did. I booked a charter for me, my husband, dad, and two nephews with About Time Charters for $600 for a ¾ day (6 hours) by calling them in advance. (ONLY hassle was that they only accept cash or travelers checks so I had to be sure to get those in advance.) We got off the ship a little before 8 - no line, no fuss, no muss - and we were the first folks to grab a cab. After a memorable, twisty-curvy 15-20 min. cab ride, we were over to Red Hook's American Yacht Harbor and out to sea a.s.a.p.! It was a GORGEOUS day! Calm seas, blue skies, soft fluffy clouds - but no fish. My youngest nephew reeled in a 12" black fin tuna and the other caught a 30" barracuda, but that was it. We actually cut the trip short to head in early because the youngest got sea sick (five times!) and we just couldn't stand to see him suffering through it! On the way back to the boat, we caught one of the $2 per person safari buses back to the pier. It was a slow ride with lots of stops but for only $2 pp, and with no time constraints, who cares??? (One of the things I hate about St. Thomas is their practice of charging taxi fares per person and so this was a pleasant alternative! Now I might actually consider going back!) While we brought the required 'picture id' with us every time we got on and off the boat, the only thing we EVER needed was our Sea Pass card. I'm sure it was good we had our IDs, but I must admit that boarding and disembarking were as easy as slipping our card in the machine! Day 2, Tues., St. Croix - SCUBA Diving with Cane Bay Dive Shop This was my favorite day of the cruise. We'd booked a two-tank wreck dive but due to some boat issues, the operator had to change the dive to a two-tank reef/wall dive with shore entry that was spectacular. They bused all of the divers over to their shop on the North shore - an easy 25 min. ride - where we discovered a wall dive just 100 ft off shore. The entry was from the beach that is located directly across the street from the dive shop and offered a pretty easy entry since seas were calm. That said, it did require a 100 ft kick-out before we dropped down but the reef was abundantly healthy and we saw a ton of hard and soft corals and wide variety of colorful reef fish. It was literally like swimming through an aquarium! The visibility was over 80 feet, the water temp was 79 degrees, the sun shined on us all day. Ahhh, heaven! The dive operation was VERY professional. As busy as they were with two boats in port, all of the equipment was handled well, briefings were thoroughly given, and groups were broken up into manageable groups of 8-9 divers per guide. All top notch! On the first dive we kicked out, then went down and traveled the wall at 60-80 feet from east to west; on the second dive went west to east and hovered mostly around 60-40 feet. I could have spent the week there! After our dives, my husband and I enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Eat (restaurant) located adjacent to the dive shop, with a view of the beach. Can't beat sitting at the bar enjoying great food with great company looking out at a beautiful beach! We stayed on the Cane Bay beach until 4:00, then caught the last shuttle back to the boat. It was a fantastic day! Day 3, Wed., St. Kitts - Sky Safari Zip Lining Wow! What another great day. When my sister texted me to ask if I would take her three kids NOT afraid of heights zip lining, I thought, "sure, no problem, did it in Cancun last year, easy!" Boy was I in for a surprise! In St. Kitts, the first of four zip lines travels ACROSS a ¼ mile line the spans two peaks, at a height of roughly 25 stories! This was a heck of lot higher then what I experienced in Cancun! The operation is situated on the site of an old sugar cane mill and is very picturesque. The guides were all wonderful and clearly seemed to be enjoying their work, which was nice. Guess I should mention that the site is technically in the rain forest so you might want to take a waterproof jacket; it rained on us once or twice, though not enough to dampen our spirits. They bus you to the tour site, get you all geared up, and then do a sample run about 10 ft off the ground so you have a chance to get comfortable with what you need to do before they take you to the top for the first run. The kids loved it and so did we - though this trip is not for the faint of heart! At the end of the tour, they take you back to the office and try and interest you in a few photos before bussing you back to the ship. While we were waiting, a local boy came by with his baby monkey so the kids got to see one up famous St. Kitts monkey's up close and personal. It was very cool - though sad to learn the monkey population is 5x that of the human population and, thus, not protected. Day 4, Thurs., Dominica -- River Tubing & Emerald Pool Adventure Okay, this was another fantastic excursion! Everyone in our group (except my dad) participated and had a blast. The river tubing has some significant rapids so this is not your lazy float down a river tubing trip. We had toyed with bringing dad and he would NOT have been up for the bouncing and bobbing experienced on this tour! The scenery in the gorge was beautiful and, like on St. Kitts, the few passing sprinkles that went through did not ruin our mostly-sunny day. At the end of the tube ride, they took us to a welcome center for rum punch, then on for another 20-30 min. ride to the national park where you hike in ¼ mile or so to the Emerald Pool. It wasn't a huge fall - they say 50 ft though I thought it looked more like 35-40 - but it was very pretty. The boys had a lot of fun climbing the rocks and getting under the falls while the girls found the water a little too cold for their tastes! It took us 30 min. to get back to the boat and so we didn't get back until around 4:00. With dinner seating at 6:00, that's just enough time to get a little hot-tub time in before needing to shower and change for dinner! Day 5, Fri., Barbados - Tiami Five Star Catamaran & Turtles This was the kids' favorite day of all - though I was really surprised they said it topped either the zip lining or tubing/waterfall day! I think the best part was that this was the one event EVERYONE got to do together! Also, this was probably the best weather day of the trip. While it sprinkled on us 2-3 times here as well, it was easily the warmest and most tropical of the islands. Everyone loved Barbados. When we got to the terminal meeting point to pick up this tour (you have to walk though a maze of shops to get to the terminal), we were told that the conditions at their normal snorkeling spot was too rough to guarantee turtle viewings so had to be changed. While not required, they offered anyone who didn't want to go a full refund which I thought was very generous of them. We didn't care - we were there for a day on a catamaran and we were not disappointed by our choice to go. In fact, it probably worked in our favor as the catamaran that normally takes 80, only had about 65 folks on board, so we had a comfortable about of space to move around in. (Can't imagine what it would have been like at capacity!) We also lucked out in that we were able to see turtles at the first stop! We had a great time snorkeling with the turtles, enjoyed a wonderful lunch on the boat, snorkeled at an okay wreck site at the second site, and then really had fun jumping off the boat MULTIPLE times and swimming to the beach at the last stop. From the beach stop, we were just a 10 min. ride back to the catamaran dock. What a great way to wrap up a year! Day 6, Sat., At Sea Spent the last day lounging pool-side. It was a bit windy at times but hot in the sun... which is just what you want on the last day of your Caribbean vacation! Day 7, Sun., Puerto Rico - Travel Day I think it took a while for the ship to get cleared upon our return because they didn't start calling the folks slated for an 8:00 am departure off until almost 9:00 and so we were all pushed back about an hour. That said, once called, exiting moved pretty quick, customs was straight forward and easy, and cabs were lined up to take you the short 20 min ride back to the airport. The weather was windy, overcast and rainy so it made it easy to wave good bye and head home. Our flight home was direct - and left on-time.... unlike the miserable, delayed-flight we had on the way IN! With the direct flight, it made me realize just how easy and convenient it is to catch a cruise out of Puerto Rico and I would definitely consider doing it again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
A cruise is what you make it, so we had a marvelous time. We met a lot of great people and achieved our desire to get away from it all and to relax. Having cruised with Princess three times we had an idea of what to expect. We were ... Read More
A cruise is what you make it, so we had a marvelous time. We met a lot of great people and achieved our desire to get away from it all and to relax. Having cruised with Princess three times we had an idea of what to expect. We were of the understanding that Royal Caribbean is a step up from Princess, but we didn't find that to be true. In fact, given the choice to cruise again, we'd lean towards going with Princess over Royal Caribbean. The cruise entertainment director was incredible. Other entertainment staff lacked enthusiasm. The country western line dancing class was Latin instead. The instructor said he didn't know how to do country and western line dancing. The class was a very brief 15 minutes. The same instructor was supposed to teach a poolside class on Christmas day. Small groups of people stood in front of the stage waiting to begin. He made several announcements about the event and then left the stage. I guess we were supposed to tap him on the shoulder and tell him we wanted to dance? Eventually we left. We had one day of rain when a wine tasting was scheduled. We had checked the price the night before and was told it would be $10. Because it was raining, we elected to stay on the ship and attend the wine tasting. Unfortunately when the doors opened the rate had changed to $30 for a special Bordeaux wine tasting. Everyone left and 15 minutes later, a glance into the room showed the event had not happened. Too bad, it was raining and people were looking for something to do. Trivia events were quick 15 minute deals. Maintenance on the ship done two mornings at 8:15 A.M. Lots of banging on pipes which came through loud and clear. Inside cabin: The couch was a nice touch, but was wasted space. I would not recommend Royal Caribbean's interior room for 3 people. Shopping experts new their stuff and were very helpful. Restrooms were kept very clean, especially on our day at sea! Nice fitness room, lots of equipment. No need to wait. Plenty of poolside chairs. Well patrolled by staff too. That was a definite plus for Royal Caribbean. Princess has had a lot of issues with lack of chairs and chair saving. Missed the continuous buffets. Royal Caribbean had the small promenade eating area for off times, but there was little selection. DON'T buy a milkshake from Ben & Jerry's on the promenade. Where's the ice cream? Bottom line, a cruise is what you make it, but if you're looking for lots of little fun things to do besides sitting at the pool on days at sea, find another ship or cruise line. The staff leading these events lack enthusiasm and commitment. I'm not sure that a first time cruiser on this ship would have a true representation of what cruises are all about. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Pre-Cruise: Our group flew from Miami to San Juan with out problem and caught a cab to the Marriott Stellaris Casino in Condado on Friday, Dec 24. We opted for beautiful rooms which had an incredible view of the beach and ocean... ... Read More
Pre-Cruise: Our group flew from Miami to San Juan with out problem and caught a cab to the Marriott Stellaris Casino in Condado on Friday, Dec 24. We opted for beautiful rooms which had an incredible view of the beach and ocean... Well worth the extra money for the view as the rooms all have balconies. The hotel was gorgeous, the casino was fun, the bartenders sure made some good drinks, but the restaurants at the resort were terrible. There are a lot of great food choices right outside the hotel, it is better to eat outside than inside. AVOID THE POOL BAR AT ALL COSTS HERE! I have never experienced such terrible service in my life. After my order was taken (25 minutes after sitting down), the waiter came back an hour later to tell me that my order couldn't be made and handed us a check for the drinks. Embarkation: After taking a cab from the hotel to the port (Cabs are very accessible and fairly inexpensive; I would recommend this over any transport arranged by the cruise line.) we got in a long line to drop our luggage off. We didn't receive any baggage tags from RCCL in advance, but were provided with ones at the port. (NOTE: To whoever is reading this at RCCL, please reinstate the mailing of Cruise Docs. Having to print everything online is incredibly obnoxious and is not "green", it just transfers the costs of printing to your customers.) After completing a public health survey, waiting in more lines and having our photos taken, we were finally onboard and proceeded to our staterooms. Overall this was smooth, just note that a portion of the process is done outside. If it is very hot, bring some water. The Ship: Having sailed on the Explorer twice, this ship seemed very familiar to me. It is very large with over 3100 passengers and 1200 crew; however, the only two places that ever seemed crowded were the royal promenade (at night) and the frozen yogurt machine. (Please add another one!) The casino was of a good size and there were more bars than I could keep track of for the week. The best thing about this ship is that there really is something for everyone. RCCL always manages to take the cruise beyond shuffle board and an after dinner drink. There is rock climbing, mini golf, family pools, the solarium (an adults only pool with two large hot tubs), a sports bar, a small mall of duty free shops and bars. It was great for a large group like us as we could all do different things and enjoy ourselves. The shows were alright. We had a juggling act the first night and a stand up comedian the last night that I liked, but that was about it. The ice skating show was great though; make sure to get your tickets once onboard. TV: Just a note. I really didn't care, but as this was a New Year's Cruise, many people in my group and onboard were not pleased with the adequate coverage of Bowl Games. If you are going to die if you are not guaranteed a certain sporting event, Don't go. Internet: Slow and Overpriced. RCCL has to fix this. They used to offer an unlimited in room package with an Ethernet cable for $120. Now it is all wifi and SLOW! It cost me $7 to update my facebook and scroll thru my email. Unacceptable. The Room: We were in 8593 (Promenade) and 9558 (JS). The promenade room is fairly small, but manageable. Our steward was incredible and was always offering a helping hand when we needed it. (for 8593). I didn't stay in the JS, but it did look really nice. It was very large and had a double sized bathroom and a walk in closet. The balcony was also very large. We had no issues. Dining: I personally felt that this was my best cruise for dining. Our table was located on the 4th floor right next to the balcony, so that we almost had our own private space. Jacob and Denise were excellent servers and were able to put up with a fairly demanding group! Our Head Waiter was also the best we had seen yet! After telling him that I have been to Delhi (Where he is from) he had the kitchen staff cook me a special Indian dish each night after that. He really went above and beyond! The food was alright and I really liked the small portion size. I hate the windjammer. 'nuff said. I did, however, like the 5th floor cafe promenade. The staff was friendly and helpful, and the food was also pretty good! Also, for me, I did find it economical to purchase the Coke package on the first day. Ports of Call: St. Thomas: I spent the day in port enjoying the stores and hitting up a few bars. It was a nice enjoyable day. I also had to run to the airport to pick up friends who missed their flight to San Juan. Taxis in St Thomas are all shared. If you want a private cab it is really expensive and doesn't save much time. Also, taxi drivers here are quite "emotional" if you try to bargain with them. St. Croix: Here we went to do the cruise line's excursion called Beach on the Cay. We drove about 45 minutes to sit on a beach. We were given a strange chair (NOT A CHAISE LOUNGE) and a free drink. It wasn't a very good value, but was convient. St. Kitts: Here we all went on the Volcano Hike thru RCCL's excursions. WARNING: This is an intense excursion!! We went on a very rainy day and it was more of a mudslide than a hike. It was very dangerous, and it is nothing short of a miracle that no one was hurt. It really should have been cancelled. The guides were superb in dealing with disgruntled cruisers and the trail! RCCL recognized their bad and refunded us 50% of the cost of the ticket. Dominica: The HiRopes HiHopes excursion is not just zip lining, but a ropes course. I enjoyed it, but not everyone did. If you are afraid of heights and other things, you are probably better sitting at the beach. We ate in town for lunch. Watch out for people who may harass you outside the port area. We had one man try to sell us "mud" and ask us to buy him booze. (This was more of a humorous experience than a scary one, don't be afraid, it seemed very safe). The shopping here is lacking, but the island is absolutely beautiful! It is one of my favorite Islands! Barbados: We went to the Boatyard, which was a success! We just walked out of the port and asked for a cab to the boatyard, and with in 10 minutes, we were at this beach/bar/restaurant/facility. For $12 you get entrance, a drink, beach acess, water toys (i.e.: a giant trampoline). The bar is a lot of fun and fairly affordable. For entrance, you are also offered a chaise lounge, however, we showed up too late and didn't get any. This was ok as we just found a nice picnic table to sit at. Highly recommended for all ages and people! Just google them, they have a detailed website. Disembarkation: We took a while to clear, but since my group was all Platinum, we got priority disembarkation. It probably took us 10 minutes from walking off the ship to the curb, where there are many taxis waiting. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I realize I am 2 years late reviewing this cruise, but I wanted to make sure I did :) We flew into San Juan and stayed at the Sheraton hotel that is across the bay from San Juan. (We are SPG members, and select hotels based on point ... Read More
I realize I am 2 years late reviewing this cruise, but I wanted to make sure I did :) We flew into San Juan and stayed at the Sheraton hotel that is across the bay from San Juan. (We are SPG members, and select hotels based on point redemption! It was the cheapest points to use so we selected it knowing we could taxi to the port the next day easily.) We took a taxi over to the port early, before noon and embarkation was quick and pleasant. On board we had to wait a while for rooms, but it wasn't a terrible wait. One of our bags was detained and we had to go looking for it. It had a case of water in it, but they returned it to us without any trouble. We stayed pretty active on this cruise in the ports, so on the ship we were more tired! We didn't participate in many night activities except the Love and Marriage game show. As usual, the Sky Bar was our favorite, but the Connoisseur Club was also great as usual. The food was great, the service was great and overall we enjoyed this cruise. We did miss some of the things that is lacking from having sailed on Freedom already. The cruise director was not as personable as the other cruise we went on, but she isn't with RCI anymore so that isn't an issue anymore! This cruise ship is older and doesn't have quite as much as the larger ships - but we enjoyed it very much for our relaxing, and somewhat reclusive time on board! The fact that this cruise left from San Juan was wonderful, and let us experience the beautiful Puerto Rico! We stayed several days after and it is one of our favorite places. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
I booked this vacation for myself, my two daughters, ages 18 and 22, both in college, and my son also joined us. He recently came home to go to college after serving five years in the USMC. I wanted a time away for the family to be all ... Read More
I booked this vacation for myself, my two daughters, ages 18 and 22, both in college, and my son also joined us. He recently came home to go to college after serving five years in the USMC. I wanted a time away for the family to be all together and this seemed to be a good choice. I have been on the Carnival Victory, and two RCCL cruises, one on the Serenade of the Seas in 2003, and one on the Liberty of the Seas, along with my daughters, in 2007. We flew into San Juan on Jet Blue from Boston on New Years Day. I had booked 2 rooms at the San Juan Intercontinental Resort and Casino for $110/room/night on Priceline. I also paid an additional $17.75 per room on checkout for their resort fee. The rooms were nice, and we had lunch near the pool, while we were waiting for our rooms. My daughters swam most of the afternoon as they wanted to enjoy the weather considering we had just left snow and cold back home. The next day my son and I went to a small restaurant diagonally across from the hotel, Mi Casa (recommended on this board) for a great inexpensive breakfast, while my daughters searched for s Star Bucks at the hotel next door. We checked out of the hotel at 12 noon, grabbed a cab at 12:30pm, and headed for the pier. Porters took out luggage and we were in line headed for the ship. We had priority embarkation as we were in a suite, which was nice as we were on the ship and headed for our stateroom to drop off the carry-ons by 1:00pm. Of note, 1500 passengers were from Puerto Rico and I must tell you they know how to have a good time. I loved to watch the dancing at the deck parties, and everyone I met was friendly. Announcements in Spanish and English was not an issue. Our room, a Grand suite, was more than adequate for the four of us. My son and I had the two twin beds, and the girls shared the pull out couch. I booked this cabin as I wanted us to be together and to spend time together as a family. There is of course only one bathroom, but this was not an issue as we only have one bathroom at home and we manage just fine. The bathroom was huge, with plenty of counter space, though I still brought and used an over the door pocket storage organizer. The cabin itself has more than enough storage, and once we unpacked, the suitcases fit easily under the beds. The balcony had a lounge chair, and a small table and two chairs, perfect for that morning coffee or afternoon tea. There was a big flat screen TV on the wall near the balcony. Our state room attendant was Fernando, and he took care of our room very well, providing a wide assortment of towel animals, extra towels, etc, and always greeted us with a smile.I had purchased two soda packages before we left, and the insulated cups were in our cabin when we returned from lunch. Once we dropped off our carry-ons, off to the Windjammer for lunch. Overall it had plenty of choices and none of us went hungry any time we wandered in to get breakfast, lunch, or a snack. Our luggage was delivered by 4:30pm and we quickly unpacked and got ready for dinner. Muster was at 6pm (no life jackets required). Food-We chose MTD and ate at 6:30 every night. We ate in the dining room each evening except for a night we went to Portofinos. We had Jacob as our waiter, and Ricky was our assistant waiter. Both were very efficient and friendly. My son purchased a bottle of wine which he drank over the next few days. The food was generally good and you could always find something that was appealing. We occasionally had two desserts or shared an additional entree, or Jacob would bring something out for us to try. We went to Portofinos on day 4 (Wednesday) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had the seafood skewer, and the girls had the beef fillet. My son had some kind of fish dish. The service was good, and it was nice to relax and eat in a different venue. I thought it was worth the $20 pp. We ate breakfast and late lunch or snacks in the Windjammer, and I had no issues with the food. I looked forward to a nice fresh salad and bread every afternoon. We sometimes had difficulty finding a seat when it was really crowded, but overall this was not really a problem. Formal nights were day 2 (Monday) and day 5 (Thursday). Though we tended to get dressed for dinner every evening as we enjoy doing this, we saw every manner of dress presented in the dining rooms, but overall I would say that most people were dressed appropriately. Entertainment-We took advantage of the reserved seating at the shows in the Lyric Theater. Anna Bass was the cruise director and she was fun.The production shows were good,though I did enjoy the shows on Liberty of the Seas much better. The Beatle Mania show was great. The audience was singing along and it brought back a lot of memories for me! The comedian on the first night was ok, and the one on the last night was from Boston and was actually pretty funny, however many of the older people left during the show as they just weren't getting some of his humor because of the language barrier. The ice show was excellent! We also went to the Love and Marriage show which was very funny, and of course Quest, which all three of my children actively participated in, was hilarious. We also went to two of the deck parties, several trivia contest, and happened to be sitting in a deck chair for the belly flop contest (funny but stupid). Pools-My daughters sat out everyday they could, especially sea days. They tended to use the lounge chairs near the track. I preferred the reserve deck seating for the suites as it was elevated and I could see what was going on, or I and could relax and read my book. I don't drink alcohol but my daughter usually bought the drink of the day, and I could get iced water at the bar as often as I wanted without a problem. Embarkation-My son had a flight home at 2:45pm and my daughters and I were not leaving until Monday. We left the ship about 10am, went through customs quickly, and off we went to find a taxi. It was a sad day...heading back to Boston to the ice and snow. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Embarking was very organized and we were in line less than 30 minutes. Prior to arriving at the port we went to a local grocery store and purchased soda and bottled water to take on with us. A few people in our group bought beer and put ... Read More
Embarking was very organized and we were in line less than 30 minutes. Prior to arriving at the port we went to a local grocery store and purchased soda and bottled water to take on with us. A few people in our group bought beer and put the cans in their checked luggage and had no issues. A few people in our group bought bottles of liquor and put them in their checked luggage and were caught by security and the liquor was taken and given back to them the last day of the cruise. I had packed a Rum Runner flask full of liquor and put it in my checked luggage and had no issues. They were very strick about letting people into their rooms prior to 1:30, so we just walked around the ship. The sail away party on the promenada was dull. Very few people attended and they had an OK band playing music. The actual sail away on the top deck was dull. No music, no celebration at all. First day at sea. The usual events,men's sexy leg contest, belly flop contest, dance lessons and music. Pleasant, but nothing spectacular. Barbados: We had booked a snokel adventure in advance on the Blue Moon. $90 each. The weather was rainy and overcast but we had a great time. They picked us up and drove us to their dock where we boarded their ship. They served rum punch, beer and other mixed drinks immediately. We went to a cove and snorkeled with sea turtles which were spectacular. Got back on the ship and went to another cove and snorkeled around two ship wreck with lots of interesting fish. They served a great lunch onboard. After lunch we swam to the beach and played in the water for awhile. Back onboard and returned to the dock and then a short van ride back to the port for shopping. The crew was friendly and shared a lot of local information about Barbados. I would highly recommend this tour. St. Lucia: We exited the ship and talked to one of the tour companies and negotiated a tour deal for 20 of us. They discounted the tour from $65 to $60. We went by boat to see some of the island features. We were then transported by van to the sulpher springs. Smelly, but interesting. We walked down to a sulpher bath and some people rubbed the sulpher mud on themselves and then got into the sulpher bath. Back on the boat to a cove to swim and play on the beach. A local pulled up on the shore in his boat to sell us the local beer. The beach had a resturant but was very expensive. Back on the boat and back to the ship. Antigua: We left the ship and hired a van driver to take us to Jolly Beach. $25 round trip. We chose Jolly Beach because it had a lot of things available like Hobbie Cats, Wind Surfing, Jet Skis, etc. However when we arrived we found that a private event had been booked and we were not allowed to rent any of the toys. The beach was full of whole shells, which is great if you are looking to collect shells, but not good for walking on. The surf was very rough and when you got out you were covered in broken up particles of shells. We ran into some Canadians that were with the private event and they were not Jolly, actually they were very cranky! St. Maarten: Left the ship and hired a van to take us to Orient Beach. $12 each way. The water is beautiful and the surf was mild. We got two beach chairs, an umbrella and two drinks for $7. Well worth the $7. Local liquor is Guavaberry, try the Guavacolada, it is to die for. Orient beach is a topless and a short walk from the nude beach. You do not have to participate but it is educational to walk down the beach. Lots of people trying to sell you beads, towels, shirts, CD's. Overall my favorite island. We booked this cruise just to go to this island. St. Croix: We left the ship and hired a van to take us to Chenay Bay.$6 each way. The beach was beautiful. Had lots of shells on the beach. It was very quiet and calm. A nice change from the busy beaches at the other islands. Had a nice restaruant/bar with good food and reasonable prices. San Juan: Had several hours to kill before going to the airport. We hired a van to drive us around San Juan. $25 each. The van was big enough to hold all our luggage. We didn't want to go through the fort because we had done that before so the drive just took us to the capital building and through town. He dropped a group of us off to shop while he drove a few people to the airport who had earlier flights, came back to pick us up and took us to the airport. The food on the cruise was OK. Lobster night was my favorite. Our room was OK. You could tell that it was an older ship and in need of some updating. We had My Time dining. We had a few servers who were excellent and a few who were not so good. We made reservations for every night at 8:15. We were such a large group that we had to have two tables next to each other. One night they were running behind and did not seat us until 9:00, so the gave us two bottles of wine and cheese/crackers. One couple in our group had a Jr. Suite. Their balcony was very small. Two chairs and a small table with no extra room. Our promenade room gave us a sense of more room, but I'm not sure it was worth the extra $. Overall I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This was our first cruise with RCCL. My wife and I both turned 40 in the past few months and decided to celebrate it with a cruise just for us. We left the kids behind and because we were not cruising with our kids opted to not go on ... Read More
This was our first cruise with RCCL. My wife and I both turned 40 in the past few months and decided to celebrate it with a cruise just for us. We left the kids behind and because we were not cruising with our kids opted to not go on Disney this time around. We stayed in San Juan the night before embarkation, enjoying Old San Juan, shopping and eating dinner in town. As our cab pulled up to the terminal, we feared a long wait to get baggage to the porters. While it did take about 25 minites to get to the front of the line, once we handed our bags off, we were whisked into the check in and walked right up to the counter, had our Sea Passes and were getting our welcome aboard photos withing 10 minutes of handing the bags off. Very quick and easy check in. Room was ready at 1:30PM. We had a great room attendent, name Marley (or Marlie) who was from Nicoragua. Did a great job all week. Ice 2x per day, extension cord for my CPAP, etc. I won't give a day by day break down, instead I'll break it down into areas of interest like Ports, Meals, etc. Ports of Call - We were on the Southern itinerary that featured Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, and St. Croix. We loved the number of stops and really enjoyed all the islands. The people in Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Maarten were all great. Antigua had more rude and pushy locals trying to vie for your tourist dollars, but over all we had no issues. Be firm with your "no's" and you will be fine. Excursions - We did two RCCL excursions. Ziplining in Antigua and The Tiki Hut Snorkel Lounge in St. Maarten. Both were great and worth the money to go. Room - Our room was adequate. We don't spend much time in the room except to sleep so we didn't expect andy bells and whistles. I will say that even on the roughest night at sea (6-10 foot waves), we never felt a thing. It was great. As I mentioned earlier, our room attendent was awesome. Main Dining Room - We opted for My Time Dining as we were not sure we would be ready for a 6PM seating with so many port days going until 5 or 6 PM. We only ate in the MDR 2 nights, the my time dining was very impersonal and we felt rushed. We went to the Windjammer for dinner after night 2. Windjammer - We ate breakfast every day in the WJ, and dinner nights 3-7. Service was great and we sat in the same section every night. Had a great server name Jose Colaco in the WJ that took care of our sodas, water, and ice team each night. The Maitre D, Dharmesh was also great, offering info about the next days ports and things to do. If we do another RCCL cruise, I will forgo the MDR and simply go to the WJ for dinner. Food - Breakfast was okay, nothing special, typical breakfast fare. Only ate lunch on embarkation day, it was good. Dinner in the MDR on nights 1 and 2 were good. Choices in the Windjammer for dinner were great, ranging from Lamb Chops, to custom stir fry to ethinc cuisine and standard Burgers and other kid friendly choices. The snack bar always had pizza, trail bars, pastries. Service - Overall very good service. We did have to work for a fix to our missing soda cups (we bought the soda package) and missing water. Took 2 days to get both. That annoyed us, but the bar manager who got involved more than made up for it getting us extra soda cups and some free drinks. Shows - We went to a few of the shows, they were good, not great. Cruise Director and Staff - Anthony was great, he was funny and approachable, as were his assistants. Shops on Board - Lots of jewels, watches, liquor, and perfume. RCCL logo'd clothes were minimal at best, would have liked to have seen more RCCL stuff. Port and Shopping Guide - Kevin and his fiancee Davette were great at suggesting shops and getting VIP coupons. Be sure to see them before going ashore for shopping. Take part of their shopping show on Day 2 for specials. Overall - We were spoiled by our times on Disney, and while this was not on the same par as Disney, I was impressed and would go back again on RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Embarkation: San Juan has two cruise ship locations, one near Old San Juan and one about 10 minute taxi ride from Old San Juan. The Adventure of the Seas (AoS) docked at the later, which is actually better because there is less traffic and ... Read More
Embarkation: San Juan has two cruise ship locations, one near Old San Juan and one about 10 minute taxi ride from Old San Juan. The Adventure of the Seas (AoS) docked at the later, which is actually better because there is less traffic and closer to the airport (10 min taxi ride) and beach areas. I arrived around 10am the morning on the departure date and met friends to visit Old San Juan before boarding the ship. Since the ship didn't depart until 8:30pm, I spent most of the day in and around Old San Juan. We boarded around 3pm. The AoS has a passenger capacity of around 3200, so expect to spend some time during embarkation. There were two lines, one to drop bags and the second to go through security and then check in. It took roughly one hour to complete the process. It may be a little longer if you go right at 1pm (start of embarkation) and shorter if you go later in the afternoon. Food: The AoS had several options including traditional cruise dining, anytime dining, premium dining and the buffet. We selected traditional dining late seating. The food was good but not excellent. We ate at the premium restaurant, Portofino, one night and it cost $20 per person. Portofino had excellent food and lots of it. I recommend it for at least one night. The dinner buffet had theme nights. We ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet and dinner in the dining room. Overall the food was average for cruise food with a wide selection. Cabin: I had an inside cabin, which was adequate. I would recommend a balcony cabin if you plan to spend time in your room. The cabin was clean and in good condition with good cabin service. Ship: The AoS was about 95% booked (3000 passengers) but it never felt crowded, except finding a lounge chair around the pool during peak time. There were four buffet lines and lines were short even during peak time. The main dining room was spread over three levels with entrances on each level, so no waiting in line to get in. It had a nice fitness center and spa. There were several pools including an adult only next to the spa (Solarium). The AoS had a couple of unique features, the promenade and on board activity options. The promenade had a large open area mid-ship that was several levels high and covered half the length of the ship. Shops, bars and cafes lined the promenade, which was also used as a meeting area for entertainment. The on-board activity options were extensive and included an ice rink, climbing wall, in-line skating rink, miniature golf (we had two tournaments), large basketball/volleyball/soccer court and golf simulator. There were several bars and lounges with different themes including an Irish pub, wine bar, two story nightclub, champagne bar and sing-a-long bar. Entertainment: The production shows were the standard variety and Vegas shows. The shows were slightly lower than average for a cruise. The ice skating show was good. The theme parties included a 70's dance party in the promenade, and Caribbean Nights and Club Twenties parties outside on deck. There were welcome and farewell processions in the promenade on the first and last nights. They reminded me of the Lion King musical with the dancers dressed in costumes from around the World dancing and marching to music. The passenger participation Quest show and the Marriage show were also entertaining. Port of Calls: I spend a little more time on this section (see port section). All the shore excursions mentioned below were arranged independent of the cruise. I always recommend taking a cruise shore excursion if you're not familiar with the island or get concerned about missing the ship. You can save a few bucks negotiating an independent taxi tour, but be sure to reserve plenty of time before your ships departure time. We docked at all the ports and RCI did an excellent job getting everyone off the ship even with >3000 passengers. I was traveling with a group of nine and most had never visited the port of calls on this cruise. I have visited all the port of calls at least once if not more, so the itineraries mentioned were for first time visitors. Disembarkation: It seemed to go smooth. I carried my luggage off so I could disembark at anytime. It took me 10 minutes to get off the ship and clear customs. A taxi to the airport and I was on my way to New Orleans and Mardi Gras. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Fairly new cruisers, 4 of my family members and I sailed on the Adventure of the Seas on Feb 7-13th out of San Juan. My parents (mid 50s) and my sisters (30s)were excited to be travelling without partners or kids... when would you have a ... Read More
Fairly new cruisers, 4 of my family members and I sailed on the Adventure of the Seas on Feb 7-13th out of San Juan. My parents (mid 50s) and my sisters (30s)were excited to be travelling without partners or kids... when would you have a chance to do that again?!? My sisters and I stayed at the new Sheraton Casino which was literally a 2 minute drive to the port. You can see the ships lined up... remember this is NOT the Old Sheraton in Old San Juan but the Sheraton by the convention centre. It was a terrific hotel with an amazing infinity pool. The casino was also fun and helped prep us for the fun we were about to have. We got in late (around 12am) so we were zonked and the new, clean hotel was perfect. We stayed on 2500 points and $65 dollars (plus the $15 resort fee). Day 1 - San Juan - we arrived later than we had planned but that was all for the best as there were some delays in getting the passengers off the ship. We arrived at 11am but didn't board until after 12:30pm. Once the line started moving it was a quick process. We had a big breakfast so instead of heading for the Windjammer we went straight to the pool and had the entire pool to ourselves for close to 2 hours. It was amazing and the sun was bright and strong (we Canadians just love going down south and escaping our winter!) Our parents met up with us later and we started exploring the ship and took in the Promenade and checked into our rooms. Our parents had a balcony on the 6th floor, it was a handicapped room which they just by chance obtained when we saw prices drop 2 weeks before our sail date. They paid for a small outside but instead got a double size room with a double balcony for the same price. The only complaint they had being on the 6th floor was the lack of glass in the balcony. Our room was a Family Oceanview Stateroom at the front of the ship (9200). Since there were 3 of us we wanted this because of the bunk beds. The room was definitely dated and the bunk beds were kind of scary but there was tons of room for the 3 of us and 2 windows out the front were really nice. We had already checked out our dining room arrangement just for the 5 of us and we had an amazing table by the window on the 4th floor. We had Daniel and Jose as our Waiter and Assistant Waiter respectively. We chose standard 6pm dining and it worked well for us. That night the ship was fairly rough and the next day was a blustery one... being at the front of the ship you DEFINITELY feel the waves much more... we thought the ship was going to break in half a couple of times! DAY 2 - SEA DAY - our new favourite day... we loved being out by the pool (which was VERY blustery) but we spent the whole day just taking in the activities, getting sun, drinking beer and the drink of the day which I think was the Lava Flow - delicious! We watched the belly flop competition, ice carving and just swam in the pool all day. Great family time! Formal night that night was great... we are the people some people dislike because my dad and I just refuse to wear suits... we did wear dress pants, dress shirts and ties but I could see that some people in the dining room were not impressed. Oh well... I'm sorry if the way I dress affects the enjoyment of your vacation! By the way, the food in the Windjammer at breakfast and lunch was terrific. We never ate there for dinner so am unable to comment on that. DAY 3 - Barbados - we woke up to work out in the Ship Shape Centre (which we did every day except for 1 - we were amazed by our own dedication...lol). It appeared rainly and we were disapointed (remember the Sun we Canadians love?!?) but is was all for nothing as by the time we strolled through the streets of Bridgetown the sun had come out and we walked to the local beach and then back to the ship for lunch. We left the ship for another beach and spent the day there. Very beautiful country but many of the people were very pushy with us but we managed that just fine. DAY 4 - St. Lucia - the pattern remained of rainy at 7am - 9am but the sun cleared after that for another breathtaking day. We went to another beach in St. Lucia (which I can't remember the name for the life of me). Each night after dinner we spent about an hour gambling and playing the slots in the Casino which was so much fun. We'd usually go for a hot tub and swim in the evening and then grab a bite to eat in the Promenade before heading to bed. We only did a few shows and we did play bingo once... but lost :-( DAY 5 - Antigua - we've been to Antigua before and decided to have our taxi driver take us to a small local beach. There were probably only 6 people on the beach in addition to us the entire day. Today started off sunny and stayed that way all day. Heaven! DAY 6 - St. Maarten - my parents had been to this island and told us it was their favourite and now I know why. We took the water taxi to the beach for $6 thinking we might come back for lunch but as we walked down the beach and were offered chairs, beer, rum punches all for $5 we just couldn't resist and spent the day by the beach... swimming, relaxing and doing a bit of shopping. 3:30pm crept up quickly and we headed back to the ship. BTW, we generally returned to the ship around 4pm even though all aboard was around 5:30pm... we found that by 4pm we had been in the sun enough (lol!) and it gave us time to get up to the upper deck, get some chairs and a drink and just relax as the ship pulled out of port. DAY 7 - St. Croix, US Virgin Islands - The only day we had booked an excursion was our last day and it didn't dissapoint. We took the Buck Island ship excursion snorkelling trip and took the 45 min bus ride to catch the boat to Buck Island. I have scubadived in the Great Barrier Reef and I can tell you that some of the coral and fish and clarity of water was just as amazing. Again we were fortunate to have mostly sunny skies and warm weather which just made the trip special for the 5 of us. Return to San Juan - Disembarkation went very smoothly... although we were assigned a later time we had to run back to the Sheraton to pick up a lost item so we asked if we could leave early and it was no problem. All in all this was an amazing cruise and a very special time for our entire family. Adventure of the Seas staff are terrific people and we didn't meet ONE of them that wasn't courteous or helpful. The ship is a bit dated and you can definitely see areas of wear but you will NOT get a better itinerary than this one. You just cannot beat the beautiful weather you are almost guarenteed with in the Southern Caribbean. We don't have much tips to offer that aren't already on these boards but here are a few: 1) Embark closer to 12:30pm in case you get stuck like we did by getting there at 11am. But try and get there before 2pm so you get a few more hours on the ship! 2) If you get sea-sick or are prone to motion sickness, don't get a room at the front of the ship... mid-ship is best. 3) The Internet Cafe is a rip off and is not worth the money... either use the wireless package OR use computers at Internet Cafe's once you get to a port. 4) STAY another night if you can in San Juan and DON'T try and fly out of the airport with all the other cruisers. Honestly this was the biggest disaster I have ever seen. After being treated with utter kindness and professionalism on the ship we were shocked at how the airport staff were rude and unhelpful for everyone. We waited an hour to check in and then were told to wait in another line which circled the entire building... we just happened to overhear one of the agents tell someone there was another security screening area and we walked over to it with no line at all. I have no idea why someone didn't help the poor people that had been waiting for almost 2 hours in that line. It was ridiculous... so my advice, stay another day and leave without the crowds! 5) Don't worry at all about the negative reviews.... unless you have to have the absolute newest ship and experience you will have nothing to worry about. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Well we just got back from our cruise on Adventure of the Seas to the Southern Caribbean. We had a great time visiting Curacao, Aruba, Dominica and St. Thomas. We selected this cruise because we wanted to hit some ports we had not seen ... Read More
Well we just got back from our cruise on Adventure of the Seas to the Southern Caribbean. We had a great time visiting Curacao, Aruba, Dominica and St. Thomas. We selected this cruise because we wanted to hit some ports we had not seen before. Overall the cruise was fine, as usual we ate too much, stayed up too late and generally had a good time. Ports: we enjoyed Aruba and Curacao. We took a tour and walked around town and it was interesting to ports with such character and European influences. Dominica wasn't our favorite. The town really isn't much. We didn't take a tour because we really aren't able to hike much and as steamy as it was we were glad we didn't. If hiking in a rain forest is your thing I think you will like this stop though. We loved St. Thomas. We did the Turtle Cove snorkel and it was really nice. Great crew on the Doubloon and great location. We saw turtles, squid, barracuda and many small fish. I did the power snorkel which was worth it I thought. I covered a lot of area and saw things I would have missed under my own steam. It takes a bit to get used to but once you have it the unit works great. I walked around town in the afternoon which was very nice. I chose to walk to town which is about 1.5 miles to get to the shops. As for our impressions of the ship, we thought it was nice overall. We had 7506 which had 2 portals and was a big corner room. We really liked the location. As some mentioned the ship has a little wear but they were painting and cleaning all the time so until they do a overhaul I think they are maintaining it well. They did have a pipe burst on the other side of 7 and a number of people didn't have a room as of late the first night. They were fixing the pipe and laying new carpet in each room that evening. Shows: we felt the talent tried hard but the stage shows didn't really impress us. I think they were more small stage Vegas than Broadway. 3 of the 4 acts that they brought in were good. The Revolution a Beatles group was great. The ice show was excellent. Food: we surely ate enough but we felt the food was uneven as to quality. Windjammer breakfast had everything that you would expect and was good. Lunch was pretty good as well. There were always lots of choices. The dining room was OK to good. Some nights I didn't know what to choose. I usually get 2 entrees not overeat but try different things I don't usually order. There was once or twice where neither was that good. There was always a good appetizer and dessert choice. Sugar free desserts were always good. One note on service: we had a good team but it seemed the way the dining room we were in operated was to leave plates on the table until the next item came. Quite often we were reaching over plates for a while until the main came. They were able to accommodate us with a table for two though and that was nice for an anniversary cruise. Ship spaces: They have the Promenade/ shopping space which is nice. It has a cafe and pub. It is a big space but there are specific things they focus on. Watches, jewelry and nice clothes. They have a few nick-knacks but more of the pricier stuff. We were surprised that they didn't even have sunscreen unless you went to the perfume store and it was $30. They do parades here and they seem to be well done. There are other clubs and bars as well as the casino. The ice rink and theater are nice spaces and seem to be pretty up to date in technology. The main pool and solarium pool are nice too. They also have a chapel and sports deck with mini-golf, climbing wall and b-ball. I think you would enjoy this cruise as we did. It sure beats being home on a 40 degree rainy week. And as they say on the closing show no one at home is going to make you a towel animal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
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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