Sail Date: February 2006
Awesome cruise, would highly recommend it. No Regrets. Some recommendations: 1. Ladies bring an extra dressy sweater or shawl/wrap to wear in the dinning room, I brought only summer fancy dresses and had to buy wraps to keep warm ... Read More
Awesome cruise, would highly recommend it. No Regrets. Some recommendations: 1. Ladies bring an extra dressy sweater or shawl/wrap to wear in the dinning room, I brought only summer fancy dresses and had to buy wraps to keep warm during dinner. 2. Bring an insulated water bottle to take with you to the pool deck. Grab some juice or water from the WindJammer Cafe for free and fill the bottle, then take it to the pool... there is only expensive drinking otherwise. 3. Book the later sitting of dinner.... or else you'll miss all the sunsets!!! And ask if you can sit on the main floor (deck 3) for the dinners, much better views. 4. Make reservations for the Portofino restaurant on the first or second day (the fancy restaurant) if you want to eat there any time during the week, it fills up fast. 5. Tip for keeping the eating to a manageable rate... when you get to the Windjammer cafe, you'll notice they use "platters", not plates. Fill half of your "platter" with salad every meal and it will help you to portion properly. 6. Must go to Magen's Bay in St. Thomas, definitely not to miss.... the most beautiful beach we've ever been to. 7. Don't waste your time at the "Discover Shopping" seminars given by shopping shelby on the ship... its really boring, and she says she gives away free gifts to the first 100 people, but what she really gives is a certificate that you have to go and find the store to pick up your 0.50$ earrings cheap. Don't be fooled by all the Jewelry stores. If you really want something, just buy it in St. Thomas... but don't waste your time window shopping unless you are looking for something specific. If you think that the "royal caribbean approved stores" are the only place to shop, think twice. In order to get approved, the store pays the ship to give a good recommendation... so basically Royal Caribbean approves the store if the store pays Royal Caribbean a fee.... :( (for example, Tiffany's and Coach are NOT recommended stores in St. Thomas, but we all know these are quality stores, they just aren't dumb enough to pay the advertising fee) 8. They say you can't save chairs/loungers at the poolside decks, but everyone does anyway, so on an "at sea day" go to the deck at around 8AM, throw a towel and book on a few chairs, and you've got your seat set for the day. But Really it was a most awesome trip.... don't MISS THIS ONE!!! :) Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
My family and I were on the seven day cruise out of San Juan on the Adventure of the Season February 12. This was our 15th cruise, third with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed with all of the popular cruise lines except for the higher end ... Read More
My family and I were on the seven day cruise out of San Juan on the Adventure of the Season February 12. This was our 15th cruise, third with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed with all of the popular cruise lines except for the higher end lines like Silver Seas. We managed to book a pre and post cruise hotel in San Juan and avoided the 27 inch snow storm that affected travelers from New York. I read as many posts as I could prior to the trip and was prepared for boarding. We arrived at the port about 11:00 a.m., met a few of our cruise critic pals, and were having lunch by 12:00. Lines were already long but moved quickly and efficiently. Our room was ready at 2:00 p.m. which gave us time to preview the ship. The ship is in great condition and all of the ports of call were fun. I was surprised to learn that amenities such as after-sun body cream, hair conditioner, etc., are no longer provided for cabins on the lower decks. We were on deck 7 mid-ship with a balcony. We were even more surprised to learn that they do not serve ginger ale, a common remedy for sea-sickness. Since our previous RCCL cruises were in the late '90s, we assume that budget tightening has been a major factor in the changed atmosphere. We appreciate that cruising is a great dollar value, and the disappointments we experienced were probably a result of cut backs. We would like to have kept the menus from our earlier trips as points of comparison because the current choices were inferior in variety and distinction. We had dinner at Portofino and found the same shortcomings. The shows were very amateurish productions with talented vocalists. The audio was also much too loud. However, the Salsa band was quite good and drew large crowds every evening. We also enjoyed the Rosario Brothers and the jazz band. The Ice Show was excellent and most in our party liked Quest. I do however have to make one comment about the service. It was programmed, mechanical and automatic. Maybe I have outgrown the cruise experience because nothing seemed special. The cabin steward knew our names, chairs were pulled for me in the dining rooms, requests were honored for fresh coffee or tea and, in general, everything was in order. Perhaps morale is not what it once was. One of our members was taken ill and I cannot say enough about the attention she received in the infirmary or the responsiveness with which the staff communicated with us. In conclusion, we had a good time even though we were a little disappointed with the service. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
My family and I just returned from the seven day cruise out of San Juan on the Adventure of the Seas. This was our 15th cruise, third with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed with all of the popular cruise lines except for the higher end lines ... Read More
My family and I just returned from the seven day cruise out of San Juan on the Adventure of the Seas. This was our 15th cruise, third with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed with all of the popular cruise lines except for the higher end lines like Silver Seas. We managed to book a pre and post cruise hotel in San Juan and avoided the 27 inch snow storm that affected travelers from New York. I read as many posts as I could prior to the trip and was prepared for boarding. We arrived at the port about 11:00 a.m., met a few of our cruise critic pals, and were having lunch by 12:00. Lines were already long but moved quickly and efficiently. Our room was ready at 2:00 p.m. which gave us time to preview the ship. The ship is in great condition and all of the ports of call were fun. I was surprised to learn that amenities such as after-sun body cream, hair conditioner, etc., are no longer provided for cabins on the lower decks. We were on deck 7 mid-ship with a balcony. We were even more surprised to learn that they do not serve ginger ale, a common remedy for sea-sickness. Since our previous RCCL cruises were in the late 90s, we assume that budget tightening has been a major factor in the changed atmosphere. We appreciate that cruising is a great dollar value, and the disappointments we experienced were probably a result of cut backs. We would like to have kept the menus from our earlier trips as points of comparison because the current choices were inferior in variety and distinction. We had dinner at Portofino and found the same shortcomings. The shows were amateurish productions with talented vocalists. The audio was also much too loud. However, the Salsa band was quite good and drew large crowds every evening. We also enjoyed the Rosario Brothers and the jazz band. The Ice Show was excellent and most in our party liked Quest. I do however have to make one comment about the service. It was programmed, mechanical and automatic. Maybe I have outgrown the cruise experience because nothing seemed special. The cabin steward knew our names, chairs were pulled for me in the dining rooms, requests were honored for fresh coffee or tea and, in general, everything was in order. Perhaps morale is not what it once was. One of our members was taken ill and I cannot say enough about the attention she received in the infirmary or the responsiveness with which the staff communicated with us. In conclusion, we had a good time even though we were a little disappointed with the service. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
Saturday, 2-11-06: Five of us ladies flew from Indy to Charlotte, NC to San Juan. We stayed one night at nephew's beach condo near airport. Reserved mini-van from Hertz for 24-hours. Sunday, 2-12-06 (boarding): Slept great, ate ... Read More
Saturday, 2-11-06: Five of us ladies flew from Indy to Charlotte, NC to San Juan. We stayed one night at nephew's beach condo near airport. Reserved mini-van from Hertz for 24-hours. Sunday, 2-12-06 (boarding): Slept great, ate breakfast, returned mini-van, and used RCCL transfers from airport to pier around noon. Great liquor store at Pan Am pier! BUY THE BAILEY'S! (discreetly carried a small bottle on board) Boarded around 12:30pm. Nice buffet lunch in Windjammer on Deck 11. Don't forget to put shorts/swim suits in carry-on! Made reservations at spa and Portofino's. Purchased soft drink package at bar. Got in our cabin by 2pm but disappointed - no fold-out couch for 3rd person, just a fold out upper bunk with ladder. Loved the balcony! Dined on 4th floor (Strauss). Waiters were Oz and Lea - great! Purchased wine dinner package. Cabin attendant was Richard - thanks for a great job! Monday, 2-13-06 (at sea): Breakfast/lunch in Windjammer. Exploring ship. Heard that 250 people missed the ship due to snow! Lots of pool games, fun at Bingo, and dinner was great. TIP - If you get the "drink of the day" in a plain cup, it's cheaper! Tuesday, 2-14-06 (Aruba): Breakfast in Windjammer. Booked ship's catamaran/snorkel excursion - OK. Saw some colorful fish at first stop in choppy waters but declined to get in rough waves at 2nd stop. Rum punch offered on return trip was OK. TIP - canned cheese whiz squeezes out very easily underwater, the fish love it, and they will swarm all around you! Lunched in Windjammer followed by a great pedicure and manicure in the spa (by Shawn). Shopping was OK. Our birthday surprises were great! The staff donned our secretly delivered birthday hats and paraded around the whole dining room singing Happy Birthday, put our hats on our heads, and delivered our cakes. This was great fun! After dinner, went to Aruba for some nightlife frolicking at Carlos and Charley's - nuff said! Great bartenders and great time! I even got THE YARD! Wednesday, 2-15-06 (Curacao): Slept a little late. Brunch in the Windjammer. Went shopping. Great bargaining shops! Dinner was great but most of the wines listed were unavailable, so substitutions were made. Sampled different wines but probably won't purchase the wine package again. Thursday, 2-16-06 (at sea): Usual breakfast in the Windjammer. Enjoyed sunning, watching pool games, and playing Bingo. Showered and dressed for formal dinner at Portofino's, preceded by the "must see" ice show, with front row seats! I rate Portofino's at 10 out of 10! Staff, service, presentation, taste, and atmosphere were all excellent! They even had better wine that the DR couldn't seem to locate! Glad that the wine package transferred over there for dinner! I also left the staff a 20% gratuity - well worth it! Later, visited the ship's liquor store for some great bargains - BUY THE BAILEY'S! Friday, 2-17-06 (St. Maarten): Usual breakfast in the Windjammer. Morning shopping in town. Good bargains, especially Guava Berry liquor (sold only on the island, I think)! Took ship's excursion for the Afternoon Beach Bash. This was an easy/fun/short bus ride to Orient Beach on the other (French) side of the island. All staff and beach were wonderful, and rum punch was OK. Became very annoyed at the constant persistence of vendors walking the beach to sell their trinkets. Got tired of saying "NO"! TIP - Make a big NO sign to hang on your chair. Back to ship for favorite dinner - lobster! I had 2! Sunday, 2-18-06 (St. Thomas): Usual breakfast in the Windjammer. Immigration process took place on board at 7am - quick and easy. Took ship's sailing/snorkeling tour on private sailing yacht (6-guests max) to Buck Island/Turtle Cove. Hosts were Captain Carl and Tim - great team! Tim swam with us, guided us all around the coral reef, and pointed out many colorful fish, sea turtles, and a hidden eel and octopus. He took many underwater pictures of us and for us with our cameras. He also dove down and brought up a sea urchin for us to hold and take pictures! Then, gently returned it to the bottom. After snorkeling, Captain Carl had made a large plate of cheese and crackers, and offered unlimited sodas and rum - BEST DRINKS EVER! Their sailing yacht was beautiful and the winds cooperated, so that we could use the sails instead of the motor, which greatly enhanced the soothing sounds of the ocean air and water gently caressing the boat! If you love to snorkel, BOOK THIS TRIP WITH CAPTAIN CARL AND TIM! Hesitantly, (I wanted to stay forever), we returned to the ship to change clothes, eat lunch, and go shopping. Most shops here would not "deal" as well as the other islands. Returned to the ship or our farewell dinner and sad good-byes to all of our new friends, promising to keep in touch, and hoping to someday meet again. Sunday, 2-19-06 (Puerto Rico - debarkation): Usual breakfast in the Windjammer. Our noon flight was the first group off the ship around 8:30am. The ride to the airport and check-in process was a breeze, since we had went through the immigration process on board yesterday. By the time our flight was ready for take-off, the gate was very crowded. After stopping in Atlanta to change planes, we arrived home in Indy around 9pm. Tired from a full day of travelling but thankful that I took Monday off work! I am still very much hooked on cruising and look forward to Hawaii in June! GET OUT THERE! Feel free to e-mail any comments or questions to Sally at t_kuhn@iquest.net. HAPPY CRUISING! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
To the point review and only to the point. A group of 11 sailed Adventure on 2-19-06 from Puerto Rico. We flew into San Juan on the 18th and really enjoyed the more relaxed approach to our weeks vacation. Highly recommend the Sheraton ... Read More
To the point review and only to the point. A group of 11 sailed Adventure on 2-19-06 from Puerto Rico. We flew into San Juan on the 18th and really enjoyed the more relaxed approach to our weeks vacation. Highly recommend the Sheraton hotel in Old San Juan. Very comfortable and in the heart of everything. Boarding Adventure was a breeze when utilizing the pre-boarding Seapass. To save a bit of cash on the bar bill, purchased several bottles of duty free hootch within the ship terminal and put them in our carry on bags as instructed by the terminal staff. This is the only chance to bring booze aboard to enjoy at your leisure. If you pass on this opportunity and your a drinker of any type, you missed a golden opportunity. Adventure was simply awesome in every way. We were entertained by Ricky Nelson's boys who were mega stars in the late '80s on the second night of the voyage. This show was amazing as was all entertainment offered aboard. The ship decor and layout was fantastic as well. Our wait staff was pleasant and extremely attentive. They couldn't have been better. Our group was very happy with the food throughout the ship and the drinks were more than generous {wink} at all times. I find in some reviews that the major complaint on cruises is food. Well, people need to lighten up. The staff is cooking for a massive crowd at all times and the job they preform is fantastic to say the least. Always remember, if something is not to your liking... ask for something different until you're satisfied. Be respectful and you'll truly be treated as royalty. I'd also recommend Porifino restaurant on board one night. The food is unbelievable and the presentation out of this world. The ports are always what you make of them. On Aruba we wanted to go to a beach that the ships do not send all of their guests. After a little research on the net I settled on Eagle Beach. We caught a cab to Amsterdam Mannor and enjoyed a real tropical setting. Recommend this to everyone. We rented jet skiis for a while and just relaxed on a beach with the most amazingly soft white sand. There was a beach bar for refreshments and the water was perfect. Did the town for shopping later in the day and hit a few clubs at night. Had a crappy excursion in Curacao the next day. Not the fault of the cruise line, booked this on our own. It was supposed to be a fishing trip but it turned out to be a sight seeing trip in very rough seas with a couple of clowns calling themselves captains. They never took their cell phones away from their ears the whole time. Returned to the ship and took advantage of the pool for the duration of the day. Friends of mine took advantage of shopping in town. They really enjoyed their day. Goes to show you about reviews, I say it stunk... they say it's great, who's right? Depends! Did a relaxing day at sea and explored the ship the next day. Then came my favorite port of all. St. Maarten! This place is paradise. Friendly natives, great scenery, and the place is very clean. If you smoke buy your cartons on this island. $12 bucks a carton. I had booked an excursion on my own again and I hit the jackpot. This trip was booked through shoretrips.com and is listed as "pirate ship adventure." If anyone can't enjoy this adventure, they should just stop breathing. Don't know where to start or end to describe this trip but none of our group wanted to end it and return to the Adventure of the Seas. We will recommend this excursion to everyone. It's inexpensive and breath taking. In fact my future wife and I are strongly considering having our wedding aboard in the near future. St. Thomas was very nice. We ventured to Megan's Bay in the morning to beach it for a while then took the sky ride to look over the port in the afternoon before finishing the day with a little shopping. Always ride cabs that are approved by the cruise line only. I made a mistake and accepted a ride from a cabbie from hell. Way to stressful. A request to talk to police really resolved this guys quest to extort large sums of cash from me for a short ride. In a nutshell, Adventure and its staff was truly remarkable. There's always someone who just has to complain about just about everything. Remember this..... Your vacation is what you make of it. It's not about some meat head telling you to not to sail on this ship because he purposely put a small smudge on the corner of the bathroom mirror on the first night and checked on its existence every half hour for the duration of his cruise and the lazy attendant never cleaned it off. {I read that in a review. That guy should stop berating} Take Adventure of the Seas for a spin. you'll be glad you did. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
We are just off AOS sailing 3/26-4/2. First, let me say that some of the reviews that discussed the large influx of cruisers from Puerto Rico and mentioned rudeness and pushing, shoving, etc. were only partially correct. Yes, a large ... Read More
We are just off AOS sailing 3/26-4/2. First, let me say that some of the reviews that discussed the large influx of cruisers from Puerto Rico and mentioned rudeness and pushing, shoving, etc. were only partially correct. Yes, a large number of Puerto Rican cruisers. They were anything but rude...very polite. Yes, there were a large number of children on board, yes we did hear a lot running in the halls, but during the day hardly saw them and most were very well behaved when we did see them. We are 53 and 47 and cruising with 18 other acquaintances from Minnesota (we are from Oklahoma). Embarkation - We flew in the day of the cruise arriving at 4:30 pm to an absolute MAD HOUSE at the airport. Very crowded. They will check your luggage claim checks so have them ready. Cab to the ship took 10 minutes and was $23.50 for 2 of us. Fare is base cost, plus a charge for each bag you have. We arrived at the terminal, dropped off our luggage (staff very accommodating), checked in with Royal and it took 3 minutes. Then we made a purchase in the liquor store in the terminal and were allowed to take that aboard in our carry on. Liquor prices are VERY low. It is a long walk up the gangway to get on the ship. All in all this process was very easy. The Ship - The ship is absolutely stunning when you see it ...very huge. And it is very clean and well kept inside. Very elegant...exactly what you see in the pictures. The downside was the continual motion and rocking and rolling of this large ship...the entire cruise. As one of my cruise mates said who I have cruised with 3 other times, we had more motion on this ship in the first hour than all of the other 3 cruises we took. There were 3500 passengers and 1100 crew members. Our Cabin - Our cabin was 8301, an inside room overlooking the Promenade. Never heard any noise from the Promenade in the room. The cabin was standard size (small) but we were able to unpack and store everything in good order. The built in and the other sofa were very hard to sit on (There are 2). The bathroom was small, but very functional. Always had hot water, no sewage smells. We did have strange noises in the pipes, etc in our room several nights -- not sure if this was due to all the rocking motion. The Staff - The absolute most friendly, serviceable crew and staff that I have ever cruised with. Always a "can do" attitude. Special mention to Unit (from Turkey) and Richard (Jamaica) our waiter and assistant waiters. They were very professional and very, very good. Our head waiter was from Romania (Transylvania) and entertained us with a good historical epic about Dracula and other myths from his homeland. In the bars the award for best bartender goes to Anthony (from Jamaica) who tended bar in the Duck and Dog (in the Promenade). He was a very nice, friendly gentleman who made excellent frozen drinks. Others who stood out Syndy (Trinidad), Shellyann (Trinidad) and 'Vincent' (St. Vincent). Our maid was Celia and was hardly ever seen, but did just an excellent job. She would be in our room at least 3 times a day to straighten up. The Food - Very excellent in the Windjammer and Island Grill. The Windjammer buffets featured, on different days, carved turkey, pork, lamb, beef, and ham and a variety of other dishes. There was always a pasta bar. And the desserts were plentiful and excellent. The Island Grill was hamburgers and hot dogs. The hamburgers were hand made patties and excellent. In the dining room we had breakfast only once, no lunches and dinner every night. Excellent entree selections included the prime rib, the lamb shank, lobsters (I had 4), bbq Thai chicken, roast filet of beef. The steaks were not good. The last night they had NY strip steak on the menu and it was terrible...thin, leathery. RCC should be embarrassed for having this one on the menu. Appetizers that stood out were the roasted pumpkin and apple soup, shrimp cocktails, the pear soup, the cream of asparagus soup and the sun dried pineapple. The desserts in the dining room were not as good as the Windjammer. We did not do Portofinos or Johnny Rockets. Ports of Call - Aruba - dirty, disappointing. Did the obligatory Carlos and Charlie's and it was a dump. Went to the casino (climbed a mountain of steps to get in) and it too was dumpy. The island is arid and lacks any real character. Curacao - much nicer island with some nice sites. Much cleaner than Aruba. St. Maarten - went to Orient Beach where it rained on and off (stayed clear back at the ship). Saw a number of topless female swimmers and sunbathers on the regular beach. Very poor living conditions on a good part of the island, but it is very clean downtown and there appeared to be a major renovation of the streets going on. St. Thomas - did a tour - $25/person that we arranged ourselves off the ship. We had a Palestinian driver named Road who has lived in St. Thomas for the past 11 years and he did an excellent job. We ended up on top of a mountain overlooking Magen's Bay at a Banana Daiquiri bar (world famous for their banana daiquiris. They were excellent. The weather - The weather, with the exception of some rain in St. Maarten's was excellent all week long. It was very, very windy at Aruba and Curacao...so windy that you couldn't really stand to be on deck by the pools or tubs. The wind may have contributed to some ocean chop that helped with the ship movement. Entertainment - The ice show "Cool Art and Hot Ice" was excellent. It featured an international cast of U.S., Canadian, Russian, etc skaters. Some of the skater were very athletic. The show is done on a rink about 1/4 the size of a regular rink and remember the ship is also moving during the show. A lot of double and triple axles. There were some spills. One of the Canadian skaters, "Max", was doing complete somersaults and making them every time. The Love and Marriage show was excellent, very funny and entertaining. However, it was a little overkill to keep replaying it all week on the ship's television channel. The Farewell Show was good and well coordinated...comedian Mike Wilson was very good with a large repertoire of imitations ....He did a great Don Knotts. The juggler was not real impressive...seen it a lot. Missed the comedian on the first night and didn't really hear too much about him. The Captain - Very regal, good sense of humor. He mixed well with the guests although I didn't ever see him in the dining room for dinner, only to speak. He is the same captain that the Travel Channel featured on their hour long feature on Adventure of the Seas that aired 2 weeks ago. The pool - Very crowded on 'at sea' days and no one around when the ship was in port. So, if you were able to do your touring in the morning on the islands you could come back and enjoy the pools and hot tubs with hardly any one around in the early afternoons. Internet access - Was available and there were always computers available when I wanted one. Costs was .50/minute or $25 for 60 minute blocks. Favorite frozen drink - The BBC. A mix of pina colada with banana and Baileys. Anthony made great ones. Disembarkation - Went fairly smoothly. You are called according to group numbers (based on when your flight out is) and you depart on deck 4. However, there was a mass of people in each group and there was a lot of jostling going off the ship and a long line. Once in the terminal grab a porter and go to your luggage area, pick up your bags, your porter will cart them and guide you out through customs and take you right to a cab. These guys are good and will make sure you are taken care of. Tip about a dollar a bag. Overall - It was a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise. I've given you the ups and downs (especially with the rocking ship). We would definitely cruise again with RCC however maybe not on as large a ship. And, I would not go out of San Juan again. This is my second time out there and it has gotten very expensive to fly there and the airport has gotten extremely large and crowded. I like going out of Ft. Lauderdale the best. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
First let me clarify, this was neither my first cruise nor my first cruise with RC. I have become and will remain a loyal RC cruiser and as such, my critique may be slightly skewed. My cruise started on 5 March out of San Juan, PR. I ... Read More
First let me clarify, this was neither my first cruise nor my first cruise with RC. I have become and will remain a loyal RC cruiser and as such, my critique may be slightly skewed. My cruise started on 5 March out of San Juan, PR. I arrived a day early to enjoy the city and get a tour of the Bacardi Factory. For those of you who have not been through the tour, I highly recommend it. Its a $1.50 ferry ride from Old town and free admission. Add to that two strong drinks for free and you have a very good trip in my mind. So back to the cruise. My party arrived at 3pm to board the cruise. The best way to describe this was disorganized efficiency. Although there were no lines and few people to direct people, the simple fact that I already completed my sail away pass allowed for one signature and then boarding. Quick and to the point. Once on the ship, I can only describe the accommodations as superb. This was my first cruise with a balcony, and although I did not use it often, the few times I did use it were really nice. The room was spacious with lots of room and storage. My bags arrived within 40 minutes and allowed me to unpack and clean up before heading off to arrange for a massage later in the trip. Before my bags arrived, I toured the ship with my party. The promenade was amazing&a mini main street right in the middle of the ship. I really liked the stores and the cafe feel of the little restraints and bars. The Viking lounge or whatever they call it on this ship was very cool with phenomenal views. The gym facility and spa were fantastic. Restaurants and bars are all pleasing and quaint feeling. The main dining room was tremendous with superior food and service. The bartenders in the Schooner Bar and Champagne Bar were excellent. My preference was the Schooner Bar where my good friend Barry from Boston played an amazing piano set most every night. Again having a good entertainer in a quiet tucked away bar is always nice. If you do not see the ice show you are making a mistake. Although you have to get tickets, they are free. The ability of these skaters was great. The simple fact that they could avoid each other on the small patch of ice would have been a show in itself, but they did a great job with choreography and lighting as well. I attended on comic show on board and thanks to the audience, he had plenty of material. Very funny and a great way to start the evening. The port calls were great. In Aruba, we took a jeep tour of the island. Very neat getting to see beyond the glitz surrounding the beaches. In Curacao, I did some shopping and hung out at a very nice resort that is literally right under your nose in town but hidden from everything. In St. Maarten, DO the Americas Cup sailing race. They let you participate at your level of interest, are fun to be around, and make the racing exciting. My only regret was only one race. I then did some shopping downtown. If you are looking to purchase liqueur I recommend doing it in this port. Great prices and superior selection. In St/ Thomas, I spent the day with friends ate at a quiet place called Cuzzins, and then some shopping. Stay away from the mall on the pier everything was significantly more expensive than downtown. We also ate at Portifino. Although there is a service charge of $20, if you do not go there, you missed out. Make reservations before you get to the ship or as soon as you get onboard. Finally, debarkation. Although it was very efficient, I wish they would have played more than 10 minutes of the building of the Voyager movie. Again it was very efficient. The cab back to the airport was expensive $24 considering that it only cost $16 to get to the ship. I would highly recommend staying the day in San Juan and flying out the next day as the airport is PACKED with people on Sunday. The only negative thing I will say about the entire cruise was my cabin steward. He was not very good at all. But with that small exception, the cruise was a huge success. In fact so successful, I have already booked my next cruise with RC. Happy Cruising Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
This was our 7th cruise...our 5th with RCL and our group of 18 felt it was the best one yet. We arrived in San Juan the day before, having booked our flight and hotel separately. This is the first time we haven't booked air travel ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise...our 5th with RCL and our group of 18 felt it was the best one yet. We arrived in San Juan the day before, having booked our flight and hotel separately. This is the first time we haven't booked air travel with RCL and we were pleasantly surprised on how much we enjoyed it. The hotel, Best Western, was okay, but the next time we'll probably look for something in a nicer part of San Juan. We arranged for a tour of the Bacardi factory before boarding ship and would recommend this highly. With free drinks, we arrived at the ship in a great mood. Boarding was very easy with our sea passes and we were in our rooms within an hour. I can say without a doubt this is the most beautiful ship I've ever been on. The promenade was in the center of the ship and everything kind of fed off of that area. Adventure is a huge ship but, unlike experiences on Celebrity and Holland America, it was very easy to find our way around. Didn't get lost once - which says a lot for me. We had balcony cabins on deck 9 and never again will we be happy with an inside cabin. We enjoyed the openness, the fresh air and the view. The cabin was very nice, plenty of room to spare and nicely decorated. We enjoyed room service coffee every morning and often sat outside long into the night. Beautiful! Our cabin attendant Jennifer was fantastic!! Can't say enough about the professionalism of this lady. She kept discreetly available, magically appearing if we needed anything....even managed to keep a group of rambunctious kids across the hall firmly but gently in line. Our waiters Cyrus and Lui were top flight and we were especially impressed with Yolanda, the head waiter. She was even seen lending a hand to the waiters when things got hectic. Promote this woman as soon as possible...she's a gem! I must add here that I felt the service on this ship was more on par with past RCL cruises. Our last one 2 years ago left a little to be desired, but we have nothing but praise for everyone we came in contact with. Food in the dining room was great; a large selection and beautifully prepared. Of course Portofinos was a step above, although we were actually falling asleep before desert was served. Must remember to book this venue earlier next time. Didn't have a chance to get to Johnny Rockets but others in our group did and enjoyed it. The food at the Island Cafe was good and the service there was great with plenty of pleasant and attentive wait staff! Part of the reason this cruise was so wonderful was due in a large part to the cruise director. This man was unbelievable - appearing everywhere and bringing humor and enthusiasm to all activities. Most impressive was his ability to laugh at himself and bring out the best in people. It was just impossible to take in everything that was offered on this ship. Thanks Rick for a great time. The ports as follows: Aruba - Enjoyed the stop there very much. We shopped and took in Carlos and Charlies for lunch. Since we were a large group, we were easy targets for the antics of the staff there and the results were hilarious. Don't miss this place. We also took a sunset catamaran cruise and it turned out to be one of the highpoints of the trip. They served real drinks - not the requisite awful rum punch - and sunset was beautiful. We were also entertained by people "mooning" us from the beach. It was a blast. Curacao turned out to be a pleasant surprise - a truly pretty little island. We enjoyed walking around and shopping here..no excursions. Days at sea (2) were pleasant and relaxing and we had no problems finding deck chairs. Bingo Allie kept us entertained and the belly flop contest is not to be missed. St. Maarten was great for shopping- better than St. Thomas I think. The dock area is being rebuilt and they're doing a wonderful job. I'd love to go back and spend a week there someday. St. Thomas - We booked a St. John island tour and recommend this to anyone who wants to enjoy just gazing at the beauty of undeveloped national park land. The pictures we got there were unbelievable. This island is not to be missed. You can only get there by ferry and the ride over is part of the experience. Getting off the ship was much easier than expected. If you fly with American Airlines, for $10 a person they will pick your bags up at the terminal and bring them directly to the airport for you. Well worth it in our opinion. Based on past experience, we were expecting an unpleasant experience at the airport, but this was not the case. They've improved security, and there are plenty of places now to find something to eat. All in all, we had a wonderful vacation and haven't come back to earth yet. We'll be booking with RCL next year! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
This was our 15th cruise on RCCl; beginning in '81 on the Sun Viking. As the ships have grown, we have tried out each new class. Initially, I was apprehensive about the Adventure because she is so large. I must say, that while I ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise on RCCl; beginning in '81 on the Sun Viking. As the ships have grown, we have tried out each new class. Initially, I was apprehensive about the Adventure because she is so large. I must say, that while I enjoyed the Brilliance most recently, the Adventure is an awesome vessel. Embarkation: We arrived in San Juan around 3:00 p.m. The retrieval of luggage is a little awkward. After getting all our checked luggage, we were told by an RCCl rep to bring it to an area by the carousels where they were and it would be taken to the trucks. Actually, one should find a porter and escort your luggage to the truck; don't leave it in the terminal as they stated. It won't get delivered to the truck! After getting your luggage onto the truck, you will be directed to a van or bus for the 20 minute ride to the terminal. At the terminal, check in was quick and easy. The walk to the ship is up an escalator and a few ramps; not to bad if you aren't carrying too much weight in your carry-on! As an aside, if you would like to purchase a bottle of liquor or wine to drink on the ship, there is a liquor store in the terminal. It is immediately to your left after you go through security. You can disembark and go back through security to the store. Take a small(or large) carry-on to hold the purchase. We noted that a lot of passengers were purchasing liquor, wine and soft drinks. They were not stopped as they reboarded the ship. The Ship: Beautiful and HUGE! The Centrum is inspiring. It looks more like the entrance to an upscale Vegas hotel/mall. It is easy to navigate; just a lot of places to try and explore in a week. The Cabin: Typical RCCL cabin; nice subtle colors, well laid out. Plenty of storage. The sliding door to the balcony is better than the hinged ones on other ships (Carnival). The balconies offer more privacy than those with a glass divider. Another great improvement: The clamshell doors to the shower are a vast improvement over curtains! The Pool Deck: Beautiful deck with the bridge between the pools. Very aesthetic layout. The solarium pool area is nice; however, I like the retractable canopies of the Vision and Radiance Class vessels better. This allows one a more controlled environment for relaxation without being in the direct heat of the sun. Sports Activities: So many activities, so little time: Basketball, miniature golf, in-line skating, ice skating, wall climbing..... All were in full swing during sea days! Public Areas: Again, so many places, so little time. The shops were on the Promenade; forward of the dining room and aft of the Imperial Lounge; along with a few bars, restaurants, and the slightly hidden Connoisseur Club for cigar smokers. All the areas were well maintained and easily accessed. A special treat for divers is the addition of a dive shop on the pool deck; with supplies to rent or buy at dive shop prices. By all means, attend the ice show. I was not prepared for the quality of this show. It was very well done and exceeded anything I would have expected on a ship! Dining Rooms & Windjammer: Absolutely stunning dining rooms! The balconies and the chandelier make the room look like a Victorian estate. The Windjammer and Island Grille are also pretty and well laid out. The food islands on the Radiance Class seem to create less waiting time to serve yourself; but the lines moved quickly. For the view, the Island Grille offers a great panoramic view from the aft of the ship. The Food: While not quite gourmet, it was well prepared with a nice presentation and variety. All the meals were well received at our table of eight; with no complaints. The food in the Windjammer was also quite good and varied. Food for the Grand midnight buffet was stunning! The presentation was extraordinary! Johnny Rockets was the same as on land; with the exception of the wonderful view of the ocean. The Service: Cabin service was quite good and the attendants were cheerful and available. The dining room staff was also very attentive and animated. Service in the Windjammer was above the usual; with assistance with drink refills. Tables were cleared quickly. Cruise Staff: The CD was very personable; none of the "I'm the very important CD". The ship's staff were helpful and friendly. The ports: Aruba was a change from the lush, tropical islands; very dry and rocky. We rented a Jeep and drove the island. It was enjoyable to see each of the coasts and spend time at Baby Beach just relaxing. In Curacao, we dove the reef and shopped. This is a very colorful and friendly island. In St Maarten, we again rented a Jeep and drove the coast. A visit to Orient Beach is a must. It is one of the most beautiful beaches we have seen. From there we drove to Dawn Beach for lunch; then back into Phillipsburg for a few hours of shopping. In St. Thomas, we shopped the morning and returned to the ship to relax on deck. If you have not been to St. Thomas before, be sure to go to St. Johns for the view at Trunk Bay. The boat ride over is also stunning. Debarkation: Very easy and fairly quick. We were off the ship and sadly back to the airport by 10:00 a.m. Summary: To find fault with the ship, one would have to be in the mindset to be extremely picky. She is beautiful, well crewed and staffed. The itinerary is a nice variation of ports. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
I organized a group of 16 friends on the Adventure of the Seas due to the great deal in price, the attractive itinerary and my fond memories of the RCI, Monarch of the Seas cruise I took in 1995. The great food, fun times and amazing ... Read More
I organized a group of 16 friends on the Adventure of the Seas due to the great deal in price, the attractive itinerary and my fond memories of the RCI, Monarch of the Seas cruise I took in 1995. The great food, fun times and amazing service always kept a special place in my heart. I have to start by saying this was my tenth cruise, this being my second on a RCI ship with the remaining being Carnival cruises. We purchased transfers thru Royal Caribbean, but would probably recommend taking a taxi to the pier since it is close to the airport and the wait would be less than waiting for a pre-arranged bus. Embarkation was a breeze, probably because we arrived at the terminal 4 pm and the lines were nonexistent. Upon entry, we were all amazed at how beautiful she was. The ship is immaculate, huge and beautiful. Most in the group were first time cruisers and were in awe. The itinerary was great. The islands visited were beautiful and the only excursion booked thru RCI was the Dolphin swim in Curacao. If anyone is contemplating a Dolphin swim, this is the best swim I have experienced. As for the other islands, being such a large group, we basically went to the Beach on our own, which proved to be cheaper and allowed us to stay as long as we wanted. We hired taxis and all our driver's returned at the time we asked them. The casino was big. Plenty of winners on board (and losers). The only drawback was that the Black Jack Tournament entailed buying an entry into the game. Upon purchasing a seat, you waited on line until it was your turn, with the wait being a little long. On Carnival you buy a time slot so you can return to the pool or any other activity since you know exactly what time you would play. Not all shows were appealing. The Adventure Quest game show which was raved as a funny must attend show was a good highlight. Some in the group took in the Ice Show and loved it. The dining room service was the best out of all my cruises. Anca and Franciso were phenomenal. They remembered everyone's names and likes so by the time we sat for dinner we had the breads we favored ready and the wine lists in front of those who drank wine. The only drawback was that the food was not the best. The appetizers were good, but the entrees and desserts did not meet expectations. However, the service more than made up for it. The rooms were smaller than Carnival's yet were very clean and the cabin steward was great. For wine drinkers, definitely purchase the wine and dine package. It is worthwhile. The only disadvantage to this was that some of the favorite wines were sold out by the first or second night. Disembarkation took a little longer. We vacated the room by 0800 hrs and disembarked by 1045 hrs. Overall, the group had a phenomenal time. They are pestering me into booking the next cruise... Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
Background: This was our ninth RCCL cruise and we traveled with friends of ours. PreCruise: We flew into San Juan a day early. We had to wait over an hour for our transportation to our hotel and the RCCL airport staff couldn't tell us ... Read More
Background: This was our ninth RCCL cruise and we traveled with friends of ours. PreCruise: We flew into San Juan a day early. We had to wait over an hour for our transportation to our hotel and the RCCL airport staff couldn't tell us why it was taking so long. When we boarded the bus, the passengers told us that they had to sit on the bus for an hour without anyone telling them why. We stayed at the Hyatt Dorado Beach which was overrated. The lights outside our room were in need of repair. We paid a fee for bicycle rental, etc., which was not told to us on check-in therefore we did not use these extras because we didn't know we were entitled to them until we checked out. At breakfast, there were birds drinking out of the creamers and flying around the dining room. RCCL should look into this recommended hotel and check it for problems. Embarkation: We prefilled our information on line and had our SeaPass Boarding Pass which speeded our check in time to about 10 minutes. Dining: Upon entry to the ship we immediately checked our table and found it to be excellent. It was on the main floor, table 338. Our waiter was Cyrus and assistant was Michelle. They were superb and made our dining experience excellent. The meals were delivered hot and quickly. Our head waiter was new to Adventure, first sailing, but he handled all of our requests without any delay and made our dining experience great! Entertainment: The ice show was the best we've ever had on a ship. I have to say that the Cruise Director, Richard Spacey, made it one of the most enjoyable cruises we've ever been on. His energy and sense of humor should be what every cruise director models themselves after. His adlibbing for the Marriage Game and Adventure Quest was remarkable. Cabin: Our Steward was Mario and he made sure that everything was perfect in our cabin. He seemed to be in the hallway every time we opened our door. Service: Excellent except the baggage problem identified in the excursion section. Fitness: Very good. Shore Excursions: Here's our problem area - we had a 6:27 p.m. flight out of San Juan, so we decided to sign up for the SJD - City Tour & Bacardi Rum Distillery, which is listed for approximately 4 hours. Prior to the tour we gathered our three pieces of luggage and walked with the porter to a truck and watched him place the three pieces on the truck and were told that they would be at the airport after the "4" hour tour. The bus driver had a heavy accent and was very difficult to understand so we didn't learn much about San Juan. The tour of Bacardi was good and we arrived at the airport after only three hours. When we did arrive, one of our pieces of luggage was not there and after many "rude" conversations with the RCCL representative at the airport, we were informed that we had to go back to the ship terminal by our own expense, $50, to retrieve the luggage. Our friends who traveled with us witnessed our three pieces get loaded on the truck, so we have no idea why it was returned. Value: The precruise hotel was overrated and expensive. The shore excursion was definitely shorter than listed. Family & Children: N/A. Summary: Everything would have been super except for ending the cruise with the lost luggage and poor excursion. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
My family and I left San Juan on April 23rd for a seven day cruise on Adventure of the Seas. This was our second cruise and our first as well as last with Royal Caribbean. As far as the ship itself, it had a very good floor plan, it was ... Read More
My family and I left San Juan on April 23rd for a seven day cruise on Adventure of the Seas. This was our second cruise and our first as well as last with Royal Caribbean. As far as the ship itself, it had a very good floor plan, it was easy to navigate around and find people. The Cafe Promenade was great late night food but lacked ample seating for a ship of this size. The other amenities on the ship were top rate, the fitness center, spa, lounges, casino and shows were all wonderful. The major issue we had was the terrible service at every level. On the first two days we left our cabin in the morning to go ashore for excursions. On both days we returned to the ship about an hour and a half before dinner to find our stateroom had not been cleaned. When I called housekeeping I was informed he would not be able to do this prior to six Oclock that evening. On the third day we returned to find that our room had been cleaned but we had not been provided clean towels or any towels at all. On the fourth day the stateroom attendant knocked on our door at 7:30 AM wanting to come in and clean the room, maybe he felt guilty but I had no early excursions planned and did not appreciate the early wake up. In addition I had placed the Do Not Disturb card in the door the night before. There were limited deck side bars and the bar tenders were rookies at best. They were unable to keep up with the volume of a three thousand passenger cruise ship, they made terrible drinks, they were rude when asked to correct the mistakes they made and overall I felt they were somewhat lazy. The food on the ship was great, there is nothing bad I can say about the quality of the food at any of our meals. The service in the main dining hall however was as bad if not worse than the service provided by our stateroom attendant. We had purchased the wine package and had to remind our waiter each night. Those at the table not drinking wine were usually only given one opportunity to order other drinks from the beverage waiter as we did not see him for the remainder of the meal. Our waiter constantly brought the wrong order, and twice forgot to bring any order at all. At the end of the evening I had to search the dinning room for our waiter has he had failed to return our Sea Pass card. The final straw came on our last day in Barbados, a beautiful island that I have heard has a wonderful downtown. Unfortunately the day Adventure of the Seas was docked there it was a national holiday and all shops in Bridgetown were closed. The ship made no mention of this, so if you had not booked an excursion because you were planning to walk around the downtown area then you were out of luck both on shore and on the ship as most excursions were full. The staff of the ship should have none of this holiday and made the passengers aware of this so they could plan accordingly. Overall, the ports we visited are all worth a return visit, just not on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
Well, our cruise can be summed up in many words, but some of the best to describe it were, fun-filled, exciting, and an "adventure". The people were very nice and helpful. We left from San Juan, Puerto Rico on Royal Caribbeans ... Read More
Well, our cruise can be summed up in many words, but some of the best to describe it were, fun-filled, exciting, and an "adventure". The people were very nice and helpful. We left from San Juan, Puerto Rico on Royal Caribbeans Adventure of The Seas, and embarked on our journey to St. Thomas, St, Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. We went with a large group of friends which we definitely recommend. We had 3 children with us who completely adored this trip. (The only thing we found to be a little disappointing was our seventeen yr old, and 2 sixteen yr olds found the Teen Club not to be what they expected. However, the night when families were allowed in the night club, Dancing through the Decades, and all the other activities completely made up for it.) We also found this cruise to be very safe, and noticed more security and control on the ship. Each day was completely packed with activities, so much that some days our kids didnt even want to get off to explore the ports. They even told us that the day at sea was their favorite and we believe it because we hardly saw them that day except for at dinner and all they could talk about were their activities of the day. From amazing shows after dinner, Name that Tune in the Schooner Bar, cocktails in the Viking Crown Lounge to the Belly Flop Competition, our days were filled and fun. The atmosphere was really great too. Every night on the decks there were countless parties with island music that really put everyone in the island spirit. Our two girls also grew quite hooked on our cruise director. He was so funny and outgoing. He was the best cruise director we have ever had and we've been on 11 cruises. His name is Richard Spacey. With his quick English wit, and great comedic timing, he set the perfect mood for each and every event. The girls were absolutely smitten by the end of our cruise. He seemed like a nice guy and his care for his job, really showed through. Time without the kids was nice for us, too. The Solarium was very relaxing, and a great place to just to kick back and talk with one another. At night the Casino Royale was hopping! We had so much fun and won some money! Our husbands played roulette, while the ladies stuck to the slots. It was a wonderful time. Jesters nightclub was packed too. We found it more geared for a slightly younger crowd (our seventeen year old was dying to get in), but still we had a good time dancing. Each night after our dinner, we would go to see a show. Although all of the shows were enjoyable, our families found the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers to be like Broadway performers, just like they said. Their shows seemed like a lot had been put into them and they appealed to everyone. Though, we didnt fancy the comedians, such as El Gaucho, as much. But still, the entertainment was phenomenal. The Royal Promenade was like nothing else. It looked like you were walking down a real street. It had perfect little boutiques, a few bars to lounge at (and enjoy a night cap), and the Cafe Promenade that offers food and beverages 24 hrs. It was a great amenity to the ship. Our families also took advantage of the numerous opportunities to have professional photos taken. On formal nights, and just for fun, you could take pictures, and buy just the ones you liked. We bought many and are really happy about the memories they hold. It was an amazing week and a great spring break for our kids. We can NOT wait to get back on another cruise. Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line we will ever cruise with. They provided us with the most excellent services, and have made our cruise another wonderful vacation. There are hopefully, many, many more to come for us. Enjoy your Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
This was my 9th cruise. I have been on Carnival, Celebrity, Disney and Royal Caribbean. In my opinion Disney is still the best but this particular RC ship was phenomenal! The layout of the ship was very well planned out. There was always ... Read More
This was my 9th cruise. I have been on Carnival, Celebrity, Disney and Royal Caribbean. In my opinion Disney is still the best but this particular RC ship was phenomenal! The layout of the ship was very well planned out. There was always an elevator when you got there, you could always get into a hot tub at the pool. I have been on cruises where I did not get a chance in the hot tub all week. The activities were great on this large ship (rock wall, full b-ball court, putt putt) The excursions were well run. We went horseback riding in Aruba. RC used a very good company there. We also did the Dolphin Encounter in St. Maarten. It was a little pricey but still cheaper than doing it in Orlando. We also went to a beach in Curacao that did not have wall to wall people. Things to stay away from- In St. Thomas do not ever go to Magen's Bay if there is another ship in port. You will end up sitting at a picnic table without a beach chair. The natives in St. Thomas were not as friendly as times I have been there in the past either. The Ice Show on the ship was great. Overall, the food is not as good as Disney or Celebrity, but the ship itself was great. A few things I did not like: waiter kept steering the kids toward the kid menu, hey I paid full price and if they want to eat from the regular menu it should be offered. Did not like that you have to keep replacing the beach towels in your room all week. I would rather just grab one at the pool!! All in all a new favorite and will cruise this class of ship again. Great for older kids and teens. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
Embarkation: What a breeze! Took the RCI transfers and were escorted by the staff directly to the bus which took us to the pier. Our luggage was taken away in a separate truck. After about 30 minutes and 20 speed bumps later, we reached ... Read More
Embarkation: What a breeze! Took the RCI transfers and were escorted by the staff directly to the bus which took us to the pier. Our luggage was taken away in a separate truck. After about 30 minutes and 20 speed bumps later, we reached our massive ship. Since we had already done our SetSail Passes online, we simply had to fill out a tiny piece of paper, get our identification verified, swipe our credit cards, and get onboard. All very simple! We immediately went to go toward our stateroom. From the moment we stepped on the ship until we reached our room, we were welcomed by several staff members. It was a very warm and toasty feeling. Since we had an afternoon flight and arrived around 3pm, our room was all ready for us. Cabin 8451. It was small, but quite smartly designed for an inside cabin. Lots of nooks and crannies for storage. We did have an in room combination safe located in a cabinet above the television. Our room consisted of a queen bed, a small 2-person loveseat, a closet, an oval glass table, two small night stands, and a desk with 9 drawers. Above the desk there is a large vanity mirror which has two more storage places for small items on both sides of the mirror. Our carpet had quite a bit of stains on it. Overall, our room was quite clean and kept that way the entire time by our friendly stateroom attendant Jermaine. We began exploring the rest of the ship. Wow! It was huge, but so well laid out. We really had it about conquered on the first night. We grabbed something to eat in the Windjammer. I must say the food was a bit cold. I also found the selection of desserts to not be as fancy as they were in Carnivals informal dining area. But that was the only time the food was cold in Windjammer. The rest of the time, it was just fine. RCI could stand to bump up their dessert presentations. Thats the only thing I found that I actually liked better on the other cruise line. We did our muster drill and got stuck with people who were not appreciative at all of the whole ordeal. One couple even insisted that they had cruised Carnival before and they never made them do such a thing. Sure they didnt. It took about 20 minutes or so, and I was quite glad to be away from the two complaining couples of strangers when it was done. There were lots of people from Puerto Rico on the ship, therefore, all announcements were in English as well as Spanish. No one was rude or out of control that we noticed. I know some other people had some concerns about this on their cruises, but everything was hunky dory on ours. We chose to eat at Portofinos this night. The food was excellent. I had a mushroom pasta dish and DH had the seafood plate. The cruise director Richard Spacey and his staff were all dining in there as well. It was someones birthday among them. They got most of the attentive service. I was feeling exhausted and queasy, so I ate my flourless chocolate cake in the room. It was okay. Im sure the chocoholics would LOVE it. I am odd. Being that we were married on Saturday, and had spent all day flying on Sunday, we were ready for bed early. Therefore, we didnt see the parade. I also didnt feel like being in a big crowd. Day 2: St. Thomas Wow! Ladies, if youre looking for pink sapphires, get them here! I didnt find a better selection on any of the other islands that we were on. My ring is still in St. Thomas because I was hoping to find a better deal in St. Maarten. L I never saw one like it again. There is a really neat store there for your pampered pooches. There are two adorable bulldogs in the store. I remember one is named Monte. If you buy something there, you get a postcard with him on it. I got my dogs each a his and hers sailor outfit that said St. Thomas USVI on them and some really stylish sunglasses. Hey, my dogs are my kids. This was by far my favorite island. We bought a little bit of liquor here, and Im sure I bought perfume, as I bought some on every island. I also bought a Coach purse at a little flea market area we came across. J I will point out that the rudest people of the entire trip were on this island. They were the Americans trying to get you to go to Blackbeards castle. If you ignored them or politely declined them, they could say some pretty nasty things. We looked at the shops onboard that night. There was a liquor/tobacco store, a perfume store, a jewelry store, a Royal Caribbean logo store, and fashion boutique. Very cool to be shopping on a mall in the middle of the sea. We attended the Captains welcome party. They had free champagne. It was brut, therefore, it was not to my liking. But DH was all for it, so he ended up enjoying mine as well. We went to the variety show that evening as well. They had a comedian named Keith Monteith who was just okay in my opinion. It seemed like he was trying too hard. After that, they had a father and son acrobatic team that were AMAZING! After the father and son got done doing their act, the mother of the boy did quite a show with hula hoops. I sure do wish I could move like she did! I believe its listed in the compass as Sliven. So, if you get a chance to see them, they are really great! This was also the day of our Meet & Mingle. It was formal dinner night, and we had first seating. Our M&M was scheduled at 5pm. Not the best choice of times IMO. There were only about 10 people who showed up, I suspect due to the timing. But it was nice. There were little munchies for us, and we got to meet the hotel director and a few other big wigs on the ship. Day 3: St. Maarten Liquor! Get your liquor! Yes, everywhere you went, you could find unbelievable deals on liquor!! At one store, we even found Dom in the $80 range! There is a place called the Guavaberry Emporium. I am a weenie and cant stand straight hard liquor, but their guavaberry coladas were YUMMY! You got a nice plastic souvenir glass filled with this delicious concoction for $5. We met and got to shake the hand of that Yoda guy at his store there. Nick Maley, the creator of Yoda, has his own art store there. There were some really nice things in there if you like artwork. We searched in vain for my ring and Im sure I also bought perfume here. In order to get to all of the nice shopping here, you took a water taxi. An all day stylish hot pink wristband cost just $5 per day per person. It was an efficient way to travel. I believe we ate at Johnny Rockets this afternoon. We used our C&A coupons, so there was no cover charge, otherwise it would have been $3.95 per person. They serve you onion rings and French fries complete with this quite tasty ranch dipping sauce. The burgers were quite substantial. They filled both of us right up. DH had a chocolate coke which he loved and I had a strawberry shake which was a nice treat. Both cost around $3. We attended the ice show this evening. DH had to wait about 30 minutes in line the day before in order to secure tickets for this event. It was spectacular! They can really do some amazing stuff on that little rink. If you get a chance to see this, do it. We ended up getting front row seats because we were in line to get in early and it felt like they were going to run into us at times. So neat to be that close to the action. We also attended the love and marriage game show. We thought about auditioning until we saw we would have to dance and sing in front of everyone. Im not that brave. Oooeee baby, oooeee baby, we didnt get to play! LOL The longest married guy thought his wifes bra size was 25B!!! It was a blast, and we kept running into all of the contestants all the time throughout the rest of the cruise it seemed. Richard Spacey was our Cruise Director. He was a scream! Day 4: Antigua If youre looking to shop on a beautiful tropical island, STAY ON THE BOAT! I might be the only one who thought this island was small and very dirty. Everywhere you went, you got hassled to go on taxi rides with shady-looking drivers. There was very little shopping here, and I didnt feel safe at all. We stayed out on the island a maximum of 45 minutes before returning to the ship. We played bingo tonight. DH won when stinky bingo was played. It was a game for the unluckiest person to win, and he did! That was pretty funny. It was run by Ali, a member of the cruise directors staff. She was great. I believe she is now on the Jewel, but I could be wrong. The bingo was in English and Spanish. They made it lots of fun having both languages going on. Day 4: St. Lucia Pretty island. Nice shopping. We were brave and bought some banana ketchup. We have since tried that here at home, and well, if anyone wants an opened bottle of perishable banana ketchup mailed to them, let me know. Ick. We opted not to take the water taxi into town. They were tiny and didnt look as good as the ones in St. Maarten did. We walked. You go through some kinda scary areas while you area walking, but there were always tons of tourists around, so you never felt like you were alone. If you are in the market for conch shells or coconut bird feeders, this is your island! There was also a HUGE marketplace there. There were people selling fruits and veggies as well as crafts and paintings. A very neat thing to see. Very crowded. Day 6: Barbados Good Friday. I knew from reading up on things that we shouldnt expect too much to be going on during this religious holiday. The only shops that were open were the ones near the cruise terminal. All other shops downtown were closed and the taxi drivers wouldnt take anyone. We ended up going to the only beach that was open with a restaurant, Blue Monkey Beach. It was a $20 taxi ride each way. Kinda pricey, but the beach was beautiful! It was a bit crowded since everyone else apparently wanted to do the beach when they go on the island. The water was great once you got past a rocky slope at beginning of your descent. DH bruised one of his toes on this, and it also made it very hard to keep your footing when you got out of the water. I kept falling down and was soon laughing so hard about the whole predicament, that it took me a good 10 minutes to get out. We again played bingo tonight. I was chosen to be the bingo ambassador. That means that I had to go up on stage and check to make sure all of the balls were there in the game. After that, Ali had me dance and I earned the drink of the day in a souvenir glass, a T-shirt, and a key chain all for simply volunteering. We also played the Win-A-Cruise bingo, and unfortunately, we didnt win. I was only one number away though, so it became rather exciting there at the end. Tonight was also Quest. Lets just say for those of you who know, my DH was the one chosen to do his little dance wearing his cute little outfit. J It was hilarious!!!! Day 7: Sea Day We woke up and made our way to our spa appointment. We booked the couples rasul. Oh wow! You go into a steamy room with mud and your imagination. Its a must do for all of couples out there. So relaxing! We again played bingo. The couple next to us won the jackpot of over $7000! How lucky is that! At our dining room, the entire staff did a neat show with all of the flags from their countries. Our dining room waiter was Mina and her assistant was Bantu. I know I havent mentioned much about the dining room. It was a beautiful room and I never had complaints about the food or the service. My most memorable and tasty dish would have had to have been the apple and pumpkin soup served on the last night. I tried it just to try it, and it turned out to be quite tasty. We were exhausted by this time, and we took it easy exploring and were actually able to get a phone call into my parents while we were on the top of the ship. We have Verizon, and were roaming. I would guess the signal was coming from somewhere in the Virgin Islands. Pretty neat to be able to call from the sea though. Disembarkation: Yuck. It took FOREVER getting off the ship and getting through customs. We again took our RCI transfer bus. One thing that would have helped&AA has valet luggage service, and the people who booked the RCI transfers and the valet service had it very easy. They simply dropped their luggage off after going through customs, got on the bus with us, and got right on their planes. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our luggage. No big deal, but we would have rather not had to deal with the luggage at all by that time. Something else that I didnt mention. I get very motion sick. I took two Bonine about an hour before we sailed each night and I had no problems. I had the patches just in case, but I never had to use a one of them. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
You need to understand that Royal Caribbean has what they consider to be an efficient method of getting you on the ship safely; however when it comes to the day you leave your cruise, they have no concern for you. We were waiting for our ... Read More
You need to understand that Royal Caribbean has what they consider to be an efficient method of getting you on the ship safely; however when it comes to the day you leave your cruise, they have no concern for you. We were waiting for our group to be called over the speaker and decided to speak with a crew member. He said didnt you hear me calling your number? No because I am a little deaf. Then I heard the speaker announce our group number. He was really rude. Then the baggage was lined up by group number which was easy to spot as well as our missing bag. After spending an hour looking for the suitcase, we signed a form and moved out with the porter. The security guards are joking and not checking luggage tags to match up your cases to your name or ID. The attitude of the RC crew is cases get stolen. Oh well, we got you on safely, but you are not our problem now. This is the voice in the baggage claim area, in the office on the dock and the voice of the 800 number customer service. Yes, we found our luggage. A porter had put it on a tour van which went to the San Juan airport. The tour bus driver contacted us at our home phone and US Airways flew it home for free. If tags had been checked by security as the porter left the baggage area, this case would not have been lost. The cabin was a little shabby. The couch fabric was worn away. RC should be inspecting the cabins for worn and stained fabric. Speaking of the cabin, my husband sleeps with a CPAP machine for sleep apnea. There are no outlets on either side of the bed to plug in the machine because of fire regulations. That was what the maintenance person told us. They brought up a heavy duty extension cord which they wrap around the room in front of the balcony door. You are thinking, this wall is not safe for an outlet in a fire? Next, the cord is in front of the door and that is not a safety issue? By the way, that box in the room is not a refrigerator. The crew will tell you it is but it is only an oversized Igloo. I think the crew is basically nice but in all cases they were all overtired on our ship. There should be fewer sailings for crew. RC is patting themselves on the back for all the ships that they are building which become larger and larger. If they cannot handle the amount of people on the Adventure of the Seas, how can they handle 6000 passenger ship? Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
The Adventure of the Seas is a fabulous ship. The 7-Day Southern Caribbean cruise even with 2 full days at sea, still didn't seem to give us enough time to see and do everything there is to do onboard. My wife and I met fifteen of ... Read More
The Adventure of the Seas is a fabulous ship. The 7-Day Southern Caribbean cruise even with 2 full days at sea, still didn't seem to give us enough time to see and do everything there is to do onboard. My wife and I met fifteen of my family and friends onboard. We all set up our own transportation to San Juan and on San Juan. San Juan- We arrived a day early and stayed at the El Canaro by the Sea. We found it a nice clean hotel that was great for a one night stay. It was directly between the Airport an the PanAmerican Cruise terminal. We did have someone in the group that stayed at El Canaro Inn and said it was horrible. No elevator and it was kind of creepy. Sunday morning we got up early, enjoyed their "tropical continental breakfast" at the hotel, and then took a cab to the Old San Juan Fort. It was a nice place to visit and walk around. You can also get a great view of the city, and the cruise ship from up there. Unfortunately, the shops in Old San Juan are closed on Sunday, but there are more opportunities to do your shopping elsewhere. We checked out at 11:30 and took a cab to the cruise terminal. After dropping our luggage at the curbside, we were on the ship within 30-minutes. They have all the doors to the cabins looked until 2pm sharp. However, you are free to roam the ship and eat lunch at the WindJammer Cafe. We did not get our luggage until after dinner, but the dinning room was very accepting of casual clothes the first night. Day At Sea- We ate in the formal dining room for breakfast since we had all day on the ship. The service and food was incredible. (If you are traveling with a group and want to have breakfast with them in the dinning room, you must all be present before going in. Otherwise they seat you at tables with other guests and do not allow you to save seats.) We spent the rest of the day enjoying the pools and laying out during the day. We had the main seating and late show, and went to both every night. Aruba- There were 10 of us that wanted to tour Aruba. We rented 3 Jeeps from American Rental at online before going to Aruba. They were ready at the cruise terminal when we docked. They provided nice maps and we headed off to see the California Lighthouse, the old chapel and the Natural Rock Bridge that has collapsed since the last hurricane. However it was still pretty interesting to see, and there is still a smaller bridge intact. We then headed back toward the major hotels and ate lunch at the Marriott and enjoyed the beach at the hotel. The beach chairs and umbrellas are the only private things, the beach is public. Curacao- We did walk around downtown and do some shopping here. Very pretty little town, very Dutch architecture. Weather was overcast, but still pleasant. Day At Sea- Ate in the main dining room again, and wondered the ship. Sint Maarten & Saint Martin- One word "Gorgeous"! We went downtown and did some shopping, then found a place on the beach in the bay that had wave runners. We rented one for 30 minutes for only $40 (did some bargaining). It was really worth it. The water is great, and the beaches are wonderful. We had a 12:15 tour for the Loterie Tree Top Tours. This was SO MUCH FUN. Not recommended for people afraid of heights or in less than good shape. It was about a 30 minute drive from the Dutch side of the island to the French side, so you get to see a good portion of the island too. Once there they go over safety and then send you into the tree tops for about a 45-60 minute obstacle course ranging from tightropes, to zip lines to rope bridges. Your feet never touch the ground again until you are finished. St. Thomas- We did the Buck Island snorkel tour on the Doubloon pirate ship. A lot of fun, but watch out for those free rum drinks on the way back to the ship. VERY GOOD, but dangerous if you don't count how many you drink!!! We saw sea turtles, barracuda, parrot fish, coral and all in a secluded cove with clear beautiful water. (www.doubloon.com) San Juan- Getting off was a breeze. The luggage was very organized, but there are thousands of bags. (Tie ribbons or colored tape on your bags for easier ID) HIGHLIGHTS- The best Cruise Director I have ever had...Richard Spacey. He is funny, energetic and just plain great. The entertainment... there are no words to describe the Broadway type shows they did every night. The ice show in Studio B is a must see. The comedians were hysterical. Food... Never had a bad meal any where on the ship. Service... We had our table in the Mozart dining room on deck 5, tables 516 and 517. A big thank you to Leensay and Ciprian for such great service as our servers. We miss them already. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
This was our second cruise, our first cruise was on Carnival for our honeymoon. Now we have a son, he is 3 years old, and we brought him along. We had a wonderful time-in part because I read many of these reviews and found helpful tips ... Read More
This was our second cruise, our first cruise was on Carnival for our honeymoon. Now we have a son, he is 3 years old, and we brought him along. We had a wonderful time-in part because I read many of these reviews and found helpful tips from other travelers that enhanced our vacation quite a bit. We would recommend Royal Caribbean-although there were a few things that needed improvement. Embarkation: We made our own flight arrangements and arrived early Sunday morning. By noon we already had our luggage and got a taxi right outside the terminal. At San Juan, the taxi service is very organized -you walk out of the terminal and there is a roped-off area with nice representatives (of the airport?) walking around with clip-boards. They ask you your destination (all you have to say is the Adventure of the Seas-all the cabbies know where to go) and let you know the rate -then they get the cab for you. Its $20 for a cab plus .50/per bag. Boarding the ship-Easy! Definitely check in online beforehand. We were on the ship within a half and hour. Everyone was super friendly. I highly recommend getting passports for everyone-you do have to show it frequently and having one for our 3 year old was so much easier. First Night tip-go to Johnny Rockets Sunday night-its not crowded and food was very good. The Ship: They will let you into your room promptly at 2:00 pm and there was a very nice lunch buffet at the Windjammer while you wait. The service at the Windjammer was great the first day-as the week wore on it did become difficult to get the waiter's attention and order a drink from the bar. Our room was fantastic-spotless-very large for a cruise ship-with a very pretty clean bathroom. We had a balcony-my advice to fellow travelers is GET the balcony!!! Its a bit more but worth every penny...a highlight of our trip was room service!! Highly recommended. Very prompt, neatly done, and delicious. We had breakfast on our balcony every day but one. And on that day we really missed it. One warning to people traveling with a young child-the third berth in our room was a bunk bed with ladder that was all fairly high up above our bed-RCL should offer a type of bed on the floor for toddler/pre-school age children. The ship was gorgeous-the Promenade was very cool- something out of a Vegas casino like the Venetian or Caesars-with the indoor city of shops and bars. We liked "Sprinkles" for our son and did buy a few gifts at the shops-the prices were very fair. But-another warning-all the shops will be closed while you are in port. So don't plan on being able to do any thing on the Promenade-including the casino. (Casino was good-found some "loose slots" although my husband thought the card tables were fun but not very generous....) The pool area was large-no difficulty getting a chair-and our ship was full. However, wait service was poor at the pool. I never saw a wait-person and the bar staff were surprisingly grumpy. We found the bucket of beers for $20 the best deal-(unadvertised-you have to ask) but you do get 6 beers on ice. This is handy to take to "Adventure Beach" where we spent a lot of time with our son, at the back of the ship. Good pool slides for kids and well supervised by RCL staff. Also not in the direct sun-which is better for kids. (but no area for snacks, or drinks available.-RCL should have a little "cantina" there. It would be very handy.) Again, warning-this area is mostly closed when the ship is in port. We did not utilize the child care program for our son-we wanted him with us!!! Dining/Entertainment: I have read on previous reviews the food is poor-DON'T believe this. Food was Excellent! We ate in the dining room every night. Five star service and five star food. Lobster, filet, all great. Our son ordered from the adult menu and loved it-but you can also order chicken-fingers etc. for kids at the dining room. The grand buffet was lame-Carnival's was far superior-but we didn't want to eat at midnight, anyway. The shows were fun and very entertaining, a lot like Vegas shows: the comedians were all pretty good -the Ice Show is a highlight-absolutely do not miss this. It's a little tricky to get tickets, check the Compass for times to pick them up (free) outside the studio. There can be quite a line for this-bring something to read. Excursions/Ports: We enjoyed all the ports/stops-here are some tips: the "beach tour" with 4 beach stops at Aruba was not worth it. We never made it to the California Light house, and one of the beach stops for snorkeling was at a dirty, small beach that was crowded. In Aruba, I recommend taking a private cab to De Palm Beach-there are public facilities there. Water is nice. Also try Iguana Joes for good drinks. Curacao was pretty-but !!-entire city is under construction-sewers are dug up everywhere, the famous rotating bridge is gone-you have to take the ferry. Do go to Waterfort street. Nice cafes on the water. Beautiful!! St. Maarten-Lovely-do the Orient Beach express trip-free rum!! And the city of Phillipsburg is the best place to shop, hands down. Avoid the shops recommended by RCL-they had the highest prices. St. Thomas-Magen's bay was pretty but after all the hype not as nice as St. Maarten. Highly recommended-the Paradise point Tram (short walk from the ship) and the bird show is a riot. Overall-a nice ship/trip-but really nothing was any more special than our experience with Carnival-although the ship was bigger. We think cruising in general is a great vacation- and everyone on RCL were so friendly-especially to our son. My one complaint is echoing others -and that is RCL does nickel and dime their travelers too much. The "wine package" is ridiculous-wine by the bottle was way over-priced. Hopefully RCL will take note of this. Bon Voyage!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
My wife and I took our first cruise ever on April 23rd. We booked the cruise with a local travel agent who is a friend of the family. There were approximately 100 of us who went on the cruise. We knew maybe 1/3 of the individuals. We felt ... Read More
My wife and I took our first cruise ever on April 23rd. We booked the cruise with a local travel agent who is a friend of the family. There were approximately 100 of us who went on the cruise. We knew maybe 1/3 of the individuals. We felt comfortable going on the cruise especially since there were many in the group who had cruised before. Since we had a large number of individuals going we flew out of two different airports. Our group flew out of Baltimore the other out of Dulles in DC. We arrived in San Juan at about 11 am. We had no trouble what so ever with the embarkation. It went very smoothly. We were on the ship by about 12:30 and in the Windjammer eating by about 1 pm. Our cabin was ready by 1:45 or so. We had a balcony cabin that we loved! We were on deck 7 cabin #7644. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the ship and by the pool. We were in the first seating (6 pm) for dinner. Our waitress, Camilia, and our asst waiter, Pedro, were wonderful. Pedro was a character and members of our group picked him on constantly but he was just fine with it. Everything we had for dinner was really good. We had no complaints at all. We were seated in the Strauss dining room by the window table #472. All the people at our table got the shot of the day from the bartender Ivan. That was interesting and Ivan was a fun individual. Our itinerary was as follows: D1-St. Thomas, D2-St. Maarten, D3-Antigua, D4-St. Lucia, D5-Barbados, D6-at sea. My wife and I did the BOB underwater exploration at St. Thomas. It was absolutely amazing!! We would recommend it to anyone. The crew were all very nice and helpful. The underwater sights were great. This was the first time we did any type of scuba diving or snorkeling. That afternoon we went with a group into St. Thomas to do some jewelry shopping. Needless to say the ladies and some men purchased some real nice jewelry, my wife included. At St. Maarten we did a little more shopping but we were not nearly as impressed as with the shopping on St. Thomas. So we then went to Great Bay beach, which was very relaxing. At Antigua we again shopped more and actually thought the shopping there was pretty good. We then went to the beach at Dickenson Bay. Very nice beach! At St. Lucia we did the Caribbean Pirates Extravaganza. We had a great time. The pirate ship was used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie and it also appears in the one being released this summer. At Barbados we went to the beach at Carlisle Bay. We went to the Boatyard dock part of the beach. That beach was beautiful! The sand was so white and the water so clear, just incredible. Every day of the cruise we ate both breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer. All the food was good no complaints at all. The service was good also and they were all real nice and always wanting to know if you needed something else. One day we did eat at Johnny Rockets. Those burgers were some of the best I ever had and the shakes were out of this world. We spent a little time each day by the pool just to relax and have a drink. We did play mini-golf once. That was fun. It appeared to us that the course could use a little work. The carpet was coming up in two or three places. Also there were very few (maybe 8-10) clubs for adults, the rest were for children. Every evening after dinner we went to the show in the Lyric Theater. They were all pretty good. The one complaint most of us in the group had was that the sound system was too loud. It was difficult to understand some of the singers because of this. The singers were all good and the props and backgrounds were very good. We went to the Love and Marriage Game show. That was hilarious!! A must see. We also attended the ice show, absolutely fabulous! It was amazing what they could do on such a small piece of ice. We usually go to a Disney Show on Ice once a year with our daughter and the show on the ship was almost as good as those. The Quest was very interesting. Some of the people in our group participated and did some things we never would have envisioned them doing. Again we had a great time. One thing we all agreed on was that the Cruise Director Richard Spacey was a riot!! He was very entertaining when introducing every act. During the Love and Marriage show he was making so many jokes that we couldn't stop laughing. He was the same during the Quest. He was one of the highlights of the cruise. The last day of the cruise was spent at sea. We were by the pool almost all day. We watched the sexy legs contest for the men. My wife participated in the line dancing. One of the guys in the group came in second in the belly flop contest. The Cruise Director was great at this event also. Our group purchased three horses. My wife was one of the jockeys for the first race. One of our horses won. But for the money race none of our horses came close we couldn't believe it. We had a shore excursion planned for San Juan on the day of disembarkation. We were supposed to be the first group off the ship but they mixed us in with those who were in group #1. It took us almost 2 hours to get off the ship and through customs. That was one of the worst parts of the trip. Our excursion was supposed to leave by 8:30 but we didn't leave until 10 am. Luckily our flight out of San Juan wasn't until 6 pm. Overall we enjoyed our first cruise immensely. We told our travel agent to let us know when she is booking the next one we will definitely go again. It is amazing how much there is to do on the ship alone. We enjoyed the ports of call, some more than others. We agreed that the beach on Barbados was the best, the BOB adventure was the best excursion and the shopping on St. Thomas was the best. Can't wait to go on a cruise again with Royal Caribbean!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
My husband, family and friends sailed on the Adventure of the Seas, April 23. This was the 2nd time we were on the Adventure. Both times we were treated with respect. Every crew member we would pass would greet us, bartenders KNEW what ... Read More
My husband, family and friends sailed on the Adventure of the Seas, April 23. This was the 2nd time we were on the Adventure. Both times we were treated with respect. Every crew member we would pass would greet us, bartenders KNEW what they were doing, and the dining room waiters we had were the greatest! DAY 1 Embarkation: We arrived at the terminal around 11:15am and by noon we were in the terminal getting our sea passes. On board by 12:15. Ate lunch in the Windjammer and sat by the Sky Bar. Cabin: Around 2pm, I went to look for our cabin (superior oceanview with balcony, 7674)was kept cleaned 2x each day. Even when we hung our towels up to be used later, our cabin steward, replaced then each time. Towel animals on the bed each night and designs made from throw pillows on the bed each morning when we came back from breakfast. Tip, spend the extra money and get a balcony! So peaceful on the balcony at night. Stars, lights on the horizon. Very nice!! Food: Ate in the dining room every night, except one. Food was excellent along with the service. Food in the Windjammer was great. Used our C & A coupon for Johnny Rockets. Had room service Saturday. Requested it at 8am. 5 minutes before, the phone rang and it was the waiter, asking if it was ok for him to bring us our tray. When he knocked, I opened the door and tried to take the tray, but he said he'd bring it in. He set in on the table, told us to enjoy and have a nice day. Smile on his face the whole time! DAY 2: St. Thomas. This was our 3rd trip to this island. As usual, I had to go up to Paradise Point and have a "Bushwacker". If you go, make sure you have one!!!!!! Also very good island for jewelry. Got another new ring and a pair of earrings. Last last 2 trips, everyone was saying how great Magen's Bay was. It was beautiful, but with ships there that day, it was crowded. DAY 3: St. Maarten. This was also the 3rd trip here. This time we went to Orient Bay. Heard from others how nice it was there. Word of advice, don't wear any hats, glasses or sunglasses in the water. We were only in up to our knees and got walloped by a huge wave. My husband lost his prescription glasses. Luckily mind got caught in my hair, since I had them pulled back. Spent the rest of the time shopping. DAY 4: Antigua. Did not see much of this island. Had to find an eye doctor who could get my husband a pair of glasses. By the time they were ready, we missed our beach excursion. Spent some time shopping and then back on board to the pool and Sky Bar. DAY 5: St. Lucia. No excursions planned for this day. Just roamed around town and then went to get something to eat. DAY 6: Barbados. This day, was a national holiday and most shops were closed except at the terminal. Shopped in there, returned to drop the things off and went for our Pirate Cruise. Walked the plank, but too chicken to do the rope swing. Beware of the water in Barbados. VERY SALTY!!! Free following rum punch. Music and dancing on the way back. Even had a "pirate wedding". DAY 7: At sea. Spent time in the pool and at our favorite spot, the Sky Bar. Day 8: Disembarking. Paper on bed, last night, said our number would be called around 10:30. We did not get off until a little after 12. This was the only problem we had all week, except getting caught in downtown San Juan. After we checked into our hotel and went looking for food, we got so soaked from a rain storm, you could actually wring the clothes out!!!! We love Royal Caribbean so much, we are going next year on Rhapsody of the Seas. I'm used to big ships, so this one will be surely smaller. We are upgrading to the Royal Family Suite. My brother and his wife and our mom, will be sharing this room with us. Actually saved $412. Was going to have just my mom, husband and I in the Junior Suite, but found out it would be cheaper if 2 more people went and we split the total. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
I just got back from my very first cruise! I kept a journal and just posted it in my blog if anyone's interested. Its kind of long and includes some personal stuff so I figured I'd do a Cruise Critic abridged version of it for ... Read More
I just got back from my very first cruise! I kept a journal and just posted it in my blog if anyone's interested. Its kind of long and includes some personal stuff so I figured I'd do a Cruise Critic abridged version of it for you folks. For anyone who wants to read the long version, view it here. Pictures can be viewed here I should also add that I had my wedding on the ship during this cruise so if anyone's interested in the specifics on that, you can read my review of it here. We departed from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Itinerary was St. Thomas (Monday), St. Maarten (Tuesday), Antigua (Wednesday), St. Lucia (Thursday) and Barbados (Friday). We were at sea on Saturday and returned to San Juan Sunday morning. There were 2 formal nights (one on Monday night and one on Thursday night) and one smart casual night (Wednesday). The rest of the days were casual. They had themes. I think Tuesday was Caribbean (I was at Portofino's for that one so I don't know if anyone dressed up) and Friday was '50s/'60s/'70s theme. I didn't see anyone dressed up for that. I have a feeling that most people were too concerned with packing for the formal and semi-formal nights to bother packing for potential theme-nights. We did the wine and dine package. We chose the diamond package for 5 nights. The cruise was a week long and we figured we might not want wine EVERY night. It worked out perfect for us and we had our last bottle of wine at the last dinner of the cruise. The Food The Dining Room - Because we were there for the wedding, so there were 18 of us in our party. For dinner we were seated at two large tables. We mixed and matched with the seating each night so everyone could have a chance to eat with everyone else. That worked out nice and the waiters didn't seem to disapprove. Some of the people in our party ordered more than one dessert, entree and/or appetizers each night and the waiters accommodated every request with a smile. My father-in-law mentioned he loved broccoli and the waiter had broccoli on his plate every night. My sister told the waiter one night that she didn't want anything for dessert. The waiter came back with a plate and on it, written in frosting it said "nothing" on the plate. We had NO problem tipping our waiter at the end of the trip because the service was fantastic. (I recommend figuring out the suggested tips at the start of the trip and putting that cash in your safe so you know you'll have it at the end of the week). Portofino's was really good. Unfortunately I got a bit of a sunburn from being on the beach that day (in St. Maarten) so I couldn't fully appreciate the meal but it was really enjoyable none-the-less. Johnny Rockets was great. I've been to Johnny rockets before and always thought the place was really overrated but the one on AoS was fantastic. First of all, the food is great and because you only have to pay the $4 service fee (per person) they just keep bringing fresh baskets of fries and onion rings. I have to wonder if ANYONE has ever ordered dessert there. With all the food they give you I cant imagine ever having room for pie. (Shakes and soda are extra but I recommend splurging on a strawberry shake - they are delicious!) I went there 3 times. Once in the afternoon and twice late at night (they're open til 1 am!). When we were there in the afternoon and when Love Shack came on, they raised the volume and all the waiters lined up and danced. They were all so into it that it wasn't cheesy, it was actually fun! 2 thumbs up for Johnny Rockets! The Windjammer was perfect for breakfast and lunch. I recommend getting there by 8:30 am if you want breakfast. After 9 tables are hard to find and there's always a line for the buffet but on the days I got there around 8, free tables were plentiful and there wasn't any line for the buffet. The food is good. Not fantastic but its what you'd expect from a buffet. Lunch at the Windjammer usually included burgers (which were actually pretty good) and pizza along with carving stations with ham or roast beef. There was also always fruit and salad stuff. Basically if you want to eat junk, its there and if you want to eat healthy there's plenty of options for you as well. Room Service is mostly snacks like pizza, burgers, fries, cookies etc. There may have also been salad stuff on there (not sure). Its all free (except for soda and juice). I think my brother-in-law even ordered a gin and tonic through room service. The service is pretty quick and the pizza is great! Breakfast service was good also. We did that for the day we were at sea. So that covers all the food. I love to eat and ate a lot on this cruise. Amazingly enough I got on the scale yesterday when I was home and I didn't gain a pound (which surprises me because I usually have a hard time keeping my weight down)! I attribute this to a few things. I took the stairs a lot (didn't feel like waiting for the elevators) and since they charged for soda, I drank mostly water (the occasional iced tea or lemonade). We didn't do any strenuous excursions on the islands but I did get a fair amount of walking in so that probably helped. And also, though we did eat often, I don't recall ever eating everything off my plate. So eat often but don't overstuff yourself! Know that your next meal is probably right around the corner. The islands St. Thomas - We only got to see part of St. Thomas because that was the day of the wedding. The RC driver took us to the courthouse. The roads are narrow and even though they drive on the left side of the road, the steering wheel is still on the left side of the car. Everyone drives aggressively (it borders on scary). We did get to do some shopping in the area near the ship but that was about it. Cigarettes and liquor are seriously cheap here. If you smoke and you plan on getting cartons of cigarettes (they were like $17 a carton for marlboros!), you are allowed to take up to 5 cartons through customs at the end of the cruise. FOUR of those cartons have to be from St. Thomas so if you're going to stock up, do it then! St. Maarten - Take the water taxi to the Great Bay area. You'll find plenty of shopping there! There's also a beach there but I recommend catching a taxi to Orient Beach. Its on the french side of the island (we didn't need our passport) about a 30 minute drive but its totally worth it! I think it was like $9 each way each for us but you might be able to talk them down if you have more people. There's a nude beach there but I didn't check that out. We saw quite a few women on the regular beach going topless so if you have kids and you don't want them viewing topless women you might want to skip Orient beach. Antigua - Ok so we only wandered around the area within walking distance from the ship but honestly, it wasn't much of an island. I'm sure if you booked an excursion or something you'd get to see the nice parts of the island but the port area was crowded, hot and wreaked of fish. The water was pretty murky looking. The one good thing I found in Antigua was a pottery place. A real authentic ceramics shop that sold hand made vases and dishes. That made it worth it as I really wanted to buy some hand made pottery on this trip and the prices weren't bad! I got a beautiful red-clay vase for $35. St. Lucia - We walked the 20 minute walk to the market. It wasn't much of a walk (a poorly paved sidewalk) and be warned, the market is a TRUE local market. Set indoors in a crowded building with no A/C you'll find rows and rows of stuff to buy with various sales people eager to argue prices with you. Its kind of fun! don't be afraid to try and talk them down on some things. I got the feeling that they enjoy doing that with people. We ended up taking the water taxi back to the port and then taking another boat over to Froggie Jacks for lunch. If you go to St. Lucia, definitely hit Froggie Jacks! It's on the water and the boat that took us over there literally pulled up along side and old dock and we had to jump off the boat onto the dock as the boat slowly drifted further and further away. It was pretty fun. Barbados - Oooooh Barbados! How I loved Barbados! Since Barbados was the last island we were visiting I wanted to make sure I got to do something fun. We decided we wanted to do snorkeling but all of the excursions had sold out days ago so we were on our own. Here's what we ended up doing. We got on the island, found a taxi and asked him where the good snorkeling was. I'd read that Paynes Beach was good. He ended up taking us just north of there to folkestone marine part. We got out of the cab and just as we started to look around for a snorkel shop, a guy came up to us and said we could snorkel with the turtles for $30 per person (and they provided the boat and all the equipment). This was significantly cheaper than the RC excursion and it was the same area! We got to swim with these huge turtles and then they took us to a ship wreck site and we snorkeled some more. I got pics of the turtles and the fish at the shipwreck. We asked them to drop us at Cocomos, a restaurant on the beach that we saw from the boat. They did and we had a DELICIOUS lunch. The best food I ate all week. Try the flying fish sandwich! Downtown Bridgetown was closed due to Good Friday so I cant review that part but there was shopping open in the terminal right near the ship. I bought a doll and 2 bottles of bajan hot sauce (we tried it at Cocomos and it was so good that when I saw they were selling it at the shopping area, I had to buy some!). Misc The Activities - We did the Liars Club (a game show similar to the game Balderdash) which was really funny. My team tied with another team for the win and we all got RC travel packs. I also did Bingo one of the days and ended up winning $107! Bingo cost $35 to play so I made back my money plus some! I wanted to go to the Love and Marriage game show but was too tired that night. I ended up watching it on the TV a few days later and it was pretty hilarious! Other than that we didn't do many of the activities. I think if it were just me and my husband we would've done more activities on the ship but on this trip since we had our families with us we spent most of the time just enjoying each others company. There was a latin dance party on the pool deck one night which was a lot of fun (even if you're a white-girl like me who can only PRETEND to salsa!). The Ship - You can get lots of info about the ship on the cruise website so I'll just talk about my favorite places. Surprisingly enough, the connoisseurs club turned out to be our hang-out of choice for at least an hour each evening. The guys in our family all enjoyed smoking cigars and it was just a really great atmosphere for relaxing. Phil (aka the cigar guy) took good care of us there. I also liked strolling the promenade. The minute the ship left port everything would open up and the place would be abuzz. There were always new things on sale. They had a huge display of amber jewelry when we were there and lots of raffles! Our Stateroom - We got a stateroom with a balcony on the portside of the ship. It was room 7586 to be exact. My sisters had rooms on either side of my room. My older sisters balcony and mine shared a plexiglass wall while my younger sisters room (7588) had metal walls on both sides so we couldn't peak into her balcony (in case you were looking for a cabin with a nearly totally private balcony). The room size as good. There's plenty of room under the bed to stow your suitcases. There were hangers in the closet and I recommend bringing one of those canvas show-racks that hangs from the closet pole to store all your shoes. The room was cleaned and made up each morning and then at night while we were at dinner the bed was turned down and a towel-animal was left on our bed each night. Mints on the pillows, fresh towels and all that stuff. They even straightened stuff up for us! The Crew - Every employee we met was friendly and helpful. And I also noted that almost all of them were not American. Not that I think Americans are unfriendly (I'm american after all!) but I did note that the majority of the people working there were from everywhere BUT america. It was cool to meat people from so many places like Chile or Australia or the Philippines. Everyone speaks great english though and you'll also find the ship is very spanish-speaking-friendly. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
My wife and I were on the April 23, 2006 sailing of Adventure of the Seas. We flew through the night to get to San Juan, this was a mistake. We were very tired when we got there, and it took a couple of days to catch up on our sleep. We ... Read More
My wife and I were on the April 23, 2006 sailing of Adventure of the Seas. We flew through the night to get to San Juan, this was a mistake. We were very tired when we got there, and it took a couple of days to catch up on our sleep. We arrived in San Juan a little after 10:00 am. We took a taxi to the ship, and arrived there shortly after 11:00 am. They were not letting people on the ship yet in fact people were still getting off. About 12:00 they opened the doors, and we were on the ship. After dinner the first night my wife decided to skip the show, and go to bed. I stayed and watched the show it was great. St. Thomas - We went scuba diving. We booked this through the ship. It was fun we dove at a sunken barge that was used to house troops during WWII. After the war they used it for target practice and sunk it. The water was a little cloudy, but it was fun to hear the history behind the wreck. Then my wife went shopping down town, and I carried the bags. St. Maarten - Before we came on the cruise I had rented a Wave Runner with shoretrips.com. We got a taxi to Orient bay. We had the wave runner reserved for 11:00, and we got to the beach at 10:00 am. They said we could take it at 10:00 if we wanted. We took it out and had a good time throwing each other off the back. by making sharp turns or hitting waves. The wave runner wasn't very old and was in really good shape. They do restrict the area that you can take it. After that we sat on the beach for awhile, me under the umbrella, and my wife in the sun. The we caught a taxi down town so my wife could do more shopping, and I could carry more bags. We walked from town back to the ship ( needed to burn some calories in preparation for tonights eating). St Martin has changed since we were there last. They now have a tourist area right at the end of the pier. You just find the tour you want to go on, and go to that area to get a cab. Antigua - We did the Kayak, snorkel, eco tour. This was great fun, and informative. The snorkeling wasn't the best, but overall it was a fun trip. Then into town for more to see what there is to buy here (are you seeing a theme here?). St. Lucia - We went on the pirate ship tour here. It was fun, and the treasure hunt was fun even if we didn't find any keys. Then we played in the water at pigeon island. When the tour ended we headed for town, you can guess why. Barbados - I had booked a scuba dive here, but I booked it on my own with a place I found on the internet. They told me they would pick me up outside when the ship docked they were not there. My wife called them, and they came right over. Then we got on the dive boat and headed out to sea. About 10 minutes later they turned around, and said there was a problem with the boat, and we needed to go back. The boat limped back, and some got on and fiddled with the engine for a few minutes. Then he said that should work, and left. We headed back out. This is when I got worried, I thought what if the boat breaks down again when we are farther away, and I watch the ship sail without us. The scuba diving was great, the water was clear and plenty of sea life. The boat didn't breakdown again, and we made it back to the ship without a problem. My wife just shopped at the stores by the ship, not much to carry this time. Last day was a day at sea. We just relaxed, and rested. The ship was great, the food was good, shows were enjoyable, It was a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
I recently was on a cruise with my parents and I enjoyed it a lot. We took US Air and flew in from Philadelphia for a 3 1/2 to a 4 hour flight. Embarkation was very smooth and we were on the ship within a half hour. FOOD: Food in the ... Read More
I recently was on a cruise with my parents and I enjoyed it a lot. We took US Air and flew in from Philadelphia for a 3 1/2 to a 4 hour flight. Embarkation was very smooth and we were on the ship within a half hour. FOOD: Food in the Windjammer was good. Breakfast was ok, but lunch was very very good. The dining service was phenomenal, but the food was average. Johnny Rockets was by far my favorite place to eat. It was worth the 3.95 to get in. They even dimmed the lights and danced. Cafe Promenade had great pizza. I think Carnival had the edge on the food. SHIP: The ship was HUGE. It was so big, that it rarely seemed crowded. All activities are fun,including rock-climbing wall,mini golf, and inline skating. All were only open at certain times. There was a Promenade (mini mall) that absolutely fabulous. The ship was much better than Carnival. SERVICE: The service was absolutely fantastic. My favorite part of the cruise. There is a bartender named Wesley. You have to meet him. He works in between Cafe Promenade and Ben and Jerries. He and other people will give you whatever you ask for. Adventure of the Seas beats Carnival by a mile when it comes to service. ENTERTAINMENT: All of the shows were out of this world. The only bad show was Velvote Rope. The comedian was so funny. Royal Caribbean has the edge when it comes to entertainment. RICHARD SPACEY: This was our cruise director, and was one of the highlights of the trip. He was so so so so so so so so so funny. He was the best cruise director I have ever seen. DIMEMBARKATION: This was also a breeze, but a little more confusing. This took us about 25 minutes. Royal Caribbean had the edge again. SUMMARY: This was a fantastic cruise. Half were American, and half were Puerto Rican. I thought it would be a problem, but it was not. Announcements are also made in Spanish. Very annoying. There are things to do for every age. OVERALL: Royal Caribbean is my favorite!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
This was a second cruise for my husband and I, our last being our honeymoon in 1990. Wow- has cruising improved since then! Since we live in San Juan and basically just hopped a cab to the ship, I don't have any pre-departure details ... Read More
This was a second cruise for my husband and I, our last being our honeymoon in 1990. Wow- has cruising improved since then! Since we live in San Juan and basically just hopped a cab to the ship, I don't have any pre-departure details to include. We loved the Adventure of the Seas. I must admit we didnt take advantage of half of the activities they offer, because we really wanted to just relax. So, we didnt ice skate or in-line skate, play miniature golf or climb the rock wall. We did enjoy their many Jacuzzis, pools and relaxing spots with beautiful views. We saw a number of the evening shows, which are fun and last only about an hour each. Dont miss the ice skating show-it was our favorite. Our interior stateroom was fine. The advantage to having no outdoor view is that you can sleep very well at any time of day! We got a great deal on the cruise, so we were not worried that much about the cabin's amenities. You may want to bring your own shampoo and conditioner, though. The food was very good. I actually thought the food on the buffet in their Windjammer cafe was better than what was offered in the more formal dining room. The one night that we ate a casual dinner, I enjoyed all kinds of sushi and smoked fish, wonderful cheeses, etc. The baked goods on board were really wonderful- we don't get very many nice breads where we live normally. We enjoyed our tablemates in the formal dining room, though, so we ate there pretty much every night. The staff and crew members were wonderful. We enjoyed the fact that they are from many countries and had a lot of interesting conversations with them. Everyone was friendly and helpful. Our ports of call were incredibly varied. We were in a different port each day and on the final Saturday, we spent the day at sea cruising back to Puerto Rico. In the Virgin Islands, we skipped the great shopping and took a ferry from St Thomas to St John, which is the home of the Virgin Islands Natl Park. We hiked to a lookout there and saw a number of interesting birds. We visited a nice little beach called Honeymoon Beach, which had lovely white sand. We prefer natural adventures, so we would definitely go back to St Johns-the park takes up nearly the entire island, so there is a lot of hiking, great snorkeling, etc. Our second stop was St Maarten. We docked on the Dutch side and took a taxi to Dawn Beach. Had a relaxing beach morning there though we found the snorkeling waters cloudy. A nice beach destination and thats about it. Antigua was another island we found a bit disappointing. Here we took an excursion offered by the ship to English Harbour and Nelsons Boatyard. The tour was horrible- all of us just basically riding around in a van taxi whose driver was supposed to, but didnt, provide us with info about Antigua. Nelsons Boatyard was interesting and I would have spent more time looking around, though it was very hot. Finally, we hit Saint Lucia and fell in love. It has the most African feeling of all the islands we visited. On a guided excursion from the ship, we rode about an hour on a bus into the rainforest, where we biked to a waterfall and swam. Our guide, Greg, was really fantastic, having the driver stop so he could pick unusual tropical fruit and show them to us. It was an easy downhill ride and we would highly recommend it. After lunch onboard ship, we went back ashore to visit the public market. I loved it- neat baskets and wonderful fresh spices. All of the lady merchants were eager to explain their merchandise. St Lucia really has it all-they say you can only starve there if you are lazy! Our last stop was in Barbados. Bridgetown is not a huge city, but it was the biggest place we visited on the trip. Its a very interesting place- so British and yet so African at the same time. We gave ourselves a bit of a walking tour which included passing by the market. We bought a beautifully decorated calabash after a long, informative conversation with the artist. What surprised me the most was how long it took to debark- nearly 45 minutes to exit the ship, wait in line and clear customs. Of course, we got a cab right away and were home in 15 minutes, not the hours that it was going to take for most of our fellow passengers, so I cant complain too much. All in all, it was a fantastic voyage. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
Adventure of the Seas  05/28/2006  Southern Caribbean, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Puerto Rico itinerary. Cast of Characters: 1  me, 51 y/o single male. Eighth cruise, third RCI cruise. ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas  05/28/2006  Southern Caribbean, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Puerto Rico itinerary. Cast of Characters: 1  me, 51 y/o single male. Eighth cruise, third RCI cruise. Excellent cruise! This will be a long report. The requisites: *Service: Outstanding! Room Hostess: Jackie, Dining Room Server: Christina, Assistant Server: Gilberto. *Food: Windjammer (breakfast and a couple of lunches), Strauss dining room (dinner a couple of time), Portofino (dinner twice), Johnny Rockets (lunch and snack time) - The food in Windjammer was about the same as I had experienced on Mariner and Sovereign  good, but not fantastic. Thats pretty much the way I felt about the food throughout the cruise, nothing to shout about (except Portofino, which was excellent and Johnny Rockets which was very good!). In the dining rooms and Windjammer its good food, not 5-star dining, and thats been my experience on all the cruises Ive been on. Needless to say, Ive NEVER gone hungry for want of good food on a cruise! *Entertainment: Only attended a couple of the evening productions; the first one I attended was Movie Themes from the '60s to Today  good dancers, vocalists werent much to talk about, though one really wailed on Whitney Houstons version of I Will Always Love You, the second show I attended was El Goucho  very good  comedian, musician, and performing artist with bolos. The bolo performance was interactive and the gentleman selected from the audience to assist with the act had good reason to wet his pants during the performance (though he didnt)! Didnt gamble in the casino  I only end up donating to the coffers, might as well just hand them my money when I walk in the door and save everyone the time and trouble of dealing the cards, pulling the levers, spinning the wheel or rolling the dice. Didnt climb the wall, roller blade, play miniature golf, ice skate or attend the ice show. Didnt swim or hot tub (I can get the effects of both from the warm Caribbean waters onshore, including the saltwater in the pools). Didnt do Quest or the game shows, horse racing, belly flop contest or mens sexiest legs contest. Just relaxed, ate, sunned, went on excursions and had a blast! Day-to-day details: Pre-Cruise: Saturday, 27 May. Flew in from San Antonio, TX, on American Airlines. No problems, glitches or gripes. Luggage was there when I got off the plane, so I was a happy cruiser. One thing about luggage claim in San Juan  they check luggage claim tickets for each item you try to take out of the claim area. There were 4 people checking luggage through two exits and it got kinda bottlenecked at that point, but it does give you the warm, fuzzy feeling that no one is going to abscond with your bags! Walked out of the terminal and right up to the taxi counter where I was quoted $11 for a trip to the Intercontinental Hotel for one person and two bags w/ 1 carry-on. Good price and its a well-organized operation. Another warm, fuzzy feeling that I wasnt going to get ripped off by an unscrupulous cabbie! The ride from airport to hotel was about 10 minutes. Stayed over night in the Intercontinental Hotel (I booked it independently through their website  no real bargain). This is a truly beautiful property! The room (deluxe ocean view on the 8th floor) was in excellent shape. There was some wear-n-tear visible if you looked real hard, but you had to really be looking for it. The pool area is fantastic with a couple of hot-tub areas, a grotto and a swim-up bar. Right past the pool is a fantastic beach. The hotel has two restaurants inside and as part of the facility there is a Ruths Chris Steak House and a Japanese restaurant, Momoyama. Also, there is a restaurant/bar separating the pool area from the beach with an outdoor seating area that gives a great view of the both the beach and pool area. A bit pricey unless you can find a discounted rate, but what a great way to start the cruise vacation! Booked a dinner reservation for Ruths Chris through the concierge desk, then had a delicious steak dinner. Lounged by the pool for a couple of hours before hitting a very comfortable bed for a good nights sleep. Embarkation: Sunday, 28 May. Woke up Sunday morning to find it raining hard, but looking like just a passing storm (which it turned out to be!). Cleared the room by 10:00 am and headed for a taxi. The bellman grabbed my bags and started to place them with the Royal Caribbean guests bags for transfer to the ship. I told him I wasnt part of the Royal Caribbean pre-cruise group, but he said it didnt matter, I could leave my bags with them and they would be taken to the ship with no problem. I opted to keep my bags with me (thinking I might get them checked in earlier than the group and therefore get them delivered to the stateroom earlier  but I dont think it really mattered in the end). The bellman also suggested that I not go to the port that early (10:30 am) because there was nothing in the area to do and the port would not be open to allow me to board the ship. Since it was still raining at that time I mistakenly took his advice. An hour later the rain had stopped and I asked to bellman to get me a cab. Cost from hotel to port was $22. I thought that was a little high, but not exorbitant. The ride to port was about 15-minutes. When I got to the port the place was a madhouse of activity with taxis and busses leaving with previous weeks cruisers and taxis and busses arriving to drop off this weeks cruisers. There were two parallel lines of people outside the terminal  one to drop off luggage (not very clearly identified) and the other line for boarding passengers. Though the line for boarding was long when I got there, it moved fairly quick. Just inside the terminal is the security screening and past that is the waiting area and check-in lines. To the left is a duty-free store for liquor and cigarettes  not much else. The check-in was quick and painless as I had done the on-line check-in and had my Set-Sail Pass in hand. I had just taken a seat in the waiting area when they opened the doors for boarding. The ship was beautiful and well-maintained. I stopped by my stateroom to drop off my carry-on, even though the doors to the stateroom halls were still closed. I ran into a couple of stewards and explained what I planned to do and they said, No problem. I had carried-on a twelve pack of soft drinks (Im not a Coke-product fan) and wanted to get them into the cooler. Next stop was Windjammer for some lunch. Most of the day I explored the ship, grabbed a pool-side chaise and just relaxed. The muster drill went smoothly and I headed for the Strauss dining room for second-seating dinner. Meal times were shifted 30 minutes later on the first night, only. My first pair of tablemates were a couple from the Dallas area traveling without their kids. Great people, but unfortunately they were traveling with friends at a different table and were trying to get dinner seating with them. They were successful in that after the first night and I was glad for them, but very sorry to see them go. We connected often throughout the cruise and I enjoyed our conversations. The table was an 8-top and the next set of mates to join the table were a couple in my age range and the husbands mother, all from up-state New York. Fun and friendly folks and we always had entertaining dinner conversation (so much so that I seemed to talk/listen more than eat, so the meals lasted a while!). The ship lift port while we were at dinner, but luckily we were seated at beside a porthole and could see the dock sliding by as we ate. After dinner I went back to the room and lounged on the verandah (deck 8, forward, starboard) before crashing for the night. Next stop: St. Thomas! St. Thomas: Monday, 29 May. Had my ritual breakfast at Windjammer. Then it was off to the St. Thomas Mini Boat Adventure excursion. I had booked the excursion on-line through RCI and it was described as arrive at a beautiful, hidden beach for a visit to a beach. Here you can bask in the warm Caribbean sun, swim in the gorgeous sea, or experience snorkeling at one of the best areas off St. Thomas. The tale begins: we piled into an open-sided safari truck only to discover that the truck wouldnt start! After a short wait, another safari truck offered to take us all to the excursion boat dock, so we unloaded and loaded onto the good Samaritan truck. Now, the excursion involves breaking up into groups of two and piling into some two-person, Kodiak-style inflatable boats with small outboard motors. The guide boat then leads the way out across the open water to an area between two islands, just off the coast of St. Thomas. I was paired-up with a guy from the northern East Coast, I think he was from the Boston area. I was really looking forward to this little boating adventure! We were about the third or fourth boat in the flotilla and the boat ahead of us was dogging it pretty slow, so the group was strung out quite a ways behind the guide boat. Eventually, we got to the destination, an area between two small islands with a water depth of about 15. Here the guides tied all the boats together and said, Go snorkeling. Heres you snorkel gear. Foolish me, I said, The description said wed go to a beach. Wheres the beach? To which one of the guides explained, Theres a beach, and pointed to a small island with a rock beach about 50 yards away, you can swim over to it if you want, but watch out for the sea urchins and coral. Great! So, I dove in and floated around the boats for awhile, then climbed back in and sunned on the boat while chatting with the guides. Im just not that into snorkeling. When it was time to head back to the ship we all fired up our outboards and headed out behind the guide boat. Come to find out, what I thought was dogging along on the way out turned out to be full throttle for the little boat me and my new buddy were in. I slammed the throttle wide open (my boat companion didnt care to drive) and proceeded to get left behind by the rest of the group (this was a glimpse of things to come!). We eventually made it back to the dock where the guides offered us rum and our choice of mixer, coke or punch. Everyone drank up. It was a fun excursion, but not exactly what Id expected. And being on the slow boat from China, er&St. Thomas, in this case, wasnt as thrilling as Id hoped for!! I had been to St. Thomas (and St. Maarten) on a previous cruise and wasnt looking to buy jewelry, liquor or tobacco, so I skipped shopping in Charlotte Amalie and just wandered around the Havensight Mall right there at the dock. Back aboard ship for our Meet-n-Mingle. Had about 30 folks show up, RCI had a nice spread of appetizers with tea, lemonade or water. The host did a quick game of cruise ship trivia for some giveaway trinkets. Then it was time to relax on deck for a while before dinner. This was Captains Dinner formal night so I tuxed up and headed for the Captains Reception on the Royal Promenade before dinner. The world was well represented on the cruise and there were over 600 returning cruisers (this point would be material later in the trip report). Off to dinner: this evening another couple joined the table. They were from the Dallas area, retired and well-traveled. They added to the mix of interesting conversation so that meals in the dining room were always fun! I skipped the parade on the Royal Promenade and relaxed on deck and on the verandah before turning in for the night. St. Maarten: Tuesday, 30 May. Breakfast at Windjammer, then off the ship for the St. Maarten Sensation Beach Break w/ Lunch excursion. This tour headed from where we were docked at Philipsburg on the Dutch side of the island to Marigot on the French side. Along the way we were given a 15 minute scenic photo op overlooking the bay and then dropped off in the shopping district of Marigot for an hour. From there we went to Orient Beach for a couple of hours. Here I have a bone to pick with RCI. Orient Beach is a beautiful beach (though the water can be pretty active there). But, the section of Orient Beach they used for this excursion was called Boo Boo Jam and in my opinion it truly was a boo boo. Although the restaurant provided bathrooms and an outdoor, enclosed shower stall/changing area, the facility was pretty pathetic. On the left side of the beach sign you could lay out on bare plastic lounges in the sun for free, or add a tiny beach umbrella for 3 bucks pp. On the right side of the beach sign you could lay out in the sun on cushioned plastic lounges with a tiny beach umbrella for 5 bucks pp. If you looked off to the right down the beach about a quarter of a mile you could see the other, up-scale beach restaurant/bar establishments strung out along the prime beach front. But just so everyone knew we were at a European beach, there was the obligatory naked older man walking the beach at our location, posing for pictures when requested, even though he was about a mile away from the Club Orient nudist beach at the very far end of Orient Beach. It was hilarious and he got some rather disrespectful catcalls from some of the un-enlightened of our group. Others were more encouraging and from what I hear, he was fairly photogenic. Sadly, for us guys, there werent any unclad ladies on the beach  that may be a good thing based on what Ive seen there previously! My previous visit to Orient Beach had been on a Disney Cruise excursion which used the up-scale area of the beach that I referred to and I expected as much from Royal Caribbean, so my disappointment with RCI was in their choice of location/contractor for the Orient Beach excursions. Still it was an enjoyable day. One thing about Orient Beach that other reports have correctly stated is that the waves come right in from the ocean, no breakfront or reef, so youll be standing in waist-deep water and get hammered by a 3-foot swell that will nearly knock you down. The water is warm and beautiful, but be prepared to hang onto hats, sunglasses and anything else that sits on, but not attached to, your person! From the beach we took the bus back to Philipsburg with the option to get off the bus in town for some quick shopping. I wanted to hit the Belgian Chocolate Shop (which had offered a chocolate tasting aboard the ship on Monday night), so I hopped off the bus to walk the shops in Philipsburg. To get back to the ship is a simple matter of catching a water taxi ($3 one way, or $5 for an all-day pass) back to the pier. All told, another beautiful day on an island paradise. Back on the ship I had an early dinner at Johnny Rockets and just lounged around the rest of the evening. Next stop: St. Lucia. St. Lucia: Wednesday, 31 May. Slept in and had the usual breakfast at Windjammer, then headed off to do some shopping. I was disappointed that there was no Del Sol store on St. Lucia as I like to pick up one of their color-changing t-shirts from each island I visit. There is a nice shopping area/mall right at the pier with the ever-present Diamonds International and Columbian Emeralds stores as well as some other souvenir shops and liquor outlets. Feeling adventurous, I decided to walk the 15-minute walk into town from the pier. After being hounded by taxi drivers and panhandlers for the first 100 yards after leaving the pier, the walk to town wasnt worth the effort, to me. Id recommend doing your shopping at the mall at the pier, as downtown didnt impress me much. When I got back to the ship I had a quick snack at Windjammer and then it was off to the Aerial Trek excursion. This is a zip-line tour of the rainforest in the mountains above Castries. The bus ride to the excursion site was longer than the actual excursion, itself, but afforded some beautiful views of the island, the villages, a glimpse at the Pitons and lots of rainforest  up and down narrow roads through the rainforest. The excursion involves getting fitted into a harness that provides your connection to the zip-lines (cables strung from tree to tree through the rain forest) and acts as your support, or seat (in the form of nylon web straps under your thighs), while zipping along the zip-lines from one platform in the treetops to the next. Its a fun experience and, in my opinion, well worth the cost of the excursion. I will take the zip-line excursions every chance I get! One of the couples I met during this tour thought they were going on a hiking tour and were a bit hesitant when they learned what the excursion was about, but they had a blast and were ready to do it again when the excursion was over! Excellent excursion! It does require quite a bit of walking up and down earthen steps and isnt handicap-accessible for those that might be interested. Got back to the ship in time for the Crown & Anchor Returning Guest reception. Heres the rub: The invitations placed in the staterooms for Crown & Anchor members gave two separate times (5:30 and 7:45) for the reception  one for first dinner seating guests and one for second seating guests. About a hundred of us (out of the 600+ returning guests the Captain spoke of during his Gala reception) showed up for the early Crown & Anchor reception at Imperial Lounge. When do you get upset when someone invites you to a party? When the hosts dont show up! I thought it was rather strange that there was no ice carving, no table of food, no greeters at the door, but I thought maybe they just do it differently on AOS. No. We sat in the lounge for about 25 minutes before one of the guests went to Guest Services to find out what was going on. They returned to tell us that the Loyalty Ambassador had put out the WRONG invitations. There would only be one reception and it was at 7:45 pm. Seems, based on the number of returning guests and the percentage that RCI figures will attend the reception, they have either one or two receptions. For 600+ returning guests they only provide one reception. This left many of us with a bad taste in our mouths, simply because we had planned our activities for the day around being somewhere at a particular time for a particular event. The apologies came after much prodding and gnashing of teeth, but I felt that RCI could have made some kind of token effort to those who had followed the invitations  a coffee mug, a shot glass, or free drink at the bar  nothing over the top but just something to reflect their remorse for messing with our schedules. It wasnt a deal-breaker for me and certainly didnt RUIN my vacation, nevertheless, I didnt attend the later reception (it was tantrum time, boycott the whole shebang  actually, I wasnt that upset, I have seen ice carvings before, I had plenty to eat and really didnt have any questions for the staff  it would just have been something to do with the in crowd for an hour or so!). Dinner was at Portofino and it was excellent, as always. My server was Grace from the Philippines and the assistant server was a very friendly gentleman with some unpronounceable name from Bulgaria. They were both attentive and fun to talk with. Then it was time to lounge on the deck for awhile before heading back to the stateroom, verandah and bed. Antigua: Thursday, 1 Jun. Repeat: sleep in, breakfast at Windjammer, off the ship to look around in the shopping area, then the excursion. The town of St. Johns is right outside the dock with most of the big name shops right there as you come off the ship. A couple of blocks over to the right is a straw/souvenir market with tons of t-shirts, beach wraps, bags, hats, etc. Again, no Del Sol on the island  there appears to be a trend here! Back to the ship to head off on my excursion, Mini Boats and Hidden Beaches. I should have learned something from the last mini boat adventure, but Id booked these on-line in advance of the cruise and was really looking forward to sprinting around the ocean in these little 2-person boats! Okay, this one REALLY WAS as it was described, pilot your own two-person Kodiak-type boat with outboard motor across the open water to different islands and beaches (well, you got to see several beaches, but only stopped to swim at one of them  still, this is what I was looking for!). The bus ride took us to a small dock quite a ways away from (and I think it was on the other side of the island) the pier. At this dock, basically in the middle of nowhere, were a row of the inflatable boats. I think someone asked about going to the restroom and I believe the answer was something like, Pick a spot. As one guide briefed us on safety and how to operate the boats (and I DO mean brief - fortunately, some of us had experience with boating), the other guide was filling plastic fuel tanks with gas, sitting them in the boats and connecting the fuel lines. They assigned us to our boats (I was alone in one this time), started the motors and started pushing us out from the dock. Remembering my last experience, I shoved the throttle full on&and the engine died. I restarted it, moved out into the bay and started doing circles until everyone was away from the dock. They all took off like bats out of hell (this was going to be FUN!) and I slammed the throttle forward to join the line. The engine roared, the propeller churned&and the boat went putt-putt-putt, roared and then back to putt-putt-putt. It wouldnt move beyond a little more than an idle speed. If I had an oar, I could have paddled faster than the motor was moving me. As the group disappeared into the horizon I putt-putted along where I THOUGHT they had gone. Once in awhile I would catch a glimpse of them swinging off toward an island and then theyd swing back across my path in the other direction to another island  I just cut across the open water to try and catch up! Several times I tried bringing the motor back to idle and advancing the throttle, to no avail. Putt-putt-putt. Then the group of them disappeared around one of the islands and I was alone&at sea&barely moving. I finally came around the island where the group has disappeared and there they were, boats beached and people frolicking in the water. I s-l-o-w-l-y puttered up to the beach and YELLED at the guide, This thing SUCKS! They had seen about 7 beaches and had been at this last one for about 15 minutes by the time I got there. The guide came over and said, Got a problem with the boat? Naw, I turned off the motor and paddled by hand to get some exercise  heres your sign! He tinkered with it a few minutes then called to me, Theres water in the fuel! Im thinking, Well, hell, I didnt put it in there, so dont look at ME! When it was time to pack up and head back the guide tells me, Your boat is fine now, you shouldnt have anymore problems. Yeah, right. I climb in, start it up, crank the throttle wide open, it jumps about 15 feet, then, putt-putt-putt! NO WAY am I taking this thing back  I wouldnt get there in time before the ship leaves port! I yelled something to that effect at the other guide and he came over and traded boats with me. He fiddled with it a minute, then took off, waving for the rest of us to follow. Now, THIS boat MOVES! So, Im right behind him, making waves when his boat (my previous snail) starts going putt-putt-putt. He waves me on ahead so I take off with the rest of the group trailing along behind me. Im smokin along and turn to look for the others and they are W-A-A-A-Y back there, eatin my dust (or in this case, my sea spray). This is fun! The rest of the way back Im having a blast, jumping waves and screaming across the ocean. THIS is what I was expecting from both of the mini boat excursions. That I managed to get it for half of one excursion was enough for now! Excursion over, we made it back to the ship. This was the second formal night, so I lounged around the open decks for awhile before heading to the stateroom to get suited up for dinner. I use the same tux, but put on a different cummerbund and tie with a flat-collared shirt, just so I dont look like a carbon copy of the first formal night. Works for me. Over dinner all the tablemates discuss their excursions and activities of the past couple of days since I last was at the table. Then we call it a night and go our separate ways  for me it was the El Goucho production show  very good. Off to the stateroom, verandah and after watching the ocean slide by for awhile, to bed. Barbados: Friday, 2 Jun. The usual: sleep late, Windjammer breakfast and off the ship to explore the port. Another port with some nice shopping right at the dockside terminal. Coming off the ship you are put in a shuttle bus that takes you around the pier to the port terminal. From there I waited for a shuttle bus into Bridgetown, and waited, and waited along with a group of about 10 others. One driver tells us to follow him and we head out across the drive way when a Port Authority Officer tells him he cant take off with us (never did know why  what the rules are for the taxi/shuttle drivers might be is a mystery to me). Anyway, the PA Officer takes us back to where we were waiting, grabs another driver and tells us to get into HIS shuttle/taxi. Its a short ride into town for $2 pp and Im off the bus and looking for the Del Sol store. Got my T-shirt and decide that it was such a short ride into town that Ill walk back. The downtown shopping area here is pretty nicely laid out, reminded me a little of Nassau. Its hot, but breezy, and the walk leads along the coastline through a beautiful garden/park with benches to sit and rest on. Nice walk. Back at the ship its time to do my Malibu Beach Break excursion. This excursion goes to the Malibu distillery and includes a free drink and tour of the distillery, as well as open use of the beach adjacent to the distillery. Lots of vendors and private watercraft operators on the beach  jet skis were running $45 per half hour, I believe. The beach is nice and well appointed. I ran into two couples from the ship who had been on the Orient Beach excursion with me at St. Maarten, so they set up their lounge chairs beside mine and we chatted and took turns watching over each others stuff. That led to confusion on the part of the beach umbrella patrol. It was yelled out that there was one umbrella to share between each two lounge chairs. And here we had five lounge chairs under 3 umbrellas  apparently it was very unnerving to the umbrella patrol, who just shook their heads and mumbled to each other  half an umbrella was being wasted! Having soaked up enough sun for the day, we caught the bus back to the ship. This was another night for dinner at Portofino and my mouth was watering for the filet mignon and the veal. I was not disappointed! After dinner it was more relaxing on the open decks, walking and shopping on the Royal Promenade and then heading to the stateroom to catch some TV while I ate Belgian Chocolate and prepared for another night of being gently rocked to sleep. At Sea Day: Saturday, 3 June. The normal routine: sleep in, have breakfast at Windjammer and then what? no port to visit? Just a fun, lazy day at sea. Lay by the pool, grab snacks at Windjammer, lay by the pool some more. Its a rough life. Early dinner at Johnny Rockets, packed the suitcases and carry-on, filled out the customs form, distributed the gratuity vouchers, walked the decks and then soaked up the ocean air from the verandah. Put the luggage in the hallway and crashed. The cruise was coming to a close and it was MUCH too soon. Debarkation: Sunday, 4 Jun. Rising EARLY, today. After a quick breakfast at Windjammer I headed to Imperial Lounge to meet the group for the Old San Juan  New San Juan tour. This tour provides express debarkation from the ship, then you collect your bags at the luggage claim area, clear customs, take your bags out the door of the terminal to a truck and drop them off. The truck will take the luggage to the airport and the tour bus will take you straight to it when the tour is over. The bus tour through Old San Juan was nice, although our driver, the tour guide, was speaking a foreign language that only vaguely resembled English! The tour goes to Fort San Cristobal, huge and beautiful old fort of stone wall with many levels and some fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean, downtown Old San Juan and New San Juan. We spent about an hour there and then headed for El Morro Castle. Beautiful grounds, but the tour didnt stop to explore. From there is was downtown Old San Juan for some shopping  oh, by the way, most of the shops in Old San Juan are closed on Sunday. So, it was a photo op and a chance to buy a T-shirt at one of the few souvenir shops that WERE open. There was a Del Sol store, but like most of the other stores, it was closed. From there we drove through New San Juan, past most of the hotels and resorts and out to the airport. We were there by 11:15, collected the luggage and headed for the ticket counter to check in, check the luggage and kill time till my 4:30 flight to Orlando. I probably could have changed to an earlier flight, but figured it was best not to mess with things that were already in motion. So, I ate, read and wandered the airport for a few hours  better early than late! I flew into Orlando because to fly back to San Antonio was outrageous. RT from SAT to SJU was $1300. One way from SAT to SJU was $300  go figure. So, to keep from paying $900 to get back to SAT, I flew to Orlando for $230, spend the night at the Shades of Green Resort on-property at Disney World (annual pass holder) and used the extended-hours benefit of on-property guests to go to Magic Kingdom which was open for extended hours until 3:00 am. Then flew to San Antonio on Southwest Airlines for $98 on Monday morning, 5 June. It was a fantastic cruise and now that its over, I want to go back!!!! Cant wait for the next cruise! Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.0

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