Sail Date: January 2012
We arrive two days early and stayed at the Caribe Hilton. We have stayed there before and enjoy their private beach. Food is very expensive at the hotel, but the Starbucks on site filled our breakfast needs and we went to Old San Juan for ... Read More
We arrive two days early and stayed at the Caribe Hilton. We have stayed there before and enjoy their private beach. Food is very expensive at the hotel, but the Starbucks on site filled our breakfast needs and we went to Old San Juan for dinners. I know there have been some complaints about the staff there, but we found everyone helpful and pleasant. We arrived at the port by 10:30 and were on the ship by noon. When we were let in the building the line behind us was HUGE. Something to consider with the heat. We had made our spa appointments and visited the promenade and eaten lunch all by 1:30. Our bags even made it to the cabins by 2:30. Our cabins were spotless, but looked like it was time for some refreshing in a few spots. Wonderful cabin attendant, never needed to ask for a thing. I had forgotten that you couldn't open the dividers to the balconies. We were on deck 9, and felt it was a perfect place to be. We had MTD and used the dining room 3 times. One meal was amazing (the first formal night), the other two, just OK. The staff and service were wonderful there. We also ate at Johnny Rockets (very enjoyable), Portofino (outstanding food and staff)and Windjammer. There the food was what you would expect in a venue like that, no complaints since you could always find something that you'd like. The staff was nice but it appeared that they were really cutting back on waitstaff there. Cleaning of tables were rushed and done poorly and it was almost impossible to get a cup of coffee. I don't blame the staff, there were just not enough people to get everything done. Service in the bars were always fine. The spa was nice, but expensive. No one tried to push any products on me. We all had great services. We had no trouble finding poolside seating in the Solarium, but we always came out early. I actually saw less fighting over seats this trip, but never made it to the other pool (so I can't speak for that area). The bartenders in the Solarium were great. Again, you could see the cutting back on staff with the lack of poolside waiters. Not a big deal for us. We only went to one show, the Beatles tribute. We thought it was great. Our main entertainment was sitting in the Promenade and people watching. There is plenty to do, so being bored is your own fault! I know people have complained about the demographics going out of San Juan and I TOTALLY disagree. People were polite 90% of the time, no different than any other cruise I have been on. There will always be a group of obnoxious people on your cruise, it is not caused by any specific ethnic group. We didn't attend any Diamond events. I had to set up our next cruise with the Loyalty Ambassador. She called and cancelled my appointment and asked me to come at another time. I called several times to confirm the new appointment and could not leave a message or reach her. When I showed up for the appointment she looked surprised and had people already there in my place (my name was crossed out on the sign in sheet). She did fit me in with another rep, so the issue was fixed. We did the ship's excursion to St John, which was great! No stress worrying about the ferry. The other days we did on our own, since I had a lot of Marriott points to use. St Kitts, Aruba, and Curacao were all beach days. Departure was a piece of cake since we are Diamond and were off the ship, thru customs and to the airport by 10am. It was a relaxing, enjoyable cruise. Yes, the ship needs some work and the food quality isn't as good as it used to be, but we still enjoyed our cruise. The staff was great and a pleasure to spend the week with. We would cruise Adventure again!   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
This is our second time cruising the Southern Caribbean and on the same ship - Adventure of the Seas. Last year, we did the other itinerary this ship does so this year we did this one -- San Juan, St Thomas, St Kitts, Sea day, Aruba, ... Read More
This is our second time cruising the Southern Caribbean and on the same ship - Adventure of the Seas. Last year, we did the other itinerary this ship does so this year we did this one -- San Juan, St Thomas, St Kitts, Sea day, Aruba, Curacao, Sea Day, San Juan. THE SHIP STUFF Embarkation/disembarkation - was a breeze with no line-ups at either departure port (mind you we only had carry-ons) or ports-of-call. The Ship - Adventure of the Seas is a nice ship still in fairly good condition with exception of few areas of badly stained carpeting. Our interior cabin was clean, cozy and comfortable. Nice bed linens and no evidence of bed bugs. The first 2 nights, I did feel some "shuddering" that I read about from other reviews which woke me up -- staff said they felt nothing but our tablemates did confirm. The artwork on this ship is impressive. Start at the forward stairwell on Deck12 and go down. Food -- we ate all our breakfasts/dinners in the MDR . The wait staff was good -- the head waiter came around most nights and our waiter kept us supplied with lobster tails. The food quality in MDR was good (although it seemed not as good as last year) -- all seafood was good, lamb shank was good (but they reduced the cut from rack of lamb to shank) and the prime rib was good. Stay away from the pork chops as it was too dry. Other mentionables -- strawberries at breakfast, spinach dip, souffles, mango and banana parfait. The raisin bread at the Cafe Promenade is delicious! And my husband did enjoy the Windjammer Sushi Bar one evening before our second seating dinner (although not real sushi). Entertainment -- we really enjoyed this year. The Beatles tribute not to be missed and the Ice Show was unbelievable since we got front row seats at the bottom of the U! Try to get there early so that you can sit at the bottom of the U shaped theatre for best effect. The Love and Marriage show and The Quest was hilarious! Cruise Director Richard Spacey does a terrific job! Activities -- we had fun at trivia and learning to jive and best event was Captains Corner where the Captain answered our questions. Did you know that it can cost up to $1million in fuel/wk? And port costs each day can be $50,000-$70,000. THE PORTS-OF-CALL STUFF San Juan, Isla Verde -- we arrived one day before the cruise and stayed at Intercontinental -- a pleasant surprise! We Pricelined($136+$20resort fee) it and room was on 4th floor facing street which was fine. The pool and gardens are great (imo better than El San Juan) and the beach is really nice. We could walk to the right to end of the beach and go to La Playita restaurant (in La Playa Hotel) for dinner (mahi-mahi good but overpriced) and lunch(chicken wrap with tostones was excellent and good value). For breakfast we went to Don Jose - not recommended as poor quality food (they did not even have regular black tea). We liked the Intercontinental so much that when we disembarked we high-tailed it off the ship as early as we could and went back to enjoy lunch at their pool bar restaurant amongst the beautiful pool/waterfall/gardens before catching our flight home. Intercontinental does not do day pass (they wanted $150 for a day room). St Thomas -- taxied to Sapphire Beach at the Sapphire Beach Resort. Small beach but very beautiful with mountains an St Johns in background . Chairs were $7/pp. We only stayed couple hours because it was so windy that day and the sand was blowing up on us. The resort has food near the beach and also up at the pool. After the beach we headed to Charlotte Armalie and once you get off the main road with all the jewelers, the little laneways were really quaint (reminded me of New Orleans). We did the 99 steps and the view at the top was worth the climb! St Thomas harbor is very picturesque with all the anchored sailboats. St Kitts -- took a tour with Thenford Grey's company but it was his older brother Sackville Grey that was our driver/guide. We had small group of 11. The grounds/gardens at Romney Manor are amazing. Brimstone Fortress National Park(UNESCO) was worth climbing for the fantastic views. South Friar's Bay beach was very disappointing. If you end up here, head for the Carambola Beach Club at the opposite end of the beach as they have best part of the beach and amenities. There's free WIFI at bar to the right of the port terminal exit. Aruba -- we had been here a couple times on land resorts so we took the local bus ($1.30/pp) to the Mariott (last hotel on Palm Beach) so my husband could windsurf. Curacao -- another pleasant surprise! This was our favourite port because of Willemstad(another UNESCO). Don't miss Kura Hulanda hotel on Otrabanda side. This boutique hotel has the most beautiful grounds/gardens. We walked across the pontoon bridge to the Punda side and did our own walking tour -- floating market, Waterside Terrace, Fort Amsterdam and had lunch at Plein Cafe (free WIFI). Then took a cab to the Dive-Bus where the friendly/helpful staff outfitted us with snorkel gear ($15/pp -mask,snorkel,booties,fins,vest). Snorkeling was amazing! We did the ocean side of the Pierbaai reef at the Breezes resort and saw tonnes of colourful fish and so many different kinds of coral/sponges. Going back we took local bus(plates have BX and just wave them down) which was ($1.50/pp). The Rif Fort beside the pier was nice and has free WIFI. All in all we thankfully had yet another nice cruise with RCI -- so much so that we are currently researching a cruise for next year. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
We arrived in SJU a day early and stayed at the Conrad Condado. It was decent but the bathroom door is only a sliding door, not much privacy. Dinner was at Orozco's, a few blocks down. The service was great but the Mofongo was only ... Read More
We arrived in SJU a day early and stayed at the Conrad Condado. It was decent but the bathroom door is only a sliding door, not much privacy. Dinner was at Orozco's, a few blocks down. The service was great but the Mofongo was only ok. It was tasteless. Embarkation was a bit of a mess. We arrived at 10:45am but the porter service didn't start until 11:30am. Check in took only about 10 minutes. After that, we were herded to an area in the terminal with chairs and told to wait. We waited until 1pm, until the doors were opened. Meanwhile, the terminal filled with people and tempers were flaring because there was no information or updates. Our room attendant, Stephen, was fantastic. Our hump-room Junior Suite was comfortable and spacious. The Diamond staff, Micky & Chris were excellent, even though they were very busy with a full lounge. We looked forward to seeing them every night! Remember to tip the Diamond staff!! Muster drill is at 6:00pm, formal nights are Monday (day 2) and Thursday (day 5) lobster night is Friday (day 6). Our group of 10 had booked over a year in advance and all our bookings were linked. Right after check in, we discovered that our group had two different tables on opposite sides of the dining rooms. This was unacceptable. It was corrected quickly. Our main dining service was only ok. I know they were trying hard but this was the most impersonal service I have ever had. We only saw the head waiter once during the entire week. He never even made the rounds to unshell the shellfish. We had to repeatedly ask for sauces, dressings etc. There are some new items on the menu but nothing to brag about. On lobster night, my lobster was spoiled and a tablemate's was undercooked. Our waiter seemed too rushed for me to ask for a replacement. The Windjammer service was also lacking. Dirty tables sat too long and sometimes you were never offered a beverage. Drink prices have gone up. Two beers are almost $10, a bucket of 6 Coors Lights will cost you $24. Mixed drinks are about $9. Portofino's service took so long that my tablemates actually fell asleep between courses. Johnny Rockets is not $4.95, they charge you for other things too. Our bill came to almost $18. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2012
To start off, a word to the wise. We book a pre night stay in San Juan at the Miramar 10 months in advance. We booked 4 rooms and had confirmation for them. When we got to the hotel, we were surprised to find out we had NO rooms, and they ... Read More
To start off, a word to the wise. We book a pre night stay in San Juan at the Miramar 10 months in advance. We booked 4 rooms and had confirmation for them. When we got to the hotel, we were surprised to find out we had NO rooms, and they pawned us off on some cheap discount hotel around the corner. It was a complete disaster. Thank god it was only for 1 night. When we arrived at the pier in San Juan, it looked like a 1,000 people standing outside the terminal. I thought we would be hours waiting to get checked in. We had a priority line to go to since we had a suite, but the rest of our group had to stand in the long long line. We got there are 11:30am.......the line surprisingly went very fast and all of us were on board in the ship in a half hours time. The staff was very courteous at the pier, but their seems to be some confusion getting through the security line. There were in fact no lines at all. It was just one big mob of people and you just had to push your way in. The ship itself is beautiful, but showing some age. We booked an Owners Suite on deck 10. The suite was huge. Almost 600 sq foot. I was shocked by the size of the balcony though. It was any bigger than a balcony from a regular balcony room, but the inside of the suite made up for it. We did hear a lot of noise from the pool deck area on nights they had events. It wasn't bad enough to keep me awake, but you could hear chairs and people moving about. We had the luxury of having use of a concierge, but we only saw her once. We happened to run into her at the guest relations desk. Overall, I was not disappointed in our cabin and the service we received. The entertainment lacked a bit from what we had seen on some of the other ships. The shows we saw were repeat shows from previous cruises, including the backdrops. I am not sure how RC rotates these shows, but it seems we always see either the same exact shows, or partial repeats. The ice show was probably the best show we saw. Dinning was good as always. We had exceptional service from our waiter George, and his assistant Gladys. We also enjoyed seeing our head waiter "Big Momma" as she liked to be called. It was the first cruise that we actually had interaction with our head waiter. The food selection was ok. I did order a fillet from Chops one night which was the best I had ever had. It was well worth the $20 charge. Having a suite allowed us to choose a table of our choice. There are some nice perks when you book a suite. RC really bends over backwards to ensure when you book a suite such as an Owners suite, to contact you ahead of time and ask you if you have any request for dinning, or for your cabin. For the most part I wasn't impressed by the ports of call. I usually would rather spend most of my time on the ship since that's what I paid for, and usually the ports all seem the same. We have done most all of them so I enjoyed having the pool deck mostly to myself while in port. We did do the Cosol tour while in St Lucia. If you have the opportunity to do this tour I would highly recommend it. It was well worth the $65 per person. It takes you well off the beaten path to the Pitons. Our guide Ben was very knowledgeable and wonderful. It was the best tour I have done to date on a cruise. You can look them up online under Cosol Tours, St Lucia. I am just surprised at how dirty most of the ports and islands are went to. You would think with the high volume of tourism they have, they would clean up the ports more. Our overall cruise on Adventure was good. I don't know if I would cruise out of San Juan again. It was expensive for us to fly there from Upstate NY, and the experience with the hotel really threw us for a loop. The fact we had 9 family members standing in the street in San Juan with luggage, and no hotel room really put a damper on pre cruise day. Plus leaving from San Juan was the worst of any airport I had flown out of. Make sure you get there a couple of hours before your flight leaves. You will need the time. The lines to check in at US Air had like 300 people in it, and it took forever to check in. Then it was another hour to get through the two TSA security workers. It was nothing short of a mess. Adventure is stil a great ship............. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
My husband "won" this cruise in a sales incentive program through his company. It was a fully paid trip, other than our excursions. We did not choose our own cabin, and ate all dinners but one in the dining room with other people ... Read More
My husband "won" this cruise in a sales incentive program through his company. It was a fully paid trip, other than our excursions. We did not choose our own cabin, and ate all dinners but one in the dining room with other people from my husband's company. Embarkation was quick and easy. When we arrived at the ship, there was the customary photographer there to record the moment. Our room was ready when we embarked, and our luggage was already waiting by the door. I think we got to the ship at around 2pm. The ship was really pretty...we loved walking around the first day and discovering fun places to visit. Since this is a port intensive cruise, we didn't spent a whole lot of time on the ship, except at night and on the day it rained. Our cabin stewards were great, service in the dining room was perfect and we never really had any issues other than having to wait for an elevator a time or two. We took the stairs whenever we could. Disembarkation was a little chaotic; finding our bags and going through customs took some time. We also had trouble finding a taxi b/c there were SO many people getting off the ship at once. In all, we were very thankful for the trip, and had a wonderful time in our balcony cabin!   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We arrived by taxi at 1:00 PM to board the ship. We had three pieces of wheeled luggage (aircraft overhead compartment size) so we choose to carry our luggage on board. The line closest to the street is the check baggage line. We went ... Read More
We arrived by taxi at 1:00 PM to board the ship. We had three pieces of wheeled luggage (aircraft overhead compartment size) so we choose to carry our luggage on board. The line closest to the street is the check baggage line. We went directly to the processing line. The line was fairly long but went very quickly. There was water and lemonade for people waiting in line. The hold up in the line were individuals that packed their Pass Ports or On-Line Check-In Paperwork in their checked luggage. Once inside the terminal the line moved quickly, getting to the counter to check in with Royal Caribbean went very fast. If you were ready with your credit card and Pass Ports it took 2 minutes to get your SeaPass and move on to boarding the ship. It took us 45 minutes from the time the taxi dropped us off to the time we entered our cabin. One of the fastest and efficient boarding's we've had cruising. We dropped off our luggage and ate at the Windjammer buffet. The Adventure Of The Seas is still a beautiful ship (10 Years Old). The staff on board was great. The food at the buffet is average, but so is every buffet. We choose to eat almost all our meals in the dining room, breakfast, and dinner. More relaxed atmosphere and meals were served la cart to order. The cruise director was one of the best we've ever had, we want to thank him and his staff for their hard work, and great humor which really made this cruise feel special. We thought the shows were good. The food in the dining was great, the only complaint was our wait staff for dinner was slow, I don't know if they had to many tables to serve or what the problem was for the 6:00 dining. The only other thing with the cruise was one morning the toilets were not working on certain parts of the ship, but were fixed very quickly. The ports were great and the weather was nice with the exception of our last cruise day it was windy and cloudy for a good portion of the day. Overall this was a great cruise, a beautiful ship and a wonder crew. The people of Puerto Rico and San Juan were great, they were always helpful and friendly. I want to thank them for making our time in their community a memorable one. Now, the last thing. I don't know who writes some of these reviews but I don't think you could please them if the cruise was free. I was concerned that I made the wrong choice after I read so many negative reviews about the San Juan port and the Adventure Of The Seas. I DID NOT, this is a great cruise, book the cruise and have a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We arrived by taxi at 1:00 PM to board the ship. We had three pieces of wheeled luggage (aircraft overhead compartment size) so we choose to carry our luggage on board. The line closest to the street is the check baggage line. We went ... Read More
We arrived by taxi at 1:00 PM to board the ship. We had three pieces of wheeled luggage (aircraft overhead compartment size) so we choose to carry our luggage on board. The line closest to the street is the check baggage line. We went directly to the processing line. The line was fairly long but went very quickly. There was water and lemonade for people waiting in line. The hold up in the line were individuals that packed their Pass Ports or On-Line Check-In Paperwork in their checked luggage. Once inside the terminal the line moved quickly, getting to the counter to check in with Royal Caribbean went very fast. If you were ready with your credit card and Pass Ports it took 2 minutes to get your SeaPass and move on to boarding the ship. It took us 45 minutes from the time the taxi dropped us off to the time we entered our cabin. One of the fastest and efficient boarding's we've had cruising. We dropped off our luggage and ate at the Windjammer buffet. The Adventure Of The Seas is still a beautiful ship (10 Years Old). The staff on board was great. The food at the buffet is average, but so is every buffet. We choose to eat almost all our meals in the dining room, breakfast, and dinner. More relaxed atmosphere and meals were served la cart to order. The cruise director was one of the best we've ever had, we want to thank him and his staff for their hard work, and great humor which really made this cruise feel special. We thought the shows were good. The food in the dining was great, the only complaint was our wait staff for dinner was slow, I don't know if they had to many tables to serve or what the problem was for the 6:00 dining. The only other thing with the cruise was one morning the toilets were not working on certain parts of the ship, but were fixed very quickly. The ports were great and the weather was nice with the exception of our last cruise day it was windy and cloudy for a good portion of the day. Overall this was a great cruise, a beautiful ship and a wonder crew. The people of Puerto Rico and San Juan were great, they were always helpful and friendly. I want to thank them for making our time in their community a memorable one. Now, the last thing. I don't know who writes some of these reviews but I don't think you could please them if the cruise was free. I was concerned that I made the wrong choice after I read so many negative reviews about the San Juan port and the Adventure Of The Seas. I DID NOT, this is a great cruise, book the cruise and have a wonderful time, and to the "W H I N E R S" get a life! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Background: This was a ladies' family cruise. I am 40. This was my 11th Royal Caribbean cruise, but my first time on a voyager class ship. I shared a cabin with my aunt (50) who was on her 4th cruise but had also never been on a ... Read More
Background: This was a ladies' family cruise. I am 40. This was my 11th Royal Caribbean cruise, but my first time on a voyager class ship. I shared a cabin with my aunt (50) who was on her 4th cruise but had also never been on a Voyager class ship. We traveled with my mom (6th cruise, second time on Voyager class) and my cousin who is 30 and was her first cruise. My mom is a full-time wheelchair user. We departed from San Juan and had stops in St. Croix, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. Pre-Cruise: We flew into San Juan on the 25th and arrived late afternoon. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. The hotel location was good -- close to Ashford Street with a variety of restaurants, shops, and a small beach. There were many pre-cruise guests at the hotel. The hotel is not very well sound-proofed so we could hear both street noise and hall noise during the night. The accessible room is not laid out well. My mom does not have an over-sized wheelchair, but I had to remove the toilet-paper holder from the wall so she could get her wheelchair into the bathroom. The space around and between the beds was also tight. It was okay for a manual wheelchair user but might be too narrow for someone with a scooter or electric chair. Based on the recommendations of several people, we decided to try Cafe del Angel on Ashford Street for dinner. The food was pretty good but this is not a place to go when you are very hungry or want a quick meal. It took about 20 minutes after we were seated for someone to take our order and it was over an hour later before we got our dinner. We only ordered 1 course but everyone ordered something different. That may have caused a problem for the kitchen since two of the dinners arrived barely lukewarm while the other two were hot. In the morning taxis were plentiful so we were able to find a minivan low enough to get my mom into for the ride to the port. Boarding: We arrived at the port around 11:30 and the line for check-in was already long. We first stood in line to drop off our checked bags. Then we went to another line for check-in. We had an accessible cabin and a junior suite so we were all able to go through the priority line. It took about 25 minutes from the time we got in line until we got into the terminal to have our carry-on bags scanned. I had a pack of Dr. Pepper cans in my bag that went though without a problem. Security didn't seem to know what to do with my mom so that caused a delay in the line. We had trouble making them understand that even though my mom has legs, she cannot walk through the metal detector. The agent kept telling her that it was only a couple steps and she had to get out of her wheelchair. I guess they are used to most people with scooters or wheelchairs able to walk long enough to go through the metal detector. We finally got a woman to understand our situation and do a hand inspection of my mom. Once through security, we were directed to the check-in area where we got our cabin cards. There was a priority line for suite guests that we used. However, it didn't seem to make much difference in the amount of time for checking in. The people who were in front of us going through the security line were at the front of the regular check-in line when we finished our check-in process. Ship: We got onboard around 12:45 but the cabins were not ready yet. We had lunch in Windjammer then wandered around the ship for a while. The cabins weren't ready until around 2:15. Although I have been on Liberty, Adventure also seems extremely big. To be honest, it's really too big for me. There is a ton to do, which is great for some people. My personal preference is still Radiance class ships. The main dining room is beautiful. We ate there several nights. There is a nice variety of bars and lounges. The Jester Lounge made me claustrophobic and reminded me of a dungeon. I liked the singer in the Dog & Duck, but it was the only place to smoke on the promenade so the smoke smell in that area was overwhelming. The Schooner Bar also was too smoky to stay for very long. The Viking Crown is divided into several smaller lounges and offers views of the ship decks and ocean. The 19th Hole has an interesting sculpture similar to a Mouse Trap game. It was fun to watch the balls roll down the various tracks. The promenade got really crowded at times, particularly around the cafe. I didn't try the golf course, ice rink, or rock-climbing wall. The Solarium has a Venetian theme. Unlike Radiance class ships, on Adventure it is uncovered. I prefer the covered Solarium. Adventure has a kid's pool area so there didn't seem to be as many kids as usual around the Solarium and main pools. However it was a February cruise so most kids were in school. I didn't try the main pool area. The water in the Solarium pool is salt water and a little cool but warm enough after a few minutes. The hot tubs were not very hot -- more like a warm bath so no danger of getting overheated when sitting for very long. The layout of Windjammer on Adventure is not very good. Some of the other ships have several small islands so passengers can go around the various islands to make their selections. It can be a little chaotic but the lines are not very long. Adventure is set up like a long buffet bar. The line can get very long and move slowly if people take much time with their selections. There were the usual signs of wear and tear onboard -- stained furniture and carpets, worn places, rusty spots, etc. but nothing that made me think the ship was ready to fall apart. The artwork in the stairways was a bit bland, but the hallways of decks 7 -- 10 had some interesting pieces, particularly "Love Handles" displayed outside the Royal Suite. We lost count of how many tapestries named "Aquatic" were displayed on the ship. Cabin: We had cabin 9624, which is a junior suite on the port side at the back of the hump on deck 9, and cabin 2320, which is an accessible ocean view cabin on the starboard side of deck 2. The junior suite was spacious enough for 2 with a walk-in closet and plenty of storage cabinets. We had the bed divided into two twins. There was a wall unit with a desk and vanity across from the beds. There was a night stand with a drawer for each bed plus the vanity had three drawers on each side. The vanity also had hinged mirrors on each side with shelves behind the mirrors. There is a curtain that can be closed to partially block the bed area from the sitting area. The sitting area has a couch, two chairs, and a coffee table. The couch can be pulled out to make a double-bed if needed. The bathroom had a tub, sink, and the toilet. There is a mirror with shelves on each side above the sink plus a shelf under the sink for storage. We received some travel sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body gel, and a box with Q-tips and cotton balls in the bathroom. There was also a dispenser with the typical Royal Caribbean generic soapy goo in the bathtub. We didn't use the provided toiletries so I don't know if they get replenished during the cruise. The desk had the TV and a few cabinets for storage plus the "fridge" for the mini bar and the safe. We put the sodas and snacks from the mini bar on the desk so the bar attendant would know where the items were and used the fridge for our sodas and water. There was a small coffee maker and hot pot for boiling water for tea in the desk cabinet. The balcony had a table with 2 straight-back chairs and one reclined chair. The balcony is fully covered and is recessed into the structure of the ship. I haven't been on a balcony that was recessed like that so it had a cave-like feeling, but the recess made it extremely difficult for others to see into the balcony. The railing is also part of the structure, not Plexiglas like on other ships, so you cannot see through it when sitting down on the balcony. This was the first time that I didn't have a lounge chair on the balcony of a junior suite so I asked the cabin steward for one. He said they don't allow lounge chairs on balconies and if I brought one down from the pool deck, he would remove it. Very disappointing!! I found the bed to be extremely hard, which is typical for Royal Caribbean beds. The cabin steward was able to provide a foam pad, which helped but still too hard. We discovered that the rumors about not providing ice on Adventure are true. We had no ice bucket in the cabin when we arrived. We asked the steward about the ice bucket and ice and were told that ice was a special request. Once requested, he provided ice twice a day, but new cruisers would probably not know to ask for it. I had a diamond gift basket in the cabin. When I sailed on Liberty in December, I got a basket with cookies, trail mix, and dried fruit. This time there were only cookies and dried fruit. I'm not sure if the lack of trail mix was a change to the basket or if I got a better basket in December because I was in a grand suite rather than a junior suite. Grand suites get chocolates left during turn-down but junior suites do not. The ocean view cabin was larger than normal to allow for wheelchair space. The bed was divided into two twins. There was a wall unit with a closet and vanity across from the beds. The vanity had the TV and two cabinets for storage plus the "fridge" for the mini bar and the safe. The vanity also had hinged mirrors on each side with shelves behind the mirrors. The sitting area had a couch and a coffee table. There was a night stand with a drawer for each bed plus the vanity had three drawers on each side. The closet was small but adequate for two people. The bathroom had a roll-in shower, sink, and the toilet. There is a mirror with shelves on each side above the sink but no shelf under the sink for storage. There was a dispenser with the generic soapy goo in the shower. Dining/Food: We booked my time dining thinking it would allow more schedule flexibility. We stopped by the dining room early just to take a look. The hostess asked about our dining and we replied that we had my time. She immediately began pressing us to make reservations. I thought the point in my time dining was the flexibility of not being tied to a schedule. She said that there were usually long waits (30-60 minutes) between 7 and 8:30 so we should really make a reservation. I thought if the wait were too long we could just go eat in Windjammer but some of the others in my group had their hearts set on eating in the dining room. We agreed to try the 6:30 reservation for that night. The dining room was okay -- typical Royal Caribbean. The variety of food was acceptable. I would not consider it 5-star dining, but it wasn't McDonald's either. I don't eat red meats but was able to find seafood, chicken, or vegetable dishes. The appetizers were generally better than the main courses. I don't usually eat dessert so I skipped most of those. The one thing that I wish RC had on the menu is a house salad. They offer Caesar salad every night but I would prefer a house salad with tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, etc. I've had a salad made special in the past, but I don't like requesting special dishes. The second night of the cruise was formal night. We had already decided not to bring formal clothes so we ate at Johnny Rockets instead. The onion rings were really good. Fries were just okay. The chicken was dry and burgers slightly greasy. We had oreo sundaes for dessert, which were good. The waiters sang and danced for a couple of songs while we were there. When we got back to our cabin, there was an irate message that we had missed our dinner reservation. That was a surprise to me since I hadn't realized that we made a reservation. What had not been explained very well is that once you make a reservation, the system automatically carries it over to the next day. Even though I had said the night before that we would try the reservation for that night only, we were assigned the 6:30 reservation for every night. We didn't know that we had a reservation so didn't realize that we had to cancel it. Since we were dining in Portofino the next night and the next formal night, we canceled those MDR reservations. The third night we went to Portofino for the Mystery Dinner. We initially met in the Blue Moon for the start of the mystery show. We met the characters and got a basis for the mystery. We were served sparkling wine or sodas and appetizers (meats & cheeses on toast). We were divided into 6 groups then taken downstairs to Portofino. Each group was seated around a table. We were given a choice of soup of the day or Caesar salad. The entree choices were shrimp or beef tenderloin. Dessert was tiramisu. I had shrimp that were overdone but the rest of the meal was good. Wine, beer, or sodas were included with the meal. During dinner, the cast gave us more information about their characters to help decide who the murderer was. Each table was allowed to ask one cast member one question. Our group had to reach a consensus on who to question and what to ask. Each person at the table was given a paper to record their guess on the murderer. I guessed wrong. The papers with the correct guesses were put in a basket. One name was drawn to win a gift basket. The fourth night we kept the 6:30 dinner reservation and had the same table and staff as previously. The fifth night we were tired from a long port day and decided to eat in Windjammer so we wouldn't have to dress up for dinner. When we called to cancel, we were made to feel so guilty that we ended up agreeing to go. The hostess said that she had turned down several requests for that table already and we would throw off their schedule if we didn't use it. So much for flexibility! I don't really want to be given a guilt trip while on vacation. The sixth night formal night so we ate at Portofino again. We wanted to experience the full dinner menu. The four of us split antipasti and crostini appetizers. Two of us had the risotto, one had the seafood skewer, and the other the veal osso buco. All the food was wonderful. We each had a different dessert. We had our same waitress from the Mystery Dinner. She did another fantastic job. The last night we ate in the dining room and again had the same table and waiters. Most mornings and afternoons we ate in Windjammer. We did not try the dining room for breakfast or lunch. I'm not a big eater in the mornings so I usually had a bowl of fruit. The others had a variety -- eggs, sausage, cereal, pastries, etc. In the afternoon I was usually hot and tired after being in port so I had a salad. The salad bar had a good selection but the only meats were ham or tuna. I would have liked chicken, turkey, shrimp, or crab a few days for variety. There were pastas, burgers, pizza, and hot dogs also. Next time I think I will stick with late fixed seating for dinner. To me it is easier than my time dining. The waiters seem to be more easy-going during fixed seating. They have never made me felt guilty about dining in a specialty restaurant or going to Windjammer for dinner. Entertainment/Activities: We didn't attend too many of the shows. I don't generally care for the production shows with singers and dancers. I enjoyed the pub singer in the Dog & Duck but couldn't stay in there for very long due to the smoke. I think I'm becoming jaded after so many RC cruises. The Love & Marriage show seems to have the exact same questions each time so I can almost recite them along with the cruise director. Quest was a little different since it was held in the ice rink rather than a lounge and had only 6 large teams instead of multiple small teams. The questions were the same ones from previous cruises. A couple people had bags with the items being called so they could grab them quickly. I didn't see the ice show on Liberty so made it a point to catch one on Adventure. I thought the show was really good considering. The rink is very small and some of the skaters fell, but it can't be easy doing jumps when the ice moves. The Compass listed a variety of activities and events so anyone who wants to do something, should be able to find an activity. They have games, trivia, belly-flop contest, bingo, shopping, etc. onboard. Staff/Crew: Our cabin steward was efficient but we rarely saw him. Apparently he felt the same way. We got a phone call on the fourth day from the "front desk supervisor" who wanted to make sure that we were okay. She said our cabin steward was worried because he hadn't seen us very much. We had been using the ice, towels, sleeping in the beds, etc. plus our sea passes were used at least a couple times a day (we both got off the ship in every port) so it should have been obvious that we were both around. We were trying to figure out if he thought one of us had thrown the other overboard and was using her sea pass. It made an amusing story to tell the husbands when we got home. The waiters in the dining room did a good job, but they always look rushed and I had to remind them several times when I wanted a refill of water. I think my time dining throws off the pace a little since you end up with several tables eating different courses at different times. None of the people that I was traveling with were diamond members so I didn't attend the diamond event or meet the diamond concierge. The cruise director was Abel Jenney. He was very energetic and I saw him several times onboard and in port. Most of the rest of the onboard staff and crew were also very nice. We were almost always greeted as we walked around the ship. Communication: Internet access onboard was horrible. I needed to keep in touch with my husband due to a sick family member at home. The ship does not have wifi available in the cabins -- only in certain areas of the ship. I tried several of them, but the wifi signal would come and go. Sometimes I would be in the middle of downloading or sending emails when the signal would drop and I would have to log in again and start over. The Solarium seemed to have the best signal, but it rained several of the days and the Solarium is not fully covered. Fortunately there is a coupon for 30 free internet minutes in the Diamond coupon book. I used all 30 plus 4 additional ones on email during the week. I have a Droid 3 Global Edition cell phone with Verizon. I turned off wifi and data and just used the phone for emergency calls and texts while onboard. I had phone service most of the time while onboard. It had a few problems getting a signal during a storm and had "no signal" on some of the lower decks. I didn't have a problem with signal when on the islands. It shifted to GSM mode (picked up the Digicel tower) for St. Martin and St. Lucia. The other islands were CDMA mode like the US. San Juan: We left from San Juan at night. In the past there has been a fun deck party, but we had rainy conditions that kept many people inside. It was disappointing that El Morro was not lit up as we cruised past. That has been one of the highlights of leaving San Juan in the past. Barbados: Adventure docked as far from the terminal as possible. It was pouring when we got off the ship. The ship provided free buses to those who could climb the steps. However, they didn't have a single vehicle for wheelchair users. When we asked, the RC person directing the buses was very rude and said that was our problem and we should have planned better. The last time I was in Barbados we were docked right next to the terminal so I didn't realize we would be that far away this time. Disembarkation: Getting off the ship was a mess! We were supposed to disembark around 9:30 but there were delays in customs. It was around 10:45 before they called our number. We found our luggage easily but had to wait in line for almost 45 minutes before we got through customs. There were only 3 agents working that day. Once we got off the ship, catching a taxi to Old San Juan was relatively easy. Post-Cruise: We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. We were able to drop off our luggage and look around town prior to check-in time. The hotel has an excellent view of the harbor from the pool on the roof. We were able to see Adventure and a couple other ships head off on their next cruise from the hotel roof. The hotel is very noisy and we had a room next to the ice machine so that made it noisier yet. NOTE -- Both El Morro and San Cristobal forts have accessible bathrooms. The one in El Morro is kept locked so we had to locate a Park Ranger to ask for the key. Neither fort charged an admission fee for my mom since she was unable to fully access the forts. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Our flight left San Angelo, Tx. at 10 A.M. on Feb. 11. From there we flew to DFW and left there for San Juan at 1:30. We arrived in San Juan at 7:15 local time. It was dark by then and we were tired, so no sight seeing on that evening. Our ... Read More
Our flight left San Angelo, Tx. at 10 A.M. on Feb. 11. From there we flew to DFW and left there for San Juan at 1:30. We arrived in San Juan at 7:15 local time. It was dark by then and we were tired, so no sight seeing on that evening. Our taxi driver, Jorge delivered us to the Radisson in 15 minutes. I would recommend the Radisson, the room was lovely and everyone there was friendly and helpful. We had dinner there at the Ambassador Grill. The red snapper and grilled porkchop with SWEET plantains, which our waiter recommended were delicious. The porkchop was $13.00, red snapper was 16.95. Not unreasonable at all. We had a nice, quiet sleep and were ready for the next day. It was 10 minutes to the pier and we arrived at 10:00. There was plenty of shade and a few people to visit with, even so early. Boarding started at 11:40 and we went straight to the Island grill for hamburgers, paella, pork ragout and salad.We had a DOD, which was Caribbean Tea. We were in our stateroom by 1:45 and our luggage was delivered at 2:15. The boarding process was one of the smoothest I have experienced. The muster drill was from 6 to 6:30, not a bad experience at all. We had early dining at 6:00. That first night we had prime rib, vidalia onion tart, spinach salad and tomato soup. We declined dessert, thinking we would go up top for frozen yogurt. As it turns out, the yogurt stop, Arctic Freeze, is CLOSED after 6 P.M. Sailaway was at 8:00 P.M. and it was the quietest one I have ever experienced. We visited a couple of night spots, but nothing much was happening, so we called it a day and retired fairly early. Monday was a day at sea, so we had a leisurely breakfast in the Windjammer (Deck 11) with usual breakfast buffet fare. We watched the Sexy Man Contest and the World Championship Belly Flop Contest, what a hoot! We had the DOD, Bahama Mama, enjoyed the pool and hot tub, then got ready for our early dinner. BTW, the blowdryer on the ship was adequate, not quite like the industrial-strength I have at home, but it got the job done. We had beef, which was very similar to the prime rib. There were long lines for pictures, so we went to the show, Viva Las Vegas, which we thoroughly enjoyed. There was LOTS of talent on board the ship. We strolled around a bit and then turned in. In Barbados, we just hopped in a van with Garcia, our driver, for a 2 1/2 hour island tour. Garcia was GREAT. He took great pride in his island home and his job. He gave us a history lesson and answered every question. We visited several places of interest including churches dating from the 1600's, fed the monkeys, saw the British Lion and had the option to be dropped off at a beach, which we declined. We returned to the ship at 1:00 P.M. for lunch in the Windjammer. We were a bit disappointed that the shops and excursion desk was closed. They have very limited hours. We made our way to deck 11 to catch some rays and grab a drink, then dressed for the first formal night. We stood in a shorter line for Valentine's pictures, then went to dinner. We had the Tiger shrimp, garlic soup and a salad. We tried a chocolate dessert, passable but not exceptional. The waiters sang , then we were off to the evening show: A Tribute to Frankie Valle, which was my favorite of all the shows. We went to Jester's, but nothing was going on so we went for a walk up top and turned in. Next morning we had breakfast in the Vivaldi dining room, much better than the Windjammer. We had the Classic: fried eggs with bacon. In St. Lucia we decided we would just grab a taxi and repeat our experience of the day before. It was pretty much a bust. Our taxi driver was not friendly, a bit surly would be a more apt description. AND we didn't know that the "tour" was the Lushan County Life experience, not a good experience for us AND it rained the whole time we were there. We were back on the ship by 12:30 and had a delicious meal of hamburgers, fries and onion rings at Johnny Rockets. It cost $4.95 per person plus drinks, but the vanilla malt is to die for! And the dancing waiters are always fun to watch. We then wandered around, had a drink, chilled by the pool then got ready for dinner. That night we had tilapia, salad and potato jalapeno soup. The soup was creamy and GOOD! The waiters danced and then we listened to swing music by the Adventure of the Seas Orchestra. The shops were open at that time and we wandered through and picked up a few items. Thursday was Antigua and we had booked an excursion the night before on RCTV. We had omelets in the Vivaldi dining room,then to the Beach Escape at Rex Resort. The rum punch was good and the beach was lovely, not too crowded even though Celebrity and Costa were docked that day too. We returned to the ship for a late lunch in the Windjammer, then got ready for the second formal night. We bought a bottle of wine (it's about $9.00 per glass) and had crab cake and shrimp gyoza and for dessert berrymisu, the best dessert we had the entire cruise. Then we listened to a steel drum band and attended the Ballroom Dance with Latin show, very good. Friday was St. Maarten/St. Martin. We had breakfast in the Vivaldi ding room again, checked in at home by e-mail at .58 cents per minute (.65/min. without purchasing $35.00 package) Not a bargain, as the internet is soooo slow. Then we were off for our Beach Rendezvous at Orient Beach. We didn't see a lot of topless people, but when we did we laughed ourselves silly! Oh! and Mr. Crown Royal Bag was the funniest of all. (Let your imagination run wild here). The rum punch was okay and our lunch of ribs, salad and baked potato was really good. We went back to the ship for lobster and asparagus soup, the best dinner by far. Our waiter Efren and assistant waiter, Andres were fabulous.We went to the Cool Art Hot Ice Show, then to Bowser's Rock and Roll party with Rocky and the Rollers and enjoyed that too. We also took more photos. We were a tad surprised when the photographer wanted us on the floor, shoeless, but these were the best of all the photos, so of course we bought them ALL! Saturday we were up early to eat breakfast in the Windjammer at 7:00, the earliest you can get a full breakfast. Then off to St. Croix for the Buck Island Snorkel excursion. Our guides Nora and Tucker were great, the weather was beautiful and the Cruzon Rum...I don't remember. We were back on the ship by 1:00 P.M. for lunch at Johnny Rocket's, then to the room for a NAP. We filled out our customs form and satisfaction survey and went to dinner. Earlier in the week we had gotten tickets for self-assist debarkation, so we didn't have to put our luggage in the hallway. We went to bed early to enjoy that last night of cruise snoozing. We were up early the next morning, with our luggage in tow to report to Studio B for debarkation. We waited there for a little over an hour and then walked off the ship to catch a cab to the Sheraton Old San Juan. We didn't like it nearly as well as the Radisson, although it is okay, it was a bit more hectic with really LOUD guests. We took the trolley around Old San Juan, visited the Fort, walked to the mercado and found a CVS Pharmacy to pick up a few items. We had to ask for help and the employees were not friendly at all. We saw a protest march against a gas pipeline and had lunch at Latin Roots, which I can't really recommend. The food was so-so and the service not at all good. We went back to the Sheraton to enjoy the hot tub in the rain, then to Senor Frog's, just across the street from the Sheraton. We had drinks and taco salads, which were good and not any more pricey than anywhere else. Then off to bed and up to go to the airport. It was THEN that my husband remembered he left his blue Sony camera in Senor Frog's with a TON of gorgeous pictures on it. Senor Frog's was not open that early, so we had no choice but to go to the airport. I have since e-mailed, but of course, no reply. At least I took some pictures on my camera, but his had all the lovely fish and coral from the Buck Island Snorkel. A short 20 minute ride to the airport, through the Agriculture inspection, check in for boarding passes, wait a while (we went early because we have heard horror stories about the airport, none of which we experienced) and then the LONG flight home. I would take this cruise again in a heartbeat for the beauty of the ship and the itinerary. The food is good, if not great, but I am not picky about food. The shows ARE great, the waiters ROCK and being on a ship is next to heaven! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Embarkation was strange -- you had to stand in line to check your luggage which took about a half hour. Then you had to get in another line for security clearance to get into the terminal -- another 15 minutes. Then you got your cruise ... Read More
Embarkation was strange -- you had to stand in line to check your luggage which took about a half hour. Then you had to get in another line for security clearance to get into the terminal -- another 15 minutes. Then you got your cruise cards, approved credit card, etc., which took only about 5 minutes. Unlike other cruise lines, they didn't take your picture at this time. Then up the escalators to board the ship, but wait, halfway there you had to get your picture taken. Another 10 minutes waiting in line. Finally onto the ship. Went to the Windjammer buffet for lunch (we'd been traveling since 2:00 in the morning with only a snack for breakfast at the airport). Food was decent, but not great; Then toured the ship. The promenade area on deck 5 is really nice and varied; the usual shops selling jewelry and merchandise with the ships logo. They had a sports bar with numerous TV's, but I never saw them have more than one channel, ESPN International with lots of soccer, rugby, etc., They even had promenade Cafe which was open 24 hours for coffee, pizza and snacks at no charge. Beside that was a Ben & Jerry's, which did charge for their Ice Cream. Also in the promenade was the Duck and Dog pub which looked out on the promenade and allowed smoking inside, but not sitting outside in the promenade. They actually had a number of locations where you could smoke on the ship, but I never smelled smoke. You couldn't smoke in your room or on the balcony and I didn't detect anybody smoking on the verandas. There were an abundance of bars on the ship with good music. The passenger mix was good, with very few people over 70 -- mostly in their 40's or 50's with some children, which were well behaved. There were a total of 3280 people on the cruise. We had a Cruise Critic "Meet and Greet" which was attended by 70 people. We had an active message board leading up to the cruise. They even had buttons to wear and signs for your door if you wanted them. One of the highlights was a "cabin crawl" where we viewed 10 different cabins that various passengers had booked for the cruise. Some of the suites and penthouses were unbelievable. That group, the Solarium Lovers, did a great job! They also had a poker game where you paid $10 a person if you wanted to, and then you drew cards from 7 different cabins. The best poker hand won 80% of the pot and the lowest hand got 20%. Once again, really well organized. We ate breakfasts both in the dining room and the buffet. Food was better in the dining room, but slow. The omelette line in the buffet really long with only one omelette station. In general, they tried to overcook almost everything. Desserts and baked goods were excellent throughout the ship. Dinners were OK to good -- they gave you a full-sized lobster tail on lobster night and extras were readily available. We had the early seating for dinner. Food in the main dining room was OK, but not as varied or as good as on some other lines. Johnny Rockets on the 12th deck was a 50's style hamburger and shake place with a $4.95 cover charge plus extra cost for all beverages including the milk shakes. The waiters danced to some of the songs on the juke box. I was really impressed with one of the passengers who joined in the dancing -- then found out a day later he was a dancer in the shows. The two production shows were very good with the Las Vegas show excellent. There were always seats available in the theatre. The singers seemed better than on other lines. The Ice show was really good and they had open skating on a couple of days. The Blue Moon bar on the 14th deck in the round area near the smoke stacks that are the signature of Royal Caribbean really had great views and good salsa type music at night. The casino was busy every night and the last night was smoke free, but the air circulation must be really good, I didn't notice smoke odor at any time. They had lots of Hot Tubs and some were open 24 hours. The solarium area got crowded, but the area around the outside pools always had a few open chaise lounges. The ship is in good shape. There were a few stains on the curtain to the veranda, but other than that, everything was fine. It is going in for refurb in 2014. Service was just OK. Very slow in the dining room. Our waiter and assistant had 3 tables with 26 to 30 people at them. Cabin steward never cleaned the room until noon or after. Never could find her before then. Bar personnel were fast and seemed happier than the room or dining room people. All in all a very good cruise and we would go on Royal Caribbean again, although we prefer Celebrity for their food, wine and better service. Royal Caribbean has a little more pizazz. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
So this is our second time on AOS. Last time was about six years ago cruising out of San Juan to Curacao, St. Thomas, St. Martin and Aruba. This time out of San Juan to St. Croix, St. Martin, St. John's Antigua, St. Lucia and ... Read More
So this is our second time on AOS. Last time was about six years ago cruising out of San Juan to Curacao, St. Thomas, St. Martin and Aruba. This time out of San Juan to St. Croix, St. Martin, St. John's Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. The ship is still in excellent shape. We had our first suite experience, (thanks to our parents!! Happy 50th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!) the Junior Suite, and it blew us away!!!! I read that the difference in space was not that noticeable, but I completely disagree! With the walk-in closet and large balcony it felt so spacious that I spent tons of time in my lovely suite. Usually I want to get the heck out of the room as soon as possible. The suite also has a much larger bathroom (for a ship) and a BATHTUB!! Woo Hoo!! I think I took 10 baths just because I could! I tend to get a little urpy, unfortunately, on cruises, and the baths helped tremendously. It will be very difficult to go back to a regular room now. I'll have to work harder to make that extra money, I guess. Now, unfortunately I have to say that the atmosphere on board was a little more sedate than I remember from previous cruises. Not as jovial and energetic. The staff seems a little overworked, perhaps, and tired. By "staff" I mean the bartenders and storekeepers, and especially the coffee shop. That is not at all to say they seemed unfriendly or grouchy, just not as energetic and happy as I remember from my previous RCCL cruises. I witnessed some passengers' rude behavior, so maybe that's why. Makes me so mad. These people work so hard! There is no excuse for being rude!!! If you are irritated at having to wait for your specialty coffee, go complain to the front desk and let them know they need more help! Being rude is not going to help anyone! Grrrrr. Unfortunately we did not get to experience the Portofino restaurant because it was very difficult to get a reservation for our group of 14. That was very unfortunate because I have read wonderful reviews about this restaurant. The embarkation process was mostly smooth but kind of confusing. Wasn't the greatest, but no biggie. The staff at our dining table was superb, especially "Bet" (we couldn't pronounce her real name, though we tried!) was so sweet and helpful and friendly! LOVED HER!! And Augusta on Deck 9 was a joy as well! Jesters was fun and they played some good music, and we loved the Latin Music Bar, Blue Moon I think it is called. Great drinks, but strong, so watch out! This ship had the deadest Schooner's Bar I have seen thus far. The itinerary was extremely port-intensive, so we didn't see any of the shows, which is a first for me. I really loved the ship-shape menu each night!! Great food and very healthful and light! My husband teases me for choosing this menu, but I look at it like one of the really expensive retreats that the stars go to that ordinarily I could never afford. Plus, I needed to chose that after San Juan, Puerto Rico, and all the delicious food there!! Speaking of delicious food in San Juan, I just cannot recommend the Flavors of San Juan Tour more! It was just excellent!! Also speaking of food, this Windjammer was the best I have ever experienced. Usually I really do not like the Windjammer much at all. This time I really enjoyed it! Great choices and flavorful and everything tasted distinct and different. Some areas I think Royal Caribbean needs to improve on are the operating hours of their attractions like Jesters, Blue Moon, pool-side music and Johnny Rockets. For instance, during the "party under the stars" night, everything else was closed. It was windy and dead up there, so we went to Jesters, only to find they didn't open until 1:30 a.m! What? And that is only one example of a few incidents like this. It seems like they are really cutting back on staff, to me. And I sure wish they would add a take-away breakfast/lunch spot in the Solarium like they do on Celebrity cruises where they specialize in healthful, light foods like wraps and fruit and the like. We had room service every morning for breakfast, and although the staff were so friendly and marvelous and the food was quite good, the menu is rather limited and gets old quick. And the nickel and diming is out of control! Everywhere I looked there was a "fee" for this, a "fee" for that. Johnny Rockets cost 24 dollars by the time we were done. I had a hot stone massage and it was great. Not cheap, but worth it! The ports of call were great. I will review those separately. Great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
To start, we have been 3 other Royal Caribbean cruises - once on the Radiance of the Seas and twice on Freedom of the Seas. We choose this cruise for two reason, it left on a Sunday and we had not been to a majority of the port before. ... Read More
To start, we have been 3 other Royal Caribbean cruises - once on the Radiance of the Seas and twice on Freedom of the Seas. We choose this cruise for two reason, it left on a Sunday and we had not been to a majority of the port before. We traveled with the same core group of people for all our cruises, three couples. We took a direct flight from Boston to San Juan on Sunday morning. When we arrived in San Juan, it was raining, but we easily found a taxi to the port for our whole group. Make sure you pay attention to the taxi fees when at the airport, it gets complicated with additional passenger and bag fees. No big deal - we are on vacation - right? At the port, I expected mass chaos from the all the reviews I read before I left. It was more complicated than necessary, but not as bad as I expected. It is a two step process - bag drop and then check in. Bag drop is the line closest to the road - check in is three or four lines closest to the building. I did not start a timer, but I would estimate the whole check-in process took about 60-90 minutes and we were problem free. After check-in, we caught up with our travel companions and found that our travel agent dropped the ball and had us at different tables. When we boarded the ship, we immediately headed to the main dining room and had the problem resolved. I was amazed at how quickly this was fixed. We then went to our staterooms. It was a typical RC balcony with a couch. One main difference we found was that the balconies were all metal walled. On previous ships, the walls were glass and could be opened to make one big balcony if you knew your neighbors. This was a disappointment to us, but we were on vacation. - right? The room did show it's age - the textiles and rugs were all sun worn and the couch was full of stains. Not a big deal - we are on vacation - right? Well, we did have one problem with our stateroom, that I could not ignore with my vacation mentality. The shower. Of the seven nights on our cruise, our shower flooded or did not drain, or filled when no one was in the shower 4 night. This is unacceptable. The shower filling with water that is not from me - that is just totally GROSS! We called the front desk every time and every time a plumber was sent up. Every day I was assured that this problem was solved and yet it would happen again. I am not even sure if the problem is solved now. Even with that problem, I was determined to enjoy this and I did. Food - As always I enjoyed the food, but I do tend to like food. I had all my breakfasts in the Windjammer and they were great. A couple of notes - the coffee is super strong. I drink it black at home, but had to make it light here. I did have an omlette one morning and it was quick and yummy. The fruits, as always, were fresh and flavorful. Lunch when on the ship was a mix between the Windjammer and Johnny Rockets. Both were good and I have no complaints. Six of the seven nights, we had dinner in the main dining room with our waiter Lloyd, our asst. waiter Danielo and our head waiter George. The service was perfect. I couldn't say a bad word about our service. This was a great dining experience. George visited us every night and that is a first for us. Lloyd was honest about the menu and would suggest another choice if he had experienced people not enjoying that choice before. Our service WOWed us. We did go to Portofino's one night, we attended the murder mystery dinner. It was good and the food was great, we just felt the experienced dragged on a little. Entertainment- We usually do not attend a lot of shows, because we are gamblers. This time we decided to change this us a bit. We went to the adult comedy show with Don Barnhart. He was AWESOME. We attended the Love and Marriage show - which was hilarious. We went to the Ronn Lucas show - he is a ventriloquist and is great. We also attended Quest. That was a blast. One pointer - wear clean undies and have fun at Quest. All four shows were great. I would not change a thing. While I am here, our cruise director , Abel was FANTASTIC. He is fun loving and active in all the activities we attended. I would love to cruise with him again. We also attended Bingo and saw a woman win a cruise at bingo. I actually participated in the slot tournament and won! One entertainment and food experience did disappoint us. It was the midnight buffet and dancing under the stars experience. We got to the buffet after the show that evening. The food was limited and picked through to the point of disinterest. Then there were people behaving in appropriately while dancing - showing more than anyone wants to see while eating and maybe even when not eating. I expected the staff to get this under control and no one ever stepped in. I was very disappointed. I did not think that was how Royal Caribbean responded to this type of behavior. Ports - I will write more in each port review, but quickly I will say, we do not do many ship sponsored excursions, because we like to relax and take our time. We liked all the ports, except Antigua. Overall, I found the staff helpful and friendly and we had a great time. The key to any vacation is making sure you don't let the little things ruin it. I look forward to my vacation and have realistic expectations. I am not as happy with RCI as I was before this trip, but I would not change it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We flew to San Juan the night before our cruise and used HiltonHonors points to stay at the Caribe Hilton. Convenient, clean, worked out fine. We left for the pier about noon. There was a long line, but special treatment for Crown & ... Read More
We flew to San Juan the night before our cruise and used HiltonHonors points to stay at the Caribe Hilton. Convenient, clean, worked out fine. We left for the pier about noon. There was a long line, but special treatment for Crown & Anchor members and suite passengers got us onboard in about 30 minutes. We went to the windjammer and had lunch. At 2pm the cabins were ready, but our keys didn't open ours. Down to guest relations. New keys, still didn't work. Back to guest relations. This time they sent the repairpeople and the security folks who still couldn't get it open. The strike plate had come loose and somehow they got into the room and rebuilt the lock and then we were good to go. Our stateroom attendant was Ian and he was terrific. On the first port day we took our beach towels to the beach and returned to find fresh ones waiting for us. He was helpful, personable and gave us great service all week long. We had my time dining and our waiter was Ishmael. We had a lot of fun bantering with him and his service was excellent. We enjoyed the concierge lounge and Reshma's helpful booking of specialty dining and shore excursions. Wished that we could have taken a beer back to our cabin while dressing for dinner though. The ice show was entertaining as was the opening night comedian and the Temptations tribute show. We didn't get to any others. We thought the Windjammer had some odd food choices at lunchtime, things like tripe stew: ew! But what we got was tasty and fine for a week. On the sea days they had lunch in the main dining room and that was really nice, especially the really wonderful salad bar. Wish they had that every day! We had breakfast on our balcony one morning, also ate breakfast in Portofino and the suite section of the main dining room. All great. We did the Trunk Bay snorkeling excursion on St. Thomas (well, actually St. John) and the railroad on St. Kitts. I'd recommend both of them. Went to the beach via public bus on Aruba and walked around the town in Curacao. We worked out daily and think the gym could use updating. I signed up for yoga and was disappointed that we didn't have enough people to have the class. We ate in the main dining room every night but one (ate at Portofino...was delicious and relaxing). Wished there was a Chops or other specialty restaurant. All in all, it was a relaxing week. We felt pampered and would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We arrived a day early and that was a good thing. We stayed at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. Check in at the cruise terminal was a breeze once they opened the doors at 1230pm. We were on the ship and in our cabin 20mins after that. ... Read More
We arrived a day early and that was a good thing. We stayed at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. Check in at the cruise terminal was a breeze once they opened the doors at 1230pm. We were on the ship and in our cabin 20mins after that. The ship itself is very nice and maintenance was on going throughout the cruise. Our room was a balcony room on deck 7 just at the end of the hump which is a perfect spot for getting anywhere on the ship. There was also no noise issues with this room. We found the room to be a nice size and the balcony very private. Our stateroom attendant was great (Martin). My daughter enjoyed the kid's club when she went and there were a lot of kids who attended the club. On this cruise they combined age groups for most of the trip. The food selection was good and seating at the buffet wasn't an issue most days. We enjoyed the ice show and my daughter enjoyed skating during skate sessions. The two cons where the programming of the elevators: an elevator would be coming down and before it got to your floor it would go back up or it would indicate that it is going down or up and then go the opposite direction very frustrating at times. We did try to take the stairs for exercise but with an 8yrs sometimes going up wasn't as easy to convince her to do. The other con was our table location in the main dining room. We had table 367 and it was just off the main flow of traffic for the wait staff which made for a breezy and sometimes bumpy location. We would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
My wife and I sailed on May 26th 2012 out of Malaga. The cruise was excellent value for money (£300 balcony cabin thru US agent 4 weeks from departure) so Im finding it hard to justify the negatives within this review. However, they ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on May 26th 2012 out of Malaga. The cruise was excellent value for money (£300 balcony cabin thru US agent 4 weeks from departure) so Im finding it hard to justify the negatives within this review. However, they need to be aired as not everyone will have benefitted from such a low rate (especially UK cruisers who KEEP getting ripped-off by RCI). SMOKING If you are a non-smoker DO NOT book this cruise. The RCI cruise contract states which areas of the ship are designated for smoking, and have a tiny clause which allows them to adjust this. Let me tell you, every bar we visited allowed smoking and you could NOT escape it. You might find a nice clean air spot and then a bunch of (usually Spanish) guests would arrive and immediately light-up. One side of the ship is traditionally smoke-free but that policy went too. Lazing in the Solarium etc was often spoiled. We saw people smoking in Windjammer but that was eventually stopped. The same went for the Theatre. RCI need to make this smoking policy known to potential guests BEFORE they book their cruise and not when they are aboard. WINDJAMMER Again, a HUGE problem. We have never cruised before and had to queue to enter Windjammer - this was really poor on embarkation day and also sea days. Once you got inside the buffet restaurant, you have two choices. You could either hover over guests you feel might be on their last mouthful of food or you could do the Windjammer Circuit; walking three or four times around the restaurant until you get lucky and then race other guests for the just vacated dirty table (which thankfully was quickly cleaned by staff). I understand that RCI works on a turnaround of 45 minutes per table for Windjammer service. They need to move large groups of Spanish guests who think it OK to sit and chat for very long periods and deny other guests the opportunity to sit and eat. FORMAL DINING Service was good. Sadly, the food choice has nosedived in the last few years with RCI, but (overall) the quality of that offered was good. EVENING SHOWS A (very) old ex-Vegas duo clicking stone balls on ropes is nowhere near the standard expected of RCI - we saw this same couple 10 years ago and the act was dated back then. A Beatles tribute concert and a (poor) Abba tribute band sum up a cost-cutting policy - these are pub tribute acts not quality cruise entertainment. Even the production shows were limp. The main theatre even went one evening without any show at all. Due to the (mainly) Spanish and English speaking nature of the guests, i appreciate that visual and/or "internationally recognised" themes are used to get over the language issues BUT there is plenty of scope for broadway style shows which could easily do the job, but with style. REMAINDER Check-In - opens at 11am. Vibration - the rear of the ship vibrates a lot, especially when seated in the sky lounge. Spanish VAT - on top of the 15% gratuity, 8% Spanish VAT is added to bills (even when not near Spain). A $7.75 beer will see $1.78 added to it, making an expensive $9.53 or £6 for a 16oz can of Fosters. Stateroom - no problems, just a little wear and tear. The Spanish - VERY loud and little consideration for other guests. Often blocking stairs, corridors and no attempt to move aside for you to get past. WHY do they have to shout across a room? Disembarkation - the ship offers a late disembarkation for $35pp. You get to stay in your room until 9am and enjoy the ship (inc lunch) until 3.30pm. Well worth it if you have a late departure flight. PORTS OF CALL Valencia - $15 shuttle bus charge to get into the Town. Did HOHO bus but should have stayed on ship. Malaga Arrival/Departure - get the local bus from outside airport arrivals hall as this takes you right up to the ship - cost just 2 Euro per person and takes around 25 minutes. If you arrive early or depart late the same bus stops at the train station where there's a left luggage facility (5 Euro for 2 large cases for 24hrs). Civitaveccia (for Rome) - we purchased a 29Euro private bus tour which included Vatican tour and guide for most part. Sadly, inconsiderate fellow guests were unable to tell the time and several parts of the tour were cut short as a result. Livorno (for Pisa and Florence) - we purchased an $89 private guided coach tour of Pisa and Florence. This was a long day but (with exception of guests not able to tell the time) was well worth it. Our guide took us to a small restuarant wehere we enjoyed salad and 3 pasta dishes, plus water and wine for just 15 Euro each. The ship offers are very similar tour for $100 more per person. Ajaccio (Corsica) - we took a £55 tour into the mountains and had a short land train tour plus sampled local food (with wine). TBH, it would have been better to stay in the Town as the ship docks just a few yards away. I have to remember that we paid £300 each (plus flights) for our Balcony Cabin so for us the cruise did provide excellent value for money and (with the definate exception of the smoking policy) we enjoyed our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
OK... This was our first cruise and this is also my first review. I'm writing this so that other first timers will know what they are getting into. My fiance and I embarked the Adventure of the Seas at Malaga and despite a little ... Read More
OK... This was our first cruise and this is also my first review. I'm writing this so that other first timers will know what they are getting into. My fiance and I embarked the Adventure of the Seas at Malaga and despite a little of "where do we go now", the process was smooth and quick. We got on board at midday, when we arrived, instead of the time printed on our tickets of 1pm. I wish we hadn't, none of the rooms were available, so it felt like everyone and their seadogs were sitting in the windjammer. We got a little stressed out since there were no seats and we were faced with the horrifying idea that every meal would be like this (it wasn't in the end). One upside was that we were given a seat next to a lovely Irish couple who we would see throughout the trip and enjoy some drinks with. However, once we got into the room, everything started going uphill... We had a balcony room (well worth getting, didn't cost us too much as it was a late deal cruise) which was very nicely presented, a little dated but comfortable and clean. Our stateroom attendant really was very good and comes in to clean at least a couple of times a day. Port 1: Valencia - I wont say too much about ports since I recommend you explore yourself. We got a shuttle transfer from the boat since the grand prix was on at the time and we were a little worried about traffic etc. We were also a little worried at the small print on the shuttle ticket which stated that everything closes in Valencia on a Sunday... As it happened we found a couple really nice little bars and didn't really notice things were closed. Port 2: Rome - We didn't get off... hoping that the boat would be a bit quieter, it wasn't. I wont start on the behaviour of some Spanish children on the boat (no fault of the cruise of course). Port 3: Livorno - This was by far the best port for us... We took the train to Florence and got back to Pisa for a photo op for about half the price it would have cost us to do an organised excursion... Port 4: Ajaccio - looked lovely but we spent most of the day in bed... and not in a good way! More on that in a minute, back to the boat, we were definitely impressed with the size although we're not big fans of people (probably shouldn't have gone on a cruise) and so thought it a little busy at times. We spent most of our time in the windjammer, the casino and the theatre and have to say had a good time in all. The only problem with the casino is that everything is in USD and since we only took euros, you can imagine the type of exchange rate we got in the casino... and also I don't think the rocking of the boat helped with the roulette (seriously, the boat is as steady as a rock). The Theatre was a bit of fun, mostly geared at kids but the male singing group were pretty good. We didn't go to the ice show in the end, because we slept in and missed the one day you can get tickets, our Irish friends said it was good, if only because they kept falling over...Apparently people were getting let in at the door without tickets anyway. The food was pretty good though got a little repetitive in the windjammer but that was because we tended to eat at odd times. We ate in the impressive formal dining room twice, the first occasion was during a formal evening... you really do need to dress up, some people didn't and I thought I wouldn't bother, but I would have felt uncomfortable and normally that kind of thing doesn't bother me. The second time we ate in the dinning room my paella didn't taste right so I didn't eat it... sure enough I got no sleep that night because my fiance was sick on the hour, every hour, until I called the nurse who told her she had a norovirus, gave her an injection and confined her to quarters for a day and a half... Needless to say this kind of ruined Corsica and the remainder of our holiday. Also, just as we got home and she was feeling 100% again, I got sick and had three days off work... Tipping - Everyone expects a tip even though a service charge is already auto added to the bill. I didn't mind actually because we don't drink much and everyone was really friendly... If you want the scoop on what to do in a port and the cheapest way to go about doing it, speak to the crew (particularly the croupiers who only work nights and can therefore get off at ports) these people (and they are people) spend 7 months on ship and you don't see any of them on the shuttle bus... at the end of the holiday you get envelopes where you can put tips. We gave the stateroom guy a decent tip but nobody else since we only went to the restaurant twice and the second time got sick... Some people might think that harsh, but you know what, cruises are expensive and i'm not giving money to my "head waiter" who I didn't even meet!! I'm getting bored now, so i'll sum up: Would I go on a cruise again, yes BUT only with a balcony room, an equal sized or bigger boat and preferably more stops where you can just walk out from the boat i.e. you don't have to get a shuttle or taxi. If you take one message from this review it's this: Cruises are good, expect to have to pay for drink, do as much excursions yourself at half the cost, wash your hands as much as you can and if it don't taste right, don't eat it!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
The ports are great; Malaga is very convenient I took the train from the airport to Malaga Centro for less than two euros and walked to the port. Valencia is a mix of the old and modern which contrast well. As we docked on a Sunday the ... Read More
The ports are great; Malaga is very convenient I took the train from the airport to Malaga Centro for less than two euros and walked to the port. Valencia is a mix of the old and modern which contrast well. As we docked on a Sunday the city was quite empty and that is a real bonus for looking around. The drawback is an extorniate charge of 15 euros for the shuttle but the port is a way out. Civitavecchia is so convenient for Rome and in the opposite direction Grosseto. Livorno is a great place to get to Florence, Pisa, Lucca or even Sienna (again a shuttle ride is needed from the port but only five euros). Ajaccio was very relaxing on the high end with prices to match. The ship is eleven years old and a workhorse; despite this it is in excellent order but not pristine as a new vessel would be. Around fifty percent of the passengers were Spanish often in extended groups. Some I think had never used elevators before and early on seemed to spend their time going up and down in them! That's when they weren't having animated conversations in corridors and barging around to get to the front of the line (southern europeans don't stand in line it's every man, woman, girl or boy for themselves!). Guest services seemed incredibly busy all the time mostly with Spanish cruisers. The bars though were really quiet and only frequentd by non Spanish. As the cruise went on and having spoken to cruise staff the penny dropped. Empty places had been sold at knock down rates to locals that could just afford the fare and no incidentals. This was very tough for staff reliant on tips to supplement their pay but good for other cruisers that got instant fantastic service. I understand Royal Caribbean won't as result be sailing from Malaga next year which is a shame. As reported elsewhere, smoking is allowed in more places on this ship than the cruise industry norm. Entertainment is very much geared to Spanish tastes but that wasn't a problem. Overall a good cruise that worked out to be excellent value but be prepared for the cultural mix on board. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Too start with we boarded the ship at the second port Valencia, not Malaga which most passengers did. We had heard some rumors about poor check in procedures in Valencia. We had no problems at all. The shore staff didn't seem very ... Read More
Too start with we boarded the ship at the second port Valencia, not Malaga which most passengers did. We had heard some rumors about poor check in procedures in Valencia. We had no problems at all. The shore staff didn't seem very experienced, but met us with a smile and it all went very fast. A good 25 mins waiting for the shuttle bus to drive us too the ship was more than we hoped for after a long travel, but not a big issue. (4*) Stateroom: We had a D1 on deck 10. Probably not freshened up since the ship was built, but no major wears. I saw some of the interiors in our hallway had new flatscreen TVs. We still had an old one where some channels made a funny annoying noise... The stateroom had a "humid smell" that we got used to in a day or two, also the "thingy" they use when washing the balconies etc. disturbed the views to the aft a bit. (3*) Stateroom attendant: The best we've had. Extremely charming, service minded and funny. One of those who just make your cruise experience memorable. (5+*) Food: MDR food good as always - Nothing spectacular. Windjammer food was good, bud the place itself overcrowded at nearly all times. Too noisy, which I will come back to. Tried Johnny Rocket's for the first time which was a very nice experience, but next time we'll have it for dinner instead of lunch. (we felt full till lunch the day after). Room service food was good as always as well. (4*) Food service: MDR: Started of a bit bad after being allocated till another table. Our new waiter seemed a bit nervous and stressed at first but became very lovable from day three onwards. Asst. waiter was very nice but had some problems communicating in English at some times. Windjammer: Don't expect a lot when eating in Windjammer, but on this cruise we experienced some service errors. One waiter didn't believe we were 18 when asking for the wine list (we're 27) until we photo ID'd ourselves. One ordered omelet were never delivered before breakfast closing time. Johnny Rocket's: A very nice experience! Smiles and laughter everywhere :) (4*) Fitness\Spa: Fitness center was good although it would have been nice with some more barbell choices. Spa service was excellent! (5*) Rates: Same as before: Totally OK. RCLL should be including service fee's in their prices though... (4*) Public rooms: The ship looks good, and offers everything you need, but should soon be up for some refreshment's here and there soon. (4*) Entertainment: CD Warren Allen had a hard time getting feedback on his jokes as the English knowledge of the 60-70% Spanish guest's were surprisingly ridiculously poor. This was actually sad to see cause I LOVED Warren's humour and personality at the RCTV morning show, but he didn't have the possibility to reach that same level in the theatre as EVERYTHING had to be translated into Spanish by the cultural director, which kind of takes some of the fun away from everything.. The general shows (L&M, Quest, production's and ice-shows e.g.) were OK this time. Kenny James headliner show was excellent. Also, we didn't feel as much involved in the day-time entertainment as the Spanish speaking guests probably did. One example was the belly jump competition: 1 Scottish and 6 Spanish comp's (no-one with a big belly). Here they should have a sign-up and then have chosen a good mix instead of doing first one's up. (3*) Shore excursions: The ports of call were excellent. We did all port's on ourselves. (Rome, Pisa, Ajaccio, Malaga) No disappointment's. Corsica was just beautiful. (5*) Others: As mentioned we checked in in Valencia. From having chat's with Spanish speaking guests in the terminal and on the shuttle to the ship, we were surprised to get on the ship seeing that "none" of the Spanish guests departing Malaga could speak English. At time's during shows and in MDR they would start singing pro-Spanish songs loudly when information was given in English first (although all information on board would later be translated to Spanish). This was very annoying at times, it's just not how adults should behave on a cruise ship. Also, the main pool entertainment was too focused on the Spanish speaking guests which led to the fact that the rest of us was feeling a bit left outside of everything. Also the loudest cruise we've been on so far. (Singing at dinner. Children\teenagers diving, screaming and splashing in the main pool's at all times.) Not a big wonder why AOS is leaving Malaga for Southampton next year, which is sad as the service and port of call's were almost perfect for a med cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We booked this,our first cruise with the travel agent for 30 June 2012. We had four in our party which included a 16 year old. We arrived by plane at Malaga and were taken to the ship. No problems embarking and were shown to the windjammer ... Read More
We booked this,our first cruise with the travel agent for 30 June 2012. We had four in our party which included a 16 year old. We arrived by plane at Malaga and were taken to the ship. No problems embarking and were shown to the windjammer buffet restaurant while awaiting our rooms. The Ship was amazing although it needed and update to some areas of carpet ect. I`m not complaining as the ship is 10 years old now. We has state rooms with no balcony and found them an adequate size and well decorated,although bathroom area was small,but this is a ship. The food was brilliant,from the buffet eating areas to the restaurants for dining. There is always somewhere open where you can get food, coffee,tea,water and lemonade squash which we found OK. Staff were friendly, efficient and help to the extent for us it was over the top but others would have loved it. The ICE SHOW was great but some the others varied from very good to bad. activaties were OK but we found it was not suited to a 16year old as most of the guests were spanish and communication was difficult with other youngsters. Alcohol and Fizzy drinks are expensive on board,but you can get an unlimited package for youngsters if they dont like the lemonade squash supplied free.Our first port of call was Valencia which like all the other ports (except Corsica) are cargo ports where you you are not allowed to walk through. The ship provides transport at a cost but Civitavecchia for Rome was free) We paid for the excursion to see Valencia at 38 Dollars. This was well worth it as we had no idea where to go or what to see.It was a nice tour but that's about it. Next we had a sea day travelling to Civitavecchia for Rome. We found things to do like the gym,jacuzzi and crazy golf ect, but as I don't like being restricted even though the ship is massive I did not like being on there all day.( yes I know it is a cruise ship!!!) Next stop Civitavecchia for Rome. We made plenty of plans having never being there before and paid for the shuttle bus and caught the train some 40 miles to Rome. There is lots to do and see,so much that it was exhausting and we never got around to it all before we had to make our way back before the ship sailed. ( you just can`t do Rome in a day ) Next it was Livorno where you can visit Pisa or Florence. we paid for the shuttle which took us to the centre and the driver directed us to the information centre as we wanted to catch a bus to see the leaning Tower of Pisa. The information centre told us they sold the bus tickets and we bought 4 for 60 Euros at 10.00am to return at 1PM. When we got there it was mega busy and we had to book to go up the tower at 12.45, so we missed our coach back and had to pay again to get back to Livorno, which was 12 miles away. We and other felt as if we were cheated as the information centre did not tell us about the public bus station around the corner which cost 2.75 euros one way and there was no time limit to return. Do not book with the information centre as they act as agents for the same company who do the shuttle service for the ship. The ship also do an excursion to Pisa and Florence. It is expensive and I`m not sure if you can go up the tower,But other who booked it said it was brilliant. We thought with Pisa being 12 miles one way and Florence being 79 miles the other way it would be to much to do but it appears we were wrong as those on the trip had a less stressful day than we did. Next it was Corsica and the ship docks right at the port and you just walk off. It was fantastic but we only stayed until 3.30pm, which is to little time to see much. When you first arrive on board you get your photo taken and issued a sea pass,which acts like a credit card until you settle up at the end. Be very careful as the costs of alcohol can soon mount up. They TV system in your room is amazing as you can find out whats on and review your sea pass account. We checked ours one day and found items on it purchased we were off ship, so be sure to check and keep receipts. Many guests had problems with their accounts and the arguments at the service desk on the last day will stay in mind for years. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Our first cruise and overall an excellent experience on this ship.Staff were all fantastic. No complaints anywhere.Rooms very clean. We had upgraded to a superior with a balcony which I would recommend, but to be honest we only ever slept ... Read More
Our first cruise and overall an excellent experience on this ship.Staff were all fantastic. No complaints anywhere.Rooms very clean. We had upgraded to a superior with a balcony which I would recommend, but to be honest we only ever slept in it, and used the balcony in the evening for photos, and to have a great view when docking.Bit busy when embarking at Malaga, but not that bad, and we still managed to sit down in the Windjammer.We then had a fabulous 5 days touring Valenica (bus tour and walk round the city), Rome, Pisa, Florence, and Corsica. We booked towards the top end of the tour prices (around 125 euro in 2012), and consequently had fairly small groups of a dozen, but also NO QUEUING in Rome.We paid in advance for anytime dining, and the food and service were 5* without doubt.We always found the Windjammer food to be of great quality with good variety, and plenty of places to sit.Breakfast equally good. But get this, you might have to sit with someone you don't know and actually strike up a conversation! Now, down to on the boat costs of booze and drink.We researched this quite a lot, and initially were a little taken back by the cost of not just booze, but juice and water too. However, we ordered a wine package and soft drinks, and water, and juice. probably spent £200 on that, plus another £250 on the tab at the bar, with beer at about £5 per pint.We didn't go into this not expecting to be viewed as walking wallets! We expected it, we budgeted for it, we enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
This was my family's 3rd trip on this ship, so we had certain ideas of what it would be like. First of all the ship is definitely showing her age. Second leaving from Malaga with 85 percent Spanish rude, pushy, not friendly and ... Read More
This was my family's 3rd trip on this ship, so we had certain ideas of what it would be like. First of all the ship is definitely showing her age. Second leaving from Malaga with 85 percent Spanish rude, pushy, not friendly and refuse to follow rules fellow passengers made this trip rather taxing at times. Sea days you could not go to the pool because it was full of rude people. They seemed even on port days to have taken over the pools. We never even sat at the pool which was a first we had even done that in Alaska. Our wait staff was phenomenal,Desmond and Sergio could not do enough for us. The bar waitress was also a doll. Food was sometimes great, sometimes ok but on a whole pretty good. We had the worst cabin steward ever. I would tell you his name but I still do not know it. It got so bad that we actually spoke with the director of housekeeping and got a very nice credit on our ship board account. The ports were fantastic. We took tours to Rome, Florence , and Pisa and enjoyed them very much. In Corsica we got right off and walked into town and had a great lunch on this charming island. Valencia we took taxi to the city of science which was amazing. After speaking to a lot of the staff, they can't wait to get out of Malaga and assured us leaving from a different port in Europe would be better so we took advantage of the great incentives to book while on ship. Other than the problem with our steward and the rude fellow passengers we did have great trip. Luckily I had read before hand what to expect so we just stayed away from them and did our own thing. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
I am not someone who normally gives reviews, but having read a number of quite negative reviews about this cruise ship, and having just returned from a weeks long cruise out of Malaga, I wanted to put my own views forward. This was our ... Read More
I am not someone who normally gives reviews, but having read a number of quite negative reviews about this cruise ship, and having just returned from a weeks long cruise out of Malaga, I wanted to put my own views forward. This was our 4th Cruise with RCI and 3rd time on 'Voyager' class. We were in a party of 9 with 3 of the ages, 13,15,17. From arriving at port until we boarded the ship took approximately 10 minutes max. There were 2 fairly long queues for baggage drop, but as we had our luggage labels printed off at home from the RCI website, we simply put onto a Luggage trolley after checking with a Porter. There was approximately 40 check-in desks and no queues that we could see, and staff on hand to answer any questions. I would recommend purchasing the Wine Package before you leave home. We purchased the Platinum package with bottles working out at £20 per bottle. Had we have purchased in the evenings it would've cost £29 for the cheapest bottle. The majority of people were Spanish on this cruise, but this never give any of us a problem. There was no more rude people on this Cruise than our previous cruises in the Med and Caribbean. We were worried about the Smoking on this Cruise based on previous reviews, but there were announcements made throughout the days detailing the designated areas to use. We did not see any smoking in any of the Restaurants, Theatre, Promenade, or shops. We did notice it more in the Casino and one evening we walked through the Lobby Bar which seemed to be where the Spanish Cruisers used as it had Latin Music on in the evenings. We noticed a lot of people smoking here so we just avoided that bar. Our favourite bar was the Schooner Bar with Gustavo playing his piano to our requests. On one side of that Bar, 4 tables were smoking. But we managed to sit at one of those tables one evening and didn't even notice the lady behind us smoking until some time later. Having 8 anti-smokers in our party this was surprising. Another bar I would recommend is the Champagne Bar. On previous cruises I would've been put off as I didn't drink Champagne. But this lovely quiet atmospheric bar serves the same drink as all the other bars and Sophia from Portugal, who works in this bar is fantastic. We could not fault the staff all week in all areas of the ship. They were friendly and looked generally happy at their work. If anyone is lucky to have Lyndmyla Forsyuh as their Room Attendant, you won't be disappointed. I would not recommend the Hair Salon on board as prices are ridiculous. $55 for a Wash & Blowdry I think is a bit steep! Overall, prices on the ship were overpriced. Especially in the Gift / Perfume shops. As well as drink. Expect to pay $2.25 for a diet coke, $6.25 for the cocktail of the day plus an extra 15% gratuity and 8% Spanish tax while in Malaga and Valencia. Culturally the Spanish like to eat later in the evenings, therefore we did find that they would congregate in the Cafe Promenade around 6.30ish. We would only be popping in to grab a coffee to take to our Cabin so again this was not a problem for us. Having done the full day Rome trip previously, we decided to just get off and walk around the port. We didn't walk far to find the Station, about 10 mins walking. We also came across 2 open markets and then a big square next to where we got the courtesy bus back to Ship. We sat and ate our ice-creams and listened to an old Italian man singing. He wasn't great but was good for the atmosphere! There is also a small beach next to the port. We didn't walk down but there were people having a swim and not too busy. We all took the Wine Tasting Trip in Tuscany as it was only a 4 hr trip and we had all done Florence / Pisa previously. There was only 22 people on this trip, all English and Irish. We were taken up into the Mountains of Tuscany and it was absolutely beautiful. Not great for Kids but the adults enjoyed it. We booked this trip online before we went and it worked out cheaper. The food was brilliant and a great choice for everyone. If there was something you didn't like they were happy to change it for you. Josip and Sedrick looked after us all every evening and we could not have asked for 2 better people to look after us. We had 'My Time' dinning and had made our reservations online before we went. So glad we did as the queues each evening were long. We purposely went for a 7.30 ish time to avoid the late Spanish diners. We had breakfast in the A La Carte one morning, which was OK and not as good as on previous ships. We decided to have Room Service one morning while we were at sea. I was pleasantly surprised and ate more on that particular morning than any other! Would definitely recommend the Ice-Show. It was fantastic given the size they have to do their moves! You need to queue on morning of Show from 9.30am. Initially me and a friend went down at 9.30am and the queue was so long we were not going to wait in line until we saw how quickly it actually moved. Max 10 minute wait but worth it. The actual Stage productions were OK. One of the female singers was not the best singer compared to the others and a bit off putting to listen to. The kids loved it though. All in all we had a fantastic holiday and perhaps because there was 9 of us we were able to make our own fun. We went and tried most areas and activities and had fun giving them a try out. I agree that the Ship is a bit tired in areas and needs some TLC, but it would still be within a 4 Star range. The ship is also big enough to avoid Spanish Cruisers if you wanted to, but as I previously mentioned, we never found them to be a problem. Don't be put off by other reviews and if you have already booked go and enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
The cruise overall was great. Compared to other ships and companies the price was very low and we knew to expect a 12 year old ship. We were a little worried about some bad reviews concerning the "rude" Spanish and their love of ... Read More
The cruise overall was great. Compared to other ships and companies the price was very low and we knew to expect a 12 year old ship. We were a little worried about some bad reviews concerning the "rude" Spanish and their love of smoking. The smoking wasn't too bad. We're both non smokers and didn't feel bothered. What to say about the Spanish? Just to call them rude is wrong. Let's put it this way-- their way of interacting differs quite alot from our opinion on how politeness works. But for them this is normal polite behaviour. They don't mean to offend anybody. Shoving into a crowded elevator without letting people get off is okay for them surely they believe you would shove them away as well if you wanted to get off. They shove, they get shoved...totally normal, no bad feelings. Quite strange for a northern European to grasp. Also the habit of travelling in groups. The usual pack of people to be seen on this cruise is 08 - 12 Spanish people mixed all ages, roaming loudly (happily) around the ship. I guess we're pretty seclusive up north. They loved being together and to interact vividly. The food in the main dining room was wonderful, could use some more choices at the end of the week though. We only ate in the main dining room apart from one time Winjammer... never again. You do get your fill of immense amounts of food there...but that's about it. The noise level there is unbelievable, kids running around chasing each other, it's totally crowded. The food is cantine food. There is something for every taste, as long as you don't have high expectations. No, as long as you can eat at the main dining room, we didn't see any reason why we should rather go the the buffet. We did like the Cafe Promenade though, since you could always go there to grab a coffee or a snack for free. The ice show is really nice. The other shows -- well, not really worth going. We didn't go to the quest show, since we could only imagine how the spanish way of life would be unleashed there. We did the wine tasting in the main dining room which was very nice. We absolutely loved the guitar player Pedro. He's fantastic -- (plays in the promenade and in the schooners bar sometimes) We did all ports on our own. Totally unneccessary to book any tour! Just a little preparation before the cruise and off you go! The only awful moment was the shuttle bus back to the ship in civitavecchia... an hour wait in sizzling heat! ( In that time you could have walked to distance to the ship -- which we did anyway on our way to Rome early in the morning, since there was nobody there to check on you yet)The only good thing was that the cruise direktor was present to cheer people up and to attempt hostile takeovers of other companies busses :-). It was quite amusing. We had some rocky nights, since the ship was movin quite a bit because of a lot of wind. The captain called it "motion in the ocean" well, it made me a bit uneasy. other than that everything was just fine. The inside cabin was perfectly okay. Our attendant Simeon was super. All other staff was very friendly as well. The check in was only a couple of minutes when you had your baggage tags already printed out and attached to your luggage. Check out was as good. We took the subway to the airport , which costs only 1,60 per person. Works great! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
We chose this cruise because we wanted to revisit Rome and Florence and had never been to Malaga, Valencia or Corsica. We had completed a similar cruise last year out of Barcelona on NCL's Epic. The two experiences were very similar ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to revisit Rome and Florence and had never been to Malaga, Valencia or Corsica. We had completed a similar cruise last year out of Barcelona on NCL's Epic. The two experiences were very similar until the last 3 days. We had read some other re viewer's concerns about the Spaniards and their smoking habitats. Apparently the ones on our sailing were not as bad as others have described however the concept of waiting in a line must be foreign to them. Everything about the ship, the food and the crew service was just as I expected with 2 seemingly small exceptions. While in Rome we were informed that the excursion we had pre-booked and paid for through RCI for Corsica was being cancelled due to lack of interest. Unfortunately their suggested alternative would not have been enjoyed by my party as someone having a fear of heights should not be going on the gorges trip. So we just spent the day bumming around the ship and decided to take the spa up on its $119 Happy Hour Treatment. While the hour might be happy the next 10 minutes was most assuredly not. We are used to being hit up after spa services for additional products sales and 99% of the time politely turn them down. However this time the spa personnel must have been needing to make a quota because no, nine and nyet were not words in their vocabulary. My $119 hour had $25 added to it for "services" and then the 15% gratuity on top of that. When I questioned the "services" I was told it was because they needed to use extra products during my included mini-facial. No mention of this was made during the service nor was there any fine print indicating that the $119 would have additional charges added if decided it was needed by the spa staff member. They would not remove the charge. As if this wasn't bad enough not only did my husband who had the same treatment done get the same "services" charge but in addition was handed a "gift"....A $45 additional charged gift that he had turned down, that I had turned down, and when we asked to speak with the manager were told that they weren't available and we were stuck paying the entire bill. BTW Guest Services would not help as the spa is a separate entity. Now we return to our cabin to see a message on our phone. Due to lack of interest our tour/transfer at Malaga was being cancelled and we needed to go to Guest Services to make other arrangements. The original cost of the tour/transfer was around $50/person and we would arrive at the Malaga airport around 2 pm. This was great as our flight was scheduled to leave at 8:30 pm. Now what do we do? Their only suggestion was to pay the extra fee to remain on board for late departure and take their last shuttle. Result getting to the airport at about the same time but paying $10/person more. And having to deal with luggage as we couldn't leave it in our room and there was no other secure place to put it so that you still would have access to swimsuits etc... If they would have at least met the original tour/transfer pricing it would have gone a long way to making us feel like the valued Crown & Anchor Members they claim we are. Is this experience bad enough that we will never cruise Royal again???? We will definitely be weighing it every time we look at taking a cruise and considering our options. But we will never be going to a spa on board again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
This cruise actually started in Valencia, Spain-but that was not an offered port. That being said-this was an odd cruise having 2 starting ports, Malaga and then Valencia. The cruise was 95% Spanish speaking-making it necessary for all ... Read More
This cruise actually started in Valencia, Spain-but that was not an offered port. That being said-this was an odd cruise having 2 starting ports, Malaga and then Valencia. The cruise was 95% Spanish speaking-making it necessary for all things done by the cruise director to be in 2 languages. The entertainment suffered as a result. There were no comedians, I assume because it is too difficult to do in 2 languages. One night they had a guy balancing plates that was a 5 minute gig stretched into a 40 minute gig, and another night a Brazilian tango dance couple-that seriously did a terrible tango. The ice skating was great. The other nights we opted to skip the entertainment. The food was the absolute worse we have ever had on a ship. Meats were over cooked. Chicken one night was served raw inside to one of the people at our table, another night-our entire table didn't eat the chicken dish because it was served so dry and inedible. Cold soups tasted like jello-way too sweet too sweet to be a soup. The hot soups were flavorless. It was very obvious to us that nobody bothered to taste the food before serving it. We decided to do the breakfast in the dining room every morning, which was great. The waiters were exceptional. We steered clear of the buffets because it is usually the same food over and over, and not always good. Our cabin was nice, a bit tired, and on the 6th floor which has a solid bottom on the deck. Which means you were not able to lay on the bed and look out. It felt a bit closed in for me. I am sure most people wouldn't mind-but I wouldn't book that floor again. Our cabin steward was wonderful, and kept our room very clean. The SMOKING on the ship was everywhere. I had no idea that people would be smoking in the bars and the casino-even on non smoking night. It seems Europeans still are big on smoking. I have to say-for a non smoker it was disgusting watching smokers flick their ashes on the carpets in the casino, blowing smoke in people's faces at the tables, stepping out their cigarettes on the floor. I felt like I was in a time warp, back 50 years ago, before people knew the hazards of smoking. I will be sure to check the smoking policies on any ships I go on from now on. Based on all my other cruises, I would have never thought it to be an issue. The other shock to me was babies in the bars at 2 am in the morning-smokey bars in their strollers. I am not talking about 1 baby, but many, most nights 10 or more babies in the bar. I have never seen this before, but was told it was because their parents take "siestas" during the day and stay up late at night. Children were running up and down the halls way past the 11pm curfew. It was mayhem. I have never witnessed that either. It seemed that the crew on the ship wasn't big on enforcing any rules. Perhaps it was to avoid confrontation with people-but it made the cruise almost unbearable. Babies in diapers were in the adult solarium pool-I complained about that after there were in there for over 20 minutes and nobody said a thing. It is a health issue, and very disgusting to boot. I have never been on a ship that ran out of pool towels before-they did. As usual there were no sunbeds to be had on sea days because towels were left all day-even if the sunbeds were never used. Nobody enforced the time limits-even during the 2 hour "siestas", sunbeds were left empty while people walked around and around looking for a place to lay. Communication was very poor on this cruise. When I had booked with Royal Caribbean direct, I had told them we had a special occasion, my daughter had just received her Master's degree and we were celebrating with a cruise. They asked me what night I wanted to do a celebration, and I asked them to do it first formal night. It never happened. Another couple at our table had a birthday that she told them about, it never happened. I requested a diabetic menu-it didn't happen-I requested our beds apart-it didn't happen-I requested a sharps container for my cabin-it didn't happen. Every time I called Royal Caribbean they would repeat all the information, and I would agree. I am talking about 5 or 6 times, I was shocked that they never communicated any of this with the ship. Since this was a 2 port cruise, on day 6 when new people were getting on in Malaga, we were told in the main dining room which was not used by new people getting on, that we had to redo the muster drill. One of the couples we were with have done many back to back cruises and have never had to do a second muster drill. We thought perhaps the waiter just didn't know this, so we went to customer service, and was told that we had to do it. It was mandatory to do a second muster drill-and so we were prepared to do it. Our cabin steward asked us where we were going him, we told him the muster drill, he laughed and told us we didn't have to go it again. My point is these people don't communicate with the crew, which could be very bad in a crisis situation. When we went back to tell the woman at customer service, she checked with her manager-and replied "I was wrong-so hit me". Yikes. Not the attitude I wanted to see. It was a bit rude. As to the itinerary- none of the ports are listed below so I will give you my impression here. I had no idea Europe had ugly industrial ship ports that the cruise ships pulled into. Civitavecchia-was a pit. We had to stand in the blazing sun for almost 35 minutes to get back on the ship after our ship tour to Rome. No icy towels, no shade, just baking in the sun and 95 plus degrees. It was so bad, that they were pulling elderly people and people with small children to the front of the line to get them out of the heat, which made the wait that much longer. Livorno-was another industrial port that smelled like petroleum products. Not the beautiful ports of my imagination. This is the one cruise that I never used my deck while in port. Since I had never been on a Mediterranean cruise before, I asked if all ports were like this, and was told, no. Ajaccio was pretty, Malaga, user friendly, Valencia, industrial, and believe it or not-our cab driver to the port had no idea of where to drop us off. I am thinking this is a new thing there-but it wound up costing me 12 euros for a 6 euro trip because he tried to drop us at the wrong place instead of the terminal, which had very poor seating for the amount of people getting on. I wouldn't suggest taking this cruise if you don't speak Spanish, or if you like good food on a cruise. I found most of the guests to be rude, arrogant, and extremely pushy, and coming from NY I have seen people that can be all of the above-just not hundreds together at one time. 900 plus children that haven't been taught manners are a bit overwhelming. In conclusion, I felt sad having wasted one of my vacation weeks on a very lack luster cruise. I don't plan on sailing with Royal Caribbean again, I will stick to their sister company- Celebrity-who does it right. Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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