Sail Date: December 2007
I read all the reviews that people posted about the Adventure of the Seas, and I truly got scared for all the bad things people tell. I can tell I had a wonderful experience. From the moment I enter it was a smooth ride. I make the check ... Read More
I read all the reviews that people posted about the Adventure of the Seas, and I truly got scared for all the bad things people tell. I can tell I had a wonderful experience. From the moment I enter it was a smooth ride. I make the check in on the internet and getting my sea pass was a breeze. Very fast without problem, I really recommend everybody to check in on the internet. It is true there was a mess on the first day on the promenade, too much people hungry and excited about the trip. But is nothing you cannot handle for one day. After that you cannot feel the 3000 people is on board. This was the first time I went cruising with my husband and it was a wonderful experience for both of us. In my last experience I didn't follow the Activities Compass that they give every night and because of that my past experiences were so so. This this I check the compass and I make an agenda for the day. It was great... Everynight check the Activity Compass and make and agenda u will find something to do every single minute of the day. Another thing, in the past reviews I read a lot about the behavior of the puertoricans. But I can tell I never saw a person having a bad dress code. Only teenagers in jeans but that's youth behavior. And the other thing I saw was the crowdness in the elevators, but 3000 plus people trying to move in 12 elevators going to the same activities at the same time.. People it will get tough, that is something you have to understand. Everybody wants to get to the places on time. I can tell by experience that I saw mane americans misbehaving more than the Puertoricans, including the dress code and the bad behavior. Anyways, like a guy was telling in another review this is your vacation enjoy your time and don;t let others ruin it. HAVE FUN and do things you never thought you will do. Enjoy.. remember 3000 people you don't know and 3000 people u won't see again!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
My husband and I booked this cruise as our honeymoon, my parents joined us on their own late honeymoon. After reading some not so great reviews regarding this particular cruise we were a bit apprehensive. Fortunately we had nothing at all ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise as our honeymoon, my parents joined us on their own late honeymoon. After reading some not so great reviews regarding this particular cruise we were a bit apprehensive. Fortunately we had nothing at all to worry about! We chose to take the cruise line's transportation from the airport to the pier, and it was well worth it! Embarkation was amazingly quick and easy. Our luggage was in our rooms by 7. Although there were a large number of native Puerto Ricans on the boat, we did not encounter any rudeness or out of control children at any point. The wait for elevator service was extensive at times, however that is to be expected with 3000+ people in one place. Food and our servers Javier and Sandra were absolutely phenomenal! They along with the entire kitchen staff went above and beyond in every aspect. Portofino's was the definition of class and the food was beyond fantastic, well worth the $20 pp. The sunset catamaran cruise in Aruba was beautiful and well worth the $39pp. The Coral World/Magen's Bay excursion in St. Thomas was also worth the price paid. Disembarkation was just as easy and quick as getting on! Overall, not one single complaint regarding anything on the entire trip! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
Ok, first of all, let me say that my wife and I are brand new cruisers, and I've never been anywhere tropical, warm, or anything to that degree. She's been to the Bahamas, Key West, etc, so she knows more about these things than ... Read More
Ok, first of all, let me say that my wife and I are brand new cruisers, and I've never been anywhere tropical, warm, or anything to that degree. She's been to the Bahamas, Key West, etc, so she knows more about these things than I do. We wanted to go on a cruise, but we thought there would be issues because when we started planning our wedding, I didn't have a passport, and I didn't think I could get it in time. We found out a passport isn't necessary to cruise (at least until the beginning of 2008) so we decided that a cruise would be a good plan. We talked to a local travel agent, who was MORE than helpful. She knew everything about everything, as did the staff she worked with. (I'm going to say right now that if you're cruising, do not be dumb enough to try and set it up for yourself. See a travel agent!!) We decided on an Eastern Caribbean cruise that would last 7 days. We got a great deal, but we didn't have the money at the time, so she said she could hold it. Of course, because we had so much going on, we didn't get back to her in time. The cruise sold out. No worries, though. Our travel agent helps us pick a different cruise. Different itinerary, but it seemed like a good plan. I also wanted to get my passport application in, because our agent told me it makes things go smoother if you have proof that you've at least applied. I went to the Post Office to get the paperwork in, paid my fees, and filed the application. Now, assuming I wouldn't receive the passport in time (we've all heard the horror stories), I put my actual date of travel on the application. Keep in mind, this is roughly 10 days before we travel. And again, I did NOT expect to have my passport in time to travel, I just was going to print out some papers saying I'd applied. Well, after the wedding got over, I checked my mailbox, and unbelievably enough, my passport arrived! Exactly the day I needed it! So my advice, when it comes to passports, is to give yourself about two weeks, and fill out the application with the correct travel date. Don't pay the extra to expedite it! You don't need it. The wedding got over at 11 pm, and at 4:30 am, we were in the car, headed to Logan International to get on a plane to San Juan, PR. Of course, we'd booked the plane tickets, transportation from the airport to the ship, and the cruise itself with our agent. (Another recommendation - always book the transportation!) We got off the plane, handed off our luggage, got on a bus, and the next thing we know, we're standing outside the biggest ship I've ever seen. In a word, it was breathtaking! The thing was HUGE! MASSIVE! Keep in mind that over 3000 people were scheduled for this cruise, so checking in COULD'VE gone horribly. Having printed our Set Sail pass took all that out of the equation. We happily walked around the throngs of people waiting in line. Walked to the front of the room, showed our Set Sail passes, ID's, and off we went. Onto the boat for our first "cruise pictures" ever. We found our way to our room and toured the ship. We had chosen, wisely, a room overlooking the promenade. There was a beautiful, decorated Christmas tree directly out our window. We could see a good section of the promenade, where all the amazing little shops, bars, etc are. Now is where I should tell you that we brought my in-laws with us. We got them a room right next to ours, with a door between them. Cruising wouldn't have been as fun if we'd gone alone, but that's just my opinion. It was fun to have them with us. We toured the ship, checking out everything we could. Of course, we were exhausted, so we quickly made our way back to our rooms for a quick nap before drills and the first dinner of the trip. When called to, we donned our life vests and made our way to our meeting point. No sweat. After we were dismissed, we made our way back to our rooms to put our life jackets away, and we made our way down to the dining room. We were in the Strauss dining room, which is the middle deck of the 3 deck dining room. There's a giant chandelier hanging from the center of the room, in the open center of all 3 decks. Light music flowed gently throughout the room. It was mixed between classical piano, Christmas music (very strange when it's 90 degrees), and jazz. Excellent choices. Our head waiter checked on us every night, to make sure we were enjoying our meals, both in the dining room, and the room service. Then we had our waiter, Javier, and our assistant waitress, Sandra. They gave us world class service from day 1. As I seem to be rambling on and on, I'll just say that we left the last meal with hugs and kisses to these people who made our meal-time something we looked forward to every night. There was also the Windjammer buffet/grill where we had our breakfast in the mornings. This was slow-going, but nothing horrible. Usually fresh fruit and good "breakfast" food started off the day. Room service, which is completely free except booze and sodas, came quickly and delicious. We took advantage of this service almost nightly, as we stayed up rather late, and you can get a snack 24/7. We also tipped the room service waitstaff about $5 each time they came in, and that paid off handsomely! One night we returned to our room to find a plate of chocolate covered strawberries, and another night brought us a beautiful fruit basket. Both of these were accompanied by a note saying "Courtesy of Room Service." Fantastic. As for shore excursions, we chose to take a sunset catamaran cruise in Aruba. Good choice! We were on a medium-sized catamaran, with about 10 other couples, cruising around the island with open bar, listening to relaxing music, in water so clear you could see sea turtles 50 feet down. AMAZING! This is an excursion I highly recommend! And they got us back to the boat exactly on-time, with no problems. We also took the excursion on St. Thomas to Coral World and Magen's Bay. Again, a fantastic choice. At Coral World, (and now I feel dumb, because I don't know for sure if that's the actual name!) I fed beautiful birds called Lorikeets. It cost $3 to get a little shot of nectar, and these birds just attacked! It was an amazing experience. They were sweet and gentle, and it was a lot of fun. Then I got to feed a stingray. They're the softest thing I've ever touched! What an amazing experience, though. I can't recommend it enough. Then our cab (a glorified pickup truck with 20 seats in the bed!) picked us up again and brought us to Magen's Bay. Now, this place is on the top 10 beaches of the world list. And with good reason. The water was crystal clear, and very calm. The scenery was incredible and it was just perfect. The breeze was a little cool but it was incredible anyway! The only complaint I have is that our cab driver was INSANE! I think he had too many rum runners while he waited for us to be done at the beach, and the trip home was more than terrifying. But we made it! As for the ports of call, we went to Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten, St Thomas, and then back to San Juan. Each had its own charm and draw, and I can't say that there's anything I would change about any of them. Although I recommend taking a towel from the pool onto the island. I didn't do this on Aruba, so I had to buy a towel from a gift shop, which cost me $22. My favorite port of call, though, would have to be St Thomas. It was beautiful, the shopping was great, and the beach was incredible. Again, the cab ride was something you'd experience at Six Flags on heroin, but it was the best place of the entire trip. Our stateroom was small, but live-able. The bathroom was about the size of a large phone booth, but who cares? I mean - if you're spending your time in your room, something's gone horribly awry. Our first day was a sea day, and I don't think we were even in the room an hour that day. We spent the day on the pool deck, where I participated in the "Mr Sexy Legs" contest. I won a prize, and I'll treasure the Royal Caribbean pendant I won forever. Between the rock wall, the hot tubs, the rollerblade track, the sports deck, and the golf simulator, there was so much to do, you couldn't do it all, even if you tried! The entertainment was great, from the street entertainment on the promenade to the shows in the beautiful Lyric Theater. There was Karaoke in the Imperial Lounge and little bands in all the bars/pubs throughout the ship. Basically, everywhere you go, and at any time, you can find SOME sort of music playing. And it's all world class. I'll sum it all up now, as I realize this is a lengthy review. I've read a lot of reviews, both before and after this cruise. And some of them worried me before. The most important thing you can get from this review is that a review is JUST A REVIEW! Each experience is unique, and things you hear don't necessarily apply to you. You'll make what you want of your experience! Having said that - I can't imagine being disappointed in this cruise in ANY way. I HIGHLY recommend this ship, this itinerary, and even my travel agent! (Klingerman Travel, New London, CT) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
I wasn't going to take the time to write a review, but after seeing a negative review of our cruise, I thought that I would attempt to write a fair and balanced review of our experience onboard. Embarkation: The smoothest that we ... Read More
I wasn't going to take the time to write a review, but after seeing a negative review of our cruise, I thought that I would attempt to write a fair and balanced review of our experience onboard. Embarkation: The smoothest that we have ever experienced. We arrived curbside at 12:35 p.m. and were onboard at 12:45 p.m. We had been upgraded from a D1 to a JS, so we were able to use the special line for suites. I did ask a few people in the regular line and they said that it had taken them about 30 minutes to get on board at this time. One note: The signage for the special suite line is not very visible, so if you did not look around when first arriving, you could have easily lined up in the wrong line and not realized it until you were at the front. After dropping the luggage, again you could have gotten in the longer line, if you are not careful to ask. They direct you around the crowds and directly inside, but this was not necessarily clear to everyone. Cruise Ship Staff: I only encountered a few people among the staff that were not particularly friendly. After speaking to one of these young men in the Windjammer, I found out that he had only been onboard a few weeks, and I could tell that he was nervously trying to learn his job. For the most part, the staff was everything that we expected them to be, friendly, informative, and customer service oriented. Activities: We found almost all of the activities to be what we expected. Food: We ate at the Windjammer, Johnny Rockets, the Formal Dining Room and the Cafe Promenade. Found all of them to be what we expected. We really enjoyed Johnny Rockets and thought it to be well worth the cover charge. Ship: We did notice that the carpet was looking a little worn, but we expected this. The ship is not brand new! If it hadn't been for the worn carpet and a couple of other minor things, we wouldn't have been able to discern the age of the ship. It was well maintained. We thought that the crew did a good job of keeping the health problems under control once they surfaced on Day 5. I really don't think it would have been feasible, nor would I have enjoyed having each piece of food personally added to my plate in the buffet line during the entire cruise. While I thought it was great that everyone from the guitar player to the youth staff was called in to help out the last few days, I personally would not want this level of service on a daily basis. Wash your hands often, especially before you eat and you will most often stay clear of germs. Remember that colds, and other viruses can spread anywhere that large groups of people are gathered: airplanes, sporting events, shopping malls, etc. Ports: We had never been to Aruba or Curacao, so we enjoyed exploring both of these places by rental car. St. Martin and St. Thomas were repeat ports for us. Aruba: We rented a car from Hertz and explored the island on our own. We found it quite easy to get around (many signs in English) and were able to enjoy the sites at our own pace. We thoroughly enjoyed the snorkeling at Baby Beach thanks to a Cruise Critic recommendation. Didn't find the shopkeepers in the port area particularly friendly or interested in our business, but it was late in the day. Perhaps they were tired of all of us "cruise ship" people? Curacao: Didn't have a set plan before hand so we again rented a car, this time from a "local" vendor that approached us on the dock. It was a run down jeep, but thankfully made it around the island. Kind of an adventure not knowing if you would break down or not, but the end result was good for us. $50 cash, no deposit. For that amount it was worth the risk to us. We found Playa Porto Mari to be a beautiful beach, again thanks to a Cruise Critic recommendation. Again, we were not particularly impressed with the shopping area, but found the downtown area to be very quaint and enjoyed the floating bridge and beautiful buildings. Rode the ferry back across. St. Martin: We did the America's Cup Regatta booked through the ship. Once in a lifetime experience. In our opinion, if you have the opportunity to participate in this, do it! Good shopping, found some nice shops off of the main strip. According to one shop keeper, they don't get a lot of business from the cruise passengers. I guess maybe most people stick to the Cruise Line recommended stores. St Thomas: Took a taxi to Coki Beach. Cruise Critic snorkeling board recommended this beach for snorkeling. It was excellent. Bought "milk bone" dog biscuits for a quarter and had schools of fish feeding right out of our hands. Rode back by taxi and went up to Paradise Point. Great views of the ship/harbor. Shopped in town and returned to the ship. We had approximately 1800 Puerto Ricans onboard and did not find many of the other negative reviews to be accurate. Just like any other large group, you cannot group everyone together. There were people of all ages and social classes on board. There were people from many countries and many different states. We observed very few incidences of anyone acting rudely, cutting in line, etc. The few times that we did observe rude behavior, it was certainly not limited to one group of people. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Adventure and would not hesitate sailing on her again. We also, would not hesitate sailing out of Puerto Rico. It was an interesting port, and we found the large group of Puerto Ricans on board to add a fun loving energy to the ship's activities. Overall, please know that if you go looking for a problem, you will find it. On the other hand, if you give people the benefit of the doubt, smile, and look for the best in people, they will not let you down. Enjoy your cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
Before I start this review I want to state that I am a pretty regular cruiser, so my review comes from experience. I read several reviews on AOS prior to leaving for my trip. I tried to keep an open mind, but I was a bit apprehensive after ... Read More
Before I start this review I want to state that I am a pretty regular cruiser, so my review comes from experience. I read several reviews on AOS prior to leaving for my trip. I tried to keep an open mind, but I was a bit apprehensive after reading some of the issues. Let me say this was by far the best cruise I have ever taken. I been on Carnival (hopefully never again), Princess (before it was owned by Carnival) and several RCI. I am RCI loyalist. We arrived at the port (from the airport) around 2:45PM, we were on the ship within 15 minutes...the quickest embarkation I have ever experienced. We stopped by our cabin and dropped off our carry on bags and freshened up, as best we could until our bags arrived. We walked around the ship to acclimate ourselves the layout. Then we headed for the pool deck where we easily found some deck chairs and settled in for a bit. We had early seating, so we stopped back by our room and checked to see if our bags had arrived, not yet. We sat on the balcony for a bit before heading down to the dining room (Vivaldi on deck 3). When we finally made to dinner, we met our wonderful table guest, four from PR and two from NC. All of us immediately hit it off which made dinner every night quite pleasant. We had the best table in the room and the best waiters (including our Head waiter). I'm not big on Caribbean food as a rule, but I love fried sweet plantains, which I was having a hard time finding on the ship. So my significant other (a Caribbean man), made a special request (unbeknownst to me)for fried plantains at dinner. Not only did the chef prepare us the plantains but he prepared a whole dinner around them, jerk chicken, plantains and rice. He made several plates so we were able to share with other table guest. This was repeated the next night as well with another special dinner, what a fabulous treat. This made the trip and it was only part of some of the special things that happened on the cruise. BTW, I am a picky eater, and the food was actually better than I've ever had on a cruise ship, I usually set my expectations low so as not to be disappointed. We had reservations at Portofino's, but ended up canceling them because we enjoyed our table mates and the food so much. The cabin the perfect size for us, I was a bit worried, because we had done a JS before and I thought the D2 cabin may feel cramped, but not at all, we had plenty of storage space and the luggage fit nicely under the bed. I liked having a door on the shower as opposed to the curtain, it gives the feeling of a bigger shower. Our room steward was always right on top of things and kept our room in tip top shape. The only complaint I had was the mattress weren't as comfortable as I've experienced on other RCI ships. I usually don't sit on the couches in the strange places but the couch in our room looked to quite clean, so I sat. :) The ports are the ports, all simply wonderful. We did do the Segway tour in St. Maarten, and we loved every minute of it. I want to buy one of those things...LOL. We had the parasailing scheduled in St. Thomas, but they didn't show and RCCL had no problem refunding the cost. The shows were pretty good, MOSAIC was the best. The only thing that I found odd was they did the Captains reception on the promenade, which made it hard to see and uncomfortable and crowded. I didn't have any problems with the 1800 PR's on the ship. Some were rude and a bit rowdy, but no more or less than I've seen others act on other cruises or public venues in the continental US. Their culture is a bit different, but that's what makes America America, we are excepting of all cultures and races. No one's perfect. It is expected that there would be a larger number of them on board it departs from their island. I don't know if it's true or not that they get big discounts, but so what, TX and GA get big discounts too (for whatever reason). The question was asked at the Crown and Anchor reception and the Staff Captain denied that that was the case...who knows...? All in all I had a wonderful cruise, I met some great people, and walked away knowing this cruise rates at the top of any I have taken. Debarkation was a breeze, we did the luggage valet and that's the best think since sliced bread. No worrying with getting the baggage to the airport...just check it at the port and let them do the rest. We were off the ship as fast as we got on (once our debarking number was called). Thank you RCCL for another great cruise... Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions monn-a@ cfl.rr.com Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
Just got back from our fourth cruise (second one on RC). It was beautiful. I had read about the rude Puerto Rican's, and bad food, and how dirty the ship was, and MOST of all the norovirus problem this ship had. None of that was ... Read More
Just got back from our fourth cruise (second one on RC). It was beautiful. I had read about the rude Puerto Rican's, and bad food, and how dirty the ship was, and MOST of all the norovirus problem this ship had. None of that was true in our experience. With as many people as there are on this ship, I didn't experience anything distasteful at all. The one thing I DID find strange was one of the handicapped bathrooms (off the Schooner Lounge on deck 4) had a soap dispenser that was broken the entire trip. HOW are we supposed to wash our hands with soap and water with no soap! That bugged a little, it was something I know they had to be aware of? Not going to ruin my trip though, just brought handywipes or used the deck 5 bathrooms instead. The other thing was the smoke in the Schooner Bar was really bad. I'm from California and have been used to no smoking in public places, so it was very uncomfortable to sit for a long period of time and try to breathe I loved the piano player too, his name is Pete Thompson and he's very nice and talented. But I couldn't stand the smoke so I had to stop going to listen to him. It literally made me sick and I was coughing the rest of the trip. Could have been a combination of things too. Aruba - Least favorite. I was surprised at how much like TJ the town was. YUCK! Beautiful water and beach though. Really beautiful water. The water is a little cool at first, but you get used to it. Curacao (spelled wrong) - really cute, very charming. Went to Kings (something) for a drink and lunch. The bar tender Hendrix (not Jimmy) was amazing really good at his job. St. Maarten- Watch out, we had our money stolen from our rental car. Went to the highest peak on the island, can't remember the name, locked the car and left our cash and cards in a plastic waterproof container on the driver's side car. When we got back the cash was gone, not the boarding card though. Thank goodness. Noticed they had riffled through the trunk also. It was really weird to think someone had gone through our stuff in such a short period of time. We went to the butterfly farm on the same island and found out from another tourist "they" stole their beer out of their car too. So BE AWARE of your surroundings and don't leave valuables in any car. The butterfly farm was so peaceful and really interesting. Sometimes they land on you. St. Thomas - Favorite stop. Really looks like the French Riviera. Went to Megan's Beach in a taxi. It was nice clean and large. A little crowded, but not uncomfortable. Food is expensive at the snack bar, $8.99 for a turkey sandwich. Bring some zip locks and some food from the ship if you want to save some $$. Took the tram ride to the top of the island, really was worth seeing that view. It was very relaxing and they have a bar and food at the top. Cute. Entertainment- I wanted to mention it was good too. I am amazed that people say they are bad, I can't imagine trying to dance on a moving ship. Ice show was also good. Crew- excellent Room - everything was taken care of, whatever we needed we got, excellent Food - I read it was not good. Disagree, it was great! We took RC to the Mexican Riviera and it was just kind of food. This went above and beyond. It was really good. Wish they had the scones at breakfast, they melt in your mouth! They served them at lunch one day YUM! Maybe it was good they didn't have them all the time. Windjammer - It WAS a bit crowded at breakfast, not a big deal to wait a bit. Over all great time, next stop Alaska, we hope to meet up with the piano player then:-) Enjoy. Lori Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
Flew into SJU on Saturday due to American canceling our morning non-stop form Dallas. Unfortunately we were over 2 hours late arriving and finally checked into the Sheraton Old San Juan after 1:00AM. Upon check-in, I asked if we could ... Read More
Flew into SJU on Saturday due to American canceling our morning non-stop form Dallas. Unfortunately we were over 2 hours late arriving and finally checked into the Sheraton Old San Juan after 1:00AM. Upon check-in, I asked if we could possibly have a late check out as it had already been a long day. I was advised to call the front desk at 7:00AM and we should be fine. Well I did get up at 7:00AM only to be told that we could only get an additional 30 minutes - big deal. The hotel was OK, the area was neat but I would just as soon stayed at the Best Western at the airport and saved myself the additional cab ride. Embarkation was pretty smooth. The process in which they take your bags is not the most efficient however. Once inside, we went to the Diamond check-in. I was traveling on an expired passport which is fine until June 2009. The person checking us in attempted to deny us boarding but I immediately called RCCL and had them straighten it out. (I am a travel agent myself so I was able to deal direct with RCCL as I am the agent of record). The ship itself was very nice and we spent some time checking everything out. Our bags came very quickly and we were unpacked even before Muster. We had early dining and were located on Deck 3. The dining room was very nice and the staff excellent. I was disappointed that we were at a table for 10 and most nights it was just 4 of us there. We did eat one night at Portofino and it was excellent; lovely romantic evening. In Aruba we decided to snorkel on the Mi Dushi. The staff was very pleasant and fun was had by all. Snorkeling was disappointing as the water was quite rough but again, it turned out to be a very nice time. Curacao we decided to Golf at Blue Bay. The course was quite nice. When coming in from the 9th hole you actually drive on the beach right near the resort. Golf scores were not the best but again, a good group of people were with us. St. Maarten we went back to Orient Beach on the Beach Break which included lunch. We did this same excursion last year and found it better then. There was a much larger crowd that last year and the French staff did not seem to understand English very well. After waiting 30 minutes to place our order, we received our lunch with first the entrEe,then the drinks and finally the bread (a little backward if you ask me). The food as last year was excellent. St Thomas was originally scheduled for golf but apparently we were the only ones who signed up and it was canceled due to lack of participation. It all worked out in the end as it rained most of the night so the course would have been too wet. We just wandered around town and had a lovely lunch before returning to the ship. Some of the issues I had with the cruise: We were signed up for the Meet and Mingle which was scheduled for 11:00AM (I think) on Monday (sea day). We did not even get our invitation until Tuesday night. I don't have an issue with kids being on the ship; I just expect their parents to keep an eye on them. One night I ran into a group of 8 tweens jumping from the landing between floors into the elevator bank to see who could jump the farthest. This was at midnight and they were making a lot of racket. Now parents, I realize that the kids have a 1:00AM curfew but just because they can be out and about on the ship, they should be behaved. After I told the kids to knock it off, it continued. Finally I called security and let them deal with it. It was taken care of quickly which I did appreciate. Finally the Platinum and Diamond party. Last year on the Serenade we had an absolute blast and vowed never to miss another Diamond Party. This year we were treated to a "concert" of classical music. Now don't get me wrong, they WERE very good; I'm just not into classical music. We had to sit through 7 songs and almost felt like were were compelled to stay. 1-3 songs would have been a better choice. Overall, it was a good time. I liked having 2 ports and then a day at sea so we did feel like we had some down time to relax. The ship was nice but we felt the Serenade was a bit classier overall. Would we sail her again - of course. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
My husband and I just took our first cruise. We were apprehensive after reading some of the reviews which discussed potentially vacation ruining issues with passengers that were incredibly rude and also with the cleanliness of the boat and ... Read More
My husband and I just took our first cruise. We were apprehensive after reading some of the reviews which discussed potentially vacation ruining issues with passengers that were incredibly rude and also with the cleanliness of the boat and outbreaks of a virus. We had no such issues. The passengers were mostly folks in the 35-60 range who were from all over the world and were polite, friendly and fun loving. The boat was kept very clean with no indication of any health concerns that I could see. I did bring my own hand wipes and disinfectants just in case. We loved every minute of this cruise. The excursion to Angelina's Kitchen on Curacao for a cooking class was EXCELLENT. The snorkeling at Trunk Bay in St John was outstanding. Skip the snorkeling in Aruba unless you are a very experienced diver. The sea is rough and its very windy. In St John, the water was glass. St Martin and St Thomas are great ports as well. The food on the boat was terrific. Don't miss Portofino's, however, its worth the extra $20 per person. Our cabin was on the port side of the ship. It was fine but most of the ports are not very pretty dockside so I would try the starboard side of the ship next time. If you get motion sick, bring Dramamine and ginger which help. So do the wrist bands. I get motion sick on planes and in cars but I was fine on the ship. Ask for a room in the middle of the boat. The entertainment was more than I had expected and was very enjoyable. Overall, I was very impressed and would definitely recommend this ship and RCI. (PS we met a woman in the airport who had just returned from a Carnival cruise and HATED it) Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
Just a little background. This was our 8th cruise. 3 now on the Royal Caribbean, 4 on Princess and 1 on Carnival, our least favorite. We traveled with my daughter, her husband, and our 3 teenage granddaughters. We were a little concern ... Read More
Just a little background. This was our 8th cruise. 3 now on the Royal Caribbean, 4 on Princess and 1 on Carnival, our least favorite. We traveled with my daughter, her husband, and our 3 teenage granddaughters. We were a little concern with this cruise after reading the reviews in regards to all the Puerto Ricans. I can tell you I did not run into one rude Puerto Rican or felt like they over ran the ship anymore than anyone else. In most part I felt people in general were very polite and just wanting to let there hair down and have fun! We had a long travel day coming from California to San Juan. We did come a day early and booked the Marriott Stellaris. We booked two ocean front rooms, however we got to the hotel so late than I do not really have a comment on the Hotel other than, it was clean and quite comfortable. We arrived at the airport in San Juan at 9 pm. Knowing what I know now I would probably have booked a private service to pick us up at the airport and take us to our hotel. There is a very long taxi line to take you to your destination. If you do not mind waiting it is certainly a lot less expensive to take a taxi. About 20.00 for 7 of us to go to the hotel. We arrived the next day at the ship around 12:30. We had already filled out all our information on line and had printed our set sail passes. We had booked two grand suites so there was no line however, if you had your set sail passes there was no line there either. They had separate lines for suites and printed set sail passes. We were on board the ship within 20 minutes. The ship is very impressive. It is the largest ship we have cruised on. The promenade deck 5 is just beautiful. We spent a couple hours checking out the ship and had a light snack at the windjammer before checking out our room. Our bags were at our room by 2. All in all I thought the process went very smoothly. Our first stop Aruba. We were not impressed with Aruba. We did book Jolly Pirates online. We caught the public bus to the beach about a 15 minute ride. Had a great time on this excursion. Found the snorkeling sights to be good and the crew was great. Next stop Curacao. Hired a private guide who we found on Cruise Critic. I understand he is band now. To bad he is great!!!! He picked us up at the dock with 2 buggies we requested and took us all around the island. We went snorkeling, to beaches, had a great lunch. Beautiful Island!! Highly recommend him. His name is Henry Leo Palate. (Rent A Guide) St. Maarten. Just went shopping in St. Maarten and hung out at a local bar on the beach. Very relaxing. Really like this Island along with Curacao. Have been to Orient Beach twice highly recommend it. St. Thomas Took a taxi to Megans Bay. Taxis are easy to catch right outside where the ship docks. It is about a 15 minute ride. It costs 4 dollars per person to get into Megans Bay along with the taxi ride which was I think 8 per person. Don't quote on that but it is close. Megans Bay is very nice a little crowded. There is a small kind of fast food restaurant there along with some with one shop (T-shirts, swim wear, souvenirs...) You can rent beach chairs there. We just sat at one of the picnic tables and took our towels from the ship to lay on the beach. I would have taken a couple snacks from the ship knowing what I know now. The restaurant is a little expensive. Drinks are good. We stayed a couple hours then went to Hooters for lunch, a little shopping then back to the ship. Puerto Rico We did not take any excursions here. Our at sea days on the ships were relaxing. Seems like there is always a lot of activity going on somewhere. Formal nights were great seeing everyone dressed up in there formal wear. Most were dressed up there were a few that were not. Seems like a nice dress for the women and a shirt and tie for the guys were acceptable. It did not have to be a formal dress or tuxedo. Our departure went ok. There are a lot of guest to disembark in a short time. We did pay to have our luggage go straight to the airport from the dock. Since we were in a suite our boarding passes and luggage tags were in our room Sat evening. Make sure and bring your flight information so they can print those items for you. There was a Delta representative at the dock who took our luggage. This was great! The Delta representative will print your luggage tags and put them on your luggage at the dock if you are not in a suite. You can print your own boarding passes in the online room on the ship. We did not see our luggage until we arrived in Sacramento. FYI you do not have to pack all your liquids the night before. Since you pick up your luggage and take it to the Delta representative you can put all your liquids in your suitcase the next morning. All in all I would highly recommend this cruise. The ship is beautiful at times a little crowded, which is to be expected after all there were 3600 people plus crew members on the ship. Entertainment was good, the staff were all very polite, food in the dining room was very good on the most part, we thoroughly enjoyed the waiter, Boni, assist waiter Luis, and the nice gentleman from bar staff Desmond who brought us drinks and entertain the teenage grandchild with fun puzzles. The Windjammer Café was good, at times also a little crowded. This was our grandchildrens first cruise. They had a GREAT time. The only negative comment I would have is on one evening there were some loud obnoxious teenagers in Johnny Rockets. The teen center is next to Johnny Rockets which our grandchildren chose not to participate in. I would definitely take another cruise booking Royal Caribbean. We made life time memories with our family! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
I sailed on January 6 with the Adventure of the Seas. This was my first RCCL cruise, having only sailed once before on MSC in the Mediterranean. I sailed with a group of 8 including one 15 month old. Logistically it is challenging to keep ... Read More
I sailed on January 6 with the Adventure of the Seas. This was my first RCCL cruise, having only sailed once before on MSC in the Mediterranean. I sailed with a group of 8 including one 15 month old. Logistically it is challenging to keep a group of this size occupied and happy, but the Adventure of the Seas is a big enough boat that it delivers. The itinerary was Southern Caribbean stopping in Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Having the cruise start in San Juan saves a day at sea in getting to Aruba. There are other itineraries on other ships that leave from Florida, but it takes two days to get to the deep south. The one flaw of the cruise was embarkation. It was extremely time consuming, taking over two hours to board. We purposely avoided going to the pier at the every start of embarkation to avoid the crowd. But despite that, there were over 1000 people in line when we arrived. The process is compounded by the fact that over 3600 passengers sailed on our cruise. The embarkation process proved to the be the only major hiccup on our trip. As many reviewers comment, the ship is very large. The central promenade is a very pleasant open space that has shops, some lounges and a 24 hour coffee shop. For its size, there was minimal to no movement felt on the boat. The itinerary included two days at sea. However due to good weather, a rock climbing wall and plenty of decks to explore, the days at sea passed quickly. The ship is big enough that I did not feel that I was sharing it with 3600 other passengers. The rooms have shown their age. I booked a balcony about 45 days before departure to get the best deal. Balconies are the way to go! There is nothing like sitting outside at 2am and seeing the stars go by and the moon shimmer on the water. That said, as many other posts have alluded to, carpets and furniture are stained and definitely need to be revamped. The AC was good and felt I had enough space with my wife and 15 month old child. There is enough insulation between cabins that I only heard a muffle from the neighbors. Dining was excellent. The central dining room is a three story, "Titanic-style" grand dining room. The staff were very attentive and the food was top notch. I heeded the previous reviews and avoided the buffet. The food there was marginal and I too saw little kids playing with the food with their fingers. The staff was sometimes attentive in removing the offended food. Disembarkation was very orderly taking only 30 minutes. It was very easy to get a taxi back to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I highly recommend the Adventure of the Seas for its size and great dining. I will wait till it gets refurbished before I sail on it again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
We began our trip in San Juan the day before we set sail (learnt this from the previous cruise where we ended up being the last guests on board and the door was closed right behind us!!). San Juan is very beautiful and there is alot to ... Read More
We began our trip in San Juan the day before we set sail (learnt this from the previous cruise where we ended up being the last guests on board and the door was closed right behind us!!). San Juan is very beautiful and there is alot to see and do, beaches, history and wonderful landscapes as well as friendly people and wonderful restaurants - recommend Aguaviva on Calla Forteleza if you love seafood. Was quite nervous when we booked this cruise as many reviews had said that because of boarding in Puerto Rico, we would have a huge number of locals on board, which maybe something that we may/may not like... actually we loved it, it gave great contrast to the cruise as it felt very international and not just American which can often be the case. We boarded the ship at around 2:15pm on Sunday which is when the cruise ship was due to open for boarding..only to find that there was in fact a sign saying boarding from noon... the good thing is that I bet there was a huge queue earlier, as there were only a handful of guests around 2pm. We handed over a luggage and boarded the gangway. The obligatory ahoy matey photos were taken.. (love these photos as everyone looks drawn out, pale and exhausted from dragging luggage).. then we went straight to locate our staterooms which were lovely balcony rooms Deck 9 slightly aft, starboard side. The stateroom was as large as we had on Radiance of the Seas in March 07 so we new what to expect.. there is a place for everything and it is all within arms reach so convenient and nothing gets lost.. Not sure if when we previously cruised we had the most phenomenal stateroom attendant, or that this one wasn't as good, but he certainly wasn't as friendly... but he was somewhat efficient and did his job (we never got the towel monkey - but did get an elephant..). Being pregnant, I wanted to be sure that I got as much exercise as possible without getting exhausted and we certainly walked alot around the ship and played Shuffleboard regularly. There were plenty of things to do, and my family (parents 60+ active) and my husband always found things to occupy our time, and not all of these included food either! Although quick comment about Cafe Promenade and Windjammer who both served Seattle Best Coffee, which was awesome and free!!! The shore excursions were superb, we had plenty of variety and I recommend doing an early tour of each stop and then venturing to a local beach so that you can relax before heading back to the ship. The Sea and See in Aruba was well worth it.. We visited Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten and St Thomas with a day at sea at the beginning and then before St Maarten.. these were well received as were tired (or at least I certainly was). The bit most people want to know about is the food... the food was excellent. We were on second sitting (8:30) and were placed on a table of 12 with 8 other great guests..I recommend late sitting as you tend to get more atmosphere in the dining room as well as a more rested clientele... 6:30 is just a little too rushed to get back on board and get ready for my liking... plus if you get back on board and eat late, you can always get a snack from room service (free of charge) while you wait. My husband avoids Salt like the plague, so the first night we told our waiter (who was called John and was the best waiter ever had in any restaurant).. who called over the Head Waiter called Neeraj who also was fantastic and shared with us the menu for the next night and asked my husband to choose what he would like to eat.. they would make him a separate meal every night with absolutely no fuss and it was delicious.. They repeated this event every night even telling him what was good and what they didn't think would be nice... they told my dad that a particular soup didn't come out like they had hoped that they wouldn't recommend it (our waiter really liked us). The assistant waiter even took the time to know what type of rolls we like with our food and was already picking it up to put on our plates... that's the kind of service I like. On this voyage we had 2 formal nights.. these were very well received and apart from a couple of scruff pots everyone made the utmost effort to look wonderful. There was one jumbo buffet on the pool deck rather than the "Gala" buffet which we previously had.. this, when we inquired, was due to the shear waste of food...which I totally agree is the case... who wants to have a 4-course dinner, then eat again at midnight... (some do I know), but really, unless you intend to spend your entire cruise in the gym, I go with eat healthily and you will enjoy the cruise much more than feeling bloated all the time. Entertainment was excellent, the ice show is not too be missed so make sure you get tickets (free of course!) early to avoid disappointment. The other shows were a little kitchy but then again what do you expect.. you are on a ship... but they are always well presented and professional. Our Cruise Director was very good... although not as visible as previous Cruise Directors but this was a much bigger ship but didn't feel that way. All in all, a really great cruise... didn't want to bore you with details of the islands as everyone has their own perception of these, but they were all stunning and worth the visit... BIG THUMBS UP Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
Before the cruise: Went to Wal-Mart(automotive department) and bought wrist bands key chains (looks like a phone cord and you wear it on your wrist). When you get your set sail card the ships customer service can put a hole in your card, ... Read More
Before the cruise: Went to Wal-Mart(automotive department) and bought wrist bands key chains (looks like a phone cord and you wear it on your wrist). When you get your set sail card the ships customer service can put a hole in your card, so you can attach the card to your key chain. This way it is handy the whole cruise. We purchased the soda package, so having this card on our wrist was really easy. Pre-cruise: Flew down on Saturday and stayed at the La Conche (a Renaissance Hotel). What a beautiful hotel with every room facing the ocean. Ate dinner across the street in a small local restaurant serving typical Puerto Rican food and Mojito's. What a great way to start the vacation. Cruise: We read the negative reviews and were a little apprehensive, but we didn't have any negative passenger experiences. Everyone is on vacation and they all want to have a good time, so take those negative reviews with a grain of salt. We also brought our own hand sanitizers and washed our hand often to avoid any virus (we had no trouble with virus' either). Day 1: This was the first day at sea, and we love the days at sea. After spending a wonderful day at the pool we returned to our room to find an invitation to the cruise critic Meet and Mingle. We had a great time and met a wonderful bunch of couples, not to mention free drinks. Day 2: Aruba - Took a cab to Eagle Beach. It was ok, but nothing special, and beware that the cabs will not pick you up from the beach if you have a wet bathing suit, so bring a change of cloths. Day 3: Curacao - We negotiated a van tour of the island with a man named Nelson that ended up at a wonderful beach (Kontinki beach). This was a very nice day. This evening we went to a party with the captain hosted by Royal Caribbean International for its return customers (free drinks again), so sign up for the Crown and Anchor Society. Day 4: Another day at sea. Love relaxing on the sea days, and think I could use more of them. That evening we went to the Piano Bar and had a ball. Day 5: St. Maarten - Best stop on the trip. We booked a beach tour thru the ship to Waikiki Beach on Orient Bay that included rum swizzles and beach chairs and surf. It is on the Atlantic ocean, and the waves were rather large, but for me that was great fun. I don't think I ever sat on my beach chair. Day 6: St. Thomas - Booked a sail boat for 6 people thru the ship with captain Karl. This was the high light of the week. We sailed to shipwreck cove for snorkeling then off to honey moon cove for swimming. Drinks were included. What a great time. Dinner: This was some of the best food we have had on a ship, and our wait staff was great. We had Cecilia and Nazareth, who were excellent. On the first night I ordered a diet coke and every evening there after Nazareth brought me one without me having to ask. Cecilia was so pleasant and knowledgeable about the food, that we looked forward to going to dinner every evening. Conclusion: We had a memorable vacation on this ship, and for those who had negative comments all I can say is; if you are like me you only get one week a year to relax and be treated like a king, so let it go and have fun. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
My wife and I have now cruised four times in the past five years. Once on Celebrity to Bermuda, Holland America to Mexican Riviera, Royal Caribbean to Yucatan Peninsula and again in 2008, Royal Caribbean to the Southern Caribbean. After 2 ... Read More
My wife and I have now cruised four times in the past five years. Once on Celebrity to Bermuda, Holland America to Mexican Riviera, Royal Caribbean to Yucatan Peninsula and again in 2008, Royal Caribbean to the Southern Caribbean. After 2 nice days in San Juan at the Hotel Milano in Old San Juan we departed on Sunday evening (8:00pm) after a simple and smooth check-in at about 2:00pm. No problems and we received our bags within 2 hours at our suite. The Adventure of the Seas is beautiful. The Main Promenade is exciting and brings many venues into a simple-to-find area. The buffet is very accommodating, hot and very tasty, Portofino's, the intimate restaurant was great (food, atmosphere, and service) and was reasonable in extra cost ($20 per person). I have to say all the stories about the numerous cultures was not evident. YES, there were multiple cultures (44 countries represented per the Cruise Director, Mike (cool, class act)), but what do we travel the world to do but experience different cultures, sights and experiences. If you want Americans, then cruise from Buffalo to Cleveland some summer! Secondly, they did a very good job of sanitizing. Always at the Windjammer Buffet and always upon re-entry to the ship. I never heard any stories about norovirus and we disembarked at all ports. The ports of call were wonderful. All had their own personalities. Aruba was the beach and desert feel, Curacao was the Dutch influence and culture, St Maarten was the beautiful beaches and scenery and St Thomas was just an old shoe. It felt good to the average American. I would without doubt recommend this cruise and the ship. I could even do this cruise again, but I will probably experience many other parts of the world first prior to re-visiting. Our next cruise is hopefully to the Northern Baltic countries and probably aboard a Celebrity or Royal Caribbean ship. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
This was our second cruise on Royal Caribbean. We were on the 1/13/08 departure out of San Juan. We did the Serenade of the Seas southern caribbean cruise last year. We flew out early morning on Delta direct from JFK to San Juan. The ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Royal Caribbean. We were on the 1/13/08 departure out of San Juan. We did the Serenade of the Seas southern caribbean cruise last year. We flew out early morning on Delta direct from JFK to San Juan. The plane was on time. Picked up the luggage and found the transfer to the ship. Arrived at the ship at around 2:30. We completed our set sail pass at home and were able to bypass the line of people checking in with luggage and were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Found our stateroom. A balcony room on the deck 9 starboard side. The stateroom was clean. No incident's of mold in the bathroom as some others indicated in their reviews. Bedding and pillows were very comfortable. Had lunch in Windjammer/Island Grill. There are at least 4 stations throughout the Windjammer/Island Grill area that all have the same food. No need to wait at the first station on line, just go further to the back or the other side. We were given antibacterial wipes every time we got back on the ship and also as we entered the Windjammer buffet. Luggage arrived at around 5:30 and then muster drill was at 6:00. Muster took about 15 minutes and they take attendance. Had late sitting dinner at 8:30 in the Strauss dining room on the 4th deck. We had a table for 2. Dining room was beautiful. Dining room staff was great. Made sure we were always happy with what we had. Food was good but nothing spectacular. The formal nights were on the 2 nights when the ship was at sea all day. The 2nd formal night was much more casual than the first one. We ate at Portofino's one night and it was very enjoyable. Worth the $20 pp charge. We had smooth sailing all week. The water was like glass. Not a lot of rocking of the ship. The pool is on deck 11 and by around 10:30 it is difficult to get a lounge or chair around the pool area. However if you go up to deck 12 and walk around, you should be able to find available lounges. Played mini golf which was tricky in the wind. There was a nice mix of people from all over on the ship. There appeared to be one sizeable group that was there for a quinceria from Puerto Rico. There was no problems. All announcements were in English and Spanish. We did the Kukoo Kunuku trip in the morning when we arrived in Aruba. We stopped at a windmill and then the California lighthouse, where there were some nice views. Then they took us to Palm Beach, located between the Radisson and Riu resorts. Had to pay extra for a lounge chair and umbrella. Did some shopping in town in the afternoon. In Curacao we took the morning trip - beach express/fun bus. It included some sightseeing and then went to the Blue Bay Beach resort. The beach area was nice, however the beach was more rocks than sand. Lounges and one soft drink were included, and you could get snorkeling gear if you wanted. Went to town in the afternoon and walked back across the floating bridge back to the ship. Took the water taxi to town in St Maarten for shopping. Cost is $5 pp roundtrip. Taxi to town in St Thomas cost is $4 pp each way. If you are buying jewelry be certain to bargain with the shop owners, don't just accept the first price. Did not see many shows. The Love and Marriage show was funny, Quest was hilarious. New show "the fountains" was also pretty funny. They had some parades a few nights in the promenade area. Also saw the adult late night comedy show, which was not really all that adult. Slot machines in the casino were not very generous. There was one small bank of 2 cent slot machines that were always busy. No one at the 5 dollar slot machines. Fiance played in texas hold em tournaments - you have to sign up to be in a tournament. We took the deal for $20 per person. The ship takes care of getting your boarding passes for the flight home and after you clear customs, you give your luggage to the airline and then don't have to see it again until you get home. We were in the first group off the ship around 8:45 and were at the airport at 10:30 for a 2:30 flight. Had a direct flight from San Juan back to JFK. Flight was on time. All in all everything went smoothly and we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
First of all, I'd like to say that I had been reading the posts on Cruise Critic after we had booked our cruise on the AOS. My husband and I were on the AOS two years ago and had a great time so I was quite nervous that it had taken a ... Read More
First of all, I'd like to say that I had been reading the posts on Cruise Critic after we had booked our cruise on the AOS. My husband and I were on the AOS two years ago and had a great time so I was quite nervous that it had taken a drastic downhill slide. Fortunately, it hasn't. It was a great week. Take all the reviews with a grain of salt. If you are a glass half-full person - you'll enjoy it. If you're looking for the negative, you'll find it too. I also want to mention the people on the ship. A lot was said about a large amount of people from Puerto Rico on the AOS. We didn't notice anything too terrible at all. We had approximately 300 teenagers from Costa Rica and a few lacked manners. However, that isn't the fault of the ship. That's just bad parenting. We like to cruise to experience different cultures and meet people from different places. I've found that if you are nice to people, they are nice in return. If for some reason they aren't, don't let it ruin your day. Now onto the review. We flew into San Juan a day early and stayed at the Hilton Caribe. It was a very nice hotel. We stayed in the towers and it's my understanding they have been updated. The bathrooms were huge and the bed was very comfortable. We took a cab to the pier around noon and were on the ship within 10 minutes. I can't say enough about filling out the Set Sail pass online before you go. The ship is in very good condition. There are some areas that aren't perfect, but the ship is not brand new either. One example that really impressed me what the male statue on the promenade had the paint on his arms chipped off when we arrived. About three days into the cruise, "he" was completely painted and looked like new. My compliments to the crew on the work they do practically invisibly to keep the ship looking good. We traveled with two other couples and we all had forward D2 cabins on deck 8. Our stateroom attendant was in stealth mode. He kept the room looking great but we barely saw him the whole cruise. We've gotten used to getting to know our stateroom attendants in the past so in a way this was a disappointment. However, he did a great job of taking care of anything we asked for. The new beds are a great improvement. The dining room service was fabulous. Thank you Sophia and Tennyson for a very memorable week. Our Head Waiter Neeraj was by far the best and most attentive Head Waiter we've ever had. The food was very good and if we didn't like something, Sophia would bring us something else. I was upset at first to hear that there wasn't going to be a gala buffet anymore but after giving it some thought, we never ate at midnight after having a second seating dinner time. We just went and looked at what they had done. So much food would go to waste. There was a midnight buffet by the pool that had a lot of the carvings and displays. For those who complain about the food, you need to remember the mass amount of meals that are created each day on a ship this size. If the only reason you're going on a cruise is for the food, go on a smaller more upscale line. The entertainment was very good as well. I always love the ice show and am fascinated by what they can do on an ice rink that size on a ship. The group Mosaic was on the ship and they were great. We didn't go to every show but the ones we went to were very good. Once again, if you want Broadway, go to New York. The singers and dancers work very hard and are very good at what they do. The band and stage crew also work hard to put on a good show. We did the Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten & St. Thomas itinerary. This was our first time to Aruba and Curacao. Curacao was the more impressive of the two. It's a beautiful area within walking distance of the pier and we did a buggy excursion not through the ship and had a great time. In Aruba we rented a car and explored the island. We went to Orient Bay in St. Maarten, which is always a beautiful place and spent the day in Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas. There is a great local bar called Coconuts. It's not big but the food is good and so are the drinks. Debarkation was quite smooth. We collected our luggage and were off to the airport within 30 minutes of getting off the ship. We found one TV in the San Juan airport near gate two in the American terminal so we were able to watch the play-off game while we waited for our flight. Don't panic if you're planning a trip on the Adventure of the Seas. If you want to have a good time, you will. They will take good care of you. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
Adventure of the Seas (AOS) Review by Edward Burke Sail Date: 01/20/08 # of Cruises Sailed: 32 # of RCCL Sailed: 06 I recently returned from a seven-day cruise aboard the Adventure of the Seas leaving from San Juan and calling on Aruba, ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas (AOS) Review by Edward Burke Sail Date: 01/20/08 # of Cruises Sailed: 32 # of RCCL Sailed: 06 I recently returned from a seven-day cruise aboard the Adventure of the Seas leaving from San Juan and calling on Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten and St Thomas. I was one of 66 cruisers participating in the 2008 Great Group Cruise, hosted by travel agent George Leppla and his wife Becca from Louisiana. As noted above, this was my 32nd cruise overall and sixth on RCCL. I have been always impressed by RCCL and the way they present their product to the sailing public. My impression did not waiver on this cruise as they did a great job. Embarkation: Our group of four arrived in San Juan the day of the cruise. I realize that traveling from the New York area in the winter time poses a risk due to the weather, but we originally planned to arrive in San Juan the night before the cruise, but all the hotels I contacted in the San Juan area required a two night stay. The cost was a bit high, so we decided to take the risk and arrive the day of the cruise. We left JFK on a clear, but cold morning arriving at the airport within the two-hour guideline as suggested by the TSA for our 9:35 AM flight. We boarded an AA 757 and arrived in San Juan by 2:00 PM, leaving us plenty of time for the 8:00 PM departure. Using my FF miles, the R/T flight was only $5.00.... can't complain about that. One of our travel companions has to pay full fare...about $350, so I saved a lot of cash using the FF miles. We retrieved our luggage from the baggage claim area and hopped in a van style cab and headed to the Pan American dock area where the AOS awaited. Upon exiting the cab I noticed that RCCL had a special section for Platinum and Diamond clients to transport their bags to the ship. I hailed a bag handler in this special section and entrusted our bags to him. Checking in was a snap and we bypassed all the lines because we had an individual that required wheelchair transport and were directed to a disabled counter where an agent awaited. We had our "Set Sail" paperwork completed pre cruise and were given our room keys/ and shipboard account cards. We were off to the ship in about ten minutes time after leaving the cab. Here I give RCCL five/five stars for a quick and painless embarkation process! Cabin: My cabin was located on Deck 6 forward #6568. This was a verandah cabin with plenty of room for two people. My two other traveling companions were located right next door in #6566. This was the lowest deck that offered verandahs and was one deck above the grand atrium and was over a clothing/dry goods shop. During the entire week, I did not hear a sound from Deck 5...even the nights RCCL had special events there. The cabin was very quiet with occasional sounds emitting from across the hall in the housekeeping closet. All and all it was a nice room and suited myself and cabin mate well. The shower had circular plastic doors, not shower curtains like other cruise lines. Shampoo was provided and I used the supply all week. There was plenty of space in the medicine cabinet for storage, though my cabin mate complained that I took up too much space with my toiletries and other bathroom supplies. I made room, but my friend used the countertop in the main cabin to store her stuff. The room was equipped with a 20" TV with satellite channels that played pretty well during the cruise, including TNT, USA, CNN, Fox News and WNBC Ch 4 from back home in NYC. The twin beds were very comfortable. Recently, RCCL has upgraded its bedding on all its ships and on some nights during the cruise I could not wait to get back into my cabin to enjoy the premium sheets and duvets. Other than the first night, I slept very well during the cruise and I was not disturbed by any noises from outside my cabin. My cabin steward Mr. Paul, kept my room neat as a pin throughout the week, though the ice bucket availability needs improvement. He deserved the additional gratuity I and my cabin mate provided him at the end of the cruise. Rating: 4/5 stars Passengers: Since the ship left San Juan, there were a lot of residents from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico aboard the ship. The Puerto Rican residents dressed to kill on formal nights and I enjoyed talking to them throughout the week. They were very nice and not rowdy and indicated on other cruise reviews I've read about on the AOS. There were a lot of kids aboard, but they were very well behaved. There was no screaming kids running about the hallways or riding in the elevators like I witnessed on other cruises. I never felt crowded while aboard, though the ship holds 3,000 + passengers. The mixture of mainland USA citizens of all ages and Puerto Rican residents made this cruise very enjoyable, at least for me. I did notice that a group of men traveling together from a Russian community from NYC almost caused a fight in the casino, which was quickly suppressed by RCCL casino security. I believe the dispute was caused by a Black Jack dealer who refused to offer gambling services to them because the group had a bit too much to drink. This same group also cleared out the men's sauna because of the loud talking. This was the only problem I noticed regarding the passengers during the week. Everyone seemed to get along together just fine. Entertainment: This was the first time in all my 32 cruises that I did not attend the nightly shows. I did see the ice show and it was terrific and I highly recommend it. The skating was truly professional. During the week, I did meet Ivan...the lead skater in the ice show and had a nice conversation with him. That was the only show I saw all week. I guess I was in a funky show mood. After 32 cruises, the showroom presentations are just about the same on all cruise lines. I promise that on my next cruise, I will try to see more shows and stay out of the casino! Rating: Ice Show 5/5 stars. The Ship: The Adventure of the Seas, with a length of 1,020 feet, was once the world's largest cruise ship. The ship is immaculate with crew constantly cleaning and painting. She does not show her age (about 6 years old). I never saw an empty glass around and there was always a crew member there to remove it. The ice rink, rock-climbing wall, grand atrium, basketball court, and miniature golf course make this ship unique unto itself. It is a feast for the eyes as she is sits proudly at a dock awaiting its passengers. Worn carpets were observed being replaced while a port of call. In my opinion, she looks brand new. Most of our cruise was sailed in placid waters and I never felt any rolling...just the usual movement felt aboard all ships. Sanitary Conditions: Not being an expert in shipboard sanitary conditions, I've decided to add this section because I experienced the cruise virus aboard another RCCL ship in 2007. The virus totally ruined my last sea day and forced me to go to sickbay for medical treatment. Thank the Lord I did not have any shipboard illness aboard the AOS. I was so careful this time....constantly washing my hands and using a baby wipes when pressing the elevator buttons. I have read that the AOS was a hot bed for the virus and I was very careful during my week aboard. I only wish that sanitary wipes distributed as you entered a dining area such as the Windjammer or one of the formal dining rooms. They were also not provided in the public rest rooms. They were distributed to all passengers as you embarked the ship for a port of call, but that was about it. I think RCCL could do a better job here. I did not know of any passengers that came down with virus, though, for some reason, I lost my appetite on the second day of the cruise, but made up for it during the rest of the cruise. Ports of Call: As stated earlier, the ship called on Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten and St. Thomas. Having never been to Aruba and Curacao, I was eagerly awaiting my visit to these ports of call. I did not book any cruise tours from RCCL because of its high-published cost. I understand that fuel costs are always increasing, but $50 for an hour city tour is a bit much. I simply booked a tour with one of the many cab drivers at the port of embarkation at a much-reduced rate. I had a great time. Aruba- What a strange place, geographically I mean. One side of the island looks like a moonscape with boulders strewn about from a volcanic eruption millions of years ago, while the other side of the island looks like a typical Caribbean palm lined beach. I really liked this place and would love to stay there for a couple of days, well maybe some day. Our driver explained the story of a gold rush there and the donkeys that hauled the gold out of the ground. Some of the ancestors of the donkeys still roam the north beach area and are very gentle and friendly creatures. Our tour guide was a native Aruban that knew her stuff about Aruba and its history. Curacao- Gee, could I extend my luck by booking another great tour from one of the cabdrivers off the pier. My luck was about to run out. We boarded this gentleman's mini van for a tour of the island along with about another 10 Spanish-speaking passengers from the AOS. He promised us a bi lingual tour, and it ended up 95% Spanish and 5% English. I missed the history lesson as it was spoken in Spanish. With my limited Spanish skills, I did understand some of it...like Playa (beach), gracias (thanks). That's where it ended. He did take us to see the floating bridge and a beach on the island. The colorful capital was just beautiful with its multicolored buildings. But Wait! Before we left the dock area, the lady sitting in front of me slammed down the jump seat right unto my left leg that was injured in an accident when I was a kid. The pain I experienced was unreal and the small cut on the scar drew blood. She said "Sorry" and that was about it from her. It kind of ruined my tour. One of my traveling partners did have a band-aid in her pocketbook, which help stop the bleeding. This tour I give 0 stars of five. I did not even give the guy a tip because of his lack of English aboard the tour. St. Maarten- Another beautiful day in paradise, with blue skies, low humidity and temps in the mid 80's. Life is good, I thought. It is January and here I am in summer...just a month after Christmas. I watched on the news about the below zero temps in the Midwest and here I am in summer on the beautiful island of St Maarten. What more could you ask for. I left the AOS by myself and headed for the water taxi, where five bucks gives you a ride to the downtown dock and back to the ship when you are ready to return. At the dock I met this taxi driver that offered me a tour of the French and Dutch side in an air-conditioned van for $25. I took him up on his offer. Myself and three other ladies from an Atlanta church group were passengers. After a five minute walk to his van, he told us his name is Joseph, but his friends call him Cobra Man. "I Sting" he says. He asked me to sit in the front seat with him because my leg was still hurting from the Curacao incident and there was more room. I was still trying to find out what he meant by "I sting". His tour was great and his knowledge of the island was impressive. When we crossed onto the French side, he felt that the French got the better side of the island, which I have to agree. We stopped at a jewelry store and had some refreshments on the house. One of the ladies purchased an earring set for several hundred dollars. Next stop was a nude beach on the French side. I knew my lady friends from the Atlanta church group were not too happy visiting a nude beach, but that is the culture of the island. There were some nude folks walking around and the ladies joked about a man that was frolicking in the waves in his birthday suit. We left the beach and returned to the water taxi dock for the return to the ship. It was a great tour and left Cobra Man $30. I like St Maarten and would like to return again some day. St Thomas- The beautiful weather continues at our last port of call. No tour here, just a ride downtown for a visit to my friend Mac over at his jewelry store. With the price of gold so high, the price of Mac's products were out of site, but I was glad that I paid him a visit. His family run business is not doing too well, so he says. It's the Europeans that buy today with the Euro conversion. The Americans have stopped spending because of the pending recession in the USA. I'm not too sure in his statements, but there were sure a lot of people taking cruise vacations this year. I did buy a nice figaro silver neck chain at a place near the ship for $60 bucks...not too bad, I guess! Food: Breakfast- I ate breakfast in the Windjammer informal dining area on deck 11 aft. I tried to find a seat with some of my GGC friends and enjoyed their company during breakfast. Breakfast consisted of eggs, bacon, and sausage for me, though there were many choices available including custom made omelets, French toast, pancakes, poached eggs, fruits, cereals and sweet rolls. Coffee and juice was provided by the wait staff, which I think is a nice touch. Lunch- I usually skipped lunch, availing myself to a slice of pizza, cookies and coffee on the grand atrium deck after 3PM. I did have lunch one day in the Windjammer and the food was fine and tasty for me. The lemonade was great! Dinner- My group booked a late sitting dinner, which was seated nightly at 8:30 PM along with the rest of the GGC group. I thought the food was great all week and the service was excellent. I did enjoy the lobster tails on this cruise as I missed them on my prior RCCL cruise due to illness. Our waiter was right on the money with our orders. Again the service was great! The soups were not as salty as on prior cruises and I enjoyed the yummy desserts nightly....now I need to get back on my weight loss regimen. GGC Group: Traveling with this group has been a wonderful experience.. Since many of us have cruised together in the past, we are friends just waiting to see each other again. Yes, there were some first timers, as there always are. I would like to mention Mary Foster. She has been named Queen of the GGC's after having been on all ten of them. George Leppla, did commend her on her support of the GGC concept and was given a well deserved gift. Mary is a fine lady and how she keeps up her stamina is beyond me. On the first day of the cruise, it is all hugs, kisses and handshakes as we meet old friends once again. What a wonderful way to start a cruise vacation. I hope the GGC concept lives on as it did on the Mercury in 1998. Summary: This was a great trip aboard a great cruise line, that, in my opinion, really cares for its passengers. Yes, they do try to dollar you to death with its high prices on tours, pictures and liquor, but I suppose that is the way to go in a capitalistic economy. Every employee I passed in the hallway, elevator or any where else on the ship had a smile for you. That is the way it should be. I have been on cruises on other lines, where everyone looked grumpy and never made eye contact. RCCL employees try to make your cruise experience a memory that you cannot forget. The AOS is no exception to that rule. I will never forget this cruise and the fond memories of the ship, ports of call and fellow GGC'rs that I will keep in my back pocket for the rest of my life. Thanks George and Becca for making this cruise a real success! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
This was our third cruise. Last year we cruised with Royal Caribbean in late January and enjoyed it so much we booked a cruise this year. Both years we ended up leaving snowy weather and that made the cruises all the more enjoyable. ... Read More
This was our third cruise. Last year we cruised with Royal Caribbean in late January and enjoyed it so much we booked a cruise this year. Both years we ended up leaving snowy weather and that made the cruises all the more enjoyable. Since this cruise left from Puerto Rico we rented a car and spent several nights in PR before the cruise itself. One major objective of that time was to get to the bioluminescent bay on Vieques Island. We stayed in Fajardo and took a high speed catamaran to Vieques as part of a biobay package through Eastwindcats. It was a great experience and I would suggest to anyone that they stay on Vieques or at Fajardo to do the biobay experience rather than trying to do it on planned excursion from San Juan or through a cruise line. We also visited El Yunque rain forest and spent time at Condado Beach in San Juan. I had hurt my foot before leaving on the trip and was having a good deal of trouble getting around. When we got ready to board the Adventure, my wife asked if RC would let us use a wheelchair to get me up the ramps to the fourth deck. They promptly got one and one of the staff wheeled me up. This made embarkation a lot easier on me. Even if I hadn't needed the assistance, the whole embarkation process looked like it was fast and efficient. Even though Royal Caribbean said that they wouldn't be boarding until 2:00 pm, we got there at noon and they were already letting people on the ship. Our room was not ready until after 2:00 pm but all the public areas were available. That made it nice because we could have lunch, soak my foot in the hot tub (I did that a lot over the next week) and then relax on deck. The ship was clean and well-maintained and the staff was friendly and helpful. We also felt that the passengers and staff were the friendliest of the three cruises we have taken. Not many people attended the Cruise Critic party but we had a great time and made new friends who we kept running into throughout the week. Dinner was the same way, we instantly bonded with everyone at our table and enjoyed trading stories of our experiences in the various ports. Our servers Marion and German were more than helpful and friendly. Between our conversations with them and our tablemates, we were always among the last to leave the dining room. I am something of a gourmet chef at home so have pretty high standards. When you consider that they feed over 3,000 people for nearly every meal, the food was pretty good. There were some entrees that were outstanding while others were average. But I didn't meet a food offering I didn't like. Because of the sore foot I wasn't as active as usual (no dancing, mile walk in the morning or climbing wall) but was active enough and practiced enough portion control that I only gained 2 pounds. My wife didn't gain anything because of her morning walks. We took in all the shows and enjoyed them, particularly the ice skating. We enjoyed all four ports (Aruba, Curacao, St. Martin, and St. Thomas). We had been to St. Martin and St. Thomas before and liked them more this time because we were able to be more leisurely. Curacao was the island we most anticipated and it did not disappoint. We spent a lot of time visiting the historical places. One of the high points was a visit to Kura Hulanda on the Otrabanda side. We took the Mi Dushi excursion on Aruba and the St. John beach and snorkel excursion on St. Thomas. Both were quite enjoyable and worth the money. As far as our cabin goes, we got an inside one with a window overlooking the promenade deck. We enjoyed watching people stroll below and the window made the room seem larger. It's a nice compromise between an interior stateroom and a balcony room. I would recommend to anyone to get to the port city a few days early. That way you can enjoy the sights around it (last year we departed from Miami and visited the Everglades first) and you can be sure that weather doesn't interrupt your flight and you miss the boat. That's a concern when flying out of places like Denver and Chicago. I have nothing but good things to say about the Adventure of the Seas and our vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
We were a party of 8 ( 2 families with older children) from upstate NY on the Jan 6th sailing. This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise for us, not for the people we traveled with. We previously sailed on 3 Carnival cruises (honestly I ... Read More
We were a party of 8 ( 2 families with older children) from upstate NY on the Jan 6th sailing. This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise for us, not for the people we traveled with. We previously sailed on 3 Carnival cruises (honestly I don't know why they get such negative comments from RCCL lovers) and 1 Disney. Overall we loved it but had a few problems. We arrived in San Juan the day before and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. It was a great place for a brief stay. Clean rooms (although small), continental breakfast included and a short taxi ride to the port. We took the public buses into Old San Juan for I believe $.75 each way. Easy and quite a bargain. I recommend getting a quote up front for taxi fares to the airport. We were a party of 8 (2 families) with the same amount of luggage and were charged 2 different fares. They supposedly have a flat rate and then tack on fees for each piece of luggage. Embarkation: Not pleasant. We took other cruise critic member's advice and got to the port around 11:30 hoping to be on the ship in time for lunch. Unfortunately that didn't happen. We were herded into the port after checking luggage outside and had to sit inside for 3 hours. We were told there was an immigration problem of some kind. Actually we fared much better than most. There wasn't enough room for everyone inside so hundreds of people had to stand outside, some getting rained on. We got on the ship at around 3 pm. Not a nice start. This was our first balcony room. Loved it! It was a little small but otherwise nice. Dining: We weren't crazy about the Windjammer. Very crowded and hard to find a seat. We had breakfast most mornings in the dining room which we liked much better. They have you share tables so it gives you a chance to meet others. Not as many lunch choices as other cruiselines , we found. We enjoyed the cafe on the promenade for quick lunches on island days. They had nice sandwiches and ok pizza. The people we traveled with had lunch once in the dining room and enjoyed it. We had very good dinners in the main dining room for the most part. Great waiters, Domingo and Cajetan. We also went to Portofino's one night. My dessert alone was worth the extra $20. Great tiramisu. Only used room service for our morning coffee but was always prompt using the breakfast menus provided in your rooms to hang on the door. Entertainment: We didn't go to all the shows but enjoyed the ones we saw. Ice show was great , singers and dancers in Vegas style shows and a trio who sang Motown songs were good also. The Quest game was hilarious but definitely for adults only. The only thing I felt was lacking was a place for dancing (besides disco). Due to the large number of Latinos, I assume , they had a Latin band playing every night Minor detail since we found entertainment elsewhere in the bars for listening. We didn't do any excursions so I can't comment on them. We chose to do our own thing. Aruba- Shopping is within walking distance which is nice. We used the public buses which were very easy and much cheaper than taxis if all you want to do is go to the beach, especially for large groups. The bus station is just a short walk from the ship. Curacao- Loved this island. Shopping is also within walking distance. We also used the bus system which is a riot. They use small vans which look exactly like the taxis. It is not as close of a walk as in Aruba but we asked a local policeman and he directed us to where you catch the bus. They charge $1 each way and the taxis were something like $3 each way and they look exactly the same. Funny! We went to Mambo Beach (beautiful). There is a $3 charge to get in and they have a bar/snack bar and charge extra for chairs. St. Maarten: We just went into town and did some shopping (they charge you to take the water taxi) and then off to Orient Beach. Had a very entertaining taxi driver who gave us quite a lot of info on the St. Thomas: First we walked to where you take the Skytram to Paradise Point. Beautiful views of the island and ships below. Make sure you try a Bushwacker, their famous drink. Delicious, and it makes the ride down the mountain easier for people like me who don't do well with heights. We then took a taxi to Morningstar Beach which was recommend to us by a local as being closer and less crowded than Magen's Bay. The men enjoyed the snorkeling there. You have to take a taxi into town but there are a lot of shops around the dock area so we opted to shop there before heading back to the ship. Overall we had a wonderful cruise but had just a few issues. First, we signed up for the Port Valet Service since we had a 6 pm flight home. On the night before leaving someone showed up at our door and hand delivered a letter, supposedly from airport immigration, stating we were randomly picked to be denied the service due to security issues. Now mind you, we were a party of 8 (in 4 rooms) and only 2 out of the 4 rooms got this letter. After trying to straighten things out over the phone and getting nowhere my husband went to the service desk and had a very unpleasant experience with one of the representatives. He was told it was an airport issue but when my husband called the airline the denied ever hearing of such a thing as being denied the service. So after a lot of exchanged words (some not so nice)the rep left my husband waiting at the desk for quite some time but then mysteriously returned with our luggage tags and boarding passes. Hmmm. The second thing I wanted to mention was of a personal nature. My daughter is a diabetic and uses an insulin pump. The "refrigerators" in the rooms we found out after a couple of days are not really refrigerators but "chillers" according to maintenance. They are just used to prevent the food inside from spoiling but are not cold inside. So when I asked customer service if there was a place we could keep her medication they acted like it was the first time anyone ever inquired about this. We got the same reaction from the medical facility but they did finally agree to keep her insulin in their fridge and froze our icepack for the way home. Just thought I'd pass this on since I'm sure there have to be many others in her situation. Disembarkation: Went rather smoothly especially after straightening out the valet issue. As soon as you got off the ship there was an area for each airline to take your bags. The cost for this service was $20 a person but well worth it for us. Finally I just wanted to say that the Adventure is a beautiful ship. Loved the promenade. The kids had the rooms that overlooked it which were cool. They were much nicer than having a standard inside room since you had a window with a window seat for people watching. We especially liked the Solarium also. The kids enjoyed the fact that the pools and hot tubs were open 24 hours. As far as all of the negative reviews regarding large number of Puerto Ricans. Yes, it's true there were, (surprise, surprise)which is understandable seeing as the ship departs from San Juan. But as far as any rudeness, we did not witness any more than you see in everyday life. Unfortunately everyone does not behave perfectly, including Americans. There was a Quinceinera celebration going on also which was fun to observe. Unfortunately I think some people just have a hard time accepting other people's cultures and traditions. My children enjoyed meeting people from other places. Enjoy yourself! Your vacation is what you make it! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2008
Just got off AOS last week and as a first time cruiser, I was really impressed! We stayed in San Juan one night at the Comfort Inn and it was OK for a one night stay. Holiday Inn Express is across the street. A bit nicer. We got on the ... Read More
Just got off AOS last week and as a first time cruiser, I was really impressed! We stayed in San Juan one night at the Comfort Inn and it was OK for a one night stay. Holiday Inn Express is across the street. A bit nicer. We got on the ship about 3:00 and there was no line at all. We did the El Morro tour first and Old S.J. We thought everything was great from the entertainment, dining (especially Peter, our waiter), activities and service. There are many activities and we did feel rushed most of the time to be places, but we were trying to take it all in. We didn't even get to miniature golf. Johnny Rockets was fun with the singing staff. There was a lobster night on Fri. I guess there was a Midnight Chocolate buffet, but we missed that also. (I also missed the Meet & Mingle as I had my days mixed up, sorry). We could have used more pool time as there are only 2 days at sea. The 70's show on the Promenade was good. We missed the last night's show due to packing. I think the people who complain on here have been on many cruises and they are comparing one to another. I can see you have preferences then. But for a first timer, I think you will enjoy it all. I hope to plan another one on RC out of California next time to Mexico. If questions, let me know. They did cancel one of the excursions in St. Thomas, (The Atlantis submarine) and people were disappointed. We did the Sunset Catamaran Cruise out of Aruba and that was fun. We also did the Skycam ride in St. Thomas and it is awesome. You don't need tickets ahead of time, but you can get them. I would recommend this ship to anyone. Donna Read Less
Sail Date: February 2008
I will keep this brief, because other my review would simply confirm other positive reviews. The cruise was great, the ship was great, the crew was great. They had this ship running perfectly and everything was well timed. I did not ... Read More
I will keep this brief, because other my review would simply confirm other positive reviews. The cruise was great, the ship was great, the crew was great. They had this ship running perfectly and everything was well timed. I did not experience the long lines some people complain of on the mega-ships. There was one time we waited to get into the dining room, but that was the morning we were leaving the ship, so timing was of the essence, with customs interviews, breakfast, and getting off the ship at the assigned time. All in all, this was a fabulous trip. The itinerary could be improved. Going to both Aruba and Curacao was a little uneventful. One but not both. St. Maarten and St. Thomas were great. The beaches in St. Maarten are great, and there are so many you could go to, you won't be bored. They say the shopping is great on the Dutch side, but we stayed on Orient Beach, on the French side. There is always something to do in St. Thomas if you don't like to shop. We went sailing/snorkeling on the "Bones" pirate ship. We were taken to Buck Island for snorkeling, then to Water Island for a BBQ lunch on Honeymoon Beach, one of the nicest beaches I've been to. Small, quiet, and very tropical. What impressed me about AOS was that the ship did not feel nearly as large as it is. Of course, motion was at a minimum, which is partly because of its immense size, but walking from one part of the ship to another was no big deal. Finding the various dining rooms, lounges, show rooms, etc. was quite easy. Some of the earlier "mega-ships" were not so friendly. We enjoyed a balcony room. While not necessary, it was sure nice looking out on the ocean. We particularly enjoyed being out there late at night, when most of the ship's lights were out and most of the passenger room lights were also out. The stars and planets in the sky were unbelievably brilliant. Also, my wife liked doing her make up on the balcony, using the natural light, and enjoying the sea breeze. We would either start the day with a few minutes on the balcony, or end our day in that way, winding down before bed. Rumors before the cruise were that lobster night was discontinued on all RCI ships. Not true. On Friday night we had Australian Lobster Tails and Shrimp. You didn't have to ask for another tail, because the waiters seemed to know one is not enough, so they were prepared to bring extras, which they did. They would probably have stuffed you silly with those lobster tails if you didn't know better - - - dessert was still to come! Another complaint I heard before the cruise was the number of Puerto Ricans taking the cruise. Number one - who cares? Number two - the ship leaves from San Juan, so what do you expect? The ship definitely had an international flavor, with passengers from the US, Canada, South America, Latin America, Northern and Eastern Europe. We enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and hearing about their experiences. That makes cruising fun. If people want to be isolated to their own type of people, they should drive 5 miles from their home to the nearest Holiday Inn. You will see people just like yourselves. Part of the fun was experiencing all the different cultures, from the servers and other crew, to the passengers. We shared our table in the dining room with a Romanian couple. The wife actually brought some of her home cooking on ship, and prepared it on the ship, and shared it with us at the table. Not that we needed any extra food, but we tasted flavors we had not had and enjoyed a wonderful crusty bread she baked. Don't expect every table mate to bring food onboard from their native culture, but maybe they'll start a trend with a potluck dinner one night? One other thing - - - we compared notes with people with far more cruising experience than us. Most of the people who cruised with a number of cruise lines preferred Royal Caribbean, for the ships, the experience, the people, the food, etc. One couple we met was on their 3rd RCI cruise of the year, and it was early February! Any doubts about Royal Caribbean or Adventures of the Seas? Just do it. Get out there! You won't be sorry. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2008
BACKGROUND This was my husband's and my third cruise (and our kids' second)... all on RCI. First was a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Voyager of the Seas (just my husband and I) in January 2005. Second was a 14-night Alaskan ... Read More
BACKGROUND This was my husband's and my third cruise (and our kids' second)... all on RCI. First was a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Voyager of the Seas (just my husband and I) in January 2005. Second was a 14-night Alaskan Cruisetour on Radiance of the Seas (with family... 11 total) in August 2006. This one was the 7-night Southern Caribbean cruise. We left San Juan on February 3, 2008 and visited Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. We (husband, two sons, and myself) were traveling with six other people (four adults, two children). TRAVEL TO PORT OF EMBARKATION We booked a direct flight (United/Ted) from Washington Dulles to San Juan, arriving the day before our cruise started. Our flight was on time and we were in San Juan by 1pm. We walked around Old San Juan for the rest of Saturday and on Sunday morning before heading to the terminal to board the ship. HOTEL We stayed the night before our cruise left at the Howard Johnson Inn Plaza de Armas in Old San Juan. Our room had a king bed, a single bed, and a futon. It was the perfect setup for what we needed since the kids (10 and 4) don't always do well sleeping in the same bed. The hotel was clean, the staff was friendly, and the location was excellent. We could walk anywhere in Old San Juan. At $200 (with a AAA discount), the fee was more reasonable than most hotels in the area. We had actually come up with a last minute reservation at the Sheraton, but decided not to take it because it was going to cost more than $500 for the one night. We later found out that our cruise was not leaving from the main terminal across from the Sheraton, so we were really glad we chose to stick with the reservation at the HoJo. Our only complaint was the street noise at night. Lots of car horns into the wee hours of the morning. EMBARKATION We got to the Panamerican terminal around 2:30 after about a 15-minute taxi ride from the HoJo. We had our SetSail Pass completed already, and went right into the check-in line for suites. The really wasn't a line for any type of stateroom. We had our Sea Passes in hand and were on the ship within about 15 minutes. We went to our stateroom, dropped our carry-ons and went exploring. Since my husband and I had previously been on Voyager, there weren't too many surprises, but the kids were wide-eyed as Adventure is much larger than Radiance... their only other cruise experience. Our luggage was all delivered by 5pm and we were unpacked, changed and ready to go by the time of the 6pm muster drill. SHIP The ship is beautiful and enormous. Because our stateroom was along the back of the ship, we did a lot of walking to get anywhere. The people we were traveling with were in a royal family suite exactly two floors above us, so even getting from our room to theirs required a lot of walking. Great exercise! Everything seemed clean and we often saw people painting, touching up, and/or fixing things during odd hours of the day and night. We rarely saw empty glasses/bottles lying around. With all the pools and hot tubs, mini golf, rollerblading, rock climbing, shows, shopping, and other activities, there is no possible way to get bored onboard this ship! STATEROOM We had a junior suite on Deck 6. It was more spacious than a regular stateroom, and had a sofabed. The balcony was quite a bit larger than a regular stateroom, as well. We had a large walk-in closet and a bathroom with a bathtub/shower. We had requested they leave the beds as two singles (for the boys) and my husband and I planned to sleep on the pull-out. The room wasn't set up that way when we arrived and our stateroom attendant (Paco) said he'd never heard of anyone wanting it that way. I told him the boys didn't usually do real well sleeping in the same bed. He changed it around while we were at dinner. After the first night, we left Paco a note and humbly asked him to go ahead and switch it back. The pull-out was like sleeping on cement. So my husband and I took the bed for the rest of the week, and the boys took the pull-out. They can/will sleep on any surface, and they were so tired by the end of the day that they didn't do much poking/kicking/picking at each other. It all worked out fine. And Paco was nice enough not to say, "I told you so." ACTIVITIES Activities were abundant. My husband used the gym several times, and I took advantage of the spa one afternoon and "enjoyed" an algae detoxification. It was an interesting experience. Several of the people we were traveling with took advantage of various services in the spa and salon. All were pleased with the only drawback being the hard sell on the products at the end. But a simple "no thank you" did the trick. We took advantage of the walking track some mornings, too. While it wasn't too crowded at 7:30am, it got more crowded during the 8:00 hour. We used the pools, the kid's pools, the inline track, and the rock wall. All were great, though some activities have limited hours, so you have to be sure to check the daily Compass and plan accordingly. ENTERTAINMENT We didn't attend as many of the shows on this trip as we have in the past, but what we saw was good. The ice show was wonderful, as it was on Voyager when we were on that ship. The comedian (Adam Ace) was funny, but wasn't the funniest we've ever seen. One night, there was a singing impersonator (Sean O'Shea). He was great. And the dancers and singers put on a good show, too. It was apparently the first week they'd been performing on board after four months of rehearsal in Florida. We caught part of one of their shows… a tribute to movie themes from the last 40 years. I didn't find the Cruise Director to be as outgoing as previous cruise directors. DINING Since our group was traveling with four kids (11, 10, 5, and 4), we decided to do the main seating at 6:30. Our waiter (Mustafa) and assistant waiter (Ana) were fabulous! The kids loved them and they had all 10 of our names down pat by the end of the first dinner. They brought a birthday cake for my friend (who turned 40) and my son (who turned 10) on the night of the second dinner and they gathered several other of the wait staff to sing to them. The food was excellent, as has always been our experience with RCI. We ate in the dining room every night, though the kids ate with the Adventure Ocean staff two nights. The food selection was great and it was often hard to choose! I'm not sure what the rest of the people who were traveling with us did, but my family ate breakfast in the Windjammer each morning. Depending on what time we got there, we sometimes had to do a lap to find an open table. No biggie. A few times when we were in there, we shared a larger table with other passengers. That was fine, too. Gave us a chance to meet some people. If we ate lunch, we also grabbed lunch there. Often, we just grabbed a snack since we were eating a bigger breakfast than we are used to at home. We did eat lunch at Johnny Rockets one day. Good food, good floats and shakes, and dancing waiters and waitresses. Good times. Apparently there's no midnight Gala Buffet anymore. There was some sort of midnight buffet on the pool deck one night, but we didn't attend. OCEAN ADVENTURE I cannot say enough good things about Ocean Adventure. The kids didn't go there a lot during our Alaska cruise a few years ago; however, that's ALL they wanted to do on this one. They just loved being there. Most days they were there either in the morning or in the afternoon, and they were there every day after dinner until about 10pm. They begged to go there when they were done eating every night. While I kept asking them if they were sure they didn't want to do something with us, it WAS nice to be able to shop when we were in port without the kids complaining that we were taking too long. And it was nice to know that they were doing something they wanted to do while we took in a show or got a drink with our friends. SERVICE The service was great. All staff calls you by name when running your Sea Pass card for a purchase. Ion in the General Store knew my name by the second night and smiled and chatted with me each evening when I went in to buy my bottle of Diet Coke for the next morning (it's my "morning coffee"). While we didn't see Paco, our stateroom attendant, very often, his service was great and the kids loved rushing back to the room at night to see if he had done any magic with our towels. Everyone we saw in our travels on the ship was quick with a hello and a smile. Guest Services was very helpful whenever I called or stopped by with a question. SHORE EXCURSIONS We booked only one excursion through RCI… a swim with dolphins in Curacao. While it was expensive, it was well worth the money. It was an amazing experience and one we will remember always. I highly recommend it. In Aruba, we got off the ship with the intention of renting a Jeep Wrangler; however, there were none to be had. We ended up talking to one of the tour guides who are always hanging around when you get off the ship and renting two ATVs for four hours ($185 total for both). The kids were able to ride with us (our four-year-old rode in front of my husband and our 10-year-old rode behind me) and we rode along the north coast of Aruba. It was wonderful and all four of us had a blast. We didn't do anything in St. Maarten. In St. Thomas, my husband went parasailing. I had booked the excursion independently over the Internet before we left. The kids and I went along to watch and take pictures. HOSPITAL FACILITY We had a new experience on this cruise as we had to rush our four-year-old down to the medical facility after he fell in the kid's pool and cut his chin open. He was pretty hysterical as he hates the doctor and any kind of bandages. Nurse Carmen and Dr. Ortiz were great with him and just over an hour later we were back in our room with our son sporting four new stitches in his chin and a week's supply of Amoxicillin to prevent infection. We received a call from the ship's Security Officer, Patrick, the next morning. After speaking with him and relating to him what happened (he had already spoken to the hospital staff), he informed me that the hospital charges would be complimentary. That was a pleasant surprise. While it took a while for the doctor to arrive, my friend who grabbed all my stuff and brought it down to the hospital while I carried my son said there were a lot of people being treated at the time we were in there. I was oblivious as I just wanted to get his chin to stop bleeding. Still, we were there for only a little more than an hour and all staff that we interacted with was great. DISEMBARKATION The process seemed smooth. We vacated our room by 8:00, as required, and had a leisurely breakfast in the Windjammer. It was a lot less crowded that last morning than other mornings had been. We walked around the ship one last time and then disembarked. We had no trouble finding our luggage or getting a taxi to the airport. Everything went very smoothly. SUMMARY We had another great cruise with Royal Caribbean and we can't wait to do it again! Celebrating our friend's 40th birthday and our son's 10th birthday was the icing on the cake to great vacation. And because there's so much to do both on and off the ship, the group of 10 we were traveling with could choose what we wanted to do together and when. So no one got tired of anyone else and we all had great stories to share at dinner each night. 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Sail Date: February 2008
little info on us: 4 couples in our forties, 2 who had cruised before, 2 that had not.. All of us out of Minnesota. All four couples had the best time.. We got to San Juan the night before, highly recommended... Had some of the local ... Read More
little info on us: 4 couples in our forties, 2 who had cruised before, 2 that had not.. All of us out of Minnesota. All four couples had the best time.. We got to San Juan the night before, highly recommended... Had some of the local cuisine and drinks, very relaxing after a 6 hour flight. DEBARK/EMBARK Arrived at the pier at 12:30 and was on the boat by 1:00 having the drink of the day. When we left it took about 20 minutes from when they called our numbers to get off the ship. DRINKS We sat around and had a great time drinking buckets of beer, 5 beers for $20, these are 16 oz. alum cans. . Frozen drinks were about $6.00 with out the stupid glass. $8 with. Capt Morgan and coke was $5. all drinks made were VERY STRONG. FOOD We all thought the food and service was great in the dining room. The buffet was decent. Johnny rockets was very good also. All and all I thought the food was better then most of the ships I had been on, (4th trip for me). PORTS I thought these were the best ports of calls I had been on. Aruba was great, went on the Jolly pirates and stayed after at the beach there. Employees were great on the Jolly Pirates and the beach there had some of the best daiquiri's I have ever had. They give you a BBQ diner on the pirates and it was very good. The 3 dive spots were great. I really enjoyed the dive spot over the sunk WWII ship. Lots of fish. WE jumped off the side of the ship and they had a rope swing that was a blast. On Curacao we asked the info center there at the pier for a good beach and they sent us to gen-tile (unknown spelling). The beach was nice and it was a lot of laying in the sun soaking up the good life. Just a heads up it is a top optional beach, very few people were topless... Friends we meet on the ship did a dune buggie thing for like $60 per dune buggy and they said it was the great. 3 hours and they hit two beaches... On St.Martin we beached by the pier you come into. 2 lawn chairs, an umbrella and 2 beers for $10. A bucket of 6 beers were $10. We went shopping and thought this was the best port for shopping. The casinos in town actually looked decent. I'm a big vegas guy and thought there were much better then the casino on the ship. St. Thomas we went to Sapphire beach and it was good, I think I would rather have gone to St. John's if I had a chance to go again. The SHIP Entertainment was good, not great. I thought Adventure's sister ship, the voyager had better. So did NCL. The rest of the ship was as expected, well maintained, great staff and top notch. ALL and ALL I had ready all the reports of problems with San Juan people on the ship, we had no issues at all. I would go on this ship again in a minute..... Read Less
Sail Date: February 2008
This was our 6th cruise, and our 3rd with RCCL. Prior to the trip we read the various cruise reviews for Adventure of the Seas, and was frankly a little nervous about norovirus issues and the locals having a cut rate cruise, etc... There ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise, and our 3rd with RCCL. Prior to the trip we read the various cruise reviews for Adventure of the Seas, and was frankly a little nervous about norovirus issues and the locals having a cut rate cruise, etc... There were a lot of reminders to wash hands on the ship, however the cleansing towelettes were only offered when coming back aboard from port. We had a little bottle of hand sanitizer that we used at the buffet meals. Better safe than sorry. No problems with that issue that we ever heard about. The passenger composition was what you would expect in mid winter. Lots of Canadians, upper US states and 40 countries. Lots of Spanish, French, German being spoken during the week. A very nice blend. The ship was full, but rarely felt crowded except for special events on the promenade in the evening. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits the entire cruise. We did a first day exploration of the ship after checking in about 1:00pm. A bit of a line but we struck up a conversation with another couple that we ended up seeing all week long. We visited the spa and entered a drawing for prizes that evening. They had some pretty cool stuff and we ended up with a 50% off romantic couples treatment and massage. We have never anything like it, and it was worth the cost. They even included a Portofino's dinner in the deal. Be sure to reserve a dinner at Portofino's, but reserve early. It was great. The service was very good all week long. Our toilet had a bit of urine smell when we checked in. We called guest relations. Not only did they clean it, they checked back all week long on the cruise to ensure that everything was satisfactory. Our first time in Aruba and Curacao. We did the Jolly Pirate snorkeling trip in Aruba, booked through the ship. A good way to see a sunken freighter, fishes and a rope wing off the mast. And lots of rum punch. Curacao we just shopped in town, quaint old Dutch style. We bought internet time on the ship to stay in touch with our kids. Expensive and slow. All the ports have internet for about $3.00hr., the ship charged $38 for 90 minutes and the hook up is slow, slow, slow. We have visited St. Maarten and St. Thomas many times in the past. A favorite stop for us. We tried a new beach in St. Thomas, Sapphire Beach. Very nice if you don't want to join the thousands flocking to Magen's Bay. If you shop for diamonds, get them from one of these islands, from a reputable shop. We have shopped Diamonds International and have always liked the quality. They will haggle until the cows come home, but you can walk out with a good deal if you persist. We had a late flight on Sunday evening with a layover in Miami. THis caused an issue for us. The only BIG mistake was sending the luggage on ahead to the airport using the dockside service. This freed us up to run around in San Juan with only our carry on bag. When we arrived in Miami, our luggage was no where to be found. Long story short, we flew home wearing the same shorts and tee shirts for 2 days. On bag was waiting, the next arrived the following morning and my duffel arrived late the next day, ripped open and picked through. Only thing missing was my after shave. The 2 bottles of rum were wrapped deep in my dirty laundry and were not molested. A delightful and adventurous time had by all. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2008
I was a little apprehensive in the beginning - this would be the largest cruise ship we had been on to date. However, the AOS is cruiser friendly and easy to navigate. We arrived the day prior to sailing (we're from New England and ... Read More
I was a little apprehensive in the beginning - this would be the largest cruise ship we had been on to date. However, the AOS is cruiser friendly and easy to navigate. We arrived the day prior to sailing (we're from New England and know mother nature well). We were using Marriott points so we stayed at the Courtyard in Miramar. It has no beach and is in a downtown area but the hotel is well kept, has a small pool and a neat restaurant, all of which fit our needs perfectly. We were not the only cruisers staying there so we decided to try our luck and headed to the cruise ship early. After a short taxi ride (10 minutes) we arrived at the pier and were quickly and efficiently processed. We were on board and finding our way around the ship by noon! It was too early to get in to our cabin but there was still plenty to do. We checked out the Royal Promenade, which seemed to be the center of all activity and you could quickly access all the other public areas from there. We eventually headed up to the Windjammer Cafe for lunch. This was the most disappointing aspect of the ship. Last year, we were on the Radiance and really liked the 'stations' set up for lunch. The Windjammer on the Adventure is set up more traditionally as a buffet. Additionally, there is no outdoor seating. There is only one way in and out which sometimes created a log jam. Having said that, there was never any real backup and we always found a seat. There was a varied selection each day along with the traditional burgers, fries and salads. My husband and I especially enjoyed the daily fish selections. At breakfast, there was an omelet station that moved along pretty quickly. Our next stop was the pool deck. We were expecting other members of our party later in the day and what better place to meet than up on deck 12 overlooking the pool! We were totally 'de-stressed' by now and enjoying the warm sunshine. Throughout the week the 2 pools and 4 whirlpools were always busy. The solarium has an 8 person whirlpool and cushioned lounge chairs. I was surprised to see that the solarium is open (on the Radiance it was enclosed). The pool is adult only and several times, I had the pool all to myself. Yes, deck chair saving does exist. I don't mind people saving a few chairs while you go to lunch but on Thursday, when many chairs had towels stuck on them with no people in sight, it did seem a little over the top. We had a D2 cabin deck 8 aft. We were close to the elevators (not too close) and found that it was an easy walk up to the Windjammer or down to the promenade. Friends were in the cabin next to us and the one thing I did not like was the balcony wall. The way the ship is constructed, 2 cabins share a small partition. The cabin on the opposite side has a steel wall and the exterior of the ship creates a significant separation from your neighbor. Okay for strangers but I would have appreciated knowing that this existed when booking. Storage in the cabin was adequate and the bathroom was fine. The glass enclosure in the shower did create a problem for shaving those legs! The bedding was wonderful and the bed comfortable - no problem sleeping! Our cabin steward was there to greet us, whom we appreciated however; other members of our party didn't see their steward for the entire week! The muster drill was quickly over and we were on our way. The ship was supposed to leave at 8:00 however, we left late to accommodate some passengers that hadn't arrived on time. Subsequently, our second seating for dinner was postponed until 9:00. We have always opted for 'second seating' but my stomach had a problem eating at 8:30 and not finishing until 10:30! Our waiter and assistant waiter were very efficient. We even found the 'head waiter' to be very visible and accommodating. One member of our party is diabetic and they went out of their way to create a meal that he could enjoy. Dinners most nights were delicious with enough variety to satisfy most people. There were several times when my soup and main entree were not hot. If you enjoy Caesar salad, then my recommendation would be to have the dressing served on the side. That way, the lettuce wouldn't come out overdressed and limp. Portofino's is the specialty restaurant. Don't miss it. It is well work the $20.00pp surcharge. Plan on a whole evening to fully enjoy the experience and make sure you leave room at the end of the meal for tiramisu. It was to die for! Make your reservations as soon as you get on board the first day or you might be shut out. As it was, we made reservations Sunday afternoon and they were beginning to waitlist people. The other specialty restaurant onboard is Johnny Rockets. We only tried once to go for lunch but the line was too long. There didn't seem to be a point in waiting. The Royal Promenade was the site for several special shows. The first night was the 'Sail Away Parade' and the second was an 'Island Frenzy Parade'. Both were fun activities. Another 'must see' is the ice show. It's amazing what you can do on a cruise ship but the ice show surprised me with its acrobatics and professional skating. Tickets are given out on a 'first come, first serve' basis. We missed the welcome aboard show but I highly recommend Tony Tillmam who appeared on day 2. Great singer! The production 'Can't stop the rock!' was worth seeing but I'm not much for sitting in a large showroom and was not really thrilled with Paul Boland, who appeared later in the week. Don't miss the Quest show and, if you find trivia challenging, then stop in at the Schooner bar each night around 8:00 for 'Name that Tune'. The Schooner bar was our favorite meeting place for drinks however it is a much smaller version than the one on the Radiance. Another great stop was Blue Moon Lounge up on deck 14. From there go in to the 19th hole lounge. There is an outdoor sitting area where you can overlook the mini-golf course, the rock climbing wall and sports court. We opted to take several shore excursions. The trip to St. John's Trunk Bay was exceptional but way too short. By the time you arrive there you only have about 1 ½ hours at the beach. The sunset catamaran cruise in Aruba was enjoyable. We had opted to go to the beach on our own so this was a nice way to end the day. The best by far was the 12metre yacht races in St. Maarten. We were cancelled out on a previous cruise and were hoping that this year would be different. It was AWESOME. Debarkation is always depressing. It was announced that calls for getting off the ship would only be made in the Lyric Theater or Studio B but we saw plenty of people waiting in other areas and wonder how they found out it was time to leave the ship. We chose to pay the extra fee to have our boarding passes printed and our luggage checked in from the pier. It was well worth the additional money. When we arrived at the airport and saw the lines, we knew we had made the right decision! Too many times on vacation, people feel that they can do whatever they want because they have paid for it. I was pleased to see RCCL seems to be taking a stronger stance on passenger behavior. Not only was the policy clearly stated in the brochure in the cabin, but the captain also referred to it at the beginning of the cruise. With ships getting larger and larger, and more and more people cruising, passenger safety should be a high priority. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise immensely. The weather certainly cooperated but the ship's captain sailed the Adventure with expertise. Adventure of the Seas is now high on my list of favorite cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2008
This was our 3rd cruise on a RCL ship and thought that the ship, the crew, the itinerary, the staff, and the food were al great and give it a 5 star rating!!! We highly recommend that you fly to San Juan the day before the sailing if ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on a RCL ship and thought that the ship, the crew, the itinerary, the staff, and the food were al great and give it a 5 star rating!!! We highly recommend that you fly to San Juan the day before the sailing if you're coming from the northern areas of the country where inclement weather can delay or cancel your flights at this time of year so as not to miss the sailing the next day. We stayed the one night before our cruise at the Hampton Inn on Isla Verde Ave. in San Juan. All the hotels in the area are rather pricey ($200+ per night) at this time of year. We paid $263 inc. taxes for our one night precruise and had a wonderful hot/cold buffet breakfast Sunday AM, wonderful king size bedroom with a marble countered bath, outdoor hot tub and pool, and a very attentive helpful staff. The hotel stored our luggage after we checked out Sunday AM while we toured San Juan before going to the docks in the afternoon. We took a public bus across the street from the hotel to "Old San Juan" for $.75/person/one way (make sure you have exact change)and once we traveled the 1/2 hour bus ride to Old San Juan, there is a free trolley service stopping at multiple tourist attractions in Old San Juan. It is worth mentioning that San Juan is sorely lacking in street signs and it's easy to become disoriented even with a local map to guide you. We also noted that the sidewalks and streets are very uneven with pavements of old blue rectangular-shaped bricks followed by cement, then asphalt for example and you want to pay particular attention to where you are walking, especially at night, so as not to fall. Wear sturdy and comfortable sneakers and take a taxi for any distance you wish to go. The taxis are everywhere and readily available and generally speak English. We took one of the many taxis outside the airport once we arrived. Our taxi ride from the San Juan airport to the Hampton Inn was about 2 miles and cost us $11 inc. tip and the taxi from the hotel (there always were 2-3 "Taxi Touristos" outside our hotel but the hotel said they would call one if there wasn't) to the pier the next day was $25 ($20 plus $1 for each bag). While we booked RCL transfers post our cruise at $19.75/person, it might be more economical to take a taxi back to the airport. The excursions that we most enjoyed were the fascinating and relatively low key RCL Aruba Sea and See Island Tour and the St. Maarten Butterfly Farm and Beach. Both excursions are good for all ages' parents, grandparents, kids and teenagers. It's worth it to go to the shopping shows with Freddie, the cruise consultant, on your 2 AT SEA days. My husband purchased me more jewelry at the cruise endorsed Venetian Jewelers in Philipsburg, St. Maarten and we received an additional discount as we were "repeat customers". Be aware that all the stores anticipate negotiating the price for whatever jewelry you may be interested in purchasing and it is tax and duty free for up to $800/person in Aruba, Curacao, and St. Maarten with an additional $800/person in the US port of St. Thomas, USVI. We had 2 lunches in the Johnny Rockets (2 for 1 coupons with the Crowne and Anchor Society booklet we received) on the ship and is worth it to go at least once while you're on the cruise. Although there has been some criticism regarding the reduction of midnight buffets from 2 to 1 during this cruise, we never can seem to stay up late enough to partake let alone go and just see it! Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.0

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