Sail Date: January 2004
This was probably the worst cruise (of 5) we have ever been on. The reasons were too many to list. I surely would sound whiny if I go on and on, and I don't mean to be that way. I will not complain about the crew, but I tend to ... Read More
This was probably the worst cruise (of 5) we have ever been on. The reasons were too many to list. I surely would sound whiny if I go on and on, and I don't mean to be that way. I will not complain about the crew, but I tend to think their good attitudes may have been more about their tips and the incentive plans their bosses have in place(we grade them, in essence. very odd) than about the love of the job. Or us. Although they all were very nice, no one was EXCEPTIONAL. Unfortunately this cruise still cost 5G and then some. Not as personal in service as I would have liked. I must mention the Food- Mediocre at best, and I am NOT picky/ this Johnny Rockets thing is way overdone- I have had better burgers at McDonalds, quite frankly. 4$ shakes were ridiculously overpriced. Overall the food was too ethnic (but somehow still bland) for my tastes. And much too recycled. Could it have been because what seemed like 80% of the ship was not American? We gathered that the bookings were extremely low, and RC just about gave away the empty rooms to last minute bookings, out of SanJuan, I'm pretty sure, and this made for a ship in which 60% paid full price and the rest paid 25%. Too many bratty, rude, foreign speaking children and some very nasty, rude and uncaring parents. The bathrooms were filthy (especially on the LONG debarkation day). Not necessarily because of the shiphands, but how can you clean every 1/2 hour? Someone, and I am not exaggerating here, put out 3 cigarettes right upon the carpet! at the casino! one night. They must have sat there unnoticed for an hour. There were 3 BURNT spots and ashes still everywhere! Nasty people! I was pretty disappointed and will NOT travel RC aver again. Even the ship was really nothing to write home about, nice but not for the price. It will be Carnival or Celebrity next time (if there ever is one- my memory may not allow it). Good Sailing, hopefully my trip was the exception, not the rule :) PattiB Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2004
The AOS was really a beautiful ship! It was clean and well kept and our Superior Oceanview Suite was beautiful with a nice big balcony. However, I think I am going back to Carnival with the next cruise. Embarkation was a complete ... Read More
The AOS was really a beautiful ship! It was clean and well kept and our Superior Oceanview Suite was beautiful with a nice big balcony. However, I think I am going back to Carnival with the next cruise. Embarkation was a complete breeze...five minutes to board was about it. I did not like the activities on the ship...they were all kind of blah...and I never saw the cruise director except for the few times we attended a game or show...and even then the assistant was the one who took over. The food in the Windjammer was ok but nothing to rave about...the pancakes were often cold or just barely warm at that...the food in Johnny Rockets was however pretty darn good. The food in the dining room was ok...the presentation was great...the taste was ok. However, the service in the Dining Room was excellent and I cannot list one complaint about the waiters...only praise!!! Overall the staff of the ship was not too friendly...you often felt like you were inconveniencing them for just being there. The ports of call were excellent but there should have been no reason for us to leave St. Martin and St. Thomas so early since we were so close to our next destination. We were told by one of the staff that RCCL would have to pay more if they were to stay longer. Also...one other point...there were 5 Catholic priests on board and so Mass was offered on a daily basis in the chapel which was excellent... There was always only standing room only. For the Saturday night vigil they moved us into the Blue Moon Lounge which was really far from appropriate. The priests said they had tried to get more suitable accommodations but that Royal put them were they wanted to put them....on such a big ship they could have spared one of the rooms not being used (and there were plenty since very few activities were ever planned). Overall the cruise was excellent...even the worst cruise is a good cruise and really this can't even qualify for bad...it's just that we have seen better. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2004
As usual, we booked 2 cabins on an RCL ship. We always select the deck on Voyager class ships just above the Promenade overlook, so we took outside cabin 9586 and inside 9587 for our kids, 22 and 15. The cabins were fine. What follows is a ... Read More
As usual, we booked 2 cabins on an RCL ship. We always select the deck on Voyager class ships just above the Promenade overlook, so we took outside cabin 9586 and inside 9587 for our kids, 22 and 15. The cabins were fine. What follows is a tour guide and then a rant. Embarkation was better than ever, which was amazing for San Juan. We got an easy cab to the ship from the airport. SJU has finally got that together and you go straight to a land transportation desk right near the luggage carousel and get a receipt for $15 plus bags. Cost us $21 for 4 and 5 bags. Took us right to ship. Stand in line to give bags to porter with a tip. Bags did get to room in reasonable period of time. Inside, we are Platinum members and they took us right to separate line and straight to a desk for registration. Took under 10 minutes including security. Very nice. Usual first day with muster drill. Ship did not depart until 10 PM. Very little to do, so we walked to the duty free shop and bought rum in plastic bottles for $3. This becomes even more essential, since the ship is charging over $6 per drink. We had the St. Thomas/St. Martin/Antigua/St Lucia/ Barbados route. Small description of ship. Since most people go on at length, I like to just comment on art work. I enjoy the eclectic stuff on these ships. AOS has the least enjoyable and most amateurish art work, but it does grow on you. The other RCL ships had better stuff. Otherwise, this ship is exactly the same as all Voyager class ships. It was kept pretty clean, but I did notice people smoking anywhere they wanted and nobody stopped them. Shame. More comments on ship at end. Saved the rant for the bottom. I have written several reviews previously and do this from a "do-it-yourself" view for those who don't like ship's tours. No warranties, but I think you will find this quite helpful. I tried to do this totally without spending too much money, just for fun. St. Thomas. Have been there many times, so wanted to try something different. Took the ferry to St. John. First, take a cab for $3 from the pier to the port. No way around this. The ferry to St. John's leaves every 2 hours at 9, 11, 1, etc. Be sure to get there on time. Pretty prompt. The fare is $7 per person and $3 for kids. The ride takes about 50 minutes. Arrive Cruz Bay. Take a jitney to beach. There are many and everyone raves about Trunk. It isn't worth it. However, it does have facilities. Cost is $4. Crowded and the fish are very aggressive. I got bit by a yellow tail snapper on the hand. Nasty. (Ate his cousin for revenge next day.) I think it would be better to go to Hawksnest or Cinnamon. Fewer facilities, but less crowded. The snorkeling at Trunk is no big deal and highly overrated. Plus it is full of tourists. The ferry returns at about 1:40 and then every 2 hours to downtown. Enough time to get back and walk around if you wish. St. Martin. Again, many time visit, so tried something different. The ship now docks at a pier and you are "encouraged" to take a water taxi which allegedly stops at the end of P'burg and then downtown. It doesn't. Only the first stop, which costs more than it should and forces you to walk thru their shops. It might pay to take a regular taxi. Good news. It is now possible to rent a car at the cruise pier. You used to have to go to airport. This is a BIG improvement, but I didn't rent a car so I can't comment on quality of the rentals. We took the water taxi and then walked out to the main road; about 10 minutes in all. Found a bus to Marigot. They look like Vans. In fact, all the buses said French Quarter (P'Burg) not Marigot, so I flagged down an empty one and he switched over to Marigot just for us. A taxi to Marigot is about $25 for 4. The bus costs $4. I gave him $6 for switching. We had a light snack on the water and then climbed up the hill to Fort Louis. You will find it at the (West?) end of the main coastal downtown road. It is a 10 minute climb. The view is spectacular and the remains of the fort are very nice. We returned and had a steamed fish (snapper!) in a French sidewalk restaurant. Immediately behind is an open air market which was lovely. There are also public restrooms across the street which were fine. We then hiked out to main road and found a bus back to P'burg and walked around there looking for an Indonesian restaurant to eat Rijstafel, after all this is a Dutch colony. Wrong. They are all gone. The place is now run by Indians. Lots of curry. No rijstafel. Back to ship. Antigua. All the tour books say don't take the bus. A challenge. We climbed up to St. John's Cathedral just for the view. (Been here a lot too. Didn't feel like the beach.) We found the bus station which is to the right of the ship when you get off about 5 blocks. Take the number 17 bus to Nelson's Dockyard. It is about a 35 minute ride. It cost $1.25 each. The Dockyard is a sort of restored museum, which was interesting. I gave it a 6 of 10. We ate at the Admiral's Inn. It was nothing special. I had the Pumpkin Soup which was very good. The rest was mediocre, but better than other stuff in Antigua. There was a better place in the Dockyard, but more expensive. As it was, lunch for 2 was about $40. The bus comes right back here and we took it back. Quicker, about 20 minutes. Incidentally, the cab is $25 each way. This is not worth a $50 trip, but was very much worth a $3 trip. St. Lucia. Again, been here, so wanted to do something different. Walked all the way off the pier. About 5 minutes. You will have to fight your way past the cab drivers because they can't believe you want to take a bus. The cab to Pigeon Isle in the north costs $25, but you can bargain them down to $16. We took the bus. Stops right out at the main road. (You are on Point Seraphine.) It is another mini-Van. Take the 1A. Goes right up to Gros Pointe. Will let you off at end of route in a real wild, but quiet during day area. Walk towards the water 2 blocks and turn right. Walk all the way along the beach for about a mile. Thru Sandals. Don't worry. All is public beach and they can't stop you. Very safe. The big hill is Pigeon Isle. Pay $4 to enter. There is a restaurant. Don't eat there. It cost $80 for lunch for 4 and was nothing special. Bring a picnic. A really great hike up the mountain to Fort Rodney. Fantastic views. Can see all the way around St. Lucia. It is a very nice national park. Walk back to Gros Pointe and eat if you want. Can get bus back. We took a cab because teen was feeling off. Barbados. Rented a car from Stoutes. Right at end of terminal. Arranged in advance. $90 inclusive of gas and CDW and the $10 Barbados registration. Drove up to Francia plantation, then over to Atlantic Coast to Andromeda Botanical Gardens. Both were very nice. We stopped at 'Round House' on coast near Andromeda to eat, but we left. 2 Cokes were $7. We went further on road and found better and cheaper place. Drove back to Heritage Rum Factory in the South. Driving is quite easy in Barbados, although it used to be better sign posted. That was the end of touring. Last day at sea. Very little to do except bingo. Now for the rant. This was the least enjoyable cruise on RCL ever. Even though they did try to do more for us as Platinum members than ever before. The wine tasting was free and nice. Cheap wine, but still enjoyable and the wine steward was very articulate. They also had a private Crown & Anchor party with lots of free drinks, but no staff. Then a private Platinum string quartet concert with free drinks. Very nice touch. Those were high points. However, RCL is going way down market. They need to fill roughly 50,000 beds a week. So they are marketing to everyone. There were hundreds of people on board I would not want to cruise with. There was a huge group from New York, who brought their own DJ. These were not nice people. They took over the disco and didn't want anyone who didn't match their demographics to enter. And, lest anyone jump to wrong conclusion, I lived in Bahamas for years and have no trouble mixing with any group. These people were a different story and everyone on board remarked about the iciness and their lack of class and manners. There was very little to do on board this trip. The cruise staff was virtually non-existent. We are accustomed to Ken Rush's high spirit, and that was absent. The dining room waiter was ok, but budget cuts have really hurt. He didn't want to bring 2 mains to the same person at once. My 22 year old eats 3 at once. Waiter (Milton from Goa) had to get permission. The asst waiter (Mihaela from Romania--her very first cruise) was pretty good for a newbie. Fortunately for us, Milton's other table didn't even show up, so he only had us to care for. I doubt he could have handled 2 tables, but he did ok for our one. Bad for him, he lost a lot of tips. The food is declining in quality and taste. It is still above average, but just. The soups and unusual dishes are best. The Windjammer was better for breakfast, but very mediocre for lunch. The dining room was better for lunch and dinner. The kids program was a real bust for the 14 and up crowd. There was nothing for the 15 year old group to do. They didn't want to be isolated in their own disco, but there were no alternatives. Our kids enjoyed this cruise the least of all. The other kids on the cruise were a lot less nice. Our companions have kids ages 8 and 11, who seemed to have a better time in kid's club. I think they just don't know what to do with the older ones anymore. They have also imposed a curfew for the older teens, and a wrist band approach. This makes no sense. A 14 year old girl is much older than a 14 year old boy, but they still make the 14 year old girl hang out with the 12 year old boys and that will never happen. It should be by grade and by 'maturity'. The entertainment was ok, but not great. The ice show was well done, but the performers kept falling. The comic was poor. His jokes were old and he needed to update his routine. He was still telling airport jokes about the 3 questions, which they ceased asking over a year ago. The dancer/singer shows ranged from lame to mediocre. The Can't Stop the Rock show was ok. Sadly, the singers mistake volume for clarity and quality. There was no real headliner this cruise which seemed strange. They said there was, but nobody seemed to know who or what it was!?! The overall quality is declining and RCL staff laments it. Nobody dresses for dinner; people even came casual to formal night! We wore tuxedos. The staff abhors the low market people and makes it obvious. The low market people should go back to Carnival where they belong. According to RCL staff, those people don't even spend money on the ship, but take over all the facilities and chase everyone else away. This will be our last RCL Carib cruise. Finally, disembarkation was awful. The immigration is now off the ship, and although we got to stay in a private Platinum lounge on the ship, they closed it at 9:30 and told us to leave. Our plane was at 4 PM. It took over 1.5 hours to exit the ship. The immigration line is terrible. Hint: Stay to the right. The one on the left is also for non-US and it goes VERY slowly, but the RCL people in the terminal don't care and don't sort the line. They only speak Spanish by the way. We got off the ship at 9:40 and it took us until 11:15 to exit the terminal. That is the worst it has ever been. The luggage was no problem, it is all color coded. The entire holdup was US immigration. They were the slowest I ever saw. This is not of RCL's doing, but it used to be much better. We left the terminal and hired a private tour carrier for $20 each to take us around San Juan. Much better than the ship's tour. (Make sure to insist on a bus that leaves immediately. Some people on our bus had been waiting for 45 minutes till we boarded. Then the driver wanted to wait for another 10 people. I refused and we all found a driver willing to leave immediately for an extra $10. Well worth it.) Got to the airport around 1:45. Was better than sitting in SJU for 6 hours. In all, this was the worst RCL cruise we took, but not because of the staff or the ship, per se. Email me with any questions. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
Southern Caribbean Cruise 10-11-04 Royal Caribbean Cruise Line October 3, 2004 6th cruise (5th with RCCL) Crown and Anchor Member Adventure of the Seas Sailing from Puerto Rico For the first time, we stayed at an AmeriSuites hotel and ... Read More
Southern Caribbean Cruise 10-11-04 Royal Caribbean Cruise Line October 3, 2004 6th cruise (5th with RCCL) Crown and Anchor Member Adventure of the Seas Sailing from Puerto Rico For the first time, we stayed at an AmeriSuites hotel and took advantage of the sleep, fly, park program that they offered. It was great. You are going to have to spend money to park your car anyway at the airport, so you might as well spend that money on a room and park for free for the week. They transported us to the airport the next morning right by the curb of American Airline. We were not as tired at the end of the day. The first day can be very long. The flights were probably as good as they could be with one exception. My husband and I both had window seats. On one flight he was to be up one or two rows in front of me. A small child had taken his seat so the attendant put him in an aisle seat four rows up in front of me. My window seat had no bargaining power. I tried. On the next flight, we had a three-hour lay over in Miami (not much fun). Again, we both had window seats. Again our seats had no bargaining power. We both tried to exchange seats with other people. He was on one side of the plane and I was on the other side seven seats away and two aisles. I am not sure what was up with the window seat "thing," but we could have cared less about the window seats. It would have been nicer to have been sitting together. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) made all of our reservations. I am sure that we did not request window seats. Once we arrived in Puerto Rico (PR), this is where we become Decrowned & Unanchored. (a spoof from the so called Crown and Anchor Society that we belong to with RCCL). We got our luggage and found the RCCL people waiting for us and all the others. Only one catch. It is now 3:30- 4:00 and the ship, Adventure of the Seas (AOTS) still has its passengers on board from the previous cruise. RCCL tells all of us that it may be 8:00 pm before we can board. They are not really sure of everything that is going on back at the pier. It is obvious that they are anxious over the entire situation. Needless to say there were a lot of unhappy campers. There were a lot of questions asked and RCCL couldn't really answer all of them. RCCL just kept saying that there was a strike at the pier and the previous passengers could not leave the ship and therefore we could not board. Apparently some hotel in town had over two thousand people waiting in a ballroom to board just like us. The hotel was full, so we had to wait at the airport. Apparently the pier had all of the people it could handle waiting just like us. We questioned if we could take a taxi. We were told that the taxis were on strike. We were told that if we left the airport, that we would not be allowed back in. We were told the airport was not cooperating with RCCL, either. We only had pretzels all day and were hungry. Finally, after so many people had complained for so long RCCL went and got us some food. We apparently could not get it for ourselves, they had to get it for us. RCCL took four orders at a time. We got to choose from hot dogs, nachos, and drink. And yes, we had to pay for it. When they brought the food back, of course the hot dogs were not ready so only half of our order got filled. By the time RCCL was working on the 3rd to 4th order, they said we could go. The time is now 6:30 pm. It was kind of them to bring us food. Thanks Sacha! (RCCL employee). The one thing that everyone noticed was that Carnival and Princess was not having the same problem. We spoke to several of those employees at the airport and they didn't know what we were talking about. They were not having any problems getting their cruisers off of the ship and on the ship. It was apparent that it was an RCCL problem only. We were told a variety of things; 1) some boxer in town had won a fight and everyone was partying, 2) taxis were on strike, 3) teamsters strike at the pier and so on. It would be nice to know the truth. We were told that most of the passengers on the previous cruise had missed their flights and that RCCL was having to make new reservations for everyone. RCCL kept saying "not to worry, we are taking care of it". Once we got to the pier what appeared to be a major mess actually was not as bad as it could have been. We were only about 30 minutes getting through the lines and on our way to the ship. It was the first time that we had our arrival photo taken in the dark. Most people behaved rather well trying to not cut lines and go as quickly as possible having their documents out. Most were trying to be kind in a difficult situation. On Monday, I had left my robe and pajamas on the bed. When we came back to the room, they were not to be found. I looked around, under, and behind everything. I finally called the attendant. He came in and looked also. He then called someone (the person that had actually done our room; not him). Of course the conversation was not in English. Once off of the phone, he went around the bed on the balcony side reached down behind the nightstand between the wall and balcony curtain and brought up my robe and pajamas. I just stood there with my mouth open! How could that have happened? I was speechless. It was Tuesday night that we got our first mints- yeah! Our pool towels were taken away and not replaced on Monday after our day at sea. We had to sign for towels poolside just to have towels the next day. The towels reappeared then the next day. On Monday, I asked for the drink special advertised at $5.95 in the compass and was charged $10.29. They were to correct the charge. I am still waiting. We had always been told that muster had to be done the first day. It was required before the ship could go out to sea or so many miles away from port. Just to let you know, we did not do muster until 10:30 the next morning. What if something had happened that night? I was amazed. I honestly think that the atmosphere was not conducive to muster on Sunday anyway after all the problems with just getting on board. There were a lot of unhappy people with a lot of talking going on. I am still amazed that muster was really put off until the next morning. Right after the muster, the cruise director announced that ice show tickets were available NOW. Come and get your ticket NOW. Do you know how many people were pushing and shoving to get those tickets? It was total chaos. Why did he choose that time to make such an announcement? Maybe he wanted us to NOT forget the day before too quickly! We scheduled a bike ride exploration for Tuesday on Aruba. It was around 3:30 pm on Monday that we got a call stating that it had been cancelled. RCCL stated that they had just received a notice that the exploration had been cancelled. Funny thing though, an envelope with a letter stating the cancellation had been delivered much earlier that morning. Now if they had JUST received a notice, who knew hours earlier that morning and took the time to type up a letter and get it to our room? The truth is much easier to deal with! Makes you wonder if the exploration was ever really available in the first place. Humm-mm-mm. The dinner menu one night had listed Rib Eye. I love rib eye steaks. What you order and what you get are sometimes different. I got prime rib. How does one get Rib Eye and Prime Rib mixed up? I am not a meat cutter but I know when I go to a restaurant and order Rib Eye I don't usually get Prime Rib. Prime Rib was available one other night and it was listed as Prime Rib. Go figure. The Beef Tip was excellent on the one night. It melted in my mouth. It was great! Room Service was good. Food was good. Service was timely. Good job. We are big coffee drinkers in the morning so we learned to order two coffees. The cream was really special for me. Thanks. This was our first cruise with a balcony. It would be nice if RCCL could put all the smokers on one side or at the back. Not everyone enjoys cigar and cigarette smoke, especially the stinky cigar smoke. We could not go out on the balcony one night as the gentleman one deck down and one room over really enjoyed his cigar. The wind blew his smoke right up to us. I hope he enjoyed his cigar at our cost of not getting to enjoy our balcony. He ruined our night. He was smoking one other time, but the smoke was not blowing up to us. One day we went to the solarium. It is so nice. We were in the pool. We had placed our shoes at the side. When we were finished, my husband's shoes were gone. We found them later off to the side of the ship. A little annoying! We had asked for a cheese tray to be at our table for dinner. We are still waiting for the first tray. Yes, we could have asked again, but after a while; it is just not worth repeating. We had no problem getting a cheese tray each night on the Majesty. Thanks Majesty. The toilet in our room would not flush on two different days. The toilets in other areas on the ship were not flushing either. The one ladies room on either 4th or 5th, I forget, was totally disgusting. They apparently had already closed two stalls as the door showed occupied and no one was in either of them. That left one stall open and guess what? You are right- it didn't flush either. Why would they close some and not all? We were late for dinner as I had to go back to my room to use the bathroom. Luckily, ours was working. We had never had that problem before. It is hard to believe that you are on a 500 million dollar ship and the toilets won't flush. The water is another issue. Our water for the entire week was yellow. Finally the last day, I took a photo of a wash cloth to show the color of the water. In the morning when you first turned on the water in the sink it would stain the cloth. I am not joking. I will enclose photos if I can to show you. Some other cruisers were saying the same thing about their rooms. Those traveling above the 7th floor didn't seem to have the problem as badly. I used the laundry service for the first time. I needed my gown pressed for one of the formal nights. The service was excellent. My gown was pressed very nicely and only cost $4.00. Thanks. RCCL really took care of me on that. One night my husband and other table guest ordered extra lobster. They got it without any problems. Head server was more than glad to get it for them. We were second dining guests. We also ordered extras on other nights and had no problems getting anything that we wanted. Now, drinks were a different thing. The first and second nights we were never asked if we wanted anything else to drink. Water was an automatic. Tea was different. Finally the third night we were asked re: drink orders and didn't have any other problems. The one guest liked beer. I heard him say he had waited an hour and still hadn't seen his second beer. To get seconds on drinks you had to ask at least once or twice and wait awhile. They really wanted to push the wine. Apparently the head servers were in charge of the wine as they apparently had done away with the wine stewards (this is what we were told by RCCL). We were also glad that the captain only came to dinner once for the entire week. Our service was not so great the night he was there. Not sure why!! Our head server offered choices and he was usually right. He had good taste. He also gave us tips re: the ports each night to prepare us for the next day. We got more information from him then anyone re: just stuff in general about taxi fares, where to go, what to shop for and not shop for, etc. He had a lot of good information. The assistant server was okay. No one at the table could understand anything that he said. He just mumbled and muttered all the time. It is funny how we can still remember our very first head server and assistant server from our very first cruise. LeeAnn and Amin were great. I might remember this waiter in years to come. There was just something special about LeeAnn and Amin. Maybe because it was our first cruise. (Servers names intentionally left out.) Another thing that I noticed about service on the ship-- We stood in line for the service desk. It is roped off and states to enter here and exit here. We were about the 4th people back to get waited on. The line was moving well. We were up to the 2nd people to be waited on and a group of 4-5 came right up to one of the clerks without waiting in any lines and believe it or not, the clerk waited on them. How rude. Maybe not so much rude for the group of 4-5 people as it could have been a language issue to understand where to go or what to do; but major rude for the clerk to proceed to wait on them instead of directing them to the line like everyone else. Also, at the coffee cafe a lady was placing an order for pizza. She was getting food for several. There was hardly any pizza out. The trays were about empty. The server found more pizza to meet the order. The lady continued to place orders for sandwiches and desserts. The server stopped serving the lady and started to clean up the empty pizza trays and restock the area and finally as in a theatrical production acted like she didn't know that the lady was still standing there waiting to be served. The lady and I both were taken back by the server's intentional attitude of not serving the customer. Could the cleaning up and restocking been done after completing the service to the one customer? The server could have easily asked me to wait, as I was next in line. Very rude! At one port we were right by the Golden Princess. I stood in amazement one morning watching this lady prepare the breakfast table on the balcony. There was enough room on the table for 2 coffee containers, 2 plates, 2 coffee cups, and tableware. There were four chairs on the balcony. Two were large with cushions that appeared to recline. Two chairs were just regular sitting chairs. There appeared to be three tables, two small and one large. Our balcony had two sitting chairs without cushions. The table would hold service for one. We both ate with our plates in our laps, our coffee cups on the floor, our juice glasses on the side rail by the window. We put the coffee pots on the floor along with the sugar container and cream. The plate covers were also put on the floor. The table was used to hold the tray that had the fruit, jellies, pastries, etc. Do you get the picture? It is not a good idea to get room service if you aren't willing to eat it like you are on a picnic. The table needs to be larger. Speaking of our balcony. I got a drink during the week. The day we left the ship, the glass from that drink at least 3 days prior was still on the deck with the straw still in the glass. HUM -mm-mm. The ship in general appeared to be dirty. The buttons for the elevators were consistently filthy. Speaking of elevators- the elevators would be full and believe it or not at the next stop 2 or 3 would manage to get on. You would think that there wasn't going to be another elevator all day with the way some people insisted that they just had to get on just because the doors opened. There should be some sort of an alarm. One man loudly stated, " We are already packed in here like sardines". It didn't matter. Of course the others probably didn't speak English at that moment in their life. St. Thomas and Meagan's Bay- the beach is nice. Too bad that the locals decided to play their boom box the day we were there. I don't mind music, even loud music; but that constant boom, boom, boom that vibrates your body is more than I can take. I stood it for two hours. I couldn't take it any longer. We left. We had spent $12.00 to get to the beach, $6.00 to get in, $11.00 to rent a chair and mat (not counting the deposit), and $8.00 for pizza and drink. Now don't forget to add in another $12.00 to get back to the ship. Grand total is $39.00 for two hours. We asked one of the bar ladies about the noise. Her first comment was yeah it is annoying. It is just what the locals like to do. When we went into the shop to get our deposit back for the chair and mat rental, my husband explained to them re: the boom, boom, boom. He explained that we would have like to stayed longer, but couldn't tolerate the vibrating boom, boom, boom. The lady in the shop just looked at us. For some reason, no one seemed to care what we thought. RCCL staff would ask things like-" are you enjoying yourselves" and "are you having a good time"? We would start to explain some of the things that just seem to not be of standard for RCCL and they would totally ignore our statements. I actually told one lady in the casino that this was probably the worst trip that I had ever been on. She had absolutely no comment at all. She changed the subject quickly. If RCCL doesn't want to know, then they really shouldn't ask. I could handle that better. My husband and I both thought that the food in the Windjammer was not like it use to be. Hot dogs with saukraut and hamburgers were the main items. I remember a much better variety in years past. The Crown and Anchor coupon book had less appeal to me this year as well. The booklet states; "savings as big as the adventure you'll find on every cruise". On the inside cover there is a statement re: " it's also our way at RCI of showing you how much we appreciate your loyalty". Let me tell you about some of the coupons- 1) 10% off of one spa or salon service, 2) one single jackpot bingo card- but note that it can't be used at the jackpot (does that make sense), 3) wine tasting (my husband doesn't drink), 4) buy $10.00 of slots and get $2.00 free, 5) 5% off of RCCL logo merchandise, 6) wine discount of 10% (only for wine under $50.00) after you buy one bottle, and 7) Ben and Jerry's 25% off after you buy one and some others re: coffee, photos. Someone else reading this might help my memory, but I believe that in years past the gift shop coupon was for 10% on any merchandise from the gift shop, not just RCCL logo mdse. Correct me if I am wrong. Correct me on this as well, please. I asked some other cruisers why there was a special night just for "Latin". There was a Latin parade and some special Latin performance in one of the lounges. I didn't remember any of this from before. I was told that since we left from PR that RCCL offers some big savings to the people of PR if the ship is not full. One couple told us that the tickets on Saturday sold for $250.00. I believe that the cruise director told us that over 600 cruisers on board were from PR. That is good for them. I am glad that they got the opportunity to save. I paid $3,048.30 for the two of us. Did I get a special parade or special entertainment in a lounge? NO! One night I went down to the photo gallery to see our photos. I looked for about 10-15 minutes and finally asked one of the staff if all of the photos were out. They assured me that all photos were out. I explained that I had been looking and could not find any of mine. I was told to just keep looking. After another 10 minutes, I went to another RCCL employee and asked the same question and got the same answer. At this point I was getting a little upset. I looked again for another few minutes. I went back to the last RCCL employee again and asked if they could find the negatives, as the photos were not anywhere to be found. He sighed did an eye roll and followed me. I explained that I had put all of our photos together the day before and that they were now nowhere to be found. I showed him the wall where I had last left them. He smiled (smirked) and proceeded to pull out a wall that had been shut with all of our photos right where I had left them. I was furious! If the first employee had helped me a little more, it would have saved me a lot of frustration. Yes the photos were out, but how was I to know that I should have unlocked the door that held our photos from behind? That was not my job. I wonder how many others had looked for their photos? The wall was full of photos on two sides after the door was opened. Hum-mm-mm. On the last day while going through customs, they had us in groups. So many were allowed downstairs to form a line to get through customs. If you are familiar with this process you will understand how everyone goes as quickly as possible to get this job done and over with. Now visualize two escalators full of people and being routed in 5-6 different directions. Now visualize the room full and people still coming down the escalators with no place to go. Got the picture. It was about to be a trampling accident waiting to happen. RCCL kept loudly saying, don't stop at the bottom of the escalators, keep moving. What RCCL didn't realize is just where were the people supposed to go? The room was packed. They had no emergency button to push to stop the escalators. It was a bit scary just watching the people running into each other let alone being one of them. Also, our line was not moving at all. An elderly couple was at the front of the line and was just not fast enough to get a running start before someone from another line jumped in front of them. People were coming over from three rows away to get to the agent intended for our line. Finally someone noticed what was going on and went up to the man and woman and verbally encouraged them to move! They were so worried about cutting line and getting in front of someone. How kind of them. RCCL should have people down there doing some coordination with who goes where and when. One of the couples at our table felt that the Captain was not personable. It really didn't matter to me, but apparently it did to others. They stated that on other cruises the Captain would walk around meeting and greeting people on the ship. He made himself visible to the public. This Captain certainly did not. Honestly, he was probably afraid to. We did receive a plate with a few goodies on it, a postcard of the ship, and a card taking the opportunity to thank us for our patience and understanding with the events that occurred on boarding day. RCCL regretted that the boarding process was not up to their standards and understands that the labor dispute that arose unexpectedly on Sunday complicated our arrival onboard and may had impacted the beginning of our vacation experience. RCCL hoped that we would enjoy the rest of our cruise. At the airport in PR, the gentleman was very kind to fix our previous seating problem and got us seats together for both flights home. Thanks! Well to make this long story short, I guess one could say that it was the combination of a lot of little things that just kept going on and on all week that really bothers the both of us. The ordeal at the airport was unbelievable. Why wasn't Carnival and Princess affected? The inconsistencies that we got as to what the real problem was is a little puzzling as well. I have invested a lot of money with Royal Caribbean. We both have full time jobs and work hard. We take one vacation, one week off for the entire year and I have to say, this past week was not at all what I envisioned. Yellow water and non-functioning toilets on a 500 million dollar ship is totally ridiculous. We usually book our next cruise prior to leaving the ship. This is the first year of three that we did not. I am not sure what loyalty I will have with RCCL. I have encouraged many of my friends and family members to use RCCL and I know that many have. Now I have to take a serious look as to what I will do in the future. I am afraid that I am currently Decrowned and Unanchored with the Crown and Anchor Society of RCCL. The yearly vacations were something that I looked forward to all year. I have been "glowing" over the excitement of this cruise and now I just feel numb. What do I say when my co-workers (approx. 100 men and women) and my husband's co-workers (approx. 30 men and women) ask us how was our vacation? Do we tell them the truth? Do we give RCCL an exception this time? What if our friends go on a cruise and experience what we did. I would feel somewhat responsible. I heard several first time cruisers say that they probably would not go on another cruise. I am not sure how royal the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is now. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2004
This was our 3rd RCI cruise. This was the most disappointing cruise ever. Normally our favorite place on RCI cruises is the Schooner Bar, which on this ship, was empty every night. Not sure if it was because the piano player wasn't ... Read More
This was our 3rd RCI cruise. This was the most disappointing cruise ever. Normally our favorite place on RCI cruises is the Schooner Bar, which on this ship, was empty every night. Not sure if it was because the piano player wasn't very good, or if the ship cliental didn't prefer that. The Latin bar was the most popular. RCI employees did say that the Schooner Bar on this ship was not as popular as it is on other ships. I will have to agree. Our favorite was on the Mariner (piano player was outstanding). Talked to several RCI employees, all seem to be new to RCI. Felt like this was the training ship for RCI. Service wasn't great. Although, our stateroom attendant was awesome! RCI employees also confirmed that the cruise is heavily discounted to the local Puerto Ricans. Our ship was 80/20. We definitely felt in the minority. I hate to say it, but people on this ship give Puerto Rico a bad name. The men were the most classless people I have ever seen. Several times, my daughter felt violated by their stares and comments. My daughter usually hits the disco and meets people her own age to hang out with on the rest of the cruise. However, this time she didn't feel comfortable out on her own. Food was well below average. We have sailed on the Explorer and the Mariner before and the food was outstanding. Talked with people that were sailing on the Golden Princess. They said their cruise was full of local Puerto Ricans as well. I will sail with RCI again out of another port. If I ever want to do another Southern cruise out of Puerto Rico, I will make sure we get with a large group of people. Did not hit any shows, except the Ice Show. The Ice Show was great. The Love & Marriage & Quest were great as well. Comments from other passengers were that the production shows were not up to par. The best thing about this cruise was we got plenty of rest. We also found out when we got there we had been upgraded to a balcony cabin. This is where our stateroom attendant was at his best. All of our luggage had been tagged for our original room. We told him, and within 30 mins he had our luggage in our room. The downfall is we asked the gentleman at check in what we need to do about our luggage. He directed us to another line, and when we finally got thru the line, we were told to talk with our stateroom attendant. Recommend a shore excursion the day of disembarkation. You get off the ship quicker, and very few people in search of their luggage at the same time. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2005
We arrived in San Juan airport and were told to go stand by a far wall and wait while luggage was collected by passengers. There were no seats just empty space and after almost two our wait while hundreds of passengers assembled we were ... Read More
We arrived in San Juan airport and were told to go stand by a far wall and wait while luggage was collected by passengers. There were no seats just empty space and after almost two our wait while hundreds of passengers assembled we were told to follow along bringing our luggage with no carts available to help with transport. After a long walk through airport and outside to to truck we were told to wait while it was loaded on a truck and then boarded a bus to ship. Mass confusion at terminal but we had all paper work ready and are Diamond C & A members so that went fine. By the time we boarded our dinner time was over and we were told to report for life boat drill. This took about one hour outside on a hot and humid deck and after this very hungry and thirsty we tried to find some dinner. The Windjammer was closed, Johnny Rockets was closed and late diners were in dining room. Desperate by now we went to Portofino and paid the extra for the three of us. The meal there was wonderful but all this delay was so unnecessary and not what we had ever experienced in over 12 years cruising with Royal Caribbean. Children were everywhere on ship and mostly alone and loud and obnoxious as it was Spring vacation time. We realize this is parents fault but the guidelines ship outlines says this will not be tolerated so why is it? We often heard children laughing about how they were annoying passengers and thinking it was such a hoot and not letting anyone on elevators. We were traveling with a sixteen year old granddaughter so she could get scuba certification on board and she was even appalled at behavior. Royal Caribbean had better enforce its own rules or risk losing a huge amount of their cruising business. We found the ship too big and the shows not very good, just too much glitz and difficulty finding your way around ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
This was our second cruise and most likely the last. First of all I found the room attendant to be kind of cold, the main dinning room servers were also somewhat distant and on the night before the tip day he asked if everything was okay ... Read More
This was our second cruise and most likely the last. First of all I found the room attendant to be kind of cold, the main dinning room servers were also somewhat distant and on the night before the tip day he asked if everything was okay and were we happy with their level of service. I only ate there 3 times as the food was little in portion and not to our liking a lot of beef and chicken. I fould the Windjammer buffet to have a better selection. I prefer to see more Fish and Pork The Cabin: rugs were in need of a cleaning. Bathroom stunk of urine and around the third 3 day me and some of our 19 friends that booked with us had sore throats and coundn't hardly speak. Questioning the air quality in the room. The Entertainment: (Velvet Rope stunk slept through it) the Ice,comic and Kerioke idol were really good. Port of calls : Were great for the exception of Aruba where we did baby beach which was good snorkeling but there was nothing there. 1 little beer stand. Pool activities : They had the Belly flop contest which is alway one of my favorites and the Horse races was also a blastI guess in a nutshell the novelty wore out for me and my Family. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
First RCI cruise after taking four Disney cruises. Boy were we disappointed w/RCI. Although the GS cabin was quite beautiful, included robes, slippers, a double-veranda and roomy accommodations, we were disappointed with the cleanliness of ... Read More
First RCI cruise after taking four Disney cruises. Boy were we disappointed w/RCI. Although the GS cabin was quite beautiful, included robes, slippers, a double-veranda and roomy accommodations, we were disappointed with the cleanliness of the ship. For example, I recall food on the floor outside of the Windjammer that was there for 5 days. The food was just so-so. At breakfast the eggs were barely warm but there was an extensive selection. For lunch, dining by the pool was not an option. If you wanted pizza, and were pool side, you needed to shower, get dressed and venture to the Promenade. Other fare would require another trip to the Windjammer or Johnny Rockets. Charging for ice cream and sodas were equally disappointing. Didn't we pay enough for the cruise? Although on the cruise, it was stated that 400 children were onboard, we didn't see that many. At Adventure Ocean, we would see only a handful so that they did not follow the schedule of activities that was printed and left in the cabin each night. Sadly, our son, 8 y.o. spent his time there playing PlayStation2. Generally our fellow cruisers and staff were friendlier and happier on Disney. We'll return to that line next year. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
This was my wedding/Honeymoon cruise and my first with Royal Caribbean. I guess maybe I am biased now after sailing on Celebrity's Constellation, but the food on this ship left much to be desired. We were married February 14, 2006 ... Read More
This was my wedding/Honeymoon cruise and my first with Royal Caribbean. I guess maybe I am biased now after sailing on Celebrity's Constellation, but the food on this ship left much to be desired. We were married February 14, 2006 in Aruba and it was so romantic. I would recommend getting married aboard ship to anyone thinking of this route. I, however, would not go through royal romance (RC's wedding people). They were absolutely horrible and extremely unfriendly. We actually booked a "cocktail party" through our group coordinator and used those room reservations as our wedding venues. Otherwise they specified the time, place and if so chose, could cancel it at anytime. On top of these demands, the price was way above any reasonable cost for the little service they would render-so the group reservation is the way to go. On to the cruise itself, Aruba was nice but honestly my least favorite stop on this itinerary. We walked downtown for some shopping then took a cab to eagle beach. Yes this beach was beautiful, but extremely boring as there was not much to do on it other than lay in the sun or attempt to enter the cold water. (it also happened to pour for about 20 minutes so after we were soaked, we had had enough) Curacao I was expecting not to like, but it was a very cute town (both sides of the river) and it was great that the ferry was free to cross the river. After some jewelry shopping and alcohol pickups, we took a cab to Playa Porto Mari. The cab drivers will try to convince you to go to kontiki beach because it is closer or they just don't want to drive all the way there. Having been to Kontiki previously on a shore excursion I knew this was not a good idea so we convinced the cab driver to bring us to Playa porto mari for 15$ round trip per person---It is definitely worth it. The beauty (not size though) rivals trunk bay in St. John! There are two snorkeling trails to follow as well as a floating dock, changing rooms, bathrooms, bar and restaurant. This is the beach to go to in Curacao if you cannot make it all the way up to Playa Knepa. St. Maarten was great- Our group of 30 people did the golden eagle island sailaway party before shopping in town--this is a place I would love to go back and spend a week. St. Thomas- Enough has been said about its jewelry shopping, but we got something I didn't expect--We went to a shop called Loose Gems and bought a 12 Karat Blue topaz for under 100 dollars! This is definitely the place to stop for loose gems and the owner is very friendly and educated on all of them. The ship itself was beautiful with a ton to do for all ages. The climbing wall and mini golf course were great for afternoons and a walk through the promenade or a drink in jesters were staples of our activities every evening. The casino was a ton of fun on the 25 cent Party Game slots. THe ice show was fantastic and the shows in the Lyric were just ok. The only major downfall to the cruise was the food-the one night they had prime rib-they made them all well done and dry and the sirloin available every night was similar or chewier. This is enough to push me back to Celebrity or NCL where I can definitely get better food, even if it is at the cost of the extra activities and amenities. I will say this is not a cruise to take for relaxation--We are going to take a real honeymoon to relax on a different line. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
My family and I just returned from the seven day cruise out of San Juan on the Adventure of the Seas. This was our 15th cruise, third with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed with all of the popular cruise lines except for the higher end lines ... Read More
My family and I just returned from the seven day cruise out of San Juan on the Adventure of the Seas. This was our 15th cruise, third with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed with all of the popular cruise lines except for the higher end lines like Silver Seas. We managed to book a pre and post cruise hotel in San Juan and avoided the 27 inch snow storm that affected travelers from New York. I read as many posts as I could prior to the trip and was prepared for boarding. We arrived at the port about 11:00 a.m., met a few of our cruise critic pals, and were having lunch by 12:00. Lines were already long but moved quickly and efficiently. Our room was ready at 2:00 p.m. which gave us time to preview the ship. The ship is in great condition and all of the ports of call were fun. I was surprised to learn that amenities such as after-sun body cream, hair conditioner, etc., are no longer provided for cabins on the lower decks. We were on deck 7 mid-ship with a balcony. We were even more surprised to learn that they do not serve ginger ale, a common remedy for sea-sickness. Since our previous RCCL cruises were in the late 90s, we assume that budget tightening has been a major factor in the changed atmosphere. We appreciate that cruising is a great dollar value, and the disappointments we experienced were probably a result of cut backs. We would like to have kept the menus from our earlier trips as points of comparison because the current choices were inferior in variety and distinction. We had dinner at Portofino and found the same shortcomings. The shows were amateurish productions with talented vocalists. The audio was also much too loud. However, the Salsa band was quite good and drew large crowds every evening. We also enjoyed the Rosario Brothers and the jazz band. The Ice Show was excellent and most in our party liked Quest. I do however have to make one comment about the service. It was programmed, mechanical and automatic. Maybe I have outgrown the cruise experience because nothing seemed special. The cabin steward knew our names, chairs were pulled for me in the dining rooms, requests were honored for fresh coffee or tea and, in general, everything was in order. Perhaps morale is not what it once was. One of our members was taken ill and I cannot say enough about the attention she received in the infirmary or the responsiveness with which the staff communicated with us. In conclusion, we had a good time even though we were a little disappointed with the service. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
My family and I were on the seven day cruise out of San Juan on the Adventure of the Season February 12. This was our 15th cruise, third with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed with all of the popular cruise lines except for the higher end ... Read More
My family and I were on the seven day cruise out of San Juan on the Adventure of the Season February 12. This was our 15th cruise, third with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed with all of the popular cruise lines except for the higher end lines like Silver Seas. We managed to book a pre and post cruise hotel in San Juan and avoided the 27 inch snow storm that affected travelers from New York. I read as many posts as I could prior to the trip and was prepared for boarding. We arrived at the port about 11:00 a.m., met a few of our cruise critic pals, and were having lunch by 12:00. Lines were already long but moved quickly and efficiently. Our room was ready at 2:00 p.m. which gave us time to preview the ship. The ship is in great condition and all of the ports of call were fun. I was surprised to learn that amenities such as after-sun body cream, hair conditioner, etc., are no longer provided for cabins on the lower decks. We were on deck 7 mid-ship with a balcony. We were even more surprised to learn that they do not serve ginger ale, a common remedy for sea-sickness. Since our previous RCCL cruises were in the late '90s, we assume that budget tightening has been a major factor in the changed atmosphere. We appreciate that cruising is a great dollar value, and the disappointments we experienced were probably a result of cut backs. We would like to have kept the menus from our earlier trips as points of comparison because the current choices were inferior in variety and distinction. We had dinner at Portofino and found the same shortcomings. The shows were very amateurish productions with talented vocalists. The audio was also much too loud. However, the Salsa band was quite good and drew large crowds every evening. We also enjoyed the Rosario Brothers and the jazz band. The Ice Show was excellent and most in our party liked Quest. I do however have to make one comment about the service. It was programmed, mechanical and automatic. Maybe I have outgrown the cruise experience because nothing seemed special. The cabin steward knew our names, chairs were pulled for me in the dining rooms, requests were honored for fresh coffee or tea and, in general, everything was in order. Perhaps morale is not what it once was. One of our members was taken ill and I cannot say enough about the attention she received in the infirmary or the responsiveness with which the staff communicated with us. In conclusion, we had a good time even though we were a little disappointed with the service. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2006
Background: We were a group of eight women traveling together. Prior to Cruise: We left Boston on a 9:45 flight to Puerto Rico and arrived at or around 1:40 p.m. Our luggage was easy to locate (tip: use those plastic Hawaiian leis on ... Read More
Background: We were a group of eight women traveling together. Prior to Cruise: We left Boston on a 9:45 flight to Puerto Rico and arrived at or around 1:40 p.m. Our luggage was easy to locate (tip: use those plastic Hawaiian leis on your luggage handles - makes them easier to spot) Got into a cab and headed to the Radisson Ambassador in Condado. Cab was $16.50 for four persons with luggage - not including tip. Hotel: It was okay. Since the casino is in the lobby it is very smokey smelling. We had rooms on the 5th floor with ours facing the burger king. We picked this hotel as it was only $150 a night and it had a nice pool with a bar on the top of the roof. Got some lunch in their Ambassador Grille. It was okay. Our waiter, Anthony, was fun and I think the Girls from Boston horrified him. Pool was nice but the pool bar was never open any time that we were there. Everyone was a little wiped out during the day so never made it to the Meet & Mingle planned at Senor Frogs with the Cruise Critic people. Our rule was no one went anywhere alone and since my group was taking a nap, I went back to the grille to wait for them and used my drink coupon. Met lovely people cheering for New York (hey Ray) and they tolerated this Boston fan in their midst. Met two shipmates while there (Hey mario & joe) and hung out with them once the girls showed up. Great guys and had fun with them off and on all week. Embarkation: Next day we decided not to head to ship until after 2:00 p.m. as we didn't want to wait in long lines and needed to pick up stuff at Walgreens since I had to throw stuff out at the airport. We caught cabs to the boat (what a trip). Got caught in this major traffic jam and our cab driver ended up driving over a median strip into the next lane and then zipped up these side streets to get us to the pier. (About $20) Once their we paid porters to take our bags and headed in. Went to the set and sail pass line and got in their. Here's a quick suggestion for large groups waiting in line. If you are in multiple lines and you have finished before your group, move off the side. Don't join them in their line while they wait. Makes it move much easier. Stood in line to get our picture done and got on the ship. By that time we headed to our cabins to check them out. Three cabins (two of them connecting) and we had 3 and 3 in the connecting rooms. Note: Do not use these cabins (6606, 6608 or 6610) if you want three in a room. Very small and our travel agent really dropped the ball on these. I am sure if they weren't where the bump was mid ship, they might be slightly, and I do mean slightly larger. Proceeded to the Windjammer for some lunch. Typical buffet type food. Salad bar (small); hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches and some hot dishes). When you go into Windjammer you can get plate and utensils as you walk in and there is a set up there or if it is crowded (which usually is the case) go towards the back and get your set up there as they have the same food back there. Went and toured the spa and the gym and made appointments for the spa for the week and to find out the gym hours (yes I went three times). Hung out by the pool and then went down to check on luggage and to get ready for the muster drill. Found our cabin steward and had him separate the beds - about the only thing he did right that week. After the drill we went to dinner. We were 2nd seating in the Strauss dining room at table 462. Had a great waiter, Cristien, and assistant waiter, Thiek. Some went to the welcome show and I checked out the shops and went to bed early  was beat. DAY AT SEA: We met for breakfast at the Windjammer and planned the day. Some of the ladies were going to buy one of the horses for the horse race at auction for us and others sat by the pool and enjoyed the sun. Did the shopping talk with Kelvin and bought one of those passport to savings books for $20 - had all these coupons in it for the different shops in the ports - came in handy. Went to the art auction (Hey Maverick and Andre) and proceeded to have a blast with the champagne and auction. Bought some animation cells and one a bottle of champagne for sitting in the front row and one a prize (art worth about $600) for one of the raffles. Headed back to the pool to catch up with everyone and watched the line dancing and pool games. Went to the Meet & Mingle and met some of the Cruise Critic people - hey Dr. Disney and Readheaded Mike and all the others. Proceeded to get ready formal night and headed off to the Champagne bar. They have this great card that you can get 10 champagne cocktails for a total of $43.13 (saving about 50% of the cost of 10 champagne drinks). Dinner was nice and food was okay. They definitely over seasoned most of the food this week. In the seafood risotto all you could taste was the seafood stock they used and the same with one of their saffron dishes throughout the week. Hit the casino after dinner and won $145 dollars. Headed off to bed after midnight sometime in order to get ready for Aruba. ARUBA: Only shopped in Aruba as I have stayed there many times in the past 10 years and have cruised in and out of their in the past 16 (first cruise actually left from Aruba). It has definitely been built up since my first visit and even since my last visit about 5 years ago. Made a suggestion to the ladies in the group to take the local bus ($1.00 each way) to go to Holiday Inn at Palm Beach and stay on the beach there. Water sports right there and the Holiday Inn has a pool bar that you can use. They did that after shopping and had fun. Got back to the ship had lunch and hung out at the pool to catch some more rays. Did the dinner thing and some of the ladies went to Carlos & Charlies to check it out. We hung out in Jesters for a while. CURACAO We walked the 15 minutes to the downtown area and the Floating Bridge was in service so we walked over it and checked out the shops and used my coupons. Since we bought the horse at auction (No. 6  Big Papi Ortiz) we found the only fabric store in downtown Curacao and proceeded to by ribbons and such to decorate our horse. Got very hot downtown so headed back to the ship and I proceeded to decorate our horse (used the hair pieces the ladies bought). He looked gorgeous. Once again hung out at the Solarium pool and vegged for a bit. Dinner this night was Caribbean night and while reading the posts everyone said this was the night to do Portofino. We had dinner at 8:00 in Portofino and it was fabulous. Had the Caprese Salad (little grape/cherry tomatoes with boccino mozzarella (little mozzarella balls) with oil and balsamic vinegar; then had the specialty salad that had candied walnuts, blue cheese and mixed greens (quite yummy) followed by broiled fish on risotto which was scrumptious. Now dessert was something else. We got the dessert sampler which had a mini tiramisu, mini chocolate molton cake, a panacotta and a crème brulee (which was more like a thick mousse than the brulees we are used too). DAY AT SEA: This was the day of the horse race. Being the horse's groom it had to come with me and as I was in the slot tournament, Big Papi came to the casino with me. I got knocked out of the last round but had fun. Took the horse to meet our jockey (way to go Donna) and proceeded to show him off and have fun in the sun. They got the horses ready for the race and had a contest on who was the prettiest. We were the best dressed horse but the winner had two bikini clad 21 year olds as their jockeys. Shout out to NHRA and their horse. Well the first race went and we came in second. Now it was time for the owners race and we ended winning that and got $600 for it ($75 a piece) and if you bet on our horse a $5.00 bet got you $12.00. It started to rain then so we all got ready for the second formal night. We went to the iceskating show which was great and proceeded to dinner. Oh and yes we had our winning horse with us as we had to show him off to our waiter and to return his tie that he let us borrow for our horse. Dinner was good and we headed to Jesters for music. They were doing a salsa thing up on deck but once it started to rain they came to jesters and all of a sudden the 70's 80's and hip hop music went completely latin. The DJ was asked by several patrons to maybe mix it up but they wouldn't. ST. MAARTEN Did the shopping thing again and ended up eating at one of the local restaurants for lunch. Very yummy Cuban pannini. But note that island time is very slow and be prepared to spend more than an hour or so at a meal. The rest of the group went to the beach and one of us yet again missed going into St. Maarten but she had an excuse. Too much fun in the hot tub and didn't get back to the cabin until around 7:00 ish. This was the day we did the preregistration for American Airlines. For $10 fee they give you the luggage tags and your boarding passes. Dinner again in the dining room. Food okay, desserts yummy and we love Vivian our after dinner drink man. He made our nights with the loving cups. ST. THOMAS Everyone but me and another person, took the ferry from Red Hook over to St. John for the day. I did my final shopping and had lunch at the Green House in downtown and met up with Mario and Joe again and had a nice afternoon while it downpoured around us. Took a cab back to the ship (we were originally going to walk). The others came in like drowned rats and we proceeded to get ready for dinner. Had more fun saying goodbye to Cristien, Thiek and Vivian and were probably one of the last ones to leave. Had finished packing and put the luggage out in the hallway and then off to the casino for my final donation and ended up winning $120. DISEMBARKATION What a zoo. We had put our tags on the bags the night before and were given two disembarkation group numbers (4 and 9). Asked the person at client service the difference between the two groups and she said only about an hour so we decided to go with group 9 instead. It turned out to be more like 3 hours between 4 and 9. Thankfully we had a 2:55 flight out but would have loved to have gotten off the boat and maybe gone to lunch (we got off around 12:30 ish). Did get to sit up on the top deck and proceed to get my final burn of the trip and got to meet the Captain's boss from Vancouver (Robert  very nice and very cute) Customs was a zoo. Between doing the announcements in English and in Spanish (which they both sounded Spanish) and getting through the doors and in lines it was not fun. Granted RCCL has nothing to do with this part of it but should have more than 4 people collecting Immigration Forms for a ship of over 3,000 people. Got the luggage and finally made it through customs. Brought the luggage around the corner to the American Airlines personnel and we got a cab and headed to the airport (around $21  with no luggage  more if you have luggage). Got through airport security and tried to find something to eat and got my seat changed to an emergency exit row for the leg room so burnt legs won't feel so bad. Landed and was home in Boston and at my front door by 8:30 p.m. Only bad things: Rude people. Don't want to paint the locals from Puerto Rico with the same brush but largely most of them were quite rude and pushy and but the bad definitely stood out more than the nice. Did meet a lovely couple from Puerto Rico as we pulled out from St. Thomas and we had a lovely talk about families and children. It seems that most had a tough time following rules posted. Smoking in the Solarium - signs on wall said no smoking. Children in the adults only pool (had to be over 16) and most of the kids I saw were under 10. Children, no make that toddlers, in the hot tub with their parents. There is a reason the sign state 16 and over - medical speaking I wouldn't want my toddler in a hot tub where the temperature is usually in the 80's or higher. Would you put your child in bathtub at that temperature - no, i don't think so. And if RCCL had all these cabins available at cheaper prices, why not upgrade the ones who already booked and then fill the other ones. Made no sense. Definitely would not sail out of Puerto Rico again unless it was after October. We had over 500 children on the boat and most of them weren't supervised by their parents. I know RCCL gives a better rate closer to the trip and they hope to make it up in sales on the ship but according to most of the crew we dealt with, the only ones really spending any money were the non-locals. Also couldn't believe how many full tables there were in the dining room during the week, but come the final night when it came to tips - those tables were empty. Not to say that they might not have done the automatic tips but most of them didn't. Don't even get me started on our cabin guy. He didn't do a great job at all. We left an empty bottle out on the balcony and it stayed there for 3 days before I threw it away. Oh and the supplies on the ship. I am non-beer drinker but the ship ran out of Budlight bottles on Tuesday and all light beer by Wednesday night, Thursday. Not too mention no grapefruit juice after a few days and bananas by Thursday. All in all probably won't do Southern Caribbean again unless it started from a different port and probably won't do RCCL in while. Now remember, this is just my take on the cruise and I am sure others (not the 8 of us or the other people I talked with) had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2006
For the most part we had a great time. Past trips to P.R. were never good so I was apprehensive about leaving from there but figured we were only flying in, sleeping over, and leaving, so how bad could it be? Then 2 weeks before we left ... Read More
For the most part we had a great time. Past trips to P.R. were never good so I was apprehensive about leaving from there but figured we were only flying in, sleeping over, and leaving, so how bad could it be? Then 2 weeks before we left for the cruise, we found reviews about how the locals get some special 2 for 1 deal and 90% of the ship would be P.R.s. That didn't phase me much except that it's not fair they pay less than everyone else. We rec'd our e-passes and I had taken care of the pre-processing for quick boarding but when arrived at 9:30am, we found we were at the end of a VERY LONG line. It didn't matter whether we were pre-processed or not. Even the Platinum level and other elite members had to wait in a long line, but not as bad. Unfortunately, RC members waited too long to set-up the info booth and ropes for organized lines. Most of those ahead of us were locals who travelled in packs of 20-60 members and it seemed each had 5 or more pieces of large luggage. We were speaking with a group in front of us - they said they take the ship twice a month to do shopping on the islands and always bring several empty suitcases to take the food and things back. They also showed us the nifty spiral-bound books they are given containing coupons for drinks and other things, luggage tags, etc. When we got up towards the front, we were detained because our 2 little bags didn't have the luggage stickers that the locals had - the ones we purchased and filled in per R.C.'s directions were not allowed. So after some pushing and being ignored by baggage handlers until the $10 bill came out, we were delayed. Then the officers inside kept barking orders, shoved forms in our hands to be filled out. When I showed the ones I had already filled in per my R.C. package, I was yelled at, told they were not valid, that I had to get out of line and do new ones; then yelled at which line to stand in, yelled at what line to enter the escalator. Now I understand why they have the rum samples available! Once on board, things went smoothly. We loved the adult swim area immensely. Our only complaint was the "locals" insisting their children were allowed in there and when asked to remove the children, perhaps go to the family pool area, it always erupted into loud drama and disgusting language, and of course, all members of their entourage had to be involved. If they travel on the ship so much, surely they understand the rules by now! The other thing we noticed was that they camped out within entire wings of the ship, including taking ownership of bathrooms and to enter into "their" area meant listening to their yelling or crude remarks. The prettiest restroom on the ship is the ladies room connected to the Portofino restaurant. There is a connecting door to the deck as well (proclaimed "locals" territory) but it is obvious by its decor that it is meant primarily for the restaurant. Since the locals had taken over the deck entirely, the took the bathroom as well. When I entered it, there were a dozen women in there in various levels of undress, some naked and bathing, feet in the sink basin, naked children sitting on the counter. And like another reviewer mentioned, filth. My husband had read the review and said there was no way it could have been that bad. Then I let him know I hadn't told him about it because I didn't want to disgust him or ruin his trip. But when I was using the restroom, suddenly, from the stall next to me, appeared excrement all over the floor. Yuck! And the woman left it!! Later, we went to Johnny Rocket's for lunch and I went to use the single ladies room after another local had vacated it and lo and behold, she apparently had just bent over and purged - it was all over the walls, toilet, floor... you get the idea. I hightailed it to somewhere without so much biohazard waste. Shortly after, I watched from the restaurant and some poor soul was there in biogear and giant hose to wash the place out. I would never trust that room to ever be bacteria-free. The only other issues we had with the locals was the pushing to be first in lines and greed. The ship announced a special buffet showing the chef's best - we just had dinner and didn't plan to eat but wanted to see the display. We were close to the front, somehow ended up being one of the last to enter. We had watched in amazement the amount of people pouring out of their restaurants to get to the buffet like their life depended on it. Rather than even look at what was before them, they grabbed the actual platters of items and took them! They took entire turkeys, all the chocolates, an entire basin of plasticware. We heard a couple of the officers say they would never offer that buffet event again - the chocolate alone was worth hundreds of dollars. Excursions - now I know this sounds silly, but we chose this trip solely because we saw the Travel Channel show about the ship and how it offered the Stars & Stripes excursion - actually driving the ship and hubby was so thrilled about the prospect. Unfortunately, there was so little interest from others that it was cancelled the day before he was to go out. I think this is where a major problem lies with the ship being 95% P.R. locals. On the upside, we took a credit and applied it to go to the Butterfly Farm in St. Maarten. We could have spent all day there but we only got a puny 45-minutes. Like most cruises, they rather dump you off in the shopping area in hopes you'll spend your pesos on their junk. For hubby and me, that means checking out the local bars and trying unique beers or local wine. Islands: Aruba is overrated - what a useless stop. Hubby's dad was a pilot and had disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle enroute to Aruba; we had always imagined it would be exotic. If it weren't for the usual Diamonds International and Tanzanite hawkers, I'm not sure there'd be much else to see. Curacao was just ok. St. Maarten was an improvement. St. Thomas seems to be everyone's big stop and I had heard that it was overly commercialized (like Aruba) so I wasn't sure I even wanted to go ashore. Well, I'm sure glad I did. Every area was BEAUTIFUL, especially Megan's Bay. If we can swing it, we definitely want to buy a condo there. Love it, love it, love it. We swam in Megan's Bay nearly all by ourselves, then had lunch on the deck of a shanty restaurant, then drinks in the attached deck bar. This was probably our best day out! Every time we think about that day, we smile. Before I go, I want you know about the great service we received from a bartender in the bar all the way upstairs - I don't recall the name but it is attached to the golf-theme bar. Raymond waited on us every day and he was awesome. Fun to talk with, lots of great ideas, very sweet man. I think he got rich off of our tips! Food - Forgot the most important part - food. I'm a former chef/caterer and son is chef, so our tastebuds are quite educated. The assigned restaurant food was just okay but better than what we had on Princess. We had booked our trip a year in advance and thought that would assure us our private table requested and in a good area. We found, once onboard, we were assigned to a broom closet that they entitled "auxiliary dining room". It was filled with mops, chairs on top of tables and other clutter when we first saw it. Then they seated us at a table for 12 (we asked for private table) and of the 5 couples that showed, none spoke the same language!! How ridiculous. It took much arguing to get assigned out in the main dining area and found we were the 3rd couple to be assigned to the horrid table - the former couples didn't like it either. We decided to pay the extra bucks and go to Portofino. It was such a nice experience and worth every penny. It doesn't come close to being as good as our son's restaurant but still couple levels better than the main dining. We didn't bother with the "fine dining" on Princess because the food is made by the same chefs, same kitchen - no point. But Portofino has their own chefs right there within the restaurant. We could only get in again on the last night. Next time, we will likely book early for a table every night. And despite the wines mostly being from California onboard, you can get some very nice Italian and French ones in Portofino. (Note: the wine tastings on Princess are TONS better and Princess offers afternoon tea - Royal should really think about improving in that area.) Disembarkation was a disaster but I'll let someone else touch on that AWFUL, TERRIBLE process. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2006
We cruised with RCI on the Adventure of the Seas in December 2006. This was the first cruise for myself, and my husband's fourth cruise, but his first with RCI. I will first review the ship experience and follow up with our shore ... Read More
We cruised with RCI on the Adventure of the Seas in December 2006. This was the first cruise for myself, and my husband's fourth cruise, but his first with RCI. I will first review the ship experience and follow up with our shore excursions. We went to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas, leaving from San Juan, Puerto Rico. We flew into San Juan the night before embarking and had no problem with our hotel (Holiday Inn Express) or the flight. The hotel was right on the beach but not close enough to the port so we had to take a taxi ($15). Embarking on Sunday was no problem at all - DEFINITELY check in online and get your SetSail pass because it makes checking in so much easier and faster. We arrived at the dock around noon and were on the ship by 12:15. Our rooms were not ready until 2:00 so we ate at the Windjammer Cafe and explored the ship until then. I found out about the "Puerto Rican issues" about a week before our cruise by reading some reviews on CruiseCritic.com. I would say that about 75-80% of the passengers on the cruise were Puerto Rican. At best, this issue was a nuisance, and at worst, it put a real damper on our vacation. We found most of them to be rude, loud, drunk and obnoxious. We talked to a few bartenders on board and found out that RCI is not selling out the rooms so they discount the room rate to $200 a person, which is why many PR's can afford to go on the cruise. As someone who paid over $1k a person for our room, this irks both me and my husband. I will note that a PR couple we dined with each night were very nice, upper-class people who did not fit the bill of most of the PR's on the ship. So, not everyone is loud, obnoxious and rude (shoving people out of the way on elevators, cutting in line, talking so loudly that everyone can hear your conversation, lots of yelling and running in halls at all hours of the night), but the majority of the passengers were. We were told by many people that RCI was "higher class" and nicer than Carnival, but my husband has cruised on Carnival and said that he enjoyed the experience much more with Carnival. This really put a damper on our experience and because of our dissatisfaction, we will not be cruising with Royal Caribbean again. The boat itself is OK. There is always something to do and it seems like a great boat for children and teenagers. I did really appreciate the adults-only pool as it was much quieter with no children around. We also utilized the gym as it is very spacious with lots of equipment. The entertainment was OK. Richard Spacey, the Cruise Director, is a blast and is definitely the highlight of the entertainment every night. The two Broadway-like shows featuring the RC Singers and Dancers were good, but not overly impressive. They also had a few comedians who were good. If you go, definitely attend the Love and Marriage game show - I think that was the best entertainment all week. Food is also OK. I was not overly impressed with food at the Windjammer but it's also not so bad, either. It's nice when you just want regular food. The food at dinner was good, but it is not so unique that you can't get the same food at a restaurant back in the states. Our head waiter, Christian, was fantastic and very funny. The rooms are not bad and we did spend a lot of time in them. We had a balcony which I definitely recommend. Our suite attendant, Daniel, was excellent. We also received a complimentary bottle of champagne since it was our honeymoon. We had an early flight before 11 a.m. out of San Juan so we received an early disembarking pass. Disembarking was easy and only took about half an hour. We did not have to go through customs at all and walked right off of the boat. Our shore excursions to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas were all very good. In Aruba, we did snorkeling with the Pirate's snorkeling (or something like that), and took a schooner out to several snorkeling sites, including the sunken WWII ship. Unfortunately this excursion was a tad ruined by two PR couples who, I kid you not, came along just for the free rum punch. They did not even snorkel! Along with being loud and obnoxious, they were also drinking heavily and it kind of ruined the experience. In Curacao, we did an island tour which went to the Curacao museum, sea caves, the Curacao liquor factory, and the shopping district. We really enjoyed this excursion as our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the island. In St Maarten, we went on an ocean kayak and snorkel excursion, which was also a lot of fun and highly recommended. For St. Thomas, we took another island sightseeing tour from one of the open air taxis. If we ever go back to St Thomas, I want to snorkel at Magens Bay - this has got to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Royal Caribbean might be nice if you embark from a different port other than San Juan, but overall, as a first-time cruiser, I just wasn't that impressed with RCI or Adventure of the Seas. We may try Princess if we choose to go on another cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2007
We cruised during Feb. 07 school vacation week. The ship was clean and nice in appearance. We did not notice any of the problems others complained of about the AOS in other posts. Despite this being school vacation week, we did not have ... Read More
We cruised during Feb. 07 school vacation week. The ship was clean and nice in appearance. We did not notice any of the problems others complained of about the AOS in other posts. Despite this being school vacation week, we did not have any problems with kids misbehaving on the ship as others experienced other weeks. Yes, pool chairs were hard to come by, but we're not big pool people. Did enjoy the adults only pool; very peaceful and relaxing. Flights were booked on JetBlue by the cruise line. We liked the comfy seating on JetBlue.. but booking this way turned out to be a big mistake because they waited until the last minute to book and stuck us with connecting flights with lengthy layovers, instead of direct flights. We booked our cruise last fall, so why did they wait so long to arrange the air? And it was no cheaper; others we spoke with flew just as far for half as much as we paid. This left a sour taste in our mouths. My main complaint was with the food in the dining room: very mediocre. Our 23 year old daughter summed it up by saying, "If this ship were a restaurant, I'd never tell my friends to go there!" Some examples come to mind. My wife ordered Chicken Marsala which consisted of Tyson chicken tenders topped with some mysterious sauce that bore no relation to "Marsala" at all. She thought it tasted just like the chicken in the McDonald's Happy Meal! I ordered steak two nights on the trip and both of them were at most 1/2 inch thick (thin, that is) and pretty small, maybe 6 inches across... a poor excuse for what's supposed to be fine dining. Our table mates had the same steak problem. They liked their meat well done and had to return it four times before they got one cooked the way they wanted. I like mine rare but that's almost impossible to get with such a thin cut of meat. The lamb chops she ordered another night were so tough, she couldn't eat them. Wondered if this was due to early prep then heat lights to keep them warm... or if they were just bad chops to begin with. Maybe both? Desserts were not good quality, either. I found that many of them contained a lot of gelatin, probably to help them keep better. This was true of most of the pies and some other items. Not up to the high standards you expect when you pay this kind of price. We plunked down over six grand for the three of us in a balcony room, airfare included. Lousy flights, not direct, but did like the comfortable seats on JetBlue, lots of leg room. Got there so late Sunday night that they would not admit us to the dining room and sent us upstairs to the buffet. The girl there tried kidding with us, saying, "Sorry, we're closed now!" After travelling for almost 12 hours, this went over with us like a lead balloon. Not funny. Windjammer buffet was typical buffet food, about the same unexciting stuff we've had on some of the all- inclusive resorts' buffets we've been to. The first night, my wife took the chicken dish, only to find out that it was thighs - dark meat- a corner cutting measure again.Wasn't bad, wasn't great. You'd expect better on a cruise, shouldn't you? The other major complaint we had was the *very* slow service at dinner, at the first (6pm) seating. Our table was in the rear of the dining room, next to the big center staircase. Our waiter, "Sanjay", consistently served us dead last in the entire room! He had two tables, one big one with 12 people plus ours with 7. Every night, we found ourselves watching neighboring tables enjoying dessert when we were just getting our entrees! No excuse for this. I took photos with date/time stamp to mail to RCI ... they need to know. By the time we were finishing our dinners, our tables (Sanjay's tables) were among perhaps four in the dining room still with people at them... while the wait staff was running all over the room yelling at each other, "Cmon, we've gotta get this place cleaned up before the next seating!" This did not make for "fine dining" .. it was embarrassing, to say the least. To be fair, it might be possible that the kitchen was screwing Sanjay by getting our food to him last, keeping him waiting around, but he never told us that. Don't know the real reason, but know what? I don't care. We should have asked to be moved to a new table but kept hoping things would improve. They didn't. Speaking of table seating, we were put with two other couples a few years older than us.. ok.. but our 23 year old daughter was the only person of her age at the table and felt like a fifth wheel all week. We should have made a move but didn't.. on the other hand, the staff making seating assignments should have given her some consideration and been more sensitive, putting us with a family. Overall, the ship was clean - no complaints there. Some people I spoke to on the ship with us felt the staff was not very friendly and did not go out of their way to be welcoming. That didn't bother me, personally, because I don't go on a cruise to socialize with their staff. Having said that, our stateroom attendant, Louis, was by far the friendliest we met. He made a few small mistakes on towels (2 instead of 3) but was happy to remedy matters with a good attitude. He was the only staff member to whom I gave an extra tip. Again, my main complaint is with the food and dining service. I plan to write to RCI to let them know we were pretty disappointed. Seems they're cutting corners to max their profits. Took side trips on each of the 4 islands and had no complaints. I'm sure we could have done similar trips for less money if we'd booked privately but chose to take the easy way out. Comment on the booking system: We've cruised before on Norwegian where they have a huge customer service desk dedicated to taking reservations; RCL only has one very busy guy with limited hours to book them all. There is an interactive TV system you can use but the interface needs a lot of work (get a good web designer to fix this!) and it has no text descriptions of the tours on it, forcing you to refer to the book they give you, which is annoying and awkward. Only half of the tours have videos (brief at best) but this is not something you find out until you try to view one; if it is missing, the system throws you back to the beginning of the list so you have to scroll way down to where you just were. Who designed this? Our balcony room was in the middle of the ship on deck 7, so had a very smooth sailing experience. Seas were pretty calm anyway for our trip, so no complaints. Would recommend the balcony room as it is nice to view the islands while coming into port; it also helped because of the 3 of us. My wife likes to get up early and read out on the balcony. My side of the king-size mattress (two twins joined together) was crushed by people sitting on it... to the point where I felt like I was rolling out of bed if too near the edge. Time to replace it! Entertainment: the ship's own singers and dancers seemed pretty professional and hard-working. However, the original shows they had to work contained a lot of unfamiliar music which did not click with us (in our mid-50s) or our daughter (23). I'm a radio announcer, so know a thing or two about music; our daughter is a Broadway music fan and knows a lot of shows well. Comedian Jimmy Carroll was clean (rare these days) and pretty funny; I'd watch for him in another venue sometime. The Motown show, performed by a "tribute" foursome named "Spectrum", was very professional and well-received. This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise, after taking three on Norwegian. I think the food was better on Norwegian. We also prefer their "freestyle" dining where you are not locked into a seating time or table with others you may or may not relate to (daughter's view especially). I'm not in a hurry to book again on Royal Caribbean. Will shop around for another line next time and hope for some decent food. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2007
The boarding process was well organized and designed. The entire process took perhaps 30 minutes. Upon boarding, we were told that the cabins would be available at 2pm. At that time, we found our cabin to be clean and roomy. It was larger ... Read More
The boarding process was well organized and designed. The entire process took perhaps 30 minutes. Upon boarding, we were told that the cabins would be available at 2pm. At that time, we found our cabin to be clean and roomy. It was larger that other cabins we had on other cruise lines. Walking down the Royal Promenade resembled walking down a large indoor mall. Shops and cafes on both sides, cobble stone walks, large plants and accent lighting. You could not believe that you were on a cruise ship. The issues we had were with the dining room staff and overall lack of attention to details. We had the second seating in the Vivaldi Dining Room. We were a large party of 26 people, including our travel agent, who occupied three tables. I believe that every night something was wrong. Meals were not prepared as we had ordered. On some nights, the waiter cleaned the table between the main course and dessert. Other nights he did not. On two occasions, he served coffee to 8 of the table guests, myself and someone else had to ask twice for coffee. We also asked him why we were one of the last tables to finish dinner almost on a nightly basis. His response floored us. He stated that if we did a better job of getting to the dining room on time, that he could get us out faster. We were regularly one of the first parties to enter the dining room when it opened. As far as breakfast went, we met at the Vivaldi Dining Room to be able to sit together and leave together for the onshore excursions. If you ordered the standard fare, such as pancakes or french toast, generally you received food that was sitting in chaffing dishes and were warm at best. If you ordered eggs or omelets, you waited and if you were lucky, received what you ordered. At one morning, I received my omelet wrong and tried to explain this to the waiter. He didn't understand a word I said and asked about three times if I wanted pepper on my eggs. It wasn't until we announced our dissatisfaction with the service, as well as the fact that our travel agent was with us, did the service improve. The Maitre'd was at our table almost every 15 minutes. The spa and fitness center were wonderful. Long hours allowed frequent visits around shore excursions. I especially liked the Solarium, or what I would consider the adult pool. No loud music or noisy children. Just a peaceful place to sit and read a book. The ice shows were very professional and wonderfully orchestrated. The entertainment in the shows were great as well. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2007
We traveled on Adventure of the Seas on 8/26. Before arriving at the ship we stayed in San Juan at the Marriott and had an excellent time. The beach and hotel were awesome and the staff was very friendly. We took a short taxi ride to the ... Read More
We traveled on Adventure of the Seas on 8/26. Before arriving at the ship we stayed in San Juan at the Marriott and had an excellent time. The beach and hotel were awesome and the staff was very friendly. We took a short taxi ride to the pier and were onboard the ship within 40 minutes. No problem at all with embarking. The ship was very nice and clean. While on the ship we enjoyed the activities, (rock wall, mini golf, ice skating and roller blading). None of these activities had long lines and the times that they were open were convenient. The layout was nice except for the buffet. If you wanted to eat outside on deck you food was cold by the time you get there. Also there is not enough seating in the buffet to accommodate everyone so many times we were standing there with a tray and no place to sit so again cold food. On four of the mornings I was unable to get coffee unless I went downstairs Deck 5 for it. I am baffled why they would not keep the coffee pots going in the morning. On the first night we returned to the room to see our dirty towels still there and dirty glassed still on the vanity. Throughout the stay if I wanted dirty dishes or glasses removed I had to do it myself. On this cruise they were changing the carpeting on the pool deck so throughout the cruise there were big rolls of carpeting around and blocked off with caution tape which changed the traffic flow which was somewhat annoying. On the second to last night of the cruise there was a step missing going up to the kids club about two stairs up which is dangerous and no staff seemed concerned. I reported it and when I went back up to get my daughter and hour later it was still missing and not taped off. The dining room staff was very pleasant and efficient. The food was not good at all, 3 nights i left the dining room hungry. I went to deck 5 for pizza or a sandwich. I was very disappointed in this because I had heard such great things about the food on RCCL. I have cruised 5 times before this on other lines and never left the dining room hungry or had to do without coffee. The ports were beautiful. If you are a Pirates of the Caribbean fan i recommend the cruise on the Brigg Unicorn. We had so much fun and the crew was wonderful. They went out of their way to make sure we had a good time. In Barbados we went to the Boatyard for the day. Again we had a great time the beach was beautiful. We took a cab on our own and they provide transportation back to the ship. In Antigua we arranged on our own to go to Hawksbill Resort. We bought a day pass and took a taxi. It was the best money we spent. Sooo relaxing and away from crowds. Beautiful water, hospitable staff. I would love to go back and stay there. St. Martin we went to Little Divi beach and again very nice. We went jetskiing and that was a highlight of the trip for my husband and daughter. In St. Thomas we took a taxi to town for shopping and lunch. We had a great time going in and out of all the shops and purchased some great things. Overall we had a great time, the activities the ship offers were alot of fun and the islands were awesome. I probably would not cruise on Royal Caribbean again because of the food and stateroom steward. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2007
Taking this cruise as a solo. This is also the first cruise that I have flown to the debarkation port in many many years. Day Zero--Saturday We left the Ranch very early in order to make the 6:20 a.m. flight from Waco Regional Airport to ... Read More
Taking this cruise as a solo. This is also the first cruise that I have flown to the debarkation port in many many years. Day Zero--Saturday We left the Ranch very early in order to make the 6:20 a.m. flight from Waco Regional Airport to DFW. My first time to fly from Waco and it went well. Connections from DFW to San Juan arriving about 2:15 p.m. local time. A taxi from the airport to OSJ (Old San Juan) is $20. Arrived at Hotel Milano about 3:00 which is check in time. The hotel is located in the middle of OSJ and a convenient place to explore the city. I walked around OSJ and stopped at The Parrot Club to sample their Parrot Special drink made with passion fruit & Limon Barcardi Rum. A short nap and then another walking tour to see the lights of OSJ, the City Walls, and La Princesa fountain and waterfront. I stopped at the Cathedral of San Juan and the restaurant Barrachina, the birthplace of the pina colada. Since this day started very early I didn't stay out too late although OSJ has a lot of boutique style clubs which seem fun. Day One--Sunday--Embarkation I had breakfast at La Bombonera an old established bakery/coffee house in the center of OSJ. It was full of locals and a few tourists. Setting at the counter it was very interesting watching the coffees being made on a very old machine. They had a big selection of pastries and this is very good breakfast location. I checked out about 10:45 and took a taxi to the Pan-American pier arriving at 11:00 which is the time they start taking checked bags. Since I had to get baggage tags they just took my bags and saved me waiting in the line to check bags. They opened the terminal about 20 minutes or so later and being Platinum I was in the first group of Platinum, Diamond and suite passengers. I was on board shortly after 11:30. Very impressed with my first time on a Voyager class ship, it brings out that 'cruise excitement' feeling very quick. I did purchase a coke package which I don't usually do, but I usually drive and bring coca-cola with me. My bet on the over/under on when I lose the coke glass is four days. We'll see how that goes. I was in the Windjammer soon after the noon opening and the buffet was very good. Again the roast beef with horseradish was excellent. The salads, fruits and desserts were also good. At 1:00 pm we were allowed in our cabins so I went to deck nine and headed aft. They just finished with my cabin so I was able to unpack my carry on and set up the cabin. I explored the ship visiting: the Promenade, Spa & Sauna area, Viking Crown Lounge, and Dining Room. Knowing that diner will be late tonight I did visit the Windjammer again for a bit of roast beef only late in the afternoon. I met a couple of Cruise Critic members sailing solo in the course of the afternoon. I shouldn't put my photo out on roll calls if I owe money! Coke card doing well so far, I've had three refills, but at 5:00 I had to try a couple of Bahama Mama's. Pool Bar bartenders and drink are very good so a few more sail away at 8:00+ pm. Sailing past the Carnival Destiny docked at OSJ and El Morro Castle at night is impressive. Dinner was at 9:00 this evening and I am at table 412 in the Strauss dining room which is an 8-top table. I had the Vidalia onion tart, the Tuscan tomato soup, Roast beef, and Savrin for dessert which were all very good. The Welcome Show featured comedian Tony Daro and he was good. The Entertainment Director is Pierce Ivan. They held a parade at midnight in the promenade, but I was too tired to make it that late and returned to the cabin for some reading and TV. Day Two--Monday--at Sea I had breakfast in the dining room. Eggs Benedict, fruit, tomato juice. Very good. I met with the Loyalty Ambassador and changed a future booking in order to qualify for the $100 OBC. I was reminded about picking up tickets for the Ice Skating Show later in the week which was done just before the table closed. I ate at Johnny Rockets for lunch and it was very good. I took a nap after lunch and explored more of the ship in the afternoon. The Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle was at 5:00 pm in the Blue Moon lounge. We had a small group probably just making the minimum number. I ordered the fruit plate and cheese plate for evening cabin/balcony snacks. The Captains reception was held in the Grand Promenade for both dinner seatings so it was very crowded. Good idea and location, but they should have two receptions. Dinner was very good. Escargot, Shrimp Cocktail, Lobster Bisque, Beef, and Grand Mariner SoufflE were my selections. The headline entertainer was Greg Bonham and was after dinner for late seating. At midnight I had a coke refill in the coke mug so it has survived two days. Day Three--Tuesday--Aruba The weather is again very nice, but hot. Calm seas, fair winds. Most on board are getting ready to get off for the day as we are docked at 8:00 am. I went up to the Windjammer about 8:30 and brought a breakfast down to eat on the balcony. I went to the Solarium and had a swim then had a coke at the pool bar. I swam in the main pool for a full 45 minutes and had the entire pool to myself. Great. Somewhere in the process of getting ready to swim I lost my S&S card. It was in my shirt pocket. No problem, guest relations replaced it and the coke sticker without any hassle at all. No charges were made on it and all is well. Lunch in the Windjammer is very good. Corned beef was the feature at the carving station. I went into Oranjestad about 12:30. I was going to do a quick tour of the island ($20) but passed. Visited the shops, casino, had one Balashi, and was basically ready to return because of the heat by 2:30 pm... I ventured back to town, which just a very short walk from the ship, to meet BFFW Dan at Carlos & Charlie's. I had a few more Balashi and enjoyed the time. I do admit that there was some curiosity about the Natalie Holloway situation two years earlier. We then went to Iguana Joe's for an Iguana Mama and then back to the ship. I did visit the Pool Bar, and my favorite Jamaica bartenders for some Jamaican Mama's before the late, 8:00 pm, sail away. I went down to the Dog & Duck pub for a beer and people watch and at 8:00 two singers appeared on a cross bridge just above the D&D and they same down to a small stage on the Grand Promenade and did a 20 minute show. The promenade is very interesting. Dinner was again good. I had the Chicken Marsala and a Strip Steak from the alternative menu. Dessert was Tiramisù. They had a deck party on pool deck with food and special drinks. I attended for a while, but still turned in by midnight. Day Four--Wednesday--Curacao We arrived by 8:00 a.m. and again the weather is fair, but very hot. I had a room service breakfast on the balcony which was nice and delivered promptly. I went into the town of Willemstad early in order to beat the heat. A very beautiful and colorful town, but I returned early to the ship. A very enjoyable swim to cool off and then lunch in the Windjammer. I walked around the ship and took photos of both the port and of the ship before taking an afternoon nap. I attended the C&A past guest reception which was at 5:15. The reception was good with better quality drinks than CCL and two at my table ordered specific call drinks which they received without problem. The production show, Can't Stop The Rock followed the reception and before dinner. One of the female feature singers, Tamara, is outstanding and all the singers and dancers are very good. Dinner was good, but one of the weaker menus. I had the Tilapia, but also with a steak and the BBB for desert. Day Five--Thursday--at Sea Calm seas and weather. I had a dining room breakfast this morning, fruit and an omelet which was great. I watched a movie in the cabin during the morning. This is the last day for the dining room to be open for lunch so I went there for a nice soup and sandwich. I went to the Promenade to people watch for awhile and caught another movie in the afternoon. I attended the 'Cool Art, Hot Ice' show which was outstanding. Certainly a first for me to see an ice show at sea. Don't miss this if you ever have the opportunity. There was a reception for Crown & Anchor Platinum & Diamond members in the Blue Moon lounge which was very nice. They had cocktails, hors d'euvers, and music by Rosario Strings. Dinner was good, the Pork Chop was excellent, the best entree of the week so far. Baked Alaska was the featured dessert. The feature show, after dinner was Billy Richard's, Coasters, which were great. Also later was the Gala Buffet at midnight. Didn't make it, but heard it was great. Day Six--Friday--St. Maarten Rainy day all day. We arrived at St. Maarten about 8:00 a.m. We are backed into the dock so I have a great view of the action down on the pier. I went up to the Windjammer for a breakfast, then took a water ferry into Philipsburg. Visited the shops and a casino, but not a lot of sightseeing due to the rain. I returned to the ship in time for a late Windjammer lunch and I was also able to catch the movie I had been wanting to see in the afternoon, so it all worked out for a nice day in spite of the rain. The production show was Jackpot, a Las Vegas theme, featuring the singers and dancers. I actually thought the show was just good, not great. The best scene being the multiple Elvi. Dinner was very good. It was lobster night, first time it hasn't been on a formal night for me that I recall. I actually had three entrees: the ziti as a starter, the lobster (seafood), and then the prime rib, which was actually the best. BTW-I still have the insulated coke glass, so that is a surprise. Day Seven--Saturday--St. Thomas Cloudy today, but not raining as yesterday. We are docked at Havensight and we are aft to aft with the Carnival Miracle. I went through the mandatory immigration early as to avoid the crowds and confusion. That went smoothly. Then to the Windjammer for a light breakfast and then on the pool deck for a swim and some sun. I did go to the spa and use the whirlpool on my knee. That felt good. While forward I did discover a viewing area on deck 11 or 12 that you can observe the inside of the bridge. Lunch in the Windjammer. Roast beef again, but very good. The menu doesn't vary as much as the RH and I guess the menu caters to the passengers and port of debarkation. Afternoon was a good cabin day with football on TV, pre packing, customs forms, and the balcony facing the pier for people watching. The show was before dinner and featured the Duo Ignatov and Dario El Gaucho. Also the Adventure orchestra and singers for a farewell. Dinner was actually my favorite of the cruise. I had Caesar salad, Shrimp Cocktail, French onion soup, NY strip steak, and Key Lime pie. The head waiter promised me some hearts of palm and she had a bowl for me which were great on the salad. Good byes to the table mates, waiters, and new friends and back to the room to pack. After setting out my bags at the midnight deadline I went up to the Blue Moon lounge where members of the Adventure orchestra were playing jazz. It was great. Seemed to be the hangout for the entertainment staff on a late Saturday night while the pax are all snug in their cabins preparing to leave early the next morning. It was good music for sure and the grand mojitos were great, but I could only last to 1:00 am. Debarkation--Sunday We were in San Juan early. No room service on debarkation morning, but a full breakfast menu in the dining room. I had a nice breakfast then soon afterward my number was called and I was off the ship about 9:15. There was some anxiety when I couldn't immediately find my bags in the Brown-1 section. I did find them and thought a porter may speed up my getting out easier and it did a lot. I was in a cab to OSJ by 9:30. The hotel Milano keeps the bags for early arrivals so I left mine and was off on a walking tour of OSJ. Ship This was my first time on a Voyager class ship since we will not have one in Texas until later in the year. I am very impressed. There are good and bad things about the size. There are a lot of people and the pools seemed very crowded especially during peak times. The elevators are always packed. The Grand Promenade is very impressive. The additional size also means that there is room for the photo gallery, casino, bars, etc. without any one of them dominating an entire deck. The aquariums are very impressive as are the Studio B, the Theater, and other public spaces. There is some vibration, but not very noticeable especially since I am in an aft cabin. Crew The staff and crew are very good. Captain Tommy is the son of Olav Gunner Nyseter, the captain of the Rhapsody who we sailed with last month. He is the youngest Captain in the RCL fleet and was very informative with his daily announcements. My cabin steward and waiters were all great. Cabin I had cabin 9692 which is an aft with an extended balcony. The balcony is partially covered which is very nice as it's not completely in the sun. Thanks to a Cruise Critic tip I knew that deck nine is one of the decks that you would NOT want the corner aft. This was very evident after inspecting the balconies, the corner is much smaller although perhaps still larger than the standard balcony. The cabin seems slightly larger than the aft balcony cabins on Rhapsody; however, there is less storage for sure. Plenty of room for one, but two would be tight on storage. The bathroom has a solid shower door which is a big improvement from RH. My cabin steward is Mario and he is good. He has kept my cooler full of ice for me although I haven't used it as much since I did have the coke card on this sailing. Never used the refrigerator. The safe has a button key pad. On debarkation I went down to inspect cabins 7388 and 7688 since I have future cruise on the Voyager in them. Food I first saw the new room service breakfast menu on the RH and it has fewer selections than previously, but still more than most cruise lines, so it is a great option. My two favorite room service items are the Seasonal fruit plate and the International cheese plate. The cheese plate consists of five different cheeses and garnished with a strawberry, walnuts, and dried apricots. It is served with water biscuits or saltines. The fruit plate usually has grapes, pineapple, kiwi, melon, strawberry, and orange slice. Both are great. Johnny Rockets was a good alternative for lunch or afternoon snack. Lunch in the dining room has the same menu each day with one special item that does change daily. All the bread selections are very good on board. The Windjammer buffet is also very good and better than many other lines. There are several ice creme and yogurt machines. You can order room service on the RC-TV which works very well especially for breakfast. I had late seating, table 412 in the Strauss Dining room. Lloyd was the waiter and the assistant was Joenelle from the Philippines who I had as an assistant waiter previously on the Rhapsody. The dining room food was good to very good. Some entrees were better than others. Cold baked potatoes seems to be the norm according to those at my table and I noticed desserts that should have been warm were not. Overall the dinners were very good and enjoyable, but the overall opinion was that it the food overall was not up to the standard of other Royal Caribbean ships. Needs Improvement I really have no comparisons as to physical improvements as this was the first time on a Voyager class ship. I noticed that the water features in the Solarium pool did not work, but that seems to be the norm now. They should add more security when they have a Quinceanera's cruise as they do during spring break cruises. There were a very large number of young and teen cruisers on board and they were playing the elevator game, laying in stairwells & hallways, swimming in the pool without adult supervision, etc. Comments They really seem to do a very good job of scheduling the entertainment and production shows then coordinating them with the various receptions, and other events. The additional public rooms on a Voyager class certainly helps. I really enjoyed the cruise, but would not cruise from Puerto Rico again this time of year. Too hot, too many children, and too many other variables just make the cruise a little less than perfect. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2007
This was my 9th cruise with RCCL and first on this size ship but without a doubt the worst cruise experience. We purchased a 2nt pre-cruise with transportation through RCCL at the San Juan Marriott resort and Casino. The first problem is ... Read More
This was my 9th cruise with RCCL and first on this size ship but without a doubt the worst cruise experience. We purchased a 2nt pre-cruise with transportation through RCCL at the San Juan Marriott resort and Casino. The first problem is we got e-tickets aka no luggage tags. We were assured by RCCL that all we needed was our name & reservation # and that we could get luggage tags at the pier. Well big problem. Without luggage tags they would not transport us from the hotel to the pier. Oh did I mention they didn't pick us up at the airport either? Embarking was smooth even without the tags or RCCL personnel to show where Platinum/Diamond members had to go to avoid the long lines. We got lucky by asking the porters. On board the ship was very clean, most of the bar, guest relation & activity staff was friendly. The dinning room staff and room steward seemed a bit formal and the Loyalty ambassador seemed a bit miffed when we complained about not being listed as Platinum to which he responded we should have given our TA our number to which I pointed out it's was listed on the Set Sail Pass. We missed the 6 story staircase atrium on the small ships which was replaced by a crowded 3 story promenade but very classy looking mall. I was also disappointed that the solarium pizzeria was gone and replaced by a "pay" Johnny Rockets for burgers with the pizza now 4 decks down in the promenade mall. It seemed a hassle on sea days to have to get dressed back up to go to the windjammer or promenade mall for lunch instead of snacking poolside. Also missing was the outdoor BBQs and poolside lunches, entertainment every night (1 day was missed), lack of ocean views from inside the ship and all day poolside music. The ship stopped at Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St Thomas. Excursion choices were excellent as usual. We did the full day Jeep tour in Aruba and the Ecological tour in St Maarten. The guest entertainment a Comic, El Gaucho and Platters were excellent as usual. The RCCL singers and dancers were garbage unless you liked being screamed at for 45 minutes. The ice show is not to be missed. Dinning was a mixed bag. Both my steaks were dry as sand, the pork chops were half done and the BBQ chicken breast ..... well it wasn't BBQ that much I know. The shrimp cocktail, crab cakes and lobster were all very good. The windjammer on the other hand had a wide enough selection to please everyone. We didn't go to Portofino's but did do Johnny Rockets which was mediocre at best. We did a post cruise tour so disembarking was handle smoothly by the staff. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2007
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean many times and have enjoyed each experience. However, this last cruise aboard the Adventure of the Seas was disappointing. I traveled with a huge group of family and friends on the 28th of October ... Read More
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean many times and have enjoyed each experience. However, this last cruise aboard the Adventure of the Seas was disappointing. I traveled with a huge group of family and friends on the 28th of October sailing. My husband and I stayed in a junior suite. The room was fantastic and the room steward, Jennifer, was a dream! The ship overall was nice but the food was below average and the drink prices were totally over the top. I mean, $8.75 for a margarita? Like I said before, I have cruised with this line and this time, the increase in drink prices was quite obvious. Back to the food: the dining room dinner cuisine was like of Bennigan's. One night, the little scallops in my lemongrass soup seemed fake and odd. I ended up just having the broth. The risotto with the grilled vegetables was over-salted and overcooked. My husband, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law, were all in agreement with the lack of taste and quality regarding the food. The pizza on the promenade deck was all bready and chewy. There was no crisp crust like I have experienced on other cruises. The in-room breakfast menu was an absolute joke. The in-room menu listed omelets but when my husband tried to order one, he was told that they were no longer available. Why? Moreover, all that was available was weird-tasting scrambled eggs (scooped into a ball), sausage, bacon, yogurt, fruit and cereal. There was coffee and juice but that was about it. Nothing else. Sad. The Windjammer was a total nightmare. The crowds, the screaming kids, and the crazy-hyper atmosphere made eating here a test in human resolve. I was shocked that the plates and flatware were not being handed out by staff. In this era of Norovirus, the idea of other people touching your dishes is very gross. I was on the Coral Princess last year and the buffet staff handed out the serving ware to guests and even offered a hand sanitizer station. In addition, the staff made no effort to curb people from taking more than their fair share of food. I saw people taking piles of bacon, pastries, pancakes, cookies, etc, to their table only to be left uneaten. Basically, the buffet was loud, hectic, and full of rude people. I refused to eat there because feeling like I have to shovel the food down my throat and then run out the door is NOT my idea of a relaxing meal on vacation! The clientele on this particular cruise was quite low caliber. A majority of these people were just pure trash. They wore baggy jeans, baggy tees, gold chains, trucker hats and dark sunglasses to dinner and allowed their kids to play on the elevators and run up and down the halls at full speed. I am saddened to see that class, manners, etiquette, and elegance have disappeared. Moreover, I am angry that the cruise staff allowed these trash into the dining rooms dressed so poorly. The list a dress code yet refuse to enforce it. Having considered previous cruises, this cruise was by far the worst when it came to standard of people. I am in no way a social elitist but the level of rudeness and crass behavior was totally unacceptable. The best thing about the ship was the Portofino's dining room. If I could, I would have eaten there every night. The quality of the food, the fantastic service, lovely staff, and upscale atmosphere were bar none. This is what cruising dining should be, period. The wine selection was perfect and each dish, whether is was the shrimp and risotto or the ribbon pasta with mushrooms, was impeccable. The Blue Moon Bar on Deck 14 was very quiet in the late afternoon and offered great views of the ocean. One of the bartenders, Fany, was a total charmer and made our visits a true delight! One night, the ship held a Platinum party featuring a string trio and lovely hors d'oeuvres. It was one of the nicer highlights of our cruise. We stopped in Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. Aruba's beaches were amazing and our island tour guide, Edwin, was very kind, friendly, and very knowledgeable. Our group stopped at several locations of interest and ended the tour at Eagle Beach where we got to swim in the crystal blue waters for about an hour or so. It was gorgeous. The next day was in Curacao and my husband, two friends and I took the Beach Buggy tour. The tour was mostly in the city and roads of Curacao. The tour guides kept all guests safe made sure all had fun. The tour ended at the beach where we had a drink and got to swim but we only stayed for about 30 minutes. I just wish we had more beach time. I stayed on the ship when we were in St. Maarten, but on the day we were in St. Thomas, some of us took the ferry over the St. John for the day. The island is very calm and most of it is an ecological park. Beautiful and friendly place for sure. Overall, I will not go on this ship again, especially if it leaves out of San Juan. I did, however, enjoy the little perks of my Platinum Membership but I think my next cruse will be on Celebrity. Royal Caribbean seems to be going downhill and becoming like Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
This was our 7th cruise in 7 years and 5th with the RCCL family (including Celebrity). This was our 2nd year in a row sailing from San Juan. We sailed the Serenade of the Seas last year at the same time and it was a wonderful experience. ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise in 7 years and 5th with the RCCL family (including Celebrity). This was our 2nd year in a row sailing from San Juan. We sailed the Serenade of the Seas last year at the same time and it was a wonderful experience. Embarkation: We arrived at the pier by taxi from the Courtyard Marriott. Upon entry we were greeted by a RCCL customer service representative that was supposed to be bilingual. The representative could speak English very well. However, her comprehension left much to be desired. Not only that she was not well versed in policy as it refers to military rates. Since we had booked using the military rate we were very familiar with the process. We asked the representative if my husband needed to present his military id. She said no. She didn't even notice that the rate was a military rate and that she needed to verify military ids. She didn't comprehend what we were talking about. Nevertheless we went up to the ship to board. We also had a question about the onboard account that she couldn't answer. She read what the paper said and said, "I don't know". Upon boarding the ship I noticed there was no antibacterial cleaner for our hands. This had been the process on the Serenade and the Jewel before boarding the ship to cut down on the possibility of viruses spreading. We went to our cabin and the first thing I do is inspect the cabin to make sure it is clean. Upon inspecting the bathroom, I noticed hair left in the shower and mold around the base of the shower. It was not a pretty site. In addition there was a dead bee on the floor in the balcony cabin. I was not very happy, but I called the cabin stewart and she re-cleaned the shower. I handed her the dead bee in a kleenex. Apparently the cabin was not vacuumed before we came on board. Or if it was, it was not vacuumed very well. 3 days after we had been on the ship, the stewart had someone to come and fill the cracked areas in shower that exposed the mold. Not to mention, our room had an odor the entire time we were there that actually smelled like urine. I was so glad we brought along our Nutrair to help with the smell. Food: The food on the Adventure was OK, but definitely not the best I have had. The food on the buffet was not hot enough. This maybe attributed to the poor design plan of the buffet area. Instead of stations like on the Jewel and the Serenade, this ship had very long traditional buffet lines which cause major congestion when trying to get food. My husband and I wised up and ate most of our breakfast meals in the dining rooms. The food in the dining room was acceptable. The lamb was very good along with the chicken marsala. I didn't eat in the dining room on the night they had lobster, but my husband said it was good. Our waiter and assistant waiter were very very good. They were actually the best part of the cruise for me. I also liked getting food on the Promenade. The croissant sandwiches were excellent along with the desserts and cookies. At the promenade bar, the bartender named Johnson made a really great mojito! We also ate at Johnny Rockets (there is a cover charge) and really enjoyed the burgers, fries and onion rings. Overall Ship Appearance and Cleanliness: This ship needs to be retrofitted ASAP. The carpeting in the halls is beginning to look really worn. I will say I did see people cleaning the banister and railings, but this was after a virus broke out on the ship and it was then (5 days into the trip) that it was decided to now have people use antibacterial wipes when the exited or entered the ship and when the entered into the dining area and also had crew to serve us if we used the buffet. They did not allow anyone to touch handles or anything after the virus broke out. I can't help but wonder if they had started these processes from the beginning, if it may have curtailed the virus. To top things off for me, on the last day of the cruise while my husband and I were finishing up our last inspection to make sure we didn't leave anything, I saw a roach. With that I decided then and there I would never sail this ship again. Crew: For the most part the crew was friendly although there were some who would walk by you and wouldn't acknowledge your presence. I have never had that happen on any ship. I don't know if they thought they didn't speak my language or if they just didn't care whether they spoke or not. Passengers: What I have to say may sound harsh, but I do believe it should be noted as there are people who do not handle diversity very well. When this ship sailed I would have to say it had a Latino population of close to 75%. If you are not well versed in Latin customs (i.e.: large families traveling together, language challenges, etc) or if you are uncomfortable with this dynamic, this is not the ship for you. This actually caused rumblings from other non-Latin passengers on the ship to the extent that many said they would never sail out of San Juan or on RCCL again. Some of this can be attributed to some of the kids hanging out in public areas and blocking the walk thru areas. There were also incidents where entire families would try to get on the elevators at one time when the elevators were already full or just holding up the elevators period. My husband and I also experienced a very very loud party in the cabin next to us that went on until 3 a.m. As I stated earlier, we sailed out of San Juan last year and the dynamic of the Serenade was nothing like the Adventure. The mixture of cultures on the Serenade was fabulous. There was no one culture that dominated the ship. There were people from England, Latin America, Canada, the States, etc. It was just a better quality sailing. Before we left the cruise there was a rumor that RCCL had sent out a blast to the Latin Countries in the areas informing them of the price for the cruise being $299/person in order to fill up the ship. Don't know if that was true, but that is what we heard. Ports of Call: My favorite place was Curacao. It was beautiful and very clean. The people were nice and didn't act like they were doing you a favor by helping you out. The folks at the pier in St. Maarten where we boarded the water taxi were very rude. The seemed to forget that the reason they had a job was because of all of the tourism that comes to their island. However, I think St. Maarten is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen. I have been to Hawaii and Hawaii has nothing over the island of St. Maarten. As for Aruba, I can take it or leave it. If you are a beach person (which I am not), then Aruba is the place for you. St. Thomas is St. Thomas. We have been there so many times, that I didn't spend by $20 there. Bottom line: The Adventure of the Seas is a big ship. I really don't think they have the staff to handle so many people. It is not a clean ship. The decor is outdated. The food is less than average. To be honest I do not see how this ship would get 5 stars and a CDC rating of 100. I just got off this ship and I will not ever sail it again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
Upon arrival to the port the lines were not too bad and we were on board within 45 minutes. We have cruised RCL 5 times before and really prefer them over Princess and Carnival. The ship was beautiful and the staff accommodating. There ... Read More
Upon arrival to the port the lines were not too bad and we were on board within 45 minutes. We have cruised RCL 5 times before and really prefer them over Princess and Carnival. The ship was beautiful and the staff accommodating. There were young adults and teenagers that acted like they had never needed to associate out in public with any kind of decorum in their lives. Blocking stairs to the point of an elderly gentleman fell down because he could not get to the rails because of the kids sitting on the stairs and wouldn't move. My husband and I always move to the side when there is not enough room for us to pass someone coming towards us. Many individuals acted like they owned the place and would run into you because they didn't want to accommodate the area. I teach at a high school, and it was easy to identify the multiple gang representations on board, there were those, because we spoke in English most of the time that were verbally rude to us in Spanish until I would talk back to them in Spanish. 3 girls that actually were rude and loud during one of the shows that picked a fight with an elderly gentleman that had asked them to be quiet so he could hear. If the singer or performer spoke in Spanish the cheers were bountiful. Anyone else received no respect from the Spanish speaking community. There is no excuse for the behavior that took place on the cruise and it seems that there is a distinct pattern from previous reports. RCL needs to look at what they are doing here. Advertise that the cruise is for Spanish speaking, change the format to provide proper entertainment, or move the ship. Not only do you get what you pay for, you get the type of client based on what they have to pay. Is it worth it, you decide? FYI, I'm Spanish decent and my husband is Portuguese. It doesn't matter have some decency there was very little by the young crowd from P.R. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2008
My husband, parents, and myself returned from a one-week cruise aboard the Adventure of the Seas; our cruise left February 24th and returned March 2nd. This was our first cruise so a lot of this review will be focused on tips for ... Read More
My husband, parents, and myself returned from a one-week cruise aboard the Adventure of the Seas; our cruise left February 24th and returned March 2nd. This was our first cruise so a lot of this review will be focused on tips for first-time cruisers. We did not know what to expect, having paid just $869 per person for a balcony room. As I said in my subject, you do get what you pay for. You get nickeled and dimed to death throughout the course of your vacation, with fees and tips coming at you from all sides. I'll get to those later in this review. I am primarily focusing on the cruise rather than the islands because if you picked this itinerary, you've already done your research on the islands! We flew to San Juan a day prior to our departure and stayed at Hotel El Convento, a fabulous hotel in Old San Juan. Sunday we took a taxi to the pier around noon and were able to board immediately. The embarkation process proceeded very smoothly, aside from the fact that there were thousands of people, pieces of luggage, and taxis. You are expected to tip the people who take your luggage from you at the pier; I got the impression that if you didn't tip, your luggage delivery might be delayed. The porters had giant wads of cash in their hands; tacky if you ask me. We had to show our passports and go through some type of security no less than four times before we boarded which I thought was overkill. We were able to get to our rooms by 1:30. We had a balcony stateroom on the port side, deck 8. Our room had a distinctive chemical smell that gradually abated during the course of our trip, but it never really went away. Our steward wasn't really able to do anything about it, and I doubt it was his fault, but the ship could use some help in the smell department. My parents' room was on deck 2, starboard side, and they had the same problem. Speaking of smells, smoking is allowed on balconies and in some public areas on the ship. I was very irritated by that fact because I could smell smoke while sitting on my balcony. You would think that with all the awareness of asthma and cancer that cruise companies would have the foresight to ban smoking completely. But I supposed the bottom line is money and cruise companies would lose business by banning smoking. Just be aware that this is not the US where smoking is usually banned in public areas. This was a very international cruise with people from 23 different countries, including Puerto Rico. I have to say that previous reviewers' comments about Puerto Ricans had me worried that we would be fighting crowds of noisy people all week. We had no such trouble; the Puerto Ricans were very friendly and fun to be around. We wondered how latent racism (from previous reviewers) could still manifest itself in the 21st century!! We were surprised by how well the air conditioning worked throughout the ship when we never felt the cold draft of air coming out of vents. This included the dining room, our stateroom, and any other public place. The pool was very loud, kind of like Las Vegas, especially on days we were at sea. If there was not a live band, there was music playing. You had to stake out your seat by 10 a.m. or you did not have one. Yes, there were people saving seats all day and not using them. And no, the staff does not enforce the "no saving" rule. However, it's very easy to take matters into your own hands. We just watched saved seats for 20-30 minutes, and if nobody came to claim them, we would take them. I think that is reasonable given the fact that people break the "no saving" rule and nobody enforces it. There was an internet cafe on deck 8 that was rarely busy, and very quiet. You just swipe your Sea Pass card to use the internet and there is a nominal charge. Our stateroom was surprisingly quiet. I assumed that with over 4000 people on the ship, we would hear more noise. We never heard neighbors above, below, or next to us the entire time. We only heard people in the hallways from time to time. The gym was nicer than any gym on land I've ever been to. The equipment was state of the art and looked brand new. There are treadmills, elipticals, free weights, and weight machines. The few times we stopped by there, it was never full. Some of the exercise classes are free while others have a charge of $10 (one of Royal Caribbean's Nickel and Dime policies!). The spa is above the gym, and was very well-appointed. I had the best Hot Stone Massage I've ever had in my life; I think it was $150. The problem I had with the spa is that they push their product REALLY hard. And of course it is overpriced! I would go to the spa again, but I wish I had known I would get a sales pitch at the end because I would have been more prepared with my "No, thank-you's." The track on the upper deck is 1/5 of a mile for those of you that want to keep track of your mileage! It is a composite deck so I found it was good on the joints. The dining process was very nebulous to me, so I'll explain it a bit. The main dining room is on decks 3, 4, and 5. They serve breakfast, some lunches, and dinner there. At dinner, you have an assigned waiter, assistant waiter, and head waiter. Formal nights are the evenings of the days at sea; some people get really dressed up in tuxes and cocktail dresses, but many just dressed up in clothes like you would wear to church. The menu changes nightly and overall I would give the food a 9. That's surprising given how many plates of food are served there each day. However, there was a limited selection of wine on our cruise because some of it got lost, according to our waiter. We were understanding of that, but when we asked the head waiter if we could get an alternate wine, he was most unhelpful. So I asked, what is the point of having a head waiter if he cant' do anything to help us? Why were we expected to tip him $.75 per person per day if he didn't really help us with anything? If you want to go to the Italian restaurant, Portofino, it is well worth the $20 per person fee, but make your reservations the INSTANT you board. Otherwise they will be booked. The Windjammer is a buffet, and I would give it a 5 out of 10. Johnny rockets had great hamburgers, but they charge you $4.95 as a cover charge, PLUS you have to pay for shakes and drinks (Nickel and Dime Policy). Your dining room tips are pretty clear cut but I was unsure of whether or not we were supposed to tip at Johnny Rockets and they Windjammer. They never really spell that out to you. Royal Caribbean places fliers in your stateroom every evening to detail what will be going on the following day. I wish they would give a big hand out once during the trip, because we constantly felt like we were missing something, and we were constantly throwing things away. The tipping was the most confusing part of this cruise. I understand RC gives you guidelines as to how much to tip each individual person, but the only way you can put the cruises on your Sea Pass account is to tip exactly what RC suggests. If you want to tip MORE or LESS, you have to either go to the customer service desk or pay in cash. It's as though they want you to tip that exact amount, and I thought some of their suggestions were far too low based on the amount of work their staff does. So if there is a next time, I will bring lots of small bills and I will pay my tips in cash. We went to two shows, the ice show and a comedy show. Both we very professional and a great enjoyment. You do not pay extra for the shows, but sometimes you have to get tickets as seating is limited. I highly recommend attending at least one show. We did take an excursion on each island and I will outline those. Aruba: We took the Mi Dushi, a sailing schooner that is a party boat disguised as a snorkeling trip. Don't waste your time or money. The snorkeling was horrible, we barely sailed at all (we used the motors, hardly a sailing trip), and the staff favors the guests who drink and party the most. The also threw the leftover food out into the ocean—hello, pollution!! Curacao: We did the Dolphin Swim which was one of the highlights of my life. Six adults swam with three adult dolphins and one baby dolphin. The excursion gives you extra time at the Seaquarium to check out the other animals and spend more time watching the dolphins. I did not feel rushed in any way which was very nice. St. Maarten: We did an island tour which was very informative and well worth the $23.00 we spent on it. It was only two hours but it gave us a good overview of the two different countries. We got to spend 45 minutes in Marigot and that was a delight. St. Thomas: We took a snorkeling tour aboard the Castaway Girl II which was another disappointment. We paid $52.00 and motored (not sailed) to a smaller island that is supposedly a national park. The water clarity was incredible, the best I've ever seen, but the amount of fish and coral was a disappointment. Furthermore, the captain threw pretzels overboard to attract the fish. This is a national park; are you not supposed to avoid feeding the wildlife?!!! There was an open bar on the way back, but no food (I've never gone on a $50-snorkeling tour without food) except pretzels; luckily we sailed back and that was a treat. So these are all just some impressions I wrote down as I thought of them. There are things about cruising I wish I had known, so I hope these pointers help you. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2008
My husband and I have a four-year-old daughter and wanted to try out something other than Disney World for a fun vacation. We decided to go on a cruise that offered fun entertainment for our child and relaxation time for us. We chose Royal ... Read More
My husband and I have a four-year-old daughter and wanted to try out something other than Disney World for a fun vacation. We decided to go on a cruise that offered fun entertainment for our child and relaxation time for us. We chose Royal Caribbean based on many hours of research. I also saw a TV show that showed this ship and thought it looked beautiful. Having never cruised before, I did not know what to expect. We flew into San Juan a day early and stayed at the Marriott in downtown San Juan. I would not recommend this hotel. Check-in time was at 3:00, but our room still was not ready until 5:00 (after a long day of flying with a child, we were exhausted). Staff were rude and slow. We boarded the ship early (about noon) and the boarding process went smooth and fast. We were awed by the ship. It was stunningly magnificent, clean, and huge. Our room was ready early (we were pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to a suite at the last minute) and our luggage arrived quickly. The only down side was that I didn't take the advice posted to book Portofino's as soon as we boarded. I waited until that night and it was fully booked already for the entire week! The children's program was fantastic. Our daughter loved it so much, that she could not wait to go each day. The staff were great. They were very professional and had many fun things to do every day. Our room was very large and we had a nice sized balcony. My only complaint was that someone had spilled alcohol on the carpet before we arrived (it was still wet), but we called the room steward and they immediately came and steam-cleaned it. The room steward was very efficient and friendly and did a great job. Dining was horrendous. I have never had such horrible food or slow service. After reading many previous reviews, I kind of knew what to expect, but I had been somewhat hopeful. Unfortunately, many of the reviews were spot-on. Food was lousy (cafeteria quality -- e.g., scallops were gritty, pasta was undercooked, meat was tough, etc.). After a few nights at the main dining room, we decided not to eat there again (my time is too valuable to sit there waiting for bad food for an hour and a half). We wound up eating at Johnny Rockets or the Windjammer each night. The only good thing was that we lost some weight on the trip. There were a lot of sick people on the ship, so I wished that they offered more with sanitation products before/during dining. (Luckily, we brought our own sanitizing hand lotion with us) A few times, I witnessed people hacking into their hands at the buffet and then grabbing food utensils to get food (I'm sure this went a long way into spreading germs throughout the ship). Overall, I loved the ship and the staff, but would probably not cruise again (at least on this line) because of the quality of the food. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2008
Boarding process was the best we've ever experienced. They stared boarding about 11:45am. Within 15 min. we were onboard. The disembarkation was also an easy process although we had decided to be one of the last to leave. We had an ... Read More
Boarding process was the best we've ever experienced. They stared boarding about 11:45am. Within 15 min. we were onboard. The disembarkation was also an easy process although we had decided to be one of the last to leave. We had an oceanview cabin on deck two. Cabin was satisfactory. Although we did not watch much TV I would have thought they should have upgraded to a flat screen by now. A flat screen would give a little more maneuvering room. For the first four days of the cruise we good smell a sewage type odor in the hallway by our cabin. I would call to report it every day to guest services. On days two thru five our toilet was not always flushing. I notified guest services at least once per day. Toward the end of the cruise they finally said they had fixed the problem. I think the least they could have done was send us a letter of apology and/or offered some form of compensation, but there was nothing. I guess you never get anything unless you demand it. Our biggest disappointment was the dining room food. The first night there was almost no variety and the food had little taste. It seemed liked they wanted to give the cooks and chefs a break. Of the seven dining room evening meals, the only standouts was the duck and the lamb shank. Lobster was tough and dry. They did not even serve filet mignon. Instead they offered a NY strip steak which was tasty but no mignon. One night I had what they called 'fillet of beef'. It was just tough pieces of roast beef. Dining room lunches were also disappointing due to a very limited selection. Food was so-so. Definitely not fine dining. My wife and I were also disappointed that they only served lunch three times in the DR. There was no DR service while in port. The dining room lunch and dinner service was excellent. Thanks to head waiter JoJo and waiter Robert. RCCL is sure cutting back. Entertainment: Love the ice show(have seen it before on Voyager of the Sea). The rest of the entertainment was mediocre, including the the RCCL leading singers(especially the male vocal. We had an excellent cabin attendant. Our overall rating of the ship from items mentioned would be 2 1/2 out of five. A large part of our rating is based on the lower quality of food and entertainment that was not top notch. 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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