Sail Date: April 2003
My husband and I took the Adventure of the seas April 13th, 2003 which did San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maartin, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. We have cruised once before on the Monarch of the Seas, also Royal Caribbean 2 years ago. I ... Read More
My husband and I took the Adventure of the seas April 13th, 2003 which did San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maartin, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. We have cruised once before on the Monarch of the Seas, also Royal Caribbean 2 years ago. I have to say that after our experience on this ship, we will probably never cruise Royal Caribbean again. First I will tell you what we liked about our vacation... Food was awesome. I highly recommend the restaurant "Portofinos", it was the best meal we have ever had, and we like to eat out (expensively) a lot. It was well worth the $20 USD. We went on Tuesday night which was Caribbean night in the main dining room, which I had heard it could be missed. People we were traveling with said it was their least favorite meal of the trip, so do Portofinos on the Tuesday night. You have to make reservations when you get on the ship. The Ship itself was very nice, BIG, and clean. The art work wasn't my taste, but was nice none the less. Every time you turn around, you see something new. All the shows at night are great... A must see! You have to book tickets to the ice show (free) in Studio B. They will make announcements. What we didn't like.... Now I'm really not one that usually complains about things, I'm very easy going (it is normally my husband nitpicking), but there was just so much about this cruise that didn't make it worth the money... Maybe we just had a bad experience, but I found the staff, not as friendly as our first cruise. Our waiter was great however... Riza from Turkey. He was really friendly! We got to the ship at 12:00pm to make sure we were one of the first in line. We were on the ship by 1:00pm. We IMMEDIATELY went to book our excursions. DO NOT BOOK THEM ON THE SHIP. BOOK ON-LINE well in advance!!! Even though we were one of the first on the ship (literally) 2 of the 5 excursions we booked were full. We then had to choose other ones in their place, but by the time they notified us (the next day) a lot of the other excursions were booked too, leaving us little to choose from. I was very disappointed at this. The system should be set up better. I tried to book them on-line 9 days before the cruise, but the cut off is 10 days. We booked the submarine excursion in St. Thomas, which was fun, St. Maarten was the Golden Eagle Catamaran. This was great, we had rough water, so it made it even more fun..... Antigua we swam with Stingrays.... probably the best tour of all. We originally wanted to do the dolphin one here, but it was over booked. RC told me that half the spots are available on the internet and half on the ship, but they lied to me because it was booked completely on the internet. That is why we didn't get it. In St. Lucia, we did the Jungle Bike and sea tour. This was great too... in Barbados we did the Kayak and sea turtle encounter. "TURTLE" as in singular.... they make it seam like you can swim with them and feed them while they frolic around you while you pet them.... we saw 1, ONE, UNO turtle, and he came no where near us. The tour guide, said there are normally 2 turtles but they hadn't seen one in a while. I did however get to see many puffer fish and feed one of them. This tour should be called the "Kayak and puffer fish encounter". I do not recommend this one. I was very disappointed. Our bathroom wasn't clean when we got to our room. Someone else's soap was still in the shower, and tooth paste stains in the cabinet. I left our room attendant a note to clean it up, and it was never done. When we got back to our room, our bed was turned down, and the note gone, so someone obviously got it... For the amount you pay for these cruises, the bathroom should at lease be clean. KIDS, KIDS, KIDS...... the ship has 3,500 passengers (over booked) and out of that, 1000 were kids.... they were everywhere. I think we picked a bad week to go.... you would get into an elevator, and all the buttons would be pushed and there would be 2 snickering kids getting off.... they were going around pulling the "Do not Disturb" signs out of doors, running through the library yelling, bumping into you with their ice-cream cones getting your cloths dirty... etc.... I can go on..... Uncontrollable, unsupervised kids, EVERYWHERE!!! I would NEVER take a cruise that wasn't adults only again. My husband and I are seriously thinking about never having kids after this experience. Royal Caribbean should have enforced the curfew a little better, because one night at 2:30am there were kids running down the hallway yelling trying to see how many people they could wake up. The last day we were there was a huge problem with immigration. We made sure we were the first in line to get our passports back. I think we were in line from about 6:00am and they opened at 8:00am. TRUST ME, go early... but this particular day we didn't get our passports till about noon. They kept making announcements that they would be there shortly. 6 hours we waited! We had booked an excursion that day on San Juan, and I tried to get our money back, because we hadn't eaten breakfast yet, and that was just a VERY bad day, but they refused to refund us. We finally made it to our excursion only after I hounded them to just give me my passport back. I really don't know what others did that day, because we just made it. Make sure you stay in San Juan for an extra day after the cruise to avoid trying to catch flights that day. Overall, we were disappointed in the customer service on the cruise itself, but the food and islands were great! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2003
Our cruise was great, the ship is one of the best ever. The cruise offered anything & everything. There was really no down time. Sometimes, there could be too much going on to know what to do. The cabins we had were balcony cabins, ... Read More
Our cruise was great, the ship is one of the best ever. The cruise offered anything & everything. There was really no down time. Sometimes, there could be too much going on to know what to do. The cabins we had were balcony cabins, and this was our first cruise with the balcony. This is probably the way to go because of the fresh air, scenic views, romanticness, and they are just plain relaxing. This is our 3rd cruise, second with Royal Caribbean. I can't complain except for our dining service which were very slow, had no timing, and had way too much WAITING for each course. The choice of foods, however, was great. Our shore excursions were the best, especially the "BOB". Everyone should try this excursion at least once...I can't say enough about the feelings of everyone who tried it in our group....2 THUMBS WAY UP.....Our ports were all beautiful and breath-taking, especially St. Martin, St. Thomas & Curacao (Willemstad).  We had a great time.  The only other complaint (and from what I Heard. I'm not the only one) was embarking & Disembarking the ship. We all understand there are over 3000 people on board, but enough is enough. There was nothing but chaos from beginning to end. Nothing made sense, they kept calling for flights & decks,. and everyone was hanging around the exiting deck (4)..not enough employees there to direct or even not direct people where they should go. There was the biggest mess I have ever seen & been in, and I'm being nice about it. Most other people I overheard, I CANNOT repeat what they were said...... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2004
I cruised on the Adventure of the Seas on 1/4. Just some background on me so you know where I am coming from. I am 22 y/o and I was cruising with Family. We flew direct on Northwest from St. Paul, MN to SJU. FLight was on time and very ... Read More
I cruised on the Adventure of the Seas on 1/4. Just some background on me so you know where I am coming from. I am 22 y/o and I was cruising with Family. We flew direct on Northwest from St. Paul, MN to SJU. FLight was on time and very smooth. We arrived at SJU at approx 230pm. We were met at the gate by RCCL agents and were told that if we booked air sea thru the cruise line that we could go straight to the bus and luggage would be brought to the ship. We walked to the bus out front, and we left almost immediately. There was about a 20 minute bus ride to the ship. EMBARKATION- All I have to say was WOW. We got to the pier around 3:15. Saw the check in for deck 10. (Check in is split by decks. 1-3 per line). Only 1 couple in front of us. When it was our turn we showed ID, Birth Certificates, credit card, and were given our Sea Pass Cards and poof we were on board by 3:30!!!!! THE SHIP- FOr being 2 years old, honestly this ship was in just as good of shape as the navigator was when we sailed on her when she was 7 months old! Everything was clean and In great shape. We were on Deck 10, INterior, cat M. (A little small but nothing to complain about. We weren't in it enough anyway) Our stateroom attendant "Buddy" was great. We had a piece of luggage damaged by NWA, and he brought it to the fix it shop on the ship and they fixed it at no cost to us. WE had towel animals every night! EATING - MMMMMMMM - Windjammer and Island grill were open right when we got on the ship for lunch (And each day for lunch as well) They were both open for breakfast each day (Island grill had omelets, long line for them if you didn't get there before 9ish) Lunch was in Island grill, as well as snacks. Dinner was in Windjammer. Dinners were really never crowded. Hours- Breakfast 630a-11a. Lunch 1130a-3p Snacks 3p-6p Dinner 630p-930p Dining room - 3 floor dining room Seating around 1750 guests (So we were told by our head waiter) Food was always great, as was the dining staff. Formal nights were Mon and Thurs. Thurs was lobster night. Portofino - SOrry, Did not eat there! Promenade Cafe - 24hrs. Breakfast rolls in the morning, Pizza, sandwiches and desserts the rest of the day as well as free coffee and ice water. I went to the disco a lot at night. DJ was great. Usually played current top 40 hits, but would play anything upon request. Usually busiest from 1230a-2a. POOLS - Solarium - Not covered, unlike the rest of the RCCL Fleet, however the hot tubs were covered. No children rule followed 99percent of time. Main Pool 4 hot tubs, 2 pools. The deck was crowded at sea days, but not too bad. No real chair hogs spotted. DAILY STUFF Sunday, Again Embarkation in San Juan, WENT VERY WELL. No real complaints heard from anyone. HOWEVER, some almost missed ship due to weather in US causing delays. Muster Drill at 8:30. Dinner at 6:30 and 9p. Johnny Rockets Closed from 7p-9p for muster drill. Headliner Show Time was great. Comedian Very Funny (Forgot his name). MONDAY - At Sea, FORMAL NIGHT. Hmm, sat in hot tub most of day! A little rain in AM but lasted 10 minutes. Seas were wavy and wind was a little strong, ESP at night about 25-30mph. Sexy legs contest and horse racing were held at pool, as well as an art auction. I forgot what the show was that night (Sorry). Tuesday - ARUBA. Went shopping in town during day, and on the Kuku Kunuku party bus at night. Had a great time, stopping at 3 bars and then Carlos N Charlies where the real party was. Got back to the ship at 1215, just in time to beat the rush that hit at 1225. There was a deck party that night from 11-1 on the pool deck (11) with food and Ice Sculptures. Also that was the first production show night. Wednesday - Curacao. Went for a walk thru the town in the am, then went to the Aquarium beach. No waives there = a boring beach for me. We had on and off rain thru the day. (Lasting about 3-5 mins each time). I had 2 complaints the entire trip and this night was one of them. We had Ice tickets for Thursday (ICE SHOWS ON WED AND THURS) All entertainment this night including the deck party was in SPANISH!!! So you had 1800 english speaking passengers walking around commenting on the fact that there was nothing to do. I spoke to the cruise director and he said it was an error in scheduling entertainers for that week. Oh well, what can you do? Thursday - At Sea. Final Horse racing, Belly Flop Contest, the Love and marriage Show (DO NOT MISS) and The quest game (Also Very funny, and I was talked into playing this year by a fellow cruise criticer!) This was also the second Ice Show night, and the Second production show night! Friday - St. Maarten - Walked around and shopped, and then went to EVERYTHING's cool and had a few frozen drinks. El Goucho was the entertainer that night, who we have seen twice on RCCL prior, so we had a family Mini Golf Turney instead. Saturday - St. THomas. Walked around town, and took the sky ride (15.00pp) To paradise point. Great view! Worth the money for something to do! Fairwell comedy show on board that night. Sunday, Debarkation, AKA DISASTER! We had a 4p flight to MSP so we booked a tour thru RCCL. WE had to meet at 845 in the Imperial Lounge (Deck 5). At 850 when it became time to leave the ship to the tour bus (After the early flights had gotten off) Customs was so slow, we did not get out of the ship terminal until 1115! The line barely moved at all. The tour guide barely spoke any english. When we got dropped off at the airport 2hrs before, Northwest put us in a staging area, and forgot about our flight until 1hr prior to departure. THe security line was 1hour 30 mins long. A group of us found a NWA rep and they escorted us thru security. I can not believe SJU airport can not find a better way to do this since it happens Every week.. I will not fly to SJU in the future due to the airport size problems! Ship Tips. Ice Show - If you want to go, get tickets Monday 9-noon. They are free but since size is an issue you need a ticket. Sports deck All activities (In line skating, BBall, Mini Golf) are free. Unknown about simulator. For breakfast, try to eat before 9 as that is when things picked up. RCCL Has a 1am curfew for age 17 and down. There were 1500 Locals on board, and to answer previous comments, yes they are very loud people, and a select percent are rowdy and VERY LOUD, however, i would suggest booking this cruise if you wanted to take it. The other thing that really got on my nerves was the 2 way radios. Not that I minded that everyone and their brother had one, Just TURN THEM DOWN! PS HI TO ALL THE MINNESOTANS THAT I MET! ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE ASK ON FORUM OR E-MAIL! hoopster3145@yahoo.com Scott All in all, the Cruise director (Kirk Detwieler) and his staff did a great job and we all had a wonderful time and will definitely cruise again, and I do recommend this cruise, however recommend flying out of san juan on Monday instead! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2004
After being on many Royal Caribbean ships including Voyager and Explorer, I found quite a few changes when we sailed over Spring Break. It seems quite obvious that this cruise line is trying too hard to save money-all at the cost of the ... Read More
After being on many Royal Caribbean ships including Voyager and Explorer, I found quite a few changes when we sailed over Spring Break. It seems quite obvious that this cruise line is trying too hard to save money-all at the cost of the customer. The food aboard this ship was truly undesirable-the common joke was-:"where else can you lose weight on a ship?" Beginning with breakfast-we ordered room service almost every day. It never got better the eggs either dripped in butter or were so bland there was no taste. The best thing to eat were the rolls and jam. Lunch in the Windjammer followed closely-total lack of taste and variety. We had dinner every night in the dining room except for 1 night in Portofino. The dining room food was terrible-certainly not up to Royal Caribbean standards. The service was even worse. There was never a night when we did not leave the dining room much before 11:00. You could never get special requests-ex: shrimp cocktail on a night not offered. Other sad points regarding this ship_what ever happened to the wonderful parades that we saw on the other ships??? These 2 parades were something to hang your head at in shame. If you are unhappy with smoking this is not the ship for you. Royal Caribbean markets themselves as primarily non smoking with some exceptions in certain areas. I assure you that everywhere you went were people smoking. Very hard to breath and the staff did nothing to contain this. There were quite a few customers complaining at the guest relations desk-all to no avail. On a good note-we had a catagory C stateroom which was wonderful. Imagine a walkin closet!! Even though these comments have been primarily negative I truly recommend these Voyager ships for families with kids. My 14 year old never left the basketball court, my 7 year old spent too much time in the arcade and at Johnny Rocketts, and my 12 year old loved to shop and do Bingo. Overall the ship is still a great one but Royal Caribbean needs to remember that customers are what keeps them in business. Stop nickel and diming people and bring back the quality you are known for. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2004
We just returned from sailing on the AOS Southern Caribbean Route departing from San Juan. We did a similar cruise last year on the Grand Princess so a comparison was pretty easy to do. We are a newly empty nester couple in our late 40s. ... Read More
We just returned from sailing on the AOS Southern Caribbean Route departing from San Juan. We did a similar cruise last year on the Grand Princess so a comparison was pretty easy to do. We are a newly empty nester couple in our late 40s. This was our 5th cruise--our first on Royal Caribbean. My first impression of this ship is that it is huge and very beautiful. There were so many bars and snack bars that it is really hard to see everything. The promenade is really breathtaking. Let me just say that this is a perfect ship for folks with kids or folks who are traveling with multi-generations as there is a lot of variety. It is probably also a great cruise for singles or young couples in their 20s. It is NOT a great cruise for people in their 30s and on who are sailing as couples and are trying to get away from it all. There was a lot on this ship that I am sure we paid for that we could have cared less about--ie the rock climbing wall, the ice skating rink, Johnny Rockets etc. The food was okay--nothing to compare with Princess the year before though--Princess was much better. The service was okay--they kept trying to ask you to make sure if you liked the service to be sure and fill out the evaluation--he told us that every night. Portofino's was amazing---why couldn't every night be like that? We noticed on Princess that the premium dining room was vacant most of the time--on AOS--it was packed--so we weren't the only ones who agreed--on Princess you hardly thought about it because the food was so amazingly better. Entertainment was far superior on AOS--the shows were incredible--but we didn't dislike anything on Princess---it is just that it was obvious that they had gone the extra mile to have incredible entertainers. I did miss the great Island Band who played everyday on Princess by the pool. On AOS--most of the time it is piped in music that our teenagers would have loved--but not us. I also missed the great Adult pool in the aft area of Princess--it was so peaceful there--AOS has an adult pool too--and it is nice and folks generally respected the adults only rule---but just not as scenic. The worst part of the ship was going through immigration in St, Thomas--we stood in line 2 and 1/2 hours--missed much of the island. There has to be a better way. Our cabin was nice--the balcony was smaller than Princess where we had lounge chairs instead and a large balcony. Our cabin attendant on AOS was actually a cut above our experience on Princess. We saw her everyday and she knew our names etc. The exercise facilities are better on AOS and we used them everyday--but the spa is no where close to being as good as Princess. I also missed the Lotus Spa shampoos and soaps that were so nice on Princess--on AOS you get soap in a container stapled to the wall Our biggest aggravation on AOS was the feeling that you were constantly being "upsold" on the ship---hounded constantly by bar waiters--encouraged to buy the wine package, the pictures, wherever we turned there was an additional charge and PLEASE all cruiselines get it together and just tack an additional charge onto our bill for soda service---$42 for a week of soda is ridiculous and a real pain to flash your card. Part of the joy of a cruise is having it all-inclusive. Our excursions were fine--but we were upsold even there--encouraged to buy the extra cup for drinks etc. We didn't experience this on Princess--the opportunity was there--but we weren't hounded. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2004
11/12/04 - Friday My friend Sandra flew into Orlando from Colorado. Picked her up from the airport at 5:30 p.m. and met my mom, dad, best friend Mary and her husband Barry for dinner. Went home and to catch up with Sandra, relax for a few ... Read More
11/12/04 - Friday My friend Sandra flew into Orlando from Colorado. Picked her up from the airport at 5:30 p.m. and met my mom, dad, best friend Mary and her husband Barry for dinner. Went home and to catch up with Sandra, relax for a few hours and headed to bed. 11/13/04 - Saturday Up early and were at a local restaurant for breakfast with my mom and dad by 8:00 a.m. Headed to my parents to meet our car service that was taking us to the airport. We flew out of Orlando International Airport. They arrived before 9:00 a.m., scheduled to be there at 9:15 a.m. Packed up the van and off we went to the airport. Our flight was on Spirit Airlines at 12:05 p.m. We arrived at the airport before 10:00 a.m. Line to check in was not long at all. Changed our seats to an exit row for more legroom. Security wasn't bad either. We were through in about half an hour and on our way to the gate. Grabbed some coffee and found some seats to wait for our flight. We boarded around 11:40 a.m. Were off the ground on time. Arrived in San Juan at 4:00 p.m. AST. We were met by a transportation company who was waiting for us at baggage. We grabbed our bags, then a porter and loaded into a minibus to head to the Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino. The hotel was very nice. When we arrived Bobby was standing outside waiting for us. Check in went without a hitch. We had a 2-bedroom suite. Which consisted of a king suite with a living room and an adjoining room with 2 queen beds and another bathroom. With 4 people this was the best way to go since 3 of us were women. Met the Cruise Critic gang for drinks at happy hour the hotel holds from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. every evening. We had a great time meeting everyone and getting to know each other. Ron was supposed to land at 2:20 p.m., prior to our arrival, but because of delays due to snow in Rhode Island, he did not make it to San Juan until 11:30 p.m. That is another book all itself, and will let Bobby elaborate on this in his review. After drinks we all went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner. We had a reservation for 7:00 p.m. There were 18 of us. The restaurant was kind enough to hold space for our large group. I had talked to them a week prior to arrange this. Dinner was a lot of fun. The food was great and we all left full. Went to the casino for a little bit to talk and hang out for a little while. All retired pretty early. I stayed up with Bobby to go pick up Ron at 11:30 p.m. His luggage did not make it to San Juan with him. Another long story. Grabbed a taxi back to the hotel and said good night. We were all going to meet for breakfast at 8:30 the next morning. 11/14/04 - Sunday Day of departure. We all met for breakfast at 8:30-9:00 a.m. Enjoyed sitting with everyone and chatting over breakfast. The Embassy does a great spread for breakfast that includes made to order omelets, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hot cereal, pastries, etc. After breakfast we went to pack up and take our bags downstairs to meet the transportation company that was taking us to the pier at 11:00 a.m. There were on time and we were off for the pier by 11:00 a.m. The line at the pier was pretty long, but went really fast. We were checked in in no time. Since Ron's luggage didn't make it to San Juan Bobby, Ron and I headed to the mall to get Ron some clothes for the trip. Bobby had airline insurance that allowed him to go shopping for Ron on them. We found tons of stuff for Ron and had fun shopping. Were back at the pier and on board by 3:00 p.m. I was in aft cabin 9390 (corner aft). Size of the room was the same as a normal balcony cabin. Our balcony was larger than a normal balcony, but was triangle in shape. I loved the balcony but would rather have had 9392, which was a huge balcony. We met Sandra and headed to the Windjammer for lunch. Took a tour of the spa and gym. Bobby booked a facial and Sandra booked a full body treatment for our first day at sea, Monday. At 5:00 p.m. we met the Cruise Critic group for the first time at the Solarium Pool. Finally nice to put faces to the screen names after talking for about a year. We mingled for an hour with everyone and headed back to the cabin to see if our luggage had arrived. To our amazement it had. I unpacked and relaxed until the muster drill at 8:30. Muster drill was short and sweet as usual. Headed back to the cabin to return the life vests and head to dinner at 9:00 p.m. We had late seating and the first night was at 9:00 p.m. and all other nights were at 8:30 p.m. Late seating worked out great. Dress for dinner was casual. For dinner I had the onion tart, tomato soup, spinach salad, Cod, ice cream and Fondue. We had a table 482 on deck 4. Table for 8, which was our immediate group. Our waiter was Kibwe she was from Trinidad & Tobago and our assistant waiter was Cesar. They were both great. After dinner was the Welcome Aboard Show. Was ok, nothing spectacular. The entertainment on the AOS was not as good as he shows we experienced on the Voyager last year. After the show we went to the casino for some drinks and to watch Bobby play craps. Were in bed by midnight. 11/15/04 - Monday Day at sea. Today was Sandra's birthday. Had breakfast delivered to the cabin. Myself, Bobby, Sandra and Ron ate together on Bobby's balcony. He had a huge balcony. Went to the pool for a few hours. Saw Tom and Chris at the pool. Chris and Tom volunteered for a ship shape dance on the pool deck. Tom was so cute with his blow up duck. Was a nice day, but not enough sun. At noon we headed to the Windjammer for lunch. Food was good, not very hot though. After lunch we went back to our cabins for a nap. Our Meet & Mingle party was tonight at 5:00 p.m. We all met around 4:30 p.m. so we could have enough time to mingle before those who had early seating had to leave. The party was held in the Blue Moon Lounge on deck 14. RCI served iced tea, lemonade and finger foods. They also gave everyone ID holders and a Cruise Critic pin. After the party I went to the Promenade to shop with Ron and look around. We found the helicopter pad. It was a nice night outside, not breezy at all which was very surprising since we were at the very front of the ship. Tonight was the first formal night. Everyone was dressed to the nines and looked great. I had Escargot, Caesar Salad, Lobster Bisque, Beef Tenderloin, Salmon and Grand Marnier SoufflE. We all had after dinner shots (YUMMY). Went to the Headliner Show after dinner. Not very good in my opinion, but that is ok. Off to the casino for a bit for a drink and minimal gambling. Headed to the Cafe Promenade for coffee and then went to bed around 1:30 a.m. 11/16/04 - Tuesday - Aruba. Today we pulled into Aruba and it was raining. We weren't sure if our excursion would still happen or not. Went to breakfast in the dining room at 7:30 a.m. Eggs Benedict and salmon plate (YUMMY). We were off the ship by 8:45 a,m, for our jeep tour with ABC Jeep Tours. Ten of us went, the 8 from our group and Tim & Nikki joined us from Cruise Critic. The tour was pretty cool. Very bumpy and rough at points, especially the road if you can call it that to the Natural Pool. We saw the natural bridge, stacked rocks, ostrich farm (hilarious) and the natural pool. Weren't able to walk down to the natural pool for snorkeling due to rough seas and it being closed. The ride back down was just as scary as the ride up. Thank you Tim for doing the driving. You were amazing. Stopped at a local restaurant for lunch that was included in the tour. We had chicken, rice, French fries and salad. Was pretty good. The tour operator took us back to the pier and we did a short amount of shopping. Was able to pick up a magnet, t-shirt and some sand in bottles for work gifts. Tonight we were dining in Portofino. There were 14 of us for dinner. We had reservations for 7:00 p.m. They were able to give us 2 tables next to each other. The atmosphere was great, as well as the food. Well worth the $20 extra per person. I had the goat cheese soufflE, seafood soup, mushroom pasta, halibut and Tiramisu. Tonight's show was the Love & Marriage show. Boy was it hilarious. Laughed a lot. Went to the casino after the show again for a cocktail and some gambling. Bobby usually does very well with playing Craps. Were back in the cabin and in bed by midnight. 11/17/04 - Wednesday - Curacao. Docked around 8:00 a.m. Raining outside again. Slept in until 8:00 a.m. Met for breakfast in the Windjammer. We were supposed to go to the all-inclusive resort, Breezes, today. But with the weather so crappy we decided not to. Roamed around the ship for a while and had a Latte at the Cafe Promenade. Went back to the cabin to relax for a little bit and wait for the rain to stop. Hooray the rain finally stopped and were able to venture out into town for some shopping. A lot of vendors on the street that heads to the floating bridge which you walk over to get into town. I bought 2 wind chimes a magnet and a large bag. Saw Mercy and Michael at a local pub and sat and chatted with them for a while. Renee mustered up the guts to have her picture taken with 3 iguanas. One on each shoulder and one on her head. What a face, the picture is priceless LOL. Got to see the floating bridge open to let some boats through. Headed back to the ship around 3:00 p.m. for some lunch at the Windjammer. After lunch I went to the gym with Ron, Sandra and my mom. Did the treadmill and bike for a half hour. Was a good workout. Then sat in the large hot tub for about 15 minutes to relax and sooth the muscles. After the workout it was time to start getting ready for dinner. The show tonight was Velvet Rope and was at 7:00 p.m. before dinner. Show was so loud it hurt your ears. All in all it was ok. Tonight for dinner I had liver pate, crab cake, clam chowder, Caesar salad, lamb chops, steak, apple cobbler and tapioca. The good thing with dinners is you can order multiple items from the same course. We were all pigs. Tonight the seas were rough. Some of us weren't feeling all too well. Ron got ill at dinner, which we thought was seasickness, but it turned out to be food poisoning from lunch in the Windjammer that day. Tonight's show was The Quest... I saw this on the Voyager last year and it was hilarious, but could not make it to the show tonight. Was not feeling well at all. I left everyone and went to bed. Everyone said it was great. Renee got to participate. Wish I could have seen it. Bobby and Ron missed it too due to Ron being ill. Bobby finally took Ron to the medical facility at midnight for fluids and medication. What a bill it came to and it was RCI's food that caused it... but will let Bobby tell the full story. 11/18/04 - Sea Day. Slept in until 8:30 a.m. Went to the dining room for breakfast at 9:30 a.m. The dining room was more relaxing for breakfast and had better food than the Windjammer. I had eggs Benedict again and granola with yogurt and fruit. Not very much sun today. Very cloudy but not raining. Went to the pool for a little while to try to get some sun. Didn't really work out that way. Was getting too breezy. Went to the dining room for lunch. Had a turkey wrap (was very good) and a quesadilla. For dessert it was coconut crème Brule (YUMMY). After lunch we went to the Promenade for some shopping. Bought 2 T-shirts, a much, cooley and a magnet. Went back to relax until it was time for the ice show at 5:00 p.m. The ice show was pretty good. Can't believe the tricks they can do on such a small area of ice. Went the Cafe Promenade for coffee and then to get ready for dinner. They had sushi at the Island Grill today. It was so good and very fresh. This was a nice snack before dinner. Tonight is the second formal night. Everyone looked great as usual. Tonight at dinner I had a salmon appetizer, mushroom pastry, cream of asparagus soup, lobster & shrimp, prime rib and crème Brule. Tonight's show after dinner was the best show of the trip. They were 2 comedians "2 Funny Guys." Oh my gosh they were hilarious. After the show it was off to the casino and to bed around midnight. Early day for St. Maarten the next day. 11/19/04 - Friday - St. Maarten. Ordered coffee to be delivered in the cabin. Went to the dining room for breakfast. We were planning to go to Orient Beach today, but the weather was not cooperating. So we met Nick & Danyell at the courthouse in St. Maarten at 10:00 a.m. They took us to the jeweler they use all the time. 3 people from our group got awesome deals on jewelry. My mom got a silver diamond cut ankle bracelet, Sandra got a gorgeous tanzanite gold and diamond ring and Steve got a great gold and diamond wedding band. All were awesome prices and a steal. Walked down Front Street for a bit waiting for the 2 rings to be sized. Sat on the beach at a bar for some beer and sodas. Steve was approached by numerous vendors to buy stuff. He finally gave in to buy a baseball cap... heheheh At 1:00 p.m. the jewelry was due to be finished and we were going to hire a cab to take a tour of the island. Stopped at a lot of picturesque spots, Fort Lois and saw some famous people's homes. We were also able to stop at Orient Beach so we could take some pictures and say we were there. Club Orient is off to the far right. I saw fully naked people right there in the open. Not shocking but didn't think they would be that close. Were back on board by 4:00 p.m. for snacks and coffee at Cafe Promenade. Then off to the cabin for our daily nap. I am normally not a nap taker but they were very much needed on vacations. Always felt revitalized afterward. We sailed at 5:30 p.m. and were able to sit out on our balcony and watch us sail off into the sunset. We had a very pretty sunset tonight. Passed by the Queen Mary 2... she is huge and very breathtaking. The show tonight was at 7:00 p.m. before dinner. "Can't Stop the Rock," was not impressed at all with this production show. After the show was dinner at 8:30 p.m. I had scallops, caprese salad, roasted garlic soup, salad, chicken marsala, shrimp scampi and mint chocolate cake. Off to the casino for a drink and to bed around 12:30 a.m. 11/20/04 - Saturday - St. Thomas. Were up at 6:30 a.m. for immigration check. Went down at 7:00 a.m. and the line was huge. But it went really fast. We were out in about 10 minutes, it was amazing they went that quickly. At 7:30 we all met for breakfast in the dining room. What a miracle, today we had SUNSHINE... Today was our best excursion. We did a ½ day sail with New Horizons, which included lunch. There were 25 of us who signed up to do this private excursion. We sailed to a beach at St. John. The water was crystal clear and the scenery was beautiful. We sailed around 9:00 a.m. and were back around 1:00 p.m. The half-day excursion was perfect. We had enough time to do some shopping back at the pier to get last minute things. Got a calendar, T-shirt and a magnet. Ron found a watch he really wanted that was $20 cheaper than the ship. Bobby found one of his colognes. Headed back to the ship to start packing, relax and get ready for the show at 7:00 p.m. and dinner. Tonight's show was the Farewell Variety Show. What can I tell you... the juggler couldn't juggle, the comedian was very boring... we left in the middle of the comedian act. Went to the casino bar to meet some of the Cruise Critic gang for pictures and to exchange addresses and information at 8:00 p.m. Got a group picture with all of us. Dinner tonight was sad... it was the last time we were all going to sit together and laugh and laugh. Our group was amazing. There wasn't a time we weren't laughing about something. For dinner I had an egg roll, shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, and I can't remember the rest. Forgot to write the last dinner in my journal. But it was very good. We all went the casino for last chance gambling and drinks. We stayed up until 1:30 a.m. trying to spend all the time we could together. Couldn't keep our eyes open anymore so headed to bed. 11/21/04 - Disembarkation Day. We were up and ready for breakfast by 7:30 a.m. Ate in the dining room. Had eggs Benedict and sausage. Tried the herring but didn't care for it. This was the only thing I didn't like the entire cruise. While we were at breakfast we heard them call people with flights before 2:00 p.m. could get off the ship. We finished our coffee and chatted for a bit them gathered our things and started venturing off the ship. This was the easiest disembarkation I had ever been through. There was no line getting off the ship. Only a short line going through customs. You have to show your passport here again with your declaration form. Went and found our luggage and grab a porter right away. He led us through the crowd, gave the agent our declaration forms and got us to a taxi. Six of us got in one taxi to the airport and Bobby & Ron got in another to head to the Caribe Hilton. We were at the airport by 10:00 a.m. Our flight was on American at 1:14 p.m. Short line to check in at the American ticket counter. Were able to change our seats to an exit row for more legroom and off to the gate to wait until they boarded the plane. The airport is very small compared to Orlando. Not much in choices if you wanted snacks or coffee and they were pretty pricey. Grabbed a Latte at the concession stand for $3.00.... the ship was cheaper LOL. A vending stand was set up where we could grab a sandwich to take on the plane for the flight home. Our flight boarded around 12:40 p.m. We were ready for take off by 1:00 p.m. And no wait for take off. The flight was uneventful. They played Spiderman 2 for the flight home. Landed in Orlando at 3:00 p.m. EST. Off to get our luggage. Our car service was waiting for us by baggage like they said they would be. Gathered our luggage, said our goodbyes to Renee, Steve and Sandra and off to head home we went. Overall: Other than Ron's delayed flight, lost luggage, bad weather and food poisoning we had an awesome cruise. We had a blast with our group. We didn't let the minor things ruin our fun. Never made it to the miniature golf or Johnny Rockets. Our only complaint was the rude and obnoxious people we encountered. They would shove, push, scream, yell, and were the rudest people we have ever encountered. You could say excuse me to get by and they wouldn't move. You could be standing in a group talking and they would knock you over when they passed. Teenagers would be screaming in an elevator at friends in another elevator and shove you to the point of losing your balance to get out. These are just a few examples of what we witnessed and went through. I don't know if we chose a sail date that happened to pull these types of rude people with the discounted rates being offered to residents of Puerto Rico or what? Many people have confirmed that RCI sells at a real discount to fill the AOS to residents of Puerto Rico and the customers that take advantage of these really discounted rates are not the norm and can give the good people of P.R. a bad rap. The rude people we encountered were all residents of P.R. This is not to say that all P.R. residents are like this, but our experience with people from P.R. on this sailing was not a pleasant one. This did not in any way put a damper on our cruise just gave us a bad taste for sailings out of P.R. for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2005
My wife and I have been on 3 previous cruises . This was the largest cruise ship we have been on. We started on a NCL 40,000 ton Dream, second cruise was on Celebrity 70,000 ton Millennium, third was RCCL 90,000 ton Splendor of the Seas. ... Read More
My wife and I have been on 3 previous cruises . This was the largest cruise ship we have been on. We started on a NCL 40,000 ton Dream, second cruise was on Celebrity 70,000 ton Millennium, third was RCCL 90,000 ton Splendor of the Seas. We thought that the Adventure would be too large and intimidating for us. That would prove to us to be far from the truth. Within one day on this marvelous ship we were able to get from one area to another without any confusion. The great advantage of going on a ship this size is the wide variety of choices that you can pick vs a smaller ship. Especially realizing to the entertainment on board with all the bars and lounges. The smaller ships in the 70,000 tons and under can get very boring after several days in the evening when you hit the lounges for your entertainment. On this ship we were never bored. One area of major disappointment on this ship was the dining experience. In the past three cruises we had a wonderful experience at the dining. Particularly on the Celebrity cruise. Celebrity excels in this area. We had the second seating on the Adventure. Food was average. The quality that you would find at a "chain "type restaurant or sports bar restaurant. Service was average. Our Head waiter and assistant waiter were friendly but did not put out the extra special service that you would have received on this Cruise line ten years ago. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. I would rate the Dining a 3-4. Perhaps this is why more and more people are doing the "Free Style" Dining. Why waste two hours of your time if the Dining is mediocre? This ship however has Portofinos fo a extra cost of $20 per person. This was excellent place to book for a evening! Truly a fantastic time and top quality food and service. This is what we should have at the main dining on RCCL. Book Portofinos immediately when you arrive because this restaurant does fill up very quickly. This was a 10 !! We had very prompt room service each morning for coffee and juices . We found it very relaxing in the morning on our balcony. The Windjammer cafe was very good for the breakfasts. However it was very crowded and difficult at times to find a table. Loved the omelettes! We never had lunch or dinner but the numerous people we talked to stated that the Windjammer was very good overall. 6 people from our group chose to eat most of the evenings at the Windjammer vs the Main Dining and preferred it. Johnny Rockets is ok for a one time stop for the burger and malt. However i was disappointed that you were charged a extra cost for a average Burger. Nothing special . it was fun to watch the waiters dance and sing every 20 minutes or so. Fun for the kids. Don't go if you are wanting a exceptional Burger and Malt. Entertainment overall on the ship was very good. If you spend alot of time during the day around the main pool area there are always activities that you could choose to be involved in. Such as the "sexy mens legs contest", Horse racing, and the mans "belly flop" contest. That was a blast to watch, and hilarious!! The Caribbean band was great and they performed a wide variety of "island " music every day. The entertainment at the numerous bars/lounges was also very good. Please check out the Schooner Bar for great piano music on the 5th level. The latin music performers at one of the lounges on the 4th level also excellent. The hidden secret is the British pub on the mall area across from the sports bar on the 5th level and the most beautiful lounge is the Viking Crown lounge. Many people found that it takes about 1 to 2 days to realize that you can get to one spot to another easier by always going to level 5. Ports of call very good. We are beach lovers so go to Orient beach when you get to St. Maarten. On the french side and probably one of the top 3 beaches we have ever been on, We like RCCL for the overall service. Very friendly cruise people and service. We are sure that the other cruise lines are also average with the Dining aspect relating to food quality and service. I am afraid that all the lines will follow NCL eventually and go to the "Free Style " dining. That's a shame because the Dining experience was to us the main attraction for cruising. So if Dining is number one criteria for cruising you then need to book on Celebrity. They really are the last remaining cruise line left in the main market for great dining experience. We will book again on RCCl and Celebrity. And we would not hesitate to go on a large cruise ship again of this size. If you want more intimacy you should book on a ship that is in the 70,000 tons and under. Steve and Karen Rognrud Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
This was our 3rd cruise on the Adventure of the Seas and 8th on Royal Caribbean. We flew in the day before we cruised and stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. This is a nice hotel located near the day ship pier if you are familiar with Old ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on the Adventure of the Seas and 8th on Royal Caribbean. We flew in the day before we cruised and stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. This is a nice hotel located near the day ship pier if you are familiar with Old San Juan. We boarded the Adventure at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday very easily and without waiting in line. Johnny Rockets opened at 1:00 p.m., so we thought we try it before there were lines to get in (which we had encountered in the past). The food, drinks & entertainment was good as always (the wait staff dances to certain songs). We bought our wine & dine package (Diamond Level) to save a few dollars and made reservations at Portofinos before they got booked up. We also made reservations at the spa for massages on Saturday (our day at sea). We went back to the cabin and expected to find our luggage since we had boarded early and typically received it very quickly, but it hadn't arrive yet. It did arrive eventually at 7:00 p.m. (1st bag) and 10:00 p.m. (2nd bag), and we were very surprised by the delay. The Room Attendant said that they luggage service had been very slow and that he couldn't do anything to speed up the process. We had late seating for dinner and the 1st bag had our dinner clothes so everything worked out O.K. Royal Caribbean needs a better way of tracking luggage rather than it being a free for all. The ship had been in dry dock since our last Adventure cruise (May 2004) and it did look new and fresher. Our junior suite had been reconfigured and had more shortage room. The dining room service was good, but the food quality is O.K. The new menus have eliminated some of my old favorites. They did not have a major production show every night, which eliminated having a key entertainment venue each night. On our last cruise we had a late night comedian every night and the either a headliner (The Platters) or the Royal Caribbean dancers put on a show. We did eat at Portofino's and the food was amazing, and more like the food was in the main dining room in the past. Johnny Rocket's is also very good (and we only paid to eat there once of the 2 times we visited by using our Platinum coupons). The food in the Windjammer & the Cafe on the Promenade is good. We ordered Room Service twice and received prompt service and warm fresh food. It did not seem that they had as many activities planned as in the past on port days and they day at sea didn't offer much from the ship as entertainment options. The ports are great on this itinerary and the weather was very hot for this time of year - 90's. The shopping was great in St. Thomas & St. Maarten. We also visited Divi Little Bay Beach in St. Maarten and it was very nice. We took the Antigua Island Tour (RCCL excursion) which was a little boring, but we did get to see Monserrant in the the distance which was very interesting. St. Lucia was great. We told the Soufiere Island/Catamaran Tour (RCCL excursion), which takes the whole day and is amazing. Visiting the dormant volcano is just too cool for words. The Pitons are beautiful. The afternoon cruise back to the ship on the Catamaran offered great site seeing and we visited a black sand beach for snorkeling. We visited the Malibu Distillery and beach in Barbados and it was good. Nice tour, clean beach & facilities. I did enjoy my massage at the spa on Saturday. I had a basic massage rather than one of the fancy expensive packages offered by the ship, which don't offer much extra. Alfonso our Suite Attendant & Recep our waiting both did an excellent job. The coupon books for Platinum member status had been improved and offered more discounts (Johnny Rockets, Ben & Jerry's, Seattle Coffee Bar). It just felt like RCCL was offering a little bit less than when we took this cruise the year before. I didn't get off the ship longing for my next cruise or wishing it wasn't over which is a first? Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
For our first wedding anniversary, Naren and I went on a cruise to celebrate. We went on the RCCL Adventure of the Seas on 4/3/05. The sailing was from Puerto Rico and went to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. Ill go into the ... Read More
For our first wedding anniversary, Naren and I went on a cruise to celebrate. We went on the RCCL Adventure of the Seas on 4/3/05. The sailing was from Puerto Rico and went to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. Ill go into the details of the trip in a minute, but here are some general overall opinions and ratings. The ratings are: bad  ok  good  great. Traveling to the ship: bad Weather: great Embarkation: great Cabin: ok Cabin Attendant: ok Ship: great Entertainment: good/great Food: good/great Wait Staff: good Aruba: ok Curacao: bad St. Maarten: good St. Thomas: great CruiseCritic crowd: great Disembarkation: good Traveling home: ok Friday April 1, 2005  Leaving for the airport -- In a 9/80 schedule, I work every other Friday, today was my Off Friday. It was used to prepare for the trip. Naren also has this 9/80 schedule, and so we went to our local Hertz office to pick up the rental car. We got to the office, a guy started helping us, and then just sort of wandered off. Then another girl, Kirsten helped us. Because of the wandering and confusion, she gave us some free gasoline. We got ¼ of a tank for $2.20 per gallon. Thats cheap because the station at the corner wanted $2.54. Anyhow we then ran last minute errands, some dealing with my job/payroll issues, and then we went home and packed. Yes we waited until the last minute. Naren then called his family. I did a quick manicure, then we watched a bit of the pope channel. We decided there was nothing else on, so we left early for the hotel. We went for a fancy Taco Bell dinner first, then drove up to LAX. There was a drunken lady weaving all over the road, but other than her, there was nothing eventful about that trip. We get to the LAX Hilton, and come to find out, there is a parking surcharge on that hotel. Its an additional $17Valet or $13 Self. This rate was not posted ANYWHERE! It was a very nice hotel. We got it through Priceline for $45. The normal rate was $109. So we got a very good deal. We checked in, and then took the room key to our room, and it didnt work. The bellguy went downstairs and returned 5 minutes later with two working keys. It was very painless and we tipped him nicely. We then realized that our 3rd floor room had a terrace, which was nice & so Naren could smoke. We then realized it was after midnight, and we needed to be up at 5am for our 8am flight. So we set our wake up call. Saturday April 2, 2005  Los Angeles en route to Puerto Rico via Newark -- We woke up what seemed to be a minute later, and then got ready for a 5:30 am checkout. We drove the rental car back, and then took that shuttle to the terminal 6. As we passed terminals 1-5 we saw lines everywhere. We were thinking that maybe we didnt give ourselves enough time. But when we got to Continental, there werent lines anywhere! Yay! We checked our bags in, and we took 2 big bags, and 2 small bags plus one diaperbag-sized bag. We carried the two small bags and the toiletries bag on ourselves. This would actually be the thing that kept us calm. Ill explain later. There were no lines for our check-in, or our security so we got to our gate in enough time. Naren and I shared a Cinnabon for breakfast. We started to board the flight, and we sat there for 20 minutes. Then the captain told us that wed be delayed because of bad weather in Newark, New Jersey. So 20 minutes turned into one hour, which turned into two hours. We thought that everything would be fine at this point because of that rain, it would also be delaying our connecting flight & in some sort of domino effect. But a 2 hour delay actually would end up being a 5 hour delay. It was now 12pm, and we asked the gate agent, Yvonne, what to do. We could have taken the next connecting flight to Puerto Rico, but we were so delayed it looked like we were going to miss that flight too. So Yvonne told us that shed pay for us to do another Continental itinerary or a non-stop LAX-Puerto Rico flight on American Airlines, but those flight itineraries wouldnt put us into Puerto Rico until 10am Sunday Morning, and our luggage couldnt be pulled off the Continental Jet. So for a few hours we sat with the real realization that we might have to cruise out of our carryon luggage until Aruba (Tuesday). But Yvonne continued to search the flights, and it turned out there were 3 flights to Puerto Rico from Newark on Sunday. The first two flights would work for us. There were no seats available. Yvonne continued to search flights for us and suddenly 3 seats opened up on the first available flight. So we booked it! We got boarding passes and seat confirmations. Now the only issue was eventually getting to New Jersey! According to policy, the luggage will take the first available flight too. So if we do miss all flights on Saturday, it will take the first flight on Sunday. Coincidentally it happened to be the flight we had just booked ourselves on. Finally we took off at 1:30! And we landed at 8:30. We had to be in some stupid holding pattern over Allentown, PA because the weather took a turn for the worse when we were en route. So we finally land in the worst landing ever. The weather was very bad. I had a feeling that wed be in Newark for a while, because this day was not going well. I took 2 blankets from the plane and put them in my carry on. When we landed we asked Continental if they could please pull our bags for us. They said they could, but this would take 3 hours, and they stopped taking requests after a while. They were tired and wanted to go home. So we asked Continental if they would provide a hotel for us because we did miss both connecting flights to Puerto Rico. We had to wait 12 hours until the 8am flight (if the weather cooperated). They refused to provide a hotel, saying that if the weather is the cause they have no legal duty to provide compensation and all the passengers misplaced would have to deal with it. We were tired and didnt want to deal with this, so we asked for blankets and pillows from the airplane, and we took our blankets, pillows and luggage and made camp in the airport. We got dinner at McDonalds, which was opened 24 hours and packed with stranded passengers. We didnt sleep well on the floor because it was cold. Sunday April 3rd, 2005  Stranded in Newark -- We got up at 4am, and stood in line for check-in for the 8am flight. We felt we had to confirm our boarding passes, seat assignments and the fact that the plane would eventually take off. We got to the gate, and fell asleep in the chair. We were woken up by the gate agent, who had confirmed my inquiry earlier whether or not this flight was going to leave on time. The plane was at the airport overnight, so that wasnt a problem. We boarded the flight. It was smooth, and we slept the entire way down to Puerto Rico. We deplaned at 1pm. The weather was cloudy and humid but not rainy, it just looked like it might rain soon. We went to the baggage claim and said a few hundred prayers. The luggage came in shifts. Our theory is that they only had 1 car, and had to take the bags in shifts. But 30 minutes later, we had our two bags. We got it, and I started crying, because I really thought the bad luck was behind us. We left the baggage area, and got a taxi. The trip to the ship is 15 minutes. It cost $18.50 for the two of us and our 5 bags. We arrived at the ship at 2:30, and gave the big bags to the porter. We took the little bags, sent them though x-ray, and then stood in the non-existent line. It was roped off by floor, and there wasnt anyone in any line. We checked in, Narens passport was confiscated, and then we were allowed to board the ship. We embarked on deck 4 forward port, and got to our room, which was deck 9 forward starboard. We looked at our watch and it was 3:30. We dont know how it took an hour, but apparently the time was already flying by. We were told the Maitre D' would only be available until 4. So we saw him on Deck 4. Second seating was completely full, and he took our names, but didnt feel he could accommodate us. We took pictures of the main dining room, then went to the Windjammer, deck 11 aft. I had Honey Chicken (amazing), ham (so-so) and pizza (very good). The lemonade was very good. We came back to the room and finally showered. We met 1 of our 2 cabin attendants. Anne Marie explained how she worked, and the hours. We asked her to empty the fridge so we could put our own stuff in there. She said no, she wouldnt do that. We asked her to put the dressers on one side of the bed so that we could actually walk around the bed. There was literally no room to walk, you had to enter the bed from the foot. She said shed have Carl move the dressers. I also asked for her to put both spare blankets on my side of the bed. This, it would turn out, never happened. Each night I had to make my own bed. We asked Anne Marie about the wine that was supposed to be in our cabin. It wasnt there. She said shed have to talk with her supervisor, and to look for the wine at dinner. We went to the pre-meet and mingle at 5:30. That was great, because we got to meet all of our cruise mates. Then we went to dinner at 6, and this was weird because we never eat this early. We didnt have our wine. We asked the Head Waiter Mohsen from Tunisia. He said that hed look into it, and I gave him the print out of the email I had between me and the Customer Service Manager at our TA. She had emailed me, confirming our wine, and that it was supposed to be in the cabin waiting for us. Mohsen came back and said that the TA ordered two bottles of wine for dinner on Saturday, and not one for the first night, Sunday. So we asked it to be spread out one bottle per night. He obliged happily. We also asked that our wine be alternated each night between red/white. The whites were better than the reds, but I like whites better. Our waiter Raj was from India. Our assistant, Clara was from the Philippines. Then at dinner we ate Tomato Soup (good), mango melon with ginger (good), fish mousse appetizer (really bad), shrimp ravioli and veggie quesadilla entrEes were both good, the prime rib was good, the rum cake was good and the white chocolate mousse with berries was very good. After dinner we went to the muster drill, which sucked because it was so hot. After the muster drill we went to our cabin, and then to the bow (to get there, go to deck 4 forward, and exit via the sliding doors onto the muster deck, turn to the forward of the ship, and take the stairs up, just keep going forward). Then we went to the welcome aboard show. That was good. The cruise director is Richard Spacey. He was really funny. Monday April 4, 2005  At Sea -- We woke up at 9:30 and our room service arrived at 9:35. We had cookies, pastries, cereal, and omelets. They were all good. The weather was perfect and sunny. Then we went to the actual Meet and Mingle, at 11:00. We had a great time, we talked and met the nice cruise mates. We got M&M goodies. Then we went to the casino. We lost money, me $60, Naren $50. Little did we know that this would also be a trend. Then we had lunch in the dining room. Naren had the BBQ Chicken Salad, and that was good. I had the Steak Sandwich which was so good! For dessert we had the Mango cheesecake, which had a mousse consistency, but was good, and the chocolate crème brule. That was very good. Then we went back to the cabin and finished unpacking. We brought along an extension cord (very helpful), a power strip (very helpful), a nightlight (inside cabin, very helpful) and an alarm clock (very, very helpful). Naren went back to the casino and lost another $20. Then he took a nap. We then went for wine tasting and that was ok. The guy was a little hard to understand through his accent, and we tasted 6 wines. It wasnt exotic. The whites were Pinot Grigio, Sav Blanc, and a chardonnay. The reds were a merlot, a Shiraz (a Spanish Terranzella). Then we got ready for formal night dinner. I wore my green saree, and am happy to say that no other woman was wearing my dress! We took the wine in our cabin to dinner. Naren had lobster bisque (ok but garlicky), chilled pear soup (good) and filet mignon (extremely tender and juicy) and chicken curry thanks to Raj. Jen had the shrimp cocktail (good), the oranges in mint chutney (good), and the filet mignon, which was very good. Dessert was the sugarless coconut layer cake which was excellent. The cherries jubilee was good. We took formal pictures, then went to the show Beetlemania. That was so awesome. They were so good. Really, dont miss this show! Then we watched the battle of the sexes/family feud. That was really funny, and the men won 50 to 20. It was the first time in 8 weeks the men won. Then we watched Karaoke Idol. There were some great singers there. Megan was awesome. Kay had a funny dance. The adult comedy show was Robby Prince. He was good and very funny. Then we went to the Cafe Promenade for a midnight snack. It was a sandwich and a pizza and a banana. They were all good. Also available were cookies and pastries. Coffee and Cocoa were also available. Then we slept, and set the alarm for Aruba at 6am. Tuesday April 5, 2005  Aruba -- We set the wake up call for 6am, but slept until 6:30 because we didnt hear the alarm. We were just that tired. The room service delivered cereal, milk, fruit, danishes and they were all good. The coffee was not. It was bitter and strong. Then we got dressed and disembarked. We got down to the 1st floor, and I forgot my Sea Pass. I went back upstairs to get it. Then we left the ship. The weather was great, and it was very windy. We got the rental car, it took a bit, but it was relatively painless. He gave us a really good island map. We stopped at a supermarket for water and the bathroom. I noticed that the back tire was low. We found a gas station, and put air in the tire. I then heard a hissing. I put my hand around the tire and felt a huge hole, about the size of a pea. We asked the gas station if he would change the tire for us. He would charge $5 to change the tire or $20 to repair the tire. We were debating about what to do, when I heard a hissing again. It was actually coming from the other back tire, and so basically our stupid rental car had two flat tires. We didnt repair the tires. We drove back and returned the keys to the guy. He voided our credit card, and we lost 2 hours in Aruba. I dont know how to advise around this situation, short of bringing a can of fix-a-flat along with you on vacation. We then went to find a taxi so that we could at least see the rest of the island. Instead we found an island tour on a 20 pax minivan bus. It was $15 per person for a 3 hour tour. That took us to places we wanted to go to anyway, so cool! We went to Big Rock. Naren climbed up and took pictures. You have to squeeze through the rocks and climb up, and I didnt want to do that. Id probably get stuck. Then we went to the Natural Bridge. That was way cool. We saw the lighthouse, and the fort used to mine gold. That was really cool too. It was here that I bought the best bag ever. It was $5 and it came in SO handy! The bus tour then drove around to Arashi beach. The driver advised it was great for snorkeling. We left the bus tour and decided to catch the bus back. Arashi Beach is probably nice for snorkeling, but for us it sucked! Its great for snorkeling if you visit via boat, and dont have to walk on the sand. There are rocks everywhere and there arent any places on the beach for soft sand/wadding. I dont recommend this beach for swimming! There were lizards and ants all over the sand. So we decided to catch this bi-hourly bus, and after 45 minutes started to think wed have to walk down to the ship ourselves. We found a local who spoke Spanish, and asked him about the bus. He said that it does eventually come, and wed have to wait. The bus driver wanted $2 per person to go back to the ship. We passed by Eagle Beach and it looked nice, and the water was beautiful, but we were so mad at the island for our day not having the best luck, that we decided to just go back to the ship and go into the swimming pool. We had lunch, and the burgers in the Windjammer were so juicy. I had a burger and a hot dog, and they were both great. Then Naren had a very juicy burger and so-so fries. The lemonade was not mixed well. Some days it was good. Other days it was not. Then we took a nap and a shower, then we played Name that Tune TV shows. We won, our score was 17/20. For our efforts we got a padlock each. Then we took our cabin wine bottle to dinner. Jen had the tropical fruit salad which was good, the spring roll which was good and the sirloin which had good flavor but was tough. Naren had the jerk chicken which was spicy and good, and the banana soup which was good. Dessert was the banana crème pie which was good and the Coffee Crème brule which was good. The Love and Marriage show was very funny. They picked the newlywed by latest time married, and the oldest couple by longest anniversary. But the middle couple was an open audition for everyone else who wanted to play. Each couple had to audition for the part. By volume of their applause the audience narrowed the 15 couples down to 2. Then the two most popular couples selected by that applause vote then competed for the most applause between them themselves. That couple was married for 7 years. After that we went to the promenade to write the days events, and met a nice guy from India, who actually grew up around Narens neighborhood. There were a lot of crew members from India on this ship! We then retired to our room and did not get up early the next morning! We did notice a sloshing sound coming from the wall next to our room. We decided it was a fluke and went to sleep. Wednesday April 6, 2005 - Curacao -- We woke up at 10am. We had little breakfast as our Midnight snack from the night before was still sustaining us. We exited the ship around noon, and walked off onto the dock. The cab to Cas Abao beach was $40 each way. And it was a 1 hour drive. We decided that we didnt want to spend that kind of money, so we decided to take the drivers advice and go to Kontiki Beach, which for the two of us was $15 each way. So we went to that beach and paid the $3 per person entry fee. They said that if we wanted a chair, it would be an extra $2.50 per chair and payable to the person on the beach, but we never found anyone taking that money. There were plenty of chairs available and it was a nice secluded cove for swimming/snorkeling. We put our stuff down, and put our masks and vests on, then headed down to the water. The temperature was nice and we started snorkeling. When the wind picked up, the water got choppy really quickly, and then the waves started crashing over the rock breakwater that formed this lagoon. Apparently its always windy in Curacao too. We were snorkeling around, and the water was pretty, but there wasnt anything much to see in this lagoon. I wouldnt recommend it, even if our day here hadnt turned tragic. Anyhow, we were snorkeling around and before we knew it, we were swimming near the rock breakwater. We tried to swim away from it, but then we realized we were caught in a rip tide/currant. No matter how hard we swam, it just took us in the opposite direction  which leads to the ocean! We tried to swim away from it, but it just literally kept moving us in the opposite direction. Narens vest made him a literal buoy and he couldnt swim away from the currant either. He found a mossy pipe which connected into these rocks, and he hung onto that. He didnt know how he was going to get up from the water. The wind was pushing the water onto the rocks, and was causing waves to crash on the rocks. I dont know how you could have held on to that rock. I yelled for help from the shore, because I couldnt hold onto this pole, it was too slippery and I was getting exhausted. Two girls jumped into the water to save me, and while they were swimming to me, a guy named Cory came out onto the rock and was communicating with us. Both Cory and the two girls were all passengers on the cruise ship there on the beach for the day. Im really glad they were there. Cory helped Naren onto the rock while the two girls (one of which was a lifeguard in her profession) swam me back into the shore. They wouldnt let me look back to Naren, but apparently Cory was helping him onto the rocks from the water. Cory saved his life. The two girls saved me, and we tried to get their name and cabin number, but they left the beach shortly after coming out of the water. So girls if youre reading this, thank you so much! When we got to the beach, the entire group of sunbathers had been watching what happened. So since we realize we didnt die, but were in very serious trouble at one point, we were very freaked out, and slightly embarrassed. Cory, while helping Naren onto the rock, had cut his foot very badly. So after learning this, we felt very bad. We tried to take him to dinner, but he asked for a bottle of wine instead. We arranged with our driver to be picked up at 2:30, and he was on time. We went back to the shopping area, to look for a Louis Vuitton bag. Carousel had nice bags, but they wouldnt sell a separate detachable strap if my bag style didnt come with it, so I didnt buy their bag. According to Naren I have enough bags already, so apparently I didnt need another one. In another store we saw a Tanzanite and Diamond pendant slide on an Omega chain that sold for $38,000! We didnt buy it! J No one store had loose topaz stones, so we went back to the ship, but there was a cargo ship leaving the area, and the bridge was opened for its passage. So we boarded this ferry which took us across to the other side of the dock. My leg had started to hurt from swimming so hard earlier that day, and so we walked slowly back to the ship. It shouldve taken 15 minutes, but it took me 30. Then we took a nap until it was time to get ready for dinner. We were hungry because we had skipped lunch and not eaten much for breakfast. So we took our cabin wine again down to the dining room. Dinner tonight was Minestrone soup (very good), strawberry bisque (great), Antipasti (weird grilled veggies and ½ entire roasted garlic bulb 12 cloves), tiger shrimp (very good), Indian Curry (good), Rigatoni Marinara with tiger shrimp on top (fabulous), Tiramisu (ok  good), Low Fat Angel Food Cake with Strawberries on top (so great!!). The crew sang O Solo Mio for us. That was really good! Then we went to the crown and anchor party. That was really nice and the rum punch wasnt as good as the sangria that was being passed around. The captain took questions from the audience. I asked when a Voyager class could come to California. He said probably in 2007. The water was rough tonight, and the ship was really rocking. The dancing show Velvet Rope was a 7. There was one theme song which was sung about 5 times during different parts of the show. That, to me, got annoying. Then we donated money to the casino. No one in our M&M group was winning, by the way! Then we took our camcorder to Quest. It was located in Studio B. This show was tooo funny! We got there at 10:15 because the doors opened at 10:30 and the show started at 10:45. We were in the front row and had a great view. The team captains remained on the ice/dance floor. We recorded it, and our team came in second. I wont say what their prize was. Then we went for a midnight snack at Johnny Rockets. We misplaced our c&a coupons for one visit. Our bill was: One diet coke $1.50, 2 shakes at $3.60 each (but they were soooo good!) and $2.81 gratuity. We ate a western cheeseburger which was awesome! Naren had a hot dog which was very good and a BLT which was good as well. The service fee was $3.20 per person, but we later found our coupon and so this charge was reversed for us. The onion rings and fries were very good too! The jukeboxes were all broken except for two, and so we had to walk to them to play songs, but then the crew started dancing to Staying Alive. That was too cool. Stanislav was a 10+. He was so good, and happy, and accommodating and just a really good waiter. I told him that Id let all of my CruiseCritic friends know that he was really nice! Tomorrow is a sea day! We hope our luck gets better. We hope we start winning in the casino. We hope that our room stewards dont keep forgetting to put the blankets on the bed!!!!! We hope they tilex the shower soon, as there is mildew growing in the bottom! The cabins pipes are still sloshing, and would slosh every night! DO NOT GET CABIN 9253! We ran into Jeannie, who said her brothers cabin shower never did ever get fixed. I dont know where he showered. The maintenance crew was called, but it never did get fixed. Perhaps she can explain more about that. Thursday April 7, 2005  At Sea -- We set the alarm for 9, but decided that we didnt want to wake up. So we eventually got up at 11:15. We saw that ice skating ended at 1:15, so we got up and put long pants on with socks. We went ice skating first (or Ice Walking, in Narens case). We signed our waver and went 3 or 4 times around the ice. Then we went to lunch. Naren had the Nicoise salad which was good. He said it was potato salad, egg, anchovy, and lettuce and olives. He liked everything except the potatoes themselves. He had the corn chowder and said it was good. It was definitely better than my black bean soup. He had the Italian wrap. He said it was good, but wasnt very hungry. I had the Orange Chicken, and it was ok  good. It wasnt Asian tasting at all, but it did have good flavor. The iced tea was good. The cherry pie was very good! The low sugar orange mousse was also very good. After lunch Naren donated more money to the casino. Then we went to the Card Room and played Chinese checkers and chicken foot. We left because it was getting loud because the entire card room was booming with the Spanish shoutings of two very loud Puerto Rican women! Im not saying theres anything against being from PR, but there were so many PR people on the ship that all announcements were also in Spanish, and they even had events (like trivia and the love and marriage show) in Spanish for those guests. It didnt deter me from having a good time. It was just something I noticed. Oh yeah, how did I know they were from PR and not another Spanish speaking country? Because when one of the comedians asked who was from where, he asked if there were any PR residents onboard and ½ of the lyric theatre went wild! Go Figure! Then we went to the swing dance class. That was lots of fun and it brought back dance steps we learned while we took dance lessons for our wedding. Naren then went back to the Casino and didnt win anything! I got ready for dinner, but didnt get dressed in my saree yet. I wanted to get a good seat for the ice show. So we went to the ice show wearing our casual clothes and most other people were already wearing their formal stuff. We had Portofino reservations tonight, so our dinner didnt start at 6, it was 7:30 instead! So after the ice show which was such a great show (dont miss the ice show), we went to the cabin and got ready for dinner. I draped my saree with Narens help and it turned out very good. We then took our portraits and then went to Portofinos for dinner. We brought our cabin wine, and they wouldnt believe us that we had received this gift from our TA and the corkage fee was waived. I told them they needed to talk to Mohsen, and they did. But he was gone for 20 minutes, and in this 20 minute timeframe, we werent offered bread or water. We sat there looking dumb. But once he came back with our wine, he brought the bread with the dipping items (chopped tomatoes, an olive paste, and a tuna salad). They were all very, very good! The waiter had too many tables too. He was very busy and it was difficult to get good service in the first 2/3 of the meal. But once all the other people left, our service greatly improved. During dinner, we were treated to a rain storm with lightning. For dinner we had the Tiger Shrimp with Risotto (very good), Goat Cheese Souffle (very good), tenderloin wit pieces of parmesan (not what I expected, tenderloin was blood rare and very thin & it didnt taste like tenderloin, it looked like pepperoni), Lobster pieces in Pasta (good, the peas and veggies were good), Filet Mignon (very, very good) and I had the filet with the Tiger Shrimp (also very good). Dessert was the hazelnut meringue (so great, melted in your mouth), and the buttermilk panna-kota (so-so . . . youre going to have to ask Naren what this was & it had grapefruit pieces in it), and I had the chocolate flourless cake (tasted like fudge, it was so good!). Then we went to the dance show Cant stop the rock. It was a good show. It highlighted the songs from all of the greatest movies from the last 60 years. But there were no songs from Saturday Night Fever or Grease or big hits like that. Instead they had slightly obscure songs. No one could figure out their reasoning for this. Maybe they didnt have permission to use the really good songs. Then immediately after the show, we went to take pictures of the gala buffet. But they were closing it, and rushed us out of the dining room. We tried to explain that the show JUST ended, but the waiter didnt care. Then we went to the cabin and went to sleep. Friday April 8, 2005  St. Maarten -- We got up at 9, and went to the Windjammer for breakfast. We were silently saying a prayer that our next port would be much better than the last ports! The food here was the normal breakfast buffet stuff. It was good. The oatmeal had no taste. The coffee was getting better. Maybe Naren diluted it when I wasnt looking. He had the French toast and said it was very good. The breakfast potatoes were good, but the tater tots were a little crunchy. The cranberry juice was good, and a welcome change from the usual orange juice. Now if I only brought my SoCo and my Sweet lime, I could make Scarlet OHaras. Anyhow - I went up to the top deck and filmed the beautiful water and surrounding dock area while Naren finished getting ready. We then exited the ship at 10:30 and walked into the pier area. There we went to the taxi area, and shared a taxi to Maho Beach. This drive took 40 minutes because there was some traffic. But it was $7 per person, per way. We arrived at the beach at 11-11:15. It was a very nice day, not very breezy and we were dropped off at this hotel. To get to Maho Beach they said to go through their lobby, and then down to the water. But you could also just have followed the road around, because the beach came out on the other side of the hotel, and you didnt have to walk in the sand & thats hard to walk in. The sand was very soft, and there werent any rocks in the beach part that we were in. There were a few rocks, and you could definitely see them, but if you walk down toward the restaurant there on the beach, youll get clear of them. The water was warm, and beautiful, and we spread our blanket out and had a great view of the runway, and the approaching planes as they came into the airport. We sat on the beach on our sheet with our towels and cameras and suntan lotion. That sun is hot and powerful. It wasnt very humid at all. In fact, the taxi driver was saying that the island is going through a drought and there hasnt been much rain to speak of. To keep cool, we kept our t-shirts on, and got them wet in the water, and this helped keep us cool. No we didnt get farmer tans. I actually burned through my shirt and lotion. But I imagine that it could have been much worse. There are many little planes (turboprops) and theyre cool to see landing so close to you, but the REAL show comes when the jets land. We had two American Airlines Boeing 767 jets land there, and one US Airways Boeing 757 land right over our heads! That was so amazing! If you do this activity, please be advised that when the jet has finished flying over you, the jet thrust will blow the sand all over the place and this will hurt. You can minimize this by putting your head down, so at least you dont get sand in your face. Oh yeah, and lay on your belongings, because theyll get blown into the water too. When the AA 767 took off, the sand blew so hard and actually knocked a kid into the water. It blew peoples belongings into the water, and made the sand stick to us where we had applied the suntan lotion. It was so awesome! We left Maho at 1:45 because we wanted to get some shopping in. So we asked the driver to take us to the shopping area. The taxi ride was $14 for us both He took us to Front Street where there were hundreds of jewelry stores and diamond stores. We were looking for blue topaz so that we could get earrings to match my pendant. I didnt take my pendant, but we made a good choice. So we purchased two 12 carat pear shaped London blue topaz stones, so I can get them set into earrings. Theyre beautiful! So we shopped for about 2 hours. Then we took a taxi back to the ship. That was $3 per person, and only took about 10 minutes because our driver was coming close to hitting pedestrians and then when it came time to turn right, he actually cut some guy off (or was it that the guy let him in?) and so we didnt have to wait in the line of cars waiting to turn. I thought it was pretty slick and saved us about 15 minutes. Then we were taken back to the taxi area, and I stopped into this other jewelry store. I was about to buy this other pair of Rainbow Topaz earrings, but the guy wanted too much money for a stone that is just heat treated white topaz. Geez, its not like its Tanzanite! Anyhow, then we went back to the ship, and the liquor was so cheap here. For 1 liter, it was $9. That was for most liquors. We actually regretted not purchasing it, because it wasnt this cheap in St. Thomas. This is a quote from Naren, I think Grey Goose was $12-ish whereas in US it is $20 but don't quote me on that, I don't remember. I do remember Absolute was $9 (US $20), Baileys was $15 (US$27-35). Then we boarded the ship at 4:30, and went for a shower to get the sand off of us. While showering, and making sure the sand was going down the drain, I noticed this black stuff on the bottom tiles of our shower. I know what it is, and couldnt figure out why our cabin attendant would allow mildew to grow in our shower. I didnt think anything of it until I found a fungus in my toe later that night. Nice hua? After showing for dinner we went to play Name that Tune, TV shows from the ancient world. We totally sucked! I didnt watch TV in the 60s because I wasnt alive then! Anyhow, we left while they were scoring the sheets because we had to go to dinner and we know we didnt win! Tonight was Lobster night, but its disguised as Fishermans Plate. Just to be sure we didnt book Portofinos on a night when they had lobster, we asked Raj when Lobster would be coming. He advised Friday night. But we looked at the capers-on-tv tv channel, and only found Fishermans Plate. So they try to trick you ! J Anyhow, we had the salmon appetizer which was very good, the wild mushroom pastry which was excellent!, the pear soup with strawberries which was ok to good, and the Caesar salad which was ok. Naren said the lobster had two different consistencies, but it was good. He gave it a 7, and had 2 tails. The prime rib was a 9 tonight. Oh wow it was so good! Narens Indian food tonight was chicken curry and it was mild and just ok. Its the thought that counts. They sang to us tonight for our anniversary, and brought the candle in a dessert from the menu. Tonights desserts were a sample plate, 3 items on one plate. They were chocolate flourless cake (like in Portofinos & so good!), cheesecake (I thought it was good, light and airy. Naren thought it was ok), and some rum cake thing (I thought it was gross, Naren loved it). The low sugar strawberry desert was very good. We left and got our formal night pictures. They came out very good. Then we went to the casino and lost our sorry-tushes again!!!!! Then we went to the show and Tony Tillman was good. He had great energy and put on a good show. Then we came home and prepared for immigration tomorrow. Some general thoughts for today were: Richard Spaceys dancing is funny. The camcorder never fogged, but it wasnt very humid on this trip in any of the ports, it was VERY windy though. The pipe water is still swishing and swished every dang night. The guest relations desk said that they were doing maintenance on the pipes, but it continued every night! The extension cord came in handy because it was used to put the alarm clock next to the bed. The seas were very rough on the cruise and the staff said that the seas had been more rough in the past 3 weeks. Go figure. Oh yeah, and why cant the room steward remember that I wanted both blankets on the bed. I reminded him daily, and he never seemed to remember! What was wrong with him, really? In the dining room, instead of coffee, I got cocoa every night. It was great, and there wasnt a charge. Saturday April 9, 2005  St. Thomas/St. John -- We woke up at 6, and were out of bed at 6:30. We were ready to go at 6:40. We read in the compass that the line for immigration started at 7, and when we went down to deck 5 (for US Citizens) and deck 4 (for everyone else), there was already a line! At 7:00 the line moved fast. When the officer looked at my information they didnt investigate the fact that my passport page is in my maiden name, and the cruise card was in my married name. If they wanted to look at the last passport page, theyd see it was amended, but they never investigated that. So much for security. So any Jennifer can take my passport? So after immigration, I went to the pursers desk to turn in the lost Johnny Rockets coupons. She said theyd be applied to the account. We also turned in the departure card, which they asked for 3 different times. Oh well. Maybe their dog ate the cards we kept turning in. Then I went back to the cabin and Naren was already there. So we got ready for St. Thomas and left for the windjammer. The waffles were dry. The OJ was watered down now. Perhaps they ran out of concentrate? The doughnut was good. The round potato tots (hash browns) were so crunchy when you put your fork into them, the ½ flew across the room. It was pretty funny. The fruit and the normal potatoes were very good. The coffee was strong again. We went to deck 1 and disembarked at 8:15. The weather was warm, sunny, and bright and beautiful. We told the taxi people we wanted red hook at 9am. They put us into this open air taxi with 10 other people all going to red hook. When we sat in this dang taxi for another 15 minutes, we all started to get anxious. We kept shouting at him to GO but only the lord knows what he was waiting for. Not anymore people could fit into our taxi, and we all wanted to go to the same place. Finally at 8:40 we were off. Now imagine Mr. Toads Wild Ride! We were cutting people off, and weaving in and out of traffic, and exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph. It literally felt like a roller coaster. We were all having a good time on the way over there, and were at red hook at 9:01! So what should have taken 30 minutes took only 20. Woo hoo! We paid $8 for each person for this ride. Naren bought the ferry tickets at $7 each person. We stood in line and there were 100 people already in line, and there was no shade for us. We were getting baked under the sun. It was now getting pretty hot. The ferry came and all 250 of us loaded the ferry. I dont think they could have held any more people, and the ferry was 15 minutes late. It took 20 minutes to get to St. John. The channel water was very rough. The ferry was moving about and was sort of scary at times. We got to St. John and got into another taxi for Trunk bay. That taxi $7 each person, each way. At the park, the entrance fee is another $4 per person. IT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY! We arrived at 10:00. The water is so gorgeous and the sand is so soft and the water is so blue and warm. There arent any waves to crash on you, and you can go out into trunk bay about 30 feet from the shore and still be in waste high water, and youll be able to see your feet! We loved it here. We got into the water and just frolicked around for a few hours. I wish we didnt ever have to leave. There was a snorkeling area over to the side, but after our fiasco in Curacao, we didnt want to snorkel. There was a lifeguard, but only up until a certain point on the beach. They did have a snack shop, showers and lockers. I believe there was a place to rent the snorkel stuff, but we didnt do that. We left Trunk Bay at 12:45, and we showered before catching the taxi. We made it to the dock with time to spare for the 1:00 ferry. The ferry dock contains the embarkation for the Charlotte Amalie and Red Hook ferries. The Red Hook ferry left first. Then the Charlotte Amalie ferry left and the water was so rough. WE finally made it, and docked across the water from the cruise ships. I looked all around the islands, and finally found mallorca pearls. So once we bought them, We looked around the shopping area, but then took a taxi to the ship for $3 each. We had to walk the entire length of the Celebrity Horizon and the RCCL Adventure on the docks, so this took 5-10 minutes. We got back on board the ship, and went to the promenade for our snack. The pizza was very good, and the desserts were chocolate pecan pie which was good, and the vanilla pound cake was fabulous! The chiabatta sandwich was good. We rested, showered for dinner, and found two bottles of wine in our cabin. We dont understand how this happened, but we took both bottles to our table and shared them with our table mates. We really had great conversation every night, and met the nicest people, so we were happy to share with them. Dinner this night was shrimp cocktail (good), chilled strawberry buttermilk soup (sour but good), spinach dip (very good), Caesar salad (good), pumpkin soup (tasted like chicken, but good), tri tip of beef (very, very good), Indian entrée (very good) and I had cornbread which was very moist. There was singing which was good. We went to the casino and lost AGAIN! We then saw the farewell variety show, which was a good show. Then at 10:00 we thought wed better pack because it had to be out before 12! I might get flamed here, but whatever. We have NEVER had our luggage out by 12! There has also always been luggage in our hallway until at least 2. So we decided that wed make an effort, and lo and behold, at 12:15 we were finished! Not bad for two hours, eh? We then set our alarm for the morning. Sunday April 10, 2005  Back into Puerto Rico -- Our pipes sloshed all throughout the night. I really had my issues with this cabin! We got up at 7:30 and were ready by 8:20. We went to the dining room, because they were open for breakfast until 9. We had Raj again for our waiter. That was nice. I had the classic breakfast and Naren had the French toast. He said it was very good. The orange juice was very concentrated and was great once diluted. As Naren and I were sitting there eating our breakfast, two Indian waiters pass by talking to each other and according to Naren were venting disgruntled anger about how another waiter was doing his job. It was in Hindi, but still, didnt they think that someone would be able to understand them? Or was it that they were so frustrated, they didnt care? We werent offended, we just were curious what the other waiter had done to make them so mad. Then we took our disembarkation number, and realized that it might be a little late for our 1:30 flight. It was fine, we could get another number, we just couldnt get the first disembarkation group number. But they were on group 4 anyway. So she gave us group 5, which was better than group 10. A number 10 would have put us off the ship at 11. So anyway, we decided to exit the ship, and wed already gone through immigration when we were in St. Thomas yesterday, so we showed our customs form to this officer, and then went into the luggage room. I snagged a porter, and we were off. 20 minutes later we had our cab, and were off to the airport. It was $20 to get us there. Continentals line was huge. But it moved quickly because they kept adding gate agents and there was electronic check in. The dude printed out the sticky luggage tags, and boarding passes, but we checked ourselves in. Then we went to stand in the security line and this is where the day took a turn for the worst. I still had that fungus thing on my toe thanks to the mold in our shower. I didnt want to take my shoe off and walk around in the airport. Also, please add this to the SEVERE sunburn that we received on trunk bay. I took off my left shoe, but kept the right one on. They x-rayed my stuff, but asked that I take my shoe off. I said, no, hand wand me. Apparently in Puerto Rico that means take your wand and put it into my butt crack. I raised my arms as much as I could. But my shoulders didnt want to cooperate, and this means Im a terrorist. Any idiot could see what I was dealing with as my face was peeling too. So, she takes my other shoe (right shoe) and insists this has to go with the other shoe through the scanner together. Fine, ok! So Im standing there with my foot up, and they cant understand what Im doing. I told them again I had an infection on my toe and wasnt going to put my foot down. She finally gave me back my shoes after not finding anything. Surprise! Then told me to spread my legs. This is when she put her wand through my legs, and then up my butt crack. When I flinched, she got mad. I told her not to stick that thing IN my butts, and she didnt listen. Her supervisor came over and told her I was cooperating, and to let me go. Naren was getting really pissed at me, for making her job so hard. I really didnt care at this point. Finally she let me go, but then called me a really bad name in Spanish. I can understand her, so I turned back to her, and said in her language Just because Im not from here, doesnt mean I cant understand you, weirdo. Then we left, but Naren was mad at me. I did have an attitude with her, but to be 4th grade about this, she started it. Apparently you cant have an infection and a sunburn when going through security. God, I hate the airport. We went to our gate, and our flight was actually 45 minutes late because there was a flat tire on the airplane. They said it was the jetway, but not one person had the same story. They asked for volunteers to stay behind. But that means Id have to get goosed by the security again, I didnt want to do that. My shoulders hurt so bad, I took my bra straps down. That helped somewhat. What didnt help was a very crowded flight. There just isnt a lot of room on planes and the flights are long! We finally took off, and barely made our connecting flight. I was really worried about our luggage. But we took off, and this flight was crowded too. Our seats didnt recline, and the people in front of us, their seats reclined 1 ½ seats worth of room. So that really sucked. I leaned forward and used her back of the chair as a pillow. Yeah, it was that tight. We landed, we got our luggage quickly as it was the first bags off the carousel. Im thinking they just made the plane! We got our rental car, and when Hertz realized what happened in Aruba, they gave us an SUV upgrade. Damn gas guzzling car! But it was a very nice car with all the buttons on the other side of the car. Anyhow we got home at 2am on Monday morning. Since we just bought a house, now we get to move in! Im still working on getting the pictures up. Im hoping to have them up by this weekend. Ill post again when theyre ready for viewing! We didnt have kids, so we didnt do the Adventure Ocean activities. We didnt do any ship excursions, and our folio was $200. We tipped accordingly for the services. Raj and Clara were great. Carl and Anne Marie were not! They still got money, but not as much as they would have, had they just MADE THE BED LIKE ID REQUESTED (repeatedly). Richard Spacey was great. The captain was also very personable. We liked him very much. The ship is gorgeous. We had a great second half of the cruise once our luck in ports turned around. Our luck in the casino, however, never did turn around. We didnt loose a lot of money, but found it odd that we never won anything. Any questions? Ill try to answer them (if I havent already). If youd like you can send me an email at lephysteria@yahoo.com. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2005
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. We had a good time, but when compared to our cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas, this cruise was very inferior. First of all, the port was chaos. We will never leave from San Juan again! ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. We had a good time, but when compared to our cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas, this cruise was very inferior. First of all, the port was chaos. We will never leave from San Juan again! Not only were the flights expensive, but the pretour at the Marriott Stellaris was a disappointment... San Juan looks run down. It's picturesque in Old San Juan, bur for the most part, it's dirty with too many cars and graffiti. No one seemed to know what they were doing, and since all side conversations were conducted in Spanish, we were clueless as well. Adventure of the Seas, in some ways, reflects the port. Lights were out of wall sconces, band-aids were in the pool, carpets were dirty. This ship was not loved like the Enchantment. Used glasses were laying around everywhere. We felt like this cruise was a practice cruise for new employees. Only our cabin steward greeted me by name (she was wonderful!). It seemed like the dining room was understaffed. While some people may love the immense size of the ship, this vessel was crowded. The Promenade had no windows and was dark, and because it was often the place for entertainment, it was loud. I would not like to have a cabin overlooking this area. I thought the public areas were not arranged to accommodate 3000 passengers. For instance, the Windjammer Cafe usually had 1 side of the buffet closed during meal times, so there were long lines. We never had to wait for anything on our other cruise...and we were always greeted personally. My children liked chocolate milk, and they would get it for them without my saying a word. This crew was entirely different. The greeter in the Windjammer had this annoying bicycle horn in his pocket. and he blew that thing all through breakfast and lunch. I know it seems like I'm a complainer, but this was a completely different experience for us. The level of service that I've enjoyed with RCI was simply not there. There were some positives, however. The entertainment was fabulous, especially the ice show and the singing talents of Cheryl. The food was always served warm and was very good. Toward the end of the sailing, the fruit in the Windjammer was overripe and not as plentiful, but for the most part, it was good. I didn't like having to ask a crew member to toast my bagel, but I imagine they do this to minimize the crowd. The ports were lovely, Aruba being my personal favorite...very clean island. Curacao was not a repeat...filthy and no impressive shopping places. The balcony cabin was a real treat; it was so nice watching us leave ports from a private balcony. I personally wouldn't recommend the Voyager class ships or this particular ship. I wish RCI would come out with some better itineraries and smaller, brighter ships. Bigger is not always better. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2005
I will concentrate on things I don't remember learning from other reviews with an emphasis on prices. ARRIVAL: When we checked our luggage with Delta, They said a bag was overweight. Delta said each person could check 2 bags of 50 ... Read More
I will concentrate on things I don't remember learning from other reviews with an emphasis on prices. ARRIVAL: When we checked our luggage with Delta, They said a bag was overweight. Delta said each person could check 2 bags of 50 pounds each. We had one checked bag for each person and one was 58 pounds. We had to pay an extra $25 to get the bag checked. At the San Juan Puerto Rico airport, we saw a representative holding up a Royal Caribbean sign. We thought we could get a ride to the ship with her, but because we had not arranged in advance, she told us to take a cab. Actually the cab was cheaper. I think it was $10 -$15 plus tip and the prepaid was $10 per person. As we arrived at the cruise check-in building, we were instructed to take our large luggage to the porter's location. When I did, the porter said "Don't forget the porters, we work for tips." I gave him $3. PHOTOGRAPHS: We started boarding at 12:30pm. A photographer was taking pictures of each group boarding the ship. These are $20 and are displayed the next day. The first night at dinner, a pirate came behind each person and put a plastic knife to their neck for a picture. These were $7. On the formal dinner night, photographers were at the entrance to the main dining room. I studied their sign for a price. It only said "no posing fee" and "no obligation to buy". The next day, I saw the pictures were $20. The photographers were there for both formal nights and near the end of the cruise also. STATEROOM: We had a stateroom with no window and no clock. With the lights off, it was as dark as the inside of a closet. Perfect for late sleeping. I should have brought a clock that can be seen in the dark. TV: There wasn't much to watch on TV. If you watch for a couple of hours per day, you will run out of programs. Everything is repeated many times. What is showing: A couple of movies (a Bourne movie and Ray), old TV shows like Mr. Ed, shopping info for the islands, commercials for the on-board stores, descriptions of the tours the ship sells, a "how well do you know your spouse" game record on the ship, interviews with theater performers, etc. LAUNDRY: In the Cruise Vacation Guide book that comes with your luggage tags, it says "For a very sensible fee, we'll do your laundry and dry cleaning". Some Laundry prices: Socks $1, Underwear $1.20, Shirt/T-Shirt $2.50, Shirt dress $3, Pants $3.50. How I did my own laundry: I was going to bring a Ziploc bag of laundry detergent from home but I got scared to be found with a white powder substance in a plastic bag. We bought a small box of Tide and put that in our luggage. I washed in the stateroom sink and rung out as much water as I could. I put the damp clothes between towels on the bed and sat on them. Don't worry about getting your towels wet, they are changed twice a day. The bathroom has good ventilation because of an exhaust vent that is always sucking air. In the shower is a string for hanging wet clothes and a towel rack is above the toilet. A clothes hanger with clips will give the clothes more air exposure than draping them over the string or bar. Clothes usually dry in about 12 hours. CELL PHONES AND WALKIE TALKIES: I have T-Mobile and TracFone cells. T-Mobile works in Puerto Rico, Aruba, St Maarten, maybe Curacao and not in St. Thomas and not at sea. TracFone only works in Puerto Rico. There is an extra charge to use the phones in all these places. Therefore, young people sometimes use walkie talkies on the ship. My 2 mile walkie talkies barely reached from deck 6 business services to deck 11 Windjammer cafe. If you go to Royal Caribbean Cruises: http://www.royalcarib.com/rcldeck/rcladventuredeckplans.html you will see that is a very short distance for the size of the ship. I have seen 10 and 12 mile 2 Way Radio Walkie Talkies in the stores. Maybe that is what should be used. INTERNET ORANJESTAD ARUBA: From the ship, walk to the street and turn right. Walk a short distance and turn right after Diamonds International which is across from the bus station. There you will find Cafe Digital. 15 min $1.25. INTERNET CURACAO: Many choices. After crossing the floating bridge, continue walking down the street. Across from M&C Bank is a tree-lined alley on the left. At the end of the alley on the left, are a couple of internet places which I didn't use. The place I used was farther down the street past the M&C Bank to a KFC on the left side of the street. The KFC looks like it is split into 2 halves with stairs between them going up to the second floor. At the top of the stairs is the internet place. 15 min $1, 40 min $2. The room has no air conditioning and is hot. ARUBA BEACH TRIP: We took a taxi to a nearby beach. I think it was $10 + tip. The driver asked what hotel do we want to go to because he couldn't bring us directly to the beach. We had no idea, so he chose the Hyatt. We walked through the Hyatt down to the beach. All the chairs that were in use had blue towels on them. We had tan towels from the ship. I perceived that the chairs were to only be used by people with blue towels. I saw a chair with a stack of folded blue towels. A Hyatt attendant was taking these towels and giving them to hotel guests along with chairs. Since I wanted to sit on a chair, I took one of the blue towels. When I had walked 20 feet, the attendant took the towel from me and said "these are reserved". So we just sat on the chairs without blue towels. The attendant came to us and asked "What is your room number?". The attendant told us that the chairs were only for hotel guests. There was a large shade structure about 50 feet in diameter. We sat in the sand under that and were not bothered. There was a couple sitting on chairs with tan towels and they were sent down the beach where they rented chairs for $5 each. BOB An underwater motor scooter $100 each person. It is like you sit on a motor scooter under water with your head in a glass bowl filled with air. We purchased this from our room TV a few days before. We met on the dock by the ship in St. Thomas and walked about a 1/2 mile to the BOB boat. The boat took us out to the diving location. We all were divided into 3 groups. A group went into the BOBs for 30 minutes. The 2 groups who were not in the BOBs snorkeled around the boat waiting their turn. They sold one-time use underwater cameras for $20. Luckily, I purchased one at Wal-Mart before leaving on vacation. The divers mark on your wrist band who is in your group. Then they gather your group together under water and take your picture. (If you have a film camera, you should ask for a hand check at x ray machines because x rays are harmful to your pictures.) It is a little awkward getting into the BOB. You are floating horizontally on the surface of the water. You have to put your head about a foot under water and move it into the bowl and move your body to a vertical position and sit on the BOB's seat. The staff divers pushed down on my back to help. As I went down to about 8 feet under water, my ears hurt from the pressure. The diver asked if I was OK and I signaled I was because I didn't want to cause any delay. In less than a minute, my ears adjusted and I was comfortable. The ear pain briefly returned as I returned to the surface. The boat ride was a little rough and one woman barfed over the side of the boat. The staff gave her water, and when we arrived at the dock, she was fine. There were all kinds of people from 10 to middle age and I think everyone enjoyed the BOB adventure. On the BOB boat they asked for a 15% to 20% tip. One of the staff held a glass jar as we got off the boat to receive the tips. I gave them $30 for three people. I have read other reviewers who said the ship was monopolized by local Puerto Ricans who got discount fares. That was not my experience and I think it was because I went in June when graduates and honeymooners are swamping high end vacation venues. My personal opinion of the cruise is that it is too extravagant for me. I love to save money and am a Do-It-Yourselfer. The attitude on the cruise of just enjoy being served, tip generously, and don't think of the cost is not appealing to me. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2005
Background -- Traveling was myself, 29; DH, 30; and my brother, 27. This was my 12th cruise overall and my 9th on Royal Caribbean. Saturday, September 3rd -- We flew down to San Juan early on a 7:10 AM American Airlines Flight from ... Read More
Background -- Traveling was myself, 29; DH, 30; and my brother, 27. This was my 12th cruise overall and my 9th on Royal Caribbean. Saturday, September 3rd -- We flew down to San Juan early on a 7:10 AM American Airlines Flight from JFK. Flight was painless and we arrived into SJU at 11:00 AM. Got our luggage quick and then headed over to the Hertz Rental Car Area to get our rental car. We are Hertz Gold members, so our car was ready, but we had requested an Escape and they had given us a Toyota Rav-4 which was too small to fit all 6 pieces of our luggage in so we had to go inside and have the car switched to an Escape that was sitting out in the lot. No problem, 15 minutes later we had the new car and were on our way to the hotel. It was only about a 5 minute drive to the hotel from the airport as the Isla Verde Area is right next to the airport. Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan We got a great rate on the Hampton Inn Website of $149 for 3 adults for a king, pool view suite. The room had a separate bedroom with a king-size bed, chest with 3 drawers and a 27 inch TV, 2 night tables and a closet. The other room had 1 huge chair, loveseat sized couch that pulled out into a full size bed, 29 inch TV, a table with 2 chairs, a coffee table, mini bar that had a small sink, small microwave, coffee maker and a mini-fridge. There was also a good size bathroom between the living room & bedroom. The room was nice and clean. The hotel had a huge sitting area in the lobby where they served a free continental breakfast in the morning and beverages all day along with a flat panel TV. There was also a nice sized pool with a swim-up bar and a hot tub. You also get free high speed internet access at the hotel as well! The hotel is walking distance from the beaches, Walgreen's, Pueblo's supermarket, and many fast food restaurants. We ate lunch at the poolside grill and it was awesome!! DH and I had hamburgers and my brother had a grilled chicken sandwich. They were all amazing!! They had great flavor and huge portions for only $22 with soda. We really recommend you try the poolside grill if you ever stay there! The only negative to the hotel is that it did have a slight smell of mildew and because it was Labor Day weekend, the hotel was sold out and packed with a lot of "locals" so it was a bit noisy! After lunch we drove over to the Bacardi Factory (the reason why we rented the car) and took a tour, had a few drinks, and bought a few souvenirs. The tour was free and was interesting. If you have the time, it is something worth seeing. We drove back to the Isla Verde area and stopped at the grocery to pick up a few items for the cruise and then had dinner near the hotel. After dinner we just hung out at the hotel and watched TV and got everything ready for the next day. Sunday, September 4th -- We got up at 9AM and had breakfast at the hotel. Their free continental breakfast had a lot of options and was pretty good. After breakfast we went back to the airport to return the car, hoped on the Hertz shuttle and got a quick taxi back to the hotel for $8. We got our luggage ready and tagged and then head down to the lobby to check out at 12PM. We got a taxi right away and then head over to the pier, it was $22 with tip to the pier from the Isla Verde area. Pier Check-In -- We are diamond members and went straight to the Diamond/Platinum & Suite check-in counter. It was somewhat chaotic outside as the porters were trying to take your luggage right away without listening to where it was supposed to go. One porter took our luggage and put it way down at the other end when ours was supposed to go behind the Diamond/Platinum & Suite check-in counter. This could be why we didn't get our luggage until after dinner!!! We waited online outside for about 5 minutes while one of the gate agents was trying to explain to a family that they had to go into the other line bc they were not Diamond/Platinum or & Suite guests....this should have been a sign as to what was to come!!!! Once inside we went to the "Setsail" Counter and had our SeaPass cards in 2 minutes! The process was so quick!!! We then went over to the Diamond/Platinum & Suite waiting area and waited until 1PM when they let us start boarding. There was a long line however of people outside in the hot sun waiting to board. I think RCL still needs to work on the boarding process in San Juan. We were one of the first 50 on board and went straight to the Windjammer for lunch as our cabin would not be ready until 2PM. We had a nice leisurely lunch and then went over to Portofino's to make our reservation for Wednesday night. We walked around the pool area and then had down stairs to check out our new home for the week! We booked an E2 balcony and had cabin 6320. (My brother had cabin 6318 right next door.) We were right on the "bump" and had a slightly larger balcony; however, the negative is that we were right off the elevator banks and will never book a cabin in that area again as we could hear everything and were woken many times during the night by people yelling & screaming (onetime being at 3:30 in the morning of which they were yelling & cursing in Spanish and I ended up calling security.). Our room was neat & clean, it could have used a little more storage space like shelving, but we are good at hiding everything and maximizing the space we had so we had no problems. The only negatives on the cabin was the noise and we had some problems with there not being any hot water or water pressure multiple times during the week and a few times there were problems with the toilets not flushing! We enjoyed the ship all day and had dinner at 6:30 the first time and then the muster drill was at 8:00 PM. Afterwards, we unpacked as luggage didn't arrive until after dinner and then we went up to the deck as we sailed away from San Juan! Monday, September 5th - Sea Day -- We spent the day enjoying the pool area, playing bingo, and trivia. Tonight was the first formal night and everyone was dressed up. Tuesday, September 6th - Aruba -- This was our second time in Aruba. We booked 2 excursions through RCl. The first was the 4x4 Half Day Jeep Safari. This was AWESOME and well worth it! Someone meets you at the pier and buses you to the place where the Jeeps are. Everyone has to spilt up into groups of 4 and then pick out a jeep. We were lucky as only a few were automatics and we got one of them! (You'll see why later….) There were about 25 jeeps in total and we all followed each other on the road. First we drove to the rock formations…do not do this excursion if you are allergic to bee stings….there were multiple bee hives all through out the rocks and anyone could have been stung easily….I am not sure people knew we were going on this hike bc some people were not in shape to do it and huffed and puffed as we hiked up and down through the rocks. (It was only about 20 mins or so.) Then we got back in the jeeps and drove over to the natural bridge….well here is the sad part…..The bridge collapsed on Friday, September 2nd at 6AM after being there for 4,000 years!!!! They didn't tell us until we got there. The other bridge also had a crack in it as well. After taking pictures there we all got back in the jeeps and headed over to the fort, we stopped there for 10 mins where you could climb around the fort. Now to the fun part…..we spent the next hour plus driving along the coastline on dusty, dirt roads that were super bumpy! I don't think some people knew what they were in for! At one point we came to white sand and they told us not to slow down…..well those people who didn't know how to drive standard well got STUCK!!! We spent over 20 mins getting multiple jeeps out of the sand!! Afterwards, we drove all the way around the island along the coast to the California Lighthouse and then we stopped at Arashi Beach for 45 minutes to swim. The beaches in Aruba are so pretty and clean! Afterwards, we headed back to the jeep place and returned the jeeps. They drove everyone back to the pier or to the beach, what ever you wanted to do. We had a great time and highly recommend this tour for anyone that is up for an adventure….just be sure to bring sun screen as they are open top jeeps and we got a lot of sun! Also this tour was only supposed to be 4 ½ hours……we were actually gone for almost 7 hours, just an FYI! Once back on the ship we had lunch at the windjammer and then spent some time in the pool. We showered and got ready for dinner. Dinner on Aruba night is Caribbean night…..this is a good night to book Portofino's in my opinion! After dinner we headed out for our second excursion, the Aruba Bar & Pub Crawl. We meet the Kukoo Kunuku bus right out the terminal. We were supposed to go to 5 bars and get the first drink free at each one, but the first bar was mysteriously closed, so we went to the 2nd one and got an extra free drink. The first 3 bars we went to were all local bars and our group was the only one in them…..a little weird I thought…The last stop was Carlos N'Charlies which is about ½ the size of the one in Cozumel and was PACKED! There was not room to move and we all had to go up to the second floor to get our last free drink. Once we got our drink we headed straight back to the ship as there were just sooo many people there, you couldn't move. We went to the sail away party on the pool deck, but there were so many people in line for the buffet that we went back down to the Cafe Promenade for a snack and then watched the ship leave Aruba at 1AM! Wednesday, September 7th - Curacao -- This was our first time in Curacao. We did another excursion through the ship which was a 2 ½ hour snorkel tour where you could see a sunken tugboat. It was about a 45 minute boat ride from the pier out to the snorkel site which was very, very, very rough! Some people even got sick from the waves. Once we were there we had a little over an hour to snorkel. This was the beat snorkeling I have ever done! You could see so many fish and the water was super clear! The ship wreck was neat also! The boat ride back was much calmer and I got some great shots of the ship! Bring sunscreen though because the sun is very strong there! It was so clear that we could see Venezuela from the ship too! After the snorkel trip we had lunch at Johnny Rockets. The food was great and the service was excellent as well. We used our C&A coupons so we didn't have to pay the $3.95 cover charge, but I would say it was worth the $3.95 anyway! I spent the afternoon at the pool and then we got ready for dinner. We had dinner at Portofino's that night and it was well worth the $20. The food was amazing and the service was great! I highly recommend going to Portofino's. I had the veal which was good, DH had the fillet which he said was one of the best ever, and my brother had the tuna steak which he said was one of the best ever also! I really recommend going to Portofino's!!! Tonight was also the C&A Party….there were over 560 C&A members on board. They had some good hors d'oeuvres and drinks…but we were so stuffed from dinner! The captain gave some details about the RCL Fleet and told everyone about the Freedom of the Seas in case they didn't know already. He also said that RCL is coming out with something even greater then the Ultra-Voyager Class ship in 2009!!! After the C&A Party we went up to the Blue Moon lounge for a drink! Thursday, September 8th - Sea Day -- We spent the day enjoying the ship playing Bingo and trivia, contributing to the casino, and relaxing. This was the second formal night and I must say the menu was not appealing at all. I couldn't even tell you what was on it, just that I was not impressed with the menu for a formal night. Tonight was also the C&A Diamond/Platinum Event which was a private recital with the Rosario Strings trio in the Cloud Nine Room on Deck 14. They had hors d'oeuvres and we got to meet the captain afterwards. Friday, September 9th – St. Maarten This was our third visit to St. Maarten and we decided to book a duck tour. I booked the tour on our own through www.caribbeanducktours.com. It was $40 per person (in cash) for a 1 ½ hour tour of the Dutch side of St. Maarten. The vehicle is amphibious and took as around the island and then into Simpson Bay for a boat ride. There were just 5 of us on the tour (boat holds 48 people) so we really enjoyed our own private tour of the island! We even got unlimited rum punch and a quacker!! After the duck tour we walked around Front Street and checked out some of the shops. They did have some great buys and St. Maarten is the place to buy basic liquor like Bacardi, Absoult, Baileys etc for $5-7 a bottle. You can also get basic cigarettes for $15 a carton there like Marlboro’s etc. We ended up at our favorite place, The Guavaberry Emporium and stocked up on our favorite liquor! They even ship it right back to the ship for you! We then headed back to the ship (it is a $3 per person ride to/from the pier to/from downtown Philipsburg). We had lunch at the Windjammer and then spent the afternoon at the pool. Tonight was semi-formal night and they had lobster on the menu “The Fisherman’s Platter” as it is now called. Tonight was Win-A-Cruise Bingo, but we lost ?, we spent the night at the sports bar watching the Yankees vs. Red Soxs!! Saturday, September 10th – St. Thomas -- First, because we were arriving into a US Territory everyone had to go through immigration on the ship before we were allowed off. Between 7:30 – 9:00 AM everyone had to go to the dining room and show proof of their citizenship. It was painless, just that you had to get up early and walk on a long line throughout the dining room while everyone scanned your seapass card, looked and your passport and then marked your seapass card! Once we were done with that we had breakfast in the Windjammer and then my brother and I went on the Skyride to Paradise point to take a few pictures of the ship. It had rained a little while earlier so it was super humid and we were soaked by the time we got to the top. We took a few pictures and then went right back down! The view was amazing though. Had it been clear, we would have been able to see Puerto Rico perfectly along with Sabe Island and we could see Visques Island. We then got a taxi into town ($4 per person each way) and did a little shopping. St. Thomas has a great selection of liquor; however, know your prices because some things were cheaper on the ship. My brother bought some liquor and cigars and I got some Clinique items and then we headed back to the ship. We had lunch at the Windjammer and then DH and I went on a ships excursion to Meghan’s Bay called Meghan’s Bay Beach Getaway. A taxi meet us at the pier and took us to a look out point where we took a few pictures of the ship and then we went to Drake’s Seat for a few pictures of Meghan’s Bay from above. Then the driver brought us down to the beach for 2 hours. We rented a lounge chair for $6 and enjoyed the warm water and the sun! The driver brought us back to the pier or could drop you off in town if you wanted. We went back to the cabin and started packing and got ready for dinner. The last dinner was again not that appealing. We gave our waiter, assistant waiter and head waiter their tips and thanked them for their service over the week. We did notice that several people did not come to dinner that night. After dinner we finished packing and then spent some time at the Promenade. Sunday, September 11th – Disembarkation -- Because we are diamond members were had first priority to get off the ship. We got up at 6:30 AM showered, got breakfast and packed up everything else. At 8:05 AM they called Letter “D” to get disembark. We went down to deck 4 and the line did not move. We stood for over 30 minutes inching along to the seapass security checkpoint as people cut in line and pushed their way through. There was NO one from the ship monitoring the process at all. The only RCL employee was the security man who was checking the seapass cards, have of which were not working holding up the line. We saw people who had passes of numbers 4 and higher getting off the ship when they hadn’t even been called and no one was there monitoring it at all. RCL really need to improve the disembarkation process. Once we got off the ship we found our luggage right away and cleared customs. We also paid $10 person for a new service offered by American Airlines and RCL called American Airlines Luggage Valet. We filled out a paper by Friday with our flight details and on Saturday night we got an envelope with our luggage tags and boarding passes. Once we came through customs we just brought our suitcases over to the American counter and they took them to the airport for us! Our flight wasn’t until 2:10 PM so we called the Hampton Inn & Suites and San Juan to see if we could get a room for the day. They had availability so we took a taxi from the pier to the hotel for $20 with tip to the hotel and checked in. It was great because we took a nap and I was able to download all my e-mails for the week and we had another great lunch from the poolside grill! Well, we checked out at 1PM and right as we checked out and got in the taxi, I got an update from American Airlines that our flight was delayed (it had been thunderstorming pretty hard for the last hour or so). We got to the airport and went through security, to find out our flight was delayed even more. It ended up leaving 2 hours late. Once we finally landed at JFK, we waited 30 minutes on the tarmac for an agent to bring us to the gate and then another 25 minutes at the gate waiting for another agent to bring the jetwalk over to the plane. Once we were finally off the plane, we waited 10 minutes for our luggage which ended up coming out on 2 conveyer belts and took forever to find out luggage. We ended up not getting home till 9:30 PM. :( Overview: The Ship -- Adventure was great. There were some things that I liked better about her over her sister ship the Navigator that we had been on like the Sports bar, the Windjammer, and the children’s pool & area looked nice. However, I did miss the all glass balconies and chops. The ship is great shape; however, you could see some wear in some of the carpet and elevator buttons. Our cabin could have used a new bedspread as well. The Crew & Staff -- Everyone was extremely friendly. Our cabin attendant Anthony was good and gave us everything we asked for! Our waiter Cristian was great and got us anything we asked for. Claudio our assistant waiter was a little spacey, but got was what ever we asked him for. He did forget all the time though that DH was lactose intolerant and would try to give him sour cream, or a creamy dressing etc every night and we would have to keep reminding him of DH’s dietary needs! Yolanda was our head waiter and she was good. She checked on DH every night for his dietary needs and got him a few special deserts! We saw the captain several times out and about in the Promenade and he was always saying hello to the guests! We did have one problem with a staff member….the loyalty ambassador/future cruise consultant. My brother booked his next cruise while onboard on Monday and on Thursday I noticed the price had gone down while I was checking my e-mail. I called the “FCC” and left him a message that I noticed the price had gone down and would like the price adjusted and that he had spelt the last name wrong. We saw him later that night at the Diamond/Platinum C&A Party and he said that he had gotten our message and would change it. Well by Saturday afternoon we had not heard back from him so we went down to him and asked him about it. He said he had corrected the spelling of the name and sent it over this afternoon. I asked him about the price change and he said he didn’t looked. So I asked him to check and he told us what the price was and I explained that it had gone down over $300pp. He said “oh”. I asked him to change it and left my brother there with him to fix it while I met DH. My brother came back 10 minutes later saying that he said he “didn’t know how to fix it”!!!!!!! Isn’t he the Future Cruise Consultant??? Isn’t that his job??? Our table mates then told us that the night before they went down to book a cruise and he told them to “book it online, it is cheaper that way” and wouldn’t help them. They went to guest relations and complained, but no one every got back to them about booking their cruise. So we too then went to gust relations and filed a complaint and no one got back to us as it was the last night (even though that is not an excuse!). So RCL will be getting a phone call first thing Monday morning about the situation and I hope they adjust the price! Food -- Overall, we had a great cruise and really enjoyed the ports. The only downfall was the quality and selection of food. There was nothing that really stood out as appealing on the menus, it was the same things as before and the quality of the food was not that great. Celebrity’s food is much better in my opinion. Negatives: Besides the food the other negative is that because the ship did not fill up, RCL offered a huge discount to Puerto Ricans and there were over 1,800 of them onboard…more then 2/3 of the ship. All the announcements were made in Spanish and English, even bingo. Some of them were very rude especially the children. They wouldn’t run rampant all over the ship yelling and screaming and no one said a word to them. I even caught one of them making fun of a heavy lady in the elevator and scolded them in Spanish. They didn’t say a word once they knew that someone else understood them. I am not so sure that we will ever leave out of Puerto Rico again though. Please feel free to e-mail with any questions! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2006
This is the second time I have reviewed the Adventure of the Seas. My wife and I did the exact cruise 2 years ago to the same ports, on the same week in January. Our cruise was from San Juan to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas ... Read More
This is the second time I have reviewed the Adventure of the Seas. My wife and I did the exact cruise 2 years ago to the same ports, on the same week in January. Our cruise was from San Juan to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and back to San Juan. On this cruise, we were accompanied by another couple who we have cruised with before, and who have never been on RCCL. We flew into Tampa from Buffalo a few days before the cruise to be with our friends. Prior to our departure, we all filled out our preboarding information on the RCCL website, and printed out our SetSail passes. We flew in together from Tampa on American, and the flight arrived at 1145am. We had purchased these flights due to the nonstop service and were unaware that (according to our cruise docs) "boarding is at 4pm". I spoke with RCCL and was told that we could check our luggage at the pier and that "MAYBE" we could check in for the cruise. Otherwise we would have to wait or go downtown. We hired a taxi to take us to the ship which is at the pier on the outskirts of town. The taxi charged us $24.50 for 4 adults with 8 bags. We arrived at the dock at 12:30, and there was a small line waiting to check baggage. Security asked for your ID before you were even able to check the bags. We were then able to check in at this time much to our surprise. Our SetSail passes that we had printed out just zipped us through the lines. If you print the SetSail pass, you do not need to fill out the information again when you receive your cruise documents. We were on the ship within 15min of arrival at the port. So much for the 4pm on board information. Our cabins were ready and we got rid of our carry on luggage and went to explore the ship. We were going to go into Old San Juan, but it was raining and we were happy to be on board. We had purchased category E1 balcony cabins on deck 6 midship. Balcony cabins on deck 6 do not have a glass balcony, however we were able to see over the balcony railing with no problems. The balcony had 2 chairs and a small table, and was comfortable for about 3 people. Our luggage arrived at about 4pm and we started to unpack. There was plenty of storage, our luggage fit under the bed. The only problem we had with the cabin was a toilet malfunction for about an hour one day. It just refused to flush. We spoke with maintenance, and they apologized and said they were working on it. 5 min later it flushed. Once in a while we did detect a mild sewer odor after turning on the taps. Not sure where that came from. Our friends had problems with their television, and the room steward showed them how to get it to work. The complained to "customer service" and they did nothing about it. Our room steward, Nora, was excellent. Mandatory life boat drill at 830pm before departure. Takes about 15min. YAWN. Entertainment: Well done floor shows. The ice show was fantastic. Jazz singer in Blue Moon lounge, Poor. Our only problem with the floor show was the principal singers. Great voices, but the costumer put them in clothes that should only have been worn by a size 1 model. Both these girls were at least 75lbs overweight and they looked silly in these skin tight outfits with a lot of skin hanging out. Great voices though. Customer Service: The hot tub in the Solarium was boiling on the first day. Very hot but tolerable. The rest of the cruise it was cold. Customer Service was notified over 7 times during the week and the "hot tub" was never hot again. At one point i went to "customer service" and asked about the problem. The girl got on the phone and said "a customer here says the hot tub was cold yesterday, is that true?" I couldn't believe it. I was then told that if it wasn't hot by the afternoon give them a call. Ya right. One of the biggest problems we had was with the show called the Adventure Quest. I am sure this show is performed on the other Voyager class ships under different names. Basically, it's an adult scavenger hunt, held in the ice skating area, with no ice on the floor of course. On this scavenger hunt, you will need things like, 4 pair of men's pants, bras, condemns, underwear, you get the drift. Anyway, there are signs everywhere that this show contains mature subject matter and is not suitable for children. I cannot believe the number of parents who not only brought their children to the show, but sat them down in the front rows. When the entertainment staff informed them about the content, they stayed anyway, and in one case even participated. At the end of the show, the groups get man dressed up in woman's clothes, with makeup etc and they have to act with attitude. One of the groups dressed a 7yr old boy in a bra, heels, makeup and carrying a purse. The cruise director let him stay in the contest. I'm sorry, but the cruise director should have been fired on returning to port. Men were taking off their pants with 5yr old girls watching. This should be an adults only program, i don't care how many parents bitch, whine and complain that they cannot see the show because they don't have someone to watch their kids. Complaints to "customer service" where blown off. Our first day at sea, the weather was a little windy. For that matter, the weather was windy for the whole cruise. Worst weather we have ever had on a caribbean cruise in January. Anyway, the main pool was closed due to the water shooting 20' up the sides as we sloshed around. We were in the Solarium area which is an adults only area, with a small pool and 2 hot tubs. All of the sudden, the hot tubs were filled with 10-13yr olds being a general pain in the rear. When they were told that this was an adult only area, the adults were told to F-off. Security was notified and the offenders were removed. However, this was just the start of the war between the adults and the fairly large volume of children on board. Security was called more than 3 times to remove children from the Solarium, and to sometimes remove their parents who refused to let their children be removed. This is only a small area of the ship that is reserved for the adults. Security had a tough time keeping that way. I am sure RCCL will get a lot of angry mail about this from the parents. Food and Service in the dining room was excellent across the board. Thank you AJ and Hai. The service was as good as Celebrity and the food was close. Portofino's is worth the $20pp cover charge. The Lido lunch was good, but someone needs to teach them how to make scrambled eggs at breakfast. Room service was always on time. Food hot, order correct, limited menu, again, the eggs left a lot to be desired. Aruba: Did the Atlantis Submarine tour. It was ok, the one in the Caymans is better. Our friends did the See and Sea tour, again, just ok. We walked around did some shopping (expensive) and had lunch at Iguana Joe's. Great ribs, large portions, potent drinks. (watch out for the 4 shot drinks, read the menu carefully). In the evening we did the pub crawl without dinner, lots of fun. One thing we noticed that was different from our last trip to Aruba. The excursion ends at Carlos and Charlies which is only a 2 block walk back to the ship. I am glad there was 4 of us. Lots of guys just standing in doorways watching, or standing on the sidewalk so you had to walk around them. Also, there seemed to be a large number of prostitutes in the area. Made us very nervous on the walk back to the ship. Carlos and Charlies was rocking as usual, but i don't know if they check ID. Most of the girls looked like they were 15-16. Glad i don't have daughter's. No police presence anywhere in the area either. You would think they would learn Curacao: Did the Sea Lion swim, and it was worth it. You get to interact with these creatures and learn all about them. Swimming with them is a riot. If you have your own snorkel gear, bring it alone. The Curacao aquarium area is massive and there seems to be a lot to do there. By the way, the shore excursion was $109pp. Take a taxi to the aquarium $15, and sign up for the next encounter $69.95 and $15 taxi back to ship. The floating bridge is out of the water for repairs. Sat on the docks and drank Heineken. There using 7oz bottles now for the same price as a twelve. Not happy about that. St. Maarten: Shopped in the morning, but it was election day, so you could not get any liquor anywhere on the Dutch side. Did the Americas cup regatta in the afternoon. Very informative and if you want to work you can, if not, relax and enjoy the beer. This was a good excursion. St. Thomas: Most of the shore excursions were cancelled due to high winds, again. Wife wanted to go shopping in town. I told her you could get everything you need at the mall dockside. Of course we went downtown. Pushy, pushy people. Every jewelry store had a shill out front pushing the store. After getting back to the dock, she found everything she wanted right there. I hate to say i told you so. San Juan: Arrived early so they could remove luggage and disembarkation began around 730am. They call you by the number you were given the night before. Based on the time your flight leaves, or if your staying in town. Our flight left at 2pm, and our friends left at 6pm, so we stayed on the ship until the last possible moment. The cab fare back to the airport was $24.50 for the 2 of us and 4 pcs of luggage. Our friends had booked there return with the ship. When i protested the extra cost of the return, i was told the prices went up. However the form they give you still shows the old price. The cab driver was not tipped. After the cab left, we were standing there waiting for some help. Two porters just stood there and shot the breeze, after 10 min they finally came over. All so that he could take the bags inside the building and drop them as there was a long line for the counter. When i tipped $4, i got a dirty look. San Juan airport is overcrowded, to small, to expensive. My wife swears we'll never go through there again. Flight home was on Useless Air. They came around with the cart at the beginning, and we never saw them again. $5 for headsets, $7 for sandwiches, oh wait, they didn't have any, for a 5 hr flight. The flight attendants sat in the back reading, with a bowl of snacks sitting there. When you went to the washroom, you could get your snacks or something to drink. In conclusion: I would like to thank all of the so called parents who allowed their children to run up and down the halls at midnight yelling at one another. Who allowed their children to run around the dining room during dinner almost knocking over the servers. Who allowed their children to participate in adult only programs. You know who you are. You think you children are safe just because your on an enclosed ship. You seem to think your responsibility as parents ends at the gangway. You parents did a great job of ruining other people's vacations. I know, i know, your little angels wouldn't do anything wrong. Thank you RCCL for not allowing you crew to say anything to these children or parents. Only officers or security are allowed to say anything. We had a good time despite the children on board. Not all of them were bad, some were very polite and they still had a good time. I don't hate children. I hate parents who seem to think they are not responsible for them. We will not go on an RCCL cruise again for just this reason. I have nothing against RCCL. The food was good, the shows were great. We just want a little more vacation and a little less babysitting. We'll stick with Celebrity of Holland America from now on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2006
My husband and I had each been on cruise ships before, but not together, and not in some years (he spent a year working on a cruise ship so was a bit hesitant to return). Overall, the Adventure of the Seas trip was a good one for both of ... Read More
My husband and I had each been on cruise ships before, but not together, and not in some years (he spent a year working on a cruise ship so was a bit hesitant to return). Overall, the Adventure of the Seas trip was a good one for both of us. We were pleased with the ease of arrival, transportation, and check-in when we reached San Juan. We had pre-paid transfer vouchers, and it could not have gone more smoothly. We arrived in our exterior room with a balcony (I had really debated about spending that much for a balcony, but ended up using it a lot and loved seeing sunrises and sunsets from bed) and were pleased with the size and cleanliness of our room. The first night we dined at Portofino and had an almost flawless experience. I was disappointed with the white chocolate mousse dessert (it tasted slightly stale and not very flavorful) but we loved everything else we sampled that night and between four of us, had just about everything on the menu. Going the first night (thanks to Cruise Critic research) was a great choice because two other couples we knew who waited were unable to get in. The first day I toured the spa (a bit of a heavy sell -- I just wanted to look around) and took a cursory tour of the shops on board. We did not take advantage of the entertainment this night, or much of the entertainment offered on board, in part because it didnt appeal to us, but also due to awkward times. For example, I would have liked to have gone to the comedy show on the last night, but not at 7 p.m. With the later seating at dinner, I would have preferred to see the show after dinner, but thats just me. We opted for a snorkeling excursion in Aruba (through the ship) and enjoyed the Pelican Tours snorkel and sail trip. Our main complaint was that it was overbooked and made it very crowded on board, and made for a long wait getting in and out of the water. The itinerary, food (barbecue lunch) and music on board were all great. We loved snorkeling the shipwrecked Antilla. In Curacao we just hopped in a taxi with two other couples and got a two-hour tour of the island, then went back to see some high points ourselves. We really liked this island. In St. Maarten we took a bus to the French side (again using cruisecritic BB advice) and poked around Marigot. Found a great bakery, then headed to Orient Beach for a lovely day in the sun on comfy cushioned chairs. In St. Thomas we caught a taxi to Magens Bay, then returned to town for lunch at Gladys and some shopping. Another great day. We spent our days at sea napping, lounging by the pool, working out, and reading. We loved the champagne bar. I asked for a tour of the kitchen (a galley tour to them) and although my waiter said they had been discontinued, the head waiter let me know one was already scheduled for an at-sea day. I really enjoyed that. I think on this ship, and any RCL ship, if you are interested in something, ask. All they can say is no, and they are more likely to try and accommodate you than turn you down. This ship was so huge that it had many amenities were did not take advantage of; the skating rink, in-line skating, the rock wall, multiple dancing and singing shows, massage classes, salsa lessons, a cooking demonstration, shuffle board, and more. What we really needed was quality time doing¬hing. We got that. The balcony helped me escape the loud bustling areas when I needed to, but when we wanted to watch people, listen to live music, or be social, we had many chances for that as well. We didnt have a single problem with the friendliness of the staff. One bartender was on the slow side, and since our waiter had recently been promoted, it seemed like we were the last table served every night. However, he was very personable and we liked him a lot. High points: the Rasul spa treatment, free fitness classes, the champagne bar on the fifth floor, a balcony room, pre-paid tips and transfer vouchers to and from the airport, and checking our luggage as we stepped off the ship. Low points: Slow food service in the main dining room, sub-par fresh fruit at breakfasts, breakfast food in the Windjammer was overall just ok. Food on the last night was underwhelming, but overall, food was very good, but not great. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
We (Deb and Jack from Massachusetts) cruised to the Southern Caribbean during the week of February 5, 2006. This was our third cruise, and our second with Royal Caribbean. Since we had already had the experience of a cabin with a balcony, ... Read More
We (Deb and Jack from Massachusetts) cruised to the Southern Caribbean during the week of February 5, 2006. This was our third cruise, and our second with Royal Caribbean. Since we had already had the experience of a cabin with a balcony, it was a must for us again. The Adventure of the Seas is a beautiful and extraordinarily large ship. Although the ship had approximately 3,000 passengers on board, it rarely seemed crowded. Skip to comments section at the end of this review to find out if we would sail on this ship again. Pre-night in San Juan: We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. I suggest that a pre-night is a must if you live in the snowy northeast like we do, and I would recommend the Sheraton. It was a clean, quiet hotel. It has a small casino too. Arriving at Airport in San Juan: We booked our own air arrangements and arrived in San Juan around 3 pm, without any trouble at all. Getting on the ship: (embarking) was very smooth. The sail departure time was 10 p.m., but we were allowed on the ship at 1 p.m. and our cabin was ready by 2 p.m. Cabins: Our cabin was very nice! Two twin beds were made into a king-size bed and it was very comfortable. The room was attractive and very clean. Again, the balcony was well worth the extra price. We often sat outside just enjoying the rolling sea. Sliding doors were kept open at night to appreciate the sound of the ocean waves. Our cabin was very private (7th deck). The bathroom was rather small, and the shower was even smaller. Please note that there is no iron in the cabin and no iron to be requested at all. Alcohol on Board: While we didnt bring alcohol on board with us, we know that others did without a problem. Room Service: Very efficient. Must remember to have cash available for tipping. Breakfast and Lunch Buffets: Once the breakfast buffet ends, the lunch begins. Breakfast was open until 11:30 and lunch began at Noon and lasted until 3 p.m. There is always something to eat! Dinner Buffet: We decided not to attend dinners in the main dining room and ate at the Windjammer Cafe instead. There was a buffet offered each night from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The items varied and the desserts were magnificent! Best Desserts and Sandwiches: Promenade Café served great food just about around the clock. Singles and Children: There didnt seem to be many children on this cruise. Those that I did see were well behaved. Average Age Range: I would guess there were mostly couples or families with small children on board. The average age range would have been 30's through 60'sis my best guess. Wheelchair Access: Must be okay because I saw a couple of people wheeling all around the ship. Cruise Activities: There were a lot of activities to do. There was also plenty of time to relax. We spent time doing more of the latter. Ports of Call  Oranjestad, Aruba: We took the half-day jeep safari and enjoyed it. Willemstad, Curacao: We went to Mambo beach and the water was crystal clear. It was our day in the sun. Philipsburg, St. Maarten: We took an island tour, which we enjoyed. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas: Here we took an island tour, which was nice. We also took an excursion called Screamin Eagle, a speedboat ride. The speedboat ride is the only thing we did and would not recommend. It was priced too high for the 45 minutes. We did another speed boat ride last time we were in St. Thomas, so we did have something to compare this one to. Bars: We were in and out of most bars at one point or another. None stand out as extraordinary. The shops on board were your basic expensive jewelry and clothing stores and some souvenir and variety store. I am not much of a shopper, so stores dont impress me. Cruise Staff: All were very polite and friendly. Cabin Steward: We saw him in the hallways and he always said hello. Our cabins were cleaned twice a day and the animals made from towels were a bit hard to figure out. Deck Service: I dont think there were as many wait staff around, as I would have liked. Casino: We did spend too much time in there (sigh), making our donation to somebodys bank account, but not our own! Dont expect free drinks when you gamble like in the U.S. Ship Cleanliness: Excellent. Deck Space: There were plenty of chairs to lounge in and always plenty of room to sit. The one thing noticeable missing were tables. There were no tables in between chairs on the decks by the pools. Disembarking (leaving the ship): Everybody has a color code and that determines when you will leave the Ship. You have black luggage? So do we and 1,000 other people! It was easy to find though. Be sure to put some bright yarn or ribbon on your luggage. Disembarking went smoothly. Stabilization: Our cabin was in the middle of the ship and we rarely noticed the ship moving. Telephone Service and Internet Connections: There is an internet room and the cost is 50 cents per minute. It was up and running 24 hours per day. Our cell phone did not work while cruising and the cost to make a call on board was almost $7.50 per minute. Plan to keep in touch via email, if possible! Overall Cruise Comments: The Adventure of the Seas met our expectations, but it was almost identical to the Voyager of the Seas. Evidently, all of the Voyager class ships are like that. We are planning to cruise again in the future, and would consider another Royal Caribbean ship, but not the Voyager class. We would like to experience different types of ships. I prefer the Eastern Caribbean itinerary to the Western or Southern Caribbean because it was more exotic looking. The islands we visited on this trip were a mixture of what Ive seen on eastern and western caribbean trips. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. Our goal for this cruise was to relax, see new places, and meet new people. That we did do. I loved our cabin, the food, the people we met, and I loved the experience of sailing the seas again. If you have any questions about my review or experience, please feel free to email me and Ill happily respond to all. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
The good: The ship is a beauty. The food is fine. The entertainment is good. The ice skating show along with the Nelson Twins were the best part of the entertainment The staff is efficient. The kids club is difficult to get your ... Read More
The good: The ship is a beauty. The food is fine. The entertainment is good. The ice skating show along with the Nelson Twins were the best part of the entertainment The staff is efficient. The kids club is difficult to get your kids out of. It cost a min of $10 late night each evening as my 8 year old loved it and would at least stay till midnight to play gag a ball! Good job staff! The ports were wonderful especially with 20+ inches of snow in the NY area. The bad: Family oriented events held in the Schooner bar was a smoke filled event. Smoking during family events where children are encouraged to join in should be eliminated. The prizes for the winners in the trivia contests was very poor and to make matters worse they never had enough for the winning teams. It was always, see me later! How many times can they give out plastic covered key chains? The Quest held on the covered ice skating rink is dangerous as the condensation build up made it very slippery. Many people fell running to show their number. Royal Caribbean always seems to have their hand in your pocket as compared to other lines. The elevators were very crowded during peak usage times as there are two elevator banks. One front and one aft. However, they are located on both sides of the ship. The Serenade of the Seas for example has three elevator locations. The public bathrooms should be cleaned more often as the often had a strong smell of urine. Overall, I would recommend getting a cabin located aft of mid ship as, especially if you have children, as all the dining facilities along with the children's club and the sports deck are located in the rear of the ship. We were located in the front and did that long walk down the hallway several times per day. Whereas, the Lyrics theater is located in the front of the ship. If you decide to eat your meals in the Windjammer, please note the dining staff are not salaried employees and are rotated up from the dining room every few weeks and usually people up there do not tip these workers. I suggested trying to get into the same area each night to use the services of the same person and consider compensation this person at the weeks end. What more can you say except I find all cruises wonderful when the alternative is snow and work. Happy cruising to all! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
We left Md. drove to Pa and stayed at the Radisson in Philadelphia the night before our flight to San Juan on US Air. Our stay started with 2 teenage girls having a key to our friends room and walking in on him. The hotel was very ... Read More
We left Md. drove to Pa and stayed at the Radisson in Philadelphia the night before our flight to San Juan on US Air. Our stay started with 2 teenage girls having a key to our friends room and walking in on him. The hotel was very apologetic and assured him they would be told to leave but that didn't happen! They also gave our friend a small care bear stuffed animal to show they cared-seems like an adult way to handle an embarrassing problem doesn't it? The hotel was very nice though. The next day we were to airport checked our bags and later discovered the plane had Mechanical Problems and was going to be delayed. After 2 or 3 delays we transferred to another plane. After being assured our luggage would also be switched we arrived in San Juan to discover we had no luggage. It arrived at 9pm and the ship left at 10--however we had to stand in long lines to fill out lost luggage forms, and describe our luggage. We did get it about 11pm. Embarkation was a breeze. Please do your SetSail paper on line - it makes a big difference. We get on the ship and have to stand in line again regarding our luggage. Needless to say we totally missed seeing San Juan. Thank you US Air!!! Stateroom: We asked for two rooms together so we were given the handicap rooms. Not bad little more walking room. We had a problem with the toilet not flushing one time, the water coming out of the sink was orange a couple times. First night - NO CHOCOLATE on the pillows. We did get it the rest of the nights. Our cabin steward was great - Castro! I would have liked more drawer space but we made do. There are not a lot of announcements but there are a few and our speaker did not work in our room and when I reported it it was never fixed. Ship Info: No Paper towels in public bathrooms, no flowers in the bathrooms (every other ship we've been on has linen towels and first vase of flowers). No Sushi bar (Celebrity last year had a regular area for sushi). Decorations thruout the ship were ok but not gorgeous. The mall area was very nice and large. and for those looking for an inside room they have them overlooking the mall area ,which in very nice but may be noisy and probably not too private if you have your curtain open. Beds were cots - not great but I was so tired at night I slept ok. Dining room waiter and assistant waiters were GREAT. We were at table 844 and I am sorry but can't think of their names. The head waiter was a pretty boy and disgusted all of us. Not accommodating and a pain. The Portofino Restaurant is a must!!! Delicious food and excellent service. It is worth the $20.00 but sign up as soon as you get on the boat they fill up fast. The windjammer restaurant is just run of the mill buffet food. Not as good as Holland America or Celebrity but okay. No waffle bar which Celebrity has. Service: Service is okay but I didn't feel it was as good as our other cruises. The Filipino staff on other cruise lines seem friendlier and more caring. The staff of Adventures did not try to help much and were not real friendly. Entertainment: The cruise director on this cruise made our cruise. His last name was Spacey and he was a riot. All the planned activities that we attended were great and he deserves a lot of credit. Disembarkation: This was so easy, just go wherever you want and hang out and when they call your group number go to the gangway. Was the easiest of any cruise we've gone on Summary: A WORD TO ALL WHO WANT TO ENJOY YOUR CRUISE----DON'T GO PRESIDENT'S WEEK OR THE THIRD WEEK OF APRIL!!!! Why because these are the two weeks the northeast is out of school and it felt like they were all on our boat. There were 1,006 children of all ages on this cruise. All ages! We were stepped on, pushed, Holland at, We listened to cursing, watched cans being thrown with full sodas in them. They ran up and down the halls hollering. We saw 14 year olds drinking. And where were their parents? Oh they couldn't have cared less. And you know what? Royal Caribbean did nothing about it. I learned my lesson never again on those two weeks and probable never again on Royal Caribbean. All in all it probably wasn't the worst ship out there but I have been on several better. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
Background: This was our ninth RCCL cruise and we traveled with friends of ours. PreCruise: We flew into San Juan a day early. We had to wait over an hour for our transportation to our hotel and the RCCL airport staff couldn't tell us ... Read More
Background: This was our ninth RCCL cruise and we traveled with friends of ours. PreCruise: We flew into San Juan a day early. We had to wait over an hour for our transportation to our hotel and the RCCL airport staff couldn't tell us why it was taking so long. When we boarded the bus, the passengers told us that they had to sit on the bus for an hour without anyone telling them why. We stayed at the Hyatt Dorado Beach which was overrated. The lights outside our room were in need of repair. We paid a fee for bicycle rental, etc., which was not told to us on check-in therefore we did not use these extras because we didn't know we were entitled to them until we checked out. At breakfast, there were birds drinking out of the creamers and flying around the dining room. RCCL should look into this recommended hotel and check it for problems. Embarkation: We prefilled our information on line and had our SeaPass Boarding Pass which speeded our check in time to about 10 minutes. Dining: Upon entry to the ship we immediately checked our table and found it to be excellent. It was on the main floor, table 338. Our waiter was Cyrus and assistant was Michelle. They were superb and made our dining experience excellent. The meals were delivered hot and quickly. Our head waiter was new to Adventure, first sailing, but he handled all of our requests without any delay and made our dining experience great! Entertainment: The ice show was the best we've ever had on a ship. I have to say that the Cruise Director, Richard Spacey, made it one of the most enjoyable cruises we've ever been on. His energy and sense of humor should be what every cruise director models themselves after. His adlibbing for the Marriage Game and Adventure Quest was remarkable. Cabin: Our Steward was Mario and he made sure that everything was perfect in our cabin. He seemed to be in the hallway every time we opened our door. Service: Excellent except the baggage problem identified in the excursion section. Fitness: Very good. Shore Excursions: Here's our problem area - we had a 6:27 p.m. flight out of San Juan, so we decided to sign up for the SJD - City Tour & Bacardi Rum Distillery, which is listed for approximately 4 hours. Prior to the tour we gathered our three pieces of luggage and walked with the porter to a truck and watched him place the three pieces on the truck and were told that they would be at the airport after the "4" hour tour. The bus driver had a heavy accent and was very difficult to understand so we didn't learn much about San Juan. The tour of Bacardi was good and we arrived at the airport after only three hours. When we did arrive, one of our pieces of luggage was not there and after many "rude" conversations with the RCCL representative at the airport, we were informed that we had to go back to the ship terminal by our own expense, $50, to retrieve the luggage. Our friends who traveled with us witnessed our three pieces get loaded on the truck, so we have no idea why it was returned. Value: The precruise hotel was overrated and expensive. The shore excursion was definitely shorter than listed. Family & Children: N/A. Summary: Everything would have been super except for ending the cruise with the lost luggage and poor excursion. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2006
This was our second cruise, our first cruise was on Carnival for our honeymoon. Now we have a son, he is 3 years old, and we brought him along. We had a wonderful time-in part because I read many of these reviews and found helpful tips ... Read More
This was our second cruise, our first cruise was on Carnival for our honeymoon. Now we have a son, he is 3 years old, and we brought him along. We had a wonderful time-in part because I read many of these reviews and found helpful tips from other travelers that enhanced our vacation quite a bit. We would recommend Royal Caribbean-although there were a few things that needed improvement. Embarkation: We made our own flight arrangements and arrived early Sunday morning. By noon we already had our luggage and got a taxi right outside the terminal. At San Juan, the taxi service is very organized -you walk out of the terminal and there is a roped-off area with nice representatives (of the airport?) walking around with clip-boards. They ask you your destination (all you have to say is the Adventure of the Seas-all the cabbies know where to go) and let you know the rate -then they get the cab for you. Its $20 for a cab plus .50/per bag. Boarding the ship-Easy! Definitely check in online beforehand. We were on the ship within a half and hour. Everyone was super friendly. I highly recommend getting passports for everyone-you do have to show it frequently and having one for our 3 year old was so much easier. First Night tip-go to Johnny Rockets Sunday night-its not crowded and food was very good. The Ship: They will let you into your room promptly at 2:00 pm and there was a very nice lunch buffet at the Windjammer while you wait. The service at the Windjammer was great the first day-as the week wore on it did become difficult to get the waiter's attention and order a drink from the bar. Our room was fantastic-spotless-very large for a cruise ship-with a very pretty clean bathroom. We had a balcony-my advice to fellow travelers is GET the balcony!!! Its a bit more but worth every penny...a highlight of our trip was room service!! Highly recommended. Very prompt, neatly done, and delicious. We had breakfast on our balcony every day but one. And on that day we really missed it. One warning to people traveling with a young child-the third berth in our room was a bunk bed with ladder that was all fairly high up above our bed-RCL should offer a type of bed on the floor for toddler/pre-school age children. The ship was gorgeous-the Promenade was very cool- something out of a Vegas casino like the Venetian or Caesars-with the indoor city of shops and bars. We liked "Sprinkles" for our son and did buy a few gifts at the shops-the prices were very fair. But-another warning-all the shops will be closed while you are in port. So don't plan on being able to do any thing on the Promenade-including the casino. (Casino was good-found some "loose slots" although my husband thought the card tables were fun but not very generous....) The pool area was large-no difficulty getting a chair-and our ship was full. However, wait service was poor at the pool. I never saw a wait-person and the bar staff were surprisingly grumpy. We found the bucket of beers for $20 the best deal-(unadvertised-you have to ask) but you do get 6 beers on ice. This is handy to take to "Adventure Beach" where we spent a lot of time with our son, at the back of the ship. Good pool slides for kids and well supervised by RCL staff. Also not in the direct sun-which is better for kids. (but no area for snacks, or drinks available.-RCL should have a little "cantina" there. It would be very handy.) Again, warning-this area is mostly closed when the ship is in port. We did not utilize the child care program for our son-we wanted him with us!!! Dining/Entertainment: I have read on previous reviews the food is poor-DON'T believe this. Food was Excellent! We ate in the dining room every night. Five star service and five star food. Lobster, filet, all great. Our son ordered from the adult menu and loved it-but you can also order chicken-fingers etc. for kids at the dining room. The grand buffet was lame-Carnival's was far superior-but we didn't want to eat at midnight, anyway. The shows were fun and very entertaining, a lot like Vegas shows: the comedians were all pretty good -the Ice Show is a highlight-absolutely do not miss this. It's a little tricky to get tickets, check the Compass for times to pick them up (free) outside the studio. There can be quite a line for this-bring something to read. Excursions/Ports: We enjoyed all the ports/stops-here are some tips: the "beach tour" with 4 beach stops at Aruba was not worth it. We never made it to the California Light house, and one of the beach stops for snorkeling was at a dirty, small beach that was crowded. In Aruba, I recommend taking a private cab to De Palm Beach-there are public facilities there. Water is nice. Also try Iguana Joes for good drinks. Curacao was pretty-but !!-entire city is under construction-sewers are dug up everywhere, the famous rotating bridge is gone-you have to take the ferry. Do go to Waterfort street. Nice cafes on the water. Beautiful!! St. Maarten-Lovely-do the Orient Beach express trip-free rum!! And the city of Phillipsburg is the best place to shop, hands down. Avoid the shops recommended by RCL-they had the highest prices. St. Thomas-Magen's bay was pretty but after all the hype not as nice as St. Maarten. Highly recommended-the Paradise point Tram (short walk from the ship) and the bird show is a riot. Overall-a nice ship/trip-but really nothing was any more special than our experience with Carnival-although the ship was bigger. We think cruising in general is a great vacation- and everyone on RCL were so friendly-especially to our son. My one complaint is echoing others -and that is RCL does nickel and dime their travelers too much. The "wine package" is ridiculous-wine by the bottle was way over-priced. Hopefully RCL will take note of this. Bon Voyage!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2006
Although we had not traveled this itinerary in the past, this was our fourth RCCL cruise. My husband and I traveled with our oldest daughter and her husband and my brother and sister-in-law, this was not the first cruise for any of us. ... Read More
Although we had not traveled this itinerary in the past, this was our fourth RCCL cruise. My husband and I traveled with our oldest daughter and her husband and my brother and sister-in-law, this was not the first cruise for any of us. We arrived in San Juan at 12:30pm, we did not expect to board right away, but we had purchased the transportation from the airport to the ship and after collecting our baggage only had about a 10 minute wait until we boarded a small bus to the ship. The driver was very pleasant and funny. Having printed our Sail Passes from the website, boarding was easy, no lines we got right on. We deposited our carry ons in our rooms and went up to the Windjammer for lunch. We then just leisurely roamed around the ship. When our bags arrived at about 4:30, we unpacked, changed and went to the Sports Bar on the Promenade for a drink before our Main Seating dinner. The food all week was excellent, as were are servers Domingo and Maria. They were conscientious and very pleasant. The one area we all had a problem with was fellow passengers that showed up for the 6:00pm seating at 7:00pm, knowing that there was a second seating at 8:30pm. The poor staff was serving dessert and entrees at the same time. Not an easy task with the volume. Also, on the evenings when the dress code was formal, there were passengers coming into the dining room in shorts!!! I think at the very least the time factor has to be enforced. I can remember going on cruises where the doors to the dining room were closed 30 minutes after the seating time and latecomers were not allowed in. This may seem harsh, but it got people to dinner on time. Our stateroom attendant was unobtrusive, but available, have no complaints in that area. The excursions were very good except for one part of the snorkeling excursion in Aruba. The Aruba Sailaway Beach and Snorkel Cruise...the staff was fantastic, the snorkeling location was great (a shipwreck that attracted beautiful fish), but the lunch was awful. They to us to a dock off the hotels and the restaurant was right there, very convenient. But the restaurant staff and food was not. They handed you a full plate as you walked in, tried to jam us all into a few tables and were quite rude. The pasta salad was warm (never a good idea), the beans were cold and the one chicken leg and single rib were rather tasteless. Dessert was warm fruit salad, yeah right. We enjoyed another snorkel excursion in St. Maarten....Captain Morgan's Sailing adventure, while the snorkeling as not as great, sailing on a 70' schooner was a blast. The captain barbecued on lunch right on board and it was great!. We don't really regret either one. My husband and son in law went on a scuba excursion in Curacao, they thought they would enjoy diving off the beach rather than off a boat. What they don't tell you is that you have to trek all your gear quite a ways and then swim to the location. By the time you get there you are already tired. Not a great start to a dive. The cruise director, Richard Spacey, was one of the best we have experienced. Not just enthusiastic, but also very reachable, he was all over the ship talking to everyone. Seemed to really enjoy his job. The entertainment was pretty good, we only missed one show due to exhaustion, the sun really gets to you. Had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2006
My husband and I, my Mother and Sister in Law booked the Southern Caribbean Cruise leaving from San Juan and joint to Aruba, Curacoa, St Maarten, St Thomas and back to San Juan. We flew down two days early and stayed in a perfectly ... Read More
My husband and I, my Mother and Sister in Law booked the Southern Caribbean Cruise leaving from San Juan and joint to Aruba, Curacoa, St Maarten, St Thomas and back to San Juan. We flew down two days early and stayed in a perfectly charming inn in the Condado area "At Wind Chimes Inn" Choose to stay there, absolutely excellent. We arranged a taxi from the Inn to the pier and that was about $30 for the four of us and eight pieces of luggage. The embarkation was the easiest and quickest we have ever encountered. Even though the brochure says boarding at 4 pm, we were on board and in our cabins by 1 PM and our luggage arrived soon after. Our cabin was on deck 6 forward on the starboard side. Cabins were very nicely done and our cabin steward Mary was a gem. My Mother and Sister in Law were next door. One thing to note, we did not hear any talking or noise (TV phones ect) through the cabin walls. This was a very pleasant surprise. Compared to other ships and other cruise lines, we found the washrooms to be smaller and with less amenities. Only one side of the vanity mirror opened to store things. Carnival Spirit had a basket of toiletries - deodorant, mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo,body rinse and conditioner. There was a double closet with shelves inside. The linens were just like silk, very nice. The Windjammer Cafe was very good for breakfast but if you wanted an omelet, be prepared for a long line and wait. Only one omelet station but you could get egg beaters (low cholesterol). Food was plentiful and the servers were extremely helpful, even finding the rest of your party for you if you got completely turned around. We found the food in both the dining rooms and Windjammer to be actually uninspired. There really was not a huge variety like on other cruises we've taken. Angus steak for instance was to me, cut small pieces of round steak in a gravy sauce. The Puerto Rican vegetable medley was excellent. The ship was 85% Puerto Rican and on our trip there were 500 children. To be truthful, we never had a problem with either rowdy or rude kids. My Mother and I even asked kids (their parents were with them) if we could measure their wrists for "gold and silver by the inch bracelets". The Promenade Cafe was great. You could get a fresh cup of coffee 24 hrs a day and their pizza by "Mamma Mia" was the best. I would go down early and have a coffee by myself and not feel uncomfortable. The ship itself is beautiful, but I would not choose a cabin the faces into the Promenade of the ship. The Piano Bar just outside the Casino was great. Good music and very welcoming. My Mother spent an hour herself there just listening to the piano around 11 pm one evening. The most disappointing thing we found was the Captain's cocktail party. We never found it!! We took early seating for dinner because we would be able to take in the shows. We even asked some of the crew about the cocktail party and they didn't even seem to know. Very disappointing for Mom and Sister in Law. Finding the various pictures taken by the ship's photographer was an exercise in futility. The area was relatively small and seemed like hundreds of people milling around, all looking for their photos. Some of the assistants on the photo desk barely spoke English and weren't really interested in helping. We tool the Town & countryside tour in Aruba - fabulous. In Curacoa we swan with the dolphins - fabulous. In St Maarten - shopping in the morning (too many jewelry stores - go into the back street for little shops, Then a beach junket to Orient Beach - excellent. St Thomas - filled with carbon monoxide fumes, hawkers at every turn and absolute traffic gridlock - we won't go back there. We did not find the shops on board to be very "duty free" I actually priced out a watch on board and the same watch in Newark airport and it was the same price. All in all, we will not sail RCI again, we'll go back to Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2006
This was my 5th cruise and is my first written review. Here are my observations of Adventurer of the Seas sailing out of San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 26, 2006 the down side - The cabin air conditioner worked on minimal the entire ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise and is my first written review. Here are my observations of Adventurer of the Seas sailing out of San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 26, 2006 the down side - The cabin air conditioner worked on minimal the entire time. Bathroom sink clogged frequently and intermittently had brown running water. After wiping down my room with clorox wipes, I found the door to the refrigerator to be filthy. I don't think it was ever wiped down from day of installation. The refrigerator was not cold enough to keep milk from going bad. The mattress was a thin cot with no box spring (which I have had on other ships). Re: passengers... majority were extremely rude and lacking in manners. Examples of rudeness displayed were: not allowing wheel chair passengers off elevator before they entered, allowing their children to run rampid on board, teenagers shredding toilet paper and watching it float down from upper deck, walking in front of professional photographer while taking posed pictures, entire family members sitting on floor in photo gallery sprawling their pictures on the floor to view while e others were forced to walk around them in small area, bumping into others without giving apology, using their cell phone to talk during nightly theatre show. One lady even raised her leg on top of a banister on promenade deck so she could pick her toe nails!! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't witnessed it myself. I could go on about this bunch of classless people, but I won't. the upside- Although we didn't have enough people to have an official Meet & Mingle, I did meet up with two other couples who were extremely nice and made our socializing allot of fun. At our dinner time, we had a table for six. One couple never showed, but the couple who did, made our dinner time very enjoyable. Regarding our excursions; Our luncheon on Orient Beach in St. Maarten was a success and our snorkel experience at St. John was the best snorkel experience and I hope to go back there in the future. Re the staff: Very professional, polite and always willing to please no matter what the circumstance. We did have one major occurrence where our room attendant forgot to close our cabin door after cleaning our room and we discovered it had been left wide open for at least an hour while we were having dinner. The incident was reported and the attendant apologized. Also, I want to mention it was a pleasure to see hand sanitation stations before entering dinning areas on the ship. There was also one for passengers returning to the ship. In conclusion: I will never board a ship leaving out of Puerto Rico again. I will also read the reviews prior to booking a cruise from now on as I have learned they do have truth to them. And I would like to ask Royal Caribbean one question....Why would the crew not ask passengers to not block stairways and elevators by passengers sitting on stairs and floors in front of elevators, as well as those sitting on floor in Photo Gallery area to move??? Read Less
Sail Date: December 2006
We began our cruise out of Puerto Rico and had no problems getting onto the ship or into our room. From the taxi, it took no more than 20 minutes. Our luggage arrived before dinner. It is worthwhile to bring a carry-on with items to help ... Read More
We began our cruise out of Puerto Rico and had no problems getting onto the ship or into our room. From the taxi, it took no more than 20 minutes. Our luggage arrived before dinner. It is worthwhile to bring a carry-on with items to help you freshen up though. The first dinner begins somewhat later and does not have a dress code. Our room in the front of the ship was spacious in order to accommodate our family of five. The view through two large windows was a nice touch throughout our entire stay. On the other hand, most of the activities including dining, gangway and the lounges are on the aft side which means that you have to walk the entire length of the ship several times a day. In addition, there seemed to be more movement in the front of the ship. The food was much better than we expected. Breakfast is always the same but lunch and dinner change daily. We went to Portofino's and it was nice but we are still not sure if it was worth the extra money. I don't know if this was true with others, but our servers in the main dining room seemed to rush us through the meal. With our three children (8, 10, 12), we were looking forward to some private time. Unfortunately, after the first three hour session, our kids complained about being bored at adventure ocean and we could not get them back there for the rest of the cruise. Our kids were excited about the pool until they realized that it was more salty than sea water. They also did not return. Instead, there were lots of board games, ice-skating (at scheduled times), miniature golf, rollerblading and rock-climbing. Lots to do for the kids but not necessarily independently. Even though we have children ourselves, the large number of teenagers can transform the experience. We had read the previous reviews about the number of Puerto Ricans on the ship. Although there were no quincineras going on, the ship was pretty much dominated by Puerto-Ricans. At least 75% of the passengers are from Puerto Rico. Many events are done in Spanish and English. We have to agree with other reviews in that many Puerto Ricans can be less considerate than the typical passenger. There can be significant crowding and an unruly atmosphere that undermines any hope of a peaceful vacation. My wife says that she would never leave out of Puerto Rico again. The cruise offers lots of activities on sea days but most of the activities are intended to generate income for the cruise line. These activities including tastings, spa seminars, camera demonstrations etc . . . The same type of street-side vendors you experience in malls and ports of call, also find their way into the promenade deck which otherwise is very nice. The ice skating show, comedy and the dance shows were very good. The singers didn't come across too well on the sound system. All in all, the trip was very nice, the service was excellent and we all enjoyed ourselves. Nonetheless, we certainly would not consider going on this same cruise again. We did not book any excursions as we opted to rent a car at each port to explore on our own. Pros: 1) nice room 2) good food 3) nice common areas 4) ice skating and comedy show 5) easy embarking and disembarking 6) good gym Cons: 1) cruise dominated by Puerto Ricans 2) bathroom, small and smelled bad right from the beginning 3) commercially minded activities 4) Adventure Ocean (kids program) Read Less
Sail Date: January 2007
We just returned from the one week southern caribbean cruise.  We had not cruised for 15 years so we are basically first time cruisers.  Normally we go the a caribbean island resort and stay for 7 to 10 days.  We flew out the day before ... Read More
We just returned from the one week southern caribbean cruise.  We had not cruised for 15 years so we are basically first time cruisers.  Normally we go the a caribbean island resort and stay for 7 to 10 days.  We flew out the day before the cruise which I heartily recommend.  Winter weather, being what it is, left many scrambling to make the ship, and several who had to fly to Aruba, the first port, to get on board.  We stayed at the Embassy Suites prior to the cruise which is ok for one nite.  We got there by 4pm the day before the cruise.  There is an Outback Steak House so we ate immediately.  Also a 2 hour free cocktail hour, and  free breakfast the following morning.  However, the next morning we walked 2 short blocks to the ocean and toured the Intercontinental which was, hands down, a much nicer hotel and $50 cheaper. If traveling w/o children I would heartily recommend it.   Sunday we boarded ship around 3pm and walked with on with our printed seapass. Our luggage did not make our room until after dinner but everyone was very casual, having just arrived, so it was fine.  We had an inside stateroom with no window but it was all that we needed.  It was very clean and we had a wonderful steward who brought us ice, coffee every morning, and extra pillows for my husband.      We did not participate in any cruise expeditions as figured we could do them cheaper.  In Aruba caught the public bus right off the pier to Palm Beach ($1.50pp) and rented beach chairs on the beach for $10 apiece.  Very relaxed and no schedule.     We love Curacao.  Shared a cab for $12 ea way to the Hilton Resort which sold day passes for $6 apiece to use beach and all facilities.  Relaxing and again, no schedule.      Unfortunately we did not get to go to Orient Beach in St Maarten as I woke up nauseated and had the runs.  I was in bed all day while my husband sat on deck and read.  Maybe it was a little food poisoning, don't really know but was fine the next morning.     In St Thomas took at cab to Secret Harbor Resort, $20 ea way, and rented beach chairs for $5 pp.  An absolute wonderful beach, resort.     Sea days are crowded but fine.  There were practically no children on board which was good.  We often went to the adult pool.  One day a mother and 12 year old were in the hottub and attendants made the child get out of the tub.  She did but sat on the edge the entire time her mother was in the tub. Parents who think everyone should enjoy their children need to think again.  Employees were  attentive and polite.  I like the food, but generally food served to the masses, ie not of a high caliber restaurant but certainly sufficient.      Disembarking you have to be out cabin by 8 am and wait.  We got off at 10.  We chose to go on  a side path to the beach by the intercontinental and rent beach chairs vs spending the day in the airport.  There were mini vans to take people on tour of old San Juan, stopping for shopping, and lunch then taking passengers to airport by 1:30 for $50 per couple. Vans  were lined up outside the pier.  Going thru the airport was quick and not a bad wait when one plans an activity to fill in the day.  We did do the luggage handling thru the pursers office which made life a whole lot easier.  Ship takes bags the nite before, we pick up after going thru immigration, and there are airline reps right outside who take our luggage.  The luggage is taken to the airport, and we didn't have to deal with it until picking it up in our home airport.  Cruise line also printed our boarding passes and placed them in our stateroom the night before. This ran us $40 which was well worth not dragging luggage around the entire day.      We would go Royal Caribbean again.  Some airport acquaintances had been on a Carnival cruise and had not one good thing to say so beware.         Read Less
Sail Date: February 2007
We had a great a great cruise.... our 8th....(Disney,Princess and RCL) While we had fun and enjoyed great weather and wonderful ports, it certainly wasn't up to the to the level of past cruises. Like everything else, corporate ... Read More
We had a great a great cruise.... our 8th....(Disney,Princess and RCL) While we had fun and enjoyed great weather and wonderful ports, it certainly wasn't up to the to the level of past cruises. Like everything else, corporate cutbacks have impacted everything on the ship so it not all the same experience it was 10 or even five years ago. However, the prices in real inflationary dollars have actually gone down for cruises so I guess you get what you pay for in that sense. We left Boston on Sunday (day of cruise) nervous about this as last time we sailed from PR we went down the day before. No problem with the direct 7:00 am flight from Boston we were on the ship in record time. It was one of the easiest embarkations ever. We did not spend the money to get passports (thanks to the advice of fellow board member scher-see her review this board) and no problem with that this year. Cabin: Checked into our inside cabin which was standard with no surprises. Food: This was area of biggest area disappointment. Thought the variety in the Windjammer has diminished and lots of low cost fare i.e plain pasta and pizza, hot dogs. The dining room has gone down hill in a big way. The steaks were very thin --choices limited--whatever happen to the interesting dishes? Still, it was acceptable and hot like your average Sheraton food. The service was tough too. I do not fault the servers as I think they are a bit overwhelmed and being asked to do too much. I had to ask for ketchup three times and finally had to find it for myself. I wanted my caesar dressing on the side but never rec'd. This may sound petty but it is just such a contrast to earlier experiences. I think the tips would really motivated the staff in the past now it just seemed cursory. In the past we would always give a little extra over and above the suggested amount as we always asked for and rec'd lots of extras--that is just not the case anymore. Excursions: We did not do any excursions this trip as just did cabs to the beaches on our own which worked out fine and saved $$$. Kid Club: My son always enjoys the kids club and I find the staff friendly and helpful. Activities: OK. another small point.....after many RCl cruises how many times can you handle the same old sexy legs, belly flop, the quest, and for the kids pirate night. While fun, there are so many repeat cruisers would it really be that tough to come up with a few new ideas for pool games and general recreation. (limbo, volleyball anything?) Had fun playing trivia with my fellow cruisers. Entertainment: This is supposed to be ship of young to middle aged families but I find the entertainment to be a bit outdated for my age. The motown and 50's stuff is really for my parents generation. It might be more fun to have some more modern acts and family stuff like a magic act for instance--- but I really don't care that much either way. Ports of Call: This is one of the best cruisers ever for great weather and beautiful beaches. My friends went Eastern the same week and had coolish weather. We did all beaches and Orient beach in St. Maarten and Trunk bay in St. John are two of my favorites. Summary: Despite the few negatives, I would highly recommend this ship and itinerary to anyone. What I have learned from my repeat cruises, is that you can have a good time on any size ship. Just go with the right attitude, visit places you want to see, and relax and enjoy the good times with your family and get to know your fellow cruisers --you can meet some good friends. Enjoy!!! 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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