Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by jdsuth
- Sail Date: January 2006
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
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.
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