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!