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ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS- 8/27/2006 by MikeC5426 (Arlington, VA) This 7 night cruise attracted my partner and me for a few reasons. First, the cruise departed from San Juan, PR (which we have not visited before). Second, it was a southern Caribbean itinerary and we would get to visit Aruba and Curacao (we had been to St. Maarten and St. Thomas on previous cruise vacations). Third, the cost was very reasonable for a balcony room. We arrived in San Juan on Saturday morning (8/26) and stayed at the beautiful Ritz Carlton. We spent the day relaxing and caught about two hours of the rain from Tropical Storm Ernesto that luckily didn't interfere with our vacation. Sunday we visited Old San Juan. We enjoyed shopping along with a quick lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. EMBARKATION -- We took a cab from the Ritz Carlton to the AOS which was around $25 (including tip). We arrived at the ship around 3:30pm. To sum up in a single word- chaos! The cruise staff didn't seem to have control of anything going on and there was no direction on why we were standing in this long line or why we were even standing there. After asking we found out that it was just to drop your luggage off with the porters. NOTE: If you do not tip the porter, they will ask you once and again very loudly for a tip! This happened to the gentleman in front of us. We are familiar with this process and had our $2/per bag tip ready. However, for those who are not familiar-- it is wise to tip them at least something. Once we dropped off our luggage you have to go back around and wait in a second line to enter the building. This process seemed to be quicker and we were at the counter in less then 15 minutes. They checked our passports, Royal Caribbean paperwork, etc. They authorized the credit card for the SeaPass account and handed each of us our SeaPass boarding card. The entire process was about an hour from exiting the taxi to entering our stateroom. Overall, it was very chaotic but nothing that we stressed out about. STATEROOM -- #7340, Superior Oceanview Stateroom. We booked a balcony 'run of the ship' through Expedia.com we found out a couple of weeks before we were upgraded to a superior oceanview. This room has two twin beds (can convert into queen-size), private balcony, sitting area and a private bathroom. Size- 202 sq. ft., balcony 50 sq. ft. We were expecting a Deluxe which is a bit smaller- 173 sq. ft., balcony 47 sq. ft. Overall, the room was a generous size with decent closets and drawers for our clothing, suits, toiletries, etc. The suitcases fit nicely under the bed. The fridge was tiny and filled with a few cokes, candy bars, etc. so we had to make room for the bottled water that we brought. The electrical outlets were lacking and there is no iron (we brought a travel iron). The decor of the room was run down and tacky. It was aquas, pinks, etc. that made us think they hit a clearance sale from a 1980's bedding and curtain distributor. The sheets are paper-thin (you can see the mattress fabric through it), couch was very rough, stained pillows on the couch and a mattress that is about 3 inches thick--- I am NOT joking!!! The towels and any other type of fabric, linen or towels you could see right through it. The deck had two chairs and a small table and it was a decent sized balcony. Summary of room- generous in size but the amenities are poor. The bedding is beyond poor and can make for seven nights of uncomfortable rest if you are used to sleeping in a bed with any type of plushness. THE SHIP (PUBLIC ROOMS)-- After we dropped off our carry on bags, we walked around the ship. Our stateroom was located near the library. The library was nicely decorated with plush sofas and couches (a far cry from the stateroom) and the internet cafe was above. The library overlooked the promenade below which was very impressive. We proceeded to the Strauss dining room to check out our table. The dining room is 3 stories and it was decorated very nicely with beautiful chandeliers. We proceeded to the Lyric Theater- it was stadium style with a balcony. It was very large and impressive in size. Jester's night club was 2 stories and the most impressive room I have seen on a cruise to date. It was very nicely decorated and plenty of room for sitting or dancing. The second story overlooked the dance floor. There were lots of lights, fog machines and flat panel televisions. ENTERTAINMENT -- Low budget equals poor entertainment! I don't want to list the entertainers as I will everyone has their own opinion. The two 'Broadway' style shows were filled with mediocre singers and dancers. The cruise director- Richard Spacey was the only memorable person as far as the entertainment was concerned. He was friendly, funny and could grab the audience's attention. Too bad he couldn't do a routine one night on his own! I have also never been on a cruise ship where the audience fills up less then half of the seats! Overall a two out of ten stars! Jesters Nightclub- an hour each night was devoted to 70's or 80's (which we like). However, from midnight on it went to hip hop and Spanish reggae music geared for the under 25 crowd. It was a good place to sit and enjoy a drink and people watch. Ed Manego is the piano bar was fantastic and could be quite funny at times! The R&B group 'Sol Play' was also a great treat in the Imperial Lounge- make sure you make their Motown show! FOOD SERVICE -- The restaurant food was pretty decent! We ate in the dining room for most lunches as well as dinners. The Windjammer cafe is reliable (if you like microwaved food) or leftovers under a heat lamp. The Cafe Promenade in the evening has decent sandwiches and the pizza is very good. We went once to the Johnny Rockets on board- the service was great and the food was just like the restaurant. Our service in the restaurant was good and reliable (but not great). There were very few options after dinner- no 24 hour places like Holland America and I believe only one midnight buffet which we didn't attend. We tried the Portofino and three times was promised a call back for a reservation which we never received. We had some friends go and they said the steak was great and the pasta dishes were so-so. BAR SERVICE -- The bar service was slow and the drinks were hit or miss. The prices were high (but seemed average to other cruises we have taken). All drinks of the day are $8.95. Make sure to not request the souvenir glasses or you will be charged an extra $2 on most specialty drinks. PORTS of CALL -- Day 1- Depart San Juan at 10pm Day 2- At Sea Day 3- Aruba (Fantastic port of call! I highly recommend renting a 4x4 and driving the island and beaches! The sunset was gorgeous and rivaled Hawaii's) Day 4- Curacao (Very cool island- great shopping and bright colored buildings) Day 5- At Sea Day 6- St. Maarten (Never cared much for it here. However, they have really built up the arrival port area. Enjoyed most of the day on the ship) Day 7- St. Thomas (Took a ferry to St. John- the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean-- in my opinion) Day 8- Arrived San Juan at 7am EXCURSIONS -- None. Typically we do these but decided to do it all on our own this time. Renting a car and driving around the island on your own is a great way to see the island on your own time! It ran about $75 for the day- much less then the ships excursions! PASSENGERS -- There was a high number of locals on the ship (my guess is over 50%). Some crew members were telling us that they sell the remaining rooms at cost to fill the ship (a couple of hundred dollars for the week). I personally don't have any issue with this but other passengers were very 'offended' by all of the announcements in English and Spanish. Some of the shows and nightly entertainment were also all in Spanish. If this is a problem for you then I do not recommend this cruise for you. We met many great passengers from San Francisco, Dallas, NYC, DC and Puerto Rico on board. It was a very diverse crowd and personally I found that refreshing. DEBARKATION -- Royal Caribbean rushes passengers out of their stateroom and off the ship. We had to be out of our stateroom by 8am sharp (the room attendant was knocking by 8:10am). There was no orderly exit- just a very long line once you got off the ship. They asked you to wait in the public lounges, and not in the gangway area, until their number was called. Most passengers did not comply, several times people had to climb over people lying on the stairs! CONCLUSION -- Royal Caribbean can't handle near 3,200 passengers! How in the world are they going to handle close to 5,500 when the new class of ships comes out in 2008? I have never been on Carnival before but from what I have heard Royal Caribbean is very similar in the quality of the ships and mediocre service. We most likely won't return to Royal Caribbean. We admit we have been spoiled by Holland America and Norwegian. We don't regret the experience as we enjoyed the wonderful ports of call and we met many wonderful new friends. It was just the overall experience, poor service and entertainment that was nowhere up to par for us. You live, you learn! :)

Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by mikec5426

Trip Details
ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS- 8/27/2006 by MikeC5426 (Arlington, VA)
This 7 night cruise attracted my partner and me for a few reasons. First, the cruise departed from San Juan, PR (which we have not visited before). Second, it was a southern Caribbean itinerary and we would get to visit Aruba and Curacao (we had been to St. Maarten and St. Thomas on previous cruise vacations). Third, the cost was very reasonable for a balcony room.
We arrived in San Juan on Saturday morning (8/26) and stayed at the beautiful Ritz Carlton. We spent the day relaxing and caught about two hours of the rain from Tropical Storm Ernesto that luckily didn't interfere with our vacation. Sunday we visited Old San Juan. We enjoyed shopping along with a quick lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.
EMBARKATION -- We took a cab from the Ritz Carlton to the AOS which was around $25 (including tip). We arrived at the ship around 3:30pm. To sum up in a single word- chaos! The cruise staff didn't seem to have control of anything going on and there was no direction on why we were standing in this long line or why we were even standing there. After asking we found out that it was just to drop your luggage off with the porters. NOTE: If you do not tip the porter, they will ask you once and again very loudly for a tip! This happened to the gentleman in front of us. We are familiar with this process and had our $2/per bag tip ready. However, for those who are not familiar-- it is wise to tip them at least something.
Once we dropped off our luggage you have to go back around and wait in a second line to enter the building. This process seemed to be quicker and we were at the counter in less then 15 minutes. They checked our passports, Royal Caribbean paperwork, etc. They authorized the credit card for the SeaPass account and handed each of us our SeaPass boarding card. The entire process was about an hour from exiting the taxi to entering our stateroom. Overall, it was very chaotic but nothing that we stressed out about.
STATEROOM -- #7340, Superior Oceanview Stateroom.
We booked a balcony 'run of the ship' through Expedia.com we found out a couple of weeks before we were upgraded to a superior oceanview. This room has two twin beds (can convert into queen-size), private balcony, sitting area and a private bathroom. Size- 202 sq. ft., balcony 50 sq. ft. We were expecting a Deluxe which is a bit smaller- 173 sq. ft., balcony 47 sq. ft.
Overall, the room was a generous size with decent closets and drawers for our clothing, suits, toiletries, etc. The suitcases fit nicely under the bed. The fridge was tiny and filled with a few cokes, candy bars, etc. so we had to make room for the bottled water that we brought. The electrical outlets were lacking and there is no iron (we brought a travel iron).
The decor of the room was run down and tacky. It was aquas, pinks, etc. that made us think they hit a clearance sale from a 1980's bedding and curtain distributor. The sheets are paper-thin (you can see the mattress fabric through it), couch was very rough, stained pillows on the couch and a mattress that is about 3 inches thick--- I am NOT joking!!! The towels and any other type of fabric, linen or towels you could see right through it.
The deck had two chairs and a small table and it was a decent sized balcony.
Summary of room- generous in size but the amenities are poor. The bedding is beyond poor and can make for seven nights of uncomfortable rest if you are used to sleeping in a bed with any type of plushness.
THE SHIP (PUBLIC ROOMS)-- After we dropped off our carry on bags, we walked around the ship. Our stateroom was located near the library. The library was nicely decorated with plush sofas and couches (a far cry from the stateroom) and the internet cafe was above. The library overlooked the promenade below which was very impressive. We proceeded to the Strauss dining room to check out our table. The dining room is 3 stories and it was decorated very nicely with beautiful chandeliers. We proceeded to the Lyric Theater- it was stadium style with a balcony. It was very large and impressive in size. Jester's night club was 2 stories and the most impressive room I have seen on a cruise to date. It was very nicely decorated and plenty of room for sitting or dancing. The second story overlooked the dance floor. There were lots of lights, fog machines and flat panel televisions.
ENTERTAINMENT -- Low budget equals poor entertainment! I don't want to list the entertainers as I will everyone has their own opinion. The two 'Broadway' style shows were filled with mediocre singers and dancers. The cruise director- Richard Spacey was the only memorable person as far as the entertainment was concerned. He was friendly, funny and could grab the audience's attention. Too bad he couldn't do a routine one night on his own! I have also never been on a cruise ship where the audience fills up less then half of the seats! Overall a two out of ten stars!
Jesters Nightclub- an hour each night was devoted to 70's or 80's (which we like). However, from midnight on it went to hip hop and Spanish reggae music geared for the under 25 crowd. It was a good place to sit and enjoy a drink and people watch.
Ed Manego is the piano bar was fantastic and could be quite funny at times! The R&B group 'Sol Play' was also a great treat in the Imperial Lounge- make sure you make their Motown show!
FOOD SERVICE -- The restaurant food was pretty decent! We ate in the dining room for most lunches as well as dinners. The Windjammer cafe is reliable (if you like microwaved food) or leftovers under a heat lamp. The Cafe Promenade in the evening has decent sandwiches and the pizza is very good. We went once to the Johnny Rockets on board- the service was great and the food was just like the restaurant. Our service in the restaurant was good and reliable (but not great). There were very few options after dinner- no 24 hour places like Holland America and I believe only one midnight buffet which we didn't attend. We tried the Portofino and three times was promised a call back for a reservation which we never received. We had some friends go and they said the steak was great and the pasta dishes were so-so.
BAR SERVICE -- The bar service was slow and the drinks were hit or miss. The prices were high (but seemed average to other cruises we have taken). All drinks of the day are $8.95. Make sure to not request the souvenir glasses or you will be charged an extra $2 on most specialty drinks.
PORTS of CALL --
Day 1- Depart San Juan at 10pm
Day 2- At Sea
Day 3- Aruba (Fantastic port of call! I highly recommend renting a 4x4 and driving the island and beaches! The sunset was gorgeous and rivaled Hawaii's)
Day 4- Curacao (Very cool island- great shopping and bright colored buildings)
Day 5- At Sea
Day 6- St. Maarten (Never cared much for it here. However, they have really built up the arrival port area. Enjoyed most of the day on the ship)
Day 7- St. Thomas (Took a ferry to St. John- the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean-- in my opinion)
Day 8- Arrived San Juan at 7am
EXCURSIONS -- None. Typically we do these but decided to do it all on our own this time. Renting a car and driving around the island on your own is a great way to see the island on your own time! It ran about $75 for the day- much less then the ships excursions!
PASSENGERS -- There was a high number of locals on the ship (my guess is over 50%). Some crew members were telling us that they sell the remaining rooms at cost to fill the ship (a couple of hundred dollars for the week). I personally don't have any issue with this but other passengers were very 'offended' by all of the announcements in English and Spanish. Some of the shows and nightly entertainment were also all in Spanish. If this is a problem for you then I do not recommend this cruise for you. We met many great passengers from San Francisco, Dallas, NYC, DC and Puerto Rico on board. It was a very diverse crowd and personally I found that refreshing.
DEBARKATION -- Royal Caribbean rushes passengers out of their stateroom and off the ship. We had to be out of our stateroom by 8am sharp (the room attendant was knocking by 8:10am). There was no orderly exit- just a very long line once you got off the ship. They asked you to wait in the public lounges, and not in the gangway area, until their number was called. Most passengers did not comply, several times people had to climb over people lying on the stairs!
CONCLUSION -- Royal Caribbean can't handle near 3,200 passengers! How in the world are they going to handle close to 5,500 when the new class of ships comes out in 2008? I have never been on Carnival before but from what I have heard Royal Caribbean is very similar in the quality of the ships and mediocre service.
We most likely won't return to Royal Caribbean. We admit we have been spoiled by Holland America and Norwegian.
We don't regret the experience as we enjoyed the wonderful ports of call and we met many wonderful new friends. It was just the overall experience, poor service and entertainment that was nowhere up to par for us. You live, you learn! :)
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