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Background: We were a group of eight women traveling together. Prior to Cruise: We left Boston on a 9:45 flight to Puerto Rico and arrived at or around 1:40 p.m. Our luggage was easy to locate (tip: use those plastic Hawaiian leis on your luggage handles - makes them easier to spot) Got into a cab and headed to the Radisson Ambassador in Condado. Cab was $16.50 for four persons with luggage - not including tip. Hotel: It was okay. Since the casino is in the lobby it is very smokey smelling. We had rooms on the 5th floor with ours facing the burger king. We picked this hotel as it was only $150 a night and it had a nice pool with a bar on the top of the roof. Got some lunch in their Ambassador Grille. It was okay. Our waiter, Anthony, was fun and I think the Girls from Boston horrified him. Pool was nice but the pool bar was never open any time that we were there. Everyone was a little wiped out during the day so never made it to the Meet & Mingle planned at Senor Frogs with the Cruise Critic people. Our rule was no one went anywhere alone and since my group was taking a nap, I went back to the grille to wait for them and used my drink coupon. Met lovely people cheering for New York (hey Ray) and they tolerated this Boston fan in their midst. Met two shipmates while there (Hey mario & joe) and hung out with them once the girls showed up. Great guys and had fun with them off and on all week. Embarkation: Next day we decided not to head to ship until after 2:00 p.m. as we didn't want to wait in long lines and needed to pick up stuff at Walgreens since I had to throw stuff out at the airport. We caught cabs to the boat (what a trip). Got caught in this major traffic jam and our cab driver ended up driving over a median strip into the next lane and then zipped up these side streets to get us to the pier. (About $20) Once their we paid porters to take our bags and headed in. Went to the set and sail pass line and got in their. Here's a quick suggestion for large groups waiting in line. If you are in multiple lines and you have finished before your group, move off the side. Don't join them in their line while they wait. Makes it move much easier. Stood in line to get our picture done and got on the ship. By that time we headed to our cabins to check them out. Three cabins (two of them connecting) and we had 3 and 3 in the connecting rooms. Note: Do not use these cabins (6606, 6608 or 6610) if you want three in a room. Very small and our travel agent really dropped the ball on these. I am sure if they weren't where the bump was mid ship, they might be slightly, and I do mean slightly larger. Proceeded to the Windjammer for some lunch. Typical buffet type food. Salad bar (small); hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches and some hot dishes). When you go into Windjammer you can get plate and utensils as you walk in and there is a set up there or if it is crowded (which usually is the case) go towards the back and get your set up there as they have the same food back there. Went and toured the spa and the gym and made appointments for the spa for the week and to find out the gym hours (yes I went three times). Hung out by the pool and then went down to check on luggage and to get ready for the muster drill. Found our cabin steward and had him separate the beds - about the only thing he did right that week. After the drill we went to dinner. We were 2nd seating in the Strauss dining room at table 462. Had a great waiter, Cristien, and assistant waiter, Thiek. Some went to the welcome show and I checked out the shops and went to bed early  was beat. DAY AT SEA: We met for breakfast at the Windjammer and planned the day. Some of the ladies were going to buy one of the horses for the horse race at auction for us and others sat by the pool and enjoyed the sun. Did the shopping talk with Kelvin and bought one of those passport to savings books for $20 - had all these coupons in it for the different shops in the ports - came in handy. Went to the art auction (Hey Maverick and Andre) and proceeded to have a blast with the champagne and auction. Bought some animation cells and one a bottle of champagne for sitting in the front row and one a prize (art worth about $600) for one of the raffles. Headed back to the pool to catch up with everyone and watched the line dancing and pool games. Went to the Meet & Mingle and met some of the Cruise Critic people - hey Dr. Disney and Readheaded Mike and all the others. Proceeded to get ready formal night and headed off to the Champagne bar. They have this great card that you can get 10 champagne cocktails for a total of $43.13 (saving about 50% of the cost of 10 champagne drinks). Dinner was nice and food was okay. They definitely over seasoned most of the food this week. In the seafood risotto all you could taste was the seafood stock they used and the same with one of their saffron dishes throughout the week. Hit the casino after dinner and won $145 dollars. Headed off to bed after midnight sometime in order to get ready for Aruba. ARUBA: Only shopped in Aruba as I have stayed there many times in the past 10 years and have cruised in and out of their in the past 16 (first cruise actually left from Aruba). It has definitely been built up since my first visit and even since my last visit about 5 years ago. Made a suggestion to the ladies in the group to take the local bus ($1.00 each way) to go to Holiday Inn at Palm Beach and stay on the beach there. Water sports right there and the Holiday Inn has a pool bar that you can use. They did that after shopping and had fun. Got back to the ship had lunch and hung out at the pool to catch some more rays. Did the dinner thing and some of the ladies went to Carlos & Charlies to check it out. We hung out in Jesters for a while. CURACAO We walked the 15 minutes to the downtown area and the Floating Bridge was in service so we walked over it and checked out the shops and used my coupons. Since we bought the horse at auction (No. 6  Big Papi Ortiz) we found the only fabric store in downtown Curacao and proceeded to by ribbons and such to decorate our horse. Got very hot downtown so headed back to the ship and I proceeded to decorate our horse (used the hair pieces the ladies bought). He looked gorgeous. Once again hung out at the Solarium pool and vegged for a bit. Dinner this night was Caribbean night and while reading the posts everyone said this was the night to do Portofino. We had dinner at 8:00 in Portofino and it was fabulous. Had the Caprese Salad (little grape/cherry tomatoes with boccino mozzarella (little mozzarella balls) with oil and balsamic vinegar; then had the specialty salad that had candied walnuts, blue cheese and mixed greens (quite yummy) followed by broiled fish on risotto which was scrumptious. Now dessert was something else. We got the dessert sampler which had a mini tiramisu, mini chocolate molton cake, a panacotta and a crème brulee (which was more like a thick mousse than the brulees we are used too). DAY AT SEA: This was the day of the horse race. Being the horse's groom it had to come with me and as I was in the slot tournament, Big Papi came to the casino with me. I got knocked out of the last round but had fun. Took the horse to meet our jockey (way to go Donna) and proceeded to show him off and have fun in the sun. They got the horses ready for the race and had a contest on who was the prettiest. We were the best dressed horse but the winner had two bikini clad 21 year olds as their jockeys. Shout out to NHRA and their horse. Well the first race went and we came in second. Now it was time for the owners race and we ended winning that and got $600 for it ($75 a piece) and if you bet on our horse a $5.00 bet got you $12.00. It started to rain then so we all got ready for the second formal night. We went to the iceskating show which was great and proceeded to dinner. Oh and yes we had our winning horse with us as we had to show him off to our waiter and to return his tie that he let us borrow for our horse. Dinner was good and we headed to Jesters for music. They were doing a salsa thing up on deck but once it started to rain they came to jesters and all of a sudden the 70's 80's and hip hop music went completely latin. The DJ was asked by several patrons to maybe mix it up but they wouldn't. ST. MAARTEN Did the shopping thing again and ended up eating at one of the local restaurants for lunch. Very yummy Cuban pannini. But note that island time is very slow and be prepared to spend more than an hour or so at a meal. The rest of the group went to the beach and one of us yet again missed going into St. Maarten but she had an excuse. Too much fun in the hot tub and didn't get back to the cabin until around 7:00 ish. This was the day we did the preregistration for American Airlines. For $10 fee they give you the luggage tags and your boarding passes. Dinner again in the dining room. Food okay, desserts yummy and we love Vivian our after dinner drink man. He made our nights with the loving cups. ST. THOMAS Everyone but me and another person, took the ferry from Red Hook over to St. John for the day. I did my final shopping and had lunch at the Green House in downtown and met up with Mario and Joe again and had a nice afternoon while it downpoured around us. Took a cab back to the ship (we were originally going to walk). The others came in like drowned rats and we proceeded to get ready for dinner. Had more fun saying goodbye to Cristien, Thiek and Vivian and were probably one of the last ones to leave. Had finished packing and put the luggage out in the hallway and then off to the casino for my final donation and ended up winning $120. DISEMBARKATION What a zoo. We had put our tags on the bags the night before and were given two disembarkation group numbers (4 and 9). Asked the person at client service the difference between the two groups and she said only about an hour so we decided to go with group 9 instead. It turned out to be more like 3 hours between 4 and 9. Thankfully we had a 2:55 flight out but would have loved to have gotten off the boat and maybe gone to lunch (we got off around 12:30 ish). Did get to sit up on the top deck and proceed to get my final burn of the trip and got to meet the Captain's boss from Vancouver (Robert  very nice and very cute) Customs was a zoo. Between doing the announcements in English and in Spanish (which they both sounded Spanish) and getting through the doors and in lines it was not fun. Granted RCCL has nothing to do with this part of it but should have more than 4 people collecting Immigration Forms for a ship of over 3,000 people. Got the luggage and finally made it through customs. Brought the luggage around the corner to the American Airlines personnel and we got a cab and headed to the airport (around $21  with no luggage  more if you have luggage). Got through airport security and tried to find something to eat and got my seat changed to an emergency exit row for the leg room so burnt legs won't feel so bad. Landed and was home in Boston and at my front door by 8:30 p.m. Only bad things: Rude people. Don't want to paint the locals from Puerto Rico with the same brush but largely most of them were quite rude and pushy and but the bad definitely stood out more than the nice. Did meet a lovely couple from Puerto Rico as we pulled out from St. Thomas and we had a lovely talk about families and children. It seems that most had a tough time following rules posted. Smoking in the Solarium - signs on wall said no smoking. Children in the adults only pool (had to be over 16) and most of the kids I saw were under 10. Children, no make that toddlers, in the hot tub with their parents. There is a reason the sign state 16 and over - medical speaking I wouldn't want my toddler in a hot tub where the temperature is usually in the 80's or higher. Would you put your child in bathtub at that temperature - no, i don't think so. And if RCCL had all these cabins available at cheaper prices, why not upgrade the ones who already booked and then fill the other ones. Made no sense. Definitely would not sail out of Puerto Rico again unless it was after October. We had over 500 children on the boat and most of them weren't supervised by their parents. I know RCCL gives a better rate closer to the trip and they hope to make it up in sales on the ship but according to most of the crew we dealt with, the only ones really spending any money were the non-locals. Also couldn't believe how many full tables there were in the dining room during the week, but come the final night when it came to tips - those tables were empty. Not to say that they might not have done the automatic tips but most of them didn't. Don't even get me started on our cabin guy. He didn't do a great job at all. We left an empty bottle out on the balcony and it stayed there for 3 days before I threw it away. Oh and the supplies on the ship. I am non-beer drinker but the ship ran out of Budlight bottles on Tuesday and all light beer by Wednesday night, Thursday. Not too mention no grapefruit juice after a few days and bananas by Thursday. All in all probably won't do Southern Caribbean again unless it started from a different port and probably won't do RCCL in while. Now remember, this is just my take on the cruise and I am sure others (not the 8 of us or the other people I talked with) had a wonderful time.

Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by bdette4

Trip Details
Background: We were a group of eight women traveling together.
Prior to Cruise: We left Boston on a 9:45 flight to Puerto Rico and arrived at or around 1:40 p.m. Our luggage was easy to locate (tip: use those plastic Hawaiian leis on your luggage handles - makes them easier to spot) Got into a cab and headed to the Radisson Ambassador in Condado. Cab was $16.50 for four persons with luggage - not including tip.
Hotel: It was okay. Since the casino is in the lobby it is very smokey smelling. We had rooms on the 5th floor with ours facing the burger king. We picked this hotel as it was only $150 a night and it had a nice pool with a bar on the top of the roof. Got some lunch in their Ambassador Grille. It was okay. Our waiter, Anthony, was fun and I think the Girls from Boston horrified him.
Pool was nice but the pool bar was never open any time that we were there. Everyone was a little wiped out during the day so never made it to the Meet & Mingle planned at Senor Frogs with the Cruise Critic people. Our rule was no one went anywhere alone and since my group was taking a nap, I went back to the grille to wait for them and used my drink coupon. Met lovely people cheering for New York (hey Ray) and they tolerated this Boston fan in their midst. Met two shipmates while there (Hey mario & joe) and hung out with them once the girls showed up. Great guys and had fun with them off and on all week.
Embarkation: Next day we decided not to head to ship until after 2:00 p.m. as we didn't want to wait in long lines and needed to pick up stuff at Walgreens since I had to throw stuff out at the airport.
We caught cabs to the boat (what a trip). Got caught in this major traffic jam and our cab driver ended up driving over a median strip into the next lane and then zipped up these side streets to get us to the pier. (About $20) Once their we paid porters to take our bags and headed in. Went to the set and sail pass line and got in their. Here's a quick suggestion for large groups waiting in line. If you are in multiple lines and you have finished before your group, move off the side. Don't join them in their line while they wait. Makes it move much easier.
Stood in line to get our picture done and got on the ship.
By that time we headed to our cabins to check them out. Three cabins (two of them connecting) and we had 3 and 3 in the connecting rooms. Note: Do not use these cabins (6606, 6608 or 6610) if you want three in a room. Very small and our travel agent really dropped the ball on these. I am sure if they weren't where the bump was mid ship, they might be slightly, and I do mean slightly larger.
Proceeded to the Windjammer for some lunch. Typical buffet type food. Salad bar (small); hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches and some hot dishes). When you go into Windjammer you can get plate and utensils as you walk in and there is a set up there or if it is crowded (which usually is the case) go towards the back and get your set up there as they have the same food back there.
Went and toured the spa and the gym and made appointments for the spa for the week and to find out the gym hours (yes I went three times).
Hung out by the pool and then went down to check on luggage and to get ready for the muster drill. Found our cabin steward and had him separate the beds - about the only thing he did right that week.
After the drill we went to dinner. We were 2nd seating in the Strauss dining room at table 462. Had a great waiter, Cristien, and assistant waiter, Thiek. Some went to the welcome show and I checked out the shops and went to bed early  was beat.
DAY AT SEA: We met for breakfast at the Windjammer and planned the day. Some of the ladies were going to buy one of the horses for the horse race at auction for us and others sat by the pool and enjoyed the sun.
Did the shopping talk with Kelvin and bought one of those passport to savings books for $20 - had all these coupons in it for the different shops in the ports - came in handy.
Went to the art auction (Hey Maverick and Andre) and proceeded to have a blast with the champagne and auction. Bought some animation cells and one a bottle of champagne for sitting in the front row and one a prize (art worth about $600) for one of the raffles.
Headed back to the pool to catch up with everyone and watched the line dancing and pool games.
Went to the Meet & Mingle and met some of the Cruise Critic people - hey Dr. Disney and Readheaded Mike and all the others.
Proceeded to get ready formal night and headed off to the Champagne bar. They have this great card that you can get 10 champagne cocktails for a total of $43.13 (saving about 50% of the cost of 10 champagne drinks). Dinner was nice and food was okay. They definitely over seasoned most of the food this week. In the seafood risotto all you could taste was the seafood stock they used and the same with one of their saffron dishes throughout the week.
Hit the casino after dinner and won $145 dollars. Headed off to bed after midnight sometime in order to get ready for Aruba.
ARUBA: Only shopped in Aruba as I have stayed there many times in the past 10 years and have cruised in and out of their in the past 16 (first cruise actually left from Aruba). It has definitely been built up since my first visit and even since my last visit about 5 years ago. Made a suggestion to the ladies in the group to take the local bus ($1.00 each way) to go to Holiday Inn at Palm Beach and stay on the beach there. Water sports right there and the Holiday Inn has a pool bar that you can use. They did that after shopping and had fun.
Got back to the ship had lunch and hung out at the pool to catch some more rays. Did the dinner thing and some of the ladies went to Carlos & Charlies to check it out. We hung out in Jesters for a while.
CURACAO We walked the 15 minutes to the downtown area and the Floating Bridge was in service so we walked over it and checked out the shops and used my coupons. Since we bought the horse at auction (No. 6  Big Papi Ortiz) we found the only fabric store in downtown Curacao and proceeded to by ribbons and such to decorate our horse.
Got very hot downtown so headed back to the ship and I proceeded to decorate our horse (used the hair pieces the ladies bought). He looked gorgeous.
Once again hung out at the Solarium pool and vegged for a bit.
Dinner this night was Caribbean night and while reading the posts everyone said this was the night to do Portofino. We had dinner at 8:00 in Portofino and it was fabulous. Had the Caprese Salad (little grape/cherry tomatoes with boccino mozzarella (little mozzarella balls) with oil and balsamic vinegar; then had the specialty salad that had candied walnuts, blue cheese and mixed greens (quite yummy) followed by broiled fish on risotto which was scrumptious. Now dessert was something else. We got the dessert sampler which had a mini tiramisu, mini chocolate molton cake, a panacotta and a crème brulee (which was more like a thick mousse than the brulees we are used too).
DAY AT SEA: This was the day of the horse race. Being the horse's groom it had to come with me and as I was in the slot tournament, Big Papi came to the casino with me. I got knocked out of the last round but had fun. Took the horse to meet our jockey (way to go Donna) and proceeded to show him off and have fun in the sun. They got the horses ready for the race and had a contest on who was the prettiest. We were the best dressed horse but the winner had two bikini clad 21 year olds as their jockeys. Shout out to NHRA and their horse. Well the first race went and we came in second. Now it was time for the owners race and we ended winning that and got $600 for it ($75 a piece) and if you bet on our horse a $5.00 bet got you $12.00. It started to rain then so we all got ready for the second formal night.
We went to the iceskating show which was great and proceeded to dinner. Oh and yes we had our winning horse with us as we had to show him off to our waiter and to return his tie that he let us borrow for our horse.
Dinner was good and we headed to Jesters for music. They were doing a salsa thing up on deck but once it started to rain they came to jesters and all of a sudden the 70's 80's and hip hop music went completely latin. The DJ was asked by several patrons to maybe mix it up but they wouldn't.
ST. MAARTEN Did the shopping thing again and ended up eating at one of the local restaurants for lunch. Very yummy Cuban pannini. But note that island time is very slow and be prepared to spend more than an hour or so at a meal. The rest of the group went to the beach and one of us yet again missed going into St. Maarten but she had an excuse. Too much fun in the hot tub and didn't get back to the cabin until around 7:00 ish.
This was the day we did the preregistration for American Airlines. For $10 fee they give you the luggage tags and your boarding passes.
Dinner again in the dining room. Food okay, desserts yummy and we love Vivian our after dinner drink man. He made our nights with the loving cups.
ST. THOMAS Everyone but me and another person, took the ferry from Red Hook over to St. John for the day. I did my final shopping and had lunch at the Green House in downtown and met up with Mario and Joe again and had a nice afternoon while it downpoured around us. Took a cab back to the ship (we were originally going to walk). The others came in like drowned rats and we proceeded to get ready for dinner.
Had more fun saying goodbye to Cristien, Thiek and Vivian and were probably one of the last ones to leave. Had finished packing and put the luggage out in the hallway and then off to the casino for my final donation and ended up winning $120.
DISEMBARKATION What a zoo. We had put our tags on the bags the night before and were given two disembarkation group numbers (4 and 9). Asked the person at client service the difference between the two groups and she said only about an hour so we decided to go with group 9 instead. It turned out to be more like 3 hours between 4 and 9. Thankfully we had a 2:55 flight out but would have loved to have gotten off the boat and maybe gone to lunch (we got off around 12:30 ish). Did get to sit up on the top deck and proceed to get my final burn of the trip and got to meet the Captain's boss from Vancouver (Robert  very nice and very cute)
Customs was a zoo. Between doing the announcements in English and in Spanish (which they both sounded Spanish) and getting through the doors and in lines it was not fun. Granted RCCL has nothing to do with this part of it but should have more than 4 people collecting Immigration Forms for a ship of over 3,000 people. Got the luggage and finally made it through customs. Brought the luggage around the corner to the American Airlines personnel and we got a cab and headed to the airport (around $21  with no luggage  more if you have luggage).
Got through airport security and tried to find something to eat and got my seat changed to an emergency exit row for the leg room so burnt legs won't feel so bad. Landed and was home in Boston and at my front door by 8:30 p.m.
Only bad things:
Rude people. Don't want to paint the locals from Puerto Rico with the same brush but largely most of them were quite rude and pushy and but the bad definitely stood out more than the nice. Did meet a lovely couple from Puerto Rico as we pulled out from St. Thomas and we had a lovely talk about families and children.
It seems that most had a tough time following rules posted. Smoking in the Solarium - signs on wall said no smoking. Children in the adults only pool (had to be over 16) and most of the kids I saw were under 10. Children, no make that toddlers, in the hot tub with their parents. There is a reason the sign state 16 and over - medical speaking I wouldn't want my toddler in a hot tub where the temperature is usually in the 80's or higher. Would you put your child in bathtub at that temperature - no, i don't think so.
And if RCCL had all these cabins available at cheaper prices, why not upgrade the ones who already booked and then fill the other ones. Made no sense. Definitely would not sail out of Puerto Rico again unless it was after October. We had over 500 children on the boat and most of them weren't supervised by their parents. I know RCCL gives a better rate closer to the trip and they hope to make it up in sales on the ship but according to most of the crew we dealt with, the only ones really spending any money were the non-locals.
Also couldn't believe how many full tables there were in the dining room during the week, but come the final night when it came to tips - those tables were empty. Not to say that they might not have done the automatic tips but most of them didn't.
Don't even get me started on our cabin guy. He didn't do a great job at all. We left an empty bottle out on the balcony and it stayed there for 3 days before I threw it away.
Oh and the supplies on the ship. I am non-beer drinker but the ship ran out of Budlight bottles on Tuesday and all light beer by Wednesday night, Thursday. Not too mention no grapefruit juice after a few days and bananas by Thursday.
All in all probably won't do Southern Caribbean again unless it started from a different port and probably won't do RCCL in while.
Now remember, this is just my take on the cruise and I am sure others (not the 8 of us or the other people I talked with) had a wonderful time.
bdette4’s Full Rating Summary
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