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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.

Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Mauri & Tom Mitchell

Trip Details
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.
Mauri & Tom Mitchell’s Full Rating Summary
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