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My boyfriend and I sailed on the Adventure of the Seas in early March 2013 to the Southern Caribbean out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. I have sailed previously with RCL, Princess, NCL, and Holland America. We had been looking forward to this cruise for months in advance, and we had certainly done our research. We booked three excursions (in St. Thomas, St. Kitts, and Curacao) as well as the Mystery Dinner Theatre online before leaving, and we were glad that we did. Once onboard we found that many of the excursions were fully booked, and there were no tickets left for the Mystery Dinner. 1. Embarkation We flew from Montreal, QC to San Juan, Puerto Rico one day before the cruise and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott hotel. Taxi from the airport to the hotel cost approx. $20 USD and it was the same from the hotel to the cruise port. In San Juan there are set rates for cab fare between different areas of the island, so make sure to ask someone at the airport before you leave. We only found out after the fact that our cabbie had overcharged us (only by $3, but still). On the day of embarkation, we arrived at 11:30 AM and joined the slowly growing line to drop off bags to the porters. Once inside the terminal building, it was virtually empty and took less than 15 minutes to check in. We were onboard at 12:00 PM and began our mission of touring the ship. We highly recommend making your first stop the Main Dining Room (MDR). Ensure that you are happy with (a) the location of your table, and (b) the size of your table. This is the time when shuffling can occur. Overall we felt that the highest level up (which is reserved for Anytime dining) had the best ambiance, but the staff were unable to switch us out of Traditional Dining (Anytime was full). 2. Stateroom We liked the location of our stateroom (E1 category, #9542, balcony) as it was close to the aft stairwell. We did not experience much noise, probably because we weren't at the "food end" of the ship. The bathrooms were small, as per usual on cruise ships, but the shower was great! RCL has this curve-out style of shower "door" that makes the shower seem like a little cylindrical pod. Tons of room to manoeuvre compared to Princess showers (and I am definitely on the taller side, too! 5'11" and 145 lbs). The stateroom furnishings were old and showing wear. This didn't really bother us, though. The real issue were the mattresses. They were extremely old and sagging in the centre. Not only were they completely unsupportive, but you were able to feel the metal frame beneath it while sleeping. We asked our room steward three times over the course of the week for some extra padding, but none was ever provided. The small (0.5 inch thick) memory foam overlying the two twin beds, making it into a queen size, was also pitifully compressed. Time for new mattresses, please! 3. Fitness Centre My boyfriend used the fitness centre throughout the cruise, and found it so-so. There was a decent selection of free weights, but a limited weight range. He didn't observe any waits for cardio equipment. 4. Ice Show Very beautiful! A must-see, plus tickets are free. I recommend bringing a little blanket or sweater because the ice arena seating area can be chilly. Be cautious of the insane rush to enter the ice arena before the show. There is no need to panic, because there are LOTS of seats. I saw some poor people get roughly pushed aside by the crowd. 5. Specialty Dining We loved Portofino! We went there twice, once for the Mystery Dinner and another night towards the end of the cruise. Although the Mystery Dinner is fun, we felt that the ambiance of Portofino is much more enjoyable on a regular night. Also, the full menu selection is not available during the Mystery Dinner. Excellent service! 6. Shore Excursions In St. Thomas we did the Sapphire Beach & Island Drive - STF5, and we enjoyed it. My boyfriend found that the snorkelling was pretty good (we brought our own snorkel gear). However, the year previously we had sailed on Princess to St. Thomas and did the full-day excursion to Trunk Bay on the neighbouring island of St. John. I definitely enjoyed that excursion more, because there is a little more wave action and the swimming was fun! There is lots of good snorkelling at Trunk Bay, although when we were there the water was "too cloudy". Also there are these nice shower facilities where you can shower off the salt water and change for the ferry ride back. The only washroom available at Sapphire Bay Beach was small, dirty, and in need of repair. If you do choose to take the St. John Trunk Bay excursion, the best place to sit on the ferry is the very last row on the top deck (next to the rear railing). Yes there is full sun, but you also get tons of leg room (the other seats are very, VERY tight). In St. Kitts, we did the St. Kitts Rainforest Adventure - KT22, and we thought it was a very cool cultural experience. We enjoyed hiking through the rainforest and hearing all that our knowledgable guide had to tell us about the history of the island. It's not an intense hike at all... More of a nice stroll. In Aruba we decided to do our own thing! We had read excellent reviews of nearby beaches like Manchebo Beach and Eagle Beach. We took a taxi (approx. $15 USD) to Eagle Beach, where we hiked around in the sand until we figured out how to rent sun loungers from one of the many beach-front resorts. Basically, stay near the road because that's where the little rental huts are. One of the employees will then carry your cots to where you'd like them. We pulled them right up to the water, and had a great time swimming around. The water is beautiful. However, Aruba was the closest that our cruise came to the Equator. It's about 15 miles north of Venezuela, and very, very hot. We both got a nice lobster-red sunburn, and we recommend multiple applications of sunscreen! In Curacao, we did the Kayak Coastal Adventure and Snorkeling - CUB4. What an awesome experience! Great tour guides, excellent quality equipment, and a very cool snorkelling site! Refreshments were provided, and when we got back to the base, one of the guides cut up a huge watermelon. Definitely our favourite experience! One word of caution: the crossing from the bay to the snorkelling site is basically in the open ocean, and the waves can be a little intense. This is not a laid-back paddle in a lake. 7. Fellow passengers I noticed that several reviews have commented on the number of Puerto Rican passengers onboard the Adventure of the Seas. While there were some Puerto Ricans on board, the majority was definitely mainland Americans and Canadians. I didn't see any issues with politeness on board, except for the regular handful of people who get "spoiled" by the end and decide to boss around their servers. 8. Disembarkation We chose to disembark at 9:00 AM in order to make it to the airport for our flight at 3:00 PM. Disembarkation was speedy and well-organized. We walked off with our own luggage because we weren't sure about that gong-show in the terminal building, and we had read some reviews about hold-ups on the way to the airport. As it turns out, we arrived at 10:00 AM and we weren't even allowed to check in until 12:00 PM. This was an excellent opportunity to catch up on much missed coursework, as the airport is terribly boring and there's nothing to do. Best to eat before you pass security, because there's basically no options on the other side. Overall, this was an excellent cruise with lots of fun activities and ports of call on the itinerary! We would definitely do it again if it weren't for the awful beds in our stateroom. This is something that RCL should address of the Adventure of the Seas.  

March Break on Adventure of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Brenda22

Trip Details
My boyfriend and I sailed on the Adventure of the Seas in early March 2013 to the Southern Caribbean out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. I have sailed previously with RCL, Princess, NCL, and Holland America. We had been looking forward to this cruise for months in advance, and we had certainly done our research. We booked three excursions (in St. Thomas, St. Kitts, and Curacao) as well as the Mystery Dinner Theatre online before leaving, and we were glad that we did. Once onboard we found that many of the excursions were fully booked, and there were no tickets left for the Mystery Dinner.
1. Embarkation
We flew from Montreal, QC to San Juan, Puerto Rico one day before the cruise and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott hotel. Taxi from the airport to the hotel cost approx. $20 USD and it was the same from the hotel to the cruise port. In San Juan there are set rates for cab fare between different areas of the island, so make sure to ask someone at the airport before you leave. We only found out after the fact that our cabbie had overcharged us (only by $3, but still). On the day of embarkation, we arrived at 11:30 AM and joined the slowly growing line to drop off bags to the porters. Once inside the terminal building, it was virtually empty and took less than 15 minutes to check in. We were onboard at 12:00 PM and began our mission of touring the ship. We highly recommend making your first stop the Main Dining Room (MDR). Ensure that you are happy with (a) the location of your table, and (b) the size of your table. This is the time when shuffling can occur. Overall we felt that the highest level up (which is reserved for Anytime dining) had the best ambiance, but the staff were unable to switch us out of Traditional Dining (Anytime was full).
2. Stateroom
We liked the location of our stateroom (E1 category, #9542, balcony) as it was close to the aft stairwell. We did not experience much noise, probably because we weren't at the "food end" of the ship. The bathrooms were small, as per usual on cruise ships, but the shower was great! RCL has this curve-out style of shower "door" that makes the shower seem like a little cylindrical pod. Tons of room to manoeuvre compared to Princess showers (and I am definitely on the taller side, too! 5'11" and 145 lbs). The stateroom furnishings were old and showing wear. This didn't really bother us, though. The real issue were the mattresses. They were extremely old and sagging in the centre. Not only were they completely unsupportive, but you were able to feel the metal frame beneath it while sleeping. We asked our room steward three times over the course of the week for some extra padding, but none was ever provided. The small (0.5 inch thick) memory foam overlying the two twin beds, making it into a queen size, was also pitifully compressed. Time for new mattresses, please!
3. Fitness Centre
My boyfriend used the fitness centre throughout the cruise, and found it so-so. There was a decent selection of free weights, but a limited weight range. He didn't observe any waits for cardio equipment.
4. Ice Show
Very beautiful! A must-see, plus tickets are free. I recommend bringing a little blanket or sweater because the ice arena seating area can be chilly. Be cautious of the insane rush to enter the ice arena before the show. There is no need to panic, because there are LOTS of seats. I saw some poor people get roughly pushed aside by the crowd.
5. Specialty Dining
We loved Portofino! We went there twice, once for the Mystery Dinner and another night towards the end of the cruise. Although the Mystery Dinner is fun, we felt that the ambiance of Portofino is much more enjoyable on a regular night. Also, the full menu selection is not available during the Mystery Dinner. Excellent service!
6. Shore Excursions
In St. Thomas we did the Sapphire Beach & Island Drive - STF5, and we enjoyed it. My boyfriend found that the snorkelling was pretty good (we brought our own snorkel gear). However, the year previously we had sailed on Princess to St. Thomas and did the full-day excursion to Trunk Bay on the neighbouring island of St. John. I definitely enjoyed that excursion more, because there is a little more wave action and the swimming was fun! There is lots of good snorkelling at Trunk Bay, although when we were there the water was "too cloudy". Also there are these nice shower facilities where you can shower off the salt water and change for the ferry ride back. The only washroom available at Sapphire Bay Beach was small, dirty, and in need of repair. If you do choose to take the St. John Trunk Bay excursion, the best place to sit on the ferry is the very last row on the top deck (next to the rear railing). Yes there is full sun, but you also get tons of leg room (the other seats are very, VERY tight).
In St. Kitts, we did the St. Kitts Rainforest Adventure - KT22, and we thought it was a very cool cultural experience. We enjoyed hiking through the rainforest and hearing all that our knowledgable guide had to tell us about the history of the island. It's not an intense hike at all... More of a nice stroll.
In Aruba we decided to do our own thing! We had read excellent reviews of nearby beaches like Manchebo Beach and Eagle Beach. We took a taxi (approx. $15 USD) to Eagle Beach, where we hiked around in the sand until we figured out how to rent sun loungers from one of the many beach-front resorts. Basically, stay near the road because that's where the little rental huts are. One of the employees will then carry your cots to where you'd like them. We pulled them right up to the water, and had a great time swimming around. The water is beautiful. However, Aruba was the closest that our cruise came to the Equator. It's about 15 miles north of Venezuela, and very, very hot. We both got a nice lobster-red sunburn, and we recommend multiple applications of sunscreen!
In Curacao, we did the Kayak Coastal Adventure and Snorkeling - CUB4. What an awesome experience! Great tour guides, excellent quality equipment, and a very cool snorkelling site! Refreshments were provided, and when we got back to the base, one of the guides cut up a huge watermelon. Definitely our favourite experience! One word of caution: the crossing from the bay to the snorkelling site is basically in the open ocean, and the waves can be a little intense. This is not a laid-back paddle in a lake.
7. Fellow passengers
I noticed that several reviews have commented on the number of Puerto Rican passengers onboard the Adventure of the Seas. While there were some Puerto Ricans on board, the majority was definitely mainland Americans and Canadians. I didn't see any issues with politeness on board, except for the regular handful of people who get "spoiled" by the end and decide to boss around their servers.
8. Disembarkation
We chose to disembark at 9:00 AM in order to make it to the airport for our flight at 3:00 PM. Disembarkation was speedy and well-organized. We walked off with our own luggage because we weren't sure about that gong-show in the terminal building, and we had read some reviews about hold-ups on the way to the airport. As it turns out, we arrived at 10:00 AM and we weren't even allowed to check in until 12:00 PM. This was an excellent opportunity to catch up on much missed coursework, as the airport is terribly boring and there's nothing to do. Best to eat before you pass security, because there's basically no options on the other side.
Overall, this was an excellent cruise with lots of fun activities and ports of call on the itinerary! We would definitely do it again if it weren't for the awful beds in our stateroom. This is something that RCL should address of the Adventure of the Seas.
 
Brenda22’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9542
We liked the location of our stateroom (E1 category, #9542, balcony) as it was close to the aft stairwell. We did not experience much noise, probably because we weren't at the "food end" of the ship. The bathrooms were small, as per usual on cruise ships, but the shower was great! RCL has this curve-out style of shower "door" that makes the shower seem like a little cylindrical pod. Tons of room to manoeuvre compared to Princess showers (and I am definitely on the taller side, too! 5'11" and 145 lbs). The stateroom furnishings were old and showing wear. This didn't really bother us, though. The real issue were the mattresses. They were extremely old and sagging in the centre. Not only were they completely unsupportive, but you were able to feel the metal frame beneath it while sleeping. We asked our room steward three times over the course of the week for some extra padding, but none was ever provided. The small (0.5 inch thick) memory foam overlying the two twin beds, making it into a queen size, was also pitifully compressed. Time for new mattresses, please!
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