The refurbishment of the ship in April was not very extensive, many of the public areas are looking very tired. The biggest change was to replace the very nice Italian restaurant Portofino with a very ordinary Italian restaurant called Giovanni's table. From the low end cutlery and crockery, cheap table cloth and "rustic" menu, you know this is another cost cutting exercise by the bean-counters at Royal Carribean. You still pay a $20 surcharge, but now the food is no better than in the main dining room.
We spoke to a number of crew members who were equally unimpressed by the change.
Perhaps on the larger ships with many dining options Giovanni's Table has a place. However, on a ship with only one "Special" restaurant it is a big mistake.
Johnny Rockets on Adventure of The Seas is also below the standard of other Royal Carribean ships. Certainly way below independence of the seas. The music is either not played or too quiet to hear, the dancing waiters are half hearted and the signature greeting on arrival and departure only happens about one time in five. It's as if the staff are bored with the concept and can't be bothered to do it for the benefit of the guests. Having said that the burgers and milk shakes are still worth the trip!
I used to enjoy a fine Cuban cigar on the balcony, watching the sunset, but since January of this year smoking on balconies has been banned. (Nice of them not to mention this last August when we booked!) The cigar lounge was also very poorly stocked, with a great menu of cigars, only about three of which were actually available.
The new smoking policy is not coherent as signs on the stateroom balconies still remind you to ensure all smoking materials are extinguished, even though you are now not allowed to smoke.
The alcohol policy is also a mess. Previously it was forbidden to bring any alcohol on board. This time at Southampton guests were bringing on wine. The service staff at check in seemed unclear, one said that a new policy allowed a certain number of wine bottles to be brought on, another staff member thought alcohol was still banned. The onboard literature states alcohol cannot be brought onboard, but then refers to a corkage charge if you drink your own. Total confusion reigns!
The penny pinching is getting worse, it started when they stopped sending out luggage labels and wanted you to make your own by printing them off and using Sellotape!
Now gratuities are automatically added to your account each day and 15% is automatically added to all drinks, yet the new electronic payment terminals still try and squeeze further tips from you every time you buy a coffee on the promenade. The up selling by the staff is also intrusive, if you go to the spa you get a hard sell on products and repeat appointments, if you eat in Giovanni's expect to be bombarded with discount offers to book for three or more meals in advance.
I get the feeling that Royal Carribean are pushing down market, perhaps trying to increase the difference between this offering and their celebrity range. The final product is heading towards an all inclusive holiday camp.
If you want a mass market, nothing special, ship then Adventure of the Seas may be perfect for you. however, if you enjoy fine dining, good wine or want to enjoy a nice cigar then I would not recommend this ship
Reasonable size with a nice balcony. No lounger as standard on the balcony this year.More cost cutting by the bean-counters? Very bad sewage smell in the bathroom, three visits from maintenance and it's still there!