Overall, we had a great trip, but we were somewhat disappointed with the Adventure.
This is our 9th cruise, 8 on RCCL, and we really like the Voyager class of ship.
The Adventure had just been in a short dry-dock, mostly for mechanical maintenance. They put in new flat-screen TV's and a few other updates, but there were many parts of the ship showing wear. During our cruise they replaced the carpet in all of the hallways, something that was supposed to be done in dry dock, but the carpet didn't arrive in time. It was a minor nuisance, but not a major problem. The new carpeting was very nice.
My main complaint on the cruise was the QUALITY of the food. It was just ok. We have been on past RCCL cruises where we were "blown away" by the food, but not this time. One night I had Chicken Kiev, which looked like a Tyson frozen chicken breast that had been put in the microwave. Not bad, but not really what you would expect from a "fine dining" experience. One night, both my wife and I had to send back our entrees, Coc au vin. It was just inedible. Now, we really aren't picky eaters and I don't think either of us have every sent a dish back to the kitchen. Our meal was replaced promptly by another dish, but this should never have happened.
The selection in the main dining room seemed very limited, as well. They just didn't have the variety we have seen in the past. Apparently the chef got a deal on Pork Loin, because it seemed to be on the menu about every other night!! One night I had Prime Rib, and it was the quality you would have expected from a mid-level buffet in Vegas. Not bad, but certainly not PRIME rib.
We pretty much experienced the same thing in the Windjammer. The food was OK, but no better. They had the SAME selection every day for breakfast, lunch was a little more varied, and we didn't try the Windjammer for dinner.
We went to the dining room three mornings for breakfast. In one of the dining rooms we found a breakfast buffet, and the selection was good. They had a very good granola on that buffet, but not in the Windjammer. It really didn't make much sense.
We are not coffee drinkers, but drink non-fat milk. One morning in the dining room we were served milk that was undrinkable. It was warm and tasted terrible....not spoiled, but just bad tasting.
I have read other reviews about the difficulty in getting served at the bars. While I am not a big alcoholic beverage drinker, I did buy the Soda package. I had to wait a long time at many of the bars to get a soda and the servers acted like they really didn't want to serve me. It might have something to do with the price of the soda package already including the tip, but I don't really know. I experienced the same thing in the theater....when I asked one of the servers for a soda and showed them my card, they all acted disgusted...I got my sodas, but not with smiling faces.
My biggest disappointment was the smoky Casino. I enjoy playing cards in the evenings on the ship and this was the smokiest Casino I have every encountered. My evenings I couldn't even last an hour because of the smoke. It was the only place on the ship that you could smoke inside, so I guess that caused the problem. In my case, the smoke drove me out of the Casino and back to my cabin.
As far as excursions, we did take a couple off the ship and their system seemed very efficient. We enjoyed all of the ports of call. However, in most of the ports, we had hooked up with other Cruise Critic members via the message board for our cruise and planned private excursions. We had never done this before, but it couldn't have worked better. We got GREAT excursions for about the same price we would have paid on the ship. The people we met were all terrific and I would travel with any of them again. If you are going on a cruise, I really suggest getting involved on the Cruise Critic Board for your cruise and "meet" people before you sail.
We really enjoyed most of the entertainment. I thought that overall it was some of the best we have had on a cruise. The Beatles tribute group was EXCELLENT. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers did a very good job, and the orchestra was great. We did feel that the ventriloquist was a bit risque for a family show. Also, a lot of the humor was targeted towards the Brits, but that was fair considering that we sailed from Southampton. As Americans, we didn't get some of the humor, but, again, that was fair since most of the guests were Brits. The one other show that was just OK for us was the Bee Gee tribute group. Their singing and playing was good, but the lead singer really thought of himself as a sex symbol. He kept encouraging the girls to scream for them....most of the "girls" didn't. It was actually a little disgusting.
Now for the good. With the exception of the bar staff problem mentioned before, I thought the crew was very good. Our head waiter, waiter, and assistant waiter were all great. Our cabin steward, Brian, was like a ghost....he didn't intrude but always seemed to be there when we needed something and he kept our stateroom spotless.
We had a Junior Suite off the back of the ship, and it was a great cabin. More space for storage than we remembered in other Junior Suites, and the biggest balcony we have ever had. Since the sea days on this trip were mostly "chilly" days, it was nice to be out of the wind on the back of the ship.
We will sail RCCL again, but you can tell that their overall level has declined. I am guessing bottom line issues, but that might be short-sighted on their part. Before this trip I was an avid RCCL fan (even a stockholder), but after this cruise I will also consider other cruise lines before we book again.
Excellent cabin. Huge balcony. A little far from the elevators but that helped us walk off all of the food. Great storage space.