We are a married couple from Scandinavia who previous have been on 35 cruises. This was our 9 Transatlantic cruise, and our 18 cruise with RCI.
Pre-cruise: For the second year in a row, we had pre-booked a car with chauffeur from Online Airport Cars in London, to our hotel in Southampton. It worked again very well for us, and we thought the price was fair. We stayed at the Hotel Novotel Southampton, one day before the cruise. The hotel is an OK 4* hotel, but the prepaid dinner was unfortunately very disappointing.
Embarkation: Went very smoothly.
The voyage: Unfortunately, we found as last year that the best Transatlantic itinerary in the fall for us, was a cruise from Southampton. Like last November, this meant rather bad weather for two days, until we came to Madeira. We really dislike to sail from Southampton on cruises in late fall, we prefer absolutely to sail from a port in the Mediterranean. And next fall we luckily will just do that, but it's another story …
The Ship: The Adventure of the Seas is a very nice ship, but some things could be maintained better. For example, some elevator buttons did not work, and the large punctured window aft. in the Island Grill, which we also noticed in November last year, was still not changed.
Cabin info: We had booked an aft. balcony cabin on deck 9. It was a nice cabin, but with two exceptions, the two very ugly plastic chairs on the balcony, should have been thrown long ago (luckily we had in addition to the chairs two sunbeds, which were fine). In the bathroom we again had a toilet seat that was not so pretty. RCI is the only cruise line we sail with, where we sometimes experience getting less nice toilet seats. We think of course that ugly seats should be replaced at once, but the reason for not doing this is perhaps to save costs?
Dining: We had My Time Dining (MTD) in the Mozart Dining Room on deck five. This was really an excellent dining experience! On 11 of our 14 dinners, we were served by the waiter Gennadiy from Ukraine, and his assistant Polo from Peru. We think Gennadiy really is one of the best waiters on the seven seas! Also Polo did an excellent job! But not only these two, but the other waiters we spoke with in "our part" of the Mozart Dining Room, was very nice! - with the only exception of a male assistant waiter.
But we will of course not forget the excellent service from the two hostesses Salemnon Vashi and Yurkhan Vashi (cousins), and we were also pleased with the third hostess and our friendly Maitre D'.
The food for breakfast and lunch in the Buffet Restaurant Windjammer, was as usual standard buffet food. Unfortunately we experienced that it was empty for prunes when we came to the Caribbean, just like the Transatlantic cruise last year! We have a hard time believing that the logistics would be so complicated, that it should not have been sort it up to this year's cruise. The reason is perhaps that the remaining stock of prunes were put away until the next cruise in the Caribbean - very disappointing!
As expected, it was difficult to find an unoccupied table for breakfast and lunch during “peak hours” in the Windjammer.
Although a few of the employees in Windjammer was a bit too relaxed, the majority did a very good job of clearing tables etc.
We had an excellent dinner at Giovanni’s table.
It was nice to experience that on most seadays, food was also prepared and served on pool deck at lunchtime.
The crew: Our stateroom attendant from Indonesia was excellent. In addition to him, we also found the other stateroom attendants “in our” starboard corridor (from our aft. stateroom and forward to the lifts), to be very nice. Especially, we had several small pleasant conversations with the male attendant from Guatemala.
The majority of rest of the crew we met, were very friendly, with unfortunately a special exception, the unfriendly male officer who was responsible for the deck and pool staff, and who also was responsible for the distribution of bath towels.
The Bars: As usually we were pleased with the Viking Crown Lounge at the top of the ship.
Entertainment: Of course, a lot of entertainment. The two different ice shows we watched, was as expected excellent. But we no longer go to see the production shows. We are quite tired to experience that part of the music/songs presented, is not "original music". The reason for this is probably copyright issues/costs for RCI. Moreover, we think that most of the live music was good.
The Crown & Anchor Society: As Diamond Plus member we were again pleased with the nightly Diamond Event in the Imperial Lounge, with the serving of free beverages and canapés. All the waiters were very friendly. We also appreciate the new offer, that Diamond members and above, now get three free drink coupons to use each day in the bars around the ship, during the hours for the nightly event. We never visited the Concierge Lounge in the evening, it was too crowded.
Itinerary – The 5 ports of call were all good.
Disembarkation in San Juan - smooth. Easy to find baggage.
Overall – A very pleasant cruise!