This is my 7th cruise and 4th with RCI. This is my first time on the Adventure of the Seas, but my second on a Voyager class. The other RCI I've been on was the Allure.
We arrived in San Juan the Friday before embarkation because this was our first time in Puerto Rico. We stayed in a condo in Condado, just outside of Old San Juan. On Saturday, we toured Old San Juan's two fort, San Cristobal and El Morro and had dinner close by.
In San Juan, RCI's ship dock by the city's smaller airport, SIG, and no in Ols San Juan port. There is really nothing around the port. The best way to get to the port is by taxi and most driver will know where RCI docks. Since we booked a JS, we were allowed to embark any time between 11AM - 7PM. We arrived at the terminal around 1PM and were a lot of people already in line. As we had only three pieces of luggage, we decided to carry on our own bags. The whole embarkation process took about 20-25 minutes, and our JS was ready when we got onboard.
Our cabin, 9628 JS, was on the port side close to the rear elevator bank. We were very happy with our cabin and everything worked fine. Please see our separate cabin review. Our cabin steward, Keithly, took care of us very well and we never had a problem with his service or the cleanliness of our cabin.
We selected early seating in the MDR for this cruise and we found ourselves seated on table 318, in the Vivaldi dining room on deck 3. This table, a table for 10, was located in the middle of the dining room under the main chandelier by the Captain's table. I thought we would see the Captain once or twice during the cruise, but he did not dine in the dining room during the whole cruise. Our main waiter in the dining room, Syvester, was really good and he got to know us by the third night; no wonder, he has been with RCI for seven years. We dined at the MDR all week for dinner and we were very happy with the quality and quantity of the food. We had one or two dishes we didn't cared for the whole week, but everything else was cooked perfectly to our order and taste.
The ship was decked out for the holidays with a huge Christmas tree forward on the Promenade. There was definitely a Christmas feel throughout the ship and even the crew was into the spirit. Since my last two cruises were on the Allure, the level of entertainment was just not the same, and I didn't expect it either. But our cruise director, Mercedes, and her staff did their best. The song and dance shows were more than acceptable, the comedians were funny, Alan Chamo, the Mental Magician, was entertaining. The ice shows were up to par. But most of all, we really had fun with Matt Yee at the Schooner Bar every night from 9:45PM till late with his adult sing along show. There was even a Christmas carol sing along on the Promenade deck on Christmas Eve.
Even though the ship was full, we never felt crowded and we found good seats at every show. This cruise was so enjoyable, we decided to rebook for Christmas 2015!
Located mid-ship, by the rear elevators, so going to most venues was convenient. This cabin is part of the second "bump out" with a larger balcony. This JS seemed to be bigger than the one we had on the Allure. We definitely enjoy having the walkin closet, in fact there was so much storage that we didn't fill it all. The bathroom was a standard JS issue with shower over tub with a shower curtain, single sink with dual vanity mirror storage and an under sink shelf. Some of the fixtures are looking dated, and the silver in the vanity mirrors are showing signs of wear, but everything was functional. I found the flat screen TV a little small for a JS, but everything again was functional and in fairly good condition. We enjoyed this JS very much.
Discover Scuba Diving, ST67. I'm a certified diver, but I went along with my novice wife. This was her second Discover Scuba dive, the first one was earlier on the Allure. Last time she was really not comfortable because she felt overwhelmed with all the safety and instructional material, and ended up not completing the course. This time, her instructor was REALLY great, he spent a lot of time just alleviating her fears and made her so much at ease that she was able to dive down to 20-25' depth! Note: this course does not start in the pool as stated in the Shore Excursions brochure.View All 29 Scuba - beginner Reviews
The Essential St. Kitts Tour, KT21. This was a narrated bus tour through downtown Basseterre, a visit to the Romney Manor/Caribelle Batik Studios to watch a demonstration of the Batik dyeing technique and a visit to the Brimestone Hill fortress. The downtown tour was really just a drive by with nothing really grand to see. The Romney Manor was just a large house with a garden and the Batik demonstration only lasted about 10 minutes. The highlight of this excursion was the visit to Brimestone Hill fortress. It was located on top of a hill via a stretch of narrow dirt road which was barely wide enough for the bus. The fortress is being restored and it does offer some terrific windy views. This was a self guided tour and there were just not enough placards to tell us what we were looking at nor explain the history of the fort; a far cry from the ones in San Juan.View All 67 Brimstone Hill Tour Reviews
Aruba's Natural Wonders, AR28. We started off with a visit to a butterfly farm where we learned about a few species of butterflies and their life cycle. This is a great place to take slow motion videos of butterflies. Next we went to visit some rock formation and Indian rock paintings in a park, half guided and half on your own. Then we went to see the "famous" coral bridge which had actually collapsed a few years ago due to erosion! There is a new bridge being carved by the pounding waves, but this will take several years. And, you have to pay to use the bathroom at the gift shop.View All 248 Island Tour Reviews
Caves & City Center, CU85. We started off with a short bus ride to the Hato Caves close to the airport. These caves are above sea level in the hills, so, it's hot and humid inside. The areas open to the public is not very extensive and the whole tour will last about 35 minutes, there is some climbing, but the whole tour is on paved paths. Our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining.The second part of the excursion was a guided city center walking tour. Our tour guide was articulate and well informed. Being this was on a national holiday and most places were closed, our tour lasted about an hour and ended at the Swinging bridge just outside of the cruise ship terminal.View All 81 Cave Tour Reviews