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My Wife and I have over 40 weeks of cruising under our belt, mostly on the higher category cruise lines (Cunard, Celebrity, etc.) We picked this ship because of the islands, price,and amenities for my me, my wife and four kids (2 boys - 15, 1 girl - 13, 1 girl 9) plus my wife's parents (mid 70's). After reading all of the previous reviews before departure, we were prepared for a huge ship with lots of people and mediocre food. I can tell you that almost everything about our cruise exceeded our expectations. Boarding - We arrived at the pier at 11:40 with 16 bags to get on board. I had downloaded the luggage tags and laminated them and attached them to our luggage. All I had to do was grab a porter and he whisked the bags away after I gave him $20 and asked him to make sure our bags got to our rooms early. I don't know whether it worked or was a coincidence, but our bags arrived at our cabin by 2:30. Use the porters - you are on vacation! Because We had my sons best friend we had to have a notarized letter from his parents allowing us to be his guardians. This delayed our boarding process about 10 min. We were still on the ship in under 30 minutes. The Ship -spotlessly clean, more glamorous than we expected. All public areas are very well maintained and staffed. We had 3700 people on board. Most times you would never know it because the ship has been planned out so well. The major complaint would have to be the elevators. Plan on waiting 10 min. during the "peak" times. Cabins - We had cabins 9660,9662,9664,9666. Our Stewardess had already figured out that the 2 adult rooms would be queens and the kids would be twin beds! The ships official policy is an adult in every room, so we booked the cabins as one adult and one child in each. If you do this and want your kids together you can not get their cards changed, you must go to guest relations and ask for duplicate room cards. We each carried two cards - the official one and our "room key" card. The cabins were great! Very roomy in comparison to other ships we had been on. The beds and new bedding were very comfortable with ample room for the suitcases underneath. We always have a suitcase unzipped under the bed to put our dirty clothes in. The closets were plenty big and had 20+ nice wooden hangers. The bath had enough space, considering what it was. The balcony really makes the cabin bigger. Don't ever book a balcony cabin unless you are prepared to step up to a balcony for the rest of your cruise life - you will never go back. Our stewardess was adequate - very efficient, just less personality than most we have had. Food - This was our biggest and best surprise! Having read reviews comparing the food to Burger King, we were prepared for "average" cuisine. It was all very good. The presentation was as elegant as any of the higher class ships we had cruised on previously. The service was also just as good. The menu may not have had quite the high end feel but everything was very well prepared. There are about 5 daily starter, entree and desert selections, plus a standard menu of steak, chicken, fish and pasta. My only compliant was a steak that was grizzly, but my F-I-L's steak was tender and delicious. Luck of the draw I guess. A word about the dining room - probably the most beautiful afloat! three levels. We were on the bottom level. I was originally disappointed not to be on the top level, but more about that later. The wait staff is placed in the dining area by ranking. The higher the ranking, the closer to the kitchen. This would mean a table towards the back should have the better service. We all had tuxes and nice dresses for the 2 formal nights, and most people were at least in suit & tie. Guys - get a tux, either by renting on board, or by buying one for the same price as the rental . I got ours at uniformalwearhouse.com for $89.95 complete! We are now ready for the next cruise or formal occasion! The Windjammer grill was an average shipboard buffet. Very convenient with ample choices that should be described as standard fare. The four kid's drink cards cost me $128 total and were worth every penny. The room service was a treat for all. My kids must have ordered something every night for a midnight snack. It was fast and efficient, and should be tipped immediately so make sure your kids have some cash. Speaking of cash - it is not accepted anywhere on board ship. You need to authorize the card for charging for anyone you want to have the privilege of spending your money! Everything was priced fairly - Mixed drinks in the $5 range for example. What to do first - Go and make your Portofino reservations as soon as you get on board. You need to spend the $20 pp once and experience this fine dining. Our Waiter suggested Thursday as he felt this was the least popular dining room menu. Next, check your table in the dining room - they try to be as accommodating as possible. Shows - The ice skating show is truly not to be missed! even the teenagers were impressed! The evening shows were a good diversion if you need entertainment. We had late dining so we were usually ready to walk around, not sit and see a show. Kids - The teen area was really nice and might have been a great place for my 15 yr.old boy to hang. Details later. The younger kids programs seemed as though they were designed for adults who wanted to get rid of their kids instead of programs for kids to want to do. Our 9 yr old had no interest at all in them. The bad news - Having read the reviews mentioning the Puerto Ricans on board we were prepared for some ethnic diversity. We were not prepared for a full third of the ship to impose their morals and values on the rest of us. The teens took over the youth center - if you didn't speak Spanish you were out of luck. I have lived and traveled the world and I am not at all bigoted or prejudiced, but by the end of the cruise we were all fed up with the pushing, cutting in line, and taking over entire areas of the ship. RCCL did have all of them up on the top level of the dining room, so our evening meals were two levels below the din. I had feared there might be a fair number of PRs based on the great discount we got. Our half price cabins meant the locals must have gotten a really good deal. If you are getting a great deal on this cruise beware! Ports of Call - Having 8 cruisers the shore excursions were way too much money to participate. We rented a mini van in Aruba, St Maartin, and Puerto Rico. They cost @ $80 and we had the run of the island! We drove to the same spots as many of the excursions went. We are avid snorkelers and found great views at Baby beach in Aruba. In Curacao we took a cab to little blue bay - a best western resort that cost $40 each way in a big van, plus $10 pp to get in. What a great beach! Palm trees, warm clear water and great fish and coral. St Maartin - go to the resort directly across the bay from the ship, on the other side of the land. I cant remember the name - It cost nothing but $5 for the Umbrella And $5 for the recliners. Once again great snorkeling. The snorkeling excursion from the ship arrived by boat and stayed for an hour and a half . They paid $50 pp to see the same fish we did for the $76 total cost of the rental car. We didn't plan on a rental, but after hearing the cab fares we realized a rental was better. They are located just off the ship and to the right as you get to the welcome shops. In St, Thomas we decided to go into town with the In laws - Wow what an American place. I have never seen so many jewelry shops in my life. If you enjoy shopping for jewelry you hit the jackpot. We rode the tram up to the top of the mountain. A great view, a nice breeze and a fun parrot show. Buy your tickets on board before you get off the ship and save some $$. Disembarking - They want you out of your cabins by 8 AM. We went to the windjammer and had a nice breakfast and then waited for our number (5)to be called. Once called we waited about 10 minutes for the crowds to subside and then went down. We were off in under 20 minutes. Once again use the porters. They take your bags and whisk you through customs ahead of the people lugging their own stuff. The porter got us a cab without waiting in the long line too. another $20 well spent. Conclusion - What a wonderful ship and a great cruise,. We will definitely cruise RCCL again, but we will NEVER sail out of Puerto Rico again. I hope this doesn't come across as jaded - our family is very fun loving and easy going and the cruise line was wonderful.

Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by jerber

Trip Details
My Wife and I have over 40 weeks of cruising under our belt, mostly on the higher category cruise lines (Cunard, Celebrity, etc.) We picked this ship because of the islands, price,and amenities for my me, my wife and four kids (2 boys - 15, 1 girl - 13, 1 girl 9) plus my wife's parents (mid 70's). After reading all of the previous reviews before departure, we were prepared for a huge ship with lots of people and mediocre food. I can tell you that almost everything about our cruise exceeded our expectations.
Boarding - We arrived at the pier at 11:40 with 16 bags to get on board. I had downloaded the luggage tags and laminated them and attached them to our luggage. All I had to do was grab a porter and he whisked the bags away after I gave him $20 and asked him to make sure our bags got to our rooms early. I don't know whether it worked or was a coincidence, but our bags arrived at our cabin by 2:30. Use the porters - you are on vacation! Because We had my sons best friend we had to have a notarized letter from his parents allowing us to be his guardians. This delayed our boarding process about 10 min. We were still on the ship in under 30 minutes.
The Ship -spotlessly clean, more glamorous than we expected. All public areas are very well maintained and staffed. We had 3700 people on board. Most times you would never know it because the ship has been planned out so well. The major complaint would have to be the elevators. Plan on waiting 10 min. during the "peak" times.
Cabins - We had cabins 9660,9662,9664,9666. Our Stewardess had already figured out that the 2 adult rooms would be queens and the kids would be twin beds! The ships official policy is an adult in every room, so we booked the cabins as one adult and one child in each. If you do this and want your kids together you can not get their cards changed, you must go to guest relations and ask for duplicate room cards. We each carried two cards - the official one and our "room key" card. The cabins were great! Very roomy in comparison to other ships we had been on. The beds and new bedding were very comfortable with ample room for the suitcases underneath. We always have a suitcase unzipped under the bed to put our dirty clothes in. The closets were plenty big and had 20+ nice wooden hangers. The bath had enough space, considering what it was. The balcony really makes the cabin bigger. Don't ever book a balcony cabin unless you are prepared to step up to a balcony for the rest of your cruise life - you will never go back. Our stewardess was adequate - very efficient, just less personality than most we have had.
Food - This was our biggest and best surprise! Having read reviews comparing the food to Burger King, we were prepared for "average" cuisine. It was all very good. The presentation was as elegant as any of the higher class ships we had cruised on previously. The service was also just as good. The menu may not have had quite the high end feel but everything was very well prepared. There are about 5 daily starter, entree and desert selections, plus a standard menu of steak, chicken, fish and pasta. My only compliant was a steak that was grizzly, but my F-I-L's steak was tender and delicious. Luck of the draw I guess. A word about the dining room - probably the most beautiful afloat! three levels. We were on the bottom level. I was originally disappointed not to be on the top level, but more about that later. The wait staff is placed in the dining area by ranking. The higher the ranking, the closer to the kitchen. This would mean a table towards the back should have the better service. We all had tuxes and nice dresses for the 2 formal nights, and most people were at least in suit & tie. Guys - get a tux, either by renting on board, or by buying one for the same price as the rental . I got ours at uniformalwearhouse.com for $89.95 complete! We are now ready for the next cruise or formal occasion! The Windjammer grill was an average shipboard buffet. Very convenient with ample choices that should be described as standard fare. The four kid's drink cards cost me $128 total and were worth every penny. The room service was a treat for all. My kids must have ordered something every night for a midnight snack. It was fast and efficient, and should be tipped immediately so make sure your kids have some cash.
Speaking of cash - it is not accepted anywhere on board ship. You need to authorize the card for charging for anyone you want to have the privilege of spending your money! Everything was priced fairly - Mixed drinks in the $5 range for example.
What to do first - Go and make your Portofino reservations as soon as you get on board. You need to spend the $20 pp once and experience this fine dining. Our Waiter suggested Thursday as he felt this was the least popular dining room menu. Next, check your table in the dining room - they try to be as accommodating as possible.
Shows - The ice skating show is truly not to be missed! even the teenagers were impressed! The evening shows were a good diversion if you need entertainment. We had late dining so we were usually ready to walk around, not sit and see a show.
Kids - The teen area was really nice and might have been a great place for my 15 yr.old boy to hang. Details later. The younger kids programs seemed as though they were designed for adults who wanted to get rid of their kids instead of programs for kids to want to do. Our 9 yr old had no interest at all in them.
The bad news - Having read the reviews mentioning the Puerto Ricans on board we were prepared for some ethnic diversity. We were not prepared for a full third of the ship to impose their morals and values on the rest of us. The teens took over the youth center - if you didn't speak Spanish you were out of luck. I have lived and traveled the world and I am not at all bigoted or prejudiced, but by the end of the cruise we were all fed up with the pushing, cutting in line, and taking over entire areas of the ship. RCCL did have all of them up on the top level of the dining room, so our evening meals were two levels below the din.
I had feared there might be a fair number of PRs based on the great discount we got. Our half price cabins meant the locals must have gotten a really good deal. If you are getting a great deal on this cruise beware!
Ports of Call - Having 8 cruisers the shore excursions were way too much money to participate. We rented a mini van in Aruba, St Maartin, and Puerto Rico. They cost @ $80 and we had the run of the island! We drove to the same spots as many of the excursions went. We are avid snorkelers and found great views at Baby beach in Aruba. In Curacao we took a cab to little blue bay - a best western resort that cost $40 each way in a big van, plus $10 pp to get in. What a great beach! Palm trees, warm clear water and great fish and coral. St Maartin - go to the resort directly across the bay from the ship, on the other side of the land. I cant remember the name - It cost nothing but $5 for the Umbrella And $5 for the recliners. Once again great snorkeling. The snorkeling excursion from the ship arrived by boat and stayed for an hour and a half . They paid $50 pp to see the same fish we did for the $76 total cost of the rental car. We didn't plan on a rental, but after hearing the cab fares we realized a rental was better. They are located just off the ship and to the right as you get to the welcome shops. In St, Thomas we decided to go into town with the In laws - Wow what an American place. I have never seen so many jewelry shops in my life. If you enjoy shopping for jewelry you hit the jackpot. We rode the tram up to the top of the mountain. A great view, a nice breeze and a fun parrot show. Buy your tickets on board before you get off the ship and save some $$.
Disembarking - They want you out of your cabins by 8 AM. We went to the windjammer and had a nice breakfast and then waited for our number (5)to be called. Once called we waited about 10 minutes for the crowds to subside and then went down. We were off in under 20 minutes. Once again use the porters. They take your bags and whisk you through customs ahead of the people lugging their own stuff. The porter got us a cab without waiting in the long line too. another $20 well spent.
Conclusion - What a wonderful ship and a great cruise,. We will definitely cruise RCCL again, but we will NEVER sail out of Puerto Rico again. I hope this doesn't come across as jaded - our family is very fun loving and easy going and the cruise line was wonderful.
jerber’s Full Rating Summary
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