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Pre-cruise: We spent two nights in San Juan at the Embassy Suites in Isla Verde. The hotel was in very good condition, and we took advantage of the 2 bedroom suites, which offered plenty of room--and the always favored two baths! We ate the first day at a local Puerto Rican restaurant 2 blocks from the hotel, Mi Casita, which was very reasonable in cost and provided a local dining experience. We also ate at the Outback in the hotel--about what you would expect, but favored by the kids. On Saturday, we rented a car and drove out to El Yunque (http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/caribbean/). It was an easy, well marked drive, and the trails in the forest made for a great day of hiking. La Mina falls was a hit. Footwear is definitely key--no flip flops on these trails. As there we were a party of five with lots of luggage, I was anxious about finding taxis for airport and port transfers, so I checked with several private car companies. We chose Fairway Transportation (http://www.fairwaypr.com/), which provided awesome service. We were met by the same driver for each segment, who was very professional and helpful. Having a vehicle waiting and avoiding the cab line was great for arrival and departure. Embarkation: We arrived at the terminal at 11:30 a.m., and the doors opened around noon. All went smoothly--we did on-line check-in and it worked great. We were in the Windjammer for lunch, and the cabins were available about 1:45 p.m. Cabins: We had connecting cabins, 1578 and 1584. The balconies were huge, and received much use over the week. Having a full lounge chair on the balcony made for much relaxing and reading--especially with the early departures every afternoon. The new bedding was very comfortable, and overall the cabin was very clean, and in very good condition. Ship: This was our first cruise on a "Voyager" family ship, and WOW! The space and flow of the ship was wonderful, and we did not feel crowded all week. There were waits for elevators at "seating times" for dinner, but otherwise, the ship seemed to spread the crowd with little pressure. Pool chairs were generally available, and seating was never a problem in the Windjammer for breakfast or lunch. We really enjoyed the Promenade, and the snacks and coffee at the Cafe Promenade were a treat late at night. Overall cleanliness was maybe a little less than we experienced on Brilliance on the Seas in 2005, but was still fine. Dining: We requested Main Seating dining, and a table for 6, and received both. Service in the restaurant was improved from our experience on Brilliance, and we found the food quality a little better as well. No difficulty finding a good choice each night. We tried Portofino's, which was well worth the $20 additional charge--the kids did Johnny Rockets that night, and all were happy! One new wrinkle was the "table salad" on two nights, which eased the flow of serving--it made a nice presentation, and even encouraged the kids to try some. Entertainment: The Ice Show is a "must see". It was remarkable how they managed on a small rink with so many skaters. The crowd loved it, and it was a very different experience at sea. Shows in the main theater were fair--average cruise show quality. There was a faithful crowd in the Schooner Bar every evening at 8:00 p.m. for "Name that Tune" with various themes--one team from Boston won four of the nights--very impressive! We also enjoyed Shane in the Duck and Dog late evenings--he puts on a great show, and drew a good crowd by the end of the cruise. Adventure Ocean: The 12-15 bracket had very little going on--the kids pretty much made their own fun--so much to do around the ship. Our son was in the 9-11 bracket again, and had done all the activities--but still went a couple of nights after dinner. The arcade was impressive, and a magnet for the kids--games range from 50 cents to $1--a budget is critical. Ports: The itinerary was a real draw for this cruise, and we tried to make the most of each port. --Barbados: We chartered the catamaran Shasa (www.shasacatamarancruises.com) for a 3 hour snorkeling sail with Capt. Jason, who really knew the waters and got us to great locations for both turtles and a wreck. We sailed the entire time, having driven up to Holetown to meet him, so we had lots of time on the water away from the crowds. --St. Lucia: My son and I wanted to fish, so we arranged a half day charter with Captain Mike's (www.captainmikescharters.com). They met us at the dock with the 31' Betram, rigged with 5 lines. The boat had a Captain and a fishing guide, and we had a great day. A couple of barracuda, but the big fish were deterred by the roughening seas from Hurricane Dean (more on that later....). --Antigua: We really enjoyed Eli's Ecotour (www.advantageantigua.com), which provided a great vantage and much insight about Antigua. We would have enjoyed a little more snorkeling, but the hike on Bird Island and the crawl up to Hell's Gate made for a memorable day. --St. Maarten: We had planned to rent a car and split the day between a lunch visit to Marigot and time at Orient Beach, but Hurricane Dean finally caught up with us. 25-35 knot winds and frequent rain squalls kept us on the ship and the port area. There were breaks where the weather cleared, but we were in and out of the rain all day. --St. Thomas: We saved our shopping for Charlotte Amalie, and had a successful day. Lunch at the Greenhouse, with excellent Conch fritters and wraps. Again, we had fairly strong winds, but a nice afternoon on the ship by the pool. Overall Assessment: We find Adventure of the Seas to be a remarkable ship, and would not hesitate to sail on another Voyager family vessel. The quality of the food and dining experience was improved from our last RCI cruise, which was welcome. This was our first time in a Grand Suite, and we find the balcony to be a real treat, but the rest of the suite amenities were just o.k. We did not use the Concierge Lounge, but did fine the Concierge, Ana, to be very helpful and approachable. What we noticed the most was the early departure time from all the ports--generally 5:00 p.m. It made for a short day, especially when the islands on this itinerary were in such close proximity. The ship generally sailed at no more than 6-8 knots through the evening, as the ports were so close. While main seating would have brought us back to the ship by 5:00 p.m. on most afternoons, we would have stayed in port later and used Portofino's or Windjammer to have stretched one or two days. For those with Late Seating, it seemed to make for a long afternoon. Again, having dedicated transportation for a group our size took a lot of worry out of the logistics--and was a better deal than using the luggage check service on the ship at $20 per person. As always, we learned a great deal from these Boards, and appreciate everyone's help and insights!

Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Cortesefam

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2007
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Grand Suite - 1 Bedroom
Pre-cruise: We spent two nights in San Juan at the Embassy Suites in Isla Verde. The hotel was in very good condition, and we took advantage of the 2 bedroom suites, which offered plenty of room--and the always favored two baths! We ate the first day at a local Puerto Rican restaurant 2 blocks from the hotel, Mi Casita, which was very reasonable in cost and provided a local dining experience. We also ate at the Outback in the hotel--about what you would expect, but favored by the kids.
On Saturday, we rented a car and drove out to El Yunque (http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/caribbean/). It was an easy, well marked drive, and the trails in the forest made for a great day of hiking. La Mina falls was a hit. Footwear is definitely key--no flip flops on these trails.
As there we were a party of five with lots of luggage, I was anxious about finding taxis for airport and port transfers, so I checked with several private car companies. We chose Fairway Transportation (http://www.fairwaypr.com/), which provided awesome service. We were met by the same driver for each segment, who was very professional and helpful. Having a vehicle waiting and avoiding the cab line was great for arrival and departure.
Embarkation: We arrived at the terminal at 11:30 a.m., and the doors opened around noon. All went smoothly--we did on-line check-in and it worked great. We were in the Windjammer for lunch, and the cabins were available about 1:45 p.m.
Cabins: We had connecting cabins, 1578 and 1584. The balconies were huge, and received much use over the week. Having a full lounge chair on the balcony made for much relaxing and reading--especially with the early departures every afternoon. The new bedding was very comfortable, and overall the cabin was very clean, and in very good condition.
Ship: This was our first cruise on a "Voyager" family ship, and WOW! The space and flow of the ship was wonderful, and we did not feel crowded all week. There were waits for elevators at "seating times" for dinner, but otherwise, the ship seemed to spread the crowd with little pressure. Pool chairs were generally available, and seating was never a problem in the Windjammer for breakfast or lunch. We really enjoyed the Promenade, and the snacks and coffee at the Cafe Promenade were a treat late at night. Overall cleanliness was maybe a little less than we experienced on Brilliance on the Seas in 2005, but was still fine.
Dining: We requested Main Seating dining, and a table for 6, and received both. Service in the restaurant was improved from our experience on Brilliance, and we found the food quality a little better as well. No difficulty finding a good choice each night. We tried Portofino's, which was well worth the $20 additional charge--the kids did Johnny Rockets that night, and all were happy! One new wrinkle was the "table salad" on two nights, which eased the flow of serving--it made a nice presentation, and even encouraged the kids to try some.
Entertainment: The Ice Show is a "must see". It was remarkable how they managed on a small rink with so many skaters. The crowd loved it, and it was a very different experience at sea. Shows in the main theater were fair--average cruise show quality. There was a faithful crowd in the Schooner Bar every evening at 8:00 p.m. for "Name that Tune" with various themes--one team from Boston won four of the nights--very impressive! We also enjoyed Shane in the Duck and Dog late evenings--he puts on a great show, and drew a good crowd by the end of the cruise.
Adventure Ocean: The 12-15 bracket had very little going on--the kids pretty much made their own fun--so much to do around the ship. Our son was in the 9-11 bracket again, and had done all the activities--but still went a couple of nights after dinner. The arcade was impressive, and a magnet for the kids--games range from 50 cents to $1--a budget is critical.
Ports: The itinerary was a real draw for this cruise, and we tried to make the most of each port.
--Barbados: We chartered the catamaran Shasa (www.shasacatamarancruises.com) for a 3 hour snorkeling sail with Capt. Jason, who really knew the waters and got us to great locations for both turtles and a wreck. We sailed the entire time, having driven up to Holetown to meet him, so we had lots of time on the water away from the crowds.
--St. Lucia: My son and I wanted to fish, so we arranged a half day charter with Captain Mike's (www.captainmikescharters.com). They met us at the dock with the 31' Betram, rigged with 5 lines. The boat had a Captain and a fishing guide, and we had a great day. A couple of barracuda, but the big fish were deterred by the roughening seas from Hurricane Dean (more on that later....).
--Antigua: We really enjoyed Eli's Ecotour (www.advantageantigua.com), which provided a great vantage and much insight about Antigua. We would have enjoyed a little more snorkeling, but the hike on Bird Island and the crawl up to Hell's Gate made for a memorable day.
--St. Maarten: We had planned to rent a car and split the day between a lunch visit to Marigot and time at Orient Beach, but Hurricane Dean finally caught up with us. 25-35 knot winds and frequent rain squalls kept us on the ship and the port area. There were breaks where the weather cleared, but we were in and out of the rain all day.
--St. Thomas: We saved our shopping for Charlotte Amalie, and had a successful day. Lunch at the Greenhouse, with excellent Conch fritters and wraps. Again, we had fairly strong winds, but a nice afternoon on the ship by the pool.
Overall Assessment: We find Adventure of the Seas to be a remarkable ship, and would not hesitate to sail on another Voyager family vessel. The quality of the food and dining experience was improved from our last RCI cruise, which was welcome. This was our first time in a Grand Suite, and we find the balcony to be a real treat, but the rest of the suite amenities were just o.k. We did not use the Concierge Lounge, but did fine the Concierge, Ana, to be very helpful and approachable.
What we noticed the most was the early departure time from all the ports--generally 5:00 p.m. It made for a short day, especially when the islands on this itinerary were in such close proximity. The ship generally sailed at no more than 6-8 knots through the evening, as the ports were so close. While main seating would have brought us back to the ship by 5:00 p.m. on most afternoons, we would have stayed in port later and used Portofino's or Windjammer to have stretched one or two days. For those with Late Seating, it seemed to make for a long afternoon.
Again, having dedicated transportation for a group our size took a lot of worry out of the logistics--and was a better deal than using the luggage check service on the ship at $20 per person.
As always, we learned a great deal from these Boards, and appreciate everyone's help and insights!
Cortesefam’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
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