Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by BStroud373
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We had both cruised with Carnival before but came away from this cruise vowing never to return to Carnival. We arrived in PR the day of departure around 2p. We finally arrived in our stateroom around 5p. The lines were long and seemed to take hours to get through since we were so anxious to actually get on the ship and start our vacation. The ship itself was wonderful. The outside of ship was nice but the inside of the ship was very impressive that words will not do it justice. The grand promenade was HUGE and the amount of diverse restaurants/bars really impressed me. If you like a sports bar feel then you can hang at the sports bar. If you more of a pub type of person - you've got the Duck and Dog Pub you can kick back and enjoy a brewsky. If you like the upscale quiet atmosphere you can go to the Blue Moon or the Champagne Bar. It was just like being in a city with a ton of variety but all in walking distance. The demographics on the ship - There have been some talk about the amount of Puerto Ricans on the ship. When I first read about this I thought people were being a bit intolerant and harsh but I must say it did bother me much more than I thought it would. My husband and I are minorities ourselves and welcome diversity but there is a line between cultural differences and obnoxiousness. That being said we were not going to let this ruin our vacation - we simply looked at it as an opportunity for growth. I read posts about people sequestering themselves to their rooms after being turned off by rude interactions but I was determined not to let it get to me. Food - Food in the dining room was hit and miss but you must try Portofino's. It was so worth the $20 per person charge. We made 8p reservations for Sunday night when we got on the ship because I wanted to eat there while we were leaving PR. It was magical to see the city disappearing while eating some of the best food ever! Our server wasn't the friendliest guy ever but the food made up for the lack in customer service. We also went to Johnny Rockets, which was good as well. For breakfast, we often ordered room service and ate it our balcony. It was one of highlights of our trip that as we were docking in Aruba - St. Thomas and St. Martin we enjoyed our breakfast on our balcony while watching the city get closer and closer. Simply incredible! Did I mention room service was free and (relatively fast)?! Excursions - In Aruba we did ATV Mania. It was fun but it was harder than I anticipated. Now I must admit out of our group of 20 people I was the only one who got stuck and need assistance TWICE! I thought my husband was going to die of embarrassment when I held up the entire group because somehow I ran off the road and got stuck on top of a huge rock! After a lecture from one of the guides about going too fast - she somehow got my vehicle off the rock and I nervously smiled and gave a enthusiastic thumbs up at the rest of the group that patiently waiting for me. We traveled on regular roads with other drivers and went to the natural bridge- the rock formations - and other places that were wonderful photo opportunities. **If you are doing this excursion - take sunglasses or some type of goggles if you have them (and pray if you are accident prone like I am). The dust/sand on the road can really hurt your eyes and don't wear anything you might want to wear again on the trip. We were extremely dirty (and relieved) when it was over. In Curacao we did the Animal Encounter Scuba Adventure. I picked this excursion because my husband loves stingrays and I am so happy I did! It was both of our first time scuba diving and it was a perfect environment for it. The instructors were patient and the fish were hungry. They don't rush you while you are in the water and trust me you will see all types underwater entertainment! **Tip on this excursion - take an underwater camera. There was an underwater photographer that will gladly take pics of you while underwater for the low price of $10 a picture (and trust me - he takes a TON of pics). We ended up buying the CD of all the pictures for the low price of $45! There were some wonderful pictures of my husband with his favorite animal so I just had to get them. YIKES! In St. Martin we did the Rhino Rider, which was fun as well. It was simply beautiful zipping across the different bays. They advertise snorkeling on this excursion but there really wasn't much to see at Happy Bay (were we docked for about 30 min). The instructors were cool but it did bother me that they mentioned the fact that they took tips about 10 times in the span of one hour! The ride can be bumpy due to the waves and my back side was sore the next day but it was a fun excursion. St. Thomas we did the ½ day St. John Champagne Catamaran sail - This was our favorite! It was perfect sailing out to St. John and the snorkeling was incredible. We saw stingrays - turtles -and a spotted eagle ray while out there. When we got back on the boat they had a light lunch waiting for us with great drinks. The staff was so attentive and made sure everyone was having a great time. This truly was a great excursion. Pool time - It was amazing to me that the "Family" pool area had belly flop competitions - live bands and many many...did I mention many? kids jumping in and out of the pools screaming at the top of their lungs. Don't miss the competitions including the dodgeball games - tug of war - it never ceased to amaze me what people would do for a Royal Caribbean key chain. Funny stuff! But over at the adult pool area people were sleeping - reading and simply relaxing. Two completely different atmospheres separated by a sliding glass door. Like I said earlier - tons of variety! Night Life - I wish I would've experience more but as you can see we had some pretty active excursions so by the time dinner rolled around we were simply exhausted. I did go to the Midnight Gala Buffet where they had ice sculptures and chocolate delicacies of every type. It was beautiful! We did venture to the nightclub Jesters a couple of nights but there might've been a total of 7 people (including us) there. I must say that every night we went it was about 11p so the party probably hadn't begun yet. We saw two shows - the Love and Marriage show which was funny and we saw the show "Jackpot". They were both fairly entertaining. But not to be missed is the ice show! Get the tickets (they are free) as soon as possible because space in the theater is limited. I used to be a competitive ice skater so I was skeptical about how good this show could be on such a small ice surface. But I was extremely impressed with the creativity they used to pull this show together. Take your camera - I got some wonderful shots of the skaters doing various stunts. Various other tips: Go to your Meet and Mingle! If you haven't signed up for one - do it! It's fun to meet with like-minded individuals who was as determined to have a great vacation by doing research on Cruise Critic as I was! Shout out to Janice who I ran into many times while on the ship.Your welcoming attitude and big smile was simply inviting and disarming amongst strangers! There wasn't a clock in our room except for a small 4-point font time display on the phone. I wish I would've known this so I could've brought a small clock just to be aware of the time. This didn't bother my husband one bit - I guess it just depends on your personality. Formal nights were overrated. The lines at the photo opp areas were super long, which led to major congestion while entering the dining room. Lastly - check the cruise compass every day!! There are many exciting things to do on the ship that I missed simply because I didn't look at the cruise compass until it was too late.
If you have any questions/comments, feel free to email me! Happy Cruising!
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