Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by JFN
First time cruiser here. Just returned from Adventure of the Seas, Southern Caribbean, August 24-31. We were not prepared for the humidity! Never again will I go to the Caribbean in August! (We are from Denver -it's a dry heat.) No matter what, don't forget your sunscreen! And you actually have to put it on in order for it to work. This concept was apparently lost on many people on board. We arrived in San Juan on Saturday evening. We took a cab from the airport ($25 with tip) and stayed overnight at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. I thought it was across from where the cruise ship docked -- but this ship docked at the Pan America pier, which was another $20 cab ride away. The hotel was fine; the pool looks better on the website than it actually is. The burger place at the hotel was OK. We saw the Senor Frog's behind the hotel the next morning -- Oh well. Sunday morning we walked around Old San Juan. It took us quite a while to find anyplace open for breakfast -- we wished we had eaten at the hotel. We walked out to El Morro along the water, which was nice, but we were disappointed not to be able to get up to the fort from the end of the path. By the time we walked back to where we could enter, we were too drenched with sweat (did I mention the humidity?), so we called it a day (at noon) and went back to the hotel where we had stashed our bags with the concierge. What a difference a couple of hours makes -- The hotel lobby was now packed with people and luggage. We got ours and got our cab and went to the ship. I think everyone else was waiting for cruise ship transfers. We had booked a junior suite (it was only $100 more per person than a regular balcony room), so we checked in at the little suite check-in podium. Once we figured out we could do this, we were pleased with how quickly our check-in went. Everyone else was in one of two very long lines. FYI, it doesn't matter which line you get in, despite what the overhead signs might imply. We liked our cabin a lot -- #9328. It is quite large with much more storage space than we needed. The bathroom was small, but probably bigger than non-junior-suite balcony rooms. We had a tub but the shower curtain was tiny and our floor got wet every time we showered. Our balcony was nice but I didn't use it very often (it was too humid outside!). My husband used it more than I did. We both liked being out there as we left port, though. We shared a dinner table with two honeymooning couples who were very nice. I thought the food and service were fine. I read another review of this same cruise and was surprised at all the complaints. We never had any issues with the wait staff or the food. Johnny Rockets was fun for a change, but maybe not worth the cover charge since they charge you for shakes. We split one shake and ordered dessert instead of getting two shakes. Dessert is included -- and yummy (oreo sundae). Portofino's was awesome -- I highly recommend it! A meal like that in Denver would be $300, easy, so well worth the $20 per person. We only went to the adult pool. No chance of swimming. It was too crowded -- only room in the pool to stand and sip your drinks, which were always flowing, thanks to the omnipresent bar staff. Lots of shade, which was nice, and we always managed to find chairs. I think the combined space in the 2 whirlpools is probably bigger than that of the pool. I had a mediocre massage at the spa. Certainly not worth the $195 (pre-tip) for 75 minutes. The sales pitch at the end was really annoying. The only show we went to was the ice show. It was pretty cool. We had late dining, so by the time the other shows were on for us, we were too tired to go! Excursions: We went on a catamaran snorkeling tour on Aruba. The shipwreck was very cool -- not to be missed! On Curacao, we were supposed to do the dolphin swim, but it had to be canceled because of some sort of illegal waste dump or oil spill by a tanker. (The dolphin and cruise ship folks told us it was a dump of human waste and plastic; our cab driver later told us it was oil.) We were disappointed, of course, but I was really mad at the illegal dumpers -- I'll refrain from repeating the expletives I used to describe them at the time. So, we found a cab driver at the pier who took us to the Hato Cave (which, much to my chagrin, happens to be above ground, and thus even MORE hot and humid than the outdoors). She was great. She waited for us and then dropped us in town. $60 (with tip) for about 3 or 4 hours of her time. On St. Maarten, we did not have anything planned, so we rented a car at the dock for $40 and drove around the whole island. This is not recommended for the feint of heart. They apparently have no rules of the road on St. Maarten. We ended up at Orient Beach, which is beautiful -- except for the fat naked guy. On St. Thomas, we took the St. John Beach Tour to Trunk Bay. It was really beautiful. The ferry trip over was kind of rough, but I didn't see anybody losing it over the side. Trunk Bay is gorgeous, but I think we saw more fish at the shipwreck on Aruba. Days at sea: I really don't remember what we did on our first day at sea. On our second day at sea, we decided we needed to take advantage of some of the features of the ship. So, we went ice skating (the skates hurt my feet, but it was fun), rock climbing (tip: wash the sunscreen off your hands first so you can get a better grip on the holds), and in-line skating (the course is full of hairpin turns, so you can't really get any speed up), and we played mini-golf and shuffleboard. It was a busy morning! By then we were hot (although the humidity is not as bad during the days at sea), so we spent the rest of the day at the pool. Other notes: I got to experience the "Hospital" on board, as I got stung by something while snorkeling on Aruba. The last time I got a sting like that, which was in Hawaii 2 years ago, the rash spread all over my arms and legs, so I thought I would try to preempt that from happening again. When I told the doctor about the Hawaii experience, he said "Let's give you a shot." I asked if it was cortisone, and he said it was like that -- but I don't remember what it was. Suffice to say the rash did not spread, so to me it was worth the $148! The doctor was from Colombia, spoke English fairly well, and was very nice. Complaint: Every day there is a "drink of the day" for which you pay a certain price ($6.75 or so) and you get to keep the souvenir hurricane glass it comes in. Well, they ran out of the souvenir hurricane glasses by the third day, yet they still charged the same amount for the drink. We scoured every bar on the ship (and there are LOTS of bars on the ship) and no one had any more. Then on the last night they were selling them on the Promenade for $3.75 -- empty. LAME!!! Disembarkation: Bring a book. We were in group 2 (out of 10) and still had to wait for what seemed liked an eternity to get out of there. We took a taxi to the airport ($25 with tip) and checked our bags with no problem. I don't know why anyone would pay $20 to check bags at the ship, or pay $14.75 per person for a cruise ship transfer to the airport. If you have 2 people or more, it will be cheaper to take a taxi. The taxi prices I listed included 2 bags. Next cruise will be Alaska next year, but we will try a different cruise line so we can see how other ships are different.
JFN’s Full Rating Summary
Lots of storage space and hangers. Balcony is on the bump-out and faces slightly aft.
Adventure of the Seas Deck Plans
More Southern Caribbean Reviews
More Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Reviews
More Royal Caribbean International Reviews