The Adventure is an odd boat within the Royal family. Never mind the fact that balconies are merely a partial window cutout of the steel side but the pace of things on the ship (including staff) moves way slower than other ships in the company portfolio.
Arrival – What a nightmare. The station in San Juan is a free-for-all trying to get on the ship. No employees are directing people. There’s a line if you want to give bags to the porters but you can’t hand them one directly upon getting out of your vehicle. There’s a different line if you don’t have bags. Once you clear that hurdle you proceed to the various lines for getting your seapass card. Again, no one directing nor helping people inside the terminal. When you get to the front of the line there’s again no rhyme or reason why someone is shown an agent to begin check-in. My agent didn’t explain anything about the early schedule of events on the ship nor when rooms would be ready. I was left on my own to find the ship and figure things out. F-.
Room 7340 – beware, this cabin vibrates nonstop. If you’re sensitive to that type of movement avoid this room like the plague. I’ll post a video on youtube (https://youtu.be/ryq3lcMRKJw) so you can see yourself how badly this room vibrates. In general the rooms are freshly painted. They have a tropical feel now in their color scheme. New flatscreen tv’s are nice. Bathrooms are typical for Royal. Beds in the cabin were quite firm, bordering on rock hard. After 6 days I woke with some stiffness in my back. I didn't understand why in the world they went backwards with the balconies (picture windows cut out of the side of the ship vs. full glass walls). Also, balconies are lined in this cork-like product that'd flake off when you moved a chair. Just bizarre. C.
Food was pretty darn good on the ship. Windjammer had some of the most delicious food I’ve had in some time. The kitchen staff seemed to keep items changing each day. Some nights you could get cooked to order pasta or mini sliders. The final night the kitchen staff even came around offering passengers fresh chocolate covered strawberries as they wished us a safe trip home. In the main dining room the menus have recently changed. I don’t know if it’s because of the distance from the continental US but things like scallops have been removed and replaced with escargot nightly. The new items seemed to have a little bit of spice which is a welcome treat compared to some of the bland dishes of the past. Overall food on this boat was outstanding. A+
Staff – perhaps it’s just inherent from the San Juan location but employees just move way slower here, like they’re stuck on Island Time (they’ll get to it eventually). Everyone is friendly enough and work to make your experience a good one just don’t expect the same pace of staff on other ships. A-
Ports - on my sailing we did St Thomas, St Kitts, Aruba, Curacao. High praise to whoever decided to allow for a 10pm departure from Aruba. Given how close the islands are overall I wish they done the same for the other islands (after all the boat only took a top speed of 14 knots during the trip). If you can, take a sailing to Aruba or Curacao. Amazing beaches and quite friendly locals. Never once did I feel in danger like I have in Jamaica. In Aruba and Curacao I rented a car and had no problems getting around the islands as they obey US driving rules - just don't make a right turn on red or you'll get a ticket. A+
Entertainment - skip it. The dancers did a good job for their part but the shows are just tired and very 80's. As an idea one of the better shows at night was a "Best of Vegas" tribute. I'd expect this kind of show on a Princess ship where people are all in their 70s but that was just not the demographics of this ship. Comedians were bad. They had this duet / audience participation act that was just awkward. Overall someone at Royal just needs to revisit nighttime entertainment in the big theater. Djs were good and the nighttime deck parties were quite the happening place. C-
Final thoughts – I still love the center promenade that Royal introduced in this class and it does get used quite a lot to the overall quality of the trip. If you can pick a good room and understand that things may move at a different pace than you’re use to I’d recommend taking this ship as the ports were the reason I picked the boat. Know it won't be the same experience as Independence or Allure as you can make the ship the vacation. The food makes up for some of the distractions.
Room 7340 – beware, this cabin vibrates nonstop. If you’re sensitive to that type of movement avoid this room like the plague. I’ll post a video on youtube (https://youtu.be/ryq3lcMRKJw) so you can see yourself how badly this room vibrates. In general the rooms are freshly painted. They have a tropical feel now in their color scheme. New flatscreen tv’s are nice. Bathrooms are typical for Royal. Beds in the cabin were quite firm, bordering on rock hard. After 6 days I woke with some stiffness in my back. C.
Rent a car. The island is maybe 20 minutes north or south from the pier and only one road takes you from the north to the south. Beaches are everywhere. I did stop at Eagle and Baby Beach. Both are beautiful but the warmth and the sheltered bay in Baby made it a more enjoyable day. Just pack lots of sunscreen as the cool wind will think you're not burnt from the intense sun.
Consider renting a car. Gas is cheap cheap here and driving rules follow US laws. Be prepared for lots of roundabouts instead of streetlights. Casa Abao was beyond beautiful. $6 per car, $3 for a chair for the day. Worth every penny.