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This cruise was taken during the Northeast school vacation 2/15-2/22/09. We had our two children ages 13/11 with us and had cabins directly across from each other on deck 9. We traveled from MA on our own airline arrangements. We took this same cruise 4-5 years ago so I could really compare and contrast. Arrival/embarkation day was uneventful for the most part. Arrived at the pier around 230 to find a very long line to check bags in. Originally got in the line but then figured that there must be a quicker way for Platinum members to get on the ship. Went to ask someone and they directed me to a desk where indeed they took our luggage and we got to go right into the terminal and then right to the counter to check in. Wish I had known about the "special desk" ahead of time. While in line I noticed an extreme over abundance of "native" islanders. I couldn't believe it. Everywhere I looked there were people speaking Spanish and there was definitely a paucity of Yankee/Red Sox hats that normally fill the air during this time frame. I knew this ship was not full as I almost changed cabin arrangements two weeks before sailing. I am sure they gave cabins away to the native folks for a mere pittance. This did not set well with me. I heard way too much Spanish during the week. The worst was when they had a sale on watches in the gift ship towards the end of the cruise. My daughter saw one she wanted and when we went to wait for the sale to start the room was full of these people. They ended up trampling my daughter out of the way and she ended up with nothing. I couldn't believe it. Cabins were nice, clean, and comfortable. Our balcony cabin had a creek the first few nights that kept us awake a little but then it went away. We had a very, very windy week at sea so that may have had something to do with it. Our stateroom attendant was Philip from Grenadines/St. Vincent. He was great. Interacted with the kids and was very attentive to our needs as well as others around us. I will talk about dining next......we were scheduled for late seating 830 on this cruise. We always have felt that this is too late for the kids but the early seating is too early for us. Always wanted other options for dining in between. Well, as I was walking back from the promenade area around 7pm I noticed a sign by the entrance to the dining room on the 5th floor. "MY TIME DINING", the sign said. I went over to investigate. So here is the skinny.....I had not heard of this on this cruise line before. There was no prior notice or advertising of this on this particular cruise. They told me that if I signed up for this that we could eat basically when we wanted but would be removed from our already assigned table and transferred to this area for dinner for the week. Each night you make reservations for the next night or make reservations for the week. This sounded perfect and too good to be true. So I asked for dinner at 730-800 for the first night and for 730 the rest of the week. They told me that they were sold out and only had a minimal allotment for seating times as they were doing this on a trial basis to assess the need for future cruises. They offered me either 630 or 815 which really didn't help my situation. I ended up complaining a bit about being Platinum member and that if they offered this to anyone first it should be those with high standing in Crown and Anchor. They eventually made room for us and we dined this way for the week and it worked out great for us. I was just upset that they didn't mention this ahead of time to us and that I had to happen across it while walking around. They could have at least handed out something at check in. They said that this won't be an announced fixture on this ship until April, so if you are interested in this type of dining and are cruising before April than go to the 5th floor ASAP after getting on the ship to inquire about it. We ate at Portofino's one night and had an excellent meal as usual there. I found the food on the ship mediocre at best. I have watched the quality of food go way down over the years on RCL and didn't have high expectations for this cruise and so was not upset over it. I got exactly what I expected. The cutbacks are readily apparent everywhere. In the Windjammer for breakfast you can only get OJ/Apple juice now. No Grapefruit, Cranberry, or Tomato Juice. You have to pay extra for freshly squeezed OJ. Some things were good others were terrible....but know that if you are expecting gourmet quality food its not happening on this cruise line. Portions where small. One night I ordered a type of steak and got only two strips. It literally took less than 3 minutes to eat my dinner. I did find the wine very reasonably priced. I tend to drink high end wine and did have a bottle of Duckhorn Merlot and a bottle of Caymus Cabernet. The prices were almost the same for these high-end wines as buying them in a liquor store in our area. A little markup but no where near the markup on their cheaper variety wines. So if you like wine...splurge for the better stuff...you will get more bang for you buck. Entertainment-usually I don't go to too many shows but my daughter loves them now so went to most of them. Missed the first night show but the second night they had Jay Johnson the ventriloquist from the TV show SOAP. He was great. Really enjoyed him. Next night was the Ice Show which was nice. They gave out more seats than they have room for thus people end up standing in the aisles and block your view if you don't go early to get a primo seat...so for this event..get there early. The singer/dancers did a good job during their shows. The other headline acts were mediocre....someone called "El Gaucho" was terrible....then they had a comedic juggler the last night that we didn't go to. The piano bar guy had a terrible voice but at least could play the piano. Other than that didn't check out too many evening bars as we spent time with the kids. Ports Day 1 at sea......usual crunch for lounge chairs...but knew to get mine early....saw a lot of aggravated people pissed they didn't get seats. Day 2 ArubaPouring Rain....couldn't believe it....ended up taking a taxi tour for a few hours that the kids liked. Put them back on the ship and my wife and I went to Iguana Joes and got toasted....great Margaritas!! Whole day was rain and clouds. Day 3 Curacaowent to KonTiki which I read about on this website...was excited for it. Well, it was nice but way too crowded. The entire ship seemed to be there. If you decide to eat at the restaurant there know that it took an hour to get our food and that seemed to be the norm that day as all the New Yorkers were just about rioting over it at the various table around us. Day4 at Sea....very, very windy...sunny but 30MPH winds.....had lounge chairs on top deck and couldn't wear a hat..... Day5 St. Maarten....Orient Beach as usual...never disappointed there. Gorgeous and always a great day! Day6 St. Thomastired of going to Megans bay so I had arranged a chartered sailboat ahead of time with Bobby from Rumbaba....it was fantastic.....highly recommend doing this. We all had a blast and he and Julie took great care of us and made our day a very special one. Food was the best we had all week...bar none! Day 7..off the ship early and got day room at the Ritz in San Juan as our flight didn't leave until 7pm....phenomenal hotel....beautiful day.....won $400 playing blackjack in their casino so it paid for our entire day/food there....great way to end the week! So...we did have a pretty good week but felt that RCL has had way too many cutbacks for our liking. I will say that I found all the staff to be the most friendly bunch we have ever seen. We got nothing but smiles and every time I walked past someone on this ship they acknowledged me. I was very impressed. Despite this wee probably won't be cruising again for a while with RCL. This cruise did put us up over to the Diamond Crown and Anchor level. We found the extras that they offer the Platinum/Diamond members were even cheap. The coupons used to give you a lot of free things..now its more of a buy one...get one kind of flavor....didn't make us feel very special about being repeat customers this time around.

Insolvent of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Glenlivetrocks

Trip Details
This cruise was taken during the Northeast school vacation 2/15-2/22/09. We had our two children ages 13/11 with us and had cabins directly across from each other on deck 9. We traveled from MA on our own airline arrangements.
We took this same cruise 4-5 years ago so I could really compare and contrast.
Arrival/embarkation day was uneventful for the most part. Arrived at the pier around 230 to find a very long line to check bags in. Originally got in the line but then figured that there must be a quicker way for Platinum members to get on the ship. Went to ask someone and they directed me to a desk where indeed they took our luggage and we got to go right into the terminal and then right to the counter to check in. Wish I had known about the "special desk" ahead of time. While in line I noticed an extreme over abundance of "native" islanders. I couldn't believe it. Everywhere I looked there were people speaking Spanish and there was definitely a paucity of Yankee/Red Sox hats that normally fill the air during this time frame. I knew this ship was not full as I almost changed cabin arrangements two weeks before sailing. I am sure they gave cabins away to the native folks for a mere pittance. This did not set well with me. I heard way too much Spanish during the week. The worst was when they had a sale on watches in the gift ship towards the end of the cruise. My daughter saw one she wanted and when we went to wait for the sale to start the room was full of these people. They ended up trampling my daughter out of the way and she ended up with nothing. I couldn't believe it.
Cabins were nice, clean, and comfortable. Our balcony cabin had a creek the first few nights that kept us awake a little but then it went away. We had a very, very windy week at sea so that may have had something to do with it. Our stateroom attendant was Philip from Grenadines/St. Vincent. He was great. Interacted with the kids and was very attentive to our needs as well as others around us.
I will talk about dining next......we were scheduled for late seating 830 on this cruise. We always have felt that this is too late for the kids but the early seating is too early for us. Always wanted other options for dining in between. Well, as I was walking back from the promenade area around 7pm I noticed a sign by the entrance to the dining room on the 5th floor. "MY TIME DINING", the sign said. I went over to investigate. So here is the skinny.....I had not heard of this on this cruise line before. There was no prior notice or advertising of this on this particular cruise. They told me that if I signed up for this that we could eat basically when we wanted but would be removed from our already assigned table and transferred to this area for dinner for the week. Each night you make reservations for the next night or make reservations for the week. This sounded perfect and too good to be true. So I asked for dinner at 730-800 for the first night and for 730 the rest of the week. They told me that they were sold out and only had a minimal allotment for seating times as they were doing this on a trial basis to assess the need for future cruises. They offered me either 630 or 815 which really didn't help my situation. I ended up complaining a bit about being Platinum member and that if they offered this to anyone first it should be those with high standing in Crown and Anchor. They eventually made room for us and we dined this way for the week and it worked out great for us. I was just upset that they didn't mention this ahead of time to us and that I had to happen across it while walking around. They could have at least handed out something at check in. They said that this won't be an announced fixture on this ship until April, so if you are interested in this type of dining and are cruising before April than go to the 5th floor ASAP after getting on the ship to inquire about it.
We ate at Portofino's one night and had an excellent meal as usual there. I found the food on the ship mediocre at best. I have watched the quality of food go way down over the years on RCL and didn't have high expectations for this cruise and so was not upset over it. I got exactly what I expected. The cutbacks are readily apparent everywhere. In the Windjammer for breakfast you can only get OJ/Apple juice now. No Grapefruit, Cranberry, or Tomato Juice. You have to pay extra for freshly squeezed OJ. Some things were good others were terrible....but know that if you are expecting gourmet quality food its not happening on this cruise line. Portions where small. One night I ordered a type of steak and got only two strips. It literally took less than 3 minutes to eat my dinner.
I did find the wine very reasonably priced. I tend to drink high end wine and did have a bottle of Duckhorn Merlot and a bottle of Caymus Cabernet. The prices were almost the same for these high-end wines as buying them in a liquor store in our area. A little markup but no where near the markup on their cheaper variety wines. So if you like wine...splurge for the better stuff...you will get more bang for you buck.
Entertainment-usually I don't go to too many shows but my daughter loves them now so went to most of them. Missed the first night show but the second night they had Jay Johnson the ventriloquist from the TV show SOAP. He was great. Really enjoyed him. Next night was the Ice Show which was nice. They gave out more seats than they have room for thus people end up standing in the aisles and block your view if you don't go early to get a primo seat...so for this event..get there early. The singer/dancers did a good job during their shows. The other headline acts were mediocre....someone called "El Gaucho" was terrible....then they had a comedic juggler the last night that we didn't go to. The piano bar guy had a terrible voice but at least could play the piano. Other than that didn't check out too many evening bars as we spent time with the kids.
Ports Day 1 at sea......usual crunch for lounge chairs...but knew to get mine early....saw a lot of aggravated people pissed they didn't get seats.
Day 2 ArubaPouring Rain....couldn't believe it....ended up taking a taxi tour for a few hours that the kids liked. Put them back on the ship and my wife and I went to Iguana Joes and got toasted....great Margaritas!! Whole day was rain and clouds.
Day 3 Curacaowent to KonTiki which I read about on this website...was excited for it. Well, it was nice but way too crowded. The entire ship seemed to be there. If you decide to eat at the restaurant there know that it took an hour to get our food and that seemed to be the norm that day as all the New Yorkers were just about rioting over it at the various table around us.
Day4 at Sea....very, very windy...sunny but 30MPH winds.....had lounge chairs on top deck and couldn't wear a hat.....
Day5 St. Maarten....Orient Beach as usual...never disappointed there. Gorgeous and always a great day!
Day6 St. Thomastired of going to Megans bay so I had arranged a chartered sailboat ahead of time with Bobby from Rumbaba....it was fantastic.....highly recommend doing this. We all had a blast and he and Julie took great care of us and made our day a very special one. Food was the best we had all week...bar none!
Day 7..off the ship early and got day room at the Ritz in San Juan as our flight didn't leave until 7pm....phenomenal hotel....beautiful day.....won $400 playing blackjack in their casino so it paid for our entire day/food there....great way to end the week!
So...we did have a pretty good week but felt that RCL has had way too many cutbacks for our liking. I will say that I found all the staff to be the most friendly bunch we have ever seen. We got nothing but smiles and every time I walked past someone on this ship they acknowledged me. I was very impressed. Despite this wee probably won't be cruising again for a while with RCL. This cruise did put us up over to the Diamond Crown and Anchor level. We found the extras that they offer the Platinum/Diamond members were even cheap. The coupons used to give you a lot of free things..now its more of a buy one...get one kind of flavor....didn't make us feel very special about being repeat customers this time around.
Glenlivetrocks’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9640
Great location. cabin creeked a little first few nights. Also heard a high pitched whistle every time neighbor used their water. This was fixed however after we complained about it.
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