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This was our sixth cruise overall with this one being our second with Royal Caribbean. At our travel agent's insistence our group flew to San Juan a day before our cruise sailed. We flew on Southwest Airlines. There is no baggage fee on Southwest but their boarding procedure is strange. There are no assigned seats. You are given a number in a Section A, B, or C. It is my understanding that the A section pays more since they board first and pick whatever seats they want. We were in the middle of the B group which boarded next. Your numbers seem to run alphabetically and fortunately for us there were still some seats left toward the rear of the plane so my wife and I could sit together. Others in our group were not so lucky and ended up at the end of the B group or in the C group. By the time they boarded there were only single seats usually in the middle of the three seats on either side of the plane. The return flight was the exact same with the same boarding order so many of the couples in our group never sat together. I absolutely don't get why Southwest does it that way. We spent the night at the Condado Hilton in San Juan. It was a nice place but it was two buildings on each side of the street with a walkway bridge over the road joining the two sides. We were on the opposite side of the road from the main part of the hotel which required a lot of walking. Dining options where the hotel was located were limited. We ate a place called the Waikiki on Oceanfront. The service was very slow, the portion sizes small, and the meals expensive. We were unable to take advantage of the hotel amenities due to our late check in and early checkout. The hotel beach looked small. We had a voucher for breakfast in the dining room but it was a small breakfast. Before my daily breakdown of the cruise, I will give some general comments. We found the staff on the Adventure of the Seas to be extremely friendly, cooperative, and efficient. This was especially true for out cabin steward, waiter, and assistant waiter. The ship's itinerary suited us well as we had stops every day but the last one. We took an excursion at every stop. We had booked excursions a few months before our cruise and we were glad we did as some of the excursions were booked up and many had a price increase after the first of the year. Our stateroom was small but adequate. The small bathroom was a little more problematic. Our balcony was small and the table was too big. We felt the food offerings in the complimentary dining room were substandard. The portion sizes were small. The chef seems to have a propensity for rice and mash potatoes as these two sides seem to be a part of many dishes. What I really didn't like was that often the main entree was placed on top of the mashed potatoes. This was even true of a breaded fish dish that I ordered. I had to scrape off mash potatoes from three pieces of breaded fish and two shrimp. Interestingly, the night they offered a turkey dinner they had red skinned potatoes cut in quarters not the traditional mashed potatoes. On the last night one of our party asked if there was any way he could have get a baked potato. They gave him one. I wish I would have known that earlier in the week. Another issue with the dining room is the dress code (or should I say the lack of one). The ship was very explicit that casual attire was permitted but not shorts. There were people all over the place in shirts. On formal night, many of the male dinners had no sport coat, much less a tie. I say why have a dress code if you are not going to enforce it. The Windjammer Cafe which is the buffet restaurant was okay. My complaint is that the full breakfast choices don't open until 7:00 AM. With the ship in port every day passengers all needed to eat early. By 7:15 the place was packed. I say open the buffet at 6:00 AM when passengers are getting off the ship. The last two days of the cruise you could have a sit down breakfast in the complimentary dining room. That was a far superior breakfast experience. Also, on the day at sea the restaurant was open for lunch and that also was excellent. The evening shows in the theater were also a disappointment. I will give details of that later. The ship's muster drill was the most ridiculous I have ever experienced. We had to stand out on the deck in straight lines bunched closely together. It was hot on the deck and very uncomfortable packed like sardines. I felt like I was in the crowd waiting for a rock concert to open its doors. The other muster drills I have done usually involved sitting in a theater or some other location on the ship. Day 1: Since we had time before we could board the Adventure of the Seas, our group booked a tour of Old San Juan. We toured the fort and then had two hours for shopping. The tour was worth the $20 cost. The tour bus took us and our luggage to the pier. Our group decided to pay the $2 per bag fee to the porters and it was more than worth it. We avoided the long line of people lugging their suitcases behind them. The check-in went smoothly. The show offered in the theater was a comedian at 10:30. We were way too tired to see it. It would be the only performance by a comedian all week. Day 2: (St. Thomas) In the morning we went into town to shop. If jewelry is your thing, this is the place for you. We went back to the ship for lunch and then went on our afternoon excursion. We did the Legendary Kon-Tiki Sightseeing & Beach Cruise. It lasted 3 hours. It was just okay and our least favorite excursion of the week. It was billed as a catamaran cruise, glass bottom boat, and beach stop. They had a live band and offered free water and fruit punch. Everything else in food or drink was a charge. The glass bottom boat was in the center of the catamaran when they lifted up the boards. You were supposed to see coral but I couldn't see it. The beach stop was only an hour. We were told we would get a beach chair but the beach chairs were first come first serve. Since it was mid afternoon when we arrived no one on the catamaran got a chair. My wife was not happy. They sold food and drinks on the beach. In the evening we went to the theater. It was a song and dance performance by the ships troupe that lasted only 45 minutes. That would be the length of all the performances each night in the theater. Day3: (St. Croix) We took the Cuzan Rum & West End Highlights tour. The tour lasted 4 hours. This tour was a tale of two cities. The stops were great and the guides at the stops were great as well. The bad parts involved the driver and the van. The driver didn't seem to know much and his microphone didn't work requiring a women in the front to yell to the back everything he said. Also, the air condition was malfunctioning. We along with four friends were sitting in the rear seats. The air conditioner was leaking water on us. When we got back to the ship we complained and they gave us 15% of our fee back, which I thought was fair. The three stops were great. The first was where a former sugar cane plantation was located and included several of the original buildings. The staff was dressed in the attire of the time period and was very knowledgeable. Next, we visited a botanical garden that included the island plants and trees. Finally, we visited the Cuzan Run Factory and got a tour. At the conclusion of the tour we were offered a free rum drink and visited the factory store. Overall, it was a good tour. We had lunch on the ship and then went back into the town to shop. The shopping was very poor at this stop. In the evening the entertainment in the theater was a piano player with the ship orchestra. It was okay. Day 4: (St. John, Antigua) We took Catamaran Cruise with Lobster Lunch. The tour was 6 hours long. We boarded the catamaran and sailed for about an hour while seeing many of the sights of Antigua from the water. In between the captain who was also the guide played music. Our first stop was a beach for about an hour. The crew brought us several drink choices on to the beach. We did have to rent a beach chair for $4. We then got back on the catamaran to head to our next beach. From this point on it was open bar. After docking at the next beach we had about 20 minutes on the beach. They then called us back for the lobster lunch. The lobster was larger than we expected which they grilled on the boat. It was a little dry without melted butter but quite good anyway. There was an assortment of sides to choose from. We then had about an hour on the beach. We headed back to the ship and they raised the sails and took the scenic route. The drinks were flowing, the music was playing, and people were singing and dancing. It was the best excursion of the week and I would recommend it. Unfortunately, after the excursion we only had about an hour to shop before we had to get back on the ship. There was no show in the theater at night. Instead, they had an ice show in the skating rink on the ship. We didn't go because you had to go about an hour early just to get a seat in the small theater and we didn't want to wait. Day 5: (St. Lucia) We took the Island Delights tour. It lasted 7 hours. It was a long day but we saw a lot of neat stuff. We toured the island and had a few stops in small villages where there were vendors. We toured another botanical garden and saw a place where people pay to take a mineral bath. The highlight of the day for me was when we got to go to the only drive-in volcano in the world. There was boiling pools, steam, and a very strong sulfur smell. It will probably be the only time I am ever in the crater of a volcano. The day ended with a late lunch provided at a mountainside resort. The lunch was okay but nothing special. Overall, it was a good tour. That evening the entertainment in the theater was four singers who are an re-incarnation of the singing group The Platters from the 50's and 60's. The show was good but nothing spectacular. Day 6: (Grenada) We took the Tropical Beach Tour. It lasted 4 hours. The first stop was at Fort George for a quick tour. We got to see much of the island as we headed to a private beach. The beach and the water were beautiful. However, the surf was rough making it hard to go out very far in the water. We spent two hours on the beach. The tour stated a drink and a snack. We got more than a snack as they gave us two small sandwiches and a drink from several different choices. We had to pay $7 to rent a beach chair. When we got back we did some shopping in the local markets. My wife bought some spices which Grenada is famous for. It was lobster night in the dining room and we each had two. The entertainment was the singers and dancers that we saw on the second night with a different program. Day 7: (At Sea) We went to the gym in the morning. It was well equipped with a lot of machines and some free weights. After lunch we went to the pool. I went in the adult's only pool. He had salt water in it which I am not crazy about. There are plenty of hot tubs on the ship. We were hoping to use the miniature golf on the top deck but it was too crowded. The evening's entertainment was a guy who juggled and then did hand balancing. He was a better balancer than juggler. For some reason there was only one performance instead of the usual two and that was at 7:45. We missed the first 5 minutes because we were still in the dining room. Day 8 (Dismemberment) After a good breakfast in the dining room, we disembarked without any problems. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise. However, I have been hearing for many years that Royal Caribbean is a superior cruise line to the others we have traveled on (Carnival, Princess, Norwegian, and Celebrity). We have now done two Royal Caribbean cruise in the last year and I have not found that it is superior to any of the others.

Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Irish Debbie

17 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our sixth cruise overall with this one being our second with Royal Caribbean. At our travel agent's insistence our group flew to San Juan a day before our cruise sailed. We flew on Southwest Airlines. There is no baggage fee on Southwest but their boarding procedure is strange. There are no assigned seats. You are given a number in a Section A, B, or C. It is my understanding that the A section pays more since they board first and pick whatever seats they want. We were in the middle of the B group which boarded next. Your numbers seem to run alphabetically and fortunately for us there were still some seats left toward the rear of the plane so my wife and I could sit together. Others in our group were not so lucky and ended up at the end of the B group or in the C group. By the time they boarded there were only single seats usually in the middle of the three seats on either side of the plane. The return flight was the exact same with the same boarding order so many of the couples in our group never sat together. I absolutely don't get why Southwest does it that way.

We spent the night at the Condado Hilton in San Juan. It was a nice place but it was two buildings on each side of the street with a walkway bridge over the road joining the two sides. We were on the opposite side of the road from the main part of the hotel which required a lot of walking. Dining options where the hotel was located were limited. We ate a place called the Waikiki on Oceanfront. The service was very slow, the portion sizes small, and the meals expensive.

We were unable to take advantage of the hotel amenities due to our late check in and early checkout. The hotel beach looked small. We had a voucher for breakfast in the dining room but it was a small breakfast.

Before my daily breakdown of the cruise, I will give some general comments. We found the staff on the Adventure of the Seas to be extremely friendly, cooperative, and efficient. This was especially true for out cabin steward, waiter, and assistant waiter. The ship's itinerary suited us well as we had stops every day but the last one. We took an excursion at every stop. We had booked excursions a few months before our cruise and we were glad we did as some of the excursions were booked up and many had a price increase after the first of the year.

Our stateroom was small but adequate. The small bathroom was a little more problematic. Our balcony was small and the table was too big. We felt the food offerings in the complimentary dining room were substandard. The portion sizes were small. The chef seems to have a propensity for rice and mash potatoes as these two sides seem to be a part of many dishes. What I really didn't like was that often the main entree was placed on top of the mashed potatoes. This was even true of a breaded fish dish that I ordered. I had to scrape off mash potatoes from three pieces of breaded fish and two shrimp. Interestingly, the night they offered a turkey dinner they had red skinned potatoes cut in quarters not the traditional mashed potatoes. On the last night one of our party asked if there was any way he could have get a baked potato. They gave him one. I wish I would have known that earlier in the week.

Another issue with the dining room is the dress code (or should I say the lack of one). The ship was very explicit that casual attire was permitted but not shorts. There were people all over the place in shirts. On formal night, many of the male dinners had no sport coat, much less a tie. I say why have a dress code if you are not going to enforce it.

The Windjammer Cafe which is the buffet restaurant was okay. My complaint is that the full breakfast choices don't open until 7:00 AM. With the ship in port every day passengers all needed to eat early. By 7:15 the place was packed. I say open the buffet at 6:00 AM when passengers are getting off the ship. The last two days of the cruise you could have a sit down breakfast in the complimentary dining room. That was a far superior breakfast experience. Also, on the day at sea the restaurant was open for lunch and that also was excellent. The evening shows in the theater were also a disappointment. I will give details of that later. The ship's muster drill was the most ridiculous I have ever experienced. We had to stand out on the deck in straight lines bunched closely together. It was hot on the deck and very uncomfortable packed like sardines. I felt like I was in the crowd waiting for a rock concert to open its doors. The other muster drills I have done usually involved sitting in a theater or some other location on the ship.

Day 1: Since we had time before we could board the Adventure of the Seas, our group booked a tour of Old San Juan. We toured the fort and then had two hours for shopping. The tour was worth the $20 cost. The tour bus took us and our luggage to the pier. Our group decided to pay the $2 per bag fee to the porters and it was more than worth it. We avoided the long line of people lugging their suitcases behind them. The check-in went smoothly. The show offered in the theater was a comedian at 10:30. We were way too tired to see it. It would be the only performance by a comedian all week.

Day 2: (St. Thomas) In the morning we went into town to shop. If jewelry is your thing, this is the place for you. We went back to the ship for lunch and then went on our afternoon excursion. We did the Legendary Kon-Tiki Sightseeing & Beach Cruise. It lasted 3 hours. It was just okay and our least favorite excursion of the week. It was billed as a catamaran cruise, glass bottom boat, and beach stop. They had a live band and offered free water and fruit punch. Everything else in food or drink was a charge. The glass bottom boat was in the center of the catamaran when they lifted up the boards. You were supposed to see coral but I couldn't see it. The beach stop was only an hour. We were told we would get a beach chair but the beach chairs were first come first serve. Since it was mid afternoon when we arrived no one on the catamaran got a chair. My wife was not happy. They sold food and drinks on the beach. In the evening we went to the theater. It was a song and dance performance by the ships troupe that lasted only 45 minutes. That would be the length of all the performances each night in the theater.

Day3: (St. Croix) We took the Cuzan Rum & West End Highlights tour. The tour lasted 4 hours. This tour was a tale of two cities. The stops were great and the guides at the stops were great as well. The bad parts involved the driver and the van. The driver didn't seem to know much and his microphone didn't work requiring a women in the front to yell to the back everything he said. Also, the air condition was malfunctioning. We along with four friends were sitting in the rear seats. The air conditioner was leaking water on us. When we got back to the ship we complained and they gave us 15% of our fee back, which I thought was fair. The three stops were great. The first was where a former sugar cane plantation was located and included several of the original buildings. The staff was dressed in the attire of the time period and was very knowledgeable. Next, we visited a botanical garden that included the island plants and trees. Finally, we visited the Cuzan Run Factory and got a tour. At the conclusion of the tour we were offered a free rum drink and visited the factory store. Overall, it was a good tour. We had lunch on the ship and then went back into the town to shop. The shopping was very poor at this stop. In the evening the entertainment in the theater was a piano player with the ship orchestra. It was okay.

Day 4: (St. John, Antigua) We took Catamaran Cruise with Lobster Lunch. The tour was 6 hours long. We boarded the catamaran and sailed for about an hour while seeing many of the sights of Antigua from the water. In between the captain who was also the guide played music. Our first stop was a beach for about an hour. The crew brought us several drink choices on to the beach. We did have to rent a beach chair for $4. We then got back on the catamaran to head to our next beach. From this point on it was open bar. After docking at the next beach we had about 20 minutes on the beach. They then called us back for the lobster lunch. The lobster was larger than we expected which they grilled on the boat. It was a little dry without melted butter but quite good anyway. There was an assortment of sides to choose from. We then had about an hour on the beach. We headed back to the ship and they raised the sails and took the scenic route. The drinks were flowing, the music was playing, and people were singing and dancing. It was the best excursion of the week and I would recommend it. Unfortunately, after the excursion we only had about an hour to shop before we had to get back on the ship. There was no show in the theater at night. Instead, they had an ice show in the skating rink on the ship. We didn't go because you had to go about an hour early just to get a seat in the small theater and we didn't want to wait.

Day 5: (St. Lucia) We took the Island Delights tour. It lasted 7 hours. It was a long day but we saw a lot of neat stuff. We toured the island and had a few stops in small villages where there were vendors. We toured another botanical garden and saw a place where people pay to take a mineral bath. The highlight of the day for me was when we got to go to the only drive-in volcano in the world. There was boiling pools, steam, and a very strong sulfur smell. It will probably be the only time I am ever in the crater of a volcano. The day ended with a late lunch provided at a mountainside resort. The lunch was okay but nothing special. Overall, it was a good tour. That evening the entertainment in the theater was four singers who are an re-incarnation of the singing group The Platters from the 50's and 60's. The show was good but nothing spectacular.

Day 6: (Grenada) We took the Tropical Beach Tour. It lasted 4 hours. The first stop was at Fort George for a quick tour. We got to see much of the island as we headed to a private beach. The beach and the water were beautiful. However, the surf was rough making it hard to go out very far in the water. We spent two hours on the beach. The tour stated a drink and a snack. We got more than a snack as they gave us two small sandwiches and a drink from several different choices. We had to pay $7 to rent a beach chair. When we got back we did some shopping in the local markets. My wife bought some spices which Grenada is famous for. It was lobster night in the dining room and we each had two. The entertainment was the singers and dancers that we saw on the second night with a different program.

Day 7: (At Sea) We went to the gym in the morning. It was well equipped with a lot of machines and some free weights. After lunch we went to the pool. I went in the adult's only pool. He had salt water in it which I am not crazy about. There are plenty of hot tubs on the ship. We were hoping to use the miniature golf on the top deck but it was too crowded. The evening's entertainment was a guy who juggled and then did hand balancing. He was a better balancer than juggler. For some reason there was only one performance instead of the usual two and that was at 7:45. We missed the first 5 minutes because we were still in the dining room.

Day 8 (Dismemberment) After a good breakfast in the dining room, we disembarked without any problems.

Overall, we enjoyed our cruise. However, I have been hearing for many years that Royal Caribbean is a superior cruise line to the others we have traveled on (Carnival, Princess, Norwegian, and Celebrity). We have now done two Royal Caribbean cruise in the last year and I have not found that it is superior to any of the others.
Irish Debbie’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Catamaran Sail
    We took Catamaran Cruise with Lobster Lunch. The tour was 6 hours long. We boarded the catamaran and sailed for about an hour while seeing many of the sights of Antigua from the water. In between the captain who was also the guide played music. Our first stop was a beach for about an hour. The crew brought us several drink choices on to the beach. We did have to rent a beach chair for $4. We then got back on the catamaran to head to our next beach. From this point on it was open bar. After docking at the next beach we had about 20 minutes on the beach. They then called us back for the lobster lunch. The lobster was larger than we expected which they grilled on the boat. It was a little dry without melted butter but quite good anyway. There was an assortment of sides to choose from. We then had about an hour on the beach. We headed back to the ship and they raised the sails and took the scenic route. The drinks were flowing, the music was playing, and people were singing and dancing. It was the best excursion of the week and I would recommend it.
    View All 107 Catamaran Sail Reviews
  • Tropical Beach Tour
    We took the Tropical Beach Tour. It lasted 4 hours. The first stop was at Fort George for a quick tour. We got to see much of the island as we headed to a private beach. The beach and the water were beautiful. However, the surf was rough making it hard to go out very far in the water. We spent two hours on the beach. The tour stated a drink and a snack. We got more than a snack as they gave us two small sandwiches and a drink from several different choices. We had to pay $7 to rent a beach chai
    View All 13,931 Tropical Beach Tour Reviews
  • Rum Factory Tour
    We took the Cuzan Rum & West End Highlights tour. The tour lasted 4 hours. This tour was a tale of two cities. The stops were great and the guides at the stops were great as well. The bad parts involved the driver and the van. The driver didn't seem to know much and his microphone didn't work requiring a women in the front to yell to the back everything he said. Also, the air condition was malfunctioning. We along with four friends were sitting in the rear seats. The air conditioner was leaking water on us. When we got back to the ship we complained and they gave us 15% of our fee back, which I thought was fair. The three stops were great. The first was where a former sugar cane plantation was located and included several of the original buildings. The staff was dressed in the attire of the time period and was very knowledgeable. Next, we visited a botanical garden that included the island plants and trees. Finally, we visited the Cuzan Run Factory and got a tour. At the conclusion of the tour we were offered a free rum drink and visited the factory store. Overall, it was a good tour.
    View All 15 Rum Factory Tour Reviews
  • Island Tour
    We took the Island Delights tour. It lasted 7 hours. It was a long day but we saw a lot of neat stuff. We toured the island and had a few stops in small villages where there were vendors. We toured another botanical garden and saw a place where people pay to take a mineral bath. The highlight of the day for me was when we got to go to the only drive-in volcano in the world. There was boiling pools, steam, and a very strong sulfur smell. It will probably be the only time I am ever in the crater of a volcano. The day ended with a late lunch provided at a mountainside resort. The lunch was okay but nothing special. Overall, it was a good tour.
    View All 273 Island Tour Reviews
  • Kon Tiki Boat
    We did the Legendary Kon-Tiki Sightseeing & Beach Cruise. It lasted 3 hours. It was just okay and our least favorite excursion of the week. It was billed as a catamaran cruise, glass bottom boat, and beach stop. They had a live band and offered free water and fruit punch. Everything else in food or drink was a charge. The glass bottom boat was in the center of the catamaran when they lifted up the boards. You were supposed to see coral but I couldn't see it. The beach stop was only an hour. We were told we would get a beach chair but the beach chairs were first come first serve. Since it was mid afternoon when we arrived no one on the catamaran got a chair. My wife was not happy. They sold food and drinks on the beach.
    View All 63 Kon Tiki Boat Reviews