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We are Platinum RCCL cruisers and have a string of 7 straight cruises with them now. We chose this cruise because of the ports because we like hitting several ports on a short cruise. I called RCCL and in a 20 minute conversation had the whole thing booked including picking a cabin, dining preferences, etc. We booked our own flight as they did not have any non-stop options and we live in New England and do not want to risk weather issues being a problem. Embarkation was easy - so fast, no lines, pleasant and simple. RCCL has dramatically improved this process over the years and what was once a dreaded experience is excellent now. There were some very good things to mention on the cruise, but also several disappointing things that I think future cruises should be aware of. First the good: Service in the dining areas was excellent. Waiters and assistant waiters are great and so are the people in the bars. They work long hours (7 days a week, which we think is wrong) and for low pay but they remain cheerful and they do an excellent job. The food in the main dining room is good. It is not as good as it has been in the past, however. For example, the portions are now smaller and some entrees are only offered for an 'additional charge', as high as $29.95. This is clearly a cost cutting measure. We actually enjoyed the food in the Windjammer MORE than the food in the dining room because there was more variety and the quality was good. We visited 5 ports: St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. We took excursions on each of them - a combination of sightseeing and beaches. The excursions were all good. Some offered unlimited rum punch and included beach chairs. One issue with excursions is that the information in the brochure does not give much information. In fact, some of the information is either outdated or inaccurate. The online information is very weak and the printed information you get on the ship is only a little bit better. You need to ask questions to be sure the excursion will meet your expectations. I will say that the people at the excursions desk were very helpful. Now for the disappointments: When had several problems with our cabin on this cruise. The cabin had several issues. #1 - the bathroom was not very clean #2 - when we turned the water on in the sink it blasted out so much that it shot water everywhere and it made a horrible loud grinding noise #3 - the sheets were not clean. We noticed a very sour smell on the sheets which was disgusting. Not sure what that was, but it was awful. #4 - the curtain in our room had enormous brown stains on it. Again, not sure what those were but really disgusting. We were shocked that they would allow cruisers into a cabin that had such significant problems. We brought these problems to the attention of the appropriate people and they said they would look into them. The sheets were addressed pretty quickly. The other problems were not. It took 3 days for the faucet in the sink to be fixed. Every time we used it it was so loud it would wake a sleeping person and a we heard a similar sound coming from the adjacent cabin. Needless to say we had to be really careful using the sink to avoid spraying water everywhere and waking people up. On day 3 of the cruise the curtain was removed to be cleaned. The person handling this problem was Ricardo. The curtain was reinstalled while we were on an excursion on day 3, but it was still horrible stained. We reissued our complaint and it was removed again. A new curtain was installed on day 5. Why did they put the stained curtain back in the cabin? Our bathroom was never fully cleaned during our cruise. There was a constant urine smell around the toilet. We actually tried to clean it but we did not have cleaning products. This was disappointing as we had never had this problem on previous RCCL cruises. This may have been because our cabin steward was new or spread too thin. One night he delivered someone else's excursion tickets to our cabin. Another night we did not receive any service at all and had to hunt down towels in the corridor to take a shower. Again, he may have simply been overworked, to be fair to him. Overall the ship was not as clean as we expected based on previous cruises. It seems like they no longer do the routine maintenance when in port. For example, windows were not cleaned during this cruise and the salt stains remained throughout. Certainly RCCL is making enough profit that they can do better than that. Beverages: As on most cruise lines you get hit pretty hard dollar wise on beverages. They offer beverage packages which can help but only if you drink A LOT. A soda package is about $8 PER day for unlimited soda. The top beverage package is over $54 PER day. Very expensive. A beer - even just a Bud Light - is over $7 ($7.67 after gratuity). A black Russian is $11.80.Not only do they soak you on the beverage but they add an 18% gratuity automatically. They have a captive audience and they are taking full advantage of it. I do not think it is very ethical. You either drink very little or get a beverage package and drink a lot. Or you get stuck in the middle. On this cruise we were ashore every day but one so we consumer most of our beverages on shore. Beer was between $2 and $3 in every port. And specialty drinks on shore were reasonably priced. Bottom line: RCCL is taking advantage of a captive audience on drink prices. Internet: This is the second RCCL cruise where we attempted to use the internet to find that it was a painful experience. First of all, they charge you $18 a day just for the low end service. To get 'streaming' capability is $22 a day. The low end service is dreadful. I spoke with several people who had the high end service and they said it was OK early in the morning but very very slow starting around 8 AM. Knowing the internet tends to be awful on RCCL I used wifi on shore during the week. On the last day I wanted to print our boarding passes so I planned to buy internet access for 1 day. They have an internet cafe set up where they have about 16 workstations and a printer. In trying to establish my 1 day access to the internet I used the instructions they provided. They did not work. I tried 8 different workstations and was unable to set up access. I reported this to guest services and they had one of their IT people visit the internet cafe. It turns out that they had misconfigured the browsers so if you followed their directions you could not establish an account. He helped me establish an account. That was one hour of the cruise totally wasted. I logged in but it was very very slow. So slow that it was painful. I reported this to guest seervices. They said they would have their IT staff look into it. Several hours later I tried to log in to print our boarding passes. Again I had issues logging in as none of the workstations seemed to be working. (By the way I worked in IT for 36 years so this was NOT user error). I again reported the problems to guest services. I finally logged in but the network was brutally slow. IT was so slow that it took me 45 minutes JUST TO access and PRINT my boarding passes. Horrible. Others were also having problems so I stayed in the internet area to help them. This is the second straight RCCL cruise where I helped other people print their boarding passes. There was no IT support to help. BOTTOM LINE: IF you plan to use the internet on RCCL be prepared to spend a lot of dead time and be very frustrated. In my opinion it is a crime for them to charge people for a service that is so terrible. Disembarkation: Leaving the ship was easy. Our baggage was found easily - the process they use works well if you follow their instructions. We had almost nothing to declare so we breezed through customs. We had a flight leaving mid-day our of San Juan so we just needed transportation to the airport. For $18 per person RCCL offers bus transportation to the airport. The problem is that you have to wait for the bus to fill up and then when you get to the airport you will visit every airline before you get to yours. Instead, for $19 and $2 per large piece of luggage you can take a taxi directly to your airline. So you can PAY MORE to get there slower, or take a cab and get there faster. RCCL is obviously making a bundle on the airport bus offering. The Adventure of the Seas is an impressive ship from the outside and has many dazzling features inside. The waitstaff was excellent. We had significant issues on this cruise. It is obvious from our experience (after hints from our last cruise on RCCL) that RCCL is clearly on the decline. We have been loyal RCCL customers but are unlikely to sail with them again and will be looking at other options.

RCCL quality is clearly declining

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Northern_Traveler701

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are Platinum RCCL cruisers and have a string of 7 straight cruises with them now.

We chose this cruise because of the ports because we like hitting several ports on a short cruise.

I called RCCL and in a 20 minute conversation had the whole thing booked including picking a cabin, dining preferences, etc. We booked our own flight as they did not have any non-stop options and we live in New England and do not want to risk weather issues being a problem.

Embarkation was easy - so fast, no lines, pleasant and simple. RCCL has dramatically improved this process over the years and what was once a dreaded experience is excellent now.

There were some very good things to mention on the cruise, but also several disappointing things that I think future cruises should be aware of.

First the good:

Service in the dining areas was excellent. Waiters and assistant waiters are great and so are the people in the bars. They work long hours (7 days a week, which we think is wrong) and for low pay but they remain cheerful and they do an excellent job.

The food in the main dining room is good. It is not as good as it has been in the past, however. For example, the portions are now smaller and some entrees are only offered for an 'additional charge', as high as $29.95. This is clearly a cost cutting measure.

We actually enjoyed the food in the Windjammer MORE than the food in the dining room because there was more variety and the quality was good.

We visited 5 ports: St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. We took excursions on each of them - a combination of sightseeing and beaches. The excursions were all good. Some offered unlimited rum punch and included beach chairs. One issue with excursions is that the information in the brochure does not give much information. In fact, some of the information is either outdated or inaccurate. The online information is very weak and the printed information you get on the ship is only a little bit better. You need to ask questions to be sure the excursion will meet your expectations. I will say that the people at the excursions desk were very helpful.

Now for the disappointments:

When had several problems with our cabin on this cruise. The cabin had several issues. #1 - the bathroom was not very clean #2 - when we turned the water on in the sink it blasted out so much that it shot water everywhere and it made a horrible loud grinding noise #3 - the sheets were not clean. We noticed a very sour smell on the sheets which was disgusting. Not sure what that was, but it was awful. #4 - the curtain in our room had enormous brown stains on it. Again, not sure what those were but really disgusting. We were shocked that they would allow cruisers into a cabin that had such significant problems.

We brought these problems to the attention of the appropriate people and they said they would look into them. The sheets were addressed pretty quickly. The other problems were not. It took 3 days for the faucet in the sink to be fixed. Every time we used it it was so loud it would wake a sleeping person and a we heard a similar sound coming from the adjacent cabin. Needless to say we had to be really careful using the sink to avoid spraying water everywhere and waking people up. On day 3 of the cruise the curtain was removed to be cleaned. The person handling this problem was Ricardo.

The curtain was reinstalled while we were on an excursion on day 3, but it was still horrible stained. We reissued our complaint and it was removed again. A new curtain was installed on day 5. Why did they put the stained curtain back in the cabin? Our bathroom was never fully cleaned during our cruise. There was a constant urine smell around the toilet. We actually tried to clean it but we did not have cleaning products. This was disappointing as we had never had this problem on previous RCCL cruises.

This may have been because our cabin steward was new or spread too thin. One night he delivered someone else's excursion tickets to our cabin. Another night we did not receive any service at all and had to hunt down towels in the corridor to take a shower.

Again, he may have simply been overworked, to be fair to him.

Overall the ship was not as clean as we expected based on previous cruises. It seems like they no longer do the routine maintenance when in port. For example, windows were not cleaned during this cruise and the salt stains remained throughout.

Certainly RCCL is making enough profit that they can do better than that.

Beverages:

As on most cruise lines you get hit pretty hard dollar wise on beverages. They offer beverage packages which can help but only if you drink A LOT. A soda package is about $8 PER day for unlimited soda. The top beverage package is over $54 PER day.

Very expensive. A beer - even just a Bud Light - is over $7 ($7.67 after gratuity). A black Russian is $11.80.Not only do they soak you on the beverage but they add an 18% gratuity automatically. They have a captive audience and they are taking full advantage of it. I do not think it is very ethical. You either drink very little or get a beverage package and drink a lot. Or you get stuck in the middle. On this cruise we were ashore every day but one so we consumer most of our beverages on shore. Beer was between $2 and $3 in every port. And specialty drinks on shore were reasonably priced. Bottom line: RCCL is taking advantage of a captive audience on drink prices.

Internet:

This is the second RCCL cruise where we attempted to use the internet to find that it was a painful experience. First of all, they charge you $18 a day just for the low end service. To get 'streaming' capability is $22 a day. The low end service is dreadful. I spoke with several people who had the high end service and they said it was OK early in the morning but very very slow starting around 8 AM. Knowing the internet tends to be awful on RCCL I used wifi on shore during the week. On the last day I wanted to print our boarding passes so I planned to buy internet access for 1 day. They have an internet cafe set up where they have about 16 workstations and a printer. In trying to establish my 1 day access to the internet I used the instructions they provided. They did not work. I tried 8 different workstations and was unable to set up access. I reported this to guest services and they had one of their IT people visit the internet cafe. It turns out that they had misconfigured the browsers so if you followed their directions you could not establish an account. He helped me establish an account. That was one hour of the cruise totally wasted. I logged in but it was very very slow. So slow that it was painful. I reported this to guest seervices. They said they would have their IT staff look into it. Several hours later I tried to log in to print our boarding passes. Again I had issues logging in as none of the workstations seemed to be working. (By the way I worked in IT for 36 years so this was NOT user error). I again reported the problems to guest services. I finally logged in but the network was brutally slow. IT was so slow that it took me 45 minutes JUST TO access and PRINT my boarding passes. Horrible. Others were also having problems so I stayed in the internet area to help them. This is the second straight RCCL cruise where I helped other people print their boarding passes. There was no IT support to help. BOTTOM LINE: IF you plan to use the internet on RCCL be prepared to spend a lot of dead time and be very frustrated. In my opinion it is a crime for them to charge people for a service that is so terrible.

Disembarkation:

Leaving the ship was easy. Our baggage was found easily - the process they use works well if you follow their instructions. We had almost nothing to declare so we breezed through customs.

We had a flight leaving mid-day our of San Juan so we just needed transportation to the airport. For $18 per person RCCL offers bus transportation to the airport. The problem is that you have to wait for the bus to fill up and then when you get to the airport you will visit every airline before you get to yours. Instead, for $19 and $2 per large piece of luggage you can take a taxi directly to your airline. So you can PAY MORE to get there slower, or take a cab and get there faster. RCCL is obviously making a bundle on the airport bus offering.

The Adventure of the Seas is an impressive ship from the outside and has many dazzling features inside. The waitstaff was excellent. We had significant issues on this cruise. It is obvious from our experience (after hints from our last cruise on RCCL) that RCCL is clearly on the decline. We have been loyal RCCL customers but are unlikely to sail with them again and will be looking at other options.
Northern_Traveler701’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9467
This cabin had serious issues on this cruise we would not recommend it unless it is the only cabin left on the ship. See review above.
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