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This was my 7th cruise overall, but first with Royal Caribbean (RC, for the sake of brevity). We chose RC because of their good reputation. We were extremely disappointed. Initial Embarkation: Although there are assigned boarding times, RC does not enforce them. This resulted in very long lines to drop off luggage and check in. Also, the luggage handler requested a tip from each person in line. Assuming these are RC employees, I didn’t appreciate being harassed for a tip before even boarding the ship, especially when I knew I would be charged a mandatory tip for each day of the cruise. Dining Service: Absolutely horrific the first night: We arrived promptly and were the first to sit in our waiter’s assigned area. Our server and assistant server were nowhere to be found. Nearly 20 minutes later, after repeated requests, someone finally brought us water. We had to ask for water refills, for our menus, and even had to ask “please take our order”. In the meantime, several tables that arrived AFTER us (same waiter/server) were already getting their appetizers. Service was unbearably slow. No one checked to see if we enjoyed our food or if there were problems, there were no exchanges of pleasantries – nothing. We were so unhappy with the poor service that we looked for a Maitre’d but could not find one during the meal or even after. On every other cruise I’ve been on, the Maitre’d stops at each table to welcome the guests and then periodically through the cruise checks in again. Not on this cruise. Not even once. We visited Guest Services as soon as we could and requested a new table (even offering to change seatings if necessary). They moved us to the same seating, a few tables away from our original table. Different server/assistant server, but close enough that our old waiter could glare at us. The service was very good the 2nd night, so we thought maybe the first had just been a fluke, but the following night and the rest of the cruise, it sank back down to average at best. Some additional tidbits: instead of placing small bread baskets on the table, the assistant server walked around with a tray and let each person choose a slice of bread or roll. But then she never came around again. You’re out of luck if you wanted more than one slice/roll, unless you think to take 2 the first time. Oh, and forget about having butter for that bread. They put a few pats on the table but once you’re out, good luck getting anyone to bring you more! The server and assistant server disappeared for lengths at a time. Bar Service in the dining room: We asked repeatedly for the bar server the first night. An HOUR into our meal, he finally showed up. He could not list the beers they offered and when we requested a list, he could not provide one. Why can’t they have a beer list like the wine list?? I guess because they don’t have much of a selection. 15 minutes later he returned with our drinks. Then, he didn’t return our seapass cards with our drinks, but also never came back, so we were delayed in leaving after our meal until he could be located and our cards returned. The 2nd night, the bar server arrived a little faster (though still after we were already into appetizers), took the order for one person in our group, then disappeared! What about the rest of us?? I hate to say it, but it almost feels like this is how RC makes money with the deluxe drink package. You can drink all you want, but you can’t get anyone to serve you! The 3rd night, the bar server did check back to see if we wanted refills, but then he never brought them and again we had to have someone find him so we could get our seapass cards back and leave. Excursion communication: Day 2, first port. We looked at our tickets and reported to the onboard meeting area on time. The RC employee LOOKED AT OUR TICKET (clearly reading the excursion listed on the ticket) and issued us stickers. We sat down to listen to instructions, only to find out that we needed photo ID in addition to our seapass cards. We had checked our tickets before leaving the cabin. The ticket had a list of “what to bring” on it, but it did not mention photo ID. We ran back to our cabin and got our IDs, despite the fact that on every other cruise we’ve taken, we have been told to lock up our passports in our safe for the cruise…despite the fact that when we boarded they took our pictures and associated them with our seapass cards. Anyway, we got back and disembarked. On the pier, however, we couldn’t find the meeting place for our excursion and couldn’t find any RC crew to help. Finally, we located some other people with the same number sticker that we were given, and asked if they were on our excursion. They said “Oh, that excursion was cancelled and they booked us on another. Didn’t you get a note in your stateroom?” No, we did not get a note, phonecall, or any other kind of notification. Further, the RC employee who checked us in clearly read our ticket and gave us the sticker, but never said a word! On to Guest Services Guest Services: After our horrible dinner service on night 1, followed by the excursion screw up, we felt enough is enough and went to guest services. We complained about the lack of notification about picture ID, and the guest services employee ARGUED with us, inferring it was our fault because we should have read about it in the cruise compass. I asked why picture ID is not listed on the excursion ticket, since everything else one needs to bring is listed. She had no answer for that, again stating that we should have known. No apology. Second, we complained that we had not been notified of the excursion cancellation and it was too late to book another. Again, no apology and no explanation for why we were not notified. She merely said “We can’t control whether an excursion is cancelled. We have refunded your money”. I was clear in my complaint that it was not the cancellation that bothered us –it was the TOTAL LACK of communication about it. So…no other excursions could be booked and our entire port day was ruined, but gee, we should be happy because they refunded our money. A good customer service department would have come up with something to salvage our day. (free spa pass? Free dinner upgrade to one of the specialty restaurants? Even something as small as a free Starbucks coffee or Ben & Jerry’s scoop would have at least been a token of apology and good will) Nickeled and Dimed: More like twenty-fived and fiftied every where you turn. There are soooo many extra costs. You need a soda package if you want soda, a water package if you want bottled water; Ben & Jerry’s is extra, Starbucks is extra. Your hefty pricetag doesn’t include any of the specialty restaurants, and the upcharge isn’t insignificant, either. Johnny Rockets even costs extra. Also, Guest services will not print plane boarding passes for you (I asked). Instead, you have to either have one of the internet packages or pay $10 for one hour so that you can print your own boarding passes. The ship tour (free on Disney) costs money. Everywhere you turn they want more money, and the first few days of the cruise you are literally hounded everywhere to buy specialty restaurant packages, drink packages, photo packages and internet packages. Cabin – in one highlight of the trip, we really liked our cabin steward. He was friendly, efficient, and helpful. Our cabin itself was nothing remarkable. It smelled musty but appeared clean. There was only a short (maybe 2 ½ feet wide) curtain to separate the couch/sofabed area from the main bed (would have preferred a curtain that covered at least half the width of the cabin for some privacy between the bed and sofabed). Our balcony was private and nice, though small. The suitcases fit under the bed (thankfully, as there was no other place to put them). Not much in the way of clothes storage but we made the best of it. The people in the cabin above us were very, very noisy and we got little sleep. We were told we could call security if they got too loud, but other than the first night (where it sounded like they ran back and forth all night long), they seemed to limit their movements to after 6am and before 11pm (which still robbed us of sleep because we are later risers). Unlike Disney and Princess, no chocolates are placed on the bed at turndown time, and towel animals are not every night (we got them 4 nights out of 7). Those are little things, but little things can make a difference. Windjammer buffet – with the exception of the first breakfast, which was looked haphazard because everything was mislabeled (eggs labled as bacon, bacon as potatoes, etc), service at the buffet was good. It’s hit or miss whether a server will take your drink order or deliver water, but I could live with that. They don’t hesitate to whisk away your plate if you get up to get more, either, along with your silverware and napkins, so we had to leave someone at the table to “guard” our silverware and napkins when we were going back for more. It was a bit hard to find certain foods unless you did a reconnaissance mission at the start of every meal, but we had no complaints about the food itself. In fact, one night I had trouble finding a sugar free dessert, and a crewmember actually brought some to my table for me and apologized for my trouble. So strange that the service in the buffet was better than the main dining room! Final Debarkation- we had to be out of our cabin by 9am but still had an hour and a half wait before leaving the ship. When it came time to leave, however, there was no crowd getting off the ship – only to wait to go through customs. We were again hassled for a tip by a man who rushed up to put our luggage into the taxi (not the taxi driver, and this man did not ask if we wanted or needed help –he just ran over and started loading them). I’m not sure if he was a RC employee, though. Possibly just a port problem. I guess we are spoiled by the stellar service we have received on our many Disney cruises or the excellent service from Princess (our most recent cruise prior to RC), but if this is standard service for Royal Caribbean, then their reputation is better than the reality and I’m not inclined to cruise with them ever again.

First and most likely Last RC cruise

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Lotsacruzin

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was my 7th cruise overall, but first with Royal Caribbean (RC, for the sake of brevity). We chose RC because of their good reputation. We were extremely disappointed.

Initial Embarkation: Although there are assigned boarding times, RC does not enforce them. This resulted in very long lines to drop off luggage and check in. Also, the luggage handler requested a tip from each person in line. Assuming these are RC employees, I didn’t appreciate being harassed for a tip before even boarding the ship, especially when I knew I would be charged a mandatory tip for each day of the cruise.

Dining Service: Absolutely horrific the first night: We arrived promptly and were the first to sit in our waiter’s assigned area. Our server and assistant server were nowhere to be found. Nearly 20 minutes later, after repeated requests, someone finally brought us water. We had to ask for water refills, for our menus, and even had to ask “please take our order”. In the meantime, several tables that arrived AFTER us (same waiter/server) were already getting their appetizers. Service was unbearably slow. No one checked to see if we enjoyed our food or if there were problems, there were no exchanges of pleasantries – nothing. We were so unhappy with the poor service that we looked for a Maitre’d but could not find one during the meal or even after. On every other cruise I’ve been on, the Maitre’d stops at each table to welcome the guests and then periodically through the cruise checks in again. Not on this cruise. Not even once. We visited Guest Services as soon as we could and requested a new table (even offering to change seatings if necessary). They moved us to the same seating, a few tables away from our original table. Different server/assistant server, but close enough that our old waiter could glare at us. The service was very good the 2nd night, so we thought maybe the first had just been a fluke, but the following night and the rest of the cruise, it sank back down to average at best. Some additional tidbits: instead of placing small bread baskets on the table, the assistant server walked around with a tray and let each person choose a slice of bread or roll. But then she never came around again. You’re out of luck if you wanted more than one slice/roll, unless you think to take 2 the first time. Oh, and forget about having butter for that bread. They put a few pats on the table but once you’re out, good luck getting anyone to bring you more! The server and assistant server disappeared for lengths at a time.

Bar Service in the dining room: We asked repeatedly for the bar server the first night. An HOUR into our meal, he finally showed up. He could not list the beers they offered and when we requested a list, he could not provide one. Why can’t they have a beer list like the wine list?? I guess because they don’t have much of a selection. 15 minutes later he returned with our drinks. Then, he didn’t return our seapass cards with our drinks, but also never came back, so we were delayed in leaving after our meal until he could be located and our cards returned. The 2nd night, the bar server arrived a little faster (though still after we were already into appetizers), took the order for one person in our group, then disappeared! What about the rest of us?? I hate to say it, but it almost feels like this is how RC makes money with the deluxe drink package. You can drink all you want, but you can’t get anyone to serve you! The 3rd night, the bar server did check back to see if we wanted refills, but then he never brought them and again we had to have someone find him so we could get our seapass cards back and leave.

Excursion communication: Day 2, first port. We looked at our tickets and reported to the onboard meeting area on time. The RC employee LOOKED AT OUR TICKET (clearly reading the excursion listed on the ticket) and issued us stickers. We sat down to listen to instructions, only to find out that we needed photo ID in addition to our seapass cards. We had checked our tickets before leaving the cabin. The ticket had a list of “what to bring” on it, but it did not mention photo ID. We ran back to our cabin and got our IDs, despite the fact that on every other cruise we’ve taken, we have been told to lock up our passports in our safe for the cruise…despite the fact that when we boarded they took our pictures and associated them with our seapass cards. Anyway, we got back and disembarked. On the pier, however, we couldn’t find the meeting place for our excursion and couldn’t find any RC crew to help. Finally, we located some other people with the same number sticker that we were given, and asked if they were on our excursion. They said “Oh, that excursion was cancelled and they booked us on another. Didn’t you get a note in your stateroom?” No, we did not get a note, phonecall, or any other kind of notification. Further, the RC employee who checked us in clearly read our ticket and gave us the sticker, but never said a word! On to Guest Services

Guest Services: After our horrible dinner service on night 1, followed by the excursion screw up, we felt enough is enough and went to guest services. We complained about the lack of notification about picture ID, and the guest services employee ARGUED with us, inferring it was our fault because we should have read about it in the cruise compass. I asked why picture ID is not listed on the excursion ticket, since everything else one needs to bring is listed. She had no answer for that, again stating that we should have known. No apology. Second, we complained that we had not been notified of the excursion cancellation and it was too late to book another. Again, no apology and no explanation for why we were not notified. She merely said “We can’t control whether an excursion is cancelled. We have refunded your money”. I was clear in my complaint that it was not the cancellation that bothered us –it was the TOTAL LACK of communication about it. So…no other excursions could be booked and our entire port day was ruined, but gee, we should be happy because they refunded our money. A good customer service department would have come up with something to salvage our day. (free spa pass? Free dinner upgrade to one of the specialty restaurants? Even something as small as a free Starbucks coffee or Ben & Jerry’s scoop would have at least been a token of apology and good will)

Nickeled and Dimed: More like twenty-fived and fiftied every where you turn. There are soooo many extra costs. You need a soda package if you want soda, a water package if you want bottled water; Ben & Jerry’s is extra, Starbucks is extra. Your hefty pricetag doesn’t include any of the specialty restaurants, and the upcharge isn’t insignificant, either. Johnny Rockets even costs extra. Also, Guest services will not print plane boarding passes for you (I asked). Instead, you have to either have one of the internet packages or pay $10 for one hour so that you can print your own boarding passes. The ship tour (free on Disney) costs money. Everywhere you turn they want more money, and the first few days of the cruise you are literally hounded everywhere to buy specialty restaurant packages, drink packages, photo packages and internet packages.

Cabin – in one highlight of the trip, we really liked our cabin steward. He was friendly, efficient, and helpful. Our cabin itself was nothing remarkable. It smelled musty but appeared clean. There was only a short (maybe 2 ½ feet wide) curtain to separate the couch/sofabed area from the main bed (would have preferred a curtain that covered at least half the width of the cabin for some privacy between the bed and sofabed). Our balcony was private and nice, though small. The suitcases fit under the bed (thankfully, as there was no other place to put them). Not much in the way of clothes storage but we made the best of it. The people in the cabin above us were very, very noisy and we got little sleep. We were told we could call security if they got too loud, but other than the first night (where it sounded like they ran back and forth all night long), they seemed to limit their movements to after 6am and before 11pm (which still robbed us of sleep because we are later risers). Unlike Disney and Princess, no chocolates are placed on the bed at turndown time, and towel animals are not every night (we got them 4 nights out of 7). Those are little things, but little things can make a difference.

Windjammer buffet – with the exception of the first breakfast, which was looked haphazard because everything was mislabeled (eggs labled as bacon, bacon as potatoes, etc), service at the buffet was good. It’s hit or miss whether a server will take your drink order or deliver water, but I could live with that. They don’t hesitate to whisk away your plate if you get up to get more, either, along with your silverware and napkins, so we had to leave someone at the table to “guard” our silverware and napkins when we were going back for more. It was a bit hard to find certain foods unless you did a reconnaissance mission at the start of every meal, but we had no complaints about the food itself. In fact, one night I had trouble finding a sugar free dessert, and a crewmember actually brought some to my table for me and apologized for my trouble. So strange that the service in the buffet was better than the main dining room!

Final Debarkation- we had to be out of our cabin by 9am but still had an hour and a half wait before leaving the ship. When it came time to leave, however, there was no crowd getting off the ship – only to wait to go through customs. We were again hassled for a tip by a man who rushed up to put our luggage into the taxi (not the taxi driver, and this man did not ask if we wanted or needed help –he just ran over and started loading them). I’m not sure if he was a RC employee, though. Possibly just a port problem.

I guess we are spoiled by the stellar service we have received on our many Disney cruises or the excellent service from Princess (our most recent cruise prior to RC), but if this is standard service for Royal Caribbean, then their reputation is better than the reality and I’m not inclined to cruise with them ever again.
Lotsacruzin’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Dining
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Ages 16+
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7650
Our cabin itself was nothing remarkable. It smelled musty but appeared clean. There was only a short (maybe 2 ½ feet wide) curtain to separate the couch/sofabed area from the main bed (would have preferred a curtain that covered at least half the width of the cabin for some privacy between the bed and sofabed). Our balcony was private and nice, though small. The suitcases fit under the bed (thankfully, as there was no other place to put them). Not much in the way of clothes storage but we made the best of it. The people in the cabin above us were very, very noisy and we got little sleep. We were told we could call security if they got too loud, but other than the first night (where it sounded like they ran back and forth all night long), they seemed to limit their movements to after 6am and before 11pm (which still robbed us of sleep because we are later risers). Unlike Disney and Princess, no chocolates are placed on the bed at turndown time, and towel animals are not every night (we got them 4 nights out of 7). Those are little things, but little things can make a difference.
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