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Many friends who are frequent cruisers recommended Royal Caribbean for our active family. My husband and I traveled with our four boys, ages 21 to 15 to Puerto Rico to board the ship. We spent the first 2 nights in San Juan enjoying the beach, restaurants, and Old San Juan beforehand. Discovered the delicious Puerto Rican food, Mofango, which goes great with Mojitos! La Concha by Renaissance is a terrific hotel which offers a good AAA discount. We boarded the ship and liked our 3 cabins of 8370 (balcony), 8371 and 8373 (inside cabins for the boys). Gloria was our lovely housekeeper who we enjoyed visiting with daily. She took great care of us, and made towel animals for us every night. Having a balcony is wonderful and we all enjoyed it. You can order free continental breakfast every morning, or even just coffee to enjoy, before heading up to Windjammer for breakfast. The kids were fine with their inside cabins (saved us some money). We requested extra keys from Guest Services so we could get into each other's cabins, which came in handy. It was also good to have the lanyards to wear, to keep the keys handy around our necks. Ask Guest Services to punch a hole in the key to easily hang on the lanyard, for easy access. The 6 of us enjoyed a variety of activities, sometimes together, and sometimes exploring on our own. Then we'd regroup at lunch or dinner and share. We chose not to buy the wifi package, because it's expensive. I'm really glad we left our phones in the cabins, as it was nice to interact with our kids, without someone always looking at their phone! Just like old times, right? We'd leave an itinerary on the outside of the door for each other, with 4 or 5 places and times, so we could find each other if interested. Our 15 and 17 year olds went to Optics the first night (teen club) and met some really cool kids. They linked up with these kids almost every night and had a blast. Sometimes they'd get together at Optics and participate in the organized activities, but they preferred just meeting up and having fun with their new friends outside of the teen group area. They're both really glad they were brave and went the first night. Our busy family chose My Time Dining, which worked out well. We had Table 217 three of the nights, with the same two waiters who were excellent. We'd call each day to reserve that table. Yet we also ate at Windjammer one night when the boys didn't want to dress up, and we went to Giovanni's one night, which I highly recommend. The food was outstanding at all 3 restaurants. We brought in 6 bottles of wine when we embarked on the ship, which is allowed (2 bot allowed per cabin). Then we brought one bottle to dinner each night and paid the $15 corkage fee. Great way to enjoy excellent wine each night without paying a fortune. Our favorite activities included Quest and the Love/Marriage Game. I haven't laughed so hard in years! If you haven't been, GO! They're each only offered one time on the cruise, at night, so look for each ahead of time. We didn't buy the drinks package since none of us are big drinkers, and we were with our boys. Look for specials, like Mimosas in the casino for $1 each at certain times. For 3 of our 4 ports, we rented trucks, 4 x 4's, and scooters. We loved this, and with 6 in our family, it worked out to be very reasonable compared with expensive excursions. We then had our own wheels to explore on our own schedule. It's an island, and easy to get around. Just do a little homework ahead of time for sights you want to see. We love to snorkel, and brought our own gear. So we knew of 3 or 4 places we wanted to see on each island. Bonaire has the best snorkeling, especially on the west side of the island. 1000 Steps was our favorite, along with the Salt Pier. So much to see underwater, and extremely accessible from the beach. We rented trucks for $100/day from Bonaire RentaCar, and highly recommend the husband and wife team. They locked up our passports and valuables, at our request, so we didn't have to worry about them while snorkeling. On Curacao, we didn't rent our own transportation and instead caught a taxi to Caracas Beach to snorkel at the Sunken Tugboat. The cab driver didn't know exactly where the Tugboat was, but when we got close, we stopped and asked a scuba group, and they knew right where to go. The snorkeling was excellent! Lots of fish, and the boys thought it was cool to dive around a sunken boat. Then we caught the taxi to Mombo Beach, and we snorkeled out of the popular swimming area to the other side of the breakwater. Spotted a giant sting ray, and lots of fish. Be sure to snorkel under the pier to the right side of the swimming area; lots of fish there too. We then caught the taxi back to the ship, but before boarding, we walked across the Queen Emma Bridge. Very cool, and didn't take long at all. It's about a 10 minute walk from the ship. Aruba was an awesome island where we rented two 4x4's, and one side-by-side that holds 5 people. We rented from Luis, the owner of RoadRunner ATV, who we highly recommend. We give Luis a 10!!! He keeps his equipment in great shape, and we drove the whole island. He gave us a map with lots of recommended stops. Be sure to bring a phone with wifi to downloap the app for directions. We used it a few times. The best snorkeling was early on in our day, just north of the ship on a gorgeous beach. The best 4-wheeling was on the east side of the island. The boys especially had a blast driving! Be sure to ask about the new natural pool, which isn't as crowded and touristy as the Natural Pool. The Baby Bridge is worth seeing, but the Natural Bridge is a tourist trap. In addition, the Natural Bridge caved in a long time ago!! Driving to the Natural Pool was a rugged adventure! Loved it. But it does cost about $10/person to enter the National Park. Baby Beach at the south end was beautiful, but probably not worth the long drive. It's very calm, almost like babies could just wade in the water, which is probably where the name originates. Our last port was St. Martin, which we all loved. Here our family rented 3 scooters and two 4x4's from Solid ATV. The owner keeps his machines clean and in great shape. He's located about a 10 minute walk from the ship. He gave us a map and great directions. We loved Orient Beach on the french side. Half the beach is a nude beach, clothes optional. Our boys ventured over there on their own, and when they returned, my husband and I took a stroll. They weren't crazy about it, but my husband and I enjoyed it, especially going for a swim in the teal/turquouise water, sans swimsuits! We visited the famous Maho Beach, or Airport Beach, famous for the close proximity of planes overhead. We didn't know that the day before, a woman had actually been killed due to jet blast! This is highly unusual, but be careful if you visit. I went for a swim and watched the planes land overhead. We hated to leave these beautiful islands. I think this was my favorite vacation ever!!

Every Family Member Enjoyed Our First-Ever Cruise

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by jbesch

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Many friends who are frequent cruisers recommended Royal Caribbean for our active family. My husband and I traveled with our four boys, ages 21 to 15 to Puerto Rico to board the ship. We spent the first 2 nights in San Juan enjoying the beach, restaurants, and Old San Juan beforehand. Discovered the delicious Puerto Rican food, Mofango, which goes great with Mojitos! La Concha by Renaissance is a terrific hotel which offers a good AAA discount. We boarded the ship and liked our 3 cabins of 8370 (balcony), 8371 and 8373 (inside cabins for the boys). Gloria was our lovely housekeeper who we enjoyed visiting with daily. She took great care of us, and made towel animals for us every night. Having a balcony is wonderful and we all enjoyed it. You can order free continental breakfast every morning, or even just coffee to enjoy, before heading up to Windjammer for breakfast. The kids were fine with their inside cabins (saved us some money). We requested extra keys from Guest Services so we could get into each other's cabins, which came in handy. It was also good to have the lanyards to wear, to keep the keys handy around our necks. Ask Guest Services to punch a hole in the key to easily hang on the lanyard, for easy access. The 6 of us enjoyed a variety of activities, sometimes together, and sometimes exploring on our own. Then we'd regroup at lunch or dinner and share. We chose not to buy the wifi package, because it's expensive. I'm really glad we left our phones in the cabins, as it was nice to interact with our kids, without someone always looking at their phone! Just like old times, right? We'd leave an itinerary on the outside of the door for each other, with 4 or 5 places and times, so we could find each other if interested. Our 15 and 17 year olds went to Optics the first night (teen club) and met some really cool kids. They linked up with these kids almost every night and had a blast. Sometimes they'd get together at Optics and participate in the organized activities, but they preferred just meeting up and having fun with their new friends outside of the teen group area. They're both really glad they were brave and went the first night. Our busy family chose My Time Dining, which worked out well. We had Table 217 three of the nights, with the same two waiters who were excellent. We'd call each day to reserve that table. Yet we also ate at Windjammer one night when the boys didn't want to dress up, and we went to Giovanni's one night, which I highly recommend. The food was outstanding at all 3 restaurants. We brought in 6 bottles of wine when we embarked on the ship, which is allowed (2 bot allowed per cabin). Then we brought one bottle to dinner each night and paid the $15 corkage fee. Great way to enjoy excellent wine each night without paying a fortune. Our favorite activities included Quest and the Love/Marriage Game. I haven't laughed so hard in years! If you haven't been, GO! They're each only offered one time on the cruise, at night, so look for each ahead of time. We didn't buy the drinks package since none of us are big drinkers, and we were with our boys. Look for specials, like Mimosas in the casino for $1 each at certain times. For 3 of our 4 ports, we rented trucks, 4 x 4's, and scooters. We loved this, and with 6 in our family, it worked out to be very reasonable compared with expensive excursions. We then had our own wheels to explore on our own schedule. It's an island, and easy to get around. Just do a little homework ahead of time for sights you want to see. We love to snorkel, and brought our own gear. So we knew of 3 or 4 places we wanted to see on each island. Bonaire has the best snorkeling, especially on the west side of the island. 1000 Steps was our favorite, along with the Salt Pier. So much to see underwater, and extremely accessible from the beach. We rented trucks for $100/day from Bonaire RentaCar, and highly recommend the husband and wife team. They locked up our passports and valuables, at our request, so we didn't have to worry about them while snorkeling. On Curacao, we didn't rent our own transportation and instead caught a taxi to Caracas Beach to snorkel at the Sunken Tugboat. The cab driver didn't know exactly where the Tugboat was, but when we got close, we stopped and asked a scuba group, and they knew right where to go. The snorkeling was excellent! Lots of fish, and the boys thought it was cool to dive around a sunken boat. Then we caught the taxi to Mombo Beach, and we snorkeled out of the popular swimming area to the other side of the breakwater. Spotted a giant sting ray, and lots of fish. Be sure to snorkel under the pier to the right side of the swimming area; lots of fish there too. We then caught the taxi back to the ship, but before boarding, we walked across the Queen Emma Bridge. Very cool, and didn't take long at all. It's about a 10 minute walk from the ship. Aruba was an awesome island where we rented two 4x4's, and one side-by-side that holds 5 people. We rented from Luis, the owner of RoadRunner ATV, who we highly recommend. We give Luis a 10!!! He keeps his equipment in great shape, and we drove the whole island. He gave us a map with lots of recommended stops. Be sure to bring a phone with wifi to downloap the app for directions. We used it a few times. The best snorkeling was early on in our day, just north of the ship on a gorgeous beach. The best 4-wheeling was on the east side of the island. The boys especially had a blast driving! Be sure to ask about the new natural pool, which isn't as crowded and touristy as the Natural Pool. The Baby Bridge is worth seeing, but the Natural Bridge is a tourist trap. In addition, the Natural Bridge caved in a long time ago!! Driving to the Natural Pool was a rugged adventure! Loved it. But it does cost about $10/person to enter the National Park. Baby Beach at the south end was beautiful, but probably not worth the long drive. It's very calm, almost like babies could just wade in the water, which is probably where the name originates. Our last port was St. Martin, which we all loved. Here our family rented 3 scooters and two 4x4's from Solid ATV. The owner keeps his machines clean and in great shape. He's located about a 10 minute walk from the ship. He gave us a map and great directions. We loved Orient Beach on the french side. Half the beach is a nude beach, clothes optional. Our boys ventured over there on their own, and when they returned, my husband and I took a stroll. They weren't crazy about it, but my husband and I enjoyed it, especially going for a swim in the teal/turquouise water, sans swimsuits! We visited the famous Maho Beach, or Airport Beach, famous for the close proximity of planes overhead. We didn't know that the day before, a woman had actually been killed due to jet blast! This is highly unusual, but be careful if you visit. I went for a swim and watched the planes land overhead. We hated to leave these beautiful islands. I think this was my favorite vacation ever!!
jbesch’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8370
Great! Plenty of space, and very clean. Loved having a balcony. We brought some handy ropes with clips, which worked great to hang wet clothes on the balcony to dry. We ordered coffee, at no charge, many mornings to enjoy on our balcony, and then would go to Windjammer with our kids for breakfast. Gloria, our housekeeper, was magnificent.
  Adventure of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • ATV Rental
    Highly recommend! You have your own wheels to get around every part of the island, and can drive on the roads. We had a map and used one smart phone with the app. Lots of fun. We went to the beach, the Baby Bridge, the "New" Natural Pool, lunch at the food truck (excellent) near the New pool, Baby Beach, and back to the ship. Snorkeled along the way. Awesome day!
    View All 20 ATV Rental Reviews
  • Curacao
    This is only a 10 minute walk from the ship, and fun to walk across. It's a pontoon bridge, built in the late 1800's, that's made only for pedestrians to cross. Very cool.
    View All 12,636 Curacao Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Curacao Cruise Port Review
  • Beach
    Mambo Beach was a fun but touristy beach. We swam to the right out of the busy swimming area, and snorkeled under the pier, and then on the other side of the breakwater. Beautiful! We saw a huge sting ray and lots of fish.
    View All 102 Beach Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    The Sunken Tugboat by Caracas Beach. Take a taxi, and it's an easy swim from shore. It's about a 20-minute taxi ride, but you may need to stop along the way to ask another snorkel/scuba group of the exact location of the Tugboat. It's by a permanently docked huge ship and looks industrial. It's worth it. Lots of fish!
    View All 42 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Beach
    San Juan has lovely beaches. We loved starting off our cruise by staying at La Concho Hotel by Renaissance (good AAA discounts).
    View All 29 Beach Reviews
  • Bioluminescent Bay Kayaking
    It was like something right out of Pirates of the Caribbean, kayaking through the mangrove passageway in the dark! However, because we went on a night with a nearly full moon, we couldn't see the bioluminescence. The guide brought a huge tarp, which about 10 kayaks huddled under in order to block out the moonlight. Then we saw the magical luminescence under the water. It's about an hour's drive from San Juan.
    View All 14 Bioluminescent Bay Kayaking Reviews
  • Walking Tour of Old San Juan
    Definitely worth seeing Old San Juan. Had dinner, mofango and mojitos, at La Punta de Vista. Excellent. El Morro was a wonderful fort to visit, dating back to the 1500's. We learned that whoever controlled this eastern deep water port controlled the Caribbean back in the day....
    View All 146 Walking Tour of Old San Juan Reviews
  • 4x4 Adventure
    The owner keeps his machines clean and running well. We rented 3 scooters and two 4x4's. Grabbed a map and drove up to Orient Beach. One half, to the right is a nude/clothes optional beach. Then on the left everyone wears a swimsuit. It was great, with lots of restaurants and beach chairs. We continued to Maho Beach, or the Airport Beach. Very exciting to see the planes land and take off, but be careful. We learned that a woman died the day before at that beach due to jet blast!!
    View All 27 4x4 Adventure Reviews