Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by CaptainJF
- Sail Date: July 2017
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
Even though this was a second cruise in a row we have been super satisfied.
Room: Junior Suite 9248.
Same type of room as last year. We love Junior Suites as they offer lots of space and a full size bath and shower. You do not get all the perks of a full Suite, but we find the compromise to be good for us. Room 9248 was located FWD of the ship very close to the elevators and staircases. I was afraid this could be noisy, but it was not. Essentially you are way behind the elevators. We had much more noise at the La Concha Renaissance Resort in San Juan for our two nights pre-cruise stay (nice resort but super noisy... could not sleep). Room 9248 was super clean and our Room Attendant (Lizbeth) did a great job maintaining it. Lizbeth was great with the room, but real nice and friendly. Always a smile on her face and giving us some insights into our ports of call. Her presence really contributed to our enjoyment of the cruise. Only one very minor issue, there was a mildew smell when we first entered the room. Lasted 2 days and then was gone. The room did not show much wear and tear. Nice view from the balcony.
Super smooth. We got to the pier at at about 1h15 pm. 20 minutes later we were on the ship. We did take advantage of the Crown and Anchor queue at embarkation. But even for folks without this, the line was not that much longer. We got our luggage before the Muster Drill.
Apart from the watersports additions (flow rider, water slides, mini putt) and Chops Grille we did not notice huge changes following the AOS dry dock. We did see that some public areas had seen refurbishments (new carpets, signage,etc.) such as in Windjammer. Even though the ship is starting to be "old" (circa 2001) it is still in very good shape and well maintained. The Royal Promenade is still a greta place to hang out. If one wants to nit pick and identify little places or items that show wear and tear, you will find some. But it is definitely not a general feeling you get when boarding that ship.
Ate all our diners at the Main Dining Room (except for one night at Giovanni's). Food was delicious all of the meals. We had lobster tails on the seconds formal night (Thursday night) which were very good. The waiters brought each of us two plates even though we did not ask for it (we had never asked for a 2nd serving of anything earlier during the cruise... I guess it is quite common to get people going for two lobster plates). The menu was similar (if not identical) to last year, but we tasted new plates (miam miam) and classics we liked last year. The Dining Room is still very good. Our waiter was Freddy and his assistant was Stephen Benjamin. Impeccable and great service. Always smiling, attentive to all the details and our tastes. Their presence and work make a real difference in the experience. We were so happy to have Mr Benjamin again as we had him last year and loved him so much. We did My Time Dining and had made reservations for 6h45 pm. We never had any issue getting a nice table, thanks to Maria (hostess of Sapphire Dining Room Deck 3) who made sure all went smoothly. The head waiter for the section was Murat. Great man! Always smiling, going around talking with guests and inquiring about their experience. You could often hear him sing happy birthday. Murat was everywhere on the ship (dining room, Windjammer, corridors) and really making sure everyone enjoyed themselves. Both Mr Benjamin and Murat we had remembered from last year cruise, and again they managed to surpass themselves and keep on leaving a good impression.
One night we went to Giovanni's (for our 20th anniversary). This is incredibly good italian food. And a lot of food if you go for all the 5 courses. Bring your appetite with you and try to avoid going for too much bread ;-) Freddy was our waiter. Such a lovely and friendly gentleman. Very good at his work and so nice in sharing stories and pearls of wisdom with us. Again, a great contribution in making this meal memorable.
Breakfasts and lunches were taken at Windjammer. It is a buffet, not a Michelin 3 star restaurant. But a good buffet. A good portion of the offering is constant (the usual fares that one would expect to see at breakfast or lunch), but a variety of other items was rotated throughout the week. I cannot see how someone cannot find something satisfying in the buffet. For sure, if one only feeds on burgers and fries it can get a bit boring. But here is one's chance to try new stuff. Windjammer is indeed busy, but we always managed to find a table for two. What I am always amazed at is the amount of waste. People go and take mountains of one item and eat only a 1/4 of it. Come on ! They always replenish the food so one is better just getting some more...
We did not try Chops Grill so we cannot comment.
Shows and Activities:
We did attend some shows during our week (1st night, dancers, ice skaters, comedian (adult version), hypnotist). The shows were good and quite professional. Comedy is very subjective. We did like the comedian in his general show, but did not appreciate much his adult version. But this is very personal. The ice skating show is still spectacular... considering you are on a moving ship in the middle of the caribbean ocean. We loved the "dancing under the star" event at 11 pm the night we left Aruba. Lots of people of all ages and all styles dancing outdoors. It was great. The cruise director was real funny.
Ports of Call:
St-Thomas: we did an excursion we booked ourselves (Brenda and Franko). Great tour of the island with many vista points. Nice beach break at the end. See our TripAdvisor review if you are interested.
Curacao: very nice island. Much richer than the other caribbean islands. We took a sightseeing+beach tour with the ship. The sightseeing portion included the Curacao liquor factory (ok) and some driving around residential areas (a bit disappointing). We finished at the Mambo Beach. A nice modern beach club with a lot of amenities. But the beach was crowded. A nice break, but not the most "natural" or "typical" experience. Felt very commercial. But once back on the ship we walked back to the old Curacao area. Very very nice.
Aruba: we did an excursion we booked ourselves (EL Tours). Great tour of the island with numerous stops that were very interesting. We finished at the Arashi beach. See our TripAdvisor review if you are interested.
St-Kitts: we had been to St-Kitts last year on our previous cruise so we had nothing planned. We ended up on a 4x4 Safari tour we booked through the ship. That was a very nice surprise. It was given by Greg's Safari tours including beach break at Carambola Beach Club. See our TripAdvisor review if you are interested.
Disembarkation: it went very smoothly. We used the porters in the terminal which really speeds up your passage through customs. Again, 20 min and we were out boarding a taxi to the airport.
I guess we were right in the middle of Puerto Rican school break as there were a lot of families with kids. We did not see this last year when we travelled one week earlier. Overall the families were good, but you always get a few exceptions that seem to attract all the attention. But you just ignore them and the cruise is great.
So overall, a great cruise again. Great staff that makes a big difference.
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