This cruise appealed to us because of it's intense port itinerary... and we were not disappointed! At first, we were a bit skeptical (we wanted to relax too of course!) bc of the limited number of sea days, but that was definitely not an issue. We've taken a lot of cruises and this was - hands down in our top 2/3. My husband and I (in our 30s) went with my parents... were there a lot of kids? Yes (the pools were always super crowded). Did they do a good job of making sure the kids/ teens were not running around the adult areas and after curfew? Not at all... the cruise people didn't seem to care... but all in all that was not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
We did not get a chance to explore San Juan before embarkation - nor when we returned... there just was not enough time in our own schedules... however, we got the RC transfer from the airport to the port and to be honest, it was pretty chaotic and unorganized. Checking in was also a mess and took a LONG time! Our check in person was not helpful and was actually wrong about a few things... so it did not start that well. But once onboard, we were happy with the rest of the cruise. (And debarkation was a breeze!)
We did not get our bags until late at night, but our cabin (balcony) was spacious enough and our stateroom attendant was very helpful. The cruise was catered to its main clientele as I was told - so mostly those from PR, so there was a lot of Spanish influence - in music, food and of course all shows and cruise info talks were in both languages. (A good way for me to practice my very elementary Spanish-speaking skills! :) ) A few of us did ask the DJ, on the last two nights, to play some more mixed music but he said bc of the demographics of the cruise, he was only going to play a few English songs and that was it... but no biggie!
There were a TON of events so after getting back onboard, it was sometimes hard to find the time to get ready for dinner, attend all the shows and still find time to make it to the pool/ do a few activities. Because of the intense show/activity schedule and port itinerary, we ended up switching to My Time dining so we didn't miss any of the adult gameshows, C&A events, etc. To be honest, if you were at an excursion all day, there is the possibility that you could miss one of the fun events on the ship... so take that into consideration if you go on this cruise! Below are some of the shows and activities onboard:
Welcome Aboard Show - good
Invitation to Dance - been to this a few times on different RC ships, stopped going - our least favorite show, just ballroom dancing
Battle of the Sexes/ Majority Wins/ Quest/ Love and Marriage - decent
Adult Comedian (2 different ones) - first one was hilarious, second one okay
Silent Disco - cool concept
Jackpot - no story line, just songs and dances from movies
Adele (no not the real one!) - my favorite show hands down... the singer was really really really good
Cool Art, Hot Ice - decent
Hypnosis Show - eh...
Speaking of dining - hands down the best dining staff we've had on a cruise... Sachin and Shandy were our MTD waiters and they were FANTASTIC. We actually ended up requesting them for the rest of the cruise and the two Marius' (head dining staff) helped make sure that was possible. They were extremely friendly, accommodating and efficient.
The cruise had one change in port itinerary due to the recent hurricanes - so instead of going to St. Maarten, we ended up going to Martinique.
San Juan - no cruise excursion taken either way; only Old San Juan was offered the day we returned... I think they should also include an excursion of the Bacardi Factory or downtown... we ended up waiting for hours at the airport (delayed flight and then we couldn't check in our bags for a while, etc... just a heads up re: SJU!).
St. Kitts/ Nevis - no excursion taken there, just walked around the port... nothing new or special; a lot of tourist shops, one bar in the middle, whatever
Antigua - didn't walk around the port bc of our excursion, but our excursion was awesome!!! probably my favorite... we did the Fan-Ta-Sea... a luxury catamaran to one of the 365/366 beaches Antigua has... the beach looked small but with the amount of people on the catamaran, it was perfect. The water was BEAUTIFUL... and there was an optional guided snorkeling tour (all equipment provided)... towards the end, they put out lunch for everyone and provided drinks (alcoholic and non) for the rest of the day. The way back was very entertaining with music and interaction from all of the catamaran staff- and great service!
Martinique - no excursion taken, walked around the port - nothing really to see or do... you can tell it's a second-thought stop (understandably so)... they had tents with expensive souvenirs set up... we ended up spending maybe 10 minutes and then went back and enjoyed the ship's amenities
St. Lucia - took the Mud Bath experience excursion... it was a guided bus tour; a few stops to check out the view here and there and a 1.5-2 hour journey to the Pitons/ volcanoes. Got to the mud bath spot with all of the other tours. Basically you get in the small pool to clean yourself, walk to the buckets of volcanic ash/ mud... put that on and wait a while and then get back in the pool to clean yourself. We were given 20 minutes here and then drove for lunch (same spot for other tours too) at Beacon Restaurant... lots of stray cats begging for food... good view of the Pitons though, drove back to the ship.
Barbados - we wanted to spend more time on the ship bc we didn't want to miss out on the pool shows/ Belly Flop and other activities, so we did a 3 hour Barbados Highlights tour... not bad, had a few stops and returned to the ship.
Spa - all had spa treatments... I was not satisfied with the service nor privacy of my massage therapist/ room - but Guest Services helped out post treatment to make up for the bad service.
Would I go again on this cruise? Yes - we are actually thinking about the taking the Adventure again but to Aruba and Curacao!
The cabin was clean and spacious... balcony with a table and 2 chairs... good stuff!
The only port excursion that was available on debarkation day was to Old San Juan... (already been there)... from 7:30am for 3 hours. They should definitely add a Bacardi Factory tour or city break in downtown (a bit later).
Regular port - nothing really to see or do at the port except souvenir shopping
Fantastic service throughout the entire excursion... great staff, clean catamaran... spacious. beautiful beach and water, optional guided snorkeling tour
Lunch included - bbq chicken, fish, coleslaw, pasta salad, rice with beans
Drinks - non alcoholic and alcoholic included
Dancing and Music on the way back!View All 123 Catamaran Sail Reviews
Only spent 10 minutes because there was not much to do at the port... 5-8 tents set up with expensive souvenirs...
1.5-2 hr drive to the Pitons/ volcanoes with a 2-3 stops for viewpoints on the way; got to the mud bath with all the other tour groups - stepped in a pool to get wet, went to the buckets of mud/ ash, waited a few minutes for it to dry and then got back in the pool to clean... only given 20 minutes in the mud bath area (it was really crowded and small), but cool concept. Ate at Beacon Restaurant on the way back with lots of stray cats begging for food - but the views were good... lunch - not so much.View All 63 Sulphur Springs Mud Bath Reviews
did the Barbados Highlights tour - tour around the city with a few stops for 20 minutes eachView All 149 Island Tour Reviews