1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Adventure of the Seas
As usual, we booked 2 cabins on an RCL ship. We always select the deck on Voyager class ships just above the Promenade overlook, so we took outside cabin 9586 and inside 9587 for our kids, 22 and 15. The cabins were fine. What follows is a tour guide and then a rant. Embarkation was better than ever, which was amazing for San Juan. We got an easy cab to the ship from the airport. SJU has finally got that together and you go straight to a land transportation desk right near the luggage carousel and get a receipt for $15 plus bags. Cost us $21 for 4 and 5 bags. Took us right to ship. Stand in line to give bags to porter with a tip. Bags did get to room in reasonable period of time. Inside, we are Platinum members and they took us right to separate line and straight to a desk for registration. Took under 10 minutes including security. Very nice. Usual first day with muster drill. Ship did not depart until 10 PM. Very little to do, so we walked to the duty free shop and bought rum in plastic bottles for $3. This becomes even more essential, since the ship is charging over $6 per drink. We had the St. Thomas/St. Martin/Antigua/St Lucia/ Barbados route. Small description of ship. Since most people go on at length, I like to just comment on art work. I enjoy the eclectic stuff on these ships. AOS has the least enjoyable and most amateurish art work, but it does grow on you. The other RCL ships had better stuff. Otherwise, this ship is exactly the same as all Voyager class ships. It was kept pretty clean, but I did notice people smoking anywhere they wanted and nobody stopped them. Shame. More comments on ship at end. Saved the rant for the bottom. I have written several reviews previously and do this from a "do-it-yourself" view for those who don't like ship's tours. No warranties, but I think you will find this quite helpful. I tried to do this totally without spending too much money, just for fun. St. Thomas. Have been there many times, so wanted to try something different. Took the ferry to St. John. First, take a cab for $3 from the pier to the port. No way around this. The ferry to St. John's leaves every 2 hours at 9, 11, 1, etc. Be sure to get there on time. Pretty prompt. The fare is $7 per person and $3 for kids. The ride takes about 50 minutes. Arrive Cruz Bay. Take a jitney to beach. There are many and everyone raves about Trunk. It isn't worth it. However, it does have facilities. Cost is $4. Crowded and the fish are very aggressive. I got bit by a yellow tail snapper on the hand. Nasty. (Ate his cousin for revenge next day.) I think it would be better to go to Hawksnest or Cinnamon. Fewer facilities, but less crowded. The snorkeling at Trunk is no big deal and highly overrated. Plus it is full of tourists. The ferry returns at about 1:40 and then every 2 hours to downtown. Enough time to get back and walk around if you wish. St. Martin. Again, many time visit, so tried something different. The ship now docks at a pier and you are "encouraged" to take a water taxi which allegedly stops at the end of P'burg and then downtown. It doesn't. Only the first stop, which costs more than it should and forces you to walk thru their shops. It might pay to take a regular taxi. Good news. It is now possible to rent a car at the cruise pier. You used to have to go to airport. This is a BIG improvement, but I didn't rent a car so I can't comment on quality of the rentals. We took the water taxi and then walked out to the main road; about 10 minutes in all. Found a bus to Marigot. They look like Vans. In fact, all the buses said French Quarter (P'Burg) not Marigot, so I flagged down an empty one and he switched over to Marigot just for us. A taxi to Marigot is about $25 for 4. The bus costs $4. I gave him $6 for switching. We had a light snack on the water and then climbed up the hill to Fort Louis. You will find it at the (West?) end of the main coastal downtown road. It is a 10 minute climb. The view is spectacular and the remains of the fort are very nice. We returned and had a steamed fish (snapper!) in a French sidewalk restaurant. Immediately behind is an open air market which was lovely. There are also public restrooms across the street which were fine. We then hiked out to main road and found a bus back to P'burg and walked around there looking for an Indonesian restaurant to eat Rijstafel, after all this is a Dutch colony. Wrong. They are all gone. The place is now run by Indians. Lots of curry. No rijstafel. Back to ship. Antigua. All the tour books say don't take the bus. A challenge. We climbed up to St. John's Cathedral just for the view. (Been here a lot too. Didn't feel like the beach.) We found the bus station which is to the right of the ship when you get off about 5 blocks. Take the number 17 bus to Nelson's Dockyard. It is about a 35 minute ride. It cost $1.25 each. The Dockyard is a sort of restored museum, which was interesting. I gave it a 6 of 10. We ate at the Admiral's Inn. It was nothing special. I had the Pumpkin Soup which was very good. The rest was mediocre, but better than other stuff in Antigua. There was a better place in the Dockyard, but more expensive. As it was, lunch for 2 was about $40. The bus comes right back here and we took it back. Quicker, about 20 minutes. Incidentally, the cab is $25 each way. This is not worth a $50 trip, but was very much worth a $3 trip. St. Lucia. Again, been here, so wanted to do something different. Walked all the way off the pier. About 5 minutes. You will have to fight your way past the cab drivers because they can't believe you want to take a bus. The cab to Pigeon Isle in the north costs $25, but you can bargain them down to $16. We took the bus. Stops right out at the main road. (You are on Point Seraphine.) It is another mini-Van. Take the 1A. Goes right up to Gros Pointe. Will let you off at end of route in a real wild, but quiet during day area. Walk towards the water 2 blocks and turn right. Walk all the way along the beach for about a mile. Thru Sandals. Don't worry. All is public beach and they can't stop you. Very safe. The big hill is Pigeon Isle. Pay $4 to enter. There is a restaurant. Don't eat there. It cost $80 for lunch for 4 and was nothing special. Bring a picnic. A really great hike up the mountain to Fort Rodney. Fantastic views. Can see all the way around St. Lucia. It is a very nice national park. Walk back to Gros Pointe and eat if you want. Can get bus back. We took a cab because teen was feeling off. Barbados. Rented a car from Stoutes. Right at end of terminal. Arranged in advance. $90 inclusive of gas and CDW and the $10 Barbados registration. Drove up to Francia plantation, then over to Atlantic Coast to Andromeda Botanical Gardens. Both were very nice. We stopped at 'Round House' on coast near Andromeda to eat, but we left. 2 Cokes were $7. We went further on road and found better and cheaper place. Drove back to Heritage Rum Factory in the South. Driving is quite easy in Barbados, although it used to be better sign posted. That was the end of touring. Last day at sea. Very little to do except bingo. Now for the rant. This was the least enjoyable cruise on RCL ever. Even though they did try to do more for us as Platinum members than ever before. The wine tasting was free and nice. Cheap wine, but still enjoyable and the wine steward was very articulate. They also had a private Crown & Anchor party with lots of free drinks, but no staff. Then a private Platinum string quartet concert with free drinks. Very nice touch. Those were high points. However, RCL is going way down market. They need to fill roughly 50,000 beds a week. So they are marketing to everyone. There were hundreds of people on board I would not want to cruise with. There was a huge group from New York, who brought their own DJ. These were not nice people. They took over the disco and didn't want anyone who didn't match their demographics to enter. And, lest anyone jump to wrong conclusion, I lived in Bahamas for years and have no trouble mixing with any group. These people were a different story and everyone on board remarked about the iciness and their lack of class and manners. There was very little to do on board this trip. The cruise staff was virtually non-existent. We are accustomed to Ken Rush's high spirit, and that was absent. The dining room waiter was ok, but budget cuts have really hurt. He didn't want to bring 2 mains to the same person at once. My 22 year old eats 3 at once. Waiter (Milton from Goa) had to get permission. The asst waiter (Mihaela from Romania--her very first cruise) was pretty good for a newbie. Fortunately for us, Milton's other table didn't even show up, so he only had us to care for. I doubt he could have handled 2 tables, but he did ok for our one. Bad for him, he lost a lot of tips. The food is declining in quality and taste. It is still above average, but just. The soups and unusual dishes are best. The Windjammer was better for breakfast, but very mediocre for lunch. The dining room was better for lunch and dinner. The kids program was a real bust for the 14 and up crowd. There was nothing for the 15 year old group to do. They didn't want to be isolated in their own disco, but there were no alternatives. Our kids enjoyed this cruise the least of all. The other kids on the cruise were a lot less nice. Our companions have kids ages 8 and 11, who seemed to have a better time in kid's club. I think they just don't know what to do with the older ones anymore. They have also imposed a curfew for the older teens, and a wrist band approach. This makes no sense. A 14 year old girl is much older than a 14 year old boy, but they still make the 14 year old girl hang out with the 12 year old boys and that will never happen. It should be by grade and by 'maturity'. The entertainment was ok, but not great. The ice show was well done, but the performers kept falling. The comic was poor. His jokes were old and he needed to update his routine. He was still telling airport jokes about the 3 questions, which they ceased asking over a year ago. The dancer/singer shows ranged from lame to mediocre. The Can't Stop the Rock show was ok. Sadly, the singers mistake volume for clarity and quality. There was no real headliner this cruise which seemed strange. They said there was, but nobody seemed to know who or what it was!?! The overall quality is declining and RCL staff laments it. Nobody dresses for dinner; people even came casual to formal night! We wore tuxedos. The staff abhors the low market people and makes it obvious. The low market people should go back to Carnival where they belong. According to RCL staff, those people don't even spend money on the ship, but take over all the facilities and chase everyone else away. This will be our last RCL Carib cruise. Finally, disembarkation was awful. The immigration is now off the ship, and although we got to stay in a private Platinum lounge on the ship, they closed it at 9:30 and told us to leave. Our plane was at 4 PM. It took over 1.5 hours to exit the ship. The immigration line is terrible. Hint: Stay to the right. The one on the left is also for non-US and it goes VERY slowly, but the RCL people in the terminal don't care and don't sort the line. They only speak Spanish by the way. We got off the ship at 9:40 and it took us until 11:15 to exit the terminal. That is the worst it has ever been. The luggage was no problem, it is all color coded. The entire holdup was US immigration. They were the slowest I ever saw. This is not of RCL's doing, but it used to be much better. We left the terminal and hired a private tour carrier for $20 each to take us around San Juan. Much better than the ship's tour. (Make sure to insist on a bus that leaves immediately. Some people on our bus had been waiting for 45 minutes till we boarded. Then the driver wanted to wait for another 10 people. I refused and we all found a driver willing to leave immediately for an extra $10. Well worth it.) Got to the airport around 1:45. Was better than sitting in SJU for 6 hours. In all, this was the worst RCL cruise we took, but not because of the staff or the ship, per se. Email me with any questions.

Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Arthur Fied

Trip Details
As usual, we booked 2 cabins on an RCL ship. We always select the deck on Voyager class ships just above the Promenade overlook, so we took outside cabin 9586 and inside 9587 for our kids, 22 and 15. The cabins were fine. What follows is a tour guide and then a rant.
Embarkation was better than ever, which was amazing for San Juan. We got an easy cab to the ship from the airport. SJU has finally got that together and you go straight to a land transportation desk right near the luggage carousel and get a receipt for $15 plus bags. Cost us $21 for 4 and 5 bags. Took us right to ship. Stand in line to give bags to porter with a tip. Bags did get to room in reasonable period of time.
Inside, we are Platinum members and they took us right to separate line and straight to a desk for registration. Took under 10 minutes including security. Very nice.
Usual first day with muster drill. Ship did not depart until 10 PM. Very little to do, so we walked to the duty free shop and bought rum in plastic bottles for $3. This becomes even more essential, since the ship is charging over $6 per drink.
We had the St. Thomas/St. Martin/Antigua/St Lucia/ Barbados route.
Small description of ship. Since most people go on at length, I like to just comment on art work. I enjoy the eclectic stuff on these ships. AOS has the least enjoyable and most amateurish art work, but it does grow on you. The other RCL ships had better stuff. Otherwise, this ship is exactly the same as all Voyager class ships. It was kept pretty clean, but I did notice people smoking anywhere they wanted and nobody stopped them. Shame. More comments on ship at end. Saved the rant for the bottom.
I have written several reviews previously and do this from a "do-it-yourself" view for those who don't like ship's tours. No warranties, but I think you will find this quite helpful. I tried to do this totally without spending too much money, just for fun.
St. Thomas. Have been there many times, so wanted to try something different. Took the ferry to St. John. First, take a cab for $3 from the pier to the port. No way around this. The ferry to St. John's leaves every 2 hours at 9, 11, 1, etc. Be sure to get there on time. Pretty prompt. The fare is $7 per person and $3 for kids. The ride takes about 50 minutes. Arrive Cruz Bay. Take a jitney to beach. There are many and everyone raves about Trunk. It isn't worth it. However, it does have facilities. Cost is $4. Crowded and the fish are very aggressive. I got bit by a yellow tail snapper on the hand. Nasty. (Ate his cousin for revenge next day.) I think it would be better to go to Hawksnest or Cinnamon. Fewer facilities, but less crowded. The snorkeling at Trunk is no big deal and highly overrated. Plus it is full of tourists. The ferry returns at about 1:40 and then every 2 hours to downtown. Enough time to get back and walk around if you wish.
St. Martin. Again, many time visit, so tried something different. The ship now docks at a pier and you are "encouraged" to take a water taxi which allegedly stops at the end of P'burg and then downtown. It doesn't. Only the first stop, which costs more than it should and forces you to walk thru their shops. It might pay to take a regular taxi. Good news. It is now possible to rent a car at the cruise pier. You used to have to go to airport. This is a BIG improvement, but I didn't rent a car so I can't comment on quality of the rentals. We took the water taxi and then walked out to the main road; about 10 minutes in all. Found a bus to Marigot. They look like Vans. In fact, all the buses said French Quarter (P'Burg) not Marigot, so I flagged down an empty one and he switched over to Marigot just for us. A taxi to Marigot is about $25 for 4. The bus costs $4. I gave him $6 for switching. We had a light snack on the water and then climbed up the hill to Fort Louis. You will find it at the (West?) end of the main coastal downtown road. It is a 10 minute climb. The view is spectacular and the remains of the fort are very nice. We returned and had a steamed fish (snapper!) in a French sidewalk restaurant. Immediately behind is an open air market which was lovely. There are also public restrooms across the street which were fine. We then hiked out to main road and found a bus back to P'burg and walked around there looking for an Indonesian restaurant to eat Rijstafel, after all this is a Dutch colony. Wrong. They are all gone. The place is now run by Indians. Lots of curry. No rijstafel. Back to ship.
Antigua. All the tour books say don't take the bus. A challenge. We climbed up to St. John's Cathedral just for the view. (Been here a lot too. Didn't feel like the beach.) We found the bus station which is to the right of the ship when you get off about 5 blocks. Take the number 17 bus to Nelson's Dockyard. It is about a 35 minute ride. It cost $1.25 each. The Dockyard is a sort of restored museum, which was interesting. I gave it a 6 of 10. We ate at the Admiral's Inn. It was nothing special. I had the Pumpkin Soup which was very good. The rest was mediocre, but better than other stuff in Antigua. There was a better place in the Dockyard, but more expensive. As it was, lunch for 2 was about $40. The bus comes right back here and we took it back. Quicker, about 20 minutes. Incidentally, the cab is $25 each way. This is not worth a $50 trip, but was very much worth a $3 trip.
St. Lucia. Again, been here, so wanted to do something different. Walked all the way off the pier. About 5 minutes. You will have to fight your way past the cab drivers because they can't believe you want to take a bus. The cab to Pigeon Isle in the north costs $25, but you can bargain them down to $16. We took the bus. Stops right out at the main road. (You are on Point Seraphine.) It is another mini-Van. Take the 1A. Goes right up to Gros Pointe. Will let you off at end of route in a real wild, but quiet during day area. Walk towards the water 2 blocks and turn right. Walk all the way along the beach for about a mile. Thru Sandals. Don't worry. All is public beach and they can't stop you. Very safe. The big hill is Pigeon Isle. Pay $4 to enter. There is a restaurant. Don't eat there. It cost $80 for lunch for 4 and was nothing special. Bring a picnic. A really great hike up the mountain to Fort Rodney. Fantastic views. Can see all the way around St. Lucia. It is a very nice national park. Walk back to Gros Pointe and eat if you want. Can get bus back. We took a cab because teen was feeling off.
Barbados. Rented a car from Stoutes. Right at end of terminal. Arranged in advance. $90 inclusive of gas and CDW and the $10 Barbados registration. Drove up to Francia plantation, then over to Atlantic Coast to Andromeda Botanical Gardens. Both were very nice. We stopped at 'Round House' on coast near Andromeda to eat, but we left. 2 Cokes were $7. We went further on road and found better and cheaper place. Drove back to Heritage Rum Factory in the South. Driving is quite easy in Barbados, although it used to be better sign posted.
That was the end of touring. Last day at sea. Very little to do except bingo. Now for the rant.
This was the least enjoyable cruise on RCL ever. Even though they did try to do more for us as Platinum members than ever before. The wine tasting was free and nice. Cheap wine, but still enjoyable and the wine steward was very articulate. They also had a private Crown & Anchor party with lots of free drinks, but no staff. Then a private Platinum string quartet concert with free drinks. Very nice touch. Those were high points.
However, RCL is going way down market. They need to fill roughly 50,000 beds a week. So they are marketing to everyone. There were hundreds of people on board I would not want to cruise with. There was a huge group from New York, who brought their own DJ. These were not nice people. They took over the disco and didn't want anyone who didn't match their demographics to enter. And, lest anyone jump to wrong conclusion, I lived in Bahamas for years and have no trouble mixing with any group. These people were a different story and everyone on board remarked about the iciness and their lack of class and manners. There was very little to do on board this trip. The cruise staff was virtually non-existent. We are accustomed to Ken Rush's high spirit, and that was absent.
The dining room waiter was ok, but budget cuts have really hurt. He didn't want to bring 2 mains to the same person at once. My 22 year old eats 3 at once. Waiter (Milton from Goa) had to get permission. The asst waiter (Mihaela from Romania--her very first cruise) was pretty good for a newbie. Fortunately for us, Milton's other table didn't even show up, so he only had us to care for. I doubt he could have handled 2 tables, but he did ok for our one. Bad for him, he lost a lot of tips.
The food is declining in quality and taste. It is still above average, but just. The soups and unusual dishes are best.
The Windjammer was better for breakfast, but very mediocre for lunch. The dining room was better for lunch and dinner.
The kids program was a real bust for the 14 and up crowd. There was nothing for the 15 year old group to do. They didn't want to be isolated in their own disco, but there were no alternatives. Our kids enjoyed this cruise the least of all. The other kids on the cruise were a lot less nice. Our companions have kids ages 8 and 11, who seemed to have a better time in kid's club. I think they just don't know what to do with the older ones anymore. They have also imposed a curfew for the older teens, and a wrist band approach. This makes no sense. A 14 year old girl is much older than a 14 year old boy, but they still make the 14 year old girl hang out with the 12 year old boys and that will never happen. It should be by grade and by 'maturity'.
The entertainment was ok, but not great. The ice show was well done, but the performers kept falling. The comic was poor. His jokes were old and he needed to update his routine. He was still telling airport jokes about the 3 questions, which they ceased asking over a year ago. The dancer/singer shows ranged from lame to mediocre. The Can't Stop the Rock show was ok. Sadly, the singers mistake volume for clarity and quality. There was no real headliner this cruise which seemed strange. They said there was, but nobody seemed to know who or what it was!?!
The overall quality is declining and RCL staff laments it. Nobody dresses for dinner; people even came casual to formal night! We wore tuxedos. The staff abhors the low market people and makes it obvious. The low market people should go back to Carnival where they belong. According to RCL staff, those people don't even spend money on the ship, but take over all the facilities and chase everyone else away. This will be our last RCL Carib cruise.
Finally, disembarkation was awful. The immigration is now off the ship, and although we got to stay in a private Platinum lounge on the ship, they closed it at 9:30 and told us to leave. Our plane was at 4 PM. It took over 1.5 hours to exit the ship. The immigration line is terrible. Hint: Stay to the right. The one on the left is also for non-US and it goes VERY slowly, but the RCL people in the terminal don't care and don't sort the line. They only speak Spanish by the way. We got off the ship at 9:40 and it took us until 11:15 to exit the terminal. That is the worst it has ever been. The luggage was no problem, it is all color coded. The entire holdup was US immigration. They were the slowest I ever saw. This is not of RCL's doing, but it used to be much better.
We left the terminal and hired a private tour carrier for $20 each to take us around San Juan. Much better than the ship's tour. (Make sure to insist on a bus that leaves immediately. Some people on our bus had been waiting for 45 minutes till we boarded. Then the driver wanted to wait for another 10 people. I refused and we all found a driver willing to leave immediately for an extra $10. Well worth it.) Got to the airport around 1:45. Was better than sitting in SJU for 6 hours.
In all, this was the worst RCL cruise we took, but not because of the staff or the ship, per se.
Email me with any questions.
Arthur Fied’s Full Rating Summary
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Rates
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email