Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by SD210
- Sail Date: April 2010
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
Background: We are 33 and 34 years old, no kids. This was my boyfriend's first cruise, but I have cruised before (although this was my first time on a Royal Caribbean ship). My previous cruises have been on Princess (the Caribbean Princess), Celebrity (the Century), and Carnival (the Glory and the Jubilee, many years ago).
Embarkation: We flew to San Juan the day of the cruise. Risky, I know, but our work schedules required same day travel. We arrived in the San Juan airport around noon. The taxi line at the airport was long, but it moved rather quickly, and we got to the cruise terminal by 12:45 pm. The line at the cruise terminal to get on the ship at this time was very long and moved slowly (it took us well over an hour to get on the ship). Luckily, the line was in the shade and Royal provided water and lemonade while you waited (it was hot out!) No major difficulties getting on the ship, just time consuming.
Our cabin: we had an Ocean view on the 7th floor, in the very back of the ship. Our room steward did an excellent job, no complaints at all. The room showed some age, but was well maintained by the steward. I thought that the storage in the room was good for two people, with plenty of closet space.
The Ship: The Adventure is a nice ship. It did feel a bit crowded on Sea Days (I got to the deck around 10:00 am to find very limited seating, as everyone saved seats with towels, no surprise there.) Honestly, we found the pools to be a bit small and crowded when we were at Sea. Otherwise, the staff around the Ship was excellent - - pool bar tenders remembered your name, your favorite drinks, etc. Everyone had a smile on their face and seemed genuinely happy to be serving you.
Entertainment and Activities: We went to a few shows, but we didn't really participate in too many activities. I will say that Casey Pelter, the Cruise Director, works very hard and did a great job. Every morning they broadcast his "Morning Show" on your TV (it is taped by Casey the night before, pretty late into the morning I believe) and it is hysterical. We would watch it while we were getting ready in the morning. Casey has a sidekick (his Ed McMahon, if you will) and they are pretty funny - - they do jokes, answer anonymous "ask the Cruise Director" questions left by guests, etc. The show gives a run down on all of the events for the day, sort of like a video Compass (the newsletter that lists all the activities). Anyway, I thought Casey and his staff did a great job and he has a solid sense of humor.
Ports: We had rainy weather, which was a big disappointment to me because I love the beach. That being said, a rainy day at sea is better than a sunny day at the office! We did not do any of the pricey tours, as we prefer to explore on our own. In Aruba, we went to Palm Beach. It was cloudy and it rained, but I could see how it would be nice in the sun. In Curacao, it poured. We did some shopping in town, which was cute and had a nice European feel to it. I was hoping to see the beaches there, but the weather didn't cooperate. In Dominica, we opted to stay on the boat and take advantage of the pools. It was great - - very few people on the ship when the ship was in port, so we got to take advantage of the amenities without the crowds. In St. Thomas, we finally got some sun and went to Megan's Bay. Nice beach, calm waters. It was a very relaxing day.
Food: The food in the dining room was good, and I'd even venture to say "very good" given the number of people they were feeding each night. I was impressed that steaks came out just as you ordered them (for example, medium rare) due to the sheer number of people being fed each night in the three story dining room. We had EXCELLENT service. We had the My Time Dining and managed to get a table for 2 each night with the same waiter, which was great. The wait staff knew our favorite wine and they were very friendly without being pushy. I thought the Prime Rib was really good and (surprisingly) the sugar free desserts were also really good (if you see the Berry-Peach Cobbler on the menu, go for it, it was excellent.) Food in the Windjammer was just OK, typical buffet food. Service in the Windjammer was a bit slow (hard to find a clean table at peak times). That being said, we certainly never went hungry! Like on all cruise ships I have been on, the coffee was horrible. I actually stopped in at Dunkin Donuts in Aruba for an ice coffee; it was "worth the trip"!
My gripes: My biggest gripe has less to do with Royal and more to do with parents who do not watch their children. There were often pre-teen and teenage kids milling about, sitting (and blocking) the stairways, etc, with no parents in sight. Also, there were a lot of kids running around in the Windjammer, which is dangerous given the number of people carrying hot food. The parents were oblivious. Finally, someone needs to make this very basic public service announcement on the first day on the ship: "Please let the people get out of the Elevator before you try to get into it." Seriously, you wouldn't believe how many people (adults and children) would barge onto the elevators when the doors opened, not allowing the people off first. The most basic rule of elevator (and subway) riding is to let people off before you get on. This has been lost on at least 85% of Royal Caribbean's clientele. The elevators were ridiculously slow and crowded, so we often just took the stairs. Probably for the best, given the amount of food we ate!
Disembarkation: I was very concerned about this, given the horror stories I read on the message boards about the San Juan Airport. We had a 12:56 pm flight out of San Juan. We missed the deadline to sign up for the Luggage Valet service, so we knew we would have to wait in line to check our luggage at the airport. Royal Caribbean assigned us to a 10:00 am slot for getting off the ship. I was convinced that there was no way we would make our flight if we were getting off the ship at 10 am, particularly since there was another ship disembarking at the same time (so, roughly 6000 cruisers leaving the terminal that morning). However, Royal lets you leave whenever you want, and even puts out extra luggage tags for earlier departure times at the Guest Services desk. So basically, if you are unhappy with your assigned time, you can simply get some new earlier luggage tags and leave the boat earlier. We got off with the first batch of guests at around 8:30 am. We were through customs and in a cab by 9 am; we were through airport security and at our gate by 9:45. San Juan Airport became a mob scene by 10:30, so the lesson here is to get there as early as possible.
Final thoughts: Notwithstanding the rain, we had a relaxing time and enjoyed this vacation very much. We were impressed with the staff on the ship and would definitely consider another Royal Caribbean cruise in the future.
- Read more Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Reviews
- Read Cruise Critic's Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Review
250,000+ people have entered their email