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This was my fifth cruise and third with Royal Caribbean. My boyfriend (58), two children (15 and 21), and I (44) arrived in San Juan on Saturday prior to the cruise after flying a red-eye from California. We spent Saturday night at the Courtyard Marriott Isla Verde, which was a wonderful way to start our cruise vacation as it was a great beach front resort with awesome hospitality and amenities (restaurants, casino, beach w/motor sport rentals, gym). Taxi for the four of us and 8 suitcases cost $16 plus tip from the airport to hotel and $36 plus tip from hotel to pier. We arrived at the pier around 12:00 and were onboard and exploring the ship by 12:30 PM. We went directly to the spa to book a couple's massage for the next (only sea) day, and were disappointed that all except 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM slots were already booked on-line. This really surprised me, because I had looked into on-line booking but didn't find it available. Everything else went smoothly though, as we were able to check out our cabins right after lunch in the Windjammer, and our luggage arrived shortly after the lifeboat drill. Unfortunately our very expensive wine was confiscated before our luggage was delivered to our room, but that is a risk we knew about. It briefly made me consider boycotting future RCCL trips, but I enjoy everything else about this line. So, we just won't bother to bring wine in the future. It is frustrating though, because it's not the cost but selection of wine that makes us like to bring our own aboard. Hopefully, someday RCCL will reconsider this policy. The Adventure of the Seas is older in design (most noticeable in the cabin balcony with more metal than glass), but clean and very well laid out. Although the cruise over Spring break was sold out, the ship felt empty and was never crowded except maybe in the Windjammer at breakfast. The ship includes every amenity and entertainment option we desired, and we spent a lot of time by the pool, playing miniature golf, and at the casino. We also used the gym almost every morning. It was never crowded and it is well stocked with cardio and weight equipment. We also enjoyed the ice skating show and the Quest game - two things not to miss. We went to Karaoke a couple times, but even though it was in the adult lounge late at night, it was overrun with annoying and talent-less adolescents, which made it less enjoyable. The best thing about this ship though, and I have to say this about every RCCL experience so far, is the crew and staff. They are more than hospitable and helpful, and I often wonder how RCCL incents them to perform so extraordinarily. Their wonderful service extended to every venue we frequented from the Champagne Bar, the Casino, to our dining staff and room steward. The food on this trip was also the best we've had on a cruise so far. We went to Portofino one night, but didn't feel the need to go back because the food in the main dining room was that good - I was pleasantly surprised. My son also enjoyed room service - several times a day!! We had signed up for 'my time dining', but were VERY disappointed in the tables available as they were all in traffic areas in the middle of the room. So, we switched after the first night to the early/main seating so that we could be by a window and enjoy the sea views. We ended up in the non-English speaking area, but this was fine. Although there were several Puerto Rican families aboard, we experienced none of the rudeness or issues that other posters complained about. They may not speak English, but they were just as polite as all other nationalities aboard (which means you get all kinds)! The itinerary, with one sea day and five days at port, was exhausting. I know, I could have stayed aboard even though we were at port, but it's just not my way to "miss" out on a new place or experience. My boyfriend was smart, and stayed onboard when we docked in Antigua to read, rest, and experience the ship. Our cruise last year was a 10-day Panama cruise with 5 at-sea days. I've learned that I really enjoy and need that equal balance between sea and port days. Barbados - Took our one and only RCCL excursion, the Tiami Five Star Catamaran & Turtles for $99/person. This was a great excursion and well worth the money. After a short bus transfer to the boat launch area, we boarded the beautiful and spacious catamaran. The crew was friendly and hospitable from start to finish. The snorkeling and beach stops were lots of fun, with a perfect amount of time spent in each stop. The island food they services was very good - fresh and hot - breaded and fried flying fish, pasta, rice, chicken with a wonderful sauce, cucumber and green salads. For dessert, there was chocolate and vanilla cake. And, throughout the trip, an open bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The crew was generous, outgoing and very helpful with snorkeling instruction. Afterward, we did a little shopping at the pier - bought some t-shirts at Del Sol. St. Lucia - Arranged for a private tour through Cosol Tours cosol-tours.com, which was my best private island tour ever for $65/person. It was everything Cosol promised and more!! Our driver/guide was Adrian, and I can't say enough good things about him. The roads in St. Lucia are narrow, and I'm amazed the vehicles aren't all scraped up and down the sides. But, he managed to strategically maneuver the roadways, all the while sharing extensive and interesting facts about the island and its history. The stops were well organized and placed. The island meal was unusual, but yummy. The water taxi to the beach was awesome. They kept us very well hydrated with beer, rum punch, and water. Overall, definitely recommend this tour if you are looking for something special to do while on this island. Also, we felt very safe and were never concerned about making it back to the ship in time. Antigua - Woke up early for a workout at the gym and a nice breakfast before leaving the ship. It was a little confusing getting a taxi, because there were signs throughout that said only use government taxi. But, we were unable to tell which ones were the government taxis. The first "official" looking man I spoke with, tried to hook us up with some strange looking dude who's "cab" was several blocks away. But, we finally got a ride to the beach (Dickenson Bay) for $12/total (still not sure if he was official or not). Once at the beach (right along the Sandals resort), we were able to get three chairs and an umbrella for free if we agreed to the jet ski rental. This ended up being a little shady too (like the taxi). I was watching the kids from the shore for their half-hour rental ($45 each). After 20 minutes the guy started flagging the kids to come in, which they didn't notice until 25 minutes had gone by. He was fuming at that point, and when my daughter came in he yelled at her and tried to get her to pay another $20. We eventually walked away, but we left the "free" chairs at the point for fear of further hostility. Overall, Antigua is not a very tourist friendly place. We spent the next few hours laying in the sand further down the beach, and then joined another group back to the pier in an official taxi this time. We easily made it back in time for a little shopping on the pier and late afternoon lunch in the Windjammer. St. Maartin - My absolute favorite port. Once again woke up early for a work out and breakfast. Then, easily departed the ship and went to the taxi stand marked for "Orient Beach". Pricing was clearly marked, with the cost reduced based on the number of passengers. We were in a van with about 12 passengers, so we paid $6/person plus tip. Plenty of beach "spots" to choose. We walked awhile to the "red" umbrellas and got four chairs and two umbrellas for $40/day. Then, we opened a tab and spent a great day enjoying the beach, sun, view, rum punch drinks, and beer. Three of us rented jet skis for $55/half hour each ($165 total), and we were going to do parasailing but decided it was too expensive (out of cash and didn't want to charge). Just a note of caution regarding cost - bring plenty of cash. Orient beach is on the Euro. Cash transactions are one-to-one, but, the Euro rate applies for credit card charges. So, jet ski rental will cost you $55 US if you pay cash, but $73.65 US ($55 x 1.3 exchange + 3% credit fee) if you charge it. After several hours and a perfect day on the beach, we walked back to the main road and hauled a taxi back to the pier in time for a very late lunch in the Windjammer. St. Croix - Arranged for a half-day snorkel trip through Big Beards www.bigbeards.com/sailing.htm to Buck Island. The seas were rough and it was windy when we pulled into St. Croix. We had to get to the other side of the island early, so we left the ship as soon as we docked. After walking to the end of the pier, we found the Federated Taxi stand with shuttles to Christiansted, for $12/person roundtrip. We had to wait about 10 minutes for more passengers to join us in the shuttle, but we made it to Big Beards in plenty of time. My family went on this excursion almost reluctantly, they were all tired at this point, but once we got underway all were very pleased. This was a great trip and Big Beards runs a nice operation. We took the catamaran to Turtle Beach (ranked in top 10 beaches by National Geographic) and then went to the Buck Island snorkel site. They have experienced and knowledgeable guides to lead you through the national underwater park and assist with snorkeling as needed. There is no food or drink (other than water) provided, but it is only a half-day trip. I would definitely recommend this for a fun activity in St. Croix. The shopping and other sights didn't seem to interesting.

Always love cruising...

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by SK_CruiseCrazy

Trip Details
This was my fifth cruise and third with Royal Caribbean. My boyfriend (58), two children (15 and 21), and I (44) arrived in San Juan on Saturday prior to the cruise after flying a red-eye from California. We spent Saturday night at the Courtyard Marriott Isla Verde, which was a wonderful way to start our cruise vacation as it was a great beach front resort with awesome hospitality and amenities (restaurants, casino, beach w/motor sport rentals, gym). Taxi for the four of us and 8 suitcases cost $16 plus tip from the airport to hotel and $36 plus tip from hotel to pier. We arrived at the pier around 12:00 and were onboard and exploring the ship by 12:30 PM. We went directly to the spa to book a couple's massage for the next (only sea) day, and were disappointed that all except 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM slots were already booked on-line. This really surprised me, because I had looked into on-line booking but didn't find it available. Everything else went smoothly though, as we were able to check out our cabins right after lunch in the Windjammer, and our luggage arrived shortly after the lifeboat drill. Unfortunately our very expensive wine was confiscated before our luggage was delivered to our room, but that is a risk we knew about. It briefly made me consider boycotting future RCCL trips, but I enjoy everything else about this line. So, we just won't bother to bring wine in the future. It is frustrating though, because it's not the cost but selection of wine that makes us like to bring our own aboard. Hopefully, someday RCCL will reconsider this policy.
The Adventure of the Seas is older in design (most noticeable in the cabin balcony with more metal than glass), but clean and very well laid out. Although the cruise over Spring break was sold out, the ship felt empty and was never crowded except maybe in the Windjammer at breakfast. The ship includes every amenity and entertainment option we desired, and we spent a lot of time by the pool, playing miniature golf, and at the casino. We also used the gym almost every morning. It was never crowded and it is well stocked with cardio and weight equipment. We also enjoyed the ice skating show and the Quest game - two things not to miss. We went to Karaoke a couple times, but even though it was in the adult lounge late at night, it was overrun with annoying and talent-less adolescents, which made it less enjoyable.
The best thing about this ship though, and I have to say this about every RCCL experience so far, is the crew and staff. They are more than hospitable and helpful, and I often wonder how RCCL incents them to perform so extraordinarily. Their wonderful service extended to every venue we frequented from the Champagne Bar, the Casino, to our dining staff and room steward. The food on this trip was also the best we've had on a cruise so far. We went to Portofino one night, but didn't feel the need to go back because the food in the main dining room was that good - I was pleasantly surprised. My son also enjoyed room service - several times a day!! We had signed up for 'my time dining', but were VERY disappointed in the tables available as they were all in traffic areas in the middle of the room. So, we switched after the first night to the early/main seating so that we could be by a window and enjoy the sea views. We ended up in the non-English speaking area, but this was fine. Although there were several Puerto Rican families aboard, we experienced none of the rudeness or issues that other posters complained about. They may not speak English, but they were just as polite as all other nationalities aboard (which means you get all kinds)! The itinerary, with one sea day and five days at port, was exhausting. I know, I could have stayed aboard even though we were at port, but it's just not my way to "miss" out on a new place or experience. My boyfriend was smart, and stayed onboard when we docked in Antigua to read, rest, and experience the ship. Our cruise last year was a 10-day Panama cruise with 5 at-sea days. I've learned that I really enjoy and need that equal balance between sea and port days.
Barbados - Took our one and only RCCL excursion, the Tiami Five Star Catamaran & Turtles for $99/person. This was a great excursion and well worth the money. After a short bus transfer to the boat launch area, we boarded the beautiful and spacious catamaran. The crew was friendly and hospitable from start to finish. The snorkeling and beach stops were lots of fun, with a perfect amount of time spent in each stop. The island food they services was very good - fresh and hot - breaded and fried flying fish, pasta, rice, chicken with a wonderful sauce, cucumber and green salads. For dessert, there was chocolate and vanilla cake. And, throughout the trip, an open bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The crew was generous, outgoing and very helpful with snorkeling instruction. Afterward, we did a little shopping at the pier - bought some t-shirts at Del Sol.
St. Lucia - Arranged for a private tour through Cosol Tours cosol-tours.com, which was my best private island tour ever for $65/person. It was everything Cosol promised and more!! Our driver/guide was Adrian, and I can't say enough good things about him. The roads in St. Lucia are narrow, and I'm amazed the vehicles aren't all scraped up and down the sides. But, he managed to strategically maneuver the roadways, all the while sharing extensive and interesting facts about the island and its history. The stops were well organized and placed. The island meal was unusual, but yummy. The water taxi to the beach was awesome. They kept us very well hydrated with beer, rum punch, and water. Overall, definitely recommend this tour if you are looking for something special to do while on this island. Also, we felt very safe and were never concerned about making it back to the ship in time.
Antigua - Woke up early for a workout at the gym and a nice breakfast before leaving the ship. It was a little confusing getting a taxi, because there were signs throughout that said only use government taxi. But, we were unable to tell which ones were the government taxis. The first "official" looking man I spoke with, tried to hook us up with some strange looking dude who's "cab" was several blocks away. But, we finally got a ride to the beach (Dickenson Bay) for $12/total (still not sure if he was official or not). Once at the beach (right along the Sandals resort), we were able to get three chairs and an umbrella for free if we agreed to the jet ski rental. This ended up being a little shady too (like the taxi). I was watching the kids from the shore for their half-hour rental ($45 each). After 20 minutes the guy started flagging the kids to come in, which they didn't notice until 25 minutes had gone by. He was fuming at that point, and when my daughter came in he yelled at her and tried to get her to pay another $20. We eventually walked away, but we left the "free" chairs at the point for fear of further hostility. Overall, Antigua is not a very tourist friendly place. We spent the next few hours laying in the sand further down the beach, and then joined another group back to the pier in an official taxi this time. We easily made it back in time for a little shopping on the pier and late afternoon lunch in the Windjammer.
St. Maartin - My absolute favorite port. Once again woke up early for a work out and breakfast. Then, easily departed the ship and went to the taxi stand marked for "Orient Beach". Pricing was clearly marked, with the cost reduced based on the number of passengers. We were in a van with about 12 passengers, so we paid $6/person plus tip. Plenty of beach "spots" to choose. We walked awhile to the "red" umbrellas and got four chairs and two umbrellas for $40/day. Then, we opened a tab and spent a great day enjoying the beach, sun, view, rum punch drinks, and beer. Three of us rented jet skis for $55/half hour each ($165 total), and we were going to do parasailing but decided it was too expensive (out of cash and didn't want to charge). Just a note of caution regarding cost - bring plenty of cash. Orient beach is on the Euro. Cash transactions are one-to-one, but, the Euro rate applies for credit card charges. So, jet ski rental will cost you $55 US if you pay cash, but $73.65 US ($55 x 1.3 exchange + 3% credit fee) if you charge it. After several hours and a perfect day on the beach, we walked back to the main road and hauled a taxi back to the pier in time for a very late lunch in the Windjammer.
St. Croix - Arranged for a half-day snorkel trip through Big Beards www.bigbeards.com/sailing.htm to Buck Island. The seas were rough and it was windy when we pulled into St. Croix. We had to get to the other side of the island early, so we left the ship as soon as we docked. After walking to the end of the pier, we found the Federated Taxi stand with shuttles to Christiansted, for $12/person roundtrip. We had to wait about 10 minutes for more passengers to join us in the shuttle, but we made it to Big Beards in plenty of time. My family went on this excursion almost reluctantly, they were all tired at this point, but once we got underway all were very pleased. This was a great trip and Big Beards runs a nice operation. We took the catamaran to Turtle Beach (ranked in top 10 beaches by National Geographic) and then went to the Buck Island snorkel site. They have experienced and knowledgeable guides to lead you through the national underwater park and assist with snorkeling as needed. There is no food or drink (other than water) provided, but it is only a half-day trip. I would definitely recommend this for a fun activity in St. Croix. The shopping and other sights didn't seem to interesting.
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