I booked this cruise as a birthday surprise for my wife because we had always heard that Royal Caribbean was better than Carnival, which we normally sailed on. Unfortunately, 'Adventure of the Seas' was not the adventure we wanted, with an extremely hard bed, little food variety/taste, and heavy smoking in the casino. Also, a change was made to our requested dining time, but Royal Caribbean didn't bother to notify me ahead of time, nor at time of check-in.
Although the embark/debark process went smoothly, even with pierside power outage during debarkation. However, the poor conditions of the roadways (major potholes), open parking (garage was full), and dock area indicates that neither Royal Caribbean nor the state of New Jersey have decided to spend much on infrastructure.
We decided to forego Windjammer upon embarkation and tried Johnny Rockets even though we had to pay for the food. Wait for food was excessive even though they knew they'd have a crowd, and even though the staff was apologetic, the food service managment should be more prepared.
When we did try the Windjammer later in the afternoon, the food was cold and bland, and it didn't improve much over the course of the week. Dinner in the dining room was better, but there was a minimal change in the menu throughout the week. Our servers, Jose and Arico, were excellent, and attempted to provide us a personlized service as they ran between the several tables they were responsible for.
Ashore, we enjoyed walking around both Bar Harbor and Halifax because they had a small-town feel and there was so much nearby to do/see, even without excersions. Although St. John was nice and there were some things close by the port, it was as conducive to wandering around and finding "local" things to do as the other two ports.
Aboard ship, the entertainment was good, but the ship's orchestra was excellent. We really enjoyed hearing them play, and they even let one of the crew put on an Adele night with a program she developed. We normally enjoy sitting around the piano bar in the evening and sing along with everyone esle, but this ship's venue was open to a major passage fore/aft, so the number of people in a crowded area didn't help accoustics.
We've already committed to a friend to go on a Royal Caribbean cruise again this winter, and we're hopeful that the next ship can redeem the cruise line in our minds or we'll move on permanently.
Our cabin, 7287, was a interior promenade view room because we wanted to experience that option. It was clean, but cramped (especially the bathroom and shower), but the worst experience was the rock-hard bed that prevented my wife from getting any sleep. We tried folding the comforter, and our room steward, Olivia, brought us another to assist in making it more comfortable for her, which improved things a little. However, Olivia was a bright spot, a very attentive crewmember who went above and beyond.
The embarkation/debarkation process was pretty quick, even though there was a port power outage when we disembarked. However, the port infrastructure is in poor shape, with major potholes on the roadway and lack of adequate drainage for the rainfall which can affect cars parked in the open air parking lot when the parking garage is full. Both Royal Caribbean and the State of New Jersey need to decide whether to make this a viable port and invest the necessary funding.
Although we had to transfer ashore via boats, it went very smoothly. We didn't do any excersions, just walked around town and then found a "local" restuarant away from the port for lunch, which made it more reasonable.
The zip-lining was excellent! Afterwards, we walked around the pier area, which was nice.View All 4 Zip-lining Reviews
Although it was cold and rainy, we still took the opportunty to get off the ship and walk around the town. It seemed like everyone from the ship was in the terminal building shopping, so we walked down the harbour walk to the maritime museum and saw the Titanic and the Halifax explosion exhibits. It was very reasonable priced and the staff directed us to a local pub for lunch (The Triangle), which was excellent.