Family and I love cruising and do so often. I've been cruising since I was a teen and have continued that tradition with my family. (My kids are now teens themselves - how is that possible?!)
We've cruised Royal Caribbean many times, last time on the Anthem. It was nice to go back to the smaller ship. We love the layout of the Adventure and ships similar to her.
Overall, the ship is in great shape! We stayed in an inside Promenade room, which was roomy albeit compact. Beds were fine, although a bit on the firm/hard side. Plenty of room for storage and sitting.
Entertainment options left much to be desired. We caught a movie out on deck and the ice show. The sound mixing in the ice show was horrible, which made it less than enjoyable. Skaters were good, although they made a few mistakes. But, hey, I can't even stand in skates forget about doing tricks on a moving ship! ;) The rest of the shows were not of much interest. We did trivia once, which was a lot of fun. If you decide to participate, get there EARLY or you won't have anywhere to sit.
Staff service was a mixed bag. Some bartenders were great - happy, friendly, and served good drinks. Others seemed to be in a bad mood and were inconsistent with their drinks. There was a bartender just outside of the 5th floor dining room who remembered our names by the third evening. Asked hubby for me by name when he went to get an after dinner drink without me!
Our waiter in the main dining room was outstanding! Attentive and went out of his way to help with special requests. Truly made it memorable!
First time ever I have negative feelings about our stateroom attendant. She never introduced herself, we got towel animals one night only, and she often forgot stuff (like making one of the beds without a top sheet over the duvet!). She was usually fine with towels, emptying garbage, and making beds, so I guess it was sufficient. I just missed the chatting and kindness of previous attendants. (Even when we passed her in the hallway and said hello, she barely cracked a smile.)
The food was a bit of a disappointment this time around. Promenade pizza was actually pretty good and perhaps one of the highlights. It had a crispy crust with decent sauce and cheese. The sandwiches were repeated fairly regularly and weren't very good. For instance, the salami sandwich had one slice of salami folded, a few shreds of iceberg lettuce, and a glob of mayo. I took to asking for extra salami and prosciutto and scraping off the mayo.
Windjammer breakfast was lame. They had a buzzer system to get your omelette when it was ready, which was nice. But the omelette was meh. For ham, they used this minced ham meat which had horrible texture. The biscuits looked worse than something you'd find out of a can in the fridge section of your mega mart. The potato patties were ok, sometimes greasy/soggy, but definitely something pre-done and frozen. You could grab eggs over easy, which was nice. And the toast station women were great.
Lunch and dinner at Windjammer were pretty repetitive. At lunch it was hamburgers, hot dogs, and pastas, with a salad bar and then a few other items. The carving station meats were usually painfully dry. Dinner each night had a theme, but nothing really stood out. It was seemed like institutional food. Missing from previous cruises were the interesting Asian hot sauces. In fact, sometimes along the buffet line there were empty bowls labeled for a sauce that was nowhere to be found.
We did lunch once in the dining room, because I HAVE to have my Tutti Frutti salad. That didn't disappoint! The burger from the menu was unimpressive. It was supposed to have sauteed mushrooms, and there were two small slices. They also had a steak and egg station and small buffet in addition to the items on the menu. It was a nice change to be (mostly) served and sit and relax as opposed to the hustle and bustle of the Windjammer at lunch.
Dinner in the dining room was hit and miss. Some items were ahhhhmazing (lamb chops, garlic shrimp, and cilantro crusted cod come to mind) and others were meh to forgettable. There were a lot more "standard" choices on the menus than our previous cruises. In fact, dessert menu was fairly standard with one regular item and one sugar free item changing daily. Having said that, the apple pie and cheesecake were OUT OF THIS WORLD.
Ports of call included Bermuda, Nassau, and Coco Cay. We've been to Bermuda a bunch of times, and due to yucky weather and a broken foot, decided to forgo the beach day, shop a bit in town, and enjoy the quiet pace of life on an empty ship. In Nassau we took the Tru Bahamian Food Tour (not through RC). We've done food tours before, and love how it really gives you a "taste" of the islands/ports. This one was disappointing, though. Our tour guide was sweet, but didn't share as much as we expected. And some of the tastes and stops were unimpressive. (For instance, one stop was a rum cake shop where we heard a few minutes about rum and got the same samples people off the street can get.)
Coco Cay was fun! We were impressed with the island overall. Definitely hit the snack shack for their crispy chicken sandwich. We didn't eat at the buffet, but it was soooo much nicer than what they put out in Labadee (the other private beach stop). DH and DD did jet skis and had a blast. It must have been low tide, as we saw much greenery coming out of the water, so we spent our time at the lagoon. The front area is super crowded and loud, but the back area was nice. Bartenders at a few of the bars had trouble keeping up with the orders, so there were long waits. Towel exchange guy was less than friendly, and didn't want to give up his towels. Shopping was overpriced touristy stuff, and I missed the interesting crafts and artwork found in Labadee shopping.
Embarking and disembarking were easy enough. Don't bother going straight to Windjammer on embarkation day - the line was out the door and down the halls! They must have realized this is a problem, as they had a burger station by the Promenade Cafe.
Our favorite thing to do was to find a quiet area and play cards, chat, read, and relax. Viking Crown Lounge was great for that! And you can also find nooks and crannies in other places on the ship.
Just before our trip we read about Cruising Ducks (see FB Original Cruising Ducks). We hid about a dozen, but saw two scooped away by staff. We bumped into someone one day holding our duck, and we were sooo excited! Hope others found some, too. And we even found one! This was super fun and exciting!
Final word of caution is to check your statements. We were charged for two un-returned pool towels. We used towels twice -- once by the pool on ship in Bermuda and once for Coco Cay. Each time they swiped our cards in and out, but the pool towel people never looked fully alert or interested in their jobs. It took two visits and a call to Guest Services to get the charge removed. Not the most fun thing to do on your last day of vacation!
All in all, it was a fabulous family cruise!
We had adjoining promenade cabins, which is great for a family of four. Our view wasn't as fabulous as previous cruises (we got to watch Guest Services), but they also had less parades and whatnot, so we didn't miss much. The rooms were clean and well/simply appointed. Slight stain on one of the couches, but the carpet was in very good condition. Plenty of space store all sorts of stuff. Like the sitting area. Mattress was a bit on the firm/hard side, but not a big problem. Used to have more TV options for relaxing in bed and getting ready for the day or dinner. They had a kids channel and lots of RC promo channels. Sports and news were also available.
The port itself is nice, but the line to get to the ship was insane. It was almost an hour of sitting in traffic. When we got to the front, noticed they weren't using all drop off areas effectively.
Tour guide seemed to lack experience and knowledge. Some stops were longer than they needed to be, especially without information. Choice of foods either didn't really represent island or the information wasn't clear. We read reviews before booking, and it seems there is a more experienced guide who would have shared more about the culture and history of the island. We had fun, but it was disappointing.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Tour guides were great, and it was a lot of fun.View All 52 Wave Jet Reviews