Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Bryan7007
- Sail Date: December 2010
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
Our group flew from Miami to San Juan with out problem and caught a cab to the Marriott Stellaris Casino in Condado on Friday, Dec 24. We opted for beautiful rooms which had an incredible view of the beach and ocean... Well worth the extra money for the view as the rooms all have balconies. The hotel was gorgeous, the casino was fun, the bartenders sure made some good drinks, but the restaurants at the resort were terrible. There are a lot of great food choices right outside the hotel, it is better to eat outside than inside. AVOID THE POOL BAR AT ALL COSTS HERE! I have never experienced such terrible service in my life. After my order was taken (25 minutes after sitting down), the waiter came back an hour later to tell me that my order couldn't be made and handed us a check for the drinks.
After taking a cab from the hotel to the port (Cabs are very accessible and fairly inexpensive; I would recommend this over any transport arranged by the cruise line.) we got in a long line to drop our luggage off. We didn't receive any baggage tags from RCCL in advance, but were provided with ones at the port. (NOTE: To whoever is reading this at RCCL, please reinstate the mailing of Cruise Docs. Having to print everything online is incredibly obnoxious and is not "green", it just transfers the costs of printing to your customers.) After completing a public health survey, waiting in more lines and having our photos taken, we were finally onboard and proceeded to our staterooms.
Overall this was smooth, just note that a portion of the process is done outside. If it is very hot, bring some water.
Having sailed on the Explorer twice, this ship seemed very familiar to me. It is very large with over 3100 passengers and 1200 crew; however, the only two places that ever seemed crowded were the royal promenade (at night) and the frozen yogurt machine. (Please add another one!) The casino was of a good size and there were more bars than I could keep track of for the week. The best thing about this ship is that there really is something for everyone. RCCL always manages to take the cruise beyond shuffle board and an after dinner drink. There is rock climbing, mini golf, family pools, the solarium (an adults only pool with two large hot tubs), a sports bar, a small mall of duty free shops and bars. It was great for a large group like us as we could all do different things and enjoy ourselves. The shows were alright. We had a juggling act the first night and a stand up comedian the last night that I liked, but that was about it. The ice skating show was great though; make sure to get your tickets once onboard.
Just a note. I really didn't care, but as this was a New Year's Cruise, many people in my group and onboard were not pleased with the adequate coverage of Bowl Games. If you are going to die if you are not guaranteed a certain sporting event, Don't go.
Slow and Overpriced. RCCL has to fix this. They used to offer an unlimited in room package with an Ethernet cable for $120. Now it is all wifi and SLOW! It cost me $7 to update my facebook and scroll thru my email. Unacceptable.
We were in 8593 (Promenade) and 9558 (JS). The promenade room is fairly small, but manageable. Our steward was incredible and was always offering a helping hand when we needed it. (for 8593). I didn't stay in the JS, but it did look really nice. It was very large and had a double sized bathroom and a walk in closet. The balcony was also very large. We had no issues.
I personally felt that this was my best cruise for dining. Our table was located on the 4th floor right next to the balcony, so that we almost had our own private space. Jacob and Denise were excellent servers and were able to put up with a fairly demanding group! Our Head Waiter was also the best we had seen yet! After telling him that I have been to Delhi (Where he is from) he had the kitchen staff cook me a special Indian dish each night after that. He really went above and beyond! The food was alright and I really liked the small portion size.
I hate the windjammer. 'nuff said.
I did, however, like the 5th floor cafe promenade. The staff was friendly and helpful, and the food was also pretty good!
Also, for me, I did find it economical to purchase the Coke package on the first day.
Ports of Call:
St. Thomas: I spent the day in port enjoying the stores and hitting up a few bars. It was a nice enjoyable day. I also had to run to the airport to pick up friends who missed their flight to San Juan. Taxis in St Thomas are all shared. If you want a private cab it is really expensive and doesn't save much time. Also, taxi drivers here are quite "emotional" if you try to bargain with them.
St. Croix: Here we went to do the cruise line's excursion called Beach on the Cay. We drove about 45 minutes to sit on a beach. We were given a strange chair (NOT A CHAISE LOUNGE) and a free drink. It wasn't a very good value, but was convient.
St. Kitts: Here we all went on the Volcano Hike thru RCCL's excursions. WARNING: This is an intense excursion!! We went on a very rainy day and it was more of a mudslide than a hike. It was very dangerous, and it is nothing short of a miracle that no one was hurt. It really should have been cancelled. The guides were superb in dealing with disgruntled cruisers and the trail! RCCL recognized their bad and refunded us 50% of the cost of the ticket.
Dominica: The HiRopes HiHopes excursion is not just zip lining, but a ropes course. I enjoyed it, but not everyone did. If you are afraid of heights and other things, you are probably better sitting at the beach. We ate in town for lunch. Watch out for people who may harass you outside the port area. We had one man try to sell us "mud" and ask us to buy him booze. (This was more of a humorous experience than a scary one, don't be afraid, it seemed very safe). The shopping here is lacking, but the island is absolutely beautiful! It is one of my favorite Islands!
Barbados: We went to the Boatyard, which was a success! We just walked out of the port and asked for a cab to the boatyard, and with in 10 minutes, we were at this beach/bar/restaurant/facility. For $12 you get entrance, a drink, beach acess, water toys (i.e.: a giant trampoline). The bar is a lot of fun and fairly affordable. For entrance, you are also offered a chaise lounge, however, we showed up too late and didn't get any. This was ok as we just found a nice picnic table to sit at. Highly recommended for all ages and people! Just google them, they have a detailed website.
Disembarkation: We took a while to clear, but since my group was all Platinum, we got priority disembarkation. It probably took us 10 minutes from walking off the ship to the curb, where there are many taxis waiting.
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