Adventure of the seas
8N cruise Bahamas and perfect day
Stayed overnight at doubletree Hilton. Free airport shuttle and $25 to the port. Wasn't happy they threw my luggage in the back of their free airport shuttle and as only ... Read More
Adventure of the seas
8N cruise Bahamas and perfect day
Stayed overnight at doubletree Hilton. Free airport shuttle and $25 to the port. Wasn't happy they threw my luggage in the back of their free airport shuttle and as only 2 other people the bad slid around and was black not red! I still can't get it clean. Hotel excellent, and had swimming pool, cafe and Starbucks.
Cruise Check in was quite quick although the queue for security was long and this was 10.30am. Once onboard there was a long queue waiting for the buffet Windjammer restaurant to open. Best avoided so went to cafe on deck 5 for a cheese and ham sandwich instead. Signs at guest services saying no upgrades as full. I did receive several emails since I paid for my cruise asking me to bid for an upgrade so it would appear unlikely you would now get any free upgrades or be able to pay for any onboard, instead they will go to the highest bidder. I selected my balcony cabin location right by the elevators so didn't want the upgrade anyway.
Cabins opened just after 1pm. If you have ever bought a new build house you will understand what I mean when I say I then went on to 'snag' the room for issues. The TV volume would not turn down and was so loud I had to keep it off. The cabin steward said he has reported it but on day 2 I called maintenance myself and they sent an electrician within 30 minutes who advised it was a faulty cable. Several hours later after dinner they swapped the cable and it then worked fine. The sink tap was spraying water all over me as was probably clogged with lime scale and spraying everywhere, the cupboard door to the safe was loose on one of the hinges and almost fell off and one of the balcony chair seats was very dirty. The air con also doesn't seem to work properly either. Again my room steward said he reported these issues on day 1. On day 3 I rang maintenance again myself and within half an hour the tap spray was swapped and works perfectly now and he called a colleague who sorted the cupboard door also. Should I really have to do these things, I would suggest the room steward or supervisor should test these things. You should book my cabin 8622 I have had it fixed!
Surprisingly I didn't have to ask for my free drink and welcome gift for crown and anchor which I normally spend two days chasing so that was good.
I pre booked arcade credit as it came with a bonus amount so I had a letter in cabin to go to the arcade and dial a number. I did this and was told to just put my card in the machines and it will work out the credit. A nice man appeared and was very helpful, showed me how it all worked. A lot of machines were broken, poorly stocked or simply would not accept the sea pass card. You win tickets and can claim them at a machine in the arcade room on the last evening from 7pm. Needless to say we had to stand around waiting for someone else to arrive as the machine was broken! Then we had to wait whilst all the kids took forever choosing their prizes.
Casino credit - was told can use OBC in the casino at no charge. You transfer the money on the machines. They have instructions in the casino.
Unfortunately the casino was ruined by the smoking as usual. It goes through the whole casino and not just the smoking section. This is very poor RC. The staff are very unhappy here and are worried about the smoke to their health. People were using the casino as a smoking room instead of going outside. I walked through when it was closed and there were 2 people smoking.
Entertainment was good. Mix of dancers and comedians as well as a fabulous entertainer.
Dinner was busy in the windjammer most nights which is unusual. It was often busy but plenty of tables in the evening for those not wanting to go down to the restaurant.
I had to live on Frosted flakes for breakfast as there were no weetabx. They also had no salad cream which normally I manage to find a bottle hidden away. The restaurant manager told me they've never had it. My reply was that on my last 20+ cruises, I must have imagined it then! I struggled to find any cooked vegetables, broccoli some days but lots of fried food and potato wedges - same all week. It was much better last year.
Lovely man in the Windjammer looked after me and was very helpful. He even went to get me some French fries the last evening when they were not on the buffet.
Diamond lounge - lovely to see Christopher there again, nothing was too much trouble and he even helped me find something to do the last day whilst waiting all day for my flight. Buffet continental breakfast is served in the diamond lounge although they don't have cereal in there now so was a bit disappointed. Also no snacks during the say when I went in there. I guess it gets wasted so no point putting too much out but would have been nice to find a few cookies.
Diamond and above guests please note that guest services advised RC's new policy is to open all cans in the happy hour promotion (5-8pm offer). So where we get 3 X free drinks per day, if we choose to have soda cans, they now open them. I was given two cans of Coke Zero open which I then wasted as couldn't drink two at once. I like to save one for the next afternoon. Apparently they tell me they now open them so we don't give them away! I said look, I don't drink alcohol so I want my free cans of soda to enjoy when I like. If this is your new policy I will still give them away opened or waste them. I suggested RC stop those people who are costing them a fortune drinking for 3 solid hours alcohol at the free bar each night rather than worry about a few cans of soda. I am really cross having got to diamond plus I may now have to switch to P&O!!! The 3 free drinks is a perk I have spent a lot of money with RC to get.
Port info: Very little information on each port, maps were not given out unless you went to some sales talk! They just wanted to talk about the overpriced stores and bamboo sheets. I assume they get commission?
The Ship ha the usual merchandise, and overpriced general items. I even gave one guest some Ibuprofen for a headache as they were a small fortune in the shop. Usual $10 tat sale as I call it.
Day 3 Port Canaveral - very hot! Harmony of the Seas had taken the best dock right by the Exploratory Tower so we ended up too far away to walk to anything by the Port and certainly is this 90F plus heat. There was nothing you could walk to and one of the few attractions nearby was also closed Sunday's. I got off to check I hadn't missed anything but just got bombarded by these giant flies which were everywhere. If not been before, would have done the trip to Kennedy but as we did that in November we stayed on board. Disappointed we couldn't walk to anything. Other people cancelled their tours to Disney as it was just so oppressively hot. Found some people who went to Universal Studios and they said it was unbearable and couldn't queue in this heat.
Day 4 Miami - loads of cruise ships in port as you would expect. We docked on the starboard side, walked through the terminal to the HOHO buses. I booked this $49 tour on board as had lots of OBC otherwise would have bought cheaper on shore. Lots of people selling tours ashore and cheaper. They didn't tell us that we would queue for 45 minutes to get a bus that then dropped us off 5-10 mins away to then stand and wait for the proper bus to start the tour. We were left stood next to buses with engines running, it was so hot, 91F/33C in the shade plus the heat from the buses.
A lady then shouted we were in the line for the blue route and we would not get on the next bus so would have another 30 minutes to wait after the next one arrived, so she said we could queue for the red bus route and moved us further along. There was no organisation, it was a free for all when the bus came. Nobody dare get off as they knew they would not get a seat back. No air con downstairs, I guess as open top buses but very poor for a hot city. I wouldn't be surprised if people were unwell due to the heat. Even with the windows open downstairs there wasn't much of a cool breeze, in fact it was a warm breeze most of the time. Other than then beach and shops, there wasn't much to see. After the tour ended we had to get off the bus and wait another 20 minutes for the bus back to the Ship. Total waste of $49 as had been to Miami before. Took 4 hours to do nothing. I did give the diamond concierge feedback which he did log and I would have left it at that but as I was infuriated at being given two cans of coke open (total waste) I went to guest services to complain. The excursions manager did call me to discuss and offered a 50% refund which was fair.
Day 5 Nassau - docked furthest away so four ships in front of us. On the port side so I had a view of the ocean, ships the other side. I booked the morning essential Nassau tour in advance saved ten dollars. This was a fantastic tour. The only thing I was unhappy about was the man who decided to walk us from the furthest dock to the bus (a good 5-8 minute walk) just as the rain fell down. To say we were all soaked was really an understatement. I took out a cardigan to cover me but it was literally wringing wet. Needless to say the rain stopped after ten minutes and the man abandoned us for another ten minutes. Like they couldn't have waited for the heavy shower to pass! It took 2 hours to dry out.
We went to the rum cake factory, Atlantis, the rum factory and more, it was great. Restrooms at every place.
Had 3 other ships in with us so was busy around the shops/market right by the port. You can walk wall around this area. There is even a McDonalds just round the corner by the Hilton. Be prepared to haggle at the stalls though. Change was given in local currency at one of the shops on the tour so ask if paying cash whether it's USD change or Bahamas currency.
Day 6 the much talked about Perfect Day, Coco Cay
We docked on the left as you look at the island so the whole island was to the back of the ship as we had turned around. Grandeur was also in port. Little open mini buses took us from the ship exit to the island. They were driving a little fast! The water park looks amazing. There is also the balloon but it looked too swaying to tempt me. There are a number of shops in huts to the left of the island. Unfortunately I am very fair skinned to cannot stay out in the sun for more than a hour or so, even with factor 50 on. They were selling factor 70 and one lady factor 100 cream in the huts. There was very little shade on the island, some under the food places but not all tables were in the shade. Also you had to venture off the path through sand and sharp shells to find a table. They need to work on this which I'm sure they are doing.
Also all the restrooms all had queues for the ladies.
Enjoyed seeing the island but too hot for me and set my heat rash off!
Internet package $15.99 for the basic one device if purchased for the duration of the cruise, 24 hour pass gone up to $22.99. Slow connection but handy to keep in touch with family and friends. I tried to download the Uber app for cheaper taxi to the airport but the pictures where you have to select store fronts etc. just would not load as it was too slow speed.
Disembarkation - transfer to Newark airport it was $27.50 and left at 7.40am only! The excursions booklet had 2 X 4 hour tours leaving at 9.30am (note meeting time is 8.30 in lounges to get you out, collect luggage and through customs etc). At the back of the booklet it said have a late flight, after 3.30pm we have late tours - what they actually meant was the tours in the booklet would get you to the airport for flights after 3.30pm - total waste of time confusing people! They went on to do the same with just airport transfers saying if not in a hurry and flights after 3pm book a transfer to Newark ($27.95) or Times Square ($44.95)Again, they meant only one bus for each, both at 7.40am!!! Seriously! Excursion desk were not helpful at all. They offered no long tours or later tours and said latest time to get off her ship was 9.45am. I was going to book one of the tours but they were all cancelled as they didn't have enough people to run them. So, I was left with nothing to do and a flight at 10pm at night! RC were not helpful at all. I asked if there was luggage storage at the airport and they gave me a leaflet for storage in New York. I google one near the HOHO bus and it said sorry this location is temporarily closed. The rest appeared to be self storage. For those not knowing New York this was not good. Can someone please set up a business collecting luggage from the cruise ship on departure day and returning to the airport or nearby later. Surely a profitable business.
I opted to leave at 9.30am, but was told final call to leave around 8.30am. I was going to get a taxi but there was a shuttle for just $20. Ok, so it went to the Hilton and Best western first but didn't take long. Far cheaper than a taxi if just one person. Met a lovely family also from the UK on the shuttle. Worth noting you can get a day room for around $79 plus tax $90 if you have a late flight.
Newark Airport - Delta wouldn't let me check in nor offload luggage saying had to wait for virgin Atlantic (code share) staff at 5.30pm. No luggage storage they say after 9/11. However, I was able to walk all around the airport and get within 50 feet of aircraft on the AirTrain with a suitcase that had not been scanned/checked. This is really poor security. So I had 12 hours to kill before my flight. A lovely man in the shop suggested I take the shuttle outside P4 on the AirTrain to The Mills at Jersey Gardens shopping mall. I took the AirTrain around the terminals, just 2 stops and was at P4. The shuttle was outside waiting. $5 one way, $9 return. They accept luggage and even put it onboard for me. The mall is 10 minutes away, buses every half hour and he even gave me the timetable. It is huge! I never covered half. Really good prices and on designer stuff like handbags. I'm not a big shopping fan but really enjoyed this. Luckily I had my suitcase so wedged some things in!
Another option with a late flight is to take the train to Manhattan. Follow signs to AirTrain at Newark airport and buy a ticket at the machine right at the AirTrain entrance (I think they were orange/blue). Buy a ticket to New York Penn station (not Newark Penn station). This ticket will cover both the AirTrain and the N Transit train.
Take the AirTrain to Newark Liberty International Airport AirTrain station. Takes 10 mins max. Then get off the AirTrain and get on the NJ Transit train going to New York Penn Station. There are signs at the station. Download a map online. Once there, you can either walk around or get the underground to the main sights. You may be able to find a luggage storage location! Read Less