The food was mediocre. It was mostly flavorless. The cabin was small. The Fridge didnt keep anything cold. I am Not even sure if it was even working. The entertainment was amateurish. No name entertainers. The singer was a back up ... Read More
The food was mediocre. It was mostly flavorless. The cabin was small. The Fridge didnt keep anything cold. I am Not even sure if it was even working. The entertainment was amateurish. No name entertainers. The singer was a back up singer for bigger names. The comedian was a has been second rate actor from the 90s. The service was average. We chose "my time" dining but it wasn't. They told us we needed to go to dinner at 8pm every night. And service was slow and they made mistakes. As a result we missed the shows. The smoke from the casino wafted throughout the ship. And you could not go from the dining room to the theater without going through the casino. The ports were short. We had to be back on the ship by 4:30 each day. We couldn't eat dinner at our destinations. They screwed up the billing and we had to go to guest services twice. Boring cruise. Read Less
We chose this cruise because my husband and I needed a very relaxing vacation. Our winter, spring and summer had been very chaotic due to family illness. With that being said, we were excited to be going out of Cape Liberty, no need to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husband and I needed a very relaxing vacation. Our winter, spring and summer had been very chaotic due to family illness. With that being said, we were excited to be going out of Cape Liberty, no need to fly. We've cruised on Royal Caribbean ships quite a few times. Upon boarding, sea pass cards are not given out anymore. You are given a piece of paper with your reservation number, name and cabin number. The seapass cards are left on your cabin door. It was nice to get through check in fast and easy. Onto the ship we went to the buffet on deck 11. It was only 12:00 noon and the line to get into the buffet was long, winding around passed the elevators making it difficult to exit the elevators, with no ship staff directing guests. We quickly left the area and went to the Atrium floor to have cold hot dogs and hamburgers, along with dried out pizza. Next we went to our cabin, where the steward greeted us. However, there were no key cards on our door. We showed the steward our reservation and cabin number. He told us it was not our cabin, another passenger was in the room. We became a little distraught and insisted that there was a mistake. He knocked a few times and an older, disheveled lady came to the door. He asked that she present her seapass card, while she insisted that she was in the correct cabin. Turns out that she had our seapass cards in hand with our credit card number, had already used the bed and ate from a plate of cookies left for us in the cabin. The steward asked her to leave the cabin, which she did. My husband and I asked for a supervisor of housekeeping to speak with and told the steward to reclean the room. He wanted to leave the cookies for us, but we insisted he remove the plate. We cannot understand how this lady who was in a cabin on another floor, took the envelope with our names off the door and made such a cabin error. Royal Caribbean's new practice of leaving seapass cards on cabin doors with vital credit card and ID info is extremely irresponsible and an unsafe practice. Not a good introduction to a vacation on a Royal Caribbean ship. We reported the incident to guest relations and they tried to gloss over our bad experience by offering us a box of chocolate strawberries which we never received. Eventually 3 days after sailing and reminding them about the chocolates did they bring us a bottle of wine.
Our waiter and bus boy were terrific each night. We went to the dining room one morning for breakfast. We waited forever for our orders to be taken. We received our food cold at different times. Not sure if waiter staff were new and being trained, but have never experienced such impersonal service on a Royal Caribbean ship before. The entertainment was decent, however, the first late night comedian swore a lot, and we did not find him too funny. The piano player in the bar area each night was the best on board. Everyone who passed by stopped to listen, and all in the bar area sang along to his songs. The casino was cramped and full of smoke from cigarettes. Poorly ventilated and we never used the casino due to the awful smoke-filled air. The port of St. John was okay. Bought a trolley car excursion through the ship to Bay of Fundy, but didn't think there was much reversing of the falls. We were also not told marketplace would close early because it was Labor Day. Our tour guide told us we could get off at the marketplace but would have 5 minutes to shop. Bar Harbor was quite nice. Tendered over and walked through the town. Lots of restaurants and shops. Had a wonderful lobster roll at Testa's on the main street, overlooking the harbor. We enjoyed Halifax. Walked from the ship along boardwalk to the Maritime Museum where they have a huge exhibit of the Titanic and the disaster of the Titanic's sinking. There were exhibits of ships from WWII and Korean War as well. Very interesting museum and no need to take a tour through the ship. Very walkable with chairs/benches along the way. Embarkation was easy and quick at Port Liberty. Collected luggage. Face recognition through Customs. Walked off into parking garage, which was a big plus. We were surprised by the lack of caring presented by the ship's crew. It seemed that most of the crew did little to make us feel the cruising experience was more than okay. If we had not cruised before on Royal Caribbean , we wouldn't have known how unusual this crusing experience was on this sailing. Read Less
Where do I begin? My wife and I just returned from a six night sailing on Adventure of the Seas. This was her 12th cruise and my 10th. We've sailed NCL, RCI, Carnival and Celebrity. Of all the ships we've been on, Adventure ... Read More
Where do I begin? My wife and I just returned from a six night sailing on Adventure of the Seas. This was her 12th cruise and my 10th. We've sailed NCL, RCI, Carnival and Celebrity. Of all the ships we've been on, Adventure is my favorite without a doubt. We booked this trip when we were on Enchantment last September. I was excited about trying a Vision class ship because it has all the amenities of the Freedom class ships but is slightly smaller. Adventure, as far as I'm concerned, is nearly perfect. It's beautiful and in great condition inside and out.
We stayed at the Newark airport Doubletree which was ideal. Uber to the port cost us a total of $16.00 and it simply could not have been easier. We walked out of the Uber, through the terminal and were on the ship within 10 minutes. I thought Port Canaveral was easy but Bayonne is even more so.
I figured out a few cruises ago that wearing swim trunks onto the ship means I can jump on the slides and the Flow Rider while everyone else is in the Windjammer. I got to spend nearly an hour by myself flow riding in the back of the ship before lunch! (I'm 50, BTW!)
We had My Time Dining with a reservation each night at 5:15. Our MDR servers were Danny and Rudolfo - both terrific - and we enjoyed them more and more as the week went on. Food was very good. RCI's food isn't our favorite but it's very tasty and of course, I left more than full every night! Nicole at the check-in stand was delightful and started the dinner experience off on the right note every night. There was only one formal night on the cruise and although we brought clothes for it, we didn't feel like changing so we opted for dinner that night in the Windjammer.
Speaking of the Windjammer, I have to say it was spacious and very well organized. I was a bit surprised that it closed relatively early each night but pizza and other tasty things were available 24/7 on the Promenade (another feature of the ship we loved). Overall, the Windjammer exceeded my expectations and the staff there was very accommodating. They have packed the space tight with tables and it was often crowded. Still, it was well organized. We happened to go upstairs one night only to stumble upon the chocolate fountain and dessert bar. They never advertised it but I guess we just got lucky. I probably consumed 5000 extra calories that night!
I did use the fitness center each day and was pleased that it opened on time daily. Unlike other ships, it was never packed and the machines were in good condition.
Our stateroom was 9307 and Kevin, our attendant, did an excellent job taking care of us. We seldom ran into him but he knew our names when we did. We have grown accustomed to interior cabins because the cost savings allow us to cruise more often. The room was cool and dark when we needed it to be. There isn't a lot of space but it had everything we needed. The bathroom was tiny but also provided us with everything we needed. Overall, we were very pleased with the room and our towel animals!
Entertainment was very good. The singers were better than most and the variety of shows was strong. There were two comedians on the ship - one early and one late in the cruise. We attended the family friendly shows but not the adult versions because for us, that gets old quickly. The one show I did not care for was Impact. They are three dancers/singers who do a high energy show. The audience seemed to love them but that kind of entertainment just isn't my thing. The Adventure of the Seas band was excellent.
Our ports of call were St. John, Bar Harbor and Halifax. In St. John we did the pink hop on hop off bus which was great. It was just enough and the drivers/narrators were excellent. Honestly, we weren't taken with the city but the cooler temperatures and length of our 90 minute tour were ideal. Bar Harbor is fantastic - but crowded. It was the only one of the three ports where we were with another ship - the Queen Mary 2. It made for a lot of people in a small space. We took an Olley's Trolley tour to the top of Mount Cadillac and the views were spectacular. The driver/narrator was excellent there as well. Some people raved about the tender boats and others complained because they were too big and it took a long time to board. For us, it wasn't an issue. I don't really mind tendering. It's an adventure in itself. We did schedule a RCI excursion to Peggy's Cove in Halifax. It was a 3.5 hour tour - most of which was spent on the bus. Our tour guide was excellent but with only 55 minutes to spend exploring Peggy's Cove (charming but a place I don't need to visit again) it was a long morning.
The weather was nearly perfect with 65 degree temps throughout the entire voyage. The two things that surprised me about Adventure were no outdoor seating in the Windjammer and a greater degree of smoking on the pool deck in addition to the casino. However, overall, Adventure, with it's interior and exterior beauty, spectacular venues and outstanding staff made for one of our best cruises yet. Unlike many other ships on which we've sailed, the CD, Drew, was low key and excellent. So often CD's tend to be spotlight hungry and over the top. Drew was neither.
Disembarkation was easier than embarkation! We prefer self assist and left our stateroom (sadly) at 7:16 a.m. We were off the ship in five minutes and at the Newark airport before 8:00 a.m.! Honestly, the ease and simplicity of the on and off process at Bayonne makes me want to find other sailings from the port. And it didn't hurt that we sailed passed the Statue of Liberty and under the Verrazzano bridge!
All in all, I highly recommend Adventure of the Seas. I would sail her again tomorrow and will most certainly look for other cruises on Vision class ships. Read Less
Just went on Adventure of the Seas to Maine and Canada. Just loved this cruise! Aside from the excellent ports-of-call, the ship was also great.
Though not a new ship, it was very well maintained. Our accessible room was very ... Read More
Just went on Adventure of the Seas to Maine and Canada. Just loved this cruise! Aside from the excellent ports-of-call, the ship was also great.
Though not a new ship, it was very well maintained. Our accessible room was very spacious, and our stateroom attendant kept it very clean and accommodated all of our requests.
We enjoyed the shows, and especially the ice show.
We thought that the food was excellent in the main dining room. The service was also excellent, with the wait staff going out of their way to please us.
Our one complaint was that there were no excursions offered for individuals in wheelchairs. There were many onboard using wheelchairs and scooters and in all 3 ports, not one accessible tour was offered. RCI needs to do better here and pay more attention to all of its guests.
Overall, and excellent cruise and we loved the ship!! Would go on it again. Read Less
We wanted a port in which we could drive to and this one was good for us. We had never cruised and wanted something classy yet fun, and Royal Caribbean seemed to fit that bill. We love history, so a New England/Canada cruise was another ... Read More
We wanted a port in which we could drive to and this one was good for us. We had never cruised and wanted something classy yet fun, and Royal Caribbean seemed to fit that bill. We love history, so a New England/Canada cruise was another plus for us newbies.
PARKING: We chose to save $30 and park off site, I would NOT do that again. While we had no problems, it was a hassle leaving to come home and we had to wait for vans to show up. Next time, we part at the port.
Main Dinning Room: We LOVED it and the food. My wife is Gluten-Free and allergic to egg. The chief was great and catered to her needs, made her a special soup, special dessert and was very helpful. A+++ to the dinning staff.
CHOPS: We really liked it, we had a 3 night specialty dinning package. I would probably NOT do that again as we liked the MDR. But this was our first cruise. The food was very good, the waiter is okay. My steak was a little over cooked, but the sides and dessert was great. Loved it.
GIOVANNI'S TABLE: We ate here twice, and their steak was better, in my opinion, than Chops Grille. The service was very good, but the small dinning room with glass windows was just more elegant than Chops. Again, we really liked it, but would not have to do this on every cruise.
WINDJAMMER: We disliked the buffet. But then again, we were looking for more than just a quick bite to eat and run to something else. For us, it was fine, but over crowded, difficult to find a seat, and getting drinks were not easy. We chose to only eat there for 2 breakfasts and one lunch.
CASINO: Very very smokey. I don't gamble much, but would not stay there because one night you literally looked through a fog of smoke. Just too much for me and I am fairly tolerant of smoking.
ENTERTAINMENT: We do have a fairly strong moral viewpoint in life and the comedy wanted to push the envelope. While we did 4 shows they were not great in our opinion, but we know this as very personal taste kind of thing. The ICE SHOW was great. Read Less
We flew into Newark 2 days prior to departure and stayed in New York City both nights. The morning of the cruise, we took an Uber XL (lots of luggage) from Manhattan to the port around 11:00 am arriving about 12:15 pm. Delayed about 30 ... Read More
We flew into Newark 2 days prior to departure and stayed in New York City both nights. The morning of the cruise, we took an Uber XL (lots of luggage) from Manhattan to the port around 11:00 am arriving about 12:15 pm. Delayed about 30 minutes with backup at port. We had 4 in our group and paid $125 with tip.
Once we dropped bags off with the porter, we were inside in just a few minutes. Cabins were not available until 1:30 pm (Doors were actually closed not allowing access to cabin hallways. Things seemed a bit overwhelming for the cabin steward in our section the first day to the extent we gathered up our own luggage from the hallway in a different section of the boat. Overall the steward in our area wasn’t around much or “Happy Happy” like we are used to. One day he totally missed cleaning our travel companions’ cabin and we were without wash cloths and bath mat a day. We wondered if he had more cabins to take care of than he could handle.
We carried on a 6 pack of coke and a dozen small waters with no problem. Also bought 2 bottles of wine (each couple) while in NY and carried those on. If you pack wine separately in a couple of carry-on bags, I think 4 would be easy to bring on.
The wines were taken to the Main Dining Room and we were NOT charged a corkage fee nor were our travel partners charged. The Dining Room saved our wine for the next day’s dinner like other ships.
We had an inside cabin on deck 9 cabin 9139. We hadn’t had an inside cabin for a long time and wanted to see if we were satisfied as the cost is well below the balcony. The inside cabins on the Anthem are different than most ships; there is an interior hallway between the balcony cabins with inside cabins either side. The cabin was very tight along the bed and walls, maybe 12” or less clearance. On one side you have to step around the dresser making it very tight. The virtual portal screen is ok but more of a gimmick than a clear view however it was nice to see if you were docked at port without looking it up on the TV. The cabin had plenty of storage (always need more hangers) and the bathroom with a curved shower door was fine. The phone was on night stand on the tight side of the bed making answering it a chore. There are 2 outlets and 2 USB ports at the desk and an outlet at each nightstand light. There is only one chair to sit (no sofa) and one small desk chair thus one of us had to always be on the bed. The TV is on a side wall and you can only watch from one side of the bed and at that you are at an angle. Found out on day 8 that the TV swung out on one side some which made it a little better. Layout of room isn’t optimal.
If you use a walker or a CPAP machine or need a large night stand this room will not work for you.
We purchased the BOGO dining package and ate at Jamie Oliver’s on Day 1. Had a good dinner with everyone ordering the lamb which was excellent. We had a number of appetizers (the meat board was to die for) and some pasta side dishes.
Had dinner at Chops as our 2nd BOGO dinner. Food was very good and service was good, but maybe a little slow. We spent a little over 2 hours and were close time wise getting to show. Most at our table had bone-in ribeye which was tasty, several around us had filets and said they were good as well. Would not recommend the salmon. Sides were good and portions were reasonable. As appetizers we had crab cake and shrimp cocktail both of which were tasty. For dessert recommend the key lime pie or red velvet cake. As a bit of a negative my wife and I both had cramps during the night.
We paid $50.00 each for the BOGO dinners and felt it was a great price, for us paying full price would have felt like too big of an up charge. The only drawback was your dinners had to be on Day 1 and Day 2 – no exceptions.
The main dining room menu was a bit limited, but food was well cooked and tasty for the most part. Not many long lines at our times which was mostly at 7:15. We ate breakfast at the main dining room most days where you have a lot of buffet items plus menu service. We ate breakfast and lunch at Two70 and the Solarium Café. Both were ok with limited menu. Pizza at Sorrento's was good and the hotdogs at the Sportsplex were tasty. Would not recommend Two70 for breakfast unless you want a bagel not toasted and very limited toppings.
On the “At Sea” days we mainly spent out time in the Solarium which was an adult only area with pool, hot tubs, café, tables and chairs all enclosed behind glass. Since it was cooler weather when we went it was nice being in there but I would imagine it gets pretty hot on a hot summer day. My wife and her cousin used one of the Solarium area tables to play Mah Jongg. There seemed to be a good number of people playing card games, etc. Actually, they could use more tables for this activity. We got a Scrabble game from Guest Services one day to play at an “at sea” day. If the Library doesn’t have any games left to use, you can get more from Guest Services.
The entertainment on the ship was in my opinion “fair”. Some nights there just wasn’t anything to do except an activity in the Music Hall which didn’t have enough seats for very many passengers. We really enjoyed “We Will Rock You” – it is a must see. The show The Gift was just hard to understand but the singing was good. Everyone seemed to be confused about this production. The Spectrum Show at Two70 was very high energy and interesting. Those were the three shows you had to make reservations. They had a couple of comedians that were pretty good
The old dress codes have been changed on the Anthem. “Formal” nights are now ”dress your best” which equates to smart casual. The rest of the nights everything from blue jeans up is acceptable. They say no shorts, but we saw many diners in shorts. It would be nice if the Anthem let you know this ahead of time as their itinerary still shows “Formal” night. We knew someone that was on the ship the week prior and she clued us in on this. Some people still dress up formally but most not. Nice not having to pack a sports coat.
We noticed that “Star” guests are given preferential treatment on the ship with reserved seats in the theatre, special time for the North Star Ride, etc. I don’t know how much of an up charge they pay, but in the old days it was first come first serve basis.
There were plenty of chairs on the open decks, not exactly at the pool but close enough. Our early September cruise had cooler weather and we had an older population on the ship so the pools were not overly crowded. The ship has lots of things to do at the Sportsplex on Deck 15 with bumper cars, roller skating, ping pong, X-box, basketball, rock wall and Rip Cord I-Fly. On the other end of the ship is the North Star which is a glass enclosed viewing boom. It seems that 10-16 year olds or so could have a good time on the deck 15 area, our cruise had very few young adults. All these activities are at no additional cost. Reservations are required for the I-Fly and the North Star.
The two ladies in our group did the Rip Cord I-Fly that last day of the cruise. They really enjoyed it and the instructor is inside to make sure you are safe.
In Boston and Portland ports we had friends who showed us around. We did rent a car at Portland from Enterprise who picked us up at the pier just like their ad stated and returned us to the port after we returned the car. Walked the Freedom Trail in Boston as well as other area and drove to Kennebunkport (45 minutes) when we were at Portland.
In Bar Harbor we did a 2 1/2 hour tour of Arcadia Park with Olies Trolleys. This was a great tour with our driver (Dennis) who gave a lot of historical information. Afterward we had a lobster roll at Side Street Cafe, was good but pricey at $30.00 for the lobster roll and a cup of chowder.
In St. John, NB we rented an Avis car and drove to St. Andrews for the Jolly Breeze whale watching Tall Ship 3.5 hour tour. Avis was a 2 minute walk from the ship followed by a 1 hour drive to St. Andrews. The rental car was $55 US and the Jolly Breeze about $55 US. We had a good trip on the tall ship and did see 3 or 4 different whales along with porpoises, bald eagles and other wild life. The crew was very informative and worked hard throughout the cruise. The ride on the boat was very smooth and comfortable. The downside was we lost an hour due to time change and then had to be up early to get rental car and drive to St. Andrews, so we were from 8:00 am till about 3:30 pm to catch 8 or 10 glimpses of whales. Whales were not breaching.
At Halifax, NS we did a tour with Aberdeen Charter Tours that included a tour of Halifax and Peggy’s Cove. The tour guide, Jonathan, did a wonderful job. The tour lasted almost 5 hours and was very interesting. Cost was $55.00 Canadian about $42.00 US plus tip.
Departure was reasonably easy, we had luggage tag in the last group and were called at 9:15 am. Getting luggage was easy and we were outside by about 9:30. No Uber XL available, so we got a Lyft XL ride by 9:55 am and were at Newark airport by 10:15 am. Cost was $38.00 including tip. We don’t know if the area outside the terminal would have been more hectic if we had disembarked earlier or not. But when we got outside it was crowded but not overly congested and easy to spot your Lyft/Uber driver. Read Less
My family and I embarked on this ship on August 17th, 2019 for a 6 night Canada/New England cruise. This was our 5th cruise overall, but our 2nd with Royal. Our first cruise with Royal was back in 2005 on the Voyager of the Seas for our ... Read More
My family and I embarked on this ship on August 17th, 2019 for a 6 night Canada/New England cruise. This was our 5th cruise overall, but our 2nd with Royal. Our first cruise with Royal was back in 2005 on the Voyager of the Seas for our honeymoon. Since then, we have tried a couple of other cruise lines, and we must say it was fantastic to return to Royal this time around and find out for ourselves that we still enjoyed the Royal experience as much as the other lines we have tried in the past few years. The service was impeccable, beginning with our room steward, as well as with the main dining room staff. We are a family of 4, my husband and I and our 2 children sailed with us, ages 9 and 11. Our stateroom was #1690, which was an aft balcony. We spent much of our time here, in between busy mornings either out on an excursion on a port day, or participating in onboard activities. The balcony was spacious, and the previous reviews I had read about soot from smokestacks leaving residue on the aft balcony did not bother us one bit. Mid way through the cruise on a port day the crew actually notified us they would be cleaning the balcony, of which they did. The sail away views from each port were breathtaking on our balcony and made the experience in having booked this stateroom worth it. Based on reviews we had read about complaints that the main dining room quality of food had gone down, my husband and I disagree. We have sailed 2 other lines in the past 5-7 years and we feel that all the lines are moving towards the same changes, but we do not feel quality of food has gone down in the main dining rooms. In fact, we were quite satisfied with both quality of food, amount of food choices, and quality of service in the complimentary dining venues onboard this ship. Ports of call included Bar Harbor, St. John New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia. We did 2 shore excursions through the cruise line on this sailing and neither disappointed. We did the Acadia National Park and Lobster Bake in Bar Harbor. This was a fantastic taste of the area being it was our first time here. A beautiful port. We did the hop on/hop off pink bus tour in St. John, as our time in port was a bit shorter than what we had hoped for. We left port by 3pm and so had to be onboard for 2:30 that day. Regardless, the hop on and hop off bus gave us a nice taste of the major highlights of the area. We did end up visiting the reversing rapids and paid extra to experience the SkyWalk which was neat.Overall, we were satisfied with this entire cruise, the ports, and the service. Again, despite certain signs of the ship showing its age, and despite the fact this ship is a bit smaller than the megaships we have sailed in the last 5 years, we felt we enjoyed this cruise very much. Even our kids agreed. Read Less
We just came back from our first cruise ever and Adventure of the Seas met our expectations. We had the spacious balcony Stateroom deck 8. It is very convenient if we wanted to walk up 3 levels to deck 11 for the buffet- Windjammer or walk ... Read More
We just came back from our first cruise ever and Adventure of the Seas met our expectations. We had the spacious balcony Stateroom deck 8. It is very convenient if we wanted to walk up 3 levels to deck 11 for the buffet- Windjammer or walk down 3 levels- deck 5 for the Royal Promenade. The ship is beautifully and well maintained. We ate at the Main Dining Room early every night and went up to the buffet later for deserts. We decided to have early dinner 5:30 pm so we could do any shows, activities at night. It worked out perfectly. The food at the Main dining room and the buffet is good. I am a picky eater but I always find something that I enjoyed. We didn’t buy the drink package because we don’t drink enough to justify the price. My husband had a beer and my son had a mock tail every dinner. With the onboard credit $100, I ended up paying $5 for the drink on this trip. The entertainment is good. We like the comedy shows and the ice show. We did one trivia at the Imperial Lounge one night about Superhero & Villains. It was fun. My son likes the rock climbing wall, Flowrider. We saw so many amazing sunset on this trip. The staffs were friendly and dedicated. We tipped them a little extra for our room attendant and the two waiters in the Main Dining room. We bought the Key program and it did enhanced our experience. We will absolutely pay extra for the Key program on our next cruise. We like our first cruise experience and plan to do another in 2021. Read Less
We recently returned from the 6 day Canada & New England Cruise (7/20/19- 7/26/19).
We are in our late 40's with a teenage daughter. This was our 2nd time on the Adventure of the Seas (we had been on the ship in 2003), ... Read More
We recently returned from the 6 day Canada & New England Cruise (7/20/19- 7/26/19).
We are in our late 40's with a teenage daughter. This was our 2nd time on the Adventure of the Seas (we had been on the ship in 2003), we've also sailed the Liberty of the Seas (2010) and Anthem of the Seas (2018), and this was our first Canadian/NE cruise. For perspective, we've also cruised on HAL, Celebrity and NCL.
We spent a few days in NYC prior to the cruise, and we hired a car to take us to Bayonne. Traffic on a Saturday morning was relatively light (and our driver stopped in Jersey City where we bought two bottles of wine). The entire drive from Chinatown to the port (including the 10 minute stop at the liquor store) was 45-55 minutes.
It took us maybe 20 minutes from the time we arrived at the port (11 am) to board (and getting off the ship yesterday was almost as fast).
On embarkation day it seems the Windjammer is always crazy busy and this time was no different, we just skipped lunch rather than fight the crowds.
We left Bayonne at the height of a heatwave (temps on 6/20 in NYC were in the upper 90's), I had been reading the CC messages boards trying to figure out how cold it would be on this cruise - turns out there was only one day where I needed a sweatshirt or sweater (temps in the mid 60's), all the other days on this cruise were in the low to mid 70's (which for me is t-shirt weather). We had (very light) rain for part of two days so a raincoat was a good thing to have.
There was one formal night (second night of the cruise). Most of the other passengers were relatively casually dressed (we saw very few tuxedos), most ladies in sun dresses, and men in button down shirts (a few, but not many, in sport coats).
We booked a corner Aft balcony (1388) on Deck 10 (the corner balcony rooms with extra room in both the cabin and balcony and the pole in the middle of the cabin). We were right under the Windjammer, and although I was nervous about noise from the Windjammer, it was minimal (I heard it once, my husband reported hearing some foot traffic a few times). The room was HUGE (compared to the size of a standard balcony room). Our teenage daughter slept on the pull out couch, and even with her bed made up there was lots of room for all 3 of us. The (very small) downside was that while on the balcony I could always hear the music from the Flow Rider (Deck 12?), and sometimes we could feel the engines. Even with those small issues we'd gladly book this room again. Our room steward (Omega) was fantastic.
We were traveling with extended family (9 of us total), and we had chosen the My Time Dining Option. We found out that seating for 9 on the My Time Dining was available at 5:30 or 8PM (only) which was a letdown as we had been hoping to eat around 6:30.
My husband and I purchased the Classic Soda Package - there are two of the Freestyle Coke machines in the Windjammer and two more on Deck 5 (on the Promenade). One of the two machines (port side) in the Windjammer was broken all week - on the port days, only the aft side of the Windjammer was open (and the Windjammer bar was closed) so no soda was available in the Windjammer those days. Normally that wasn't a big deal for me, but I had broken my ankle 2 weeks before the cruise and thus walking was a bit of an issue.
Food in the MDR was hit or miss - the prime rib was great whereas the fish of the day was a letdown as was the pasta carbonara (no biggie, just ask the waiter for something else and they gladly bring it to you). I requested an extra side of vegetables each night (and by the end of the cruise all my table mates did the same as the vegetables were all cooked perfectly).
We ate dinner at Giovanni's one evening and we thought it would be similar to Jamie's Table (on the Anthem). Although our waiter in Giovanni's was great, the food wasn't anywhere near as good as the food we had at Jamie's (on the Anthem) in 2018.
The Windjammer closed at 9am each night, so if you're looking for anything to eat after that time you need to either go to the 5th floor (Cafe Promenade - free) or order room service ($7.95). There is also a Ben & Jerry's ice cream station on Deck 5 (for an extra fee).
The other cruisers seemed to be mostly extended families, along with a fair number of senior citizens. It was a full ship (Windjammer packed at breakfast & lunch on sea days) and oftentimes it was challenging to find somewhere to sit.
We ordered room service twice, there is a flat $7.95 fee for room service (apart from breakfast, where there is no charge for muffins, pastries etc), it took about 45 minutes each time (food was great on both occasions).
With my broken ankle I didn't go into any ports. Several members of our party went rock climbing in Bar Harbor and had an amazing time (not a RCL excursion, we found the company on Trip Advisor), my in laws took a tour in Bar Harbor and had a nice time. Of the three ports (Bar Harbor, St. John & Halifax) my husband liked Bar Harbor the best (he described it as a nice quaint town, he and my daughter enjoyed walking around it after their rock climbing tour).
Many members of our group rode on the FlowRider on several days, the FlowRider staff were great and were happy to help the beginners as well as those in our group who had done it before. It was open several times a day (every day), there was also an option to rent it for $345 per hour (and with an instructor was around $500 per hour).
We had lunch in Johnny Rockets on the last day ($7.95 per person, milkshakes/malts were extra).
We didn't go to any shows, the spa or the gym.
We went to the trivia games on several days - they are POPULAR - if you are into trivia, I'd suggest you get there 15-20 minutes early to get a seat.
Overall this was a very nice cruise. The ship is a little older but it was very clean, and each and every staff member I encountered was friendly and helpful. For the cost of the cruise I felt it provided a good value (but the crowds got to me so I think next time I'll pay more for an upscale cruise line for a less crowded experience). Read Less
We wanted a cruise out of NJ. Parking at Liberty is a breeze. Once parked we were on the ship in under 1/2 hour. We had a balcony on deck 8 on the hump. Great location! Had no problem with breakfasts in the windjammer or snacks. Always ... Read More
We wanted a cruise out of NJ. Parking at Liberty is a breeze. Once parked we were on the ship in under 1/2 hour. We had a balcony on deck 8 on the hump. Great location! Had no problem with breakfasts in the windjammer or snacks. Always found a table. Did BOGO for first 2 nights. Had dinner in Chops and it was just OK. Doesn't live up to NY steak houses. Our waiter was excellent. Giovannis Table was much better! Food was excellent and service was top notch. We ate the rest of our dinners in the main dinning room and had My Time dinning. No problem and no wait at all if you make reservations every night as they are always honored. Our wait staff in the main dinning room was fantastic. They really care about there customers and went out of their way a few times to please us. Bar Harbor was great. We booked a tour to Acadia National Park and really enjoyed it. Saint John we were not crazy about. Cruise was there only until 2:30 and that was more than enough time. Halifax was fun and interesting. We did the tour to Peggys Cove though the ship and it was well worth it! Read Less
We loved the Adventure. RC staff is always excellent and this ship was no different. The food was probably the best we’ve ever had on RC.
On this cruise we opted to allow RC to choose our balcony cabin and were pleasantly rewarded. ... Read More
We loved the Adventure. RC staff is always excellent and this ship was no different. The food was probably the best we’ve ever had on RC.
On this cruise we opted to allow RC to choose our balcony cabin and were pleasantly rewarded. We were assigned aft balcony cabin 6688, and did we ever luck out. It was quiet since there was very little hall traffic. The best part was the bigger than usual balcony. Our friends’ port side balcony barely had room for two chairs and a tiny table. Ours had the same two chairs and table but additionally had two loungers and a second table. Even with an obstructed view, it was great!
The biggest negatives of the cruise were 2 shore excursions. One was the Bay of Fundy Bucket List tour. The excursion was 5 hours long and we were probably on a bus 3.5 hours. The places we visited we not worth the hours spent on the bus to get there. The second excursion was the Peggy’s Cove and fishing village trip. Again the time spent on the bus was an hour each way and the time at the actual destination was too short. It would be nice if the excursions’ descriptions would mention the amount of time spent on the bus. Read Less
We went as a family of 10 on a cruise to Canada/New England and this was our first times cruising. The ship was pretty but not as equipped for children but that was ok. We expected that. I am also a travel agent so I knew this was a ... Read More
We went as a family of 10 on a cruise to Canada/New England and this was our first times cruising. The ship was pretty but not as equipped for children but that was ok. We expected that. I am also a travel agent so I knew this was a smaller ship. We had so many issues with our children's Set Sail passes being deactivated and my husband's picture being changed on his pass. We visited Guest Services who seemed to resolve matters but when it happened repeatedly, we were told we were sorry we felt the way we did when we got frustrated. We had Wifi issues which we paid for and were not told properly how to connect, so we were hit with a huge roaming charge that could possibly have been avoided if they would have helped or informed of us ahead of time. My Time dining was not easy to get a reservation which we didn't think we needed. All we ever heard from Guest Services and from Corporate after the fact was that they were sorry we felt that way and no compensation or amenities could be done because they are not at fault. Highly disappointed and going to find it hard to sell this cruise line when they do not seem to care about their guests or agents. Read Less
Family cruise to a new area. The Adventure of the Seas is a well-run ship, and we experienced no troubling issues as we have on other RCI ships. We were pleased.
The Adventure of the Seas staff had a Salute to Veterans on last sailing ... Read More
Family cruise to a new area. The Adventure of the Seas is a well-run ship, and we experienced no troubling issues as we have on other RCI ships. We were pleased.
The Adventure of the Seas staff had a Salute to Veterans on last sailing day which was a memorable, moving meeting of about 40-50 veterans of all military branches and ranks. Many wore identifying hats of their ships or branch of service. I was able to meet several former submariners and that made the celebration special to me. Go Navy!
St. John, New Brunswick, on the Bay of Fundy was okay, but Bar Harbor and Peggy's Cove near Halifax were interesting and scenic. Would recommend tours in these ports. We thought that having two days in Halifax and skipping St. John would be preferable, but then there would only be two ports-of-call on a six-night cruise. Sailing days were limited basically to two full days, which did not really provide a lot of down time, and three days of ports-of-call back-to-back was a bit tiring to the "older" cruiser.
Overall, a very nice cruise, great cruise, better-than-expected cruise quality was very nice to experience. Read Less
We celebrated my husband's birthday by taking this cruise. I purchased the birthday package where the room and door was decorated and included a picture frame and picture hanger as well as a cake and chocolate covered strawberries. ... Read More
We celebrated my husband's birthday by taking this cruise. I purchased the birthday package where the room and door was decorated and included a picture frame and picture hanger as well as a cake and chocolate covered strawberries. The decorations were nice but due to all the other food on the ship the cake and strawberries went to waste. Probably best to save your money and bring your own decorations if you were to do this.
The entertainment and crew were wonderful. Our cabin was inside on the seventh deck and very quiet there. We were in the front so very close to the entertainment venues. Our stateroom attendant was Lizbeth and she was terrific. The food was plentiful and I guess about average. There were some items that were exceptional (loved the roasted veggies in the Windjammer) and some that were lackluster (beef was tender but not much flavor in the dining room) but the wait staff were all very good.
The Weather was not good for doing much on the outside decks but there were other options through out the ship.
As with all cruises there were a lot of events where they are trying to sell you things. My husband and I found the price for 3 games of Bingo was more then we wanted to invest so we skipped on that. Lots of Trivia games and Karaoke.
My favorite port of call was Bar Harbor, Maine but that was also the Port where we had the best weather. It was a quaint town that had lots to explore.
Overall we would do it again....just maybe a week or two later in the year. Read Less
I chose this cruise because I like Royal Caribbean and I didn't have to drive! But there are so many more reasons to take this cruise. The ship and staff, activities and lounge areas...all top notch! The Promenade Deck was a great ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I like Royal Caribbean and I didn't have to drive! But there are so many more reasons to take this cruise. The ship and staff, activities and lounge areas...all top notch! The Promenade Deck was a great place to hang out, lots of activities go on, theme music nights..great for a party atmosphere.
The Activities staff were lively, friendly, and funny. There were more Trivia and other activities on this ship then I've seen on other cruises. Some were new and interesting (not just the Quest Game). We found the Imperial Room a comfortable place for a variety of activities. Schooner Bar was the trivia location...too small for the size of the crowds that attend the activity, so get there early if you want a good seat.
The only negative regarding entertainment is the Production shows. I found them boring, hokey and out of date. But the comedians, and the mentalist were very good.
There are electronic boards near the elevators with touchscreens you can use to find out what activities are going on, and to find your cabin!
Bar Harbor is beautiful..if you want to shop and eat, no need for excursions, St. John and Halifax, I would recommend excursions, not much to do in the immediate area of port. Read Less
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
I picked this cruise based on itinerary and date; 3rd time on the Adventure but on Caribbean itineraries. We were a group of 7 adults (all have cruised before several times except for my 80 yrs old friend) We had embarkation time for ... Read More
I picked this cruise based on itinerary and date; 3rd time on the Adventure but on Caribbean itineraries. We were a group of 7 adults (all have cruised before several times except for my 80 yrs old friend) We had embarkation time for 10:30am. (Highly recommend this time)Took a taxi on EWR and it took us like 20 minutes to Cape Liberty (no traffic because it was early). It was like $13 per person with tips each way. Embarkation was really smooth (be sure to have Sail Pass and Passport on hand) and before 11am we were aboard! You can bring up to 12 cans of soda or water bottles with you. The ship is still beautiful but cabins look outdated (old decor, pillows were not that comfortable). Guest Service was outstanding! My 80 years young fracture her hand the day before the trip and was on cast. We asked the stateroom attendant to put a rollaway bed in the room since none of the 3 (my mom, my aunt and her) were able to climb to ladder for the 3rd bed. He did that immediately but since there was no space to walk in the room I went to Guest Services to see if they could do something. Ten minutes later they gave us another stateroom adjacent to my sister’s so my senior friend could be comfortable! Yes! That’s right! No charge! I was amazed by their empathy and great service. All employees were super nice and helpful. Food in Windjammer was great all days. On MDR food was good but not much variety (Exactly same menu we had on Freedom Of the Seas last May). Would have preferred the Windjammer for dinner. Except for the Ice show and a singer/comedian show the rest was low quality and boring. Very disappointed with singers and shows; expected more from RC. Port of calls were amazing. Loved Bar Harbor and Halifax!! Toured on our own. Highly recommend Acadia’s National Park with Oli’s Trolley on Bar Harbor. In Halifax we rented a minivan with Dollar (inside the Lobby of the Hotel across the street) and drove to Peggy’s Cove. Beautiful place! Late May was very cold both at sea and in ports (low 40’s on Ports!) but had a great time. Debarkation was very easy and smooth. Read Less
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do the New England Canada cruise. We embarked from Bayonne N.J. which was driving distance for us. Parked at the Bayonne Cruise parking which had the best pricing. It was easy to find, and they ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do the New England Canada cruise. We embarked from Bayonne N.J. which was driving distance for us. Parked at the Bayonne Cruise parking which had the best pricing. It was easy to find, and they shuttled us to and from the cruise port. When we exited the ship, they were waiting and we got on the shuttle and were in our car within minutes. This was our 14th cruise, and third with RCCL, our first cruise with them was 1992, ans although cruising has changed immensely everything was quite good. The reason we had stopped cruising with them was the mandatory formal night , which no longer applies. Our room was a balcony with an obstructed view, which wasn't much of an obstruction, a little larger than some rooms we have had in the past. However; we don't really use the balcony or stay in the room, except to sleep or shower. The food was good, the dining room was very busy, but our service was good, we especially liked the Solarium Bistro which had Mediterranean style food, appetizers and desserts were served buffet style and served in individual serving dishes, and the main meal was ordered with a waiter. We did purchase a three night specialty restaurant package which has service and food like the cruising of yesteryear. Our favorite was Wonderland, which served food in an innovative, artistic style( you must be adventurous with food). Chops was great, but we were disappointed in Jamies. While the service was good, the food was nothing special. The entertainment was good, I especially liked The Gift. All of the shows were very contemporary and had great visual effects. Beatle Mania and the Elvis impersonator were great. Embarking and dis embarking were smooth. On the day of embarkment things are congested and people are trying to settle in and become familiarized with the ship, but after that things were fine.We only purchased one excursion from RCCL, and it was cancelled because of the weather, we were unable to dock in St. Johns and had an extra day at sea. The activity staff really did a nice job of re planning the day to stay at sea, and kudos for much of the staff who gave up their day off and worked worked so that the passengers experience didn't suffer. These people work long, hard days and they don't get enough credit. Overall good experience! Would take this cruise again. Read Less
This was our 13 or 14th cruise but only our 2nd on RCCL. We mostly sail with Princess as we are platinum members there. On our first cruise on RCCL I was not impressed at all! It was on the Explorer of the Seas. But I must say, the Anthem ... Read More
This was our 13 or 14th cruise but only our 2nd on RCCL. We mostly sail with Princess as we are platinum members there. On our first cruise on RCCL I was not impressed at all! It was on the Explorer of the Seas. But I must say, the Anthem was great! We are 60 and 62 years old and traveled with our best friends.
Starting with embarkation...it was the fastest we've ever had. Got there about 10:30am and only waited a short time. They told us we would board about 11am and I thought, ya right, but sure enough right on time 11am!! Then they told us our bags would be arriving starting at 1pm and again I thought, ya right, but sure enough..again on time. All our bags were there at 1pm. This has NEVER happened on any of our other cruises! Very impressed!!
We did not go to the dining room not one time. We ate at the Windjammer every time because the food was SO good!! Again, we never had food this good on a cruise ship before! Usually the deserts look good but don't taste as good as they look but this time, they were delicious! The cheesecake tasted like New York style cheesecake!!
LOVED all the FREE activities...North Star, bumper cars, roller skating, ifly, corn hole, xbox, ping pong, escape room, trapeze, just to name a few. I felt like a kid again enjoying the bumper cars! So fun!! The north star was enjoyable viewing Bar Habor. It goes 300 feet above the sea. So many free things to enjoy!
The shows were great! Not your typical cruise ship shows. These were shows like you would see in Vegas. The only one I didn't care for was Spectra's Cabaret. Just not our style. The Gift and We Will Rock You were good. We made reservations for these shows before boarding the ship. The guest entertainers were very good. Travis LeDoyt, Elvis tribute was excellent! The magician was great!
Our balcony cabin, 9708 was comfortable. A sofa and King size bed. The bed was a little on the firm side but still comfy. Quit a bit of storage and it was nice that our suitcases fit underneath the bed. A must!! Shower was big enough. Curved shower door instead of shower curtain. A lower bar for shaving legs was nice! Nice adjustable shower head. Two 110 outlets on one side of the bed and then one more at the desk. Also two USB chargers at desk. Balcony was rather small but big enough for two chairs and small table. I wish they would have had a few more TV channels. Not a whole lot to choose from. Our room steward, Jimbo from Nicaragua, was great and has been with RCCL for 25 years. Says they really take care of their employees.
LOVED the adult only Solarium area. Deck 14, forward. Enclosed with several hot tubs and smaller pools. Seemed to have plenty of lounge chairs. Not sure if it would be hot in there in warm climates but the windows in there do open so it may be ok. Nice that they have the Solarium cafe in that area as well. It's smaller but nice that you don't have to go far to get a bite to eat.
The pizza at Sorrento's was AMAZING!! Best pizza I have ever had on a cruise ship and maybe even anywhere! So good!! We had it almost every day! One day I even asked for a whole one and took it up to the Solarium. Perfect sea day!
Enjoyed watching the robo bartender. Very cool but very expensive! But a must to at least watch!
I bought the internet only for the last two days for $28 I think. Surprisingly it was pretty fast.
A few things I was disappointed in...so many restaurants that cost extra. We didn't eat at any of them. Also, they had popcorn one day on deck 4, but it cost $2.50 for a small bag!! Ridiculous!! The emergency drill was a joke!! Seriously it was just a video and it was stupid. If you were a first time cruiser, you would not have learned anything from that video. I actually saw several people asleep!! Life jackets are not in your room anymore they are at your muster station. I really think they need to change their emergency drill. I know it's never fun to have to go to the emergency drill, but at least you would learn what to do in the event of an emergency. They no longer have lotion in your room. They do have shampoo dispensers though in the shower. Also they only give you two bath towels. Also it seemed their shops were more high end. They did have cheaper stuff laid out as vendors though. The ice cream cones on deck 14 underneath the North Star are really good but they are only open til 6pm which I don't understand. I remember that on the last RCCL cruise too. That just doesn't make sense.
Overall I was impressed. I would definitely book again on this ship. In fact, I already did for next year. And even though there are 4200 passengers on this ship, we didn't feel over crowded at all. Not sure if our sailing was sold out or not but no complaints this time! Read Less
Ship was great...comparable to Oasis. Balcony cabin wonderful 12540. Lots of storage.
Food typical. Breakfast in American Icon, dinner in dining room. Not fan of Windjammer. Reserved entertainment was terrible. I would say that the ... Read More
Ship was great...comparable to Oasis. Balcony cabin wonderful 12540. Lots of storage.
Food typical. Breakfast in American Icon, dinner in dining room. Not fan of Windjammer. Reserved entertainment was terrible. I would say that the average age on this cruise was 60 and the shows were for a much younger group...very loud/new age. Spectrum Cabaret was borderline demonic. Not to say they weren't talented just not for us...we left every show. The best shows were the ones that were NOT reserved, The Tenors, Elvis and the comedian were excellent.
We did Tours on our own....Kennebunkport with Scenic Maine Tour co...very good.
Rented a car from thrifty in Halifax, suggested from cruise critic...great!! Got to Peggy's Cove before all the crowds, then to maritime museum, then graveyard where some titanic victims buried, then Tim Hortons for a doughnut. Great day. Boston, used Old Town Trolleys to Paul Reveres house, USS constitution, and downtown. Read Less
We sailed on the Voyager of the Sea RC and it was fantastic. Thinking this was a newer ship we would be pleased. NOT! The food was not good at all. Service wasn't bad, but we had anytime dining and ate at The American Icon and Silk ... Read More
We sailed on the Voyager of the Sea RC and it was fantastic. Thinking this was a newer ship we would be pleased. NOT! The food was not good at all. Service wasn't bad, but we had anytime dining and ate at The American Icon and Silk most of the time. Plain décor in the Icon and noisy. Food mediocre at best. Silk a little better. Ismael was wonderful as our server but again the food was thumbs down. We were on a New England cruise and had to pay for lobster except for one night and it was awful that night. Paying for a good fillet or lobster is something I never had to do on a ship. AND we had to pay $2.50 for a small bag of POPCORN! The "diner" on top deck was never used because you had to pay for a hamburger, fries and milk shake! Two 70 eating area had a good salad. Windjammer was always crowded and typical buffet food. Even the ice cream was bad. Drinks were very expensive too.
Shows were not for the older crowd on board for sure. The Gift, Spectra Cabaret, and We Will Rock You did not interest 60-80 year old people. The Elvis impersonator was good and so were the Las Vegas Tenors. All games including Name That Tune were for younger people....I don't think a 78 year old knows Bono's songs. The days at sea were boring for sure and we never made it to St. John. I was kind of glad because it was a 12 hour stop.
It was a very crowded ship too. Lines were long for the shows and they wanted you to make reservations that were not necessary. Ran out of hand sanitizer often.
We did get to ride the local bus for free in Halifax. They said we could go anywhere we wanted on it.
Won't do RC again. Read Less
This was our 18th cruise and our first Canada/New England. Carnival had no ships there in 2018 so we went on Royal. We have been on Allure and I consider it to be too big. Anthem is very large but did not have the problems of the Oasis ... Read More
This was our 18th cruise and our first Canada/New England. Carnival had no ships there in 2018 so we went on Royal. We have been on Allure and I consider it to be too big. Anthem is very large but did not have the problems of the Oasis class ships (small theater, comedy venue, etc.).
Departure was smooth but traffic at the port is terrible and only about half of the drop off area is used. RCCL wants you to add a photo during the on line check in but this photo was not used. Photos were taken during physical check in and again at the ship. Why?
Ship is beautiful. Very large but not overly so. The Sea Plex is a great space and much more usable than the ice rink on other ships. Loved the Music Hall venue but there are a limited number of seats where you can see the stage. Our balcony cabin was on deck 10 forward and there was plenty of storage space for three adults in our cabin. No issues with cleanliness and the decor and furnishings were fine.
The quality of food in the main dining room was outstanding. Never even considered the pay venues. You will have to search high and low for some variety at breakfast and you may never find any. Windjammer was okay but try Two 70 and the Solarium.
Entertainment is a mixed bag. Loved We Will Rock You, the Beatle Maniacs, Travis Levoy (Elvis show) and Name That Tune game show. Royal Swedes and the ship orchestra were very good. The Gift made no sense, left Spectra's Cabaret before it was over. Other bar singers were very average. I will include the casino here as I look at gambling as entertainment. Blackjack should be avoided. $10 tables have a number of special rules (120% payout for blackjack instead of 150%, no even money payout for blackjack when the dealer is showing a 10 card, etc.).
Service in the main dining room was outstanding. Ari and Komang were our waiter team and I could not imagine them taking better care of us. Will stick with late seating.
Boston - three ships were in port on the same day. Old Town Trolleys was sold out. We booked City View Trolleys at Quincy Market and they were cheaper. We did have to take a cab from the ship to Quincy Market and from the train station back to the ship but the prices were fine.
Portland - very cold and windy but the distance to downtown is very walk-able and we found lots of interesting shops. Lighthouse tour was nice but the wind chill factor was probably below 30 degrees.
Bar Harbor - tender, but my favorite port. Beautiful downtown with nice shops and restaurants. Acadia Natl Park was not at peak color but pretty spectacular.
Halifax - Museum of the Atlantic and Titanic cemetery. Okay but not great.
Saint Johns - port was closed so we spent 3 straight days at sea. Not ideal but the cruise line does not control the weather.
Since this was Royal and a nine day cruise, prices were high. Very few kids and the average age of the passengers was probably in the mid 70's. I would not say the entertainment was scheduled with this in mind. Only two movies in the theater, disco was very late and very empty, no one watched any outdoor movies or sports as it was too cold. Read Less
The ship was excellent, so much to do, so organized, balcony room was worth every penny. The rooms were so clean, much better then i've found with other cruise lines. Employees were great, they even learned our names. Boarding and ... Read More
The ship was excellent, so much to do, so organized, balcony room was worth every penny. The rooms were so clean, much better then i've found with other cruise lines. Employees were great, they even learned our names. Boarding and getting off the ship was very organized, quick, and efficient. Having the app to use was a very nice feature, I could upload a photo on the app rather then having to get a photo taken when I went to board the ship. I stayed in a balcony room and the room was very beautiful and very spacious actually. There were features in the room that made it great, such as a usb plug to plug my phone into rather then having to bring the charging block. There was so much to do and the booking process was very easy as well, that includes booking our excursions and purchasing our drink packages online. There isn't a single bad thing I could say about the boat, employees, or our trip in general. I really liked that the cruise line offered so many different excursions because booking excursions through the cruise line made me feel safe when off the boat and there was no shortage of options. Their private island CocoCay was beautiful as well, best port i've been to by far, the SeaDoo and glass bottom boat excursions were amazing - I would definitely recommend. I think the ship was well worth the money spent and I would strongly recommend it. Read Less
We originally booked this cruise for the fall of 2017 while on board Silhouette in the British Isles in 2016. This was one of the few cruises offered by our favorite cruise line, Celebrity, that was still on our bucket list. Our plan, when ... Read More
We originally booked this cruise for the fall of 2017 while on board Silhouette in the British Isles in 2016. This was one of the few cruises offered by our favorite cruise line, Celebrity, that was still on our bucket list. Our plan, when booking it, was to take any cabin, knowing full well that when Celebrity announced the 2018 deployments we would switch on the first day staterooms became available for this cruise and get the stateroom we wanted.
This cruise was on Summit, one of Celebrity's older M-class ships. We had sailed on her sister ship Infinity (exactly the same ship) six different times so we knew exactly what we wanted—an aft cabin. So when this cruise opened for booking we grabbed it on the first day it was available and got a great aft cabin on deck eight. Our original plan was to do this cruise by ourselves, without any of our Martini Mates, Silhouetters or friends. Just us.
So when we booked this cruise we planned some shore excursions with two other couples on the Cruise Critic roll call. This set up a very different dynamic than when we usually sail together. While we usually do shore excursions together, eat dinner together, we wouldn't be able to do that on this cruise as they booked Aqua class (which eats dinner in Blu) while we would be eating in the Main Dining Room (MDR). But we still spent a great deal of time with the four of them but for Kathleen and I, it made it a very different cruise.
I came back to add this because it needs to be said. I had a really hard time writing this review because of a number of things but the biggest of them (that colored more than half the cruise) was the fact that we both caught horrid colds about midway through the cruise. Kathleen got it first and I followed soon after. There is nothing worse than being sick on a ship and this really sucked. As I write this (almost two weeks later) I am still coughing. Totally sick of being sick. Just wanted you to know that up front. It didn't really change the quality of the cruise but it did change some of our experiences and that made the trip wind up on a very sour note.
From our AirBnB in Manhattan we were picked up (right on time) by Carmel Limo and driven underneath the Hudson River to the Cape Liberty cruise port in Bayonne, New Jersey. It was Sunday, which meant that even though we had been told it would take about an hour to get to the port from downtown Manhattan, it only took us about 20 minutes flat. So we arrived early (around 10:15) which meant we had to wait about 45 minutes in the terminal before we were allowed on the ship. Once we were onboard we went right to the buffet to grab some burgers and started using our drinks package.
Staterooms were released at 1:15 and we were in ours five minutes later. An even bigger surprise was that our luggage was already in the hallway which meant we got to unpack and fix up our cabin at one of the earliest time ever, on any Celebrity cruise.
Disembarkation was fine. We were off within minutes of when we were told we would be. There is quite a bottleneck in the port to pick up luggage. You have to face off with video screen to clear customs but once you are through there it's an easy disembark.
Let's be honest, so much of cruising is about the food. Let's start with breakfast. We ate pretty much every breakfast in the buffet. We prefer Blu for breakfast but since we weren't in Aqua on this trip, off to the buffet we went. On day two I discovered the Eggs Benedict station which was on the starboard side of the buffet, all the way aft. During lunch it is the pizza spot. The Eggs Benedict were superb. I think I ate them just about every morning. They had a variety of styles to choose from but I got hooked on the Mexican ones. The guy cooking would slather guacamole on the English muffin, then salsa, then the perfectly poached egg, then hollandaise sauce. My mouth is watering just writing about it.
I can't say a lot about lunch as we either skipped it (after that huge breakfast), were off the ship in ports or we caught a quick burger, salad or pizza in the buffet. We did do lunch in the dining room twice and it was fine. Nothing to be thrilled with.
For dinner we normally do early seating or are in Blu because we are in Aqua class but this time since we were in a Concierge cabin and weren't eating in Blu, we decided to try Anytime Dining. We did not reserve our seating time in advance. To be honest, I just didn't think it was necessary and it turned out I was right as there was usually a longer line to get in for those with reservations than those without.
The first night we ate in the dining room we had to wait about 30 minutes to get a table. The second night we were given a pager and waited about 45 minutes. After that, we would go a little later (6:00 instead of 5:30) and we usually got in within 10 minutes or so.
We always asked for a table of six or eight. We eat by ourselves most nights at home so we like to socialize at dinner. Strangely we wound up at a table (different tables) with just about the same people almost every night we ate in the dining room. This was both a good and bad thing. We liked the people but we were looking for some variety. The food was fine but nothing special. Some of the items on the menu have been there since our first Celebrity cruise in 2004. That's just sad. Service in the dining room was good.
Be aware that if you take this particular cruise (New England Fall Foliage) that it will be a predominately older crowd so if you don't want to wait in line, go to dinner later or book traditional Late seating. All our friends who had Late seating told us it was emptier and the service was better and more relaxed. We had great service but there just weren't enough people doing the serving. See my note below about the problems that X has.
We did two different nights in speciality restaurants—one in Qsine and one in the Tuscan Grille. Qsine is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere because I love the variety. We had made a reservation pre-cruise for 14 so we could get the big table for a reunion of our Silhouetter buddies and we had an amazing time. There was a snafu with the billing (we had prepaid but the restaurant did not have record that we did) but the meal was AMAZING. I will be sorry to see this version of Qsine go to make room for Le Petit Chef at Qsine or whatever they are calling it.
Our night in the Tuscan was almost as good. Service was outstanding, we got a nice discount, we had a bunch of fun with all our friends (we took another big group—this time 10 of us). Which brings me to a comment my brother made. Why can't X make food that is as good as the food they serve in the speciality restaurants for the MDR or the buffet? I mean simple stuff, like desserts for instance. The desserts in the buffet are puffs of air compared to the desserts in Tuscan Grille. I know you get what you pay for but I seem to remember when dinner in the MDR featured that kind of food. The food we had in both Qsine and the Tuscan Grille was FAR superior to anything else I had on board...other than the Eggs Benedict. That was the best thing I ate. Well maybe that was the Qsine lamb chops.
Normally I wouldn't have an entire section in a review about the weather but so much of this cruise was about the weather. For our entire time in NYC, even though it rained a few times, the highs were in the mid 70s. With horrible humidity. Horrible for us. Here in Seattle we don't ever get that warm and that humid at the same time. On the cruise, the weather turned even weirder. Our first three days—sailaway from New Jersey, our stops in Boston and in Portland, Maine—were downright warm. The high in Boston on October 9 when we were there was 86 degrees. Even crazier, the high in Portland, Maine on October 10 was 84. In the sun it was substantially warmer.
Then the very next day when we were supposed to stop in Bar Harbor, Maine the ship wasn't able to because of the high seas and the wind. From that point on we had some of the rockiest weather we have ever had on a cruise. Going around Nova Scotia and across the Gulf of St. Lawrence until we were in the St. Lawrence seaway, we rocked and rolled the entire time. The same was true on the way out of Québec as well. That meant that on a 14 night cruise, we had at least 6 days that featured some heavy oceans.
Another weather consideration if you are thinking of taking this cruise would be the lateness in the past few years of the fall foliage colors. Celebrity offers this itinerary three times each fall. As of now, you can take it in early September, mid-September or when we did—early October. It used to be (10 years ago) that the best foliage was on the middle cruise. As the globe has warmed up, fall colors are getting later and later each year. For instance, on our pre-trip we barely saw reds, oranges or yellows in Vermont or upstate New York. On the cruise we really didn't see incredible fall colors until we were on our way into Québec. Totally amazing (check out the pics in the slide show on the home page).
Summit is in OK condition for a ship that was launched in 2001. She was "Solsticized" in the late 2000s after the Solstice line of ships joined Celebrity, but she is in need of another fix up. There is nothing horribly wrong, just rust showing on verandahs, creaking floors, verandah doors that sticks and other symptoms of an older ship. The rumors are that Summit will be going into dry dock in 2019 and we hope that is the case.
The rest of the ship also needs updating. The public areas are still nice. Definitely an improvement on the RCL ship we sailed on two weeks before we left on this cruise. That ship (Explorer of the Seas) was built around the same time but looks much more the worse for wear. That said, I now believe I like the Solstice class ships more than the Millennium class. They just have so much more to offer and so much of the M-class ships have been just had things added on to them which makes them much more hodge-podge than ships that are built for a purpose. A great example are the dining rooms. On M-class ships the Aqua class dining room is an add-on, carved out of the main dining room but on the S-class they are purpose-built and feel more natural, like they belong there.
I will say that parts of the ship are in great shape, like the gym. Lots of great equipment, kept in pristine condition, open almost all the time and just an all around great place to work out. The Martini Bar, the Main Dining Room (MDR) and other large venues are still almost as nice as they day they were built and put in service.
The worst part of the cruise
We had one major complaint about this cruise: the ship is understaffed. That's the best way to put it. We found so many great, hard working Celebrity crew members that did the very best they could but there just weren't enough of them.
We were in the Rendezvous Lounge before dinner and there were at least 100 people in the lounge and about 20 of them waiting at the bar and there was just ONE bartender. That's it.
We were in the buffet for dinner. We had our dinner and we waited more than 20 minutes for a server to come by and offer us a glass of wine or a cocktail. I finally got up and walked to the bar on the far end of the buffet and got my wife a glass of wine and ordered a drink for myself. The bartender there said that he would bring it to me. About 20 minutes later, I finally got up and went back to get it.
Another night in the buffet, it was a SPECIAL burger night at the grille at the back of the buffet. I went back there on three separate occasions about 15 minutes apart and each time there was a line of 8-10 people waiting and ONE crew member working.
On a daily basis in the Rendezvous Lounge there was only one server for the entire side of the lounge, more than 150 plus people.
My brother, his wife and our two best friends were in Aqua and eating in Blu. There was one sommelier in the entire restaurant each night for more than 150 diners. Good luck if you were looking for a different bottle of wine or a maybe just a second or third glass with dinner.
We had the best stateroom attendant we have ever had on any of our 26 cruises (17 with Celebrity) but he worked with no help whatsoever. Not sure he ever got any time off. When we first sailed Celebrity in 2004, stateroom attendants had an assistant and were responsible for about 15 staterooms. our amazing stateroom attendant had no assistant and at least 20 staterooms to attend to.
As a long-time Celebrity cruiser who loves the Celebrity product, I will have a much harder time recommending Celebrity after this experience, especially with the staffing situation becoming even thinner with their concentration on their new ship Edge to the detriment of the other ships in the fleet. There were other problems (all fixable, as is this one) but this is the biggest one and it faces the entire industry with the onslaught of more than 120 new ships coming in the next five years.
Lastly, I want to mention that at least twice I went to ask to speak to the Hotel Director or Food and Beverage Manager about this situation. I went to Guest Relations and was told someone would contact me. I was never contacted.
Television and internet connectivity sucked!
The television experience on this cruise was the WORST I have ever had at sea after 25+ cruises. I know, I am on a cruise, do I really need to watch TV? Yes. Because my wife and I both caught horrible colds and just needed a day to be sick in our cabin. We wanted to take our minds off of how we felt by watching television. Good luck!
Nothing on at all. Barely got the map of where we were. When something would come on the reception was horrible and the selection even worse. HGTV that flickered in and out and was cut to ribbons by Celebrity to eliminate commercials. Cooking channel that repeated the same shows over and over again. Celebrity's television experience has gotten worse and worse over the years.
Now I totally get problems with satellite reception. Weather can screw that up and on this cruise we had some crazy weather. But couldn't they PLEASE put some movies, TV shows, anything on their server that we can access while at sea. The only option other than the aforementioned lousy programming were movies that were chargeable at $14.95 per viewing. Most of them were old. Something that I would find free on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Last summer we did a quick HAL cruise to Alaska and their TV was AWESOME! Tons of free movies, the full catalog of BBC nature films and so much more. Incredible 4K televisions in every cabin. Makes X look sad in that department.
I have had people ask me why I didn't just stream Netflix or Amazon? Well besides only having Elite Plus internet minutes, in our aft cabin, the connectivity was HORRID! I ran a couple of speed tests and got barely .3 megabytes per second up (at home I get 50 MB up and down). Yes, .3! My brother had better luck than I did and I think that may have been because of his placement on the ship (remember, we were in an aft cabin) but when I would go forward and sit in a common area, mine wasn't much better.
A little about those people who did great work
Let's start with the best stateroom attendant we have ever had in more than 23 cruises, Eddie who took care of us in stateroom 8176. The photo below are our gang, the Cruise Ruiners with the amazing Marly from Columbia in the Rendezvous Lounge. She was beyond phenomenal. Never seen anyone work so hard. The entire crew in Cafe Al Bacio was awesome. The amazing Voltan who was EVERYWHERE in every dining venue at all hours of the day and night. All the guys who make eggs Benedict in the buffet—the best I have ever had and I love eggs Benedict.
We are big trivia fans and the activities staff that ran the daily trivia contests were awesome. And there were a lot of them. Some sea days there were four sessions. I do wish they were all up in the Revelations Lounge where everyone could see the screen they were projecting video questions on but that's a minor complaint. The staff did a great job running the games. We were pretty much one of the top teams. Our team name was the "Cruise Ruiners" because one lady thought we were talking a little too loudly during a bingo session that preceded one of the trivia games and told us we had "ruined her cruise." The name just stuck. Maybe we'll get shirts.
The People who were Disappointing
Some of the people who were not so good:
The guest relations people who told me they would have someone call me back but never did (about our ongoing issues).
The manager of Qsine who woke me out of sound sleep because he thought we had walked away from the tab on a table for 14 when we had paid pre-cruise as a group through the group department almost a month before we sailed. He did apologize after waking me up with a phone call at almost 10:00 pm but there is no excuse for this. Where did he think we were going to go to get away from him? Jump ship and ditch the last 10 days of the cruise?
The Concierge who was supposed to be there to help us as well as the special events coordinator who turned the Cruise Critic group down cold when we asked to be able to have lunch together in the dining room on the last sea-day. This is something that we have had no problem arranging on Infinity, Silhouette, Solstice and Eclipse on previous voyages. These people were totally unhelpful.
Would I recommend this cruise to a friend?
They ask this on the Celebrity cruise evaluation that they send you. Well, I would recommend it but as it stands now, I would tell them that before they consider taking Summit to New England, they need to re-evaluate whether they want to sail on a ship that is so understaffed. If they are willing to wait 20-30 minutes for a cocktail or glass of wine. That If they want anytime dining they might have to be willing to wait 30 to 45 minutes to be seated.
They also need to think about what will happen if they become ill and want to just lay in their staterooms and watch the WORST television on the high seas. Holland America makes
Celebrity's television look like the 1950s.
They need to decide if they want (or can) sail and be away from work and family with the WORST internet connectivity ever. My average download speed was under 1 MBPS and upload speed (I need to upload changes to websites when on vacation) was NON-existent.
I would tell them that if they can put up with this, then maybe Summit to New England is for them. I would tell them that the crew that will be sailing with them there are OUTSTANDING and trying as hard as they can to help them have a great vacation. Read Less
We had sailed Celebrity several times before and they serve our demographic (retired couple) quite well.
We wanted to cruise out of the Northeast so that we could avoid flying.
The Summit is due for a total refurb in Feb 2019, and it ... Read More
We had sailed Celebrity several times before and they serve our demographic (retired couple) quite well.
We wanted to cruise out of the Northeast so that we could avoid flying.
The Summit is due for a total refurb in Feb 2019, and it does need it.
The decor is a bit dated, the cabins need some rework and the cabin-locks were troublesome from beginning to end.
With that said, a cruise is made or broken by the staff, and Celebrity always has friendly, professional, competent people, in all roles.
This is why we plan on cruising them again and again.
The entertainment was 'average' at best, nothing to write home about, I am afraid.
The Guest Relations desk was superb, very helpful, especially in the continual dealings we had with our cabin key-entry (one of our two keys would fail every 36 hours!).
The food was always excellent and the entire Wait-Staff was superb.
I DO wish that their Internet was more affordable--I mean, REALLY?!
And their pricing plans may work for kids and millenials, but that's about IT!
Also, the TV feed was 'limited', and repetitive, not particularly helpful on our rough-seas sea days. Read Less