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Ed Doucet

Age: 66

Occupation:retired IT executive

Number of Cruises: 8

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Adventure of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2010-11-28

Itinerary: repositioning -- transatlantic

This was our third transatlantic repositioning cruise (the previous two having been with Celebrity). Although we enjoyed the cruise, it did not rise to the standard of our previous cruising experiences. We have sailed with RC before; this time we were left feeling that Royal Caribbean's ships are just getting too big, and it's standards of service are sagging noticably.

Our first evening onboard, we discovered that our reserved table for 6 had been assigned for 8. Ooops. That error was corrected for the next evening. The food wasvery good typical cruise fare. We've had better, most notably aboard Celebrity and Holland America. We always ate our evening meal in the beautiful dining room, where the service at our table was excellent... although the quality of the entrees was a bit hit and miss. Some evenings the entrees were superb, othertimes less so. But, there was always a good choice. The deserts were consistently dreadful, leaving us to wonder why there was a better choice of excellent deserts at the buffet.

Our 6th deck balcony stateroom was excellent, as was the care and attention provided by the stateroom staff. Note however that many passengers were complaining that their staterooms were only being serviced late in the day. Apparently, RC was training a lot of new hotel staff on this cruise, and conducting a lot of daytime training seminars for crew... who were expected to catch up later in the day, after their classes. Well, I guess that's one way to interpret "service". This secenario was repeated with the onboard bars, most of which remained closed during the daytime while inexperienced bartenders received classroom training.

No complaints regarding the typical onboard activities, except for ENTERTAINMENT. This was the worst feature of this cruise -- the formal shows and various lounge entertainers, as a group, represented the worst offering of entertainment that we have experienced on our previous 8 cruises. There was a very good Ice Show that everyone seemed to enjoy, and there was an Elton John 'impersonator' who was excellent. Otherwise, the selection of onboard entertainment was pretty awful.

The port of departure was the beautiful city of Barcelona. If you have the opportunity to spend a few days in Barcelona, do it. It's fabulous. And the embarkation in the modern was was a model of organization and excellent service. The selection of the Mediterranean Ports of Call was very good, althought the timing of some of the visits was questionable. For example, we visited Toulon on a Monday. Doesn't RC know that the French generally work Saturday and take Monday off? The port city was essentially closed. In San Juan, we had booked a city tour that was to take us to the airport in time for our early afternoon flight. However, disembarkation was a disaster, and we missed this prepaid tour entirely. Scheduled to clear port customs around 7:00 AM, the ship was only cleard at around 8:30 AM. Then, passengers were summoned to a large metal building where, in 80 degree heat and without washroom facilities or water, we stood in line for three hours to clear US customs. Welcome to the USA!

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