Scott & Barb
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Adventure of the Seas
Sailing Date: June 12th, 2005
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
We were on one cruise before; on Carnival's Conquest. In general everything was just a little bit nicer than Carnival. The decor, entertainment, customer service, ship, and activities were all a little bit better. We had a wonderful time on a great cruise.
The Not So Good: The ship's home port is in San Juan, Puerto Rico. On the surface this does not seem to be a problem. You get to see yet another foreign land *before* you go on your cruise. It is like a free bonus! There was one Little teensy problem. Rumour has it that the locals get some kind of deal when the ship is full; like a $250 deal. We paid a couple of shekels more than that. I'm estimating that the ship mix was about 55/45 Puerto Ricans to Americans.
Now, I don't have any particular problem with Puerto Ricans; but it was like spending a week in Puerto Rico. They dominated all on-deck activities; they filled the halls. It was really weird. Although all ship announcements were done in both languages; everything about the ship was focused on English. They had to be just a little uncomfortable. We went on a few of the expensive excursions; no Puerto Ricans were seen there. So I guess they stayed on the ship or just shopped.
Puerto Rican culture appears to have some marked differences from what we expect in the USA. There appears to be little to no sense of urgency for *anything*.
If you are thinking about going on this cruise in the off-season, and you do not like having your personal space invaded, and it annoys you for people to clog the halls talking and being completely oblivious to the existence of anyone else: Then too bad. There is nothing you can do about it except steam in your own juices.
I have no way of knowing if this is the most accurate sample of Puerto Rican culture. It is just what I saw.
Next time I go I will learn some Spanish; it would have been very helpful. I would like to know how to say: "Please control your child; or I will". Or, "When did you first notice that there were other people in the world? or has that happened yet?"
I will take my phrase book next time.
On the plus side; the Puerto Ricans were friendly and as clean as anyone else. No *real* problems occurred; just me being annoyed.
I won't go into this in much more detail, but if you get hurt or sick in Puerto Rico; get treated by the ship doctor. Someone on our cruise got hurt before boarding and was treated to a medical tour of the island and a real-life example of malpractice in action.
Just get on the ship; even if you have to stitch your own guts up with shoestrings.
The only thing close to a real issue is that the food in the main dining room was hit or miss. We had heard that the food on RC was better than on Carnival; we did not find that to be the case. In almost all cases the main entree was just great. The sides were usually of poor quality - like they were made by a different kitchen. The deserts were mostly good, with the exception of the cheesecake which was very poor.
The food at the Windjammer (the buffet) was generally very good. Fresh and hot was standard. Great service by the wait staff.
The breakfast was really not very good. The scrambled eggs were tasteless and the sausage was poor. All other items for breakfast were fine.
The "Promenade" offered 24hr a day food. Carnival had something similar in a remote location on the ship. The food on Carnival in this area was just OK.
The food at the Promenade was excellent; the pizza was not frozen and it was always available in large quantities. The cold sandwiches were delightful.
One last "beef": The Internet access. The actual access was fine; the problem was that RC completely dropped the ball in letting us know what was available. From speaking directly to several people at RC before our Cruise, what we understood was available was this:
Cybercabin in your room (modem Internet access) for $100/week
Internet cafe at $.50/minute. NO packages available
NO WiFi anywhere.
Since I need to stay in touch for my business, I decided to lug my laptop along so i would not run up a thousand dollars in the Internet cafe.
What we found upon getting to the ship was this:
Packages WERE available for the Internet cafe: $50 for 150 minutes ($.33/minute)
Cybercabin (which connected at 48k - which is fine - but was MUCH slower in prat ice)
WiFi was available in MANY places on the ship; using the minutes you bought at the cafe.
Now how did this slip by? Why is it that no one at RC knows that their own ship has WiFi? I was a little pissed as I probably would not have lugged my huge laptop along if I had of know there was packages at reduced rates at the cybercafe.
The drinks were stronger than on Carnival - a big plus. My wife enjoyed the nickel slots; even won $100...
OK, now all you liberals can knee-jerk because I said something bad about someone other than America.