Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Adventure of the Seas
Sailing Date: June 19th, 2005
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
This was my third cruise, my first with Royal Caribbean and the first to the eastern Caribbean stopping at St. Thomas, St. Marrtine, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. I have cruised with Norwegian and Carnival previously. Prior to this cruise I had been checking numerous boards to get an idea of what this cruise might be like and found that there were not too many reviews that gave a lot of information. There were some but most just said the food was good and the activities were fun. I decided that I would write one that was as detailed as I could get. This was my honeymoon cruise and also the first for my wife. We sailed out of San Juan, Puerto Rico on June 11th on the Adventure of the Seas. I am going to try to break up the review in to sections mainly dealing with food, service, activities, and appearance of the ship and over all enjoyment.
First thought is actually getting to the ship. We arranged out flights through Royal Caribbean, this was the only down side I really had over all. We ended up sitting across from the aisle on our flight from Charlotte to San Juan. On the way home we were in totally different rows. So I suggest if you book your flights through Royal Caribbean call your airline as soon as you get the cruise book and verify your seats. We arrived in San Juan around 3:30 pm and got to the dock about 4 pm. They didn’t actually start embarking until 4 pm but we were able to get in line as soon as we got there. There were not a whole lot of people there so they just directed us to any line we wanted. We got stuck in some line that the people in front of us needed to ask every single unnecessary question they could think of. We finally got on about 4:20 and found out room. We had an inside room over looking the promenade. Let me tell you if you have had outside rooms with windows before and didn’t like them, the inside rooms with windows are totally different. We could look down over the promenade and could tell when people were going to dinner, what people were wearing, what they were selling that night and we also could watch the parades that they had at night. It was so worth it. After we saw out room we went exploring. We ate at the windjammer restaurant and really enjoyed the food. We also purchased the soda package, we figured that if we each drank 3-4 a day we would it would equal the cost of buying them separately. I know we drank more then that so for us it wound up be more cost effective. We also wanted to get more excursions but the line was really long but the nice thing is that you can get them from the RCTV in your room. Unfortunately some of the ones we wanted were already sold out. My suggestion is to buy them on-line before you go on the cruise. You can do until 10 days before the cruise leaves and that way its paid off before you even get there, if you buy them early enough. We got 2 before we came on board. That night we had dinner in the dinning room which was amazing looking. We were at a table for four which I first didn’t like because I enjoy talking with a lot of different people. However this turned out to be a great table. We were seated with another couple that was on their honeymoon, they had just gotten married the day before. We had a great time with them.
I had read a few reviews that said that they were upset because of the amount of Puerto Ricans that were on the ship and the problems that they had with them. I never had any problems with anyone on this cruise. Usually I never noticed that there were almost 3000 people on board, only the last day at sea. I found that the people I did see were usually the same people over and over again. I also never noticed many kids running around and being annoying. But enough with that lets get to what everyone wants to know about, the food.
I ate more then I should have, way more then I should have. The usual day was getting up around 8-9 depending on when our excursion was and skipping breakfast. Usually we would grab some fruit and that was fine. We ate breakfast one morning in the dinning room and it was good, but breakfast cooked for a large group of people is usually not as good as cooking for a small group, so I don’t really fault Royal Caribbean for that. Don’t get me wrong I was still very good but it’s hard to cook breakfast for a very large group of people. For lunch we ate in the dinning room one day, usually we were on excursions during lunch or trying to hurry back out for more shopping. The lunch was good, the steak sandwich I had was very taste and not to dry. They had a pasta bar that you could choose what paste you wanted, with what sauce and other extras. My wife had that and she loved it. We usually ate lunch in the windjammer and we usually ate way to much. If you didn’t get there during the actual lunch serving you most had salad, hamburgers, hotdogs, pasta, and deli sandwiches. It was very simple but it was good and you could eat as much as you wanted. They would also have something special each day, once was ribs, and another was spicy chicken breast. The windjammer is nice because it looks out over the back of the boat and you get a nice view of the ports and island. We also ate lunch at the Promenade Cafe a few times. This is the only food that is 24 hours a day on the ship. They have pizza, and sandwiches as well as deserts. It’s good food and makes a great snack. You can also get fruit here too, they had whole kiwi that you could get too.
We did eat dinner in the dinning room every night. The food was wonderful. Yes you might be able to get a better cut of meat at a restaurant here in the states but I would say that even though it was not a 5 start dinner it came very close. You can get as many plates as you want and I had soup, salad and appetizers on a couple occasions. They have a very good variety and if you don’t like the suggested courses they always had standard meals, like sirloin, chicken, and paste every night. The deserts were wonderful, and some nights it was hard to decide what to get. That’s the best part about going with someone. You both get something different and then share. Over all the food was just wonderful, and if you go on any cruise and don’t get enough to eat then there must be something wrong with you as they had something for everyone.
The service one this ship was wonderful. Our cabin steward introduced us and knew us by name before we even meet him, he also asked the first night if we had gotten our luggage and when we said we had not he said he would go find it. It was in the room the next time we got there. Our waiter and assistant waiter were wonderful. The assistant waiter had glasses of soda for us every night after the first one. She even had one for me when I brought another glass in with me. She also had a glass for us as soon as she saw our current one was empty. Our waiter was funny and always stopped by to see if we were ok, he even tried to push more lobster tail on us. He also gave me more tiger shrimp one evening after I had finished mine, and I didn’t even have to ask for it. The service staff on the ship all was very helpful, two in particular were the waitress at the Duck and Dog Pub on the promenade. I usually had a drink there before dinner and they new my name by the 3rd day. It surprised my wife when we walked by and both of them said “Hi Josh”. She made the comment that maybe I was spending a little to much time there. Even the people in the casino were nice to us.
On this cruise I found that because we spent 5 out of 6 days at an island I had enough to do. When I cruised with Carnival there were 3 days at sea and usually they were very boring. On this cruise, the day at sea was spent very busy. The rock climbing wall was a nice thing and I saw people of all ages trying. The mini golf course was very fun although it was more difficult to putt with the ship moving and tilting at times. During the evening they had shows, we went to one of the theater shows, one of the comedy acts and the ice show. The theater show was ok not great but it had some very nice singing and dancing. The comedy act was an impersonator and he was funny and did some very good impersonations. The best thing to see was the ice show. It was very impressive. They had a guest skater and he would hang from the ceiling on bolts of fabric and would do gymnastic routines. It was very good and really amazing. If you take a cruise with an ice rink you need to see this show even if you’re not the biggest fan of ice skating. You did need to get tickets as the seating is limited but we go them the day before with no problem. It also had a coupon for a dollar off a drink during the show. The casino was always fun, we spent one evening and one afternoon in there. We did end up winning over all but just enjoyed the time. The one thing I did like was they were not trying to shove bingo down your throat. They would have announcements that they were going to have some bingo going on but when I sailed with Carnival it seemed that every other announcement was come play bingo. When your not that big of a fan anyway it gets very annoying.
I will have to say this ship looked wonderful. The artwork was amazing and the promenade made you think you were not at sea. They even had a statue of a guy that you thought was real. He had a crease in his pants and at least twice I found my self saying excuse me to him. Out room was nicely decorated and did not go over board. The dinning rooms looked amazing as well as all the lounges and bars.
This cruise was with out a doubt the best that I have been on and the best line. I will never again sail with Carnival, but will probably do Norwegian if they have a cruise that I like. Royal Caribbean however impressed me beyond anything I could imagine. I don’t know how someone could take this cruise and not enjoy it.