Sail Date: March 2004
We sailed out of San Juan 3/14 and our itinerary included Aruba, Curacoa, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. This was my first cruise so I have nothing to compare it to. I had been trying to find reviews for this ship so I would know what to ... Read More
We sailed out of San Juan 3/14 and our itinerary included Aruba, Curacoa, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. This was my first cruise so I have nothing to compare it to. I had been trying to find reviews for this ship so I would know what to expect. Well, I have to say Royal Caribbean does an outstanding job of satisfying its passengers. They go above and beyond to make sure you are happy. The ship is absolutely beautiful and spotless, the staff is very accommodating and friendly and the entertainment was superb. I wanted to let other people know who have never cruised before was drinks cost on an average since that was something I wanted to know and could not find. I was drinking the tropical drinks and they ranged in price from 5.95 to 6.95 including gratuities. I did buy a few imports for people I was with and those were $3.75 each. Highlights of the cruise for me were the ice show and the caribbean pool party which included a midnight buffet. I have to say the food was good, both in the dining room and in Windjammers, but I do have to agree with another reviewer that it wasn't all that. Certain things arrived not hot and either over done or not done enough. I could have sent it back but I didn't. The dining staff WILL do everything they can to make you happy, but they work so hard as it is, I didn't want to complain. I imagine it is very difficult to cook and serve that many people in a small amount of time and do it well. Another tip I want to give it to pass on the shopping seminar and VIP passport book they try to get you to buy since it is nothing but useless coupons to receive a bunch of junk at the ports. At least in my humble opinion. Everyone talks about the fantastic deals on jewelry you can get, but in my opinion, I did not see any great deals. I will admit you can find things there that are not easy to find in jewelry stores here, such as clear Columbian emeralds, nice colored tanzanite, pink sapphires, platinum and so forth, but if you do your homework, I don't believe that there are any great deals that can't be found here. I sold jewelry retail from a reputable company and can tell you that they mark it up down there just to mark it down, just like anywhere else. So, buyer beware. Another tip I want to give is not to overpack!! I was quite surprised to see the cost of alcohol down there. The prices are amazing. Almost 50% less than in the states on some things. That is what I brought back!! I was not planning on it, and did not like lugging it, but it was worth it. More about the ship....Johnny Rockets was fun. The burgers were good old fashioned hand made and the onion rings were really tasty. The waiters and waitresses end up doing a dancing number for you that is really fun! The main pool area is large with several bars all over the place and staff walking around to serve you. There is an adult pool area that looks like a Venetian spa and is really nice. The only excursion we did was on St. Maarten. We took the island tour in the morning and the afternoon beach bash. The island tour was $23 and it consisted of a 2.5 hour tour of both sides of St. Maarten. They give you about 45 minutes to shop in the French town of Marigot and then they will drop you off in Philipsburg on the Dutch side or take you back to the ship. The beach bash was at the French beach called Orient Beach. It was really nice. All the ports were enjoyable in their own ways. It was nice to finally get to see places that I had wanted to see for so long. My favorite island was St. Thomas. It has a bit more commerce and perhaps the familiarity of a "Key West" feel. My sister did not care for it for that very reason! Oh well. I do want to comment on the airport at St. Juan. It was just plain crazy. There were an insane amount of people trying to fly out of there on Sunday and not enough places to sit to wait for your plane or anything. The lines to check in were extremely long and it was just a damper on a beautiful week. Needless to say, if I ever cruise again, I would not cruise out of San Juan. As far as tipping goes, I would absolutely say every one of the staff deserves AT LEAST the recommended amount, if not more. They work 10 hours a day / 7 days a week with no break and you would never know it. They are always smiling and ready to accommodate. The only other thing I can say is if you like to lay out by the pool, get out there early because despite what good intentions the ship tries to set, people still do put towels on the chairs and then go about their day, either eating breakfast, lunch, or what have you. There were several times I went out at around 10:30 or so and could not find anything close to the pool, only on the very top deck. All in all, it was nice, but I think I prefer all inclusive resorts, they seem to be the same type of thing and include all your drinks as well. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2004
After being on many Royal Caribbean ships including Voyager and Explorer, I found quite a few changes when we sailed over Spring Break. It seems quite obvious that this cruise line is trying too hard to save money-all at the cost of the ... Read More
After being on many Royal Caribbean ships including Voyager and Explorer, I found quite a few changes when we sailed over Spring Break. It seems quite obvious that this cruise line is trying too hard to save money-all at the cost of the customer. The food aboard this ship was truly undesirable-the common joke was-:"where else can you lose weight on a ship?" Beginning with breakfast-we ordered room service almost every day. It never got better the eggs either dripped in butter or were so bland there was no taste. The best thing to eat were the rolls and jam. Lunch in the Windjammer followed closely-total lack of taste and variety. We had dinner every night in the dining room except for 1 night in Portofino. The dining room food was terrible-certainly not up to Royal Caribbean standards. The service was even worse. There was never a night when we did not leave the dining room much before 11:00. You could never get special requests-ex: shrimp cocktail on a night not offered. Other sad points regarding this ship_what ever happened to the wonderful parades that we saw on the other ships??? These 2 parades were something to hang your head at in shame. If you are unhappy with smoking this is not the ship for you. Royal Caribbean markets themselves as primarily non smoking with some exceptions in certain areas. I assure you that everywhere you went were people smoking. Very hard to breath and the staff did nothing to contain this. There were quite a few customers complaining at the guest relations desk-all to no avail. On a good note-we had a catagory C stateroom which was wonderful. Imagine a walkin closet!! Even though these comments have been primarily negative I truly recommend these Voyager ships for families with kids. My 14 year old never left the basketball court, my 7 year old spent too much time in the arcade and at Johnny Rocketts, and my 12 year old loved to shop and do Bingo. Overall the ship is still a great one but Royal Caribbean needs to remember that customers are what keeps them in business. Stop nickel and diming people and bring back the quality you are known for. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2004
We left Chicago vis Midway Airport at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 21, 2004. This meant getting up before three a.m. which was not that bad considering we were all pretty excited anyway. The flight was okay but they did not show a movie and ... Read More
We left Chicago vis Midway Airport at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 21, 2004. This meant getting up before three a.m. which was not that bad considering we were all pretty excited anyway. The flight was okay but they did not show a movie and it got long after three hours. We arrived a few minutes early to San Juan which I considered a good sign for the week. We picked up our bags quite quickly and waited in line to get a cab to take us to the pier, the cab system in San Juan is very good and a pleasure to deal with. I am going to assume that we beat the crowd by booking our own air and transportation because when we arrived at the pier we walked right through the only ones there. After having our picture taken we headed to our cabin (8612) a DB on the bump-out which my husband loved. It was a beautiful room and had ample storage space. The cabin was a little bit larger and better designed than the comparable cabin we had last year on the Sea Princess. Our room steward was Sondra and she was very capable and great with the towel animals. We changed into our shorts and slapped on some sunscreen to head out to explore the ship and get something to eat and drink. The Windjammer buffet was nice and we were more than satisfied. We ate most of our lunches there as well as several breakfasts. I might as well say now that we never had a reason to eat at Johnny Rockets but they were not charging to eat there an this trip. We also did not feel any desire to try Portofino's although it looked like a nice alternative if you needed one. We requested the main seating as I am a diabetic and the other was just too late. We ate in the Vivaldi Ding Room which is the bottom of the three tier room. We were at a table for four (with the other couple we went with) in the center but off to the right. Our waiter was Kamal from India and our asst. waiter was Sandor from Turkey they were very good and met our every need without any hesitation. Our waiter told us the ship was over capacity on this sailing with all the children along. The meals in the dining room were we felt very good and very much on par with Princess. We never once walked away hungry! The most enjoyable thing however was the beauty of this room and the music that played throughout dinner what a plus!! I did however feel sorry for the waiters as the toddlers and children wondered the dining room at will and I could tell the waiters were being extra careful. Please do not misunderstand I am not complaining about the children they sat a long time and overall we had no issue with them or the many teenagers on this trip. We very much wanted to catch the parade but did not make it we watched the sailaway and had a nightcap and went to bed early. We had two sea days on this trip that is why we chose it and we enjoyed them both. Just remember to keep applying the sunscreen. I missed a spot on my inner arm and am peeling as I write this review. The entertainment was good. We really enjoyed the ice show but our highlight was the comedians "Two Funny Guys" from the Venitian in Las Vegas. I would go and see them again if I went to Vegas. They were a not to miss good time. This is a huge ship and was full but we never felt overwhelmed except on the promenade trying to look at the shops. We hung out quite a bit at the Duck and Dog Pub there and enjoyed people watching. Our shore experiences were good but I would not do the trolley in Curaco again instead I would take a cab on my own. The best was however the Sand and Snorkel to Buck Island. We were thrilled with this trip and I would say it is a not to miss day. There were three couples on a sailboat called "Island Girl" it was a great day and the captain and his daughter met our every need. The snorkeling was beautiful and it was like we were alone in the world. Great Time!!! This was our sixth cruise and I will say that it was our best excursion ever. Customs in St. Thomas was every easy I do not know if we hit the time perfectly but it went smoothly and the line was moving constantly. The entire week was really wonderful and we enjoyed all the different areas on the ship (which were many). It was wonderful not to have a shower curtain, the hair dryer was fine. No cruise ever beats your first cruise but this one certainly could have. If you have any question s feel free to e-mail me. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
I just returned from the Adventure of the Seas 4/18 cruise to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Having cruised on 40+ ships, I can truly say that the AOS is an awesome, modern marvel. Even though huge in size, you never felt lost ... Read More
I just returned from the Adventure of the Seas 4/18 cruise to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Having cruised on 40+ ships, I can truly say that the AOS is an awesome, modern marvel. Even though huge in size, you never felt lost or crowded. The Promenade mall was amazing, Viking Crown lounges beautiful and pool area enormous and roomy. There was so much space on this ship! Food was generally excellent. Casino slots very loose, contrary to a reviewer who stated that slots were "tight." Not on this cruise. All ports were very nice, with the exception of Curacao. We rented a car and returned it within 2 hours. Nothing to see on this island and beaches were mediocre. Stay on the ship here! This was my 4th Royal Caribbean cruise in 2 years (Radiance *****, Enchantment ***, Serenade ****, AOS *****). As far a future cruises are concerned, I will be cruising on Royal Caribbean. They just have everything down right and the ships are beautiful. If you're a first timer, try Radiance of the Seas...it is radiant! Next cruise will be Jewel of The Seas in January 2005. I look forward to experiencing this new ship. I'm sure it will not disappoint, but as far as I'm concerned, Royal Caribbean can do no wrong in my book! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
We're back from the 4/18-4/25 Sailing of the AOS and I'm finally caught up enough to post my review. Overall we had a fantastic time on this trip. This was a family trip with my wife, my three kids (6, 8 and 10) and my ... Read More
We're back from the 4/18-4/25 Sailing of the AOS and I'm finally caught up enough to post my review. Overall we had a fantastic time on this trip. This was a family trip with my wife, my three kids (6, 8 and 10) and my step-mother. After having planned it 11 months in advance I'm now in a serious post-cruise depression mood now. Anyway, here goes... Pre-trip: We flew in a day ahead of time from Boston and arrived in San Juan at about 4:30. We stayed in the San Juan Marriott. This was nice (if somewhat expensive) hotel for the night. We got there early enough so we could check in and the kids could swim for a bit before dinner. Had the buffet dinner at the hotel. It was fine but not particularly memorable. Embarkation: Had breakfast / brunch at the hotel buffet and hung out at the pool until about 1:00 and then got a cab to the pier. We got to the pier around 1:30 or so and the doors had not yet opened. This was a bit disappointing as we thought we'd be able to get on by then. Apparently they had trouble clearing the ship from the previous sailing. We were able to get rid of our luggage and the waiting area was covered but it was pretty hot. The line got pretty long by the time the doors finally opened. Amazingly, we were right behind the only person I really interacted with here before the cruise (hi coolseb); what are the odds of that? We only had to wait about half an hour or so though so it wasn't too bad. Once we got inside we were checked in and onto the ship in no time at all. We were in a suite but I couldn't really tell whether that made the check-in any faster or not; it was very well organized and I just went where they told me to go. For what it's worth to those who care, I brought two bottles of wine with me in my backpack and no one said a word. The Ship: I'm not sure what I can say about this ship that hasn't already been said. This was the third cruise for my wife and I, the first on a Voyager class. The ship is spectacular, clean and very friendly. We were in one of the Royal Family Suites on the aft of the ship on deck 10. The room was amazing - two separate bedrooms, two bathrooms, plus a living room and a huge balcony. I'm not sure how we'll ever go back to a "normal" room again. The meals in the dining room were great. Both the quality and presentation were good. I'd give the presentation an A and the quality a B+/A-. You can't really expect gourmet fare on a ship this big but I enjoyed every meal and the service was impeccable. Our wait staff went out of their way - particularly with my kids. Most of our breakfasts and lunches we did in the Windjammer. I'd give the food here a grade of B/B-. It was fine but standard buffet fare. We did Johnny Rockets a couple times for lunch and enjoyed it. Our favorite night spot on the ship was the Duck and Dog. We also spent quite a bit of time in the casino and were impressed with both it and its staff. As for shows, we saw the Velvet Rope, the Quest and the ice show. I was somewhat underwhelmed by the Velvet Rope, loved the ice show and laughed my a** off at the Quest. All of my kids used the kid's program to one extent or another. Their staff was great and the kids liked them all. The 6 and 8 year olds couldn't get enough off it. My ten year old daughter enjoyed it too but also liked hanging out with the grown-ups from time to time. Did the Rasul couples thing in the spa. This was fun; I highly recommend it. One suggestion here - bring clean clothes with you. You don't want to have to put dirty clothes back on when you're done (no one warned us about this). Aruba: I went on the two tank dive with the ship while everyone else did the submarine trip in Aruba. The sub was reported to be fantastic and the diving was good as well. After having lunch back on the ship we grabbed a cab to Baby Beach. For five of us for the afternoon it was $60 plus tip (we gave the driver $20). The traffic near the port was really bad so it took us a lot longer to get to the beach then I remembered from previous trips to the island. Once we got to the beach the driver told us the "back" part of the beach was better and less crowded. Unfortunately, the van got stuck in the sand when we got there. I spent a few minutes trying to help the driver then decided that it was his problem to solve so we went snorkeling. He was actually fine with this and went and found a friend to tow him out. The snorkeling was as good as I remembered it and the kids loved their first Caribbean snorkeling experience. Traffic was equally bad getting back to the ship but we had time to stop and buy a couple more bottles of wine which again we brought back without hiding and without questions. Curacao In Curacao we went to KonTiki beach on our own via taxi. I did a one tank dive with Toucan diving while everyone else hung out on the beach or snorkeled. The diving was fantastic, the snorkeling just ok. The beach was ok as well with chairs, food, drink and facilities all nearby. St Martin: In St Martin we all did the shipwreck cove snorkeling trip and enjoyed it. The visibility wasn't that great due to the recent weather but I bet it would be a great spot otherwise. Went back to the ship for lunch then the girls went shopping while I stayed on the ship. St Thomas: In St Thomas we went to Coki Beach / Coral World on our own. This was a bit of a PITA. The open-air buses/taxis wait until they are filled before leaving so we ended up wasting a lot of time waiting for it to be filled. This whole area of the pier seemed very disorganized and could definitely be improved. In any case, Coral World was very cool and everyone loved it. We had lunch at Coral World and then hit the beach and went snorkeling. The snorkeling here was the best of the trip. The beach itself was very good but not spectacular. Same problem with the Taxi on the return trip - had to wait for him to fill up. It was annoying but what can you do, these guys are just trying to make a living. We got back to the ship in plenty time anyway. Debarkation: We had a late flight but following the instructions of the concierge left the ship with the first group with no questions asked. We were off the ship by 9:30. Our luggage was easy to find and we breezed right through customs. Since we managed to get off the ship early, we went back to the Marriott and got a day room so we could spend the day at the pool. Left the hotel about 2:00 to get to the airport for our 5:18 flight. Airport check-in and security were no problem at this time of day so our experience with the SJ airport was very positive. If I had it to do again though, I'd probably take a flight home on Monday or an earlier flight on Sunday. We spent a lot of time and effort lugging around a lot of luggage on Sunday. Overall, this was a great trip. I'm sure it's something we'll all remember for a very long time. As has been said many times, there is just so much to do on this ship it's impossible to do it all. We never did make it to a parade or to a midnight buffet. Sorry for the length but I know some people (myself included) like to hear all the details. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2004
"ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS" REVIEW MAY 2nd SAILING 10 DAY- SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN It's been over a week now since we returned and this is the first chance I've had to take a minute to write about our voyage. My wife and I ... Read More
"ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS" REVIEW MAY 2nd SAILING 10 DAY- SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN It's been over a week now since we returned and this is the first chance I've had to take a minute to write about our voyage. My wife and I are in our early forties and this was our fourteenth cruise since 1990, eight of which have been with RCI. We will sail for the ninth time with RCI aboard the "Splendour of the Seas" this coming December 18th. We sailed alone on the "AOS" to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary but will have our two teenage sons with us and our in-laws in December. This was our second trip on a "Voyager" class ship having done a family vacation last year on the "Voyager of the Seas" (Western Caribbean). We departed Las Vegas on the red-eye Saturday night May 1st flying into Ft. Lauderdale on America West, which ran into a storm over Alabama and arrived an hour late, causing us to miss our connection on American Airlines to San Juan. Fortunately America West was on the ball and phoned American Airlines while we were in the air, booking us the last couple seats on a slightly later flight. We finally departed Ft. Lauderdale at 9:30am and had a smooth flight down to San Juan arriving just before noon. We quickly gathered our bags from the carousel and took a taxi to the pier for $18.50. There were two very long lines at the pier. First you have to stand in line for ever to hand over your luggage and then you go to the back of an even longer line to wait to enter the terminal. The terminal opened about 12:30 pm just after we dropped off our bags and fortunately the line into the terminal moved pretty fast. Once through security we were able to get into the Crown & Anchor line which was very short. We only had one couple in front of us and we were in or cabin in a matter of minutes. After dumping our bags I went immediately to the dining room to check out our table and was pleasantly surprised to find we had been assigned the table for two we had requested. We then moved on to the Windjammer for some lunch where we witnessed a passenger being removed on a gurney by the ships medical crew. We never did learn what that was all about. With some food in our stomach and after a sleepless night we returned to the cabin for a three hour nap. We woke at five and prepared for dinner at the early seating which turned out to be at 6:30pm the first night and was at 6pm thereafter. Let me stop for a minute and say that we always try to fly in the day before for a cruise but we just couldn't make it work with our schedules this trip. NEVER AGAIN will I arrive the day the ship departs. We had very little sleep on the flights and were absolutely exhausted the first two days of our vacation. First let me give you a quick run down of the important things. We had an inside category N cabin. As much as we'd like to have a balcony, we can afford to take two cruises a year with an inside cabin vs. one cruise a year with a balcony. We got an especially good deal, paying $650.00 ea for the cruise including all port charges and fees and $350 each for airfare, so we were able to do the trip for $2,000, not including tips, excursions and miscellaneous expenses. The ship was in excellent condition, the staff was incredible, and despite what anyone says the food was very good. We ate every dinner in the Dining Room except the last Monday at Sea when we dined at Portafinos. I went with my waiters recommendations every night and he only let me down once. Every meal was excellent except for the Veal Shank. Portafinos was spectacular and I highly recommend it. One small complaint though, we ate at Portafinos the next to the last night and the ship was headed into dry dock following our cruise. Just like we had read on the "Cruise Critic" board, renovations were beginning towards the end of our cruise. The carpet in the lobby and on the stairs, just outside of Portafinos was being replaced while we ate, and the very strong smell of contact cement drifted in as we dined. Not the most pleasant smell while you're eating a spectacular meal. I would say the only low point on the ship was the entertainment. RCI has a reputation for top notch entertainment both with the production shows and the guest headliners. Unfortunately, this time the entertainment was not the cream of the crop. The wardrobe for the production shows was ghastly. Let me say that I work for the Cirque du Soleil show "O" at the Bellagio, so I'm very involved in the entertainment field. Honestly, I'm not being overly critical. Most of the time I love the ship board entertainment and the theaters on the "Voyager" class ships are state of the art. I just feel that the entertainment was not up to par on this sailing. The Ice Show was definitely the strongest. This was our second ten day cruise and is definitely the only was to go. One week just isn't enough time to unwind. Now the ports: Day 2- St. Thomas We docked at 7am, grabbed some breakfast at the Windjammer and were off the ship at 8am. We immediately caught a taxi to Red Hook ($7.00 ea) and took the Ferry across to Cruz Bay in St. John ($3.00 ea) once in Cruz Bay we rented a jeep ($50.00) and headed for Waterlemon Cay to snorkel. We drove until the paved road ends and then onto a dirt road for about a mile. We then parked and hiked about a mile and a half down the beach until we came to a tractor tire on the beach. From here we put on our gear and swam out to a small island. There is minimal snorkeling just off the beach, but the snorkeling around the island is world class. The swim out to the island isn't too bad but there's a strong current against you coming back to the mainland and you have to kick pretty hard. We had snorkeling vests and I wouldn't go out there without wearing one. We made it back to Cruz Bay by 2:00pm and caught the 2:15pm Ferry all the way back to Charlotte Amaile where the ship was docked ($7.00 ea). The Ferry doesn't actually go to the pier but drops you off in town, where we walked back to the ship, which is quite a long walk. There is a "Pueblo" supermarket by the dock where you can stock up on Soda, Beer and Wine. Day 3- St Maarten The Ship docks on the Dutch side and we took a taxi ($5.00ea) to Orient Beach which is on the French side. Orient Beach is beautiful with pristine white sand. You will see some topless sunbathing on the main part of the beach and the very south end is totally nude. We loved this port and would consider returning here for a vacation. Day 4- St. Lucia We had originally planned on visiting Sandal's until they doubled the price of a day pass. I went scuba diving by myself with an independent operator and my wife went shopping. The first dive was one of the best I've ever done and I've been to a lot of dive sites all over the world. The second dive was a drift dive called "Superman's Flight" and it really lived up to its name. The current was so strong it was like diving into a tornado. I have to admit that even as an experienced diver I was a little nervous on this dive. I was out from 9am-4:30pm so I never saw much of the island but my wife wasn't too impressed with it. Day 5- Antigua We did very little here but look around town. The island was very poor and dirty and I wouldn't particularly want to return there again. Day 6- Barbados This was the only ship excursion we took which was the 5 Star Catamaran trip. You used to be able to book this excursion independently but RCI has an exclusive arrangement with them now. It's only a couple dollars more thru the ship so it really doesn't matter. We heard great things about this excursion and they were all true. We snorkeled in two spots, saw big turtles, had a wonderful hot lunch, unlimited open bar, and spent some time at a private beach. This is a must do in Barbados. The trip lasts 5 hours so we didn't see much of Barbados but it looked like a very nice place. Day 7- At Sea Ate at Johnny Rocket's for lunch and watched a lot of DVD on the laptop in our cabin. We took a mini surround sound system and this was just great! Spent some time at the pool. Just a good relaxing day at sea. Day 8- Aruba (in port 7am until 1am the next morning) I booked a horseback riding trip online with a place called Rancho el Campo for $45.00 ea. The owner's wife picked us up at the pier at 8:30am and took us to the ranch. What a wonderful professional bunch at the ranch and what a great set-up. This is another must do excursion if you like to ride. The ranch hands are Columbians, and boy did we ride. This wasn't a boring old trail ride where one horse walks slowly behind the other. We trotted, we ran, we went up and down the mountains, stopped at the "Natural Pools", ran on the white sand beach and trotted all the way back to the ranch. I was sore for two days after, but what a great ride. We returned to ship just after noon, and showered and ate lunch. We walked around town in the early afternoon but it was Sunday and not too much was open. We finally took a city bus to Palm Beach ($1.00 ea) where we swam and hung out at a beach bar. This was the best stop on the cruise and definitely a place we want to return to for a long vacation. Day 9- Curacao We booked a dive at the Curacao SeaAquarium directly online for 11am. The ship offers this same excursion at 9am for $89.00 ea but we booked it directly for $54.00 ea. I am a certified diver and my wife is not, but since you're in only 12 foot of water you can do this dive without being certified. They give you a great briefing and this is a once in a lifetime experience. You get to feed sharks, and swim with the stingrays. The SeaAqaurium is very nice and the staff is wonderful. We caught a taxi back in to town ($5.00ea) and dropped off our gear and showered at the ship. We spent the rest of the day in town where we shopped and had a drink. Curacao is a cool place. It has some slightly scary places if you get too far off the beaten path, but we were never really frightened. I liked it but I'm not sure I'd want to visit there on a solo vacation? I would like to check out the third island of the A-B-C islands, Bonaire as it's supposed to be a diving paradise. Day 10- At Sea Just a relaxing trip back to San Juan with a wonderful farewell dinner of Lobster. Weather was great, seas were fairly calm and we couldn't have asked for a nicer vacation. Debarkation was quick and smooth and we were off the ship at 8:30am. Despite what everyone warned us about the San Juan airport we had no complaints. It was air-conditioned and the lines were short. Our flight didn't depart San Juan until 2:50pm so we had a long wait and didn't return to Vegas until 10:30pm. A very long day but well worth the trip. I'll be happy to answer any questions? Happy cruising Read Less
Sail Date: May 2004
This was the first family vacation for probably 12 years, and we had a great time. My husband, younger (21) daughter, and I stayed in one of the owner's suites, and my other daughter and her husband had a stateroom overlooking the ... Read More
This was the first family vacation for probably 12 years, and we had a great time. My husband, younger (21) daughter, and I stayed in one of the owner's suites, and my other daughter and her husband had a stateroom overlooking the promenade. The suite was great, and even the stateroom wasn't bad. We loved the ship, and the service was great. The only bad parts were trying to wait for elevators - not enough, and the kids. They were everywhere, at all times of the night. They were playing in the casino, congregating on the stairs, and running up and down the hallways ringing doorbells and banging on doors. We didn't do a whole lot on the islands. Went horseback riding in Aruba, walking and shopping in Curacao, window shopping in town and taxi tour around the island in St Martin with a brief stop at Orient Beach, and snorkeling trip via ferry to Trunk Bay in St Johns. Best shopping was at St Martin for souvenirs, etc. Weather was great - nice breezes the whole time. Getting into and out of San Juan to and from ship were no problem. We took the morning tour of San Juan, and although we've visited there many times, learned a lot from the guide. That also got us off the ship early - hint for anyone who hates waiting around doing nothing until they can disembark! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2004
Hi. We just got back from San Juan and the AOS cruise of May 23. First let me say that the ship is beautiful. But, it was not a cruise that was enjoyable. My hubby and I booked two cabins and brought friends. They were on the 6th and we ... Read More
Hi. We just got back from San Juan and the AOS cruise of May 23. First let me say that the ship is beautiful. But, it was not a cruise that was enjoyable. My hubby and I booked two cabins and brought friends. They were on the 6th and we stayed on 9. They were happy with the room and service. Before we left home I asked that the beds be put together as a queen. Theirs was ours was not. We called and requested it... they never came we had to do it ourselves. On the first night we went to dinner and were not impressed by the waiter. It took 31 min to get a drink. The waiter never offered recommendations, didn't place napkins in lap, help with chairs, etc. on this night and all others he made it clear that extra food was a problem. We had main seating and he always said they were "running out of food" I talked with a lot of other couples..one even requested shrimp every night and got it. There were 7 at our table and after the 1st night 3 never returned...they found the food and service at the Windjammer better. We kept sticking it out hoping it would get better..it did not. Our asst. waiter though was wonderful.. Drinks were hard to come by- if he did come around it took forever to get it back. The menu was not impressive..better menu last year on the explorer. One night they did the macarena and told us all to get up in the middle of dinner. NOT many staff participated in this..they expected the passengers to and they stood around watching us. On the explorer it was fun..not here. Monday we landed in St. Thomas- we ordered room service the night before...did it thru tv because we did not have the card VERY LIMITED TV MENU AND COULD NOT GET IT TILL 7 OR 7:30. We left the ship by 8. I returned at 2 to find breakfast dishes still there, room unmade, no ice, no towels etc. I called and asked for them to do so..even put card in door. At 5:30 still not done. Called again. After dinner came up it was done but NO candy or cute towel animals. All week long candy and towel animals lacked. Had a couple of elephants and 1 monkey thru whole cruise. Had to ask for pool towels EVERY time when we could find the steward..otherwise did without. On tuesday we returned from port and I found a steward in our hallway. I stopped to ask for a couple of towels..women need more than 1 towel for hair..LOL but steward frowned at me, opened his cart..said it's 2 towels per room and that is the way it should be. I held out my hand and he did give me towels but slammed the door when he was finished. I called downstairs and reported it..they asked us to give them a second chance. We did get 4 bath towels after that but no pool towels. Finally on third day got candy. The ship photographer did not take our picture on thurs night..just skipped over us. Head waiter asked how service and food was.. we tried to be nice and said "The FOOD is great" we repeated it several times. It just went over his head. One night i did complain and he said it was because they were "busy". Staff was not friendly on the ship.. many avoided looking and saying hi. Muster was awful.. we could not hear anything.. parents with 3 young children let the children run, scream, "bunt" each other during the whole thing. Kids were playing "samurai" with the life vests. The shows were great..Esp. the comedy..John Stevens III was soooooooooooo great. He even did a free performance at the piano bar after midnight. The jugglers were excellent. The ice show was fun. Drifters were great too. Many of spas and pools were closed after dinner. Limited to one spa. Always seemed to be closed for cleaning. The saunas and steam room closed early at 8. Could not book massage..too full. St. Martins was wonderful..beautiful, fun. Took St. Lucia Volcano excursion.....WONDERFULLLLLLLL also did Pirate ship in Barbados and that was fun. Not much to do in Barbados..didn't have too much time with Pirate ship scheduled in pm. Did have a nice taxi tour with interesting info and trip to a beach. Passengers on the ship were friendly, fun, kind. Met sooooo many nice people. We went to the Crown and Anchor Captains party..talked with some couples who also felt service, attitude, food-menu lacking. They told us how great the Normandy, i believe , was great each and every time they have been on a cruise. Talked with a young couple who put hands on a newly varnished railing. Ports were a lot of fun. Johnny Rockets service was EXCELLENT. The food was very good. Wait was not long. Embarkation and debarking was fast and easy. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2004
I sailed on Adventure of the Seas in June 2004. It was my 5th cruise. I had sailed RCCL before and wasn't at all impressed and vowed never to sail RCCL again. However, our kids ages 11-15 wanted to go again because of the Royal ... Read More
I sailed on Adventure of the Seas in June 2004. It was my 5th cruise. I had sailed RCCL before and wasn't at all impressed and vowed never to sail RCCL again. However, our kids ages 11-15 wanted to go again because of the Royal Promenade. They liked meeting with other kids.    Another disappointment was the food. It was absolutely the worst food I have ever put in my mouth. The steak was so thick and tough my knife wouldn't even cut it, The chicken was like hard rubber, and the desserts were tasteless. They only had one salad a night and if you didn't like it they would bring you some lettuce with tomato on it. The dressing of the night is what you got regardless whether you liked it or not. I lost one pound while on the cruise. I must say though, the dining service was great.   The shows were bad. My granddaughter's dance team is better than those dancers. In fact that is what the 2 nights of dancing was, dance team quality. The 2 comedians were not funny and had a filthy mouths. Not suitable for families.   We didn't get our luggage until 10 oclock. We were dirty from being on planes and airports. Was tired and wanted to go to bed. Even my kids said this was their last trip on RCCL. Take my advice and go on Disney!! You won't be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2004
Adventure of the Seas 6/27 This was our 4th cruise (3rd on RCCL), and can honestly say I would recommend this ship and cruise line without any hesitation. Embarkation - This was a really a breeze; a RCCL rep met us at Baggage Claim ... Read More
Adventure of the Seas 6/27 This was our 4th cruise (3rd on RCCL), and can honestly say I would recommend this ship and cruise line without any hesitation. Embarkation - This was a really a breeze; a RCCL rep met us at Baggage Claim area; directed us to a line where we waited maybe 10 minutes and were then led to an air-conditioned bus. All luggage that was tagged with the blue AOS tags were taken directly to the ship. Upon arrival at the pier (20 minutes from airport), we entered the line for deck 9 and waited no more than 5 minutes. We were photographed for SeaPasses and on-board less than 5 minutes later. Luggage was at the stateroom before 8:00pm; plenty of time to unpack and stow everything before muster drill. Stateroom - Category M (inside), mid-ship on deck 9. The room was a little on the small side, but there was plenty of room to store our things. Very clean, and stateroom attendant was very helpful and attentive. Room was always made up when we returned. Meals - I can honestly say most meals were very good. Some better than others, but overall there were no complaints. This included the Dining Room, Windjammer, Island Grille, Cafe Promenade and Johnny Rockets. Portofino was absolutely incredible - both the food and the extra-service. Our waiter & assistant waiter in the dining room were the greatest; we could not have had a better team. Ship - As far as the ship goes ... WOW ... it is an incredible vessel, both inside and out. Everything was like-new and in very good condition (probably due to recent dry dock). The only thing I was a little disappointed with was the stability of the ship. I expected such a large vessel to be very stable, especially with the fairly calm seas we had. However, when the ship was cruising at higher speeds (mainly on the at-sea days), there was a very noticeable side-to-side pitch and motion. This did not really bother me, but my wife who is prone to sea-sickness was a little uneasy (but the Transderm Scop patch worked fine for her). We found that the Disney Magic, Sovereign of the Seas, and even the Empress of the Seas felt more stable when cruising. Our theory is the ship is so tall (over 15 stories), with only 29 feet below the water line; so she may be somewhat top-heavy. At low speeds (Aruba to Curacao, and St. Maarten to St. Thomas) the stability was much better Entertainment - Top-notch shows including a great comedian - Eric Lyden, who had everyone rolling the first night of the cruise with some PG-rated humor. Then he did an adults-only show at midnight the following night which was so funny we were aching from so much laughter. All the singers, dancers, ice-skaters and other shows were of Vegas-level quality and always very entertaining. Ports of Call - Aruba - Booked a snorkel cruise on our own ... the Jolly Pirates cruise. This was a blast! A very good deal ($42.50 per person when booked on line  ... 4 and ½ hour cruise, 3 snorkel stops, BBQ lunch, open bar and a rope swing that is just too much fun. Hung out at Mambo beach after the snorkel cruise; then Carlos & Charlie's after dinner on the ship. Curacao - Short walk to town across the floating bridge for some decent shopping. Grabbed a taxi to the Seaquarium beach ($12 for 4 people). Beach is man-made but very clean and picturesque, and water is great. St. Maarten - Took the water taxi to downtown Phillipsburg (5 minute ride). Great deals on jewelry, but make sure to shop around ... the first place you stop isn't always the best. After a few hours of shopping, grabbed a taxi to Orient Beach ($24 for 4 people) ... Great taxi driver - Leon - who gave us a mini tour on the way. He also agreed to come back and pick us up ... and was right on time. Orient Beach was very beautiful; actually some pretty good waves when we were there. Had a good lunch at Bikini Beach and then grabbed some beach chairs for a few hours. Very crowded and some nudity but nothing too outrageous. St. Thomas - Booked a tour with Godfrey Tours. Without a doubt ... this is the best deal on the island. He picks you up at the gangway of the ship, takes you to town for shopping, then on a tour of the island for 2 hours up to the highest point on the island for incredible views. Then to your choice of beach for 2 more hours of swimming or snorkeling. We wanted to go to Megan's Bay, but the traffic was backed up so far that Godfrey recommended Sapphire Beach instead. It was nice, clean and free. He got us back to the pier by 4:20 (ship sailed at 5:00 pm). Debarkation - We were out of the stateroom by 8:00am, went to formal Dining Room for breakfast. Since our flight out was not until 5:30pm, we were not called to exit the ship until about 10:00am. Once called, it took about 20-25 minutes to walk out and go through customs. Took only about 5 minutes to find the bags and by all means grab a porter ... worth a few bucks because they seem to get you to the head of the line. We opted to take a cab to Old San Juan instead of just going like cattle to the airport. RCCL has a deal with the Barrachina Restaurant and Jewelers, who will store your bags for free. This was great; and was actually like another port of call. We toured the town on foot, grabbed some lunch at Senor Frog's and grabbed a cab to the airport around 2:30. The lines were completely gone when we arrived and we breezed through check-in and security. Overall, this was an excellent cruise vacation! We booked through the internet, which for the most part was OK. They neglected to communicate our request to be seated at the same dinner table with the other couple traveling with us. But, we were able to remedy the situation on our own by speaking with the Maitre 'D. As far as online places go, they are not going to do much else for you other than book the cruise - most with the lowest fares are not a full-service agency. But if you want a lower fare and you know the limitations going in, it is fine. We'll be back on RCCL soon! Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.0

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