Sail Date: June 2004
What an awesome vacation. We had a group of 9 of us (friends) spending 3 days pre-cruise at the lovely Westin Rio Mar resort in Rio Grande, PR (1 hr from San Juan). Boarded ship on Sunday within 1 hr of arriving at dock. Met up with my ... Read More
What an awesome vacation. We had a group of 9 of us (friends) spending 3 days pre-cruise at the lovely Westin Rio Mar resort in Rio Grande, PR (1 hr from San Juan). Boarded ship on Sunday within 1 hr of arriving at dock. Met up with my baby sister and her boyfriend onboard. Went to Royal Promenade for about 45 minutes, had a drink, picked up kids soda cards and looked around ship till time to get in cabin. Cabin was a nice size (for a ship of course). My husband and I shared a balcony cabin and had our kids (15 & 12 yrs) across the hall in an inside cabin (CAT M). Worked out great for all. Ship has so many things to do, and of course, we did not have enough time to do it all. Kids and friends of ours did rock climbing wall. All played mini golf and used pools and hot tubs. Solarium area for adults, kids were very happy with other pools. Some of us used the fitness center and spa, others played basketball and skated. Plenty of ship organized activities on at seas days. Saw the ICE show which was awesome, so was the Rock & Roll Decade and the Can't Stop the Rock shows. We were observers at the Quest game which was hilarious. Amazing what some grown people do for RCI logo stuff. Spent many a late night at the Duck & Dog with "Bernie" the bar entertainment. 1 man guitar/harmonica - sing along- he packed a crowd every night and we all sang many familiar tunes, Buffet, Chesney, Elvis, and classics like Piano Man, American Pie, and others. Dinner in dining room was wonderful- partially due to our waiter - Brian and Asst. Waitress (Bushwanna). They certainly practiced Service with a Smile the entire cruise. Windjammer and Island Grille for Breakfast and Lunch were good too. Ports of call were awesome too. Aruba - did our own Jeep safari during the day and then the adults did "Island Paradise under the Stars" excursion at night and ended the evening at Carlos & Charlie's. Wed- Curacao, some of us did the Dolphin swim, rest of us hung out at Mambo beach- beautiful , clean, next to Seaaquarium- pastel bridge in Willemstad such a beautiful sight to see. Friday, St. Martin - our family of 4 did the Regatta- what an great experience, but boy what a workout. Came in 2nd but still had a great time. Skipper even let our son of 12 yrs old steer the sailboat after race for about 15 min or better. One of the highlights of his cruise for sure. Saturday, son and I did the BOB with 2 others in our party- that I must say was a once in a lifetime thrill for me as well. Then met up with the rest of our party and rode the tram up to Paradise Point for lunch and the famous "Bushwacker", for adults of course. Did some shopping before returning to ship. All too soon our trip ended and we are not back home having cruise withdrawal. Oh well, need to start refocusing that negative energy on planning our next one. What a great time. Cruised on Carnival 2 yrs ago, RCI definitely had them beat this time in terms of service and levels of energy of cruise staff!!! I am now hooked on both cruising and RCI. Any questions feel free to ask. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2004
Precruise - We arrived in san juan on friday june 11th from washington dc on Spirit Airlines easy relaxing flight. We stayed in the condado area and ate at several very good establishments. We also visited the el morro site in old san ... Read More
Precruise - We arrived in san juan on friday june 11th from washington dc on Spirit Airlines easy relaxing flight. We stayed in the condado area and ate at several very good establishments. We also visited the el morro site in old san juan, a must see. On sunday the 13th we could see the ship from the area and decided it was time to see aos. We left the hotel about 1130am or so and went to the cruise terminal. On arrival it was quite a site to see a very large but beautiful ship. Embarkation - I am quite impressed we got to the gate around 1250am and were ushered in. I cruised twice before with rccl. We had a short immigration then waited a very short time and around 1230 were on the ship. Well done rccl i am well pleased. Public rooms - This is quite a ship it is wonderful in detail and design. When we first saw the promenade it was breath taking. The art work, the brass and glass was quite awesome. The ship is very easy to navigate with maps and crew willing to help with directions. Cabin Room 8276 - My first balcony and not my last my my my i didn't want to leave at the end of the week i could live in that room permanently. I must say the bathroom is much improved and is much roomier. Shore Excursions Aruba - We did the Aruba Town & Countryside Drive Tour. I have a new found admiration for aloe and i really enjoyed seeing the natural bridge. Curacao - We did the snorkeling tour to caracas bay saw the sunken boat it was very good. ST Martin, i really enjoyed this island the shopping was very good. ST John, We did the beach tour took the ferry from ST Thomas what a view and then went to Trunk Bay that is the most beautiful beach i have ever seen. Dining - We had most dinners in the main dining room at the mozart level we had a table of eight good table mates. The waiter was a delight. Here is an example of his kindness one day after dinner i did not like the desert for the day. He asked how could he help i stated i would have preferred cheesecake he went and brought me some. We had a lot of breakfasts and lunches in both the Island Grill and Windjammer Cafe. Also the island grill had really good omelets. the deserts and cheese pizzas were good in the cafe promenade. I had a vegetarian burger and some fries and a peanut butter shake in the Jonny Rockets it was quite tasty. Entertainment - So much to do my favorite the ice skating did it and loved it. I still cannot believe i did that in the middle of the hot and i mean hot caribbean. The production shows were fun and there is a female singer, sorry i do not recall her name watch out she is going to be a big star. Fitness and Recreation - We went to the gym once sorry so much to do and it is right up there with Bally's health club. Value - I am glad i spent every penny i love rccl they have the best cruise product out there and it will be hard to beat them with the things available. I was never bored and will return to cruise with them again. To any one thinking of a cruise consider rccl a very good value for your money. My email is dalelab@verizon.net Read Less
Sail Date: July 2004
First off let me say the ship is absolutely magnificent. My wife and I took this cruise w/o children from July 11 - July 18 out of San Juan to Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten, and St Thomas. It is unbelievable how they were able to put so many ... Read More
First off let me say the ship is absolutely magnificent. My wife and I took this cruise w/o children from July 11 - July 18 out of San Juan to Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten, and St Thomas. It is unbelievable how they were able to put so many things on to this ship. The few areas where I feel they could make improvements (and there were not many) which I will mention in this review will certainly not deter me from sailing on this ship again. I am already planning on sailing on it next year to the other itinerary. A few areas that I would like to see improved: 1. faster check in - we arrived at the pier at 1:45 and got on a very long line. We did not get aboard the ship until 3:30. My wife was told that there was a drug bust with a passenger from the previous cruise coming off earlier and therefore everything came to a stop. I do not know if this was the case or not, and if so it was out of the control of RC. It actually was not so bad, afterall, you're on vacation and my company was great (my wife) so we passed the time by chatting and looking forward to our next 7 days on the cruise. 2. Captain's Night - thought they should have had some picky type foods while drinking the champaign, mimosas, and rum punch. We had the second seating dinner and were getting hungry so we thought it would have been nice to just "pick" a little. 3. My biggest area of concern is the need for supervision at the pools. Because the ship has so much to offer to children, you will find an enormous amount of families on this cruise ship. Although the ship does have the solarium which only allows adults and is beautiful and very nice, I particularly enjoy being at the main pools where the band is playing and is what I consider the heart and soul of the cruise ship during the day. The solarium is much more peaceful, but in my opinion away from the action. I have seven kids of my own so I know how kids can be kids, but there is a limit. Some of what was going on around the pool areas went beyond fun and was dangerous and very bothersome to other cruisers. There is not suppose to be any jumping or horseplay, but kids were jumping from the railings of the adjacent hot tubs, doing flips, diving and jumping into the hot tubs, throwing water at each other with their cups in the hot tub, etc. On a couple of occasions, we had to find someone to complain to, but they need to have someone supervising this because the parents certainly are not going to. More than it being a nuisance, I was concerned that someone was going to split their head open. Those are really the only "negatives" I have about the cruise. Positives: 1. All of the crew from maintenance to officers were extremely friendly and helpful. 2. Food throughout the ship was excellent. You may not always like something, but there are plenty of choices and if you choose something you do not care for, you can always order something different. 3. Our dinner waiters Richard and Filip were outstanding and we looked forward to seeing them every evening. Their efforts were second to none. 4. Although the ship is immense, it was very easy to get from one place to another. Within the first day we had the ship down pat. Everything aboard the ship was very clean and well kept. 5. Ice show is a must see. 6. With 3,200 people aboard you would think that everything would be crowded, but it was not. Plenty of room and so much to do spreads the people out. There was no need to get to anything too early because the theatre and ice rink are very big and hold a lot of people. 7. Getting off and on the ship for excursions was a breeze, very easy on and off. 8. At end of cruise getting off ship was very smooth and clearing customs went great. 9. Entertainment and shows were outstanding. The RC singers and dancers are fantastic, we could watch and listen to them all night. 10. Johnny Rockets is a blast, Royal Promenade makes you feel like you're in New Orleans, Casino very nice. What else can I say other than WOW what a cruise. If you're reading this I say hello to Ed and Leslie and to Mike and Donna and thanks for being part of our dinner group and making it such a wonderful, fun experience. If anyone has any questions or would like some pictures sent to them I would be happy to do so. Let me know. Last thing to mention if I haven't already is if you are looking for a cruise where there are not many kids this is not the one for you. Perhaps one of the RC smaller ships would be more to your liking. If that isn't a concern take the Adventure. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2004
We just returned from sailing on the AOS Southern Caribbean Route departing from San Juan. We did a similar cruise last year on the Grand Princess so a comparison was pretty easy to do. We are a newly empty nester couple in our late 40s. ... Read More
We just returned from sailing on the AOS Southern Caribbean Route departing from San Juan. We did a similar cruise last year on the Grand Princess so a comparison was pretty easy to do. We are a newly empty nester couple in our late 40s. This was our 5th cruise--our first on Royal Caribbean. My first impression of this ship is that it is huge and very beautiful. There were so many bars and snack bars that it is really hard to see everything. The promenade is really breathtaking. Let me just say that this is a perfect ship for folks with kids or folks who are traveling with multi-generations as there is a lot of variety. It is probably also a great cruise for singles or young couples in their 20s. It is NOT a great cruise for people in their 30s and on who are sailing as couples and are trying to get away from it all. There was a lot on this ship that I am sure we paid for that we could have cared less about--ie the rock climbing wall, the ice skating rink, Johnny Rockets etc. The food was okay--nothing to compare with Princess the year before though--Princess was much better. The service was okay--they kept trying to ask you to make sure if you liked the service to be sure and fill out the evaluation--he told us that every night. Portofino's was amazing---why couldn't every night be like that? We noticed on Princess that the premium dining room was vacant most of the time--on AOS--it was packed--so we weren't the only ones who agreed--on Princess you hardly thought about it because the food was so amazingly better. Entertainment was far superior on AOS--the shows were incredible--but we didn't dislike anything on Princess---it is just that it was obvious that they had gone the extra mile to have incredible entertainers. I did miss the great Island Band who played everyday on Princess by the pool. On AOS--most of the time it is piped in music that our teenagers would have loved--but not us. I also missed the great Adult pool in the aft area of Princess--it was so peaceful there--AOS has an adult pool too--and it is nice and folks generally respected the adults only rule---but just not as scenic. The worst part of the ship was going through immigration in St, Thomas--we stood in line 2 and 1/2 hours--missed much of the island. There has to be a better way. Our cabin was nice--the balcony was smaller than Princess where we had lounge chairs instead and a large balcony. Our cabin attendant on AOS was actually a cut above our experience on Princess. We saw her everyday and she knew our names etc. The exercise facilities are better on AOS and we used them everyday--but the spa is no where close to being as good as Princess. I also missed the Lotus Spa shampoos and soaps that were so nice on Princess--on AOS you get soap in a container stapled to the wall Our biggest aggravation on AOS was the feeling that you were constantly being "upsold" on the ship---hounded constantly by bar waiters--encouraged to buy the wine package, the pictures, wherever we turned there was an additional charge and PLEASE all cruiselines get it together and just tack an additional charge onto our bill for soda service---$42 for a week of soda is ridiculous and a real pain to flash your card. Part of the joy of a cruise is having it all-inclusive. Our excursions were fine--but we were upsold even there--encouraged to buy the extra cup for drinks etc. We didn't experience this on Princess--the opportunity was there--but we weren't hounded. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2004
We began our journey on The Adventure of The Seas Saturday July 17. We left home for the airport at 3:50am. We traveled on Spirit Airlines and had no complaints, actually the price we got was great. We arrived in San Juan at 1:30 pm, and ... Read More
We began our journey on The Adventure of The Seas Saturday July 17. We left home for the airport at 3:50am. We traveled on Spirit Airlines and had no complaints, actually the price we got was great. We arrived in San Juan at 1:30 pm, and took a taxi to the Intercontinental which I had booked online for $128 for a pool-view room. We were upgraded to an ocean-view upon arrival, as they had put us into a non-smoking room, and we are smokers; it was a wonderful room with a great view. The hotel was beautiful! There was no charge to use the pool, you just need to sign in and get a wrist-band to identify you as a hotel guest. There is an area to get pool towels right by the pool. Also, there is a swim up pool bar there, and the beach is just a bit past the pool. All very nice! We arrived at the pier at about 10:30am, and were the first in line to get into the building. We waited for about 30 minutes. It took less than 5 minutes to get our sea pass card, and then we went to sit and wait. There was lemonade, water and cookies for everyone. There was an area for Diamond and Platinum members, another area for suite passengers, and a third area for all others. The ship was full as a group, National Professional Network, had chartered much of the ship so there were no upgrades available. We waited about 1 hour and 30 minutes then we were onboard and in the Windjammer having a yummy lunch. After we ate we were off to explore the ship. Nobody could get to their cabins until 2pm-all the corridors seemed to be closed off. We chose to go with a category B suite this time, and had cabin 1548. It was great! No excess movement at all was felt, which I had worried about since it is towards the front of the ship. Our cabin steward was Jermaine, and he was fantastic. We tipped him an additional amount up front, and he seemed very grateful. Being in a suite provided us with use of the Concierge Lounge, and afternoon snacks of sort. The snacks were canapes, or chocolate covered strawberries, fresh fruit, etc. In addition, the Concierge Lounge had hors d'oeuvres each evening with an open bar. The Concierge was Michelle, and she was fantastic. Always very kind, and with a smile. Passengers could also get DVDs to use if desired from the Lounge. The next day was St. Thomas, and we had booked a day-sail on The Winifred with Captain Sharon. What an absolutely perfect day we had! I really cannot begin to tell everyone how enjoyable this day was. Sharon, and her mate Tommy were the kindest, friendliest people we have met in a long while! They made this day a lasting memory for us. We sailed to St. John, and snorkeled for quite some time; we were able to see so much there...eels, turtles, Conchs, and many fish. We also had a delicious lunch, then off for a leisurely return sail to St. Thomas. If you ever have the opportunity to book this, please do consider it. You will not regret it, and will not be disappointed in the least. Again, the best excursion we have ever had! That evening was the Meet and Mingle. We got to place names with faces,and meet several people which is always nice! Gary won the Aqua Mouse, so he will be using it to send in his review :). Not too many folks showed up, but it was very nice meeting those that did. This evening was the first formal night. We were quite tired from our day in St. Thomas, so we decided to skip dressing up and instead went to the Island Grill. What a wonderful surprise! The food was great, and the service was fantastic! We enjoyed our dining experience so much, that we had each evening meal there for the remainder of the cruise. There were always many things to choose from, and the hot food was always hot, and the cold food always cold. No Royal Steak, but they did have Minute steaks. In a few words...bad, tough, yuck. The next day we were in St. Maarten. The weather was not good at all that day. Cloudy, cool and raining off and on. The excursion was ok, though I think it would have been much better if the weather had been warmer. Next time though I think we'll skip the Rhino Riders, and go with the jet-skiis. We were able to get some shopping in here also, and the prices were good. I still think St. Maarten has the best prices on many things, though you have to "work at it" a good deal of the time. The ice show was on this night, and it was absolutely wonderful! These skaters are so talented and had the audience mesmerized with their abilities and performance. We were able to get tickets from the Concierge, so we didn't have to worry about a line to get tickets that day. The next day we were in Antigua and did Eli's tour. A great tour! His boat is very new, and just beautiful. We had a nice day, and another good lunch served by Eli. He is much younger than I had anticipated, and a very nice young man. That evening we received a phone call inviting us to dinner with the Captain the next evening in Portofino's. We accepted, and were very excited and looking forward to the next evening! The next day we were in St. Lucia. The Pirate ship excursion was cancelled due to mechanical problems. We just took it easy on our own that day, with no tours. St. Lucia is so beautiful and lush. As we were leaving the island we passed the Pitons...breathtaking! Also, a pod of dolphins were swimming with the ship. What a neat thing to see! They were jumping, twisting, and seemingly playing and having a great time swimming with the ship! That evening our dinner with the Captain was wonderful. We dined with 4 other couples and the Captain. He is only 37 years old, and the youngest in the Royal Caribbean fleet. He will be leaving the Adventure of the Seas in about 6 months to go to the Voyager. The meal was fabulous! We enjoyed the evening very much. The next day was Friday and we had booked The Silver Moon in Barbados. Again a wonderful day! The Silver Moon is a catamaran, less than 2 years old and a beautiful boat. They book no more than 12 people, so there is a lot of room. It is manned by 3 extremely nice, knowledgeable and pleasant individuals. We snorkeled in 2 different spots and one was over a wreck..very neat! There were plenty of drinks served on our trip back, after a wonderful lunch. I highly recommend this excursion while in Barbados! We were the only ones from the ship, and it was very nice to be on something that was not at all crowded! We were picked up from the ship, and taken back afterwards. Saturday was a sea day, and there are indeed a lot of chair hogs out there! Many chairs in the pool area had been "reserved" with a towel, flip flop, etc. by 9:30am. All in all a nice relaxing day. That evening we tried to use up our remaining quarters in the casino. We kept winning them, and more back! The slots were good to us that night. Sunday we awoke to rain and clouds as we were pulling into San Juan...it mirrored our feelings of the morning. We didn't want this magical adventure to end:(. After breakfast in the Windjammer, we waited in the Lyric until our flight was called at about 10:30. We went to the airport and were prepared for the worst part of our journey. We were pleasantly surprised however. It took 1 hour to check our bags, and get through security and to our gate. Not great, but certainly not as bad as I had anticipated. It was air-conditioned, and plenty of seating was available. We are suffering a major case of PCD right now, and we have that feeling that we are still moving. We enjoyed our cruise so much. The Adventure of The Seas is a wonderful ship, very clean, well kept and with a wonderful staff! We enjoyed ourselves so much we are planning on doing it again next year, only trying for a back to back with the two southern routes! If anyone has any questions at all, please ask away, and I'll do my best to answer! Sorry that this has been so long, but I love reading everyone else's reviews, that I wanted to share as much as I could with everyone else. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2004
Review of Adventure of The Seas Aug.29-Sept. 5 This is the 8th cruise for my husband and I since 1998. We're both 38 years old. Adventure of the Seas is the best ship we've been on. Our travel agents did a great job planning ... Read More
Review of Adventure of The Seas Aug.29-Sept. 5 This is the 8th cruise for my husband and I since 1998. We're both 38 years old. Adventure of the Seas is the best ship we've been on. Our travel agents did a great job planning this trip for us. We met them on a Celebrity Cruise 4 years ago. Sat. Aug. 28: Arrived in San Juan a day early and stayed at Intercontinental Hotel, Isla Verde, San Juan (www.intercontinentalhotels.com). This hotel was beautiful. Our room had a balcony overlooking the pools, beach, and ocean. The concierge was very helpful in suggesting places to eat and made dinner reservations for us. We ate lunch at Mi Casita which is a local cuisine restaurant across the street and a little to the right of the hotel. The ambiance was nice, food ok, service slow but it was fun to try some local food. We ate dinner at Ajili Mojili (1006 Ashford Ave Condado San Juan), a $12, ten minute cab ride from our hotel. This place was fabulous. The setting was very romantic, our waiter was very nice and helpful, the food was fantastic, and there was a trio of musicians (String Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Saxophone) that were very good. We had crab cakes, skewers of shrimp, chicken, and beef and vanilla flan and cheese flan for dessert. We split the appetizer and entrEe, had our own desserts and each had a glass of wine and the total was $55, very reasonable for the caliber of the food. We would definitely go back here again. Sun. Aug. 29: We ate breakfast at "Mi Casita" which was very good and very economical. The hotel buffet was $18 per person. We hung out at the beach all morning (towels and lounge chairs provided by the hotel). You wear bracelets to identify you as hotel guests. We ate lunch at Wendys (there's also a Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC nearby - all to the right of the hotel). We packed and checked out of the hotel and had them watch our luggage while we hung out by the pool until about 2 pm. You can check out through your TV but we didn't know that and there was a very long line at the front desk. A helpful bellboy helped us check out without having to go through the line. We tipped him. Around noon the hotel had live music and then folk dancers to provide entertainment. This would be a nice place to stay longer. We arrived at the Pier at 2:30 pm and were on the ship by 3 pm. We didn't get our luggage until about 7 pm. Note, it's not worth it to take a dive knife if you're going to go scuba diving. RCI confiscated the knife out of our luggage. My husband could have picked it up as we were leaving the ship at each port we were going diving in but decided that it was too much of a hassle. We also found out that many dive shops won't let you carry a knife or even wear gloves in order to protect the coral. We had read that the first night of the cruise is a good night to eat at Portifino's because you don't need a reservation. We stopped by the restaurant just to check and they said that most of the time on the first night you don't need reservations but there have been a few times that they've almost had to turn someone away on the first night, so they took our reservation. It turned out that we didn't need it but better safe than sorry. We dressed for dinner before the muster drill then dropped off our life jackets back in our cabin and went straight to Portifinos about 9 pm. The restaurant was only half full while we were there. The food was absolutely wonderful from the bread to dessert. I hate paying extra for anything but this was worth the extra $20 per person and was a great way to start off our cruise. The presentation was beautiful. Each plate of food was a piece of art. Our cabin was on Deck 10 aft, room 1347. The location of the cabin couldn't have been better. We were a short walk to the stairs. The Windjammer was on Deck 11 right above us where we ate most breakfasts and lunches. Portifinos and Johnny Rockets were also really close to our room as was the pool. Now I know it's our own fault because we wanted to save money by booking an inside cabin, but this is the smallest cabin we've ever had with the least number of drawers. We had 3 desk drawers each to put our clothes in. There were some shelves in the closet that we made a little use of and probably could have used more although it was a little hard to get to. We ended up tripping all over each other all week, piling things on top of the little love seat (which I would have gladly exchanged for a dresser) and the desk and chair. At least we could fit our luggage underneath the bed. Mon. Aug. 30 St Thomas: We pre-booked a dive excursion with the ship--$90 per person. They used a dive shop right on the Pier, Underwater Safaris. (www.scubadivevi.com) Diane met us and she was very personable and knowledgeable, a fantastic host. I'd love to go diving with her again. There were only 4 certified divers with 1 dive master, Katie and 2 discover scuba students with Diane so it was a great experience. We've heard that there are often around 40 divers on the boat but maybe that's in the busy season. One of the divers with us went diving with them last week (he did a back to back cruise) and said that it was a small group last week too. We went on two 35 minute dives (Taos Reef and Cartanser Sr. Wreck). The Reef was beautiful with lots of coral and lots of colorful fish. We saw an 18" diameter sea turtle hanging out on the ocean floor feeding. We got really close to him and he paid us no mind. We also saw fish that burrow into the sand and some really beautiful bright vivid purple tall coral. At the wreck we saw sergeant major fish guarding their eggs that looked like purple paint splotches on the side of the wreck. We also saw two 3' barracudas, and a hiding lobster. I would do these dives again. After diving we went back to the ship to shower and eat lunch and then back out to St. Thomas to shop. I went back to Mr. Tablecloth to buy some extra pieces of the Christmas pattern I had bought a couple of years ago but they only had placemats left in that pattern. Here's where the saying comes in "if you see something you like, buy it because you may not see it again." We had a couple of frozen margaritas at this great place on the water front. I can't remember the name of the place but we go there every time we're in St. Thomas because the drinks are great and inexpensive $4 each for a large drink. It's just a little hole in the wall, most if not all the seating is outside. When you face the water you can see the Hard Rock Cafe to your right. I think that Columbian Emeralds is right there to the right also. We went back about 3 pm to the ship, I think the diving wore us out. My husband went to get ice show tickets. Make sure you do this. It doesn't cost extra but there aren't enough seats for everybody so you have to get tickets. The show is great so don't miss it. We went dressed for dinner than went to the Meet and Mingle but we were late (It's hard to get there by 5 pm!) so we missed some of the people who left early to get ready for dinner. We went to dinner and met our tablemates, two really nice couples. There were a lot of empty seats at the main (or early) dinner. I can understand why people would want to eat at Portifinos one or two nights but that couldn't account for all the empty tables on a full ship. I can't imagine why anyone would choose Johnny Rockets or Windjammer over the dining room for dinner but I guess some people don't like to get dressed up. There also could be people who ate in the cabin if they had balconies. I went to the show which was The Drifters. The show was really good. Tues. Aug. 31 we were supposed to go to St. Martin but because of Hurricane Francis we had a day at sea instead. We ended up going to St. Martin on Saturday which was going to be our day at sea and had a shortened time there, about 5 hours. Being a day at sea gave me opportunity to take advantage of the exercise classes. I went to the Wake Up and Stretch class at 7:30 am. We went ice skating after lunch about 1:30. You need to wear pants and socks to do this activity. It was fun to be ice skating in the middle of the Caribbean and it really made me appreciate the talent of the skaters later in the week after I tried to remember how to even get around at all on ice without falling down. We layed out in the sun for awhile. It's easy to get a chair by the pool in the morning, no one there at 9 am but much harder after lunch. It didn't matter to us, we went up higher and faced the ocean which was a prettier setting and much quieter. I took the Pilates Class ($10) and the Yoga Class ($10) in the afternoon and then quickly (15 min.) got ready for dinner at 6 pm. We went to the ice show at 9 pm. We started waiting in line (we brought books) at 8:20 pm but we probably could have come about 8:40 pm and still have gotten good seats. We sat in the front row on a long side about 1/3 of the way down from the short side. These were great seats because we were so close to the skaters. The best seats in my opinion would be the front row of the short side. Again, this is a great show, make sure you get your tickets earlier in the week. Wed. Sept. 1 Antigua: We booked an excursion over the internet called "Eli's Eco Tour" (www.adventureantigua.com) $81 per person. They pick you up at the pier at 10 am and get you back by 4:15 pm. Lunch is included and is good. There were 20 of us that met them at the pier made up of cruise ship passengers and hotel guests. We made 2 stops at resorts to pick up people (3 at one and 2 at another) for a total of 25 people on the boat. The entire trip was really good but I really enjoyed "Hell's Gate". It's a really beautiful setting and it was fun to climb through the cave and then walk across the bridge. We saw some interesting snails, crabs, and some strange looking algae eating creatures that looked like fossils or something scaring out of a science fiction movie. We found out about this tour on the cruisecritic message boards and would join the many people before us who would recommend this tour. Remember to bring your camera, you'll get some great pictures. Two shops I would recommend in Antigua are the YodaGuy (www.1001resources.com/hosting/users/AT/YodaGuy) and RastaPasta which is not a restaurant but a shop which has hundreds if not thousands of beaded necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets at good prices. There are 2 stores in Antigua, 1 next door or near the YodaGuy on the second floor of Heritage Quay and down one of the streets near The Jolly Roger boat. In general, make sure you have plenty of $1 bills because at two different Islands stores had run out of them (especially at the end of the day) and they had to give me change in quarters! It's not fun to carry around $3-$4 in change. Dinner in the dining room was ok but my opinion is that this would have been a good night to eat at Portifinos. After dinner we went to The Lyric Theatre around 8:20 and read the books we had brought with us until about 8:45 pm when the Cruise Comics started their interactive pre-show routine. It was cute. The show "Velvet Rope" started at 9 pm and the singing and dancing in it was excellent. Don't miss this show. Thurs. Sept. 2 St. Lucia: St. Lucia is a beautiful Island but there's not much shopping or much to do unless you take an excursion. We pre-booked scuba diving excursion with the ship. This was a 6 hour lunch included trip for $120 per person. (www.scubastlucia.com) Because it's at Anse Chastnet, it's about a 45 min. boat ride from the pier. It's beautiful scenery on the boat ride and the dive shop location and dive sites are absolutely gorgeous, right next to the Pitons! I was kicking myself for not bringing my good camera. Next time I will and I will definitely do this excursion again if I get a chance. When we arrived at the dive shop, they had our tanks/regulators/bcs all ready to go set out on the sidewalk with our name written in chalk in front of them (very organized). We were divided up into 2 groups; 8 people with one dive master and 7 with the other dive master. They checked us on two skills (buoyancy check and mask clearing) before they would take us on the first dive which was a beach dive. This dive was great as was the 2nd boat dive. After the dives they took us to the beach where they had dropped off the snorkelers earlier. There we walked a little ways through the jungle to a pavilion for the buffet lunch. The food was ok (grilled chicken and fish, pasta, salad, bland rice, bland canned beans) except for the awesome carrot cake but the setting made up for it. We then had about 45 min. to lounge around on the beach or go snorkeling before heading back. I'm looking forward to coming back and doing this excursion again sometime. Tonight was Lobster night, don't miss it in the dining room. Also, don't miss the flourless chocolate cake, it's yummy. Fri. Sept. 3 Barbados: Because we're going to St. Martin tomorrow, we arrive in Barbados an hour early and leave an hour early. We pre-booked scuba excursion through the ship $90 per person. They met us at the pier and took us by vans to the dive shop. (www.barbados.org/diving/westsidescuba) You need to leave everything but your dive gear in the lockers at this shop because they don't have a dock and you have to wade chest high out to the boat holding your dive gear over your head to get on the boat. They really should do something about this. Then you have to hook up your regulator and bc to your tank. For the cost, they really should do this for you. We went on 2 reef dives; 8 people with 1 dive master and 9 people with the other dive master. Visibility was not as good as St. Thomas and St. Lucia but it was ok. On the 2nd dive we swam with a 1' diameter turtle for about 10 minutes (very cool). We saw spotted eels, puffer fish, centipede like worms, lots of tree coral and other coral and lots of fish. After the dive was were brought back to the pier in the vans. My husband took the dive gear back to our cabin and I stayed to shop around the port. I walked down the street to the craft mall but there wasn't much there. I should have bought the Tortuga rum cakes there because they were $3.85 for the small cakes where as they were $4 each at the Pier. Don't miss these cakes, they're really good. There are several shops right at the pier that have samples you can taste. The other thing to buy here is the cream rum. This is my favorite thing about Barbados. The best cream rum is the stuff in the clear bottles that they sell from a cart in the center of the mall. This stuff is fantastic in coffee, hot chocolate, ice cream, or just by itself. Don't pass up a chance to try this stuff, they give out free samples. We always bring home a few bottles of this stuff. After dinner we sat in the front row again for the main show. This is another good show "Can't Stop the Rock" with great singing and dancing, not to be missed. Sat. Sept. 4 St. Martin: Because we're not set to arrive until noon, I try the Rock Climbing wall at 9 am. and then we play miniature golf. No line at either activity, apparently most people are still sleeping in or eating breakfast. At 10:45 we bring our books up to read while waiting to get in to Johnny Rockets which opens at 11:30 am. A line forms around 11:10 and there are about 20 people waiting by 11:20. Johnny Rockets is a fun place to eat. The onion rings and fries are very good as are the specialty hamburgers (all included), the malts are about $3.60 but are really good so I guess they're worth it. Make sure you eat at least 1 meal here. We get off the ship about 12:15 pm and take a cab to Orient Beach/Bikini Beach ($5 each if the van is full). At the beach, 2 chairs and 1 umbrella costs $18, a little pricey. (There are cheaper chairs and umbrellas at other sections of the beach). Orient Beach (au natural) and Bikini Beach, right next to it are really pretty beaches with soft sand in a nice setting. There are plenty of water sports and some bars and restaurants. We stay a few hours then head into town to shop a little.($20 for the 2 of us, would have been cheaper per person if there were more people). Make sure you go to the Guava Berry Emporium and try the local liquor, especially their frozen drink, its very good. Another store I recommend is the Belgium chocolate shop. It's near the YodaGuy's shop (he has one here as well as Antigua) on Old Street Arcade. These chocolates are really good but a little pricey. A box of 9 that you pick are $16. But, we're hooked, we always buy their chocolate when we come to the island. We go to the Farewell Show which we could have done without. After 7 cruises, we're tired of the farewell shows. We pack everything but what we'll wear tomorrow and carry in our carry on luggage and put it out in the hall. Sun Sept. 5 San Juan Disembarking: We're out of our cabin by 8 am like they request and go to The Lyric Theatre to wait to be called to disembark. We're in the 2nd group to be called and leave by 8:20 (pretty fast). We pick up our luggage and get through customs and are in a taxi to the airport by 9:00am (amazing). We probably could have gone into Old San Juan and shopped a little. There is a store that will watch your luggage for you. At the airport, there is no line for ATA and we are down to our gate by 9:45 am. We sit around and read until our flight leaves at 1:45 pm. Conclusions: This was our favorite ship. We would go on it again in a heartbeat although we might pay for an outside room so it would be bigger. Carnival Inspiration - July 1998 Carnival Fascination - October 1999 RCI Monarch of the Seas - May 2000 Celebrity Horizon - November 2000 Princess Ocean Princess - November 2001 Norwegian SS Norway - October 2002 Carnival Inspiration - May 2003 RCI Adventure of the Seas - Aug 2004 Read Less
Sail Date: August 2004
I will start this review by stating that both my husband and I are both 24yrs. old and this was our honeymoon. This was my husband's first cruise and my third with RCCL. We got to San Juan at about 5:00pm (after some plane ... Read More
I will start this review by stating that both my husband and I are both 24yrs. old and this was our honeymoon. This was my husband's first cruise and my third with RCCL. We got to San Juan at about 5:00pm (after some plane troubles)... and we were so tired because we got married the night before. The ship is beautiful... words can not describe how large this ship is!! We had cabin 9390 Corner Aft balcony room... This room was so great! When we were on our balcony it felt like we were the only people on the ship, it was so private. Before going I didn't think it was worth it to have a balcony, but I am totally eating my words now... We actually spent a lot of time on the balcony. We had breakfast out there a couple of times, and it was a great place to sit while the other person is showering and getting ready. Monday we ported in St. Thomas, we ordered breakfast room service the night before and it arrived at the time we requested and it was very good. It was a great wake up call. We ate breakfast on the balcony and enjoyed the beautiful view of St. Thomas. We then proceeded to get off the ship, there was no wait getting off the ship and we took the 10:00 ferry from Red Hook to St. Johns. We took a taxi to Trunk Bay. We brought our own snorkel gear and rented the flippers. This beach is so beautiful and has lots of trees so that there is lots of shade if you like shade. My husband loved the snorkeling, he did the underwater trail, but he said the best snorkeling was to the right side of the beach. He saw two barracudas and a ton of fish. I didn't go out too far because there were lots of jelly fish. I don't think they are always there, but this must have been the season for them because every time I turned around there was another one. We stayed on the beach until about 3:00 and took the ferry back and headed back to the ship. We then went strait to Johnny Rockets and had a late lunch. This night was the first formal night. We had second seating. The food was very good. Tuesday we went to St. Martin. This was my favorite island. We took the water taxi which was $5 for all day use and it was worth it. We did some shopping, which was endless. Every street had so many shops and flea market type stands. We each bought our parents a bottle of Guavaberry Rum, which they are famous for. We stayed in the shopping area for about 2 hours and then we went back to the ship and changed into our bathing suits. We went to the cafe promenade (sandwich and bakery type cafe) and we got two sandwiches and put them in zip lock baggies. We then got off the ship and took the water taxi back and started waking down the beach which is right there when you get off the taxi. As you walk down the beach different people own different beach bars and they try to rent you chairs and umbrellas for $10. We kept walking until we got to "Pirates in Paradise" and the girl said that the chairs, umbrella, and floating mats were free if we bought a drink. So we ordered two Guavaberry Coladas and it was $10, so if you keep walking you can get a much better deal and it was a very short walk. The Guavaberry Coladas were awesome. We ate our sandwiches and cookies from the ship on the beach. We floated on the mats and just had a very relaxing afternoon. We got back to the ship and we ordered room service. We got Caesar salad, a cheeseburger and broccoli and cheese soup and ate it on our balcony as we sailed away from St. Martin. We went to the "Love and Marriage" game show this night and that was really funny. Wednesday we went to Antigua. We had a tour with "Antigua Paddles" at 12:00, so we got off the ship in the morning and walked around the town. Nothing too impressive with the shopping or this part of the island. We ate lunch on the ship and then met the tour group right outside the ship. I book the tour online directly with "Antigua Paddles" before going, but everyone else on the tour booked it through RCCL. It is much cheaper if you do it online. We got in an air conditioned bus, and headed for the clubhouse. It was cool to see all the houses and locals as the bus was driving. The driver stopped for a quick photo opportunity at a beautiful cliff over looking the ocean. When we got to the clubhouse, we got on a speed boat which was so much fun and that took us to Bird Island. Bird Island is beautiful. We climbed to the top of it which took about 5 mins. The view is breathtaking and we took some pictures. We then walked down and we went snorkeling for about an hour. We didn't really see anything except little fish, but the water was so clear and beautiful that it didn't matter. We then got back onto the speed boats and headed to another area where the Kayaks were all lined up. We got a Kayak for two and as we went along the tour guide would tell us many interesting facts about the island. Then we got back onto the speed boat and went back to the clubhouse for banana bread and rum punch. This tour was wonderful! I highly recommend it to anyone as there is no experience necessary and you can do as much or as little as you want. Thursday we went to St. Lucia. We had originally booked the "Jungle Tour", but two days before we left I got an email that the tour operators had a death in the family and would not be available. So last minute we decided to get a day pass from "Rendezvous" which is only 5 minutes from the ship. It is an all-inclusive resort and was $38 per person for the day pass. When we first got there we sat under an adorable hut on the beach. We ordered a couple of strawberry daiquiris and relaxed. We then went up to the pool area to find a really cool pool with a swim up bar. We had lunch which was delicious. After lunch we took out a sail boat which was very adventurous because neither of us had ever sailed before, but it was really fun! Then we decided to go tubing. They had two tubes on the back of the boat, and although I thought we were going to tip a few times, it was a blast. This was a great day. They had showers and towels there also. Friday was Barbados- We took a taxi to the "Boatyard". It was $12 to get in, but then they give you $8 back in tokens to be spent on food or drinks. It was nice because the chairs and umbrellas were free and you could use the water trampolines and water rock wall for free. We just had a good time here. Jumped on the trampoline, climbed the rock wall, floated in the water, had a couple of Pina Coladas, and chilled out on the beach. Saturday- At Sea. We actually slept in until about 10am then we got some breakfast and headed to the pool. There were lots of chairs available, just not close to the pool. We went around the ship and took lots of pictures and felt sad because our vacation was coming to an end. Sunday- Debarkation. This took forever. We had a flight at 11:30 and were in the first group getting off the ship. It took at least an hour to get though customs. It was hot and the line didn't seem to move, but if that is our biggest complaint, then I really can't complain. This was just a great vacation. We had a wonderful time and we can't stop talking about it. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2004
As usual, we booked 2 cabins on an RCL ship. We always select the deck on Voyager class ships just above the Promenade overlook, so we took outside cabin 9586 and inside 9587 for our kids, 22 and 15. The cabins were fine. What follows is a ... Read More
As usual, we booked 2 cabins on an RCL ship. We always select the deck on Voyager class ships just above the Promenade overlook, so we took outside cabin 9586 and inside 9587 for our kids, 22 and 15. The cabins were fine. What follows is a tour guide and then a rant. Embarkation was better than ever, which was amazing for San Juan. We got an easy cab to the ship from the airport. SJU has finally got that together and you go straight to a land transportation desk right near the luggage carousel and get a receipt for $15 plus bags. Cost us $21 for 4 and 5 bags. Took us right to ship. Stand in line to give bags to porter with a tip. Bags did get to room in reasonable period of time. Inside, we are Platinum members and they took us right to separate line and straight to a desk for registration. Took under 10 minutes including security. Very nice. Usual first day with muster drill. Ship did not depart until 10 PM. Very little to do, so we walked to the duty free shop and bought rum in plastic bottles for $3. This becomes even more essential, since the ship is charging over $6 per drink. We had the St. Thomas/St. Martin/Antigua/St Lucia/ Barbados route. Small description of ship. Since most people go on at length, I like to just comment on art work. I enjoy the eclectic stuff on these ships. AOS has the least enjoyable and most amateurish art work, but it does grow on you. The other RCL ships had better stuff. Otherwise, this ship is exactly the same as all Voyager class ships. It was kept pretty clean, but I did notice people smoking anywhere they wanted and nobody stopped them. Shame. More comments on ship at end. Saved the rant for the bottom. I have written several reviews previously and do this from a "do-it-yourself" view for those who don't like ship's tours. No warranties, but I think you will find this quite helpful. I tried to do this totally without spending too much money, just for fun. St. Thomas. Have been there many times, so wanted to try something different. Took the ferry to St. John. First, take a cab for $3 from the pier to the port. No way around this. The ferry to St. John's leaves every 2 hours at 9, 11, 1, etc. Be sure to get there on time. Pretty prompt. The fare is $7 per person and $3 for kids. The ride takes about 50 minutes. Arrive Cruz Bay. Take a jitney to beach. There are many and everyone raves about Trunk. It isn't worth it. However, it does have facilities. Cost is $4. Crowded and the fish are very aggressive. I got bit by a yellow tail snapper on the hand. Nasty. (Ate his cousin for revenge next day.) I think it would be better to go to Hawksnest or Cinnamon. Fewer facilities, but less crowded. The snorkeling at Trunk is no big deal and highly overrated. Plus it is full of tourists. The ferry returns at about 1:40 and then every 2 hours to downtown. Enough time to get back and walk around if you wish. St. Martin. Again, many time visit, so tried something different. The ship now docks at a pier and you are "encouraged" to take a water taxi which allegedly stops at the end of P'burg and then downtown. It doesn't. Only the first stop, which costs more than it should and forces you to walk thru their shops. It might pay to take a regular taxi. Good news. It is now possible to rent a car at the cruise pier. You used to have to go to airport. This is a BIG improvement, but I didn't rent a car so I can't comment on quality of the rentals. We took the water taxi and then walked out to the main road; about 10 minutes in all. Found a bus to Marigot. They look like Vans. In fact, all the buses said French Quarter (P'Burg) not Marigot, so I flagged down an empty one and he switched over to Marigot just for us. A taxi to Marigot is about $25 for 4. The bus costs $4. I gave him $6 for switching. We had a light snack on the water and then climbed up the hill to Fort Louis. You will find it at the (West?) end of the main coastal downtown road. It is a 10 minute climb. The view is spectacular and the remains of the fort are very nice. We returned and had a steamed fish (snapper!) in a French sidewalk restaurant. Immediately behind is an open air market which was lovely. There are also public restrooms across the street which were fine. We then hiked out to main road and found a bus back to P'burg and walked around there looking for an Indonesian restaurant to eat Rijstafel, after all this is a Dutch colony. Wrong. They are all gone. The place is now run by Indians. Lots of curry. No rijstafel. Back to ship. Antigua. All the tour books say don't take the bus. A challenge. We climbed up to St. John's Cathedral just for the view. (Been here a lot too. Didn't feel like the beach.) We found the bus station which is to the right of the ship when you get off about 5 blocks. Take the number 17 bus to Nelson's Dockyard. It is about a 35 minute ride. It cost $1.25 each. The Dockyard is a sort of restored museum, which was interesting. I gave it a 6 of 10. We ate at the Admiral's Inn. It was nothing special. I had the Pumpkin Soup which was very good. The rest was mediocre, but better than other stuff in Antigua. There was a better place in the Dockyard, but more expensive. As it was, lunch for 2 was about $40. The bus comes right back here and we took it back. Quicker, about 20 minutes. Incidentally, the cab is $25 each way. This is not worth a $50 trip, but was very much worth a $3 trip. St. Lucia. Again, been here, so wanted to do something different. Walked all the way off the pier. About 5 minutes. You will have to fight your way past the cab drivers because they can't believe you want to take a bus. The cab to Pigeon Isle in the north costs $25, but you can bargain them down to $16. We took the bus. Stops right out at the main road. (You are on Point Seraphine.) It is another mini-Van. Take the 1A. Goes right up to Gros Pointe. Will let you off at end of route in a real wild, but quiet during day area. Walk towards the water 2 blocks and turn right. Walk all the way along the beach for about a mile. Thru Sandals. Don't worry. All is public beach and they can't stop you. Very safe. The big hill is Pigeon Isle. Pay $4 to enter. There is a restaurant. Don't eat there. It cost $80 for lunch for 4 and was nothing special. Bring a picnic. A really great hike up the mountain to Fort Rodney. Fantastic views. Can see all the way around St. Lucia. It is a very nice national park. Walk back to Gros Pointe and eat if you want. Can get bus back. We took a cab because teen was feeling off. Barbados. Rented a car from Stoutes. Right at end of terminal. Arranged in advance. $90 inclusive of gas and CDW and the $10 Barbados registration. Drove up to Francia plantation, then over to Atlantic Coast to Andromeda Botanical Gardens. Both were very nice. We stopped at 'Round House' on coast near Andromeda to eat, but we left. 2 Cokes were $7. We went further on road and found better and cheaper place. Drove back to Heritage Rum Factory in the South. Driving is quite easy in Barbados, although it used to be better sign posted. That was the end of touring. Last day at sea. Very little to do except bingo. Now for the rant. This was the least enjoyable cruise on RCL ever. Even though they did try to do more for us as Platinum members than ever before. The wine tasting was free and nice. Cheap wine, but still enjoyable and the wine steward was very articulate. They also had a private Crown & Anchor party with lots of free drinks, but no staff. Then a private Platinum string quartet concert with free drinks. Very nice touch. Those were high points. However, RCL is going way down market. They need to fill roughly 50,000 beds a week. So they are marketing to everyone. There were hundreds of people on board I would not want to cruise with. There was a huge group from New York, who brought their own DJ. These were not nice people. They took over the disco and didn't want anyone who didn't match their demographics to enter. And, lest anyone jump to wrong conclusion, I lived in Bahamas for years and have no trouble mixing with any group. These people were a different story and everyone on board remarked about the iciness and their lack of class and manners. There was very little to do on board this trip. The cruise staff was virtually non-existent. We are accustomed to Ken Rush's high spirit, and that was absent. The dining room waiter was ok, but budget cuts have really hurt. He didn't want to bring 2 mains to the same person at once. My 22 year old eats 3 at once. Waiter (Milton from Goa) had to get permission. The asst waiter (Mihaela from Romania--her very first cruise) was pretty good for a newbie. Fortunately for us, Milton's other table didn't even show up, so he only had us to care for. I doubt he could have handled 2 tables, but he did ok for our one. Bad for him, he lost a lot of tips. The food is declining in quality and taste. It is still above average, but just. The soups and unusual dishes are best. The Windjammer was better for breakfast, but very mediocre for lunch. The dining room was better for lunch and dinner. The kids program was a real bust for the 14 and up crowd. There was nothing for the 15 year old group to do. They didn't want to be isolated in their own disco, but there were no alternatives. Our kids enjoyed this cruise the least of all. The other kids on the cruise were a lot less nice. Our companions have kids ages 8 and 11, who seemed to have a better time in kid's club. I think they just don't know what to do with the older ones anymore. They have also imposed a curfew for the older teens, and a wrist band approach. This makes no sense. A 14 year old girl is much older than a 14 year old boy, but they still make the 14 year old girl hang out with the 12 year old boys and that will never happen. It should be by grade and by 'maturity'. The entertainment was ok, but not great. The ice show was well done, but the performers kept falling. The comic was poor. His jokes were old and he needed to update his routine. He was still telling airport jokes about the 3 questions, which they ceased asking over a year ago. The dancer/singer shows ranged from lame to mediocre. The Can't Stop the Rock show was ok. Sadly, the singers mistake volume for clarity and quality. There was no real headliner this cruise which seemed strange. They said there was, but nobody seemed to know who or what it was!?! The overall quality is declining and RCL staff laments it. Nobody dresses for dinner; people even came casual to formal night! We wore tuxedos. The staff abhors the low market people and makes it obvious. The low market people should go back to Carnival where they belong. According to RCL staff, those people don't even spend money on the ship, but take over all the facilities and chase everyone else away. This will be our last RCL Carib cruise. Finally, disembarkation was awful. The immigration is now off the ship, and although we got to stay in a private Platinum lounge on the ship, they closed it at 9:30 and told us to leave. Our plane was at 4 PM. It took over 1.5 hours to exit the ship. The immigration line is terrible. Hint: Stay to the right. The one on the left is also for non-US and it goes VERY slowly, but the RCL people in the terminal don't care and don't sort the line. They only speak Spanish by the way. We got off the ship at 9:40 and it took us until 11:15 to exit the terminal. That is the worst it has ever been. The luggage was no problem, it is all color coded. The entire holdup was US immigration. They were the slowest I ever saw. This is not of RCL's doing, but it used to be much better. We left the terminal and hired a private tour carrier for $20 each to take us around San Juan. Much better than the ship's tour. (Make sure to insist on a bus that leaves immediately. Some people on our bus had been waiting for 45 minutes till we boarded. Then the driver wanted to wait for another 10 people. I refused and we all found a driver willing to leave immediately for an extra $10. Well worth it.) Got to the airport around 1:45. Was better than sitting in SJU for 6 hours. In all, this was the worst RCL cruise we took, but not because of the staff or the ship, per se. Email me with any questions. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2004
Great Cruise. Our cabin was on the 9th deck near the center, but slightly aft. No complaints about the room or our room steward. We boarded at around 3:30pm, and were able to walk on without waiting. The ship was completely booked, but ... Read More
Great Cruise. Our cabin was on the 9th deck near the center, but slightly aft. No complaints about the room or our room steward. We boarded at around 3:30pm, and were able to walk on without waiting. The ship was completely booked, but seemed empty! Entertainment was pretty good. Mickey Dolenz from the Monkees was the headliner! Food could have been better, was equivalent to banquet food. Our Waiter Hakan was the best waiter we have had on a cruise. Johnny Rockets was very good, Windjammer could have been a tad better however. The ports of call were very good, however we didn't get off at St. Lucia. Others we talked to agreed that another day at see would be great. We would definitely go on this ship again! For excursions, we went on a taxi tour of St. Thomas, Lawrence of Antigua on Antigua, and the Rain Forest hike and Cave tour in Barbados. On St. Maarten, we went to the French side and had lunch and walked around. We were quite happy with our choices. We stayed at the Hilton Caribe before the cruise, and the Marriott San Juan after the cruise. I would recommend both, but the Marriott was better. Both were purchased thru Priceline and worked out perfectly. All-in-all, was a great trip! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2004
Upon our 9/12/04 arrival at the San Juan airport, after waiting about an hour to get our luggage, someone who also was on the same cruise mentioned that your luggage automatically was sent from the airport to the ship. Just wish someone ... Read More
Upon our 9/12/04 arrival at the San Juan airport, after waiting about an hour to get our luggage, someone who also was on the same cruise mentioned that your luggage automatically was sent from the airport to the ship. Just wish someone told us, sent us the information, or a sign with that information would have been nice. However, other than that, all went smoothly. The ship was beautiful. All of the shows were nice. On day 2 at St. Thomas we went to Sapphire Beach, then a ferry to Trunk Bay on St. John to snorkel. Nice snorkeling on both. Trunk Bay's beach was stunningly beautiful. We saw a small nurse shark there, and some nice species of coral, among the other fish. Day 3 St. Maarten. Almost didn't stop there due to the hurricanes/storms in the area. We rented a car (a bit challenging since all the maps they gave us had no street signs) and just used our sense of direction, and drove around most of the island. We stopped at the observation platform on Cole Bay Hill, saw the border monument (Dutch/French border), stopped at Maho Beach, Cupecoy Beach (beautiful, tranquil, small coves), Long Bay (large, sandy strip),and Orient Bay. All were beautiful. Really enjoyed the ice skating show on the ship that night. Highly recommend! Day 4 Antiqua. Took a taxi to Long Bay (excellent snorkeling), and then to Dickenson Bay (no snorkeling, but wave runners available). Went to Portofino's on the ship. Highly recommend , especially if it is a special occasion for your trip. Food/Service was excellent. Dramatic presentation of your food, make reservations early and request by a window before the sun sets. Day 5 St. Lucia. Rented a taxi, went to the botanical gardens, waterfall, botanical gardens (very lush & pretty) saw the Pitons (highly recommend), the "drive in" volcano, Anse Chastanet beach (beautiful--had black sands and excellent snorkeling). Day 6 Barbados. Rented a taxi, saw the Baobab Tree, Bathsheba (highly recommend), a green monkey (resp. for polio vaccine), and snorkeled at Folkstone Underwater Park. The best snorkeling I've ever seen and right off the shore. This was our favorite cruise. Be sure to visit the very front of the ship. I would recommend the later dinner seating for this time of year on this cruise. With so many ports to visit, we were gone all day, were hungry at 3 p.m back on the ship, ate too much/ruined our appetite, missed sunsets, and departure views. Disembarkation went well considering all the the people on this ship. I highly recommend this ship and itinerary. Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Find an Adventure of the Seas Cruise