CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews


Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Adventure of the Seas by Brian Kelley Southern Caribbean March 2, 2003

First, a little about us. We are a 48 yr old married couple and this our 8th cruise. First cruise was with the kids on the Big Red Boat and all the rest have been on RCCL. We have considered other lines but we enjoy RCCL so much that we are afraid we will be disappointed so we stay with what we like. Pre-Cruise We flew in to San Juan on Friday from MSP and spent 2 nights at the Marriott/San Juan. We usually stay at the Tres Palmas guesthouse on our SanJuan cruises but we had Marriott Rewards pts. and ended up with 2 nights free. The Marriott was very nice. We had a great room overlooking the pool and the ocean. The lobby area gets kinda wild on weekend evenings with loud salsa type music but it was a fun place to hang out. The staff at the Marriott were very accommodating. My wife is a runner and when she returned from her morning run, the doorman greeted her with a towel and a cold bottled water. Lots of Brownie points there! The pool area was great and would recommend the hotel highly. We had the buffet on Friday night in LaVista rest. at the Marriott and it was very good with lots of grilled fish, chicken, steak, salads, etc etc. Sat night we ate across the street at the Tropical rest. It was just OK. Nothing special.

Sunday, we checked out at 12:00 noon and grabbed a cab(about $20) to the Pan Am pier. Check in was pretty quick and at about 1:00 we were in the Windjammer enjoying our lunch. Cruise We had a balcony room on deck #6 (lowest price balcony room) and it was fine. We were right by the elevators and the first afternoon/evening we heard quite a bit of noise/talking outside our door and were afraid it was going to be a problem but never noticed any noise after the first night. We sleep with the balcony door open and enjoy the breeze and sound of the waves so that probably drowned out any hallway noise. Our cabin steward was perfect. Low profile, not in your face all the time, but very efficient. We enjoyed the ship very much but my wife and I both agreed that we enjoyed the Radiance(last years cruise) more. The Adventure seems more geared towards families while the Radiance seems more elegant and refined. The Royal Promenade(while very impressive) gets VERY crowded during the parades and the Captain's welcome party. We passed on fighting the crowds for the free champagne. We never had a problem getting a deck chair near the pool/or a deck above on sea days. We enjoyed the Johnny Rockets but liked the Seaview Café on the Radiance more. Again, quieter and more refined than the party atmosphere at Johnny Rockets.(although it was fun!) The shows and presentations on the Adventure were some of the best we have ever seen at sea. The ice show was very impressive. The Lyric theatre was also lovely and the stage sets were incredible. We had a great server and asst in the lovely Mozart dining room. The food was very good and close to the Radiance in quality/taste. The only poor item I had was a NY strip steak that was very tough. I ordered it to compliment the shrimp scampi(which was great!) so I didn't go hungry. The ship had about 40% Puerto Ricans on board. Much has been written about this in the past, but to us it's a non-issue. The good people of Puerto Rico were polite and enjoyable to be cruising with. Like I said, a non-issue.

Ports We have done this same route before so were familiar with all the ports. In Aruba, we rented a small jeep(Jimny) from Amigo rent-a-car and cruised around the island. It was fun but dusty and bumpy on the windy side of the island with the unimproved roads. Next time we will probably spend a beach day by the big hotels. Snorkeling is also available out by the wreck of the Antilla.(have done b4- but not this time) In Curacao, we took the Spanish waters snorkeling/canoe trip. It was very enjoyable with some of the best snorkeling I have ever had. Lots of big, beautiful fish while snorkeling over the sunken tug at Bayo Beach. Next time I would probably just take a cab to Bayo Beach. You can snorkel on your own(rentals available). They have a nice beach, chairs, shade, fresh water pool. Saw people eating lunch there and it looked very good. Also bar service available. In St.Maartin, took a cab to Orient Beach and just swam and read a book in our rented chair with umbrella ($15-2 chairs and umbrella) Had lunch there but it was expensive. Good, but expensive. In St.Thomas, we took the cab to RedHook and then took the ferry to St.John. Last year we took a day sail on the New Horizon and it was one of the best shore trips ever. This year, we just took an island tour to see the National Park and the island.($16 pp for 3 hour tour-arranged with a driver at Cruz Bay) Then took the ferry back to Charlotte Amalie for some shopping and then walked back to the ship. Summary As I mentioned, we thought the ship was great. The crew was pleasant and we had no complaints as far as service or food. RCCL continues to deliver a very solid value for the $$ spent. We shared a cab in St.Marrtin with a couple from the Radisson Diamond. They had been on the Celebrity Infinity last year and were very disappointed in the Radisson ship. For the huge$$ spent, they said it was a disappointing. They said they were going to return to Celebrity. We will return to a Radiance class ship for our next cruise. We are thinking the Brilliance for the Panama Canal route, as we have never been there before. In summary, I would recommend the Adventure and would probably sail her or a Voyager class ship again but would prefer the slightly smaller, more elegant and intimate Radiance class.

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