CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Adventure of the Seas by D. McHone Southern Caribbean May 25, 2003

Since I enjoy readings everyone else's reviews I felt I had to give you mine.

Embarkation We sailed on the Sunday, May 25th, sailing of the Adventure of the Seas out of San Juan. We booked our own airfare from New York to San Juan. The price we would have paid for one person through the cruise line we paid for two people on a direct nonstop flight. Getting into San Juan at 11 am we collected our bags and took a $16 cab ride to the Pan American pier. Embarkation wasn't too bad. (If you want liquor to take home, the pier was the place to buy it.) After giving our bags to the porters we were directed to sit in an air conditioned room. At about noon they started checking people in by row. Since we had filled out all of our paperwork via the internet we were directed to a speedier check in line. By 1 pm we had checked out our room and were roaming the ship. Unfortunately since the ship is at the Pan American pier, and not the pier by Old San Juan, we would have had to taken a taxi to visit any of San Juan. But we were content to just check out the ship. A pleasant surprise when we checked in was that we were upgraded from a Cat. DB to D9, up three decks. Unfortunately our luggage had the old room number on it so it took some phone calls to get our bags.

5 Ports in 5 Days Our first day (Monday) we docked at St. Thomas, a shopping paradise. Through the cruise line we booked a tour of Coral World and the Island. Coral World is an OK aquarium, you could keep yourself busy for the hour and a half you stopped there. Overall the tour was approx. 3 hrs and then they dropped you off in town if you wanted. We shopped for several hours and then headed back to the ship.

The next day (Tuesday) was St. Maarten. Again we took a cruise line tour of the Island. We stopped in Marigot for 45 minutes, waste of time. Again the bus drops you off in town if you want. We shopped Front St. for several hours and then headed back to the ship via the water taxi.

Wednesday was Antigua. We didn't book any tour and just went into town for a while to shop.

Thursday was St. Lucia. We booked an Island tour through (Best of the Caribbean). It ended up to be the same tour as passengers of the ship booked but $8 less per person. The tour guide Samantha was the best. She talked the whole time telling us about the Island, the schools, holidays, and history. She even taught us some Creole words. The Island and beaches are beautiful.

Friday was Barbados. (Which I thought was the most beautiful Island.) Again we booked a tour through This one wasn't as good as the one on St. Lucia. 10 of us were cramped into a 10 passenger van. The driver barely spoke and if you wanted to learn anything you had to ask a question. One stop was Harrison's Caves for a 30 minute electric vehicle tour. If you've been to any of the caverns in the US like Howe Caverns in NY or Luray Caverns in VA don't waste your time on this tour. Another stop was a plantation. It must have been the first day for the tour guide because we constantly had to ask her to speak up and then she would start speaking before everyone got into the room. I don't recommend this tour. And again we ended our day doing a little shopping before heading to the ship.

The Ship The ship is beautiful and big. We particularly liked the promenade. It felt just like a street with shops and restaurants. The only shopping we did was for some souvenirs with the Royal Caribbean logo. Our room was nice. We booked a balcony, because once you do you never go without. I particularly liked the layout of the bathroom, nice shower. Every night I would sit out on the balcony and read, now that's relaxing. We lost our money in the casino. I found the slot machines very tight and would gamble on the islands to win some money to make up for my losses on ship. Also the casino was very cramped, narrow aisles between the slot machines and between the tables.

Art Auction My husband got hooked on the art auction. We collect animation art (cartoons) and they had a nice selection. Unlike other art auctions on ships that we've been on the prices were reasonable and hardly anything went more than the asking price. Where else can you get free champagne every night.

The Food Food was OK (you'll never go hungry), but I expected better. I liked Carnival's food better. Lunch choices in the Windjammer (buffet) were pretty much the same every day. The pizza was horrible. And the frozen yogurt tasted like ice milk. Dinner was OK but there was a night that nothing appealed to us (usually when we cruise there's several items I want to try). There was only one midnight buffet, which I didn't see, because the lines were too long. So in other words, the food didn't impress me. The time to drink was during 5 pm through 8:30 pm when in certain bars particular drinks were reduced. My favorite was daiquiris in the Lobby Bar.

The Service Service was good throughout the ship. Everyone said hello and had a smile on their face. Our dining room waiter was very accommodating if we wanted to try something else. (One thing about seconds in the dining room. If you wanted to try something else they brought out a whole dinner for the one item. So when I wanted an extra lobster tail they brought out another whole dinner. What a waste. It's hard to imagine that they wouldn't have extras of the items people would ask for.)

The Shows The staff shows were OK. I've seen better on Carnival cruise lines and Las Vegas. Sometimes when they rearranged the music of some songs for their show they ruined the song. The shows that were very good were Beatlemania and the ice show. One afternoon we took in the matinee movie in the conference center. Nice room, comfy chairs, big screen, but really poor quality movie tape. You would think they would use DVDs.

Disembarkation You had to be out of your room by 8 am and into one of the public areas. Since our flight was at noon we were off the ship by 9 am, picked up our bags, through customs, and in a cab back to the airport by 9:15.

Overall We had a good time and had plenty to do. But the food and entertainment didn't knock our socks off. Another thing I would not recommend buying is the passport to savings book for $20 (hawked by the shopping experts on the cruise line). It's touted to save you lots of money. Other than the free canvas bag we got it wasn't worth the money. Either the stores didn't have the free gemstones with the coupon or they looked to be worthless. So unless you could use $50 coupon off a $500 purchase save your $20. At this point we're experiencing different cruise lines to find one we really like. So we'll keep looking.

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