FIRST OFF: I don't know why people start out reviews talking about their flight, cab right to the hotel, hotel they stayed, San Juan night life, and so on. YOU DON'T CARE.
EMBARKATION: I read a particular review before my cruise suggesting one use on-line checkin to speed up embarkation and it was EXCELLENT advice. Via online registration, you can enter nearly all necessary data rather than wait in line for some clerk who can barely type. At the pier you go right to the "Set Sail" line and breeze through in minutes, and that gets you on the ship much faster.
In general the earlier you arrive at the pier the better you are going to be. If you arrive in morning you will likely have to wait as passengers are still disembarking. But the sooner you arrive after 12:00 the better off you will be. Less people are there registering, and the sooner you can board ship. Remember, it's only a '7 day cruise' if you can enjoy the ship on your first day.
It's a good idea to fly in the day before and stay at a local hotel.While San Juan hotels are expensive, you can relieve your mind of the travel woes of bad weather delaying flights. No matter what happens the day before, as long as you arrive, you'll be rested and ready to cruise on Sunday. And if you waste all Sunday flying into San Juan you may arrive late and miss the cruise.
BAGGAGE TRANSFER: Baggage transfers are a hornets nest which people don't get until they've cruised a few times. Prior to THIS cruise we cruised a couple of times out of San Juan, and if you allow RCCL to handle your bags you stand a good chance of having trouble. Specifically, I'm talking about breaking into your bags and perhaps even theft. Locking your bags provides no guarantee they won't be broken into, and in fact, they will cut your locks off and pilfer your bags.
If you get the transfers from RCCL your baggage is handled NOT by RCCL but by a 3rd party cartage company in San Juan, hired by RCCL. So if you complain to RCCL you get blank stares and hollow apologies, but no resolution. Since your baggage contains your personal items, breaking into them is akin to breaking into your house - you feel VIOLATED. RCCL can do nothing about a a 3rd party cartage company even though they hire them, because cruise lines don't care. The only people who do are the ones working for tips $$$$$.
My advice is to skip the transfer and handle that yourself. It's a $19.00 cab fare from the airport to the pier and that fee is set by the government. Just put your bags in the trunk and go. You know your bags are safe and you leave at your convenience, NOT the convenience of a bus driver.
When you pay for transfers you travel on a bus (your bags by truck) and we've been stuck waiting over an hour once by a bus driver that had to fill his bus. As a result on that prior cruise we arrived late for checkin and couldn't make our 6:00 main dinner seating. When we arrived at 6:30 the doors were already closed and there was no entry. No bags and no dinner. Bad start.
On this cruise we did in fact skip the transfers, arrived 2 days early, and enjoyed both our hotel and San Juan. It was a short cab ride over to the pier and we arrived by noon with bags intact. After that we refused to allow RCCL to handle our bags and transported them ourselves. As soon as they allowed us into our cabin (at about 2:00 PM) we arrived with our bags.
If you let them handle your bags they can arrive many hours later and you probably won't have them before dinner. Sometimes they just disappear without explanation, and when you talk to guest relations you get this crap about "your bags will arrive soon". Oh yeah? One year they didn't arrive until after 11:00 PM, we couldn't change clothes for dinner, and our bags were broken into with the locks cut off. This is for real.
We NEVER, EVER allow the cruise line to handle our bags. This we've learned the hard way after 5 cruises. And DO NOT bring large bags because they cannot get through the x-ray machines. Bring medium and/or small bags.
THE SHIP: Adventure is huge. I've been on several other ships and this one was by far the biggest. It's been very tastefully decorated, far more so than Carnival ships, which tend to be overbearing. You can find it's features on the RCCL website so you don't need me for that. The Royal Promenade is a great place to hang out.
DINING: Food is very good and most people typically eat lunch and breakfast at Windjammers on deck 11. Some choose the dining room instead. Breakfast at Windjammers tends to be the same every day, but with so many selections it doesn't matter. Lunch tends to be similar also but they do vary some of the meats, fish, and sides. The deserts change daily and are very good.
The main dining room, which is 3 floors high with each having their own name, is excellent. For us service was very good and the food was great.
Portofinos has great food and offered the best tenderloin I've ever had. Great deserts! Worth the $20.00 per person. Make your reservation(s) as soon as you board the ship. It can be a great escape from noisy diners.
DINING ROOM DRESS: There are 2 formal nights in which the majority of people actually dress formally. If you are the kind of person who refuses to dress up then I suggest having dinner at Windjammers Cafe on deck 11. Also, if you cannot get to dinner on time you should have dinner at Windjammers Cafe. It's informal and buffet style. When people refuse to dress properly in the dining room they disrespect their fellow passengers. When they refuse to arrive on time they disrespect the dining room staff and make life very difficult for them.
BEDS: Other reviewers talk about how bad the beds are and if they are talking about the edge of the bed they are right. But what people forget is the cardinal rule of beds - which is you DO NOT sit on the edge of the bed. In addition you don't sleep on the edge. The beds are large and though the mattress is thin it's not bad in the middle. My wife and I had plenty of room.
PORTS OF CALL & EXCURSIONS: There are tons of excursions offered by Royal Caribbean, but what's not generally known is there are other companies providing excursions. One such is 'Port Promotions', and since we booked our cruise through 'Cruise.com' we got a free excursion worth up to $84.00 per person. Port Promotions has any number of excursions on many Caribbean islands and are probably better than those provided by the vendors selected by RCCL. But if you choose them you MUST keep track of the time returning to the ship. DO NOT expect them to keep track of departure time because they won't. You DO NOT want to arrive late for the ship since it may not still be in port.
ALCOHOL: RCCL is pretty chintzy about this and want to make sure you ONLY buy THEIR liquor at their inflated prices. Consequently, in the home port even though you've already been through security and your bags x-rayed, they force you through another security scan on the ship. This is so they can catch you sneaking in booze. While they do have the need to screen you when returning to the ship from port, nonetheless, in the home port you get screened twice. They want to make sure you don't buy booze at the San Juan pier (which you can at the duty free shop) and bring it on the ship.
Ironically, it's at the ports where you might be able to sneak it on. What happens is they make you go through security and your purchases are scanned. When you detect you having liquor they tell you to go over to a desk and check it in there. But if the scanner guy gets busy with a lot of people he cannot watch you. Just walk past the liquor check in desk and enjoy. How DARE they make you purchase liquor from them if you want a drink. Try to board with a bunch of people so they get too busy to keep track of you and your liquor. It's your property and you should be able to bring it on board - just like they let you bring on money (which they WILL get from you). This is a real downer about crusing.
THE TABOO TOPIC: While it may be politically incorrect to talk about I'm going to, which is Hispanics. If you are going to cruise out of San Juan you are going to see a great deal of Puerto Ricans. While I suspect some might tune out at this point I think with the assumption I'm a racist, nonetheless hear me out on this. There's upper, middle, and lower class people in every country in the world, but because RCCL wants the ships full they offer cheap fares in the home port. Consequently, all the San Juan natives have to do is drive themselves over to the pier and board the ship - for only $200.00 per passenger. Unlike lower class Americans who find flying to San Juan and then paying $800.00 per passenger cost prohibitive, it's the lower class Puerto Ricans taking the cruise, not the upper class, so the behavior on board can be a major problem. On this cruise it was only about 16% Puerto Ricans and they seemed well behaved. But a cruise of over 60% Hispanics is NOT unusual.
On a cruise last year on Carnival we experienced about 75% Puerto Ricans and the ship was under siege. The halls were noisy virtually 24 hours a day, the stairs were crowded with kids sitting on them and blocking people, kids were fooling around in elevators and drunk (14-15 years old), they refused to dress appropriately in the dining room, and there were altercations. Last year I posted those comments and several emailed me saying they encountered the same problems on their cruises.
One of the big problems was Hispanics being rude and pushing into lines. On this cruise the lines were pretty short and it wasn't a problem until debarkation, when they pushed in front and were rude. Sadly I have to admit that on prior cruises, when there was noise, it came from Hispanics. Call that racism if it makes you uncomfortable but it's true. It's lower class Hispanics on the cheap tickets causing the problems. On this cruise we encountered mostly middle class Hispanics and they conducted themselves appropriately.
Last year we cruised during Christmas and it was a nightmare. This time we cruised in January and it was great. I think the time of year can account for some of the problems so I recommend the winter months, which you'd probably want to do anyway to avoid the northern winter in the US.
I also find it very unfair that my wife and I paid over $1,000 per passenger, while in Puerto Rico they get cheap passage for $200.00 - and yet receive the same cruise. So Americans and Europeans pay the freight which is grossly unfair.
ENTERTAINMENT: This is pretty subjective and depends upon your personal taste so that must be up front. The ice show is fabulous and not to miss. Get your tickets as soon as they are offered, which I believe is Monday. There were 2 comedians on separate nights. There were also 2 musical shows. As a former professional musicians I can tell you the shows were excellent. Good musicians, good dancers, good singers who could sing in tune. Around the ship there are various other musicians and usually pretty good.
ART AUCTIONS: Auctions are held on most cruises lines and on most ships. I've sailed Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Carnival, and Park West Galleries was on all of them.
Park West used to claim they sell art for 60-80% below gallery prices. That's hogwash. Today, they no longer make that claim because people were catching on. On this last cruise they wanted over $7,000 for pieces from Salvador Dali's 101 illustrations from the Divine Comedy. But if you check the Internet you'll find them being sold by Lockport Gallery (southwest suburb outside Chicago) and their websites says the Divine Comedy pieces for around $250.
Their appraisals come from outer space because they don't jive with the real world. You can get some great pieces but you MUST do your homework first. If you see something you like go research it on the Internet BEFORE you bid. The will NOT tell you the minimum bid they will accept so forget that. Watch out for opening bids because they can be very high.
About once in each auction they give a low opening bid for piece and let it go just to get the audience fired up, and so Park West can claim the buyer got a really great deal. Maybe they did and maybe they didn't. But be aware there are other places to buy art so don't feel obliged. Drink their champagne and wait until the end so you get your free artwork - which is an 8 x 10 that's probably not worth much.
Also, you can catch the Park West people on the cruise, let them know what you are interested in, and make them an offer. You're going to have to do it blind, having no idea what their minimum bid OR opening bid would be. FYI: Often their opening bid is higher (maybe MUCH higher) than their minimum bid.
WARNING: Park West auctioneers like to talk about the value of a piece and how it rises so quickly. Be advised - they are salesman who know NOTHING about art. They are slick. They are superficial. But they are NOT knowledgeable. Buy artwork because you like it and NOT because some fast talking 29 year-old says it's a great buy. Trust your instincts, not them.
Art work is shipped from a Detroit suburb and we've never had a problem. HOWEVER, you WILL see some reviews in which people describe their nightmares with Park West.
DISEMBARKATION: People leave the ship in groups and you are provided with a group number, which they call for disembarkation. We found that's where the shoving and rude behavior by Hispanics was prevalent. RCCL wants you off the ship as quickly as possible so expect a knock at your door by 7:00 AM, and they want you out of your cabin by 8:00 AM.
OVERALL CONCLUSION: We had minimal problems with obnoxious Puerto Ricans or Americans, probably because mid January is a highly desirable time to travel so there's not too many cheap tickets issued. Food was very good, entertainment was great, the ship is fantastic, I would take this ship and cruise itinerary again.SUGGESTIONS:
1) It's worth it to try to sneak on alcohol at ports of call. Stay in the middle of a group and the RCCL people will be distracted, just don't report to the "booze" table after security. It's your property.
2) Don't miss the ice show. It has world class skaters and you'll see it up close rather than on TV. They are incredible on such a small ice rink.
3) Check in online. Embarkation will be faster.
4) DO NOT allow ANYONE to handle your bags. You'll be sorry if you do.
5) If you have problems with rude people at Windjammers then eat all meals in the dining room.
6) WARNING: Be advised to avoid a confrontation with rowdy people. You are at sea and there is no local sheriff to arrest people. The ship's "security" will "file a report" which you CANNOT get a copy of for documentation or further legal matters. They WILL NOT cooperate with you. Been there, done that.
In January of 2005 we started planning a vow renewal for my parents-in-law. Shortly into the planning process we found out we were having a baby. I immediately chose to stay stateside and not go on the cruise. I felt very uneasy about cruising with a newborn. As the time approached I decided that I did not want to miss this event and started doing a large amount of research on cruise safety and cruising with newborns. I talked to a lot of people and everybody told me that it would be fine. But still, I went with some uncertainty. We had a wonderful time. My son slept better at night then he did at home, must have been the rocking of the boat. He enjoyed the fresh air while we were at sea. And we have some great memories.
Here are a few pointers from us:
1. You will be paying fare for your baby, enjoy it.
2. Get a room with a double bed and sofa bed. The cruise provides the Graco Pack and Play, but we felt the rooms are too small for this. Our son slept inbed with me surrounded by pillows. But if your baby moves too much, get the play pen for safety.
3. We use the Playtex Disposable nursers so the only items we had to wash were the bottle nipples. We purchased 3 gallons of baby water at a grocery store near SJU airport (Nursery Water or Gerber), 1 can of formula and diapers. I brought some dish soap from home and used the bottle water to wash the nipples.
4. The ship charges for laundry service, so bring enough clothes for the little one. He only wore 2 outfits a day
5. Bring a hat, sun screen and a sun shield for the stroller. We bought a spray bottle and used cold bottled water to cool off our guy.
6. Don’t worry about the stroller, we left ours in the hallway and it was fine.
7. We got lucky at dinner. We were in the Vivaldi dining hall and had a table in the far back next to a window. There was a corner next to the table so it was convenient for the placement of the stroller. When you make your reservation, see if you can request that table, it was a saving grace for us.
8. We bathed the little guy in the sink. Although it was very small, it worked fine, but you will need two people. The shower has a moveable spray so this is also an option.
9. If you are pumping breast milk, there are several electrical outlets in the bedroom and storage for the pump will not be a problem.
10. We took our son on all of our excursions and don’t regret it. We also took him to all the on boat programs with us, and he won the “sexy legs” contest. Unfortunately you can't use the baby sitters until the infant is 6 months of age, but that will only stop you from going to the casino and night clubs.
11. You will find that most of the crew have families and their own babies back home. They will ooohh and gaaahhh over your baby, let them. They are working very hard and will do whatever you need to make your trip enjoyable.
12. Finally, take a picture of your baby in his/her life jacket……it is an adorable memory.
Good luck, have fun and don’t worry, everything will be fine.
This was our 23rd cruise, our fifth on RCI, our second on Adventure of the Seas, and our fifth cruise from San Juan. We are a married couple ages 57/55. We cruised with 2 other couples.
For some reason you didn't just drop off your luggage curbside; they made you stand in a big line to drop off your luggage. Then you got in another line to check in. I didn't see the point, except maybe that the guys taking the luggage seemed to being doing pretty well on tips since everyone in line was watching. We had pre-registered through their new Online Registration Program, which made things very quick: They just scan your credit card, pop out your Sea Pass and you are on your way. There were lots of lines open so only a few people were ahead of us. We arrived at port at noon and were onboard by 12:20 or so.
This is one of my favorite ships. It's hard to believe you're on a ship when you're in the promenade (is that a good thing?) It is beginning to show its age in afew spots. The upholstered items in our cabin had numerous cigarette burns, but that's to be expected with time. We had a room on Deck 8 overlooking the promenade -- an inside room with a view! We really enjoyed it. I thought noise might be a problem, but it was not.
The only thing I didn't like about the beds is the rounded corners at the foot. I'm very short and even my toes hung off the edge. This also made it difficult to keep the blankets on the bed. The bathroom has a shower door rather than a curtain, which I liked, but I usually shower in the spa anyway -- it is roomier and has a larger shower head. The end shower has a glass block wall that gives you lots of sunlight and a ledge to sit on when shaving!
It was nothing to rave about, but that's true of most cruise ship food nowadays. The fish was usually pretty dry and only one night did it pass muster. The lobster was actually good and a nice size, although they no longer give you your own little butter pot. The service was delightful. There is no longer a wine steward; the waiter takes care of it. No complaints.
The buffet is the downfall of this ship. It moves slowly because it lacks individual stations, but that's true of many ships. The deserts are separate and they have started pouring drinks and placing them at the end of the line; on previous trips, you fetched your own from the crowded beverage station. But you do get your own coffee, there and there seemed to be a chronic leak that left a dangerous puddle in a high traffic spot. And the coffee –aaargghh! It was awful, just awful. If you want good coffee, have breakfast in the dining room, where it's actually passable. Also, if you order a pot delivered to your room, you get the good stuff.
We didn't go to the specialty restaurant this time, but I heard it was wonderful. And if you like good coffee and ice cream there is a Coffee Shop and a Ben & Jerry's.
Johnny Rockets Diner is a pay restaurant but it was only about $5, I think -- an old-style diner with great hamburgers and fountain drinks. The staff also entertains you with a Saturday Night Fever dance routine. It's great for lunch on your sea day.
Ports of Call
This ship does two itineraries. Both go to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and St. Lucia. This week they did Antigua and Barbados; next week they do Aruba and Curacao instead. All are lovely islands with their own flavor. There was only one sea day, which for me is not enough. A port each day wears me out and I need more down time - but then, I could have seven sea days in a row and be fine with it.
The entertainment was the standard cruise line stuff. I thought one of the production shows was a little out there - maybe I'm getting old but it was just weird to me, sort of disjointed with awkward costuming, although the sets were very nice. We heard that from a few other folks too, but the younger crowd seemed to enjoy it. They had a great comic and pianist. The theatre did not seem to have any bad seats.
The dance music was very good and there was lots of it, although they would take one-hour breaks after a 45-minute set, so you had to hop from bar to bar if you wanted to dance the night away. I found that annoying, since we really like to dance; we wasted a lot of time traipsing around.
The security seemed pretty good, although they could have shown a greater presence in Jesters, the late-night dance club. A rowdy bunch of "ladies" really wanted our table near the dance floor and repeatedly asked us when we were leaving. When all six of us got up to dance, one of our group saw one of these women sweep her arm across our table, dumping all our drinks into the seats! The waitress did not want to replace our drinks, but the manager on duty did. Although several people saw the incident, the security guard outside the door was not asked to do anything about the group. Now that our seats were soaking wet, we took our fresh drinks and left.
Two fights broke out in the Jacuzzi at poolside; if the pool security had kept a better handle on a brewing situation that probably would not have happened. But once punches were thrown, they jumped in pretty quick -- which subsequently shut down the entire poolside for about 15 minutes per incident. Given the recent well-publicized incident on an RCI ship, you'd think they'd be a little more astute.
Tips can be put on your account, but they give you certificates to place in the envelope -- kind of a nice compromise.
We didn't use it - too expensive. I use a dockside facility in each port for about $3 per 15 minutes.
This seemed slower than usual, but we usually are in the first group or two called. This time we stayed over in San Juan, so we were in the last group. The first group was called at 8:10, the last group at 11:10. Once your number was called it still took another 20-30 minutes to exit the ship.
Overall: Loved it, would do it again - and probably will.
This was the 5th cruise for my husband and I. It was our second with RCI, the first one was one the sister ship Voyager of the Seas. The Adventure of the Seas is awesome. The royal promenade is great. They serve the best pizza on the high seas. If you are addicted to diet coke like my husband it is worth it to purcahse a coke card that gives you unlimited soft drinks for seven days. While on the ship do not miss the ice skating show and the production show velvet rope featuring the royal caribbean singers and dancers. It was fabulous. The only complaint that I would have while on the ship occured on the first formal night. We had no water in our room to take a shower or brush our teeth. We were told that someone put something into the pipes and clogged it up. It was also frustrating because they told us that it would be fixed in 20 minutes and then it would take another 20 minutes and then another 45 minutes. On the last night of the cruise we had nohot water to shower with. I do not know what happened there,we just took cold showers.
The ports on this cruise were great. In Antigua we would highly suggest the stingray city swim and snorkel tour. It was a once in a lifetime experience. I was a little nervous at first but the trainers were great. The water was only 4-5 foot deep so if you do not like to snorkel you can still stand up and enjoy the stingrays. The bus ride getting to and from the site was adventurous as people here bring new meaning to defensive driving. The ship also went to Barbaodos. We choose to do the mini buggy safari and swim. This was another great tour. After signing medical release forms and a safety instruction 6 very new ans safe mini buggy's headed out to the barbados countryside. We rode for about one hour,with two short stops for refreshments and breath taking views. If you wanted to you and your partner could switch drivers at the half way point. Afterwards we were taken to the beach for a short 20 minute swim. This part of the beach was not very good,it was rocky with strong waves and rip currents. Barbados has over 365 beaches so I sure that there is a good one somewhere.
We only had one day at seas which is one of the main reasons that we picked this crusie itinerary. On our day at sea we acted like true cruisers by going to the napkin folding class and the towel folding class so that we could learn how to make all of those animals that they put on your bed every night. We even tried ice skating in Studio B. We only lasted about 30 minutes before calling it quits. If you have never been on a RCI ship do not miss the love and marriage game,people were talking about it for the rest of the week. Do not miss the adventure quest game. It is hilarious and will have you laughing for hours. The food on the ship was okay,not as good as I remember on my last RCI cruise. The shrimp coctail is to die for and the lobster just melts in you mouth.The steaks were premium cut with not a drop of fat on them. The desserts are wonderful. You could make a whole meal just off of the desserts. Dissembarkation was long for us because we were spending the night in San Juan. We were one of the last people off of the ship. You can not wait in your room but in one of the public areas so that they can get the ship ready for the next group of passengers coming aboard. We waited on the ship from 8am to 1145am before our number was called and then had to wait in two more lines outside in the hot sun to go through customs. We were exhausted by the time we got to our hotel.
Overall it was a great cruise and I can not wait to check out the new Freedom of the Seas when it come out next year.
Warning for those looking for a quiet, relaxing cruise - opt out of San Juan sailings on Royal Carribean! Boat was packed with party-going Puerto Ricans, and their kids! Kudos for RCL's attempts at keeping those kids under control, i.e. curfews and rules regarding kids in adult areas and in shows. However, those rules were rarely respected, and not adequately enforced.
On our one day at sea, there was not a square inch available for an extra body in a pool. Also true with deck chairs - packed side by side like sardines. On a positive note, experience the very best service ever on a cruise - dining and stateroom attendants were flawless! Would recommend RCL consider not allowing children under age 6 at late dining seating. No matter how excellent your service and food, dinner is spoiled by screaming children throughout an entire meal.
The cruise is top notch. The ship is unbelievable like all Voyager class ships of the Royal Caribbean - a luxurious feast for the eyes and the palate; good music too. Service is great, food excellent, and the cabins comfortable. The reason I keep going on Royal Caribbean cruises is because they provide the best cruise experience CONSISTENTLY.
But in the last cruise to the South Caribbean we got unlucky when we booked an excursion in St. Thomas with Bob Underwater Adventure. Best avoid it. Take a good snorkeling tour instead; it's much more fun and better value for money. On first reading it sounds exciting but while it would be fun to have one of those underwater scooters for a few hours, out of a 3 1/2 hour tour you only spend on the scooter twenty minutes. Much of the time is spent listening to instructions and getting three groups of people in and out of the vehicles, because there are three times more people than scooters. Once underwater by the time you've figured out how to operate the scooter, it's over. As the scooter requires a fair amount of dexterityunderwater it's not for children of any age. A few adults found it too difficult and just swam around the boat instead. The spot where the tour stops is not very good for marine life either; St. Thomas has much better places. If wasting vacation time on a gimmicky tour was not annoying enough, the captain of our boat was a bit of a prankster bordering on the unprofessional.
When you spend only one day on an island packed with fun possibilities, every minute counts. Bob Underwater Adventure will rob you of almost four precious hours you could spend on Magens Beach, on a good snorkeling tour, or shopping. Skip it.
I thoroughly recommend however, the Swim with the Turtles tour in Barbados and the Land and Sea tour in St. Lucia. They have competent, courteous, and efficient guides who know how to make the limited time you have to walk and swim in their island live up to the best of its possibilities.
Can't wait to go back.
We arrived at terminal at apporx. 1:50 PM. The line ran the whole sidewalk all the way to the end of the terminal. I thought it would takes hours to get in. In exactly 21 minutes we were inside with our sea pass in hand/ We were told our room was ready, balcony on 8th deck. The room was great.
We toured the ship before going to Windjammer to eat. The layout of ship was better then any I have been on. The promenade deck on 5th floor was like a mall. The decor was outstanding.
Food was way better then expected in Windjammer and also the dining room. The Cafe Promenade was open 24 hours a day and had great pizza, along with hoagies, deserts and coffee. All free.
The shows were OK but the Ice show was beyond belief.
Only complaint if any were some rude Puerto Rican children that would cut in line for food or at elevators. Would definitely recommend AOS as an outstanding ship. I would and will use it again.
We just returned from the 7 day southern carribean on the Adventure of the Seas. This was our sixth cruise so far and was by far the most impressive ship we've cruised on.
We thought that with over 3,000 people on the ship that it would seem very crowded, but it actually seemed much less than on smaller ships we've been on. The promenade was wonderful to just stroll or sit at the cafe and watch people go by.
The shows were the best we've seen so far, of course we had the Drifter's perform one night, but the ice show is a definate do not miss show.
The food was very ggod in the main dining rooms and the buffet was above average. We really enjoyed the cafe at the promenade to just grab a sandwich or slice of pizza or desserts. It was a very convenient meeting place and the food and staff were wonderful.
If you're looking for a reasonably priced cruise with exceptional service and a beautiful ship I would highly recommend either this one or another of the Voyager class series on Royal Carribean.
We're already seaching forour next available cruise on board a different Voayager class ship, so that we can see a different itinerary, but still enjoy the same class of service.
First off I believe our itinerary was the Eastern Caribbean(Aruba,Curacuo,St Maarten and St Thomas)feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
We sailed out of San Juan at 10pm and had no problems or lines getting on the ship. We flew in from Boston arriving at 4:30pm and that worked out great for our group.
The Ship is absolutely beautiful. We had done one other cruise on the Norwegian Majesty and there is just no comparison. We found the whole Royal Caribbean cruise to be top notch.
The food was good,I would not say outstanding,but it was better than our previous cruise. We had the 8:30 dinner seating which I found to be too late and next time will request the 6:30 one.
The shows were good,especially enjoyed the ice show.
Of all the islands my husband liked St Maarten the best and I loved St Thomas. I was not impressed with Aruba,although I must say we did'nt see a lot of the island.
We are planning a 10 night cruise out of Boston next October we enjoyed this one so much.
Any questions as I know this review is brief feelfree to email me...
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 actuallywas 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.