We also just returned from the Dec 2 sailing of the Adventure of the Seas. It was our second cruise and first with Royal Caribbean. We spent one night at Casa Flamboyant before the cruise and one night at ESJ Towers in San Juan after the cruise.
For anyone that has an extra day or two I highly recommend renting a car and staying at Casa Flamboyant for a night or two. Check out these pictures on their website:
It is a bed and breakfast with 3 rooms and a separate house that can also be rented, both built into the side of the mountain with tiered levels. It is high up in the El Yunque rainforest and unbelievably beautiful. The breakfast Shirley prepared was great and our table was on the covered patio overlooked the rainforest. You can't see a single house or building from any view there. They even had two waterfalls on property that we hiked to.
We boarded the Adventure around 4pm Sunday. Check in was a breeze. They must have had about 30 counters open checking people in.
We stayed in a DB7 handicap room with a balcony. Having the balcony was nice (our first) but next time may try an interior room for half the price. I used a wheelchair for two days on the cruise and room was very accessible. I really liked the way they designed the bathroom in the handicap rooms. The handicap rooms are about 50 percent bigger than the normal rooms in the same category so it was no problem getting into the bathroom or out to the balcony.
The room decor was very nice. Our cabin attendent Josie was great, always keeping ice in our room. We took a couple of bottles of rum, some limes, and a 12 pack of cokes in the bags we checked with no problem. We had her empty the mini fridge and we used that. I also bought beer at the pool deck and brought them back to the fridge. It's not like we drank constantly but it sure was nice to be able to make a drink or have a beer if you just wanted to hang out in the room or on the balcony.
We also took a discman cd player and a couple of computer speakers and a selection of cds (rock to romance). That was really a nice touch to the room. They have some music channels on the tv, but not the same as having your own selection plus the sound quality we had was much better. I think one of the formal nights before dinner we made a couple of rum and cokes and put in a Frank Sinatra cd and stood out on the balcony. Pretty romantic. Of course, surprising her with diamond earings when she was finished getting dressed didn't hurt the mood either.
The pool area was real nice, plenty of chairs in each location. We like the hot tubs in the Solarium the best because of the decor and that they were covered (good if you get a little too much sun early in the trip).
The shows we saw were pretty good. I didn't expect much from the ice show, but just as almost every review I've seen, it was really good. The quality of the sound system and lighting effects had a lot to do with that. I only wished we could have had time to see more of the live music in the different lounges. There is always so much going on at the same time there is no way to do it all.
The food in the dining room was good but not excellent. Our waiter Sudesh on the other hand was excellent. Some dishes were really good, some we just ok. I was more surprised with the buffets at the windjammer cafe. On our other cruise the food at the buffett was terrible. But here they had a very broad selection of food that was actually pretty good.
We liked the ports, although we preferred St. Maarten and St. Thomas over Aruba and Curacoa. We rented a jeep in Aruba and drove around most of the island. The water there was sort of aqua green color and beautiful. In St. Maarten we went to Orient Beach. We went parasailing there and basically just hung out on the beach. Two of our table mates got married at Magens Bay in St. Thomas. They said it was awesome so we'll definitely go there next time we are there (possibly on the Explorer next year). We didn't do any excursions through the ship, just rented a car or took a taxi where we wanted to go.
Overall it was an excellent vacation. The ship was great, service was excellent, and there was so much to do that we need another cruise on one of the sister ships to do the rest. I loved the classiness of the centrums and the decor in general. We made a visit to the ships liquor store the last night and found some very good prices (some items 50 percent off) compared to the states. But I guess that is the case at most duty free stores, whether on the ship or at the airport. I was surprised that we were allowed to take 5 bottles each instead of one or two. We took about 5 total as we were out of room in the luggage.
If anyone has any specific question I'd be happy to try to answer them.