Adventure of the Seas
CruiseClout score: 20.0
Adventure of the Seas: Family-friendly activities, sunshine & a Latin beat
Adventure of the Seas from Royal Caribbean is one of the largest cruise ships that sails out of San Juan to some of the most desirable islands in the Southern Caribbean. The ship offers plenty of onboard amenities, including 15 bars and lounges, an outdoor sports deck with a rock climbing and inline skating track, and an indoor mall known as the Royal Promenade. Recently updated in 2014, Adventure of the Seas now offers ship-wide wi-fi and digital signage to help travelers navigate this mega-ship and find activities on board.
Who will like sailing on Adventure of the Seas
If you are looking for a departure from the typical Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, then this ship is for you. With a variety of different onboard venues and features, Adventure of the Seas has something for cruisers of all ages. On our voyage, the ship did give a nod to travelers from Spanish-speaking countries, with announcements made in both English and Spanish and Latin music and performers featured. Adventure of the Seas is perfect for those looking for the consistency of a Royal Caribbean cruise with a bit of a flair both on board and while ashore. Families, family-reunion groups, corporate groups, singles and couples can have a fun-filled vacation on Adventure of the Seas.
Where Adventure of the Seas sails
Adventure of the Seas sails in and around the Caribbean, including the U.S. Virgin Isands, Barbados, St. Maarten, Aruba, Curacao, St. Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis. Most of the six- to seven-night itineraries sail out of San Juan.
Top dining options
Adventure of the Seas does not offer as many specialty restaurants and dining options as newer ships, but the few venues that are on the ship offer great service and diverse menus.
The Windjammer Buffet has casual dining for all meals and serves a variety of international cuisine. The Café Promenade, on deck 5, serves up a continental breakfast and pizza, sandwiches and snacks throughout the rest of the day for those looking for a quick bite.
We enjoyed dinner every night in the Main Dining Room, which offers both early and late seatings, as well as My Time Dining with walk-up service. There is one specialty dining restaurant, Giovanni’s Table, which serves up Italian fare for dinner for $25 a person and a Mexican lunch on sea days for $12 a person. The ship also has a Johnny Rockets with the brand’s signature hamburgers, fries and sandwiches for $6.95 per person. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is also available at the Café Promenade at an additional cost for those with a sweet tooth. New venues since the ship's refurbishment include the Chef’s Table and Park Café.
Where I went & what I loved
Our original itinerary was altered not once but twice due to Mother Nature: Hurricane Danny and Tropical Storm Erika. Due to the inclement weather, our ship made its first scheduled stop in St. Maarten, but then headed south to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Having been to St. Maarten many times before, we booked a tour with a trusted tour provider; no matter how many times we visit the island, we still can’t get enough of the planes landing over Maho Beach.
Having never visited the other islands, and having less than a day to plan, we opted for island tours of all the islands through the cruise line's tour company. In Aruba, you can’t go wrong with a beach break. Our time spent at Eagle Beach, with its clear waters and sandy beaches, was pure paradise. We also enjoyed our stops at the Casibari Rock Formation and Natural Bridge. Bonaire, less developed than its neighboring islands, is known for snorkeling and scuba diving. Next time we visit the island, we'll be sure to spend more time in the water. Curacao has a bright and colorful historic downtown area with plenty of sightseeing and shopping all within walking distance of the ship. The Hato Caves are definitely worth a visit while in Curacao, too.
Activities on board
Adventure of the Seas offers many of the same activities you find fleetwide on Royal Caribbean ships. During the sea days, there are tons of laughs to be had as fellow travelers bare it all in contests like the Belly Flop Contest and Sexy Man Competition.
For more audience engagement, there are plenty of trivia sessions and game shows throughout the cruise. From themed music and movie trivia to the Battle of the Sexes, the Quest, and the always funny Love and Marriage Game show, there is always something to keep you entertained.
Adventure of the Seas also offers more than 15 bars, clubs and lounges with live music, including the Duck and Dog Pub with a guitarist and the Schooner Bar with piano music. Sports fans will also enjoy the Gravity Sports Bar with tons of televisions broadcasting your favorite sporting events from around the world.
Adventure of the Seas has an entire children’s area on deck 12 known as Adventure Ocean. In this area you'll find special rooms set aside for children of different age groups, including a teen hangout. Families will also enjoy the sports deck, where parents can challenge their kids to a game of 9-hole mini-golf or maybe shoot some hoops. At night, there are parades and family-friendly parties like the all-ages Glow Party in Studio B, where you can dance the night away under black lights.
Entertainment & shopping
The Lyric Theater hosts nightly entertainment, including revue-style production shows featuring Royal Caribbean singers and dancers. For our sailing, those shows were Jackpot, a tribute to Vegas and Invitation to Dance, a contemporary show of different dance genres.
The Lyric Theater also hosts guest entertainers, who vary in style and quality. During our sailing, these guest entertainers included an Elvis impersonator, a vocal trio called the Las Vegas Tenors, two different comedians and a clown performer as part of the farewell show. We always make it a point to see the shows no matter what the performance and recommend you do the same. We particularly enjoyed the Las Vegas Tenors on this cruise.
Adventure of the Seas also offers an ice show; on our sailing, it was called "Hot Ice, Cool Art." Having sailed on many Royal Caribbean ships, it was one of our favorite ice shows to date. Make sure to reserve time to see this show!
We stay primarily in inside cabins when we cruise, and on this trip we opted for a Promenade Stateroom on deck 8, an interior room that has a window with a view of the Royal Promenade. This class of room is listed as slightly larger than other interior rooms. This extra space is primarily in the enhanced seating area with an extra sofa built in under the bow window. We never had any issues with noise, and the location was perfectly situated near elevators and right between the Royal Promenade and the outdoor decks.
- Don't pass up the Arctic Zone frozen yogurt station, starboard side, right next to Giovanni’s Table.
- For some adult time, the Solarium (forward, deck 11) is a nice little hideaway that never seemed too busy. The deck chairs are in the shade, and this area includes a pool and two whirlpools.
- The Solarium Bar also tends to be less busy than the Pool Bar or Sky Bar. So, you might save yourself some time by heading to the Solarium to grab a drink.
There are two formal nights in the main dining room, and the rest of the nights are smart casual. Even on the formal nights, the dress code is only loosely enforced.
You only live once!
If the mood strikes you, try skating on either the inline skating rink on the sports deck or lace up your skates at the indoor ice skating rink. Check your compass for details as these activities are offered during select days and times. All necessary equipment is provided by the cruise line.
Tips & gratuities
The daily gratuities are $12.50 per person per day, but of course, you can always tip additionally for that Royal WOW service. We had amazing service in the main dining room from our team of Leo and Jasmon, so we provided them with additional gratuities at the end of our 7-night vacation. Our bar server, Abel, was also great, so we gave him an additional gratuity as well.
Sailing from Puerto Rico, you’ll find a diverse set of passengers. During our cruise, there were quite a few passengers from the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as travelers from various European countries. All announcements are made in both English and Spanish for a more multicultural complexion. Sailing in late August, there were also fewer families than you would expect to find on this class of ship.
Shopping & bargains
Royal Caribbean offers onboard sales and promotions for jewelry and watches, liquor and other goods. The $10 T-shirt sale is always popular among economical cruisers (like me). In terms of shops, there was nothing too unique or special on this ship.
While we do recommend attending all the shows, we will admit not all of them were the best. We found the Elvis impersonator to be subpar compared to other cruise ship entertainment acts. Also, don’t expect too much from trivia. Not only are the prizes lackluster, but there is definitely a growing trend of fellow passengers using the internet to get answers. What fun is that?
How about you? Have you cruised on Adventure of the Seas? I'd love to hear about your experience! What was the highlight?
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Top highlights on this ship
- The Royal Promenade is the internal hub of the ship with different shopping venues, four themed bars and 24-hour snacks at the Café Promenade.
- Getting a lounge chair was never an issue on this ship as there was always availability on the outdoor decks near the two main pools and in the adults-only Solarium.
- For families, the ship has one of the largest arcades at sea, an Adventure Ocean section of the ship for the kids and a brand-new outdoor movie screen.
- Make sure to see the ice show in Studio B; it is definitely a must-do.
- Don’t miss the Dancing Under the Stars party on deck 11, complete with a “midnight buffet” of snacks and plenty of dancing with your cruise director staff.
- Climb the rock wall 200 feet above the ocean.
- Ice skate on one of the first-ever rinks at sea.
- Complimentary Broadway-style entertainment.
- The kids will enjoy the Adventure Ocean youth program.
Top dining options on board
“Adventure of the Seas is a large, floating leisure resort. It provides a host of facilities, rather like a small town, yet offers a healthy amount of space per passenger.”