February 2015 - Adventure of the Seas to Caribbean - Southern
This was our first time with RCL. We have cruised a total of 4 times and all previous cruises have been with Princess Cruises. We decided to " broaden our horizons, and try another line". The check-in process was seamless and professional all the way. The ship itself is fine for her age, she is 14 years old and I understand her last retro-fit was in 2009 and it shows. We booked a balcony suite on the 8th deck. Our room was mega small for a balcony suite and cramped. There is a couch along the wall and a good size king bed. The bed was comfortable and we both slept very well each night. The bathroom shower is very small as well, but functional. For all the time we spent in our suite it was fine, but it was not the same as a princess balcony suite. The balcony floor was unfinished and showed signs of aging...the sitting area was uber small and tight, not enough room to fully extend both lounge chairs. If you have apnea and require a CPAK at night, you will need to ask for an extension cord from the bedside table. Our room steward was great!!...friendly and helpful and the room was kept in excellent condition..we tipped him nicely for his work. One day after breakfast, we came into the room and found a maintenance man fixing our shower..which we never had a problem with!...no prior notice was given that work would be done in our room...imagine if one of us had to use the toilet in a hurray!!!.
The dining area is different. The Buffet Restaurant is very large and bright, plenty of seating and the open feeling from all the windows is very refreshing. The food however is very bland and routine. If you like routine you will be in heaven!!. The quantity of food at the buffet is not bad, sometimes you need to wait for the staff to reload a selection or two..but thats minor considering the amount of passengers on board. The wait staff are hit n miss most times and appeared bored, on Princess the staff were more than happy to get you a beverages, on this ship it was routine and expected of passengers to get their own juice or coffee/tea etc.
The dining room on the first night was a disaster!!..the staff had no clue where table number location were. Our 1st waiter wandered around aimlessly looking for our table number..asking other staff to help him, they were busy as well. it was very un organized to say the least. Once settled at our table...the waiter we had was very good. My wife and I agreed that their was something not right that night and the staff were "rattled". The food in the dining room is very small in portion. if you are a " big eater" you will be asking for 2nds and this is not a problem.
The wait staff we had were excellent however we feel they were run off their feet being assigned too many tables to take care of. We feel this ship over all is understaffed and it shows in the presentation of service from time to time. The vibe on bored was not good at all. Evening entertainment was so so...Beatles Remembered was excellent as was the Ice Show...if your into Adult Comedy...there was a Drag Queen doing a show around 10.45pm....no thanks!..LOL.
Over all, you get what you pay for...we had a safe and pleasant trip..the ports we great with Barbados and St Maarten being our favourites. Shop with the locals to arrange tours..they are cheaper and more interesting as the locals take you into their country and you see more than an organized tour...I had no idea Barbados has pasture lands up in the mountains!. We will not be going back to RCL.
Our happiness with Princess is based on the size of the staterooms and balcony, the over all cleanliness of the ship, the over all friendliness and helpfulness of the staff, the portions provided at meal time and variety offered. On board activity with Princess is far nicer that RCL. One more thing...The Promenade area on Adventure of the Sea's is over rated and very small. You get the impression its a large meeting area with plenty of stores etc. There maybe 4-5 gift shops, a couple bars and one 24 cafe. Not a great experience when you have over 3,000 passengers wandering around after supper..LOL.