I've been on plenty of cruises, and this itinerary has islands that so far can't be matched for cultural richness and beauty. And frankly, each island felt tons safer than most other Caribbean stops we've been to.
The Adventure is an older boat and it shows in small ways, but we experienced great service for the most part. We loved this cruise and will do it again. No complaints at all.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
I know that the ship has to feed thousands of people every day but WHEN is RCL going to toss us gluten free folks a bone? Geez. It's not like we want to miss out on the Key Lime pie, we just gotta! The Windjammer, which is where we prefer to eat, has zero gluten free fare. (Ok, I'm exaggerating. There was one dessert all week that was gluten free). No GF bread, no identification of foods that are GF (like, can I eat the meatballs?) Come on, RCL. Help a sister out.
5 out of 5
Plenty to do onboard. The poolside shenanigans are fun. The casino paid enough to keep up going back - the slot machines didn't hate on us like they usually do. Nice music everywhere.
5 out of 5
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The concierge, Ryno: what a gem. Completely attentive and personable.
5 out of 5
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
You would have to pack three suitcases apiece to fill the storage in this cabin. If you are a grumpy couple there is enough room to get away from each other. There's a sectional to lounge on, a bar/coffee area with mini fridge, a swiveling tv (golly, Jethro!) and lovely bath with separate shower, tub, and bidet. Which hubby promptly fiddled with and shot water across the bath. Good times. The concierge lounge has an espresso/cappucino machine and cocktails at 5. The pool deck has reserved deck chairs with heavy towels just for us unsullied suite people. Ahhhh. Ryno, the concierge, is a gem and so likable.
The only downside of this cabin is that there is noise from above until about 11 pm. Not awful noise, but if you are a sensitive sleeper you will have issues.
We loved the space, the proximity to the elevators, being one set of stairs below Windjammer and the pool deck. A total win for us.
It's a Latin-heavy cruise, reflected in the music and bathing suit attire. We loved it. Friendly and fun.
We stayed a night in old San Juan at Hotel Cervantes: small, charming, lacking a few chain hotel amenities but right in the middle of old San Juan life. A trolley stop is three steps away, which takes you to El Morro fort. (Yes, you SHOULD tour the fort just to see the many kites flying on the ocean breeze on the open plain.) Coffee shops and restaurants are step away. Caficultura is the place to eat breakfast but get there early as it fills up: small beautiful old building, cappuccino that knocks your socks off, professional staff, delicious everything. You will walk for hours and find something worth seeing around every corner. Particularly loved the San Juan Gate and surrounding streets. The old church there is beautiful.
Bonaire has amazing snorkeling, but take water shoes if you visit No Name Island! Seriously! (your feet will thank you as you depart the water taxi and step into rocks and bits of coral). You needn't bother snorkeling the reef if you are not an adventure buff. There are more than enough fish to see right off the beach in shallower water. I preferred the beach snorkeling as deep water snorkeling starts the Jaws theme song in my head.
And did I mention to take water shoes?
We caught Good Return Water Taxi at Karel's Beach Bar and spent the time waiting for the taxi sitting on the dock watching fish swim by in impossibly clear turquoise water.
And did I mention to get some water shoes?!
Eagle Beach is beautiful but there is no food available. I saw folks leaving after three or four hours, likely for the same reason we did. Hungry. Take snacks if you want to be on the beach all day. I didn't care for the casinos in Aruba. Penny machines or dollar machines, hardly anybody in the ones we visited, low energy and meh. We ate at Yemanja Wood Fired Grill that evening. They had me at the gin/rosemary/juniper berry cocktail. The food was gorgeous, try the Shrimp Diablo. Gluten free warm bread is offered with butter or olive spread.
I LOVED IT HERE!!! We were tired of beaching and snorkeling so we walked for hours exploring Punda. Weird and interesting shops (my favorite being "Sorry Madam" which was identified as a shop for men only). Took a two hour tour off the boat in a small open air vehicle with hard wood seats which was very nice but about thirty minutes too long. Ate a late lunch at Grill King Restaurant where they feed two gigantic fish (barracuda?) off the restaurant deck, where waves crash mightily against big rocks and the ambiance cannot be recreated even by Disney. Photo ops everywhere: at the Floating Market, the Queen Emma Bridge, street signs in Dutch, etc. Very walkable, felt European in the narrow streets.
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