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Adventure - Dec 15th - Review of 6 Night


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DH and I just returned from a 6 night cruise on Adventure with stops at  George Town in Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico (and 2 sea days).  

This won't be a full blog as I don't want to put everyone to sleep (it was pretty low key without our kids), but I thought I'd give a short review and some thoughts.

To date, I've been on Grandeur, Voyager...many years ago, and in more recent years Allure, Mariner, Independence, Symphony, Navigator, and now Adventure.  Thus, I can give some comparisons, and we've almost done all of the Voyager class ships.

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Pre Cruise Hotel

We originally booked Courtyard Marriott in Plantation as it was a decent hotel for a decent price and it looked like there were enough shops and restaurateurs in the area to keep us busy for the afternoon.  But then, DH saw that Holiday Inn Express had an ok price and it is by the port, so we switched our booking. It is a 5 min walk to the 17th street shops and restaurants so handy area as well.

I recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a place.  The room was a good size with a nice bathroom.  We had dinner at Duffys (really yummy mahi mahi sandwiches if anyone likes that kind of thing). 

Breakfast is included with the hotel booking.  It was just ok (basic breakfast buffet), but we were getting on a cruise a few hours later so it didn't matter that it wasn't first class. This hotel is pretty close to the port, which is nice.

 

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Embarkation

Adventure was parked at terminal 29 at Port Everglades.  We passed the lovely Allure on the way, but still felt the "wow" feeling when we we saw Adventure....that feeling when you see the ship waiting for you for the first time.  Our last two cruises were at the new terminal at Miami and this one was much more plain looking, but everything was still pretty quick and smooth.  Even though we had a suite booked, they told us to wait in our C&A section.  But then they started boarding at 10:30am and so we were one of the first groups called and we were on the ship by 10:40am.  Not bad!

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Our Room (JS)

This cruise was just DH and I, but even when we book with our kids, we tend to book a promenade room (all of us in one room, or we had 2 connecting ones on Navigator), or a balcony room (regular/spacious or boardwalk), and we have 2 connecting virtual balcony rooms on our next cruise.  But we've never booked anything above a balcony.

For this cruise, we started with a balcony, but then prices really dropped and we upgraded to a Junior Suite for the first time for only $100 more than we originally booked our balcony.  We know that the JS doesn't have the full suite privileges, but the room was still a big deal for us and we were excited for a bigger room (and we'll take the double points).

Our room was 1640  (deck 10, a few rooms down from the aft elevators on port side).

Location was perfect as it was only 1 deck away from Windjammer and pool deck.  It was also just 5 decks away from MDR (but correct side of the ship).  Very convenient and strangely, we don't typically book so high up, but may consider this going forward.  

Room size for us, was great.  Wow, all that space and we didn't have to squeeze by each other.  And shelving...OMG...so much; especially with the walk in closet.  My only regret was I didn't bring more clothes as we had extra shelves (that I used to place extra compasses that I wanted to keep)...lol.  And it had a great large balcony.  Nice! 

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And walk in closet

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The bathroom includes a tub with the shower, and the sink area has 2 mirrored shelves (can't remember if other rooms have one or two).  It also came with shampoo and conditioner (I bring my own anyways, but DH used the provided ones) and shower gel.  The provided shampoo, etc, wasn't the octaine brand (spelling?) but it seemed nice enough.

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A few negatives

Our room was categorized as aft, but it really wasn't that far aft.  Thus, one thing we were surprised with is that we felt the vibrations of the engine (which was really only noticed when you lie down to go to bed).  And we were surprised since we expect this at the full aft rooms but not this location.  It wasn't that bad, and by bed you are so tired, that it didn't keep us up, but was noticeable. 

Just bad luck:

We had 2 technical issues with our room:

  • Toilet wouldn't flush at one point 
  • After a shower and I turned off the water and I noticed that the water was pouring out of the drain that was on the outside of the tub.  And it wasn't stopping.  Ummm...that didn't look right

But both issues they resolved fairly quickly.  The shower one must have been a bit of a bigger issue.  The water did eventually stop pouring, but the next morning we returned to our room after breakfast and there was a worker lying on the floor (at eye level to the drain) and had taken off the whole side of the tub/panel.  But they fixed it and no issue going forward.  

Room verdict

We loved the room.  Only issue?  How do we go back to a small one again?  Not world problems and we'll manage, but I'm sure we'll notice the difference. 😁

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55 minutes ago, WannaCruise said:

Our Room (JS)

This cruise was just DH and I, but even when we book with our kids, we tend to book a promenade room (all of us in one room, or we had 2 connecting ones on Navigator), or a balcony room (regular/spacious or boardwalk), and we have 2 connecting virtual balcony rooms on our next cruise.  But we've never booked anything above a balcony.

For this cruise, we started with a balcony, but then prices really dropped and we upgraded to a Junior Suite for the first time for only $100 more than we originally booked our balcony.  We know that the JS doesn't have the full suite privileges, but the room was still a big deal for us and we were excited for a bigger room (and we'll take the double points).

Our room was 1640  (deck 10, a few rooms down from the aft elevators on port side).

Location was perfect as it was only 1 deck away from Windjammer and pool deck.  It was also just 5 decks away from MDR (but correct side of the ship).  Very convenient and strangely, we don't typically book so high up, but may consider this going forward.  

Room size for us, was great.  Wow, all that space and we didn't have to squeeze by each other.  And shelving...OMG...so much; especially with the walk in closet.  My only regret was I didn't bring more clothes as we had extra shelves (that I used to place extra compasses that I wanted to keep)...lol.  And it had a great large balcony.  Nice! 

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And walk in closet

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The bathroom includes a tub with the shower, and the sink area has 2 mirrored shelves (can't remember if other rooms have one or two).  It also came with shampoo and conditioner (I bring my own anyways, but DH used the provided ones) and shower gel.  The provided shampoo, etc, wasn't the octaine brand (spelling?) but it seemed nice enough.

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A few negatives

Our room was categorized as aft, but it really wasn't that far aft.  Thus, one thing we were surprised with is that we felt the vibrations of the engine (which was really only noticed when you lie down to go to bed).  And we were surprised since we expect this at the full aft rooms but not this location.  It wasn't that bad, and by bed you are so tired, that it didn't keep us up, but was noticeable. 

Just back luck:

We had 2 technical issues with our room:

  • Toilet wouldn't flush at one point 
  • After a shower and I turned off the water and I noticed that the water was pouring out of the drain that was on the outside of the tub.  And it wasn't stopping.  Ummm...that didn't look right

But both issues they resolved fairly quickly.  The shower one must have been a bit of a bigger issue.  The water did eventually stop pouring, but the next morning we returned to our room after breakfast and there was a worker lying on the floor (at eye level to the drain) and had taken off the whole side of the tub/panel.  But they fixed it and no issue going forward.  

Room verdict

We loved the room.  Only issue?  How do we go back to a small one again?  Not world problems and we'll manage, but I'm sure we'll notice the difference. 😁

I sense a burgeoning suites snob....  

 

🙄

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Food Options:

Cafe Promenade

Adventure is Voyager class and thus, there are not as many food options as Oasis class, but it was still good.  For complimentary, there is Cafe Promenade, which was at the typical location on the Promenade at the front side on deck 5.  The pizza is served here are well, and it wasn't bad.  The pizza seems to have improved.  The coffee shop is attached, which serves Starbucks coffee (more comments to come).

Windjammer

Of course, Adventure has the famous Windjammer.  We had lunch here a couple times.  The selection was impressive with many salads and various options, and then they also had Indian food and Mexican food.  I find the Windjammer hit and miss for lunch, but it was pretty good on this ship.

MDR

Breakfast

We quite like the breakfast in the MDR so aside from the first morning, we went to the MDR.  The buffet is very similar to the Windjammer (maybe a bit smaller) and DH and I both love the Eggs Benedict, but with smoked salmon instead of the meat. The service is always very good and quite efficient.

Lunch

On sea days, you can have lunch in the MDR.  They serve the Tutti Fruitti Salad bar (spelling?), which is make your own salad.  That in itself, is worth going to the MDR for lunch.  Having said that, Adventure's MDR for lunch was disappointing compared with other ships.  Outside of the salad bar, the rest of the buffet is quite small.  You can order off of the menu, but there weren't any great options and it was the same menu on both sea days.  On Navigator/Symphony, we had a spectacular grilled cheese and also a great pasta.  Everything here on the menu was blah.  We got fish tacos which were fine but didn't stand out.  

Dinner

For dinner, we booked early traditional dining.  We made the mistake of not checking out our table beforehand.  Thus we arrived at 5:30pm for dinner time and they lead us to a table.  As we saw where they were leading us, we said "uh, that is not what we booked".  First, the location wasn't ideal as it was near the entrance.  And second, we had asked for a table for just DH and I, but it was a large group.  So we had to line up with everyone else who needed table changes.  They said they would see what they could do, but this annoyed DH as we requested a private table awhile ago when we booked.  The manager was there and helped find us a table for two.  The two servers came by who seemed very pleasant, and the location was fine so we asked if we could keep the table.  At first they weren't sure, but then the manager returned in a bit and said this would be our table.  So issue solved.

I'm guessing they keep some buffer tables for people switching on night 1 as we weren't the only ones in the line up for table issues (or those on wait lists).  

For the meals, my favorites were served over the 6 nights (and one night had both lobster and a pasta that I love so I had both...lol) and the food was pretty good.  One thing that is different on Adventure is the menu doesn't have the "classic section" for those items that are available every night (which they have had on our last few cruises).  After the third night, we noticed that escargots were removed, but DH and I did ask for them on the last night, and they were able to bring them to us.  So it's good that they can accomodate.

Specialty

We didn't try any specialty restaurants so can't comment on those.  The location is a bit different though with Izumi on the Promenade, Chops across from Schooner Bar and Giovannis near the Windjammer.  It's actually these little differences that i enjoy from ship to ship (so that they are not all exactly the same).  

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Evening Production Shows

One of my favorite things about cruising is going to dinner and a show each night.  One thing that differs on Voyager class vs Oasis class is that is is not an issue getting a good seat.  First, there was no reserved seating in the main level, which meant those seats were available.  (Reserved seating must have been the on the balcony).  Also, you could arrive close to show time and still get a close seat (although we always arrived 20-30 minutes early).

The first night had only one showing of the Welcome Aboard show.  This is also the first time you see the cruise director (Drew Devine).  The show had a small ballroom dance act, but then they had the headliner comedian come out for a bit for the family show  Later in the evening, he did the adult comedy show.  He was quite good.

I was surprised that on a 6 night cruise, there was only one production show called Can't Stop the Rock.  I find the Royal produced shows a bit cheesy, but still enjoyable.  The Royal singers and dancers are very talented.  Funny enough, I don't remember much about this show (so guess it wasn't that memorable), but there were songs that I recognized and still enjoyed it at the time.

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Adventure has an Ice Show called Cool Art Hot Ice (or something like that).  The ice shows are always great, but I'll say that if I were to rate all the ones that I've seen, this one would probably be on the lower end. It wasn't bad and the skaters were impressive, but it didn't stand out like the others I've seen (Mariner's is fun, Navigator and Symphony have the drones and neat effects, Independence has the different years through the decades, Allure has Monopoly theme).  But for anyone going, I still say don't miss it.

Another night, they had an Elton John impersonator.  He was really good and it was like we were seeing a live Elton John concert. He had the look, the dress,  the moves, and the voice.  Pretty cool!  

On the second last night, they had a hypnotist where brave volunteers from the audience went on stage to be hypnotized.  The group started with about 35 people, and by the end, they were down to about 10-12 who were following along with the act.  Don't know if the thing was real or not, but I will say that it was hilarious.  And I bow to those brave people who didn't mind making a fool of themselves.

The last night was the Farewell show, and again, they had a different comedian that ran most of the show.  And later, he also did an adult show.  He was quite funny.

You never know the headliners you will get, but I think we were pretty lucky as they were all really enjoyable and fun.

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On 12/22/2019 at 7:31 PM, WannaCruise said:

DH and I just returned from a 6 night cruise on Adventure with stops at  George Town in Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico (and 2 sea days).  

This won't be a full blog as I don't want to put everyone to sleep (it was pretty low key without our kids), but I thought I'd give a short review and some thoughts.

To date, I've been on Grandeur, Voyager...many years ago, and in more recent years Allure, Mariner, Independence, Symphony, Navigator, and now Adventure.  Thus, I can give some comparisons, and we've almost done all of the Voyager class ships.

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Following as well. We were deciding between the Adventure and Freedom for this upcoming March 2020 cruise to the ABC islands, leaving out of San Juan to the Southern Caribbean. We decided on Freedom, primarily due to its size and its a newer ship with it being newly amped up, compared to Adventure. Curious about the dining and open deck areas in particular.

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3 hours ago, Srp431 said:

Following as well. We were deciding between the Adventure and Freedom for this upcoming March 2020 cruise to the ABC islands, leaving out of San Juan to the Southern Caribbean. We decided on Freedom, primarily due to its size and its a newer ship with it being newly amped up, compared to Adventure. Curious about the dining and open deck areas in particular.

I'm sure you can't go wrong with either.  Haven't been on Freedom (yet - it's booked), but we have been on Independence, which is a sister ship, I'm guessing they are more similar that different.  Independence and Adventure have very similar layout (with Indy having kids pool in a separate spot).  Indy is just a big bigger and also has Sorrentos, but otherwise, they are similar.  Not sure yet what they are amping on Freedom, but I'm sure it'll be great.  

Adventure has deck 12 with the jogging track that is open and circles the pools below.  From 12, you can also go up a level that has a large open area to see the front of the ship (where mini golf has been added on ships like Mariner and Navigator, and I think Indy if remembering correctly), and you can see the back of the ship up a level at the Flowrider.  I also liked walking on deck 4.  It's not open above you, but it's open on the sides and you can see the water.  At one point it goes up to deck 5 where you can also go to the front at the Helicopter pad.

You can also see the water nicely from the solarium and pool deck where it is covered on the sides (good when it rains) and open at the pools.

Any specific dining questions?

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Other Evening Fun

There are the production shows, and then there are the Royal Interactive/Game shows that are a ton of fun.

The Love & Marriage show is always a hoot.  I'm amazed at the people that volunteer and have no issue sharing details that just shouldn't be shared. And it always seems like the couple that has been married for 55+ years has their children or grand children in the audience, and the newlywed couple has their parents or grandparents there.  The cruise director lead this one and he was quite funny.  The only criticism I'll give of this show is that they tend to repeat the questions on the ships, so you know the questions that are coming if you are seeing it again.  

Quest is another fun show to watch (or participate if brave enough).  Again, I'm amazed at what some will do.  The activity manager ran this one, which was a bit disappointing as we like to see the CD, but it was still well done.  

And there is the Battle of the Sexes show.  This was my first time attending this one.  It started out with a innocent challenge (if that's the word), and then they got riskier / braver.  Quite a few laughs.  PS - Girls won!

DH and I also just enjoy listening to music in the evening.  I tend to love the Schooner Bar music when the piano player is there so we stopped in the first night.  I found the guy ok, but DH really didn't like him.  We were spoiled on Navigator, our most recent cruise, as that guy was the best Schooner Bar player we've seen (he did a lot of impov and would play with the audience or people walking by), so this guy had tough shoes to fit into.  Needless to say, we never returned to hear him again.  

As an alternative, we often stopped by Boleros.  There was a group called Switched On that we quite enjoyed.  It was a lead singer with a 3 person band and they performed known songs as well.  So we tried to catch them when they were listed in the compass and we were between shows.

Another fun event is the 70s Show on the Promenade  .  It's fun music and hilarious when they come out with their 70s hair.  It's quite loud during this time so hope no one with a promenade room was trying to sleep.

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While I"m sharing a picture of the Promenade during the night, here is one during the day.  (You can see the Adventure 'car' on the bottom right corner)1940504114_IMG_2432(Medium).thumb.jpeg.694fd43735bddceb9e468f420888f59f.jpeg

One thing that we didn't see on Adventure was the Stowaway Piano person.  Not sure if we just didn't catch the person of if they isn't one on this ship.

 

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General Layout

Once you've been on one Voyager class, you'll notice a similar layout on the others.  There are a few differences with Adventure

  • Izumi is on the Promenade, which I don't remember seeing before
  • Instead of being front at deck 13, half of the mini-golf is aft near the basketball court on deck 12, and the other half is on deck 13
  • Chops is across from Schooner Bar (if I remember, that is where Hooked is on Navigator, and Izumi on other ships)
  • Next Cruise was in a strange spot on deck 6 near the aft elevators (sort of hidden, which isn't great for advertising)

But in general, there are more similarities and overall layout is the same.  

  • main pools on deck 11 (I love Adventure layout with the two pools, 4 hot tubs...even though we didn't use these ones as we stuck to the solarium....and you have an area for the band between the two pools)
  • above deck around the pools with the jogging track
  • solarium and theater are forward
  • MDR and WIndjammer are aft
  • deck 4 has the open area for walking a full lap around the ship, which is one of my favorite things to do....and a much better walk than the jogging track (when you get to the front, there are stairs that brings up to deck 5, which leads to the helicopter pad)
  • Schooner bar on one side of deck 4 and Boleros on other side of deck 4 with casino in the middle
  • Imperial Lounge was at deck 5 at the front

That's what I love about Royal ships...you have the familiarity, but yet each ship is a bit different.

A few pictures...

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Weather and our Stops

The weather is one thing on which people can't blame Royal. 

Our weather started out great...nice and sunny, and not too hot...up until our Grand Cayman day.  Am happy at least that we had a rain-free and semi-warm day here as we love their beaches.  The sand is super soft and water crystal blue.  The waves were also perfect....fun to sway with, but quite gentle.

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But after Grand Cayman, the weather went downhill.

The next morning when we arrived at Costa Maya, it started out a mix of sun and cloud, and I even changed into a tank top (with a cardigan on top) for when we got off the ship.  Luckily we didn't have much planned this day except to look around the port , but felt bad for anyone who books a pricey excursion and then has bad luck.

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We just looked around the port for a bit (which is all souvenir stuff - we bought a bracelet for our DD with her name on it).  There were some flamingos by the big pool.  They are quite pretty birds.

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It then turned all overcast and as we were walking back to the ship, it started to sprinkle lightly.  Not horrible though...although it did rain a bit harder as we were sitting by the solarium.

Our Cozumel day was very windy, but no rain at least.  We had plans to go to Paradise Beach that day and we was determined to go.  Also, since we can sit by a pool anywhere, I really wanted to sit by the water on the beach.  Luckily, being Canadian, I had worn my sweater-like cardigan over my bathing suit.  And then sitting on the recliner, I had covered my legs with a towel.  With that wind and cool air, it was cold!  Eventually we did move over to the pool area to have lunch, but at least we got some beach time (of course...didn't even put my toe in the water).

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For our last sea day, it was super windy....which in ship terms meant rocky.  We were swaying pretty nicely that day where it was sometimes hard to walk in a straight line (and that was at breakfast time without having any drinks).  Also, it was cold and later in the afternoon it rained pretty hard.  They had closed off the pools (boo...no belly flop competition) and only had the hot tubs opened, which of course were packed.  But it honestly wasn't a huge deal as they had lots going on between trivia, they added a showing of Elf in the theatre, we went to an interesting talk on Royal's upcoming sailings, I attended a health seminar (which of course was just them trying to sell something), and lots of other stuff going on.  So we certainly weren't bored.

I figure, that the cold and yucky weather day is getting us prepped for our Anthem cruise in March (i.e. first sea day and last sea day won't be tropical weather as the cruise is out of New Jersey)

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Beverage Package

For beverage packages, DH typically purchases the soda package and he purchased the refreshment package once on a good deal, but we have never gotten the full deluxe drink package.  We originally had no plans to purchase it for this cruise, but we were one of the lucky ones who got the $18 price on our two cruises next year (or $23 CAD for us).  However, those cruises are with our kids so will be keeping the number of drinks to a minimum.  But it got us thinking that it would have been especially nice to have the DDP for this Adventure cruise as it was just DH and I.  We looked at the price and it seemed a lot, but we kept thinking about it and decided to treat ourselves and just buy it. It came to around $850 CAD, but it still was a pretty good deal as we were able to get it for equivalent of $45 USD on Labor Day weekend (which was the same cost on Black Friday).  These days, that's not a bad price.

I am a mega planner.  With every trip, I create a spreadsheet and keep track of prices (staterooms, flights, hotels, excursions, etc.), as well as research for the ports, packing lists, tips from others, etc.  So for this trip, I had a spreadsheet of drinks to try (probably my most extensive research for this cruise…lol).  Was able to try a lot of great drinks from the list such as:

  • Blue Hawaiian (basically a blue Pina Colada)
  • Blue Lagoon
  • Regular and Coconut Mojito (one of my new favorites)
  • Lava Flow with Kracken (had before)
  • Miami Vice with Kracken
  • Lavender Daiquiri
  • Red Velvet Cake
  • Green Goddess
  • Chocolate Martini
  • Woo Woo (good drink but name even better)

 And daily (late) morning treat

  • Starbucks cappuccino with Baileys

(no one seemed to be able to make an Monte Cristo or Spanish Coffee)

 Also got to try different wines at dinner.

One thing to note that is that each place only made certain drinks.  Example, Schooner bar has the Lavender Daiquiri.  Champagne bar has the Red Velvet Cake (drink) and Green Goddess, but you must go to these venues for these drinks.

One thing that is really nice about Adventure is that there is not a separate kiosk for Starbucks coffee.  This means, that the Starbucks coffee with its regular drink offerings was served at Café Promenade.  On Oasis class, I don't believe this is the case and Starbucks is a separate kiosk and is not included in the drink package.  On Adventure, it is.  So we enjoyed many coffees and frequented this location often (and I discovered I like iced coffee and chai lattes) . 

 

So was the package worth it?

  • Aside from one day when he over drank the previous day, DH drank enough to make the package worth it (he was more into Dark & Stormy and Old Fashioned drinks).  He also got soda – usually at dinner from the bar, but a few times during the day he took the cup and used the freestyle machines
  • Aside from the last day when my stomach was off, I probably broke even as I had about 4 drinks a day plus an additional coffee
  • We also got bottled waters and DH ordered fresh juice one morning

Well, at current prices I'm not sure we'll purchase the DDP again, but I can say that we loved having it.  It was nice not having an unknown bill at the end.  And what I really liked, was being able to try new drinks without thought.  And if there was something I didn't like, then no big deal.  Without the package, I definitely wouldn't have had that much to drink and would have stuck with the drinks I knew (I know for some, 4 drinks a day when on vacation is not a lot but it is for me).  The freedom was really nice. 

 I didn't take many pictures on the ship but here are a few that I did take:

Regular Mojito and a Coconut Mojito

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Champagne bar menu (sorry for the shadow)

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Red Velvet Cake

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13 hours ago, WannaCruise said:

 

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OMG, my wife is gong to be SO happy!  The Purple Haze is her favorite drink!  We've only found it on the R Bar menu and when on a ship without the R Bar I keep a pic of the menu in my phone.  None of the bar tenders are familiar with it so I show them the ingredients and have them make it as close as they can.  

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2 hours ago, Mike P said:

OMG, my wife is gong to be SO happy!  The Purple Haze is her favorite drink!  We've only found it on the R Bar menu and when on a ship without the R Bar I keep a pic of the menu in my phone.  None of the bar tenders are familiar with it so I show them the ingredients and have them make it as close as they can.  

Exactly....I asked for Green Goddess by the pool and the guy didn't know what I was talking about.  But then found it along with Purple Haze at the Champagne Bar.  Good to know they are available at the R-Bar on other ships that have this venue (no R-Bar on Adventure).  Never actually got to trying Purple Haze, but sounds like I missed out.  Good idea to have a photo on your phone, but guess the proportions may be off.😉

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Final Thoughts

Two things I haven't commented on yet are crowds and crew.  

We've been on the largest ships including Symphony and Allure and my smallest was Grandeur (but that was awhile ago, so don't have fresh memories of it), and recently, the mid size ships of Voyager class including Adventure.  During our Adventure cruise, DH kept commenting "the ship must not be full" as nothing ever felt crowded.  At one of his comments, the crew member overheard and said "it's a fully booked ship".  Adventure isn't huge, and there isn't a ton going on at once compared with Symphony, but we had no crowd issues which was great.  The first night, even though there was only one showing of the welcome show, the theater was half empty.  I think that's because it was an awkward time of 7:15pm so people were probably still at dinner or unpacking.  But even going forward, we never had an issue getting a good seat.  

On our Grand Cayman day, you could just go to the tender if you were within the first hour, or after that you had to get a ticket that would assign you a time to get off.  We managed to make the first hour so can't comment on how the ticket system worked.

Now having said all that, I never found it that crowded on Symphony as there was just so much to do, that it spread the people around at different events and venues.  But DH isn't a crowd person so he noticed the difference.

As for the crew, they were great. Our room steward was very friendly, always saying hello when she saw us in the hallways.  I'm impressed that she make the effort to remember our names as I imagine the she has many cabins that they look after.  

We really liked our waiters at dinner.  They were a bit quiet and no magic tricks for us without our kids (ha ha), but they always had a smile and were attentive.  One night DH asked for "a" roll without seeds, and from then on, every night, our main waiter left him an additional basket of about 6 super fresh plain rolls.  And he's always smiled and said hello when we saw him in the MDR at breakfast. It's those simple things that mean a lot.

We found our CD Drew Devine pretty good.  He was funny and introduced the shows well.  DH managed to chat with him briefly after one of the shows and the top tier and he was pretty personable.  And he is from Toronto so he automatically gets a point from us!  But one thing I find different these days, is that aside from the evening shows or the Top Tier event, you don't see the CD around.  I'm pretty sure you used to see them around the ship during the day too (or maybe I'm thinking of Love Boat episodes...lol)

Rating

I will start by saying that every cruise I have been on, has been amazing.  I really love them all and really have no bad comments.  Also, when we select a ship, the criteria is different if it's just DH and I going vs our kids.  For example, Dh and I both want to try Brilliance some day, but we'd never take our kids on that one.  We stick to the newer ships or the amped ones with lots of amenities when it's the four of us.

DH comments that "Voyager class is his sweet spot".  It's not too big, not to small (and thus, he loved the lack of crowds).  His favorite ship is Mariner, but I think Adventure is way up there too.

I really enjoyed Adventure too.  If you are in the dining room, and want to go to say the theater or Imperial Lounge or Starbucks (did I mention that you can get cappacino with Baileys?  ...lol), it took no time at all.  One of my favorite activities is to walk around deck 4...up to 5 to the front....and then back down to 4 to complete the lap.  I love that feeling just watching the water, or even looking at all sides of the port we are in.  A lap on Adventure only take a few minutes.

But for me...my very favorites are still the mega ships with Symphony being my favorite.  You can't beat the amenities, the shows are amazing, and the decor of the newer ships is spectacular with the most beautiful and creative and fun art work all around.  

So my current rating so far is:

  1. Symphony
  2. Allure
  3. Independence
  4. Navigator
  5. Mariner
  6. Adventure
  7. Voyager
  8. Grandeur

Can't wait to try Anthem in March.  Will see where it rates.

We also have Harmony and Oasis booked so looking forward to trying to too!  And another Freedom class as well.  I really love the variety of ships that Royal offers.

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@WannaCruise thanks so much for this review.  I didn't comment much but I was following it closely as Hubby and I are sailing Adventure in July.  I really value your comments and insight and look forward to trying out Adventure again after 18 long years lol.  I feel that you and I are a lot alike when it comes to ship preference, especially after seeing your list.  I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Anthem.  If we are alike, I predict it will fall to #4 on your list. 😉

I do have one question that I don't think you addressed.  Did the ship seem dated to you at all in at any of the venues or around the hallways etc.?

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