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Adventure of the Seas

Onboard Royal Caribbean's first cruise ship from North America

In:
12Jun2021

Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas is departing The Bahamas today as the first ship to restart sailings in North America, and I'm onboard to see what cruising is like now.

The cruise industry shutdown in March 2020, but it is on the brink of resuming operations across various ships and lines.

In March 2021, Royal Caribbean announced it would sail from Nassau, Bahamas, and since then they have announced plans for other ships to resume sailings this summer.

So what is it like on a ship today? And what is different?

First and foremost, being on a cruise ship is more similar than different.  Royal Caribbean has made a number of changes to address Covid-19 risks, but the core cruise experience remains.

For the sailings from The Bahamas only, Royal Caribbean is requiring all guests who are 16 years old or older to be fully vaccinated.  That requirement drops to 12 on August 1.

Kids are allowed onboard, but there are a few extra protocols for them, such as having to wear a face mask indoors.

When you check-in for the cruise, it is at the nearby British Colonial Hilton resort (Nassau is in the process of refurbishing their entire port area).

You are assigned a check-in time via the Royal Caribbean app.  Speaking of the app, nearly all functions are now done via the app.  While you don't need to use the app, the entire process is much simpler if you elect to use the app.

At check-in, you are taken to take an antigen test.  Originally, only kids would need a test, but last week Royal Caribbean decided to test everyone, including vaccinated adults.  Next week, all guests will have to take a PCR test at home.

The antigen test was quick and easy.  This is not the "brain tickler" test, but rather a nasal swab near the bottom of your nose.

While you wait for your results, you do the regular check-in and then wait for your test results to be emailed to you.

If your results are negative, you take a short bus ride to the ship and walk onboard.

Walking back on a ship after 15 months was surreal, but incredibly gratifying.  I am not sure if the crew members were happier to see them, than we were to be back onboard.

All crew members wear masks onboard, but Royal Caribbean added a button with a photo of their face without a mask so you can see who you are talking to.

Guests who are vaccinated do not need to wear a mask at all. Kids wear masks while indoors, unless eating or drinking.

Many venues have altered their policies to promote social distancing. The ship is also sailing at reduced capacity.

The Windjammer buffet exists, but is full service.  You also can make reservations, although standby arrivals are accepted if they are not at capacity.

The buffet crew members serve you, instead of you serving yourself.

All the drink stations around the ship are full service as well.

Specialty dining restaurants are open, but you cannot sit with someone who is outside your travel party (unless you linked your reservations together).

Perhaps the most welcome change is the muster safety drill. Instead of stopping everything and waiting outdoors in the heat to hear about ship safety, guests can do the muster drill from their phone and just report to their muster drill station to be checked off as knowing where it is located in case of an emergency.

Bars and lounges are open, but certain seats and chairs are closed for social distancing.

The Diamond Lounge and Suite Lounges are open, but with less seating to prevent over crowding.

Adventure Ocean (the kids club onboard) has limited capacity, and families need to sign up in advance to secure a spot.

Menus at all restaurants are digital, with QR codes to bring you to the menu in the app. 

Most guests seem to understand that the rules are changing all the time, and while social distancing on a ship mostly full of fully vaccinated guests seems odd, they also are very understanding and just plain happy to be back onboard.

Many of the guests onboard are veteran cruisers, who jumped at the chance to sail again after a long hiatus.

This sailing is a 7-night sailing, and Adventure of the Seas will sail from The Bahamas through August.

Royal Caribbean will restart operations this summer from the U.S., but has not announced its full set of protocols for those sailings yet.

I will be onboard Adventure of the Seas all this week, so follow along for live updates!

Royal Caribbean adds testing protocols for first North American cruise restart

In:
10Jun2021

Guests sailing on the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to restart sailings in North America this weekend have been informed of new testing protocols to expect.

Health protocols have been evolving for the last few weeks as the cruise industry and health officials work to ensure the requirements match the needs of what is happening now.

Two different protocols have been added over the last couple days, including a new testing rule that was announced to cruisers just two days before the first sailing.

Vaccinated guests sailing on Adventure of the Seas from Nassau, Bahamas will now have to undergo a complimentary boarding day antigen test.

The tests will be conducted during the check-in process at the British Colonial Hilton resort, which is acting as the check-in terminal for these Bahamian sailings.

Royal Caribbean says if the result is negative and you’re approved to sail, shuttles will be waiting to take you to the ship.

If the result is positive or inconclusive, a pier agent will share next steps with you. 

Prior to this change, vaccinated guests would not have been given a boarding day test.

Royal Caribbean says they added this test, "to give everyone additional peace of mind as we resume cruising and apologize for the inconvenience."

Vaccinated guests do not require any other pre-cruise testing.

Unvaccinated guests (children under the age of 16) will also get tested.

  • Unvaccinated guests 12 years and older will need to take three tests
    • SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test within five days of arriving in The Bahamas in order to satisfy Bahamas Health Visa
    • Complimentary antigen test on boarding day
    • A final complimentary test will take place onboard on Day 5 or 6 as required for re-entry into The Bahamas. This test may also be used for entry into your home country, if needed.
  • Unvaccinated guests 2 - 11 years old will need to take two tests
    • Complimentary antigen test on boarding day
    • A final complimentary test will take place onboard on Day 5 or 6 as required for re-entry into The Bahamas. This test may also be used for entry into your home country, if needed.
  • Guests under 2 years of age will not be tested

Royal Caribbean also changed another rule related to back-to-back unvaccinated cruisers on Adventure of the Seas.

The cruise line had no restrictions on back-to-back sailings, but has added a new rule for unvaccinated cruisers on Adventure of the Seas cruises from The Bahamas.

Unvaccinated guests (children under the age of 16) will not be able to do a back-to-back sailing, although the line did provide a temporary exception for the first few sailings since the rule was added at the last minute.

Guests booked on Adventure of the Seas with back-to-back sailings on June 12, June 19, or June 26 are exempt from the rule. Thereafter, the rule goes into effect.

For the exempted sailings, unvaccinated guests will have to take a disemabarktion Covid PCR test on Day 6 of the first cruise, as well as an antigen test before re-boarding the next sailing.

Royal Caribbean will cover the costs of both tests.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog will be onboard the first two Adventure of the Seas sailings to provide full coverage of all the changes and showcase the experiences from the first sailings back!

Royal Caribbean changes complimentary drinks offering on Adventure of the Seas

In:
07Jun2021

With Royal Caribbean about to restart cruises in North America on Adventure of the Seas, the line is changing up some of the offerings for its customer loyalty program.

Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society program is one of the most generous customer loyalty programs in the cruise industry, and guests sailing on Adventure of the Seas can expect a few changes.

Royal Caribbean sent an email to guests booked on Adventure of the Seas to inform them of what to expect onboard as it relates to their loyalty benefits. To be clear, these changes are for guests sailing on Adventure of the Seas.

First and foremost, it appears the Diamond Lounge will be open, but to reduce crowding in the venue, the cruise line is going to give guests more flexibility with their complimentary beverages for Diamond and higher guests.

Ordinarily, guests who are Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle in Crown and Anchor Society can enjoy complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages each evening in the Diamond Lounge, as well as up to 3 drinks at bars or restaurants onboard each night.

On Adventure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean is increasing that offering.

Each day of the cruise, Diamond members receive four vouchers, Diamond Plus members receive five vouchers, and Pinnacle Club members receive six vouchers. Each voucher is for drinks up to $13.

These vouchers are open to be used all day long, not just at night. Moreover, it looks like these drinks may not be limited to the usual Diamond Drink menu of select offerings.

UPDATE: As it turns out, it looks like the drink vouchers will be counted if you redeem them in the Diamound Lounge.

A guest booked on Adventure of the Seas reached out to the Adventure of the Seas Diamond Concierge for clarification.

This is a change Royal Caribbean first made to Quantum of the Seas when it restart cruises in December 2020.

The cruise line also says there will be "newly reimagined" behind-the-scenes entertainment tour and a Meal with an Officer, priority access to all shows, and new ways of recognizing our new Pinnacle Club members.

At check-in for the cruise, while all guests will have to adhere to a new check-in process in Nassau, Bahamas to help manage crowding, Pinnacle Club members will not have to do so.

Pinnacle Club members can enjoy Flexible Arrival — a new program allowing the freedom to check-in up to one hour before or after your scheduled check-in time while
the terminal is open.

Onboard the ship, access to Suite and Concierge lounges will only be limited to members staying in Suites. This means no Pinnacle or Diamond Plus members will be admitted into these venues.

The Crown and Anchor changes are in addition to other health protocols announced for Adventure of the Seas, which include requriring the Covid-19 vaccine for adults, a new check-in approach, a digital muster drill, and more.

Adventure of the Seas sets sail from Nassau, Bahamas on June 12 from Nassau, where she will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay twice, Cozumel, and Freeport, Bahamas.

This will be the first Royal Caribbean International ship to restart from North America, and the second ship in the fleet to sail again following Quantum of the Seas.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog will be live blogging from the first two sailings of Adventure of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean announces health protocols for cruises from Bahamas on Adventure of the Seas

In:
04Jun2021

With a week to go until Royal Caribbean begins sailings on Adventure of the Seas from the Bahamas, guests now have a look at what health protocols and changes they can expect onboard.

Adventure of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to restart operations from North America.  The cruise line announced these sailings from outside the United States in March, as a means of getting around the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Preventions (CDC) prohibition of cruise ships.

Beginning June 12, Adventure of the Seas will begin offering cruises out of Nassau, Bahamas and include two days in a row at the cruise line's private island.

Up until today, the protocols and requirements related to keeping guests safe from Covid-19 were not known, but the cruise line released them to guests booked on Adventure of the Seas between June 12 - September 11, 2021.

The full protocols released for Adventure of the Seas can be found online.

Check-in

As RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com first reported, check-in for the cruise will be held at the British Colonial Hilton resort in Nassau, since there is no cruise terminal appropriate for check-in at the port.

A complimentary shuttle will be provided from the Hilton to the cruise ship.

Complimentary luggage collection will be available when exiting customs at the Nassau airport. Bags must be tagged appropriately with Royal Caribbean luggage tags.

Wear your face mask at all times during the boarding process.

Vaccine requirements

For cruises departing Nassau before August 1, 2021

Guests age 16 years & older are required to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19. Guests under 16 are not required to be vaccinated at this time.

For cruises departing Nassau on or after August 1, 2021

The age requirement will change from 16 to 12 years of age. Guests age 12 years & older are required to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19.

Vaccinated guests must bring their original hard copy of vaccination proof issued by their government’s health authority (for example, a U.S. CDC Vaccination Record Card) and be ready to present it to board.

Documentation Checklist

  • Bahamas Health travel visa
  • RT-PCR negative test reuslts for unvaccinated guests 10 and up
  • Proof of full vaccination
  • Passport book
  • Health form

Testing

  • Vaccinated guests are only required to undergo a complimentary boarding day antigen test at the British Colonial Hilton Nassau, where check-in will take place.
    • Vaccinated guests do not require any other pre-cruise testing. For re-entry into your home country, you may require proof of a negative COVID-19 test. If needed, we'll offer complimentary testing for you on Day 5 or 6 of your cruise. 
  • Unvaccinated guests 12 years and older will need to take three tests
    • SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test within five days of arriving in The Bahamas in order to satisfy Bahamas Health Visa
    • Complimentary antigen test on boarding day
    • A final complimentary test will take place onboard on Day 5 or 6 as required for re-entry into The Bahamas. This test may also be used for entry into your home country, if needed.
  • Unvaccinated guests 2 - 11 years old will need to take two tests
    • Complimentary antigen test on boarding day
    • A final complimentary test will take place onboard on Day 5 or 6 as required for re-entry into The Bahamas. This test may also be used for entry into your home country, if needed.
  • Guests under 2 years of age will not be tested

Ship and Perfect Day at CocoCay rules

Vaccinated guests

Unvaccinated guests

  • Outdoors: Masks are not required in open-air areas onboard the ship or at Perfect Day at CocoCay unless you are in a crowded setting. Masks are not permitted in the pool or for any activity where they could become wet.
  • Indoors: Masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces onboard the ship unless seated and actively eating or drinking. Masks are not required in your stateroom as long as you are with your own travel party.
  • In public ports: Local mask and distancing requirements at public ports of call must be followed.
  • Guests under age 2 do not need to wear a mask at any time.

Guests under the age of 2 have no mask requirements.

Dining

  • Spaced seating and reservations encouraged.

Reservations for the Main Dining Room and Windjammer can be made once onboard by using the Royal Caribbean App or calling the reservation line.

Windjammer will be open for breakfast and lunch, and food will now be served to you by crew members to avoid guests sharing serving utensils.

If you’d like to dine with other parties during your cruise, you can easily link your bookings by calling us at 866-562-7625.

Entertainment

  • Spaced seating
  • Reduced capacity
  • More show times

While in port

All guests may visit each port freely, but must comply with all local health and safety requirements.

Royal Caribbean expects new CDC update on cruise ship protocols this week

In:
17May2021

Royal Caribbean's first cruise ship to sail from North America is less than a month away from beginning, but the line has not released its travel requirements and health protocols yet.

In an email to those booked on Adventure of the Seas from Nassau, Bahamas, Royal Caribbean said it is holding back the requirements and changes passengers can expect onboard because the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is going to provide new guidance "later this week."

The email from Royal Caribbean International Assistant Vice President of Guest Experience, Aurora Yera-Rodriguez, says the cruise line is expecting new guidelines, and that is why passengers have not been informed of the new protocols.

"We were almost ready to hit send on our travel requirements and health protocols for your sailing onboard Adventure of the Seas departing from The Bahamas and then we learned that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control plans to share updated guidance with us later this week."

Adventure of the Seas will begin cruises on June 12 from outside the United States, which allows the ship to operate without approval by the CDC.

Adventure will become the second Royal Caribbean International cruise ship to restart operations, following Quantum of the Seas from Singapore.

Other ships are also scheduled to sail this summer from outside the U.S., including Vision of the Seas from Bermuda, Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus, and Anthem of the Seas from England.

Read moreSummer 2021 Cruise Planning Guide

Initially, Royal Caribbean had promised to give guests booked on the sailing an update around 30 days before sailing, but that date came and went last week.

"While we know you've been patiently waiting for protocols, our teams have been diligently preparing and working with our medical teams, government health authorities, and testing providers to ensure we provide you with the best experience before, during, and after your cruise, and we are optimistic about this upcoming update. Please bear with us for a little more time - as we want to make sure that when we do update you, it's as close to final as possible."

It seems Royal Caribbean may have been ready to announce those protocols last week, but held back due to new guidance from the CDC.

On a webinar with travel agents, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, Vicki Freed, said the line intended to announce them on May 12, but plans changed, "We had truly hoped that we would be able to announce our protocols and our return to service today."

The CDC has been busy with updates for cruise lines lately, issuing a number of revisions to what it requires and suggests for cruise lines in order to restart operations.

Just last week, the CDC issued two different updates to its operations manual for cruise lines, which outline what a cruise ship must do in order to receive permission to sail from the United States.

Sailings that do not visit a U.S. port, such as Adventure of the Seas, are not reliant on CDC guidelines or approval, but it appears Royal Caribbean wants to hear what the CDC has to say before announcing their own protocols.

Royal Caribbean will use Nassau hotel for Adventure of the Seas passenger check-in

In:
26Apr2021

Among the changes Royal Caribbean will have for guests sailing this summer on Adventure of the Seas from a new homeport is a different check-in area.

Adventure of the Seas will begin offering cruises from Nassau, Bahamas in June 2021, and this is a brand new offering for both Royal Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Traditionally, guests report to a cruise terminal for the check-in and boarding procedure, but it appears that will not be the case for guests on Adventure.

A passenger sailing on the June 12 sailing of Adventure of the Seas reported being told the British Colonial Hilton resort in downtown Nassau will be used as a staging ground for check-in and boarding.

Doug Swallow shared the information after talking to Royal Caribbean about purchasing airport transfers.

"The hotel is being used as the staging point for boarding the ship since there are no facilities currently at the pier," he posted on Facebook.  "The hotel is one of the closer things to the pier itself."

Confirming the change is Michael Maura, the Nassau Cruise Port’s chief executive, who told The Tribune he is meeting this week with executives from Nassau Airport Development Company, the Lynden Pindling International Airport operator, to discuss the transfer of incoming cruise passengers to the downtown Nassau cruise port.

Mr. Maura said Royal Caribbean is planning to use a reception room in the British Colonial Hilton resort for check-in.

Passengers’ bags will go from there to the cruise port, where they will be screened before being placed on the vessel.

Luggage scanning equipment will be installed to screen passengers’ bags is due to arrive on New Providence in “the next couple of weeks”, according to Mr. Maura.

Nassau Cruise Port is working extensively with the cruise lines and Bahamian  law enforcement to determine the flow, handling and other details required for this.

Bahamian companies, with manpower and forklifts, will be hired to deal with bags belonging to 1,500 Royal Caribbean passenger.

Adventure of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to sail from North America in well over a year, beginning with her June cruises.

Check-in process outline

During a webinar with Bahamian officials, Royal Caribbean's Associate Vice President, Gaming & Onboard Revenue, Elisa Shen, outlined the plan right now for guest embarkation.

Ms. Shen warned these are subject to change.

On the day of the cruise, Royal Caribbean will offer an opportunity for guests to drop off their luggage at the British Colonial Hilton before their official check-in time.

That way, guests can tour Nassau without being encumbered by their belongings while they wait for their official check-in appointment.

Check-in times at the British Colonial Hilton will range between 1pm and 7pm.

Ms. Shen added that guests at the airport on the day of the cruise could drop off their luggage with Royal Caribbean. Guests coming to Nassau a day or more prior to the cruise can drop off luggage at the hotel.

At their appointment, times guests will report to the British Colonial Hilton where they will get an antigen test. Upon testing negative, guests will then be taken directly to the ship.

How to get a health visa for your summer 2021 Royal Caribbean cruises

In:
17Apr2021

Royal Caribbean will be sailing from new homeports this summer outside the United States, but in order to get there, you will need to complete a health visa.

In addition to having a passport, the government of these countries where Royal Caribbean's ships are sailing from requires international visitors provide a health visa that proves they do not have Covid-19.

Getting a health visa is a mere formality, but it is an additional step that never existed before in the repertoire of cruisers.

In each case, expect to incur a little bit of time and money to get it all done right before your sailing.

Adventure of the Seas

The Bahamas requires a travel health visa that you can start filling out now.

The health visa is available online, where you can first create a profile for everyone traveling.

Similar to Royal Caribbean's online check-in, you will add your name, information and even upload a photo of your passport.

Bookmark the site, and then plan to get a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test taken no more than five (5) days from collection date (date of test) to date of arrival.

Test results must be uploaded to the Bahamas Travel Health Visa portal and presented upon arrival. 

The cost of the health visa and PCR test are not included with your cruise, so it is a cost you will have to incur.

Vision of the Seas

Bermuda requires the Bermuda Travel Authorization to be completed by cruisers prior to their arrival on the island.

Guests sailing on Vision fo the Seas will have to have a negative PCR test result before traveling, testing upon arrival into the country and filling out appropriate entry forms.

Visitors must take a PCR COVID-19 test and obtain a negative result no more than five days before arrival. The day of testing is day 0.

According to Bermuda, guests must complete one to three days before departure the Bermuda Travel Authorisation process online which gathers important information for the island’s health and immigration officials; a $75 fee per traveler is required, which includes the cost of all COVID-19 testing in Bermuda. 

Each passenger must have a form completed regardless of age. Children 9 and younger do not have to be tested at any point, and their Travel Authorization fee is $30.

Bermuda has arranged an option for testing with AZOVA, where you can get PCR tests at Costco, or even an at home test.

Jewel of the Seas

Getting to Cyprus means you must fill out the Cyprus Flight Pass before you arrive.

It is not clear exactly what will be required for guests traveling to Cyprus yet. Royal Caribbean says "it is likely" that a RT-PCR test will be required prior to boarding and obtain a negative result.

"Royal Caribbean will update booked guests via email and text message, in the 30 days prior to sailing, to reinforce the latest requirements for the designated departure port."

Royal Caribbean is working to get more flight options to the Bahamas

In:
09Apr2021

Royal Caribbean will restart cruises this summer from The Bahamas, and is working on making getting to and from Nassau easier.

Flights to Nassau are not necessarily as plentiful as some would like, and Royal Caribbean is working to secure "bulk rate sales of seats" for cruise passengers.

The Nassau Guardian Business is reporting Bahamasair Chairman Tommy Turnquest confirmed his airline and Royal Caribbean are working together.

"I can tell you that Bahamasair is working with Royal Caribbean on Saturday flights. We’re going to have two flights out of Miami, one flight out of Fort Lauderdale and one flight out of Orlando to coincide with when the ship will arrive at 7 o’clock on a Saturday morning and leave 9 o’clock that night."

"We have begun negotiations with them and we’re very pleased with how that’s going. We will provide them with some airlift. We think it’s an opportunity to get out of the doldrums and we are very optimistic about that."

While cruises from the United States remain at a standstill due to regulation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), places like the Bahamas are now homeports.  However, the logistics for cruisers to reach this area is still somewhat difficult.

Read moreWhat you need to know about visiting Nassau on a cruise ship

Royal Caribbean sells guests airfare through its Air2Sea program, which is actually offering discounted rates to guests in order to spur sales.

When Royal Caribbean announced cruises from Nassau, they knew demand for flights would be strong and possibly even outpace supply.  So they worked with select airlines to not only secure seats but actually subsidize prices.

Royal Caribbean pushed back the departure time of Adventure of the Seas in order to provide guests more time to get to Nassau.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley told Bahamian media that he estimates almost 2,000 people could travel to/from Nassau's airport every weekend when cruises begin.

Doing some "back of the napkin math", Adventure of the Seas can accommodate about 3,300 passengers at double occupancy or 4,000 at maximum capacity.  This means "almost 2,000" suggests somewhere around 45% - 60% of ship capacity.

Here's what you need to do before going on your Adventure of the Seas cruise from The Bahamas

In:
29Mar2021

After booking an Adventure of the Seas cruise for this summer, what should you be doing now to be ready?

In just the first week the new Adventure of the Seas cruises from The Bahamas have been on sale, they have sold extremely well. With the cruise booked, now is a good time to take care of a few things, and plan for a few others.

Adventure of the Seas will not only be the first Royal Caribbean ship to sail from North America in well over a year, but it will also include plenty of changes.

Expect changes

Royal Caribbean has promised to update its passengers with exactly what to expect about a month before the cruise.

"Travel requirements are fast evolving. We will communicate with you in the 30 days before you set sail, to ensure you know the latest travel requirements."

If your Adventure of the Seas cruise is in late June or later, you will have the benefit of others determining what exactly everyone needs to do before your sailing comes around.

In the meantime, here is what we do know about what to expect.

Check your passport

Before you do anything else, find your passport and check the expiration date.

Since you have likely not had to use your passport in over a year, you want to double check the passport expiration date to ensure it will be valid by the time your Adventure of the Seas cruise rolls around.

Royal Caribbean says your passport should be valid at least 6 months after you sailing’s return date.

If your passport is or will expire, turn around times for passport renewal is pretty quick.

If you do not have a passport, you need to get one before the cruise begins.  Unlike cruises from the United States, you need a passport in order to sail from The Bahamas.

Read moreDo you need a passport for a cruise?

Purchase flights

If you have not looked at flights yet, now is a really good time to purchase flights for your cruise.

You can book flights through traditional methods, but you should also look at booking your airfare through Royal Caribbean before booking anything.

Royal Caribbean has bought up space on a number of flights to Nassau, and is actually subsidizing fares.

This means you may find substantial savings compared to booking flights on your own.  Many cruisers have reported savings of $100 or more per person on flights booked through Royal Caribbean.

Read moreWhy you shouldn't fly to your cruise the same day it begins

Book a refundable hotel room

Another easy task to get out of the way now is to book a hotel room in Nassau before (and maybe after) your sailing.

The best strategy is to fly into Nassau at least one day ahead of your cruise to ensure travel delays do not impact your ability to get on the cruise ship.

Nassau (and New Providence Island in general) has many hotels and resorts you can stay at.  

Booking a hotel now locks in a spot at a great resort, but be sure to book refundable rates so that you can cancel if there is a lower price later.

Bahamas travel visa

In order to go on this cruise, you need to get into The Bahamas first, which will require something new to all cruisers: a travel health visa.

To get a head start, you can go to The Bahamas website to complete the initial steps now.

You can create a profile and upload a photo of your passport.

In addition, you can add your trip details and other family members.  Doing all of this now means when it is time for your test results, you will be ready to drop the results in and submit them.

Get a vaccine in time

One of the requirements of summer 2021 Adventure of the Seas cruises is all adults must be fully vaccincated at least 14 days prior to sailing.

For guests 18 years of age and older, proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will be required. It is not yet known what the cruise line will require for proof of vaccination quite yet.

If you have not gotten a vaccine yet, be sure get one with enough time for the inoculation to take full effect.

Negative PCR test

In order to enter the Bahamas, you will need to get a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test for that health visa.

The health visa is required no more than 5 days before arrival. You may want to start looking around for which testing options near you are available, and how long it will roughly take to get the test to be processed.  

The key is to find a place that can get you a negative test as quickly as possible.  Some locations can provide test results in a matter of hours, while others can take a few days. Moreover, some locations are free and some will require an insurance copay.

It is a good idea in the weeks and months leading up to your cruise to determine a location that can provide the results as quickly as possible, keeping in mind there may be an additional cost for the speed you need.

While there are exceptions, one to three days for COVID-19 test results seem to be standard across the United States.

You may need to research PCR testing locations that promise same-day results or provide rapid PCR tests analyzed on-site if the arrival of your test results could make or break your trip.

This article provides an excellent resource of a city-by-city guide of where to get a test done.

Complete the health questionnaire

Remember that health form you had to fill out in the cruise terminal? It's digital now!

Beginning 24 hours before your cruise sails, you can access Royal Caribbean's Health Questionnaire in the app to fill out.

You will be asked some basic questions about your traveling party and if anyone has not been feeling well.

20 Adventure of the Seas tips, tricks and secrets

In:
25Mar2021

Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas packs a lot of family fun, activities and things to do onboard.

If you want to know the best ways to maximize your time and money, here are some of my top tips for anyone going on Adventure of the Seas.

These tips should ensure you have a great time onboard.

Adventure of the Seas got a refurbishment in 2018

In 2018, Royal Caribbean sent Adventure of the Seas for an extensive refurbishment that added a variety of new amenities onboard the ship.

The work was split between two dry docks: one in 2016 and the other in 2018, but the ship now offers water slides, new dining venues, new staterooms and a Suite Lounge.

Only ship with Izumi on Royal Promenade

So far, Adventure of the Seas is the only Royal Caribbean ship with an Izumi location on the Royal Promenade.

Izumi has been one of the fastest spreading specialty restaurants across Royal Caribbean, but on other Voyager Class ships, it has been added to either the top of the ship or near the Schooner Bar on Deck 4.

Only on Adventure can you enjoy sushi with a view of the comings and goings of the Royal Promenade.

How to avoid waits for the water slides

Perhaps no activity is as popular as the Perfect Storm water slides on Adventure of the Seas, but there are some easy ways to avoid a long wait.

Bring your bathing suit on embarkation day and change once you are on the ship to take advantage of the short lines for the slides. Most people are not even thinking about going on the water slide on the first day, so this is the best time to try it out.

Another good strategy is to ride the slides when they open up in the morning.  That first hour is usually not bad with lines.

You can also try the water slides while the ship is in port.  Many other guests are off the ship on tours, leaving less competition for the slides.

Try booking one of the new staterooms

During the ship's latest refurbishment, more than 100 new staterooms were added.

Chief among the new rooms are the oceanview panoramic staterooms on deck 12 that were added.

These rooms have an incredible view from anywhere in the cabin, with a floor to ceiling wrap around panoramic window that is 76 inches high by 103-321 inches wide. 

Restaurants included with your cruise on Adventure of the Seas

Wondering where you can eat with no additional cost on Adventure of the Seas?

Here is a list of options:

  • Windjammer (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Main Dining Room (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Cafe Promenade (Early morning until late night)

Keep in mind there may be some extra cost items at these locations.

Read moreFood on a Royal Caribbean cruise

Specialty dining packages can save you money

If you plan on eating at more than 1 or 2 specialty restaurants while on Adventure of the Seas, you probably should invest in a dining package.

Specialty dining packages offer a fixed cost for some, or even unlimited, specialty restaurants during your cruise.

There are four specialty restaurants on Adventure of the Seas that are included with the packages:

  • Johnny Rockets
  • Giovanni's Table
  • Chop's Grille
  • Izumi

I would not recommend eating at Johnny Rockets with your package (pay for it individually instead), and save your credits for the big three choices.

Be sure to buy dining packages before your cruise to save even more money.

Two days in a row at Perfect Day at CocoCay!

Special just for the summer 2021 cruises from Nassau, Adventure of the Seas will offer the rare double dip to Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas.

Adventure will spend two consecutive days at Perfect Day at CocoCay, which means lots of time to explore and enjoy Royal Caribbean's little slice of paradise.

A good strategy is to pre-book anything you want to do at CocoCay to avoid it selling out. 

Read moreDo's & Don'ts of Perfect Day at CocoCay

Read Cruise Compass to see entertainment each night

There will be nightly entertainment around the ship , so be sure to read about what is offered in your Cruise Compass.

Each evening, your stateroom attendant will deliver a new copy of the next day's schedule.  You can also find the schedule in Royal Caribbean's app.

It is a good idea to read about what is coming up, so you can plan ahead for the must-see shows.

Download Royal Caribbean's app

Royal Caribbean's app has gone from "nice to have" to "must have" quite quickly, and it is your key for a smoother experience overall.

Not only does Royal Caribbean's app allow for a smoother and faster embarkation process, it makes managing your schedule super easy.

Royal Caribbean has even said that its app is required, so download the app before you leave home and ensure it is set up prior to arriving.

Read moreThe Royal Caribbean App: Everything you should know

Try to learn to surf

Adventure of the Seas features the FlowRider surf simulator, which allows anyone to try stand up surfing.

The FlowRider is complimentary, although you can reserve private time for an extra cost to give you lots of reps without waiting.

Just like the water slides tip, the best time to check out the FlowRider is on embarkation day or while the ship is in port.

Read moreEverything about the Flowrider on Royal Caribbean ships

Go to the helipad during sailaway

My favorite part of any Voyager Class ship is the helipad at the bow of the ship.

You can walk to the helicopter pad and enjoy unobstructed views that are perfect for sailaway.

To access the helicopter pad, go outside on deck 5 and then walk forward, climb up a set of stairs and continue walking forward until you reach the helicopter pad.

Register kids for Adventure Ocean on the first day

If you have kids, there is complimentary kids programming that is supervised and a lot of fun.

Children are separated into different age groups to ensure programming is appropriate:

  • Aquanauts: 3-5 years old
  • Explorers: 6-8 years old
  • Voyagers: 9-11 years old
  • Teens: 12-14, 15-17 years old.

Adventure Ocean is run every day, but you want to register them on the first day of your cruise.

There will be an open house held (usually in the early afternoon) of the first day of the cruise, so be sure to go up to meet the staff and meet the staff. Plus, it will save you time later.

Read moreCruising with kids on Royal Caribbean

Try mini-golf at night

Mini-golf is a great family activity, but nighttime is a great time to try it out.

There is very little shade on the mini-golf course, so going at night means it will be more comfortable to play.  Moreover, there are less people to contend with at night, so no waiting to put.

You can go ice skating

Did you know there is an ice skating rink on Adventure of the Seas? And you can go skating on it?

Adventure of the Seas has an ice skating rink in Studio B where one of the ship's best shows is performed during your cruise (more on that later), but guests can also don a pair of ice skates and hit the ice rink too!

Check the Cruise Compass for open skate sessions during your sailing.  Royal Caribbean will provide you with complimentary ice skate and safety equipment rentals. 

Be sure to pack long pants and socks.

Peek-a-boo bridge

It may sound weird, but there is something called the Peek-A-Boo bridge feature, where guests can peer into the bridge at almost any time.

The observation window allows guests to look down onto the bridge and observe what the officers are up to in their daily navigational duties.  

To reach the Peek-A-Boo bridge, head up to deck 11 and walk past the sliding doors that go forward of the Solarium and do not seem to lead anywhere.

Don't miss the Tutti Salad Bar

On sea days, do yourself a favor, and go down to the main dining room for lunch.

Not only is there a special menu available to order from, but the center of the dining room has a large salad bar area where you can pick your favorite ingredients to make a fresh salad, just the way you like it.

The balcony dividers do not open on Adventure

If you have had adjoining balcony cabins on other Royal Caribbean ships, you might have been able to open up the balcony divider to create a giant balcony. Unfortunately, that is not possible on Adventure of the Seas.

The first three Voyager Class ships (Voyager, Adventure & Explorer) balcony dividers are not physically possible to open because they are bolted shut. 

Restrooms with a view

If you go to the men's or ladies restrooms on Deck 11 near the Windjammer, you get a nice view.

A floor-to-ceiling window greets guests in the public restroom outside at these restrooms only.

Free sauna and steam room

The fitness center locker rooms have a free sauna, steam room, and very large showers for anyone to use free of charge. 

The showers are great for families, and the sauna and steam rooms are lesser-known amenities open to guests on Adventure of the Seas.

Try one of the culinary classes

Adventure of the Seas offers some fun ways to learn to make food on your cruise.

The Cupcake Decorating class is a way to be creative with sugar and frosting, and then you get to eat your creation!

The sushi making class is a combination of meal and learning, where you get to learn from a sushi chef how to make traditional and modern sushi specialties.

You can sign up for either of these classes before the cruise on the Cruise Planner site, or once onboard your ship.  Both classes have an extra cost.

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