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Adventure of the Seas Review & Guide

21 Jun 2022

Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas is a mainstay of the fleet, offering a blend of fun activities on a cruise ship that has been refreshed fairly recently.

Adventure of the Seas in St Maarten

Adventure of the Seas is a Voyager Class cruise ship, which means she is a medium-sized vessel in Royal Caribbean's fleet. While not as big as other ships, she still packs lots for families to enjoy.

In addition, the value you can get with an Adventure of the Seas booking is superb, as Royal Caribbean International often prices sailings much lower than the largest ships sailing the same itinerary.

Adventure of the Seas in CocoCay

Adventure of the Seas sails from a variety of places in North America and Northern Europe. Her home ports include Cape Liberty in New Jersey & Galveston, Texas.

Here's a look at what Adventure of the Seas has to offer onboard, and what makes it a great choice for a cruise.

Adventure of the Seas Overview

Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas is the third cruise ship in the Voyager-Class cruise ships, and was launched in 2001.

She has 14 passenger decks and has a maximum capacity of 3,807 guests (although her regular occupancy at double occupancy is 3,114).

Exterior view of Adventure of the Seas

In 2016 and 2018, she underwent a $61 million upgrade that added new dual racer waterslides, Cyclone and Typhoon, the popular FlowRider surf simulator, and a children’s aquapark, Splashaway Bay. They also added a new sushi restaurant and more than 100 new staterooms, a refresh of all existing staterooms and a brand new Suites Lounge.

Adventure of the Seas

Measuring 138,193 in gross tonnage and 1,020 feet long, Adventure of the Seas is not a small ship. She has a capacity of nearly 4000 guests at double capacity, 14 guest-accessible decks, and 1,963 staterooms.

Like all Voyager-Class ships, she has a Royal Promenade that runs through the middle of the ship and is the main thoroughfare, with shopping and dining to enjoy.

Fun things to do on Adventure of the Seas

Water slides on Adventure of the Seas

You'll find a lot of onboard activities on Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas, beginning with the pool deck.

Adventure has two side-by-side main pools and several jacuzzis, as well as an adults-only (16+ years old only) Solarium. The Solarium has both a pool and hot tub.

Kids will enjoy Splashaway Bay water park, which has mini slides, a drench bucket, geysers, and lots of area to run around.

On the back half of the pool deck, there are the Perfect Storm waterslides, which has twin racer slides.

Rock climbing wall on Adventure of the Seas

You can also hit the sports courts, try the rock-climbing wall, or even the FlowRider surf simulator. All of these experiences are complimentary.

The FlowRider offers both stand-up surfing and boogie boarding options throughout the cruise.

Royal Caribbean adding two story golf course to Adventure of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

There's a two story mini golf course, known as Adventure Dunes, which is complimentary to enjoy.

In terms of activities, you'll find a daily assortment things to do onboard the ship. Each day, the Cruise Compass is distributed to guests with a guide to what times each activity is planned for, and at which venue.

Examples of activities you can expect include:

  • General trivia
  • Name that tune
  • Karaoke
  • Game shows
  • Art auction
  • Dance fitness classes
  • Movies on the outdoor movie screen
  • Belly flop competition

Ten best Royal Caribbean bars | Royal Caribbean Blog

There is also a wide assortment of live music on Adventure of the Seas. From bands to solo performers, you'll find different venues offering live music throughout the day.

Three venues each evening offer a signature Royal Caribbean live music experience, with a piano player in the Schooner Bar, guitarist in the pub, and Latin band in Boleros.

Each evening in the Royal Theater, there will be a show. It could be a comedian, musical medley, magician, or a dance performance.

Game shows are also hosted each day of your cruise, where guests are invited to try their skill at games such as "Battle of the Sexes", "Love and Marriage game show", and more.

One more must-do event is the free skate in Studio B. On select days, Royal Caribbean opens up its ice rink to guests to skate. Skates and equipment are provided and there is no extra cost. You just need long pants and socks to participate.

Adventure of the Seas Dining

Your Royal Caribbean cruise fare includes meals and snacks, along with some drinks.  There's also the option to spend more and dine at specialty restaurants.

The good news is you definitely will not go hungry on this cruise with all the dining options.

Complimentary dining venues on Adventure of the Seas:

  • Main Dining Room, the main restaurant on any Royal Caribbean ship, offering a classic sit-down dining experience in a 3-story venue
  • Windjammer Marketplace, a buffet open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a variety of both American and international cuisines
  • Cafe Promenade, a small cafe offering specialty coffees and teas along with small grab-and-go items like muffins and sandwiches. There's also complimentary pizza here by the slice
  • Arctic Zone, soft-serve frozen yogurt by the pool

Specialty dining venues on Adventure of the Seas:

  • Chops Grille, Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouse
  • Izumi Sushi, Japanese cuisine and sushi
  • Giovanni’s Table Italian Restaurant, classic Italian food featuring freshly-made pastas
  • Johnny Rockets, a 1950s style American restaurant with milkshakes, burgers, and fries
  • Chef’s Table, an intimate group dining experience where each course is paired with wine
  • Ben & Jerry’s, serving scoops of ice cream, sundaes, and milkshakes
  • Room service, Nearly 24 hour room service delivered to your cabin.

Should you spend extra for specialty dining? It depends on your tastes and budget.

There is nothing wrong with the food included with your cruise fare. The main dining room and Windjammer offer so much food for each meal, that you're likely to dine there and be quite content.

What specialty dining offers is a greater variety of food, which a lot of cruisers really enjoy. Steaks, lasgana, sushi, and more are what you get with specialty dining and in many cases, these foods are not otherwise available in the complimentary venues. Moreover, the quality of the food tends to be higher than similar offerings in the dining rooms.

Most people tend to book a blend, and sprinkle in specialty dining to augment the main dining room or buffet.

Adventure of the Seas bars & lounges

You'll find many bars and lounges to enjoy a cocktail while on your cruise.

Here's a list of bars and lounges on Adventure of the Seas:

  • Schooner Bar
  • Boleros
  • Solarium Bar
  • Casino bar
  • Imperial Lounge
  • Duck & Dog English Pub
  • Champagne Bar
  • The Plaza Bar (Windjammer)
  • Viking Crown Lounge (Blue Moon)
  • Diamond Club
  • Suite Lounge

Most bars have the same drink menu, so what makes each special is the decor. Some are more laid back venues, while others offer more of a focus on music or entertainment.

The Schooner Bar is a staple of the Royal Caribbean fleet, with live piano music each night of the cruise. It's a great place to sing along and have a drink.

If you prefer something more laid back, check out the Blue Moon in the Viking Crown Lounge on Deck 14. There's wonderful views of the pool deck and area around you.

Kids Club

Symphony of the Seas family cruising guide | Royal Caribbean Blog

Adventure Ocean is the name of the kids club on Adventure of the Seas, which is available for kids between the age of 3 and 17 years old.

Adventure Ocean is divided into four age groups, with each group having their own programming and rooms suitable to the age range:

  • Aquanauts (3-5 years old)
  • Explorers (6-8 years old)
  • Voyagers (9-11 years old)
  • Teens (12-17 years old)

Adventure Ocean is mostly complimentary, with the exception of childcare after 10PM.

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Aside from embarkation day, there are two types of Adventure Ocean operating hours: port days and sea days.

On sea days, Adventure Ocean is typically open

  • 9am - noon
  • 2pm - 5pm
  • 7pm - 10pm

On port days, Adventure Ocean is open for the entire duration your Royal Caribbean ship is in port.  Once the ship leaves port, it resumes the normal schedule described in sea days.

An arcade is also located in Adventure Ocean and open to guests of all ages, although it comes at an extra cost.

On the first day of your Royal Caribbean cruise, guests can register their children in Adventure Ocean prior to Adventure Ocean opening.  While you can register kids at any point in the cruise, take advantage of the open house on embarkation day for an optimal experience.

Adventure of the Seas Entertainment

You'll find shows performed in two venues on Adventure of the Seas: the Lyric Theater and Studio B ice skating rink.

In the Royal Theater, there are different shows performed each night. This includes a welcome aboard show on the first night and a farewell show on the last night. In-between, the singers and dancers perform shows such as Invitation to Dance and Can't Stop The Rock.

In Studio B, guests can enjoy Cool Art...Hot Ice!, an ice skating show, which is described as, "a journey through time and space. The story unfolds when Arthur falls in love with a statue that comes to life. He's led by his muse on a whimsical journey where nothing is truly as it seems." It's a fun show that is worth seeing for the talented ice skaters.

Outside of signature production shows, a variety of other entertainment can be found on Adventure of the Seas, including live music, karaoke, and game shows.

Spa & fitness

If you're looking to forget your cares, or stay in shape, while onboard Adventure of the Seas, the Vitality Spa and Fitness Center is where you want to go.

The fitness center is complimentary (although classes cost extra) and has cardio and strength equipment you can use on a first-come, first served basis.

Over in the spa, you can reserve an appointment for a massages, facials or a salon treatment. These all cost extra. Port days often have better discounts available than sea days, so be sure to ask about any onboard specials in the spa.

Adventure of the Seas Review

Royal Promenade on Adventure of the Seas

While not the newest or glitziest ship in the fleet, Adventure of the Seas has plenty to do onboard at a very reasonable price.

A Voyager-Class cruise ship is an excellent value, because they are still big ships with lots of activities that don't cost a lot to sail on. It has the signature venues most people expect with a Royal Caribbean ship, so there is not much compromise aside from lacking the absolute newest innovations. 

Often people considering Adventure of the Seas are worried they are making a mistake by booking a ship that is 20 years old instead of newer ships. The reality is the age of a ship isn't what it once was, and recent upgrades in 2016 and 2018 really raised the bar for what you can do onboard. Yes, they are one of the older ships, but that isn't the end-all, be-all, of what makes a great ship.

If there's something lacking on Adventure of the Seas, it's the staterooms still have the older feel to them compared to cabins on new Oasis or Quantum-Class ships. Besides the decor, there's less storage space.

In addition, the suite experience on Adventure pales compared to the services and amenities you get for staying in a suite on Oasis or Quantum-Class ships. Of course, the price of a suite is a lot more affordable on Adventure, the the Suite Lounge and concierge services are still lovely.

What draws us to Adventure of the Seas is the price. You can sail on Adventure of the Seas for likely half the cost of a newer ship, and unlike smaller  Royal Caribbean ships, there's still plenty to do. For most families, they should find enough activities to keep them busy without feeling like the ship lacks too much.

The crew members on Adventure of the Seas have always been quite good, and work hard to deliver a great cruise experience.

If you're a new cruiser, Adventure of the Seas is one of the cruise vessels you won't feel out of place on because of all the extra space and fun things to do. Voyager-Class vessels are destination experiences, which make it a good choice for a first time cruiser.

Between the value and fun offerings, you'll have no trouble enjoying a relaxing cruise aboard Adventure of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean expands mask requirement to Adventure of the Seas sailings

05 Aug 2021

All guests sailing on Adventure of the Seas will have to wear a mask while indoors, including fully vaccinate passengers.

Due to the Delta variant, Royal Caribbean is informing guests booked on Adventure of the Seas sailings from The Bahamas they will have to wear a mask while indoors.

This information only applies to guests on sailings out of Nassau, Bahamas in August 2021. 

A spokesperson for the cruise line said, "In an abundance of caution due to the emerging Delta variant and to ensure that our guests, our crew and the communities we visit remain healthy, Royal Caribbean International has adjusted its measures for boarding."

Adventure of the Seas restarted sailings from The Bahamas in June, and since all adults are required to be fully vaccinated, masks for fully vaccinated guests while indoors was not required.

The new rule for Adventure of the Seas matches mask requirements on other ships sailing from the United States this summer.

"When indoors, all guests 2 and older are required to wear masks unless they are actively eating or drinking."

"Guests may remove their masks in venues and events dedicated to fully vaccinated parties."

Masks are not required in your stateroom when you are with your traveling party, outside on the open decks, or at Perfect Day at CocoCay, unless in a crowded setting.

Guests under the age of 2 do not need to wear a mask.

Adventure of the Seas will also add fully vaccinated zones available only to vaccinated guests, similar to other ships in the fleet. Once inside a vaccinated zone, fully vaccinated passengers can remove their face mask.

Passenger's SeaPass cards will be required to access lounges, shows and dining venues.

If someone booked on Adventure of the Seas in August does not wish to follow these protocols, Royal Caribbean is happy to provide a refund or move their sailing into the future when circumstances may have evolved. Please contact your Travel Advisor or call the cruise line at 954-628-9290 or 1-800-256-6649.

Carnival Cruise Line changed their face mask policy this week to match Royal Caribbean's requirements.

Royal Caribbean shortens time window to get Covid-19 test before cruises from The Bahamas

22 Jul 2021

Passengers sailing from The Bahamas on Adventure of the Seas in August will have to get their Covid-19 tests complete closer to their sail date.

Royal Caribbean changed their policy for when guests sailing on Adventure of the Seas from The Bahamas need to get either a PCR or antigen test result.

Instead of 5 days before the sail date, all guests age 2 and older will need to take a negative test for Covid-19 no more than 3 days before arriving in The Bahamas.

Any kind of negative Covid-19 test will be accepted (PCR or antigen).

The new rule kicks in on August 1.

Changing testing requirements for cruises from The Bahamas have been a regular occurrence since cruises started back up on Adventure from The Bahamas.

Initially, The Bahamas required tests for all, then dropped it for vaccinated visitors.  Royal Caribbean added antigen testing for all passengers as an early requirement, and then changed it to PCR tests.

Cruise line health policies have had to be adjusted due to changing needs and best practices advised by health officials.

Royal Caribbean says its test requirements more stringent than what The Bahamas mandates for inbound travelers.

Adventure of the Seas is the only Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing from The Bahamas, and was the first ship to restart operations in North America, following the cruise industry shutdown.

Royal Caribbean will not let unvaccinated passengers go on third-party shore excursions for at least one ship

25 Jun 2021

Unvaccinated guests sailing on Adventure of the Seas will no longer be able to book shore excursions on their own beginning with the next sailing.

Guests booked on Adventure of the Seas received an email indicating unvaccinated passengers, including parents traveling with unvaccinated children, are required to participate in shore excursions offered by local tour operators approved by Royal Caribbean.

If your traveling party is fully vaccinated, there is no change in the shore excursion policy.

In an abundance of caution, when visiting ports other than Perfect Day at CocoCay, parties that include unvaccinated guests, including parents traveling with unvaccinated children, are required to participate in shore excursions offered by local tour operators approved by Royal Caribbean. These tours meet our health and safety requirements for unvaccinated guests.

Entirely vaccinated traveling parties may visit the port freely. All guests are subject to restrictions and requirements as defined by local authorities in the ports we visit. Additional details will be provided onboard.

Royal Caribbean will offer a discount for guests under 16 to help offset the change.

The cruise line says the decision was made "to protect you and the communities we visit."

The change comes one day after two unvaccinated children on Adventure of the Seas tested positive for Covid-19 and had to be quarantined and brought home.

Celebrity Cruises made a similar change this week for their Celebrity Edge sailings that begin this weekend as well from the United States.

Policy changes are nothing new for cruise lines as they resume operations. One constant in the months leading up to cruises restarting has been policy adjustments, reversals, and additions. 

Read moreTop 8 things you should know about going on a cruise in 2021

When Adventure of the Seas' sailings from The Bahamas were announced, shore excursions were initially limited to just cruise line tours.

Then, the company changed policies prior to the first sailing to allow guests to go on any tour, regardless of vaccination status.

Royal Caribbean's new health protocols catch two positive Covid-19 cases on Adventure of the Seas

24 Jun 2021

Royal Caribbean added a series of new protocols to its ships to detect Covid-19 cases early, and the system in place identified two unvaccinated teenage passengers who tested positive for Covid-19 on Adventure of the Seas.

According to Royal Caribbean, two teenagers on Adventure of the Seas were in isolation and then disembarked in Freeport earlier today.

Their parents, who are vaccinated, tested negative.

As part of Royal Caribbean's multi-faceted plan in preparation for a scenario like this, the medical care and transportation home will be handled by the cruise line.

The cases were caught during end of cruise testing, which is required at the end of a sailing.

Here is Royal Caribbean's official statement:

Two guests on Adventure of the Seas tested positive for COVID-19 after routine testing that is required before returning home. Here are the facts:

  • Both guests, under the age of 16 and unvaccinated, were immediately quarantined. One guest is asymptomatic, and the other guest is experiencing mild symptoms.
  • Those in their immediate travel party are vaccinated and have tested negative.
  • Close contacts were quickly identified and tested. All are vaccinated and tested negative.

The guests and their travel party disembarked today in Freeport, The Bahamas and are on their way home to Florida. Ninety-two percent of our guests on Adventure are fully vaccinated and the remaining 8% are under 16 years old. One hundred percent of our crew are fully vaccinated.

Adventure of the Seas is the first Royal Caribbean International ship to restart operations in North America, and she is on her second sailing back in operation.

On Adventure of the Seas sailings from The Bahamas, guests who are 16 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 and older as of Aug. 1.  In addition, anyone unvaccinated had to get a negative PCR test result in order to board the ship.

All crew members are fully vaccinated as well.

While the ship is sailing from outside the United States, Royal Caribbean's safety rules have been in development over the past year during the cruise industry's shutdown.  This includes testing, mandatory health screenings, online check-ins and contact tracing through CCTV cameras.

The ships have been upgraded to prepare for a situation like this, with immediate medical evaluations, rapid Covid-19 testing and dedicated zones for Covid-19 care, more critical care beds on each ship, and robust treatment plans.

Royal Caribbean has been keenly aware of the statistical likelihood of positive cases onboard, but they worked on how to catch it early and avoid it becoming a major issue.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain said the Health Sail Panel of health experts has worked on this specific contingency, "A really important part and a really big focus of the panel's effort was on how to respond if we do have a case that gets on board."

"We respond properly. We have a extensive contingency plan so that we don't have to go through one of these processes of quarantining huge numbers of people. We take care of the the the small number that we catch early and everybody else can go about their business."

Royal Caribbean Group Senior Vice President of Shared Services Operations recently spoke about the importance of these protocols to keep crew members and guests safe.

"All of the different things that we’ve done technology-wise as well as with testing and safety, those are going to stay. Those are Royal Caribbean protocols, whether or not they’re required of us or not," Ms. Hodges Bethge said.

"We feel very good that we have some of the strongest kind of processes of anywhere you go in the world today."

Response plan

Royal Caribbean developed a plan to respond to a scenario such as this, and coordinated these plans with the Bahamanian government.

According to Royal Caribbean's health protocols, in the event a guest tests positive for Covid-19, a "robust, tiered response plan" goes into effect.

The tiers increase protocols and vigilance onboard while providing transparent updates to guests the whole way.

In partnership with local authorities, Royal Caribbean has developed transport protocols to ensure we can get guests home safely. 

In fact, Royal Caribbean identified early that being "stuck" in quarantine on a cruise ship was not something any guest wanted, and a result, Royal Caribbean has developed transport agreements with local authorities in a situation like this to get everyone home safely.

Frequently asked questions about being back on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship

21 Jun 2021

Royal Caribbean restarted cruises from North America with Adventure of the Seas last week, and there are plenty of questions about what it is like to be onboard.

While I have shared a lot of information about the cruise experience in live blogs and a recap of the big differences, there are still questions cruise haves have about going on a cruise ship today.

I asked for which questions folks still have, and I'll do my best to answer as many as I can right here.

If it puts your boarding time at 1pm, can you still try to get there early like you used to be able to or not because of the screening?

The answer is no, you cannot check-in earlier than your scheduled time you get the via app.

Before the cruise industry shutdown, check-in times were more of a suggestion, but now they are enforced.

You can, however, drop off your luggage at the British Colonial Hilton before your check-in tine, so that you can walk around Nassau unencumbered.

How do you think protocols for cruises originating in the US might change compared to those you’re experiencing now?

Royal Caribbean is still working on its protocols for all ships and sailings from the United States, but we know about the protocols for Freedom of the Seas from Miami.

Compared to Freedom, the most noticeable changes will be the requirement of face masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests indoors in certain situations, the possibility to cruise without being a fully vaccinated adult, and vaccinated-only venues.

I'll compare and contrast the experiences when I sail on Freedom of the Seas next week, and I will absolutely be sharing what it is like with all of you.

Are they cleaning the cabins every day?

Yes, the service provided by your stateroom attendant remains unchanged from what you experienced earlier.

Stateroom attendants visit your room twice a day still, including turn down service in the evening.

Which ship amenities, such as hot tubs and gym, require an advanced reservation that would not have pre-COVID?

To the best of my knowledge, here is what has advanced reservations now that did not before

  • Theater entertainment (this did not exist on Adventure, although Oasis and Quantum class ships had it)
  • Studio B ice skating show
  • Windjammer
  • Fitness center
  • Adventure Ocean

Can you sit with other guests in the main dining room?

I double checked with the Maitre d' to confirm the policy has not changed.

Whether in specialty restaurants or the main dining room, you can only dine with other guests if your reservation numbers are linked.

I am wondering what the kids club is like now?

Adventure Ocean is open, but with limited capacity.

The biggest changes are you register via an iPad instead of paper, and there are limited hours available initially.

Very similar to how Royal Caribbean's nursery works, the staff provide an allotment of hours to register for on the first day to ensure everyone has a fair chance at booking time.

On the first sailing, they gave everyone 15 hours to book, but that dropped to 12 hours for this sailing.

You can book up to the 12 hour limit initially, and then by day 3 or so, they open bookings without a limit.

Are they selling the duty free alcohol on board the ship?

Yes, the duty free alcohol shop is still open on the Royal Promenade, along with all the shops.

You can shop at the jewelry, alcohol, and souvenir shops onboard during their regular hours.

In the Diamond Lounge, are they really swiping your card for every drink you get, including coke and water?

Yes, the adjusted Diamond, Diamond Plus, & Pinnacle benefits mean you get a daily allotment of drink vouchers to use instead of unlimited drinks while in the lounge.

I believe the intent of this change was to reduce demand for guests in the Diamond Lounge, but there are still plenty of guests in and around each evening.

Anyone treating your kids poorly (such as dirty looks) because they are unable to get vaccinated?

Absolutely not, I have not encountered anything like this onboard with our kids.

I make very certain my kids are following the rules onboard, especially wearing masks while indoors and ensuring their masks stay above their nose.

Otherwise, it's "business as usual" when it comes to kids onboard, and they are loving every minute of it.

Is a reservation for Windjammer a necessity, or do the walk-ins get in pretty quickly as well?

I have yet to actually need a reservation, but it is a possibility.

When you walk into the Windjammer, they ask for your stateroom number so they can keep track of how many people are in the restaurant.

Both of the first two sailings have had roughly the same passenger count (just over 1,000 passengers), and I asked the hostess at the Windjammer this morning if they had to enact the policy and turn someone away. Thus far, they have not had to do it.

As I understand it, for entry back in the U.S. you are required to provide a negative Covid test. Is Royal Caribbean providing Covid test on the ship prior to disembarkation?

Yes, you can register for an antigen test that Royal Caribbean will administer onboard towards the end of the sailing.

The test is complimentary, and administered in the main dining room on deck 5.  There is a QR code in the Cruise Compass where you can get the link (although there is a kiosk at the entrance to the dining room where you can register as well).

The test result is emailed to you, as well as delivered via a print out to your stateroom.

What is procedure for back-to-back sailings?

The process for me was very similar to what it was before the industry shutdown.

  1. Meet at the dining room at an assigned time
  2. Do an antigen test
  3. Wait for results
  4. Get new SeaPass card
  5. Walk down to the gangway and check out of the first sailing, and then check into the new sailing

We did not have to actually disembark the ship.

To get off the ships in port do you still have to have purchase an excursion with Royal Caribbean? Or can you just go on your own?

You can book any tour you like, through the cruise line or on your own.

You can also walk around the port area.

Is the ship at limited capacity and do you have to wear masks all the time.

There is a limited capacity for these Adventure of the Seas sailings, although the exact number is not known.

There have been on the first two sailings just over 1,000 passengers.

Fully vaccinated passengers do not need to wear a mask onboard (indoors or outside).  Some ports have mask requirements, such as Cozumel.

Unvaccinated guests (children on these cruises) need to wear masks while inside, unless they are seated for eating or drinking. They do not need to wear a mask outside, or at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Are the Coke Freestyle machines still self service?

No, there is a crew member who will take your cup and fill it for you.

Onboard Royal Caribbean's first cruise ship from North America

12 Jun 2021

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

10 Jun 2021

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

07 Jun 2021

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

04 Jun 2021

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.


As 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

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