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Pre-Stay- We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in San Juan. No frills but price was right and the rooms were clean and well kept.
The Ship- The Adventure was clean and showed minimal wear and tear. All the public areas were kept tidy and they were constantly cleaning everything in sight each morning and afternoon. Embarking and Debarking were excellent.
The Food- Having sailed on RCI many years the quality of the food has substantially declined. Most items were tasteless and boring. There were several saving graces this trip??.Our Head Waiter Emre from Turkey was the best. He as well as our Waiter Raluca and our Assistant Flor noticed that we didn?t eat very much. The head waiter and I had a discussion and every effort was made to help my DD and myself with the flavor of the food. They saut?ed garlic cloves each night for us and we chopped them and added them to the food and it was much improved. My DH was fine as he likes his food bland. We felt it was the best service and showed the most caring of any wait staff in many cruises. The service was excellent. We also asked for steamed veggies each night as well as my daughter?s favorite baked potatoes. I can?t say enough about the service! RCI still has the best cookies!!!
We ate in Portofino one night. Excellent Italian food and wonderful service, this is the food that the dining room used to serve??LOL! Once the pay restaurants came on board the quality went down. My DH only paid for this one as a special treat for me and he?d never do it again. He just doesn?t believe in it. My DD and I loved every minute of the dining experience.
Cabin- We had an aft cabin on deck 7 with a large balcony with 3 lounge chairs and a table and 2 chairs. My DH loves this balcony for napping in the daytime, no crowds and little noise. Our cabin steward Justin from Jamaica was a dream! He even folded my daughter?s clothes each evening, something that has been missing in recent years. He also brought us all the amenities that the suites get and we loved being spoiled.
Entertainment- Our entertainment pretty much consists of the casino these days. We did see Rondell Sheridan one evening and he was very good. We say him last year on the Explorer. On sea days the typical pool games were played but we loved the sexy leg contest. It was hysterical to say the least.
We did see the ice show but it wasn?t as nice as other?s we?ve seen. If you haven?t seen one then doesn?t miss it.
Crown and Anchor Loyalty Program- Jorge the Loyalty Ambassador got off to a slow start but made up for it along the way. As Diamond Plus Crown and Anchor members we are able to go places on the ship by invitation that is not open to the general public since 9/11. A snafu occurred with our Bridge tour due to Jorge?s error and I was disappointed as I really wanted to see how large the bridge is on a ship of this size. Jorge spoke to the Captain Nyseter and arranged for us to be on the Bridge during sail out from St. Martin. Wow what a view. Sorry folks no pictures for security reasons. This is one of the nicest captains I every met, a true gentleman. I was honored that he allowed us to watch him on the bridge. We also got to tour the massive kitchen which was very interesting. I have some pictures of that one. There were also the typical repeaters parties but we didn?t go to any of them. I wanted to go to the Diamond party but we were at the ice show. They had a Recital of some kind, would have liked to see it. Casino- They have a wonderful crew several whom I?d had the pleasure of sailing with before. The usual games of course as well as a Texas Hold Em table.
Ports- Aruba, Curacao, St. Thomas, St. Martin. We snorkeled in Aruba and St. Martin with the ships excursions since it was only my daughter and I. Aruba was excellent for fish, St. Martin excellent for coral, we thought it was pretty good for a mass market shore excursion. We never did make it to Carlos and Charlies as we found a wonderful entertaining bartender that kept us occupied. We wandered around in St. Thomas and Curacao. These are all repeat ports for us.
Summary- Every crew member I came in contact with was pleasant and helpful. For a ship this size it?s amazing. One of RCI?s strongest points is their crew. Crown and Anchor Diamond & Diamond plus perks are wonderful! RCI has the best repeaters program that we?ve seen (Princess also is good once you get to the higher levels). Worst part was the food but I can live with it if the service stays excellent!
I won?t be sailing this ship again as I hate to fly into San Juan but I will sail her sisters that I don?t have to fly to since we live in Florida. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed almost every aspect of this trip, far different from our experiences last year on the Explorer.