Jump to content
Forum Maintenance: Wednesday March 20 @5:00 am ET Read more... ×
Cruise Critic Community
CruisingTeacher19

Adventure March 2, 2014 Review with baby/Toddler

Recommended Posts

I am going to attempt a very detailed review of traveling on Adventure of the Seas with my husband and 14 month old baby. This may take a few days to finish please be patient.

 

Background Information:

I will give you a little bit of background information about us before I get into my review. My husband and I have been married for 2 and a half years and are in our early to mid thirties. We have a son who turned 14 months on the cruise. This was my 5th cruise with RCCL and 7th cruise total. This was my husband and sons first cruise with RCCL. My husband and I cruised on Carnival’s Valor in December 2011 for 8 days. I have always loved Royal Caribbean far better than the other cruise lines but after this cruise I will be trying some other lines as well. The cruise was awesome but in my opinion the service has really gone down hill in the 8 years I have been cruising with RCCL, more to come on that. We traveled with my parents and my aunts and uncles. There were 10 adults total and one child (our 14 month old). We are from Chicago and were very glad to escape the cold weather and snow ridden winter we have had this year. I am a stay at home mom now and was really looking forward to a relaxing “working” vacation, after cruising with a baby I will say hands down I will cruise again and soon with our son, it was a great experience albeit a little extra work from my previous cruises and a lot different.

 

 

ry%3D400

 

Saturday:

 

We had an early flight at 8am so we got up at 4:30 and left for the airport at 5am. I had booked us valet parking at easy jet parking and it was the easiest airport transportation I had ever done. For $67 we were able to park for 9 days at Ohare. The shuttle was waiting to take us to the airport and from the time we pilled into the parking lot to the time we were at Ohare was 10 minutes. This was cheaper and faster than parking at lot E! Security was very easy at the airport. I carried Jacob in the ergo and we waltzed right through the security line. We were escorted to the line where you do not have to take off your shoes or empty your bags. We were door to gate in 10 minutes. After waiting at the terminal we were informed our flight would be delayed an hour. At 9am we took off and landed almost 4 hours later. Jacob was pretty good on the flight, we slept, played and crawled all over me, daddy and grandma.

 

Once we arrived at San Juan we gathered our luggage and took a taxi to the hotel. I had bid on priceline for a 3.5* hotel and won the Radisson for $85 a night. The taxi was $15 plus $1 per luggage. With the stroller and all our luggage including my parents luggage the trip was $23 total. (Yes we pack light lol!)

 

At 4pm we arrived at the Radisson, needless to say our rooms were not ready. This hotel was unorganized when it came to getting the rooms ready. It appears you need to check in and then come back a few hours later to get access to a room, it does not seem to matter what time you arrive or check in you will need to wait to gain access to your room. We went up the restaurant to eat and used our free drink tickets. After we finally got access to our room we dropped off our luggage and got a crib delivered to the room. The crib was an old style small metal crib. I was glad we had brought my sons comforter to protect the sides (yes once again we pack light!). That evening we walked to Walgreens which was less than a 7 minute walk and picked up some wine and other items. There is a supermarket/small liquor store on the way to walgreens about halfway between the hotel and walgreens. It is located on the right hand side of the road, they did have a bigger selection of wines. A few quick notes about the Radisson, our room was decently clean, it is an older hotel but we had not problems with letting Jacob walking around on the floor and playing. The bathroom had clean towels but the tub was slightly dirty and we chose not to give him a bath in it. The beds are very firm on the old side of the hotel, I was told they have sleep number beds in the suite side of the hotel. Check-in is a nightmare but patience is the key. I would not pay $200 for this hotel but for winning it on priceline I felt it was a decent hotel. They have a pool on the roof which is nice although we did not use it.

 

 

A picture of the hotel room

ry%3D480

 

 

The best invention ever and what every mother/father needs for travel the ERGO! No hands required! ry%3D480

 

ry%3D480

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday:

 

We woke up and packed our suitcases to get ready to head to the ship. We ate breakfast in the hotel which was a small buffet breakfast for $14.95 per person. There is a burger king next door which we almost went to but went upstairs for convenience and speed. I had to walk back to walgreens because I forgot something and took a quick trip in the morning. It was beautiful walk and very warm compared to the cold Chicago winter! Walgreens was much busier in the morning so I would suggest going Saturday evening if possible. At noon we left for the cruise terminal. It is about a 15 minute ride to the terminal. It was the same price to go the terminal from the hotel. $15 plus luggage. From the time the taxi dropped us off at noon to the time we were on the ship was 30 minutes. There was a very short line to drop off luggage but no line to check in. Check in at noon was easy and fast. They did not check our wine bottles or our water and we walked on the ship and headed to do what all cruisers plan their day around….FOOD!

 

As for food, which I will get to later, I was quite disappointed from my past cruises. The food was subpar. Jacob however did not mind and found food he would eat right away. After checking out the rest of the ship we were able to check into our rooms. We had room 9561, it was an accessible interior room. I had my gallbladder removed the week prior to the cruise and needed a bench in the shower to assist me with giving Jacob baths. When I called a few days before the cruise the room was available and we switched to it. Our luggage arrived fairly quickly and we had most of our luggage unpacked before dinner. The Muster drill was at 5:45pm. I once again put Jacob in the ergo, I believe navigating a stroller during this time would have been a nightmare. The ergo was easy and he quickly took a nap while the drill was in session. After we headed to dinner as we had the early seating.

 

Dinner was probably the worst experience I had on this cruise and the service was much to be desired. I have been cruising Royal Caribbean since 2006 and in those 8 years I have been on the Adventure of the Seas 3 times. I love this ship and to me the ports are the best in the Caribbean. However, the dinning room service on this particular ship was horrible. I had read many reviews before cruising with our 14month old son about how easy and fast the dining room service was. This was not the case. It took almost an hour to get apple juice and appetizers for Jacob. Once we received our food, the food was not very good. On a few occasions food was delivered cold, it was stuck together and cooked incorrectly and had very little seasoning and flavor. I usually eat pasta every evening and this cruise the pasta was not something I would order again. I realize we had a table of 11 for dinner but the table next to us had 13 and no child and were finished almost half an hour before us every evening. More on the food in days to come.

 

Dinner Time! ry%3D480

 

After dinner we explored the ship and took Jacob to bed around 10pm. The pack in play was a graco pack n play and was the regular size we have at home. We had brought his comforter and stuffed animal from home and Jacob slept great during naps and in the evening. I love interior rooms because they are dark and the baby sleeps better in the dark. I would suggest bringing a comforter/thick blanket from home that your child is comfortable with as the pack n play is hard. We brought his comforter from home to put on the bottom and got an extra pillow to put under the comforter. He slept very well. We were able to go to Adventure Ocean and get a bag of toys to rent for the week. This was great as we were told RCCL was not doing the FisherPrice toy exchange any longer. We rented the bag and Jacob played with them every afternoon while we were getting ready for dinner.

 

The toys from the Toy Lending Bag ry%3D400

 

The room with the pack n play in the background. ry%3D480

 

A few notes about the ship: While the adventure is an older ship and needs a few updates such as new carpet in the staterooms and refinishing the deck floors, the is overall a clean and nice ship. I was not disappointed in the artwork or the overall appearance of the ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monday: St. Thomas

 

The first stop was St. Thomas, we were going to go to Magen’s Bay today but there were 4 large ships in port. We decided instead to try Coki beach. That was a mistake! It was overly packed and the beach was no where near as nice as Magen’s bay. I was greatly disappointed. Jacob however had a blast once he got used to the sand he loved it. It was his first experience playing in the sand and he had a lot of fun. The taxi to get there was $8 per person (infants free) and the same for the return. It was a relaxing day at the beach but I was really disappointed in the sand and quality of the beach. After the beach we went back to the ship to eat lunch and take a nap.

 

Jacob's first experience with the ocean water!

ry%3D480

 

Jacob loved the sand: Heres a photo of his first time playing in the sand ry%3D480

 

 

After a nap we got ready for the first formal night and dinner. Tonight dinner was no better than the night before. I ordered the seafood pasta and it was greatly lacking. My experience this cruise has been to not order anything with pasta as it is really dry and over cooked. I also got Escargot on several nights and most nights it was served cold and not very tasty. After complaining however on the third night we were served warm escargot every evening usually before other appetizers were brought out.

 

After dinner our first towel Animal ry%3D480

 

 

After dinner we took Jacob to the broadway show, “Invitation to dance” I usually love the shows but the singers were not very talented although the ballroom dancers featured for the week were awesome and overall the show was entertaining. In my opinion the entertainment and food has really gone down hill compared to the pervious RCCL cruises I have been on. After the show we went to bed since we were traveling with a baby and he is not the best companion when he is lacking sleep.

 

Dinner with a baby requires a lot of patience and getting up and walking around several times. However, because there is a lot of time between courses there was plenty of time to get up and walk around. Because we were traveling with a larger group there were also others to help entertain Jacob when he was getting restless. I would recommend eating in the MDR just have a lot of patience. Next time I will do the My Time dinning because we had to wake Jacob up from a nap to get ready for dinner on several evenings and waking a sleeping baby is never a good thing!

 

ry%3D480

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to the rest of your review! Great job so far!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Cruise Critic Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What was the name of your waiter? When we were on the Adventure last year, our assistant waiter was awesome but the waiter was pretty bad. He was nice enough but his service was not great. Wondering if it's the same guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you purchase a seat for the baby on the airplane or fly with him inlap ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What was the name of your waiter? When we were on the Adventure last year, our assistant waiter was awesome but the waiter was pretty bad. He was nice enough but his service was not great. Wondering if it's the same guy.

 

I can't remember our waiters name but he was from India. Our assistant waiter was horrible too! Neither seemed to know what they were doing. It seems to me that their are just as many tables but fewer waiters on the ship then there were back in 2007. I believe the stateroom attendants and the waiters have more people which is why they no longer do towel animals every night and why the service is slower in the MDR. It would take forever for a refill of tea or water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you purchase a seat for the baby on the airplane or fly with him inlap ?

 

 

I will discuss this further on in my review but we did a lapsit infant. If I had to do it over again I would do the same. While it was inconvenient for him to sit on our laps, he slept most of the two plane rides home and he does not like his carseat most of the time so probably would have been very unhappy for 6 hours in it on the plane. However, when we flew in October from California the plane was empty and my husband and I had a seat in the middle that was open and he was able to climb all over it, that was a great way to travel but if you purchase a seat for the infant you must use a carseat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tuesday: St. Kitts

 

On St. Kitts we reserved Theyford Grey tours Island and Beach Excursion. It was $25 per person (the baby was free) Our driver was Henry Williams. Henry was very informative and showed us the town and the history of St. Kitts the tour took approximately 2 hours and Jacob was great during the tour. We got out at some beautiful garden and they had a great pool overlooking the ship, if I had read about that it was $10 a day to swim at the pool with beach chairs and loungers I probably would have just done that.

 

The beautiful garden and pool area ry%3D400

 

Jacob enjoying the tour ry%3D400

 

After we went to Reggae Beach/Cockshell Beach. It was a nice beach with great snorkeling. The chairs were $15 for 2 chairs and an umbrella. We rented these and relaxed on the beach for a few hours. Henry waited for us and took us back when we were ready to head back to the ship. Jacob loved playing in the sand once again and had a great time walking along the beach.

 

Jacob loves the beach ry%3D480

 

After the tour we went back to the ship and ate lunch and once again took a nap. We got ready for dinner and tonight dinner was much better in regards to service and getting Jacob his food at a decent time. It still took forever for dinner service but it tasted a lot better this night although I am not a huge fan of the new menus. After dinner we walked around the ship and then I took Jacob to bed for an early night since we was overtired.

 

Dinner Time ry%3D480

 

Jacob was tired from a very long day ry%3D480

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a bummer about the food and service disappointments. We aren't planning on dining in the MDR since we'll have 2 little ones and 2+ hours dinners do not make kiddos happy. Last cruise we traveled with a group like you and it was great to have people to help keep the little guy entertained.

 

Did you bring a car seat at all since you had him on your lap? I see he's in a seat on your tour. Did you bring a seat to use for your excursions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did bring his carseat. We used it in the taxis in san juan and on the excursion in st. Kitts. In curacao and st thomas the taxis are open no belts so I kept him in the ergo.

 

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I had a sick baby for awhile so I am just now catching up with my review. A few quick notes, I did notice a lot of vibrations in the windjammer and back of the ship which now looks like it was caused by the issues with the ship. I thought something might have been wrong during our week but luckily we made each port.

 

Wednesday: At Sea

 

Our at sea day was very relaxing and I wish we had more on this cruise! During the At Sea day we decided to sleep in (well sleep in meaning we did not wake up Jacob for an excursion and he waited until 8am to wake us up!) After getting ready we headed to the Windjammer for breakfast. We ate breakfast in the Windjammer every morning with the exception of one morning we went to the MDR. The windjammer has many breakfast choices and we fairly decent considering it is a buffet that feeds over 3,000 guests. Although the biscuits were hard like rocks, everything else I ate was very tasty and Jacob ate more than most adults, he loved the pancakes!

 

Photo of Royal Babies Play Area ry%3D400

 

More royal babies play area ry%3D480

 

After breakfast we took Jacob to the Royal Babies Play area. They had an area set up in Cloud 9 (near the Viking lounge on Deck 14) every day from 9am-2pm. The first day we went up there it was completely empty and we let Jacob play for almost 2 hours running around and playing with the toys. He loved it! After play we went down to visit with family and attend the meet and mingle. The role call for this cruise we pretty slow and not a lot of people so I was surprised with the amount of people that showed up. However, most had not been active and it was a quiet meet and mingle. After the meet and mingle we headed to lunch. It seems my cruise revolves around eating! Again we ate lunch in the Windjammer everyday. The lunch was ok in my opinion. I do believe the food has gone down hill in the years since I started cruising and the lunch was disappointing on many levels of quality and freshness. I do understand it is a buffet and does serve 3,000 people but when Compare to Carnival (do not blast me for this) the food on Royal is in desperate need of an overhaul. The Carnival buffets and MDR food was WAY better than Royal on this cruise, which was not the case several years ago. After lunch we took Jacob back to the room for a nap and to rest up for dinner that evening.

 

 

After Jacob’s and my nap we got ready for dinner that evening and went to dinner. Dinner service was much better this evening and Jacob had a cheese plate waiting for him when we arrived. They were very good from this night forward bringing Jacob many different food items to keep him busy. My son ate more than most adults do on this cruise and that is not an exaggeration. He would polish off one to two appetizers and a pasta or seafood dish every evening. He can eat! I was determine to get my 3rd person rate from him and that I did with all his eating! After dinner we went to the show, which was ok, then over to sing some karaoke, which was fun and entertaining and then headed to bed.

 

Loving all the food ry%3D400

 

One thing I do like on Carnival that my husband and I greatly missed on Royal is the nightly comedy club. We really enjoyed that on our last cruise and wish Royal would do something like that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursday: Aruba

 

For Aruba we did not have any plans and wanted to go to the beach. However, Jacob had a very rough evening the night before and did not sleep much. Since he is at that age where teething can be a nightmare we decided to stay close to the ship this day. My family went to Palm Beach and said it was amazing and the best beach they had visited during the cruise. I really wish we had gone! Instead we decided to walk along the road and explore the shops and what was around/near the port. We walked over the Renaissance resort it was very beautiful.

 

I have attached some pictures of that area.ry%3D400

 

There was no beach in the ocean but a nice walking path ry%3D400

 

We also spent 2 hours just walking outside and enjoy the nice fresh air. It was extremely windy this day and Jacob took a very long nap in the stroller while we walked around and window shopped. They have a lot of shopping at this port so if you are interested in shopping this is the place to go, I however, want to go back and see the beaches! We headed back to the ship around noon and ate lunch.

We had planned to go back out to Aruba since we were there till 10pm but we ended up staying on the ship. Jacob loves Ice cream so we took him to get ice cream and then hung out on the ship for the afternoon.

 

Ice Cream ry%3D400

 

 

We had dinner again in the MDR this evening like every other evening. It was not as busy this evening I guess because of being in Aruba so late. The food was ok and we had a good time hanging out with family and enjoying dinner. After dinner we walked around the ship for a bit and watched the sail away at 10pm. After we took Jacob to bed to rest up for our final port of call Curacao the following day.

 

2nd Towel Animal ry%3D400

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Friday: Curacao

 

Today we planned to enjoy a nice beach day at Blue Bay Beach. I had heard it had a swimming pool I was very interested in since Jacob loves to swim and could not swim in the pools on the ship. We had a late start to the morning since Jacob slept late and so we decided to meet my family at Blue Bay around 11. It was a $30 taxi ride for the three of us to Blue Bay and a $9per person taxi ride back since there were more than 5 in the taxi. (Jacob was free in all taxi’s on the cruise) When we arrived to Blue Bay I realized my camera was missing. I looked everywhere for my camera and long story short I believe it fell out of my bag or off my wrist either at the pier where we took a photo exiting the ship or in the taxi. I asked several taxi drivers and no one was any help so for the remainder of the cruise I used my phone camera. Luckily, the night before I had dumped all my photos onto our computer so I only lost a few photos from dinner the evening prior and a few photos we had taken on the pier that morning. Lesson learned, always dump your photos we were very lucky in that regard!

 

 

Blue Bay Beach Photos

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

Blue Bay was an ok beach but for the time and money it cost to get their I would probably not return. The pool has been covered with sand and turned into a playground so there is no pool at Blue Bay. We showed up late and met up with my family and could not find anyone to pay for being on the beach so we did not pay the $8 it costs to access their beach. In the future I would make Aruba a beach day and either head to Mumbo beach close by or skip the beach on this Island. It was very windy and the water was rough. However, Jacob loves playing in the sand and had a blast walking along the beach edge and playing in the sand with his sand bucket I purchased for $4 in Porto Rico. We realized they have an entire sand kit with a bucket and toys for $10 on the ship, next time we will purchase this once on the ship.

 

Beautiful Area near the port

ry%3D400

 

After the beach we had the driver drop us off downtown and we walked around some of the shops and watched the bridge fold up as a ship was passing by. We then returned to the ship for lunch and a nap for Jacob.

 

2nd Formal Night ry%3D400

ry%3D400

After Jacob’s nap we got ready for the second formal night on the cruise and my favorite (Lobster night!) The lobster night food was probably the best I had on the cruise and Jacob loved the pasta served this night. Every evening he ate ice cream after dinner and was wound up after dinner and ready for an evening on the town! Tonight was no different and we took him after dinner to the lounge for some games and then to the show in the evening. He did not want to sit through this show which was a mime comedian so between my husband and I we each saw about half the show and walked Jacob around the promenade the rest of the time.

 

Graco Stroller

 

ry%3D400

We brought our good Graco stroller which lays flat and while it is very large I do not regret bringing it as he fell asleep a few nights and we were able to lay him down and continue to enjoy our evening. We stayed up later this night since tomorrow was our last sea day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review so far! And Jacob is such a cutie! We took our 10-month old, Isaac, on the Liberty in January and had a great time. Thanks for sharing :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×