Adventure of the Seas review and photos


Adventure of the Seas cruise ship


This week the focus is on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas. In April, Adventure underwent a refit, which added several new features to the ship. Thus, it is an appropriate time to take another look at Adventure. To this end, we recently did a transatlantic crossing on her followed by a short European cruise.


Adventure is a Voyager class cruise ship. In fact she was the third ship built in that class, entering service just after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Accordingly, she was named in New York by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and her god parents are six New York City firefighters and policemen.


Despite her New York City connection, Adventure is not Royal Caribbean’s New York ship. (Somewhat oddly, her sister ship Explorer of the Seas was given that role when RCI decided to base a ship in New York harbor year-round). Instead, she has spent most of her time in the Caribbean sailing out of San Juan, Puerto Rico.


The last few years, however, Adventure has been spending her summers in Southampton, England, sailing to the Mediterranean, the Canaries, the British Isles, Northern Europe and Scandinavia. She is doing that this summer but plans for 2015 call for her to revert back to year-round San Juan sailings.


Adventure is a very big cruise ship. At 137,000 gross tons, she is no longer the biggest cruise ship but she is still bigger than the vast majority of ships. Her size allows her to have many features including some that are not at all traditional on passenger ships. These include a pedestrian mall, lined with shops, bars and a cafe, running a considerable length down the ship’s center line and a large ice skating arena. These are both used as entertainment venues as well so that there is more to an evening on Adventure than what is going on in the theater and the casino.


Normally, in the Caribbean, Adventure’s passenger list is dominated by young families. However, on the two week long transatlantic crossing, there were few children. This left the ship’s facilities almost entirely to her adult passengers. As a result, the adults had lots of choices and lots of space to indulge themselves in.


The crossing was not a straight run from Miami to Southampton. Rather, the ship took her time going across with Caribbean stops in Nassau, San Juan and St. Maarten to start the voyage and a stops mid-way across the Atlantic in the Azores. Thus, there were elements of a Caribbean cruise and a European cruise in this crossing. But most of it was long, lazy sea days, which makes these types of voyages so popular with experienced cruisers.


The weather going across was fine. Adventure took the southern route across, which tends to have better weather than the more northerly, traditional ocean liner route. The only grey skies were after the ship left the Azores and was skirting the Bay of Biscay.


For her European cruise, Adventure had a mix of sun and rain. Sun in Zeebrugge, Belgium and rain in Le Harve. Whereas on the crossing, there had been many British passengers, many of whom were going home after wintering in Florida, the vast majority of passengers on this cruise were British. There were more children than on the crossing but still not many as the schools were still open.


I used to find Royal Caribbean’s success with the British public somewhat surprising. Royal provides an excellent cruise experience with nice ships, friendly service and quality choices in entertainment and dining. However, it is very much an American-style product, bold, informal and sometimes flashy. I have since come to the conclusion that this experience is successful with the British precisely because it is not British. Just going on one of the RCI ships is like going abroad, a break from the everyday routine.


The cruise was a different experience than the crossing. In Europe, the ports play a much more significant role as there is such a variety of things to see and do in the ports.


The new additions to Adventure include a giant video screen overlooking the pool, flat screen televisions in the passenger cabins, a new lounge for Diamond-level members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society loyalty program and interactive electronic signage in the public rooms telling you such things as what is happening aboard and how to get from where you are to where you want to be. The Portofino specialty restaurant has become Giovanni’s Table. These additions are only some of the features that will be added to the ship in the next few years under the line’s Royal Advantage program, which is bringing features from the Oasis class ships to the rest of the Royal Caribbean fleet.


I was pleased to see that the ship is being well-maintained. In fact, new carpeting was being installed unobtrusively as we sailed.


We have updated the Adventure of the Seas section on Beyondships. The photo tour of the ship has been updated to include the new features and expanded with more photos of the ship’s interior and open decks. There is a new menus page with menus from the main dining room and specialty restaurants. We’ve added a daily programs page with examples of the Cruise Compass from past cruises and of other informational materials distributed aboard Adventure. There is a new deck plans page. Finally, we have a new photo feature with exterior photos of Adventure in eight different ports.



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