Adventure of the Seas is a Voyager-Class ship that debuted in 2001. We first sailed on this ship back in 2015. As the first Royal Caribbean ship back in service in North America, we knew we had to hop back onboard this vessel. How did she compare to updated sister ships like Navigator of the Seas or Mariner of the Seas? Find out as we review the ship with our exclusive Adventure of the Seas cruise ship scorecard review.
Adventure of the Seas Cruise Ship Scorecard Review
We expected the embarkation process to be quite different for this cruise given the circumstances over the past 15 months. First and foremost, Royal Caribbean now requires guests to adhere to assigned embarkation times.
Thankfully, we were able to snag the first boarding group at 12 pm. We arrived at the British Colonial Hilton (the check-in location) at 11:45 am and were allowed to begin the process. This included taking an antigen COVID-19 test, a requirement that was added fairly last minute for this first cruise.
We are happy to report that all parts of the check-in process went smoothly. From the testing to traditional check-in and verification of vaccination, we were on a shuttle to the ship in under an hour.
Disembarkation was even easier. With no customs to navigate, we were off the ship and in a taxi within 15 minutes. The cruise line did implement a new disembarkation process to reduce crowds. This new procedure allows cruisers to stay in their cabin until their luggage tag numbers are called.
From here, we quickly secured an elevator, scanned off the ship, and walked down the pier in Nassau to retrieve our luggage.
Unlike Navigator of the Seas or Freedom of the Seas, the Adventure of the Seas cruise ship pool deck has not been amplified. The current pool deck still includes two pools and a splash pad area for kids.
There is also no new, vibrant furniture like the casitas or love seats on the amplified ships. We admit that we did miss the decor of the Caribbean-inspired pool deck on these refurbished ships.
Further, adults still have access to the Solarium which includes a pool and two large whirlpools. All of the facilities were functional and clean, just a bit dated.
For a seven-day cruise sailing at less than 30% capacity, there was never an issue getting lounge chairs or space in the pool regardless of the time of day. So, we were happy about that.
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One area that has been updated on Adventure of the Seas is the sports deck. When compared to our sailing back in 2015, this area looks brand new.
Among the updates are a pair of waterslides known as the Perfect Storm. There is also a brand new, two-story mini-golf course on the ship. These replaced the old inline skating track that used to be on this outdoor deck.
There is also a signature FlowRider surf simulator on the sports deck. For our cruise, it was only open for boogie boarding and advanced surfing. Of course, there is a sports court as well that offers pick up activities like basketball or soccer.
Finally, the sports deck also features a rock climbing wall, which was open for limited hours during the sailing.
This sports deck on Adventure of the Seas is certainly comparable to other ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet.
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During our trip on Adventure of the Seas, the service on the ship was superb. At some points, we weren’t sure who was more excited to be sailing again, us or the crew.
From Beny and the other crew at the Cafe Promenade to our very attentive waitress Ruby in the main dining room, the service was some of the best we have had on a cruise ship in a while. This was extra impressive given the new health and safety protocols in place on the ship.
Throughout the ship, the staff was helpful and informative. There was ample staff at all venues. So, even when places like the Schooner Bar got busy, service was prompt with little wait times.
Additionally, there were plenty of cheerful staff in the Windjammer to serve food to guests and to clear plates.
No matter where we were on the ship, the service exceeded our expectations. We could tell that the staff were happy to be back.
Given the new health and safety protocols, there were limited organized activities during the day. Of course, the pools were open and all of the sports areas were available for select hours each day. Honestly, we saw few people using the waterslides or mini-golf during our trip.
Our cruise included four ports of call, so there were only two sea days. Besides, the weather did not want to cooperate with us either.
Most of the daytime activities consisted of trivia or scavenger hunts. All of the books were removed from the library and all of the games were gone from the Card Room.
It was obvious that the cruise line wanted to limit crowds forming. So, there was no belly flop contest, or dance parties, or sail away celebrations. This was fine with us as we took advantage of the extra space and made our own fun, as did the rest of the cruisers.
Main Dining Room
For this cruise, we did My Time Dining. The traditional early dining time was too early even for us. Before the cruise, we made our dining reservations for 6:45 pm every night. We were lucky enough to secure the same table with the same waitstaff each night. So, it was pretty much just like having traditional dining.
Our waitstaff of Ruby and Diskson were excellent. They were quick to take our drink and food orders, and the pacing of the entire experience was on par with other cruises.
The main dining room menu offered the same 7-night rotational menu that Royal Caribbean cruisers know all too well. However, we were a bit disappointed in the food quality overall, as some of our favorite dishes fell short of our expectations. Some shining exceptions were the beef tenderloin and the lamb shank.
Adventure of the Seas offers 4 specialty restaurants. These include the line’s signature steakhouse Chops Grille and the Italian Giovanni’s Kitchen.
We dined at Chops Grille during one night of our cruise, and it was one of our better experiences at this specialty venue. The entrees and desserts were excellent, served hot and well-prepared. The side dishes were a bit hit or miss though.
Adventure of the Seas is also home to the cruiser favorite Izumi. This restaurant is located on the Royal Promenade and offers an a la carte menu of sushi and Asian cuisine. There is also a pre-fixe menu option as well.
This ship is also home to the hamburger joint, Johnny Rockets. This venue was open from late afternoon until about 10 pm serving up all the classic favorites with a smile.
The busiest specialty restaurants were hands down Chops Grille and Izumi. So, if you have your heart set on dining at these venues during your Adventure of the Seas cruise, be sure to make your reservations pre-cruise.
Casual dining on Adventure of the Seas is a bit limited. Unlike some of the mega ships that offer several venues for a quick bite, Adventure of the Seas only offers two.
On the Royal Promenade, there is the Cafe Promenade. Open from 6 am to 10:30 am with breakfast pastries and sandwiches, this is the ideal stop for a coffee and a quick bite before an early port of call. From 11:30 am to 3:00 am, you can find pre-made sandwiches, sweet treats, and pizza. Once the main dining room closes, this is the only venue for late night snacks.
Of course, there is also the Windjammer buffet. Yes, there is still a cruise ship buffet! The only real difference is that it is no longer self-service. There are friendly crew members to serve your food selections instead.
For our cruise, it was only open for breakfast and lunch. We are not big fans of this venue in general, but the food variety seemed similar to other experiences on Royal Caribbean ships.
We hope when the ship goes to dry dock later this year, it receives some additional casual spots, perhaps an El Loco Fresh on the pool deck or a Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade.
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Like many Royal Caribbean cruise ships, there was plenty of live music throughout the ship. The Schooner Bar featured a piano player. There was also an acoustic guitar performer who was mostly in the Pub. A live band played regularly in the Imperial Lounge as well. There was even still a DJ for late night dancing.
Honestly though, there was not much else to do at night on Adventure of the Seas. Unfortunately, there were no parades or parties, like the 70’s Disco Party or the Midnight Balloon drop, during the cruise.
There were no adult game shows either, like the Crazy Quest or the Love and Marriage show. So, most evenings, we rotated between venues listening to some of the musical acts while conversing with friends.
We did miss some of these nighttime activities, but we found other ways to spend our evenings and make use of our Diamond drink vouchers!
There were 5 main theater performances and one ice show throughout the course of the week. Cruisers could make reservations for these shows on the Royal app once onboard the ship. While we had an issue early in the day, by dinner time on embarkation day, the app allowed us to book all of the shows.
There were several showtimes for all performances. For instance, the ice show occurred on 4 days, with a total of 6 showings. Honestly, this was the best of the performances, so make sure to reserve it once you are onboard the ship.
Interestingly, most of the main theater entertainment were headliners. There was only one production show, Invitation to Dance, which is a pretty dated show to say the least. The other performances included a comedic juggler, a singer, a comedian, and a musical act.
The shows were not well attended on our sailing at all. So, you could easily show up with 10 minutes to spare and still find a seat in the socially distanced theater.
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Bars and Lounges
Thankfully, Adventure of the Seas features all of the the bars and lounges Royal cruisers love. The ship is also the first in the fleet to roll out the new Royal Caribbean drink menus. This new cocktail list certainly elevates the previous drink options. Some of our favorites included the Strawberry Blonde and the Passion Spritz.
The Schooner Bar is the ship’s martini bar and is home to our favorite signature drinks, the Lavender Daiquiri and Sidecar. Adventure of the Seas also features Boleros with a more Latin-inspired, rum-based cocktail list and the English Pub.
Other bars included the Champagne Bar and the Imperial Lounge serving the new standard menu. The outdoor bars also received a new menu, which is different than the Lime and Coconut bar menu found on amplified ships.
We give the new drink menus two thumbs up!
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Our stateroom on the Adventure of the Seas cruise ship was slightly updated. It did feature the new color motif found on most amplified ships, but otherwise, it appeared a bit dated.
Our deck 7 balcony room, 7232, was considered forward. Ideally situated, it was only a few steps away from the elevator. This made it ideal for getting back to our room in the evenings.
The balcony stateroom provided the familiar layout. One thing that still needs updating is the location and availability of outlets. There were no added USB outlets near the bed.
The bathroom included the expected, small layout with a cylinder shower.
Our balcony was actually a good size, but it felt a bit closed off. We welcomed the extra space and privacy though. Having the balcony came in handy during the afternoons to do some work.
Our first cruise back on Adventure of the Seas was sailing at less than 30% capacity. So, needless to say, there were no crowds. The only occasional lines were at the coffee shop.
Even the Guest Services area often had no line or a very short one. That almost never happens on a cruise! With the new social distancing markers and additional assistance of the “six-foot squad”, the cruise line was able to manage crowds before they formed.
Some bars and lounges did get crowded at times, but everyone mostly followed the new socially distanced seating patterns. The Duck and Dog Pub was probably the most popular hangout.
Overall, we felt completely safe, and believe the cruise line did a marvelous job with regard to the health and safety protocols.
Overall Adventure of the Seas Cruise Ship Scorecard Review
For the first cruise back in North America, Adventure of the Seas offered cruisers a typical Royal Caribbean experience. While we didn’t know what to expect with the new protocols in place, this cruise felt like almost any other sailing with the brand. This is quite an accomplishment!
With an amazing staff, plenty of space, and most of the elements of a Royal Caribbean cruise that you know and love, we feel like this Royal Caribbean cruise restart was a smashing success.
We look forward to future sailings on other Royal Caribbean ships to see if they deliver the same Royal Wow.
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