One of Royal Caribbean’s Voyager Class vessels, the Adventure of the Seas first set sail in 2001, offering over 3000 cruisers the chance to explore the icy wonders of the Norwegian and Icelandic coasts, as well as the Mediterranean. Already bursting with features, including everything from a rock climbing wall and basketball court to an ice rink and state of the art spa, she’s currently undergoing an extensive refreshment, ready to hit the waves in April with a whole new look.
When I stepped aboard Adventure of the Seas in Southampton, she was in the middle of her last season before undergoing refurbishment, though you wouldn’t think it looking around her spacious and contemporary interior. Even before a makeover, she was looking pretty good for a 12-year-old ship. I was instantly wowed by the sight of the Royal Promenade – essentially a street running most of the length of the ship and linking the atrium to the Mozart Dining room. And when I say street, I mean street, as the Promenade was resplendent with shops, pubs, musicians and even a car! The Royal Promenade showcased the ship perfectly and gazing down it I could see the facilities and accommodations deck by deck and really get an appreciation of the ship’s scale.
Dining on Adventure of the Seas
Dining is a key part of cruising and that’s certainly no exception on Adventure of the Seas. To get a sense of the cruise ship buffet lifestyle, I first headed off to the bustling Windjammer Cafe. I say bustling because, when it comes to grabbing a bite, this is the first dining venue to open on the ship upon boarding, so it rapidly fills up with hungry cruisers. Spoiled for choice is a cliché but it’s the best way of summing up the cuisine on offer. No matter what your palette you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes but I opted for an eclectic mix of Indian, Chinese and Mediterranean, to get me started. That’s the beauty of the buffet!
Spacious thought he Windjammer was, it was dwarfed by the magnificent musical combo that is the Vivaldi, Strauss and Mozart dining rooms, taking up the whole of the ship’s rear and spread out over three decks. Effortlessly classy with polished wood artworks and chandeliers, these dining areas are a sight to behold offering a refined yet efficient eating experience. For a more intimate meal, the smaller Italian-themed Portofino restaurant is just the thing.
Entertainments and facilities on Adventure of the Seas
To say there’s no shortage of things to do on-board the Adventure of the Seas would be an understatement. When it comes to keeping active and having fun, you can choose to tackle the rock climbing wall, take to the golf putting green or simulator and of course, have fun in one of the pools. Considering the icy nature of some of many of the ports on her itineraries, Adventure of the Seas is the perfect vessel on which to indulge in a spot of cruise ship ice skating, boasting the studio B ice rink, where you can brush up on your skills. It’s been a long time since I ice skated, so perhaps wisely, I didn’t brave it! The great thing is, Studio B seats around 900 people so ice-themed shows are often held and a great form of evening entertainment.
Speaking of which, there’s evening activities to suit everyone. The three-level Royal Theatre is the place to take in Broadway-style shows, magicians, Illusionists or tribute acts, while a number of the ships bars, including the lofty Viking Crown offer more intimate Jazz and cabaret performances nightly. The appropriately-named Casino Royale is the place to go if you want to live out your James Bond fantasies but if you’re not exactly a Black Jack king, don’t worry, as there are classes on how to gamble available on-board, free of charge. Any of the smaller clubs are perfect for evening drinks, but the popular Schooner Bar is conveniently located close to both the casino and the ship’s nightclub, Jesters. The clue’s in the name as far as the club’s theme is concerned and once you step past the grinning court clown to enter the club, you’ll find a spacious dance floor as well as a number of secluded tables and alcoves which help to create the perfect nightclub atmosphere.
Accommodation on Adventure of the Seas
Whatever your budget, there’s accommodation to suite on-board Adventure of the Seas. Admittedly cosy, the interior staterooms nevertheless offer you more than enough space in which to relax and the perfect option if you’re on a tighter budget. Outside staterooms offer you the same space but if a view of the ocean is important to you, then they’re the ideal choice. If you’re the type of cruiser who likes to enjoy a drink and take in the air away from the crowds, then you’ll be looking for a balcony suite. Similar in size inside, the extra floor space comes in the form of your own balcony – the perfect place for a morning coffee or private nightcap under the stars. If you really want to push the boat out (sorry!) then there’s a choice of suites and deluxe staterooms available, offering everything from your own personal sitting room and concierge service, to a balcony hot-tub and a baby grand piano!
Things to look forward to on Adventure of the Seas
As I mentioned, I was on-board Adventure of the Seas shortly before her refurbishment but just some of the things you can look forward to when you book a cruise on-board her in 2014 include an outdoor movie screen located by the main pool and brand-new flat-screen TVs in every stateroom. The Cupcake Cupboard will be the perfect place to enjoy the ever-popular sweet treat, while the brand-new Giovanni’s Table Italian dining venue is sure to set taste-buds tingling.
By Simon Brotherton