Family Friendly Facilities
The Adventure of the Seas and her sister ships Voyager and Explorer are very family friendly for children over three who are potty trained. Actually, I think these ships are best suited for kids five and up, who are old enough to try some of the ship's more unique activities such as the rock climbing wall, nine-hole miniature golf course, ice skating rink, and Adventure Beach's spiral slide and three splash pools. Children must be 46 inches tall to ride the slide.
At eight years old, my daughter was the perfect age to enjoy all this ship has to offer. She and my husband climbed the rock wall a few times and found it to be challenging and a good bonding experience. We really enjoyed the ice show that was put on a few times during the cruise. The music appealed to a wide range of ages and the skaters' stunts were breathtaking. Unfortunately, we did not take advantage of the family skate sessions because we ran out of time--and because we didn't bring any long pants, which are required for ice skating.
Many facilities appeal to more of a pre-teen and teenager audience, including the in-line skating track and the basketball/volleyball court. Obviously the game and video arcade is a big hit with this age group too, offering more than 50 gaming options. Make sure you discuss monetary limits on games with your children, because they could really do damage to your final bill!
The Royal Promenade is a large, indoor pedestrian mall area with shops, a cafe, pubs, and sidewalk entertainers. The Krooze Komics entertained a number of times there after dinner, and families enjoyed some impromptu dancing with their little ones to the bands featured in the Royal Promenade.
There are a number of eating options offering food round the clock in the French-styled Cafe; Promenade. Families enjoy Johnny Rockets '50's-style hamburger eatery, where the servers dance to oldies music periodically. My daughter loved the Windjammer Caf‚, which always had kid favorites at lunch, including hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, pizza, and large cookies. The waiters in the main three-level dining room were very friendly and helpful with special orders for Alex as well as the baby.
The ship has a number of family staterooms that can accommodate five or more. These go quickly, though, so book early if you are traveling with more than four people in your stateroom. Luckily, the average stateroom on these ships is larger than on the older Royal Caribbean ships such as the Sovereign, Monarch and Majesty of the Seas.
For those with strollers, there is plenty of deck space to walk with your little one. I enjoyed taking Ethan out for a morning stroll on Deck 12's jogging track.
If your children do partake in the youth program and you find some free time to yourself, grab a chair at the solarium--my favorite spot on the ship. This tranquil pool and lounge area is attractively decorated in tiles to resemble a Venetian spa and the pool is "adults only."
The bigger the ship, the more extensive the options are. The main drawback with a ship of this size is that embarkation in San Juan was the slowest I ever experienced. Luckily, baby Ethan is a trooper, since it took us almost two hours to board the ship from the time we got off the bus at the port. There are some chairs in the terminal, but we waited about an hour outside in the heat before even getting into the terminal. Hopefully Royal Caribbean will work on this so that those with little ones are not put off by the long, hot wait.
Once we explored this huge, action-packed ship, all thoughts of long embarkation lines were quickly forgotten. They were quickly replaced with unique memories of our fun-filled, family "Adventure."
First Page: Adventure Cruising for Families