CRUISE SHIP INTERVIEW:
Gary Davies was one of the officers who brought Adventure of the Seas into service in 2001. Since then he has worked on several other Royal Caribbean ships and at the corporate headquarters. He returned to the ship as hotel director in 2014.
“I would say the product onboard the ship is pretty much the same. There are just a few things that are slightly different. But I don't think that the vacation experience has changed that much.”
This is not to say that Adventure has remained static or failed to evolve. Indeed, as will be discussed below, the ship has recently had some significant changes and will be having more in the not too distant future. Rather, despite these physical changes, Adventure remains true to the Royal Caribbean cruise concept.
In April 2014, Adventure underwent a nine-day drydock. New electronic chart displays were installed on the bridge. The hull was sandblasted and coated with a new paint designed to allow the ship to slip through the water more easily, thus making her more fuel efficient. A problem with one of the propulsion pods was addressed and that pod given new bearings.
At the same time, several changes were made in the ship's hotel in order to enhance the guest experience. “We had Portofinos [specialty restaurant] converted into Giovanni's Table. The 19th Hole [bar was turned] into the Diamond Lounge. We added 10 cabins on Deck 3 on either side of the dining room in what were the old side dining rooms. We have pervasive WiFi throughout the ship instead of the WiFi hotspots. We have the digital signage and also the interactive screens with the maps and everything on the decks. Also, [we added] the jumbo-tron on the pool deck.”
The cabins and public areas were refreshed. “We had flat screen TVs put into all of the cabins.” New carpets and drapery were installed and “the entire pool deck was resurfaced.”
More changes are to come in 2016. Royal Caribbean is undertaking a program called the Royal Advantage in order to bring some of the features introduced on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas to the rest of the Royal Caribbean fleet. These revitalizations require taking a ship out of service for a month and so the line is gradually working its way through the fleet.
Under current plans, Adventure will add the specialty restaurants Chops Grille and Izumi. “We will also have a restaurant conversion to be determined in the nightclub. The top floor will be closed off and there will be a restaurant there. Underneath will be guest cabins.”
“We will also receive more guest cabins in the photo gallery. Deck 3 [now] has a row of cabins on the port side. We have the open photo gallery on the starboard side. We will put in cabins there and reduce the footprint of the photo gallery because we are moving away on the newer ships from having the walls with all the photos.” On Oasis and Allure, the photos are kept in carousels. On Quantum of the Seas, the photos will be stored electronically in print-on-demand kiosks “That means that you don't need all the open space for the gallery walls for the photos.”
There will also be new cabins added on Deck 12. However, all of these new cabins should not adversely affect passenger flow. “The amount of people we are introducing is still not as much as on a Freedom class ship and the Freedom class is basically the Voyager class with the same dining room capacity and I think it is 60 seats more in the Windjammer. It doesn't affect it that much. The offset is you have the extra specialty restaurants. People will go to use those as well.”
Other changes are still being discussed. Sister ship Navigator of the Seas has already undergone her Royal Advantage revitalization and the line will be studying the reaction to those changes. Also, the decision as to where to deploy the ship in the future will affect which changes are made. To illustrate, experience with Mariner of the Seas in the Asian market has resulted in the pub and the wine bar on the Royal Promenade being replaced by additional shops “because the Asian market is very, very heavily into shopping.”
Thus, the evolution of Adventure of the Seas continues.
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