Since I enjoy readings everyone else's reviews I felt I had to give you mine.
Embarkation We sailed on the Sunday, May 25th, sailing of the Adventure of the Seas out of San Juan. We booked our own airfare from New York to San Juan. The price we would have paid for one person through the cruise line we paid for two people on a direct nonstop flight. Getting into San Juan at 11 am we collected our bags and took a $16 cab ride to the Pan American pier. Embarkation wasn't too bad. (If you want liquor to take home, the pier was the place to buy it.) After giving our bags to the porters we were directed to sit in an air conditioned room. At about noon they started checking people in by row. Since we had filled out all of our paperwork via the internet we were directed to a speedier check in line. By 1 pm we had checked out our room and were roaming the ship. Unfortunately since the ship is at the Pan American pier, and not the pier by Old San Juan, wewould have had to taken a taxi to visit any of San Juan. But we were content to just check out the ship. A pleasant surprise when we checked in was that we were upgraded from a Cat. DB to D9, up three decks. Unfortunately our luggage had the old room number on it so it took some phone calls to get our bags.
5 Ports in 5 Days Our first day (Monday) we docked at St. Thomas, a shopping paradise. Through the cruise line we booked a tour of Coral World and the Island. Coral World is an OK aquarium, you could keep yourself busy for the hour and a half you stopped there. Overall the tour was approx. 3 hrs and then they dropped you off in town if you wanted. We shopped for several hours and then headed back to the ship.
The next day (Tuesday) was St. Maarten. Again we took a cruise line tour of the Island. We stopped in Marigot for 45 minutes, waste of time. Again the bus drops you off in town if you want. We shopped Front St. for several hours and then headed back to the ship via the water taxi.
Wednesday was Antigua. We didn't book any tour and just went into town for a while to shop.
Thursday was St. Lucia. We booked an Island tour through mytravel.com (Best of the Caribbean). It ended up to be the same tour as passengers of the ship booked but $8 less per person. The tour guide Samantha was the best. She talked the whole time telling us about the Island, the schools, holidays, and history. She even taught us some Creole words. The Island and beaches are beautiful.
Friday was Barbados. (Which I thought was the most beautiful Island.) Again we booked a tour through mytravel.com. This one wasn't as good as the one on St. Lucia. 10 of us were cramped into a 10 passenger van. The driver barely spoke and if you wanted to learn anything you had to ask a question. One stop was Harrison's Caves for a 30 minute electric vehicle tour. If you've been to any of the caverns in the US like Howe Caverns in NY or Luray Caverns in VA don't waste your time on this tour. Another stop was a plantation. It must have been the first day for the tour guide because we constantly had to ask her to speak up and then she would start speaking before everyone got into the room. I don't recommend this tour. And again we ended our day doing a little shopping before heading to the ship.
The Ship The ship is beautiful and big. We particularly liked the promenade. It felt just like a street with shops and restaurants. The only shopping we did was for some souvenirs with the Royal Caribbean logo. Our room was nice. We booked a balcony, because once you do you never go without. I particularly liked the layout of the bathroom, nice shower. Every night I would sit out on the balcony and read, now that's relaxing. We lost our money in the casino. I found the slot machines very tight and would gamble on the islands to win some money to make up for my losses on ship. Also the casino was very cramped, narrow aisles between the slot machines and between the tables.
Art Auction My husband got hooked on the art auction. We collect animation art (cartoons) and they had a nice selection. Unlike other art auctions on ships that we've been on the prices were reasonable and hardly anything went more than the asking price. Where else can you get free champagne every night.
The Food Food was OK (you'll never go hungry), but I expected better. I liked Carnival's food better. Lunch choices in the Windjammer (buffet) were pretty much the same every day. The pizza was horrible. And the frozen yogurt tasted like ice milk. Dinner was OK but there was a night that nothing appealed to us (usually when we cruise there's several items I want to try). There was only one midnight buffet, which I didn't see, because the lines were too long. So in other words, the food didn't impress me. The time to drink was during 5 pm through 8:30 pm when in certain bars particular drinks were reduced. My favorite was daiquiris in the Lobby Bar.
The Service Service was good throughout the ship. Everyone said hello and had a smile on their face. Our dining room waiter was very accommodating if we wanted to try something else. (One thing about seconds in the dining room. If you wanted to try something else they brought out a whole dinner for the one item. So when I wanted an extra lobster tail they brought out another whole dinner. What a waste. It's hard to imagine that they wouldn't have extras of the items people would ask for.)
The Shows The staff shows were OK. I've seen better on Carnival cruise lines and Las Vegas. Sometimes when they rearranged the music of some songs for their show they ruined the song. The shows that were very good were Beatlemania and the ice show. One afternoon we took in the matinee movie in the conference center. Nice room, comfy chairs, big screen, but really poor quality movie tape. You would think they would use DVDs.
Disembarkation You had to be out of your room by 8 am and into one of the public areas. Since our flight was at noon we were off the ship by 9 am, picked up our bags, through customs, and in a cab back to the airport by 9:15.
Overall We had a good time and had plenty to do. But the food and entertainment didn't knock our socks off. Another thing I would not recommend buying is the passport to savings book for $20 (hawked by the shopping experts on the cruise line). It's touted to save you lots of money. Other than the free canvas bag we got it wasn't worth the money. Either the stores didn't have the free gemstones with the coupon or they looked to be worthless. So unless you could use $50 coupon off a $500 purchase save your $20. At this point we're experiencing different cruise lines to find one we really like. So we'll keep looking.
Upon arrival in our Limo at JFK, we had curbside AA check in, so the bags were not weighed and we were inside the terminal and thru the screening in less than 10 minutes. The flight was unexciting, but we did get a decent breakfast and the seats were roomy. We landed OnTime and thanks to the help of many, knew to go to the booth for the pricing for the cab. For 4 of us the total, with lots of bags, was $24. We got a porter and was in the cab within 10 minutes of getting off the plane. The RCI transfers were still gathering when we had left and did not make it to the pier for at least another 20-30 minutes. This gave us an advantage and we went into the terminal at the pier and got seated. Within 15 minutes after we arrived the inside was filled and the rest of the passengers had to wait outside on line in the heat. There was a considerable wait to board because the last route also has immigration along with the customs check. But we wereon the ship by 1PM and our rooms were ready.
At first sighting this ship is very impressive and as time goes on, her beauty becomes more prominent. We then went up to the Windjammer for the lunch buffet, it was sumptuous. There was plenty of seating. Then we were off to explore the ship. We had already been on the Radiance and was impressed with that, but this ship is something else indeed, what an incredible ship. It is a beauty to behold inside and out. We tried to find every nook and cranny, but I am sure there were some that even after a week we did not find. I am in love with the promenade with it's little cafes. We found it relaxing after a tour to sit and have drinks or a snack.
We had a TR cabin which overlooked the promenade and it was lovely and roomier than I thought it would be and noise and light were never a problem. I had already seen pictures from travel site, so knew pretty much what to expect. Our friends had a balcony cabin on the bump and it was very spacious. We then went to meet our CC pals at the pool bar and had fun introducing ourselves. 2 other couples from CC were also our tablemates and we had talked before so we were bonded fairly well. It is always nice to know the people you are going to spend dining with for an entire week.
Dinner the first night was wonderful, (as were the food the rest of the week) and so were our servers, which set the tone for the entire week. We were at table 529 on the 5th floor, right by the piano landing, so the music added ambiance to our lovely table. I was very pleased with all the food and our servers made every effort to anticipate our individual needs, no matter how demanding. They went out of their way to correct whatever anyone was not pleased with, and for that I give them credit.One of the couples at our table was constantly sending things back, and in my opion were overly critical, so they made the staff work really hard.
I loved all of the shows and was wowed by the ice show, such precision skating on such a small surface. And the same goes for the production shows. I am used to Broadway in NYC with expansive stages. It is hard to believe they all perform so well on a moving stage that is smaller than most.The show the last night was wonderful with the song :"Proud to be an American "and then" Imagine" by John Lennon which brings tears to my eyes. The both songs to me represent the fact that the world can be one if we tried and yet it is still wonderful to be proud of out heritage's, which are diverse. The ship houses many nationalities which work in unison.
The day at sea was relaxing and we did more ship exploring and played mini golf, a real adventure when the ship is rolling back and forth. The pools were full, but there was room for all. The ship was full as Party Lite had 1500 winners also onboard. There are 6 hot tubs and three pools and plenty of deck space if you wanted to lie in the sun (as I am fair, I do that as little as possible and even with my 50 SPF applied frequently, I still got a little pink).We made a visit to Johnny Rockets of course, as we have one here on LI and I love them. Later in the day we had the official CC party and we all had a good time. The cruse director Kirk spent a considerable amount of time talking to us and when we saw him on the ship anytime on the ship he stopped to say hello. He is a very nice man and was very entertaining.
The islands were nice and on Aruba we did the DePalm Jeep safari/snorkeling tour, which we affectionately refer to as shake and bake. The tour involved an off road jeep caravan with the tourguide in his own lead car and the rest driven by the tourists, which is a scary thought! Imagine 6 cars with crazy drivers (driving a stick shift) following each other in the dunes and dust without running into one another or hitting anything. It was dusty, and we got shook all over the place, and baked in the hot sun and came back with dirt in places we did not even know existed, even after swimming. We saw the old chapel, the gold mine ruins and the caves and the natural bridges. Then we went to DePalm Island where we were served a lovely buffet lunch and drinks. Then you did one of the following, snorkeled, swam, helmet dived or scuba dived or just laid on the beach. I booked it on my own online and saved $25 per person over the ship price. We had a great day, and this tour was the highlight of our trip. In the evening we had dinner in Carlos and Charlie's, a real party place, and we loved it. I must say that while we had fun that day, I do not think I would go back to Aruba again as we had seen all there was to see and aside from the beaches, many of which are manmade, and the casinos, there is not much to do for more than a day. The island is extremely windy, so do not even think about a hairdo, and when wearing at hat, make sure you hold on or it will fly away.
Our next stop was Curacao. We were so zonked from the day before, we took a tour in the afternoon on the trolley. This is a lovely Island and the city is very pretty, the beaches lovely: I would go back someday. Next stop was St. Martin. We did the butterfly farm tour which was fun. And then we had a tour of the rest of the island and some shopping on the French side, which was included in the price of the tour. Also another island I would enjoy seeing again.
Next was St. Thomas and we did the St., John tour. The beaches there are spectacular. We also stopped to visit a friend on St. Thomas who is from NYC and has a pizzeria near the pier, Pizza Amore. He makes real NY pizza. He also told us which shops were good and we found some lovely things, I had a hand painted t shirt which was done in the little mall his shop is in. I like unusual souvenirs, and this was just lovely and it also comes in all sizes, not just small ones. My husband and our friend Jim retired the day before the cruise and believe me, if it were not for our families, we would all consider retiring to St. Thomas.
It had a wonderful time on this ship and have only one or two small gripes, which did NOT ruin my trip as it was an incredible experience. The first is that The Quest was scheduled at 10:15 and those of us at late seating could not get there in time to be in the contest. And right after it another show was scheduled, so Kirk had to fly thru it and then run off to another theater. It was still fun nonetheless, as usual something not to be missed.
The second is the fact that Partylite had such a presence on the ship, that even the jokes were geared to them. The last show which was for both seatings was scheduled right after they had some sort of event in the main theater and so they just remained in their seats, so the good seats were all gone and if you were with other people you all had to get single seats as the only other ones were behind poles or other spots which you could not see from easily. The lounges and bars were also taken over by this group many nights, so others sought refuge in other spots in the ship (which were of course plentiful). Of course that is not their fault, because as individuals they were all nice people, but in a group they had a group mentality some of the time, and took over things. Of course when I booked this date I was aware of the fact that a group was on the ship, so could have taken a different date, so the choice was always mine. But I will not make that mistake again. All in all I would say that this was one of the most fun and memorable trips I have taken in my life and I have made great friends and love this ship and plan to go back.
My boyfriend, John and I, had this cruise booked for 10 months. I can't believe the trip is now over and I'm writing a review! How time flys! We went with 20 other people, mostly couples..Berna, Max, Mike, Tish, Joanne, Dan, Pat, Doreen, George, Sandy, Rachel, Jane, Mike, Ann, Tammy, Kevin, Michelle, Freddy, Joe and Andrea. This was a first time cruise for both of us. Others in our group had been on cruises before, which was helpful to us when planning our time. I had done a lot of research and reading of other people's reviews also, so I figure I can only return the favor. Hopefully, it will be helpful to those of you who are planning to go on this spectacular ship!
Sunday, March 17, 2002 St. Patrick's Day
6:30am - Left for Logan airport. We flew on American Airlines. The airport was packed when we arrived. There were two lines; one for check in and one for security, both about the same length.long!! It went fairly quickly because they would keep moving you up if your flight time was getting near. by the time we checked our luggage,there was no line for security. I did get pulled aside for a random check. I had to take off my shoes and some sort of paper test was done to check for explosive residue on my bag and sneakers. It didn't take very long though.
9:30am - boarded airplane..we had the emergency exit.lots of leg room. Everyone commented on all of our festive gear.we were all dressed in St. Patrick's Day stuff. Many of us started drinking to celebrate the kick-off of our big vacation. It was a big party flight down.
1:30pm - landed in San Juan (they are an hour ahead of EST, so it was really 2:30). We had to retrieve our own luggage. This is a change since the September 11th events. The airlines don't want Royal Caribbean handling the luggage directly from the airport. We met up with the Royal Caribbean representative and waited in a designated area for about 20-30 minutes for a truck to arrive to transport our luggage to the ship. We then boarded a bus that brought us to the ship's pier. When we got off the bus, we were escorted into a room with a lot of chairs. We sat there until we were called to go to the window to receive our supercharge card. This did not take long at all. There was a duty free liquor store right there offering free shots. So, of course we did two before boarding the ship. We were on the ship by 3:30pm.
My first reaction to the size of the ship was "OH MY GOD, IT'S SO MASSIVE! We walked up the ramps to enter and just before you do, there is a photographer there ready to take your "Welcome Aboard" picture.
There will be many photo opportunities during the week. They display all the photos on Deck 3 in the Photo Gallery. My advice is, get the picture taken! There is no obligation to buy it! I didn't even think about the price of them, this was our big vacation and I wanted the memories to cherish! I do have to say that they should get rid of the fake backgrounds they use for some pictures. I would much rather have my picture taken with the real ship in the background rather than a fake one or some painted canvas!!!
We had a Promenade Stateroom on Deck 7, Room 7305, near The Library. The Library had big comfy leather chairs and lots of books you could borrow. I don't know when you would have time to read though!! Our stateroom had a large bowed window that overlooked The Promenade, which was a whole deck long with bars and shops that reminded me of a mall. I remember that everyday I woke up, I had no idea what day or time it was, if it was dark, light, or raining out!! That was a strange feeling to deal with. Once you got on the elevator though, you knew what day it was. Just look down and the day was displayed on the floor!! Our stateroom attendant was Castro. He left cool towel animals every night.stingray, lobster, bunny, shark. We didn't meet him until late the second day though.Some of the staff: Captain - Johnny Faevelen Staff Captain - Trym Selvaag Cruise Director - Kirk Detweiler Executive Chef - David Southby Chief Purser - Terry Balfour Food & Beverage Manager - Michael Rasmussen
Everyday, a Compass was left for you in your room. It listed the days tips, events, weather, sunrise and sunset, bar service hours and service open hours, pretty much everything going on for that day. Be sure to pay attention.there are days where specials are going on in the shops, etc. that you might want to take advantage of. If you shop on the ship at the end of the week, I hear the prices are lower. I wouldn't know, because I just shopped whenever I wanted!
We immediately went to a bar..the Gravity Sports bar, Deck 5, located along The Promenade.then to the Lobby Bar. Here we bumped into another couple that was with us but had flown up a day earlier. They were allowed to get on the ship around noon. They booked their trip a lot later than everyone else and were put at a different dinner seating. They went to see if they could change it and be with all of us and it was done with no problem whatsoever.
6:00pm - Bon Voyage Dinner. The dining room was amazing! Three levels with a beautiful, very large chandelier. We were near the windows, which allowed us a spectacular view. They would raise and lower the shades depending on what the sun was doing. We had the main dinner seating at 6:00pm. We were in the Strauss dining room, table 413. We had three tables, all right next to each other. The first night, John and I had a romantic dinner for two at a table for eight!! The rest of our table decided to skip the dining room dinner the first night. Our waiter, Sedat, was from Turkey, the Asst. Waiter, Harish and the bartender, Isaac, both were from India. I had the Shrimp Ravioli, which was very good and after dinner they bring around the "Shot of the Night". We did these almost every night You could keep the shot glasses. I think I have a collection of about 15
7:45pm Welcome Aboard Show - The Adventure Begins - The Lyric Theatre. This is a two deck high theatre.really unbelievable. 10:00pm-11:30pm Sailaway Party , Calypso Music with Rhythm Section - Poolside 10:45pm-11:15pm Jimmy Buffett Margarita Party, Vocalist Derek Lewis - Duck & Dog. This is an English style pub that serves Guinness. This was a lot of fun, lots of singing, dancing and a conga line! 11:15pm World of Adventure Parade - Promenade - Lots of stilt people and dancers.
Monday, March 18, 2002 AT SEA - partly cloudy 85, sunrise 6:39am, sunset 6:44pm
We had breakfast in the Windjammer, Deck 11. Everyday for lunch and dinner the Windjammer had a huge buffet. You should be able to find something you like to eat here.
10:30am Muster Drill - Mandatory.grab your lifejacket and go to your designated Muster station. You basically just show up and wait around for them to let you go. This was a pain, but I guess you need to know what to do in case there was an emergency.
We spent the day at the pool with the Calypso Music w/ the Rhythm Section. I believe Strawberry Coladas were the frozen drink of the day. YUMMY! They came in cool Royal Caribbean glasses that you could keep.
1:00pm John entered the "Mr. Sexy Legs contest". He dropped his drawers (he kept his undies on, thank god)! They had six categories, Mr. Hairiest, Hairless, Athletic, Chicken, Whitest, and Sexiest legs. Needless to say he didn't win.
We had lunch at Johnny Rockets.the burgers were very good!
I did manage to use the ShipShape Fitness Center for a half an hour the whole week. The have a lot of machines and I suggest using it, just to say you did.
Already, I was ready for a nap. It was the only one I would get all week!!
We went to the Duck & Dog and Schooner Bar before dinner. The Schooner Bar usually had a guy playing the piano and it was never really crowded. There are a lot of cozy leather seats with a boat motif. We used this a lot as a meeting place.
6:00pm - Captain's Gala Dinner. Tonight's dinner was formal. We had a group picture taken of all 22 of us! If you have a large group, you need to make an appointment to have your picture done. They really weren't prepared for a group of our size. I had the Filet mignon and the "Shot of the Night" a French Kiss.
9:00pm Can't Stop the Rock Production Show - The Lyric Theatre - dancing and singing 10:00pm Karaoke - Imperial Lounge - Chinese type looking theatre with a dance floor/stage, lots of comfy chairs. You received a Royal Caribbean key chain for participating. Mike, Michelle, Joanne, Berna, and I all sang. 12:15am Late Night Comedy Show with Max Dolcelli - The Lyric Theatre - He made lots of ship jokes, toilet flushing, etc. I thought he was pretty funny.
Jesters Nightclub is open late and we spent most nights there! It has a small dance floor, but there are plenty of places to sit and you can request music.
Tonight and last night stopped at the Cafe Promenade Bar. It was a lifesaver for that late night snack you need after drinking a lot. It's on Deck 5.
Tuesday, March 19, 2002 ARUBA - sunny & windy 86, sunrise 6:40am, sunset 6:41pm
Woke up around 8-8:30, got off the ship. Again, the photographers are ready to take your picture in front of a life preserver with Aruba adorned across the front of it. It was VERY WINDY and raining a bit little (I had heard it NEVER rains here!). We wanted to rent a Harley for the day. We walked all the way to Big Twin on Smith Blvd., which was about a 10-15 minute walk from the ship. Unfortunately, they were sold out. I didn't find them very helpful, but the people that were in all the shops right as you got off the ship were. They told us a place where we could go to rent a jeep since we weren't prepared. We got a taxi to the airport to rent a jeep. We drove to the Natural Bridge and four wheeled around the desert. It was totally awesome! I thought we were going to get killed, but we made it. Even though it was raining, the Natural Bridge and the water were beautiful. We drove by the Bushiribana ruins, the Alto Vista Chapel (there were a ton of stray dogs around). Then we went for a ride by the High Rise Hotels. We ate at Iguana Joe's in Oranjestad. Did a little shopping and then brought the jeep back to the airport. Renting the jeep worked out for the best because it did rain off and on all day.
We didn't go to dinner (Caribbean Colors) this night because of our planned excursion for the night.We did the KuKu Kunuku Party Bus. To find out more - http://www.arubaadventures.com/kukookunuku/. It is a hand painted...one of a kind...1957 Chevy Bus that sat about 40 people. You shook your provided maracas as they played very loud dance music and taught you dances. First, they bring you to Arashi Beach overlooking the lighthouse and golf course for a champagne toast and some rules, guidelines and sales pitches (you can buy t-shirts, leis and CDs). Then we went to the Silvia Lee Residence for dinner. We received a flyer that stated that Mr. Atan Lee has been working with the government for thirty years, and has for the last sixteen years held the position of Chief Protocol for Aruba. He is the organizer of many social events, franchise holder for the Miss Universe pageant and organizer of Miss Aruba pageant. Mrs. Lee has been an employee at the ABN Amro Bank for 37 years, and is currently working in the human resources department.
The backyard was set up with tables and tiki torches. Dinner was fantastic! Steak and chicken with rice and salad. The drink special for the night was "Sex on the Bus". Very yummy and only $2.00 at the house. I talked to the owner and asked him why he invites strangers in his house? He said, it started off as a joke at first and then progressed from there. He does it every night except for Sunday! We then went to three local bars.
We got a pass for each bar that allowed us to have the first drink for free. The first bar was the Laguna Bar. It was basically a deck with no railings! You could easily fall in the water. We were allowed to dance on the bar! At the next bar (don't remember the name of it) we were taught the Bacardi Dance.we will sing Bacardi, yellow, limon, Coca-Cola for months to come! Our bus driver, Hyme, was a cutie! Raymond, the other bus driver, was a very large man! We were all dancing and having a blast! Lastly we went to Carlos & Charlie's which is an island favorite. It was very crowded! Don't know how we got ourselves in. They were having a "best butt" contest on stage. One of the guys was from our ship!! It was pretty funny! We were standing on the chairs and tables in the back watching, yelling and cheering!
We went to the Beach Party poolside when we returned to the ship.
Aruba wasn't as nice as I had expected after hearing so many good things about it. I didn't think there was much there. I guess if you are staying at the high rises or a resort it's different.
Wednesday, March 20, 2002 CURACAO - partly sunny 85, sunrise 6:40am, sunset 6:47pm
It was very windy here also!! We rented a Harley! Yay! We had to take a taxi to where they rented it. It was a complete beater but it was a Harley. And the helmets were disgusting. We dealt with them though. We drove all the way to one side of the island called Wespunt. Very scenic.mountains, beaches, cliffs. The Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge was very neat. We got to see it in action as one of the other cruise ships was leaving port. The Queen Juliana Bridge is very high and steep coming down it on a motorcycle!
Curacao had a nice little port where there were lots of cart vendors selling things. We had henna tattoos done since we had some time to kill before getting back on the ship. We got on and watched the ship pull away from port. Make sure to watch the ship pull away from port as much as you can.it's neat! I never got up early enough to see us pull into port.I hear that too is neat.
6:00pm Venetian Feast Dinner
That night was the comedy show with Two Funny Guys, Mario & Daniel with special guest Franz Lery in The Lyric Theatre. Franz Lery would use a big chair type trampoline to bounce all over the place! Then he balanced himself on several buckets, it was quite amazing. I thought for sure that he was going to fall and kill himelf. Mario & Daniel were very funny! At one point, someone came in late and they were like, "oh great, we have to start all over again". They rehashed 20 minutes of the show in 2 minutes! Then we went to Rock Trivia through the Decades in the Imperial Lounge.it was all real old trivia. I didn't enjoy that.
Off to Jesters nightclub.
Thursday, March 21, 2002 AT SEA - partly sunny 85, sunrise 6;33am, sunset 6:40pm
Up at 8:30am. I had ordered room service for breakfast. Then we went to the pool for the day. John stayed in bed for a while longer. He was hurting! I believe the drink today was Strawberry Colada with Mango. I think they called it the Love Connection. They came in these heavy, v-shaped glasses you could keep.
Today, there were pool games being held. Berna and I entered. We were on a team of 6. We had to put a wet t-shirt on and swim to the other side of the pool and back and then take the shirt off and pass it to the next person. Our team won!! We won a waterproof money holder case.
Make sure to experience the jacuzzi. It was very relaxing and warm. The pools are also salt water pools. They were their own wave pools too.the ship's movement caused lots of rolling waves.
Then there was the belly flop contest. You definitely have to catch this!
Then they had the horse race. Pat had bought a horse for $425 in an auction they had held on Monday. If it won, he stood a chance to win $3000, which was the total of all the money collected in the auction. Joanne was the jockette that presented the horse, Champ (he was dressed in Patriot gear), and moved it along the course. She was horse number 4, if they rolled the dice and a 4 came up, you got to move. The only hitch was you needed a double or a triple four to win. We were one space to from the finish line.waiting for a double or triple and I swear a single four came up about three times in a row! Finally, a double four and Champ won!! Woo hoo!
We never ventured into the Solarium, the adult swimming pool, there was so much more entertainment going on in the main area.
6:00pm Chef's Dinner - This was the 2nd formal dinner. John and I had a picture taken of the two of us in front of the big hanging ice-crystally looking piece by the stairs. That night was the lobster tail dinner! YUMMY! I wish I had gotten two. It was absolutely delicious.
We all met in the Viking Crown Lounge on Deck 14, which overlooked the pool area with huge ceiling to floor windows, after dinner to have a celebration for the horserace win! We went through about three bottles of champagne. A little incident happened, while Pat was giving a toast, he swore. I guess one of the customers pulled him aside and asked him to watch his language. It was brought to the supervisor's attention and we received a complimentary round of champagne and Pat got a $200 credit on his card! There weren't any children around, nor were there many people in there at that time. I don't know why this person had such a problem. Also, at least check out the Chapel, which is accessible through this lounge.
10:15pm We moved on to the Imperial Lounge for the Adventure Quest Game Show. Examples of items needed, two unworn bras, a man with lipstick on, a man dressed in woman's shoes. You had to run up to the MC with your team number and the item. They called for two pairs of unworn pants. None of the men on our team budged.Joanne didn't hesitate and whipped hers off. I had a thong on..I wasn't going to do it!! Well, I ended up doing it.I ran up there in my thong and a shirt!!!! I hope no one got pictures of that!! In the end John had to have lipstick on, a bra, women's shoes and a purse. There were about 20 men prancing their stuff around in woman's clothing! That was hysterical! It's all about having fun!!!!!
10:45pm-12:15am Karaoke Blow Out - Imperial Lounge. Joanne, Mike and I sang.
Then we went to Jesters to dance. Went to bed at 2:45!!
Friday, March 22, 2002 ST. MAARTEN - partly sunny 83, sunrise 6:15am, sunset 6:24pm
Berna, Max and I shopped in the morning. I bought a tanzanite ring and bracelet, two pairs of gold earrings for gifts, and a watch. You had to haggle and bargain. I didn't think I was too good at this, but I had the tanzanite ring and bracelet appraised when I got home. They were worth twice what I paid!
We were booked on the Shipwreck Snorkeling Excursion. A boat took us out to this area where there was a shipwreck. The water was not that clear, so I didn't see any of that. But I saw lots of fish! I saw a big one called a permit. I thought it was shark at first! They gave you food to feed to the fish. The permit ate right out of my hand! After that we could jump off the top of the boat into the water and swim for a while. They then took us on a sea tour of the island. Many people said the snorkeling wasn't that good, but this was my first time ever and I thought it was awesome! It is such a pretty place.we would definitely go back. So far, St. Maarten was my favorite island. I wasn't feeling so good on the boat for some reason.I laid down and just sat there for most of the trip. I just wanted to go back to the ship.
We had a drink at Fat Tuesday's, which was right at the Port of Call, before getting on the boat. I had a BBC.Bailey's, Banana and something.very yummy!
John and I decided to skip the main dinner. It was a good night to miss.everyone said it wasn't the best selection that night. We watched the ship leave port and the sun set. We ate at the Windjammer. After dinner, we toured the boat a little and played miniature golf, where John beat me!
The Platters starring Herb Reed were playing that night in the Lyric Theatre, but I had no interest in that. We went to the "Cool Art Hot Ice Show" at 10:30 in Studio B. It was incredible. They had people flying through the air! It was pretty incredible since the ice rink itself is pretty small.
For some reason the movement of the ship bothered me today after being out on the snorkeling boat. This was the first time all week. Very strange! You can feel the ship move if you concentrate on it, but for the most part you never feel it. If you are prone to getting seasick.definitely take something like Bonine.
Saturday, March 23, 2002 ST. THOMAS - partly sunny 83, sunrise 6:21am, sunset 6:31pm
Everyone had to go through Immigration between 7am-9am. This was kind of a pain. The line was incredibly long..all the way down the promenade!! John talked to someone about going up front because he had an 8am excursion he had to be ready for. They let him go right to the front, no problem. The Immigration Official barely glances at your paperwork. I sent John off on his golf excursion to Mahogany Run. I went up to the "Peek-A-Boo" Bridge to check out where the Captain "drives" this massive ship. It was pretty cool to check out.
A bunch of us went to Megan's Bay, one of the World's Most Beautiful beaches according to National Geographic. We caught a taxi right in front of the ship to Megan's Bay. The taxi driver was "007" and he was scheduled to pick us up at Magen's Bay at 2:00pm.
The beach was absolutely beautiful, totally picturesque. We rented lounge chairs and floating mats. It was so peaceful and the water was so clear! We drank frozen drinks called Bushwhackers. It had all sorts of alcohol in it.tasted like a Mudslide, but stronger. The pizza and fries from the concession stand were surprisingly good, but very expensive.
The taxi guy was great! He promised that on the ride back to the ship, he would stop at some picture taking areas. First, he took us to one that overlooked Megan's Bay. It was a breathtaking view!! The other one, overlooked the town and where our ship was docked. It was sooo beautiful! There were three ships docked that day. You could have put both of the other ships in our ship!!! Again, I can't emphasize how big the Adventure of the Seas is!! I tipped "007" very well!
John said the golfing was excellent! He shot an 89. There were these three holes called the Devil's Triangle. He actually beat it and received a certificate for doing so. The holes overlooked huge cliffs. He had originally wanted to golf in Aruba but the excursion was sold out. This excursion only had seven people on it. He had talked to someone who had went golfing in Aruba and they had said it was awful because it downpoured the whole time. Half the people quit and the others played because they felt they had to, but they were miserable while they did. It all worked out for the best.
John and I went ice skating in Studio B, just to say that we did, before dinner. It was pretty cool. The skates aren't anything great, but I had read in one review to bring your own skates. If you are going to do that much skating.why would you be on a cruise? I wouldn't bother packing ice-skates. We only skated for about half an hour. There were only two other people skating when we were there. We had heard that earlier in the week it was crazy with tons of people.
6:00pm Feast of Nations Dinner. I had prime rib and it was awesome! Max got 3 different dinners, prime rib, pasta and turkey! That was one thing that was great.you could really eat as much as you wanted. I would get two dinners some nights, just because I was indecisive about what to order. This way I could have a little of both. The same with the appetizers and desserts!
The "Shot of the Night" had 6 liquors in it and was topped with whipped cream. I was told I had to do it w/ my hands behind my back. I put some napkins over the front of me so I wouldn't spill it all over me and complied. It was very strong and went immediately to my head. It is customary to tip all of your waiters, etc. on the last night. We tipped Sedat, Harish, Big Al and Isaac very well. They all did an excellent job!! We had group pictures taken with them also.
We went to final bingo because they were giving away almost $7000. We didn't win but Berna was one number away from covering her card!! John went to the Casino a few times during the week, but I had no desire to use it. I know I would just lose money. It is definitely worth looking at though.
Max, Andrea and I went to the "Farewell Variety Show, No Day but Today" in the Lyric Theatre. It starred, Levent, a magician/comedian and Franz Lery again. The Captain gave his Farewell Address at the beginning. The cruise director sang and said some jokes. They also debuted the Cruise in Review video, which John was in with his pants down from the Mr. Sexy Legs contest. The horserace results were also featured. I bought this.only because it featured people we were with. Otherwise, I may not have bought it.
All of your luggage had to be put out by midnight, so I went back to my room to finish packing and fill out my customs form.
Sunday, March 24, 2002 HOME
We were all very sad that we had to leave the ship. We were up at 8:00am to get ready. Since all of our bags had to be out the night before, we were left w/ our carry-ons. We all met in the Schooner Bar to wait for our flight to be called. We probably were off the ship by 8:30am or so. We walked down the ramp to porters waiting to take you into the warehouse of luggage. We found our luggage very easily. You had to put colored tags on your luggage when you put it out the night before. The warehouse was split up into colored sections. The porters took the luggage to the bus for you. You had to have your customs paper and transfer voucher handy here. Make sure to tip them!
We breezed through customs and got on a bus to the airport. Everyone was a little edgy because they were tired. A lot of people in our group stayed out last night.so some were hurting. We had 2 hours to kill at the airport, so John and I went to a restaurant.ate mozzarella sticks and quesadillas for breakfast!! Some people were drinking.it was only 9:30am (really 8:30am at home)! But then again we were drinking mudslides and margaritas at that time all week. We got on the plane, again, lucked out with the emergency exit, and almost everyone slept on the way home.what a difference from the flight down.
* I was very impressed with all the people who worked on the ship. All of them were very friendly and helpful.
* There is so much going on, I wish I could have done it all. You definitely don't get enough sleep. There is a radio/announcement control in your room. Every morning when you pulled into port at 8am, the Captain would broadcast announcements. You can have this turned on or off, but you could still hear it outside even if you had it off in your room.
* Make sure you have a little card in a slot on the back of your door that says "do not disturb" and "make up room". That is put in the key slot to let the stateroom attendant know what to do with your room. We had problems with people stealing ours!!
* I liked St. Maarten and St. Thomas the best out of all the islands.
* The elevators were very slow at times. They were moving so many people around at certain periods that it was faster to take the stairs. I also found it a little confusing to figure out which end (forward or aft) of the ship I was supposed to be at to get to specific areas. Remember that you can walk to each end easily by being on Deck 5, the Promenade.
* Be careful on the steps leading down to The Lyric Theatre. I almost fell down them a few times! It might just be because I'm clumsy.thought I'd warn other clumsy people out there
* The menu always offered a low-fat suggestion and had vegetarian entrees. The waiter always made his own suggestions too. Other reveiwers said that dinner took too long. We were usually out of there within an hour, an hour and a half at the latest. I can't remember which nights they did what, but, the waiters all sing one night, another night all the chefs come out, another night they all walk around with different countries flags, and another night the waiters dance with you.
* The rooms are decent sized. We used all the available shelving and closet space. We used the in room safe to store valuables. The shower was nice.round with doors. The toilet is VERY loud when it flushes. We also had plenty of towels.though there was a message about "Save the Seas" and that you should hang your towels if you plan on using them again.we hung them everyday, but they were always replaced with new ones!! I don't know why. I do find it crazy that they make up your bed in the morning and then turn it down for you at night. Being as busy as you are, you might never even see the bed made!!! If you wonder where you comforter has gone.look under your bed!
* Disembarking at ports was sometimes confusing. Make sure to listen to announcements as to where you are supposed to go. In Aruba, things were different because of construction.
* Definitely take Monday off from work! I definitely needed the day to recover, unpack, do laundry and get my pictures developed!!
The ship is gorgeous. Everything shines. The service is great. It was a great cruise. The food in Portofino is superb( worth the $20 pp), but the regular fare is just fair.Make reservations at Portofino on day one. There were over 5000 people on board, but I seldom felt crowded. I spent a lot of time in the solarium. For the most part, most people kept their kids out. It was quiet and spacious. I didn't have a problem getting chairs.
The only time that I felt crowded was at debarkation. It was a mess. They had announced that people with early flights would be called at 8am to leave. The whole ship seemed to crowd onto deck 4 to get off. When they did announce earlt f,light #s to get off, everyone jammed. It was horrible. We didn't get off until almost 9. Having a 10:10 plane. It was a really tight connection. We did make it, but our nerves were shot. I'd go again, but I'd book a later flight. Also, RCI is selling most of its space to Spanish speaking people.
First, a little about us. We are a 48 yr old married couple and this our 8th cruise. First cruise was with the kids on the Big Red Boat and all the rest have been on RCCL. We have considered other lines but we enjoy RCCL so much that we are afraid we will be disappointed so we stay with what we like. Pre-Cruise We flew in to San Juan on Friday from MSP and spent 2 nights at the Marriott/San Juan. We usually stay at the Tres Palmas guesthouse on our SanJuan cruises but we had Marriott Rewards pts. and ended up with 2 nights free. The Marriott was very nice. We had a great room overlooking the pool and the ocean. The lobby area gets kinda wild on weekend evenings with loud salsa type music but it was a fun place to hang out. The staff at the Marriott were very accommodating. My wife is a runner and when she returned from her morning run, the doorman greeted her with a towel and a cold bottled water. Lots of Brownie points there! The pool area was greatand would recommend the hotel highly. We had the buffet on Friday night in LaVista rest. at the Marriott and it was very good with lots of grilled fish, chicken, steak, salads, etc etc. Sat night we ate across the street at the Tropical rest. It was just OK. Nothing special.
Sunday, we checked out at 12:00 noon and grabbed a cab(about $20) to the Pan Am pier. Check in was pretty quick and at about 1:00 we were in the Windjammer enjoying our lunch. Cruise We had a balcony room on deck #6 (lowest price balcony room) and it was fine. We were right by the elevators and the first afternoon/evening we heard quite a bit of noise/talking outside our door and were afraid it was going to be a problem but never noticed any noise after the first night. We sleep with the balcony door open and enjoy the breeze and sound of the waves so that probably drowned out any hallway noise. Our cabin steward was perfect. Low profile, not in your face all the time, but very efficient. We enjoyed the ship very much but my wife and I both agreed that we enjoyed the Radiance(last years cruise) more. The Adventure seems more geared towards families while the Radiance seems more elegant and refined. The Royal Promenade(while very impressive) gets VERY crowded during the parades and the Captain's welcome party. We passed on fighting the crowds for the free champagne. We never had a problem getting a deck chair near the pool/or a deck above on sea days. We enjoyed the Johnny Rockets but liked the Seaview Café on the Radiance more. Again, quieter and more refined than the party atmosphere at Johnny Rockets.(although it was fun!) The shows and presentations on the Adventure were some of the best we have ever seen at sea. The ice show was very impressive. The Lyric theatre was also lovely and the stage sets were incredible. We had a great server and asst in the lovely Mozart dining room. The food was very good and close to the Radiance in quality/taste. The only poor item I had was a NY strip steak that was very tough. I ordered it to compliment the shrimp scampi(which was great!) so I didn't go hungry. The ship had about 40% Puerto Ricans on board. Much has been written about this in the past, but to us it's a non-issue. The good people of Puerto Rico were polite and enjoyable to be cruising with. Like I said, a non-issue.
Ports We have done this same route before so were familiar with all the ports. In Aruba, we rented a small jeep(Jimny) from Amigo rent-a-car and cruised around the island. It was fun but dusty and bumpy on the windy side of the island with the unimproved roads. Next time we will probably spend a beach day by the big hotels. Snorkeling is also available out by the wreck of the Antilla.(have done b4- but not this time) In Curacao, we took the Spanish waters snorkeling/canoe trip. It was very enjoyable with some of the best snorkeling I have ever had. Lots of big, beautiful fish while snorkeling over the sunken tug at Bayo Beach. Next time I would probably just take a cab to Bayo Beach. You can snorkel on your own(rentals available). They have a nice beach, chairs, shade, fresh water pool. Saw people eating lunch there and it looked very good. Also bar service available. In St.Maartin, took a cab to Orient Beach and just swam and read a book in our rented chair with umbrella ($15-2 chairs and umbrella) Had lunch there but it was expensive. Good, but expensive. In St.Thomas, we took the cab to RedHook and then took the ferry to St.John. Last year we took a day sail on the New Horizon and it was one of the best shore trips ever. This year, we just took an island tour to see the National Park and the island.($16 pp for 3 hour tour-arranged with a driver at Cruz Bay) Then took the ferry back to Charlotte Amalie for some shopping and then walked back to the ship. Summary As I mentioned, we thought the ship was great. The crew was pleasant and we had no complaints as far as service or food. RCCL continues to deliver a very solid value for the $$ spent. We shared a cab in St.Marrtin with a couple from the Radisson Diamond. They had been on the Celebrity Infinity last year and were very disappointed in the Radisson ship. For the huge$$ spent, they said it was a disappointing. They said they were going to return to Celebrity. We will return to a Radiance class ship for our next cruise. We are thinking the Brilliance for the Panama Canal route, as we have never been there before. In summary, I would recommend the Adventure and would probably sail her or a Voyager class ship again but would prefer the slightly smaller, more elegant and intimate Radiance class.
This was our second Voyage Class Ship experience. We were not disppointed - excellent service, very good food and entertainment. This Class of ship has so much to offer in terms of activity and varied atmospheres to experience on the ship through the many public spaces, etc.
Compared to Explorer of the Seas, our only disappointment was the teen program via Adventure Ocean. Staff make the program and some of the A.O.S. staff did not have their "heart" into it.
This was an absolutely wonderful vacation. Our second cruise, both of which were on RCI. At first, we were a bit apprehensive after hearing some of the AOS horror stores, but none of this rang true for us. I would recommend this ship to anyone and would definitely cruise out of San Juan again. Here are some details:
General Info - We booked our airfare through Royal Caribbean and arrived in San Juan on Sunday at around 3:00. We decided to skip the RCI provided bus transfer and take a taxi to the pier. The San Juan airport was very hectic and crowded, but getting our luggage did not take long at all. FYI when we arrived at the pier we noticed that some of the people who were on our flight and took the RCI provided transfer were actually ahead of us in line since they did not have to wait in a separate line to drop off their luggage, so it may not have been a bad idea to just go ahead and take the transfer.
We had to wait for about 45 minutes to an hour tofinally get on the ship. The AOS is beautiful. Yes, the ship is very culturally diverse and the over half of the passengers seemed to be Spanish speaking. But with that said I did not encounter one rude person the whole trip. There were also a lot of families on our sailing as well as children and teens, but I must say after the first day at sea, I really did not notice them that much. The Adventure Ocean must do a good job of keeping them occupied.
Stateroom - We had a category D6 #6246. This was an excellent location; right outside our door were the stairs to the forward promenade, an easy walk to get snacks or coffee that is provided 24 hours. Our room steward was very good, but shy of excellent. Having a balcony was wonderful; we had breakfast there almost every morning and drinks almost every night. I was a bit disappointed that the bottom wall of the balcony was not Plexiglas as in the other decks, but it was still wonderful to have a balcony. Next time I would book deck 7 or above. There are plenty of drawers/storage areas in the room.
Food - Overall the food on the ship was excellent, considering that they have to feed over 3000 people. We were very impressed with the dining room and the food in the windjammer. Granted, it is not what you would get in a 5 star gourmet restaurant, but it is still pretty darn good. It is going to be hard getting accustomed to not eating four full meals a day plus snacks in between. Not to mention the lack of a pina coloda in my hand now:)
Dining Room - We had second seating dining, Lazlo was our waiter and we loved him. On the first night we were seated with a Spanish speaking family, they all were much, much older than we were and only one of them spoke any English. They were very friendly, but dinner was a bit awkward. We asked to have our table changed the next day, and we, very luckily, were seated with two honeymooning couples that we had a wonderful time with.
Onboard Activities - We never had trouble finding a deck chair, but we also always preferred to sit on the deck above the pool since it was a bit less hectic and there seemed to be a better breeze.
Bars - We really enjoyed the Duck and Dog pub, singing along with the guitar player was a blast. We went to Jester's a couple times but all they seemed to play was Latin music. I even made some requests for some popular songs, but they weren't played. We did not go back there often.
Aruba - We did the bike excursion. It was a great way to see the island, it was challenging at times, but the tour guide made sure everyone was o.k. and there were frequent stops for water. We began at the natural bridge and then finished up after the chapel.
Curacao - We just walked around town. It is a very quaint, European -feeling town. The shopping was pretty much your tourist stores, sarongs, magnets, etc. We headed back to the ship pretty early this day.
St. Marten - We took a cab to Marigot to do some shopping, which was great. After that we took a cab to Orient Beach and rented beach chairs from the Kon Tiki restaurant and had lunch and lounged in the sun. The beach was absolutely beautiful. We observed minimal nudity and there were tons of children having a great time, as there was also tons of water sports. If I had kids, I would not have a problem taking them there. Also - the cab fare (for two people) is pretty expensive on this island, after the cab fare and lunch/drinks, we thought it may have been cheaper to have done the ship's excursion which included free lunch, lounge chairs, etc. Either way, Orient beach was beautiful and a highlight of the trip.
St. Thomas - We did the BOB adventure. It was so cool. You are basically on a little motor scooter under water. They also provide snorkeling equipment for when you are not on the BOB. Afterwards we took a cab into town. The shopping in St. Thomas was the best. There is this great store, I believe called Tradewinds, that has really nice souvenir type items, not the typical junky magnets, t-shirts etc. We bought these locally made candles that are in seashells that smelled wonderful. They also had a great selection of other really nice gift items. I would highly recommend this store. Also, prepare to be haggled by the jewelry store workers and other types of time-share solicitors. They actually stand outside their store and yell for you to come in. This was very irritating, but I still think St. Thomas had the best shopping selections.
Disembarkation - We had an early flight (10:30) so we were tagged for early disembarkation. We had to meet in a lounge at 7:00 but it was a good while before we were let off the ship. The airport was hectic and disorganized but fortunately we found our way to the e-ticket check in kiosk. All you need to do is insert a credit card for identification purposes and you are good to go. We avoided having to wait in the monstrous lines.
As I previously stated, this was a great vacation. If you are thinking about booking AOS, go for it. I would do it again in a heartbeat!
We arrived in San Juan via American Airlines non-stop from Chicago at 15:45 for our 23:00 cruise. We saw several RCI reps at the gate and baggage area. Our TA said RCI transfers were more expensive than a cab, and that you would wait until they got a full load of people. He suggested taking a taxi. We went to the ground transportation desk by the baggage claim area to get a taxi ticket. Do this first, as your luggage may take a while to appear, as did ours. They gave us a ticket indicating the fare was US$16. Then, outside the terminal doors, there's a short wait in line at the ground transportation desk while the attendant gets your cab. She took the ticket, and gave it to the cab driver. The ride is about 20 minutes and slightly scary even for Chicago traffic veterans. When we arrived at the terminal, the cab driver said the fare was $20, so rather than argue I gave him $20 and no tip. That's what I would have paid him anyway. Embarkation was smooth and well orchestrated, especially compared to our previousexperience with RCI in San Diego where we waited in line for over 2 hours and thirty minutes. In San Juan we were on the ship in about 30-45 minutes. I was able to smile for the embarkation photo instead of scowling as I did in San Diego. We had a category D9 balcony superior cabin and found it to be simply wonderful. We will not sail again without a balcony. The balcony was large enough for two chairs and a table, with room to move about. We take our time in the morning getting ready, and the pleasure of sitting outside having coffee and a smoke is very relaxing. At night, I left the door open and we fell asleep listening to the ocean sounds and enjoying the fresh air. The balconies are visually private, so I grew to love being able to stand about naked in the sun and moonlight. Many people say they spend so little time in their cabins that the expense is not worth it. I say phooey! It is worth the extra money to have a beautiful haven with access to the outside that is all yours. We only saw two shows. The ice show (for which my wife had to obtain tickets, and then drag me to) was excellent, far exceeding my dreaded expectations. The other show was "Don't Stop the Rock". I found that very enjoyable also, except for the Whitney Houston wannabe who screeched and warbled and exceeded her vocal range on every piece she sang.the crowd loved her. The ship's casino is a sure moneymaker.for the ship. It is geared for the amateur gambler, and they do have fun. The most popular slot was the $1 Wheel of Fortune. The daily Compass ship newsletter claimed a one-night payout of almost $50,000, since I didn't see the progressive go down, it must have all been in $1k wheel spins. They were always crowded. The video poker was a bank of about 15 multi-game $0.25 progressives with the most horrid paytables I've seen. The blackjack had favorable rules, and the dealers were very professional, contrary to other on-line reports I've read. Ship amenities have been covered in other reviews, as have dining, bars, and activities. We found all to be of the highest quality. In Aruba we walked about town and then we took a cab to the Holiday Inn for their casino with full-pay video poker. We took an umbrella spot on their beach and no one questioned us, but it was 16:00 so they may not have been renting them by that time. We also rented a jet ski there and had a great time. The ship doesn't leave port until 01:00 the next morning, so we had time to see some of the nightlife. Carlos and Charlie's, from 22:00 until they throw everybody out at 00:30, was a really great time, even for geezers like us. If you're 20-something and single and can't hook up with some company for the rest of the cruise (or just that night!), put a big "L" for loser on your forehead and go on with your life. We had a great time drinking and watching the crowd. The D.J. and show were very entertaining. We found Curacao to be a lovely town. As you leave the ship there is an interesting series of stone sculptures on the dock. My wife made me film them all so we can build some in our garden. Then I had to watch her the rest of the trip because she wanted to "bring some rocks" home. I reminded her of what happened to Lucy in the episode where she brought hundreds of rocks back in her trip to the Rockies. The warning had little effect. I still had to watch her. Walk across the moving bridge, and if you get a chance take the water taxi too. We got to do both. We were looking forward to St. Marten/Martin. The port town was charming and had the same tourist stores as all the other islands. Beware the time-share sales people who offer you a map and tourist directions to hook you. We wasted an hour on a taxi ride to their paradise, and bailed before they even began their pitch. But St. Martin had Orient Beach. I read about this beautiful beach and it was one of our must-see sites. A fifteen minute cab ride (US$16) brings you to Pedro's, a beach side bar and grill (excellent burgers) that separates the topless beach from the full nekkid beach. Once again we were running late at 15:30, so most of the crowd was gone, but we had to be back on-board at 17:30 and we weren't going to miss this. We marched into the nekkid beach area marked by a sign warning away tourist lurkers and cameras. Umbrellas were available as to the late hour, so we found one sufficiently far from our cabdriver to make the ride back less uncomfortable. To Barbara's bemusement, I was naked and no longer a lurker in about twenty seconds. It took her a little longer to get accustomed to the scenery. We had a great time. I know it's not for everybody, but after fifteen minutes, you forget about nakedness and you just enjoy the beach.sort of. For first-timers like us looking forward to the experience, the anticipation and expectation, and the first fifteen minutes, are exciting. Maybe after a few more trips the real novelty will wear off. Most people ARE nekkid! Like I said, it's fun. There's nobody being nasty, no swingin' singles, no hanky-panky. There's just sun, sea, wind, and beach, and a lot of real sun-tanned people. Unfortunately, I spent the previous day at sea lounging at the pool from 10:00 until 14:00, and I looked liked a steamed prawn. Note to pasty white guys: SPF 30 is not enough! I think I might have "stood out" as a newbie in more ways than one! The only excursion we went on was the Kon-Tiki Beach tour in St. Thomas. We booked it early that morning, and it was not sold out. The Kon-Tiki picked us up at the cruise dock, and there were people from Celebrity Galaxy with us. We then went and picked up other people at a dock downtown. As we were in town before and took a taxi to rush back to the ship by 13:00 to meet them, we wish we had known we could have boarded in town. I don't know the price of the tickets from their town pick-up versus the excursion price from RCI, but my guess is they were cheaper. Check it out. The cruise was very entertaining with an M.C. and one-man-band. Free rum punch, or rum and coke etc., was available throughout the cruise. They also had $3.00 hot dogs and chip things, a tee-shirt shop, and $6 rum-soaked cigars. We went to Honeymoon Beach and stayed for about 45 minutes. There are no rental facilities for snorkeling or anything. There is a snack-trailer and a very few souvenir vendors. On the return trip they had the conga-line thingy and a limbo contest. We thought the trip was a lot of fun and worth the money. Disembarking was not as well orchestrated as embarkation. We waited for almost two hours in the lobby lounge while they called several groups for specific flights. Then they called nothing. Then they closed the lobby bar. Then we noticed most of the people in the atrium and lobby bar waiting areas were gone. Then we left. 'Nuf said. We spent extra two nights at the Wyndahm El San Juan Hotel and Casino (five minutes from the airport, $$$$, absolutely beautiful). I highly recommend staying at least one night after, and next time we'll stay the night before. San Juan airport is not a model of efficiency, and if I were there on a Sunday with 3,000 returning cruisers, I know I would not enjoy it. Although there would not be that many people from the Adventure, as there were at least 25-45% local Puerto Ricans on the ship. It is a popular holiday for them, as they don't incur airfare.
Tips: The bow is accessible, do your Titanic thing there. OK, just look at the stars. The bridge has a viewing area where you can watch the action through a window with descriptions of the controls, stations, etc. Wave to the officers, they wave back. The steering wheel is smaller than our Miata. They must have power steering. Portofinos is a fine restaurant and worth the extra $20 pp. Board early, we got there at 17:00 and people told us they were on board at 12:00. The Caribbean night buffet has a whole roasted stuffed suckling pig.yum! SPF 30 is not sufficient for us pasty white guys. The only casinos with decent payback for video poker players are in Aruba, at the Holiday Inn. The rest of the suckers will get what they're used to. We did do well at the El San Juan in P.R. See; I said you have to stay an extra day! Reserve a balcony room. Go to the Captain's Reception in the Promenade, it's one of the only free drinks you'll get. There were a lot of kids onboard. I didn't throw any of them overboard. They weren't too annoying. Here's the tip.only throw them overboard if they're annoying when their parents aren't watching.like always!!! Buy the travel insurance. We didn't need it, but if you do.
Steve and Barbara Chicago
I want to give you some background on our trip. We were traveling with another family so our group was large. We had 4 adults and 5 children ranging from 6-13. At first we had reservations on the Infinity with Celebrity Cruises and had to rebook our holiday because of some problems with the ship. All I can say is thank you. The Adventure was the most spectacular ship I have seen. It had far more for our children to do. As well as the adults. If the kids were not on the waterslide we were playing mini-golf or roller blading. The ice skating rink was also available but because of the numberous other activities we didn't get to it. However we did get to see the skating show and it was great. Being a Figure Skater myself I was amazed at how the skaters compensated for the rink size and the movement of the ship. Our whole group was happy with everything with the ship from the cabin crew to the dinning room staff. Everyone was professional and very kind.
One piece of advise I would like to give anyonewho is going to go on this cruise is to bargin with the taxi drivers before even getting into the taxi. The drivers will give you a price but don't pay it because there is always someone else who will be lower. Take your time at this point because it will save you money. On a whole the cruise was perfect. This was our familes 3rd cruise and was totally thrilled with the ship. The meals in the dinning room where excelent. Even though the ship held approx. 5000 people I didn't feel at any point in time that I was crowded.
Have fun on your cruise and I will be booking another one for my family in the future.
To everyone who has or is thinking of taking their cruise on the adventure, my vote is most definitely !!!!!
We were fortunate to have an owners suite, and all I can say is wow !!! We had lots of company to say the least. I will try and list some of the highlights for you but if you have any specific questions please ask away and i'll answer.
To start off the cruise we boarded very quickly due to the VIP boarding we had, about 15 minutes we were on board. Her colors are absolutely georgeous, the planets off the centrum elevators are something else, also the floating glass sculpture at the other lifts was quite remarkable. Had Mike (hubby) take video of both, not to mention everything else we did.
We had a surprise call from the Captain's wife Tove, and she came to visit us in our suite, we talked and to say the least we were very impressed with her. They invited us to the bridge for the sailaway from San Juan after the muster drill, and folks I must say it was like nothing we everimagined, we met Captain Remo on the bridge and his son Frederick. It could of been off the Starship Eenterprise, everything was just cool.....cant think of the right words to really describe it. We also met the Staff Captain Darin Bowland, he was very nice to us as well.
We saw the fort leaving as we sailed away.....
Folks, after that we went to the party on the pool deck, go and have a great time, a drink or 2 wouldnt hurt either....lol
Food on sunday was like a thanksgiving dinner when you board at lunchtime, trust me you'll eat, just leave room for dinner. Dinner we all had something different, our son ate the smoked fish appetizer he enjoyed it, the Tuscan tomato soup was delicious and the shrimp ravioli mmmmmmmmm.
Our first day, at sea.....we had a pool that was having fun throwing us in alot, guess you would have to of been on board to understand but it was a riot. Please join in on the fun of the mr. Sexy leggs contest-Mike won mr. Sexy leggs- 2 years in a row, next year he'll let someone try, but women get your man into it, you'll have a blast. Kirk Detweiler - cruise director was alot of fun all week long, trust me on this he got his own later on during the week. We ate breakfast in the dining room everyday, and the food was excellent. We love to be served so we skipped the Windjammer, but the food is good there as well. Lunch back to the dining room, we like to be served.dinner, what can we say, some of the best, we were sent an invitation to the Captain's table for dinner on monday night, the hostess Genie, introduced us to each other and then brought us over to the Captain's table, once she escorted the Captain and his wife Tove, she introduced him to each person, and I was the lucky one who was seated next to the Captain, our son was seated next to Tove. It was a wonderful evening, they are both so personable, dinner was fabulous. Shrimp cocktails for the appetizer, lobster bisque, caesar salad, and filet and a dessert with fruit and ice cream to die for. We then left for the show.
Day 3, well this could take forever...... I'll try and shorten this up we did the snorkel tour by catamaran with 2 stops to snorkel, well we had a ball, had some of our cruise critics on board and yes when it came time to sail back, Tony got the rum punch and tequilla snorkel shooter going, folks all I can say that I wasn't sure if anyone got off that wasn't a bit happy!!! Thanks Tony we do have you on our video.....we shopped Aruba and saw our buddies in town, we bought a 15lb Gouda cheese, we have to cut it open soon. Bought some other stuff, printed shirts and asst. Stuff, then back to the ship to pass out in the pool. Dinner was great, crab and shrimp salad, Ocho Rios pepper pot soup, Key West grouper, Mike and Ben had roast lamb and seafood penne pasta, chocolate rainforest cake, and Costa Rican banana creme pie.
Folks all the selections were delicious. We also made it to carlos and charlies, go, is all I can say !!!!
Day 4, Curacao great snorkeling there, and shopping afterwards, take a taxi folks dont walk to town. Really need to look at the video, mind is getting foggy. Dinner was excellent. Do the ice show when you get a chance.
Day 5, at sea, how peaceful, needed the day to relax by the pool, get up early if you want a good lounge, they go fast, we had our group by the pool bar, it figures with this group that's where we would sit for the day. Some of us got into the swimming relays, no reason to say we lost but had fun trying to win.
Folks I am just going to give you some other highlights cause i'm getting tired, so here goes, go to the beach party, it was fun have some great pics, try and find sometime to sleep.
On wednesday, we had our cruise critic party, we were very fortunate to have Captain Remo and his wife Tove attend, the Staff Captain Darin Bowland, Kirk Detweiler - Cruise Director, Martin Rissley the Hotel Director, Michael Rasmussen - Food and Beverage manager, he put out quite a spread for the group, had servers with drinks for us as well, we did miss Genie -social hostess and Michelle McGregor due to the fact they had previous meetings scheduled. Everyone in the group wanted their picture taken with the Captain and Tove and they were very accommodating to all, they met lots of poeple with the group, and we were very honored to have all of the staff in attendance. Thank you all for making us the 1st rubberband party on the adventure of the seas.
We went to many shows, so to make it short the entertainment was great, I even got in the headliner show with Greg Bonham, have a signed CD to prove it. Guess I was recognized a lot of that show .......lol
In St. Marteen's we went to Orient beach and it was delightful, beautiful beach and our guide was great, had a great day !!! Even got some guavaberry liquor from our frineds because my feet swelled up like 2 bananas. Thanks Jim and Michelle...
Well St. Thomas off to snorkel by private yacht - we were on the Island Girl with Mike and his wife Debbie as the owners, she was great at pointing out the fish and other interesting wild life on the reef, highly go and do this tour out to Buck Island. Then shopping, well Mike my hubby bought me a beautiful diamond ring, I cried when he put it on me. Very sentimental I am, he got a man's ring too, but he didnt cry...lol
We ate in Portofino that night, and pay the cover charge folks, its fabulous, we ate there on the Voyager as well and just trust me and make reservations.
Then we went to the farewell show, and then to pack, what an ordeal, 2 1/2 hours.....
As I promised more great adventures...........
Its kind of hard to recall everything, but the memories are forever lasting, our group of cruise critics were so fun, that no matter where you were in and off the ship we were there.
To give you folks some info on the owners suite, it has a king size bed, a 48 inch wide screen tv, nice balcony, a curved sectional with a queen sleep sofa, dining table and chairs ample of drawer space and tons of closet space, we are clothes horses so we had plenty of room. Also there was a dressing table in the bedroom area and an chaise lounge also another window to look out at if you chose not to be on the balcony, we chose the balcony, what sites we saw from her. The bathroom was fab...listen to this all marble, a glass enclosed shower, a jacuzzi tub, a toilet and a bidet. Mike and I used it, our son ben was chicken....lol. Our room steward audley made sure everything was top notch, never needed a thing and he did great towel art, on Sat night he made us 2 kissing monkeys...how sweet, plus he made a puppy dog, an elephant and some kind of mouse, he explained it to us but still unsure of it, it may bite!!!! We were in the McKinley suite 1300, in case you book it, you may find the leftovers from us. We ha If anyone is a Crown and Anchor member we hope you attended the Repeaters Party, it was very nice, wait staff with all kinds of drinks from frozen, to wine, to mixers and champagne, passing Hors D'Oeuvres, so yummy, Captain Remo gave a speech, I love to listen to him.
We hope everyone went to the Midnight Buffet, one thing is so amazing is the ice and butter sculptures, what a talented staff, we saw the ice carving at the beach party, doesnt take them long, me it would be a lifetime.
Please feel free and contact me with questions if I can be of any help in your aos sailing.
To Captain Remo & Tove, and the entire staff of the Adventure of the Seas, this was a spectacular cruise for us, thank you for making it so special.