Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by J&J's mom
- Sail Date: June 2005
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
Lesson 1: Use the RCI transportation service from the airport to the ship. It made it soooo easy. We got off the plane, got our luggage and were greeted by helpful folks. They got us on a bus, put our luggage on a separate truck, and we were to the ship in a short time. The best part was that because we had used the service, we barely waited AT ALL to get on the ship. Others who had their luggage with them and had taken taxis had a looong wait at the pier to get on the ship. Our luggage was delivered before dinner.
Lesson 2: The excursions are worth the money. We went on three, total. The first was called something like "Sail and Snorkel" in Aruba. Very nice. The fish weren't all that wonderful, but the sailing on the catamaran and the second snorkeling jaunt, to a sunken ship, made it worth it. The sunken ship was the Antilla, from WWII, and it was quite a sight to see. My history loving husband was in heaven! And I loved it too. We also saw the show "Let's GO LATIN!" (another excursion offered) in Aruba. GREAT SHOW!!!!!! Las Vegas style dancing and singing. It was excellent. The only problem was that later the ship's dancers paled in comparison. It was really an excellent show. We were really glad we had booked it. The only other excursion we took was in St. Thomas. We went on BOB, which stands for Breathable Observation Bubble. It is a huge clear helmet,(you feel like an astronaut!) and a motorized scooter you ride under water! It was great! Much easier and more relaxing than scuba as far as breathing goes, because you don't do anything. You just breathe normally. Oxygen is pumped in, and it is fun riding the motor scooter. We just wished we had been able to go a little faster. But it was great. Afterward we had time to snorkel and we saw more fish there than in Aruba. Even a barracuda! Another lesson: All the stores are pretty much the same at each island. The shopping district in Aruba seemed seedy. It was dirty and not very nice.
Curacao had a lovely shopping area across a moveable bridge. It reminded me of Charleston, SC, with the various colors of the buildings. Very quaint and nicer than Aruba shopping, we thought. We went to Marigot to shop in St. Maarten and stayed only 15 minutes...same as elsewhere. St. Thomas was the nicest island of them all. JUST BEAUTIFUL and the shopping was similar...if you want diamonds and Tanzanite and perfume, you are in luck on any of the islands. If not, stay close to the boat and just go where you are docked. It is not worth the time, we felt, to go to the towns, except for Curacao, which is a close walk. Beaches: We went to two.
In St. Maarten we went to Orient Bay. One hint, don't grab a beach chair at the first place. Walk down the beach a bit and you will see signs that offer a beach chair, umbrella, and a drink for several dollars less than we paid for our chairs and umbrella. The water was clear blue and beautiful and so warm, almost a bit too warm to be refreshing. But we loved it. It was lovely! Of course we saw a few topless women, because there is a nudist beach right next door to the main one. Not a big deal, in fact, we didn't enjoy walking down that way, where women AND men hung out, literally! I guess we figured it would be fun to say we went there, but the people are not young bathing beauties!
Our favorite spot was in St. Thomas at Magen's Bay. It is rated one of the top 10 beaches in the world by National Geographic, and it was gorgeous. The water was cooler but not cold, which was perfect. We loved it. There are trees for shade on the beach, and the view of the hills beside the cove are stunning. Very picturesque, and worth going to! Just gorgeous!!!!
A highlight of the time on the ship was the games at night. There was Karaoke Idol, with contestants from on board, as well as a game show called "Love and Marriage," patterned after the Newlywed Game, and even a belly flop contest at the pool. Ashley Kerr, the Cruise Director, was FABULOUS! It was always fun to see whatever was going on. She made it delightful. The food was great. We often found ourselves ordering two appetizers at dinner instead of one appetizer and a salad. It was always too hard to choose, they sounded so good!
We were seated at a table for four. We were disappointed at first, hoping to meet more people at dinner, but conversation was easy and we enjoyed getting to know our dinner partners, a grandmother and her grandson who had just graduated from high school. We did go to Portofino's for dinner one night. We didn't realize that it was the night lobster tails were being served in the main dining rooms, so we were disappointed. But no need to be, our waiter at Portofino's kindly added two lobster tails to our meals. It was a lovely dinner. Fabulous presentation of the food, which was excellent. In my opinion, worth the 20.00 per person. It was nice to have a dinner alone in a romantic setting with fabulous food. All the dinners in the main dining room were very good, but Portofino's was even nicer. Very elegant. Other lessons: I wished I had brought my evening gowns, or at least dresses with sequins instead of the cocktail dresses...lots of folks went all out. My husband had his tux, and it was fun to dress up, I just wish I had gone all out. I also wish we had eaten lunch in the main dining room more than just once. It was awesome. But with the Windjammer grill on the same level as the pools, it is so tempting to just go through the buffet line. We also ate breakfast only once in the main dining rooms, going to the buffet instead. I would do it differently now...the choices in the main dining room for lunch were really wonderful. Thai wraps, BBQ chicken salad, etc.
All in all, we had an incredible vacation. The rooms may be small, but no smaller than we imagined. Nicer than we thought. The bed was extremely comfortable. The food was great, the dancing fun, the beaches beautiful...We had such a wonderful time, it is hard getting back to reality! We just got home last night, and already I am wondering when we can do it again. You will love your cruise!!!!
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