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What: Adventure of the Seas 7-day Southern Caribbean (Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas) out of San Juan Who: my husband and I (9th and 8th cruise respectively  first RCL), 4 friends (3 cruises  first RCL) traveling from Columbus Ohio. We range in age from mid-30s to mid-40s. When: Departing September 10th, 2006 DH and I came down a day before everyone else. We flew from Cincinnati, rather than our home airport of Columbus as the airfare was about ½ the price. We stayed at the Sussex Hotel on the Cincinnati airport property the night before we left  park and fly special, 11 days of parking and one night room for $139. The hotel is under renovation, and is due to become either a Sheraton or a Marriott this fall. Note: We were on the second floor, but there are no working elevators right now. That meant that we needed to be physically able to drag our bags upstairs. The next morning we flew out on "Ted" through Chicago - no delays, uneventful flight. Once in San Juan, we taxied over to the Intercontinental Hotel. The hotel is awesome, the staff fantastic. One negative though. Their fabulous pool area is under construction through October of 2006. They are willing to send you to the Holiday Inn which is very close by if you dont want to swim in the ocean. Since we had booked through Hotwire, they were unable to give us a refund (I was really looking forward to that pool), however they did provide us with other considerations to make our stay more pleasant. To be completely truthful, the staff were some of the nicest people we have ever met - we received outstanding service. If you stay, make sure you get a massage in their spa  very nice. A note about Hotwire: You choose your hotel by the amenities, and then make a binding selection, without knowing the name. However, if those amenities are not available when you arrive, Hotwire claims that they are not responsible. Make sure you read the T&Cs carefully, and if the amenities are important to you, vs. a place to rest your head this may not be the way you want to book your hotel. We spent 3 days in San Juan. 2 of our friends opted for the slightly less expensive Coral by the Sea hotel. For the difference of $40 per night, they had a hotel that did not provide washcloths, gave only a single towel  slightly larger than a hand towel, and failed to make the beds. In San Juan my husband and I were pretty lazy. We did walk around Old San Juan (free drinks in the visitors center!) one day, giving our friends a bit of a tour (weve both been before), and we did go kayaking in the bioluminescent lagoon at Farjado. We used a tour company called Eco Action Tours. They picked us up at the hotel and provided us with a great tour (total cost ~$60 per person). Our friends went to El Yunque on Sunday before we boarded - we laid around on the beach and sucked down "voodoo buckets", and we ended up getting to the pier around 6:00 pm. There was hardly anyone there  no waiting in line, and we were on board in about 10 minutes. The Ship Adventure of the Seas is beautiful  and huge. By day 7 we finally figured out where to go, just in time to get off. We had an inside cabin on deck 8. The only thing that I noticed that was different from other ships was that we could hear the group of people staying in the cabin to our left. We spent a lot of our ship time in the gym (decent equipment, but not great), the Solarium (adults only pool area that hardly anyone finds), the Casino (4 losers, 2 non-players), the dining room and the WindJammer. We also did a round of mini-golf at 2 am the first night. Never made it to the rock climbing wall. Did see the ice show (great) and a couple of the production shows (best entertainment that Ive seen at sea). We also saw the parade on the first night in the promenade  it was a little weird, but we were willing to go with it. Went to the wine tasting (we are platinum status on Celebrity, so we had the free coupon)  the cheese served with the wine was quite tasty. I enjoyed most of the wines, and learned a few more affordable varieties that I can stock at home. I want to quickly note some special staff members that made our cruise awesome  first the dining staff, Mustafa, our headwaiter was wonderful and always made sure we had some type of chocolate treat. Edmund, our waiter was always around with a smile, dinner recommendations, advice and information. Also our cabin steward Janice, who made sure our cabin was clean and tidy, and took excellent care of any of our special requests  always with a smile and a personal greeting. The Islands Aruba We were off the ship by 9am. DH and I were doing the ATV Mania tour, 2 of our friends were taking the Island and Butterfly Farm tour, and 2 were just walking around town. Both tours were excellent and everyone had a good time. After the tours, we wandered around town for a bit, and bought a few things. For those of you looking for diving supplies, Red Sail is right on the corner of the duty-free area coming off the ship. If youre looking for a mens dress shirt and tie, forget it, there are none to be had. We went to Carlos N Charlies for dinner and a margarita by the yard (between $12-15 depending on what you order, vs. the $25 at Sr. Frogs in Grand Cayman), and then 4 of us headed for the Pub Crawl. Originally Carlos N Charlies was the last stop on the crawl, but it has been removed. We went to 4 local/tourist bars. The driver and guide were a lot of fun, but I still think we should have stayed at C&C. We all made it back to the ship by 12:30. Curacao None of the excursions at Curacao appealed to any of the group, so we decided to just wander the town and shop. We strolled around for a couple of hours and then went back to the ship to relax and enjoy the pool. Curacao is picturesque from a distance, and we took a few very nice photos. St. Maarten We booked a tour with Joyce Prince for the day. She took the 6 of us around the island in her SUV, and basically let us choose where to go, when we wanted to stop, and gave us ideas on where to eat and what to see. We shopped a bit in Phillipsburg, drove to Marigot, and had lunch in view of the old fort. We spend the last hour at Orient Beach, and she brought us back to the beach. Joyce was very prompt, personable, and knowledgeable about the island. We thoroughly enjoyed our day with her. St. Thomas 4 of us took the Buck Island Snorkeling Tour. We went out in a mid-sized sailboat (the Jolly Mon) with only the captain and first mate (a husband and wife team named Gary and Gayle). Each boat holds a maximum of 6 guests, so you get a semi-private tour. We sailed for about 40 minutes to Buck Island, and then jumped in to snorkel around. Gayle was in the water with us, pointing out fish, types of coral, the wrecked ship, and a couple of octopus. After an hour of snorkeling, we got back on the boat and had some snacks and liquid refreshment. This was one of the best excursions that we have ever taken from a cruise ship. Im not sure why there were not many people signed up for it  maybe they didnt notice that only 6 passengers would be on each boat. After snorkeling, we went back to the ship to shower and then walked around Charlotte Amalie. We were the only ship in port, and the taxi drivers were thick on the ground. They are quite annoying in their attempts to drum up business  to the point that as we were leaving our taxi into town, another driver was asking us if we needed a taxi. We ate lunch at a place called the Greenhouse. 2 for 1 coladas and college football on the big screens, all served up with fresh seafood for a reasonable price. Disembarkation Disembarkation was a breeze. We had no trouble locating our luggage, and we were on our way in about 30 minutes. This was a 5-star vacation. DH and I plan on cruising with Royal for our next few cruises, since this vacation seemed to suit our age group and pace the best of the 4 lines we have traveled, though we might have to return to Celebrity to do Europe in a couple of years. 4 of 6 booked another RCL Caribbean cruise while on the ship. The other two booked an RCL cruise to Alaska, and will book the Caribbean trip while they are on the Alaska cruise. Cabin credit is a great thing.

Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Pandora2im4

Trip Details
What: Adventure of the Seas 7-day Southern Caribbean (Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas) out of San Juan Who: my husband and I (9th and 8th cruise respectively  first RCL), 4 friends (3 cruises  first RCL) traveling from Columbus Ohio. We range in age from mid-30s to mid-40s. When: Departing September 10th, 2006
DH and I came down a day before everyone else. We flew from Cincinnati, rather than our home airport of Columbus as the airfare was about ½ the price. We stayed at the Sussex Hotel on the Cincinnati airport property the night before we left  park and fly special, 11 days of parking and one night room for $139. The hotel is under renovation, and is due to become either a Sheraton or a Marriott this fall. Note: We were on the second floor, but there are no working elevators right now. That meant that we needed to be physically able to drag our bags upstairs.
The next morning we flew out on "Ted" through Chicago - no delays, uneventful flight.
Once in San Juan, we taxied over to the Intercontinental Hotel. The hotel is awesome, the staff fantastic. One negative though. Their fabulous pool area is under construction through October of 2006. They are willing to send you to the Holiday Inn which is very close by if you dont want to swim in the ocean. Since we had booked through Hotwire, they were unable to give us a refund (I was really looking forward to that pool), however they did provide us with other considerations to make our stay more pleasant. To be completely truthful, the staff were some of the nicest people we have ever met - we received outstanding service. If you stay, make sure you get a massage in their spa  very nice. A note about Hotwire: You choose your hotel by the amenities, and then make a binding selection, without knowing the name. However, if those amenities are not available when you arrive, Hotwire claims that they are not responsible. Make sure you read the T&Cs carefully, and if the amenities are important to you, vs. a place to rest your head this may not be the way you want to book your hotel.
We spent 3 days in San Juan. 2 of our friends opted for the slightly less expensive Coral by the Sea hotel. For the difference of $40 per night, they had a hotel that did not provide washcloths, gave only a single towel  slightly larger than a hand towel, and failed to make the beds.
In San Juan my husband and I were pretty lazy. We did walk around Old San Juan (free drinks in the visitors center!) one day, giving our friends a bit of a tour (weve both been before), and we did go kayaking in the bioluminescent lagoon at Farjado. We used a tour company called Eco Action Tours. They picked us up at the hotel and provided us with a great tour (total cost ~$60 per person).
Our friends went to El Yunque on Sunday before we boarded - we laid around on the beach and sucked down "voodoo buckets", and we ended up getting to the pier around 6:00 pm. There was hardly anyone there  no waiting in line, and we were on board in about 10 minutes.
The Ship
Adventure of the Seas is beautiful  and huge. By day 7 we finally figured out where to go, just in time to get off. We had an inside cabin on deck 8. The only thing that I noticed that was different from other ships was that we could hear the group of people staying in the cabin to our left. We spent a lot of our ship time in the gym (decent equipment, but not great), the Solarium (adults only pool area that hardly anyone finds), the Casino (4 losers, 2 non-players), the dining room and the WindJammer. We also did a round of mini-golf at 2 am the first night. Never made it to the rock climbing wall. Did see the ice show (great) and a couple of the production shows (best entertainment that Ive seen at sea). We also saw the parade on the first night in the promenade  it was a little weird, but we were willing to go with it. Went to the wine tasting (we are platinum status on Celebrity, so we had the free coupon)  the cheese served with the wine was quite tasty. I enjoyed most of the wines, and learned a few more affordable varieties that I can stock at home.
I want to quickly note some special staff members that made our cruise awesome  first the dining staff, Mustafa, our headwaiter was wonderful and always made sure we had some type of chocolate treat. Edmund, our waiter was always around with a smile, dinner recommendations, advice and information. Also our cabin steward Janice, who made sure our cabin was clean and tidy, and took excellent care of any of our special requests  always with a smile and a personal greeting.
The Islands
Aruba
We were off the ship by 9am. DH and I were doing the ATV Mania tour, 2 of our friends were taking the Island and Butterfly Farm tour, and 2 were just walking around town. Both tours were excellent and everyone had a good time. After the tours, we wandered around town for a bit, and bought a few things. For those of you looking for diving supplies, Red Sail is right on the corner of the duty-free area coming off the ship. If youre looking for a mens dress shirt and tie, forget it, there are none to be had.
We went to Carlos N Charlies for dinner and a margarita by the yard (between $12-15 depending on what you order, vs. the $25 at Sr. Frogs in Grand Cayman), and then 4 of us headed for the Pub Crawl. Originally Carlos N Charlies was the last stop on the crawl, but it has been removed. We went to 4 local/tourist bars. The driver and guide were a lot of fun, but I still think we should have stayed at C&C. We all made it back to the ship by 12:30.
Curacao
None of the excursions at Curacao appealed to any of the group, so we decided to just wander the town and shop. We strolled around for a couple of hours and then went back to the ship to relax and enjoy the pool. Curacao is picturesque from a distance, and we took a few very nice photos.
St. Maarten
We booked a tour with Joyce Prince for the day. She took the 6 of us around the island in her SUV, and basically let us choose where to go, when we wanted to stop, and gave us ideas on where to eat and what to see. We shopped a bit in Phillipsburg, drove to Marigot, and had lunch in view of the old fort. We spend the last hour at Orient Beach, and she brought us back to the beach. Joyce was very prompt, personable, and knowledgeable about the island. We thoroughly enjoyed our day with her.
St. Thomas
4 of us took the Buck Island Snorkeling Tour. We went out in a mid-sized sailboat (the Jolly Mon) with only the captain and first mate (a husband and wife team named Gary and Gayle). Each boat holds a maximum of 6 guests, so you get a semi-private tour. We sailed for about 40 minutes to Buck Island, and then jumped in to snorkel around. Gayle was in the water with us, pointing out fish, types of coral, the wrecked ship, and a couple of octopus. After an hour of snorkeling, we got back on the boat and had some snacks and liquid refreshment. This was one of the best excursions that we have ever taken from a cruise ship. Im not sure why there were not many people signed up for it  maybe they didnt notice that only 6 passengers would be on each boat.
After snorkeling, we went back to the ship to shower and then walked around Charlotte Amalie. We were the only ship in port, and the taxi drivers were thick on the ground. They are quite annoying in their attempts to drum up business  to the point that as we were leaving our taxi into town, another driver was asking us if we needed a taxi. We ate lunch at a place called the Greenhouse. 2 for 1 coladas and college football on the big screens, all served up with fresh seafood for a reasonable price.
Disembarkation
Disembarkation was a breeze. We had no trouble locating our luggage, and we were on our way in about 30 minutes. This was a 5-star vacation. DH and I plan on cruising with Royal for our next few cruises, since this vacation seemed to suit our age group and pace the best of the 4 lines we have traveled, though we might have to return to Celebrity to do Europe in a couple of years. 4 of 6 booked another RCL Caribbean cruise while on the ship. The other two booked an RCL cruise to Alaska, and will book the Caribbean trip while they are on the Alaska cruise. Cabin credit is a great thing.
Pandora2im4’s Full Rating Summary
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