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My wife and I arrived in San Juan from Newark on Continental Airlines on Saturday Sept 30th. Our flight was smooth and uneventful and we arrived just before noon as scheduled. We caught a $20.00 taxi to the El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan (OSJ) for one night ($205) before our cruise. We have been to PR 5 times and never stayed in Old San Juan. The El Convento oozes spanish colonial charm and is a visual delight. Our room was simple but super quiet and cool due to the double door that seals the room off from the hotel hallway/terrace. All rooms open up onto the central courtyard which overlooks palm trees, a cafe and a tapas bar. After check in, we spent the day going all around OSJ. We stopped at the Parrot Club for lunch and had a Chocatini to toast our coming cruise. It was our first vacation in ten years without children and our 16th anniversary. The weather was great but hot. It was about 50F at home and we were not used to the heat. However, the El Convento is in the middle of everything you would want to do in OSJ so we made frequent rest stops to cool down and top off our wine glasses. While the El Convento is not near a beach it does have a rooftop pool and jacuzzi. We would have plenty of opportunities to swim in the caribbean while cruising. The hotel has a complimentary wine and cheese service from 6 to 7pm. The patio where the wine and cheese is served is immediately next to the pool area so we naturally took a few glasses of wine into the jacuzzi and totally enjoyed the hot caribbean air. We went to the Tapas bar at the Convento later in the evening and the food was terrible. I sent back my chorizos which tasted like canned cocktail wieners. My wife had crab empanadas which were mostly fluffy dough with very little of something inside that tasted nothing like crab. Don't waste your money on the food here. If you are looking for a place with old world charm and first world comfort stay at the El Convento for at least one night before the cruise. It was a far better start to our cruise than I had thought possible. OCT 1st We checked out around 11am on Sunday and caught a cab to to RCCL pier. It is too far to walk so do not attempt it. The check in was a mad house but I don't see how it could be otherwise with 3000 people boarding. We were on board by 12:45pm. When you enter the check-in area and finish getting your room assigned you will probably notice the duty free shop. Listen closely to the advice of the people in the shop regarding bringing liquor on board. I believe it is best to make sure you have your wine securely wrapped in your checked luggage but if you have any in a back pack and have it confiscated at the ships boarding area, be really nice to the gentlemen who confiscate it. They will always give it back to you at the end of the cruise but I am "convinced" that it can magically appear again while onboard given the right attitude on your part. Hint Hint. Adventure of the Seas was positively amazing. I had not been on a cruise ship since 1992 on a few "cruises to nowhere" out of Manhattan. We stayed in RM 8350. The balcony was fantastic. The bed was a bit thin but we were so tired every night that we could have slept on the floor and would not have minded. Overall the room was very good and the bathroom was roomy compared to what we have seen before. Our attendant, Janice from Jamaica, was very attentive and had a different towel animal prepped for us every night. A nice touch I thought. My personal favorite was the towel monkey hanging over our bed wearing my sunglasses. Our first day was a Day At Sea and we spent the entire day exploring the ship from top to bottom. I climbed the rock wall and my wife hit the jacuzzi. We had dinner every night with our table at first seating. Paul and Becky from Indiana, Allen and Yvonne from Texas, Rick and Wanda from Texas, Joy and Jane from Florida. We had a blast getting to know each other and we stayed late chatting just about every night. Our dinner company made our cruise very enjoyable and personal. Rick bet me I had never met someone who did what he did for a living. He peeled onions for a living. Funny but apparently lucrative!!!! When we woke up on Tuesday docked in Barbados we went out on the balcony and saw a rainbow. Our pre-booked Barbados Pirate Cruise Rum boat was cancelled due to technical difficulties. Never did find out exactly what that meant. We hit downtown shopping area and did some diamond shopping. I recently bought a two carat diamond so I am up to speed on prices and the 4C's. Diamonds were over priced by at least 50% and poor quality stones overall with no GIA certs just smaller less strict grading companies. I found diamond prices to be inflated through out the islands. A better deal can be had on the internet from reputable dealers. Antigua- We booked a helicopter tour to Monserrate to see the still erupting volcano that decimated the island ten years ago. $250 each for roughly a 45 minute flight. It was worth every penny. If you have never been in a chopper it really rides pretty smoothly so don't sweat it. Flying two passes at the volcano is amazing because the scale of the thing was something you cannot get from pics or movies. The pics I took look nothing like the real deal. On the way back we flew over the rear of the ship and it still looked huge. We were done with the chopper tour by 11am and raring to go. We went downtown and grabbed a taxi for $14 each to a beach. We swam at the beach for an hour or two and our driver waited for us and brought us back at about 2:30pm. We shopped for a bit and headed back to the ship. St. Lucia- We booked the Rain forest zip line tour. Our guide Gideon was funny and informative. He stopped to get us cocoa pods and guava from the roadside so we could try them. St. Lucia is stunningly beautiful and worth a return visit. The zip lining was awesome. If you do this bring something to cover your head like a buff or do-rag because the helmets are funky smelling even though they make a big show of cleaning them when you are done. Have one of the guides take your video camera with him on the zip line so you have a video of it. Our video really wowed the kids when we got home. This really is not a strenuous activity except for a 150 yard uphill hike. Everything else is really easy and fun. St. Maarten-Dutch side.- We did the Rhino Tour which is like a jet ski with pontoons wrapped around it. Lots of fun and really quite terrifying when you let the wife drive. We almost became one with a buoy, a yacht and another Rhino watercraft in only 15 minutes. We rode out of the bay to a beach a few miles away and snorkeled for about a half hour. The rhinos were fast and responsive but the excursion seemed really short. The shopping in St. Maarten was the best out of all the islands and it was by far the cleanest island. We didn't make it to Orient Beach on the French side (nude beach) but it seemed at dinner everyone was laughing about inappropriate sunburns...maybe next time. St. Thomas-In the AM we caught a taxi for $8 each to Magen's Bay. Absolutely tranquil beautiful beach. Small waves, warm water and lots of locals...all friendly and welcoming. The wife tanned and I got bored and swam across the bay. The water was flat like a pool...best swim I ever had as well as the best setting. We left around 11am for our SNUBA tour. I thought the SNUBA was a complete waste of time. Basically, you are tethered to a raft with an airsupply and a regulator with a twenty foot hose. We did this at the St. Thomas aquarium beach. It lasted for all of 20 minutes until the air ran out. A waste of money. The snorkeling in the aquarium area was really pretty good so save your money for something else. Snorkel or SCUBA but don't snuba. On our anniversary, OCT 6, the waitress brought us out a banana split with a candle and made a big fuss of it. Cruise entertainment- Live latin music band was really good on the 14th deck lounge. Disco was pretty good and started jumping after the latin band finished its sets. The latinas poured from the fourteenth deck down to the Jester Disco and jumpstarted the place. After dinner shows were all excellent except for Kenny Jones/James. He was a Star Search winner. Somebody tell him you cannot improve Motown songs and make them better. Bad move Kenny. The cruise director was awesome. Richard Spacey? Everytime he was around you knew he was going to make you laugh and he did. All of the staff did everything they could to make us enjoy the cruise and it worked!!!

Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by anamal1

Trip Details
My wife and I arrived in San Juan from Newark on Continental Airlines on Saturday Sept 30th. Our flight was smooth and uneventful and we arrived just before noon as scheduled. We caught a $20.00 taxi to the El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan (OSJ) for one night ($205) before our cruise. We have been to PR 5 times and never stayed in Old San Juan. The El Convento oozes spanish colonial charm and is a visual delight. Our room was simple but super quiet and cool due to the double door that seals the room off from the hotel hallway/terrace. All rooms open up onto the central courtyard which overlooks palm trees, a cafe and a tapas bar. After check in, we spent the day going all around OSJ. We stopped at the Parrot Club for lunch and had a Chocatini to toast our coming cruise. It was our first vacation in ten years without children and our 16th anniversary. The weather was great but hot. It was about 50F at home and we were not used to the heat. However, the El Convento is in the middle of everything you would want to do in OSJ so we made frequent rest stops to cool down and top off our wine glasses. While the El Convento is not near a beach it does have a rooftop pool and jacuzzi. We would have plenty of opportunities to swim in the caribbean while cruising. The hotel has a complimentary wine and cheese service from 6 to 7pm. The patio where the wine and cheese is served is immediately next to the pool area so we naturally took a few glasses of wine into the jacuzzi and totally enjoyed the hot caribbean air. We went to the Tapas bar at the Convento later in the evening and the food was terrible. I sent back my chorizos which tasted like canned cocktail wieners. My wife had crab empanadas which were mostly fluffy dough with very little of something inside that tasted nothing like crab. Don't waste your money on the food here. If you are looking for a place with old world charm and first world comfort stay at the El Convento for at least one night before the cruise. It was a far better start to our cruise than I had thought possible. OCT 1st We checked out around 11am on Sunday and caught a cab to to RCCL pier. It is too far to walk so do not attempt it.
The check in was a mad house but I don't see how it could be otherwise with 3000 people boarding. We were on board by 12:45pm. When you enter the check-in area and finish getting your room assigned you will probably notice the duty free shop. Listen closely to the advice of the people in the shop regarding bringing liquor on board. I believe it is best to make sure you have your wine securely wrapped in your checked luggage but if you have any in a back pack and have it confiscated at the ships boarding area, be really nice to the gentlemen who confiscate it. They will always give it back to you at the end of the cruise but I am "convinced" that it can magically appear again while onboard given the right attitude on your part. Hint
Hint. Adventure of the Seas was positively amazing. I had not been on a cruise ship since 1992 on a few "cruises to nowhere" out of Manhattan. We stayed in RM 8350. The balcony was fantastic. The bed was a bit thin but we were so tired every night that we could have slept on the floor and would not have minded. Overall the room was very good and the bathroom was roomy compared to what we have seen before. Our attendant, Janice from Jamaica, was very attentive and had a different towel animal prepped for us every night. A nice touch I thought. My personal favorite was the towel monkey hanging over our bed wearing my sunglasses.
Our first day was a Day At Sea and we spent the entire day exploring the ship from top to bottom. I climbed the rock wall and my wife hit the jacuzzi. We had dinner every night with our table at first seating. Paul and Becky from Indiana, Allen and Yvonne from Texas, Rick and Wanda from Texas, Joy and Jane from Florida. We had a blast getting to know each other and we stayed late chatting just about every night. Our dinner company made our cruise very enjoyable and personal. Rick bet me I had never met someone who did what he did for a living. He peeled onions for a living. Funny but apparently lucrative!!!!
When we woke up on Tuesday docked in Barbados we went out on the balcony and saw a rainbow. Our pre-booked Barbados Pirate Cruise Rum boat was cancelled due to technical difficulties. Never did find out exactly what that meant. We hit downtown shopping area and did some diamond shopping. I recently bought a two carat diamond so I am up to speed on prices and the 4C's. Diamonds were over priced by at least 50% and poor quality stones overall with no GIA certs just smaller less strict grading companies. I found diamond prices to be inflated through out the islands. A better deal can be had on the internet from reputable dealers. Antigua- We booked a helicopter tour to Monserrate to see the still erupting volcano that decimated the island ten years ago. $250 each for roughly a 45 minute flight. It was worth every penny. If you have never been in a chopper it really rides pretty smoothly so don't sweat it. Flying two passes at the volcano is amazing because the scale of the thing was something you cannot get from pics or movies. The pics I took look nothing like the real deal. On the way back we flew over the rear of the ship and it still looked huge. We were done with the chopper tour by 11am and raring to go. We went downtown and grabbed a taxi for $14 each to a beach. We swam at the beach for an hour or two and our driver waited for us and brought us back at about 2:30pm. We shopped for a bit and headed back to the ship.
St. Lucia- We booked the Rain forest zip line tour. Our guide Gideon was funny and informative. He stopped to get us cocoa pods and guava from the roadside so we could try them. St. Lucia is stunningly beautiful and worth a return visit. The zip lining was awesome. If you do this bring something to cover your head like a buff or do-rag because the helmets are funky smelling even though they make a big show of cleaning them when you are done. Have one of the guides take your video camera with him on the zip line so you have a video of it. Our video really wowed the kids when we got home. This really is not a strenuous activity except for a 150 yard uphill hike. Everything else is really easy and fun. St. Maarten-Dutch side.- We did the Rhino Tour which is like a jet ski with pontoons wrapped around it. Lots of fun and really quite terrifying when you let the wife drive. We almost became one with a buoy, a yacht and another Rhino watercraft in only 15 minutes. We rode out of the bay to a beach a few miles away and snorkeled for about a half hour. The rhinos were fast and responsive but the excursion seemed really short. The shopping in St. Maarten was the best out of all the islands and it was by far the cleanest island. We didn't make it to Orient Beach on the French side (nude beach) but it seemed at dinner everyone was laughing about inappropriate sunburns...maybe next time.
St. Thomas-In the AM we caught a taxi for $8 each to Magen's Bay. Absolutely tranquil beautiful beach. Small waves, warm water and lots of locals...all friendly and welcoming. The wife tanned and I got bored and swam across the bay. The water was flat like a pool...best swim I ever had as well as the best setting. We left around 11am for our SNUBA tour. I thought the SNUBA was a complete waste of time. Basically, you are tethered to a raft with an airsupply and a regulator with a twenty foot hose. We did this at the St. Thomas aquarium beach. It lasted for all of 20 minutes until the air ran out. A waste of money. The snorkeling in the aquarium area was really pretty good so save your money for something else. Snorkel or SCUBA but don't snuba.
On our anniversary, OCT 6, the waitress brought us out a banana split with a candle and made a big fuss of it.
Cruise entertainment-
Live latin music band was really good on the 14th deck lounge.
Disco was pretty good and started jumping after the latin band finished its sets. The latinas poured from the fourteenth deck down to the Jester Disco and jumpstarted the place.
After dinner shows were all excellent except for Kenny Jones/James. He was a Star Search winner. Somebody tell him you cannot improve Motown songs and make them better. Bad move Kenny.
The cruise director was awesome. Richard Spacey? Everytime he was around you knew he was going to make you laugh and he did.
All of the staff did everything they could to make us enjoy the cruise and it worked!!!
anamal1’s Full Rating Summary
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