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We just returned from our Southern Caribbean cruise on Adventure of the Seas, and it truly was an adventure! We had booked a flight from Detroit to San Juan on Northwest Airlines for Saturday, the day prior to the cruise, so we'd be there safely ahead of time. Halfway to Detroit, we had a rear tire blow out on our car, and come to find out my dear husband had removed the spare earlier and not replaced it. We called AAA and ordered a towtruck, but when the truck arrived the driver told us he couldn't tow us with a rear tire flat. So he ended up driving us back home where we picked up the spare tire and drove ourselves back in our other car. In the meantime, we had called Northwest to let them know we wouldn't be making our flight. They offered to let us pick up the only other flight out to San Juan, which was leaving an hour later than our original flight. We couldn't make that one in time, either—so it looked grim. After arriving home, with both cars, I phoned Northwest again and they arranged for us to be on the Sunday flight—which would arrive in time for us to board the ship. We crossed our fingers for luck, and all went smoothly. The plane landed, we got our luggage, got a taxi and were dropped off at the pier before "official" boarding time of 2 pm. Since we had received our cruise documents in the mail, and checked in online ahead of time, we already had our luggage sticky labels filled out, and our boarding passes in hand. The waiting line at the pier looked long, but moved very quickly—we were on the ship within a few minutes. Considering the rocky start to the trip, this was such a relief! We found our stateroom on the 9th deck ready and inviting, my husband's tuxedo and shoes he'd rented were stowed in the closet, and we enjoyed the wine and cheese plate that was set out on the counter. Since we were on the starboard side, we had a nice ocean view on our balcony for drinking our wine (which was excellent) instead of seeing people boarding at the pier. Then we headed up to the Windjammer to sample the food. The buffet in the Windjammer was good, but not as tasty as what we had on the Jewel of the Seas (a smaller ship). Throughout the week, I swear at lunchtime they were serving leftovers from the day before, which I don't ever remember seeing on the Jewel. My favorite items were the desserts—they were ALL exceptionally delicious, often "gourmet" quality tarts, mousse, and cakes—so I could forgive them for serving the same exact pasta, lettuce, and Waldorf salad all week. Breakfast was like the lunch, adequate but the same exact scrambled eggs, ham and cheese omelet, sausages, bacon, etc. all week. We ate breakfast in the dining room twice, where there were elegant surroundings but not much difference in the food (except we got real toast there). Dinner was very good each day, we tried seafood, steak, duck, chicken, turkey, pork, and some Indian vegetarian entrees—all were tasty and well-prepared. Salads were made with the freshest ingredients. Desserts, to die for! Our servers were attentive and friendly. We were at a table for 8, but two nights we were the only 2 at the table. One other couple, who were delightful company, joined us at the table the other 5 nights. I felt sorry for the waiters, as two of their big tables were half empty along with ours, which surely cut into their tips. Why people would eat in the Windjammer for dinner instead of the dining room I can't imagine—the dining room meals are at the top of the list of what we love about cruising! Our stateroom was immaculately kept by our attendant, Billy. We requested distilled water for my CPAP breathing machine which he procured immediately. The entire week, he kept our cabin in great shape, replacing our used towels and making our bed multiple times each day (we got so tired out from all the activities we had to take one or two naps). Whenever we saw him, he greeted us heartily with a big smile. Other attendants in that hallway were the same way, very friendly and seemed to enjoy their work. The shows in the Lyric Theater and the Ice Show were exceptional—we have found cruise shows to be entertaining but somewhat cheesy, but these were way better than any we have seen before. The choreography, artistic sets, costuming, lighting, and performances were awesome! The "Cool Art, Hot Ice" show is not to be missed. It was not only entertaining, but quite emotionally moving due to the artistic quality (it's far beyond the "Ice Capades" we expected). El Gaucho and the adult comedy show were extremely funny. We didn't attend any of the activities involving cruise member participation (like the love and marriage game) but other people who like that sort of thing said they were fun. I'll take their word for it! We booked shore excursions through the ship ahead of time. On Aruba we did the DePalm Island Snorkeling Adventure, which involved riding in a small bus and taking a short ferry ride to the island. We took our own snorkeling equipment, but the excursion also included it (it was the same brand as my husband's own equipment). All the food and beverages you could eat were included. The snorkeling here was excellent, lots of colorful fish everywhere. The reefs are quite shallow, and the sea was rough—swells would carry us uncomfortably close to rocks and reefs at times—but that added to the excitement. A couple people got scrapes, but we emerged unscathed. This was a half-day excursion, so we were too tired to explore Aruba. We want to return there for a vacation to experience more of the island than a cruise allows. We snorkeled again at St. Maarten, at the Tiki Hut Snorkel Park. A boat took us all to the park, which consists of a floating raft with a Tiki Hut on it (a bar serves alcohol, freshly grilled hot dogs and burgers), and lounge chairs. They have a private area for snorkeling, in a beautiful spot of rocky shore. Lots of rocks, sunken ship wrecks, cannons, and a submarine lurk under the water's surface to look at while snorkeling. Fish were pretty but not plentiful. We saw an eel and lots of sea urchins and different types of coral. People were able to return to the cruise ship whenever they desired—the young people who operated this excursion were very pleasant and responsive. Once again, we were too tired to explore the town after returning to the ship (nap time, again)…so that will be on the next trip agenda. In Curacao, we walked around Willemstad, which had lots of places to spend money on drinks, food, and merchandise. We're not really into shopping, and the food on the ship was great, so I wished we had booked a shore excursion here. Our table mates told us at dinner that the Hato Caves and the Dolphin Encounter/Animal Encounter Snorkel and Swim, were among the most memorable experiences of their lives! So that will teach us not to be cheap next time… On St. Thomas we hopped into an open shuttle bus that took us free to a nearby shopping center, where we paid to ride the Paradise Point Tramway up to the highest spot on the island. The view of beautiful St. Thomas was worth the price (which was $1 higher than the price of a ticket through the cruise ship—who'd expect that??). There are some small shops with jewelry and souvenir items, and a restaurant/bar at the top. We had a flying fish sandwich (deep-fried, a bit too long) and French fries there. Looked around the shops in St. Thomas, if you are into serious shopping for jewelry, booze, or clothing you would be in heaven here. We aren't, so we mostly enjoyed looking at all the pretty bright and pastel colored houses and shops, and the gorgeous island scenery. People we spoke with later reported that their trips to Coral World and Magen's Bay were fun. Two days were spent just cruising, so we explored the ship further. There's a casino with a ton of slot machines, we actually witnessed a few people winning a bunch of quarters. We didn't, sorry to say. The pools, hot tubs, and deck lounge chairs were always full of people as was the Promenade street in the center of the ship. Many people enjoying their drinks at the pool and in the bars, all day and into the evenings. There were some great musicians playing-- Latin music and dancing in the Blue Moon bar on the 14th floor, and a folk/rock singer in one of the bars on the Promenade street most evenings. The pizza and Seattle's best coffee available free in the Promenade Café were frequent stops for us. It's the best coffee on the ship, you serve yourself any time of the night or day. We didn't eat at Johnny Rockets or Portofino's, since we saw no need to escape the regular fare. Portofino's got rave reviews from people. Maybe next time! Getting off the ship was easy and smooth—we left our room at 8 am as requested, went to eat breakfast at the Windjammer, then waited in the Lyric Theater with most of the ship's passengers for our number to be called for disembarking. We only had to wait about a half hour, when "group 2" was called to disembark and locate luggage on the pier. We found our luggage after a couple minutes of wandering, whisked through the departure points, got a cab immediately to the airport. Since our flight didn't leave for hours, we ended up sitting around the airport for what seemed an eternity—but the seats were comfortable and the air conditioning kept us super-chilled so it was not bad. Our plane left right on time, and that Northwest pilot actually got us to Detroit an hour early!! Overall, this was a great cruise, with lots of adventure. My husband preferred the smaller Jewel of the Seas to this ship, as it was more congested with people. He's pretty introverted and likes his space, and there just isn't as much private space available on this ship as the Jewel. If you like lots of activity, and have kids, this ship has so much going on all the time for all ages. The Jewel is a more elegant ship, with a more relaxed atmosphere.

big ship, big adventure!

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by beadmaven

Trip Details
We just returned from our Southern Caribbean cruise on Adventure of the Seas, and it truly was an adventure!
We had booked a flight from Detroit to San Juan on Northwest Airlines for Saturday, the day prior to the cruise, so we'd be there safely ahead of time. Halfway to Detroit, we had a rear tire blow out on our car, and come to find out my dear husband had removed the spare earlier and not replaced it. We called AAA and ordered a towtruck, but when the truck arrived the driver told us he couldn't tow us with a rear tire flat. So he ended up driving us back home where we picked up the spare tire and drove ourselves back in our other car. In the meantime, we had called Northwest to let them know we wouldn't be making our flight. They offered to let us pick up the only other flight out to San Juan, which was leaving an hour later than our original flight. We couldn't make that one in time, either—so it looked grim. After arriving home, with both cars, I phoned Northwest again and they arranged for us to be on the Sunday flight—which would arrive in time for us to board the ship. We crossed our fingers for luck, and all went smoothly. The plane landed, we got our luggage, got a taxi and were dropped off at the pier before "official" boarding time of 2 pm. Since we had received our cruise documents in the mail, and checked in online ahead of time, we already had our luggage sticky labels filled out, and our boarding passes in hand. The waiting line at the pier looked long, but moved very quickly—we were on the ship within a few minutes. Considering the rocky start to the trip, this was such a relief! We found our stateroom on the 9th deck ready and inviting, my husband's tuxedo and shoes he'd rented were stowed in the closet, and we enjoyed the wine and cheese plate that was set out on the counter. Since we were on the starboard side, we had a nice ocean view on our balcony for drinking our wine (which was excellent) instead of seeing people boarding at the pier. Then we headed up to the Windjammer to sample the food.
The buffet in the Windjammer was good, but not as tasty as what we had on the Jewel of the Seas (a smaller ship). Throughout the week, I swear at lunchtime they were serving leftovers from the day before, which I don't ever remember seeing on the Jewel. My favorite items were the desserts—they were ALL exceptionally delicious, often "gourmet" quality tarts, mousse, and cakes—so I could forgive them for serving the same exact pasta, lettuce, and Waldorf salad all week. Breakfast was like the lunch, adequate but the same exact scrambled eggs, ham and cheese omelet, sausages, bacon, etc. all week. We ate breakfast in the dining room twice, where there were elegant surroundings but not much difference in the food (except we got real toast there).
Dinner was very good each day, we tried seafood, steak, duck, chicken, turkey, pork, and some Indian vegetarian entrees—all were tasty and well-prepared. Salads were made with the freshest ingredients. Desserts, to die for! Our servers were attentive and friendly. We were at a table for 8, but two nights we were the only 2 at the table. One other couple, who were delightful company, joined us at the table the other 5 nights. I felt sorry for the waiters, as two of their big tables were half empty along with ours, which surely cut into their tips. Why people would eat in the Windjammer for dinner instead of the dining room I can't imagine—the dining room meals are at the top of the list of what we love about cruising!
Our stateroom was immaculately kept by our attendant, Billy. We requested distilled water for my CPAP breathing machine which he procured immediately. The entire week, he kept our cabin in great shape, replacing our used towels and making our bed multiple times each day (we got so tired out from all the activities we had to take one or two naps). Whenever we saw him, he greeted us heartily with a big smile. Other attendants in that hallway were the same way, very friendly and seemed to enjoy their work.
The shows in the Lyric Theater and the Ice Show were exceptional—we have found cruise shows to be entertaining but somewhat cheesy, but these were way better than any we have seen before. The choreography, artistic sets, costuming, lighting, and performances were awesome! The "Cool Art, Hot Ice" show is not to be missed. It was not only entertaining, but quite emotionally moving due to the artistic quality (it's far beyond the "Ice Capades" we expected). El Gaucho and the adult comedy show were extremely funny. We didn't attend any of the activities involving cruise member participation (like the love and marriage game) but other people who like that sort of thing said they were fun. I'll take their word for it!
We booked shore excursions through the ship ahead of time. On Aruba we did the DePalm Island Snorkeling Adventure, which involved riding in a small bus and taking a short ferry ride to the island. We took our own snorkeling equipment, but the excursion also included it (it was the same brand as my husband's own equipment). All the food and beverages you could eat were included. The snorkeling here was excellent, lots of colorful fish everywhere. The reefs are quite shallow, and the sea was rough—swells would carry us uncomfortably close to rocks and reefs at times—but that added to the excitement. A couple people got scrapes, but we emerged unscathed. This was a half-day excursion, so we were too tired to explore Aruba. We want to return there for a vacation to experience more of the island than a cruise allows.
We snorkeled again at St. Maarten, at the Tiki Hut Snorkel Park. A boat took us all to the park, which consists of a floating raft with a Tiki Hut on it (a bar serves alcohol, freshly grilled hot dogs and burgers), and lounge chairs. They have a private area for snorkeling, in a beautiful spot of rocky shore. Lots of rocks, sunken ship wrecks, cannons, and a submarine lurk under the water's surface to look at while snorkeling. Fish were pretty but not plentiful. We saw an eel and lots of sea urchins and different types of coral. People were able to return to the cruise ship whenever they desired—the young people who operated this excursion were very pleasant and responsive. Once again, we were too tired to explore the town after returning to the ship (nap time, again)…so that will be on the next trip agenda.
In Curacao, we walked around Willemstad, which had lots of places to spend money on drinks, food, and merchandise. We're not really into shopping, and the food on the ship was great, so I wished we had booked a shore excursion here. Our table mates told us at dinner that the Hato Caves and the Dolphin Encounter/Animal Encounter Snorkel and Swim, were among the most memorable experiences of their lives! So that will teach us not to be cheap next time…
On St. Thomas we hopped into an open shuttle bus that took us free to a nearby shopping center, where we paid to ride the Paradise Point Tramway up to the highest spot on the island. The view of beautiful St. Thomas was worth the price (which was $1 higher than the price of a ticket through the cruise ship—who'd expect that??). There are some small shops with jewelry and souvenir items, and a restaurant/bar at the top. We had a flying fish sandwich (deep-fried, a bit too long) and French fries there. Looked around the shops in St. Thomas, if you are into serious shopping for jewelry, booze, or clothing you would be in heaven here. We aren't, so we mostly enjoyed looking at all the pretty bright and pastel colored houses and shops, and the gorgeous island scenery. People we spoke with later reported that their trips to Coral World and Magen's Bay were fun.
Two days were spent just cruising, so we explored the ship further. There's a casino with a ton of slot machines, we actually witnessed a few people winning a bunch of quarters. We didn't, sorry to say. The pools, hot tubs, and deck lounge chairs were always full of people as was the Promenade street in the center of the ship. Many people enjoying their drinks at the pool and in the bars, all day and into the evenings. There were some great musicians playing-- Latin music and dancing in the Blue Moon bar on the 14th floor, and a folk/rock singer in one of the bars on the Promenade street most evenings. The pizza and Seattle's best coffee available free in the Promenade Café were frequent stops for us. It's the best coffee on the ship, you serve yourself any time of the night or day. We didn't eat at Johnny Rockets or Portofino's, since we saw no need to escape the regular fare. Portofino's got rave reviews from people. Maybe next time!
Getting off the ship was easy and smooth—we left our room at 8 am as requested, went to eat breakfast at the Windjammer, then waited in the Lyric Theater with most of the ship's passengers for our number to be called for disembarking. We only had to wait about a half hour, when "group 2" was called to disembark and locate luggage on the pier. We found our luggage after a couple minutes of wandering, whisked through the departure points, got a cab immediately to the airport. Since our flight didn't leave for hours, we ended up sitting around the airport for what seemed an eternity—but the seats were comfortable and the air conditioning kept us super-chilled so it was not bad. Our plane left right on time, and that Northwest pilot actually got us to Detroit an hour early!!
Overall, this was a great cruise, with lots of adventure. My husband preferred the smaller Jewel of the Seas to this ship, as it was more congested with people. He's pretty introverted and likes his space, and there just isn't as much private space available on this ship as the Jewel. If you like lots of activity, and have kids, this ship has so much going on all the time for all ages. The Jewel is a more elegant ship, with a more relaxed atmosphere.
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