Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by lwpeetz
- Sail Date: November 2008
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
Monday, Nov. 10, 2008: Our first day at sea. We ate breakfast in the Vivaldi dining room, and had a very nice meal served there. We proceeded to the various shops in the "Mall" in the middle of the ship. My husband bought a bathing suit, and I bought a t-shirt and pair of pants to supplement our clothing. We expected that AA would pay for these purchases. I booked a two-hour facial and massage combination in the spa, and was very satisfied with both. I especially loved the fact that my attendant Catherine, from the Philippines did not try to sell me all the products she had used on my face. It was a very enjoyable experience. My husband lay out on tone of the many lounge chairs available on the deck above the pool while I was getting my massage. In the evening I put on my same dress I had wore the night before, and we went to the Blue Moon lounge for the Cruise Critics members meeting. We were late to arrive at that meeting, but it seemed to mostly be an advertisement for "Oasis of the Seas", the new ship RCL will be premiering. I asked the assembled group if we dared to go to the formal dinner dressed as we were, since we had not heard whether we had tickets to the Mystery Dinner yet, and most people agreed that we could attend the formal dinner explaining to our tablemates that we were still without luggage. Luckily we did get to attend the Mystery Dinner, which began in the same Blue Moon lounge only minutes later. The "Mystery Dinner" was well worth the money ($49.50 each) and time. It began in the Blue Moon lounge, with champagne and passed hors d'oeuvres that were delicious. The characters were played (or Over-played) by members of the ship's entertainment crew, and the play was funny, the murder took place off-stage, and the discussion took place down in Portofino's. We went downstairs to Portofino's where we were seated at tables of about 10 couples. There was a choice between three meals, and the red and white wines flowed. Each character (or suspect) visited each table during dinner and we were allowed to ask each one questions. (however, they could lie with their answers.) We were given sheets of paper and pencils to explain who we thought the murderer was, and why. In the end, 13 people got the answer right, and they picked a name out of a hat to receive a bottle of wine as a prize. A grand time was experienced by all.
Day 3, Tues. Nov. 11, 2008: Aruba! We ordered our breakfast to be delivered to our room, and it arrived a few minutes before requested. The fruit plate was especially fine. We experienced a bit of waiting debarking the ship, and then again, as everyone who signed up for our excursion aboard the "Jolly Roger" sailboat had to sign a waiver. We went on an open air bus to the small pier where the Jolly Roger was docked and set off. We truly enjoyed this excursion, going first to a World War II shipwreck to snorkel, then on to a reef. At the end of the excursion we went to a place where the participants could swing off a rope into the water, and while the rum drinks flowed, a great time was had by all. When we went back to the ship around midday, we went to the Windjammer for the first time for lunch. I had a burger and some potato salad, the burger had been sitting in a steamer for a long time, my husband partook of the various salads for lunch. We then went to our stateroom where TA DAA! our luggage was waiting for us! We were so happy. My husband went back out to take pictures near the pier in Aruba, and I took a nap! At dinner time we went to maitre d' of Vivaldi, and requested the later dinner time. He was very accommodating and gave us the later seating. We then went upstairs to the Blue Moon lounge and later the 19th hole lounge to have drinks before dinner. Our dinner that evening was with two other couples, one British and the other a former air force colonel and his wife from Vermont. We had a lovely dinner and dessert, and I requested decaf coffee to end the evening. Later at 3:30 a.m. as I lay awake in our cabin, I concluded that the coffee must have been regular, and I was sad to have slept so little.
Day 4, Curacao, Nov. 12, 2008: We awoke early and ate breakfast in the Windjammer cafe, where I ate my fill in lox and bagels. This day, my husband was going on a kayaking excursion, and I had booked the "Caribbean Cooking Class" with Angelina's kitchen. I cannot say enough about this excursion, it was wonderful. There were about 20 people on this excursion, and we were taxied to the house a few blocks up in the hills of Curacao. Angelinas Kitchen is run by Carmelita, while Angelina is pursuing other endeavors. We were divided up in 5 groups of 4, and each assigned a course to make. If you love to cook, or just love to eat, this is a terrific excursion! I cannot recommend it enough! Everyone had fun, the food was great, the wine flowed (again!) and afterwards we walked back to the ship, all downhill from the house where the class was held. Several people went over to the shopping area of Curacao, but I returned to the ship for my daily nap! My husband had fun on his excursion too! That night when we went to dinner there were four couples for our six people table, and as we had been the last to be seated, we volunteered to be moved. We were sent downstairs to sit with Barb and Dave from St. Louis, Missouri, whom we ended up staying with the rest of our time aboard. Once again the food was fine, and we found the assistant waiter, Oscar to be of the most help.
Day 5, Thursday, Nov. 13, Day at Sea: This day at sea we slept late and ate a very late breakfast in Windjammer around 10:30-11:00 a.m. We spent the majority of the day around the "adult" pool area. This was one of our favorite places on the ship, there was no noise, no bands, no announcements, and although many people "saved" the lounge chairs, we still were able to find ones out of the sun where we could read and relax. That evening we finally dressed up for the second formal night, and went to the on-board show, which was extremely entertaining. I was impressed with the singing and dancing of the entertainment crew, we often visit Broadway, and attend shows in the D.C. area, and we found the quality of the entertainers to be very high.
Day 6, Friday, Nov. 14th, St. Maarten/St. Martin: After breakfast at Windjammer we debarked the ship and walked straight over to a Hertz Car Rental located only a hundred yards from the end of the pier! For a final total of $64.00 we were able to rent an automatic Toyota Corolla for the day. We drove all around the island, both the Dutch and French sides, ate lunch at a Beach Club called "Mr. Busby's" on Dawn Beach, then ended back in Philipsburg to do some shopping. We got lost in Marigot and never found a place to park and walk around. We stopped at Oriental Beach, and then settled at Dawn Beach. Overall a very nice day, for less money than two excursions would have cost us. That night was "Lobster Night" in the dining room, and the waiters brought us each a second lobster tail. Very, very nice!
Day 7, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008, St. Thomas: In the morning we went on the ship's excursion aboard the Catamaran Island Girl. Our catamaran went to Buck Island, since my hub and I had been to St. John many years earlier we wanted to snorkel a new place. One of the young men aboard the catamaran was a marine biologist, and he told us that 40% of the area's coral had all died in 2004, when the Sea had heated to 88 degrees in temperature. We enjoyed the excursion, but didn't see nearly the amount of varied fish we had remembered seeing when we had visited the Virgin Islands in 1980. Later that day I spoke to a couple of gentlemen who had gone on the excursion to Trunk Bay in St. John, and they said they saw dozens and dozens of different kinds of fish. So if you are looking for a dazzling snorkeling experience, head to Trunk Bay in St. John. The 15th was my 55th birthday, and that evening, due to the insistence of our tablemate Barb, I did get a slice of cake with a candle in it. Both Friday and Saturday nights we had finally discovered the casino, and I managed to lose about $25.00 each night. Just three seats from mine at the slots a man won $4000.00, which they paid him in $100.00 bills!
Day 8, Sunday, Nov. 16th, San Juan, Puerto Rico: Since we had booked a night in Old San Juan at the Hotel Milano, we were among the 5th group to debark. This really was very simple, and we didn't mind the wait. We took a taxi to the hotel, which was an ideal location and a terrific price. For further information, see our review in TripAdvisor.com of the hotel in San Juan! Conclusions: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Good: We had a wonderful, relaxing cruise, where we spent too much money on booze. Our cabin was plenty spacious for us, it was cleaned twice a day by our attendant Lavorne. The service we received everywhere aboard the ship was outstanding, everyone seemed happy to see us, greet us, and do whatever they could to make our cruise enjoyable. If there were 3000 people aboard this ship we could not tell, we never felt over-crowded. Probably over half the guests aboard were Puerto Ricans, mostly families, who all seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. One important note: There were very few children aboard this ship. Most of the children were younger than school age, and we were never bothered by kids running, screaming, etc. During school holidays and breaks this may be a totally different experience. The Bad: We were charged $10.95 for expenses from the mini-bar, and we never used it, except for the diet cokes we brought aboard. The lines to report problems with your bill were so long, it wasn't worth the time and effort for eleven bucks. Still irritating though. The Ugly: Our room had a connecting door. Thankfully the people who stayed on the other side spent very little time in the room, and rarely played their T.V. However, every night, like clockwork, we could hear their intimate moments. Every sound. Next time I'll request NO connecting doors.
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