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Review of Adventure of The Seas Aug.29-Sept. 5 This is the 8th cruise for my husband and I since 1998. We're both 38 years old. Adventure of the Seas is the best ship we've been on. Our travel agents did a great job planning this trip for us. We met them on a Celebrity Cruise 4 years ago. Sat. Aug. 28: Arrived in San Juan a day early and stayed at Intercontinental Hotel, Isla Verde, San Juan (www.intercontinentalhotels.com). This hotel was beautiful. Our room had a balcony overlooking the pools, beach, and ocean. The concierge was very helpful in suggesting places to eat and made dinner reservations for us. We ate lunch at Mi Casita which is a local cuisine restaurant across the street and a little to the right of the hotel. The ambiance was nice, food ok, service slow but it was fun to try some local food. We ate dinner at Ajili Mojili (1006 Ashford Ave Condado San Juan), a $12, ten minute cab ride from our hotel. This place was fabulous. The setting was very romantic, our waiter was very nice and helpful, the food was fantastic, and there was a trio of musicians (String Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Saxophone) that were very good. We had crab cakes, skewers of shrimp, chicken, and beef and vanilla flan and cheese flan for dessert. We split the appetizer and entrEe, had our own desserts and each had a glass of wine and the total was $55, very reasonable for the caliber of the food. We would definitely go back here again. Sun. Aug. 29: We ate breakfast at "Mi Casita" which was very good and very economical. The hotel buffet was $18 per person. We hung out at the beach all morning (towels and lounge chairs provided by the hotel). You wear bracelets to identify you as hotel guests. We ate lunch at Wendys (there's also a Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC nearby - all to the right of the hotel). We packed and checked out of the hotel and had them watch our luggage while we hung out by the pool until about 2 pm. You can check out through your TV but we didn't know that and there was a very long line at the front desk. A helpful bellboy helped us check out without having to go through the line. We tipped him. Around noon the hotel had live music and then folk dancers to provide entertainment. This would be a nice place to stay longer. We arrived at the Pier at 2:30 pm and were on the ship by 3 pm. We didn't get our luggage until about 7 pm. Note, it's not worth it to take a dive knife if you're going to go scuba diving. RCI confiscated the knife out of our luggage. My husband could have picked it up as we were leaving the ship at each port we were going diving in but decided that it was too much of a hassle. We also found out that many dive shops won't let you carry a knife or even wear gloves in order to protect the coral. We had read that the first night of the cruise is a good night to eat at Portifino's because you don't need a reservation. We stopped by the restaurant just to check and they said that most of the time on the first night you don't need reservations but there have been a few times that they've almost had to turn someone away on the first night, so they took our reservation. It turned out that we didn't need it but better safe than sorry. We dressed for dinner before the muster drill then dropped off our life jackets back in our cabin and went straight to Portifinos about 9 pm. The restaurant was only half full while we were there. The food was absolutely wonderful from the bread to dessert. I hate paying extra for anything but this was worth the extra $20 per person and was a great way to start off our cruise. The presentation was beautiful. Each plate of food was a piece of art. Our cabin was on Deck 10 aft, room 1347. The location of the cabin couldn't have been better. We were a short walk to the stairs. The Windjammer was on Deck 11 right above us where we ate most breakfasts and lunches. Portifinos and Johnny Rockets were also really close to our room as was the pool. Now I know it's our own fault because we wanted to save money by booking an inside cabin, but this is the smallest cabin we've ever had with the least number of drawers. We had 3 desk drawers each to put our clothes in. There were some shelves in the closet that we made a little use of and probably could have used more although it was a little hard to get to. We ended up tripping all over each other all week, piling things on top of the little love seat (which I would have gladly exchanged for a dresser) and the desk and chair. At least we could fit our luggage underneath the bed. Mon. Aug. 30 St Thomas: We pre-booked a dive excursion with the ship--$90 per person. They used a dive shop right on the Pier, Underwater Safaris. (www.scubadivevi.com) Diane met us and she was very personable and knowledgeable, a fantastic host. I'd love to go diving with her again. There were only 4 certified divers with 1 dive master, Katie and 2 discover scuba students with Diane so it was a great experience. We've heard that there are often around 40 divers on the boat but maybe that's in the busy season. One of the divers with us went diving with them last week (he did a back to back cruise) and said that it was a small group last week too. We went on two 35 minute dives (Taos Reef and Cartanser Sr. Wreck). The Reef was beautiful with lots of coral and lots of colorful fish. We saw an 18" diameter sea turtle hanging out on the ocean floor feeding. We got really close to him and he paid us no mind. We also saw fish that burrow into the sand and some really beautiful bright vivid purple tall coral. At the wreck we saw sergeant major fish guarding their eggs that looked like purple paint splotches on the side of the wreck. We also saw two 3' barracudas, and a hiding lobster. I would do these dives again. After diving we went back to the ship to shower and eat lunch and then back out to St. Thomas to shop. I went back to Mr. Tablecloth to buy some extra pieces of the Christmas pattern I had bought a couple of years ago but they only had placemats left in that pattern. Here's where the saying comes in "if you see something you like, buy it because you may not see it again." We had a couple of frozen margaritas at this great place on the water front. I can't remember the name of the place but we go there every time we're in St. Thomas because the drinks are great and inexpensive $4 each for a large drink. It's just a little hole in the wall, most if not all the seating is outside. When you face the water you can see the Hard Rock Cafe to your right. I think that Columbian Emeralds is right there to the right also. We went back about 3 pm to the ship, I think the diving wore us out. My husband went to get ice show tickets. Make sure you do this. It doesn't cost extra but there aren't enough seats for everybody so you have to get tickets. The show is great so don't miss it. We went dressed for dinner than went to the Meet and Mingle but we were late (It's hard to get there by 5 pm!) so we missed some of the people who left early to get ready for dinner. We went to dinner and met our tablemates, two really nice couples. There were a lot of empty seats at the main (or early) dinner. I can understand why people would want to eat at Portifinos one or two nights but that couldn't account for all the empty tables on a full ship. I can't imagine why anyone would choose Johnny Rockets or Windjammer over the dining room for dinner but I guess some people don't like to get dressed up. There also could be people who ate in the cabin if they had balconies. I went to the show which was The Drifters. The show was really good. Tues. Aug. 31 we were supposed to go to St. Martin but because of Hurricane Francis we had a day at sea instead. We ended up going to St. Martin on Saturday which was going to be our day at sea and had a shortened time there, about 5 hours. Being a day at sea gave me opportunity to take advantage of the exercise classes. I went to the Wake Up and Stretch class at 7:30 am. We went ice skating after lunch about 1:30. You need to wear pants and socks to do this activity. It was fun to be ice skating in the middle of the Caribbean and it really made me appreciate the talent of the skaters later in the week after I tried to remember how to even get around at all on ice without falling down. We layed out in the sun for awhile. It's easy to get a chair by the pool in the morning, no one there at 9 am but much harder after lunch. It didn't matter to us, we went up higher and faced the ocean which was a prettier setting and much quieter. I took the Pilates Class ($10) and the Yoga Class ($10) in the afternoon and then quickly (15 min.) got ready for dinner at 6 pm. We went to the ice show at 9 pm. We started waiting in line (we brought books) at 8:20 pm but we probably could have come about 8:40 pm and still have gotten good seats. We sat in the front row on a long side about 1/3 of the way down from the short side. These were great seats because we were so close to the skaters. The best seats in my opinion would be the front row of the short side. Again, this is a great show, make sure you get your tickets earlier in the week. Wed. Sept. 1 Antigua: We booked an excursion over the internet called "Eli's Eco Tour" (www.adventureantigua.com) $81 per person. They pick you up at the pier at 10 am and get you back by 4:15 pm. Lunch is included and is good. There were 20 of us that met them at the pier made up of cruise ship passengers and hotel guests. We made 2 stops at resorts to pick up people (3 at one and 2 at another) for a total of 25 people on the boat. The entire trip was really good but I really enjoyed "Hell's Gate". It's a really beautiful setting and it was fun to climb through the cave and then walk across the bridge. We saw some interesting snails, crabs, and some strange looking algae eating creatures that looked like fossils or something scaring out of a science fiction movie. We found out about this tour on the cruisecritic message boards and would join the many people before us who would recommend this tour. Remember to bring your camera, you'll get some great pictures. Two shops I would recommend in Antigua are the YodaGuy (www.1001resources.com/hosting/users/AT/YodaGuy) and RastaPasta which is not a restaurant but a shop which has hundreds if not thousands of beaded necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets at good prices. There are 2 stores in Antigua, 1 next door or near the YodaGuy on the second floor of Heritage Quay and down one of the streets near The Jolly Roger boat. In general, make sure you have plenty of $1 bills because at two different Islands stores had run out of them (especially at the end of the day) and they had to give me change in quarters! It's not fun to carry around $3-$4 in change. Dinner in the dining room was ok but my opinion is that this would have been a good night to eat at Portifinos. After dinner we went to The Lyric Theatre around 8:20 and read the books we had brought with us until about 8:45 pm when the Cruise Comics started their interactive pre-show routine. It was cute. The show "Velvet Rope" started at 9 pm and the singing and dancing in it was excellent. Don't miss this show. Thurs. Sept. 2 St. Lucia: St. Lucia is a beautiful Island but there's not much shopping or much to do unless you take an excursion. We pre-booked scuba diving excursion with the ship. This was a 6 hour lunch included trip for $120 per person. (www.scubastlucia.com) Because it's at Anse Chastnet, it's about a 45 min. boat ride from the pier. It's beautiful scenery on the boat ride and the dive shop location and dive sites are absolutely gorgeous, right next to the Pitons! I was kicking myself for not bringing my good camera. Next time I will and I will definitely do this excursion again if I get a chance. When we arrived at the dive shop, they had our tanks/regulators/bcs all ready to go set out on the sidewalk with our name written in chalk in front of them (very organized). We were divided up into 2 groups; 8 people with one dive master and 7 with the other dive master. They checked us on two skills (buoyancy check and mask clearing) before they would take us on the first dive which was a beach dive. This dive was great as was the 2nd boat dive. After the dives they took us to the beach where they had dropped off the snorkelers earlier. There we walked a little ways through the jungle to a pavilion for the buffet lunch. The food was ok (grilled chicken and fish, pasta, salad, bland rice, bland canned beans) except for the awesome carrot cake but the setting made up for it. We then had about 45 min. to lounge around on the beach or go snorkeling before heading back. I'm looking forward to coming back and doing this excursion again sometime. Tonight was Lobster night, don't miss it in the dining room. Also, don't miss the flourless chocolate cake, it's yummy. Fri. Sept. 3 Barbados: Because we're going to St. Martin tomorrow, we arrive in Barbados an hour early and leave an hour early. We pre-booked scuba excursion through the ship $90 per person. They met us at the pier and took us by vans to the dive shop. (www.barbados.org/diving/westsidescuba) You need to leave everything but your dive gear in the lockers at this shop because they don't have a dock and you have to wade chest high out to the boat holding your dive gear over your head to get on the boat. They really should do something about this. Then you have to hook up your regulator and bc to your tank. For the cost, they really should do this for you. We went on 2 reef dives; 8 people with 1 dive master and 9 people with the other dive master. Visibility was not as good as St. Thomas and St. Lucia but it was ok. On the 2nd dive we swam with a 1' diameter turtle for about 10 minutes (very cool). We saw spotted eels, puffer fish, centipede like worms, lots of tree coral and other coral and lots of fish. After the dive was were brought back to the pier in the vans. My husband took the dive gear back to our cabin and I stayed to shop around the port. I walked down the street to the craft mall but there wasn't much there. I should have bought the Tortuga rum cakes there because they were $3.85 for the small cakes where as they were $4 each at the Pier. Don't miss these cakes, they're really good. There are several shops right at the pier that have samples you can taste. The other thing to buy here is the cream rum. This is my favorite thing about Barbados. The best cream rum is the stuff in the clear bottles that they sell from a cart in the center of the mall. This stuff is fantastic in coffee, hot chocolate, ice cream, or just by itself. Don't pass up a chance to try this stuff, they give out free samples. We always bring home a few bottles of this stuff. After dinner we sat in the front row again for the main show. This is another good show "Can't Stop the Rock" with great singing and dancing, not to be missed. Sat. Sept. 4 St. Martin: Because we're not set to arrive until noon, I try the Rock Climbing wall at 9 am. and then we play miniature golf. No line at either activity, apparently most people are still sleeping in or eating breakfast. At 10:45 we bring our books up to read while waiting to get in to Johnny Rockets which opens at 11:30 am. A line forms around 11:10 and there are about 20 people waiting by 11:20. Johnny Rockets is a fun place to eat. The onion rings and fries are very good as are the specialty hamburgers (all included), the malts are about $3.60 but are really good so I guess they're worth it. Make sure you eat at least 1 meal here. We get off the ship about 12:15 pm and take a cab to Orient Beach/Bikini Beach ($5 each if the van is full). At the beach, 2 chairs and 1 umbrella costs $18, a little pricey. (There are cheaper chairs and umbrellas at other sections of the beach). Orient Beach (au natural) and Bikini Beach, right next to it are really pretty beaches with soft sand in a nice setting. There are plenty of water sports and some bars and restaurants. We stay a few hours then head into town to shop a little.($20 for the 2 of us, would have been cheaper per person if there were more people). Make sure you go to the Guava Berry Emporium and try the local liquor, especially their frozen drink, its very good. Another store I recommend is the Belgium chocolate shop. It's near the YodaGuy's shop (he has one here as well as Antigua) on Old Street Arcade. These chocolates are really good but a little pricey. A box of 9 that you pick are $16. But, we're hooked, we always buy their chocolate when we come to the island. We go to the Farewell Show which we could have done without. After 7 cruises, we're tired of the farewell shows. We pack everything but what we'll wear tomorrow and carry in our carry on luggage and put it out in the hall. Sun Sept. 5 San Juan Disembarking: We're out of our cabin by 8 am like they request and go to The Lyric Theatre to wait to be called to disembark. We're in the 2nd group to be called and leave by 8:20 (pretty fast). We pick up our luggage and get through customs and are in a taxi to the airport by 9:00am (amazing). We probably could have gone into Old San Juan and shopped a little. There is a store that will watch your luggage for you. At the airport, there is no line for ATA and we are down to our gate by 9:45 am. We sit around and read until our flight leaves at 1:45 pm. Conclusions: This was our favorite ship. We would go on it again in a heartbeat although we might pay for an outside room so it would be bigger. Carnival Inspiration - July 1998 Carnival Fascination - October 1999 RCI Monarch of the Seas - May 2000 Celebrity Horizon - November 2000 Princess Ocean Princess - November 2001 Norwegian SS Norway - October 2002 Carnival Inspiration - May 2003 RCI Adventure of the Seas - Aug 2004

Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Tracy1

Trip Details
Review of Adventure of The Seas Aug.29-Sept. 5
This is the 8th cruise for my husband and I since 1998. We're both 38 years old. Adventure of the Seas is the best ship we've been on. Our travel agents did a great job planning this trip for us. We met them on a Celebrity Cruise 4 years ago.
Sat. Aug. 28: Arrived in San Juan a day early and stayed at Intercontinental Hotel, Isla Verde, San Juan (www.intercontinentalhotels.com). This hotel was beautiful. Our room had a balcony overlooking the pools, beach, and ocean. The concierge was very helpful in suggesting places to eat and made dinner reservations for us. We ate lunch at Mi Casita which is a local cuisine restaurant across the street and a little to the right of the hotel. The ambiance was nice, food ok, service slow but it was fun to try some local food. We ate dinner at Ajili Mojili (1006 Ashford Ave Condado San Juan), a $12, ten minute cab ride from our hotel. This place was fabulous. The setting was very romantic, our waiter was very nice and helpful, the food was fantastic, and there was a trio of musicians (String Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Saxophone) that were very good. We had crab cakes, skewers of shrimp, chicken, and beef and vanilla flan and cheese flan for dessert. We split the appetizer and entrEe, had our own desserts and each had a glass of wine and the total was $55, very reasonable for the caliber of the food. We would definitely go back here again.
Sun. Aug. 29: We ate breakfast at "Mi Casita" which was very good and very economical. The hotel buffet was $18 per person. We hung out at the beach all morning (towels and lounge chairs provided by the hotel). You wear bracelets to identify you as hotel guests. We ate lunch at Wendys (there's also a Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC nearby - all to the right of the hotel). We packed and checked out of the hotel and had them watch our luggage while we hung out by the pool until about 2 pm. You can check out through your TV but we didn't know that and there was a very long line at the front desk. A helpful bellboy helped us check out without having to go through the line. We tipped him. Around noon the hotel had live music and then folk dancers to provide entertainment. This would be a nice place to stay longer. We arrived at the Pier at 2:30 pm and were on the ship by 3 pm. We didn't get our luggage until about 7 pm. Note, it's not worth it to take a dive knife if you're going to go scuba diving. RCI confiscated the knife out of our luggage. My husband could have picked it up as we were leaving the ship at each port we were going diving in but decided that it was too much of a hassle.
We also found out that many dive shops won't let you carry a knife or even wear gloves in order to protect the coral. We had read that the first night of the cruise is a good night to eat at Portifino's because you don't need a reservation. We stopped by the restaurant just to check and they said that most of the time on the first night you don't need reservations but there have been a few times that they've almost had to turn someone away on the first night, so they took our reservation. It turned out that we didn't need it but better safe than sorry. We dressed for dinner before the muster drill then dropped off our life jackets back in our cabin and went straight to Portifinos about 9 pm. The restaurant was only half full while we were there. The food was absolutely wonderful from the bread to dessert. I hate paying extra for anything but this was worth the extra $20 per person and was a great way to start off our cruise. The presentation was beautiful. Each plate of food was a piece of art.
Our cabin was on Deck 10 aft, room 1347. The location of the cabin couldn't have been better. We were a short walk to the stairs. The Windjammer was on Deck 11 right above us where we ate most breakfasts and lunches. Portifinos and Johnny Rockets were also really close to our room as was the pool. Now I know it's our own fault because we wanted to save money by booking an inside cabin, but this is the smallest cabin we've ever had with the least number of drawers. We had 3 desk drawers each to put our clothes in. There were some shelves in the closet that we made a little use of and probably could have used more although it was a little hard to get to. We ended up tripping all over each other all week, piling things on top of the little love seat (which I would have gladly exchanged for a dresser) and the desk and chair. At least we could fit our luggage underneath the bed.
Mon. Aug. 30 St Thomas: We pre-booked a dive excursion with the ship--$90 per person. They used a dive shop right on the Pier, Underwater Safaris. (www.scubadivevi.com) Diane met us and she was very personable and knowledgeable, a fantastic host. I'd love to go diving with her again. There were only 4 certified divers with 1 dive master, Katie and 2 discover scuba students with Diane so it was a great experience. We've heard that there are often around 40 divers on the boat but maybe that's in the busy season. One of the divers with us went diving with them last week (he did a back to back cruise) and said that it was a small group last week too. We went on two 35 minute dives (Taos Reef and Cartanser Sr. Wreck).
The Reef was beautiful with lots of coral and lots of colorful fish. We saw an 18" diameter sea turtle hanging out on the ocean floor feeding. We got really close to him and he paid us no mind. We also saw fish that burrow into the sand and some really beautiful bright vivid purple tall coral. At the wreck we saw sergeant major fish guarding their eggs that looked like purple paint splotches on the side of the wreck. We also saw two 3' barracudas, and a hiding lobster. I would do these dives again. After diving we went back to the ship to shower and eat lunch and then back out to St. Thomas to shop. I went back to Mr. Tablecloth to buy some extra pieces of the Christmas pattern I had bought a couple of years ago but they only had placemats left in that pattern. Here's where the saying comes in "if you see something you like, buy it because you may not see it again."
We had a couple of frozen margaritas at this great place on the water front. I can't remember the name of the place but we go there every time we're in St. Thomas because the drinks are great and inexpensive $4 each for a large drink. It's just a little hole in the wall, most if not all the seating is outside. When you face the water you can see the Hard Rock Cafe to your right. I think that Columbian Emeralds is right there to the right also. We went back about 3 pm to the ship, I think the diving wore us out. My husband went to get ice show tickets. Make sure you do this. It doesn't cost extra but there aren't enough seats for everybody so you have to get tickets. The show is great so don't miss it. We went dressed for dinner than went to the Meet and Mingle but we were late (It's hard to get there by 5 pm!) so we missed some of the people who left early to get ready for dinner. We went to dinner and met our tablemates, two really nice couples. There were a lot of empty seats at the main (or early) dinner. I can understand why people would want to eat at Portifinos one or two nights but that couldn't account for all the empty tables on a full ship. I can't imagine why anyone would choose Johnny Rockets or Windjammer over the dining room for dinner but I guess some people don't like to get dressed up. There also could be people who ate in the cabin if they had balconies. I went to the show which was The Drifters. The show was really good.
Tues. Aug. 31 we were supposed to go to St. Martin but because of Hurricane Francis we had a day at sea instead. We ended up going to St. Martin on Saturday which was going to be our day at sea and had a shortened time there, about 5 hours. Being a day at sea gave me opportunity to take advantage of the exercise classes. I went to the Wake Up and Stretch class at 7:30 am. We went ice skating after lunch about 1:30. You need to wear pants and socks to do this activity. It was fun to be ice skating in the middle of the Caribbean and it really made me appreciate the talent of the skaters later in the week after I tried to remember how to even get around at all on ice without falling down. We layed out in the sun for awhile. It's easy to get a chair by the pool in the morning, no one there at 9 am but much harder after lunch. It didn't matter to us, we went up higher and faced the ocean which was a prettier setting and much quieter. I took the Pilates Class ($10) and the Yoga Class ($10) in the afternoon and then quickly (15 min.) got ready for dinner at 6 pm. We went to the ice show at 9 pm. We started waiting in line (we brought books) at 8:20 pm but we probably could have come about 8:40 pm and still have gotten good seats. We sat in the front row on a long side about 1/3 of the way down from the short side. These were great seats because we were so close to the skaters. The best seats in my opinion would be the front row of the short side. Again, this is a great show, make sure you get your tickets earlier in the week.
Wed. Sept. 1 Antigua: We booked an excursion over the internet called "Eli's Eco Tour" (www.adventureantigua.com) $81 per person. They pick you up at the pier at 10 am and get you back by 4:15 pm. Lunch is included and is good. There were 20 of us that met them at the pier made up of cruise ship passengers and hotel guests. We made 2 stops at resorts to pick up people (3 at one and 2 at another) for a total of 25 people on the boat. The entire trip was really good but I really enjoyed "Hell's Gate". It's a really beautiful setting and it was fun to climb through the cave and then walk across the bridge. We saw some interesting snails, crabs, and some strange looking algae eating creatures that looked like fossils or something scaring out of a science fiction movie. We found out about this tour on the cruisecritic message boards and would join the many people before us who would recommend this tour.
Remember to bring your camera, you'll get some great pictures. Two shops I would recommend in Antigua are the YodaGuy (www.1001resources.com/hosting/users/AT/YodaGuy) and RastaPasta which is not a restaurant but a shop which has hundreds if not thousands of beaded necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets at good prices. There are 2 stores in Antigua, 1 next door or near the YodaGuy on the second floor of Heritage Quay and down one of the streets near The Jolly Roger boat. In general, make sure you have plenty of $1 bills because at two different Islands stores had run out of them (especially at the end of the day) and they had to give me change in quarters! It's not fun to carry around $3-$4 in change. Dinner in the dining room was ok but my opinion is that this would have been a good night to eat at Portifinos. After dinner we went to The Lyric Theatre around 8:20 and read the books we had brought with us until about 8:45 pm when the Cruise Comics started their interactive pre-show routine. It was cute. The show "Velvet Rope" started at 9 pm and the singing and dancing in it was excellent. Don't miss this show.
Thurs. Sept. 2 St. Lucia: St. Lucia is a beautiful Island but there's not much shopping or much to do unless you take an excursion. We pre-booked scuba diving excursion with the ship. This was a 6 hour lunch included trip for $120 per person. (www.scubastlucia.com) Because it's at Anse Chastnet, it's about a 45 min. boat ride from the pier. It's beautiful scenery on the boat ride and the dive shop location and dive sites are absolutely gorgeous, right next to the Pitons! I was kicking myself for not bringing my good camera. Next time I will and I will definitely do this excursion again if I get a chance. When we arrived at the dive shop, they had our tanks/regulators/bcs all ready to go set out on the sidewalk with our name written in chalk in front of them (very organized). We were divided up into 2 groups; 8 people with one dive master and 7 with the other dive master. They checked us on two skills (buoyancy check and mask clearing) before they would take us on the first dive which was a beach dive. This dive was great as was the 2nd boat dive. After the dives they took us to the beach where they had dropped off the snorkelers earlier. There we walked a little ways through the jungle to a pavilion for the buffet lunch. The food was ok (grilled chicken and fish, pasta, salad, bland rice, bland canned beans) except for the awesome carrot cake but the setting made up for it. We then had about 45 min. to lounge around on the beach or go snorkeling before heading back. I'm looking forward to coming back and doing this excursion again sometime. Tonight was Lobster night, don't miss it in the dining room. Also, don't miss the flourless chocolate cake, it's yummy.
Fri. Sept. 3 Barbados: Because we're going to St. Martin tomorrow, we arrive in Barbados an hour early and leave an hour early. We pre-booked scuba excursion through the ship $90 per person. They met us at the pier and took us by vans to the dive shop. (www.barbados.org/diving/westsidescuba) You need to leave everything but your dive gear in the lockers at this shop because they don't have a dock and you have to wade chest high out to the boat holding your dive gear over your head to get on the boat. They really should do something about this. Then you have to hook up your regulator and bc to your tank. For the cost, they really should do this for you. We went on 2 reef dives; 8 people with 1 dive master and 9 people with the other dive master. Visibility was not as good as St. Thomas and St. Lucia but it was ok. On the 2nd dive we swam with a 1' diameter turtle for about 10 minutes (very cool). We saw spotted eels, puffer fish, centipede like worms, lots of tree coral and other coral and lots of fish. After the dive was were brought back to the pier in the vans.
My husband took the dive gear back to our cabin and I stayed to shop around the port. I walked down the street to the craft mall but there wasn't much there. I should have bought the Tortuga rum cakes there because they were $3.85 for the small cakes where as they were $4 each at the Pier. Don't miss these cakes, they're really good. There are several shops right at the pier that have samples you can taste. The other thing to buy here is the cream rum. This is my favorite thing about Barbados. The best cream rum is the stuff in the clear bottles that they sell from a cart in the center of the mall. This stuff is fantastic in coffee, hot chocolate, ice cream, or just by itself. Don't pass up a chance to try this stuff, they give out free samples. We always bring home a few bottles of this stuff. After dinner we sat in the front row again for the main show. This is another good show "Can't Stop the Rock" with great singing and dancing, not to be missed.
Sat. Sept. 4 St. Martin: Because we're not set to arrive until noon, I try the Rock Climbing wall at 9 am. and then we play miniature golf. No line at either activity, apparently most people are still sleeping in or eating breakfast. At 10:45 we bring our books up to read while waiting to get in to Johnny Rockets which opens at 11:30 am. A line forms around 11:10 and there are about 20 people waiting by 11:20. Johnny Rockets is a fun place to eat. The onion rings and fries are very good as are the specialty hamburgers (all included), the malts are about $3.60 but are really good so I guess they're worth it. Make sure you eat at least 1 meal here. We get off the ship about 12:15 pm and take a cab to Orient Beach/Bikini Beach ($5 each if the van is full). At the beach, 2 chairs and 1 umbrella costs $18, a little pricey. (There are cheaper chairs and umbrellas at other sections of the beach). Orient Beach (au natural) and Bikini Beach, right next to it are really pretty beaches with soft sand in a nice setting. There are plenty of water sports and some bars and restaurants. We stay a few hours then head into town to shop a little.($20 for the 2 of us, would have been cheaper per person if there were more people). Make sure you go to the Guava Berry Emporium and try the local liquor, especially their frozen drink, its very good. Another store I recommend is the Belgium chocolate shop. It's near the YodaGuy's shop (he has one here as well as Antigua) on Old Street Arcade. These chocolates are really good but a little pricey. A box of 9 that you pick are $16. But, we're hooked, we always buy their chocolate when we come to the island. We go to the Farewell Show which we could have done without. After 7 cruises, we're tired of the farewell shows. We pack everything but what we'll wear tomorrow and carry in our carry on luggage and put it out in the hall.
Sun Sept. 5 San Juan Disembarking: We're out of our cabin by 8 am like they request and go to The Lyric Theatre to wait to be called to disembark. We're in the 2nd group to be called and leave by 8:20 (pretty fast). We pick up our luggage and get through customs and are in a taxi to the airport by 9:00am (amazing). We probably could have gone into Old San Juan and shopped a little. There is a store that will watch your luggage for you. At the airport, there is no line for ATA and we are down to our gate by 9:45 am. We sit around and read until our flight leaves at 1:45 pm.
Conclusions: This was our favorite ship. We would go on it again in a heartbeat although we might pay for an outside room so it would be bigger.
Carnival Inspiration - July 1998 Carnival Fascination - October 1999 RCI Monarch of the Seas - May 2000 Celebrity Horizon - November 2000 Princess Ocean Princess - November 2001 Norwegian SS Norway - October 2002 Carnival Inspiration - May 2003 RCI Adventure of the Seas - Aug 2004
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