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Try and keep this short and sweet. Myself 42, wife 40, kids 9 and 10. What an awesome time. Ship is spectacular, food was great in all areas. Service was outstanding. Our Balcony room 9654 was a little tight for the 4 of us but definitely manageable. The balcony was great for catching sunrises and sunsets. Great place to relax and have a drink before dinner or after the kids were in bed. Embarkation: Got our bags at San Juan airport, grabbed a taxi and were on our way. We had our taxi driver stop so we could grab a six pack and some butts. Got to the cruise terminal and holy cow, the line snaked out the door, all the way down the side of the building, around the corner and went on forever. There was a rumor that the computers were down. Glad I grabbed a six pack to officially start the vacation while standing in line. Even though the line was huge, it moved reasonably fast and we got on the ship in about an hour. We did the St. Thomas route and planned on doing beach/snorkeling at each port with our 9 and 10 yr olds. The opinions of the snorkeling spots below are based on us being amateurs, first time for my kids outside of a pool snorkeling. St. Thomas, went to Coki beach. Beach and scenery were beautiful. Water was beautiful, crystal clear, fish everywhere, lots of coral pieces and shell fragments for the little ones to play with near the shoreline. Couple of places to get food and drinks and not too many beach vendors. This was by far out most favorite snorkeling stop of the 5 ports. Fish were in the water just waist deep but if you went over to the right side of the beach there were fish everywhere. Bring a couple of dog biscuits and they will swarm your hand. Don't forget your underwater camera like we did. Taxi from the pier was $25 each way with tip, 2 chairs were $10 for the day, we did not get an umbrella. St. Martin. We were originally going to go to the end of Orient beach where Pedros is because there is supposed to be a small reef area where you can snorkel. Taxi driver talked us into going to Dawn beach, said the snorkeling was better. The water was very cloudy at Dawn beach until you go out about 150 feet, a little far for our young ones. Once you got out there the visibility was a little better but the current was fairly strong and it took a little while to swim back in to shore. Only saw a handful of fish here and there. The beach itself is beautiful surrounded by timeshares and condos. There is a beach bar place with outdoor tables for lunch and drinks, can't remember the name but it looked cool and tropical. An umbrella and 2 chairs was $10 for the day. There was also a small shack to rent snorkel equipment and beach floats. Taxi was $25 with tip from the pier each way. Although it was a beautiful beach I would probably go somewhere else next time for snorkeling. Antigua. This was the only excursion we did. Went to Stingray city. We did the second excursion of the day. It's well organized. They bring you out to a fenced in area about a mile or so from shore. The water in the enclosed area varied from say 3 feet deep to about 10 feet. You get some decent interaction with the stingrays but it's all with the handlers who are guiding you along and pretty much holding them while you touch them. There is a small reef at the far end of the enclosure also where you can see some fish but it was pretty cloudy. Got a few pictures of stingrays underwater but I'm sure they'll end up being just shadows. We talked to some folks who did the first excursion of the day and they said the water was crystal clear so definitely go earlier if you can before the water is churned up. It was pretty fun and I'd do it again. They serve rum punch and regular punch at the end but it's only available for about 30 minutes until the pictures for you to purchase are ready. We did buy 4 pictures on a cd for $60, they were pretty cool. The excursion was $66 per person and they take you on a bus right from the pier. Went back to the pier and found this tropical looking little bar and had a couple of drinks while my daughters got their hair braided ($35 for her whole head, not too bad). St. Lucia. Unfortunately we needed a break from sun and beaches so we decided to just hang on the ship this day, did some of the activities on the ship and went to Johnny Rockets for lunch which was fun. Barbados. We went to Folkstone marine park. At first we felt a little out of place because when we got there it was all locals, the Barbados people are beautiful and very friendly but we almost felt like we were invading their turf. Folkstone doesn't have a very big beach but does have a beach area for swimming, the sitting area is up above the water line as most of the shoreline here is rock except for maybe a 100 foot beach. There are stairs that lead down into the water and another set of stairs that lead down to the beach. The park is setup with picnic tables and there are a couple of vendors selling shirts and stuff. They were also peddling tours in the park $40 per person to swim with the sea turtles, much cheaper than the ship's price. We decided to stay in the park and snorkel. The left side of water area in the park area is all rocks/reef. I never really saw any coral but more like rocks and rock type formations, it could have been coral but looked like rocks to me. Anyway, the water was kind of rough and with the rocks being only one or two feet down, they sent us over to the far right hand side of the enclosed water area to snorkel. Water was a little cloudy but saw a decent variety of fish. Later in the day the water over the left hand side of the reef calmed down and you only had to go 3 or 4 feet deep and there were fish everywhere. Lots of different varieties. The water was still a little rough and there were 2-3 foot swells but at least the breaking waves had stopped. The water here was still a little cloudy but decent enough that you could see what you wanted. On a good clear day this place would be awesome for inexperienced snorkelers like us 'cause once you were in the water all you had to do was put your head under and there were fish. Taxi $25 with tip each way. Carib beers at the little snack shack were $2, definitely worth going to again. Last day was on the ship, kids got to do the rock climbing wall and mini golf. Hung out at the pool and had a few drinks. Our kids didn't participate in the kids program at all but they weren't up our butts all the time either, we'd give them short time frames to go somewhere close or in the pool and then come back and check in with us. Food: We had breakfast in the Windjammer each day, good variety and good quality. Sometimes a little difficult to find a table though. The earlier you go the better. Lunch: We ate lunch off the ship on most days but would make it back toward the tail end of lunch. Always looked great and had a great variety, never really had much to eat on the ship at lunch besides maybe a sandwich or picky type food which was all good. Dinner: We totally enjoyed our dinner each night. Food was great and of comparable quality to what we had on the Carnival Glory in February. Our waiter and assistant were terrific. The head waiter even interacted with our table each night which was something different from our past experiences. The variety of food each night was different and interesting but not bizarre enough that you didn't want it. Entertainment: After being at the beach and swimming all day, the only show we made it to was the ice show, it was great. There was so much to do every night but we were usually tired and in bed by 10pm. Bar Bill: This was a real hotspot on this cruise for me. First day you could buy booze in the shop on board and bring it back to your room. I bought two bottles of rum for $9 per bottle for Parrot Bay and Bacardi orange. They also did charge me $9 PER bottle to bring it back to my room. My wife and I had a few drinks everyday and some nights after the kids were settled down in the room we'd hit the casino or just a bar for some drinks and dancing. Brought our two way radios with us and kept in touch with the kids. Our bill at the end of the cruise was $1100.00, about $200 for gifts the rest for booze and tips and we really didn't drink that much. Fancy drinks like a White Russian with tip were $9, vodka and cranberry were $7 plus tip. So in my opinion booze is very expensive. We only actually made one drink from the rum that I bought the first night, one of the bottles never even got opened. Disembarkation: They have everyone go to either the Blue Moon or Lyric Theatre to get ready to leave the ship. They tell you to be there at 8 but don't make announcements until 8:30. Once we were cleared by immigration at 8:30, they announced anyone with flights leaving up to 12:00 can get off. About 20 minutes later the next group goes, I think it was 12:00 to 2:00 flights. People who were not flying were asked to wait until all the flying passengers were off the ship. We were off in the first group. A small tip-- Wait at the top of the stairs to the Lyric theater, when they call your group, get in the line to the left to get off the ship. Once off the ships you have to go to customs, stay to the lines on the right if possible. We got shuffled to the line on the left where there was only one person working. There were 3 people working the line on the right which moved 10 times faster than our line it seemed. Took us about 45 minutes to get through customs. Once through customs, went into the warehouse and miraculously found our bags in just a couple of minutes. Got our bags, went outside, got a taxi and were off to the airport (about $25 with tip depending on how many bags). Got to the airport about 9:30, it was pretty quiet. Got our bags checked with USAir, we were 5th in line, went to security, about 10th in line, got through that and were at our gate at 9:50. About 30 minutes later all hell broke loose, security line was hundreds of people long and the check-in counters were jammed with long lines. Must be once all the busses arrive. So even though we had a couple of hours to kill, it was worth getting there early just to not have the long line stress levels. There were a few gift shops and snack places in the terminal so at least you could do something. There was a bar in the terminal but it didn't open until 11:00 and by twelve the line was out the door so go early if you want a drink. Our flight got delayed twice and had three gate changes so make sure you keep up with what's going on with your flight if you can. Overall: Terrific time, beautiful ship, Caribbean was smooth as glass, hardly ever felt the ship move. AC in the room worked great. Water was always a brownish color though but I drank it anyway. We loved being able to check out the different ports but it leaves you tired after 2 or 3 days. I remember reading about public buses and stuff to get you around on the islands but we never had enough knowledge or felt comfortable enough to use them so ended up using taxis. We probably spent about $100-$150 per day by the time we were done with taxis, beach chairs, gifts, couple of drinks and lunch or snacks. If I could go on this itinerary again I would say yes faster than you could get the question out of your mouth.

Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Mark H

Trip Details
Try and keep this short and sweet. Myself 42, wife 40, kids 9 and 10.
What an awesome time. Ship is spectacular, food was great in all areas. Service was outstanding. Our Balcony room 9654 was a little tight for the 4 of us but definitely manageable. The balcony was great for catching sunrises and sunsets. Great place to relax and have a drink before dinner or after the kids were in bed.
Embarkation: Got our bags at San Juan airport, grabbed a taxi and were on our way. We had our taxi driver stop so we could grab a six pack and some butts. Got to the cruise terminal and holy cow, the line snaked out the door, all the way down the side of the building, around the corner and went on forever. There was a rumor that the computers were down. Glad I grabbed a six pack to officially start the vacation while standing in line. Even though the line was huge, it moved reasonably fast and we got on the ship in about an hour.
We did the St. Thomas route and planned on doing beach/snorkeling at each port with our 9 and 10 yr olds. The opinions of the snorkeling spots below are based on us being amateurs, first time for my kids outside of a pool snorkeling.
St. Thomas, went to Coki beach. Beach and scenery were beautiful. Water was beautiful, crystal clear, fish everywhere, lots of coral pieces and shell fragments for the little ones to play with near the shoreline. Couple of places to get food and drinks and not too many beach vendors. This was by far out most favorite snorkeling stop of the 5 ports. Fish were in the water just waist deep but if you went over to the right side of the beach there were fish everywhere. Bring a couple of dog biscuits and they will swarm your hand. Don't forget your underwater camera like we did. Taxi from the pier was $25 each way with tip, 2 chairs were $10 for the day, we did not get an umbrella.
St. Martin. We were originally going to go to the end of Orient beach where Pedros is because there is supposed to be a small reef area where you can snorkel. Taxi driver talked us into going to Dawn beach, said the snorkeling was better. The water was very cloudy at Dawn beach until you go out about 150 feet, a little far for our young ones. Once you got out there the visibility was a little better but the current was fairly strong and it took a little while to swim back in to shore. Only saw a handful of fish here and there. The beach itself is beautiful surrounded by timeshares and condos. There is a beach bar place with outdoor tables for lunch and drinks, can't remember the name but it looked cool and tropical. An umbrella and 2 chairs was $10 for the day. There was also a small shack to rent snorkel equipment and beach floats. Taxi was $25 with tip from the pier each way. Although it was a beautiful beach I would probably go somewhere else next time for snorkeling.
Antigua. This was the only excursion we did. Went to Stingray city. We did the second excursion of the day. It's well organized. They bring you out to a fenced in area about a mile or so from shore. The water in the enclosed area varied from say 3 feet deep to about 10 feet. You get some decent interaction with the stingrays but it's all with the handlers who are guiding you along and pretty much holding them while you touch them. There is a small reef at the far end of the enclosure also where you can see some fish but it was pretty cloudy. Got a few pictures of stingrays underwater but I'm sure they'll end up being just shadows. We talked to some folks who did the first excursion of the day and they said the water was crystal clear so definitely go earlier if you can before the water is churned up. It was pretty fun and I'd do it again. They serve rum punch and regular punch at the end but it's only available for about 30 minutes until the pictures for you to purchase are ready. We did buy 4 pictures on a cd for $60, they were pretty cool. The excursion was $66 per person and they take you on a bus right from the pier. Went back to the pier and found this tropical looking little bar and had a couple of drinks while my daughters got their hair braided ($35 for her whole head, not too bad).
St. Lucia. Unfortunately we needed a break from sun and beaches so we decided to just hang on the ship this day, did some of the activities on the ship and went to Johnny Rockets for lunch which was fun.
Barbados. We went to Folkstone marine park. At first we felt a little out of place because when we got there it was all locals, the Barbados people are beautiful and very friendly but we almost felt like we were invading their turf. Folkstone doesn't have a very big beach but does have a beach area for swimming, the sitting area is up above the water line as most of the shoreline here is rock except for maybe a 100 foot beach. There are stairs that lead down into the water and another set of stairs that lead down to the beach. The park is setup with picnic tables and there are a couple of vendors selling shirts and stuff. They were also peddling tours in the park $40 per person to swim with the sea turtles, much cheaper than the ship's price. We decided to stay in the park and snorkel. The left side of water area in the park area is all rocks/reef. I never really saw any coral but more like rocks and rock type formations, it could have been coral but looked like rocks to me. Anyway, the water was kind of rough and with the rocks being only one or two feet down, they sent us over to the far right hand side of the enclosed water area to snorkel. Water was a little cloudy but saw a decent variety of fish. Later in the day the water over the left hand side of the reef calmed down and you only had to go 3 or 4 feet deep and there were fish everywhere. Lots of different varieties. The water was still a little rough and there were 2-3 foot swells but at least the breaking waves had stopped. The water here was still a little cloudy but decent enough that you could see what you wanted. On a good clear day this place would be awesome for inexperienced snorkelers like us 'cause once you were in the water all you had to do was put your head under and there were fish. Taxi $25 with tip each way. Carib beers at the little snack shack were $2, definitely worth going to again.
Last day was on the ship, kids got to do the rock climbing wall and mini golf. Hung out at the pool and had a few drinks. Our kids didn't participate in the kids program at all but they weren't up our butts all the time either, we'd give them short time frames to go somewhere close or in the pool and then come back and check in with us.
Food: We had breakfast in the Windjammer each day, good variety and good quality. Sometimes a little difficult to find a table though. The earlier you go the better.
Lunch: We ate lunch off the ship on most days but would make it back toward the tail end of lunch. Always looked great and had a great variety, never really had much to eat on the ship at lunch besides maybe a sandwich or picky type food which was all good.
Dinner: We totally enjoyed our dinner each night. Food was great and of comparable quality to what we had on the Carnival Glory in February. Our waiter and assistant were terrific. The head waiter even interacted with our table each night which was something different from our past experiences. The variety of food each night was different and interesting but not bizarre enough that you didn't want it.
Entertainment: After being at the beach and swimming all day, the only show we made it to was the ice show, it was great. There was so much to do every night but we were usually tired and in bed by 10pm.
Bar Bill: This was a real hotspot on this cruise for me. First day you could buy booze in the shop on board and bring it back to your room. I bought two bottles of rum for $9 per bottle for Parrot Bay and Bacardi orange. They also did charge me $9 PER bottle to bring it back to my room. My wife and I had a few drinks everyday and some nights after the kids were settled down in the room we'd hit the casino or just a bar for some drinks and dancing. Brought our two way radios with us and kept in touch with the kids. Our bill at the end of the cruise was $1100.00, about $200 for gifts the rest for booze and tips and we really didn't drink that much. Fancy drinks like a White Russian with tip were $9, vodka and cranberry were $7 plus tip. So in my opinion booze is very expensive. We only actually made one drink from the rum that I bought the first night, one of the bottles never even got opened.
Disembarkation: They have everyone go to either the Blue Moon or Lyric Theatre to get ready to leave the ship. They tell you to be there at 8 but don't make announcements until 8:30. Once we were cleared by immigration at 8:30, they announced anyone with flights leaving up to 12:00 can get off. About 20 minutes later the next group goes, I think it was 12:00 to 2:00 flights. People who were not flying were asked to wait until all the flying passengers were off the ship. We were off in the first group. A small tip-- Wait at the top of the stairs to the Lyric theater, when they call your group, get in the line to the left to get off the ship. Once off the ships you have to go to customs, stay to the lines on the right if possible. We got shuffled to the line on the left where there was only one person working. There were 3 people working the line on the right which moved 10 times faster than our line it seemed. Took us about 45 minutes to get through customs. Once through customs, went into the warehouse and miraculously found our bags in just a couple of minutes. Got our bags, went outside, got a taxi and were off to the airport (about $25 with tip depending on how many bags). Got to the airport about 9:30, it was pretty quiet. Got our bags checked with USAir, we were 5th in line, went to security, about 10th in line, got through that and were at our gate at 9:50. About 30 minutes later all hell broke loose, security line was hundreds of people long and the check-in counters were jammed with long lines. Must be once all the busses arrive. So even though we had a couple of hours to kill, it was worth getting there early just to not have the long line stress levels. There were a few gift shops and snack places in the terminal so at least you could do something. There was a bar in the terminal but it didn't open until 11:00 and by twelve the line was out the door so go early if you want a drink. Our flight got delayed twice and had three gate changes so make sure you keep up with what's going on with your flight if you can.
Overall: Terrific time, beautiful ship, Caribbean was smooth as glass, hardly ever felt the ship move. AC in the room worked great. Water was always a brownish color though but I drank it anyway. We loved being able to check out the different ports but it leaves you tired after 2 or 3 days. I remember reading about public buses and stuff to get you around on the islands but we never had enough knowledge or felt comfortable enough to use them so ended up using taxis. We probably spent about $100-$150 per day by the time we were done with taxis, beach chairs, gifts, couple of drinks and lunch or snacks. If I could go on this itinerary again I would say yes faster than you could get the question out of your mouth.
Mark H’s Full Rating Summary
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