Our family of 4 adults went on a Christmas Cruise and just loved it!! My husband and I had cruised once before on the same ship and wanted to give our children a taste of cruising for Christmas. (they are 26 and 28 years old). Flew in from NC 2 days earlier to San Juan. We wore our Griswold Tshirts (not our real last names) and Santa hats on the plane! Stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan for 2 nights - highly recommend this hotel. We walked around Old San Juan, great food, great shopping.
Took a taxi to the Pan American Pier Sunday morning and boarded Adventure of the Seas by 12 noon, only waited in line about 20 minutes. Embarkation was quick and efficient.
Note: We usually do not book all our excursions from RCCL. We check out the taxi/shuttle drivers in the ports and request tours no longer than 3 hours to see the different islands. Works out well for about $15.00 per person.
Day 1: Dec. 19 Embarkation with the Griswold Christmas Tshirts
Immediately went to the Spa to book massages (hot stones, fantastic!) for my daughter and myself. Checked out our table in the MDR - originally requested a table for 8 but was thrilled with a table just for the 4 of us. We love the late seating for dinner.The first table was on Deck 3 in the kitchen corner area and we asked for a move to another location. Ended up on Deck 5 Mozart - wonderful! I am a gluten, shellfish, kiwi, banana allergic person and the head waiter Nicholas was excellent in making sure all my food was prepared properly. Loved Felix our head waiter and Wilmar the assistant waiter. Best trio of Head Waiter, Assistant Waiter and Maitre D ever!
Spent the afternoon exploring the ship, lazing by the pool and eating of course. The Muster drill was even fun. Love all the different people onboard. Ship left port at 8:30pm.
Day 2: Dec. 20
St. Thomas. Spent the day shopping in port - recommend the AH Riise Mall. Back on the ship in the afternoon. Next time we will take a tour of the island.
Day 3: Dec. 21
St. Maarten. Went to Orient Bay by taxi. Traffic jam due to an accident on the island and it took a long time to get to the beach. Was disappointed with Orient Bay - we are used to North Myrtle Beaches which are great. Beach was crowded (lots of seaweed, kind of dirty) and it costs $ to get a beach chair, umbrella, and use the restroom. My husband, son and daughter went jet skiing - waves were choppy. My daughter ended up falling off the jet ski and injured her back. When we arrived back to the ship she went to the medical facility, no fractures thankfully but required an anti-inflammatory injection. Nurse and doctor very good. Needed to cancel our snorkeling excursion for the next day in St. Kitts due to her injury - refund given with a note from the on board medic.
Day 4: Dec. 22
St. Kitts. Took a tour around the island and to the Batik factory - just lovely and worth seeing. Prices very reasonable. Had photos taken with monkeys at the port shopping location - lots of fun and the monkeys sit on your head and shoulders.
Day 5: Dec. 23
Grenada. Love Grenada! Rained in am. Took the RCCL Spice and Waterfalls Tour - highly recommend this tour. Bought a spice necklace, very unique to Grenada, and some under the counter rum.....potent! Yum. Beautiful scenery and would love to return to this island someday.
Day 6: Dec. 24 Christmas Eve
St. Lucia. Rained all day. My husband and son had scheduled a 7 hr scuba excursion with RCCL but it was canceled due to choppy waters. They were bummed out and went snorkeling instead. Bad decision
- saw one puny fish, no sun and visibility was about 3 feet at maximum. Meanwhile my daughter and I
went out in the pouring rain and did some shopping in port. We bought maracas and played with the Caribbean band in the middle of the shopping area. Lots of fun!! Soaking wet!! No sun all day.
My daughter and I had booked a 75 minute 'Hot Stone' massage at the spa for 2:00pm - superb! Very relaxing and both of us slept for an hour after in our rooms.
Day 7: Dec. 25 MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Santa arrived on the ship around 8am. Ho, Ho, Ho! Free rum and eggnog for all the adults.
We wore our Griswold Christmas Family Tshirts and Santa Hats all day....lots of fun.
We attended all the shows at 7pm, prior to our scheduled dinner at 8:30pm every night. Formal nights were the 2nd day of the cruise and Christmas Eve. Parades, caroling, 70's disco dancing in the street, bingo, trivia contests, art tours and auction, karaoke....you name it, we tried to do everything!!
Anna Bass was our Cruise Director and she was fantastic - lots of energy, many activities to choose from.
The' Cool Art, Hot Ice' show was great and Quest was the funniest thing I have ever seen.
Day 8: Debarkation
Left the ship around 9:45am - well planned. Get a porter to help you collect your bags - go through the customs lines faster.
Note: Don't forget to bring extension cord and power strip. Hanging plastic shoe organizer for bathroom door - keeps everything off the counter - lots of room for bathroom items, shoes, etc.
Supplied hair dryer works well.
We were known as the T Shirt Family and we were asked many times if we were the 'REAL' Griswolds...ha!
Best Christmas ever!! Looking forward to a December 2011 cruise!
Great balcony. Quiet. Beautiful view from the balcony - no obstruction.
Promenade room. Larger than anticipated. Perfect!