A Great Family Adventure: Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Irishmom23

Adventure of the Seas 4
Member Since 2007
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Overall Member Rating

A Great Family Adventure

Sail Date: January 2011
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
I booked this vacation for myself, my two daughters, ages 18 and 22, both in college, and my son also joined us. He recently came home to go to college after serving five years in the USMC. I wanted a time away for the family to be all together and this seemed to be a good choice. I have been on the Carnival Victory, and two RCCL cruises, one on the Serenade of the Seas in 2003, and one on the Liberty of the Seas, along with my daughters, in 2007.

We flew into San Juan on Jet Blue from Boston on New Years Day. I had booked 2 rooms at the San Juan Intercontinental Resort and Casino for $110/room/night on Priceline. I also paid an additional $17.75 per room on checkout for their resort fee. The rooms were nice, and we had lunch near the pool, while we were waiting for our rooms. My daughters swam most of the afternoon as they wanted to enjoy the weather considering we had just left snow and cold back home.

The next day my son and I went to a small restaurant diagonally More across from the hotel, Mi Casa (recommended on this board) for a great inexpensive breakfast, while my daughters searched for s Star Bucks at the hotel next door. We checked out of the hotel at 12 noon, grabbed a cab at 12:30pm, and headed for the pier. Porters took out luggage and we were in line headed for the ship. We had priority embarkation as we were in a suite, which was nice as we were on the ship and headed for our stateroom to drop off the carry-ons by 1:00pm. Of note, 1500 passengers were from Puerto Rico and I must tell you they know how to have a good time. I loved to watch the dancing at the deck parties, and everyone I met was friendly. Announcements in Spanish and English was not an issue.

Our room, a Grand suite, was more than adequate for the four of us. My son and I had the two twin beds, and the girls shared the pull out couch. I booked this cabin as I wanted us to be together and to spend time together as a family. There is of course only one bathroom, but this was not an issue as we only have one bathroom at home and we manage just fine. The bathroom was huge, with plenty of counter space, though I still brought and used an over the door pocket storage organizer. The cabin itself has more than enough storage, and once we unpacked, the suitcases fit easily under the beds. The balcony had a lounge chair, and a small table and two chairs, perfect for that morning coffee or afternoon tea. There was a big flat screen TV on the wall near the balcony. Our state room attendant was Fernando, and he took care of our room very well, providing a wide assortment of towel animals, extra towels, etc, and always greeted us with a smile.I had purchased two soda packages before we left, and the insulated cups were in our cabin when we returned from lunch.

Once we dropped off our carry-ons, off to the Windjammer for lunch. Overall it had plenty of choices and none of us went hungry any time we wandered in to get breakfast, lunch, or a snack. Our luggage was delivered by 4:30pm and we quickly unpacked and got ready for dinner. Muster was at 6pm (no life jackets required).

Food-We chose MTD and ate at 6:30 every night. We ate in the dining room each evening except for a night we went to Portofinos. We had Jacob as our waiter, and Ricky was our assistant waiter. Both were very efficient and friendly. My son purchased a bottle of wine which he drank over the next few days. The food was generally good and you could always find something that was appealing. We occasionally had two desserts or shared an additional entree, or Jacob would bring something out for us to try. We went to Portofinos on day 4 (Wednesday) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had the seafood skewer, and the girls had the beef fillet. My son had some kind of fish dish. The service was good, and it was nice to relax and eat in a different venue. I thought it was worth the $20 pp. We ate breakfast and late lunch or snacks in the Windjammer, and I had no issues with the food. I looked forward to a nice fresh salad and bread every afternoon. We sometimes had difficulty finding a seat when it was really crowded, but overall this was not really a problem.

Formal nights were day 2 (Monday) and day 5 (Thursday). Though we tended to get dressed for dinner every evening as we enjoy doing this, we saw every manner of dress presented in the dining rooms, but overall I would say that most people were dressed appropriately.

Entertainment-We took advantage of the reserved seating at the shows in the Lyric Theater. Anna Bass was the cruise director and she was fun.The production shows were good,though I did enjoy the shows on Liberty of the Seas much better. The Beatle Mania show was great. The audience was singing along and it brought back a lot of memories for me! The comedian on the first night was ok, and the one on the last night was from Boston and was actually pretty funny, however many of the older people left during the show as they just weren't getting some of his humor because of the language barrier. The ice show was excellent! We also went to the Love and Marriage show which was very funny, and of course Quest, which all three of my children actively participated in, was hilarious. We also went to two of the deck parties, several trivia contest, and happened to be sitting in a deck chair for the belly flop contest (funny but stupid).

Pools-My daughters sat out everyday they could, especially sea days. They tended to use the lounge chairs near the track. I preferred the reserve deck seating for the suites as it was elevated and I could see what was going on, or I and could relax and read my book. I don't drink alcohol but my daughter usually bought the drink of the day, and I could get iced water at the bar as often as I wanted without a problem.

Embarkation-My son had a flight home at 2:45pm and my daughters and I were not leaving until Monday. We left the ship about 10am, went through customs quickly, and off we went to find a taxi. It was a sad day...heading back to Boston to the ice and snow. Less

Published 01/24/11

Cabin review: GS1268 Grand Suite

Cabib 1268, Grand suite. Quiet even though it was across from the crew access. Big room, plenty of storage, nice balcony with a lounge chair and table and two chairs. Nice bar area, sitting area, and big bathroom. Nice flat screen TV.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Aruba is a beautiful island, and we were all looking forward to a beach day. My plan was to go to Eagle Beach near the Amsterdam Manor and rent an umbrella and chairs for $10 each.However, when we got off the ship, we grabbed a taxi with a couple of gentlemen going golfing. I told the driver we wanted the Radisson (the name Amsterdam Manor completely slipped my mind!) and we ended up on Palm Beach. The umbrella and chair rental came to $50 instead of only $30 and we weren't at the beach I had so carefully planned out, but where we ended up was very pretty. The water was beautiful and warm, and I was able to see a Palapa up close. We arrived on the beach at 9am. At 11:30 am the rains came down again. The taxi driver said they have received more rain the past few weeks before we arrived than they get in a year. The rain was so bad that after about 1/2 hour the umbrella was leaking and there were clouds every where you looked.We waited another 1/2 hour and when the weather showed no evidence it was clearing, we returned to the ship. How disappointing! After eating lunch and showering, we decided to go shopping. We found a Starbucks for my daughters. There were many places of interest to shop in, but none of us were ready to part with any serious money except to buy some souvenirs.

Read 1289 Aruba Reviews

I wish I had booked an excursion, especially considering the history of the island. Instead, we got off the ship and headed for the floating bridge, which happened to be open at the time to let a couple of boats out to the harbor. Once it was closed, we headed across into town. The buildings along the waterfront were very picturesque, but I found the town beyond very dirty with very pushy vendors. About an hour after arriving, the rains came down in buckets. We all took shelter as best we could, and the rain continued for about 45 minutes at a very steady downpour. As soon as it slowed, we headed back to the ship.

Read 917 Curacao Reviews

This was the best island that we visited. The weather was perfect, and I had booked a private excursion with levi bumpiing tours for their Roseau Best Hike.We were met by Gary our tour guide at 8am and he took my family of our, and another family of four in his van. He supplied cold water, sodas, and beer and all we had to bring were snacks, good walking sandals, towels, and our cameras. This tour is not for everyone as there is a very rigorous up hill (mostly) hike to Middleham Falls which takes 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending upon your speed. Gary was great as he let us rest whenever we needed, and provided lots of encouragement! When we finally reached our destination, the view of the falls was awesome. We then hiked back down to the van (much easier hiking down). After a rest and bathroom break, we headed to Titou Gorge, where part of the second Pirates of the Caribbean movies was filmed. This was such a treat. Gary had us each wear a flotation belt as we needed to swim into the gorge, part of which is ten feet deep. I am a poor swimmer, so he had me hold onto a flotation ring and once I got over the shock of the cold cold water, he pulled me along by a rope attached to the ring. The rest just swam along into the gorge. It was really beautiful, and ended up at a small but powerful waterfall. We sat on the edge of a ledge, and my son and one of the girls from the other family were able to climb the falls and see beyond the gorge. From there we drove to Trafalgar Falls where we took another short hike. We saw the twin falls which were beautiful, and then were able to sit in the hot sulfur springs. The water was 90 degrees and so soothing to those sore calf muscles we got from the first hike. All throughout the tour Gary gave us the history of the island, showed us different types of dwellings, and gave us botanical lessons which were fascinating. We returned to the ship tired but very glad we took this tour.

Read 669 Dominica Reviews

A very beautiful island with the best shopping. We had planned on going to St John's Trunk Bay, but we were tired from keeping some late nights, and decided to go shopping instead, and then hit Megan's Bay later if we were up to it. (Never got there).My daughters had attended the Port and Shopping Show (they said it was good for first time cruisers) first day on the ship, and had really researched what they wanted to purchase. Transportation was $25 with tip to get us to the shopping area. Of note, St Thomas charges per person to each destination, and the price can add up! Most of the islands have the same jewelry, watches, etc, and if you don't get something on the first island, the chances are you can find the same thing at the next. My youngest daughter knew she wanted a Tanzanite stone, which she was able to purchase at Tanzanite International. We had shopped at many of the shops, but we went back to that particular store as the salesperson there was the most patient and helpful person we had ever dealt with when buying jewelry. My older daughter purchased a Caribbean hook bracelet at another shop. Several of the stores we went in recognized her Cape Cod bracelet as one of the originals, which we were surprised at. We took advantage of many of the free deals and discount shopping offered on the ship at this port, and all the jewelry purchased by my daughters have receives tons of compliments.Also don't be afraid to bargain, especially with the smaller stores or street vendors for souvenirs.I wish we had the time to go to the beach, but the shopping was awesome! Next time, St John for sure.

Read 4002 St. Thomas Reviews

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