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LittleMissMagic

8-Day Christmas Cruise on Adventure of the Seas, Southern Caribbean (lots of pics!)

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Hello, CCers! This is my first photo review on Cruise Critic. We recently got back from an AMAZING cruise/land vacation on the Adventure of the Seas, cruising the Southern Caribbean. We departed from San Juan and visited St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Antigua, Dominica, Barbados, and St. Lucia.

 

"Cast" includes:

father, Boyd

mother, Sharon

me, Victoria, 20

sister, Rachel, 18

 

The past two years we've cruised over Christmas, we had rather cold weather departing from Florida, extending to our first few sea and port days. It's funny because we used to live in Florida, and we'd pose our Christmas card pictures in Christmas sweaters and shorts because it was so HOT, still - I remember going swimming on Christmas day! Anyway, this year we decided that we were sick of risking cold weather and chose the Adventure of the Seas departing from San Juan.

 

We left our house early on Saturday, December 17 and drove to the Atlanta airport. After hearing so many connection horror stories on our cruise, I am thankful that we live so close to a transportation hub. I also have a greater appreciation for Hartsfield-International after departing from San Juan's airport, but that's a story for another day!

 

We boarded our plane on time, but we waited FOREVER to leave the gate. Our flight was delayed an hour because we were waiting on.... catering!!!! Apparently it was a necessity because the food had to last them to and from San Juan.

 

Once in San Juan, we had someone help us with our bags, which was great because he escorted us straight to the front of the long taxi line - totally worth it.

 

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Here's a happy Dad in the cab! :D

 

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Good start. Waiting in anticipation for more. I have been thinking of taking the AotS. It has a really good itinerary

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We spent the night at the Marriott Stellaris. We had stayed here once before our cruise on the Serenade of the Seas a year and a half prior.

 

They had since renovated the lobby. It was a wonderful improvement:

 

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We had a room on the 12th floor. Loved our view!

 

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I'm going to follow just to see what dresses you and sis have packed for formal night! ;)I loved your posts on the " formal night pictures " thread! Hope you have a great cruise!

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I feel like you can't come here without seeing a wedding on the beach! There was one every night on our last vacation here.

 

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We went out for dinner at a place recommended by our bellhop. He was also the one to set us straight - the drinking age in Puerto Rico is.... 18!!!

 

Okay, I took a picture of the sign so I would remember of the name.... but can anyone read this??? :D My dad might still have the name scribbled on the piece of paper he carried around with restuarant recommendations from bellhops and doormen.

 

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If any of you speak/understand Spanish, I thought this was cute:

 

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I'm going to follow just to see what dresses you and sis have packed for formal night! ;)I loved your posts on the " formal night pictures " thread! Hope you have a great cruise!

 

Thank you! I tried to get pictures of us from every night. We wore a lot of new dresses this cruise! :)

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Dad was up bright and early in the morning and decided to talk to us while we were trying to sleep. The guy would not be quiet! He finally amused himself a little by taking pictures.

 

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We cut it really close leaving the hotel. We didn't request late check-out, and we were told that if we didn't check out by noon, we'd be charged the next night. At ten til, we called to check out and had the bellhop come get our luggage. I was still packing when he arrived, but finished my bag in time for him to take it!

 

Our bellhop thought it was funny that I was still packing. He remembered us and made sure we had a cab to ourselves, but the cab driver wanted more people. They fought a little before he took off. That guy knew every shortcut in the book. We zipped around corners, and when we got to the port, he drove around all of the cabs in line through the Princess port and cut his way ahead of the line!

 

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Caribbean Princess

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So we got to the port around 1:00 and went straight through embarkation with the priority line. We saw a family pulled off to the side, and they were having to answer questions to prove that they really were a family because one of the daughters didn't have a passport.

 

The only trouble we ran into is that my sister is 18, and I'm 20. We had booked adjoining rooms, but had to put my mother in one room and father in the other because you have to be 21 to have a stateroom by yourself (at least when booking online). We were told that I couldn't have a charging account because I wasn't 21, yet, but I could set up a cash account onboard (as long as you're a minor, you can charge all you want, but as soon as you're an adult but not yet a US drinking adult, things get tricky). Dad wasn't hearing it. I've been able to charge since I was a child. So the guy agreed to go ahead and set up my charging account there so we wouldn't have to wait in line at guest relations.

 

We got onboard and were told that our rooms wouldn't be ready until 2:00. So, we headed straight to the Windjammer (which my dad quickly shortened to "Jammer" ...then "Jam" ....so that he could have "jam sessions" :rolleyes:).

 

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We also took the time to check out the ship a little... and get Christmas tree pics.

 

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Edited by LittleMissMagic

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Now, we'd been arguing about how we would deal with the room keys since we were booked in the wrong staterooms. I was fussing at my dad for not researching and learning that he could have called in and gotten this fixed (I know, I'm terrible - the guy booked us an amazing vacation and I was fussing about research???). I said that we could get an extra room key from guest relations, while Dad was arguing that I should just take my mom's SeaPass. We got to the room and then it hit us - these rooms are adjoined! We can walk through the door! Duhhh moment for the day. :D

 

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Tiger Pride! ***Do NOT mention the Orange Bowl!!!!

 

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We also decorated the door...

 

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And my Mom decorated their door:

 

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One set of jingle bells was stolen that evening. My dad heard them jingling down the hallway, but he wasn't dressed appropriately to go outside.... so he got dressed and then tried to chase the theives down. Of course, they had a huge head start, so he didn't get them. It's actually an ongoing theme with my dad to get dressed before chasing people. This summer, kids were TPing our house and my Dad put his clothes on... no shoes, though... before chasing them down. C'mon Dad - just chase them in your boxers! Makes for a funnier conclusion! :D

 

Anyway, after the first set was stolen, Mom took the second set down.

 

Rachel juggled while I unpacked...

 

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Dad took these photos with his zoom lens...

 

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Muster was uneventful.

 

We went back to our staterooms to unpack a little more before going to the top deck to watch us set sail.

 

Our departure time was delayed by 45 minutes. I'm not sure why. I guess it didn't matter because we didn't have far to go. That seemed to be the theme of this cruise, not that I minded it.

 

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One day, Dad will learn how to take night shots...

 

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The Carnival Victory...

 

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Edited by LittleMissMagic

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We gave up and went back to our stateroom to change before the ship set sail.

 

I look like a freak in this picture, but I figured I'd post it so you could see our dresses for the night. And yes, that's mom in the background rocking the turquoise dress and gold heels!

 

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We arrived at dinner and met our tablemates - a lovely family of four from Alberta, Canada. They had a 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter. I'm always a little nervous with tablemates because you don't know if dinner will be pleasant or awkward every night.

 

Man, did we get lucky with this family! :) Our first night onboard, and we were the last people to leave the dining room. :o We missed the Welcome Aboard Show, but it's not like we hadn't seen some variety in years past.

 

The Cruise Compass had listed an "Club 18-20+ Meet and Mingle" at Jester's (the ship's nightclub) that night, so Rachel and I decided to go check it out. We figured we could at least walk through, get some drinks, then leave if it was weird.

 

Well, we came in and it wasn't exactly hopping, so we sat down and ordered some drinks. Then, we were approached by two girls who asked us if we were there for the Club 18-20+ thing. Shortly after, four guys came up to us and we moved to a bigger booth. Well, unfortunately the guys were a good bit older than us (except for one who lied about his age that night... we found out two days later when he told us it was his birthday - he just turned 19!). One of the guys ordered shots for the table, but the bartender looked at me (the oldest of the ladies) with a doubtful glance and said he couldn't serve the minors, so we all raised our hands and said we wouldn't drink (except for liar boy who didn't say a thing). We talked a little, did a little dancing, then we left the club with a few extra people. The group went to the Promenade Cafe for snacks, and Rachel and I dismissed ourselves so we could go to bed!

Edited by LittleMissMagic

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Great review and beautiful pics! :) Looking forward to reading more. We loved Adventure of the Seas.

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The next morning, we woke up in beautiful St. Thomas! We are never off to an early start... our idea of vacation doesn't involve waking up early (for Rachel and me, anyway... Dad's always out late and up early. The guy doesn't sleep!)

 

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The Carnival Victory was in port with us, again.

 

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Doing a safety drill...

 

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We've been to St. Thomas.... five or six times - I've lost count. It's a very popular Caribbean port. Our first experience there was dreadful (we booked an excursion through the ship that went completely wrong - luckily they refunded us), but thankfully we've been back more times to get to know the beautiful island better.

 

Normally, we go to Magen's Bay, but someone my Dad works with recommend Sapphire Beach, so we decided to try it out.

 

We took a taxi there. I honestly don't remember how long it takes to get to Magen's, so I can't compare travel time.

 

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Sapphire Beach was.... GORGEOUS!!! And not crowded at all!

 

What I remember about Magen's is that we had to pay for our own beach chairs and then drag them to the spot on the very crowded beach that we wanted. Here (like most other beaches we've been to), they set up our beach chairs for us. There was also plenty of beach - shaded and in the sun - to choose from.

 

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Darn,

 

Your photos are on a site blocked at my work, I'll continue from home tonight. Nice job verbally so far ;)

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Darn,

 

Your photos are on a site blocked at my work, I'll continue from home tonight. Nice job verbally so far ;)

 

Thank you!

 

I'm linking my photos from Facebook. :D I might switch to Photobucket later if my FB photos get excessive, but in the past I've had trouble with my Photobucket photos using too much bandwidth when I post picture reviews.

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Then later we had to take a Tiger Rag picture...

 

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And take Rachel where we had ventured earlier...

 

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There were people at the pool, now!

 

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See that little girl in the background?

 

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