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moviegirl11

Just off the Adventure of Seas - Review

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I just got back from my very first cruise! I kept a journal and just posted it in my blog if anyone's interested. Its kind of long and includes some personal stuff so I figured I'd do a cruise-critic-abridged version of it for you folks. For anyone who wants to read the long version, view it here. Pictures can be viewed here

 

I should also add that I had my wedding on the ship during this cruise so if anyone's interested in the specifics on that, you can read my review of it here.

 

We departed from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Itinerary was St Thomas (monday), St Maarten (tuesday), Antigua (Wednesday), St Lucia (Thursday) and Barbados (friday). We were at sea on saturday and returned to San Juan Sunday morning.

 

There were 2 formal nights (one on Monday night and one on Thursday night) and one smart casual night (Wednesday). The rest of the days were casual. They had themes. I think Tuesday was caribbean (I was at portofinos for that one so I dont know if anyone dressed up) and Friday was 50s/60s/70s theme. I didnt see anyone dressed up for that. I have a feeling that most people were too concerned with packing for the formal and semi-formal nights to bother packing for potential theme-nights.

 

We did the wine and dine package. We chose the diamond package for 5 nights. The cruise was a week long and we figured we might not want wine EVERY night. It worked out perfect for us and we had our last bottle of wine at the last dinner of the cruise.

 

The Food

 

The Dining Room - Because we were there for the wedding, so there were 18 of us in our party. For dinner we were seated at two large tables. We mixed and matched with the seating each night so everyone could have a chance to eat with everyone else. That worked out nice and the waitors didnt seem to disapprove. Some of the people in our party ordered more than one dessert, entree and/or appetizers each night and the waitors accomodated every request with a smile. My father-in-law mentioned he loved broccoli and the waitor had broccoli on his plate every night. My sister told the waitor one night that she didnt want anything for dessert. The waitor came back with a plate and on it, written in frosting it said "nothing" on the plate. We had NO problem tipping our waitor at the end of the trip because the service was fantastic. (I recommend figuring out the suggested tips at the start of the trip and putting that cash in your safe so you know you'll have it at the end of the week).

 

Portofinos was really good. Unfortunately I got a bit of a sunburn from being on the beach that day (in st martin) so I couldnt fully appreciate the meal but it was really enjoyable none-the-less.

 

Johnny Rockets was great. I've been to Johnny rockets before and always thought the place was really overrated but the one on AoS was fantastic. First of all, the food is great and because you only have to pay the $4 service fee (per person) they just keep bringing fresh baskets of fries and onion rings. I have to wonder if ANYONE has ever ordered dessert there. With all the food they give you I cant imagine ever having room for pie. (Shakes and soda are extra but I recommend splurging on a strawberry shake - they are delicious!) I went there 3 times. Once in the afternoon and twice late at night (they're open til 1 am!). When we were there in the afternoon and when Love Shack came on, they raised the volume and all the waitors lined up and danced. They were all so into it that it wasnt cheesy, it was actually fun! 2 thumbs up for Johnny Rockets!

 

The Windjammer was perfect for breakfast and lunch. I recommend getting there by 8:30 am if you want breakfast. After 9 tables are hard to find and there's always a line for the buffet but on the days I got there around 8, free tables were plentiful and there wasnt any line for the buffet. The food is good. Not fantastic but its what you'd expect from a buffet. Lunch at the windjammer usually included burgers (which were actually pretty good) and pizza along with carving stations with ham or roast beef. There was also always fruit and salad stuff. Basically if you want to eat junk, its there and if you want to eat healthy there's plenty of options for you as well.

 

Room Service is mostly snacks like pizza, burgers, fries, cookies etc. There may have also been salad stuff on there (not sure). Its all free (except for soda and juice). I think my brother-in-law even ordered a gin and tonic through room service. The service is pretty quick and the pizza is great! Breakfast service was good also. We did that for the day we were at sea.

 

So that covers all the food. I love to eat and ate a lot on this cruise. Amazingly enough I got on the scale yesterday when I was home and I didnt gain a pound (which surprises me because I usually have a hard time keeping my weight down)! I attribute this to a few things. I took the stairs a lot (didnt feel like waiting for the elevators) and since they charged for soda, I drank mostly water (the occasional iced tea or lemonaide). We didnt do any strenous excursions on the islands but I did get a fair amount of walking in so that probably helped. And also, though we did eat often, I dont recall ever eating everything off my plate. So eat often but dont overstuff yourself! Know that your next meal is probably right around the corner :)

 

The islands

St Thomas - We only got to see part of St. Thomas because that was the day of the wedding. The RC driver took us to the courthouse. The roads are narrow and even though they drive on the left side of the road, the steering wheel is still on the left side of the car. Everyone drives aggresively (it borders on scary). We did get to do some shopping in the area near the ship but that was about it. Cigarettes and liquor are seriously cheap here. If you smoke and you plan on getting cartons of cigarettes (they were like $17 a carton for marlboros!), you are allowed to take up to 5 cartons through customs at the end of the cruise. FOUR of those cartons have to be from St. Thomas so if you're going to stock up, do it then!

 

St. Maarten - Take the water taxi to the Great Bay area. You'll find plenty of shopping there! There's also a beach there but I recommend catching a taxi to Orient Beach. Its on the french side of the island (we didnt need our passport) about a 30 minute drive but its totally worth it! I think it was like $9 each way each for us but you might be able to talk them down if you have more people. There's a nude beach there but I didnt check that out. We saw quite a few women on the regular beach going topless so if you have kids and you dont want them viewing topless women you might want to skip Orient beach.

 

Antigua - Ok so we only wandered around the area withing walking distance from the ship but honestly, it wasnt much of an island. I'm sure if you booked an excursion or something you'd get to see the nice parts of the island but the port area was crowded, hot and reaked of fish. The water was pretty murky looking. The one good thing I found in Antigua was a pottery place. A real authentic ceramics shop that sold hand made vases and dishes. That made it worth it as I really wanted to buy some hand made pottery on this trip and the prices werent bad! I got a beautiful red-clay vase for $35.

 

St. Lucia - We walked the 20 minute walk to the market. It wasnt much of a walk (a poorly paved sidewalk) and be warned, the market is a TRUE local market. Set indoors in a crowded building with no A/C you'll find rows and rows of stuff to buy with various sales people eager to argue prices with you. Its kind of fun! Dont be afraid to try and talk them down on some things. I got the feeling that they enjoy doing that with people. We ended up taking the water taxi back to the port and then taking another boat over to Froggie Jacks for lunch. If you go to St. Lucia, definitely hit Froggie Jacks! Its on the water and the boat that took us over there literally pulled up along side and old dock and we had to jump off the boat onto the dock as the boat slowly drifted further and further away. It was pretty fun.

 

Barbados - Oooooh barbados! How I loved barbados! Since Barbados was the last island we were visiting I wanted to make sure I got to do something fun. We decided we wanted to do snorkeling but all of the excursions had sold out days ago so we were on our own. Here's what we ended up doing. We got on the island, found a taxi and asked him where the good snorkeling was. I'd read that Paynes Beach was good. He ended up taking us just north of there to folkestone marine part. We got out of the cab and just as we started to look around for a snorkel shop, a guy came up to us and said we could snorkel with the turtles for $30 per person (and they provided the boat and all the equipment). This was significantly cheaper than the RC excursion and it was the same area! We got to swim with these huge turtles and then they took us to a ship wreck site and we snorkeled some more. I got pics of the turtles and the fish at the shipwreck. We asked them to drop us at Cocomos, a restaurant on the beach that we saw from the boat. They did and we had a DELICIOUS lunch. The best food I ate all week. Try the flyingfish sandwich! Downtown Bridgetown was closed due to Good Friday so I cant review that part but there was shopping open in the terminal right near the ship. I bought a doll and 2 bottles of bajan hot sauce (we tried it at Cocomos and it was so good that when I saw they were selling it at the shopping area, I had to buy some!).

 

Misc

 

The Activities - We did the Liars Club (a game show similar to the game Balderdash) which was really funny. My team tied with another team for the win and we all got RC travel packs. I also did Bingo one of the days and ended up winning $107! Bingo costed $35 to play so I made back my money plus some! I wanted to go to the Love and Marriage game show but was too tired that night. I ended up watching it on the tv a few days later and it was pretty hilarious! Other than that we didnt do many of the activities. I think if it were just me and my husband we would've done more activities on the ship but on this trip since we had our families with us we spent most of the time just enjoying each others company. There was a latin dance party on the pool deck one night which was a lot of fun (even if you're a white-girl like me who can only PRETEND to salsa!).

 

The Ship - You can get lots of info about the ship on the cruise website so I'll just talk about my favorite places. Surprisingly enough, the connaisseurs club turned out to be our hang-out of choice for at least an hour each evening. The guys in our family all enjoyed smoking cigars and it was just a really great atmosphere for relaxing. Phil (aka the cigar guy) took good care of us there. I also liked strolling the promenade. The minute the ship left port everything would open up and the place would be abuzz. There were always new things on sale. They had a huge display of amber jewelry when we were there and lots of raffles!

 

Our Stateroom - we got a stateroom with a balcony on the portside of the ship. It was room 7586 to be exact. My sisters had rooms on either side of my room. My older sisters balcony and mine shared a plexiglass wall while my younger sisters room (7588) had metal walls on both sides so we couldnt peak into her balcony (in case you were looking for a cabin with a nearly totally private balcony). The room size as good. There's plenty of room under the bed to stow your suitcases. There were hangers in the closet and I recommend bringing one of those canvas show-racks that hangs from the closet pole to store all your shoes. The room was cleaned and made up each morning and then at night while we were at dinner the bed was turned down and a towel-animal was left on our bed each night. Mints on the pillows, fresh towels and all that stuff. They even straightened stuff up for us!

 

The Crew - Every employee we met was friendly and helpful. And I also noted that almost all of them were not American. Not that I think Americans are unfriendly (I'm american afterall!) but I did note that the majority of the people working there were from everywhere BUT america. It was cool to meat people from so many places like Chile or Australia or the Philipines. Everyone speaks great english though and you'll also find the ship is very spanish-speaking-friendly.

 

Well thats all I can think of right now. If you have any questions, ask away!

 

 

 

 

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Great review! Glad you made the Adventure your first cruise. I've sailed on her twice - both Southern itineraries. Love that ship! Next time try a Radiance Class ship. Great ship for just the two of you!;)

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Great review, moviegirl11, and congrats on your wedding!

 

We'll be on the same itinerary in a few weeks, and I'm curious about the Barbados excursions selling out. Did you mean *all* of them were sold out by the time the ship docked there, or just the snorkeling excursions?

 

Thanks in advance!

K.

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My husband said all the snorkeling ones were sold out as were a lot of the other ones as well. He said there werent many available and that was on wednesday (barbados was friday). If you're dead-set on an excursion I strongly recommend booking it before the cruise! If it doesnt work out, I know a lot of people who paid taxi drivers to give them a tour of the island. It seemed like every taxi driver I encountered knew a lot about the island. If there's something you want to do and the excursion is sold out, you might be still be able to see/do the things you want to see/do if you find a good cab driver to get you there! Sorry I cant be more specific about the excursion availibility. I didnt go with my husband when he went to book it but it seemed like everything was full or filling up by wednesday.

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loved your review. Read it and thought it was romantic and something I would have done when I was married (we eloped and drove across country to live in California the morning after we eloped ).

 

I am happy to hear that it went off the right way! SO CUTE!

will u be sailing RCCL again?:D

just a thought you should celebrate your first anniversary on the same cruise (might be a different ship). and than celebrate following anniversaries on various RCCL cruises:p

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I loved looking at your photos, my husband and I did the same cruise for our honeymoon and are doing the other (Aruba) Itinerary for our anniversary.

 

Antigua has so much more to offer and beautiful beaches, I spent a week there and it was amazing, from the plane the water looked like all different shades of blue. That's the disadvantage of an 8 hour port stop, you don't get to see all of what the island has to offer!

 

I remember wanting to do the Jolly Roger in Barbados and it wasn't available.Barbados is one of my favourite places, I am glad you enjoyed it.

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loved your review. Read it and thought it was romantic and something I would have done when I was married (we eloped and drove across country to live in California the morning after we eloped ).

 

I am happy to hear that it went off the right way! SO CUTE!

will u be sailing RCCL again?:D

just a thought you should celebrate your first anniversary on the same cruise (might be a different ship). and than celebrate following anniversaries on various RCCL cruises:p

 

yes we definitely plan to do another RCCL cruise again! I want to try the Alaska one and maybe one of the europe ones. We'd also love to do the caribbean again.

 

Antigua has so much more to offer and beautiful beaches, I spent a week there and it was amazing, from the plane the water looked like all different shades of blue. That's the disadvantage of an 8 hour port stop, you don't get to see all of what the island has to offer!

 

yeah I got the impression the island had more to offer than just what was in the port. I think I just got so hot and cranky that I didnt feel much like exploring. I think if we do this itinerary again I'll book a tour or an excursion or hire a taxi driver to show us the rest of the island.

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Antigua was great, we rented a car and loved the scenic views.

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