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theseas4me

Adventure of the Seas 6/13/04 Review

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Well, let me start by saying, I wish I was still on the AOS. We had a great cruise. It is a beautiful ship, we met wonderful people & the ports are awesome. Now on to the review: We left Charlotte on Saturday & fly to San Juan. We stayed at the Wyndham Old San Juan, which was a good hotel in the heart of Old San Juan. This made it easy to go exploring Saturday afternoon and it is only a few minutes taxi ride over to the pier. There is a pier across the street from this hotel, but that is not where AOS docks. However, they are currently building a new RCI & Celebrity pier that should be finished next year.

 

Sunday morning, we got up & had breakfast, then headed over to the terminal. We got there about 11:30 and were near the beginning of the line. We stood outside until about 12:15 when they let us in. Check-in went very smoothly, then we were seated in the infamous white chairs. There was water, lemonade & cookies available. However, I did not see anywhere to buy drinks or food in this terminal. They let us on the ship about 12:50 and we went straight to our room & dropped off our carry-ons then checked out the ship. The AOS is a large ship, but not overwhelming at all, plus this sailing was sold out, but never felt crowded except around dinner when everyone was having pictures made. We had early seating which was at 6:30 the first night & 6:00 the others. The food & service was very good. We ate breakfast & lunches in the Windjammer/ Island Grill (buffet) and dinners in the dining room.

 

Our first port was Aruba. We did the Sea & See tour, which was great. We boarded a bus at the terminal & went for a short drive to boat that took you out to semi-submersible. Once aboard, we went around the Antilles shipwreck & saw lots of fish. The tour guide was very informative. After this, you reboarded the bus for an island tour. After the tour, we shopped on our own in town, then back to the ship.

 

Our Second port was Curacao. This is an awesome town with beautiful buildings. We did not book an excursion here & thought we would just shop & look around, but as we got off the ship, there were islanders doing tours. We took a 21/2 hour tour for $15 each & it was great. The tour would drop you off at the Kontiki beach, in town for shopping or back at the ship. The same tour on the ship sold for $38pp.

 

After a day at sea, we went to St. Maarteen. Here, we shopped on our own in the morning, then went back to the ship for lunch. After lunch, we grabbed a taxi & headed to Orient beach. We stopped at the Bikini beach area. You could rent chairs for $3 each & an umbrella was $6. There was also a water trampoline & jet skis. This beach had bathrooms & food. The water was very calm & my son (12yo) had a blast on the water trampoline. We spent 2 hours there, but could have laid there forever!

 

The last port was St. Thomas in which we did Godfreys tour. As everyone says, he was a great tourguide & we thoroughly enjoyed this port. We went to Coki beach which was like floating in a pool. There were no waves & the water was super calm. They say this water is 3x clearer than Maegans Bay, and twice as clear as Sapphire. There were lots of people snorkeling here as it is next door to Coral World. This is the one port where you have to clear customs before you can leave the ship. This process involves taking your party to the dining room & showing either your passport or identification to a customs official. There was a line to do this, but it moved very quickly.

 

Some other items on board:

Meet & Mingle- we had a few people show up (hey guys!) Everyone should participate in this, because it is nice to meet people that you see throughout the cruise.

Service: we had good dining room staff & a great room steward.

Adventure Ocean Program: My son is 12 & participated in the Navigators program. He enjoyed what he did, but there were many activities that were planned that never happened. This was one of my only complaints.

Disembarkation: Our flight home on Sunday was not until late, so we booked the San Juan city tour. Because we had a tour, we went to a lounge separate from everyone else. You had to be out of your rooms by 8am & in the lounge by 8:30. We left the ship at 9:00 & went straight through customs. We grabbed a porter (always a good idea & definately worth the tip) got our luggage & went outside. If you have a tour, your luggage is put on a truck & taken to the airport. Ours was stored at a parking garage outside the airport. After our tour, we were dropped off where the luggage was. Once again, get a porter to take your luggage into the airport. For one, it was a bit of a walk, plus there was a line at the check-in, but he took us straight to the front of the line. Besides the line at the ticket counter, there were not any other problems with the San Juan airport. It was airconditioned, and everything flowed smooth.

 

All in all, this was a great vacation! I would definately go back on the Adventure of the Seas & visit these ports again. If you have any questions let me know- there is so much to cover, I am sure I forgot something.

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In Curacao, you say you took an island tour. Do you mean there were taxis taking people out on tours and if so did you notice if there were any vans that could accomodate about 8 people?

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I asked this on a separate thread, but I thought you would know. Is there any age and/or height limit for the slide? Are children allowed in the fitness center if accompanied by an adult?

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Bug18- when we got off the ship there was a lady holding a sign that said Island Tours. I can't remember her name, but she spoke good English. The driver's name was Thomas. They had an open air van/bus that held about 20 people. The tour was great.

 

Tak8- My son did not use the slide as it is mainly designated for the younger kids. It is at their pool, not the main pool. However, there was one night, that the teens had a pool party and were allowed to use the slide. Hope that helps. I did not use the gym, so can't answer there.

 

Imsoreal- we saw the welcome aboard show and the can't stop the rock, they were both good. We missed the others, but heard they too were good. I didn't use the casino, but did hear from others who did & won some cash!

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imosoreal - We did do some gambling in the casinos and won about $55 on a $20 bet on slots. Not bad results. We saw the Ice Show (which was phenomenal) the Can't Stop the Rock (very good) , the Rock & Roll through Decades party ( also very good and interactive) and spectators at the Adult Quest game which was hilarious!!

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Bug18- the island tour was $15 pp, but it was $38 through the cruise line.

 

Imsoreal- we also saw the Ice show- you should not miss it!

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I am wondering about St. Marteen. Would you mind telling me how much you paid for transportation to the beach and to town to shop? Did you feel rushed. I want to shop there and go to Orient Beach. Did the trampoline cost?

 

Jodi....

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Mom2mci- when you get off the ship in St. Marteen there is a water taxi at the end of the pier that will take you downtown to shop. This cost $5 per person for the day and it is very quick. We went shopping first and thought the prices here were good. After shopping, we went back to the ship for lunch(this took up some of our time) then got back off and caught a taxi to Orient Beach. The taxi cost was $7 each/ one way. (there were 3 of us) however on the way back, we picked up 3 more people so it only cost $5 per person. You can look on the St. Maarten website for the taxi fares are they are set prices.

 

The french beaches are about a 20 minute ride from the pier, so transporation took up about an hour of our time. I did not have long enough at the beach, since we had to be back at the ship by 5pm. The water trampoline was $5 per hour or $10 for the day at the Bikini beach area- it may vary at the other areas of Orient Beach.

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I think I read somewhere that Orient Beach has good snorkeling, do you know if that's true? Also, Orient Beach is on the french side right? Did you see any nude snorkelers? I'm sorry that's kinda juvenile, huh?

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littlemiss- you can rent snorkel gear on Orient Beach- we did not. We did snorkel at Coki Beach in St. Thomas- you can stand neck high in the water & still see the bottom. It is so clear! We did not see any naked snorkelers but did see some nudees walking down the beach. It was a little odd, but was not a major deal. It's not like they were male & female models walking along, just regular people that would have looked better in suits :)

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theseas4me - I know exactly how you feel about your cruise. We were on the Adventure in January and had a wonderful time. We loved all the islands and the ship is beautiful. Would love to sail her again some day soon.

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Hello,

I'm new to this board, so I'm trying to navigate and familiarize myself with cruise critic. My family and I are going on RCCL Adventure of the Seas on 8/29/04 Barbados, St. Lucia, etc. We're flying into Puerto Rico that morning. How early will the terminal be open? and how early can we board on the ship? Thanks. By the way, I really enjoyed reading your cruise review.

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niecyd - Although we were on the other SO Caribbean itinerary for AOS last week, sure boarding times are similar if cruise departs at 10 pm. on Sunday. We arrived at pier at noon, on ship by 1 ,in cabin by 2. Every sailing can vary though dependent on customs and passengers getting off that morning.

 

YOu will absolutely love this ship and your itinerary I am sure. We visited Barbados 2 yrs ago on the Carnival Destiny and did a jeep safari there, it was awesome!! St. Thomas is beautiful too, if you get a chance take the Red Hook Ferry over to St. John and visit Cinnamon Bay (absolutely breathtaking) there. Never been to Antigua or St. Lucia but heard they are very lush and tropical as well. St. Maarten we did Regatta, what a bang up great time that was. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wish we were just leaving for ours. Check out my review posted in reviews section of this website also.

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Sangoofy - thanks for the info. I will keep the Red Hook Ferry in mind. There will be (8) of us going. I will also check out your cruise review. Thank you. I have to log off now:mad: but will get back on in a few hours. I kinda like this cruise critic....a wealth of information about what ever you want to know about cruising. Thanks again.

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Sangoofy,

 

Are you saying that they will let you check in at 12 or 1 even tho the 'official 'boarding time starts at 4:00 for a 10:00pm sail?

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TheSeas4me - Thanks for your wonderful review. Can't wait until I leave Saturday! We are doing the Barbados route, but are doing the same tours on St. Thomas and St. Martin - we had even planned on Bikini's!!!

 

Lucky7/11 - I have read posts of people boarding as early as 11:30 to 12:00. We are staying the night before in Isla Verde and plan to be at the dock at 11:30. Since the Barbados route is so port intensive with only 1 day at see, we thought that getting there early on Sunday would give us another day on the ship! It will be cool to have run of the ship for a little while....

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Thanks Elaineb. Appreciate your response. Maybe we will go straight to the ship from the airport in the am rather than plan a sightseeing day.

 

Enjoy your trip!!

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I have heard the same thing about getting on the ship as early as 11:00 am. We are planning on getting to the pier around 10:30 am. Since our iteniary has only one sea day we thought it would be fun to add the extra day ourselves!!

 

Jodi....

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Thanks for the great review. I will be sailing on her 7/18.

 

Elainb, Please give me a quick review of your itinerary when you return, since I will be doing the same one.

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Lucky7/11- Yes we were physically on the ship ordering our first cold drink by 1 p.m. that day and allowed to go to our cabins right around 2 p.m., it was great!!

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I suggest getting to the ship early because that gives you another 1/2 day on the ship. It is a good time to explore & figure out where everything is before everyone is aboard. Plus by getting to the terminal early you beat the crowds. We were there by 11:30 and had to wait outside for about 30 minutes but there were only a handful of people infront of us and when the terminal opened we were checked in in about 5-10 minutes, then had to wait about another 20-25 before we could board. We had considered sightseeing in San Juan on embarkation day, but just too excited to get to the ship! Hope you all have as much fun as we did on our cruise!

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Thanks for the great review. . .You covered all the bases. The postcruise tour you took, was that the two hour tour where you go to a fort and also the city? We are considering that one.

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Got2cruise- yes that is the tour. It was a good tour. Our guide was very friendly. He stopped at the fort for a little while, then stopped in town for a while if you wanted to shop. I had heard that the Barcardi tour was boring & did not want to do the walking tour, as it was hot and you might get rather sweaty before going to sit at the airport. So we were pleased with the tour we chose.

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