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JENANDGENE

Back from Adventure yesterday... ask away and read my thoughts..

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Jen,

 

Do you all go the day before your cruise and stay in San Juan? I'm looking for a reasonable nice hotel to stay the night before our cruise next year on AOS.

 

Thanks for sharing all your memories of the cruise, they were wonderful.

 

Anne

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Hi Jen, thanks for the great suggestions of what to do with the teens on this cruise. Do you book these excursions through RCL? I have a horror of the ship leaving without us when we get off. Also, the Jolly Pirates sounds really good, but is it a booze cruise? I read somewhere that this might be an excursion for people who want to drink a lot. I hope not, because as you say, the boys would get a blast out of doing all of those activities. Have you heard much about the sunset catamaran cruise in Aruba? It will be our 25th so something romantic would be good, but I'm not sure if two teens would appreciate it as much. This is also a celebration for our oldest who will be graduating high school so we need a balance of things to do to make everyone happy...or as happy as you can make a teenager!!!:rolleyes:

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Thanks Jen for taking the time to post and answer questions. DW and I sail this Sunday!! Can't wait. This is our second Voyager class ship. We did the EOS for our honeymoon and this is our anniversary gift to each other. I don't remember being charged for anything except the shakes at Johnny Rockets, and we didn't have any coupons. Has the policy changed? Also, I don't remember if we had a small fridge in our room. We have a balcony stateroom...I think it is "D" class. Can't wait to hear more!!

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I am back at work so not as much time on my hands but I will try and post more of the review this evening... I will answer questions though...

 

 

Annefran_ We did not stay the night before. Our flight got into San Juan at 10am with a 10pm sail time, so we figured we had enough time. I have heard from others that the San Juan hotels are pricey. A couple at our dinner table paid $78 for a 12 pack of beer!!!

 

Cruzin virgin- I have nor heard much about the sunset cruise....so no input there.... I usually book my excursions through the boat, they are more expensive, but I know if they get delayed the ship will wait, and also that safety records have been checked. The Jolly Pirates was to an extent a booze cruise....meaning they had drinks included..... but there were a lot of families on board and I did not experience one single person to be what i would consider "drunk" They keep you in the water and doing things so much that the emphasis is not really on the booze. However it is there if you want it........ come to think of it it was probably a major factor in some of the people that decided it was a good idea to try the rope swing! LOL

 

zewski- Johnny Rockets has changed their policy. I also remember when it was free. Now there is a $3.95 cover charge to get in and then its all you can eat (additional charge still for beverages including shakes). I think it's well worth it and if you are a C&A member you get a coupon for a free admission in your coupon book. There is a small fridge in the room, however it is really more of a chiller. It will keep things cold but does not do a very good job cooling things that start out warm...... :)

 

~Jen

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Anne: we booked our hotel on priceline... at the recommendation of Valerie 1003... just bid San Juan and check "resorts" ( you will get one of 4 hotels on the water)... we got the Hilton Caribe for $70 a night.. ...

We are looking forward to checking out some latin dancing and cuisine!!

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day 7--- St Thomas

 

We got up around 8:30 and decided to eat in the main dining room since the only thing we had planned for the day was the skyride to Paradise Point and we could do that whenever we wanted. We had to clear customs this morning also since we were re-entering US territory. The way we did this was all passsengers had to present themselves in the dining room (2nd floor for US citizen's 3rd floor for non-US Citizens) sometime between 7:30 am and 9:30 am. You have to do this weather you plan to get off the ship or not. My one recommendation for this is do not go first thing unless you are pressed for time... The only time I saw a line was between &:30 and 8. We went around 8:45 and breezed through in about 5 minutes. We went down and left the ship.... the skyride is about a 5 minute walk from the pier, just the other side of the Havensight Mall area. We bought the tickets through RCI for $15 pp and they were selling them there for $18 pp. The ride up to the top was beautiful, you will get some of the best views of the island. At the top there are a few shops, a restaurant, a parrot and bird show, and a 1/4 mile nature trail. I highly recommend stopping by Pirate's Chest Souveniers, especially if you are looking for old coin jewelry from shipwrecks and such. The owner Sean is a great guy......my DH and he must have talked for 2 hours, my DH being very interested in treasure diving. Here is a sample of the view....

DSCN1357.jpg

After the ride down we did a little more shopping and got back on the ship. More bingo....more losing. Then it was time for dinner. Always sad you last night in the dining room. We said good-bye to the waitstaff and exchanged e-mail addresses with our table mates. We then headed for the farewell show... it was quite comical with CD Richard Spacey coming out dressed as Austin Powers! After the show we hit the sack since we needed to be up, have breakfast and meet for our San Juan tour by 8am the next morning!

 

~Jen

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Jen-

 

I'm enjoying reading your review as I will be on Adventure in January. In Aruba, we are thinking of doing the half day tour also. What exactly do you do in the caves? Do you walk around? Also, what beach do you stop at and how much time do they give you on the beach.

 

Thanks and looking forward to reading more of your review.

 

Lauren

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Jen-

 

I'm enjoying reading your review as I will be on Adventure in January. In Aruba, we are thinking of doing the half day tour also. What exactly do you do in the caves? Do you walk around? Also, what beach do you stop at and how much time do they give you on the beach.

 

Thanks and looking forward to reading more of your review.

 

Lauren

 

Lauren, In Aruba we did the afternoon Jolly Pirates Snorkeling tour.... not the one you are speaking of. I did however hear good things about the caves, however the people we spoke to said it was VERY HOT!!

 

~Jen

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I am back at work so not as much time on my hands but I will try and post more of the review this evening... I will answer questions though...

 

 

Annefran_ We did not stay the night before. Our flight got into San Juan at 10am with a 10pm sail time, so we figured we had enough time. I have heard from others that the San Juan hotels are pricey. A couple at our dinner table paid $78 for a 12 pack of beer!!!

 

Cruzin virgin- I have nor heard much about the sunset cruise....so no input there.... I usually book my excursions through the boat, they are more expensive, but I know if they get delayed the ship will wait, and also that safety records have been checked. The Jolly Pirates was to an extent a booze cruise....meaning they had drinks included..... but there were a lot of families on board and I did not experience one single person to be what i would consider "drunk" They keep you in the water and doing things so much that the emphasis is not really on the booze. However it is there if you want it........ come to think of it it was probably a major factor in some of the people that decided it was a good idea to try the rope swing! LOL

 

zewski- Johnny Rockets has changed their policy. I also remember when it was free. Now there is a $3.95 cover charge to get in and then its all you can eat (additional charge still for beverages including shakes). I think it's well worth it and if you are a C&A member you get a coupon for a free admission in your coupon book. There is a small fridge in the room, however it is really more of a chiller. It will keep things cold but does not do a very good job cooling things that start out warm...... :)

 

~Jen

Jen thanks for the info! I like the sound of the Pirate ship and wondered how it was for 13 yr. olds (think I asked you on another post?). I realize it could vary per sailing. In your opinion - could you do an early sea lions then do the Pirate ship? Is that possible? Seems like 2 excursions in Aruba are doable.

Thanks-

Karen

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Tropicalsunset,

 

Thanks for the information. I've never used Priceline to book hotels before but worth looking into.

 

I want to start looking at flights also to San Juan. I want to see how the prices fluctuate over the next 6 months. Usually in the Fall the prices seem to go down.

 

Take Care, Anne

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Jen, This has been one of the best reviews I've ever read!! Really have enjoyed all the pics and feel like I'm on the cruise with you.You are brave being preggers on the cruise and with a back problem. I was so sick with my second I could hardly work. Bravo for you!

Your review makes me want to cruise right now.Have you really enjoyed this ship? It really sounds like a delight and the food looks fab!!!:) It might have to be our next;) .

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FWIW: I have seen the Jolly Rogers excursions come back to ship and have heard stories of some pretty wild stuff... don't kinow first hand if its true... but I wouldn't take my teens on it.

 

Anne: I don't know where in NJ you are but we were looking at a Continental flight that went out of Newark direct to SJ for $198!! We booked on AA as flying out of Hartford is much more convenient for us... but we considered that flight!! When are you on AOS?? finally, if you want more info on bidding on Priceline ... check out http://www.biddingfortravel.com

I was apprehensive to bid.... but have had great results... got a great hotel in Boston for $100!!! good luck!!

 

I agree, Jen this is an awesome review and makes me even more anxious to pack up and go... LOVE the photo!!! That could go in a travel promo!!

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A lot of fun to do on St. Maarten, great for both teens and adults, is the America's Cup Regatta. The make up crews of about 12-15 people and take you out to one of the actual racing yachts that sailed (or trained) in the America's Cup races of 1987. These are not little boats, but 70 ton racers.

 

Before you get onbaord, they ask you what level of excercise you'd prefer: heavy, light, or none. They they assign you your job. Heavy might be churning the main winch that raises the main sail. Light may be coiling the ropes as someone else turns a winch. None? Handing out the drinks, keeping the stop watch, or just sitting in the back.

 

You race a modified America's Cup race against another boat of similarly "experienced" racers. Lots of fun

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JENANDGENE, Thank you so much for your review and comments. You are sooo funny, too...very enjoyable to read. Maybe you should write a travel book???!!! We are going on the Serenade southern Carib. in Nov. and you gave me a lot of good info on some of our ports of call. Thanks again and best wishes for a happy, healthy baby!!!!

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Karen,

 

Jolly Pirates was in Aruba and Sea Lions are in Curacao.... 2 different days, however the afternoon Pirate ship anorkel did not leave until 2:15 so you had the whole morning in Aruba and the Sea Lions got back to the ship at 12:15 so you had the whole afternoon in Curacao... :)

 

~Jen

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Pradagal_ I did really enjoy Adventure (as i have all of the Voyager class ships) I think that the itinerary is what makes this cruise so special, I love all the Southern ports :)

 

Last Day---- Departure :(

 

What a sad sad day the last day of a cruise can be! I hate leaving! We woke up early and went to the Windjammer for breakfast..........Mmmmmmm, my last waffles!! We then headed to the Imperial Lounge where we were to meet for the San Juan City tour we had planned. I highly recommend a San Juan tour if you have a late flight. Our flight was at 4:15 pm and the tour was a fun way to extend your vacation with something besides sitting in the airport!! Even though we met at 8 am we didn't depart the ship until around 9. We cleared customs and found out luggage easily. A small miracle considering the "sea" of luggage out there!! We had not signed up for the luggage valet, however we saw the US Airways counter right there in the port and figured we would check it out. We were asked what flight we were on and if we had tickets for the RCI bus transfers to the airport. We did, so after producing those we were able to check in and get our boarding passes for our flight. We were not charged anything extra for this. I can only speculate that if you have purchased the transfers the service is included.

 

We then boarded a bus and headed for the San Cristobal fort. AWESOME! We only had about 40 minutes to explore it and that was my only complaint. If you are at all interested in history it is a must see!! We then took off for Old San Juan's shopping area. We walked around and shopped a bit then had a (non-alcoholic) pina colada at Baraccina's restaurant. We boarded the bus again and took a short drive through tour of new San Juan on the way to the airport. We arrived at the airport at about 12:30.... still plenty of waiting!

 

2 flights and 12 hours later we returned home to a cold house and 2 very lonley cats! My daughter on the other hand was perfectly happy to stay with Grammy and when I asked her if she was ready to go home the next morning she promptly said " No Way!"......So back in drydock for now....

 

Final result

 

Total cost about $3500

Total weight gain- 23 pounds between Dh and I

Experience- priceless!!!!

 

:) :) :)

~Jen

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Karen,

 

Jolly Pirates was in Aruba and Sea Lions are in Curacao.... 2 different days, however the afternoon Pirate ship anorkel did not leave until 2:15 so you had the whole morning in Aruba and the Sea Lions got back to the ship at 12:15 so you had the whole afternoon in Curacao... :)

 

~Jen

I am just starting to look at the excursions- thanks for clearing this up. I am right to assume the Jolly Pirate ship and the JOLLY ROGER Pirate ship's are 2 seperate ships, right? The Jolly ROGER has always been a party ship, no snorkel/swing - lots of drunks. The Jolly Pirate ship is more activity, less drinking based....do I have that right?

Karen

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I am just starting to look at the excursions- thanks for clearing this up. I am right to assume the Jolly Pirate ship and the JOLLY ROGER Pirate ship's are 2 seperate ships, right? The Jolly ROGER has always been a party ship, no snorkel/swing - lots of drunks. The Jolly Pirate ship is more activity, less drinking based....do I have that right?

Karen

 

Correct... The Jolly Pirates will not be listed that way. It is listed through RCI as the Sail, Snorkel, Swim, and Swing tour. We did not even know it was a "pirate ship" until we got there. I am sure people will confuse the 2 and if you hear the "horror" stories, they are probably from the Jolly Roger party tours. We had a span of ages from 6 and 7 year old kids to 60 year old ladies. It wasn't a "party ship" atmosphere.

 

~Jen :)

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Thanks for the info about that. I eat at the dining rooms for almost 2 hours...hehehe and eat 2 from each category and love the food! (And I do not gain an ounce...I usually lose 5 pounds prior to cruising...so I can eat...and I can out eat DH...good metabolism i guess!!). So I just never understood the point of the specialty restaurants since the food, at least on Mariner, was soooo good!

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Hi Tropicalsunset,

 

Thanks for the info. We aren't going on AOS until April 8, 2007. So I have tons of time to book flights. And yes we would fly out of Newark. That's a great price that you all got for SJU. I was debating whether to go the day before or just stick to flying out on that Sunday. It is Easter Sunday and usually flying on a holiday tends to be a little cheaper. I probably won't book my flights until maybe the Fall.

 

I did get my room assignment, we have a balcony room #7566. It's in the middle of the ship away from any noise in the Promenade area. If anyone has had a room close by or that room, let me know how you liked it. **************** gave a $260 Sailpass credit we will have on our cards when we get on. I thought that was a great deal.

 

Take Care, Anne

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Jen-I really enjoyed your review and pics............I hate that is over.......:( :( :(

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Thanks for the review. I look forward to my turn on the Adventure.

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Hi Jen - perhaps from reading your posts you may have had the baby by now? Hope all is well with you and your bundle of joy (or soon to be if you haven't had him/her yet). I have a few questions hopefully you can answer...looking to book my flight to San Juan from Miami so I have a ton to choose from. Anywhere I can store my bags before embarking on ship as RCCL tells me that once I am on the ship I cannot get off. Also, the flight home...what time would you say is safe for me to book return flight considering the congestion from pier to airport and chaos of getting off of ship? Thanks for the info, your posts have been great!!!

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Hi Jen,

 

Can you tell me if AOS has freshwater or saltwater pools. I heard that freedom of the seas has fresh??? Was wondering if any other RC ships have fresh water. I was on sovereign and it was saltwater. Thanks in advance. :)

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We are in process of booking cruise for spring break and will have balcony cabins.

1.) Is it possible to post what you recall the ship faced when at each stop?

Example the port side faced town in Aruba vs. Starboard had ocean.

I am trying to figure which side is "better" -we like seeing the buildings,& country vs. just water view while docked. Especially people scurrying to make it back onboard in time.

Thanks.

 

Also- the poster aboce cruising next week- can you gather teen 15-17 activity sheets, or Compass- we've never sailed Royal Carib. before and I love to prep ahead. (I'd pay for any mailing costs of items you gather -the more papers the merrier).

We also plan on using airport luggage check at end and verify airline cut off time and if Continental is indeed an airline,plus cost.

 

Also a food critique :-) My dad wants to know how often shrimp cocktail is offered at dinner; having been spoiled that it is on Carnival menu every night.

Thanks all who post.

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