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Bigerr19

Yet another 5/7 Adventure review

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I've read some great reviews from others that were on our same cruise, so I thought I'd give it a shot too.

 

Little background here: My wife and I are in our mid-30's and have both cruised before, but this would be our first with our 6 month old son. We knew this cruise would be different, and it was, but we still had a great time. We cruised with my wife's side of the family, a group of 13 in all, that included her parents, two brothers, a sister with her husband and 6 month old baby, and three friends of the family.

 

Travel: Being on the West Coast, we decided to do a red-eye on Saturday night that would put us in San Juan early Sunday morning. So we hopped on an AA flight from SFO to LAX, then LAX to San Juan. The flights were uneventful, no crying (from the baby at least) and we arrived in San Juan at about 9am. The airport was very quiet and we got our bags very quickly. I decided not to do the transfers and preferred to do a cab instead. We said "see you later" to the rest of our group who were doing the RCI transfer and hopped into a cab. In about 15 minutes the ship was in sight and I could sense my wife getting irritated already as I tend to get overexcited about these kinds of things. LOOK, LOOK, LOOK!!! THERE'S THE SHIP!!! "Yes dear, I can see it", she says calmly.

 

Get on the ship: So we're at the port at 10am, knowing we can't board yet, but we get in the 'drop of your luggage' line with about 20 other early-birds and wait. After about 15 minutes they start taking the luggage and we get into the 'wait until we let you in the building' line. I had my Set Sail pass printed out, our passports and a big smile on my face as we went through security and checked in. The whole process took about 10 minutes once we were in the building. Another few minutes of waiting and they let us on the ship. As we'd been on the Explorer in '04, we knew our way around, so we looked around for a bit while we waited for the rest of our group. By the way, they waited for at least an hour at the airport for the transfer bus to bring them to the ship, I guess the first one leaves at 10am or so?

 

Next: The Ship!

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The Ship!: When we first boarded, there was a bit of a logjam at the elevators, so we snuck through to the Schooner bar to gather ourselves and figure out what to do. The first thing I noticed was the smell of smoke, but not the cigarette type, it smelled like they'd had a campfire in there the night before. Kind of odd, I thought.

 

In my opinion, the ship was in great shape, yes the carpets were a little worn/dingy in some areas, but overall I thought everything looked great. One minor irritation that came up as the week wore on was that some of the elevator buttons did not work, the ones to push to call an elevator to your floor. Many times you'd have to push the button on the far wall or even go around to the other bank of elevators. This was particularly irritating since we had our son who was usually in a stroller, so we were taking the elevator everywhere. Another reviewer mentioned some of the buttons inside the elevators didn't work, but I didn't run into that problem.

 

I won't go into detail of all the amenities on the ship, I think most everyone is aware of what a Voyager-class ship has to offer. I'd be happy to answer any questions on the topic though.

 

Our room: We were in JS 9572, which is port side about halfway between the hump and the forward elevators. The room was clean and in good shape. After reading all the reviews regarding the beds, I was curious as to what ours would be like, so I flopped down on the bed and was surprised, it was comfy and supportive. No need for a mattress topper here. I slept like a baby all week (I cried and wet the bed). Just kidding...

 

The size of the room was perfect for us, we had plenty of room for our luggage, stroller, pack n play, etc. What didn't fit under the bed, fit nicely in the walk-in closet. Plus having a real bathtub was nice so we could bathe our son each day. My sister-in-law and her husband and baby had a D1 balcony cabin that was about 75 square feet smaller than ours. It doesn't sound like a lot, but 75 feet of space in a ship's cabin is HUGE. We had so much more room to move around, plus had a bigger balcony.

 

Our cabin steward was Peter, who did an outstanding job. He always seemed to be in the hallway and would always ask how our day was, or what we did in port. He did a great job of cleaning up our usually messy room, even neatly arranging my son's toys in his pack n play. (The ship supplied the pack n play). A day or two into the cruise, we mentioned to him the "chiller" that didn't seem to do much of anything. We had baby food and breast milk we wanted to keep cold. By the time we came back to our room, there was a real mini-fridge under the desk...and it worked! Actually it worked really well, freezing my water bottle solid overnight.

 

Next: Food!

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The Food: Overall I'd rate the food as 'good' for the trip.

 

Dining room: Our waiter was Arnulfo from the Philippines, very nice guy and a good waiter to boot. He seemed to get friendlier as the week went on. We had a large table of 13, so he had his hands full. As for the food, I have to say that I think the dining room food has dropped a bit in quality compared to our cruise two years ago. I wouldn't say it's bad, but it seemed more 'mass produced' this time, as if the dishes had spent a deal of time under a heat lamp. Now I understand that they have 1500 or so guests to serve each seating, so I think the food is pretty darn good when taking that into consideration. I have to say that lobster night was a favorite, and our waiter brought everyone extra lobster tails without having to ask. I guess he knew we all wanted more!

 

We did eat breakfast in the dining room on a couple of occasions and I thought both meals were very good. I had a smoked salmon omlette the first day that was great.

 

Windjammer: We ate here for lunch most every day, plus breakfast a couple of times. There was always a wide variety of selections and I was happy with my meal each time. One of my favorites, which I only saw one time at lunch, was the Chicken Empanadas. Very good! Never tried the omlette bar at breakfast as there was always a line. I did try several of the desserts they offered and all of them were good, especially the cookies.

 

We never had trouble finding a table, maybe we got lucky, but as busy as it usually was, there weren't any issues finding a place to sit and eat.

 

Promenade cafe: Stopped here a few times for a snack. The pizza was very basic, but was always very good. Same for the cookies and the pastries. I would find myself popping in there for a snack every now and again even though I really wasn't hungry. Even had a Ben & Jerry's cone one afternoon. I don't even remember what they were charging for the ice cream, but it was worth it.

 

Johnny Rockets: I have to admit my wife and I inhaled 3 bowls of onion rings in record time sitting in Johnny Rockets one afternoon. The burgers were great, the fries were great, and the onion rings were even better. Plus, they'll bring you as many fries and rings as you want. Even when I told one server that we were done, another one snuck a new bowl onto the table. Yeah, we ate them.

 

Soft Serve stations: These were a bit hit with our group. There was always someone eating a soft serve cone, particularly on the days at sea. I know it's not a big deal, but I think it was nice being able to grab a cone and enjoy it by the pool each day.

 

Portofino's: Unfortunately we didn't do Portofino's this time. But....on the Explorer two years ago it was outstanding, well worth the $20 cover. I heard the same from some passengers on this cruise as well.

 

Next: Entertainment/Shows!

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Entertainment/Shows: This part will be short as we didn't do much in regards to the shows. We did go to The Quest, which was a blast! My wife's two brothers were team captains and along with their two female captains, ended up winning the Quest. Not sure how they did it, I don't think they even know how they did it either. I did videotape them skipping around the floor hand in hand during the show, I'm sure that will come in handy as blackmail in the future! I do have to say that cruise director Richard Spacey was very good, he was very funny and energetic the whole week.

 

Five of the guys from our group and myself entered the dodgeball tournament on the second sea day. It was held on the basketball court. Our hopes were high as we're all pretty athletic and in decent shape. (round is a shape, right?) We proceeded to lose our first two games and got bounced from the tournament. Not exactly how we thought things would go. We retired, sweaty and panting, to the pool deck to cool off in the pool with a few buckets of beer.

 

My wife wanted to play bingo all week, especially after one of her brothers won a couple of games earlier in the week. I caved and we played one afternoon. It actually turned out to be quite fun. I think most of the people got more excited about the free keychains than they did about the possibility of winning some money. Ok, I'm exaggerating, but the keychains seemed to be in high demand. Sadly, we didn't win a thing, not even close.

 

Like everyone else, we had quite a few pictures taken of us during the week; before dinner, after dinner, during dinner, at the pool, at each port, etc. Not that I'm remotely photogenic or anything, but most all of the pictures of my wife, son and I turned out great. Therefore, we bought a truckload of photos to take home. One thing that I didn't remember from our last cruise, was they now had a white background photo shoot where you could basically do whatever you wanted. People were laying on the floor, crawing around, taking some pretty creative photos. My wife did a couple with my son and they turned out to be the best photos of the trip. I thought it was nice to have a chance for some informal fun shots rather than just the basic formal night stuff.

 

Next: The Ports (Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas) with pictures!

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I should first mention that the Adventure of the Seas was the ONLY ship in port on every one of our stops. This made it very easy to get around, whether walking and shopping or getting a taxi. Very nice.

 

First stop: Aruba

 

This day our plan was to do the Aruba Sailaway Snorkel and Beach excursion. Since our excursion wasn't to begin until 2:30, we had time to look around downtown for a bit. To be honest, I wasn't really impressed, it kind of reminded me of Ensenada, Mexico a bit. Keep in mind, we just walked around several blocks of town just near the port, so some other areas of Aruba obviously might be more interesting.

 

View from our balcony:

 

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The catamaran for our excursion was moored about 200 yards in front of the ship, so we only had to walk a couple of minutes to the boat, no bus ride. There was plenty of shade on the boat and plenty of rum drinks included as well! The excursion started with a 45 minute sail to the first of two snorkeling sites. I want to say that the first spot was called Arashi Reef? It was a shallow spot just inside a reef so the water was very calm. The visibility was decent and there were several fish swimming about. We spent about 20 minutes there before heading to the next stop.

 

Our next stop was the wreck of the Antilla, a WWII German freighter that was scuttled back in 1940. The wreck pokes up above the surface of the water in a couple of spots, so there's some good snorkeling around this wreck. One note though, if you're not a good swimmer this spot may not be for you, it is in open water and was a bit rough.

 

Part of the wreck just below the surface:

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After spending another 20 minutes here, we were off to the Pelican Marina restaurant for dinner. They fed us bbq chicken and ribs with pasta salad and corn on the cob. We all enjoyed our food and were all quite hungry. We had some time after dinner to enjoy the beach and the beginning of the sunset. We spent some time relaxing in the sand and wading in the water for a bit before it was time to sail back to the ship.

 

The catamaran docked at the restaurant:

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The sail back to the ship was a lot of fun, lots of dancing and drinking! It was dark by the time we got back to the ship, it was neat seeing it all lit up as we returned.

 

After returning to the ship, we all showered the met up on the pier to walk over to Carlos N Charlies. The bar is about a 2 minute walk from the ship, and since the ship doesn't leave Aruba until 1am, it's a fun place to hang out for a couple of hours. We danced and drank until about midnight while my in-laws babysat our son and my nephew on the ship.

 

Overall, our day in Aruba was a fun one. Our excursion lasted 5 hours, so it was a bit long, but they did feed us. About three hours of it was sailing/motoring from the pier to the snorkeling spots and back, an hour or so was for dinner and the beach, so that left only about 45 minutes of snorkeling time. I would have preferred more, but that's how it turned out. The boat's crew was very friendly, fun to talk to and wanted to make sure everyone was having a good time. The excursion was a little light on the snorkeling, but it was a good time anyway.

 

Aruba sunset:

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Next: Curacao

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Always wonderful to get many opinions. Thanks for the review. Looking forward to more.

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Second stop: Curacao

 

This day we booked the Spanish Water Expedition excursion, it is a snorkel trip to a sunken tugboat. Again on this day, our boat picked us up right at the pier, didn't have to walk or bus anywhere for our day to start! Today we were on more of a regurlar dive boat as opposed to the catamaran from before. Good thing too as the sea was a bit rough today. I don't get seasick, but it did look like a few people were getting queasy from the rocking of the boat. The ride took about 40 minutes, with a nice jaunt down the coastline to our snorkel site. I did notice some nice resorts with pretty beaches along the way that were protected by an artificial breakwater. May have to check those spots out again someday.

 

Today we had a good hour to snorkel at this spot, which is more of what I was looking for, you get to see more when you're going slowly and not worried about seeing everything before having to get back to the boat.

 

Sunken tugboat:

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I really enjoyed this spot. Good visibility, lots of fish and some nice coral. Even though the water was fairly rough getting here, the snorkel spot was calm as it's close to shore and a bit protected.

 

Lots o' fish:

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Some nice coral:

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After our excursion, we were dropped off back at the ship. We hit the Windjammer for some lunch, then went back down and got off the ship to explore the town a bit.

 

Willemstad is within a 10 minute walk from the pier, so we took a stroll along the waterfront. The old floating bridge is being repaired, so it's not yet in use. There is a free water taxi that goes back and forth across the channel that divides the two sides of town.

 

Floating bridge is being repaired:

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View across the channel from the water taxi:

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I really liked this little town. We shopped around for a bit, stopped in the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere and then stopped at a little sidewalk cafe for some beers. I had a Polar, pretty good refreshing beer that I believe was from Venezuela.

 

Once again, a pretty good day. I really liked the snorkel excursion, at least the snorkel part of it. The boat operators were nice guys, but were more about the business of snorkeling rather than the party atmosphere you get on a lot of excursions. They did serve rum punch though. I would do this one again, if only for the snorkeling stop.

 

We set sail around 5:30 I think, too bad they couldn't stay late like we did in Aruba.

 

Next: St. Martin/Maarten

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Great review so far - looking forward to the rest of it!

We are on AOS in August, can hardly wait!

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We are going on AOS in October, can't hardly wait! Your photos are really nice. Did you take an underwater camera? I've seen some in the stores that are single use, so I'm trying to decide if they are worth the monry or if it makes sense to buy a waterproof housing for my digital camera.

Thanks - keep the info coming!!

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We are going on AOS in October, can't hardly wait! Your photos are really nice. Did you take an underwater camera? I've seen some in the stores that are single use, so I'm trying to decide if they are worth the monry or if it makes sense to buy a waterproof housing for my digital camera.

Thanks - keep the info coming!!

 

Thanks for the compliment on my pictures. I do have an underwater housing for my camera. I'd used the single use ones in the past and was never happy with the results. Plus, with the digital, you can see exactly what the shot will look like while you're still in the water and can take several of the same thing, erasing what you don't like later on.

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Third stop: St. Martin/Maarten

 

They played a dirty trick on me this morning...they backed the ship in at the pier, so instead of a nice view of the bay from our port side balcony, I got a nice view of a small hill and a bunch of shipping containers. Oh well.

 

This day we didn't have any excursions planned. We had decided that this would be our day to relax at the beach and be lazy. Of course the consensus in our group was to check out Orient Beach. We disembarked at about 9am and walked a short distance down the pier to the taxi area. The pier area here is very nice with a little shopping village and a bar or two that overlooks the water. You can catch the water taxi here that takes you to the main part of Philipsburg. We grabbed a taxi van for the 13 of us and were off to Orient Beach. The taxi ride cost $6 per person. Our driver was a really nice guy who told us his name was the "Birdman". So the Birdman gave us a little narrative tour on our way to Orient. As we got within a few minutes of the beach, he called ahead to his friends to let them know he was dropping off a group of 13 and for them to be ready for us. As it turns out, his friends were at the Pirate Bar, which is were we had wanted to go anyway.

 

The guys at the Pirate were very friendly and we more than helpful in setting up 13 lounge chairs and umbrellas right at the edge of the water. They charged us $12 per person for lounge chair/umbrella and that included 2 complimentary drinks at the bar. (The comp drinks were limited to rum punch type stuff, but no complaints here!) Fortunately the beach was not overcrowded today, probably because we were the only ship in port.

 

Beautiful day at Orient Beach:

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There were several people at the beach renting waverunners, so my wife and I grabbed one for $40 for 30 minutes. You can take them pretty much where you want, as long as you stay in the bay. We had a great time cruising around with the other waverunners, we even saw a large sea turtle floating around catching his breath as we were scooting along.

 

Late in the afternoon, we could see storm clouds getting closer to the beach. At one point there was a large funnel cloud that had formed off in the distance, looking pretty ominous. By this time we were pretty hungry, so I wandered up to the Pirate and ordered some lunch. They have a good variety of things on their menu, but I opted for a burger and fries. It turned out to be a very good burger, quite a bit better than what I expected from a small beach bar. After wolfing that down in record time, it was getting time to go. In the morning, the Birdman had asked us what time we'd like to be picked up, and he was there waiting for us at the pre-determined time. We piled back into the van for the ride back to the ship. By this time it was sprinkling, so we timed it just right.

 

Pirate Bar:

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Back at the pier, my wife and I decided to look around a bit in the shopping village there. We sampled some very hot hot-sauce that one booth had for sale, and bought a t-shirt for my son. After a long day in the sun, we were ready to get back onto the ship.

 

Not long after the ship sailed, we ran through a pretty good thunder and lightning storm that seemed to last a good portion of the night. I guess we were lucky as the weather during the day had been nice and sunny.

 

St. Martin ended up being my wifes favorite island. Even though we didn't do much besides play around on the beach, she really enjoyed having the nice day with the lounge chairs and umbrellas. We also found the people in St. Martin to be very friendly. We're planning on doing a land vacation to St. Martin next May, based soley on our day there.

 

Next: St. Thomas

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Fourth Stop: St. Thomas

 

This morning was mandatory immigration starting at 7:30 am. We waited until about 7:45 before we headed down to the dining room. There was a line that wrapped around the dining room, but it was constantly moving, so it was like a quick stroll through the dining room and back out. The whole process took less than 10 minutes.

 

My wife and I have been to St. Thomas several times before on land vacations, but this was our first trip there on a cruise ship. There were about 14 different things we wanted to do while there, but having only about 9 hours in port, we settled on a snuba excursion. I have done scuba and I have snorkeled, but I have never done snuba. This is similar to scuba as you're breathing air from a tank, but instead of having the tank on your back, it's floating on the surface in a raft with a long air hose attached to a regulator.

 

Our trip started as everyone piled into one of the open air pickup truck taxis and headed over to Coki Beach. On the way, we made a short stop at the company's dive shop to pick up mask, snorkel and fins. Since I always bring my own mask and snorkel, I grabbed some fins and was ready to go. Once we were at Coki Beach, the instructors gave us some safety instructions while we were standing in shallow water. Each instructor takes 4 people, so there are several instructors and rafts in the water at once, though it is not crowded at all. We spent about 20 minutes or so at a depth of 20-25 feet. It was a great time! There was a great variety of fish and coral, we even had a turtle swim around with us for a bit.

 

Even though it was a 3 hour excursion, the actualy snuba part is short, only about 20 minutes. I would have liked to spend more time playing, but our time was up and we had to hop on the taxi back to the ship.

 

Coki Beach:

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Once we got back to the ship, we all showered and changed and met back down on the pier to go into town for lunch. One of my favorite places in Charlotte Amalie to eat is Cafe Amici. Since we had such a large group, and the seating at Cafe Amici can be a bit limited, we decided to go to The Greenhouse instead. The Greenhouse is a another one of my favorite local spots right on the waterfront. They got our group in immediately and we all had a great lunch there. I had several bushwhackers and a jerk chicken wrap that was awesome.

 

After lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon browsing the shops and alleyways in Charlotte Amalie. A couple of the guys got great deals on watches, about 30% less than at home, so they were really happy. As always, we had to stop in the Virgin Islands Brewing Co store for some free samples of Blackbeard Ale. Had to pick up a new t-shirt to replace my old faded one too.

 

After a couple hours of wandering around, it was time to grab a cab back to the ship. There is no problem getting a cab in Charlotte Amalie, the cab drivers are constantly asking if you need a ride as you walk down the streets. We hopped into one of the truck taxis only to find it was the same driver from our excursion earlier in the morning! It's just a short ride back to the ship and costs only $4 per person.

 

One note about boarding the ship in St. Thomas...you have to have a photo id along with your seapass card to get back on the ship. This is not the case in any other port, so don't forget your id while getting off the ship in St. Thomas.

 

It was kind of sad getting back on the ship that day, knowing it was the last full day of the cruise. We were going to be staying overnight in San Juan after the cruise, but it just wasn't the same.

 

Next: San Juan

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Sorry to see your at the end of your review. Thanks for writing it!

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Sorry to see your at the end of your review. Thanks for writing it!

 

It ain't over yet!

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Disembark/San Juan

 

This morning we were out of our cabin around 8am and headed down to the dining room to meet the rest of our group for breakfast. We were in "group 3" to disembark, but the rest of our family was group 8 and 10, which meant they would be off the ship quite a bit later than us. Since we were all staying in San Juan overnight, there was no hurry to catch a flight, so after breakfast we waited for a bit with the rest of our family. By the time they called group 5 we figured it was about time we get off the ship and get to our hotel. We waited in line on Deck 4 for about 20 minutes to get off the ship and they did not check what group you're supposed to be in as you disembark. Guess they rely on the honor system to keep people from crowding the exits.

 

There was quite a line backed up the ramps down to the pier, I think the escalators may have slowed things down a bit. Since we had our son in a stroller, we took the elevator down and got to pass all the people in line. From there we waited another 5-10 minutes before they let our "group" into the baggae claim area. We immediately were greeted by a porter who grabbed our luggage and wheeled it out to a cab for us. The whole baggage collection process took us about 5 minutes, much easier than my past cruises.

 

We grabbed a taxi to our hotel, the Condado Plaza Hotel and Casino. We arrived at the hotel around 10:30am and the concierge told us our rooms wouldn't be ready until 3pm, but they'd hold our luggage for us. I went to the front desk anyway to check in and they had a room ready for us right away. I had booked a city view room but they gave us an oceanview room instead. The room was nice with a good sized balcony with a great view of....the ocean.

 

Ocean view:

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The rest of our group was about an hour behind us, and once they arrived we walked a block or so down the street to have lunch at a place on the water called Waikiki. We sat on the outdoor patio right on the water and had a great lunch. Most of us had the steak sandwich and it was outstanding. Definitely a place I'd recommend.

 

After lunch we wanted to see El Morro and maybe the Bacardi factory. We asked two separate taxi drivers at the hotel and they both said that El Morro and Bacardi were closed due to it being Mothers Day. We did notice a bunch of stores closed due to the holiday, but figured these two tourist attractions would be open. Quite disappointed, we headed to the hotel pool instead. (I found out after getting back home that El Morro WAS open that day from someone who actually went the same day). The hotel has a very small protected beach that's right next to the road and bridge that goes over a small channel. The bridge is not very high and there were a bunch of locals jumping off it into the water. A couple of the guys with us decided that it was a good idea too, so they walked out to the middle of the bridge and jumped off a few times too.

 

Since that night was Mothers Day, we decided to take the three mothers in our group out to dinner. They chose a nearby restaurant called Ropa Vieja, a Cuban/Puerto Rican place. This was, by far, the BEST meal of our entire trip. I had mahi mahi with mango salsa and beans and rice and it was outstanding. Others that had seafood risotto, rack of lamb, or the steak all said the same thing. Our waiter and the overall service was excellent and the bar made a perfect Mojito. This was a great ending to our last night of vacation.

 

We had a very early flight home at 7:30am, so we headed up to the room to try to get some sleep before the early wakeup call. In the morning, the cab got us to the airport quickly and a porter helped us with the luggage and got us checked-in in record time. After about 20 hours of travel back to the West Coast, including three flights, we arrived back at our house, our vacation over.

 

It turned out to be a great vacation, especially since it was our first with our young son. I know he won't remember it, as many passengers pointed out to us, but we'll definitely remember and he'll have a ton of pictures to look at when he gets older. Thanks for reading my review!

 

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A couple days after returning home, a fire sprinkler in our house broke and soaked our upstairs office. Good thing it didn't happen while we were on the cruise! Vacation is definitely over now...

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I loved your review it is getting me excited and it was nice to see the picture of your family.

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Great Review! We are doing this cruise on 08/27/06. This is our first time with our 16 month old son. You are the first person that I know, who went to this cruise with a baby. Please give me some details about the activities for the babies. If you have an advice it would be great too. I want my baby to enjoy this trip. Thanks!

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Great Review! What did you do with the little guy while on the excursions? We will be traveling with a 2 and 9 year old on this cruise and figure excursions are probably OUT because we can't take the little guy with us! Did you use the inroom babysitting service at all? Thanks again for the review....loved the pictures!

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Awesome review. Very descriptive. As another poster stated your pictures came out very clear & crisp. If possible, can you post the name of the case/device you used to protect your digital camera? DB & I are looking to purchase after two cruises with disposable underwater cameras & very bad shots.

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Great Review! We are doing this cruise on 08/27/06. This is our first time with our 16 month old son. You are the first person that I know, who went to this cruise with a baby. Please give me some details about the activities for the babies. If you have an advice it would be great too. I want my baby to enjoy this trip. Thanks!

 

To be honest, there aren't a lot of activities for the baby, though they do have a program called "Aquababies" each day for about 45 minutes. It's sponsored by Fisher Price and it's basically just a play time for the kids, nothing really structured. We took our son on the two sea days, he enjoyed playing with the toys they had.

 

Not sure what advice I can give you, unless maybe you have some specific questions. If so, I'd be more than happy to answer.

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Great Review! What did you do with the little guy while on the excursions? We will be traveling with a 2 and 9 year old on this cruise and figure excursions are probably OUT because we can't take the little guy with us! Did you use the inroom babysitting service at all? Thanks again for the review....loved the pictures!

 

We took our son on every excursion with us. Fortunately, my in-laws were with us and would keep an eye on him while we snorkeled. Otherwise, we probably would have taken turns with the snorkeling. Not sure we would have done the snuba excursion without the in-laws to help since we both were in the water at the same time and there would not have been time for each of us to take a turn separately.

 

We did not use the in-room babysitting. I knew about it, but wasn't quite comfortable having someone I don't know watching our 6 month old. We might have considered it if he was a year older. Plus, we had family with us that watched him a couple of nights while we went out for a couple of hours.

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Awesome review. Very descriptive. As another poster stated your pictures came out very clear & crisp. If possible, can you post the name of the case/device you used to protect your digital camera? DB & I are looking to purchase after two cruises with disposable underwater cameras & very bad shots.

 

I have an old Olympus c-4000zoom 4.0 megapixel camera and use an Ikelite housing. Unfortunately, the housing cost more than the camera! It does do a pretty good job though, easy to use all the camera functions underwater and is not too cumbersome.

 

I also had too many experiences with bad pictures from the disposable underwater cameras and decided to go this route and have been very happy with the results.

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The "smell" you noticed when you entered the Schooner Bar is there on purpose - it is supposed to smell like "Cannonball" fire. It also has helped in the past with the smoke smell.

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Thanks for your review....so glad to see you travel with your son!!!Keep it up. Nice your inlaws could come to help...LIfe should not stop when you have children...especially travel!:)

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