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mel47

Adventure May 14th Review - Long

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I would first like to say that we all have different opinions on cruising, itineraries, entertainment etc. This was my 9th cruise and 6th with Royal Caribbean. This was the best cruise that I have been on. I will go day through day on this review, I will forget something, but feel free to ask me whatever you like.

 

San Juan: Pre-stayed at the Coral Princess Inn in Condado. It was clean and friendly close to the beach. The Hilton is around the corner if you want to gamble and plenty of restaurants in the area. We choose to go the day before in case luggage gets lost and to try to get a jump on the vacation.

 

Day 1: Left for the port at 10:30am and arrived at 10:50am. There was a booth with all the tags for bags and several gentlemen standing there to take your bags. We gave them a dollar per bag don’t know if that was sufficient, but that is what we have done before. They directed us to a line with about 25 people already standing in it. This line did not have any chairs or places to sit. Let me say that I am 27 and my wife 29, so this does not bother us. Just letting you know in case you can’t stand for a while. We were told that the doors to the pier would open at 12:00. At 11:55 the doors opened there were probably 40 computers with Royal Caribbean staff to check you in. We handed over our set sail pass and passports. Had to sign one paper for the credit card were given our seapass. Walked to the escalator put the seapass card in took the picture and up we went. Walked right on, they were taking the welcome aboard picture if you wanted. Doors were closed to the staterooms so we went right up to the windjammer. My point of all this is we got to the pier at 10:50 and were eating in the windjammer by 12:15. Pretty much hung around all afternoon. Checked out our dining room table toured the ship, great time to take pictures. Dinner was at 6:30 main seating muster was at 8:30 sail away at 10:00, welcome aboard show 10:45. Parade was at 12 or 12:15. Main seating dinner was at 6:00 the rest of the week. I will scan all the compasses and post them. Cruise director Richard Spacey, this guy is awesome. He is great on the fly, great dancing and you can tell that he really wants the passenger to get the most out of the trip. If you had Jeffrey Arpin before he retired, Richard has the same enthusiasm his staff also feeds of that and makes for a real enjoyable experience.

 

Day 2 St. Thomas: We went to Magen’s Bay it was great stayed for a few hours and then got a cab to take us to Udder Delight an Ice Cream shop at the top of the hill before you head down to Magen’s Bay. We then went to Drakes seat to see the overlook of Magen’s bay and surrounding beaches and Islands. We also went to the overlook of the Charlotte Amalie bay. Did a little shopping This was formal night and also the night to pickup ice show tickets.

 

Day 3 St. Maarten: Today was beautiful. St. Maarten is so clean and just nice we really loved it. We hung out at Great Bay and rented a wave runner. Wave runners were $60 per hour for the yellow ones and $90 per hour for the red. Red ones hold 3 people and have more power the yellow are a two seater. 6 beach chairs and 2 umbrellas was $20. All prices vary on how good you are at getting them down. It was funny because when we were talking to the guy renting the jet skis he told us that this was the worst beach on the island. We were like WOW!!!! We couldn’t have been happier with the worst beach. I guess this means we get to go back and check out more of the island. We took the water taxi for $5 per person that takes you from the ship to the beach and shopping, you can also just walk it if you want to. All the shopping is right there, plenty of places to eat, live steel drum bands, it was a great day.

 

Day 4 Antigua: Took a tour with Premier Tours with Gordon. Took us to Shirley’s Heights, Nelson’s Dock yard, devil’s bridge and then Long Bay Beach also known as Pineapple beach. Awesome beach with soft sand and places to eat and drink. Got an umbrella for $20 no chairs as our stay would only be for 2 hours. Tour had many stops and was done professionally I would recommend. Tour was $30 per person. As the ship was pulling away 6 people that had been paged for the last half hour came running, but it was to late. We were only 50 feet from the pier, but the crew that was on the deck told me that the captain is very firm and the time is the time. He also told me the day before one of the crew members didn’t make it back on in St. Maarten and that is grounds for immediate dismissal. Some interesting info for ya.

 

Day 5 St. Lucia: Private Tour with COSOL. Our Van was driven by COSOL himself. I am sure that his other drivers are great, but getting COSOL himself was awesome. 6 of us $50 per person. He provided all the drinks, water, soda, beer, rum punch and different stops of local food along the way. He paid all entrance fees to the parks and gardens. He then took us to the JOLUISE beach probably spelled wrong, but it is the beach between the Pitons absolutely beautiful. COSOL is well respected within the community because he bring us cruise passenger through and we buy stuff from them food and necklaces. I absolutely recommend COSOL, it was a highlight tour for our group. It is about 6 hours with winding roads. It goes to banana plantation, fishing villages, botanical gardens, waterfall, volcano, pitons, and picture taking points. It is a packed tour.

 

Day 6 Barbados: Royal Caribbean Tour. Took a catamaran to shipwreck snorkel. They put bait in the water, which makes the fish swarm around you it was great. The next stop was the highlight swimming with turtles. These things are huge. There were probably 10 turtles and it was a lot of fun. Next stop was a beach for a little hang out time. $58 per person includes drinks and some banana cakes. 4 hour tour. We went into Bridgetown after that, but didn’t see too much, stores at the port are what is downtown. Will probably get an island tour and go to the beach next time. Snorkeling here was great and water was unbelievable.

 

Day 7 At Sea: This was the day that Monseratt dome collapsed and we had the a big ash cloud to deal with. We heard a lot of people complaining about it and this is my take on it. We just had 6 beautiful day with probably less that 30 minutes of rain. Every day was sunny, entertainment was great, food great. Just smile and realize that most trips have at least one day that is not the best weather. I mean how often does a dome on a volcano collapse in the Caribbean. I actually felt bad for all the crew who had to figure out how to clean it up. I would be interested to see what the next cruise was like with all the ash on the deck and deck chairs, hopefully they got it cleaned up pretty well. We took the time to pack and do some of the ship stuff that we didn’t get to do because it was such a port intensive week.

 

We felt the food portion sizes were larger on this cruise in the past and that the service was awesome. Entertainment was fabulous. I can’t really put my finger on this one, but we just had the time of our lives, everything seemed to work out. I hope that everyone can have a cruise like this one once in their life. As I said before I will post all the compasses, just give me some time and I would love to answer any questions. Sorry for the long post, but I know how helpful it can be for some.

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Great review...my boyfriend Joe and I are traveling on AOS on October 1, 2006. He's 27 and I'm 29.

 

Was wondering what type of room you had and where it was located? We have an inside promenade room on the 6th floor. Anything you highly recommend for people our age???

 

I hope our cruise is as great as yours...we are booked with Cosul, have day passes at Pineapple Beach resort in Antigua, and are booked on Silvermoon Catamaran In Barbados! ~Valerie

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Wife and I are doing this trip in October, just reversed (sea day first, St. Thomas last). We're both really psyched. :) Thanks for the great review.

 

Jeremy

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As far as age goes it is really whatever you like to do. There is always lots of dancing. The shows are a mix geared to everyone. Definetely get involved, go to the love and marriage game show, quest, karaoke. You will meet a lot of people and then be able to do stuff with them. Participation is the main thing. Pineapple Beach is great you will love it. COSOL will totally make St. Lucia a great day. Don't be afraid to try the food it is really good.

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To Mel47

 

Great Review I am so excited we are leaving on Sunday May 28th. When in St Thomas did you take cabs or did you book a tour. I was thinking of booking thru Godfrey tours, someone told me just to grab a cab. If you took cabs how much should expect to pay ?

Thanks

In advance.

Gail

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Hi Gail,

 

We just took a cab. Here is what I am finding. Tours are a great value because you get to go to a lot of places for what it cost to go one direction in a cab. This is how it worked for Magen's Bay. The cab that took us their asked what time we would be done to come back and pick us up. Well we really didn't have a specific time. So from the ship to Magen's Bay it was $4 per person. It was hard to get a cab out of Magen's Bay because all the cabs were waiting to pick up their parties that were pre-scheduled when they dropped them off in the morning. So what we had to do was walk outside the gate entrance and then a cab picked us up. Kind of a weird deal not really sure what the cabs have worked out between each other, but it worked out. He took us to get ice cream, drake seat and ship overlook and he charged us $10 per person. It will just depend on what you are looking for out of your day. I did here excellent things about Godfrey while on the trip.

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Great review, only 2 1/2 weeks till we go. When was the second formal dinner and since I think you are a crown and anchor member did you go to the repeat drinks and what day was that on.

 

I would love to see the compasses when you scan them thanks!!

 

So with the volcano did you see any flow from it on the way there or back (I assume back was not good viewing with the ash). I agree with you, personally I think it would be a vacation to remeber that you where there with the dome collapse.

 

Thanks

 

mary

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I would put the food quality at very good. However, you must realize that I don't get to eat food that is to this caliber throughout the year. So, people that live in areas with great food establishments and eat at nice restaraunts often might have a different opinion. I will say that the dining room food for breakfast and lunch is much better than the windjammer. Even talked to our head waiter about it. He said you must realize that the windjammer is trying to push through about 2000+ people for breakfast and again for lunch. The dining room is more personlized and food is made to order. You will probably think I am a pig, but I had three lobster tails one night. They were the full tails. Last year on the Explorer they only served half tails after the first full tail. This was apparent at all the meals in the dining room and why I mentioned that portions seemed much larger on this cruise.

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This was my first cruise as a platinum member and I did not make it to the repeat meeting. To be honest this was such a port intensive cruise that the ship took more of a back seat on this cruise. Which is a little different for me, because I am all about the ship. I will look on the compasses and post back on that. We did not stop on the way down to see the volcano. We were in the ash cloud for a good 3 hours. I will post some pictures later tonight so that people can see what it looked like. I will put them on a new thread so everyone can see. I think people will be shocked to see how filthy the ship actually got.

 

If anyone has questions about this cruise or others you can email me at pacificmassagetherapy@yahoo.com

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Mel47,

 

Thanks for the great review! Could you please tell us about your experience disembarking (i.e. what time you got off the ship, how long it took you to get to the airport, was the airport a mess? etc)?

 

Thanks again!

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Day 7 At Sea: This was the day that Monseratt dome collapsed and we had the a big ash cloud to deal with. We heard a lot of people complaining about it and this is my take on it. We just had 6 beautiful day with probably less that 30 minutes of rain. Every day was sunny, entertainment was great, food great. Just smile and realize that most trips have at least one day that is not the best weather. I mean how often does a dome on a volcano collapse in the Caribbean. I actually felt bad for all the crew who had to figure out how to clean it up. I would be interested to see what the next cruise was like with all the ash on the deck and deck chairs, hopefully they got it cleaned up pretty well. We took the time to pack and do some of the ship stuff that we didn’t get to do because it was such a port intensive week.

 

Great review. Good attitude about this. It is a once in a lifetime experience to see a dome collapse and be close enough to have the ash fall - although I've actually been through it several times in my life. It is a hard thing to clean up after and can actually damage things like engines and the like. Good for you for making the best of it.

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Great review. We were on the Adventure last year and enjoyed it also.

DH and I were aboard also, no complaints here. I felt extra bad for the crew that had to clean and hose all that ash, that could not be a very eash task.

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Disembarking was not bad at all. We could have used the platinum status for disembarking, but were traveling with others that did not have it so we opted to just stay with them. We were group #5 which disembarked at 9:30 with a 1:30 flight. Just so you know there are two lines on deck 4. One line out the doors by the dining room and another by the theatre. So check which line is longer before you get in line. We were off and through customs by 10:00. We used the luggage valet for $10 per person. You can grab the form at the guest relations desk anytime throughout the week. What you do is put in your flight information down and then the last night after dinner in our room we were given our boarding passes for the all of our connecting flights plus the checked luggage tags. You are given a color ours was green and there are color coordinated signs above the luggage areas to claim your luggage once off the ship. We found our lugguge and had a porter run it through the doors to the American Airlines desk. The reason you have to identify your luggage at the pier I believe is so that you know that your luggage indeed came off of the ship. In Miami last year we did this same thing and it did not cost anything. Anyway we didn't have to cart our luggage to the airport and because we had our boarding passes we were able to go right to the security line. I feel it was worth the money because we seemed to breeze right through. The airport was crowded, but flights were leaving and then seats became available as those planes left. We were off the ship by 10:00 and at the airport sitting at the gate by 11:00 for a 1:30 flight.

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Great review. We're sailing on AOS on June 25. We have a helicopter tour to Montserrat planned. Hope there are no issues with the helipcopter tour. I'm so looking forward to flying over the volcano and the island.

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Great Review. I was on AOS in April and Richard Spacey is awesome! He really keeps everything humming.

 

Debarkation all depends on the group that is sailing. Ours was slow, but through no fault of RCI. Apparently, there were a few on board that had immigration problems that slowed the process. We certainly embarked very quickly the week before. In fact, we beat the photographer!:)

Jen

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Mel

Thanks for the great review! We are on AOS in August, can hardly wait!

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Great review, I feel as if I was on the cruise with you. I will be sailng on the AOS aug 6 2006, cant't wait.

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Vodad

 

We are also on AOS August 6 ! We can not wait!!

Have you booked any excursions yet?

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mel47- you're on the ball with a review already! We were on the same cruise, and I've only finished unpacking. We enjoyed the week very much as well and also feel the Montserrat dome implosion was a rare experience - why let it ruin a *great* vacation??

 

I didn't know the Captain had left those people at Antigua, but I'm not surprised. He definitely seemed to take the all aboard times very seriously, and after the sauntering stragglers at St. Maarten I wouldn't blame him for being fed up. (Did you see the couple holding hands, sauntering towards the gangway - 20 minutes after they were supposed to be on the ship???)

 

Thanks for the nice review - I'll get mine posted here one of these days...

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Thanks to the OP...we received our documents for out June 18th AOS cruise. We are really looking forward to a great cruise.

 

John & Shari

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Dee1161

 

I just booked the Silvermoon I in Barbados for my Family of 5.

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Dee1161

 

I just booked the Silvermoon I in Barbados for my Family of 5.

 

The Silvermoon is amazing. You and your family will have a great time!

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:confused:

Disembarking was not bad at all. We could have used the platinum status for disembarking, but were traveling with others that did not have it so we opted to just stay with them. We were group #5 which disembarked at 9:30 with a 1:30 flight. Just so you know there are two lines on deck 4. One line out the doors by the dining room and another by the theatre. So check which line is longer before you get in line. We were off and through customs by 10:00. We used the luggage valet for $10 per person. You can grab the form at the guest relations desk anytime throughout the week. What you do is put in your flight information down and then the last night after dinner in our room we were given our boarding passes for the all of our connecting flights plus the checked luggage tags. You are given a color ours was green and there are color coordinated signs above the luggage areas to claim your luggage once off the ship. We found our lugguge and had a porter run it through the doors to the American Airlines desk. The reason you have to identify your luggage at the pier I believe is so that you know that your luggage indeed came off of the ship. In Miami last year we did this same thing and it did not cost anything. Anyway we didn't have to cart our luggage to the airport and because we had our boarding passes we were able to go right to the security line. I feel it was worth the money because we seemed to breeze right through. The airport was crowded, but flights were leaving and then seats became available as those planes left. We were off the ship by 10:00 and at the airport sitting at the gate by 11:00 for a 1:30 flight.

 

Is this valet service only available for American Airlines or do other airlines offer this service also?

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