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benebire

Adventure of the Seas 7/30-8/7 Review ( Very long)

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Laundry's finally done so here's my review of RCCL Adventure of the Seas cruise 7/30-8/7 San Juan, Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas

 

Travelers consisted of myself 46, DH 46, DS19, his girlfriend 21,DS15, his friend 16

 

We flew from Chicago O’Hare into San Juan a day early. Had a completely uneventful flight. Left on time, arrived on time and no turbulence. So we were off to a good start.

We arrived into San Juan around 7:30 pm and took a taxi to the Courtyard Marriott San Juan. Nothing spectacular at this hotel but clean and adequate for a one-night stay. We went down for breakfast and this is where the fun started. Let’s just say there may have been a little communication gap or just cultural differences but we had a few good laughs. We walk in and told the hostess we had 6. She explained they were busy and it might be a few minutes. Pretty soon a guy came over and started to lead us through the restaurant and out to the pool area, which had tables and chairs with cushions. When I sat down my pants got drenched, as the cushion was soaked! My kids thought this was hysterical that mom now has a wet butt. So we told them we would rather wait longer and get a seat inside the restaurant. Went back in and waited again. This time we were seated at a nice table. The waiter came and asked what we wanted to drink; everyone ordered orange juice and my husband ordered coffee. When the juice arrived it didn’t look quite right. It looked kind of watery. After we tasted it everyone just kind of starts looking at each other like what the heck? I don’t know for sure what was in those glasses but it tasted like some kind of mixture of various juices mixed together. It definitely wasn’t orange juice. My husband’s coffee arrived and it had milk in it already and was foamy like a latte. (He drinks black coffee) so we laughed about that too. We were kind of hesitant about ordering our food because we were afraid what we would get but we did order basic eggs, bacon, hash browns and they were all fine. So now we were eating and relaxed and we figured nothing else would go wrong. But then I ordered a glass of milk. They brought me milk in a coffee cup and believe it or not it was hot milk. So now we are all laughing really hard. We quickly finished eating and went upstairs to repack for our trip to the pier.

 

Embarkation: Caught a taxi to the pier right around 1pm. was all of a 5-10 min ride. Not to bad of a line for check in and we were onboard fairly quickly. For those who might be interested we were asked for the letter signed by the parents of my son’s friend. So you want to make sure you do this if your bringing a friend who is minor for one of your kids. Also we were on the one of the first sailings since the drinking age change. There were signs clearly posted by each agent stating that as of July 28th the drinking age is 21. No more waivers for 18-20 year olds. That didn’t bother my son. He was still able to gamble in the casino and go into the clubs. (We had sailed Mariner in Dec and I had signed the waiver so he had been allowed beer and wine on that cruise) In most of the ports he was of legal age and we let him have one mixed drink in those ports. We had kept our bathing suits in our carry ons and changed into our suits in the bathroom and went out to enjoy the pools which were quite empty. The solarium area had only 2 other people using it.

Then went to the Windjammer and had lunch. I didn’t think the lunch at Windjammer had as many selections for lunch as our cruise on Mariner. It seemed to always be Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, nachos, chicken, and salads. Everything tasted fine and we definitely didn’t go hungry. Desserts were rotated and there were always several to choose from. Headed off to check out our promenade room and to see if any luggage had arrived. We had 3 promenade cabins my son and his girlfriend in one cabin, me and my husband in one cabin that connected to the cabin my son and his friend we in (Even thought they are older I wanted to be able to make sure they were in before curfew time)

We really liked the promenade rooms and we will get them again. It’s so fun to be able to look out and people watch. I would get cabins more in the middle of the promenade next time so we would have a better view of the parades and royal promenade. We were in 7605,07 &09 and overlooked the sculpture and could see the guest services area and the beginning of the royal promenade. We had a D2 cabin with balcony on Mariner and you know we really didn’t miss the extra room or the balcony. I liked being able to see out and also you were able to close the drapes for complete darkness if you wanted. Great for sleeping! Just a note if you are thinking of getting the connecting rooms. It’s not like a hotel with 2 doors that lock. Its only 1 door and you have to have the cabin steward unlock it with a key and then it stays unlocked for the whole cruise. We just told the teens they needed to knock and get our permission before coming in and we did the same when we were headed into their cabin and it worked out fine. This might be more of a problem for people with younger kids who might not understand. We were just about mid ship just slightly to the back and enjoyed this location on Deck 7. Was convenient to just about everything and the teens liked being able to walk down 2 flights to the royal promenade where they could refill their coke mugs. We will book promenade again.

I can see this is getting very long winded so I am going to edit down just a bit.

 

Highlights: Went to every show on the ship and enjoyed most of them immensely. Ice show was fabulous. Comedian’s funny. Went to see El gaucho and wow what a different type of show. Like nothing I had seen before on any other cruise. Wonderful voices on the singers and we noticed the male lead singer had been on our Mariner cruise. Played bingo and didn’t win but of course was waiting on one number and it was fun. Solarium pool never seemed crowded and we enjoyed that area frequently during the 2 Sea days.

Also enjoyed the line dancing on the pool deck. They teach you the dances right there too.

 

Aruba- took a taxi to Moomba beach to do the morning jolly pirates snorkeling excursion and all I can say is Wow! We booked this ourselves on line at home and received 15 percent discount for doing so. Were 9:30-2pm

Cost was 42.50 per person. Went to 3 sites for snorkeling (one of which is a sunken ship)

Barbecue lunch on the ship (small rib, chicken skewers, pasta salad, roll) was included and they had open bar with the basic booze. Most people were drinking something called pirates poison, but it was a little too strong for me. Also had water, coke, diet coke, sprite, and Basic drinks like vodka, rum, gin, pineapple juice, orange juice, and tomato juice, Bloody Marys. They also had a rope swing off the ship and everyone had a blast using this. The crew did some fabulous stunts from the rope. My teens thought this was the best excursion ever. (We have snorkeled before twice on western cruises) Felt that this was a great value for price paid and would do it again if we return to Aruba.

 

Curacao- walked to shopping and walked around. It was pretty and shopping was ok. I have to admit I am not a big shopper in ports so I don’t know if there were any great bargains to be had.

 

Sea Days were spent at the pool, sunning us, reading our books and sipping frozen drinks, my new favorite is the coco loco. Also enjoyed the pine coladas. Watched some of the pool games and it was fun and relaxing.

 

St. Marten- Got up for an early breakfast in the dining room (much nicer than Windjammer) love getting waited on plus they had my husband’s eggs benedict. Then caught a taxi to Orient Beach. Rented a couple chairs and umbrellas at Le String and swam, sunned and relaxed. My son and friend went parasailing (not me, too chicken) price was reasonable $90.00 for 2 of them together. Then we rented 2 wave runners for an hour (guy claimed to give us a deal) $230.00 for both. I have to say I was pretty nervous letting the teens drive these but they did fine and there was a lot of room in the bay so you didn’t have to get close to others who were riding theirs. I wasn’t that fond of it myself (too bumpy) but the teens and my husband had an absolute blast. I got some great pictures of them. Use sunscreen liberally, very strong sun. We were using SPF 45 and SPF 60 and still got a little burnt. Reapply often. Not too bad though.

We enjoyed this day a lot. We would get out to the beach a little earlier next time. We felt a bit rushed to get back to the ship by 5. We made it at 4:45 and I don’t like cutting it that close. Grabbed some food in windjammer then took showers and napped.

 

St. Thomas- Took a taxi into town and to sum up this island is gorgeous and the shopping is fabulous. Loved all the little different shops. Too many jewelry stores, but I suppose for those who shop for jewelry they were in heaven. I like going into shops that have something different. There was even a shop that sold stuff for your dogs and cats! Bought a lot of small knick-knack souvenirs here. Returned to ship area and walked around the haven sight mall area. Then back to the ship.

 

Servers and dinners in the dining room: We had 2 very personable young men for our waiter and assistant waiter. My teens said they were the best ones we ever had (6 cruises for each of them) They were efficient but friendly, We enjoyed getting to know them a little more each evening. Some of the food we ate, Meals I ordered, lamb, and duck, and salmon, lobster, all delicious. We kind of missed our servers the night we ate at portofinos but it was worth it.

 

Odds and Ends: Casino was fun, didn’t win but had fun trying. Played mini golf.

Portofinos was a wonderful experience. The best filet I ever had &great service.

Johnny rockets- tasty burgers and good onion rings. The singing and dancing a little too loud for me but the younger crowd loved it and the servers seemed to enjoy doing it.

My teens ordered room service almost every night and said everything was good and service was generally quick (only 1 night it took an hour). My husband and I like being able to check the charges on our bill on the TV in the stateroom, we had given the teens and young adults charge privileges with some basic guidelines of what amounts could be charged. They did pretty well. A few Johnny Rockets visits and some Arcade charges but nothing too bad. We thought they budgeted pretty well. You can limit their charge amounts if you wish. We wanted to see how they would do with no limit.

Crown and anchor gift was a nice photo frame. We also received the gold coupon booklet and we used a lot of them. Johnny Rockets no charge, casino 12 for 10 bucks, spa discounts. My son had the acupuncture treatment for a back problem and said it was ok but he wouldn’t do it again. His girlfriend did the Ionithermie treatment and claims she could see a difference in her thighs right after treatment. (I personally didn’t see any difference) I thought the prices were high 165 for acupuncture and 115 for the Ionithermie, but to each there own I guess. I didn’t get a massage this time but that’s more my idea of a spa treatment.

 

Pictures- we did pictures the first formal night and they came out horrible. It wasn’t the photographer. But tried again the 2nd formal night and got a fairly good one that we bought. We also took the lifestyle photos with our Caribbean wear and bought those too. These are unique because they do a white background that is also on the floor and they pose you in some unique casual positions. We liked these a lot. Prices are the same for every cruise I’ve been on 19.99 for an 8 x 10. We also did the dress up in old clothing and posed in front of the grand staircase from the titanic. Very funny photo and yes had to buy it.

 

The last night of the cruise was so sad. I hate packing because it means it’s all over.

We had our luggage out right at midnight and took a final walk around the ship and took a few more pictures of the ship. Got to bed at 2 am. Out of the room right before 8 am and headed to the dining room for one final breakfast. Our number was called while we were eating and so we went right from breakfast to walk off the ship. Debarkation was easy a very brief line getting off and located our luggage quickly (Thanks to my bright green fluorescent tape on the sides and handle). Grabbed a taxi and headed to the Courtyard Marriott Isla Verde (different Courtyard from the one at the beginning of our trip). This hotel was really nice, located right on the beach, hammocks outside, nice large pool with shallow side, deep side several whirlpools, and volleyball net, little playground for the kids. My teens were awed by the iguanas that were the bushes all around this resort, these were not tiny ones but actually fairly large. Took good photos.

. They also had a casino with 1cent and 5 cent slots. Had fun gambling with only a minimal amount of $ outlay. Also a hit with the teens was a fairly large game room with lots of games. Had hoped to do a little touring in San Juan but everyone agreed we were too wiped out and we spent a very pleasant day and evening at this hotel. Walked to close by Denny’s for lunch too. Early to bed because we had to get up at 6 am for an 8:30 am flight. Airport was a 10-minute taxi ride and we boarded our flight on time and once again had an uneventful flight home.

 

Now its time to start researching the next cruise! Any questions, I will be happy to try and answer. Oh and it case you couldn’t tell, it was an awesome week.

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Thanks for the great review. I am going on the AOS on the 20th. Do you remember who the cruise director was and if they were good or not?

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His first name was Simeon and he was very energetic, he kept trying to tell jokes and messing them up but I thought he was very funny. He seemed to really enjoy his job.

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Could you tell me how much 2 beach chairs and an umbrella costs on Orient Beach? (on average)

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Thanks for the great review!

AOS is our favorite ship and I felt like I was back on it while I was reading your account of your cruise!

I have to wait until Feb 25th to see her again - but then will be sailing back to back for 14 glorious nights!

Thanks again!

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Great review! Your outlook on life is great! I was cracking up at your breakfast story at the hotel:)

 

We'll be sailing AOS in October...you've given me something to look forward to.

 

Yours is the second review I've read that said the CD kept messing up the jokes. That will make me laugh even harder if he messes them up when I'm on there.

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i will be sailing on the AOS 4/29/07. It is getting harder and harder to wait that long.

Thank you for clarifying which Courtyard you stayed at. we are doing a pre and post at Courtyard in Isle Verde. If you don't mind I do have a few questions.

1. how were the rooms at the Mariott in Isle Verde? The service and food???

2. is the beach nice? soft sand or rock shore? Is it possible to snorkel from the shore?

3.how far away was the hotel from the pier? what time did you are after leaving the ship? I am trying to figure out what time our tour guide should meet us. We are planning a day excursion to El Yunque Rain Forest. Then most likely an early evening since we have to fly home the next day.

4. AOS questions...

a. were there dress-up theme nights on board?

b. do you have a copy of the compass that you could either e-mail or mail to me?

c. were there children in the Solarium?

d. how long did it take to get from Orient Beach back to the ship? I noticed that you said we had to be at the pier by 5:00p.m. is that what time the ship was leaving? i always like to be back at least 30 minutes before we have too.

I am sure that I will come up with some more questions. i'll check back later. Thank You.

Angela/California

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i will be sailing on the AOS 4/29/07. It is getting harder and harder to wait that long.

Thank you for clarifying which Courtyard you stayed at. we are doing a pre and post at Courtyard in Isle Verde. If you don't mind I do have a few questions.

1. how were the rooms at the Mariott in Isle Verde? The service and food???

2. is the beach nice? soft sand or rock shore? Is it possible to snorkel from the shore?

3.how far away was the hotel from the pier? what time did you are after leaving the ship? I am trying to figure out what time our tour guide should meet us. We are planning a day excursion to El Yunque Rain Forest. Then most likely an early evening since we have to fly home the next day.

4. AOS questions...

a. were there dress-up theme nights on board?

b. do you have a copy of the compass that you could either e-mail or mail to me?

c. were there children in the Solarium?

d. how long did it take to get from Orient Beach back to the ship? I noticed that you said we had to be at the pier by 5:00p.m. is that what time the ship was leaving? i always like to be back at least 30 minutes before we have too.

I am sure that I will come up with some more questions. i'll check back later. Thank You.

Angela/California

Was just on the AOS 7/23 - we went the other route, but it's still great to read and reminisce! Wish I was still on the boat!

 

We stayed at the Intercontinental in Isla Verde. It was a soft sand beach; I imagine the beach is really similar at the Courtyard. There's really not much snorkeling to be done, although I suppose you could do it if you wanted.

 

I didn't see anyone dressing up any differently for "theme nights". If they had them, then the CD certainly didn't do a good job of advertising it because nobody was wearing any type of costume.

 

Caribbean night for our route was a Wednesday, and we went to Portofino's as well that night.

 

There were always children in the Solarium, both the pool and the hottub. I'm not sure if parents don't know, or just don't care. Regardless, there doesn't seem to be anyone around that enforces the "no children" rule, so really nothing can be done.

 

Orient Beach will take about 25 minutes to get to. We left early around 2 pm because we wanted to do some shopping in town. Beware of the "fake" cab driver. I think we were scammed into taking one on the way back. The official cabbies are wearing the same color yellow shirts. As we were walking to the parking lot, some woman came up to us, asked if we were heading back, and then basically ushered us to her friend who was in a red van that sort of looked like a taxi. All the yellow shirt people were yelling at her and telling us to ask her if she was a real cab driver. The price was the same, so we didn't care, but it was still kind of sketchy.

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Labeachcomber-thanks for the info.:)

 

Benebrie-i can't wait to read your persepctive. Especailly since we are staying at the same hotel and itinerary on the AOS.

 

Angela/Daycare Provider

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momofslg- There is a bit of variance in prices on Orient beach. You will see that it is divided into little sections and each section has different kinds of chairs, umbrellas etc. If you walk down a little farther you might find a little better price. We were kind of lazy and grabbed some close to where we were dropped off. We were at Le String and it was $7.00 for 1 lounge chair, 1 umbrella and 1 drink ( can be booze or soda) At Kontiki they were charging $18.00 for the same thing and it didnt look like their chairs were any better than ours. Later when we walked further down we saw a sign at another section for $5 for chair, umbrella and drink. The chairs didnt look in as good of condition at ours though. Also might want to peek into the bathroom. Le String had their own bathroom and it was decent inside. The first one we stopped at was charging $1.00 to use the bathroom! We passed on that one.

Use lots of sunscreen.

 

Ckrobyn- you are so lucky to do a back to back and you will get to do both itineraries. I would love to do a 14 day. Have a great time!

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Jyllie63- You don't have long to wait for your cruise. Have a good one.

 

Daycare Provider- I can't answer all of your questions but I will do my best.

The rooms at the Courtyard Isle Verde are very large and was in great condition. Try for a higher floor and ask for an oceanview, it was gorgeous to sit on the balcony and look out at the Ocean. Service wise, we were a little upset that it took so long to get into our rooms but in all fairness we were there early and check in isnt till 3pm. We had to wait about an hour and 15 mins for the room. There are plenty of things to do while waiting, swim, gamble, game room, snack bar. As for the food we only had ice cream and nachos while there, both were good. We ate breakfast on the ship before we left, walked down to the Denny's for lunch and ordered pizza from pizza hut for dinner.The beach is soft sand and it was beautiful, didnt see anyone snorkeling but I'm sure you could.

The ride to the hotel wasnt long maybe 15 minutes. We got off the ship around 9:30 am.

Dress up theme nights are not really announced at least I never heard it but it is posted in the Compass on the first page to the far ride side where it says Today's Tips

Day 1- Casual, Day 2-Formal,

Day 3 Casual or Caribbean Colors- this night we wore flowered caribbean shirts to dinner and noticed many others also had them on. But the reason it didnt make sense was this night was Italian food in the dining room. I didnt understand why they didnt have us wear the Caribbean colors the night they served Caribbean food. Thats how it was done on our Disney cruise.

Day 4 (Curacao) it said Suggested attire is Casual/ 50s,60s,70s attire. This tied into the 50s,60s,70s party in Studio B later that night.They played music from that time period.

Day 5 -Formal, Day 6- Smart Casual, Day 7 - Casual

There is a compass from each day but I don't know how to scan these in and post them. If my husband knows how I will try to post them.

Solarium- I never saw any young kids in the pool or hot tubs. The compass does state that 16 or older are allowed in there and I did see people that appeared to be in the 16-18 age range, however our sailing it seemed very uncrowded except for the sea days.

The cab ride from Orient beach is 20-25 minutes to the ship. We just stayed there longer than we should have. We were to bo onboard no later than 5 and we arrived at 4:45, I just don't like cutting it so close. In case you got a flat tire or something you know. Have a great time on your cruise and make sure to post a trip report when you get back!

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Thank you thank you thank you for all of the info. You answers were just what I was looking and hoping for. You gave detailed discriptions of everything. After reading your review, I wish that I was there now. i can't wait until next April. Have a great weekend.

 

Angela/Daycare Provider

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