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Tracy1

Just back from Adventure of the Seas - Sept. 5

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Arrived in San Juan a day early, stayed at beautiful Intercontinental Hotel, Isla Verde, San Juan (www.intercontinentalhotels.com). The concierge helpful in suggesting places to eat & making dinner reservations. Ate lunch at Mi Casita across the street. Ambiance nice, food ok, service slow but fun to try some local food. Ate dinner at Ajili Mojili (1006 Ashford Ave Condado San Juan), a $12, ten min. cab ride from our hotel. Fabulous.

 

Sun.: Ate breakfast at “Mi Casita” (good & economical.) Hung out at beach (towels & lounge chairs provided). You wear bracelets to identify you as hotel guests. Ate lunch at Wendys (also Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, & KFC nearby). Checked out of hotel & had them watch our luggage while hung out by pool until 2 pm. You can check out through your TV Around noon they had live music & folk dancers to provide entertainment. Nice place to stay. Arrived at Pier 2:30 pm & were on ship by 3 pm. Didn't get luggage 'til 7 pm. Note, it’s not worth it to take a dive knife. RCI confiscated it. We could have picked it up at each port but decided it was too much of a hassle. Also many dive shops won’t let you carry knife or wear gloves in order to protect coral. Stopped by Portifinos to ask about reservations for tonight & they said most of the time on first night you don’t need reservations but just in case, they took our reservation. We dressed for dinner before the muster drill then dropped off life jackets in our cabin & went straight to Portifinos at 9 pm. It was only half full. Food absolutely wonderful from bread to dessert. I hate paying extra for anything but this was worth extra $20 pp & was great way to start off our cruise. Presentation beautiful. Each plate of food was a piece of art.

 

Cabin 1347 on Deck 10 aft. Location couldn’t be better, close to The Windjammer, Portifinos, Johnny Rockets & pool. Smallest cabin we’ve ever had w/least number of drawers. Ended up tripping all over each other all week.

 

St Thomas: pre-booked dive excursion w/ship. $90 pp. Underwater Safaris. (www.scubadivevi.com) Diane met us-very personable & knowledgeable. Were only 4 certified divers w/1 dive master, Katie, & 2 discover scuba students w/Diane. We went on two 35 minute dives (Taos Reef & Cartanser Sr. Wreck). The Reef was beautiful with lots of coral & lots of colorful fish. Got really close to 18” diameter sea turtle. Also saw fish that burrow into sand & some really beautiful bright vivid purple tall coral. At wreck, saw sergeant major fish guarding their eggs that looked like purple paint splotches on the side of the wreck. Also saw two 3’ barracudas, & hiding lobster. I would do these dives again. Afterwards, went back to ship to shower, eat lunch, then back out to shop. I went to Mr. Tablecloth to buy some extra pieces of Christmas pattern I had bought a couple of years ago but they only had placemats left in that pattern. Here’s where the saying comes in “if you see something you like, buy it because you may not see it again.” Had frozen margaritas at great place on water front, drinks are great & inexpensive $4 each. As you face water you can see Hard Rock Café to your right. Back on ship, went to get ice show tickets. It doesn’t cost extra but seating is limited so have to get tickets. It's worth it. We dressed for dinner than went late to Meet & Mingle (It’s hard to get there by 5 pm!) so we missed some people. After dinner went to show which was The Drifters. really good.

 

Tues. supposed be in St. Martin but because of Hurricane Francis had a day at sea instead. I went to Wake Up & Stretch class at 7:30 am. We went ice skating at 1:30. You need to wear pants & socks to do this activity. We layed out in sun for awhile. It’s easy to get chair by pool in morning, but much harder after lunch. We went up higher & faced ocean which was prettier & quiter setting. I took Pilates Class ($10) & Yoga ($10) in afternoon & then quickly (15 min.) got ready for early dinner. Went to fantastic ice show at 9 pm. Best seats in the front row of the short side.

 

Antigua: booked excursion over internet “Eli’s Eco Tour” (www.adventureantigua.com) $81 pp. They pick you up at pier at 10 am & get you back by 4:15 pm. Lunch included. Entire trip good but I really enjoyed “Hell’s Gate”. Beautiful setting & it fun to climb through cave & walk across bridge. Saw some interesting snails, crabs, & some strange looking algae eating creatures that looked like fossils. I recommend this tour. Remember to bring camera.

 

Check out YodaGuy shop(www.1001resources.com/hosting/users/AT/YodaGuy) & RastaPasta, a shop w/hundreds of beaded necklaces, etc. at good prices, near YodaGuy on 2nd floor of Heritage Quay.

 

In general, make sure you have plenty of $1 bills because at two different Islands stores had run out of them & gave me change in quarters!

 

Dinner in dining room ok but would have been a good night to eat at Portifinos. After dinner went to The Lyric Theatre for excellent singing & dancing in show “Velvet Rope”.

 

St. Lucia, beautiful Island but not much to do unless take excursion. Pre-booked scuba diving excursion w/ship. 6 hr lunch included trip for $120 pp. (www.scubastlucia.com) It’s at Anse Chastnet, 45 min. boat ride from pier. Beautiful scenery on boat ride & dive shop location & dive sites are absolutely gorgeous, right next to Pitons! I was kicking myself for not bringing my good camera. At dive shop, they had our tanks/regulators/bcs all ready to go set out on sidewalk w/our name written in chalk in front of them. Were divided up into 2 groups; 8 people w/one dive master & 7 w/the other dive master. Dive great as was 2nd boat dive. After dives they took us to beach where snorkelers were. Walked a little ways through jungle to pavilion for buffet lunch. food was ok (grilled chicken & fish, pasta, salad, bland rice, bland canned beans) except for awesome carrot cake but setting made up for it. Had 45 min. to lounge around on beach or go snorkeling before heading back. great excursion.

 

Tonight Lobster night, don’t miss it & flourless chocolate cakein the dining room.

 

Barbados: Pre-booked scuba excursion w/ ship $90 pp. Met us at pier & took us by vans to dive shop. (www.barbados.org/diving/westsidescuba) Need to leave everything but dive gear in lockers at shop because they don’t have a dock & you have to wade chest high out to boat holding your dive gear over your head. Have to hook up your regulator & bc to tank. Went on 2 reef dives; 8 people w/ 1 dive master & 9 people w/ other dive master. Visibility not as good as St. Thomas & St. Lucia. On 2nd dive we swam w/a 1’ diameter turtle for about 10 min. Saw spotted eels, puffer fish, centipede like worms, lots of tree coral & other coral & lots of fish. After dive were brought back to pier in vans. My husband took the gear back to our cabin & I stayed to shop. Walked down to craft mall but there wasn’t much there. Don’t miss rum cakes at pier. There are several shops right there that have samples. The other thing to buy here is cream rum in clear bottles that they sell from a cart in center of mall. This stuff is fantastic in coffee, hot chocolate, ice cream, or just by itself. After dinner we sat in front row for “Can’t Stop the Rock”. Great singing & dancing.

 

St. Martin: I try the Rock Climbing wall at 9 am. & then we play miniature golf. No line at either activity. At 10:45 we bring our books up to read while waiting to get in to Johnny Rockets which opens at 11:30 am. by 11:20 about 20 people waiting. Johnny Rockets is a fun place to eat. Onion rings, fries & specialty hamburgers are very good (all included), malts are about $3.60 but are worth it. We get off ship about 12:15 pm & take cab to Orient Beach/Bikini Beach ($5 pp if van is full). At beach, 2 chairs & 1 umbrella costs $18. (cheaper chairs & umbrellas at other sections of beach). Orient Beach (au natural) & Bikini Beach, right next to it are really pretty beaches with soft sand in a nice setting. There are plenty of water sports & some bars & restaurants. We stay a few hours then head into town to shop.($20 for 2 of us, would have been cheaper if there were more people). Make sure you try the local liquor at Guava Berry Emporium, especially their frozen drink. I also recommend the Belgium chocolate shop on Old Street Arcade. These chocolates are really good but a little pricey. A box of 9 that you pick are $16.

 

San Juan Disembarking: We’re out of our cabin by 8 am like they request & go to The Lyric Theatre to wait to be called to disembark. We’re in the 2nd group to be called and leave by 8:20. We pick up our luggage & get through customs & are in a taxi to the airport by 9:00am. We probably could have gone into Old San Juan and shopped a little. There is a store that will watch your luggage for you. At the airport, there is no line for ATA & we are down to our gate by 9:45 am.

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Glad you had a good time with only minor disruption due to the hurricane. Thanks for the trip report!

Chris

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Hi Tim and Cheryl,

 

Great to hear from you! Yes, we had a great week. We were so fortunate to have gone out of San Juan instead of somewhere in Florida or we may not have made it home by now!

 

How is your son? Did everything work out ok?

 

Tracy

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What time was the life boat drill???

also, condition of the ship??

How was the crew?

The lifeboat drill was at 8:30 pm.

The condition of the ship was excellent.

The crew was great. This is the most personable captain we've ever had. Spoke understandable English and fluent Spanish. He's also the youngest captain, 37, of RCI I think.

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