This was our first cruise to Alaska but not our first cruise. We decided to fly to Seattle a few days earlier than our cruise left so we could see the sights and take advantage of lower airfare since we flew out on July 4th. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt which a very nice hotel but a little pricey. However, it was very convenient to most of the attractions that Seattle has to offer. We arrived at the hotel by 9pm and since were on the 14th floor, we got to watch the fireworks display from our room which was really nice especially for the kids. The weather in Seattle was great and we walked to Pike Place market and took the shuttle to the Space Needle.
On Friday we left the hotel around 11am - we arranged transport through the concierge - and got to the dock by 11:30. Since we were there so early there were plenty of porters available to take the luggage and we breezed through check-in. I would say that we were on the ship by 11:45 - it was that quick! Once on the ship we discovered that the rooms would not be ready until 1pm so we headed to the Windjammer and toured the ship. We've sailed on Enchantment of the Seas before which is from the same family of ships as Vision so we were familiar with the layout. Although the ship is 9 years old, I thought it was in pretty good shape. Everything was clean and didn't look too worn out. This was the first time that we'd gotten a junior suite so I was anxious to see the room. I have to say, it didn't seem much bigger than a balcony cabin on Voyager. However, the balcony itself was alot bigger. I had ordered Champagne to be delivered for sail away but it wasn't in our room when we got there. I had to call guest services who told me it would be delivered after 6pm. Once I told them that I wanted it right away they sent it over within 15 minutes. I'm not sure what the issue was but I got my sail away Champagne so I was happy!
One thing to be aware of as far as Adventure Ocean goes - my daughter is 11 yrs old and 3 months away from turning 12. She's also going into middle school this fall. On this particular sailing we had 450 children, 250 of which were teenagers. Because of this they lumped the 6-8 yr olds with the 9-11 yr olds. You can imagine how happy my middle schooler was to be hanging out and playing ga-ga ball with kindergartners. She was "smuggled" into some of the activities for the older kids but once discovered was sent back with the little kids. Later on in the cruise my daughter was told that I could have signed a waiver to have her grouped in with the 12 yr olds but when I had approached the counselor about this at the beginning of the cruise, they said no. That being said though, my 16 yr old son who has never participated in Adventure Ocean prior to this cruise had a great time and met alot of other teens!