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Maiden Voyage Wyndham & Dock We left Houston 11/18/01 at 4:30 a.m. arrived in Puerto Rico at 6:00 (by way of Newark). We felt security was wonderful in Houston, Newark and San Juan. We found [our friend] Felix easily at the Wyndham Old San Juan since he was wearing the hat he had printed A.O.S. 11/18/01 "God Bless America". We enjoyed Felix and Kim's company while having beer on the balcony. We noticed the Adventure right across the street (a easy walk). My husband woke in the middle of the night only to find the Adventure was gone. In talking with some of the local people we found that the Adventure went out for a one night cruise. When she returned, they docked her at the new port (too far to walk). We met Felix and Kim the next morning (11:00) and took a taxi to the new port ($6.00 per person). The Wyndham was a wonderful hotel for the $99.00 rate we were charged. We booked it for $158.00. Check-In RCCL met us at the door, where we dropped off our luggage and told to take a seat close to the front with our carry-ons. RCCL called three rows at a time. We were the second group to check in. The check in went very smooth. We inquired about an upgrade, but by that time all rooms were sold. From that point, we were allowed to board the ship (12:15) and went through security. Again RCCL met us once we stepped foot on the ship to direct us to our rooms. Very organized. Upgrades/Room We originally had a DA category but we were upgraded to a C category before we left home. The room was wonderful - lots of space with a walk in closet and a bathtub with shower. This was the first cruise that we didn't fill all the drawers. The balcony was small, but nice. We have been getting the rooms of the back of the ship where the balconies are huge. "Dog & Duck", Windjammer Cafe We again met up with Felix and Kim to see their owner's suite. It was truly gorgeous!! We decided to try to find the "Palace Arms" (since that was our meeting place). We were surprised to find that it had been renamed to the "Dog and Duck". We stopped by the Cafe Promenade for a quick sandwich (shrimp). We proceeded to the Windjammer Cafe. The food was as good as any other cruise I've been on (this was my 9th). Cruise Critic Group We met up with the "Cruise Critic" group at the Dog and Duck prior to dinner. Everyone was so excited to meet each other. We felt we already knew most of the group! It was truly a delight to be with everyone. What a great group!! We met again after the muster drill (10:00 - 10:20) at the Viking Crown Lounge to watch the ship sail away. Dinner First Night/Meals We wore shorts to dinner the first night, which was fine since most had not received their luggage. We had ours before dinner. Dinner was wonderful-baked cod was my choice. Our table of eight was two away from the captain's table. Two of the wives didn't speak English, but we all tried to communicate. The husbands translated. One couple never showed up for dinner. Our waitress and assistant waitress were wonderful. She always remembered what we liked to drink with our meals. The headwaiter was the best we ever had. He came by every night to see how we were and what we needed. Some of the meals included: Filet, New York Strip, Shrimp Scampi, Lobster Tail, Turkey. Ports Aruba I love Aruba! We took the Sailing and Snorkeling Tour (9:00 a.m.) We had a wonderful time, met a couple that we drank rum punches with once we completed the snorkeling. We had a quick lunch at the great Johnny Rockets on the ship and went back out and did some shopping (walked) to the Harley Davidson Shop. Curacao For those of you who have never been (like me) you are in for a treat! This is a wonderful little island. We took the Curacao Snorkeling Tour (1:00 p.m.) and were surprised to have Corey and Barbara join us. Don't forget about the dolphins we all saw. The snorkeling was better here than Aruba. It may because it was later in the day. We enjoyed Corey and Barbara's company and the rum punch (or rum and Coke or should I say rum and rum). We returned to the ship changed clothes and went shopping in Curacao crossing the floating bridge. The shops were quaint and prices were good. We saw Shirley shopping while Russ was scuba diving!! St. Maarten We were there last year, so we didn't venture to the French side (topless beaches). We stayed on the Dutch side where we did some shopping with Felix and Kim. Prices are good and make sure you see the Jimmy Buffet shop. Beer is $.50 - $1.00 in most places. A small bottle of wine is $1.25. St. Thomas We had to get up early to go through US Immigrations. All family members must attend. We joined Corey and Barbara for yet another snorkeling tour at 9:00 a.m. for (Captain Nautica's Power Raft Snorkeling Tour). We all felt the Curacao snorkeling was much better. We also thought the St. John stop was much better than the first stop. The crew of two young guys were very nice and well informed. We were disappointed to find out that it was a non-alcoholic excursion, but they served shrimp cocktail (which was very good). Once back on the ship we changed clothes and met Felix and Kim (and a couple from their dinner table) at Gladys' in St. Thomas for a pretty good lunch and drinks. After lunch, Dave & I went shopping. St. Thomas is one of my favorite shopping ports - duty free, no taxes. Theme Nights Formal nights: Day Two and Day Five (Note this could be different since Day 5 was Thanksgiving for us). Day Three - Caribbean Colors< Day Four - Latin Night Day Six - 50's-80's Day Seven - Red, White and Blue Sorry no toga parties. Ice Skating Shows It is free, but you must have a ticket. Get it early since they book quick. It is a must see!! Shows are 9:00 p.m. Tues and 7:00 p.m. Wed. Shows Went to Can't Stop the Rock. We didn't feel it was worth our time. My husband went to Gary Puckett. He thoroughly enjoyed it (I was sick and didn't go). Library I went the first day and checked out The Painted House for the entire week. Library has a great selection with wonderful leather chairs. Solarium Pool Even though there is a "no child" rule, it was not enforced. The pools were salt water. The chairs are more comfortable than the others and the towels were thick and soft. Cafe Promenade As stated earlier, serves sandwiches, pizza (cheese, pepperoni, veggie), cookies, brownies, cakes, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. This is a wonderful place for a quick bite to eat or coffee/hot chocolate before bedtime. Johnny Rockets A must do! The hamburgers, cheese/chili fries, milkshakes (charge for this) were all great. That is what blew my diet!! Ice Skating I didn't make it this trip, but did on the Voyager. It is really fun. The ice is in fairly good condition considering you are on a ship out in the middle of the ocean! Golf I didn't make it this trip, but did on the Voyager. It is a little windy and hard to put the ball where you want it. Not for the serious golfer. This is something that you may want to do after a couple of drinks. Rock Climbing Wall We didn't do, but Kim and Felix did and enjoyed it!! Alcohol OK, now for the sticky subject. We purchased alcohol on board. There was a $9.50 charge to take it back to our room. We felt it was still a better deal than purchasing it at home and packing it (the heavy stuff). We packed in our luggage our favorite bottle of wine and some smaller bottles. None were taken from us. At just about every port, we purchased a bottle of something. None of it was taken from us when we entered the ship. They were taking the bottles that were boxed. We walked on with beer in a bottle - no problem. Look for: Curacao orange peel liqueur (blue) and Curacao chocolate. There are plenty of samples right off the ship in Curacao. We found the best prices were closest to the ship. Room Service We ordered room service for breakfast almost every day. They call you before knocking on your door. It is a wonderful service with a great selection. Always good before the 9:00 a.m. shore excursions. Parties Felix and Kim had a wonderful "last night" party in their owner's suite. Look for Felix and Kim's photos. Sorry we didn't find that suitcase big enough for the TV, Felix. We never really said goodbye to anyone, because I think deep down in we feel we are all going to meet again. Disembarkation We were staying two extra days after the cruise so, we were last on their list to leave the ship. We waited in the library since it was the closest to our 9th floor room and the most comfortable. When they stopped calling out flight numbers, we decided to venture our way down to the 4th floor to exit the ship. RCCL claimed that after awhile it was a "free for all" and had given up on their disembarkment procedure. Since we waited, we exited easily. We found a taxi without hassle (easier than Miami or Ft. Lauderdale). Caribe Hilton Taxi from the pier is $11.00. The hotel is very remote. It is a very nice hotel in which we received concierge service (free drinks and food), but we preferred the Wyndham Old San Juan. Caribe does not have a casino or one nearby. There are no restaurants other than the ones at the hotel. It has a beach and a wonderful pool area, no real shopping in the area. Barcardi Factory This is a wonderful tour that we did from our hotel. Do this from the ship's excursion since it is much cheaper. There is a gift shop there where we purchased a bottle of Ron Bacardi Reserve (you can't purchase it in the US). San Juan Shopping All shopping is in the Old San Juan area ($7.00 from Caribe Hilton). There local coffee is one of the three best in the world - Blue Mountain (Jamaica), Kona (Hawaii) and Alton Grande (Puerto Rico). We found 7 oz for $13.50. I'm sure you can find it cheaper! There is also a Coach shop. Remember no tax and no duty!! Friends The best thing we acquired from Cruise Critic is all the great friends we met on the ship! We thoroughly enjoyed our vacation because of all of you!! We can only hope to meet again on another cruise or somewhere else.... Felix, Kim, Corey, Barbara, Terry, Sharon, Shirley, Russ, Sharon, Ron, Sandy, Dennis, Jackson and Becky. We had a blast! Final Note: If you are afraid to do what we did (meet people you don't know), don't be afraid! Life is short. Enjoy it! Meet everyone you can because you may be missing an opportunity of a lifetime!dwoodson@Houston.rr.comDecember 2001

Adventure of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by DWoodson

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 1899
  • Destination:
Maiden Voyage
Wyndham & Dock
We left Houston 11/18/01 at 4:30 a.m. arrived in Puerto Rico at 6:00 (by way of Newark). We felt security was wonderful in Houston, Newark and San Juan. We found [our friend] Felix easily at the Wyndham Old San Juan since he was wearing the hat he had printed A.O.S. 11/18/01 "God Bless America". We enjoyed Felix and Kim's company while having beer on the balcony. We noticed the Adventure right across the street (a easy walk). My husband woke in the middle of the night only to find the Adventure was gone. In talking with some of the local people we found that the Adventure went out for a one night cruise. When she returned, they docked her at the new port (too far to walk). We met Felix and Kim the next morning (11:00) and took a taxi to the new port ($6.00 per person). The Wyndham was a wonderful hotel for the $99.00 rate we were charged. We booked it for $158.00.

Check-In
RCCL met us at the door, where we dropped off our luggage and told to take a seat close to the front with our carry-ons. RCCL called three rows at a time. We were the second group to check in. The check in went very smooth. We inquired about an upgrade, but by that time all rooms were sold. From that point, we were allowed to board the ship (12:15) and went through security. Again RCCL met us once we stepped foot on the ship to direct us to our rooms. Very organized.

Upgrades/Room
We originally had a DA category but we were upgraded to a C category before we left home. The room was wonderful - lots of space with a walk in closet and a bathtub with shower. This was the first cruise that we didn't fill all the drawers. The balcony was small, but nice. We have been getting the rooms of the back of the ship where the balconies are huge.

"Dog & Duck", Windjammer Cafe
We again met up with Felix and Kim to see their owner's suite. It was truly gorgeous!!
We decided to try to find the "Palace Arms" (since that was our meeting place). We were surprised to find that it had been renamed to the "Dog and Duck". We stopped by the Cafe Promenade for a quick sandwich (shrimp). We proceeded to the Windjammer Cafe. The food was as good as any other cruise I've been on (this was my 9th).

Cruise Critic Group
We met up with the "Cruise Critic" group at the Dog and Duck prior to dinner. Everyone was so excited to meet each other. We felt we already knew most of the group! It was truly a delight to be with everyone. What a great group!! We met again after the muster drill (10:00 - 10:20) at the Viking Crown Lounge to watch the ship sail away.

Dinner First Night/Meals
We wore shorts to dinner the first night, which was fine since most had not received their luggage. We had ours before dinner. Dinner was wonderful-baked cod was my choice.
Our table of eight was two away from the captain's table. Two of the wives didn't speak English, but we all tried to communicate. The husbands translated. One couple never showed up for dinner. Our waitress and assistant waitress were wonderful. She always remembered what we liked to drink with our meals. The headwaiter was the best we ever had. He came by every night to see how we were and what we needed. Some of the meals included: Filet, New York Strip, Shrimp Scampi, Lobster Tail, Turkey.

Ports
Aruba
I love Aruba! We took the Sailing and Snorkeling Tour (9:00 a.m.) We had a wonderful time, met a couple that we drank rum punches with once we completed the snorkeling. We had a quick lunch at the great Johnny Rockets on the ship and went back out and did some shopping (walked) to the Harley Davidson Shop.

Curacao
For those of you who have never been (like me) you are in for a treat! This is a wonderful little island. We took the Curacao Snorkeling Tour (1:00 p.m.) and were surprised to have Corey and Barbara join us. Don't forget about the dolphins we all saw. The snorkeling was better here than Aruba. It may because it was later in the day. We enjoyed Corey and Barbara's company and the rum punch (or rum and Coke or should I say rum and rum). We returned to the ship changed clothes and went shopping in Curacao crossing the floating bridge. The shops were quaint and prices were good. We saw Shirley shopping while Russ was scuba diving!!

St. Maarten
We were there last year, so we didn't venture to the French side (topless beaches). We stayed on the Dutch side where we did some shopping with Felix and Kim. Prices are good and make sure you see the Jimmy Buffet shop. Beer is $.50 - $1.00 in most places. A small bottle of wine is $1.25.

St. Thomas
We had to get up early to go through US Immigrations. All family members must attend.
We joined Corey and Barbara for yet another snorkeling tour at 9:00 a.m. for (Captain Nautica's Power Raft Snorkeling Tour). We all felt the Curacao snorkeling was much better. We also thought the St. John stop was much better than the first stop. The crew of two young guys were very nice and well informed. We were disappointed to find out that it was a non-alcoholic excursion, but they served shrimp cocktail (which was very good). Once back on the ship we changed clothes and met Felix and Kim (and a couple from their dinner table) at Gladys' in St. Thomas for a pretty good lunch and drinks. After lunch, Dave & I went shopping. St. Thomas is one of my favorite shopping ports - duty free, no taxes.

Theme Nights
Formal nights: Day Two and Day Five (Note this could be different since Day 5 was Thanksgiving for us).
Day Three - Caribbean Colors<
Day Four - Latin Night
Day Six - 50's-80's
Day Seven - Red, White and Blue
Sorry no toga parties.

Ice Skating Shows
It is free, but you must have a ticket. Get it early since they book quick. It is a must see!! Shows are 9:00 p.m. Tues and 7:00 p.m. Wed.

Shows
Went to Can't Stop the Rock. We didn't feel it was worth our time.
My husband went to Gary Puckett. He thoroughly enjoyed it (I was sick and didn't go).

Library
I went the first day and checked out The Painted House for the entire week. Library has a great selection with wonderful leather chairs.

Solarium Pool
Even though there is a "no child" rule, it was not enforced. The pools were salt water.
The chairs are more comfortable than the others and the towels were thick and soft.

Cafe Promenade
As stated earlier, serves sandwiches, pizza (cheese, pepperoni, veggie), cookies, brownies, cakes, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. This is a wonderful place for a quick bite to eat or coffee/hot chocolate before bedtime.

Johnny Rockets
A must do! The hamburgers, cheese/chili fries, milkshakes (charge for this) were all great. That is what blew my diet!!

Ice Skating
I didn't make it this trip, but did on the Voyager. It is really fun. The ice is in fairly good condition considering you are on a ship out in the middle of the ocean!

Golf
I didn't make it this trip, but did on the Voyager. It is a little windy and hard to put the ball where you want it. Not for the serious golfer. This is something that you may want to do after a couple of drinks.

Rock Climbing Wall
We didn't do, but Kim and Felix did and enjoyed it!!

Alcohol
OK, now for the sticky subject. We purchased alcohol on board. There was a $9.50 charge to take it back to our room. We felt it was still a better deal than purchasing it at home and packing it (the heavy stuff). We packed in our luggage our favorite bottle of wine and some smaller bottles. None were taken from us. At just about every port, we purchased a bottle of something. None of it was taken from us when we entered the ship. They were taking the bottles that were boxed. We walked on with beer in a bottle - no problem.
Look for: Curacao orange peel liqueur (blue) and Curacao chocolate. There are plenty of samples right off the ship in Curacao. We found the best prices were closest to the ship.

Room Service
We ordered room service for breakfast almost every day. They call you before knocking on your door. It is a wonderful service with a great selection. Always good before the 9:00 a.m. shore excursions.

Parties
Felix and Kim had a wonderful "last night" party in their owner's suite. Look for Felix and Kim's photos. Sorry we didn't find that suitcase big enough for the TV, Felix. We never really said goodbye to anyone, because I think deep down in we feel we are all going to meet again.

Disembarkation
We were staying two extra days after the cruise so, we were last on their list to leave the ship. We waited in the library since it was the closest to our 9th floor room and the most comfortable. When they stopped calling out flight numbers, we decided to venture our way down to the 4th floor to exit the ship. RCCL claimed that after awhile it was a "free for all" and had given up on their disembarkment procedure. Since we waited, we exited easily. We found a taxi without hassle (easier than Miami or Ft. Lauderdale).

Caribe Hilton
Taxi from the pier is $11.00. The hotel is very remote. It is a very nice hotel in which we received concierge service (free drinks and food), but we preferred the Wyndham Old San Juan. Caribe does not have a casino or one nearby. There are no restaurants other than the ones at the hotel. It has a beach and a wonderful pool area, no real shopping in the area.

Barcardi Factory
This is a wonderful tour that we did from our hotel. Do this from the ship's excursion since it is much cheaper. There is a gift shop there where we purchased a bottle of Ron Bacardi Reserve (you can't purchase it in the US).

San Juan Shopping
All shopping is in the Old San Juan area ($7.00 from Caribe Hilton). There local coffee is one of the three best in the world - Blue Mountain (Jamaica), Kona (Hawaii) and Alton Grande (Puerto Rico). We found 7 oz for $13.50. I'm sure you can find it cheaper! There is also a Coach shop. Remember no tax and no duty!!

Friends
The best thing we acquired from Cruise Critic is all the great friends we met on the ship! We thoroughly enjoyed our vacation because of all of you!! We can only hope to meet again on another cruise or somewhere else.... Felix, Kim, Corey, Barbara, Terry, Sharon, Shirley, Russ, Sharon, Ron, Sandy, Dennis, Jackson and Becky. We had a blast!


Final Note: If you are afraid to do what we did (meet people you don't know), don't be afraid! Life is short. Enjoy it! Meet everyone you can because you may be missing an opportunity of a lifetime!dwoodson@Houston.rr.comDecember 2001
DWoodson’s Full Rating Summary