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Adventure of the Seas - December 2, 2001 Let me start by saying that we had a great time! I know this review is more information than any of you want, but maybe bits and pieces will be helpful to you all. It's very long, but there's a lot to tell, so here goes... Sunday- Getting to San Juan and the Ship We arranged our own air. We flew American Airlines from New Orleans to San Juan (through Miami). On our flight from Miami to San Juan, we were upgraded to first class, which was wonderful! There was so much leg room (I had to get out of my seat to reach the magazines in the seat in front of me!), not to mention each seat had a TV with remote for games, an automatic leg rest, a reading 'flashlight' - needless to say, we were spoiled! It was hard going back to coach, but all our flights were fine. Security was quick and efficient in San Juan and New Orleans, but seemed a little disorganized in Miami. When we arrived in San Juan, it did take a LONG time for our bags to arrive at baggage claim, but when we did finally get them, it was very easy to arrange for a taxi. Directly across from baggage claim, there is a booth for 'Ground Transportation'. Let them know where you are going and how many bags and they give you a ticket for the cab. Including extra charge for bags and tip, its about $20 to the pier. At the pier, the porters take your bags and you enter the terminal. There are about 20 rows of chairs and someone will direct you where to sit. Each row is called one by one and you are lead to the check in stations. From the time we sat down to the time we finished checking in was about 15 minutes! It was great! RC does a great job of crowd management. Although there were nearly 3,000 passengers onboard, we hardly ever had to wait in line for anything (food, guest relations, reboarding ship...). We were in a cabin category D9. There is plenty of closet and drawer space, and all of our luggage fit under our bed. There was a telephone with a small clock, a small hairdryer, a small safe, and the interactive TV. The TV allowed you to order excursions, Portofino, spa and other reservations, check your balance, plus had RCTV and movies running all day in addition to a few cable stations. At dinner the first night, we were disappointed to find that we had been assigned to a table for 2 because we had actually requested a large table. However, we spoke to the Maitre'D and were able to change to a great table right near the captain's table. Monday - Day at Sea We started our day at Sea with breakfast at Windjammer/Island Grill (same food, four buffet lines). We were able to find chairs right by the main pools at 9:30, but the good chairs do fill up fast. As the day went on and the pool became more crowded, we moved to the Solarium pool, which was a little quieter and more room in the pool itself. We ate lunch at Johnny Rockets at about 12:30 and there was no wait at all. There are booths outside with great views of the water. As you know, sodas and shakes/malts are extra, but fries, onion rings, burgers, etc are all free of charge. Tuesday- Aruba We rented a jeep on our own. We had reserved a Suzuki Jimny online through Avis for $46. All the rental car places are right there as you walk out of the cruise terminal. In addition to Avis, Thrifty and several other local companies had booths there. Aruba was easy to get around, but the traffic signs are quite different from here in the states, so be careful. We drove to the California lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, and the Natural Bridge. We returned to the ship for lunch and were able to park the jeep in a lot close by the terminal. After lunch, we drove to Baby Beach and when we finally got there, we were quite disappointed with what we found. The beach is very remote and isolated (the only thing close by in the jail), and the beach was covered with driftwood and debris. We decided to head back toward the ship and go to Eagle/Palm Beach. These beaches near the hotels are great - they have everything you could want: crystal blue water, white sand, places to rent chairs and floats, bars, restaurants...we wish we had gone there earlier in the day. You can access the beach from any of the hotels. After dinner, we went to Carlos and Charlie's. It was fun, but not nearly as crazy as the one in Cozumel. Wednesday- Curacao We booked the Animal Encounter Excursion at the Seaquarium through the cruise line. We had so much fun; I highly recommend it to anyone even if you don't dive (you don't have to be certified). After a brief training session, we went diving in an enclosed cove with stingray and fish of every size imaginable. Then we swam to two areas that had sharks and sea turtles behind plexiglass walls. You were able to feed them through small holes in the plexiglass. It was quite an amazing experience, and one you don't have the opportunity to do too often! After we walked around the Seaquarium, we walked to the Seaquarium Beach. Admission was $3 pp and chairs were $2.50 each. The beach was beautiful and had everything you could want including a snack bar, gift shops, clean bathrooms, several bars, lockers...it was pretty close to heaven! We stayed there all day and hated to leave. The cab ride back was about $12. Thursday- Day at Sea Another day by the pool. There are plenty on chairs, but get the ones in the best locations go fast, so get there early. If the main pools get too crowded and loud as the day goes on, try the Solarium pool - its very nice. Friday- St. Maarten We did the Orient Beach Rendezvous Excursion through the ship, but if you want to do the beach, I recommend you just go on your own. Cab fare is about $20 for 2 to Orient Beach, you can easily rent a chair and umbrella, and you can eat at any beach restaurant you want (Kakao was just OK). Also, we didn't think the tour allowed us enough time at the beach, so we ended up not going back with the tour bus and caught a cab back to town on our own. A few warnings: Orient Beach is clothing optional and you will see more body parts than you want to see! And the water is pretty, but can be very rough. Be careful of the waves, they can be deceiving. There's not that much shopping in St Maarten (basically only one street), so you can spend all day at the beach and still hit the stores later. Be sure to stop by the Guavaberry House at the end of Front Street (closest to the ship) and try a Guavaberry Colada. Yum! St Maarten has built a new cruise ship pier, but it is a pretty decent walk to the shopping area downtown. If you don't want to walk, you can easily catch a cab or take the water taxi for $3 per person (RT, I think). Saturday - St Thomas We spent the day at Magens Bay. National Geographic once named it as one of the top 10 beaches in the world, supposedly the beach has been neglected over the years, but it was just as beautiful as I remembered it. Cab fare from the ship was $6 per person, admission to the beach $3 pp, chairs $5 (plus $5 deposit). There's also a snack bar, bar, gift shop, sail/paddle boat rental, bathrooms and changing areas. We thought the beach was wonderful, and it filled up quite fast as the day went on (there were 3 cruise ships in port). Be sure to stop by Udder Delight at the St Thomas Dairy just outside the entrance to Magens Bay. They make the best shakes, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. One of St Thomas' best-kept secrets!! With the exception of Havensight Mall, the shopping is in Charlotte Amalie, which is a pretty long walk from the pier. You can easily catch a cab from the ship for a ride to town for $3 per person. Sunday- Leaving the Ship We left our cabin at about 8:00 am expecting to have plenty of time for sit-down breakfast in the dining room. But, by 8:25 am they were announcing the first flights for disembarkation. We were trying to get on stand by for a 10:45 flight, so we decided to skip breakfast and leave the ship. Getting off was fast and easy, and after we located our bags, we caught a cab to the airport. We made the 10:45 flight with plenty of time to spare. The Ship The Adventure of the Seas is a beautiful ship and she still had that "new ship" smell! Even though she's 140,000 tons and carries 3,000 passengers, it never felt crowded or hard to get around. RC does a good job of placing detailed maps in good locations i.e. at elevators, entrance to dining rooms and theaters. The Promenade runs about ½ the length of the ship on Floor 5 with atrium rooms looking down from Floors 6, 7, and 8. The Promenade includes Explorations (shore excursion desk), Guest Relations desk, Logo Store, General Store, Perfume Store as well as a few others, plus the Promenade Cafe for 24-hour snacks, the Duck and the Dog Pub, Gravity Sports Bar, and Sprinkles Ice Cream Stand. Be sure to visit Paul at the Duck and the Dog, and listen to Pete play! The usual Viking Crown lounge is called the Blue Moon, Jesters is the nightclub (very cool), Schooner Bar (still smells like new teak wood), and of course there are the Pool Bars. The Casino has a Hollywood theme and a very cool entrance you must check out, even if you don't want to stop in and lose some money! The gym looked very nice, although I must admit I didn't work out at all. Passed by the Internet cafe, Concierge Club, Library and Card Room and all looked very nice as well. We didn't try the Rock Climbing or skating, but they looked fun. The Food I really was impressed by the food! There is only so much you can do with breakfast, but the Windjammer/Island Grill had it all, and we never had to wait in line. For lunch, there was always a wide variety of choices from sweet and sour pork, burgers and hot dogs, pizza, salads, desserts, and everything in between. I enjoyed every dinner I had, too. Some of my favorites were lobster (of course), shrimp scampi, and chicken cordon blue. Small sandwiches, pizza, and desserts were available 24 hours at the Cafe Promenade at no charge. Don't forget to try lunch at Johnny Rockets at least once. A quick side note: When we asked to move tables, we absolutely lucked out with our tablemates! Ken, the CD, says cruising is about meeting people, and he's right. We had a great time getting to know our tablemates, had some great laughs (and cries?), went to a shows together, and toured each other's cabins! But we feel very fortunate to have met a bunch of great people. Service No complaints here! We had a great cabin steward (he made cool towel animals!) and a great waiter/assistant waiter. He didn't take my lobster out of the shell for me, but he did peel my shrimp scampi! Entertainment All the shows we saw were great! Can't Stop the Rock and the Ice Show were excellent. The lead female singer at the shows (I think her name was Tressa) was amazing! The Ice Shows were on Tuesday and Wednesday, but you need to pick up tickets in advance. Also, the farewell show was fun; they had a great comedian, an amazing balancing act, and more great singing and dancing. Get to the shows about 20 minutes early to get good seats. We found the best seats to be on the center balcony about 3 rows up. A few "issues" we had Unlike other ships we've sailed before (including RCCL), we were disappointed by the lack of availability of free beverages (tea, lemonade). They were only available at the Windjammer/Island Grill during open hours. At any other time or place, you could only get tea/lemonade for a charge. So if you were thirsty (or let's say having a midnight snack at the Cafe Promenade), you're choices were coffee or purchase a drink from the bar. RC's way of cutting costs perhaps, but a little disappointing. Also, let me state the FACT that the majority of the people onboard spoke Spanish. Not knowing a word of Spanish, it did become a little aggravating to us. Unfortunately, some customs and mannerisms of particular passengers were not what we were used to back home in the "50 states", and this became pretty annoying. Not that I expect all people to act like me, but I do expect basic courtesy and respect from and for people around you. But enough about that... Wheeewww.... that's a lot of information! It's hard to put 7 days of fun into a short summary! I'm sorry this is so long, but I think its all the information I would have liked to have known before I sailed. If I missed answering any of you specific questions, please fell free to ask me. You all will have a wonderful time!December 2001

Adventure of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by HeatherL

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 1899
  • Destination:
Adventure of the Seas - December 2, 2001
Let me start by saying that we had a great time! I know this review is more information than any of you want, but maybe bits and pieces will be helpful to you all. It's very long, but there's a lot to tell, so here goes...
Sunday- Getting to San Juan and the Ship
We arranged our own air. We flew American Airlines from New Orleans to San Juan (through Miami). On our flight from Miami to San Juan, we were upgraded to first class, which was wonderful! There was so much leg room (I had to get out of my seat to reach the magazines in the seat in front of me!), not to mention each seat had a TV with remote for games, an automatic leg rest, a reading 'flashlight' - needless to say, we were spoiled! It was hard going back to coach, but all our flights were fine. Security was quick and efficient in San Juan and New Orleans, but seemed a little disorganized in Miami. When we arrived in San Juan, it did take a LONG time for our bags to arrive at baggage claim, but when we did finally get them, it was very easy to arrange for a taxi. Directly across from baggage claim, there is a booth for 'Ground Transportation'. Let them know where you are going and how many bags and they give you a ticket for the cab. Including extra charge for bags and tip, its about $20 to the pier.
At the pier, the porters take your bags and you enter the terminal. There are about 20 rows of chairs and someone will direct you where to sit. Each row is called one by one and you are lead to the check in stations. From the time we sat down to the time we finished checking in was about 15 minutes! It was great! RC does a great job of crowd management. Although there were nearly 3,000 passengers onboard, we hardly ever had to wait in line for anything (food, guest relations, reboarding ship...).
We were in a cabin category D9. There is plenty of closet and drawer space, and all of our luggage fit under our bed. There was a telephone with a small clock, a small hairdryer, a small safe, and the interactive TV. The TV allowed you to order excursions, Portofino, spa and other reservations, check your balance, plus had RCTV and movies running all day in addition to a few cable stations.
At dinner the first night, we were disappointed to find that we had been assigned to a table for 2 because we had actually requested a large table. However, we spoke to the Maitre'D and were able to change to a great table right near the captain's table.
Monday - Day at Sea
We started our day at Sea with breakfast at Windjammer/Island Grill (same food, four buffet lines). We were able to find chairs right by the main pools at 9:30, but the good chairs do fill up fast. As the day went on and the pool became more crowded, we moved to the Solarium pool, which was a little quieter and more room in the pool itself. We ate lunch at Johnny Rockets at about 12:30 and there was no wait at all. There are booths outside with great views of the water. As you know, sodas and shakes/malts are extra, but fries, onion rings, burgers, etc are all free of charge.
Tuesday- Aruba
We rented a jeep on our own. We had reserved a Suzuki Jimny online through Avis for $46. All the rental car places are right there as you walk out of the cruise terminal. In addition to Avis, Thrifty and several other local companies had booths there. Aruba was easy to get around, but the traffic signs are quite different from here in the states, so be careful. We drove to the California lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, and the Natural Bridge. We returned to the ship for lunch and were able to park the jeep in a lot close by the terminal. After lunch, we drove to Baby Beach and when we finally got there, we were quite disappointed with what we found. The beach is very remote and isolated (the only thing close by in the jail), and the beach was covered with driftwood and debris. We decided to head back toward the ship and go to Eagle/Palm Beach. These beaches near the hotels are great - they have everything you could want: crystal blue water, white sand, places to rent chairs and floats, bars, restaurants...we wish we had gone there earlier in the day. You can access the beach from any of the hotels.
After dinner, we went to Carlos and Charlie's. It was fun, but not nearly as crazy as the one in Cozumel.
Wednesday- Curacao
We booked the Animal Encounter Excursion at the Seaquarium through the cruise line. We had so much fun; I highly recommend it to anyone even if you don't dive (you don't have to be certified). After a brief training session, we went diving in an enclosed cove with stingray and fish of every size imaginable. Then we swam to two areas that had sharks and sea turtles behind plexiglass walls. You were able to feed them through small holes in the plexiglass. It was quite an amazing experience, and one you don't have the opportunity to do too often!

After we walked around the Seaquarium, we walked to the Seaquarium Beach. Admission was $3 pp and chairs were $2.50 each. The beach was beautiful and had everything you could want including a snack bar, gift shops, clean bathrooms, several bars, lockers...it was pretty close to heaven! We stayed there all day and hated to leave. The cab ride back was about $12.
Thursday- Day at Sea
Another day by the pool. There are plenty on chairs, but get the ones in the best locations go fast, so get there early. If the main pools get too crowded and loud as the day goes on, try the Solarium pool - its very nice.
Friday- St. Maarten
We did the Orient Beach Rendezvous Excursion through the ship, but if you want to do the beach, I recommend you just go on your own. Cab fare is about $20 for 2 to Orient Beach, you can easily rent a chair and umbrella, and you can eat at any beach restaurant you want (Kakao was just OK). Also, we didn't think the tour allowed us enough time at the beach, so we ended up not going back with the tour bus and caught a cab back to town on our own. A few warnings: Orient Beach is clothing optional and you will see more body parts than you want to see! And the water is pretty, but can be very rough. Be careful of the waves, they can be deceiving.
There's not that much shopping in St Maarten (basically only one street), so you can spend all day at the beach and still hit the stores later. Be sure to stop by the Guavaberry House at the end of Front Street (closest to the ship) and try a Guavaberry Colada. Yum! St Maarten has built a new cruise ship pier, but it is a pretty decent walk to the shopping area downtown. If you don't want to walk, you can easily catch a cab or take the water taxi for $3 per person (RT, I think).
Saturday - St Thomas
We spent the day at Magens Bay. National Geographic once named it as one of the top 10 beaches in the world, supposedly the beach has been neglected over the years, but it was just as beautiful as I remembered it. Cab fare from the ship was $6 per person, admission to the beach $3 pp, chairs $5 (plus $5 deposit). There's also a snack bar, bar, gift shop, sail/paddle boat rental, bathrooms and changing areas. We thought the beach was wonderful, and it filled up quite fast as the day went on (there were 3 cruise ships in port). Be sure to stop by Udder Delight at the St Thomas Dairy just outside the entrance to Magens Bay. They make the best shakes, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. One of St Thomas' best-kept secrets!!
With the exception of Havensight Mall, the shopping is in Charlotte Amalie, which is a pretty long walk from the pier. You can easily catch a cab from the ship for a ride to town for $3 per person.
Sunday- Leaving the Ship
We left our cabin at about 8:00 am expecting to have plenty of time for sit-down breakfast in the dining room. But, by 8:25 am they were announcing the first flights for disembarkation. We were trying to get on stand by for a 10:45 flight, so we decided to skip breakfast and leave the ship. Getting off was fast and easy, and after we located our bags, we caught a cab to the airport. We made the 10:45 flight with plenty of time to spare.

The Ship
The Adventure of the Seas is a beautiful ship and she still had that "new ship" smell! Even though she's 140,000 tons and carries 3,000 passengers, it never felt crowded or hard to get around. RC does a good job of placing detailed maps in good locations i.e. at elevators, entrance to dining rooms and theaters. The Promenade runs about ½ the length of the ship on Floor 5 with atrium rooms looking down from Floors 6, 7, and 8. The Promenade includes Explorations (shore excursion desk), Guest Relations desk, Logo Store, General Store, Perfume Store as well as a few others, plus the Promenade Cafe for 24-hour snacks, the Duck and the Dog Pub, Gravity Sports Bar, and Sprinkles Ice Cream Stand. Be sure to visit Paul at the Duck and the Dog, and listen to Pete play! The usual Viking Crown lounge is called the Blue Moon, Jesters is the nightclub (very cool), Schooner Bar (still smells like new teak wood), and of course there are the Pool Bars. The Casino has a Hollywood theme and a very cool entrance you must check out, even if you don't want to stop in and lose some money! The gym looked very nice, although I must admit I didn't work out at all. Passed by the Internet cafe, Concierge Club, Library and Card Room and all looked very nice as well. We didn't try the Rock Climbing or skating, but they looked fun.
The Food
I really was impressed by the food! There is only so much you can do with breakfast, but the Windjammer/Island Grill had it all, and we never had to wait in line. For lunch, there was always a wide variety of choices from sweet and sour pork, burgers and hot dogs, pizza, salads, desserts, and everything in between. I enjoyed every dinner I had, too. Some of my favorites were lobster (of course), shrimp scampi, and chicken cordon blue. Small sandwiches, pizza, and desserts were available 24 hours at the Cafe Promenade at no charge. Don't forget to try lunch at Johnny Rockets at least once.
A quick side note: When we asked to move tables, we absolutely lucked out with our tablemates! Ken, the CD, says cruising is about meeting people, and he's right. We had a great time getting to know our tablemates, had some great laughs (and cries?), went to a shows together, and toured each other's cabins! But we feel very fortunate to have met a bunch of great people.
Service
No complaints here! We had a great cabin steward (he made cool towel animals!) and a great waiter/assistant waiter. He didn't take my lobster out of the shell for me, but he did peel my shrimp scampi!
Entertainment
All the shows we saw were great! Can't Stop the Rock and the Ice Show were excellent. The lead female singer at the shows (I think her name was Tressa) was amazing! The Ice Shows were on Tuesday and Wednesday, but you need to pick up tickets in advance. Also, the farewell show was fun; they had a great comedian, an amazing balancing act, and more great singing and dancing. Get to the shows about 20 minutes early to get good seats. We found the best seats to be on the center balcony about 3 rows up.
A few "issues" we had
Unlike other ships we've sailed before (including RCCL), we were disappointed by the lack of availability of free beverages (tea, lemonade). They were only available at the Windjammer/Island Grill during open hours. At any other time or place, you could only get tea/lemonade for a charge. So if you were thirsty (or let's say having a midnight snack at the Cafe Promenade), you're choices were coffee or purchase a drink from the bar. RC's way of cutting costs perhaps, but a little disappointing.
Also, let me state the FACT that the majority of the people onboard spoke Spanish. Not knowing a word of Spanish, it did become a little aggravating to us. Unfortunately, some customs and mannerisms of particular passengers were not what we were used to back home in the "50 states", and this became pretty annoying. Not that I expect all people to act like me, but I do expect basic courtesy and respect from and for people around you. But enough about that...

Wheeewww.... that's a lot of information! It's hard to put 7 days of fun into a short summary! I'm sorry this is so long, but I think its all the information I would have liked to have known before I sailed. If I missed answering any of you specific questions, please fell free to ask me.
You all will have a wonderful time!December 2001
HeatherL’s Full Rating Summary