|Cruise Reviews - Adventure of the Seas - Caribbean|
Eastern Caribbean on the Adventure of the Seas
This Cruise leaves from San Juan, Puerto Rico and does an island every day except Saturday. We booked this cruise for our honeymoon (we were married on Sat. June 21 at the University of Maryland.) We had an early morning flight on Sunday, and after reading about the ship, we were very happy to arrive in San Juan in time to be one of the first to board the Adventure.
The ship at first and last glance is amazing. We had to wait at the terminal for almost an hour before we were able to board. The tickets say boarding begins at 2, but this being our 3rd cruise, we know that they always let people on earlier. We waited in the terminal until a little before 1 PM when RC began letting people board the ship. We used this time to review our excursion book and select the excursions we were interested in (more on excursions later). Sitting in the plastic lawn chairs in the terminal was ok, but be warned, once the cooler inside was full before the boarding began, many people were forced to wait outside in the heat standing in lines. A nice touch for those waiting inside was the complimentary lemonade and iced tea. Boarding the ship was relatively smooth, and we bolted straight to our sixth floor aft room.
The photographers can be a little pushy and annoying at times, especially in our excitement to see this ship. We walked right up to our room and opened the door to find a pleasantly spacious cabin with a nice balcony. This was spacious compared to our two previous cruises, one on RC and one with Norwegian. Our room had a couch, king sized bed, and a nice closet and bathroom. The TV was a good sized 25", unlike the smaller TVs I had previously experienced when cruising. The programming was somewhat lame, but you're certainly not there to watch the boob tube. Closet space was efficiently organized, enough for all of our clothes - I think we packed enough for four seasons.
We were staying in San Juan for four nights after the cruise, and are too cheap to pay for the laundry service, so we packed like we were moving in. After we checked in, we grabbed some lunch in the Windjammer and went exploring on the ship. It is such a large ship that it certainly takes some time to find everything. Our bags soon arrived at our room, and we unpacked and made the room homey. After taking a nap, it was almost dinner time. We skipped the initial meal in the dining room in order for some good, greasy, junk food from Johnny Rockets. I was badly craving some good American food after some swanky wedding and rehearsal dinner food. Johnny Rockets hit the spot, and is a really cool place to eat. We shared a milkshake, which costs extra but it was worth it. They bring fries and onion rings out immediately, and I got a juicy bacon cheeseburger, while Alicia had a big Nathan's hotdog. After dinner, it was time for the safety drill. This was much nicer on Adventure than previously. It was painless and quick, especially since we were indoors in the gorgeous dining room waiting seated, unlike previous outdoor experiences.
We changed into our bathing suits and headed up for the sail away party. We said goodbye to San Juan from the Solarium Jacuzzi. The solarium is a very nice touch to the ship. It is for adults only, and has two Jacuzzis and a pool, with many padded lounge chairs surrounding it. The sail away party was not as crowded as usual, I guess it was the 10 PM time, but we enjoyed being able to swim in the pool and hot tub while listening to the band without the crowds. We changed and went to the late show which was pretty standard with a comedian, a couple dance numbers, and a circus like balancing act which was pretty amazing. Cruise director Omar was affable and charming, but we rarely saw him around the ship outside of the shows.
St. Thomas Day 2
I highly recommend doing many of the tour spots on your own. Taxi drivers are generally knowledgeable and friendly and are able to steer you towards your interests. Excursions from RC are overpriced, you can always get a cheaper price on land, and somewhat restrictive in the times etc… We were driven back through town and had a nice conversation with the very chatty cab driver who was also very knowledgeable about the island. Being the thrifty shoppers we are, we did not eat lunch until we were back on the ship. We got back to the ship around 3 PM which was perfect for lunch, because our dinner was the late seating 9 PM. The drawback is that the buffet around 3 PM was always the same, as we missed the variable fancier lunches. The early afternoon buffet always included hot dogs, chili, cold cuts, salads and fruit. The other lunch options were the café with pizza and sandwiches, Johnny Rockets, or room service. Dinner in the dining room was great that evening. We were seated at a table of 4 with another honeymooning young couple who provided enjoyable company. We were eating on the third floor and had excellent views of the large chandelier. Live dinner music provided great atmosphere and our waiter, Mark Hudson was excellent and very attentive. One night as I was preparing to ask for another bowl of soup because it was so tasty, out came Mark with another bowl. I'm still pretty freaked out about how he knew I was going to ask for another one, since I had not asked for seconds on any food previously on the trip.
St. Martin's Day 3
The one thing that I regret is not seeing the French capital which I heard was very nice. Phillipsburg was nice, but fairly standard for a Caribbean town.
St. John Antigua Day 4
On the way back, we asked the cab driver to let us off at the St. John's Cathedral. He instructed us on how to walk back to the pier which was a nice walk through town. This island seemed less touristy than others, probably because of the lack of consistent cruise ships. St. John's Cathedral is an old, prominent site in the town with great views, but it has fallen into disrepair. They do not have the money to keep it up, and windows are broken, gravestones crushed, no landscaping etc… I'm glad we saw it anyway.
St. Lucia Day 5
The excursion was great, as St. Lucia is a fabulous island. Probably the best island of all the ones we saw. They have two very large mountains, The Pitons, and very dense foliage and rainforest. Snorkeling at the Anse Chastanet was pretty nice. I was impressed with this resort. It is nestled high above a beach, in harmony with the trees and we were able to explore around the hotel. It's kind of a Swiss Family Robinson hotel.
Barbados Day 6
At Sea Day 7
San Juan Disembarking