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Live-ish from Adventure of the Seas - December 8th through 16th, 2018


accio7
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Good morning everyone!

After following a ton of great live blogs, reviews on this site, I have decided to document my time aboard Adventure of the Seas commencing tomorrow ? I had intended to write a pre-cruise post yesterday, but, as it turns out, my day was completely crazy (thankfully booked a day off of work to complete my tasks and finish packing!). Currently writing this from Toronto Pearson airport with much needed coffee, flight to Fort Lauderdale has been delayed, so I have some time to start this after all ? 

A little bit about me:

I’m in my early 40s, single, and cruising solo (actually love to travel on my own). My last cruise with Royal Caribbean was back in February 2008 aboard Sovereign of the Seas, but my family has actually taken quite a few cruises since then with other lines (most recently DCL aboard the Magic in March 2017). As I recalled having a blast on my first cruise, there was no doubt in my mind which cruise line I would take my next vacation with! 

Pre-cruise thoughts:

I booked this cruise, an eight night Eastern Caribbean itinerary on Adventure, last August, a little over 16 months ago, and am booked in a studio interior stateroom in the basement on Deck Two. Why so far ahead in advance do you ask? Well, I actually scored a great price and the few remaining rooms sold out quickly. (Let’s hear it for listening to @Matt!)

Anything else? I prepurchased the sofa plus Voom (physically cannot drink as much booze as you guys can lmao) as well as gratuities. My objectives for this cruise are a) not losing money to the casino (???this will NOT happen, trust me, but a girl can only dream) and b) to leave the ship with as minimal balance as possible. 

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the itinerary, all new ports for me, which leads me to my next topic...

Itinerary:

Friday, December 7th: arrive at Fort Lauderdale, stay overnight at AirBnB off Las Olas (scored great deal on both). Meeting up with a mod of one of the subreddits we moderate together for dinner at Rocco’s on Las Olas. Will pick up wine (let me know if you have any wine or store recs) and any last minute incidentals tonight before retiring to bed. 
Saturday, December 8th: embarkation day! 
Sunday, December 9th: sea day
Monday, December 10th: Labadee - nothing planned
Tuesday, December 11th: San Juan - self-guided walking tour
Wednesday, December 12th: St. Maarten - SXM Island Tour I through Bernards Tours
Thursday, December 13th: St. Kitts - Grand Tour of St. Kitts through Thenford Grey
Friday, December 14th: sea day
Saturday, December 15th: sea day (dining at Giovanni’s for lunch on one of these two sea days)
Sunday, December 16th: in which Christine is kicked off the ship disembarkation day. Late flight home (9 pm), planning to store luggage at FLL airport until 5:30 pm cut-off. Guess whatever I didn’t get a chance to see today, I’ll be able to do that on my last day.

As I wrap this up for now, just wanted to add that there are quite a few firsts for me on this trip:

First cruise on Royal since 2008 (feel like a newbie again LOL)
First cruise SOLO
First visit to all of the port of calls mentioned

Let me know if you have any questions! 

Christine

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1 hour ago, accio7 said:

I booked this cruise, an eight night Eastern Caribbean itinerary on Adventure, last August, a little over 16 months ago, and am booked in a studio interior stateroom in the basement on Deck Two. Why so far ahead in advance do you ask? Well, I actually scored a great price and the few remaining rooms sold out quickly. (Let’s hear it for listening to @Matt!)

Love that the booking early strategy worked out so well for you!

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4 hours ago, accio7 said:

First cruise on Royal since 2008 (feel like a newbie again LOL)

I went from 2002 to 2012 without a cruise, I really felt like a newbie, and then booked first cruise back on Allure! Going back on Allure in January, will be our 3rd time on Allure since 2012.

I think you will be surprised at how easily you re-adapt to cruising

Relax and have a blast, following.

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Sorry for the late check-in, but I’ve had a long day! 

So, although the departure was delayed, we ended up arriving close to the original arrival 11 am arrival time which was good. What was not good was waiting 30 mins for luggage at the baggage carousel and also causing me to miss my Uber (which service I used for the very first time - another first!) and incurring a cancellation fee. Oh well, at least while I was waiting, I had a most bizarre piece of “artwork” to entertain me LOL. 

The luggage eventually did show up (yay!) and I did manage to hail another Uber to my AirBnB just off Las Olas Blvd. (Nothing but positive things to say about the driver - great, interesting convo, I tipped her appropriately.) I checked in early, met the host’s wife, dropped off luggage, and she then accompanied me with another guest to Las Olas as they were headed in that direction to a restaurant. I really have nothing but positive things to say about both of them (husband was at work when I arrived, but met him when I came home) and the place is really good for the minimal cost I spend (no fancy hotel room for me!). 

My second primary objective of the day, after checking into the AirBnB, was to send US and international Christmas cards and a Secret Santa gift. (It costs an arm and a leg to send US mail from Canada and my mother is nothing but cost efficient LOL.) After locating the US postal office around the corner, I then headed to the beach and cursed Google Maps for making that walk look much shorter than it actually was (close to 30 mins from the AirBnB) LOL. I didn’t complain because I’m on vacation and got to check out the homes, million dollar yachts along the intercostal en route to the beach ? 

I was grateful for finally reaching the beach because the water, weather was picture perfect warm - not humid whatsoever! I then walked from the Las Olas beach up to where the Westin/Hilton/W hotels are and, somehow along the way, met a Canadian family from Barrie (north of Toronto), also walking on the beach, who were sailing out on MSC Divina tomorrow ? (They’re actually doing a side-to-side from Miami: 7 nights aboard Divina followed by a 7 nighter on a Carnival ship. As they explained to me, a second cruise ended up being much cheaper than what a hotel and flight home would cost.) 

Anyway, so the family and I separated near the hotel section I mentioned earlier and I walked back south to Las Olas Beach. After a quick stop at CVS for wine, munchies, etc., I then walked west on Las Olas in preparation for objective #3 - meeting friend of mine at Rocco’s Tacos for dinner at 5 pm. Well, let’s just say that the driving gods did not want him to meet up with me on time - a crash on 95 delayed our dining time to 5:30. After a quick, “dude, it’s totally cool, I’m on vacation” text, I decided to continue walking along Las Olas for some window shopping and admiring at some very expensive cars in the neighbourhood. 

Eventually I stopped at SE 6th Ave, turned back until I reached Rocco’s, and my friend finally showed up for a most excellent dinner of chicken tacos with chips, tableside guac and Corona. And I then walked back to the AirBnB, situated conveniently around the corner from Rocco’s, and...ran into two ladies at my AirBnB WHO ARE CRUISING ON ADVENTURE TOMORROW. After a quick game of gin rummy and cruise convo, we have decided to stop at Gran Forno Bakery tomorrow morning before hailing an Uber to the port. I am sooooo happy that they want to get to the port early in the morning ? 

(Oh, and another thing, I have decided to keep track of my step count: today’s total was 26, 194!)

Anyway, that was my fun day today, I hope you like the photos! I expect the cruise to range between semi-live to live; on port days, I probably will have to post my recap toward the end of the day like today. Let me know if you have any questions! 

Christine

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Hello from Adventure! 

So, I started my morning bright and early and went to breakfast at the Floridian, located within walking distance of the AirBnB, with those two ladies booked on the same cruise as me. Thoroughly enjoyed my eggs benedict, recommend this restaurant to all! 

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We then hailed an Uber to terminal 29 at Port Everglades and managed to locate a porter to drop off our bags (tipped him as recommended by @Matt). The entire boarding process was very quick and efficient: 24 minutes from curb to ship! Thankfully I printed off my SetSail Pass as they needed to stamp it at check-in. I was so incredibly excited that, at one point, one of the ladies in our company turned to another guest and said “don’t mind her, it’s her first cruise” ??? (Technically not my first cruise, but it sure feels like my first one on Royal after 10 years lol.)

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Next to the main dining room on Deck Four to change dining reservations; ladies have graciously allowed me to join their table. ? Then we split up to explore the ship, rejoined them on the pool deck for a drink, and went to Windjammer for lunch where I am writing this day’s recap. Had no issue btw ordering a Diet Coke with my SetSail Pass (SeaPass is waiting in stateroom). 

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(They have since gone back up to the pool deck for more sun and drinking lol. I need a few minutes with my second Diet Coke to digest lunch and review the Compass.) 

I will post again a little later with pics of my prison cell..er stateroom, sailaway, dinner, and other fun ? 

Why, thank you, Royal Caribbean crew member for the Drink of the Day! 

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I’m back! 

Well, when I left you guys, I had just finished lunch and decided to explore the ship until the staterooms were ready. 30A52167-DDC3-4B29-BCF0-6098F18B324D.thumb.jpeg.38f2f3638e07756231dd6911112a24af.jpeg

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Staterooms were ready around 1 pm and I went down to dump my bag and check out my new home for the next nine days. Overall, I really like it; has adequate space, amenities for the solo passenger. ? (I barely spend time in my room anyway, so it’s not worth it to spend a ton of money in that arena.)  B13C5C9C-5CC7-4256-A64F-19049FA09575.thumb.jpeg.525e5dced8d532f5a8909add56874796.jpegDD7F649C-34A7-494F-A0D6-9BFF3807925E.thumb.jpeg.7eff40f41708d79dc666e24f71e5cd3b.jpeg64A9422E-F175-4E20-A6CD-B89FE8396501.thumb.jpeg.74bedf55b011f23469b064714fc8be4c.jpeg

Now to explore the rest of the ship until muster drill! 

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I then stopped at Giovanni's to inquire about the sea day lunch and a crew member ended up making a reservation for me. 

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I spent some time outside on Deck 11 watching the Caribbean band play before heading inside. 

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Back inside, I decided to stick around for the $500 spa raffle, but sadly no winner winner chicken dinner ?

 

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After freaking about the location of my muster station lol, I managed to locate it using the maps posted and arrived earlier (4:15) than requested in the Compass. 

It was time for sailaway under a brilliant sunset ? 

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Going to stop here and post the remainder in a separate post.

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Afterward, I checked out the Welcome Aboard Show featuring a very funny comedian named Dan Wilson and popped into the Royal Logo shop. Debating on either an Adventure mug, small purse or Adventure ship ornament. Decisions, decisions..

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I stopped by the casino and deposited $10 into two machines. Hooray for not losing money! 

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I then spent the rest of the evening at the Schooner Bar singing along with the very talented, very funny pianist named Keith and participating in the If You Know It, Sing It game show in the Imperial Lounge. 

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Our current position

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FYI: 

- I had to inquire at Guest Services for my Gold letter of benefits and Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle as neither were provided in my stateroom. 

- clocks will advance one hour ahead starting tonight, ship will remain on local time. 

Until tomorrow! 

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Good morning! 

Woke up early and have just finished breakfast consisting of fruit, omelet, and toast in the MDR. They gave me a buffet option, but truly I would prefer to be waited on while on vacation. 

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Just left at 9 am and a long line has formed outside, so it pays to wake up early ?

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Took the stairs up to explore parts of ship which I missed yesterday and apparently woke up one of the ladies staying in an interior on Deck Seven (sorry! I just wanted to see your room ?). I also found Henry ? 

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Stretched on a couch in Blue Moon, waiting for our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle to start at 10:30. It is extremely relaxing being at sea ? 27B40219-CE54-424A-AB5E-6B72670CF07D.thumb.jpeg.0d36fb46a427cea6b903900d7cbd9ef2.jpeg

 

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Writing this from a non-chair hogged lounger in the Solarium, Mr. Sun is glorious! 

Our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle was a little smaller than I anticipated, but a good number nevertheless. (The CD Mercedes coordinated the draw.) Sadly, I did not win a prize although one of my MDR table mates did. Thanks for the free food and drink, Royal Caribbean ?

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I then decided to kill time in the casino afterward and lost the $7 I won yesterday plus the $10 I originally put in both machines lol. (?Hey, big spender!?)

Decided afterward to finally make an appearance and took a dip in the Solarium while waiting for the World’s Sexiest Man competition to start.

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The World’s Sexiest Man competition was hilarious, Magic Marvin is an awesome activities manager! (He and Mercedes work so well together, their morning show is really entertaining ?)

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(This dude Darryl ended up winning the contest?)

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I went back to the Solarium, and, after my dip in the pool, discovered that someone has taken my towel? ? No clue where it went, but, no worries, we managed to exchange it for a new one after explaining that other one had been misplaced. 

Anyway, I’ll probably stop at the Cafe for a quick bite to eat as it is getting close to dinner. It is formal night tonight which means MDR, Captain’s Reception, Christmas tree lighting, and production show in the theatre. 

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After pool and hot tub time, I headed over to Cafe Promenade for a quick bite to eat. The coconut cookies (not pictured) were good, the less I have say about Royal’s “pizza” the better ? Attached were today’s offerings, I may try something different this week. 7035A778-47A6-43E0-82FB-1D219BC7E382.thumb.jpeg.595972d0313040efc0f49aefc57e25cf.jpeg

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Tonight’s headliner was Clint Holmes, gameshow Majority Rules, solid performance by Holmes and hysterical responses by fellow cruisers to questions asked. ? I am really digging both Isaac and Kareem; they are a true asset to Royal Caribbean!

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I then walked around the pool deck where the Rams - Bears is still in progress as I type this. (Ship sure is pretty at night ?)

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Silent Party was hysterical and a TON of fun; have never done anything like this before. Pictures do not do it justice; I took video which I will upload to YouTube at some point. 

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Well, that’s it for today, talk to you all tomorrow from Labadee!

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Another terrific day, totally lit as the kids would say ?

Finally made my first visit to Labadee and she did not disappoint! But first it was off to the MDR for French toast breakfast..

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Time to get off this gorgeous ship and explore! 

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I really enjoyed my time on Labadee today and hope to make a return visit on a future cruise ? Just a nice, relaxing day at the beach! I have a few comments to make: 

If possible, please leave your expensive jewelry in your stateroom safe. A lady lost her wedding ring in the sand on Adrenaline Beach today ?

People, the ocean is NOT your trash can, put away your garbage. ?

Saltwater is not meant to be drank, I threw up my breakfast after accidentally doing so snorkelling ?

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I managed to walk the entire property very easily and grabbed a chair on Adrenaline Beach (partially because at that point I was starting to boil like a lobster lol) close to Cafe Labadee, Schooner Bar, Floating Bar. 

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After a quick snorkel (and vomit into the ocean ?), I decided to continue my walk until call for 11:30 am lunch. I walked all the way north toward beach beds, basketball court, and turned around south to the Artisan’s Village and Market. In no way did I feel threatened to buy anything; sure, they tried to get my attention but a simple “no, thanks” sufficed. 

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The walking path led me to Columbus Cove...

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..and Nellie’s Beach. 

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By this time, I was starving and it was time for BBQ lunch ? 

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After lunch, I grabbed a Labadoozie, pulled out my People magazine, and drank, read in the sun for an hour. 

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Needless to say, I needed to cool down and the ocean did its job ? I snorkeled again and chatted with a few people in the shallow end. 

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I slowly made my way back (lots of photo ops) and was onboard the ship 30 mins prior to sailaway which I witnessed from the helipad. It was an eye-opening and awesome experience watching the ship back away from the long pier and then pulling forward. 

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(I took video of sailaway, will upload later.) 

Goodbye, Labadee! 

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Tonight’s entertainment was Invitation to Dance by the very talented Royal Caribbean singers and dancers, the definitely-not-for-children Blankety Blank, Love & Marriage game shows. ??? (Yes, I took some video!)!

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This couple, married for 27 years, ended up winning. 

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The oldest married couple at 65 years. 

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The newlyweds at 3 months.

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A couple of notes before I leave you all for the evening: 

- have had a few maintenance issues  (burned out lightbulb, lukewarm water temperature) with my stateroom and had to contact Guest Services to get them fixed. This is in addition to missing Voom letter and Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle invite. 

-Service in MDR was slow on the first day, but picking up in speed in recent days. 

We have a late port arrival in San Juan tomorrow, so I’ll probably be able to post an update before I leave in the afternoon ?

Good night!

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