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Adventure of the Seas - Western Caribbean 6-Night, April 7-13 (Recap Blog)

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Long time reader, first time poster - thought nothing better to kick off participating on the message boards than a (sort-of) live blog! We've benefitted so much from other live blogs in planning our cruises, I thought I'd return the favor as much as I can - so if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

It's been almost a week since we got off this wonderful adventure (pun intended)! One of our cruise rules as a couple is that we don't pay for Voom. One of our favorite things about cruising is the forced time to disconnect from those dreaded work emails. So this isn't live, but I will post day-by-day so it still feels live-ish.

Cruising is me and my wife. Both of our 3rd cruises, 2nd together. Working our way up the C&A ladder slowly but surely! 

Pre-Embarkation Day

Bought the drink package online during the Black Friday sales ($46pp + 18% gratuity). Third cruise, first time with the drink package. I didn't realize how much satisfaction would come from buying that first drink and seeing $0.00 on the bill. Worth it just for that feeling alone! 

We originally booked a Promenade View Stateroom, but price checking works! One night I was just checking the price of our cruise around 10pm before heading to bed, and saw that it would only call us $25 to switch from a promenade room to a guaranteed balcony. One quick-ish phone call to Royal later, and we had ourselves a balcony stateroom!

We drove down (about 9 hours for us!) on Saturday. Stayed at the Best Western Ft. Lauderdale I-95 Inn. We've stayed here before to cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale. Found a great rate, 15 minutes from Port Everglades. We at dinner at La Bamba's and spent the rest of the night watching the Final Four in the hotel. Had to get to sleep early for DAY 1!

Embarkation Day

We have the mantra of "first on the boat", which more accurately is "first gold C&A's on the boat!". We left the hotel at 9am. After hitting a little bit of traffic getting through port security, we dropped our luggage off at 9:30am (Terminal 29), parked at 9:35am in the Midpoint Garage, were in line for security by 9:50. Security opened at 10am, the doors to get on the boat opened at 10:30am, and we were on board with first drinks in hand by 10:45am! We called this a big success.

We parked ourselves by the pool until around 12:30pm when we decided to go grab lunch from the Windjammer. My wife suddenly started feeling really light headed. It was enough of a scare that I tracked down a Windjammer staff member to call the nurse. Nurse was there within 5 minutes and did some quick tests right there in the Windjammer. We decided the best thing to do was for her to go get some rest (probably too much sun too quick) so the medical staff took her down in a wheelchair to our stateroom that had just opened at 1pm. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the wheelchair ride, which I think is quite comical looking back on it now that we know everything was ok! Wife still disagrees about the humor in it.

I spent the rest of the afternoon bouncing back and forth between the pub and the balcony while the wife rested. Dinner that night was in the MDR, which was deck 3 for My Time Dining this week. Wife got the NY Strip and creme brulee. I had the spaghetti bolognese and chocolate cake. Something that you should know about us is that we are Royal MDR escargot fanatics. I mean, we dream about this stuff when we're not cruising. We had it every single night of the cruise. I eat the snails and my wife uses the bread from the basket to soak up the butter. We love it.

Unfortunately we didn't decide to do this blog until a few days in, so no food pics until Day 3 or so.

After dinner we spent some time listening to Perry Grant in the Schooner Bar. He was newer to the ship, and quite different from former Schooner Bar piano players I've seen, but quite hilarious with some of the extra talking bits he would do in between songs. He was a fan favorite the whole week - I don't think there was a single open seat every night he played in the Schooner Bar!

That's all for now! Again, let me know if you have any questions!

(Most of the rest of the posts will be heavy on the pictures, we just didn't take very many the first day)
 

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So excited to see your blog as DH and I are trying Adventure (kid free) for first time in December.  We're the same and do NOT get internet so we can disconnect from the world ...it our (well my) one rule when on any cruise.

Sorry for your wife's scare first afternoon but glad she's ok and short lived.

Yah on the balcony upgrade.

Love Schooner bar...sounds like a great performer.

Looking forward to hearing more!

P.S. -agree on the escargot in butter sauce

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Day 2 - Day at Sea 
We had a great sunrise this morning, and every morning. We lucked out with nothing but sun and 85 degrees all week! We were in balcony stateroom 8588. It was fully enclosed with glass panels on the railing part.

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I spent the morning at the casino once the tables opened at 10am. They had two Blackjack tables running $6 minimums from 10am-12pm. The casino was very kind to us on this cruise! After that we spent most of the afternoon relaxing in the solarium. There were two large groups on board, I think both for different weddings, so the solarium and solarium bar stayed packed for most of the week!

Tonight was the first of two formal nights. We are on team 'Get Dressed Up' for formal nights.

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It was probably about half and half as far who got dressed up this cruise. For the most part, those who went to the MDR were dressed up, and those who didn't want to get fancy went to the windjammer. The one exception was the man at the table next to us still in his swimsuit and flip flops. But to each his own and it's his cruise, so I couldn't care less! This was the one night we experienced not so great service in the MDR. Took us about 15 minutes just to get water and menus after sitting down.

All in all, dinner took close to 2 hours, when on other nights it was closer to the one hour time frame. We started with the escargot (of course), then my wife got the pork shank and I went with the beef tenderloin. Easily my favorite entree of the whole cruise. It was fantastic! We followed it up with creme brulee for her and the royal cheesecake for me! Forgot to take photos until post-first bite! Delicious!

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After dinner we went to "Invitation to Dance". The singers and dancers on Adventure were fantastic! One noticeable difference between this cruise and last April on Freedom was the busyness of the theater. Last year it felt like you had to arrive 10-15 minutes early for every show just to find two seats together. This cruise, I don't think we ever saw the theater more than 75% full. Wonder if that has to do with the age demographics on the ship this time? The show was great! After that we finished up the night at one of our favorite on-board activities - the silent disco up in the Blue Moon Lounge followed by a late night pizza run.

It was a great first day at sea. Drink package is coming in handy! Grand Cayman tomorrow!

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15 hours ago, WannaCruise said:

So excited to see your blog as DH and I are trying Adventure (kid free) for first time in December.  We're the same and do NOT get internet so we can disconnect from the world ...it our (well my) one rule when on any cruise.

You will love it! Adventure looks great after the updates. If you have any questions about the ship, feel free to ask!

 

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Day 3 - Grand Cayman 

Day 3 was in GeorgeTown, Grand Cayman! Tendering process was extremely smooth. Started the morning with some Continental Breakfast Room Service on the balcony enjoying another wonderful sunrise.

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We grabbed some starbucks and headed to deck 1 right as the ship was being cleared and were one of the first tenders toward shore.

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Adventure was in port from 7am till 2pm, so a fairly early and quick stop. We decided to do some snorkeling. Once we got through the port area, we took a right and followed Church St for about 10 minutes. Eden Rock Dive Center is on your right, next to an aqua park.

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If you're looking to do some snorkeling on the Western Caribbean route, I couldn't recommend Eden Rock enough! They have all of the gear you will need, and let you rent it for a full 24 hours, so you're welcome to take the gear to other parts of the island as well if you want to. We rented masks, fins, and snorkel vests for 2 people and it cost us $33+tip. That also comes with a locker you can use, which is big enough to hold two backpacks. The staff at the dive shop were a great help. They also have other options for the day, including guided diving tours. If you have your own equipment, you're also welcome to use their back deck as a starting point for no charge.

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The coast is rocky next to the dive center, but they have several access ladders. There is a reef about 100 yards from shore where most of the good snorkeling happens. We saw so many fish and even an octopus!

We wrapped up snorkeling and headed back to the ship for lunch around noon. Adventure was so empty for several hours since last tender wasn't until 2pm! This was our first time experiencing an empty ship like this. It was fantastic! We left Grand Cayman around 2pm, but about an hour into our journey the Captain let us know we would be turning around for a medical emergency. After about an hour detour back to Grand Cayman, we were on our way to Costa Maya!

That night for dinner we decided to skip the MDR and try the windjammer for a change. We had never gone to the windjammer for dinner and I'm not sure that we would again. It was Mediterranean night, but the selections were pretty unimpressive. You also can't get escargot at the windjammer, so that's a deal breaker for us!

After dinner we headed to see Cool Art, Hot Ice. They had the ice show twice during this sailing, once on Day 3 and again on Day 6.

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The ice show was fantastic and these were some great skaters! After the show we headed to the Love and Marriage Game Show. Drew Devine was our CD for this cruise, and he also was our CD on Freedom last April. I think he does a great job letting the humor come from the couples instead of forcing it too much. The 50+ years of marriage couple ran away with the show and it wasn't even close. They got every question correct!

Costa Maya tomorrow!

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Day 4 - Costa Maya

Day 4 was in Costa Maya, Mexico. We decided to do an excursion to the Mayan Ruins through a 3rd party company - Native Choice. It was a great day! We weren't going to be in port today until noon, so we had the morning to enjoy the ship. We started the day with room service on the balcony. Then went for a run up on the track on deck 12. It was very windy as the captain was going quite fast trying to make up time from yesterday's medical emergency. After the run we went and played General Trivia in the Schooner Bar. 

At around 11:30, the captain gave the all clear, 30 minutes ahead of schedule, and we were docked in Costa Maya!


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Navigating Costa Maya for the first time was an EXPERIENCE. I think we may have gone the wrong way at first, but it felt like we were going in circles forever! Once we finally got out of the port, it was a quick 4 block walk to the Native Choice office, where we loaded up into different vans based on our tour group for the day and headed off.

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They had the larger group broken up into groups of 10-15 people. These groups were based on ship, so they could be sure to have you back on time. The small group size was a great way to see the Chacchoben Ruins. The whole tour lasts from about 12pm till 4pm. The drive to the ruins takes 50 minutes, you walk around the ruins for about 2 hours with a tour guide, and then head the 50 minutes back to port. While you have to talk to get to the office to leave, on the way back they drop you off right at the entrance to the port.

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It was very hot walking around the ruins, but you get free water bottles once you arrive and on the way home. Also, on the way back our guide had us stop at a local village to try to some fresh pineapple with cayenne pepper seasoning. It was delicious!

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After being dropped off at the port, we walked around for a little bit and were back on the ship to get ready for dinner around 5pm. 

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Tonight was Caribbean night. We had dinner in the MDR. Wife got sweet and sour tofu and I got beef bourguignon.

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Day 4 - Costa Maya (continued)

Accidentally posted before talking about post-dinner shenanigans! After dinner we went donated back our previous winnings to the casino, then headed to the Battle of the Sexes (won by the women) and then Crazy Quest!

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I had been a team member in the Crazy Quest before, but my wife had never seen it or participated. I wasn't planning on being a team captain but after no other guys in our section volunteered, I decided to step up and take one for the team...and guess what...

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WE WON!!

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After the win, we celebrated at the pool deck dance party and then headed off to sleep.

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Tomorrow is Cozumel and NACHI!

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