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tldslick

Freedom of the Seas July 14th ABC islands (not so live)

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This is my first ever attempt at a trip report and i wanted to share some of the highlights of our trip.  I have learned so much from Matt and others here that i attribute such a great cruise to you all and wish to say thank you.  This was our 4th cruise with Royal and a special one as it was our 20th Anniversary.   

It was Friday night and we are all packed and ready to leave for the airport first thing in the morning when the email comes in that our flights to San Juan are cancelled.  After hours on the phone with the airline we have another flight and we are on our way.  Another vote for always flying in the day before.

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After getting our luggage we got a taxi and headed off to Sheraton Old San Juan.  This hotel was beautiful and check in was fast and simple.

 

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View from the balcony room.

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After getting settled we decided to explore a little and hopefully find the forts and get dinner after a long travel day.

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After the forts we found Punto de Vista Rooftop Restaurant at the Hotel Milano and decided to give it a try.  We tried Mofongo for the first time.  I liked it very much but since it was my first time i can not compare it to anywhere else.  After dinner it was back to the hotel.  The plan was to cool off in the rooftop pool but we were both too tired and decided to turn in for the night.

Next up.....Embarkation Day!!

 

 

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Embarkation Day

After packing we walked next door to Walgreens to pick up some supplies and saw a Carnival ship had docked

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We checked out of the hotel at 10:00 am and grabbed a taxi to the port, it was a short drive with no traffic.  Checked out bags with the porters and headed inside with no lines.  We checked in at the desk and got our sea pass cards and walked right on the ship. 

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Went straight to Windjammers to grab lunch with a stop at Chops to make our reservations for the week as we had bought the 3 day special dining package.  

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If i ever lost my wife this was the first place i would go look.

After Lunch we explored the ship until the rooms were ready.

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We decided to grab a Jr Suite that Michelle from MEI had recommended as it was a hump cabin with a larger balcony.  It was beautiful and close to the elevators.

Later it was off to the muster drill and back to the room to unpack and change for dinner in the MDR.  Food was excellent and so were the waiters.  After dinner it was up the top decks to watch sail away.

Cruise Day

It was breakfast in Windjammers and spent all day in the Solarium.  When we do not take the kids with us this is what we look forward to the most.  The only negative of the week for us is there was signs that the Solarium was open noon til 8pm.  This was not the case on our previous cruises on Oasis.

Dinner was at Chops for our Anniversary dinner.  It was a perfect end to a great day as this is our favorite restaurant.  They brought us out a special desert and sang to us.

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Next up....Aruba

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Aruba

I woke up early and went to Windjammers to grab a light breakfast for both of us to take back to the room while my wife finished getting ready. 

I had decided months ago to try an excursion outside of RCI because of the long day in port.  It was scheduled to finish around 1:00 pm so that left me with plenty of time to get back the ship by 8:00 pm in case anything went wrong.  We wanted to try ABC tours as they offered Jeep tours and UTV tours.  Walked off the ship for the meeting point in side the terminal with a person holding a ABC tour sign.  She directed us to have a seat while we waited for others.  After 10 min we boarded the shuttle and we were on our way.

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Less than a 10 min drive we arrived and walked inside to check in.  We were assigned a tour guide (Joel) and the staff did a short safety meeting and then split up the groups for those going in the Jeep tour and those in the UTV tour.

abc1.thumb.jpg.815607d05af211485ae6f5740e8e4e9c.jpg

We were assigned a vehicle and did an inspection looking for any previous damage.  They all seemed relatively new and were in excellent condition.abc2.thumb.jpg.e0f6743fe061521dd4a20e0df3df14c5.jpg

They divided us into small groups among 3 tour guides .  Each guide seemed to have about 8 couples.  Joel spend several minutes with each us going over safety and operation and making sure everyone's harness was attached properly.  After the Jeep's pulled out he lined us up and off we went.

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It took us about 10-15 minutes to make our way out of town and and onto the trails to explore.  First stop was the Indian caves

abc4.thumb.jpg.eacc15df4533ac369db0beaaa9648e9e.jpg 

After a short time exploring the caves he took us to the highest peak

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You can see the Ship in the distance.

abc6.thumb.jpg.9da9ce156755f3f1c7f95d5772606a7d.jpg

He took us to Arikok Natural Park and the Natural Pool to swim and cool off.  He provided the snorkel equipment.  At every stop he also had water for everyone.

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At the shop they did sell goggles and bandannas, but we had brought our own.  I would say we only felt the need to wear them less than half the time, only when the wind kicked up.

We arrived back at the shop around 1:00 pm and Joel loaded our group on a shuttle and dropped the other couples back at the resorts where they were staying.  We were the only ones from the ship in our group and he dropped us off last.  It was a great excursion and Joel was an excellent guide.  

We went back to the room to shower and change and grabbed a bite to eat and back off the ship to do a little shopping.

Next up....Curacao 

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On 8/14/2019 at 9:22 AM, tldslick said:

Aruba

I woke up early and went to Windjammers to grab a light breakfast for both of us to take back to the room while my wife finished getting ready. 

I had decided months ago to try an excursion outside of RCI because of the long day in port.  It was scheduled to finish around 1:00 pm so that left me with plenty of time to get back the ship by 8:00 pm in case anything went wrong.  We wanted to try ABC tours as they offered Jeep tours and UTV tours.  Walked off the ship for the meeting point in side the terminal with a person holding a ABC tour sign.  She directed us to have a seat while we waited for others.  After 10 min we boarded the shuttle and we were on our way.

abc.thumb.jpg.9c9e184e5a9803bf510c0af7cbdcd33f.jpg

Less than a 10 min drive we arrived and walked inside to check in.  We were assigned a tour guide (Joel) and the staff did a short safety meeting and then split up the groups for those going in the Jeep tour and those in the UTV tour.

abc1.thumb.jpg.815607d05af211485ae6f5740e8e4e9c.jpg

We were assigned a vehicle and did an inspection looking for any previous damage.  They all seemed relatively new and were in excellent condition.abc2.thumb.jpg.e0f6743fe061521dd4a20e0df3df14c5.jpg

They divided us into small groups among 3 tour guides .  Each guide seemed to have about 8 couples.  Joel spend several minutes with each us going over safety and operation and making sure everyone's harness was attached properly.  After the Jeep's pulled out he lined us up and off we went.

abc4.thumb.jpg.eacc15df4533ac369db0beaaa9648e9e.jpg

It took us about 10-15 minutes to make our way out of town and and onto the trails to explore.  First stop was the Indian caves

abc4.thumb.jpg.eacc15df4533ac369db0beaaa9648e9e.jpg 

After a short time exploring the caves he took us to the highest peak

abc5.thumb.jpg.c8bce25e0b7b364b79740b8025be1e9d.jpg

You can see the Ship in the distance.

abc6.thumb.jpg.9da9ce156755f3f1c7f95d5772606a7d.jpg

He took us to Arikok Natural Park and the Natural Pool to swim and cool off.  He provided the snorkel equipment.  At every stop he also had water for everyone.

abc3.thumb.jpg.1c800b771045b2429835872f5f98649e.jpg

At the shop they did sell goggles and bandannas, but we had brought our own.  I would say we only felt the need to wear them less than half the time, only when the wind kicked up.

We arrived back at the shop around 1:00 pm and Joel loaded our group on a shuttle and dropped the other couples back at the resorts where they were staying.  We were the only ones from the ship in our group and he dropped us off last.  It was a great excursion and Joel was an excellent guide.  

We went back to the room to shower and change and grabbed a bite to eat and back off the ship to do a little shopping.

Next up....Curacao 

Anxious to hear about the rest of the trip!  Taking this itinerary next year and trying to plan excursions!

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