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HI there!  I'm sailing on Adventure out of San Juan on Saturday, stopping in St Thomas, St Kitts, Curacao & Aruba. I'm kind of silent member, I listen to all of Matt's podcasts, and peruse the blog and forums quite a bit, but dont speak out too much.  :) I've learned so much here and would love to help pay it back and help contribute. I'll possibly blog here each day, if there is anything  you want to know, feel free to post here and I'll see how I can help.  **5 days and 23 hours, but who is counting?!**

 

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It's Almost Time!

We are just about packed and I'm giddy with excitement! We'll take a red-eye flight Friday night, with a layover in Charlotte, and arrive Saturday morning in San Juan.  From the airport, we''ll take a taxi straight to the ship and get the fun started. Think they would let me stop to get some bottled water on the way? Normally, I would prefer to arrive the day before and explore San Juan more, but given the uncertainty of power and hotel arrangements post-hurricane, my travel agent advised us to fly in the morning of.  Plane tickets were tough for this itinerary.  They just did not budge in price, and there weren't many options to choose from, as opposed to when we flew there in 2017. Perhaps its a result of traveling post hurricane?   I'm definitely curious to see San Juan now.  If we're not too exhausted maybe we'll take an extended ride to the ship.

the "Why"

We  chose this cruise based mostly on 2 criteria:  1) The kids wanted waterslides. 2) The adults wanted a new itinerary.  Adventure was a perfect fit.  We sailed Allure last Spring Break, and although impressed with its shows and amenities, we found ourselves wanting a smaller ship this time.   I reserved this trip last May and enjoyed watching the prices change for this itinerary.  We originally booked inside promenade rooms for something new, then changed to Family Ocean View and later balconies.  The prices dropped so low I couldn't pass on the balconies. Again, I think the hurricane had something to do with that.  

We choose cruising to escape the long, cold winters and to travel gluten-free without having to forage for food at each meal (3 of us have celiac disease).  My older kids find it more difficult to miss school for a week so we are forced to travel during the school breaks- which leads us to this Spring Break week.

Our Plans

On board: Were reserved a few internet pkgs, a soda package, and BOGO Dining package for the first two nights and first seating in the main dining room the rest of the trip. 

In Port:  St. Thomas:  still deciding, but plan to go off on our own.  St. Kitts: Royal's Kayak & Snorkel Adventure.  Curacao: exploring on our own  Aruba: Royal's Crazy Red Bus Beach excursion, not the real name, but it's what I can remember right now :8_laughing:.  I'm wondering if its the same excursion Matt & the group cruise took and seemed to really enjoy?  

Well, back to packing. Maybe someday I"ll find a way to streamline it. In the meantime, I'm hoping all the storms have passed and we are in for some sunshine!  See you Saturday or Sunday!

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7 hours ago, enjoylife5 said:

 Aruba: Royal's Crazy Red Bus Beach excursion, not the real name, but it's what I can remember right now :8_laughing:.  I'm wondering if its the same excursion Matt & the group cruise took and seemed to really enjoy?  

Here's  @Matt's live blog from their Navigator 17 GC, it does look like the same excursion :) 

Have a great trip, I cannot wait to follow along! I am very interested to see how you and your family enjoy the MDR as I will be onboard Adventure toward the end of the year.

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15 hours ago, enjoylife5 said:

 Aruba: Royal's Crazy Red Bus Beach excursion, not the real name, but it's what I can remember right now :8_laughing:.  I'm wondering if its the same excursion Matt & the group cruise took and seemed to really enjoy?

Here's the full review: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2017/04/17/excursion-focus-kukoo-kunuku-palm-beach-tour-aruba

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Embarkation Day: 

We made it! (Is anyone just a little bit sad when you no longer have a countdown?)We arrived by taxi to the ship about 1:20. The taxi from the airport  cost us $31 for 6 people and luggage. The baggage lines were the longest, but after baggage,  we quickly moved through the other stations for boarding. Overall, it took us 40 minutes from curb to ship. One advantage of arriving that late was that our rooms were ready. We went straight to our rooms, unloaded a little and then grabbed lunch at the Windjammer. It did not disappoint and crowd level was minimal. Awesome! 

 

Despite being super excited to board, we headed to the rooms for naps. We were beat from our red-eye and feeling the extra crowds at all airports and venues we encountered today. 

 

I was excited to see our rooms had been renovated with new carpet, bedding and draperies. Its a nice modern touch. The bathrooms and cabinetry are the same as before. We love dividing into girl rooms and boy rooms. It makes it easier to share our girly supplies and the boys have fun with March Madness. This is our first time staying in connecting rooms. My current observation is that walls are thinner 😬 and we get a chair instead of a sofa. We'll see how that goes, but it is nice going back and forth between rooms more easily. 

 

Dinner tonight was part of the BOGO deal at Chops (FYI The Izumi was offering 50% off the first two nights while we were boarding). We had a great meal and all of our steaks were delicious. Other than dessert, we had plenty of GF options. Sorbet/ice cream were the only gf options. No one left hungry!  We also found GF Udis cookies behind the counter at the park cafe and a possible chocolate mousse type dessert.

We ended the evening with the Welcome Aboard Show starring Mercedes as Cruise Director,  and comedian Angelo Tsarouchas. We really enjoyed it. Comedians are probably our favorite entertainment while cruising. 

In case you were wondering, the ship offered some St Patrick's Day activities in the pub and we noticed a few green treats throughout the ship. 

 

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On 3/16/2018 at 9:12 AM, accio7 said:

Have a great trip, I cannot wait to follow along! I am very interested to see how you and your family enjoy the MDR as I will be onboard Adventure toward the end of the year.

We ate entirely in the MDR on our AD cruise in February, and we were quite happy with it! Food was always hot and I don't think anyone at our table had a complaint about their meal. Keep an eye out for the Grand Marnier souffle - almost everyone's favorite dessert!

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Launch the bot (known as Twangster 1.0) to search for our missing blogger. Please Matt, do Not upgrade bot to 2.0 version, as that version encountered several error know to be elusive and uncontrollable while in incognito mode. Random sightings of said bot were on Liberty, Allure, Independence....agh the list is too long to cover here! Not to mention the cost for an upgrade would be astronomically high...like Pinnacle high level.

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DAY 2

St Thomas:  We intended to attend a local church service (something we’ve always thought would be interesting to do in port), ride up to Paradise Point and visit Magen’s Bay today, BUT we overslept so late we even missed breakfast! So for plan B we grabbed a slice of pizza and found a taxi to take us to Magen’s Bay for a few hours.  

 

The taxi cost $10 each way per person. Magen’s Bay charged $5/person.Twelve and under are free. The ride itself was quite scenic and high so that somewhat made up for missing Paradise Point. It turns out Paradise Point tram was closed today even though they emailed me they would be open.

 I was excited to see  Magen’s Bay was hardly crowded since there was only one ship in port today. The water was so beautiful and turquoise blue. There was a lot of broken , chunky coral in the sand and water , so I would advise bringing water shoes or playing in the area near bath house 4.  That beach area is more soft and smooth. We decided Magen’s Bay is great place for families since the water is so calm and shallow. 

 

We ate at Giovanni’s tonight.  I tried something new and stopped in this afternoon to inform them about eating gluten free. They said it’s helpful, and  I noticed our food and bread tonight came more quickly than last night so maybe it sped the process up for us. The food was delicious and our server surprised up with a yummy risotto dish he had the chef make especially just for us. It hit the spot. It was so creamy and flavorful.   

 

Nothing jumped out at us for entertainment tonight, so we retired to the room for more March Madness and to get ready for our early excursion tomorrow. 

 

 

 

 

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Day 3: St Kitts

Today our RCL Kayaking/Snorkel Adventure left at 8:30 am. We met just outside the ship and loaded in a van for a short drive through town, the airport, Timothy Hill and to Friar's Bay. We received a short tutorial on kayaking and kayaked towards a floating dock. There we switched into snorkel gear and spent probably an 45 minutes or so snorkeling around. The water was a little murky from the last storm,  but there was still much sea life to be seen. Our guides were lively yet professional and I thought they did a great job with our group. They even offered to take a girl in the water who didn't know how to swim. She did great! After snorkeling, we got back in the kayaks and headed towards Frigate Beach where we exited the water and returned the kayaks. We could either return back to ship with the tour buses or stay at the beach and take a taxi back later. We opted to stay and enjoyed ourselves at the beach. The weather was hot and the water just right. They had fun music playing and bars and food available for purchase . Two chairs and an umbrella cost us $15. The taxi back was $3/person if you have a group. 

The rest of the afternoon we spent shopping , eating at the Windjammer and relaxing to the live Caribbean music by the pool. I love that live music in the afternoon!

 

Dinner tonight was our first in the main dining room for this trip.  We always enjoy the main dining room and look forward to it. Tonight, I noticed they offered the new menu that people have been buzzing about. I was really disappointed to find only 1 GF appetizer and 1 GF entree--shrimp cocktail & chicken breast and a baked potato. I know I can't be picky,  but on the old menu I was always able to find two or three options of each. The food was definitely served more quickly and we didn't spend much time waiting. Our gluten eating members seemed happy with their meals and options. Tomorrow's menu offered the same chicken breast for dinner, but the head waiter offered to see if they could make something else off of the menu for us, so we'll see that goes.

 

Entertainment in the main theater was a Spanish gentleman who did a combo act of guitar, comedy and swirling these ball type things 😊I have no idea what they were called. He was pretty funny and his skills were impressive. He also incorporated the orchestra into his act. Adult comedy and a game show were also on the schedule for later, but we called it a night after being in the sun. I'm saving the Cruise Compasses to send to Matt. I'm writing from an iPad while kids are asleep, so I apologize for not being able to interact more or be more detailed. Here are some pictures from today. I'm looking forward to a Sea Day tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

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