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Caterin Fox

Just back from Adventure 6 night (21/10/18)

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I had intended to do a semi-live review of the cruise but decided against due to ropey voom and time constraints of travelling with a 10 year old. I’m also aware that there was another live blog of the same cruise but it’s always nice to see things from two perspectives. 

This is my first review on here but I took so much good info prior to this cruise that I want to give a little back. I had had a 2.5 year break from cruising due to moving house and other reasons so felt a bit out of touch. 

So... the contents of this review may not be relevant to everyone as I travel alone with my 10 year old son. No drinks package (but we did the three night dining package), no late nights and not too much partying but lots of family fun. On this cruise we were meeting my parents on board as they had just taken the snowbird migration prior. 

This is our itinerary -

Thursday 18th October - Fly London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale with British Airways. Stay three nights in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea at Plunge Beach Hotel  

Sunday 21st October - Embark Adventure of the Seas

Monday 22nd October - At Sea 

Tuesday 23rd October - Grand Cayman (tender)

Wednesday 24th October - Costa Maya

Thursday 25th October - Cozumel 

Friday 26th October - At Sea

Saturday 27th October - Disembark and return flight to London Gatwick. 

A brief bit about our pre-cruise ... I rented a car from Thrifty (compact - Toyota Yaris) which did the two of us just fine to get to our hotel and an afternoon trip to sawgrass mills. I drive an automatic at home but stick shift (manual) is still very much the norm in the UK and there was a very confused family in the next row to us so UK travellers beware that almost all rentals in the US are automatic transmission. We collected and returned at the airport for ease and I used the Google Maps app on my phone rather than renting a GPS. It worked well and my roaming package was capped at 140 mins, 100 texts but unlimited data for £4.99 per day with my provider, O2. Next time, I’ll make sure and pack a screen mount bracket for my phone.  

Our hotel, Plunge Beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, was just perfect. A beach from property with a well kept pool area and a lovely beach bar. It is directly across from a Publix (fantastic supermarket - need this in the UK!) so we were able to buy several meals including breakfast every day here and keep costs down. It become our morning routine to hit Publix at 7am then eat breakfast on the beach watching the sunrise  

There is a resort charge of $30 a day at Plunge but I felt this was great value As it included valet, bike hire, use of beach loungers, umbrellas and games/toys. 

 

 

 

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We took a taxi from the airport to Port Everglades after returning the rental car, $23 and it took about 15 mins. We arrived at the port at about 9.30am and queues outside until 10am or thereabouts when checkin was opened. 

We are Diamond Plus so used the priority lane and holding areas. All in all, we were on board just before 11am where were we greeted by my parents on deck 4. As with most cruises we had travelled light (1 x 11kg case, 1 x 13kg case) so chose to take our luggage on ourselves knowing we could store it in my parents stateroom. 

We had been able to switch to 7390, a beautiful aft balcony, during the booking process. Having had lots of aft cabins before, this would be my son’s preferred choice every time even though it is described as ‘obstructed view’, the two loungers make it worth it for me whereas he loves the view of the wake. We have had everything from an inside to an owners suite over the years, very much depends on what’s about in the price bracket at the time thought recently I’ve been taking a snow sports winter holiday so that has curtailed our cruise budget. We haven’t cruised in a suite since Jacob started school and we have been bound by school holidays - if we cruise from the US, kids there may be in school making cruise fares lower however we get hammered on the air fare from the UK so it’s a case of balancing the whole thing. 

We spent the first day by the pool, quick lunch in the Windjammer and an afternoon ice cream. That evening we had chops booked for 8pm. In advance, Royal had linked mine and my parents reservations for dining so when we all booked the 3 night dining package online in advance we were seated together. In reality, the 8pm slot was too late for Jacob but it was all we could get. After a conversation with Royal and an exchange of email, I knew that I had to visit Chops on embarkation day to get one of our two dining packages credited as there would be no charge for Jacob. I’d had to pay for two booking on line before the cruise though as it didn’t recognise him as a child for that purpose. This was easily done and the refund went towards our gratuities which i’d Elected to pay onboard. Quick trip to adventure ocean had Jacob registered for the cruise just in case and he got a lanyard for his Sea pass.

Our cabin steward was friendly, greeting us just after 4pm when we transferred our luggage. Everything we needed was done quickly and to a good standard.

The evening routine was the same every night for us, we met my parents in the Diamond lounge or Viking Crown At 6.30 ish and then took dinner at 7.30/8. I’d checked in advance that Jacob would be allowed in the lounge as on some ships, the policy is 18 and over during cocktail hours but on adventure with this concierge, it was fine. 

In Chops, Jacob had mushroom soup and then just some of the shared side dishes. I had tuna to start then the goats cheese started as my main along with mash, asparagus few other bits. We retired before desert as we were both still a little jet lagged and ready for a good sleep.  

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