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Live blogging from Adventure of the Seas – Day 4 – Costa Maya

In:
25 Oct 2018

Today was our second port of call in Costa Maya, Mexico.  We didn’t arrived until 11AM, so we had a nice relaxing morning on board.  We ended up just eating breakfast in the Diamond Lounge.  They had small items to snack on, which is fine for me but no bacon in the lounge. 

Adventure ended up docking at 10:30AM, so we were off the ship a little sooner than planned.  The departure process this morning was very easy, they had the line moving it was almost like the crew had done this before!

Prior to the cruise I booked an all-inclusive beach resort called Maya Chan.  The cost for this beach day was $59 per person. 

When you make the reservation you pay in full on line, which I liked having it “paid” for, meaning less cash needed.  The cover charge included open bar, open taco bar, transportation to and from, and beach chairs.  You just can’t beat that price; the only money I spent today was to tip when you leave. 

Getting to Maya Chan was an experience needless to say; they have a sign outside the gates down to the right to check-in.  They waited until we had 25-30 guests and called 3 taxi’s to take us. 

The ride to the beach is around a half hour and let me tell you that was quite an experience.  You travel on a dirt road for about half the time full of potholes, we were all laughing in the taxi, where are we going? 

Once you arrive they give you quick tour of the grounds and explain how the day is going to work.  I must say, everything was truly included even all the water toys!  Since we arrived around to the beach around noon we waited to have lunch later in the afternoon. 

I really liked the selection of beers they offered, and when I tell you they keep them coming they would swim out to you in the ocean to make sure you have a drink.  I liked how the beach was owned by a small family from Southern California, in fact I talked to the owner for a half hour at the bar. 

For lunch they have a taco bar, I waited until around 2PM to eat.  They had four different meats and endless toppings.  I thought the food was fantastic; the fish taco was my favorite.  It’s an open taco bar, so you can have as many as you want – aka Matt would be in trouble. 

If I had to give any negative feedback on Maya Chan it would be the seaweed.  They had a crew of 5-6 guys cleaning the beach the entire day, but it just kept coming.  The smell was a little strong at first when we arrived.  I would also recommend water shoes if you plan on getting in the water.

Since we had Chef’s Table at 6PM we needed to leave Maya Chan at a decent hour to get cleaned up.  They have someone coming around asking what time you want to leave, so they can schedule a taxi for you. Remember they pay for taxis too, so it was a seamless process. 

Evening on board

My only activity to report tonight was Chef’s Table.  We had so much fun the first night almost the same group booked again for tonight.  We did receive the 40% off discount tonight; otherwise I wouldn’t have gone again.  I also think $50 per person for a 6-course meal and wine when we don’t have a drink package is a great deal. 

The chef knew we were coming so he changed up the menu, so we could all have a different experience.  Once again we met in the Champagne Lounge at 6PM and our waiter greeted us with some champagne, but this time it was blue!

The food tonight was all about the chef trying knew things and some of them were really good.  We had a seafood soup that I loved, also lobster in a martini glass.  For the main course I had duck, they were also offering scallops.  Tonight they were pouring us more wine as we finished, now that’s more my style! 

Again the dinner was around 3 hours and full of laughing and making new friends.  I’m really happy we decided to go back, now that Hillary has experienced Chef’s Table I might be in trouble every cruise now. 

After dinner we were out of energy, between drinking all day on the beach and for hours at dinner my body had enough.  I think we were out by 10PM, but we were okay with that it was a really fun day.  We did miss the ice show tonight because of dinner, so I hope they have it again.  Today I didn’t purchase any drinks on board, so official bar tab for the day was $0.00, running total $110. 

Tomorrow we are in Cozumel, Mexico; if you read my live blogs in the past you can probably guess where I’m headed. 

Live blogging from Adventure of the Seas – Day 3 – Grand Cayman

In:
24 Oct 2018

Today was our first port of call, Grand Cayman.  The captain decided to switch us to local time, so we fell back to central time zone.  I didn’t mind the extra hour of sleep this morning.  We were in port from 7AM to 3PM, so it wasn’t a very long day, but still plenty of time to explore. 

We started our morning with a quick bite to eat at Café Promenade. They had breakfast sandwiches and burrito’s, reminds me of Park Café breakfast on other ships.  I really enjoyed the egg burrito and fruit cup. 

Since Grand Cayman doesn’t have a pier you must tender over to the island, same process as you do in Coco Cay.  However, they were handing out tickets to get off the ship to help with the traffic flow.  I was up in the diamond lounge and the concierge was able to hand out tickets.  Otherwise you just pick them up on deck 5 in the promenade.  They then call ticket numbers to proceed to exit the ship.  This reminded me how they call numbers to debark on the last day. 

We left the ship at 9AM so the numbers had all been called.  It did take us 15 minutes in line for a tender to arrive to the ship, I guess we just missed it.  Once we boarded the tender boat they wait until it’s full to leave.  Not a huge deal but the whole process from ship to shore was about 45 minutes all-in.    

No real plans today so we jumped into a taxi to the Royal Palms.  If you read my Brilliance live blog in March I also went here.  Today we only had two ships in port so the Royal Palms was very calm.  It’s $5 per person for the taxi and $2 per person to enter.  The $2 entry fee covers the restrooms and chairs around the bar/pool.  If you want beach loungers they are $12 each. 

We grabbed a bucket of beers ($25) and went swimming in the pool most of the morning.  In the past, they have had a DJ playing music but today was a much different experience.  At noon we left to meet some on board friends for lunch. 

 

The restaurant was called Paradise Grill (green roof) all the way to the right when you exit the terminal.  The views during lunch were really nice with the ships in the background.  You could also go snorkeling here, I can report seeing many baby sharks in the water!

On board

After waking up from a much needed 3 hour nap, I decided to go visit the schooner bar.  Since it’s on deck 4 I hadn’t spent much time here.  When I arrived they were playing trivia and it was so packed, but right when it ended the place cleared out.  They also had some live music going so that was nice to enjoy with my cocktail.  I was using my 3 diamond coupons at schooner.  Note if you are looking for straws you are out of luck on Adventure. 

Tonight was the Top Tier Event at 7PM I didn’t attend but I was able to get the Crown and Anchor numbers on board: 883 Gold, 249 Platinum, 131 Emerald, 251 Diamond, 198 Diamond Plus, 33 Pinnacles. 

Speaking of C&A, the Diamond lounge has been packed every night. In fact, I’ve yet to find a seat inside the lounge.  They are doing some overflow out in the Viking Crown area, which is fine.  However, all the food is in the lounge so I’ll go in to grab some snacks and head back out. 

Since we have had two big dinners the previous nights we wanted something just simple tonight.  We decided on having pizza at Sorrento’s on the promenade deck.  They had cheese, peperoni and veggie.  I’m happy to report the pizza has greatly improved since I was last on a cruise.  Seems like they are using a lot more cheese and improved quality. 

We did attend the headliner show at 9PM in the theater.  They had a comedy / musician show.  I was like now this sounds interesting, and needless to say it was.  I laughed a few times and he got the crowd very involved with the show.  It wasn’t more than 45 minutes long, so I’m happy we went. 

Tonight was the 70’s disco party on the promenade deck at 10PM.  We went for a while but it wasn’t the full-blown out 70’s party like I’ve seen on Oasis class ships.  They had a man and a female on the bridge dancing and singing, however no costumes.  Also sorry ladies, no muscle man running around with his shirt off. 

After the party we headed up to the disco party on deck 14.  We danced for a while and ordered some drinks.   Hillary got a martini $12 and I had two kraken and diet $8 each.  So that brings our daily drink total to $30 for the day and $110 for the cruise.  We are also filling up some wine glasses in our room to go out, which has also helped with no drink package. 

Well that’s a wrap on day three in Grand Cayman.  Tomorrow we are headed to Costa Maya and I’m trying something for the first time, so stay tuned!

Live blogging from Adventure of the Seas – Day 2 – Sea Day

In:
23 Oct 2018

Today was our first sea day, it’s really our first full day on board Adventure of the Seas.   We actually started the morning with a quick jog on the top deck.  With all that food last night at Chef’s Table we thought it would be a good idea to start the day burning some calories.  For those wondering it’s 8 laps for every mile. 

Last night we put the room service card outside our door for this morning for 9am.  We were back to the room by 8:30am, so what better way to kill time than open some Champagne.  I grabbed some orange juice from the windjammer after our workout and make some mimosas to enjoy out on our balcony. 

Our breakfast was nothing to get excited about since we went for the free options.  If you are looking for eggs and bacon they will charge you $7.95 for room service.  We ordered yogurt, fruit and bread that are included at no charge. 

We had some liquid sunshine moving in, so we took to the solarium hot tub.  It was a little after 10AM before we made it to the pool deck and we still saw plenty of pool chairs open.  Not a lot to report from other than relaxing bubbles in the hot tub. 

Around 11:45AM I decided we should go get some lunch.  Try to get an early lunch if you can the Windjammer can get very busy around 12:30-1:30PM.  We had no problem getting a table and service was also good offering us drinks.  I went with a little bit of everything, it’s “research” right?  The food was fine for lunch, nothing special but I did really enjoy the grilled fish.  

Afternoon on board

After lunch I saw the World’s Sexy Man contest happening on the pool deck.  This is when I noticed how busy the pool deck was.  My fiancé wanted to go swimming but the main pool was a little too busy.  So back to the solarium we went and guess what, it was even more packed!  Glad we got our swim time in early because I decided to call it a day on the pool deck.

Something about an afternoon beer I love at the pub on sea days.  I had two beers and enjoyed some time talking to my friend Paul on aboard.  We talked about how we love the cruising community and all the friends we have made over the years.

To report on paying for drinks without a drink package, yesterday we spent around $50.  Today we spent $34, so we are still under the $600 for the drink package.  Let’s see how we finish up. 

At some point this afternoon I wondered up to the helicopter-landing pad all the way forward.  It’s the first time I can remember going to the front without any wind.  The seas were as calm as they could be.  I joked; we should just lay out up here! 

Evening on board

Tonight was formal night, but by the looks of it I’d say it looked like smart casual.  Very few people were dressed up, mostly pants and a button down shirt without a tie.  Not a big deal as far as how you enjoy the cruise, but seems like formal is going away. 

Dinner tonight was in Giovanni’s Table at 7:30pm.  We had our friend Paul join us for dinner.  Hillary and I used our Diamond Plus Bogo coupon to cover the meal and it was $33 for the two of us.  Since it was formal night it was extremely busy, but I didn’t think our service suffered any from it. 

We ordered some pasta as a starter, why not you are on vacation.  Hillary ordered the cheese and meat plate, but they made it smaller since it was just for one.  Though it was big enough for our whole table to share.  The dinner was a lot of fun and we just laughed and enjoyed some good wine.   I would say Giovanni’s is my favorite restaurant in the fleet, you know it’s always going to be amazing. 

After dinner we headed up to the silent disco party at 11PM.  I didn’t take my camera with me, but it was a lot of fun. The room is totally silent but you are wearing headphones listening to music dancing.  We made it until midnight and called it a night. 

 

Live blogging from Adventure of the Seas – Day 1 – Embarkation Day

In:
22 Oct 2018

My long-awaited cruise has finally arrived; words can’t describe the day one excitement.  Of course, I woke up well before I wanted to, just lying in bed watching time tick-tock. 

Pre – Cruise

I mentioned I booked the Spring Hill Suites by Marriott.  I stayed at the location right beside the airport.  The hotel was fine for one night, but it was extremely dated, even a pink bathroom door.  Since I didn’t arrive until 11pm, I just needed a place to sleep but I don’t recommend this hotel for pre-cruise.  They have two very nice Hyatt’s right behind it around the same price point. 

The morning of the cruise we went to one of my favorite spots for breakfast called Roberts.  I was surprised to see we could walk only being 0.4miles away.  It’s nothing fancy, but great food and not very expensive. 

After breakfast we showered up and headed to Publix to get our wine to carry on board.  Royal Caribbean let’s you bring two 750ml of wine per cabin on board. Since we don’t have a drink package I knew I wanted to take advantage of carrying some on. 

From our hotel to Publix and the cruise terminal in our Uber XL was $30.  We didn’t need an XL but I wanted more space and it worked out we got a very nice luxury SUV.  If we did a standard Uber X it would have been around $18. 

Boarding

We arrived to the ship around 11:15am, I know according to Matt we were two hours late!  Since Allure of the Seas was in port today, Adventure was down terminal 29.  It’s rather old but really no issues to report.  When we pulled up they had porters in the parking lot ready to take our bags. 

Since we arrived a little later than normal they were already boarding.  We used our set sail pass to board the ship; our sea pass cards were in the cabin.  I wish I had used the app to check in, so I could have reported how that went vs set sail. 

On board

Once on board we headed down the Champagne bar for our first drinks of the cruise.  I can report that they didn’t have any Stella at this bar, but oh well.  We met some new friends right away and enjoyed a few drinks.  Once thing I’ve noticed is most of the crew just started their contract.  It was little confusing for a few minor things like using Crown and Anchor BOGO coupon with setsail pass. 

I wanted to make reservations for dinner and found the tables set up on the Promenade deck.  They were offering 40% off Chef’s Table and who could say no to that?  We also schedule dinner tomorrow night at Giovanni’s Table with our good friend Paul Crow. 

Cabin

A few minutes before 1PM our cabins were open.  I booked a deck 6 ocean balcony right by the aft stairs.  But I think I’ve learned a lesson the balcony cabin’s on deck 6 on Adventure don’t have the glass to see through.  Not a big deal, but if you are going to spend a lot of time on the balcony I recommend deck 7 or higher.  We are in cabin 6332. 

I found our bags right down the hall and we got unpacked right away.  That’s a good tip; once you get in the cabin if you usually just walk down the hall you will see all the luggage.  I like to be unpacked right away to start my fun on board.

Afternoon on board

Since we were all unpacked we wanted to take advantage of the pools being so empty on day one.  The pools were very cold, I’m thinking since Adventure just came down from Canada.  We didn’t stay more than an hour but it was relaxing and I was officially in cruise mode!

We had the muster drill at 4:30PM, I was lucky enough to get the dining room as my location.  They still have guest stand on the outside decks I just randomly got the dining room.  It was very fast and only read out in English; sometimes the dual languages can slow it down. 

Chef’s Table

Dinner tonight was at Chef’s Table, this is $85 per person that includes wine pairing over a five-course meal.  I recommend you book this on board and not in the cruise planner for discounts.  They were offering 40% off for guest going night one, so I couldn’t turn that down.  The table had 16 guest and one 1 couple booked online and paid $85pp. 

We had an invite in our cabin to meet down at the Champagne bar at 6:15PM.  We started the meal with a glass of champagne meeting our tablemates.  Around 6:45PM you head to the table, which on Adventure is in the dining room. 

The meal itself started out kind of slow as far as conversation.  Funny how a few glasses of wine really gets the group going.  They talked about the wine tasting matching the food flavors.  Just going off the food itself the meal was top notch, far better than Chops Grill. 

We had scallops, tomato soup, lobster, filet, and cake – all with a wine pairing.  Not that this matters too much, but they weren’t refilling wine pours if you really liked one, it was just one glass of each.  The main course came out with Caymus wine, which is my favorite! 

 

The meal last a little over 3 hours when you count the pre-champagne meet up.  They were offering guest to come back during the cruise for a different menu, so who knows we might return. 

 

After dinner we made our donation to Royal Caribbean in the casino.  We manage to make it until 11pm but called it a night.  Day 1 is also so action packed so we ended up calling it a night.  It was a really fun day, tomorrow will be much slower pace with a day at sea! Feel free to comment below with any questions about Adventure.

Live blogging from Adventure of the Seas – Preamble

In:
18 Oct 2018

It seems like it’s been forever since my last live blog, which just so happens to have been on Adventure of the Seas back in May.  Feel free to read that one to hold you over until cruise day!  I did cruise last month on Mariner of the Seas, but decided to take a break on the live blogs since it was my engagement cruise. But I couldn't be happier to be back to take you on my next Adventure! 

Why I chose this cruise

Like most of my cruises, price-point is usually a major factor when I book a cruise.  This one is actually a funny story; I had originally booked Explorer of the Seasout of Seattle.  The more I thought of it, I just wasn’t too excited to fly across country for a cruise to down the West Coast.

I came across this 6-night Western Caribbean sailing for an incredible price in my home state of Florida.  Historically, the 6-night sailings are not as popular as the 7/8 nights.   Fast-forward six months, I received a work promotion and now live in California.  So, flying across country I go!   

Our itinerary

This is a six-night cruise leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Sunday the 21st.  We are sailing to Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, and Cozumel.  My fiancé has not been to two of the ports, so I’m excited to share new experiences with her!

We also have two sea days, one of the front-end and back-end of the cruise.  I’ll give you a little spoiler, I’m missing the beach a lot leaving Florida, so I plan on taking advantage of some ocean time!

Plans onboard

Since this cruise has three port days in a row and we will be off the ship the whole time, I’ve decided to pass on the drink package.  I know what you must be thinking, "who is this guy now…" No drink package! I’ve ordered some champagne for the room, and we will carry a few bottles on as well.  The Crown and Anchor Society Diamond benefits will also be a big bonus for the evening cocktail.  I will let you know each day what our bar tab looks like versus if we had the drink package. 

 

For dinner plans, we have a few friends on this sailing from previous sailings that will join us night one at Giovanni's Table.  We are also interested in trying Chef’s Table this cruise. I think it’s a perfect time to try it since we are team no drink package. 

Pre Cruise

I mentioned I live in Southern California now, so Saturday I’ll spend the whole day traveling.  Last month it took around 12 hours from house to hotel in Florida, so I’m sure Saturday will be no different.  I have a two-hour drive to LAX airport, and you never know what kind of traffic you could run into. 

I booked the Spring Hill Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port hotel.  I do not land until 10:30pm, so I wanted something close to the airport that was not very expensive.  This hotel was around $175, so I’ll let you know how that goes. 

The morning of the cruise, we are going to breakfast and pick up some wine to carry on board.  With the 3-hour time change, we will also sleep in a little too.  I will more than likely wake up to a text from Matt saying, “it’s cruise day! Get up!” 

Wrap up

This is my final cruise of the year so I hope to make the most of it each day.  I will be posting my live blog daily with photos, so feel free to jump in and comment below.  If you have Instagram or Periscope, I’ll be sharing content on those platforms as well!  

Live blogging from Adventure of the Seas – Day 5 – Sea Day

In:
10 May 2018

Today was our final sea day as we close in on New Jersey.  I could tell we were getting closer because the temperature was dropping a lot.  It was different for me to be on a cruise ship in cold weather.  We ran into a lot of fog and the Captain was blowing the horn every two minutes.  He came on to explain what was happening, and the horn was going off for many hours.  

We had arranged a cabin crawl for noon today, ranging from ocean views all the way up to the Royal Suite.  If you ever do a group cruise I recommend putting together a little cabin crawl, so you can see all the different cabin types. 

I was friends with the people in the Royal Suite, so I actually just stayed in that cabin during the whole crawl. 

After the crawl we had a small group play trivia in the Schooner Bar.  I’ve never had a cruise before with this much trivia, but I really enjoyed it.  It seem like they had different types every hour almost, we ended up staying here for a few hours playing. 

We had another mini suite party in Ken’s Grand Suite to finish off all the champagne bottles we won at Quest.  It was a lot of fun using the suite so often, thought to myself I should book a suite sometime. 

For dinner tonight we headed back to Giovanni’s Table.  They offered us 20% off to come back and we wanted to do something for the last night, so why not.  The service was outstanding; the food was great again family style.  I thought they did a great job on the décor in Giovanni’s too. 

The last event was our farewell meet-up down at the pub.  To be honest, I really didn’t spend a lot of time, if any at the pub this cruise.  But we all met for a half hour to say goodbye and take pictures.  It was a lot of fun cruising with new friends and some others again.  We might of had a few tears, but we all know another one is in our future soon. 

The Adventure of the Seas is a really great ship, the crew was always so happy. 

I also liked that they didn’t make us sign $0.00 checks when you get a drink on the package.  The VOOM performed perfect, I never ran into issues staying connected or not able to stream. 

They did an outstanding job on this ship in dry dock, and if you have a cruise coming up on Adventure you will love it. 

Thank you for joining me on this short five night live blog, I had a lot of fun sharing.  See you in 100 days on Mariner of the Seas!

Live blogging from Adventure of the Seas – Day 4 – Sea Day

In:
09 May 2018

Today was our second of three sea days, as we make way to New Jersey.  So far the sailing has been calm and cloudy.  I slept in today. I think the early mornings and late nights finally caught up to me. 

The only organized event today in our group was the slot pull.  I didn’t play but I went down to see everyone one.  Our host had every name printed out and slots to write down how much they won/loss on every spin.  The buy-in was $25 per person and the payout was $19. 

After the slot pull our group just stayed at the Schooner Bar for trivia.  They had songs from movies, food from around the world, and general knowledge.  I think we played three games over the course of a few hours. 

A few of us were getting hungry, so we grabbed pizza from Café Promenade and brought it back down to the Schooner Bar to enjoy.  I thought the pizza was really good, much thicker than I’ve had before on Royal Caribbean.

To be honest, I didn’t really explore much today and never made it outside.  The weather was okay but a little cloudy.  I spent most of my day with friends and had a few beers at The Schooner Bar.  They are not offering a drink card on this cruise, which is unfortunate because they have been so popular on previous sailings but not on this sailing. 

For dinner tonight we didn’t have any plans so I thought I’d make my first trip to the Windjammer this cruise.  It was Caribbean theme tonight and the food was based on that.  I tried a little bit of everything; the jerk chicken was really good.  If you don’t like spicy foods I don’t think you would enjoy the food tonight, but I don’t mind it. 

The main event tonight that I’ve been looking for was The Quest.  They were holding it in Studio B at 10:45PM.  Prior to the quest they had a 80’s party to get people in the show, and right after the quest started. 

I am happy to report my team won first place, unlike the Harmony group cruise in September.  I thought the game was a lot of fun and we seemed to have more experienced Quest players than before.  At the end, when they announced the winners I was a little worried we didn’t pull it of, but we did!

After The Quest we headed up to the Blue Moon Lounge for some celebration dancing.  The lounge wasn’t that busy tonight, so I really enjoyed it.  I am happy to report I was able to stay until they turned the lights on.  I knew it was my only night to stay up a little later since tomorrow is our last day.  Stay tuned, more to come on board Adventure of the Seas. 

Live blogging from Adventure of the Seas – Day 3 – Sea Day

In:
08 May 2018

Today was our first sea day, meaning I had a full day to enjoy all of Adventure of the Seas.  I woke up bright and early, around 6AM, and started to walk around and take pictures of the ship.  If you ever wake up early on a cruise ship, this is a really fun way to spend the morning. 

 

I spent a few hours on the pool deck with some friends and got my first drink on the pool bar.  The pool deck is really nice. It looks like they did some upgrades on the chairs and the floor finishing.  

Right at 10AM when the waterslides opened and I was in line to go down.  I’m a big fan of the new waterslides on the ship, because I think it’s just another way to have fun on sea days.  The yellow slide was very fast, with a lot of turns and the blue one was a little slower, but I did them both a few times each. 

The main event today was the pub-crawl at noon.  To be honest, I thought 20 people or so would show up and we had over 60. 

We had told the bartenders in advance we were coming and they had floating bar tenders to come with us for each stop.  In all, we stopped 6 bars and ended up at the sky bar.  This crawl was so much fun, they even made a few special drinks for us. 

The ice show was today at 1pm and 3pm, which are weird times in the middle of the sea day, but I went to the 3pm show.  I’ve become a big fan of the ice shows of the years and wanted to make sure I made it to the show.

 The skating was perhaps the best I’ve seen, but the story line was all over the place.  I’m happy I went to see the show, but it wasn’t my favorite ice show.  

The top tier Crown and Anchor Society event was a half hour after the ice show, so a quick turnaround into the next event.  They played live music for a half hour as people enjoyed some drinks and talked. 

I had some friends on board that I cruised with a few years ago on the Empress of the Seas social media takeover cruise.  They were the top cruisers on this sailing with over 1,300 C&A points. 

When they were presented with a special bottle of champagne.  They talked about how they love Royal Caribbean and said you get to meet great friends over the years.  Then they asked me to come up on stage and handed me their bottle!  I was so excited, and it was so kind of them to bring me up on stage. 

For dinner tonight we didn’t have any real plans, so a small group of us (13) decided to order room service in Ken Jarvis’ suite.  Since he’s in a grand suite the room service is included, and he ordered everything on the menu. 

I didn’t know how this would turnout, but we all had a blast.  Someone was playing music on a speaker, and I got to share my bottle of champagne with everyone.  The food was also good; I liked being able to try just about everything. 

We ended the night down at the Schooner Bar listening to the live music.  The piano singer, Billy, is very entertaining; he really gets everyone involved with the songs.  If you are going on Harmony of the Seas soon, he’s headed to that ship in a few weeks. 

We went up to the Blue Moon Lounge for some late night dancing. This day felt like it just kept going.  I’m not sure I’ve ever had a sea day so action packed.  Stay tuned for tomorrow we have another sea day!

Live blogging from Adventure of the Seas – Day 2 – St. Maarten

In:
07 May 2018

Our first and only port of call was today in St. Maarten.  I was really looking forward to spending the day here.  My last trip to St. Maarten was prior to Hurricane Irma greatly impacting the island last fall. 

 

We made plans to meet my group at Café Promenade so that we could all disembark the ship at 9AM.  The ship was docked at 8AM, so it’s always a good idea to give it an hour before rushing down to avoid the rush. 

Day in St. Maarten

My friend arranged a rental car for us to explore the island.  The cost of rental cars is not really all that bad, ranging from $40-$60.  We lucked out and got a very nice Jeep for the four of us. 

We made a pit stop at a local French bakery for a light breakfast to bring to the beach.  They were made so fresh, that I wish I could have ordered one of everything.  This shop was a great find on our way to the beach. 

Our plans for today were to visit Mullet Bay Beach. I have never been to this beach before.  It was around 15-20 minutes out and I know the taxi fare is $10 per person each way.  They have beach chairs and umbrellas for $15, so we rented some right up front. 

Most of the morning we just relaxed and went swimming in the ocean.  At 11AM (or island time, it was really 11:13) they start setting up to grill and serve drinks. 

This beach was right beside the airport, so I liked being able to see all the planes arrive throughout the day.  For lunch, we all ordered their famous ribs.  My friend kept talking about how good the ribs were here, and he was not wrong! 

The ribs were full of favor with a nice dry rub, just perfect for a beach lunch.  As far as the drinks go, they had rum punch for $6 or a bucket of 6 beers for $15.  Around 4pm, we decided to head back to the ship but we took a different route back so we could more of the island.   

The island itself is in fair to poor shape.  We saw many homes still destroyed, half of the hotels you could see straight through them, and hundreds of boats washed ashore.  The summer months are the slow season here, so they are going to go through a lot without tourism.   

Back on board

Today was our formal night and we had reservations at Giovanni’s Table at 7:30pm.  For our group happy hour, we planned to go down to the Champagne bar. 

I was laughing because it looked like we took the whole venue taken over; I kept having to add chairs and tables.  It was fun talking to everyone about their day, and the bar service was outstanding. 

Dinner was a really great experience, from start to finish just perfect.  We had our own starters and main course, however they put a lot of items in the middle of the table for family style. 

I ordered the filet and it was great, I think even better than the one from last night in Chops.  We had someone in our group celebrating a birthday, so I had arranged for the restaurant to make a cake for him. 

 

After dinner, we went to the silent disco in the nightclub, which is called the Blue Moon on this ship (deck 14).  When I arrived, they had a small line to even get in the lounge.  Once inside it was so packed that we only stayed for a half hour and called it a night.  It’s a good problem to have, everyone on board is having a blast! 

Tomorrow is our first of three sea days, so I will focus more on ship venues and events.  Feel free to comment below if you would like to see anything on board Adventure of the Seas! 

Adventure of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation Day

In:
06 May 2018

Pre Cruise

Since this cruise sailed out of San Juan, I decided to fly in the day before.  My flight from Tampa, Florida to San Juan was a little over three hours.  Once I landed I went out to the taxi line, which was very organized. 

They have flat rates for where you want to go, plus an extra $1 per bag.  I also liked that they handed you a slip with the total for the ride prior to getting in the taxi to my hotel. 

The hotel I stayed in was called the Hyatt House, which they also have another hotel across the street called the Hyatt Place.  I booked a studio king and it reminded me of the grand suites on board the cruise ships. 

The room had a kitchen where you could cook a full meal.  I also liked the large walk in shower in the bathroom.  All around this hotel is a nice option for a pre-cruise stay in San Juan. 

For my afternoon in San Juan I was using Uber to get around to old San Juan.  The average ride was between $4-$5 to and from my hotel.  I met a friend and was just explored the streets and dashed into a few local bars.  Of course we had to try a few local mojito’s to see who made the best. 

Boarding Day

No matter how many times I cruise, I can never sleep in past 6AM the day of the cruise.  I naturally woke up early and decided to get ready for the day and go explore old San Juan more.  Since Uber was so easy to get around (and so cheap) I went over around 7AM.  I just got lost in the streets like you would on a port day, but the streets were all empty. 

At 9AM the forts open and I went over with a small group of friends to explore.  The entry fee is $7 per person and that covers you in both forts for 24 hours.  We only spent 30-45 minutes here since cruise time was approaching. 

 

Around 10AM we took an Uber back to our hotels and packed up for our cruise.  I was really glad I woke up early and went out to see more of San Juan; it’s such a beautiful island. 

Embarkation

I took an Uber once again from my hotel to the cruise terminal Pan American ($3).  Once we arrived everything from the outside seem like a standard boarding process.  We entered and I saw them doing a lot of work, like painting and installing new check-in counters. 

I received my card and now we had nothing to do but wait.  However, in this terminal they only had around 100 chairs.  The boarding was delayed until noon, so we just stood around waiting.  As more passengers arrived we began to get a little crowed. 

 

Right at noon we boarded and we were officially on vacation.  We boarded on deck 1, crossed the crew I-95 and jumped on an elevator up to the pool deck. 

My first impressions of Adventure of the Seas, is she looks outstanding.  I actually think she looks a lot more updated than the Navigator (other than the old champagne bar still here). 

Cabin

For my cabin I’m trying a promenade room on deck 7, room #7295.  This is the first time I’ve stayed in a cabin of this type, so I was a little excited to try something new.  I like all the new décor in the cabin; the brand new carpet looks great. 

As far as the cabin itself, it is plenty big enough for one or two people.  The only downside to this cabin is seeing people right across the promenade.  I learned that the hard way coming out of the shower, oh well…

Evening on board

Tonight we had reservations at Chops Grill at 7PM for a party of 12.  We had planned to keep dinner moving fast for our 8:30PM sailaway.  But with a table our size, that just didn’t happen.  The service was a little slow, but we were a very large group. 

They kept the wine flowing so it turned into a great evening with friends.  For the sides they just brought everything out for us to share family style.  The price was $35 per person plus 18%, unless you bought it online in a cruise planner sale/bogo.

We decided to take our dessert to go and take it up to my friend’s cabin staying in a Grande suite.  I had also received some bottles of champagne and wine in the cabin, so we just turned it into a little mini-cabin party. 

This cruise we had a facebook group that was the most active online pre-cruise group I’ve ever seen.  We had scheduled a few events during the cruise and tonight was our pub meet-up.  I couldn’t believe how many people showed up, we almost over took the pub.  I met a lot of great people I’ve been talking with over the past few months. 

My final stop tonight was the schooner bar to see Billy Pardo play the piano.  He was the same person we had on the Harmony group cruise in September, so it was fun to reconnect with him. The night time entertainment on this ship is outstanding, both the pub and schooner bar singers are great!

I almost made it to midnight and decided to call it a night.  I knew tomorrow we have a full day in St. Maarten, so I wanted to get a few hours of sleep. 

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