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Adventure of the Seas Live Blog

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

In:
10May2018

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:
09May2018

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:
08May2018

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:
07May2018

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:
06May2018

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. 

Live blogging from Adventure of the Seas – Preamble

In:
02May2018

Hello blog readers I’m excited to share its time for another live blog!  This time I’ll be cruising on 5-night cruise on Adventure of the Seas, sailing out of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  This is a unique cruise they call a repositioning sailing. 

 

We are leaving out of one port and finish the cruise in another port.  I’ve never sailed on Adventure of the Seas or on any repositioning sailings, so this is going to be a lot of fun to share!

Why I chose this cruise

I have a few reasons for booking this cruise, but the main factor was the price.  The repositioning sailings don’t tend to be very popular among cruisers.   The price dropped so low it was under $100/day, so I did the YOLO book it!  I’ll be in the cabin alone, trying my very first promenade room on deck 7. 

However, the price wasn’t the only factor; I’ve never sailed out of San Juan, as all my cruises are usually departing from Florida, okay 99.9% of them!  Also, the Adventure of the Seas recently went into dry dock getting a lot of upgrades and for the name of research I had to pull the trigger!

(Photo by: Halee Whiting)

I know this not a popular reason, but having three sea days on a five day cruise, sold me too.  I wanted time to explore the ship and report everything she has to offer. 

Plans onboard

The week I booked this cruise, I reached out to a few blog readers and asked if they would be interested in booking too? I was surprised to see how many people actually booked this sailing.  This has turned into a mini-group cruise with the amount of Royal Caribbean Blog Insiders sailing with me. 

We have planned a few group activities for our time spent on board.  Ranging from a pub meet up day 1, cabin crawl, pub-crawl, and a slot pull, etc.  So not to worry, my sea day blog post wont be the usual, “laying by the pool doing nothing all day!”   

For dinner I’m planning to use my diamond plus BOGO dining coupon night one and two.  I’m not sure about the order yet, but it will be dining in Chops and Giovanni’s table.  Outside of those two nights I’m not sure where I’ll be eating, but I have a feeling I’ll be back a few more times.  I’ll be on the lookout for on board specials to come back throughout the cruise. 

Our itinerary

Our sailing leaves out of San Juan with only one port day in St. Maarten.  Because we only have one port day, I’ve decided to go into San Juan a day early to make it feel like two stops.  I land early afternoon on Friday and will be out exploring the whole day. 

I suppose you are wondering where our cruise ends up, we will be heading North to Bayonne, New Jersey.   I’ve never cruised North before, so this is going to be a totally different experience for me. 

Pre Cruise

I mentioned I was going into San Juan a day early.  I’ve booked a room at the Hyatt House San Juan for $200 for the night.  The hotel is fairly new and walking distance from where the cruise ship docks. 

If you have ever sailed into San Juan, they dock in old San Juan for port days, and the cruise terminal for sailaways is a few miles away.  Getting around in San Juan I will use Uber, I used it here last year and had no issues (other than they all speak Spanish).

 I don’t have any set plans so far for my day here other than exploring the city. I will include a short recap in my day 1 post.  Then come Saturday morning when I board the ship, I’ll be walking over and in line by 10AM!  

Stay tuned this is going to be a great cruise with a lot of friends.  I’ll be posting daily photos on my instagram account, if you would like to follow along.  Feel free to post questions about Adventure of the Seas below and I will comment back throughout the cruise! 

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