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LeAnne

Age: 26

Occupation:Nurse

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Adventure of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2009-09-25

Itinerary: Southern Caribbean

This was my and my boyfriends first cruise. I was really worried that I wouldn't like cruising and we debated just going to Mexico and stay at a resort or to go on this cruise. I finally decided on the cruise because it's something neither of us had experienced. Overall I am very happy with our decision.

Breakfast was available in the dining room, the cafe, and through room service. The room service was nice on the days we had early excursions because we didn't have to get dressed and walk to the other side of the ship. The food selection is limited and our order was always a little wrong, but overall it was fine. The buffet in the cafe had plenty of options although some you could tell had been sitting there for a while. Seating was always a struggle with any meal we ate here. Dinner in the dining room was incredible. The waiters are amazing. The food was always perfect and you could order as much of it as you wanted. Dinner in cafe was good, my favorite being the sushi rolled fresh right in front of you!

I figured the rooms would be pretty simple, seeing as how you are never in them except to sleep, and I was right. Oringinally, I booked an inside room but after a couple weeks the price of the cruise went down so I upgraded to a balcony room. I'm not sure if the price drop is something that happens all the time but it's definitely worth paying attention to. I also heard other seasoned cruisers saying that as soon as you board the ship, go straight to the guest services desk to ask for an upgrade in case someone doesn't show for their cruise. Anyway, the balcony was very nice to have and now that I've had one there will be no way I will book a room without one. It's great to be able to look outside and see how the weather is. Also, when you're outside at night you can see all the stars and listen to the waves.

We went to a couple comedy shows which were entertaining and the love and marriage game and the quest were both hilarious. We always attended karaoke which was never long enough. Miniature golf was fun. There were pool-side activities like belly flop contest and men's sexy legs contest which were hysterical.

When we first booked the cruise, I saw the prices for the excursions and I thought "that's not worth it, I'll find stuff to do on my own". After searching forever on the internet, I decided I didn't have the time or patience to find activities on my own. We ended up booking four excursions through RCCL. Our first one in Barbados was sail and snorkel with the turtles. It was $100pp for the whole day. A little pricey but well worth it. We sailed out to Turtle Bay and snorkeled while the guys from the excursion fed the turtles so that they would swim over to us. It was awesome, unfortunately it wasn't sunny that day so visibility was less than perfect. Then we sailed to the reef and then stopped at a beach. The staff was wonderful and kept us entertained the whole time. We got a huge lunch and as many glasses of rum punch as you could handle. This is a "don't miss"!

Another trip not to miss is swimming and snorkeling with the stingrays in Antigua. I was scared at first, but it is one of the coolest things I've ever gotten to experience!

Our next excursion was to the butterfly farms and Marigot which is a city in St Maarten. I love butterflies so I was really excited, however, it really wasn't very fun. Marigot is not fun at all because it's on the french side of St Maarten which is the expensive side so you don't want to do your shopping there. We basically sat on the bus until it was time to go.

Our last excursion was in the Virgin Islands and it was to the rum factory, botanical gardens and a plantation. Personally I thought this trip was horrible. The guide didn't really explain anything and it was so hot that it was hard follow along anyway. They take you up and down some really steep stairs so I stayed behind the rest of the group to make sure the older people that were there made it without getting hurt. The botanical gardens were pretty but it was so hot that the guides had us stay in the shaded areas so we missed some stuff. We also couldn't tour any of the rainforest due to hurricane damage (which no one told us until we got there). The plantation was pretty boring and again it was so hot that it lost all it's appeal. We took off our shoes and sat at a picnic table until it was time to get back on the bus.

The only day we didn't have an excursion was the day we were in St Lucia. We tried to walk to all the shops and along the way we were hasseled constantly by taxi drivers. At one point, there was a traffic jam because 5 different cab drivers were trying to get us in their cabs. It was crazy. The whole time we were shopping there were guys following us in and out of the stores trying to get us in their cabs. We were so fed up that we ended up getting back on the ship. Our friends had a lot of fun on the ATV excursion and the parasailing excursion. I wish we would've done one of those.

For the most part the excursions are fun, and I think it's worth it to pay for RCCL to arrange them. Also, since the trip is arranged by them, if for some reason you are late getting back, the boat won't leave without you!

We stayed in Puerto Rico for 2 days before the cruise left. I can't say that I liked it very much. It's definitely not somewhere I would stay any longer than a couple days. It's expensive and not very clean. From what a few locals said, it's not very safe either so stay close to your hotel, especially at night.

The cruise started boarding at 2, but check-out at the hotel was at noon so we just decided to head over early. There was already a really long line. None of the staff were saying which line to stand in so we just got in one. We ended up being in the right line which was the line to send your big bags to your room. They placed tags on your luggage depending on your room number. Unfortunately, since I upgraded our room, we didn't know our new room number. I found an employee and told him our problem and he said not to worry, he'd find out what to do. Well, he never came back. So I told the guys collecting the luggage that we didn't have a new room number and they said that was fine just to give them the old number. I did even though I suspected this would cause problems later (which it did). Next, we were ushered into a huge building without air conditioning or fans, with about 150 other people to sit and wait. Everyone was covered in sweat and we were beginning to fear for the elderly people's lives. Finally a staff member comes in and says they will take us 10 at a time to get us checked in so we should be patient. I would think with as many cruises as RCCL has done that they would have this process down a little better. Eventually, they filed us all out of that building and into another; I guess after they realized that someone was going to croak pretty soon.

As soon as we got on board we went to the guest relations desk to tell them about our bags being labeled with our old room number. They said it happens all the time and they'd tell the housekeeper to send them to the new room. So we thought it was all taken care of. Wrong. The next day at 11am we had to go back to the desk because we still didn't have them.

All in all we had a great time and I'm sure we will go on more cruises. I do recommend getting motion sickness patches before you leave if you've never been on a cruise. I have never had problems with motion sickness but I did get sick the first night and was glad to have the patch to put on. Also, if you plan on drinking on the boat be careful! Drinks are 5.75-10.00 a piece plus a mandatory 15% tip. It adds up quick and you don't really realize how much you're spending because everything gets charged to your seapass.

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