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Ashley Mathis

Age: 22

Occupation:Event Planner

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Adventure of the Seas

Sailing Date: May 19th, 2002

Itinerary: Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas

To begin, this was my honeymoon cruise and it lived up to every expectation ever! It was everything and more, not one thing went wrong.

Embarkation:

We left from Dallas Fort Worth, TX at 8 a.m. and landed in San Juan at 1:30 p.m., we were on the ship by 2:45 at the latest. Do not let other reviews fool you? There might be rows of white chairs that you have to sit in, but we were only in the chairs for 10 minutes max. The process went by so quickly, before we knew it we were on the ship!

The ship:

All I can so is WOW! I have been on a cruise before, and this ship is sooo amazing! We got lost trying to find our room! The decor is just beautiful; Royal Caribbean did not skimp out on any detail. My favorite was the entrance to the casino. There is a glass floor with movie props underneath it! The dining room is breath taking. The Lyric theatre was monstrous; the Royal Promenade is just amazing. I can go on and on, but everything was just AWESOME.

Our Room:

We had a category DB (balcony stateroom) and it was just perfect! They even decorated it for us!! We paid extra since it was our honeymoon, but now we do not know how we are ever going to go back to an inside stateroom. We would sit out on our balcony numerous times a day. Plus we would set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. to take pictures of us pulling into port! The toilets make funny noises when they flush, every time we would flush the toilet we would both just die laughing. The shower was small but comfortable. Our room steward was perfect. He left us towel animals all the time. The first day we got there we quickly unloaded our suitcase and forgot to put a few things back in, and when we came back they were nicely folded! We felt so bad! So the rest of the time we made sure we picked up a little bit!

The service:

I thought the service was top-notch, however we were eating breakfast one morning and a couple beside us was complaining. It made me so mad. I have read tons of reviews that say the service is not good, but I am here to say that is a lie! Every night when we would go to dinner our assistant waiter Stephen would give my husband and I two iced teas each, and they were always refilled before they were half way empty! Our waiter was fantastic, Sudesh from India. He knew exactly what we wanted by the third day of the cruise. It was absolutely fantastic.

The food:

We had main seating, and I would not do it any other way. It was amazing! Everything was either good or great. We loved the Windjammer and Island Grill! We ate 4 times a day. The omelets in the morning are to die for. There are also Chilidogs during the snack time and they were huge! Just like if you had gone to a ballpark. I had to order a side of mashed potatoes with every dinner because they were so good. The desserts, oh the desserts, my mouth just waters thinking about them! We had such a good table of people! We miss them already. They would practically tell us it was time to leave we would sit there and talk so long.

The shows:

We did not do the Ice skating show, which I wish we would of; we were to stuck in the Casino! The welcome aboard show was great. We loved Chucky the duck! The Love and Marriage game show was so funny! We went and we wanted to audition, but what they do is tell all the newlyweds to stand up and you had 20 seconds to get their attention. Well I was in a skirt so there was no way I was going to let Billy (my husband) lift me up like some of the other couples did. The late night comedy shows were fantastic. The Can't Stop the Rock show was our least favorite, but it was still good. We also attended the Honeymooners party, it was so funny, they band they have playing is called Dreamscape and we felt like we were in the movie "The Wedding Singer" the main lady has a side pony tail and they play cheesy love songs, but we went for the free champagne and cake!

Monday: At Sea:

This was such a relaxing day. I don't know if it was because the entire wedding was finally over or maybe it was they ship! It was perfect. Except Billy got so sunburned! We played Bingo today and won!!! I recommend playing Bingo, it was fun and exciting. The tickets cost $20 for 3 cards a game or $35 for 6 cards a game. It was kind of costly but worth it.

Tuesday Aruba:

The water and scenery in Aruba was breathtaking! Aruba and St. Maarten were our favorite for beauty. We did the Sail Away Beach Cruise! It was one of the highlights of the trip. The crew on our catamaran was great. They played good island music. We got to snorkel in two places. They first dropped us off in 12 ft. of water, it was pretty with lots of fish, and then they take you to the wreck of a German ship! In 60 feet of water! I know now what my fear is and it is DEEP WATER! Besides being scared the ship was cool to look and snorkel around. The marine life was flourishing. The beach that you can lay out and swim on is amazing. I look at my pictures and I am amazed at the beauty of that island. There are also a lot of water sports available. The bar-b-Q they serve is great. This was a perfect excursion when we come back we would definitely book it again, I do not know if I would snorkel by the wrecked ship or not. On the way back to the boat they serve you more rum punch and there is a dance contest. Then something funny happened, the other catamaran that was with us all the people lined up and Mooned us!!!! The town of Aruba was so nice. The architecture was brilliant. This was our favorite town. There was so much shopping and even casinos. We went in to Carlos and Charlie’s, but we did not go there at night. The people from out table went after dinner and they had a great time! Oh, if you want to buy a diamond, Diamonds International is the place they have so much loose diamonds for very good prices, we are going to bring some money next time and upgrade my diamond!!!

Wednesday Curacao:

This was our least favorite island. But when I say least favorite I mean on a scale of 1 to 10 it was a 9.99, were all the other islands are 10's! We slept in that day, we didn't mean to but we left the blinds closed on our balcony and did not get up until 11. We vowed we would not do that again. We booked the Curacao beach break. We had to provide our own transportation; it was only a $3 cab ride per person. The beach was beautiful and the sand was almost white. The only reason this was our least favorite beach was because the sand had lots of broken shells in it and it hurt when you walked along the shore. But other than that, it was just a relaxing day on the beach, and you can never top that. We spent about 3 hours there and then we went back to the ship got money and went shopping! The town is also nice like Aruba’s. The buildings are in all spring colors. There is a floating bridge down by the shops and it is a marvel to look at. Overall it was a super day.

Thursday At Sea:

This was a relaxing day again. We played ping-pong and miniature golf, but it was nice to have a day to relax.

Friday St. Maarten:

This was the prettiest island we went to. We did the St. Maarten Beach Rendezvous. It took us to Orient Beach. There were tons of water sports. We played on the Water trampolines. It was very interesting on the way back to the ship when our tour guide told us all about the island. We were dropped of in town and we shopped. The alcohol and cigarettes are cheap here, if you smoke and drink. We saw a carton of cigarettes for $9.95, we were going to buy one for our friend at home who smokes but we thought that St. Thomas might be cheaper but it wasn't. One thing neat was the Jimmy Buffets shop. It was filled with memorabilia. The pier is also so nice. That night we watched the Comedy show with the ventriloquist and it was hilarious! Just be sure not to walk out on the show.

Saturday St. Thomas:

This is the island you have to go through customs before you can get off the ship. We thought for sure the line was not going to be long, but it was all the way down the promenade. I have also read some reviews that say it takes hours, but it only took 20 minutes. Also, there was some guy behind us complaining the whole time about how dumb this was and going on and on about it. First of all it is not something Royal Caribbean decided to do. It is the United States policy. RCCL has to comply with it. And second of all it is better to be safe than sorry, as the United States has realized after 9/11. I was personally glad they did it. Just don't get automatically upset at the size of the line, it goes by fast I promise. St. Thomas is a beautiful island. We booked two excursions for this day. In the morning we did the Planet Aqua, it was by far the coolest thing ever. They put these helmets on you and you can walk around the ocean floor. We saw so many beautiful fish! You are down there around 25 minutes. After we got back to the ship we had some time to go grab a quick bite to eat and then we were off for the Kon Tiki! Our table friends from Connecticut also went with us and we had a blast. This was the wildest boat ever! They serve you unlimited Rum Punch and tell you all about the island. We stopped at Honeymooners beach; it looked like something off a postcard. We stayed there for about an hour and then we set sail on the Kon Tiki again. This is when it gets really wild! The steel band was playing, we did the Macarena, limbo and just danced and it was the best! After we arrived we all went shopping! Needless to say you should never go shopping after the Kon Tiki party boat. Billy and I went to the liquor store and bought 8 bottles of alcohol. But the good news is it only cost us $60! Overall we had a super day. And we started getting sad we had to leave.

Disembarkation:

The worst day of our trip, we did not want to leave. We had an early flight and we were the first group to get off. I kind of liked having an early flight. It was not crowed with a bunch of people. The room were all the luggage was, was not crowded so it was easy to find our bags. The only thing I would do differently is I would take a cab to the airport. With the transfers you had to wait on everybody else and their bags. While we were in the airport I overheard some people talking about the disembarkation process, they said it was a mad house, but I did not experience that at all. Even the scary flight home could not of ruined this vacation.

Overall:

I tell people on a scale of 1 to 10 it was a 20! I think that Royal Caribbean has done an excellent job with this ship. We are going to book another one as soon as possible. Probably even on the Adventure. Also, I have read reviews about there are too many Spanish-speaking people. There were quite a few, but it did not bother us one bit. If anyone is considering this cruise I would tell you to book it now!!! I had a vacation of a lifetime and I owe it all to Royal Caribbean. I do not know how anyone could of had a bad cruise, maybe those people are just a little to up tight!

Happy Sailings!

Ashley

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