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Susan Brooks

Age: 50


Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Adventure of the Seas

Sailing Date: February 5th, 2006

Itinerary: Southern Caribbean

This was our 4th cruise (2nd on Royal Caribbean) - we had a great time. We arranged our own air to San Jaun, we arrived at noon thinking we could not board the ship until 4 pm, but there was a RCC representative at baggage claim, they took our luggage and told us we could indeed board the ship now. They took us to the ship, we boarded with minimal waits, and we had lunch onboard. The only catch of going onboard earlier than 4pm is that you cannot get into your stateroom before 2 pm. That seemed fair to me, I was just glad to be onboard instead of finding things to do for 4 hours.

The stateroom (number 8590) was in a great location. Only complaint is that the loveseat in the room is terribly uncomfortable and they really needed a new mattress on the bed. The bathroom could not get any smaller, the balcony is great. We ordered breakfast room service the days we were at sea and really enjoyed eating it on the balcony.

They had plenty of activites onboard. I did see the rock climbing wall and ice rink (although I did use use either), they had an ice skating show a couple of evenings which we did not attend. We did see the show every night in the Lyric theatre, a different one every night, it was OK, however the Las Vegas reveiw type shows really are not good. They tend to be monopolized by a few who are constantly singing, like 5 songs each, which makes the show drag on.

As far as bingo goes, I love bingo but I have no idea why the packages of cards are so much money (you get a choice between a $35 or $50 package). That is a lot of money when the prize is $150.

The food was great, we ate breakfast at the Windjammer, dinner in the dining room. There is a place on the promenade that has snacks 24 hours a day as well as coffee, tea. hot chocolate and pizza and deserts. Don't buy any coffee at the Seattle coffee place, the free stuff is right next door.

The ports - Aruba was great - don't miss "Let's Go Latin" a review at the Crystal Theatre. It was fantastic - the dancing was great - I have never seen such pep in dancers. It was worth the money. During the day we took a taxi to Palm Beach, rented a couple of beach chairs and an umbrella. We didn't do a tour since we have been there in the past.

Curacao was OK, the moving bridge that gets you to the shopping was out of order- but they have a free water taxi to the downtown which was nice. We took a tour of the island in the afternoon - it was OK.

St. Martin was my favorite shopping place. The beach and the shopping are on the same street - you take a $5 water taxi from the shop to downtown.

St. Thomas - well that is another story. Never again will I shop in St. Thomas. The people were so aggressive, it made the whole shopping thing very unpleasant. They hound you constantly, you can't even stop to look at your map or think about where you want to go without someone talking to you, hounding you, offering you bargain prices t-shirts, etc. etc. Stay away from St. Thomas shopping. I am glad that was our last stop and I had purchases souvenirs and the like.

As far as "shopping Shelby" was concerned I felt she gave us a lot of good tips, she had 2 meetings (one for shopping in Aruba and Curacao and one for shopping in St. Martin and St. Thomas) she gave us maps and tips on where to go for a good deal (I have no idea if she is getting kickbacks from all that!!), but I found her talks informative, very informative. She also has a desk near guest relations and she is there in the evenings if you have any questions for us. She is very high energy, perfect for that job.

All in all we loved the trip. If you can take the trip to St. John and snorkel at Trunk Bay at the underwater snorkeling trail, it was so good. We also took a boat called the Golden Eagle (in St. Martin) to an island for swimming and snorkeling - it was very nice, the water was beautiful.

One thing I was sick of was the tipping. Every time you went off the ship people expected a tips. It was out of control. It's like we paid $150 for the 2 of us to snorkel on St. Martin and then they are advertising that tips are appreciated and accepted. Why must we tip when we have paid all that for a tour? Even the water taxi people in St. Martin - you pay $5 for the taxi - then at the steps when you depart there are 2 containers for tips. I think - why must we tip for people to do their job? Skip all the tips. The only person we tipped was the tour driver in San Juan. He was great - very informative and went out of his way for us. He was so nice.

I thought everyone was great - I would highly recommended the cruise.

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