Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Adventure of the Seas
Sailing Date: January 21st, 2007
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
This was my first cruise, my wife’s second (she went with her girlfriends last year). We had a fabulous time. For a first time cruiser, I was impressed. After we got to San Juan and pulled up to the ship, I was amazed how large it was. We ponied up for a balcony stateroom and were glad we did. The view during the entire cruise was spectacular. We got room service for breakfast and ate out on the balcony several times.
I was glad the first day was at sea- got a chance to relax at the pool. I really loved the Solarium (adult only pool), nice and quiet with the bar service close by! The weather was great all week- 85 degrees and sunny.
Our first stop was Aruba. We had been there before for a week a few years ago, so we knew what we wanted to do. My wife went shopping in the morning (her favorite activity), while I went fishing. We then got a taxi to Palm Beach for the afternoon. The chair/shade spot charge was a little pricey ($28) but, hey, we’re on vacation. We then got back for the sunset Catamaran cruise. This was great! The open bar sure helped. We did the second seating for dinner (8:30), and our waiter, Siddesh, was great. The food was very good.
Next day was Curacao, not nearly as developed as Aruba. Wanted to go to Porto Mari beach, but the taxi drivers wanted $80 round trip ! So we opted for Kon Tiki beach- a nice little beach club- food and drink were available with a nominal fee to get in and use their chairs.
The next day was at sea. As usual, I hung out at the adult pool (rum runners were great). My wife did bingo and some small shows. If you only do one show, go to the ice show. I am not a big show person, but this show was spectacular. Amazing what they could do on a small ice rink.
Next day was St Martin. We rented a small jeep for the day, which we later nickname the Rattrap. It seemed like almost all the rental cars are really beat-up, but, hey, it got us where we wanted to go. We drove up to Marigot, the French capitol, and stopped at a little French pasty shop (the Creperie) for a snack. Good stuff there. There was some shopping there, but mostly high end inside and an outdoor bazaar. We headed out for Orient beach and quickly got to appreciate how crazy the drivers are getting there. Your head always had to be on a swivel, looking out for the motorcycles and scooters passing down the center lane. Orient beach was nice, very clear water. We just hung out and enjoyed the scenery. Yes, it is a topless beach, but mostly 55+ European ladies, so nothing to get excited about. We went for a walk on the beach, and figured out where the nude beach was when a middle aged guy turned around. We nick named him ‘Half-mast Harry’. On the way back to the pier, we twice had to drive around wild goats. This drive was a great experience. We went shopping at the shops across from the pier. My wife found some good bargains on jewelry and linens, me with rum. If you are spending a decent amount for something, always try to bargain better price, especially if you are paying with cash.
Next stop was St Thomas. I setup a day of sailing with Jester Sailing adventures (http://www.sailjester.com). This was the highlight of our trip. We took a taxi to the Point Pleasant resort and met up with Captain Jim at the bar at the bottom of the hill. He takes, at the most, 3 couples for a day sail. This day there was just us and another couple. He has a beautiful 38 ft sailboat. See the website for details. We sailed from Water Bay to St Johns and dropped anchor at Honeymoon beach, which can only be reached by boat or hiking in. I did some snorkeling while my wife laid out on the front of the boat. I swam onto the beach, softest sand I have every walked on! Jim then put together a great lunch (he used to be in the restaurant business). The bar was always open (try his Jester juice rum drink). We then sailed back to St Thomas (we were out for 6 hrs). We had to hustle to get back to the ship by 5:00. We made it with 5 minutes to spare! The traffic on Saturday is bad. Arrange at the bar to have a taxi waiting for you when you get back. Overall, the best vacation I have ever been on! The only issue, now, is where are we going next year !