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Justin

Age: 43

Occupation:Legal

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Adventure of the Seas

Sailing Date: December 29th,2002

Itinerary: Southern Caribbean

Oh Adventure of the Seas, where to begin.... Never in my life have I had such an amazing vacation with kids).
My wife, 15- going on 23 year old son, and my ten year old son came with me on this cruise. There was never an unwanted dull moment.

We decided to let RCCL plan our air travel plans for us, maybe not the best idea. WE left Washington DC in the wee hours of the morning and arrived in San Juan in the afternoon after a change in Miami. Not exactly an enjoyable day, although I did run into and old high-school friend on the flight.

Arriving In San Juan, we were hustled out of the terminal and loaded onto a packed bus for a short ride to the pier. Leaving our luggage on the curb was uncomfortable.

At the pier, we were taken to the check-in and given our all-in-one key-ID-and of course, charge card. My youngest son, 10, was given an emergency wrist band, to help crew members assist him in an emergency. We found our rooms, a promenade view state room, for my kids, and my wife and I had an ocean view room with an amazing balcony.

We spent our time before our dinner in the Mozart dining room, wandering the ship looking at everything, and the kids wanted to sit in the sun and drink their seven dollar pina coladas while watching the city of San Juan.

The dining room sat us with another family, with amazingly, two teenagers, my son was so glad. Dinner consisted of a small appetizer, salad, and main course. Dinner also featured Emre, our loud, smiling Turkish waiter. He jumped and made jokes, did magic tricks, and called all of the kids as "baady" and "sweety". He entertained the adults as well, always providing wonderful recommendations. And If you ordered something he thinks is not good, he would say " are you sure, is not very good". Dinner was a fabulous time every night, although, the food was good, not great.

Our first day was spent at sea, frying in the sun, eating ice cream, swimming, rock climbing, golfing, and just letting go of all of our worries.

The next day, we arrived in beautiful Aruba, for new years eve. What a celebration!!!!! We took an early morning tour of Aruba by way of a semi-submersible boat, showing us the wreck of the Antilla. Unfortunately, we did not bring bathing suits with us on the excursion, so we did not do any "beaching". The downtown area of Oranjestad is extremely touristy, and very expensive. (Men, tell you wives this, so you still have money left for the remainder of the week. St. Maarten has much better shopping) After an interesting walk with my sons through the city, we ended in the middle of a local drunken firework party, so we just turned and walked, well, it was more of a jog. New Years on the Adventure was wonderful for all of us. After dinner my youngest son left for the kid's club, and we did not see him till morning. Our older son left with his two new friends from our table, and ended up in the casino spending our money. they "just hung out and did stuff" all night. My wife and I spent the evening with the other couple from our table, at the Viking Crown, over looking the pool deck. New Years was an amazing time for us all because of the view. The ship stopped of the coast of Aruba and turned in circles most of the night, so all could see the beautiful fireworks.

The next day, we arrived in Curacao, and took a short, and I mean short walk through the city. There is not a lot to see in Curacao on new years day. In the afternoon I took my sons snorkeling on a beautiful reef, and enjoyed the view on the ride back to the boat.

The night life onboard Adventure is wonderful. There are clubs, pubs, bars, and shows to keep you busy all night.

Another day at sea went by, "pooling and tanning" just relaxing.

St. Maarten/ St.Martin was the highlight of the ports of call. The City was beautiful. And we met a taxi driver who took us on a great three hour tour around the island. We saw both cities, mullet bay, maho bay (a must see) and grand case as well as orient bay. I recommend taking a tour, the taxis are glad to serve you and will take as much or little time as you want. Our driver, Michael Anjello, took us to all of his favorite spots, including a restaurant on the dock of grand case that he grew up in. The restaurant called "Talk Of The Town" featured a rack and a half ob BBQ ribs, corn, rice, peas, a Johnny cake, and drink for about ten dollars. We got a great feeling of what island life is like eating ribs at the local join with out taxi driver. remember "Talk of The Town" if you like ribs or lobster or shrimp. Maho Beach( not bay) is also a must see, go in the afternoons). Maho is a small beach located at the end of the airport runway, making for an exciting beach time. If you like sun, sand, blue water, and low flying 747's. this is the place for you. Be careful though. this, as well as many other beaches is a top-optional beach.

St. Thomas was a short visit, we parasailed and explored. Watch out for taxis though, they will try to take advantage of you.

The Adventure if the seas is a magnificent marvel of machinery. She is a great floating resort with wonderful staff, who do their very very best to provide you with a great experience.

Here are a few tips for first time travelers or cruisers.
Pack a spare change of clothes and bathing suit in your carry on when arriving, because you will not get your luggage until later at night.

Promenade view rooms are very loud at night. The balcony is well worth the few extra dollars. Bring Dramamine, you might feel uneasy the first day, but the feeling soon passes.

Buy the Soda sticker for your kids, or your self. It cost 30 dollars and gives you free sodas all trip long. It is well worth it for kids.

If you plan on going to the bars, buy drink cards, for about 25 dollars you get 14 drinks, and there are different variations of this card. Buy them, even if you do not drink heavy, it is worth saving a few bucks on the pina colada. The ship is big, very big, so bring a two-way radio, and let your kids, wander around with the radio, they will thank you.

Surprisingly, the cruise is not eat-eat-eat. If you want, you definitely can, but there is always a low-fat menu, and great gym facility.

Take and excursion, at least one in each port, there are many different choices, but BOOK IN ADVANCE!!!!!!! in fact, BOOK EVERYTHING YOU CAN IN ADVANCE.

The ship is very large, and there are an insane amount of people, but if you want alone time, try the helicopter pad( deck 4) the far aft of the boat (deck 4) the library (deck 7) or a lounge.

This is a wonderful cruise for children and adults, but if you want to relax in the quiet, eat a lot, and just be lazy, this may not be the best cruise for you.

Thank you, and I hope this will be helpful for you in choosing a cruise. If you have any questions about anything cruise related, or are uneasy about Adventure, email me.

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