My husband and I were on the 12/8 to 12/16, 8 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Adventure of the Seas.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had a wonderful, very much needed vacation. I loved being at sea for eight nights! I don't cry much, but let me just tell you, I have been fighting back the tears since we left because I miss it so much already. This trip and the amount of time we spent on the sea is exactly what I needed, but I think a lot of us will agree it is never enough time. This is just a "quick" recap of our trip, for those who are interested in reading my babble in the order as if comes from my head. It is the middle of the night as I am starting this and I have been really sick with the bug that everyone around us seems to have, so please forgive any typos or "is she an idiot" moments.
We are from Akron, Ohio and flew from Cleveland to FLL the day before. This was my 8th cruise and my hub's 4th. My 7th with Royal, his 3rd. Oh, and I turned him on to cruising and I think he loves it almost as much as I do. I say almost because I have not yet convinced him to sell our house so we can go work on the ships, which is something I have always wanted to do.
Our Itinerary was
12/8- Board at Port Everglades
12/9- At Sea
12/10- Labadee, Haiti
12/12- St. Maarten
12/13- St. Kitts
12/14- At Sea
12/15- At Sea
12/16- Debark Port Everglades, Fly home.
First, we have very little to complain about and what annoyed us was not even a big deal. They really pushed the app, but we had a lot of problems with it. Times, menus and events did not match up, so that was a tad frustrating, but it was obviously nothing to grab the Compass instead.. The app is a very cool idea had it worked, but I prefer the Compass and the TV or touch screens. We noticed a lot of guests were very rude this cruise. Very pushy/cutting in lines, leaving messes all over the ship or rude/demanding/demeaning to the crew are what really bothered us. Literally no reason to act that way. That has nothing to do with Royal or how the cruise went, just mentioning it in passing in this post. However, most of the guests were great. It was also great to see the amount of guests stopping and talking and being friendly with the crew. The line for self debark was very long, but if went very fast. We were off and on the bus within 30 min of getting in line at 7:15 and at FLL at 8:15. We used All Star for the transfer since they took us to the port from the hotel. Oh, we stayed at the Comfort Suites on Stirling in Dania Beach night before cruise. We'd stay there again since they had a very nice staff, clean grounds/building and comfy rooms and the free breakfast was decent.
We mostly ate in the Windjammer and it was really good most of the time. Also ate Johnny Rockets a few times. The guys at the coffee bar (Ipuptu, Paul and Wayval, I did not get the other guy's name),our server at Johnny Rockets (Adealyn), as well as our stateroom attendant (Dodi) were wonderful. We really enjoyed them and give them all extra tips. All of the crew members were really great too. I bought the Royal Refreshment package, which I enjoyed a lot. This was my second time getting it. It is a nice treat. I loved the bottled waters, the lattes and I enjoyed sparkling water with a bit of peach flavored water from the Freestyle machines (try it!). My husband got the Classic Soda and Voom package. Both we bought at 18 and 22 a day, but Black Friday had them at 15 and 19 a day, so we rebooked them. The cost difference paid for our excursion in San Juan!
Didn't make it to any shows or MDR. We planned too, but took advantage of the empty pools and decks Liked that The Quest was on the second to last night. It was really funny. It was my first time seeing it how Mercedes did it, and we really enjoyed it. We walked around a lot or sat and watched the sea. We brought things to do because we planned on having a lot of down time, but managed to keep ourselves busy while still doing nothing but enjoying ourselves around the ship. I mayyybe had more lattes then one should, but they were yummy and I love my coffee pals.
We had room 8259 overlooking the promenade. I think next time we book that style room, we will book more central or at least at the grouping of rooms so we can see more. We love the views and the people watching was excellent. The room was warm, but we remembered that from last time. I packed a fan with a detachable plug, no issues at all bringing it on.
St. Kitts was our favorite stop and we took our tour with Thenford Grey on his Grand Tour of St. Kitts. He was wonderful and we highly recommend his company. Caribelle/Romney Manor and Brimstone Hill were amazing. Such amazingly beautiful places with spectacular views. Mr. Grey was so great at teaching us about the island and I think everyone in our group loved him. My coworker went to Romney when she visited in October at my suggestion since I knew it was something she would like. She booked the Open Air Adventure with Royal and enjoyed it. She loved Romeny and gave me a list and money to get her some more goodies. I also bought a lot there. We plan on self touring or booking a private tour next time to allow more time at those places. St Kitts was just so beautiful. Timothy Hill was very pretty, but busy. I had a monkey tossed on me as soon as I got off the bus and realized what was happening, the old pay to take your picture scam. But instead of giving the monkey back, I was handing a guy 10 bucks after a few minutes. At first was mad at myself for falling for the scam, but it was only 10 bucks and I did like playing with the monkeys. He did take a ton of photos at least of my hubs and I with the monkeys. We also saw mongeese and more monkeys at the beach we stopped at, I honestly did not get the name, which is unlike me. Bermuda is our favorite place we have been so far, but St. Kitts takes a very close second place.
St. Maarten was our least favorite. We had a very poor tour guide with Bernard's Tours who was very negative and very prejudiced when it came to Jamaicans, Dominicans and Haitians, and he shared things and his views, when he probably should not have. We also were not impressed with the tour, Marigot or the 20 useless minutes at Maho beach. The island is very pretty and really trying to recover from Irma. Next time we will book a water or beach excursion with Royal. We saw Harmony and wow, was she beautiful. The MSC ship (I think Seaside) was in port and a Marella ship as well. I enjoy seeing other ships, but we are loyal to Royal. Although, I would do a Celebrity cruise anytime, especially if it meant I got to meet Captain Kate.
San Juan was awesome. We did the Old and New San Juan tour. We booked through Royal a few days before leaving.Great tour and great guide named Hector. He suggested La Bombanara to us on San Francisco. It was an awesome cafe. Best latte I have ever had. I had the Balloon (an almond cake with a corn bread like texture and house made vanilla ice cream) and my husband had a buttered Mallorca, both were amazing. Mallorcas will be our go too next time we go to the cafe. I regret not getting an extra treat from the pastry case, they looked wonderful. We loved the forts and learning the history of the island. We are planning on sailing from San Juan one day. Such a beautiful island. I have been trying to learn Spanish the past couple months, and have not gotten very far because I recognized very little. Hector did teach us how to roll our "R's" though. But yea, I am still awful at it, haha.
We loved our beach bed rental on Labadee and how quite the beach around the beds was. We spent most the time swimming. We highly recommend the beds. Lunch tasted better then I expected for how busy it was. Hubs talked about the rice and beans for days, lol. Seeing the dogs running around by the hillside was a surprise. At first we were turned off because one started crying and screaming, we thought they were fighting and couldn't see.. But we saw them all again while walking around, they were really cute and they seemed harmless and wanted the buffet food. But I would suggest using caution if you see them. Poked around the indoor market place for a second, but didn't stay long. The market place and the stalls reminded me of Coco Cay, Nassau and Freeport. So we didn't feel the need to look much or buy anything since I don't like the badgering. The resort was very pretty and we look forward to going back. Does anyone know the story behind the "Carlos" straw bags we saw people carrying around?
We would sail Adventure again in a heart beat or any Voyager class ship. Our favorite class has been Freedom, when we sailed on Liberty on our last cruise. But the Voyager class is just as good. I have sailed three of of my seven cruises with Royal on Sovereign class ships and two on on Vision class. I don't mind the ship because I cruise to be on the open ocean. My favorite thing in the world is to be on deck at night. But I won't lie, the larger ships are nice. My husband says he would prefer to sail on anything Voyager class and up, but if the ports of call are really good, he doesn't mind the size. Adventure was in great shape. Such a pretty ship and she has a lot to offer. But hey, if I could be on deck all night, I would be ok working on the Dole ship that passed us when it was leaving Port Everglades, I'm not picky!
I don't normally share much about us or get personal with many people... but a little about us and why we wanted a "busy doing nothing" vacation. We are very easy going and easy to please people who just want to to have a good time in life. Although, I get pretty annoying when planning a vacation, lol. We have not cruised since October 2015 and our last vacation was to Hatteras Island in May of 2016. We have had a very rough couple of years. We lost our twin sons in the fall of 2016. They were born at 24 weeks and passed away at three days old and a week old. It was awful and obviously heart breaking and devastating. Just weeks after that, we had no idea if my husband was going to have a job or not due to his company selling off his division (thankfully after six long months, he and most his coworkers were able to keep their positions. Our vacation in 2017 to Hatteras was evacuated the morning after we arrived during Maria (which really was nothing for us compared to the disaster that she caused and I hate making it sound like we are complaining). I turned 30 this month and this trip was a great way to start a new age tier. We booked our cruise in late May. Boy, did that time fly! I made the decision this fall to cut hours back at work so that I can go back to school in January and retake some core classes. I have a good, but part-time job with a local city,but after four years, I have been told there will be no opportunities for full time. So decided that I needed to go back to school and work towards a career I am proud of. I have my eye on program that I am hoping to be accepted into this coming fall, which means leaving my job to be a full time student until the program ends. Which also means, NO VACATIONS, until I complete the program. BUT if I get in the program and graduate, I will have a very good start to a great career and can continue with my education further and further and advance in the field. I honestly think the program will work out for me and my start to my 30;s will be better then the end of my 20's. In a couple years, we will be able to book another cruise. My goal career will help us be able to cruise more often, take an Alaskan and European cruise or dare I say, one day take a South Pacific or Transatlantic voyage! I guesss it will be worth the break in vacations in the long hull, haha. Hope this was not too TMI! If so, blame the cocktail of meds I was put on for this bug!
So thank you to everyone for the chats and questions and answers the last 6 months while we prepped for our cruise. I love cruise critic and used to sit with my mom when I was in high school as she would research on here. This is such a great and helpful community!
Feel feel to ask me any questions. I might have missed some things. I hope you enjoyed my "quick" summary of our trip. I didn't want to to into too many details since we were pretty boring when not in port, lol. I have some photos posted on my instagram and am still working on getting more up, but I am not sure if I can share my handle on this post. So if I get the go ahead, I will link it.If we get out photos up loaded to an online album, I will share that too, if allowed. I really loved this cruise. I loved the ship. We had an amazing time and got to visit some wonderful places!
Thank you for reading this! I hope everyone has a great holiday season. See you around here and see you on the sea!