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FionaMG

Semi-live + Recap: Thanksgiving cruise on Adventure, 23 November to 1 December 2019

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In the words of the old John Denver song – “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go”! I’m not quite standing outside the door yet though since we don’t set off until tomorrow afternoon.

 

Last year, about this time, I participated in a joint live review of Navigator OTS 9-night ABC itinerary with @Rogueperson. I enjoyed the experience and thought I would give it a go myself this year on the Adventure of the Seas 8-night Eastern Caribbean Thanksgiving cruise.

 

So, to get things started with some introductory background...

 

We (myself and DH Fernando) will be flying from our local airport – Faro, in the Algarve, which is mainland Portugal’s southernmost province – to Lisbon, where we will overnight at the Star Inn Lisbon Airport Hotel. We have stayed here twice before. It is less than a five-minute walk from the terminal and offers a very decent included breakfast. I would definitely recommend it as a good option if you just need a room for the night in Lisbon before an early flight.

 

While this overnight is not strictly essential, it does mean we avoid the dreaded 3 am start to catch the 6 am feeder flight, which would then be followed by a 4-hour layover in Lisbon. Not a great start to a holiday and guaranteed to have us arriving in Miami utterly exhausted.

 

On this particular occasion it will also give us the chance to go and see the Portuguese version of the musical Chicago, which is showing in Lisbon at the moment.

 

Our flight to Miami International departs from Lisbon at 10.35 on Thursday morning, arriving stateside at 2.55 pm. We are flying on TAP, the Portuguese flag-carrier, who are operating the flight with one of their very new Airbus Neo aircraft, so that will be an interesting change from the much older and very tired airbuses they previously used for this route.

 

On arrival we will try to Uber or Lyft to the Best Western Plus Oceanside Inn in Fort Lauderdale for a two-night pre-cruise stay. We have stayed here before too and find it to be a pleasant and reasonably-priced option within walking distance of just about everything you could need, as well as offering a very decent included breakfast. Yes, there’s a pattern here. We do prefer included breakfasts!

 

We are hoping that the weather will cooperate and we will be able to spend the day on Friday riding the water taxi.

 

Saturday the 23rd is Cruise Day. We are aiming to board at about 1 pm, just as the cabins open up. The morning will probably be spent relaxing by the hotel pool. For us, the hotel stay is part of our overall holiday and we prefer the comfort and convenience of boarding later, so we don’t feel that we are missing out by not getting to the port earlier.

 

Our ports of call on the 8-night cruise are Labadee, San Juan Puerto Rico, St Thomas and St Maarten. We have booked one excursion through the ship – the 5-star island tour in St Thomas – and will be doing our own thing in the other three ports. We have also booked the 3-night speciality dining package so will be looking to eat twice in Giovanni’s and once in Chops. No Izumi for us as we don’t like sushi and Adventure does not have the hot rocks option.

 

At the end of the cruise we will book an excursion with airport drop-off; we just haven’t decided which one yet. Again, the convenience is the deal-breaker for us.

 

I will try and post at least once a day, including pics of the daily compass and menus, and I will be very happy to try and find the answer to any questions while we are on board, so feel free to ask.

 

Oh, and one last very important note to close on for this evening… This will be our very first cruise as Diamond C&A members. Uber-excited would be an understatement.

Edited by FionaMG

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@FionaMG!!!!!!

 

I have a good news and bad news.  Good news.  As fate would have it, I too will be at Port Everglades that same day you are.  I too will be starting my Live thread.  I am on Allure of the Seas, leaving on December 1st.  We will probably miss each other.

 

Here in lies the bad news.  There are EIGHT ships debarking and embarking that day.  There is a chance that the port will break its record of most people processed in one day.  My math at 97% booking of all the ships say it will not quite make the 54700 people to break the record.  My math only took it up to 53500, or something like that.  Still, I should warn you its going to be a zoo when you get off the ship.

 

Despite that, I'm going to subscribe here as I live vicariously through you right up until board my ship and miss you in the crowds of Fort Lauderdale.

 

Happy Cruising.

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10 hours ago, Rogueperson said:

As fate would have it, I too will be at Port Everglades that same day you are.  I too will be starting my Live thread.  I am on Allure of the Seas, leaving on December 1st.  We will probably miss each other.

 

Hi Rogue! Good to hear from you. :classic_smile: I remember you saying you were going to be doing the Allure December 1st cruise. We were originally planning on doing Allure the week after you but got an amazing deal on trans-Pond flights for the Adventure cruise, so we opted for that instead.

Thanks for the heads-up about the mass confusion at PE that day. Hopefully it won't affect us too much since we'll be doing a post-cruise excursion.

I will be looking out for your review as it will help stave off the post-cruise blues.

Have a great time when it comes!

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We are on our way! Our local airport is very quiet at this time of year. It is mostly used for summer flights bringing holidaymakers to enjoy our wonderful beaches.

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5 minutes ago, Tulsacoker said:

How does a Victoria's Secret make it in the Airport? 

Haha, we have all sorts in our airports here. 😆

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Have a great trip and thanks for sharing. I will be on Adventure the beginning of December and it will also be my first sailing as a Diamond member.  Interested in your experiences with that and the ship. 

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2 hours ago, TimeToGetNauti said:

Have a great trip and thanks for sharing. I will be on Adventure the beginning of December and it will also be my first sailing as a Diamond member.  Interested in your experiences with that and the ship. 

Thanks for following along. 😁

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Our flight to Lisbon was on time and uneventful. We checked into the hotel where we found everything to be as expected, having stayed here twice before. The rooms are small but are fine for an overnight stay.

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Ours is the door on the right at the far end of the corridor.

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The lobby is already decorated for Christmas.

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And there are vending machines and even a scale that you can use to weigh your luggage before heading to the airport.

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As I mentioned before, the hotel is less than 5 minutes walk from the airport and there is a metro (underground, subway) station at the airport, making it very easy to get into the city centre. Tickets cost just €1.50 each way. Very convenient.

 

That's it for tonight; it's way past my bedtime on this side of the pond. Our flight to Miami is tomorrow morning so sleep is calling. 

Goodnight and thanks for following.:classic_smile:

Edited by FionaMG
Switched device. Sp.

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I'll be on the cruise with you and look forward to meeting you for the Meet & Mingle and cabin crawl if you partake.  Leaving for a night at Hollywood Hard Rock on Friday, then will Uber to the pier. Thanks #RoguePerson for the info regarding ships in Port Everglades on 12/1. We will (again) be taking Uber from the terminal to get from Adventure OTS to the Princess terminal for the (mostly) brand new Sky Princess for an additional 3 night cruise. I guess we will stay on Adventure as long as possible to try to avoid the masses on the pier. Sky is undergoing a Coast Guard inspection and is not scheduled to leave PE until 10 p.m. ! Check in supposedly does not begin until 5 p.m. so there will be no hurry to make the short trip over. See you all soon!

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We made it across the pond. :classic_biggrin:

I will update the thread tomorrow after I have slept off the jet lag.

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Have a wonderful cruise...we will be hopping on the Adventure when you return for a Back to Back.  I will be following along closely.  ENJOY!

 

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8 hours ago, Nessa1dc said:

Have a wonderful cruise...we will be hopping on the Adventure when you return for a Back to Back.  I will be following along closely.  ENJOY!

 

Thank you. :classic_smile:

Hope yours will be wonderful too. I would like to do a b2b sometime. 

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So, time to start playing catch-up. :classic_smile:

 

We enjoyed the hotel's included breakfast before walking back over to the airport for our cross-pond flight. It is a very good breakfast for a hotel of this category, with lots of different continental offerings, some hot items and even an espresso machine as well as the usual filter coffee.

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Our flight across the pond was uneventful and on time. We paid an extra 70 euros each for exit row seats and it made a huge difference. Having plenty of space to stretch out in and not having someone else's seat back in our faces was great!

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The only issue with these seats is that it gets very cold so I came prepared with fluffy socks and slippers to keep my feet warm!

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The flight was on one of TAP's new Airbus Neo so we had pretty decent in-flight entertainment with many films, TV shows and games, as well as the flight map. Our screens swivelled out from the armrests.

 

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There are various internet options offered on board including free text messaging.

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We had 2 meals during the flight; lunch about 90 minutes after takeoff and a snack about 90 minutes before landing. The lunch was just about edible; it was some sort of chicken dish and was poorer in quality than I have come to expect from TAP. The snack, however, was quite good.

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Edited by FionaMG
Switched device. Sp.

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We made it on board. Yay! :classic_biggrin:

Unfortunately the internet has been impossible to use, dead slow and stop all day, so I can see my semi-live review turning into a recap review. :classic_sad:

That being the case, I will simply try to post whatever and whenever I can.

 

The ship seems very crowded. We usually sail on less popular dates when ships are quieter so it's probably because this is a holiday sailing. There are lots of kids.

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Just had our cruise critic meet and mingle. No wine at the raffle, just 2 water bottles, a baseball cap and a backpack.

However, the Activities Manager, Kelly, did a good job of getting people to interact.

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I remember when we were on the Navigator, location is important for wi-fi.  I could never post in the Diamond Lounge for some odd reason even though I had full wi-fi reception, cruise critic would never load or anything else for that matter.  I got better data closer in and to the promenade for some reason.

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Yes, I remember you saying that. It comes and goes but is mostly dead slow and stop anywhere I have been so far. I may go and speak to guest services about it, because it's not acceptable to have paid for surf and

stream and not even be getting surf. 

It's not letting me upload pics either. Boo. ☹️

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56 minutes ago, FionaMG said:

Yes, I remember you saying that. It comes and goes but is mostly dead slow and stop anywhere I have been so far. I may go and speak to guest services about it, because it's not acceptable to have paid for surf and

stream and not even be getting surf. 

It's not letting me upload pics either. Boo. ☹️

 

Bummer, I'm on next week. Hopefully you get it fixed.😉

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2 hours ago, FionaMG said:

Yes, I remember you saying that. It comes and goes but is mostly dead slow and stop anywhere I have been so far. I may go and speak to guest services about it, because it's not acceptable to have paid for surf and

stream and not even be getting surf. 

It's not letting me upload pics either. Boo. ☹️

the pictures were REAL slow, even when it was working.  If you know how to do a speedtest, you can see what kind of speeds you're working with.  I posted it a couple times on our live thread last year.

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1 hour ago, Rogueperson said:

If you know how to do a speedtest, you can see what kind of speeds you're working with. 

Unlikely the numbers will be much different than the norm of 600+ms pings and <4Mbps download speed.

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54 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Unlikely the numbers will be much different than the norm of 600+ms pings and <4Mbps download speed.

That's the good number.  If she's dealing with 1000ms pings 1Mbps download speed, then its slower than normal.  I did checks all the time just to see if it was normal or below normal.  And then there were times it was just too slow to test.

 

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