Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Review (Blast from the Past Post)

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Southern Caribbean Cruise 2007


This is a Blast from the Past post. These posts chronicle our travels and other life events before we started blogging!  These posts are usually heavy on the photos, but lighter on the narrative text.  

Back in 2007, Ken and I went on our first “big” vacation together. We had been to the Outer Banks a few months earlier, but that was just for a long weekend. It was actually while we were in the Outer Banks that my sister called me, and she told me about this great deal she had found on a Caribbean cruise. She gave me the details. It was a Southern Caribbean itinerary that would go from San Juan, Puerto Rico > Barbados > St. Lucia > Antigua > St. Maarten > St. Thomas > and back to San Juan.  I was like, “sure, sign me up!” My family used to go on a cruise pretty much every year I was in high school and college, but it had been at least 3 or 4 years since I had been on a cruise, so I was pretty excited.

I told Ken about it after my sister and I hung up. Ken was hinting around that he would love to go on a cruise. I initially hadn’t actually “invited” him, because we had only been dating three months at the time, and the cruise was four months from then, and I didn’t want him to get all like scared away at some girl trying to PLAN FOUR MONTHS INTO THE FUTURE WITH ME type of thing. Well, as it turns out, Ken was happy to plan a vacation with me, even if it was four months from then! He still makes fun of me for that to this day, claiming that he had to invite himself!

 

Complete Review of Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas cruise ship!

 

Four months later, we were still dating (and here we are, more than 7 years later, now married!), and the cruise was a blast.

We actually booked a “family suite” on the cruise ship. It consisted of two bedrooms, a living room, two full bathrooms (one with a standing shower only, another with a tub/shower combination), a walk-in closet, and a HUGE balcony on the rear of the ship. (Yes, aft, okay).

Luckily Ken took a ton of photos inside the ship, so we have some blog material for a ship review 7 years later! However, my memory is a bit hazy on what some of the rooms may have been called, so I’ll probably be presenting the photos pretty generically.

Around the Adventure of the Seas

At the time that we sailed, the Adventure of the Seas was one of the largest cruise ships operating. Well, that record has been smashed since then, but it was still an enormous ship. By far the biggest one I had ever been on.

Here I am trying to decipher the floor directory:

Directory for the Adventure of the Seas

The layout was really amazing, and there was some impressive decor that spanned the height of several decks. Even the elevators had a great view!

Atrium area of the Adventure of the Seas Adventure of the Seas atrium Adventure of the Seas decor

The Adventure of the Seas featured a large “Promenade,” with several restaurants and shops.

Promenade on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas Adventure of the Seas Promenade Promenade on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship | Adventure of the Seas Promenade

There are several cabins that have views of the Promenade. While those are “inside cabins,” meaning they have no view of the outdoors, I would imagine that they are slightly less claustrophobic than a traditional inside cabin with no windows whatsoever. I did wonder if the noises levels might be loud for folks staying in those rooms, tince the Promenade was always so crowded.

The windows in this photograph are of the Promenade-view cabins:

Windows of Promenade Cabins on Adventure of the Seas

There were several shops and restaurants along the Promenade, including a General Store to purchase small items you have have forgotten to pack!

General Store on Cruise Ship Promenade

Things to do on the Adventure of the Seas

Like I mentioned earlier, the Adventure of the Seas was by far the biggest cruise ship I had ever been on. So I was truly blown away by the amenities.

Rock climbing wall:

Rock Climbing Wall on Royal Caribbean | Adventure of the Seas

Huge Basketball/Soccer/Volleyball/General sports court:

Basketball court on Adventure of the Seas | Royal Caribbean

A fantastic arcade:

Arcade on cruise ship | Royal Caribbean Arcade onboard Air hockey tables on cruise ship

A mini golf course. I should point out that my nephew, who was 15 months at the time, LOVED the mini golf course. He mostly just picked up the golf balls and placed them in the holes, but it kept him entertained for a long time!

Miniature Golf Course on Royal Caribbean Mini Golf on the Adventure of the Seas

And, if you’re a motivated person (unlike me), you can even keep up with your running routine on an outdoor track or go to the gym:

Running and walking track on cruise ship Gym on the Adventure of the Seas

And I’m guessing that these “boards” on the floor are for some game or entertainment too?

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There was an area overlooking the helm of the ship (not sure if that is the right term!)

Ship helm on Adventure of the Seas

Overall, it was a fantastic looking ship!

Adventure of the Seas sign View of the ship’s side Adventure of the Seas

Pools and Hot Tubs on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas

Most of the cruise ships I had been on previously always had disappointingly small pools. But the pools on the Adventure of the Seas were a fantastic size!

Pools at night on the Adventure of the Seas Pools during the day on the cruise ship Two small hot tubs near the pools

Lounges, Entertainment, and Shows on the Adventure of the Seas

It’s been more than 7 years since this trip, and I didn’t label my photos as well as I do these days. So, I’m not sure of the names or purposes of each of these lounges. But here are the photos to give you an idea of the different options!

Lounges on Adventure of the Seas Lounges on Adventure of the Seas Lounges on Adventure of the Seas Lounges on Adventure of the Seas Main auditorium and theater on the Adventure of the Seas XX

There was a small library, with books and computers. Internet usage was available for a fee.

Library onboard the Adventure of the Seas Library onboard the Adventure of the Seas

There was even an ice skating rink, where we caught a show one evening!

Ice skating show on Royal Caribbean Ice skating show on Adventure of the Seas

And a small wedding chapel:

Wedding chapel on the Adventure of the Seas

And, a casino that was open pretty much any time the ship was at sea:

Casino on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas

There were a million other entertainment options, many of which we didn’t take advantage of mostly because we were too tired after long days in port! But, we did catch a comedy show (not pictured), and we also watched an ice carving demonstration:

Ice Carving Demonstration on cruise ship

Food and Dining on Royal Caribbean

We didn’t take too many photos of dining onboard, like of normal dinners or the regular daily buffets. But we did capture of few photos of the dining room, as well as some of the fantastic evening buffets.

Here is the main dining area. I believe we sat in the “Mozart” area.

Main dining hall on Adventure of the Seas Main dining hall on Adventure of the Seas

The buffet, called the Windjammer Cafe, was a great place to grab a quick bite for meals, in case you didn’t feel like doing the full “sit down” meal option.

Windjammer Cafe on Adventure of the Seas

There was also a Johnny Rockets (although that was an additional charge. But it didn’t seem any more expensive than what you would normally pay at a Johnny Rockets).

Johnny Rockets on the Adventure of the Seas

There was also at least one additional restaurant, called Portofino, which we did not eat at. It was also an additional cost, and fairly pricey.

And, if you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know that their “midnight” or “gala” buffets are huge deals, and can look like works of art. They even have a special photography hour, when you can photograph the buffet before people start diving in to eat!

Midnight gala buffet on cruise Midnight buffet on Adventure of the Seas Gala buffet on Royal Caribbean Buffet Buffet

Cabin on Adventure of the Seas

I mentioned earlier that we stayed in a family suite. Unfortunately we didn’t take many photos of it, but I will say that it was a fantastic option for families!  Booking a family suite also gave us access to a “concierge lounge” where we could go for expedited service, like booking shore excursions, or for light drinks and snacks before meals.

Here is a view of our enormous balcony:

Balcony from family suite on Adventure of the Seas Family suite balcony on Royal Caribbean

I’d definitely recommend the Adventure of the Seas. The food was not AS good as other cruise lines that I’ve been on, but it was still fantastic. I can’t think of a single complaint!

Barbados and St. Lucia – Cruise 2007 (Blast from the Past)

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Southern Caribbean Cruise 2007


This is a Blast from the Past post. These posts chronicle our travels and other life events before we started blogging!  These posts are usually heavy on the photos, but lighter on the narrative text.  

The first stop on our cruise was Barbados. For some of the ports-of-call, we opted for cruise-organized shore excursions, while for other destinations, we just did things on our own.

Barbados

In Barbados, we just did stuff on our own, and since it had been a hectic few days of travel and early morning wake-up calls, we opted to hang out at the beach.

We snapped a few pictures of the ship and dock area before heading to the taxi stands.

View of Barbados dock from our cruise ship cabin balcony Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas docked in Barbados Me standing at Welcome to Barbados sign

We arrived at Malibu Beach, and I was not aware it was actually named and branded for Malibu Rum!

Malibu Beach building in Barbados Hand stamp for Malibu Beach Colorful buildings on Malibu Beach

 

Either way, it was picturesque, the water was clear blue and warm, and we just enjoyed a day of relaxing and swimming in the Caribbean Sea!

Malibu Beach in Barbados Malibu Beach in Barbados Malibu Beach in Barbados

At some point, folks took horses way out into the water. I guess to cool off?

Horses in water at Malibu Beach in Barbados

St. Lucia

The next day, the Adventure of the Seas docked in St. Lucia. Here we opted for an organized cruise excursion. I looked through some of Royal Caribbean’s current excursion offerings, and it looks like it might be similar to the “Best Views of St. Lucia.” However, some of the sites listed in the description don’t look like sites we visited. So, it was either a different excursion, or they’ve swapped some things out!

I mentioned in the previous cruise post that I didn’t used to label my pictures as accurately as I do these days. So unfortunately I’m not sure what these stops are. Please forgive the lack of descriptions and just enjoy the photos!

Our first stop was a lovely panoramic view of St. Lucia. It also gave the perfect view of our cruise ship!

View of the Adventure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) in St. Lucia Views of St. Lucia Views of St. Lucia

And me, looking younger and skinnier!

Me at panoramic lookout point in St. Lucia

Our next stop in St. Lucia, based on some information I can find, was the Iniskilling Monument.

Iniskilling Monument in St. Lucia Iniskilling Monument in St. Lucia Iniskilling Monument in St. Lucia Iniskilling Monument in St. Lucia Iniskilling Monument in St. Lucia

We also made a stop at this house, which I think may have been a plantation. Again, apologies I can’t remember the details and didn’t document it thoroughly! It also provided fantastic views of St. Lucia!

Historic Home in St. Lucia - Royal Caribbean Cruise Excursion Historic Home in St. Lucia Historic Home in St. Lucia Historic Home in St. Lucia Historic Home in St. Lucia

After the excursion, we just walked around the port area.

Views around cruise ship dock area in St. Lucia Views around cruise ship dock area in St. Lucia Views around cruise ship dock area in St. Lucia Views around cruise ship dock area in St. Lucia Views around cruise ship dock area in St. Lucia Views around cruise ship dock area in St. Lucia

And we saw this truck. I really have no explanation.

Pork truck in St. Lucia | Funny sign

And before we knew it, it was time to board the ship to leave St. Lucia. From our aft balcony, we had a great view of the tugboats pushing us away from the dock.

Tugboats pushing cruise ship in St. Lucia Departing St. Lucia on Adventure of the Seas

And as we left St. Lucia, we sailed right past the end of a runway!

View of runway we sailed by on cruise ship

And that was it. So long St. Lucia!

View from cruise ship as departing St. Lucia

Antigua – Cruise 2007 (Blast from the Past)

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Southern Caribbean Cruise 2007


This is a Blast from the Past post. These posts chronicle our travels and other life events before we started blogging!  These posts are usually heavy on the photos, but lighter on the narrative text.  

The third port-of-call on our 2007 Caribbean Cruise was Antigua. And my was it stunning! For this port, we opted for a cruise-organized shore excursion and we were able to see a many stunning views in our short visit in Antigua.

It was such a picturesque day with the bright blue skies and puffy clouds!

Adventure of the Seas | Royal Caribbean | Cruise ship docked in Antigua Adventure of the Seas | Royal Caribbean | Cruise ship docked in Antigua

As we looked for the tour bus for our particular excursion, we walked by this bus. Was it a scenic funeral tour?

Funny signs in Antigua

Shirley’s Lookout

Our first stop provided some amazing vistas of Antigua’s beautiful waters. I had to look it up for this blog post, but I think this was “Shirley’s Lookout.”

Shirley Heights Lookout in Antigua Shirley Heights Lookout in Antigua Shirley Heights Lookout in Antigua Shirley Heights Lookout in Antigua

So, it was at this spot that something occurred that Ken and I still joke about. About how he was taking video and not watching where he was going, tripped, and I thought he was about to tumble over the cliff. He claims he was not that close to the edge, and that it wasn’t a “cliff” but instead a steep rocky path that would not have meant imminent death. But I beg to differ, and still beg to differ to this day!

That would’ve made a Dateline special for sure!. I can hear Keith Morrison narrating the introduction now. “And here they were, taking in the beautiful views in Antigua, during their first big vacation together of their relationship. And then something went terribly wrong. SHE claims he tripped. That he was video taping and wasn’t watching where he was going. But is that REALLY what happened? Or did she push him?”

And then they proceed to find people I haven’t spoken to for decades to determine whether I could be a cold-blooded killer.

Ah yes, we’re weirdos. Thankfully he did not actually plummet to his death, so no Dateline special was necessary.

Shirley Heights Lookout in Antigua Shirley Heights Lookout in Antigua Shirley Heights Lookout in Antigua

Then, if I recall correctly, we took our small tour bus to a different part of Shirley’s Lookout.

Views fromShirley Heights Lookout in Antigua Views from Shirley’s Lookout in Antigua Views from Shirley’s Lookout in Antigua Buildings on Shirley’s Lookout in Antigua Views from Shirley’s Lookout in Antigua Buildings on Shirley’s Lookout in Antigua Views from Shirley’s Lookout in Antigua

And let’s all revert to our 7th grade sense of humor for a moment and laugh at these plants.

Funny looking plants in Antigua

Nelson’s Dockyard

After Shirley’s Lookout, we headed to Nelson’s Dockyard, which was SO picturesque. (Horatio Nelson was a famous British Admiral).

Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua as part of Royal Caribbean Cruise Excursion | Adventure of the Seas Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua

And those were our big stops in Antigua! Truly a stunning island.

St. Maarten and St. Thomas – 2007 Caribbean Cruise (Blast from the Past)

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Southern Caribbean Cruise 2007


This is a Blast from the Past post. These posts chronicle our travels and other life events before we started blogging!  These posts are usually heavy on the photos, but lighter on the narrative text.  

Our fourth and fifth ports of call on our 2007 Southern Caribbean cruise were St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

Unlike the previous two ports, Antigua and St. Lucia, where we took organized shore excursions, we traveled on our own in St. Maarten and St. Thomas (like we did in Barbados, our first port). We like to mix it up!

Our first stop in St. Maarten was the Butterfly Farm.

Butterfly Farm in St. Maarten

Butterfly Farm in St. Maarten

It was really cute, and we may have gone a bit overboard taking photos of the multitudes of butterflies inside! So, I’ll just post a few of the favorites:

Butterflies inside the St. Maarten Butterfly Farm Butterflies inside the St. Maarten Butterfly Farm Butterflies inside the St. Maarten Butterfly Farm

There’s fruit all throughout the farm for the butterflies to eat!

Fruit for butterflies to eat at farm in St. Maarten (Caribbean Cruise) Butterflies inside the St. Maarten Butterfly Farm

Afterwards, we stopped by this nice dock area (sorry, I don’t have specifics beyond that!) before getting in a taxi to go to a beach in St. Maarten.

St. Maarten beautiful skies

Just look at those beautiful puffy white clouds that day!

St. Maarten beautiful skies St. Maarten beautiful skies St. Maarten beautiful skies St. Maarten beautiful skies

Maho Beach in St. Maarten

Next, we stopped by Maho Beach. It just looks like your typical stunning Caribbean Beach, right?

Maho Beach Maho Beach

Well, if by the silly tone of my question (can people hear tones on the internet?) you couldn’t already tell, it’s certainly not a typical beach. The first signal that it’s your normal, everyday beach are the signs like this posted all around:

Danger signs at Maho Beach in St. Maarten Danger signs at Maho Beach in St. Maarten

Literally right as we got out of the taxi at Maho Beach, this jet was coming in for a landing! There was hardly a moment to get the cameras ready to take good photos.

Jet landing at Maho Beach in St. Maarten

We asked around, and the day we were there was not a big “jumbo jet” day. Apparently jumbo jets frequent the island only on certain days, which sounds pretty likely, since some airlines only operate certain routes on certain days of the week. However, there was an Air France jet scheduled to land later in the afternoon.

In the meantime, we were able to see lots of smaller planes landing at St. Maarten’s airport from Maho Beach! And we also took in the sites at the beach in general, and even took a quick dip.

Planes landing at Maho Beach Planes landing at Maho Beach Planes landing at Maho Beach Maho Beach in St. Maarten Maho Beach in St. Maarten

(That’s not us in the above picture!)

Planes landing at Maho Beach Planes landing at Maho Beach

After a while, we were getting pretty baked by the sun on the beach, so we walked to a neighboring bar and restaurant for some drinks and shade (but were still able to enjoy watching the planes land).

Bar next to Maho beach to watch planes land Watching planes land at St. Maarten airport from nearby bar and restaurant | Maho beach Planes landing on Maho Beach

Then, everybody started taking notice of the Air France plane coming in on approach. I’m not as good of an airplane identifier as many, but with the four engines I was guessing it was either at B–777 or an A340.

Air France Jumbo Jet landing near Maho Beach in St. Maarten Air France Jumbo Jet landing near Maho Beach in St. Maarten Air France Jumbo Jet landing near Maho Beach in St. Maarten

We sat around the bar for a little while longer, then headed back to the ship.

Sailboats near Maho Beach Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas docked in St. Maarten Adventure of the Seas docked in St. Maarten

St. Thomas

Our last and final stop on the cruise prior to disembarking in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was St. Thomas. Like St. Maarten, we just traveled on our own instead of taking a shore excursion. Our first stop was the Skyride to Paradise Peak.

Paradise Peak and Skyride in St. Thomas

Skyride in St. Thomas Skyride in St. Thomas Skyride in St. Thomas

We had an amazing view of the ship from the skyride.

Adventure of the Seas in St. Thomas

At the top, there wasn’t much to DO, but the vistas of the water and mountains were stunning!

Views from Paradise Point in St. Thomas | Cruise Destination Views from Paradise Point in St. Thomas Views from Paradise Point in St. Thomas Views from Paradise Point in St. Thomas Ken and I at Paradise Point in St. Thomas

However, there was a short walking path with some beautiful flowers to enjoy.

Paradise Point Nature Trail in St. Thomas Paradise Point Nature Trail in St. Thomas Paradise Point Nature Trail in St. Thomas

And before long, we boarded the skyride back to the bottom.

Skyride in St. Thomas

Coral World and Beach in St. Thomas

Our next stop was Coral World and Beach. This place was decent, but perhaps a bit dated. However, with such stunning scenery around, there really isn’t much to complain about!

Rocky Beaches near Coral World in St. Thomas Rocky Beaches near Coral World in St. Thomas

There was a small aquarium, which gave some good views of fishes! I think I had a screensaver like this in 1998. (And yes, I made that same joke talking about our trip to the Atlanta Aquarium during our 2008 Road Trip).

Fishes in aquarium at Coral World

There was this pod-type structure, which allowed you to go below sea level to see marine life in its natural habitat. At the time, LOST was a popular TV show, so lots of folks were commenting that this looked like something out of LOST.

Coral World Coral World

After descending some steps, there were lots of small windows to observe life under the sea!

Viewing underwater life from Coral World in St. Thomas Viewing underwater life from Coral World in St. Thomas Viewing underwater life from Coral World in St. Thomas Viewing underwater life from Coral World in St. Thomas

Then we walked around for a bit more, finding this lovely covered pavilion.

Covered Pavilion at Coral World Covered Pavilion at Coral World | Views of St. Thomas Covered Pavilion at Coral World | Views of St. Thomas

And there were plenty of animals to see and interact with at Coral World as well!

Iguana Colorful bird Turtles at Coral World in St. Thomas

Afterwards, we headed back to the ship and said so long to St. Thomas!

San Juan, Puerto Rico – 2007 Caribbean Cruise (Blast from the Past)

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Southern Caribbean Cruise 2007


This is a Blast from the Past post. These posts chronicle our travels and other life events before we started blogging!  These posts are usually heavy on the photos, but lighter on the narrative text.

Our cruise disembarked where it started – San Juan, Puerto Rico. Because our flight wasn’t leaving until the afternoon, we had a few hours of free time. We opted for a cruise excursion through Royal Caribbean that would do a brief tour of San Juan. This way, Royal Caribbean would also handle our luggage after disembarking the ship. In fact, they actually took our luggage to the airport, and when the tour ended, the tour bus dropped everybody off at the airport, and we met up with our luggage there. It worked out really well!

It was a bus tour with one big stop at Fort San Cristobal. So, most of our photos … actually ALL of our photos … are just from Fort San Cristobal. But it’s okay, because it was beautiful! I love old forts like this.

Fort San Cristobal Fort San Cristobal Fort San Cristobal Fort San Cristobal

There were some fantastic views of San Juan from the fort!

Views of San Juan from Fort San Cristobal Views of San Juan from Fort San Cristobal Views of San Juan from Fort San Cristobal Views of San Juan from Fort San Cristobal Views of San Juan from Fort San Cristobal

We enjoyed exploring all the little rooms and tunnels and iron gate windows!

Fort San Cristobal Fort San Cristobal Fort San Cristobal Fort San Cristobal

Unlike a lot of places you go to when cruise ships are docked, it luckily wasn’t terribly crowded.

Fort San Cristobal Fort San Cristobal Fort San Cristobal Fort San Cristobal Fort San Cristobal

And pretty soon, it was time to go back to the bus and make our way to the airport. We had had a fantastic cruise, and since it was Ken’s first cruise ever, he seemed totally hooked and looked forward to future cruises. And I was right onboard with him! (Pun intended). I’d been cruising since junior high school, and loved it, so I was glad to see that he shared the interest as well!