Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas – May 2018
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas was repositioning from a winter in San Juan, Puerto Rico to a stop on St. Maarten, followed by three days at sea before arriving a Cape Liberty, NJ. I did not have plans to sail this voyage, but a bunch of my cruising friends kept talking about this inexpensive trip. So I finally checked in to it. Whoa, it was a bargain, then I checked airfare; not too shabby considering I only had to fly one way.
So I asked Mrs. Cookingyo if she wanted to come, she said she couldn’t get the time off of work. Bubs Cookingyo already missed 5 days of schooling due to cruising this school year (5 is the max the school will excuse) because of Harmony of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas.
So it looked like I was going Solo. Now I didn’t have vacation scheduled at this time but luckily we can trade shifts, so I found a couple of guy to swap shifts and I was good to go. I booked originally on line then transferred my reservation to my travel agent. I had the big choice now. What kind of cabin. Ultimately I chose a 6D balcony at the back of the ship. Was it the optimal cabin? Nope! I chose it because it was in a dark spot on the ship and I might be able to get a few shots of the Milky Way from there. I know it is real nerdy but it’s my thing.
Since the only way I could make this trip work budget wise was to fly in the morning of. Let me preface by saying I hate doing this. The good news is cruises normally depart San Juan at 8:30 pm. Flying four hours, to get to a cruise isn’t the optimal way. I prefer to fly in the day before, rest a little and the make a mad dash for the ship as soon as the doors open. It wasn’t happening. I booked an 8:05 am flight which would land in San Juan at 11:58 am. I booked the flight with Air2Sea as a hedge in case anything bad happened and I could not make it to the ship by 7pm. Air2Sea would put me up and get me to the ship at the next port.
Also I checked out the price of Economy vs. Business class on the Boeing 767-300. Business class was $80 more. It was a slam dunk. I knew I would get on the plane first. The seats would fold down flat so I could rest, (I had to work the day before and got up at 4am), so a couple of hours extra to sleep wouldn’t hurt. I would eat and drink, and most importantly my 1 piece of luggage would be one of the first bags to arrive at the baggage carousel. *** The only reason I needed to check a bag was because of the tripods I brought to document the ship for Cookingyo.com would not fit in a carry on bag. So sacrifices sometimes have to be made.****
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas – C6SA3
Class of Ship – Voyager
Tonnage- 137,276 GT
Length- 1020 Ft
Max Beam- 161 ft
Draft 28 ft
Maximum Passengers- 3807
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas – Ship Tour
Conference Center – There is normally some type of Conference space located on each Royal Caribbean ship. On the Adventure it is located on Deck two forward. These spaces are prearranged and used by groups or companies to do business, have fun or just assemble large groups of people. Occasionally you will see Ship Talent practicing for an upcoming show.
360 View of the Conference Center click HERE!
360 View of the Centrum from Deck 3 click HERE!
Studio B – A multipurpose venue that is normally the home to ice skating during most of the cruise but can be converted to a venue for a show, dance party or games like “THE QUEST”.
Focus Photo Gallery – Here is the place to go to view the photographs taken by Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Staff photographers. You can use the kiosk by swiping your Sea Pass and view which photographs you would like to purchase. Pick up is performed at the desk. Make sure you don’t wait till the last minute because they only print pictures up to a certain hour on the last day. Otherwise you will be stuck with digital versions.
Sapphire Main Dining Room – The MDR spans three decks; Decks three, four, and five towards the aft of the ship. Those with prescribed standard dinning times of first or second seating go to certain decks and those who must make reservations for My Time Dining or MTD will report to another deck
360 View of the Sapphire Dining Room Click HERE!
Lyric Theater – Located on decks four, three, and two.The main theatre is where the larger production shows, big name talent and other events such as shopping guide talks are given.
360 View of the Lyric Theatre click HERE!
360 View of the Forward Elevators Click HERE!
360 View of the Deck 4 Centrum Click HERE!
360 View of the Aft Elevator Click HERE!
Schooner Bar – The soul of every Royal Caribbean ship; Adventure’s Schooner Bar is located on deck four by the forward steps on the starboard side. The Schooner bar is the go to place to listen to live piano music, play trivia, or even take part in a adult coloring activity. It is also a great place to begin a bar crawl or organize for a slot pull contest.
360 View of the Schooner Bar Click HERE!
CHOPS Steakhouse -Royal Caribbean’s signature steak house specialty restaurant. It can be found on deck 4 Port side across from the Schooner Bar.
360 View of CHOPS Click HERE!
360 View of CHOPS #2 Click HERE!
Casino – The action of the ship is located on deck four in the center of the ship. There are slot machines, and table games. There is a bar. Access to the casino is through the Centrum, down the stairs in the Promenade, or by the Schooner Bar. Smoking is permitted in this venue in limited spots.
360 View of the Casino Click HERE!
360 View of the Casino #2 Click HERE!
360 View of the Casino #3 Click HERE!
Boleros – The Latin themed lounge has performers at night and a friendly bar staff through out the day. The bar side of the lounge is on deck for Port side
360 View of Boleros Click HERE!
Forward Observation Deck – The forward observation deck is nothing more than a fancy name for the helipad on the front to the ship. It can be slightly tricky to find but if you go to deck four by the forward stairs and exit outside. Then walk up a flight of stairs and keep walking forward till you see a platform with stairs. Climb those steps and that is the observation deck. Note it is normally windy and it is not really lit up at night for navigation purposes, but it is a great spot to look at stars.
360 View of the Forward Observation Deck (Helipad) Click HERE!
Imperial Lounge – A multipurpose lounge that is the home to BINGO, the top tier event, and singing and dancing events and competitions. It is located forward on Deck 5.
360 View of the Imperial Lounge Click HERE!
Champagne Bar – A great lounge to get a martini or a glass of Champagne. The Champagne bar is more refined and not the place to go for a blender drink.
360 View of the Champagne Bar Click HERE!
Excursions Desk & Service Desk
Shore Excursions – A small desk located in the Centrum that offers advice on booking, and changes to excursions offered through Royal Caribbean.
Guest Services – The catch all for customer service, Guest Services is a place to have generalized questions answered, all billing concerns, a place to make a complaint or compliment. If you win at BINGO, this is where you go to get paid. In addition the Daily Cruise Compass is available in multiple languages here.
360 View of the Excursions and Service Desk Click HERE!
The middle of the ship contains a long wide open hall that has drinking, shopping and eating venues. It is a mini-mall of sorts and there are normally people there most hours of the day; additionally there are special events and party’s that are planned throughout the cruise on the Royal Promenade.
360 View of the Promenade Click HERE!
360 View of the Promenade #2 Click HERE!
360 View of the Promenade #3 Click HERE!
360 View of the Promenade #4 Click HERE!
360 View of the Promenade #5 Click HERE!
Cafe Promenade – A small bistro located forward on the promenade. They have small sandwiches, fresh pizza, and desserts. Next to it is the coffee bar where you can get specialty coffee.
360 View of Cafe Promenade click HERE!
Starbucks Coffee and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Next to Cafe Promenade is the Starbucks coffee bar where you can get specialty coffee, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream where you can get delicious frozen treats.
Dog & Duck Pub – Royal Caribbean’s Pub style venue. It features different beers on tap and in bottles. At night there is a Pub singer playing songs on the guitar encouraging patrons to sing along.
Free Style Soda Machines – A prime location for filling up the large plastic cups that those who purchase the soda, and drink packages can get refills without having to flag down a bartender.
Izumi – Royal Caribbean’s partnered restaurant with Chef Travis Kamiyama, a Japanese themed restaurant. Sushi is the specialty. They also hold sushi making classes.
360 View of Izumi click HERE!
SHOPPING Venues – There are multiple retail outlets to purchase different items from Perfume and Cosmetics to RCCL Logo wear, to designer clothes, to Liquor and Cigarettes.
Next Cruise – This area is a place to book your next cruise. Normally there is a book with appointment slots that you sign up for. When your time arrives you report and an agent will go over different cruise options you have for booking future cruises and any incentives. Though not as lucrative as it was in years past, Next Cruise is still a good option for many. As per one of my travel agents, you can also book any other cruise under the Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD umbrella, namely Celebrity, and Azmara.
360 View of Next Cruise Click HERE!
Library – A semi-quiet space for reading. Books can be borrowed, also there are board games and cards. In addition the Crown & Anchor Loyalty Ambassador has a desk here with limited hours.
360 View of the Library Click Here!
RC Online – A place to login in and surf the Internet. It is for those who have purchased VOOM or those who wish to purchase VOOM especially for those needing to confirm airline reservations.
360 View of RC Online Click HERE!
Windjammer Cafe – Royal Caribbean’s buffet. The suggested venue by Royal on date of embarkation for lunch, it is a buffet style eatery that has enough food for even the hungriest of stomachs. There is a full service bar located in the aft seating area of the Windjammer complex.
360 View of part of the Windjammer Click HERE!
360 View of the Entrance to Windjammer Click HERE!
Giovanni’s Table – Royal Caribbean’s Italian specialty restaurant. It can be found on the Starboard side of deck 11 outside the Windjammer complex.
360 View of Giovanni’s Table Click HERE!
Main Pool – The hub of activity on the pool deck revolves around the Main Pool and the four whirlpools. There are two main pools along with a whirlpool to the rear and to the side of each. This area is also the location of the big screen which mostly shows blooper reels during day time and feature films at other times. There is a splash zone located on the Starboard side towards the aft for the wee little ones to play.
Both the World’s Sexiest Man Competition and the famous BELLY FLOP contest are held by or in the main pool.
Pool Bar – The closest bar to the Main Pool, a full service bar that accommodate most frozen drinks, cocktails and beers that are served on board. Soft drinks are also available for those with appropriate packages or anyone who wishes to charge against their account.
360 View of the Pool Bar Click HERE!
Solarium – The “adults” only pool and bar area. The Solarium is traditionally an area for those 16 and older to get away for awhile from the wee little ones. There is a pool, and two whirlpools.
This lovely couple decided to give the the informal catalog look for the Solarium picture after asking what the heck I was doing. It is always nice to meet good sports while taking picture of the ship.
360 View of the Solarium Click HERE!
360 View of the Solarium Whirlpool Click HERE!
Solarium Bar – Located in the back of the Solarium is a full service bar.
Fitness Center – The Fitness Center which is located on deck 11 forward. It contains stationary work out machines, weights and tread mills. There is a separate studio for YOGA and other large group work outs.
360 View of the Fitness Center Click HERE!
360 View of the Fitness Center #2 Click HERE!
360 View of the Fitness Center #3 Click Here!
Sky Bar – Located above the pool complex, it is a great alternative to the busier pool bar.
360 View of Adventure Dunes Click HERE!
Johnny Rockets – Royal Caribbean’s Retro style 50’s diner. There is an inside and an outside sitting area. There is a surcharge to eat there but it is a fun experience.
360 View of the inside of Johnny Rockets Click HERE!
Arcade – A well stocked video arcade. There are video games, table games and a few games of chance where you can win a prize.
360 View of the Arcade Click HERE!
Vitality Spa – Vitality SPA is located on deck 12 forward above the fitness center. It is primarily accessed through a wonderful spiral stair case. Here all spa and beauty services are performed.
360 View of the Vitality Spa Staircase Click HERE!
360 View of the Vitality Spa Staircase #2 Click HERE!
FlowRider – A surfing simulator located on the aft of the ship. Depending on the time it is either set up for stand up or body surfing. Make sure your waiver is signed prior to waiting in line.
360 View of the FlowRider Click HERE!
The Perfect Storm – Located on the Port side these are the water slides of the ship. They are accessed just forward of the FLOWRIDER in a protected staircase.
Sports Deck– A multi-sport playing court. Basketball was seen being played every time I walked past it.
Rock Climbing Wall – Right next to the sports courts is the Rock Climbing Wall.
360 View of Deck 14 Stairs Landing Click HERE!
Suite Lounge – Card access lounge for those staying in Grand Suite cabins and above (Gold Colored Sea Pass Cards). In addition Crown & Anchor Pinnacle Club members have access too.
Diamond Lounge – A lounge for Crown & Anchor members who are Diamond, Diamond +, and Pinnacle club members.
360 View of the Diamond Lounge Click HERE!
Viking Crown Lounge – Blue Moon – A lounge located in the “Viking Crown”, a late night favorite for adult dancing but can be a quiet place to hang out during the day.
360 View of Viking Crown Lounge Click HERE!
Skylight Chapel – A small chapel for weddings, and renewal of vows located on top of the “Viking Crown”.
360 View of Skylight Chapel Click HERE!
Day 1 – Pre-cruise
I arrived at the airport around 0630 for my 0815 flight. I checked my bag, had quick security check courtesy of the TSA and then it was the waiting game for boarding. Funny story, TSA asked if I had any electronics in the bag. My response was it was ALL cameras. For some reason they didn’t find that too funny.
OK, I had an hour to kill and Chickie’s and Pete’s was serving adult breakfast, so why not have a breakfast pint or so…
I got back to the gate with plenty of time, then it was the happy time. The gate agent called group 1 and we were boarding. The 767-300 is an old bird but the fold down seats were nice.
The business class breakfast was pretty good. The flight actually worked out to around 3 1/2 hours, my flight attendant was very attentive to those in her section. Overall it was a very pleasant experience.
San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín Airport (SJU), is fairly easy to navigate once getting off the jet. Our bags took about 20 minutes to arrive. My bag was one of the first 10 bags off the carousel. I then headed over to the taxi stand. I found a nice father and young son in-line going to the ship, I asked them if they wanted to share a cab. The agreed.
Uber is not permitted from SJU. Taxi’s are plentiful, the price is posted on a slip so there is no surprise. We waited about 10 minutes in the taxi line. It was a 20 minute taxi ride to the cruise port. My cost with tip to the pier was $12. When you are day tripping on a cruise you arrive in Old San Juan. Cruises that originate in San Juan depart from Pan American terminal.
I had word from friends who arrived ahead of me that the terminal was backed up initially. It worked out well for me. There was a 10 minute wait to get in to the terminal. You could even buy some shaved ice if you wanted to. Then it took another 10 minutes to get checked in. For some reason my health declaration was in German, but I worked through it.
I got my Sea Pass card and was all cleared to board the ship.
It was a surprise to board on deck 1 but I was quickly through security and it was official. I was on a cruise.
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas – Day 1 – Departure from San Juan, Puerto Rico
Side Note: I normally don’t take elevators while cruising. It is my weight control program while on board. In fact the only time I normally take an elevator is when departing. With that being said I huffed it up to deck 6 to be greeted by this sign.
I only had a short wait, I stopped by the Pub for a quick beverage and I was already running in to people I know. I had a quick IPA and it was 1:30 PM. It was time to drop my back pack and do a quick cabin tour via my Intsta360 ONE, a small three sixty camera.
Cabin Tour of Cabin 6680 – (6B) Spacious Ocean View Balcony
360 View of the Cabin Bedroom Area click HERE!
360 View of the Cabin Bedroom by the balcony click HERE!
Balcony of cabin 6680
360 view of the Balcony area click HERE!
Bathroom of cabin 6680
360 view of the Bathroom click HERE!
360 view of the Shower click HERE!
360 view of the Cabin Closet click HERE!
After the room pictures it was time go go up to the pool deck and see where my friends were and of course to meet new friends. There was a strong Facebook group for this sailing with over 250 members.
I had some time to grab my “pool” drink and relax for a bit. I didn’t have dinner reservations till 6PM. Originally the forecast for the departure day was rain with a chance of really bad rain. Now we did get an occasional intermittent light shower but nothing unexpected for being in the tropics.
Muster Drill – The required drill in case of an emergency was held. Actually in San Juan they held two. The main Muster drill and a much smaller one later for those who arrived late. It took about twenty minutes.
Once the Muster Drill was over all eating and drinking venues reopened and cruise life returns to normal.
Giovanni’s Table -Deck 11 Starboard Side 6 PM reservation
I had purchased the BOGO specialty restaurant package. Now right after boarding I went up to Giovanni’s to get my reservations squared away. The had a 6PM reservation, for 1. So I was set, I also made an 8:30 reservation at CHOPS for day two.
The reason the BOGO is an excellent value is that it is sometimes hard to fill the Specialty restaurants the first two nights. This way you know that you should be getting a good meal, and RCCL knows there will be bodies in the seats. Totally optional but worth doing at least once.
Starters and Bread
Dessert Cart and Dessert
Departure from San Juan is normally later in the evening. Adventure departed San Juan at 8:30 PM. It was dark as we slowly pushed off from the pier. It was windy but the rains held off. We went past Old San Juan as we headed out to sea.
10PM was the first Official Facebook function. The Sail Away Toast that was being held at the Dog & Duck Pub. From there many folks headed over to the Schooner Bar to listen to the talent of Billy Pando on the piano.
Afterwards it was time to see if I could get any good picture of the stars. So I went back to my cabin, I checked out the Balcony. The light was pretty strong from the MDR below but the real issue was a light roll the ship was experiencing which was causing havoc in the pictures. Needless to say it was still a good learning experience.
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas – Day 2 – St. Maarten
The original weather forecast for St. Maarten was overcast with occasional showers. We lucked out. I did not schedule a formal excursion from Royal Caribbean. The game plan was to go out take some shots with the DSLR and get Bubs a T-Shirt, and a fridge magnet.
So I got some decent shots in the Port Terminal area of the ship.
I grabbed a late breakfast in the Windjammer and then got ready to meet up with a Facebook group member and head over to the World Famous Maho Beach.
Getting to Maho is a really painless experience. There is a taxi stand in the port, and close by is a shack that sells round trip rides to the beach. I believe the cost was $18 round trip. You are given a wristband which is your receipt for the trip. Once you have a paid wrist band you walk over to the taxi stand and there are agents for the taxi service that will group you with others and away you go. It is only 5 1/2 miles as the crow flies but the journey takes a good half hour plus as you wind in and out of Philipsburg and the outlying towns. You go up some really big hills and winding roads.
There are some great vistas for taking pictures of the ship or the beautiful island. Eventually the taxi arrives to Princess Juliana Airport. You go all the way around the airport and finally hit the narrow sand covered road of Maho Beach. The taxi drops you off at the Sunset Bar and Grill Complex. This is also the spot where the return trip will leave from.
A little bit about the Beach. It is flanked on both side by bars. We chose to stay at the Sunset Bar. The Bar has plenty of seating. If you want to sit in one of the prime booths, then you need to order some food.
The flight schedule for the bigger jets is posted on a surfboard located close to the beach. The larger jets seem to come in later in the afternoon. So there isn’t a rush to get there to early unless you have a need to get your drink on. There is a fair selection of $4.00 beers; Heineken and Corona to more Island specific brews to include Presidente an Caribe. Of course frozen blender drinks are available too.
We spent the late morning till mid afternoon drinking beers and watching all kinds off planes and jets take off and land. The last being the large KLM. Unfortunately the Big 747’s no longer land at SXM but it still is fun watching the larger jets come in.
Well all good things must come to an end. We went back to the taxi stand and five minutes later we were on our way back to the port. The island of St. Maarten suffered the brunt of a wicked Hurricane during the Summer of 2017. The locals strived to get essential tourist spots operational as soon as possible because it is most of their economy.
Driving back we had a nice talk with our driver as to what was out, what was fully back, what was under repair and what was totally destroyed.
The airport was heavily damaged but flights resumed to almost normal. The marina’s were heavily damaged with ship wrecks strewn along all bodies of water.
We finally made it back to the port. It was a great day in St. Maarten. I am looking forward to coming back in 2019.
I went back to the ship to get cleaned up and relax my muscles in the Solarium Hot Tub before the ship left at 6PM.
St. Maarten had one more surprise as we departed the island; an absolutely fabulous sun set.
Night number two was formal night. My dinner plans were simple, I was going to eat CHOPS Steakhouse. I was ready a little early so I took a to the stroll up to the diamond lounge. It wasn’t too crowded and I had great conversation with some nice ladies whom I told would be on Cookingyo.com, so here you go!
CHOPS Steakhouse 8:30 PM Reservation
CHOPS is one of my favorite meals at sea. Tonight I had a solo reservation for just myself. I wanted to review the experience without the distraction of other people. I arrived on time and was quickly seated.
The CHOPS menu is pretty static across the fleet so I knew exactly what I was going to get.
Let me preface this before going on. If I would of added a CHOPS steak to my Main Dining Room dinner it would of cost about the same because I used the BOGO deal.
I really dislike the CHOPS being on deck 4. It feels like you are eating in a cave. I much prefer the Deck 11 Windjammer complex style on Adventure’s sister ship Navigator (Click HERE! to see what I’m talking about).
The restaurant wasn’t too crowded. There were a few couples and a larger table. The time from sit down till my waiter came for a visit seemed a little long but that was ok. Finally my order was taken. I ordered my safe menu; Caesar Salad, Carpaccio, 9oz Filet and a starch or in this case two… tots and mashies.
My salad came out and I had to ask for pepper, annoying but o.k. The carpaccio was delivered and it was tasty. During this time my Crown and Coke was empty as was my water glass. It was a little disappointing that I had to flag my waiter down to get both refilled. Finally my steak arrived. It was just O.K. a little under done. I had to ask about getting some Hollandaise sauce, the waiter apologized, and brought me some. While I was eating my steak, reflecting over the meal and especially the service that I came to the conclusion that this particular meal I was served was a crappy and I would be happier not being in this cave any longer.
I flagged down my waiter once more and told him I was done and got the check and out the door I went. Was my service substandard because I was a Solo diner? Was it that CHOPS had a bad night? Was it something else? As the cruise went on I asked for feedback from other people who ate at CHOPS on Adventure. Many were displeased with the service. So I wasn’t the only one. I hope Adventure of the Seas corrects their CHOPS restaurant because it is not up to fleet standards.
The rest of the evening was spent in the Schooner Bar listening to the sounds of Billy Pando.
Just before it was time to retire for the evening, I did check the stars to see if it would be a good night to shoot but unfortunately it wasn’t…
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas – Day 3 – Sea Day
Day 3 started as most sea days do. I slept in a little, wandered in to the Windjammer for some breakfast and then…
There was a Zumba class on the Pool Deck. The participants looked like they were having fun.
Then I started to pre-hydrate. What? Today on Day three the highlight was the organized Facebook Group pub crawl. Oh!
The pub crawl started at noon in the Schooner Bar, the progression was as follows next was the Casino Bar, then Boleros, Champagne Bar, Pub, then we gravitated up to the pool and sky bars, with separate branch offs to the Solarium and Viking Crown.
As stated before there was a group of around 60 folks who stopped by for the pub crawl. First stop was the Schooner Bar, it was a very casual start. So the bartenders weren’t overwhelmed.
Next stop was the Casino, they were pre-warned and the bartenders had a little show for the group with a group cocktail.
Next Stop was Boleros. Well at first management didn’t get the memo, so it was one lone frustrated bartender but soon reinforcements were on the way.
We went up one deck to the Champagne Bar, along with our now traveling bar tenders.
We walked across the Promenade to the Duck and Dog Pub.
There were a few who needed to break off and hit Cafe Promenade for some Pizza power. The rest made the trek up to Deck 12 and the Sky Bar.
This is where majority chose to stay for a long while. All in All the crawl was a success because its not about the drinking. It’s about the friend you meet along the way.
Side Note: The 10 draft beers for $49 card came out on Day 3. I did not see the regular drink card of $XX of dollars for 10 cocktails.
After the Bar Crawl, it was time for some food and some sun by the pool before dinner.
I met my group at the Champagne Bar for a cocktail then we went over to the Top Tier Event
For those who don’t know the Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Society has an event for those members who are Platinum level and above.
There is normally some type of entertainment followed by an introduction of senior staff members with the last being the Master of the ship (Captain). The captain will normally give some remarks then give a breakdown of how many Crown and Anchor members by level are onboard. Finally they give recognition to the person or people with the most cruise points and give them a gift of Champagne or something.
I had originally planned on eating in the Main Dining Room. I was invited to come to the Grand Suite of RCPeriscopers.live Ken Jarvis for cocktails and snacks. Well let’s just say that the event went a little longer than planned and that if you are ever staying in a Grand Suite or above that room service is included in the cabin fare. Get the Quesadilla, the are awesome.
*Photo taken by Dan Harris
Later we went down to the Schooner Bar and relaxed for a bit before heading up to the Viking Crown for some late night Latin music and dancing.
Once again, I strolled out to the helipad to see if there were any good star shots. The moon wasn’t the best for night time photography but there were still pictures to be taken.
After night photography it was time to shoot the Royal Promenade without people. What that really means is between three and four in the morning you can get some pretty clear shots with just you and maybe a couple of cleaners.
After an extremely long day, it was time to go to sleep.
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas – Day 4 – Sea Day
Day four started off real lazy. I had been up very late the night before so I slept in a bit. I headed up to the Windjammer as normal and then got washed up.
The big event on Day 4 was the organized Facebook group slot pull. We started assembling in the Schooner Bar around 11:30. It was a $25 buy in. Over 100 signed up and I believe close to 90 showed up.
In case you don’t know what a slot pull is I’ll give a quick synopsis. A group of people put money in a pot, in this case $25 each. Then a machine is picked. Group money is fed into the machine. Our machine could only take $1000 to start. Each player gets a turn which consist of 5 slot pulls. Each pull was worth $5. After every spin the results are recorded. After everyone has had their chance the money is split between them. There are prizes for top earner, 2nd and 3rd place. There was also a boobie prize for the person who got the lowest total. Our group lost on this day. Buy in was $25, each player walked away with $19. It was a lot of fun and it took around an hour and a half to complete. It was a good time had by all.
I Caught the Ice Skating performance in Studio B, The “COOL ART, HOT ICE” show.
Afterwards it was relaxation time, and by that I mean walking the decks taking more photos of the ship for Cookingyo.com. I then had a relaxing lunch before a little time in the Solarium.
I was asked to go to dinner by some cruising friends I have sailed with before. They had the Ultimate Dining Package, which allows them to eat at any Specialty Dining Venue for Dinner and those restaurants that also serve Lunch too. They asked for suggestions. I told them about my experience at CHOPS, they also had a sub par experience at CHOPS and suggested Giovanni’s Table.
That evening I had a wonderful dinner, I got the filet again but also had Carbonara. It was very tasty, and for dessert I had the Tiramisu once again. It was nice to sit and chat with friends and hear about past cruises and what they had up next and beyond.
After dinner there was a quick informal meet up in the Viking Crown Lounge to discuss strategy and battle plans for the wildest event at sea, “THE QUEST”
Prior to “THE QUEST” which is held in Studio B, there was the 80’s Party dance, which was extremely well attended.
A few of our group went out and danced while the rest got seats for the main event. Let me explain how teams are picked for “THE QUEST” on Voyager Class ships. Studio B is a “U” shaped auditorium. The Cruise Director will split the auditorium into team which are normally a Section or Section and a half worth of people. When it it time to play the game a male and a female team captain will be chosen. After that the captains have the main responsibility for bringing the requested items to the host.
The 80’s party ended, and the venue was still packed, people were filling the whole top section and every seat was taken, they even allowed the crowd to sit partially on the steps. The energy in Studio B was off the hook. Captains were chosen and the rules explained. Simply put “THE QUEST” is Royal Caribbean’s adult scavenger hunt. The game starts out really mild and goes to really wild. It normally ends with a beauty contest to determine “Miss” Adventure of the Seas.
I was part of Team 2. Essentially, we were a team of ringers with thousands of cruises between us. These rookies didn’t know what was about to hit them. Our team captains were THE Michael Franklin Poole, and Claire, a recent newcomer on the cruising scene who has been aggressively sailing last year or so.
Part of the secret to winning “The Quest” is keep your team in line, be a little silly, improvise, and don’t think too much, and of course give the host what he is asking for. For example, if the host ask for a man wearing lipstick, a man doesn’t have to pucker up and put lipstick all over his lips. Nope a single line made from lipstick on his hand is still a man wearing lipstick.
Ultimately the game finished the parade of beauties was done and the winners were announced. The team leader from Team 1 was Soooooo confident his team won he started to walk up to get his medal only to be denied. TEAM 2 was VICTORIOUS, Team 2 ruled!!
It was such an exciting night there was some celebrating to be had followed by an early turn in for me.
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas – Day 5 – Sea Day
Day 5 wasn’t the best as far as weather wise. It was chilly and very windy. The Captain had actually slowed the progress of the ship to try and let a front that we would of hit head on slide on by. It wasn’t a total loss but definitely not a pool day.
After breakfast and some last minute picture taking I headed to the Schooner bar to do for some competitive Soduku. The place was packed. Next cruise friends started showing up and we decided to play trivia, which was pretty much going from late morning to mid afternoon. There was general trivia, travel trivia, tv theme song trivia. It was such a hit, and the adult beverages were flowing so easy that we sent runners up to Cafe Promenade as not to loose our little compound of seats. I was having so much fun playing trivia I decided not to play the final round of BINGO.
To the Victors Go the Spoils!
One of the highly anticipated events of the day was the cabin crawl. There were cabins from most classes of rooms on the ship from a deck 2 inside to the deck 10 Royal Suite. It was interesting especially when our hoard went from deck to deck en masse.
There was an informal meetup in the Champagne Bar prior to dinner. I was tired of drinking Crown & Coke and was beered out too. I asked the ladies for a good “Girlie” drink to try. They highly recommended the lavender lemon drop martini. WOW! A mighty tasty beverage I must say. In fact I had two. If you get a change try one.
Dinner on Night 5 was in the Main Dining Room. It actually was the first night that anyone was at our assigned table for dinner. We had 2nd seating (8:00 PM) dining.
Our wait staff was:
I had the Caesar Salad, French Onion Soup and the Pappardelle Carbonara.
The soup and salad were good, of course I burnt the crap out of my tongue as usual. The pasta was so-so but I was underwhelmed with the Day five dinner menu so, it is what it is. Dessert was Creme Brulee. So overall a very basic dinner, but that is how I compare the MDR of ship to ship.
Service was acceptable, not stellar but the staff got the job done and I left full so no complaints yet nothing stood out either.
After dinner there was one last event with the Facebook group. The farewell meetup at the Duck & Dog Pub. It was great to meetup one more time and have a beverage and give a hug and say our goodbyes. One last group photo was taken and away we went.
During our last night at sea we actually encountered heavy fog. In fact we would be in and out of fog protocol till we arrived in New York Harbor the next morning. So throughout the night it was real common to hear the ship’s horn blow every few minutes for hours at a time. A little annoying but it was for our safety.
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas – Day 6 -Departure
I was all packed and ready to go the night before. I woke up early around 4 AM to a very foggy sea. My goal was to get some decent pictures of the ship going under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. I have had some good shot previously while on Anthem and was hoping to repeat.
I had to use GPS on the phone to time going up to deck 12 to see what I could see. Note to self, do not go to the deck 12 forward deck while under fog protocol. Horn is right there and your ears will not like you for a few minutes.
The photos of the bridge were uninspiring but New York Harbor was very interesting, especially with the morning maritime traffic.
I grabbed a quick breakfast at the Windjammer. Grabbed my bags, and walked down to the Lyric Theatre. That is were walk-offs were gathering before the ship cleared customs. It took a little longer than usual but then the line started to move and I was quickly off the ship. Customs was a breeze because I only bought a t-shirt and magnet. And I was out of the terminal. I caught an UBER with a friend who was also one of the first of the ship. It was an $11 ride to the airport. I heard horror stories of it costing $80 later due to Uber Surge Pricing. Anyway best advice I can give is leave early or be one of the last off the ship if you need to get to EWR for a flight or to take a local train south.
Just a note for my Philly people. If you want to take the train to get back home, the free train to New Jersey transit can be found at the airport. It takes a little more than an hour from EWR Liberty station to Trenton. I was picked up in Trenton train Station by family, but you can purchase SEPTA train tickets to take you from Trenton to 30th ST station in Center City Philadelphia.
All in All it was a great trip. Solo Sailing is a fun break but it is always nice to get back to your loved ones. Don’t be afraid to try it because there are always friendly people on board who will sit and talk. Overall Adventure of the Seas is a fun ship but not my favorite. I would still recommend her sister ship Navigator of the Seas over Adventure. It mainly has to do with the Specialty Dining venues and the whole Windjammer Complex. Though I did prefer the Champagne Bar to the R-Bar on Navigator.
I hope this review helps those sailing on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas in the future, and I look forward to sailing on her again some day.
VOOM Speed Test for Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
VOOM and AT&T
Voom and AT&T
Day 3 Voom
Day 4 Voom
Day 5 Voom
Cruise Planners for Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
St. Maarten Shopping Guide
Command Staff and Other Information