We just booked the Adventure of the Seas for the Dec 2 sailing. We are really excited. This will only be our second cruise. The first was on the Norwegian Sea which is about 1/3 the size. Now we are going on the third sailing of the biggest cruise ship in the world. We were able to get a D7 guarantee although most places we called said the balconies were all sold out. This will be our first cruise with a balcony.
Anyone else going on this cruise?
The ports are Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. Which would be the best place to do a shallow dive? And what excursions (through RCI or on your own) at any of these islands were well worth doing?
We are also sailing on the Adventure of the Seas for December 2. We booked a few months ago and got a great deal on a D9 balcony. You will love the balcony...my husband won't cruise without one! This will be our 3rd cruise together (I had been on several before we were married) and we really enjoy Royal Caribbean. This is going to be such a great ship, not to mention it goes to great ports! We are so excited!
Since we have been to St Maarten and St Thomas before, we plan on doing the beach thing in both ports. The St Maarten Orient Beach Lunch excursion was great...a beautiful beach and a wonderful lunch at a beachfront restaurant....doesn't get much better than that! In St Thomas, I think we'll probably go to Megan's Bay. In Aruba, we plan on going to Baby Beach and/or a snorkle tour. And in Curacao we booked the Scuba Animal Encounter at the Seaquarium. You actually get to dive with and feed sharks and sea turtles (behind a partition). You don't have to be a certified diver because the water is pretty shallow.
If you haven't already, be sure to visit the cruisecritic.com RC message board. There are several people who post there that are also sailing Dec 2.
Dave, you might want to check on the balcony cabins again. We have a 9d guarantee on the same sailing as yours (Dec.2) and have been watching the internet for openings. Until today there were none and it looked like we would have to settle for a suite (what luck, huh?) However, I just checked and there are lots now. Do you know how to get this information? It's easy, let me know if you need help finding what its available. Also, nag your travel agent.
Dave You cant go wrong going to Orient Beach in St Marteen. I live on the gulf side of Florida near some of the most beautiful beaches in the world but Orient Beach is soooo beautiful, crystal clear turquoise water surrounded by lush green mountains and white sand with palm topped tiki huts...Its a clothing optional beach...but only saw a couple of women topless, dont expect bay watch material!!! We didnt book an excursion There are plenty of cabs & if you pair up with others you can catch a ride @ 4.00/ea Once there you can pay one of the local businismen who will rent you a cushioned beach chair w/umbrella including one drink for $6.00. Beats whatever the ship charges! Have a blast.
This was from the Atlantis sub off of Aruba. That was a great excursion. I haven't been to the C of the ABC strand so I do not know. St. Marteen is the place to dive, but on the "French side" St. Maarten (Sp?); they actually have an underwater park there for divers; the site is only about 30 feet deep, but they have 1200 acers of underwater preserve. Since it has been quite a while since we have been there, please confirm this info, but I would check into this.
Aruba most likely does not have nice dive areas because they are on a shelf. The picture I sent you was from about 140 feet down and we went down a few feet further, on the other side was a cliff down.
St. Johns (off of St. Thomas) is very pretty. But I have only snorkeled and have been midly satisfield, I do not know what the dive situation is at that port.
Also sailing Adventure OTS on December 2 (#30). A word of warning about the aft-facing cabins.... Sailed on Voyager in '99 in an aft facing cabin and was very disappointed. The vibration and noise were unbearable. The balcony, while bigger, had NO view! There is a huge, empty "courtyard" of sorts and the balcony railing did not extend to the side of the ship. It was one of the least desirable cabins we have ever had. We sailed on Explorer OTS last year and had a port side cabin all the way forward and loved it!
I guess the aft stateroom 'location' makes all the difference. The attachment shows the opposite balcony view of the one posted earlier. As you can see the railing extended all the way around to the side of the ship. One had the advantage of viewing aft or port. We never experienced any excessive noise or vibration (balcony or stateroom). This was EOS seas, last November.
The previous November we were on VOS and had the aft stateroom next to the EOS one mentioned above. The balcony was just as deep as the corner one (three times as deep as the side ones) but only the width of the stateroom (not twice as wide as on the deck seven corners). From deck seven, the "empty 'courtyard' of sorts" did not obstruct the view too much. Sure it was there. However, at the deck seven level, it was below enough to be out of views way.
I could easily see and imagine that the central, aft, rooms at the 'courtyard' level might be the pits. You certainly would have NO view downward or to the sides. The 'courtyard' would be a huge, inaccesable, extension of your balcony.
Like I said, 'location' makes all the difference (aft or otherwise).
BTW, the area below and around the 'courtyard' is an employee area. With the help of my cabin steward I gained access to the area and took some digitals looking up and towards the aft balconies. Can post if anyone is interested.
If you are interested in diving you might want to contact David Buckholz, dive master on Adventure. David was my instructor for my open water certification during my cruise aboard Voyager of the Seas this June. He was scheduled to leave VOS and head the dive shop on AOS. He intends to have dive trips in every port with a night dive in Aruba. You can reach him by email at ad_DIVEM@RCCL.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be contacting him as December 2nd approaches because my wife and I will also be cruising that week. We enjoyed VOS so much that we booked AOS during our June cruise.