The day after our wedding, Nick & I were excited to begin our life as husband & wife in the Southern Caribbean! The morning of July 6, 2003 did not begin on the right foot, though. Checking out of our penthouse suite at the Portofino Bay hotel in Orlando did not go smoothly. First, we had tons of stuff to move out including luggage, gift bags (from my lingerie shower), and our wedding attire (think Nick’s tux, my dress, my slip, my veil, our shoes etc). The bell boy did not properly stack the items so the cigar case that sat on top of some suitcases kept falling off the cart on the way to the elevator. Crash! Crash! Crash! I wondered if Nick was going to tell the bell boy maybe he shouldn’t keep putting the cigar case back in the same spot. We were going on our honeymoon, so no need to get argumentative this early. And it WAS early! 7am early! The case sustained some chips on the corners, but no additional damage. My car, on the other hand, did sustain damage. When the valet boy brought my beautiful, new red Mustang GT to the front of the hotel, my eyes immediately honed in on the white scuff marks and golf ball sized dent on the side door! Time to get argumentative!! I immediately pointed out the damage, but the guy shrugged it off saying he didn’t know what happened to it. I asked for a manager. He got some wax and erased the scuff marks. He assured me the dent could be popped out (which it never has). My dad and brother then pulled up to collect our wedding attire and gifts and I left my dad in charge of arguing with the staff. We got into Gwyn’s car and we were off to the airport! Yippee!
Our flight to San Juan was uneventful and after opening up wedding cards, we attempted to get some sleep. Upon arrival in San Juan, we collected our luggage and got in line for a cab. Our driver didn’t speak English, but he knew what “Adventure of the Seas” meant. Our ship for the next 7 days was huge and beautiful! The line to board was quite long, but within 45 minutes we were up at the desk checking in. The agent kindly told us that we had been complimentary upgraded from a Superior Balcony stateroom to a Junior Suite. Sweet! We were given room 9314. Our room was decorated in Happy Anniversary signs and streamers. We had chilled champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and various appetizers waiting in our room thanks to Nick’s parents.
The southern Caribbean cruise stopped in 6 ports of call: St. Thomas, St. Maarten/Martin, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. In St. Thomas we spent the morning shopping and wandering the shopping plazas. I purchased a fake Prada wallet. In the afternoon we boarded the Jolly Mon sailboat with 1 other couple and headed out to Buck Island for some power snorkeling. In St. Martin/Maarten we took a bus tour of the French and Dutch sides of the island. After the tour, we took a shuttle to the Great Bay area to lunch. We found a little joint beachside that served the most amazing Jerk Chicken. Following lunch and a couple drinks, we hit the beach. We rented chairs and an umbrella and soaked up the rays. Later we rented a jet ski and sped around the Great Bay. In Antigua we took a day tour to Bird Island. We boarded a large catamaran and jammed to Caribbean tunes as we sailed on a perfect, cloud free day. At Bird Island we snorkeled, dined on Caribbean food and hiked a trail. In St. Lucia we walked off the ship and met a local, named Peter the Great that offered to show us around. We hopped on his boat with 2 other couples and went to Marigot Bay. Then we drove by the Pitons. We docked at Soufriere and Peter took us through the town in a friend’s cab. We went to the drive-in volcano and Anse Chastanet for snorkeling and lunch. In Barbados we went into town, but it was dirty, busy, and left a lot to be desired. In the afternoon, we went on a pub crawl tour. Nick and I returned to the ship feeling a little tipsy and spent the rest of the afternoon using our video camera to tape funny segments around the ship.
Nick and I have cruised together 3 times now, but this was our 4th cruise overall. In short, we both agreed it was not only the best cruise ever, but Royal Caribbean was our favorite cruise line. The ship was beautiful, immaculate, and too large to see in a week. We wanted another week to fully get to know the Adventure of the Seas. The employees were amazing as well. They learned our names and waved to us whenever they saw us, always asking how our day was and what did we do in port. We were given a 2 top table at dinner and the meals onboard were excellent. Every night following dinner we purchased a cordial shot. The barmaid always knew. Our room . . . well, our room was spectacular. The junior suite gave us more room, more closet space, large bathroom with tub, and a balcony large enough for a table, 2 chairs and a lounger. We spent every morning and sail away gazing at the scenery. Nick and I are not sit-by-the-pool-all-day people so this port intensive cruise was ideal for us. Overall, we give this amazing cruise honeymoon 5 stars in every category.