Adventure of the Seas TA - Nov 26 - Dec 12, 2010

Royal Caribbean
Adventure of the Seas
November 26, 2010 - December 10, 2010
Barcelona, Spain; Toulon (Provence), France; Ajaccio, Corsica, France; Palma De Mallorca, Spain; Cartagena, Spain; Gran Canaria, Canary Island; Tenerife, Canary Island; San Juan, Puerto RicoOn November 26th, it was off to the airport for an all afternoon/night/morning flight to Barcelona, Spain. We arrived in Barcelona on November 27th and caught the hotel shuttle to the Renaissance Hotel at the airport. We had been to Barcelona a few times in the last few years so we decided to relax at the hotel and have a good night sleep - then catch a shuttle to the ship the following day. The next morning we ordered room service for breakfast (cheaper that way lol) and caught the shuttle to the ship. (10 euros per person) Once on the ship it was off to our cabin PR6561 and checking out this huge beautiful ship.
Our first night it was off to meet our tablemates we would have for dinner the next 14 days. To much surprise, we had great conversations from the get go. Four Canadians (via Australia and England) and four Americans (counting us)! Daryl, Judith, Ross, Beverly, Ron and Colleen would become a big part of our cruise experience for fourteen days. Just a wonderful group of people.
Our first port of call was in Toulon, France. We had never been there but didn't really plan anything. And it was very disappointing as far as walking off the ship. We had signed up for a tour to Maiselles but didn't get it. The walk into town was 45 minutes (you could take ship shuttle for $12 round trip, take a ferry for 2 euros per person each way or walk) We walked around town but really there wasn't anything there. We did visit the Naval Park which was very nice but the small food places were even closed for the winter. So just disappointing.

Next it was off to Ajaccio, Corsica - France. Another cold rainy day but this day we had a tour to Prunelli Gorge ($40 per person) I want to say we saw some gorgeous countryside but it is not for someone scare of heights. If you do it, be sure you sit on the right side of the bus. Many people in panic mode sitting on the other side of the bus. But, on the right side we really didn't' see down into the gorge. Probably a good thing for me. Thats the pros and cons on the trip. The drive reminded me of Hana Highway on the island of Maui though.

From France, it was off to Spain. First stop - Palma De Mallorca. We had visited this place before and really did like it. But this time, we would catch the Hop on Hop off bus right by the dock. (15 Euros per person) We headed back up to Belver Castle. I was shocked to see more buildings built by Gaudi (has several structures he built in Barcelona) which I love his unique design. After riding the HOHO bus around the entire area, we got off close to the Las Ramblas/Cathedral area and found an Internet shop. A very good day.

Our next port was Cartagena, Spain. Another new port of call for us. A very unique, clean place that you walk right off the ship into the main tourist places. The shops/restaurants along the dock were closed when we got off the ship but once we returned, they were hopping with passengers from the ship. A big unique statue caught our eye right off the bat. This statue represented the fallen victims of the terrorists. After crossing the street you could see the entrance into a shopping area that started with the Royal Palace on the left and the Roman Theatre on the right. Walking down this pedestrian area filled with shops, restaurants, churches, etc... was really nice. We also visited one of the back streets where the military base was. Very nice place to visit.

Leaving Cartagena, Spain was also a challenge. The ship had pulled into the pier through an obstacle course type entrance so it was neat to watch them maneuver this big ship back out of there.
We then headed to the Canary Islands. Our first island to visit was Gran Canaria. We had never been here but the Hop on Hop off bus was just a short walk off the ship. (Cost 15 euros per person) We saw some really neat things like statues, a cathedral, beach (which was top optional lol), the market, and the amazing colorful houses on the hillsides. What the Canary Islands are known for. After that we headed to a mall right at the ship. We found the local McDonald's was filled with people with laptops for the free Internet. So we joined them so Bob could get some work done with the office.

Then to Tenerife, Canary Island. We have been here on the last two Transatlantic cruises and feel like we needed this day to make sure everything was totally caught up with Bob's work/office before crossing the Atlantic Ocean with very little communication. So we walked off the ship into town. They had a McDonald's right in the main area. We grabbed a table and plugged in. Again, free WIFI (we pronounce it why-fi and they pronounce it WHIF E lol) It was a beautiful day so once back on the ship I walked around and checked out what all to do during the seven days crossing.

Now for the activities on the ship. These first few pictures are just a look at some of the things around the ship. One of our favorite things on RCCL ships this size and bigger is the Promenade Deck. We love walking it, people watching and even get a cabin overlooking it. Makes it much easier to watch the two parades offered during the cruise. The first parade is for Sailaway and the second one is the Island parade. Both very fun. The Promenade deck is also used for dancing and music, 70's parties, among many other things. Just a lot of fun. We also got to experience watching the ship go from "normal" decor to CHRISTmas time. Always great to see. And this size ship and bigger also has the ice skating that has open skate along with a wonderful ice show during the cruise and roller blading up on the sports deck.

We met up with our Canadian tablemates that we really because friends with and had a mini golf tournament. Even though the winner of the first round of 9 holes has been forgotten, Debe won the first round. lol From last place the first round to first the second round. lol
The CC group was also surprised with a "special" lunch as set up in the dining room during the crossing. I thought it was very nice for the ship and staff to do this.
Even though we didn't attend all the Headliner shows, we do always try to attend the Production shows. (Las Vegas type shows) We seem to have seen most of them mulitple times but was happy to see the "Jackpot" show (things you do see in Vegas) was a new one for us. Very very good. They also had the "Can't Stop The Rock" show which is also very good but we have seen it a few times.

And the Ice Show was great and named "Cool Art Hot Ice!" This also was a new show for us and very good. It is amazing that as the ship travels across the water they are able to do this show. But they did have to cancel a couple shows during the crossing because of rough seas. Since the show we were going to was one that was canceled, we got to see the show the next to last day so was so glad they were able to do another show.
And below you see photos from the shows on the Promenade Deck. The Sailaway Parade, the Island Parade and the 70's show (complete with the Village People singing YMCA lol)

Even though our Assistant Waiter's name has slipped the mind - our main Waiter (in the glasses) will never be forgotten. Adrian from St. Vincent. Was absolutely fabulous.
The best thing about this cruise wasn't the food, the waiter, the shows, the cabin nor the ports of call - the best thing was our tablemates. We can't say enough how great this group of people was. We shared not only our dinners together, but also mini golf, played cards, sitting by the pool and just hanging around talking. Who would have thought four Canadians and four Americans could have so much fun together. Our hope is that we can all, if not together then separately, meet up again on another cruise(s). The memories that were made during this cruise, for us, overshadow everything else about the cruise. So thanks "tablemates" for making our cruise one of the best ever.
The young'ems - Judith and Daryl. Their friends, Ross/Beverly own a shop in Victoria, BC at the cruise port. So anyone cruising Victoria BC on an Alaska cruise - stop by and tell them Bob and Debe said hello.
Ron and Colleen - our card playing friends. Poor Ron just couldn't beat us though. We bet he will be practicing until we meet again. lol And of course, US!!!
Everyone that follows our blog, knows that we usually end it with a beautiful sunset. But this cruise - we are ending it with some photos of the most amazing rainbows we have ever seen. Vivid, full, doubled and one strange thing - one was like we were in the middle of the rainbow one day and it went around the ship into the water. Really neat. We took photos but it doesn't do it justice.
So, again - we thank you all for joining us on this cruise even if it is just through our eyes. But, more importantly, we hope you find that thru all the trips we take, all the people we meet, all the things that we see - that making some great friends from around the world can also be a highlight. To us, this cruise became not so much about where we were going - but who we where with. And we didn't know when boarding this ship. To our shipmates - may the New Year find you healthy, weathly and wise. And most importantly - may God find a way to bless us with your presence and all of you with his love.


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