Last week my mom, dad, and youngest little brother came on board the beautiful Adventure of the Seas. I’d been looking forward to it for months and I actually got to feel like a guest, eating in the Dining Room and enjoying Shore Excursions. By the end of it I was as exhausted as everyone warned me I’d be but it was so refreshing to have my biggest support system on board with me. Here's how the week went.
Day 1: San Juan, Puerto Rico
I got off the ship at 8:30 a.m. and grabbed a taxi to the Hyatt House hotel where my family was staying. Once they checked out of their room and settled their luggage, we took an Uber to Old San Juan and we ate one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Café Berlin, for breakfast.
We walked the perimeter of the Castillo San Felipe del Morro along the water and came to the far entrance. After a sweaty exploration of the fort’s interior, we stopped at Senor Paleta for popsicles. It was hot day and the refreshing gelato hit the spot.
Since San Juan is Turnaround Day, I still needed to run some errands so I picked up my package at the Seafarer’s House and hit up Walgreens. From there, we weren’t quite ready to go back to the ship so we had beers and amazing Puerto Rican appetizers at Pirilo recommended to me by Quinn, one of my favorite people who dances with Celebrity Cruises and who used to port in Old San Juan.
As a little pick-me-up I got some coffee at the Badass Coffee Co. and we took an Uber back to the ship. I showed them around and as they were getting settled into their cabin I had a power nap. We did drill and had dinner at the Windjammer before I had to perform our Flash Mob on the Promenade and open the Welcome Aboard Show.
Day 2: Philipsburg, St. Maarten
I woke up the next morning around 8:00 a.m. and met my family for breakfast in the Dining Room where I enjoyed a glorious crab cake eggs benedict. Then they came and watched our tech run for “Invitation to Dance” and afterward we headed off the ship to explore St. Maarten. And it was raining…
I wanted to take them to Airport Beach but since the weather was so awful I figured it wouldn’t be worth the drive. So we took the water taxi to downtown and once we were shopping for about a half hour, the weather started to clear up. I changed my mind and decided we should go to Airport Beach after all since it’s such a unique place. We had lunch and watched the planes come in and, although it was still rainy and gloomy (I didn’t even get in the water), they really enjoyed it.
We came back to the ship and got ready for Formal Night in the Dining Room before two performances of “Invitation to Dance”. Our waiter Sylnette was the bomb and it was so nice to have more than mess food.
Day 3: Basseterre, St. Kitts
We got up at 7:30 a.m. (lord help me) to have breakfast before our first Shore Excursion. We were going zip lining! I’d been zip lining once before in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on a Holland America Cruise and it was incredible so I was excited for my parents and Zach to experience it. We were driven up the mountain in a bus where we got a nice tour of the island and we arrived at Sky Safari which was nestled on an old sugar mill, which I thought was really cool.
We got geared up and took an open bed truck even higher into the mountain. The bumpy ride up was almost as fun as the zip lining itself. It also helped that all the guys running the place were hilarious.
We made it to the top and took the lines back down the mountain. The views were absolutely breathtaking. Lush, green mountainside and gorgeous, blue waters surrounded us on an exhilarating ride through the air. We also got to take a mini hike through the interior of the rainforest and did a race for our last line. I was up against Zach. Of course, I won.
We took the bus back down to the ship and had lunch on board at Johnny Rockets where I had so much food. Oreo milkshake, cheese fries, and a cheeseburger. Bad choices, but it was enjoyable at the time. We changed into our bathing suits and laid out on the pool deck. I fell asleep almost immediately and the boys played on the slides and FlowRider. Then we had dinner in the Dining Room, checked out a little karaoke in the Imperial Lounge and saw Finis Henderson’s show in the Lyric Theatre. Afterward, the 70’s Party was happening on the Promenade so we watched Anna and Jeff perform and danced with the Cruise Staff which is always a blast.
Day 4: St. Johns, Antigua
Another early morning starting at 7:00 a.m. (AKA I’m completely dead at this point). We had breakfast and headed off to our second Shore Excursion: an off road island tour. We shared a 4x4 with honeymooners from Wisconsin and our tour guide. I wish I remembered his name… I want to get better at that. And even though we didn't actually go off-roading like I'd hoped, it was a really great trip around Antigua.
He took us all around the beautiful island showing us the rich flora and fauna of Antigua. We drove through three different villages and stopped near an old school and church on top of a hill for some rum punch and photos. Then we spent an hour at a secluded beach with amazing crystal clear water. We from a coconuts and Zach snorkeled for a bit. We got back in the 4x4 and made it back to town by around noon. We had lunch at the Big Banana in Redcliffe Quay near the port before making our way back on board.
That night we had dinner in the Dining Room and watched the orchestra perform their Big Band set. After that I went down to my neighborhood on Deck 1 for a bit just because I missed everyone. It’s weird not seeing my ship fam even for just two days, which makes me not look forward to leaving. But we'll save that drama for another post. Then my mom and I watched the singers and orchestra do their jazz set (since the boys fell asleep) and we called it a night.
Day 5: Castries, St. Lucia
I had drill that morning that finished around noon where I found my parents at the pool. We had lunch in the Windjammer which was pretty lackluster to be honest and then we ventured to Rodney Bay. It was really crowded since it was already the afternoon but we found a floating, blow-up playground that Zach and I got tickets for. It was actually a really difficult obstacle course. It was slippery and rocking in the ocean and I’m already bad at that kind of thing to begin with. But it was fun and Zach had an absolute blast. He’s thirteen and gets bored rather quickly so it worked out that we found a touristy beach that had something for kids.
When we got back to the ship I went to get ready for “Bada Bing Bada Boom”, our Murder Mystery Dinner Show. My parents had tickets and got nice and boozy from the unlimited drinks. Then I did our “Island Frenzy” parade on the Promenade and afterward my parents and I went to watch Lukas perform in the Duck and Dog Pub.
Day 6: Bridgetown, Barbados
We woke up and had breakfast in the Dining Room before my tech run of “Jackpot” and then we headed off to The Boatyard: a restaurant and beach with a diving platform and rope swing. I figured we could have lunch and it would be relaxing for the adults but would also have something for Zach to do as well.
Once back on board I had to go get ready for shows and they got to hang out with the cast for a little while afterward. They were tired so once they went to bed I went back deck to celebrate Jarvis’ birthday even though I was utterly exhausted. It was “Dirty Disney” themed and I showed up as a tourist, AKA Mickey Mouse t-shirt and no makeup. Just the most tired.
Day 7: Sea Day
I was finally able to sleep a little later that morning and I met my family at 10:00 a.m. for Windjammer breakfast. The pool was obviously packed (and Zach was sunburnt) so we mostly stayed in the cabin chatting while they packed to leave the next day. Zach and I got Promenade pizza and frozen yogurt and later my parents and I went to the Dining Room for lunch.
They went to the Housekeeping Division’s Towel Folding demo (they have such funny events on cruise ships) and I was thankful to just relax. We had dinner in the Dining Room and I performed in the Farewell show. Then my parents, Isaac and I went back to see Lukas in the Duck and Dog Pub again which was a nice sendoff.
Back to San Juan
My family’s flight didn’t leave San Juan until 9:00 p.m. so we had to find something to do but the problem was they had all their luggage with them. We decided to go to Plaza de las Americas (the mall us crew usually go to) since I needed to get some stuff done on the wifi, needed to pick up a few things, and they have a movie theater so we could kill some time watching a film.
We started at Starbucks where I had some coffee, posted a blog, and downloaded a few things. Then we had lunch at Chili’s and saw Kong, which I though was utterly average. Was there a plot? Overall, it was a typical American day. And then I sent them on their way and I took an Uber back to the ship. It’s always weird to say goodbye but I only have nine weeks left that are sure to fly by.
This week was all about catching up on sleep and saving money, getting back on track at the gym and not eating everything in sight, and back to reality. Thanks for the visit, guys. Love you always.