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In November 2006 we went on a seven day cruise on the Royal Caribbean ship, the Adventure of the Seas. Our friends Julie and Phil frequently holiday and when they suggested that we might like to go with them on this cruise, we agreed immediately! The holiday started from San Juan in Puerto Rico, and we flew from Heathrow Airport, via JFK New York on Saturday 4th November.
(Photos taken with a Canon Ixus 500 digital camera.)

Cruise route map

Having spent a restful night at the Caribe Hilton, San Juan, we were relieved to know that Phil's suitcase had eventually arrived after its overnight delay at JFK, and American Airlines were true to their promise in delivering it to our hotel first thing in the morning. We spent the morning visiting an excellent shopping mall at Plaza Las Americas and then arrived to board ship around 3 pm.

CLICK to see pictures and more details of the ship

The Adventure of the Seas is a magnificent ship and we enjoyed every moment of our time on board. The crew were superb, the food great and the entertainment was first class, with full credit to our Cruise Director, Richard Spacey.
CLICK for pictures and more details of the ship and what we did onboard.

Our first day was spent at sea, cruising onboard, which gave us plenty of time to get acquainted with our new surroundings. We berthed at Oranjestad, Aruba at 8 am on the Tuesday morning. Aruba is a Dutch owned island and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was on a visit to the various Dutch islands at the same time as we were!

CLICK to see pictures and more details of Aruba

Aruba is in the South Caribbean, some 15 miles north of Venezuela. It has a population of around 100,000. It is around 20 miles long and 6 miles across. The southern coast is somewhat industrialised, with a water processing plant and an oil refinery spoiling superb beaches. However, these are both essential for the island's economy. We hired a taxi to take us around the island. CLICK for pictures and details of our travels.

Wednesday saw us arrive at the island of Curacao at 8 am. Again we had a full day to explore and with the help of a taxi had a full and enjoyable day.

CLICK to see pictures and news of our tour of Curacao

Curacao is some 42 miles east of Aruba, with a population of some 170,000 and an area of some 40 x 10 miles. It is again part of the Netherlands Antilles. Houses are brightly painted and the capital town of Willemstad has a massive floating bridge which strides the two banks of the port. CLICK for more pictures and details of our day.

Thursday we spend another day at sea, where we indulged in such activities as entering the belly flop competition (Phil) and a round on the putting course. (Julie, Penny and John)

At 8 am on Friday morning we arrived at the port of Phillipsburg, St Martin. This island is also known as St Maarten and is jointly owned by France and Holland, with a border between the north French side and south Dutch part of the island.

CLICK to see our day at St Martin

St Martin has a population of 27,000 in the French part of the island, plus 32,000 Dutch citizens in St Maarten. We visited on the same day as Queen Beatrix, which meant that we avoided areas where she was expected, so we did not get caught up in the crowds or traffic. CLICK for our pictures and daily diary.

Saturday morning saw us berthed at St Thomas and we decided to visit the neighbouring island of St John, both being part of the US Virgin Islands.

CLICK for pictures of St Thomas and St John

St Thomas has a population of around 51,000 and is some 13 miles by 4 miles. St John's population is around 4,000 and the island is 7 miles by 3 miles. We found St John to be the prettiest of the islands we visited, with unspoiled beaches and less crowded than the larger islands. CLICK to see our pictures and read our daily events.

We arrived back at San Juan, Puerto Rico at 7 am on Sunday morning. We had scheduled to spend a further night at the Caribe Hilton, before returning to the UK. During breakfast on board, John realised that he had got the dates wrong for his flight home and that this would entail an extra night at San Juan. Luckily there was no problem in staying a further night at the hotel and Julie and Phil went home alone on the Monday, whereas Penny and John had an extra day. This was very stressful, staying in a top class hotel with sea views and nothing to do except sunbathe and have another beer or two!!!!

CLICK here to see pictures of San Juan

Puerto Rico was by far the largest of the islands we visited. It is some 100 miles by 35 miles, with a population approaching 4 million. It is a self-governing commonwealth in conjuction with the USA, and its chief of state is the American President. The executive power is exercised by an elected Governor and Cabinet, but generally US laws prevail. CLICK here to see our pictures while in San Juan.

We had a brilliant holiday, with special thanks to Julie and Phil for being true friends and excellent company.