Posted by: glenswatman | November 3, 2014

20141021-31 Adventure of the seas

TUESDAY 21 OCTOBER – Heading off with Pauline the back end of a hurricane has arrived and we pass a few large fallen tree branches and even have a small one drop onto the car. In ASDA Pauline can see the type of material I am suggesting but it’s me who ends up buying a top not her. Steve nips out for his last session of Merryhill pool in the evening.

WEDNESDAY 22 OCTOBER – At City College we are both booked in for a Swedish massage. It lasts well over an hour and is good value at £10. I’m sure that next year I shall be back for more and also some facial treatments. Spend the afternoon giving the van a good clean up to make sure there are no bits of food anywhere that might tempt mice whilst we are away.

THURSDAY 23 OCTOBER – Alan brings a metal detector to try and find our mains water tap but still no success so he suggests we just put plenty of insulation around the one under the van. Early evening receive an Email from Royal Caribbean to say our boarding will be delayed. There is a virus on board the Adventure of the Seas and they want to take time to give it extra sanitising before we set off. We all think this is actually good news giving us all a clean start. However once I do research on line it turns out this is an ongoing thing and previous clean ups haven’t worked so we will have to take extra care ourselves with personal hygiene.

FRIDAY 24 OCTOBER – I knock up a batch of scone before John & Shirley arrive early afternoon. Having just sold their bungalow in Spain they arrived back in England yesterday, drove down to Bognor Regis today and bought a flat to rent out and then live in later on and tomorrow are off to buy a narrow boat in order to live on the canals for the foreseeable future. Good to know we are not the only ones who go off on mad cap adventures. It’s fabulous chatting to like minded people but all too brief. Late afternoon I do the packing and as usual have to put in a few extra items to fill out our 2 carryon bags. It’s amazing what a difference it makes having clothing in the right fabric. Arrive for the evening quiz and take a hand in trying out my nonexistent bar skills. Can already see there is quite a bit more to it than meets the eye. The hall has been decorated for Halloween and looks fabulous. DJ team Tony & Dave had got black outfits and painted luminous skeletons on them which glow in the dark and look great. Prior to the quiz we are given pumpkins to carve for a competition. I do mine with scruffy hair and a snotty nose but the winner is someone who has made one look like a drunk vomiting all the pulp – gross. As usual we don’t do too well at the quiz but win the section making as many words as possible from Halloween so our Scrabble skills do come in handy.

SATURDAY 25 OCTOBER – We’re almost reluctantly to pack up and leave as it is such a lovely morning but after lunch make the 2 ½ hour drive to Ken & Sue’s near Derby. We’re staying overnight and they make us most welcome. Sue cooks a lovely roast dinner and in the evening we are joined by Mary who is also staying with them. Mary has done loads of cruises so fill us in with tips for Southampton.

SUNDAY 26 OCTOBER – With the clocks going back and hour for winter we can still have a lie in. Claire, Daniel and Natasha arrive at 10am and we’re soon heading off with Steve up front and me squished in the back between the kids. We have a good run down to Southampton although the family do insist on stopping off for a MacDonald’s – don’t think they appreciate how much food they will be eating over the next week! Drop Steve and the kids at the dock then Claire & I park up using the “park on my drive” contact and walk less than a mile back to the terminal. 20141026_153520Royal Caribbean “Adventure of the seas” looks huge and everyone is very impressed. On board we head straight to the Windjammer for a buffet lunch. We then begin to discover different areas of this amazing ship resulting in lots of “wow’s” and “OMG I can’t believe we are on board a ship. Due to the extra cleaning it is late when we get to our cabins. We’re in 7222 balcony which is a lovely spacious stateroom on the starboard side near the front. The family are in 6367 inside family cabin near the back of the ship and it’s a real hike from one to the other. Initially we can only see 2 beds and a tiny sofa but fortunately the steward points out a couple of bunks that lower down from the roof. One of the ships “wow” factors is the Royal Arcade which is a shopping centre street much like you would find in a shopping centre and includes bars and a cafe. The evening meal is excellent and Daniel decides he really likes fine dining. Sam Veale provides the evening entertainment with a comedy juggling act in the enormous Lyric theatre – well it needs to be big with 3700 passengers on board. Just because we can we call in to the cafe on the Royal Promenade for drinks and biscuits. We make a poor team in the welcome aboard quiz, could do better. Round off an exciting day with the “Island Frenzy Parade” down the main street which makes us all feel like we are back in Disney.

MONDAY 27 OCTOBER – Claire joins us for breakfast in the main dining room after which Steve is able to coax the kids out of bed. Daniel does well and wins the Sudoku challenge whilst Claire and I set out to have a bit of a job – abandoned when we realise how blustery it is on deck. The Cruise Critic meeting is held in the impressive Jesters 2 tier nightclub and I’m lucky to win a bottle of wine. Splitting up the girls enjoy a “Pamper party” in the spa with beauty tips whilst Daniel and Steve check out the casino. Passing through the Bay of Biscay has been a little rough and Daniel ends up being sick just before it all calms down. Mid afternoon there’s a fabulous show with “String Fever” a family group playing electric violins and a cello and they are amazing. 20141027_144117 The sun comes out and Claire can do a run on deck. Natasha finally leaves the hot tub and heads to the room to get ready. Daniel, Steve and I go in the massive spa hot tub followed by saunas and Turkish baths. Tonight is formal night and at our request we’ve been moved to a table with other people and by the window. Young Hailey and Luke are neighbours of an older couple Mansell and Dee – they get on so well that they have come on this cruise together. We’re all togged up in our finest and I must say look rather splendid. At the Captains welcome on the Royal Parade we stock up on free champagne and enjoy the show. Writing retrospectively I think we fitted in a couple of quizzes and some other activities as well as it certainly was a hectic day.

TUESDAY 28 OCTOBER – Our first port of call Vigo in SPAIN. Head off walking through the old time climbing gradually upwards until we reach the park. The park is in different tiers topped off with a castle from which we get fine views. We’re docked directly behind Emerald Princess and it’s hard to say which is the biggest as they are both huge. Wandering back through town we stop at the recommended place for chocolate with churros which Natasha rather likes. In the afternoon we do our own thing, the kids spend time in the spa, Daniel and I play canasta, Claire sunbathes and Steve relaxes in the room. At one point Daniel decides to go on a piano that he finds in an empty room and people start coming in sitting down thinking he is putting on a performance – reckon he should have passed the hat round as he is really good. We quiz, eat and wander round then head to the specially prepared Andrew Lloyd Webber show “Tell me on a Sunday”. It’s a one woman show about a girl arriving in New York. Not the sort of singing that appeals to us so we leave for an early night and leave the kids to it.

WEDNESDAY 29 OCTOBER – Steve is battling a cold and feeling under par. We’re in Gijon on the north coast of Spain in a dock that is quite a distance from the town. Claire heads off ship first for a run and no sooner have we joined her than the Police come over and tell us we can only be in the area directly beside the ship. You cannot walk through the docks so must pay $15 pp for the shuttle or Euro 18 for a taxi but they only take 4 people. Basically you are held to ransom if you want to leave the ship. Back on board I play canasta with Daniel then we go to the spa for a hot tub, Turkish bath and steam room. As a family we enter the mini golf competition with Steve coming 3rd. Late evening entertainment is the famous RCI Quest held in the ice skating arena where a board covers the ice. The crowd are split into 6 teams each with a male and female Captain. Daniel volunteers for our and entertains everyone with his antics, the grand finale with him wearing a woman’s bra, make up, shoes and handbag and doing a catwalk strut. Following on from The Quest is a light show, basically dancers performing in the dark with lighting.

THURSDAY 30 OCTOBER – We breakfast together as a family. Steve’s feeling quite poorly and reluctantly opts out of going a shore, Bilbao was the one place he really wanted to visit. It’s a longish but pleasant walk out of the port then along the waterfront beneath magnificent mansions. Our metro tickets cost Euro 3.70 (£2.90) return to the city. Alighting in the old town we wander around admiring the buildings especially the waterfront theatre. There’s a pleasant walk along the river bank to the world famous Guggenheim museum and what a structure it is. As you walk around it looks different from every angle with lots of different shapes and materials combining. It’s really hot, 28C in the shade so we head back to sunbathe on board. Steve opts out of joining us for the evening meal but meets us for the evening show of “Emperors of soul” who play our sort of music. Natasha is a real night owl so when everyone else goes to bed I join her in Jesters night club for the silent disco. It’s hilarious. You are given headphones and can select from 2 different music channels and set the volume. On the dance floor there is a large screen TV as backing to one of the songs. When you take your headphones off you can hear people singing out the words of the two different songs and at times see them doing actions to things like YMCA. Natasha and I try dancing to different songs and it is really disconcerting as we have a different rhythm and can see each other mouthing the seemingly wrong words. It’s so funny we phone the rooms to try and get others to join us, Claire and Daniel decline but we manage to drag Steve out of bed. He just stands on the dance floor looking vacant and really doesn’t get it!

FRIDAY 31 OCTOBER – It’s Halloween and the ship is decorated accordingly including lots of artistic pumpkin displays. Claire joins us for breakfast on the balcony taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather. We do our own thing throughout the day often meeting up for the different quizzes. Daniel joins Steve & me for the formal lunch which is really good. There’s a massive salad bar where you tell the servers which of the dozens of items you want. Next select a dressing then they toss it in a large bowl before decanting it into your serving dish. The afternoon passes quickly with the ice show followed by a really funny “Love and marriage” game with many passengers embarrassing themselves with their answers. Steve’s still coughing too much to join us for the evening meal but afterwards joins me on a seat on one of the landings giving us a great view of the Royal Promenade where the street party is being held. First they do a UK themed song and dance routine followed by a costume parade. So glad we didn’t make any attempt to dress up as the entrants have really professional outfits. After the Thriller dance is performed it becomes a street disco and time for Steve, Claire and Natasha to leave. Our table companion Luke is also a night own and joins Natasha and myself for some dancing in the streets until after midnight.


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