2019 Nov 03 | Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas Ante Up cruise: St. Maarten
The big dipper.
Color sky at St. Maarten.
People watching the ship come in.
Floors 7, 8, and 10 are missing the metal cover. It doesn't help that it's really hard to see which floors have already been pressed.
Fun jack o lanterns by the staff.
These guys pull the ship in. First they use this smaller rope to pull in the big rope.
They use this golf cart because the ropes are so heavy.
Then the ship pulls the ropes tight.
Lots of different bills are useful at port.
Our flags. We put them on extendible fishing poles so we can put them far up in the air.
Our stewart keeps asking if we want our room cleaned. We keep saying no because we don't want him messing up our costumes, but he's getting very pushy. Tomorrow once we're done with all of this we can let him in.
I didn't have a strap for my underwater camera, so I used this piece from the sheets we used for the flags.
Can't forget the sunscreen.
Welcome to St. Maarten.
There was a snorkel spot just a few blocks away from the port, so we just walked there.
A zip line on the way.
The snorkel park.
The snorkel area.
Ogii getting in.
With cruise ships behind her.
Looking at me.
Me headed down.
Checking out the ocean floor.
The snorkel park was pretty new. They were raising money by letting people paint these tiles which were put under water.
Some of them had been overgrown.
So I wiped them off.
Bigger blue fish.
Bubbles on the skin.
They also had a Captain Morgan statue.
Lots of little blue fish.
Long skinny fish.
Then we grabbed a taxi. We saw a chopped-up plane on the way.
An optical. Maybe I could work here, too.
And another one.
Ogii near the water.
We came here because planes fly over and land at the airport right behind us.
They also take off from there, too; be careful from the wash from the big jets.
One taking off.
One flying above me.
Ogii posing under a plane.
Uh oh, hit by a wave.
But she stays up.
A plane come towards us.
And above us.
The water is very blue and clear.
The waves get pretty big.
The beach comes right up to the road and the waves even spill over at times.
So the traffic is right behind everyone. Thankfully the cars all go very slowly here.
There are a bunch of bars over there.
When we arrived the beach was almost empty; now it's filled with tourists. It was also really hot and sunny out, so most people covered up from the sun with towels.
A plane going over me.
A video of it. We didn't see any jumbo jets when we were there. Next time we'll have to check flight aware or something similar to see when the really big ones come.
A plane taking off behind Ogii.
Walking down to the shops.
We can keep up with traffic.
Looks like this one has some games.
This casino was nearby.
Ogii played a few times.
This one has a VIP chair with buttons on the arm rests so you don't even have to move your hands.
We saw this tiny little shack of a restaurant hidden in the parking lot of the casino. We decided to try that rather then the large tourist places. Good choice; the food was amazing.
One of the tourist-filled restaurants.
As we took a taxi back to the ship, we passed by the front entrance of the airport.
There were many beached ships after the hurricane.
And another casino. There are a ton of them here.
Hopefully that concrete building will stand up to the next hurricane.
Nap time in the taxi.
Sculptures in a roundabout.
Another one about salt miners.
Lots of houses way back up into the mountains.
Our ship is still there.
We stopped at this market to buy some Halloween candy.
Chocolate sea shells.
Lots of little pieces of candy, some quite Dutch.
Shops at the port.
A children's book with animals.
A postcard with a big plane landing.
Come back again sign.
We wanted to buy some of the currency with the hummingbird on it, but they were sold out.
Painting. They must do a lot of work while it's in each port.
Ready for Halloween.
Lots of accessories.
Aw, the parrot's tail broke off.
All cleaned up and no paint on the carpet.
I loved this bread with fruit in it.
Steak and lamb chops.
Poker and planning the next day; great times.
Until I get it all in preflop with QQ vs JJ and the other guy hits a J. Oh well, gotta get off to the Halloween parties anyway.
Ogii, Kendra, and Kat ready to dance.
Thriller dance mob; they did great.
Scaring everyone at the end.
The gals afterwards.
Ogii and me in our costumes.
All four of us.
Tons of people.
There was a costume contest up here. We would have liked to compete but we had no idea how to get up there.
A staff member dancing.
A better shot of Ogii's costume.
These two were fun.
As were these.
Then down into the lower dance floor.
It filled up.
Sunrise with the wake.
The activities director going over the days events.
Me at poker the next morning.
They had a Halloween costume contest.
Which we won.
The dealers would also occasionally play. They were pretty good, but also fun. This guy got most of my chips when he flopped a set against my aces.
Kendra in the final three.
The library had this ship bow area which matched our costumes.
The four of us again.
A big crowd.
A video of the contestants.
Our last poker shirts.
A survivor poker tournament in the afternoon.
I don't have quite enough chips yet; I need to win at least one more hand.
I did, and now I'm safe. I can last two more orbits and the game will be over before then.
This woman barely snuck into the money with one chip left.
Cake for dinner.
Another night of dressing up.
Ogii is wearing her new necklace.
Kendra and Kat.
A little poker afterwards. Ogii raking in a pot.
I'm doing well, too.
Almost all of the events are crossed off now.
The activities manager talking about the days events.
Time for the main event.
Kat and Kendra ready to go.
I got it all in with tens but lost to queens.
And then lost with AK to KT when he flopped a ten.
Quick break to see if there are any good deals here.
Ogii and Kat both made the final table.
Ogii winning a hand.
Kat got fourth place.
Last three players.
And Ogii got third. Great job!
Now time for some goofy golf.
There are a lot of obstacles on this hole.
The course had two levels; your balls went down this wire slide.
Getting stuck in this castle.
Planning their shots.
The time for ping pong.
We're ready to kick butt.
Or just have a fun game.
The back area.
Kat and Kendra went down the slide.
At the bottom.
The climbing wall.
A final gathering of poker players.
With a buffet.
And free drinks.
A little bird on deck; we must be close to land.
An amazing bathroom.
Ogii at sunset.
Ogii with a life preserver.
A few more hours of cash poker. Every hour of cash play during the cruise, you got a punch, and for every punch, you get $5 off the next cruise. We both would get nearly $100 off if we go again.
And one last time at our favorite after-poker, all-night pizza and cookie stop.
Coming into Fort Lauderdale.
Another big ship.
By the docks.
Down the waterway.
A little tug boat pushing a big cargo ship.
The sun is up.
We peeked in some of the suites at the back of the ship; nice.
Dodging all of the crap in the hallway with our luggage.
A long line to get off.
Back and forth.
We could store our bags at the airport since it was too early to check them.
We also could have had the cruise ship send them directly to the airport, although I don't know if I'd trust that.
Lunch at The Wreck Bar.
Nice stained glass.
The bar had lots of carvings.
Time to dig in.
The four of us.
A mermaid swam around in a pool with windows to the restaurant.
A swim by.
Some amazing mansions there.
With their own yachts.
This area is called Florida's Hollywood; it has lots of shops.
Taking a nap in the airport.
The meal at the airport Chili's was horrible.
And then on our flight back, this woman kept hitting the controls for our TV with her elbow.
Landing in San Francisco.
A heatmap of cruise prices to keep in mind for the future. Basically, avoid the summer and late December.