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A warmhearted "Hello" to you friend. My name is Sarah Claire! Welcome to my corner of the internet.  As an Upstate South Carolina Destination Wedding and Portrait Photographer, here you will find beautiful images, touching client stories, and updates on my personal life! 

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Our First Cruise Experience |  Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas

Life With Sarah Claire

Our First Cruise Experience |   Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas

Back in April of 2023, David and I had our first Cruise Experience Together aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas! It was a trip to remember as was the story of how the cruise even happened, which is a pretty odd one. Back in 2022, we went to a wedding in Atlanta, GA. At the reception we were seated with some sweet people I knew from way back! One couple  I knew very well, Caitlyn and Connor, I met in college and have had the pleasure of photographing for years. We had also both been to each other’s weddings! See their beautiful wedding featured HERE.

The second couple,I knew one of them from high school and had not seen him in years! The bride, Nick and I had all been in church together in High School. I had yet to meet his fiancé, Taylor, until that day. Later on in the evening we all joked about how many of us had never been cruising before! Nick and Taylor were about to get married themselves and were going on a Royal Caribbean Cruise for their honeymoon. Then someone piped up and said, “I know some of us just met for the first time, but you guys would be so much fun to go on a cruise with!” Those famous last words led to us all booking a cruise the NEXT WEEK! In a turn of events, Caitlyn and Connor could not join us, but Nick and Taylor and David and I went ahead with the itinerary!

Our First Cruise Experience

We sailed out of Galveston, TX on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas from March 11th – 16th. My sweet grandpa was kind enough to drive us down to the port and even gave us a few pointers before we boarded the boat. He explained how much he loved the new designed port for Royal Caribbean. Boarding was so simple and fast. We were pleasantly surprised at how quickly we got on and went through our safety drill. Then, we just spent the next hour exploring the ship!

First things first though, we stopped by the wind jammer for lunch. This is a buffet style quick service food spot on the ship. I was almost overwhelmed by how many types of cuisine they had lined up in there. It was pretty tasty and the perfect start to our journey at sea. When our luggage got to our rooms we traversed the ship to figure out where our rooms were! We sadly missed watching the ship sail away, but it was fine- this was our first cruise after all!

Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas

After exploring the ship, we went to a sort of ‘welcome aboard’ show in the theater where we met our cruise director, Tornado Tanya! Her name alone was a dead giveaway to how energetic and off the walls she would be the entire cruise. We really enjoyed it when we got to see her on board. Afterwards, we got dressed for dinner and headed to the main dinning room where we had dinner every night.

We didn’t get a specialty dining package or reservation anywhere this cruise, but I am eager to try Izumi Sushi next time we are on board. The staff are so kind and accommodating. We had a great time chatting every night and they knew David wanted an Arnold palmer every night without him even asking! We had a fun little table with Nick and Taylor. Some of my favorite memories were our conversations at the end of every day at dinner. The food was SPECTACULAR!! My favorite dishes were their seafood pasta and for sure any of the Indian style meals. The deserts were also phenomenal! Since this cruise we have embarked on another cruise and I can confirm, the food is spectacular on Royal.

Favorite Cruise Activity: Karaoke

Every night we also did Karaoke, which was SO much fun. We did solo’s, duetted, and cheered on the other singers as they belted their lungs out or sang songs we LOVE! I of course sang You Belong With Me by the brilliant Taylor Swift. David sang a few songs too. He sang My Way by Frank Sinatra! I also got to duet soprano with Taylor on Love Is An Open Door from Frozen for family Karaoke the last day and MAN that was fun! This was probably our favorite activity on board, hands down.

Cruise Port Stops

Our first port was Costa Maya. It was colorful and warm with lots of crowds. We realized that shopping at ports is not what we love. We much prefer sitting on a beach or in a pool. Regardless, this was our first cruise experience so we enjoyed it! We got to witness an ancient ritual with some simple ribbon and a pole with men flying through the air using gravity to pull them around. It was very interesting as I did not expect it, nor had I ever seen anything like it before. Lastly, we stopped for some coconut water out of overpriced coconuts. It was actually quite refreshing in the heat and gave us a slight pick me up on our way back to the ship.

We were set to go on a shore excursion on our stop in Cozumel, but my body had other plans! Instead, I fell and bruised my knee cap really badly tripping on carpet running back to the room to get my sea-pass card. I discovered it in the pocket of my camera bag after the fact, but my goodness guys. This occurrence didn’t really come as a surprise, as many things never go as planned in everyday life. But, God knew this was what I needed.

We instead went down to the shore and hopped in some cool water. This was later in the day about an hour or two before we needed to be back on the ship. The small hospital they had on board was very useful and the nurses took great care of me! Luckily nothing was broken, just a few scrapes and bruises. But, woah it HURT! David was so attentive the entire time and cared for my every need.

Our Last Day

The final day we ate breakfast in the main dining room right by a porthole! We watched the water go by while chatting about how relaxing our trip had been. We also booked our next cruise for July of 2024 with our friends! I think it’s safe to say we have the cruise bug now! Stay tuned for more about David and I’s fun travel adventures together. This is the first of many blog posts like this.

Interested in learning more about my portrait photography? I’d love to hear from you! Please contact me today to learn more about how I can preserve your beautiful memories!

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