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El turista

Just Back from the AOS - January 2, 2005

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Post any questions you have. It is our second time in the AOS, and overall the ship had improved in many areas and deteriorate in others. For all of you that want more information abt the Freedom of the Seas, at the Crown and Anchor party, the captain said the ship will take over the current Explorer of the Seas' itinerary and the captain is the one that currently is on the Mariner of the Seas.

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Hi,

 

We are leaving for AOS this Saturday and going to SJU. How was your weather overall during the trip (did it rain much)? Also, what time did you board the ship on and how long did you wait any suggestions? Was there a duty free store in the terminal as others are indicating? What areas of the ship did you think deteriorated?

 

Hope you had a good time, and thanks for coming back to the boards once you got home--we all appreciate it.

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We are going on the AOS the week of March 13... I guess I would be curious as to what the negatives were in your opinion, and if there is any way to avoid them? Also, do you have any "must see or do" recommendations for the ship or the islands? Thank you so much in advance!!!

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Hi again, thought of a couple more questions! These are trivial, but we were wondering what food/drink is NOT included on the AOS... in particular, the Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Johnny Rockets (I heard the food is included but the milkshakes are not???), etc. How did you find the quality and selection of the food in general? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks SO much!!!

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To yarcraftman:

The weather, the first day at San Juan was rainy during all day. We got in the ship at about 1pm. In Aruba the day was cloudy but it did not rain during the day and night. Curacao was very rainy and cloudy. St. Maarten very sunny and warm. St. Thomas there were light rain.

The seas were calm, the ship moved a lot between St. Thomas and San Juan and a little between St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

 

The embarkation, we got in the Pan Am pier at 9:30am and we waited until 11:30am to get in the terminal. The ship opened at 12:30 and we were inside at 1pm. The duty free shop is on the Pan Am East, AOS docks in Pan Am Pier West so no shop in the terminal.

 

Deterioration:

The cleanliness in all the rooms were not good, we spoke with other passengers and they all agreed. The rooms were kind of dirty, specially the bathrooms that were smelly. We left a note to the Stateroom Attendant the very first day and we wrote that the bath was smelly, that night no more smell problems.

 

kckaufansm: The islands were great, of all the ships I've been to the Southern Caribbean, I have to say that AOS visit the best islands of the Caribbean. Aruba and Curacao really great, nice buildings and colors and nice people. St. Maarten, WOW, the island has improved so so much, very beautiuful. St. Thomas, very nice. We didn't do much at the islands because we already visited them, we just stayed near the port area.

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Food:

Ben & Jerry's: Not included in the price, the priciest ice cream is the Large Waffle Cone that cost $4.60, very big ice cream and very good. But Bye Bye Sprinkles, the place was eliminated. Soft Serve Ice Cream on the Windjammer.

 

Johnny Rockets: You pay $3.95 for all the food you can eat. It is per person per visit. The beverages and milkshakes are not included.

 

Overall, food quality was an improvement since the first AOS trip we did in 2003. The service at the dining venues were excellent, a lot of great choices. In my case, everything I ordered was very good.

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Thank you SO much for taking the time to reply to our questions. I'm glad you had such a positive experience overall! Your comments were very helpful... thanks again!:) :) :)

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Food:

Ben & Jerry's: Not included in the price, the priciest ice cream is the Large Waffle Cone that cost $4.60, very big ice cream and very good. But Bye Bye Sprinkles, the place was eliminated. Soft Serve Ice Cream on the Windjammer.

 

Wait a minute! Are you saying that the place to get soft serve frozen yogurt is gone? :eek: If so, my dh is going to be one unhappy camper!

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We will going on the AOS in a couple weeks. Did you go to any shows? Which ones did you enjoy the most?

 

My daughter will be very disappointed if they have taken away the sprinkles soft serve. It was the one thing that she liked better about RCCL than Princess.

 

Was there a pianist playing at the Schooner bar? If so, do you remember who it was? We really enjoyed the pianist on our last RCCL cruise.

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Wait a minute! Are you saying that the place to get soft serve frozen yogurt is gone? :eek: If so, my dh is going to be one unhappy camper!

 

That is the report. Sprinkles in the promenade is closed. You can still get soft serve outside the windjammer.... so it wouldn't seem to be a big deal to me.

 

jc

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I know that now Johnny Rockets is charging, but I heard there are coupons in the C&A coupon book to cover the $3.95 is this true?

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We will going on the AOS in a couple weeks.
When are you sailing? We are on the 1/30 cruise. :)

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I know that now Johnny Rockets is charging, but I heard there are coupons in the C&A coupon book to cover the $3.95 is this true?

 

Yes. On the Nov 28th sailing we all got coupons in the C&A booklet. Didn't use them so I left them in the safe for the next cruisers.

Cindy ;)

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Wait a minute! Are you saying that the place to get soft serve frozen yogurt is gone? :eek: If so, my dh is going to be one unhappy camper!

 

 

You can get frozen yogurt on the ship. They just got rid of the toppings on the promnade for those who are very messy.

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To lmmn:

You can't miss by any instance the Cool Art/Hot Ice show, it is really really impressive, I had the chance to sit in the first row and literally you can see everything so close that you can fell that you are part of the show. Get in there 30 minutes before starting to get great seats.

 

Yep, Sprinkles is gone. To be more specific the ice cream/topping place just next to Cafe Promenade in the Royal Promenade. We did not went to the Schooner so I can't answer the question about the pianist.

 

To trbutler:

All Crown and Anchor members receive a coupon for a free visit to Johnny Rockets. If your family is composed by three members and all of them are of C&A you will receive three coupons that excempt you from paying the food on one visit, the beverages are not included. I am a C&A member and I received one, and I went there, you just have to fill the coupon with your name, stateroom, and SeaPass Folio Number, and thats it! Free JR.

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Hello,

 

I'm also on the 3/13 cruise. We have 8 adults in the mid 40's to low 50's range celebrating my 50th bd.

 

What does your group consist of?

 

Let's keep in touch as we get get closer to swap notes and ideas!

 

Glen

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El Turista:

 

We are going on AOS 1-29-05, can't wait. You said you are not at the terminal with the shops in it. Where is the terminal at? We were in San Juan on EOS and just walked into old San Juan from the ship, and we bought soda and water in ther terminal. What kind of shows were there (other than the ice show)

 

Thanks for your reply.

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AOS docks in the Pan American Pier. The Pan American Pier is formed by two large docks that handle mega ships. One dock face the west, that one is the embarkation port of AOS in San Juan. The other dock face the east, which is the one that use the Golden Princess. The Pan Am East pier is the one that offers a large duty free shop, the Pan Am West pier do not offer any duty free shop. AOS docks in Pan American Pier West so no shop there.

 

Pan American Pier is the newest pier in San Juan, constructed and remodeled by the Puerto Rican government and Royal Caribbean that owns it. It is located on the Isla Grande Area, in the opposite side of the San Juan Island where Old San Juan is located. It is about 15 minutes in taxi from the Pan Am to the Old San Juan area. The Explorer of the Seas is an "in-transit" ship, so it use the Pier #4 that is within walking distance from Old San Juan. RCCL "in transit" ships docks in the Pier #4 in Old San Juan. Ships of RCCL that embarks in San Juan use the Pan Am Pier which is far from the Old San Juan area.

 

About the shows, I am not a great fan of watching shows, but my tablemates were, so they gave me some explanations. There was one show that focused on the music since the 50' and they show how American music developed since then. There was a Rock and Roll show, and few others. In our sailing there was a special Puerto Rican show on the Latin Night with a group called "Rondalla de Puerto Rico" they played very nicely. Don't miss the parades, the Latin one is better than the very first one.

 

I'll check more abt the shows in the Compasses.

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EL TURISTA: I did want to make you aware that I used your text as a quote for my recent thread about the New Freedom of The Seas Info. I hope you are accurate in your information because that is a great itinerary and a wonderful captain for the Freedom ship. Thanks for the investigative reporting. :)

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We went on the AOS in Sept. 2003 and 2004. The location of the duty free shop is as described above. It is no problem to walk to other terminal at the Pan AM pier and buy you liquor, soda there and return to the AOS terminal. They will scan your bags, but will not confiscate. As I said, no problem.

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to "theParrotHeads"

No Problem! I think it was a great idea to give the info in another post.

 

I red in the post from another CC member that Explorer would be moved to Europe in Summer 2006 for making room for Freedom. After Europe, where the ship would be placed? Miami again? I have the feeling that the Explorer could be based in San Juan to operate Serenade of the Seas itineraries year round because besides Miami and New York, I don't think that any port beside San Juan could handle a Voyager Class ship for embarkation.

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We have just the 3 of us (my husband, 13-year-old daughter, and I) but you'll want to join our conversation already "in progress" with others going on our cruise! Go to the Roll Calls page for Royal Caribbean, then scroll to "Adventure of the Seas - 3/13/05" which was originally posted by Canucks. To help you find it, the most recent posting was yesterday at 4:04 p.m. (by me!) We already have a "meet & mingle" list started, so sign up! :)

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We have cruised on RCCL before and haven't needed passports... just got by with birth certificates and photo ID's. Is this true of the AOS as well, or are passports required? Thanks to everyone for all the helpful info! Since we're going in March, I promise to get on afterwards to help answer questions as well! :)

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When we entered the ship, we just needed Birth Certificates and Photo ID. All US Citizens need that to enter. Passports are for non-US citizens, although people use Passports as a Photo ID. It is even more necesary that you have the Photo ID and Birth Certificate in St. Thomas because there is an inmigration process to get a permission to get out the ship in St. Thomas. You have to get into the inmigration or you will have serious problems.

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