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WallyNDiane

AOS 1/23 quick review

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Just got back from the 1/23 sailing. Couple comments.

 

Ships docks on south side of bay. Need to take taxi to Old San Juan.

Registration was a snap. Long lines but we were on the ship in less than 20 minutes. Very efficient.

 

Fantistic ship- best we have been on (7 cruises). Very easy to navigate.

 

Don't miss the ice show-very good. Other entertainment was so-so.

 

Food- Portofino's is a must. Outstanding-try it at least once.

Main dining. Great service - Food was pretty good. Extra lobster tails for anyone that wanted one or 2 or 3. 3 decks used for main dining rooms. Never felt crowded despite the thousands of passengers in the dining rooms.

 

Grand Promenade cafe had outstanding sandwiches.

 

Hot tubs were plentiful. Drinks were very good and for a cruise ship, were reasonably priced.

 

Ports of call.

 

Aruba- did the jeep rental thing. Getting around the Island was a blast. $75 for a Susuki (not quite a jeep- but it got us around) right off the dock. Beaches were packed. Spend some time on the sand dunes near the lighthouse-cool area.

 

Curacao- walked around town. Fantastic buildings and the pastel paints were incredible. Talked to people who went to Mambo beach- cheap and easy to get to-wish we went there in the afternoon after shopping.

 

St Maarten- went to Dawn Beach- $.75 beers, lovely beach, great views of St Barth's. Recommend it highly.

 

St Thomas- Did the Magens bay thing. Weather was superb.

 

Shopping tip. I got my wife a ring with opal settings in St Maarten. It was sized. Opal stones fell out in less tha 1/2 hour. Fortunately the store I purchased it from was on the ships shopping list. RCI gave me credit for the ring. After talking to many jewelers in St Thomas, never have an opal setting ring sized. Learn something new every day.

 

A great cruise. Recommend RCI and these ports of call highly.

 

Any questions, fire away.

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Glad to hear you had a great trip!

A couple quick questions-

what time did you get to the pier?

did you fly in the day before?

who is the current Captain of the AOS?

We sail March 6th and are really excited!

Thanks for answering my questions.

Patty

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Hi Patty, We were also on the 1/23 sailing, and our question made me chuckle, so I'm responding....

On our last night, just after sail away, we were still on the sports deck and decided that we wanted one last picture of our little group. By now the deck was desserted because most people were getting ready for dinner, but there was a man out walking the track and we asked him to take our picture, which he did. Afterwards, someone told us that it was Captain Remo (although all I could remember was Capt Nemo). I'm sure most people want to take HIS picture, or have a picture taken WITH him....not us...we had him taking our picture, which he did very graciously. Other than that we didn't see him around the ship or at the ports but most mornings and evenings he made announcements about the weather, distance to the next port, and our cruising speed. One morning he announced "the forecast for today is partly sunny......I hope that happens" which gave us a laugh.

 

As for your other questions, I would definitely fly in the day before because we had many many people miss part of our cruise due to weather delays. We checked out of the Sheraton Old San Juan at noon and took a taxi directly to the pier. We were on the ship before 1 pm but the stateroom doors were not yet open so we introduced ourselves to Earl the pool bartender and waited with him until 2 to get into our room. I had read on these boards that you could drop off your carry on bag in your room even if the hallway doors were closed, but we decided not to bother the staff while they were trying to get the ship ready.

 

This is a beautiful ship. You're going to have a great time.

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I'm so happy to hear you had a great time. We're sailing on AOS on Feb 13th and staying one night at the Sheraton Old San Juan. By the way, how was the Sheraton hotel? I've heard so many negative things about the hotel. Hope it has big improvements since changing over from the Wyndham. Also, was AOS clean especially the cabin? We were on Mariner last February and being brand new, it was very clean. Thanks!

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Hi Patty' date=' We were also on the 1/23 sailing, and our question made me chuckle, so I'm responding....

On our last night, just after sail away, we were still on the sports deck and decided that we wanted one last picture of our little group. By now the deck was desserted because most people were getting ready for dinner, but there was a man out walking the track and we asked him to take our picture, which he did. Afterwards, someone told us that it was Captain Remo (although all I could remember was Capt Nemo). I'm sure most people want to take HIS picture, or have a picture taken WITH him....not us...we had him taking our picture, which he did very graciously. Other than that we didn't see him around the ship or at the ports but most mornings and evenings he made announcements about the weather, distance to the next port, and our cruising speed. One morning he announced "the forecast for today is partly sunny......I hope that happens" which gave us a laugh.

 

As for your other questions, I would definitely fly in the day before because we had many many people miss part of our cruise due to weather delays. We checked out of the Sheraton Old San Juan at noon and took a taxi directly to the pier. We were on the ship before 1 pm but the stateroom doors were not yet open so we introduced ourselves to Earl the pool bartender and waited with him until 2 to get into our room. I had read on these boards that you could drop off your carry on bag in your room even if the hallway doors were closed, but we decided not to bother the staff while they were trying to get the ship ready.

 

This is a beautiful ship. You're going to have a great time.[/quote']

I am so glad to have found your thread. I am a first time cruiser. Sailing on AOS on 4/3/05. Hubby and I are traveling with our 4 children. We were worried about the long gap after check-out at our hotel in Condado and the boarding time on the ship. On the RCCL website it only states that you can board the ship 3 hours in advance. You were really on this ship by 1:00PM? It sails at 10:PM. That's great to know.

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Our room at the Sheraton was fine for one night pre-cruise. It's nothing special, but it's nothing horrible either, and we like being in Old San Juan. We also stayed here last January when it was the Wyndham. I didn't notice any difference from last year to this year so I don't think the new ownership has made much of a change.

 

As for getting on the ship that early, we didn't have any problem at all. Since everyone clears customs the day before in St Thomas, I think that speeds up disembarkation of the returning passengers, which helps. The lines at the pier were quite short when we arrived, but still a bit chaotic since there are no signs to tell you that the outside/right line (closest to the parking lot) is the line to check your luggage. After you get rid of your luggage, then you get into the inside/left line to check in.

 

The cleanliness of the room was our only complaint. The carpet, headboard, bedspread, loveseats, and even the curtains were stained which didn't make a very good first impression. About halfway thru the week, a small section of our carpet was wet but no cleaner. The next day, they cleaned the whole carpet but they never washed the bedspread or cleaned the loveseat cushions. We asked for extra towels to cover the loveseat. Also, we bring a pack of Clorox wipes to wipe down most of the cabin as soon as we check in. Since we had an inside promenade room, we didn't spend much time in our cabin anyway, and the bathroom was always clean, so it wasn't that big a deal, but as I said, it was the first thing we noticed.

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Thank you for the info on the Sheraton and AOS cabin condition. Why do passengers not have consideration for taking care of the cabin? AOS is only about 3 or so years which is not that old. I will certainly ask the cabin steward to at least bring a clean bedspread and try and spot clean anything obviously dirty. It kind of ruins a vacation when the hotel room is not comfortably clean. Oh well, we will have a great time because the weather will be fabulous! Thanks again!

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I was on the same cruise. We were on board the ship by 12:30 and our room was ready. Quickly met the bartender at the pool bar.

 

This trip once again confirmed our reasons for flying in the day before. We did end up getting in the day before, but just barely. The ship stayed an extra three hours in port on Sunday night b/c we were missing 1200 passengers. I believe by waiting three more hours we picked up 600 more. Then in Aruba another 300 people showed up to get on. If you miss the ship on the first day, you can't get on until Aruba on Tuesday.

 

I second the line thing. The outside line is to drop off your luggage. Make sure your tags are on. Then the inner line is check-in. It was a breeze.

 

We were scheduled to stay at the Sheraton for our pre-night, but they are remodeling and broke a water main flooding two floors. We got bumped to the Wyndham Condado Plazo.

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