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julesbeara

Just Back From the Adventure of the Seas - Any Questions?

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Coming out of the shock of being back on dry land. I'm happy to answer any questions about this cruise. We ported at St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia & Barbados.

 

Overall the cruise was good, but quality of service has gone down a bit in a few areas.

 

We boarded the ship at 12:30 p.m. and did not receive out luggage until 7 p.m. (1st bag) and 10:00 p.m. (2nd bag), when we have always received out luggage within hours after early boarding. Royal Caribbean needs a better way of tracking luggage rather than it being a free for all.

 

The dining room service was good, but the food quality is O.K. The new menus have eliminated some of my old favorites. They did not have a major production show every night, which eliminated having a key entertainment venue each night. We did eat at Portofino's and the food was amazing, and more like the food was in the main dining room in the past. Johnny Rocket's is also very good (and we only paid to eat there once of the 2 times we visited by using our Platinum coupons).

 

It did not seem that they had as many activities planned as in the past on port days and they day at sea didn't offer much from the ship as entertainment options.

 

The ports are great on this iternary and the weather was very hot for this time of year - 90's. The shopping was great in St. Thomas & St. Maarten. We also visited Divi Little Bay Beach in St. Maarten and it was very nice. We took the Antigua Island Tour which was a little boring, but we did get to see Monserrant in the the distance which was very interesting. St. Lucia was great. We told the Soufiere Island/Catamaran Tour, which takes the whole day and is amazing. Visiting the dormant volcano is just too cool for words. The afternoon cruise back to the ship on the Catamaran offered great site seeing and we visited a black sand beach for snorkeling. We visited the Malibu Distillery and beach in Barbados and it was good.

 

It just felt like RCCL was offering a little bit less than when we took this cruise the year before. I didn't get off the ship longing for my next cruise or wishing it wasn't over which is a first?

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What other entertainment was offered when the main show was not showing on a particular night. How many nights out of the seven was it shown?

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What deck was your cabin on? :rolleyes:

 

Glad you had a good time and welcome back!

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We are doing this cruise 5/22/2005. Can you please tel me when the formal nights were? And I have been reading that they have done away with the smart casual nights and have gone to 5 casual nights. Is this true?

Any other tips for us?

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They had a major entertainment shows on 4 out of 7 nights of the cruise. The Ice Skating show was offered 2 of the other nights when they didn't have a major acts planned, and then they had a talent show put on by the passengers for the 7th night of entertainment. It just seemed kind of cheap.

 

We had cabin 9618 (junior suite), which was a hump cabin and had a a little bit bigger balcony. It was really nice not to have anyone else be able to look on our balcony.

 

The formal nights were on Monday & Thursday. Lobster night was Friday. The best night for Portofino's is Wednesday which had the weakest menu offerings. The other nights are more casual, but most people still dressed nice (slacks & shirts for the guys and sundresses for the ladies), I didn't see anyone in jeans or shorts.

 

We didn't encounter lines for the rock climbing wall. Just a sign-up sheet for booking a reserved time.

 

Hope you have a great time!!!

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Thank you for your review, Julie. You stated (as well as others) that there are fewer selections on the menu and that some of your favorites are no longer offered. Can you tell me what some of those favorites were, and do they still have at least 5 dinner entrees to choose from? (if memory serves correctly there used to be a beef, poultry, pork or lamb, fish, and vegetarian choice before)

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HI, We are also going on the May 22nd sailing. Just wondering how many lobsters you were allowed to eat? And was it a full lobster or just the lobster tail. Did they have any sails on the last day of the cruise in the promenade? Do you know if anyone did the ATV tours in Antigua or St. Lucia? Thanks for your review.:D

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You are allowed to eat as many lobster tails as you would like. It is also served with shrimp scampi on the same plate. We had 2 each.

 

The menu typically consisted on a chef featured selection which was typically fish, a vegetarian dish, a pasta dish with meat or seafood, and/or chicken, duck or lamb (5 entrees). Since they offer the top sirloin as an optional item every night I didn't see a lot of beef dishes. I loved the Beef Wellington & Chicken Cordon Bleu that they had in the past and they alway had wonderful lasagna on italian night. I actually think that the appetizers are better than the main courses? The desserts are still very good.

 

I have only seen and heard about the ATV tour in Aruba, which is suppose to be very good.

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We are considering this cruise for our April vacation next year. I have a couple of questions I hope you won't mind answering!

 

You boarded the ship at 12:30 pm - did you sail at 10:00 pm? Did you fly in the day before?

 

If the ship sailed at 10:00 pm, how was dinner the first night handled - in the dining room or buffet in the Windjammer?

 

How far is the airport from where the ship is docked and what's the earliest we could plan a flight out at the end of the cruise? Any negatives about taking a cruise from San Juan versus Miami?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Robin

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We are going on the AOS in December but the Aruba and Curacao segments. How is the condition of the ship? I hear that the SJU airport is a nightmare - any suggestions on the time it takes to leave. Our flight is at 1:00PM and wonder how early you need to get to the terminal.

 

Thanks for all of the info - we can't wait to cruise again.

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I was on the AOS for the 4/17 cruise. In response to some of the previous posts...we also had a delay in getting our luggage. This was our 9th cruise (first on RCCL) and the first time our luggage arrived so late (after 7pm). I wish I had known about this because the kids wanted to swim but had no bathing suits. My lobster arrived partly frozen and rubbery--certainly didn't want to order another one. I heard many people complaining and sending their lobsters back to be cooked. Overall the food was not great. I don't eat meat and can only comment on the fish. The other major negative was that the teens took over many of the public areas (library, business center, etc). There was lots of "horseplay" on the elevators. I heard several passengers complaining about this. On a positive note...the promonade was fun, the entertainment was good(especially the ice show), and we really enjoyed the ice skating, rollerblading and rock climbing wall. SJU was not a zoo. We easily made our 11:50am flight, arriving at the airport by 9:30am.

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We are going on the AOS July 24. Am I understanding this correctly, that there are 2 formal nights and the others are business casual? How did people dress on the nights that are not formal? Are mini-skirts ok?

 

How are the bathrooms? Is the hair dryer weak?

 

Thanks!

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Hello everyone. I was also on the AOS 4/24. This was my first cruise. I won't say that it was totally bad, but I didn't a lot of fun on the ship. I guess maybe because the crowd was mostly middle aged and young children (mostly families). I did travel with my family, but I am in my early twenties and only saw prehaps a dozen or so young adults.

 

There was nothing wrong with the older crowd, it just I don't think they were interested in the same things I would have been interested in.

 

The trip didn't start off that bad. We boarded at approximately 12:30. Some rooms were ready and the vast majority was to be ready by 2:00pm. I didn't receive my bags until approximately 7:00pm. One bag did come later in the evening, but we had most of out clothes. the first night we had to get to know the ship. We were shocked. The ship was so big. We had a sail away party that was fun because you meet the crew, and most of the people you saw on the ship for the duration of the cruise.

 

The first port St. Thomas, we went to the Kontiki Party. It was okay. I thought it was gonna be more music and a little more adventurous. But it was cool for what is was. I didn't make it to the Meet & Mingle because by the time we got back, we had to get ready for dinner (early seating, prehaps, second seating would have been better as we were rushing just about everynight.) Tonight was the first formal nights, so everyone was dressed in the best. It was so nice and elegant. From kids on up, everyone was looked nice. Suits for the guys, formal gowns for the females. The food for that night was bad either. After we took the formal pictures and all we decided to go to Jesters. It was slow in the beginning. People didn't start coming in until around 12:30. Had a few drinks, and then things started jumping. Around 2:30 things started to slow down.

 

Tuesday, St. Maarten, was another good island. We walked around did some shopping. Scenery very nice. Not much to talk about because we just shopped. Karaokee that night. Very slow. Hardly anyone signed up to sing. Crowd kinda boring. But hey we made the best of it. Didn't go to any of the performances in the Lyric, but heard they were not that good.

 

Wednesday, Antigua. Went to the Beach. Back on the ship, not really much to do. We did however go do Portofinos. The food was excellent. Tried food that I've never had before and was amazed at the quality of the food. Service was excellent. Very polite also.

 

Thursday, St. Lucia. We went to the Beach and back to the ship. We had Karaokee again. This time it was more people and a little more lively. People were dancing and drinking. The ship was a little rocky this day though. You could feel the swaying of the boat wether you was in the casino or in the imperial lounge. Second formal night. Not as dressy as the first, but still nice attire.

 

Friday, Barbados. Of all the island, I thought Barbados was the prettiest. The water so, blue, (unlike Jones Beach) the sand so white. We did Jet Skiing, snorkeling and played in the water like a bunch of little kids.

 

I was so amazed at how much food there was to eat. I mean, every where you looked, there was food. Cafe Promenade had pizze and little sandwiches 24 hours. Windjammer, served food buffet style, but it was so much. Johnny Rocket served the huge sandwiches with french fries and onion rings. One evening, we had a poolside buffet. There was pig, chicken, hotdogs, hamburgers, rice, etc. I mean everythings.

 

I would go again, prehaps a different time during the year. The week of 4/24, the public schools in NY and some other states were on spring break, so there were a lot of children on the ship. I presume had I gone in february or march, then I would have been on a ship with more college aged people. I must say thought, I do have a picture of AOS, next to Jewel of the Sea and Carnival and you can see the size difference. AOS is huge compared to the other ships. I never felt cramped. I had an oceanview cabin and it was enough space for all of our stuff. Our stateroom attendant was very pleasant and didn't even say anything about us having an iron.

 

I did enjoy myself. We made our own fun and I guess that is just something that you have to do. I did save all of the compasses from the cruise. If there are any questions that you may want an answer to, I will be more than happy to give it to you, if I have it.

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We are going on the AOS July 24. Am I understanding this correctly, that there are 2 formal nights and the others are business casual? How did people dress on the nights that are not formal? Are mini-skirts ok?

 

How are the bathrooms? Is the hair dryer weak?

 

Thanks!

 

The hair dryer is totally weak. I brought my own.

 

I say mini-skirts are fine, but that's MHO (my honest opinion). Others will interject here, I'm sure :)

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We are considering this cruise for our April vacation next year. I have a couple of questions I hope you won't mind answering!

 

You boarded the ship at 12:30 pm - did you sail at 10:00 pm? Did you fly in the day before?

 

If the ship sailed at 10:00 pm, how was dinner the first night handled - in the dining room or buffet in the Windjammer?

 

How far is the airport from where the ship is docked and what's the earliest we could plan a flight out at the end of the cruise? Any negatives about taking a cruise from San Juan versus Miami?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Robin

 

I have a review (link in my signature) from this AOS cruise. We flew in the day before but it didn't matter. We got delayed and arrived at 2pm on Sunday. The ship doesn't leave until 10, but they want you on board before 8 or 8:30. Dinner the first night was in the dining room, at your assigned dining time. The dress code is relaxed because some don't have all of their luggage yet. The airport is 10 - 15 minutes away. It's $20 each way for 2 people with luggage. I wouldn't get a flight before 12. We were pretty late getting off the ship, and that was at about 9:30, we were at the airport by 10, and our flight was at 1:45.

The negatives about SJU is that its more expensive to fly there. Our airfaire was more than the cruise! :eek:

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Thanks for the info ... we may be rethinking this cruise because of the airfare - my husband was checking out airfares - it's wicked expensive from New York. We have some free tickets on American - hopefully we will be able to use them. The week we need to go begins on Easter Sunday - we might be going on the Navigator again!

 

lephysteria - love your location - "Expensive Southern California!" That sums up where we live, too!

 

Robin

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Thanks for the info ... we may be rethinking this cruise because of the airfare - my husband was checking out airfares - it's wicked expensive from New York. We have some free tickets on American - hopefully we will be able to use them. The week we need to go begins on Easter Sunday - we might be going on the Navigator again!

 

lephysteria - love your location - "Expensive Southern California!" That sums up where we live, too!

 

Robin

Hey Robin,

We booked our airfare fro Newark to San Juan abot 10mth in advnce and only payed 300 round trip. So if yo have the time try booking way in advance.

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Hey Robin,

We booked our airfare fro Newark to San Juan abot 10mth in advnce and only payed 300 round trip. So if yo have the time try booking way in advance.

 

We booked our airfare from Philadelphia to San Juan in the beginning of March this year. Our cost was $357 per person American Airlines.

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We booked in March for an August cruise - out of JFK (through Travelocity) airfare was $288 on American. Wanted to go JetBlue but it was about $100 more a person.

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One more question. What time did you disembark and how much time and hassle was it to go through customs in San Juan?

 

Thanks

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Sorry for the delay in replying. I had over 500 e-mails when I went back to work.

 

Robin - We did fly in the day before and stayed at the Sheraton Old Juan. The ship sailed at 9:30 actually, because they got everyone on board ahead of schedule. We had late seating and dinner was at 9:00 p.m. the 1st night only (all other nights it was at 8:30 p.m.) in the main dinner room. Buffet was also available in the Windjammer. The cruise ship terminal is a 15 mintue taxi ride from the airport. The earliest departure time from the ship is 8:30 a.m., if the ship clears customs without issue. I've sailed out of Miami twice and hate it. I prefer Ft. Lauderdale over Miami any day. The cruise out of San Juan offers ports that aren't available out of Florida.

 

Cruise Wizard - The ship is in great condition. The airport in San Juan is horrible (not enough seats available). I would be off the ship by 10:30 a.m. for a 1:00 p.m. flight.

 

CMhighto - Most people dressed up for both formal nights. I wore a short cocktail dress on the 2nd formal night. We had a junior suite which had a bathtub/shower, and the bathroom is a little bigger. I always bring my hair dryer because the ship provided ones aren't that great.

 

Skogler - We had the Tiger Shrimp Scampi & Goat Cheese Souffle Appetizers and they are excellent. For entrees we had the Lobster Linguine & Halibut with Sundried Tomato Relish. Dessert was Tiramisu & Chocolate Cake. Everything was amazing. I will definitely eat at Portofino's a couple times if it is available on our next cruise. We actually got off the ship at 11:30 a.m., since we had a 2:00 flight. Pretty much the last group off.

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I posted these questions in a seperate post but I will post them here now that I've seen this thread.

 

Are the pools filled with salt water or regular water? When we cruised on the Nordic Empress in 2000 the pool was filled with salt water and they drained it every night. Do they do that with the ones on AOS or are they open all the time?

 

This question might sound even sillier but the solarium pool, is it covered (like a solarium, with glass ceiling and walls) or is it open air (i.e. can I tan there???).

 

And, I hear so many raves about Portofino's. Why is is so much better than the main dining room? On my only other cruise, we loved the food in the dining room. So, is it worth missing a night in the dining room, and why, and how do we know which night would be best to miss? Can we view the menu for the dining room ahead of time (like for the whole week at the beginning of the cruise)?

 

Also, what things and restaurants are extra ($$$)? I know Portofino's is $20/person and there is a charge for Johnny Rockets but what is the charge at Johnny Rockets and does it include everything or do you pay to get in and then pay for extras in there too? Are there other restaurants that have a charge? Are there shows that have a charge?

 

Thanks a lot! I know I have tons of questions!

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Thanks for the info ... we may be rethinking this cruise because of the airfare - my husband was checking out airfares - it's wicked expensive from New York. We have some free tickets on American - hopefully we will be able to use them. The week we need to go begins on Easter Sunday - we might be going on the Navigator again!

 

lephysteria - love your location - "Expensive Southern California!" That sums up where we live, too!

 

Robin

 

 

We flew from JFK-Delta and our airfare was only 236.40. We booked it in January and our cruise was april.

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