Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

stargate fan

Back from an amazing AOS cruise!

Recommended Posts

Got home last night from the most wonderful cruise on Adventure of the Seas! We were on the Aruba route. While I am not a day-by-day kind of writer, I hope my highlights will help those of you who are sailing AOS in the future.

*NOTE-These are my opinions. While some may not agree, I ask that you respect them as being mine.*

We were a group of 16; eight adults and eight teens between 13 and 18. We flew out of Boston to San Juan a day before the cruise. I highly recommend this. It is a great way to start a vacation. Being from the frozen Northeast, we always fly in a day before our cruise in case Mother Nature decides to throw a whammy at us.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn. It was a short taxi tide from the airport. The taxi's charge by region, not so much distance. So, for four of us plus six pieces of luggage, the cost was under $25. The hotel was great. The rooms were very clean. The pool area was absolutely beautiful. There is a small bar at the pool that has limited food. We ordered burgers and expected flat, fast-food type of food. Not so. The burgers were thick and delicious, just about the best I have ever had. *One note-the airport is practically across the street from the hotel. While you cannot hear them from the rooms, the pool is another story. We had to stop our conversations every time a plane came in or took off. It was quite amusing, actually.* The continental breakfast rivaled buffets at larger hotels. There were the usual muffins and juices, but we also had hot meats and hot cereals, fruits, pastries, yogurt, and more that I don't remember. We overindulged in the steaming hot biscuits. I would definitely stay there again.

We got to the pier just before 10 am and we were the first ones in line! We stood there for a good 20 minutes before the next people arrived. To make a long story short, we were eating in the Windjammer at noon. The ship is breathtaking! We had a deck 8 forward, port side, balcony cabin. I have asthma and one thing that sets it off is cigarette smoke. The cabin smelled so fresh and clean that I did not have a problem at all. Our boys were in a deck 8 forward, starboard side, inside cabin.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the ship. I can't believe how huge it is! I took pictures of everything. And since we were on so early, most of the ship was still empty.

*Note about the balcony door-it slides open. There is a handle that is more than halfway up that you have to grab with both hands and turn before you can slide it open. It is not easy to do. I have read that a few parents are concerned about their kids opening the door. Unless the child is over five feet tall and strong, it seems to me that it would not be easy at all to do. (My sons knew how to open the cabinet locks at 18 months, so I am not trivializing this point.)*

We had first seating for dinner. We were supposed to be at two tables, one for the adults and one for the kids. Somehow, that was all messed up. We went to see the head waiter, who fixed it very easily.

More on our trip later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review so far! Glad you had a good trip, and I'm delighted you seem to have brought a tiny bit of Caribbean warmth back to Boston with you. Can't wait to read more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for posting Stargate, can't wait to read the rest. Question if you don't mind. What time were you able to get into your cabin?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so jealous reading your review so far! We loved the AOS on our cruise in January and can't wait to sail on her again next March :) Looking forward to more of your review!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you.

We snuck up to our cabin as soon as we got on board, 11:45'ish. I think we scared the jeebies out of the cabin stewards as they were getting the rooms ready. We asked if we could just dump our carry-on in the room and was told that it was fine. Officially, the cabins open at 2 pm.

 

Thanks so much for posting Stargate, can't wait to read the rest. Question if you don't mind. What time were you able to get into your cabin?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi:

 

We're on the March 19th sailing of the AOS. This will be our 36th cruise and about 14 or 15 with RCL. It's good to hear the comment about your cabin. I have asthma also (all my life) and our last cruise on RCL Radiance last September (Hawaii cruise) was the first time our cabin smelled so bad from cigarette smoke that it was unlivable. (People who do not have allergies or asthma have a hard time understaing this problem). Anyway, it was the first time that I asked to be changed to a different cabin (I wasn't looking for an upgrade, we had a balcony); anyway, they told me that none were available and they would just come in and clean some more. Needless to say, I wasn't very happy about that. I learned later that there were many cabins available, they just didn't want to move us. It was the first time I've had a real complaint with RCL, and I feel they handled it very poorly. I'm not sure what upset me more, the fact that they wouldn't move us or the fact that they lied to us about no other cabins being available. I hope we won't have this problem on the AOS..I've never had it before in all the cruises we've taken.

 

We're really looking forward to this cruise....each one is unique and has special memories for us. I guess that's why we keep booking cruises. We're also booked on the Radiance again this year for Hawaii; and, the Freedom of the Seas for New Years Eve.

 

Happy Cruising.....Sparkle 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucky you. Can I come with you? I wanna go back!!!!

The seas coming out of San Juan were just a little rougher than sailing out of mainland US. While my family does not get sea sick, we were wobbling as we walked the ship. Not an unpleasant feeling, kind of funny actually.

Speaking of funny, as I mentioned, we sailed with a group of friends. One night, all the adults were walking through the Promenade when the ship kind of shifted. As my friend and I walked in the back of the group, we saw all of them tip to the right then tip to the left. I was dying! It was like I was watching a school of fish swimming the ocean and then all move as one.

The rest of the time was fine, but we did feel al little more movement than on our previous cruises. The only people that had an issue were two members of one family that had never cruised before; my friend and her daughter were a little queasy, but the behind-the-ear patch solved that quickly.

 

We're sailing on April 2nd. How were the Seas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm back. Let's see, where did I leave off? Ah, the ship. One thing we noticed was the lack of smokers on the ship. We were very surprised. Other than Carnival Paradise, this has been the least smokiest ship we've sailed. I don't know why.

Speaking of smoking, on the sun decks, 11 & 12, there are smoking and non-smoking sides. For our sailing, port side was non-smoking. There were no ashtrays on the port side but there were on starboard side.

Most of the lounges have non smoking areas. The dining room, which is grand and elegant, is non-smoking. So is the Lyric Theater. On the other hand, the casino is very smoky, although there are a few small areas with slots machines labeled as non-smoking areas.

The ship itself is so beautiful! Everything was in such nice condition. This did not feel or look like a five-year-old ship. A few times we saw workers cleaning, scraping, painting, etc. But they were very unobtrusive.

And even though there were over 3,000 passengers, not once did we feel croweded or have to wait in long lines.

Kids: there were lots of kids on board, including ours, but we hardly ever saw them. There were no elevator-button-pushing, take-over-the-solarium kids anywhere. All the kids we did see were polite.

Dining room: While we dressed well every night, I honestly could not tell you if people came in wearing shorts or tunxedos. We really didn't care who wore what. No body else mattered except for our group. Heck, when seated at the table, all you can really see is mid-chest and up, so we couldn't tell anyway. We were too busy stuffing, er... eating dinner. We laughed and talked all night long.

The eight kids were at the next table and all behaved neautifully, but that was expected from all the parents so it was a non-issue.

Other stuff: Our room steward was fine. Our sons' room steward was an angel.

(She'd have to be with four stinky teen boys in one room.)

We did not have C&A coupons in the safe, so if someone left from from the previous cruise, we did not get them. Personally, I think it is better to bring the leftovers home and give them out here.

Important: We learned that all SeaPass cards work on the first day. Even though we did not authorize it, our sons were able to charge when they bought their soda cards. (We were with them, so it was not a big deal for us.) Later that first night, we did make sure that thier charging priviliges were suspended.

More later. Am I whetting your appetite???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

stargate fan,

Great review so far. I know that clothing wasn't really an issue to you, but I am wondering if you noticed on formal nights what the dress length majority was? I am in my late 20's and will be on AOS April 2nd and I am just not sure what length dress to bring. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will be leaving in under two weeks and from your post, you have made me very excited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For both formal nights, I wore floor-length skirts, one with a velvet top and the other with a silk blouse. The other ladies in our group wore cocktail-length dresses. All of the teen girls wore their floor-length prom gowns.

My husband and one friend wore suits as did our two sons. Another husband wore a tuxedo and his son wore a suit. The other two teen guys in our group wore nice slacks, shirts and ties.

There was the gamut of clothes, from pant suits to skirts and tops to sequined gowns.

 

stargate fan,

Great review so far. I know that clothing wasn't really an issue to you, but I am wondering if you noticed on formal nights what the dress length majority was? I am in my late 20's and will be on AOS April 2nd and I am just not sure what length dress to bring. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, that was my goal...to make others excited. Of course, I'm also jealous as heck!

 

We will be leaving in under two weeks and from your post, you have made me very excited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Richard Spacey was our CD. I found him goofy but loveable. The captain was Olav Gunnar Nyseter from Norway.

 

Who was your captain? I'm guessing it was Capt Remo. if not please let us know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We leave in 20 days (but who's counting) on the 26th! I love reading about people and their great experiences. I am so pleased that I chose the AoS for this trip!

 

200603262200_5.gif

Caribbean Travel Links

 

March 2005 Carnival Legend

Dec/Jan 2000 Disney Wonder

A long time ago - Premier Oceanic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ports: (please excuse my fractured thoughts...I didn't take notes as I was having way too much fun.)

Aruba: We took an all day tour with ABC Jeep tours. It was the most fun we have had in a long time. So, we get off the ship and there is a representative waiting for us. We load a bus that takes us to the main office. I rode shotgun, so I got to see where we were going. When we got to the office, we discovered that my husband would have to drive a jeep, even though we requested to be passengers. Best mistake that ever happened. My husband was like a kid, driving a stick shift in a jeep with lousy transmission, a clutch that leaked fluid all over the place, and steering that was so far misaligned that his arms were aching from trying to keep the wheels straight. His smile will be ingrained in my mind forever. Our teens were bounced all over the back seat and had the times of their lives. In one of the other jeeps there was an elderly lady that kept up with the best of us. She was a hoot, bouncing out of her seat. We saw so much of Aruba. At times, I swore we could have been in Colorado or New Mexico. I always thought that tropical islands were lush and green. The ocean was beautiful, though. So many different shades of green and blue. We went to Baby Beach first, where we snorkeled. I saw lots of fish; let's see if the waterproof camera saw them too! We went to the Natural-Bridge-that-is-no-longer. Very sad to see it down and thankful that it happened at a time when no one was around. We went to the Ostrich Farm, which was a hoot. We had lunch there that consisted of chicken, fries, rice, and veggies. Not bad but not great, compared to ship food. We drove over boulders that put our jeep in angles that should not have kept it upright. All in all, it was a great trip and I would give it :D :D :D :D ! The island itself only gets :D. It's a bit too dry for our tastes. We also had a pretty long talk with our tour guide about Natalie Halloway. The Aruba economy is hurting and people like Wendell had nothing to do with this situation. I say we support the "little guy".

*Note - wear clothes that you don't care too much about as the dust and dirt become one with the fabric.*

We stayed on the ship that night and watched the comedy show after dinner.

Next installment, Curacao.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curacao: We didn't make any plans for this island. The boys were exhausted so my husband and I walked into town, leaving them asleep in their cabin. I wanted to see the synagogue, so we walked around until we found it. There is also a Jewish museum that contains so many artifacts. We saw a Torah scroll from 1320 behind a glass window. We don't know how it looked so incredible because the glass case was not temperature or humidity controled. It was a regualr case, like one would see in a store. The Torah was immaculate, the Hebrew still intact and dark and very readable. (Well, for those of us who can read Hebrew.)

We give Curacao :D :D :D :D !

At noon'ish, we went back to the ship for a Johnny Rocket lunch. We had four C&A coupons (a CC friend sent me two quite a few months back) and we gave two of them to our friends. Even though they are not yet C&A members, the cover charge was waived. So, try the coupons, you'll never know what happens.

The rest of the day was by-the-pool time.

So much for my not a day-by-day report, huh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St. Maarten-We booked a private tour with Joyce Prince. I found her name on the Ports of Call section. We had been corresponding by e-mail to plan the tour. While we were on the ship one night, we discovered that WE messed up the reservation...we booked the wrong day! Using our C&A internet coupons, I quickly e-mailed her in a panic. Thankfully, she was free the next day.

 

Joyce picked us up right outside the pier exit. She is a lovely and knowledgeable woman. We basically drove around the whole perimeter of the island, all the while Joyce was explaining history and I was asking questions. (Did you know that they need English teachers on the island?? Now that's a thought!!) We learned about the Dutch side wanting to break away from the Netherland Antilles, about the relationship of the Dutch and French governments, the school systems, even politics.

 

We did not want to so much shopping, but I really wanted a baubble or two, so Joyce took us to her friends at a jewelry store. (I left the card at home. I promise to give out the name when I get home.)

 

Joyce gives a fantastic tour and gets 5 big :D !

 

After the tour, we went back to the ship for lunch. We then took a taxi to Orient Beach. I have never in my life seen something so beautiful. The water is so many colors of blue and greenthat one has to see it. Words do it no justice. My husband and son rented one jet ski while our friend and his son rented another. My girlfriend and I played sungoddesses, enjoying the sun. The water was very warm and we wished we had more time there. 5 big :D!

*note - we did see a few topless womenwalking around, but it was really no big deal. No one we saw flaunted themselves and it was in no way sexual. I was a little envious at these women's self-confidence.*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St. Thomas-Once again, we didn't really have plans for this island. We decided that we would check out St. John. We read about taking a taxi to Red Hook and taking the ferry from there over to the island. We figured things weren't going to go well when the taxi itself cost us $10/pp. (That's $40 for our family alone.) After a 25 minute ride, we made it to Red Hook, bought ferry tickets, and waited in line. And waited. And waited. Finally a ferry came, unloaded a lot of people, and left! By this time, we had been waiting maybe 40 minutes. No one knew what was going on, even the ferry people. Finally another ferry came along, unloaded people, and took off. So, after 75 frustrating minutes, we were all getting upset. We cashed in our tickets, too another taxi to Sapphire Beach. Since we were not happy to begin with, we didn't really enjoy ourselves, so we found another taxi to take our $40 to take us back to the ship. We spent the rest of the day laying by the pool.

We weren't impressed with Sapphire Beach. All the kids rented snorkel equipment and had fun until our oldest son got stung by a jeelyfish. Thankfully it was a baby, so it was really no worse than a bee sting. At least he had a story to bring back to his friends back at the high school.

The whole day gets :( . (We already decided that if we take a cruise to St. Thomas again, we will not get off the ship.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More stuff-*note that these are merely comments and observations and in no way impacted our vacation*

-The jogging/walking track is on deck 12, right in the middle of where the deck chairs are. The track is divided by a white line, but I don't know how people manage to share jogging and walking with poeple trying to find places to sunbathe.

-Our cabin was directly across from a service door. Every morning starting at 5am, room service people and cabin stewards used that door, letting it slam shut behind them.

-The Promenade is breathtaking. We loved standing in the hallway on our deck by the elevator, looking down.

-I never found a drink I liked. On our last cruise, which was Carnival, there was a drink called Kiss on the Lips. It had a mango base, with rum and other delicious stuff. I tried many times asking for mango based drinks, but never found anything I liked. It's probably better for my waistline this way.

-The Promenade Cafe had such delicious snaks that I wished I had eaten there more often.

-I only gained 4 pounds!!!!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since we have only cruised Royal Caribbean and Carnival, here is our take on how Victory and AOS compare:

-Though the cabin on Victory was a little bigger, there was more storage space on AOS.

-The shower doors on AOS get big points vs. the stick-to-your-body shower curtain on Victory.

-We missed the Centrum area of Victory, with the grand, sweeping staircases but loved the Promenade on AOS.

-The sliding balcony door on AOS is way better than the swing open balcony door on Victory.

-The glass on the balconies was cleaned every day on Victory, while on AOS it was only cleaned on the last day.

-The pool area on AOS is fantastic! Loved the two pools and the way they were laid out.

-Victory has a delicatessan and a Chinese take-out window. Missed that on AOS.

-The buffet area on Victory was partially outside on the Promenade deck, so we didn't have to walk too far from our deck chairs to stuff our faces. On AOS, we had to walk past the Solarium into the Windjammer.

-The decorations were more subdued on AOS, but we don't mind the glitz of Victory at all.

-The food was equally tasty and plentiful.

-The photographers were not as good on AOS. We had to toss many pictures because our teeth were gray (which they are not, I assure you!) and the focus was a bit off. This was not just one area, but from pictures taken all over the ship.

-The staff was very courteous on both ships.

That about wraps it up. We love Carnival. We love Royal Caribbean. We will probably sail both lines again. We are even willing to try Princess next.

I hope I didn't bore you. I'll be happy to answer any questions if anyone asks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stargate fan, I really want to read about your trip but cannot. The pink lettering makes me feel woozy. Do you know how I can change the color?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×