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EggDropErin

AOS Review 04/09/06-04/16/06

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My apologies as I only had time to sit down and write in my journal the first night, so it will probably be a little more detailed. Also, this is coming from a shopaholic’s perspective. We did no shore excursions. I have also just recently been released from the hospital, so please pardon my lack of detail. I had intended to get this done a long time ago. This was our honeymoon cruise. DH has been on several cruises before this one. Myself, only one on Carnival. I am NOT a Carnival fan.



 

Embarkation: What a breeze! Took the RCI transfers and were escorted by the staff directly to the bus which took us to the pier. Our luggage was taken away in a separate truck. After about 30 minutes and 20 speed bumps later, we reached our massive ship. Since we had already done our SetSail Passess online, we simply had to fill out a tiny piece of paper, get our identification verified, swipe our credit cards, and get onboard. All very simple!

 

We immediately went to go towards our stateroom. From the moment we stepped on the ship until we reached our room, we were welcomed by several staff members. It was a very warm and toasty feeling. Since we had an afternoon flight and arrived around 3pm, our room was all ready for us. Cabin 8451. It was small, but quite smartly designed for an inside cabin. Lots of nooks and crannies for storage. We did have an in room combination safe located in a cabinet above the television. Our room consisted of a queen bed, a small 2-person loveseat, a closet, an oval glass table, two small night stands, and a desk with 9 drawers. Above the desk there is a large vanity mirror which has two more storage places for small items on both sides of the mirror. Our carpet had quite a bit of stains on it. Overall, our room was quite clean and kept that way the entire time by our friendly stateroom attendant Jermaine.

 

We began exploring the rest of the ship. Wow! It was huge, but so well laid out. We really had it about conquered on the first night. We grabbed something to eat in the Windjammer. I must say the food was a bit cold. I also found the selection of desserts to not be as fancy as they were in Carnival’s informal dining area. But that was the only time the food was cold in Windjammer. The rest of the time, it was just fine. RCI could stand to bump up their dessert presentations. That’s the only thing I found that I actually liked better on the other cruise line.

 

We did our muster drill and got stuck with people who were not appreciative at all of the whole ordeal. One couple even insisted that they had cruised Carnival before and they never made them do such a thing. Sure they didn’t. It took about 20 minutes or so, and I was quite glad to be away from the two complaining couples of strangers when it was done.

 

There were lots of people from Puerto Rico on the ship, therefore, all announcements were in English as well as Spanish. No one was rude or out of control that we noticed. I know some other people had some concerns about this on their cruises, but everything was hunky dory on ours.

 

We chose to eat at Portofino’s this night. The food was excellent. I had a mushroom pasta dish and DH had the seafood plate. The cruise director Richard Spacey and his staff were all dining in there as well. It was someone’s birthday among them. They got most of the attentive service. I was feeling exhausted and queasy, so I ate my flourless chocolate cake in the room. It was okay. I’m sure the chocoholics would LOVE it. I am odd. Being that we were married on Saturday, and had spent all day flying on Sunday, we were ready for bed early. Therefore, we didn’t see the parade. I also didn’t feel like being in a big crowd.

 

Day 2: St Thomas

 

Wow! Ladies, if you’re looking for pink sapphires, get them here! I didn’t find a better selection on any of the other islands that we were on. My ring is still in St. Thomas because I was hoping to find a better deal in St. Maarten. :( I never saw one like it again. There is a really neat store there for your pampered pooches. There are two adorable bulldogs in the store. I remember one is named Monte. If you buy something there, you get a postcard with him on it. I got my dogs each a his and hers sailor outfit that said St. Thomas USVI on them and some really stylish sunglasses. Hey, my dogs are my kids. This was by far my favorite island. We bought a little bit of liquor here, and I’m sure I bought perfume, as I bought some on every island. I also bought a “Coach” purse at a little flea market area we came across. :D I will point out that the rudest people of the entire trip were on this island. They were the Americans trying to get you to go to Blackbeard’s castle. If you ignored them or politely declined them, they could say some pretty nasty things.

 

We looked at the shops onboard that night. There was a liquor/tobacco store, a perfume store, a jewelry store, a Royal Caribbean logo store, and fashion boutique. Very cool to be shopping on a mall in the middle of the sea. We attended the Captain’s welcome party. They had free champagne. It was brut, therefore, it was not to my liking. But DH was all for it, so he ended up enjoying mine as well. We went to the variety show that evening as well. They had a comedian named Keith Monteith who was just okay in my opinion. It seemed like he was trying too hard. After that, they had a father and son acrobatic team that were AMAZING! After the father and son got done doing their act, the mother of the boy did quite a show with hula hoops. I sure do wish I could move like she did! I believe it’s listed in the compass as Sliven. So, if you get a chance to see them, they are really great!

 

This was also the day of our Meet & Mingle. It was formal dinner night, and we had first seating. Our M&M was scheduled at 5pm. Not the best choice of times IMO. There were only about 10 people who showed up, I suspect do to the timing. But it was nice. There were little munchies for us, and we got to meet the hotel director and a few other big wigs on the ship.

 

Day 3: St Maarten

 

 

Liquor! Get your liquor! Yes, everywhere you went, you could find unbelievable deals on liquor!! At one store, we even found Dom in the $80 range! There is a place called the Guavaberry Emporium. I am a weenie and can’t stand straight hard liquor, but their guavaberry coladas were YUMMY! You got a nice plastic souvenir glass filled with this delicious concoction for $5. We met and got to shake the hand of “that Yoda guy” at his store there. Nick Maley, the creator of Yoda, has his own art store there. There were some really nice things in there if you like artwork. We searched in vain for my ring and I’m sure I also bought perfume here. In order to get to all of the nice shopping here, you took a water taxi. An all day stylish hot pink wristband cost just $5 per day per person. It was an efficient way to travel.

 

I believe we ate a Johnny Rockets this afternoon. We used our C&A coupons, so there was no cover charge, otherwise it would have been $3.95 per person. They serve you onion rings and French fries complete with this quite tasty ranch dipping sauce. The burgers were quite substantial. They filled both of us right up. DH had a chocolate coke which he loved and I had a strawberry shake which was a nice treat. Both cost around $3.

 

We attended the ice show this evening. DH had to wait about 30 minutes in line the day before in order to secure tickets for this event. It was spectacular! They can really do some amazing stuff on that little rink. If you get a chance to see this, do it. We ended up getting front row seats because we were in line to get in early and it felt like they were going to run into us at times. So neat to be that close to the action. We also attended the love and marriage game show. We thought about auditioning until we saw we would have to dance and sing in front of everyone. I’m not that brave. Oooeee baby, oooeee baby, we didn’t get to play! LOL The longest married guy thought his wife’s bra size was 25B!!! It was a blast, and we kept running into all of the contestants all the time throughout the rest of the cruise it seemed. Richard Spacey was our Cruise Director. He was a scream!

 

Day 4: Antigua

 

If you’re looking to shop on a beautiful tropical island, STAY ON THE BOAT! I might be the only one who thought this island was small and very dirty. Everywhere you went, you got hassled to go on taxi rides with shady-looking drivers. There was very little shopping here, and I didn’t feel safe at all. We stayed out on the island a maximum of 45 minutes before returning to the ship.

 

We plated bingo tonight. DH won when stinky bingo was played. It was game for the unluckiest person to win, and he did! That was pretty funny. It was ran by Ali, a member of the cruise director’s staff. She was great. I believe she is now on the Jewel, but I could be wrong. The bingo was in English and Spanish. They made it lots of fun having both languages going on.

 

Day 4: St Lucia

 

Pretty island. Nice shopping. We were brave and bought some banana ketchup. We have since tried that here at home, and well, if anyone wants an opened bottle of perishable banana ketchup mailed to them, let me know. Ick. We opted not to take the water taxi into town. They were tiny and didn’t look as good as the ones in St. Maarten did. We walked. You go through some kinda scary areas while you area walking, but there were always tons of tourists around, so you never felt like you were alone. If you are in the market for conch shells or coconut bird feeders, this is your island! There was also a HUGE marketplace there. There were people selling fruits and veggies as well as crafts and paintings. A very neat thing to see. Very crowded.

 

Day 6: Barbados

 

Good Friday. I knew from reading up on things that we shouldn’t expect too much to be going on during this religious holiday. The only shops that were open were the ones near the cruise terminal. All other shops downtown were closed and the taxi drivers wouldn’t take anyone. We ended up going to the only beach that was open with a restaurant, Blue Monkey Beach. It was a $20 taxi ride each way. Kinda pricey, but the beach was beautiful! It was a bit crowded since everyone else apparently wanted to do the beach when they go on the island. The water was great once you got past a rocky slope at beginning of your descent. DH bruised one of his toes on this, and it also made it very hard to keep your footing when you got out of the water. I kept falling down and was soon laughing so hard about the whole predicament, that it took me a good 10 minutes to get out.

 

We again played bingo tonight. I was chosen to be the bingo ambassador. That means that I had to go up on stage and check to make sure all of the balls were there in the game. After that, Ali had me dance and I earned the drink of the day in a souvenir glass, a t-shirt, and a keychain all for simply volunteering. We also played the Win-A-Cruise bingo, and unfortunately, we didn’t win. I was only one number away though, so it became rather exciting there at the end.

 

Tonight was also Quest. Let’s just say for those of you who know, my DH was the one chosen to do his little dance wearing his cute little outfit. :D It was hilarious!!!!

 

Day 7: Sea Day

 

We woke up and made our way to our spa appointment. We booked the couples rasul. Oh wow! You go into a steamy room with mud and your imagination. It’s a must do for all of couples out there. So relaxing!

 

We again played bingo. The couple next to us won the jackpot of over $7000! How lucky is that!

 

At our dining room, the entire staff did a neat show with all of the flags from their countries. Our dining room waiter was Mina and her assistant was Bantu. I know I haven’t mentioned much about the dining room. It was a beautiful room and I never had complaints about the food or the service. My most memorable and tasty dish would have had to have been the apple and pumpkin soup served on the last night. I tried it just to try it, and it turned out to be quite tasty.

 

We were exhausted by this time, and we took it easy exploring and were actually able to get a phone call into my parents while we were on the top of the ship. We have Verizon, and were roaming. I would guess the signal was coming from somewhere in the Virgin Islands. Pretty neat to be able to call from the sea though.

 

Disembarkation:

 

Yuck. It took FOREVER getting off the ship and getting through customs. We again took our RCI transfer bus. One thing that would have helped…AA has valet luggage service, and the people who booked the RCI transfers and the valet service had it very easy. They simply dropped their luggage off after going through customs, got on the bus with us, and got right on their planes. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our luggage. No big deal, but we would have rather not had to deal with the luggage at all by that time.

 

Something else that I didn’t mention. I get very motion sick. I took two bonine about an hour before we sailed each night and I had no problems. I had the patches just in case, but I never had to use a one of them.

 

I think that’s it. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask and me and my short-term memory will do our best to answer them

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Great review!

how much does that Rasual thingy cost....and is it worth it? sounds like fun..:cool:

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Great review!

how much does that Rasual thingy cost....and is it worth it? sounds like fun..:cool:

 

Thanks. :)

 

I believe it was in the $80-90 range. I will correct this if DH says differently. It was very worth it. You get to try all kinds of products besides their soothing, smearing mud as well.

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This is a great review as I will be sailing the AOS the end of August. One question about the parade. How many nights do they do that, and about what time? We have two rooms booked and one is a PR and I'm just wondering how disturbing it might be.

 

Thanks.

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This is a great review as I will be sailing the AOS the end of August. One question about the parade. How many nights do they do that, and about what time? We have two rooms booked and one is a PR and I'm just wondering how disturbing it might be.

 

Thanks.

 

They had 2 parades. The first one was the first night. It was at midnight. The second one was on day 4 at 11pm.

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What was the C & A coupons, did you get them in your room or how.

 

Thanks

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What was the C & A coupons, did you get them in your room or how.

 

Thanks

 

The Crown and Anchor coupons were waiting for us in our room when we arrived. They had coupons for Johnny Rockets, bingo, Ben & Jerry's, the photo shop, the logo store, the spa, and lots of other things. We left our leftovers in our safe.

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Erin, so glad to hear you had a great honeymoon. Sorry you got sick though (hopefully afterwards). Are you doing better now?

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Erin, so glad to hear you had a great honeymoon. Sorry you got sick though (hopefully afterwards). Are you doing better now?

 

Doing MUCH better now, thank you. Only took just under a week in the hospital to get me there. It was, fortunately, after the honeymoon. :)

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Wow, Erin, what a great review! Glad you had a good time and that you're feeling better. We'll be on the AOS in a few weeks - same route - and appreciate your review of the ports. Can you tell me where the Yoda store is? And on St. Lucia was the shopping near the port?

 

Your description of the whiny people next to you during muster was funny...it's always amazing what people do during muster - especially when everyone's packed like sardines on the deck. I once got stuck being crammed 2 inches behind a couple who made out during the entire drill. And then there was the woman a few feet away who yakked on her phone the whole time about her flight to Miami. Makes for a great anthropology study :)

 

Welcome back!

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Wow, Erin, what a great review! Glad you had a good time and that you're feeling better. We'll be on the AOS in a few weeks - same route - and appreciate your review of the ports. Can you tell me where the Yoda store is? And on St. Lucia was the shopping near the port?

 

Your description of the whiny people next to you during muster was funny...it's always amazing what people do during muster - especially when everyone's packed like sardines on the deck. I once got stuck being crammed 2 inches behind a couple who made out during the entire drill. And then there was the woman a few feet away who yakked on her phone the whole time about her flight to Miami. Makes for a great anthropology study :)

 

Welcome back!

 

Let's see...the Yoda store was on 2 islands. In St. Maarten, there are 2 locations. One is on Front Street and the other is on Old Street. Front Street is the main shopping area in St. Maarten. He also has another store in Antigua which is located upstairs near Sunseekers in Heritage Quay. We met him in the main store in St. Maarten on Front Street. I don't know if that's where he spends most of his time though.

 

In St. Lucia, there is shopping near the port, but we found the better shopping as well as the huge marketplace were a bit of a walk away, near another cruise port. There are taxis (both automobile and water taxis) to get you from place to place. In our opinion, the water taxis on St. Lucia looked a bit scary. We walked. I'd say it was a mile or less? I'm not really sure.

 

Hope this helps!

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Nice review! We're doing this itinerary in October, although we're less shopping types than you and will be doing more excursion type activities. :)

 

What, exactly, is this couple's Rasual thing?

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Nice review! We're doing this itinerary in October, although we're less shopping types than you and will be doing more excursion type activities. :)

 

What, exactly, is this couple's Rasual thing?

 

 

You get nekkid, go into a shower area, spread mud on each other, then go into another steamy room and spread more mud on each other. Finally, you go into yet another room where you can try out some fancy spa products. VERY nice. :D Very romantic.

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Hi Erin,

Congratulations on your wedding.

 

I've been waiting for a review for a long time and I'm glad you did post one. (sorry you got sick) I would like to know a little more about the storage in the cabin is like... do we need to bring the over-the -door shoe holder? I'm trying to pack lightly but who knows. What is 1 thing you wished you had packed but didn't? Also, I know you only had 1 day at sea so was there any chair hogging?

I'm sure I'll come up with more ??? later

~Lisa

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Hi Erin,

Congratulations on your wedding.

 

I've been waiting for a review for a long time and I'm glad you did post one. (sorry you got sick) I would like to know a little more about the storage in the cabin is like... do we need to bring the over-the -door shoe holder? I'm trying to pack lightly but who knows. What is 1 thing you wished you had packed but didn't? Also, I know you only had 1 day at sea so was there any chair hogging?

I'm sure I'll come up with more ??? later

~Lisa

 

I only packed 3 pairs of shoes. If you have an inside cabin, space is still at a premium. We were able to put our suitcases under the bed. If you are going to bring lots of shoes, a shoe holder might not be a bad idea. There were shelves in the closet, but nothing large. We managed to fit all of our toiletries in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. The little cabinets beside the mirror in the other room would hold things like perfume or things similar in size. I managed to fit about 10 bottles of perfume in one side. Yes, I went perfume crazy on this trip.

 

Let's see, one thing I wished I had packed...pantyhose! I couldn't believe I had forgotten them. But I lived.

 

We didn't use the pool on the one and only sea day because it was so crowded. There were no chairs to be found near the pool, and we didn't really feel like waiting for or fighting for one. We were pretty tired by the end of the trip.

 

Hope this helps! :)

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Great information. Thanks so much. Glad your also feeling better (Hope it wasn't a result of your cruise!!!;) )

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Great information. Thanks so much. Glad your also feeling better (Hope it wasn't a result of your cruise!!!;) )

 

Thanks!

 

Nope. Wasn't a result of the cruise. :)

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You get nekkid, go into a shower area, spread mud on each other, then go into another steamy room and spread more mud on each other. Finally, you go into yet another room where you can try out some fancy spa products. VERY nice. :D Very romantic.

 

Ahem...sounds like it's worth the money, that's for sure. :)

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EggDrop--Great review. On our way to AOS, same itinerary, in a few weeks. Did you have to go through the immigration/customs process only upon returning to San Juan, or were there other ports you had to do this? Just tryng to get expectations in order. Thanks.

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EggDrop--Great review. On our way to AOS, same itinerary, in a few weeks. Did you have to go through the immigration/customs process only upon returning to San Juan, or were there other ports you had to do this? Just tryng to get expectations in order. Thanks.

 

 

Only at San Juan, but trust me, that was more than enough!!!!

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Thanks so much for such a detailed review. We will be sailing on the same ship/itinerary on August 6. You mentioned that the first formal night was Monday (St. Thomas). When was the second formal night?

 

I see in your signature that you will be on the Freedom 1/7/07. I'd love to read your review, but we leave on 1/14/07! Maybe you will post some comments from the ship.

 

Thanks again for the great review.

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Thanks so much for such a detailed review. We will be sailing on the same ship/itinerary on August 6. You mentioned that the first formal night was Monday (St. Thomas). When was the second formal night?

 

I see in your signature that you will be on the Freedom 1/7/07. I'd love to read your review, but we leave on 1/14/07! Maybe you will post some comments from the ship.

 

Thanks again for the great review.

 

You're quite welcome. Our second formal night was Thursday (St. Lucia). Enjoy your cruise!!! :D

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great review. You mentioned in st thomas you went to this doggy store with the 2 bull dogs. Do you remember the name of it? Do you know what it was near. I would love to stop by. thanks We're going in January and can't wait.

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great review. You mentioned in st thomas you went to this doggy store with the 2 bull dogs. Do you remember the name of it? Do you know what it was near. I would love to stop by. thanks We're going in January and can't wait.

 

It was called How 'Bout Your Pet. The address is listed as 22 Dronnigens Gade. I really don't remember exactly where it was, but I know it wasn't off the beaten path.

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