Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

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

dutchgirl73

AOS Review 4-11JUN06 LONG

Recommended Posts

Took awhile to get around to this review but here goes:

 

Embarkation:

 

We grabbed a taxi from the airport to the pier as soon as we got our bags - easy. Thought that was great until we got to the pier and so the longest line I have ever seen! And no one from RCCL around to tell you what to do. Finally I found the line to drop our bags off, then got in the check in line. When we entered the building, someone asked if we had our sea passes, and pulled us ahead when we showed them. Quickly got checked in and then backed up to the duty free shop that previous posters mentioned. Sure enough, you can buy wine, liquor, pop, it's right next to security but nobody seems to mind. We got 2bottles of wine, a liter of Bacardi Vanilla, and a 6pk of diet coke. DON'T GET THE WINE - it obviously had been sitting in the humidity and turned to VINEGAR. However, it was great having the rum and coke in the room for mixies while getting ready for dinner.

 

ON BOARD

 

As soon as we got onboard, we checked out our dining room table. It was for ten, and we wanted to rq a table for 2, so we went and did that. They told us they would let us know the next morning, and I resigned myself to our big table. But we were informed the next day that we had a table for 2, 2nd seating for the rest of the cruise. Perfect! Also that first day we ordered our wine package. Other people have mentioned the wines they wanted from the package list were not available when they ordered them at dinner, but we did not have that problem at all. I researched the wines on the list before we went, we got the 5btl Diamond pkg, ordered very nice wines every night and never had one be unavailable. I would do it again. We also made our reservations for Portofinos, for the last night of the cruise.

 

AT SEA

 

We played putt-putt golf, that was alot of fun, explored the ship and layed out in the sun. Watched people rock climbing, but decided it looked like too much work!

 

Food

 

For breakfast we did room service twice, dining room twice, and the buffet the rest of the time. I loved having breakfast on our balcony, and the food was good and plentiful. BTW, if you must have Splenda like me, they do have it. You just have to ask for it, they don't leave it out. The dining room was good of course, I had eggs benedict both times, but the banana pancakes sounded good. The buffet was ok, I never went hungry. Always had delicious fresh fruit, smoked salmon with onions and capers etc., but don't bother with the sausage gravy - blech!

 

We only had lunch in the buffet, and it was good. Not as much variety as I've seen on other cruises, but the food I had I really enjoyed- lots of salads to choose from, spicy curried ckn one day, mushroom ckn marsala the other. We also had pizza, sandwiches and desserts in the Cafe Promenade throughout the week, and that was good, not GREAT but very good.

 

We ate in the dining room for dinner every night. I thought that with our table for 2 we might get the shaft service wise, but our team was excellent, I was actually sad to say goodbye to them! Overall the food in the dining room was excellent, I especially remember the jerk chicken, mushroom pastry, blue cheese torteloni, I could go on and on. The last night we ate in Portofinos and that was even better! I had rq a table for 2 by the window, and it was a beautiful view. The bread basket with accompaniments was the best I have ever had, I could have made a meal just out of that. Followed by the best French Onion soup I have ever had. Then an appetizer of some of the best calamari I have ever had, then a small portion of seafood pasta, then the seafood platter dinner, that had a half lobster tail, shrimp, scallops and salmon. Awesome! Finished off by the flourless chocolate cake, the best dessert I have ever had! All accompanied by fantastic personal service. Absolutely worth the extra charge.

 

PORTS

 

We rented a jeep in Aruba and drove all over the place. We had a great time off roading it along the coast, and had some incredible shrimp at Charlies Bar in San Nicolas. Loved Aruba. Didn't have that great of luck renting a car on Curacao, I don't recommend it to anyone. We ended up driving around for over an hour just trying to find a beach, had a very good lunch(but with horrendous service) at the Hemingway House at the Seaquarium beach, laid by the water for a bit, then made our way back to Willemstad. Willemstad has such a pretty harborfront, if we would have stayed there, or done a shore excursion for anything outside of Willemstad, I'm sure we would have enjoyed the island much better. On St. Maarten we did the Treetops Adventure ziplining tour. That was a blast, we wanted to do it again as soon as it was over! Then shopped a bit. Best prices on cigarettes and booze if anyone cares. However, if you're loading up on the maximum, you must buy 4 out of the 5 units allotted to you on St. Thomas, so keep that in mind when buying on St. Maarten. Of course, no one ever asked me where I bought anything, so who knows! St. Thomas we did the Buck Island sail and snorkel, where there were just six of us on a little boat. Once we got out of the harbor our captain cut the motor, threw up the sails and we all sat along the edge with our feet in the water, sailing out to Buck Island. Once there we had about 1 1/2hrs to snorkel, and saw turtles, rays and lots of fish. On the way back he opened up some tupperware with crackers and chex mix like stuff, and open bar(Bud, Bud Lite, rum punch). It really was great, peaceful, good time had by all. Then we went into town to get our cheap liquor, and ate at the greenhouse restaurant, where telling them "*******' Norman" sent us got us each 2for1 drinks, and we ordered conch fritters and calamari. Very good food, with nice view of the harbor.

 

SHOWS

 

Didn't go to many, just the welcome aboard show, and El Gaucho, and the Love and Marriage show. El Gaucho was pretty cool, the love show was funny, and of course the Ice Show was amazing, be sure to get your tickets for that.

 

END

 

We sat on deck 4, in deck chairs looking out over the water, until they made the last call for passengers to GET OFF! Hard to leave, but we delayed it as long as possible! We had a late flight, and didn't feel like doing any tourse, so it worked out well. By the time we got up to leave, there was no line, our bags were practically the only ones in our color group, and a porter loaded all our stuff up, whisked us through customs, and grabbed us a cab. Smooth!

 

All in all, it was a great trip, we loved the ports, the food, the service, LOVED our balcony. Let me know if you have any questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Especially since you addresssed a concern of mine. I love tables for 2, and was unable to get one on VOS a few years ago. (I have had some memorable table mates:eek: ) Now I feel there is hope.

 

Also, how were the beds? I hear they are being replaced but not beofre DH and I leave in Sept.

 

Thank you for the good reivew!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Took awhile to get around to this review but here goes:

 

Embarkation:

 

We grabbed a taxi from the airport to the pier as soon as we got our bags - easy. Thought that was great until we got to the pier and so the longest line I have ever seen! And no one from RCCL around to tell you what to do.

 

 

What time did you arrive at the pier?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The beds were really glorified cots. I have read that you can request the egg carton thingies, but it didn't really bother me so I never asked for one.

 

We got to the pier at about 230pm. They say check in starts at 2pm, and we had about 1500 Puerto Ricans on our ship, since they can get there when they want (not relying on what time their airline gets them there!)maybe they all got there at 2 and that was the deal with the line. Don't know, but I've heard other people got there early and practically walked on. I would say getting there between 2pm-5pm is probably not advisable, if you don't want to wait an hour or so in line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

imasealuvr - BTW, go IMMEDIATELY to the dining room to see about your table. We were originally in 1st seating, but told them we didn't care what seating for the table for 2. They had quite a request list going for people wanting to switch tables, times, etc. After the one night we spent with our would be table mates, I was happy to have our table to ourselves the rest of the week!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imasealuvr - BTW, go IMMEDIATELY to the dining room to see about your table. We were originally in 1st seating, but told them we didn't care what seating for the table for 2. They had quite a request list going for people wanting to switch tables, times, etc. After the one night we spent with our would be table mates, I was happy to have our table to ourselves the rest of the week!

 

I would rather sit at a table with DH and not say anything .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have several questions as I am trying to decide on what to bring and how much money to alot for softdrinks and water.

Questions

#1 : How many electrical outlets are there in the bathroom and what type? Can they be used with a regular hairdryer?

#2 : How many outlets are in the main cabin and how many?

#3 : Is there an iron in the room? (Our last cruise had one in the room on NCL).

#4 : How much are individual softdrinks and bottle water and can you purchase them in the bottle?

 

I know you may not be able to answer all ,but any that you can would be very much appreciated. I know there are more ?? ,but can't think of them at the moment. Thanks ahead.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) The outlets are regular outlets that you can use a hairdryer in, however they do provide a hairdryer in cabin that I had no problem using. Much better than the ones I've found in hotel rooms. I didn't notice if there were any outlets in the bathroom itself, too small to try to do much in there anyways!

 

2)I don't know how many outlets there were, but we didn't have any problem, of course all we needed it for was the blowdrier and to recharge the video camera.

 

3)No irons in the rooms. RCCL deems them a fire hazzard, and will offer their laundry services(at a fee) if you ask. I had formal dresses and my husbands formal night stuff in a garment bag, hung it in the closet as soon as we got our bags, and we were fine.

 

4)Seems like the BIG bottle of water was like $4.50 incl. 15%tip, when we got it at the bar. And pops were like $3.75 each. The soda card may be an option if you like to drink a lot of pop. We picked up the 6pk of diet coke in the duty free on the way on to the ship, and that saved us some money, plus I packed about 4 bottled waters. My husband usually drinks pop, but he really liked the unsweetened tea that was available gratis, so it really wasn't an issue.

 

Hope that helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dutchgirl73,

 

We where on th AOS in January. It was a great cruise but out of the four I've made so far it wasn't my favourite. But still a great cruise.

 

We were in Aruba on the 31st of January. One of the locals heard us speak dutch and congratulated us with the birthday of our queen. Funny... since a lot/most dutch don't even know when she has here birthday.

 

If you put any pictures online send a link if you like... I always enjoy watching cruise photos.

 

Mark a.k.a. DutsCruiser (DutchCruiser was already taken :p)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Dutchgirl73,

 

We where on th AOS in January. It was a great cruise but out of the four I've made so far it wasn't my favourite. But still a great cruise.

 

We were in Aruba on the 31st of January. One of the locals heard us speak dutch and congratulated us with the birthday of our queen. Funny... since a lot/most dutch don't even know when she has here birthday.

 

If you put any pictures online send a link if you like... I always enjoy watching cruise photos.

 

Mark a.k.a. DutsCruiser (DutchCruiser was already taken :p)

 

Hey Duts! How are ya????

We booked the AOS again for next January......

Say hi to your family for me:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You stated that cigarettes were cheapest in St. Matern (how much for Marlboros?) what is the price difference in St Thomas?

 

You said that you went to the duty free shop at the pier after checking in and they didn't give you any grief going back on the ship with alcohol?

 

Which room number did you have?

 

Was there any problems with chair hogging on at sea days?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dutchgirl73

Hope that helps!

 

Yes it does and thank you for the info .

We were just wondering about a nightlite in the bathroom so DH and I won't trip over our DD at night . :eek:

We don't drink many softdrinks, but DD will revert to softdrinks and bottled water if the tea and tap water does not meet her standards .:cool:

I am assuming that coffee makers in the room are also considered a fire hazard by RCCI. That was another thing NCL had in their room along with coffee to boot . It was nice to sleep in some days and not to have to leave the room for coffee or wait for room service. I am sure I will survive without the coffee on demand during the cruise ,but it sure does help to start my day off right.:) I also like to bring my GFIC swiss mocha coffee .

It is funny what one cruiseline considers a hazard ,another provides as part of the room amenities. :rolleyes:

 

Thanks Again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the long reveiw. I love long reviews. And thanks for the details about wine. I love wine. He He What was your favorite wine? I'd love to try it ahead of time.

 

Glad you had a great cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dutscruiser- My dad is "off the boat" from Rotterdam, I've been several times and LOVE the Netherlands, but this was my first time visiting the Netherland Antilles. I really loved them, especially Aruba, and it was great to have bitterballen and kroket!(on Curacao)

 

momofslg - We actually found a place in Phillipsburg where they had Reds for $10!!!!! I smoke ultralights, those were $13/carton. On St. Thomas they were $18/carton. When you backtrack to the dutyfree after going through security, buy what you want, and the lady checking us out just said to put it in our carryon bag and that was that. I read numerous reports of that but didn't really believe it till I did it myself:cool: . We were in cabin 7342, Category D2. I don't know about chair hogging, unfortunately we didn't seem to spend alot of time lounging by the pool. It did seem that all the best chairs were gone whenever we got out there, maybe that's why we didn't stay long.

 

nsa2389 - No coffeemakers in the room, that would have been great. But room service will always bring you a pot, along with whatever else you want, and I did enjoy sitting out on my balcony drinking my morning wakeup juice.

 

happy cruzer - I love wine too! So nice to have with a fancy dinner. The wines we drank were mostly red, we did have a nice pinot grigio- danzante. We had the Rosemount Shiraz, Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot, and a Beringers Pinot Noir. We liked both pinots the best I think. And now I'm back home drinking $5 bottles of Funky Llama:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Duts! How are ya????

We booked the AOS again for next January......

 

You must have really loved that cruise :p. It was indead a great cruise especially Aruba is nice. Although I hear most people like St. Maarten (which I liked the least of all). Also I loved the effect of the meat-and-mingle.. talking to the people we met there all over the ship and in port. Next M&M I will be there again; thanks for that!!!

 

We're still not sure what our next January cruise will be but the next cruise is back on the Majesty.. a great ship for a short get-away.

 

Say hi to your family for me:)

 

I will!! Thank you.

 

Dutscruiser- My dad is "off the boat" from Rotterdam, I've been several times and LOVE the Netherlands, but this was my first time visiting the Netherland Antilles. I really loved them, especially Aruba, and it was great to have bitterballen and kroket!(on Curacao)

 

Rotterdam is about 2 hours from where I live. To dutch standards that's quite far. (The netherlands is only 400 something kilometers long and about half of that wide). Good that you had a great time on the Netherland Antilles. You picked some very typical dutch "dishes" (snacks may be a better word). Next time try "DROP"! I'm "addicted" to it and you can not find it anywhere else.. B.t.w. if you 73 refers to they year you were born we are about the same age (I'm also from 73).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Duts-

 

I have had drop actually and just don't have the taste for it, my dad loves it though.(Lekker, heh?!) That's about the only thing I've had in the Netherlands that I don't like though! So what area are you from? Most of my family there is in Rotterdam, although I also have some in Breda and Nieuw(sp?) Biejerland(I'm sure I slaughtered the spelling!). My dads family is pretty big, he's got 8 siblings, and I have a ton of cousins over there. And yes you got me, that's for 1973 :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have had drop actually and just don't have the taste for it, my dad loves it though.(Lekker, heh?!) That's about the only thing I've had in the Netherlands that I don't like though! So what area are you from? Most of my family there is in Rotterdam, although I also have some in Breda and Nieuw(sp?) Biejerland(I'm sure I slaughtered the spelling!). My dads family is pretty big, he's got 8 siblings, and I have a ton of cousins over there. And yes you got me, that's for 1973 :p

 

Hi... Don't worry ... not even all dutch care for 'drop'. Me... you can feed it me any time of day (all day). Especially the original (black/salt).

 

I live in Lelystad. It's one of the cities in the polder (+/- 5 meters below sealevel). About 2 hours from Rotterdam by car.

 

Your spelling is quite good. Probably better than mine. The only mistake you made in was in "Beijerland" but even there you are pretty close.

 

If I understood you previous postings correct you weren't born here? So why dutchgirl than? I mean most people on this board probably don't know where the Netherlands are (and I don't blame them; small country in a big world.)

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
×
×
  • Create New...