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transam84

Just Back from Adventure June 25 - Part 1 VERY LONG

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Just returned last night from the June 25 sailing of AOS. This will be long so I will post in sections. Overall the trip was great. We met up with all the great people we got to know on this site and it made for a terrific cruise. AOS is a very nice ship and well maintained. We took the Barbados, Antigua intinerary.

Days 1-4 Puerto Rico Pre Cruise: Took Continental from Newark NJ, got there at 7 am for a 9 am flight. I had done the precheck in and preprinted boarding passes. Thought it would be easier, but would never do this again. Because we had lots of luggage it made it much harder. We had to weigh each very heavy bag ourselves, the woman behind the e-check in ignored us or was rude and then we had to drag our bags accross the terminal area to continental.com to have them loaded. If we didn't pre check in it would have been all in one place. The only bright spot was the that security people in the baggage area were extremely nice and helpful. Since I upgraded us we waited in the President's club, which was nice. We arrived in San Juan on time. I was expecting the worst, but everything went very, very smooth. Much better than in Newark. A sky cap quickly came and took our bags, he place them on the curb while we waited in line. It was not too long and within a short time we were on way to the Ritz. They gave us the fare ahead of boarding which was nice. The Ritz is a beautiful, well maintained hotel and the staff is beyond outstanding. I will post more info at the Puerto Rico Web site. I had prearranged some snacks (for anniversary and son's grad). Upon arrive we had cheese, crackers, fruit, wine, a rum strawberry cake (huge) and wine (complimentary!). We also had a fabulous water view. The Ritz is fabulous. We also booked a tour of the rain forest with Victor from Countryside, a waverunner tour with Aquatica and a Night Tales Tours with Legends. All great and recommended. Will give details on other site. We met up with some cruise critic friends at Senior Frogs the night before we sailed and that was nice start to the cruise part of the vacation. Was rather loud, and a quiter location would have made it easier to talk. Would highly recommend you meet up with your cruise critic group whenever is convenient. It really makes for a nice vacation.

Day 5 - Now to the part you are waiting for. Day 5 finally arrived and we were ready to get on with with Part 2 of our vacation. We took a cab to the Pan American Pier and as always I screamed at the site of the awesome AOS. We arrived about 11 am. There was someone right there in the parking lot to take our luggage. He tagged the piece that we did not have a tag for and off it went. We walked the ship and there was already a line of about 50 people. We saw our cruise critic friend Carlos (hi carlos), who told us some other cruise critic friends were already on the suite line. Since we had a GS we went right to that line and got on right behind another cruise critic friend Karen and her family. By 11:30 we were checked and by 12 we were on the ship. This was the smoothest boarding procedure we had encountered on our 4 Royal cruises. We headed right for the Windjammer where a nice buffet was set up. Our 18 year old son went off exploring and found a friend he met through cruise critic. Our cruise critic friends turned out to be a very big benefit. My son is shy and he had the best time since he hooked up with friends throught cruise critic. We then went out and sat by the solarium pool. At 2 pm the rooms were opened. This was our first GS on a Voyager ship and I can never go back to anything else now. It was fabulous. The room was spacious and the bathroom very large with two sinks (a big benefit). The couch bed was much larger and the mattress much more comfortable for my rather tall son. He said it was much better than the Junior Suite. Our bags were in our cabin by 3:30 pm. This was the earliest we ever received bags. We then headed off for our informal meet and mingle at the Sky Bar. This was really great and I would highly recommend it. We had a great turn out and it was nice to finally meet everyone. We had late dinner seating. Was a little worried about this since we had always had early seating, but we really like late seating much better. It gave us more time to enjoy the day and we did not have to rush to get ready for dinner. We had asked for a large table since we were ready to meet new friends, and this turned out to be one of the few dissappointments. We were seated at a table for 8, and our 5 tablemates did not show the first night. We figured we would not change tables since it was night 1 and maybe they were busy unpacking and tired. There was 1 show this night and it was at 10:45. The welcome aboard show was great. We then turned in since we were very tired. Will post Days 2-7 later. Stay tuned. Feel free to ask questions. Laura

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Thanks for part 1 of your review!

 

I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment :)

 

Glad you had a great cruise!

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Hi Laura

Looking forward to the rest of your review.... we leave for San Juan for a couple of pre-cruise days 1 month from today :D..... Can hardly wait!!!

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Hi Transam84,

Thanks for the review ;)

Hi Dee1161

Has it been hot enough for you latley ? We just moved from Riverside last year to Moreno Valley over by Lake Perris.

Voyager Western Caribbean 12/16/06 "Our first AFT"

Voyager Eastern Caribbean 11/26/05

S.S. Azure Seas Baja 11/90

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Hi Laura,

Can't wait to hear the rest! Is the Sky Bar like the Viking Crown Lounge on other ships?

Thanks,

Chelsea

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chelsea,The sky bar is located outside on the deck directly above and forward of the main pool area (deck 12) The Crown Lounge is inside and located on deck 14. It includes a few different lounges including the Blue Moon. estreetbandfan523, The current CD is Simeon Baker. He is very good and we had a great time. The Drifter were also our special guests. There were also a few great comedy shows. The comedians included Craig Carmean, Tom Parks and Johnny Sanchez. They were all terrific, we especially liked Tom Parks. Sammyjo199, Caribbean Night was Day 3. It was rather strange since this was night of the venetian feast (Italian). Day 4 was a Caribbean meal, but the theme was 50's, 60's and 70's. We had picked Day 3 to go to Portifino since we thought Caribbean food would be served this evening and it is not our favorite, but we got fooled and ended up missing the Italian meal which we would have liked better.

Laura

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Day 2: This was our sea day. My husband and I went to the gym and found it very crowded by 7 am. Hard to believe, but we did get on the machines without much trouble. By 9 am the Solarium was very crowded and it was diffcult to find a seat. Stayed there for while but then went to the main pool area. Our meet and mingle was switched from 5 pm on this day to 11am. This was a very bad move on the part of Royal. In addition, they did not notify anyone except one person in the group. Because most people wanted to be out in the sunshine and did not get notified of the change in time, the turn out for the meet and mingle was poor. This was not a big problem, since we did meet with the group informally at other times. This was also formal night. We had decided to meet with some cruise critic friends around 7:30pm between both dinners on the promenade. This was nice, however by the time we got to the pictures the lines of all backgrounds were terribly long. The picture arrangement on this ship did not seem as well organized as on the other ships were have sailed with Royal. There were also not as many backgrounds available. We ended up taking our formal after dinner, which is not the best time. However, they did come out very nice. Dinner was good. Prime rib, I think. The show tonight was outstanding. Dolores Park, sang and also provided witty entertaining stories. The comedian, Tom Parks (not related to Dolores Park), was hilarious. This was one of our favorite shows. Craig Carmean, then did late night comedy. Also, very funny. We really enjoy the entertainment on Royal.

Day3: Barbados. We did the ATV Quest Excursion on this island. It was alot of fun. I was scared, but once I got the hang of it, it was fun. Because I am small, the vehicle was hard to steer and they did take us down some pretty steep hills and there were sharp turns that were hard to manage. My husband and son had a great time. If you go on this be sure to wear long pants and dark clothes and shoes. It gets messy and dusty. Tonight was Caribbean night and it was odd that the menu was Italian. We decided to go to Portifino because the thought the food would be Caribbean to match the theme and this is not our favorite. Portifino was outstanding and well worth the extra fee. The flourless chocolate cake for dessert was absolutely decadent and fantastic. We were supposed to go the ice show, but I was so exhausted and full from Portifino we did not make it.

 

More to come....Laura

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