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sscruising

AOS 8/29 Review

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We just got back from the AOS on 9/5 and had a wonderful time. I went with my husband and his friend and girlfriend. We flew out of Boston on 8/29 non-stop to San Juan and landed at about 11:30a.m. We took a taxi to the pier ($28.00 for four, 6 bags & tip), handed over our large bags to a porter and got our sea pass cards very quickly. We were escorted to a seating area by a woman -I think she was a former Gestapo agent-to wait for boarding. We got on the ship at about 1:00 & our bags arrived at our stateroom before 4:00. We had a snack in the Windjammer and then ate dinner in the Strauss dining room.

On Mionday we had a tour booked with Godfrey-he was excellent and well worth the $20pp. We had planned to go to Magen's Bay, but Godfrey suggested that we go to Sapphire instead due to the hurricane. Sapphire was ok but the sandy part of the beach was small. I probably wouldn't go back there again.

Went to the M & M and met some very nice people.

Tuesday-We were supposed to go to St. Maarten but ended up having a sea day due to the storm. So we spent the day aboard ship and visited the Casino.

We went to show- The Drifters and they were fantastic!! Even my husband who normally falls asleep at every show stayed awake for it. They were amazing.

On Wednesday we went to Antigua and took a taxi to Dickenson's Beach. It was a very nice beach but the vendors were extremely annoying! They just wouldn't take no for an answer. My DH and his friend went snorkeling and had a blast!

We spent the day at Reduit Beach in St. Lucia which was probably my favorite beach. The vendors came around but once you told them you weren't interested they didn't bother you any more. Hubby & friend went snorkeling again but prefered Antigua. On the water taxi ride back, my DH's friend asked the driver if he could pilot the boat-he has his captain's license- and to our surprise was told he could so he took us back to the ship.

My husband decided to go Scuba diving in Barbadoes so the three of us took a tour with a local taxi driver ($90 for the 3 of us) and went all over the island. It was wonderful. We actually enjoyed the Atlantic side of the island even though it is not popular due to rougher surf-although I didn't think it was that rough-and more rocks. We found the beaches to be gorgeous and the scenery beautiful.

At night we went to the show. They had 2 great acts-David & Dania-they were on the Ellen Degeneres show yesterday. I still am amazed at how they did their quick changes. And then there was a comedien-John Joseph who was hilarious.

On Saturday we made an abbreviated stop in St. Maarten. We just did some shopping. Front St. (the main st.) is all torn up & so it was a little tough getting around but we managed. You can tell it will be very nice once the work is completed.

At night we went to the Farewell show with the RC singers & dancers. It was a revue of the best movie music from the last 40 years. It was very good.

On Sunday, we left the ship at about 8:00a.m. We carried our own bags off the ship and took a taxi to the airport. Although it is a little bit of a hassle carrying your own stuff, it was definitely easier than sifting through the mounds of luggage in the hangar. If we were leaving later, I probably would have had the luggage taken off by the ship personnel, but we had an 11:00a.m. flight and didn't want to waste any time hunting for our stuff. The lines for immigration were a little long but we still managed to grab a taxi and get to the airport by 9:15.

Overall the food was very good-I have been on the AOS twice before and found the food better this time. The service was excellent. Carmine who was our drink server was fantastic- She even entertained us with little tricks and jokes.

Captain Zini-at age 37 is the youngest captain in the fleet-was very nice. He had a good sense of humor. When we went to the observation deck to look inside the bridge he would frequently look up at us & wave and smile.

Even though hurricane Frances tried to put a damper on the vacation, she did not succeed.

 

Sandi

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sscruising .... Enjoyed your review!

 

Especially interested in Reduit Beach in St.Lucia. Please, please, tell us more about it: Did you take a taxi ... rent chairs & umbrellas, etc.? Could you buy drinks, food, etc.? Do you remember the name of the Hotel there?

Gosh, just ANYTHING people going to Renuit Beach would want to know! :confused:

 

Your help would be greatly appreciated!

 

Happy Sailing! OCruisers :)

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Hi:

 

We took a taxi to the beach-I believe it was $20 for 4 of us round trip. There are chair rentals for $10 a piece and umbrella rentals for $2-I would suggest getting the umbrellas since shade is very scarce. We did not eat at the beach but there is a restaurant, bar & bathroom facilities right there. There are a couple of hotels right on the beach but for the life of me I can't remember the names of them. We took a taxi right from the ship and made arrangements with the driver for a pick up time and he was right on time. My husband & his friend went snorkelling & I believe it was $30pp including equipment. They said it was good but not the best snorkelling they've done. Also they have someone going around the beach selling cold drinks-water was $2-so you don't have to leave the beach if you're thirsty. I have to admit, I really enjoyed the beach-it was so picturesque. On one side you can see Pigeon Island-although it is no longer an island, they filled in the space so it's now connected. Water sports of all kinds are available-jet skiis, water skiing, banana boats, etc. I can't help you with the prices on those since we did not use them.

Hope this helps. When are you going?

 

Sandi

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Sandi .... Thanks! You've been a huge help!

 

We went to Reduit Beach as a part of a ship's shore excursion years and years ago and enjoyed the beach so much we wanted to go back on our own so we could spend more time there. Since then, we've done other things in St.Lucia and never got back to Reduit Beach. This time (in January) we are going ... especially, now that you've told me Reduit is still very nice!

 

Do you remember how long it takes to get there from the ship? I'm thinking about 30 minutes? :confused:

 

Thanks again, OCruisers :)

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I think it was just about a 20 to 30 minute ride. To be honest with you, I never wear a watch-especially on vacation so I lose all track of time.

One more hint- I would get there early in the day. We got there a little before 10:00 and by noon they were almost out of chairs and by 1:00 people were waiting for chairs. We left at about 2:00 and they had already re-rented our chairs & umbrellas to other people.

 

Glad to be of help!

 

Sandi

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The three hotels on Reduit Beach are the Rex Resorts, you can actually walk through the hotel to get to the beach. We were on a land vacation in St. Lucia and took the minibus for about $2.00 EC, it stops at Gros Islet and you have a five minute walk to the beach. The road is lined with restuarants and bars, even a Hooters! Reduit Beach was really nice, possibly the best beach in St. Lucia.

 

Here are some photos of the beach:

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v291/syndyj/P1010038.jpg

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v291/syndyj/P1010036.jpg

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Sandi .... Really appreciate your help! Think I've got it now -- Get to Rednuit Beach early (before 10 o'clock), rent chairs and an umbrella, .... and have FUN! :cool:

 

syndyj .... Thanks for the hotel and other info. Love your PHOTOS!

 

shiftman .... Have a great cruise! Tell us about it when you return!

 

Happy Sailing! OCruisers :)

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Thanks for the review. I sail on her 11/14/04 and can't wait.

I'm right behind you on 11/21/04, so don't make a mess.:D

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Thanks for the review. We will be on the AOS Sunday doing the same itineary. The beach in St Lucia sounds good as we haven't decided what to do there yet.

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We are on the 10/31 sailing. My husband loves the Drifters. were they the original group or someone just singing their songs? Also are they on the ship all the time or just that week?

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Hi Buzzandjulie:

They were the "Original Drifters" although one was a replacement- I think he was a nephew or son of one of the originals-he was phenonmenal! What a voice! Anyway, they put on one of the best shows I've seen on a cruise. As far as being a regular on the ship, I couldn't tell you for sure although my guess is that they aren't.

 

Sandi

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We were on the Vision in May and the Drifters were performing then. I believe they had been on a few weeks. The show was excellent. The show was on the third day of our cruise. We will be on Adventure 10/3 so we may see them again.

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