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AOS 14 Nov 04 Review - Very Long Review (PART Two - Embarkation)

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Embarkation Day - Sunday 14 November 2004


Well the day had finally arrived and we were about to embark on our long awaited vacation!! After our complimentary breakfast in the café we loaded up and headed for the cruise ship terminal. Dee had arranged a van to take us to the terminal and he was on time however, BF’s luggage had not arrived and from several phone calls to American Express and American Airlines – it was not going to be arriving anytime soon!


We loaded up and headed to the pier around 1100 and when we got there we turned our luggage over to the porters and got in the very short line of people waiting to check in. While we were waiting there was a RCL representative going around and making sure everyone had torn out their shipboard charge forms and had them signed/filled out properly. We then went through the metal detectors and got in line to check in. Since we were so early the Platinum/Diamond check in desk was not yet open so we just got in the normal line which moved rather fast. While we were in line we ran into several CC folks who had read our roll call thread but not really participated in the chats but we welcomed them to join us for drinks at the Solarium Pool later. Umm, it wasn’t too hard to tell we were CC people because of our t-shirts. Once all checked in we hit the chairs and waited a bit but we finally realized BF had no luggage so we asked the information desk where to go find a GAP etc and she told us to go to Plaza las Americas. We grabbed a cab ($12) to the mall and proceeded to spend as much of our allowance from American Express to restock Ron with everything from socks and underwear to shoes and slacks. Around 1600 we were in another cab ($12) and heading back the Adventure of the Seas.


We encountered the same RCL representative who checked our paperwork earlier and she told us to by-pass the line and go through security and the metal detector. Since we already had our SeaPass cards we walked up to one of the three photo machines and took our picture and walked aboard. Since we had sailed the VOS last year we knew our way around quite well. We found our aft cabins (9392) to be what we had on the Voyager of the Seas but the balcony was HUGE! I actually measured it by using the foot method (My feet placed toe to heel) and found it to be 11 by 10 feet square! HUGE with two chairs and a table and almost the same size as our cabin! Since we had aft cabins we had a stellar rear view of the Golden Princess. Additionally, I hate that damned glass table the ship has in all its cabins so I put it out on the balcony (since we had the room) and made a plan to use it for our daily balcony breakfasts (from room service).


We headed to Windjammer to meet our friends for lunch. We found the Windjammer to be identical to the VOS and we also found all four serving lines running with a really long line on the one to the right as you enter the Windjammer. We always head to the back of the Windjammer to the serving lines there because the lines are usually shorter and there are tables available by the windows. Here is one of my first comments about the food onboard the AOS. The food in the Windjammer was never hot but (basically just warm) and I would have killed for a microwave so that the cheese would have melted on my burger.


My luggage arrived at the cabin but my other half’s had not so I just tossed it into the cabin and we all headed up to the Solarium Pool Bar to meet the CC gang. On the way to the Solarium we stopped by the Information (Purser’s) desk to let them know we were expecting luggage to be delivered to the ship by the airlines. Peter and Selena are amazingly helpful and nice!! Peter took our information down and a copy of the lost luggage report from the airline and went one step further and gave my BF a care kit from the cruise line! In the kit were two “Ship Shape” t-shirts and a small toiletries kit. Mind you that the cruise line was not responsible for our lost luggage but they went totally out of their way to help! I am very grateful for their help because Peter proceeded to call AMEX and the airlines and set them in touch with the RCI luggage representative who took total charge of our lost baggage and vowed to have it delivered to our stateroom the minute it was located!


We met the bunch of whack jobs we call friends from the CC board at the Solarium Pool Bar. We had pre-made name tags for everyone and distributed them so now we could put faces with names. We had also had t-shirts made (LIME GREEN) to help identify us as the MARTIAN YACHT CLUB. You couldn’t help but notice us! We all made some really good and long lasting friends that day!


My other half wanted to see the Ship Shape Center so we went on the tour of the Spa and Gym and took advantage of the first day booking discount and booked myself a facial and massage.


The life boat muster drill was held at 2030 and since we were in aft cabins on deck nine we were the next to last life boat group on the starboard side. Long walk and took forever to leave. The drill is the same as any we have been to but one thing different was how they mustered people. The lifeboat crew lined folks up as they approached and took down their cabin number off the life jacket instead of calling out the cabin numbers from the list. This seemed to be more proficient and the drill went really fast and then we were off to dinner.


We had second seating in the Straus dining room at table 482 which had seating for eight. Since we had all booked together with the same TA we were cross referenced and seated together. No need to switch tables this cruise! We met our waitress – Kibwe (pronounced like KIWI with a B inserted) and assistant waiter – Cesar. I will have more to say about them later but they were the absolute best dining room staff I have ever had in twenty six cruises! We also met our Head Waiter – Rama and secretly placed an order for our friend Sandra’s birthday cake.


The welcome aboard dinner had the dreaded chicken Philadelphia – avoid this at all costs because it is literally the same kind you can buy at Costco/Sam’s Club etc. I had the Shrimp Ravioli and it was really good. I didn’t want to scare our server so I refrained from ordering everything on the menu tonight but they would soon learn what kind of pigs we are!! LOL!


After dinner we went to the welcome aboard show in the Lyric Theater. The theater was probably the most empty I have ever seen on a cruise! I would venture that the theater was only 20 percent filled. Also the theater was racking because the ship was bouncing around a lot so this made the show more interesting. Interestingly the juggler the ship featured for TWENTY MINUTES couldn’t juggle! The announcer went to great detail to state that the cruise line searched the world over to bring us the best entertainment possible and this is what they found?! LOL man that poor bastard had problems juggling!! Thank God he wasn’t juggling fire or chain saws or the whole front row would have been dead!


Today’s High Point – Hands down had to be the Info desk staff of Peter and Selena


Today’s Low Point – BF’s lost luggage

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Thank you for your detailed review, we are going on AOS 12/12/04 and can't wait! will look for part one, and part 3. do you have any pictures?

Thanks Alex

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We, Renee' & Steve (AKA) jagmanss1 were also on this sailing with Bobby and Dee (AKA ) DMorris and group and can tell all that this review along the Dmoris review is a great depiction of what we ALL experienced....... Bobby, Great job And can't wait for the next insallement.......

Dee, I will post on Your review which is also AWESOME, But You Make me want to be back and eat, Your depiction of the menu each night was perfect as was the food......

You both did a GREAT Job on your reviews and could not have done better and as of now have nothing to add, But this...... The Company We had at our table was the best ever and look forward to our next Adventure together .........

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