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DMorris

AOS 11/14-11/21/04 Review - VERY LONG

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11/12/04 - Friday

 

My friend Sandra flew into Orlando from Colorado. Picked her up from the airport at 5:30pm and met my mom, dad, best friend Mary and her husband Barry for dinner. Went home and to catch up with Sandra, relax for a few hours and headed to bed.

 

11/13/04 - Saturday

 

Up early and were at a local restaurant for breakfast with my mom and dad by 8:00am. Headed to my parents to meet our car service that was taking us to the airport. We flew out of Orlando International Airport. They arrived before 9:00am, scheduled to be there at 9:15am. Packed up the van and off we went to the airport. Our flight was on Spirit Airlines at 12:05pm. We arrived at the airport before 10:00am. Line to check in was not long at all. Changed our seats to an exit row for more legroom. Security wasn’t bad either. We were through in about half an hour and on our way to the gate. Grabbed some coffee and found some seats to wait for our flight. We boarded around 11:40am. Were off the ground on time.

 

Arrived in San Juan at 4:00pm AST. We were met by a transportation company who was waiting for us at baggage. We grabbed our bags, then a porter and loaded into a minibus to head to the Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino. The hotel was very nice. When we arrived Bobby was standing outside waiting for us. Check in went without a hitch. We had a 2-bedroom suite. Which consisted of a king suite with a living room and an adjoining room with 2 queen beds and another bathroom. With 4 people this was the best way to go since 3 of us were women. Met the cruise critic gang for drinks at happy hour the hotel holds from 5:30pm-7:00pm every evening. We had a great time meeting everyone and getting to know each other.

 

Ron was supposed to land at 2:20pm, prior to our arrival, but this delays due to snow in Rhode Island, he did not make it to San Juan until 11:30pm. That is another book all itself, and will let Bobby elaborate on this in his review.

 

After drinks we all went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner. We had a reservation for 7:00pm. There were 18 of us. The restaurant was kind enough to hold space for our large group. I had talked to them a week prior to arrange this. Dinner was a lot of fun. The food was great and we all left full. Went to the casino for a little bit to talk and hang out for a little while. All retired pretty early. I stayed up with Bobby to go pick up Ron at 11:30pm. His luggage did not make it to San Juan with him. Another long story. Grabbed a taxi back to the hotel and said good night. We were all going to meet for breakfast at 8:30am the next morning.

 

11/14/04 - Sunday

 

Day of departure. We all met for breakfast at 8:30-9:00am. Enjoyed sitting with everyone and chatting over breakfast. The Embassy does a great spread for breakfast that includes made to order omelets, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hot cereal, pastries, etc. After breakfast we went to pack up and take our bags downstairs to meet the transportation company that was taking us to the pier at 11:00am. There were on time and we were off for the pier by 11:00am. The line at the pier was pretty long, but went really fast. We were checked-in in no time. Since Ron’s luggage didn’t make it to San Juan Bobby, Ron and I headed to the mall to get Ron some clothes for the trip. Bobby had airline insurance that allowed him to go shopping for Ron on them. We found tons of stuff for Ron and had fun shopping. Were back at the pier and on board by 3:00pm. I was in aft cabin 9390 (corner aft). Size of the room was the same as a normal balcony cabin. Our balcony was larger than a normal balcony, but was triangle in shape. I loved the balcony but would rather have had 9392, which was a huge balcony.

 

We met Sandra and headed to the Windjammer for lunch. Took a tour of the spa and gym. Bobby booked a facial and Sandra booked a full body treatment for our first day at sea, Monday.

 

At 5:00pm we met the cruise critic group for the first time at the Solarium Pool. Finally nice to put faces to the screen names after talking for about a year. We mingled for an hour with everyone and headed back to the cabin to see if our luggage had arrived. To our amazement it had. I unpacked and relaxed until the muster drill at 8:30. Muster drill was short and sweet as usual. Headed back to the cabin to return the life vests and head to dinner at 9:00pm. We had late seating and the first night was at 9:00pm and all other nights were at 8:30pm. Late seating worked out great.

 

Dress for dinner was casual. For dinner I had the onion tart, tomato soup, spinach salad, Cod, ice cream and Fondue. We had a table 482 on deck 4. Table for 8, which was our immediate group. Our waiter was Kibwe she was from Trinidad & Tobago and our assistant waiter was Cesar. They were both great.

 

After dinner was the Welcome Aboard Show. Was ok, nothing spectacular. The entertainment on the AOS was not as good as he shows we experienced on the Voyager last year. After the show we went to the casino for some drinks and to watch Bobby play craps. Were in bed by midnight.

 

 

11/15/04 – Monday

 

Day at sea. Today was Sandra’s birthday. Had breakfast delivered to the cabin. Myself, Bobby, Sandra and Ron ate together on Bobby’s balcony. He had a huge balcony. Went to the pool for a few hours. Saw Tom and Chris at the pool. Chris and Tom volunteered for a ship shape dance on the pool deck. Tom was so cute with his blow up duck. Was a nice day, but not enough sun. At noon we headed to the Windjammer for lunch. Food was good, not very hot though. After lunch we went back to our cabins for a nap. Our Meet & Mingle part was tonight at 5:00pm. We all met around 4:30pm so we could have enough time to mingle before those who had early seating had to leave. The party was held in the Blue Moon Lounge on deck 14. RCCL served iced tea, lemonade and finger foods. They also gave everyone ID holders and a cruise critic pin. After the party I went to the Promenade to shop with Ron and look around. We found the helicopter pad. It was a nice night outside, not breezy at all which was very surprising since we were at the very front of the ship.

 

Tonight was the first formal night. Everyone was dressed to the nines and looked great. I had Escargot, Caesar Salad, Lobster Bisque, Beef Tenderloin, Salmon and Grand Marnier Soufflé. We all had after dinner shots (YUMMY). Went to the Headliner Show after dinner. Not very good in my opinion, but that is ok. Off to the casino for a bit for a drink and minimal gambling. Headed to the Café Promenade for coffee and then went to bed around 1:30am.

 

11/16/04 – Tuesday – Aruba

 

Today we pulled into Aruba and it was raining. We weren’t sure if our excursion would still happen or not. Went to breakfast in the dining room at 7:30am. Eggs benedict and salmon plate (YUMMY). We were off the ship by 8:45am for our jeep tour with ABC Jeep Tours. Ten of us went, the 8 from our group and Tim & Nikki joined us from Cruise Critic. The tour was pretty cool. Very bumpy and rough at points, especially the road if you can call it that to the Natural Pool. We saw the natural bridge, stacked rocks, ostrich farm (hilarious) and the natural pool. Weren’t able to walk down to the natural pool for snorkeling due to rough seas and it being closed. The ride back down was just as scary as the ride up. Thank you Tim for doing the driving. You were amazing. Stopped at a local restaurant for lunch that was included in the tour. We had chicken, rice, French fries and salad. Was pretty good. The tour operator took us back to the pier and we did a short amount of shopping. Was able to pick up a magnet, t-shirt and some sand in bottles for work gifts.

 

Tonight we were dining in Portofino. There were 14 of us for dinner. We had reservations for 7:00pm. There were able to give us 2 tables next to each other. The atmosphere was great, as well as the food. Well worth the $20 extra per person. I had the goat cheese soufflé, seafood soup, mushroom pasta, halibut and Tiramisu.

 

Tonight show was the Love & Marriage show. Boy was it hilarious. Laughed a lot. Went to the casino after the show again for a cocktail and some gambling. Bobby usually does very well with playing Craps. Were back in the cabin and in bed by midnight.

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11/17/04 – Wednesday – Curacao

 

Docked around 8:00am. Raining outside again. Slept in until 8:00am. Met for breakfast in the Windjammer. We were supposed to go to the all-inclusive resort, Breezes, today. But with the weather so crappy we decided not to. Roamed around the ship for a while and had a Latte at the Café Promenade. Went back to the cabin to relax for a little bit and wait for the rain to stop. Hooray the rain finally stopped and were able to venture out into town for some shopping. A lot of vendors on the street that heads to the floating bridge which you walk over to get into town. I bought 2 wind chimes a magnet and a large bag. Saw Mercy and Michael at a local pub and sat and chatted with them for a while. Renee mustered up the guts to have her picture taken with 3 iguanas. One on each shoulder and one on her head. What a face, the picture is priceless LOL. Got to see the floating bridge open to let some boats through.

 

Headed back to the ship around 3:00pm for some lunch at the Windjammer. After lunch I went to the guy with Ron, Sandra and my mom. Did the treadmill and bike for a half hour. Was a good workout. Then sat in the large hot tub for about 15 minutes to relax and sooth the muscles. After the work out it was time to start getting ready for dinner. The show tonight was Velvet Rope and was at 7:00pm before dinner. Show was so loud it hurt your ears. All in all it was ok. Tonight for dinner I had liver pate, crab cake, clam chowder, Caesar salad, lamb chops, steak, apple cobbler and tapioca. The good thing with dinners is you can order multiple items from the same course. We were all pigs. Tonight the seas were rough. Some of us weren’t feeling all to well. Ron got ill at dinner, which we thought was seasickness, but it turned out to be food poisoning from lunch in the Windjammer that day. Tonight’s show was The Quest… I saw this on the Voyager last year and it was hilarious, but could not make it to the show tonight. Was not feeling well at all. I left everyone and went to bed. Everyone said it was great. Renee got to participate. Wish I could have seen it. Bobby and Ron missed it too due to Ron being ill. Bobby finally took Ron to the medical facility at midnight for fluids and medication. What a bill it came to and it was RCCL’s food that caused it… but will let Bobby tell the full story.

 

11/18/04 – Sea Day

 

Slept in until 8:30am. Went to the dining room for breakfast at 9:30am. The dining room was more relaxing for breakfast and had better food than the Windjammer. I had eggs benedict again and granola with yogurt and fruit. Not very much sun today. Very cloudy but not raining. Went to the pool for a little while to try to get some sun. Didn’t really work out that way. Was getting too breezy. Went to the dining room for lunch. Had a turkey wrap (was very good) and a quesdillas. For dessert it was coconut crème Brule (YUMMY).

 

After lunch we went to the promenade for some shopping. Bought 2 t-shirts, a much, cooley and a magnet. Went back to relax until it was time for the ice show at 5:00pm. The ice show was pretty good. Can’t believe the tricks they can do on such a small area of ice. Went the Café Promenade for coffee and then to get ready for dinner. They had sushi at the Island Grill today. It was so good and very fresh. This was a nice snack before dinner.

 

Tonight is the second formal night. Everyone looked great as usual. Tonight at dinner I had a salmon appetizer, mushroom pastry, cream of asparagus soup, lobster & shrimp, prime rib and crème Brule. Tonight’s show after dinner was the best show of the trip. They were 2 comedians “2 Funny Guys”. Oh my gosh they were hilarious. After the show it was off to the casino and to bed around midnight. Early day for St Martin the next day.

 

11/19/04 – Friday – St. Maarten

 

Ordered coffee to be delivered in the cabin. Went to the dining room for breakfast. We were planning to go to Orient Beach today, but the weather was not cooperating. So we met Nick & Danyell at the courthouse in St Maarten at 10:00am. They took us to the jeweler they use all the time. 3 people from our group got awesome deals on jewelry. My mom got a silver diamond cut ankle bracelet, Sandra got a gorgeous tanzanite gold and diamond ring and Steve got a great gold and diamond wedding band. All were awesome prices and a steal.

 

Walked down Front Street for a bit waiting for the 2 rings to be sized. Sat on the beach at a bar for some beer and sodas. Steve was approached by numerous vendors to buy stuff. He finally gave in to buy a baseball cap… heheheh At 1:00pm the jewelry was due to be finished and we were going to hire a cab to take a tour of the island. Stopped at a lot of picturesque spots, Fort Lois and saw some famous people’s homes. We were also able to stop at Orient Beach so we could take some pictures and say we were there. Club Orient is off to the far right. I saw fully naked people right there in the open. Not shocking but didn’t think they would be that close. Were back on board by 4:00pm for snacks and coffee at Café Promenade. Then off to the cabin for our daily nap. I am normally not a nap taker but they were very much needed on vacations. Always felt revitalized afterwards. We sailed at 5:30pm and were able to sit out on our balcony and watch us sail off into the sunset. We had a very pretty sunset tonight. Passed by the Queen Mary 2… she is huge and very breath taking.

 

The show tonight was at 7:00pm before dinner. “Can’t Stop the Rock”, was not impressed at all with this production show. After the show was dinner at 8:30pm. I had scallops, caprese salad, roasted garlic soup, salad, chicken marsala, shrimp scampi and mint chocolate cake. Off to the casino for a drink and to bed around 12:30am.

 

11/20/04 – Saturday – St. Thomas

 

Were up at 6:30am for immigration check. Went down at 7:00am and the line was huge. But it went really fast. We were out in about 10 minutes, it was amazing they went the quickly. At 7:30 we all met for breakfast in the dining room. What a miracle, today we had SUNSHINE… Today was our best excursion. We did a ½ day sail with New Horizons, which included lunch. There were 25 of us who signed up to do this private excursion. We sailed to a beach at St John. The water was crystal clear and the scenery was beautiful. We sailed around 9:00am and were back around 1:00pm. The half-day excursion was perfect. We had enough time to do some shopping back at the pier to get last minute things. Got a calendar, t-shirt and a magnet. Ron found a watch he really wanted that was $20 cheaper than the ship. Bobby found one of his colognes. Headed back to the ship to start packing, relax and get ready for the show at 7:00pm and dinner.

 

Tonight’s show was the Farewell Variety Show. What can I tell you… the juggler couldn’t juggle, the comedian was very boring… we left in the middle of the comedian act. Went to the casino bar to meet some of the cruise critic gang for pictures and to exchange addresses and information at 8:00pm. Got a group picture with all of us.

 

Dinner tonight was sad… it was the last time we were all going to sit together and laugh and laugh. Our group was amazing. There wasn’t a time we weren’t laughing about something. For dinner I had an egg roll, shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, and I can’t remember the rest. Forgot to write the last dinner in my journal. But it was very good.

 

We all went the casino for last chance gambling and drinks. We stayed up until 1:30am trying to spend all the time we could together. Couldn’t keep our eyes open anymore so headed to bed.

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11/21/04 – Disembarkation Day

 

We were up and ready for breakfast by 7:30am. Ate in the dining room. Had eggs benedict and sausage. Tried the herring but didn’t care for it. This was the only thing I didn’t like the entire cruise. While we were at breakfast we heard them call people with flights before 2:00pm could get off the ship. We finished our coffee and chatted for a bit them gathered our things and started venturing off the ship. This was the easiest disembarkation I had ever been through. There was no line getting off the ship. Only a short line going through customs, you have to show your passport here again with your declaration form. Went and found our luggage and grab a port right away. He led us through the crowd, gave the agent our declaration forms and got us to a taxi. Six of us got in one taxi to the airport and Bobby & Ron got in another to head to the Caribe Hilton.

 

 

We were at the airport by 10:00am. Our flight was on American at 1:14pm. Short line to check in at the American ticket counter. Were able to change our seats to an exit row for more legroom and off to the gate to wait until they boarded the plane. The airport is very small compared to Orlando. Not much in choices if you wanted snacks or coffee and they were pretty pricey. Grabbed a Latte at the concession stand for $3.00…. the ship was cheaper LOL. A vending stand was set up where we could grab a sandwich to take on the plane for the flight home.

 

 

Our flight boarded around 12:40pm. We were ready for take off by 1:00pm. And no wait for take off. The flight was uneventful. They played Spiderman 2 for the flight home. Landed in Orlando at 3:00pm EST. Off to get our luggage. Our car service was waiting for us by baggage like they said they would be. Gathered our luggage, said our good byes to Renee, Steve and Sandra and off to head home we went.

 

 

Overall:

 

Other than Ron’s delayed flight, lost luggage, bad weather and food poisoning we had an awesome cruise. We had a blast with our group. We didn’t let the minor things ruin our fun. Never made it to the miniature golf or Johnny Rockets. Our only complaint was the rude and obnoxious people we encountered. They would shove, push, scream, yell, and were the rudest people we have ever encountered. You could say excuse me to get by and they wouldn’t move. You could be standing in a group talking and they would knock you over when they passed. Teenagers would be screaming in an elevator at friends in another elevator and shove you to the point of losing your balance to get out. These are just a few examples of what we witnessed and went through. I don’t know if we chose a sail date that happened to pull these types of rude people with the discounted rates being offered to resident of Puerto Rico or what? Many people have confirmed that RCCL sells at a real discount to fill the AOS to residents of Puerto Rico and the customers that take advantage of these really discounted rates are not the norm and can give the good people of P.R. a bad rap. The rude people we encountered were all residents of P.R. This is not to say that all P.R. residents are like this, but our experience with people from P.R. on this sailing was not a pleasant one. This did not in any way put a damper on our cruise just gave us a bad taste for sailings out of P.R. for future cruises.

One last thing... I met some new life long friends that I will never forget and hope to keep in touch for many years to come.

 

 

If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.... :D :D

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Funny.....we had the same complaint about a particualr group of people......so I guess we were not the only ones who had this problem.

 

We liked the shows though.....all in all the AOS was a great vacation!

 

Thanks for sharing your review!!!

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Nice job Dee...

Like I told you We had this same problem when we went on Adventure the first time. It was worse the first time...the captain had issue a curfew. It was horrible! The kids were out of control.

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Great Review! Thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive review. Lots of ideas about what to do when we sail. (Anticipation & planning is such great fun . . .)

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Great job!

 

What are the charges for the coffee, cookies and whatever else you get on the ( what do they call it?) promenade?

 

Glen

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Great job!

 

What are the charges for the coffee, cookies and whatever else you get on the ( what do they call it?) promenade?

 

Glen

Regular coffee, snacks, pizza, sandwiches are all at no cost. If you wanted a cappaccino or latte it was a small charge... if I remember correctly it was around $2.15 per cup... very cheap. And they were good.

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I'm getting married in St.Thomas on Dec.7. We're sailing the Navigator, but we're interested in the iternary of the Adventurer....Anyone else have any bad experiences? I hate rude people...

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With people not writing many reviews lately the experience isn't mentioned that often. I started a thread about it and it was amazing how many people have encountered the same thing. It did not ruin our cruise, we had a good time regardless, but our group made it fun.

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Overall:

 

Our only complaint was the rude and obnoxious people we encountered. They would shove, push, scream, yell, and were the rudest people we have ever encountered. You could say excuse me to get by and they wouldn’t move. You could be standing in a group talking and they would knock you over when they passed. I don’t know if we chose a sail date that happened to pull these types of rude people with the discounted rates being offered to resident of Puerto Rico or what? Many people have confirmed that RCCL sells at a real discount to fill the AOS to residents of Puerto Rico and the customers that take advantage of these really discounted rates are not the norm and can give the good people of P.R. a bad rap. The rude people we encountered were all residents of P.R. This is not to say that all P.R. residents are like this, but our experience with people from P.R. on this sailing was not a pleasant one. This did not in any way put a damper on our cruise just gave us a bad taste for sailings out of P.R. for future cruises.

 

I know exactly how you feel. Just got of the AOS today, and encountered the same type of people. For some reason, I don't remember this type of crowd on the Serenade last year.

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I was very happy with the Embassy Suites by the airport. Very nice atrium and the happy hour and breakfast was really nice.

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Thank you sooo much for taking the time to remember details and write such a good review. Was there anything you had for dinner that was great and you would highly suggest trying? Glad you didn't let the rude people ruin your trip. I am going on the AOS in March, I think I will brush up on a few key spanish words LOL.

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The teriyaki salmon, chicken marsala, beef tenderloin was awesome... the scallops, escargot was really good... tomato basil soup was good too... all of it was very good... stay away from the chicken philadelphia the first night, it is the frozen kind you can get in costco or walmart. We all wished we knew some spanish... LOL

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We went on the AOS the first week of Nov last year and didn't experience any rudeness beyond what we have experienced on cruises out of the the mainland...Miami, Ft Lauderdale, or Port Canaveral.

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We were also on this sailing with DMorris and Co. And can tell you that all is fact..... Please do not dwell on the rude people, Ignore them and you will have a Blast, My Other half did not know this as I protected her from this by blocking their way on stairwells, Lines, elevatores, But she still noticed.... If you do not let it bother you, you you will be fine, You may not even notice it at all, As we are VERY Tolerant people and tend to not let it bother us...... enough on that.......

 

The Embassy Suites: The best...... DO NOT HESITATE to stay here as it is IMHO the best and top notch...... HEY! Can't beat 2 hours happy hour plus a full bufffet breakfast that was AWESOME included in the price...... My Saying.... If It's for free It's for me...... LOL......

 

The ship......... AWESOME..........

 

The food...... Top Notch in the dining room and Portofino's, And DMorris depicted it as it is...... Windjammer, Very good to fair, Could have been hotter..... Our wait staff, And ALL Staff TOP NOTCH and catered to all your needs and the best Waitress we have ever had........

 

The Shows: My wife and I really enjoyed the velvet rope show, the ice show is a must see and the 2 funny guys were hilarious..... other than that they were medicore at best..... I could go on about this review, But it speaks for itself and will not take away from the DMorris review.....

 

Our highlight was to get re-engaged after 26 years of marriage in front of our new friends on the 2nd formal night and announce that we will get re-married in Hawaii on the Island Princess on one of the Islands with our new FRIENDS....... Could not have thought of a better group to share this with and am looking forward to our next cruise with the MARTAIN YACHT CLUB...... ALL IN ALL...... WE have not laughed that hard and had such a good time unless it was for them........ Thank You Guys....... Until our next Adventure...........

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Thank you Steve.... I miss the gang also. Can't wait until next year for our Hawaii cruise.

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