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lschrage

12/5/04 Adventure Review Part 3

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Hi again!

 

I'm back with more! As a refresher, we sailed the Aruba route of AOS and had main seating for dinner. The travellers in our group of seven included:

 

Myself - 35

Hubby - 36

BIL (Hubby's brother) - 35

SIL (Hubby's sister) - 34

Nephew (hubby's sister's son) - 6

Neice (hubby's sister's daughter) - 3

MIL - low 60's

 

Sunday, 12/5 - Embarkation

 

We re-packed everything up from our hotel (including repacking our carry ons for the ship) to get ready to head on out. The plan was to grab breakfast from this little place across the street and than be at the pier around 11:00.

 

But I needed to take care of business with the front desk first. I was still steamed about the lock fiasco with our room, and went to the front desk to complain. Since the room was paid in advance (through Priceline), she (the asst. mgr, I think) couldn't give me any kind of room discount. So she gave me 30,000 points on the Radisson card plus 4 vouchers for free breakfasts in the hotel's restaurant. Not sure what 30,000 Radisson points gets, so I'll need to look into it.

 

Grabbed the family and headed to the 2nd floor for breakfast. Breakfast in the restuarant was pretty good, but took FOREVER (yes, there is a definite pattern emerging here...). The cost for breakfast was about $37 including tip for all 7 of us. This was the final amount after the discount of the four breakfast vouchers, which shaved off about $45 from the bill.

 

We called Nelson, our taxi driver of choice for the last few days, and had him meet us at the hotel. He was there in about 10 minutes and took us to the pier. Traffic was quite heavy near the pier, and it took a little longer to get there, which was fine. We finally got to the pier around 11:30, and the porters had our bags whisked away in about 5 minutes. Hubby and I needed to do new tags since we had changed our cabin the week before.

 

After dropping the bags off, we needed to show our cruise docs to get in the building. After everyone found their docs, we were in and going through security.

 

There wasn't much of a line inside, so we went directly from security to the "check in" line for suites. Since hubby and I had booked a grand suite, I asked the guy checking us in if he could check in the rest of the family explaining that this was their first cruise and that they would like to have us "hold their hands" through the embarkation process. He was happy to oblige, and had everyone checked in in about 20 minutes. Since we were all together, we were able to sit in the priority embarkation seats and were in the first two rows. We waited about 30-40 minutes or so, and then were let on the ship by about 12:30ish. All literature that was handed out as well as signage indicated that the cabins would not be ready until 2:00, but we headed to ours anyway. The hallway doors were closed so it "appeared" that you couldn't get to the cabins, but the doors were unlocked, so we went to our cabin (cabin 1270, starboard side and midship)

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Here's the rest of Part 3....

 

Hi again!

 

I'm back with more! As a refresher, we sailed the Aruba route of AOS and had main seating for dinner. The travellers in our group of seven included:

 

Myself - 35

Hubby - 36

BIL (Hubby's brother) - 35

SIL (Hubby's sister) - 34

Nephew (hubby's sister's son) - 6

Neice (hubby's sister's daughter) - 3

MIL - low 60's

 

Sunday, 12/5 - Embarkation (cont.)

 

All literature that was handed out as well as signage indicated that the cabins would not be ready until 2:00, but we headed to ours anyway. The hallway doors were closed so it "appeared" that you couldn't get to the cabins, but the doors were unlocked, so we went to our cabin (cabin 1270, starboard side and midship), and went to drop our bags off. We met our cabin steward, Carlos, and he let us know that our cabin was ready so we could feel free to unpack the bags that we had.

 

We called BIL on his cell phone (cell phone service worked in San Juan), and he said that their rooms were ready as well. They dropped their stuff off and met us at our cabin. From there, we toured the ship, and then headed to the Windjammer for lunch. I was curious to see how the food would be since I had seen quite a few negative reviews lately on the food on RCCL. Before heading in the Windjammer, we stopped to buy the "coke" cards. I think the cost was $48/person including tip.

 

Armed with the thermal coke mugs, we braved our way into the Windjammer. The Windjammer that day was really good. I was pleasantly surprised. I remember having some sort of broccoli/cheese pasta, and thai chicken pizza, both of which were exceptionally yummy, as well as some sort of carved sirloin, and of course yummy desserts. I was fed with good food, and we were on the ship, and it was 2:30 on our first day of our cruise. Things were looking up.

 

After lunch, we explored the ship some more, including looking where our table was at for dinner. We were located on the 3rd level (Vivaldi dining room, I believe), and our table was 338, which was located toward the center of the room near a service station. We had a table for 8, which I had requested since there was 7 of us, and we really wanted our own table.

 

After that, we split up for a bit so that SIL could check out the adventure ocean area. We went back to our cabin, and 3 of our 4 bags had made it. The missing bag was the bag containing our scuba gear. So the good news was that we had our clothes, the bad news was that we didn't have our scuba gear yet, which made it the most "valuable" of the bags.

 

We unpacked our bags, hung up our stuff, and set aside the items that needed to be pressed. I packed a nightlight for the bathroom, but unfortunately, there was no outlet in the bathroom. There is plenty of storage space in a grand suite, so I never unpacked the over the door "shoe organizer".

 

In a grand suite, there is a double wide medicine cabinent, plus 4 drawers and two failrly big cupboards in the bathroom alone. By the bar area, there are three mirrored closets (with a ton of wood hangers), and six bigger drawers opposite that for clothes, and two smaller drawers above for paper, sunglasses, etc.

 

Next to the bed, there is a dressing area that includes another huge mirrored cabinent (with I think 3 shelves...perfect for brushes, makeup, suntan lotion, nail polish, and all your other grooming items), and 3 smaller drawers below. Next to those drawers is a smaller thin drawer (which we used to hold the receipts for the week), and two small shelves that contained the extra bedding. Attached to the mirror is a magnified cosmetic mirror.

 

On each side of the bed are two small nightstands; each containing a small door for additional storage as well as a small cubbyhole for books, etc. There was sufficient space under the bed to stow all of our empty luggage.

 

In the sitting area, there was a DVD player, CD player and stereo with Bose speakers. I believe the electronics were all Sony components. My hubby was quite please since he had no problem hooking up his Ipod to the system so that we were set with music for the cruise. One last thing about storage...there was a small round table in the corner that also had ample storage. I stowed my backpack in there and had plenty of room for more.

 

Since we were Main Seating for dinner, we met up at 6:30 for dinner, where we met or main waiter, Ajay from India, and the Asst. Waiter Jorge. I asked for lemonade to drink, but Jorge said that that is only served in the Windjammer, and that I couldn't get it in the main dining room (note: In another review that I read just yesterday, I remember seeing that someone who also sailed on the AOS COULD get lemonade...and that the waiter/asst. waiter made sure to have it available to them throughout the week...I guess it all comes down to how hard your waiter/asst waiter wants to work...).

 

For dinner, I tried the shrimp ravioli and the chilled watermelon soup. Both were ok. Nothing great, but nothing bad either. Dessert was key lime pie which was very good. I should have gotten another piece :) After dessert, we started our nightly tradition of ordering the Loving Cup after-dinner cordial. They were always very good and were even better if you added it to your coffee.

 

After dinner, we headed back to our cabin to see if our Scuba bag had arrived yet. No such luck. We waited a bit and then did the mandatory muster. Our muster station was B5 on deck 4. Walking down 6 flights of stairs was no big deal. Just took a little long since people were moving fairly slow. Muster seemed to take about 25 minutes, and then we were dismissed. There was quite a bit of wait for the elevators, so we ended up hoofing it up the 6 flights of stairs (Note to RCCL: you should hand out Ship Shape dollars for those people that take the stairs!!!).

 

Sailway was early than the scheduled 10:00 departure, as were were moving by 9:40. We had planned a Cruise Critic sailway at about 9:45 on deck 12 at the Sky Bar, but I was a few minutes late and ended up meeting with the "gang" around 10:15 or so, with my first foo foo drink of the cruise in hand. We ended up hanging out on deck 12 for a bit and then headed back to our cabin to see if the Scuba bag had arrived. No such luck.

 

At this point, Carlos, our room steward took us down to the the room/office behind the Guest Relations desk where the unclaimed luggage goes. We had a nice chat with Carlos on the way down there and learned that he was from Columbia. Unfortunately, our bag was not at Guest Relations when we arrived. At this point I started panicing a bit as our scuba gear is not cheap, and was needed for the first two islands; Aruba and Curacao.

 

When the woman from Guest Relations that was in the office/room with us heard us say that it was scuba equipment, a light went off in her head, and she asked us if we had brought dive knives along with us. Yes, they were indeed part of our equipment, we explained. Well since there were dive knives packed in there, Security held the bag until all the other bags were delivered to the cabins, and will need us to come back down once the bag arrives to the Guest Relations desk so that we can hand over the dive knives.

 

Ok. Phew. The scuba bag is on the ship. I felt much better. Since we still had some time until "The Bag" made it to the Guest Relations area, Hubby and I headed up to the game room near Adventure Ocean. From 10-12 that night, all games were 1/2 price. We spent about 30-45 minutes taking out our aggressions on the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park "shoot 'em up" game. I love that game. Don't know why. I just do.

 

After that, we went back to the cabin, and had a message that "The Bag" was at Guest Relations. We headed back down to deck 5. We went back to the baggage room, and there to my relief was "The Bag". We cut open the zip tie, handed over the dive knives, and filled out the necessary paperwork for them so that we could pick up the knives on our way off the ship in Aruba. As a humorous side note; while we were in the Guest Relations office/unclaimed luggage room, I notice that there were 4 milk crates filled with confiscated irons. We're not talking small travel irons here. We're talking the nice full size versions. So for you lucky folks that actually have enough room in your luggage to pack a full size iron, don't bother taking it, since it will most likely sit in the Guest Relations office for the duration of your cruise. Besides, having your wrinkled clothes pressed by the ship's laundry service is extremely cheap (1/2 the price of dry cleaning), and even easier to do.

 

After all that, we were in bed by 1:00 am and looking forward to sleeping in since and then enjoying our first full day at sea.

 

Stay tuned for the next installment of our AOS cruise!! Hopefully I'm not boring you too much with all the details.

 

Lynne

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Yes, there certainly are a lot of details, but it's interesting. I'm reading parts of it to my husband from time to time and we are getting a good laugh. I liked the part about the irons! Have you done any more installments ...part 4,5 etc? Why don't you just reply to this thread so it will be easier to keep up with. It's just too hard to find when you start a new thread each time. Will look for other installments, but I don't know if I will find them.

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great review, keep it up!1 Why can't you bring irons, not that I would or would know how to use one. LOL

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Lynne--same thing happened to us on Majesty with our scuba bag. We didn't even have a knife along but there was something they didn't like about it. Waited for us to get there and then we had to show them everything and explain what is was...Am anxious to hear about your scuba dives...

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great review, keep it up!1 Why can't you bring irons, not that I would or would know how to use one. LOL

 

Big fire hazard.

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