So, this was our second trip on AOS from San Juan. We enjoyed ourselves on the 5 island trip, so we wanted to take the other itinerary this past week. Start with the exceptional: The service is amazing. Even better than the last time. With the exception of the dining room staff at lunchtime (those guys were ridiculously rude) EVERYONE else was amazing. The bartenders (OH YES, THE BARTENDERS), waiters, room attendants and just about everyone we came in contact with couldn't do enough. I was told by others that felt the way that I did about the service and said that the other ships service wasn't as exceptional. The food and bar was amazing as well... Again, others I spoke to who were on OOS last year and told me that the food was significantly better on AOS. I have the weight gain to prove it.
There was a huge contingent from Puerto Rico on board, as well as Canada. Americans, it would seem, were in the minority on this cruise.
Now, the not so good. This ship is old. The paint is old, the rooms are old, the carpets are old, the windows are old (and hazy), the bathrooms are old, the pools are old and the technology is VERY old. From old smells, to beat up furniture this ship is way overdue for a do-over. 2015 (when I was told she is being overhauled) is way too far away. I would say overall reasonably clean, but outdated, outmoded and very worn. Rust and corrosion of fixtures is apparent, there are stains and frayed fabrics, carpet and draperies. I even spoke to one of the recently reassigned salespeople when booking another cruise and she was astounded at how beat up the boat was.
And... The ugly. One of the folks in my party had roaches - yes, roaches - in his room. RCL dealt with it, but, still... Also, the smoking. Holy Crap. When last on this boat in 2011, you had to work to find a smoking area. Now, it is EVERYWHERE. If your cabin is on the port side, you will smell smoke 24/7, because one of the dozen smoking areas is Deck 11, port side. Smoking on Deck 4, smoking in the casino, etc etc. There is no escaping the smoking. Nearly everywhere you walk it is in your face. The casino chimneys up onto the entire promenade on Deck 5. Walking into dinner or looking at photos on Deck 4 is an assault of cigarettes. If you walk out of Deck 11 port side (right below the running track, BTW) it is a gauntlet of smoking. Families with children or people with asthma, beware. That is a big problem. (Don't really want to go so far as to say ban smoking but shrink the areas and put them in more appropriate places)
So in summary, keep the employees, keep the food and drink coming, fix the boat - really fix the boat, and get rid of the multitudes of smokers.