If you are apprehensive due to recent negative reviews of the AOS, clear your head and go into your vacation with an open mind... you won't be disappointed. I'm a very critical person by nature and if I really wanted to scrutinize every little detail of my cruise, I could have probably found much to fault... but who really wants to spend their vacation focusing on things to be miserable about? So, I decided to ignore recent reviews and concentrate on having a great time with my wife. This was my second sailing aboard the AOS and I won't hesitate to book her again in the future. There were a couple things that didn't meet my level of expectation/standards and I'll share them; however, they were not enough to dampen my spirits in the least.
Embarkation was superior. Total time from airplane to cabin balcony was less than 90 minutes!!! My wife and I broght a total of 3 suitcases and 2 personal bags (1 piece checked). We landed at SJU at 1:30 local, claimed our bag, hailed a taxi ($25 with tip), and walked on the ship (with luggage) before 3pm. My suggestion: pack light and don't check your bags on/off the ship and you'll breeze through the process.
Food and Service - excellent, as usual. I've been on 4 RCI cruises and have no complaints about the food service at all. We didn't like the location of our table for 2 (next to a bussing station) so we asked to be reseated to a different table on the first floor and were accomodated immediately.
Entertainment - excellent. I'm a hocky fan and don't really care for figure skating, but I appeased my wife and was impressed with the ice show. Motown show by a Starsearch champion was great. Concert by a Beatles tribute band was fantastic. Comedy/Hypnotist show was hilarious and the vegas style song and dance shows are always enjoyable. Love and Marriage and Quest shows are not to be missed.
Internet Cafe - horrible. They really need to work on this. I bought 1-hours' worth of time for $35.00 just to provide facebook updates to my family and perhaps upload a few photos of our journey. It didn't happen. I wasted almost 25 minutes waiting on pages to load and it finally locked up on me while trying to update my facebook status with 3 lines of text. I got absolutely nothing accomplished so I went to guest relations and complained. They refunded my money.
Crown & Anchor - The welcome back social(s) were great. The C&A ship representative (I think her name was Alejandra) gave a great speech on how thankful RCI was for our continued support and loyalty. She went on and on how they (C&A reps) were there to promote member benefits and cater to our every need and insure our vacations continue to exceed expectations... however... when I made an individual appointment with her to book a future cruise, I was disappointed with the experience. I felt like I was getting my drivers license renewed or something. Very impersonal. Very short with me, like she just wanted to take my money and get on to the next person. It's not like I was expecting her to grovel at my feet but she could have been a little more personable. I guess the best way to explain it was that she didn't treat me like a valued guest, but more like a number or piece of paper that she needed to move through the queue.
The ship ran out of butter on day 5 and didn't get more till day 7. I absolutely love the fresh baked breads they serve and it was a shame to ruin them with bland, nasty margarine.
One morning we didn't have hot water to shower with. It wasn't freezing, but it was a little brisk. Definitely made for a quick splash and out!
As you can see, the cruise was not 100% perfect, but what cruise is? The few disappointments I had were relatively insignificant to my overall experience and I commend the staff and crew for another great vacation!