Sail Date: September 2004
This was my second cruise on the AOS I did the Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas route this year. The overall cruise was great even though we had a medical emergency on board (I'll discuss this later). The ship is beautiful ... Read More
This was my second cruise on the AOS I did the Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas route this year. The overall cruise was great even though we had a medical emergency on board (I'll discuss this later). The ship is beautiful and the accommodations are great. I did notice a drop off in service and availability of dinning in the Windjammer Cafe. There were some dinner times and lunch times that only the Island Grill was open. I don't know if this was a staffing issue but I think it was kind of lousy. The overall service was still good and the food was above average. The cabin stewards were great. They always had ice in our room (we had a ice bucket we got with our wine and they even filled that up). The entertainment was pretty good (above average). I would suggest the ice show it is a must see, Velvet Rope is interesting and fun but the other show (which I cannot remember the name was rather lame). The comics were funny and topical and had the whole theater rolling. The only other complaint that I had was one that I have seen on other review it was the kids running around with little or no supervision. The captain did make an announcement but I guess some parents figure they can just let their children run around and do what they want. Don't get me wrong I have a 11 year old I will be taking on a cruise with me next year but she will not be running around riding up and down the elevators pushing all of the buttons and getting off. She also won't be disrespectful to others who are trying to enjoy their vacation. Now for the excitement. While on this cruise we had to alter our day at sea to get a passenger who I believe had a heart attack back to San Juan. We did not miss any ports of call. We were enroute to St. Maarten but we were doing between 21 and 24 knots which was impressive. We had to get to within 60 nautical miles so that the Coast Guard (USCG) helicopters could airlift the patient off. This whole procedure was very impressive watching a helicopter land on the bow of the ship I must give kudos to the ship captain and the Coast Guard for their efforts and team work. Overall this was a great cruise and I would definitely recommend and retake this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2004
This was our first cruise. We had a lovely time and we will treasure the memories for a lifetime. Embarkation went smoothly for us, but appeared hectic for other passengers. I use a wheelchair part of the time and they checked us in very ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We had a lovely time and we will treasure the memories for a lifetime. Embarkation went smoothly for us, but appeared hectic for other passengers. I use a wheelchair part of the time and they checked us in very quickly. We were thrilled with our Junior Suite on deck 10. Our cabin was spacious, with a walk-in closet, queen size bed, and a nice size bathroom/shower area. Our balcony was large and had room enough for two lounge chairs and tables. Our room attendant, Buddy, was very kind and made sure we always had what we needed. We were surprised on several occasions with hors d'oeuvres waiting in our stateroom. We ate at the Windjammer Cafe first thing and subsequently several times during our cruise. The food is good, not out of this world, but good nonetheless. We then toured the ship. We were so impressed by the majesty of the ship. We found our way around the ship easily and our first little surprise was the overlook over the bridge where we saw Captain Remos at work. After unpacking, we headed to the Mozart dining room where our waiter, Kaan, and assistant, Mina, treated us like royalty. Each evening we were served delicious, mouth-watering meals in the main dining room. Excellent, excellent service! After day one at sea, we visited Aruba. We spent the day on our own at Palm Beach and it was wonderful. A word about shopping--don't listen to Shopping Shelby. RCI must receive a kickback in St. Thomas because they push you to shop there. The best shopping for souvenirs was in Aruba and St. Maarten, for people on a limited budget. We held out on shopping until St. Thomas only to find expensive items like diamonds for sale. Our second stop was Curacao, where on our own we visited Sea Aquarium Beach. It's beautiful and you can see the cruise ship anchored in the distance. This beach has showers and shops and we truly enjoyed it. The water is very calm--good for children. Our third stop was St. Maarten, where we traveled by cab over to Orient Bay, St. Martin. Once again, the beach was lovely and there are shops, lots of watersports, etc. Our last port of call was St. Thomas, where we ferried over to St. John to visit Trunk Bay. I had seen it on The Travel Channel voted as "World's Best Beach". I do agree! It is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. I have never felt more of an appreciation for God's creations than when I visited Trunk Bay in its unspoiled beauty. There is so much to do on this ship that you could never do it all. The only crowded area on the ship was poolside. We enjoyed spending time on the Royal Promenade listening to different musicians. The entertainment was excellent, especially the ice show. The only problem on the cruise was that some poor lady had a heart attack and we did an emergency maneuver so a helicopter could land on the ship to rescue her. We enjoyed every aspect of this cruise, from dressing up for formal night to just sitting on the balcony relaxing. When the cruise was over, we were sad to see it end, but we knew we had a lifetime of great memories. Disembarking in San Juan went smoothly. I would like to note that as someone partially confined to a wheelchair, that Royal Caribbean treated me very kindly, especially the security personnel who helped me on and off the boat. God bless all of you! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
Hi all cruisers...My review is extensive but realize this is just my second....I have lots of trips yet to review!Take this at face value and please, try this ship! Flight from Northern Va. to San Juan via Lauderdale on Spirit airlines ... Read More
Hi all cruisers...My review is extensive but realize this is just my second....I have lots of trips yet to review!Take this at face value and please, try this ship! Flight from Northern Va. to San Juan via Lauderdale on Spirit airlines smooth albeit a bit cramped. Off the plane quickly, found out we could leave our luggage for RCCI to take to the ship for free and headed quickly for the taxi kiosk...and a good thing we did! Took the taxi for 2 at 17.50 + tip to the pier BUT...if we hadn't had a good driver, we would never have made it! Two huge downfalls, one being that a festival for a hero, TITO, ie...Felix Trinidad the boxer had everything gridlocked...we still made it to the pier in short order...thank God no luggage, cause the baggage people went on strike and we stood in line for over 4 hours waiting and waiting with very close quarters and lots of local people who were taking the cruise at a greatly reduced rate jumping in front of the line....No food or water, limited toilets...What was worse was that many people were held on the ship due to the strike and missed their flights home....It is much easier to be coming than going on this cruise! We finally made it on the ship at 7pm which obviously was past our dinner seating....No free drinks or amenities for the extended wait....Many unhappy chappies! The ship itself is awe inspiring...HUGE and with so much to do...Actually, too much to do...a bit hard to relax! Plenty, if not too many lounge chairs, you had to move them to get your legs in and out. Lots of non English speaking people with large groups and lots of teens....But overall, never too crowded and for the most part people were respectful! We had a room on the inside 9th floor which was roomier that I expected with plenty of storage space! Elevators are everywhere, and although often crowded, people for the most part were humored by this and didn't get too nasty! In room first run movies, room service, and plenty of info on the trip are available which you need on a ship this large! Bathrooms, not in great locations outside your room, and obviously, some women don't do their business in their rooms...OHHH Weeeee...... Food was good, not great. This was our 2nd cruise and Celebrity was much better. I have to say that one of the best features was our Head Waiter, Rose. She went out of her way to remember our names and to offer recommendations and the extra smile...she was a joy! The Windjammer and Johnny Rockets were very good! If you take the early seating and don't want to miss the sunset, I suggest Johnny Rockets for a night! What I missed was the casual foods that the Celebrity offers at almost any time such as gourmet sandwiches, decent pizza and sushi...We enjoyed the earlier seating this time so we weren't so tired that we wanted to go to bed after dinner! Any night, don't be afraid to ask for a taste of another dish, such as a soup and an appetizer or two entrees...they can accommodate you without you having two huge plates! Celebrity offered an appetizer and soup with salad and then entree and dessert...just pick what you like the most and order! On the formal nights, don't be afraid to order more lobster and less is worth it!The midnight buffets are awesome, but if you take an excursion, wait until then to eat! I wonder who eats all of that food! Drinks were cheaper on Celebrity and the waiters and bar tenders were more friendly. Also, the prices seemed to fluctuate for the same drinks, which concerned me...but when you questioned, they didn't seem to understand! If you are given a special glass, take are charged extra for the drink anyway...we saw little old ladies scarfing up gorgeous glasses because people didn't think they were theirs for the keeping! Shows etc...Make sure to get your tickets to the ice show immediately! We didn't and we missed a great show! We enjoyed the bingo game once and had to laugh at our own greed at wanting to win! The casino was great, my husband spent a bit of time trying his luck and found out when a female dealer came up, he needed to find another table! They caught him good! We were lucky enough to see Mickey Dolenz (from the Monkee's) and his sister perform...YES, I am aging myself but as a kid, they were the bomb! It was good nostalgia and his sister sang better than he did. We also saw the comedian who has a million impersonations and initially thought, HUM, but he had us rolling by the end of the evening! THE BEST PLACE FOR ENTERTAINMENT for us....THe Duck and Dog Pub...Unbeknown to us, the acoustic singer from our last cruise who we became friends with had changed ships and was on this ship as well! Needless to say, we spent part of each evening listening to him jam to great riffs...His name is Greg Guess and I encourage everyone to party with him at least one night! Ask for your favorite song as a request and don't be afraid to move the tables to dance! My husband was heralded by several women because he moved tables and even brought up the elder ladies to dance! Women who brought their husbands in got their special song and dance and were treated to some great blues, jazz, and even current music...even the line dancing people hung outside on the Promenade to dance to the music! Port's of Call: Aruba was beautiful...guys went fishing and girls slept in and shopped. To the side of the boat docking, a bit up and after a walking bridge is a beautiful promenade which is landscaped and during the day, lizards abound! I have a huge iguana at home so I loved it and couldn't get enough, but my best friend prefers them in a cage! We took the boys back in the evening, but as any good lizard owner knows, they sleep then! We went to Carlo's and Charlie's ....way too small and way too loud! I recommend Cozumel's way better! Curacao: Isn't much to look at but the shopping was the bomb! Got 2 Louis Vuitton Bags for cheaper than the internet, any any other island that was recommended...And they don't fill fake LV with cloth drawstring bags that are LV labeled instead of paper....80% off! St. Martin-did the local beach and got our chairs for 4 with 2 umbrellas and 4 drinks for 15.00...BARGAIN HARD...had to pay the 5.00 per person for the water taxi to island but it was for unlimited trips, too bad you only have 8 hours on the island! The locals bother quite a bit for assorted drugs and necklaces, but they are better than Mexico and stop after they pass you a few times! Is Marijuana really legal there? That's what we heard! The Dutch area is a bit populous. I would have preferred Orient Beach on the French side but it is more secluded but with much more nudity! Shopping is cheap, cigarettes and liquor at incredible prices! Would definitely look to do an all inclusive here! Beautiful island and water! St. Thomas --We went on the Doubloon excursion on a 65 foot yacht to snorkel on what I believe was Turtle cove...We saw huge sea turtles, squid, yellow snapper and a small nurse shark plus more...Beautiful excursion and on the way back, they don't one leaves sober! Banana Benders, Beer, etc...everyone gets fake tattoos, and lots of fun...even for the kids..very experienced snorkeling crew and for my friend that doesn't snorkel, they jumped in to get her a sand dollar and conch shell that she saw from 18 feet down! Billy Bob, the mate became her new best friend! definitely recommend this and this can be purchased on line through At the end of the excursion, they take you to their shop on the dock and you can look at the merchandise and drink more free drinks as you shop the rest of the afternoon if you go back! They take your pictures on the boat and download for free so you don't have to pay like on most excursions! Already looking for an all inclusive here! Disembarkation --Stay with your party! Our friends felt the need to be at the appropriate place at way too early and ended up off the boat at 0830 while we tried not to get off the boat until closer to our plane time...We had packed our radios...not good...not pleasant when they sat in the pier port while we were able to have breakfast and all the people told us to ignore the disembarkation can stay on the boat way longer than what most people thought, and still drink coffee or alcohol and hang out rather than sit at the airport for what is a very long afternoon flight wait! Overall, this was a wonderful trip! I would easily recommend but my one wish is that the trip originated and returned from Florida and not San Juan...I have a friend who is an MD who comes from San Juan and says that Old San Juan is the place to stay the eve before the cruise and make sure you see the fort! I tried to get the old man (43yo) to do this but....more expense huh.... I guess it is always just a matter of chance from anywhere! Thanks for letting us tell about our trip! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
RCCL -- Adventure of the Sea Passengers on board: 3,400; 2,900 from U.S. (incl. 500 from PR). October 10-17, 2004 Day 1: Oct. 10 -- San Juan: scheduled departure - 10 p.m. We had the good fortune to stay in Orlando for a week prior to ... Read More
RCCL -- Adventure of the Sea Passengers on board: 3,400; 2,900 from U.S. (incl. 500 from PR). October 10-17, 2004 Day 1: Oct. 10 -- San Juan: scheduled departure - 10 p.m. We had the good fortune to stay in Orlando for a week prior to the cruise to work on our tans a little. The weather was great: sunny and hot (upper 80's) - almost no rain. Had a noon flight on Spirit to arrive into PR on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Flight was only about 10 minutes late to the gate. We could see that it had been raining, and as soon as we walked onto the jetway, the low 90's heat and humidity could be felt. Our bags must have been among the last out, and we were getting a little anxious that none of the 6 bags (from the 4 of us) were seen. But they finally showed up. The San Juan baggage area has none of the luggage carts that are usually available, either free or for rent. And only a small handful of porters were working. So we ended up wheeling our own stuff out. The area seemed under construction as we had to snake around a few barriers and hallways to finally get out to the curb. We had reserved a Limo, and our driver was near the front of the line. So we were very shortly off to the cruise dock. I must admit that the area, as we pulled up, seemed to have quite a bit of construction activity. Several areas of construction fencing made it seem that a more expansive dock area will be there in the future. Arrived about 3:45 p.m. There did not appear to be the huge throng of people there that I anticipated from being familiar with the Miami terminal. Our driver pulled up, went and got an RCCL baggage handler to get a luggage cart and put our tagged bags in. We later found out that there was a fairly long line of passengers that had taken cabs or buses waiting to check their bags onto the ship. But thanks to our Limo driver, our bags went right on. We were then able to bypass the baggage check-in lines and proceed directly into the terminal (3:55 p.m.). We found out that they had not opened the terminal until about 3. A few of our friends that spent the night in San Juan had arrived early (12:30) to board, only to stand in the 90+ F heat for over 2 hours. They were drenched with sweat by the time they boarded. The organization seemed better than I remembered at the Miami terminal in that the check-in was by deck level with only 1 or 2 decks per section. It seemed like there were only a few waiting in each line. We had a balcony cabin on deck 10 and waited less than 3 minutes. None of the lines that I had experienced on two other Voyager-class cruise ships to get on board. We literally walked right on by a few minutes past 4. Had a small snack in the Windjammer, mainly just because it was there, since we had the early seating and would have the proper dinner in less than 2 hours. Luggage still had not been delivered, so it was informal night in the dining room (shorts). Dinner was very good, I had prime rib. We were at a table of ten, so we would always order two or three other dishes for the center of the table to taste everything. Almost like family style, and I think most of the menu selections were on the table every night. We felt the main dining room food in general was very good, not many complaints Muster drill held in between the first and second dinner seating, which seemed weird. The Sail-away party was fun, but I enjoy the afternoon departures more so I can watch the ship leave while still light. Our luggage finally showed up about 8 p.m. A comedian at the evening show was pretty good, but we couldn't seem to stay awake for the midnight parade. Others ships leaving San Juan today: Carnival Destiny, Golden Princess Day 2: Oct. 11 - St. Thomas: arrival - 7:30 a.m.; departure - 5:30 p.m. A few of us had booked the Castaway Girl Catamaran Sailing and Snorkeling Tour of Buck Island on the RCCL web site as we wanted the sailing excursion. We then talked to the excursion desk about transferring our excursion to the same destination, but on a 40' private sailboat. We were very glad we did. RCCL contracts out with 4 or 5 sailboats that hold 4-6 each. It was a much more intimate excursion as there were 6 of us and only 2 crew members. We really got personalized attention as one of the crew snorkeled with us showing us quite a bit of the local sea creatures. Several large sea turtles were also feeding in the area which added to the trip. Some others in our group did the St. John's Island Tour on Land Cruisers. They said they had a blast. We got back to the ship by 1 and met some old friends that live in St. Thomas for lunch. We ate at Glady's Cafe, a great, local style restaurant. Had a couple hours left to stroll around the shops before we had to get back to the ship. We began to see the onset of the "Plague of the Caribbean Taxi Driver." We could not walk more than 10 steps before we were hailed by a cab driver asking if we were headed back to the ship. Normally, it was only 5 steps before the next cab, right behind the one who had just asked us, pulled up with the question. They finally wore us down, and we allowed ourselves to be taken back. Monday night was the first formal night. Our waiter, Woodrow, was great. He was from Jamaica and knew the Jamaican waiter, Horace, we had had on the Explorer last January. Interestingly, the head waiter did not come by and introduce himself for about the first three nights. After that he warmed up a little more, but seemed to spend most of his time at the other tables. (I was watching for him after hearing about other cruisers mentioning seldom seeing him at all.) The main show of the evening was quite good, a guy who impersonated 30 or 40 singers from Sinatra to John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Carnival Destiny and Golden Princess were also in St. Thomas today. We wondered at the time if they would follow similar routes. We never saw them again until we returned to SJ. Day 3: Oct. 12 - St. Maarten: arrival - 8:00 a.m.; departure - 5:30 p.m. I went scuba diving in the morning while my dear wife spent her time in the spa (hot rocks and a facial). The first dive was a reef dive that had quite a few fish and some decent coral. The second dive was an 1802 clipper ship wreck, The Proselyte. All the wood was gone, of course, but we still saw quite a few cannons, chains, and anchors strewn about the area. My dear wife and I had been to the island before and had done the tour and Orient Beach thing, so the afternoon we just stayed by the pool. It's great there during port days as you feel that you almost have the facilities to yourself. A few in our group did the ship's Island Tour excursion (from hell). Their bus broke down and they were put on jump seats in a second van which hurt their backs by the end. The driver/tour guide would point out such local sites such as: here's a Kentucky Fried Chicken, which you guys probably like; here's a Radio Shack, where you guys can get electrical parts; and here's a B-P station, where you guys can get gas, its xx.x/liter; and here's......where you guys.....and, and, and. They did say the shopping stop and beach part was quite nice. I told them to turn in a complaint form straight away, and they ended getting a 30% refund in the excursion. Tuesday night was the Ice Show. It was excellent; some very talented performers for such a limited show schedule. The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers also put on their first show of the cruise. They have some very talented people, but we felt that the show (and the songs selected) was not that terrific. Day 4: Oct. 13 - Antigua: arrival - 8:00 a.m.; departure - 5:30 p.m. Had our first main dining room breakfast. Enjoyed it so much that it was our morning ritual for the rest of the cruise. None of us had picked out any excursions to do, so we thought we'd venture out and see the little shopping district by the dock. Here we saw that the 'Plague of the Caribbean Taxi Driver' had made its way south in epidemic proportions. Now we couldn't walk more than 3 steps before being hit upon for a taxi somewhere. And I'm not talking about just by the pier, anywhere / everywhere in town, the plague was rampant! After a little shopping, went back for lunch at Johnny Rockets. Then got our swimming suits and went out to do battle with the Plague. We asked where to nicest beach in the area was, and for $15, five of us were off to a nice beach about 15 minutes away. We spent a lovely afternoon just lying in the sun, doing some swimming and just relaxing. The rule of thumb among taxi drivers in the Caribbean (perhaps a side effect from the Plague) is that they will pick you up at what ever time you tell them. So that at the predetermined time, there was our cab driver, Arthur, waiting for us. Of course if he hadn't have been there, 6 others were ready to take us - the Plague was everywhere. Wednesday night was smart casual night, so I donned a sport jacket. It was also the Crown and Anchor cocktail party at which I usually look forward to hearing from the Captain. But he was a no show. The evening performance was by the Royal Caribbean Production cast, another high talent, but low interest show. I've been on 3 other RCCL cruise ships and have always thought their shows were excellent. Well, 3 out of 4 ain't bad. As I mentioned, the performers themselves were terrific, but the shows lacked ....something - IMHO. Day 5: Oct. 14 - St. Lucia: arrival - 7:15 a.m.; departure - 5:30 p.m. Another beautiful day in Paradise and great weather again. Rather than excursions, we set out on a somewhat more personal trip. There is a 5-star timeshare not too far from the dock, The Windjammer Beach Resort. We had looked through our catalog and were considering spending a week there sometime. We thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take a tour before we committed to a whole week. As you disembark from the ship, you must go through a mini-mall with several jewelry, clothes, and other such souvenir shops, and of course... taxi drivers. The Plague had made it to St. Lucia. It must be the warmer weather, as it seemed that the farther south we went, the worse the Plague got. And they all had the perfect tour in mind for whatever you wanted to do. After perusing the shops a little, we inquired at the Info Desk in the 'terminal building' about getting to the Windjammer Resort for a short visit, and then continuing on to a nearby National Park and beach area. The lady at the desk said that the beach at the Windjammer was very nice. And all we would have to do was to buy a couple drinks at their beach bar, and we could have complete use of all of the resort's facilities. Sold.....we were easy marks! We couldn't have asked for a better beach area. Free sun recliners, areas of sun or shade under Palm trees, the use of a freshwater pool a few steps away, and the best part, they gave each group a small pennant on a stick that one would just set upright, and the bar waiter appeared shortly after for our pina colada orders. At the appointed time, our taxi driver appeared, and we were taken back to the ship, a few shades darker. The second formal night, so out came the suits again. Tonight was lobster night. My only complaint was that there were so many other excellent choices on the menu that I also wanted; the decision took a few milliseconds more than usual. I opted for prime rib (med. rare, please) with a lobster dinner on the side. When the lobster came, I just slide it off onto my plate for a kind of surf and turf dinner. My dear wife had two tails. One function that the head waiter served was he would go around and remove the shells from everyone's lobsters (he also did this on shrimp nights as well.) Well worth the $5 recommended tip he got from each of us at the end of the cruise. A treat for the evening's show, The Platters performed. Only Herb Reed remains as one of the originals, and he doesn't solo that much, only signs and emcees. But it was a great performance and walk down memory lane for everyone in our group (over 40). Was tempted to go back for the second show, but went to the Karaoke contest for a while and then got "trapped" in the casino and lost track of time (as well as a few dollars.) Day 6: Oct. 15 - Barbados: arrival - 8:00 a.m.; departure - 5:30 p.m. Today was a cloudy and overcast type of day. I had originally wanted to scuba dive, but that was booked up before I could make up my mind. And after 5 islands in 5 days, we were starting to feel stretched. We always like to check out the town area. The cruise dock is about 1-2 miles from town, and RCCL arranges a shuttle/van service to take you there for $1 (until noon; then I think it goes to $2). You must walk through another mini-mall to get to the outside. Then there was a rather long line waiting for the shuttle service, which is just 10 passenger taxi vans. While we were debating whether to get into the line, a cab driver came up to us and said to follow him, he would take us for a $1 (sounds like the Plague has arrived). He said that the cruise line uses cabs anyway, so he might as well make the dollar per person. When we got into town, the 'Plague of the Caribbean Taxi Driver' was again rampant. We could not even get out of our van because the way was blocked by other taxi drivers wanting to take us, wherever. We escaped and walked through the town area. But it was drizzling on and off, and we decided just to head back and spend the rest of the day by the pool. On these days, the spa often announces specials to fill in openings. My dear wife took advantage and had a manicure and pedicure. I saved her chair by the pool. Some others in our group took the 4x4 Green Monkey Encounter and said it was terrific, monkeys jumping out all over. I had seen the movie "Outbreak" too often to try that one, but apparently no casualties, as everyone showed up for dinner, 50's/60's night. By the way, they have done away with their "Baked Alaska Show" by the waiters. Apparently, some ship had a fire incident, and it was dropped for insurance reasons. They still served it, but no dance through the dining rooms. The evening show by the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers was better than the others earlier in the week. It featured theme songs from movies over the years. Day 7: Oct. 16 - Sea Day Sea days are always some of my favorite days as it allows you to relax, if you want, by the pool. The primary goal is to capture a deck chair before the prime locations are gone. My sister and I were up every morning at 6:30 a.m. to watch our arrival into each port, so it was no biggie to get up soon after that and grab a couple of chairs for our little group. One of us, at least, would hang out while the others breakfasted and arrived. (A pet peeve of mine is the ones who come down and put towels out to reserve chairs and then leave for hours until they finally show up again.) We had a good time in and out of the pool. My dear wife and I tried our hand at the slot machine tournament; I was close to the top ten, but alas...A noteworthy item, we made it through the whole cruise without one session at Bingo! Day 8: Oct. 17 - San Juan: arrival - 4:30 a.m. The disembarking was not as smooth as getting on, unfortunately. They have done away with using the luggage tag colors as departure time slots. You still get colored tags, but they are only used to determine the area of the baggage claim area to look for your bags. Everyone must leave their staterooms by 08:00. You are asked to stay either in Studio B (the ice skating theatre) or in the large Lyric Theatre (where the main shows are seen). Many hung out in the Promenade. If you had flights before 10:30 or 11:00, you were the first to be called (about 8:15), but they announced that you had to have your airline ticket or proof of the early flight. Eventually they announced (at about 09:00) flights earlier than 12:30 p.m., again with proof of your airline ticket. At 09:30 they announced flights earlier than 2:45 p.m. Well, that was a big majority (including us), and the line to get out became quite long. The procedure seemed to be that about 50-75 would be let off at a time to go to the next staging area. There were about 3 staging areas before you got to the actual customs area. The problem was that you would be in line standing still for 15-20 minutes, and then everyone would move up several feet; but in the back, we had no way of knowing why the line wasn't moving. By the time you got to the terminal gangway, several lines had merged which also kept things seemingly moving at a snail's pace. We finally got through customs at about 11:00, so about 1-1/2 hours of standing in line for that. The trip to the airport was pretty quick. But the Spirit Airline counter was backed up. Another hour to get through there. Only a ½ hour for security, so we were at the gate by about 1:00 p.m. for a 2:45 flight. Other tidbits Seeing how widespread the Plague of the Caribbean Taxi Driver is, I would discount any worries about venturing out on your own to do things on the Islands (at least the ones on this cruise). As long as you allow a reasonable amount of time to return, even a complete breakdown could be covered by the next taxi coming down the street, probably 100 feet away. Another point asked about a few times, the pool in the Solarium definitely does not have a roof over it. There are some "barber pole" type appendages that could possibly support a canvas cover of some sort, but I could not find any side anchors that would allow it to be stretched over the entire pool area. And the pools were salt water. The Adventure was in very good shape, save for some well worn carpet and upholstery. Not shabby, but definitely used. Some of the veneer on the desk was wearing down. The screws were coming out of the bathroom door closer. When I called maintenance on the first day, they came right away to fix it, but they were loose again and almost coming out by the end of the cruise. Our cabin attendant never stopped by to introduce herself. We would see a couple of RCCL people in the hallway, but never were sure which one was our attendant. That being said, the cabin was always in top condition, with fresh towels always there, ice in the ice bucket, towel animals every night, etc. How she did that anonymously was a wonder. We finally called her up on the last morning to give her the gratuity envelope and actually introduced us for the first time. I mentioned that most of the passengers were friendly, and she shouldn't be shy about talking to them. On other cruises we have had, the attendants have introduced themselves to us within the first couple of hours on the cruise. We heard at the airport that the Carnival Destiny lost its air conditioning half way through their cruise. I haven't seen any other reference to that, so I don't know if it was lost throughout the ship or just parts of it. However, seeing that most days were in the upper 80's, that would have made for an uncomfortable situation. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
We had a rocky start in San Juan. Dock workers strike, and parade for fighter upon arrival. After 6 hours in the airport we finally got to the ship. Check-in was a breeze. However US Airways had lost a bag. The one with the bathing suits ... Read More
We had a rocky start in San Juan. Dock workers strike, and parade for fighter upon arrival. After 6 hours in the airport we finally got to the ship. Check-in was a breeze. However US Airways had lost a bag. The one with the bathing suits of course. We tried to go to first seating dinner at 7:30, and were advised that we were too late. Imagine our surprise after spending 6 hours trapped in the airport. We had to have our first dinner in the Windjammer. Upon arriving at our room we found all of our luggage had arrived. Very nice accommodations. 8th deck w/deck. very convenient to all activities. Oh well time for bed. Day two at sea awesome weather. relaxed. received little goody try from captain to apologize for delay at airport. First seating at dinner very good meal. But iced tea was STRONG. Nice surprise in theatre, Mickey Dolenz from the Monkees and his sister. WOW Day three Aruba. Wife and I went bottom fishing what a neat experience. They fed us what we caught, as well as fillet. Day four Curacao swam w/the dolphins at the aquarium. This was the highlight of our trip. Day five at sea, massage (Oh boy) very relaxing. But would have liked a couples message with my wife, as we were celebrating our 26th anniversary. Iced tea still undrinkable. This was definitely a problem, as I am diabetic, and my selections are limited. Day six St. Maarten. We took water taxi and went to beach close to ship. Then lunch on ship, an SHOPPING for jewelry. Dinner in Portofino AWESOME. Well worth the $$$$$. Iced tea out of a can. Imagine that LOL. Last day St Thomas. Megans Bay (by taxi) nice day. Spent time with dinner companions. Disembarkation was simple. But wait in airport was boring, boring, boring. Around 5 hours again. Oh well i guess u cannot walk home from San Juan. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
Try and keep this short and sweet. Myself 42, wife 40, kids 9 and 10. What an awesome time. Ship is spectacular, food was great in all areas. Service was outstanding. Our Balcony room 9654 was a little tight for the 4 of us but ... Read More
Try and keep this short and sweet. Myself 42, wife 40, kids 9 and 10. What an awesome time. Ship is spectacular, food was great in all areas. Service was outstanding. Our Balcony room 9654 was a little tight for the 4 of us but definitely manageable. The balcony was great for catching sunrises and sunsets. Great place to relax and have a drink before dinner or after the kids were in bed. Embarkation: Got our bags at San Juan airport, grabbed a taxi and were on our way. We had our taxi driver stop so we could grab a six pack and some butts. Got to the cruise terminal and holy cow, the line snaked out the door, all the way down the side of the building, around the corner and went on forever. There was a rumor that the computers were down. Glad I grabbed a six pack to officially start the vacation while standing in line. Even though the line was huge, it moved reasonably fast and we got on the ship in about an hour. We did the St. Thomas route and planned on doing beach/snorkeling at each port with our 9 and 10 yr olds. The opinions of the snorkeling spots below are based on us being amateurs, first time for my kids outside of a pool snorkeling. St. Thomas, went to Coki beach. Beach and scenery were beautiful. Water was beautiful, crystal clear, fish everywhere, lots of coral pieces and shell fragments for the little ones to play with near the shoreline. Couple of places to get food and drinks and not too many beach vendors. This was by far out most favorite snorkeling stop of the 5 ports. Fish were in the water just waist deep but if you went over to the right side of the beach there were fish everywhere. Bring a couple of dog biscuits and they will swarm your hand. Don't forget your underwater camera like we did. Taxi from the pier was $25 each way with tip, 2 chairs were $10 for the day, we did not get an umbrella. St. Martin. We were originally going to go to the end of Orient beach where Pedros is because there is supposed to be a small reef area where you can snorkel. Taxi driver talked us into going to Dawn beach, said the snorkeling was better. The water was very cloudy at Dawn beach until you go out about 150 feet, a little far for our young ones. Once you got out there the visibility was a little better but the current was fairly strong and it took a little while to swim back in to shore. Only saw a handful of fish here and there. The beach itself is beautiful surrounded by timeshares and condos. There is a beach bar place with outdoor tables for lunch and drinks, can't remember the name but it looked cool and tropical. An umbrella and 2 chairs was $10 for the day. There was also a small shack to rent snorkel equipment and beach floats. Taxi was $25 with tip from the pier each way. Although it was a beautiful beach I would probably go somewhere else next time for snorkeling. Antigua. This was the only excursion we did. Went to Stingray city. We did the second excursion of the day. It's well organized. They bring you out to a fenced in area about a mile or so from shore. The water in the enclosed area varied from say 3 feet deep to about 10 feet. You get some decent interaction with the stingrays but it's all with the handlers who are guiding you along and pretty much holding them while you touch them. There is a small reef at the far end of the enclosure also where you can see some fish but it was pretty cloudy. Got a few pictures of stingrays underwater but I'm sure they'll end up being just shadows. We talked to some folks who did the first excursion of the day and they said the water was crystal clear so definitely go earlier if you can before the water is churned up. It was pretty fun and I'd do it again. They serve rum punch and regular punch at the end but it's only available for about 30 minutes until the pictures for you to purchase are ready. We did buy 4 pictures on a cd for $60, they were pretty cool. The excursion was $66 per person and they take you on a bus right from the pier. Went back to the pier and found this tropical looking little bar and had a couple of drinks while my daughters got their hair braided ($35 for her whole head, not too bad). St. Lucia. Unfortunately we needed a break from sun and beaches so we decided to just hang on the ship this day, did some of the activities on the ship and went to Johnny Rockets for lunch which was fun. Barbados. We went to Folkstone marine park. At first we felt a little out of place because when we got there it was all locals, the Barbados people are beautiful and very friendly but we almost felt like we were invading their turf. Folkstone doesn't have a very big beach but does have a beach area for swimming, the sitting area is up above the water line as most of the shoreline here is rock except for maybe a 100 foot beach. There are stairs that lead down into the water and another set of stairs that lead down to the beach. The park is setup with picnic tables and there are a couple of vendors selling shirts and stuff. They were also peddling tours in the park $40 per person to swim with the sea turtles, much cheaper than the ship's price. We decided to stay in the park and snorkel. The left side of water area in the park area is all rocks/reef. I never really saw any coral but more like rocks and rock type formations, it could have been coral but looked like rocks to me. Anyway, the water was kind of rough and with the rocks being only one or two feet down, they sent us over to the far right hand side of the enclosed water area to snorkel. Water was a little cloudy but saw a decent variety of fish. Later in the day the water over the left hand side of the reef calmed down and you only had to go 3 or 4 feet deep and there were fish everywhere. Lots of different varieties. The water was still a little rough and there were 2-3 foot swells but at least the breaking waves had stopped. The water here was still a little cloudy but decent enough that you could see what you wanted. On a good clear day this place would be awesome for inexperienced snorkelers like us 'cause once you were in the water all you had to do was put your head under and there were fish. Taxi $25 with tip each way. Carib beers at the little snack shack were $2, definitely worth going to again. Last day was on the ship, kids got to do the rock climbing wall and mini golf. Hung out at the pool and had a few drinks. Our kids didn't participate in the kids program at all but they weren't up our butts all the time either, we'd give them short time frames to go somewhere close or in the pool and then come back and check in with us. Food: We had breakfast in the Windjammer each day, good variety and good quality. Sometimes a little difficult to find a table though. The earlier you go the better. Lunch: We ate lunch off the ship on most days but would make it back toward the tail end of lunch. Always looked great and had a great variety, never really had much to eat on the ship at lunch besides maybe a sandwich or picky type food which was all good. Dinner: We totally enjoyed our dinner each night. Food was great and of comparable quality to what we had on the Carnival Glory in February. Our waiter and assistant were terrific. The head waiter even interacted with our table each night which was something different from our past experiences. The variety of food each night was different and interesting but not bizarre enough that you didn't want it. Entertainment: After being at the beach and swimming all day, the only show we made it to was the ice show, it was great. There was so much to do every night but we were usually tired and in bed by 10pm. Bar Bill: This was a real hotspot on this cruise for me. First day you could buy booze in the shop on board and bring it back to your room. I bought two bottles of rum for $9 per bottle for Parrot Bay and Bacardi orange. They also did charge me $9 PER bottle to bring it back to my room. My wife and I had a few drinks everyday and some nights after the kids were settled down in the room we'd hit the casino or just a bar for some drinks and dancing. Brought our two way radios with us and kept in touch with the kids. Our bill at the end of the cruise was $1100.00, about $200 for gifts the rest for booze and tips and we really didn't drink that much. Fancy drinks like a White Russian with tip were $9, vodka and cranberry were $7 plus tip. So in my opinion booze is very expensive. We only actually made one drink from the rum that I bought the first night, one of the bottles never even got opened. Disembarkation: They have everyone go to either the Blue Moon or Lyric Theatre to get ready to leave the ship. They tell you to be there at 8 but don't make announcements until 8:30. Once we were cleared by immigration at 8:30, they announced anyone with flights leaving up to 12:00 can get off. About 20 minutes later the next group goes, I think it was 12:00 to 2:00 flights. People who were not flying were asked to wait until all the flying passengers were off the ship. We were off in the first group. A small tip-- Wait at the top of the stairs to the Lyric theater, when they call your group, get in the line to the left to get off the ship. Once off the ships you have to go to customs, stay to the lines on the right if possible. We got shuffled to the line on the left where there was only one person working. There were 3 people working the line on the right which moved 10 times faster than our line it seemed. Took us about 45 minutes to get through customs. Once through customs, went into the warehouse and miraculously found our bags in just a couple of minutes. Got our bags, went outside, got a taxi and were off to the airport (about $25 with tip depending on how many bags). Got to the airport about 9:30, it was pretty quiet. Got our bags checked with USAir, we were 5th in line, went to security, about 10th in line, got through that and were at our gate at 9:50. About 30 minutes later all hell broke loose, security line was hundreds of people long and the check-in counters were jammed with long lines. Must be once all the busses arrive. So even though we had a couple of hours to kill, it was worth getting there early just to not have the long line stress levels. There were a few gift shops and snack places in the terminal so at least you could do something. There was a bar in the terminal but it didn't open until 11:00 and by twelve the line was out the door so go early if you want a drink. Our flight got delayed twice and had three gate changes so make sure you keep up with what's going on with your flight if you can. Overall: Terrific time, beautiful ship, Caribbean was smooth as glass, hardly ever felt the ship move. AC in the room worked great. Water was always a brownish color though but I drank it anyway. We loved being able to check out the different ports but it leaves you tired after 2 or 3 days. I remember reading about public buses and stuff to get you around on the islands but we never had enough knowledge or felt comfortable enough to use them so ended up using taxis. We probably spent about $100-$150 per day by the time we were done with taxis, beach chairs, gifts, couple of drinks and lunch or snacks. If I could go on this itinerary again I would say yes faster than you could get the question out of your mouth. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2004
Southern Caribbean Cruise 10-11-04 Royal Caribbean Cruise Line October 3, 2004 6th cruise (5th with RCCL) Crown and Anchor Member Adventure of the Seas Sailing from Puerto Rico For the first time, we stayed at an AmeriSuites hotel and ... Read More
Southern Caribbean Cruise 10-11-04 Royal Caribbean Cruise Line October 3, 2004 6th cruise (5th with RCCL) Crown and Anchor Member Adventure of the Seas Sailing from Puerto Rico For the first time, we stayed at an AmeriSuites hotel and took advantage of the sleep, fly, park program that they offered. It was great. You are going to have to spend money to park your car anyway at the airport, so you might as well spend that money on a room and park for free for the week. They transported us to the airport the next morning right by the curb of American Airline. We were not as tired at the end of the day. The first day can be very long. The flights were probably as good as they could be with one exception. My husband and I both had window seats. On one flight he was to be up one or two rows in front of me. A small child had taken his seat so the attendant put him in an aisle seat four rows up in front of me. My window seat had no bargaining power. I tried. On the next flight, we had a three-hour lay over in Miami (not much fun). Again, we both had window seats. Again our seats had no bargaining power. We both tried to exchange seats with other people. He was on one side of the plane and I was on the other side seven seats away and two aisles. I am not sure what was up with the window seat "thing," but we could have cared less about the window seats. It would have been nicer to have been sitting together. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) made all of our reservations. I am sure that we did not request window seats. Once we arrived in Puerto Rico (PR), this is where we become Decrowned & Unanchored. (a spoof from the so called Crown and Anchor Society that we belong to with RCCL). We got our luggage and found the RCCL people waiting for us and all the others. Only one catch. It is now 3:30- 4:00 and the ship, Adventure of the Seas (AOTS) still has its passengers on board from the previous cruise. RCCL tells all of us that it may be 8:00 pm before we can board. They are not really sure of everything that is going on back at the pier. It is obvious that they are anxious over the entire situation. Needless to say there were a lot of unhappy campers. There were a lot of questions asked and RCCL couldn't really answer all of them. RCCL just kept saying that there was a strike at the pier and the previous passengers could not leave the ship and therefore we could not board. Apparently some hotel in town had over two thousand people waiting in a ballroom to board just like us. The hotel was full, so we had to wait at the airport. Apparently the pier had all of the people it could handle waiting just like us. We questioned if we could take a taxi. We were told that the taxis were on strike. We were told that if we left the airport, that we would not be allowed back in. We were told the airport was not cooperating with RCCL, either. We only had pretzels all day and were hungry. Finally, after so many people had complained for so long RCCL went and got us some food. We apparently could not get it for ourselves, they had to get it for us. RCCL took four orders at a time. We got to choose from hot dogs, nachos, and drink. And yes, we had to pay for it. When they brought the food back, of course the hot dogs were not ready so only half of our order got filled. By the time RCCL was working on the 3rd to 4th order, they said we could go. The time is now 6:30 pm. It was kind of them to bring us food. Thanks Sacha! (RCCL employee). The one thing that everyone noticed was that Carnival and Princess was not having the same problem. We spoke to several of those employees at the airport and they didn't know what we were talking about. They were not having any problems getting their cruisers off of the ship and on the ship. It was apparent that it was an RCCL problem only. We were told a variety of things; 1) some boxer in town had won a fight and everyone was partying, 2) taxis were on strike, 3) teamsters strike at the pier and so on. It would be nice to know the truth. We were told that most of the passengers on the previous cruise had missed their flights and that RCCL was having to make new reservations for everyone. RCCL kept saying "not to worry, we are taking care of it". Once we got to the pier what appeared to be a major mess actually was not as bad as it could have been. We were only about 30 minutes getting through the lines and on our way to the ship. It was the first time that we had our arrival photo taken in the dark. Most people behaved rather well trying to not cut lines and go as quickly as possible having their documents out. Most were trying to be kind in a difficult situation. On Monday, I had left my robe and pajamas on the bed. When we came back to the room, they were not to be found. I looked around, under, and behind everything. I finally called the attendant. He came in and looked also. He then called someone (the person that had actually done our room; not him). Of course the conversation was not in English. Once off of the phone, he went around the bed on the balcony side reached down behind the nightstand between the wall and balcony curtain and brought up my robe and pajamas. I just stood there with my mouth open! How could that have happened? I was speechless. It was Tuesday night that we got our first mints- yeah! Our pool towels were taken away and not replaced on Monday after our day at sea. We had to sign for towels poolside just to have towels the next day. The towels reappeared then the next day. On Monday, I asked for the drink special advertised at $5.95 in the compass and was charged $10.29. They were to correct the charge. I am still waiting. We had always been told that muster had to be done the first day. It was required before the ship could go out to sea or so many miles away from port. Just to let you know, we did not do muster until 10:30 the next morning. What if something had happened that night? I was amazed. I honestly think that the atmosphere was not conducive to muster on Sunday anyway after all the problems with just getting on board. There were a lot of unhappy people with a lot of talking going on. I am still amazed that muster was really put off until the next morning. Right after the muster, the cruise director announced that ice show tickets were available NOW. Come and get your ticket NOW. Do you know how many people were pushing and shoving to get those tickets? It was total chaos. Why did he choose that time to make such an announcement? Maybe he wanted us to NOT forget the day before too quickly! We scheduled a bike ride exploration for Tuesday on Aruba. It was around 3:30 pm on Monday that we got a call stating that it had been cancelled. RCCL stated that they had just received a notice that the exploration had been cancelled. Funny thing though, an envelope with a letter stating the cancellation had been delivered much earlier that morning. Now if they had JUST received a notice, who knew hours earlier that morning and took the time to type up a letter and get it to our room? The truth is much easier to deal with! Makes you wonder if the exploration was ever really available in the first place. Humm-mm-mm. The dinner menu one night had listed Rib Eye. I love rib eye steaks. What you order and what you get are sometimes different. I got prime rib. How does one get Rib Eye and Prime Rib mixed up? I am not a meat cutter but I know when I go to a restaurant and order Rib Eye I don't usually get Prime Rib. Prime Rib was available one other night and it was listed as Prime Rib. Go figure. The Beef Tip was excellent on the one night. It melted in my mouth. It was great! Room Service was good. Food was good. Service was timely. Good job. We are big coffee drinkers in the morning so we learned to order two coffees. The cream was really special for me. Thanks. This was our first cruise with a balcony. It would be nice if RCCL could put all the smokers on one side or at the back. Not everyone enjoys cigar and cigarette smoke, especially the stinky cigar smoke. We could not go out on the balcony one night as the gentleman one deck down and one room over really enjoyed his cigar. The wind blew his smoke right up to us. I hope he enjoyed his cigar at our cost of not getting to enjoy our balcony. He ruined our night. He was smoking one other time, but the smoke was not blowing up to us. One day we went to the solarium. It is so nice. We were in the pool. We had placed our shoes at the side. When we were finished, my husband's shoes were gone. We found them later off to the side of the ship. A little annoying! We had asked for a cheese tray to be at our table for dinner. We are still waiting for the first tray. Yes, we could have asked again, but after a while; it is just not worth repeating. We had no problem getting a cheese tray each night on the Majesty. Thanks Majesty. The toilet in our room would not flush on two different days. The toilets in other areas on the ship were not flushing either. The one ladies room on either 4th or 5th, I forget, was totally disgusting. They apparently had already closed two stalls as the door showed occupied and no one was in either of them. That left one stall open and guess what? You are right- it didn't flush either. Why would they close some and not all? We were late for dinner as I had to go back to my room to use the bathroom. Luckily, ours was working. We had never had that problem before. It is hard to believe that you are on a 500 million dollar ship and the toilets won't flush. The water is another issue. Our water for the entire week was yellow. Finally the last day, I took a photo of a wash cloth to show the color of the water. In the morning when you first turned on the water in the sink it would stain the cloth. I am not joking. I will enclose photos if I can to show you. Some other cruisers were saying the same thing about their rooms. Those traveling above the 7th floor didn't seem to have the problem as badly. I used the laundry service for the first time. I needed my gown pressed for one of the formal nights. The service was excellent. My gown was pressed very nicely and only cost $4.00. Thanks. RCCL really took care of me on that. One night my husband and other table guest ordered extra lobster. They got it without any problems. Head server was more than glad to get it for them. We were second dining guests. We also ordered extras on other nights and had no problems getting anything that we wanted. Now, drinks were a different thing. The first and second nights we were never asked if we wanted anything else to drink. Water was an automatic. Tea was different. Finally the third night we were asked re: drink orders and didn't have any other problems. The one guest liked beer. I heard him say he had waited an hour and still hadn't seen his second beer. To get seconds on drinks you had to ask at least once or twice and wait awhile. They really wanted to push the wine. Apparently the head servers were in charge of the wine as they apparently had done away with the wine stewards (this is what we were told by RCCL). We were also glad that the captain only came to dinner once for the entire week. Our service was not so great the night he was there. Not sure why!! Our head server offered choices and he was usually right. He had good taste. He also gave us tips re: the ports each night to prepare us for the next day. We got more information from him then anyone re: just stuff in general about taxi fares, where to go, what to shop for and not shop for, etc. He had a lot of good information. The assistant server was okay. No one at the table could understand anything that he said. He just mumbled and muttered all the time. It is funny how we can still remember our very first head server and assistant server from our very first cruise. LeeAnn and Amin were great. I might remember this waiter in years to come. There was just something special about LeeAnn and Amin. Maybe because it was our first cruise. (Servers names intentionally left out.) Another thing that I noticed about service on the ship-- We stood in line for the service desk. It is roped off and states to enter here and exit here. We were about the 4th people back to get waited on. The line was moving well. We were up to the 2nd people to be waited on and a group of 4-5 came right up to one of the clerks without waiting in any lines and believe it or not, the clerk waited on them. How rude. Maybe not so much rude for the group of 4-5 people as it could have been a language issue to understand where to go or what to do; but major rude for the clerk to proceed to wait on them instead of directing them to the line like everyone else. Also, at the coffee cafe a lady was placing an order for pizza. She was getting food for several. There was hardly any pizza out. The trays were about empty. The server found more pizza to meet the order. The lady continued to place orders for sandwiches and desserts. The server stopped serving the lady and started to clean up the empty pizza trays and restock the area and finally as in a theatrical production acted like she didn't know that the lady was still standing there waiting to be served. The lady and I both were taken back by the server's intentional attitude of not serving the customer. Could the cleaning up and restocking been done after completing the service to the one customer? The server could have easily asked me to wait, as I was next in line. Very rude! At one port we were right by the Golden Princess. I stood in amazement one morning watching this lady prepare the breakfast table on the balcony. There was enough room on the table for 2 coffee containers, 2 plates, 2 coffee cups, and tableware. There were four chairs on the balcony. Two were large with cushions that appeared to recline. Two chairs were just regular sitting chairs. There appeared to be three tables, two small and one large. Our balcony had two sitting chairs without cushions. The table would hold service for one. We both ate with our plates in our laps, our coffee cups on the floor, our juice glasses on the side rail by the window. We put the coffee pots on the floor along with the sugar container and cream. The plate covers were also put on the floor. The table was used to hold the tray that had the fruit, jellies, pastries, etc. Do you get the picture? It is not a good idea to get room service if you aren't willing to eat it like you are on a picnic. The table needs to be larger. Speaking of our balcony. I got a drink during the week. The day we left the ship, the glass from that drink at least 3 days prior was still on the deck with the straw still in the glass. HUM -mm-mm. The ship in general appeared to be dirty. The buttons for the elevators were consistently filthy. Speaking of elevators- the elevators would be full and believe it or not at the next stop 2 or 3 would manage to get on. You would think that there wasn't going to be another elevator all day with the way some people insisted that they just had to get on just because the doors opened. There should be some sort of an alarm. One man loudly stated, " We are already packed in here like sardines". It didn't matter. Of course the others probably didn't speak English at that moment in their life. St. Thomas and Meagan's Bay- the beach is nice. Too bad that the locals decided to play their boom box the day we were there. I don't mind music, even loud music; but that constant boom, boom, boom that vibrates your body is more than I can take. I stood it for two hours. I couldn't take it any longer. We left. We had spent $12.00 to get to the beach, $6.00 to get in, $11.00 to rent a chair and mat (not counting the deposit), and $8.00 for pizza and drink. Now don't forget to add in another $12.00 to get back to the ship. Grand total is $39.00 for two hours. We asked one of the bar ladies about the noise. Her first comment was yeah it is annoying. It is just what the locals like to do. When we went into the shop to get our deposit back for the chair and mat rental, my husband explained to them re: the boom, boom, boom. He explained that we would have like to stayed longer, but couldn't tolerate the vibrating boom, boom, boom. The lady in the shop just looked at us. For some reason, no one seemed to care what we thought. RCCL staff would ask things like-" are you enjoying yourselves" and "are you having a good time"? We would start to explain some of the things that just seem to not be of standard for RCCL and they would totally ignore our statements. I actually told one lady in the casino that this was probably the worst trip that I had ever been on. She had absolutely no comment at all. She changed the subject quickly. If RCCL doesn't want to know, then they really shouldn't ask. I could handle that better. My husband and I both thought that the food in the Windjammer was not like it use to be. Hot dogs with saukraut and hamburgers were the main items. I remember a much better variety in years past. The Crown and Anchor coupon book had less appeal to me this year as well. The booklet states; "savings as big as the adventure you'll find on every cruise". On the inside cover there is a statement re: " it's also our way at RCI of showing you how much we appreciate your loyalty". Let me tell you about some of the coupons- 1) 10% off of one spa or salon service, 2) one single jackpot bingo card- but note that it can't be used at the jackpot (does that make sense), 3) wine tasting (my husband doesn't drink), 4) buy $10.00 of slots and get $2.00 free, 5) 5% off of RCCL logo merchandise, 6) wine discount of 10% (only for wine under $50.00) after you buy one bottle, and 7) Ben and Jerry's 25% off after you buy one and some others re: coffee, photos. Someone else reading this might help my memory, but I believe that in years past the gift shop coupon was for 10% on any merchandise from the gift shop, not just RCCL logo mdse. Correct me if I am wrong. Correct me on this as well, please. I asked some other cruisers why there was a special night just for "Latin". There was a Latin parade and some special Latin performance in one of the lounges. I didn't remember any of this from before. I was told that since we left from PR that RCCL offers some big savings to the people of PR if the ship is not full. One couple told us that the tickets on Saturday sold for $250.00. I believe that the cruise director told us that over 600 cruisers on board were from PR. That is good for them. I am glad that they got the opportunity to save. I paid $3,048.30 for the two of us. Did I get a special parade or special entertainment in a lounge? NO! One night I went down to the photo gallery to see our photos. I looked for about 10-15 minutes and finally asked one of the staff if all of the photos were out. They assured me that all photos were out. I explained that I had been looking and could not find any of mine. I was told to just keep looking. After another 10 minutes, I went to another RCCL employee and asked the same question and got the same answer. At this point I was getting a little upset. I looked again for another few minutes. I went back to the last RCCL employee again and asked if they could find the negatives, as the photos were not anywhere to be found. He sighed did an eye roll and followed me. I explained that I had put all of our photos together the day before and that they were now nowhere to be found. I showed him the wall where I had last left them. He smiled (smirked) and proceeded to pull out a wall that had been shut with all of our photos right where I had left them. I was furious! If the first employee had helped me a little more, it would have saved me a lot of frustration. Yes the photos were out, but how was I to know that I should have unlocked the door that held our photos from behind? That was not my job. I wonder how many others had looked for their photos? The wall was full of photos on two sides after the door was opened. Hum-mm-mm. On the last day while going through customs, they had us in groups. So many were allowed downstairs to form a line to get through customs. If you are familiar with this process you will understand how everyone goes as quickly as possible to get this job done and over with. Now visualize two escalators full of people and being routed in 5-6 different directions. Now visualize the room full and people still coming down the escalators with no place to go. Got the picture. It was about to be a trampling accident waiting to happen. RCCL kept loudly saying, don't stop at the bottom of the escalators, keep moving. What RCCL didn't realize is just where were the people supposed to go? The room was packed. They had no emergency button to push to stop the escalators. It was a bit scary just watching the people running into each other let alone being one of them. Also, our line was not moving at all. An elderly couple was at the front of the line and was just not fast enough to get a running start before someone from another line jumped in front of them. People were coming over from three rows away to get to the agent intended for our line. Finally someone noticed what was going on and went up to the man and woman and verbally encouraged them to move! They were so worried about cutting line and getting in front of someone. How kind of them. RCCL should have people down there doing some coordination with who goes where and when. One of the couples at our table felt that the Captain was not personable. It really didn't matter to me, but apparently it did to others. They stated that on other cruises the Captain would walk around meeting and greeting people on the ship. He made himself visible to the public. This Captain certainly did not. Honestly, he was probably afraid to. We did receive a plate with a few goodies on it, a postcard of the ship, and a card taking the opportunity to thank us for our patience and understanding with the events that occurred on boarding day. RCCL regretted that the boarding process was not up to their standards and understands that the labor dispute that arose unexpectedly on Sunday complicated our arrival onboard and may had impacted the beginning of our vacation experience. RCCL hoped that we would enjoy the rest of our cruise. At the airport in PR, the gentleman was very kind to fix our previous seating problem and got us seats together for both flights home. Thanks! Well to make this long story short, I guess one could say that it was the combination of a lot of little things that just kept going on and on all week that really bothers the both of us. The ordeal at the airport was unbelievable. Why wasn't Carnival and Princess affected? The inconsistencies that we got as to what the real problem was is a little puzzling as well. I have invested a lot of money with Royal Caribbean. We both have full time jobs and work hard. We take one vacation, one week off for the entire year and I have to say, this past week was not at all what I envisioned. Yellow water and non-functioning toilets on a 500 million dollar ship is totally ridiculous. We usually book our next cruise prior to leaving the ship. This is the first year of three that we did not. I am not sure what loyalty I will have with RCCL. I have encouraged many of my friends and family members to use RCCL and I know that many have. Now I have to take a serious look as to what I will do in the future. I am afraid that I am currently Decrowned and Unanchored with the Crown and Anchor Society of RCCL. The yearly vacations were something that I looked forward to all year. I have been "glowing" over the excitement of this cruise and now I just feel numb. What do I say when my co-workers (approx. 100 men and women) and my husband's co-workers (approx. 30 men and women) ask us how was our vacation? Do we tell them the truth? Do we give RCCL an exception this time? What if our friends go on a cruise and experience what we did. I would feel somewhat responsible. I heard several first time cruisers say that they probably would not go on another cruise. I am not sure how royal the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is now. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2004
This was our 3rd RCI cruise. This was the most disappointing cruise ever. Normally our favorite place on RCI cruises is the Schooner Bar, which on this ship, was empty every night. Not sure if it was because the piano player wasn't ... Read More
This was our 3rd RCI cruise. This was the most disappointing cruise ever. Normally our favorite place on RCI cruises is the Schooner Bar, which on this ship, was empty every night. Not sure if it was because the piano player wasn't very good, or if the ship cliental didn't prefer that. The Latin bar was the most popular. RCI employees did say that the Schooner Bar on this ship was not as popular as it is on other ships. I will have to agree. Our favorite was on the Mariner (piano player was outstanding). Talked to several RCI employees, all seem to be new to RCI. Felt like this was the training ship for RCI. Service wasn't great. Although, our stateroom attendant was awesome! RCI employees also confirmed that the cruise is heavily discounted to the local Puerto Ricans. Our ship was 80/20. We definitely felt in the minority. I hate to say it, but people on this ship give Puerto Rico a bad name. The men were the most classless people I have ever seen. Several times, my daughter felt violated by their stares and comments. My daughter usually hits the disco and meets people her own age to hang out with on the rest of the cruise. However, this time she didn't feel comfortable out on her own. Food was well below average. We have sailed on the Explorer and the Mariner before and the food was outstanding. Talked with people that were sailing on the Golden Princess. They said their cruise was full of local Puerto Ricans as well. I will sail with RCI again out of another port. If I ever want to do another Southern cruise out of Puerto Rico, I will make sure we get with a large group of people. Did not hit any shows, except the Ice Show. The Ice Show was great. The Love & Marriage & Quest were great as well. Comments from other passengers were that the production shows were not up to par. The best thing about this cruise was we got plenty of rest. We also found out when we got there we had been upgraded to a balcony cabin. This is where our stateroom attendant was at his best. All of our luggage had been tagged for our original room. We told him, and within 30 mins he had our luggage in our room. The downfall is we asked the gentleman at check in what we need to do about our luggage. He directed us to another line, and when we finally got thru the line, we were told to talk with our stateroom attendant. Recommend a shore excursion the day of disembarkation. You get off the ship quicker, and very few people in search of their luggage at the same time. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2004
Let me begin by giving you a little background. I am 43 years old and this was my 12th cruise (4th with RCI). DW (40) and I did this one alone. Since this is my review, most of the observations will be from my perspective, so you will find ... Read More
Let me begin by giving you a little background. I am 43 years old and this was my 12th cruise (4th with RCI). DW (40) and I did this one alone. Since this is my review, most of the observations will be from my perspective, so you will find me bouncing between we and I in the details that follow. We had early seating (6:00) in the Mozart dining room at a table for 2. I am one of the few (on this board) who choose to fly in on the day the cruise sails. Out of 12 cruises, I have only gone in early twice (New Orleans & Hawaii) for pre cruise tours and activities. My cruise began on Saturday, November 20 at 6:00 p.m., as DW and I drove to Philadelphia for our flights to San Juan. Went to Geno's Steaks for a REAL Philly Cheese steak (overrated). We stayed in the Microtel Hotel and took advantage of their stay and park program. I did arrange my own air, and I chose PHL over BWI and saved $200 per person. We had very short lines for check-in and security. The plane left at 7:00 and we arrived at SJU ground transportation at about 11:30 a.m. We were on our way (via taxi--$21.50 for 2) to the ship by 11:40 a.m. We arrived at the Port of San Juan around 12:15 (a lot of traffic around the port). The check-in line was short, and check-in took about 10 minutes. Unfortunately, they were still disembarking so we were directed to the chairs for Suites and C & A Diamond/Platinum members. We were in the front row! Had to wait about 45 minutes before they started boarding. DW and I were the 2nd and 3rd ones on the ship! I chose a JS cabin (1312). This room is located on the beginning of the hump (starboard) deck 10, between 2 suites. The balcony is very private, and for the first time (because of its location) I didn't have to leave my balcony for smoking neighbors. My only complaint here is that the balcony is very narrow (see pictures on webshots). After we dropped off our carry-ons, went to the Windjammer for lunch. After lunch, we explored the ship. Adventure of the Seas is a beautiful ship, but some of the deck lounge chairs were downright disgusting. If they can't be cleaned, they should be replaced. The shows The welcome aboard show was a real clunker. The juggler was pretty bad, but the comedian was OK. Then we got highlights of Velvet Rope and Can't Stop The Rock. For me, they were low lights, and I didn't bother going to any of the shows. I did go to the Quest Game, which is always a blast. I saw the Love & Marriage show on RC-TV. It was really funny too—I'm sorry I missed it in person. The Food The food was great. It was always hot (very) when it arrived at our table. Our headwaiter was Lloyd, and his assistant was Steven. At the first dinner, I asked for lemonade, and we had it the rest of the cruise w/o having to ask. For some reason, there was a shortage of lemonade, so Steven arranged to get syrup from one of the bars. He made the lemonade for us each night. The formal nights were Monday and Thursday. I only had dinner in the dining room, preferring to have breakfast & lunch at the buffet. The buffet food was good. We also used our free coupon to try Johnny Rockets, and it was good also. It seems that the wait staff is a bit over worked. While our service was good, (food always hot) I have NEVER seen a headwaiter have to pitch in and help so much. This headwaiter actually earned his tip. My only complaint about the Windjammer is that if you go during prime time, forget about finding a place to sit. The Ports Since this was our third southern Caribbean cruise, my goal was to relax and enjoy the beaches. In Aruba, we went to Palm Beach and spent the day there. It was not crowded, but we had to deal with several passing showers. In Curacao, we just walked around the town and shopped (since we had passing showers here too, DW wasn't about to let her hair get messed up—so no more beaches). In St. Maarten, we shopped (both DW and I purchased new watches). We also went to Lucky Too gift shop where we purchased alcohol. This place has the best prices (see the picture—St. Maarten 11 on webshots). After shopping, we returned to the ship to drop of our bags, and then hit the island again. Then it happened—we took a tour of the Divi Resort. In St. Thomas, we went shopping again. This was the only day that it didn't rain!! Disembarkation What a sharp contrast to what I experienced on Carnival! It may be the fact that I chose to take a RCI San Juan (Old San Juan and Bacardi) tour, so we were the second group off the ship. We were cleared to leave the ship at 8:25 a.m., had our luggage by 8:40, and were on the tour bus by 8:45. If you have a late flight, I highly recommend taking an RCI tour in San Juan. The tour left at 9:10 a.m. and we arrived at the airport at 1:30 p.m. There was a short line to check in at American, and then it was off to the AA Admiral's club. Purchased a Day pass to the Admiral's club ($75 for 2) where there were comfortable lounge chairs, light refreshments and TVs (so I could watch the football game). DW thought $75 was a lot to pay, but quickly changed her mind when she saw how crowded the gate area was when we went to board the plane. I also had a T Mobile hotspot day pass, ($9.99) so I could surf the web while waiting in the Admiral's club. In conclusion Like all my cruises, this was very enjoyable and relaxing. For those who worry about cruising over a holiday, I did not see a lot of unruly children. In fact, most of the children I encountered were well behaved. Also, there have been a lot of negative reviews regarding the number of Puerto Rican citizens on ships out of San Juan. My observation was that there was a few that were loud and obnoxious, and some were rude, (not moving out of the way, sitting on stairwells) but that didn't deter me from my ultimate goal—having a nice relaxing vacation. I was disappointed that no Christmas decorations went up during the week. The all-important questions are: · Will I cruise over Thanksgiving again? Absolutely! Booked Serenade of the Seas for Thanksgiving 2005. · Will I cruise RCI again? Heck Yeah! I should attain Diamond status after the Serenade cruise, then I'll try Celebrity and Princess. · Remember; take this review with a grain of salt. Your cruise is what YOU make of it. What you have read are my personal views and opinions, which will help you when you cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2004
11/12/04 - Friday My friend Sandra flew into Orlando from Colorado. Picked her up from the airport at 5:30 p.m. 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 ... Read More
11/12/04 - Friday My friend Sandra flew into Orlando from Colorado. Picked her up from the airport at 5:30 p.m. 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 8:00 a.m. 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 9:00 a.m., scheduled to be there at 9:15 a.m. Packed up the van and off we went to the airport. Our flight was on Spirit Airlines at 12:05 p.m. We arrived at the airport before 10:00 a.m. 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 11:40 a.m. Were off the ground on time. Arrived in San Juan at 4:00 p.m. 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 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. every evening. We had a great time meeting everyone and getting to know each other. Ron was supposed to land at 2:20 p.m., prior to our arrival, but because of delays due to snow in Rhode Island, he did not make it to San Juan until 11:30 p.m. 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 7:00 p.m. 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 11:30 p.m. 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 8:30 the next morning. 11/14/04 - Sunday Day of departure. We all met for breakfast at 8:30-9:00 a.m. 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 11:00 a.m. There were on time and we were off for the pier by 11:00 a.m. 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 3:00 p.m. 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 5:00 p.m. 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 9:00 p.m. We had late seating and the first night was at 9:00 p.m. and all other nights were at 8:30 p.m. 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 party was tonight at 5:00 p.m. We all met around 4:30 p.m. 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. RCI 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 SoufflE. 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 Cafe Promenade for coffee and then went to bed around 1:30 a.m. 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 7:30 a.m. Eggs Benedict and salmon plate (YUMMY). We were off the ship by 8:45 a,m, 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 7:00 p.m. They 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 soufflE, seafood soup, mushroom pasta, halibut and Tiramisu. Tonight's 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. 11/17/04 - Wednesday - Curacao. Docked around 8:00 a.m. Raining outside again. Slept in until 8:00 a.m. 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 Cafe 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 3:00 p.m. for some lunch at the Windjammer. After lunch I went to the gym 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 workout it was time to start getting ready for dinner. The show tonight was Velvet Rope and was at 7:00 p.m. 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 too 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 RCI's food that caused it... but will let Bobby tell the full story. 11/18/04 - Sea Day. Slept in until 8:30 a.m. Went to the dining room for breakfast at 9:30 a.m. 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 quesadilla. 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 5:00 p.m. The ice show was pretty good. Can't believe the tricks they can do on such a small area of ice. Went the Cafe 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. Maarten 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 10:00 a.m. 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 1:00 p.m. 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 4:00 p.m. for snacks and coffee at Cafe 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 afterward. We sailed at 5:30 p.m. 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 breathtaking. The show tonight was at 7:00 p.m. before dinner. "Can't Stop the Rock," was not impressed at all with this production show. After the show was dinner at 8:30 p.m. 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 12:30 a.m. 11/20/04 - Saturday - St. Thomas. Were up at 6:30 a.m. for immigration check. Went down at 7:00 a.m. and the line was huge. But it went really fast. We were out in about 10 minutes, it was amazing they went that 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 9:00 a.m. and were back around 1:00 p.m. 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 7:00 p.m. 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 8:00 p.m. 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 1:30 a.m. trying to spend all the time we could together. Couldn't keep our eyes open anymore so headed to bed. 11/21/04 - Disembarkation Day. We were up and ready for breakfast by 7:30 a.m. 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 2:00 p.m. 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 porter 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 10:00 a.m. Our flight was on American at 1:14 p.m. 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 12:40 p.m. We were ready for take off by 1:00 p.m. And no wait for take off. The flight was uneventful. They played Spiderman 2 for the flight home. Landed in Orlando at 3:00 p.m. 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 goodbyes 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 residents of Puerto Rico or what? Many people have confirmed that RCI 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. Read Less
Adventure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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