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Old June 8th, 2004, 11:34 PM
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Default Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Just got off the 5/30 AOS sailing. Am happy to answer any questions you may have.

- Jeff
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Old June 9th, 2004, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Hi,
I have a few questions..
How was the food?
What did you do in the ports?
What kind of stateroom did you have? My friend and I have an Atrium view, and my parents have a balcony across the hallway. I'm worried about the privacy/size of the Atrium view cabin.
Any other details that others may find helpful.
Thanks!

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Old June 9th, 2004, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Hello Tauruschick,

The food was good, no complaints there. I hear a lot of people complain about food and I have come to the conclusion that (in most cases) it depends on your expectations. If you expect 5 star, white glove service and meals you will be disappointed. On a scale of 1 to 5 I would rate the food and dining service a 4 for this cruise (and overall 3-4 start on rccl in general). We always had good food and service was good but I can't say great because there are times where I felt the waiters had too many guests to tend to. That may be because we were with a group of 10 with 3 small children who don't like to sit very long and have a lot of extra needs so we required a lot of attention.

As for ports, we took the Aruba, Curaco, St. Martin, St. Thomas route. We did a tour in each city as follows:

1. Aruba - See and Sea tour
Nice tour and would do again. They take you to a boat that lets you see underwater and you get to see a shipwreck. If you are at all prone to sea sickness take medicine before the trip. If it is rough like when we went it is easy to feel quesy on that boat. After the boat, you take a bus tour of the island.

2. Curaco
We went snorkeling by boat. It was pretty neat because the spot they stopped had lots of coral, lots of fish and a sunken tugboat to look at. After that we walked around town. It is pretty nice there and was nice surprise for us.

3. St. Martin
We took an island tour in the morning and did the Americas Cup in the afternoon. I would rate the island tour as so-so and the Americas Cup as excellent.

4. St. Thomas
We did the St. Johns beach tour. This was an excellent tour. I highly recommend taking a tour to St. John whether it is the beach tour or the island tour. St. John is probably the prettiest island of all.

As for staterooms, we had 4 of them. An E1 balcony, a D1 balcony, a JS suite and a royal family suite. While I have not stayed in an atrium room, I have seen them and they are decent size and very manageable for 2 people. The windows overlook the promenade and if you open the curtains people can see in. I always see everyone leave the curtains closed unless they are actively sitting there watching what is going on. They do have parades down the promenade on 2 nights that you can get a great view of from your room. Better than being on the promenade as you get sandwiched in and may not see much. If you go to bed early you may be able to hear the parade from your room, but it only last 10-15 minutes.

Not sure what else I can tell you as I don't know if you have been on many cruises before or other voyager ships. Just have a great time, it is a nice ship. If you have any more questions let me know.

- Jeff
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Old June 9th, 2004, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Did you order from room service? How was the menu selection? How abot for breakfast and late evening?

What time do they actually start boarding?

Did you leave from the airport on Sunday? How was it?

Thanks, Heidi

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Old June 9th, 2004, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Thank you so much. I have been on the Navigator, and I really loved it. I am exctied for the Adventure!

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Old June 10th, 2004, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Hello Heidi,

We did order room service for breakfast one day. There are cards in the room that you hang on the door at night for the next morning. They have a limited selection, but we have sometimes written in things not listed and still gotten them as long as you are asking for something readily available. Other than breakfast I can't help much as I have never used room service any other time. I always go to the promenade cafe if I need something after hours.

As for boarding, they did not start letting people on the ship till 1:30, but I would get in line long before that if you can, We showed up at 11:30 or so and I'll bet several hundred people were in front of us and by the time 1:30 hit there was a line longer than I could see. I have heard people say they have gotten on AOS earlier so it likely changes from week to week. We saw people getting off the last cruise until about 1:00 so I can only assume there were some delays there.

As for the airport, we arrived and departed on Sundays. Arriving the airport was very busy by baggage claim as there are 3 ships loading up that day. There was a mess of people waiting for buses from the cruise line. We took cabs with no wait at all. Traffic was a mess, especially at the pier.

When leaving, we took a rain forest tour before going to the airport. When we arrived at 3:00, the airport was dead and there was no line for anything.

Let me know if you have more questions. Have a great cruise. AOS is a nice ship.

- Jeff
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Old June 12th, 2004, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Hi All,

I also just got back from AOS 5/30 sailing. The ship is beautiful and in great shape. My family wished we are still on board. I had a Junior Suite facing aft. The balcony is huge but there is no wind. We did not use it at all and the next time will know better to avoid the aft balcony cabin. In Aruba, we rented a Jeep for $85 and drove all over the island. In Curacao, we snorkel in the Seaaquarium where you can feed the fishes, sharks, turtles. Curacao is beautiful and the shopping is great too; we were surprised. In St Maarten, we took the catamaran snorkel tour; the boat stopped in Mullet Bay instead of Pinel Island because the sea was rough. Mullet Bay is very pretty. In St. Thomas, we took the Buck Island snorkel tour on a sail boat. We saw many fishes, turtles, and sting rays. The sail boat is not as stable as a catamaran. If you are prone to seasickness, take the catamaran tour.
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Old June 12th, 2004, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

What are some hotels that you recommend staying at in San Juan, the night before the cruise?
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Old June 12th, 2004, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?


What are the formal nights and which nights are the parades?
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Old June 13th, 2004, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

I did not arrive a day early so am not much help on hotels.

As for formal nights, they were Sunday and Thursday (both days at sea).

There was one parade at midnight the first night and another around 10:30-11:00PM on Friday (I think it was Friday) that was latin themed. There were about 1,300 locals from Puerto Rico on the ship so I don't know if the latin parade was normal or something special they did for them.

- Jeff
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Old June 14th, 2004, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

I bid for hotels on Priceline. Got the Wyndam Old San Juan for the 1 day precruise for $140/night (high because of memorial day weekend). After the cruise, I got the Wyndam Condado Plaza for $90/night. I read other people have been gotten the Hiton Caribe Resort for $65/night. This is what I paid for the Hiton last year through Priceline.
The Hilton is a very nice hotel resort; I highly reccommend it.

The formal nights are the 2 sea days which is the first day Monday and the 4th day Thursday.

The first parade is on the night of the frst sea day. The second parade (latin theme and in Spanish) is on Friday night (St Martin).
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Old June 14th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Hi Jeff, I was on the Adventure last year August but we had a E2. We are going on her again in February 2005 . my question is , this time my husband and i are going with a friend of ours. We have booked a Junior Suite and are wondering if this will give us enough room. The friend is a very large man and we want him to be comfortable on the sofa bed if possible. We went with him last January on the Galaxy and my husband and i ended up on the sofa sleeper ( ouch!!!! ) . It's either that or we may have to look at a Grand Suite. Any comments or suggestions are Great!!!!!!! Thanks Carol....

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Old June 14th, 2004, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Hi rjsmom,

You should be much better off in a JS. The E catergory cabins typically have a loveseat sized couch that pulls out to a bed. The D1 and JS should have a wider couch (closer to full size) that should be more comfortable.

- Jeff
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Old June 15th, 2004, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Plano97

Could you give me more information regarding Curacao's Seaaquarium? It sounds like a giant aquarium.

Did you book through the ship or arranged it on your own? We have a group of 6-ages 12-66. Younger ones like to snokel, older ones ready and willing to try.

Give me as much detail as possible regarding cost, time spent getting there, snorkeling, feeding of creatures, beach nearby, any thing and any advice.

If you don't mind telling me, where did you go and what did you do in Aruba?


Thanks so much
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Old June 16th, 2004, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Hi! You can get more information on the Curacao's Sea Aquarium here :
http://www.curacao-sea-aquarium.com/

It is a big aquarium with snorkeling, diving, and dolphin encounters, which by the way is cheaper than booked through the ship ($139 vs $199). My family took the Animal Encounters Snorkeling tour; the cost was $34/person and they will provide everything from mask, fins, to including wet suit and fish baits. You snorkel in one area and next to it is the area for sharks and turtles separated by metal fence. You feed the sharks and the turtles through holes in a glass window in the fence. You will also have a guide that swim with you showing you everything. The thing to watch out for and is kinda funny is that there are divers below you and you may kick them on the head as I did.

The Aquarium also has a nice beach which is within walking distance. It is nice and you can see the pictures from the URL I listed above. You don't have to book anything as suggested on the web site. I just take a taxi and pay for the snorkel tour at the gate. There is a small gift shop on site and snack bar for drinks, ice cream, etc. There is also a petting area where you can touch star fish, sea cucumber, etc I think we spent around 2 hours there. The one way taxi cost was $12 and it was a 15 minutes ride from the ship.

In Aruba, we rented a jeep and drove west to the high rise hotel area to swim. The beach is free and very clean. Next stop is the California Lighthouse where you will see the different landscape such as sand dunes. The drive from there to the Natural Bridge is not on paved road, bumpy, but was fun (that is what the Jeep is for). The last stop we made is Baby Beach. It is a very shallow beach where you can walk all the way across to the natural sand bar on the other side. Near the sand bar you can snorkel and see fishes there. Don't forget to bring cereal from the ships to attract and feed the fishes. We spent the afternoon shopping in the many shops; the shops close early (6pm) so if you really want to shop, remember to watch the clock.

Dan
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Old June 16th, 2004, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?


Dan (aka Plano97)


Thanks for responding so quickly. I really look forward to reading the advice that people, such as yourself, are willing to share. After checking out the website I have come up with a couple of more questions.

Did you purchase admission to the park along with the $34.00 for the Animal Encounter for a total price of $49.00 per adult? You said you just purchased the Encounter when you arrived at the gate. Were you limited as to what time you could do the Encounter? It appears to run every 2 hours from 9:00 AM for a total of 4 sessions. I tried the reservations link to look for more info but the link wasn't working.

Now on to Aruba,

My husband and I plan to do the Voyager repositioning cruise this fall before going with the family on the AOS trip next April. I'm still interested in renting a Jeep to check things out before the family arrives. Did you rent at the pier or did you make reservations ahead of time? I understand that there is a place right there at the pier-cash only with a c/c deposit. Any problem obtaining the Jeep? Any special paperwork required besides a driver's license?

Please advise.

Lori
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Old June 16th, 2004, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Hi Lori,

The $34/person includes the Sea Aquarium park admission in Curacao. So it it NOT $49. The web site lists scheduled times for the snorkeling tours, but my impression is that it just depends on who shows up. When my family arrived. we were immediately suited up and introduced to our guide. After that, we climbed into the water and he showed us what to do and where to go. We did not have to wait for any additional people to show up or until a set time to begin. Beware, at the entrance of the park there are people selling time share and will want you to tour their property in the promise of free drinks and lunches. At the beginning they will pretend to be the park guides if you need information. Don't fall for them and waist your time.

In Aruba, you can rent cars and jeeps in the building just outside of the tourist center. There are several companies to choose from. I did not book anything advance. You should look to see what cars you may want to rent and ignore the guys trying to get your business. If not, one of the guys will sort of herd you into the cars he has when you may want something else. You just need a driver license and credit card. They will charge your credit card for a deposit and then upon return you pay them in cash. The last 2 times, I rented open air jeeps. It is hot there; I think the next time I will get one with air conditioning.

Dan
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Old June 16th, 2004, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the info about the timeshare people. Sounds like the same people who work the streets in Cancun! They come across as selling bargain excursions when the bottom line is that you have to see the timeshare property before you can get your tickets.

I also appreciate the info about the bait and switch. A co-worker of mine also warned me about the taxi drivers-said it was a good idea to settle on price before getting in the taxi.

Thanks again ( and again, and again!!)

Lori
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Old June 17th, 2004, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Jeff, thanks so much for the info.

Plano- Do you remember what rental agency you used in Aruba? Did the $85 include tax and insurance? What time did you have to have the car back?

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Old June 17th, 2004, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Just off 5/30 AOS sailing...any questions?

Sorry I don't remember which agency. The $85 includes everything. You have to bring the car back by 7pm.
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