Sail Date: October 2005
First RCI cruise after taking four Disney cruises. Boy were we disappointed w/RCI. Although the GS cabin was quite beautiful, included robes, slippers, a double-veranda and roomy accommodations, we were disappointed with the cleanliness of ... Read More
First RCI cruise after taking four Disney cruises. Boy were we disappointed w/RCI. Although the GS cabin was quite beautiful, included robes, slippers, a double-veranda and roomy accommodations, we were disappointed with the cleanliness of the ship. For example, I recall food on the floor outside of the Windjammer that was there for 5 days. The food was just so-so. At breakfast the eggs were barely warm but there was an extensive selection. For lunch, dining by the pool was not an option. If you wanted pizza, and were pool side, you needed to shower, get dressed and venture to the Promenade. Other fare would require another trip to the Windjammer or Johnny Rockets. Charging for ice cream and sodas were equally disappointing. Didn't we pay enough for the cruise? Although on the cruise, it was stated that 400 children were onboard, we didn't see that many. At Adventure Ocean, we would see only a handful so that they did not follow the schedule of activities that was printed and left in the cabin each night. Sadly, our son, 8 y.o. spent his time there playing PlayStation2. Generally our fellow cruisers and staff were friendlier and happier on Disney. We'll return to that line next year. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
This was our second cruise and most likely the last. First of all I found the room attendant to be kind of cold, the main dinning room servers were also somewhat distant and on the night before the tip day he asked if everything was okay ... Read More
This was our second cruise and most likely the last. First of all I found the room attendant to be kind of cold, the main dinning room servers were also somewhat distant and on the night before the tip day he asked if everything was okay and were we happy with their level of service. I only ate there 3 times as the food was little in portion and not to our liking a lot of beef and chicken. I fould the Windjammer buffet to have a better selection. I prefer to see more Fish and Pork The Cabin: rugs were in need of a cleaning. Bathroom stunk of urine and around the third 3 day me and some of our 19 friends that booked with us had sore throats and coundn't hardly speak. Questioning the air quality in the room. The Entertainment: (Velvet Rope stunk slept through it) the Ice,comic and Kerioke idol were really good. Port of calls : Were great for the exception of Aruba where we did baby beach which was good snorkeling but there was nothing there. 1 little beer stand. Pool activities : They had the Belly flop contest which is alway one of my favorites and the Horse races was also a blastI guess in a nutshell the novelty wore out for me and my Family. Read Less
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Sail Date: March 2005
We arrived in San Juan airport and were told to go stand by a far wall and wait while luggage was collected by passengers. There were no seats just empty space and after almost two our wait while hundreds of passengers assembled we were ... Read More
We arrived in San Juan airport and were told to go stand by a far wall and wait while luggage was collected by passengers. There were no seats just empty space and after almost two our wait while hundreds of passengers assembled we were told to follow along bringing our luggage with no carts available to help with transport. After a long walk through airport and outside to to truck we were told to wait while it was loaded on a truck and then boarded a bus to ship. Mass confusion at terminal but we had all paper work ready and are Diamond C & A members so that went fine. By the time we boarded our dinner time was over and we were told to report for life boat drill. This took about one hour outside on a hot and humid deck and after this very hungry and thirsty we tried to find some dinner. The Windjammer was closed, Johnny Rockets was closed and late diners were in dining room. Desperate by now we went to Portofino and paid the extra for the three of us. The meal there was wonderful but all this delay was so unnecessary and not what we had ever experienced in over 12 years cruising with Royal Caribbean. Children were everywhere on ship and mostly alone and loud and obnoxious as it was Spring vacation time. We realize this is parents fault but the guidelines ship outlines says this will not be tolerated so why is it? We often heard children laughing about how they were annoying passengers and thinking it was such a hoot and not letting anyone on elevators. We were traveling with a sixteen year old granddaughter so she could get scuba certification on board and she was even appalled at behavior. Royal Caribbean had better enforce its own rules or risk losing a huge amount of their cruising business. We found the ship too big and the shows not very good, just too much glitz and difficulty finding your way around ship. 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: 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: August 2004
As usual, we booked 2 cabins on an RCL ship. We always select the deck on Voyager class ships just above the Promenade overlook, so we took outside cabin 9586 and inside 9587 for our kids, 22 and 15. The cabins were fine. What follows is a ... Read More
As usual, we booked 2 cabins on an RCL ship. We always select the deck on Voyager class ships just above the Promenade overlook, so we took outside cabin 9586 and inside 9587 for our kids, 22 and 15. The cabins were fine. What follows is a tour guide and then a rant. Embarkation was better than ever, which was amazing for San Juan. We got an easy cab to the ship from the airport. SJU has finally got that together and you go straight to a land transportation desk right near the luggage carousel and get a receipt for $15 plus bags. Cost us $21 for 4 and 5 bags. Took us right to ship. Stand in line to give bags to porter with a tip. Bags did get to room in reasonable period of time. Inside, we are Platinum members and they took us right to separate line and straight to a desk for registration. Took under 10 minutes including security. Very nice. Usual first day with muster drill. Ship did not depart until 10 PM. Very little to do, so we walked to the duty free shop and bought rum in plastic bottles for $3. This becomes even more essential, since the ship is charging over $6 per drink. We had the St. Thomas/St. Martin/Antigua/St Lucia/ Barbados route. Small description of ship. Since most people go on at length, I like to just comment on art work. I enjoy the eclectic stuff on these ships. AOS has the least enjoyable and most amateurish art work, but it does grow on you. The other RCL ships had better stuff. Otherwise, this ship is exactly the same as all Voyager class ships. It was kept pretty clean, but I did notice people smoking anywhere they wanted and nobody stopped them. Shame. More comments on ship at end. Saved the rant for the bottom. I have written several reviews previously and do this from a "do-it-yourself" view for those who don't like ship's tours. No warranties, but I think you will find this quite helpful. I tried to do this totally without spending too much money, just for fun. St. Thomas. Have been there many times, so wanted to try something different. Took the ferry to St. John. First, take a cab for $3 from the pier to the port. No way around this. The ferry to St. John's leaves every 2 hours at 9, 11, 1, etc. Be sure to get there on time. Pretty prompt. The fare is $7 per person and $3 for kids. The ride takes about 50 minutes. Arrive Cruz Bay. Take a jitney to beach. There are many and everyone raves about Trunk. It isn't worth it. However, it does have facilities. Cost is $4. Crowded and the fish are very aggressive. I got bit by a yellow tail snapper on the hand. Nasty. (Ate his cousin for revenge next day.) I think it would be better to go to Hawksnest or Cinnamon. Fewer facilities, but less crowded. The snorkeling at Trunk is no big deal and highly overrated. Plus it is full of tourists. The ferry returns at about 1:40 and then every 2 hours to downtown. Enough time to get back and walk around if you wish. St. Martin. Again, many time visit, so tried something different. The ship now docks at a pier and you are "encouraged" to take a water taxi which allegedly stops at the end of P'burg and then downtown. It doesn't. Only the first stop, which costs more than it should and forces you to walk thru their shops. It might pay to take a regular taxi. Good news. It is now possible to rent a car at the cruise pier. You used to have to go to airport. This is a BIG improvement, but I didn't rent a car so I can't comment on quality of the rentals. We took the water taxi and then walked out to the main road; about 10 minutes in all. Found a bus to Marigot. They look like Vans. In fact, all the buses said French Quarter (P'Burg) not Marigot, so I flagged down an empty one and he switched over to Marigot just for us. A taxi to Marigot is about $25 for 4. The bus costs $4. I gave him $6 for switching. We had a light snack on the water and then climbed up the hill to Fort Louis. You will find it at the (West?) end of the main coastal downtown road. It is a 10 minute climb. The view is spectacular and the remains of the fort are very nice. We returned and had a steamed fish (snapper!) in a French sidewalk restaurant. Immediately behind is an open air market which was lovely. There are also public restrooms across the street which were fine. We then hiked out to main road and found a bus back to P'burg and walked around there looking for an Indonesian restaurant to eat Rijstafel, after all this is a Dutch colony. Wrong. They are all gone. The place is now run by Indians. Lots of curry. No rijstafel. Back to ship. Antigua. All the tour books say don't take the bus. A challenge. We climbed up to St. John's Cathedral just for the view. (Been here a lot too. Didn't feel like the beach.) We found the bus station which is to the right of the ship when you get off about 5 blocks. Take the number 17 bus to Nelson's Dockyard. It is about a 35 minute ride. It cost $1.25 each. The Dockyard is a sort of restored museum, which was interesting. I gave it a 6 of 10. We ate at the Admiral's Inn. It was nothing special. I had the Pumpkin Soup which was very good. The rest was mediocre, but better than other stuff in Antigua. There was a better place in the Dockyard, but more expensive. As it was, lunch for 2 was about $40. The bus comes right back here and we took it back. Quicker, about 20 minutes. Incidentally, the cab is $25 each way. This is not worth a $50 trip, but was very much worth a $3 trip. St. Lucia. Again, been here, so wanted to do something different. Walked all the way off the pier. About 5 minutes. You will have to fight your way past the cab drivers because they can't believe you want to take a bus. The cab to Pigeon Isle in the north costs $25, but you can bargain them down to $16. We took the bus. Stops right out at the main road. (You are on Point Seraphine.) It is another mini-Van. Take the 1A. Goes right up to Gros Pointe. Will let you off at end of route in a real wild, but quiet during day area. Walk towards the water 2 blocks and turn right. Walk all the way along the beach for about a mile. Thru Sandals. Don't worry. All is public beach and they can't stop you. Very safe. The big hill is Pigeon Isle. Pay $4 to enter. There is a restaurant. Don't eat there. It cost $80 for lunch for 4 and was nothing special. Bring a picnic. A really great hike up the mountain to Fort Rodney. Fantastic views. Can see all the way around St. Lucia. It is a very nice national park. Walk back to Gros Pointe and eat if you want. Can get bus back. We took a cab because teen was feeling off. Barbados. Rented a car from Stoutes. Right at end of terminal. Arranged in advance. $90 inclusive of gas and CDW and the $10 Barbados registration. Drove up to Francia plantation, then over to Atlantic Coast to Andromeda Botanical Gardens. Both were very nice. We stopped at 'Round House' on coast near Andromeda to eat, but we left. 2 Cokes were $7. We went further on road and found better and cheaper place. Drove back to Heritage Rum Factory in the South. Driving is quite easy in Barbados, although it used to be better sign posted. That was the end of touring. Last day at sea. Very little to do except bingo. Now for the rant. This was the least enjoyable cruise on RCL ever. Even though they did try to do more for us as Platinum members than ever before. The wine tasting was free and nice. Cheap wine, but still enjoyable and the wine steward was very articulate. They also had a private Crown & Anchor party with lots of free drinks, but no staff. Then a private Platinum string quartet concert with free drinks. Very nice touch. Those were high points. However, RCL is going way down market. They need to fill roughly 50,000 beds a week. So they are marketing to everyone. There were hundreds of people on board I would not want to cruise with. There was a huge group from New York, who brought their own DJ. These were not nice people. They took over the disco and didn't want anyone who didn't match their demographics to enter. And, lest anyone jump to wrong conclusion, I lived in Bahamas for years and have no trouble mixing with any group. These people were a different story and everyone on board remarked about the iciness and their lack of class and manners. There was very little to do on board this trip. The cruise staff was virtually non-existent. We are accustomed to Ken Rush's high spirit, and that was absent. The dining room waiter was ok, but budget cuts have really hurt. He didn't want to bring 2 mains to the same person at once. My 22 year old eats 3 at once. Waiter (Milton from Goa) had to get permission. The asst waiter (Mihaela from Romania--her very first cruise) was pretty good for a newbie. Fortunately for us, Milton's other table didn't even show up, so he only had us to care for. I doubt he could have handled 2 tables, but he did ok for our one. Bad for him, he lost a lot of tips. The food is declining in quality and taste. It is still above average, but just. The soups and unusual dishes are best. The Windjammer was better for breakfast, but very mediocre for lunch. The dining room was better for lunch and dinner. The kids program was a real bust for the 14 and up crowd. There was nothing for the 15 year old group to do. They didn't want to be isolated in their own disco, but there were no alternatives. Our kids enjoyed this cruise the least of all. The other kids on the cruise were a lot less nice. Our companions have kids ages 8 and 11, who seemed to have a better time in kid's club. I think they just don't know what to do with the older ones anymore. They have also imposed a curfew for the older teens, and a wrist band approach. This makes no sense. A 14 year old girl is much older than a 14 year old boy, but they still make the 14 year old girl hang out with the 12 year old boys and that will never happen. It should be by grade and by 'maturity'. The entertainment was ok, but not great. The ice show was well done, but the performers kept falling. The comic was poor. His jokes were old and he needed to update his routine. He was still telling airport jokes about the 3 questions, which they ceased asking over a year ago. The dancer/singer shows ranged from lame to mediocre. The Can't Stop the Rock show was ok. Sadly, the singers mistake volume for clarity and quality. There was no real headliner this cruise which seemed strange. They said there was, but nobody seemed to know who or what it was!?! The overall quality is declining and RCL staff laments it. Nobody dresses for dinner; people even came casual to formal night! We wore tuxedos. The staff abhors the low market people and makes it obvious. The low market people should go back to Carnival where they belong. According to RCL staff, those people don't even spend money on the ship, but take over all the facilities and chase everyone else away. This will be our last RCL Carib cruise. Finally, disembarkation was awful. The immigration is now off the ship, and although we got to stay in a private Platinum lounge on the ship, they closed it at 9:30 and told us to leave. Our plane was at 4 PM. It took over 1.5 hours to exit the ship. The immigration line is terrible. Hint: Stay to the right. The one on the left is also for non-US and it goes VERY slowly, but the RCL people in the terminal don't care and don't sort the line. They only speak Spanish by the way. We got off the ship at 9:40 and it took us until 11:15 to exit the terminal. That is the worst it has ever been. The luggage was no problem, it is all color coded. The entire holdup was US immigration. They were the slowest I ever saw. This is not of RCL's doing, but it used to be much better. We left the terminal and hired a private tour carrier for $20 each to take us around San Juan. Much better than the ship's tour. (Make sure to insist on a bus that leaves immediately. Some people on our bus had been waiting for 45 minutes till we boarded. Then the driver wanted to wait for another 10 people. I refused and we all found a driver willing to leave immediately for an extra $10. Well worth it.) Got to the airport around 1:45. Was better than sitting in SJU for 6 hours. In all, this was the worst RCL cruise we took, but not because of the staff or the ship, per se. Email me with any questions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2004
The AOS was really a beautiful ship! It was clean and well kept and our Superior Oceanview Suite was beautiful with a nice big balcony. However, I think I am going back to Carnival with the next cruise. Embarkation was a complete ... Read More
The AOS was really a beautiful ship! It was clean and well kept and our Superior Oceanview Suite was beautiful with a nice big balcony. However, I think I am going back to Carnival with the next cruise. Embarkation was a complete breeze...five minutes to board was about it. I did not like the activities on the ship...they were all kind of blah...and I never saw the cruise director except for the few times we attended a game or show...and even then the assistant was the one who took over. The food in the Windjammer was ok but nothing to rave about...the pancakes were often cold or just barely warm at that...the food in Johnny Rockets was however pretty darn good. The food in the dining room was ok...the presentation was great...the taste was ok. However, the service in the Dining Room was excellent and I cannot list one complaint about the waiters...only praise!!! Overall the staff of the ship was not too friendly...you often felt like you were inconveniencing them for just being there. The ports of call were excellent but there should have been no reason for us to leave St. Martin and St. Thomas so early since we were so close to our next destination. We were told by one of the staff that RCCL would have to pay more if they were to stay longer. Also...one other point...there were 5 Catholic priests on board and so Mass was offered on a daily basis in the chapel which was excellent... There was always only standing room only. For the Saturday night vigil they moved us into the Blue Moon Lounge which was really far from appropriate. The priests said they had tried to get more suitable accommodations but that Royal put them were they wanted to put them....on such a big ship they could have spared one of the rooms not being used (and there were plenty since very few activities were ever planned). Overall the cruise was excellent...even the worst cruise is a good cruise and really this can't even qualify for bad...it's just that we have seen better. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2004
This was probably the worst cruise (of 5) we have ever been on. The reasons were too many to list. I surely would sound whiny if I go on and on, and I don't mean to be that way. I will not complain about the crew, but I tend to ... Read More
This was probably the worst cruise (of 5) we have ever been on. The reasons were too many to list. I surely would sound whiny if I go on and on, and I don't mean to be that way. I will not complain about the crew, but I tend to think their good attitudes may have been more about their tips and the incentive plans their bosses have in place(we grade them, in essence. very odd) than about the love of the job. Or us. Although they all were very nice, no one was EXCEPTIONAL. Unfortunately this cruise still cost 5G and then some. Not as personal in service as I would have liked. I must mention the Food- Mediocre at best, and I am NOT picky/ this Johnny Rockets thing is way overdone- I have had better burgers at McDonalds, quite frankly. 4$ shakes were ridiculously overpriced. Overall the food was too ethnic (but somehow still bland) for my tastes. And much too recycled. Could it have been because what seemed like 80% of the ship was not American? We gathered that the bookings were extremely low, and RC just about gave away the empty rooms to last minute bookings, out of SanJuan, I'm pretty sure, and this made for a ship in which 60% paid full price and the rest paid 25%. Too many bratty, rude, foreign speaking children and some very nasty, rude and uncaring parents. The bathrooms were filthy (especially on the LONG debarkation day). Not necessarily because of the shiphands, but how can you clean every 1/2 hour? Someone, and I am not exaggerating here, put out 3 cigarettes right upon the carpet! at the casino! one night. They must have sat there unnoticed for an hour. There were 3 BURNT spots and ashes still everywhere! Nasty people! I was pretty disappointed and will NOT travel RC aver again. Even the ship was really nothing to write home about, nice but not for the price. It will be Carnival or Celebrity next time (if there ever is one- my memory may not allow it). Good Sailing, hopefully my trip was the exception, not the rule :) PattiB 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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