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First, my apologies for not getting this written sooner. It has been crazy since my return. If I fail to cover anything in this review that you may have a question about, please feel free to email me at bill.kennedy@fmr.com. Having said that....on to my review... This was our family's first cruise. I had wanted to go on a cruise for years and finally convinced all those in my family that lack sea legs that it was a good idea. What a way to start my vacation, I tripped over my own suitcase trying to get out of the house and landed on the concrete, scrapping my face and popping the lenses out of my glasses...LOL We departed out of Boston on a 6:50 a.m. flight on Saturday. This is where I met the Boston contingency of our Cruise Critic Group. What a great group of people. We had an awesome time with them all week. Thanks Tony, Nancy, Jim, Maria, Costas, Lou, Vin, Gail, Carolyn, Buster, Reina, Mike, Ben and all the rest of that crazy bunch. You really made the week for us. We had such a good time. We arrived in San Juan a day early and stayed at the Ritz Carlton. The hotel was beautiful and the service was excellent. They also have the largest casino on Puerto Rico with a 25 x 25-foot television screen that made the Patriot's win over Pittsburgh that much sweeter! The only drawback of the hotel (if you see it that way, which it didn't bother me) is that the hotel is directly across the street from the airport runway, so a plane takes off every 5 minutes or so. But for me, there is nothing that a Pina Colada can't overcome. We arrived at the ship at 12:40 p.m. even though it stated boarding could not take place until 2:00 p.m. I think it was smart to get there early because they were boarding the ship already. We were in line for about 20 minutes and then herded into the terminal where you sit in chairs placed in rows. They move 1 row at a time into the main part of the terminal for check-in. There is a small duty-free shop inside the terminal, but I found the prices to be just o.k. Worth waiting until you are on the ship or in a port. That being said, we were on the ship at 1:30 p.m. I heard that people who arrived after 2:00 p.m. had waits from an hour to two and half-hours, so if you can get there early, it's worth it. Once on the ship, it is absolutely beautiful. Everything everyone has said about the ship is true and no need to rehash the same info here. The ship also still smells new, especially in the Schooner Bar, you can smell the beautiful wood. We immediately went to the cabin to drop our bags and begin exploring. We had a family stateroom (cabin # 8200). The room was awesome. It fit all 5 of us great. This particular room, because of it's location on the ship has a little more room than other family staterooms, so if you are booking a family stateroom try to get room 8200. When we walked in there was a sofa and 2 chairs. A separate room with a curtain had a queen size bed and another room with a closing door, contained 2 bunk beds for the kids. The bathroom amazed me. How they could fit so much in such a small space. Each of the 3 rooms had a full closet with shelves, so there was more than enough room for all our stuff. The height under the bed was also great. It allowed up to easily fit all of our roller luggage underneath it. Our room steward Nathalie arrived immediately and introduced herself. SHE WAS AWESOME! She took such great care of us all week. We had a stomach bug run through the cabin and hit each of us for 2 days on the cruise. Nathalie would coordinate when to clean the room that was best for us. She really made the week for us. I commended her to Martin the Hotel Director. Martin, I know you are watching, so make sure you go thank Nathalie for us,. You promised!!! The first things we did were check out our table location in the dining room and sent my sister-in-law to make all our spa appointments. This is key since the spa appointments fill up, especially on sea days. Next, I was off to find my partners in crime....Reina, Mike and Ben. I called them on the phone. I went to meet them in their Owner's Suite...It was beautiful. We then ventured out for lunch at the Windjammer together. The food was very good for a buffet with an excellent selection. What other's have said though is true...the food can be lukewarm sometimes and by the time you get to your table and through all the selections on the buffet it can be cold. Best idea, get your hot selections last right before you sit down. The first night we went to dinner (first seating) and it was done at 5:30 p.m. to accommodate the muster drill at 10:00 p.m. Our tablemates were great. We really had a nice time with them all week. They had sailed on Voyager last year. It was two couples and a single guy from Cleveland (they guys had all been college roommates) If they are reading this, hello to Tom, Tony, Julie, Wendy and Jim ! Dinner in the dining room was "good". I am a food snob, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Never did we have a bad meal. It was always good with a good selection. Our waiter Zafer and assistant waiter Cornel were great. Thank you guys for a great week.! You have to understand when they are making 5,000 Filet Mignons for an evening, you can't grill them. They need to be done in a convection oven, so you loose that "grilled" taste. I like my meat rare and everytime I ordered it rare it came out rare. Great job kitchen, that is not an easy feet. We were at table 349, which was along the windows. It was a great location. There were 2 tables of 10 or 12 across the aisle from us. It contained 3 sets of parents in total and all the kids were under 10. These kids were so obnoxious, fighting, climbing under the tables (including ours) and running around constantly. These parents did not do a thing. The third morning, I complained to the headwaiter, saying that I was afraid a waiter might get hurt with these kids under foot. He promised to do something, but nothing was ever done. That is why there was no tip for him at the end of the week. These people and their kids were a pain in the butt. The women in the group sat at the blackjack table the first night at sea and did nothing but bitch. The husbands looked like they were going out to change the oil in the car on the formal nights in the Dining Room. They arrived in short sleeve shirts and shorts on Formal Night's. The headwaiters should really turn people away when they show up on a formal night like this. These families (especially the adults) just totally lacked any respect or class the whole week. And by the looks of the diamonds on the wives hands, they could afford it, they just lacked respect.... Just after we departed San Juan on Sunday night, the ship started rocking. Not bad by my standards, but my wife and daughter were having a hard time with it. We had 30 mile an hour winds and choppy seas all night and thru the first day at sea. My daughter took Bonnine, but the first day at sea, I bought her the bracelets in the General Store on board. Neither worked 100% for her. I think it was a little psychological for her and she was starting to get that bug that went through the cabin. On the sea day, I decided to lean how to play blackjack. Bad idea....Lost my shirt this week. Great dealers all week. Especially, Samantha from the U.K. She was hysterical. We laughed our butt off with her. Now to talk about the ports of call. I will not bore you with every detail. I will try to tell you some good hints here and things that helped. First, all ports are docking ports. AOS does not tender at any of these ports. Additionally, I found in each port close to the dock an Internet Cafe (I didn't get to go at each port though). Save your money on the ship. Internet access is $.50 per minute on the ship. The Internet cafe in Aruba was $3.00 for a half-hour. I did not do the cyber cabin option, so I can't help anyone there. Aruba We did the Atlantis Submarine in the morning, which was really fun, especially if you have kids. We did the sunset catamaran cruise late in the day, which was great too. I had decided since we were going to be in Aruba until 1:00 a.m., we would go for dinner off the ship. I had made reservations at El Gaucho over the Internet a few weeks before we left. It was AWESOME. El Gaucho is an Argentinean beef restaurant. I had the best Filet Mignon I have ever had in my life. It was huge. The price for dinner including tip for 5 of us was $137. Very reasonable. Take a cab there from the dock. You can walk it, but it's a little bit of a hike. Curacao We did the snorkel trip here. It was great. Huge fish and a great tug wreck you swim over. Other than that, we had a lazy day in Curacao because we had the Cruise Critic party at 3:30 p.m. Thanks again Reina and Mike for coordinating the party. It was great. And a huge thanks to Captain Remo for his great hospitality. As Reina has stated already, the entire executive staff was there. Their presence at the party showed how important it is to the Captain and executive crew that people have a wonderful time and report back about what a great vacation they had. The issues posted here are watched closely by the Captain and his staff (Hello again Martin !!!) As I have stated already, Martin and the Captain always made sure to greet me the remainder of the week. It really made you feel special to constantly be asked how everything was going or if they could do any more for you. They couldn't, I was having too much fun!!! St. Maarten I was ill this day so I had to forgo the excursions. The rest of our crew went on the island tour and horseback riding on the beach. Horseback riding was pretty good, but the island tour was not. Our group was on an overflow bus and the tour guide never showed up, so $80 for a bus ride we could have done for $1.50! I complained to the excursion desk on board but never heard anything back about getting my money refunded. Martin, if your watching could you have someone from the Excursion Desk email me at the above listed address? I would really appreciate it! This is where to do your duty free shopping! Don't go to the first shop off the ship though, there are tons in town that really compete with each other. Examples: Cigarettes - $10.99 per carton (usually $50.00 per carton here in Boston). 1 liter bottle of Grand Marnier - $16.95 (usually $38-$42 at home). Both these prices beat the ship store by a lot. St. Thomas Was planning on going to St. John to Trunk Bay but still being sick I stuck close to the ship. Just walked to town. LONG WALK. It took me about 45 minutes and it was hot as hell. Took a cab back. Take a cab to town here folks. You can bargain price the cab drivers here. DO NOT PAY MORE THAN $2.50 each way to town. They will try to quote you $3.00 and up, but tell them someone else quoted you $2.50 and start to walk away. They will come down in price. Well, that about does it for my review. Again, if I missed anything, please email me at the above email address and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. My thanks go out to everyone who uses Cruise Critic's message boards. Everyone has provided great information for me as a first time cruiser. I hope that my review here can help others as well. To my Cruise Critic boat mates, thank you for making this an awesome vacation for my family and me. Most of all, thank you to Captain Remo, his beautiful wife Tovo, Martin, Kirk, Darin and all the staff aboard AOS for making this the best vacation on earth. We will definitely sail on this beautiful vessel again. Bon Voyage for now ! bill.kennedy@fmr.comJanuary 2002

Adventure of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas Cruise Review by Bill Kennedy

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 1899
  • Destination:
First, my apologies for not getting this written sooner. It has been crazy since my return. If I fail to cover anything in this review that you may have a question about, please feel free to email me at bill.kennedy@fmr.com. Having said that....on to my review...
This was our family's first cruise. I had wanted to go on a cruise for years and finally convinced all those in my family that lack sea legs that it was a good idea. What a way to start my vacation, I tripped over my own suitcase trying to get out of the house and landed on the concrete, scrapping my face and popping the lenses out of my glasses...LOL
We departed out of Boston on a 6:50 a.m. flight on Saturday. This is where I met the Boston contingency of our Cruise Critic Group. What a great group of people. We had an awesome time with them all week. Thanks Tony, Nancy, Jim, Maria, Costas, Lou, Vin, Gail, Carolyn, Buster, Reina, Mike, Ben and all the rest of that crazy bunch. You really made the week for us. We had such a good time.
We arrived in San Juan a day early and stayed at the Ritz Carlton. The hotel was beautiful and the service was excellent. They also have the largest casino on Puerto Rico with a 25 x 25-foot television screen that made the Patriot's win over Pittsburgh that much sweeter! The only drawback of the hotel (if you see it that way, which it didn't bother me) is that the hotel is directly across the street from the airport runway, so a plane takes off every 5 minutes or so. But for me, there is nothing that a Pina Colada can't overcome.
We arrived at the ship at 12:40 p.m. even though it stated boarding could not take place until 2:00 p.m. I think it was smart to get there early because they were boarding the ship already. We were in line for about 20 minutes and then herded into the terminal where you sit in chairs placed in rows. They move 1 row at a time into the main part of the terminal for check-in. There is a small duty-free shop inside the terminal, but I found the prices to be just o.k. Worth waiting until you are on the ship or in a port. That being said, we were on the ship at 1:30 p.m. I heard that people who arrived after 2:00 p.m. had waits from an hour to two and half-hours, so if you can get there early, it's worth it.
Once on the ship, it is absolutely beautiful. Everything everyone has said about the ship is true and no need to rehash the same info here. The ship also still smells new, especially in the Schooner Bar, you can smell the beautiful wood. We immediately went to the cabin to drop our bags and begin exploring. We had a family stateroom (cabin # 8200). The room was awesome. It fit all 5 of us great. This particular room, because of it's location on the ship has a little more room than other family staterooms, so if you are booking a family stateroom try to get room 8200. When we walked in there was a sofa and 2 chairs. A separate room with a curtain had a queen size bed and another room with a closing door, contained 2 bunk beds for the kids. The bathroom amazed me. How they could fit so much in such a small space. Each of the 3 rooms had a full closet with shelves, so there was more than enough room for all our stuff. The height under the bed was also great. It allowed up to easily fit all of our roller luggage underneath it. Our room steward Nathalie arrived immediately and introduced herself. SHE WAS AWESOME! She took such great care of us all week. We had a stomach bug run through the cabin and hit each of us for 2 days on the cruise. Nathalie would coordinate when to clean the room that was best for us. She really made the week for us. I commended her to Martin the Hotel Director. Martin, I know you are watching, so make sure you go thank Nathalie for us,. You promised!!! The first things we did were check out our table location in the dining room and sent my sister-in-law to make all our spa appointments. This is key since the spa appointments fill up, especially on sea days. Next, I was off to find my partners in crime....Reina, Mike and Ben. I called them on the phone. I went to meet them in their Owner's Suite...It was beautiful. We then ventured out for lunch at the Windjammer together. The food was very good for a buffet with an excellent selection. What other's have said though is true...the food can be lukewarm sometimes and by the time you get to your table and through all the selections on the buffet it can be cold. Best idea, get your hot selections last right before you sit down.
The first night we went to dinner (first seating) and it was done at 5:30 p.m. to accommodate the muster drill at 10:00 p.m. Our tablemates were great. We really had a nice time with them all week. They had sailed on Voyager last year. It was two couples and a single guy from Cleveland (they guys had all been college roommates) If they are reading this, hello to Tom, Tony, Julie, Wendy and Jim ! Dinner in the dining room was "good". I am a food snob, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Never did we have a bad meal. It was always good with a good selection. Our waiter Zafer and assistant waiter Cornel were great. Thank you guys for a great week.! You have to understand when they are making 5,000 Filet Mignons for an evening, you can't grill them. They need to be done in a convection oven, so you loose that "grilled" taste. I like my meat rare and everytime I ordered it rare it came out rare. Great job kitchen, that is not an easy feet. We were at table 349, which was along the windows. It was a great location. There were 2 tables of 10 or 12 across the aisle from us. It contained 3 sets of parents in total and all the kids were under 10. These kids were so obnoxious, fighting, climbing under the tables (including ours) and running around constantly. These parents did not do a thing. The third morning, I complained to the headwaiter, saying that I was afraid a waiter might get hurt with these kids under foot. He promised to do something, but nothing was ever done. That is why there was no tip for him at the end of the week. These people and their kids were a pain in the butt. The women in the group sat at the blackjack table the first night at sea and did nothing but bitch. The husbands looked like they were going out to change the oil in the car on the formal nights in the Dining Room. They arrived in short sleeve shirts and shorts on Formal Night's. The headwaiters should really turn people away when they show up on a formal night like this. These families (especially the adults) just totally lacked any respect or class the whole week. And by the looks of the diamonds on the wives hands, they could afford it, they just lacked respect....
Just after we departed San Juan on Sunday night, the ship started rocking. Not bad by my standards, but my wife and daughter were having a hard time with it. We had 30 mile an hour winds and choppy seas all night and thru the first day at sea. My daughter took Bonnine, but the first day at sea, I bought her the bracelets in the General Store on board. Neither worked 100% for her. I think it was a little psychological for her and she was starting to get that bug that went through the cabin. On the sea day, I decided to lean how to play blackjack. Bad idea....Lost my shirt this week. Great dealers all week. Especially, Samantha from the U.K. She was hysterical. We laughed our butt off with her.
Now to talk about the ports of call. I will not bore you with every detail. I will try to tell you some good hints here and things that helped. First, all ports are docking ports. AOS does not tender at any of these ports. Additionally, I found in each port close to the dock an Internet Cafe (I didn't get to go at each port though). Save your money on the ship. Internet access is $.50 per minute on the ship. The Internet cafe in Aruba was $3.00 for a half-hour. I did not do the cyber cabin option, so I can't help anyone there.
Aruba We did the Atlantis Submarine in the morning, which was really fun, especially if you have kids. We did the sunset catamaran cruise late in the day, which was great too. I had decided since we were going to be in Aruba until 1:00 a.m., we would go for dinner off the ship. I had made reservations at El Gaucho over the Internet a few weeks before we left. It was AWESOME. El Gaucho is an Argentinean beef restaurant. I had the best Filet Mignon I have ever had in my life. It was huge. The price for dinner including tip for 5 of us was $137. Very reasonable. Take a cab there from the dock. You can walk it, but it's a little bit of a hike.

Curacao We did the snorkel trip here. It was great. Huge fish and a great tug wreck you swim over. Other than that, we had a lazy day in Curacao because we had the Cruise Critic party at 3:30 p.m. Thanks again Reina and Mike for coordinating the party. It was great. And a huge thanks to Captain Remo for his great hospitality. As Reina has stated already, the entire executive staff was there. Their presence at the party showed how important it is to the Captain and executive crew that people have a wonderful time and report back about what a great vacation they had. The issues posted here are watched closely by the Captain and his staff (Hello again Martin !!!) As I have stated already, Martin and the Captain always made sure to greet me the remainder of the week. It really made you feel special to constantly be asked how everything was going or if they could do any more for you. They couldn't, I was having too much fun!!!
St. Maarten I was ill this day so I had to forgo the excursions. The rest of our crew went on the island tour and horseback riding on the beach. Horseback riding was pretty good, but the island tour was not. Our group was on an overflow bus and the tour guide never showed up, so $80 for a bus ride we could have done for $1.50! I complained to the excursion desk on board but never heard anything back about getting my money refunded. Martin, if your watching could you have someone from the Excursion Desk email me at the above listed address? I would really appreciate it! This is where to do your duty free shopping! Don't go to the first shop off the ship though, there are tons in town that really compete with each other. Examples: Cigarettes - $10.99 per carton (usually $50.00 per carton here in Boston). 1 liter bottle of Grand Marnier - $16.95 (usually $38-$42 at home). Both these prices beat the ship store by a lot.
St. Thomas Was planning on going to St. John to Trunk Bay but still being sick I stuck close to the ship. Just walked to town. LONG WALK. It took me about 45 minutes and it was hot as hell. Took a cab back. Take a cab to town here folks. You can bargain price the cab drivers here. DO NOT PAY MORE THAN $2.50 each way to town. They will try to quote you $3.00 and up, but tell them someone else quoted you $2.50 and start to walk away. They will come down in price.
Well, that about does it for my review. Again, if I missed anything, please email me at the above email address and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
My thanks go out to everyone who uses Cruise Critic's message boards. Everyone has provided great information for me as a first time cruiser. I hope that my review here can help others as well. To my Cruise Critic boat mates, thank you for making this an awesome vacation for my family and me. Most of all, thank you to Captain Remo, his beautiful wife Tovo, Martin, Kirk, Darin and all the staff aboard AOS for making this the best vacation on earth. We will definitely sail on this beautiful vessel again. Bon Voyage for now !
bill.kennedy@fmr.comJanuary 2002
Bill Kennedy’s Full Rating Summary