Help! RCCL AOS

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Nov 26th, 2017, 06:48 AM
  #1
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Help! RCCL AOS

For a variety of reasons, we did other cruises, but I have wanted to do the Southern Caribbean on Adventure of the Seas for several years. It is a perfect itinerary, with stops in St Kitts where my other DD lives and Barbados and St Lucia, two of my favorite islands that I wanted DD to see. It also has a great kid's program and lots of things GD would enjoy now that she is 8, like ice-skating and outdoor movie.

It seemed perfect, I thought my decision was all made. I was happy.

Now I am reading current reviews and many are bad, even from people who have cruised AOS in the past. One complaint is that food is not just average, but really bad. Next, the ship looks run down and in need of paint, closet doors, etc. and that there are plumbing issues and smells. That is all very worrisome. I knew the ship was getting older, but I thought the most recent dry dock took care of that. Apparently not. On top of that, it seems things like ice-skating is very, very limited.

Another major thing is AOS departs from San Juan, which I love, but they have made the cruises available to people in PR at very reduced rates and the ship is being fully booked with cabins filled to the max with families. I do think that is a really wonderful thing RCCL is doing! People who have benefited are very happy and RCCL deserves praise for doing it. OTOH, it seems to stretch the staff to the max, make pools very crowded, public spaces really loud, more partying, more children, buffets even more unpleasant to navigate and long waits for elevators. So, how accurate are these complaints? Perhaps that will ease up by March, but of course no guarantee.

I really, really wanted that specific itinerary and a super fun ship for a child (not Celebrity or HAL), but should I be looking at something else now? We are limited by her school schedule to departure between March 10 and March 18.

Does anyone have recent experience with AOS, opinions about the situation or suggestions? All are welcome and appreciated.
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Nov 26th, 2017, 05:13 PM
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Hmmm. I read current reviews on cc and while some were disappointed most were at least ok.

Food is always subjective and I’ve never been on a cruise where the food was unsatisfactory. I mean we’ve eaten out and many good restaurants in Chicago, some with Michelin stars so you can’t expect fine dining but our cruise fare has been fine.

I would not be too worried about the ships condition either. I find most of those compliants to be over the top.

We did cruise the AOS out of SJ in 2008. Based on what we saw I’d be concerned about boisterous behavior. It wasn’t bad but some kids ran a bit wild.

This would bother some more than others as the reviews show. Some hated it while others gave great reviews. Knowing you I don’t think it would be too much of an issue or at least I think so.

Cheers, Larry. .
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Nov 29th, 2017, 09:20 AM
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Larry,
Thanks so much. I always agonize, especially when other people are going. Mike and I really do not care, but kind of want a balcony for a Caribbean cruise. I am still deciding and posting another question. Thanks again,
Sass
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Dec 13th, 2017, 11:27 AM
  #4
 
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AOS is an older ship, not to be highly recommend, If I was going to the Caribbean I would go RCCL on Harmony of the Seas brand new ship, wonderful for children and lots of fun, trip will run you for 8 days around 1900.00 pp grand with a inside broadwalk or central park and about 2300.00 for ocean view balcony to me I rather not see no water.

I loved this cruise, we went in Nov.. I had to write for a local newspaper on this ship its amazing not too many kids but thanksgiving there were a few but you hardly saw them. The ship was great the food is average nothing to say its so glamous but then again, its only fish, potatoes and various salads, desserts stayed the same like cardboard but overall I really liked this brand new ship. In 2019, I heard that the prices will go up another 1000.00 a person, what can I say they are trying to make a lot of money.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 12:16 PM
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Thank you, moonlight.
I did book, a smaller ship, RCCL Jewel of the Seas. We got nice balcony cabins and are quite excited.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 03:47 PM
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Harmony certainly looks as if it is a lot of fun as a ship, but a bit big for my tastes and I don't care for the itineraries. Right now, though, balcony cabins can be had for around $800.00 per person, no where near $1900.00, but probably depends on dates.
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Jan 16th, 2018, 05:52 PM
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I was just on AOS last August out of San Juan. A lot of this is probably subjective but here goes. Among my previous cruises we did the maiden voyage of the Quantum of the Seas so a brand new squeaky clean ship and a short cruise on Royal's oldest ship Majesty of the Seas right before her refit. I'll never cruise another ship just before refit. Loads of problems which clearly were not the fault of the hard-working staff but rather just the result of the overwhelming need for everything to be refurbished.

Over all Adventure out of San Juan was probably our favorite cruise to date.

We did notice the very occasional odd corner that needed a bit of touch up, but over all thought the ship looked great. We were booked in one of the cabins with the large window overlooking the internal promenade. We were amazed by the check in process. Practically seamless and so fast! From the time our ride pulled up to the curb to on the ship ordering a drink was less than 15 minutes and we didn't even have priority boarding! Our room was spotless and apparently kept so by a will o' the wisp. We only ever saw our cabin steward hustling to get stuff done and even that was rare. He would have our room completely cleaned and made up quicker than we could eat breakfast in the buffet, too. Just amazing.

The food was the second best we've ever had on a cruise and that was a near thing. We loved our waiters in the MDR. They took such good care of us. Never much of a line at customer service, either, which is always a good sign.

Prior to this we had stayed in San Juan for a week in 2016 because we so enjoyed our stop there on a cruise in 2014. I just talked to our favorite driver whom we met on our first cruise. He says things are still a bit of a mess in the countryside but around San Juan things are starting to get back to normal and that I shouldn't be afraid to book another cruise out of San Juan in May. He did not say it, but I do think perhaps getting those tourist dollars flowing again will be the best thing we individuals can do to aid their recovery. Happy Cruising!
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Jan 17th, 2018, 10:59 AM
  #8
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Travelinfiend,
Thanks for the review. The AOS sounds really great, especially for my Granddaughter. Unfortunately, I already booked. Perhaps we will do AOS another time. Prices for our very specific time frame went up and we would have had to do insides, so we booked Jewel, a much smaller ship. We could afford balconies on Jewel, and figure with the great Southern itinerary, we will be off the ship most days anyway. We enjoy any cruise, so it will still be nice.
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Jan 20th, 2018, 01:16 PM
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Be sure to come back and say how you liked the Jewel. We're looking at a possible cruise on the Jewel next year but haven't quite pulled the trigger. Can't quite make up our minds until after our next cruise which is next month on MSC's new Seaside.
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