Weíre back from our cruise on AOS (Aruba route) and WOW!
This is only my 2nd cruise so Iím still amazed at everything thatís inside the ship. My only other experience is on the Sovereign of the Seas so the AOS was amazing. This time we were traveling with our kids who are 19 and 15, who have never cruised before.
We flew down the day of the cruise and while we didnít have any problems, I donít think Iíll ever do that again. We were a little late arriving in San Juan so we didnít get on the boat until about 4 or 4:30 (we sailed at 8:30 pm). It felt a little rushed trying to tour the ship and get our bearings before muster, sail-away and dinner. We got our luggage pretty late. I donít know that our later arrival had anything to do with that.
Day 1 Ė at sea. We spent some time finishing our tour of the boat in the morning. We got a chance to see the Grand Suite before Bingo. Wow is that amazing. Bathroom is so big the sink has 2 bowls!
Unfortunately, we didnít win the suite upgrade in Bingo but I did win a lithograph! It was a good hot day so seats around the pool were in high demand.
Day 2 Ė Aruba. We didnít book our excursions for Aruba before getting on the boat and boy thatís a mistake I wonít make again. All the snorkeling tours we wanted to do were full.
The only one that was open was De Palm Island. It was good but very shallow. I was afraid I was going to scrap my legs or stomach on the rocks. There was also a large water park for the kids. There was still a lot of fish and we had fun. We met up with hubby who had been scuba diving, had lunch and had time to go shopping in town.
Day 3 Ė Curacao. We booked our own tour to go to some of the caves on the island. Iím still amazed that an island in the Caribbean has a desert and cactus. We didnít actually make it to the Hato Caves but did see some great caves. You really had to work to get into these caves (climbing and crawling) but they were pretty cool. Definitely worth the work. Lots of bats. My only regret is that we didnít get into town at all. Iím a little paranoid and I felt like our timing was too close. I didnít want to be that person on the dock waving good bye. We were probably fine but all that climbing took its toll on my old bones. Hubby dove and had a great time.
Day 4 Ė at sea. It rained off and on all day.
The sea was a little rough but not enough to get us sick (thank goodness). We relaxed on the Promenade with coffee, went to Jeopardy and just relaxed. My husband and I relaxed in the hot tub while it was pouring around us. It was actually a lot of fun.
Day 5 Ė St. Martin. We did the Americaís Cup Regatta and had a blast!
I wimped out and took an easy job Ė bartender. My husband and kids all worked. Good thing someone handed me one of those ropes to hang on to otherwise I may have fallen overboard. This ranks up there as one of the most fun things Iíve ever done. Shopped after we were done. Wanted to go up to Maho Beach and see the planes land but was concerned about time again.
Day 6 Ė St. Thomas. We were all together again. Hubby dove, son took a resort dive class and my daughter and I snorkeled. The dive boat took us out to an island and the sea was a bit rough. My poor son lost breakfast off the back of the boat before we got to the island.
At least he felt well enough to dive once we got out there. A good time was had by all until my daughter saw something that looked like a shark. She was done. Afternoon was spent shopping.
Day 7 Ė San Juan. Trip was over and itís time to go home. We took a tour in San Juan since our flight home wasnít until 3:00. We took advantage of the luggage valet program. Certain airlines participate and to me it was worth the extra money to not have to deal with our luggage. For $20/person, we got our airlines luggage tags and boarding passes. After we went through customs, we checked our luggage right at the cruise terminal. We went on our tour that dropped us at the airport when it was over. Didnít have to deal with going through security or anything. We went straight to the gate. Based on some of the lines I saw Ė Iím so glad we did that.
Our waiters, Cosmin and Denvel, were great. The food in the dining room was good and Windjammer was OK. The menu for lunchs never seemed to change. This was the complete opposite of our cruise on the Sovereign. Portofinoís was amazing and I highly recommend the mushroom pasta! Yummy!
Iím sure thereís more but I just canít think of anything else right now. If you have any questions, ask away Ė and Iíll do my best to answer.