This was my wife's and my 9th cruise on RCI, so we were Platnium members. Embarkation took all of 10 minutes once we got to the pier.We had an outside cabin with a balcony (cabin 6236) and had plenty of space for everything.We then did a short tour of the ship because we were hungry. The ship is beautiful and we looked forward to a great cruise.We went to the Windjammer Cafe and had a nice buffet lunch. The food was plentiful on the entire cruise and for the most part can be rated good. We found the food to be much better when we cruised over 15 years ago but the cruise fares have come down so much that something had to give.I did make it to "Johnnie Rockets" for one of their great bacon cheeseburgers and onion rings but they do charge you for the chocolate shakes.The thing that made this cruise so exceptional was the Cruise Director, Richard Spacey. Remember that name because he is one of the best cruise directors/entertainers I have ever seen. I hear he will be on the new Navigator of the Seas.The entertainment is not to be missed. The Royal Carribean singers and dancers put on two spectacular shows during the cruise. The other singers and comedians were also top notch.The ice show is not to be missed. We got tickets for the Friday evening show, which was the last show of the cruise, and it was only about half full. One night Richard Spacey turned the ice rink into a hugh disco (wood was placed over the ice) and his cruise staff dressed as The Village People. It was a blast.The itinerary was nice. We had never been to Aruba or Curacao and wished we had more time in port. We did mostly shopping in both St. Maarten and St. Thomas.Our waiter "V" and his assistant were great. Our head waiter "Big Al" was also very attentive at our table. We had a table for 12 and 3 of the couples were newlyweds who had gotten married on the ship just before sailing.Our cabin steward did not have much of a personality but did keep the cabin clean. No complaints!The Promenade is an engineering marvel. It has to be over 500 feet long and four stories high. It has shops, an English pub, sports bar, cafe and much, much more. Several times during the cruise, there was lavish entertainment down the middle of the Promenade. The middle is roped off so the entertainers can perform.Captain's night was also held in the Promemade.The Casino is hugh and loud. BE AWARE!! The slots are very tight. Not too many people hit on them. Also, if you don't smoke, and we don't, the room can be very smoky and irritating.Disembarking was even easier. RCI provides a separate room for Platinum and Diamond members and we were the first to leave the ship. When we got to the baggage area we had it to ourselves. We found our luggage immediately. (I remember hundreds of people trying to find their luggege when we were on the Enchantment of the Seas).Before I forget, one of the best things on the cruise was that it was cashless. Everything you purchased on-board was done with your room card. You did not have to carry money anywhere on-board.At the end of the cruise, you get a detailed listing of all your purchases and can either pay it off or do nothing and it gets billed to your credit card. Well, that's it! We are looking forward to our next cruise on RCI, hopefully it will be next year. If anyone wants to ask us questions about the AOS, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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