As all good things must

Trip Start Feb 05, 2011
Trip End Feb 13, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Sunday, February 13, 2011

Exiting the ship turned out to be almost the reverse of all previous exits.  We were given a departure time after 9am - so we weren't in any rush to leave the room.  Finally made it to the buffet at 8:30 - just as it had closed.  So we had to leave with empty stomachs.

Exiting the ship was no problem.  There really wasn't any line - just a parade of folks exiting off the Promenade.  The second gangway had been restored - and the obvious jokes about the lesbians getting off the ship first were passed around.  Bags were waiting in the designated area - no fuss.  The line to get through customs and immigration was a bit daunting - but it wasn't a problem.

We took the shuttle to the airport and made it to the check-in just as a school soccer team arrived ahead of us.  But the kiosk gave us a quick boarding pass and we thought we were golden.  Then we saw the line to security - which ended outside of the airport and snaked through (as it turns out) in 3 separate sections.  It was LONG.  We thought we weren't going to make it through without killing someone - but we did (but if looks could kill we'd be in jail).

The terminal had terrible food service - but we made due since we were starving.  Flight back was uneventful.  When we landed we caught a glimpse of Darren - first we'd seen him since the day we flew out.

We were home and unpacked by 6:30 - Chinese delivery was a no-brainer.

The whole trip back I monitored the Alumni site.  The complaints had BEGUN - and were pretty much non-stop for 2 full weeks.

The biggest complaints seemed to be unanimous.

The Solarium parties - the space just didn't seem to work for anyone.  They were used to the open air of the pool deck and they found this confining.  Not much to be done about this - and AMPLY warned by Rich for over a year in advance.  Didn't really affect me - and perhaps it is simply a matter of getting used to it.

The food - OMG did they bitch about the food.  Personally the last thing I go on an Atlantis vacation for is the food.  I don't want to stuff myself for a week.  I thought the food was fine - though the hours could have been adjusted a bit more (like the final morning for instance).

The drug busts and "Alpha, Alpha, Alpha" calls - oddly these went hand-in-hand and left folks with a feeling of being scrutinized.  Everyone felt like they were being watched for illegal activity (even those who had nothing to hide) and the alpha alerts just put us all on edge like at any minute someone was going to accidentally kill themselves.  There really isn't anything to do here - it was probably just an unexpected occurrence and thus disappointing.

The smaller complaints were about being given coasters instead of duffel bags, bitching that the themed parties were to vague (apparently the Lost Continent party lacked a certain costume cohesion - if you can believe THAT is worthy of complaining), and assorted things that folks felt entitled to complain about.

Rich did his best to promise improvement and to offload things that are outside of his control. 

But this blog needs to end on the positives - that seemed to have been missed in on the boards.

There were several big ticket positives.

The ship - is simply amazing.  Though bigger isn't always better - this ship is a BEAST (in a good way).  There are still places I wanted to go see - but did not have time to.  And the fact that it was only 2 months old made it the most unique cruise we will ever take.

T-dances - were all the best I've ever attended.  The location - IDEAL.  The halftime shows - wonderfully FUN.  The jumbo-trons - BRILLIANT.  And the invention of "Instant Tea" is, I hope, a permanent addition (though I guess the surprise will never be the same).

The entertainers - I enjoyed them all.  And each of them was ON for this trip.  No one could EVER accuse any of them of giving less than their best performances.  I loved all the shows I saw - and wished I had made it to more.

Dual-themed parties - though I never attended - the very idea that you could choose to be an Angel or Demon, into Anthems or Beats, a Hero or a Anti-Hero (Villain) seems to me to have re-invigorated some of the underlying structure of everyone dressing similarly.  And from what I hear I wish I had seen the Demon party.
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