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About ostrich710

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Royal Caribbean
  1. We were on Allure in December and self-disembarked in Miami. We waited in line on the ship for about ten minutes before they started disembarkation, and literally walked through customs -- no wait in either the passport line or birth certificate line. The point where we ran into trouble was getting transportation once outside Terminal A. We had ordered an Uber, and apparently should have sooner... as we probably waited about 20-30 minutes for him to get through all of that traffic.. I have heard that it is much quicker to jump in a cab, and we will do this in the future. Regardless, we were at Budget to rent a car before they opened at 8am.
  2. We were on Allure in December and found pizza at Sorrento's to be quite good. For reference, I am a pizza aficianado, and my boyfriend could take it or leave it. We both found ourselves at Sorrento's daily. Granted, it might not get rave reviews when compared to our favorite pizza joints at home, but it was more than enjoyable, and found it to be much improved over previous Royal sailings. Enjoy Allure!
  3. Prices change all the time, but will definitely be less expensive pre-cruise. On our Anthem cruise last April, we paid $41/pp, and on our Allure cruise in December, I think we paid $53. I'm not sure when your cruise is, but those Anthem prices were secured during a Black Friday promotion, which is a great time to snag deals for excursions, dining and drink packages, etc. Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but Royal will always let you cancel and rebook your package if a lower price arises, so many recommend booking whenever you see a price that you are comfortable with, as you can always rebook if it goes down. As for breakeven point, most say it is around 4-5 drinks, but of course will depend on what you drink and the actual price you paid. If you're drinking 5-6 a day, basically the only way you wouldn't get your money's worth would be if you're drinking Bud Light bottles, or similar. Don't forget, this includes bottled water (we like to order a couple at each bar stop and bring them back to the room to stash in our fridge!), fresh squeezed juice, specialty coffees, etc. Whatever you decide, you will have a great time! Happy Cruising!
  4. If it's in the budget, we highly recommend it. It was our favorite specialty on Anthem (we did Chops, Jamie's, Izumi, Wonderland) and we missed it on our Allure cruise later in the year. For us, all of the specialty restaurants were good, both in service and quality of food. Wonderland was something out of the ordinary that we never would have had at home. Many people warn that you must be an adventurous eater to enjoy Wonderland -- we did not find that to be the case. We are not picky, but did not find anything to be off-putting or unappetizing. The food was delicious, the service was excellent, and the experience was something that felt vacation-worthy.
  5. 150 CP was our favorite -- on our last cruise, we did Giovanni's, Samba, and 150 CP. Have done Chops on other ships, as well. Given the choice between these four, 150 would still be our choice for one night... it feels the most special and we enjoyed our meal most here, considering quality of food, ambiance, and service. That said, all meals were enjoyable, and I don't think you can go wrong with whichever you choose! Enjoy Allure, she's a great ship!
  6. My guess is it's just sold out for pre-booking. We are on the sailing before yours, and noticed 150 CP disappearing from dining options a few weeks ago. It still shows in our planner as having it booked though. I think you're fine!
  7. Hi, Everyone! We were on Anthem in April and had success putting a small case of bottled water in a reusable grocery bag with a luggage tag and sending it through with our checked luggage. Wondering if anyone has had recent success with this on Allure. We have a beverage package, so not a huge deal, but it's nice to have a stash of bottled water in our fridge without having to order one with every drink. Thanks! Laura
  8. Regarding when Allure arrives in Miami, Bill is correct that it must be sometime in November. We are on the 12/2 Allure sailing and it is out of Miami. That should give Royal plenty of time to smooth out their embarkation/debarkation process. In my experience, with self-carry, you'd have plenty of time to make a 10am flight. But if you are the type who will stress over something going wrong the entire week, it might be worth it to try for something later.
  9. I second the poster who recommended enjoying 270 for a light breakfast. Especially if you are an early riser, you will have the impressive venue and views mostly to yourself. Our experience with MTD was actually quite good on Anthem, although this seems to vary by sailing. We never waited at all, and sometimes went to dinner at times completely different than what we had reserved (we were a party of two). Servers here are still happy to bring more than one of anything, which we usually take advantage of on formal night to create our own surf 'n turf. If you're at all adventurous, try Wonderland. It's a fabulous experience. Although reports of a limit for the beverage package are out there, we were never charged a cent for a single drink, alcoholic or otherwise. We do tip additional in cash, but I'm not sure things would've been different had we not. It can be tricky to find a spot in the sun on sea days. If you don't need to be by the pool, there's a great sun deck right below the FlowRider on the back of the ship (I think deck 15). We found the gym to be busy, but enjoyed playing basketball just the two of us in the SeaPlex before all of the kiddos on the ship woke up. If you can handle it and want to get on the road early upon debarkation, self-carry your luggage. No joke, we were off the ship, through customs, and pulling out of the parking garage in ten minutes flat. Never have I experienced a more seamless debarkation.
  10. Waiting with bated breath for this review -- we are on the Allure's eastern itinerary in December. What a lucky kid to have his back to school wish granted, and how special that he wants to spend his last week on vacation with mom and dad. Have a great trip!
  11. Hi, everyone! We sail out of Miami on Allure this December, although it is likely that we will fly into FLL, as it is looking considerably less expensive. We will fly in the day before our cruise and enjoy dinner in Miami. My other half is also interested in spending a bit of time around his alma mater, Barry University. Not sure yet if we will Uber or rent a car. Any suggestions on the most convenient hotel for our purposes? Would like something nice enough, but would like to keep it within the $200 mark or so. Thanks for your input! Laura
  12. Awesome! Thanks for all the quick replies -- I think we will skip the beach bed and save a little money, since it doesn't sound like we'll have a ton of time to enjoy it. Also good to hear that we won't have trouble finding loungers. Thanks, everyone!
  13. Hi, everyone! We will be in Labadee on the Allure in December -- 9:30 - 6pm. Our top priority on this stop is jet skiing, although we'd really like to add the zip line in as well. After reading a recent review of the beach beds, I think they'd be an awesome home-base and relaxing spot. We don't want to have to hunt for loungers or be amongst huge crowds. But do we have too much going on on Labadee to enjoy them? It doesn't seem like the proximity for either of these two activities is super close to the beach beds, either. What do you think? Thanks! Laura
  14. Hi, everyone! We are in St. Maarten in December on the Allure from 8am-5pm. We are planning on renting a spyder from SXM Spyder to do a self-tour of the island. So far on our list are stops at Orient and Maho Beaches. We are not huge beach people, so these will likely not super lengthy stops (90 minutes each, max?). Aside from this, is there anything that we should see while we are out and about? We are not interested in cramming our schedules, just seeing a few sights that aren't commonplace here in New England (photo ops, restaurants, cool historical sites, etc.). Also, we wouldn't mind getting a little snorkeling in, but only if there's something convenient and worthwhile along the way -- not a deal breaker! Oh, and we'll probably pop in on Yoda on the way out, provided that there's time... Thanks for your help! Laura
  15. I'm also craving everything Allure for our upcoming December cruise. I've searched hundreds of times and read some of the same posts over and over. It doesn't matter! I just love hearing everyone's accounts of and tips for this magnificent ship!
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