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About FirstCruise2331

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    Royal Caribbean
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  1. We were due to be on Majesty on 11/2. We had considered just going with it and taking the discount (which is very fair in my view), but our friends travelling with us can no longer go, so we decided to look at other options. Managed to switch to Allure on 11/3, just means an extra night in Ft Lauderdale (we are flying into Miami transatlantic on 11/1). Our original itinary included an internal US flight and land based vacation for 3 nights post cruise. In switching, the overall cost comes in cheaper and we get to go again on the beautiful Allure!! Good luck to everyone with their plans, disappointing the way it turned out but just have to do what's best for you and try make the most of it.
  2. Food glorious food! Where do I start?! There are so many options.. I will outline where we eat and our experiences for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love my food so much I forgot to take photographs! Breakfast We had breakfast in Wipeout cafe, Solarium Bistro and Windjammer. You need to check the compass to see the opening times as some places close at 9am. The MDR and Johny Rockets (free for breakfast) are options that we didn't manage to try. The Windjamer has loads of options like most RC ships. We actually only eat here on disembarkation day. The Solarium is smaller buffet offering but is quieter. Our favourite is the Wipeout Cafe. It's right at the back of the ship on Deck 15. It was never busy when we went. There's a small buffet selection with bacon, sauasages, eggs, salmon, bagels, fruit, etc. There's also a freestyle coke machine. What I liked the most was the fact they cooked made to order omelettes and you could sit outside. Lunch / snacks So many options.. Cafe promenade is open 24 hours where you can get sandwiches and cookies. I had a few sandwiches over the week, they were fine. Sorrentos pizza was decent. Not amazing or authentic, but very eadible. It's open until 3am so great for a late night post drinking food! The Boardwalk Dog House was great! They have about 6 types of dogs, I liked the Coney Island Dog (beef) with the added onions and saurkraut. I had quite a few! The Park Cafe is great. As mentioned above they do they roast beef rolls, melts, potato chips, salads, pre-made wraps, etc. Its open from about 11-6 most days. Aside from embarkation day there was never a wait of more than a minute. Dinner We had MyTime Dining and booked dinner times in advance of the cruise. We dont like the first night on cruise in MDR so we all went to Sabor. As we were planning on doing Chops on last night we booked the 3 night package on board for $99 each. Sabor ws delicious. There were 8 of us so we did family style and got some of everything. Very tasty dishes, LOADS of food. The guac was delicious. The spicy jalapeno sauce (with scotch bonnet in it!) was HOT and we loved it. In terms of MDR, even with bookings there was some waiting. The food was good to very good. The beef tenderloin was top quality, the fish and chips were very well put together. All in all we always enjoy the MDR. Our other two paid dinners we went to Chops both nights. We could have had Giovannis, 150 Central Park, Samba, Izumi, but not Hibachi or Chefs Table. We really like Chops. My wife was disappointed though as they no longer do French Onion Soup. I had ceasar salad to start first night and crab cake and Mushroom soup to start second night. The mushroom soup is equisite. Both nights I had filet mignon medium rare which was perfectly cooked. You can have pepper sauce (get it!), bernauise or red wine jus. Sides are very good as well - truffle fries, creamed spinach, asparagus, mushrooms! If you're that way inclined you can order multiple main courses in the MDR, the staff are very helpful in all dining venues. Food is subjective, but all in all we never went hungry and really enjoyed our food.
  3. Ports With only two working azipods, our original itinary was changed. We were informed a few weeks out that St Thomas was being replaced with San Juan and our time in Nassau was shorter. Some people were upset online, etc., I was disappointed but not too much. St Kitts was our first stop. 6 of us got off and walked to the taxi area. We chatted to a driver who called himself Smokey and the Bandit! He agreed to take us to Friars bay for $4 each each way. He dropped us off and arranged to collect us at 2:30. He didn't take money which gave me confidence he'd come back! The 'resort' at Friars Bay has a bar. We paid $10 each for a sunbed and $10 for an umberella. 6 bottles of Carib was $15 I think. We had a few buckets! Water was beautiful, but it was busy there. Smokey came back as arranged and took us back to the ship. All in all a nice beach stop. San Juan was a hot day! We just got off and walked around a bit before hitting Walgreens for some throat lozenges. I'm sure there's lots more to see in San Juan but it was a short stop. We didn't get off in Nassau as been before. For us, Allure was our destination so ports not that important. Personally if doing ports as main attraction, prefer the Adriatic and Med.
  4. Thanks! We didn't go to Cozumel. We went to St Kitts, San Juan and Nassau.
  5. Entertainment We always enjoy the entertainment on the Royal ships. Having deviated to Celebrity for one cruise, I feel Royal wins hands down on entertainment. So here's the things we saw / did. (1) Everynight / day stuff Charlie was the pub entertainer. He was very good, playing his 12 string guitar and taking requests from the audience. He does lean more towards country than other genres, but to be fair that was what most people were requesting. We had fun in the pub! The piano player at schooner bar was good, but we preferred Charlie. The House Band were excellent and we really enjoyed the 80's night in dazzles. They went on to play lots of other stuff like the Stones, etc., all very upbeat. We enjoyed the trivia, especially the Beatles v Queen name that tune. There was plenty of trivia every day. The Pool Band were excellent playing Reggae tunes, nothing like a frozen cocktail, sun shining and a steel drum playing! (2).Ocean Aria Wow, just wow! Loved this show. Get your booking done in advance and take your seats early (if you don't want to get wet avoid the first few rows!). (3) Blue Planet Meh! It didnt do it for me, vocals not great and didnt really understand the "plot". There was so much going on it was impossible to take everything in. The 70s Promenade party looked like fun but we didn't stay. We didnt make Mama Mia, headliner, quest, love and marriage, comedy or jazz on 4! Allure gets a big thumbs up though for entertainment with something to suit all tastes.
  6. Background So this was our third attempt to get on Allure, having had to cancel on two previous occasions for various reasons. We (myself 38 and DW 42) have been on three previous cruises (Enchantment, Ovation and Celebrity Constellation). We booked this one 11 months in advance with three other couples. We flew (from Ireland) two days before to Miami and stayed in the B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale is a nice spot, we hung out by the beach and had some food drinks the night before. But this was just the staging area leading up to one of my favourite things in the world...... Embarkation Day We ignored the time we were given and arrived at port around 12. We dropped off the bags and made our way into the terminal. We were asked to show proof we had an ESTA (required for non US citizens). It was quite awkward to find as it's electronic so it required me to login into the system with a reference number, etc. Anyway after a quick panic we were going up the escalator, Although we could have walked straight on with our Gold status (no line), our friends were first timers so we stayed with them. We were sat down for about five minutes before making our way up the gangway. You board on the Royal Promenade, which even though I've seen hundreds of photos of, really did make me go "wow"! We were hungry (and hungover!) so wanted to eat. We went to Deck 8 to Central Park (more on this later). There was a line but it moved and we got food. I had my first (of many) roast beef rolls. For those who don't know, there is a joint of roast beef that the chef slices in front of you. The roll is delicious and crispy and you can have gravy, horseradish, mustard or spicy mustard. The Park Café also has other sandwiches (tuna melts, etc), they will make you a salad and there's potato chips (Lays, Doritos, etc.). I will discuss the various food options separately but the Park Café is one of our favourites for light snacks. Following our feed we all headed up the pool deck to start using out drink packages (more on this later!). We had a few drinks before going to our rooms. We were all on separate decks (we had an OV (no balcony) on Deck 7 forward on the port side. This was a great location as it was one deck up to Central Park and two decks down to Promenade so easily done on the stairs, Muster for us was in the gym and as usual there were some idiots who were late (despite them telling us over and over about it). The Royal App is great when onboard, you can use the ship's wifi for free (for the app only not internet access). The app has the activities and shows your bookings. Also, very usefully you can connect to each other and message (once permission given). We used this throughout the week to keep in touch on board. It doesn't work all the time, but it was fine most of the time. Once Muster was done we were good to go. We did sailaway from the Solarium upper deck where there is a "wing" you can stand on and get some good photos, There was a great atmosphere and everyone was in fine form. I will continue the review under different headings - Entertainment, Ports, Food, Drink, Neighbourhoods, etc. I have some photos to post as well. Hopefully sharing our experience can help people looking forward to their own cruise on Allure. Any questions just ask and I'll do my best to answer. I don't have photos of the compasses sorry. I'm back to work tomorrow and will relive our cruise through this!
  7. Love the promenade deck on all the ships we've been on, it's generally quiet, great place to chill and read a book and be mesmerised by the wake! Look forward to seeing how Allure's promenade looks.
  8. Thank you for doing the review. We fly from Ireland on Friday and will be boarding on Sunday. If you manage to catch the house band or the pub guitarist can you let us know if they are any good please? Have a great cruise, keep the photos coming!
  9. Thanks! We have sailed Enchantment and Ovation and enjoy the live music. We are on Allure in 3 weeks, so Majesty will be a lot different! I don't mind the smaller ship for a short cruise and picked its because of the Havana stop. Just like Columbo I have one more question... are there coca-cola freestyle machines on board for the drinks packages?
  10. Was there a piano player / singer or guitar player / singer on board or a house band? I like live music when having a few drinks before or after dinner! We sail in November for 4 night with Havana stop.
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