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gambee

Nov 4, Allure of the Seas, Western Caribbean - A Review and Complete Pictorial Guide!

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Wonderful review. Looking forward to the rest!!

 

Fantastic! Can't wait to read more!!

 

Than you for following and the nice comments. More to come tonight.

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What an awesome job you are doing! Love the detail and your pictures are amazing! Thanks so much for taking the time - we all can appreciate how much work goes into these picture reviews!!!

 

Barb

 

You're welcome. Thanks for following me and taking the time to make a post.

 

I'm already planning my next review and I've been giving this some thought. In my last review I varied the size and that had some unpleasant side affects to the appearance of the review. I think for my next review I'll scale them all to 1024x768 as that seems to be a size most people can accommodate.

 

That is precisely the size I settled on after testing many other sizes.

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Well, you do about the best amateur job I have ever seen!:cool:

 

 

Ok - THAT is enough to keep me off those rocks alone! :eek: :eek:

 

Thank you for the compliment. I have a lot more pictures. Some of them came out really nice. I can't wait to post them.

 

Thank you for taking the time to give detailed review along with pictures and tips. This is definitely going to be a terrific read. Thanks again.

 

I am glad you're enjoying reading it. Sometimes I don't think I am that easy to follow. My grammar is far from perfect.

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Great pictures!! What kind of camera are you using?

 

Thanks!

 

That will be my next post, it will be up by tonight. I am working on it as we speak, a few other fellow cc goers asked about it last night.

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I am glad you're enjoying reading it. Sometimes I don't think I am that easy to follow. My grammar is far from perfect.

 

Have no fear - your english is completely understandable! I'm reading along as someone who has spoke it for all of about 8-10 month of my life thinking "wow MY english really sucks!" :rolleyes:

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Cameras.. don't get me started… One of my many obsessions :D

 

For those of you that asked about what camera I am currently using. It's a Sony Nex-F3, there are many options in the Nex family, the reason I picked this one in particular was because of the integrated movable flash and the lower price point. She is a great little camera and capable of taking some very nice pictures.

 

There are however a few flaws, the ergonomics of the camera are not the best and when you ask people to take a picture of you sometimes they struggle finding the shutter (one guy almost dropped it in Cozumel and I almost had a heart attack). The other problem is that she tends to climb to high iso, sometimes up 3200, the good news is that she can handle it very well under most circumstances, I just wished she stayed below ISO 2000.

 

Paired up with my camera are 3 lenses, the one that came with it is a kit lens Sony 18-55mm, is a very capable lens with a good range, the pictures taken from the north side of the inlet were taken with that lens. Unfortunately in all my packing fiasco I left that one at home. That is why you will find that I will add several panorama pictures to my review, I had to stitch a lot of pictures together. That 18mm focal range would of been great for some top deck pictures.

 

My main lens is a Carl Zeiss Sonnar 24mm f/1.8, it's a very fast lens and it can work wonders at night. This was the main lens I used during my trip, about 80% of the pictures were shot with it.

 

My third lens is a long zoom range Sony E 55-210mm f4.5-6.3 all the long distance pictures you will see were taken with this lens. It is a very good lens for the price, I only wished it was a little bit faster. None the less it will not disappoint you. All those pictures you saw from my last photo shoot were taken with that lens. The only thing I did was sharpen them ever so slightly before posting them.

 

All that said, this camera is absolutely amazing the size, weight and the picture quality will be hard to match at that price point. I am indeed in love with it and looking into getting a super wide lens for my future cruises :D. She is my pride and joy, I actually think this will be the camera that I will keep for a long time to come.

 

Attached to the camera is the Zeiss, then the Zoom in the middle and the kit lens to the right.

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I also used my Sony DSC-U60 underwater camera for a few of the underwater pictures. This was my first ever digital camera, I bought it back on 2003, surprisingly is the only camera that has managed to stay with me for that long. Over the years I've averaged about 1.5 cameras a year and sold them all but this one. She is not great, the pictures are very noisy and she is very slow. But she is sturdy as hell and very easy to carry around, not to mention cute and unique :D.

 

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Just a final note my previews camera that I just sold recently was a Sony DSC-HX9V, outstanding little camera. She served me right for the time I had her and enjoyed her very much. If you are looking for something more compact than the Nex lineup, look into a more current model of the hx9v, they are very strong performers. The only issue that I had with it was that it was tad slow and she might struggle a little at night, other than that it delivered great results.

 

I also took about 100 pictures with the Iphone camera.

 

 

Edited by gambee

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First of all I want to thank http://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ for the many hours of entertainment that they have provided and will continue to do so.

 

There she was safe from her last voyage and waiting for us to board her. A lot of viewers for that time, I guess I am not the only loser :D

 

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Image courtesy of http://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/

 

 

 

At last!!! It was November 4th!!!!! :D, I believe that this day had to be in the top 10 list of most awaited days of my life, I did so much more research and preplanning for this trip than any other one i've ever done. Mainly because it was something that I was not familiar with and I wanted to make sure I could experience the most possible in the time we had aboard. In any case we were extremely pumped up and ready to go. The weather you ask? it was going to be PERFECT!!! high of 82 and sunny!

 

Been waiting for that little ticker to show that for a long time!

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Image courtesy of http://www.cruise-ships.com/

 

 

I barely got any sleep that night and I woke very early I believe around 6:00am, the good thing was that daylight saving was over and we got an extra hour of sleep. About an hour later I woke up my bf so he could start getting ready, my mom woke up even earlier than I did to go to mass and finish packing all the last minute stuff.. I know I know, cruise boarding starts at 11:30, but I had every minute planned.

 

My bf takes long to wake up, shower and get ready and I am time control freak, so yeah sometimes we clash there. The idea was to be out of the house by 10am, be at the parking place by 10:35, then wait there for the shuttle and be at the terminal at 11am. I wanted to be among the first ones to board to make sure we got my bf reservations together with ours. Since we added him so late, all the show reservation that my mom and I had were already taken. But I read in the review of fellow CC member Host Faith that if you board early you can pretty much get any hour you like for the shows. Thank you for the tip Host :). This in the only time that I was very strict with timing of this trip, the rest of it was going to be very lax. Since we had no excursions booked, pretty much the only thing tying us up to time constraints was specialty restaurant reservations and the shows.

 

We decided to bring the bf's car since it is a hatchback and it could fit all the bags the easiest. The other two cars have an arsenal of beach equipment in them at all times and neither of us felt like clearing up the trunks.

 

I also grabbed the Zero chocolate bars that we were bringing along for our cabin steward, zero bars are my absolute favorite kind of chocolate and most people don't even know them. I like introducing people to them if I can.

 

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Mom and I decided to start carrying the bags down stairs and into the car while the bf got ready. At that time I also took pictures of all the bag just in case one of them got lost, that way we would have at least something to show to the RCCL staff so they could locate them. When I was carrying the bags to car I noticed the moon was still out and it was gorgeous, I switched my camera into my zoom lens and snapped a couple of pictures. "what a way to start this trip I though :)". I ended up putting one the hats in a plastic bag because I did not want it to get ruined in the big bags. Mom thought that was horrible and that it looked terrible, I really could care less, it was only for a few hours and to keep it safe. Although in her defense it did looked pretty bad.

 

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Once downstairs I placed all the bags in the trunk and I went to get the bf, we were only a few minutes behind schedule so I wasn't that much worried about it. On the way to the parking site I snapped a few pictures of a military plane that was stationed in the Ft. Lauderdale airport.

 

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When we got to the parking site everything was very quick, I was quite happy about that. The staff was absolutely wonderful, they had so much energy and it was certainly what we needed to get all excited. The yellow poster was a running joke my mom had with her brothers, if I find the picture I explain further, it might be in her ipad because I can't locate it. I thought the poster looked much worse than the hat in the plastic bag.

 

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We arrived to the terminal at 11:05, the terminal is extremely organized and very easy to follow. We dropped off our 3 bags and went to check in. Right after check in, immediately the carryon with the wine was sen't to security for further inspection. Two ladies not employed by RCCL, I think they were customs or police officers not sure, started to search the bag. They were very polite but they told us that we could not bring liquor aboard and it will be confiscated and given to us at the end of the cruise. We tried to explain to them that the rules had changed but they insisted otherwise gave us a ticket and took our wine. I was not too upset about it, I figured first thing once I board I will try to get my wine back.

 

The terminal was huge and as many have mentioned there is a designated area for suit passengers, we headed over to the where they dump the rest of the passenger ;), lol. I took the opportunity snap a few pictures there, while mom used her ipad and the bf went to the bathroom.

 

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I also took notice that the coke package label is imprinted your seapass while the wine package is a sticker. I read about that in the past and it puzzles me why they do it that way. The reason why it bothers is because as you will find out later on the review mom and I love jacuzzies and if you take that card with the sticker you might risk it coming off (although it might be waterproof). I never took that risk and just kept my moms card while in the jacuzzi, no biggie.

 

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At 11:59 they started boarding our section, before us were suits and C & A. This when you truly start to feel the crowds going on the bridge to get onto the ship was very very crowded. I was just hoping that this was not how it was going to be the rest of the cruise.

 

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As we walked into the ship with a face of amazement the first thing that we were asked to do was to use the hand sanitizer, so we did it and kept on walking. This is the first thing your eyes will see once they adjust to the light change.

 

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It was incredible, no amount of pictures can truly describe what you will see. It is just on explosion of colors and the magnitude of the space that just sends you into a state of shock for a few seconds. But once again the crowds are overwhelming, I lost my mom for a few second but I quickly located her.

 

Then after I held a grasp of myself I saw guest services straight ahead of me, so I made a dash for it to try to claim my wine back. Before I could get to the counter I was approached by a lady and asked what my concern was, I told her my wine had been confiscated and she told me that its RCCL policy of no liquor being allowed on board. I told her that they changed the policy two days ago and she told I was most likely confused. Then I pulled the UK statement she read it very fast and asked me for my name. Then she said to me "Mr……… your wine will be in your stateroom after sail away" she asked for my info, I thanked her and we left. She was very nice and polite, I wish I got her her name, but unfortunately I was too busy thinking I had other things to run to and get fixed. My mom was busy snatching a million pictures and using her 3G signal while it lasted sending pictures to all her brothers and family relatives.

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Then we headed down to Studio B to get all the reservations for the shows together. If you go there early it is very likely you will get every show you want.

 

To get there we went through the casino, as you walk into the door the first thing you notice is an intoxicating smell of smoke. I made no comment of it, but soon enough the bf brought it up, I was glad I was not the only one that noticed it. It was a good thing that we are not big casino people. That said the casino is very nice and large.

 

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When you exit the casino there is a stunning path heading towards studio B and Comedy live. I loved this little tunnel, it was gorgeous.

 

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Here is studio B, there was a short line to make the reservations. I believe we waited about 10 minutes in line.

 

ok, I hope you're reading because I will mention something important. We noticed this during the entire cruise. You will almost always find less crowds in the port side of the ship. This was the first time we saw that. While we waited in line, there was no line in the other side. We deiced to just stay in line and wait anyway.

 

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I'm really enjoying your fantastic review! I thought the sailaway pictures you posted on the Carnival board a while ago were great, but the ones in this review are spectacular.:) I loved all the bird and surfer ones. I hope to sail on Oasis or Allure one day, too. Keep up the great work, can't wait for more info and pictures.:D

Heather

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I'm really enjoying your review. If there were awards given out on CC for "Most Detailed and Anticipating" review, clearly you'd win. This is good. We're off of Oasis since Sept. with a VERY unexpected upgrade to the Family Suite and I'm still in withdrawal mode. Waiting for the family to make up their mind about Allure..

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Can't wait for more. Doing a B2B in December.

 

Thanks for joining in, you will have a blast. I wish I could do a B2B in her :)

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I'm really enjoying your fantastic review! I thought the sailaway pictures you posted on the Carnival board a while ago were great, but the ones in this review are spectacular.:) I loved all the bird and surfer ones. I hope to sail on Oasis or Allure one day, too. Keep up the great work, can't wait for more info and pictures.:D

Heather

 

Thanks for the support, glad to hear that I have a good following along. :)

 

I'm really enjoying your review. If there were awards given out on CC for "Most Detailed and Anticipating" review, clearly you'd win. This is good. We're off of Oasis since Sept. with a VERY unexpected upgrade to the Family Suite and I'm still in withdrawal mode. Waiting for the family to make up their mind about Allure..

 

Thank you so much for your comment, I will definitely try to keep it going as strong as I started it. I can't even imagine what the family suite is like, we were crammed into that cabin like sardines. lol, no it was not that bad, but it was a tight fit.

 

thanks for following.

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Nice job! Your pics are so lifelike I feel like I am sailing with you.

 

Sue

 

That is one thing that I was trying to aim for. Not sure if I was accomplishing it, thanks for the input. :)

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After we got all the shows together for all 3 of us we took an elevator up to go to central park so I could get the other two restaurant reservations of our package and also to buy the dinning package for my bf.

 

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My first stop was Giovanni's as this was the restaurant that we would be dinning that night. I went in and asked to buy one more central park dinning package and to change the reservation into a table for 3.

 

I was told that the package was $70, but I remmebered paying $65 on the internet for my mom and I. I asked why and they said that it was because RCCL had changed the pricing of the packages. I told them ok no problem and changed the reservation, $5 were not going to kill me. They said that they would try to get me the $65, but with no promises, I was charged $70 in the end.

 

These pictures are inside Giovanni's.

 

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They were pretty busy for lunch that day.

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