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KansCocoa

Middle Aged Drama Queen Goes BIG: Solo & Last Minute on the ALLURE!!!

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We've sailed the Allure and Oasis, and although it looks like it's crazy in there at times, we always managed to find a table. As you mentioned, sometimes we did have to go around to the back. During busier times we also found the staff pretty good at helping people find a table.

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Sherri - YAY - I was hoping you would do a review of your last minute Solo Allure Cruise (I follow your blog) - we are boarding Oasis in May - totally can't wait to read your impressions of this enormous ship!!!

Barb

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Am I the only one that doesn't think the windjammer is that small. When we were on the oasis we went a couple of times and never had a problem finding a table for 4 people. Just wondering if everyone went all the way around to the back. As a matter of fact the very back portion was closed off twice when we were in there because it wasn't needed.. Now I will have to admit that the food stations seem closer together than other windjammer a but seating wasn't an issue.

 

I didn't find it small either but if you look at my cruise history I don't have that many to compare to. I found the Grandeur to be much more congested and took much longer to find a table when it was only 2 people as opposed to my Oasis/Allures which have been groups of 3, 6 & 2. Even day 1 at about 12:30 we went to get our honey stung chicken sampler platter ;) and was seated as soon as we entered.

 

 

Sent from my Speak & Spell using Tapatalk

Edited by Beth C

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Thanks for staying with me, everyone! After all the excitement of last night's Super Bowl, I had to take a breather and get some rest. Who knew we'd finally have a game in the last quarter?!!!

 

If you remember where we left off of our tour, we’re still on Deck 16…and we’re now alllllllll the way back in the back – or aft, in official ship talk.

 

If you remember Deck 16, we started out in the front….all slow and easy…in the zen-like Solarium…and because sometimes we adults need some liquid relaxation, we discovered two of the pool-side bars – the Sky Bar and the Mast Bar. I’m not sure about you, but after partaking of some liquid relaxation, I need food – and Deck 16 provides that, with not only Izumi, but the Windjammer. And, of course – after indulging in either the delicious Asian goodness of Izumi – or overindulging in the buffet of the Jammer – some activity is now needed.

 

<Snort. "Activity"????!! Who am I kidding?! The only activity I need on a cruise is arranging my pool towel on my lounger so that it's absolutely perfect. But indulge me...if you will...because it will help me segue into the next segment.)

 

Back to "activity." We will find that at the very back of Deck 16…where we discover two of the many items that make the Allure unique.

 

First – the double FlowRiders.

 

FlowRiderStandUp_zps6d0139e1.jpg

 

The port-side FlowRider is designated for stand-up surfing (minimum height is 58”), while the starboard-side FlowRider is designated for boogie boarding (minimum height is 52”).

 

There are posted times when the FlowRider is open:

 

FlowRiderHours_zps7607d1fe.jpg

 

 

You can also pay for private lessons; the rates are below:

 

FlowRiderRates_zps56e49c39.jpg

 

 

Parents: If your kids are under the age of 18, you’ll need to sign a waiver for them. If they’re under 13, you need to stay and supervise them while they’re participating on the FlowRider.

 

I’ll just say right here that I did not – and will not – EVER do the FlowRider. Ever. Never. No way. No how. I have a terrible aversion to water in my face, and until they can design a way for me (and others like me, because I KNOW I’m not alone in this…um...phobia) to ride the FlowRider, without a single drop of water touching my face, it ain’t happenin’. Hubby Mike thinks I’m weird, but I’ve patiently explained that it’s no different than having a phobia of spiders or snakes…okay. Wait. Perhaps it’s a little different…but it’s still the same.

 

Anyway. I didn’t ride the FlowRider. You get the idea.

 

----

 

And secondly...there is the ZipLine.

 

ZipLineSteve_zps55fc7426.jpg

Steve, on the ZipLine...

 

Ahhhhh, the ZipLine.

 

If you've ever felt the need to soar 9 decks high while cruising in the Caribbean, here's your chance....For a mere 82' that will feel like a few seconds, it's a rush like no other.

 

Of course...I wouldn't know this. Because I didn't do it. Nope.

 

After I saw how all you ZipLiners land:

 

ZipLineLanding_zpsa6632b4a.jpg

Amy, at the landing....

 

...where you somewhat come in hard and then crash and smash into the foam, hoping against hope that you don't take out the RCI employee waiting for you...

 

...I decided that my broken foot would prevent me from doing this.

 

Oh. That's right. I neglected to mention that I was sailing with a BROKEN FOOT on the World's Largest Cruise Ship.

 

Yup. I broke my foot on December 19th, which is a long story in and of itself, but just know that I had no one to blame but myself and my complete lack of grace, and I was oh-so-priviledged to don a lovely orthopedic boot for several weeks...and although I had removed my oh-so-fashionable (NOT) boot for the cruise, I was still limping while traversing the miles and miles of corridors of the Allure...which was NOT fun, nor conducive for my healing.

 

Here's a tip for you: Don't break your foot weeks before sailing on the World's Largest Cruise Ship. You're welcome.

 

Anyway. I digress.

 

When I saw how hard some of the ZipLiners were landing, I decided that in the best interest of my broken foot, it would behoove me to stay away from the ZipLiner.

 

Certainly the fact that I am petrified of heights had NOTHING to do with not riding it. Nope. Not at all. Nor the fact that I really had no desire to drop 9 decks, like a ton of bricks, if that teeny-tiny little harness should break while MOI was in it. That had NOTHING to do with it.

 

It was because I needed to protect my foot. Yup. Protection.

 

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

 

Anyhoo, here are the hours for the ZipLiner, in case you feel the need to fly:

 

AllureZipLine_zps2cc1dbf5.jpg

 

Note that the minimum age for ZipLining is 6 years old; you MUST have socks and pants/shorts on...and your clothing must be dry. There is a minimum of 75 lbs and a maximum of 275 lbs to ride. Your pockets MUST be empty - and no cameras, no watches, and no glasses.

 

ON TO DECK 15!!!

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Sweet - first you reviewed our Freedom trip back in July, and now you are previewing the Allure, which I'll be on in May for my (29+1) Birthday.

 

I have to ask - did you delay any excursions this time? =p

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I may end up being solo on my upcoming B2B, so your review will be a great help. First time for me as solo. Thanks.

Kathy

 

Hey, I'm glad this could help, Kathy! Us Solos have to stick together...but would that be an oxymoron??!!

 

SO excited to see another of your reviews! I was on the Allure in October and was surprised I loved it. I am going on the Serenade in August for the 12 night Mediterranean Greek Isles cruise and your review of that one has been sooo much help! Even though I am still to chicken to do excursions outside of RCCL! LOL

 

OMG, you're going to have an amazing time on the Serenade! I'm glad my review of that could help...even if you use RCI for your tours, I hope my other tips will help - like wearing a GOOD pair of shoes that don't slip! ;)

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Solo cruising is the best! Thank you for taking us along on the Allure with you and on one of your adventures!

 

I agree, Mr. Fun! There is a certain freedom in solo traveling that is actually very liberating! :)

 

I also had no interest in sailing the big ships, but DH and friends talked me into it and we booked the Allure B2B and sailed in December. I loved the ship and didn't think it was too big and it never felt crowded to me either!!

Looking forward to your review and pics!

Dee

 

Thanks, Dee...! I'm glad our DH and friends can talk us into doing things we wouldn't normally do - for both our sakes! :)

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Can't wait to read the rest of your review. I REALLY like your review so far - and I'm sure I will love the rest.

 

Thank you, Apila...I hope it doesn't disappoint. ;)

 

 

Your reviews are fantastic Sherri. I can't wait for more! I'll be checking in each day for the next installment. :)

 

Thank you, Pattie...I hope to post some each day...today, I don't have to work, so I should get a lot done today. Tomorrow, though, I'm teaching a Red Cross class, so we'll see... ;)

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Awesome, I am already enjoying this review. I love spur of the moment kind of things!

 

Thanks, Westh2o...I am normally NOT a spur of the moment girl, but sometimes, it's the spontaneous things that turn out to be the most fun. I actually SURVIVED without an Excel spreadsheet - who would have thunk it??!!

 

 

 

Looking forward to reading the rest of your review Sherri!!

 

Thank you, louhun! :)

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Fantastic review and I'm in for the rest. We are sailing on the Oasis in April and if you happen to jump on another cruise you are welcome to come see our CLS. :)

 

Can't wait to read/see the rest of the trip!

 

Ty

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Loving your review so far! I was also very hesitant to try the Allure. My husband is more hesitant than I am. We 're not planning on eating in the MDR any of the nights, so I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

Looking forward to checking for any new installments :)

 

Thank you! Please be assured...I think you'll enjoy it. You're already ahead of the game by being on Cruise Critic, and reading others' reviews and tips. If you know what to expect - you'll be fine. I can't wait until you come back in April and do a review of YOUR trip - with pictures! :)

 

Sherri, you are more than welcomed to come crash my cruise wedding on May 12. I am having 25 guest and 4 people in our wedding party. Do you think the chapel is REALLY small or will everyone be comfortable? Any more pics of the chapel?

 

Loving your review, thanks for sharing!

 

Aw, thank you for the invitation to be a wedding crasher - but wait! Isn't that an oxymoron, as well? An invited wedding crasher??!! ;)

 

The chapel is narrow...but long. I don't have any more photos - but if you put the two photos together - that's about the extent of the chapel. Your wedding party should be fine, and your guests will just be in the long row behind you... (does that make sense??!! Geesh...I need some caffeine!)

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Loving your review and can't wait for more. Writing and storytelling is definitely your calling! Hurry back, us reviews addicts are getting antsy!

 

So...I wasn't far off in telling everyone I am in EPIC WRITER working on an EPIC REVIEW??!! Thank you!

 

 

As we are checking in we discovered I had brought my husband's old, expired passport. After much pleading, begging and thinking of alternatives, he had to fly back home and I sailed the first portion by myself if this huge room. I cried for the first 24 hours. My husband joined me for the second part of the B2B and we loved the ship. Lesson learned, however.

 

OMG, that is a cruiser's NIGHTMARE! I can't even imagine...your DH is a saint. Hubby Michael...um...would have probably killed me at the port. However, I LOVE how you find the cure - shopping and bling - and I'm glad he was able to join you for the 2nd part. If you never wrote a review - or a blog - of that experience, you should have! ;)

 

And the Freedom...wasn't she beautiful??!! I don't know which is my favorite now...the Radiance class...the Freedom class...or the Oasis class...they're all so unique in their own ways....guess I'll just have to keep cruising on all of them to keep testing to see what I like best. ;)

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I love travelling alone, it gives you so much more freedom. Absolutely loving your review, you have a great writing style - very witty.

 

Thank you! And I agree...solo traveling is liberating. I didn't have to report in to anyone; I could eat/sleep/shop whenever I wanted to; and I had the ENTIRE bed to myself! (Well. Not quite. I DID pick up a rather unique sleeping partner - but that story is for later. ;))

 

kanscocoa, Im so excited you are reviewing a cruise I will actually be taking...since I love your reviews! Yeah!

 

I'm also not at all surprised about your "conversion";) The thing is all the Royal ships are HUGE!!!:eek: But these 2 biggest ones are designed differently, and therefore less crowded and better at crowd management. I did an EPIC analysis of this in my Oasis review, but we still hear from people who simply believe it cannot be true.

 

Anyway...can't wait to read the rest,and since you will post compasses (yeah!) do I dare to hope you did Eastern???

 

Thank you! I LOVE your reviews - they've always been helpful to me in my own planning - and dreaming. I cruise vicariously through all of you EPIC review writers! ;)

 

Yes. I will post compasses. And yes. I did Eastern. WOOT!!!!

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WOW! 5 pages already? I've got some catchin' up to do!:eek:

 

Looking forward to the rest of your review Sherri!

 

Chris

 

Thanks, Chris! :)

 

Am I the only one that doesn't think the windjammer is that small. When we were on the oasis we went a couple of times and never had a problem finding a table for 4 people. Just wondering if everyone went all the way around to the back. As a matter of fact the very back portion was closed off twice when we were in there because it wasn't needed.. Now I will have to admit that the food stations seem closer together than other windjammer a but seating wasn't an issue.

 

I actually agree with you, clott! I guess I should have been more specific in my review...it's not the seating I had an issue with - I was just surprised at how condensed the food stations were...especially for a ship with over 6,000+ passengers (and we were sailing at full capacity). I guess...in my own, unique, warped way...I was expecting a buffet that stretched for two miles... hee hee.

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Sherri - YAY - I was hoping you would do a review of your last minute Solo Allure Cruise (I follow your blog) - we are boarding Oasis in May - totally can't wait to read your impressions of this enormous ship!!!

Barb

 

Woot! A blog follower! (Sorry it's been neglected...life got in the way!) I can't wait for YOUR impressions of the Oasis after your sailing! Hint Hint. ;) Thanks, Bard!

 

 

Fantastic review and I'm in for the rest. We are sailing on the Oasis in April and if you happen to jump on another cruise you are welcome to come see our CLS. :)

 

Can't wait to read/see the rest of the trip!

 

Ty

 

Woot! A friend in high places!! The CLS! See...I would be so tempted, just to see beyond those locked doors! I hope you post photos. Hint Hint. ;) Thanks, Ty!

Edited by KansCocoa

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Sweet - first you reviewed our Freedom trip back in July, and now you are previewing the Allure, which I'll be on in May for my (29+1) Birthday.

 

I have to ask - did you delay any excursions this time? =p

 

OMG, I just snorted my Diet Dr. Pepper...this made me laugh.

 

My reputation apparently precedes me.

 

Um. No.

 

This would be because I only did ONE excursion on this sailing, and I made sure I wasn't THAT girl...the girl who holds up the rest of the bus because she's lost. You're never going to let me live that down, are you???!! ;)

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i just found your review - i've only read the first post but as they say, you had me at "i'm here to tell you"...

 

i'm signing on now so that i don't miss anything!! :)

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Day 1: Embarkation

 

Is there anything more exciting than walking across the gangway onto a cruise ship for the first time???!!

 

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Nope, it's my most favorite part of embarkation.........erm, well I do like see the ship in port, I actually don't mind standing in line and getting the carry on's screened, erm I am actually one of those nerds who would rather board late and watch the ship from a cool lunch place at the port.

 

You are reminding me of my first and only solo (so far!!!)cruise on Freedom OTS that I did the January before I flew over here to start my new job (solo for 18 months until, hubs could finally "retire" from Northorp Grumman after 23 years USAF!!). I didn't know anyone getting on the ship, knew I could hang our in Vintages or the Diamond Lounge.....fellow wino's are happy people! Every night was fun, every night! To sit in those places "SOLO" wasn't how I felt!!!

 

Sorry to hijack, I am loving this and all of your previous "Middle Aged Drama Queen" reviews..........we might be related!!!

 

Thanks for this, it's fun to read when it's cold as h e double tooth picks right now!!!!:)

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Now…we’re down to Deck 15…or as I referred to it, the “Wet and Sweat” Zone.

 

This is because this entire deck is predominantly devoted to three things:

 

1. The Pools

2. The Sports Court

3. The Teenagers

 

And yes. Having raised seven kids, of which three were boys, I know that teenagers are predominantly sweaty. So…my description fits.

 

Let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start.

 

In the very front of the ship, we have the SOLARIUM.

 

Solarium3_zps5a8d23ab.jpg

 

And I capitalized that on purpose. The SOLARIUM. Because, frankly…WOW! I have been in solariums on the Radiance class ships (Radiance, Brilliance, Serenade), as well as the solarium on the Freedom…but nothing – NOTHING – prepared me for the grandeur and beauty of the SOLARIUM on the Allure. It blew me out of the water.

 

I could live here.

 

How to describe it? It’s multi-deck…multi-covered…with little pockets of zen and bliss surrounded by comfortable loungers and chairs…it’s a little piece of heaven tucked into the entire front of the ship. And it was blissfully quiet.

 

There is a small pool where you could sit and soak and cool off:

 

SolariumHotTub_zpsfcb74fc1.jpg

A view of the Solarium pool....

 

 

Besides the small pool, there are two hot tubs available in the SOLARIUM:

 

Solarium_zpsc43089dd.jpg

 

 

The SOLARIUM is open 24 hours a day...it was the perfect place to escape to at the end of a long day....

 

Solarium4_zps78fd484f.jpg

Don't those loungers look inviting? I don't ask for much...just a foo-foo drink with a paper umbrella and a Kindle...I'm a happy girl.

 

 

Here’s a tip: If you are looking to escape the noise and craziness of your fellow cruisers – slip off to the SOLARIUM for some rest and relaxation. You don't have to get there SUPER early on a sea day to get a lounge - but I WILL say that by 11:00 am on a sea day, the place was pretty packed. Some chairs are in the sun - but others are in the shade.

 

It's on Deck 15 that you'll find the Solarium restaurant: the Solarium Bistro by day, and the Samba Grill by night. I'll be doing a review (with photos) of both of these venues when I get into the day-by-day synopsis.

 

However, just know that the Solarium Bistro was a pretty busy place. It IS open on Embarkation Day - as I found out - beginning at 11:30, so if you want a healthier choice - and less crazy/busy choice - than the Windjammer - now you know where to escape to. And it's free.

 

The Bistro is also open - and free - for breakfast for days after Day #1. It will open around 7:00 am each day, and serve breakfast until 10:30 am.

 

At 6:00 pm each evening, the Bistro changes over to the Samba Grill - a Brazilian steakhouse. This is NOT free - there is a $30 per person fee to dine here...and is it worth it? I'll tell you...later.

 

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Hurray!!!! I was waiting for this!

 

I'm only here for two reasons.

 

1. I can't wait to back on Allure and I'm reading every review posted on her since I rebooked her for this spring.

 

2. I enjoyed the OP's Med cruise immensely. I'm sure its going to be a great read. Perhaps others weren't but I was intrigued by how she did get on it sans family.

 

3. ok ,I thought of a 3rd reason. I am actually already planning my next review and I'm keeping in mind things I like and don't like. I've also thought of two things I don't think have been in any review and I'm just checking to make sure they aren't in this one ;)

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There’s the Pinnacle Chapel…which, being on Deck 17, practically has you closer to Heaven than you could ever be:

 

I visited the Pinnacle Chapel twice…hoping to be a Wedding Crasher…but alas. No weddings that I ever saw. I will say that it was much narrower than I expected. You could almost – but not quite – touch both walls if you stood in the middle. I’m just saying that in case you decide to get married onboard – and want to have 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen. Unless you stack them on top of each other, you may have problems. "

 

 

 

Actually, that's just the "ante-room" where the bride and her attendants stay while the groomsmen are already in the chapel, nervously waiting!!!! I know this because my sister got married on Oasis....there are all kind of hidden places for people to prepare for the actual ceremony. If you'd just gone thru those doors I think you would have been blown away. We were told at Allure's chapel is even bigger......

 

Just sayin'.............:o:o The room for the reception was at the other end of this ante-room so the whole event was private.

Edited by alwayshappytocruise

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Continuing with our Wet & Sweat Zones, we are now coming to the pools…of which there are four of them (not counting the SOLARIUM pool, of course).

 

Because the pools are separated by the canyon known as Central Park (look out below!), as well as the Skywalk Bridge, there are four quadrants to the pool deck.

 

 

Closest to the adults-only SOLARIUM, we have the Main Pool and the Beach Pool. The Main Pool, in Quadrant #1 (upper left), is the traditional pool, and it includes two hot tubs.

 

This first picture shows a couple of things...first, the "canyon" of Central Park running beside the pool. This would be an FYI if you're considering booking a Central Park Balcony room - on Deck 14, perhaps - as you might be getting pool noise in your room. Just something to consider.

 

MainPool1_zps1285949d.jpg

The pool...one of two hot tubs in the distance...and the "canyon"....

 

Another shot - from the other side - of the Main Pool:

 

MainPool2_zps520e1c7a.jpg

 

This photo shows a bit of the "stadium-like" lounge seating that is along one side of the Main Pool:

 

MainPool3_zps0e00f14b.jpg

 

 

And finally...the pool rules for the Main Pool:

 

MainPoolRules_zpsc3555f4b.jpg

 

 

There's artwork all over the entire ship...and the pool area isn't left out of the fun...I think we've all seen these guys hanging out at the pool by now, as they seem to make everyone's photo review of the Allure:

 

MainPoolStatue_zpsa506d970.jpg

WHAT is she doing? Scratching her head? Did she forget something? Does she have a headache??!!

 

 

And we have the Perpetual Pool Lounge Lizard...

 

MainPoolStatue2_zps6553f839.jpg

"Hey, baby...how about coming up to my cabin and checking out my etchings??!"

 

 

I didn't ever swim in the Main Pool...besides the SOLARIUM pool, I had discovered another piece of bliss, that I'll talk about in the next post....

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Actually, that's just the "ante-room" where the bride and her attendants stay while the groomsmen are already in the chapel, nervously waiting!!!! I know this because my sister got married on Oasis....there are all kind of hidden places for people to prepare for the actual ceremony. If you'd just gone thru those doors I think you would have been blown away. We were told at Allure's chapel is even bigger......

 

Just sayin'.............:o:o The room for the reception was at the other end of this ante-room so the whole event was private.

 

Oh, yay! I'm glad someone could set me straight...I'm glad it was bigger. I should have gone through the doors! Drat!

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I loved your Med review, gave me a lot of ideas for our cruise in Sept 2013.

 

Have read all your reviews and am now a follower of your blog, just great.

 

Judy

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