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KansCocoa

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

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You know now that you mentioned it I never saw anyone playing in the sports pool either, it is not like we ever went the specifically to look for games, but still never saw it.

 

You have a great eye for detail, I can't believe how much I am seeing through your eyes.

 

Once during the week, I saw volleyball - sports pool listed in the compass and did see people playing. I think it was afternoon of one of the final sea days (eastern)

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Oh, NOW you tell me! Where were you when I needed you??!!

 

I hope you didnt really need it!

 

FYI, it can be found here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005RDJ63C/ref=oh_details_o04_s01_i00

 

If you have a Kindle touch, you do need to use the foam bumpers it comes with, but other than that, it works great.

 

I also can't say anything about mixing water with a Kindle. We were at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas last May, and my Girlfriend had her Kindle in her ginourmous purse. Well I had put a bottle of water in there as well, being the desert and all - having water close by is usually a good thing...except when the flip top comes open in her purse. Cue us standing in line to cash in our chips, and there is water dripping down onto her shoe.

 

Long story short, I had to buy her a new Kindle, had it shipped next day to our hotel. =p

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Totally fun review! Going on the Serenade in December, can't wait to read that one!:D

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Okay…now on to the aft of Deck 15…the Sports Court.

 

SportsCourtMap_zps5478c4d0.jpg

One of the maps found on the wall of the Sports Court...

 

 

We’ve left the wet – and we’re now at the sweat.

 

 

On the port side of the ship, there are two venues to work up a sweat:

 

The Back Deck…of which I don’t have a picture of…but consists of ping-pong tables. And they were ALWAYS in use – a very popular place!

 

 

There was a schedule posted of all of the various Sports Court games/tournaments that could be played:

 

Schedule_zpsb51bcad9.jpg

 

 

The second place to work up a sweat on portside is the miniature golf course:

 

Golf1_zps299660d6.jpg

 

Golf3_zpscab17716.jpg

 

Golf2_zps71159a98.jpg

 

Golf4_zpsf7519967.jpg

This just made me smile...if you're ever grumpy...just look at these little guys...Caddyshack, anyone?!

 

 

When you got hot and thirsty – or hungry – there is an appropriately named (for once) restaurant located here – called the Wipe Out Café. And it's free.

 

It’s named the Wipe Out Café for two reasons: first, it’s located near the FlowRiders. ‘Nuff said.

 

Secondly, it always looked completely wiped out, probably because of the multitudes of Klingons that invaded it each day. It's a small venue - and it would be TRASHED by the early afternoon. The food may have been very good - but it just looked so picked over and such that I couldn't make myself try it. There were just too many other venues onboard to try that didn't look so...wiped out. Hee hee. I did utilize the Freestyle Coke Machines that was found here, though, which I'll cover in my next post.

 

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This is a very, very dangerous place, as Dear Hubby and I found out on our summer sailing on the Serenade (say that five times fast). If you have kids, be sure to set FIRM rules and limits on what they can spend here. My dear, lovely 13-year old daughter thought her Seapass was a MAGIC card, and she swiped and swiped and swiped some more at the Arcade on the Serenade...and we didn't realize the damage she was doing until we got our final statement. Yowza. She's still working that bill off as we speak...slave labor. I'm such a mean Mom.

 

 

Does RCI allow you to set limits on your kids seapass cards? Last time we sailed with RCI it wasn't an issue because our daughter didn't want to go anywhere without us. On our last Carnival cruise we were able to set a $50 spending limit on her "magic" card.

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I’ll just say right here that I did not – and will not – EVER do the FlowRider. Ever. Never. No way. No how.

 

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

 

 

I remember someone saying almost the same thing about sailing on the worlds largest ship!!!

 

Getting so excited reading your play by play, I will be on the same cruise this September with my GF, Mom, and 5 kids! The arcade will be the death of my bank account!

 

I got a dollar that says someone will be trying the flowrider and zipline on their oasis trip :)

Edited by srvdmy4usn

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Great review. We are going on the Allure in less than 2 weeks. Really looking forward to it and finishing up your review. Love the pics so far.

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Ah, the coke machines. Let's talk coke.

 

 

CokeMachine1_zps0a1103fa.jpg

 

 

If I won the lottery, I'd have one of these in my home. It would be AWESOME!

 

First, let me begin by saying that I am a soda-popaholic. I love Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper, specifically - but anything fizzy will work. It's what I begin my day with, and what I end my day with (although I prefer the decaf Coke in the evenings - and previously, I could not get decaf Coke onboard.)

 

Being allergic to wine, I have to subsist mainly on soda pop - and so I always, always, always buy the Soda Pop package while onboard. RCI could charge $100 a day for the soda pop package, and I'd be the first sucker in line to buy it - I'm that addicted. Sigh.

 

In the past, when I needed a fix, I'd have to elbow my way up to the Pool Bar and wait - impatiently - for a harried and busy bartender to notice me and fill me up with my nectar of the Gods.

 

But NO MORE!

 

Thanks to the ingenuity of ...um...someone - who should be immortalized forever on the shrine of genius inventions - I now just have to elbow my way up to the Freestyle Coke Machine and wait - impatiently - for other harried and busy cruisers to figure out the workings of said machine - and soon enough, I am walking away with my nectar of the Gods.

 

It dispenses up to 125 flavors of Coke products. You'd almost have to try 18 flavors a day for the 7 days of your cruise to try them all. (I didn't do that.)

 

It's very simply, actually.

 

Either pre-purchase your Soda plan before you sail (online), or once you're onboard (like I had to do, since I booked at the last minute).

 

You'll get an AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, PRICELESS cup like this:

 

AllureFreestyleCokeMachine_zpsb726501b.jpg

 

 

These cups are the ONLY cups that work at the Coke Machines. (But don't worry - you can still elbow your way up to the Pool Bar, flash your SeaPass with your Coke sticker/imprint, and get coke in a regular glass, without your amazing, beautiful and priceless soda cup).

 

 

The floor mats in front of the Coke Machines have the directions on how to use it:

 

CokeMachine2_zpsa43338d9.jpg

 

But whoever looks DOWN?? Especially when in front of this amazing technology...so here...I'll help you:

 

1. Plop some ice in the cup. (Yes - you must have ice - even just a tiny bit)

 

2. Place the cup on the chip-reader window tray.

 

3. Push the button of your desired nectar of the Gods.

 

4. Push the button (again - if needed) if you want to fine-tune your selection.

 

5. Hold the button down until your cup is filled.

 

EASY, PEASY!

 

CokeMachine3_zpsd2bc284e.jpg

 

 

I loved the Diet Coke selections. After selecting Diet Coke, I then had the choice of fine-tuning it:

 

1. Cherry Diet Coke

2. Lime Diet Coke

3. Orange Diet Coke

4. Raspberry Diet Coke

5. Vanilla Diet Coke

6. Plain, old boring regular Diet Coke

 

Well. I tried them ALL. I loved them ALL.

 

But...I think...just maybe...the Raspberry Diet Coke was my favorite.

 

In the evenings, I'd go for a decaf Diet Coke fix...and I was a very, very happy girl. I'm easy like that.

 

There you go. Your easy directions on the coke machines.

 

There were two located on Deck 5 - in the Promenade - by Sorrento's.

There was one located on Deck 15 in the WipeOut Cafe.

There were a couple located on Deck 16 - in the Windjammer.

 

I never had to wait more than a person or two to get in line to use them...much faster than waiting at the Pool Bar.

 

My only complaints, which are minimal:

 

I was never one to carry my giant coke cup around with me - it's large, bulky and cumbersome.

 

When you're at the Solarium, you have to walk ALL the way to the back of the ship and either use the one in the Wipeout Cafe - or hop up a deck to the Windjammer. I WISH there was a machine located closer to the Solarium - or even the Beach pool. Being a solo cruiser, i didn't like leaving my towel, suntan lotion, etc, unattended while I went in search of a refill.

 

The little spigot/sippy thingy on my cup was a pain to deal with. It would automatically close every time I tipped my cup back to drink - so I'd have to hold it open with one finger and drink...it was awkward to do and awkward to watch. I tried to put a straw in, but the cups are too tall and my straw drowned in the depths of the cup, never to be seen again.

 

Anyway...there's the lesson of the day on the Freestyle Coke Machines.

 

And now I need to go pour me a fresh one. :)

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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 also didn't find the Windjammer to be small on the Oasis. Never had a difficult time finding a place to sit and enjoy lunch. There was plenty of staff available to help locate a place to set.

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I am really enjoying your review. I was on the Oasis in July of 2011; had a great time.

 

DH and I are scheduled to do a B2B on the Allure in July of 2013. I can't wait. Your review, and your pictures are helping me get my pre-cruise fix.

 

Thanks for the review and the pictures.

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I also didn't find the Windjammer to be small on the Oasis. Never had a difficult time finding a place to sit and enjoy lunch. There was plenty of staff available to help locate a place to set.

 

My complaint with the Windjammer was not finding a place to sit. It was getting through the buffet to find a place to sit. The traffic flow is poorly thought out and cramped during peak times. You have people getting food, walking to the back, and staff pushing carts of food, dishes,etc trying to get through the same place.

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Before moving on to Deck 14, I wanted to mention the last part of Deck 15 that we haven't talked about yet: the sports court…

 

…all I have to say about this, is watch out.

 

There are some INTENSE games of dodgeball and basketball happening during the week…

 

DodgeBall2_zps1dbe8a80.jpg

 

 

DodgeBall1_zpse56835c7.jpg

 

Look at the SIZE of those guys!!! I'd be CREAMED if I'd stepped foot in there - so I would watch safely from behind the glass.

 

Again, be sure to check the Cruise Compass for the days/times of the competitions - or check at the Sports Court itself; they'll have the entire week's schedule posted.

 

---------

 

Moving down to the next deck...Deck 14....

 

 

The front of the ship on Deck 14 consists of the Little Kids/Adventure Ocean area – of which I had no reason to visit, so I didn’t. Hey - I love children as much as the next person - but this was a SOLO cruise and I'd left my own Klingons behind for a good reason. So...I stayed far, far away from the Klingon Capital of the World's Largest Cruise Ship.

 

 

However, there’s a couple of little secret treasures on Deck 14 that I want to mention, especially if you’re looking for peace and quiet and escape from the crowds…and who isn't? We all need a little break from the hordes of barbarians that are onboard with us....

 

 

The first treasure is the SunDeck...located at the very front of Deck 14. It offers some lounge chairs (unfortunately, the blue-stripey kind that have cracks), as well as an amazing view of the helipad, and binoculars on the "wings". You access it from the port side...go all the way down the hallway on Deck 14, and you'll see the sign for the SunDeck. A great little secret location to escape the crowds...someone mentioned wanting a place to have full sun...you'd have it here, for sure. When you got hot, you could run up one deck to the pools, jump in, and then come back to your secret hideaway.

 

SunDeck_zps177a01f8.jpg

 

 

The second treasure is the Seven Hearts Card/Game room. This is located near the aft elevators on Deck 14. It comes stocked with playing cards and board games, and wasn't utilized all that much...it would be a great place to chill on a rainy day - or to escape the crowds:

 

Card4_zpsac41e14f.jpg

 

Card2_zps36def9f6.jpg

 

Card1_zps9738474e.jpg

 

You could show your Klingons what we used to play with before there were video games....hee hee.

 

Notice there are computers along the wall...you can use these to stay in touch with the folks back home, for a small fee, of course.

 

Every so often, there would be informal Bridge games here - especially on sea days - around 1:00 pm or so. These activities were all free - be sure to check the Compass for details.

 

 

There was one more place I wanted to mention - the Workshop. This was located in the front of the ship, and it had a lot of crafting activities - that usually charged a fee. Things such as Adult Jewelry Workshop and Adult Scrapbooking Workshop were offered - again - for a fee.

 

Edited by KansCocoa

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Sherri,

 

Once again, a great review. A quick question... when did you take all these pictures? Everything is EMPTY! I also noticed the bars were closed up. Were you up at dawn or something?

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Sherri,

 

Once again, a great review. A quick question... when did you take all these pictures? Everything is EMPTY! I also noticed the bars were closed up. Were you up at dawn or something?

 

See how good the crowd control is on the Allure? You'll feel like you had the ship to yourself. ;)

 

You obviously don't know me, because you would know that "dawn" and I have never met. Ever. And I never intend to meet "dawn." ;) I actually had good intentions one morning - but I think I rolled right back over and went back to sleep.

 

Actually, some photos were taken when I first boarded - and I was definitely one of the first ones on the ship! Others were taken around 9:30 am on the day we were in St. Thomas - and I didn't get off the ship that day, but most of the other 6,000+ passengers did - so I had ample opportunity to walk around and take some shots without getting photobombed too much.

Edited by KansCocoa

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I hope you didnt really need it!

 

FYI, it can be found here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005RDJ63C/ref=oh_details_o04_s01_i00

 

I actually wasn't in too deep of water - so my Kindle took a quick dip but wasn't ruined...thank goodness! I would have been devastated...I have the original one, and it's lasted for so long - it's almost like another Klingon in my house!

 

Totally fun review! Going on the Serenade in December, can't wait to read that one!:D

 

THAT one is a very long read...if you start now, you might just be done by next December. I'm long-winded.

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Does RCI allow you to set limits on your kids seapass cards? Last time we sailed with RCI it wasn't an issue because our daughter didn't want to go anywhere without us. On our last Carnival cruise we were able to set a $50 spending limit on her "magic" card.

 

I believe so...but obviously, we didn't. I hope someone else reading this can come on and confirm - but I think you can go to Guest Relations and do this. I made the mistake (grrrrrrr) of trusting my 13-year old. I kept sending her off to what I thought was the Teen Club on the Serenade; little did I know she was actually heading off to the arcade. Oh - and she LOVED the Starbucks on board, as well, as she felt oh-so-grown up to be drinking mocha latte's. I should have made her feel oh-so-grown up and pay the SeaPass account.

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I remember someone saying almost the same thing about sailing on the worlds largest ship!!!

 

Getting so excited reading your play by play, I will be on the same cruise this September with my GF, Mom, and 5 kids! The arcade will be the death of my bank account!

 

I got a dollar that says someone will be trying the flowrider and zipline on their oasis trip :)

 

LOL - true. I always say, never say never! I don't know about the FlowRider - but I hope...wish...to do the Zipline. I figure it's over in 7 seconds, so how bad can it be, right?

 

But water in the face??? Um. No. Not even for 7/10 of a second!!!

 

 

Great review. We are going on the Allure in less than 2 weeks. Really looking forward to it and finishing up your review. Love the pics so far.

 

Oh, yikes. Finishing? In two weeks? Oh, the pressure...I have so much to say and now so little time to say it! :)

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Nice review.

 

I think Jack should have his own FB page, that picture killed me.

 

I know, right? When I showed Jack's photo to Dear Hubby, he about busted a gut laughing...I don't think Jack's ever ran into the likes of me before. Poor guy.

 

 

I am really enjoying your review. I was on the Oasis in July of 2011; had a great time.

 

DH and I are scheduled to do a B2B on the Allure in July of 2013. I can't wait. Your review, and your pictures are helping me get my pre-cruise fix.

 

Thanks for the review and the pictures.

 

Yay - a B2B? That's my next dream....maybe one of these days!

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KansCocoa I am LOVING your review...what a talent you have! :)

 

I am trying convince my husband to go on the Allure or Oasis next year for our Anniversary without our kids. I haven't got my kids or husband on board yet. You would think that us not going on a vacation by ourselves (without our kids) for over 17 years would be good enough reason. :rolleyes:

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KansCocoa I am LOVING your review...what a talent you have! :)

 

I am trying convince my husband to go on the Allure or Oasis next year for our Anniversary without our kids. I haven't got my kids or husband on board yet. You would think that us not going on a vacation by ourselves (without our kids) for over 17 years would be good enough reason. :rolleyes:

 

Aw, thank you! :)

 

Okay...here's my opinion - not that you asked. ;)

 

I think...if you travel without the kids...you're going to be like how I was, on this ship: "OMG, I have GOT to bring the kids to this ship!!! They have GOT to see this!" And you'll be turning around and booking another cruise immediately so you can share this amazing family-friendly ship with your Klingons.

 

With that said...there are a number of places where you and Hubby can celebrate your anniversary...you can have a romantic dinner at 150 Central Park while the kids eat at the buffet or at the Solarium...have a couples massage in the Spa while the kids are at the Teen Club, running up a huge bill at the arcade....hee hee.

 

Anyway...good luck with whatever you decide...I know you'll have a good time on the Freedom this summer! :)

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Aw, thank you! :)

 

Okay...here's my opinion - not that you asked. ;)

 

I think...if you travel without the kids...you're going to be like how I was, on this ship: "OMG, I have GOT to bring the kids to this ship!!! They have GOT to see this!" And you'll be turning around and booking another cruise immediately so you can share this amazing family-friendly ship with your Klingons.

 

With that said...there are a number of places where you and Hubby can celebrate your anniversary...you can have a romantic dinner at 150 Central Park while the kids eat at the buffet or at the Solarium...have a couples massage in the Spa while the kids are at the Teen Club, running up a huge bill at the arcade....hee hee.

 

Anyway...good luck with whatever you decide...I know you'll have a good time on the Freedom this summer! :)

 

You must be my twin...my goal is to bring them on next summer, that will be our little secret. ;)

 

Yes, we love the Freedom. We have been on so much that one of my daughters is now friends with the Captain's son LOL and is very excited that she will be able to see him this summer. :)

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Now, on to Deck 13....

 

...here's some amazing photos that I took of this REALLY secret deck:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait. What? You don't see anything?

 

That's because there is no deck 13. As a nod to all of those people with a case of triskaidekaphobia, the RCI management has kindly eliminated deck 13 from the plans. (Although - technically, there is a 13th deck - if you count up from the bottom of the ship, there HAS to be a 13th deck - but anyway. I digress.)

 

My question: if they're so quick to cave to people with triskaidekaphobia (and I just like typing that word, hence, typing it twice now - but don't EVEN ask me to pronounce it), why don't they cave to people with phobias of water in their face - or, to be exact, hydrophobia??!!

 

Hmmm????

 

Or...what about people who have a phobia of gaining weight on the cruise? They certainly don't cater to THOSE people (of which I include myself), because look at what I found in the gym:

 

 

 

Gym_zps6b129e3c.jpg

 

 

 

 

ACK!

 

A scale??!!

 

This....THIS is a cruiser's worst nightmare. Certainly THIS is worse than the number 13.

 

And yet...RCI doesn't care about people with obesophobia or gravitophobia...(real words, btw - and also fun to type!)

 

I demand compensation. Or at least, some OBC.

 

;)

 

 

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Subscribing - As another MADQ who swore Allure/Oasis are too big, too crowded and too Klingon friendly ;), I look forward to your experience. I hope my big question of "Does it feel like a cruise ship or just some giant resort?" gets covered. :D Sounds like you had fun but then, I have a strong suspicion you make fun wherever you go! Nice to see another review from you.

Edited by wolfganghowell

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I'm just in love with your review. My husband and I are thinking about taking a cruise on the Allure next year for our 10yr wedding anniversary. I think this review just put the nail in the coffin! :D:p

 

Definitely subscribing! This would be our 1st Royal cruise.

 

KrystalWaters:D

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