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Sunny AZ Girl

The Arizona Cruisers Invade the Allure of the Seas, April 28, 2013 ~ A Pictorial Revi

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This is an awesome review and your pictures are great!!:D

 

Tara

 

Great review...haven't read it all but will...like the OP "I will NEVER cruise on such a big ship"...LOL now all I can think about is looking for a cruise on either the Allure or Oasis. ;)

Hi Laura...saw this interesting thread looking for something on the Quantum. Great group you guys have.

Thank you both for your nice comments. I am going to try to wrap up our St. Thomas day tonight. I have to work all weekend, so I may not get much done before Monday. Thank you all for following along!

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Back on the ship we showered and tried to remove the parts of Sapphire Beach we had brought back to the ship with us, an unintended souvenir. We didn’t have to rush too much so we were nice and relaxed for the evening.

 

Samba’s Grill is located in the Solarium where the Solarium Cafe is located during the day. It is converted to an upscale restaurant with cloth seat covers, nice table coverings and romantic lightning. We were really looking forward to this entire experience more than any other dining we had selected. We had never dined at a Brazilian Steakhouse before this evening.

 

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When you arrive at Sambas’s they explained the “process”. Once you arrive you go to the salad bar, which is extensive. I could have easily overdone that part, but held back due to the many warnings against doing so by previous helpful reviews. Once you have had the salad bar you turn on a "Green" light which means to Bring On The Meat! And bring it on they do. They also give you a "Red" light which the group put Steve in charge of to turn off the meat bringing or to take a break. That was probably a mistake. I don’t know what happened here, but either he didn’t understand, didn’t need a break himself or the servers were coming too fast (which I think was the real problem as sometimes we had two gauchos at our table at a time carving away). Actually, after about eight courses of meat the group rebelled and demanded he turn on the Red Light! Which he did. Whew.

 

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Eventually he turned on the green light again, which was one more course of meat – I believe lamb. Some of us passed, just could not do it. But Sue thought it was the best course served. I was actually not overstuffed as I thought I would be as I passed on a couple of the meat courses and only had a couple of bites of others.

 

Now for my (and I believe most of the others) impression of the taste of the meats. Maybe I was missing something here, or my palate is not that sophisticated, but I was not very impressed. The meat was not bad. It just seemed tasteless to me. The waiter and our gaucho kept telling us to use the salts and sauces provided to enhance the meat flavors. They even said that without the sauces the meat would not be that good. But I don’t use sauce on meat. No steak sauce, no Béarnaise sauce, no reduction sauce, no sauce. Nada. I tried the sauces and I didn’t care for them. I did not want to use extra salt on my food as I was already beginning to show those tell tale signs of “cruise feet”. Ugh. It was a fun experience and I am glad we went, but I would probably not pay extra to go again.

 

The tastiest part of the meal was yet to come. The desserts. There were three to choose from. I had the Mousse in the tall glass. It was delicious. Steve had all three, which is fairly typical for him. And yet I am the one to gain the weight easier. It’s just one of those not fair things in life. Everyone seemed to really like the desserts.

 

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This was one evening we had no entertainment booked. Steve and I chose to go down to the Casino for a few minutes and use our Emerald Book free spins. We didn’t win. Afterwards we stopped by Studio B and watched a bit of the “Battle of the Sexes”. Again we ran into someone we knew as we watched our Roll Call friend Gina try to win one for the girls.

 

After browsing the Promenade shops and looking at our professional photos we headed back to our cabin through Central Park. The view at night is lovely.

 

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We thought we would read or watch television for a while, but the inevitable happened instead. We fell asleep dreaming of another full day ahead of us in St. Martin.

Edited by Sunny AZ Girl

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Oh that lamb was indeed fabulous. One of the best things I had on the ship...... The fillet and the lamb which were the last two meats served were grilled to order. If we were to do it again I think we would red light after every serving. I like Ginny had to skip a few choices of meat....:eek: Again not the best specialty choice we went to but the experiance and the company made the entire evening. The BEST is yet to come. Thanks Ginny you have done a great job on your review. (Go to bed now you have a long shift ahead of you.)

 

Sue

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Oh that lamb was indeed fabulous. One of the best things I had on the ship...... The fillet and the lamb which were the last two meats served were grilled to order. If we were to do it again I think we would red light after every serving. I like Ginny had to skip a few choices of meat....:eek: Again not the best specialty choice we went to but the experiance and the company made the entire evening. The BEST is yet to come. Thanks Ginny you have done a great job on your review. (Go to bed now you have a long shift ahead of you.)

 

Sue

Yes. Just one more post and then I have to call it quits.

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St. Martin is just a kick off the pier from St. Thomas, so we were not surprised to find we were already docked when we awoke in the morning. Laura had arranged a private tour for our group of St. Martin with Bernard’s Tours. Because it was just our group we were able to customize the tour to our interests.

 

The Solarium Cafe had caught our interest after our dinner the evening before so we decided to meet there for breakfast. We also took into consideration the strategy of starting at the TOP to go DOWN when so many would be heading in the same direction this morning. The Solarium Cafe proved to be another Favorite Place for breakfast for us. We were so excited to start the tour that I didn’t take pictures, but let me tell you – I loved the banana pancakes I had for breakfast that morning!

 

Our strategy worked as we easily caught an elevator, pressed the “Gangway” button (love that button!) and headed out into the sun.

 

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Bernard & his team were right where he said he would be. It was another long pier walk that proved difficult for those with disabilities so be aware that there is a shuttle, which we didn’t know until once again it was too late. However, we were able to use it on the way back.

 

We met our guide and driver, “Mail Man”. Once comfortably seated in the spacious air conditioned bus he introduced us to the libations available for the day.

 

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Mail Man was personable and funny, a great guide. He explained to us that while he was known as "Mail Man" his father was known as "Milk Man". It seems that he has 25 siblings!

 

We were soon off and seeing the lovely views of the Dutch side of St. Martin.

 

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We booked a dining package too, and one concern of mine is not being able to get reservations at a good time. Did you have any problem when making your other reservations for a time you wanted once on board?

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I only used one specialty restaurant & it was prebooked & prepaid. The others bought the package and reserved Chops first then had to wait until they boarded to book the others. They took care of their reservations after we ate lunch on embarkation day to ensure they could get reservations they wanted and be seated together.

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We booked a dining package too, and one concern of mine is not being able to get reservations at a good time. Did you have any problem when making your other reservations for a time you wanted once on board?

 

No problems. As Lisa said, we just went ahead and made our reservations at the other venues right after dropping off our carry-ons in our cabins. If you delay you may have a problem for prime times.

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That is Divi Little Bay, my family stayed there last year and absolutely loved it!

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That is Divi Little Bay, my family stayed there last year and absolutely loved it!

It is a gorgeous place, at least from this perspective.

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We passed over the border to the French side of St. Martin.........

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...........and headed to Marigot. Since most of us had been to St. Martin before our emphasis was not to go to a lot of different places but to go to fewer places than on the standard tours and have more time at each. Today we wanted to spend some time shopping in Marigot at the open air market situated on a peaceful harbor.

 

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Mail Man showed us where we could have our passports stamped with a French stamp, so some of us headed over to the immigration office first. At the top of the hill we could see an old fort. It looked interesting, but the only access was by walking up. It was a warm day heading toward hot and that didn’t look like fun to me at all, so I settled for pictures from below.

 

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The market was colorful and the vendors weren't pushy, so we enjoyed taking our time to browse the wares.

 

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After finding some treasures to take home to our daughter & my mother we headed to the well known bakery, Seraphina. The shopping had really helped us work up an appetite and a mid-morning snack seemed appropriate. What could be better than a French pastry in French Saint-Martin?

 

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We returned to the bus right on time and found the others already waiting for us and ready to go to the next place on our itinerary. OK – so we were the last ones, but we were not late! We weren’t one of those people that hold up the tours. Really, we weren’t!

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I got cancelled at work today - one of those things that happens occasionally in the summer, especially on holiday weekends. So, hopefully I will get a lot done today and tomorrow on this review. I am anxious to get it wrapped up so I can work on my photobook next! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

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I got cancelled at work today - one of those things that happens occasionally in the summer, especially on holiday weekends. So, hopefully I will get a lot done today and tomorrow on this review. I am anxious to get it wrapped up so I can work on my photobook next! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

 

My DH says it is really quiet at the hospital he works at as well. It's probably the holiday. The good news is now we don't have to wait for your next post as long as we thought! :D

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My DH says it is really quiet at the hospital he works at as well. It's probably the holiday. The good news is now we don't have to wait for your next post as long as we thought! :D

Well, I would rather use my PTO cruising, but this is the next best way to use it!

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We had big plans ahead, a highlight of the day and for some, the week. On the way we passed by scenic resorts and a new mall that looked more like it should be located in NYC than the Caribbean.

 

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But our destination that day was Maho Beach. If you aren't familiar with St. Martin each beach has its own draw. Most people head to Orient Beach where the water is crystal clear, there are plenty of beach services and the dress is....optional. Having done that in the past we were more interested in another thrill, and something that we had missed on our last visit. The beach, at first glance, appeared as any other family beach you would find in the Caribbean.

 

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We arrived at Sunset Bar & Grill right on the water’s edge. We found a spot and ordered lunch. Burgers & beer seemed to be a popular choice. We were joined there by Roll Call friends Bill & Gina.

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We found Rick and his family under umbrellas on the beach.

 

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A Reggae band was playing, but everyone had their eyes on the sky.

 

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What were we all waiting for?

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I was standing at the end of the deck taking pictures of the beach when a heard the call....

 

INCOMING!

 

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And then another............................

 

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We returned to the bus right on time and found the others already waiting for us and ready to go to the next place on our itinerary. OK – so we were the last ones, but we were not late! We weren’t one of those people that hold up the tours. Really, we weren’t!

 

You sound guilty though Ginny!!!:D You weren’t late!

We did not walk to the bakery. Now I know what we missed. :(

We did get our passport stamped though. The only place now we have in ours.

BTW if we go on the Allure again will only book Chops most likely and give them another chance. May do Giovannis for lunch though one day and try their lasagna.

Enjoy your day off. Such a great job with the review.

Another fine pic of me again!!:rolleyes::(

Laura

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We were at Maho Beach & the Sunset Bar and Cafe for over two hours. During that time we saw several more large jets land and many small aircraft. I am glad we had allocated that much time to stay as it was very fun and relaxing.

 

After awhile we piled back into the bus to head back to the ship.

 

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Steve was designated bartender. He did his duties well and Mail Man’s Rum Punch and beer selection was well received.

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We were about to get started on the road separating the beach from the runway when we stopped to let another vehicle pass. It was bigger and had the Right of Way.

 

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After a couple of stops for photo ops of scenic St. Martin we arrived back at the dock.

 

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Mail Man went to get a shuttle to carry us back to the ship. It was a very good day. Thanks to Laura for arranging such an excellent tour!

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After a nice dinner in the MDR with others in our group we joined Sue and Audie for the Upper Tier C&A Event in the Amber Theater at 7:30 PM. It was more of a show than the cocktail party we had attended on other ships, probably because there were so many people on board who were Platinum and above.

 

The singers from Chicago were the featured performers.

 

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Ken Rush, the CD talked for awhile................

 

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..................and so did Captain

 

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After the show we saw the Captain and he graciously agreed to have his photo taken with us.

 

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We had reservations for the Headliner Show that night, but by then we were tired and not really excited about the performer, although I have heard he was good. However, we chose to just enjoy the live music in some of the other lounges instead before calling it an early night.

 

Quest was that night, and although we have gone to Quest on most cruises in the past we also decided to skip it this time. The start time of 11:45 was a factor, along with the fact that we have seen it so much that there is very little left as a surprise anymore. Other people aren't surprised, either as they come prepared with all of the scavenger hunt "essentials".

 

The next two days were ones I was most eagerly anticipating – two days at sea, free to thoroughly enjoy and explore the Allure of the Seas!

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Ginny your great review keeps reminding me of things we did on the Allure. Georgia and I went to the upper tier performance also. Gene was in the casino as usual in the evening.

 

Norine

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I went to the Quest show and it was definitely an eye opener. One of the ladies in the audience decided to bare her breasts to the camera which then showed numerous times on the big screens and yes, even on the video. But on the video I think they put smiley faces over them. :rolleyes: Lots of craziness on the floor too.

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Ginny your great review keeps reminding me of things we did on the Allure. Georgia and I went to the upper tier performance also. Gene was in the casino as usual in the evening.

 

Norine

That's right! You were behind us a bit i think I'm to the point in this review that if it's not in a picture I am a bit fuzzy.:rolleyes:

 

I went to the Quest show and it was definitely an eye opener. One of the ladies in the audience decided to bare her breasts to the camera which then showed numerous times on the big screens and yes, even on the video. But on the video I think they put smiley faces over them. :rolleyes: Lots of craziness on the floor too.

Yes, heard about that. Alcohol was involved, I presume? I wonder if she bought the video.;)

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The next morning we slept in a bit, but, by 9 AM we were ready to go search for breakfast. We turned on the trusty TV and surprise! The Windjammer was green! Either everyone else was up early and already went to the Windjammer on the way to the Fitness Center, or else they were still in bed recovering from that wild night at Quest. So we hustled there for our one and only meal at the Windjammer before the fickle light took a sudden turn to the Red side.

 

In our hurry I forgot the camera again. Natch. But suffice it to say that eating at the Windjammer was nice, but not any nicer than the other many venues around the ship. However, if everyone wants to go there every day for breakfast and lunch that is fine with me. That will leave us more space in our very own Favorite Places.

 

We had to get back to our cabin and meet the Roll Call in Central Park for our long awaited Cabin Crawl. Sue & Rick did a wonderful job organizing this event. I was really looking forward to seeing some of the unique cabins and suites on this ship more so than most other ships. Due to the size of the ship we went in geographic order more than in order of stateroom category, but it wasn’t too far off as you will see. And we are off!

 

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I am going to try my very best to match my dialogue with the pictures, so if I mess up I will invite my fellow Roll Call members to step right in. I’m not going to include our regular balcony or the D8 balcony as I have already pictured them so I am going to jump right to the JS 8226:

 

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Boardwalk Balcony 8729:

 

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The view from 8729:

 

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