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Cupcrazy

Allure of the Seas 2-in-1 Photo Review ~ October 12 & November 9, 2014

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Hi Everyone!

 

I’m back with another review. Well, this is going to be 2 reviews in 1. I have 2 trips on Allure in a month and will incorporate both trips into this review.

Please also check out my review last year of > Oasis of the Seas <

 

If you have any questions along the way please ask and I will try to answer as to the best of my knowledge.

 

Trip 1 – October 12, 2014

 

This trip was a 7-day Eastern, which turned into a Western, Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. I took over 1400 pictures and will post most of them here…

 

Background:

This trip started a year before it even began and that’s all thanks to Cruise Critic. Exactly one year ago, Oct 12, 2013, I cruised on Oasis OTS with my family. Leading up to that trip was a fantastic roll call with over 100 pages & 2000 posts. It became a place for fun, learning about the cruise & to really get to know my fellow cruisers. It all started with separate 3 groups… “The Skillet 6” (Skillet, garyoman & bevlee), Peacemkr59 and myself. We all hit it off right away on the message board and when we met at the Meet & Mingle.

Not even a day after that trip ended did the planning for this trip begin. It was discussed and noticed that Allure was sailing the Eastern Caribbean exactly 1 year to the day. Then & there this trip was to be known as “The Reunion Tour”. Traveling with me on this trip was my girlfriend Michelle (our first big trip together). The group was 14 people in all.

 

Hurricane Gonzalo:

The day before the cruise we noticed there was a storm was brewing off the coast of Africa. The forecast had it moving right over the Leeward Islands so we had a feeling there might possibly be a change in itinerary. On night 1 while having dinner, the captain made an announcement saying we will have to change our itinerary because of the storm. He announced instead of going to St. Thomas & St. Maarten we would now be going to Falmouth & Cozumel. Some people on the ship were upset.

 

CABIN:

We stayed in an ocean view balcony cabin on deck 10 (684) on the starboard side close to the aft elevators. This room has the bed configured closer to the balcony and the couch closer to the closet. Our room steward was Duvall. He was great and was really happy that he only has 3 weeks left until his contract is done so he can go home and see his family. We left him a nice tip.

 

DINING:

Main Dining Room: This was my first time doing My Time Dining. Before the trip we reserved times for all 14 at 6:30. For some reason RCI wasn’t able to link my reservation with the rest of the group. They kept saying it was because we paid in Canadian funds and everyone else in American. Even when calling they couldn’t do anything. When we got on board, we had to go directly to the dining room on deck 5 to get everything straightened out.

On night 1 we were all able to sit together. Unfortunately where we sat there was a small water leak above one end of the table and 5 people were getting dripped on. On top of the drip, service was extremely slow. I’ve never seen service on a cruise so slow. We asked to be moved to a different table for night 2 mainly because of the drip. On night 2 they tried sitting our group of 14 people at a table for 12. That didn’t work so well… We ended up moving to deck 3 and sat at 2 side by side tables of 8 & 6. We were fine with that. Our waiter for the rest of the week, Ramil, was fantastic. He was really fast and courteous to us. Because of the issues we had the Maître d’ gave us all a free galley tour which we took on day 3. This tour was great (more on that later).

 

Chops Grille: Chops Grille is the signature steakhouse restaurant on RCI and has a charge of $35. Royal Caribbean describes Chops as an American style restaurant and with it located in Central Park you really feel like you’re eating at an upscale restaurant in NY.

We booked this restaurant for night 4 for all 14 people. We were again split up in two tables of 8 & 6 people. Like in the MDR, we were fine with that. You’re allowed to order as many appetizers as you want but only 1 entrée. Additional entrées are $10. I remembered this restaurant from Oasis being very good so my expectations were pretty high. The overall dining experience was great. A couple standout items… I ordered the Cheese N’ Onion Soup. Our waiter, Ivo, mentioned that some people find it too salty. Boy was he right. I’ve never had a soup with that much salt. It tasted like someone dropped the entire saltshaker in my little bowl. I took 1 taste and that was it. No big deal. I had the 12oz NY Strip and it was delicious. For desert I ordered the red velvet cake. If you read my review last year, I raved about how good it was. Unfortunately, they changed it. It’s most definitely not as big and the taste is a little different. Ivo mentioned they did change the recipe a little. It was still good.

Chops Grille Menu

 

Giovanni’s Table: Located in Central Park Giovanni’s Table is the signature Italian restaurant on Oasis & Allure and has a $25 charge.

My GF & I booked Giovanni’s on night 5 just the 2 of us. Because of the change in Itinerary night 5 was now formal night. The food was just as delicious as I remembered. Because it was just the 2 of us we didn’t order as many appetizers as when I did it family style with my family. Because of that we weren’t able to try as many dishes. The Melanzane alla Parmigiana was fantastic. My GF is kosher so we did not order anything to share with meat or shellfish. For entrées, she had the sole & I had the ossobuco. Both were very good. For desert we shared tiramisu which was fantastic.

Giovanni’s Table Menu

 

ENTERTAINMENT:

Our Cruise Director was Jerome Sueur and Captain Johnny Faevelen. Both were great and were seen around the ship all the time. Previously, I’ve never seen a captain around the ship besides the welcome back party. I saw the captain twice, and one of those times he had his parrot on his shoulder. While we were in Giovanni’s Captain Johnny came to our table and talked to us for a couple minutes. If you have a few minutes while on the ship watch the “Captain’s Log” on the tv.

We saw all the shows – Chicago, Ocean Aria, Comedy, Headliner, Blue Planet & Ice Games. All were very good. There is always something to do day & night.

 

EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION:

Embarkation was pretty smooth. We waited in line at terminal 18 for about 15 minutes and getting on board was a breeze.

Disembarkation wasn’t as smooth for us. We were given bag tag number 49 but wanted to get off the ship earlier with the rest of our group who all got tag 12. We took their extra tags and placed them on our bags. When we got to the terminal everyone found their bags except us. My bag ended up with the lost luggage and had a big “NN” (no number) on it. Her bag ended up in the 49 section. The tag was also ripped off and had a masking tape “49” on it. I think this happened because we didn’t tell them we were switching numbers. I didn’t know that mattered and they made sure each bag had the correct number.

TIP: If you’re wanting to change tag numbers make sure to inform guest services.

 

PORTS OF CALL:

Nassau: We were originally scheduled to be in Nassau from 7am – 2pm. Because of the hurricane our stay was extended until 5pm. Before the extension we weren’t planning on doing anything. Once we heard we were staying later My GF and I decided we were going to go to the Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis. We took a taxi to Atlantis ($4 per person) from the port. An all access pass was $125usd per person. We spent about 4.5 hours at Atlantis walking though the marine habitat and playing/relaxing at the water park. We went on the lazy river where I fell off my tube going over a rapid and nearly lost my glasses. That would have ruined my vacation.

TIP: Don’t wear your glasses on the lazy river or while going down the water slides.

We also tried a bunch of the water slides – Leap of Faith, Abyss, Challenger, Surge. There are a bunch of pools and we were able to find some lounge chairs around one of them.

 

Falmouth: We didn’t really do much here. We checked out some of the jewellery & souvenir stores in the port area. We also walked out of the port area for a few minutes. It didn’t feel unsafe, but it did seem a little sketchy with some rundown buildings and people urinating on walls. Once back in the port area I made sure to get a Tasty Jamaican Patty with coco bread.

 

Cozumel: My GF and I booked the Dolphin Push Pull & Swim with Manatee Interaction at Chankanaab Park. This excursion booked through the ship was $105 per person. The excursion was a lot of fun. The dolphins were great and the trainers made sure the dolphins had some rest because they were always moving around. Just like the title of the excursion says, we were pushed pulled and we swam with dolphins. You are not allowed to take your camera or GoPro with you into the water. They provide a camera person so you can buy the pictures after. There are a couple different options for pictures. We got a CD with 75 pictures which cost $129. We asked them if we could have 2 CDs because there was 2 of us and the guy behind the counter was nice and made us a second copy. Someone in our group went solo and because he was alone the price of pictures was A LOT lower.

TIP: If you’re a couple only send 1 person to the computers to look at pictures. All you do is click on your pictures and they will put all of them on the CD. The solo guy had 69 pictures. Only 6 less than us, and he paid $50 less.

With this excursion you also have access to the rest of Chankanaab Park. There is a nice beach area with crystal clear water. A great place for snorkeling! Chankanaab also has zip lining, a tequila tasting bar and a couple places to eat. They offered 4 different departure times back to the ship so people could leave right after their excursion or extend and go to the beach like we did.

 

SUMMARY:

What can I say besides this was another fantastic cruise.

Keep an eye out for the Legend of G-MAN (more to come)

 

I’m going to start posting the day-by-day report with pictures. If anyone has any questions along the way please ask and I’ll try to answer them in a timely fashion.

Edited by Cupcrazy

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Excellent start Nate I mean Cupcrazy. Thanks for doing it again. Your reviews are some of the best out there.

 

 

Let The Party Begin

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Great start to your review. Can't wait to read the daily reports and hear about the Legend of G-MAN!!

 

Excellent start Nate I mean Cupcrazy. Thanks for doing it again. Your reviews are some of the best out there.

 

Thanks both of you!

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Before this cruise I bought some new cruise luggage tag holders from Amazon. 8 tags for $20. This way I don't have to worry about stapling them together the morning of future cruises.

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We have lift off from Toronto

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Landing in FLL over I-95

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For the 2 days before the cruise we rented a car from Hertz. Price for the 2 days was $150 for a standard car. We got a 4 door Chrysler something. It was perfect for us. The trunk was big enough for our luggage.

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There was a lot of "luggage damage" on the back of the car. People don't really care when its not theirs. For me I put the pedal to the metal a couple times on the highway.

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We stayed in a family condo in Sunny Isles which is just north of Miami between Aventura & Bal Harbour

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Walking down the beach

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Ummmmm.... There's a mermaid in the pool

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Only in Florida...

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We spent Saturday shopping at Sawgrass. Lots of great Columbus Day deals.

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After Sawgrass we met up with some of our group. They all live in Florida and I hadn't seen them in a year (since our Oasis cruise last October).

Gary, Michelle, Me (Nathaniel), Anna, Matt, Rick, Kenny Beth

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Here's a sneak peek of something to come...

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Before this cruise I bought some new cruise luggage tag holders from Amazon. 8 tags for $20. This way I don't have to worry about stapling them together the morning of future cruises.

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---

Ohhhh Ahhhh!

Great idea.

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We all arrived at Terminal 18 around 11am. There weren't many people around and it didn't take long at all to board.

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Don't bring NORO on the ship!!!!

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Edited by Cupcrazy

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When we boarded we headed to Park Cafe in Central Park for a quick lunch.

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The roast beef sandwich was just as awesome as I remembered

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Deck 11 "secret balcony". In Oasis' dry dock these public balconies are now suites. Until Allure goes into dry dock you can find these balconies by going all the way aft on either side of the ship. Walk past all cabins and there will be a glass door leading out. There are nice chairs there for relaxing and its a great view of the Aqua Theatre.

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A few of the people in our group had boardwalk balconies which they spiced up a little with some decorations.

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Great start- can't wait to read more! I bought the same luggage tags so I hope they worked well for you. 32 more days until I'm on allure. Your review is at the perfect time I'm so excited to go! Thank You

 

Barb

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Great start- can't wait to read more! I bought the same luggage tags so I hope they worked well for you. 32 more days until I'm on allure. Your review is at the perfect time I'm so excited to go! Thank You

 

Barb

 

They worked great. In order to fit in I had to cut the ends of the paper then fold. The whole piece of paper folded doesn't fit.

 

Following! Wow! 1400 photos....can't wait to see them...

 

Sent from my SCH-R830C using Forums mobile app

 

That's only from the first trip. I'm back on Allure in 19 days and will have more.

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On our roll call it was suggested to do an informal meet & mingle at the Mast Bar on deck 16 at 3pm before. It was so hot on the starboard side, where the Mast Bar is, we decided to switch to the Sky Bar on the port side. But how would everyone know of the switch? That's easy, we sent Gary to sit in the sun and wait for everyone to come & tell them of the switch.

There's Gary trying to stay cool in the small amount of shade by the Mast bar.

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The ladies in our group wore these shot glass necklaces. The men wore little beer mugs. I forgot to get a picture of the mugs. Whoops!

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On the open decks you're only allowed to smoke on the starboard side of the ship. These ashtrays are all around to dispose of ashes & butts.

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A few of the people in our group had boardwalk balconies which they spiced up a little with some decorations.

 

Glad to see they are allowing decorations on the Boardwalk balconies. Two years ago we did Halloween decorations on our Allure boardwalk balcony, but last year on Oasis they made us take them down. Looks like we should pack the decorations for next week. :D

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Glad to see they are allowing decorations on the Boardwalk balconies. Two years ago we did Halloween decorations on our Allure boardwalk balcony, but last year on Oasis they made us take them down. Looks like we should pack the decorations for next week. :D

 

Don't pack too quickly. They were told to take the decorations down :(

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As far as balcony decorations go, we were the last three boardwalk balcony cabins on the starboard side. It was very windy first two days, probably from the storm brewing East of us. We were told to take them down but others on Boardwalk balconies were not told to remove them but they were much more forward. So give it a shot. Ours were highly visible and taking a beating from wind.

 

 

Let The Party Begin

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After the muster drill we headed up to the "secret" sun deck at the bow of the ship on deck 14 for sail away.

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The coin

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Island Princess

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Hello down there

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This is the building which houses the Port Everglades Webcam

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You can see the webcam hanging down from the top of the 3rd floor balcony

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Glad to see they are allowing decorations on the Boardwalk balconies. Two years ago we did Halloween decorations on our Allure boardwalk balcony, but last year on Oasis they made us take them down. Looks like we should pack the decorations for next week. :D

 

We decorated the balconies, but by the third day we were asked to take them down. However, there was a balcony closer to the entrance to the boardwalk that had their decorations up all week!! I imagine it had something to do with how close we were to the end with more wind and the possibility of the decorations being torn down by the wind. We probably could have left the cut outs taped up to the glass and just taken down the garland.

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great review and pics so far....Making me all the more excited for my cruise on the Allure in 12 days....

 

Thanks! As you get off Allure Nov 9 I'll be getting back on.

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TV CHANNELS:

Power on - Folio info, Messages & ship info

14 - "RCTV" Cruise video

15 - Shore Excursions

16 - TBS

17 - CNN International

18 - Headline News

19 - ESPN Caribbean

20 - Next Cruise

21 - Dreamworks Movies

22 - Port Shopping

23 - Turner Classic Movies

24 - TNT

25 - ESPN 2 Caribbean

26 - Port Shopping

27 - Captain's Log

28 - Tru TV

29 - Cartoon Network

30 - Adventure Ocean Movies

31 - Channel Guide

32 - Prime Time

33 - Spanish Programming

34 - French Programming

35 - German Programming

36 - Italian Programming

37 - Portuguese Programming

38 - CNN Espanol

39 - Cruise Compass

40 - Itinerary/Map

41 - Variety

42 - Departure video

 

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The refrigerator comes stocked with pop (soda if you're American), water and chocolate bars. There are charges for consumption. I always ask my room steward to take everything out.

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Edited by Cupcrazy

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