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Allure Report - 16 Months in the Making

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I can't wait to read more about the cruise. We have done two DCL cruises, 1 on the Magic and the other on the Fantasy. We just booked the March 26, 2017 sailing on the Allure. This has been a ship we have wanted to go on for awhile now and are finally doing it.

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Thanks for all the interest and following along. It's fun to share and helps with any post cruise withdrawal. ;) I'll post more tonight as my pictures are at home (I'm in the office now)

 

I can't wait to read more about the cruise. We have done two DCL cruises, 1 on the Magic and the other on the Fantasy. We just booked the March 26, 2017 sailing on the Allure. This has been a ship we have wanted to go on for awhile now and are finally doing it.

 

We've done Magic too (and this cruise we were debating between Fantasy and Allure...you can see which we selected). You'll love the Allure...so much to do and see. Are you coming with kids or an adult only trip? That's what I love about the Allure is it's perfect either way.

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The Cats Out of the Bag

 

After a year of keeping a secret it was time to tell our kids. So excited. :p

 

We decided to tell them New Year’s Eve (well, when I say “we” I mean “I” since DH wanted to tell them as we’re driving to the airport). Figured it would give them something to look forward to in the New Year. So I had bought them each a 2016 calendar (which I always do, but typically give it to them earlier) and had printed and pasted pictures of the cruise ship and activities on our cruise dates as shown below.

 

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And a close up of one of them

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In the evening of the 31st, I handed them the calendars and my son started flipping through the months to look the picture on each month and when he got to April he said “hey, this is used”. Lol…I told him to look closer at the pictures…and yep, from their reaction they were pretty excited!

 

Our daughter was cute as each night, she would cross the day off the calendar…another day closer to our trip.

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Things To Do Before We Sail

 

About a month before our sail date, I started re-washing our summer stuff and taking inventory of what we needed to buy (kids grow so fast that stuff from 8 months ago no longer fits). By the time we got closer, I had piles of clothes all over. Packing for three is not an easy job, especially when you need summer day wear, and evening wear. (Dh is a big boy so he can pack himself…lol).

 

Another pre-planning thing we did was re-watch the DreamWorks movies. Kung Fu Panda 3 was in the theatres not too long ago, so we were good there. Our kids had seen all the movies, but it had been awhile, so over the next few weekends we watched How to Train Your Dragon, and the three Madagascar movies. Shrek characters are more memorable so we didn’t watch those again.

 

(As it turned out, there is a TV channel dedicated to DreamWorks movies in the stateroom, but of course they only watched bits and pieces when we were in the room)

 

Our cruise was Sunday and Sunday, which was great. This meant that we could fly in a day early without missing an additional day of work/school.

So on Friday April 8th, I loved seeing this ticker…1 day until we left and 2 days until our cruise! Whoo hoo!

 

Tickerjpg_zpsrwdsujiz.jpg

Edited by LuCruise

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We are sailing Allure these exact days in 2017. Can you tell me how crowded it felt, and how many kids were onboard.? Thanks. Oh and thank you for the review!!

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Day 0 - Fort Lauderdale

 

We got up early on a Saturday morning to head to the airport (it’s amazing how easy it is to wake our kids up when they are motivated, even at 4:30am in the morning). Flight was smooth and uneventful.

 

We stayed at Fort Lauderdale Airport Cruiseport Hotel on South Federal Highway (formally Comfort Suites). It’s a good alternative to Embassy Suites and Hyatt on 17th street as it’s in the same area but more reasonably priced. After we got our luggage we called for the complementary shuttle. We were waiting maybe 20 minutes, but the driver said that she was there earlier but didn't see us as we were in a different area.

 

Tip: If your hotel has a shuttle, be sure to specify your terminal. Apparently our airline usually arrives at terminal x but that day it came in at terminal y, so the shuttle was looking for us at the wrong place.

 

The hotel was good and the staff was nice. Pool is nothing fancy, but nice to have. A staff member even came out and gave my kids a ball to play with when in there which was appreciated. There is a CVS next door and a few fast food restaurants a block away.

 

Here’s a picture of the room if anyone is interested. I liked the modern look. (Sofa pulls out to a bed).

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After we settled in and swam in the pool, we walked out the back for a short walk to Harbor Shops. Cute area and we did our essential pre-cruise shopping at Total Wine shop and Publix

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We had dinner at Duffy's Sports Grill (which didn't seem like anything specially but it was quite good food) and finished the night with frozen yogurt in the area. Then we headed back to our hotel. Tomorrow was an exciting day!

Edited by LuCruise

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We are sailing Allure these exact days in 2017. Can you tell me how crowded it felt, and how many kids were onboard.? Thanks. Oh and thank you for the review!!

 

How exciting. April is an excellent time to travel...not too hot and we lucked out with no rain.

 

The ship actually amazed me as there are over 6000 passengers on Allure but it didn't feel over crowded. The ship is really smart in that they have these monitors where they show you the crowd levels at restaurants (i.e. so avoid Windjammer if it is a red bar). Also, I guess since it's so big and meals and shows are at various times, people are spread out.

 

Tip: One thing that worked for us is if there is an activity that you want to do (such as zipline, flowrider, rockwall), then go right when it opens. The crowds are low at this point and you can go over and over before lines form.

 

As for kids, I suppose it varies each year, but I think most Spring breaks were over the week we went as was our (Canadian March break). There definitely were kids but not overcrowded. I must say too that our kids didn't use the kids club so I can't comment from that perspective.

 

Enjoy your cruise. It's great when you have something to look forward to.

Edited by LuCruise

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We've done Magic too (and this cruise we were debating between Fantasy and Allure...you can see which we selected). You'll love the Allure...so much to do and see. Are you coming with kids or an adult only trip? That's what I love about the Allure is it's perfect either way.

 

We are traveling as a family of 4 (one that is 13 and another is 16). There is another family of 4 booked and there is another possibility of adding 6. Should be a good time.

Edited by clifforddillon1982

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Following along. We are planning June 201u, so 15 months of waiting. It's a killer! Enjoying your report, for you it's post cruise therapy. For me it's pre cruise therapu

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We are traveling as a family of 4 (one that is 13 and another is 16). There is another family of 4 booked and there is another possibility of adding 6. Should be a good time.

 

Your kids are perfect ages. They will be able to do flowrider and zipline (if interested)...and so much more. The teen club is also supposed to be good.

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Following along. We are planning June 201u, so 15 months of waiting. It's a killer! Enjoying your report, for you it's post cruise therapy. For me it's pre cruise therapu

 

Totally know what you are going through ;) It's a long time to wait, but as you say, you have cruise critic for questions and living through other people's reports while waiting. Thank goodness for this site...and it's certainly worth the wait.

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Day 1 - Boarding Day

 

We got up nice and early and went to the buffet breakfast that was included in our hotel (practicing already in trying to beat the crowds). I had asked around on this site when people head to the port and so from the answers, I knew that a taxi at 10:15am would be good timing. After all, we wanted to maximize our time on the ship. As we drove up to the ship (which by the way is sooo exciting seeing the ship live for the first time), I felt bad for the people getting off as their cruise was over.

 

As we got to the port someone took our luggage (which made us nervous since for all we knew, this person could have been off the street). So DH followed the guy and we waited until we saw that our luggage was going with the others. Guess we were a bit paranoid but it's always a fear of luggage getting lost or stolen for a trip.

 

The embarkment process was pretty smooth. There were no lines for check in so it was quite quick. Also, right from the beginning we noticed how friendly and happy the workers are. Great service. They led us to a table to get wrist bands for our kids. The bands had the location of our muster spot in case they ever get lost. So smart. They then directed us to our section in the Gold area.

 

Next we just waited. At about 11:45am they started moving our line to start boarding. So exciting! This was the last time I had internet for the week and funny enough when I went to turn off my phone, I saw a periscope entry of "boarding now" from a fellow passenger.

 

This is what we saw when we boarded. All I can say is, Royal certainly has the WOW factor (the picture doesn't quite capture it with all the people, but trust me, it's WOW). Such beautiful ships.

IMG_0229%20Medium_zpsoctofv4g.jpg

Edited by LuCruise

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Day 1 - Boarding Day (continued)

 

The first rule of boarding is "Thou must eat". And who wants to break the rules? :D SO the big question...where?

 

I had done the research on here of where to go to have a nice lunch without fighting the crowds. But honestly, we had our carry-ons, and we just wanted to grab something quick. So....Café Promenade was staring us in the face and Sorrentos was just down the hall. Pizza is our kids favorite food group so that was perfect for them. And DH and I just grabbed a small sandwich from the Café.

 

This is what they offered.

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And dessert selections

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So I grabbed a shrimp sandwich (basic but not bad) and how could I resist the cake pops?

IMG_0235%20Medium_zpsmiaicfnk.jpg

Edited by LuCruise

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Day 1 - Boarding Day (continued again)

 

Our son couldn’t wait to try the FlowRider so we went to check it out. It wasn’t opened yet so our kids played a bit of mini golf and ping pong. The golf course is basic, but cute. It sure does add an extra dimension trying to play on a ship as the wind grabs your ball.

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It was also probably the only time that the pools were quiet.

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H20 Zone

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And Donut pool

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By then it was nearing 1pm so we headed to our room. Of course we had 50% chance of selecting the correct stairs and of course, we selected the wrong one so we had to walk all the way down the hallway, then cross over, and then back up to find our room.

 

To explain, there are two sets of stairs…one is aft and one is forward. On one of them (don’t remember which one), you can walk across from the port to the starboard side…and vice versa, but one of them doesn’t go through on deck 7. It took us until about day 4 to figure out which side of stairs to take. (Trick was to face yourself towards the amber theatre, and then take the stairs on the left side).

 

Our room was ready even though it was a bit before the time. We had our bathing suits in our carry-ons so we changed and headed back out. By then, the boogie board Flowrider was open. Tip – this is a great time to go as there were no lines, so my son got in some tries. He did pretty well for his first time. Even DH tried it and did well. (I was too chicken).

IMG_0262%20Medium_zpsg31gm6bv.jpg

Edited by LuCruise

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Day 1 - Boarding Day (continued again)

 

Following the flowrider, we headed to the H20 Zone where our kids enjoyed the splash area, the donut pool (younger one wore a life jacket which you can sign out) and the kids pool. It’s funny since with all the kids stuff, my younger one seemed to love the hot tub the most.

 

The kids area is really cute and can keep them busy for awhile. (Pictures are in above post). One thing I didn’t like is one of the big splashing things reaches the pool. I’m not a splash person myself so would have preferred to have been able to just go in the pool without freezing cold water landing on my head (but hey, I’m not a kid so guess it’s not my place to complain).

 

After the pool, we headed back to our stateroom (went the wrong way again) in hopes of our luggage being there. No such luck. Was really hoping to start unpacking before muster since our evening was pretty much booked up from 5pm onwards with the Sail Away party, dinner and then the Aqua Show.

 

Oh well. We headed over to Studio B for the required muster drill which was painless. We checked our cabin again at around 4:45pm and yah, there was our luggage. Didn’t have too much time to unpack as we wanted to go the Sail Away party. Here are some pictures.

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IMG_0295%20Medium_zps8fn6byco.jpg

 

IMG_0294%20Medium_zpsbk7ojsjw.jpg

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Day 1 - Boarding Day (continued again)

 

After the sail away party, we returned to our stateroom again to try and unpack more (and organize clothes for tomorrow’s Nassau excursion). Then off to dinner for our 6:15pm reservation.

 

We were warned of the long lines for My Time and sure enough, the end of the line was down the hall and at the elevators. The line did move though (quicker than the no reservation line). As we got to the host, she said she had a table for us upstairs on deck 5 in the Silk dining room so we didn’t have to wait. It seemed a bit of a mess since when we got there, she kept looking for a “free’ (or clean?) table, but after a couple tries she found us one. Didn’t love our table as it was behind a poll and the servers treated us like we weren’t their table, but not a huge deal. We had brought our wine to dinner but since we weren’t on our usual level, we took the wine back with us to our stateroom after dinner and brought it again the next night.

 

That evening we had the Aqua show. I was quite excited as it certainly is something unique to cruise ships and have heard such good things. We sat around row 5 as we didn’t want to be any closer in the splash zone. Those divers are incredible. And all I can say is I hope my kids don’t grow up to become Royal Caribbean divers as your heart stops with nerves watching them. Wow…what a show, and group of talented performers.

 

As it turns out, it was good we booked the first night since apparently they cancelled night 2 due to the winds.

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Just want to say thank you for your posts. We will be cruising Allure/Royal later this year and have so much to learn. Looking forward to more. THANK YOU

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Just want to say thank you for your posts. We will be cruising Allure/Royal later this year and have so much to learn. Looking forward to more. THANK YOU

 

My pleasure. Good to know someone is still reading. ;)

Allure is a big ship, but amazing and so much variety. You'll love it.

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Cruising in 52 days and enjoying this report!! Thanks for taking the time to do this. We've never been on Allure so I'm following closely

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Loving your review!!!!!....It will be 16 months before we will be on the Allure and I really enjoy reading the reviews and comments. I too love to plan out things to do ahead of time.

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Loving your review!!!!!....It will be 16 months before we will be on the Allure and I really enjoy reading the reviews and comments. I too love to plan out things to do ahead of time.

 

Exact same timing as us. And I did the same in terms of reading others reviews. It helps build the excitement and lets you do your research about the ship and ports.

 

More to come tonight...Next is our Nassau day.

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I echo what others have said about the My Time dining experience and being shuffled up to the Silk Dining Room. The servers make it very apparent that it's an inconvenience to them. Our server said it was a real pain and inconvenience for everyone on the night we were up there. Listen, I didn't ask to be put upstairs at his table. Even though it was "My Time" we had reservations for each night we went. So, it would seem that they would put the no reservations folks upstairs. Or maybe they put people up there who do not complain very much (like my husband and me.)

 

The server said that he had to get ready for the second seating, so we needed to order quickly. He was definitely not happy we were up there at all. Sensing that it was not going to get any better as the meal went on, we had started gathering our things to get up and leave. We weren't locked into being there, and were more than happy to just go upstairs to the Windjammer. Suddenly, my nieces became "Princess" and their fruit cups appeared and it was all happy smiles. I think they were worried that we were going to complain. I think it is the only time on the ship I felt like we were a bother to someone, and they made it quite apparent.

 

Still, even on the surveys, I did not complain. I did make observations but clarified them with the fact that the staff could not control how many people chose to eat at that particular time and I was sure it was difficult for them to get prepared for second seating.

 

Someone had mentioned that those folks with the lowest satisfaction ratings get assigned to the My Time Dining. I guess it is "punishment" for them, but it results in "punishment" for diners. They should definitely have a few very patient people in American Icon to deal with the uncertainty of My Time dining. Although, on most nights I had no complaints with our servers in American Icon. Most were quite good and very patient. IT was only the night we were sent up to Silk.

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