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Allure Report - 16 Months in the Making


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Enjoying your report! We are booked on our first RCI this summer - the Allure in August - so I am so much appreciating your report. One quick question: we have been to Blue Lagoon in Bahamas before but it's been a while. Did you notice if they have stand up paddleboards to rent? Thanks in advance.

 

Hi. Yes, they have paddleboards, paddle boats and aqua bikes to rent. This is a screen print of the rentals that I took from someone else before we went (noodles, mats and tubes are included in the excursion).

Blue%20Lagoon%20Prices_zpsxksq6rv7.jpg

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Day 2 - Nassau (continued)

 

Tonight was formal night. We also had the ice show beforehand, which I realized afterwards wasn't planned very well (i.e. summer dress + ice rink is not a good mix). We changed into our formal wear and headed to the ice show early to grab good seats...which we got in the front row. The show was based on Monopoly. We were all familiar with the game and so was curios how they were going to tie the show back to the game. I won't spoil it, but will just say that it really is just loosely connected. But the skaters were really professional. They did some great and daring moves, and some other acrobatic type skating / tricks in the air. It was quite impressive.

 

Here is the rink before the show.

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After the show we headed back to our room quickly to grab our wine and then headed to American Icon for dinner. As mentioned in earlier post, they didn't get the note to put us back to My Time, but it wasn't a problem for them to do so. So all was good.

 

We were seated right away at a table at the back that was near a window so we had a nice view. Service was quite good and we all enjoyed our meals. Since we still weren't sure that the dining issues were resolved, we took our wine back with us.

 

After dinner we went back to our room and relaxed. We had a cute towel animal waiting for us.

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We could see Puss and Boots outside of our window (i.e. from our Promenade room). There were meet and greets at different times during the week with very small line ups so it was easy to see all the characters over the days.

Edited by LuCruise
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Day 3 - Sea Day

 

The next day was a sea day. I was looking forward to sea days just as much as port days. After all, when you go on a ship like the Allure, it's all about the ship and less about the ports.

 

We woke up early and decided to tackle the Windjammer for breakfast. We got there at 8ish and there weren't too many people there yet. You hear complaints about the Windjammer, but I think it's about the crowds. There is tons of selection from waffles/pancakes, muffins, various breads, fruit, cheese, bacon, eggs, cereal, granola, yogurts, etc and te food was pretty good. As a note, I heard warnings of the scrambled eggs so skipped those, but they did have fried eggs over easy (if that's the right name) and these were real eggs that were good. We were done around 8:30am and the crowds were starting to come. Tip: Go early if going to the Windjammer.

 

After breakfast we headed to the zipline. We saw that it opened at 9am and so wanted to beat the crowds (see a pattern?). We waited for it to open and my son and I gave it a try. You have to remove all jewellery (including watches), you need a tie for glasses (which they provide), bags (I wore a waste pouch with my belongings all week so I gave that to DH), etc. If you don't have proper footwear, then they also provide shoes, but you do need socks. It takes a bit to get the harness on, the people are quite sufficient. By the way, I'll comment that the staff at the activities were great...very friendly. And they shift around so you may see someone at the zipline and then an hour later at the Flowrider. I guess that's how they keep it interesting for them.

The zipline is quick but so much fun. They tell you what to do at the other end. You have to step on the yellow and stop on the green. I did neither, but you just kind of flip back and they catch you. I had commented to the guy that caught me "Guess I didn't quite do that right" and he responded "Not even close". Lol.

 

Tip: Great time to go when it opens. My son went about 8 times in a row.

 

Here's the zipline including one of me with about to go with all the harnesses. It overlooks the Boardwalk area.

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Edited by LuCruise
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Hi. Yes, they have paddleboards, paddle boats and aqua bikes to rent. This is a screen print of the rentals that I took from someone else before we went (noodles, mats and tubes are included in the excursion).

Blue%20Lagoon%20Prices_zpsxksq6rv7.jpg

 

Awesome. Thank you!!!!!

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Awesome review! We are sailing her in September. I wouldnt think of looking to book shows so early. Glad I am readying your review. Will start looking to see what can be booked!

 

You can show up as standby if you want too and they say that the only one you need to pre-book is the comedy show since it's a small venue. DH went to that one so I didn't see but think it gets filled up.

For the others, there will still seats. We saw Mamma Mia on the last night it was showing at 5pm. The main floor was pretty busy but there will still seats on the side (and I imagine in the balcony too).

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Day 3 - Sea Day

 

After the zipline we headed over to the Boardwalk. There were donuts calling our name so we felt compelled to take one. ;)

 

We had gotten a note about a welcome back party at 10:15am, but had forgotten about it. However, it happened to be at the Aqua theatre area in the Boardwalk area so we ended up joining. They offered free drinks, our kids got a picture with Shrek, they did a few rounds of the rock wall, and they had a diving show which was a bonus we weren't expecting. There was also an interesting question and answer session with the captain.

 

Here are a few pictures from the diving/acrobatic show.

Cool balancing.

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And this is not the best picture but you can see someone mid air.

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I also love the peaceful view from the Aqua theatre area at the back of the ship.

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Edited by LuCruise
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Im glad my family and I are early risers! Looks like we might avoid crowds at breakfast. We will definitely hit the zip line at opening too. Thanks so much for the tips[emoji4]

 

Thanks for the great tips!! Even though we have months to go before our cruise, I like to get ideas for planning our cruise. Keep the reviews coming!!!!!

 

So glad that tips are helping and you are enjoying. It's fun writing the review (and is kind of post-cruise therapy :D )

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Day 3 - Sea Day (continued)

 

We next headed to the Promenade to see the DreamWorks Move It Move It parade. We grabbed a spot just at the edge of Sorrentos in the middle part (there is a platform in the middle where we were able to stand on the side of it). The parade is quite colorful and fun with the different characters coming out and dancing. During the show we noticed one of the crew members in the show that we had seen earlier working at the rock wall, and then at the Welcome Back party (and she recognized our kids). So another example of how they move from one even to the next.

Didn't capture the best photos but here as some (most are blurry because of the movement).

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After the parade we grabbed lunch at Park Café in Central Park. This area of the ship is so beautiful.

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I really liked Park Café for lunch. They have made to order salads and also a great selection of made up salads and sandwiches. Lots of selection even if you don't eat meat. It wasn't our kids favorite spot though. They of course loved the bag of potato chips but my son is really picky and so the only ok option for him was grilled cheese which wasn't the best.

Edited by LuCruise
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Day 3 – Sea Day (continued)

 

Today was turning out to be a "show day", which was fine by me as I love seeing shows (one of the things I love about Royal and especially the Oasis class). This afternoon they had the 'How to Train Your Dragon' ice show. I had seen on previous compasses that they performed this show a couple times, but it ended up being the only time it was showing so it was a good thing we went on this day and not waited for another performance. (Thinking about it afterwards, the recent compass was from about a month earlier when it was Spring Break time, so makes sense they repeated the DreamWorks shows as there would have been more kids onboard).

 

The show was well done and basically re-told the story. The dragons and non-people walked on the ice (which must have been a challenge walking in those costumes on land never mind about on slippery ice), but they had skaters including Hiccup and the other people characters. The show was cute and well done. Our son quite likes the movie and he really enjoyed the show. I love how Royal adds these extra shows so their cruise appeals to families (with kids) on top of the regular shows.

 

After the ice show we walked around and our kids went on the rock wall again. Both rock walls were open and wall #2 looked like it had a smaller line so we went to that side this time. They preferred wall #1. Tip: Rock Wall #2 is apparently harder so if you're a beginner, rock wall #1 is a better choice.

 

Then we split up as my DD and I left to get ready for Mamma Mia show. We had dinner following the show so we wanted to change into our dinner show. Moreover, we are big fans so we wanted to get there early so we could get front row. My son had no interest in the show so he and DH went to the arcade and found things to do.

Edited by LuCruise
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Loving the review and the calendars were incredibly cute! I was on Allure in 2012 and I really enjoyed myself.

 

Ah thanks...we were thinking of a nice way to surprise our kids. Their reactions were priceless.

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Day 3 - Sea Day (continued)

 

First some Mamma Mia background….. I am a huge fan of this musical and now to date (including Allure) I have seen it 24 times in total. The shows include many times in our home city where it played for 5 years, New York City (including just before it left Broadway) and about a year ago we did a road trip to see it. So it’s not surprising that my daughter is now a fan too. Her total times seeing Mamma Mia live is now 3 times, which is not a bad count for a six year old (and the movie many times). We even have Mamma Mia t-shirts which we both wore to the show and we can both sing all the songs (although not recommended being in earshot when we do so…lol).

 

One thing that is ironic is that when we booked our cruise Chicago was musical playing. It was only a week later that I found out it was switching to Mamma Mia. It was like it was a sign that “this cruise was meant to be”. ;)

 

So with that background, you can understand why we wanted to there early to ensure we got good seats (meaning front row centre). The show started at 5pm so we got there for 4pm. Our plan worked. But it was only a few minutes after us, that people started lining up and by 4:15pm, the line-up was a good ways back.

 

Normally when you enter a Mamma Mia theatre the curtain is closed so you don’t see the stage. On Allure, you see the set for the opening scene, which was neat.

 

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So the big question….how was the Allure production? Amazing. I mean I have my favorite productions/actors, but this was just about as good as any other one that I’ve seen from the cast to the sound to the production. And although I have seen the show many times, each production brings in something different (especially in lively funny scenes such as Dancing Queen). The set was a bit simpler. For example, in non-tour productions, the path rises in the final song in “I’ve Had a Dream” and this was missing on the Allure too, but this would only be noticed by someone like myself. Seeing the show on a cruise ship, I missed taking home a program as a souvenir, but what a bonus being able to see it as part of our trip. If I could have, then I would have even gone to the other two showings, but one conflicted with our Aqua theatre showing and the other was too late (it wouldn't have felt right not going with my daughter). So for anyone wanting a good time, go see it.

Edited by LuCruise
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Day 3 - Sea Day (continued)

 

After the show we met DH and DS at the MDR. Eating at 7:45pm is late for our kids, but of course they "managed" with lots of snacks…ha ha. We were seated in the back room, which we liked. It was a bit quieter as not everyone was passing through and we had a porthole window next to us. Our servers were great, and it turned out that we were able to get this table each night for the rest for the cruise. Our other reservations varied a bit but were between 5:30pm and 6:15pm so we could see out the window on those nights.

 

Tip: If coming with kids, bring a pen or crayon with you. Their menus have a couple activities but they don't provide pens (although our servers gave them pencil crayons the following night once they noticed that they didn't have anything). It is the same menu/activity sheet for the kids each night but ours still kept occupied by playing their own games on paper.

Edited by LuCruise
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Day 4 - St Thomas

 

Today we were arriving in St Thomas, but not until 10am. We figured the Windjammer would be a madhouse since no one was off the ship at breakfast time, so we decided to try Solarium Bistro. It was also a buffet but a "healthier" one. This ended up being my favorite breakfast place. It's not quite as big as Windjammer but it had a good selection...same kind of items such as muffins , breads, cereals, nice fruit (including figs, kiwi and mango), yogurt parfait (one with granola and one with special k...which is a good option for someone like DH who has a tree nut allergy), eggs (including the eggs over easy), turkey bacon (which DH said was actually ok unlike what I heard on here), and things like waffles, pancakes, French toast. It wasn't that busy either so we found a seat no problem. Not sure if I was imaging, the coffee seemed better than Windjammer.

 

St Thomas ended up being my favorite stop. The place is just so beautiful.

Edited by LuCruise
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Day 4 - St Thomas

 

Today we were arriving in St Thomas, but not until 10am. We figured the Windjammer would be a madhouse since no one was off the ship at breakfast time, so we decided to try Solarium Bistro. It was also a buffet but a "healthier" one. This ended up being my favorite breakfast place. It's not quite as big as Windjammer but it had a good selection...same kind of items such as muffins , breads, cereals, nice fruit (including figs, kiwi and mango), yogurt parfait (one with granola and one with special k...which is a good option for someone like DH who has a tree nut allergy), eggs (including the eggs over easy), turkey bacon (which DH said was actually ok unlike what I heard on here), and things like waffles, pancakes, French toast. It wasn't that busy either so we found a seat no problem. Not sure if I was imaging, the coffee seemed better than Windjammer.

 

St Thomas ended up being my favorite stop. The place is just so beautiful.

LuCruise , Love your review. We sail on the Allure, August 28th, 2016, can’t wait.

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LuCruise , Love your review. We sail on the Allure, August 28th, 2016, can’t wait.

 

Thanks so much. Glad to hear you are enjoying.

 

I have some lovely pictures of St Thomas I hope to post next. (Photobucket was giving me issues last night but hopefully will be resolved).

 

Allure is amazing. You'll love it.

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Day 4 - St Thomas

 

This is the view we had of St Thomas on the ship. What a beautiful place with all the homes built on the hills.

 

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For our St Thomas day, we knew that we wanted to go to a beach, but I was torn on which one. Thanks to the help of fellow cruise critic members, I had narrowed it down to either Coki beach or Magens Bay. Both would be busy, which was not a big deal for us, and both had basic amenities which was a requirement in selecting a beach.

 

They were also very different beaches.

 

Coki beach looked really beautiful from the pure blue water and the soft sand. From pictures the waves looked like the perfect strength (some waves to have fun in, but not too strong for our kids). Plus having the Coral World aquarium next door was a bonus since it was a good alternative if we had enough beach time. But people say that since this beach is quite small, it gets really crowded. Also there have been reports of smelling "things" (and it's not bbq they are talking about), which concerned me a bit since we were coming with our kids. One other possible issue was that this is one of the best snorkeling beaches, but knowing my kids, seeing lots of fish in the water might scare them from going in.

 

Magens Bay is noted as one of the top 10 beaches (although from pictures, Coki looked prettier to me). On the good side, there wouldn't be the fish issue so our kids would be happy to swim there. But the waves seemed almost too calm.

 

So before we left on our cruise, DH and I had decided on Coki beach. (I did all the research and he would give me "5 minutes a day" at most to hear about cruise stuff…lol). But as described in our Blue Lagoon excursion, there was an area at Blue Lagoon where there was a school of (little) fish and our kids wouldn’t go in the water. So with this fear was confirmed I thought we'd better make a change of plans for St Thomas and choose Magens Bay instead. At the same time, our DS commented how he wanted some waves as Blue Lagoon was almost too calm for him, so we convinced them to give Coki a try. So Coki it was.

 

We got off the ship and walked to the taxi area. These aren't your traditional taxis but more like open vans that holds many people. We got in one that said they were going to Coki and waited for it to fill up. I knew from cruise critic that the ride should have been 30 minutes or so but it ended up being about 45 minutes since it first stopped at the ferry drop off and Sapphire beach (and maybe another…I forget offhand). Tip: Give yourself extra time with the taxis since they are not necessarily direct.

 

The drive itself was beautiful. We saw the Fantasy and some other cruise ship along the way.

 

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One thing about the roads…It's a pretty crazy drive as the roads constantly turn. And not only that, but they are always either going uphill or downhill. Tip: Don't look forward if you get "sea sick" or are a bit scared as it's quite the drive. (Our kids found it fun like a rollercoaster).

Edited by LuCruise
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Day 4 - St Thomas (continued)

 

 

After a lot of weaving and up and down roads we finally got to Coki. We confirmed that we could easily catch a taxi when we were ready to return to the ship. We took one look and 'wow'…what a stunning beach. It's not huge as we were warned, but so beautiful. We got 2 loungers and an umbrella (for around $30…I forget exactly).

 

As in the pictures, the waves were perfect and our kids had so much fun jumping them. We also brought a blow up mat from a dollar store that worked well in the water. There were lots of people, but it's not like we were walking over others. It was totally fine. Oh, and you'd see lots of people out a bit snorkelling but I didn't even notice any fish swimming around us near the shore....so no issue there. Coki was by far our favorite beach.

 

People come around to see if you want lunch. It was a bit pricey for what we got ($60 for 2 hotdogs, 1 veggie burger, 1 fish burger and 2 waters) but food was quite good. We spent a few hours and then headed back to the port, where we walked around and did some shopping.

 

Coki Beach - look to the left

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Coki Beach - look to the right (white figure is Coral World)

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Water is so pure

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PS - The waves go a bit bigger than in the picture....guess when I took the shots it was inbetween the waves.

 

Only problem with beach days and sun is that the four of us are quite pale...and we all had spots where we missed sunscreen. Our kids had red patches on their arms that they skipped over, and DH too, and when we returned to the ship I realized that I myself had missed putting sunscreen on my front. Oops.

Edited by LuCruise
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Love your review. We sail Allure in 89 days, July 24th. The show schedule just posted tonight and I am already signed up.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

Thanks so much. It's exciting when you are able to book the shows. They are all great and worth seeing.

 

Love your review. Thanks so much for sharing. We are on Allure for the first time in 18 days. We are so excited!!! Thanks again!

 

Thanks as well. Let me know if any questions. Your cruise is coming up soon. Enjoy!

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