Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
LuCruise

Allure Report - 16 Months in the Making

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone.. I'm the DH of LuCruise and just want to say how awesome of a job she did planning our vacation.

 

I'm very much a typical 'Lets just show up and will be fine as long as there is beer' kind of guy. However, I know this doesn't work for everyone -- especially my OCD planning wife.

 

She spent tons of time planning this, doing analysis, spreadsheets, etc. While I make fun of her, I do appreciate it.

 

Enjoy your cruises.

 

Also to the other DH's on this thread: Please don't make me look bad and start posting detailed cruise reviews with spreadsheets, analysis, caring, etc. Thanks.. We gotta stick together ! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 4 - St Thomas (continued)

 

We returned to the ship and was able to get a good picture of it (but its so big that can't get all in one picture).

IMG_0494%20Medium_zpsrp4eucw4.jpg

 

After our "tough" day we were hungry so we grabbed a snack at Park Café. This place is usually busy as it has both good selection and nice atmosphere being in Central Park.

 

Don't remember what we did after that but we had dinner at 6pm that night. As mentioned, we now had "our" table so we were seated there with the same servers. I think it was this night that they automatically brought pencil crayons for our kids (as they saw that they didn't have any the night prior) and they would bring things our for us without asking such as a cheese plate, and the wine that they were storing for us. Very nice.

 

After dinner we went to the Promenade to see the penguins from Madagasgar. They did the cutest dance to Footloose and then our kids got a picture with them (sorry for the cropping but I'm not comfortable including close up of my kids in photos so have cropped them out)

Penguins_zps372nxzmd.jpg

 

At the same time DH went to the casino to take out some cash (as a reminder we are Canadian and we were able to buy USD at 1.1 exchange so better advantage for us to take out from Royal rather than the bank). I forgot to mention to DH to ensure that he tell them that our account is set up as a cash account. Otherwise they charge you 5% to take our money from the casino. He came back telling me of the charge, so he then had to go to Guest Services to have them remove it. A bit of a pain, but it got straightened out and we got the 5% extra charge back.

 

That evening was the Headliner show. It was a group called "Marcus Terell & the Serenades". It totally didn't interest DH and DS, and even myself but DD wanted to go as she loves music so two of us went. The guy and his backup singers were very good, but it's not my kind of music. He was on America's Got Talent and American Idol so that was neat as I probably saw him at some point.

 

It was getting late for my DD so we left (but it was pretty close to the end) and headed back to our stateroom. I was glad that at this point, I was figuring out how to find our room without having to do the big U around the floor (i.e. I figured out which side of the stairs to take..lol).

Edited by LuCruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi everyone.. I'm the DH of LuCruise and just want to say how awesome of a job she did planning our vacation.

 

I'm very much a typical 'Lets just show up and will be fine as long as there is beer' kind of guy. However, I know this doesn't work for everyone -- especially my OCD planning wife.

 

She spent tons of time planning this, doing analysis, spreadsheets, etc. While I make fun of her, I do appreciate it.

 

Enjoy your cruises.

 

Also to the other DH's on this thread: Please don't make me look bad and start posting detailed cruise reviews with spreadsheets, analysis, caring, etc. Thanks.. We gotta stick together ! :)

 

 

 

Too funny. :D

 

I'm impressed that you did any post on cruise critic. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

IMG_0465%20Small_zpsgnah8omx.jpg

 

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

IMG_0464%20Small_zpsmctu0bgg.jpg

 

Water is so pure

IMG_0463%20Small_zpsynzpujtg.jpg

 

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.

 

Did you happen to notice how much it was to rent snorkeling gear?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you happen to notice how much it was to rent snorkeling gear?

 

We didn't snorkel so I didn't pay attention to prices. However, if you do a search on "Coki Dive Center" and then select the "Dive Shop" menu, it lists prices for snorkel rental and more. Prices look pretty reasonable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We didn't snorkel so I didn't pay attention to prices. However, if you do a search on "Coki Dive Center" and then select the "Dive Shop" menu, it lists prices for snorkel rental and more. Prices look pretty reasonable.

 

 

Thanks.

Enjoying your review btw :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Subscribing! I'll be on the Harmony in July..we're still waiting to book our shows. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to when they open up for booking. Thanks for the detailed review!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 5 - St Maarten

 

The next morning we docked at 8am. We look at the TV screen and knew that the Windjammer would be crazy busy (the "long red bar" gave it away), but DH really wanted to go there again so we took the challenge. And yep…it was a mad house, but we were able to find an empty table. Once we grabbed it, we managed with the crowds getting our breakfast.

 

The view in St Maarten was quite pretty and similar to St Thomas with the large hills. The Allure’s cousin, The Anthem of the Seas was parked right across from us. It was nice to see since I remembered back in February that it got caught in the bad storm on the Atlantic and had some damage. But looking at it, you would never know. I didn't realize that it came out this way (i.e. to St Maarten)

 

It's funny but I got so used to the Allure that the Anthem almost looked funny and it was like "wow...look at all those outside balcony cabins".

 

IMG_0501%20Medium_zps6wmgm2nx.jpg

Edited by LuCruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 5 - St Maarten (continued)

 

So what to do in St Maarten? As with St Thomas I did lots of research and had narrowed it down to either Bernard’s Tours or Little Divi beach. Bernard’s Tours would be a great variety and it seemed quite kid-friendly with the sea urchins, the iguana farm and the Maho, the airplane beach. On the flip side, I didn’t know if it would be too long for our kids and Orient beach was not my first choice of a beach (rough waters and lack of clothing). Plus, just with the nature of the Allure we had a lot of things reserved on the ship and wasn’t sure if we wanted another day on a schedule.

 

It seemed like a harder pick to find a beach in St Maarten. Le Gallion is supposed to be very kid friendly, but its waters are almost too calm for us. Orient and Dawn are too rough. Grand Case had reports of pollution. Mullet was a plausible option but I didn’t like the fact that it had only had a porta-potty and taxis weren't readily available. Also, for other beaches on the French side, there were protests recently so was worried of straying too far out.

 

Thus, we decided to try Little Divi Bay. It’s very close to the port, has basic amenities with washrooms, restaurant, shade and rentals. Someone recently printed some pictures and although it wasn’t the most gorgeous beach, it still looked nice. Thus, we grabbed a taxi to take us there.

 

The beach was “ok”. It might have just been the day but it was hard to walk into the water past your knees because at that point, the waves built up in height and then crashed over (with force). My poor son was braver than I was and he went on one of our blow up mats. But he was facing the shore and one of those waves came up behind him and pushed him off. He can swim, but it really scared him. After that he played in the sand and then after a bit, he did go back in and was having fun. For my daughter, I would hold her hand and we'd go knee deep (before the waves crashing). She also had fun just playing in the sand. DH relaxed on one of the loungers.

 

Someone had warned me about the sand…that it wasn’t as soft. I think from the big waves coming up and then being pulled back, it was bringing/tearing up rocks and shells, which made it rougher. Once you went in the water a bit, it was softer on your feet. Having said all that, we still all had a great time and the resort is quite pretty.

IMG_0507%20Medium_zpsnyimlmfh.jpg

 

The resort

IMG_0526%20Medium_zps2n6kievw.jpg

 

The water (it's hard to tell what I mean about the waves)

IMG_0508%20Medium_zps0wmjpsxb.jpg

 

The other side with the mountain

IMG_0509%20Medium_zps0ykc4lu6.jpg

Edited by LuCruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

 

We're going on Allure for the first time in Sept & we're fortunate enough to live in Florida & we're driving to the port. I know you said that you went in a taxi from the hotel but did you happen to notice if the traffic going in was exceptionally bad? We're trying to find out if getting there by car & parking at that time of morning will be terrible traffic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We're going on Allure for the first time in Sept & we're fortunate enough to live in Florida & we're driving to the port. I know you said that you went in a taxi from the hotel but did you happen to notice if the traffic going in was exceptionally bad? We're trying to find out if getting there by car & parking at that time of morning will be terrible traffic?

 

Great that you can just drive to the port. Not sure if the drop off by taxi is the same as for parking but I didn't notice any bad traffic. We had to stop at the security but other than that, we pretty much just drove in. This was early on a Sunday morning, around 10:20ish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really enjoying your review. We are going on the same itinerary on the Allure in September...only 150 days to go!

 

Question -- do you have copies of the cruise compass?

 

Our entertainment/dinner reservations just opened up and I'd like to see the activities, particularly on sea days, to plan around them. Would hate to miss something due to having some other entertainment to go to...what a 1st world problem! :rolleyes:

 

Obviously, I'm a fellow planner...no detail too small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Really enjoying your review. We are going on the same itinerary on the Allure in September...only 150 days to go!

 

Question -- do you have copies of the cruise compass?

 

Our entertainment/dinner reservations just opened up and I'd like to see the activities, particularly on sea days, to plan around them. Would hate to miss something due to having some other entertainment to go to...what a 1st world problem! :rolleyes:

 

Obviously, I'm a fellow planner...no detail too small.

 

I was the exact same and also wanted to see the non-bookable items as well...for the exact reason you said. I do have all compasses so just need to see how to post them. They do change things a bit (e.g. as mentioned in one of my earlier posts, the How to Train Your Dragon and other DreamWorks shows were showing twice in an earlier compass, but it was only once for our cruise...probably because we were out of peak spring break time). So let me know if there is something specific you want me to check. And of course, it can change again before September, but it certainly gives you a good idea.

Edited by LuCruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great that you can just drive to the port. Not sure if the drop off by taxi is the same as for parking but I didn't notice any bad traffic. We had to stop at the security but other than that, we pretty much just drove in. This was early on a Sunday morning, around 10:20ish.

That is about the time we wanted to arrive so thank you!!! That helped!! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 5 - St Maarten (continued)

 

After a couple hours at the beach we decided to head back to port. It was lunch time and since the shopping was right by the ship, we thought why not just return to the ship for lunch and then come back out? So we grabbed lunch at Sorrentos (ok, so not the best pizza but our kids liked it) and then went back to the port area. We were forced to try some samples of yummy coconut drink along the way. Didn’t buy too much…DH got some kind of alcohol (which he had to have the ship store for him until the last day) and a few other small items. Then back to the ship.

 

After changing out of our beach clothes, we checked the interactive map to see what was going on (half the time our kids would check it…just cause it’s fun to push the buttons). There was an “Art Around the Allure Scavenger Hunt”. Funny thing is ,we were the only ones to show up, but we still gave it a try. We basically had 15 minutes to look for as many art pieces around the ship that we could. We used our camera to take pictures of them. Well guess what? We won the hunt. :D He he. I was hoping the prize would be a free cruise, but it was just a few pens, highlighters and what looked like Royal Caribbean hair elastics but they are probably meant for something else.

 

The rest of the day we just walked around, watched the Flowriders and explored. Dinner was early that night at 5:30pm. (Originally I had booked the Comedy show for that evening, so was coordinating dinner with it, but the show got moved to the next night, and by that time other decent My Time bookings were not available).

 

We had nothing booked that night so we headed back to our room. I don’t remember if it was that night, there was one evening, and only one evening, where we returned to our room all pretty exhausted, but there were events going on at The Promenade and we could hear the music. But…this was only one evening. All other evenings we couldn’t hear anything. I would have no issue booking a Promenade room again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

65 days until Allure... our first cruise ever! Go big or stay home right? Thank you for this great review, we're so excited and VERY overwhelmed! Just booked shows and My Time yesterday. Our daughters (17 & 14) are beyond excited and ready to explore every inch of the ship and be "on their own" for the most part. Keep the review/tips coming!

Edited by KJKJ2016

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
65 days until Allure... our first cruise ever! Go big or stay home right? Thank you for this great review, we're so excited and VERY overwhelmed! Just booked shows and My Time yesterday. Our daughters (17 & 14) are beyond excited and ready to explore every inch of the ship and be "on their own" for the most part. Keep the review/tips coming!

 

Thanks for reading. The ship is amazing. Great age to be sailing on Allure. (Ours are a big younger but can see them loving it). Great that you have shows and dinner booked. That's when I felt it felt more real.

Edited by LuCruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Day 5 - St Maarten (continued)

 

So what to do in St Maarten? As with St Thomas I did lots of research and had narrowed it down to either Bernard’s Tours or Little Divi beach. Bernard’s Tours would be a great variety and it seemed quite kid-friendly with the sea urchins, the iguana farm and the Maho, the airplane beach. On the flip side, I didn’t know if it would be too long for our kids and Orient beach was not my first choice of a beach (rough waters and lack of clothing). Plus, just with the nature of the Allure we had a lot of things reserved on the ship and wasn’t sure if we wanted another day on a schedule.

 

It seemed like a harder pick to find a beach in St Maarten. Le Gallion is supposed to be very kid friendly, but its waters are almost too calm for us. Orient and Dawn are too rough. Grand Case had reports of pollution. Mullet was a plausible option but I didn’t like the fact that it had only had a porta-potty and taxis weren't readily available. Also, for other beaches on the French side, there were protests recently so was worried of straying too far out.

 

Thus, we decided to try Little Divi Bay. It’s very close to the port, has basic amenities with washrooms, restaurant, shade and rentals. Someone recently printed some pictures and although it wasn’t the most gorgeous beach, it still looked nice. Thus, we grabbed a taxi to take us there.

 

The beach was “ok”. It might have just been the day but it was hard to walk into the water past your knees because at that point, the waves built up in height and then crashed over (with force). My poor son was braver than I was and he went on one of our blow up mats. But he was facing the shore and one of those waves came up behind him and pushed him off. He can swim, but it really scared him. After that he played in the sand and then after a bit, he did go back in and was having fun. For my daughter, I would hold her hand and we'd go knee deep (before the waves crashing). She also had fun just playing in the sand. DH relaxed on one of the loungers.

 

Someone had warned me about the sand…that it wasn’t as soft. I think from the big waves coming up and then being pulled back, it was bringing/tearing up rocks and shells, which made it rougher. Once you went in the water a bit, it was softer on your feet. Having said all that, we still all had a great time and the resort is quite pretty.

IMG_0507%20Medium_zpsnyimlmfh.jpg

 

The resort

IMG_0526%20Medium_zps2n6kievw.jpg

 

The water (it's hard to tell what I mean about the waves)

IMG_0508%20Medium_zps0wmjpsxb.jpg

 

The other side with the mountain

IMG_0509%20Medium_zps0ykc4lu6.jpg

LuCruise: We have booked the 4x4 St. Maarteen & Beech Escape, did you hear anyone talk about this excursion and what there feed back was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are going on the sister ship, Harmony of the Sea, July 2017. This is a wonderful review and it is giving me great advice. I am a planner too and am having fun, even this far ahead, looking and planning!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are going on the sister ship, Harmony of the Sea, July 2017. This is a wonderful review and it is giving me great advice. I am a planner too and am having fun, even this far ahead, looking and planning!!!

 

Planning is half the fun. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 6 - Sea Day

 

The next day was a sea day, which was the best since we could just enjoy the ship. We decided to try the Solarium Bistro again for breakfast which was quite nice and not too busy. It was the only time we could go to the Solarium when our kids were with us. The restaurant is in the inside of the Solarium, enclosed in glass, but we could peak to see a bit of the Solarium area. It did seem peaceful and relaxing.

 

After breakfast we headed towards the Zipline and Flowrider area. I love this view from above on deck 15 looking down at the Boardwalk.

IMG_0544%20Medium_zpshurdjfow.jpg

 

The Zipline and boogie board FlowRider both opened at 9am so we headed there. As a reminder, this is the best time to go. This morning I was wearing my GoWalks shoes (which are slip-ons), but the Zipline does have shoes they lend you so it wasn't an issue. Our DS and I went on the Zipline a few times. After that, our DS went on the Flowrider a few times. Again, barely any lines.

 

For the rest of the morning, we were at the pool area. We went to the H20 Zone area for awhile and then headed to the beach pool and the hot tubs.

 

There was a 1pm Belly Flop contest showing in the cruise compass that we wanted to attend so we timed things accordingly. We checked out the Solarium for lunch, but there was nothing there that my DS liked, so we went to the Windjammer. It was busy but manageable (again, as long as you can grab a table, you're fine). DH and our kids got a plate. I may be one of the few but I didn't love the buffet for lunch. There were not enough cold items as I'm not a fan of hot foods for lunch (and not a ton of non-meat options). Oh and as Murphy's Law goes, we were short on time at this point (if we wanted to make the Belly Flop contest) and of course, this is the time that DD spills her drink all over her tray and so then we had to run out again and get her a new plate of food. We ate quickly and headed over.

 

When done, we headed over to the Aqua theatre for the show. Along the way at the Boardwalk we bumped into King Julien.

King%20Julien_zpsxll5v0n7.png

 

The Aqua theatre was full so we stood on the side (it was also hot and we didn't want to sit right in the sun). The show is quite funny and I recommend seeing it if you can. The passengers that volunteer are certainly brave souls. First, I would never want to stand up in a bathing suit in front of everyone (Dh is probably laughing at this knowing how modest I am). And second, when you think about it, they are competing for who can create the most pain. I mean, the perfect belly flop must really hurt, right? The cruise director, Dru "something" was grading each contestant and that was funny in itself (I won't spoil it by describing it). If you ask my son what was your favorite show on the ship, he'll respond The Belly Flop Contest, which is ironic since that this isn't even performed by Royal people.

Edited by LuCruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LuCruise: We have booked the 4x4 St. Maarteen & Beech Escape, did you hear anyone talk about this excursion and what there feed back was.

 

Peggy, we've done that very same excursion and it was fun. I wished we could have spent more time on the water part but still a good time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Peggy, we've done that very same excursion and it was fun. I wished we could have spent more time on the water part but still a good time.

Surfguyxxx thanks, did they go over to the famous beach the plans come in over

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations

Announcements

×
×
  • Create New...