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Allure Report - 16 Months in the Making


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Day 7 - Sea Day (continued)

 

After the show we grabbed lunch. I wanted to return to Park Café as they have great sandwiches and salads, but there wasn't much for DS who is super picky. (They do have grilled cheese, which he eats, but our kids tried it the first time and didn't find it very good.) So the three of us ordered and then I ran downstairs with DS to the Promenade to get him "take out" from Sorrentos. Our DD had a made to order salad, which isn't like her, but her motivation was being able to order the salad with a side of potato chips.

Tip: Good place to grab potato chip bags for later.

 

Next DH and DD went to the H20 Zone and I took DS to the FlowRider. Since it was a sea day, and the afternoon, it was quite busy. It was the first time we had seen the "blow up" divider down the middle, creating two FlowRider areas. It worked well, except that it is only attached on the ends. Thus, there were times when a boggie rider on one side moves into the divider pushing the rider half way across to the other rider's Flowriding space. Didn't see any collisions though when we were there (but I'm sure it happens). DS was doing well and I was impressed as he was able to get to his knees and stay there for a maybe 18 seconds before falling and being pushed up the back.

 

Here's the FlowRider with the division.

 

Flowrider2_zpsiegbydeb.png

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Sadly, I know we're coming to the end of your cruise. It's been wonderful reading your daily report. Next time, could you please do a back to back or a longer cruise so it won't end so quickly. I'm not asking too much am I???:D

 

Really, thank you for this review.

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Really enjoying your review! We are going on Allure this month. Did you purchase any photos or photo packages on the ship? Last time we purchased a photo package before the trip, but for some reason that option doesn't seem to be available for our sailing. If you recall any of the photo package prices, please let me know. Thanks!

Try logging in to mycruisephotos.com and find your cruise. They have all of the dates listed for the entire month. I'm on the Allure next month and have pre-purchased it already. I buy it every time. My granddaughters take tons of pictures every night. We took home about 300 from our cruise spring break.

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Sadly, I know we're coming to the end of your cruise. It's been wonderful reading your daily report. Next time, could you please do a back to back or a longer cruise so it won't end so quickly. I'm not asking too much am I???:D

 

Really, thank you for this review.

 

Definitely agree with you...a back to back next time. :D

 

Thanks so much for the compliment. Glad you're enjoying. Will also post some final thoughts when done the daily report.

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Day 7 - Sea Day (continued)

 

The four of us met up again to spend some time at the pool. We started at the H20 zone, but it wasn't long before our kids asked to go to the beach pool (which surprised me with the splash area and the donut pool). DH took them in the water and I relaxed on a chair just people watching. DH and I ordered another yummy Pina Colada and our kids and DH went back and forth between the hot tubs and the beach pool. The beach pool is neat as the surrounding area has a thin layer of water.

 

The Allure is so big that you don't feel the motion too much. It wasn't until seeing the water shift from one side to the other that I realized we were rocking a bit. The water would fill up on one side and then head over to the other side. It was almost a bit eerie watching it but it seemed to amuse the people in the pool.

 

It was past 3:30pm and we realized that we needed to head back to the stateroom to get ready as we had Blue Planet at 5pm. This is one downside to a show before dinner as it cuts your day short. Our kids showered (younger one needs help) and then got changed into our dinner clothes, which followed the show. Tip: If you have 4 to a cabin, we found it worked well to split up the shower times.

 

We headed to the Amber Theatre for Blue Planet. Normally I like to sit front row, but had read on here that the balcony is better since a lot of the action takes place higher up (i.e. who wants a sore neck)? So we grabbed a seat front row balcony. Only issue with this is that there is a bar that blocks your view horizontally. However, my kids caught the 'front row bug' from me and didn't want to move back so we stayed in these seats (but just moved over to seats next to a pole…so that they could stand up if needed). This is the opening set:

IMG_0613%20Medium_zpsspihe0tr.jpg

 

What to say about Blue Planet? It's not for everyone. Dh couldn't stand it and wanted to leave mid-way through. It's very artistic with singing and imagery. There were a few scenes bored me a bit but overall I thought it was quite beautiful and creative. My DD, who is only 6 years old notices everything. And even sitting way up in the balcony, she commented "Hey, that's Sophie" (meaning the lead from Mamma Mia). I totally wouldn't have noticed but then realized that the main singer did look a lot like "Tanya" and there was "Sam". So I guess they use the same actors for the two shows.

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Day 7 - Sea Day (continued)

 

After Blue Planet we had our last dinner. Felt sad knowing this was the last time in awhile that we'll be served like this with a menu (without prices at each item) and friendly personal service. Plus...it meant back to reality of doing dishes and cooking for me (not that I really cook so should probably use the word "prepare" meals).

 

As mentioned earlier, we could tell when we were at the pool that the ship was rocking and now we could feel it a bit. "Our" table in the dining room is next to a window so we could actually see how crazy the waves got. Hard to tell but they got quite high. Still, it was quite impressive that we only felt it a bit.

 

Dinner%20window2_zpsa7i2nftt.png

 

Dinner was lovely as the rest of the week (minus day one) and the waiters did a little song in the middle. Cute. They did remind us once again to "rate us a 10", but they were quite good and treated us well so we didn't mind.

 

I do wonder if we would have enjoyed My Time as much if we ended up with a different table and waiter each night but I'll say that we had a great experience with My Time (although DH did comment that he would like to do traditional "next time").

Edited by LuCruise
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Day 7 - Sea Day (continued)

 

Dinner ended in time to catch the farewell parade on the Promenade. It was close to the starting time so everyone had already grabbed their spots. We walked down the promenade past Sorrentos and found an empty area. It wasn't the best spot. We could see them coming but then missed the action once they got to the end (since they stay there for a minute before turning back around). One thing to mention is that this ended up being the same parade we saw at the beginning of the cruise. So you're not missing anything if you only catch it once.

 

After the parade it was time to return to our cabin to pack (boo hoo). That's the hardest thing with the cruise...all good things must come to an end.

 

However, there was one more event I wanted to attend...There was a Farewell Show with Dirt Pop (i.e. the Lance Bass group) that was open to the public. It was too late for our kids as it didn't start until 10pm (and we had to get up extra early for self disembarking) so I went out myself. Usually you can show up to a show 30 minutes before so I timed it accordingly. It was at Studio B and it turned out that people must have lined up really early. The line up went all the way down the hall with the art work and half way into the casino. It was pretty crazy, and thought that I wouldn't even get in, but there ended up being room for everyone. And even being so far back in line, I still managed to grab a good seat on the side near the stage.

 

The show was listed as starting at 10pm but it started closer to 10:30pm. Lance Bass and Joey Fatone were the hosts. They seemed like pretty down to earth people (i.e. not stuck up). The first guest was a very funny juggler. His jokes were better than his juggling as he often dropped the pegs. I was quite nervous when he went on a uni-cycle while juggling knives (mostly nervous for the people sitting on the floor). But thankfully he didn't drop anything during that act.

 

I stayed and listened to a few more singers (was a bit bored) and it was getting close to 11:30pm so I left. Was hoping to hear the famous singers in a song, but wasn't sure if they were even going to sing so I called it a night.

PS - I do have a picture of the hosts but am not sure if I can post it.

Edited by LuCruise
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Day 8 - Disembarkment Day

 

This is the hardest day of the cruise. So sad.

Our flight back to Canada was at 11:40am so we thought it was best to do self disembarkment. This is one good thing about being on deck 7 since it meant that we only had to walk down 2 sets of flights (meaning DH carrying the luggage). Tip: Walk if you can as the elevators get really backed up.

 

We got up early and walked out of our cabin at 7am. Bye bye our home for the week. The process was really quick at that time of day. As we existed the ship, the person in front of us asked if there was an elevator. The gentleman pointed to it, so we followed....so did everyone else behind us, but it meant we were second line so no issue. We got through the lines pretty quick and were entering a taxi cab at 7:30am and at the airport at 7:45am.

 

We checked in and sat down for a leisurely breakfast and had a smooth flight home. It wasn't even dinner time yet and I had already started a load of laundry and unpacked. One thing with not having internet is that I had 510 junk emails and 238 emails in my inbox. Funny enough, most of those were from cruise critic...lol. The worst was returning to work the next day where over 400 emails were waiting for me.

 

Not sure if anyone is still reading my report, but I'll add another post with some final thoughts (a bit later since I'm at work and probably should get back to it).

Edited by LuCruise
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Day 8 - Disembarkment Day

 

This is the hardest day of the cruise. So sad.

Our flight back to Canada was at 11:40am so we thought it was best to do self disembarkment. This is one good thing about being on deck 7 since it meant that we only had to walk down 2 sets of flights (meaning DH carrying the luggage). Tip: Walk if you can as the elevators get really backed up.

 

We got up early and walked out of our cabin at 7am. Bye bye our home for the week. The process was really quick at that time of day. As we existed the ship, the person in front of us asked if there was an elevator. The gentleman pointed to it, so we followed....so did everyone else behind us, but it meant we were second line so no issue. We got through the lines pretty quick and were entering a taxi cab at 7:30am and at the airport at 7:45am.

 

We checked in and sat down for a leisurely breakfast and had a smooth flight home. It wasn't even dinner time yet and I had already started a load of laundry and unpacked. One thing with not having internet is that I had 510 junk emails and 238 emails in my inbox. Funny enough, most of those were from cruise critic...lol. The worst was returning to work the next day where over 400 emails were waiting for me.

 

Not sure if anyone is still reading my report, but I'll add another post with some final thoughts (a bit later since I'm at work and probably should get back to it).

LuCruise - Loving the review, counting down until we leave on the Allure :)

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Still reading and loving your report. Due to scheduling with the kids school plans we will be on Harmony instead of Allure next summer but being sisters it is all still similar and I still greatly enjoyed your review!! The ship and the activities seem perfect

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LuCruise - Loving the review, counting down until we leave on the Allure :)

 

Love your review!!!! Thanks for taking us along!!!:)

 

Thank you. Good to know I still have readers. ;)

Prunion, it's a great feeling knowing the cruise is coming (and summer always zips by so it'll be here before you know it).

 

Still reading and loving your report. Due to scheduling with the kids school plans we will be on Harmony instead of Allure next summer but being sisters it is all still similar and I still greatly enjoyed your review!! The ship and the activities seem perfect

 

That's not so bad...Allure/Oasis plus waterslides + Abyss. How exciting!

Hope to get on Harmony some day.

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To date I've been on Grandeur of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Disney's Magic and now Allure of the Seas and will give some overall thoughts.

 

Service

 

In past cruises, I always remember the friendly introduction of the room attendant. It's something small, but it always stood out as a nice welcome to your room. I don't remember this on our Allure cruise. Having said that, our room attendant was very nice (but couldn't tell you his name) and he did a great job keeping our room spotless and items such as towels restocked. Our first night, our Pullman wasn't automatically pulled down for us, but we found him in the hall and he did it going forward each night. He always had a smile when we saw him.

 

We paid a few visits to Guest Services over the cruise and they were mostly good. When we had the confusion with our dining as described earlier in the report and I found the gentleman handling the dining at Guest Services a little rude. To me, the fact that our dinner reservations were possibly deleted was a big deal. I had booked on day one many months in advance and coordinated with all our shows. And he rudely told me to just calm down. Didn't appreciate that. Otherwise though, people were nice and accommodating and had no issues around the ship.

 

As mentioned, service in the MDR was great. It was annoying with them pushing for 10s, but again, I guess it was a win win for all, and those guys do work really hard...with working long hours and away from their families for long period of times.

 

Great service..and I give it an overall rating of 8.

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A few more thoughts...

 

The Little Things

 

One thing I remember on all past cruises (Royal and Disney), was a returning to the stateroom every evening and there would be a "surprise" towel animal and a chocolate on the bed. We weren't short of sweets on the cruise so could do without the chocolate, but the towel animals did give us a smile, especially to our kids. Now it's not that we didn't get them, but I think it was 3 nights instead of nightly. I recently posted the question on here to see if it was just the Allure (since it's such a big ship) or perhaps our stateroom level, but it seems to be the overall trend. Again, it's a small comment, but something I noticed that was less than before and something they cut back on.

 

Pools

 

One thing that stands out about Disney pools is how small and crowded they were. In comparison, the Allure has bigger pools, and different kinds that it spreads out the crowds. The kids area has the H20 zone which is bright and cheerful and fun for them and includes a 'donut' pool, a regular pool and a hot tub. My only complaint is that the sprays with the cold tap water land in the pool, which isn't very pleasant if you just want to go in with you kid. But I liked the fact that the H20 zone pool wasn't that deep and y 6 year old could stand in it. Note that the frozen yogurt machines are located at the H20 Zone area.

 

There is also the beach pool which would be great on a hot day, a sports pool which we saw classes held in the mornings and I believe they play games at other times, and other main pools. Great variety.

Edited by LuCruise
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LuCruise, thank you very much for your report. I have made a note of a number of your tips since we will be sailing on Oasis in November. I am a planner like you, so I am always researching for upcoming trips. :D

 

So good to hear my tips are useful. Theses ships are amazing. Am jeolous (in a good way :D ) of anyone who has cruises coming up. I see too you're going on Freedom soon, so great you have two exciting cruises. Enjoy.

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Some thoughts on the Food

 

Food is subjective. We didn't try any specialty restaurants and skipped some complimentary places but the following are some of my thoughts.

 

Solarium Bistro - This was my favorite breakfast spot. It was buffet so lots of options, and with a healthier flare. It still had the basic waffle, pancake options, muffins, cereals, etc, but then it had things like exotic fruits (fresh figs, mango), yogurt parfaits (some with granola and some with Special-K cereal for those with nut allergies), and different kinds of bacon including turkey (which I read bad things about but DH and our kids didn't mind it). Both Windjammer and Solarium had eggs over easy which is a safe choice (I avoided the scramble as was warned). The atmosphere too was nice with being able to see outside (but you're enclosed in glass). We did check it out for lunch but didn't end up staying there as there wasn't much for our son (who is super picky) and not too many non-meat options.

 

Windjammer – For those looking for variety, this is the place. The buffet is huge with every breakfast item (minus the nice extras mentioned above at Solarium Bistro). The main issue is the crowds. We went before 8am our first time and it was good, but we did see the crowds pile in shortly after. Our second attempt on our St Maarten day was chaotic (probably closer to 8:30am). We had to hunt down a table, but once we found one, it was fine. We did go here for lunch once. I didn't love it since it had too many hot items but DH and our kids founds stuff. One thing I was a bit surprised was that Royal didn't offer veggie burgers or hotdogs. That would have been a nice touch. (Maybe that's more of a Canadian thing?)

 

Sorrentos – I love that they have a dedicated pizza place on the ship. Now, it's hard to mess up pizza...it's just bread, sauce and cheese. So I won't say that they messed it up, but if I were to rate all the pizza's I have tried (and we're big pizza fans so have tried many spots from fast food to fancy), it certainly would be at the lower end. Having said that, our kids did enjoy it and didn't complain. People have said that it's better if you get a customized pizza but the one time I tried on a port day, they weren't offering it.

 

Park Café – Love this place for lunch. I could have eaten here daily and had something different each time (and that's coming from someone who doesn't eat meat). They have the made to order salad bar, premade salads, and a good variety of premade sandwiches. DH commented that the roast beef sandwiches are really good (had it twice). Not much for picky eaters though. They have good little bakery items too and if you want a healthy snack/dessert, you can grab a banana or apple. There isn't a ton of seating so it's good to go when it's not as crowded (check the interactive maps or tv). Park Café was a good option for breakfast when we were in a rush (excursion day) with pastries, bagels, muffins, egg sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, etc.

 

Wipout Café – We didn't eat here but did walk through it at breakfast and lunch time. For breakfast, it seemed like a mini buffet with the items also available at Windjammer, but apparently they make made to order omelets. So if you want an omelet, this is the place to go. Otherwise, I wouldn't make a special trip here. Lunch had burgers and stuff, but not much for someone who doesn't eat meat (again, a veggie option would have been nice).

 

Promenade Café – They have mini sandwiches and snacks. Good for a light lunch or afternoon break. Good place to grab tea or coffee….and a cake pop (not always there).

 

Doghouse – Can't comment personally but DH got a "snack" here once and said it was very good. They only sell hotdogs, but with many different toppings.

 

The Donut Shop – Many variety of donuts in the morning. Even though we saw them brining them out often, they weren't the freshest but still, they are donuts. What could be bad?

 

MDR – We didn't try it for breakfast (outside of the Character breakfast) or lunch but had every dinner here. You'll get many different opinions about the MDR, but we found the food pretty good. There were some not so good items (according to DH, don't get the pork) and he didn't love the shrimp cocktail (they were kind of skimpy…not plump). I usually ended up with Caesar salad for appetizer but there was more exciting items too. For dinner I got some seafood or fish item (garlic shrimp and lobster ravioli were the best) and DH ended up with some meat item. Bread rolls are offered every night which is given close to when you sit down. The kids menu doesn't change and our DD (younger one) ordered off of the adult menu a couple times. By the end, both were looking at the adult menu for dessert as they were getting bored with the same items (but some have liquor so they were restricted). Tip : As a tip for adults, if you aren't thrilled with the adult desserts and like chocolate, try the brownie and ice cream off the kids menu. Yum.

 

The last time we were on Royal, there was the MDR, Windjammer and Johnny Rockets, so all the options were impressive. We needed more days to try them all…and that doesn't even count the specialty restaurants. We did quite enjoy the variety and quality, and overall have no complaints. Tip : Enjoy and don’t bother weighing yourself after the cruise.

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Some thoughts on the Food

 

Food is subjective. We didn't try any specialty restaurants and skipped some complimentary places but the following are some of my thoughts.

 

Solarium Bistro - This was my favorite breakfast spot. It was buffet so lots of options, and with a healthier flare. It still had the basic waffle, pancake options, muffins, cereals, etc, but then it had things like exotic fruits (fresh figs, mango), yogurt parfaits (some with granola and some with Special-K cereal for those with nut allergies), and different kinds of bacon including turkey (which I read bad things about but DH and our kids didn't mind it). Both Windjammer and Solarium had eggs over easy which is a safe choice (I avoided the scramble as was warned). The atmosphere too was nice with being able to see outside (but you're enclosed in glass). We did check it out for lunch but didn't end up staying there as there wasn't much for our son (who is super picky) and not too many non-meat options.

 

Windjammer – For those looking for variety, this is the place. The buffet is huge with every breakfast item (minus the nice extras mentioned above at Solarium Bistro). The main issue is the crowds. We went before 8am our first time and it was good, but we did see the crowds pile in shortly after. Our second attempt on our St Maarten day was chaotic (probably closer to 8:30am). We had to hunt down a table, but once we found one, it was fine. We did go here for lunch once. I didn't love it since it had too many hot items but DH and our kids founds stuff. One thing I was a bit surprised was that Royal didn't offer veggie burgers or hotdogs. That would have been a nice touch. (Maybe that's more of a Canadian thing?)

 

Sorrentos – I love that they have a dedicated pizza place on the ship. Now, it's hard to mess up pizza...it's just bread, sauce and cheese. So I won't say that they messed it up, but if I were to rate all the pizza's I have tried (and we're big pizza fans so have tried many spots from fast food to fancy), it certainly would be at the lower end. Having said that, our kids did enjoy it and didn't complain. People have said that it's better if you get a customized pizza but the one time I tried on a port day, they weren't offering it.

 

Park Café – Love this place for lunch. I could have eaten here daily and had something different each time (and that's coming from someone who doesn't eat meat). They have the made to order salad bar, premade salads, and a good variety of premade sandwiches. DH commented that the roast beef sandwiches are really good (had it twice). Not much for picky eaters though. They have good little bakery items too and if you want a healthy snack/dessert, you can grab a banana or apple. There isn't a ton of seating so it's good to go when it's not as crowded (check the interactive maps or tv). Park Café was a good option for breakfast when we were in a rush (excursion day) with pastries, bagels, muffins, egg sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, etc.

 

Wipout Café – We didn't eat here but did walk through it at breakfast and lunch time. For breakfast, it seemed like a mini buffet with the items also available at Windjammer, but apparently they make made to order omelets. So if you want an omelet, this is the place to go. Otherwise, I wouldn't make a special trip here. Lunch had burgers and stuff, but not much for someone who doesn't eat meat (again, a veggie option would have been nice).

 

Promenade Café – They have mini sandwiches and snacks. Good for a light lunch or afternoon break. Good place to grab tea or coffee….and a cake pop (not always there).

 

Doghouse – Can't comment personally but DH got a "snack" here once and said it was very good. They only sell hotdogs, but with many different toppings.

 

The Donut Shop – Many variety of donuts in the morning. Even though we saw them brining them out often, they weren't the freshest but still, they are donuts. What could be bad?

 

MDR – We didn't try it for breakfast (outside of the Character breakfast) or lunch but had every dinner here. You'll get many different opinions about the MDR, but we found the food pretty good. There were some not so good items (according to DH, don't get the pork) and he didn't love the shrimp cocktail (they were kind of skimpy…not plump). I usually ended up with Caesar salad for appetizer but there was more exciting items too. For dinner I got some seafood or fish item (garlic shrimp and lobster ravioli were the best) and DH ended up with some meat item. Bread rolls are offered every night which is given close to when you sit down. The kids menu doesn't change and our DD (younger one) ordered off of the adult menu a couple times. By the end, both were looking at the adult menu for dessert as they were getting bored with the same items (but some have liquor so they were restricted). Tip : As a tip for adults, if you aren't thrilled with the adult desserts and like chocolate, try the brownie and ice cream off the kids menu. Yum.

 

The last time we were on Royal, there was the MDR, Windjammer and Johnny Rockets, so all the options were impressive. We needed more days to try them all…and that doesn't even count the specialty restaurants. We did quite enjoy the variety and quality, and overall have no complaints. Tip : Enjoy and don’t bother weighing yourself after the cruise.

LuCruise: thanks for the information. Have a couple questions.

Why did your avoided the scramble, as warned too.

Are all these restaurants included in the price, or are they extra

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LuCruise: thanks for the information. Have a couple questions.

Why did your avoided the scramble, as warned too.

Are all these restaurants included in the price, or are they extra

 

Hi Peggy.

People on here have commented that the scrambled eggs are like rubber, but didn't try them so can't comment personally. I'm sure they're not that bad. The eggs over easy were very good. :)

 

All the restaurants mentioned are included (plus Johnny Rockets for breakfast, which we didn't try).

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Hi Peggy.

People on here have commented that the scrambled eggs are like rubber, but didn't try them so can't comment personally. I'm sure they're not that bad. The eggs over easy were very good. :)

 

All the restaurants mentioned are included (plus Johnny Rockets for breakfast, which we didn't try).

LuCruise, Is Johnny Rockets extra other then breakfast

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We have seen Mamma Mia five times on RCCL ships. You truly have set the bar at twenty four times so we need to make a run at your title.

 

And that's awesome that you've been on 5 Royal cruises with Mamma Mia! Think it was on the Quantum before as well?

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Great report - thanks! We're back on the Allure for Thanksgiving this year, after sailing the Med on Allure last summer. I'll have to try out the Solarium for breakfast this time - we ate a lot of our breakfasts at Wipeout Cafe last time and that always worked out pretty well.

 

Looking forward to Blue Planet this time - the show wasn't playing while Allure was in Europe.

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