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SeeingTheWorldBySea

Super long wordy Allure review- with kids ages 6 months and 2.5

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I recently sailed on Allure with my familyand I wanted to write a review. I found a lot of helpful information here on CCbefore sailing and I wanted to contribute a review of my experiences.Disclaimer- this is super long wordy review. Stop here if you don’t feellike reading my play by play. If you decide to read it I hope some informationis helpful. This was our first cruise on Royal and our first time with babies. At the end is a general packing list I took for the kids.

The traveling group included myself, myhusband, our 2.5 year old son, our 6 month old daughter, and my parents. Ibooked in April 2017 and when I booked as an incentive for placing the depositthe same day the RCCL representative offered a few free gifts along with $200OBC. I booked a grand suite for my four and an attached balcony for my parents.We were offered 6 vanilla cupcakes, a cheese plate with a bottle of white wine,and the kids octopus plush toy. The price was high but a few weeks later a kidssail free sale happened and I was able to save around $2200 for the GS, butlost the OBC. Also unknown to me until the 3rd day into the cruisewas I also lost the free gifts. The guest services representative offered us abottle of wine but I didn’t take it. Not the end of the world, I was justexpecting the other little gifts.

I worked half a day on 3/2 seeingclients then went to Target to get a new suitcase since kids had so much stuffit took up both of my big suitcases. I was in the checkout lane at Target whenI got an email from Southwest. We were set to fly out on Saturday 3/3 at 6am. Awind and rain storm was hitting the east coast all day Friday 3/2 and as aresult our flight was cancelled. Great, now what? When I got home I had lost myelectricity because of the storm. At this point I was not packed. I had pilesof stuff to be put into the new suitcase. Thankfully the kids and my husbandwere packed. My husband and I spent a little while attempting to get newflights all while packing in what was becoming a cold dark house with 2 kidsstarting to get antsy. I quickly realized there was no way we were getting anew flight, and there was NO WAY we were missing the boat. I called my parentsand told them to be ready by 9pm. We were driving to Fort Lauderdale. We rented a Suburban (a task that also wasn’teasy because there weren’t many places with large vehicles left). At 9:30pm, wehit the road, rear of the suburban piled to the ceiling with suitcases,strollers, carry-ons, snacks, tablets, you name it we had it. I was on such anadrenaline high I didn’t want to stop until I absolutely had to. The kids, myhusband, and my dad slept most of the way. I drove and my mom didn’t evenblink. I knew she thought we were nuts, but we had no choice. We WERE NOTMISSING THE BOAT. We stopped only 4 times and reached our hotel, Hyatt Place 17thStreet Fort Lauderdale at 11:30pm Saturday evening. Yes folks, that’s 26 hourslater.

Our room at Hyatt Place was very large.There was a pack and play for the baby which I requested ahead of time. I slepton the pull out couch with the 2.5 year old, my parents had one bed, and myhusband took the other. After quick showers we were all in bed by 1am. Up at6:30 the next day, Embarkation day! My husband and I took our son to theairport to return the suburban and then called for the shuttle to come back forus. The shuttle driver dropped my husband off at the CVS right near the hotelbecause I forgot to pack dish soap to wash the baby bottles and also I wantedto get some sand toys. My husband walked back. We were on the 11am shuttle toPort Everglades and were checking in within 20 minutes. We all went to thesuite lane, but really it didn’t matter, none of the lines we’re long at all.They did not make us break down the strollers going through security but ratherhand checked everything. This was a huge help. We went straight to theWindjammer when we got on board. There was a short line but I really like howthe staff communicated by radio when tables opened and escorted parties to beseated. That happened a few times during the week and I really like how thatsaved us from wandering around looking for a table.

At 1:45 we made our way to ourstaterooms on deck 10. I was concerned when I booked these rooms that theproximity to the elevators and stairs meant more noise. I couldn’tconceptualize without seeing for myself that the elevators and stairs are intheir own area not near the hallway. The hallways and stairwells seemed wideron the Allure than I am used to seeing. One could easily fit a side by sidedouble stroller through the hallway. We opted for 2 separate strollers thistrip. We found our sea passes on the door and my son was very excited to ringthe doorbell. The grand suite was very spacious. There was storage around everycorner and hidden behind mirrors. The deck was spacious, the bed was large andcomfortable. The bathroom was great. I will mention that the bathroom sinks donot hold water even with the stopper down. Soaking bottles was a challenge butwe put those paper cup covers over the sink and it held water a little longer.Also the water from the sink is extremely hot. Even the cold was warm, but the hot was almost scalding. There was apack and play set up by the bed on the side closest to the window. I brought myown sheet and used 2 towels under the sheet to make is softer. Our room attendantoffered a small duvet to put on the bottom but the towels worked fine. I have no complaints about the room and Idon’t think I will ever book anything lower than a GS again. In fact we have a2 bedroom GS booked on Freedom for January and I hope it’s just as nice. Theconnecting door to my parents was between the counter and the sofa. Their roomseemed so tiny. My mom kept coming in our room sitting on the bed saying “wowthis is nice- my bed isn’t this nice”. Shortly after we arrived our cabin attendantcame to introduce himself. He was very kind and kept our room nice all week. Wedon’t ask for much, just ice, so he brought us an extra bucket. He unlocked theconnecting door and the balcony divider. We gave him and extra $150 at the endof the week for both rooms. I don’tthink there was anyone on the opposite side of us. We never heard any noise allweek. A few more comments about the room: it took me all week to figure out howto work the light switches and what did what. My husband got it right away(smarty pants). I can’t stand seeing a blinking voicemail light. I swear therewas always a message on the phone...usually from the suite concierges…theycalled a lot and left messages. I really enjoyed the menus on the TV. It helpedus plan dinners and order room service. When you order room service they callto confirm. You can’t order drinks so when they call, let them know you wouldlike milk, iced tea, etc. We had 4 voomcodes that were left on the counter at embarkation. Voom came in handy for myson’s tablet. We didn’t use much internet other than that. The kettle in theroom came in handy since we had to boil water for my daughters’ formula. It wasactually very dirty (dusty, coffee grounds inside) when we first went to use toso after scrubbing it a while we felt safe using it. In retrospect we should have brought a thermosand filled it with hot water from the buffet so we would always have it becausewhen my daughter is hungry she wants to eat ASAP.

We each had the refreshment package, butall of our cards said something different. My husbands had a DX for deluxe,mine had nothing, my mother said coke, and my father had an RR sticker. When wewent to the Promenade to fill the cups for the first time, my cup didn’t work,so one of the beverage managers gave me a new cup and clarified that we all hadthe same middle of the road package. We all got RR stickers and cups that worked. In the future, Iprobably won’t get the package. I found the freestyle machines to be adequatebut I only drank 1 soda all week and stuck to water or vitamin water but that’sonly because it was available. If I didn’t have the package and didn’t havevitamin water I would have been ok. I also only got 1 special coffee a day sothe coffee card would be a better fit for me. Same with my parents. My husbandbenefitted from the package. He likes soda and to mix and match. And he likedgetting the add-ons at the gym/spa juice bar thingy. The café workers work veryhard. I swear it was the same 3 guys all week no matter what time. I was sureto give them a small tip each time we got something. They would let me use mycard and my husband’s card for 2 drinks (an iced chai latte and a creamicemocha) if I went super early in the morning like 6am. I could tell they didn’tlove doing it, but they obliged.

 

 

A week or sobefore the cruise I got an email from the Suite concierge asking if we neededany special reservations. I explained about my parents having a non-suite roombut asked if I could invite them to dinner a few nights. Nancy, the suite concierge,wrote back asking what days and times, but given the commotion of cancelledflight and driving I never got back to her. On Sunday night we had the FirstNight Done Right that I bought on special for $15 per person. We were assignedto Giovanni’s but I changed it to Samba Grille. As we were getting ready forSamba I got a call in the stateroom from Coastal Kitchen asking when we wouldbe arriving for our 6pm reservation with a party of 8. At most we had a partyof 6 so I am not sure how that reservation was made a standard every night. Icancelled for Sunday and said I would call if we wouldn’t be there the nextnight. Samba was good and the wait staff was also good. Very attentive. I believethere were 8 meats but I only tried 4 as I got full fast. The baby sleptthrough dinner and my toddler had 3 bites of cheese pizza…this marked thebeginning of his terrible appetite all week. He barely ate all week. If you’retraveling with a toddler you know they can be picky eaters to begin with so beprepared it might be escalated on a cruise. Thank goodness I brought hisfavorite snacks and he always ate the chicken soup.

 

 

Monday wassupposed to be Nassau but the Captain informed us that we would not be makingthat stop due to high winds. We spent Monday exploring the ship some, time bythe kiddie pool and splash zone, and eating at Windjammer. The kids pools werefreezing and my son did not want to spend much time there. He wanted to go inthe kids “hot tub” so I obliged for a few minutes but really didn’t care forit. It felt like a bath with strangers. And it was very crowded. The babysplash area was cute, but very small. I think some water spouts would have madeit a bit more interactive. Monday night all 6 of us ate at Coastal Kitchen. Mybaby was fussing a lot so I went back tothe room shortly after ordering. I am not the type to disturb other people’sexperiences and I get very embarrassed if glared at if my kid is making ascene. The waiter had my meal delivered to my stateroom. It was the zucchinispaghetti to which I added a grilled chicken breast and thank goodness I did.The “spaghetti” portion was tasty, but minuscule. My parents, husband, and sonstayed to finish dinner. They all reported it was “ok”. After dinner we went tothe Aqua show, which I had reserved for Sunday night but it was cancelled dueto wind. I don’t know when it was rescheduled for but I was able to show theattendant my sea pass and he allowed my group of 6 to be let in. We stayed bythe top railing because of the stroller. The Aqua show is amazing. It isdefinitely worth it. And if you can’t get a seat before it starts just hang outin back and watch. It’s worth it. My son fell asleep but what he did see hetalked about all week.

Tuesday, which was a scheduled sea day,came with another announcement that the Captain was taking us to Puerto Rico(not on the itinerary) for Wednesday (which was supposed to be St. Thomas),making St. Thomas on Thursday (which was supposed to be St. Maarten), and backto Nassau for another attempt on Saturday (which was supposed to be a seaday). So more pool time, a round of minigolf, a few rides on the carousel, and more Windjammer was how we spend the day.Before dinner my mom and I stopped by the casino to make a donation and met theguys and the kids at Grande, our assigned main dining room. I can’t say I wasoverly impressed with the food or the service. I am pretty easy to please butthere were some obvious snafus. My mom took a bit of a dinner roll and a verylong strand of hair came out. She told the assistant waiter and he just tookthe plate away and never mentioned it again. I ordered an iced tea and it endedup being coca cola. I had a beef dish which was supposed to be like a roastbeef but first he brought me the NY sirloin and then the right meal, but eitherway it was very salty. It wasn’t a horrible meal it just wasn’t good either. Ialso had the roasted garlic soup and needless to say no vampires were going to botherme that night that was for sure.

 

 

Wednesday wewere due to arrive in San Juan around 1pm and we weren’t planning on gettingoff the ship. We have been to San Juan a handful of times before and being thatwe were only scheduled to be there for 6 hours we decided to try and takeadvantage of a semi-empty ship. We were going to try Izumi for lunch because myhusband likes sushi and I figured the rest of us could get hibachi. Well sushiis on one side and hibachi is on the other, plus I wasn’t feeling the $45 coverfor lunch, so we ended up in the main dining room Silk for lunch. There is acombination of served menu items plus a small buffet. I ordered the chickensliders from the menu and got a tutti salad from the buffet. The salad wasgreat. I wish we had gone back another day and did that again for lunch. Therewas also a dessert buffet but I guess we were late to eat because by the timewe finished the main course the buffet was taken down. I wished to have had amake my own sundae but that didn’t happen. Oh well, next time. After lunch wewent back to the room to watch the approach into San Juan. As we made it to ourbalcony here comes the Captain over the speaker to let us know we would not bemaking landfall. Something about 90 foot swells. I laughed and told my group tosay hi/bye to Puerto Rico see you in January. This was met by some shockbecause I was saving our next cruise to be a surprise for my dad’s retirementcoming in August. I got mixed reactions from my parents to the tune of “are youkidding?” and “Can you cancel?” My mom is still “traumatized” by having to be apassenger in the car for 26 hours to get to Ft. Lauderdale (eye roll) and is nervous about leaving againin a winter month. Weather is too unpredictable to plan on. We have cruised in October, November,February, March, April, and August and this is the first time weather changedour plans. I believe my husband went to the gym in the afternoon and I took thekids for a walk and stumbled on the How to Train Your Dragon Ice Show. Thetoddler slept through it but the baby and I enjoyed it. For dinner we madeanother attempt at Coastal Kitchen, this time just my husband, myself and thekids. It went better and the meal was very good. I had filet and it wasperfect. The server was great so we gave him a $20 tip. I did this also becauseI sort of knew this was the last time we would be eating here for the week.

 

 

Thursdaymorning we ate in Solarium Bisto for breakfast as we pulled into St. Thomas. Itis a smaller buffet set up but had all the essentials. On the way back to theroom I grabbed 6 towels. Not once did the attendant scan my card. I think oncethey see the maroon suite card they let you go because my parents got scanned afew times. When getting off the ship if you press the gangway button it takesyou to one floor above the gangway and they want you to take the escalatordown. We had the stroller so an attendant had to bypass the elevator and get usone more floor down. My husband’s sea pass had trouble scanning all week so we werealways a problem on the gangway lol. Wehad our pictures taken on the pier and I really like how RCCL does thepictures. They ask your cabin number and punch it into this thing on the cameraso later when you go look for your pictures it’s not on a giant wall of alreadyprinted stuff. Your sea pass will have your folder number and that’s where yougo to look for printed photos. Or you can use the kiosk and see what photos youhave taken. It’s a great system. We were headed to Water Island which trip advisorlisted as #1 beach in St. Thomas (head scratch by the end of the day). Wewalked past the main gate and to the right along the water to the next marina.It was an easy walk but the sidewalk does end for a bit so pushing the strollerthrough the safari buses was a pain. I had the 2.5 year old on my back in atoddler carrier. It was super convenient and he loved being carried. In fact hefell asleep! So we get to Tickles restaurant and unknowingly take the tablebelonging to a local waiting to take the water taxi over to Water Island. Wegot chatting with her and she was lovely. The water taxi is sort of a joke inmy opinion. It is very small and holds about 18 people and not in the bestshape. The helper was friendly but the captain was rude. He didn’t address medirectly but was talking about how I had my toddler on my back and that it wasunsafe because I was squishing him (?) He probably doesn’t have kids. Anywaysit was $10 per person round trip and they give you a card for the ride back. Wealso heard Captain Rudeness say that if the water got choppy he wasn’t comingback for us in the afternoon. Great, that’s all my mother had to hear and therest of the day was boarder line ruined. She couldn’t relax on the beachbecause she was so worried we were going to get left there. Once on waterisland there is a free (plus gratuity) shuttle that takes you up the hill andback down the hill to the beach area. Evidently this is the only beach for eventhe locals. There are 2 bars/restaurants one on each end. We got dropped off atDinghy’s. There were a few tables andumbrellas set up, “fancy outhouses”, and a bar. My son had a nice time playingin the sand. We brought his beach toys and he met a little girl to play with.My daughter ate a few handfuls of sand before deciding to fuss for the rest ofthe short time we were there. I ordered a quesadilla but it was uneventful anda pesky fly sort of ruined it for me. We didn’t spend long, part because of thefussy 6 month old and part because my mother couldn’t relax. We took theshuttle back to the dock and waited for Captain Rudeness. A water taxi came ashort while later this time with a different Captain but the same helper. Theyoung man that drives the shuttle was very nice. Not before long we were backin Charlotte Amalie and walked around a bit in the shops attempting to replacea tee shirt my husband got there about 10 years ago. He wore it literally untilit fell apart. It was the “beatings will continue until moral improves” shirt. No luck finding anything similar so we wentback on board and ordered a ton of room service. It was around 2:30 at thispoint but we were all very hungry. We had burger, hot dog, chicken noodle soup,pizza, chicken alfredo, a cheese plate to name a few. It came relatively quick andI gave the delivery guy a $20. It was so much food. After making a dent in roomservice my husband and I took the kids up to the open play area near thenursery. I also exchanged the bag of toys for a new one. That night we had alate dinner in Windjammer and walked around the ship some.

Almost done- only 2 days left! Is anyoneeven still reading?

 

 

Friday wasanother sea day and it came with more pool time for the kiddies. Well at leastthat was the intention. They both slept for hours by the pool while my dad andI people watched, my mom napped in the room, and my husband was at the gym.Both kids had full on colds (think runny noses) at this point so the sleep didthem good. I had my baby fully covered with sunscreen on and she still got alittle color on her head. I felt bad. My dad and I went to windjammer for lunchwith the kids and met my husband there. We gathered up my mom after lunch andwent to the Ice Games show. I have no idea what it was about or how it evenrelated to Monopoly. It was a god time waster and that was about it. Didnothing for me. That night we ate in the main dining room again for the lasttime. Our server was nice, don’t know his name. We had a nice window seat andthis time I did have an iced tea waiting not a coke. My husband and mom had thelobster tail. The meat that came out could fit in the palm of my 2.5 year oldshand. It was not a lot at all. I had steak and so did my dad. Meh. It’s justfood. Fills the void, nothing special. After dinner we took the kids to theboardwalk and my parents tried to go see Blue Planet. Now I know I hadreservations but I forgot to print my times before we left home so I had noidea what times I reserved for what. I know I booked the comedy show too but wemissed it. My parents said the line was crazy for Blue Planet so instead theymade another donation at the casino. My son really liked the clubhouse thing onthe boardwalk. We couldn’t figure out the arcade area, I think I was supposedto load money on the sea pass- oops. The carousel was shut down for“sanitizing”. We made pet at sea for the baby and called it a night.

 

 

Saturday wewere scheduled for our second attempt at Nassau. I believe we arrived at 1o’clock and we had the Blue Lagoon Deluxe Beach Break excursion reserved. Onequick note- since this was supposed to beour Monday stop, when it was cancelled there was a refund on our ship accountthen recharged for the full rate of $95 per person. I originally paid $67because I got it with a 30% off sale. The attendant at guest services told methat once it was certain that we would be making landfall in Nassau the amountwould be adjusted, and it was. I didn’t have to do anything further. We gotright off the ship in Nassau and there were at least 5 other ships in port.(some of this next part is taken from a response I made to a post a few daysago)- There were abazillion passengers going in all directions to take one excursion or another,it was chaos. Anyways, by the time everyone was lined up, wristbands on, followthe leader to the ferries, 20ish minute ride to Blue Lagoon it wasalready 3:00pm. We paid $40 for a clam shell (came with 2 towels to keep, 2 drinktickets, 3 chairs) mostly because at quick glance there weren't any or manyloungers available. A quick dip in the water and off to lunch where it was abuffet but a one visit only buffet and you get one sandwich of a burger, hotdog, chicken, then sides, and a drink. The water was very calm, clear, andshallow. The sand was clean and most of the staff we encountered were friendly.But the place closed promptly at 5:30. I mean like store closed, bar closed,staff all but disappeared. The last ferry this day was 5:45 and the lines wereintense to get off (no you won't get left behind-it's a private island resort-no one lives there-at least according to Al the bartender). Long storyshort our experience there was super rushed, but it became the high light ofour trip (because other ports were cancelled/changed). I barely saw the dolphins and never saw anyother sea life they had there. The ferry ride back was lively. They cranked upthe music and some people were dancing around the ferry. The ferry does make astop to drop off other guest of the island before going back to the cruise portin Nassau. At first I thought they expected us all to get off there butthankfully not. That would have been long walk or taxi ride. When we got backto the pier at 6:15 and I told my parents to go on ahead back to the ship andmy husband and I were going to take the kids to look for a tee shirt. There wasa Bahamas Brewing Company right at the dock so we went there. It being half barhalf store we didn’t get much attention because we weren’t drinking. It wastaking a while for anyone to acknowledge us in line so I stepped out for aminute. I saw it was getting dark so I told my husband we may have to ditch thetee shirt and get back to the ship. I know Nassau isn’t all that safe, nevermind after dark. Thank goodness we decided to leave because as we wereapproaching the Allure we see them taking down the gangway. We get through thefirst security check point and up the gangway to be met by several RCCLsecurity and what appeared to be officers of different rank. I jokingly saidwow this is special, what’s the occasion. Then I see my mom with a panickedlook. It was 6:50 and the ship was leaving at 7! Totally my ignorance I had noidea the ship was leaving at 7 and they were about to leave us there. One ofthe officers said they knew we had 2 small kids so they waited for us. Thatplus my mom was there asking them to wait, but really it was embarrassing. Idid have my cell phone on me. I don’t know if they would have called beforeactually leaving us but yeah we were very close to being left in Nassau. Also,don’t the blow the horn before leaving?

I forgot to mention that my mom and I went tothe art auction earlier in the day. This is something I do on every cruise. Imostly collect works by Michael Godard, but nothing they had on boardinterested me. I did see a piece by Eric Dowdle called Noah’s Arc Under theSea. It was a take-off piece (meaning I would have to carry it home) but I wasable to ask the auctioneer to put it for bid and I would pay for shipping. Itook a risk that someone else would bid for it, and someone did, but I wonafter a few rounds. There was no way I could carry it off. We just had too muchother stuff to juggle with the kids. My mom bought a piece as well with 2giraffes on it. So after we got back from almost being left in Nassau I bathedthe kids and my mom and I had to go down to the art gallery for a 7:45appointment to finalize the sales. The art gallery area is right outside of thecasino with is not a great spot in my opinion. Not only is the smoke annoyingbut several people in motorized scooters came through and were annoyed with thecongestion. The guys and the kids met us up at Windjammer for dinner. It wasgetting late at this point, at least 8:30pm. I still had to go get our photosat Focus and pack up the room by 11pm. Side note, the 11pm time is asuggestion. I don’t know what time they bags were picked up but I went to guestservices around to pay the bill and my parents bill as a surprise to them (fyithe pay cash line was walk right up) and the bags were still outside the door.

It was day light savings day when we got backto Ft. Lauderdale so even thought it was dark out my mom knocked to tell us toget up because it was almost 7. Our flight wasn’t until 11, but I had a shuttlepick up scheduled for 8:30. Again traveling with littles I didn’t pay attentionto where our meeting spot was or our time to get off the ship was. Our roomattendant gave my parents the “suite” tags also so we could all get off theship at the same time and our luggage would be together. We went to Silk sincemy mother read this was one of the meeting spots. I quickly realized that itwasn’t all that necessary to stand around and wait. My son was in the back packand my daughter was in her car seat clicked into the stroller. The otherstroller held the other car seat and what felt like 50 carry-ons where attachedto every available limb we had. We made our way to the gangway, again myhusband’s sea pass was an issue so it took a few extra minutes to get out. Offwe went to the sea of luggage. This is where we realized we were no longer onvacation and had to schlep 6 suitcases. I found the suite area to be roped offand I couldn’t figure out where the entrance was so I moved the rope. Theattendant was a little upset but I put it back. Customs was also quick and wewere outside calling for the shuttle in less than 20 minutes from the time weleft our cabin. We went with SouthFlorida Shuttles and it was very convenient. $70 including tip from door todoor was way worth it in my opinion.

Don’t get me started on the airport and thecluster that is Jet Blue self-service kiosks. I don’t have the energy right nowto gripe about that. We were just happy to eventually make it to our seats inrow 8 flying home instead of getting on route 95 north for 26 more hours.

A few last things I promise…

Some quick notes about the food overall.We always found something to eat at windjammer no matter what meal we werethere for. As mentioned before if it is busy and there is a line the staffcommunicate on walkie-talkies and pull from the line when tables of the sizeyou need open up. I am not a fan of how the burgers are done even in wipe outcafé. I much prefer a grill you can see and order my burger fresh (thinkPrincess and Celebrity by the pool grills) rather than in the warmer tray onthe buffet line. Didn’t stop me from having at least 3 during the week but justan observation. At breakfast try the cinnamon/sticky buns the servers arewalking around with. They’re pretty good. On past cruises I would have soughtout different eateries in nooks and crannies of the ship but with the kids itwas different/harder. I never did get a kimmleweck sandwich. I also never triedthe pizza at Sorento’s and only tried the veggie sandwich at café promenade. Ialso never go to Johnny Rockets but that wasn’t on my list really because thereis one about a mile from my work. Now if there was a Five Guys on board I wouldhave been there daily. Love that place. I feel like I can’t pack food away likeI used to lol.

The casino is extremely smoky. Ok,probably not a surprise to anyone but it was beyond tolerable in my opinion.The one time I was there I was sitting at a machine and a man sat down next tome and literally blew his smoke in my face. Being that it was the smokingsection and I really had no right to say anything I held my breath, pressedcash out, and left. No thanks. Not for me.

Overall we had a great cruise. Totallydifferent traveling with little kids than just us adults. Gone are the days ofstudying the compasses (or patters or dailies whatever they are called on yourparticular line) and highlighting all the stuff you want to do. The littles are in charge. If they need abreak, you take a break. I don’t think the ship was full, it never felt like Iwas on vacation with 6000+ other people. I never saw the same people twice, nojoke. I never got to zip line, rock climb, or hit the spa. Those were on my list.Also as mentioned we missed most of the shows I got reservations for. My kidsare very attached to me (yes there is a pecking order and I’m on top, then mydad, etc, lol) so they don’t let me out of their sight much. I know I alreadytalked up the GS but it really was a nice room. Having the bathtub came inhandy. I brought an inflatable tub for the baby and put it right inside thenhung it to dry every night. If you can spare the extra change it’s well worthit.

What I packed for the kids:

Son

-7 pants and polos for my son fordinner, 2 dress shirts and pants, and 1 bow tie for formal nights

-10 shorts and matching tee shirts

-1 sweatshirt

-8 pair undies and socks

-2 pair of shoes

-3 pair pjs

-3 bathing suits and 3 rash guards

-Life jacket for our private catamaranthat never happened

-toothbrush, hairbrush

-backpack with tablet, small trucks,books

-toddler carrier

-Summer Infant 3d lite stroller

Daughter

-8 dresses with sweaters for dinners

-66 diapers (didn’t use them all) andziploc baggies for stinky diapers

-3 packs of wipes (needed more)

-3 onesies for bed

-10 daytime outfits (a mix of shorts andleggings with matching onesie)

-4 pair of shoes

-8 pair socks

-pack of swim diapers

-Life jacket for our private catamaranthat never happened

-14 happy baby food pouches, 2 spoons

-4 wubbanubs

-2 boxes labenswert bio formula (tosupplement nursing), 3 bottles, and a travel cleaning kit

-blow up bath tub

-Graco stroller

-Pack n’ play sheet and 3 blankets

-Collapsible bin for keeping organized

-Inflatable bath tub

-Ergo 360 carrier

-OTC meds for fevers, colds, etc.(needed these!) and sunscreen for both kids

If I can answer any questions let meknow. I do have all the compasses if anyone wants to see them. If you’re stillreading, thanks for coming along. We liked our Royal experience and will beback again soon. I have a few picturesbut there are so many better picture reviews out there. If you want to see thecabin or the pack n play that’s about all I can offer.

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WOW! I Read and Read and Read and Read and Read some more:'):').

 

Thank you posting such a detailed review, it felt like I was there with you. YAY, your mom got to fly home instead of riding for 26 hours.

 

Thanks again for your review.....

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I thought that if you were in a GS you really didn't need to make reservations for the shows. Just show up.

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Thank you for your extensive review. I'm glad the ship waited for you!

God Bless you for having the energy to travel with 2 babies!

You have gotta be young to do it!:)

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Wow I'm amazed I've had some readers lol. I did forget 2 things I wanted to mention:

I used the Clorox hospital grade wipes to wipe down the room and the pack n play as soon as we got to the cabin.

And on Tuesday we did the DreamWorks breakfast with Shrek, Fiona, and Puss in boots. It was cute even though my son is not a character fan which I should have known as a flashback from Disney last year.

 

I thought that if you were in a GS you really didn't need to make reservations for the shows. Just show up.

This may be true I'm not sure. We're new to RCCL so I was a sheeple and followed what I read.

Edited by SeeingTheWorldBySea
Typo

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OMG, I can't believe you decided to just hop in the car at the last minute and drive down! And you made it! What a great review, thanks for taking the time to post.

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Read it! That was a detailed review! Seemed like a lot of things didn’t go as planned, but you persevered! H

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Thanks for your very detailed review. Are you parents backing out of the retirement cruise? We are taking a family cruise for my husbands 60th birthday but the youngest will be 3 by then and hopefully potty trained and willing to check out the kids club.

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What a great review! It's been MANY MANY years since we traveled with a little one. The once, almost 4 year old, on his first cruise is now 24 and still cruising with us. I'm the grandmother and we still go on a family cruise every year. I would have been doing the same as you...car, train, airplane...whatever it took to GET ME TO THE SHIP! In spite of the set-backs and obstacles, it looks like you made the best of it and had a great family vacation. I love hearing the family stories. Brings back some wonderful memories.My Grandson has managed to see so many wonderful places around the world on these cruises. Enjoy all the memories and your next cruise.

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OMG, I can't believe you decided to just hop in the car at the last minute and drive down! And you made it! What a great review, thanks for taking the time to post.

 

It was a whirlwind for sure. I have always wanted to go on a road trip- but not like this! I do have to say though it was a very easy drive all the way down Route 95. Once past New York and New Jersey the roads are in great condition.

 

Thanks for your very detailed review. Are you parents backing out of the retirement cruise? We are taking a family cruise for my husbands 60th birthday but the youngest will be 3 by then and hopefully potty trained and willing to check out the kids club.

 

Nope, they aren't backing out in fact we have recruited more family and friends to join us. It's going to be an all out party! Thankfully my son got the hang of the potty quickly (word of advise- pick a weekend to stay home, go cold turkey, and set the alarm on your phone to go every 20 minutes at first. It becomes a game and fun for them). We didn't use the kids club for no real reason other than we just didn't but we went in a few times to exchange toys and I know my son would have enjoyed it. The kids were always playing and the staff was engaging.

 

Thank you both for reading!

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Glad your parents, family and friends are going on the cruise. We are hopefully retiring and planning one for 2021. Thanks for the potty tips!

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Great Review! I am obsessed with reading reviews with kids involved now because I am bringing my 14 month old daughter on our August cruise!

 

You mentioned you had a pic of the pack & play, I would love to see. If it was the regular ol' Graco 1s that would be nice to know. We just went to Aruba & the "pack & play" was different then what she was used to. She wasn't a fan.

 

Also, I just booked the DreamWorks bkft. I'm glad you enjoyed. Do you have a pic of the menu by any chance?

 

Thank you so much for your time!

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Thanks for reading. I can't wait to take the kids again in January. It's a lot different but so worth it.

Anyways, here is a pic of the pack n play. I can't remember the brand but it wasn't graco. And the bottom was pretty hard so I put a few towels underneath the sheet but the room steward did offer another small duvet.

And also an awful pic of the DreamWorks menu. I'm pretty sure I have a better one that is actually readable I just can't put my finger on it at the moment.

 

Have a great trip!IMG_3524.thumb.JPG.353f9834d6b8e51067eb639fd2ff0dab.JPG

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

IMG_3462.JPG.2ac5a7eed453ff687e1c5d8bcbbe5ea0.JPG

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Thank you so much! This was very helpful!!!

 

I'm glad you had so much fun, you're going back in January. I cannot wait, 3 more months to go!

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Thank you for the great & honest reviews!!!    I stumbled across this review while searching for reviews involving toddlers & yes you held my attention to the end.  Last sailing our LO was barely a year old & not walking.  Now she will be a little over 3 & am happy to say potty trained, we are hoping she gets over being be scared of being left with strangers so she can go to the kids club some.  Do they just lend toys to anyone that asks??

 

We know there is plenty of activities her & her 12 yr old brother will be able to do on Symphony, but am looking for excursions we can do as a family, other than going to the beach!  We live in S FL & could go to the beach anytime.  

 

When & what ship is your next sailing on?

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