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amsred2

Royal “allures” carnival girl: A comparison story.

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Hubby and I have been cruising Carnival the last few years after rediscovering our cruising love for our daughter's grade 12 Grad trip.......

Fast forward to last year we were convinced to try a Royal cruise..... a B2B out of Venice to Greece and Croatia...... so We now leave in 20 some odd days and as I read your review I find myself laughing as soooooooo much of what you say about the websites is true and driving me crazy too :') I can't wait to read the rest of you review!

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... On the other hand, from what I understand, Royal has only one performer for each sailing. ...

On Oasis class ships, there are normally two comedians doing the comedy show. However, each performance is typically the same material that may vary slightly based on audience response.

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What? We have to book shows?

the planner to have displayed in our cabin and hubby has no excuse to “forget” we had Mama Mia scheduled for day two at 5PM.

 

I'm signed up for the same time for the show, I don't think my hubby wants to go if you want to sit with me (I can probably tell my genie to reserve extra seats ;) )Hit me up on FB or FB messenger (Janet Pirkle)

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Following! I really love your writing style and sense of humour and I'm very sorry for the loss of your mother.

 

Enjoying the pre-cruise comparisons, but I wish the clock would spin forward to two weeks time so that you and hubby can get onboard Allure!

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I too mourn that though my mom and I spoke for years about our cruising Italy together, we never got to. Ironically after my dad passed and my mom was too infirm to travel she financially helped my hubby and me take a Med cruise. Though she herself never got to go she wanted to make sure that I did. It was a dream trip and something I'll never forget.

 

I am also an obsessive planner. The planning phase becomes part of the trip and therefore the trip lasts longer. My hubby always teases me about my planning ...until we take the trip, then he marvels at how perfect everything is...

 

We've cruised on Royal, HAL, Carnival, Costa, Celebrity, Princess, Vantage River and a now defunct line. Each has its strengths and weaknesses (though frankly couldn't find a weakness on the river cruise). We've become pretty loyal to Royal because we find that the entertainment is far superior. But when it's a port intensive trip (like the Med) then we go with who has the best offer since it is excursion dependent and most of our time will be spent off of the ship.

 

Pre-booking entertainment can be a pain, especially for those of us who prefer to eat dinner late. It forces us to keep something of a schedule. On the other hand, it assure me that we'll have something to do on sea days (I can't spend time in the sun) or in the evening (we don't gamble).

 

Living in South Florida we have 4 ports within a relatively easy driving distance so we don't have to worry about airfare if we're doing a "Calgon take me Away" I need a vacation, Caribbean cruise.

 

I believe that unless someone gets sick, that every cruise is a good cruise. To quote my friend Bob Bitchin', "Attitiude is the difference between ordeal and adventure".

 

ENJOY YOUR TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Thank you for sharing your story! My first cruise was with my mom on Royal's Song of Norway back in the 80's. She passed 16 years ago and I didn't resume cruising till 2011, but on every cruise I take, I toast to her and thank her for introducing me to this wonderful Adventure.

 

I hope you enjoy everything Royal's Allure has to offer, and you have the opportunity to sail other classes of ships in the fleet. There are many unique ships ready to welcome you!

 

I look forward to the rest of your story. :D

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"We were no longer clumsy tourists so busy taking in all the awesomeness of the ship that we bumped into chairs, walls and buff handsome cruise directors…I mean hardworking staff."

Cracks me up. Following along. Good stuff so far, thanks.

Dan

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I too look love your story & writing style!

 

As an experienced Royal cruiser thought that I’d only reserve the comedy show as the venue is smaller in size. I assumed that the rest were f the shows would not be an issue. Well I was so wrong....... I was going on Harmony & when we went to the other shows, we were asked to wait until 10 minutes before showtime as ticket holders had priority. The reservation is on your Sea Pass & they scan it.

 

So lesson learned, next time that I’m on a ship that has the ability to make reservations ahead of time, I WILL. I can always do a no show if something else strikes my fancy.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Hi everyone. For everyone still following along...stay tuned! I have had a busy weekend at work but have a day off tomorrow to binge write the rest of my pre-cruise musings. They'd only 5 more work days until my live review.

Edited by amsred2
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Hi everyone. For everyone still following along...stay tuned! I have had a busy weekend at work but have a day off tomorrow to binge write the rest of my pre-cruise musings. They'd only 5 more work days until my live review.

 

Looking forward to more pre-cruise stories to read, and then of course your actual cruise and comparison!

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Hi everyone. For everyone still following along...stay tuned! I have had a busy weekend at work but have a day off tomorrow to binge write the rest of my pre-cruise musings. They'd only 5 more work days until my live review.

 

Girl I'm feeling ya, 5 more work days here too!!

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I am intently following, and find it therapeutic, since we were on the September 9th Allure sailing. (Already booking a May cruise.) While our itinerary was different, please let me know if you have any Allure specific questions? I am happy to help in any way.

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I'm not planning a cruise on Allure nor have I never cruised on a Carnival ship, so I'm not sure why I clicked on your thread...but I'm so glad I did!! Loving this and can't wait to read about your cruise!

 

So sorry about the loss of your mom!

Eeyore

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Navigating Royal’s website: Carnival girl needs a compass

 

Somewhere in the middle of my twenty cruises with Carnival they changed their website and I hated it! It was so less computer-illiterate friendly than its predecessor. However, eventually I got the hang of it and cannot even remember what it used to be.

I keep this in mind every time I use Royal’s website! I keep telling myself that it will get easier but after 187 days of tap-tap-tapping away, I still un-ladylike cuss at the thing!

First, I was perturbed that I could only partially access my booking details. Initially, I thought I was doing something wrong. Eventually, my keen detective skills led me to a thread that informed me that you can’t access the full booking until ninety days out. I wasn’t sure how far out that Carnival let’s you access the full booking, but I never had any trouble within the 180-day time-frame.

Oh well! I could spend the next 97 days in between figuring out what I wanted to do while on-board.

I devoured info on drink packages, shore excursions, neighborhoods and shows (more on those to come).

Once I was granted full access, I looked in every nook and cranny of the website to find out where I could set my bed and dining preferences. No where to be found! Imagine how silly I felt when I called Royal to find out how to make sure hubby and I could snuggle in a king size bed. They informed me that the preferences were set by the booking agent and I could only change them by phone. I don’t believe I was ever asked by my URcomped rep, so I had no idea. Turns out they has assigned twin beds (which on second thought might help me sleep through my hubby’s machine gun snoring).

Anyway, they had also assigned My Time Dining. After 27 years, we do not need a table for two. What would we talk about? The kids? Sports? The people at the next table? We enjoy taking the adventure( or gamble?) on the same large table of strangers every night and having the same wait staff learn our preferences. We’ve made some great friends, cruisers and staff, that way. And the ones that weren’t so fun…well that makes for great storytelling.

The Royal agent happily changed my bed preference to King (well...I have earplugs) and dining to Late Seating.

Royal is not to blame for me not knowing my preferences but definite points to Carnival for being able to change these on your own booking.

One last thing...and the reason I really dislike Royal's website! It seems that every time I access it, place an order, change something, or hiccup, the website locks my booking. I have to reset my browser, turn around three times, pat the dogs head and wait for the stars to align before I can get back into my planner. I suspect this is a glitch in the new website but it really bites bullets.

Tally so far:

Website ease/access

Carnival 1- Royal 0

 

Next Up: What? We have to book shows?

 

I am a long time Princess cruiser trying RCI for the first time in a couple weeks. I share your pain and frustration with the RCI website. Much less user friendly than Princess for sure. We use a travel agent and boy RCI makes them earn their money. Can’t prepay gratuities, buy onboard credit or pretty much see half you reservation details without contacting TA and getting them to do it. I’m used to be much more self service. I’m confident though our experience on the Oasis will be fantastic though.

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Can’t prepay gratuities, buy onboard credit or pretty much see half you reservation details without contacting TA and getting them to do it. I’m used to be much more self service. .

 

This is why a whole lot of us here refuse to use a TA. You can do ANYTHING with Royal Caribbean without going through your TA. The few little perks a TA gives is not worth giving up the control of my booking.

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Can’t prepay gratuities, buy onboard credit or pretty much see half you reservation details without contacting TA and getting them to do it. I’m used to be much more self service.

 

Not challenging you, I'm genuinely interested. If you book with a Travel Agent for a Princess cruise, you can manipulate your booking yourself on their website and do the things you mention like prepay gratuities, purchase specialty dining, drink packages, excursions, etc?

 

With RCI, that's certainly doable like ryano states, but you need to book yourself directly with RCI, which is what we do. Nothing wrong with TA's as there are lots of wonderful ones out there, but you lose control of that and always have to work through a "middle man", not something I want to bother with.

 

 

Dan

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Excursions! "Just Make Up Your Mind Already!

Way back at day 187, I began my over obsessive research of our destinations; St.Martin, San Juan and Labadee. I had never visited any of these ports so imagine the investigative heaven I was in! I was a little disappointed with all the reviews stating that the area was devastated by hurricanes last year. However, two things have happened since then. First, the reviews have improved over the last six months as these places recovered. Second, I decided that it didn’t matter as I’d never been to this part of the Caribbean and will be viewing it with fresh eyes!

I scoured RC’s website first to see what is offered. With my new-found sense of adventure, we enjoy excursions that are “out of the box”. On the other hand, as we had never explored these places, I initially wanted to stick to the cruise line’s excursions to insure a safe return and that we didn’t end up waving at the Allure as it pulled away.

I would pick something that sounded good and present the idea, in great detail, to hubby. Of course, he would grunt a “fine” after not really paying attention anyway. I’m pretty sure I changed my mind about fifty times during the first few weeks of trolling the excursions. Hubby would just mutter something like “ok” or “whatever you like dear” each time.

Finally, after about two months of constantly deliberating out loud, I had had it! I was getting zero help from him deciding what to do. I got a little snappy with him one evening while trying to discuss possible excursions. He looked up at me and said, “Just make up your mind already!” I sort of shouted my indignant response “Fine! We will just stay on the ship!”. My glorious husband of 27 years looked up at me, and in a calm, reassuring voice replied, “Honey, I love you, but we both know that the only way for us both to be happy, is for you to be happy! I’m just along for the ride”. I huffed and stomped away!

Well after calming myself with some Allure YouTube videos, I started thinking about his statement. His sentiment was actually quite sweet…and right! Just because I I’m fanatical over every detail, doesn’t mean he has to be. He is an easy-going guy who is game for anything and has pretty much always gone along with whatever I wanted. Thus, I began to hatch a new plan.

Next Up: The Plan: Hubby’s “Adbenture”

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I'm like you - I've been on 9 Carnival cruises and am trying my first RC in June of 2019 on the Symphony of the Seas. I can't wait! As to RC's website, yes I totally agree. ALSO, they email me all the time telling me to complete my booking but I can't until 90 days out so stop sending me emails about your self-imposed deadline. :)

 

I'm really loving your review and can't wait to read more.

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You and your husband sounds exactly like me and my husband! My husband is so calm and laid back, and I’m the obsessive planner. He leaves the vacation planning up to me, and he’s happy as long as costs are reasonable for our budget which I always make sure they are. He loves doing new things, and he knows that I know what he will enjoy...even more than HE knows about himself! :')

 

Seriously, he didn’t even want to book this cruise on Anthem that we’re going on in April when I first brought it up to him. You see, he works sooooo much...a lot of extra stuff at his school (he’s a high school Health Education teacher but also the athletic director in charge of 19 sports teams!). Then after a few days of thinking about it, he was all for it. That was a few weeks ago. The other day, he thanked me and said to me that he really needs this to relax, especially in the middle of the spring sports season. He coaches lacrosse at his school and usually he will go in for practice 3 days out of our spring break but this time we will be away cruising instead! We have the internet package for one device and he said he is not hooking it up to his phone because then he will get work email notifications and he will instead completely disconnect. I’m so happy to hear him say that! We will just use my phone for the internet package to video chat with the kids each day, the only reason we got the package in the first place anyway!

 

Anyway I’m rambling on and on. Our cruise is still over 200 days away and I’ve already begun researching our two ports Bermuda and Boston, so I know what you mean by looking ahead! Can’t wait to read more, and yay only a few more days and then you’ll be cruising!

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The Plan: Hubby’s “Adbenture”

No that wasn’t a spelling mistake! When my boys were small, instead of vacations we would take “Adbentures”. As an enlisted family with two littles, we really couldn’t afford to have big Disney-like vacations. However, we always made our own fun exploring local nature trails, going fishing, camping or just get in the car and go see what we could see. Whenever we went on these excursions my youngest, who still had trouble pronouncing a lot of words, would so excitedly proclaim “We are going on an Adbenture” and it just kind of stuck even after all these years. Now that my babies have flown the coop, that funny word just evokes the warm and fuzzy memories of our family outings.

Remember back to the title that I couldn’t fit? Here’s where the Hard Rock part comes in!

Since my hubby is always such a trooper, I decided that we should do something for him on this trip. To be honest, I might have the alternative motive of getting him excited and talking “cruise speak” with me.

 

One of his life goals while traveling the world in the Navy was to visit Hard Rock Cafés all over the world. I tell you he’s been to so many; Dubai, Australia, Azores, Germany, Tokyo…too many to name. However, he had not been to any of the ones on our itinerary. When I mentioned the idea of making an “Adbenture” of hitting all the locations, he lit up and is now as excited to go to these icons as I was to get the cruise booked!

 

 

So here comes my next complaint about trip planning so far! Our time in San Juan is from 7am (very un-vacation-like to have us pull in so early) to be back on board by 130pm. I don’t know if this is an RC thing or port-of-call thing, but the short day really stinks. As a result of the early departure, we can’t do an excursion AND get to Hard Rock. So being the loving wife I am, we will forgo seeing much of Old San Juan and the Bacardi factory. Instead we will taxi over to Condado Beach to visit hubby’s happy place, the brand-new, just re-opened Hard Rock.

In St. Martin, we are going to do the Golden Eagle Sail-away and then head over to the beach and Hard Rock for an hour or so! I really fret about having time for both, but hubby never worries about these things. He says “What’s the worst than can happen? We get stuck in paradise! Oh! The tragedy!”.

Of course, there isn’t a Hard Rock in Labadee, but I am planning on having a nice relaxing beach day since we will have been “go-go-go” for the previous six days.

As I read back this post to hubby, as I always do while he rolls his eyes, he is going to get a surprise. Not only are we going to Hard Rock in Ft. Lauderdale, but I’ve mapped out a trip to Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately, there is not a game that day, but it will be fun for us to get a picture anyway!

Next Up: Drinks Package and Packing… or… Drinking While Packing Packages!

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Only five more day until I leave! Since I work every day through Friday, I gotta spend the rest of the day getting a haircut, pedicure and doing last minute laundry. I will try to wrap up my post cruise musings in the next few evenings. Then we will be on our way!

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Only five more day until I leave! Since I work every day through Friday, I gotta spend the rest of the day getting a haircut, pedicure and doing last minute laundry. I will try to wrap up my post cruise musings in the next few evenings. Then we will be on our way!

 

I’m so excited for you! May the next few days go by quickly yet be productive for you, and may your cruise go very slowly!

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