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ALLURE REVIEW June 9- STAR Class ( w/Haven Comparisons)

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 Don’t worry everybody, the OP is from Gettysburg. They are just preparing their address. 😉

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27 minutes ago, A&L_Ont said:

 Don’t worry everybody, the OP is from Gettysburg. They are just preparing their address. 😉

 

Rimshot - Ba dum tssshhh - YouTube

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, A&L_Ont said:

 Don’t worry everybody, the OP is from Gettysburg. They are just preparing their address. 😉

 

OMG

I had to memorize the Gettysburg Address for speech class in High School (circa 1972), and I respected it and loved it so much I do not want my parody to detract from its ever important meaning.

Thank You president Lincoln for your awesome gift of insight.

 

 

 

 

....Four score  and 7 hours ago the OP brought forth  to cruise critic, a new thread.......

 

conceived in ingenuity and created to the proposition, that not all threads are created equal.

 

Now, we are engaged in a waiting game, testing whether that this thread or any other thread so ingenious and so dedicated can long endure.

 

We are met on the great battle field of personalities .....and we come to lend our opinions.

 

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

 

To all the brave  women and men who struggled here with conflict ....the world will little note what we say here but it can never forget what is posted here.

 

That this thread under cruise critic shall share a new insight into cruising, and that the critics of the people, by the people and for the people shall not lock this thread.

 

Saying for a friend.

 

 

Edited by Lionesss

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14 hours ago, A&L_Ont said:

 Don’t worry everybody, the OP is from Gettysburg. They are just preparing their address. 😉

You win the interwebs tonight!!

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11 hours ago, Lionesss said:

 

OMG

I had to memorize the Gettysburg Address for speech class in High School (circa 1972), and I respected it and loved it so much I do not want my parody to detract from its ever important meaning.

Thank You president Lincoln for your awesome gift of insight.

 

 

 

 

....Four score  and 7 hours ago the OP brought forth  to cruise critic, a new thread.......

 

conceived in ingenuity and created to the proposition, that not all threads are created equal.

 

Now, we are engaged in a waiting game, testing whether that this thread or any other thread so ingenious and so dedicated can long endure.

 

We are met on the great battle field of personalities .....and we come to lend our opinions.

 

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

 

To all the brave  women and men who struggled here with conflict ....the world will little note what we say here but it can never forget what is posted here.

 

That this thread under cruise critic shall share a new insight into cruising, and that the critics of the people, by the people and for the people shall not lock this thread.

 

Saying for a friend.

 

 

No offense from here! Laughing!!! 

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JohnandLaLa is correct- silly life got in my way for a bit! 

 

I wont do an actual chronology because my flight of ideas makes it difficult..rough getting old!!

 

After our underwhelming CK breakfast  we decided to try room service the next day. Ordered the night before, called when it didn't arrive and they said they had not received any order. Re-ordered; waited...an hour..called back- was told they are busy . I could have just called Daniel but didn't want to be a whiner. We traipsed down one flight to the Windjammer. This was the first port day; Labidee, and I expected a mob scene. There was no mob, no scene and plenty of smoked salmon, lemons and capers ; granola and chocolate chips, grits ( we may be North of the Mason-Dixon line, but I consider us to be part of the Grit-Eatin' world!) eggs of many types as well as English breakfast, different indian and other Asian dishes, pancakes...and, of course, pans of bacon after bacon after bacon.

The staff was attentive and brought coffee and juice STAT when we sat down; the tables were cleaned right away;  and we had a nice window seat and an enjoyable repast.

 

LABIDEE:

We have not been to this locale since 1997 and it has changed a bit. We had ordered a beach front cabana which was perfect.

Daniel ad set up 2 times for escort to the beach; we chose the earlier on of 9:00 ish. The other families decided on the 10:30 time so we were alone. We walked right off, were met by a golf cart, drove to Barefoot where Roberto the " Genie of the Island to take care of all your pleasures" met us, gave us our wrist bands and took us to the cabana.

The water was absolutely amazing - blue and clear and soothing. We did try a Labadoozle but Im pretty sure there was zero alcohol in it. It was tasty but buzz-less. The bar on the island is very limited, so if you are looking for a Bahama Mama you will get a rum punch. With one of  those dang paper straws that cannot accommodate the viscosity of a frozen drink and dissolves as you use it . I forgot to grab a handful of actual straws prior to leaving for the trip but I suffered through the mushy tubes . At least they offer straws

l- last summer on Epic i was forced to drink Miami Ices with no straw- this will make one's teeth hurt!!! Yuck1

 

Our attendant also dug up some snorkel gear for us . The fins were neonatal size but the masks and snorkels were in good shape. After a bit of my own personal sanitizing we donned the gear and headed out to the red marker. There is a small , yellow airplane submerged at BB and it was a nice treat; not quite reminiscent of our scuba days, but we got a kick out of   There were many more fish than I expected so it was an added little delight!

 

There were 2 floats in the cabana and plenty of others spread about the beach. The beach began to become more populated around 11:00 and was a pretty fun gang. Lunch was an "upgraded" buffet for about an hour or so; there were shrimp and burgers and fish and chicken . there was Ceviche and several salad items that were individually packaged in plastic cups. This kept the amount of fly poop we ingested to a minimum as opposed to the old -style giant vats of communal pasta salad .

 

The lunch was tasty ; we brought our plates back to the cabana and POOF!! Daniel appeared to make sure all was well. he had some Ceviche with us and we had a nice chat.

 

Throwing caution to the wind we ran right back into the water after Daniel left despite it not being 30 minutes since we ate and floated peacefully . We were well greased with biodegradable , non-coral killing sunscreen . My husband wears the SPF sunshirts and a wide -brimmed hat ; he has had several basal-cell carcinomas and isn't taking any chances ( hence the cabana) . My skin tone is best described as " Elmer's Glue"  and I did not burn ! Others were not so lucky- I never cease to be amazed at all the adults with bright-red shoulders and backs. I get pretty riled when I see sunburned kidlettes but this trip it seemed to be the "grown -ups" who were in need of Solarcaine! 

 

Barefoot Beach has plenty of shade and loungers. I did not realize how large the whole Labidee complex was until we took a quick trip on a gold cart to the market just to check it out. There were loungers and clam shells as fr as the eye could see! It did seem a bit crowded but nothing like those old photos of Coney Island on the 4th of July The restrooms were clean and stocked. The market was  a 3 minute stop for us- we hopped off,went into the main building, walked out the other side and left. No one in the building spoke to us but outside there were legions  of orange-shirted sales reps who were very enthusiastic in their hawking of "made in china' merchandise.

 

This was a wonderful and mostly relaxing day. the crowd did get quite rowdy as the sun and alcohol did their magic-I am still sometimes amazed at the information people will share with strangers! Sure its a bit creepy listening to other's conversations, but none of these folks were what one would consider demure or quiet. This was also the first day that we encountered the International Champion of Cruising Blowhards, Boasters and Sociopaths. He was loud, he had a distinctive voice , the drunken millenials thought he was cool and flocked around him and I knew that we would be hearing a lot from him. And I was correct. 

 

 All aboard was 3;30, we could have stayed until sunset and been happy. Just bring your own straws!

 

The cost of the beach front cabana was $495; the over water were $650 or so - but Im not certain. The gal who told me was a bit under the influence of Senor Tequila. 

 

Suite guests and Pinnies have access to this beach and a golf cart is readily available to rush you off to other parts of the island to zip line or parasail or jet ski.

 

Where BB is lacking-

We have not been to Labidee in many years but have been to Coco Cay 2 or 3 times in the past 11 years. This was , of course, before it became Perfect Day . We rented cabanas back then and were provided with fresh fruit platters in the cabana along with the cooler of bottled waters and cookies. I could have used a slice o 'pineapple . We did have a cooler with Evian but no tropical treats. Yet still I live! 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life has been getting in my way since we got back from Copenhagen in mid May 😉

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On 6/19/2019 at 7:42 PM, truffles2 said:

Enjoying reading your take on this cruise.  We were on also.

We also arrived at the Embassy Suites rather late:  245 AM.....after many delays, gate changes, and finally a cancelled flight, but were able to get rebooked;  still not quite sure how!  You made out a bit better;  we had no luggage.  We did finally get our luggage/sent to the ship by Delta.  Everything inside was soaked! 

Ohhh- that is AWFUL!! Glad you made it to the ship- sorry about the luggage !!

That storm was something. There were times like when we reached Spartanburg SC and the visibility was 1 inch that i did not think we would make it to Atlanta in time for the flight despite giving ourselves a wide berth. 

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On 6/18/2019 at 3:26 PM, Danitroline said:

Later we would meet the international Champion of Cruising Blow Hards, Boasters and Sociopaths-

LOL !!!! This is one of the best representation of some Pinnacles that I have ever read 

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On 6/21/2019 at 9:24 AM, Davidlmc said:

LOL !!!! This is one of the best representation of some Pinnacles that I have ever read 

This dude wasnt a Pinnacle. He IS a major jackwagon. There is always a standout butt hat on every cruise; this guy is our official #1 of all time!!

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On 6/21/2019 at 9:24 AM, Davidlmc said:

LOL !!!! This is one of the best representation of some Pinnacles that I have ever read 

 

Why so quick to assume Pinnacle🤔

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1 hour ago, Danitroline said:

This dude wasnt a Pinnacle. He IS a major jackwagon. There is always a standout butt hat on every cruise; this guy is our official #1 of all time!!

 

 

Details, please.

 

Eagerly awaiting more details.

 

Thanks

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Lets talk about FOOD!! AND SERVICE and an unknown Genie

 

Izumi- already covered. Service was excellent as were the rolls and sushi. RCL beats NCL for sushi by a lot.

 

Chops Grille: We ate here twice . Our waiter was Hamid and he was quite sweet and had a great sense of humor. With Star class you do not have an upcharge for the seafood towers, lobster- eat whatever you please. Both nights we had a tbele where one of us could "people watch" out in Central Park. We were surprised at how fast the service was- not quite Manhattan " get 'em in and out" fast, but actually a little speedier than I like. But it is a minor complaint as the food was delicious. I had read many Allure reviews and some complained about 3 hour meals and missing shows- we did not have this experience except at Chef's Table. It was 4 hours of my life I will never get back!!

 

The first evening we ate at 6:30ish and the place was pretty empty. The second time we ate at 7 15 and Chops was hopping!

Each table is given a complimentary pork belly that is fork tender and delish. Of course when the waiter brings it he says that it is a special treat just for your table but every table gets one.

Either way it is delectable. Both nights I had a filet with a lobster; they take the lobster out of the shell for you making it easier. It comes with a sauce which is tasty but the second evening I decided on no sauce so that I could have that Down East real lobster flavor soaked in butter. I was not disappointed. I rate this a "Do NOT Miss!!

 

The second night that we ate at Chops we witnessed the interactions of another Genie with a large family- maybe 8 people. This Genie I found a bit over the top  but I WAS eavesdropping. Actually the entire place was eavesdropping as the table was loud, allowing youngens to run around...yada yada. The Genie (who was male) seemed like he was playing a part in a stage production. A little too schmoozy for my taste. He lavished so many compliments on each member of this family that it almost seemed like mockery. But that is simply my opinion and I had indulged several glasses of a delightful red called Andrew Peace cabernet. And I have a feeling that over the course of the week the Genies can adjust their behaviors to the schmooze level each client requires. 

We are minimalists . With us you over schmooze, you lose.

QUICK COMPARE: Chops beats NCL's Cagneys hands down. Food is better. Very simple.

 

150 Central Park

 

LOVE this restaurant. Small menu in a small venue. Service was the best we received anywhere on the ship. ASK FOR CARLOS!! We met Carlos while he was hawking Basil Cucumber martinis and taking reservations in the promenade . Very refreshing and tasty martini! We told him that we had reservations for Friday and when we arrived the maitre d

told us that Carlos was waiting for us. He brought us two martinis while we perused the menu and ate their signature Parker House rolls . I had not seen the menu prior to our dinner there and was initially disappointed as there seemed to be many sauces on the entrees. We decided on a lamb Wellington and lobster thermidor . WOW! Both dishes were outstanding. 

My parents are from both from Maine and I have a cousin who is married to a lobsterman. I have always wanted my lobster unadulterated except for butter and lemon. Why mess with perfection? This mess was yummy!  The pace of dinner was just right . This was a memorable meal. Again we skipped dessert and found a sampler waiting for us in the suite later that night. This meal was an A+ all around.

 

STAR CLASS NOTE ( and I'm not sure if it applies to ALL suites /Pinnacles )

The deluxe beverage package is included. Anytime we ordered a glass of wine the waiter gave us the whole bottle. We were told at Samba that this was a perk of having a 'black card". The waiter/waitress would always ask if we wanted to take the bottle with us at the end of dinner or lunch. Maybe this is routine on RCL. I dont know.Sometimes I would have a glass of wine and the hubs a beer; still the bottle was offered "to go".

 

SAMBA GRILL

Samba is in a very distracting location. If you want a romantic or quiet setting this aint it. We really like the NCL version "Moderno"; I eat at Moderno for the salad bar and grilled pineapple.

We had reservations, of course but it took a bit to to us seated despite the restaurant being a perhaps 50%. After we were seated we had to eventually ask for a waiter. First a lady came by to introduce herself as our waitress/ meat giver . She never came back. We asked again and a very pleasant fellow came over and said "you're supposed to just go to the salad bar when you come in" We politely replied that we wanted to order a drink first. He took our order- two different wines- and we headed to the salad bar. The salad bar was very similar to the set up on Labidee with many of the same packaged salads. It also has pre-packaged desserts. Didn't eat much from the bar. 

 

When the waiter recognized our green card he came back and we received our meats. There is not a single one that I remember as outstanding. At one point the waiter was filling my water glass, knocked my wine over and it spilled all over the table and  floor.  I used my napkin to prevent my dress from becoming stained and asked him for something to put on the floor. To my bemusement the puddle of wine stayed under my seat for the rest of the meal.

This restaurant is a "SKIP NEXT TIME". The restaurant is in the Solarium and the Solarium is still in use. Including over-imbibers in a hot tub. we were seated almost under a stairway which was also distracting. 

 

CHEF's Table is for a post of it's own. I may need to consult our attorney before I write about it!! 😂

 

SABOR:

Small menu, delicious food, ate lunch here twice. Excellent service and drinks; one day we were able to watch a diving competition while we munched. 

 

VINTAGES

DO  NOT MISS THE TAPAS!

This is a lovely place . We had lunch here on day and were the only guests. We sat on a sofa , had multiple small plates and really enjoyed ourselves. Our waiter was chatty in a good way and we had a delightful time. Wish we had tried this restaurant earlier in the cruise. Highly recommend! The tapas menu has a wide range of delights; I was transported back to Barcelona!!!

 

DINNER AT COASTAL KITCHEN:

While I understand the desire for a smaller, intimate venue and maybe I understand why people clamor for CK- actually, I DONT understand!! Our dinner was not good. This dinner had followed not good lunch and not good breakfast so we should have gone elsewhere, but I HADto try CK for dinner. The service was really slow, the wait staff was just as confused as they were on embarkation day. Despite asking several times we never had a drink order taken so the hubs went over to the suite bar and got our cocktails. This action DID pique the interest of the maitre d who later came by and asked if we wanted another drink . 

I cant remember what husband had, i had a ubiquitous pasta with alleged veal sauce.

Meh.

There was an abundance of gold name tags at this meal. Everyone was polite.

 

Quick Compare: NCL Haven Restaurant again beats CK by a lot. Service and food are better in the Haven. However, the CK has a better view than the Getaway class ships.

 

Did we complain or mention anything to the staff? Nope. Not that big a deal . I read some posts where cruisers go to great lengths to discuss the food and the service with the chef and with everyone's boss. I m on vacation. I don't want to waste my time giving a dissertation on why the food was bad. I also don't like being fawned over after I complain about something. This has happened in the past and it is almost embarrassing. I can grab a bite elsewhere or ...just have another cocktail!!

 

MDR- Breakfast

Ate here once and it was awesome.

 

Suite Lounge SNACKS SPREAD

WOW!! Really nice variety, something for everyone. Great views from the lounge and restaurant but the lounge did get crowded. We took a plate and went back to our amazing suite. NCL does NOT have the pre-dinner snack spread like this- RCL hit a home run with this.

Cocktails at suite bar were excellent with fast and happy service. RCL wins the bar service over NCL simply because of the waiter who comes to the suite and asks for your order.

 

STAR NOTE: you can also call your Genie for drinks. We did not do this but Daniel did get calls with cocktail orders while he was hanging out with us. I dont know if he delivers them or if the bar staff does. This is a really nice perk especially if your suite is not on deck 17.

If i was in an ATS I might use the Genie for this especially after a day out on excursion or too much time in the sun. Way to go, RCL!

 

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we encountered the International Champion of Cruising Blowhards, Boasters and Sociopaths." 

 

I have met him on almost every cruise I have taken, along with his wife/girlfriend Miss Rudie B. Nasty

The noisy rude woman who feels it is her cruising right to treat all of the employees as her personal servants.

These poor workers who tolerate her with a smile can never seem to do anything right or fast enough for her and she loves to let everyone in earshot know it.

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We have been on 6 SC cruises and never have we been offered a bottle of wine....although I will also say that we are not big wine drinkers, either.

 

Truly, I don't see the difference between drinking 6 glasses (or whatever a bottle holds) of wine or 1 bottle of wine.  It's a full bottle no matter how you look at it.

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Love tapas. We had cava and tapas delivered to our stateroom!  It was the best delivered snack/meal of the whole trip. 

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Just wanted to say what an outstanding review so far! We are big fans of NCL Haven and also have our first RCCL suite booked . Your review/comparison couldn't have come at a more perfect time!  Very informative and entertaining.  Like everyone else reading this, I hope the infamous Mr International Champion of Cruising Blowhards, Boasters and Sociopaths gets a good long chapter in this review. He sounds "fascinating." Oh, and good call on the lobster. Why mess with perfection? I am from New England. Thanks again!😀

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Thanks for the review! We were in the Haven last summer on Epic. This summer we are sailing in a balcony on Allure. Since we purchased the unlimited dining plan, I was especially interested in your review of the specialty restaurants. DH LOVED Cagney’s so he is now VERY excited to try Chops after hearing your review. 

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13 hours ago, RFerrington said:

We have been on 6 SC cruises and never have we been offered a bottle of wine....although I will also say that we are not big wine drinkers, either.

 

Truly, I don't see the difference between drinking 6 glasses (or whatever a bottle holds) of wine or 1 bottle of wine.  It's a full bottle no matter how you look at it.

The difference is that a glass of wine is included in the drink package and a bottle is not. If you only drink 1-2 glasses each there s still some left in the bottle. If you order a bottle you do receive a discount but it isn't "free". We even were offered the  bottle when I had one glass with our Tapas! They were very wine generous .

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1 hour ago, reaton said:

Thanks for the review! We were in the Haven last summer on Epic. This summer we are sailing in a balcony on Allure. Since we purchased the unlimited dining plan, I was especially interested in your review of the specialty restaurants. DH LOVED Cagney’s so he is now VERY excited to try Chops after hearing your review. 

 We were on Epic the second week of June last summer. What a terrific cruise!! Their Haven lounge and restaurant are the best we have been in. I was very surprised to read a review of Chops from the same week we cruised Allure that HATED it!

We really enjoyed it! Te filet was amazing!

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On 6/22/2019 at 10:12 AM, John&LaLa said:

 

Why so quick to assume Pinnacle🤔

My apologies... I was reading before  earlier in paragraph about Pinnacles and thought this guy was. 

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1 hour ago, Davidlmc said:

My apologies... I was reading before  earlier in paragraph about Pinnacles and thought this guy was. 

 

No worries, I'm overly sensitive 🤣

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Thank you for the review. We are considering a Star class suite for our next cruise with our 2 little ones and its interesting to hear that you wished that this was available when you had little ones. 

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This is why I'm holding off on my Serenade TA review.

John& LaLa go to Amsterdam. 🚬

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