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5thgirl

(Unexpected) 10 Day Sailing - ALLURE 8/25-9/4 Cruise Review (One More!)

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On 9/9/2019 at 6:32 PM, SRV FAN said:

 

Oh THANK YOU! The shuttle info is nice to know! We usually just do cabs...but will check out the options once there.

if it's just the 2 of you I would highly recommend just using Uber.  Very short trip and I am not one that likes cramming into a van with a lot of people

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14 minutes ago, generalchadwick said:

if it's just the 2 of you I would highly recommend just using Uber.  Very short trip and I am not one that likes cramming into a van with a lot of people

 

Yes, we usually do grab a taxi & I did notice the entrance to Port Everglades is practically across the street. I hate shuttles too! But I don't do Uber or Lyft.... I don't mind paying a little extra for taxi service. They are usually right there at the hotels in Ft Lauderdale, so just walk out, at our leisure, grab one & we're off. 

Edited by SRV FAN

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TThank you for taking the time to do this review.  It is so informative and interesting.  I will be on the Allure in December, can't wait!

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28 minutes ago, generalchadwick said:

We've love using this hotel in this port. Rooms are just fine, nothing special but nothing bad.  Location is nice to walk to food and shops for pre cruise stuff (including TotalWine if you flew in and need to get your 1 bottle of wine.)  I am a very early riser the morning of the cruise.  There is a bridge in walking distance that you can see the whole port and watch the ships come in early in the morning.

 

Great! THANKS! We have stayed at the Hilton Marina & the former Hyatt Pier 66 on our prior cruises. Both beautiful properties. I got a really good price for the Renaissance (this time). Typically they are a good hotel. We needed the points so that we can get a FREE nights stay at the Renaissance in Aruba when we overnight there next year. We stayed at the Westin on the beach once...but found it too far from everything. 

 

Yes, we will be visiting Total Wine & More (isn't it TWO bottles of wine  per stateroom?) for our in room/balcony consumption. 

 

 

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Really a fantastic review!  Just enough information and photos without getting drowned in the details.  Thank you!

 

I think we need to give Roatan another chance.  We just didn't care for it all that much the first and only time we visited. 

 

However, it was rainy/overcast/windy the whole day we were there, so our time at West Bay Beach was NOTHING like your photos.  😂  For us, the water was brown, the waves high (which was kinda fun), and the day was windy chilly.   This just goes to show how much weather can impact a beach day.  We've had a similar experience at Magen's Bay in St. Thomas.  We absolutely LOVED, LOVED it, still our 2nd favorite beach in all of the Caribbean (only 2nd to Trunk Bay in St. John's).  Magen's Bay is a gorgeous setting with lush hilly foliage on both sides of the beach and beautiful blue waters with soft sandy beaches that have a shallow entry...  However, our friends went a year later and didn't care for it at all!  They had a day that was overcast with random rain/drizzles.  It can completely change the look of the water, and the feel of the beach.

 

The other thing about Roatan, we booked a whole island tour.  (We love to understand the culture of each island).  This was good and bad.  We got the full experience, but also were able to understand just how poor and run down much of the island is, especially the East side.  Guards at gas stations, garbage piled up outside of businesses, just some deplorable conditions.  It's just hard to see when we are living in the lap of luxury on a cruise at that same time.


Dan

Edited by The Fun Researcher

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Day 9 - Monday At Sea

 

Today’s agenda was just onboard activities. Taking a pool break.

 

Sushi Rolling Class - for those who are interested, I recommend you save your appetite for this. The timing is tricky - 10am class that lasts about an hour, so 11am by the time you are done and can eat your creation.We tried to have a little breakfast beforehand to tie us over, but the key is “little” - keep it light. Cost was $35 pp and I felt it was more worth the cost than the cupcake class.

 

All the ingredients are organized on the table for you, and an instructor guides you on how to make 4 different sushi types. It was fun and each person receives a certificate in the end!

image.thumb.png.bac448a07b752c21e7c5402b9171ea99.png

 

Finished Product - this is the portion per person

image.thumb.png.021c285899ed7bc7ad28ffb77e2ce833.png

 

DH and DS were going to the 1pm showing of AquaMan in 3D, so DD and I found a few things to do which included spectating at the Belly Flop contest (I always admire the sense of humor each of the contestants bring), Bean bag toss on the Boardwalk, and 2 rounds of Trivia at Schooner (Broadway Musicals and Male Singers). I never win the trivia (maybe one day), but usually come a good 2nd or 3rd place, I feel.

 

We all met up afterward and redeemed our “free” ice cream scoops (comes with the cupcake decorating class) at the Cup and Scoops place at the Boardwalk. 4 scoops, one for each. Tasty.

 

Tonight’s MDR dinner

Here is the feedback I have, and plan to share with RC - most of the dining staff are great, attentive, personable, etc. They do a good job. I have no big complaints ever. However, I feel there is too much pressure on them to obtain a “10” survey rating. During dinner, I would like to relax with my family. Tonight, the dining manager came by and asked how our dinner was going - customary, no surprise, that was fine. BUT he proceeded to ask us what score we would give them on the survey and when we did not immediately say “10” he would not leave us alone to enjoy our dinner until he got down to the bottom of it! Honestly, this bothered me a lot for several reasons 1) Let me enjoy my vacation in peace 2) I’ll provide my feedback via survey when I am ready 3) bugging me about it while I am eating won’t change my opinion 4) RC places too much pressure on staff in this area. 

 

I’ll end by saying I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience and appreciate the hard working staff, but they really need to ease up on this whole perfect “10’ thing. It's good practice to motivate staff to do well and strive to exceed in customer satisfaction, but sometimes it comes off the wrong way.

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21 minutes ago, 5thgirl said:

 

Day 9 - Monday At Sea

 

Today’s agenda was just onboard activities. Taking a pool break.

 

Sushi Rolling Class - for those who are interested, I recommend you save your appetite for this. The timing is tricky - 10am class that lasts about an hour, so 11am by the time you are done and can eat your creation.We tried to have a little breakfast beforehand to tie us over, but the key is “little” - keep it light. Cost was $35 pp and I felt it was more worth the cost than the cupcake class.

 

All the ingredients are organized on the table for you, and an instructor guides you on how to make 4 different sushi types. It was fun and each person receives a certificate in the end!

image.thumb.png.bac448a07b752c21e7c5402b9171ea99.png

 

Finished Product - this is the portion per person

image.thumb.png.021c285899ed7bc7ad28ffb77e2ce833.png

 

DH and DS were going to the 1pm showing of AquaMan in 3D, so DD and I found a few things to do which included spectating at the Belly Flop contest (I always admire the sense of humor each of the contestants bring), Bean bag toss on the Boardwalk, and 2 rounds of Trivia at Schooner (Broadway Musicals and Male Singers). I never win the trivia (maybe one day), but usually come a good 2nd or 3rd place, I feel.

 

We all met up afterward and redeemed our “free” ice cream scoops (comes with the cupcake decorating class) at the Cup and Scoops place at the Boardwalk. 4 scoops, one for each. Tasty.

 

Tonight’s MDR dinner

Here is the feedback I have, and plan to share with RC - most of the dining staff are great, attentive, personable, etc. They do a good job. I have no big complaints ever. However, I feel there is too much pressure on them to obtain a “10” survey rating. During dinner, I would like to relax with my family. Tonight, the dining manager came by and asked how our dinner was going - customary, no surprise, that was fine. BUT he proceeded to ask us what score we would give them on the survey and when we did not immediately say “10” he would not leave us alone to enjoy our dinner until he got down to the bottom of it! Honestly, this bothered me a lot for several reasons 1) Let me enjoy my vacation in peace 2) I’ll provide my feedback via survey when I am ready 3) bugging me about it while I am eating won’t change my opinion 4) RC places too much pressure on staff in this area. 

 

I’ll end by saying I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience and appreciate the hard working staff, but they really need to ease up on this whole perfect “10’ thing. It's good practice to motivate staff to do well and strive to exceed in customer satisfaction, but sometimes it comes off the wrong way.

Quick question about the sushi class—was all the seafood you used cooked? My son would love to do this, but wouldn’t want to eat raw fish. Thank you! And great review!! 

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23 minutes ago, 5thgirl said:

I’ll end by saying I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience and appreciate the hard working staff, but they really need to ease up on this whole perfect “10’ thing. It's good practice to motivate staff to do well and strive to exceed in customer satisfaction, but sometimes it comes off the wrong way.

 

 

Well said.  Anymore I stop them short and just say I'm giving you all 10's.  At that point they smile and discontinue, but it gets old.  By the last night of the cruise, if we had a waiter/assistant that we don't care for, we would have already spoken with the Maitre D earlier in the cruise to move tables.  My time dining is great for this, although we've only had to do that twice, and once was due to table location, not the waiter.  Once we find a waiter we like we ask to stay with them.

 

Dan

Edited by The Fun Researcher

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Day 10 - Tuesday At Sea

 

Today is our last day finally and we are READY to go home. I never thought I’d utter the phrase “I’m done with pools and beaches”, lol. But that is how I was feeling at this point, although we did spend today at the Solairum, LOL. This was because our last pool day was a bit cloudy.

 

Kids decided they would sleep in. I had already started packing the night before. For lunch, I was craving pizza, so we ran down to Sorrentos, grabbed a bunch of slices and brought them back to the pool area. Would be nice for them to maybe have some small single serving pizzas and not just the mini slices on small plates, but hey, it’s still included.

 

We lazed around past lunchtime. The ship was moving extremely slow, I assume to kill time to allow Dorian to clear past FLL before we returned.  I had yet to fulfill my Allure bucket list of ziplining, so headed back to the stateroom first to change out of swimwear and put on the required closed toe shoes. Got there around 2pm with DD (so she could capture on video). It went off without a hitch except my landing wasn’t as eloquent as I would have liked!

 

There was also a diving competition in the Aqua Theater, so we went to see that. The Aqua Theater divers perform various dives and the audience scores them (similar to the belly flop contest if you’re familiar with that). There are 4 men and 2 women divers. They did individual dives first, followed by synchronized dives. This would have been much more enjoyable except for the heat. It was shown as a 30 min event, but lasted an hour and many people started to leave because the heat out there was unbearable. If I would have known, I would have grabbed a spot in the upper shade section instead.

image.thumb.png.3160de04ec044846d24dceb0180eb496.png

 

Our last dinner in MDR was good. I noticed several times throughout the 10 days that we would be given the wrong menu, which was weird. I've seen some posts re: Harmony getting rid of formal night in favor of "Wear your Best". I have mixed feelings about that only from the viewpoint of nostalgia for the times when folks would actually dress up more, but it certainly fits the needs of my family and allows flexibility for sure.

 

Our dock time the next day was stated as 6:15am, but we must have been there early. I tossed and turned a bit, as overnight was the first time the ship actually came in choppy. We rocked pretty significantly, and I heard the clanks in the wee hours of the ship settling back in to Port Everglades.

 

 

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2 hours ago, 5thgirl said:

@FirstAnthem, all the seafood was cooked. Shrimp, and crab meat mostly. I think they purposely ensure this for the very reason you mention.

My adult daughter and I did this class on Majesty about 2 years ago. She absolutely hates shrimp. When we arrived for the class we asked the chef if they could substitute something for the shirmp and they happily brought out sliced chicken breast. Our class was at dinner time and we couldn't eat it all. They gave us take out containers for what was left over. When we got in the elevator there were 2 college football players that my daughter knew. We happily gave them our leftovers when they asked where we got the sushi since we knew we wouldn't finish it. It was gone before the elevator doors opened again!!!!

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Regarding Labadee.   It's unfortunate that you went to Adrenaline beach, as like you said it's rocky and windy.  The rocks are like little land mines out in the water.  I've cut my foot on the bottom while walking out in the water there.  Didn't see it coming.

 

Our favorite beach by far is Columbus Cove.  It's all soft sand with easy swimming and MUCH lower breeze.  Lots of loungers, palm trees, and close to the food and bathrooms.  Plus you get a very cool view of the ship in the background.  For us, it's a night and day difference in enjoyment.  We love Labadee for how relaxing and beautiful it is.  We would prefer a little better lunch offering, but it's o.k.


Dan

image.thumb.png.4f493d9f560650104f0ed914588d881f.png

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6 hours ago, The Fun Researcher said:

Regarding Labadee.   It's unfortunate that you went to Adrenaline beach, as like you said it's rocky and windy.  The rocks are like little land mines out in the water.  I've cut my foot on the bottom while walking out in the water there.  Didn't see it coming.

 

Our favorite beach by far is Columbus Cove.  It's all soft sand with easy swimming and MUCH lower breeze.  Lots of loungers, palm trees, and close to the food and bathrooms.  Plus you get a very cool view of the ship in the background.  For us, it's a night and day difference in enjoyment.  We love Labadee for how relaxing and beautiful it is.  We would prefer a little better lunch offering, but it's o.k.


Dan

image.thumb.png.4f493d9f560650104f0ed914588d881f.png

 

Yes unfortunately we didn't think to explore other areas, thinking that all of Labadee would be similar. I hope I get to experience it again. It was my first time there

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Sept 4, Wednesday - Debarkation

 

We had our last breakfast meal in the American Icon dining room. We chose to order from the menu instead of doing the buffet. The service was really slow for some reason, which made me anxious. Our debarkation time was 8:15. 

 

I must say that things have changed with both embarkation and debarkation in recent years. Both processes were super fast. Our debarkation time was 8:15. We were off the ship quickly. Although there were 2 lines for passports vs. birth certificates, we were not stopped at customs - no checking, no facial recognition, nothing. Everyone just walked through. Our flight from FLL was for 12:15. We had plenty of time to get to the airport. We had a pre-arranged shuttle through the Renaissance hotel we stayed at, again through Quick and Safe. They were very fast to get there and we actually had the same gentleman as when we arrived.

 

All in all, I really liked the Allure. I understand it will be in dry dock next year and enhancements made. I’m looking forward to trying other ships in this class. Has anyone sailed Allure in both high and low season? I’m wondering how big a difference there is in crowds.

 

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23 hours ago, 5thgirl said:

 

Day 10 - Tuesday At Sea

 

Today is our last day finally and we are READY to go home. I never thought I’d utter the phrase “I’m done with pools and beaches”, lol. But that is how I was feeling at this point, although we did spend today at the Solairum, LOL. This was because our last pool day was a bit cloudy.

 

 

 

This was a great review.  My cruise on the Allure is in December and it will be our first time on an Oasis class ship.  I've been a little intimidated with Oasis class because of the size and limited (imo) ports it can go to.  I'm still excited though.

I've also found that 10 nights is the exact sweet spot.  We went on a 15 night panama canal crossing and on or about day 10 or 11, we were starting to get antsy and feeling like we were wasting away.  Another reason it took me so long to book on an Oasis is because they usually ONLY do 7 night cruises.  We usually do 9 or 10 nights to hit that sweet spot, but Oasis class usually don't offer those.

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@Rogueperson enjoy your cruise in December.  I was a bit nervous trying the larger class ships mainly due to crowd concerns but we hardly ever felt overcrowded and loved all that Allure had to offer.  The only time I felt a slight difference was at dinner time. A bit of overflow each night

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15 hours ago, 5thgirl said:

 

Sept 4, Wednesday - Debarkation

 

We had our last breakfast meal in the American Icon dining room. We chose to order from the menu instead of doing the buffet. The service was really slow for some reason, which made me anxious. Our debarkation time was 8:15. 

 

I must say that things have changed with both embarkation and debarkation in recent years. Both processes were super fast. Our debarkation time was 8:15. We were off the ship quickly. Although there were 2 lines for passports vs. birth certificates, we were not stopped at customs - no checking, no facial recognition, nothing. Everyone just walked through. Our flight from FLL was for 12:15. We had plenty of time to get to the airport. We had a pre-arranged shuttle through the Renaissance hotel we stayed at, again through Quick and Safe. They were very fast to get there and we actually had the same gentleman as when we arrived.

 

All in all, I really liked the Allure. I understand it will be in dry dock next year and enhancements made. I’m looking forward to trying other ships in this class. Has anyone sailed Allure in both high and low season? I’m wondering how big a difference there is in crowds.

 

Oasis Class ships are our favorite.  We have been on Oasis and Harmony.  We always go during the slow season right around Thanksgiving.  The crowds are definitely do seems smaller and older on those sailings.  On our Oasis cruise the ship had just re-positioned to Port Canaveral because of that there were a high number of elderly cruisers.  I kid you not the average age was around 70 to 75.  While that helped with the crowding in some places it hindered the night life.  Places past 9pm were empty, which was a bummer for DW and I since it was our first vacation alone together since we had our first DD.  Also I've never seen so many motorized carts.  We were in the last BW balcony and had to maneuver past 7 or 8 carts parked outside the cabins.  It meant the elevators were almost always full, more so than any other cruise we had been on.  I guess that can be a plus as we tended to not bother with them and just took the stairs.  It was a very surreal cruise.

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5thgirl, I have cruised Allure during peak time.  Actually first sailed her when she was a few months old;  so everyone was booking this ship.  Anyway,  we were max capacity.  Never felt crowded.  I think with all the neighborhoods, boardwalk, central park, sports deck, solarium, etc,  you never feel that crowded.  When we got to a port, it could get backed up a little; but that was the only time saw the crowds.  Thank you for a wonderful review.  Brought back lots of memories of the ship and the ports.  Was in Roatan with Princess in Feb.  had a great time.  Be well and have fun with your next cruise.

Edited by AF-1

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15 hours ago, Wildcard50 said:

Greatly appreciate this thread. Thank you. Helps with our first time with Royal and on Allure in 8 days.

Enjoy! Allure is a great ship. I'm not sure how I can go back to other ship classes now, lol, but even the Freedom Class and Voyagers Class ships are really nice and due to be amped soon.

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On 9/14/2019 at 8:25 AM, AF-1 said:

5thgirl, I have cruised Allure during peak time.  Actually first sailed her when she was a few months old;  so everyone was booking this ship.  Anyway,  we were max capacity.  Never felt crowded.  I think with all the neighborhoods, boardwalk, central park, sports deck, solarium, etc,  you never feel that crowded.  When we got to a port, it could get backed up a little; but that was the only time saw the crowds.  Thank you for a wonderful review.  Brought back lots of memories of the ship and the ports.  Was in Roatan with Princess in Feb.  had a great time.  Be well and have fun with your next cruise.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question (that was buried in my wordy review!). That is good to know and I am looking forward to trying Allure again or maybe Harmony

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5thgirl,  Glad to help. Harmony or Allure are both good choices.  Have a great day

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