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Found 37 results

  1. Now that it is officially single digits until sail away, I figure it is not unreasonable for me to get this live blog started! (though I AM endlessly amused by the people who have recently started their posts far in advance of their sailings. *cough @StayFrosty @Lovetocruise2002 @Matt cough*) I will be transparent in that, since this is my first live blog, I can't guarantee I will be able to stay on top of it the way I might like, but I will be doing my level best to share with all of you for multiple reasons. First and foremost, I have gotten so much out of other's live blogs and genuinely want to give back to this community in any way I might be able to. But it isn't ALL altruistic. I think, if I'm able to stay on top of a live blog, it will make a great memory in a bottle of my trip to allow me to revisit wistfully on extra stressful days. I think I will start with a bit of background organized in a format that I'm shamelessly stealing from one of @Lovetocruise2002's blogs. Pre-cruise report: Sailing: May 12-19, 2019, Allure of the Seas, 7 Night Eastern Caribbean cruise Sailing with: Me (32), and my parents (not my age to tell) Flying from: PHL to FLL on Southwest and returning on American (boo baggage fees, yay nonstop flights at reasonable times) Pre-cruise hotel: Ended up with Holiday Inn Express Ft. Lauderdale Cruise-Airport (the one on 17th Street) We cycled through many different hotels before we ended up with this one. Like the sane person I am, I would check on hotel prices about once every 2 weeks starting 8 months in advance and if I saw a great price at a hotel that looked convenient or interesting I booked it just to guarantee the price. At one point I had 4 hotels booked at the same time. You may be starting to get the impression that I take as much enjoyment from planning my vacation as actually taking it. You would be correct. And thank you kindly for enabling that! Other hotels that were considered and discarded: Drift Hotel - liked that it was close to the beach, disliked that it didn't seem to have as many amenities as other hotels, such as having someone there to hold our luggage if we got there far before check-in. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ft. Lauderdale Airport/Cruise - liked that it had 2 queen beds (not doubles) for a good price. Disliked that it didn't seem very walkable Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale Airport North Cruise Port - this was the #1 hotel until the price recently came down for the Holiday Inn on 17th Street. I liked that it had the normal things like a free airport shuttle, concierge, pool, but it also was across a smaller side street from a shopping center that has restaurants, a Big Lot & a liquor store where my dad could grab some wine. But you just can't beat the convenience (from what I hear) of hotels in that 17th Street strip so while this hotel was walkable...the Holiday Inn Express won out. The itinerary is as follows: Day 1 – Fort Lauderdale Day 2 and 3 – At Sea Day 4 – Basseterre, St. Kitt's Day 5 – Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas San Juan, PR Day 6 – At Sea Day 7 – Nassau, Bahamas Day 8 – Fort Lauderdale We have booked a third party excursion on St. Kitt's through Thenford Grey. I've heard good things about him on here and elsewhere so I'm excited for this tour. We were originally slated for St. Thomas as a stop, but as many of you have probably already seen, Allure is having some propulsion issues and we will now be stopping in San Juan. There are many people in my sailing's FB group who are devastated by this news. While I respect that reaction, I don't want to start letting negativity seep into my vacation before it has even started. So goodbye trip to Secret Sands beach we had through Royal and hello to last minute research into self guided walking tours through San Juan. I'm actually legit excited about this change as I would prefer getting to know the history and culture of a place than simply laying around on the beach all day. And that FOOD. So time to dust off my super rusty 14 year old spanish lessons and go with the flow. WEPA! And for Nassau, we have been before and my parents have no desire to get off the off again. With a ship like Allure to explore and relax on instead, I will not be arguing with that. Cabin: We have a hump balcony Junior Suite on the 8th floor. Very much looking forward to "having" to walk through Central Park to get back to the room. ~*~WOE~*~ Pre-purchases: Besides the excursions which I covered above, we will be trying out The Key (I see it as a great little upgrade to Sea Class) and my mother and I have the refreshment package. I’ve been sober coming up on 2 years now and I love that the refreshment package lets me get mocktails and interesting non-alcoholic drinks so I never feel like I’m missing out, feel out of place around a bar, or have the temptation to grab that tasty looking boozey beverage. Since my mom doesn’t drink either, my dad then gets the 2 bottle of wine allotment to himself and will supplement that with the occasional beer here and there. Nowhere enough to warrant a drink package for himself. The last time we were on a cruise, he would decant half of his bottle of wine into an empty (clear) water bottle from the room. The moment he proceeded to do this with his bottle of red as well was the moment I was mentally buying him a portable wine tumbler for this trip. None of the crew members said anything, but seeing him walk into the MDR with a clear water bottle full of dark red wine was not our proudest hour. Though if you asked him, he would quip that Jesus paid him a visit and turned that water into wine. *facepalm* Random Pre-cruise thoughts: I am going to take as many pictures as I can remember to, though it’s not ingrained. Please let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to check out or take pictures of for you. I am open to requests. I will make sure to detail how easy or difficult it was for me to get reservations in Coastal Kitchen as a Junior Suite. That is something that seems to have very mixed results so I’m curious how it will work out. Ideally we would have reservations there every night except for the night we have Giovanni’s reserved. If all goes according to plan, I shall be running a completely unofficial and entirely arbitrary “Allure’s Best Steak” competition since I plan to have steak in Chops (Key lunch), Coastal Kitchen, Giovanni’s, and the MDR (Key breakfast). I will be sure to let you know my thoughts. I will also make sure to note how I am liking the Key since that’s such a new feature and it seems to vary wildly from ship to ship. I have reached the point in trip antsyness where I’m overthinking my packing and buying unnecessary things from Amazon to help. Because buying a toiletry bag is the most important thing in the world right now! I promise future posts will have more pictures!
  2. I'm SOOOO excited! After a rather lengthy hiatus from these boards (which I didn't think anyone would notice but the eagle-eyed @JLMoran did!) I'm back and looking forward to not one but TWO cruises 😆 Having 2 cruises booked has been a dream since I joined these boards and fell in love with cruising in 2016 and saw just how many cruises some of you take. Also, having 2 cruises in the space of one year was another RC blog-inspired #cruisegoal of mine! (I'm blaming you @Matt and @twangster !). We have a 2 week Med cruise booked for August on P&O's Azura and have just this morning booked Allure for Christmas with a pre- & post-cruise stay in Miami's South Beach where we'll be staying for NYE! I'm a little sad that our summer cruise won't be on RC but I'm looking forward to experiencing a British brand and I'm soooo excited to try an Oasis class ship. When I first cruised on Navigator in 2016, I loved the look of the Oasis class from people's posts on here but didn't think I'd ever get on one. Now I'm going to be! We'll also be introducing 2 of our friends to cruising on Allure. Although I've tried to explain, I don't think they've got any idea how big she is. I can't wait to see their faces when they see her for the first time! On both cruises we've got an ocean view balcony (large balcony on Azura; Deck 10 on Allure) and I'll be Live-ish blogging and periscoping from both. Now, just 108 days to wait until the first cruise...
  3. Does anyone know if a Microsoft Book 2 with dimensions 13.5 X 10 inches fit in the cabin safe?
  4. Hello all! I will be attempting to live blog as much as I can from Allure of the Seas, March 3rd Sailing to the Western Caribbean. I am going with my husband Ken and our 5 year old daughter to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We picked Allure because it was recommended as a great kids program and I liked the itinerary, I wanted to go back to Cozumel. It's a first cruise for my family and my 3rd, though it has been 11 years since my last cruise on Navigator OTS in March 2008. She looked very different than she does today! Before that I was on 2 different Carnival cruises for which I did very little planning but times have changed. For 11 months I have pored over posts, obsessively listened to Matt's podcast, and have packed with Sheri on CTTV multiple times. My nails are done, our bags are packed (though I will be repacking them tonight because I have way too much stuff) and our plane boarding passes and set sail passes are printed. Getting there: We are flying out of NJ tomorrow morning to FLL and then going to take a detour to visit a friend in Coral Springs. Then we will head to Miami tomorrow night and try to get some sleep! I fully intend for us to be at the port by 10:30 AM on Sunday and one of the first on the ship to explore and attempt my first public periscope (please bear with me if you are following me!) The itinerary: Western Caribbean: Nassau-We will stay on the ship, which probably won't be as empty as we would like Cozumel-Beach day at El Cozumelino Roatan- Private tour with Victor Bodden tours because I want us to be on our own schedule and stay as long or as short as we want to. We are planning on seeing monkeys and sloths, then some lunch at a local place and snorkeling off of West Bay Beach. Costa Maya-We will spend the day at Maya Chan beach where we will renew our vows and enjoy some relaxation time. Still back and forth on whether or not we'll leave our LO on the ship for this one (she told us she wants to stay on the ship) but that will likely be a game day decision. The room and board: We are in stateroom 10602 large balcony room. We did bid on a Jr Suite and Crown suite through RoyalUp but I do not have my hopes up that it will come through, the ship has been sold out for several weeks and we didn't bid much. It would be a nice treat though. We got the deluxe drink package for $44 per day and the Key which we scored at $19.99 and I felt that was well worth it. We are looking forward to Chops for lunch on embarkation day. We do plan to eat in the MDR, but have a reservation at 150 Central Park and I plan to reserve Chef's table on board when we figure out what day is best. We may add something else but I enjoy the traditional dining and my husband thinks that sounds good too, getting to know the waiter, table mates, etc. We love craft IPAs but not expecting to find much of that on board, so it will be morning bloody marys and poolside margaritas. Any other favorite drink suggestions welcome. I heard @Twangster order a frozen lemonade with grey goose on periscope today so I'll have to try that, sounded delicious! Oh and I almost forgot, we are celebrating my husband's birthday while we're there as well which falls on Mardi Gras this year. Our daughter is very excited about Adventure Ocean and keeps telling us how she can eat dinner with us and then they'll take her to go the "kid's club". I can only hope she likes it as much as she thinks she will. So much to look forward to and I look forward to sharing it with you all!
  5. I am SO excited for my family's very first cruise ever this July (7-14) on the Allure. My mother- and father-in-law (avid RC cruisers) are treating my family of three (me, husband, and son who will be 3 weeks shy of 6) and my brother-in-law's family (husband, wife, 13 and 15 year old boys) to the cruise and are helping us with transportation there. We will be responsible for all extras (excursions, premium dining, tips, etc.). I am having difficulty navigating the shore options available to us and haven't been able to find any sites that review the options. Ideally, I would like to take our son with us when in port because this will be his first international experience. We don't *really* love the beach and are definitely foodie-friendly (but not alcohol; we just don't drink it) and can definitely do walking tours but maybe not hikes. What are your thoughts on the available options? Of course, I will take any additional tips or tricks for making our first cruise a successful one! I don't expect us to do any premium dining, but I would be interested to hear in what extras are really worth it. We also enjoy dancing, music, comedy, art, watching sports, and of course, travel.
  6. So I officially have all my entertainment booked for my May Allure sailing as well as great prices on my excursions, drink packages, and The Key. Backup MTD reservations are done in case I can’t get into Coastal Kitchen one of the nights. I’m trying to figure out if there will be any additional activities released closer to the sailing that I would need to stalk the CP for or if I should move on to price stalking for my next cruise. The activities currently listed are private flowrider sessions, guac class, cupcake class, sushi class, wine tasting, all access tour, and bottomless brunch. Can anyone with a closer Allure sailing peek at their CP and let me know if I have the complete list at this point? Thanks in advance!
  7. I'm looking to book a cruise next year, and two that interest me are either on Freedom of the Seas, or Allure of the Seas. Allure is a bit more expensive, but it's on a larger ship. I'm wondering if it is worth the extra money to be on it?
  8. Please help me with any general information on the teen club on board. My son is 12 and quite shy at first. He is on the spectrum as well (Asperger’s). Is there any periodic supervision in these clubs? Sorry for the stupid question...Oh yeah, if anyone has a link to a teen compass, that would be extremely helpful and appreciated! Thank y’all so much!
  9. Woke up this morning to do the check in for my Allure of the Seas cruise that departs in 90 days only to see the dreaded message of" We are unable to update your information at this time. Please try again later. I really wanted to make sure I get tickets to the play "Mama Mia" as well as do my regular check in. On Liberty of the Seas you just had to show up but for this ship you need to reserve tickets. Does anyone know how you go about doing that through the Royal website? I hope it's back up and working at some point today......
  10. We are considering moving from an interior cabin to a Central Park VIEW room on Oasis. These aren't the ones with balconies, but are only on deck 9 with a window. To me they are similar to Royal Promenade View cabins on a Voyager Class ship. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/545005992390235584/?lp=true Has anyone stayed in these? Is there any noise from the restaurant or kitchen below? Any noise from Central Park? I have read conflicting reports with some saying the ambient restaurant music can be heard and runs 24 hrs, and others say no noise. I greatly appreciate it, and if you can report on any specific cabins you have stayed in that would be awesome. We are specifically considering 9231/9233. Thank you!
  11. Shamelessly promoting my favourite class of ship again. I came across this video tonight and really wanted to share it. @Matt has some great blog posts comparing the 4 ships but this video was so well put together and gives a great comprehensive visual. Whether you are a first timer or you've sailed all 4, it's still worth a look, especially if you are deciding between them as I find many people are. Also, there are some really good shots of the new features on Symphony, including food shots from Playmakers and Hooked. It's 20min long and there is an ad in the middle but have a look. Can't wait for my next Oasis class sailing!
  12. I am making no promises. I have only my iPad so not really equipped to create a full cruise blog but I will do what I can without interrupting the groove of the cruise. I’m not much of a picture-taker and I don’t even know how to post a pic so probably won’t have photos unless I can figure that out. Today was travel day. Left DC at 5:30 AM. Wow. That is early ! ...but had an uneventful flight down. The air was very unsettled so it was a bumpy and turbulent ride but we made it. Since we are both status members with American Airlines, we always fly American. From DC, American does not fly nonstop to Fort Lauderdale so your choices are, nonstop to Miami or go through Charlotte. We chose to go through Charlotte this trip so we had 2 segments, but the flights were so close together that we basically got off the first leg and hustled to the gate for #2 with no time to spare. We are staying at the Residence Inn Airport and Cruiseport. While the hotel is very nice, there is absolutely nothing nearby unless you want Wendy’s or Dunkin Donuts and even with those, you would have to cross a busy highway to get over there. They do have a shuttle bus that picked us up from the airport and will take you to a couple of nearby restaurants or Publix market at no cost but that got old quickly. I don’t think I will stay here again. Dan used points for this room so at least the price was right. They only have a complimentary happy hour Mon-Wed so nothing for us there. There is a complimentary breakfast which we will check out tomorrow morning. There is shuttle service ($8 pp) from the hotel to the port so we are scheduled to leave here at 10 AM. The Genie is expecting us at 10:30 so we may be a bit early. We’re in for the night at this point. Very excited about boarding Allure in the morning ! We were on Allure over Thanksgiving last year but not in Star Class. This will be our first time in Star Class on any ship other than Harmony. It will be interesting to compare the service on the different ships. They’re calling for rain tomorrow so it might be a wet start. Our friend Jim flew in much later this afternoon and is staying elsewhere so we will not see him until after we board tomorrow. It’s always an adventure when you vacation with one or more of the Jim twins.
  13. I have downloaded the smartphone app prior to our cruise Apr 22 and it looks good. It has menus for the dining places including the MDR. It also has prices for extra charge items both prior to sailing and onboard. Does anyone have any experience using the latest version while on board?
  14. Hello Everyone, I recently cruised on Allure of the Seas in February and filmed a video of our trip. Please take a look and let me know your thoughts! We had a wonderful time and enjoyed perfect weather sailing the Western Caribbean! Thanks, Ryan
  15. I’d a search and found some stuff but wanted some more current info. We are sailing on the Allure June of 18. DD wants a dolphin excursion. I didn’t see any on the RC brochure, but found some online for St Thomas. Am I missing anything? Thanks
  16. We are currently booked on Allure of the Seas in an Aquatheater Suite in 11730. How is the room - is it as amazing as it looks? We have never been on Oasis class and so excited! Would also love recommendations on breakfast and lunch options besides Windjammer.
  17. Since both ships are in dry dock near each other, has anyone seen any pics? I have been searching and haven't found anything yet. The webcam in Freeport is offline.
  18. Hey everyone - Been lurking on these boards for a while, but finally decided to actually create an account. Have a cruise on the Allure in March next year. There has been talk on this board previously about the availability of Cigars, and the presence of cigar bars. I know the Allure does not have any designated cigar bars, but I did see on a 2017 compass an event every night labeled "Cigars under the stars". The location was listed as the pool bar. As someone who loves to indulge in some stogies when on vacation, I wasn't sure if anyone knows if these events are frequent on Allure cruises? If so, do you know if they actually sell cigars on board (regardless of the ridiculous upcharge that would be included)? Thanks in advance for any help, and thanks for all of the amazing content that I find on the boards!
  19. Thinking about doing an Eastern Caribbean cruise, would be flying from Manchester, England. The price of the whole cruise comes out at £3939 for Allure and £4029 for Oasis, so not worried about the price. Are there any differences in service/food quality or any noticeable things that differ these ships from one another?
  20. Does the Allure offer a wine pairing dinner at Vintages? We've done them on the Freedom and the food is fabulous.
  21. http://www.theonion.com/article/shelling-royal-caribbeans-ms-allure-sinks-carnival-56448
  22. Has anyone done that this activity on Allure in 2017? Would you recommend it? I've seen great reviews from a few years ago but the only one that is more recent is a negative review. I'd love a more recent opinion.
  23. Head's up, everyone who is interested in booking one of the 6 newly added Grand Suites in the Aqua Theater area of the Oasis and Allure. These are the 6 new Grand Suites that were added to both of these ships during their most recent drydocks (this is where the "hidden balconies" were before renovation). The stateroom numbers are 11330, 11730, 12330, 12730, 14330 and 14730. These very LARGE Grand Suites are going to be redesignated as Aqua Theater Suites. The Allure will change these rooms from GS to AS June 5, 2016. The Oasis will make the change May 7, 2016. The 4 biggest ones (11330, 11730, 12330 and 12730) are going to be category A3 which require a minimum of 4 persons to book. The smaller ones (14330 and 41730) will be a new designation A4 and will be available to general inventory, which means that you can book with just 2 people. I found this out ONLY because I was planning on booking one of these Grand Suites for my Christmas 2016 cruise only to find that they will be designated as Aqua Suites by then. The Club Royale agent and I backtracked and determined that the change-over from GS to A3/A4 will occur in May and June of next year. So....if you want to take advantage of booking any of these 6 rooms while they are still Grand Suites, I suggest you do so very soon. Word WILL get out that their availability as GS is limited and they will all be gone - poof ! Needless to say, the price on these rooms skyrockets once they go from being GS to A3/A4. The room that will cost just over $5K on Feb. 21 will be upwards of $15K once it is redesignated. Of course, they are doing NOTHING to enhance these rooms at all...they are just taking advantage of the fact that they are bigger than all of the other GS on the boat and know that they can charge 3 times what they are currently getting for them. Typical, right ? Of course, they aren't telling ANYone about this...even the RC sales agents didn't know about it. We all found out together. So slimy.
  24. what are the minimum bets on the table games in the casino on Allure (caribbean cruise)? I asked this question about Adventure several months ago and I was pleasantly surprised when we sailed to find that the the minimum bet was $5 all of the time. I was surprised because the tables were generally busy if not full every njght. Is Allure also $5? Do they raise the minimum when they are busy (@ night)? How many craps tables are on the floor?
  25. Is $8,000 for a Star Class Aqua Theater for 2 people on Allure of the Seas in Jan 2019 a good price for that room category?
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