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mom2mybugs

Escaping the never ending winter! Sorta live blog from Allure of the Seas March 24-31

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Cruise day 1 on board!

We were on the ship by 11ish! First MAJOR complaint is that when I immediately went to do the BOGO, they said 3 restaurants only... Giovanni's, samba grill or sabor.  They flat out refused to give us Central Park 150.  I was furious as I had gone over every bit of fine print.  There was availability... It wasn't that.  They just wouldn't include the restaurant.  I will not buy the BOGO again... If I'd known that I would have bought the ultimate dining when it was hugely discounted.  It didn't start off the cruise well, and I will slam it in the review, but nothing we could do.  He did give us a 20 percent off for 150 later but that really doesn't help that much... We didn't want that many specialities or wed have done the pkg.  

   Anyway on to better... Lunch at Park Cafe was wonderful!  Lava flow and kummelwick

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Our bags were in the hall waiting when we went to our room at 115.  The room has a ton of shelving space and we have no trouble at all fitting 3 people's stuff.  The room will be a bit snug when we are all in it but it won't be bad.  Here are pics:

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We unpacked, Jeff took a nap and then we did muster and sailaway.  We watched from the boardwalk behind the aqua theater

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Dinner was at sabor and it was all over the place.  Parts of dinner were amazing... The beef empanadas for example were incredible and my daughter's vegetarian tacos were quite good.  But the cobia tacos were meh (and I loved them on freedom) and the bacon/chicken peppers were easy overcooked.  Unfortunately our service was awful... The server was new, didn't know the menu and had no idea how to pace the meal.  It was really disappointing.  This also leads me to the drinks and the drink pkg.  I had 3 margaritas at sabor because I wanted to try them.  Each one I couldn't taste any tequila at all... And since I'm not a huge tequila fan I was very aware. I watched the blue Hawaiian sailaway drink made and he didn't even put a whole shot of kracken in.  It's irrelevant because we have the drink pkg but it was really noticable that the drinks were weak.  I've never ever noticed that on my 4 other Royal sailings.  So just an observation...we will see how the rest of the cruise goes.

We are freezing in the solarium!  We have a 1015 aqua theater show but I'm not sure if it will happen since it is very windy.  And, lol, I will see if we manage to stay awake that long!  Looking forward to Sunshine tomorrow and just a day of laying in the sun!  Jane

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Just to put in my two cents here...I also did not care for the margaritas at Sabor on HM last week. I had the Perfect margarita and the Avocado one and both were not good. The ones I had later on at the pool bar and the suite sundeck bar were much better. Even the one I had at the Quest was better than Sabor.

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Following with extreme interest, as we'll be on the Oasis in 29 days!  Would love to hear your observations on the shows, and your Izumi Hibachi experience :-).  Thanks so much for setting an example for me -- I'm hoping to do a blog of our Transatlantic cruise . . . If you have any lessons learned about blogging, I'd love to read those as well.  Bon Voyage!!!

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3 hours ago, mom2mybugs said:

 I watched the blue Hawaiian sailaway drink made and he didn't even put a whole shot of kracken in.  It's irrelevant because we have the drink pkg but it was really noticable that the drinks were weak.  I've never ever noticed that on my 4 other Royal sailings.  So just an observation...we will see how the rest of the cruise goes.

I noticed this with my mixed drinks (ok, Kracken Coladas).  While I never saw the drinks being made, I'm quite the lightweight when it comes to drinking and I never once felt buzzed from any mixed drink.  I had ONE Strongbow from Playmakers and could feel it (seriously, I'm a lightweight). 

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7 hours ago, mom2mybugs said:

Cruise day 1 on board!

We were on the ship by 11ish! First MAJOR complaint is that when I immediately went to do the BOGO, they said 3 restaurants only... Giovanni's, samba grill or sabor.  They flat out refused to give us Central Park 150.  I was furious as I had gone over every bit of fine print.  There was availability... It wasn't that.  They just wouldn't include the restaurant.  I will not buy the BOGO again... If I'd known that I would have bought the ultimate dining when it was hugely discounted.  It didn't start off the cruise well, and I will slam it in the review, but nothing we could do.  He did give us a 20 percent off for 150 later but that really doesn't help that much... We didn't want that many specialities or wed have done the pkg.  

 

What were their reason for refusing to give you Central Park 150???

I got BOGO specialty dinner too hoping to get CP 150 and Wonderland (HOM)

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15 hours ago, IRMO12HD said:

Following with extreme interest, as we'll be on the Oasis in 29 days!  Would love to hear your observations on the shows, and your Izumi Hibachi experience :-).  Thanks so much for setting an example for me -- I'm hoping to do a blog of our Transatlantic cruise . . . If you have any lessons learned about blogging, I'd love to read those as well.  Bon Voyage!!!

Having the internet helps lol.  Also trying to do little snippets as opposed to giant long blogs makes it less intimidating! So far we have just done aqua show... It was fun to watch the show but it really had no storyline... As others have said.  I hear the Oasis one is better.  Jane

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13 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

I noticed this with my mixed drinks (ok, Kracken Coladas).  While I never saw the drinks being made, I'm quite the lightweight when it comes to drinking and I never once felt buzzed from any mixed drink.  I had ONE Strongbow from Playmakers and could feel it (seriously, I'm a lightweight). 

It's the first time it's been this significant.  I'm not a lightweight but my husband is and he and I both weren't buzzed until we drank a glass of wine.  Which ok, I'm not trying to be a spring breaker but....   Jane

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6 hours ago, WannaCruise said:

Strange about BOGO.  We could select it as part of BOGO on recent Symphony cruise as well as Wonderland or Hooked.

Everything in the planner was good in it.  Maybe if I'd dealt with a restaurant instead of the stand.  Not sure but I just argued for 5 mins, created a huge line behind us and flat out decided it wasn't worth it and I could take my 50 onboard credit and use it towards another meal.  But it definitely tips you towards ultimate dining at a sale.  I now may not even get into the mdr this trip.  Jane

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6 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I’m sorry to hear that they would not include 150 in the BOGO.  Frankly, I’m surprised. 150 is not the she-she restaurant it once was. I’m sorry, TBH.  It was once a very unique restaurant with a great menu. Now it’s just another specialty restaurant. 

I think it will be a nice dress up restaurant that isn't chops.  I expect about the same meal.  I will really miss that the salts aren't offered as that was one fun little difference.  And I'm frustrated because they had openings 3 days ago. .it wasn't like I had changed the availability and lost.    Jane

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9 hours ago, laylay said:

What were their reason for refusing to give you Central Park 150???

I got BOGO specialty dinner too hoping to get CP 150 and Wonderland (HOM)

They said they just don't offer that or chops on the ship and he just kept saying it.  What I should have done is just cancelled the BOGO... They probably would have let me... And just done chips and guac at sabor.  We are going to Giovanni's today which will be good but we are doing it this summer....i wanted to only hit things I wouldn't see on vision.  Fwp but again the inconsistency royal shows at times is annoying.  Jane

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Day 2 (and the end of day 1)

Ok... Just wrote a ton and lost it... Argh...

We were tired and full after sabor so we sent Madison to the teen center (successfully thank goodness) and went to vintages for an hour.  We love vintages as it is never crowded and we can try some wines.  It was a bit frustrating how much the glasses have gone up...we were paying a fair amount over the drink pkg.  Not sure if this is an oasis vs freedom class or just another year and prices rise.  

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After vintages we headed to the aqua show.  Amazing tumbling and diving but the show made no sense...at all lol.  I really enjoyed it though, just like I usually like the ice shows.  They say no pics so I just took a preshow one.

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We finished up the night in the champagne and schooner bars.  I love the music in the schooner bar, but not really the bar menu.  I know you can order other drinks but I never remember any!  It was a fun evening and we got back to the room about 1230 to wait for the teenager to show up at the 1 curfew.   

For those interested, the 16 year old said it was super awkward at first in the teen center but she ended up with a group of girls playing dodgeball and wandering the ship.  Must have gone well because we haven't seen her today.

Day 2 started icky weather wise.  I don't have a single pic because all I have done is lay on the deck chair!  We got to the solarium at 830 and only a few chairs were saved... Probably because it was cold and drizzly.  We got two chairs and huddled under towels.  The solarium bistro was not crowded and great for breakfast, even when the crowds picked up at 10.  The towel hogs weren't in force today, or they cleared them because most seats were filled.  There are still empty chairs here and there but they don't have towels or they haven't been empty long.  I predict tomorrow with better weather will be tougher.  It is perfect today in a the solarium which means tomorrow will be too warm and I will probably do the sky deck.  

The weather finally cleared and the 🌞 came out around 1.  I will finally be warm after the Midwest winter!!!!!!!! Jane

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19 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Just to put in my two cents here...I also did not care for the margaritas at Sabor on HM last week. I had the Perfect margarita and the Avocado one and both were not good. The ones I had later on at the pool bar and the suite sundeck bar were much better. Even the one I had at the Quest was better than Sabor.

Agree, i was at Sabor twice on allure two weeks ago and 3 margaritas with lunch didnt taste like much of any tequila was used.  You can do better by just asking a bartender who is friendly to make you a strong margarita and tossing an extra buck their way.  

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14 hours ago, Cindy Leslie said:

Enjoying your blog so far! Thanks so much for posting pics of your interior cabin! It’s bigger than I imagined and looks like plenty of storage for just the two of us! Have a wonderful week!

It is a ridiculous amount if storage.  I overpacked and we still fit everything!  And have empty shelves Jane

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Most boring blog ever... Days 2 and 3 lol

So my life these days was get up early, grab chairs in the protected solarium, cry over the rain and clouds and cheer when the sun finally peeked out.  

We went to Giovanni's for dinner and it was excellent!  My daughter's vegetarian gnocchi was great and they made her an extra dish of pasta and vegetables.  My husband and I split the risotto and fillet... The fillet was cooled perfectly and I loved the risotto... Though it was pretty salty. 

Night 2 we had no theater plans so after Giovanni's the teen split and Jeff and I wandered the ship.  We are loving vintages and the singer in the pub, but the guy in the schooner isn't our favorite.  The best thing ever was the 80s dance party at dazzles!  No pics because I was too busy dancing!  So much fun in there.  

Night 3 we saw mamma Mia and it was great!  Loved it.  We headed to the main dining room after that for mtd.  Our service was the best we have had in a long time.  My food was great and I tried the lamb for the first time... @WAAAYTOOO I thought of you because I thought I remembered your husband likes it.  It was the best cut off meat I've had in the mdr in a very long time.  My steak Diane was also great, but Jeff's cut off meat (the regular steak) wasn't great.  After that we roamed the ship and were surprised how many bars closed at 12.  

That catches me sorta up...on to day 4 lol Jane

 

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On 3/28/2019 at 6:04 AM, bobroo said:

Tell 'em about the out-of-step helicopter evacuation.

 

 

Oh yes... That was interesting.  We stopped in San Juan for an unexpected helicopter evacuation before heading to st Maarten.  They were quite a ways away when they announced it and we still made st Maarten in time.  I'm not sure how I missed when the helicopter actually arrived!  Jane

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Ok... Time to switch to subjects as the days have become an endless blur of drinking and sunbathing lol.  

Outtings:. We didn't want to spend a ton in St Maarten and decided to just simply head towards the public beach in philipsburg.  It was maybe a 15 minutes walk from the edge of the port area and it was great.  Chairs available for 10 and buckets of 5/$10 🍻 and water.  

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We really enjoyed our time there!  Laid back and casual and cheap!

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See... Although the 16 year old is still sleeping, I still post short updates lol!

San Juan is such a great stop, though I have to say that 7-1 was tricky.  We were able to do El Morro and the San Juan bapistry where Ponce de Leon is buried, but had to skip fort christobel because 1 actually means for my sanity I have to be back at 12!  

The walk out to El Morro was pretty long and uphill... But totally doable if you pace. And sooo worth it!

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This is just a view from one of the windows of a sentry box.  I can't imagine being stationed here for years far away from Spain.  Anyway, I have a ton of pics but the thing to know is that it is an amazing national historic site, you can use your park pass and it is one of my favorite national parks to visit.

The church was amazing...we had changed onto it the last time we embarked from San Juan.  So many little chapels that had incredible art and sculpture. 

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Pnce de Leon tomb

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Amazed me that people skipped it because it was so simple or they didn't know who he was.  Amazing history to me!  

The 16 year old was cranky from her sunburn so we headed back wandering quickly through old Town.  This was a very cool celebration of national women's day and cancer detection.  So pretty

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Jane

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