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Allure of the Seas, 5/19/19-5/26/19... “Semi-Live” Blog!

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OK, I’m back!

I’m sooo sorry for not being able to update while on the cruise! So busy... I don’t know how you all find the time to live blog!

Let me take a step back to TUE (5/21) which was our day in Labadee!

With the early day, we decided to go with the basic complimentary room service continental breakfast (no delivery fee). For those that have never ordered breakfast, they request that you complete the order on the door hanger card (extras kept in the cabin - see door hanger and menu below) and place it on your cabin door by 3:00 AM. If you prefer the American breakfast (omelettes, pancakes, etc.), the breakfast is not complementary as the normal $7.95 room service delivery fee (per order delivered regardless of size) plus an 18% gratuity applies.




Our order arrived on time at exactly 6:00 AM (we requested the 6:00 am - 6:30 am delivery time). 

We never received information in our cabin regarding the Key and early departure from the ship on Monday, so that evening we stopped by guest services. They explained there was no early Key departure time for Labadee. We should just go down to the gangway prior to the scheduled time and they will escort us off of the ship first. In the end, we never had to mention the Key since we were the second group on line. We wanted to get off quickly so we could claim our cabana!

Once we got off the ship we stopped by the information booth on Labadee (just through the main entry). They directed us to our assigned driver, Willie, who took us to the cabanas at Nellie’s Beach. Since we were first to arrive, we were able to pick any cabana and we looked at a number of cabanas and finally selected NW4 (pics to follow).

We liked this cabana because we were not on top of the beach or facing the beach. We also did not have neighbors directly to our right (Barefoot Beach was through the trees to our right) and had some nice privacy since our neighbors to the left were at a slightly lower elevation. They actually left a little after lunchtime so we had the area all to ourselves. The sun exposure was absolutely perfect! We had the sun on the deck area, but never got blasted by the direct sun in the covered area, especially as the day went on, like the cabanas across Nellie’s beach. You’ll notice in some of the pics that the cabanas on the other side did not have an umbrella on their deck area! 

These pics were taken before we selected our cabana. We climbed up the hill to our right next to our cabana and took these pics. Later we realized that we were walking through the Barefoot Beach cabanas. We actually liked our cabana better since we had direct access to the water and could see the ship from the water, but did not have to look at it when we were in our cabana. 




Map of Labadee...



Here is our cabana (NW4)... Regis was our attendant and he was awesome! The cabana came with a large ice chest filled with large bottles of Evian bottled water. We would later use it as a cooler for the beers, etc. We also received the floating mats for all four of us. The cabana had a nice ceiling fan and one electrical outlet with two receptacles which came in handy for charging phones, playing music on my Bluetooth speaker, etc.

Shots of steps to our cabana (not for folks with mobility limitations)... we only left occasionally for lunch, bathroom breaks and to explore. This is the end of the beach on our side from the bottom of the steps.



Steps and cabana shots...









This ladder access may be too steep for children and folks that cannot swim will want to walk down to the beach to access the water...



A bunch of shots from the cabana... non-stop Labadoozies!






My my wife and friends having a blast!



Some shots with my GoPro from the water (still learning how to use it)... our cabana is the one on the left with the tree in front (a little blurry)...





... have to start boarding our return flight... more later!

Thanks for being patient! 

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6 hours ago, JohnK6404 said:

We wanted to get off quickly so we could claim our cabana!

FYI for future sailings...We had a bungalow in CocoCay on day 6. Upon boarding on Day 1 we went to the excursion desk where they showed us a map and then reserved the specific one we wanted. Five of the 20 bungalows were already reserved before us and we were there at about 11AM. Hopefully this process is available fleet wide.

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... a few more pics from Labadee...










We had an amazing day on Labadee. The BBQ was decent... mixed opinions among us, but it’s BBQ for the masses! When we were ready to go back to the ship, we asked Regis to have Willie stop by the cabana area and he took us back to the ship. 

We all agreed that the cabana was amazing and added a level of luxury that made Labadee that much more enjoyable. My wife and I would never have considered a cabana on our own, but sharing the cost with our friends made it doable. When you compare the cost to other activities, excursions and spa treatments, it’s a steal for small groups. Remember, you have it for the entire day along with the services of an attendant and a cart driver (no need to take the trams). Once again, Regis was amazing... he was always there anticipating our needs and we never had to look for him the entire day!

And yes, we all avoided the Artisan's Market like the plague based on all of your recommendations!

Once back on the ship, we got ready for dinner in the MDR... this night was Caribbean casual night. I was surprised with this cruise... with the exception of the two formal evenings, every night was some form of casual dress (we were not complaining!). I never had to pull out my Dockers, etc! Casual, Caribbean casual, white casual, etc.



Here was the menu for evening #3...



I forgot to take pictures of the food before I started eating each course! I started with the French Onion soup and the Seafood cake. I liked the Seafood cake better than the Crab cake from the first evening. I went with one of my favorites, Chicken Parmesan, and was pleasantly surprised. For dessert I tried the Apple Pie a la mode... interesting presentation, but I liked it.



We walked around Central Park again after dinner... love Central Park! I went up top later for these pics.




Underneath the bridge...



When we went back to the cabins, we had our Key early departure info for Falmouth. Whoo hoo! 



Our wives called it an evening and the husbands headed to Casino Royale! 😉


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... Now I’ll move on to WED, 5/22/19... Day 4: Falmouth, Jamaica!

With our early Key departure meeting time of 10:30 AM set at Blaze, we decided to try Johnny Rockets for breakfast. As an FYI for those that were not aware, breakfast at Johnny Rockets is complimentary for everyone. We were seated at a booth inside the restaurant. The restaurant was packed and our waiter and the kitchen staff could not keep up. The atmosphere was a little hectic and our friends were getting a little aggravated as many tables that were seated after us received their food first. I think I’m just a little more patient with my restaurant background.

Here are a few quick pics including the breakfast menu...





I had the French Toast with bacon, orange juice and coffee. The food was fine as it was of course cooked to order.

We then headed to Blaze and waited a few moments until a crew member lead us to the gangway and escort us off of the ship.

Our friends had arranged a surprise third party “excursion” for us. This is the first cruise that we elected not to book an excursion through Royal. They had previously spent time here while on their honeymoon and met a gentleman named Warren that had provided transportation for them while they were in Jamaica. We walked through the port and the many shops and met Warren and his vehicle just outside the port.



We found out that our destination was the famous, Rick’s Cafe, in Negril. It was a hike, but Warren was an excellent driver and was very informative and kept our attention. As an FYI, we had to pass through three military checkpoints between Falmouth and Negril. I took a pic of an armed soldier in uniform at one of the checkpoints, but I’ll leave that one out if this post! They were all friendly and after rolling down the windows, we were allowed to continue on at each checkpoint.

Warren explained that Jamaica, and the Caribbean as a whole, is a hot bed for phone scams/fraud. He explained that many of the leaders of these scam rings were arrested and jailed, but they are still looking for the many that got away and have been evading the authorities. We passed most of the famous resorts on our way to Negril and passed through Montego Bay, etc. We made a quick stop at the Harley Davidson store (located in Montego Bay I believe) and eventually made it to Rick’s Cafe.










The area where you can jump or dive into the water. There are multiple platforms at increasing height up to the high platform...



Only the resident diver, Spider, is allowed to make the high jump/dive from the platform with the flag. He was amazing... he would usually scale the cliff to get back to the main patio level after each jump/dive. After watching one of his dives posted by another tourist on YouTube while holding their GoPro, I should have taken him up on his offer!



We had lunch here... I ordered jerk chicken which was very tasty. The weather was iffy as rain passed through while we ate our lunch (you can see it coming in from the ocean in some of the pics), but we had a good time!

Warren took us back to the port with plenty of time to spare. We did a little souvenir shopping and headed back to the ship.

After relaxing a bit onboard, we headed to the MDR. Here is the menu for evening #4:



I went with the Baked Potato soup (tasty), the Beef Stroganoff (it was OK), and the English Trifle which was also tasty.





Later that evening, we went back to the cabin and found our invitations to the Prohibition Party waiting in the cabin...




Time for me to hit the pillow. I return to reality tomorrow - first day back to work!

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... Day 5, THU (5/23/19)!  

Another day at sea and our second formal evening... a truly packed day onboard!

We ate breakfast at the Solarium Bistro again this morning. We like to think of it as Windjammer, Jr., and much less crowded. After breakfast we decided to relax in the solarium for the morning. We were able to grab some of the nice lounge chairs right up front overlooking the sun deck and ocean. 

Just a couple random shots I took... just another reminder to make sure you have some sort of footwear as the decking gets super hot as the sun beats down. 😮




Next we went to Giovanni’s Table to take advantage of the complimentary specialty lunch that comes with the Central Park balcony reservation. Our waiter was outstanding (I can’t believe I forgot his name!) and the food was excellent!

Here is the lunch menu:





The lovely ladies!



A little Central Park view from our table inside the restaurant... doesn’t feel like we’re on a cruise ship! 😎



I went with the Italian Cheese and Meat Plank (forgot to take pic again!) for my appetizer. My main course was the Polpettone... basically, a huge meatball made of ground veal and pork with a ball of mozzarella melted inside! Loved it! We ordered a side of pasta thinking the entree would not satisfy us... rookie mistake!



I forgot to take a picture of the desserts! Our waiter brought out a sampler (full portions) all of them including tiramisu, cannolis, etc... delicious! 

We relaxed and wandered the ship again after lunch and eventually headed back to the cabin to get ready for our last formal evening... lobster night! 😀

Here is the menu...



I went with the French Onion soup for my appetizer and of course the Lobster tails for my main course! I cut my waiter, Kadek, off at four tails... my capacity this evening! LOL! They will remove the meat from the tail for you... the butter comes shortly after!





Baked Alaska for dessert.... yum!



My my wife told them it was my birthday for some reason... it’s a milestone one this year, but not until the end of NOV... don’t rush it! 



We we also got one of the RC 50th anniversary desserts...



After dinner we headed to the Headliner Show. Arrived 15 minutes before the show started (nice perk with the Key) and we were seated in the same reserved section as Sunday (Mamma Mia)... in the center, two rows behind what I believe is the sound booth. The act was the young Elvis impersonator, Travis Ledoyt. He was really good and played well off of the audience. 



After the Headliner show was over, we headed back to the cabin to change into our 20’s garb for the Prohibition Party held at Jazz on 4.

Once again, these were the invites we received the night before in our cabins...




We walked around a bit and had our pictures taken in front of the car in the Royal Promenade before heading to Jazz on 4 around 10:30 PM. They have you check in outside the club and give you a pin to wear inside. The MC of the event questions you and finally shows you a side entrance to the club.

Inside, they set the club up in a theater seating format and since we did not arrive early enough, we were stuck off to the side of the room in the second to last row. We were very disappointed that the seating was set up theater style instead of like a club with tables and chairs. When we watched some YouTube videos of other Prohibition parties on the Allure prior to our cruise, it appeared they were set up with tables and chairs. Maybe they sold too many tickets and could not configure the room that way? They offer you various drinks or “tea” served in white mugs... we were not big fans of the drinks. The hors d’oeuvres were not very appetizing either, but fortunately we were all still stuffed from the lobster dinner!

They bring out the jazz band and singer, which was very good, and the MC kicks off the event. Unfortunately, the MC was difficult to understand from where we were seated, especially since he had a thick accent. They call the guys to the dance floor and teach us some funny dance moves and then call the ladies up to teach them the basics as well. Maybe it was just us, but we were expecting more jazz music and dancing and less talk. The event seemed to drag on endlessly with lapses in music as they tried to create the atmosphere by telling a story. A lot of people got up and left early so we moved a little closer.

Bottom line, we enjoyed dressing up in the 20’s garb, but we will never do the Prohibition party again.

After the party, the ladies once again retired for the evening and the we headed for the casino for some more blackjack!

Next is Cozumel... Day 6!

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1 minute ago, Andrew72681 said:

Did the Apple crostata presentation have raisins? I hate them and they seem to sneak into every apple dessert. 

I don't recall having raisins in my dessert... hmmm... just that it wasn't a traditional slice of apple pie.

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17 hours ago, JohnK6404 said:

After the Headliner show was over, we headed back to the cabin to change into our 20’s garb for the Prohibition Party held at Jazz on 4.

How did you know to pack 20's themed attire pre-cruise? I have this same question for other themed nights in the MDR - I have seen a tropical shirt night and an all white clothing night, do they let you know ahead of time? 

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2 hours ago, DDaley said:

How did you know to pack 20's themed attire pre-cruise? I have this same question for other themed nights in the MDR - I have seen a tropical shirt night and an all white clothing night, do they let you know ahead of time? 

Hi @DDaley !

The themed nights in the MDR (Casual / White, Caribbean / Casual, etc.) appear in the Cruise Compass on the cover page (see bottom right corner in these pics under "Tonights Dinner Dress Code")...





Take a peak at this prior thread for info on the Prohibition party... it appears in the Cruise Planner under "Activities"... cost was $35 / person...


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2 hours ago, JohnK6404 said:

The themed nights in the MDR (Casual / White, Caribbean / Casual, etc.) appear in the Cruise Compass on the cover page

Thanks so much! I may have to pack an extra-tropical dress just in case! 

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... Day 6, FRI (5/24/19)... Cozumel, Mexico!

My wife and I got up early and headed down to the Central Park Cafe for a quick, simple breakfast. It wasn’t very busy, which was nice! From what I recall (prior to my first cup of coffee that is, LOL!), they converted the create your own salad area on the left side to a create your own bagel area... different cream cheeses, etc. As far as hot food options, they were serving ham, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches on English muffins and some sort of breakfast burrito. I believe they also had other continental breakfast items like cereal, fruit, etc.

They of course had the coffee, expresso, cappuccino, latte, etc., bar open... we also grabbed a nice blueberry muffin and fresh squeezed OJ from that station.

For whatever reason, we never received a special early departure time letter for Key members for this port. We were in no hurry anyway since we did not book an excursion once again. Our plan was to simply rent a car and explore the island on our own.

Just a couple of pics... I still cannot get over how HUGE and beautiful these Oasis class ships are! Only you would understand my excitement! 😎




Renting a car was so easy! At the end of the pier, there were a number of rental car agency representatives drumming up business. We followed one of the Alamo reps and rented a Jeep... we never opened the roof that day (the ladies did not want to fry in the sun) and enjoyed the air conditioning between stops. The Alamo rep provided us with a map, made some beach bar & restaurant recommendations for drinks and lunch, and explained that only half of Cozumel has paved roads and that we needed to stay on the pavement. 😝 

We stopped at this little establishment right on the beach. 


We ordered mojitos... they were by far the best mojitos we have ever had!

Don’t worry, we had a designated driver! 

Very labor intensive... he didn’t just muddle the mint leaves and lime, he crushed them effectively into a paste! No concentrated cartons of juice used here... all fresh squeezed fruit! I asked for permission to take a couple of pics...




Just some beach pics along the way... strange brown seaweed washing up on shore all over the island.




A shot of the two Carnival ships and the Allure in the distance... you can just make out the two whale tails from this distance!



Eventually, we stopped at Carlos ‘n Charlie’s for lunch (recommended to us by the Alamo rep)...








I had the fish tacos which were amazing! Grouper with all the typical fixings in soft corn tortillas... delicious!!!


Just some more random shots along the coast... a little more exploring before returning the rental and heading back to the ship...





I wandered around the ship a bit before dinner... took a few shots of Central Park from one of the observation balconies on Deck 9...






OK... now we’re off to dinner... here’s FRI evening’s menu:



... a quick shot taken during dinner from our table of one of the Carnival ships off of our port side also leaving Cozumel...



Tonight I had the Tomato soup and tried the Asian Style Pork Tacos... soup good... tacos not very good (they’re in a bun, not a tortilla shell)...




My entree was the Garlic Tiger Shrimp... tasty, but not memorable... maybe I’m just at full capacity and suffering from food overload!



I had the Cherries Jubilee for dessert... I requested the regular vanilla ice cream instead of the no sugar added. Forgot to take a pic... I liked it.

After dinner we decided to skip the comedy show. The ladies went back to the cabins and we tried our luck once again at the blackjack tables.

Almost there! Last full day of cruise (sea day) next!

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4 hours ago, StayFrosty said:

How'd the casino treat you during your trip?  Do anything other than blackjack?

I really enjoy gambling on Royal's ships. The dealers have always been very friendly and are allowed, and more than willing, to give some advice (at least with blackjack). 

I wound up losing a little, but I had fun riding that wave. Thankfully I didn't start in the hole from the beginning of the cruise! I don't mind losing a little as long as I have fun doing it!

We mostly played single deck blackjack and stuck primarily to the $15 minimum tables (there is nothing lower in the evening for blackjack... the other tables were $25, $50 and $100 minimum). My friend tried some of the other games (roulette, three card poker, let it ride, etc.), but he too always found his way back to blackjack.

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... Day 7, SAT (5/25/19)... Last full day of cruise and a Sea day 😢

We all had breakfast once again at the Solarium Bistro. We kept it light as we made reservations at Izumi for lunch!

After breakfast, we headed to the Boardwalk to explore. Here are some pics...















Heading toward the Aqua Theater... you can just make out someone on the zipline!




Walking behind the theater...





Next we moved up to get a higher vantage point... once again, you can see the effect of the compromised azipod in the wake (to the left in this pic)... no noticeable impact on our cruise. The ship was actually cruising at 22.9 knts SAT evening after dinner for a period so she hasn't lost a step!




... on to Izumi for our last lunch... we sat on the restaurant side... everything is a la carte...



Complimentary Edamame...



We started with some delicious Shrimp Wonton Soup and Pork Gyoza Dumplings...




We ordered two rolls... Snow Crab California roll and a Surf and Turf roll... both delicious!



We love Japanese restaurants so we’ll be back! Maybe the hibachi next time!


After killing some time, we headed to the Amber Theater to see Blue Planet. With the Key, we were again seated in the center of the theater just behind the booth...



Maybe it was just us, but the show was a little disjointed. All of the performers were very talented, but the scenes seemed a little forced maybe? Not a very good flow. Now that we’ve seen it once, I don’t think we would see this show again.


Just a random shot of the walkway in the center of Central Park (zoomed in from our Deck 11 balcony earlier)... I guess you would call this a medallion or plaque?



The last dinner... I think we still have a little more room left... we're almost at full capacity! Here is the menu:



I had the Crispy Coconut Shrimp for my appetizer, the Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce for my entree, and the Pavlova for dessert. All very good.





A shot of the four of us with our awesome MDR team... Kadek (waiter) to the right, Oleksandr (asst. waiter) second from left, and Jose (beverage) in the back middle. We had this team all 7 evenings (My Time dining) and a great window table to boot!

Kadek is getting married in a few months after his current contract ends! Best of luck to him and his future bride!



We said our goodbyes and eventually made our way back to the cabin to finish packing... all checked bags needed to be tagged and in the hall by 11:00 PM.

We stayed in for the night and spent time on the balcony enjoying our last evening on Allure with our friends while listening to the musicians playing just below us in Central Park.

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Day 8, SUN (5/26/19).. Debarkation...

Final morning... we headed to our Key breakfast in the MDR on Deck 4 a little after 8:00 AM. We left our carry-ons outside the restaurant with the crew members. The restaurant was nice and quiet. There were a few tables in the restaurant, but they spread us out so we were not on top of each other.



I had the Royal VIP Signature with a side of sausage and fresh squeezed OJ (had to use that DBP one last time 😜).. really good! Going out in a blaze of glory!






After breakfast we were sent to the Champagne bar to wait for our escort off of the ship. After about 10 minutes or so, the crew member came back from escorting the last group to lead us out.



We received special Key luggage tags the night before to tag our luggage. Now we were led off the ship and through the terminal to our luggage which was in an area just for Key guests next to the Star class banners. Sorry I didn’t take pics. A porter loaded our bags and led us through the Star class (banner) line to the customs officer... we literally had no one in front of us and was led out of the terminal in about 5 minutes or so to the taxi. What a huge timesaver! Everyone else in the terminal had to wait on a very long, snaking line to get through customs.



Headed back to the Holiday Inn to pick up our friend’s car and then they dropped us off at the airport. We said our goodbyes for now.

I had already reserved a car for the day as our flight was not until after 6:00 PM. We decided to just drive up SR A1A along the coast, grabbed lunch, and finally headed back to drop the car off and head to the Southwest terminal.


I think she was calling us back... LOL!



What an amazing cruise! I’ll be back with final thoughts...

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16 minutes ago, JohnK6404 said:


I had the Royal VIP Signature

OMG! I had that also on Symphony...I think it was the best meal of the week except maybe for 150 CP. And the biggest portion! So good!

20 minutes ago, JohnK6404 said:

A porter loaded our bags and led us directly past the Star class banners to the customs officer... we literally had no one in front of us and was led out of the terminal in about 5 minutes or so to the taxi. What a huge timesaver! Everyone else in the terminal had to wait on a very long, snaking line to get through customs.

That was great perk! And in Port Miami they had facial recognition so we didn't even have to talk to an agent.

Glad you made it home safely. Great blog and review.

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40 minutes ago, hayley_bopp said:

Thanks so much for sharing your cruise. Can't believe I've been able to experience 2 live blogs from Allure since booking my cruise in her last month. 203 days and counting...

You’re very welcome! 203 days will be here before you know it!

We also booked way out (over a year) and that time flew by with the help of all the great people on this forum!

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3 hours ago, hayley_bopp said:

Thanks so much for sharing your cruise. Can't believe I've been able to experience 2 live blogs from Allure since booking my cruise in her last month. 203 days and counting...


2 hours ago, JohnK6404 said:

You’re very welcome! 203 days will be here before you know it!

We also booked way out (over a year) and that time flew by with the help of all the great people on this forum!

Yes, the time does go quickly...faster every year. But when I saw that our next one was 339 days away, I said naah, too long. So now we have one 141 days out. 

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