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Old 10-07-2011, 09:52 AM   #91
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Wow the inside of that ship really does look like a mall.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:56 PM   #92
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this is great. I've given up doing my TR to read yours!

Question on stuff you have to pay for...like starbucks. Are the prices reasonable...or are you paying normal starbucks prices for starbucks drinks...ie...is it cheap because you are on a cruise, or still the $5 for a Venti Mocha Frap. Cause that's what I'd be drinkin'!

Just curious, keep up the great work!

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Old 10-07-2011, 02:36 PM   #93
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Ohmigosh, that ship is awesome - I love, love, love the moving bar - it's a bar and a ride, a ride and a bar - you can drink and ride

If you are still stalking me tony64 (and I know you are) we so need to get us a trip on this ship - I'll work on Tee, you get Gary on side
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:47 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by DisneyZell View Post
this is great. I've given up doing my TR to read yours!

Question on stuff you have to pay for...like starbucks. Are the prices reasonable...or are you paying normal starbucks prices for starbucks drinks...ie...is it cheap because you are on a cruise, or still the $5 for a Venti Mocha Frap. Cause that's what I'd be drinkin'!

Just curious, keep up the great work!

DZ
The prices for Starbucks were exactly what they cost here in Tampa, FL. I believe it was something like $4.85 for a venti Java Chip Frap. They do take Starbucks gift cards too!

Ron
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:54 PM   #95
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Love the report so far. That ship is impressive! It makes me want to branch out and try RCCL.....
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:55 PM   #96
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I'm really enjoying your TR. As someone fairly objective (I have not been on a DCL or RC cruise) who is taking his first DCL cruise in January, isn't the ship like a cross between a floating Mall of America and Las Vegas? I have taken cruises in the past, and part of the enjoyment was to meet people, develop rapport with staff, see them again and have more intimate memories?

It just seems like the charm of cruising gets lost with ships like this.

Just my 2 cents -- I love the pics tho!
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:10 PM   #97
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Hi nenner1! I found you! I've been reading and commenting on your fantastic review over on Cruise Critic. We've been waiting for the next installment so I came over here looking for you.

I've got a different screen name over there.
I was the one drooling over the Johnny Rocket milkshakes.
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:15 AM   #98
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Mile-high, pastrami on rye, on the fly from the deli in the sky!

OK, so we aren't headed for the sky just yet (Don't worry...we'll get there!). Where we are going is Deck 8. Spanning the entire forward and midship sections of the boat- and wide open to the blue skies above is something completely innovative: Central Park.























Central Park, aside from being a calm oasis complete with piped in bird (daytime) and cricket sounds (nighttime), is also home to the upscale specialty restaurants and shops onboard.

Giovanni's Table (specialty Italian Restaurant)




150 Central Park (upscale signature dining venue with seasonal tasting menu)





Chops Grille (specialty steakhouse)



Vintages (wine and tapas bar)



Romero Britto Art Gallery:



And where to find your lady if she is lost onboard guys..the Coach store:



It is also home to one of the best and most popular inclusive restaurants on the ship: Park Cafe.





What makes Park Cafe so popular are two things: it's amazing Create-Your-Own Salad Bar:





And the worlds most delicious Roast Beef Sandwich!





**Continued**
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:10 AM   #99
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Mile-high, pastrami on rye, on the fly from the deli in the sky! (Part 2)

Park Cafe was already very busy- and let me tell you, the secret is out about this place. Widely known as the place to go immediately upon boarding for a delicious lunch, It was packed-all day, every day-for the entire week! Be prepared for a wait and some chaos when you go there, but remember the payoff is worth it:

World’s Best Roast Beef Sandwich! Juicy, succulent hand carved roast beef, served with a dash of au-jus on the crispy bakery kaiser roll dusted with sea salt:








The sandwiches were just fantastic. We all loved them, even me and this roast beef was way too rare for my usual taste.

It was super-duper hot in Central Park (seating was hard to come by, especially inside the restaurant), so we didn’t linger. We then headed inside, called Samba Grill back and got our ressie squared away, and could now fully sit back, relax, and enjoy the ship!

Where are we going? When you need help figuring out directions or what to do onboard, Allure has so many ways to help you:

Need a visual? There are these glass ship map/menus in many of the public locations. It's pretty, if a bit tedious.



One of the more innovative features onboard is the electronic signage. Something akin to a gigantic ipod- these touch screen maps found in elevator lobbies and other locations are not just good for step-by-step directions, they also have the full daily Compass (activity list and times guide similar to the Navigator on DCL), kids club Compasses, and other items of note onboard. They do everything but take you there, basically!





There are smaller versions of this in select locations as well. They all have the same capabilities.



One of the super cool features is the real-time restaurant seating availibility guides. Want to know if the restaurant you want to go to is crowded or not? This will supposedly tell you:



But....we found it less than accurate. The pattern was they consistently over estimated busy-ness of the Windjammer buffet, and under-estimated the crowds in Park Cafe. We didn't use it much. (We used it so little in fact, I had to snag this pic from the RCCL site. LOL)

So...where to go, what to do. We were biding our time a bit until the staterooms opened at 1 PM and we could go drop off our carry-ons. We decided to head up topside and check out our favorite place to hang on a cruise: the pool deck.

Allure has 6 pools onboard and all are relatively large by cruise-ship standards.

There is the Main Pool that has the stadium seating:



The Sports Pool where all of the games and activities take place:



The adults-only Solarium Pool, complete with jets and a cooling mister spray:



The very popular faux zero-entry Beach Pool, which is the only salt water pool onboard:



And the kids' H20 zone has two pools, a regular pool:



And the 'pies de resistance': the "Lazy River" or as I like to call it- the donut pool.



There are numerous hot tubs onboard. The regular variety:



And then the absolutely awesome cantilevered whirlpools that hang out over the side of the ship so the view is straight down to the ocean:




We explored the pool deck, there were not many people out yet!



First Ice Cream! (free soft-serve is available on the pool deck and also in the Wipeout Cafe near the Flowriders.)





Eat your heart out, chair hogs!




It was someone’s bright idea to make a stop into the Windjammer for more snackage. I did not really relish fighting the crowds in here, but it was actually relatively easy to find a table. Yes, it was quite busy but we managed to find what we were looking for with relative ease. Another boarding-the-ship tradition, Honey Stung Chicken:



It was NOT as good as we have previously had on Independence of the Seas. It resembled a frozen chicken breast sandwich patty- a texture I did not really care for. I remember it being actual chicken meat on Indy, not that processed piecemeal stuff. Oh well. The kids were happy:







And again, I nearly forgot the scores.

Central Park- well, Mickey really has nothing to compare it to. It was absolutely my favorite place to chill on the ship. Just outstanding.

Shrek-2
Mickey-0

Pool Deck- a real sore spot for me. Mickey..I love ya to death but the pools on the new ships are just impossibly small. You could have done way better.

Shrek-2
Mickey-0

Total:

Shrek-12
Mickey-9

Up Next: The Highest Room in the Tallest Tower
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:00 AM   #100
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Wow, I think I love the Central Park idea...
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:01 AM   #101
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Hmmm....will they slice an end on the roast beef, or heat it up a bit to cook it a bit more? My meat cannot be mooing, nor can I detect a heartbeat before I eat it!

Your pictures are fabulous! How difficult is it to walk through the chairs in the stadium seating section by the pool? It looks like those upper tiers might be a tight squeeze.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:13 AM   #102
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Hmmm....will they slice an end on the roast beef, or heat it up a bit to cook it a bit more? My meat cannot be mooing, nor can I detect a heartbeat before I eat it!
I'm the complete opposite, I want them to hold it in their hand and walk by fire Those sandwiches look incredible!
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:26 AM   #103
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I am liken this report better the the CC one!!!! More fun!
They are a little more reserved over there.
LOL yea, it's a different atmosphere. I do restrain myself over there just a tad, since my flame suit isn't totally fire retardent. And the tiniest little things can cause the biggest blowups in that part of town. But so far it's been awesome. I totally recommend you stick with this one though, it's the better of the two. I let my hair down a whole lot over here. Plus I have Dis-exclusive content!

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Originally Posted by Jathanis View Post
Definitely subbing this one - needed a good read to decide if the next cruise was on the Dream/Fantasy, or if I could talk DW into one of these monster ships!

(BTW, you had me at the Duloc bit!)
Thanks so much! Our next cruise actually is on the Fantasy. I think the experiences are so different you will have to do both! LOL!

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Originally Posted by knewton64 View Post


Getting caught up -




T.T.F.N.
Hey there Kris! How's it goin'? So glad to have you onboard!!

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Originally Posted by Fastpaks View Post
So how many batteries did you take? Or did you try rechargeable again... Dark side of the moon... made me LOL. I swear it took me back to my childhood... I miss living in Fl at times.
Haha! Oh we did have battery issues again. In fact we even had camera issues. Funny story.

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Originally Posted by karajeboo View Post
OK, here's how sad I am. I found this a couple of months ago - there were two episodes that I DVR'd - this one on the Oasis that is incredible, and another on the QM2 Transatlantic. Yes, I DVR'd them and watch them over and over..... And I want to go on a Transatlantic crossing now....
Ooh! I have not yet seen the one on the QM2 yet! In fact we haven't seen the DCL show since getting our new DVR (blew up the old one). I don't think they have updated it to include the Dream yet, though, have they? Or...well..I know they filmed for it, and a Samantha Brown seggie too but I have yet to have seen any of it. C'mon Travel Channel- enough with the Anthony Bourdain already.

We saw one of the ladies from the Oasis show in the terminal. She was one of the ones that ran patrol on our little pen and released us for boarding.

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Originally Posted by morgansmom2000 View Post
Um, as far as I can see he has computer access too! Where's his TR?
LMAO- no kidding!!

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Glad to have you onboard with us!!

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Originally Posted by DisneyZell View Post
We have talked the last couple of years about trying the huge ships from RC. So I look forward to seeing how the trip goes and all the juicy details. You take great pics! Keep up the good work.

DZ
Thanks so much for reading! I think you'll find this very interesting, and hopefully informative!!

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Originally Posted by livingis2me View Post
Uh oh Mickey....

Love the promanade!
Ron
It gets hard...some things on this ship are so unique it is really not fair to compare to DCL. But then again that could go both ways...

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Originally Posted by karajeboo View Post
Shut the front door!!!! A bar. And a ride. Together? It's like peanut butter and jelly, Shrek and Fiona, why it's even like peas and carrots! Run Kara Run!!!!

I. Must. Take. This. Cruise!!!! Just for the bar ride!!!!!!
Yep!!!!! "Dis Moms 6: Stop the Bar, I Want to Get Off." Coming soon to a TR board near you!!!

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Originally Posted by dvc4life View Post
Wow that looks like one massive ship! Actually, it doesn't even look like you are on a ship at all. I couldn't even imagine what it was like to be there.

Looking forward to more!
Yep, it is way easy to forget you are actually floating on the ocean sometimes. it was really awesome though!!!

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Originally Posted by UGAFan0829 View Post
I have to say that I am totally wow'ed right now. I never in a million years thought I would ever want to cruise on any line but DCL, but I believe you may have changed that! I think the fact that Starbucks is on board may have something to do with it! Oh, and cupcakes!

I really, really can't wait for more!
Ah, yes, and they are right there near eachother. It is my downfall as well.

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Originally Posted by morgansmom2000 View Post
Ahhhhh, Starbucks would probably get me on board
And waaaay more convenient to just run downstairs than getting dressed, in the car, driving, going in (our closest S*bux doesn't have a drive through-grrrr-) and waiting. The lines were never even really that bad either!!! Of course the 5 grand cover charge....well.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by narsibvl View Post
Time to rig the poll !! Sorry it is the Disney fan in me speaking, not me !!!!
LO, there may indeed need to be some rigging involved. It is hard since I have not experienced the new DCL ships yet, so I am basing some of the comparisons on what I have read on the Dream, and some on what I have experienced on the Magic/Wonder. But like I also said above sometimes it is had to even compare some things that have no equivalent on DCL...like Central Park for example.

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Originally Posted by tinkmom2 View Post
That bar looks so cool!
It does! it's almost more fun to look at than to ride though- the ride is over quick!!

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Originally Posted by tony64 View Post
Wow the inside of that ship really does look like a mall.
Yep, the promenade absolutely does. It's only the tip of the iceberg though!!

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Originally Posted by DisneyZell View Post
this is great. I've given up doing my TR to read yours!
LOL, nooo! Don't do that!!!

Quote:
Question on stuff you have to pay for...like starbucks. Are the prices reasonable...or are you paying normal starbucks prices for starbucks drinks...ie...is it cheap because you are on a cruise, or still the $5 for a Venti Mocha Frap. Cause that's what I'd be drinkin'!

Just curious, keep up the great work!

DZ
Thanks so much for reading! Starbucks, like Ron mentioned above has pricing exactly like on land. So yeah...pricey for what it is I guess but I pay for it at home so I didn't have much problem paying for it at sea. the cupcakes- IMO are very reasonably priced. $2.75 for a pretty big cupcake- that took two sittings-even for me the self-proclaimed cupcake queen-to eat. they are very rich and decadent and WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!

A lot of people don't like the "nickel and diming" on RCCL in general and Allure and Oasis specifically. I look at it this way, If I want it bad enough I am willing to pay for it, and if it's worth it to me, then no bubbles no troubles. Some folks don't want to pay extra for coffee and cake. And they don't have to! There are still perfectly good free coffee and cake options available! So I just pad my budget going in, knowing that I will want to take advantage of some of the premium coffee and specialty dining options.

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Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Ohmigosh, that ship is awesome - I love, love, love the moving bar - it's a bar and a ride, a ride and a bar - you can drink and ride

If you are still stalking me tony64 (and I know you are) we so need to get us a trip on this ship - I'll work on Tee, you get Gary on side
Yeah an few drinks and you won't know if you are coming or going...wait...it didn't take a few drinks even...LOL! And of course the signature bar has to have a signature drink! More on that coming up later!!!

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Originally Posted by PrincessTrisha View Post
Love the report so far. That ship is impressive! It makes me want to branch out and try RCCL.....
Trisha, it really is a marvel. In some ways just undescribable. I think you and your folks would really, really love it!!!

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Originally Posted by travispete View Post
I'm really enjoying your TR. As someone fairly objective (I have not been on a DCL or RC cruise) who is taking his first DCL cruise in January, isn't the ship like a cross between a floating Mall of America and Las Vegas? I have taken cruises in the past, and part of the enjoyment was to meet people, develop rapport with staff, see them again and have more intimate memories?

It just seems like the charm of cruising gets lost with ships like this.

Just my 2 cents -- I love the pics tho!
Thanks so much for reading. I absolutely know what you are saying. I have never been to Vegas, but going by just what I know of it...flashy...exciting....never sleeps...yeah for sure that describes the Allure. But there is so much more too. Going in we expected big, but we were delighted to discover that it wasn't missing the personal experience too. Just like on our smaller cruises we chatted with some very friendly people and met some great folks on excursions and just onboard and saw them frequently as the cruise went on. In fact the very first night we met a lady and her kids and our kids and her kids became good friends and our daughters still text each other! So there is still the opportunity to have those experiences...it's like I like to say..different, but the same!

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Hi nenner1! I found you! I've been reading and commenting on your fantastic review over on Cruise Critic. We've been waiting for the next installment so I came over here looking for you.

I've got a different screen name over there.
I was the one drooling over the Johnny Rocket milkshakes.
So glad to have you join me over here too!! That one may be further along but I think you'll prefer this one. It will have exclusive content!! And I will share some things over here that I wouldn't dare bring up over there for fear of flaming. Like the anti-smoke farting attack. Oh yes.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:38 AM   #104
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Wow, I think I love the Central Park idea...
Oh, it's just awesome. It was THE BEST place to just sit and chill....especially at night all lit up, just gawgeous!!! The biggest problem was it was just so hot in there during the day. You do get a little of the breeze in but it can get quite toasty. It was September, though, of course....hee hee

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Hmmm....will they slice an end on the roast beef, or heat it up a bit to cook it a bit more? My meat cannot be mooing, nor can I detect a heartbeat before I eat it!
Oh I am with you...I like well-done. The sandwich the first day was way too rare for me...BUT..

YES you can specify you want well done beef or an end cut. If they have it available for you they will give it to you right there. If not, they will get it for you and you will get a little number to take to your table and they will bring your sandwich out for you. I didn't even try to ask the first day because it was sooo busy, but later in the week I got one with med-well beef and it was still so tender and juicy and flavorful!!!

Quote:
Your pictures are fabulous! How difficult is it to walk through the chairs in the stadium seating section by the pool? It looks like those upper tiers might be a tight squeeze.
Yes, it does give the impression that it is tight but there is just as much room to walk there (2 feet or so) as there is down on the main level. The waiters are always coming and going with drink trays so you don't have to get up too much!!

We never had problems getting chairs on this cruise. Even on a Sea Day at the Beach pool. Not much hogging going on, and Pool Patrol really seemed on top of things!

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Originally Posted by morgansmom2000 View Post
I'm the complete opposite, I want them to hold it in their hand and walk by fire Those sandwiches look incredible!
Oh they were good!!! Normally I won't touch the mooing meat, I scarfed it right up...delish!!!!!
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:02 AM   #105
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So glad to have you join me over here too!! That one may be further along but I think you'll prefer this one. It will have exclusive content!! And I will share some things over here that I wouldn't dare bring up over there for fear of flaming. Like the anti-smoke farting attack. Oh yes.
Yes, I think I'll stay with this one. It just feels better over here!

I mentioned it over "there" but we have been on the Wonder, Magic and in May we went on the Dream. Loved it! One thing RCCL doesn't have is the AquaDuck!! I am just not into the Shrek characters at all - didn't even see all the movies. (It is just dh and myself - no kids.) We have been on the Voyager and the Explorer and we are going on the Oasis for Thanksgiving 2011 and we have the Fantasy booked for Thanksgiving 2012. We are looking to book something in March 2012 but haven't decided on which ship yet. Depends on how the Oasis goes - we may book the Allure. I've read that the Oasis/Allure don't feel like ships as you hardly see the water - so I am worried about that. I think we'll either love the Oasis or hate it! We live in South Florida so it is really convenient for cruising.

Thanks for the wonderful review(S)!
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