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Old 04-26-2012, 09:37 PM   #526
nenner1
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just wanted to let everyone know I have the next part ready to go but it's another crazy dance competition weekend for us....we'll be running from tomorrow afternoon until 11 PM Sunday night...nice relaxing weekend, right?...

If I get a chance to breathe (and post) I will get the next part up and be back to answer the questions ASAP!

Thanks!
Jen
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:21 PM   #527
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Originally Posted by nenner1 View Post
just wanted to let everyone know I have the next part ready to go but it's another crazy dance competition weekend for us....we'll be running from tomorrow afternoon until 11 PM Sunday night...nice relaxing weekend, right?...

If I get a chance to breathe (and post) I will get the next part up and be back to answer the questions ASAP!

Thanks!
Jen
I can not tell you how much I've enjoyed this trip report, thank you so much for writing it.

One thing that ruins a vacation for me is feeling "nickeled and dimed" did you get the sense?

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Old 04-27-2012, 09:49 PM   #528
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Door signs and such...

We are going on the Oasis this summer with both sets of grandparents--kids are actually staying with the Nana--whoo!! But I want to try to make it inclusive and feel like a real gathering even though we'll be in 3 rooms. If I was on DCL I'd have no worries about being "cutesy" and doing some door signs and a wipe board (I heard there are no wave phone equivalents on RCCL--just some sort of "iPhone" type thing you need to rent? Worried about all of us being in contact since I think we may be split up a bunch and as we age I notice the checking times/schedules gene gets a little faded!) but I wonder if that will look really odd on RCCL? Do people have wipe boards? Door signs?

Any suggestions? We're not the bunch who want to totally stand out, so I'd rather sort of stick with the norm and follow the RCCL culture! Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:53 PM   #529
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Speaking from a person that did a Carni cruise. We only saw a handful of other door decor. So it really helped us find our room cuz no one else had anything near us! lol. I say go for it, its not frowned upon just others dont do it. Just be ready to get anything on your wipe board, cuz after a few drinks you get people leaving their opinions thoughts etc.. Its kind of fun to come back to.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:28 PM   #530
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Originally Posted by hart6066 View Post
We are going on the Oasis this summer with both sets of grandparents--kids are actually staying with the Nana--whoo!! But I want to try to make it inclusive and feel like a real gathering even though we'll be in 3 rooms. If I was on DCL I'd have no worries about being "cutesy" and doing some door signs and a wipe board (I heard there are no wave phone equivalents on RCCL--just some sort of "iPhone" type thing you need to rent? Worried about all of us being in contact since I think we may be split up a bunch and as we age I notice the checking times/schedules gene gets a little faded!) but I wonder if that will look really odd on RCCL? Do people have wipe boards? Door signs?

Any suggestions? We're not the bunch who want to totally stand out, so I'd rather sort of stick with the norm and follow the RCCL culture! Thanks!
Didn't see any wipe boards, but we did see door signs on Mariner. Not a whole bunch but enough that it wouldn't make you look odd to have one
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:46 AM   #531
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nenner1 View Post
just wanted to let everyone know I have the next part ready to go but it's another crazy dance competition weekend for us....we'll be running from tomorrow afternoon until 11 PM Sunday night...nice relaxing weekend, right?...

If I get a chance to breathe (and post) I will get the next part up and be back to answer the questions ASAP!

Thanks!
Jen
Hope the competitions are going well. Our competition season ended a few weeks ago and the dance season will culminate in a big show in a couple of weeks. Looking forward to reading more about your adventures.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:06 PM   #532
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Thank you so much for posting this tr. Your photos and accounting of your trip are fabulous!

We were considering this ship because of the flowrider and the multitude of things to do that are not offerd on the Disney ships. I was a bit concerned about how kid friendly the ship would be. Personally, I like knowing all the Disney stage shows are ok for our little ones to see and I don't have to worry about how clothed the perfomers will be or the type of language that will be used. I can tell by your photos that this cruise would be a little too "Vegas" for our conservative "Disney" family. You have answered our question of whether we should try a different cruise line that offers the character experience. It is Disney for us.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:25 PM   #533
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Mmm....Pudding!

Saturday September 24 – Day 7 – At Sea

The final full day of our cruise has arrived. We awoke way too early, but we had to since we had the Madagascar Character Breakfast scheduled this morning.

At least it doesn’t say SUNDAY yet…..sigh……



We arrived early this time in hopes to avoid the huge lineup out front, and we were successful. Come to find out though, this Character Breakfast was much, much more lightly populated than the Shrek one earlier in the week. Not sure if the Shrek characters are just THAT much more popular or if it was a case of everybody wanting to book the “first” available option or a combo of both. (FYI there was also another Shrek Character Breakfast the day before. Not sure if they do it that way every cruise with 2 Shrek and 1 Madagascar, but that’s how they did it on ours.)

Unfortunately at this time there is no way to know prior to the cruise which of the characters will be at that particular breakfast that you book, because they do not seem to follow a set routine from cruise to cruise.

We were seated immediately and right away noticed there were maybe half as many people in attendance this time. It was a much better overall experience- it moved much faster and service was much, much better.

It didn’t take us long to realize our server was Leslie from Jamaica- whose section in MTD we had sat in several nights earlier. We already knew service was going to be good but when we got a pastry plate with PUDDING on it, well does it gets any better than that?!?!?


Pudding for breakfast?!?!? I love you Leslie from Jamaica!



It was technically a Black Forest parfait- part of the chocolate breakfast menu. It was really good too!!!

We had barely been seated and Alex came out, doing his dance:
(Video: Click picture to play)



And of course, what else would you have to go with chocolate pudding for breakfast but CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKES!!!



You can see there are quite a few empty tables around. The last breakfast was PACKED full.

Our food was out super fast – and THIS time I got my bacon.



And..what else? They wouldn't have it any other way.


The food was similar to last time, pretty good- not great. The waffles were on the soft side and my bacon was soggy. The boys loved the omelets though.







And it was time for Alex!





Oh no, Alex’s dirty little secret- male pattern baldness!



We liked this table location better too. Although we were quite far away from the character dance intros- at least they faced us. And we saw all of the characters in order this time too, not a big deal if you don’t, but it was just easier to keep track of who we had and hadn’t seen and who was where.

It moved so fast that the characters were almost on top of each other…



Literally…..



After Gloria and her wide load let Alex pass, she came to meet us!





Sarah’s hug- aww!



Gloria had a huge crush on Brendan, much to his dismay.



And right behind her was King Julien!



Bad! King Julien! Put my child down!



After breakfast, we strolled through the still mostly empty Promenade. Where is everyone?



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Old 05-13-2012, 03:28 PM   #534
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Alone Again, Naturally

And headed up to the pools/Flowriders. Savannah went to the club to hang out with her friends. The boys went surfing, and Sarah and I went to “her place”.



And we were the ONLY ones there for well more than an HOUR!!!











Ok, I know it was quite overcast this day. It was still very warm out, and not raining. Could not fathom where all the crowds were (in bed, maybe?). Suffice it to say we did not have ANY issues with crowds onboard at all and felt that the ship was large enough to distribute everyone quite well.

Even so, this has to be an anomaly….right????



Here is a good look at the Baby Splash Zone- it is this walled off semi-circular area with the two sprayers. We did see Deck Patrol doing an excellent job of keeping the diapered children in and the non-diapered ones out. They were very nice about it, even though we saw a few passengers/parents get upset that they didn’t understand why swim diapers could not go in the main H20 zone. Many did not speak English, or at least tried to use that as an excuse. It didn’t work, BTW.









Sarah almost liked the regular shower as much as the spray/showers in the H20 zone.



Empty chairs everywhere. Empty everything.



A look down into Central Park, also quiet down there.





For those curious, this picture was taken at 11:05 AM !!!!!! On a boat carrying 6300 people!



I am beginning to wonder if most of the passengers were left behind in St. Maarten…








See, there is some blue sky peeking out. It wasn’t an ugly day by any means. It was still like 87 degrees out. LOL,

Now, we didn’t realize it at the time, but we were traveling through the outskirts of Tropical Storm Ophelia at that time, so that was the reason for the cloudy skies and the high seas. There was plenty of rocking going on today, as you can see it made taking pictures difficult at times!



Not even a line at the ice cream machine?!?!? GET OUT!



Up close and personal:



This one was strawberry and vanilla- the one Port side had chocolate and vanilla. Wipeout Café (if you can ever catch it open) also has all 3 flavors.



Up Next: Let YOU Entertain ME!
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:46 PM   #535
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wow I am shocked by the emptiness. Unheard of! Not even towels on chairs by the chair hoggers. wow! Looks like the character breakfast was relaxing since you didnt have a lot of people there either. If its any consolation the waffles look yummy but maybe cuz Im just starving LOL
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:24 PM   #536
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Fantasy takes on the Allure

Just back from our first Disney cruise on the Fantasy and finally have the experience to weigh in on this thread. We were on the Allure last year after waiting too long to book to secure main seating on the Dream.

I have to say that if you want to do something Disney that is more laid back than the parks, a cruise is great. If you want to go on a cruise and are considering Disney because you know and love what they do, go on the Allure (it pains me to type that).

The Disney cruise was very nice. The boat was beautiful and the shows and entertainment where very "Disney". The pool area was too small, even with 3,500 passengers (a full ship is over 4,000). The Mickey pool as just knee deep, and the Donald pool was over 5ft. It didn't give an older child that wasn't a strong swimmer a place to really play (not that you can do much swimming in a pool that size that as 30 people in it). The food was comparable to other cruise lines that I have been on, as was the service. That is really the part where I felt let down. I had read about and was expecting the Disney Difference and didn't really feel it. I did enjoy the different dining rooms, a great concept that the other mega ships should consider. Also, the shows in Animator's Palate were a huge hit. Our kids (boys, 6 and 8) went to the kids club once and didn't care to go back. They are a bit on the shy side, so take that with a grain of salt.

On the Allure, the ship was overwhelming. Massive and well themed. The shows were phenomenal, we were truly wowed. The dining room food and service was comparable to Disney, though there where more options outside of the main dining rooms and those options were open later (at 11PM on Disney the only option was ice cream, cookies or pizza). The pool/water play area was great with water guns and sprayers. There were multiple pools and we always felt as though there was enough room. My kids went to the kids club in the evening several nights without a complaint. In an 8 year olds opinion the counselors weren't as nice as those on the Fantasy, however, we never had an issue getting either of the boys to stay and they always seemed to have fun. Outside of the areas that are comparable, the Allure has a ton more to do...Rock Climbing walls, Flow riders, Carousel, zip line, iceskating...

To follow the initial theme of the thread and make a points comparision, Disney would lose before the game ended due to the mercy rule....

Sorry Mickey, we will see you at the parks in a few years, you can keep your boat!
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:26 PM   #537
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Thanks for your response. Kind of what I thought after reading reports albeit not popular. Thanks tor weighing in.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:24 PM   #538
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Just back from our first Disney cruise on the Fantasy and finally have the experience to weigh in on this thread. We were on the Allure last year after waiting too long to book to secure main seating on the Dream.

I have to say that if you want to do something Disney that is more laid back than the parks, a cruise is great. If you want to go on a cruise and are considering Disney because you know and love what they do, go on the Allure (it pains me to type that).

The Disney cruise was very nice. The boat was beautiful and the shows and entertainment where very "Disney". The pool area was too small, even with 3,500 passengers (a full ship is over 4,000). The Mickey pool as just knee deep, and the Donald pool was over 5ft. It didn't give an older child that wasn't a strong swimmer a place to really play (not that you can do much swimming in a pool that size that as 30 people in it). The food was comparable to other cruise lines that I have been on, as was the service. That is really the part where I felt let down. I had read about and was expecting the Disney Difference and didn't really feel it. I did enjoy the different dining rooms, a great concept that the other mega ships should consider. Also, the shows in Animator's Palate were a huge hit. Our kids (boys, 6 and 8) went to the kids club once and didn't care to go back. They are a bit on the shy side, so take that with a grain of salt.

On the Allure, the ship was overwhelming. Massive and well themed. The shows were phenomenal, we were truly wowed. The dining room food and service was comparable to Disney, though there where more options outside of the main dining rooms and those options were open later (at 11PM on Disney the only option was ice cream, cookies or pizza). The pool/water play area was great with water guns and sprayers. There were multiple pools and we always felt as though there was enough room. My kids went to the kids club in the evening several nights without a complaint. In an 8 year olds opinion the counselors weren't as nice as those on the Fantasy, however, we never had an issue getting either of the boys to stay and they always seemed to have fun. Outside of the areas that are comparable, the Allure has a ton more to do...Rock Climbing walls, Flow riders, Carousel, zip line, iceskating...

To follow the initial theme of the thread and make a points comparision, Disney would lose before the game ended due to the mercy rule....

Sorry Mickey, we will see you at the parks in a few years, you can keep your boat!
You're right Mickey would have been mercy ruled... Honestly though, I still enjoy cruising Disney. I'm really looking forward to trying out the Fantasy in September! My expectations are not that high since I've cruised Disney a few times. We've already booked the Allure again for September 2013 and I do have very high expectations!!!! The Allure can not be beat in my opinion.


Ron
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:46 AM   #539
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Suffice it to say we did not have ANY issues with crowds onboard at all and felt that the ship was large enough to distribute everyone quite well.
This statement, along with your great pics, may have convinced me to eventually try a cruise on either Allure or Oasis. I was afraid that Mariner would be crowded before I took my cruise but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't an issue. I could always find a table in any lounge or bar area and only had a problem getting a table in the WJ once during breakfast (made the mistake of going during peak hours. Normally I'm an early riser and eater). The Promenade never felt overly crowded even during activities or the $10 sales.

I've since read that crowd management and flow is one area where RCCL excels. I had thought that with the sheer number of people on Allure that it would be non-stop crowds the entire cruise.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:10 AM   #540
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Is the chocolate breakfast only at character meals?

I'm on the fence about doing the character breakfasts--DS10 and DD7 INSIST we do a princess (for DD) and Mickey meal (for both!) while at Disney, they really are not as into seeing the Dream Works characters. I think it might be fun for the grandparents we go with, and that chocolate themed breakfast would be a HUGE hit, but I'm not sure if I want to deal with such an early time or the potential crowds. Can you do the res once on board (we will be going in July so it will probably be crowded) and know the characters--they would really only have in interest in Madagascar ones? Can we get the chocolate breakfast just by going to MDR for breakfast on certain days--are some of the MDR breakfasts billed as "chocolate breakfast" today? Thanks!
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