Hello DCL fans and fellow cruisers! This thread will be a "comparison" Trip Report detailing our recent experience aboard the world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas. For those of you who aren't aware, in the last few years Royal Caribbean has taken a direct shot at attracting the Disney Cruise Line demographic by introducing "The Dreamworks Experience" on its' newest Mega Ships, Allure and Oasis. Due to the very positive reception it received, they are now expanding it to the popular Freedom class and beyond. This includes some of the wonderful offerings that had previously made DCL a unique cruising experience like Character Meet & Greets, Character Meals, Themed Shows and Movies, an in-room Dreamworks movie channel, and much more. Of course they don't have Mickey, but they do have Shrek, and as loyal Castaway Club members we were curious, not only to see this amazing marvel of architecture but to see if Royal Caribbean can in any way come close to the now classic Disney Cruise Line experience. The amazing Allure of the Seas: If you are not familiar with me, or my trip reports, I'll go back in time a bit and share the experience that makes me qualified to make this comparison. My name is Jen. my husband Ron and I are in our late 30's. We have 3 children: Brendan is 11 (Almost 12), Savannah is 10, and Sarah (who is obsessed with DCL and Mickey and Minnie Mouse) is 3. We are big Disney fans, and visit the WDW resort multiple times per year. We are also Gold Castaway Club members, and have been on 4 DCL cruises (2 on the Wonder, 2 on the Magic), with our fifth scheduled for the Fantasy next year (which we are so excited about)! We have also been on one previous Royal Caribbean cruise, aboard Independence of the Seas, which is a Freedom class ship. When we sailed Independence in 2010, the Dreamworks experience had not yet been introduced on RCCL ships, so we can also compare the how-it-is-now to the how-it-used-to-be on RCCL. Here is a pic of us from our last cruise aboard the Magic- Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Cruise 2010: There is so much to share about this cruise, its' similarities to DCL, its' differences, the things that can't measure up, and the things they do better. It highlights an opportunity to try something so different, yet so familiar. I will steal a little rating system from my good friend and fellow Diser Drea (anewmac) and issue/subtract points for each cruise line for positive and negative aspects of both cruise lines as we compare and contrast the amazing character experience and other features too! Sure, the score at the end will signify a winner and a loser overall, but there is so much to learn about, only you can be the judge for yourself and your family. To butcher the famous quote: With great knowledge comes great power. Hopefully I can provide the knowledge and a little entertainment too, to help you determine if this is the right cruise for you. I hope you'll enjoy it! So what are you waiting for? Let's get Cruising!!! Table of Contents: Introduction-------->YOU ARE HERE! Swamp or Castle- Comparisons and Accommodations I'm On My Way The Dark Side of the Moon- Part 1 The Dark Side of the Moon- Part 2 Stupid Is As Stupid Eats! Welcome To Duloc! Sure it's big enough...but look at the location.... Sure it's big enough...but look at the location.... (Part 2) Mile-high, Pastrami on Rye, on the Fly from the Deli in the Sky! Mile-high, Pastrami on Rye, on the Fly from the Deli in the Sky! (Part 2) The Highest Room in the Tallest Tower The Highest Room in the Tallest Tower (Part 2) ...But Have You Ever Seen a Donkey Fly? Operation Tourist Trap is a Go! Team Alpha Super Awesome Cool Dynamite Wolf Squadron Team Alpha Super Awesome Cool Dynamite Wolf Squadron (Part 2) Holy Frijoles! Fiesta! Tequila! Ole! Holy Frijoles! Fiesta! Tequila! Ole! (Part 2) A Knight To Remember A Knight To Remember (Part 2) Attack of the Killer Halved Grilled Tomatoes - Episode I Who Takes a Billion Dollar Ship to a Garage Sale Anyway? Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting it It's Not Disney, But it is on Ice It's Not Disney, But it is on Ice (Part 2) You Keep The Tour Groups, We'll Have the Steak! You Keep the Tour Groups, We'll Have the Steak! (Part 2) The Stuff We Did, and the Stuff We Didn't The Stuff We Did, and the Stuff We Didn't (Part 2) The Stuff We Did, and the Stuff We Didn't (Part 3) To Infinity, and Beyond! Feed Me - If You Dare! Feed Me - If You Dare! (Part 2) Johnny Rocks-In-My-Stomach Eat A Treat, Move Your Feet! Splash! Splash! (Part 2) Splash! (Part 3) A Pirate's Life For Us! A Pirate's Life For Us! (Part 2) Hang Ten, Gain Ten Chop Chop at Chops (More) Close Encounters of the Weird Kind Captain Alan's Wild Ride Captain Alan's Wild Ride (Part 2) Captain Alan's Wild Ride (Part 3) Giovanni And His Tables Giovanni And His Tables (Part 2) Because I'm All Alone How To Train Your....Pineapples? The Hurt Box Rock Wall, Rock Lobster, Cakes, Skates, Allure Glass Cleaning, and Disco Balls-Huh? Part 1 Rock Wall, Rock Lobster, Cakes, Skates, Allure Glass Cleaning, and Disco Balls-Huh? Part 2 Rock Wall, Rock Lobster, Cakes, Skates, Allure Glass Cleaning, and Disco Balls-huh? Part 3 The Mob Move It, Move it...and YOU THERE, MOVE IT! The Last Supper It's My Bag! That's it! It's Done! Complete! Finished! Woohoo!