Shrek Takes On Mickey: The Dreamworks Experience Aboard Allure of the Seas 9/18-25

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by nenner1, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. KashasMom

    KashasMom DIS Veteran

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    Wow, thanks for a wonderful, thorough TR! I am so surprised to see in most of your photos that the ship hardly looks crowded at all. I think the presumed crowds are what everyone fears. Will definitely look to book the Allure!
     
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  3. cyclenut

    cyclenut DIS Veteran

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    We just finished our cruise aboard the Freedom last week and I was quite surprised at how similar this ship was to Allure and Oasis. No, it doesn't have the central park and there are fewer dining options, but only by a slim margin. We also didn't have an aqua theater. That was about it. We were super impressed by RCCL and the Freedom. We had an absolutely amazing experience. Thanks for taking the time to make all of your posts. Following your thread mad sailing the Freedom more familiar and for me, that was a good thing.

    We will be on the Wonder again in September. I can't come close to your excellent report, but I intend to give a report with as an adult traveling without kids. That seems to be a common question on the DIS. While the Wonder is a smaller ship and won't be the same comparison as the Freedom, I think some things should be comparable.
     
  4. BensDaddy

    BensDaddy Graduate of Goofy's Flight School

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    Terrific review and much appreciated. We just booked our 2nd cruise on Dream and now I'm having second thoughts.
     
  5. anewmac

    anewmac Ive got nothing planned whats an OCVP to do?

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    ohh cant wait to see it!
     
  6. Floridagram

    Floridagram DIS Veteran

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    Savannah is quite a dancer! I guess some people just have natural talent!

    Do you usually cruise this time of the year? We usually go in May to avoid the dreaded hurricane season. We went on the Fantasy in May with 14 family members, and then felt like we really wanted to do a cruise with just the 2 of us. So I booked a CCL to Aruba and Curacao in late August. They are supposed to be out of the hurricane zone so I am hoping we make those ports. But Sept. seems like a good month to cruise as far as crowds although I know the Allure/Oasis would always be full.

    I can hardly wait for your next posting. We must be getting toward the end. :(
     
  7. dizzi

    dizzi DIS Veteran

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    awesome read cant wait to finish

    Thanks, too...Just what i was looking for.
     
  8. nenner1

    nenner1 <font color=darkorchid>I must've been distracted b

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    Alright guys it's really time (past time) to finish this off! :goodvibes

    I just want to apologize for taking so long and for falling behind on responses. I do intend to answer everyone...it just won't be all at once!

    I've had a really hard time as of late managing my work schedule and home duties and all of the kids' extracurricular activities. There just haven't been enough hours in the day!

    I am so grateful for all of my readers and I am humbled at the views on this thread. It delights me that so many have enjoyed sharing our experiences and are interested in what this very neat ship has to offer! Thank you all for your patience and dedication following this through to the end so many months later. :goodvibes


    And now...on with the show! :)
     
  9. nenner1

    nenner1 <font color=darkorchid>I must've been distracted b

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    The talent show in the Kids' Club took about an hour and before we knew it, it was time to head down to the promenade for what we'd been waitng all week for...the Flash Mob performance!

    I was so surprised how PACKED the promenade and Deck 6 above throughout he Schooner Bar, Cupcake Cupboard and Focus areas were. It was really full! They came expecting a show and they were about to get one!

    Move along, nothing to see here…we’re just hanging out.

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    Now, this wasn’t totally spontaneous like a real flash mob. Of course it was listed in the Compass, and they also made an announcement in the Promenade telling everyone it would start soon. So nobody would be truly “surprised” by the breakout performance like a real flash mob. And some folks though they could just join in right then. (Well of course, hey, it’s for fun, if they want to jump in not knowing the steps- hey more power to them! I couldn’t do it without the classes though! HA HA!)

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    JAZZ HANDS! :cool1:

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    Yep, it’s a fun as it looks! DO IT!

    Here is a link to the video of our flash mob performance on YouTube. Take a minute to give it a watch; I think you’ll enjoy it!!!

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FLASH MOB DANCE!
    You know you want to!

    That was so fun and even though the classes were stressful since I felt like I wasn’t “getting it” in the end the performance was just let loose and have fun and that’s exactly what I did. And actually I only messed up once- in the Jackson 5 part I was waving my “cape” to the left when I should have been going right. But I’m sure nobody noticed that but me. (And now, ya’ll since I just pointed it out! LOL!)

    After the Flash mob, we scurried towards the Boardwalk end of the Promenade to see the one character we had not seen yet- Mort from Madagascar!

    There was hardly any line so mission accomplished! DreamWorks Character Meet & Greets successful on all counts!


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    We then realized the kids hadn’t ridden the Rising Tide yet. After stopping in Café Promenade to get some hot chocolate, they got a seat onboard and enjoyed the slow ride up!

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    Some random pics:

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    Back in the staterooms, the boys showered and we did some more packing. You can see here the chaos of packing night!

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    The older kids wanted to go to the club one more time to say goodbye to their friends:

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    And then the girls took a trip down to Pets At Sea. Even though I don’t think our house can handle even one more plush animal, somehow the girls managed to talk Dad into it!

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    If you have not been to Pets at Sea before, it’s just like Build A Bear, complete with the saying a wish as you put in the “heart” (actually a star in this case), and the little expensive coordinating outfits. I have to say some of the nautical themed outfits are super cute!!

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    Sarah made Captain Kung Fu Panda!

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    And Savannah made Olivia the cat, named after her new friend! (They still text each other like crazy too. It’s pretty awesome to make friends on a cruise!)

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    Up Next: Move it. Move it...and YOU THERE, MOVE IT!
     
  10. nenner1

    nenner1 <font color=darkorchid>I must've been distracted b

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    After that we had to boogie to get down to the Promenade for the Move It- Move it Parade. While I believe Oasis has a couple of different parades, Allure only has the Move It, Move It, which is performed 2 or 3 times throughout the cruise. We decided to wait and see it on the last night because it fit our schedule better, plus we had read that they do a special character farewell after the parade when they do it on the last night. We found that we should have probably chosen to see it earlier in the cruise.

    We arrived about 15-30 minutes before parade time which was apparently way too late. People were lined up by the masses down towards Café Promenade/Sorrento’s/Cupcake Cupboard. Down closer to The Shop and Bolero’s there was still plenty of space- even “front row”. Not knowing the route of the Parade, we decided to stay there where we could get a front spot for the kids. It was a mistake.

    I’ll also say that we had read prior to the cruise that it is more fun to be down at floor level for the parade and that the characters will interact with the folks down there- especially kids. We’re no strangers to Disney so we know all there is to know about parades and then some, so I decided we would be best to stay at the lower level. Yes- I was wrong. Maybe it was just bad positioning, maybe it was just our luck, but we would have enjoyed the parade much more from higher up where we could see and more centered. Be warned if you are towards the end “outskirts” like we were- the characters just FLY by you down there- they were always just scurrying by to get “out” when they reached our area. Boo.

    But again, I’m getting ahead of myself. The decorations are quite cute!

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    Parade crowds:

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    Again, I advise to be way past the middle “shopping kiosk” area of the Promenade. Where the path “splits” to go around this center area is the path in and out of the parade area and the procession moves very quickly through these areas. They don’t stop or linger much at all.
    While we had arrived with plenty of front row real estate left, we staked ourselves out a chunk with the kids in front and us just behind them, But the crowds were pretty opportunistic- as anyone who has been to a Disney parade knows, if you move from your spot for a second, someone will slide right in. The kids kept being kids and moving around and people kept edging into their real estate until finally barely 2 of them could fit slightly staggered side by side. Then a lady moved a stroller in and turned it horizontally in front of the kids…really? (She did eventually move it but geesh!). So we weren’t enjoying the fight to keep the spot much.

    And then…it got worse. Right as the parade began a security guard guy came and stood RIGHT IN FRONT of the kids. Okay dude- I know you have to stand somewhere but there were plenty of adults next to us that could have seen over him. And he was really bad about if we moved the kids around he ended up moving too- not on purpose of course, it just ended up that way. What bad luck!

    And like I mentioned, the characters just FLEW by this area! I could hardly get a picture they moved by so fast! Ridiculous!

    Whoop- there goes the How to Train Your Dragon guys….moving as if they were still on ice!

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    You can see how far back I ended up, I let some kidlets in and the adults sandwich their way in too. Hmm.

    Here come the Penguins, I mean..there went the Penguins….

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    Pinocchio, Big Bad Wolf among others up on the Globe Walk.

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    Here’s a good view of the crowd, looking longingly down at where all the action is!

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    Gloria runs by!

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    Puss in Boots, who did stop long enough for me to snap TWO pictures!

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    Shrek! I missed Fiona. That girl can boogie!

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    Here’s a good little video showing the characters walk in past you, the annoying security guy repositioning right in front of us then all the action down the way where nobody could see it:
    Video: Click to Play

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    And it was over very fast!

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    Ok, so we could not have had worse spots and we had some pretty bad luck too but we still enjoyed the parade. I guess to give advice I personally would say arrive as early as you can stand and if you really want to see anything head on up to Deck 6. The characters rarely stopped to interact with the crowd and when they did, they tended to pick the same ones to interact with, For instance there was a handicapped girl nearby and almost each character stopped to acknowledge her- which is wonderful- but once they did they moved along without acknowledging anyone else. In my opinion, if you plan to have one-on-one interactions via the character breakfasts or meet & greets then forego the bottom floor viewing and head upstairs where you can actually see it and enjoy without having to strain over heads or security guards and fight to keep your spot.

    As a whole though I don't want to leave a negative impression. It's a parade on a cruise ship! That in and of itself is pretty darn awesome!
     
  11. nenner1

    nenner1 <font color=darkorchid>I must've been distracted b

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    Right after the parade, we headed to the Adagio dining room for MTD. It was very nice to just stroll up to the “reservations” podium with no wait at all and be seated immediately. And much to our delight, we were back at the same table as night 3- with Leslie from Jamaica (and from breakfast) and Jose from Mexico!

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    Savory Bites in our bread basket tonight and on my plate!
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    Sarah is having fun!

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    And eating her veggies!

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    I had the chilled Raspberry and Pineapple Soup! Delicious and light but quite tart!

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    Ron had the Onion Soup- caramelized onions in rich beef broth covered in Gruyere toast. He thought it was rich and fantastic!

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    We all also shared the Spinach Dip- warm and creamy cheesy spinach served with tortilla chips.

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    Brendan my seafood lover chose the Shrimp Cocktail

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    Something different for Sarah : Pizza! As much Sorrento’s as she had had this week, I was a little surprised.

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    Savannah? Yep. More spaghetti. I'm happy to report that as of this writing she has not yet turned into pasta.

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    For entrée’s Brendan and Ron chose the Grilled NY Strip: served over mashed potatoes and green beans with Béarnaise sauce.

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    Their opinion: it was “fine” and “typical dining room steak”. Sorry for the in depth description there. I guess it wasn’t worth writing home to mom about, but tasted good.

    I had the Shrimp and Mahi Mahi Tempura-shrimp and mild fish lightly coated with tempura batter and fried golden brown served with stir fried vegetables and chili-lime plum sauce. I thought this was fantastic- it was fresh from the fryer, crispy. The shrimp was large and the fish was tender and flaky. The sauce was delicious. I didn’t eat my vegetables, cabbage and other soggy green stuff- ick!

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    Dessert? Chocolate Brownie Sandwiches of course! Dark bittersweet chocolate mousse sandwiched between two layers of brownie- yum!

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    Service was again wonderful. We loved talking to Leslie- he told us all about his family in Jamaica and how blessed he is to be able to see his kids every other week when the ship stops in Falmouth. He was truly a pleasure. Jose didn’t talk much but he kept my tea full!

    No! No! Noooooooo!

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    After dinner there are a bunch of character Meet & Greet opportunities in the Promenade. Lines were a little long, but the characters were out for longer than normal, so we were able to get them all in. Savannah went back to the club to be with her friends, but Brendan and Sarah enjoyed the character scramble!

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    Back up in the hallway, we found this! Bah!

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    We got the packing finished, Sarah went to bed, and Brendan and Savannah were in their room watching TV- when...just before midnight a light from the balcony caught my eye. I looked up and right in front of me was a HUGE ship!!! It was certainly a Royal Caribbean ship – and a big one- but it was too hard to tell which, until it was suddenly close enough to be recognizable- it was OASIS!

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    We called the kids over from their room and soon even Sarah was up to see…How exciting! Two ships passing in the night! ;)

    Video: Click to Play

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    By the time I got the picture and video, Oasis was quite far away. For those of you hoping to see this encounter it happened at 11:52 PM on Saturday for the Starboard side of both ships.

    After that brief excitement, we headed off to bed for the last time aboard Allure.
     
  12. nenner1

    nenner1 <font color=darkorchid>I must've been distracted b

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    Sunday September 25 – Debarkation Day

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    After a good night’s rest we awoke sad to see this outside of our balcony:
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    We had elected for traditional debarkation. We were given a choice earlier in the week of “Before 830 AM” or “After 8:30 AM”. We chose before 8:30. Come to find out our awesome stateroom host, Anthony gave us luggage tags with #1 on them! So basically we were free to leave the ship as soon as debarkation began, or whenever we wanted thereafter. That was pretty awesome, because as much as I love being on the ship, we loathe having to get off of it and want to do so as soon as humanly possible.

    Once we had all awaken and dressed, we gathered our carry-on luggage and prepared to evacuate our stateroom. Apparently we should have chosen an “After 8:30” debarkation, however because cleaning teams were knocking on our door to get us out, and when we left the room we were surprised to see we were pretty much the last ones left in the area. It was still early (around 8AM- which is early to me!)

    We headed across the pool deck and up the stairs to Windjammer.
    A sad and lonely Beach pool:

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    We feared Park and Promenade café’s would be too busy, and although we knew to expect mayhem in the WJ- it was even busier than we thought it would be. We started at the Starboard entrance and began looking for a table, counter, corner- pretty much anywhere we could get our eat on. Nothing. And I mean not a single table to be found. It was PACKED. When we finally would spot one open up, others would run- literally bum rush the table and beat us to it. This happened 2 or 3 times through the restaurant.


    Finally- way over on the far Port side we found an empty table. It was too good to be true though, because it turns out it was occupied- by a purse in one of the 6 chairs. Ron and I both looked around at nearby tables- up to the buffet- wondering who in the world was trying to hold a huge table with one little purse. We thought maybe it was a solo cruiser so we patiently waited a few minutes for the person or persons to come and claim their table- or at least the purse….and nobody did.

    Eventually after waiting a few minutes I said “Well, we’ll just join this purse for breakfast then” I had a seat while the older kids and Ron hit the buffet then I took my turn. Still nobody had come by.

    The bag was enjoying it’s time in the Windjammer….I guess….

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    We ate- took our time- and finally- FINALLY as we finished up- I am talking 15-20 minutes after we arrived a lady walks up, exclaims loudly in heavily accented English “It's MY BAG!” , snatches it up and walks back to join her large party of 8 or so people. :lmao: We didn’t get a chance to say a word to her. Unbelievable that she would just leave a purse sitting at a table in a crowded restaurant while she obviously went elsewhere on the ship to retrieve the rest of her huge group.

    :rotfl2:

    After that rather amusing exchange, we headed down to the Promenade to exit the ship. There are two wide queues- one forward and one aft. As soon as we approached the front of the line though- it was closed off and we had to wait for the luggage and customs area in the terminal to clear out. That took about 10-15 minutes, and once the queues were re-opened, we were swiped “off” the ship and we headed down the gangway and into the terminal. Porters were waiting and we immediately grabbed one, who took us directly to the number “1” luggage area- which seemed to be about as far away as possible. Once we retrieved our luggage, our porter steered us into a very, very, VERY long line of cruisers moving towards customs. The line was huge- but it was moving steadily. Even so, many people were breaking out of it and sneaking over and under the queue “lines” trying to cut to the front, but as soon as a staff member saw them, they would get curtly directed to the back of the line.

    Really the line only took about 5-10 minutes to move through- not bad at all.

    Another 5 minutes in the customs line itself- and a couple more with the customs agent- may I add- the NICEST customs agent we have ever encountered, and we were brought right out to the waiting Park N Go shuttle bus, a few feet from the terminal.

    The luggage was loaded and in minutes we were speeding off to the Park N Go lot! What an easy debarkation!

    Back at Park N Go, we were taken right to our van, our luggage was unloaded, and we headed to check out. At the gate, we presented our coupon, paid our bill and they even gave us each a small bottle of water as we left. We loved the Park N Go and would absolutely use it again.

    And so, as we made our way across Alligator Alley and finally back up north towards home, it finally set in that it was over. But, what a lovely cruise it was….

    So many of you are probably wondering...well...Who Won? Mickey or Shrek? I wish it were an easy cut and dry thing, but obviously opinions are subjective and they vary greatly even within this family! Allure is an amazing ship and IMO if you enjoy cruising AT ALL you need to give this class of ship a try. It is just unlike anything else.

    We do still love DCL though. For now we will rotate every other year...DCL one year, RCCL the next. So both win! :thumbsup2

    Until next time, my friends…

    (If you're curious "Next Time" is September 22, 2012 aboard the DISNEY FANTASY! Woot woot!)

    The End! :)
     
  13. cyclenut

    cyclenut DIS Veteran

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    Simply an amazing thread. Disney and RCCL both could learn a few things from your posts. Such a complete Walk through of any vacation aboard a ship has never been written.

    I which you much enjoyment on your upcoming Disney Fantasy cruise!

    We are sailing soon on the Wonder and I have intentions to write a review here on the DIS that takes an adults only perspective, having just sailed the Freedom. It in now way will rival yours though!

    A huge thank you to you. May your family stay healthy and may Savanah continue her dancing. My DD17 will be graduating HS this year and it will bring an end to the competition seasons that helped her grow so much. It all ends too soon it seems. GOOD LUCK to you all, you have a beautiful family!
     
  14. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    So glad the kids were able to enjoy Rising Tide. That thing is so way cool!

    Sorry about the parade. It sounds no different than a park parade...in that I mean the rude people who push and shove to the front. How disappointing. Hopefully being able to meet all the characters earlier in the cruise made it better for the kids to enjoy even without the interaction.

    Savory Bites! My niece LOVES them! And Raspberry and Pineapple Soup???? Ok, we did NOT have this on our RCI cruise. Must sail Allure now! And OMG! Chocolate Brownie Sandwiches? Geez, what have I been missing out on???

    That is very cool your server is able to see his family during the Jamaica port calls.

    Thank you for this wonderful review! I have never had any desire whatsoever to sail the Oasis class, but now must at least give it a try!
     
  15. tinkerbelltwins

    tinkerbelltwins DIS Veteran

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    Hi Jen, I loved your trip report and can't wait to read about your upcoming adventure in September! Hope you are having a great summer!!!!

    Beth
     
  16. MAGICFOR2

    MAGICFOR2 DIS Veteran

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    Nice ending Jen! Love the Flash Mob video! I creeped it earlier when I saw the link come up on U-Tube. Looks like so much fun! How sad to wake up and see your starting port - I always hate that. I can pretend we aren't leaving until I see that. :sad:

    It is strange that lady would just leave her bag there and expect it to still be there 20 minutes later. :confused3

    Wow - you are right around the corner from your Fantasy cruise!!! Can't wait to see that TR! DBIL wants us to do a DCL with him in 2014 and I am voting for the Fantasy Eastern but they are on the Norweigan Epic in Europe right now - traveling concierge style. Something tells me they will want to re-book and have us go on that one - we'll see!
     
  17. Jillpie

    Jillpie Can you package some Main St. music and send it to

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    An absolutely fantastic trip report:thumbsup2, really, really loved it. Can you come back to this thread when you're ready to do your Fantasy TR and guide us to the new one? Thanks so much!!
     
  18. Brumbie13

    Brumbie13 Mr. Mickeybars

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    Thanks for your thoroughness and for enduring to the end with such a long, detail trip report! Thanks for taking the time to bring us along!
     
  19. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    Please post a report for your Fantasy cruise....I'm sailing right after you on 10/6! This was a great report....I have to try the Allure some of these days...I loved the Freedom.

    Jill in CO
     
  20. anewmac

    anewmac Ive got nothing planned whats an OCVP to do?

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    Flash mob looked so fun. And it looks like you packed a lot into your last night. Sucks about the parade though. and please dont feel bad about taking so long LMAO like I have any room to say anything lol.

    welp you have me all for an Allure cruise.. now to convince E LMAO... cant wait to hear about the Fantasy trip report! its gonna be here before we know it.. err you know it LOL! thanks for sharing hun!
     
  21. Jennifer48

    Jennifer48 Not a Disney bride but engaged and honeymooned at

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    Thank you so much for this detailed take on the Allure. Very informative and enjoyable! I hope you write a TR for your Fantasy cruise! :goodvibes
     

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