Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by nenner1, Oct 2, 2011.
can't wait to hear more
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We headed a few blocks north on A1A to Bubba Gumps for dinner. Yea...I know. In a new town, maybe we should have found somewhere more unique and local to eat. But......this is what we were in the mood for. Shrimp, the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew...well you get the idea.
Pretty darn busy on this Saturday Night:
We had to wait a few for a seat. Luckily they had these blocks to amuse Sarah, and this bench to amuse everyone else:
There was a nice breeze so we elected to eat outside on under the covered porch. Food and service were both good, if a little pricey. Ok a LOT pricey. As in when we got the bill this was our reaction:
Anyway I'm getting ahead of myself. We really did like eating outside, if it as a bit hot at first (this would become a trend in the days to come)
Shrimpers Net Catch Peel N Eat Shrimp (1/2 Garlic, ½ Cajun) $12.49
These were good. I don't usually chow down on the peel & eat's so when I tried one and it was a bit crunchy I was scoffed at for not knowing why they are called PEEL AND EAT. Yeah well. Stupid is as......
Anyway everyone pretty much preferred the garlic to the cajun flavored ones. I only had cajun, and it tasted pretty good to me, even with the shell.
Can I blame it on this Lt. Dan's Drunken Punch??? (It wasn't really called that- don't ask!)
Brendan had the Shrimp Po Boy ($10.99)
He thought it was FANTASTIC! And he ate the whole thing!
I had the Dumb Luck Coconut Shrimp $17.59
Oh yeah, very good! for the price...eh,7 shrimp-not so much.....but they were delish. And the only crunch this time was the coconut!
Ron had Lt. Dans Drunken Shrimp (yes they really were called that)-$16.59
Large chargrilled shrimp and andouille sausage with mashed potatoes and bourbon sauce!
He thought it was good, but he regretted getting it because there was something else he wanted more. No idea what that was, I'm sure he'll tell us.
The kids meals come in a cute Jenny boat: ($4.99-$5.29)
(Yes I am biased and not ashamed to admit it!)
Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae $7.50 (enough to share!) This was AMAZING!!!
The kids each got a Build-Your-Own Sundae: The had fun, made a mess, and I think managed to eat some too:
It's a good thing we were so miserably tired and full that we didn't care that we just dropped, oh- about a buck fifty and headed back to the hotel to try to get some rest.
We were so excited though, it was hard to go to sleep, and once we did, even harder to stay asleep- a problem exacerbated by a very noisy party going on across the hall that did not quite down until well after 4 AM. I don't know what the heck they had going on over there, it spanned about 3 rooms. It wasn't so bad when nobody was coming or going, but when they were.. (which was pretty much constantly). It actually sounded like some kind of weird gambling party.
The noise did not bother the kids a bit though, and actually once I realized it was close to 5 AM and I could watch Allure arrive on the webcam my enthusiasm only built more!
Oh yeah, in just a few hours we'll be on that baby!
Up next: Welcome to Duloc!
I am so excited you are writing this. We have been on 2 DCL cruises and are hooked (we have always been huge Disney fans) but this May we are going on the Allure of the Seas for my mother's 60th and it is hard to find much detail out there.
Thanks and I cannot wait to read more!
Sorry gang, I have to work tonight. I wanted to get this quickie post up for you, the real good stuff is coming up!
Tomorrow morning or afternoon I'll be able to address those who have posted recently!
The food at Bubba's looks awesome! I am soooo hungry
I'm in! Great report! I did FOTS in 2008 and really enjoyed it but I love my DCL too. DCL is actually more affordable than RCI for solo cruisers...150 or 175% instead of 200%!
Jill in CO
Sorry that you didn't have a great sleep...I never sleep before a cruise with or without bad neighbors
How exciting that you got to watch your ship come in
Looking forward to all the comparisons
need to brush up on my Dreamworks.. Duloc?
I'm enjoying this one, can't wait for you to get on board.
Yeah, and Jen will probably be done before me!!!!
No, you came good.
LOL- love that! Yes, we still have the pirate necklaces- they were awesome! Thank you Skye and Hope too, I'm sure she helped as well! In fact he wore it again for something more recently I can't remember what it was but I just LOVE when FE gifts come out!
Aw, it was such a special cruise that's for sure!!! I'm glad you did enjoy the Dream, can't *wait* for the Fantasy this year!
Woo hoo! Hoping I can get the next part up today! It's already written but I have to go through and add more pictures! So get out the jiffy pop!
There is so much to do on Allure for kids. Some of the things they have are the Carousel, a kids-only mini golf area, the H20 zone kids water splash play area with 2 pools- one regular and one "lazy river", Cupcake decorating classes and dance classes, ice skating, family festivals on the Boardwalk with free face painting and balloon animals, and family games. There is the Dreamworks character appearances and Dreamworks movies in 3-D There are fun house mirrors and a small playground on the Boardwalk as well. There are other kids' activities within the kids clubs too- like a pirate parade, black light puppet show and talent show (the kids club has it's own theater).
There is also a nursery ($8/hr) for children under 3, and an unstaffed "play room" with toys and games.
Thanks so much for reading! I'll have pictures of most everything mentioned above as the TR goes on!
Hi Trisha! How have you been? So you have the Dream coming up soon? Awesome!!! Glad to hear you enjoyed Carnival- we are looking at the new Breeze!
Oasis/Allure are absolutely amazing! I think you and your parents would just LOVE it!! It really is a huge as they say though! LOL!
Thanks so much for stopping by, great to hear from you again!
Hi Sean, so glad to see you here! You are absolutely right about charging, I could set up a Pay Pal donation page!
LOL, just kidding. One of the awesome things about cruising is being able to come back and share with others!!! So glad you are here to check this one out!
Hey Tammie, awesome!!! I am happy to report Allure was too high up for bees! LOL!
Aw thanks! The good stuff will be really kicking in shortly!
So glad you are enjoying the report. There are definitely a lot of differences. RCCL has a singnaure style- quite different from DCL. It's not to everyone's taste, but this ship is so interesting and innovative it's worth the look-see!
Thanks for reading!!
Do you go to Labadee? It is NOT Castaway Cay but it is nice, I think you will enjoy it. The Bobsled Coaster is too fun, and the Zip Line...seriously a must do- SO WORTH THE PRICE!!! Way more rustic than CC, but it has a "real" feel to it. (VERY "authentic", especially if you go the the Artisan's market Area...)
Is that the cruise that still goes to Ocho Rios or do they all go to Falmouth Now? Ocho Rios has much better reviews, read a lot of people aren't that thrilled with Falmouth as there isn't much there.
We are looking forward to trying a RCCL Western, to get that Jamaica stop. Its between Freedom/Oasis/Allure and the Breeze in 2013. That was supposed to be my Cali & Disneyland year but I think that is getting pushed to 2014 (sorry Drea! I *WILL* make it out there to you someday!)
Haha, I would expect no less of you my dear!
Don't bother with Tampa though...IMO the ships here stink. Lots of friends and family pop off on theose shorty-mc-shorterson cruises out of here and always come back saying it wasn't so great. Maybe i'm spoiled by these great cruises I've taken on DCL and now RCCL's mega ships that I can't go back! LOL!
You...are in for a treat!
Thanks so much! Glad to have you onboard with us!!!
Hi Jane! So glad to see you here!
LOL, she works hard at it!
She has grown so much, just looking at that pic from last Halloween's cruise and I was thinking...wow... I woke up one morning and ui have (dum dum duuum) TWEENS! ack!
Thanks so much! Glad to see you again! I hope you enjoy the TR!!!
Hi there, so glad to have you reading! I think if you love DCL, you will love Allure too. They are quite different, but the character experience really does make it fun! (Aside form all the other good stuff onboard)..I will say out of the box that the character lines on Allure were WAY better than on DCL! There is a lot more on that coming up though, stay tuned!
LOL, yeah it was great! I wish we could go back to that day! Thanks so much for reading!
Thanks Jill, for stopping by and reading. Yes, DCL is much more affordable for solos and also for kids- RCCL charges kids- even babies- FULL PRICE! a lot of people say that DCL is more expensive and that is not always the case! For instance our DCL cruise on the Fantasy for the same week next year cost almost identical to the Allure cruise this year for our family.
If you liked Freedom, I think you will love this!
Haha, yeah they weren't as annoying to me since like I said I was tossing and turning anyway - and NOT totally because of the bed made of bricks. It was fun to watch her arrive ont he cam, and we could see a tiny sliver of her stack and her blue neon from our window, so that was really exciting!
The good stuff is on its' way!!!!
Thanks so much for reading, boarding begins shortly!!!
I can't believe you're done Kara! Say it ain't so?!?!?!
I am working on getting the embarkation part up now. I do add a lot of pics and video here that take a lot of time to upload so that's the hold up! I think it will be worth the wait!
Are you following me
Ooh are you done. Hmmm, stay and wait for Jen's update or jump ship (pardon the pun) and check out Kara's latest
Jen, am all caught up with the report. Lovin' that guy pulling a mooner at the Oasis - how funny was that. I thought Brendan's face was a picture when he realised what was going on I still can't get over the size of the ship - I still think the DCL ships are much, much more attractive-looking; dainty and very pretty
Will be back soon to check for an update (can't work out the whole time difference thing - it must be 4.30pm where you are now, right )
I admit I am looking at that Carnival 8 night Southern too for June. It is half the price of DCL, and it would be a "fall back" if the kids bail on us again - we are doing something fun if we can't see our grandkids. (I'm truly hoping we don't need to do this) A Southern just seems so exotic!
ETA: I just read Jenn's comments and I realized that you may have the same itinerary we had last Oct! We loved Ocho Rios and Cozumel - Labadee was interesting - I think we just needed to get settled in and realize it wasn't CC! My TR is still up if you want a refresher on what we did.
Jenn, Funny about the bees!
You stayed in the same hotel we did before our RCCL last Fall. I liked it, except the service coming back was a little "meh."
Gotta love some Gump, but those prices for that size serving is crazy!
Sorry you didn't get any sleep, but you got a beautiful pic of the Allure coming in! You must have really had butterflies when you saw that!
Sunday September 18- Day 1- Port Everglades
We re-awoke at a reasonable hour after falling back to a more restful sleep in the early morning hours. Another breakfast from the complimentary buffet, and we were ready to check out (quick and painless) and head to the Port at about 10:30 AM.
(Yes, on a ship that holds 6,300+ passengers, we can arrive whenever we want. Hear That, Mickey?) Point-Shrek!
We had the option of parking at the hotel (not free), at the Port ($$$) , or at an off-site parking service. We elected to use the off-site parking at Park N Go to park for the duration of the cruise. It was substantially cheaper than parking directly at the Port (they offer an internet special- check out their website- at $5.99/day. Sometimes the coupon is for $6.99/day but either way that offers a lot of savings.)
Signage was ample and it was easy to find the Park N Go lot. We were directed where to park and one of their signature yellow shuttle buses pulled right up behind our van and the driver hopped out to help load our luggage. Within just minutes we saw this:
And then this!
We were dropped off right in front of the check in building at almost exactly 11 AM. We tipped our driver, then the porter who was there waiting to drag our bags about 15 feet to the waiting luggage containers, and we were heading into Terminal 18.
Security took about 5-8 minutes for us. There were no lines, but upon screening, they decided Rons carry on suitcase full of Coke Zero needed to be hand searched. It was relatively quick and painless. If only we could have carried on alcohol.
(Ahem. Point- Mickey)
We followed the clear signage to our designated check in counter area, which was also quite unpopulated. Our rooms were on Deck 14 so we quickly moved to those queues, and up to a counter in seconds:
This process of Check in took about 5 minutes and we were told boarding had begun and to head upstairs. We took our embarkation photo, which is located right behind the check in desks, and headed up the escalators.
Were ready to begin an amazing cruise!
Looking Down at the check-in counters and embarkation photo area:
Once upstairs, things got a bit confusing. Since we had children, who are required to wear a wristband indicating their lifeboat station, we were sent in one direction for those to be applied. After that we were directed through a labyrinth of a queue maze, which ended in a dead end. We were told to have a seat, and when it was our turn we would be led to the gangway. We did have to wait a further 10-15 minutes in these seats while some of the other little holding pens of passengers were led to embark. We noticed a nice little kids play area on the far side of the terminal but since we were corralled in our little pen it wasnt very convenient for us to go use. I will say the staff seemed very knowledgeable and communicated with each other at all times, so our fear that our little group would get left behind or skipped over was unfounded.
It's not pretty.....
Terminal Decor Point- Mickey!
Before we knew it we were called and headed up the (LONG!) zig-zag gangway to the ship. We were onboard at 11:35 AM, so 35 minutes curb to ship is not too shabby. Great Job RCCL!
Check-in/Wait Point- Shrek!
And so we were finally onboard the Allure! No, no welcome announcement or clapping, you're just...there. (Okay they do have a few staff members welcoming you onboard but it's NOTHING like DCL.)
I mean I thought with the Shrek tie-in and everything maybe to expect at least something like this:
Welcome To Duloc
No? Point- Mickey.
Shrek - 5
C'mon Jen... With as quick and easy as that check in was, that's worth way more than a point. Right??? On the boat before 11:30. Um, extra point(s)!!!!
As a matter of fact I'm pretty sure Mickey loses points for how they (mis)handle this process.
My scorecard shows Shrek, duh... winning!!!!
joining...can't wait for more.
ya but the whole not getting to bring alcohol on board.. we should be really given negative points for that one.. Could you not even do wine like Carni? Please tell me there was some sneakage going on???
I totally agree! The whole idea of sitting.... and waiting.... and waiting..... in the DCL terminal definitely loses points in my book. Maybe if they had a food court or a BAR!!!! Hey, nothing wrong with bloody marys before boarding!
Something tells me that in the next couple of years, there will be no bringing booze on DCL. They tried it a couple months ago and people freaked. So I think they are planning on rolling out the changes a different way. Mark my words, by 2014 there will be no bring your own booze.
Jen - I can't believe how virtually empty that terminal looks!!! Especially considering there is a small town on that ship!!!! And only 1/2 hour curb to ship? Incredible!!!! Definitely double points to Shrek.
Oh, and Duloc? Girllllllllll, you've got issues!!!!
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