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. nenner1

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

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    3,564
    As we walked onboard the ship, we were entering right smack dab in the middle of the Royal Promenade, Royal Caribbean’s now signature deck space featuring, shipping, restaurants, bars, seating, parades and parties. First deployed as part of the Voyager class ships, it has been included in each ship built for RCCL since about 1999. The Promenade is often described as something akin to a mall, and that description is pretty accurate, however on Allure it has some features that are quite unique. First of all it spans the area of three decks (from deck 5 to deck 8) and has a glass ceiling skylight that looks up on Central Park (yes! This ship has a PARK!).

    (note- I must apologize as not all of these photos are mine, I had to pull a few from Google and Flickr that I forgot to take. There is even too much to take pictures of it all!!!;) Actually there is more to it than that- a camera was indeed harmed in the making of this TR. You won't want to miss that story so stay tuned, trust me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the ships with a Promenade, a fancy car is always the focal point. It all started with Voyager of the Seas and has continued on all of the ships since. The story goes that RCCL CEO Richard Fain donated his own Morgan Sportster after seeing a tiny replica of one placed inside the pre-construction model of the Voyager. He said it just felt “right”, and the tradition has continued ever since. The car on Allure is a burgundy colored 1936 Mercedes Benz 540K. (and it looks much nicer without the two creepy plastic people inside..in my very humble opinion.)

    [​IMG]


    Shopping: you’ll find most of the stores and merchandise onboard here. The stores include the creatively named “The Shop” which carries the RCCL logo gear; there is a Liquor shop, a perfume shop, a jewelry shop, a boutique fashion store (Prince +Greene), the Focus photo gallery, and even a Guess store.

    RCCL exec 1: “What are we gonna call this place where we sell all of our logo branded merch?”

    RCCL exec 2: “I don’t know…..hmmm…..can’t really think of anything. How about we just call it “The Shop”

    RCCL exec 1” “Genius! Now let’s move up to the pool deck, I have some bars I need help naming”


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    There are kiosks and counters located in the center of the Promenade space where the “specials” and sale merchandise are hawked. The times around dinner and the shows are particularly busy around those locations.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Guest Services. Try as you might, you can’t completely avoid it. We did the best we could; I think we only went 3 times.

    [​IMG]

    Did you know? Princess Fiona is the Godmother of Allure. You’ll find her picture in the Promenade near Guest Services.

    [​IMG]

    There is this uber-fashionable couch, which is really hard to catch without a butt in it:

    [​IMG]


    Looking up into Central Park:

    [​IMG]

    As far as food goes, there is the free-of-charge Promenade Café, featuring deli sandwiches and baked goods such as cookies and brownies, coffee and tea;

    [​IMG]

    Sorrento’s pizzeria with pizza by-the-slice or there is a ”Create Your Own” pizza bar, plus salads.

    [​IMG]


    For a fee restaurants located here are the Cupcake Cupboard and – of course- the first…the only…Starbucks at sea!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are a few unique bars to choose from in the Royal Promenade. There is, of course, the RCCL signature nautical themed Schooner Bar:

    [​IMG]

    The more upscale Champagne and Martini Bar

    [​IMG]

    The Latin club Boleros

    [​IMG]

    Bow & Stern, the traditional English Pub

    [​IMG]

    To help those of us, like me, who don’t know our aft from a hole in the ground:

    [​IMG]

    ***Continued Below***
     
    m3owbox likes this.
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. nenner1

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

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    3,564
    On Air Karaoke and Sports bar

    [​IMG]

    And last but not least, the most innovative bar at sea: The Rising Tide.

    [​IMG]

    The Rising Tide bar is a not just a bar…it’s a RIDE! And being a certified Disney FREAK, you know I loves me some RIDES!!! Every 15 minutes it rises from the Royal Promenade to Central Park, and then descends back down again. It takes less than 3 minutes to travel the 3 decks, but it is so much fun!
    Rising Tide at the ground floor:

    [​IMG]

    As she moves up:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    See the awesome “World of Color” like fountains below it? Gorgeous!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    As we walked through the Promenade, I was struck by how everyone claims you will be amazed at how large it is. Actually I thought it seemed smaller than I expected. Yes it was a deck taller than on Freedom class, but because that class of ship actually has more floors of rooms overlooking the Promenade, it just didn’t seem that much bigger to me. Plus on embarkation day with everyone coming onboard right there, it was a madhouse of epic proportions.

    We had a couple of dining reservations to secure that we weren’t able to get online prior to the cruise, and it wasn’t that easy to figure out how to do. There were information desks, but the lines were so long. There was another staffed area that looked like they were handling reservations, which they were…but for excursions only. Finally a staff member gave us a phone number to call to get our dining reservations taken care off, so we headed off looking for a house phone.

    We found one by the elevators and were easily able to take care of one of the two reservations. Since the other one was a time change, not an outright booking, we had to call back. Why not head off to grab a bite to eat first?

    Into the elevator we go. Thank goodness the elevators tell us which day it is, it is quite easy to forget!

    [​IMG]

    The elevators are great, they have pictorial signs to show you where you want to go:

    [​IMG]

    In a matter of seconds we will arrive at my very favorite neighborhood, Central Park!

    ETA: Please forgive me, I am losing my mind! I forgot the score! While I do love the gorgeousness of the Atruim on DCL (especially on the new ships), I don't think it can really compare to the Royal Promenade as a gathering place. Plus, Mickey get your housekeepers back on task- when we were last on the Magic the gorgeous Chiluhly chandelier had about a half inch of dust on it- totally unacceptable!

    Shrek-2
    Mickey-1

    Current Total:

    Shrek-8
    Mickey-9
     
  4. livingis2me

    livingis2me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    932
    Uh oh Mickey.... :rolleyes1

    Love the promanade!:goodvibes

    Ron
     
  5. karajeboo

    karajeboo DISmom by land and by sea!

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    6,580
    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!!!!!!
     
  6. dvc4life

    dvc4life Disney is my Happy Place

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,897
    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! :thumbsup2
     
  7. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,443
    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!:rolleyes1

    I really, really can't wait for more!
     
  8. morgansmom2000

    morgansmom2000 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    12,984
    Ahhhhh, Starbucks would probably get me on board :thumbsup2
     
  9. narsibvl

    narsibvl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    597
    Time to rig the poll !! Sorry it is the Disney fan in me speaking, not me !!!! :rotfl:
     
  10. tinkmom2

    tinkmom2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,798
    That bar looks so cool!
     
  11. livingis2me

    livingis2me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    932
    Well this trip (and trip reporter) is based out of Florida....:rolleyes1

    Ron
     
  12. tony64

    tony64 <font color=blue>Should've been a Cowboy<br><font

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    8,977
    Wow the inside of that ship really does look like a mall. :)
     
  13. DisneyZell

    DisneyZell Likes Adventures on the High Seas

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,102
    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
     
  14. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    21,230
    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 :worship:

    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 :thumbsup2
     
  15. livingis2me

    livingis2me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    932
    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!:thumbsup2

    Ron
     
  16. PrincessTrisha

    PrincessTrisha DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    3,532
    Love the report so far. That ship is impressive! It makes me want to branch out and try RCCL.....:lovestruc
     
  17. travispete

    travispete Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Messages:
    22
    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!
     
  18. lucas

    lucas °o°

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,670
    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. :rotfl:

    I've got a different screen name over there. :rolleyes1
    I was the one drooling over the Johnny Rocket milkshakes.
     
  19. nenner1

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

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    3,564
    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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)


    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Chops Grille (specialty steakhouse)

    [​IMG]

    Vintages (wine and tapas bar)

    [​IMG]

    Romero Britto Art Gallery:

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the worlds most delicious Roast Beef Sandwich!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    **Continued**
     
  20. nenner1

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

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    3,564
    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:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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! ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    There are numerous hot tubs onboard. The regular variety:

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]


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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Eat your heart out, chair hogs!

    [​IMG]


    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:

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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
     
  21. morgansmom2000

    morgansmom2000 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    12,984
    Wow, I think I love the Central Park idea...
     

Share This Page