Live Trip Report from the Allure of the Seas!

DSNYDREAMER

Traceyh@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
I need to chane the thread to the not so live trip report! Between satellite Internet and my iPad acting up, I lost 3 or 4 posts.

This cruise was amazing, having sailed many cruise lines and ships over the last 25 years and I really think RCL has brought it to an entirely different level. I think DCL will always be my sentimental favorite. I also wouldn't say one is better than the other, I think they both are great and similar in some ways but also very different.

Over the next few days I will be sorting my thoughts and posting lots of details about dining, entertainment, kids clubs and more. I was supposed to meet our RCL rep on embarkation day for a tour of cabins and behind the scenes. Unfortunately Isaac changed plans and she had to be in the office on Tuesday when we sailed.

I will say my time dining was a highlight for me! I believe this week I will also be on the show briefly discussing my experience. More to come!
 

disneyholic family

disney on my mind....
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
I need to chane the thread to the not so live trip report! Between satellite Internet and my iPad acting up, I lost 3 or 4 posts.

This cruise was amazing, having sailed many cruise lines and ships over the last 25 years and I really think RCL has brought it to an entirely different level. I think DCL will always be my sentimental favorite. I also wouldn't say one is better than the other, I think they both are great and similar in some ways but also very different.

Over the next few days I will be sorting my thoughts and posting lots of details about dining, entertainment, kids clubs and more. I was supposed to meet our RCL rep on embarkation day for a tour of cabins and behind the scenes. Unfortunately Isaac changed plans and she had to be in the office on Tuesday when we sailed.

I will say my time dining was a highlight for me! I believe this week I will also be on the show briefly discussing my experience. More to come!
i'm even more excited about the dis cruise next summer!!!! so how long is it before we sail?????????????????????????????
 

caribear

I love WDW!
Joined
Jun 29, 2004
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about Allure! My family and I sailed on Oasis of the Seas in November of 2010....and had the most incredible family vacation to date! My kids had such a blast....DD (8 at the time of sailing) went ice skating and rock climbing! Both kids rode the carousel a zillion times! DD loved the kids club and begged to stay later at night....Kids loved the H2O Zone! Shows were spectacular...I could go on. Favorite part of the ship was Central Park!

If you are sailing on Allure or Oasis I would highly recommend a cabin on Deck 8 which is where Central Park is located. We had an oceanview balcony right by the forward entrance to Central Park. We were able to hop into Park Cafe each morning for breakfast or a quick bite to eat. We also walked through Central Park every time we left our cabin....and boarded the rear elevators on the other side of Central Park. Just beautiful! Make sure to get your pictures taken here on Formal Night!!!

I hope to have the funds to go on Allure sometime in the near future!
 

DSNYDREAMER

Traceyh@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
The hotel I was staying in provided a shuttle for $8 per person to port, when I went to the lobby and saw all the people waiting I decided to call a taxi. It came right away and it cost me $10 with tip. On the way in, security stopped us to check the trunk and check my ID and reservation. Apparently this is standard procedure for taxis and private vehicles.

I was dropped curbside and a very friendly porter was there to help me. I showed her the last age of my documents that let her know what luggage tags to give me, very seamless and I was on my way.

The terminal was massive, but had great signage. You enter on the first level and then go left or right based on your deck number. Once on the right side, each deck had its own check in line. As well as a special line for Crown and anchor members. I was able to make adjustments to the credit card used right there and didn't have to wait to board! They took my picture and I was on my way. There was one family in line in front of me, and I was heading to the second level with 10 minutes of arriving in the line.

Once on the second level, I was directed to where to sit based on my crown and anchor level. They sat us in order of arrival in rows and there was free wifi in the terminal! After about 10 minutes they announced boarding was starting. They started with suites and then worked their way through the C&A levels eventually getting to me. Everyone stood and walked to one of 2 gangways, no bottle necks, no pushing, no squeezing past people who couldn't board yet--it was very civilized!!!

I stepped on the ship at 11:15 am, it was 10:25 when I closed the door on my hotel room to head to the lobby!!

When I stepped onboard, literally I gasped. I have seen so many pictures and videos and travel channel specials--and nothing prepared me for the Grandeur that was the Allure of the Seas. She was grand and beautiful, and not in that over the top cruise neon way. What was strange was that nobody was asking my name and nobody announced my arrival--I was like um hello....Doesn't the Allure welcome aboard Tracey Heinrichs???

You enter on deck 5, which is the Royal Promenade. This is kind of the main street of the ship where most of the shopping is. Guest services and some walk up type eateries and bars are also located here. Once I caught my breath, I headed to guest services for a compass (RCL's version of the Navigator) and then went straight to an elevator to find the infamous TV screens. I needed a plan of attack, I had a lot to see and do before the ship was overcrowded. The first thing I did was go up to deck 6 so I could look over the promenade and get an idea of what was happening.

From here I could see there were several information desks set up where people could ask questions. I also discovered that there was an area to go and make entertainment reservations as well as a separate area for specialty dining reservations. This is helpful for those who didn't book in advance or needed to make changes.

I decided before I could start my exploring I needed food--straight to the Park Cafe for a Roast Beef Sandwich! It was as amazing as I heard and the cafe wasn't crowded yet. There was a small bar in there to get my soda (I had the prepaid soda package) Doing this is advance didn't save me any money but it did put the Coke symbol printed on my card and I didn't have to wait in line anywhere to purchase it onboard and get the sticker. There were also complimentary water, flavored water, ice tea, coffee, tea and milk available here and this was common throughout the ship as well. Just a side note about the soda package...I saw this as an extra expense over what DCL charges (and in fairness it is), however I really liked having it. I liked that at any bar, restaurant or lounge I could show my card and get my diet coke. On DCL, if I am not in a restaurant I have to go up on deck to the self serve area which isn't always convenient. I usually end up buying diet coke onboard a Disney ship several times throughout the week for convenience.

Next up...the Kids Clubs!
 

skunkvette

You have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore
Joined
Mar 16, 2006
Thanks for the report Tracey, looking forward to hearing about the rest of the trip.

I did read the line about 'water, flavored water' the first time through without picking up on the comma and briefly wondered if water flavored water was something I needed to try when I got on board.


Great job on the Podcast this week, can't wait until we get a chance to sail on the Oasis!
 

disneyholic family

disney on my mind....
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
i'll be honest that i'm a little sorry that i didn't book the allure for my mom, sister and me, instead of the Dream (Tracey, you know which cruise i'm talking about).

i think i could have booked the 7 night allure cruise in a suite for less than what i paid for the 4 night on the dream - another reason i'm really annoyed at the florida rates that were just released).
and in a suite, there's reserved seating in the theaters, something my mom is going to need (but isn't available on the Dream - a major shortcoming in my opinion).

the only reason i booked the dream was i had that deposit hanging around, plus i was worried about putting my sister on a ship for twice as long (cruises are germ ridden places)...

i know my mom would have adored the allure.

maybe if i can get a cheapy rate, i'll have us come back down to florida for a very last minute cruise on the allure or oasis.

as for the soda package - DD said the same thing about her radiance of the seas cruise this summer - she loved being able to order her diet coke in every place they were...she found it to be super convenient..
she wasn't sure about getting it, but did in the end and was very happy she did...
 
  • kimisabella

    <font color=red>I wonder if he/she is coming on th
    Joined
    Jul 11, 2004
    This ship was docked in Nassau this past Saturday, correct? We were in the Bahamas on vacation, and we went to the Straw Market on Saturday and saw the Allure of the Seas docked there. The ship is really beautiful!
     

    DSNYDREAMER

    Traceyh@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2010
    This ship was docked in Nassau this past Saturday, correct? We were in the Bahamas on vacation, and we went to the Straw Market on Saturday and saw the Allure of the Seas docked there. The ship is really beautiful!
    It was!! She wasn't supposed to be, but Isaac had other plans for us!
     

    Princessclab

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2007
    Hi Tracey,

    Loved, loved, loved the report, can't wait for more.

    Question for you. You put in your report 'What was strange was that nobody was asking my name and nobody announced my arrival--I was like um hello....Doesn't the Allure welcome aboard Tracey Heinrichs???'. Does DCL do that? Do they announce it out loud? I have not been on DCL. I am not sure I would like that. Do you have a choice? Aren't there privacy issues? I have not had that on any cruise I have been on. The welcome was usually spoken by a person in a normal voice who would then take you to your cabin. Maybe I am just being a bit of a sourpuss. :lmao:
    Again, can't wait to hear more.....
     

    disneyholic family

    disney on my mind....
    Joined
    Jan 31, 2002
    Hi Tracey,

    Loved, loved, loved the report, can't wait for more.

    Question for you. You put in your report 'What was strange was that nobody was asking my name and nobody announced my arrival--I was like um hello....Doesn't the Allure welcome aboard Tracey Heinrichs???'. Does DCL do that? Do they announce it out loud? I have not been on DCL. I am not sure I would like that. Do you have a choice? Aren't there privacy issues? I have not had that on any cruise I have been on. The welcome was usually spoken by a person in a normal voice who would then take you to your cabin. Maybe I am just being a bit of a sourpuss. :lmao:
    Again, can't wait to hear more.....
    DCL welcomes you as you board the ship, but the only people who hear it are right in the area where you walk on board...
    it's really nothing...
    and you can tell them to announce you anyway you want..
    so you could tell them to announce you as princess belle and her entourage....
    or whatever....
    i'm planning on making up something stupid to make my mom and sister laugh...

    but lots of people are announced as "the jones family" or whatever their name is.....most people think it's really cool..

    when i was with DH, DD and DS, we were announced by our family name but i couldn't really hear them say it...
    it's a pretty noisy area with lots going on....too much to take in to hear what was being said..
     
  • DSNYDREAMER

    Traceyh@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2010
    After lunch, I resisted the urge to ooh and ahh over Central Park and got to work! I knew I wanted to see the kids clubs before we set sail as I wouldn't be able to get in and walk around, talk to the counsellors and explore once the clubs were open.

    The Adventure Ocean Program is located on deck 14 in the Youth Zone area for the 12 and under with the Teen Area on deck 15. My understanding is this space is over 28000 square feet!
    The Allure of the Seas Youth Zone has six age groups:

    Royal Babies and Tots - 6 months to 3 years
    The Royal Babies and Tots is a drop off nursery with one dedicated nursery staff for each four babies. This is very similar to the Nursery on the DCL ships. The charge is $8 per hour and it is open from 9 am until about midnight. The nursery is open on both sea and port days. Parents can book in advance but drop-ins are also welcome based on availability. The Nursery provides a deck phone for parents to use while they are on the ship.

    Aquanauts - ages 3 to 5
    For this area kids must be completely toilet trained, there are no diapers or pull ups allowed. The Aquanauts area had a lot of Fisher-Price toys in their activity room.

    Explorers - ages 6 to 8
    The Explorers have Nintendos Wiis, and use the art room, science lab, and Adventure Ocean theater in their activities.

    Voyagers - ages 9 to 11
    The Voyagers also use all of the same facilities as the Explorers, but are more independent. They also use the FlowRiders and sports courts

    Tweens - ages 11 to 12 and Teens - ages 13 to 17
    The tweens and teens have their own schedule and counselors. The kids don't sign in and out like they do for those under 12. They have a Living Room area, which is a lounge with TVs, games, computers, and music studio. They also have a teen night club, and outside back deck. The tweens/teens area is near the table tennis, sports court, and Wipe Out cafe, but they use the entire ship for their fun, having scavenger hunts, dancing, swimming, and hanging out with their new friends.

    The Adventure Ocean staff do not have any activities for the under 12’s at the pools, but all three age groups are involved with the DreamWorks experience. The characters are in Adventure Ocean about once or twice a day, and there are some DreamWorks themed days.

    There is some flexibility for kids to move to different age levels once onboard. Also from 10pm to 2am it is called Late Night Party Zone and there is a charge of $6 per hour, per child.

    I was also able to speak to many of the counsellors and like Disney, they all have experience and training in working with children. Many I spoke to her also had personal experience working with special needs kids. Special Needs Kids can be accomodated in the Youth Zone, those parents would also be provided with a deck phone.

    Overall, I think nobody touches Disney when it comes to kids clubs. But honestly I was pleasantly surprised by what Royal Caribbean was doing on the Allure and would consider them a very close second.
     

    LionKingRules84

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2007
    After listening to the podcast this week I'm more than convinced I'd enjoy this ship. Only problem I see at this point is finding food for my husband with the gluten allergy.
     

    DSNYDREAMER

    Traceyh@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2010
    I spoke with various staff regarding this very thing. I recently sailed with a friend on another line that had issues with finding gluten free food. It was explained to me that in the main dining room this was taken care of by the Head server. We would note it on the resrevation and they would work with the guest evening to determine what food choices would work for the following evening. I also asked in the buffet area, I was directed to one of the 2 head servers always on staff during buffet hours. Their role is to assist with people that have food allergies. In the casual food areas, I would ask if they could accomodate gluten free diets and was told they could and in every case that I could speak to a manager and they would review what offerings were available.

    I didn't follow up to the point of getting food lists etc, but in every case when I asked I was immediately informed of the procedure for that area.
     

    Princessclab

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2007
    After lunch, I resisted the urge to ooh and ahh over Central Park and got to work! I knew I wanted to see the kids clubs before we set sail as I wouldn't be able to get in and walk around, talk to the counsellors and explore once the clubs were open.

    The Adventure Ocean Program is located on deck 14 in the Youth Zone area for the 12 and under with the Teen Area on deck 15. My understanding is this space is over 28000 square feet!
    The Allure of the Seas Youth Zone has six age groups:

    Royal Babies and Tots - 6 months to 3 years
    The Royal Babies and Tots is a drop off nursery with one dedicated nursery staff for each four babies. This is very similar to the Nursery on the DCL ships. The charge is $8 per hour and it is open from 9 am until about midnight. The nursery is open on both sea and port days. Parents can book in advance but drop-ins are also welcome based on availability. The Nursery provides a deck phone for parents to use while they are on the ship.

    Aquanauts - ages 3 to 5
    For this area kids must be completely toilet trained, there are no diapers or pull ups allowed. The Aquanauts area had a lot of Fisher-Price toys in their activity room.

    Explorers - ages 6 to 8
    The Explorers have Nintendos Wiis, and use the art room, science lab, and Adventure Ocean theater in their activities.

    Voyagers - ages 9 to 11
    The Voyagers also use all of the same facilities as the Explorers, but are more independent. They also use the FlowRiders and sports courts

    Tweens - ages 11 to 12 and Teens - ages 13 to 17
    The tweens and teens have their own schedule and counselors. The kids don't sign in and out like they do for those under 12. They have a Living Room area, which is a lounge with TVs, games, computers, and music studio. They also have a teen night club, and outside back deck. The tweens/teens area is near the table tennis, sports court, and Wipe Out cafe, but they use the entire ship for their fun, having scavenger hunts, dancing, swimming, and hanging out with their new friends.

    The Adventure Ocean staff do not have any activities for the under 12’s at the pools, but all three age groups are involved with the DreamWorks experience. The characters are in Adventure Ocean about once or twice a day, and there are some DreamWorks themed days.

    There is some flexibility for kids to move to different age levels once onboard. Also from 10pm to 2am it is called Late Night Party Zone and there is a charge of $6 per hour, per child.

    I was also able to speak to many of the counsellors and like Disney, they all have experience and training in working with children. Many I spoke to her also had personal experience working with special needs kids. Special Needs Kids can be accomodated in the Youth Zone, those parents would also be provided with a deck phone.

    Overall, I think nobody touches Disney when it comes to kids clubs. But honestly I was pleasantly surprised by what Royal Caribbean was doing on the Allure and would consider them a very close second.
    Excellent, waiting for the next installment......:surfweb:
     

    DSNYDREAMER

    Traceyh@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2010
    I was very impressed with the amount of space dedicated to the pools, water play area for the kiddies and the number of deck chairs--they seemed to go on forever! A couple of times throughout the cruise I went up on deck to check out how busy it was. Like every cruise I have ever sailed, sea days are busy by the pool. I did notice that the area seemed to handle the crowds and in all visits I was able to see empty deck chairs.

    The kids play area is called H20 Zone, a colorful aquapark with a giant octopus, 10 other multicolored sculptures, a pool and pair of family-friendly hot tubs are also in the area. Across the way, separated by the open space that plunges down to Central Park, is the Sports Pool, used for things like water aerobics and pool volleyball. On the same side is the Main Pool, across from the Main Pool is the faux-rock-lined Beach Pool, which features a sloped entry, allowing passengers to sit with loungers partially submerged.

    There are Rock Climbing Walls, Ziplines and Flowriders. All are included in your cruise fare and will require authorization forms signed. The Flowrider also offers lessons for $60 per hour that can be booked in advance as well as onboard.

    Located near the FlowRiders is a basketball court, a mini-golf course and a glass-enclosed Ping-Pong area to block out the wind. There is also a running track that is 2 lanes around the ship. 2.4 laps equal one mile.
     

    DSNYDREAMER

    Traceyh@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2010
    These areas were among my favorite on the ship. I loved being outside without having to be on the pool deck. They each were so well themed and really set this ship apart from any other I had been on. At the entrance to both areas was an umbrella stand, where you could borrow an umbrella if it was raining.

    Central Park was beautiful with its walkways and landscaping, along the way were several benches. These proved to be great locations to sit and enjoy a book or people watch. This is where the now infamous Park Cafe is with its roast beef sandwiches! Central Park is also home to 3 specialty restaurants (150 Central Park, Giovanni's Table, Chops Grille) and 2 bars (Vintages and Trellis Bar). Vintages is where you will find the Tapas and wine and Trellis Bar is a nice quiet location to grab a drink.

    In addition to the food choices there are 3 shopping locations here...the Britto Store and art gallery, a Coach store, and a portrait studio.

    While Central Park was a quiet, relaxing place to spend time...the Boardwalk was lively and exciting! The first thing you notice when entering this area is the Carousel, this is full size and was a popular choice all week for young and old alike! At the other end of the Boardwalk is the Aqua theater, during our cruise this was not just used for Oceanaria, it also housed other activities throughout the week.

    Boardwalk dining is geared more towards families...options include Rita's Cantina tacqueria or Johnny Rockets diner , having a hot dog at the Boardwalk Dog House, or homemade ice cream or sweets at the ice cream parlor and donut shop. Also at various times popcorn and cotton candy were being sold. Dazzles Bar is near the aqua theater for some adult beverages!

    The shops on the Boardwalk, include a novelty photo shop, stuffed animal shop (think build a bear), candy store, teen and children's retail shops, and the Carousel cart.
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Great report so far! This is really making me want to check out the Allure or the Oasis.

    One quick question. You said "Also at various times popcorn and cotton candy were being sold." Were they actually being sold (ie, you had to pay for them) or were they being "given out"?

    Sayhello
     

    DSNYDREAMER

    Traceyh@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2010
    They were being sold...I can't remember the cost but I think it was $2 or $3 each.
     

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