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Old 06-16-2012, 09:43 PM   #556
MAGICFOR2
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Awesome job Savannah!

Looks like the Madascar show was alot of fun, too!
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:12 PM   #557
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Ah, last day blues made worse by the dreaded photo area. Ugh! Savannah's dancing more than made up for it, though. She did awesome!!!
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:01 PM   #558
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camera?

I have fully enjoyed your cruise review. Thanks for all of your time & efforts to post so much!!! Most of all your photos are fabulous! what kind of camera do you use? I am looking for a compact camera that is inexpensive & durable for our trip. I am currently a strict DSLR camera user, but don't want to take my DSLR cameras to the beach at the risk that they might be stolen or damaged. I still want to be able to capture all of our priceless memories.

I just thought that since your photos are so amazing, you might be able to tell me what type of camera you drag around with you on your trips. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:36 PM   #560
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Hi there!

I don't know if you're still looking at your report to answer questions, but I read your report start to biginning the other day and wow, does the Allure seem huge, but well worth it! I was wondering, when you ate at the specialty restaurants, did you tip extra on top of the charge for the meal? Really looking forward to possibly planning a trip with RC and not sure how the surcharge works with tipping? Hope that makes sense!

TIA
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:59 AM   #561
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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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Old 07-07-2012, 12:48 PM   #562
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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.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:03 PM   #563
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Terrific review and much appreciated. We just booked our 2nd cruise on Dream and now I'm having second thoughts.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:47 PM   #564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nenner1 View Post

And if you haven’t heard about the Little Wonders art viewers (the brass thing here), they are all over the ship. When you see these or a similar looking thing with a viewfinder on it, take a peek inside!
how neat

If you aren’t familiar with the setup on Oasis and Allure, each stateroom/party has their own binder and all photos taken are sorted there, using facial recognition technology. No more standing by the wall searching thought 3,657,901 other photos. Everything you need is right in your binder*. Easy peasy!
so is it like a 3 ring type binder (kind of?) or electronic binder that is on display?

FINALLY it was our turn. We had 4 photographs and had thought we were going to get the $79.99 for 4 package. But at the register I spotted a Crown & Anchor coupon and realized we had our coupons. I pulled out our coupon book and it was buy 1 at full price, get one for half off, so with our two coupons, we could get the same 4 pictures for about $20 less.
SCORE!!!

The gentleman checking us out had already begun the transaction though so he had to cancel it out and charge us again at the coupon rate. No problem right? Wrong. I didn’t realize it until after we got back to our stateroom and we looked on the TV at our bill that we had been charged two transactions- the $79 one and a $59 one- so we had been more than double charged for our photos! Right away Ron called the photo gallery and they told us we had to call guest services. He called guest services and they said we had to go to the photo gallery. Ah, the run-around.
OH-MY-GAWD.. that would have me irrate. I wonder if they do the run around so that eventually people are like FORGET IT and just leave the charges..

About this time Ron came up and he was really mad now.
and he has every right.. i would be the same darn way!!!!


After that fiasco we wandered over to the Loyalty desk to see about rebooking another cruise while onboard to get the OBC they offer if you do so. The office was empty except for a couple of cruisers browsing the itinerary books and a big notebook completely full. I guess we should have checked earlier in the cruise- we did not know this is how they handled rebookings:
wow you would think they would have a better system for all of that the pics, rebooking, etc how sad that a ship that big on a line that HUGE doesnt

She did an improv dance. She didn’t know what music they were going to choose but she was familiar with the song and she did well.
WOO HOO go Savannah

We had a date....a date with a mob.
ohh cant wait to see it!
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:15 AM   #565
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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.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:28 PM   #566
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awesome read cant wait to finish

Thanks, too...Just what i was looking for.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:53 AM   #567
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Alright guys it's really time (past time) to finish this off!

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.


And now...on with the show!
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:03 AM   #568
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The Mob

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.





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!)





JAZZ HANDS!




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!




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!



Some random pics:
















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



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



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!





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!!




Sarah made Captain Kung Fu Panda!



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!)



Up Next: Move it. Move it...and YOU THERE, MOVE IT!
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:23 AM   #569
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Move it, Move it...and YOU THERE, MOVE IT!

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!





Parade crowds:



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!



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….



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



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



Gloria runs by!



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





Shrek! I missed Fiona. That girl can boogie!



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



And it was over very fast!



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!
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:28 AM   #570
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The Last Supper

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!



Savory Bites in our bread basket tonight and on my plate!


Sarah is having fun!



And eating her veggies!



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



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



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



Brendan my seafood lover chose the Shrimp Cocktail



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



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



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





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!



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





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!



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!









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



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!



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



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.
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