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Nov 4, Allure of the Seas, Western Caribbean - A Review and Complete Pictorial Guide!

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Thank you so much! So - quick camera question since I'm in love with every.single.picture you've taken. I'm getting a new camera for this trip and I kind of had my heart set on Nikon 3100, but after seeing your pictures I'm wondering if I should go the Sony route with your style that also looks a lot smaller. Do you have any recommendations? I know you're busy with the review so whenever you have a minute you send me a message or email :)


Oh please don't ask me about cameras, we will never stop talking about them, lol. Joking ask away.


ok lets see, one of my many cameras was a Nikon D3000 I bought it for my Europe trip. She is much larger than my current Sony cam, a little heavier and feels a little cheaper.


When I bought the sony I had then choice of going full DSLR or compact, I picked this one after months of research. In my opinion this camera produces much sharper results than the D3000 ever did, I was actually quite displeased with some of the results of the Nikon and I sold her right after the Europe trip.


Now don't get me wrong Nikon makes wonderful DSLR cameras, but the problem lies more with their kit lens. Unless you plan on spending more money on a better lens, don't expect much from the Nikon. The sony kit lens on the other hand can pull their own game.


Another thing that I like more about Sony cameras are that they produce much richer colors, some people dislike that and say it looks unnatural. To each their own, its a personal choice. I like it


One more thing is that the D3000 could not handle high ISO very well, I am not sure if they fixed it in the D3100.


I am going to suggest you go to this site and compare results, I spent a lot of time there before buying this camera. You can play around with different cameras and ISO settings. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-nex-f3/11


I was also considering buying a 3/4 panasonic camera, they have the advantage that their lens line up is pretty large, while the Nex series line up is somewhat limited. Although it is slowly increasing, this month they will release a super wide lens that I am going to buy if I get the money for it.


My final decision with the sony over the panasonic was image quality, the Nex line up is slightly stronger.


Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the Nikon, I hope my followers don't get upset over the change of topic. My apologies folks, but I love cameras and if I can help I will always do it.












Like I said I am sure you will be happy with either camera, it comes down to form factor. This camera is very easy to travel with.


I hope that helped.

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The drill was fairly quick, after that was done with we headed towards the back to make sure I got the prime spot I was looking for. We got the perfect location with two chairs and foot rests. Mom and bf sat down, while I got comfortable with my location.















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Ok this pictures deserves it's own post. This is what happens when your fingers are glued to a camera like mine are. I was taking pictures of everything that moved that day. I saw several planes take off in intervals and I took pictures of most of them with out really checking out what airline they were or anything, I figured I would looked after and keep the ones I liked.


Just right NOW as I was going through my pictures I noticed one of them was a very special plane. Yes sir Air Force One indeed. The president was in Hollywood, Florida that day for a rally and I was lucky enough to get him leaving Florida that day, Go Obama!!! Let's hope he does good in his second term.


I am so excited about this picture! I can't believe I got it :D.




The quality is not the best because I had to crop it, the plane was really far away.

Edited by gambee

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Once again ill let the pictures do the talking from here until dinner.















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Thank you so much - I'm defiantly going to check out that website. My problem is I've never had a DSLR camera before and I'm not really familiar with the different lenses, etc. Which do you think is best for a beginner? I'm totally with you though...I love the richness your camera gives. This is making me want to get the camera tonight...lol!

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Thank you so much - I'm defiantly going to check out that website. My problem is I've never had a DSLR camera before and I'm not really familiar with the different lenses, etc. Which do you think is best for a beginner? I'm totally with you though...I love the richness your camera gives. This is making me want to get the camera tonight...lol!


I would definitely recommend any of the Nex cameras with the kit 18-55 lens that comes with it, it will not disappoint you. If you are in a budget look at mine Sony Nex-F3, if you have a little money to spare look at the Sony Nex-6, it just came out and its a monster of a camera. Those kit lens are your usual 3x zoom of point and shoot cameras. If you feel the need of more zoom buy the E-mount 55-210 lens, that is all you will need for your trip. Later on as you become more familiar with your camera you can look into prime or super wide lens.


All it takes to get good pictures is a decent camera and a little creativity. I am just an amateur with his finger glued to the shutter. That's it, I read maybe 2-3 books that I bought on amazon, but no clases or training.

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I am glued to the computer waiting for the next installment. Wonderful review. I will be sailing on her Dec 9, only 25 days but who's counting, right?


I have one question. With all of the beautiful photos and all of the photos you took of you Mom why don' t you post some of you, the bf, and Mom????


There will be some of me in the flow rider, just wait till you see those, they are to die for.


About mom and bf, I don't know. I guess mom likes her privacy and I really did not get that many of my bf, he really does not like to be photographed :rolleyes:.


But you will see me later on :).

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I'm reliving our recent Allure cruises through your wonderful review and pictures. Thanks for sharing......:) I want to go back.......NOW!


Me to, I wish I could move there :D


First, I am enjoying reading this report and seeing your amazing pictures!! We are going on Allure (hopefully, booking last minute) in April and I am using that trip as my motivation for jump starting an exercise/diet/getting healthy lifestyle. Your pictures are helping me more than words ever could. Keep them coming!!


Second, did you change something between last night and this morning in your postings? I could see your pictures awesome before and now they are just links. Ehh, I'll figure it out!!


Thank you for the report!! Your pictures of FLL are making me "homesick." We lived there for a a few years moving back home to the Northeast in 2009. I miss it more than I thought I would.


First of all I am not sure if a cruise is a good motivator for a diet, I gained like 5 lbs :(, but I can see your point to start dieting prior the cruise and keep the good work there. That was not my case, too much food :rolleyes:, I could not resist.


I did not change anything, that is very odd. Did you try a different browser, is anyone else experiencing this? if so please let me know, I will figure out a way to fix it.


I am glad you're enjoying the review, thanks for joining.

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Loving your review! Your pictures are awesome and your review tells the story to the point I feel like I'm on vacation with you guys. Can't wait to read more!



thanks for joining and glad you're enjoying it. More to come soon :)

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Ok for that night we had reservations for Giovanni's. Let me tell you something, as some of you might have noticed I had picked all my food for the cruise prior boarding and that night I was supposed to eat Seabass. I LOVE seabass, to my surprised when I saw the menu they had removed the seabass from it. I was a little frustrated, but got over it pretty fast. As I started looking for a substitution for the seabass, I noticed rack of lamb. The problem was that I had already selected rack of lamb for another night, but in any case I figured well just get it here, it will most likely be much better than the one at the MDR. So it was settle I would get the rack of lamb.







For wine I wanted something somewhat strong, so I picked the castle rock Cab as I was familiar with it. I will to comment that I was never pressured to buy another more expensive bottle. I read many reviews were servers told people that they could not get their wine package at specialty restaurants. Prior our cruise I contacted RCCL twice to make sure this was not going to happen to me. They send me a statement and I printed it just in case I was told otherwise. The main reason I got the wine package was to save on wine cost at specialty restaurants. I NEVER encountered a problem in any of our specialty restaurants when ordering our cheap wine, so please don't be ashamed of using your wine package anywhere you go in the ship. As a matter of fact in 150 all 3 tables around me had wine packages, I am not sure which pack they had, but I noticed all of them were given the little wine list for the package. Two couples at the other end of the restaurant were doing the wine tasting, I wish I had the money to splurge on that. However I did tried that martini, I will into that later on.







bf Appetizer lentil soup, he said it was very good. I am not one for soups so I can't comment. But as I stated before he likes food with A LOT of flavor in them.




I had the carpaccio it was very very good, I loved it and devoured it all.


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Mom really did not want anything or at least that is what I recall, so I told her to get the Antipasto and we could share. It was excellent, with the exception of the anchovies they were just horrible. I love anchovies, but I am not sure what was wrong with those. Mom ended up eating most of the appetizer, I had most of the Cambonzola cheese, it was sooooooooo good. It is a type of brie cheese I think.





After the appetizer we had some more wine and played around a little with the decanter, its a fun little device but it makes pouring the wine very annoying. I could not imagine as a server using that on all the tables so time consuming. I believe they have them for sale on the ship, I did not ask how much. I really don't think that my cheap bottle of wine really needed it, but it was a very nice touch that he did for us and we appreciated it dearly.


Then I took advantage to take some pictures of the restaurant. I made this two panoramas so you can get a feel of what the restaurant looks like. I am really sorry about the second picture, but it's the best I could do with the pictures I took, the lighting was horrible and the angle was hard to get. That is why I shopped off the head of the guy in the picture, sorry, I wish it would come out better.






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Then our dinner came out.


Mom got the Jumbo shrimp, They were HUGE just like our server had said like little Lobsters and they were very very tasty, mom loved them. It was so funny since he had seen me take pictures of everything, he asked me if I wanted to take the picture before he took the shell off from them. We were all laughing. I was the only person taking pictures and most of them with flash, I am sure it annoyed some of the people, but my fellow CC family wanted pictures right?




My bf ordered ossobuco, it was his first time. He said it was very good, so I decided to taste it. It was indeed an excellent piece of ossobuco, you will not be disappointed.





Now to my dish…….. The disaster of the evening. I ordered the lamb, it came out and looked fantastic, I could not wait to dig into it. But I was waiting on our server to remove the shells of my mom dish. Well it was cutting time, I ordered them MR, but our serve suggested Medium, I never go against a servers suggestion, they always know better than you. The meat was cocked perfectly, the problem you ask? Well I could not tell if I was eating meat or a rock, it was the hardest piece of lamb I have ever had. I mean it was almost impossible to cut, none the less I worked through it and ate all of it, it tasted good, it was just hard as a rock. The server stopped and asked how everything was, we told him very good. I was not going to return my food, I don't believe in it. Anyway long story short, it was so hard, that my jaw was actually sore the next day. I am not bluffing, I rarely complain about food being hard, but this was new to me. Just being honest. I wish they still had the seabass.





For our pasta sharing plates we had the mushroom risotto and the gnocchi they were both FANTASTIC!!!!!!!







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For dessert mom and I were completely stuffed, I decided to order dessert for the purpose of the review. We both asked him for the fruit cup, but he said "No, you're having both the fruit cup and the cherry cup each" I forgot their exact names, he was so funny, made us laugh once again and we could not decline the way he insisted was very charming. So we each got two mini cups, I am so glad he insisted on us trying the cherry dessert, because IT WAS TO DIE FOR, the fruit one was good, but it had no comparison to the cherry one.




My bf had the tiramisu, our server made a huge effort to sell the tiramisu. The way he described just made you melt away, very nicely done Bashir. The bf LOVED the tiramisu, he said it was excellent and cleaned the plate. I tried a little spoonful and thought it was good, I really don't care for tiramisu, personally I think they have to much cream.




Lastly and most importantly of it all I want to compliment our sever Bashir, I am so sorry, I could not find your name when I was filling the comment cards at the end of the cruise. I just found it now, it was buried in my notes. I want to ask RCCL if you could please add this as it was my comment card, he was fantastic. Every little detail you did made our night a very memorable one. He was funny, professional, fast and very enthusiastic. You did a phenomenal job, thank you Bashir.


Then we asked for the check, since we had both packages paid our check came to $0.00 and if I remember correctly I left the extra tip in cash, but I am not sure. I might of put it in the credit card. No coffee for us, I was enjoying the very pleasurable effects of our bottle of wine :D


About tipping extra… there are a vast amount of threads here in this forum, I my self started a poll to get an idea of how much people tip extra at specialty restaurants. I always tip more in specialty restaurants, I am not saying that is how you should do it, just making a comment on what I do.


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Your pictures are amazing, I'm mesmerized by them :) Thanks so much for sharing!!


Thanks for the nice comment and joining in :)

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Ok fellow CC family that is all I have for now. I am going to get some lunch and work on the next set so I can finish day 1 today, I also want to look at the videos I took, I havent even seen them yet :rolleyes:.


I highly recommend Giovanni's just stay away from those Lamb shops.


Let me know what you thought of dinner,

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Your review is fantastic! I apprecaite all the hard work you have put into it, it really shows!


I am really looking forward to the rest of your review!

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