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createmem

Allure of the Seas Review Feb 10 eastern - no compasses used this cruise!

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Hi All - 

 

Back from our Allure of the Seas eastern cruise and still wanted to relive our sea days, so I will indulge in a review.  

 

A bit about us - Hubby and I cruise every 2 years (roughly).  We are loyal to Royal, though have been on Carnival and Disney.  We find out sweet spot for the amenities we like and the price we can afford to be with Royal.

 

We are at the Diamond level, and we like that.  Hubby does know that he is ponying off of my diamond points and will admit it to everyone if you ask him.  We know we will very likely never get to a higher level before Royal decides to revamp the program.  We don't get different cabins to get double points, because that money is needed for wine for our stash at home.  We cruise at a price point we can afford, and in the past, that typically means getting the cheapest deal at whatever interior cabin we can get.  On our last two cruises, we splurged a bit and went with a Boardwalk balcony.

 

We eat in the dining room and specialty restaurants for dinner.  We tend to avoid the windjammer, and prefer other venues on the ship.  We do drink, but do not get the drinking packages because with access to Diamond lounge we tend to reserve our drinking for then or wine at Vintages.  

 

I am a recovering OVER PLANNER!  I always research and plan every excursion, every show, every detail of every day.  However in our Oasis cruise in 2017, it took place days after Hurricane Maria, and our plans were revamped for us by the cruise line.  I had the best cruise to date because I just let it all go.  I still do a small bit of planning, but as you can see from my title, I don't use cruise compasses anymore (nor the app) to see what there is to do.  I do what I want to do, which is to lay by the pool all day, and have dinner and drinks in the evening.  Hubby says I am far more relaxed these last two cruises and not beholden to a schedule.

 

A few notes about us.  We live in Omaha Nebraska and live just on the city outskirts in the burbs.  We are both in our late 40s (I'll be 50 next year) and did our time raising a 22 year old daughter who is in culinary school.  She stayed home with our 2 pups while we fled the literal frozen tundra seeking warmth and sun.  We call this trip our winter thaw out, and we picked the perfect snowy week to be gone.  We both work outside the home, me in financial planning for families and hubby (former AF retired) is now in his 2nd career for an environmental inspection company.  I love reading cruise critic reviews, but I always find myself wanting to know more about the poster and their life back at home.  I think it helps to understand the perspective of the poster.  As for us, we own a home, love to spend our time on our amazing deck drinking wine in the evenings when the weather is good.  We collect wine for a nice (very SMALL) wine cellar that exists under the stairs in our basement.  We love cruises because it gives us time to getaway, and fully unwind.  We balance cruise vacations with land, and in 2018 we traveled to New York and Maine over 10 days, then I went to Napa for a work trip (hate when work sends you to such beautiful places:)  

 

We left for the Allure cruise on 2/9 flying out of Omaha through Midway on Southwest. Even though the ship leaves out of Miami, we flew in to Ft Lauderdale.  I like that airport a bit better and Southwest doesn't fly to Miami.  We used our SW credit card points for our flights and booked this entire trip back in October when the weather turned prematurely cold early.  We booked cabin 11715 on Allure, A boardwalk balcony.  We had previously had a boardwalk balcony on Oasis and loved it.  While we liked it this time, we didn't love it.  Allure has the beds closer to the balcony door, and as a result it was quite a bit more noisy.  

 

We stayed at the Hilton Downtown because we really like to see the ships in the morning when we wake up and took MJS transportation from the airport to the hotel.  We had a 17th floor bay view room.  We got to our hotel about 7pm, and walked a few blocks from our hotel for a latin food feast for dinner at a local Cuban/Puerto Rican restaurant.  Amazing food, great prices.  

 

Here is us, and I will be on later to post more.  I hope you follow along and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Looking forward to hearing all about your adventure.  We are sailing on the Allure in June and I like to devour every bit of info I can about our upcoming sailings.

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Love hearing about "who you are" and I currently am an Overplanner !!!  I enjoy all the trip planning and research.  And my husband benefits from it, as he just goes along with whatever I've planned.  Can't wait for more of your review.  We will be sailing her in December 2019.  Eagerly awaiting more ......

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We were on Allure a few years ago and loved it!

Similar to you, I am a total over planner, but I find it helps while waiting for the cruise and helps with excitement.  We're no where close to Diamond, but like you book what works for our budget as we put our finances elsewhere (but do constantly price check in case something better comes up).  I love your comment about wanting to know about the poster as it gives you a sense of their priorities and their experience during the cruise.  Looking forward to your review. 

 

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Nice refreshing twist to the review with info on both of you. We are very much alike.

We are Not cruise Junkies, Love to mix it up with Land vacations. Every other year sounds

about right although we have done some consecutive years. Looking forward to the rest of the review.

Thanks for taking the time to share.

  

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We are doing this route in 3 weeks and are also diamond.  How was the traffic in the Diamond lounge.  Only have been diamond for a couple of years and have only experienced the lounge on liberty and have never had an issue with overflow.  I hear allure will have more not just because of the size but also due to more frequent cruisers in Florida.  If there was an overflow where was it located.  We know we can go to any bar for our 3 drinks, but we like to talk to the other diamond cruisers when we get a chance.

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What great background info, we sound alike!  And I had to laugh as my work has often taken me to Lincoln, NE (and always fly into Omaha and have grown fond of it too) 🙂  Love your state!  I started being more unprepared on my past cruises and found I had such a better time!  Looking forward to your review!

 

 

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definitely following...and agree about loving the backstory on people. I too am an OVER planner.

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59 minutes ago, createmem said:

...We had previously had a boardwalk balcony on Oasis and loved it.  While we liked it this time, we didn't love it.  Allure has the beds closer to the balcony door,...

All Oasis class ships have some rooms with the beds close to the closet, and some rooms with the beds close to the balcony. This is NOT a function of Allure versus Oasis. You needed to plan more...😌

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13 minutes ago, TravelerThom said:

All Oasis class ships have some rooms with the beds close to the closet, and some rooms with the beds close to the balcony. This is NOT a function of Allure versus Oasis. You needed to plan more...😌

well now - that would defeat the recovering over planner purpose now wouldn't it 🙂

 

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47 minutes ago, vettecruiser1 said:

We are doing this route in 3 weeks and are also diamond.  How was the traffic in the Diamond lounge.  Only have been diamond for a couple of years and have only experienced the lounge on liberty and have never had an issue with overflow.  I hear allure will have more not just because of the size but also due to more frequent cruisers in Florida.  If there was an overflow where was it located.  We know we can go to any bar for our 3 drinks, but we like to talk to the other diamond cruisers when we get a chance.

I thought Diamond lounge was quite uncrowded.  Never had an issue getting a table close to the window.  We tend to spend as much of our predinner evening in diamond using downtime to catch up on social media, and talk with others.  We love talking to other cruisers and met some wonderful people this past cruise.

 

That said, on Oasis in 2017, Diamond lounge was much busier with us often sharing a table or asking to share a table with others we didn't know.  It was not an issue, but I did feel there was a definite difference in age and demographic on this cruise vs our cruise in 2017.  Lets just say at our advanced age, we felt super young!

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Great review so far! Love the back story and pic, following along. :classic_biggrin: We will be on her in March - so looking forward to it as we need to escape the cold!

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So I thought I would share our prestay dinner.  I am 50% Puerto Rican and I am always looking for good PR food.  We used to have a great restaurant for that in Omaha, and it closed last year, so I miss it.  When we were in the shuttle from the airport we noticed in Biscayne Blvd, lots of latin restaurants and I said well I know where we are going for dinner tonight.  My hubby - he doesn't say much when he knows he will get outvoted:)  

 

In the past, we have stayed at the holiday inn across from Bayside when cruising, but that hotel was fully booked and when I looked at other options in that area, it was super pricey.  I booked the Hilton on Expedia and prepaid in January.  I hate doing that at this time of year, but I didn't want to lose that rate.

 

Dinner was amazing, and not expensive.  We paid $47 with tip for all this!

 

1.jpg.eab574db24788d2cb5bab18f2f2619c9.jpg

Mojito and Sangria

 

2.jpg.901c38570d606a16aa12943241881b3a.jpg

Tostones with Garlic Sauce

 

 

3.jpg.e3804a745a9e1304019e2bf7243cf99d.jpg

Paella

 

4.jpg.66be8e37bffbffc6aefb182d7282fa55.jpg

Ropa Vieja with Rice and Beans

 

5.jpg.626b9bc756af015707e03e568c3abbb7.jpg

Papa Rellena

 

If you are looking for great food, off the beaten path.  This is the Latin Cafe at 2501 Biscayne Blvd.  Was a short walk from the hotel.

 

Now when we got back to our hotel, we opened the window to a beautiful city and port view.  My hubby has those photos and if he would answer my text, I could load them for you!

 

We noticed Symphony leaving that evening at 9:30, so a bit late.  it was fun to watch that ship do a 3 point turn in the harbor and then sail away.

 

 

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Since we usually cruise when school is out of session, since we have a jr high school student, we have noticed that the diamond lounge is usually the younger diamond cruisers(us included).  All the reports I hear about crowded lounges are when the ship is doing a TA or during the off season.  I will report back after our spring break cruise to see if this still hold true.  Since the last two spring break and Thanks giving cruises while at diamond status the lounge is busy but not crazy crowded.  Of course the other key graphic will be this will be the Allure which is quite a bit larger then our home ship the Liberty.  We are so ready for our Cruise and we love meeting people that are as excited as us.  Most diamond are pretty good with sharing tables, the few pins we have asked just looked down at us since we were a bit younger and they only wanted to critique the conditions. 

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40 minutes ago, createmem said:

So I thought I would share our prestay dinner.  I am 50% Puerto Rican and I am always looking for good PR food.  We used to have a great restaurant for that in Omaha, and it closed last year, so I miss it.  When we were in the shuttle from the airport we noticed in Biscayne Blvd, lots of latin restaurants and I said well I know where we are going for dinner tonight.  My hubby - he doesn't say much when he knows he will get outvoted:)  

 

In the past, we have stayed at the holiday inn across from Bayside when cruising, but that hotel was fully booked and when I looked at other options in that area, it was super pricey.  I booked the Hilton on Expedia and prepaid in January.  I hate doing that at this time of year, but I didn't want to lose that rate.

 

Dinner was amazing, and not expensive.  We paid $47 with tip for all this!

 

 

Mojito and Sangria

 

 

Tostones with Garlic Sauce

 

 

Paella

 

 

Ropa Vieja with Rice and Beans

 

 

Papa Rellena

 

If you are looking for great food, off the beaten path.  This is the Latin Cafe at 2501 Biscayne Blvd.  Was a short walk from the hotel.

 

Now when we got back to our hotel, we opened the window to a beautiful city and port view.  My hubby has those photos and if he would answer my text, I could load them for you!

 

We noticed Symphony leaving that evening at 9:30, so a bit late.  it was fun to watch that ship do a 3 point turn in the harbor and then sail away.

 

 

 

That looks amazing!!  I know where we are going next time we are in town...

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Great start! Can't wait to hear all about your adventure! I too suffer the same affliction! (over planning) I love to hear easy breezy success stories! I need to follow your example!

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18 hours ago, CruisingHusker said:

I live in Omaha too! Welcome back to the frozen tundra and 6-9 inches of snow tonight!!

You call that snow?  Actually is it supposed to snow more today.  We got about 4-5 inches at our house.

 

Just kidding.  We sat in our home hot tub after work last night and said while our water feels hotter than the one on the ship that likely was because it was so freaking cold.  

 

 

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18 hours ago, RazorbackIslandGirl said:

Great start! Can't wait to hear all about your adventure! I too suffer the same affliction! (over planning) I love to hear easy breezy success stories! I need to follow your example!

it has helped.  But I still over plan a bit.  

 

If you have ever taken the Gallup strengths finder it will explain this.  Responsibility is one of my top 5 strengths (or curses if you prefer).  I feel responsible for everyone's happiness over my own.  So I want to make sure everyone is having fun and doing things they want to do.  Really all I want to do is sit by the pool in the sun or shade depending on how I feel that day, and read my book.  My hubby prefers moving all the time and doing things.  He is getting better at laying by my side for a few hours of sun, but he tends to wander off.  What he doesn't fully realize, is that I am okay with him wandering off!

Edited by createmem

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