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Allure Cruise Continued

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on December 7, 2011

Allure of the Seas
Day 1, Continued

Re the bathrooms in a standard cabin, expect a shower shaped like a manhole cover. It’s round with barely enough room to turn. The good thing is it has glass doors instead of a flimsy curtain that wants to grab your butt. There’s bar soap and a shampoo dispenser, and you are provided small bottles of conditioner, lotion, and shower gel. The sink has bar soap also, in a deep dish that quickly gets wet and mushy. I’d brought a small shower gel from Bath & Body Works, and in one of the ports, I bought liquid antibacterial soap for hand washing. Hand sanitizers are everywhere on the ship, at the entrances to all eateries, at the gangway, and elsewhere. But here’s the next TIP 4: Bring your own liquid hand soap dispenser and shower gel if desired. Good places to buy travel-sized toiletries: Target; Bath & Body Works; Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Cabin

Interior Balcony Cabin

Since we had time before the life boat drill at 4:30, we explored. Our family members wanted to see the Boardwalk aft on Deck 6, so we headed over there next. This open-air neighborhood has a real working carousel, a candy store ($$), ice cream parlor ($$), free donuts in the mornings, a clothing boutique, and Zoltar the fortuneteller, who calls out and follows you with his eyes as you walk by. I succumbed and paid a dollar to get a ticket with my fortune. Nothing remarkable there. Further along is Rita’s Cantina, a Mexican restaurant for an extra fee. The ship boasts several specialty dining establishments, including Johnny Rockets opposite the cantina. At the very rear on Deck 6 is the Aquatheater with bleachers and a stage where water shows are held.

Zoltar

Zoltar the Fortuneteller

Carousel

Carousel on Boardwalk

Rita's Cantina

Rita's Cantina

Aquatheater

Aquatheater

Oceanaria

Oceanaria Show

TIP 5: Reserve your shows ahead of time (and your My Time dining if you wish). You have to wait until 60 days or so before the sailing date, but people are waiting to grab reservations so be on your toes. But never fear, if you missed reserving a show, go down to the Entertainment Center the same afternoon you board ship and fill in a sheet requesting show times. You’ll either get them or an alternate date. I’ve heard tell that even though you’re told all seats are taken before the cruise begins, not all seats are actually fully booked.

We attended the lifeboat drill at our station in one of the lounges on Deck 5, where we were made to stand in rows after checking in with our cabin number. A video played the safety instructions. No life jackets were required, nor are they present in the rooms. In the actuality of an emergency, passengers will receive life jackets at their stations. Lifeboats hold 370 passengers each and have very weird looking seats; you can see inside them from the jogging track on Deck 5. Here’s a joke from one of the shows: “Passengers have asked what happened to the original three RCCL ships. They’re our lifeboats number one, two, and three.” Indeed, you can believe it when this ship holds 5700 guests.

TIP 6: For a fabulous view of the water and a quiet spot to sit, go aft outside on Deck 5. You’ll find chairs overlooking the ship’s wake. The jogging track is neat, going all the way around the ship, with cute signage and murals by the bow which is enclosed by a tunnel so you don’t get blown away. I wished they’d had more chairs along here because this track gave the best views. It’s also the reason probably why the lounges at the Royal Promenade don’t have windows; they’d overlook the jogging track rather than the ocean.

Jogging Track

Jogging Track

Soon it was time for dinner, and we made our way to Adagio Dining Room aft on Deck 5. This was a pleasantly appointed room with crystal chandeliers. I had prime ribs with a baked potato for dinner, following an appetizer and salad, with a peach and blueberry cobbler for dessert. Afterward, we meandered around the Promenade until showtime. Tonight we’d signed up for the Broadway hit, Chicago, in the main theater forward on Deck 4. The theater has balconies and is high-tech and impressive. The show was great but didn’t have many scenery changes. It lasted ninety minutes and keeps your attention.

Prime Ribs

Prime Ribs Dinner

Chicago

Chicago

TIP 7: Get in line at least a half hour before a performance for any of the shows. Although you have a reservation, seats are first-come, first-served. Your seapass card is scanned as you enter to make sure you have a reservation, but then you join the scramble for good seats. Columns may obstruct some side views. Seats are released ten minutes before the show for stand-bys.

Tune in tomorrow for more as we spend Day 2 in Nassau.

Please visit the Kill Zone today where I’m discussing real-life characters, based on a fellow I spotted on the cruise. He was so interesting that I have to work him into a story somewhere.

Also check out my contest over at Fresh Fiction for a chance to win a signed ARC of Shear Murder, a deck of tropical drink playing cards, and a Virgin Islands cookbook.

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6 Responses to “Allure Cruise Continued”

  1. Never having cruised, I loved the details you provided in this. My husband gets badly seasick, even on a deep-sea fishing jaunt where we never left the sight of land. Guess I’ll have to do cruises vicariously, thus, thanks very much for taking us with you.

  2. A deep sea fishing boat is worlds apart from a modern cruise ship. You should try it. I don’t like small boats either, but they don’t compare to the cruise liners of today. You hardly feel you’re at sea. Look, if they can do ice skating shows and acrobatics at sea, how rocky do you think it gets?

  3. Brenda said

    This is interesting. Thanks!!!

    I think I’d want to bring a life jacket to have one in my room too. Your thoughts on that?

    This doesn’t really sound leisurely enough to suit me but I love hearing about it.

  4. Unless you’re asleep in your cabin, you’ll be away from your life jacket anyway. Still, it’s good to have one in both places. As for a leisurely cruise, you can hang out by the pool all day if you wish or get an ocean view cabin and lounge there. Despite the ship’s size and capacity, I didn’t feel crowded.

  5. jennymilch said

    I have never taken a cruise! Thanks for the bird’s eye view. I hope you had as good a time as it sounds like!

  6. Janny, it was wonderful. You are missing out if you haven’t tried a cruise vacation yet. Just remember: You get what you pay for in choosing a cruise line.

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