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Allure Cruise: Relaxing At Sea

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on December 12, 2011

Day 6 & 7, At Sea
Friday & Saturday, Dec. 2-3, 2011

We enjoyed the ship’s amenities during our two remaining days at sea. The show, Blue Planet, was the best out of them all. The performer’s acrobatics were astounding. The scenery changes were awesome, and the theme about the different natural habitats was appealing. Make sure you don’t miss this one. We saw the ice show on the last afternoon, which is also amazing. Our kids skated for a half hour one of the afternoons. The rink is small by arena standards but adequate for the performances with dazzling costumes and a cute shipboard monopoly theme. We visited the casino, an enormous expanse down on Deck 4 where the ice rink, comedy club, and main theater are housed. We never got to the jazz club that’s here as well, but there’s just so much to do. I also like the Viking Crown Lounge, although this one is smaller and more mid-ship than on the other vessels in RCCL’s lineup. Eating was one of our favorite pasttimes, as witnessed by this meal:

mushroom pastry

Sauteed Mushrooms in Puff Pastry

Lobster

Lobster

Dessert Trio

Trio of Desserts

We never got to see any of the 3-D movies being shown in the theater, although I would have preferred a choice of more adult fare than the animated films being offered, and more than once a day showings. You had your choice of arts and crafts workshops during daytime but nothing to challenge the intellect. I missed special interest lectures and cooking demos like on other cruise lines. Also, other than wine tastings in Vintages lounge, there was only one formal wine tasting in the dining room, and it cost $29 per person. That’s an unreasonably high cost in my opinion compared to tastings on other ships that run $10-15 per person and include a selection of foods (see my prior reviews of Princess ships). As for big band music for dancing, Dazzles offered it around dinner time but nobody danced. Other times were too late for us to stay up.

Ship's Wake

Ship's Wake

Disembarkation
Sunday, December 4, 2011

You can choose early or late disembarkation. We left the ship at 7:30, the earliest of any cruise we’d ever been on. Customs and immigration proceeded smoothly and we emerged from the terminal in record time. This huge ship with all those passengers is the most efficiently run of any of them. The interactive screens throughout each deck are also wonderfully useful, letting you locate any of the venues on board with directions how to get there from your location. I’ve heard RCCL may be putting iPads into each room. If so, beware the charge if you lose them. If you lose a beach towel, it’ll cost you $20. That’s a bit much in my opinion. Also be aware that the same person who takes out the towel has to return it and have their Seapass card scanned.

Shopping specials on Royal Promenade are nothing to save your pennies for. They offer 14k gold layered chains that doesn’t even pretend to be solid gold, and good luck getting the attention of a busy clerk to size you. The $10 accessories from Bijoux Turner are the same stuff you can buy in the Florida Turnpike plazas. And who wants to buy anything in the onboard Coach store? Foreign tourists, maybe. I’d rather shop at the Coach Outlet in Sawgrass Mills Mall. My family did like the clothing store on the Boardwalk, though.

Would I go on this ship again? You betcha, but I might like to try its sister ship, Oasis, first so as to see different shows. I think they should change the shows more often to appeal to repeat cruisers. And they should do something to open up the interior to more ocean views during the day. Otherwise, unless you’re on Deck 5 or 15 or have an outside balcony cabin, you feel you’re on a big floating city. Despite its size and number of passengers, though, you never feel crowded and you do run into some of the same people. There are so many things to do and places to go that you can keep busy or find a quiet spot and read undisturbed. The food is excellent with so many choices you can’t possibly try them all in a week. The cuisine alone is reason enough for a return cruise. We had a great time, and I look forward to our next journey wherever it takes us.

Nancy at rail

Goodbye until the Next Voyage!

Coming Tomorrow: Multi-Published Author Karen McCullough discusses Avoiding Writer Burnout

 

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