Thursday, January 3, 2013

Allure last day & parting thoughts

Today is just waiting to head back home. I am looking forward to the dogs and getting back to the routine. My jeans seem a bit tighter than they did a week ago. :(

Got up and headed to Windjammer for breakfast. Since everyone has to leave much earlier, the buffet was packed this morning. We headed up to the Solarium for some quiet after breakfast. Since our flight is in the afternoon, we chose to be the last group to leave the ship which is about 10am.

Some thoughts about the cruise. RCL really has it together on moving/handling this many people at one time. The embarkation and disembarkation was extremely smooth and easy, The staff are helpful and friendly but that seems on par with all other cruises we've been on.  There are a lot of activities here if you are interested in getting involved but it's also just as easy to keep to yourself and relax as we did most of the time.  There is definitely a lot of space to roam around, with open chairs everywhere, 

The interior stateroom is very open and I don't feel like I'm navigating a maze when I move around. I like that you can see your daily spending on the tv in your room, with a scanned copy of the receipt. It's easier than waiting till the end of the cruise for the bill and wondering "what the hell was that cost?" You can also sign your waivers and shore excursions on your tv in the room.

I highly recommend reserving as much as possible before the cruise. My-time dining reservations are a must, even if you plan on any specialty dining. Reserve for the shows but you can usually make it standby for most of them  if you show up about 30 minutes in advance. If you want good seats, make reservations and show up at least 30 minutes before the show starts. The shows are worth seeing, they are much better than your typical cruise shows. We didn't try any specialty night dining but since we're snooty about our food, we figured we'd enjoy our food at home. The windjammer is fine for breakfast but we were very disappointed by the lunch selection. Park Cafe, Johnny Rockets, Boardwalk Dogs, and Rita's Cantina are much better options for lunch.

Central Park is a great place to sit and relax but it doesn't feel like a cruise ship at all. It really does feel like a park. The solarium is also a great place to relax during the day. There are a lot of shady areas, and sunny areas. It's a 16+ area so there are no kids, and it has two hot tubs, a pool, and a bar.

There are a lot of great places to people watch. If you look at all receptive, there are ALWAYS people willing to talk to you. I got trapped for 30 min in the hot tub by a gentleman who wouldn't stop talking. Mike had to come rescue me. Even I started a conversation with a woman during lunch one day.

The ship is much warmer than other ships we've been on. I didn't have to wear my sweaters in the evening at all. I did have a small wrap I wore during formal nights but that's all I needed, I rarely wore my capris during the day, it was either shorts or a swimsuit.

This is a damn big ship. After a week, I still haven't figured out where I am. I know Central Park is on 8, and Boardwalk is on 6 but when I'm standing somewhere, I can't remember which way is front or back. The touchscreens and maps by the elevators really come in handy. The touchscreens are great because they show what's currently going on, and how to get to various places.  Apparently there are also days of the week on the elevators which probably comes in handy.

We ended up taking the stairs the entire time which ended up getting exhausting. We did take the elevator once so we could see what it was like, especially since its a glass elevator,

The flow rider is a lot of fun but you need to have a good shirt to wear over your swimsuit, the water is chilly so if you plan to wait in line more than once, having a swimshirt is good, most of the pros there were wearing board shorts(including the girls) and swim shirt tops. A cotton shirt ends up getting drenched, heavy, and cold. If I had known in advance, I would have tried bringing the right top and tried the flow rider more than once, course it is a bit intimidating since the same pros were doing the flow rider over and over again.
Allure of the Seas is a great ship to try out.  It's huge and has so many various activities but a lot of space if you want privacy too.  Turned out to be a fantastic vacation for both of us!


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