It’s a compliment to Allure of the Seas that after our third trip on this massive and fascinating ship, we complained that we didn’t get to everything we planned.
We didn’t ride the carousel (yeah, even us overgrown kids still like riding up and down). We didn’t play miniature golf. And we only had the Tutti salad bar twice for lunch in the main dining room.
So, what did we do to make the third trip as good as the first? For one, we did the specialty dining package for the first time. That upped the food experience big time. It actually made the dining exciting, as we played the “Where should we eat today” game.
Then there was the show. And oh, what a show it was! Mamma Mia blew us away. Of the three shows we’d seen on Oasis class ships (others were Cats and Chicago), this one was far and away the best. The quality of the voices, the energy and exuberance of the production brought the whole audience to their feet, and made for a truly memorable experience that I didn’t think a show could ever do.
Which proves, once again, that no cruise line puts on a show like Royal Caribbean. And even though we’d seen the dives, flips, twirls and whirls of the aqua and ice shows before, we still couldn’t get enough of them.
Perhaps we didn’t go to some of the other events we had in the past, like the ‘70s dance party or marriage game show. But instead, took time to enjoy wine in the Trellis Bar in Central Park and take pictures of the pretty little yellow-and-black bird who mistook the ship’s neighborhood for a garden in Cozumel.
|A cafe in Manhattan? No, in the Allure's Central Park|
We also explored new areas for us, like the serene Solarium, which by day is a favorite of Kindle readers and hot tub bathers but by night literally sizzles as a Brazilian steakhouse.
|The Solarium is an "oasis" on Allure of the Seas|
Another first for us on this voyage was investing in the ship’s Voom wi-fi. The package rate for a seven-day cruise ($12.99/per day, per device) is cheaper than the day rate (19.99/per day, per device). And the streaming version (package rate of $17.99/per day, per device; day rate of $27.99/per day, per device) is faster than the basic one. But either is fine if your goal is just to keep your e-mailbox from spilling over.
So, while we didn’t ride the horses or hit the links—or even stare at the ocean as much as I’d like—we still managed to make it, once again, our “wow” kind of vacation.
Musing’s Top Tip: See the movie version of Mamma Mia before you go. It will help you with the story line and get familiar with the music, so you’ll enjoy the ship’s production even more. And once you see it, I guarantee you’ll be singing the songs all cruise long. See a trailer of the worldwide production of the musical on the official site’s YouTube channel.