Friday, March 27, 2015

Dinner and our first evening on board! Ocean Aria!

Ok....we're finally sailing! And we're getting ready for dinner. Here's where the planning gets a bit crazy.  If you've never sailed on one of these big ships, this is something a bit unique.  With all of these passengers on board, if you want to really see specific shows and eat either at specific restaurants or at certain times, and if you have kids that may be going to the kids or teen clubs, there is a huge puzzle as to how it will all play out!  At first you think, sure - I can just book my dining and the rest will just fall into place.  Well, think again!   

I started reading some reviews and I then I realized how the Entertainment on the Allure worked. How the shows may only happen once or twice during the cruise. And then, what about the teen club? How do I fit in dining if the kids want to dash out for activities at night? Usually when we cruise, Megan has been in the "kid" club and really doesn't participate. Alex on the other had leaves us after dinner and we don't see him until teen curfew. 

So, I searched for what other people to when they sail on these Mega ships - and what do they do?  They create these big spreadsheets for their evenings, and even sometimes their days.  It's really the best way to keep things straight! And then it happened to us - yup, the color coded, blocks for each night spreadsheet was a part of our life! 

We knew we wanted to eat at most of the specialty restaurants and I knew Megan wanted to see a lot of the shows, and Alex would like some of them. Talk about fitting puzzle pieces together!

That left Chops,the steakhouse, at 6:00 on sail away day! This was to get them to the Teen Meet and Greet by 8:00 and also be back to see Ocean Aria for the 10:45 show. Sure it may sound not so relaxing for a vacation - but in reality, it was perfect!

So we had our first venture out to Central Park at night! Amazing! Simply amazing that this was smack in the middle of the ship!


There was usually music up here at night, even sometimes special concerts

And as much as I love pictures, I have not one single picture of our meal or of the inside of Chops. It had been a long day! But, we all enjoyed our meal. We had no complaints and we left very, very satisfied!

We had a bit of time before the kids had to be at the teen club, so we stopped by the library for some reason - and for no other reason than to show you that - hey, here's the library - here's Megan in the library!

The kids left to go to the Teen Club Meet & Greet, and Keith and I walked down to The Boardwalk. Again - amazing that this is right here on a SHIP! A super fun environment here....

And then I walked with Keith back to the elevators. He wasn't going to make it for the 10:45 Ocean Aria show. He's not one who's into shows...He'd usually rather relax in the cabin. These are the often photographed Swarovski Crystal dresses in the elevator atrium area.

And then...back to the Ocean Aria theater to wait to meet up with the kids. Get there early! It fills up quickly! Also, it's recommended to make your reservations for the first show of the cruise, or one of the first shows. If it's windy they will cancel the show. So you may not get a chance to see it if you wait and the show you book ends up cancelled! So...I waited, and waited....the kids were apparently playing dodge ball...and I waited. I finally went in when they opened the theater up to standby because I didn't want to loose a chance to see it, and we did make a reservation, but by now, the only seats left were the benches in the front. In the splash zone. Thanks kids! They kids arrived just before the show started, and just as the "clowns" before the show tossed a cup of water right in my my face. Fun start to the show! Thanks again kids! 

So, Ocean Aria is a Cirque du Soleil type show with high diving, water themed, similar sort of to what "O" in Las Vegas would be like, but on a cruise ship!  It was really quite good.  

It was a great show. The three of us really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it to anyone sailing on the Allure - I'm not sure who wouldn't find something about it to like at least a little bit!

So, our first day was pretty much done. What a day! It was time to head back to our cabins. Tomorrow would be our first sea day on the Allure!

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