My son and I have just returned from sailing on the Allure, Western itinerary. I had high hopes that we would make lots of memories on this trip, and it is safe to say we succeeded. But not necessarily in the ways I anticipated. We have labeled this as the vacation that "Coulda Been Worse". CBW.
There were highs. There were lows. And a few "REALLY low"s. We started off with a super early flight from Dulles to Fort Lauderdale on Friday. Halfway through the flight I was convinced I was having a heart attack. Great start, right? I was dizzy, nauseous, my left arm was tingling, and I was wondering what was about to happen to my 13 year old son when I dropped dead on the plane and they had to make an emergency landing. Thankfully we didn't have to find out. I used to have a job where I traveled 10,000 - 20,000 miles per week, so this really was unprecedented for me, which of course increased the anxiety level. I saw it as a bit of an ominous foreshadowing at the time, and I was proved correct. Once back on land I slowly started to feel better, and we made our way to Margaritaville where we had reservations for two nights. Thankfully FLL is a small airport and the rental cars are very conveniently on site. No need to take a shuttle bus to the rental cars. Since this is Cruise Critic, and not Hotel Critic, I won't spend much time on Margaritaville in this review, but if you have questions, I'll do my best to answer them.
The front desk staff very friendly and the check in process was very quick. Me and #theboy went up to our room on the 14thfloor looking north over the ocean and the intracoastal. Lobby is large and comfortable. There is a high end steak restaurant in the lobby, plus a coffee shop. $3.00 for a large drip coffee.
The pools are open from dawn till dusk. They give you little cards to trade for towels, and then you get the cards back when you turn in your towels. You must have room key to access pool areas as they are fenced in. The resort is on a public beach and they have to keep the riff-raff out, yanno? There are two pools ocean front, each with a bar/restaurant. Additionally there is one adults-only pool on the 11thfloor with its own bar. Needless to say, I didn't experience this pool as the 13 year old is a few years short of being legal.
Free wi fi all over the property seems to work very well. There was a cooler, but not a fridge, in the room. Sufficient to cool beverages but would not keep perishable items.
Our room had 2 queen beds which were comfy, but a little soft for my taste. The balcony is private, but in the room you can hear lots of noise. Doors closing are very loud, and people walking by can be heard very clearly. Our room happened to be very close to the Hollywood amphitheater which is a great spot for live music, right on the public beach. (Not affiliated with Margaritaville.) Thankfully they quit playing at 9:00pm because it was louder than I wanted since I was dog tired and ready for bed.
The bathroom in the room had an interesting configuration with an opaque glass door (like a shower door almost) to the water closet. I've never seen anything like that, and it could be considered a little awkward if you're not particularly interested in your roommate knowing exactly WHAT you are doing in there. And sadly there really was no good spot in the bathroom to hang wet swimsuits. I may or may not have made the shower head fall to the floor because I'd hung my wet suit on it while it dripped into the tub. Couldn't support the weight, I guess. Good thing that, while I was unaware of it at the time, I would be losing a few pounds in the next week and potentially be in need of a smaller swim suit.
More to come...