Indescribable! (But I'll try): My Allure Photo Review

#1
New Jersey
3,713 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Greetings everyone! My husband and I just returned from the October 7th sailing of the Allure of the Seas (Western Caribbean), and I'm very excited to be able to share our vacation with you. We had a wonderful time on the Allure, I miss the ship already. She's so large that it's kind of difficult to grasp the enormity of the ship until you sail her yourself. And even then, sometimes her size is hard to comprehend. It's a beautiful ship and very easy to navigate. We would love to sail the Allure again.



For those of you who are familiar with my reviews, you'll recall that this will be more of a trip report than an actual formal review. I hope this provides you with some helpful information as you prepare to sail the Allure, or even if you're considering sailing her. Even if the Allure is not on your radar, may this serve as a “virtual vacation,” as so many of the other fantastic reviews here on CC do for me. Feel free to comment, ask questions, etc. Everyone is always so helpful here that I enjoy being able to pay it forward.



It should take me a couple days to get through everything, and I have tons of photos, menus, and Cruise Compasses. As far as cameras go, I used a Canon Powershot ELPH 100 HS. So follow along with me, and enjoy!


About us: My name is Chrystal, and my husband's name is Wesley. We're a couple that loves to travel and share information from our experiences, so Cruise Critic is a great place to us! Here's a photo of us on the Serenade of the Seas in 2010:





We live in South Jersey, and met in high school 13 years ago. We dated through college, and got married in 2006. We honeymooned on an NCL cruise to Bermuda. Impressed with Bermuda, but a little underwhelmed with the ship. I think the ship we sailed was very old and sold to another line sometime after we sailed her. We tried an all-inclusive a couple years later and enjoyed that, but we decided to give cruising a try one more time since we were interested in seeing the Southern Caribbean. Since we sailed the Adventure of the Seas in 2009, we've been hooked on Royal Caribbean. We sailed the Southern Caribbean two more times after that, and set our sights on the Allure after we sailed the Serenade last year. You can see my other reviews by clicking the links in my signature.

Cruising for our wedding anniversary has become a tradition. However, on this sailing, we had an even greater reason to celebrate....we're having a baby! We found out in May. So this cruise served as our 6th anniversary/baby-moon cruise. Here's a recent photo of us, with my Mom who is ecstatic about her first grandchild :




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~Chrystal
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Previous Cruises:
NCL Norwegian Crown-NYC to Bermuda (2006)
RCI Adventure S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2009)

Complete Photo Reviews:
RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2010)
l Carnival Glory from Norfolk-Bahamas (2011) l RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Aruba Route (2011) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel (2012) l Fort Lauderdale Pre-and-Post-Cruise l RCI Allure W. Caribbean-Babymoon (2012) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel-Baby's First Cruise (2014)


Up Next:
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, November 2016
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, March 2017 (Girls' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas, March 2017
Rome and Tuscany Land Tour, August 2017
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas, August 2017
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, October 2017 (Couples' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas, January 2018



Travel Blog


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain

#3
New England
8,216 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Yeah! Faith is back...can't wait for your review!
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Our Travel Blog:
http://www.goseeittravel.com/travel-blog/
Liberty of the Seas (W Caribbean) Photo Review:
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2611235
AZ Quest (Adriatic Italy) Photo Review:
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...Familygoboston
AZ Journey (Panama Canal) Photo Review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...7#post49290717
Adventure (S Caribbean) Photo Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2207747
AMAPrima (Danube to Black Sea) Photo Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...1#post44488254
Enchantment (Bahamas) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2002049
Jewel (S.Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1951547
Allure (E.Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1834584
Paul Gauguin (French Polynesia) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1729992
Galapagos Explorer 2 (Ecuador)photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1702506
Jewel (W. Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1582079
Oasis (E. Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1539995
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#4
Indiana
1,002 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Great start! Can't wait to read your whole trip report.. We went on our 1st cruise on the Oasis this past June & had to try out Allure also.. We are on Allure May 2013 Western also.
Thx for taking the time to share!!
#7
32 Posts
Joined May 2011
Yay can't wait! My post cruise depression is hitting hard and this should help even it out. Lol
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Monarch of the Seas 6/06/2011- Our 1st cruise!
#8
Michigan
6,434 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Woooo! I cannot wait to see how you liked the Allure. I wonder if you felt like me.

Congrats on the baby!!!! Yay!!!! You guys look so happy and your little belly is so cute!
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OUR CRUISE HISTORY:
ROYAL CARIBBEAN: (1/17) Anthem of the Seas (1/15) Independence of the Seas (9/14) Allure of the Seas, (2/13) Liberty of the Seas-Western, (9/12 B2B) Oasis of the Seas-Eastern & Western Caribbean, (4/11) Majesty of the Seas-Bahamas, (5/10) Monarch of the Seas-Bahamas, (4/09) Voyager of the Seas-Western Carribean, (9/08 B2B ) Adventure of the Seas-Southern Carribean, (4/08)Majesty of the Seas-Bahamas, (4/06)Navigator of the Seas-Western Carribean
CARNIVAL:
(1/18) Carnival Vista-Western (4/16) Carnival Conquest-Eastern (11/15) Carnival Miracle-Journey Cruise:Hawaii (9/13) Carnival Valor-Eastern Caribbean (1/12) Carnival Victory-Southern Caribbean,
(10/11) Carnival Spirit-Mexican Riviera, (9/11) Carnival Miracle-Exotic Eastern, (9/10) Carnival Liberty-Exotic Eastern Carribean, (9/09) Carnival Splendor-Mexican Riviera, (9/07)Carnival Destiny-Southern Carribean, (9/06)Carnival Valor-Exotic Western Carribean, (9/04)Carnival Conquest-Western Carribean,
(9/03)Carnival Ecstacy-Baja Mexican, (9/99)Carnival Paradise-Eastern Carribean.
OTHER:
(1/07)Norwegian Star-Mexican Riviera,
(9/05)Caribbean Princess-Eastern Carribean

Next Cruise: Symphony of the Seas- 8/18

#9
Australia
595 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
First of all .... Congratulations on the pregnancy! When are you due and do you know what you're having? My sister has only a few weeks left to her due date. Like your Mum, my mum is also very excited about becoming a Gran!

And secondly, am looking forward to the rest of your review. One day, hopefully I'll get to book a cruise on Allure or Oasis! Or maybe I can just dream!
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Next cruise
8/12/19 Radiance of the Seas - New Zealand 9 Nights
(Cant get my ticker to work)


Past Cruises:
8/3/2018 - Ovation of the Seas
13/09/2016 - Carnival Spirit
29/11/2015 - Explorer of the Seas
27/12/2013 - Voyager of the Seas
05/01/2013 - Voyager of the Seas
03/11/2011 - Rhapsody of the Seas
#10
South Central PA
182 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I was on your cruise, too! Can't wait to read your review and see your pictures! It was an absolutely amazing ship!!
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Freedom of the Seas - Southern Caribbean - February ‘19
Anthem of the Seas - Bermuda - September ‘18
Celebrity Equinox - Jazz Fest & Caribbean - April '18
Oasis of the Seas - Western Caribbean - September '17 (10 nights thanks to Hurricane Irma!)
Anthem of the Seas - Southern Caribbean - January '17
Radiance of the Seas - Hawaii (Re-positioning) - April '16
Legend of the Seas - Southern Caribbean - March '15
Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda & Caribbean - May '14
Legend of the Seas - Eastbound Panama Canal (Crown and Anchor Member Cruise) - Nov '13
Allure of the Seas - Western Caribbean - Oct. '12
Radiance of the Seas - Alaska Inside Passage - July '11
Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - Oct '10
Mariner of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean - Oct '08
Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean- May '05

"My Other Car is a Cruise Ship"!

103 Nights at Sea & Counting!

Loyal to Royal!
Crown & Anchor Society Diamond Plus Member
#11
New Jersey
3,713 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
So, where should I start? Even getting to the ship was quite an ordeal for us. I'll give details on that shortly. We were supposed to sail the Allure on September 23rd. I was 20 weeks pregnant at that time, and had my doctor's note ready to go. Our original plan was to stay in Miami precruise beginning on Friday, then take a shuttle from our hotel to the ship on Sunday morning. We flew Jetblue from JFK to Fort Lauderdale. Their terminal in JFK is fantastic! And I love their snacks. Just warning you that since I have a baby on the way, food is BIG part of my review, and you'll see lots of food pics, lol. Here's my customary Jetblue shot:




Upon our arrival, we received a call from our shuttle company, (Quality Limo Service, or QLS) and they let us know they were tracking our flight and saw that we landed. Very impressive! We received instructions on where to wait after we retrieved our luggage. Sure enough, the shuttle arrived about 20 minutes after our luggage arrived. It was a shared shuttle, so there were already some passengers in the van, however there were two empty rows in back. Wes took one row and I took the other. Very comfortable. Our driver was pretty talkative. He let asked us where were from, and as soon as we said New Jersey, he got excited since he was from New York. He moved for the warmer weather and more laid-back vibe. We completely understand why he moved! We live at a breakneck speed here in the northeast and it can be a little taxing on you. We're considering moving to the South sometime in the future. But I digress...


It was a pleasant 45-minute ride from FLL to Miami. The other group was dropped off in downtown Miami, and then we were on our way to our hotel, the Z Ocean South Beach, right on Collins Avenue. Actually, the hotel has an entrance on Collins, as well as one on the famous Ocean Drive. I was looking for a boutique-type, adult experience in South Beach, something memorable for DH and myself. I wasn't disappointed! What a lovely place. From the moment we arrived, we were treated like royalty. Actually, before we arrived, we were treated so kindly. I emailed the concierge (I always do this before a hotel stay) to let her know why we were staying, and to ask some questions about the room. Specifically, our Spa Suite had a jacuzzi tub on the balcony. Since I was expecting, it's not advisable to use a jacuzzi, unless the water temp is set at 100 degrees or below. I asked if the temperature could be adjusted, and she said that was absolutely possible. So happy to hear that!


Anyway, when the shuttle pulled up to the hotel, a bellman immediately unloaded our luggage and whisked it away while we checked in. We entered a beautiful, intimate lobby.





Stacie, our front desk assistant, was wonderful. She welcomed us to the hotel, helped us check in smoothly, and congratulated us on our anniversary and baby on the way. Another attendant approached us and offered us cool towels and small bottles of cold water. Nice touch!





Since I wasn't expecting our rooms to be ready when we arrived (I think it was around noon), I had a nice lunch spot in mind. All the locals in Miami rave about this sandwich stand called La Sandwicherie, and since I Googled the spot, I noticed that it was within walking distance of our hotel. I asked Stacie for directions, and she quickly printed us a map of how to get there. It was literally 3 blocks away. The bellman gave us a ticket for our luggage, and told us we wouldn't see it again until we settled into our suite. Fine with us! So off we went to lunch while they prepared our room.
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~Chrystal
Email Me Friend Me on FB (Please message me your screen name on CC)



Previous Cruises:
NCL Norwegian Crown-NYC to Bermuda (2006)
RCI Adventure S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2009)

Complete Photo Reviews:
RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2010)
l Carnival Glory from Norfolk-Bahamas (2011) l RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Aruba Route (2011) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel (2012) l Fort Lauderdale Pre-and-Post-Cruise l RCI Allure W. Caribbean-Babymoon (2012) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel-Baby's First Cruise (2014)


Up Next:
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, November 2016
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, March 2017 (Girls' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas, March 2017
Rome and Tuscany Land Tour, August 2017
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas, August 2017
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, October 2017 (Couples' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas, January 2018



Travel Blog


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain

#12
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2,937 Posts
Joined May 2003
congratulations on the baby! I'm looking forward to your report.
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Lori

can't remember farther back than '02
Majesty of the Seas 9/02
Grand Princess 12/02
Explorer of the Seas 6/03, 10/9/05
Mariner of the Seas 12/03
Freedom of the Seas 10/1/06, 9/30/07, 3/30/08, 10/12/08
Enchantment of the Seas (Mom's 1st Annual Solo Cruise) 11/16/06, (2nd annual Mom's solo cruise)12/15/07
Independence of the Seas Westbound TA 11/23/09
Celebrity Millenium 11/24/11 -Our first Thanksgiving at Sea (and our last)
Celebrity Eclipse Eastern Caribbean 12/17/11
Oasis of the Seas 12/22/12
Century Star - Yangtze River Cruise 6/24/13
Windsurf - Northern Europe 8/4/14 (sadly had to cancel)
Celebrity Constellation 12/31/14- what a miserable cruise

Harmony of the Seas 8/12/17 - finally recovering from the Constellation debacle

#13
99 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Hi Chrystal! Hope you guys had a relaxing week! Thanks again for the champagne, it was a nice addition to the 2nd formal night! Back to reality here in the Philly area, rainy and yucky today! And I had a bout of land sickness today (still whirling here now). Will look forward to your expert review of the ship, it sure was amazing!
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Beth395

RCL Oasis of the Seas ~ Mar 16 2018
Celebrity Summit ~ Jun 1 2014
RCL Liberty of the Seas ~ Mar 16 2013
RCL Allure of the Seas ~ Oct 7 2012
RCL Explorer of the Seas ~ Sep 11 2010
RCL Adventure of the Seas ~ Sep 2008
RCL Majesty of the Seas ~ Nov 2007
#14
md
280 Posts
Joined May 2010
Looking forward to another great review. welcome back and congratulations!
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WAYNE


#15
suburban Chicago
1,212 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
HELLO Host Faith! So glad you two enjoyed your cruise (even if you were only able to drink your Miami Vice drinks virgin style). Couldn't remember when you had re-booked your cruise for, but knew it was some time in October and have been patiently waiting for your posting.

I'M EXCITED - just love your articulate and very detailed reviews.

Thanks so much.
#16
New Jersey
3,713 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
La Sandwicherie is a lot smaller than I had in mind, but the charm of the shop was evident as soon as we walked up to the window. There was a row of stools along the counter, as well as a separate window for takeout. The workers in the stand spoke French, and had heavy accents when taking our orders in English.












Because of the crowd, we decided to order our food to-go and take it back to the hotel. I ordered a seafood salad, and Wes had his usual- turkey, provolone, lettuce with a little oil and vinegar. No matter where we go, that's what he orders, lol. I also ordered a strawberry smoothie. While we waited, we chatted with some of the locals. One kind lady asked us right away if we were from NY/NJ. She could tell from the way we spoke that we were from that area, since she was from New York. Again, she moved for the more laid-back vibe, and for the warmth. She was a nurse and licensed massage therapist and doing quite well for herself. She said lots of people, not just retired, were moving to Florida from the northeast.



Our food was ready within 5-10 minutes, and off we went back to the hotel. We found a nice seating area just off the lobby and settled in with our food.


I have to say, like everyone else says in their recommendations of La Sandwicherie- everything was so deliciously fresh! My seafood salad was sitting on a bed of crisp vegetables, and I was given a small loaf of fresh French bread to go with my salad. The little French pickles on top (cornichons) were delightful. Just wonderful. The Dijon dressing they serve on the side is yummy....though I actually make that same dressing at home so it wasn't anything all that special to me, lol. Though my husband's sandwich was simple, he raved about the freshness of every component of it.


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~Chrystal
Email Me Friend Me on FB (Please message me your screen name on CC)



Previous Cruises:
NCL Norwegian Crown-NYC to Bermuda (2006)
RCI Adventure S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2009)

Complete Photo Reviews:
RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2010)
l Carnival Glory from Norfolk-Bahamas (2011) l RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Aruba Route (2011) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel (2012) l Fort Lauderdale Pre-and-Post-Cruise l RCI Allure W. Caribbean-Babymoon (2012) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel-Baby's First Cruise (2014)


Up Next:
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, November 2016
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, March 2017 (Girls' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas, March 2017
Rome and Tuscany Land Tour, August 2017
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas, August 2017
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, October 2017 (Couples' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas, January 2018



Travel Blog


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain

#17
New Jersey
3,713 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by gambee
Oh my, Oh my, Oh my, the review I been waiting for!!!!!!!!! Give me, Give me, Give me!!!!!!!
Haha! So happy you enjoy the reviews. I'm writing as fast as I can

Originally posted by Familygoboston
Yeah! Faith is back...can't wait for your review!
Thank you!
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~Chrystal
Email Me Friend Me on FB (Please message me your screen name on CC)



Previous Cruises:
NCL Norwegian Crown-NYC to Bermuda (2006)
RCI Adventure S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2009)

Complete Photo Reviews:
RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2010)
l Carnival Glory from Norfolk-Bahamas (2011) l RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Aruba Route (2011) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel (2012) l Fort Lauderdale Pre-and-Post-Cruise l RCI Allure W. Caribbean-Babymoon (2012) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel-Baby's First Cruise (2014)


Up Next:
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, November 2016
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, March 2017 (Girls' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas, March 2017
Rome and Tuscany Land Tour, August 2017
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas, August 2017
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, October 2017 (Couples' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas, January 2018



Travel Blog


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain

#18
New Jersey
3,713 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by chellecruise12
Great start! Can't wait to read your whole trip report.. We went on our 1st cruise on the Oasis this past June & had to try out Allure also.. We are on Allure May 2013 Western also.
Thx for taking the time to share!!
Thank you! My pleasure

Originally posted by h20cruzer
Looking forward to your review and photos. By the way congratulations on the new baby.
Thank you so much!
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~Chrystal
Email Me Friend Me on FB (Please message me your screen name on CC)



Previous Cruises:
NCL Norwegian Crown-NYC to Bermuda (2006)
RCI Adventure S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2009)

Complete Photo Reviews:
RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2010)
l Carnival Glory from Norfolk-Bahamas (2011) l RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Aruba Route (2011) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel (2012) l Fort Lauderdale Pre-and-Post-Cruise l RCI Allure W. Caribbean-Babymoon (2012) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel-Baby's First Cruise (2014)


Up Next:
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, November 2016
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, March 2017 (Girls' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas, March 2017
Rome and Tuscany Land Tour, August 2017
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas, August 2017
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, October 2017 (Couples' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas, January 2018



Travel Blog


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain

#19
Swedesboro, NJ
613 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Congratulations on your baby. Can't wait for the rest of your review. My husband and I are doing a back to back next year on the Allure for our 25th anniversary. So please don't leave out any details.
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DIAMOND PLUS[/color][/size]













#20
New Jersey
3,713 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by KJL53
Can't wait......Will be on Allure Dec 2nd.....Was on Oasis last year....
You're in for a great time on the Allure! Happy cruising to you!

Originally posted by supersam34
Yay can't wait! My post cruise depression is hitting hard and this should help even it out. Lol
LOL! I can totally relate. Even worse, we don't have another cruise booked right now. Sigh.
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~Chrystal
Email Me Friend Me on FB (Please message me your screen name on CC)



Previous Cruises:
NCL Norwegian Crown-NYC to Bermuda (2006)
RCI Adventure S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2009)

Complete Photo Reviews:
RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Barbados Route (2010)
l Carnival Glory from Norfolk-Bahamas (2011) l RCI Serenade S. Caribbean-Aruba Route (2011) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel (2012) l Fort Lauderdale Pre-and-Post-Cruise l RCI Allure W. Caribbean-Babymoon (2012) l RCI Liberty to Cozumel-Baby's First Cruise (2014)


Up Next:
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, November 2016
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, March 2017 (Girls' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas, March 2017
Rome and Tuscany Land Tour, August 2017
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas, August 2017
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico, October 2017 (Couples' Trip)
Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas, January 2018



Travel Blog


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain