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cruisin_cutie216

Simply the Best! Allure of the Seas E. Caribbean March 3rd-10th with pics!!

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So after being inspired by my fellow cruise critic friends and reading some really AMAZING reviews [shout out to Gambee and Middle Aged Drama Queen] I decided to take on the amazing task of compiling my own review of my recent voyage/vacation onboard Royal Caribbean International's largest ship in the fleet: The Allure of the Seas. But before I begin I should break down a few specifics.

 

Missy [me; cruisin_cutie216] (24) 309645_2081446356342_1250550258_31897934_1013818375_n.jpg

 

First time cruiser of the pack. I had never been on a cruise before in my life and frankly being out in the middle of the ocean terrified me (darkness at night plus the rocky potential for unsteady motion onboard the ship), but I decided that you only live once so why not give it a go. I felt like it would be an amazing experience, and had it not been for my wonderful and amazing boyfriend, I would NEVER have even thought to go on a cruise such as this. My mom had cruised before about 20 years ago (RCI; The Nordic Empress) and she raved on and on about how much she loved it. I had my doubts but none the less was still willing to go for it.

 

Robert [darling boyfriend; also known as Rob] (25): The veteran of the bunch (both ways). He has been cruising for years and years and has done numerous cruises on Carnival and Princess. This recent sailing on the Allure was his 9th cruise {Holy Smokes!}. His family goes on a cruise as their annual family vacation so he's been able to go on various sailings throughout the years. He's the reason I caught the cruise bug and have been wanting to cruise ever since I returned home this past Sunday. He's also currently in the military (US Army Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran; Combat Medic 68W M6) and I couldn't be prouder! We have been dating a little over 6 months and met on the internet via online dating. I am ever so happy to have him as a boyfriend and I can't tell you all how much he means to me.

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Ziggy [cruise critter; cameo appearence;] (2 1/2): Ah yes, Ziggy, the dashboard zebra. Ziggy is my cruise critter that I decided to take along with me on my vacation and take pictures of him on my journey. The cool thing about it is that I thought it would be awesome to try and have my readers guess where Ziggy is based on his surroundings. Ziggy usually has home on my dashboard of my car but I decided to get him off of there and let him explore the world. He's very excited about me sharing this adventure with all of you!

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Long story short, I was about to embark on an amazing and life changing/memorable experience that would be so monumental to me. Was I nervous? Heck yes! Was I excited? You betcha! In fact, I could hardly sleep the night before we left for the airport!It was going to be quite the adventure for me and it would be a big milestone in mine and Rob's relationship.

 

So sit back and relax because the adventure begins!!! There are TONS of pictures (still uploading to photobucket as we speak!) and I have tons of words to go with said pictures!! Please, at any time during the review, feel free to ask me questions about my voyage or anything at all! I cannot wait to share more with all of you!

 

<3 Missy <3

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Looking forward to it! Will be fun to follow a first timer -and on such an amazing ship! Did Eastern on Oasis during her inaugural season and will be on Allure in 2014.

 

By the way, thank Rob for his service!

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Looking forward to it! Will be fun to follow a first timer -and on such an amazing ship! Did Eastern on Oasis during her inaugural season and will be on Allure in 2014.

 

By the way, thank Rob for his service!

 

It was such an adventure for me!! It was amazing and I'm still speechless at times when I think about it. You know the vacation was good when you cry happy tears the night before debarkation at dinner and then again on the flight from port everglades [our plane went right over Allure during take off and I lost it]!

 

I will definitely make sure to thank Rob for you! So proud of him!

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I am so looking forward to your review through the eyes of a first timer! I am sure you will show us things that excited us, too. It will be fun to see the ship through you. Speaking if eyes and "seeing", do you think you could make your font a little larger? These eyes of mine are a bit more "experienced" than yours!;)

 

And thank your boyfriend for me. He is doing a great service for us all.

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Great review so far -- you have me hooked! :) We sail on the Allure this Sunday, so I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of it! Many thanks!!

 

~Leslie

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OMG puppy! :)

 

Looking forward to the rest of your review!

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Great review so far -- you have me hooked! :) We sail on the Allure this Sunday, so I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of it! Many thanks!!

 

~Leslie

 

We also sail on Sunday....This makes me even more ecxited. Can't wait to see your pictures and read your review.

 

I am so thankful for your boyfriend and those of our military.

 

Susan

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Thank you all for the wonderful feedback! I was up early today and decided that its the perfect time to update and add more to my review. **SIDE NOTE: Haven't been able to really scan in the compasses or upload the picture of my Seapass. I'll take a quick shot and upload it in the next update**

 

Chapter One: A matter of feet.

 

Being that it was my first cruise, I knew absolutely NOTHING about what to expect, how much all this would cost, or what it would be like. I had heard wonderful stories from friends and family whom had raved about cruising buut as well all too often know, the media likes to scare the public into thinking situations are a lot worse than they seem. I guess it wasn't too comforting that we were sailing so close to the Carnival Triumph debacle or even a year after the Costa Concordia incident. Of course I mentioned all of these things to darling boyfriend Rob in my endless rant of fears and worries. So often a conversation between the two of us about the cruise would go something like this.

 

Me: What if the engine fails on the cruise?

Rob: Then we handle it if it happens....

Me: What if the ship sinks???

Rob: Its not going to...

Me: What if I get stung by a jellyfish in the ocean (**DISCLAIMER: Missy doesn't like anything in the ocean or being in the ocean and jellyfish have been my ongoing phobia and fear for well over 13 years now**)

Rob: You're not going to get stung...

Me: What if...

Rob: Look babe, you're going on a cruise, first time ever, nothing is going to happen to you! I won't let it. (He always knows just what to say).

 

Sure, his words were comforting, but it didn't stop me from worrying. Sure I was excited about going on the BIGGEST SHIP IN THE WORLD, but I was still very scared. I just pictured myself getting lost and wandering about the ship my entire cruise. None the less, I decided to give it all to the man upstairs.

 

A bit of a back story: So before the cruise vacation, I had broken my left foot at dance. Didn't know that I had broken my foot and thought it was a sprained ankle. Turns out, I had a chip fracture and the bone hadn't fused back to the originating site just yet.My orthopedic surgeon decided to put me in a lovely oh so attractive ((sarcasm)) walking boot to allow things to heal. The healing didn't happen. As a result, surgery was needed and was done on December 20th, 2012. What was just going to be a surgery to remove the bone ended up being a surgery to remove bone AND place a pin into my foot in order to repair a ruptured tendon (Lovely). The lovely charade placed me into a hard cast for about 4-6 weeks and I was NOT so happy. I feared that I wouldn't be out of the cast or the boot for my cruise and that I would be having to spend most of my time sitting in my stateroom or hobbling about the best I could, not to mention, having to maneuver through the airport and the massive ship. After a difficult recovery period and some time in a walking boot (AGAIN) the surgeon finally decided that it would be okay for me to come out of the boot for the cruise. I was elated! I could hardly wait to get my feet into some sand and flip flops. It was going to be a great vacation!

 

SO back to the review: A few weeks before hand, we completed our online check in for the cruise. It was so surreal to me seeing the countdown on the top of my reservation portal via the Royal Caribbean site counting down from one month to one week to four days. For those of you who haven't done RCI's online check in yet, it was a BREEZE. Very easy to navigate and the fact that you could access it at any time before your cruise to print out those last minute documents (set sail passes) you were able to. I also enjoyed being able to sign activities waivers electronically so I could hop onto the ship and start enjoying the awesome things they had to offer.

 

Online check- in was complete and it was time to think about what to pack and how much to pack! I am known for packing ALOT of stuff and also known for pack WAAAY TOO MUCH stuff (hey, imma girl, we like options!). Plus, some drama that I never expected to see coming. More very soon!

<3 Missy <3

 

**sorry about the small font this post! still fine tuning to find out what works best. will have a bigger font next update! Even I had some issues reading it! XP**

Edited by cruisin_cutie216
making font larger, may have to edit for next post.

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I am so looking forward to your review through the eyes of a first timer! I am sure you will show us things that excited us, too. It will be fun to see the ship through you. Speaking if eyes and "seeing", do you think you could make your font a little larger? These eyes of mine are a bit more "experienced" than yours!;)

 

And thank your boyfriend for me. He is doing a great service for us all.

 

I most certainly can make it larger!! Still experimenting with what works and what doesn't! Thanks for the feedback! I wanna make this review the best that I can.

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Was feeling creative, so here's another post for you all!

 

Chapter 2: "We're staying where?!" "You said there was a seat!"

 

So thus my packing and planning begins! Being the micro planner and packer that I am, I couldn't decide if a smaller suitcase would be better or if the larger suitcase would suffice. All I knew was that we had 2 formal dinners and the rest would be casual. Great. I had tons of choices in both categories and wanted to pack them all. But, the space fairies kindly let me know to pack wisely and that ya can't take everything. I had literally gone back and forth on what to pack and what to leave behind and had decided that I couldn't fit nearly as much as I needed/wanted in the first bag so I had settled on taking the larger suitcase that would be checked baggage on the plane.

 

Speaking of planes, we had a bit of a fiasco when it came to a certain someones (aka mine) ticket. This vacation was primarily a family vacation that Rob was taking with just his family (mom, dad, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandpa) BUT his mom ((whom I adore so much :) )) decided that it would be really cool to invite the boyfriends of her two daughters and had Rob invite me along because after all we're part of the family. Naturally, I was the last add on to the reservation, so everything was booked for me separately as far as airfare. We're at a week before we depart for Ft. Lauderdale, and I decided to check in with Rob as far as getting flight numbers and confirmation numbers for my parents to have in the event of an emergency. Also, being an individual with a peanut allergy, I like to call and alert the airline of this so they can make arrangements to be able to safely accomodate for me. I call up the airline to make them aware and they can't find me on the reservation. They have Rob and his family, but not me. Rob remembers booking the flight and purchasing the ticket but AirTran had no record of the flight. I panic. Its a week away and our flight is darn near booked. Immediately, Rob goes onto the AirTran site and books a seat for me (6 people ended up canceling so I got extremely lucky!). Returning flight after the cruise is good, confirmation numbers are set. We are good to go!

 

The week seems to drag by so slowly (funny how that happens?) and FINALLY it is the day of our departure to Ft. Lauderdale. We had an evening flight that left Detroit Metro at around 745 PM arriving in Atlanta around 1030 with an hour layover that would put us in Ft. Lauderdale a little after 1230AM. It was going to be a very long day of travel. So Rob and I headed out to meet the rest of his family (with the exception of one uncle from Ohio and grandpa who lives in Florida) and the 12 of us (that's right, twelve) packed ourselves and our luggage into 3 cars and headed to the airport.

 

Security was a breeze and getting checked into the airport was painless. We proceeded to the gate, got our seats on the plane and finally we were off! Ziggy took the opportunity to share my window view and tray table during the flight. He was one excited zebra!

 

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After one layover and for what seemed like ages, we finally landed in Ft. Lauderdale Florida! It was about 1245AM once we got to baggage claim and we still hadn't gotten to the hotel. We would be staying at the Quality Inn Airport/Cruiseport for the night and all 12 of us would be split between 3 rooms. Once we arrived in the airport we called the hotel to let them know that we had arrived and would be needing shuttle transportation from the airport to the hotel. We made our way downstairs to the shuttle pick up curbside and no shuttle. We saw dozens of buses and vans for every hotel but not the Quality Inn. FINALLY for what seemed like ages, the shuttle van arrived and transported all 12 of us to the hotel.

 

The hotel was pretty basic, nothing too spectacular. We snagged a room on the 3rd floor with two queen beds and continental breakfast to be served from 630-1030AM. Exhausted, our heads hit the pillows and a wave of silence washed over our room. Considering how excited I was, I'm surprised I fell asleep so quickly!

 

The next morning, Rob and I awoke at around 8 and proceeded to head down to the lobby for breakfast. Breakfast was your typical hotel fair but due to the amount of other guests/cruisers staying at the hotel with us that night, lots of items were scarce at 8AM so I made do with some Frosted Flakes with Skim Milk and a cup of OJ. Once we had finished breakfast, we took some pictures outside of the hotel. During my snapshots I saw this guy:

 

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He looked like a very interesting cross between a turkey and a duck so not knowing the correct name for him I dubbed him as a 'turduckey'. He would wander about the parking lot getting very close to myself and, on one occasion, followed Rob about while he tried to finish his bagel. It was quite funny!

 

Being from the midwest, we don't have palm trees, and our hotel had TONS of them! So I thought it would have been more than appropriate to hug and pose with a few palm trees.

 

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(Rob forgot the flash on this one! Whoops!)

 

Once I was done with my photo session, we headed back to the room, collected our luggage, checked out, and headed to a tented area that the hotel had set up for cruisers waiting for shuttles to Port Everglades. We waited for about 45 mins or so until they had a shuttle that had enough room for all of us and our luggage. We loaded up, and headed out. NOW the excitement really kicked in. No words can truly describe what its like pulling into Port Everglades and seeing all the cruise ships at their respective docks. However, nothing can compare to the feeling I got when I saw our ship, Allure of the Seas, towering above the smokestacks on the power plant near the port. Rob proceeded to point her out to me.

 

Rob: That's our ship. That's it! *points to the ship*

Me: O_o...that can't be it.

Rob:That's it!

Me: No way....*double take* we're getting on THAT!?

Rob: Yep.

Me: o_O....oh my......

 

She was breathtaking... she looked so majestic and so regal against the Florida sun and she towered over all the other ships in port that day. I could hardly believe that I would be sleeping, eating, and exploring that ship. Being directionally challenged I hoped that the ship had rentable GPS units so that I could find my way back. I even joked about carrying a stockpile of breadcrumbs to make a trail back to my stateroom on the occasion that I may get lost. I could feel the excitement rising and the nerves starting. This was going to be, an amazing cruise!

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... She was breathtaking... she looked so majestic and so regal against the Florida sun and she towered over all the other ships in port that day. I could hardly believe that I would be sleeping, eating, and exploring that ship. Being directionally challenged I hoped that the ship had rentable GPS units so that I could find my way back. I even joked about carrying a stockpile of breadcrumbs to make a trail back to my stateroom on the occasion that I may get lost. I could feel the excitement rising and the nerves starting. This was going to be, an amazing cruise! [/color][/font]

 

I remember my first view of its sister, the Oasis of the Seas. I saw it from the pier across from it - we were there boarding the Independence of the Seas back in 2009. Breathtaking indeed.

 

As you have likely discovered by now, it's hard to get lost on the Oasis class ships. There are plenty of signs and interactive screens to help you find your way!

 

Thanks for the review and keep the photos coming!

Don't forget cabin photos, if that's ok with you. Always like to see the layout of different (types of) cabins.

Edited by Lloyd555

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Hello!! I'm also a first time cruiser going on the Allure 19th May, it's going to be our 30th wedding anniversary whilst on board. We are doing the western itinerary but mostly want to experience the ship she looks amazing! We are staying in Fort Lauderdale first for 5 nights as its a lot of travelling for us from the uk just for a week, so wanted to extend the holiday a bit.

 

I'm getting lots of tips and info and learning lots about cruising from reading reviews and its getting me really excited!! I can't wait!!

 

Looking forward to the rest of your review.

 

Julie

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First timer, sailing this August on the Allure - eastern itinerary. Can't wait to read more of your review, hopefully in larger type if possible! Small type is tough on us old people! :)

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First timer, sailing this August on the Allure - eastern itinerary. Can't wait to read more of your review, hopefully in larger type if possible! Small type is tough on us old people! :)

 

should I keep the font that I used in the last posting or make it a bit larger? Still trying to decifer a larger font that works!

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I am going on Allure March 31! This is my second cruise but it's been 10 years since my first cruise. Can't wait to read more. Larger font in a darker color is good :)

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Hello Cutie! Loving your review, something tells me this one will be one to enjoy. I love the energy of this review, can't wait for more to come :).

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I am loving this review -- your excitement and enthusiasm are contagious!!

 

And, on a non-review-related topic, thanks to your boyfriend Rob for his military service!

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