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10 years in the making - First Cruise on Allure Eastern 4-14-13

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Ten Years of Convincing, Ten Months of Planning

 

 

“Maybe we could take a cruise.” “No”

“Sometime it would be fun to go on a cruise.” “No”

“My co-worker/friend/acquaintance/old high school buddy/random person on facebook/complete stranger just took a cruise and said it was great.” “No”

 

These are the conversations that my DW and I had concerning cruising for the last ten years. She just didn’t want to get on a ship and go. I can’t give you one specific reason for this reluctance to cruise. It’s probably a combination of anxiety about being on a ship at sea, not being able to see land, and just general nervousness about the whole idea of cruising. Of course every time a news story would pop up about a stranded ship, widespread sickness on board or something even worse then she would quickly point out there were very good reasons she didn’t want to cruise.

 

Meanwhile, at the house around the corner, my Mother-in-law was in the same boat (so to speak) as I was. She was interested in cruising but just like his daughter, my Father-in-law was a no go for adventures at sea. The running joke for years was that I would wind up taking a cruise with my MIL while we left our respective spouses at home on dry land. I had pretty much given up on the cruise vacation.

 

It was a rainy Saturday in June of 2012 when my wife was talking to me about a friend who had just taken a trip to the British Virgin Islands. She had seen the pictures and heard the stories of their wonderful trip. She made the comment to me that she wished we could go somewhere like that. I turned to her and bluntly said, “If you would ever agree to get on a *^%$#@ cruise ship we could easily go somewhere like that.” I waited for the standard answer, but to my surprise there was not an immediate “No”. She paused, thought about it for a second, and then said, “Well, I guess I could consider going on a cruise…” I almost fell over, ten years I’ve waited for her to say yes to a cruise. And technically this was not a “yes” but I figured it was a close as I would ever get.

 

With that little sliver of possibility I immediately headed to the computer and started researching a cruise vacation. The only parameter I started with was Caribbean. I had no idea what line, what islands, what port, how long, nothing. It quickly became apparent that I would need to choose between Puerto Rico and more island days vs. an American port with more sea days. Logistically Puerto Rico just was not going to work for us, the travel was harder and way more expensive and we really needed a Sunday sailing because of DW’s job.

 

I called friends, I posted on facebook to ask people about their recommendations, I found Cruise Critic and was overwhelmed with information, I called my brother who had worked as an entertainer for Carnival for most of a decade (about 15 years ago), I sought opinions from any source I could find.

 

So why did I choose Allure? After all the research and all the opinions it really came down to some rather random factors.

 

 

 

1. Go big or go home: If I only got one shot at a cruise I might as well go on the biggest, newest, coolest ship in the ocean. That way if she hated it I could still say I got to cruise on the most advanced ship at sea.

 

 

2AActivity overload: I can sit by the pool in the sun for about 15 minutes. Then I want something to do, somewhere to go, something to see. Sitting in the sun bores me and I just get hot, I need action! DW doesn’t mind action, but she also wants to sit in the sun way more than I do. I actually considered an X cruise that was 10 days and hit more ports, but wasn’t sure X really was my style just yet (I’m 47). Allure offered plenty of activity to keep me happy and plenty of deck space to sit in the sun.

 

 

3. Entertainment: DW loves musicals and we both love Vegas style shows. We are big Cirque du Soleil fans. Allure has entertainment, big time.

 

 

4. Size matters: “Honey, it’s like taking the Bellagio and putting it on a boat! It’s HUGE.”

 

 

 

5. Starbucks: Yes she has a Starbucks addiction and this was the only ship at sea with its own Starbucks.

 

 

 

So the Allure it was. And within a week we were booked for April 14th. I couldn’t quite believe it.

 

We then began reaching out to friends and family. Could we convince the other hold out to go? My MIL was ALL IN on going and we finally convinced my FIL that the deposit was refundable so he could still back out. In the end we had a group of eight. Six of which were first time cruisers. And so began the ten months of planning.

 

 

 

Excessive Planning

Driving Everyone Else Crazy

 

 

I won’t go into great details about planning but I do have some helpful tips for first-timers. If you are reading this you are likely already on Cruise Critic and you are researching and planning your cruise. I will say that joining the Roll Call and participating in it was a great decision and something I would highly recommend. The Allure/Oasis ships are really trips you need to plan for, just showing up is not a great idea IMHO. Sure you can do that, but you will likely miss a lot that these ships have to offer.

 

The TA we had was a random person we got through getting rate quotes from a website that advertises on CC. She was fine but kinda goofy at times. For example she called me several times after 11pm. And I found out that people here on CC often know a lot of things that TAs don’t know!

 

Our group of 8 wound up with 3 different kinds of bookings. This made coordinating certain things impossible until we got on the ship. My booking and my MILs booking were done within a few days of each other through the TA. We both got a rate that was a group booking made by that travel company, but we really didn’t know that at the time. A couple of weeks later our Aunt booked with the same TA but by then all the rooms under the group booking had been sold so she got a different rate and a different kind of booking. We didn’t know that either, all we knew was that she was on our cruise and had a booking. Later another couple joined the cruise and booked through a different TA.

 

So why does all of this matter? Well, it matters when you start trying to reserve shows and dining. We had 3 kinds of bookings in the way that RCCL looks at things in their system. And those 3 kinds of bookings could not be linked together. It is impossible according to RCCL reps. My booking and my MIL’s booking could link for dining. But neither of the other 2 bookings could link to each other or to our booking. So we had to make separate reservations for dining and then hope that when we got to the ship we could go to each venue and have them put us together.

 

Now that we have cruised and done this, I realized it wasn’t that difficult to do it on board. But in doing the planning it was very stressful to try and figure out and no one could really tell us why our reservations wouldn’t link together. So be aware that this occurs in RCCLs system and it is just one of many glitches and issues I found.

 

One more major issue in planning that you need to be aware of, RCCLs website is somewhat of a mess. (I’m being kind). It’s not the worst website I’ve ever worked with and it does have a lot of complex information, but it also has lots of problems. If you are like me and prefer to do most of your work and planning using website reservations etc. then be prepared to get frustrated with the website.

 

One example, reserving dining was a big problem and the site would simply not do it. No matter what I tried the page would not let me reserve. (yes this was after dining opened up) I got an error message saying that I did not have a valid booking for the cruise. After several phone calls and actually having the RCCL rep on a conference call with the TA and me while the rep was logged into my account online did we find the issue. It all depended on which link you clicked on to get to the reservations page. The link I was clicking took me to the page, but the page wouldn’t work. If we went to another area of the website and clicked the link to the reservations page, it worked. Crazy.

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Following. I started my "conversation" with my DW since 2001 and we finally did our first cruise 8 years after that.

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Ten Years of Convincing, Ten Months of Planning

 

 

“Maybe we could take a cruise.” “No”

“Sometime it would be fun to go on a cruise.” “No”

“My co-worker/friend/acquaintance/old high school buddy/random person on facebook/complete stranger just took a cruise and said it was great.” “No”

 

These are the conversations that my DW and I had concerning cruising for the last ten years. She just didn’t want to get on a ship and go. I can’t give you one specific reason for this reluctance to cruise. It’s probably a combination of anxiety about being on a ship at sea, not being able to see land, and just general nervousness about the whole idea of cruising. Of course every time a news story would pop up about a stranded ship, widespread sickness on board or something even worse then she would quickly point out there were very good reasons she didn’t want to cruise.

 

Meanwhile, at the house around the corner, my Mother-in-law was in the same boat (so to speak) as I was. She was interested in cruising but just like his daughter, my Father-in-law was a no go for adventures at sea. The running joke for years was that I would wind up taking a cruise with my MIL while we left our respective spouses at home on dry land. I had pretty much given up on the cruise vacation.

 

It was a rainy Saturday in June of 2012 when my wife was talking to me about a friend who had just taken a trip to the British Virgin Islands. She had seen the pictures and heard the stories of their wonderful trip. She made the comment to me that she wished we could go somewhere like that. I turned to her and bluntly said, “If you would ever agree to get on a *^%$#@ cruise ship we could easily go somewhere like that.” I waited for the standard answer, but to my surprise there was not an immediate “No”. She paused, thought about it for a second, and then said, “Well, I guess I could consider going on a cruise…” I almost fell over, ten years I’ve waited for her to say yes to a cruise. And technically this was not a “yes” but I figured it was a close as I would ever get.

 

With that little sliver of possibility I immediately headed to the computer and started researching a cruise vacation. The only parameter I started with was Caribbean. I had no idea what line, what islands, what port, how long, nothing. It quickly became apparent that I would need to choose between Puerto Rico and more island days vs. an American port with more sea days. Logistically Puerto Rico just was not going to work for us, the travel was harder and way more expensive and we really needed a Sunday sailing because of DW’s job.

 

I called friends, I posted on facebook to ask people about their recommendations, I found Cruise Critic and was overwhelmed with information, I called my brother who had worked as an entertainer for Carnival for most of a decade (about 15 years ago), I sought opinions from any source I could find.

 

So why did I choose Allure? After all the research and all the opinions it really came down to some rather random factors.

 

 

 

1. Go big or go home: If I only got one shot at a cruise I might as well go on the biggest, newest, coolest ship in the ocean. That way if she hated it I could still say I got to cruise on the most advanced ship at sea.

 

 

2AActivity overload: I can sit by the pool in the sun for about 15 minutes. Then I want something to do, somewhere to go, something to see. Sitting in the sun bores me and I just get hot, I need action! DW doesn’t mind action, but she also wants to sit in the sun way more than I do. I actually considered an X cruise that was 10 days and hit more ports, but wasn’t sure X really was my style just yet (I’m 47). Allure offered plenty of activity to keep me happy and plenty of deck space to sit in the sun.

 

 

3. Entertainment: DW loves musicals and we both love Vegas style shows. We are big Cirque du Soleil fans. Allure has entertainment, big time.

 

 

4. Size matters: “Honey, it’s like taking the Bellagio and putting it on a boat! It’s HUGE.”

 

 

 

5. Starbucks: Yes she has a Starbucks addiction and this was the only ship at sea with its own Starbucks.

 

 

 

So the Allure it was. And within a week we were booked for April 14th. I couldn’t quite believe it.

 

We then began reaching out to friends and family. Could we convince the other hold out to go? My MIL was ALL IN on going and we finally convinced my FIL that the deposit was refundable so he could still back out. In the end we had a group of eight. Six of which were first time cruisers. And so began the ten months of planning.

 

 

 

Excessive Planning

Driving Everyone Else Crazy

 

 

I won’t go into great details about planning but I do have some helpful tips for first-timers. If you are reading this you are likely already on Cruise Critic and you are researching and planning your cruise. I will say that joining the Roll Call and participating in it was a great decision and something I would highly recommend. The Allure/Oasis ships are really trips you need to plan for, just showing up is not a great idea IMHO. Sure you can do that, but you will likely miss a lot that these ships have to offer.

 

The TA we had was a random person we got through getting rate quotes from a website that advertises on CC. She was fine but kinda goofy at times. For example she called me several times after 11pm. And I found out that people here on CC often know a lot of things that TAs don’t know!

 

Our group of 8 wound up with 3 different kinds of bookings. This made coordinating certain things impossible until we got on the ship. My booking and my MILs booking were done within a few days of each other through the TA. We both got a rate that was a group booking made by that travel company, but we really didn’t know that at the time. A couple of weeks later our Aunt booked with the same TA but by then all the rooms under the group booking had been sold so she got a different rate and a different kind of booking. We didn’t know that either, all we knew was that she was on our cruise and had a booking. Later another couple joined the cruise and booked through a different TA.

 

So why does all of this matter? Well, it matters when you start trying to reserve shows and dining. We had 3 kinds of bookings in the way that RCCL looks at things in their system. And those 3 kinds of bookings could not be linked together. It is impossible according to RCCL reps. My booking and my MIL’s booking could link for dining. But neither of the other 2 bookings could link to each other or to our booking. So we had to make separate reservations for dining and then hope that when we got to the ship we could go to each venue and have them put us together.

 

Now that we have cruised and done this, I realized it wasn’t that difficult to do it on board. But in doing the planning it was very stressful to try and figure out and no one could really tell us why our reservations wouldn’t link together. So be aware that this occurs in RCCLs system and it is just one of many glitches and issues I found.

 

One more major issue in planning that you need to be aware of, RCCLs website is somewhat of a mess. (I’m being kind). It’s not the worst website I’ve ever worked with and it does have a lot of complex information, but it also has lots of problems. If you are like me and prefer to do most of your work and planning using website reservations etc. then be prepared to get frustrated with the website.

 

One example, reserving dining was a big problem and the site would simply not do it. No matter what I tried the page would not let me reserve. (yes this was after dining opened up) I got an error message saying that I did not have a valid booking for the cruise. After several phone calls and actually having the RCCL rep on a conference call with the TA and me while the rep was logged into my account online did we find the issue. It all depended on which link you clicked on to get to the reservations page. The link I was clicking took me to the page, but the page wouldn’t work. If we went to another area of the website and clicked the link to the reservations page, it worked. Crazy.

how was it? is she hooked? i read that whole novel you wrote and there was no ending,lol.:p

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I'm in!

 

I love Allure reviews!

 

I know when I sailed on her in January - solo, no less - I was blown away, so I can only guess that your wife was blown away, as well....but I'll keep reading the novel to find out (and there's nothing wrong with a good cruise novel, having authored a few myself!) ;)

 

 

P.S. Hello, neighbor...I'm heading back to KC tomorrow...hope to bring some sunshine back up from Florida. ;)

Edited by KansCocoa

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I'm in!

 

I love Allure reviews!

 

I know when I sailed on her in January - solo, no less - I was blown away, so I can only guess that your wife was blown away, as well....but I'll keep reading the novel to find out (and there's nothing wrong with a good cruise novel, having authored a few myself!) ;)

 

 

P.S. Hello, neighbor...I'm heading back to KC tomorrow...hope to bring some sunshine back up from Florida. ;)

 

 

OK now I am intimidated! I will mention you in my review (I've already written that part). Your solo review was a big part of my planning for this trip - especially since you wrote it right before our trip. I cannot hope to compete with your in depth tour of the Allure so I am not even going to try!

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After all this planning and waiting, it’s finally here!

 

Ten months is a long time to wait. I was on CC almost every day reading something. We had other trips and things to do in those 10 months but in the back of my mind was always “The Cruise”. I would imagine that people were sick of me talking about it.

 

We sent most of the group out on Saturday morning to Fort Lauderdale. We had to take a later flight because my DW teaches ZUMBA and Saturday’s are her biggest classes. She just couldn’t miss 2 ZUMBA Saturday’s in a row. This is why we needed a Sunday sailing.

 

We stayed at the Sleep Inn & Suites in Dania Beach. I booked it way early on Expedia for $100. It was a basic hotel with the convenience of having a Walgreen's and a Publix right next door. Also a strip mall with a couple of restaurants is close. The van from the airport was free but you had to call, it did not run on a circuit. The van to the port was not free. At $10 a head for 6 of us we’d have been better off with a cab.

 

The most dangerous part of our whole trip was the van ride to the port. Typical Florida speed bumps every 50 feet in a van with shot shock absorbers loaded to the brim with people and luggage is NOT a fun ride. I was digging for my Sea Bands before we ever left land!

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So glad you got your wife on.... And I'm hoping she loved it and you booked another!! :D

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Cruise Critic Karma

Never Leave A Bag Behind!

 

After the harrowing ride through town we finally got our first real glimpse of Allure. That is one big ship. As we headed into the terminal area a van pulled away and we pulled in. We arrived a little bit after 10 am. Well ahead of the time that RCCL had been emailing us about all week. Sequester! Sequester! Come later! Expect delays! There were NO delays.

 

I got out of the van and kissed the ground (I’m kidding) and stood at the curb as the driver unloaded 200 pieces of luggage he had crammed into the back of the van with no shocks. I’m just standing there minding my own business when a woman in a RCCL uniform holding a binder asked me if the bag sitting next to me on the curb was mine. I said it wasn’t and a discussion ensued with her co-worker about what to do with the abandoned bag at the curb.

 

They were ready to come and have security haul it off and I just happened to look down at the bag again and this time I notice the name tag, facing up with the (somewhat unusual) last name of none other than Kathleen of Familygoboston Cruise Critic fame! In fact as I looked at my Tap a Talk phone app I realized that Familygoboston was just minutes ahead of me as she was posting a live thread entitled “Allure 4/14 LIVE boarding – You and the Sequester”.

 

“Wait” I said, “I do know whose bag this is; I know this person she is on this cruise.” As I desperately searched for Mr. Familygoboston who I have never seen but who I know is 6 ft 6 in tall and so if they are still close he should stand out in the crowd. The RCCL lady asked me if I could call the owner of the bag, and of course I couldn’t. She asked me how I knew her and I replied that I had been stalking her on Cruise Critic for 10 months trying to glean every bit of travel knowledge I could from her. After me swearing up, down and sideways that I was 100% positive that this bag belonged on this cruise ship for this sailing they agreed to put the bag on the luggage cart. I jumped on our Roll Call and left a message about the lost bag.

 

Meanwhile, back with our luggage that I was paying no attention to because I was too busy trying to save the Familygoboston bag, the porters were loading some of it on the wrong carts going to the Port side of the ship and not the Starboard side! So we had to get that straightened out. I guess the moral of the story is do not leave your bags in the hands of the porters until you see them physically loaded on the cart that is going to your side of the ship!

 

We headed into the terminal and sailed right through check-in. There were no lines at all. The 6 family members all got through in a matter of minutes. Then there were the photographers wanting to snap your picture in front of the Allure poster. This is where we may have made a fatal error, but I will address that in detail later.

 

We went upstairs and were seated. That’s when I finally met Familygoboston. She was looking around the terminal for “the guy who looks like Bruce Willis” and she found me. She told me that only 2 people on the ship outside her family knew her last name (we had exchanged some emails outside of the message board). What are the chances that out of 6,000 passengers I would wind up standing next to her lost luggage? Cruise Critic Karma for sure!

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OK now I am intimidated! I will mention you in my review (I've already written that part). Your solo review was a big part of my planning for this trip - especially since you wrote it right before our trip. I cannot hope to compete with your in depth tour of the Allure so I am not even going to try!

 

 

I'm so glad my review could help - and I hope it helped in a positive way!

 

I love your writing - and it's never about competing - it's about helping others with their own cruising - so write away, Randy! ;)

 

(I've been reading FamilyGoBoston's review - NEVER made the connection that you were the SuperHero who saved the day with the baggage!)

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Great review so far :) I have never sailed on Allure but have just signed up for our second trip on Oasis. I think we will have to give her sister a try!

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I love reading reviews, especially those from a 1st time perspective. Can't wait to hear how the rest of your adventure unfolds. My guess is that you all had a great time on the Allure. I was apprehensive about sailing on such a large ship during spring break but it turned out to be one of the best cruises I've taken. I credit this to the ship and wonderful crew/staff.

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Looking forward to the rest of your review!

 

We can't get enough Allure reviews. It's five weeks and counting for us. Allure here we come!

Edited by Wildcatfish

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Hey Randy, Bruce Willis , die hard bag saver, great start!

 

Not only did Randy save the bag, but he and Amy ( and Amys kin) were such great fun to hang with all week.

 

I'm glad we had a chance to get close (the rest of you will never know how close unless you were at our Quest:eek: )

 

Enjoying the review! Looking forward to the rest, even though I already know the ending!;)

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I promise all will be revealed! I'm writing a novel here folks!

 

This is great, I am loving it. Keep it up.

Bill

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Ten months is a long time to wait. I was on CC almost every day reading something. We had other trips and things to do in those 10 months but in the back of my mind was always “The Cruise”. I would imagine that people were sick of me talking about it.

 

I have coworkers making bets on how long I can go without talking about our upcoming cruise in Allure. :o

 

Bill

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Ooooooohhhh, Aaaaaaahhhhh, Wow

Hey quit gawking, we have dinner reservations to make!

 

As a group of 6 (2 were boarding later) we entered the Royal Promenade. Everyone was wide eyed at the spectacle of Allure, except for me. In retrospect this is the one downfall of being the “planner” of this whole trip. I had read every thread, every review, looked at Gambee’s endless pictures and followed MiddleAgedDramaQueen’s deck by deck running narrative. So I pretty much had seen almost every aspect of Allure before I ever set foot aboard her. So while everyone else was seeing this for the first time I was trying to get my bearings and head straight to every dining venue to straighten out, make, and link our reservations.

 

Luckily we were assigned Deck 5 of the MDR and we were right there when we boarded. So I left the group standing in the Promenade and I headed right to the MDR. Linking our reservations for a table of 8 took almost no time at all.

 

We then headed right to Central Park and went straight for 150 Central Park. Here we ran into our first problem. We had all booked the Central Park Dining Package online early on in the process of planning the cruise. Well 6 of us were on the plan and 2 were not! I had checked their reservations on the site and they were there, now they were not. Was it another issue with the RCCL website? We had no idea.

 

But we had to fix it and those 2 people had to sign up for the package again and then go to Guest Service and try to get the money straightened out. We booked 150 for Monday night; I wanted the first menu with the Modern Sheppard’s Pie. Giovanni’s was already booked for Sunday night but because of the RCCL bookings/linking issue we had to go get everyone at the same table. Then we eventually wound up at Chops for Saturday night. So we had all the dining straightened out within an hour of boarding, bonus!

 

For our Aunt & her Son (our cousin) the dining reservations were a nightmare. First off, our somewhat ditzy TA booked 4 of us with MTD and booked the 2 others with traditional dining! Then she (the TA) was out of commission for a while due to a medical issue. Well when I discovered that their dining was messed up we couldn’t get the TA and no one in her company could seem to help us and RCCL couldn’t change it without the TA. It was an ongoing mess for almost 3 weeks. Then the gratuities were messed up and their final payment was short because of the dining change. To top it off we had the issues with their Park 150 dining package not getting on their reservation. They had multiple trips to customer service to get it straightened out. But to their credit, RCCL sent roses, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne to their room with a note that said “Love Allure”. At first our cousin thought it was a mistaken delivery so he started in on the strawberries immediately, worried that the staff would realize their mistake and come take his treats away!

 

Now we were starving and people were starting to find their way to Park Café. This was by far the most crowed I saw the café all cruise. It didn’t matter that the line was out the door, I was getting a roast beef sandwich! Now, the roast beef gets a lot of run here on Cruise Critic and rightly so, it was very good. But the soups are almost the equal of the sandwich. I ate lunch at the café 3 times and each time the soup was outstanding. So yes get the roast beef but don’t sleep on the soup!

 

By this time it was just after 1pm and we headed to our rooms to find all of our luggage in place. 6 of us had ocean view balcony rooms on decks 7 starboard and 9 port. As first timers we didn’t know what to expect in regards to the size of the stateroom. I have to say it was plenty roomy for 2 people, We packed what seemed like an incredible amount of stuff and we fit it all in the room storage with room (not much) to spare.

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Hey Randy, Bruce Willis , die hard bag saver, great start!

 

Not only did Randy save the bag, but he and Amy ( and Amys kin) were such great fun to hang with all week.

 

I'm glad we had a chance to get close (the rest of you will never know how close unless you were at our Quest:eek: )

 

Enjoying the review! Looking forward to the rest, even though I already know the ending!;)

 

I'm still having nightmares about Quest. Must, Not, Remember, Must, Not, Remember...

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Why did I bring this?

A few words about what we packed

 

After reading endless lists about what to bring and not bring I can only offer our experience. Things we took that we found very useful:

 

Over the door hanging shoe bag thing - This was great and we put all kinds of stuff in it. Very handy, very useful, very cheap. And as a bonus I used it to wrap up something fragile in my luggage at the end of the trip!

 

Colored ribbon for marking our bags for disembarkation – really makes your bags stand out in the very crowded crowd of bags.

 

Spray Lysol – for obvious reasons. That bathroom is small people!

 

Extra wire hangers – never enough in your closet.

 

Spray on wrinkle remover and lint roller – the Florida humidity will wrinkle everything you ironed and packed.

 

Things we didn’t use: clothespins, the curtains closed just fine; most of our medical emergency stuff, thankfully we stayed pretty healthy; laundry detergent, too much trouble (Lysol spray can be helpful here).

 

As for clothing I kept reading on these boards to, “pack less, pack and then take half of it out, don’t over pack.” We wound up with 3 large suitcases and 2 carry on bags plus my trusty travel backpack. Part of this is due to the fact I have a c-pap machine and a knee brace for exercise, these two things take up a great deal of real estate in a suitcase.

 

My advice, pack plenty of socks and underwear and don’t count on bag laundry day to save you. The bag-o-laundry day was Wednesday but you won’t get your clothing back until Friday. To me that really doesn’t help you much unless you are doing B2B or going somewhere after the cruise.

 

We did over pack on shorts. On most vacations I live in shorts. In fact the thought of having to wear suits and slacks on vacation is the one part of a cruise I was not thrilled about. I wear this stuff everyday to work, on vacation never. I packed shorts but didn’t wear many of them. In the morning it was shorts for a while, and then bathing suits then dress wear.

 

Even though I was not excited about wearing a suit or dressing for dinner I knew that it was expected and I was not going to try to bend the rules. And in the end it wasn’t bad. My DW took dresses for most of the nights and then also had some Capri pants for others. She looked amazing so I needed to look as good as I possibly could! Everyone in our group dressed up for MDR and Specialty dining. It was fun and not that hard to get used to.

 

I only saw one guy bucking the trend in the MDR. He was in a t-shirt and shorts (not even dressy shorts). I saw him twice and quite honestly he looked a bit foolish when everyone else was dressed nicely.

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<a href=AmyDress_zps84fd636f.jpg' alt='AmyDress_

 

This is why I was fine with dressing up a bit for dinner. When your wife looks this great you owe it to her to at least try to look presentable!

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