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Sunny AZ Girl

The Arizona Cruisers Invade the Allure of the Seas, April 28, 2013 ~ A Pictorial Revi

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We awoke the next morning and went straight out to the balcony to see if the Oasis was in town. We were happy to see her there as we were looking forward to seeing her sail away later in the day, which meant that the next day it would be our turn!

I was able to get a good zoom shot of her from our balcony:

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We quickly got dressed. We were meeting the others at Le Bonne Crepe on Las Olas Avenue in Fort Lauderdale at 9 AM. While they had a varied breakfast menu I was sure to stay true to the name sake and got some delicious crepes for my breakfast.

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Rick and his Mum and Auntie joined us at the restaurant later. It was a cute little place and a good place to begin our day. From there it was just a short distance to our next destination, an easy walk for many.

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Everyone gets treated special at Le Bonne Crepe!

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We had pre-reserved a cruise on the Carrie B, a paddleboat that would carry us past the yachts and homes of the rich and famous in Fort Lauderdale causing more lottery-winning dream moments.

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I'm here to learn more...and Bill and I have sailed with a few of you...HI ! :)

Nice to see pictures of all of you. Miss the Cruises out of LA.

We are booked on the Westbound TA Oasis in October 2014 so want to hear everything.

 

Mike

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The cruise was comfortable and fun. We enjoyed not only the luxury homes & yachts but we came very near the Caribbean Princess & the Oasis as they prepared for their next voyages.

 

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The water side view of Pelican Landing and our dream yacht.

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Only two people live in this house!

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Since it doesn't appear that I won the Lottery this week I guess I won't be moving into this house anytime soon.

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Afterwards most of us went back to the Hyatt where we planned to spend the afternoon relaxing at the lovely pools. On the way to the Hyatt we stopped with Sue and Audie at a local Walgreens to pick up allergy meds for me and water cases to take on the ship. A word of caution here – I have almost always been diligent in the past about calling my credit card companies before I traveled, but this time I did not. Sure enough, when at Walgreens my Discover card was declined. I immediately got a text asking me to call their Consumer Fraud Protection unit. I had to assure them that it was me at the cash register. They asked for our entire itinerary so they could watch for any fraud activity on my account before releasing my card for use. While it was kind of a pain at the moment I did appreciate the diligence.

 

Our next stop was at a Total Wine store so that Sue and Audie, our very own wine connoisseurs, could pick up their allotment to carry on the cruise. We put extra luggage tags on the cases of water and the wine went into carry on bags. No problems with either. The water was waiting at our door when we got to the cabin.

 

Once back at the Hyatt we headed to the pool area to relax the afternoon away. The pools were delightful, albeit cold. There was an interesting arch spanning the pool with a waterfall cascading through it, Steve and Lisa had decide to have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory near the Carrie B, but shortly joined us at the pool.

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It was here that Norine, Gene and Charlotte met up with us after arriving at the hotel. We had not seen them since they had left for their first cruise three weeks prior so we had some nice catch up time.

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Later Bill (BillOh) & Gina from our Roll Call found us at the pool. Bill was our “Grand Leader” of the Roll Call and had recognized us from all the pre-cruise pictures we had posted. They soon left to meet Rick by the rocks to see the Oasis sail past. We had a more leisurely plan to watch the sail away, so we parted ways until later in the evening when we had made arrangements to meet for dinner.

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After leaving the pool we headed to Lisa & Steve’s room for their magnificent view of the Sailaway. Their room was at an angle and was quite larger than ours with a huge balcony.

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First we watched the Caribbean Princess sail away

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Then the Oasis left:

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After Sail Away we went back to our room to prep for dinner when I got a call from Laura wondering why the Caribbean Princess was back in port. I looked out and sure enough, there she was. We quickly logged onto Cruise Critic where you can depend on getting all the news as it happens. And we were not let down. Apparently there was a medical emergency that prompted the return. Hopefully the passenger was ok and the ship was able to make up for lost time. I understood they were doing a TA so I guess it was better they got the passenger back earlier rather than later. She wasn't in port long before she left for the second time and the pier was empty, waiting for the Allure to glide in during the wee hours of the following morning.

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By now many of you are probably wondering why I have renamed the 17th Street Bridge “Lisa’s Bridge”. Well, I’m going to tell you – but not just yet! You will have to read on to hear the whole story (sneaky of me, isn’t it?) This is the 17th Street Bridge opened up for the tall sail boats to pass underneath. Lisa and I joked about her walking across that bridge when it opened and her hanging on until it closed. Little did we know.....................

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That evening we had a Pre-Cruise dinner planned at Bimini Boatyard. It was close to the Hyatt, perhaps a little over a mile walk over the 17th Street Bridge. We had reserved dockside tables for about 23 people as more from the Roll Call were going to join us. We were getting excited. The cruise would begin in the morning!

 

We drove to the Boatyard with Sue and Audie. Others took cabs or walked. It was a beautiful evening. We had a great turnout. Bill & Gina who we had met earlier in the day were there. We also met Jeff & Robin from Arizona who were not a part of our group – they are now! Another Lisa, who was traveling solo on the Allure also joined us. It was a great group and a wonderful evening.

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After dinner Lisa & Steve decided to walk back to the hotel with Bill & Gina. They had obviously hit it off during dinner and were enjoying each other’s company. Our plans were to drive the rental car back to the hotel with Sue and Audie, filling up with gas along the way. Then the guys were going to drop Sue and I off at the hotel and return the rental car to the airport, taking a taxi back. When driving across the bridge we saw an ambulance stopped on the opposite side of the rode and people congregated near the walking area. We said, “Oh, oh. That doesn't look good. Part of our group is walking.” But we were on the wrong side of the road and couldn't stop. We filled up across from the Hyatt and were still on plan when I got a text from Bill saying, “Lisa’s been hit. Going to hospital”.

 

My heart stopped and I yelled out to the others. We jumped back in the car and bee lined to the spot where we saw the ambulance. We got there just as they were trying to figure out how to lift a gurney over the big concrete barrier dividing the pedestrian walkway from the well-marked bike lane and the motor traffic. She looked dead to me at first, then she talked. I almost cried in relief. There was blood all over the sidewalk and her husband Steve was shaking. It seems a South African tourist (young kid in his 20’s I would guess) was riding his bike over the rise of the bridge in the pedestrian walkway when he slammed into Lisa at a very high rate of speed. No one saw it coming. He lifted her straight into the air and she landed straight on her back with her head hitting the concrete hard.

 

We followed the ambulance to the Trauma Center while Bill & Gina stayed with the remorseful young man who hit her until the police arrived. It was quite an evening. As I said early in my review I am a Respiratory Therapist with 40 years of Critical Care experience. Sue is also a Respiratory Therapist with almost as much experience as I and we were both appalled at the apparent lack of concern shown towards her wounds. Sue had to insist on her getting a CT scan & I had to go look for a blanket for her myself. Lisa was dizzy and a bit disorientated at first, but after an hour or so she started to be more of herself despite a knot the size of a baseball on her head that was bleeding unchecked. She even felt well enough to ask her hubby to take a picture of the two of us in the ER. I know the look on my face is a little strange here. In actuality I was trying to quietly scan the place for where the emergency resuscitation supplies were kept as I was sure she was on the verge of stroking out! Why else would any woman want her picture taken in the ER after lying bleeding on the sidewalk the night before a cruise? She did give me permission to post this picture, which makes me worried that she is not yet "herself":eek:

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The people in the ER finally put in one staple & declared her ok to leave around midnight because the CT scan did not show a concussion. Ultimately, she had to go to the ship doctor after boarding to have her wound sealed to stop the bleeding. Upon retrospect, that may have been a mistake, too. Her saga continues today, but I will let Lisa interject here & tell the story from her perspective as I don’t want to mess it up. I know she went on to enjoy the rest of the cruise. She is one tough and classy lady, let me tell you!

As it turned out we did not have a chance to return the car that night. But since we had an SUV instead of a full size car we were able to get all six of us in the SUV easily and we were able to get Lisa back to the hotel. I believe the Lord directed this whole thing so we would be able to be where we needed to be with the right equipment at the right time.

 

We got to bed well after midnight, but we were relived that in the morning we would finally be boarding the Allure of the Seas together!

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I'm here to learn more...and Bill and I have sailed with a few of you...HI ! :)

Nice to see pictures of all of you. Miss the Cruises out of LA.

We are booked on the Westbound TA Oasis in October 2014 so want to hear everything.

 

Mike

Hi Mike! :D

 

I'm glad you found this review. I am also insanely jealous. I would love to be on that TA. I have got the Allure's TA in my sights in 2016, which is when we have heard she should be going. I hope to see a review on that crossing from you!

Edited by Sunny AZ Girl

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WOW...Not the way a vacation is to start...I hope the rest of the trip was less eventful if you know what I mean. :)

 

Mike

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Subscribing! We have just booked Allure for October having been on Oasis last year.

 

My goodness what an eventful start you had! I hope Lisa is recovering well, she is so lucky you were all on hand to assist. God bless.

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After dinner at the Bimini Boatyard and getting back to the Hyatt I was looking out our balcony window and could see the flashing lights on the bridge. I did not know initially it was Lisa until Gene and Jerry came back from the gas station across from the Hyatt and had been told by Steve and Audie. We could not relax till we knew Lisa’s CT scan was ok but little did we know she would have these ongoing issues. Prayers were definitely said that evening.

Laura

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WOW...Not the way a vacation is to start...I hope the rest of the trip was less eventful if you know what I mean. :)

 

Mike

 

HI Mike..hope all is going well.

We miss the sailings out of LA also.

Laura

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Hi Ginny, Laura and Mike,

 

This is like old home week here.

 

The review is excellent and love the pics.

 

The Oasis TA sounds wonderful. We're doing the Brilliance west TA in Aug 2014

 

:):):)

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Three weeks later this still rattles me to read it and all I did was watch. I'm surprised Lisa hasn't gotten a bill from the city for the sidewalk damage.

 

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

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If I sail out of Fort Lauderdale again, I think I will stay in the hotel and not be walking across that bridge again. When that bicycle hit me, it felt like my brain was spinning inside my skull. Everything was muffled and I was very dizzy. I experienced nothing but incompetence from everyone. First, Bill called the 911 operator and she was totally clueless. Bill can interject his recollection of the 911 call. Then the EMT's showed up and they hadn't secured my neck or anything and had me sit up, then to my feet. I'm very dizzy at this point & felt like I was going to pass out. Then they asked me if I could climb over the guard rail :confused: Seriously? I abruptly said no! They said well we don't know how to get you into the ambulance. I said figure it out. They finally got a flat board to lift me over the guard rail. Then I get to the trauma center and they were all very casual not at all acting like this was a trauma. The nurse said oh your bleeding. We were told this was a closed wound. Does it look closed? They put ice on my head and were going to release me without doing any testing. Thats when we insisted on further tests to make sure I wasn't having internal bleeding in my brain. Last thing I want is to have a seizure as I'm in the middle of the Atlantic. CT scans were normal so I felt relieved but yet still dizzy. They put one staple in my head but it was still bleeding. I continued to bleed all night at the Hyatt. Thank God I had one of those absorbent medical pads to cover my pillow so I didn't ruin the pillows at the Hyatt.

 

It continued bleeding. It bled not stop from Saturday night until about Tuesday. I couldn't wash my hair for 48 hours so I had this bloody hair that was pinned up in a ponytail for the first couple days. I went to formal night Monday night with my bloody hair in a ponytail. :( I started to feel a little normal by mid-week with the exception of losing my balance a lot and general dizziness.

 

I am still dealing with this today and I have a hole in the back of my head today that has to be packed with gauze twice a day. I go back to see the surgeon on Wednesday to see what the next step is. I had 3 different doctors including the Tucson emergency room (yeah 2 trips to ER) that all said it should have been stitched from the inside out. Instead of one staple that did nothing and actually let an infection set in. So I am on antibiotics today and having to deal with this open wound on the back of my head because the FLL ER didn't do their job properly. Do I seem a little ticked? Yeah I am. All of this is at my expense too because the guy that hit me is not a US citizen so he's not responsible to pay all my costs.

 

Morale of the story always get travel insurance. I always do and this time it will pay off for all the times I've bought it and not used it in the past. Travelguard will reimburse me for all my out of pocket medical expenses. It will be awhile before I get the money because all bills have to be processed and I have to prove I've paid the money then I file the claim then get reimbursed but I will finally not have to pay in the end.

 

Sorry to write a book in Ginny's review. Loving your review too Ginny.

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OH and I will add that I had a fantastic cruise. Considering what I was dealing with, this could have been a cruise from HE!! but it was amazing. I absolutely loved this ship and look forward to the day I can go on her again when I don't have a head injury. Of course cruising with good friends made it all that more special.

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Three weeks later this still rattles me to read it and all I did was watch. I'm surprised Lisa hasn't gotten a bill from the city for the sidewalk damage.

 

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

 

:D That's probably coming Bill. I wouldn't doubt it. I already got my bill of $726 from the fire dept for the emergency transport.

 

I forgot to mention the police that went to the wrong location under the bridge instead of over the bridge because he clearly couldn't see the flashing lights on top of the bridge. :rolleyes: He showed up at the hospital and said the guy had no ID and was from South Africa. My DH said did you arrest him and he said no he took his finger prints and issued a citation. With all the terrorist activities in this country, if someone cannot produce identification, they should be arrested until they can prove who they are. There was a bike lane on the other side of the guardrail and he claimed he was riding on the pedestrian walkway and had not brakes on his bike.

 

I had to mail off a check for $2 to the Broward Country Police to obtain a copy of the police report.

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Thank you for posting the rest of the story, Lisa. I didn't want to tell everything as you had the facts, after all it's your head!

 

I might add here that we have known and been friends with Lisa a long time so of course we were with her when she was hurt. But Bill & Gina had just met her in person and they were fantastic! You can tell they are very caring people. This is a great group beyond the Arizona Cruisers. We were lucky to have sailed with such wonderful people on our Roll Call.

 

We just got back from church and we have to run out for an errand. Then I will return and will get back to the business of boarding the fantastic Allure of the Seas! Hang on. More is on the way.:)

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Hi Ginny, Laura and Mike,

 

This is like old home week here.

 

The review is excellent and love the pics.

 

The Oasis TA sounds wonderful. We're doing the Brilliance west TA in Aug 2014

 

:):):)

 

We miss seeing you and Dan.

Hope all is well.

I am spoiled after the Allure. I thought the ship would be too crowded but it is so big never felt any busier than any other cruise ship.

 

Lisa..you are so lucky that you did not have a major bleed from your brain.

 

Ginny you are doing a fantastic job. Proud of you!!

 

Laura

Edited by Arizona Laura

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I keep checking to see if there is another installment of Ginny's review. I'm waiting in anticipation.

 

By the way, thought I would add that 3 doctors in my home town told me I did have a concussion. I'm not sure why Ft Lauderdale trauma said I didn't. I'm still dealing with the issues of dizziness and these weird feelings in my head when I look upwards, turn a certain way or even just laying down. My doctor said I may have those symptoms for awhile but hoping they will fade.

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The next morning we awoke to this sight from our balcony. There was the Allure waiting for us! The Ruby Princess was also there, along with the Carnival Freedom which we could barely see from our vantage point.

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My Steve & Audie had gotten up early to return the rental car. When Sue and I got ready we met at the Pool Cafe and had a mediocre breakfast sandwich. We were there when the guys came back & joined us. We were in our Arizona Cruiser shirts, ready for our big Sail Away!

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Sue had the shirts especially designed for our group. Good job, Sue!

 

At 10:30 we were to meet everyone in the hotel lobby. Lisa had pre-arranged for South Florida Elite Shuttle to take the 15 of us to the port at that time. (The 13 Arizona Cruisers plus Bill & Gina). They provided us with two large vans with covered trailers for the luggage. They were on time, efficient and clean. It was a good choice for us. The cost was $10 pp for our group, but Lisa tells me that price will vary depending on the size of the group.

 

We pulled up at the port and promptly unloaded. This is surely one of the most efficient embarkments we have ever had in 13 cruises. We were directed to a window and checked in. Because we were Emerald we were sent to the Platinum/Emerald waiting area. There we were seated with Sue & Audie, Bill & Gina. Because our group is at all levels of C&A status we were spread all over the expansive waiting area. I sent out a quick text to everyone to meet at the Park Cafe upon boarding.

 

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I didn't take a lot of pictures of the waiting area in all my excitement, but I did see there was a child’s play area that looked nice, restrooms and vending machines. I took special note of the Diamond waiting area as that is the area we will be sitting in on our next cruise!

 

The boarding process began with the highest C&A levels and suites, then Diamonds, followed by Platinum & Emeralds, then Gold. We were under the impression that Lisa would be having wheelchair boarding assistance, but they only had one porter doing wheelchairs. We found out later that she got discouraged by a ridiculously long wait and ended up walking aboard up that long steep ramp with the assistance of her DH Steve. (He’s a keeper, by the way). He took such good care of her all week.

 

As reported on many other reviews the process was fast and efficient. Despite an e-mail, which we ignored, to not arrive at the port until after 1 or 2 PM we were on board happily between 11:30 and 12:00. We met as arranged at the Park Cafe where we had the famous Roast Beef sandwiches & salads. Sorry, for some reason my picture taking at this part of the cruise was pretty limited, probably because I was weighed down by camera bag, purse, rolling carry on and my computer bag. I really have to learn how to travel lighter. But, have no fear. I will have quite a few pictures of the ship as we continue on in this review. I am sure many of the scenes you have seen on previous reviews ad nauseum, but I hope I will have a few new views to contribute along the way.

 

At any rate – this is where I am going to get flamed by many of you. The roast beef sandwich was tasty, but come on people – it’s just a roast beef sandwich! I have had better roast beef sandwiches. If you have ever been to the White Chocolate Grill in Scottsdale, AZ..........but I digress. Anyway, JMHO mind you, I preferred the salad. I did not return multiple times for the famous sandwich. As a matter of fact it is the only roast beef sandwich I had all week. There are so many options available on this ship that I had very few things twice. Now the cupcakes.........I did have two of them during the week. But, at least I tried different flavors!

 

Even though we got on the ship early and quickly the Park Cafe secret is out. By the time we got there the inside seating was full and there were only places to sit were in the sun outside. And it was hot just baking, especially since we were under a glass canopy. So we ate and then walked around a bit until our cabins were ready promptly at 1 PM.

 

Next up: Getting Down To Business & Sailaway!

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I couldn't chew the roast beef sandwich with my sore jaw. The bicyclist had hit my cheek & jaw with either his head or his shoulder so my jaw was rather sore on the cruise which limited what I could eat but trust me, toward mid-week, I was eating all I could including steaks. My DH had got me a wonderful salad from Park Cafe that truly was amazing. Very yummy.

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I've always known Lisa was a hard headed tough cookie......little did we know. Gina and Bill deserve such kudos as they waited on the bridge as the police had yet to arrive when the ambulance was ready to leave.

 

I agree with Ginny about the roast beef sandwiches. They were good but not worth the praise they have been getting. We also only had one. Perhaps had there been more time we would've given it another try. Perhaps because we were chaffing at the bit to get our cabins and get our choice package reservations made. But I'll let Ginny finish the story.

 

Sue

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