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CatLadyFemme

Live Allure Review 7/7-7/14: Vegetarian, gluten free, disabilty inclusive

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Posted (edited)

Hello - it's time for another live review.  I have to apologize for my last one; MrCatLady ended up in quarantine for the majority of the trip, plus tapatalk wasn't working, so I crapped out on it halfway through, and by the time I got back home, I had classes and grading and never came back. I am much more committed this time; I promise!

 

I'm CatLadyFemme, a professor at the University of Michigan, a cat lady (obviously), and a moderately experienced cruiser. I am disabled/live with chronic pain, and so walk with a cane, plus I am a vegetarian and have Celiac disease, so am super duper gluten free. In addition to things like photos of the rooms, cruise compasses, etc., I will post about finding vegetarian GF food (we've had some AMAZING luck like with Belic on the Explorer, and some not great experiences where I ate iceberg salad and berries for days), and access/ADA issues. Oh! I'm also queer, so there may be some stuff about the LGBTQ meet up, etc. I like to stay in the shade/find a nice lounge and read, or enjoy the hot tubs with a big floppy hat.

 

My partner, MrCatLady, works as a research project manager and soon to be PhD student, also loves cats, spends a lot of time in the sun, around the pool, and at the gym. He's pretty cute. Here is us together on May 4th.

 

 

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We'll be staying in an accessible neighborhood balcony (Central Park), having only stayed up on deck 14. Last trip was our first (ocean) balcony and it was our saving grace with the quarantine. Am excited for it, but a little worried it will be too loud and/or too hot. We're also traveling with my mother in law and her husband, although staying in very different areas of the ship. In Labadee, all four of us have a cabana so I can stick in the shade with my legs up while they all go do sun and beach-y things, and in St. Maarten, we signed up for a bus tour of the island, including time on the French side and with a carousel. San Juan is so early and so short; I think we'll be lucky to make it ashore. We might just go for the pool that morning in hopes of more space.

 

We have early seating at dinner, like seeing most of the shows (reservations are made), and are super excited to get out of Michigan for a bit (and yes! we have Michigan magnets for the exchange). We both have the refreshment package (MrCatLady drinks a LOT of seltzer, and flavored seltzer, and seltzer with limes, and wants to try some smoothies, and I am a fan of all sorts of creative mocktails. I usual get a few glasses of wine or full cocktail throughout the week, but not enough to break even) and internet. Oh! I also have reservations at 150 Central Park to celebrate my MIL's retirement, and as a delayed birthday gift.

 

Our trip starts on Saturday with flying down to Fort Lauderdale, connecting with my MIL and her husband, getting to the hotel (Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel), and finding a vegetarian/GF friendly place to meet up with my aunt (who lives in Boyton Beach) for dinner. We'll probably take a Lyft to the port on Sunday, unless the hotel has a shuttle.

 

Let me know if you have any specific questions or requests; otherwise, I'll try to do regular updates (assuming the internet isn't wonky), post occasional pictures, and hopefully induce a small amount of envy.

Edited by CatLadyFemme

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How many days before sailing were you able to make dining reservations.  We are booked on Allure next January. Haven’t sailed RCL in several years but it appears that things have changed. 

 

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I’m on Allure at the end of July.  I too walk with a cane and am curious how easy it is for you to get around.  I sailed on Oasis a couple of years ago but rented a scooter.  This time, I’m not because I’m in a regular balcony and the scooter won’t fit.  (We were in a GS last time.). 

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I’m very excited to read your review. We are headed out on Allure on a B2B starting July 21st, so this will be a great teaser of what is to come on our vacation. 

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I know you cannot wait for this weekend!!!  I'm thrilled to see you chose the same hotel we did.  I would love to hear what you think of the hotel.  I don't think it has self laundry services, but I'm curious about a place to do a little laundry there because this will be the start of a second week for us.  So excited for you guys....enjoy and we are along for the ride!

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9 hours ago, sellwingri said:

I’m on Allure at the end of July.  I too walk with a cane and am curious how easy it is for you to get around.  I sailed on Oasis a couple of years ago but rented a scooter.  This time, I’m not because I’m in a regular balcony and the scooter won’t fit.  (We were in a GS last time.). 

I am a little nervous because the ship is so big, so fingers crossed!

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9 hours ago, nalatrixie74 said:

will you let us know if the drink card is offered? have a great time!!

Yep; will keep my eyes opened!

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On 7/1/2019 at 5:29 PM, I&J Cruisers said:

How many days before sailing were you able to make dining reservations.  We are booked on Allure next January. Haven’t sailed RCL in several years but it appears that things have changed. 

 

I don't know how far out, because I only made them a month or two ago (and had to get my travel agent involved because of linking the two reservations).

 

I wasn't able to book shows until late April for a July trip, which was surprising.

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6 hours ago, reaton said:

I’m very excited to read your review. We are headed out on Allure on a B2B starting July 21st, so this will be a great teaser of what is to come on our vacation. 

Oooh la la! Sounds like fun!

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Following along, booked a b-2-b for Sept.

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Finishing packing. I feel like I must be missing something, because I don't feel stressed or discombobulated enough. 😂

 

MrCatLady got some deal where he gets to try Delta Gold Sky Priority, so that feels exciting for tomorrow. We're also supposed to get to the hotel around 2pm, and they specifically say they won't allow cruise ship check in before 4pm, so hope that goes ok with them at least letting us check our baggage.

 

Lots has been going on in my life as of late, and I really really really am looking forward to some of this down time. I just need to get there first!

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We have made it to Ft Lauderdale.

 

Last night was rough. One of our kitties is in his last few weeks/months of life, so we wanted to make sure we spent a good deal of time with him in case something happens. Lots and lots of tears until 3 or 4am, which didn’t mix well with a 7am wake up call for our 7:45am Lyft to the airport.

I have never seen the Detroit airport so crowded. Even with Sky Priority AND the disability line, it took almost 45 min to clear security. Flight was fine: started watching Star Trek: Discovery.

 

Much of the FLL Delta terminal was under construction, so it was a mess. Had my wheelchair pusher take us to the taxi line, and we got a cab no problem. About 10 minutes to the Renaissance Cruise Port, and they checked us on at 2pm, despite their website saying no check in till 4pm. Have an ADA room on the 4th floor. Met up with my MIL and her husband, and found an amazing place for food.

 

Here is our room and luggage.

 

We dined for a late lunch just around the corner at Fresh First, which is 100% gluten free (be still my Celiac heart) and super vegetarian and vegan friendly. Not only that, but the in laws, which usually eschew my GF and veggie type things, LOVED their tuna salad and chicken salad sandwiches. I had a sweet potato burger on vegan waffle bread, and MrCatLady had a fried quinoa bowl with tuna salad. So so so tasty. We might stop for breakfast in the  AM before heading to the port. 

 

And now, migraine meds and a nap.

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Looking forward to your review. So sorry about your kitty. We were in a similar position in having to leave our elderly cat who was having issues to go on our cruise.  My daughter looked after him for us and fortunately he did well while we were gone and we were able to spend more time with him when we returned. Hope you have a great time and things go well while you are gone.

 

 

Mary Ann

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Hope all goes well with your kitty while you’re gone. We have two15 year old cats, and we’re very concerned about one of them during our last cruise. Fortunately, she did very well while we were gone, and is continuing to do so. I hope your kitty does as well as ours did while we were away.

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Looking forward to your review! Enjoy your trip 🙂 

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9 hours ago, perfect match said:

Hope all goes well with your kitty while you’re gone. We have two15 year old cats, and we’re very concerned about one of them during our last cruise. Fortunately, she did very well while we were gone, and is continuing to do so. I hope your kitty does as well as ours did while we were away.

 

9 hours ago, UFMOM said:

Looking forward to your review. So sorry about your kitty. We were in a similar position in having to leave our elderly cat who was having issues to go on our cruise.  My daughter looked after him for us and fortunately he did well while we were gone and we were able to spend more time with him when we returned. Hope you have a great time and things go well while you are gone.

 

 

Mary Ann

 

Thank you; it’s nice to know other folks get it!

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Ok; so update on the hotel. Lobby is nice, if also full of screaming children. Location is great. However, the beds are mediocre (hard), shower is mediocre, and our TV wasn’t working so the technician spent over an hour fixing it (after 20 min, i asked  if they’d just us $20 credit on our room, but no dice). It’s fine but nothing fancy, although we didn’t make it to the pool and maybe that would have made it more exciting. It IS very close to the airport and port, so that part is really nice.

 

For dinner, we got GrubHub to deliver Shabos BBQ. I didn’t get sick (a win; so think I was batting .800 on getting glutened the night before cruising), but is was super super expensive and very disappointing. Their GF pita was basically a cut up tortilla, the $8 truffle feta fries were like 7 potato wedges, and everything was just ok. Perhaps better in person?

 

Was woken up early by my MIL knocking on our door to say to MrCatLady. This does not bode well for my vacation, but we’ll see. He is off to get coffee, and then we’ll get ready to head over. Our time is 11am, but someone posted recently they were able to get on earlier,  so we are aiming for 10:45ish. The hotel has a shuttle for $6/person, but I am contemplating a Lyft which will be just us and maybe a bit easier.

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We will be boarding as you leave on July 14th.  I am loving your review and pictures are great. I love the food porn!!!! Please let us know your favorite specialty restaurant.

 

Enjoy your cruise!!

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Took us forever to check out of the hotel; finally called the number from standing in line and checked out that way. Then we had two different Lyft drivers cancel on us; the one that finally picked us up told us that because you need to show your ID to get into the port, a lot of drivers cancel those rides.

 

I will say this port tied with Seattle for ease of boarding. We checked in/touched base with the wheelchair person at 11am, got placed in a wheelchair by 11:02, had a RCCL employee check us in virtually, were given a cleared for embarkation card that let us fly through the lines, switched pushers and were on board and on the Royal Promenade by 11:19. Very impressed.

 

We hopped on the elevators up to then Solarium. I think we were the second people there, and since the bistro wasn’t opened yet, we sat in the shade a cried a little more about Jasper kitty (he is barely eating now). Finally, they opened at 11:35, and we went inside the much cooler bistro. 

 

I have never ever been on a ship with one of these, but it was perfect. Pretty much the only food I ever eat from WJ, and noting extraneous. BJ was super helpful in checking and double checking on items (like making sure the potato wedges were only roasted and never fried) without having to guide him, and he came back to find me to tell me the Sugar free pineapple cake and pot de creme were also GF.

 

 

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I keep trying to write about our room, and it keeps deleting it. Let me see if I can at least get the pictures to load. We are in an ADA Central Park Balcony room. It is very well laid out compared to other ships we have been on, and also the newest (though MrCatLady is amused by the iPod docking stations).

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