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  1. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to She Sails Away in Allure of the Seas: May 14-22, Solo, Boardwalk Balcony   
    I noticed that his solarium bistro was not open at all. Ours is at least open for breakfast but that’s it. I’m not a drinker, so I can’t give you any reviews on any of the beverages here. 😄Planning on having a few mocktails but I know that’s not the same.
    it’s been a great day. I had planned on it being a pool day but I found plenty of other things to do. Plus some serious relaxation time in my room. Today I was able to sit on the balcony and watch the world’s sexiest man competition, which was wild! Tonight is an ice-skating show and then another performer who I think is a singer. We’re at Labadee tomorrow! 
    Allure is a beautiful ship with so much to do and such great staff. But she is definitely showing her age and waiting for that amplification. The pool deck for example, is worn and pitted and has lots of spots with discoloration and holes and chips. The Casitas are dirty in a permanent way.  My room is just a little too warm for my liking and I heard several other people on the hallway complaining about the same thing this morning and apparently that’s just how it is. 
    so much to love here though, far more good than bad. But having come off Odyssey, which is shiny and new, I’m seeing a lot of differences. Even for an Oasis ship. So far my impressions are the really big thing to love about this cruise is the entertainment. They have a huge variety and really good people so far. And lots and lots of performances, which are completely booked out. They only let you reserve each performance one time, you’re not allowed to make reservations for the same show more than once. But you can try to squeeze in if you want for a second time and see if they’ll let you.
  2. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to She Sails Away in Allure of the Seas: May 14-22, Solo, Boardwalk Balcony   
    There’s some trouble posting due to the internet, so things may look a little off.
    they gave us the numbers this morning and I didn’t write them down but we are over 5000 guests. I don’t know how many staff. Of Those 5000 apparently only 100 our kids. I have to say, the ship is absolutely jammed.
    I debated whether not to say anything about sailing at full capacity but here are my two cents from my own perspective. Yes, we want full capacity so that our beloved cruise lines stay in business. But I’m starting to realize just how special, in a weird way, it really was to sail at limited capacity my last two sailings. I got spoiled big time in a hurry. I went up to the pool deck today at noon and there was not a single pool chair in sight. The hot tubs were wall-to-wall bodies and the pools were completely jammed. It was jarring to say the least. I just somehow forgot what it’s like to cruise under normal circumstances. I gave up on swimming or soaking in a tub of human soup and spent some time on the boardwalk instead. No problem, no big deal, I’m just dealing with my first real reality check. It’s going to take some adjusting.
    sangria! 😎 
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  5. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to She Sails Away in Allure of the Seas: May 14-22, Solo, Boardwalk Balcony   
    Sail away last night. We were accompanied by the Queen Elizabeth and the Caribbean Princess.

  6. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to She Sails Away in Allure of the Seas: May 14-22, Solo, Boardwalk Balcony   
    Once I boarded the ship, I was able to use the app for show reservations. Had to connect to Royal Wi-Fi before the app would let me do that. I tried it on land and it didn’t work. Show reservations filled up fast. I think this ship must be full.
    Ate both lunch and dinner in the Windjammer today and the food was so so. Really nice variety and very fresh, and the desserts are wonderful, but the food is not as good as it was on Odyssey and Freedom. I will branch out tomorrow.
    I just made platinum and I have a card in my room inviting me to a platinum event tomorrow at 10:30. I’m guessing that will be coffee and donuts and someone encouraging us to just keep booking cruises and make it all the way to diamond. But I’ll go and see.
    I also have a card in my room with a barcode and if I scan the barcode I can pre-order pool towels and they will be delivered to me instead of having to go get them at the towel station.
    Beautiful sunset tonight. I don’t think I can get any pictures here to upload due to the Internet but I will try. But take my word for it it was beautiful. I went to the aqua show tonight and it was amazing. Just fabulous. Absolutely make sure you get reservations for that. I followed that up by going to see two comedians, Don Gray and Phil Palisoul. Phil came on first and he was hilarious. By the time he finished I could barely keep my eyes open so I left and didn’t get to see Don. But he’s performing later this week.
    I didn’t get much sleep last night so I’m worn out. Walked 7 miles today exploring the ship and getting back-and-forth. More soon
  7. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to She Sails Away in Allure of the Seas: May 14-22, Solo, Boardwalk Balcony   
    Arrived at the port at 11:15 and went straight to the 1230 line. Didn’t matter. They were shoveling people through as fast as they could in all lines. No one checked my time and I was on the ship by 1140 wandering around and checking everything out. Did muster drill right away, made show reservations as fast as I could… And they were already selling out… Then a quick lunch. As Matt has said many times in his videos, don’t go to the Windjammer on that first day, like I did! Unbelievably packed. Vitality spa Café was empty, solarium bistro was nearly empty, there are many other choices.
    Changed into my swimsuit and swam in all three pools. Two people in the first pool, four people in the second pool, absolutely no one else in the third pool. Swam for an hour, soaked in the hot tub alone, found a Casita on the sundeck, which was deserted,  and looked out the ocean for a while, watching all the sailboats and windsurfers play. Rooms were ready at one but I didn’t come down till about 230. I have unpacked and organized the room, had a shower, and I’m headed back out for the Sail away party and more exploration . I have reservations for the aqua theater tonight. Found several documents in my room. Sharing these .
    I love my port-side boardwalk balcony cabin! Great views of people zip lining overhead, the aqua theater, the boardwalk area, the ocean and sky, and of course, people on their balconies across the way. Somebody somewhere gave a tip to bring some clothes pins or clips so that when you go to sleep at night you can pinch the curtains shut and they’ll stay shut in the room will stay dark. So glad I listened and brought along clips because they will definitely be needed.
    Internet on the Allure is pretty slow compared to Odyssey. Uploading photos is a drawn out process.

  8. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to She Sails Away in Allure of the Seas: May 14-22, Solo, Boardwalk Balcony   
    A travel tip that may seem obvious: allow plenty of time in the morning to get your taxi or Uber, if you’re not taking a pre-designated shuttle. I’m staying at the Holiday Inn within sight of the port, and I just came down to ask for a cab and there are about 30 people in front of me waiting for their turn. The front desk called the cab service for me and was put on hold. This will take a while. Somehow I have never run into this before. 
    we are just far enough off the main drag to where I can’t  exactly go out on the corner and hope to flag a cab passing by.
  9. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to She Sails Away in Allure of the Seas: May 14-22, Solo, Boardwalk Balcony   
    My Royal Caribbean app is fully loaded with the week’s activities! I’m sitting here browsing the different days and there’s just so, so much to do. Impossible to do it all as so many things overlap. You really get to pick and choose your level of activity and this is one of the reasons why you could take the same sailing several times and not have the same experience each time. Festivities start at 10:30 sharp tomorrow morning and I envy those getting on that early. There will be raffles and drawings, muster drills and show reservations, and tons of varied live music in the evening… Latin music, Motown, 80s and 90s hits, and of course karaoke.  Incoming days are all the usual things like trivia games and gym classes and activities at the pool, things like that.  Looking at all the options is a lot of fun. 

  10. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to She Sails Away in Allure of the Seas: May 14-22, Solo, Boardwalk Balcony   
    Well, I’m here in Fort Lauderdale at the hotel. From my window I can see a distant Celebrity cruise ship at the terminal but I can’t see much else. It looks like there might be other cruise ships further away. I have a great view of the airport and planes taking off!
    I got up at six this morning, tended to the cats, (who were very upset about the site of the suitcases), and then drove 100 miles to the ever-chaotic Atlanta airport. We had a mysterious hour long delay in taking off but here we are. Safe and sound.
    check out time tomorrow is at 11 and my boarding time is 12:30. I’ve had two stern emails from Royal Caribbean, reminding me not to show up before my designated time. But I don’t really see an option. Once I check out, I don’t feel comfortable sitting around the lobby and this is not a hotel where you can get out and walk around, especially with two suitcases.
    When I did my solo in March on Odyssey, I came to this same cruise terminal in Fort Lauderdale with the same situation. I flew in the same day and landed at 10 o’clock in the morning and my boarding time was not until 230.
    I planned to sit around the airport for a few hours but eventually I decided that was crazy and I just went ahead and took a cab over to the terminal. I walked up to an 11 AM line that was being filed into the building and showed the staff member there my boarding pass and she ushered me in. I told her twice, “I’m not supposed to board until 230. Is this ok?”  She put a finger to her lips and said, “honey, I’m not checking your time so let’s just not say anything, OK?“ I was on board the ship and having lunch by noon! Wouldn’t it be lovely if that was the same case tomorrow? 😊
    photos from home and the plane.

  11. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from Sweety in Allure of the Seas: May 14-22, Solo, Boardwalk Balcony   
    @She Sails AwayEnjoy!  I completed my first solo cruise last August -- just a four-night on Freedom -- I truly loved it!  I followed that up with a 7-Night on Oasis with my daughter.  It was fun to introduce her to cruising, but it did feel a bit odd to shift from solo mode!  My husband doesn't really care to cruise (unless there is a theme or planned activities), so I embarked (literally!) on my own and found it really suits me.  I love having the freedom to do exactly what I want to do, be as sociable (or un-) as I choose, and explore on my owns.  I'm probably more extrovert than introvert, but do cherish the choice.
  12. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to ChessE4 in EU authorities drop mandatory masks on planes and in airports   
    Since there is a real risk of catching a COVID variant now, my son will wear a mask flying to Denmark next week.  He doesn't want to mess up the required COVID test to board the cruise, etc.
    We don't fly to Spain until October, so we hope by then being "up-to-date" will be enough to return to the US even if Royal still requires COVID testing for the cruise.
  13. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Matt in Tested positive for COVID and Need to Test in Two Weeks For Our Cruise   
    First and foremost, hope you feel better soon.
    As for the test, I spoke to Dr. Anthony Harris about this concern a few months ago and he confirmed that a PCR test could still come back as positive, but an antigen test probably wouldn't.
    "If you're 10 days after the onset of your symptoms, you are generally no longer infected or infectious. And that's the standard that CDC still has that we use in the clinical community."
    If you're past the 10 day period, Dr. Harris said an antigen test is fine, "After that 10 day period, if you can show, and if it's acceptable, a negative rapid test, that's okay."
  14. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to smd_143 in Air2Sea Schedule Change additional charges   
    Interestingly, in light of the statement that "we are experiencing extremely high call volumes" and you can expect updated flight details in 30 days,  I just called Air2Sea, and got through to an agent in less than a minute! 
    I don't have a resolution yet, but only because the onus is on the airline to provide alternatives
  15. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Pattycruise in Air2Sea Schedule Change additional charges   
    I agree with this statement AND I would be prepared with flight info you are interested in as opposed to what they may offer you in the hopes they can make it work. I prefer to be prepared than to try to have something shoved at me that I cannot see the choices to.

    Air2Sea is the same company as Celebrity Flights by Celebrity.  IF you cannot see flight options for you on the Air2Sea site see if you can find an identical itinerary on Celebrity and check out Flights by Celebrity to find pricing/flight availability.   I do this by clicking on FInd a Cruise, then find the cruise I am intersted in and click on  itineary and Flights and then scroll to the bottom and click on Get a Quote.  
  16. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Just for Me   
    Day 3 - realize I am on a cruise
    I slept in to 10:30 am.  I was really proud of myself until I realized it was 6:30 am back home.  I got up and went to see what was in the Buffet for lunch.  I have to find a better place to eat for lunch or figure out how to make the Buffet food better.  I am starting to realize the Royal Caribbean Buffets are not very good.  In my opinion they are a tick below School Lunch.  Ater Lunch, I sat on the pool deck enjoying the fresh sea air while I got ready for my Poker Pub Crawl.  I am hosting a game called the Poker Pub Crawl and I had to get 6 decks of cards ready.  After getting everything ready I went back to my cabin to take a short nap and lucked out that I ran into a new friend that reminded me that at noon the time jumped ahead one hour.  Needless to say, that took my nap away and I had to get to the start of my event.  In my opinion the Poker Pub Crawl is one of the better things for a new group to do.  It is a social event where everyone kicks in $5, and we move around to 5 bars and at each bar we pull a poker card from the deck and visit with all the other people there.  This is a great way of meeting new people that you are going to be with for the next 12 days.  At the end someone won the winning pot of $75 with a full house and the lowest had of 7 high won $50.  We had fun and still was able to get to our daily trivia at 3:30 pm.  Now it is time for dinner, and I am off to the main dining room tonight.
    I went to the theater show tonight and thought it was very good.  This was a comedian that was on the Symphony with me in January.  It was very entertaining, and the time went quickly.  When it was over, I wished he would be doing a second show.  The shows on this cruise are only doing one show in the 14-day cruise.  Now I am back in my room doing some work that is needed for tomarrow back in Fresno.

  17. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Just for Me   
    Day 1 - to the ship and try to organize
    After getting cleaned up and packed at my Airbnb the host took me to the port in Fort Lauderdale.  I was surprised when we had to show photo id just to enter the port area.  I got dropped off at 10:45 am for my 11:00 am boarding time.  As soon as I entered the building there was someone to check to make sure I had my valid test results and vaccinations.  After being cleared I went through metal detectors and on to a person that checked me in.   They were not at a counter like they have been in the past.  It was just a person standing in the middle with a scanner and handheld device.  They check my boarding pass, covid test results, vaccination records and passport.  After doing all their input they did inform me that I got a FREE Upgrade.  They moved me from 2 deck inside cabin aft to 3 deck ocean view midship.  They then directed me to a holding pen.  This took a total of 10 minutes.  After we got our seats in the holding area, we got to sit there for the next 2 hours.  I found out later that everything was late because the ship got back into port late that morning.  Once back on the ship it was not much better; rooms were not ready, everyone got on the ship about the same time, so the buffet was backed up and out of plates and food.  We had to wait about 10 to 15 minutes for plates and then when we went into the buffet line there was not much food.  After getting food I was able to go stand in line at customer service and get my room key that they did not have because of them moving my cabin.  Once I was all set it was time for a nap.
    At 4 pm we had a Cruise Critic and Facebook get to gather.  Those are always hard because you never know who is who.  After meeting some new friends I left and went to my 6 pm dinner in the main dining room.  I choose to eat alone because that allows me to eat and get out of there in about 45 minutes.  If I eat at a table with other people it would have been 2+ hours.  At 7 pm I went to the Singles and Solo get to gather planned by the ship.  The problem with these are they are at a common bar and is not hosted.  So I was setting there realizing I could spot about 10 other people setting there alone wondering "Is this it?".  After a new minutes a couple of us started talking and we started moving everyone together.  It would not have happened if me and one other person would not have started asking people to join.  After a hour there I went and talk to a new friend as she at a light dinner.  When we were done and both realizing how tired we were it was off to bed to watch TV and try to sleep.
  18. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Just for Me   
    It looks like they use the time zone of the port.  It opened up for my Alaska cruise at 3:00 am EST or 12:00 am PST
  19. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Just for Me   
    I made it to Fort Lauderdale without any issues.  Everything went smoothly.  The nice lady that has the Airbnb that I am staying at came and picked me up for and extra $20.  I like the Airbnb Link to Airbnb and it is a quite room with my own bathroom and shower.  I took my covid test yesterday at work and was negative before leaving California.  Tonight I had 3 of the self proctored tests from RCL that are going to expire in 3 weeks so I decided to do one tonight so I know what I am doing before I have to do it in Spain.  the test was fairly easy to do because I had a good connection and could hear the directions  from the proctor.  Now I am sleepy and will put a movie on my computer and see if I can get a good night sleep and board the ship tomorrow.
    One last note:  I have an alarm set to get up at midnight to check in for my June 13 Alaska cruise.

  20. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Just for Me   
    I love pre-check.  If you do not have it, you need to look into getting it.  I have Global Pass and It is not much more money or work, and it gets you into the United States without any hassle.  I got to the airport in Fresno, a medium size airport, and it was very busy outside at 4:20 am.  I lucked out and American Airlines was not the busy one this morning.  Everyone was loading other airlines.  I got my ticket and dropped my bag (34 lbs.) very quickly.  I got over to security and the regular line was very long.  I got in the Pre-Check line and walked right to the front of it.  As soon as the guard was done with the person, she was working on she called me in front of the people in the regular line.  She checked me really quick and sent me to the line by the wall where no one was at.  The guard was working with a Spanish speaker having him pull off his sweeter and shoes and belt and everything out of his pockets.  He waived me around him, and I just dropped my computer backpack (with the computer in it) on the belt and waked through with everything still on.  I was in and out so fast I felt guilty.  Now I just have to wait an hour for my flight to load to take me to Dallas then to Fort Lauderdale.
    Talk to you later,
  21. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Just for Me   
    Anyone reading this log, get ready... you are going to feel great about yourself.  Yes, I am packing at the last minute, and I left my computer power cord at work.  I just had to take the dogs and drive 20 minutes downtown and to get my power cord.  That was 1 hour of time I did not have.  Yes... I am stupid, I took it out of my bag on purpose.  I was trying to lighten my bag, so I took the extra cords out of my bag at work, not home, and by mistake my power cord was part of them.  Now time to charge my computer and try to get 4 hours of sleep.
  22. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Just for Me   
    This is my typical trip; it is 9 hours until my flight and I am washing cloths so I can pack.  I am wondering what I will forget and wondering if I will get to sleep before midnight.  My suitcase is out so the dogs are mad.  The older one will not come near me and they younger one will not leave my side.

  23. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Just for Me   
    Yes, but for some reason my weight loss stopped and I am only down 2 lbs from my February cruise.  I am going to use this cruise a little different because of all the sea days to start the cruise.  I am going to swim laps in the pool early in the morning, then try to walk at least 5 miles every day.  I am hoping to get up to walking 10 miles before we hit the canary islands.
  24. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Just for Me   
    I just checked in for my flight that leaves Fresno California and takes me to Fort Lauderdale.  Like all my flights this year the flight is overbooked.  American Airlines sends me emails asking  me if I will fly a different day.  I am also at work trying to get ready to leave.  I do not want to work but have lots to do.  I came in early and will be working until late tonight.  Then I get to go home and finish packing.  I hope to get some sleep on the flight.
  25. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Traveling Mike in Just for Me   
    Lessons Learned
    I am going to add a list of my lessons learned here so you do not have to read through all my random postings you do not care about.
    Don't forget toothpaste or hair conditioner.  This lesson cost me $8 for toothpaste and $15 for hair conditioner Don't leave any kind of medication at home.  I left my over-the-counter allergy medicine at home and found out they no longer carry it on the ship.  If you need any kind of medicine, aspirin, binadrill ... you have to talk to the doctor on the ship and get it from them.  They want to test you for Covid before treating you sniffles for setting in the casino and getting a snoot full of cigarette smoke. Ocean View on a Trans-Atlantic does not do much good.  The window stays wet and gets dirty after two days so it is not usable.  Lucky they gave it to me with a free upgrade. You don't have to eat every meal and have 4 or 5 courses.  I am doing great with No Bread, no appetizer and no desert. You can take desert back to your room.  I do not want to stuff at dinner so if there is a desert that looks really good I get it to go.  I take it to the cabin and have it for a snack before bed. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    I am very sorry... I am writing this for my enjoyment.  If you want to follow that would be OK and you might enjoy it also... just do not expect too much.  I am going on the Vision of the Seas on Friday April 29, 2022.  We are doing a 14-day Trans-Atlantic Cruise going through the Canary Islands, the Mediterranean and ending up in Barcelona.   I have been trying to pack for the last 3 days but my dog, Jupiter, is making it very hard.  Every time he sees the suitcase he gets upset and shows me he is mad at me.  Jupiter remembers the suitcase and knows it means I will be gone for a longer time, and he does not like that.  The younger dog, Pluto, does not remember the suitcase or does not care.  For now, I just have to get everything ready and will pull out the suitcase tomorrow night and pack everything at once.  So, to end up tonight I will post something about me.
    Name:  Michael, Mike, Traveling Mike, Dad, Coach. Age: 61 … Still trying to figure out if I am old enough for the adults table at Thanksgiving Hometown:  Fresno California … Hopefully soon I can same I am from the world traveling.  Traveling With:  Solo... I have been a single father for 24 years traveling with my son and now he stays at home and works so my traveling partner is myself now. Occupation:  I spent 16 years driving truck, went back to school and now I drive a Computer (computer programmer for a school district) Spare Time:  I coach water polo.  I coach elementary kids and high school varsity Cruising Experience:  as close as I can figure I have been on 20 cruises (5 with 1st wife, 12 with my son & 5 solo) (5 Disney, 6 Carnival, 2 RCL, 4 NCL, 3 Princes, 2 Celebrity) I know this is not much but don't worry I will be like a bad penny and my posts will keep showing up here.
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