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  1. Hi everyone. Sometimes it feels like things will never get here. I booked this sailing an entire different world ago. It’s crazy to think that back in November 2019 (18th to be exact) we were fun and fancy free. Running around without masks, no vaccines and a stable supply of light sweet crude oil. It was 867 days ago and when I put down the deposit for this sailing after having had FOMO from one too many of Sabrina’s live blogs. We’re now three weeks away which means from booking to sailing it’ll be 888 days (which definitely means I should head to the craps table or roulette wheel.) I’ll be sharing a bit about the voyage every day or so leading up to departure and will keep up onboard as much as my blood alcohol level let’s me.
  2. I am not sure where to begin with this one. It has been 867 long days since I stepped off Symphony’s gangway. I don’t even know if I remember how to blog anymore lol. The lead up to this sailing was precarious at best. Being a Type A planner like myself, the last few weeks have been quite stressful in terms of having whiplash from the ever-changing travel restrictions (we are Canadians, but we fly out of the US), testing requirements, right down to the, “Will we unknowingly test positive two days prior to cruise day and need to cancel the cruise?” I’ve had a hard time allowing myself to get excited for this sailing, in fear of devastation should anything go wrong. Words cannot describe how much I have missed sailing, what this sailing means to me, and the utter gratitude I will feel stepping onto that gangway in two days time, God willing. This pandemic has taken so much, caused so much upheaval and uncertainty, but there are several things that remain certain, my love for cruising has not faded, and I will never take another cruise for granted again. Allure … captivating, charming, grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go … I could go on and on. You think I’m talking about sailing right? I am, but more importantly, I am thinking of Hubby. This sailing is not only a joyful return to the seas, but a very special celebration for us. As silly as it may sound, on a cold December day, 25 years ago, a story of love began over a $50 bill, a 1st year university Calculus textbook, Jerry Maguire, and two cups of Tim Horton’s coffee at midnight (Note: Hubby doesn’t even drink coffee, but he had one that night, already a winner then lol). Tomorrow, we celebrate our 25th “Dating Anniversary" and what better way to celebrate than with our beloved La Bamba, margaritas, queso, fajitas, fried ice cream, and of course…CRUISING! Who’s Going? It’s just Hubby and I on this sailing. Flight It feels so good to say that we will by flying out of DTW. Praise God for the land border opening and staying open! We double-booked flights for this one out of Detroit and Toronto, but we’ve cancelled the Air Canada flights for obvious reasons. Pre-Cruise Stay Allure sails out of Port Everglades so we will be staying in Fort Lauderdale on 17th Street. When we have the girls with us, we usually choose a more family friendly property like Holiday Inn Express or Hyatt Place. Since it’s just Hubby and I, we picked Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel. We’ve stayed here before when we sailed Allure in 2016 and it’s modern, clean, very close to Port Everglades, and most importantly, a short walk to La Bamba! Itinerary This 4-night sailing was supposed to take us to Cozumel, but Royal changed the ports a few months ago. We are now headed to Nassau and Perfect Day Coco Cay. Personally, I could care less where it goes, I might not even leave the ship! lol Cabin #teamDeck17 of course! This is the way. Pre-Cruise thoughts - There might be major tears when I step back onboard on Sunday. I already warned Hubby. He has promised to record it to show the girls so they can see how ridiculous their mother is. People who are not cruise junkies just won’t understand lol - Once again, in the spirit of a live blog, please do not hesitate to ask any questions. I will do my best to find out whatever I can for you. - When responding to a post with a series of pictures, please do not include the pictures in your reply. It just makes for easier scrolling. - Lastly, I will try to post videos and stories on Instagram. You can follow me @lovetocruise2002
  3. Inspired by you all writing these fantastic live blogs, and desperately craving another cruise during the pandemic, we booked a Star Class cruise because it was on our bucket list. A week after booking the first one, I couldn't help myself and talked hubby into booking a second one in 2022. I've yet been unsuccessful in booking a third, but it's not been due to lack of effort on my part. We already have another cruise scheduled in 2022 (non-SC), so that brings us to three in the next year. I'm waiting for the right moment to book the next one. Shhhh...don't tell hubby! This will be our 8th cruise, and our first since the comeback. I've been experiencing some major FOMO since cruises started in July and I've driven my family crazy with my obsession over it. I've been ready for this cruise since we booked it back in January, and now that we're less than a month out I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself! I'm a planner through and through (and a lover of Excel), so I've been building our packing list, our shopping list (much to hubby's dismay), our activities wish list (much to our genie's dismay), and our dining / food / snack wish list. Going on this trip: This was going to be a cruise just for Tim and I, but our youngest daughter Kenzie just moved back home with us and her fiancé Jeremy is about to join us, so we decided to make it a family trip. One of the deciding factors is that the last day of the cruise will be Kenzie and Jeremy's dating anniversary. Jeremy has been in Malaysia during the pandemic and they just finally opened their borders for travel; he arrives on Wednesday and Kenzie is beside herself! It's been too long! Ship: Anthem of the Seas Cabin: Grand Loft Suite 10724 Royal Genie: Yen Lee Sail Dates: November 14 - 21, 2021 Itinerary: We sail RT from Bayonne, NJ with stops in Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Perfect Day at CocoCay Tim and I don't even plan to get off the ship in Orlando (used to live there) or Nassau (been there many times). The kids might, but we're hanging back and planning to chill. The only port we're really after is CocoCay. If Royal had an itinerary with just sea days and multiple stops at CocoCay, I think I'd book it. We've already booked the Beach Club at Coco Cay. We had originally booked a Cabana at the Beach Club, but then decided it's more about the pool and restaurant for us and we probably wouldn't be in it much, so we cancelled it. We got our welcome letter from Yen the other day and I've already started communicating with her. I sent her our dining preferences and activities wish list and other than a few specific requests, we're leaving the scheduling up to her. We're pretty chill these days, so we're planning on lots of R&R and preparing for the SC food coma. More to come as we prepare for our first Star Class cruise. I'm excited to share our journey with all of you! I hope I can entertain you all as much as you all have entertained me!
  4. I saw some comments in another thread that leads me to believe that some may have experienced some Star Class hostility when they were taking advantage of some Star perks such as jumping to the front of the line for certain events or getting seated in the front row for shows etc. Just wondering if anyone had actually experienced some comments from other passengers on board.
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