Jump to content
JohnK6404

Allure of the Seas, 5/19/19-5/26/19... “Semi-Live” Blog!

Recommended Posts

I apologize in advance for being a slacker on my first blog attempt!

I’ll start off with the abbreviated synopsis... I have a new found admiration for all of the live bloggers out there! 😎

We have been so busy these last couple of days! I’m also trying to be respectful of our traveling friends that do not necessarily share the same level of enthusiasm for blogs, etc., as we do!

Cruise Details:  

  • Allure of the Seas, 7-night, Western Caribbean itinerary (Labadee-Haiti, Falmouth-Jamaica & Cozumel-Mexico)
  • Out of Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale
  • 5/19/19 - 5/26/19

Cabin Details & Cruise Planner Stuff:

  • Central Park Balcony (Deck 11... Port side of ship)
  • Purchased the Key
  • Selected My Time Dining
  • Purchased the Deluxe Beverage Package
  • Purchased Labadee Over the Water Cabana (Nellie’s Beach)
  • Purchased admission to the Prohibition Party

Miscellaneous Stuff:

  • Flight on Southwest Airlines out of Islip/MacArthur Airport on Long Island (NY) on 5/18/19 to Ft. Lauderdale Airport
  • Traveling with good friends from the Orlando, FL area in adjacent cabins... they decided to drive to Ft. Lauderdale
  • Our first experience on an Oasis class ship (our traveling friends were on Oasis 2 years ago)

I think that’s it for the synopsis... I apologize if I’m all over the place going forward. We’re having an amazing time and it’s only the first full day!

Will be working on catching up to today... we have to start to get ready for our first formal evening shortly! 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, let’s see.. arrived on SAT (5/18/19), the day before sail date, on an early Southwest flight and arrived a little before 10:30 AM. Our friends met us at the airport and we drove to the hotel (Holiday Inn Ft. Lauderdale Airport) to check in and drop our bags off before heading out to explore and have some lunch. The hotel was a good, basic hotel in a commercial area... nothing fancy, but they did have a nice little pool and restaurant & bar. 

We jumped into their car and started exploring and wound up in the Hollywood Beach area. We had lunch at the Landshark Bar & Grill overlooking Hollywood Beach and a Flow-rider (sorry for the bad pic!)... this area is next to the Margaritaville Hotel.

B2BE3F2C-18C3-44D0-BF32-76B2C5FC7940.thumb.jpeg.687bbc7b4193a1bde38a0affa5f7803f.jpeg

 

The weather was beautiful and we took a walk along the boardwalk.

17F5F010-2919-48ED-A66F-FE1689687A0E.thumb.jpeg.7b1c7c8472674d50f856d91bc24a396f.jpeg

56DFD13E-4A37-4CF7-ABB1-0399DB133E37.thumb.jpeg.6b216ad00a946de3072e7094ceb51e11.jpeg

 

After the lunch and walk on the boardwalk, we just went back to the hotel to relax by the pool and had dinner and drinks at the hotel and called it a night.

Ok... time to get ready for dinner! I’ll be back!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, my friends and my wife are tucked in for the evening (in their respective cabins, LOL!)... early rise tomorrow for Labadee, but let me see if I can catch up to today!

Yesterday, SUN (5/19/19), we elected to take the port shuttle coordinated through the hotel... fortunately, we were the only pickup and made it to the port in short time. We got off of the bus and they unloaded and handled the checked baggage from the drop off point at the terminal.

Now, this is where we all really got annoyed... the people at the port are mostly clueless about the Key!

We were able to quickly get through security, but when we got to the next area and had our SetSail Pass scanned, we had to basically go through the entire check-in process again. We had already uploaded our pics using the app, added our credit card, and scanned our passports. However, she still completed the entire process (except for the credit card info) all over again...

We were finally directed to the boarding waiting area, that’s where they really dropped the ball. We all had printed out our SetSail passes and had the app open, but because the SetSail pass did not clearly state we had the Key (only listed Expedited Arrival), a couple of the port employees would not let us advance to the suite and Key waiting area to board. These employees did not have the ability to scan our SetSail passes to confirm what we were stating.

Even after we showed them a printed copy of our Cruise Planner purchases that clearly showed we purchased the Key, they escorted us to another waiting area and told us we had to wait there with everyone else. When they started boarding other C&A members after they cleared out the suite and Key guests, we got a little more insistent and tracked down another port employee. He finally let us by and allowed us to board the ship!

We made our way to the Amber Theater and checked in with the crew member coordinating the carry-on drop-off... that was flawless. They took our carry-ons and tagged them and moved them into another area to be delivered to our cabin. We mentioned the problem we had in the port and she basically smiled, apologized and indirectly confirmed that there are issues (assuming educating/ training these port employees).

... and off we went to Chops to take advantage of our Key complimentary embarkation day lunch. We only had to wait a few minutes before we were seated. Despite all of the unnecessary confusion and stress at the port, it only took us 45 minutes from the time we arrived at the port to the time we were seated at Chops.

We all went with the filet mignon which everyone enjoyed including my friend who is very picky about his steak. Service was excellent and as expected for a specialty restaurant.

Here are shots of the Key lunch menu, my steak (no sides on plate yet - not a great shot!), the delicious wild mushroom soup, some of our desserts, and a shot of my wife, Christine.

D45B0877-16AC-494F-BEB3-ECFB6B152098.thumb.jpeg.849795abde90ae9bb5548a1405a4895d.jpeg

E4563027-F35B-44E2-ACC3-9009E98E74B5.thumb.jpeg.4cc6871d8a81123f9fc507a9b47c6951.jpeg

E9C8567C-9DCF-4A54-8087-C7BF6CFB054F.thumb.jpeg.b10877dc054e616be8e38649f47e837a.jpeg

EA3A84F5-7B17-49A6-8FDA-025A5F5B1CD2.thumb.jpeg.7d8a35037cbd7faf6ee8c0b66ab39112.jpeg.

F266EEF5-9698-4BA0-AFFE-7237FAF22114.thumb.jpeg.e6953907bff687618074c42d252907c4.jpeg

DF5A8466-5882-4287-8EA1-B79C490540BE.thumb.jpeg.4c36a90720b1c5ef0a39db1188fd8b5f.jpeg

 

While we were there, we received the announcement that the cabins were ready... we went to the cabins and all of our luggage and carry-ons were there. We unpacked and then started to explore the ship. We stopped at the Trellis bar in Central Park and we started to break in our drink packages! My first, based on many of your recommendations, was a Lava Flow!

EDC765F2-B459-4F55-ACB4-4579D114C651.thumb.jpeg.c3dcecb8d84852f6a879e5f31f303636.jpeg

 

We later had our muster drill in Studio B... by the time we made our way to the upper decks, the ship had already left port and was passing the beach and entering the Atlantic. Missed leaving port somehow... the ship was so smooth and we lost track of time so none of us knew she had already left port! 

Wandered over the the Sun Deck and the bridge wings...

433FDE18-D9A3-4F55-ADC2-3DF5CE9C60DC.thumb.jpeg.8bb53ded97198c34b8cb8f16a4ab654b.jpeg

99843B55-5578-4F14-9857-114CA50C412E.thumb.jpeg.9bb7b03599209400845dd579de085f27.jpeg

0EDB71D4-E8CA-48B6-B92B-F78383B5451B.thumb.jpeg.5aed07f327888270d6704b8775573ce5.jpeg

 

We explored a little more of the ship and went down to the MDR for our 6:00 PM, My Time dining... we had made all of our reservations months ago in the Cruise Planner. Here is the first night’s MDR menu...

BA714193-3041-485F-880E-AC99F6D4D852.thumb.jpeg.ff619295aa77f79b3f2f5b5b8c9df4f2.jpeg

 

Although it’s only been 2 evenings, we absolutely love our waitstaff (Waiter: Kadek, Asst: Oleksandr & Beverage: Jose) and our window table for 4!

Here is the view from my seat!

573BB75A-0DF9-4C02-9950-117B407EFCE6.thumb.jpeg.83464d4aa5720e0979a8677543d341c1.jpeg

 

I had the the French Onion soup (decent, not the best), Maryland Crab Cake (okay, not great) and the Chicken Marsala which was very good... everyone was overall very happy with their selections.

D1CA2EF7-7298-4D41-BD3A-5E17ED8C5B22.thumb.jpeg.f7568a8e12fc18f2c63d4267cc0be6ac.jpeg

 

We headed over next to the Amber Theater to see Mamma Mia for the 8:00 PM show. We arrived 15 minutes before showtime and just had to show our SeaPass, which had the Key sticker affixed from the start, and we were directed to the reserved section. Our seats were two rows behind the booth... loved the seats! A little less than 10 minutes before showtime, they started opening up the reserved section to general admission.

16F57E93-EA1C-4229-8343-EC0E91A33496.thumb.jpeg.2ce4c5d15e903fe435f510b90a4d3619.jpeg

 

We all thoroughly enjoyed the show! After the show, we wandered around a little more and the wives retired to our cabins. As a side note, we booked adjoining CP balcony cabins and they were able to remove the partition (about 1/3 the length of the partition can be removed) allowing us to walk between the two balconies. Pics to follow later I’m sure!

My friend and I headed to Casino Royale and played some single deck blackjack for a couple of hours and finally retired after midnight... he won a little, me not so much! Not too bad though... 😎

OK... time for me to get to bed or I’ll be a zombie tomorrow! I’ll try to catch up as the week progresses!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, hayley_bopp said:

Thanks for sharing your cruise with us. Looking forward to following along. 

Don't apologise for 'being behind': you're on a cruise - enjoy yourself!

^^^That

@JohnK6404 Sorry for the issues with check in. Hopefully totally smooth sailing in every way from now on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, JohnK6404 said:

We were able to quickly get through security, but when we got to the next area and had our SetSail Pass scanned, we had to basically go through the entire check-in process again. We had already uploaded our pics using the app, added our credit card, and scanned our passports. However, she still completed the entire process (except for the credit card info) all over again...

We were finally directed to the boarding waiting area, that’s where they really dropped the ball. We all had printed out our SetSail passes and had the app open, but because the SetSail pass did not clearly state we had the Key (only listed Expedited Arrival), a couple of the port employees would not let us advance to the suite and Key waiting area to board. These employees did not have the ability to scan our SetSail passes to confirm what we were stating.

Even after we showed them a printed copy of our Cruise Planner purchases that clearly showed we purchased the Key, they escorted us to another waiting area and told us we had to wait there with everyone else. When they started boarding other C&A members after they cleared out the suite and Key guests, we got a little more insistent and tracked down another port employee. He finally let us by and allowed us to board the ship!

Oh man that sounds super annoying at the port! I assumed because of all the signage that they would know what they were talking about. I’m realizing now that our seamless security and checkin process was likely due more to the JS than the Key. But I’m so happy that once you got on board everything considerably smoothed out!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, JohnK6404 said:

I apologize in advance for being a slacker on my first blog attempt!

I’ll start off with the abbreviated synopsis... I have a new found admiration for all of the live bloggers out there! 😎

We have been so busy these last couple of days! I’m also trying to be respectful of our traveling friends that do not necessarily share the same level of enthusiasm for blogs, etc., as we do!

Cruise Details:  

  • Allure of the Seas, 7-night, Western Caribbean itinerary (Labadee-Haiti, Falmouth-Jamaica & Cozumel-Mexico)
  • Out of Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale
  • 5/19/19 - 5/26/19

Cabin Details & Cruise Planner Stuff:

  • Central Park Balcony (Deck 11... Port side of ship)
  • Purchased the Key
  • Selected My Time Dining
  • Purchased the Deluxe Beverage Package
  • Purchased Labadee Over the Water Cabana (Nellie’s Beach)
  • Purchased admission to the Prohibition Party

Miscellaneous Stuff:

  • Flight on Southwest Airlines out of Islip/MacArthur Airport on Long Island (NY) on 5/18/19 to Ft. Lauderdale Airport
  • Traveling with good friends from the Orlando, FL area in adjacent cabins... they decided to drive to Ft. Lauderdale
  • Our first experience on an Oasis class ship (our traveling friends were on Oasis 2 years ago)

I think that’s it for the synopsis... I apologize if I’m all over the place going forward. We’re having an amazing time and it’s only the first full day!

Will be working on catching up to today... we have to start to get ready for our first formal evening shortly! 😀

Following.. so excited for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, hayley_bopp said:

Thanks for sharing your cruise with us. Looking forward to following along. 

Don't apologise for 'being behind': you're on a cruise - enjoy yourself!

 

14 hours ago, Skid said:

^^^That

@JohnK6404 Sorry for the issues with check in. Hopefully totally smooth sailing in every way from now on.

 

8 hours ago, JLMoran said:

+1 to this!

 

8 hours ago, spiralqueen said:

Oh man that sounds super annoying at the port! I assumed because of all the signage that they would know what they were talking about. I’m realizing now that our seamless security and checkin process was likely due more to the JS than the Key. But I’m so happy that once you got on board everything considerably smoothed out!  

Thank you all! Back from Labadee... will try to catch up a little more before dinner tonight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, leesam82 said:

I hope you are having a good time on the Allure

My family and I will be on it eastern Caribbean cruise in august. 

Did you think the Key is worth it? 

 

 

Yes, amazing time so far! Thank you!

From our perspective, being low in standing with Crown & Anchor and not being in a suite, all of us emphatically endorse the Key.

However, we were fortunate to purchase it at $19.99 / person per day... as that price rises to a high of $37.99 or so, it becomes more difficult to stomach and justify the benefits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, JohnK6404 said:

Yes, amazing time so far! Thank you!

From our perspective, being low in standing with Crown & Anchor and not being in a suite, all of us emphatically endorse the Key.

However, we were fortunate to purchase it at $19.99 / person per day... as that price rises to a high of $37.99 or so, it becomes more difficult to stomach and justify the benefits.

IMPORTANT!! @JohnK6404. Agree 100% about the Key. Just want you be aware of another Key perk in case you don't know. It is not listed on the letter in the cabin but you are entitled to towels WITHOUT THEM SCANNING YOUR CARD. This avoids any potential erroneous towel charges later on. When you return the towels, just drop them in the bin and walk away. Don't let them scan your card then either because from the zero base, computer will think you were checking them out. 

Whew, that was more long winded than I intended. 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let’s see... next is yesterday, MON, 5/20/19... first full day and at sea!

My wife and I got up and went over to the Windjammer for breakfast at around 8:30 AM. Unfortunately, we forgot from prior cruises how much of a circus it can become as the morning moves along and especially on a sea day! We had breakfast, making sure to get that fresh squeezed orange juice to maximize that DBP! LOL! 😎 The food was fine... we have always liked the Windjammer as far as buffets go... tremendous selection as usual. When we left, there was a line down the hall to enter the restaurant and the crew members were escorting people to tables as they cleared.

After walking around the Royal Promenade, we went to Cafe Prominade and I got a cappuccino and my wife ordered an Irish Coffee... yeah, working that beverage package! Our friends joined us and we headed to the Boardwalk and the aft of the ship. 

So far we have not felt or heard any impact of the current propulsion issue. In fact, this ship is so smooth compared to our experiences on the Majesty, Explorer and Liberty, and we very rarely feel any motion at all (knock on wood). I posted a video of the wake on the current running “Allure Propulsion Issues” thread, but for here I’ll just post a pic. The compromised azipod appears to be on the starboard (right) side of the ship and appears on the left side as you look at the wake... If we did not look at the wake (and RC didn’t notify us of course) we would have ever known there was an issue.

BE990E0A-BC94-4CDD-A5EB-5921A8F1A6A1.thumb.jpeg.aa3d2e01ed7c847ff99c372ab960f677.jpeg

 

After some more exploring, we went up to the Solarium and staked our claim on some comfortable cushioned chairs and took a dip in the pool. Understandably, it was packed at that time on a sea day, but once we found a spot we settled in and relaxed for a bit. Note: unless you have iron feet, make sure you wear shoes/sandals when walking on the decking in the solarium... burns your feet rather quickly! When it got a little too hot outside, we grabbed some couches under the overhang in the solarium near the bar and relaxed some more. 

We decided to try Central Park Cafe for lunch (thanks to many of your recommendations) and everyone was pleasantly surprised. Very basic menu/selection of paninis, quesadillas, the famous Kummelweck roast beef sandwich, salads, soup, and a few sweets. We all tried the Kummelweck and it did not disappoint... very tender and tasty. I had it with what I believe was a peppercorn gravy. Between the group, We also tried the Cuban panini and various salads. The panini was a little sparing on the meat, but it was also tasty. It just hit the spot and satisfied our hunger. Will look to go back probably another day!

We later headed over to Studio B for the 2:30 PM showing of the Ice Games! Ice Show. We showed our SeaPass card with the Key and were escorted to the reserved seating and were sat in the 3rd row, center. Very nice seats!

8D7E37D1-494F-4D4C-B241-4CE95B442DAD.thumb.jpeg.d1896acc292d6fe063de392d7edaf5a5.jpeg

 

The show was very good and we all enjoyed it. It’s funny how we always say we could skip the ice show if necessary, but when we go we enjoy it! We then headed back to Central Park and sat near the Trellis Bar for a bit.

F8616312-ACBE-4FE3-890C-2C2D4D69AC07.thumb.jpeg.830848324b8477026b27c491d30aba04.jpeg

DA8ECD08-E774-4C26-A178-A86DA7C68DC8.thumb.jpeg.c2038d2ce061fa1de401a73479f47b53.jpeg

77EB92E7-1123-4064-A1D2-7AF8C0F2C816.thumb.jpeg.f76570f7629b81348c035ba9e2b13acc.jpeg

 

Love Central Park!

Next we went back to the cabin to relax and get ready for our first formal night. Here are some pics of the menu and my group.

755B4766-037B-4CF7-A886-0C2765986CD1.thumb.jpeg.53b82e8b95f147d43b826e330fc3dfcb.jpeg

4D18256C-656D-4D7C-806B-F11F5E39CE15.thumb.jpeg.8fcdfe43fa51326881a16ed47b35a1fc.jpeg

C0542FDA-6C71-433D-B36F-4AA1062A6318.thumb.jpeg.eade3612dae7274bf43e52c2bc3be125.jpeg

 

Kadek, Oleksandr and Jose were awesome once again! I went for the lobster bisque and shrimp cocktail for appetizers, roasted beef tenderloin (which was tender and delicious) for my main course, and I had the Grand Marnier soufflé for dessert. Everyone enjoyed their meals!

DA5817D6-75A9-4345-BAE2-B1CBCBCF51EE.thumb.jpeg.28de6b1203c1271994f55d2060768288.jpeg

 

After walking around a little, and posing for formal pics, we went back to the cabin to change and get ready for the AquaTheater show... OceanAria!

We pushed it this time and just arrived on time about 10 minutes prior to the start of the show. We showed our SeaPass card and were escorted to the reserved section for the Key. About 2 minutes later, they removed the rope and allowed general admission to fill the section.

58C90637-AE88-4522-86DA-FFBDC3E3B299.thumb.jpeg.3d3dd4c1525f6d1c9defc962d4f8d3e6.jpeg

68BC6034-FCC1-44CE-96D9-AB56BA7C2451.thumb.jpeg.6888483d25ff6abf66418a25087df69a.jpeg

 

We enjoyed the show (so far all of the shows have been excellent). It was a beautiful night... nice light, cool breeze in the AquaTheater.

Back to the cabin for some wine and conversation on our balconies while we listened to the piano/keyboard player down below in Central Park. Once again, our friends have the adjacent cabin and we had the attendant remove the partial divider. Here’s what the dividers look like on Allure CP balcony cabins...

66E7A960-A5DC-4EA8-9EC6-C7F0C8F48EBF.thumb.jpeg.f1930d52a43c46adcc4dae078d7fcd31.jpeg

AE591A5B-03D3-4195-A37E-F5CC19D564CE.thumb.jpeg.88715c1a2018590022add151dd0cc69e.jpeg

 

Here are a couple of shots taken from our balcony shortly after the performer finished last evening... we are on Deck 11 and Central Park is on Deck 8...

08ED66FC-20F4-4481-9A16-AF7DCF2A187C.thumb.jpeg.c2e3ced0d64cad42e3cbcc0d8fa61643.jpeg

38D5BEA7-EBAD-489E-9D8A-2E0AAA355230.thumb.jpeg.cbe9debe1ad2585d40c885ae83d29894.jpeg

 

Everyone retired to bed with an early morning ahead today in Labadee... 

OK, time for me to go! It’s time to head down to the MDR for dinner... I’ll see if I can catch up tonight! 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was worried about having issues with checking in early with The Key group seeing it is not showing up on my setsail pass too. I received an email from RCCL customer service and they stated that reps should have a list of all guests who purchased The Key and told me to print confirmation of the purchase (I still am questioning this - the reps could be inside the ship, not in the terminal). But I will be persistent like you if trouble arises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, marcg125 said:

... the reps could be inside the ship, not in the terminal). But I will be persistent like you if trouble arises.

They really need to be in the terminal since we are all separated into designated boarding groups in the waiting area and have boarding priority based on various categories like suite guests, the Key guests, Crown & Anchor designations, etc. We can’t get onto the ship without getting through the terminal personnel and none of them in the waiting area had printed lists or iPads, I would follow customer service’s recommendation and definitely be persistent at the terminal if they tell you to go sit somewhere outside of the Key waiting area which is right next to the suites waiting area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...