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Allure of the Seas: May 14-22, Solo, Boardwalk Balcony


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Hi, everyone! First time blogging here but long time Royal Caribbean traveler. So excited to be back to cruising. My husband and I went on Freedom of the Seas in November after he spent a very long year recovering from Covid. I was on the Odyssey in March and had a wonderful time on my first solo cruise. Headed to the Allure on Saturday for an eight night trip to Aruba, Curaçao, and Labadee. First time visiting all of those ports. Third time on the Allure, although it’s been over 10 years since I was last there. My kids were little back then and we loved every minute of that cruise! They especially loved the rock climbing wall and Flowrider.

 

My husband doesn’t want to take time off from work right now and he’s not an avid cruiser like I am, so I am embarking on some solo cruises this year.

 

Let me just say this solo cruising thing is a weird paradox for me. I’m very introverted and can get a little uncomfortable in certain situations by myself, such as staying in a hotel room by myself or riding in a taxi cab alone. I mean it’s not that big of a deal, I would just rather not do those things by myself. I’m fine with solo cruising though, and I just love everything about being on these beautiful cruise ships and experiencing all they have to offer. Not to mention lying by the pool and looking out at the beautiful water and all of the lovely locations we visit. On my first solo cruise on the Odyssey a few months ago, we went to Cozumel and Costa Maya. I did not get off the ship. There was nothing there I really particularly wanted to see, and I spent both of those days by the pool watching movies and looking out at the people snorkeling on a beach nearby. It was lovely.  I spent that cruise disconnecting and relaxing and really just enjoying the moment.

 

Some solo cruisers are interested in meet and greets and making friends and connections. I wouldn’t call myself anti-social, but I’m not looking to find friends on this cruise or advertise that I’m traveling alone. I am just not that outgoing. I intend to go and enjoy the entertainment in the venues and my first time ever boardwalk balcony. I’m looking forward to being able to see the aqua theater from my balcony as well as people zip-lining overhead, and people walking around down below and riding the carousel and things like that. 


I consider myself an active person and I will be rock climbing, swimming, hitting the gym and the walking/running track, tracking down all of the small wonders, doing the scavenger hunts, things like that. I’m planning to get off the ship in all of the ports and explore. I have a paid excursion in Curacao to go see the caves and the historic district. I also have an all-day pass on the Alpine coaster on Labadee! I debated long and hard about doing the dragons fire zip lining experience, but decided I didn’t want to spend that much time tied up with that one event. But who knows, if there are spots still left at the last minute, I may change my mind!

 

I took my Covid test this morning live on the phone with EMed and passed. Packing my bags now and full of excitement! Looking forward to great food, hopefully beautiful weather, new adventures, lots of photos and video (I’m breaking in a new GoPro!) relaxation, shows, and beautiful Allure of the Seas! 

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Good Morning She Sails Away ~ Excited for you. While solo cruising will be a bit strange for you, I’m sure that you will have a wonderful time.  My wife & I are sailing two weeks after you on 5/27 to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We have taken a half dozen or so cruises but first time on Allure. I am anxious to “go to school” while reading your posts. Have a terrific time.

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Thank you! Now that it’s almost here I just can’t wait. Congratulations on your upcoming 50th!

inserting a photo of hubby and me because of course I’m taking him along virtually on the cruise. Last time I did a solo cruise, we did a FaceTime call every night from some scenic location on the ship and we both looked forward to that. Another fun thing I did last time that I plan to do again is track down all of the art on the ship and take pictures and text them to my son, who is an art student. We had a big laugh over some of those art pieces, such as the one below from Odyssey.

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1 hour ago, She Sails Away said:

We had a big laugh over some of those art pieces, such as the one below from Odyssey.

I love that! I ended up texting a bunch of the art pieces on Oasis to my best friend (we both went to college for BFA in Art & Design) and he was loving them! 

Please enjoy the two I deemed funny enough to keep:

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PS. I love traveling solo! I have never been on a cruise alone but I would definitely be open to it. Being able to decide what YOU want to do when you want to is the best. Have the best time!

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@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.

 

 

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1 hour ago, ellcee said:

My favorite game to play while solo traveling as woman is how many times I hear "YOU'RE SO BRAVE TO TRAVEL ALONE".

 

sigh.

Paying $$$ for a luxury vacation and great food—-brave? HA. And yes, some people at work said the same thing! Funny.

 

But some look at me with great pity as though realizing my marriage is in a shambles and I just don’t want to say so. Because that’s the only reason we would take separate vacations, I guess? 😕

 

Someone else suggested my motive was being unhappy at home.

 

I guess solo traveling is not as common as I thought it was? There really is no reason behind it other than wanting to go have a terrific vacation. My husband and my family are behind me 100% and excited for me.

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17 minutes ago, IRMO12HD said:

@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.

 

 

Well said! I will say, one of my favorite things about solo cruising is not having to negotiate when or if we eat and where. Or how long we stay at the table. I mean my husband is very easy to travel with, but anytime you travel with others, that’s one area you constantly have to talk about. It’s lovely to skip a meal or just go eat on the spot as soon as I’m hungry.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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SSA ~ Thnx for the info. We are doing the same sailing on Allure in two weeks. I appreciate  the head’s up about the Saturday a.m. taxi issue. We are in the 11 a.m. boarding group.I’m thinking about scheduling an UBER in advance Friday night. I assume that lots of what you see & do will be the same. Were you able to book shows easily w/the RC app ? Hope you are enjoy the remainder of Day #1. Have a great week.

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1 hour ago, Hoebo123 said:

SSA ~ Thnx for the info. We are doing the same sailing on Allure in two weeks. I appreciate  the head’s up about the Saturday a.m. taxi issue. We are in the 11 a.m. boarding group.I’m thinking about scheduling an UBER in advance Friday night. I assume that lots of what you see & do will be the same. Were you able to book shows easily w/the RC app ? Hope you are enjoy the remainder of Day #1. Have a great week.

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

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16 hours ago, Hoebo123 said:

 

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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2 hours ago, She Sails Away said:

 

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! 😎 

 

Totally get it! I felt the same way on the Oasis this past Spring Break sailing. Happy that sailings are happening again but wowza, I honestly forgot how many people they can get on a ship, spoiled by our previous few sailings. ( except Odyssey 11/21 Thanksgiving ) people everywhere on that one also. 

But I would prefer that to another shut down any day of the week, I am holding my breath though wondering if they are getting slightly arrogant and ramping up to quickly, fingers crossed everything proceeds well. The stock price plummeting again is also concerning. Be that as it may, have a great time and relish your sailing. I would rather be on that crowded ship with you, then home right now! 

Cheers to you, thanks for taking us along. I would like a picture with the description of the sangria please....ah so thirsty about now. Have the best time🍷🍷🍷

At least you are having a much better experience then @10-42gees, I am willing positive karma his way for sure!

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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.

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Breakfast today was room service. I don’t recommend. Lunch was Park Cafe. They have a single hand washing station there, then you wait until the door monitor lets you in. It was so busy that they are doing their best to prevent a mass of people in a clump, and keeping things in a smallish line. I had the Thai chicken salad which was good. Not great but perfectly good. Second lunch was Wipeout Cafe. Not great.

 

I am not a foodie and don’t do specialty dining and such, but I appreciate good food. So far…..not so great. Everything has been average. Which is fine, but not what I’ve normally experienced with Royal.

 

Staff is super! And the Amber Theater is beautiful….still like new. 
 

Today there was live music on Boardwalk. A seven-man band, heavy on trumpets and sax. They were SO GREAT. Everyone was dancing!

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