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Return to the Scene of the Original Crime: Allure Sep 3-11, Star Class


Rags1
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If we keep our noses clean until Wednesday our little band of misfits will be headed to Suite 1740, The Royal Loft on Allure this Saturday - the very place this Star Class nonsense began!  Four years ago we sailed in this suite and experienced Star Class for the first time. I truly believe they put something in the endless parade of snacks and drinks that attacks whatever lobe of the brain might contain common sense. Because from that time forward our cruise planning goes something like this:  “ Look, we can snag a great balcony room on an Oasis Class for a week for under $2500!  Nah, let’s go ahead and fork out the $1.2 mil for the Royal Loft so we get free laundry!!”  It’s a disease. And I’m not sure there’s a cure😂. 

 

This trip will be our core group of regulars:  my bride Stacy who will be celebrating the end of 30 years of service as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse, daughter Taylor who will be celebrating birthday #23 and the end of her preschool teaching career, and daughter Kaitlyn who will be celebrating introducing her boyfriend to cruising Star Class.  I think in last years blog from this same room I referred to her “new boyfriend” who didn’t make that trip. Now he’s THE boyfriend who will be joining us. Welcome aboard Victor!  Rounding out the group is yours truly, Jim, who will be celebrating still waking up each morning!  

 

It’s important to note, as I’m sure I’ll refer to it later, that it was very doubtful that this cruise would actually take place. We booked it over a year and a half ago.  Then in April of this year the one formerly known as Nurse Ratchet hatched the brilliant idea to buy a local market and convert it into a restaurant. So, with a partner, we purchased the property and the dream to build Just a Small Town Grill (thanks Journey) began. It was at that point we accepted the probability that opening a new restaurant and taking a cruise around the same time probably wouldn’t happen. We have spent nearly 5 months planning to cancel this one. But thanks to County Building officials it now appears that we can squeeze this one in while we wait for them to waddle through the governmental red tape and approve a Land Use Permit. I gripe daily about the hoops they are making us jump through but inside I’m a little grateful for their incompetence and other nonsense!

 

I’ll write more tomorrow about our plans, travel, Genie Jay and other details. Hope you all come along for the ride!  
 

 

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A few details.  Testing:  since we sail 48 hours before the end of required testing I think we will all test on Wednesday. I know 3 of us will test at home using the EMed tests. Katie may get the test at work since she is a Nurse Practitioner.  I’m not sure where Victor is testing. Travel:  the ladies and I will fly from Palm Springs, Ca on Friday morning leaving just after 6am. Hopefully we’ll change planes in Dallas and arrive in Ft. Lauderdale at around 430 pm. Victor will leave around the same time from San Diego and meet us in Dallas for the connecting flight.  Because of recent reports I’ve read we will have Air Tags in our luggage. That way we’ll know where our luggage is vacationing if it doesn’t arrive with us. We’ll hail an Uber to the hotel. Lodging:  Staying at the Atlantic Hotel and Spa in Ft. Lauderdale. We’ve never stayed there but have heard good things about it.  We have a 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite for the 5 of us. The one who consumes the most alcohol on the flights gets the living room sofa bed!  No plans for dinner Friday night.  Might try the dining options in the hotel or even order in.   Saturday morning we will again use Uber to the port around 1030. 

 

This is a pretty relaxed group of cruisers. Very few concrete plans once we’re aboard. I believe we will have dinners at Chops, Izumi Hibachi, 150, Giovanni’s , Coastal Kitchen, Chef’s Table, Samba Grill and one informal dinner on our balcony. Breakfast and lunch we’ll decide on the fly. I’m sure there will be breakfast in Coastal Kitchen and on our balcony and I might even wander down to the Wipe Out Cafe!   We have left the schedule up to Jay to make dining and shows work. Our plan is to go to most all shows in the evenings. 

 

Our itinerary is Day 1, Ft. Lauderdale, day 2 at sea, day 3 Labadee, day 4 at sea, day 5 Aruba, day 6 Curaçao days 7 & 8 at sea and then home. Labadee will I think be a beach day at Barefoot Beach for the rest while I wander around taking pictures and braving the local marketplace!  We have zero plans for the other two ports. If any of you have a “must do” in either port let me know!  

 

Our communication with Jay has been very good. He responds promptly and I can tell by our exchanges that he has a great sense of humor. Our special requests have been few. We have asked to acknowledge a couple of special occasions and are leaving it up to Jay to surprise us. I’ve asked for some light snacks and drinks on the balcony for boarding day sail away. Put the usual requests in for beverages to be stocked in the room. Once aboard I’m the morning Starbucks and Bloody Mary orders shall be placed!  

 

Tomorrow is testing day, meeting with the young lady who will take care of the animals, more remodel work at the restaurant and picking up the new car we ordered so we can leave it behind on Friday!  Looking forward to being ab

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We were in the two bedroom aqua suite this past February on Allure.  I don’t drink coffee but the other four had Starbucks and a light breakfast delivered each morning.  It was wonderful to wake up to the table outside having a table cloth and all set for breakfast.  They all said breakfast on the balcony was worth every penny their dad and I paid for it!  🙂  

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5 hours ago, Yesiamthere6 said:

We were in the two bedroom aqua suite this past February on Allure.  I don’t drink coffee but the other four had Starbucks and a light breakfast delivered each morning.  It was wonderful to wake up to the table outside having a table cloth and all set for breakfast.  They all said breakfast on the balcony was worth every penny their dad and I paid for it!  🙂  

Our girls feel the same way!

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It’s about to get real!  Five negative tests, errands complete, everyone packed and ready to go. Will be a short night of sleep getting up at 2:45 am. About to download a couple movies for the flights and then TRY and sleep. Received our tentative schedule from Sir Jay tonight. Looking forward to a smooth travel day tomorrow. 
 

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2 hours ago, DDaley said:

Love that Jay has named the suite balcony after your new establishment! Hope you all made it safely to Ft. Lauderdale. 

That was a nice touch!  We arrived this evening and just had dinner at the hotel. Now some rest so we can be ready to board in the morning and get this blog rolling!

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Good morning!  It’s cruise day!  Watched the ship cruise in early this morning from the balcony. The Atlantic Hotel and Spa is very nice. Nice dinner and a very comfortable nights sleep. The two bedroom suite is plenty for the five of us. Probably have a light breakfast and then Uber to the port. 
 

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3 hours ago, Rags1 said:

I made the bride a cup of something this morning!  Not sure what it was😂

LOL, Glad to hear it is not just me.  We had that on some prior cruises and I think I am like 0.5 for 3.  

No rush but I would love to hear what you have for USB ports in the suite.  Since Allure has not been AMP'ed, guessing that they are minimal or non-existent.  Wondering if they added the multi-USB port plug in that we have seen on other ships.

Have fun, will be watching you sail away on the webcam.

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10 hours ago, ScooterScott22 said:

LOL, Glad to hear it is not just me.  We had that on some prior cruises and I think I am like 0.5 for 3.  

No rush but I would love to hear what you have for USB ports in the suite.  Since Allure has not been AMP'ed, guessing that they are minimal or non-existent.  Wondering if they added the multi-USB port plug in that we have seen on other ships.

Have fun, will be watching you sail away on the webcam.

I might have missed one but I haven’t seen any USB ports. I know in the loft there is an electrical outlet on each side of the bed. There are two outlets by the desk. 

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This morning everyone was lazy waiting to depart the hotel. No breakfast because we knew that food coma was looming!  Left the hotel at around 10 in an Uber. Cant tell you what it cost because the kids paid. Follow me for more parenting tips😂. Had the usual hassle getting to the Star check in through the crowd but once there it was smooth sailing. Fast check in by the most pleasant port employee I’ve ever encountered!  We were quickly upstairs in the suite waiting area. Within just a few minutes Jay arrived and took us and one other family aboard. Went to the suite lounge for about 10 minutes until the room was ready. When we arrived at the suite there were several nice surprises. Jay is a very clever Genie!  We talked with him for a few minutes until he had to fetch another family. Headed down to Sabor for lunch. It was enjoyable as usual. After lunch we wandered the ship and ended up on the suite sun deck. Had a drink and visited with new friends until 3 when it was time to meet Jay to plan for the week. He came to the suite and we ended up finalizing our schedule and then we just had a laugh filled hour of conversation and story telling with him!  He is an extremely funny, friendly, clever and engaging guy!  It was really an hour of fun. We watched sail away from our balcony. Then off to dinner at Chops. Between us we had most all appetizers, a few filets, salmon and a couple of desserts. Next was the Aqua show.  Amazing athletes!  Began raining about 10 minutes before the end but that just made it another memory!  Ended up at On Air for karaoke and Victor blew the room away with his performance. We had a drink outside on deck 15 enjoying the breeze. The young ones are at the club and the older farts have retired to the room for a nightcap and pizza. Tomorrow is a relaxing sea day and I’ll upload some of the pictures from today and hit some more highlights. But I’ll say now, it’s great to be back on the Allure. There’s just about this ship that’s comfy and enjoyable. The crew we have interacted with are wonderful. We spent time with our suite attendants Putu and Benjamin who are awesome. Also got a few minutes with our first Royal suite attendant Marva. Or Marvelous Marva as we call her!  It’s good to be “home” again on this ship and in this room. We have Starbucks and regular old coffee scheduled for 830 in the morning. If I can answer any questions feel free!  More tomorrow. 

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Day 2. I was awakened this morning by a phone call telling me our morning coffee, fruit and rolls were on the way.  At 830. That NEVER HAPPENS that I sleep that late. This bed is pretty comfy, the food overwhelming and the drinks strong I guess!  Two plates of fruit, two of pastries, two Starbucks and two carafes of coffee. After I received all of that I ran down to the Wipeout Cafe and grabbed a plate of eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage and some oatmeal and Stacy and I shared it on the balcony while the kids slept. Got a WhatsApp message from Jay noting he had checked on us and saw the DND sign on the door.  I assured him we were fine and he gently admonished me for fetching our own breakfast. I told him I went in disguise so as not to embarrass him😂. After the three bears emerged from hibernation it was time for their lunch at Izumi for sushi. It’s a lunch I always skip as they eat things similar to what I use for bait when I fish!  While they devoured the bait I wandered the ship and took some photos -  but not before I chowed down at the Boardwalk Dog House followed by a cupcake sundae from Cups and Scoops, once again made by one of the most pleasant crew members on the ship - Lucy!  She’s a gem. While I was feasting on that Jay tracked me down and I ended up having a great conversation with him and Smitha. So fun to get to know them better. After that the rest of the group went to the pool and Jay coordinated with me for time to bring some goodies up to celebrate the end of Stacy’s 30 years of nursing. The group came back to some wonderful surprises. Surprises that showcase the ingenuity and personal touch that Jay pours into his work. The rest of the clan is napping now. Hopefully resetting their digestive system for a dinner at 150 - in two hours!😂. So far maybe our most enjoyable of our cruises.   Random pictures to follow. 

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Excited to follow along on your journey!  It will help pass the time while we wait for our cruise to start in a few weeks!  Your humor keeps me in stitches and I continuously interrupt my hubby's peaceful reading to read aloud something funny you wrote!  🙂  I hope you all have a fabulous time!

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1 hour ago, CravingaCruise said:

Excited to follow along on your journey!  It will help pass the time while we wait for our cruise to start in a few weeks!  Your humor keeps me in stitches and I continuously interrupt my hubby's peaceful reading to read aloud something funny you wrote!  🙂  I hope you all have a fabulous time!

You’re too kind but thanks for following along. Let me know if there is any info I can hunt down for you!

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So our youngest, Taylor, just rode off in the assault vehicle headed for the hilltop to strap herself to a frayed cable and risk bodily injury, or death, for the bargain price of $100.  As the truck’s engine roared to life she dramatically said “If anything happens you can have my dog and my car.”  Seriously?  I have a dog. And her car is a Kia. That’s all you got kid?  She came back 

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Last nights dinner at 150 was enjoyable. I had the glazed scallops followed by the lobster Thermidor. Both delicious. Then it was off to see MO5AIC. They’ve aged better than I have!  They were amazing!  If you have the chance to catch a performance by them don’t miss it. I enjoyed it so much that I returned for the late show also. Then spent about an hour in the casino and cashed in a $4k jackpot which was a nice surprise!  Up for an 830 breakfast on the balcony with beautiful Labadee as the backdrop. The family had some water time and I hiked around to shoot photos. We returned to the ship around 130. The girls had lunch at coastal kitchen while went for finer dining at both the Dog House and Sorrentos. I think it’ll be a relaxing afternoon until it’s time for dinner and the ice show. Dinner tonight is Coastal Kitchen for Filet night as ordered by @Lovetocruise2002

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This awesome cake arrived last night at dinner. Jay strikes again!  Today I went down to thank the young lady who made it. I met Lusi last October. She works in the ice cream shop on the boardwalk. If you sail the Allure please go meet her. Even if you don’t like ice cream and cupcakes make you nauseous it’s with the trio just to meet Lusi! She has a bubbling personality and an infectious laugh!  

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Congrats on your winnings!  That is awesome to see!

Love the cake!  Jay seems to really coordinate cakes well!!  I've seen pics of what he's provided to others and they're all very well thought out.  Congrats to Stacy on her retirement and journey (pun intended) to the next chapter in life!

Wondering if you could share what kind of straws are being used onboard?  I'm assuming they've switched to biodegradable, but I'm wondering if they're the type that feel like paper straws or if they're the newer kind that feel less like paper and don't disintegrate after sipping on a drink for 20 minutes.  TIA!

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14 hours ago, CravingaCruise said:

Congrats on your winnings!  That is awesome to see!

Love the cake!  Jay seems to really coordinate cakes well!!  I've seen pics of what he's provided to others and they're all very well thought out.  Congrats to Stacy on her retirement and journey (pun intended) to the next chapter in life!

Wondering if you could share what kind of straws are being used onboard?  I'm assuming they've switched to biodegradable, but I'm wondering if they're the type that feel like paper straws or if they're the newer kind that feel less like paper and don't disintegrate after sipping on a drink for 20 minutes.  TIA!

Thank you for the best wishes for Stacy. Yes, cakes are certainly in Jay’s domain!  We have now had 4. Each very personal and clever!  I don’t use straws since I think drinking Jack Daniels through a straw is probably a felony. These are different than last October. These last forever in the girls frozen drinks. Hope this helps!

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