Tuesday, February 9, 2016

about that cruise

We certainly had a better vacation experience than we did last year on a cruise...when my husband got sick (norovirus?) and I had a lot of stings or bites of some kind - plus got a bit sick, too...and hurt my little toe on a beach chair!

This time it was smooth sailing!

(We did get a message from Royal Caribbean the day before the cruise - telling us if we were concerned about traveling to islands where there have been cases of the Zika virus - then we could reschedule our cruise for a later date.
Nice of them, but Lonnie just went out and bought a can of insect repellent to take along.)

We sailed from Port Everglades in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.  Even though the skies were overcast there, it was warm enough to change into summer weight clothes.

These photos were taken from our balcony.  Goodbye Ft Lauderdale - see ya next week!

 We booked the trip through AAA. Even though the price was the same as I could get by booking online, the AAA trip included a few perks, like this bottle of champagne for a toast as we set sail.

Unfortunately, neither of us really like champagne. It took me us three days to finally get it all down.

Our stateroom was very compact. Besides the bed, there was a small couch, a desk. closet and bathroom.  Each evening the room steward would close the drapes over the balcony doors - then later I would open them up again to look out at the stars (or the clouds) as I fell asleep.

The first morning, I opened my eyes just as we were passing a small light house on the point of that strip of land in the photo below. We were pulling into the dock at Nassau, Bahamas.

Here is Lonnie on Deck 16 (there is one more partial deck above this one...it's where the luxury suites are).  In the background, you can see the hotel "Atlantis"...the one in the TV commercials.

We had planned a beach day there in Nassau, but the skies were cloudy and rain was in the forecast so we just stayed on board the ship to look it over while many of the approximately 5398 other  passengers were off the ship.

The Allure of the Seas is open part way down through the middle of the ship. Below, this is a view down into "Central Park". There are real plants and trees planted in this area. 
The walkways pass by specialty restaurants (specialty means they cost extra) ...some with outdoor dining areas. Very charming!
The white framed glass structures are skylights for the deck below.

You can see that there are stateroom balconies facing into this area on each side.  

A view of Central Park from within.  You would have no idea you are even on a ship. 

Now, on the deck below the skylight (actually 2 decks high) is the main indoor public area. 
Again, no clues that you are on a ship. 
That's a pizza restaurant there in the middle. On the left, with the blue awnings is one of three designer purse stores on the ship (no, I did not buy a purse on this voyage, but I did sort of want to).

There is a Starbucks Coffee shop in this area, also shops, jewelry stores, and other restaurants and lounges.

They even have an old Rolls Royce parked there that people like to have their photos taken beside.
 Beyond that are steps leading down to the casino.

But, back to our first day...it did rain, but we sat and read and relaxed in this area under the "Conservatory", in the front of the ship. It is partly glassed in, not so windy as the open decks. 

Later we changed clothes for dinner.

The show that evening was a live performance of the musical "Mama Mia". It was great entertainment. Lots of singing, dancing, and colorful costumes. 

The second day was just cruising. The weather was sunny and beautiful. We spent the day relaxing...mostly in the shade, reading, eating, and looking around the ship some more.
We watched people playing basketball, then dodge ball in the sports court, others trying to stay upright on a boogie board in a surf simulator pool, others attempting the rock climbing wall.

There were always people lined up to do this...zip line across another open inside area of the ship (called the Boardwalk).  These photos are just to show the zip line...we didn't do it.

We didn't do any of these things but it was all fun to watch.

We did take a spin on the carousel.

It was exhilarating, ha ha!

Later we watched the sun set. It was beautiful, but it looked so much like it was sinking into the ocean that you might expect to hear a sizzle and see steam rising as it hit the water! 
 In just a few minutes it was out of sight.

The show that evening was an outdoor high diving and acrobatic performance, involving a pool, trampoline, trapeezes and more. Amazing stunts!

Well, this is getting long and I still have lots more to tell, so I will finish up tomorrow!

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