Allure of the Seas Blog Part 1 August 31, 2014
by Jan Fisher
Linda Johnson and I boarded the beautiful Allure of the Seas today for our “FAM” (familiarization) trip a week ahead of our back-to-back poker cruises featuring the Card Player Poker Tour and US Chess Championship. The FAM trip gives us a chance to check out the ship, meet the key employees with whom we'll be working closely, and try first hand all of the ship’s amenities so that we are better able to make suggestions of what to do (or not do) during your vacation. As we say, just pack and leave the rest to us. The FAM trip is a tough week but hey, someone's got to do it!
We boarded with ease about 3pm today and the seamless process has certainly been perfected for a ship this size. While you would expect lines and waits, we were processed and aboard within 10 minutes from the time we were dropped off at the pier. Not too bad considering we were among 6,000+ guests. (Note: If you arrive much earlier, you may have a 30+ minute wait.) We were delighted to find we'd been given an upgrade and we were like kids entering a candy shop for the first time as we approached our suite. As senior members (Diamond Plus) of RCCL's Crown and Anchor Society, we were given a courtesy upgrade based on our ample seniority. It is important to register for this awards program, much as you would a frequent flier club to earn mileage and flight bonuses. Upgrades are strictly given on a seniority basis and needless to say, we are delighted with our digs. We are hoping to be able to stay in this cabin for all three weeks but certainly would understand if we had to move to the accommodation we had booked. As “club” members, there are additional perks including lounges with cocktail hours and concierge service. Also there are spa deals and private parties. Depending on your award level, these perks can be substantial.
Linda and I enjoyed dining at early seating and were seated promptly and with some nice people. Hope they felt the same way! Being that we aren't fans of the long “dining experience” we were pleased to be in and out in an hour without feeling we'd lost any of the top notch service or ambiance. The food was great. Post dinner, a short walk was in order followed by the Broadway hit show Chicago. While we'd seen this show several times before, it was excellent. In my opinion, it wasn't as good a production as the last time we saw it on the Allure, but it was great nonetheless. After the show, we walked more of the ship, specifically the promenade where we were delighted to find that all of the lounges have become non-smoking. Boleros, a place with great Latin music, has always been off-limits to me as I hate smoke. RCCL must have listened to their clientele as it was totally smoke-free. Also, Dazzles, a great dance club was smokeless along with the Pig and Whistle. Guess I'll finally get to go to some sing-a-longs!
Tomorrow we dock in Nassau but since we've been there so many times, we'll use the day to sleep in and recharge so we can enjoy another full day aboard. We will probably play trivia, go to the pool, use the gym, and enjoy watching the US Open. We'll update this every few days with tips and hints to make your trip more enjoyable. If you have any specific questions about your upcoming cruise, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll answer them for you. I plan to be online at least once a day. While the internet is expensive, there are discounted packages you can buy. I'll grab a flyer and we'll alert you to those prices in the next day or so. In the meantime, my tip for today is when you're ready to pack, put everything on the bed and then take half of the stuff out of the mix. You won't wear it and traveling light is a whole lot easier and more efficient. If you forget anything, there are plenty of stores in port.
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