Cruise with Royal Caribbean
When Not to Travel
We cruised on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Allure of the Seas during the week that has the highest probability of hurricanes for the whole year. Yes, it was the last week of August. We had a great time at a bit lower price due to the date that was chosen. One of our cousins chose that week and made all of the arrangements. It was an amazing week. We were so lucky. Great weather and not one rainy day during the entire week. Just dumb luck! I would rather be lucky than good any day of the year.
The ship was HUGE. And I do mean huge. It is an Oasis-class ship, the largest passenger ship ever in service to date. If every cabin has double occupancy, it will carry 5400 passengers. However, many cabins have more than 2 passengers and the maximum passengers the ship can carry is 6296. It is equal to a small floating city on the seas. It cost over 1.2 billion dollars to construct. They need to max the vacationers on that ship every week!
Much To Do, So Little Time To Do It In
Even with seven whole days on our Royal Caribbean cruise we still wanted more. We saw the musical “Mamma Mia” although Meryl Steep was not even on board. The stand up comedy show was great but the venue was extremely small. The show, OceanAire, in the Aqua Theater was exciting. The high dives were astounding. How did they do that?
The Blue Planet show reminded me of a Cirque de Soleil show. The ice skating shows were an unexpected pleasure. I have only seen ice skating on TV and it was so much better onboard the cruise. It is hard to describe all of the possible activities.
Swimming, drinking, FlowRider, zip lining, rock climbing, ice skating, movies, eating, comedy club, karaoke, original shows, not so original shows, bingo, eating, scuba diving, culinary classes, dancing, working out, pizza, ice cream, coffee, disco, dance lessons, the newlywed game, shore excursions, snorkeling, rock climbing, sun bathing, drinking, and more food.
A word of warning. We have never been on such a large ship before. There are so many passengers that you must make reservations for the shows of your choice for the days you prefer. There is no fee as it is part of your cruise but a reservation allows you entry before those who did not take care of this detail. Royal Caribbean makes it so easy!
Food, Food, and More Food
We ate in one of the dining rooms on the early dining. I did not care much for the dining room as it was very dark. The curtains were closed as the view included the life boats. That deck was convenient to the passenger quarters so it made sense.
Since there were 15 of us in our “cousins” group we were unable to change our dining. The food was not spectacular but there was plenty of it. If you were in the mood, you could always pay extra for the “specialty” dining rooms. Since we all went on the cruise to visit with each other, everyone in our group decided to stay together. It was musical chairs every night during dinner. Everyone wanted to spend at least one meal sitting next to a different cousin.
You could get your caffeine fix at Starbucks at one end of Central Park on deck 8 of Allure of the Seas. The rest of the park was great for people watching. Of course, there was food available all along that stretch. The ice cream shop was a favorite stopping spot. We were just taking it all in when a parade started on that deck. A spectacular surprise for all of us. After it passed us by, we made a run to Sorrento’s for pizza!
Exercise to Make Room for More
The ship’s spa had something for everyone. They were constantly having special classes in all areas of fitness and nutrition. There was a walking/running trail that went all the way around the ship. Someone was always taking advantage of that activity.
The exercise machines were state of the art. The ocean view as you were on the steppers was breathtaking. It was worth the effort just to be able to stare out to sea for a while. OK, then it was time for dinner again!
We did not dare to try the zip lining or the FlowRider. A bit too risky for a mere baby boomer. However, many on board did and loved every minute of it. The karaoke at the “On-Air” club was spectacular. It was amazing as you watched someone who could barely hobble towards the microphone and then wow! Was that them singing? Some were, dare I say it, better than the paid entertainers onboard. We were sorry when that was over.
The party the last day of sailing was exciting. We danced all around the ship till we arrived at the top deck. Of course, the party was just getting started. I saw quite a few passengers slip out after midnight to go back to their rooms. We had to dance till the very end. The music was not the 60’s music we all love but the disco dance party was more than energetic. We did not want to leave but after getting to my room, I realized how much my feet hurt. We were saddened that we had to leave the next day but at least there would be plenty of time to recuperate.
This Royal Caribbean cruise left an indelible mark on all of us. It was a cruise to remember. The picture of all 15 of us together on the grand staircase is a great memento. Already we are planning the next “cousins” cruise. Every family needs to get together at least once every few years just to catch up. The times we do come together in between are either very happy or very sad. This was one of those extemporaneous events that none of us will ever forget.