We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale at 10:10am, picked up our luggage and hailed a taxi to the cruise port terminal. On the way we asked the driver to stop at the gas station/variety store where we purchased 2 cases of pop, case of Gatorade, bottles of water and iced tea to carry on board the ship with us. When we arrived at the port we were quickly approached by the luggage handlers. They took our 6 suitcases (we tipped the guy $1/bag) and we headed into the terminal. To our surprise there was NO line up and NO people sitting in chairs waiting to embark. This is the largest cruise ship in the industry and at 12:00 noon there were no more than 20 passengers in the terminal. We were escorted directly to the check in desk and processed with in 10 minutes of arriving. We went on through to the gangway with mounds of pop, gatorade etc on hand ( of course had to stop for the usual photo of us boarding the ship) arriving onto deck 5 Royal Promenade. WOW~ completely breathless! I mean the previous ships we sailed on were beautiful but this is truly astounding, The detail put into the design, decorating, architecture was second to none. We had brought our carry on luggage with us onto the ship with bathing suits and sunscreen etc just in case our luggage was not at our cabin for a few hours. We decided to go straight to the windjammer buffet for lunch. At this time it was 12:35pm. The fastest and most efficient embarkation of all 6 previous cruises.
After lunch we decided to go and check out our cabin. We had purchased an inside cabin on deck 3. We had not been in an inside cabin since our first cruise. It is true what they say “once you go balcony, you never go back”. Except in this case! The inside cabin was a decision based solely on price. We needed this ship to fit into our budget and an inside cabin was the only way.
As we headed down to deck 3, and approached our cabin to our surprise our luggage was outside our door! Our cabin steward was there to greet us! I wasn’t even expecting our luggage until maybe after dinner!
We were in cabin 3824, which was a fantastic location! Best of all we were only 50 steps to the dining room doors for dinner each evening. I always ask for a cabin that is not near the guest laundry facilities, not too close to elevators, not directly under the pool deck or night clubs and close to the dining room.
We changed into more comfortable sail away clothing, grabbed a couple of drinks (from our cabin) and headed out to explore the ship. Every inch of this ship was spectacular-from Central Park, the boardwalk, to the Ocean Adventure Kids club.
We decided to register our 5 year old for kids camp and then head to the Aft Ocean Theatre to watch the Dreamworks Character sail away party. It was fantastic, the costumes, dancing and energy from all the entertainment staff was a great way to enjoy sailing out of port. My daughter was in heaven with King Julian, Alex the lion, Gloria, Shrek, Fiona (forgive my spelling) all singing and dancing. After the sail away show/party we made our way to the boardwalk where my daughter went on her first of one-thousand rides on the carousel, grabbed some cotton candy and then proceeded to our early dinner sitting.
We were in the Dining room on Deck 3 table 351. Our servers were Frederick and Richard. They were very welcoming, eager to serve us and get to know any special needs that we might have.
Of all 7 cruises we have sailed, the Allure of the seas was by far the most efficient and organized!
Stay tuned to hear about our Dreamworks character breakfast on Day 1 at sea and our day at Labadee Haiti:))