We ate the hotel continental breakfast, loaded up the van, and drove to the Dollar
Rental return at Fort Lauderdale airport, only to learn there was another Dollar
Rental just outside the gate to the ship docks that we should have gone to if we
didn't want to pay another taxi fare. So, here we are at the wrong car rental office,
with our paper contract with the wrong return time, and the phone in option for the
correct contract time, about 20 minutes before our corrected expiration time. The
helpful check in agent told us how to get to the other office that, time wise, would
barely get us in under the wire. We were driving out of the multi-storied, covered
rental car parking lot and came to the security gate. The guard wouldn't let us out
because our paperwork (with the uncorrected time) had expired. Soooo, we had to
drive back to the rental car agent. This time Sherri, Nannette, and Laura ALL got
out of the vehicle to set things straight while I sat in the van guarding our belongings.
That was when a second agent came up to me wanting to check me in. I directed him to
the mob that was forming on the other side of the van. The Girl Team finally convinced
them to print out NEW paperwork with an even further extended time (or maybe this was
just done in the computer) so we would not be charged a late fee if and when we arrived
at the second Dollar Rental location. Agent number 2 walked to the security gate to
assure them we could leave the parking lot. Whew! What an ordeal.
About ten minutes later, we found the second rental car location and there was another
bout getting the car checked in with no additional late fees incurred. At last we
were shuttled to the ship terminal.
We queued up in a holding area to board Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, the
brand new mega ship that would depart from Port Everglades. From one end of the ship
spectrum (the Bahamas Celebration) to the other, the Allure is the largest cruise ship
on the oceans—6400 passenger capacity.
Same cruisers, second arena. This time we weren't fortunate enough to be next to each
other cabin-wise and we didn't get on the same deck. Sherri and I were supposed to be
in an inside cabin with a view of Central Park from Deck 9, BUT Sherri did some more
wheeling and dealing and we got an ocean view balcony on Deck 6. Note the red stars (*).
Nannette and Laura had an Ocean View on deck 8 on the port side of the ship.
According to the elevator, it was Friday when we boarded the Allure of the Seas and
toted our suitcases to our room.
Unbeknownst to us, there was a glitch in the computer app that programmed the room
keys to all the rooms on Deck 6, and probably more decks, so none of the keys worked.
While Sherri went to the customer service desk, I remained with the luggage. I took
these photos from one end of our hallway to the other. Actually, I couldn't see
either end. It's a really long ship.
With our re-programmed keys we were able to deposit our luggage in our room. Our
balcony stateroom was approximately 12 heel-toes by 28 heel-toes (182 sf.) not counting
the balcony that was an additional 9 heel-toes (80 sf.).
Then we headed to one of the restaurants to meet up with the others and ended up at
the Sorrento's Pizza restaurant where Laura and Nannette joined us. We also met up
with Kathleen Hopkins and her sister-in-law, Nova Hodges. Then a few minutes later
Lisa Presley, the Business Development Manager for Royal Caribbean's Houston area
joined us, along with Lisa's co-worker and Business Development Manager, Faith (with
the pink sweater).
After lunch, it was time to get to work, exploring the features of the ship and the
stateroom types that were open for inspection.
From here, it will be difficult to review everything in the order it was done, so I'm
organizing the information. Sometimes we didn't know if we were coming or going.
Fortunately, they had signs to tell us. Each of the door signs had a little arrow
on the left or right, pointing forward to help us find our way.
In the early afternoon, we toured several stateroom types that were available for
agent inspections. There are some top quality layouts with wonderful views of the
ocean and the ship that made everyone say, "WOW!" But first, one significant item
that has been added to this ship is an interactive computer screens, called Digital
Signage, to help you find your way from anywhere you might be lost.
To see some of the various features of the different staterooms, click on the links below.
Royal Loft Suite with Balcony 1740
Aqua Theater Suite with Balcony 9730
Crown Loft Suite 1742
Owner Suite with Balcony 11640
Grand Suite with Balcony 11654
Family Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony 11528
Boardwalk View Stateroom with Balcony 9717
Central Park View Stateroom with Balcony 11617