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Solo on the Allure - My Thoughts

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Hello, All. I would like to share my recent experience as a solo on the Allure of the Seas. First, a little background about me. I went on my first cruise on Nordic Empress in 1991 with my Mom. We are from the Boston area and had just returned from a trip to New Hampshire when she said she would like to try a cruise. Ugggh. I thought it would be a bunch of blue hairs playing shuffleboard. BORING! But, to keep the peace, I agreed.


So, on a Friday morning, we headed to FL for a 3 night cruise to the Bahamas. From the MOMENT we stepped on board, we were hooked. In those days, the ships had a hostess and when you went up the ramp to get on the ship, the hostess and the cruise director would greet you. We stepped onto that ship to the 2 biggest smiles we had ever seen. They were both so nice, I commented that they seemed as excited as we were and they did this twice a week.


Needless to say, the cruise was fabulous! I didn't know I could have so much fun on a ship at sea. We then began cruising 4 times a year, mostly on RC. I have introduced many newbies to cruising, including a handful of boyfriends, friends and family members.


My Mom and I took a Hawaii cruise last year for her 80th birthday on HAL. Since then, her health has taken a turn for the worse. She now uses a walker and oxygen 24/7 and says she can't do another cruise. I told her people do cruise with oxygen, but, she just doesn't have the strength.


Knowing my 50th birthday was this year, I started looking for a solo cruise. I read MADQ's review of the Allure and said, That's the ship I want to do. Looking at prices, though, it was too expensive. Then, about six weeks before my birthday, the Tuesday sale had the now famous 10% solo supplement. I was helpless to resist and using my Diamond discount, was able to book an Oceanview Balcony on Deck 6 for the same price as an inside cabin. Let the games begin!

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On September 21, I had a late flight out of Lynchburg, VA on Usair. Our airport is small, one gate and I believe, 6 flights per day.






Don't let the small size fool you, though. After my flight was delayed 2 hours, I wandered around (basically walking in a small circle) and found the following quote from Thomas Jefferson inlaid in the floor.


"Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be useful to the town of Lynchburg. I consider it as the most interesting spot in the state."


HA! Take that, Roanoke!!


Finally, we were off to everyone's favorite connecting city, Charlotte, NC.


Now, don't get me wrong, I am sure Charlotte is beautiful, but, every time I go there (and the 6 flights from Lynchburg ALL go there), I end up stuck for several more hours than I am supposed to be. This day was no exception as I endured another delay, finally arriving at FLL after midnight.


I stayed at the Hyatt Place, 17th St. The staff were super friendly and nice and the hotel was beautiful, fresh and clean.






Since people always seem interested in these things, I took a picture of the TV connections.




You're welcome!

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After my delays and the late arrival and my taxi driver getting lost, I was starving. The hotel gave me a menu for a place called Doughboys and I ordered food. I went to the hotel lobby to get something to drink while I waited for the delivery and while discussing with the clerk whether or not Gingerale has caffeine, I said (muttered, really), I'd really like a glass of milk. He immediately went over to his little Starbucks setup that he had and poured me a big glass of milk at no charge. So sweet.


Well, since this is a cruise board, I know you all expect a little food porn and I have no intention of letting you down.


I had the Caesar salad.




Buttery garlic knots.




And spaghetti with meat sauce, which if you look closely, you will see they also included a few meat balls.



I had brought my two friends along.



And they had brought their two friends along to scare the room steward.





After I ate, I checked my two bottles of wine and they had survived the flight, so, shortly after that, I hit the hay and started dreaming about the Allure.

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A few other CC members were staying at the same hotel and we all agreed to share a cab to the port. Well, the CC'ers who arrived earlier than me had all met at the Bimini Boatyard for dinner and a few adult beverages.


Unbeknownst to me, my two fellow cab riders had agreed to head to the port early. So, when I went down to get breakfast, I met them and they had already called a cab, it was just minutes away. I still had to rearrange my carryons and luggage from flying mode to cruise mode, so, there was no way I could be ready that quickly. (I'm looking at you, Natalie and Cynthia :p)


So, I asked at the hotel and their shuttle was $7 per person and they had room for one more on the 11am shuttle. Soon, we were on our way. Check-in was a breeze, and I was quickly sent upstairs to the waiting area.



When I went to take this picture, I ran into Natalie again who told me Cynthia had forgotten her phone at the hotel and had to go back. (Karma)


At noon, we started boarding and were quickly aboard the ship.

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I wandered around the Promenade for a bit, taking pictures, but, I was lugging my laptop and my carry-on with my 2 bottles of wine, so, that was heavy and I just sat at the Promenade Cafe for a while.


This band was playing Sweet Caroline, which warmed the cockles of my Boston heart.




Well, the band was playing on top of the Cupcake Cupboard, so, like a moth to a flame.... (If you build it, I will come).





In a few minutes it was time for lunch and a few of us had agreed to meet at the Park Cafe. I was so excited I forgot to take pictures of the food! :o


Soon, it was 1pm and we all headed out to see if the cabins were ready. They were!

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I had cabin 6678. I figured that would be easy to remember if I had too much to drink. This is called foreshadowing to my dinner that night at Rita's Fiesta.:D Another poster here had this cabin and had posted pictures of how there is a gap where the lifeboats are and this cabin actually looks straight down into the water, unlike some of the others on deck 6. They were correct!






All right, don't be weisenheimers! I know that is not water, just use your imaginations, will ya! :mad:


This is also foreshadowing as that empty space below me would not remain empty for the entire cruise. How is that possible? you ask. What could possibly pop up under a balcony in the middle of the ocean? Don't rush me, I work cheaper. All will be revealed.


Here is my room.




This room actually sleeps 4, notice the sofa bed and the Pullman directly above it.



Here is another angle, showing that delightful table we all enjoy so much. The cabin steward and I played a charming game of "This is where the table belongs" everyday with him putting it smack dab in the middle of the room and me jamming it up between the sofa and the bed.





Finally, I succeeded in breaking his will and he just left it where I put it. Victory!!

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More pictures of my cabin




Sometimes people ask how many hangers you get, you get exactly this many.







Desk, with a sneak preview of Allan (Babbling) Brooks on the TV,






A recent thread asked about child proof locks on the balcony door. Here it is. I am 5'2" and you can see, it is slightly over my head,



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So, now to the business of Day 1 of the cruise or How I (almost) Never Left Deck 6.


Some people had asked me before I left how I could cruise by myself. Won't you be lonely? Won't you be bored? What if you fall overboard? :rolleyes:


The reality for me is that although I have taken many cruises, mostly with my Mom, she and I did not spend THAT much time together when we cruised. She is a gambler - Blackjack! So, we usually would meet up for meals and then go our separate ways again. I am used to being by myself or joining forces with other people/ groups on board and having fun with them.


Now, when I cruised with friends or boyfriends, we usually stuck together and that was fun, also. But, I knew I would be fine by myself, despite all the worriers back in VA.


Now, one thing that has changed for me since I began cruising is my health. Since I started cruising 23 years ago, I have gained a lot of weight (I blame Royal Caribbean) and I have a lot of trouble with my feet and my knees. I am a Pharmacy Technician (Drug Dealer) so, I stand on my feet all day as well. I have Plantar Fasciitis and I still have trouble from an old Quest injury from 2010 (torn ACL) :o


So, often on cruises, I have trouble with my feet, including them being swollen. Some say it is from flying, some say it is from extra salt in the cruise food, some say it is extra salt in the cruise water. I don't know, I just knew I wanted to avoid too much walking, especially in the beginning of the cruise. So, I devised a plan.;)

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