For my 30th birthday, Todd wanted to plan a great trip for us to go on. We had bounced around a bunch of ideas back in the fall but then when the New York Marathon was cancelled, we had less than a week to rebook our flights without getting charged a fee. We figured a cruise would be the easiest and best option and settled on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship that would take us to 3 islands in the eastern Caribbean. Since I'm also pregnant, this was also going to be our last big vacation before kids.
Day 1 in Fort Lauderdale (Saturday, May 11)
- Arrived in Fort Lauderdale in the early afternoon & checked into our hotel, Hyatt Regency Pier 66
- Late lunch at Rocco's Tacos and walked around the shopping area
- Water taxi back to hotel for a short nap then took water taxi to the beach
- Ice cream cones at Kilwin's and then crashed for the night
We left Columbus a couple weekends ago on a Saturday morning and made it to Fort Lauderdale after a brief layover in Atlanta. We flew in a day early so we could explore Fort Lauderdale and not have to worry about a flight delay causing us to miss our cruise on Sunday morning.
Sitting at the Columbus airport, excited and ready to go
Our hotel was beautiful and was right at Pier 66 with access to a water taxi and a view of a lot of expensive yachts
Our room wasn't in the main tower pictured above but in one of the buildings below
View of the marina from our patio
The pool was gorgeous although we didn't actually spend any time there
At the pier to pick up the water taxi.....you can see a cruise ship in the distance beyond the bridge sitting at the dock
Our hotel in the background from the water taxi
Lunch at Rocco's Tacos was delicious
Fresh guacamole made at our table
The food was fantastic and I'm looking a little rugged in this picture
The water taxi was a flat rate to hop on and off all day so we took full advantage of it....it was also like a tour of the intercoastal waterway because the driver would point at different houses and yachts along the way.....anyways, after a nap in the later afternoon, we wanted to go see the beach
There was a thunderstorm rolling through so even though it wasn't late enough for the sun to be down, it was really dark
Our last stop of the evening was to get ice cream
Day 2 in Fort Lauderdale & on the Allure of the Seas (Sunday, May 12)
- Slept in & ran on hotel treadmill
- Got on cruise ship: Allure of the Seas
- Explored the ship (it's the largest cruise ship in the world!)\
- Ate lunch at Boardwalk Dog House
- Laid out
- Muster drill
- Sail away
- Dinner & drinks
- saw Chicago
It was nice on Sunday morning to be able to sleep in a bit. We weren't able to board the cruise ship until 11:30 AM at the earliest and since it was only a 5 minute cab ride away, we slept in and worked out before heading to the cruise terminal.
The Allure of the Seas is currently the largest cruise ship in the world with 5400 passengers and over 2000 crew members. There are also 25 different places to eat (although some aren't actual restaurants but a coffee shop or ice cream shop), numerous bars, 4 main pools, a zip line, 2 climbing walls, basketball courts, ice skating rink, miniature golf, a comedy club, casino, Aqua Theater, and a regular theater. It was seriously insane how much stuff there was to do on the ship and it never seemed liked there were 5400 other people vacationing with you.
Our cruise ship was on the right but there was also a Carnival cruise leaving that day too
Right before we boarded
About 5 minutes onto the ship and we couldn't believe how amazing everything was!
There was a Central Park like area on deck 8 of the ship which was open air....rooms with balconies lined the sides and then the pool/sports decks were above that
A view from Central Park looking up....there were real trees and flowers all along this area as well as several restaurants and cafes
On deck 6, there was another similar concept that was a Boardwalk area with again, rooms with balconies lining the sides....there was also a carousel and several other restaurants on the Boardwalk
At the end of the Boardwalk, which was the back of the ship, was the Aqua Theater where they hosted several events throughout the week (belly flop competition, sexiest man competition, etc) and an amazing water show with acrobats and high divers
There were climbing walls on either side behind the Aqua Theater
Deck 5 was the Royal Promenade with again, more restaurants/bars and stores to shop in
The fitness center was amazing
After walking around for a bit, we stopped for lunch at the Boardwalk Dog House which served a bunch of different types of hot dogs...it ended up being one of Todd's favorite places to eat all week (Also to note, most of the food was included in the price of the cruise except for a few of the specialty restaurants....drinks were also not included)
German hot dog with sauerkraut and onions
Our room was ready in the early afternoon and our luggage had arrived too (you don't actually carry your luggage onto the cruise ship, you drop it off before you get on and they deliver it to your room) so we decided to enjoy the sun and pool area for a bit.
There were 4 main pools (1 was for kids though) along with numerous whirlpools and smaller pools....you can see here pools on the left & right side looking down into Central Park
One of the other pools on the other side of the ship
All ready to soak up the sun
We laid out and hung out at the pool area for about an hour before showering and heading out to the top deck to watch the sail away
Enjoying a virgin Lava Flow
Dinner in the dining room the first night....we had a great table with a huge window to see the ocean
In the Royal Promenade after dinner
Todd got a martini at the Viking Crown Lounge up on the top deck, deck 17.....
before we went to the Amber Theater to see Chicago
The show ended around 10:30 PM (it was really good by the way, like the quality of Broadway shows we would get in Columbus) and we headed back to our room since we had an early start the next day in Nassau, Bahamas.