Having planned a trip to the USA, I was lucky enough to have my week scheduled to spend it cruising on the World's Largest Ship in 2016, 'Allures Of the Seas" by Royal Caribbean cruise liner. Wondering why its known as the largest ship in the world, the story was just about to unfold. Who wouldn't want to be among the lucky few to step on board on this incredible mega-ship that provides endless activities for its 6,000 passengers.
Being my very first experience cruising on board, I was filled with plethora of expectations and excitement all bundled up together. The stateroom cabins were booked in advance and the only thing required was to step on board.
With the ship being docked at Fort Lauderdale, this was where I laid my eyes on this magnificent beauty. It was hard to believe something so gigantic could be man built.
With every close encounter towards stepping on board, I realized the check-in procedures were so smooth with extra friendly staff. Finishing with all the security check-in formalities I was glad I hopped on the ship way early than the departure time only to realize there was already so much to be explored.
My week-long sojourn with Allures was about to begin! The Caribbean diaries were about to begin: The Bahamas, St. Maarten, and the US Virgin Islands
Sailing in the vast ocean like a tiny drop of water, this was a city by itself. You could call it a floating city on the deep waters. Embarking the ship and not wasting any time to sort the luggage I was already engrossed in discovering the different "neighborhoods" and marking my favorite spots. The Royal Promenade indeed lived up to its name with its super high ceilings and spacious feeling.
I marked my secret balconies in the aft of the ship on decks 11 and 12 which became my go to place for the next 7 days.
When on board you can never go hungry. There were several lunch options round the clock like Windjammer Café and Park Central. All you need to do was pick your food, sit outside and enjoy the open-air and enjoying a nice glass of wine with delicious tapas in between the wide ocean.
And if you've not already stuffed yourself enough during lunch, there were "My Time Dining" and different dinner venues to explore each evening.
There are three different dinning levels and you can choose to dine at each one every different day.
Entertainment onboard was never a question. Walking along the Boardwalk watching so many different activities, time can pass by on the ship in a brink.
Then there is the Aqua Theater which hosts the water show performance called Aria by super professional Acrobats. It's nothing less than a cirque performance in the water. Also the figure skating shows on board is both must-see. The thrills I saw on ice was nothing less than that of the Aqua.
In addition to these shows I took complete advantage of the onboard athletic activities like ice skating and the FlowRider surf simulator. They were a real thrilling experience. With the next day of cruising at the sea, I took my chance to explore the ship and activities around it. Like enjoying the zip line across the highest decks, rock climbing etc.
With so much exhilaration one thing was for sure, On the Allure, the 'sea' days are just as fun and exciting as those spent ashore in the Bahamas, St. John, and St. Maarten. It's amazing to think how The Royal Caribbean have creating a ship that could accommodate thousands of vacationers at one time.
The first Port of Call next day was The Bahamas. The ship docked at Nassau shore and there began the first Caribbean land explorations. With limited time on hand I wanted to make the most out of my time at the Bahamas. Here are some sneak peaks from the day tour. Indeed a day well spent on this Caribbean island.
On second day the ship docked at Charlotte Amelie in St. Thomas, and I decided to just explore the dock, get the feel of the island and then return back to the deck to get a panoramic view of the whole island. It was day meant to sink in the Caribbean feeling on the cruise and unwind.
Next day was another full day at the sea with the cruise sailing to the maximum. It was time to explore some more fun activities on the cruise and upping my game of golf. With views like this and clear sky above you, who wouldn't mind loosing a game or two?
Some days on the cruise were made up of day spending by the pool, in the pool. Lazying around on the deck. I have never in my life gazed at such thick blankets of stars for this long.
Late evening this was my favorite place on the cruise, this very moment. The jogging track on the ship that was rather isolated during the evening became my solace.
I have sat here for hours gazing at that thin line between the sky and ocean and wondering that's where life is.
At nights I would find myself on the deck snuggling between the cold breeze staring the wide sky. Never have I seen such a thick blanket of stars. In between the ocean, with the only voice of the sea it was serenity.
The last port of call while cruising on the fifth day was at Charlotte Amelie in St. Marteen. Having heard about some of the unique beaches on this island from an overnight friend on the cruise I was determined to explore this too. No sooner did the cruise dock I made my way to Maho beach to watch the low-flying planes. I was forewarned that the signs at Maho Beach about the jet blast are not exaggerating about the intensity of the jet engines at takeoff, and this is what I was here to see. Waiting under the blasting sun for the biggest airplane to land on this runway the excitement wouldn't wear off. And finally when the plane did arrive, the blast was enough to knock everyone on the backwards. You can say you almost touched the aircraft, or at least this picture seems so say so!
I look back at my week at sea and the memories never seem to fade away. It's the perfect ship for multigenerational families and groups. I must say that the Allure of the Seas covered every age, every interest and every expectation you would ever have.
It was like living in a world away from world! An experience you gotta have, an experience you gotta live at least once in a lifetime!
This post was originally published on GlobeTrotting 365Days