Caribbean Escape

Sinead Lonergan 01 September 2015
This holiday started in the beautiful B Ocean Hotel on North Beach Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale (soon after renamed Sonesta Fort Lauderdale). We chose this modern multi-story hotel which fronts onto the beach and offers spectacular views of the early morning sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean… a sight we are certainly not used to! We really hit the jackpot with our corner room on the 4th floor – from where you had views north along Fort Lauderdale beach as far as the eye could see, east over the Atlantic for those spectacular sunrises and further south where you can watch the seemingly never-ending parade of the world’s finest cruise ships entering and leaving Port Everglades .

A nice ten minute walk will take you to The Galleria, Fort Lauderdale’s most fashionable address with sophisticated shops and amazing restaurants. An added bonus for us was that PF Changs Restaurant was at the entrance to the mall itself which offers Asian cuisine with a modern twist. A trip to the States would not be the same for us without a visit to Changs!

We did not take in a trip to Sawgrass Mills on this occasion but have done in the past. I noticed that the hotel offered shuttles daily. We spent our second day on the beach and evening by the pool. The pool itself was small but the atmosphere and warmth from the staff & other guests made it very hard to leave.

A short taxi ride to Port Everglades the following morning and we boarded Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. Up close and personal the ship looked ginormous compared to the ship we watched gliding across the bay a few hours previous. We handed our luggage over to ground staff & check-in was seamless. Before we knew it we were exploring this awe-inspiring vessel. When we returned to our cabins, our luggage was there waiting for us.

We opted to dine in the speciality restaurants for dinner throughout the cruise and made reservations on the day we arrived for each night. Food and service at all times was second to none, as was the level of service and attention from all the crew. There is something to suit everyone from fine dining in “150 Central Park” to the more casual and laid back “Johnny Rockets.”

The array of entertainment for the week is simply too much to describe here. Plan your days with the aid of the Cruise Compass wisely or you could miss a spectacular performance in the Aqua Theatre, an intimate gathering with the Captain and his senior officers or a scavenger hunt with Disney and DreamWorks characters.

Our cruise took us to Nassau in the Bahamas, St Thomas VI & St Maarten. Three distinct locations each offering their own unique take on Caribbean life. In Nassau we spent the day in the famous Atlantis Resort where we hired jet skis & went parasailing and finished the day off sipping cocktails from freshly picked coconuts. In St Thomas we took an organised tour to Magens Bay and tried our hands at fly boarding and enjoyed a relaxing BBQ style lunch on the beach before returning the ship.

Our stopover in St Maarten gave me the opportunity for a small shopping expedition and a brief visit to Tiffany’s while my husband went scuba diving. We met at the Holland Beach House hotel for lunch - which can only be described as delightful. Enjoying the best seafood imaginable while watching the world pass by! Back on board we enjoyed the benefits of the Vitality day spa & fitness centre, downtime by the pool, a round of mini golf and an early morning zip line, rock wall and Flow Rider adventures.

The week was a great mix of action packed adventures and relaxation but such was the selection of activities on this ship that a return visit to the Allure is a must.

If you fancy a relaxing or action-packed cruising adventure on board the Allure of the Seas, which I cannot recommend highly enough, please contact me and I will be delighted to assist you with all the necessary arrangements.