First adventure on the agenda, a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class, Allure of the Seas.  Leaving from Fort Lauderdale, and making stops in Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico, this is the first cruise I have ever been on, and Ian’s first cruise in the last two decades.  As we are more or less based out of Colorado, we flew out to Fort Lauderdale the day before our cruise embarkation day, and stayed in a local hotel.  It so happened, that Ian’s friend Tyler was on a twelve hour layover from Colorado to Morocco, so we all grabbed dinner, and Tyler crashed at our hotel until he had to catch his flight later that evening.  We took the time to rearrange our luggage, making sure we had everything we might need for our first day aboard the ship in our carry-ons, and called it an early night.

In the morning, as we checked out of the hotel, we also booked our seats on a shuttle service through the hotel, which transports guests to port for departing cruises.  When the shuttle van pulled up to the curb at port, we were able to drop our luggage off curbside with an attendant, and make our way into the cruise terminal.  After we got our passports and boarding documents checked, we were funneled into a second line, in which we formally checked in, and received our SeaPass Card (credit card, and stateroom key on board), as well as our wifi passcode, and Day One Cruise Compass (list of times and locations for activities all around the ship).  Once we had our SeaPass cards, we moved past the check-in desk, and made our way up the stairs and into a large waiting area with hundreds of other passengers, until it was time to embark.  Though you might imagine a chaotic crowd of people, wandering around with their luggage, it was anything but.  The cruise line staff directed us into a seating area, which was filled in by row, and as the embarkation process began, the crowd was signaled to board by section, and then row by row, making it simple and painless. Read More