July 18, 2024


Allure of the Seas / Google Photo
Allure of the Seas / Google Photo


I have a friend, let’s call him Larry, a great guy.  He works  a lot and hardly ever takes a vacation.  But suddenly, sort of “out of the blue”, he told me the other day that he had decided to take a cruise.   No months of consideration, no weeks of planning, and no untold hours of research.  He didn’t explore what ports to visit, what ship to take, or how to best book the trip to maximize “extras” and minimize cost. He just simply up and booked a cruise! A real spur-of-the-moment type decision.


Now I have to say, Larry’s approach to his cruise just blew me away.  Why?  Probably because it is so very very different from how I generally approach travel.   I realize that different folks have different approaches to travel planning.  In fact I have written of this before in my article,”Travel Planning – It’s Half The Fun! ”  But, as that title implies, I have a bias.  I enjoy the planning of a journey.  It gives me pleasure to think about, anticipate, and research options of an upcoming trip. For me the planning and deciding phase is an enjoyable and  important part  of my journey.  So you will understand that I was amazed that Larry had booked this cruise in a matter of hours.  To my way of thinking he had missed out on an interesting part of his cruise experience.  And additionally, he had essentially booked his cruise “cold”.  He really knew nothing more about his cruise than he had read on line and heard from the booking agent that he had talked with on the phone.   He just up and booked a cruise!

Larry’s approach is so different from mine that I truly have found it to be fascinating.  So much so that I asked Larry if he would allow me to  “follow” his cruise experience as it plays out and  then share it here on Travel And Photo Today. And Larry, the fun loving and adventurous guy that he is, graciously agreed.

Larry’s ship of choice for his  cruise is the Allure of the Seas.  Operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, this is one monster of a ship.  Indeed, it and it’s sister ship the Oasis of the Seas, share the title of currently being the largest cruise ships in the world!  It weighs in at over 225,000 tons and carries 5,400 passengers.  This is truly a city on the sea.  It even sports the first ever Starbucks at Sea. (Gotta have your Starbucks don’t ya know!)  It seems that most passengers give the ship rave reviews.  The Cruise Critic reports that “87% of cruisers loved it.”  Unfortunately, it seems that the Allure has had a bit of difficulty recently, however.  Propulsion problems have slowed it considerably from it’s theoretical cruising speed of 22.6 knots according to a recent article, again reported in the Cruise Critic. The slowing has required shortening of stays in some ports.  (There are apparently also some rumblings that the slowing may be due, at least in part, to a desire to conserve fuel.)

Larry and his lovely wife won’t be embarking on their cruise until later in the holiday season.  So hopefully the Allure of the Seas will have it’s motors all finely tuned up by then.  Still, this little quirk just goes to show the types of unforeseen issues that can crop up on cruises – or other travel plans for that matter.

I’ll be following Larry and his wife as their plans and cruise progress. (Actually I’m only following via conversations and email.  I suggested I might accompany them on the cruise – you know – maybe they could just add one of those roll-away beds to the couple’s stateroom. They were pretty clear in their response – “that’s not going to happen.”) Oh well.  Stay tuned. We’ll see how it all turns out.

Cruisin’ The Caribbean ……………. Enjoy The Adventure!

Dr.B, The Photo Trekker

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