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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

7 days come and gone so fast - was I dreaming?

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The 7-day Allure of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruise has finished. It seems like the week flashed by in a heartbeat. All week, we continued to repeat to one another 'We are on a cruise ship!' We simply could not believe it. Rather than having one massive post for the whole cruise, Ill break it up over the next few days.

We woke up in the hotel and the ship had arrived into the dock. We could see it from our hotel room. From there, the size was just inexplicable.

We caught the first bus to port at 9:30 and wanted to enjoy as much as we could on board before sail away. Nice thought. So, we checked in ........ And waited for four hours as there was a problem. We boarded with some other Stampin' friends (Shannean and Woody) so we had no troubles when it comes to being enteratined (if you know Shannean, you know what Im talking about.) It was the weirdest experience when while we were waiting, we saw some people we knew from Melbourne walk past. 

So, when we eventually got on board, we started saying 'We are on a cruise ship!' I saw a video the other day that encouraged to enjoy the moments in life rather than enjoying them through a screen, so I was consciously trying to do this. Unfortunately, this means I dont have as many pictures to show you (though, I do have a tonne).

It's blurry, I know. But, I was excited.

We were excited to see our room. 
And, it wouldn't be A Stampin' Up! Incentive trip if our room wasn't decorated with current Stampin' Up! colours. This was our third cruise and we had never had a bacony before. And, we were on the 14th floor, so we would have a great view.
It was a great size room. To give you an idea of the layout, here it is;
I didnt get a picture of the bathroom, but it was a decent size. And, it had a fixed shower screen (ie. not a curtain) which meant that the bathroom didnt get flooded everytime we had a shower.

It was a KING SIZE bed. It was so amazing. I slept right through the night EVERY night. It had the egg crate bed topper too - we are totes going to get one of those too.

So, when we walked onto the cruise ship, we walked onto what is called the Royal Promenade. This pic above is directly above the promenade and is an area called Central Park. I have taken more pics of this up close. But, what is cool about this is that the rooms inside the ship are usually windowless. But, because the ship is so large, the rooms inside the ship not only have windows, but balconies looking over this beautiful area. 

It was time to sail away. And, in Fort Lauderdale, it was stinking hot. We never quite worked out how it worked with temperature as everything is in Farenheit. But, its was stinking hot on deck. So, we found this awesome place at the very top of the ship (level 17) and we could see everything. This is the Viking Crown Lounge. This ended up being the hangout for duration of the cruise.
This was taken as we were sailing out of Fort Lauderdale.

Here are a few pics of the Royal Promenade (Level 5);
There was a Starbucks on board, which during our planning made me happy. Though, I have to admit that over the week before the cruise while we were in New York, I actually got used to drip coffee, so coffee wasnt a necessary staple for me. It might have had something to do with the heat in the Caribbean?

We never actually got something from here, though it was cool to look at.

This bar was called the Rising Tide - it rises from level 5 to level 8 every half hour (thus the name). I have to admit that the fountain shown in this image (thanks Google) looks much nicer than the 'fountain' in real life. A shooting jet of water is not a fountain to me. lol - I crack myself up sometimes.

This pic looks down at the outdoor theatre onto the 'Boardwalk' and YES we are on a ship (you can see the water).

If you followed the blog on our last incentive trip, you might remember us getting gifts from Stampin' Up! every night. 
This was the first 'Pillow Gift' from Stampin' Up! It was a towel/deck lounge cover. I got one too.

The first night, there was a meet and greet for all of the Stampin' Up! achievers at the Boardwalk. The boardwalk was cool - there was a merry-go-round, candy store, ice cream bar, johnny rockets, a mexican cantina and a bar.   
They had Stampin' Up! themed popcorn bags. 

Some of the rooms overlooked this area too.
Stampin' Up! had Ben and Jerrys ice cream for us. We hadnt had dinner yet, but I really wanted to try one. So, Meaghan said that it would be ok because its 'Pre-sert.' I laughed for a good five minutes and then got one. So, as you can see above, Kylie enjoyed my ice cream too.

Right after this, we saw a show called Ocean Aria. It was really cool. It was diving and acrobatics. In case you cant see, this theatre is outside. 

This is the Royal Promenade. You can see Sorrentos - this is the Pizza Place. The Pizza was really, really, really good. And, yes, we are on a cruise ship.

So, whats the point of having a balcony without having breakfast on it. 

This morning, there was a Stampin' Up meeting.
We saw Brandi who works at the Stampin' Up! home office. 

From left to right - Shannean Moncrieffe (Cairns), Amy Swartz (Home office), Tami White (US demonstrator supremo), Kylie.

One of the things to do on the ship is a zipline (or flying fox for those in australia) across the top of the Boardwalk.
This is me doing the zipline. It was totes cool.

This is Kylie at the Viking Crown Lounge on the first formal night.

This is me - and Im wearing one of the shirt/tie combos purchased in Brooklyn.

This is us at the Ice Skating show. It was really cool. 

There is a story behind this ...... one of the things on the cruise ship that is .... annoying .... is the photographers. They are EVERYWHERE. And, for a small cost of $24 you can purchase one of the photos that they take. They print the photos they take and throw away an enormous amount of photos. But, they still sell an enormous amount of photos. We have never bought one. We dont like posin for photos - its too restrictive for us. Anyway, we were walking past and I stopped Kylie and pointed to a photo of Louise Sharp (from NSW). The photographer was taking a photo of her. She told her to turn to the side, put her head back and arch her arm (as shown in the photo above). It looked completely ridiculous. So, we copied that pose for the rest of the cruise.

That's all for part 1. Next stop - Haiti.
Thanks for reading.

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