Allure of the Sea – Royal Caribbean

The following was written on Day 3 of my week long cruise journey that officially finished this morning (MERRY CHRISTMAS!),

Over nine months ago, my cousins have already began to book this trip for me. I had a make a decision between going on a seven-day cruise or go home to Hong Kong for Christmas break. Now to come to think of it, I wonder which would’ve been cheaper. Anyway nine months later, I’m sitting on Allure of the Sea, the largest cruise ship in the world with just over 6,000 passengers and 2000+ staff on deck.

It’s day 3 and we just left Labadee, Haiti. Labadee is a private island with a beautiful beach and some really comfortable hammocks. As I laid there chatting with my cousins, I looked out to the ocean while trying to tune out the staff selling drinks and wondered whether this creation was affected by the earthquake a few years back. I thought of Christine and wondered how her city and family are doing. It’s been a few years and I’d imagine it to still be a hell hole despite the lack of coverage in the media.

As a first timer on a cruise, it’s an honor to be on such a big boat. It is quite the site and takes a good 5-10 minutes to walk from one side to the other. The garden, the pool, the architecture and the decorations is quite phenomenal but it does have its downfalls. For a first, there are 8000+ people on the boat, meaning the elevators are bound to be full most of the time. Many of the activities have a long weight and worse of all, the boat sways… quite a bit.

I don’t get sea sick normally. I go on junk trips in HK from 8am to 5pm, drinking, hanging out and relaxing and I never get sea sick but for some reason I had quite the migraine on day 2 at sea. My personal theory is that when I can see the sea and the boat is swaying, then I’m okay but it’s a different story when I’m in closed areas. A restaurant, my room, the gym, etc. It’s really frustrating and it made day 2 hell trying to walk around and do activities on the ship.

Cruises are interesting. There are activities planned for all ages at every hour of the day. Take a look at the schedule for the day and it might give you a headache. You have to study the daily planner the night before if you don’t want to miss anything important or fun. Although it is fantastic they give you so many options, it’s not really my type of relaxation. “Then go sit by the pool!” you would say….

Except with so many people on the boat, it gets quite noisy and hectic on the pool deck. Currently sitting at a cafe outside my room with a cup of ice coffee and it’s the most relaxed I’ve been the last few days. I guess being with a group of 20 people makes the whole vacation a bit hectic as well. We have a set time for lunch, dinner and shows and to be honest, there is not much time in between to do much.

Speaking of food, most everything is “all you can eat” on the boat. Politically speaking, it is “pre-paid”. At every meal, we can order as many dishes as we’d like. Everything is delicious, but there is only so much I can eat until I start feeling sick. After the first day, I had already ate so much that I was not hungry at every meal on day two. A little disappointing really but I like to enjoy my food and not simply stuff it down my throat. That’s not what I can say about my cousins and the rest of the group though.

“Why are you not eating? It’s free! Everything is already paid for so you better eat!” they say. Guilt trip? Maybe, or maybe they don’t believe I’m actually feeling sick from so much food. Either way, it’s quite sad the amount of food passengers stuff ourselves with on cruises just because it’s “paid” for.

It would be really interesting to compare the amount of food served and needed on a 7 day cruise to the amount of people that it can feed in countries where people are dying from starvation. Now imagine using those numbers are a marketing strategy, or a campaign. That would for sure stir emotions….. at least mine anyway.

Song of the day: “Slow down everyone, you’ve moving too fast. Frames can’t catch you when you’re moving li-ike that…”

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