Preamble It’s become an annual tradition that we take two trips per year. One trip, we go somewhere with my mother-in-law (as documented here). The other trip (this one), we go with my parents. Usually it’s been a cruise, although there have been some exceptions, such as in 2016 when we went to Beaches Ocho Rios. Our original plan was to go on Caribbean Princess, and not gonna lie - I was really looking forward to it, but my brother thought there might be some potential issues with babysitting for his almost 2yo, so right off the bat there was a bit of a dilemma on what to do. The answer, of course, is to find another ship. Our TA was able to cancel that cruise and book the Allure with basically the same itinerary. We have 12th floor Central Park balconies with their Dine/Drink/Discover package + $250 OBC. We also prepaid gratuities for the first time so we won’t have to worry about that on a day-to-day basis. So with that in mind... Dramatis personae: Kevin aka starvenger - that’s me Le - wife aka my SO aka the big boss Hannah aka H- 10yo Olivia aka O - 7yo Grandpa aka a yeh - my dad Grandma aka a mah - my mom Younger brother aka 2nd brother aka No2 Sister-in-law aka L Niece #1 aka K - 7yo, about 11 months younger than O. Niece #2 aka F - 4yo Youngest brother aka J Sister-in-law aka KMC Nephew aka JJ - almost 2 Coincidentally, my dad’s friend and HIS 3-generation clan are also going on this cruise. So if you're on the ship and you see a loud, Cantonese-speaking group on the cruise, it’s probably us. Itinerary Day 1 - Fort Lauderdale Day 2 - Nassau Day 3 - At Sea Day 4 - Cozumel Day 5 - Roatan, Honduras Day 6 - Costa Maya Day 7 - At Sea Day 8 - Go home As you can see, we’ve got something of a port-heavy itinerary. Ideally, I prefer a 3 port/3 at sea split, but you play the hand you’re dealt, and this is what we got. Excursions For excursions, we don’t have anything scheduled for Nassau.. Given the proximity of everything to the port, it’s likely that we let the kids go to Adventure Ocean and just walk around the tourist area. We may even go as far as Junkanoo Beach and get some fish fry, but we’ll see where the day takes us. For Cozumel, I’ve booked the all inclusive day resort Nachi Cocum. I’ve heard good things about most of the Cozumel day resorts, so I’m curious to see how this one works out. In Roatan, I booked an island tour through the Cruise Planner, which marks the first time since 2013 that I’ve booked an excursion through the cruise line. For Costa Maya I’ve reserved spots at Tropicante bar. Like Nachi Cocum this bar gets good reviews and it should provide some good food and beach time. On Board As always, we have fixed early dining. My dad likes this time, and with 13 people dining together it’s difficult to work My Time dining properly. Outside of the “free” lunch, we’re not doing any specialty dining. But if anyone wants pictures of the menus etc, I’ll try and get those for you. On Harmony last year, we tried to avoid the buffets and I think this will continue on this cruise. We do this not because we hate buffets or we’re trying to curb our food intake. Rather, the buffets tend to get very crowded unless you avoid peak times, and the Allure provides enough alternate food options that you don’t feel forced to go eat there. As my wife doesn’t drink a lot, we’re not getting any drink packages. With 4 ports I don’t think it’s cost effective anyway, but this does mean that I’ll be looking for the drink card (10 drinks for ~$75-80) if it shows up. We will, however, be taking advantage of the 2 bottles of wine per cabin allowance, because there really isn’t any reason not to, right? We got the all-in USB photo package. Those of you that have traveled Royal or DCL will be familiar with this, as it’s the same company that manages both. So long as one of the four of us are in the picture, we’ll see it show up in our photo folder. I did sign up with the CC group that’s on board. As always, I’m kind of 50-50 on whether I’ll participate in their activities or not, but talking to them on FB they seem like a good bunch. Speaking of communication, Royal does not have a chat feature on their app (a long-standing peeve of mine. DCL’s chat feature is not great, but at least they HAVE one and it does what its supposed to do) so we’re going old school with magnetic whiteboards. (side note: I didn’t have much time to do decorations this time around so no additional magnets on the door.) Trip Updates We did spring for a wifi package, as my wife will likely need to work while on board. She’s a partner at an accounting firm, so it’s hard for them to let her stay out of contact for too long. But this does mean that the wifi got expensed, so I might do some quick updates while on board. If you have anything you want me to look up for you while I'm on board, let me know!