Good morning from Allure of the Seas, somewhere between Gibraltar and Fort Lauderdale. It’s our second day at sea after departing Malaga, Spain the evening of October 27th. I’m reminded of a verse from the old song – “We joined the Navy to see the world. And what did we see? We saw the sea.” 🙂 But before you conclude that’s a complaint, it isn’t.

Image © 2015 - Marshall Jackson

Image © 2015 – Marshall Jackson

The First Day at Sea

At roughly 225,000 gross registered tons, Allure of the Seas, is not a small ship bobbing in the ocean. There is plenty to do, and we will talk about that throughout the week. However, the first day of my trans-Atlantic cruise was focused on something I don’t often get to do – sleeping until 9:30am! Granted, we were up a little late (my wife and I are traveling with another couple) closing down the Schooner Bar, but not needing to be anywhere was definitely my favorite thing about our first trans-Atlantic sea day.

Allure of the Seas - Image © 2015 Marshall Jackson

Allure of the Seas – Image © 2015 Marshall Jackson

The sea conditions are not perfect, but our big ship is taking the 15 to 20 ft. swells very well. Sea conditions are expected to improve over the next few days. There is some motion in the ocean, but the sun is shining and our port side balcony gets plenty of morning sun making it a very comfortable place to be. In fact, I didn’t make it out of the stateroom until almost 11:00am for my obligatory trip to Starbucks. Yes, Allure of the Seas (and her sister ship Oasis of the Seas) are home to the only two Starbucks outposts at sea, and they will even take your Starbucks card to pay!

Initial Observations on a Trans-Atlantic Cruise

After a few days on board, and one full day at sea on the trans-Atlantic portion of our journey, I have a few thoughts.

My fellow cruisers are a little older – The average age of my fellow cruisers skews higher than your typical Caribbean 7-nighter. That isn’t surprising for a couple of reasons. Retirees are more likely to have 12 days to spend sailing across an ocean. It’s taken me 3 years to string together the time I needed to do this, for example. This isn’t the first long cruise I’ve taken, but the age demographics are noticeably different than most of my past cruises.

My fellow cruisers are experienced with cruising – A trans-Atlantic cruise would not be my recommendation for a “starter” cruise for a whole host of reasons, though I understand there are a very few first-timers on board. Not surprisingly, my fellow cruisers are also experienced cruisers. Allure of the Seas has a large and very nice Diamond Club, but the number of higher tier elite Crown & Anchor Society Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle members on board is so large that they aren’t using it in the evenings. Instead, the evening cocktail hour is held in three different lounges.

But I Love It! – In many ways, this is my near perfect idea for a cruise vacation. No alarm clocks, no herding onto the bus for a tour, no appointments except for the spa.

Coming up – rock climbing, zip lining, carouseling, and maybe even a little gym time.