Trip Start Feb 05, 2011
Trip End Feb 13, 2011

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Allure of the Seas

Flag of Turks and Caicos Isl.  , Providenciales,
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

... awoke at 4:07am to the sound of Captain Johnny yelling "Alpha, Alpha, Alpha. Solarium.  Deck 15. Starboard Side".  After the initial confusion - we realized it was a general alarm, but couldn't quite remember what Alpha stood for.  Bravo means fire - which is REALLY bad.  So is Alpha worse?  Or better?  Just plain old different?  Went back to sleep wondering what we would wake up to learn.

In the morning the rumors were rampant.  "Someone died of a drug overdose."  "Someone fell off the second story railing and was in a coma".  Eventually it was learned that the alert was a standard medical alert - someone had fallen - and piping it into the cabins was an accident.  No severe injuries of any kind.

Later that morning, the captain made a "well rehearsed" announcement about drug enforcement.  He confirmed the 5 passengers that had been turned over to the Bahamian Police.  He also confirmed the RCCL policy of non-tolerance.  Oddly enough he added that Rich was sitting beside him and that the announcement had been co-authored. 

What we found odd wasn't the policy, nor the arrests.  What was odd was their feeling it needed to be explained and substantiated.

Went by the Atlantis desk and confirmed - NO concierge service this trip.  According to Steve (who called Rich while I waited) RCCL said they had no room for Rich's best customers (who were defined as having 15 trips - which was my number for this cruise).  Later I swapped emails with Rich and found out it was NOT supposed to happen this way and that it would never happen again.  Hopefully - since this saves us money and makes us feel recognized.

Second tea in a row, again at 3:30 - Revival (aka Classic Disco) Tea.  Walked through the boardwalk to see some of the most elaborate floral headgear EVER on record.  One heart-shaped one was clearly an homage to Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert.  And a FLAWLESS one at that (the jumbo-tron folk quickly found it and gave it the attention it was due).  also, the plastic Marilyn mask (and matching breast plate) was terrifying but you couldn't take your eyes off it.

Halftime was a special performance from the staff at Johnny Rockets - performing Stayin' Alive.  The lead wore the biggest Afro wig ever at sea and worked the railing like a pro.  Not sure if he can return to his regular job after that stardom.

The night's performance was Pam Ann - who has stepped up her show enormously.  It opened with a video safety briefing - using Virgin-Atlantic type cartoon drawings.  But, as only Pam can do, each was animated to show how a real emergency might take place.  The cartoon plane ended up at the bottom of the ocean with no survivors.  But it was informative at the same time.

She was in rare form - and not a single expletive was deleted.  The most memorable portion though was her on stage dramatic reading of Captain Johnny's twitter feed.

Sunday - "Overbooked - need 5 cabins immediately"
Monday - morning: "Problem solved"
Monday - night / Tuesday - morning: "4 am - must scare shit out of the men - alpha, alpha, alpha"
Tuesday - afternoon: "Upgrade now available"

The feedback I heard was "too soon".  But this was during the time when folks still thought someone had died.  Since no one had - it was pretty funny. 

She also incorporated her own inserted scenes into real footage from Superman and The Exorcist.  Clearly no expense had been spared as she talked with Superman, even discussing, in depth, his more intimate proclivities.

The night's party was "The Lost Continent" - did a walk-by to see the costumes that ranged from caveman to Lost.  An unfortunate incident had the party nicknamed the "Lost Continence" party - but I digress.
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