S: Ferguson's go Cruisin
FC: Family Vacation August 2011 Easter Carribean Cruise on the Allure of the Sea Ports of call Nassau, BAHAMAS Charlotte Amalie, ST. THOMAS Philipsburg, ST. MARTEEN
1: Our flight out of GR was at 6:45 a.m. to Atlanta, GA, one of the busiest airports in the US, with a 3 1/2 hr layover then on to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. L is Brett & then Jeff and Brett again (covered in red) at the airports waiting for our flight. Brett was mad when he saw how rough the baggage handlers were at Atlanta. We ended up with a broken wheel on 2 different pieces of luggage. Delta gave us 2-$50 vouchers for the damage.
2: We arrived on Saturday & stayed at beautiful Marriott's BeachPlace Towers hotel right on the strip of Ft. Lauderdale with a great view of the ocean. It was kind of hard to find because it was built in the center of local stores, bars & restaurants at it's base.
3: Beautiful beach that went along the whole strip.
4: In Ft. Lauderdale, we went to Bubba Gump Shrimp for dinner. This seems to be a tradition for our family vacations. Pic to the R above is Kris with the Captain aaarg.
5: Brett, Kyle and Haley stayed in a room with a view to the back of the hotel. Jeff and Kris's was to the front. This is the view from the kids room. | It faced a channel where there were million dollars homes and yachts docked.
6: We went to a really fun restaurant called Tijuana Flats in Ft. Lauderdale. | Apparently it was pretty well known, it has pics & autographs of celebrities everywhere. | The Ferguson's at the Flats | This is a pic of my Enchilada dinner, yummy.
7: We went to Tijuana Flats just before getting on the ship.
8: FIRST VIEWS OF THE SHIP
9: Jeff dropped us off to the ship, then dropped the rental car off to Avis, then took the really slow bus back to the ship to meet up with us. Here we are checking out the ship while still in port at Ft. Lauderdale
10: Deck 16 had tons of stuff to do-pools, hot tubs, 2 flow riders, basketball court, ping pong, restaurants, and teen center, which was where Haley met some kids that she hung out with. | The Parkway
11: On Deck, leaving Ft. Lauderdale | Kyle & I were standing next to a family waving a huge Irish flag | There were people with huge American flags waving from their homes.
12: And the fun starts! Kris & Fiona to the R. Coffee fogging up my glasses (Haley thought this was funny). | Kris was on Deck 15 taking photos of the Aqua Theatre where a show was starting.
13: We happened to catch Haley Scarnato, 8th place performer from Season 6 of American Idol when she sang at the Kareokee bar, On-Air. Her voice was absolutely amazing.
14: Top left: Casino; Top right: Entertainment Place; Bottom left one of the clubs. Next page is a floating dinner area.
16: This is Monday. We were supposed to go to the Bahamas, but couldn't due to Hurricane Irene.There were two Flowriders, one for kneeboarding & one for wakboarding. Jeff doing the kneeboarding FlowRider. All the kids (including Jeff) did this and the wake boarding.
17: Jeff wakeboarding- WAWAWAWAWAWAWA WIPEOUT!!!
18: I love this pic of Haley! To the right is a parrot that could talk & eat right out of the owners mouth. The kids said the owner was a worker that was on vacation & got special permission to have it on the ship. | To the L is a kid that was really good on the wakeboard. Some kids would just stand in line & go on the wakeboard over & over.
19: Kyle getting instruction before he wipes out. | Don't let go!
20: Hurricane Irene was on it's way to the Bahamas we were 200 miles behind the storm & it was really choppy. The Captain moved the Bahamas to Saturday & going to St. Thomas & St. Maarten first. Jeff, and the kids ended up getting really sea sick Tuesday evening. Haley crawled from the elevator to the room later when it was really bad.
21: Our fine dining dinner-time was scheduled for 6:30 every evening. Sometimes it was formal, sometimes casual. This was a formal night.
22: To the L is a ghost that our housekeeper, Evelyn, had made for us & she used Jeff's shades to make it look cooool. To the R we're watching the water acrobat show Oceanaria. | This is me with Alex from Madagascar. he really likes candy. He walked me over to the Candy Beach store & banged on the window. They had different characters every day at different times.
24: King "Julien" XIII from Madagascar character; Biggest Yellow Emerald in the world; Kyle playing in an adult Nintendo 360 tourney. Kyle lost, we're pretty sure the kid he played against wasn't an adult, he was the ringer sent to stop Kyle, but Ky had a blast anyway.
25: Cupcake place; antique car for photo ops; Madagascar Penguins
26: This is Tuesday, day on ship. There was a Merry-go-Round on the ship, so there was a horse themed area. After dinner we were going to see Chicago, the musical in the Amber Theatre.
28: Newlywed Game Show | The Cruise Director was the host, he was hilarious | The ship was really rocking because of the storm, so everyone in my family was sick so I went by myself. | Kris visiting with PO before the Sho.
29: Wednesday arriving in beautiful St. Thomas. Iguana's were everywhere. We went on a snorkeling excursion off the beach of Trunks Bay, it was beautiful. We saw lots of colorful fish, including Parrot Fish, Coral & Jeff saw a Stingray. After that Ky & Haley went back to the ship & Brett, Jeff & I took a taxi to town and shopped.
30: St. Thomas The Cruise Director stressed that everyone be back to the ship on time & don't ask an islander what time it is, "unless you want to become an islander".
31: St. Thomas
33: This is our boat, Island Girl, coming to pick us up for the excursion. | It was pretty choppy because of the storm, alot of waves came onto the boat so some of us got pretty wet before we even got to the beach.
34: Top L-Allure of the Seas; top R Beautiful St. Thomas; bottom L & R, Jeff Kyle & Haley getting wet from the waves at the front of the boat.
35: This is Trunks Bay where we went snorkeling. | This is an island where VP Joe Biden had stayed.
36: Our Fine Time Dining
37: This reminds me of a Corona commercial
38: Thursday arriving in St. Maarten and getting on a water taxi to take us to the shopping district & beach on the Dutch side. | The water taxi host sang an older top 40 song but w/ a Jamacian lilt to it. There are 2 sides to St. Maarten, the Dutch & the French.
39: The view of the island & beach as we get closer. | Below is Jeff hooked by a pirate. Aaaye Matey, let go of me arm. | Orange School on the R is the oldest primary school on the island. | We did lots of shopping-jewelry & alcohol are popular items because they're duty free.
41: St. Maarten was our favorite island.
42: Typical apartment housing. | Nick Maley was a key contributor to creating Yoda of Star Wars. He lives on the island.
43: Kyle, Haley & I shopped together & Brett & Jeff shopped together. The kids got tired so they went back to the ship. | And left me & Jeff loose on the island. We was starving, so beach restaurant, here we come!
45: We ate at this really cool restaurant on the beach. Not sure of the name, since all of these were on the same pole.
46: Posing with the band that was playing on the beach. | We didn't use these facilities, but we actually paid to use a really disgusting bathroom.
48: Took water taxi back to port. Upper right is a Dr. that was one of first settlers. There were stands everywhere selling their wares.
49: Above is a Jamacian band that played as you came on & went off port.
50: Goodbye beautiful St. Maarten!
51: Back to the Allure.
52: Our waiter was Richard and the kids would always want to hurry & get to dinner because they'd say "we can't be late for Richard". | Bottom L, Kyle using his table manners-Not (he was joking)(I hope)
54: This was at Blaze Nightclub. They had an reknowned DJ that played awesome music. Brett invited the kid below to come hang with us because he was sitting at a table by himself. He was on the ship with his parents & didn't know anyone, he was from NY. That's Brett, always taking people under his wing.
55: After the nightclub, Jeff and I walked around the ship. We got something to eat at Sorrento's, which was a pizza place opened 24 hrs. Windjammers was another yummy place to eat. | To the right is the kids area of the pool. There was a pool and hot tub open for adults 24 hrs. They even had a salt water pool.
56: Taking a moonlight stroll
57: This was a bellyflop contest with the hilareous cruise director hosting. The audience would vote by holding up their fingers 1-10. The skinny 160 pounder did it perfectly & beat everyone. They televised it & even had a camera under water.
58: Brett, Jeff & Kyle getting ready to climb up the rock wall, which was 6 deck stories high.
59: Ahoy matey, I made it to the top of the bloody rock.
60: Sorry, but I'll need to see some ID | Kris
61: Richard, our main waiter & Humberto, his assistant, top L. A couple of sample menu's. Every night was different & if you couldn't decide they might just bring you two entrees or desserts. crazy!
63: When you'd go to the dining room, they'd have the table set with beautiful plates, and then they would take them away when you came to dinner because they were for atmosphere and the plates that you would actually use were under them. On the left shows a sample of their menu.
64: Dinner & a show. The attack of the lobster tail, yum! | Every night at dinner this drink master would come around with a different coffee shot for purchase, and you could keep the glass. I finally gave in & got 1, our last 2 nights.
65: The comedy show was so funny! It featured Phil Tag. Kyle got up to go to the bathroom & the comedian asked him if he peed outside the door because he came back so fast.
66: The 70's party out on Deck 6 was a blast! The Cruise Director and employees led 70's era dancing and threw stuff out to the audience. I caught a flashing ring! | "Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight" | R-E-S-P-E-C-T | YMCA | rOLLERCOASTER | i WILL sURVIVE
67: Saturday morning Jeff & I got up early to watch the sunrise. | Jeff still waiting for the sun to rise, you know how impatient he gets
68: Another towel character, compliments of Evelyn our housekeeper.
69: This is Saturday morning, we could go on land in the Bahamas at noon. We squeezed in some more fun before we went on land. Below is Haley ice skating at Studio B where they had in indoor arena.
70: The Ferguson's take on the wall
71: The ship was in port, but Haley wanted to climb one more time. The ship that was in port next to us was a Disney ship & it had a waterslide, where you're in a tube, right on the roof.
73: There were 4 cruise ships total docked in the Bahamas, and the weather was really nice when we got there, but once we got in the taxi, it started raining about half way to Atlantis. Our taxi driver was hilarious, the bridge to Atlantis was like a parking lot, there were so many taxis, & they all kept jarring at each other. It was like being in your office, only everyone was in vehicles driving.
74: Above islanders are playing Jamaican music at the port you walk thru. There's lots of wares & people trying to sell things-jewelry, hair-braiding, clothes, alcohol, trinkets. | Below are pics of the island, including Atlantis.
76: ATLANTIS has a hotel, casino & beautiful architecture. The islanders aren't allowed to gamble here.
77: This was at Atlantis outside. It was sprinkling, but very soon became a storm and had the loudest thunder I'd ever heard.
78: Waiting for the rain to subside so that we can go outside to see more.
79: Brett & Kyle ran out into the storm & found the huge indoor aquarium. | It used to be free, but now they charge you, so we could only look at it behind a rope.
80: The rooms on the left are part of Atlantis & go for $28,000/night. Here we are in the taxi trying to get back to port, but a bridge was out due to flooding, so we went to the other side of the hotel to the front to find another taxi. Our taxi found a way to the front & picked us up.
81: The taxi drove us back during the crazy storm. At one point a car was coming toward us pushing water to the side of the van. There's no good sewer system so it floods quickly. Very exciting & scary!
82: Above is bridge to island. | The kids went back to the ship while Jeff & I shopped. | These are the gangplanks to get back on the ship. You had to show security your ID to come & go & your bags were searched when you return. You had to check your liquor & they'd deliver it to your room the night before you leave. We bought most of that from St. Maarten.
83: Top L, layout of deck 3, top R, our liquor that we bought cheaply on the islands. Adagio was the name of our Fine Time Dining restaurant & Overture was the name of our room. I would sing the Bugs Bunny song "Overture, hit the lights, this is it, our night of nights..." every time I passed it.
84: Our last night at dinner. The whole dinner crew sang & you say your goodbyes. Richard was awesome & gave great dinner recommendations when you couldn't choose. He was from Jamaica. Pic above were our dinner neighbors, they were from Canada.
85: Kyle was the only one that came to watch the sunset with us on the last night.
86: The day of the week was always displayed in the elevator. | The show "Planet Earth"
87: Miscellaneous pics of the ship. | IPads were everywhere to help you. | Pics of the kids room & balcony. | Library-Kyle spent alot of time here
88: Ft. Lauderdale Airport w/ a layover in Tennessee & Detroit. We left the ship about 4:00 a.m. for our 6:30 flight, to beat the rush, but it was definitely too early. | Our plane to TN was nice, but the planes to Detroit & GR were really small | We rode to the airport in a taxi w/ folks from New Jersey who's flight was canceled because of Hurricane Irene. They were renting a car to get home. | Jeff's ring finger got caught in a ring on the Rock Climbing wall as he raced to the top. He went to the doctor after we got home, & he took Xrays. He said it's not broke, but 2 months later, it's still swollen & hurts.