Its the girth

Trip Start Feb 05, 2011
1
9
12
Trip End Feb 13, 2011


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Where I stayed
Allure of the Seas

Flag of Saint Martin  ,
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Woke up in St Maarten - out the window we were staring at Solstice.  Went topside for breakfast and photos.  Found it interesting to compare the height - looking slightly down at the top decks of last year's ship - the lawn and the pool deck.  But actually - it didn't feel like it was bigger to the degree we expected (but only from the height perspective).

We immediately noticed that St Maarten now had two docks - and that we were at the newer one.  The old pier had 4 other ships - quite a crowd for the small town.  Didn't recognized most of them.  One looked like a converted Princess ship - but we couldn't be sure.

We made it down to the gangway and ventured over to Philipsburg.  Same water taxi - $6 per person for the whole day.  As we walked through town it started to rain - so we ducked into the Barefoot Restaurant and split a grouper sandwich for lunch.

Rain was brief and then we back to walking, window shopping and photographing.  Finally ran out of things to do so we took the boat ride back.

It was then that we finally noticed the size difference with Solstice.  Allure wasn't that much taller.  But the thing was SO much wider - almost double the width.

Chris went back to the ship and I shopped in the dock area.  Bought a titanium bracelet at one of 15 or so the Diamonds International shops.  Then back on board in the room as evening came.
 
As departure time was nearing - Solstice and Allure were the last to leave. I was in the cabin wondering who would go first.  Then I could hear rounds of loud cheering - so I thought is was Solstice leaving.  But no horn had sounded.  Then another round of cheering.  And another.  So I finally went out to see what was happening.  I could see all of the Solstice guest on their balconies watching with wonder - as we did what only gay men could - applaud the late arrivals back to Allure

It was now about 30 minutes AFTER deadline and you could watch the same events unfold again and again.  Each person would round the back of the ship - most were running, though some arrived by golf cart (supplied by the port).  Each was visibly worried they would miss the ship.  Then the applause and hoots.  Each would at first become a bit embarrassed and self-conscious - how many people are watching their mistake?  Then into security and the metal detector and out the other door. By then they were no longer in fear of missing the ship and thus had transformed into the stars and diva's that they longed to be.  They would bow and wave to their fans who cheered louder each time.

Back to the Solstice guests. They were in awe.  Not ONE late arrival went to Solstice - only Allure.  They were clearly baffled at our reaction.  Who cheers people who are delaying your vacation, right?  Easily explained - a diva can always appreciate another diva.

Then when all were aboard, we left ahead of Solstice - and waved goodbye.  They remained slack-jawed.

Priceless.

In Aqua that night was the "Not-So-Newlywed Game". Couples are chosen by the length of their relationship - from several days to over 15 years.  The standouts were the bisexual couple (that's right an actually married male-female couple) and 2 Atlantis staff members (they had just been married by Malcolm less than an hour earlier in Central Park).

The bisexual couple threw everything off.  First and most importantly, the guy was gorgeous and everyone in the audience secretly wanted to scratch her eyes out.  Second, determining the "bottom' took a bit of redesign.  Eventually went for recency and the guy was determined the official bottom.  Hmm.  Eventual winners were what has become to be a consistent and possibly troubling occurrence - the guys who met a few days earlier.

Rich had added a special Alumni party that night in Crown and Anchor - for 10+ guests.  Open bar was nice and it wasn't too crowded.  LOTS of familiar faces.

Had a chance to speak with Malcolm, who confirmed he is leaving.  I wasn't completely clear but it seemed like Allure was his final trip.
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