What an amazing time! We booked this cruise almost a year ago on an advertised sale. We are a very active and retired couple so our schedule is flexible and rarely book a cruise this far ahead. However, this was too good to pass up, so we booked it last June. My husband has wanted to do a Med Cruise for a long time and this was our opportunity.
We decided to see more of Europe since we were going to be there anyway, so we flew into Paris and spent two fabulous days. We stayed at the Hotel Britannique, which was beautiful, clean and comfortable before boarding the High Speed Double Decker Train from Paris to Barcelona. That was a wonderful experience, traveling along the French Countryside and the Coast of Spain. The scenery was gorgeous. Arriving in Barcelona, we took a cab to The Europark Hotel, which was very nice, providing us with a clean, comfortable room and great service. Our booking included breakfast and it was very good! The coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice were very fantastic and the buffet had many good choices. We spent two days in Barcelona exploring that beautiful City before boarding the Allure on the 19th.
We took a cab from the Europark to the Port. Embarkation didn't go as smoothly as we are used to, but I think it was more due to the Port than the cruiseline. It just seemed things flowed easier in FLL. That being said, I think we were still on the Ship about 30 minutes after arriving at the Port. We'd been on the Oasis so had an idea of what the Allure would be like. We weren't disappointed. This was the Allure's first Voyage in Europe after Dry Dock and she looked wonderful! Everything was clean and nice. The Staff overall was great ... all friendly, helpful and happily smiling all the time. We hit the Rising Tide Bar when we first boarded since we never did get a chance to do that while on the Oasis and it was very nice. Then since we had had a late breakfast at the Hotel decided to skip the Windjammer Buffet, where we usually go, and we went to the Park Café for a delicious Roast Beef Sandwich. Seemed like no time at all and we were able to get into our cabin. We had a JS on the Hump on Deck 9 and it was very roomy with a large balcony with table, chairs and two lounges. Our luggage was delivered very shortly after. Our Cabin Attendant, Renaldo knocked on our door while we were unpacking, introduced himself and asked if we needed anything. I asked for ice. Thereafter there was fresh ice both during the day and at night. He was very good, pleasant, friendly and excited because he was going home at the end of this cruise. He attended to our every need without asking, did great towel animals and greeted us daily.
Our cabin was beautiful, spacious, neat and clean. It had everything we could possibly want. The balcony was huge, on the hump, with a table, chairs and two loungers. We ate room service breakfast on the balcony one morning in Rome as there was no wind and it was sunny. I had thought it would be warmer on this trip than it was, and we'd get a lot of use of the balcony, but unfortunately, most of the trip was very windy and chilly.
We did a land vacation before the cruise flying into Paris and spending two days touring on our own and then taking the High Speed Double Decker Train along the French Countryside and Coast of Spain from Paris to Barcelona. We spent two days in Barcelona again touring on our own before boarding the Allure. On our return, we stayed on more day in Barcelona before flying back to the States