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Cruising on the Allure of the Seas

by Linda Johnson |  Published: Sep 03, '14


Allure of the Seas Blog – Sept. 2, 2014

It’s midnight on the ship, but I want to get a blog off before I go to sleep.

Jan and I have been on the ship for three days now. We are eager for you to join us; a cruise without a poker room feels like something is missing! Instead of playing poker, we’ve been doing a lot of sleeping and watching the US Open in the cabin.

If you read our blog from past trips on the Allure or the Oasis, you know that the ship is amazing! If you’re only booked on one week, you might want to call the office and see about adding the other week because it will take you that long to see the ship and experience its amenities. Additionally, you will get to visit six different ports!

We got the business part of the trip done already so now we can relax and vacation for the rest of the week. This included a meeting with our onboard coordinator Rishi. Luckily for us, we have had him as our coordinator on previous cruises so he knows our routine. We are also lucky to have one of the best cruise directors (Ken Rush) and captains (Captain Johnny) at sea. Captain Johnny keeps his Harley on the bridge deck. He grabbed a trombone yesterday and started playing it on the Promenade. You never know what you’re going to see on a cruise ship!

My team came in second in trivia today. One question was crazy…What are the three most commonly spoken languages in the world? Jan and I said they were Spanish, English, and Hindi. Our teammates insisted it was Spanish, English, and French. We lost by one point. French? Really????

Here are some tips to ensure smooth sailing during your cruise:

1. Don’t overpack. I know Jan wrote this in her blog, but I can’t emphasize it enough. The closets in most cabins are small and you won’t change your clothes as often as you think.
2. Watch the liquor! Booze is very expensive on the cruise. If you aren’t careful, you could end up with a very pricey bill at the end of the week.
3. Bring $1 and $5 bills with you. The service on the ship is wonderful. They don’t expect tips on a day to day basis in the buffet, cafes, room service, etc. but it sure does put a smile on their faces and it will make you feel good!
4. There are a few cold spots on the ship…you might want to bring a sweatshirt or some type of lightweight jacket.
5. If you use a lot of internet time, consider buying an unlimited internet package. The price is $189 for the whole week or you can get two devices on one account for $229. Otherwise it is $59.90 for 24 hours of continuous access or $29.95 for 60 minutes of internet access that can be used throughout the cruise.
6. The Windjammer Buffet is a good alternative if you don’t want to sit through a lengthy meal or if you are going to be too late for dinner. Dinner in the Adagio Dining Room starts at 6pm. Be on time or go to the buffet or another restaurant…they won’t want to seat you if you are more than 15 minutes late and it disrupts the service to your tablemates.
7. Card Player Cruises has open seating within a designated area. On the first night of the cruise, tell the dining room greeter that you are with Card Player Cruises and you will be taken to our section. Disregard the table assignment listed on your room key, and instead, sit at any table containing a table tent that says Reserved for Card Player Cruises. If you want that table every night for dinner, please sign your name and table number on the table tent. Otherwise, the table will be open for anyone. It is best to stay at the same table every night because your servers will get to know your dining habits, beverage of choice, etc. Invite others to join your table…getting to know your fellow passengers is an important part of cruising.
8. If someone in your party doesn’t play a lot of poker and wants to meet up with others to go to shows or ship activities while their traveling companion is in the poker room, we will have an informal get together on the first night of the cruise to help facilitate. I suggest that the “poker widows/widowers” meet in the poker room at 7:30 on the first night for an exchange of cabin numbers and/or contact information.
9. The Allure of the Seas has great stabilizers. In fact, it is hard to tell that the ship is moving without looking outside. However, if you are prone to motion sickness, please buy some Bonine at your local drug store or stop by the Guest Services Counter to get some free seasick pills.
10. Bring a good attitude. We are each so lucky to be able to take such an amazing vacation. Remember the 10-year rule…if it isn’t going to matter in 10 years, don’t let it upset you now.

The poker room is located in the conference room on deck three in the front of the ship. Here are some poker room tips/rules for the Card Player Cruises cardroom:

1. Please wear your name badge at all times when you are in the poker room. We will provide you with a neck wallet carrier or with a clip, whichever your prefer. Also please use your name tag if you play table games in the casino in order to earn points towards free cruises, upgrades, etc.
2. Because we want everyone to enjoy the cruise, abuse of any kind will not be tolerated.
3. Please cash out if you are going to be gone from the table for more than 15 minutes.
4. Tournaments start on time…wake up calls are available.
5. The poker room will open after dinner on port days. On sea days, the cardroom opens at 9am and in the ports of Labadee (first week) and Nassau (second week), it opens at 1:30pm.
6. When opening the cardroom, there are no reserved seats in the live games. It is first come, first served. Please go directly to the game you wish to play; if the game you want to play is full, a list will be started.
7. A schedule of activities is available in the poker room. Please check it frequently to see if there are any changes. The seminar times and beginner’s lesson time will be on the schedule.
8. TDA rules are used in tournaments.
9. We have several “Survivor” tournaments during the week. This format is a cross between a satellite and a multi-table tournament. Survivor tournies usually last 2.5 to 3 hours. Occasionally the rounds need to be shortened by 2-5 minutes in order to end play in time for dinner. Play stops when the tourney is down to 20% of the field and those still in receive an equal share of the prize pool regardless of their chip count.
10. Please don’t put obstacles on the floor (chip racks, cup holders, plates, etc) that could cause an accident.
11. There will be satellites for the Card Player Poker Tour on the first few days of the Sept. 7 cruise. Signups for satellites and tournaments will be handled in the poker room.

On embarkation day, please come to the poker room (conference center deck 3) between 1 and 4pm to pick up your name tag. A mandatory fire drill will be held at 4:30pm, followed by our welcome aboard party at 5pm. We urge you to attend this party so we can introduce the staff, buy you a drink and disperse some very pertinent information about your cruise.

Travel safely!
Linda Johnson
Card Player Cruises

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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