Allure of the Seas â€“ September29 â€“> October 6, 2013 Saturday, September 28, 2013 â€“ Travel day Well, Iâ€™m in LAX now and Iâ€™ll be boarding in about one hour. It has been an interesting morning so far, but more on that later. This is my 24[SUP]th[/SUP] cruise and my ninth with Royal Caribbean (I am Diamond). This is my first cruise on the Allure OTS (I have not been on the Oasis OTS). When other vacation plans did not work out I started looking for an in expensive cruise to take. Royal Caribbean was offering a Central Park view balcony for about $1400 for the cabin. This is far below the prices of $2,500 plus Iâ€™ve been seeing for balcony cabins on the Oasis / Allure OTS. After a price reduction I was able to upgrade to an ocean view balcony cabin for free. My cabin is directly across from the Diamond Lounge. At any rate, I woke up this morning, moved my luggage down stairs and waited for the taxi. I had a reservation for 7:54am. When the taxi should have arrived and it hadnâ€™t I called the cab company. Seems they were busy and would have someone there in 10 â€“ 15 minutes. That was unacceptable. I made a reservation for the taxi several days ago, so the company had plenty of time to make sure it was properly staffed. I cancelled the taxi and went to plan â€œBâ€, which as luck would have it is actually a little less expensive, but also a little less convenient. My original plan was to take a taxi to the FlyAway bus ($15), take the bus to the airport ($8) and take a shuttle back home ($50 - $73 total). I cancelled the shuttle and drove to the FlyAway. Parking is $4/day ($36) and the round trip bus fare is $16 making the total $52. Once on the bus the driver had to inform some of the passengers that their luggage went on the earlier bus. Since on their last trip they had their luggage stolen (in Mexico out of their locked car), they were a little concerned. However, the earlier bus just made an extra loop around LAX and was waiting for them with their luggage in front of their terminal. As I mentioned earlier, I was looking for an inexpensive cruise, so in keeping with that theme I looking into flying on mileage rather than purchasing the airfare. American was offering a coach class ticket for 37,500 miles or first class seat for 50,000 miles. I went with the first class ticket. These are not the flights I would normally book myself, leaving at midday, having only a 45 minute connection in Dallas and arriving in Fort Lauderdale at 8:30pm, but for $10 round trip in first class Iâ€™m not complaining too much. Boarding will begin in about forty minutes, so Iâ€™ll be back at you this evening after a late dinner, unless the plane has a power port, in which case Iâ€™ll update things on the plane. Well, here I am, somewhere over New Mexico. We left forty minutes late and I have a 45 minute connection. I prefer connection times in the sixty to ninety minute range, but then again these tickets only cost $10, so I took it, and I get to spend the next six hours wondering if my luggage will make it. Oh boy, it sure has been a fun day so far. Some people have an expanded idea of how tall the overhead bins are. There were people trying to stuff carry-ons that were fatter than they were wide into the overhead bins. They did not look too happy when they had to check the items. However, I donâ€™t think that is what really delayed us. The captain mentioned some safety issue and then LAX is not well designed for moving aircraft to and from the taxiways and runways. Hopefully things will work out. On board the stewardess asks me what I want to drink. I answer orange juice. Then she says all we have is shrimp. Huh? I think about that answer for a while before realizing she is referring to the meal. The shrimp was actually pretty good and other than the salad was the only thing on the plate I recognized. I donâ€™t know what the other stuff was, but it tasted pretty good. Way below us is another plane. Since we are not gaining on it, it must be a jet, but it is pretty low. It is too far away for me to tell exactly what it is. Iâ€™m guessing it is a business jet getting ready to land. The plane is making all sorts of turns. The captain informs us that air traffic is routing him around weather. Iâ€™m looking at my watch figuring Iâ€™ll be landing while my connecting flight is taking off on the adjacent runway (this actually happened to me once on a business trip). Well, we should be landing in about an hour, so Iâ€™m going to get back to my Bejeweled game until we have to shut everything down. There is an electrical outlet between the seats, so I am not using any of my laptop's battery power. I made it to my connecting flight with the cabin door almost hitting me in the back side as I boarded. We left the gate ten minutes late, so I hope my luggage made it. Right now we are either flying north or the sun is not setting in the west. We got rerouted twice while on the ground. So first we head to one end of the airport and then to the other end. I wish we could have spent that time sitting at the gate. Another ten minutes at the gate and I could have been sure of my luggage making the flight. My arrival at baggage claim will be like Christmas, hoping to find a big blue present with roller wheels under the tree (or on the carousel). I hope the captain knows where he is going. He said the flying time would be two hours and 33 minutes. However, the flying time from LAX to DFW was supposed to be two hours and 27 minutes and FLL is closer to DFW than LAX is. Perhaps someone forgot to allow for the one hour time change. The good news is now the sun is behind us, so we are turning in the right general direction. The captain has just informed us that we did take off to the north and we will be going over Tennessee so the flight is going to take an hour longer as we are dodging weather. And this folks is the reason for flying in a day early â€“ especially if my luggage did not make the flight. There are later flights from DFW to FLL and American can put my luggage on a later flight and Iâ€™ll still get it in time. So with everything sorted out, more or less (I hope), it is back to my game. See you in FLL. Good evening. It is 11:30pm local time. I made it â€“ and so did my luggage. I think flying first class saved me because I arrived at LAX early, so my luggage would have been early on and thus last off. However, first class gets priority luggage, and thus it was early off when we landed at DFW and was the fifth piece of luggage off in FLL. I had a hamburger at the hotelâ€™s bar/restaurant ($12 but it was good) and now Iâ€™m back in the room taking advantage of the free Internet service. This is the first expensive hotel Iâ€™ve been in that doesnâ€™t charge a small fortune for Internet use. In the past, the more expensive the hotel, the more expensive the Internet use was. I'm at the Hyatt Pier 66 hotel with a view of the cruise ship harbor. Iâ€™ll have a view of the Allure once it docks. Iâ€™ll take a few pictures and then head over to the pier to board. So, hopefully, the next time we chat Iâ€™ll be on the ship. So for now, good night.