After taking a carnival cruise last year it was good to be back to RCCI. We stayed at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort precruise. It was a lovely hotel on the beach with an incredible ocean view from our room. We took a car service from the airport as the hotel does not have a shuttle. It was $68 for five people, a bit expensive, we took a different service to the port, cheaper at $49. Check in was fifteen minutes from curb to on deck. If you go at noon the crowds are pretty much nonexistent.
The ship is beautiful. They are several things I noticed right away which make this class of ship different from other RCCI ships. The hallways are wider and very bright. The doors open outward. The shower has been made bigger and the bathroom configuration is better. The stairs are central and wide and bright so that using the stairwell is easier. The elevators are larger. On the whole this ship is easier to get around. The public areas are luxurious and well planned, at no time, even on sea days were you aware of the amount of people on board. We had a balcony cabin and the balcony is larger than we have had before. The beds were very, very comfortable and all staff we met were friendly and helpful.
We had early dining, deck three table 208. We lucked out and had a table by the window. The food in the main dining room was very good, I have no idea how anyone could complain. We ate at the windjammer breakfast and lunch. Lots of selection and also by good. We tried room service, it was great and prompt. We also ate at Johnny Rockets, typical for that restaurant and Sorrentos. The pizza was good. We tried the hotdogs, I didn't care for them, they are American hotdogs which I find very mushy inside, but if you are used to that they are probably good. Chops Grille is very well done, great food.
Our itinerary was Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Nassau we did undersea explorer, it was fun and I enjoyed seeing all the undersea life. My son went diving using the RCCI excursion and said it was excellent. We were scheduled to see Ocean Aria the next day but it was too windy. We saw it the following night. Wow! That has to be the most incredible show I have seen. Book it. We saw the headliner, an impressionist who sang. Not my taste but the older crowd liked it. We also saw blue planet, parts of it were very good, parts a little boring. This was the first show for a new cast so perhaps it gets better. The parts that were good we're phenomenal. St. Thomas we shopped, my son dove again, said it was a good dive, not as good as Nassau. St. Maarten three of our group had booked the America's Cup and were left sitting on the dock for a couple of hours to find out that they has been forgotten about. Very disappointing since it meant missing the opportunity to dive and missing out on other excursions they could have taken, it pretty much ruined the day for them even though they were refunded. I would have to say be cautious in booking this as they did not seem to be very well organized. For those of us not spending our time sitting on the dock waiting in the hot sun, we explored the downtown. It is charming and friendly. There is a beach right in town and you can rent beach chairs.
Allure of the seas is a ship among ships. I will book this ship exclusively from now on, it is that incredible. There is always something to do if you want, no crowds. Good food and friendly staff. A wonderful week that went by too fast.