Since I have spent the last 3 months reading everything I could about the Allure of the Seas - I thought it only proper that I write a review upon our return,
I will try not to repeat all that has already been written - if I don't mention it that means I agree with the consensus.
Embarkation: As Easy as everyone says!
Cabin: We had an outside ocean view cabin and it was SMALL! We have cruised quite a bit and it seemed to my husband and me (as well as other friends who happened to be on the cruise) that the cabins are SMALL! SOOO small! And this was an outside stateroom with a balcony. The storage space - VERY LIMITED - which I was surprised by because I had not read that anywhere on Cruise Critic. One little closet for both of us and about three drawers. That's all folks! Not trying to harp on the negative but I hadn't been forewarned about that so I was surprised - You Have Now Been Officially Warned - don't overpack!
Dining Room: just as EVERYONE says - we have travelled RCCL since 1995 and the Dining Room food used to be so good you'd come home 5 pounds heavier - those days are GONE! The food is passable - its edible - its ok - but no worries YOU WILL NOT GAIN 5 POUNDS! I hope Royal Caribbean is reading these reviews - they have to make some changes - such a disappointment!
Giovanni's table: is the only specialty restaurant we made it to - and it was DELICIOUS! I ate too many appetizers and had no room for dinner - but it was absolutely wonderful and worth every dime!
POOL AREA: On ship days it is VERY hard to find chairs - especially in the shade. One whole side of the pool is smoking area and since smoking and sun worshipping must go hand in hand there were lots of available shaded chairs on that side - none on the non-smoking side. We ended up sitting under the stairwell and getting dripped on as everyone went up. There are signs about not reserving chairs but everyone does - MY ADVICE - GET TO THE POOL EARLY AND SAVE CHAIRS!
Adventure Ocean and kids programs: My 8 year old son NEVER left the kids program - literally he was there from 10:00 am - 2:00 am when we let him. When we forced him to come out he did, reluctantly, and then right back as soon as he could. The staff are wonderful! We have been to many all-incluisves and the staff here are by far the BEST! Fun, energetic and more into the kids than each other - that has not always been the case. My 11 year old had friends in the 12-14 group and longed to be with them. When I asked if she could switch they are REALLY nice about it - while they do not love doing this they could tell she was miserable on her own and really - WHAT's the BIG DEAL! We were at Club Med in Cancun over WinterBreak and my younger son was a month shy of turning 8 and they forced him to be in the 5-7 year old group and he was MISERABLE! So, this was so refreshing - and she had a blast. For my 13 year old son - the sports court was his home away from home- he was there 24/7 - there was always organized basketball game, dodge ball game, or a pickup game - in addition to all of the million of teenagers on board due to Spring Break - needless to say he had a blast! CANT SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THE KIDs PROGRAMS - Very well run and great original programming!
Shows: Here is my take - I saw them all: definitely sign up in advanced. Aqua Show - AWESOME! Chicago - slow at times but ok, Ice Games - PASS; Blue Planet - very clever, Headliner -= funny and talented Las Vegas Singer - Comediens - not funny night we saw them but apparently hysterical the next night.
Labadee - Kinda boring - BIG TIP - there is a fun water playground. They sell tickets by time slots. By the time we got there they were all sold out and so my kids didn't get to go on - it looked like fun - so book the time slots on line if possible or get off ship early enough to do it - we took our sweet time and missed the boat (not literally)
Jamaica - Booked through JamaicaForADay the day at the Hilton - really nice - they have little water park, beach, pool, drinks, food - really nice way to spend the day
Cozumel - Did Great Race Cozumel - it was a blast - I was in it to win it - but we came in 8th place (our 8 and 11 yr old really slowed us down! Why did we have kids??) but it was LOTS of fun and a great work out - not for the out of shape or those who don't really want to run around Cozumel - I loved it!
Workout Facility: Really Great - I loved the jogging/walking track - it goes all the way around the ship - 12 times around is 5 miles - great way to burn off the dessert we ate night and day - most of it in the shade - very well designed.
Breakfast - skip the Windjammer - SOOO crowded impossible to find a table. Eat breakfast at Solarium Bistro - pretty place to eat inside or out - big healthy selection (and some not so healthy options too)
We ate lunch in the Windjammer bc it was so convenient -lunch not so crowded bc its staggered - big selection - always can find something.
Royal Promenade - Alive and Pulsing 24/7 - now that I am home I am missing the excitement of the ship and the Royal Promenade happenings - it was really the place to be.
Staff - REALLY nice! However, our Stateroom attendant came onto our balcony from the balcony next door early in the morning as I was out there reading in my not-that-covered-up night gown - without any warning - just came right through - kind of odd! I told him he should have give a little notice but he sort of ignored that - just a word of warning - those partitions between balconies are REMOVABLE!
Also loved Central Park and Boardwalk but trying not to repeat other reviews.
Well, thats all the I can think of - I too wish there were more general entertainment options at night - sometimes the shows are early and you are done with dinner around 9 and then not too much left to do - there's always live music somewhere but I almost wished there were general entertainment options at night like there used to be - but we went to the game shows and Love and Marriage show was funniest ever!
ENJOY! Truly an Experience!!