Well, we just got back this morning from our 7 day jaunt on the Allure of the Seas. This is going to be detailed and I will be totally honest. We have now sailed on both the Oasis and now the newer Allure and yes it's 11mm longer.
Embarkation: We decided to use a VERY local parking garage called Air and Sea Parking and we are glad we did. It's usually $70 a week, but we had a Groupon for 50% off and I had $10 in Groupon dollars so it was only $25 to park for the whole week. We checked in and they quickly loaded up a van and drove us to the port about 10 minutes drive away. Check in was VERY quick and everything was in order. We waited in the upper area for about 20 minutes and before we knew it...we were on the ship. We got there earlier than last year...around 11:30 in the morning.
Room: We had a cabin with a balcony that overlooked Central Park...just like we had on the Oasis. The bed seemed bigger this time and was considerably more comfy on this ship!!! It was heaven to sleep in. However, the pillows are either too thin or too thick. The air was perfect temperature, but we had to keep it on the coldest setting to make it that way. The bathroom was perfect and the shower, though small, was easy to move around. The clam-shell design is genius. We never had an issue getting body wash, shampoo or anything else. Our stateroom attendant was wonderful and she provided us with anything we needed and made the coolest animals with the towels. They do have a dock to plug in your iPhone or iPod and listen to the music, but you will have to remove any case or protector for it to fit. My Otter-box was too difficult to take off, so I just brought my own charger and headphones. No problems.
Ship in General: The ship, like the Oasis, is beautiful and has some great art everywhere. The Allure seemed less festive than the Oasis though. It was more tame than we remembered. The bars were great and most made a good drink. But, no bartenders impressed me more than Adrian and K-Mar in Boleros!!! They were the best and made great conversation too. You must ask for them when you go!!! Ask them to make their famous BBC (Banana, Baileys and Colada). It was heaven in a glass. The Casino was lively and well lit. I have no complaints in any of the vendors.
Shops: The shops were fun, but it was hard to stave off the vultures that will rip your eyes out at a chance to get closer to the tables for $10 dollar watch sets. haha. Prince and Greene is a great shop, but we were insulted by Janine two times. My wife and I were trying to ask about several pieces of crystal jewelery and she kept blowing us off. Then, I bought a Michael Kors watch and when I picked it up after the sizing there was some plastic in the clasp. I asked her if she could help and she said "You are soooo needy". I said I didn't think so, but she said "Yes, you kinda are." I was really insulted. Outside of that, there are great deals to be had, especially the Invicta watches.
Adagio 4 Dining Room: Our server, Jane and Genuin, were wonderful. They pegged me as a seafood lover and we were waited on hand and foot. They were the best!!!!! We had the same table each night we ate in there for a table for two. It really is a well oiled machine. The food choices were great, but warm rolls would have been nice, but they were still soft in the middle and tasty. Lobster night on the last formal night was great and they will keep bringing you lobster until your cholesterol reaches maximum capacity. haha.
150 Central Park: Do not miss this experience. It was amazing having flavors I had never even known existed. The end of the meal includes meeting the celebrity chef as well!!!
Samba Grill: Miss this experience. If you have EVER been to a real Brazilian Steakhouse like Texas de Brazil...you will be disappointed. I describe the meats as a total nightmare. Each cut of meat was tasteless and I had to ask the manager what the problem was. Well, being that you cannot have an open flame on a commercial cruise ship, you really can't "grill". So, the meats are cooked in other ways, but even with that, we tasted no seasonings at all. The salad bar was great, but it's not worth $25 a person. The manager refunded us all our money, including the bottle of water and glass of wine we had too. So, he knew it wasn't that great as well.
Sorrento's Pizza: Fun way to enjoy a pizza snack. You can even build your own pizza with some of the specialty items, but it takes about 15 minutes and they will bring it to your table.
Cupcake Cupboard: They had any type of cupcake you can think of and were moist and delicious!!! They only cost just $2.75 and were big enough to share.
Chicago: This was a great show with fun dancing, singing and surprises. There were no real scene changes, but the story and the talent kept you totally engaged!!
Blue Planet: This was a great show with good music and singing. Some of the effects were really well done and it was a really exciting show.
Aqua Theater: This was a great diving show, but the story was a little lost. As the others, great effects and acrobatics...worth watching.
Comedy Show: They always get really good comedians and we had 2 really good ones! We laughed until we cried.
Headliner-Abbacadabra: These people embody the classic group, ABBA. They sounded like them and had their own band that takes you right back to the 70s completely! How they do this several times throughout the cruise, is a miracle. If you close your eyes, you would think you were listening to ABBA's greatest hits!!!
Debarkation: It couldn't be easier. We slept in and missed them calling our tag number, but we were told we get get off any time we wanted before 10am. So, we headed out onto the gangway and within 10 minutes we were outside where the van from Air and Sea Parking was waiting for us.
We had a great time, but I think we will try the Freedom of the Seas next or perhaps a sister line, Celebrity!