My husband and I celebrate our birthdays on the same day, same year. We usually try to do something over this time of year. My husband travels for his job and not only spends a lot of time in airports, but also in traffic. I work from home. We decided only three weeks before our birthdays to do something so our options were limited. We have cruised for years and a cruise seemed like the right choice, we don't have to drive, we don't have to fly anywhere, and everything is included.
I recommend arriving the pier after 1:30pm. RCCL does offer a lounge for their Platinum Members, but since we arrived after 1:30pm, we were able to walk right onboard. When you have 4,000 passengers boarding a ship, everything must run like clockwork and on RCCL it does.
Our cabin looked out over the Boardwalk and did have an oceanview that could only be seen from the balcony. This interior balcony lacks privacy. The Mexican Rita restaurant was below and it was loud (VERY loud) until 11pm every night. Imagine having a room above Carlos and Charlie's in Cozumel, or Senior Frog's in Mexico. Our cabin steward was "new" to this size of ship but he was always smiling and did an excellent job. I was surprised that an ice bucket is only available upon request. Once you request the ice bucket it is delivered and restocked twice each day. Two glasses are brought at this time, seemed weird, but oh well. The refrigerator on board is stocked with a couple of Cokes and some candy bars, but they are not free. The cabin is ample in size, but I would never again book a cabin with a balcony and a interior view, no privacy and to loud in to the evening. I spoke to some people that had a balcony faces the Central Park and they complained about the noise as well.
I made reservations at a few specialty restaurants before we left. I secured the Mexican Restaurant for $20.00 per person and it included three Margarita's per person and dinner. Dinner was poor and the drinks were weak. It was family style with marginal food. We had reservations one night in the Chinese Restaurant and I'm sorry, but if I'm going to spend over $75.00 for dinner, I don't want babies sitting inches from me and mom and auntie talking load and singing songs and reading children books. Very disrespectful to the people around them. It ruined our dining experience. Central Park 150 was excellent, the service was amazing, the food was wonderful and the atmosphere was very upscale. The cost was $40.00 per person for a 7 course meal. The menu was presented with our names embossed. The also offer a different wine choice with each course for an additional $75.00. The Brazilian Restaurant was expensive and the service was not up to RCCL par, we waited 45 minutes for meat to be served and I had to waive down the manager to get service. The music was loud and food was over cooked. I actually witnessed one couple getting up and leaving. We ate dinner one night at Vintage and had wine and tapas for dinner. This was very good and fit the bill one night. We ate in the main dining room twice and found the food to be less than perfect. Truthfully, I rarely complain about food onboard a cruise. If I'm not cooking it and cleaning up, it's perfect. But I do expect the food to be better than what I can cook and I prefer.
The Solarium pool area was for adults only (over 16) and that is were spend the days. A small pool and two large hot tubs. The staff working in this area was awesome, always a smile and ready if assistance was needed.
We only got off the ship in St. Thomas for a great lunch at Cuzzins and a stop in to Cardow Jewlery.
My overall impression is that I am not their target audience. The Allure is great for large families for children, teens, parents and grandparents. Too many people for us. We think that the staff onboard was amazing and really do everything to make their guests happy.
We have seen the show Chicago, and since it isn't one of my favorites we didn't go. We considered going to the Comedy Show but every show was sold out. I hate the fact that you have to make reservations to see a show. A cruise used to be a non thinking mans vacation, you got onboard and you didn't have to worry about anything. Now you have to plan for everything or you miss out.