Just wanted to put out my review review of the Allure. I was traveling with my wife and 22 year old daughter and our friends who had their 22 YO DD along and their 26 YO son and future DIL. This was our 7th cruise and 5th on Royal. I must say that after doing a Carnival and Princess cruise that we prefer Royal Caribbean.
We flew out of Philly on Southwest and arrived on Saturday afternoon in FLL. After an uneventful flight we grabbed our luggage and called the SpringHill Suites number in Dania Beach and they picked us up within a few minutes. Check in was a breeze and we immediately signed up for the complimentary shuttle to the port for the next morning. This is a hotel that I highly recommend and would stay here again when in the FLL area without hesitation.
We took the 10:30 shuttle the next morning and arrived at Port Everglades. Our luggage was taken from the shuttle and we never saw it again until it arrived at our room. We than proceeded into the terminal and went through security and were immediately checked in with a Royal agent. We had a delay checking in as the computer would not take our picture for our sea passes. She finally gave up and told us that they would take our pictures when we got on the ship. We than proceeded upstairs and unfortunately the ship was not ready for any passengers yet. We than waited approx. 30 minutes until we were able to board. We also had an issue with our dining room tables being different. We had this cruise planned for over a year and a half and had linked all of our reservations together. More on this later.
I must say that I was quite impressed with the Allure when we boarded as this ship is huge and is nothing like we have done before. Once on board we walked around for a bit and checked out the pool area. After grabbing a bite to eat at the Wipeout Cafe we were able to gain access to our rooms. We were in 10622, our friends 10620, and our kids had 10629 and 10631. Ours were ocean balconies and the kids had central park balconies. Just a note that 10629 was a huge balcony and had a table, 2 chairs and also another smaller table and two additional chairs on it. We also requested to our stateroom attendant, Blanka from Poland that our balcony dividers be opened. She did this and we enjoyed having the additional space that this provided.
I then decided to go to the dining room to try and correct the table problem that Royal created. I spoke to the person in charge of this and he told us that for the first night or two we should keep the table assignments and that they would try and move us later. Being that everyone else was sitting together and my wife and I were separate we insisted that this was not going to happen as we were not going to eat separately from my daughter! He then went and got his boss and she immediately fixed the problem. She had a table for 8 in a side dining room and stated that this would only be for 1 night like this. I was fine with that and the next day we had a note in all of our rooms stating that our new table was on deck 3, # 125. If you take anything from this I would say to be respectful but stand your ground. They will try and make things right.
The next day we were in Nassau and just decided to get off the ship and walk around the shops. The locals were nice but I can't say that I was impressed with this port.
Day 3 was at Sea and we just lounged around the pool most of the day. It was a challenge to get a good chair if you weren't at the pool early as the chair hogs were out in force.
Day 4 was the day we enjoyed the most as were had chartered a sailboat for the day called the Rumbaba. We took a taxi to Red Hook and met up with the Capt. and he took us to St. John where we snorkeled, swam and had the best food of the trip as he grills Filet of Beef, Chicken Ahi Tuna or Mahi Mahi. He can only take 6 people on this trip so it is much more intimate that the cattle boats that you get on a ship sponsored tour.
Day 5 we were in St. Maarten where we walked from the ship to the beach in town. We grabbed 8 chairs and 4 umbrellas for $25.00. Being this is a slow time of the year they will give you a good deal. We stayed on the beach until about noon and than did some shopping where my wife and daughter got some jewelry at a local jeweler who we trust and have done business with in the past. Another beautiful day in St. Maarten. Right before we were leaving I noticed a male being escorted off the ship in handcuffs and placed in a Police car and taken away. Wonder what he did? Then as we had just moved away from the pier we immediately went back where we were delayed for approx. 40 minutes due to an ill passenger. The local ambulance arrived and took him away on a litter. Hope he was ok.
Day 6 and 7 were more of the same as they were sea days. Was hard to get a chair near the pool as it was quite busy.
We ate in the MDR 5 nights and had great service from Ronald and Florabeth. The food in our opinion was great and had no real complaints.
The Windjammer is just ok and would have to say the layout of this is really poor. There is no real flow and it seems like a free for all.
The Wipeout Cafe is a good option where you can get burgers, pizza, tacos and there is a soft serve yogurt machine in there.
We ate breakfast in the MDR on two occasions and would highly recommend. There is a buffet in there along with made to order off of the menu. Wish we would have done this earlier on this cruise.
As for the shows we saw Chicago, was a good production but not my cup of tea. Oceanaria was spectacular, the comedy show was great, the headliner show was the Texas Tenors and they were amazing but only on the ship for our cruise. Blue Planet was very well done also. We had reservations to all of the shows and we arrived approx. 30 minutes early and had no trouble getting seats. We enjoyed the piano player in the Schooner bar and sat in there a couple of nights while he was playing.
One other thing that I recommend is to NEVER use the elevators and burn those extra calories by using the stairs.
The last morning we were in group 90 and remained in our rooms until about 9:15 AM. We than went to the Amber theater and waited about 15 minutes until we were called off. When we entered the customs building they announced that we would be delayed about 15 minutes as there was a backup with Customs. We were seated for a short time and while waiting a Royal employee announced that the bathrooms were closed. He said that Broward County owns them and that nobody could use them. Luckily it did not seem to be much of an issue but has anyone ever heard of this before? We were then allowed to go claim our bags and got through Customs without any problems.
I had secured SAS transportation to the airport and I called the number and the driver was there in about 4 minutes. Our group of 8 was taken to the airport for $6.00 PP. I would highly recommend.
This is a wonderful ship and for the right price would probably go on her again. I would be just as happy on a smaller ship but I can now say that we have done the biggest out there.