My family and I sailed on the Allure of the Seas on May 27, 2012 for a 7 night cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. This cruise was a celebration of my graduation and my aunt and uncles anniversary. This was my 8th cruise and 5th on Royal Caribbean, I had previously been on the Allure last March for spring break.
Pre Cruise Hotel: A
We booked the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Airport hotel for our pre cruise stay because it was cheaper than most of the other hotels and offered a cruise package. I was slightly worried about the hotel because leading up to the cruise I read some highly negative reviews that the hotel and service was sub par to the Hilton standard. These worries were short lived though once we arrived at the hotel. The staff was more than willing to help you with whatever you might have needed. The hotel itself was older but it was very nice and the beds were comfortable. Being that we only stayed at the hotel for one night it met our needs perfectly.
Previously having sailed on the Allure I already knew how seamless the embarkation process was. We arrived at the port 12:00 and immediately a porter came and met us to take our luggage. My grandparents luggage tags got lost in the mail so we were worried that there might have been an issue of getting them luggage tags. There was no problem though the porter that helped us(I wish I could remember his name) went and printed them off luggage tags and we were on our way to check in. Having four rooms in total we were worried the check in process would take a little bit longer, but by 12:30 we were heading up the gangway in to the magnificent Allure of the Seas.
Even though I had been on the Allure last year, walking on still took my breath away. I found things that I didn't even know existed last year. All the public areas were extremely well maintained and always clean. There have been many reviews that claim you will never be able to find a chair on the pool deck. We never had an issue with this. Every time we went to the pool, and we never went early, we were able to find a chair. No, they were never right beside the pool but they were only a few rows back. Another issue that has been discussed on many reviews is the issue with the elevators. Yes, the elevators can be slow sometimes especially after shows but its not horrible. If you really needed to get somewhere quickly just take the stairs and stop complaining.
Our cabin was a Boardwalk view balcony and the cabin number was 9715. I was extremely happy with our cabin and its location. Our room set up was with the bed by the balcony and I liked it much better than the bed by the closet. With the bed by the balcony you had a TON more room to reach the closet and did not feel cramped. Even with two girls in our room we had more than enough room for storage of our clothes and our four suitcases fit easily underneath the bed. Our room steward Sean was absolutely amazing. He always would talk to you in the halls, always had a smile on his face, and was always singing. He never failed to say hello to you and see how your day was going each and every day.
I personally, did not eat at any specialty restaurants during the week. I did not see the point of paying extra for dinner when the MDR food was so good. For breakfast and lunch we would either go to the Windjammer which has a very wide selection of food that isn't bad at all, the Solarium which had more healthy food and was a very good option for my vegetarian aunt or the Park Cafe were you could make your own bagels in the morning or make your own salads in the afternoon and had a variety of sandwiches. We had the late seating in the MDR every night. The food every day was very good and I never had anything that I didn't like. My aunt that is vegetarian never had an issue finding something that she could eat and said all of the options were very good. Our head waiter was Ceasar, our waiter was Boni and our assistant waiter was Martins and they were all amazing!
All of the shows were absolutely amazing! We went to Chicago, Blue Planet, Oceanaria, and Ice Games. The cast in all of these shows were extremely talented and made the shows very fun to watch. Our cruise director Anna Bass was great also.
Nassau: We did the Atlantis Aquaventure since I have always wanted to go to Atlantis. Yes, it was expensive but I believe it was worth it. The pools do not open until 9 and the slides do not open until 10 so we were able to go to the aquarium and go to the beach before we started going on the slides. The not so lazy river was a ton of fun and would even bring you up in to some of the slides that you needed a tube for. The grounds of Atlantis are absolutely stunning and we had a great day.
St. Thomas: We decided not to do an excursion and just shop. Where you dock you have to take an open air bus to downtown to the shopping and to other places. I think it was $5 to get downtown. We walked around and shopped for a few hours then we took a cab to Maegans Bay. The cab to Maegans was $8 and to get in was $4. Maegans bay was absolutely stunning and it was not over crowded. I recommend it to anyone.
St. Maarten: We just shopped and went to Maho Bay. If you have never heard of Maho Bay it is the beach that is right behind the airport and you can watch airplanes land right over your head.
We decided to do the luggage valet so we did not have to deal with our bags through customs. With luggage valet, after you put you bags in the hall the last night you do not see them until your final destination. Getting through customs was easy and next thing I know we were pulling away from the Allure and heading back to the real world:(
We all had an amazing vacation without any major problems. The only problem we had was after the first night of dinner my grandparents got a letter in their stateroom that another family from another table had requested that they be moved to their table. The next day my grandmother went to the MDR and they fixed it right away. It was an amazing cruise and I can not wait to go on the next one!