I literally read each and every review of the Allure on Cruise Critic before our trip and am very excited to now be writing a review of my own. This was my fourth cruise (second with RCCL) and I traveled with my husband, mom, and dad. My mom had been on one previous cruise 20+ years ago and this was my dad's first. We all had a great time and the cruise far exceeded each of our expectations.
EMBARKATION-We arrived at the pier around 11:00 am (do not listen to the documents you may receive saying the ship doesn't board until 2pm, this is not true). While we were very impressed with the efficiency of boarding so many passengers the process wasn't a quick 15 min for us like many people mentioned. We were on the ship by 12:00 and our rooms were ready by 1:00. Still not bad for the volume of passengers boarding! When we exited the ship we chose the express walk-off option where we carried our own luggage off the ship. I would highly recommend this, we were off and on the road by 6:45 am.
SHIP-The ship was absolutely incredible in every way! I looked at hundreds of photos of the Allure before our trip and they could not compare to seeing the ship in person. It was truly impressive, every detail was perfect. The neighborhoods were great, I loved them all. While the ship was huge I found it very well laid out and easy to navigate. I do not agree with the people who thought that the ship was too large, everyone in our group said they would have a very hard time going back to anything smaller.
We had a Central Park View cabin on deck 9 midship. I was very impressed with our room, it seemed to be very large by cabin standards and was very comfortable. The bed was great and the bathroom was very nice and well laid out. I enjoyed the location of our room, it was very easy to get everywhere and was very quiet as well.
For everyone who suffers from seasickness this paragraph is for you! Several people in my party (INCLUDING myself) suffer from motion sickness and were a little nervous before the cruise. I had a bad experience with seasickness on the Disney Dream last December and it almost prevented me from taking another cruise (our entire party was sick the entire cruise despite trying various prevention methods such as the patch/dramamine/ect). I am very pleased to say that the Allure is the most stable ship I have ever been on. Yes we were blessed with good weather but I felt almost NO motion on the ship whatsoever. There were two occasions where we left dock during dinner and I had no idea we had left.
DINING-There were a lot of dining choices on board which was great. I think the food on this cruise was better than past cruises but it was still cruise food. They are feeding 6,000+ people all day long at once so you can only expect so much. The MDR food was ok but the service was fabulous. We also ate at several specialty restaurants. We started with 150 Central Park which we all hated. I guess it was not the best choice for us since we are not the most adventurous eaters but we couldn't eat more than a bite of any course, it was a little embarrassing. By the forth course the manager noticed we weren't enjoying the food and was kind enough to move us to Chops grill which we loved. We ate there two nights and had the best food on board as well as great service. We also at at Giovanni's Table which was ok but Chops was definitely the best. The ship never felt crowded to me (in fact it felt less crowded than smaller ships I have been on because of the huge public areas) except in the Windjammer. Like many people have said just avoid it. The food is not great and there are so many better options. Johnny Rockets is good for breakfast and we really liked Park Cafe and Royal Promenade Cafe for both breakfast and lunch.
ENTERTAINMENT-This ship had by far the BEST entertainment of any ship I have ever been on. There was so much to do and the quality of the entertainment was very impressive. Ocean Aria was wonderful and the comedy show was the funniest show I have ever been to. We were all laughing so much we cried the entire time. Also, if you are an adult don't miss the Quest game show. It was hilarious and although it says "scavenger hunt" you are not running around the ship looking for things.
We spent most of our sea days in the adults-only Solarium. It was very peaceful and we didn't have a problem finding a chair overlooking the water. They also serve delicious drinks there that I am really missing. At night if we weren't at a show the Casino was great, we also checked out Blaze and the Jazz Club.
SERVICE-The service on the ship was wonderful. Everyone was so helpful and happy and really made our cruise experience special.
Nassau-We have been to Nassau before (we previously went to the Atlantis) and weren't particularly excited to go back. We booked an excursion to Blue Lagoon and did the Sea Lion Encounter. I am so glad we did this excursion. We took a lovely 45 min boat ride to Blue Lagoon and really got to see another side to Nassau. There are beautiful parts of Nassau that you will never see if you stay close to port. Blue Lagoon itself was gorgeous and very tranquil. We loved swimming with the Sea Lions just as much the Dolphins but they also offer Dolphin swims if you prefer.
St.Thomas-This was our first Eastern Caribbean cruise and we loved St.Thomas. It had a beautiful landscape and was very different from the Western Caribbean. We did a lovely island and beach tour and ended up at beautiful Meagan's Bay.
St.Martin-Loved St.Martin, did the Jeep/Aquaboat adventure which was the highlight of all of the excursions for most of our group. We all really enjoyed it!
Overall, we loved the Allure of the Seas and can't wait to go back! It was the perfect family vacation and it is hard to think of anything to complain about, I had the best time. If you are going soon be very excited as I am sure you will love it!