We just disembarked from the June 10 Allure of the Seas. Our family of seven picked the Allure after considering it vs the Disney Fantasy. We have sailed Disney in the past and really enjoyed it, but it is much more expensive. We were able to get staterooms with balconies (10712 and 10714) about 2 months prior to sailing. Adjoining rooms were no longer available for a family of our size. We booked late and got what we could get.
We arrived at the port earlier than we ever have. We got there at about 10:30 am and there was no line at check in. We had to wait in a section for gold members in order to board the ship. It was very organized and the seats were comfortable. The seats were actually the line so get seated as soon as you get there. We boarded the ship at about 11:30 am. I had no complaints. Smooth as can be. We didn't mind the wait. It was worth it because we totally took our time with check in and didn't have to worry about people being annoyed with our 5 children.
We skipped lunch and went straight up to the pool. We pretty much ate the free ice cream at the pool for lunch. The kids had a great time and my husband and I lounged with some drinks while the kids relaxed. We didn't partake in the whole Windjammer nonsense and we didn't regret it.
The ship is beautiful and we had a great time. We didn't get to do everything we wanted and we were busy the entire time.
Staterooms. D3 category is small. We did grand suites last year on the Freedom so we really felt the tightness. Our stateroom attendant was awesome enough to connect our balconies by removing the partition. The decor was adequate but there is an lack of opulence as compared to Disney. Bring your own tolietries because they are tight with them and the quality is poor. Disney's products are too die for so if you choose Disney defintely use what they've got! Balcony was small with 2 chairs and a table, but you have a beautiful oceanview. Unfortunately, our stateroom was next to a pair of chain smokers that lit up about every 15 minutes and never seemed to leave the room. This is not against the rules by the way. So, if you can't stand smoking and you get a balcony room you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Shows. We missed Chicago because we were too tired and I regret not trying to stay up. We LOVED Oceanaria! Don't miss it! Blue Planet was ok and could even be called boring. We missed Ice Games due to poor timing on my part (sorry kids!). The How to Train Your Dragon show was fun! We say Madagascar 3 on board which was fun!! My husband and I enjoyed to Comedy show. The second entertainer Miguel Washington I believe was hilarious!!! Headliner show was Beatlemania. I liked it and my husband loved it. Book your shows early online and try to make it!
Zipline. Too short! My husband and I ziplined in Honduras so this experience was disappointing. My son ziplined here for the first time and complained that he didn't feel his adrenaline pumping. Just my 2 cents!
Dining room. We had dinner here 5 nights which is the most we have ever done main dining room. Why so many time? Our waiters were really nice and were so patient with the kids. I was so happy with them because we had planned on going to all the speciality restaurants. Our husband and I have decided to reject the upcharged speciality restaurants in the future. Food was ok to great depending on the dish. Our waiters always made sure we liked our dish and if we didn't they made it right.
Bingo. We played for the first time and had a great time. Our kids enjoyed playing too. But, it's expensive. Play once and forget about it. It's still gambling! Adrian the Bingo King was a blast!
Ports: Bahamas- went to the Atlantis Adventure and had fun. I have some complaints though.
St Thomas- had a great time! St Maarten- had a great time!
Boardwalk. Don't miss the hot dogs!! Nice! We did the carosel as well. Johnny Rockets is free (if you can call it that) for breakfast which was nice.
WindJammer. I'm proud to say we went only once for breakfast. Kids loved it! The crowd was horrible!!! Check on your tv for the restaurant wait times. That was an awesome feature!!
Promenade. Sorrento's was ok. Kids like it. Did Cafe Promenade for quick pastries before Bahamas excursion because it departed so early.
Kids club. Kids had fun. I can't stand that they close from 12-2 pm and 5-7 pm. Your kids can only go if you sign them up early, and frequently there was an upcharge. Not happy about that. My 12 year olds kids club was not really a kids club. They get a place to hang out. He's shy and they really didn't get him to interact with anyone. I'm disappointed that he didn't meet any new kids.
I liked the drinks before shows. Get there early so you can get your drink on!! Prices are high, but you need to budget in plenty extra if you want to do what you want to do. Our incidentals were crazy high, but we expected it.
The ship. Huge!! I think that the ship loses some of it's beauty due to the size. It looks too boxy. We are thinking about doing the Freedom again next year because it's just as nice and costs less. Freedom is a prettier ship IMO.
Photos. I know they are expensive, but those photographers are good at what they do. We always buy the boarding photo and the wheel photos at every port. We also do our family photos on the cruise on formal night. It's a tradition that we plan on keeping. The photo prices are getting higher every year!!! If they get higher I might have to go to Olan Mills or something!
Last year I wrote about the nickel and diming. This year I got over it and PLANNED on a big incidental budget.
Water. We slapped a luggage tag on a big case of water. It made it to the room without difficulty. But, it did run out! Next year I will bring 2 cases! I talked about the availablity of water in my Freedom review last year.
Ken Rush. Funny cruise director. I wish I had gone to the Newlywed show because he made it look so fun (I watched it on tv).
There is too much to tell as usual! Have a great trip!!!