My wife and I cruised on the Allure of the Seas, June 10 -- 17, 2012 Eastern Caribbean. We have only cruised on one other ship and that was the Carnival Conquest. So to compare the 2 ships against each other would be extremely unfair. That being said, I'm going to do it anyway.
Pre-cruise we stayed at the Embassy Suites on 17th Street. It is a very impressive hotel. We had a room, with a small balcony, on the 11th floor with a view of the port. We could very easily see the Oasis from our room. From our room, we watched the Oasis leave and the Allure arrive.
Embarkation was amazingly fast. We arrived at the port at 11:30 and on the ship at 11:55. We also did the luggage valet option for debarkation. Don't remember exactly what time we left (tears in the eyes), but we were in a taxi headed to FLL in about 10 minutes.
We had a forward starboard balcony cabin on the Allure. We had the same location and room type on the Conquest. On both ships we ate at the MDR several times. The Conquest had both a forward MDF and an aft MDF, but for some reason we were assigned to the aft MDR. On day 2 on the Allure we had to walk all the way from our forward cabin to the MDR, then after dinner all the way back forward to the Amber Theater. We found that we had to follow this scenario several times during our cruise. Conquest being a smaller ship required much less walking. The walking is not a problem for me, but is for my wife. Food quality, service, and selection in the MDR were much better on the Allure.
Our cabin had plenty of storage for the 2 of us, once we slid our luggage under the bed. Bed was much bigger than I expected. RCCL says that the 2 twin beds make a queen. I believe that it is actually a little bigger than a queen.
I also think on the Conquest that you could purchase an alcohol card as well as a soda card. The alcohol card included beer, mixed drinks, and I think some wines. No such option with RCCL. I think it would be great for RCCL to do this because the cost of alcohol is outrageous. But it's outrageous on all cruise lines.
My wife, as well as some other cruisers we talked with, would have like to have steps on one end of the pools. Steps would greatly increase access to the pools for older people.
The Allure appeared to be more effected by wind than the Conquest. Seas calm, wind up, ship's a rocking. I guess that the ship is so big that there is more surface area for the wind to catch. But it didn't rock enough to bother us at all. As a matter of fact we liked the pools becoming wave pools.
Overall we very much enjoyed the cruise and would go again, but we would get a mid-ship cabin. We probably won't cruise again until 2015 as that will be our 30th anniversary year. At that time I would like to go on one of the Project Sunshine ships, but don't know anything about them except that they are going to be a little larger than the Freedom class ships. So, they might not even leave from a US port or have the itinerary that I like. If that's the case, then we will probably go on the Freedom of the Seas Western Caribbean.
Happy Cruising to All!!!