The Allure is simply magnificent with a much wider promenade giving it a real upscale mall feel, incredible public spaces, touch screens with menus, schedules and maps, a gorgeous park, an incredible aqua theater, lots of restaurants and pools, a magnificent solarium......and an incredible layout which makes this tremendously huge ship feel comfortable. Add to this the unbelievable crew who were always cheerful and helpful and the amazing shows and you have the perfect cruise.
Cabin: We normally book suites only, but after reading reviews that we wouldn't spend much time in the cabin as first time on the Allure and my husband's desire to experience an inside room, we booked two large interior connecting rooms...11454and 11456. Though I did miss the fresh air, balcony, and views, the room was perfect. We had plenty of storage....even had unused space....the room was a nice size and layout, nice flat screen tvs. We were in a perfect location at the front of the ship just off the elevators but a couple doors away from the public area so it was quiet and private. I was also very happy to see that while there are many perks throughout the cruise for suite guests, we didn't feel like we were treated differently as inside cabin guests. I was very impressed by this. We had 2 adults in 11454 and 3 teenage boys in 11456. We were very comfortable.
Food: We ate most of our meals in the main dining room. Service was outstanding. Nothing was ever a problem. We have many special needs and requests, and we were so impressed that every need was met....on previous cruises things epwere always more problematic. The choices were good. Food was delicious. We loved the salad bar in the main dining room on sea days. We also ate in the Solarium which is so peaceful, cafe promenade which is fast and convenient, and loved the pizza in Sorrento. I also loved the Park Cafe located in Central Park. We had a 6pm dining time which was great for uses we are early sleepers.
Shows: Be sure to pre-book your shows on line as they do close out. I believe most people got in on standby. But already having a reservation saves you time and stress. Also be sure to arrive 15 minutes early or you may lose your seat. The OceanAria dive show in the aqua theater was phenomenal. We also loved Chicago though it was late and long. The comedy show was terrific....but not for kids. The BEST was the Blue Planet. Do not miss this. Incredible special effects. These three shows were really exceptional and would have cost over $120 per person in NYC or Las Vegas. The headliner show time was okay....typical cruise ship entertainment....it wasn't bad but I wouldn't be upset if we missed it. We are seeing the ice show today.
Public spaces: There are 5 pools and lots of jacuzzis. We loved relaxing in the solarium where it is quieter and has a tropical feel. You must be over 16 for this area. The kids area looked fun. The beach pool was unique. Jacuzzis were great. I loved relaxing in Central Park hitch really felt like a park. I loved the nature soundtrack that played giving it even more of a park feel. So relaxing. There are plenty of seats though out the ship. We also loved the Promenade. It is wider and fun to just sit in, people watch,shop, eat, and listen to music. The spaces are very wisely used. Cleanliness is exceptional. Gym has lots of equipment, okay views, but is very crowded. Basketball court is great. Mini golf is fun. Zip line and surfing had long lines.
Spa: Hated hated hated it....and I don't use that word lightly. I seriously doubt that this is run by RCCL....it must be be contracted out. A spa should be relaxing and this is not. First, I miss the ocean views of the other RCCL spas......but worst is the hard sell the spa uses. What a turn off. After a relaxing massage, I don't appreciate someone telling me everything wrong with me (things in my 48 years that I never knew we're a problem) that can be cured by purchasing their outrageously expensive products. Ruined the massage and made me not want to return. Save your money, get a massage when you get home, and enjoy the rest of the ship. I am still giving Alllure five stars, because the spa is so not like anything on the rest of the ship and I don't want to punish Allure for the nasty Vitality spa.
Ports: we have been to Labadee before. The private cabanas and beach are great. We chose to stay on the ship and really enjoyed the empty ship. Many people complained that the beach for non-suite guests was too rocky and had too much seaweed. I heard the same complaint in January. This is something RCCL should look into.. We also went to Jamaica and Cozumel. I have separate reviews for these ports on Trip Advisor. Getting on and off the ship was easy, fast and convenient.
Book shows and sign waivers online before boarding.
Don't miss Blue Planet, OceanAria, Chicago, and the comedy show.
If it is your first time, save money and get an inside cabin.
Arrive at least 15 minutes before the shows.
Leave written shout outs in the Cruise Directors box near guest services. It is fun to hear them on the morning show on tv and free.
Play and let your hair down....it is a really fun ship and you won't see the thousands of people again.
Relax in Central Park and the Solarium.
The spa......skip it.....the hard sell ruins everything. Save your money, get a better and less expensive massage at home where they won't point all all your flaws and create new ones and try to sell your outrageously expensive products.
Everything except the spa. This is truly an amazing and impressive ship from every aspect. Kudos to RCCL for creating perfection. Best cruise ever!!!! Can't thank RCCL enough.
Thank you to my travel agent for helping plan a magnificent cruise.
Our wait staff: karen Jason, Clifroy Brown, and Ryan Perriera for amazing service.
Our room steward, Christopher, who made us feel like suite guests in our inside cabin.
Ken Rush who may be the best cruise director on the sea....perfect presence, perfect demeanor.
Carlos Gueza in Guest Relations for whom nothing was ever a problem
Leroy and Angelica Mejdia who were amazingly helpful Inthe main dining room at breakfast and lunch.
And, really, Captain Tommy and his entire crew (except for the spa workers) who were so incredibly perfect.
Thank you Allure and the Seas and RCCL!