Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by nycruiser80: Amazing Ship!
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
A little about myself, I am 31 and sailed with my partner who is 34 and his family. I have been on many cruises many of which have been with RCI but I have also sailed many other lines as well. Also in our party were two first time cruisers so it was interesting to see this cruise through "their eyes".
Was pretty much as advertised. It took us 20 minutes to board and the process was rather easy however it was faced paced but they are embarking 6200 people.
I was in a category Q cabin on deck 8 number 8675. These are the smallest rooms on the ship nevertheless they were roomy enough! The beds were against the wall not in the parallel position. The TV is large and the interactive system was great but a bit cumbersome to use at first. Storage space seemed average for 2. I liked the location I had - it was very convenient to Central Park in addition to the elevator/stair lobby. Despite Dazzles being right near me I never heard a thing going More to sleep at night.
We visited Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Martin. I have been to these places before but tried some different things. In Nassau I went to see the Atlantis. As I expected it is a huge place and the aquariums were nice but I would not return again. In St. Thomas I went to St. John and Trunk Bay. What a lovely place, I would definitely go to St. John again much more peaceful then St. Thomas. In St. Martin I did a 2 hour island tour then took a cab to Maho Beach to see the airplanes land. Personally this was a highlight for me!
I have read so much on here about the food on the Allure. In fact, one of the 1st time cruisers who sailed with me was google-ing (is this a word?) Allure of the Seas reviews and found the many reviews on Cruise Critic. They too read how many people felt the food was sub-par and the portions where getting small. Luckily we found the opposite, the food was good and the portions seemed rather generous! I know food is subjective and people have different expectations however for cruise ship food that is served to over 6,000 people the food was very good. This included the main dining room and special restaurants. The Windjammer had fair to good food and I did notice a slight (SLIGHT) reduction in choice. However the ship has many dining venues to choose from. I did eat in the Park Cafe (which was my favorite), main dining room, 150 Central Park, Chops and Giovanni's. Everyone agreed Chops was our best meal followed by Giovanni's and the main dining room. 150 Central Park was an upscale experience reminding me of a few places I have eaten here in NYC but they seemed to try to hard if this makes sense. It was a great experience but if I were to do this cruise again I would skip it. But it was worth a try and I enjoyed the experience at 150. All in all the food was plentiful and good.
Out of the many cruises I have been on I always have regarded Disney having the best cruise ship entertainment but I have to say the Allure's was equally as good. I saw the diving show (from one of the upper decks), comedy show, Blue planet and the ice show - Ice Games. I enjoyed the Blue Planet show and the comedy show the best. Also on many evenings the Aqua Theater holds water fountain shows. These were very nice to watch. There is a lot going on during the day and at night on this ship.
Our group was one of the last to depart the ship which was around 9:30. Had breakfast at the Park Cafe around 8:00 and it wasn't that full. It took about an hour to get through everything (including getting our bags and customs). There are plenty of taxis outside the pier. They cost about $15 dollars to get to the airport of which is 10 minutes away.
As everyone states in their reviews this ship is amazing and a show stopper. There is so much going on even the first timers I cruised with who are used to "outdoor - on the go" types of trips where surprised at the offerings. I found the ship to have a bit more of an upscale feel from other Royal Caribbean ships. We all agreed Central Park was our most favorite part of the ship. It was such a peaceful part of the ship with the birds chirping and the breeze gently going through it.
With 6,200 people on board the ship does get crowded at times. Though her design does let people flow rather well. There are times so areas are empty! However, I did feel the crowds at times especially by the pools. By 2pm all 5 pools filled up with not much room to move. Personally, I was not a fan of the reserving of shows, though it was needed of course. On the 1st night they did not do the diving show due to inclement weather but then rescheduled my party while we were on a tour on shore. Tried standby other nights but couldn't get in so we viewed the show from one of the overlooks on deck 11, you missed the full effect of the show here but it was better than nothing. I always felt like I was tied to a schedule on this ship more so than others but to be fair that was because I was traveling with other people who wanted to eat at certain times.
Personally, I would sail this ship again possibly on the Western route but would not run back so quickly. While I loved the Allure I guess I have learned that I like a ship in the 70 - 130 ton range. The people I travelled with, while they loved the ship, didn't see the need to come back. The first time cruisers I sailed with loved the ship but felt they would like to do more of a destination focused cruise of which this is not and they knew that. The Allure was the destination.
To all future cruisers, try the Allure/Oasis at least once. It really is a unique and FUN experience. As a cruise enthusiast it is the pinnacle of cruise ship design and she is truly a city at sea. Something not to be Less
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Allure is Amazing!