I have recently just returned from my cruise on the Allure of the Seas.
This was my first experience on a Royal Caribbean cruise line as I normally sail with Princess. Overall the ship is aboslutely amazing!!! It met and exceeded all my expectations. I travelled with my two 50 year old parents, my 26 year old sister and my boyfriend. We were all adults traveling and we booked this cruise JUST to see this ship.
Dining - We had "my time" dining as when we booked the ship 5 months in advance the scheduled time dinners were already booked up so we were left with the my time option. This worked out perfect for us as we had already booked our shows online and on the first day of arrival on the boat, we were able to set and make time reservations to eat each night depending on the time of our shows. This was very easy to do the staff was very accomodating and they were great. We originally were just going to sit at a different table everynight until the first night we went More
to dine and we had a fantastic set of Waiter and assistant waiter (Karen and Angel). These two were fantastic, so hilarious and entertaining as well as quick and helpful with selections on the dinner menues each night. My whole family found the food in the dining room to be "OK". It was nothing special or anything great. We found the Princess ships dining food to be FAR MORE SUPERIOR. Everynight on the Princess Cruise we were blown away with flavor and presentation of every single dish.. the food on this boat however was nowhere comparable. Not to say the food was bad, it just was plain, not very much flavor and you can DEFINETLY tell the head chef is NOT italian because there was very little Italian dishes and the ones that were on the menue were horrible!! They provided the same tomatoe sauce with EVERY pasta dish, never changed, and it was so sweet and like a sauce only children would like. It tasted like a can of alphagetttis definetly not a sauce that was meant for adults to enjoy a pasta dish. We did one specialty restaurant called "Chops Grille" this was FANTASTIC food. The presentation of the food was beautiful and so classy and the taste was aboslutely decadent. Every bite was excellent. We were shocked at the difference in quality of food from the specialty restaurants to the dining room.... total difference. We found this to be quite sad as this boat really forces you to pay for the specialty restaurants if you want good quality meals. No other ship seems to force you to spend the additional money on these restaurants than this boat. We really didn't like being pusshed every single day by the workers in the specialty restaurant to sign up for their restaurants everyday in the promenade... someone would come up to you and bug you to pay for the extra restaurants. Its a shame they dont spend and invest as much time and effort into their dining room food for the rest of the guests on the boat.
Entertainment - The entertainment on this boat was absolutely 100% the best entertainment ive ever seen on a vacation!!! It was outstanding every show was fantastic never boring, entertainment gets an A+ definetly. The Chicago show is the show my family enjoyed the most... it was definetly broadway quality. I couldnt believe the signers voices and the acting was impecable. The Oceanaria show also was pretty neat to watch as the diving was excellent and the trampoline act was also great... just too bad it wasn't a bit longer.. 45 min just wasn't enough. The Blue Planet show was also excellent.. very differnt sort of idea.. I could definetly tell the Choreography was inspired by Alvin Ailey dance school as I am a dancer myself and recognized alot of the cheoreography and ideas right off the bat. Very well done and great idea/theme. Comedy show was also excellent. There were two comics on board and they both left you crying of laughter once the show was finished. They weren't very rude and neitehr of them were swearing very much for an 18+ show. They both were excellent comics and I highly recommend this show to all adults!!
Overall the ship was aboslutley amazing.. there are soo many things on it to do all throughout the day that you are never bored or left with nohting to do. My family really enjoyed there Trivia which seemed to happen around 3pm and 5pm which was perfect to participate in after a long day at the pool and just before you leave to get ready for dinner. The 70's night was a lot of fun and well planned out in getting everyone involved. The pub in the promenade was also a neat idea and we enjoyed a few good international beers in their once or twice daily. My familys only few major concerns/disappointments with this ship was the fact that there were one hundred thousand children running around EVERYWHERE!!!! I understand this ship is meant for familys with children and we were aware of this before we got on the boat.... the problem is there should be more activities and areas on the boat that exclude children under the age of 18. The 1030pm and later shows for one example... there are many more earlier show times that familys can attend... why people seem to think there children at the age of 5 need to see a show at 1030 at anight when they should be in bed is beyond me. They are loud and disruptive because they are irritated and need to go to bed. The late shows should only be welcomed to adults. THE POOLS ARE A HUGE PROBLEM ON THIS BOAT!!!!! There are very few pools for A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE. I understand there isn't much room to add anymore pools and thats fine. However, every sea day was very upsetting as we would like to sit by the pool and once again there are screaming kids all around you ALL DAY LONG!!! The kids monopolize ALLL the pools, jumping in and out of them, running on the wading pads of the pool, swimming lengths and having races... these pools are VERY VERY LITTLE... as they are on all cruise ships. The adults understand they are only their to cool off and get out. They are not big enough to be swimming full lenghths and splashing around. this was a major problem as the kids wanted to play and all the adults at the pool were very frustrated and upset by this as there is a designated splash pad for children only... why are they in the swimming pools as well splashing, jumping and playing? Their either needs to be an attendant FULL TIME standing at the pool to tell the children no jumping, racing etc. or they need to have more than just ONE pool for adults. because the one pool taht is for adults only was jam packed everyday like a pool of sardines and not to mention... ITS THE SMALLEST POOL ON THE SHIP!!! its really just a whirpool size. You need to give the adults the option if they come without children to have seperate areas on the ship for their enjoyement. By the end of the week... were ready to get off this boat as the kids get to you WAY too much and seem to just monopolize the whole ship. This was very bothersom and could be the biggest downfall of this boat. Less
Allure of the Seas Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean
Cozumel port was probably my favorite day only because we decided to have a beach day (on a boat you really miss your beach days) and we went to a place only 10 min cab ride from the boat called Mr. Sanchos. This beach was stunning beautiful white sand, clean crytal blue ocean no rocks or coral at all (which is uncommon for Cozumel beaches) We paid $50 a person for the entire day at the beach which included all the beach chairs, umbrealls a private dining talbe, unlimited drinks (Alchoholic included) and all you can eat. Which was an excellent authentic mexican menue with guacamole homemade salsa, fish tacos, chicken and steak tacos, quesadillas, coconut shrimp, etc... huge menue and we sat and ate and drank all day long from 10am until 5pm. Well worth the $50 a person for a spectacular day at the beach.
My family also did the Dunns River Falls and Horseback riding tour in Jamaica. this was a very expensive tour for what you get. I had a great time that day and definetly enjoyed myself however, Dunns river Falls is VERY VERY VERY difficult to climb. There were many older people who were attempting to climb the falls and DEFINETLY could not do it... which held up the hundreds of other people who also were in the middle of climbing. It is not at all easy and very dangerous. I am a fit 23 year old girl and I even found it difficult so my suggestion is not to climb them or even try if you are not an athletic, fit individual. There also was WAY too many people climbing the falls at once... locals, people from hotels there staying in Jamaica, and all the people from the cruise ships.. far too many people at the same time which was very disorganized and unsafe. All the people that work at Dunns River Falls only cared about filiming everyone to make a dvd for the people to buy afterwards. They stop you continuously while climbing to film you which is a HUGE pain the ass. This got very frusterating after a while as they are supposed to be helping you not knocking you out of the way and pushing you down so they can fit you all on their stupid cameras. The lunch stop was okay... they serve delicous jerk chicken and some rice. Thats all... definetly could have eaten more but we were rushed to the horsebackriding and didn't have time for seconds. Horsebackriding was SO MUCH FUN!!It was excellent much more organised then climbing the falls and they guys were all very helpful and calming about their horses. The horses were all well behaved and definetly listened to the person who was riding them. Excellent views on the horsebackride and a nice smooth end to the day.
Labadi port was OK. Nothing special really... the beach was LOUSY!! very VERY rocky and seaweedy.. grossed alot of people out and ruined the afternoon as it was very hot and not many people wanted to go in the water without water shoes... they should warn you before disembarking to bring water shoes. The lunch was nothing specials just hamburgers and hot dogs. They push and push the fact that you can zipline in Labadi however, its $90US and the zipline doesn't seem to go very fast and its really not all that scary. Nobody on it seemed to be screaming and enjoying themselves... they all looked bored. $90 is absolutely ridiculous and not worth it.