My husband and I have had 5 wonderful cruises with Carnival and thought lets give the biggest baddest cruise ship a try!! Royal Caribbean definitely did not disappoint, Allure of the Seas was nothing but AMAZING! However, we feel Carnival is the biggest bang for your buck and will stick with carnival cruises!
But let me tell you about Allure of the Seas! First off it's freaking HUGE!!! Every time we got off it still shocked me! It sailed flawlessly, no feeling the boat rocking, so no need to worry about sea sickness here. Our waiter did tell us that the Western route, due to the wind patterns, made hardly any waves compared to the Eastern route. So maybe if you're doing the Eastern you might feel the waves if it got kinda rocky? Speaking of the different routes I would HIGHLY suggest choosing the Eastern route, to Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, even if you've already been to these islands. We choose the Allure because we've never been to Haiti or Jamaica but you're not More
missing much, the other islands are much much better.
Of course it was nothing short of beautiful but it's literally like this, Royal Caribbean bought land and set up shop. The only cool thing was that you could use your sign and sail card on the island but that's only because the cruise workers also got off to work at the bar huts!!! Ridiculous! Unless you want to pay $80 to zip line above the ocean for 2 short minutes or pay $20 bucks to play on inflatable water toys there was absolutely nothing to do on the island. I swear half the boat was back on right after noon. There's only so many hours you can lay in the sun! There was a BBQ buffet, again organized by the ship workers, but we passed on that. Overall Haiti is one big disappointment. I want the island feel of the locals not royal caribbean's set up shop. What's worse is that Haiti is extremely poor, live in card board boxes poor, so to me it's sickening that Royal Caribbean would set up shop here knowing that just a few miles away there are starving children and people resorting to being savages to get through one day of surviving.
Make sure to book a shore excursion, and ahead of time!! We thought we'd just be able to get off the ship and do our own thing but this is not the case!! You can't even walk to a near by beach. Everything is literally 25-30 minutes away. This was also disappointing cuz had we known we def would have booked one! We ended up doing the one of the only excursions that hadn't left yet which consisted of take an air conditioned bus to Mont-ego Bay's Hips Strip. We got to do whatever we wanted there for two hours so we went straight to Margarita-ville! We're young (27) and we got asked multiple times while walking on the strip "you need anything special?"
Here we did a catamaran sail and double snorkel. You can never go wrong booking a catamaran sail! Always a good time, get to snorkel, then get rum punch! With this one we were taken to the Playa Mia beach were we received a ham sandwich with some fruit. In the water there were inflatable toys you could swim up to but beware you need to get a life jacket before you can climb and jump off! We swam all the way out there then was told we had to go back! lol Everything here was included in the shore excursion. They also had kayaks and paddle boats which were fun to use. There was a guy with two parrots walking around, he'd put one on your shoulder and one on your head, take a picture and be back in 10 minutes with it in a cool frame for $20. I loved mine!
Dinning experience was great, food was excellent and staff was more than attentive. ! I thought it was a little non classy to have dinner items that you could pay for on the menu. Royal Caribbean made it very clear just how many specialty restaurants there are, so if I wanted to pay for a dinner, I obviously wouldn't be going to the main dinning area. It made me feel like Royal Caribbean are just out to get as much extra money as they can. We didn't go to any of the speciality restaurants but whenever we were on Deck 6, the boardwalk, Johnny Rockets and Rita Catina were always dead.
The windjammer food was just alright and was always packed. The greeters were Nazi's about using the hand sanitizers before entering. I had just gone to the bathroom and washed my hands and I was pretty much yelled at for not using the sanitizer!! I would suggest exploring the other food options. A few times we order room service which was beyond excellent!
Our couch was extremely dirty, didn't have robes and the closet sliding door fell off the track where we couldn't fix it, had to call our guy to come do it. DO NOT GET A ROOM WITH A CONJOINING DOOR. We could hear EVERYTHING our neighbors were doing, fighting, watching TV, laughing, we heard it ALL. The showers water pressure was amazing!! So surprising! I liked how the shower had sliding doors instead of a curtain but I don't see how a larger person could easily get in!! Balcony was nice but wish we had the other side so we could see the islands as we approached it.
All of the shows were EXTRAORDINARY!!! My personal favorite was the diving show, Ocean-aria, then the Ice Games, Blue Planet then Chicago. The shows were jaw dropping good! I wouldn't miss any! These people clearly have talent and kudos to them!!
Since there is so much open space in the middle of the ship I would say the ship layout took a little getting used to. It was weird how most decks you couldn't walk across, you would have to go inside and down to get to where you wanted to go. Also there were a lot of dead ends where we had to turn around and figure out where to go. The elevators were always crowded and it was weird no one would say anything so everyone would stand in silence, maybe some elevator music would be nice to kill the silence! lol
Overall I would give 5/5 stars! It truly is an amazing ship!! The flow riders, rock climbing, zip lining, table tennis, mini golf, all the pools, the kid area, the teen centers, the shows, central park, the casino, they truly have it all!! It was so big, it didn't even feel like you were on a ship, more like a luxury hotel esp on the deck where they have all the shopping. One side note, 50% of the boat were people speaking diff languages. Be prepared to see many speedos and brazilian style bikinis!! I loved loved loved my experience and recommend anyone go on the biggest baddest cruise ship!! Less
Allure of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean