My wife and I were on the September 23, 2012 Cruise on the Allure of the Seas in the Western Caribbean.
The embarkation was fast, efficient, and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes after arriving outside the terminal. The debarkation was even faster using the Express Checkout; simply amazing, my wife and I were dumbfounded. We arrived at 6:15 AM at the lounge for Diamonds and above on Deck 8 for some coffee and pastry and by 6:20 AM we were walking off the ship. We were heading back to Kissimmee on Highway 95 before 7:00 AM. The Allure of the Seas is now becoming our favorite ship, sorry Radiance Class ships.
We were a little concerned when we booked this cruise on having over 8,000 people on one ship. This week we had almost 6,000 passengers and other than trying to get a roast beef sandwich at Park Cafe, our longest wait, about 20 minutes. Well our concern was not warranted; the ship is amazing and has so many things to do you need at least 2-3 weeks on the ship to see everything.
We had a balcony, port side, deck 8, the Boardwalk and that has become our favorite place. We could see the Aqua Show and other happenings on the Aqua Theater along with a great view of the zip line and all the other happenings on the Boardwalk. We were worried about the noise but other than the last 2 nights, which were not that bad, the room must have good soundproofing.
We were on the ship for 3 days before we almost thought we felt we were moving and could not believe we were on a ship unless we look out at the ocean or went out on deck. The only day we could feel like we have on other ships is when we left Cozumel the first couple of hours we felt a slight movement.
We were traveling with friends we each had different Travel Agents and even though both said we were linked it turned out we were not. After 15-20 minutes trying to get a seat together we switched to MYTime Dining and by mid-week we were happy we did. Every night we had the same table, wait staff, and by the second night we knew each other's name and when we arrived for dinner everything was waiting for us. We had the pleasure of experiencing the second week of the new food menu and all we can say is IT WAS THE BEST FOOD WE HAVE EVER HAD IN THE MAIN DINING ROOM OF ANY SHIP. If they can keep this quality over time RCCL will be something to reckon with. We cannot say enough about the variety, flavor, taste, and overall enjoyment at every meal.
One night we went to Samba's, the Brazilian Restaurant. To start they have a large buffet, salads, breads, cheese, and much more. You want to take it easy on these starters because next comes 9 proteins: Beef, chicken, pork, and veal. We had 2 beef and 1 chicken on our plate before we hit the button to change to red so we could take our time to enjoy the excellent tasting and perfectly cooked food. Next came the perfectly cooked 3-4 oz filet minion, pork, veal, skirt steak, and I forget what else but everything was cooked exactly the way we asked. We were a little disappointed the wait staff at Samba's was just OK and on several occasions we had to ask to get our water glass filled. It also appeared they were trying to rush you through dinner and with that much to eat it takes a couple hours. The wait staff we had in the dining room was far superior to the staff at Samba's.
Our cabin steward, waiter, assistant waiter, and even the head waiter we bending over backwards to make sure we enjoyed every day and evening meal. This was one of the best experiences we have had on any cruise line in pampering the guest. The first day we went to or rooms at 1:00 PM and our bags were already waiting for us so we unpacked. As we left the room my wife and I forgot our Sea Passes in the Room and that is when we met the cabin steward who used his red card to let us back in to get the Sea Passes. Every time when we were heading back to our room and our room steward was in the hallway he would open our cabin door for us.
If you are thinking of booking on the Allure, when you finally do; make sure you take the time to plan your week adventure and book the shows and events you want to attend before you board the ship. We were so happy we did because we just walked in all the shows we signed up for while the people who didn't were standing in line hoping to get in. THIS IS A MUST.
The ship is specular and will try a back to back so we can do everything we want to. There is just so much to do on the ship we missed the 2 Parades and countless other things we wanted to see. You must also have a Roast Beef Sandwich at the Park Cafe and if you like roast beef I guarantee you will be back several times during the cruise!