We are two couples in our early to mid sixties who have cruised together since 1994. This was our 7th RCI cruise and our 14th overall. We live in the Houston area and we caught an early flight out of Houston the morning of our cruise. The flight was quick and 15 minutes early. We immediately grabbed our luggage and headed out to the taxis. We were on the ship before 11:30. I can only say the Allure is amazing. Until you walk on her for the first time, I don't think anyone can imagine how huge she is. We haven't sailed any Freedom class ships but we just sailed the Mariner out of Galveston last March.
I can't say enough good things about the service and the cleanliness of the ship. Everywhere we went some crew member was either cleaning or asking about our day. Our cabin steward was awesome. He was the friendliest steward we have ever had.
Being in our 60's we really didn't want to sail with alot of kids, and October was the right time to go. I don't know how many kids, but it was probably less than 300. We hardly ever interacted with them so I can't say for sure how many were on board. I will say that if you travel with kids, this ship is for them. There were alot of activities on the Boardwalk that was just for kids.
On sea days we hung out in the Solarium which was very relaxing. Plenty of deck chairs.
Except for Rita's Cantina, we ate every night in the MDR and the food was very good. My husband loves escargot and he got it every night. It was never available on the Mariner. We ate at Chops Grille on the Mariner and it was delicious but the two hour meal was more than my DH could endure. Rita's food was not the greatest but the entertainment and the drinks were good.
The entertainment on this ship was outstanding. Ocean Aria was just okay, but Chicago and Blue Planet were great. We also really enjoyed the comedy show very much and of course Quest was fun. Allan Brooks was our CD and he did a great job.
We probably won't sail the Allure any time in the near future as there are so many other ports we want to see, but if we are ever sailing the Caribbean again, you can bet we'll be on the Allure.