We have just come home from our cruise on the Allure. We (my husband and I)were travelling with our 3 kids (5,5 and 2)my parents and my sister.
We had a fabulous experience:
As we were travelling as a group of 8 with 3 small children and LOTS of luggage we decided to opt for the transfers. From the time we landed at the airport to the time we boarded the ship it must have taken an hour and a half at most. very well organized and our rooms were ready by 1:00pm.
OMG it is outstanding. There was something for everyone! We did not have enough hours in the day to try everything.
I had read many comments about the MDR food being not so good. Well.... that couldn't have been farther from the truth. We ended up having dinner there every night except one. The new menu was outstanding and our MDR staff was outstanding. Thank you Veldon, Gianluca and Richard! They were so accommodating and caring towards the kids. After the first night, they had already figured out their like and dislikes and had their juices and fruit cups ready for them by the time we got there every night (even the nights we sent the kids to eat at Ocean Adventures).
We had booked the Chef's Table for my father's 65th birthday and WOW! If you get the chance to book this, believe me the price is more than worth it.
OCEAN ADVENTURES KID'S CLUB:
Tremendous. We have 5 yr old twins that were clearly meant for the Aquanauts (3-5 yrs old). They had a blast. Our youngest who is turning 3 next week had to go through a trial run at the Tots program to see if he would be OK with his brother and sister in the bigger group. They gave us 2 free 1 hour trials and determined that he would do great and he did! They did not want to leave. It was nice to have the option.
The Dreamworks experience was very well implemented and not too in your face if you are not into that kind of thing. The kids loved every second, every show, every Character breakfast, every photo op.... Actually we all did, young and old.
Our room (Promenade Stateroom)was adequate in size although we have booked a Family Stateroom for our next cruise to be able to have all kids in the same room. My kids loved being able to sit at the window and people watch. The rooms are extremely soundproof.... which we were glad for the folks around us.
I had seen many comments about the size of the bathroom. Although it is true it's not huge, it was more than adequate and once you enter the shower you have about an extra foot of space at the back of the shower.
We had to miss our port at Falmouth Jamaica to avoid the storm. We could feel the ship rocking for the duration of the trip, but it was nothing anyone couldn't handle. I did not see anyone get sick, including my father who is not the best candidate for rough seas. The last night of the cruise was extremely rocky. Everything was creaking and cracking but it didn't seem to bother any of my kids or my husband as they were all snoring. The only thing that really got affected was the show schedules as we were supposed to take on the headliner in Jamaica. they had to switch many showings to accommodate their late arrival. We therefore missed Blue Planet which we had been very much looking forward to. RCCL handled the whole situation beautifully.
This would be the only area I would have a complaint about. All in all it only took us about 40 minutes to get off, get our luggage, go through customs and into the bus for the transfer. That in itself was OK. My complaint comes from the fact that our suitcases were in the middle of where the line-up is. There was a very "frustrating" employee who was so unhelpful. As I mentioned earlier we had a lot of luggage (not really if it was all adults, but because we had kids who couldn't carry their own luggage it made things difficult. The young man in question did not inform us that the porters were waiting at the end of the line.... if we had known that from the start my frustration level would have been much lower. We had lost a piece of luggage but managed to find it easily in the section for said luggage. Thank goodness for that porter, he made the rest of the experience much more bearable. My favorite part was the Customs Agent.... yes you saw that right!!!! He let my 5 yr old son help him with the passports in identifying each member of the family. Zach was extremely proud to help the man in uniform!
you must experience this ship at least once. If you have young kids, do not be afraid of this kind of travel! It was awesome and they asked me on Monday morning if they could get back on the ship. Young and Old will enjoy everything this ship has to offer. I don't think my sister slept at all the whole time as she didn't want to miss a thing and my kids are very tired from their "special late night parties" but all worth it.