We've been home now a week from our cruise aboard the worlds largest cruise ship. I do believe it will be difficult to return to the cheaper cruises after this experience! We had a great time.
Our favorite (FAVORITE needs to be in caps) had to be spending time in the Jazz on 4 lounge listening to the remarkable talents of The Bruce Gordon Quartet. Bruce has a voice that is smooth and transports you back to the days when music WAS music. Very talented guy with a great personality and a good sense of humor. The musicians were all outstanding as well. It was great to spend night after night listening to such talented guys and I was amazed the rooms weren't packed out...given the average age of the Allure cruiser (51). If you missed this group shame on you. I travel a lot and believe me you usually pay big $ to hear this kind of quality.
Decor/shopping: beautiful and clean. Loved the different themed levels and they had more stores than most...including a Coach store as well as high end Jewelry. DRAWBACK: 10-15% more than less expensive cruise ships for the exact same merchandise. Didn't seem to bother the cruisers though. They swarmed after the fake Pandora bracelets like Jamaican women swam to braid your hair.
Soda Card: well worth it. The Allure has several "do it yourself" Coke dispensers throughout the ship. Drawback: it only works with the drink cup you get when you buy the package. Advantage: buy one card per family and take cups from home. It was easy to "share."
Food: we are buffet folks. I don't like the crowds so we ate in the dining room mostly. Excellent service for dinner (thanks Levian) but can't say the same for breakfast. We had mistakes every single time we ordered. And the waitstaff didn't really care. Very different from the evening dining crew.
Rooms: I have to say that the rooms are larger than traditional ships. Very clean and our steward Ari was terrific. Typically towel animals but still cute.
Shows: First class. Although we left from the Blue Planet show. Interpretive dance isn't our thing. That said be sure and schedule your shows before you get on the ship. There's a really long wait line if you don't and you WON'T get a good seat.
Love and Marriage Show: cute as usual but one of the couples were very inappropriate with their responses. That said, you know what you get on a cruise ship and not everyone has sense or class. That's just the way it is. Don't take kids.
Casino: typical but one nice thing is that half is non-smoking. Slots don't pay...as they aren't regulated like they are on land.
Ports: typical and they've all got their prices too high knowing you'll barter. Make sure you do. And if you want some Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee...get it from eBay. They rip you off unless you go off the beaten path.
Sports: they have it all. Not a lot of action on the rock climbing walls and zip lines but lots on the Flo-riders. Also the Spa and exercise room are quite impressive. Note on the Spa...too expensive. I can have 3 massages at home for the price of 1.
Extras: Starbucks and cupcakes. Both cost $ but worth it. Prices are the same as anywhere else.
Conclusion: you can't go wrong booking a cruise on the Allure. It was wonderful. And be sure and check out the Bruce Gordon Quartet. The cruise was great...but Bruce and the band made it special.