Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by jrzj42: Too Big?
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
The Allure of the Seas is big. Very big! It dwarfs any ship moored next to it. It is 16 decks of living, dining and pure entertainment fun. A 17th deck of higher end living quarters exist and is only open to gold card holders.
My trip to the Eastern Caribbean (Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten) occurred in mid-March, 2013. It included a mix of 20 year olds through mid-70's in age (basically, 3 generations of my family). The level of entertainment provided everyone with plenty of options for various activities including a Zip-line, 2 wave runners, 2 rock climbing walls, 2 arcade rooms, kids play rooms (managed by the staff), multiple indoor and outdoor hot tubs (very large, 12 -- 20 people), multiple pools, including adult only as well as kiddie pools, several music venues (to dance to as well), a comedy club, jazz club, casino, numerous dining facilities, more bars than I could visit on a 7 night trip, or one could find a shady spot and just read. You can't go wrong More with this vessel, unless ...
The ship is very big and therein may be a problem for some. To go from one end of the ship to the other can easily take 10 minutes. But if you have difficulty in walking, it can turn into a 20 -- 25 minute walk. Additionally, the entrance and exit portals use a ramp system for passengers to gain or return from shore. I noticed, when compared to other ships docked nearby, that multiple levels of ramps where needed, and multiple entrance/exists were also required just to handle the 4000+ passengers. So expect a bit of time to be required to get to any one point on the ship or on/off the ship.
There is just one other minor quirk about this ship. Because there are so many people, and lots of entertainment venues, the actual seating capacity (exception is the outdoor amphitheater and the indoor Amber Theater), is fairly limited. The design goal seemed to be to create as many entertainment venues as possible, even if limiting floor space placed restricts on the numbers of patrons that can actually attend at a single time. For example, the Comedy club can seat about 50 -- 60 people, but several hundred may want to see one of only 4 to 5 shows offered during the 7 nights. Some folks will be turned away. Get your tickets (no additional cost) ahead of time. You can go online prior to departure and reserve your show-times for many of the clubs and live entertainment. By-the-way, the entertainment is fantastic! Also, sign your waivers ahead of time for the 6 different sporting venues (Zip-line, Wave-runner, Rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, etc.).
You will also notice that several specialty restaurants exist, and you will pay extra for the privilege. There are also a few eating venues, like Johnny Rockets, where the table pays a single cover charge (Johnny Rockets was < $5 USD), and it's an all-you-can eat. For the eateries covered in the ticket purchase, you will be more than satisfied. There is plenty (actually too much) food with a decent variety that can satisfy the palates of just about everyone. If you're afraid of putting on a few extra pounds, well maybe you should consider another type of vacation. Food, beer, wine, liquor, cupcakes (yes, there is a cupcake shop ~$2.50 each), a hot dog stand, Cotton-Candy, and two frozen yogurt (yuck!) stands are open most hours of the day. You can't help but to put on a few pounds ... its part of the fun ;-)
The rooms are adequate for two adults, tight for 3, as in my case. Bathrooms are small and the shower is even smaller (imagine a tube of toothpaste). Room and bathroom were always kept clean. The staff is well above average on friendliness and attending to your needs.
I have included many pics to help with getting the general idea of the size of the ship and the types of entertainment. I am more than happy to respond to any query -- glad to help. Less
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