First off, I gathered a lot of wonderful tips from these reviews before our trip, so I hope to provide a few tips too.
We booked through AAA web site - but didn't get any special perks or thank you gifts in our room (thinking about cancelling my membership).
Embarkation was easy, we flew into FLL arrived around 10:30 a.m. and took a taxi to the port (15.00). We don't like to take the RCCL transportation because we don't want to wait for a full bus, or "go with the crowd". At the port, we were directed to the RCCL entrance to tag and drop off our own luggage - no problem for us. There were RCCL porters and although a little hectic because cruisers from the previous cruise were departing, we found the right area and left our luggage. I didn't notice this before, but suites have their own entrance (nice! hope to have one someday!). We waited about 20 minutes in the Platinum holding area, then we were processed quickly and entered the Allure! The whole process was organized and we encountered pleasant staff all the way around.
Our luggage was at our room right away. We loved being on the 8th deck (close to the Park Cafe!). It was perfect jumping off point to get to the key areas and be able to pop back to the cabin if needed. We are a couple, no kids and although the cruise is very family friendly - we didn't really notice a lot of those activities. The ship is so well-designed that you naturally gather in areas with like cruisers.
First stop - a drink at Boleros. I had a great martini and we had great service.
There was so much 'wow' factor as we first roamed around checking everything out. This ship has so much to offer, one week is not enough. We found some of the gem areas and hidden spots (thanks to all of you reviewers) Deck 11, etc.
I signed up right away for the full access pass to the Thermal Suite in Vitality. In hindsight, I didn't use it enough to justify a week-long pass. Next time I'll go with a day pass. Loved all the amenities it included. Relaxation/waiting room, ceramic thermal loungers and the various sauna and steam rooms. The only little negative was a couple of the "front desk" staff members in the thermal area (5th floor), their attitude (non-smiling, not friendly). This was the exception on Allure. The Vitality cafe is very nice, the raw juices are for a fee, but the snacks are included. I also had a mini package at the salon - Nikki did my hair color/cut/highlights and eye treatment - she was Fab!
We like to be in the Viking Crown lounge on departure - usually there are no children. We were surprised when a couple showed up with their parents - they were well-behaved but it's really not a place for children. Then off to muster!
This process was odd. Our muster station was at a bar on 4 and were all -no lifejackets, no outside deck muster station. I couldn't help but think "what if it was a real emergency?" - it didn't seem like a valid drill. We did get good instructions and it was over fairly quickly.
We dined with two other couples in the main dining room late seating. This works well for us as we like to stay up late dancing or in the casino. The food was good, some of it was very good. I didn't eat anything exceptional. Our server seemed a little frazzled most nights, her helper wasn't much help. Maybe too many tables? Not sure. She was super pleasant and we enjoyed the company of the other couples and hearing about their adventures. Our last few cruises we ate alone and I missed meeting others - we had a nice group at our table.
The pizza by the slice at Sorrentos was tasty. Loved Park Cafe, for all the reasons others noted. We tried the sausages at the Dog House, they were tasty. We didn't pay for any food - we dine out enough at home, and didn't feel the need to do it on the ship - wanted to spend my vacation budget on other things. Next time we will try Izumi, I have read good things about it.
There is just so much to do and see. You need more than a week (so excited to return someday!). Ken the CD is a hoot - he really is good at his job and makes all the activities fun. This was our first "Quest" and we had a great section. Bingo was exciting (didn't win, but had fun). The shows are excellent - Chicago entertaining, Blue Planet very cool, Mo5aic (awesome!) and the Aqua show was exciting.
We have done this itinerary before and we are just beach bums when in port. Falmouth was the one new stop. The cruise area is nice (sterile). We took a cab with another couple to Doctors Cave beach in Montego Bay. It was a 20 minute ride and I would not recommend trying to find your own cab outside the port area. We tried to find a driver outside, but it all seemed like a rip-off, so back in the port area we went to find another couple to share a ride with. We made the arrangement to meet our driver back at the drop off spot 4 hours later and he was there.
I was sad to see our week end and would go again in a minute!