After having looked forward to this first cruise, my wife and I came away with mixed emotions at best. The articles online really described things quite differently than what we had experienced. From the start, the short time for check in and boarding stretched into over an hour, even after having checked in online weeks before. After the wait, we were herded aboard dragging our carry on luggage. We had a noisy, crowded lunch at Park Place and then tried to check out the ship as best we could considering 5800 other people were doing the same. Whoever said that the crowds weren't all that bad was not on the elevators with 25 other hot sweaty passengers...all yammering in different tongues. We decided to try our room key early and were surprised that it worked and our room was ready 45 minutes before promised. The door opened and my jaw dropped. It looked like a Motel 6 room except it was way smaller. The bed was positioned in such a way that to get to the balcony, one of use had to retreat to the opposite wall. I was amazed at the size of the room, only to be further amazed at the size of the bathroom. It was done in early American port-a-potty with a tiny barely usable sink at my knees. The real topper had to be the barely human sized shower that made trying to relax in the shower impossible. The toilet was another matter. When flushed it sounded like the contents were being sent to another hemisphere. The balcony was a decent size but thanks to our Birthday celebrating smoking neighbors, was often filled with the stench of cigarette smoke. Some no smoking room policy!
The meals in the main dining room were all pretty good. Giovanni's and Chops were excellent. The entertainment was also pretty good, with the Aqua show the best.
I was also amazed that despite its size, The Allure could rock and roll with the best of them. At times we thought it was worse on the lower floors, only to change our minds when we felt the pitch and roll on the top floors. I wore my sea sick bands constantly, as did my wife.
It had become apparent that unless you were with a group, couples were the minority...I did not realize how many families, church groups or whatever traveled the high seas.
To sum up our experience, this was our first and last time cruising. We came to realize that, at least for us, it is the destination, not the trip, that makes the vacation.