Traveled with a group of 11 adults and 2 teenagers on the June 9th sailing. My wife and I plus another couple are diamond members having sailed on 12 cruises, all on RCCL. We also had 2 emerald and 3 platinum club members as well as 4 first time cruisers.
We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Rodeway Inn. They provide transportation from the airport and to the cruise port the next morning. Nothing fancy, but the price is right, food at the on site restaurant good and clean. You can go for free at 10:30 but we wanted to avoid the mad rush from other cruisers.
We took an early shuttle for 2 dollars apiece at 10 o'clock and were sitting in the upstairs waiting area by 11 o'clock. Since we were traveling as a group RCCL let the other members sit in the diamond area with us. We were able to board at 11.40 and headed straight to Park Ave. Cafe for lunch.
Park Avenue Cafe great place for breakfast and lunch. Fresh food and wonderful selection. Of course made to order salad and the roast beef are excellent. Go there when in doubt.
Windjammer ate breakfast and lunch there only a couple of times. Was typical of all the other cruises, busy at peak times with lines and people bumping into each other. Food was okay. I did miss the omelet station, the pre- made one's are not very good.
Solarium had a very healthy breakfast choices and was popular with my group for freshness, variety and peacefulness.
Boardwalk Hot Dogs was a disappointment. Dogs were not very hot. No coney sauce or spicey mustard to add onto your choice of 5 different dogs. Also like cold onions but they had only grilled onions.
Wipeout Cafe is a mess. Good food but whoever designed this restaurant wasn't thinking. Too bad because the food was very good. Small area to get food, people coming from 2 different directions and no one to keep people from cutting in front. Learned to go at 11 o'clock or 2 o'clock to avoid spending 45 minutes in line. Did not go for breakfast, I know they had an omelet station but did not like the seating area for a quiet breakfast.
My wife went to Giovannis Table for lunch and raved about it. Great deal for $15 dollars she said.
MDR was excellent with the exception of 2 night. Carribean night and the last night of the cruise. Those nights had poor selections. What happened to the jerk chicken. Table was #329 first seating with an excellent wait staff, particularly our waiter David fro the Philipphines.
Sorrentos and Cafe Promenade are both excellent venues for snacks anytime of day or night.
We always get an inside cabin because of the savings and we spend very little time in the cabin. Like the lay out on the freedom better for room and closet space. Have an idea for RCCL take the closet doors off, they just get in the way because you cannot shut them with without clothes getting in the way because they are too narrow. Our cabin steward was great, but quiet. We got what we needed and the room was clean everyday so no complaints.
Shows were anywhere from excellent to good. Excellent was Ocean Aria, Chicago and the Ice Show. Good was Blue Planet, Comedy headliners (Rick Corso and Phil Tagg) and Ronn Lewis who is a ventriloquist.
Enjoyed the Schooner Bar and Roxy (great singer but needs to keep singing and not talk so much. The Bow and Stern is a good hang out in the promenade for people watching, entertainment and socializing.
Spent time at the Viking lounge and Dazzles but did not care for the entertainment in Take 2 and the Frontliners. Our group thought both were very weak performers, not the caliber we are use to seeing on RCCL.
The Quest was fun but the highlight for us was the 70's concert and sing a long in the promenade. Cruise director Ken Rush (3rd cruise with him) and staff had the entire promenade full of cruisers dancing and singing, just partying away. Great energy for 45 minutes, nobody wanted to got to bed that night.
Casino is nice but still too much smoke. Time to make the casino smoke free entirely was our opinion and some of us are smokers.
Drink prices have definitely gone up but the drinks are very good with a good amount of liquor. Like the variety and the different drinks each bar is known for.
Pool area on sea days is busy but I was still able to find room to sit. You need to roll with the punches those days and just have a great attitude because there will be crowds and children. Zip line and Flow rider were always busy, watched people enjoy both. Like the vibe of the pool deck but thought the carribean music band was very sporadic (sets the mood), piped in music most of the time.
Ports did not get off at Nassau (Not interested), spent day at pool. Went into St Thomas for a couple of hours since I have been there before. Found it to be a little run down from what I remember. Love St. Marteen, went to Maho Beach and the Sunset Grill to, watch the planes take off and land up close. Great time!
Disembarktion was easy until you get outside. Security was rude and just plain pushy. Got a taxi without problem to the airport, $12 dollars plus tip.
Would I sail on Allure again, not sure. Beautiful ship with an excellent crew. Enjoyed the Freedom and Voyager size ship when sailing and if the price was right would lean toward sailing on there size vessels.