First of all Let me start with a couple things
a. I have read some ridiculous reviews that truly don't even make any sense. (at least to me and what helps me when reading a review)
b. For some background On RCCL I have sailed on the Enchantment, The Explorer, The Liberty The Navigator and The Independence... So I Think I am very well qualified to write a review for the Allure. I will break this down into a few catagories. 1. boarding 2. ship comparison 3. food 4 entertainment 5 stateroom 6 debarkation
Ready....Here I go
1. Boarding of the ship is truly fast. Don't be stupid and show up at 10:30am when they clearly tell you not to show up before noon.
a. you will end up in a folding chair waiting to board
b. at the very least you are going to carry your stuff around
until your room is ready at 1:30
... I left the hotel for the pier at 12:30pm and was standing on the ship by 1pm super simple. JUST READ THE BOARDING PASS. ( ** not sure why people feel the need to be the first one on the ship, I promise they wont run out of food**)
2. Comparrison: For those of you that have been on similar ships like the navigator or the liberty as crazy as this sounds they are very very much the same. The major difference is central park on deck 8, and the boardwalk on the back of deck 6. Don't get me wrong they are absolutely amazing and this ship is of course a larger scale, but if you have been on those other ships, you will feel very much at home.
3. Food : One difference between this ship and the other classes of RCCL ships is that there are definitely many food choices, both free and for a fee. They finally got smart and someone seats you in the windjammer before you get food. Saves a ton of circling around and around for a seat. Don't let the line fool you.. It truly goes super fast. I read a lot of complaints about the main dining room I actually thought it was quite good, and the service was absolutely perfect. Look lets be honest. It's not gourmet, they are feeding thousands of people and I have been to wedding's of 300 people that the food tasted like crap, so this was actually quite impressive. I am a huge fan of the Fogo de Cho brazillian steakhouse in the US. and I have to say that the SAMBA grill was really really good and definitely worth the price. It's simple.. If you want free food, don't pay for anything and I think you will be extremely happy, if you want to spend a few extra bucks as I always do.. You truly wont be disappointed.
4. Entertainment: Even though I am in my 40's I absolutely love the DreamWorks stuff on the ship. I am a big kid and I think the Move it Move it parade is a great touch and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The aqua show is really good considering (oh my god your on a ship) and CHICAGO, even though it's smashed into this small theater with zero set pieces was actually very entertaining. **I booked our cruise about 2 weeks out and when I tried to reserve seats for the shows online it told me I couldn't and I would have to wait until I got on board. In truth, I was a little panicked thinking I would not get into the shows, but NOT TRUE. I booked from my stateroom TV when I got on the ship and it was no big deal. Also, it is 100% true that people don't show up for their reservation so you can with most certainty walk right into any show you want to up until moments before it starts..
all in all entertainment was very good, plenty of choices ..
5. Stateroom: We had a d5 balcony cabin just behind the forward stairs on deck six. Directly across from the crown and anchor room. I will say that the rooms are definitely smaller than the balcony rooms on the liberty or the navigator.. but Only a little bit and definitely fine for two people. we had the beds by the balcony configuration and I agree it makes the room feel bigger. I always tip a 20 or 2 to the stateroom attendant the second I meet him and I have never had an issue with getting anything I ever needed. Funny how you treat some one with respect and a little gratitude and you are treated very well. By the way, the new TV system is incredible.. you can pretty much do anything from the TV to checking resteraunt availability, make reservations for dinner, show reservations, room service. It's really a huge improvement.
** one thing I want to lump under stateroom is the internet service. They have rolled out new plans on this ship and they really suck. You either buy an hour continuous , 1 day continuous, or the entire weed for 180 dollars. I much prefer the minutes package. I only use about 10 minutes a day ( just to check in with the office) and the 100 minutes for 55 dollars is what I am used to on the other ships. So be prepared to shell out a lot of bucks for internet if you need to use it daily. ( I know, I know, it's the same thing the large hotel chains do, but what was wrong with the other system?) ****
6. Debarkation: we were luggage tag 12. We were called off the ship at 7:45 am and honestly got our bags, cleared customs and was standing in the street by 8:15 it really is amazing how the manage the flow so well. I think part of it is that you get off on deck 5 so none of the old dragging your bags to deck two or three like on the other ship and standing in the stairwells for 45 minutes. ( many of you know what I am talking about)
In closing let me say I am glad I went on the allure, it is really amazing. I am booked again on the liberty this December and I don't think I will miss the allure, If the price was right I would do it again, but there are just so many features I don't use it is hard to justify the extra money. I happened to have gotten an amazing deal on my ocean view balcony and there are no 4 or 5 night sailings in the summer in the US on the "good ships" they are all in Europe so you are either left with bahammas on the Oldies, or take a seven nighter and in this case the allure was way cheaper then the freedom (plus port Canaveral is aweful and I will avoid it at all costs because of it's remote location). so ft Lauderdale it is. just my thoughts. Oh and one important thing to look at when you read peoples reviews complaining about a cruise..
1. what time did they arrive at the ship? If boarding is noon, of course you are going to wait in a line at 10:30
2. what class of room did they get? did they get the cheapest inside stateroom they could find and then complain about it? If you don't get a balcony or above in my opinion your not experiencing the same cruise as the rest of us.