Allure is an expensive and sad chapter for the Royal Caribbean brand. The ship is a monster, with none of the grace or elegance that characterized ocean liners of the past. No longer the sleek greyhounds of the sea, modern mega-cruisers have become little more than giant ugly hotels that float on their sides in the water.
We did two back-to-back seven-day Caribbean cruises on Allure, and would never do it again. RCI has lost the magic that worked in the smaller ships--the intimacy and personal attention are totally missing; the open, expansive public spaces have been replaced by huge crowds, long lines everywhere, and mandatory reservations for the shows. If you don't mind standing in line to get a drink at the bar, this is the ship for you. We never did get a reservation for the comedy club.
Also largely missing was the attractive and tasteful artwork that graces smaller ships in the RCI stable; on Allure, what you get instead is miles and miles of plastic glitz; it's like being in a Las Vegas shopping mall next door to an amusement park and a traveling carnival.
Central Park is nice, and that's probably the best feature of the ship. The specialty restaurants there are a welcome change from the lackluster food served in the main dining room, which is overcrowded and noisy.
We spoke with a number of other passengers during our two weeks on board; most said they were glad to have had the experience but would not sail on an Oasis Class ship again. We prefer the tasteful elegance of Celebrity and Cunard ships, and we'll not sail on graceless whales again.