This may be one of the most beautiful ships I have ever had the pleasure of boarding. All the amazing amenities will make you wonder when you will sleep. I mean, zip-lining, Las Vegas/Broadway quality entertainment, the most unusual and unbelievable spaces, makes this ship almost surreal. You can see it in the eyes of the passengers as they board, utter shock and awe. It's brand new and completely fabulous. No pictures can capture the attention to detail, the designers should get an award or something!
The ports we visited were mostly great, Haiti (Royal Caribbean owns this port). It has a fake anti-Haiti feel, but we did enjoy the beautiful beach. Conveniently, it was so easy to access from the ship parked right along a concrete jetty that you walk on right from the ship, no lines. One thing that was annoying was that you couldn't access the better, cove-style beach, unless you are in some "we are special" golden card club that we knew nothing about until we were stopped by More
the cruise police as we attempted entrance. We loved Falmouth, Jamaica with its gorgeous white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. At the Cozumel, Mexico port we opted for a sail and snorkel excursion and there was amazing marine life around a coral formation. It was the best snorkel excursion I have ever experienced although it was only my third time.
If you happen to be a non-smoker it might annoy that this ship seems to be very smoker friendly. Also, I believe because of the sheer numbers that are present at the semi-formal dinners, it would be close to impossible to serve the quality of food I have experienced on other cruises. The up side was I didn't eat so much at dinner and that made me feel less of a glutton from all the food I ate during the day at one of the many very tasty buffets for breakfast and lunch. Another negative: we made arrangements to eat at the Brazilian steak house, for a surcharge, and it was pretty bad. It was more of a gimmick and the food suffered, although they did have the best desserts I had on the whole cruise.
For us, the most incredible aspect of the cruise was the over the top and brilliant entertainment. The aqua show was astounding, "Chicago" was Broadway quality, the ice-skating performance blew us away! Even the comedy show was outrageously hilarious. Maybe it takes the largest cruise ship in the world to deliver such perfection but it was one of the highlights of the trip.
One problem that you have to sign up for with a ship of this size is a slight claustrophobia because there are so many people EVERYWHERE. Even in our stateroom if I left the curtains open I could see people everywhere. They do a pretty good job of soundproofing but with over 6,000 guests and over 2,000 staff it's hard to have any peaceful solitude. When we got off the ship I just wanted to be alone for a day or two.
I am also going to touch on a slightly controversial subject. Many of the passengers, mostly American, were hard to look at. I know that sounds mean, but I have never been on a cruise in which the passengers cared so little about how they looked in public places. Maybe because this is a Caribbean cruise and the temps were high, but for god's sake cover up your morbidly obese bodies in some sort of bathing suit cover-up. I am not a mean person, and I'm not some skinny mini, but I would never walk around a restaurant/buffet wearing my pajamas, ill-fitting unflattering beach attire, or bathrobe. When I say bathrobe I must also mention that you have the very real chance of it flailing open to help you lose your appetite when you see a geriatric set of low low saggy balls, hanging out of shorts, (this actually happened!).
One thing worth mentioning is that if you didn't know it already these mega-cruises really make their money on your on-board purchases. Be prepared for a sales pitch at every corner. I was disappointed that on the days we had at sea most of the activities revolved around teaching you how to buy something. Of course there were the pool games and the trivia, but there were not any educational opportunities to fill your sea days. On other cruises I've taken have had experts in certain fields who would put on interesting lectures about the places we were visiting and information about sea life or cultural information. Not on this big lady. The only thing you will be lectured on is how to buy diamonds and how to buy designer watches. I ended up spending my sea days out on deck by the pool slightly bored.
Overall, you will be overwhelmed with this beautiful ship and will have a great time. Make sure you have some extra cash stashed because you will end up buying things you may not have budgeted for. I bought a pair of $400 sunglasses and I didn't see that one coming:) Less
Allure of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean
My fiancee and I stayed in an inside room with a balcony overlooking the boardwalk at the rear of the ship, allowing us ocean views and EVEN better people watching! Also, probably the best part of our state room looking to the rear of the ship was that we could watch the Aqua show from our balcony. We were able to watch that truly amazing show in the regular seats and then in our state room on the other nights they performed. I can't say enough about that aqua show.