Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by skipcramer: Try a mega-cruise ship - Bigger can really be better
Overall Member Rating
Try a mega-cruise ship - Bigger can really be better
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
As first-time mega-ship cruisers we were delighted with the Allure experience. Our Port Everglades embark/debark was amazingly quick considering the 6,000+ passengers. We opted for the Park-N-Go lot for our car and I timed under 30 minutes from shuttle bus to arrival on board and same for time from mustering for departure, clearing customs and back in our shuttle bus.
As others have noted, the size of this ship offers an extraordinary array of places to go and things to do. The concept of creating a hollow central core from deck 5 and up, with interior-facing balconies, Central Park, and the Boardwalk area in the stern 1/3 of the ship is genius and gave a sense of open space that carries throughout the ship. The deck space with a 225,000 ton ship also meant a very large pool and water games area for kids separate from the adult pools and whirlpools. We were religious about using the fitness center and found it to be outstanding. Crowds gather mid morning but equipment was More still readily available.
We found the food to be average or a bit above. Our service experience was positive, from dining room to cabin steward, and with other crew as well. However, our dinner table companions echoed other reviewers who found this a little less welcoming and friendly ship than other RC ships they had enjoyed. I am glad we did not have that experience.
We enjoyed our port visits but stuck with the "overview" excursions. We were impressed again with how efficiently Allure got us off and on the ship, along with the 5,998 other passengers. As for entertainment, it was excellent and passed my "run in the stockings" test (second-class shows with seedy costumes and lackluster talent). No complaints about getting into the shows, either, as long as you planned ahead and made reservations as we did, before the cruise. (We also made it into shows we had not reserved but were willing to wait 15 minutes to fill in for "no shows".)
Bottom line: We were impressed. Don't let size scare you away from an extraordinary experience. While certainly not the cozy experience of a river barge trip on the Seine, we never felt like we were lost in a sea of people or ignored by the staff. Less
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Cabin review: 11-596
Our balcony cabin was starboard side, just forward of midships. By luck, the ship docked starboard side to, giving us great views of ports for arrival and departure. The cabin was well appointed, immaculately maintained, and quite spacious (192 s.f + 50 s.f. balcony) compared to some of our other ships. While closet space was snug, we emptied our over-packed suitcases and never felt cramped or crowded.
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