Background: We are older seniors. We have a home in upstate NY and travel in our 37’ motorhome. We are spending our winter in Florida and are taking a cruise each month this winter, This was our 10th cruise in 3 years.
I’ll start with the best news. 1. There’s no more smoking on the Balcony. 2. We received a “Weekly Planner” which foretold the main events. You can fill in your own schedule and voila! It’s all on one piece of paper. 3. Speaking of paper, RCI has stopped all the paper handouts and most everything (except the Daily Compass) is now on the TV. Excellent!
Embarkation: We made reservations at the “Park and Go”. It’s a clean, secure and fenced lot. $61.29 for 7 days. Our luggage was taken from our car to the shuttle and we were on our way to the Allure of the Seas. We were quickly and pleasantly processed. My carryon bag had bottled water, which they took out, checked and all was well. We had a short wait before boarding, but were having lunch at the Park Café at noon.
Our Balcony Stateroom was ready by 1pm. Our Room Steward, Harran Manalansan from the Philippines, was a gem. He replaced the topper on our saggy bed and was always very helpful, available and smiling. Our closet had tons of hangers. The mini-fridge is no longer stocked with those small liquor bottles. The round bathroom shower had solid doors – no water on the floor. The water was very hot. Children, beware.
DH’s luggage was held in inspection because it stated “knife” on the sticker, which turned out to be a Vicks inhaler. We missed the comedy show.
The Fire Drill: Our group met in the Ice skating rink. When the All Clear was sounded 5,000 people headed for the elevators! We have now learned not to join them, but walk up one flight and head to the nearest bar. Just one drink and crowd is gone!
Dinner: We had bad luck with our table location, had it changed, again and again. Don’t even ask! Also, I have never experienced such a noisy dining room. The dining room service was poor at best. We opted out, paid the price and went to Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table, Vintages for tapas and best of all the Samba Brazilian Steakhouse.
Breakfast & Lunch: I love breakfast in the Solarium, but the food was cold. Breakfast in the dining room always had a long; I mean LONG, line for waiting to be seated. You could choose either the menu or the buffet side. The buffet was better with an excellent selection and less stress. Lunch at Johnny Rockets had great burgers, onion rings and fries and a lot of fun! The Windjammer has the best traffic pattern – no lines – and a varied food selection.
Entertainment: “Hairspray” was one reason to book this ship. It was professionally done – included all the good music and was enjoyable. The “Spa” was a great treat for me, as I had my first-ever facial. And DH had 3 acupuncture treatments for his shoulder pain. The Spa was a new, amazing experience for us.
We didn’t do any tours, as we’ve done the Eastern route many times. We enjoy being on the ship and the air conditioning when it’s hot and humid, as it is in the Caribbean Islands.
In Summary: the Allure is a beautiful ship with excellent public spaces. We never had rough seas, but she seems very stable. The signage is excellent – and the interactive screens are very helpful. Good and fast elevators! The ship is clean, nice carpets, comfortable places to sit, a place to call home – for a while!