Embarkation We arrived at the ship at 11:00 and were on board by 11:30. Not at all bad considering the size of the ship. We had the obligatory roast beef sandwich and then went and checked out our table for dinner. Not bad, a table for four next to a window! We then went to our cabin to see if it was ready. It was! Our luggage was delivered promptly. Unpacking was pretty easy. After 7 cruises we know to pack light. We went downstairs and positioned ourselves in the Bow and Stern Pub to watch the other passengers arrive. While we were sitting there I recognized Harold from our Cruise Critic thread as he walked by. Priscilla was amazed that I could pick him out from all those people. We had a beer and then it was time for the muster drill. Our station was in the ice rink and the whole drill went smoothly. It was now time for Sail-Away! We meet up at the Sky Bar and watched Fort Lauderdale slip off into the distance.
Main Dining Room
We were there early as we knew where our table was. We met our table mates and had a great dinner. The food was good! The wine selection was good too. I had us signed up for the wine package. We never saw our table mates again as they never again showed up for dinner. So, for the remainder of the cruise it was just Priscilla and myself at the table.
Our first stop was Nassau. Having been there before we just walked around the port and then headed back to the ship. The rest of the day was spent lounging by the Solarium pool. After a sea day we pulled into St. Thomas. Again, we had been there before so we just walked around the port. $1300 later we returned to the ship! I think Priscilla is worth it! The following day we were in St. Maarten. I had heard a lot about Mahoo beach and the landing planes so we went there. If you're an aviation fanatic like me this is not to be missed. You can almost reach out and touch the planes as they land! There was also a young lady swimming topless, so that didn't hurt! The last two days of the cruise were sea days.
Ocean Aria was good! It was sort of like Cirque du Soleil. We saw that on our first night. Chicago was pretty good also. We had seen it on Broadway and I found it comparable. The comedy show was pretty entertaining. The headliners were MO5AIC. We had seen them in Las Vegas and were very impressed. We even bought their CD's! The ice show was okay. Priscilla said it was very good, I caught up on some sleep. Blue Planet was very good.
We went to two: Izumi for lunch and the Samba Grill for dinner. At Izumi we had excellent sushi, and at Samba (a Brazilian steakhouse) we had all sorts of meat! It was great, but we were stuffed before we sampled all the different types of meat! If you're not a vegan, that's the place to go!(Sorry Christine!)
Allure is massive! you can literally spend the entire week on her and never see the ocean! With all the people on board I never felt crowded. There were a few times you had to wait on line, but it was all neat and orderly.
Getting off the ship went as easy as getting on. We had luggage tags #3 and were called before we even finished breakfast. We learned a secret about getting through customs easily. (I'm going to keep it a secret!) After a 15 minute cab ride we were waiting at the airport. Pretty good considering there were a few thousand people getting of the ship.
Like I said, Allure is massive! It is very easy to get lost on her. Not that I'm complaining, but I do prefer a smaller ship. They seem more intimate. I would cruise on her again, though. Alan Brooks is an excellent cruise director! I do have two complaints. The first is that there is no dedicated cigar lounge on the ship. I like to end my evening with a good cigar and a glass of cognac. We were relegated to the Solarium bar, unless there was a party there, or to a small bar upstairs from the Solarium. RCI get your act together and get us a lounge! The second has to do with the progressive trivia tournament. There were more than a few times where the right answer was obviously wrong! (case in point: George Lazenby was not the original James Bond!) Our team mates Deb and Bill, and Linda and Tim were going to walk out in protest! But it was all in fun so we decided to stay. We should have won though!
As much as I prefer smaller ships I would sail on her again. We can now say we were on the biggest cruise ship in the world!!!