My family and I took a 7 day cruise on the Allure of the Seas. My boyfriend and his daughter were just going to go but two months before cruise we were invited. We were so excited to go. We worked with a cruise specialist(not Royal Caribbean ), because we had to change reservation it was a huge ordeal to get our whole family on board. It took three hours on the phone and two phone calls to get us all together. They had to keep checking with Royal Caribbean.
Once we had our reservation, I went online excited to plan our entertainment while we were there. Royal Caribbean continued to have problems with online reservation for the evening entertainment. I made three calls and each time told they were working on problem. After a week of dealing with that I was told to contact web support. I did as they suggested. A week later web support contacted me and said they were working on problem and sorry for the delay. I could not even book excursions. I then called Royal Caribbean back and was very frustrated at that point. I was able to book the excursions with them but was told all the shows were sold out and I would have to wait to do it on the ship. I was not happy. I wanted every thing planned so I could relax on the ship.
When we arrived at the port, I was very impressed with the friendliness and how organized everything was Within a hour we were on board the ship! Within a half hour of being on the ship we had our bags and Perez,our cabin steward, had our room ready. The ship was gorgeous!
When we arrived in the room I tried to book our entertainment through the interactive tv. I was told there was a billing error. I then called customer service. No answer. Later that evening I waited in line at customer service for over 45 minutes to tried to fix the problem. When i arrived at the desk the customer service rep said it was because we had two different reservations because of our change on adding people. She said she fixed it. I then went back to room and tried again. It did not work so the next day I waited in line again. This time she booked the shows for us. When it was time to go to shows, My daughter was informed she did not have a reservation. They let her in anyway. The next day we went back to customer service and ask why my daughter was not on the reservations. The lady at the counter informed us she never was. We were confused since we all were in the same cabin. The rep informed us that all shows were booked except the 10:30 and we would have to go to that one. We informed her that we had reservation and that we were not going to a 10:30 show with children when we had a excursions the next day. The rep then informed us that we should have looked at the sheet of paper that had reservations on it and she could not do anything. At that point a manager was involved. The manager fixed it.
The shows were awesome. We saw oceanar(amazing), and we saw ice games. Our children loved the shows. We waited in line for over a hour on stand by to get into comedy night(because customer service screwed up reservation) it was so worth it. The comedians were hilarious! If you wanted to do any of their entertainment during day, every thing cost extra. We played bingo and it cost 66 dollars.
The weather was gorgeous and the pools were packed. Allure of the seas has 6 pools. The only bad thing was that by 9:30 everyone had saved their chairs for the day even if they weren't there. Everyday at the pool Allure had a band playing for about a hour twice a day. It was wonderful. The bar service by the pool was horrible , we had to go get our drinks almost every time. At the bars you would have to wait for over 15 minutes to get a drink even when they weren't busy :(. The bartenders were not friendly at all. If you drink more than three drinks a day, I would defiantly do the drink card for each person. My boyfriend did the 55 dollar one and i didn't do one. My bill was huge(foo foo drinks :() even though I drank less.
The food on the cruise was very good. Windjammer had a great variety of foods. In the garden area there was the cafe and the breakfast and lunch was great! Sandwiches and salads. On deck 4 you could make your own pizza and next to customers service was a deli where you could get your coffee and mini sandwiches and desserts. The only problem we found was that when you wanted a evening snack there really wasn't anything. Timed dinning was wonderful and every evening a part of the menu changed.
If you were a adult we found that the club entertainment was extremely limited. Most of the action didn't start until after 12:00 and that was just to late for us. Every night on deck 5 they had a piano guy that we did not care for, they had salsa club, a dance club by the casino called blaze(younger crowd) but fun, a karaoke place (only adults after 9:00) and a beer joint with a great singer but the same guy every night.
In regards to kids entertainment, my kids became bored very quickly. They would go to activities but not a lot of kids participated. My daughter said that if they would have had more non sport activities during day they would have participated .
BEWARE Allure of the seas charges each person every day a 12 gratuity fee. That is a lot for 5 people. It cost us $420 in gratuity. We did not know that until we got the bill. We had already tipped everyone extra. We were not happy.
With all that said we would not do Allure of the Seas again. My boyfriend has done Princess, carnival etc and the customer service and cost was so much better than Allure of the Seas.
Tips for a smooth cruise
*if same price work directly with Royal Caribbean instead of cruise specialist.
*buy the 55 dollar card if you drink (it is per person), it will be a stamp that goes on your seapass. you can only get one drink at a time.
*buy the soda cups for kids, they stamp your kids sea pass and they just show it on ship when they want a drink.
*plan all your entertainment and excursions immediately when you book.
* take advantage of all the photographers on the ship. At the end of the cruise they sell cds(very expensive but worth it). The more pictures you have done the bigger variety you have to choose from. It was $180 for 10 pictures on a cd. Or make sure you have someone snap some pictures for you. Its worth it. They don't unlock your pictures until you get home and then you pick then.
*I hate to say it but in the morning before breakfast save your pool spot. Go to breakfast and then go to the pool. If your not going to pool until later be respectful and don't save a spot :(
* go for breakfast around 8:00/8:30 great time.
*make sure you grab towels by pool for all your excursions in the morning.
*with your drink card bottled water is included. Defiantly bring a couple for excursions. keep in mind when going back on ship you can not bring any drinks. so don't by a bunch of water or drinks.
*defiantly get the floats that you can rent for 14 dollars on the private island. Not a lot to do.
*don't bother doing the market on the private island. They swarm you like flies and everything was the same. They scared my kids(and me lol) You can get better at the market in Cozumel.
*When on land bargain bargain bargain... never take full price. They will always bargain. I bought a bracelet they said was $400. I talked them down to a $100(which in the states was still pricey).
*Cozumel has a wonderful market right when you get off ship. Defiantly shop there.
*In Jamaica they have Margarita ville. Its right when you get off the ship. Its awesome. you can swim with your kids at the pool for free. Coupons online.
plan all our excursions and entertainment on line before cruising.