Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by takemeaway27: Allureâ€¦A WOW in Every Way!
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Allureâ€¦A WOW in Every Way!
I little background. I am 31 and married. This was my 4th cruise, all with Royal Caribbean. I have sailed on the Explorer, Freedom, and Liberty. I have loved them all but was definitely excited to sail on the BIGGEST ship. This trip was with my husband (without our 3 year old) and with another couple.
Pre-Cruise- We flew to Ft. Lauderdale a whole day ahead. It was just the way our flights worked out. We stayed at the Renaissance Cruise Port Hotel and it was wonderful. We were actually able to check into our room at 9:45 AM. We then spent the day riding on the Water Taxi (that we could walk to from the hotel) It is a fixed price for the day and you can get off and on at different locations. This was great! We had lunch at restaurant on the water called Flip Flops, which was a good option. The hotel also had many food options within walking distance) Starbucks, various restaurants etc.). There is also a Walgreens across the street for last minute purchases and WINE. You can More take one bottle per person on board. The next morning we scheduled a shuttle ride to the ship ($6 per person).
Boarding- Here is a breakdown of how it went:
10:20- left the hotel on the shuttle
10:25 arrived at the ship
10:35- Checked baggage, got through security, and got into the priority check in line.
11:00 – Already checked in, received Sea Pass card, Mini schedule of the week etc. We were then directed to a seating area to await boarding.
11:21- Stepped my foot onto the Allure of the Seas!!! Although that was actually an hour, it seemed so quick and painless!
We spent the first hour gawking at the ship! It really is amazing! I pre-booked all of our entertainment and excursions so I just had the bonus offers to book. Once that was done we spent hours wondering around and exploring. We had a hot dog on the Boardwalk…YUM. I had read about these infamous hot dogs for months and I could not wait one more minute… we had them quite a few times over the course of the week!!! We also did the Zip Line that first afternoon before it got too crowded. Throughout the week we spent most of our leisurely time in the Solarium… no children, a doughnut shaped pool, and a bar. What else could we need? This was a great relaxing retreat. With that said, I cannot give an honest review of many of the onboard activities. We did not rock climb, ice skate or hang out at the “busy pools”. I did use the running track on deck 5. I think this was an improvement to other ships as it was not as windy.
Food-We ate at the main dining room most nights. It was good. If you don’t like something order something else. I would say that my favorite restaurant was Park Café for Breakfast and Lunch! Yes the roast beef sandwiches are THAT good! The dining room for breakfast was also good but takes a little longer. One thing I really liked about this ship was that it had more free venues to eat. Johnny Rockets is no charge for breakfast. Now, the BEST meal ALL week was CHOPS GRILL. We booked this with our Free specialty dinner. It. Was. Amazing!! The fillet!!!! The Sides!!! The RED VELVET CAKE!!! Our group could not even talk during dinner because we were moaning over our meals so much. Even though we got it as a bonus offer it would be worth the extra charge! I will never sail again without booking this restaurant!
Entertainment- We went to a show every night! Be sure to them ahead, because they will fill up and they DO scan your sea pass card when you go in. I can say all of the shows were great. Each of us in our group had a different favorite depending on our tastes. We also attended some other shows that you did not have to have reservations for. Needless to say we were never lacking something to do.
Spa- It is large and beautiful! I received a free Swedish massage as part of my bonus offers. It had to be booked on a port day so I chose the morning of the Jamacia port since we didn’t get in until 10:00ish. It was not really a problem but it was extremely loud in the massage room due to all the mechanical things happening right under the SPA while docking, so just be aware of that. My big issue with the treatment was that my technician was a little rude and pushy with trying to sell products. She basically made me feel completely hideous and fat, discussing parts of my body that needed improvement. I know she was trying to sell products, but come on!! I can’t say it ruined the massage but I did not leave as relaxed as I should have and I would have REALLY had a problem had I paid $120 for the service. My friend did not have this problem with a different technician so just be aware.
Ports- My husband and I have been to all 3 ports before… this cruise was about the ship. However we still got off at each port and enjoyed our time
Labadee-We planned for this to be a beach day. We walked around and an “attendant” got us chairs. Have a few dollars ready to tip. We relaxed on the beach and I rented a $12 floating mat for the day. Our friends did the Dragon’s Breath zip line (we did this in the past) and we did the Dragon Tail coaster. All was fun. Around 12:30 a lot of dark clouds came in. We decided to forgo the beach barbeque and head back to the ship to eat at the Windjammer. It started to rain on our walk back. Had this been a perfect weather day we would have stayed on the beach all day.
Falmouth Jamacia- This is a newly build port. My last experience in Jamacia was not the best so I was happy with this new “protected port.” It was build for the cruise ships and has approved stores and vendors. We had some drinks and appetizers at Margarittaville and walked around some of the shops.
Cozumel- My 3rd time here. The first time my husband and I went to he mainland and did a tour of the ruins and a beach break. The 2nd time I was with my mom and we did a “Salsa Salsa” excursion where we did salsa dancing and learned to make salsa. Both were great tours and I highly recommend them. This time we did the Catamaran 2 stop snorkel. It was $39 and was GREAT snorkeling. They have another called the Fury Catermaran. That one is a little more $$ but also goes to a location for a beach break. After snorkeling we walked around the vendors at the port I bought some $1 maracas for my daughter then back to the ship for lunch again.
Disembarking- We chose to do the Express-check out. We had an earlier than recommended flight (10:55) so we chose to walk off the ship at 6:30. Unfortunately there were some technical issues and delays. We were directed to wait in the dining room. The delay was not really my problem. My issue was that there was not really a line so we got there at 6:15 and were pushed to the back of the dining room and people who came later at 7:00 were bunched at the front and pushed off first when they finally started letting us off. They need a much better system for this.
All in all this was a fabulous trip and I can’t wait to go back. I could write a book (even more than this) about every detail of the ship, but discovering it on your own is part of the fun. If you don’t like this vacation then cruising is just not for you! Enjoy!! Less
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