Already so many satisfactory reviews about the Allure. So how can I write yet another review without being repetitive?
With this question in mind, I’ll try to review our recent cruise from a different angle. Hope it can be of use for fellow cruisers who want to cruise the Allure, or want to cruise the Allure again! We did.
Do this. It is a lot of fun. And do this early in the week. We did on embarkation night (day 1), when not so many people knows about the fiesta so the restaurant is not very crowded. Just enough guests to make it fun. Service is fast and attentive as the servers are not too busy. But the best part is when we came out of the restaurant and danced on the boardwalk. Other guests flocked to see the “attraction”, and am sure make them wish to book the next fiesta!
On another note, at least on our cruise, the boardwalk just lost its novelty towards the end of the cruise, especially in the evening. Which is kind of sad, as actually it is a beautiful area. However, we cannot blame the passengers as there are so many activities they want to do in other areas as well.
150 CENTRAL PARK
Mixed comments here. We arrived promptly as per our booking at 6.30pm, and we had the restaurant to ourselves. Our waiter is very experienced, and we really enjoyed his explanation on the different dishes. As the nights go on, other guests started coming in, and “our” waiter became busiers as he has to attend to 4 different tables and 4 different courses to be served. We did feel a bit of “left behind”, but maybe it was because we were feeling like VIP earlier.
Anyway, this is the menu. We went later in the week so it is the 2nd menu :
BOREK FARMS CARROTS
Roasted, pureed, pickled
Shaved homemade ricotta, green olives, sunflower seeds and sprout
POTATO LEEK SOUP
Caviar, potato crisp, crème fraiche
BEET AND GOAT CHEESE TORTELLINI
Parmesan nage, chives
Braised Borek Farms turnips, Swiss chard puree, potato croquette, red wine reduction
BEEF TWO WAYS
Grilled White Oak Pastures tenderloin and Hariss Ranch short rib galette asparagus
Swank Farms cress, jus
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE BOURBON TART
Cranberry chutney, spiced pecans, salted caramel sauce
The menu was taken back by the waiter – there’s nothing we can do about our menu anyway, it is a set menu. We just have to enjoy whatever comes out of the chef’s kitchen. However, the waiter prompty gave us a mini version of the menu for keepsake with our names printed on it.
We are vegetarians, so the waiter – immediately without prior discussion with the chef – told us that they will serve mushroom in lieu of the grilled tuna. And the beef? Well, I am sure the chef will be able to do something, said the waiter.
Each and every course is superb, including the mushroom impromptu. However, I do not really enjoy the eggplant that they substitute for the beef. I think the chef could do better, eggplant parmigiana is too banal for a restaurant of this calibre. Well…
My wife jokingly commented that I didn’t enjoy the parmigiana because I am already too full from the previous courses! Maybe, maybe….
Anyway, full or not full, the dessert is again something not to be missed. It is simply indescribable! Heaven! (Unfortunately for you, the chef is not allowed to repeat the menu so your chance of enjoying this same dessert is really slim! Don’t worry. They will serve another heavenly dessert, I am sure!)
Breakfast is free here. Service is so-so, maybe they are still sleepy and hate to work in the morning. However, we do enjoy the eggs here as we can have it cooked to order and we don’t have to stand in queue for it. The ocean vista at the back of the ship is another bonus!
Very soon this become our most favorite place. For people watching, for seeing the parade, for late night chocolate drinks! Later we also learned to ask for paper cups so we can bring our hot drinks to the Amber Theatre! (we don’t drink anything cold, except ice cream).
Before boarding, when doing restaurant reservation we always mentioned that we are vegetarians. I don’t think the restaurants are aware about this. They know only when we are at the restaurant and mention it to the waiter. However, it seems that they can accommodate and modify the menu immediately. We were served “cheese quesadilla” for our entrée in Rita’s Cantina.
Last but not least. I’d like to recommend the boardwalk balcony.
Only on Allure (and Oasis) you can have the best of two worlds : the serene ocean view at the aft and the pele-mele of people on the carousel and the boardwalk. Go for it. Noise is not a problem once you close (and lock) your balcony door. Enjoy! (we did).