Our family of eight spent our first few days in Orlando before driving the 200 miles to Fort Lauderdale and Port Everglades to join the Allure of the Seas. On arrival at the port I was struck with the sheer size, even though I had traveled on the Freedom of the Seas previously.
The embarkation process was by far the smoothest I have experienced and we were on the ship within an hour of arrival at the port which was 11AM. You are given a map of the ship prior to boarding which we found useful. The decor and layout is what you would expect of RCI and it has all of our favourite venues and some additional ones. The crew were still finding their way around but in the main were knowledgeable. We explored until around 1PM when our stateroom was ready. The stateroom was excellent we had booked a balcony which was situated at the rear of the ship parallel with the boardwalk main entrance and one deck above it on deck seven. We were unable to dock in Nassau due to the wind being at around 40 knots which we were disappointed by. The Captain stated that he did not want to endanger the ship trying to get it into the port with the wind being this strong (apparently the ship cost 1.4 billion but no one factored in strong winds)
The on-board entertainment was good with Chicago and Blue Planet being the best of the bunch Please ensure that you book shows prior to your cruise as lines of people who had not booked were quite long.
We sailed on to St Thomas and St Martin before returning to Port Everglades
Our dining room staff were great and I would say the best we have had with RCI Ross John our drinks waiter was the best and Jonalyn out waitress was fantastic!! very funny. Our cruise director was Ken Rush who did not appear to be that enthusiastic the first time he made contact with the passengers was on the third cruise day which I found unusual. I think he is coming to the end of his shelf life, the good news though is that he is handing over to Alan Brooks in January 2011 he will make it much more enjoyable in my opinion. I found that because the ship has so many passengers it was difficult to eat in the windjammer especially for larger groups wishing to sit together. The crew do their best to accommodate but with that many people it is bound to be difficult to please everyone on one occasion they were asking guests to come back later!! The ship has touch screens on every deck which allow you to find out where things are and what is going on and we found this a great help.
In conclusion I am glad I tried the ship I think 6000 passengers is to many especially on the sea days I do like RCI and will be sailing on the the smaller Brilliance of the Seas next December in Dubai hopefully without it LISTING but that another story.