We sailed on Allure on the 1st cruise of 2011 (6th cruise for the ship overall) Me 53, my wife 45, and our 19 year old daughter. We had driven to the Port and parked at Air/Sea Parking, 5 minutes for the ship. As we were shuttled in we couldn't believe the shear presence of the ship. We had sailed on Freedom Class before and this ship made it look tiny! We arrived at about 12:30 and embarkation took less that 20 minutes total before we were on the ship.
The ship was clean and beautiful. I never use the elevators and on each stair landing (4-sets of stairs) there was art work of high quality. As we waited for our room we went up to the Windjammer for lunch. Although busy we had no problem finding a place to sit. we were in our cabin (8212) by 1:30 and met our cabin steward Javier, who was excellent. Our bags got to the room long before our early dining time.
Where to begin. You'd think a 225,000 ton ship would be overwhelming, but after a day you find she's very easy to navigate. And if you had problems, 4-touch screens on every deck which allowed you to find out what was happening and gave directions to get there, as well as directions to the rest rooms and your cabins. They also let you know what restaurants were open, and how busy they were.
The venues were fantastic. Flow Rider, Rock Wall, carousel, zip line, basketball, mini-golf, ice skating, many pools and hot tubs, and the best work out room on the ocean. The main theater was beautiful, and the smaller venues were as well appointed as the larger. You would be hard pressed to get bored! And if you like a rocking ship don't sail this one. The smoothest ship we have ever been on. Hard pressed to remember when we felt it moving. And the photo shop uses your sea pass card and facial recognition. No digging for pictures on big walls anymore!
The shows were great. Chicago was as good as it is on Broadway. The Ocean Aria was "Cirque du Soleil" on the Ocean. The headliners were funny, the Ice Show as good as on shore, and Blue Planet was some great effects with the best props I have ever seen. One tree in Planet weight over a ton! The parades with dreamworks characters was cute, and the fountain show was "Bellagio light". We went to a different show every night and were never disappointed with what we saw. Make sure to attend the disco party on the promenade and watch the stage come out.
The main dining room food was well prepared and very tasty. The food was always prepared to our liking, and special orders were always provided. But there are so many places to eat for free on this ship, we only ate in the dining room for dinner. The Park Cafe had great breakfast sandwiches and made to order panini at lunch, not to mention the specialty roast beef on an onion roll that has to be tasted to be believed. Free breakfast at Johnny Rockets, hot dogs hamburgers and nachos in the wipe out cafe, two ice scream spots on the pool deck, the solarium bistro, the vitality cafe, sorrento's pizza and the promenade cafe. We didn't use room service or any specialty restaurant, but did partake of the best cupcake at sea at the promenade cupcake shop for only $2.50.
Javier was our room steward. Excellent service with a smile and helped us out whenever needed. John and Tomasz were our waiters, and their service was fantastic. And Tahwnee, the best head waiter we have ever sailed with. Ken Rush was the Cruise Director. No need to say any more as he is the best RCCL has. Other notables include Maritza and the waitstaff in the diamond club who made you feel like you were somebody special and Trixy, the best photographer at sea.
It will be hard to sail on any other ship after this one. Our 19-year old had a blast as well, and was never bored and made many new friends. It was the best ship we were ever on. Hopefully we can sail this class again some day. But as long as we stay on RCCL, whatever the other ships lack will be more than made up by the staff.