This is the first time I've written a review. I hope I've captured all the information. We are just back from the Allure. The ship is phenomenal. Pictures do not do it justice. There is something for everyone of all ages. We found the service excellent, as always. The food in the Windjammer was not as good as on some of the other ships, but with so many dining options, it wasn't a big deal. We loved the Park Cafe ... best roast beef we've ever tasted! And the best roast beef on the ship! Nice option for breakfast as is the buffet in the MDR and the Solarium. Great salad buffet in the MDR on sea days.
We never experienced any long lines in any of the food venues, and with so many [free] options, we didn't see any need to pay extra at any of the specialty restaurants.
Our MDR waiter and assistant waiter were great as was our head waiter, who was at our table speaking with us and checking on us every evening. This was a refreshing change from so many of the head waiters who you might see once on lobster night but definitely see at least once on tip night. So to see and get to know our head waiter was very nice. Great snacks to be had well into the night ... sandwiches, pizza, sweets, etc.
Diamond Club was in a very nice location on the ship and was very comfortable. Staff was extremely accommodating.
For a ship that holds 6,360 people and booked to capacity, we were pleasantly surprised at how uncrowded it felt. We never had a problem getting a lounge chair on deck. There were plenty of chairs to be had. In fact, the other members in our group also commented on how much room there was. We've been on many other ships and if you get up to the deck mid- to late-AM, you almost never can find deck chairs. We never experienced this on the Allure. The only time we really felt the numbers of people were when there was a parade or special happening on the Promenade Deck.
The shows were great. The entertainers in Chicago were exceptionally talented ... the show just wasn't our cup of tea ... but you had to appreciate the talent on stage. Oceanaria and Blue Planet were fantastic. The Comedy Show very funny. The headliner show was El Gaucho. It was supposed to be Beatlemania, but the performers were not able to get to the ship. We saw El Gaucho several years ago. He is a great act so although we didn't get to see Beatlemania, we had no problem with seeing El Gaucho once again. The ice show was also very good. We do recommend booking your reservations before sailing as the shows do fill up quickly. You can still get into the shows without reservations, but you have to wait till all the reservation people are seated and then it is on an availability basis. You can make reservations on line very easily.
Waivers for activities such as the zip line, ice skating, flow rider, can be completed on line prior to sailing and we would definitely recommend doing that in advance.
There was so much to do and so many areas to take advantage of the beautiful views, we didn't know where to start! Royal Caribbean has outdone themselves with this ship. We felt that they have been listening to their cruise customers and have taken all their comments and addressed them in one beautiful ship. We could feel a small bit of a rocking motion one night when seas were rough, but we didn't think it was significant. Our cabin, a balcony category, was roomy and we really liked the changes they made to the storage areas with shelves in the closets and extra electrical plugs so we could plug in our phone, camera, and still be able to use my curling iron.
We were impressed with all the new technology on the ship especially the touch screen "Finder", the various kiosks, and the ability to just scan your seapass card in the stores.
We did our own thing on the islands as we have been to each of the islands several times. We did go up to Paradise Point, which we had not done before. Beautiful views. A bit expensive for the short ride to the top ($21 RT).
I was a bit disappointed that in order to see the Dreamworks characters, you had to pay extra. There was one short parade they were in, but by the time we got to the Promenade from dinner, the parade was over.
Perhaps the one suggestion I would make is to have trays at the buffet sites to make it easier to manage getting your food and drinks from the buffet to the table especially when using more than one dish.
We took advantage of the "Luggage Valet" service. It costs $20/person and worth every penny of it. We put our luggage out by 11:00pm on the last evening and the next time we saw it was at the airport when we arrived home. It was the easiest departure we've every done.
It would be nice if these magnificent ships could go to different port of calls, but we would not hesitate to sail again on the Allure ... in fact, we're looking forward to it!!