Once our paperwork was in order we proceeded upstairs. The ship was not cleared for embarkation and we sat for about 30 minutes in the vast waiting area. As a Crown and Anchor member we were able to board the ship sooner that others. Depending on your C&A status. It really didn't matter much. Everyone who was waiting were able to board the ship fairly soon after it was cleared.
Once on board my children disappeared to explore the ship. When they resurfaced, their first comments were that the Allure did not feel as big as she was. They have cruised on Navigator and Liberty before and have a point of reference. Once my husband and I explored, we agreed with their observation. It does not feel overwhelming. I attribute this to the excellent layout of the neighbourhoods. We never seemed to walk far for anything.
Back to embarkation: The crew were informing everyone that lunch was available in the Windjammer. We proceeded up to grab a quick bite. When we left we noticed that it was at capacity and people were waiting to get it. That was a first for us. We had not experienced that on other cruises. If I were to cruise on Allure again I may take advantage of some of the other eating venues for lunch on the first day.
Now for the real review:
This ship is stunningly beautiful and we were all very impressed. The neighbourhoods were amazing. Our room was Forward, Starboard on deck 8. We were perfectly situated to use the Central Park Area. We ate most breakfasts at the cafe there. It was tranquil and relaxing.
The main dining room was as expected. Not much different from other RCI ships. We all enjoyed the food. We ate at Giovanni's one night and were quite pleased with everything except the lamb. (where was the meat???) It really didn't matter, the chicken, pasta, anti pasto etc were fabulous. We also ate one lunch at Rita's. It was fine. A little boring, disappointing. Johnny Rockets was great. The burgers were delicious.
The promenande was similar to other RCI ships. Bigger and with a starbucks. Not much action seen there.
Central Park is amazing. Enough said.
The Boardwalk boasted the Johnny Rockets, Rita's, Ice Cream, Donuts, Hot dog etc etc. Quite nice for younger kids.
The Aqua show was fantastic, as was Blue Planet. I missed Chicago, (fighting a sinus infection) However, my husband and daughter enjoyed it. Didn't do other shows, maybe next time.
I can go on forever. Bottom line, if you can, book a cruise on this beautiful ship. It has something for everyone. We were very sad to leave disembark.
Disembarkation was smooth for us. We walked off of the ship with our own luggage in tow and had not delays or lines.