What a great cruise! Having sailed on Mariner, Serenade and Freedom, my two children (ages 11 and 15) and my husband and I were anxious to check out Allure. This cruise was really about the ship, although we had never sailed the Eastern Caribbean before. It was hard to find anything wrong with the vacation--we agreed with everything we had read--the ship was booked due to spring break, but we never felt crowded. I was most amazed that neither my daughter nor I ever had a problem finding a lounge chair in the pool area or in the solarium (took a bit of searching in the solarium on sea days--but I always found one).
Embarkation was easy--at port terminat at 11 am and we were on the ship by 11:25. It was wonderful wandering around and seeing everything. I think we covered much ground and got oriented before sail away. We also were in the theater for the muster drill--have to say that sitting down and watching the safety video was much nicer than our other trips where we stood outside in lines "mustering"
I loved the Solarium Bistro and some of the healthier choices (fell in love with the crepe sandwiches--esp. the shrimp and veggie varieties). One of our favorite parts was all the different dining options--we found ourselves asking repeatedly if we could ever go back to freedom or voyager class-since we really enjoyed eating other places (solarium, hot dog stand, rita's) and not having to do lunch in windjammer every day.
Our state room attendant was good--not great. But she was efficient and kept the room really clean. We still struggle with My Time Dining. Really miss the consistency of the same wait team every night--but really enjoy the flexibility. My daughter and husband loved Chicago (i left to stay with my younger son for a bit). The headliner show was a group that did Frankie Vallie--they were FABULOUS. Ice Show was creative and fun. Didn't love Blue Planet as much (can you tell we are a family that loves shows).
One of our favorite evening activities while my son was off playing basketball or watching March Madness with his new-found "posse" of friends was sitting in Schooner Bar for the piano player. My daughter got to sing with him on Broadway Show tunes night and was hooked the rest of the cruise. Did some trivia games as well. . . .and a lot of just hanging.
Had long lines disembarking at Nassau--which has never happened to us on a cruise before --but eventually got off the ship to a really WINDY day. Took a nice boat ride to Blue Lagoon, which was (thankfully) well sheltered from the wind. We were the first cruise ship to port and left before the crowds from Disney and Carnival came--this was a perfect first day relaxing excursion. Split up in St. Thomas with boys doing sea turtle and my daughter and I did the power cat excursion. Liked both but since none of us are big snorklers--really wished that RCL would offer some excursions that are sailing (or other boat rides) but no snorkeling. Just kind of hung out on St. Maarten.
We came for the sea days and they didn't disappoint. Did the zip line--barely a line on the last day of the cruise (and it didn't look like long lines earlier). Rode carousel, sat in Central Park and read. LOVED the Aqua Theater (another great addition). There was so much to do we feel like we barely cracked the surface--esp. since we tried to make sure that we spent some time just relaxing.
We'll be back!!!!