We just got off the Allure of the Seas this past Sunday. One year ago we were on the Oasis. These ships are like my 9 year old twins girls - fraternal but still very closely related.
We loved both cruises and ships - amazing experiences, disconnected from the world, relaxing and fun for my husband, me, and our two kids.
There are a lot of detailed reviews, so I will keep this fairly general and just grade certain things with A through F like school. Since the Allure is fresh in our minds, I am mainly using that in grading.
To see our IMAGES from the ALLURE, go here: http://tinyurl.com/allure-spring-break.
Kids area - Adventure Ocean (9-11 yr old area) = A (they loved going and went once a day, or sometimes more)
Pools - amazing, sort of - overall B. The pools are kept clean and are beautiful for being at sea. But they could use a few towel stands and more seating. It is not easy to get a seat or lounge chair unless you are there at 8:30am.
Ports - only my husband got off in the Bahamas since it was a short stop.
* St. Martin/Maarten - our favorite port - good shopping, husband loves the mountain bike excursion, fun at the beaches, etc... A+
* St. Thomas - went snorkeling at Turtle Cove. Had a blast, except one of my daughters felt sea sick one way in the sail boat, and my other daughter was scared to do it once she got in the water. So it could have been a bust, except... I liked it and the crew was great. So we still all had fun - B overall.
* Windjammer - C+ (me), B (husband liked the corned beef hash, kids like the desserts and asian noodles)
* Azumi - B
* Giovannis - A+
* MDR - B- (me), B+ (husband), kids did not have much opinion
* Soft Serve Ice Cream - A+
* Donut Shop (way better on Oasis) - but I'd say D, my daughters say - A.
* Park Cafe - A+ (I loved the Bagels with Lox in the AM, daughters loved the fresh fruit and pastries, and husband loved the roast beef and make your own salads)
* Wipe Out Cafe - They have soft serve ice cream - so need I say more?
* Sorrentos Pizza - B+ (me), my kids thought A+ (they ate here a LOT - day, night, and late evening)
* Hot Dog Stand - A- (as rated by one daughter and my husband - I did not try it). A-. Buns not fresh but the brat was the best my husband ever had outside of Wisconsin.
* Ice Show - A+ LOVED IT!!!!!! You can probably tell from my pictures.
* Aqua Show - A+ LOVED IT!!!! Also tried photographing without flash
* Chicago - skipped it. We did love Hairspray, but this was not good for under 13 I was told.
* Sail Away show - B. It was cute but did not wow us. Did set a mood and got us excited.
* Let You Entertain Me Water Show - B. Wish there was more water stuff and less characters.
* Blue Planet - A. Beautiful Performance.
* Summer Breeze show - A. just a singing show at the Aqua Theater. Loved it though. Relaxing. Only I wish it was longer. Glad I noticed it on the cruise compass.
* Towel Demo - B+. Enjoying seeing how they do it. Wish they could spend time letting us try.
Room - B+. great service. loved the towel animals. friendly. We had a D1 balcony, and had hoped for a lounge chair as I had read about here. But was told immediately that they DO NOT do that. Hmmm. Oh well. Loved the balcony. And the room and bed were good. Might like more space... but we picked a cruise not a hotel
I am sure I left a lot more out so ask questions if you have any. And if you do photography, and want to know what cameras or lenses I used, feel free to ask away. IMAGES from the ALLURE here: http://tinyurl.com/allure-spring-break. I run photography/photoshop website and blog for my "real life" job.