My husband and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary onboard the Allure, Eastern Caribbean. This was our 4th cruise and we absolutely loved it. The ship is like a city at sea. Lots of different ares to explore and plenty of places to eat!
Arrival- We literally just walked right up to the counter and were waited on...no line! Ofcourse, we had to go through the metal detectors, but this was a simple process. RCI has set the bar and I really hope this becomes the new standard for check-in. We boarded before noon, keep in mind rooms will not be ready until 1:30.
Departure- Leaving the ship was just as easy. We chose to do the express walk-off b/c you can leave earlier. Breakfast started at 5:30am on the last day. Departure time started at 6:15 and we were leaving the parking lot at 6:25! Amazing!Especially since the itinerary said we would be arriving at port at 7am. I was expecting to get off around 10 like on previous cruises.
The ship was well thought out with plenty to do and see. There is too much to list. You just have to see it for yourself to really appreciate it. and watching the shows in your stateroom on how it was made was also impressive. My favorite place was Central Park which was nice cuz we were on the same deck, deck 8. Its a miracle that this ship floats! You never really realize how huge it is until you see it in port next to one of Carnival's dinky little ships :)
I thought the food on this ship was great. Ofcourse it got better and better as the week went on. Room service was very quick to deliver and they have a very good raspberry cheesecake. I was very impressed with the cheese tortelloni and the chicken in herbs at Adagio (free)... The best i've ever had.
There are plenty of free restaurants to try, so we didnt even bother paying extra for the specialties. Park Cafe's roast beef sandwich is also delicious.
Pre-book your dinner reservations and showtimes! We did this and had no wait for dinner. You NEED reservations for shows or you will be seated only after everyone else gets the good seats. I found this to work out very well.
We got an oceanfront balcony room. This was our first time booking a balcony and I was shocked at how much of a difference it is. We loved it! We brought breakfasts and lunches back and ate them in the privacy of the balcony. I never wanna go back to an inside.
If you want to do a shore excursion make sure you book early online. I tried to book mine over 3 months ahead of time and couldnt. when i got onboard i went straight to the desk, but they only had one spot left for the sea lion encounter :(
The interactive TV in your room lets you view your account, room service menu, etc. Use it! I also found the touch screen info stations around the ship helpful. We went to the hot tubs every night around 8 while everyone was at dinner and always had it to ourselves.
The shows were better than average.
The one time I was displeased was with the parades/performances held in the mall area. There was not enough room/seating and it was hard to see what was going on.
This was an exceptional vacation and I would love to go again or try out the Oasis.