What can I say that hasn't already been said about the Allure. The ship is beautiful with a lot of amenities and many many choices as to eats, entertainment and shopping. Really enjoyed the promenade deck, boardwalk and central park. However it is almost too big. We had a difficult time keeping track as to what end of the ship certain places were on and whether we were on the right end to be able to get to that place without having to go up or down decks because of the center being occupied by central park, promenade and boardwalk. Yes you have the "What to do right now" on every deck by the elevators which will also map it out for you as to how to get there but who wants to have to reference a map every time you want to get somewhere. We felt that we had to pre-plan everything and we sometimes like to do things on the spur of the moment. For instance when we were at St. Maarten we had decided not to leave the ship so we went to Johnny Rockets for breakfast but they had closed at 9am, it was just a little after nine when we went there. Then we thought we would eat lunch there that same day so went down around noon and they were still closed and would not open till 2:30pm.
I remember reading someones review that said you did not have to wait long for an elevator and I have to totally disagree with that. We always had to wait quite a while to get an elevator. Most of the times we would just use the stairs because it was quicker. If you have show reservations then you need to be there at least an hour early so you are able to get a decent seat.
We went to Chicago, Blue Planet, Ocean Arial and the Ice Skating shows and loved them all.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great experiences to be had on the ship. Chops was wonderful. Plenty of food to eat and it was wonderful. Samba is one that you should consider doing just for the experience of it. Again lot of food and wonderful flavors. We were able to try some meats we otherwise might never have the opportunity to try. Sorrento's was OK, not much of a selection. They offer pepperoni, cheese, and vegetable. The build your own offers the same but they did also have ham. Rita's was a total disappointment. I guess we being from Texas are use to what we refer to as Tex Mex Mexican food. What you get at Rita's to us was more gourmet which we just didn't care for. Waste of money for us. Also you are not able to get iced tea as a drink there or at Sorrento's. Only bar drinks or sodas. They might offer water also.
Dog house, cafe promenade, central park cafe, cupcake cupboard, ice cream parlor were also nice but be ware, the word has gotten out about boarding day and the best places to go eat besides the Windjamer cause we had a hard time getting into central park cafe and that was about 12 noon.
Windjamer was a bit of a disappointment also. Didn't seem like they had a wide selection like we have seen on past cruises. What was there was good. Deserts were lacking. Not much variety, mostly gourmet type deserts. Went to the MDR 4 nights. Food was good but service was slow.
We are middle class folks so had to save all year just to be able to go on this cruise which brings me to the shops on board. Very expensive in our opinion. The best bang for your buck is the "Inch of Gold". I must say they certainly stand behind their product. On our 2002 cruise I purchased a bracelet from them. After about a year the clasp started to tarnish so I sent it in and it was replaced no questions asked. Just had to send proof of purchase. Since then I have had the clasp replaced again with no problem. I took it on this cruise because it was doing the same thing and they replaced it once again with no problems. If you can't afford the real thing then check them out. Good value for your money and a lifetime guarantee.
We spent more time in our room this cruise. We are not into the zip line, surfing, swimming or just sitting in the heat. The ship does have a very nice library and card room with different board games. Stayed away from the casino because that just ate our money. Did the cupcake decorating and had a lot of fun with that. Would recommend it to anyone.
Had a ocean view balcony room and would definitely do that again. Well worth the extra money. Boarding the ship was quick and easy. Just have all your paperwork in order and ready to hand to them with your passports.
Don't miss the Dreamworks parade, it is great. We had a 70's night on the promenade deck and enjoyed it a lot.
Express disembarkation is great for anyone wanting to get off the ship really early if you do not have a lot of luggage. We did it and we both had two suitcases on wheels to contend with which was a big struggle. Also you have to wait for the elevator if you do not have a free hand for the escalator. Customs was a breeze. We were off the ship by 6:40 and back to our car in downtown Ft. Lauderdale by 7:30.