This was our 4th cruise for our extended family of 11 and our age span was 12 to 80. Check in was simple and easy considering the size of our party. We immediately went on the ship and were told we had an hour to wait for access to our cabins. Some of us went to the flowrider and others of us went to Park Café for excellent Roast Beef sandwiches and salads.
Our staterooms held our clothing and miscellaneous items even when there were three to a room. The balconies were a little small but most of the time we were not in the room very much. I personally loved the iPod charger and docking station and the clock. Bring a lanyard and Guest Services will punch a hole in your card so the sea pass is always accessible for waiters, unlocking your door and leaving the ship. Many people wore their sea passes on lanyards, even in the pools. The gift shop sells lanyards at a considerable mark-up.
WE ATE ALL DINNERS IN THE MAIN DINING ROOM -- SECOND SEATING Our waiters and head waiter were excellent and could conjure up whatever we wanted including meeting special dietary needs. The food was plentiful and flavorful and presented artistically. HOWEVER, SOME ENTREES WERE EXCELLENT AND SOME ONLY FAIR. WHEN WE HAD A SHOW PLANNED FOR AFTER DINNER, OUR WAITERS WERE ABLE TO SERVE US MORE QUICKLY, WITH NO LOSS OF QUALITY. The Park Café and the Solarium BISTRO were great places to eat breakfast or lunch. We also ate breakfast in the main dining room which had table service and a buffet.
Our children did not participate in the children’s club programs.
We preferred the pools for our activities and never had a problem getting a seat even when several of us went at one time. I preferred the solarium which was still sunny and breezy but lacked the noise of the beach or main pool. The solarium pool was comfortable as well as attractive. The Flowrider was also a favorite and the lines were not too bad. I was interested in the Zipline but it only traveled one deck and virtually in a straight line, disappointing for such a highly touted feature.
The service could not have been better, the ship was constantly being cleaned and only one time did we not get quick service to a service call. The plaques with the days of the week in the elevator are a nice touch because you do lose track of time.
The entertainment varied from excellent to only fair. Chicago was fabulous and the headliner was great, skip the ice show and go to Ocean aria instead. Blue Planet was…interesting.
We did not go on any ship excursions but chose to visit the islands at our own pace for sightseeing, beach and shopping.
Disembarkation could not have been any easier and we were leaving by different methods.
The neighborhoods on the ship were interesting (I liked Boardwalk the least) and I never expected a living growing garden with trees in the middle of the ship. The navigation panels were very helpful and directed you to less crowded restaurants which was a pleasure. I could have done without the sprint from the main dining room to the theater and an easier route would have been better. If you wanted a drink, no matter where you were, someone was selling whatever you wanted. The prices were actually quite reasonable and if you are a soda drinker, get the soda package. There was always someplace open for a snack or lite fare and a drink. The turkey bacon in the solarium comes highly recommended. There is always something to do on the Allure of the Seas from the Spa to the Casino. I know you have heard this all before, but the ship did not seem crowded except when a show let out. I don’t know where all those people were, but they weren’t crowding me.