Just returned from our cruise on the Allure, and our 5th one with Royal Caribbean. This is really one large ship! It doesn't feel as big when you are on it, but every time we got off I just stood in awe of its size!
The embarkation process was the easiest and fastest we've ever experienced.
The ship was easy to navigate. I loved all the different areas. The Boardwalk was just fun and exciting. Central Park more laid back. The pool areas, typical. My husband loved the touch screens near the elevators that would direct you anywhere you wanted to go: "just like Star Trek!" We were so thankful for the reviews on this site that told us about the 11th floor balcony at the back of the ship. It was just a short walk from our cabin. At least one member of our family watched all the shows in the Aqua Theater from there. One day I sat out there and read for 3 hours and not another person came out! On a full ship I thought that was pretty amazing!
Our stateroom was over the Boardwalk. I enjoyed people watching and the feeling that I was always part of the action. It did get quite loud at night. It always quieted down after midnight, but one evening I tried to go to sleep at 10:30 and it was just too loud. Next time, we are going to try over Central Park.
We never had a problem finding chairs around the pool. We enjoyed the zip line, although it was a long line for a very short ride. The miniature golf was fun. If you want to ice skate, make sure you remember long pants! They are required, so my kids weren't able to do that. Loved the jogging track so much that I never did use the fitness center, even though it looked wonderful.
The dining options were incredible. My favorite place was the Park Cafe in Central Park. Their roast beef sandwiches were amazing. I ate almost every lunch there. I loved the breakfast at Johnny Rockets (free), but the lunch wasn't as good, and the service for lunch wasn't good (and that meal isn't free). The Windjammer was typical Windjammer. The family liked the selection. I thought it was way overcrowded and there were just too many other options out there. We ate at Rita's one night and weren't impressed. We were told on the first day of the trip that our AAA voucher would be accepted, but when we came back and ordered they refused to take it. The AAA voucher was accepted at the Brazilian steakhouse, which was very good. The main dining room food was good, but the service was the worst we've had on any cruise. It appeared that the waiter was overloaded. Three nights in a row my husband ordered a salad with his appetizer and it was never brought to him. We had place settings missing utensils, we had to ask 3 times for our room card back after ordering wine, and the food service was slow.
We enjoyed Chicago and Ice Games. They were quality productions.
My husband and 14 year old loved the zip line in Haiti. The beach was nice. We had a fun time climbing Dunns River Falls in Jamaica. We also went to Dolphin Cove. If I had to do it again, I would just have done the falls. My husband and 2 daughters went bottom fishing in Cozumel and someone brought up a shark! The 16 year old enjoyed holding it and getting her picture taken.
The debarkation process was fast and easy.
The entire family had a great time. The big ship is great for families, where everyone can do so many different things. However, if you are like my husband, and just want to go somewhere where you can relax and read, you don't need to pay the price of this big of a ship to get a great cruise experience.