My wife and I returned from the July 3, Western Caribbean Allure cruise. I celebrated my 75th birthday. We had a Central Park balcony on deck 11, directly above Chops. We are Diamond Crown & Anchor members. We cruised to relax and thus only left the ship for a short time in Falmouth to get things for the grandchildren.
Embarkation and debarkation: We arrived at the port at 12:20 and were onboard in 15 minutes. We went immediately to Park Café, which was busy but were served quite quickly. Our luggage arrived by 2:00. We were scheduled to get of at 9:10, but they were running early. When we got to the theater, there was a long line to get off the ship (since many numbers after ours had been called). It took about 15 minutes to get to the end of the line. Then, everything was very smooth. We found our luggage quickly, got a porter immediately, and were second in line at the customs station.
Cabin: Our cabin had the bed by the closet, which worked fine for us. It was very noisy during the day, even with the door closed, primarily from the pool above and the pool band. We didn't get to use the balcony much because it was hot; we are used to cruising the Caribbean in early December.
Entertainment: We made reservations in advance and got to see all of those shows. There were so many other things that we couldn't fit them all in. Also, they changed the times of our ice show (because on of the skaters had to leave for a family emergency and they had to reblock the show around him) and Blue Planet because of technical problems (which they did solve). The Aqua show and Blue Planet were amazing. Chicago was very well done, but not our cup of tea. However, all of these shows were very loud. The Headliners were the Nelson twins (a tribute to their father, Ricky). The ice show was good, as were the comedians. My favorite place after the show was Jazz on 4, with Bruce Gordon.
Food: Since we only eat vegetarian and fish (not shell fish), our comments may not apply to you. We ate in Chops and Giovanni's, both of which were excellent. The other five dinners were in the MDR (early seating). The food was very good and always arrived at the right temperature. Our waiter asked how fast we wanted to eat and, as we requested, dinner took one hour and fifteen minutes. That was very nice. I had breakfast in the MDR twice, in Park Café twice and in the Diamond Club the other days (My dw doesn't do breakfast.). The first time in the MDR, service was horrible. We all complained and the head waiter sent us a plate of chocolate covered strawberries that afternoon. We lunched in Park Café, the solarium, Sorrento's and the MDR. We enjoyed the flavored waters in both Park and the solarium. We also snacked on cookies from Café Promenade. Notice that we never ate in the Windjammer!
Diamond Club: They had a light breakfast and specialty coffees available around the clock. The evening reception was held in the Club, with hors d'oeuvres and drinks. There was a reception for Platinum and above on Wednesday evening, with drinks and some entertainment. There was another for Diamond and above on Saturday with the entertainment staff.
Misc.: There wee chocolates on the pillows every night and toiletries in the bathroom. There were 6296 guests, but it rarely seemed crowded. The only negative about children was the noise from the pool. A can of coke from the mini-bar is less expensive than one anywhere else; they haven't raised the price there. Everyone on the staff was friendly and helpful.
We are booked for a b2b on November 27; so we must have had a good time.