My wife and I traveled aboard the Allure of the Seas July 3rd and have never seen a ship of this magnitude in our life! I have worked aboard cruise ships before as a musician (Carnival, back in the late 80's), traveled on many ships (last being the Adventures of the Seas) and I can honestly say NOTHING compares to this ship (and of course the Oasis).
Some of the finer points that I'd like to mention:
Food: Overall Grade = A
- Main Dining Room food was excellent!!! Most every night the food was great, in fact, best cruise food we have ever had. I must note that Lobster night was the only disappointment. Hailing from Rhode Island, there is nothing like cold water lobsters, so the warm water lobsters were not good at all, however, EVERY other meal was excellent in the main dining room). Our server and entire restaurant staff were superb, and we really liked having "My-Time Dining."
- Samba Grill was excellent and I highly recommend checking it out.
- If you wish to avoid crowded, noisy, fast paced restaurant, stay away from Windjammer Cafe. Food was "fast food" style cafeteria like menu, varied, but not very good either. Only ate there twice and way too many people!!! Better options for quick lunch/breakfast would be Park Cafe.
- Chops was also excellent
- Ahmet (our waiter) and June (hostess) were most noticeably amazing!
Entertainment: Overall Grade: A+
- You will NOT find any better entertainment on any other cruise ship than the ALLURE!
- Chicago and Blue Planet shows were spectacular as was Water Aria, though not as good as the first two mentioned (in my humble opinion).
- The vocals, dancing, acting, and musicians aboard this ship are simply first class and all outstanding. As a professional musician who has worked in shows similar to these and performed for 25 years, I found sitting back and listening to the high quality performances as one of the best aspects of this cruise.
- Book shows at least 4 weeks in advance so that you do not have to wait in line as stand by! They sell out pretty quickly.
- Comedy show was top notch as were the
StateRoom: Overall Grade: A+
- great room size and VERY comfortable bed...called ahead to request extra cushioning on mattress for my wife who is disabled. Bedding was upgraded at no cost. Also had three extra pillows!
- Balcony overlooked the Boardwalk and actually watched Ocean Aria water show one night from Balcony. Room location was farthest from the show, but still a good seat!
- Stateroom attendant was very accommodating with my wife's situation and was also very friendly!
Pools/Sports: Overall grade: A+
- Ya I did all of the sports/activities on the sports deck. Best days for Zip line and Rock climbing wall are when ship is in port! I did zip line twice and rock climbing wall once with no lines and no wait! Day at sea would be about 5-10 minute wait.
- Jacuzzi, Pools, etc... were all amazing, though tended to get crowed on Sea days.
Ports of Call: Overall grade: B+
- Labaddee: grade = C...was not a big fan of visiting Haiti. Beaches were OK, but I would suggest booking a tour if possible, as beaches crowded and just OK. There were some sports beaches for those who like to climb and play in the water, otherwise nothing special. I would have chosen to stay on the ship for this port, but my wife really insisted we check out the island. Also tourist trap village area where you get hounded every step you take! Not fun!
- Jamaica: grade = A-...Dunn's Falls, and several other tours available. I recommend taking one of them. Some very shady areas of Jamaica, so be careful.
- Cozumel: grade = A had a very nice tour and history lesson on Mexico and the island of Cozumel. Toured and sampled tequila at a tequila factory, was able to dine in Mexico, and also toured the coast and downtown area. Very beautiful Island, food was great!
I would like to close by saying the Allure of the Seas is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and spectacular ships in the world (not too mention the largest). If you have an opportunity to cruise, then you must experience this ship (or the Oasis). NOTHING COMPARES! My wife and I had a great experience and will try the Oasis next year in the eastern Caribbean!
SPA: Overall Grade = A+
- Vitality Spa was excellent. Marta gave me a GREAT massage and though a bit expensive, still great job! The staff was friendly, the Spa was enourmous and great decor as well!
Overall Grade Allure of the Seas = A+