My husband and I were joined by our friends. We are four people in our early 60's who live in Florida. We have been on 34 cruises traveling on several cruise lines on varied itineraries. We decided to cruise on the Allure for the experience of sailing on the largest cruise ship. Being from Florida it was very easy. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at Port Everglades at 11:30AM and were on the ship and in the Windjammer Cafe at 11:45AM. The cabins were not ready until 1:00 PM so we decided to have some lunch. The Windjammer is probably the only area of the ship that we had objections to. We did find a table as it was early but the tables are so close together, once you are seated, that's it. The stations are not arranged logically. If you want a salad, lettuce and tomatoes are in one station and the balance of the ingredients are elsewhere. The name cards for each dish are hard to read. We left the Windjammer at 12:45PM and there was a long line waiting to get in. Thus we learned early in the game to avoid this area which is far too small for the number of people on the ship. By the way, this sailing had 6,300 people including 800 children. We were able to enter our cabins by 1:00PM and our luggage was already there.
We then explored the ship. It is absolutely amazing. It does not seems like a ship but a trip through a shopping mall. There are electronic maps on every floor which you can use to direct you to a specific location or the nearest restroom. It also gives you the occupancy status of each restaurant, the menus in each venue and the list of activities for the day.
We were very pleasantly surprised by the food in the dining room. Our waitress Collette and assistant waiter Silvestre were excellent. The service was topnotch. We used the dining room for breakfast which has an la carte menu or a buffet. By using this venue, you avoided the Windjammer Cafe. We loved the Park Cafe for lunch. They have "create your own salad", sandwiches, paninis, soup, desserts and juices and coffee. The Promenade Cafe has croissant sandwiches, pastries and coffee. Sorrento's has various pizzas. If you do not want to leave the pool deck, the Wipeout Cafe has hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and tacos. There is a hot dog stand on the Boardwalk. These venues are all free of charge. You can also try Johnny Rockets and Rita's Cantina for a small charge. We do not go to any of the specialty restaurants but the word around the ship was that they were excellent.
All over the ship, the staff was excellent. They make it a point of calling you by name every time you use your sea pass. Thanks to Pillar from the shops who was so helpful. The staff works long hours by always do their best for you.
There are many pools and on sea days they are crowded but that is usual on any ship. There were plenty of chairs even if you arrived late in the morning which really surprised us.
The shows are excellent. We loved the Aqua Theatre and the ice skating show. The headliner was topnotch and the comedians were really funny. We did not care for "Chicago" not because of the performers but because we are not fans of the show. "Blue Planet", a Cirque de Soleil look alike was well done and had great effects. It is a good idea to book your shows in advance so you can see them when you want. There always seemed to be plenty of seats for those passengers without reservations but if you want to see a show when you want than reservations are the way to go.
This is also a fabulous ship for families. So many things for them to do and the Dreamworks collaboration is fun even for adults.
Disembarkation took somewhat longer as Customs was backed up. But all the people were through the terminal by 10:30AM.
We loved our experience on the Allure. With all those people, there were still places to go where it was quiet and not crowded. It is definitely worth a try.