There are truly few words that can describe this ship! AMAZING simply doesn't cut it, but it will do for now! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!!! This was our 29th cruise, so I think we have plenty of basis for comparison, and we traveled with cousins who have cruised in excess of 40 cruises!
Where to start?
Embarkation and Debarkation.
I am still amazed at how quickly, effectively and effortlessly they bring on and take off 6000 guests! On embarkation we arrived at 11:00am and were on ship and eating lunch at 11:30am. At debarkation, my cousins called me at the cabin to meet them at the elevators at 9:00am and we were on the shuttle bus to parking garage at 9:30am. These are no exaggerations -- these are facts and actual times.
I do not consider myself a show person, and attend them mostly because my husband loves them. As of lately and during this cruise and my last one, specifically, I have developed a sense of what he sees in shows and have actually liked some or most of them, or maybe it's just because on my last ship (EPIC) and on this ship (Allure) they have been terrific. On the Allure, they were actually fantastic! Chicago: Awesome, fun to follow the story, excellent acting and singing and phenomenal execution and timing. Aria Ocean Theater: pretty amazing what they can do on a moving ship and the dives from way up into what I am sure looks like a very small pool down there! Headliner Show: By far, the absolute best show I have seen in all my 29 cruises - without exception and it was a one man show!!!!! This was an after-dinner show for us. While we were sitting up front waiting for the show to start, I was full from dinner and extremely sleepy and a waiter serving drinks noticed I was falling asleep and said to me: "don't worry, you will wake-up as soon as he gets on the stage!" Boy did I ever. This performer (Turner) who had previously been in Vegas at Caesar's Palace for two straight years is ONE bundle of energy from the minute he takes on the stage and for the next 45 minutes of singing, dancing and jokes. He is not only a very funny man and a great dancer, he is an AMAZING talented singer! LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this show. Blue Planet: Also fantastic. The dancing, the singing, the stage effect and the execution and timing of the performers were excellent. Unfortunately, we missed the comedy show because we had been to a specialty restaurant and arrived after doors closed and they let no one in after that. You have to make sure you are at all your reserved shows 15 minutes ahead of time.
If you are not entertained on this ship, regardless of what age group you belong to, then you are one difficult person to entertain! There is constant, non-stop entertainment aboard the Allure of the Seas. If you are a child, then I pity the parents, because this ship is a child's fantasy world! Since we had no small children (or any children for that matter) with us, I will not elaborate, but will say there is a multitude of things for children to do and enjoy and stay busy without ever getting off the ship! For adults there is music at the pool, and music everywhere! Every afternoon, the Royal Promenade fires up with some theme and throws a huge "street party!" The DreamWorks Experience parade and characters are fun and enjoyable for people of all ages! Kudos to RCI for an excellent entertainment team and crew!
Beautifully designed, with a great bathroom (after coming off the EPIC and that odd bathroom) and lots and lots of space for storage. Beds were new, large and very comfortable.
Customer Service, Staff and Crew:
Everyone we came in contact with was polite, efficient and helpful. Our cabin steward (Gomez) was fantastic, had everything throughout the week as we asked for it on day one. Our dining crew at Adagio (main dining room, Angelo, waiter; Roy, Asst. Waiter and Cesar, Head Waiter), were also fantastic. Efficient, polite, offered dining suggestions and brought out our food quickly.
The casino staff, more than any others on the ship, are one of the most friendly and entertaining casino staff we have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. Many times table dealers are stoic and serious, but most of the men and women were lively and fun and happy people who seemed to enjoy what they were doing, or at the very least, trying to entertain the guests (while taking their money shamelessly, LOL)!
There are so many dining options on this ship that a 7-day cruise is really not enough to visit them all, and I'm not just referring to the "fee" restaurants. We ate in the dining room for dinner every night, except Wednesday, where we ate at Giovanni's Table. The food was fantastic, but go hungry and skip lunch the day you plan to eat at this restaurant. True to form at any Italian restaurant, you will walk out stuffed! The dinners at Adagio were good and as most have said, they weren't phenomenal or much of a WOW factor in most of them, but they did arrive hot, and some of them were actually quite good. Certainly worth trying them out. They were not, by any sense of the imagination, bad at all. For breakfast, we tried the Windjammer Marketplace once, and while the food was good, it was just way too busy and too crowded for our taste so we mostly went to the Solarium Bistro because it had a lot of fresh fruits and healthy options. It was excellent. We also tried Johnny Rockets for breakfast one day and it was very good, but typical breakfast fare. Sitting out on the Boardwalk area having breakfast early in the morning is quite a treat! Lunch was at Park Cafe in Central Park where they served sandwiches and great, fresh salads with your choice of ingredients.
And I'm back to where I started. Where do I start to explain the beauty of this ship? The 'incredible-ness' of it! Frankly, if you haven't been on it, it's very hard to understand why it is so difficult to describe it. Unless you are out on a deck, or perhaps on your balcony, there is really no possible way on earth that you would know you are on a ship in the middle of the ocean! It's like being at a very fancy, top-rated resort; or one of the inside malls at the luxury resorts in Vegas, or just simply at a very high-end shopping mall. The shops, the restaurants, the bars, the pool decks, the pool....all of it, just simply amazing. The width of the ship is incredible, the length of it as well. The walking/jogging track on Deck 5 is the best I've ever seen, very long and under cover for protection of the sun and rain.
In conclusion, there are two certainties when I left that I took with me: (1) 7 days not enough time to see the entire ship, and (2) I will go back on it again, without a doubt!