Sailed on the Allure of the Seas from Oct 2-9, 2011. This was our first cruise. This ship amazed us for the entire week. We found ourselves constantly saying "this is crazy!", in a good way!
Embarkation is so smooth, though I guess it must to load 5400 passengers in just a few hours. I'd say about 30 minutes from walking into the front door of the pier to walking into the ship. Of course it felt like 5 minutes because we were so excited. Staff all over are very helpful.
All the crew we encountered were superb! Always above and beyond what we needed! Way to go, RCCL!
One thing that annoyed us a bit was the photographers everywhere. They take your Seapass card, and can take photos of you all over ship. We opted out, photos were quite expensive. All it took was a "no thanks" but kind of irritating because they seem to be everywhere from the moment you have your card!
It took us a little bit of time to figure out what was all "complimentary" vs what had an extra cost, as far as dining was concerned. We at in the main dining room each night, except for one evening in Izumi. GREAT service in both. We discovered waiter Bayram and asst waiter Emre the second night, and didn't stray elsewhere after that. These two were amazing, if you have a chance to go to their table. Deck 4 of Adagio! :) The food was also beyond delicious in the main dining room, so we didn't see a need to go anywhere else, especially to have to pay more for it, anyways. DELICIOUS! A few nights my hubby couldn't decide what to eat, so he'd often choose a few appies and entrees. Why not?
We were scheduled to eat at 8:30 which we originally thought was late for dinner, but it was actually perfect. While many people left the pool decks mid afternoon to prepare for the 5:30 seating, we enjoyed a quiet pool deck!
We stuck to the adult Solarium for swimming and lounging/reading/napping. Nice and quiet, and next to zero people traffic strolling on by. Don't miss that part of the deck.
Deck 14 was a great place to stand while the ship leaves the port, check it out!
Our stateroom was on deck 6, ocean view, sort of behind the boardwalk. While the view may have been a wee bit better from a few stories higher, we really liked the central location for the majority of theatres/restaurants/shops, etc. We felt like we only had to really travel up to visit the pools or the Windjammer.
The stateroom had plenty of storage space, as well as lots of room under the bed for luggage. A mini bar, as well as vanity in the main room. Bathroom also had plenty of space, absolutely no complaints there! Our attendant was Vincent, he was so chipper all the time, as were all the staff we encountered! We got to know our room attendant well, which was wonderful for any questions we may have had.
After reading a lot of negatives about the Windjammer Buffet, we prepared for crowds, etc. This was NOT the case. Of course it's bust in there, there are over 5000 people onboard. HOWEVER, there are PLENTY of choices where to get your food from, and there are constantly people leaving and crew cleaning up behind them. We never had a problem with lines or finding a seat, even when the Windjammer was listed as "red"(full) on the TV screens. Give it a try!
We discovered the Park Cafe for breakfast after the first few days, this was also a great place to go. Not as quick as the buffet, so we enjoyed it on our At Sea days.
ZipLine/Rockwall/Flowrider, these are all complimentary. Do these on the first few days when the lines are next to nothing. We waited until Day 5, but wish we wouldn't have! You can do these things continually if there are no lines!
The shows onboard were OUTSTANDING! The OceanAria was awesome, as well as Chicago. We were blown away with how well done they were! Also, the BluePlanet show was awesome, too! Don't miss out on these shows! By the time we finished dinner 10/10:15, that gave us enough time to go check out a show each night. The comedy show was also a do-not-miss. My chest hurt from laughing so hard! Well done!!!
We only did one excursion through RCCL - the SeaBlaster Snorkel Tour in St.Thomas. We got a little wet on the ride out to the island, but it was SOOO much fun! Also, all the rum punch you can drink on the way back. Well worth the $50! :)
Disembarkation was also very smooth. Your luggage is tagged, and there are screens all around the ship telling you exactly what time your number should be disembarking. Once off the ship, you find your number, wait in line for Customs, and you're out the door. Very quick and easy. Again, staff everywhere guiding your way!
You will no t regret sailing on the Allure. What an amazing time we had!