Drove over to port day before and spent the night at Hampton Inn with the two other couples we were cruising with so we started our party one day early poolside. It was a great idea as hotel stored our cars and did pier transfers before and after. It was a breeze and plan to do that from now on. No stress and also rested for first day of cruise.
Pier Check in and Debarkation - The hotel dropped us off out front of ship about 1130a so that was the last of seeing our bags till in the room. It took us just minutes to check in and were on the boat in no time. At end of cruise we got off boat at our scheduled time got a porter and got our luggage and he took us right out front where the bus back to the hotel was waiting. The bus did not wait for a full load so we were back at hotel and picked up our car. It as a breeze. We had heard checking in and debarking was easy and I am here to confirm. Hard to believe with almost 6000 passengers aboard, but RCCL has this down to a science.
In one word, the ship was AWESOME! We had a outside cabin with balcony, which was a little smaller than some I have been in, but plenty of room for clothes and luggage. Not a lot of drawer space. IPOD docking station. Again, Ladies bring your own hairdryer not less you want to hold down the power button the whole time your drying. We brought along an extension cord, which we never used. Along with laptop again never used...to busy. Nice thing in bathroom is when you turn off light to go to bed in evening bathroom light turns into a night light. Great feature. I had heard if you open balcony door the A/C will stop and will not turn on till balcony door is locked. Well, if it did it did not bother us. The bed was very comfortable. Our cabin steward was OK we had ice in the bucket, but she was slow to make up room, so do put your "make up room" sign on door.
Shows - I love shows on all the cruises we have been on, but with that said I have thought most shows are just getting so-so. With the exception of Disney. But not with Allure. OMG! THE Diving Show is not to be missed. The Blue Planet is not to be missed. The Ice Show (even you guys that hate ice shows) again Not to be missed. The Stars (Signature couple) of the Ice Show were just so over the top great I was just so glad we went. We did not see Chicago, as we had seen before. Also saw a show with all ABBA music and the four stars played like they were ABBA. The played into the audience. Again great if you love ABBA music. We did not make the comedy shows (to busy). If you are experienced cruises and are skipping shows on other lines, please do not do that on this cruise. My jaw was dropping on some of the things I saw on Blue Planet and High Diving Show. Please note you really must make your reservations prior to cruise preferably. If you do not have reservations you will not be seated till 10 minutes prior to show. The cue starts about 1 hour prior and you have more to do than stand around waiting and then may NOT get in. Also if your with a group you may not be seated together.
Food - We went to Chops and was not disappointed. Went to Johnny Rockets and had a great burger and malt. Ritas fratitas were enough for 4 to split. A extra charge for all above restaurants. Johnny Rocket does have a complimentary breakfast. Be sure to go to Park Cafe for roast beef sandwich. No extra charge and it is to die for if you love roast beef. We had My Time Dining which was fine. On lobster night prepare for a little wait to be served. Not to big of a deal. No wait for a table as we had made our reservation online prior to cruise. I challenge anyone to be able to eat at all the restaurants. Just another reason to go back on another cruise on Allure. Ate breakfast in Concierge one morning. It was fine but not any big deal. Tables a little small for dining. Great view.
Karaoke - Well, I am a karaoke nut along with singing in general. Karaoke is in the On Air Club and was delayed a couple of nights due to baseball. It was packed nights I was there but if you have your name on list you will sing. Bring a flashlight as it is pretty dark to see the books. FYI - They do have a book in Spanish for Spanish songs. They do have one night of Rockaraoke which was held in Dazzles where you can sing with a live band. They will only offer this to a few singers so be prepared to know your words or be able to sing the list of songs they offer. They will back you up. I hit it off with the group and was asked to sit in 3 nights so needless to say I was in hog heaven, so I did not attend last night in On Air Club to participate in Karaoke where they picked King and Queen of Karaoke of RCCL.
Children on the ship - Even thought school was going on, there were plenty of kids aboard. They must have a great kids program as they did not bother us. A great kids pool which I saw and I am sure they loved the parade which I did too.
Rising Tide - Fun bar to be in as it travels from Promenade to Central Park - They sell a book called "Live the Allure" at the bar (the only place they sell it). Great coffee table book and fun for kids as it has a "solve the clues" and a self-guided tour of the ship. About $13.
Finding your way aboard the ship - This is the first ship I did not carry a map and my daily activities in my hand at all times. Again RCCL has it mastered. At every bank of elevators there is a touch screen to help you find your way, where all the bathrooms are, whats happening now, how to get there. Very kid friendly.
Solarium - Over 16 to enter. Wonderful cool pool and warm whirlpool. Great to relax, read or snooze. No problem finding a place to sit or lay down. Pools were not crowded.
Things I would love see changed -
A hair dryer in room I do not need to hold the on switch.
Better music selection on TV in room
Able to bring a bottle of wine on board to have in room
I could go on and on about this ship, but will leave it to you to go and explore for yourself. We had a wonderful time and will want to go back aboard the Allure.