This was a special "Diamonds in December" cruise to show appreciation for Diamond Members. Since we are Diamond Plus, we were invited to many of these events. One of them was scheduled at the same time as the Cruise Critic Meet N' Mingle, so we ran back and forth in order to enjoy the best of both. Far and away, the most impressive event was a champagne sailaway party from St. Maarten on the helipad. This was truly memorable! They had Shrek from Dreamworks out there, Captain Johnny blew the ship's horn for us (by the way, Captain Johnny was excellent in every way!), and we sailed into the setting sun drinking champagne and waving Allure of the Seas flags at the Celebrity Summit leaving at the same time. I would say this was my favorite cruising event ever, so, many thanks, RCCL!!
Our cabin was wonderful as was our cabin attendant. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Giovanni's Table and appreciated the wonderful food and service there. Our waiter, Mihai, was just great!
The Concierge Lounge is spectacular, we ate lunch there one day and watched the events on the Boardwalk. I rode the carousel and my DH did the zip line and we had lots and lots of fun. We ate two breakfasts and one dinner at the Windjammer and, contrary to recent reports, found it uncrowded, the food delicious and varied, and the waiters very pleasant and helpful. It was a real treat! Apparently, RCCL has made an effort to improve the Windjammer and it shows!
I wasn't sure how I would feel about the Dreamworks characters wandering around, but I enjoyed them! We went to the chocolate breakfast, YUM! We also saw Puss and Boots in 3D, and generally made the most of everything the ship had to offer. The shows in the Aquatheatre were amazing. We spent a lot of time on the aft jogging track watching the wake and also in the Royal Promenade watching everything going on. We enjoyed many cups of coffee and snacks at the Promenade Cafe and we took a lot of pictures everywhere.
We are frequent cruisers in our 60's. We have cruised on many lines, but prefer Royal Caribbean. Last year we were blown away by the Oasis of the Seas. We loved our Boardwalk View Balcony cabin so much that we tried to book the same one this year on the Allure. It was not available, so we took the one next door. These cabins are right over Johnny Rockets. Last year, on Oasis, we enjoyed looking down and seeing the singing and dancing waiters. We also enjoyed the bagpiper. We did not experience any of this on Allure. If there was a bagpiper or if the waiters danced and sang, we never saw or heard them. I had read that Allure was designed to increase the usage of the Boardwalk at night, and this is certainly true, but not in a good way. Last year, on Oasis, we heard no noise at night and slept very well. This year, with Rita's Cantina and the many fiestas with loud booming music and screaming fiesta goers and waiters late at night, we had great trouble sleeping. We would not book a Boardwalk Balcony again due to this experience.
When we first boarded the ship, we went to the MDR to see where our table was. Although it was a table for two as requested (thank you, RCCL), it was right beside a large table and very claustrophobic being surrounded very closely by tables on all sides. We asked if we could be relocated. The Maire'D said there were no other tables for two. We did see nicely located tables for two one deck up from us which seemed to be empty every night at dinner, but OK, maybe they were indeed reserved. To add to our uncomfortable feeling in the MDR, the Maitre'D tried to make us and everyone else feel guilty if we chose another venue for dinner. The Maire'D said to us and those around us "Don't you like me any more, why weren't you here last night?" It seems counterproductive to have many alternative restaurants,(which cost extra, too) and yet, apparently, RCCL puts these people under pressure to persuade the passengers to eat every night in the MDR. We found the food there to be average, not bad, just not great. The worst thing I had was the Chicken Marsala, and the best was the Shrimp and Mahi Mahi Tempura.
Overall, it was a wonderful cruise and we would go on Allure again, but next time we would book an oceanview balcony and eat more meals in the Windjammer!