We traveled with a large group of family and friends. 18 all together. We booked this cruise on the Adventurer last year and were super excited.
We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday, December 3rd. We stayed at the Westin Beach Resort in North Ft. Lauderdale. We met a gentleman with a transportation service who ended up doing all our travel (to and from hotel, to and from port, back to the hotel after the cruise and to the airport to come home). I would be happy to share his information if inboxed...he was fabulous and prepared for at least 9 people or fewer.
Westin Beach Resort
Beautiful hotel, staff is excellent. The rooms are wonderful, but the bathroom setup was a bit strange. The door to the bathroom was not very private and the bathroom had shutters to the room...why? Otherwise, it was a wonderful place. CVS in walking distance along with little shops and restaurants. Shula's on the beach was attached to the hotel, but the service wasn't good at all. We were so upset, we left before being served.
We headed to the port about 11:00am on Sunday, December 4th. The embarkation was FANTASTIC....we were on the ship by 12:00pm. It was super smooth and the staff was phenomenal.
First step on the Allure:
WOW!!!! That's really all I can say. Your mouth will drop. After looking at all the pictures and reading all the reviews...it was still breathtaking. When we got on the ship we went straight to the Boardwalk and had a hot dog...yum yum. After checking the computer to see that the Windjammer was full, a hot dog seemed fitting.
I have read all the wonderful detailed reviews, and quite frankly, I'm not that descriptive nor do I have the time to do such a wonderful job, but I will get down the highlights. I'm also suffering from post cruise depression.
It is beautiful, extremely well kept. There is something for everyone, so if you are bored or disappointed with this ship...well....something is wrong with you. The only problem we had with the Allure is the amount of people. It really is too many people. We didn't make it to the Windjammer until Tuesday, because it stayed crowded and finding a table for 4 was darn near impossible. We would luck up, but truly a hassle. I didn't like making the reservations for shows, even though we did. I like the opportunity to do things on a whim...not make appointments. It's vacation. We also had a problem with the reservation for Blue Planet and making an appointment with the Loyalty Ambassador. They have 3 Loyalty Ambassadors for a ship holding 6000 folks....that doesn't add up. They were fully booked by the 2nd day of the cruise. I'll discuss the Blue Planet fiasco later. We did get in to the Loyalty Ambassador on Saturday before leaving...but what a process.
We had a Superior Ocean View with Balcony on the 10th Floor - 10604. It was a connecting room with friends in 10602. They did open the balcony doors for us.
Chicago - I had never seen the movie or the broadway play, so I was excited to see it on the ship. I believe the talent was wonderul, but I didn't like it, and not many in my group enjoyed it. It just wasn't my thing. Too long for me. I was ready to go early.
Comedy Show - It was great. We had 2 comedians, and they had us laughing the whole time. We enjoyed them.
OceanAria - DONT MISS THIS!!!! It was the absolute best thing we saw...we loved it. The divers, swimmers, acrobats, music, EVERYTHING was wonderful.
Blue Planet - Well...here we go. We arrived to Blue Planet 20 minutes before showtime...when we got there, a line of non-reserved passengers was so long, it was ridiculous...we walked in (please note that there was a group of 9 of us who hung together)...we never expected to all sit together...that would be asking too much. When we arrived there were only a few seats available...1 and 2 here and there. A few of our grabbed what they could, as me and 2 other girlfriends kept looking for seats we would see one or two together, but it was held by other passengers (against the rules)...as we headed upstairs, the flood gates opened for the non-reserved passengers at 15 minutes until showtime...I thought is was 10. Anyhoo, needless to say...we didn't get a seat. We noticed that there were seats still being held, we went to the Cruise Director staff members to enforce the rule, but they couldn't leave their posts...we saw Ken Rush (Cruise Director) and informed him of our dilemma. He was very nice, but....well I guess you know...we didn't see the show. I complained to the front desk, it didn't dampen our experience, but we were disappointed. After that, I was done with the shows...I didn't see the headliner or Ice Games...not going through that again. No Sweat...I lost my money in the casino and drank to my losings...that was fun.
Cruise Director Staff/Allure staff-
Wonderful...especially Mr. Rush...he was soo much fun. I enjoyed him and the staff. The Allure staff goes out of their way to make this your vacation of a lifetime....we enjoyed and appreciated everyone.
We only went to the Main Dining room (wonderful)...the lobster tails are much bigger than on other cruises we have been on.
Windjammer (breakfast only) - Finding a seat on cruise days was like finding a needle in a haystack. The staff was so helpful....the food was good though.
Johnny Rockets - We had breakfast here one morning...it was ok...but do the Main Dining room or Windjammer if you can.
Central Park Cafe - The roast beef sandwhiches and salads were fantastic and never super crowded.
Told you all about hotdogs at the Dog House...delicious.
Boleros was our spot...you can smoke there and the bartendar staff there was wonderful....infact Special K (bartender there) received a wow card from us.
Ok...let me get to the ports and then I can take my antidepressants for post-cruise depression.
Labadee, Haiti / Falmouth, Jamaica / Cozumel, Mexico
Labadee and Cozumel were nice...we really loved the picnic in Labadee. We've done both a number of times.
Now Falmouth, they are still building, but we enjoyed the port area. Under no circumstances should you leave the gated area. We, like fools, did...all the people flooded us to come to their booth and buy something...I couldn't wait to turn right around and go back to the gated area...it was crazy...don't do it.
I think I touched on the highlights...all I can say is that I'm glad we did the Allure. It was amazing. Too many people for our taste...but we are interested in trying the Oasis one day.
We booked our next cruise on the Explorer out of Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ. This will be a 10 day to the Eastern Caribbean for next year. We have begun our planning.
If you are thinking of doing the Allure...go for it. The ship and the staff are wonderful, and we had a fabulous time. Please feel free to ask me anything you'd like to know.