I cannot put into words what a wonderful time I had on the Allure of the Seas!! What an amazing ship! You really cannot appreciate the size of this ship unless you stand aways back and compare her to other ships in port. She is twice the length of a Celebrity and Norwegian ship, and almost twice as wide as any other two ships. Absolutely a city on the water.
This is the first time we booked a "junior suite", and we were blown away when we walked into our suite! A walk-in closet! Really? OMGOSH!! A full bath tub, good sized balcony, and a double-bed!!
That aside, the week was amazing exploring this beauty. Even on the next to last day, I was discovering new areas.
I will admit that my review is probably biased based on the suite. I talked with several people who had inside rooms overlooking either the Boardwalk or Central Park. They were not as enthused about their rooms as were we. All said it was too noisy w/little privacy. I actually saw an inside room that I could almost reach out and touch the couple sitting on their balcony from the area where we caught the elevators. But, I also saw a room w/no balcolny or even a window, and the people who had this room where having the time of their life!!
Others said they didn't care because they spent so little time in their rooms, it was immaterial. So, if you don't care about a bit of noise or privacy, the inside room is little to deter you from experiencing this ship.
There are numerous speciality restaurants, but we choose not to visit any of them. Based on discussions from others that did, it appears these specialty restaurants are well worth visiting. We only had dinner in the main dining room.
I have to say that the food was nothing to brag about. I've done several cruises, and the main dining room on the Allure was sub-par. It tasted more like "cafeteria" food then what we had experienced on previous cruises. For the first time ever, I actually sent food back and requested other choices. And, the 2nd choices weren't that much better. So, if you are looking for good meals, the main dining room is not your choice.
I found the Windjammer fair as well. And, we actually enjoyed their hot meals better then those in the dining room. We always ordered room service for breakfast and were more then pleased with the meals received.
Another disappointment on the Allure was the attitudes of staff other then the room staff or staff in the dining room. I found most of the other staff throughout the ship rude and unfriendly. I almost told them to take the pictures I wanted and shove them where the sun doesn't shine!! The retail staff is horrible!! I talked to someone I assumed was management after my experience when trying to purchase my pictures and told them they don't hold a candle to the staff on Celebrity or Norwegian.
Our room attendant was amazing as were our dining room staff. But as for the rest of the staff on Allure, I was far from impressed.
Another thing I found interesting on our first day was how many people looked totally miserable, angry and bored. Are you kidding me? Do you know how many people there are in the world? And, how what percentage of those people get the chance to experience a cruise? Seriously, could you show a little appreciation of the wonderful things you get to experience? Even the bad attitudes of the staff on Allure couldn't make me look as angry/miserable as the many I saw. Regroup, take a deep breath, and count your frigging blessings!! I have come to realize that some people will be angry no matter what their station in life. Kinda sad.
As I had already been to the Bahamas, I had no desire to debark and experience what I knew was going to be a "tourist" trip. So, I spent the day trying to see the ship.
I went to the spa and got a facial and pedicure. As on all cruise spas, they try to sell you the moon to make you look younger (which is bull), but I politely refused. I found the spa beautiful, but no more extraordinary then Celebrity.
At St. Thomas, we did the St John tour. Typical drive around an island with typical views of the beaches. We actually only did this to get off the ship for a few hours.
In St Maarten, we did another island tour. The Dutch side is beautiful, clean, and the people friendly. The French side is filthy! And the people rude. I would say something political here, but this is neither the time or place. I will NEVER go back to the French side of St Martin (the French spelling; I think).
We met some wonderful people and would absolutely book another cruise on Allure (next time we'll do the Western Caribbean).
I would highly recommend this beautiful ship as a cruise. Remember, attitude is everything ;)