Our family cruise consisted of the three of us - two parents with one 12 year old child (girl) and "Grandma" We cruised on the Oasis of the Seas two years ago right about the exact same time - shortly after that ship launched. So for the three of us it was like a return to a grand old friend. For our newbie (grandma) who had been on just one other cruise when we got married years ago (the 'tiny' Nordic Empress) it was an experience that blew her away given who grand this ship really is.
For weeks leading up to the cruise people would ask us what ports we're visiting. And while the ports were fine we always tried to explain that we're really going for the ship. The ship is the destination in this case. And the Allure did not disappoint there.
Having cruised quite a few times on RCL and Celebrity, and also others on Princess, NCL and Disney we have a lot to compare it to - and have never had a "bad" cruise vacation. Sure, there are always little issues and things you can pick apart. But we go with the right attitude, a little flexibility and always know what we're getting into.
In that regard we wanted the massive ship experience for this trip. The Allure as is stated many times just has so much to offer and RCL does an amazing job moving the flow of passengers around that it's a rare thing that you feel crowded on the Allure. Sure there are a few times when a big show is getting out or the elevators get a little packed but I've had this on almost all sizes of ships.
The entertainment was the best we've experienced onboard a ship. Including the Oasis of the Seas which was no slouch.
The food was excellent in the speciality restaurants. I will say the main dining room for me was a disappointment. Loved our waiter and the staff was fine but the food was barely average. And, we're not super picky -- but maybe after a couple of summers on Celebrity ships and some memories of better on RCL we were a little disappointed there. However the specialty restaurants such as the great Park 150, and the others such as Giovannis and Chop's always ensured an excellent meal. There are a number of other places to eat breakfast and lunch and we definitely enjoyed sometimes avoiding the crowds by going to the concierge lounge thanks to the suite we booked for this trip.
The staff is almost universally friendly with rare exceptions and while it might not quite have the "class" feel of Celebrity the combination of the shows, food, entertainment and things to-do it was really another great trip.