(3:45 p.m. EST) -- Back on land after two nearly sleep-free days racing around the 225,282-ton, 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas, we've had a little time to reflect on the world's largest cruise ship, sister to the equally innovative Oasis of the Seas.
All of Oasis' most successful features, bold and subtle, are back, including Central Park, a "neighborhood" with lush tropical foliage, upscale restaurants, a wine and tapas bar and a Coach store; the AquaTheater, a watery outdoor venue staging high-flying, Cirque du Soleil-style shows; and the Royal Promenade's Cupcake Cupboard. There are also two-story Loft Suites, a hand-made wooden carousel, zip-lining and a beach pool.
But sister ship does not mean carbon copy, and there are a slew of new features, including in-cabin iPod docks, a bonanza of DreamWorks characters, a Mexican restaurant and the first Starbucks on a cruise ship.
On the first of three short preview sailings, we were given wide berth to taste and sample, nod in approval or mutter in disagreement as we wandered the decks of the 1,187-foot-long ship. So what worked and what didn't?
Click to begin the slideshow.
--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor, and John Deiner, Managing Editor
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