1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
De luxe ship , huge , full of activities , entertainment . Reasturants , theaters , no shaking , no nausea or sea sickness, very clean , good decoration , excellent service team. Some luxury food was absent such as crabs and lobster . I ... Read More
De luxe ship , huge , full of activities , entertainment . Reasturants , theaters , no shaking , no nausea or sea sickness, very clean , good decoration , excellent service team. Some luxury food was absent such as crabs and lobster . I saw much guests wearin casual in the formal nights .. Shore exursions was too expensive which was not value to the money. Gym and fitness facilities was very good . There was an american mobile network on th the ship which helped me too much because i had got a roaminc service for the internent on my cell phone and it was working good and free. Embarkation service was good and fast. I t was not good for me to pay for a child less than 2 years such as any one paid for an adult guest , although th child has no free baby food and he cost too much in the nursery. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
This was our fifth cruise and all the RCI. We have previously sailed on the sister ship in the Caribbean and new just what an awesome ship this was to be. Here is a summary of our experiences: - Cabin - internal cabin on the 10th ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise and all the RCI. We have previously sailed on the sister ship in the Caribbean and new just what an awesome ship this was to be. Here is a summary of our experiences: - Cabin - internal cabin on the 10th floor near the front. The ship had been recently refitted and all was as expected. Just about right for a seven night stay. Trips - We pre-booked trips prior to boarding and booked a last day in Barcelona trip whilst on board. We had trips cancelled for no good reason - including a sistine chapel trip. We had paid in sterling for these on our credit card whilst on-line at home. The cost was credited back to our on-board account in dollars - with a fair old discrepancy in their favour! This has still yet to be addressed! The trips were on the whole pretty dull affairs and I've now had enough of looking at ruins in 37 degrees C heat, only to be told what is on Wikipedia and then taken shamelessly around the tour operators' mates' businesses to pay for greatly inflated goods. One trip was out of the blue and superb and that was in the villages and towns around Rome, with an Italian living English guide. Dining - the main dining is,a s ever, decent pub food dressed up! Having waters constantly talking to you even when you are eating drove us up the wall - one guy was so obviously pitching for tips and so over the top that we ditched the main dining option and instead decided to bite the bullet and pay for the upgraded dining. Sabor (Mexican) was tremendous and as was Giovanni's Table (Italian) really were worth the extra spend. As much as we dislike the crush of the Windjammer - it's a brilliant option compared to the main dining. The drinks package - what a waste of time. Guinness disappeared on day two or three. The wine was bloody awful stuff and the Crown & Anchor (we are Platinum) discounts were free drinks that we got on the drinks package! In fact, what is the point of the Crown & Anchor Society. Other than a faster embarkation and a nice room to disembark, are there any other real and measurable benefits? Living in a pretty cool country - opportunities to dine outside, in a relaxed atmosphere are few. Being able to eat at Giovanni's on the amazing Park Deck and Sabor on the aqua-theatre deck was superb - however, being expected to pay extra is, when you think about it, crazy. We did the whole ship behind the scenes trip (amazing) on the Oasis, so we know where the food is made and it doesn't justify the difference. We also noticed that the waiters in the speciality restaurants seems to know when to leave you alone - much better. Shows - if you've ever cruise on RCI and had the director of entertainment - Joff - you will know just how good he is. The team on the Allure were massively over-shadowed by the captain, who appeared to be doing their job for them. Shows were constantly cancelled during the cruise and it wasn't until the last few days of the cruise that things started to get anywhere near what we had experienced on the Oasis. Very strange. You have to watch the internal channel where the captain has his teeth whitened - very funny. The gym - $25 per session to use the spin bikes! Crazy!! Flowrider - superb staff and great fun!! Ships' doctors - I boarded the ship with stitches and needed them removing whilst on-board. I had a letter from my doc and on day 5 saw the ships doctor who told me that they were infected and would not touch them. A nurse there intervened and gave me some anti-biotic cream to rub on them. When I arrived home I saw our GP and was told that they were perfect and appeared never to have been infected and showed every sign of being healed. The stitches came straight out and the cut was healed! Being told that you have an infected wound with a sea day in front of you was pretty stressful - I would sum up the ship's doc facility as a big fat ZERO! We stayed in the Hotel W in Barcelona before the cruise and on the whole, we wished that we had just stayed there. Amazing food, the world's comfiest bed, amazing views, awesome staff and a tremendous city. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
Pre-Cruise I traveled on this cruise with my wife and my parents. We are thirty-somethings and we were celebrating my Dad's birthday. My Mom was in on it, but my Dad had no idea until we surprised him on the ship - it was ... Read More
Pre-Cruise I traveled on this cruise with my wife and my parents. We are thirty-somethings and we were celebrating my Dad's birthday. My Mom was in on it, but my Dad had no idea until we surprised him on the ship - it was priceless!! I'm not a proponent for travel insurance, but if ever there was a time I should have gotten it, it would have been for this cruise. Due to an engagement the night before, we could not fly in until the day of sailing - something I don't normally like to do. Complicating things further, we were traveling from Albuquerque which required a connection and a loss of two hours on the clock. Our flight was supposed to get us in at 1:30pm, which would have been perfectly fine. However, we were alerted via email just before our first flight of a delay in departure for our second flight. We learned just before we took off that our second flight would not arrive until 3:50pm, which would have resulted in us missing our 4:30 departure. I was under the impression that we had to board by 3pm, but later learned that 4pm is the cut off - something you may need to know if you end up in our shoes. So the whole first flight had me thinking of ways I could possibly board the ship and also brainstorming how I might get us to Labadee two days later. I was pretty sure we would be screwed. As soon as we landed in Houston, we checked the status of the next flight, and were pleasantly surprised that it now showed 2:20pm as the arrival time. I still wasn't totally comfortable, but it was much better than 3:50. We were also a little concerned that my wife's bags did not make it since we checked in a few minutes after the 45 minute cut-off. Fortunately, we spotted them going onto the plane, and at that point we were able to relax a little. We made it to the port at around 3:15. Thank God everything worked out. If you ever have the option, always fly in a day earlier. It is cheap insurance and allows you to relax for a night before cruising. It also allows the opportunity to be amongst the first to board the ship. If you cannot arrive a day early, I highly advise travel insurance. Embarkation As you can probably imagine, embarkation was pretty easy at 3:15pm. The port was pretty much a ghost town. There was actually another family from our flight that was checking in next to us - I'm sure they were stressed out as well. This was the amongst the latest I've ever boarded a cruise ship, and this was number 21 for me. I can still picture barely making the ship as a kid when we had flight issues - they pretty much pulled the gangway after we stepped on. Those were the days where you could get on at 4:29 for a 4:30 sailing. Anyway, we were so late that they had stopped doing embarkation photos. For those that aren't aware, Allure uses facial recognition from your embarkation photo to help sort your photos so you can find them easier. Each cabin will have a binder where you can look at your printed photos as well as being able to pull them up digitally by swiping your cruise card. That is the idea anyway. We did not have any photos in our binder and swiping the card showed no photos either. I can't be sure that missing the embarkation photo caused this, but that is the leading theory. The photo people onboard could not fix the situation. I'd suggest you don't skip the embarkation photo (assuming you make it on time). It is always fun to look at your photos, and you may actually want to buy one that you didn't plan to purchase. One other tip - don't be afraid to carry your own bags onto the ship, even if they are big. We do this every time and always get them through the scanner, even when the porters and others try to convince you to check them. So nice to be able to unpack on your terms and not have to wait until as late as 7 or 8pm. Once onboard, we quickly set our stuff inside the cabin and then we surprised my Dad at the Windjammer and greeted Mom. It was so great to be onboard this incredible ship - I was still shaking my head saying we shouldn't have been there. I was able to find a few scraps of food since they had already started to shut things down (by this time it was around 4pm). We made our way back to the cabin for a few minutes before the muster drill. Cabin We had a Central Park Balcony - 11187. It is a great room! We usually don't spring for a balcony since we are value cruisers, but in this case the price difference was very minimal. Plus, it was a unique room since we have never been on Oasis class. It was nice to be able to go out to the balcony on occasion and get air in the room, but I still don't think I spent more than 1 hour out there in total all week. If the price is minimally more, we'd book this cabin again, but we also have no problem being in an inside cabin. The cabin itself was not much different than other ones we've been in with the exception of the balcony. This room has the couch closest to the balcony and the bed closer to the bathroom. Some people have complained about the access to the closet with the bed right there. I agree with the setup causing some issues, but overall it wasn't a big deal. My parents had an oceanview balcony, and they had the bed closer to the balcony door. That is probably a slightly better setup, but I wouldn't fret too much if your cabin is like ours. The only other minor difference from our past cabins seemed to be a lack of a regular nightstand - only 3 or 4 shelves. This worked out fine for us. The bathroom was your normal setup and worked fine as well. Nice to have a shower door and not a curtain. Dining The food itself was overall pretty darned good - especially when they are cooking for 6,000 guests (not to mention crew). We ate in the MDR each night, and I thought the food there was very good. There were a few dishes where the quality wasn't wonderful, but overall it was pretty good for a mainstream cruise line. I enjoyed the dining options on this ship. I think I only ate at the Windjammer twice all week. Look at your Cruise Compass (the daily schedule) to see where you can eat for free (or not, if you want to pay). I ate breakfast in the MDR, Windjammer, Wipe-Out Cafe, Park Cafe, and Johnny Rockets (all free). It was nice to have a change of scenery and slightly different options. The French toast in the MDR is awesome - had to be two inches thick. Good omelets in the Wipe-Out Cafe. Loved "The Works" potatoes at Johnny Rockets. I was definitely not bored with the breakfast options. Lunch had almost the same number of options, although Johnny Rockets charges a fee. I ate at all the other establishments just mentioned for lunch, and was pretty pleased. I think the MDR lunch menu could use some work, but that is probably just personal taste. It would be nice if it changed each day like the dinner menus. We also enjoyed the Boardwalk Dog House and the Park Cafe, Cafe Promenade, and Sorrento's for snacks. Service Our stateroom stewardess, Nataliya, was exceptional. She was so nice and pleasant and did an excellent job - thank you!! We did have a few issues in the MDR at dinner. Our waiter was slow and not at all personable. We would watch surrounding tables where other waiters would discuss the menu for the next night or just interact with the table in some other way. Our waiter just brought the food, didn't acknowledge most thank yous, and didn't interact with us. Also, we played third fiddle to his two other larger tables. If we didn't get our order in before his 12 person table, forget it. We had a couple of two hour dinners, and this was after we stated we wanted expedited service. The head waiter tried to help, but he came across as cocky and he still didn't make our experience feel special. One night, my wife's entree was forgotten, even after the waiter and head waiter both said it was coming out. This is unacceptable. Also, this was the first cruise I can remember where the wait staff did not remember your preferences. For example, my wife had to order orange tea each night - normally after the second night, they just bring it. This isn't a big deal, but it shows they weren't really dedicated to us. I don't think this is a shipwide issue, since as I said, other tables near us seemed to have fine service. But we just ended up getting unlucky. I should point out that our table was very close to the galley as well, which should have made for quicker service. I will say that service throughout the ship was generally very good. Most staff was very pleasant and acknowledged when I thanked them. Most crew in the hallways would say hello. I usually make a point to say hello to the staff wherever I see them, and I think on each occasion I was greeted and sometimes even asked how I was doing. This is really all I want - just good, basic service and a friendly crew. Public Rooms I could go into great detail here, but I'll just say that this ship was very well designed and there are vast areas of the ship to explore. Everywhere I went was very nice and enjoyable. The ship is so big that I never even got to the Viking Crown Lounge or the Rising Tide Bar (although I did see it). So much to do and because of all of these different areas, the ship never really felt crowded. Two quick complaints: first, I thought smoking was too prevalent on the pool deck (15). Smoking is allowed on the entire port side, which emcompasses the main pool and the sports pool. This leaves the beach pool as the only non-smoking adult pool available (besides the Solarium). Why are two of the pools smoking and only one non-smoking? Royal Caribbean should eliminate or at least reduce the smoking on this deck. The second complaint is also regarding smoking. The entire aft section of Deck 4 (outside of the casino) smells of smoke. It penetrates into the dining room and the stairwells. I would have thought this newer ship would have better filtration systems in place. Hopefully they can rectify this situation in dry dock. Fitness and Recreation Wow - tough to complain about much here. The FlowRiders are awesome. I really enjoyed myself there and met some great people while in line. They have a huge sports court, and several opportunities for games. I spoke to one of the sports staff, and he said that the ship was sailing with four less sports staff than they needed due to various issues. Unfortunately, this resulted in one of the rock walls being closed most of the time. It also resulted in one of the volleyball sessions being unhosted by staff. We still had a good time, but it would have been better if staff were running things. It seemed like they could have had a few other events in the sports court - I played dodgeball and volleyball twice, and soccer once. I think they had a couple basketball tournaments. Over seven days though, it seems like they could have had a few more hosted competitions. Mini golf was fun, but one of the few areas of the ship that needs some attention. It looks good from afar, but when you start playing on it, you will see what I mean. The fitness facility was tremendous. It had a plethora of machines, and never seemed crowded. It was also very nice to jog on Deck 5 where you could run around the entire ship as opposed to the tiny tracks usually high up on the ship where you are dodging lounge chairs and oblivious passengers who like to stop or socialize on the track. It is only 2.4 laps per mile, and there are great views and chairs on the aft section - great for runners, walkers, or just observers. I highly recommend checking out the aft of Deck 5 even if you aren't exercising on the track. Also, don't miss the chance to ride the zip line or the carousel - where else could you do either of those easily, especially on a moving ship? Likewise for the ice skating sessions. Entertainment Again, wow! You won't find better entertainment on any other ship (except maybe Oasis or Quantum, which are probably comparable). The Aqua show was my favorite. It has more diving than O at Bellagio or Le Reve at Wynn, and is a more fun show. Really really incredible when you remember that you are on a moving cruise ship. Blue Planet was very good, as was Chicago. We also really enjoyed the ice shows. The headliner was a Journey tribute band, and they were excellent - it felt like a real rock show. The comedians were both really good. I enjoyed Dan Naturman, who some will remember from last season on America's Got Talent. I feel that Carnival does a much better job with comedy on their ships since they have two comedians in the beginning of the week and two at the end who each do multiple different shows. This ship only allows you to make reservations for one comedy show. Also, many of the jokes were recycled and used again during the family comedy show in the main theater on the last night. You'd think they would use different material for that show, but much was the same. Overall though, the entertainment was exceptional. Oh - I'll also mention that the staff FlowRider show on the last day was awesome! Ports/Excursions This cruise did the Western Caribbean, so we visited Labadee, Falmouth, and Cozumel. Labadee is just a great beach day. I was however disappointed to see that they have removed the volleyball court from the island. I remember playing some great games there in the past, so I don't understand why they would take this down. The bbq they provide is good - they have burgers, dogs, jerk chicken, ribs, and sides. The desserts weren't too inspired, but I ate my share on the ship, so that was fine. The beach to the right was very peaceful, while fairly strong waves were hitting the other side. I always enjoy going to Labadee. We didn't do too much in Falmouth. We had planned to go to the Blue Hole and Dunn's River Falls, but after our initial travel snafu, we didn't feel like poking the tiger again. We left the ship late and just strolled the shops inside the pier as well as those just outside. We bought a unique, hand carved, wooden tree with removable leaves and birds from a nice guy we met outside the gates. The folks outside are a bit more aggressive, but we never felt in danger or threatened by them. In Cozumel we swam with dolphins, an excursion we booked through the ship. The price was very reasonable - just over $100 each. I've seen these excursions in other ports for almost $300. It took place in Chankanaab National Park, which was an awesome place. Admission there is $20 each on its own, and when you figure in the included transportation, the dolphin part of the trip really only cost about $70 each. We really enjoyed the time we spent with the dolphins. I highly recommend this excursion and spending time in Chankanaab. The reef there where you can snorkel is great as well - lots of fish to see and a quick dropoff to a water depth of about 20 feet. The water was crystal clear. The only negative with this excursion is that they really try to rip you off with the photos. They initially said the CD of all photos was $140, and then came down to $100. One printed photo is $40! If they sold printed photos for $10-15 and the CD for $50, I think most people would buy them. As it is, I'm not sure, but I can say they lost $50 on me. The CD costs pennies and the photographer has already done the work, why not just make a reasonable profit? Value For Money There is still a price premium to be paid when sailing Oasis class ships. I think they will continue to drop more as the next couple of new Royal ships come out. Just remember that you are getting a much different product than most other ships. If you are just going to sit by the pool, you may be better off with a lesser ship. But if you like doing different things, then this ship is for you! This was probably the first cruise where I really felt like I needed another week to check everything out. I wanted to spend some more time in the Jazz Club, eat more times at the different food establishments, and I never feel like I've spent too much time on the FlowRider! I will definitely sail this class of ships again, especially since the upcoming dry dock will result in different shows. From a value standpoint, I'd still say Carnival does a better job. I sailed the Breeze in December (admittedly a time of lesser demand, and in an inside cabin), but an 8 night sailing on the Breeze was slightly less than half the cost of this one. But if you have the money to spend, this ship is great. Summary All in all we had a great time, and I still feel super blessed that we even made it onboard. That first meal in the Windjammer (although scraps of things I probably wouldn't have even tried) was one of my best on a cruise ship - just knowing that we made it, we had successfully surprised my Dad without blowing it, and we were about to spend a week on one of the best ships afloat. I'd highly recommend this ship to anyone but the least mobile people. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
So we just came back from our cruise on the Allure of the Seas, I have been on 2 other RCI cruises while my girl friend had not, this was her first cruise and I enjoyed them, more than the Allure. 1st, the food was good, NOT Great and I ... Read More
So we just came back from our cruise on the Allure of the Seas, I have been on 2 other RCI cruises while my girl friend had not, this was her first cruise and I enjoyed them, more than the Allure. 1st, the food was good, NOT Great and I noticed that the food in the Windjammer seemed sparse to what I had enjoyed before. Please, there is lots to eat but I thought the variety was limited on this ship. The wait staff was very good in the Dining Room but I have to agree with others who took this cruise, the Staff in the other FREE Restaurants and Cafe's seemed annoyed when you asked them for something. I overhead 2 people that worked on the boat talking about how much they hated their jobs and couldn't wait until their contract was up and that everyone else felt the same way. It certainly seemed that way. The Cruise Director was good I thought and some of the entertainment was Very Good BUT some were Very Bad. They had a young band trying to play Motown, while the singer read the words from a song sheet. We didn't stay there very long. NOR should you, if you like Motown. Comedy Night very funny and Chicago was just OK. The Staff that checked you out at the stops and back in were not friendly at all. My girlfriend got lost while we were in St. Thomas and when she went back to the boat, they made her wait for 3 hours in the heat and never offered her anything to eat or drink while they " supposedly" checked her out I don't know why this ship has such a morale problem but it is very evident and not like other RCI ships, maybe it's the Captains fault. Bigger is Not Always Better !!!! All in All, the ship is nice, the food ok but the service is definitely lacking, especially if you've cruised RCI before.   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
Positives: 1. The ship is beautiful. Cabins are better than on any major lines (larger, well designed, without external noise). The neighborhoods across ship are great: very nicely decorated. 2. Super clean on every step. 3. The biggest ... Read More
Positives: 1. The ship is beautiful. Cabins are better than on any major lines (larger, well designed, without external noise). The neighborhoods across ship are great: very nicely decorated. 2. Super clean on every step. 3. The biggest shows are super. This includes the show Chicago, Ice Skating Games, Aqua show, Blue Planet. Comedy is OK. 4. Food in the main dining room was exceptional (comparable to Celebrity, which also tends to have superb food). Food in Solarium Cafe and Windjammer was very good. The choices on Boardwalk tasted surprisingly well. 5. We did not run into any major lines: embarkation was very fast, no wait getting to ports, some small wait sometimes for dinners (worst case was once 15 minutes) Negatives: 1. Lack of positive attitude, Everybody is "just doing their job." Very different from Liberty, Serenade, Voyager, or Princess cruises, where positive attitude was obvious. 2. While the big shows were spectacular, other types of entertainment were not exceptional: first-time cruisers tended to like the cruise director, but those that have been on other cruises uniformly described him as below average. Quality of music across ship was not exceptional, singers in the bars not exceptional, some just poor. 3. The fitness activities comparable to Celebrity, but below NCL or many other RCI ships: very limited number of free classes (only 3 classes and they took place at 7 am). No more competitive fitness spirit, earning vitality stars. Yes, the ship has water surfing and rock climbing (like Freedom, Liberty, and Oasis), but total lack of excitement from the staff made these less attractive. Altogether, this felt like the most beautiful ship, but without the soul/spirit that other ships have. We would rather repeat Liberty, Serenade, or Voyager where enthusiastic attitude of the whole crew makes the whole experience so memorable, rather than repeating Allure. Our heuristic is now: for shows/entertainment, it is difficult to beat NCL. Service is best on Princess, followed by some Celebrity and some RCI ships (Serenade, Liberty, Voyager).   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
My husband and I just got off the Allure of the Seas on Sunday. We had a great time trying out all of the activities (zip line, ice skating, etc.). Let me start off by talking about our stateroom 14154. It was an outside balcony but yet it ... Read More
My husband and I just got off the Allure of the Seas on Sunday. We had a great time trying out all of the activities (zip line, ice skating, etc.). Let me start off by talking about our stateroom 14154. It was an outside balcony but yet it was tiny. For such a massive ship to have such a small room was disappointing. The food was very good but they really need some more vegetarian options. We ate at the Windjammer buffet a few times and it was nothing to write home about. But we LOVED eating at the Park Cafe. They have salads made to order, sandwiches, soups and cups of fruit and some cakes or cookies. This place was one of my favorite places to eat on the ship. The main dining room was good but I was disappointed that we were in one of the wings of the dining room off to the side. We were not able to see the entertainment that was going on in the main part of the dining room. Our server Sherryann was so nice. There were some problems on this trip. The Azipod problem caused us to be late into Nassau and then a lifeboat malfunction caused us to be really late into St. Thomas. By the time we got off the ship in St. Thomas we only had maybe 2 hours to walk around. Most of the excursions had to be cancelled. I really though that Captain Johnny handled the situation really well though as he was honest about what happened and kept us up to date on what was going on and then gave us a credit on our account without having to ask. We took a tour in St. Martain and really enjoyed it. It was a tour of the Dutch and French side. It was really a nice tour and not too expensive ($25 pp). The shows were out of this world. Each one was better than the next. The one show I didn't care for was the comedy show. I felt that the two comedians were over the top offensive and insulting. Humor can be funny without swearing and being offensive. Our cruise director Ken Rush was good but he only seemed to come out to the big shows and events and then he went into hiding. We've had other cruise directors who were more visible around the ship saying hi to guests. We saw Captain Johnny more than we did Ken Rush. Captain Johnny was so funny. One day we were in the pool and he rode by on his motor bike. How many captains do that? All in all it was a great cruise but I really hate the nickle and dimeing. Once I pay for a cruise everything should be included. You shouldn't have to pay extra for specialty restaurants, or for cupcakes or backstage tours of the ship (those use to be free). It really takes away from the experience. I'm still loyal to Royal but I wasn't Wow'd. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We have been on five cruises, one with Celebrity (Solstice), one on carnival (Destiny), and three on RCI (Voyager, Mariner and the Allure). People cruise for various reasons, and this time we cruised specifically for the ship - Allure of ... Read More
We have been on five cruises, one with Celebrity (Solstice), one on carnival (Destiny), and three on RCI (Voyager, Mariner and the Allure). People cruise for various reasons, and this time we cruised specifically for the ship - Allure of the Seas. We were definitely not disappointed – rather, in most aspects the ship was truly a "wow" for us. Embarking: We boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale. We were prepared that there would be masses of people, extremely long lines, and a lot of waiting. We were very surprised and pleased. When our shuttle arrived at the port and we were on the ship in about 30 minutes. RCI had a lot of personnel to handle the embarkation. We did bypass the photographers at the entrance which sped things up. Ship: Our Room: We had a superior ocean view state room with a balcony on deck 10, pretty much midship. It was a typical room on RCI but big enough for us since we do not spend a lot of time in the room. Many of the staterooms on the Oasis class ships have balconies or windows that overlook the Boardwalk or Central Park neighborhoods, but we preferred the direct ocean view. Our cabin stewardess was very friendly. She also was very prompt and thorough when cleaning our room (my wife is very adamant about cleanliness and she remarked several times how much she liked our cabin stewardess and her attention to detail). Like many stewards on RCI she left some fun towel animals, a bat, frog, elephant, etc. We had good vibes for this part of our cruise. Dining: We had heard some discouraging comments about the large lines in the food venues so we were a little worried. Breakfast: We ate our breakfast every day in the Solarium Bistro located in the front and near the top of the ship. The bistro is advertised as having somewhat healthier food than other venues. This was also one of our favorite places to hang out since the solarium is adults only. We did notice a few children during the breakfast and lunch at the bistro, but none in the solarium. The food at breakfast was pretty much the same every day: scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, cooked mushrooms, yogurt, fruits, breads, waffles, etc. We are not picky eaters so the food at breakfast was fine for us. We had heard from a few on the ship that the Windjammer was crowded at time. We never ate any meals at the windjammer so I cannot comment on the experience there. Lunch: We also ate most lunches at the Solarium Bistro. One of the reasons is that we wanted to stake out our lounge chairs in the Solarium, where we could sunbathe, read, and or go into one of the four hot tubs. It was also very easy to go down a few stairs to the Bistro, grab lunch and bring it back to the lounge chairs (there was also a convenient bar nearby!). They had a decent salad bar, salmon, healthy wraps, green beans, cooked squash, and other rather healthy items. If you want a larger variety menu, and/or burgers, fries, pizza, etc. the bistro is not the place for you. For us it was great ... but I can see where others might want a larger selection. The good thing in addition to the somewhat healthier venue is that the lines were not long at all. Many times we just walked up, grabbed a plate and got our food. We did not eat lunch in the dining room or the windjammer. Dinner: We had a 6pm dining time. The only time we had to wait in line was on the first night when everyone congregated around the dining room doors prior to opening at 6pm, and were waiting for waiters to show each set of guests to their tables. On the following days people knew where they sat so there were no lines to get in. One suggestion would be to wait a little on the first night to be seated to avoid the initial rush. There only two of us and we were seated with another couple. They were great! So much so that we traded email addresses and might possibly go on another cruise together down the line. We also sat next to a great family, mom and dad and a 13 and 8 year old. Our two tables were close and we ended up talking a lot to each other. I guess we were lucky. This might not be the case in future situations. We thought the food in the dining room was very good to excellent...again...we are not picky eaters. It always amazes me how cruise ships can prepare thousands of meals, with such a variety, and maintain quality. Our waiter and assistant waiters were great! Very friendly, talked to us, kidded around some with us and the kids next to us .... just great guys. They were always prompt ... and on a few nights when we had to get to an early show the waiters got our food very quickly. It kind of became a standing joke that several of us ordered two or sometimes three appetizers and several deserts because it all looked good and we wanted to try several items. No problem They brought it all to us. A few times we order two different dinner items, and one time our friends did not like the dinner and ordered something different. No problem... they were brought right away. There were two formal nights. My wife wore a dress…and I a suit but no tie, but it was not required. We did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants so I cnnot comment on those. The food in the dining room was just fine for us. Our dining friends had purchased the liquor package, and their bar person had drinks on their table almost as soon as they say down (knowing what they wanted from the previous days). Other eating venues: We did have some pizza at the Sabarros on the promenade one night which was good. We also had some of the small h’ordeurve sized sandwiches and desserts at night at both of the (free) cafes on the promenade and central park. We did not eat at the hot dog place on the boardwalk, although our new dining friends (which we hung out with) did and they said it was good. Entertainment: We had an entertainment engagement scheduled each night, OceanAria, Blue Planet, Chicago, Ice Show, Headliner Show and the Comedy Club. One thing to consider for future cruisers: make reservations on the web for these shows as early as you can. Although they are free, you still need to have a reservation for the time you want. The show and times are coded into your sea pass card when you board and are used as tickets to get into the show. Don’t wait until you are on the ship. Also be a little careful when scheduling if you have a scheduled dining time so you wont be rushed. If you do not arrive 10-15 minutes before your showtime, they do start letting other people go into the theatres that do not have reservations. The comedy club has the smallest venue and we did notice the longest line of non-reservationists waiting to get into this show. We liked the Comics at the comedy club the best. Chicago was very good but not outstanding. We also liked the water show OceanAria located in the back of the ship. The diving and trampoline acts were really good. The headliner show was a good ABBA look alike group. Blue planet was similar to a Cirque Du Soleil show…beautiful sets and presentation. The show “Ice Games” was also very good and visually appealing. Over all… the entertainment was as good as or better than our other cruises. Fitness Club and Spa: We did not use the spa, although our new dining friends did have acupuncture and a few body treatments. They did like the acupuncture. However, they felt pressured to buy additional spa treatments after taking one of the special spa offers. There was a nice track on deck five, rarely crowded, and it took 2.4 loops to go one mile (which shows you how big this ship is). I was a little dissapointed in the location of the fitness equipment. On the voyager class there was a pretty nice view out the window while you were on the bikes or treadmills.... this was not the case on the Allure. The equipment was standard. We did not use the zip line or the surf rider...but it looked like people were having fun. There was no charge for the zip line or riding the merry go round...not sure about the surfing. Just Walking Around: We like to just walk around sometimes. This ship is great for that. It has a large Royal Promenade and Central Park was really nice. If we wanted a quite place we went to the track on deck 5. Several nights they had parties on the promenade, parties, parades, etc. Bars: We were told that there were 34 places (bars) on this ship to get a drink. This of course includes all of the pool bars as well as the more established bars (Schooner, Viking, Jazz, etc). We hung out in a few and had fun...entertainment was pretty standard, small groups, jazz, rock, country, classical, etc. Our group started a pub crawl one day, but we only made it to three bars! Cruise Compass: This ship had a lot of things to do. They had to have two pages for the cruise compass, one for the early part of the day and one for the evening. Pretty nice for sea days. There were a lot of things that we just didn’t have time to do. We didn’t have young children with us but our dining group told us the kids loved the ship and the planned activities for the kids. I know that the ship had kind of a Prom Party Dance for the teenagers during the last day of the cruise....kind of nice. All in all we thought the ship was great...lots of things to do ... lots of places to go ... Ports: I won’t go into the ports (Nassau, St Maarten, and St Thomas). You can look up reviews for these on many other places. HOWVER...I do want to mention this. The ship was delayed getting into St Thomas because of a life boat problem in Nassau. Obviously, people who had planned excursions were disrupted and upset. RCI not only reimbursed people for their excursions (which is a no brainer) but they gave every stateroom on the ship $200 cruise credit (if you had two people-$110/each) and $500 cruise credit to Junior Suites. Maybe other cruise lines would do the same...not sure. It did help to alleviate some of the distress people might have had and it was probably a good business decision showing that they try to take care of their guests. Disembarkation: This went pretty smooth for us. We chose to set our luggage out the night before and have the porters hauled it down and waiting for us in the port. We had the time and we knew from experience that elevators can be packed and slow in the morning and did not want the hassle. Even though there are 12 elevators in the front of the ship and 12 in the back, they can be crowded and slow. We relaxed in the solarium bistro, had breakfast, drank coffee and waited for our number to be called. It took us 30 to 40 minutes to get down to the terminal, but we quickly found our luggage (they had clearly marked overhead displays of our number and luggage location) and then headed to go through customs. We would go on this ship again in a heartbeat.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
When we planned our trip on Allure of the Seas, we applied everything we had learned from our experience the previous year on Oasis (http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=222310) to ensure the best possible ... Read More
When we planned our trip on Allure of the Seas, we applied everything we had learned from our experience the previous year on Oasis (http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=222310) to ensure the best possible experience for ourselves. We prepared in advance by booking all of our shows as soon as we possibly could, and were able to put together a nice itinerary for ourselves of dinner and show reservations based on how we knew we would want to spend our time. We flew in to Fort Lauderdale the night before departure instead of buying trip insurance. We stayed at the Candlewood Suites which was a great experience (free airport shuttle, proximity to airport and cruise port, competitive rate, very clean, user-friendly taxi reservation service). The boarding process is so efficient. We only waited just a moment in line before the next clerk could assist us. Before we knew it we were on Allure! Since we had been on Oasis just one year before we did not have to take any time familiarizing ourselves with with the ship's layout and could head straight to the line to get in to The Park Cafe to start eating! We tried three of the for-fee specialty restaurants during our cruise: Samba Grill, Giovanni's, and Vintages. We weren't that impressed with Samba Grill (the meat was tough, and it took forever to receive the different selections) but we did enjoy our meal at Giovanni's just as much as when we ate there on Oasis. Our tapas at Vintages from the a la carte menu were tasty, though the service could be a little bit slow. We thought the food in the MDR was delicious at every meal, and snacked from the Wipeout Cafe, Boardwalk Dog House, and Boardwalk Donut Shop at various points in the week (Wipeout is the same junk food as you can find in Windjammer, Dog House and Donut Shop were ok but nothing to write home about). Decent meals could also always be found at Windjammer, Cafe Promenade, and Sorrento's - we didn't try any foods during our cruise that we didn't like. Our stateroom (7530) was excellent. The location was quiet, close enough to the elevator/stairs to make coming and going very easy, and because it was the first oceanview balcony cabin from the front of the ship, we only had one neighbor with a balcony. However, due to being so close to the front of the ship the balcony was a VERY windy experience. Our room was better maintained than the one we had had on Oasis and our attendant was great. The ship's amenities are great. We love the layout of this class of ship. We especially enjoyed walking through Central Park, lounging in the adults-only Solarium, and sitting on the Adirondack chairs on the jogging track at the rear of the ship. The fitness center was never busy when I went in and the pools were never too crowded. We were frustrated that one of the two solarium hot tubs was out of commission during our entire trip, as during much of the day all of the hot tubs were full. My spouse again enjoyed the flow rider and I managed to complete the zip line without passing out - win! We didn't come away from this trip feeling as impressed with the shows as we did after Oasis. Possibly the aqua theater show and the ice show are not quite as good as the ones Royal developed for Oasis? The shows were still entertaining and enjoyable, but we just weren't awestruck after like we felt post-Oasis. We caught several of the fountain shows in the aqua theater and thought they were all wonderful - I definitely recommend looking for these in the cruise compass and checking them out. The highlight of our trip happened on the first formal night. Somehow my spouse talked me into having lunch in the MDR, which I normally oppose because I think it takes way too long compared with the other lunch options (even with the Brasserie 30 concept). However after we ate and got up from our table to exit, the head waiter stopped us and invited us to dine that evening at the Captain's Table (hosted by the Chief Safety Officer, not the captain). We accepted and that afternoon received graceful invitations in our stateroom telling us where to go and when. We and two other couples were met by the head waiter in the bar area outside the lowest level of the dining room and given a briefing on what to expect. Then we were taken out to the table where we had place cards, custom keepsake menus, and more glamorous place settings and napkin arrangements than you normally get in the MDR. Then the Chief Safety Officer arrived with his wife. Our dinner was amazing (we didn't have to pay for the wine) and the other couples were very friendly. We especially enjoyed Chief Safety Officer Simon Lockwood and his wife Kate, as they were incredible hosts and really made us feel welcome and special during the meal. I don't know what possessed Head Waiter Neil to single us out from all of the people having lunch in the MDR that day to invite us to be part of this, but it was an exceptional and unique experience that I feel very privileged to have attended. The ports of call were great as well. We only got off the ship for a very brief time in Nassau Bahamas to use the free wi-fi at Dunkin' Donuts and otherwise enjoyed a quiet day on board the ship. Our arrival to both Bahamas and St. Thomas were delayed due to the issue Allure was experiencing at the time with one of the stabilizers. In St. Thomas we took a taxi from the cruise port over to Magen Bay Beach (the taxi is shared with about 2 dozen people and is relatively cheap - it is also very easy to identify at the taxi station). The beach was a little crowded just at the main entrance but we walked off to the side and it was much quieter. The water was very calm and fairly warm, and the view was gorgeous. We loved this beach and only left when everyone else started fleeing because the sun was going down. In St. Maarten we did an excursion that was booked through RCCL. An air-conditioned van picked us up at the cruise port and took us to the top of the hill (not quite high enough to be a mountain per our tour guide) at Loterie Farm. We were driven up to the tippy top and then hiked back down to the truck. The views from the lookouts were gorgeous and the hike through the old sugar plantation was intriguing and informative (though honestly I don't think I worked off much of what I'd eaten at Cupcake Cupboard). The path was a little bit muddy as we hiked down and though we all had walking sticks to help balance, several people did slip and fall. No serious injuries though - everyone was good-humored and wanted to keep moving. We utilized the self-disembarkation process on the last day to carry our own luggage off in Fort Lauderdale. I am not sure why anyone would not do this as you get to keep all your luggage with you the whole time and you don't have to wait in public areas until your turn is called to leave. We got off the ship with minimal trouble, cleared customs, and were quickly in a taxi headed back to the airport. Although we had a wonderful time in 2012 on Oasis and in 2013 on Allure, we will wait to re-sail with either until Royal has new shows for us to see in its theaters. For anyone who has never been on either ship or seen the shows, I definitely recommend both and encourage you to do your homework first so that you, too, can have the best possible experience. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
Ahhh, Allure of the seas! We booked this family cruise a year ago. I have read every review about the Allure since. I have to admit that prior to sailing, I was a little surprised by what some people complain over. After just arriving home ... Read More
Ahhh, Allure of the seas! We booked this family cruise a year ago. I have read every review about the Allure since. I have to admit that prior to sailing, I was a little surprised by what some people complain over. After just arriving home last night, I can see and agree with some of the good and bad that has been brought up. This ship is simply amazing. I think nobody would disagree with that. With so many people on board, what takes place is a work of art. From the dining room to the cleaning staff, to just trying to keep up with the daily tasks....it is a feat of proportionate magnitude from start to finish. It is modern and very clean. That alone is worth the price. There is a lot to talk about. So much that it can't be done in a review like this. Royal Caribbean is in the WOW business. This is truly an experience. It can be as crazy or as quiet as you want it to be. They give you the tools and it is up to you to make the memories. Having said that, there are a few things I wanted to hit on. Food: My wife and I are "amateur" foodies. We love good food and could not wait to see what was in store for us. Along that line, we eat a very specific way and we found that overall the food was good. Not excellent. I'm actually sad to write that as we wanted to experience the best! The main dining room did deliver except for one night. The plating was fantastic and the service was awesome. I did feel pushed at times. As for the remaining locations, breakfast and lunch outside the main dining room was weak. The bacon at every venue was paper thin and the eggs are powdered. You can hit the wipe out for an made to order omelet. The solarium rocked for lunch with an array of healthy food choices. We simply avoided the windjammer as it was a culmination of people gouging themselves. Chops was the best. We were delighted in the food and the choices. They do allow you to use the premium alcohol package inside chops. Anything you would drink anywhere else, you can get inside of chops. Johnny Rockets had breakfast for free only. Everything after 11:00a.m. is $4.95. The breakfast there was average at best. Your basically limited to the menu items. The bottom line is you won't go hungry. For 75% of the people, the food is fantastic and totally better (or worse) then they eat every day. Pizza, cookies, hamburgers...you name it (yuk). The solarium was by far the healthiest option for a meal any time of the day. Embarkation/Debarkation: Very impressed. Not a problem. The worst part was leaving the ship and waiting in the cattle stalls shuffling along with your full set of luggage to clear customs. Not easy or pleasant, but not RC's fault. Pool Deck: We love the pool deck and hit it every day. It was crowded. We did have a hard time finding a chair in the shade. Yes, towels were everywhere saving seats. I never saw the seat saving rule being enforced. Forget the solarium, those seats are saved early and vacant the rest of the day, covered with towels and no people. If you're ok with full sun, you can find a chair. The mast bar was the least busy and Oliver from the Philippians will hook you up. My biggest complaint is simple, but a big one for me. Having cruised before, I was looking forward to music while laying out on the deck. The Allure offers music, but it is quiet and not audible from the top pool decks. It was pop music down by the pool. There were scheduled times for the band to play. Yes, one band for the entire ship for all the pools. Usually they would play an hour from 12:00p.m. to 1:00pm, then 3:00 to 5:00 on sea days only. On the top deck you can't hear the ocean, you can't hear the music below you. It is nothing but people walking by and the engine running. That does sound good, I know right? However minor this is to some, this really is a personal beef for me. Something that I know people will laugh at, but I really like calypso while laying on the pool deck. Oliver from the mast bar brings his own little stereo to the bar to listen to while he is serving. So as you walk up, he is singing and dancing to his own music. Just crazy to me! Enough of that.... RC, get some music!!! We had room 11229. It has no room on one side next to it, however it is right next to a service station for the staff. The payoff is, it offers a larger extended deck overlooking central park. You get two chairs and a table, plus two more chairs and a drink table. We would notice the service station being used during the day, so if you sleep in it might bother you. Saturday night, we heard them all night long as they were moving luggage etc. I would get that room again. I very much enjoyed overlooking central park as the noise was minimal and in the evenings, there was jazz in central park and you could sit and listen to it. The room was very clean and nice. I loved the self closing closets and the touch button safe. Make sure you watch the morning rush show with the director. He goes over the entire day with what is going on. Also catch the top ten craziest questions ever asked. Cracked us up! i.e. do these stairs go up or down? or, which elevator takes us to the front of the ship? or, what elevation is the ship at? Ken Rush (director) worked his tail off. He comes across as arrogant and you get tired of his voice by the end. I'm just thankful for him as he did share lots of tips and good info. You're in room tv is really a great way to do everything you need. Book shows, check your balance or watch replays from the previous nights shows. Amazing really. Sea sickness: Never was an issue. We took lots of stuff, sea bands etc., but it was smooth and although you can feel it, very nice! Shows: Very talented staff. Chicago is a unique story. I think that people sometimes don't get it and criticize the show for the show itself. The acting was good and although not Broadway, it was entertaining and good. Blue planet was super cool. I didn't care for the story, but the actors were still very good. I probably would not go back to see either one. I did hear the comedy was excellent, and the ice show as well. The quest was interesting to say the least. You will see crazy stuff. I was very surprised at the content. We saw nudity and more. Be warned. It is not for young kids. Premium Alcohol Package - I'm a numbers guy. I did the math. You need 5-7 drinks per day per person to break even (give or take a few). I never saw anyone drunk. We totally got our monies worth. Look, any other vacation (with some exceptions...i.e. an all-inclusive resort in Mexico), you're paying for all your drinks. I spent $30 bucks on three drinks (Mai Tai) in Hawaii last year. Only on a cruise can you drink anything you want and not worry about the cost. They really did not skimp on the alcohol and they were all very good. My family all met at the Martini bar for drinks at 5:00p.m. before dinner every night. It was wonderful. You do have to sign a slip for every drink. The biggest disappointment is the wine selection. It is a red Cabernet/Merlot or a Chardonnay or pinot grigio. I think maybe also a Riesling. We like a red so we were very limited. One red type for the entire cruise! Really? Good thing I love cabs. There are a lot of red wines that are cheap enough to add to the "premium package". You can order Grey Goose Vodka or Ketel One, but they give you only one wine selection. Disappointing to say the least. We also had no problem buying alcohol at the ports. They took it at customs and we got it delivered to our room the last night. If you like to drink, even a little, I would recommend pre-paying. The drinks will simply add up and it is not hard to have a drink on the deck pool at 1:00, 3:00, 4:30....wine with dinner and a cocktail at a show. Bam, your even! The bow and stern offered a wide selection of beers and I think there really was only one beer not covered in the package. I had to laugh at the soda people. Packing that big cup around everywhere, all day! They were everywhere on Monday and by Friday you hardly saw anyone packing them around. Sheeple come on!! Value: There is so much to do at any given moment you really have to pick and choose. Dancing, live music, classes. I found myself overwhelmed with the choices. There is a ton of shows we missed and things I had hoped to do but never could because I was doing something else. I didn't get to rock climb, zip line or use the flow rider. The lines for these were always long and I simply did not want to wait. On a 7 day cruise, you eventually crash and end up almost taking the bulk of at least a day off to rest. I did notice that there was a lot of stuff that didn't even start up until after 11:00 at night. Dancing and bands etc. That made it hard to stay up late into the night and then catch stuff during the day. Throw in some shore excursions and you're in for a full week! I loved St. Maarten and the Segway tour was above and beyond. Very fun and worth the money. When looking for a vacation, you could never do all we did for what we paid. A five star hotel, restaurant and entertainment for one price. We had one couple in our party that enjoyed bingo and played every day. It's crazy to think about everything going on all at the same time. The Allure is an experience and we did find it busy at times. I felt almost penalized as we stayed on board during the Bahamas. We have been there before. Everything shuts down when the ship is at port. I can see why some people would say it is too big and too busy. I can see how some like a less lively and smaller crowd. We all cruise for different reasons. If my biggest complaint is the pool deck music, they have to be doing something right, right? Overall, when I consider everything, it is a great vacation for the money. I would recommend the Allure and I can't wait to go back! Quick tips: Use the Purell hand dispensers, they are everywhere. Especially before meals. Use the push buttons to open the doors. Nice touch RC! Read the compass laid on your bed every night. It is the newspaper of the ship and very well done! Stay at the Embassy Suites in Ft. Lauderdale. Nice location and take the taxi from the airport. (cheaper than the shuttle) Take a taxi to the port instead of the shuttle. It is also cheaper. Eat at Chucks across the street from the Embassy Suites. Very nice prime rib dinner! The taxi from the port to the airport comes in at about $14. It's quick and easy.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
We don't recommend this ship for anyone over 60 not traveling with family. You pay top dollar to sle on this ship and frankly it's not worth it. Here is the good- - Great entertainment and shows. Some if the best at sea! - ... Read More
We don't recommend this ship for anyone over 60 not traveling with family. You pay top dollar to sle on this ship and frankly it's not worth it. Here is the good- - Great entertainment and shows. Some if the best at sea! - lots of choices for dinning, but often not worth the extra money. - Nice looking ship with very intelligently designed cabins. The not so good and sometimes bad- - Fitness center run by Steiner and much if the equipment requires maintenance. Very frustrating trying to watch TV on elliptical/treadmills. - Casino almost always $ 10.- minimum bet and offers lousy playing odds. - the Buffet is terrible and alway over crowded and noisy. Main dinning room service mediocre at best until lasf two nights. Food very mediocre with poor quality meats and fish. Best was the brazil steak house for lunch. - Pool area is unbelieveable crowded and chaise lounges very cheap and not padded. Pool looked like a Coney Island resort. -Elevators were packed and often went the wrong direction just to get on them. - Daytime activities very poor and movies were strictly children's affairs. No movie theatre. -Disenbarking process was very slow and behind schedule. Saving grace was the Diamond lounge which we understand in Septmber 2013 they will lower the amenities for Diiamond/Platinum members. We felt that the public areas were much too small for the number if passengers and we waited in line for everything. More like going to Disneyland then going on a cruise ship. Much to big for our experienced selves. We would go agin if we went with our kids and grand kids only. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
My boyfriend and I (both 26 years old) were originally booked on the Grandeur of the Seas headed to Bermuda but due to the fires a month earlier we were forced to reschedule. We actually found out our cruise was cancelled through a TV news ... Read More
My boyfriend and I (both 26 years old) were originally booked on the Grandeur of the Seas headed to Bermuda but due to the fires a month earlier we were forced to reschedule. We actually found out our cruise was cancelled through a TV news outlet. No email or anything from Royal. We reached out to our travel agent and after countless HOURS on the phone with both the agent and RC we were finally able to rebook our cruise headed to the Western Caribbean on the Allure of the Seas. While I felt we could have been better compensated for our time and trouble, we could not have been luckier to land on the Allure. It was a dream boat all the way from our incredible and modern deck 8 ocean balcony room to the food, entertainment and staff. Drinks- The Positive- The premium unlimited drink package. The Pina Colada's and mango mojitos flowed ALL week long and the drinks were strong. Everywhere you look there is a bar, so there was no inconvenience there. The only downside was constantly giving your Seapass to the walking bartenders and having to sign multiple papers when they were able to track you down. Special rgards to Chester and also Adrianne in the upper suite bar. He taught us some special tricks and was very attentive. Food- I don't understand the complaints about the Windjammer. The line was long at peak times but it moved SO fast that it was not an inconvenience at all! Breakfast in the Windjammer was honestly so delicious and with the exact right amount of choices. Every evening we ate in the Main Dining room except for one night when we did Ritas Cantina. The main dining room food was fantastic except for one terrible piece of Cod. Everything else was fantastic and we LOVED the bar waitress in the MDR named Josephine. She was so great. The pizza in the promenade was great. Brad had a good 50 slices over the course of a week. Shows- Chicago was impressive. It is not the full show so mostly you can expect musical numbers and a brief outline but it was top quality. We were able to spend a little time in Jamaica with a few cast members and they were as great off-stage as on. Comedy shows- Hilarious. Sit in the front if you don't mind being picked on. Oceanaria....A MUST. Period. Headliner- An incredible impressionist and comedian. See this show. Activities- The quest. My boyfriend and I were selected as the leaders for group 6 and while we made the BIGGEST fools of ourselves, this activity is a DO NOT MISS. Love and Marriage game show had me in tears and the auditions are just as hilarious. The only things that irked us were the kids and teens in the Solarium and adult activities. Seemed like they were everywhere! Ports- Labadee has lots of rocks. I liked it but I think I like CoCocay better. Watch out for that Labaduzee drink. It's yummy. Falmouth is a strange port. You don't get off the boat to a beach and if you don't schedule an excursion you will either be bored at port all day or go off into the danger lands and risk your lives (which is what we did). We ended up leaving the gates to find a cab driver who took us to climb the Dunn River Falls (DO THIS... but don't use a guide as it is much more scary/fun/adventurous). He then took us to a locals beach and then to eat authentic jerk chicken which was delicious! Be wary if you leave the gate and take caution. I was very on edge the whole time we were in Jamaica. Cozumel- We went para-sailing, rented a moped which we drove around the entire Island and saw the Mayan Ruins. Locals may not be upfront with you about the exchange rate so be knowledgeable on this and for Lords sake, WATCH OUT FOR THE SEA URCHINS. I have three prongs in my foot that can't be removed and they HURT! Advice- get a pool chair early on sailing days. The pools become WAY over capacity and chairs were HARD to come by all week. Also... someone tell people to keep the diapered babies out of the pool... YUCK! OVERALL AN INCREDIBLE WEEK! Thanks Royal Caribbean!   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
As we have done on many of our past cruises out of Galveston, we spent Saturday night at the Holiday Inn Express/Suites in Texas City, just a short drive to Galveston. The hotel is always clean and affordable, and you get free breakfast ... Read More
As we have done on many of our past cruises out of Galveston, we spent Saturday night at the Holiday Inn Express/Suites in Texas City, just a short drive to Galveston. The hotel is always clean and affordable, and you get free breakfast and free WiFi. We parked with EZ-Cruise in Galveston, and we highly recommend them. Their staff is friendly, the buses are clean, and they are always on time and affordable! Embarkation was fairly quick, though I noticed one small problem early on...there was some confusion by the staff near security as to whether or not wine was allowed on-board, and we saw several guests get their wine confiscated. There were some heated arguments and eventually a manager was brought in to confirm the policy that you can bring on two bottles of wine per cabin. We did just that and enjoyed them throughout the week! The check-in process was smooth, and I like that they now take your photos right at check-in. Good move! After about an hour (around 12:15) they began boarding the ship, and we boarded with the priority group for Platinum members. We were among the first ones to the buffet and we relaxed and enjoyed our first meal. Rooms were ready just before 1:30pm and we hung out in our Junior Suite for a little while before exploring the ship with my sister-in-law, who was a cruise virgin. Here are some specifics on the various other aspects of our cruise: Food - we found the food much improved over past RC voyages. We still LOVE the mushroom puff pastry and the lobster tail was the biggest I had seen in my years of cruising and it was cooked well. We enjoyed Johnny Rockets on the first sea day, and my 4yr old loved it! There was some confusion at the new Boardwalk Dog House (by the pool) as the staff was a new staff of Chinese crew brought in for the future China cruises. They did not know the difference in the types of sausages and were using cheat sheets to help them. Their lack of proficiency in English was a little difficult but once they got the order right, the food was pretty good at the Dog House. Buffet selections at dinner mirrored the Main Dining Room, with a few basic additions, though we only peaked a few times to see what they had available. We enjoyed the cookies and light snacks at the Royal Promenade Cafe several times - dang those cookies are addictive! Pool - we enjoyed the pool several times, though we did notice several missing tiles and some rust in the various pool areas. Seems like some simple things RC can do to spruce it up a bit. Other than that, the pool was comfortable, sunny and relaxing! The one downside for many of us though was the proximity of many smokers, who just tend to ruin my activity as soon as I smell the smoke - yuck! Cabin - Our Junior Suite (9594) was the same cabin we had last year, so no surprises really. We love the extra space for my son, and enjoy the over-sized balcony. Our room steward was good, but not great like we have seen in the past. He didn't do anything wrong or miss anything, but he just wasn't a vibrant personality like we are used to. But he kept the room clean and the ice bucket full, so all was OK. Kids Program - my son loved the kids program, though he preferred spending time with his dad on this trip. They grew up so fast! When he did activities like money night, pirate night, pirate parade, etc. he had a lot of fun. Excursions - we booked Tabyana beach in Honduras through RC and it was fun. He was been there before and enjoyed the clean, relaxing atmosphere. Unfortunately, here too a smoker two rows in front of me lit up a cigar and puffed away for almost two hours. We moved a few chairs over to get downwind of the stink and it was a nice day after that. While in Belize, the tendering was rough and took a long time to get everyone off. Very frustrating sitting in the hot sun, bouncing around while the tender captain tries to get things lined up. I have done tendering many times before and this seemed to be one of the tougher days for the poor little tenders. Entertainment - we only made it to a few shows, but I really enjoyed the Australian Bee Gees. Pretty cool act! Debarkation was easy and we were off the ship by around 10:15am and through customs within an hour or so. Lines were long and a bit slower than I remembered, but it seemed fine to me. We jumped on our EZ Cruise bus, which took us right to the lot, loaded our van and headed back to Dallas. We are booked on the Allure of the Seas for June 2014 and we look forward to seeing what the biggest ship in the world has to offer us! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
The Allure is a huge ship, need more room to tell the story. STAIRS AND ART. Our goal was to be calorie neutral on this trip. Mission Fail. I gained 6 pounds, which I assume is all muscle from the gym work. If I stayed on the ship ... Read More
The Allure is a huge ship, need more room to tell the story. STAIRS AND ART. Our goal was to be calorie neutral on this trip. Mission Fail. I gained 6 pounds, which I assume is all muscle from the gym work. If I stayed on the ship another month I would look like Michael Phelps. The wife and I skipped almost all bread, no Pizza, No candy or ice cream. AND we usually took the stairs. It is important you use all 4 stairwells from deck 3 to deck 15. RCL invested over $1 million in original art and photography in their CULTURES OF THE WORLD collection on each landing. Beautiful and fascinating. Okay, so maybe we were drunk at 2 AM and took the elevator. But we powered through the stairs all week. CLUBS AND BARS. Dazzles on decks 8 & 9 was the most happening dance club we found. The Viking Club Lounge was more mellow and offered great views of the ship. One night the cast of Chicago came to the lounge to play show tunes but not any you have heard before. You can skip that. A COMPLAINT, there are NO indoor CIGAR SMOKING venues. The upstairs of Dazzles is already smoking, cigars would not make that great of a difference. Ship is very biased against CIGAR Smokers. A few night they offered to allow up to smoke in the Solarium Bar and then said no, we have a private party. INSIDE TIP 7pm-1am you can smoke in the Gold card bar upstairs in the Private suite level. You will see 4 wooden doors and the restricted sign. It is a nice outdoor bar. Look for Wayan from Bali. Great bartender and great to talk with. DECK CHAIRS. 8am grandma comes out with seven towels to lock up 8 prime deck chairs. By 9am all the chairs are taken. RCL has a no holding policy but they do not even try to enforce it. A better idea might be to allow one adult guest to hold one chair to give everyone a fair chance for their "place in the sun" If you get shut out deck 14, follow the signs for the sundeck. Usually still chairs available there but is in direct sun. STAFF. How they keep those cheerful attitudes I can not imagine. Every crew member acknowledged or said hello to every guest they came upon. The service could not have been any more attentive. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
The first hour aboard is spent uttering the same words, WOW and WHOA. This is an incredible engineering feat. The front of the ship includes the dining room (decks 3, 4, 5), casino (deck 4), and on deck 6 the Aqua theatre and ... Read More
The first hour aboard is spent uttering the same words, WOW and WHOA. This is an incredible engineering feat. The front of the ship includes the dining room (decks 3, 4, 5), casino (deck 4), and on deck 6 the Aqua theatre and boardwalk. Above the completely open air boardwalk are the balcony cabins starting at deck 7, up to deck 14). If you are travelling with kids you may prefer this side of the ship. It includes the donut shop and seven types of hot dogs stand (both free). Paid shops include a candy shop, ice cream shop, and a build a pet experience for young children ($32.99), which was a very good value. Deck 17 has access to the flowrider, zip line, sports court, and mini golf. The rear of the ship is the open air Central Park on deck 8, which includes a Britto art gallery and most of the (paid) restaurants. The rooms on deck 9 overlook and have large windows and are a great value. Decks 10 thru 14 are the inside balcony rooms. SHOWS. If you have not booked online your first stop should be Deck 4 (take the circular stairs to your right when you first come aboard). Go to either side of the Amber theatre to sign up. DO NOT MISS Ocean Aria or Blue Planet. Both Vegas style productions and well worth the time. Chicago was also excellent. Never saw the comedy or headliner shows but heard both were great. GYM. This cruise we were determined to leave the ship in a first name basis with the gym & spa staff and not the dining room staff. The Gym has the most modern equipment you would need and a staff that really made the classes worthwhile. Dalma, Kegan, and Boyim (funny guy) alternate the classes so you will get to work with everyone. We signed up for 8am Yoga ($12 x 4 classes) and I signed up for the four session boot camp ($120). There are also spinning classes and one on one personal training ($85). The boot camp was where my WOW and WHOA turned into OWW and OHH. I'm not in terrible shape for the age but these classes kicked my butt. The staff was very encouraging and gently corrected my positions and technique. There is also a jogging/walking track on deck 5. The back of the ship is a great place to grab a chair or take a photo to get a feel for the speed of the ship. Also, the characters for the character water show come upstairs about 30 minutes before from this track to the stairway (you will see it) if you want to get a photo. SPA. Fortunately the spa is just next door and down one floor. The wife had 4 treatments and I had two massages. If you book one for the day you board they will offer additional services or time for that session. Also, ask about the discounts of 20% and 30% off the 2nd and 3rd sessions. Truth is the girls were not as experienced as my regular therapist but they still did a super job. Also, consider the THERMAL SUITE. $30 a day or $180 per couple for the week. Limited number of sign ups allowed. Access to the saunas, rain forest shower, and the Hard Ceramic loungers. There are 4 so sometimes you need to wait but these are heated and provide a great hot relief for your muscles. We both used it every day. My wife suggests ask for Dodna (?) from the philippines. She seemed to be the most knowledgeable. Even if you choose not to buy the products they sell they will write down the names if you want to find them online DINING. Lots of options here. Avoid the Sushi, surprisingly bad. I was warned but tried it anyway. The Windjammer is very crowded. It offers the most variety with upwards of 40 dishes every meal. We found it lacking, not bad, but not great. The better buffet is at the rear of the ship. The Solarium bistro was excellent for breakfast or lunch. Maybe 20 offerings but excellent quality and much healthier. At night they transform the place into Samba, the Brazilian Steakhouse ($30). We were unprepared. Arrive hungry. After a decent salad bar the meat begins. First we were served Sausage, bacon wrapped chicken, and brisket. Then they asked if we were ready for the next of 6 MORE COURSES?!! You got to be kidding me. We had a sampling of each but could but could never have finished them all. And remember you can have as much of all of these as you would like. This was the only paid restaurant we did because... The DINING ROOM was fantastic. They make a great chopped salad for lunch (as well as plenty of other choices), try it early in the cruise. For dinner we would usually split 3-4 appetizers and 2 entrees. The 6th night they serve Caribbean lobster tail but I've never found that very good. You can have filet or Maine lobster every night if you like ($30 up charge). The cold soups could be a smoothie, We tried those every night. Desserts were great as well. The service was as good as it gets. If you chose ANYTIME DINING you are on deck 5. You can just walk up but best to make reservations for 90 minutes before your shows. You can get a table for 2 and we liked the seats near the rail, gave you a better feel for the entire room. We also were impressed with the waiter, John, and made it to his section for the last 4 nights of the cruise. On dining room 5 they know you have already paid the pre paid gratuity but Feel free to discretely offer a $10 early in the cruise. Seems very much appreciated. STAIRS AND ART. Our goal was to be calorie neutral on this trip. Mission Fail. I gained 6 pounds, which I assume is all muscle from the gym work. If I stayed on the ship another month I would look like Michael Phelps. The wife and I skipped almost all bread, no Pizza, No candy or ice cream. AND we usually took the stairs. It is important you use all 4 stairwells from deck 3 to deck 15. RCL invested over $1 million in original art and photography in their CULTURES OF THE WORLD collection on each landing. Beautiful and fascinating. Okay, so maybe we were drunk at 2 AM and took the elevator. But we powered through the stairs all week. CLUBS AND BARS. Dazzles on decks 8 & 9 was the most happening dance club we found. The Viking Club Lounge was more mellow and offered great views of the ship. One night the cast of Chicago came to the lounge to play show tunes but not any you have heard before. You can skip that. A COMPLAINT, there are NO indoor CIGAR SMOKING venues. The upstairs of Dazzles is already smoking, cigars would not make that great of a difference. Ship is very biased against CIGAR Smokers. A few night they offered to allow up to smoke in the Solarium Bar and then said no, we have a private party. INSIDE TIP 7pm-1am you can smoke in the Gold card bar upstairs in the Private suite level. You will see 4 wooden doors and the restricted sign. It is a nice outdoor bar. Look for Wayan from Bali. Great bartender and great to talk with. DECK CHAIRS. 8am grandma comes out with seven towels to lock up 8 prime deck chairs. By 9am all the chairs are taken. RCL has a no holding policy but they do not even try to enforce it. A better idea might be to allow one adult guest to hold one chair to give everyone a fair chance for their "place in the sun" If you get shut out deck 14, follow the signs for the sundeck. Usually still chairs available there but is in direct sun. STAFF. How they keep those cheerful attitudes I can not imagine. Every crew member acknowledged or said hello to every guest they came upon. The service could not have been any more attentive. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
We began our back-to-back cruises with "maybe this ship IS too big" and ended them with "I want to sail again on this spectacular ship!" What a ship! Yes, she's big but after the initial shock we found her easily ... Read More
We began our back-to-back cruises with "maybe this ship IS too big" and ended them with "I want to sail again on this spectacular ship!" What a ship! Yes, she's big but after the initial shock we found her easily navigable and well laid out. We found crowds only when shows let out of the Amber Theater and Studio B and sometimes in the Windjammer (which we only used a couple of times). And she's beautiful -- if you go try to find time to admire all the artwork and the decor. A lot goes into the making of a successful cruise -- the ship, the crew, the food, the entertainment, the ports. We took these cruises not for the ports but for the ship and to escape the winter weather for a couple of weeks (it was 7 degrees when we left home!) Nothing disappointed -- the ship is incredible, the crew was to a person friendly, the food ranged from good to excellent, the entertainment was like nothing we've seen elsewhere and the ports were as expected. My DH and I have sailed on all classes of Royal Caribbean ships and each has its advantages. Allure's size allows for all the different dining venues (we ate at all of them except Rita's and Johnny Rockets) and the various entertainment spots. If your budget and schedule allow try to go for two weeks -- there is so much to do it is extremely hard to fit it all into just one week. Ocean Aria and Blue Planet are incredible and if you can see them more than once -- do! The headliner and comics changed each week so there were no repeats there. And I can't forget the ice show! Very good! The captain, Captain Johnny, is VERY friendly and funny! He has a pet parrot on board named AJ who you might see on the captain's shoulder as he walks around the ship. Also he has three bikes, including a Harley, and we saw him twice riding the smaller two bikes through the ship! You know a ship is big when the captain can do that! I want to particularly recognize some crew members that took great care of us during the two weeks: - Dexter, the Diamond Club concierge - Adelaine, our wonderful cabin attendant who couldn't do enough for us - Fe and Carlos, the bartenders in the Diamond Club - Arnold, Artie and Manoj, our wait staff in the dining room - Cindy, the Loyalty Ambassador - and Waverney, while not our attendant, was another bright spot in the crew. We gained Diamond Plus status the second week and with it came some neat perks: we had access to the Concierge Lounge as well as the Diamond Club. Also we could take 3 free special tours -- the bridge, the kitchens, and the backstage tour. We took the bridge and backstage tour. Both we recommend. Also suite and Diamond Plus guests can have breakfast and lunch served in the Concierge Lounge which is a lovely quiet spot on decks 11 and 12. Last but not least the ease of boarding and debarkation. 15 minutes tops to get on the ship and when we left at 8 AM it was 30 minutes from ship to taxi. We used the luggage valet service and recommend it highly. Once you put your luggage in the hallway you don't see it again until you get to your home airport. No lugging it through the long lines at customs and immigration. Well worth the $20!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
My husband and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed with Carnival, Princess, Celebrity and Royal and we just got back from a 7 night cruise on Allure of the Seas. I don't want to say anything negative about the ship but just ... Read More
My husband and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed with Carnival, Princess, Celebrity and Royal and we just got back from a 7 night cruise on Allure of the Seas. I don't want to say anything negative about the ship but just provide an honest opinion. Based on the cost to cruise on this ship I found the service, food and entertainment very dissapointing. We read on cruise critic before we set sail there was a cafe in Central Park and the roast beef sandwiches were wonderful. I can tell you this was not the case. My roast beef was so tough I could not eat the sandwich. A few days later for lunch I decided to give the cafe in the Park another try and ordered a quesadilla, because I wanted something lite. The quesadilla was so bad I could not eat it. Basically had to throw two lunches away, roast beef sandwich and quesadilla. Our cabin was on deck 11 with an extended balcony. For the amount of money we paid to take this cruise our cabin was very disappointing. Compared to other ships this room had very little storage and the drawers in the bedroom 'dresser' area fell out when we opened them. The in room safe seemed about half the size we normally get. Food in the main dinning was good but not outstanding. Windjammer was crowded and the food just okay. The first night we paid to eat at the mexican restaurant on the 'Boardwalk' and it was very good. Since this was the only restaurant we ate at where we paid additional for our food I cannot speak for the other speciality restaurants on board. Given we paid about twice the amount for this cruise as compared to other cruises we've taken I expected the food in the 'complimentary' restaurants to be better. But sadly that was not the case. It seems you have to pay for your food if you want quality. As for the entertainment, they advertise and promote Shrek, Po the panda, and more friends in the DreamWorks Experience. I felt like we were on a Disney cruise. If you have kids you might enjoy this cruise. We will not be cruising on this ship again. Too many people and you have to sign up for everything. If you want to relax you might find it hard to find somewhere peaceful. The activities are not coordinated well. Too much going on at the same time in the same place. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
This cruise was off to a bad start when a 21 year old girl "fell" overboard and the search for her was unsuccessful. My wife and I cruised with another couple, and we had reservations for the late night comedy show (which was ... Read More
This cruise was off to a bad start when a 21 year old girl "fell" overboard and the search for her was unsuccessful. My wife and I cruised with another couple, and we had reservations for the late night comedy show (which was absolutely hysterical). The show, however, was interrupted by the Captain's intercom on several occasions. Unbeknownst to us, they were searching for a 21 year old girl, even repeating her name a few times which I believe was Ariel. I remember the next morning at 7:30am, the wife and I were JUST about to set foot on the elevator when the announcement came that we were not docking at Nassau, Bahamas and that a girl had indeed fallen overboard. It was quite the ominous feeling and one couldn't help but feel deep pitted remorse for the family and situation. With all that aside, this was my 4th cruise, 2 times on Liberty, 1 time on Oasis, and this time was Allure of the Seas. I must say the biggest difference between the ships is the quality of friendliness and "laidbackness" between crew and guests. I feel there are a lot of rude crew members on Oasis and Allure whom simply have no regard for engaging in conversation, being friendly, or any sort of professionalism. This did not apply to our Head and Assistant Waiter staff (Hera and Ramonchito Ermita), as well as our Stateroom Attendant Joselito. We saw the following shows: Comedy, OceanAria, Blue Planet. We skipped Chicago and another show. I was very impressed by the 2 comedians for comedy, and I've seen OceanAria before so that's ALWAYS a good catch. Blue Planet, however, seemed amateur at best. It just wasn't too impressive in my opinion. Overall I'd give THIS cruise a 4 out of 5 stars. I did not enjoy the last 2 days of my cruise as much as I could have, as I was one of SEVERAL that I saw who got injured in some form or fashion. We played lots of trivia and sports - we're quite active on the ship and involved in lots of activities. Also, the night time "Finish The Lyric" game show was completely ruined by several drunk women and virtually the entire audience who insisted on completing the contestants' lyrics when they were supposed to remain silent. This happened about 10 times or more during a half hour game show. I still have had the best time on the Liberty, and I may suggest searching for a cruise on that ship despite knowing that the crew and staff is in constant rotation. Allan Brooks and Richard Spacey are the 2 BEST cruise directors to date. Allan Brooks is currently aboard the Allure, and Richard is on a smaller class ship with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Summary: One of our more enjoyable cruises. There was something for everyone but far too much for anyone to do it all. The highlight was the entertainment. For the most part VERY outstanding. There has been nothing that we experienced on ... Read More
Summary: One of our more enjoyable cruises. There was something for everyone but far too much for anyone to do it all. The highlight was the entertainment. For the most part VERY outstanding. There has been nothing that we experienced on other ships that was even a close second. We did find the ship somewhat noisy for our tastes. With one exception the service was excellent. The upper decks got crowded at times but not more than we experienced on other cruises. There was additional area on deck 16 that was limited to adults. It had its own pool and hot tubs. We loved it. It was almost never too crowded. The buffet area got crowded more and stayed that way longer than I remember on other cruises. We liked the interactive TV and interactive information displays posted throughout the ship. Having to make reservations for the shows was new to us but it seemed to cut down on the crowds for each event. We would go on this ship again although our preference is for smaller ships. The Celebrity Century is one of our favorites for example. If we were taking our grandchildren, we would book this ship or its sister "Oasis of the Seas" in preference to any other. There really appears to be a lot to do for kids of all ages. More details and impressions are below. Details: We are a couple over 65 with over 30 cruises. Booked this one week before departure not for the itinerary but because we just wanted to take a break. We had "My Time" dining which was fine with us. We were unable to reserve any of the shows pre-cruise but had no problems doing so once we were on the ship. We did pre-order the wine package but for what we drank there was no savings. $135 for a 5 bottle package but the wines we ordered were generally $27/bottle anyway. Check-in was the easiest ever. We got to the ship shortly after noon and were on the ship 15 minutes later. Maybe it gets busier later but they have many many check-in positions. We had a large inside cabin. It was 170 square feet on deck 8. It was more than adequate. On this ship they actually have balcony cabins that face the inside. I am not sure I would want one of them because of the noise level from the area they look out on. The food was decent and food service was excellent with one exception which was at their Samba Brazilian restaurant that was $25/pp extra. It was not worth it at all. That was too bad because we have eaten at that type of restaurant before and loved them. We did not get the food cooked the way we ordered it, (we like rare to medium rare). Talking to someone else who had been there on a previous night and his issue was that the meat was too rare. Go Figure. Also, when we were done my wife ordered a latte and I a black coffee. Their latte machine was broken which we were told about after we had pretty much finished our desserts. We sat there like dummies waiting for someone to bring from another area. No one came to ask if I wanted more coffee or if my wife wanted anything in the meantime. The latte finally came --lukewarm- 10-15 minutes after that. Even without the service issue, it was not worth $25/pp extra in my opinion. I suspect that to do a Brazilian restaurant of that type you need a bigger venue that the relatively few tables and staff that a cruise ship can devote to it. The ones that we liked have been large ones with lots of customers. We did not eat in any of the other extra charge restaurants. We were able to get the waiter that we had on the first evening whenever we ate in the main dining room. He was as good if not better that we have ever had. If anyone from RCCL is reading this his name is Oliver Marin. The shows: Chicago- While the play itself is not to my taste (my wife liked it). The performances were outstanding. You may not want younger children to see it because of some of the language. Oceanaria- A MUST see. Hard to describe but the divers and music etc are fantastic. Not sure if the diver are Olympic quality but if not they are darn close. Headliner-On this ship it was a man named Tony Tillman. Another must see. I have no idea where he gets his energy but wow. He does a great version of Sammy Davis JR too. When he was done with the show the ENTIRE audience immediately stood to give him a standing ovation. There was no "ripple" effect like so many standing ovations this was literally immediate. Blu- Another must see show. The cast from Chicago is generally the cast for this. It was spectacular and they got another standing ovation which was well deserved. Comedians- I thought they were just fair. There were two. The first one basically spent his half hour picking on folks from the audience. The other at last had some real jokes. The show is not available to folks under 18 due to content and language. They just were not my cup of tea when it comes to comedy. Another of my pet peeves about some of today's comedians is that just because you use the "F" or "MF" words it does not make a joke funny. I am no prude and can often use those words myself but mostly in a non-comedic situation. Shore excursions- Did not do any. We have been to that area many times and saw no need to do them. In Our purpose on this trip was to relax. Previously in Jamaica we have did the "rafting down the Martha Brae River" excursion and enjoyed it a lot. In Cozumel we went to Senor Frogs and had a couple of drinks and enjoyed the antics and singing of the waiters. In Labadee we stayed on the ship and enjoyed peace and quiet. We liked the interactive TV. You could check current and future events, menus and even make show and dinner reservations using it. The ship was very clean and the staff most friendly. The passenger to staff ratio is not as high as found on Celebrity or Holland but it really did not make much difference to us. We liked the Park Cafe on deck 8. Good breakfasts and it never seemed very crowded. The buffet area could probably have been made larger with a larger staff. That area did get crowded. Interesting fact...they do not have trays in the buffet area. It probably saves them a lot of labor and I heard no one complain about it. We like to play slots and the slots did not seem to be paying well at all. It seemed like they were tighter than most other cruise ships as well. I heard that from others as well. It often seemed like you were not at sea because the ship is so large. We still prefer smaller ships but would not hesitate to go Allure or Oasis again. If we were taking our grandchildren we would book one of them in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We just disembarked from the June 10 Allure of the Seas. Our family of seven picked the Allure after considering it vs the Disney Fantasy. We have sailed Disney in the past and really enjoyed it, but it is much more expensive. We were ... Read More
We just disembarked from the June 10 Allure of the Seas. Our family of seven picked the Allure after considering it vs the Disney Fantasy. We have sailed Disney in the past and really enjoyed it, but it is much more expensive. We were able to get staterooms with balconies (10712 and 10714) about 2 months prior to sailing. Adjoining rooms were no longer available for a family of our size. We booked late and got what we could get. We arrived at the port earlier than we ever have. We got there at about 10:30 am and there was no line at check in. We had to wait in a section for gold members in order to board the ship. It was very organized and the seats were comfortable. The seats were actually the line so get seated as soon as you get there. We boarded the ship at about 11:30 am. I had no complaints. Smooth as can be. We didn't mind the wait. It was worth it because we totally took our time with check in and didn't have to worry about people being annoyed with our 5 children. We skipped lunch and went straight up to the pool. We pretty much ate the free ice cream at the pool for lunch. The kids had a great time and my husband and I lounged with some drinks while the kids relaxed. We didn't partake in the whole Windjammer nonsense and we didn't regret it. The ship is beautiful and we had a great time. We didn't get to do everything we wanted and we were busy the entire time. Staterooms. D3 category is small. We did grand suites last year on the Freedom so we really felt the tightness. Our stateroom attendant was awesome enough to connect our balconies by removing the partition. The decor was adequate but there is an lack of opulence as compared to Disney. Bring your own tolietries because they are tight with them and the quality is poor. Disney's products are too die for so if you choose Disney defintely use what they've got! Balcony was small with 2 chairs and a table, but you have a beautiful oceanview. Unfortunately, our stateroom was next to a pair of chain smokers that lit up about every 15 minutes and never seemed to leave the room. This is not against the rules by the way. So, if you can't stand smoking and you get a balcony room you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Shows. We missed Chicago because we were too tired and I regret not trying to stay up. We LOVED Oceanaria! Don't miss it! Blue Planet was ok and could even be called boring. We missed Ice Games due to poor timing on my part (sorry kids!). The How to Train Your Dragon show was fun! We say Madagascar 3 on board which was fun!! My husband and I enjoyed to Comedy show. The second entertainer Miguel Washington I believe was hilarious!!! Headliner show was Beatlemania. I liked it and my husband loved it. Book your shows early online and try to make it! Zipline. Too short! My husband and I ziplined in Honduras so this experience was disappointing. My son ziplined here for the first time and complained that he didn't feel his adrenaline pumping. Just my 2 cents! Dining room. We had dinner here 5 nights which is the most we have ever done main dining room. Why so many time? Our waiters were really nice and were so patient with the kids. I was so happy with them because we had planned on going to all the speciality restaurants. Our husband and I have decided to reject the upcharged speciality restaurants in the future. Food was ok to great depending on the dish. Our waiters always made sure we liked our dish and if we didn't they made it right. Bingo. We played for the first time and had a great time. Our kids enjoyed playing too. But, it's expensive. Play once and forget about it. It's still gambling! Adrian the Bingo King was a blast! Ports: Bahamas- went to the Atlantis Adventure and had fun. I have some complaints though. St Thomas- had a great time! St Maarten- had a great time! Boardwalk. Don't miss the hot dogs!! Nice! We did the carosel as well. Johnny Rockets is free (if you can call it that) for breakfast which was nice. WindJammer. I'm proud to say we went only once for breakfast. Kids loved it! The crowd was horrible!!! Check on your tv for the restaurant wait times. That was an awesome feature!! Promenade. Sorrento's was ok. Kids like it. Did Cafe Promenade for quick pastries before Bahamas excursion because it departed so early. Kids club. Kids had fun. I can't stand that they close from 12-2 pm and 5-7 pm. Your kids can only go if you sign them up early, and frequently there was an upcharge. Not happy about that. My 12 year olds kids club was not really a kids club. They get a place to hang out. He's shy and they really didn't get him to interact with anyone. I'm disappointed that he didn't meet any new kids. I liked the drinks before shows. Get there early so you can get your drink on!! Prices are high, but you need to budget in plenty extra if you want to do what you want to do. Our incidentals were crazy high, but we expected it. The ship. Huge!! I think that the ship loses some of it's beauty due to the size. It looks too boxy. We are thinking about doing the Freedom again next year because it's just as nice and costs less. Freedom is a prettier ship IMO. Photos. I know they are expensive, but those photographers are good at what they do. We always buy the boarding photo and the wheel photos at every port. We also do our family photos on the cruise on formal night. It's a tradition that we plan on keeping. The photo prices are getting higher every year!!! If they get higher I might have to go to Olan Mills or something! Last year I wrote about the nickel and diming. This year I got over it and PLANNED on a big incidental budget. Water. We slapped a luggage tag on a big case of water. It made it to the room without difficulty. But, it did run out! Next year I will bring 2 cases! I talked about the availablity of water in my Freedom review last year. Ken Rush. Funny cruise director. I wish I had gone to the Newlywed show because he made it look so fun (I watched it on tv). There is too much to tell as usual! Have a great trip!!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
By itself, the Allure is packed with a great variety of venues for its guests. In combination with a crew that clearly strives to deliver the opportunity for happiness and relaxation to each individual, our visit was enjoyable. Captain ... Read More
By itself, the Allure is packed with a great variety of venues for its guests. In combination with a crew that clearly strives to deliver the opportunity for happiness and relaxation to each individual, our visit was enjoyable. Captain Johnny's log is delightful as is his sense of humor. Having programs to aid "make a wish" and the Royal 5 K are the reason we are looking already to book our next cruise on RCCL. By the way having crew members participate was fantastic! Naturally, while we were delighted, there are a opportunities for some modest improvements. Alas, this reviewer is an Engineer, and we always see such opportunities. Audio in Amber: In particular, the audio delivered in the Amber theater is challenging to adjust to avoid excessive bass notes delivered to the main floor and at the same time offer adequate bass in the balcony. This could be caused by headliner acts asking for specific sound profiles, yet many of us still have hearing, and would enjoy retaining it for our future. We did enjoy and appreciate the talent of these folks (in this case Mosaic) but know they would have been even better with a bit of moderation on the volume level. In the same venue and at the same location in the theater, Chicago had exceptionally good acoustic reproduction. the Chicago performance was utilizing the truly outstanding Allure of the Seas Orchestra, and there was much less bass in their audio profile. Solarium: A relaxing place with very nutritional food offered in the breakfast and lunch, of a lighter fare. The seating was often packed to 90% but usually one did not have difficulty finding a lounge chair. Central Park: Seeing real plants thriving and a combination of specialty shops as well as accommodating refreshment venues with the rather unique "rising tide" bar is quite memorable. The musicians provided excellent ambiance for folks enjoying the somewhat serene atmosphere. Promenade: With more activity and aggressive music venues, an excellent area to observe unique sculptures and art objects, opportunities to meet and enjoy friends both new and old as well as the central hub to plan offshore excursions. Locating the 24-hour snack venues and the guest services in this venue seemed very effective. the second floor of the area seemed to have opportunity for expansion or addition of some gaming tables for cards and/or individuals wishing to observe performances without being on the main floor. The Jog/Walk track is outstanding! Photo area: As we are all aware, one can now purchase a camera capable of high resolution photography at a fraction of the cost for only a few images captured by the professional photographers on-board ship with the current pricing strategy. If anything could be done to enable one to receive these images at a reasonable price instead of the current rather constricting option of only one price based on the "type of event" it is likely sales would skyrocket as folks would value the capabilities of these artists. It is felt they are probably the least effectively utilized team on the ship. The effort to reduce the number of prints and move toward images to select prior to printing is commended as it demonstrates a concern for waste reduction by the team. Hence, if one could select the images to consider solely from the video display or possibly from one's room video display unit and then review a smaller number of "proofs" of the desired size at the Photo spot on demand, things could be far superior in this cruiser's opinion.  we took a very long excursion to Chichen Itza and discovered that getting a breakfast was not trivial for that specific event as we did not want to eat at 7 to arrive at a meeting to start at 7:30. Possibly a buffet or something a bit more nutritional than a cheese blintz from the Cafe Promenade would be nice to invoke. It is possible we did not know where to find such a venue. It would be nice to have would be TV channel with the ship's course and identification of visible land forms and possibly including passing cruise ships, on a google map giving one an estimate of the ocean profile would be wonderful. How about a map set? How about a library....the spot on the ship isn't yet a library..it is very meager. Science/Oceanography experience? we did not find a pool that we could actually swim in, but the decision to not have it and have more "wading" pools was a good compromise, likley afforded due to the open "central park" environment. After all, there was plenty of swimming opportunity at the ports of call in that other thing around us, the Caribbean Sea....  Overall experience was both memorable and fantastic! Remember, I'm an engineer, so I can aways find things to improve...it's my job and I'm just lucky my wife can stand my focus of that nature. The acrobats, swimmers, skaters, dancers, musicians, "strong men" all were amazing. In closing, the crew were outstanding in every aspect. Captain Johnny, with his wit, openness, and exuberance set the stage for a exceptional voyage. One does not need to always be stern and serious when conversing with people. His expressions make us believe he truly trusts his crew and loves the seas...this infects us all aboard the ship. The ability of the crew to remember that we were on a cruise the previous week with them amazes me. They are all very attentive and greatly appreciated. We already hope to return! My Chinese friend tells me that: "man without wit is.... witless. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2012
My 22 year old daughter and I spent Spring Break with 6000 other passengers on an Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Allure of the Seas. The ship is beautiful. We had a Central Park balcony room, and I am glad that we chose an interior ... Read More
My 22 year old daughter and I spent Spring Break with 6000 other passengers on an Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Allure of the Seas. The ship is beautiful. We had a Central Park balcony room, and I am glad that we chose an interior balcony. The courtyard had recorded sounds: birds, an occasional barking dog, migrating geese, and crickets at night. There was plenty of greenery and comfortable seating that was hooded to prevent wind. There was a no charge eatery that offered made to order salads, great roast beef sandwiches, tasty soups, and other offerings, with good dessert. Some evenings either bagpipes or classical music was live in the courtyard. Our room, on the 10th deck, faced Giovanis, a pay restaurant. Also in the courtyard was an art gallery, 150 Central Park pay restaurant, Coach, a bar (of course), and the Rising Tides bar ascended to this level from the Promenade. I enjoyed the peace of the balcony for our room. There were so many sights and extras that I noticed. One of the first things we did aboard (after eating, getting into our room and starting the unpacking process) was to take a ride on the Merry Go Round in the Boardwalk area. No wait. My daughter later enjoyed free Coney Island hot dogs and tried a cupcake from the specialty shop. She was not happy that the red velvet was not chocolate dyed red. Amazingly, although there were 6000 passengers I did not feel the ship was crowded other than at the 70 and 80s dance party. I enjoyed my dance classes for Dance Like Lady Gaga and prep for the Flash Mob. The music in the dance club was loud with too much variety to get any serious dancing going for a long period. We made advance reservations for each of the six shows. Chicago was excellent, of course, since it was the copyrighted Broadway show. One of the comedians in the Comedy show was super vulgar and super offensive, and I filed a written complaint. I love comedy, and there is no reason for guests to be offended and embarrassed under the guise of comedy which was not at all funny. The Ice Show was good but I've seen so many and there is but so much you can do on the ice--so I thought. The aqua show was great: balancing, high diving. Blue Planet was very different. The headliner was okay with moments of comedy. During the welcome aboard party in the Promenade, my daughter and I were aboard Rising Tides, the bar that ascends from the 5th to 8th deck. During the presentation, with free champagne in hand, we were partially ascended and had a great view. When Rising Tides ascends, there is a variating fountain below it. The casino is large and I enjoyed it following the general rule: enjoy the experience, and play for fun, not to win. There were enough low denomination games to keep me happy. The hot tubs in the Solarium were clean and not crowded when I used them. The Solarium cafe offered healthier and different food than other venues, and we ate there a number of times. Water aerobics was offered each day at 9:00, but I was warned that the water was freezing and did not bother trying it out. I took the zip line and enjoyed the experience. I could not talk my daughter into doing it. I did not use the flowrider because it would not have been worth the injury. We enjoyed table tennis, although the location provided a strong wind that sometimes made the ball go the opposite direction than it was hit. We sat at a dinner table for 12, and I would not do this again. Since we all didn't arrive at the same time, this may have caused the courses to be delayed in order for late comers to catch up. The large group provided good conversation, but the waiter and assistant waiter provided super slow service to the point that the Head Waiter assisted them. Next time: My time dining. The parade was great, it made me wish I were a kid; and the 70s and 80s block party was great fun. The fitness center was huge with a lot of variety. There were more classes for cost than previously. The track is outdoors around an entire deck--with some parts in a wind tunnel. Although the track is padded, I did a little over two miles and suffered with a swollen ankle until I got home. There was no art auction. An art gallery for Britto is on Central Park, and I visited. it I did not enjoy the artwork in the common areas as much as on other ships. There were a number of events for Crown and Anchor members. We had a preview of the shows one morning, at which beverages were free. We also attended a small concert with the singers from Chicago, again with free drinks. There was a waiting area for platinum members, but we got there rather late and had sort of stale pastry and coffee. I enjoyed the week even though the ports were disappointing. Paradise Island, Nassau no longer allows visitors to visit all areas in the mezzanine area of the resort. I can't blame them since we were one of four ships in port, though we looked forward to visiting the shops. We did not disembark in St Thomas. We went to the French side of St Martin to shop, and I was very disappointed with the limited inventory in the few stores that remain in business. In the future, if we do not tour I would not bother getting off. Noticeable improvements: dual Ipod charging stations in the stateroom, super comfortable bedding, and touch screen maps that make carrying daily events unnecessary are welcome changes. A few disappointments. Each time we sail, something that was previously free is now offered for a fee. This time, cranberry, tomato and apple juice. Offering popcorn in the Boardwalk area for $1 is just plain nit-picky. Until travelers insist that the cruise industry make cruises all inclusive once again, this trend will continue. I also noticed a marked decline in the quality of food, which is likely to motivate passengers to pay for alternative dining in the restaurants. I did not have any meal that I considered tasty, with the exception of soup from the Central Park eatery. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
Before heading off to the Allure for our vacation on January 22/12, I scoured these pages and have to thank everyone for all of their tips. Reading the reviews became a nightly habit as I'd settle back in my chair for the latest ... Read More
Before heading off to the Allure for our vacation on January 22/12, I scoured these pages and have to thank everyone for all of their tips. Reading the reviews became a nightly habit as I'd settle back in my chair for the latest exciting news and views - I'd hate to think if I hadn't I might have missed the famous roast beef sandwich! Embarkation: Unbelievable how quick and easy this went. Our best ever. Got to the port just after 11:00 a.m. and we were on the ship in about 15 minutes. Of course we went straight to the Park Cafe for a roast beef sandwich. It was already crowded. Room: Had a balcony cabin on Deck 6. We liked the proximity to the Boardwalk, just had to walk down the hall (a long way though since we were second from the end) and around the corner and there it was. Didn't have any noise issues in the room. Only negative was the storage which we found lacking and a bit awkward. Even the Navigator's inside cabin a week later had more storage. It was the first time we've had the bed by the sliding glass doors and I, although it seems I might be in the minority here, prefer the "living" area there since it seems to open up the room more and expand the view out the glass doors. I actually found the balcony a waste on this cruise (first time I've ever said that!!) because it was such a novelty to sit in the middle of the ship (Central Park or Boardwalk) and be outside. The ship itself is absolutely beautiful and even by the week's end I was still walking around in awe. It was also the quietest ship we've been on - after we had someone come and put some padding in the slots where the balcony partitions are, both on our balcony and on the one to the right of us. The clattering in the wind drove us crazy the first day and we couldn't open the balcony door since it was so loud. They fixed it right away when we brought it to their attention. My Time Dining: This worked well for us. I'd reserved tables beforehand but made a couple of changes once we were on board. We ended up eating in the dining room half the time and other places the rest of the time. No complaints at all about the food or service. Chops Grille: This was our best meal of the cruise - and possibly of any cruise. Steaks cooked perfectly and the dessert - the mud cake - was our favourite cruise dessert ever. Rita's Cantina: We went to Fiesta Night but would have to say it would have been much more fun with a group of friends rather than just the two of us. Not a lot of time to get to know everyone and I envied the groups at other tables who were there together because they seemed to be having a lot more fun. Unfortunately we didn't enjoy the food. We were looking forward to guacamole but there wasn't any. When someone at our table asked for more tortilla chips he was told there weren't any. The quesadillas (not good) and dessert platter went back almost untouched. This surprised me because I'd read a lot of great reviews - maybe it was an "off" night. Promenade Cafe: What a great place to stop off for a coffee and a snack. We never seemed to have a problem getting a seat here. Try the Cranberry Bliss Bars - they're delicious! (I tried one on the Navigator the following week and it wasn't the same - colour and texture were different.) Cupcake Cafe: Yummy! I hadn't planned on buying one but couldn't resist by the end of the week. Johnny Rockets: Had the complimentary breakfast here. The bacon was cooked just perfectly and it was a treat to sit outside. Doughnuts: I didn't like the chocolate doughnuts - the icing seemed to peel away - but I did like the vanilla icing ones and had a few of them over the week. Hotdogs: We just had one of these. It was all right but nothing special. Probably should have tried something more exotic than the basic. Ice cream: The twisty cones you make yourself were good! Never tried anything else. Solarium Bistro: Breakfast here was our favourite. Very relaxed and always easy to find a table. The food is "healthier" - turkey bacon instead of pork, etc. We even went up there for breakfast on disembarkation day. Entertainment: Fabulous! The comedians were great (didn't make the adult midnight show though), the ice show was spectacular, Oceanaria was our favourite, Blue Planet had amazing moments and others that seemed to drag a bit, the end of the cruise fountain and light show was fantastic. We passed on "Chicago" - not my favourite but I heard it was done well. Fitness Centre: The best! Lots of equipment and classes. (Only got up there three times though.) Ports: Just the right number of ports on a cruise that needed time to enjoy the ship itself as a destination. We walked around downtown Nassau, took a ship excursion to St. John from St. Thomas (worth it!) and an independent tour by Twin Island Excursions on St. Maarten which was fantastic. We saw a couple of whales from the ship while sailing from St. Maarten to Fort Lauderdale. All in all, a fabulous week. It was a privilege to be able to sail on such a beautiful ship, which, despite the number of passengers, managed to not feel any more crowded than smaller ships. Disembarkation was pretty easy as well, and it was nice not to have to "check out" of the room before 10:00 a.m. Now I'll keep reading the reviews and boards trying to recapture the feeling of being in the middle of the Caribbean as our winter draws to a close up here. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
Embarkation and Parking was great. Very orderly and very fast. Cabin was Oceanfront with balcony and was nice and comfortable, beds were comfortable and cabin had plenty of room for 2 woman and all suite cases and toiletries and other ... Read More
Embarkation and Parking was great. Very orderly and very fast. Cabin was Oceanfront with balcony and was nice and comfortable, beds were comfortable and cabin had plenty of room for 2 woman and all suite cases and toiletries and other stuff. Cabin Attendant Nelson was wonderful, friendly, around when you needed him and very helpful with everything. His service was great. Dinning room staff - great and service was great. We were at the table with very fussy eaters and they were there always to help. Unfortunately the food was not great it was not even very good. No flavor to anything. Buffet had mostly bland food, except for the great Asian dishes which were mostly vegetarian or Vegan, but their flavor was great. For Lunch and Breakfast the Solarium Buffet was very good. Food was healthy and tastier. Entertainment - Amazing, wonderful, great quality. Bar Service great as all the services were wonderful. Great dancing venues ship had everything from Latin to Ballroom to Disco to DJ to Zumba we love that very much. Gym - was great - I bit small, but great. They had Zumba, Spinning, Great Stretch classes. I loved the Restaurant at the Gym. Great Yogurt ( one of the exceptions to the usually bland food. it was very easy to find everything on the ship. Everywhere there were these electronic boards that helped you find everything on the ship. I loved the ship, did not like the food and loved the decor and the entertainment. The biggest problem I had is that I wanted to do everything and everything was fun. So you got to move it move it, the characters were great. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Boarding the ship was a breeze and access to our stateroom was almost immediate. The room was beautiful and spacious. Getting lunch after we boarded was more difficult. The Windjamer buffet is simply not big enough for everyone who ... Read More
Boarding the ship was a breeze and access to our stateroom was almost immediate. The room was beautiful and spacious. Getting lunch after we boarded was more difficult. The Windjamer buffet is simply not big enough for everyone who wants to eat there. So, we had to search out other options. While there are several other "free" places to grab a lunch, these are quick food places--pizza or sandwiches and have very limited seating. Getting oriented to the ship and finding your way around was very easy because of the interactive screens on each floor. You simply "touch" for directions to a place or to find out what is going on. The technological perks on the ship were quite amazing. With 6,000+ on board it is easy to see why RCI incorporates the technology. The elevators do not seem to adequately serve the amount of people on board. Over 80% of the time we waited for more than 2 minutes for an elevator. There are plenty of free activities on board--ice skating, zip line, etc. and despite the number on board, the wait time was very short or non-existent for the activities. There also seemed to be plenty of deck chairs for everyone. But all that glitters is not gold. The food in the main dining hall was just awful. And I mean terrible on every night. We joked that RCI must want to force people to eat at the "for fee" places. I can understand if I was the only one complaining about the food--but all four of us in our party thought it was super awful. The starters are ok, but the main courses...well I hope you enjoy a sandwich late at night. We found ourselves roaming late at night for snacks because we were still hungry. Overall, the menu selection for dinner and breakfast was limited. The options simply were not there. The bad food includes the desserts and breakfast. I had biscuits and gravy one morning and couldn't stomach it. I can't emphasize how bad the food really was. The push to sell alcoholic beverages was non-stop. There is always someone with a tray of made drinks trying to sell one to you. And, for every single purchase (including alcoholic drinks) you have to sign a receipt. Naturally, that receipt prompts you for an additional tip. It gets irritating have to sign for every drink you buy. For the major entertainment, you have to have reservations. Most of the shows were full by the time we boarded. So, thank goodness I had made reservations two months prior to leaving. But the shows themselves were good and the costumes and scenery great. Overall, the ship is very pretty and many times I just felt like I was at the mall. Some of the neighborhoods RCI highlights, like Central Park, and the Boardwalk are really not as big as you think they are. My biggest complaint is that RCI sacrificed ocean views in order to fit in everything. Really, you have to be outside on the top floors in the pool/activities area in order to see the water. All sorts of people were on board and it's a very international crowd but it was also "Scooter Nation". Even Ken Rush, the cruise director, joked about the number of people who were on those scooters zipping around the ship. The area outside of the dining room looks like a scooter parking lot! I have been on lines that are known for a more mature crowd, but this was so much more that I would have expected. How many times did my toes get squashed? We paid more for this cruise than for any other we have been on. Yet, no nice soap/shampoo in the bath, no dressing robes in your room, fresh orange juice will cost you $2.25 (the other line gives it to you for free), the pastries are fresh on Monday but by Thursday they are all just hard, and then there's a few places that you can't even enter unless you are a "diamond" member. And, then there's the public spectacle of handing out the tips at the end of the cruise--just plain uncomfortable. The spa was also a huge disappointment. My husband and I were eager to book the room with the heated lounge chairs and steam rooms for the week. We had done that with another cruise line and loved it. Yet, this one was so disappointing. Only four or five lounges. No, hot tub/whirlpool and no views whatsoever. We felt so claustrophobic on the tour. It is not worth the money--other cruise lines have the lounges, steam rooms AND a hot tub with gorgeous views. Alas, as I have mentioned, there just are any views in the common areas and very limited in the dining room or Windjammer. Kids will love all the cute animals running around and teens will love the activities. I missed the perks that make this a truly relaxing, luxurious cruise. The service was fantastic and I loved our room, but I will not be sailing on the Oasis class ships again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Where do I start, there isn't enough space here to fill in all of the fantastic highlights of our Cruise on Allure of The Seas. We were a little apprehensive about what a cruise would entail but trusted our friends who have cruised ... Read More
Where do I start, there isn't enough space here to fill in all of the fantastic highlights of our Cruise on Allure of The Seas. We were a little apprehensive about what a cruise would entail but trusted our friends who have cruised with Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean before. From the start we were well at ease with the efficient and friendly check in and boarding process. We made the mistake of trying to check-in online on the day of departure but this facility was only available up to 3 days prior to departure but not day of departure. Once aboard we were amazed by the sheer size of the ship, the brochure and web site do not do it justice. You have to see it to believe it. We quickly found our state room which was conveniently located on Deck 7 Aft. Deck 7 was convenient in that a lot of activities we were interested in were on Deck 5 and Deck 6 and it was easy to walk up and down the stair cases. We soon found out that the lifts were very busy, particularly at peak times like breakfast, lunch and dinner and that you often had to wait 5 or more minutes to catch a lift go to higher floors. Highlights of the cruise for us were dining & bars, boardwalk, shows and fitness facility. Dining & bars: Adagio dining room which provided 5+ star meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner and a fantastic waiter and assistant waiter who went above and beyond to make our dining experience so special. The food was exquisite and couldn't be faulted. Our travel companions stated the meals were the best they had ever experienced cruising. We also enjoyed 150 Central Park (excellent fine dining) and Chops Grille (excellent steaks). Boardwalk: Shopping, snacks, pizza, music, coffee, cupcakes, champagne what more could you want and more. Shows: Chicago, Ice Games, Aqua Theatre, live comics, Blue Planet to name a few, don't miss them. Book online and book early, some of the shows were booked out 3 weeks prior to our departure which means waiting outside the show for 30+ minutes prior in the hope of getting a seat due to a no-show! Fitness: The gym facility was fantastic with a superior range of fitness equipment and classes. There is also a running track that is very nice as you can see the water whilst jogging or walking. You better head to the gym for a workout each day so you can enjoy the dessert guilt free. Some final tips to ensure you have a great cruise, make sure you do some online research before you go, it will make things much easier. Join the Crown & Anchor Society, there are many free benefits that come with being a member. If you enjoy some of the day spa services these are very good but staff will pressure you intensely to buy beauty products which are very expensive. As stated the variety of shows are excellent, book early (before you cruise) and make sure you check daily cruise planner in your room for extra events going on during the day & night, there are so many things going on you will never be bored. Read Less
Allure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 4.1
Entertainment 5.0 4.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 4.0
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 5.0 3.9

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