40 Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Fitness Cruises to Caribbean - Western

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 March 2015
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 April 2014
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 July 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 April 2013
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 July 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 January 2012
Just recently finished our sailing with Allure of the Seas for the October 16th 2011 sailing. Here is my review being as objective as possible: - Food in main dining room was of low quality. Lackluster dish presentation, bland tasting ... Read More
Just recently finished our sailing with Allure of the Seas for the October 16th 2011 sailing. Here is my review being as objective as possible: - Food in main dining room was of low quality. Lackluster dish presentation, bland tasting food, and limited menu. We ended up tired of going there and skipped the same at the end. - Food in specialty restaurants were of great quality, great presentation, and very tasty, especially Chops Grille! Highly recommended. If you have the money I would skip the main dining all together. - Having sailed in other cruises, including other RC ships, we found most shows to be boring. Chicago though was very good. - Although the Cruise had several entertainment options and activities, we found these completely lacking, especially for a ship that spends 3 days at sea. One does really get bored. Being a couple in their 30's and early 40's, we found most activities and entertainment targeted to an older population, specifically american, for a ship carrying such a culturally diverse crowd. For a ship with so many bars were one would expect a lively nightlife, these were dead most of the time. Our sailing unfortunately was filled with rainy days and many cancelled outdoor activities. Although we understand that weather is unexpected, there should have been a plan B for indoor entertainment. - Not all was dissapointing, beautiful cruise ship, so many different places to be and see, excellent ambience, Central Park is beautiful, Promenade is awesome. In sum, beautiful ship with lots of potential to correct the flaws. But so far not worth the higher premium. Never feels cramped until you need help or get in an elevator. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Allure of the Seas Sept 11 -18 I took my first cruise the year on the Allure Of The Seas, embarking on 0911/2011. Pro: The ship is beautiful. We ate at 150 Park Avenue and Giovanni's, both were fantastic. There were ... Read More
Allure of the Seas Sept 11 -18 I took my first cruise the year on the Allure Of The Seas, embarking on 0911/2011. Pro: The ship is beautiful. We ate at 150 Park Avenue and Giovanni's, both were fantastic. There were numerous pools and Jacuzzi's, many of which were open 24 hours a day and featured great water views. Embarkation was smooth and easy. I enjoyed all of the excursions and had no difficulty getting of the ship or meeting the representative of each excursion. The excursions were one of my favorite parts of my vacation. Unlike the ship, every excursion was well staffed with cheerful, friendly employees. Con: The Allure of the Seas has one glaring shortcoming. It is understaffed. I have never been on a vacation where there were fewer employees watching over the property. The only employees I saw were the ones tasked with taking my money. Absolutely minimalist pool service. The unsupervised nature of the ship led to some troubling incidents for the women in my party. At one point myself and fellow passengers had to basically form vigilante vigilante groups to ward off unruly passengers. In general, the last place on earth a single person should be. I was thankful I came with friends. My travelling companions and I took excursions in Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We are planning to go back to Jamaica and stay at the Iberostar Rose Hotel in Jaimaica that was the site of one of our excursions. Disembarkation was a madhouse, as you might expect with no employees. We heard some voices over the PA system, but that was as close as we got to any organization. This was my first cruise. I found the positive aspects of the journey far outweighed any negative impressions. I plan on cruising again, but I will research more carefully next time to find a cruise line that avoids the glaring shortcoming of personal service that Royal Carribean exhibited. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Hello all! Just returned from a 7-day'er on RC's Allure to Haiti, Jamaica and Cozumel. Before this one, my wife & I had only been on Carnival's Jubilee in 1997 and RC's Freedom of the Seas in 2009- so not much ... Read More
Hello all! Just returned from a 7-day'er on RC's Allure to Haiti, Jamaica and Cozumel. Before this one, my wife & I had only been on Carnival's Jubilee in 1997 and RC's Freedom of the Seas in 2009- so not much comparison to draw from, but it's a little at least. I must admit right up front, our group unilaterally felt that we enjoyed the Freedom of the Seas *more* than the Allure. To sum it up as best that I can, we all just felt that the Allure is so big that some ability has been lost in keeping the passengers actively engaged in activities while on board. Does that make sense? Obviously, with a ship that size the venues are really spread out between decks from bow to stern, and we just felt like there was a lot of *searching* for entertainment hot spots rather than being able to just kind of walk around and stumble into them. The Cruise Compass is a must in this regard or otherwise you would not even know some of the entertainment is taking place (Dazzles, the Viking Lounge, etc.). We also found that some of the karaoke & music trivia entertainment was very brief and was even cut short once due to the lack of attendance.The ship itself is absolutely stunning and the food choices are plentiful (we only ate in the dining room on 3 nights). The shops were nice to browse through, but some of the shop staff was border line pleasant and displayed a demeanor indicating that they were growing tired of their daily duties. A person in our group encountered an issue with a purchase and was treated very poorly by the shop manager (perfumery). It resulted in filing a complaint with guest services who promptly and courteously remedied the issue without delay. A picture says a thousand words, and reading the faces of some of the shop staff did exactly that- they all look very tired. I reckon I would too after serving people during a non-stop, 7 month work contract.The pool deck seemed to be THE place to be while at sea, and we took full advantage of the Flow Riders, Zip Line and Rock Climbing Walls- what a blast! Having the Park Cafe, Boardwalk Cafe, and the Solarium Bistro made for EXCELLENT alternatives for breakfast (in lieu of the always crowded Wind Jammer Cafe). RC is VERY generous with their drink alcohol content, and 2 drinks can go a long way! The Hotdog Stand serves genuine German Bratwurst to die for (among other types of dogs to your delight). And of course RC always delivers with their "Mudslide Cookies" at the Boardwalk Cafe (affectionately referred to by me as "crack" cookies).The Shows: Blue Planet- we all kind of walked away with a mixed opinion of "What on earth was that?" to complete amazement at the opening scene with the "living tree" and the ending scene with the trampoline acrobatics. It's just a very confusing story line that begins with mother earth, morphs into some weird type of love story between two singers, and then wraps up with a Cirque de Sole feel.Chicago- very entertaining and VERY good talent; but you must like the Broadway type of music & show or you may find yourself kind of floating in/out from paying attention. There is a funny surprise at the end if you didn't catch it early on.......and then you're really impressed by a particular singer's ability! (Shssssshhh.....don't want to ruin it for others).Headliner Act- An Acapella group called the "Unexpected Boys" catering to the music of the 50's & 60's. Simply outstanding and masterful at engaging their audience- enough said.Aquarius Dive Show- An AMAZING blend of talent!Outdoor Fountain Show- A nice touch and relaxing way to wind down an evening.The double outdoor screens are also used to play movies on select nights, and it was great to just plop down in a seat, grab a drink, and enjoy some mindless entertainment. They play the movie Grease with an integrated karaoke version that allows the crowd to sing a long- really fun! They also played the movie Burlesque which we would never have paid to see, but WOW!- it was unexpectedly good! The casino leaves a lot to be desired compared to the Freedom's. Pretty much 98% of all games are electronic now with only the Blackjack tables having real cards and dealers. Even Roulette and Poker is electronic with no dealers present. I overheard one of the staff telling a guest that RC simply does not have the staff to support real dealers anymore and that no one is happy about it. It certainly curtailed my desire to gamble since I tend to distrust the electronics versus a live person dealing a deck.The stateroom had plenty of room and everything we needed. Our attendant removed the couch table from the room on day 1 which was perfect for us. I don't mean to offend, but I must warn that if you're a little on the heavy side (300+) you may find the circular showers to be a little cumbersome. Without question, we observed some guests that we knew were not physically able to step into the standard stateroom showers. I have no idea what their solution was.The quality of the Wind Jammer and main dining room food was spectacular and never left anything to be desired (for us anyway). Overall, it was a very nice cruise but we will not sail on the Allure (or the Oasis) in the future. The Freedom class contains the atmosphere that appeals to us instead. Apparently though, RC is releasing another class of ship in 2014 that is going to be comparable to the Freedom class size, but they are very tight lipped about the details. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Cruised on Allure of the Seas on the July 17, 2011 to the Western Caribbean and although the ship and its amenities are magnificent, my recommendation is to only sail when the ship is not at full capacity. Simply put, if you are a fan of ... Read More
Cruised on Allure of the Seas on the July 17, 2011 to the Western Caribbean and although the ship and its amenities are magnificent, my recommendation is to only sail when the ship is not at full capacity. Simply put, if you are a fan of shopping at the mall two days before Christmas, this is the cruise for you. If you prefer to sail on a cruise where your main memory is not waiting in one line or the other, then pick another ship or better yet, sail on the Allure when it is not so full. But first, there was much to like (or even love). The GOOD:The SHIP: Fabulous, stunning, shimmering, dazzling, tremendous, wonderful. Pick a positive adjective. The ship is truly breath taking. The neighborhood concept is very clever as each has a unique character of its own. One of the places to escape (and trust me you will need it) is Central Park. Pop a squat at Park Cafe and you will truly think you are sitting in a secluded park somewhere in a small Midwest town. We also spent a lot of time at the Boardwalk. Check out the Ice Cream shop, our boys thought it was some of the best they have had. The Pool and Sports Zone 'hood was second to none. Do the Zip Line and the Flow Rider. Tip: sign the waiver online and get your wrist band early in the cruise. Best times to Flowride and Zip are days at port and early in the day/cruise. Towards the end of the cruise, the lines get pretty long. The Solarium (adult pool area) was huge and another great place to escape. And even though the ship is huge, no worries about getting lost. They have these awesome touch screens that tell you where you are, what is going on, and how to get to where you want to go. ROOMS: Our room was very nice. Always kept clean. It seemed like some magic fairy came in and quickly cleaned it even when we had just left for an hour or so. GYM: Best of the best. Tons of nice, new equipment and extremely spacious. Could have used more free weights, but that is a nit. EMBARKATION: The Ft. Lauderdale crew was great. We arrived at 11:30 and were on the ship in less than 20 minutes.The ENTERTAINMENT: Top notch. Ocean Aria was our favorite. Like seeing a mini Vegas show. The Chicago production was fantastic and the way RCI interweaved the DreamWorks characters with shows, parades and character visits was a real treat. The Comedy show was great, but it was disappointing that there was only one set of comedians. Each show was a just a repeat. Other ships rotate comedians and I would suggest Allure do the same. The Ice Games show was pretty cheesy, so go at your own risk. Tip: Make reservations early as most shows sell out. If you forget to do it before you cruise, go to Studio B when you first get on the ship and you can make entertainment and dinner reservations. But the absolute highlight of all the entertainment was Cruise Director Allan Brooks. He is simply one of the funniest humans on the planet (Cruise Director Julie is not worthy to carry Allan's jock). Go to any show where he is emcee. A Dating Game knockoff, Love and Marriage, was milk out of the nose funny. An adult Quest Game show (Don't ask, just go, and leave the kids behind) was equally hilarious (I am still amazed at how quick some women can doff a bra. Again, don't ask). The BAD (WELL, MAYBE JUST THE NOT SO GOOD):SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS: Sure all cruise lines count on you spending some jack once on board, but Allure gives you plenty of opportunities to empty your wallet. They have a bunch of premium restaurants, but we were left less than impressed. We did Sambas Grill (Brazilian steakhouse) and Izumi (sushi). Both were O.K. Nothing special except that you could escape the crowds when you eat. But neither was really worth the nominal charge. Save some money and stick with the regular dining room as the food was just as good with a better selection. SERVICE: This was pretty surprising since this is the third RCI we have been on, but the service was...well, just alright. Some staff were great (Donna, Bernard, Sander), but most just seemed to be doing their job. I don't need everyone to have some Richard Simmons over the top positive personality, but some emotion would have been nice. They were professional, but many seemed...sterile. THE UGLY:TOO. MANY. PEOPLE. We were told our sailing was at full capacity at over 6,000 guests and quite simply, the ship and crew just were not built for this mass of humanity. You WILL wait...and wait on everything. Get ready to wait on elevators as there is just not enough. The typical scenario was to hit the up/down button and wait...and wait. When one did arrive, the scramble to get on was something to behold. I am not kidding when I saw old people knocked out of the way by guests pushing to get on as if they were cramming onto a Japanese subway. If you were lucky to get on the first elevator (which was rare, usually it took two or three tries to get on an elevator), then you will stop on every floor. Most would be empty as people abandoned their wait and just decided to take the stairs. Very poorly planned. Unbelievably disappointing. Get used to waiting on restaurants. Whether reservation or My Time, there was always a big wait to get seated. Once seated, the wait between courses was pretty substandard. The worst experience was the Windjammer buffet. No matter what time you went, there was a mass of people fighting to get a table or even to get into the restaurant. Several times, the wait was 20-30 minutes just to get into a buffet. Seriously? The Golden Corral seemed more organized. Again, poor, poor planningDuring busy times on the Promenade, it was as if you were a salmon swimming upstream. There were wall to wall people everywhere. Imagine trying to get to Sears on the other end of the mall on December 23rd during a 50% off sale with Justin Beiber performing in the Food Court and you will get the idea. Debarkation (as other have mentioned) was a joke. Kind of an "every man for himself" attitude. At one point I heard an RCI crew shouting into a 2-way that he had no control over the crowd and could not believe the line to exit the ship wrapped around the elevator. Line jumping was rampant as there seemed to be no crew (or roped off areas) to keep the impatient guest in check. It was just a massive push to the exit. I am sure the bean counters at RCI thought if big is better than even more should be fantastic. Sadly, the quality of the cruise suffered greatly because of just too many people in too tight (yes, even on this behemoth) of a space. RCI boosts that when you sail on Allure you will not feel like you are on a ship with 6,000 people. They were correct, many times it seemed like there are 7 or 8,000. 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Sail Date July 2011
This is my 11th cruise and the Allure is by far the best ship I've ever been on. I traveled with my husband, 20 year old son and his girlfriend. We are athletic and love adventure. The Allure is huge but easy to navigate. It is high ... Read More
This is my 11th cruise and the Allure is by far the best ship I've ever been on. I traveled with my husband, 20 year old son and his girlfriend. We are athletic and love adventure. The Allure is huge but easy to navigate. It is high tech; the whirlpools go on automatically, there are touch screens in the hallways to give you directions, updates on events, etc. The Ocean Aria Aqua Show has a floor beneath the water that raises and lowers to accommodate the platform divers. There are iPod charging stations and flat screen TV's in all the staterooms. The entire ship is super clean, organized and absolutely beautiful! There is a beautiful, peaceful garden area called Central Park. There is always something to do, surfing, zip lining, dance classes, dodge ball tournaments, ping pong, mini golf, etc. We did all the latter and more. You can do as much or as little as possible. I suggest making your reservations for all the shows online before set sail or immediately after getting on the ship. Then, be sure to show up for the shows at least 15 minutes early or your seats will be given away to those who didn't make reservations. They scan your sea pass before you enter the show; it is so easy and organized. I brought a highlighter and used it on my compass (daily activity guide) every day. (I booked all my shows after walking on to the ship and I saw all the shows.) Post your reservation sheet in your room so you can see it before you go to dinner every night. I recommend scheduling the Aqua Show early in the week just in case of a "rain out", so you'll have the opportunity to see it later in the week if this happens. You do not want to miss this show, it is incredible (think Cirque de Solei on water) We ate dinner in the main dining room every day. The service and food were fantastic. We sampled almost everything on every menu: steaks, seafood, Indian food, desserts, etc. and felt there was no need to eat in the specialty restaurants. I requested a window table, but the dining room is so huge and open any table would have been great. If you plan on zip lining and surfing go early in the week and don't wait until the last day. Zip line and rock climb early in the day before you get wet and slick from sun screen and be sure to wear shorts and shoes. I read a few posts complaining about things I'd like to address. If you need to take the stairs instead of the elevator because of the wait, don't worry, it's good exercise. If the ship is "too big", why did you go on it in the first place? It is advertised as the "world's largest cruise ship". I'm not sure how you can complain about it being too big when you knew this before you left. There are plenty of quiet spaces on the ship other than your stateroom. You might have to walk around to find them on this big cruise ship but again, remember that you've eaten a lot and now you have the opportunity for some exercise. So be thankful you have had the opportunity to go on a cruise in the first place. Get yourself organized and then make memories with the ones you love. Remember life is never perfect, but you have the choice to make even an imperfect cruise a memory that will last a lifetime. Remember, you could be the one cleaning the stateroom and instead you are a guest on the newest, largest cruise ship in the world. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
The Bottom Line An incredible ship with just about every activity you can imagine. With the exception of Labadee, Haiti the ports of call are nothing spectacular, but you won't care as in this case the ship really is the trip. ... Read More
The Bottom Line An incredible ship with just about every activity you can imagine. With the exception of Labadee, Haiti the ports of call are nothing spectacular, but you won't care as in this case the ship really is the trip. The largest cruise ship in the world, but with so much passenger space it never feels crowded. Highly recommended for families, younger couples, and anyone who wants an incomparable experience. Not recommended for anyone who wants a small ship experience, or who wants "classic cruising" with dressed up people and big bands. Overall Let me start off this review by admitting up front that I used to work as a Social Host onboard Carnival Cruise Lines back in 2001 - 2002. I worked on two ships, one sailing out of Port Canaveral for the Bahamas (3 and 4 day cruises) and one sailing out of New Orleans to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel (7 day cruises). I have not been on a cruise since that time and knew that if I ever went back on a cruise ship it would have to be something pretty special. When I saw Oasis of the Seas come out of the docks I realized that the time had come. But I am always a bit leery about trying the absolute newest thing, so I held back for Allure of the Seas thinking that anything that was not quite right with Oasis they would fix / improve for Allure. I cannot tell you if this really has been the case (although I will mention a few of the differences that I did hear about). And to get to the punch line now: yes, it was worth the wait. Fort Lauderdale Because of other commitments I ended up flying into Fort Lauderdale the Thursday before my Sunday departure so I booked a room at the Hilton Marina to wait for the ship. My friend Chad, who was joining me on the trip, was flying in on Friday. The Hilton is basically directly across the street from Port Everglades (and only a $15 taxi fare from the airport) so it seemed very convenient. On Friday I saw a number of folks coming in from the west coast for cruises leaving Saturday (as it is impossible to get into the east coast prior to 4 pm unless you take a red-eye flight). Two ships were leaving on Saturday: Oasis of the Seas and Carnival Freedom (doing 6 and 8 day cruises). When I worked for Carnival, Freedom was one of the new "huge" ships coming out that we all wanted to work on. How small she looked sitting next to Oasis! We spent Friday and Saturday looking around Fort Lauderdale, basically a beach town. I really can't say that it was a place I would run to for a vacation, but it was pleasant enough for a couple of days. I would highly recommend the Water Taxi which, for $20/person (off/on privileges for the whole day) you can take a trip down to Hollywood, Florida or up the coast past the mega yachts and McMansions. The captains are friendly and chatty and the rides can give you a good feel for the area. One nice thing about our hotel was that our room overlooked the port so Saturday afternoon we got to watch Oasis and Freedom pull out. I did not get up to see Allure pull in Sunday morning as she does so about 4:30 AM; by the time we woke up she was busily off-loading passengers and on-loading the next week's supplies. From the distance of our hotel room (about ½ mile away from where Allure berths) you could not tell any difference between her and Oasis (even though Allure is 5 cm longer than Oasis - more on that later). I figured that since the entrance to Port Everglades was across the street from my hotel (as well as a number of other hotels lining 17th street) we could just walk to the ship: that however is not the case: you need to take a cab ($7) as the Port Authority does not let people walk in (or so I was told). Boarding We hailed a taxi and headed over for the ship at about 1 pm (even though RC states that boarding does not begin until 2). Getting out of the cab we were quickly greeted by a row of porters who grabbed our bags out of the cab and rolled them over to the baggage carts (I tipped our porter $5 for 3 bags). I had ordered bag tags from the Royal Caribbean website which had our names and cabin number on them, so I was confident our bags would end up in the right place. I had also printed out our boarding passes (but not the entire 25 page Welcome Aboard package that I was sent a few days before the trip) and presenting them to one of the RC staff, we were pointed toward check-in. I booked a D1 cabin (Deluxe Ocean View Balcony Stateroom) which was not a suite, so I cannot tell you how that separate check-in fared. We walked into the terminal (which I was told was built specifically for Oasis and Allure) and were surprised at how clean efficient it all appeared. Everyone was smiling and enthusiastic. We got to the counter and were cheerfully welcomed. Our passports were scanned, as was my credit card, and our Sail and Sign cards were presented to us. It was then a short walk to the escalators up to the ship's entrance ramp. I would estimate the time from getting out of the cab, checking-in, to going through security, to stepping on-board the ship to be about 12 minutes. If only airports worked this efficiently! Right as you enter (prior to passing the double-doors into the Royal Promenade) if you look left and right you'll be looking down the running track (more on that later too). Then past the doors we were greeted by several crew members who asked everyone to sanitize their hands via auto-Purell dispensers. Not surprisingly there is a big fear of the Norovirus (and other illnesses) and every time you enter the ship (as well at every eating establishment on the ship) you will be sanitizing your hands. Personally I was happy to oblige as I had no desire to get sick (and I didn't). Allure of the Seas - Overall It's hard to describe this ship. Sure there are some easy adjectives I could use: huge being the first to come to mind. But she is much more than that. Walking into the Royal Promenade feels like you entered a mall, perhaps like one you find in Las Vegas (a little ritzy, with stores that are probably out of your price range but seem appropriate because, hey, you're on vacation). Just walking through the promenade makes you marvel at the detail put into this ship. The tile work on the floor is amazing, as are little touches such as a statue of the couple stealing a kiss in an alley. A plaque on the wall by the pizzeria gives a few descriptions as to the design philosophy. Guest Services are located in this area, as is the Shore Excursion desk. Naturally there are always lines at both, but what RC has done to minimize this is to move as much as they can online. For example, prior to getting to the Guest Services desk you are met with a number of kiosks that allow you to check your account balance or even check in to your flight home. Similarly all bookings (shore excursions, restaurants, etc.) can be done from the TV in your room. Just beyond each elevator lobby (there are two, each with 6 elevators - 3 glass and 3 interior) are large touch screens that allow you to see the current calendar as well as how full each restaurant is at the moment. The monitors also have interactive maps which will give you directions to any venue in the ship (including your cabin). The elevators were rarely crowded (except for shore days) and I must admit I really enjoyed going from Deck 5 to Deck 16 or 17 in a glass elevator and seeing everything from the Royal Promenade to Central Park. However unless you find it difficult to do so, I would recommend using the stairs as much as possible (located around the corners from the elevator lobbies). The staircases (there are 4 main ones) are beautiful and each landing has artwork. Even after 7 days at sea we were still finding art that we hadn't seen before. Much of the art is photographs, but there are a number of framed pieces as well. Can you feel the ship move? The short answer is "yes." Even though Allure is the biggest cruise ship in the world she is still at the mercy of the seas. Now, truthfully most of the time she felt as solid as a rock. But on occasion she would shudder going through the waves. And sailing up from Cozumel (notoriously rough as you go through the channel that separates Cozumel from the mainland) she did rock gently. I saw a number of people with sea-sickness patches, but I cannot imagine they were necessary unless you are very vulnerable to mal-de-mer. Does she feel crowded? Shockingly, no. Most of the time, in fact, she felt kind of empty and I was wondering where everyone was. I read that Allure and Oasis have more deck space per person than any other cruise ship and this makes sense. The only time it felt really busy was in the Windjammer Cafe (the main buffet) especially in the morning and on the Royal Promenade at night. But otherwise we never had difficulty finding a deck chair (even to the point of asking each other "do you want a deck chair on the left side or right side of the ship?") or a seat in a bar. The shows did seem to fill up (especially early in the week) and reservations, while not mandatory, are recommended (if you don't have reservations to a particular show you can always go "standby" and get let in 10-15 minutes prior to the show starting - we did this once, for Blue Planet, and didn't have any trouble getting a good seat - but it's dicey). On that subject, there is no assigned seating, so it's best to get to a show a bit early (they open the doors about 45 minutes prior to the start, but shows didn't seem to start filling up until about 25 minutes prior). There are no physical tickets for shows; rather your Sail and Sign card is scanned at the door to confirm your reservation - overall a nice and efficient system. I made all of our reservations on line about 6 weeks prior to sailing. There are plenty of outdoor spaces, and lots and lots of pools and whirlpools. I'll discuss some of my favorite areas below. Since we were not traveling with any children I cannot comment on the kid/teen areas except to say the H2O zone (kid pools) looked like a lot of fun. We liked our Cruise Director - Ken Rush. He was a constant presence throughout the ship, appearing at the end of many shows and MC'ing a number of deck and evening activities (like the Belly Flop Contest and '80's party). He had previously worked on Oasis, so was clearly comfortable around this size ship (which he said he liked "just a bit" better than Oasis). On that note, Allure and Oasis really are twin ships (same plans) but Allure is 5 cm longer. The difference is apparently due to inconsistencies in welding thickness (which must be minor, but over 1200 feet adds up). Mr. Rush also hosted a TV program every morning to let you know what was going on and to answer questions (the show was repeated throughout the morning) - the ship's captain had a program each evening. Shows - Ocean Aria - this is the water show held at the back of the ship. It's basically a mini Cirque du Soleil show (similar to O or Le Reve in Vegas). Having seen a number of Cirque shows (as well as Le Reve) it's hard not to think of this show as a slight step-down. However, like everything else on the ship, once you remember that it's occurring at sea, and you aren't paying anything extra for it, it's pretty impressive. There are diving acts, a trampoline act (the best part of the show) and trapeze work all over a pool which can go from 0 feet to 14 feet in depth. I can't say I loved it, but I'm very glad I saw it, and would definitely recommend it. - Chicago - even though the Cruise Director kept referring to this as "the actual Broadway show" it is really a 90-minute version. Basically they have kept all the songs and eliminated as much of the talking as possible. There is still some language and situations that make it inappropriate for younger children (under 13). On the one hand, if you really want to understand what is going on (and the motivations for the characters) see the movie first. On the other hand, if you are just looking for an evening's entertainment of good singing and dancing, don't worry about it and just see the show. No, you won't think you've just seen a real Broadway show, but everyone in the cast is good - and a few of the members are great. - Ice Games - this is one of two ice skating shows (the other is "How to Train Your Dragon" - which does not require reservations). The basic premise is that you are playing a game of Alluropoly (Monopoly on the Allure) and each roll takes you to a different part of the ship - and there is skating that reflects that area. It's a cute concept. The skating was good, but I was more impressed with the costumes (there were a ton of costume changes). Again, a fun evening's entertainment. - Blue Planet - this show is more like a traditional cruise ship show - a lot of singing and dancing with no real plot. The idea is that you are visiting areas around the globe - from the desert to under water. Some of the effects are good, some great (I loved the underwater bit). The cast is the same as Chicago - which must be nice for them to do two totally different shows. One caution about this show: if you can, try to sit in the center of the theater. One of the acts is done on trampolines and is only visible if you are sitting in the center (to compensate during that one act, two projection screens appear so you can watch the routine that way - but who wants to go to the theater to watch tv?) - Comedy Club - We went to the comedy club on the Friday of the cruise. There are two comedians. I enjoyed them both. Again, this is not for kids (these shows are really rated R). - 3D Movies - one thing that Allure has (that Oasis doesn't have - at least not yet) is the ability to show 3D movies. Every afternoon there is a single showing of a DreamWorks film in the main theater. These are digital 3D movies in 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound. The glasses appear to be active (like you have on the new 3D TVs) rather than the passive polarized types in most movie theaters (there is a warning that the glasses will not work in any other theater). The sound and 3D were both great. We saw Shrek 4 and Kung Fu Panda 2 (the latter of which was in theaters at the time). Neither of the movies we saw was crowded. In addition to the movies, there is a DreamWorks parade (the same parade is done twice during the cruise) and character meet-and-greets throughout the cruise. The characters were on the same level as Disney, and the parade was pretty impressive too. Specialty (i.e. extra cost) Restaurants - 150 Central Park - this is the top of the line restaurant. It costs an additional $40/person to dine here (although I only paid $35 - I'm not sure if this was because I booked online or because prices went up between the time I booked and the time I ate). It is a 6-course fixed menu. The restaurant itself is very elegant and seemed most suited for a dress-up evening. You can do a wine-pairing for an additional $75/person. There is also a 150-bottle wine list (thus the name of the restaurant) with wines ranging from about $50/bottle to $7800/bottle (yep, just under eight thousand dollars - almost double what I spent on the cruise). I would not recommend this restaurant to children under 13, or to teens at all (unless they are really into food). I would also not recommend it to anyone who prefers comfort cooking to more gourmet fare. But if you like well thought out, well presented dishes it's definitely worth the expense. The service here, by the way, was the best of anywhere on the ship. If you go be sure to sample all the different sea salts with the bread and butter. Some of them are amazing. As an aside, we went to this restaurant on the formal night (which were the first and second at sea days), but we saw very few people in tuxes/gowns. Many were dressed up, and just as many were wandering around the ship in evening casual (or less formal) clothes. - Chops Grille- It's the steakhouse. The interior is rich woods and big chairs. There are a number of cuts of meat on the menu, including an 18-oz t-bone. I had a NY strip steak that was fantastic. Chad had the filet mignon which was also very good. With each steak they bring out a number of sauces and you can try as many as you like. You can also order as many side dishes as you want. We had the mushrooms, onion rings and steamed asparagus. I liked them all - but 3 sides for the two of us were too much. Of course that didn't stop us from ordering dessert (how can you not when it's all included?) My friend had the crème brûlEe (served flambE style) while I had their version of a mud pie (which was really more of a chocolate mousse cake). Both were great. - Giovanni's - Not surprisingly this is the Italian restaurant on board. Even though it is the most "common" of the restaurants we ate at, I found the service and the food to be among the best. I especially enjoyed the antipasti plate which included freshly carved prosciutto (served for 2 people). For main courses we both had basic pasta dishes because, well truthfully it was near the end of the cruise and couldn't imagine eating much more. Still we managed dessert. Mine was better - a chocolate cannoli - you'll see them in a case just as you enter the restaurant. Other specialty restaurants we did not eat at included Rita's Cantina (Mexican), a Brazilian steak house, the ice cream parlor (where you can get anything from an ice cream cone to a 5-scoop sundae), the hot dog stand (serving hot dogs and sausages) and Johnny Rockets (which I've eaten at on land, so didn't feel compelled to eat at sea - it is also serves a complimentary breakfast). I guess I should include Starbucks here (the only Starbucks at sea - so they claim). I didn't go there as I'm not a big coffee drinker. That said, what little coffee I did drink on the ship I didn't like - so maybe Starbucks would have been the preferred route. Included Restaurants - Windjammer Cafe - This is the main buffet on the ship. Like many of the new buffets (such as in Vegas) it serves a variety of foods, from Asian to Italian to American. We ate there once for breakfast and once for lunch, but considering how busy it was it seemed to be the most popular place on the ship. I found all the food good and if it weren't for the crowds (and the myriad of other options) I would have gladly eaten there more often. - Main Dining Room - I'm not going to go into much detail here - it felt like a standard cruise ship dining room. The service and variety of the menus was good. There didn't seem to be anything catchy (waiters getting dressed up or special decorations). Overall it's fine, but again - there are so many other choices... - The Park Cafe - this turned out to be one of my favorite spots to grab a meal (breakfast or lunch). For breakfast they have a "make your own bagel bar" (although the servers do all the food handling) which included a variety of cream cheeses and a number of toppings (including smoked salmon!). For lunch it turned into a "make your own salad." There was also an omelet station (for breakfast) and a Panini station for lunch. On top of that you had the option of eating out in Central Park which was very pleasant. Finally, it was one of two places that you could get free drinks other than just water (they also served iced tea, lemonade and kiwi-strawberry flavored water). This was my go-to place for a drink after a run in the morning. - Promenade Cafe - located on the Royal Promenade (next to Guest Services) this 24-hour cafe offered sandwiches and snacks. There was always a quick moving line - mostly for the cookies and other desserts offered there. It was a great option for an afternoon (or late night) pick-me-up when you didn't want pizza. - Sorrento's - the pizza restaurant. Along with single slices they had a "make your own" pizza option (with about 6 choices for toppings) which I really enjoyed (basically they crust is pre-made and they reheat it with your toppings). It takes about 10 minutes for one of these mini-pizzas, but it was a nice change. - Wipe-out Cafe - A small place serving basics (hamburgers, salads, etc.) during the day. We only went there once - to get frozen yogurt (which we later found was also served on the pool deck mid-ship). Stateroom I booked a Category D1 - Deluxe Outside Stateroom with Balcony. The balcony on the D1 stateroom is 80 sq. ft, about 50% larger than most of the outside balconies (except suites). The room itself was small, but didn't feel tiny, with a couch, desk, and twin beds (convertible to a king). The bathroom was fine - you certainly weren't going to put more than one person in the shower, and a large person might feel a bit cramped, but I had no problems. The bathroom was stocked with standard travel sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion; we brought our own so I can't speak to the quality of the toiletries. My only minor complaint of the room was that the balcony had just two chairs and a small table on it - not really inviting if you want to stretch out. Sitting on the balcony you cannot see any other balcony (unless you lean over the railing) as all balconies are separated by opaque glass (maybe Plexiglas) walls. You also did not feel much of a breeze - so eating a meal out there was not a problem. There is a door in each glass wall, so you can go from one balcony to the next if you like; these doors can also be locked by the stateroom attendant (we never had ours unlocked). I had considered the inside balcony cabins (overlooking either Central Park or the Boardwalk) but I'm glad I did not go that route. While both areas are pretty (and the Boardwalk balconies can see the Ocean Aria show) you get no privacy as anyone can look up (or down) on you. I very rarely saw anyone sitting on these inside balconies, but I did see a lot of clothes drying on chairs. One thing that must be mentioned is the TV in the room - not for the TV itself (a standard 26" or so flat screen) but for the interactive features. You could make show or restaurant reservations via the TV, as well as book shore excursions (but I would still recommend doing that prior to the cruise via the RC website). You could also check the capacity at restaurants at any time. You could also see the status of your bill. On our sailing the "where is the ship now" feature was not working, but should be fixed shortly. Other favorite areas - Solarium - This is where we spent most of our time outdoors (other than on our balcony). It's on decks 15 and 16 at the front of the ship and consists of a lot of lounge chairs, two whirlpools and a pool. What made it special for us was that you must be 16 or older to be in the Solarium and thus it was a relatively quiet outdoor respite. The pool was usually busy (but not overly crowded except on a few occasions) but the two whirlpools were never packed. Like everywhere else on the ship there was a constant stream of waiters offering bar service. There is a towel service area in the Solarium (you must check out and check in beach towels with your Sail and Sign card - failure to return one will get you a $20 charge on your bill). If you have kids (or just like crowds) you are stuck in the main pool area which was generally crowded and noisy (but some people really enjoy that). There are also a couple of designated smoking areas near the main pools. - Sun Deck - This seemingly hidden area is about as far forward as you can go on the ship. You can see it if you are standing in the Solarium. To get there you need to go all the way forward on the deck 14 port corridor (the starboard corridor leads to a dead-end). It was a great place to watch the ship pull out of port, or just to get some alone time, as not many people could figure out how to get there. - Viking Crown Lounge - Our favorite bar on the ship (and a standard on all RC ships). Not only was it never crowded, most of the time it felt pretty empty. They had martini specials every night which we took advantage of, as well as live music in the evenings. I really enjoyed listening to the music, with a drink in my hand, and watching the ocean go by. It felt like old world cruising. It also had the best bar snacks we found - a type of trail mix. - Rising Tide Bar - OK, what does it say about the size of ship that it has a bar in an elevator (alright, the bar IS an elevator). It's a small bar, and occasionally crowded, but it was a fun experience, and if you go relatively early in the evening it's not hard to find a seat. - Running Track - Located on deck 5, and accessible either from the stairwells or through the Spa/Gym (which we didn't use, but looked very nice). The track is almost ½ mile long (12 laps = 5 miles). It is rubberized with clear mile and kilometer markings. There are also a number of humorous signs posted along the route, which made it fun. The track is outside (although interior to the life boats and blocked in the front by the gym) but gets very little breeze - which is a good thing as I didn't need 20 knots of wind on me while trying to run. There are two paths, one for runners and one for walkers. I normally went in the mornings and never found it crowded. Ports of Call - Labadee®, Haiti - This was by far our favorite port on the trip. Yes, you are in Haiti, but you would never know it as this is a private beach resort just for RC (note the registered name). Truthfully it feels a bit Disneyesque, complete with an alligator mascot. But the beaches and water are beautiful. There is some "local" shopping in the compound which will require cash, but otherwise everything is included or can be purchased with your Sail and Sign card. The lunch that was provided was good and plentiful, but only served for a couple of hours, so don't miss out on that. Bars, of course, are open the whole time. The specialty drink there is the Labadoosee, which is basically a fruit smoothie that can be served hard or soft. I found it very tasty (and it comes in souvenir cup). There is an amazing looking zip line (which we did not do) and a mountain coaster (not really a roller coaster, more like a bobsled, but on a track) which we did do, and was a blast. It's an extra expense (about $20 per car, which can hold one or two people - up to 360 lb total), but was a lot of fun and gave you some great views of the area. Overall, my only disappointment was that this was our first port, rather than our last, as the other two were not nearly as fun. One other note, if you are upset by the idea of having fun in Haiti, a country which continues to suffer, RC is working hard to publicize what they are bringing to that country (including building a school as well as paying docking fees). Embarking and disembarking here (and at the other two ports) was easy and fast. There was practically no wait in either direction. At each port you do have to go through metal detectors and a bag check, as well as a mandatory Purell station. - Falmouth, Jamaica - I've been to Jamaica a number of times, so I cannot say I was too excited to go back. The island is very pretty, and if you have never been there I would certainly recommend doing one of the inland tours or a water event. The port at Falmouth is currently (as of June 2011) being built by the city and RC, and I must say it is the nicest port I have ever been to in Jamaica, perhaps because it is controlled; the port has a number of buildings for shopping, tours, etc. without having to go out into the real town of Falmouth (which looked fine if unexciting - and I would not have hesitated to walk around). Falmouth is about 6 miles from Montego Bay where there are a number of resorts, restaurants and bars. We did the Mountain River Rafting tour, which was pleasant, but nothing spectacular. - Cozumel, Mexico - like Jamaica, I've been to Cozumel many, many times. We had thought about heading to the beach (a $15 taxi ride away, or $29/person if you book a tour) but decided instead to just walk from the pier (the International Pier) to downtown (about 3 miles) to do some window shopping. Avoiding the beach worked out ok as we got hit by a downpour in the middle of the afternoon. By the time we got back to the ship we were soaked through (but, naturally, it was sunny then). It was actually nice being on the ship when most people were off on land - everything (except the stores and the casino) was open, but it felt pretty empty. Return to Fort Lauderdale We got back into Fort Lauderdale about 4:30 AM. The earliest you can leave the ship is about 6:30 AM (if you want to carry you own bags). For everyone else, you are given a number (1 - 78). At about 7:30 AM they start releasing the first few numbers, and continue every 15 minutes or so. There are no loudspeaker announcements - instead screens throughout the ship show which numbers are eligible to depart. We were in no rush, so had selected a late (after 8:30 AM) departure and were given #75. We were released at about 10 AM. It took about 20 minutes to get our bags and get through customs. Out of the terminal if you want to get to the airport there appeared to be three possibilities: a RC shuttle (at $20/person), private shuttles (at $10/person) or taxies. We took a taxi which cost $15 (including a tip). Would I go again? Well, yes and no. I would absolutely go on this ship again, if she went somewhere other than the Caribbean; but I have no interest going back to these islands again. But I was impressed with Royal Caribbean overall, and would definitely return to sail on one of their ships. My desire is to do a Northern European cruise (such as one that goes to Russia). I like being at sea and would be happy to do a longer cruise. If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know. Obviously I am relatively detail oriented person. I hope you found this review helpful. If you want more information in an area that I discussed (or overlooked) please drop me a line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
I may be a little biased in my review, as this was my 8th Royal Caribbean cruise. I will try make this review short and sweet. Check in, maybe 10 minutes. The ship is gorgeous inside out, you can find your way anywhere with touch ... Read More
I may be a little biased in my review, as this was my 8th Royal Caribbean cruise. I will try make this review short and sweet. Check in, maybe 10 minutes. The ship is gorgeous inside out, you can find your way anywhere with touch electronic boards, menus, where you are etc. Had to get my pic w/every Dreamworks character :) You can tell that Royal is making sure that they exceed your expectations. They are always asking, making sure things are clean, if everything is ok, the most of any ship I've been on. They are constantly working. I do have to say that although our cruise was fully booked, the only time it felt crowded was during the parades in the promenade. We had a large interior room which was fine, we were never in the room except to sleep and get ready. The ship is amazing, having sailed on the Freedom last year, there is a huge difference. The food, was exceptional. Best roast beef sandwiches and turkey paninis ever had at the Park Cafe. The dining room food was the best I've had on any ship. We did not try any restaurants, but people we spoke to said they were ok, that food in the dining room was just as good. The hot dogs, also very good. There is food everywhere, the Promenade Cafe, best sandwiches and sunflower bars! I didn't find the food in the Windjammer overly spectacular, other venues have better food I think. Made to order pizzas, yummy.The ship has so many different areas, that people are filtered everywhere so it never seemed crowded. We got a spot by the beach pool everyday, and we usually were out there by noon. My Husband & I are very into fitness, so of course the gym was important to us as we were there every day. Only day it was crowded was the first day, of course. The area for the free weights is too small. The usual panorama you get from being on the treadmills on the Freedom & Voyager class ships are replaced with big round holes, kind of makes the gym feel dark. But the track is great, since it is located on the 5th floor and not in sun on upper deck, cuts down on the heat and wind, and I'm not an outdoor runner and I ran it. Of course we did the rock wall, zip line, flow rider, putt putt, all of which are fun. Did see a couple of shows, Chicago was great if your into musicals, went to comedian show, very funny and intimate. We didn't make a couple of shows as we were in the casino usually after dinner. Did see an aqua show, just amazing what they can do. Had my time dining, never had to wait. Ports: We've done this intinerary so many times, that we didn't get off except in Cozumel to get some tequila. We were going to in Labadee, but never made it, it's actually my favorite place and did the zip line there last May. Jamaica, they are still working on that port, so unless you have an excursion, there is no use in getting off. Heard of people getting harassed etc.Overall, there is so many activities to see/do on this ship, the Compass is huge. There is something to do for everyone with every taste. We had perfect weather every day, not 1 cloud in the sky. We also rescued 9 Cubans in a boat and the Coast Guard picked them up on our last day at sea. We drove to the port so we were off the ship by 6:15 am if you carry your luggage. I can't wait to do the Oasis next year, but first we have the Navigator planned in October. Happy Sailing! Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
As stated this cruise And especially The Ship far exceeded my expectations. I was very excited to be cruising on The Allure and had very high expectations of the Ship. Everything was beautiful and accommodating. Initially I was annoyed to ... Read More
As stated this cruise And especially The Ship far exceeded my expectations. I was very excited to be cruising on The Allure and had very high expectations of the Ship. Everything was beautiful and accommodating. Initially I was annoyed to have to make reservations for the shows; but I actually found this to be a very good process: decreases the possibility of crowding and usually if you forgot or did not reserve it was easy enough to go and wait for the reserved to be seated and then take any seats left. The shows also started on time because of reservations and decreased the amount of people coming in late and crawling over you:) The areas we visited were great and I enjoyed all of them! The cover charges for some dining areas were OK as well and the screens used to find things were very easy to use: you could look up complimentary venues versus those with a price associated so that you never had to guess or be surprised. The Casino was like all others in that I gave a generous donation for my entertainment:) I wish that ship Casinos would consider free drinks or at least water??This is not the fault of RCCL but unsupervised children were sometimes a problem; playing on elevators, being rude in lines etc. Where RCCL could be more helpful is with very clear guidelines and ways to enforce them re children. I love children, just don't care for them when they are rude and not properly supervised, which to me is the fault of the parents. The children could easily be injured or even lost and no one will know how it happened.I have always said that when you board for a cruise and throughout you are treated like royalty; however, on the day you have to leave the ship the quality of friendliness of the staff drastically decreases; as if they no longer have to be as nice to you. On the last night no chocolate on the pillows and no cute animals made from the towels. You are herded like cattle into the required waiting areas and herded again through the areas to vacate the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Flew from Michigan to Fort Lauderdale on the same day as our sail. No problems. Took cab from airport to port and had cab driver stop at Walgreens for sundries as we traveled with carry-ons ONLY. He charged us $30 total with the stop and ... Read More
Flew from Michigan to Fort Lauderdale on the same day as our sail. No problems. Took cab from airport to port and had cab driver stop at Walgreens for sundries as we traveled with carry-ons ONLY. He charged us $30 total with the stop and wait while my travel partner ran in. Traveling with carry-ons only was GREAT. Even with the carry on we both brought to many cloths!!! I did not want to pay $30 to check bags with Delta and risk losing them on same day as boarding. I had one Carry on with rollers and one very large beach bag from Target full. Had no issues.Our room was nice. Plenty of room for two adult women to get ready. I got ready in bathroom and friend got ready at vanity. Room had large closet and drawers and cubbies. Lots of well thought out storage. The flat screen tv was in an odd spot which inhibited viewing from your bed.It was nice to have a view of Central Park from deck 9. We just walked down the stairs to have breakfast every morning in the Central Park restaurant. If it was lunch time the custom salads were marvelous. Much better than the main dining room which was crowded and not relaxing.Spent the days at the Solarium adult only pool. Nice size pools over looking the sea just at the entrance of the Solarium. The hot tubs were very relaxing and nice as well. There were always lounge chairs available however not much shade on deck. Go up one more floor at Solarium next to bar to find shade. Gorgeous views and a very well though out design for the entire ship! I loved the newness of everything. It is very modern on board with all the best technology.Drinks are VERY EXPENSIVE!!! Expect to pay between $7-$10 PER cocktail. A 15% service charge comes on each bill. I spent $200 on cocktails over the week and my friend $300. Now I know why people smuggle liquor on board! The drinks seemed watered down and thus you order more.We had 6pm seating for dinner. It was easy to move to 8:30pm as needed if we did not make it. Be aware that if you do not have your table assignment on you Sea Pass it is a EXTREME HASSLE to get your table assignment. You must go to the dining room and wait in line with many people waiting to speak to the head waiter and take care of it. What a pain. This is not how we wanted to spend our first hour on the ship!!! The food in the main dining room was adequate/sufficient. Nothing special at all. Just mediocre. The highlight was lobster tails one night. Many people seemed to take advantage of the upcharge dining venues. I also would not recommend the wine package. It averages to $30 per bottle for the package. We purchased by the night at dinner for $23 and had great choices. The night Clubs are are AMAZING! Fantastic Salsa Dancing Club - Boloeros. I attended every night. The disco Blaze was also nice and Dazzle is beautiful. There was also a Jazz Bar - not many people there and Martini Bar. Very disappointed that there are no blue cheese stuffed olives on board for a dirty martini so we skipped it.Port Labedee was great. Try taking a nap in a hammock. Walk down further to the best part of the beach. The sand in the water is very very rocking, recommend water shoes. We did not get off in Jamaica as the Port is under construction. And been to Cozumel many times and stayed on the boat. We got massages and went shopping during the port days. Try the Happy Hour Massage $120 one hour. Included mini facial, foot massage and hot oil back massage. ALL SHOWS are a must. Dont miss them. They are both Vegas Style - Blue Planet, and Broadway Style - Chicago. Dont miss the Aqua Show or the Comedy Club. BOOK everything online if you can because shows do sell out!!!!!! We also went to the Ritas Cantina Feista the first night. $20 includes 3 margaritas and dinner. What a bargain plus lots of entertainment and dancing.The trip went by way to fast. Before we knew it we were back to Fort Lauderdale. We are going to go again next year and try the Eastern Caribbean on Allure of the Sea. This ship is one of a kind and I rate it with top marks! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
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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