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

After looking into many questions before I leave for the cruise, I feel compelled to share my first cruise with our friends. After much deliberation we decided that some of the 50th birthday celebrations would be Cruise (for the first ... Read More
After looking into many questions before I leave for the cruise, I feel compelled to share my first cruise with our friends. After much deliberation we decided that some of the 50th birthday celebrations would be Cruise (for the first time). The date of the cruise was determined following family constraints for the Passover holiday of 2019 in April. Since this is the first time we make a cruise and after a thorough examination it was decided to go on one of the best - a large ship of Royal Caribbean. As stated, there were time constraints and therefore the cruise was chosen with the Allure Of The Seas, https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-sh…/allure-of-the-seas, Western Caribbean track, 7 nights with 4 anchors in NASSAU- BAHAMAS, COZUMEL-MEXICO, ROATAN-HONDURAS, PUERTO COSTA MAYA-MEXICO and 2 DAYS ONLY, Departure from Miami. Now it was left to choose which agency would invite the cruise. There are many opinions whether to order through an Israeli agency or through a foreign agency. After a thorough and thorough examination, I found out that the company Crozit, https://www.cruiseit.co.il/, with the agent Orit Cohen Rochov gave the best offer. As I mentioned, it was decided to order with a minimum risk and therefore the room with balcony to the ocean, on the 11th floor in the center of the ship (room number 11590 D2). The room is spacious enough, a double bed and a sofa bed, a shower with excellent water flow and a balcony facing the sea, television, storage closet, 110 and 220 volts power sockets. It is difficult to describe in words the experience of sitting on the balcony while sailing and sleeping with an open window and hearing the waves coming back - an experience! The ship is huge, really a floating hotel. Many different types of rooms, countless dining rooms, restaurants, cafes, 2 promenades with vegetation, casino, swimming pools, Jacuzzi, climbing wall, Omega, surfing and more. 2 notable restaurants for light meals: 1. Park Caffe - Salads, sandwiches, cakes and flag sandwich with roast beef 2. The pizza restaurant The ship has a wide range of performances, including Mamma Mia, acrobatic show with oceanAria, Ice Ice show, Blue Planet, Headliner Showtime and more. About 60-90 days before the cruise, the possibility of planning the cruise is open on the Royal Caribbean site, ordering an hour for dinner (17.30, 20.00 or "on my own time"), ordering the various shows on the ship and booking excursions at the ports. For convenience and schedule of performances we chose the time 20.00, we got a regular table in the dining room on the 5th floor and regular waiters. In accordance with our needs, we purchased in advance and at a discounted price Classic Soda Package, which includes soft drinks and cola and an internet package VOOM Surf + STREAM Voyage Package - 1 Device Additional alcoholic beverages, coffee, shakes and more can be purchased. It is also possible to purchase a 10-cup card or a 10-alcoholic card. Each room has the option of bringing 12 bottles of 17 oz and 2 bottles of wine to the ship. In the boat, at various meals, you will be served free glasses of water and juices. The ship anchored at the port of Miami in Terminal 1 of Royal Caribbean, we reached the port of the car rental agency in the city and left the port to the airport on a trip with uber. The check-in and check-out of the ship is carried out with remarkable efficiency with no queue and speed. The attractions we did at our ports were: NASSAU-BAHAMAS - taxi ride ($ 10 toward) Cabbage Beach on the island island Paradise Island, a beach with soft white sand and good water for bathing. You can rent 2 sunbeds + umbrella for $ 20, and there are street vendors selling drinks. You can walk to the beach of the luxurious Atlantis Bahamas and even enter the hotel grounds and be impressed by it. COZUMEL-MEXICO - A fun day of sailing to spectacular blue lagoons and dive snorkeling, booked through http://cozumelcruiseexcursions.net/cozumel-snorkel-tour-res…, at a cost of $ 50 per participant. ROATAN-HONDURAS - We booked a day trip to the island with a local operator named Francklin Gálvez, francklinalexisgalvezbonilla1@gmail.com, a nice guy who tries very hard to please the guests he accompanies. Franklin charges $ 20 per participant for a full day of pick-up and return from / to port and travel according to an agreed plan. ($ 10) Visit the Chocolate and Fun Factory at the stunning beach of West Bay Beach (one of the resorts, plus sun beds + umbrella $ 15) PUERTO COSTA MAYA-MEXICO - We ordered a $ 50 golf car from MAYAHUAL Local Golf Car, https://costa-maya-golf-cars.negocio.site/, marvin1907@yahoo.com.mx and drove to the beaches of the nearby village of MAYAHUAL Docking Port . In retrospect it is unnecessary and you can reach this coastal strip with a local taxi. The coast of the Costa Maya disappointed. Hope this summary will help others. I'll be happy to answer any question. Yaari Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Know exactly what they are doing, right from the boarding, it was fast and efficient. The rooms are clean and well maintained, we were surprised to have vip perks which included a bottle of wine to enjoy on ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Know exactly what they are doing, right from the boarding, it was fast and efficient. The rooms are clean and well maintained, we were surprised to have vip perks which included a bottle of wine to enjoy on our deck overlooking Central Park. The entertainment is top notch and amazing, Mamma Mia, the Ice Games show, the aqua theatre show, the headliner show , the Comedy act had us in tears we laughed so much. The Blue Planet was totally amazing, definitely a must see.The food is great, except the coffee was very strong, at least for me. The specialty dining is well worth doing, we ate at Chopps Grille , if you love steak you won’t be disappointed. All The staff is very friendly. There is so much to do on the ship, non stop entertainment, many pools and hot tubs. The Schooner bar had a great piano player. Plus there is a jazz club. Fitness centre with top of the line equipment, running track and beautiful spa....... It is a floating city, I highly recommend this Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
First, I chose the cruise based on the feedback from colleagues. Based on my family's experience on this cruise last week, I can only say "stupendous and glamorous". From the embarkation port at Fort Lauderdale to the ... Read More
First, I chose the cruise based on the feedback from colleagues. Based on my family's experience on this cruise last week, I can only say "stupendous and glamorous". From the embarkation port at Fort Lauderdale to the stateroom (Central Park Balcony) was smooth, fast and orderly. The dining rooms were just breathtaking with variety food from diet to gain weight gourmet (just kidding). Entertainment is first class Broad Way and the New Year's Eve was Times Square on the Ocean. Guys it is expensive but it worth every dime that we spent with our two teen boys. The teen lounge is paradise. Safety is top notch. Go and discover the beauty of your home on this classy Allure of the Seas on the ocean. I have cruised many times, but this is the master of them all! Ready to cruise Symphony of the Seas!!!! Our two teenage boys couldn't stop texting their friends of the fun they had with other teens at the teen lounge. Kids were disciplined and well informed with security 24/7 unlike other cruise line that will abandon the kids to roam around and engage in foolishness. Allure of the Seas is classy ! Ido family Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Looked various other cruise line and picked up Allure of Seas due to balance of activities between Kids & Adult. We went with 2 boys age of 6 & 12 they had a blast time and We enjoyed Mama Mia, Blue Planet shows, Comedy , Parade ... Read More
Looked various other cruise line and picked up Allure of Seas due to balance of activities between Kids & Adult. We went with 2 boys age of 6 & 12 they had a blast time and We enjoyed Mama Mia, Blue Planet shows, Comedy , Parade & Casino. Allure of Seas has various food options available and all the Crew staff was very friendly and ready to help always. On Ship various swimming pool for each age category and drinks are available. We had Soda package so kids can also enjoy We did Zip line on Cruise and played on Mini Golf with Kids. We had done Zip line in Labadee Haiti, Dolphin Encounter in Jamaica and Playa Mia Beach in Cozumel Mexico. Definitely exceptional well arranged shore excursions and recommend to friend. We did not realized how the 7 days passed. Thanks to Royal Caribbean to make this trip so memorable for all of us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I chose this particular cruise mainly because of my sister's and brother-in-law's suggestion. They (Brian and Maria Taylor, if you care to know) are avid Royal Caribbean "cruisers". We weren't disappointed for my ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise mainly because of my sister's and brother-in-law's suggestion. They (Brian and Maria Taylor, if you care to know) are avid Royal Caribbean "cruisers". We weren't disappointed for my family and I wholeheartedly enjoyed our experience as well. The food, activities, entertainment, and staff/crew friendliness were excellent. My entire family also enjoyed shopping during the huge sale on several items toward the end of the cruise. The availability of fun, shopping and activities outside the ship (while on shore) were excellent as well. The ship itself is beautiful, clean, aesthetically designed and makes you forget that you're even floating in the middle of the ocean. My family have already started planning on our next Royal Caribbean cruise and I believe we will be joined by a lot more family members and friends. So it would definitely be a much larger group. I would definitely suggest the Royal Caribbean cruise to my friends and relatives. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
First impressions, this SHIP IS AWESOME. I loved the updated interior and exterior of ship. The interior stateroom I stayed in was decent sized and included a safe; which I loved. Everything is very well kept and they make it easy to ... Read More
First impressions, this SHIP IS AWESOME. I loved the updated interior and exterior of ship. The interior stateroom I stayed in was decent sized and included a safe; which I loved. Everything is very well kept and they make it easy to navigate this floating city. I enjoyed the different neighborhoods as it gave new flavors to different areas aboard. I'd say my favorite part was the various sports activities including basketball, and flow rider! The unlimited frozen yogurt was a huge plus. You'll enjoy the dining options, although the complimentary breakfast and lunches are a little repetitive as far as options (you'll eat A LOT of pizza and hot dogs), the dinner menu changes every night and there are a lot of options to choose from. On board entertainment is awesome and free. Other premium dining and souvenirs are available on the ship, but do cost quite a bit, so be ready to spend more money if you would like specialty drinks or items. The Ports on this cruise were fantastic! Labadee and Cozumel were a paradise and I would recommend doing shore excursions there. We went to the mainland in Mexico and did the Xplor tour, which was worth every dollar spent! Jamaica is very interesting and if you go exploring in the actual city where the locals live, be ready to be hassled a bit. They will offer to escort you anywhere in the city for a price, be careful with this, and remember you can find most things on your own. I would recommend trying a jelly (coconut water) while there. I loved the Royal Caribbean experience and you'll love the staff. They are so nice to you all the time and help make your trip truly feel like a vacation! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Excellent service, great food and spectacular shows! Allure of the Seas has so much to offer for any age group! Every day is different even you stay so many days in same ship. Fort Laudendale is good starting place and it is fun to visit ... Read More
Excellent service, great food and spectacular shows! Allure of the Seas has so much to offer for any age group! Every day is different even you stay so many days in same ship. Fort Laudendale is good starting place and it is fun to visit different countries between the cruise. We mainly used restaurants that have not extra fees. Soda and Voom package was great as we drink a lot of Coca-Cola Zero and both use internet quite much. :) Internet works very well and soda automats were really useful on a warm sunny days at deck. The service all over the ship was great. Our stateroom attendant kept our room impeccably clean and was so attentive. We also loved our balcony room on deck 9. After a cruise Everglades Air Boat Cruise in Sawgrass was also very cood (even it was our trips only rainy day) as we have time to spent before flight back to Finland. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Great Cruise - Highly recommend to all. Great Staff... Clean Ship. If you want to relax and be pampered this is the cruiseline to choose. if you are on the "fence" take my word for it... Royal Carribean International is ... Read More
Great Cruise - Highly recommend to all. Great Staff... Clean Ship. If you want to relax and be pampered this is the cruiseline to choose. if you are on the "fence" take my word for it... Royal Carribean International is the Best in the Industry. We enjoyed the Vitality Spa every morning. The Fresh fruit and juice bar was very refreshing after our workout. The equipment was top of the line. The outdoor track made it nice to get some exercise outdoors as well. The Solarium offered a bit more somewhat healthy breakfast in the morning. We tried to avoid the crowds in the windjammer. We spent most of our time before and after dinner in the Champagne and Martini Bar. The bar staff in their was the BEST!!! Friendly, personable, and hospitable!!! We loved speaking with Hasan, Ana and Wayne daily. Giovanni's restaurant was very tasty. Huge portions. Great staff. We also dined at Izumi Sushi. Very Fresh. Overall, we had a great week! We will be back next year! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I have been on a few cruises but my gf had never been before. We both loved it. Yes they do try and grab $ at any chance but no means no We bought the deluxe drink package which was not cheap but turned out to be a good value ... Read More
I have been on a few cruises but my gf had never been before. We both loved it. Yes they do try and grab $ at any chance but no means no We bought the deluxe drink package which was not cheap but turned out to be a good value Internet package (bought with drink package) worked perfectly The specialty restaurants were amazing We did 150 Park twice (awesome tuna tartar) Chops had prob the best filet mignon I can remember Izumi for Sushi was excellent Coastal Kitchen was beautiful We did the zip line the flowrider the rock climbing and loved them Mama Mia was excellent Ice Show was pretty good and so was Blue Planet Adult comedy was x rated but funny Didn't love the headliner show We did excursions through the ship in Jamaica and Cozumel and both were excellent Not a cheap vacation but worth it Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I though cruise ship was small and rocking too mujch and i hate it. but allures of the seas was bigger than carnival or other royal carribean ships. it is calm and smooth and don't feel anything. friends said it was the first time ... Read More
I though cruise ship was small and rocking too mujch and i hate it. but allures of the seas was bigger than carnival or other royal carribean ships. it is calm and smooth and don't feel anything. friends said it was the first time it do not make her feel seas sick. i cannot wait the royal carribean next bigger ship. but first i will be travel to alaska from seattle with my parents first. i will see you soon ok. love luu family. great services from dinning in american grill icon by lizbeth and orlando table #366 please thank them and my family and friends that they provide exceptional great services.. one thing, please have the guest service desks staffs be more happy. they look sad or over worked to me. pretty much everything else is great and our friends is looking for the cruise that they want to go to and we have told them please chose royal carribean only...........we will meet again,.......also wife's cruise is her second but my teenage sons and i thinking the is just a big steel boat.....hahahahahha....we were wrong....... TO ME AND SONS....LOVE YOU GUYS Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We choose this cruise as a last minute cruise (within 40 days) because we are cruise fanatics and in need of a cruise since our last one (December 2016). We were Diamond members and now will be Diamond Plus. We have always enjoyed the ... Read More
We choose this cruise as a last minute cruise (within 40 days) because we are cruise fanatics and in need of a cruise since our last one (December 2016). We were Diamond members and now will be Diamond Plus. We have always enjoyed the service and was beginning to wonder what more was there to making a distinction of the various levels of status. Well now, Royal Caribbean has finally made that distinction with regard to the various Royal Classes (Star, Sky & Sea). I mentioned in my review that this was a game changer! The Costal Kitchen makes the former Viking Crown Lounge a more useful venue than previously used. The access provided to card members of suites into the venues is also a welcome addition to include all shows and the sun deck on the 18th deck. The fact that the lounge is now open almost 24 hours makes a little more sense instead of between the hours of 4:30-8:30 PM regarding drinks for your Diamond or Suite guest. Debarkation was also a highlight that in all our years of cruising RC, we never experienced. We loved the fact that a full breakfast menu was offered in the Coastal Kitchen as well as escorted service to customs and baggage taken right to the airport to be picked up at your destination airport! This was also huge for us! We loved it! Of all our cruises, this ranks pretty high on our list as the best! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Naik, Joshi and the Head Waiter on the Main Dining Room were FANTASTIC. We had never experience such caring, professional and courteous service in any other place. They were paid close attention to every single detail on the first night ... Read More
Naik, Joshi and the Head Waiter on the Main Dining Room were FANTASTIC. We had never experience such caring, professional and courteous service in any other place. They were paid close attention to every single detail on the first night with them and from there, they knew (remembered) exactly what our preferences were. As an example, I follow a low glycemic diet, my husband is a seafood passionate, my youngest daughter loves fresh bread with olive oil & pepper, my son loves brownies and my oldest daughter has a preference for gluten free meals… both of them (and the Head Waiter) made sure that we understood the menu and treated us with the best options and pleased all or our requests. I don’t have words to explain the high quality of service they provided us. We are beyond grateful and satisfied with them. Everyone on the Dinning areas were excellent, but the three of them were EXCEPTIONAL: provided an out of this world experience to our family Our Room Attendant was very organized and polite. She was very friendly and my youngest daughter enjoyed all the pretty towel creations she made for us. She even showed her how to create them!!! We are really impressed of how well she kept our rooms Kevin (I think that was his name; I clearly remember he was from Colombia), at the Guest Services Desk helped us a lot to understand our reservations and provided us great information & suggestions to make the most our vacation. He did not seemed rushed and took the time to answer all of our questions. We also loved the bar service and music (we were one of the couples that danced all night long) and the Latin Lounge. The sports team and show performers were also one of our favorites in the cruise. The Calypso Band was great and I strongly suggest that they should play more often in the pool area. The DJ at Blaze played super cool music and was very friendly as well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our first cruise ever and we thought it would be idea to choose a really big ship because my GF doesn't like closed spaces too much. This also made us choose a Central Park Balcony so we could have something more open than a ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever and we thought it would be idea to choose a really big ship because my GF doesn't like closed spaces too much. This also made us choose a Central Park Balcony so we could have something more open than a window (and we couldn't afford an Ocean View Balcony). We are a party of 2 (me and my GF), both in our early 30s and are looking to relax and enjoy the ports. We had MTD and a "Refreshment" beverage package (no alcohol). Pre-embarkation We arrived two days early and stayed at my aunt's house in the Ft. Lauderdale area, so nothing else to report here. Day 1 (Embarkation) We arrived at about 11am. Checkin was smooth as there were barely any lines. We waited about 25 minutes seated in the upper level. After being called, we were onboard short of noon. We went to the Windjamer for lunch. Thankfully we could find a seat. It was really busy and we didn't enjoy it. Guess food was ok, but there were too many people to be enjoyable. And there's also the PA message that basically said "please hurry up and move on so we can seat other people". After lunch, we were just going through the ship. It is certainly beautiful and well maintained. Very clean too. We visited the Solarium, Boardwalk, Royal Promenade, MDR, Amber Theater, Spa, Gym, Studio B, Casino, and finally went to the Central Park. At this point (about 3:30pm), it was announced that the rooms were ready, so we quickly went to our room to leave are stuff. While on the room, the muster drill was announced and we had to go out. Out station was at "On Air", deck 5. The drill was conducted quickly, though, if you ask me, the venue was a bit small for the number of people. Outside it was both windy and rainy, so after we were dismissed from the drill, we decided to miss the sail away party and instead went to Park Cafe to eat the famous roast beef sandwich, which was great btw. Great collection of made-to-order salads too. And this is where we had a small problem. We had booked the Chef's Table at 7:30pm in the Cruise Planner, but in the TV it showed at 8pm. We also didn't know where to go for it. I called Guest Services and they told me to go to the Concierge Lounge. We went to the Concierge Lounge just to find that we couldn't open the door (obviously, since we are not Diamond nor have a Suite). I called Guest Services again and they told me that I won't be able to access it (!!!!). After saying that I already had a reservation, they transferred me to the Concierge, who told me to wait at the library (right next to the CL) and they would pick us up minutes before 8pm. After this, everything went fine. Minutes before 8pm, Baba, the Sommelier, entered the room (along with some good champagne) to pick us up. Dinner was great and the wine pairings were also great. Baba is a great showman and made our night. We drank so much wine that wen returning to our cabin, we couldn't walk in a straight line and we couldn't tell if it was due to us being drunk or because of the ship's movement (it was quite windy). Day 2 (At sea) We went early in the morning to the gym, which was awesome with the sea views everywhere. Great equipment too. After that, we ate breakfast at Wipeout Cafe. They could handle my GF's request for a made-to-order omelette. There's also a Coca-Cola freestyle machine in there. After that, we spent our time at the Solarium. We had lunch at the Solarium Bistro. You really have to pick a table first, since it gets really packed at about 1pm. The food was good though. During the afternoon we "discovered" the whirlpools next to the Solarium (yeah... first time for us) and we enjoyed quite a bit of time inside them. We had dinner at American Icon Grill at 6:30pm. Because they were out of space, we were relocated to The Grande. Food was great, as well as the service, and we had a nice chat with a couple on the table next to us. After dinner, we went to the Amber Theater for Mamma Mia. The music and singing were great. Acting, however, was not. The girl cast as Sophie was not very good at acting, though she had a beautiful voice. Dancing was good. Overall, Mamma Mia is not our favorite play, but we enjoyed it. On a side note, they really keep the theater quite cold. Make sure you dress accordingly. Day 3 (Labadee, Haiti) My GF went to the gym and afterwards took a juice at the Vitality Cafe. She says it was great. Again we had breakfast at wipeout cafe (we would repeat this for all days, except for last one). After breakfast we went off the gangway to enjoy a good beach day. Or so we expected. Labadee doesn't have any great beaches. Most of them are rocky. And the best one is reserved for suite guests (and platinum, diamond, etc). Don't forget your shoes. I don't know if they would allow to bring an umbrella, but it would be highly recommended. We ended up renting something like a little tent (about 40 bucks or so). At about noon, we wanted to have some food, only to find that they closed at noon. It's incredible! Why close at noon when the ship leaves at 4:30? We enjoyed the beach for a few more hours and left for the ship very hungry. We had a (late) lunch at Wipeout Cafe, since it was the only venue still open (or so I remember). Not what we would normally choose, but we were hungry. We had dinner at Samba Grill. The meat was ok, quite soft. We ordered a nice wine form the list too (don't remember the name though). Near the end of our dinner, the chef came out and went through every single table to say hello, compliment his crew for the hard work and ask if everything was ok. I don't remember his name, but we really liked that. We ended the day with Ocean Aria at the Aqua Theater. We really enjoyed this show. It's amazing that they can do this at sea! Specially the diving from the highest platform was incredible! It looked as a suicide! Day 4 (Falmouth, Jamaica) As always, GF at gym, then breakfast at Wipeout Cafe. We didn't really know where to go in Jamaica, so we asked our stateroom attendant and he recommended River Falls. We went off the ship and took a while to find someone who could take us to the River Falls. They suggested we buy water shoes and hermetic bags for our phones. At first we thought it was part of a tourist trap, since we didn't really know what to expect at River Falls. Thankfully we did what we were told. You really need water shoes and a hermetic bag for your phone/camera/whatever else. It's not optional. After that, they took us to eat some pork jerk, which was both delicious and cheap (about $25, including drinks, for both of us). Then back at the ship. We had dinner at American Icon Grill. Food and service were great. Day 5 (At sea) GF at the gym, then breakfast at Wipeout Cafe. We spent the rest of the morning at the Solarium. For lunch we had reservation at Giovanni's Table, as part of "Eat, Drink, Play" from our Central Park Balcony room. We didn't have the full menu, but rather a limited one for this offer. Food was good though. Service was great. We had dinner at American Icon Grill. Again, food and service were great. Finally we had Ice Games at Studio B. What a great show! Specially a guy from either Vietnam or Philippines (I don't remember which one). He is a great performer and, taking into account that he is from a country not traditionally associated with ice skating, he must be truly talented to end up there. Day 6 (Cozumel, Mexico) GF at the gym, then breakfast at Wipeout Cafe. We went off the ship early. Since we are both native Spanish speakers, we didn't have much problems here. We ended up going to Madre Mía, which was ok. We did snorkel (for a fee, was great), and had lunch (complimentary buffet, was just ok, though the guacamole was quite good). Make sure you go back to the ship on time, since the way back to the port takes much more than than the other way around because everyone is returning at about the same time!! We had dinner at American Icon Grill. This was lobster night, if I remember correctly. My GF said it was great. I preferred an aged steak, which was great too. Service was great too. Also had Blue Planet. Though I find the story a bit boring, the show is great. The cast comes from all the other shows (i.e. dancers and singers from Mamma Mia, acrobats from OceanAria and I think even some guys from Ice Games). Day 7 (At sea) GF at the gym, then breakfast at Wipeout Cafe. The rest of the day at the Solarium, going to the whirlpools from time to time. We had lunch at the Solarium Bistro, great as usual. We had dinner at Chops Grille. Out waiter, Luis, also peruvian like us, gave us the most wonderful experience possible on a restaurant. It was also the best of the specialty restaurants we had (food-wise). It really made our night! Day 8 (Disembarkation) We opted for early departure, carrying our luggage ourselves. We had breakfast at the Windjammer (the only possible choice for us). It was awful. Food was ok, but it was too packed and chaotic. After going back to the stateroom to pick out luggage, we went off the ship at about 7am. Customs was empty and we barely had a line, so we were outside the terminal in less than 5 minutes. I doubt this can be faster. Summary This was our first cruise and we took this one to try something different. We now face a new addition :) Of course we would return. We would also do some things different. Specially, we would change our breakfast venue (probably to Park Cafe). And we would try the various night entertainment options available (disco, bars, etc). But the ship is so big and with so much to do that you simply can't do everything in a single week. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our first cruise. We had a fantastic time and can't wait to cruise again. Our itinerary was changed to avoid Hurricane Matthew. The ship stayed where the weather was great and the seas were calm. We had a balcony cabin. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We had a fantastic time and can't wait to cruise again. Our itinerary was changed to avoid Hurricane Matthew. The ship stayed where the weather was great and the seas were calm. We had a balcony cabin. The cabin was very nice and very clean. We did not get off the ship in Cozumel or Jamaica. We enjoyed the beach at Labadee - as you walk from the ship, try the beach on the right, it may be less crowded. We chose this cruise because of the ship - we had never cruised before and were worried about feeling confined. The pools were crowded in the afternoons, even on port days, but that was the only time we felt like there were a lot of people. The interior of the ship is beautifully decorated and maintained, and I loved the interesting artwork that is everywhere. Most of the time I could not feel the motion of the boat at all, and we never got seasick. We paid to take the behind the scenes tour, and it was worth every penny. It took 3 hours and included a Q&A with a member of the crew. We saw the galley, the food storage, the laundry, the engine control room, the crew cafeteria and pub, and the bridge. Our regular dining room was American Icon Grille and every dinner we ate there was fantastic - our waiter, Sander, was great! So were the desserts, which included a soufflé and baked Alaska and cherries jubilee. Park Café was great for salads, but the selection was limited. Chops was as good as everyone says - the steaks, the bread and appetizers were outstanding. Giovanni's was good, but since pasta was regularly available, I'm not sure it's worth it. Sabor has awesome food and margaritas, and the food was inexpensive. We shared the guacamole, prepared tableside, and barbacoa tacos with homemade tortillas - yum! Room service was good and arrived hot, but the selection is limited and has a lot of fried food. We never ate at the Windjammer. If you have seen theater on Broadway, you may not agree that the shows are Broadway quality, although the cast of Mamma Mia had a lot of talent and we enjoyed it. Blue Planet had about 11 costume changes in an hour and was a little hard to follow. The dive show in the Aqua Theatre is impressive and it's nice to sit outside at night. We enjoyed the running track on deck 5 and the fitness center, which always had equipment available. I also enjoyed a recently released movie in 3D in the Amber Theatre one hot afternoon. We bought the surfing internet package and it worked great. Service throughout the cruise, everywhere, was impeccable. It exceeded any expectations we had. Embarkation was very smooth and we never waited long at any of the steps in the process. Disembarkation was not smooth - next time we would try to leave as early as possible. The later departure times offered aren't really allowed - staff started rushing us out of our designated waiting places on the ship well before our 10:35 departure time. We were hurried onto the pier even though the customs line was backed up to the ship. The wait on the pier was very long, although it appeared that if you hired a porter, they would cut in front of other customers who had waited up to half an hour to get you to the front of the line. We didn't hire a porter, but a few cut in front of us. RC has some work to do, since this could have potentially ruined an otherwise fantastic experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I've been on 4 cruises including this one before, and this one was definitely the best if not tied for the best (tied with star princess). I'll start with the few negatives. Negatives: If someone were to ask me what was the ... Read More
I've been on 4 cruises including this one before, and this one was definitely the best if not tied for the best (tied with star princess). I'll start with the few negatives. Negatives: If someone were to ask me what was the worse thing about this cruise, two things would come to my mind: Sunburn and disembarkation. Sunburn was because of flowrider and me forgetting to re-apply sunscreen (got burnt within 2 hours of applying sunscreen since the water hits you very hard when you fall off flowrider and washes the sunscreen off). Disembarkation took almost an hour, though if we were smarter we would have just waited on the ship nearer to the end as we were in no hurry to get off the boat. Some places were packed (on-air mainly, sometimes dazzles). Entertainment: My family and I really enjoyed some of the game shows and karaoke. Fritz (i think that's his name), was HILARIOUS! One of the better hosts for sure. Our headliner act was the Texas Tenors, and man, were they good!!! The ship itself was very big, so during the day and even at night a lot of places weren't packed (Besides on-air. Make sure to get there at least 15 minutes beforehand since the place would be so crowded people would be watching from almost outside). It didn't seem like there were 6000+ people, although our cruise had I think 6280. I'm not much for musicals, but in terms of shows mamma mia was quite good (somewhat long though). Blue Planet was decent, headliner show (texas tenors) were awesome, and the ice show was great! Activities were great. MAKE SURE YOU DONT MISS THE FLOWRIDER SHOW AT THE END OF THE WEEK. If you've tried the flowrider before, you'll be amazed at the performance the sport staff displayed, it was ridiculous!! Crowd wasn't very big as people probably thought it wasn't a big deal, but believe me, this is something worth seeing, just 30 minutes of your day. Dining: Didn't go to any of the specialty restaurants. Just went to the main dining room for breakfast and dinner, sometimes even lunch on sea days. The main dining room's fabulous! I'm not sure why people complain about it. If you don't like one food, just order another on the menu. Steak was cooked almost to perfection (medium for me always), the shrimp was great (had 12 shrimps), but lobster night was a little disappointing (although I still had 11 lobster tails....somewhat lacking in taste). My waiters were great! After ordering more than just 1 main dish and dessert the first couple nights, they always insisted on ordering more food. Every dinner I ate till I could no more! Park cafe was alright, the roast beef sandwiches not as good as I expected with everyone raving about it on the forums. Johnny Rockets also had good breakfast. Royal Promenade didn't have much but was the only thing open 24/7. The pizza place was really REALLY good though! Sometimes they would let you create your own pizza. I only had 1 hotdog at the hotdog place on the first day and it was pretty good! I was too full always to go there anymore after the first day though. Service: Service in the dining room was great, stateroom attendant did alright as well, although we didn't request too much. Besides that, service was lacking compared to some of the other cruise lines like princess. Staff weren't all out to really help you make sure you get the best cruise of your life, but they would do it if asked. Ports and Shore excursions: Cozumel: Scuba diving was pretty good, did it with a private company, not too much to say here. Jamaica: Dunns River Falls and Blue Hole. Dunns River was pretty cool walking up the water fall, but it wasn't mind blowing or anything. Blue Hole was much more exciting and adventurous. I would definitely recommend blue hole over Dunns River Falls. Haiti: Just chilled at the beach, got some mats and laid in the ocean. Very relaxing, bbq was pretty good though the ribs were a bit dry. Much nicer than Carnival's Roatan island. Also went on the coaster ride, good view but not worth the money. Tips + Other: For a good view of the ocean from the ship, go to deck 14 and walk all the way to the front. You get the best view right up at the front of the ship. The gym could get quite packed sometimes, early in the mornings is when it was more empty. There's almost always something to do, just make sure you look at your cruise compass to see what's on. Reserve your shows on cruise planner ahead of time and be sure to arrive early for any reservations you made of shows. You can always just not show up if you decide to do something else. Don't eat at the Windjammer Buffet. Food there isn't very good and it's quite packed, takes some time to find a seat. I find people in the forums are somewhat exaggerating when they say that all 6k people try to find a table in Windjammer. It's not true as once the Windjammer starts to get too busy, staff make people wait outside in a line and only let people in once others are finished eating and have left. There's many more options like Sorrento's, Park Cafe, hotdog place, and the dining rooms are available at certain times during the day. For people who do the flowrider, make sure you apply sunscreen very often since waiting in the sun for the other riders takes a lot of time and your sunscreen gets washed away when you fall in the rushing water. Embarkation was quick, but disembarkation was very slow. RCCL has a partnership with DreamWorks so you can see all the dreamwork characters. Parade was alright, although it wasn't fantastic or anything. Elevators also weren't what other people in the forums were saying. Waits weren't that long, no more than 3-4 minutes at the most. I was always too full to do any walking up/down the stairs. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Before the Cruise/Traveling: My family and I had heard nothing but great reviews of the Allure of the Seas and we decided we had to jump aboard while it was still the largest ship in the world. We live in Oregon, so the trip alone to ... Read More
Before the Cruise/Traveling: My family and I had heard nothing but great reviews of the Allure of the Seas and we decided we had to jump aboard while it was still the largest ship in the world. We live in Oregon, so the trip alone to Fort Lauderdale was expensive. A tip to save money if you are traveling primarily for the cruise is to book an overnight flight to save money on any extra hotel cost before which is what my family and I did. It can seem a bit risky, but we got in pretty early and decided it was the best idea, and it formed out to be a great decision so I recommend it. We sailed on November 29th 2015, so it was nice to be able to get away from the rainy Oregon weather. Embarkation: Embarkation was easy and painless. We arrived at the Port at around 11am and we were able to hand our bags off to the kind men waiting to take them, it was quick and easy for everyone. Afterward, we were ushered into lines depending on what floor your room was on. Our room was room 10323 which was a Boardwalk View Balcony room and so we were on floor 10. In total, we were in the building for 25 minutes and our information and pictures were taken within 10 and we finally got to board the ship! On the Ship: The first view of the ship was incredible. It's bigger than any of us could have imagined and we were so excited! We were tired from 9 hours of traveling but the rooms weren't open until 1pm so we decided to find somewhere to relax. We figured that the buffet, the Windjammer, would be a bad idea due to the fact that so many people would be looking for food. We walked around the ship a bit, and decided to sit in the Central Park and find some food. There were plenty of comfortable seating areas and benches, so we rested our legs and found some food and Sangria. Unfortunately I never got to try the infamous Central Park Cafe Roast Beef Sandwiches which I heard are to die for. Ultimately, I do recommend finding a spot in Central Park while waiting for the rooms to open because it was relaxing and fairly open. Rooms: Once the rooms were open we met our room attendant, Nina, who was nothing but kind and so helpful whenever we needed anything the entire trip. We love you Nina! All of the attendants in our section of the ship were so incredibly kind and always asked us how our day was and always greeted us and looked to make conversation which we loved! The room was fairly small, but we could make due with three females in one room. I definitely recommend unpacking everything from your suitcase, and putting them into the storage they have in the room. If three girls can fit all of their things in one room, you can too. There is storage space under the bed as well where we kept all of our bags/suitcases. The Boardwalk View was probably the best option for us, and we were lucky to be only 4 or so balconies away from the end of the ship so we could always watch the Aqua Theater performances as well as see the ocean! It was the best of both worlds I highly recommend it. Entertainment: The "Sail Away" Show in the Aqua Theater was a blast. We watched it from our room but had a ton of fun dancing to the hit songs they played and watching the Dreamworks characters dance along to. We even got to dancing with the people in the rooms across the boardwalk from us and the DJ in the DJ booth! My advice: Just have fun! We went to Mamma Mia on the first night which my mom and sister said was a great show, but I actually ended up falling asleep because it was such a long day (lol). Great performers, great set, great entertainment all in all! On the third night we went to Ice Games, which is basically Monopoly on Ice. The talent was truly unbelievable and we even got a seat in the front row which I highly recommend because if you get lucky enough the skaters will interact with you! They interacted with myself and my sister as well as the people next to us a lot which was a blast. Not only were they incredibly great skaters, they were incredibly great actors as well. The fifth night, we attended the How to Train your Dragon Ice Show which we all loved and never wanted to end. The costumes were truly incredible, and we had never seen the movie but the story was told in a way that we were able to follow really well. We were sad after the 30-40 minute performance was over. We were fortunate enough to be able to watch Ocean Aria about 3 times from our balcony and we never ended up getting bored of it. The talent was truly amazing, and the things they do keep you on the edge of your seat. It's a theater performance mixed with incredible acrobatics! Definitely a must see! Dining: Our family had My Time dining and it was fine. The food was above average and if the line ever seemed long, it went by fast. Our waiter was great, and always so nice and helpful. The food seemed to take a while to bring out, which was kind of surprising because it was usually pre-made. But it was understandable because it was usually pretty full. I recommend going a little later than usual dinner time because majority of people go around 6-7:30. Shopping: The shopping/stores were fairly expensive, but if you were looking to buy any of those things they usually have great deals! We definitely took advantage of the 2 for 20 t-shirts in the center stands in the Royal Promenade. Food: The food was pretty good and there were many options for free and for purchase. We definitely tried to conserve the amount of money we spent so we didn't decide to go to any of the specialty restaurants. We went to the Central Park Cafe, the Main Dining Room, the Cafe Promenade, Starbucks, Wipeout Cafe and Vitality Cafe. I never had any food that I thoroughly disliked. I thought the Vitality Cafe smoothies were great especially after a work out! The food always seemed fresh and was changed nearly every hour depending on the time of day. Side note: I recommend the Wipeout Cafe for soft serve Ice Cream and a quick bite to eat after ping-pong, basketball or the FlowRider! Teen Club: The Teen Club was utilized minimally by the teens. Toward the end of the trip teens definitely got more involved in the teen club but there wasn't much teen activity going on. It was nice that they had it for teens to hang out in though when there wasn't anything else to do, but it would be nice if there were more crew members trying to get teen activities up and running. Port Excusions: Haiti- Right as we got to shore, a man took us aside and took us to his favorite spot to lay out and he set up three chairs for us, we were so grateful! My family and I decided that we would do the Dragon's Flight Zipline (The largest zipline over water) and it was a blast. We never felt scared because the people truly took great care of us and we even got to do a practice line before the "big kahuna." All of the workers were so nice and helpful and accommodated to the weather. The food in Haiti was all free and it was great food, the workers were so friendly as well. Falmouth- We didn't plan any excursions for Jamaica, but we decided to go shopping which we highly recommend. Many of the shopping areas in Jamaica have beautiful artifacts and the jewelry market is big. If you have nothing planned, take a look into some of the stores! We also highly recommend to purchase some Rum Cake and Blue Mountain Coffee! Cozumel- Our family planned a segway ride to a snorkeling destination but unfortunately it was incredibly stormy and the seas were unsafe to snorkel in. But we were able to get our money back and the personnel was happy to oblige with our request, which was very nice. So, we decided to take a look at some of the tents the locals had and stop into Señor Frogs. We ultimately had a great time with what we made of it! Activities: The activities were so fun and I recommend trying to get to all of them! We made it our mission to swim, Rock Climb, Zip Line, Mini Golf, Ice Skate, go on the Flowrider and play in the Sports Court. Each activity was fun in its own way and everyone needs to try it out at least once! If you can't find the courage to do any of these activities you can always watch people which seems to be just as fun. We all found it was lots of fun to watch people wipe out on the Flowrider, which doing is much harder than it looks! You can always play ping-pong to pass the time if you find yourself not knowing what to do. But I would find it hard because you can never run out of things to do on this ship! Pools: The pools were fairly small for the size of ship but they made sure to have plenty of deck chairs. Unfortunately it was pretty windy on our trip so the top deck chairs made it difficult to have a peaceful time with the wind. I recommend to get a chair in the middle sections near the pools or to go to the beach pool and lay out in the water. There also wasn't nearly enough hot tubs, so if you're looking for one it may take a while for people to clear out. So, don't get your hopes up. Voom Wi-Fi: We purchased the buy one get one half off "Voom Wi-Fi" on the ship. The first night or two the Wi-Fi was spotty but it improved and was very fast the rest of the cruise. If you want to stay in contact with people or post pictures etc. I recommend getting it and trying to split the cost with someone, because it is pretty expensive. Waiting: The Allure is the biggest ship in the world and is able to hold the largest amount of people, so expect a bit of waiting. The waiting was in no way unbearable, the longest wait that we had was 15 minutes for the dining room. It was a little frustrating the first night because we had reservations but there were plenty of people with reservations and we understood. If anyone says that the dining room is full and the wait will be longer than 30 minutes then tries to promote other restaurants with a charge, don't fall for it! We were told that exact thing one night and got into the dining room 2 minutes later. Summary: It was a great trip! No one can control the weather unfortunately so some things had to be canceled but we just had to make the most of what we could! My advice is to let go and have fun, you spent too much money and probably a lot of time to let weather or any one thing get in the way of you having fun or to start complaining. The Allure was incredibly beautiful and always stayed clean. The crew seemed to always interact and always tried to make our stay the best as possible! We are going on it's sister ship, the newest Harmony of the Seas in November 2016 and we cannot be more excited! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Pre-Cruise I traveled on this cruise with my wife and my parents. We are thirty-somethings and we were celebrating my Dad's birthday. My Mom was in on it, but my Dad had no idea until we surprised him on the ship - it was ... Read More
Pre-Cruise I traveled on this cruise with my wife and my parents. We are thirty-somethings and we were celebrating my Dad's birthday. My Mom was in on it, but my Dad had no idea until we surprised him on the ship - it was priceless!! I'm not a proponent for travel insurance, but if ever there was a time I should have gotten it, it would have been for this cruise. Due to an engagement the night before, we could not fly in until the day of sailing - something I don't normally like to do. Complicating things further, we were traveling from Albuquerque which required a connection and a loss of two hours on the clock. Our flight was supposed to get us in at 1:30pm, which would have been perfectly fine. However, we were alerted via email just before our first flight of a delay in departure for our second flight. We learned just before we took off that our second flight would not arrive until 3:50pm, which would have resulted in us missing our 4:30 departure. I was under the impression that we had to board by 3pm, but later learned that 4pm is the cut off - something you may need to know if you end up in our shoes. So the whole first flight had me thinking of ways I could possibly board the ship and also brainstorming how I might get us to Labadee two days later. I was pretty sure we would be screwed. As soon as we landed in Houston, we checked the status of the next flight, and were pleasantly surprised that it now showed 2:20pm as the arrival time. I still wasn't totally comfortable, but it was much better than 3:50. We were also a little concerned that my wife's bags did not make it since we checked in a few minutes after the 45 minute cut-off. Fortunately, we spotted them going onto the plane, and at that point we were able to relax a little. We made it to the port at around 3:15. Thank God everything worked out. If you ever have the option, always fly in a day earlier. It is cheap insurance and allows you to relax for a night before cruising. It also allows the opportunity to be amongst the first to board the ship. If you cannot arrive a day early, I highly advise travel insurance. Embarkation As you can probably imagine, embarkation was pretty easy at 3:15pm. The port was pretty much a ghost town. There was actually another family from our flight that was checking in next to us - I'm sure they were stressed out as well. This was the amongst the latest I've ever boarded a cruise ship, and this was number 21 for me. I can still picture barely making the ship as a kid when we had flight issues - they pretty much pulled the gangway after we stepped on. Those were the days where you could get on at 4:29 for a 4:30 sailing. Anyway, we were so late that they had stopped doing embarkation photos. For those that aren't aware, Allure uses facial recognition from your embarkation photo to help sort your photos so you can find them easier. Each cabin will have a binder where you can look at your printed photos as well as being able to pull them up digitally by swiping your cruise card. That is the idea anyway. We did not have any photos in our binder and swiping the card showed no photos either. I can't be sure that missing the embarkation photo caused this, but that is the leading theory. The photo people onboard could not fix the situation. I'd suggest you don't skip the embarkation photo (assuming you make it on time). It is always fun to look at your photos, and you may actually want to buy one that you didn't plan to purchase. One other tip - don't be afraid to carry your own bags onto the ship, even if they are big. We do this every time and always get them through the scanner, even when the porters and others try to convince you to check them. So nice to be able to unpack on your terms and not have to wait until as late as 7 or 8pm. Once onboard, we quickly set our stuff inside the cabin and then we surprised my Dad at the Windjammer and greeted Mom. It was so great to be onboard this incredible ship - I was still shaking my head saying we shouldn't have been there. I was able to find a few scraps of food since they had already started to shut things down (by this time it was around 4pm). We made our way back to the cabin for a few minutes before the muster drill. Cabin We had a Central Park Balcony - 11187. It is a great room! We usually don't spring for a balcony since we are value cruisers, but in this case the price difference was very minimal. Plus, it was a unique room since we have never been on Oasis class. It was nice to be able to go out to the balcony on occasion and get air in the room, but I still don't think I spent more than 1 hour out there in total all week. If the price is minimally more, we'd book this cabin again, but we also have no problem being in an inside cabin. The cabin itself was not much different than other ones we've been in with the exception of the balcony. This room has the couch closest to the balcony and the bed closer to the bathroom. Some people have complained about the access to the closet with the bed right there. I agree with the setup causing some issues, but overall it wasn't a big deal. My parents had an oceanview balcony, and they had the bed closer to the balcony door. That is probably a slightly better setup, but I wouldn't fret too much if your cabin is like ours. The only other minor difference from our past cabins seemed to be a lack of a regular nightstand - only 3 or 4 shelves. This worked out fine for us. The bathroom was your normal setup and worked fine as well. Nice to have a shower door and not a curtain. Dining The food itself was overall pretty darned good - especially when they are cooking for 6,000 guests (not to mention crew). We ate in the MDR each night, and I thought the food there was very good. There were a few dishes where the quality wasn't wonderful, but overall it was pretty good for a mainstream cruise line. I enjoyed the dining options on this ship. I think I only ate at the Windjammer twice all week. Look at your Cruise Compass (the daily schedule) to see where you can eat for free (or not, if you want to pay). I ate breakfast in the MDR, Windjammer, Wipe-Out Cafe, Park Cafe, and Johnny Rockets (all free). It was nice to have a change of scenery and slightly different options. The French toast in the MDR is awesome - had to be two inches thick. Good omelets in the Wipe-Out Cafe. Loved "The Works" potatoes at Johnny Rockets. I was definitely not bored with the breakfast options. Lunch had almost the same number of options, although Johnny Rockets charges a fee. I ate at all the other establishments just mentioned for lunch, and was pretty pleased. I think the MDR lunch menu could use some work, but that is probably just personal taste. It would be nice if it changed each day like the dinner menus. We also enjoyed the Boardwalk Dog House and the Park Cafe, Cafe Promenade, and Sorrento's for snacks. Service Our stateroom stewardess, Nataliya, was exceptional. She was so nice and pleasant and did an excellent job - thank you!! We did have a few issues in the MDR at dinner. Our waiter was slow and not at all personable. We would watch surrounding tables where other waiters would discuss the menu for the next night or just interact with the table in some other way. Our waiter just brought the food, didn't acknowledge most thank yous, and didn't interact with us. Also, we played third fiddle to his two other larger tables. If we didn't get our order in before his 12 person table, forget it. We had a couple of two hour dinners, and this was after we stated we wanted expedited service. The head waiter tried to help, but he came across as cocky and he still didn't make our experience feel special. One night, my wife's entree was forgotten, even after the waiter and head waiter both said it was coming out. This is unacceptable. Also, this was the first cruise I can remember where the wait staff did not remember your preferences. For example, my wife had to order orange tea each night - normally after the second night, they just bring it. This isn't a big deal, but it shows they weren't really dedicated to us. I don't think this is a shipwide issue, since as I said, other tables near us seemed to have fine service. But we just ended up getting unlucky. I should point out that our table was very close to the galley as well, which should have made for quicker service. I will say that service throughout the ship was generally very good. Most staff was very pleasant and acknowledged when I thanked them. Most crew in the hallways would say hello. I usually make a point to say hello to the staff wherever I see them, and I think on each occasion I was greeted and sometimes even asked how I was doing. This is really all I want - just good, basic service and a friendly crew. Public Rooms I could go into great detail here, but I'll just say that this ship was very well designed and there are vast areas of the ship to explore. Everywhere I went was very nice and enjoyable. The ship is so big that I never even got to the Viking Crown Lounge or the Rising Tide Bar (although I did see it). So much to do and because of all of these different areas, the ship never really felt crowded. Two quick complaints: first, I thought smoking was too prevalent on the pool deck (15). Smoking is allowed on the entire port side, which emcompasses the main pool and the sports pool. This leaves the beach pool as the only non-smoking adult pool available (besides the Solarium). Why are two of the pools smoking and only one non-smoking? Royal Caribbean should eliminate or at least reduce the smoking on this deck. The second complaint is also regarding smoking. The entire aft section of Deck 4 (outside of the casino) smells of smoke. It penetrates into the dining room and the stairwells. I would have thought this newer ship would have better filtration systems in place. Hopefully they can rectify this situation in dry dock. Fitness and Recreation Wow - tough to complain about much here. The FlowRiders are awesome. I really enjoyed myself there and met some great people while in line. They have a huge sports court, and several opportunities for games. I spoke to one of the sports staff, and he said that the ship was sailing with four less sports staff than they needed due to various issues. Unfortunately, this resulted in one of the rock walls being closed most of the time. It also resulted in one of the volleyball sessions being unhosted by staff. We still had a good time, but it would have been better if staff were running things. It seemed like they could have had a few other events in the sports court - I played dodgeball and volleyball twice, and soccer once. I think they had a couple basketball tournaments. Over seven days though, it seems like they could have had a few more hosted competitions. Mini golf was fun, but one of the few areas of the ship that needs some attention. It looks good from afar, but when you start playing on it, you will see what I mean. The fitness facility was tremendous. It had a plethora of machines, and never seemed crowded. It was also very nice to jog on Deck 5 where you could run around the entire ship as opposed to the tiny tracks usually high up on the ship where you are dodging lounge chairs and oblivious passengers who like to stop or socialize on the track. It is only 2.4 laps per mile, and there are great views and chairs on the aft section - great for runners, walkers, or just observers. I highly recommend checking out the aft of Deck 5 even if you aren't exercising on the track. Also, don't miss the chance to ride the zip line or the carousel - where else could you do either of those easily, especially on a moving ship? Likewise for the ice skating sessions. Entertainment Again, wow! You won't find better entertainment on any other ship (except maybe Oasis or Quantum, which are probably comparable). The Aqua show was my favorite. It has more diving than O at Bellagio or Le Reve at Wynn, and is a more fun show. Really really incredible when you remember that you are on a moving cruise ship. Blue Planet was very good, as was Chicago. We also really enjoyed the ice shows. The headliner was a Journey tribute band, and they were excellent - it felt like a real rock show. The comedians were both really good. I enjoyed Dan Naturman, who some will remember from last season on America's Got Talent. I feel that Carnival does a much better job with comedy on their ships since they have two comedians in the beginning of the week and two at the end who each do multiple different shows. This ship only allows you to make reservations for one comedy show. Also, many of the jokes were recycled and used again during the family comedy show in the main theater on the last night. You'd think they would use different material for that show, but much was the same. Overall though, the entertainment was exceptional. Oh - I'll also mention that the staff FlowRider show on the last day was awesome! Ports/Excursions This cruise did the Western Caribbean, so we visited Labadee, Falmouth, and Cozumel. Labadee is just a great beach day. I was however disappointed to see that they have removed the volleyball court from the island. I remember playing some great games there in the past, so I don't understand why they would take this down. The bbq they provide is good - they have burgers, dogs, jerk chicken, ribs, and sides. The desserts weren't too inspired, but I ate my share on the ship, so that was fine. The beach to the right was very peaceful, while fairly strong waves were hitting the other side. I always enjoy going to Labadee. We didn't do too much in Falmouth. We had planned to go to the Blue Hole and Dunn's River Falls, but after our initial travel snafu, we didn't feel like poking the tiger again. We left the ship late and just strolled the shops inside the pier as well as those just outside. We bought a unique, hand carved, wooden tree with removable leaves and birds from a nice guy we met outside the gates. The folks outside are a bit more aggressive, but we never felt in danger or threatened by them. In Cozumel we swam with dolphins, an excursion we booked through the ship. The price was very reasonable - just over $100 each. I've seen these excursions in other ports for almost $300. It took place in Chankanaab National Park, which was an awesome place. Admission there is $20 each on its own, and when you figure in the included transportation, the dolphin part of the trip really only cost about $70 each. We really enjoyed the time we spent with the dolphins. I highly recommend this excursion and spending time in Chankanaab. The reef there where you can snorkel is great as well - lots of fish to see and a quick dropoff to a water depth of about 20 feet. The water was crystal clear. The only negative with this excursion is that they really try to rip you off with the photos. They initially said the CD of all photos was $140, and then came down to $100. One printed photo is $40! If they sold printed photos for $10-15 and the CD for $50, I think most people would buy them. As it is, I'm not sure, but I can say they lost $50 on me. The CD costs pennies and the photographer has already done the work, why not just make a reasonable profit? Value For Money There is still a price premium to be paid when sailing Oasis class ships. I think they will continue to drop more as the next couple of new Royal ships come out. Just remember that you are getting a much different product than most other ships. If you are just going to sit by the pool, you may be better off with a lesser ship. But if you like doing different things, then this ship is for you! This was probably the first cruise where I really felt like I needed another week to check everything out. I wanted to spend some more time in the Jazz Club, eat more times at the different food establishments, and I never feel like I've spent too much time on the FlowRider! I will definitely sail this class of ships again, especially since the upcoming dry dock will result in different shows. From a value standpoint, I'd still say Carnival does a better job. I sailed the Breeze in December (admittedly a time of lesser demand, and in an inside cabin), but an 8 night sailing on the Breeze was slightly less than half the cost of this one. But if you have the money to spend, this ship is great. Summary All in all we had a great time, and I still feel super blessed that we even made it onboard. That first meal in the Windjammer (although scraps of things I probably wouldn't have even tried) was one of my best on a cruise ship - just knowing that we made it, we had successfully surprised my Dad without blowing it, and we were about to spend a week on one of the best ships afloat. I'd highly recommend this ship to anyone but the least mobile people. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
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
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
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
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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