26 Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Caribbean - Western

My mom and I took the Allure of the Seas as our very first cruise and were awe-struck by its size! The service was impeccable and the staff were all just amazing and friendly. I read another review on here and can't help but agree ... Read More
My mom and I took the Allure of the Seas as our very first cruise and were awe-struck by its size! The service was impeccable and the staff were all just amazing and friendly. I read another review on here and can't help but agree that the nickel and diming is a bit aggregious. For the cost of what is essentially a 4 or 5-star hotel on water, I would expect more things on the ship to be included in the price. You constantly had to check to confirm what what was and was not included. Also, while it is great that the cruise offers drink packages, there was a huge difference in the ulitimate package and the basic sodas package. There needed to be one in between for just wine and beer or something similar. A cost of $58 per day per person for drinks included came out to $1K for 2 people for 7 days with tax. Even at $13 for the highest price cocktail, you still had to drink 4.5 to break even each day. I felt like I ended up spending a lot more money than I should have because of being on the ship. I was also a bit frustrated with the amount of "travel" and exceptions I encountered. The Ft. Lauderdale airport or perhaps just American Airlines there won't let you check a bag more than 4 hours before your planned departure. Having departed the ship at 11:00 AM, I had to sit in baggage claim for 2.5 hours before I could go through security. There was nothing to eat or do and I had no choice but to wait. You would think due to the number of people who are coming off of cruise ships that they would at least allow you to check your bag then go through security and wait at a restaurant. Overall, we had an amazing time full of memories and were happy we went but I am not so sure that another cruise is in my future--I may just need to go back to all-inclusive resorts where I can find a spot and stay there. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was my first cruise. There were 14 in our group sailing together, with 3 of us sharing one stateroom. Definitely get a ocean balcony room. It made the room feel larger. We were on the 7th deck and we didn't feel much of the boat ... Read More
This was my first cruise. There were 14 in our group sailing together, with 3 of us sharing one stateroom. Definitely get a ocean balcony room. It made the room feel larger. We were on the 7th deck and we didn't feel much of the boat moving. You could feel it on the promonade deck though and in the theaters. The ship was clean and didn't feel too crowded despite having about 6,000 people on board. Entertainment was great. Solarium section was great, much more quiet than the other pools which got crowded very early. Lots of rude passengers though so be ready. Had a big issue with the ultimate beverage package which was supposed to include Starbucks, but it didn't. Had to spend 2 days and several hours arguing with a service manager to fix it. Very annoying so read the fine print on everything before you buy. Food: Food was very good. We mostly dined in the main dining room for dinner and Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. We dined at Giovanni's, which was excellent. Izumi was very good as well. Both were worth the extra money. Didn't go to Chops but ordered the Fillet twice from the main dining room and it was wonderful. Entertainment: 70's night was the best. The game shows were fun as well. Ports and excursions: Snorkeling with the turtles in Cozumel was crowded but we did see turtles. Jamaica was overrated and very poor. I was surprised at Labadee and how much I actually liked it, except for the harassing shops. We did the Safari Snorkel excursion and it was a lot of fun. The beaches were crowded. Disembarking: Amazing how fast and efficient the ship was at getting everyone off at port. Got off the ship, got my bag, and through customs in about 45 minutes. Packing: I packed way too much. I only used about half of what I brought but definitely bring an extra back or extra room if you plan to shop. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We were very excited to cruise on Royal Caribbean for the first time on one of the biggest ships with friends. We had been on other cruise lines in the past, we had excellent service ad experience so we were very excited. The check in ... Read More
We were very excited to cruise on Royal Caribbean for the first time on one of the biggest ships with friends. We had been on other cruise lines in the past, we had excellent service ad experience so we were very excited. The check in process before boarding was great, it went very fast and I was grateful, because the friends we were traveling with were crown and anchor members and went through a different line. It only took us about 15 minutes longer so not a big deal! We were excited to get on the ship, but instead of happy faces greeting us, we experience people pointing us to the anti-bacterial gel. No one really directing at the door, you had to walk in the main area and look around for someone. A little strange for such a big ship. Our cabin steward was not very helpful and not really around much. It took 2 days before we actually met him. It was very different from our previous experience on cruises. In fact, our past cabin stewards were so fantastic it made our trip. We also had problems getting help to fix our tv, your ship account was supposed to show up there, our tv remote wouldn't work and our account wasn't available. To get the TV fixed I called 3 times and had to go down to customer service before it was finally fixes. We had ordered the soda beverage package, but didn't have the souvenir cup in our room like we should have, when I called about the tv I also checked on the cup. No one helped us until the next day all of a sudden we had 3 cups in our room instead of 1. Our first night dinner was very chaotic and uncomfortable. There so many people walking back and forth by our table that it we couldn't focus on our dinner, we were avoiding get hit by carts and people. In addition, our servers were not really available because there were so busy. Because the first night seems to set the mood for the remaining part of the trip, it wasn't all that impressive. Our cabin was fine, but we only had the fun towel animals 3 times during the week which was a bit disappointing. The one last thing that needs to be changed on the ship, is the casino is a smoking area and it leaks into the halls so much, I couldn't stand in the halls by the doors or walk through the casino because I couldn't breathe. All in all we determined that the ship was too big for a normal cruise. It doesn't allow the same type of service that we have experienced in the past. Everyone was very nice, but it wasn't the same level of greatness! It would be a great boat for across the ocean because there was so much to do. We will not sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The Ship itself is well kept and beautiful. The Stateroom was nice and the State room attendant was very nice. The bartenders ...............some were snobs and others were nice ! However, you need to be prepared to spend a lot more ... Read More
The Ship itself is well kept and beautiful. The Stateroom was nice and the State room attendant was very nice. The bartenders ...............some were snobs and others were nice ! However, you need to be prepared to spend a lot more once on board the ship as a lot of stuff is not included and its extra ..............a lot extra. Six of us went and we had an "okay" time compared to other destinations. The food at the Windjammer buffer is mediocre at best and its the same thing every day. The bread tastes like cardboard and there is no omelette station which is standard at most other resorts. Plus there is no pre-listing of what themed night it is so you don't know what you are getting I..e Chinese or Mexican or Asian or what ? Its go and see for yourself ! Waiters in buffet are very unattentive. Main dining hall was good but again repetitive after a few days............they just rotate around the menu. Staff is much better there and go out of the way to make you feel comfortable. Still rate it a 7/10. The food overall is bland and tasteless and had to keep adding salt and black pepper to everything ! Kids club for my 4 year old was excellent...........no complaints there ! Activities were good i.e. shows etc. but by no means out of this world............seen better ! Most venues to see shows such as karoke and games etc. were full capacity so you had to end up leaving if you didn't get there about 15-20 mins prior to start. Too many people.............................try a smaller boat like Norwegian Epic ! This is a "pay extra" for everything cruise so if you don't like that then you have a problem ! We spent about $800-1000 extra per person on board including drink package and excursions and starbucks etc. That just seems like a lot of money when you can pay to go to a 5-star resort like Sandals or Riu for less ! Would I recommend it .............................sorry but no..............won't be using Royal Carribean again ! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I went on the allure of the seas on march 22 with my parents, grandpa, and two older sisters for a 7 night western caribbean cruise. The ship was absolutely beautiful from the moment we got on and embarkation went quickly and smoothly. ... Read More
I went on the allure of the seas on march 22 with my parents, grandpa, and two older sisters for a 7 night western caribbean cruise. The ship was absolutely beautiful from the moment we got on and embarkation went quickly and smoothly. Even though there were quite a few people on the ship (our particular cruise was booked solid) it never felt two crowded (except at the elevators when a show got out.) Our room was small and not exactly what we were expecting because we were going to get an excusable room close to the rest of my family (we meaning me and my two sisters, three of us in the room all together) this made for a long walk to the other side of the ship to get to them to meet them. We had two twin beds and I slept on the fold down couch. Our room was a boardwalk view room on the 9th floor and surprisingly enough was quite quiet. The only noise came from the small bell they rang for the carousel. Because of the size of our room, when all the beds were folded down and out, our room was probably 90% mattress and was difficult to keep organized with all of our stuff. Our cabin stewardess was amazing and friendly. The food on board was super delicious, the only complaint would come from the style of food at 150 central park, a delicious restaurant with tiny portions and no choices on anything except wine. The problems i had on board were mainly with the drink packages and what you could and couldn't get. The drink package system was confusing, I would get charged for things that were suppose to be included like water bottles. Over all however, if your like me and don't drink alcohol, the lowest drink package is perfect because you can get virgin cocktails included. The shows were entertaining, except I wasn't a huge fan of Chicago which was WAY over hyped. They had a Q and A with the captain about an upcoming dry dock in a few weeks, a few things are being moved around and changed like they're switching chicago to mama mia and moving the cupcake cupboard to the boardwalk. They cupcake cupboard was well worth extra cost as the cupcakes were amazing and the decorating class was fun (you get a free cupcake voucher to) The stores were small but fun to poke around in for a while but I never really bought anything. Ports of call were fun, I wouldn't really recommend the snorkeling in mexico, not a lot of snorkel time and too much beach time with charges on things we were told were free such as temporary tattoos (65 dollars for three small ones!) My only other complaint would be the attitude of royal caribbean workers after getting off the ship. We were yelled at multiple times and even threatened with the cops if we didn't move off of the sidewalk quickly. We hit some rough seas on the way from mexico to florida and I was pretty sea sick most of that night but thats not the ships fault. I never did the zipline on board as the line was usually too long, nor did i do the rock wall for the same reasons. Over all I recommend this ship and cruise, but look out for quite a few kids. The ship was great, but next time were probably going on a princess ship because thats what my parents like. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
My husband & I are in our 50's & wanted to save money on our cruise. Here are our suggestions. FREE FOOD: Dog House (Boardwalk) deck 6 hot dogs & brats. Closes at 6p. Across from Dog House next to Zoltar are donuts in ... Read More
My husband & I are in our 50's & wanted to save money on our cruise. Here are our suggestions. FREE FOOD: Dog House (Boardwalk) deck 6 hot dogs & brats. Closes at 6p. Across from Dog House next to Zoltar are donuts in AM only. Main Dining Room/Adagio deck 3 for breakfast; deck 4 for lunch/supper if you DON'T have Your Own Time dining; deck 5 for supper for Your Own Time dining. This is a high class place & it's FREE!!!!! Windjammer (buffet) deck 16 has all kinds of food. Comments from previous people hated this place. They took care of that & now the food is great! Cafe Promenade deck 5. Fantastic shrimp stuffed mini-subs! Everything free here except what is listed on the wall with prices. Try the cheesecake pops! Hot coffee & hot tea is free here. Wipeout Cafe deck 15 has free ice cream, fresh fruit, sandwiches, healthier food. Also has ice tea & other drinks. Serve yourself frozen yogurt by kids pools deck 15. DRINKS: You do NOT have to get a drink package. However, if you are a soda nut like my husband & I, there is a cheap way to go. We purchased a SODA ONLY package. You get one mug that you can fill with water, soda, lemonade, ice tea. If you turn over the flier they show you (Promenade Deck) you will find the SODA ONLY package for $53. total for 7 days. You cannot buy a package for 1 day, they are all for the entire cruise. Without a package, it's hard to find good water at night. The mugs have a special magnet or computer chip that only works with these mugs. You CAN'T use a water cup—we tried! It just doesn't work. You can buy t-shirts with the ships logo on it at Deck 6 The Shop. In calm days you may feel the ship moving during docking, leaving & changing speeds. Usually you don't though. EXTRA TIPS: There are 2 ways to get to opposite end of ship (other than lower decks): *Go to deck 5, walk to other end, take elevator to deck you want. *Walk through stateroom halls to opposite end. Take a watch!!! Many people relied on their cell phones for time. However, every time we went to another time zone their time would change. The ship uses Eastern Standard Time/Florida time. Every excursion, & activity goes according to EST. The pools were cold in the AM, wait until later in the day to use them. Go to the hot tubs instead. When leaving for an excursion, push the star on the elevator for the gangway. The ship WILL wait for you if you go on a ship-sponsored excursion & follow the return time according to your tour guide to any bus or boat. If you bought excursions online, tickets will be waiting for you in your stateroom. Tickets will have meeting place & time on them. Cell phones are useless once you get on the ship. If you are with a group, take walkie talkies! It will save you a lot of time & energy! Ship drawings. Frequently the ship has drawings for various things. Your chances of winning is very slim. Don't waste your time. Meetings that are for info. For excursions is more of a push to buy jewelry & unless you plan on shopping the whole time, don't waste your time going to this. Formal Nights: good blue jeans is now acceptable. On formal nights you can get better meals at the Main Dining Room/Adagio! They had lobster tails one night. Remember this is FREE!!! Gratuities: We opted to prepay this so we wouldn't have any surpises later. DIRECTIONS/DECKS: 16 (TOWARDS BACK) Windjammer, Solarium, zip line. (BACK) Flowriders 15 (FRONT)Solarium upper level, Solarium Cafe. (CENTER)Kids water pools. (BACK) Wipeout, Oasis Dunes (putt-putt), Sports Courts. 14 (FRONT). Babysitting area, kids adventure areas. Sun deck—one of my favorite places for the views. 13 doesn't exist. 12-10 staterooms. 9 (TOWARDS BACK) Dazzles 8 (Center)Central Park, expensive $$$ restaurants. 7 (Back) Rock Climbing Wall 6 (FRONT) Spa/Fitness Center Area. (BACK) Boardwalk, Aqua Theater, Carousel, 5 (FRONT) Spa/Fitness Center lower level, Amber Theater. (GOES ALL THE WAY AROUND SHIP) track—great view of lifeboats. 4 (FRONT) Amber Theater lower level, Blaze, Comedy Live, Jazz on 4. (CENTER) Studio B, Casino 3 (CENTER OF SHIP)Ice Rink SOMETHING TO FIND OUT: What changes daily on the elevators? EXCURSIONS WE WENT ON: Labadee, Haiti: Royal Caribbean is leasing this private area of Haiti for 99 years. It's separated by a wall so you do not have to worry about the crime like in the usual population of Haiti. It is pristine & a tropical paradise. The sea water is clean & smells normal. Drink bottled water that you can buy. The ship brings the food from the Main Dining Room for a great buffet with punch & ice tea. It will be at one of the red pavilions farthest from the ship. Our excursion: Discover Haiti Tour—not the catamaran one. Sit on the upper level for the best view! You can get drinks out of a coconut. We had non-alcoholic ($4) & didn't like it too much. Others had alcoholic drinks & loved them. Local music played while the tour guide gave us information about the culture. Several of us saw dolphin fins as we were starting out. The views were great! We saw many Haitians in their small boats fishing & checking their lobster traps. After the boat trip, we went swimming. The beaches were nice with lots places to lay out in the sun. After a nice dip in the ocean, we had the free meal the ship provided. Then, we shopped in the area. The enclosed building is the cheapest for all souvenirs. The local vendors are very pushy & aggressive. Don't let them put necklaces on you, because then they will try to charge you a large amount. Even if they lower the price, it will be more than at the enclosed building. After shopping, we returned to the beach for more swimming. We loved Labadee & want to go back! Falmouth, Jamaica: we were shocked when we got there. A group of Chinese from another ship paid cash for the excursions AFTER our ship booked everyones. Some of the excursions for us were cancelled. They also overbooked our tour bus by 4, so 4 people had to get off & get their money back. Our excursion: Snorkel Cruise & Dunn's River Falls. TAKE SNACKS & ANY MONEY YOU TAKE, MAKE SURE YOU PUT IT IN A WATERPROOF BAG & ATTACH TO YOUR SWIMSUIT. Due to the water activities, you will have to leave your bags with the tour guides. I did not like the idea of leaving my things with them. There was a long 45 min. bus ride, then a short boat trip out to the reefs. Don't let the girls on the boat braid your hair! They will later try to charge you $3./braid for 10 braids! Snorkeling—you will have a life jacket around your waste, turned backwards so you actually float & snorkel. This worked out great! We snorkeled for 30 min. & saw many small colorful fish & reefs with organisms on them. I took a waterproof camera & got some cool pics! Dunn's River Falls—you climb the falls hand-in-hand. This is very strenous. If you can't do it, don't be scared to tell them. There IS another way up the falls—a wooden staircase hidden behind the bushes. It's a LONG way to the top & you can't tell from the bottom how far up it is. Everyone tells you you should tip them. Remember, you don't have to. After the falls, we had a 10 min. drive to a hotel where we had a quick free lunch at 4pm. We got one drink—punch or water—free. Everyone was starving by this time. We got back to port in time to do about 15 min. of shopping before running back to the ship. Cozumel, Mexico: You can't take fruit into Mexico. (They have fruit-sniffing dogs as soon as you get off the ship.) Our excursion: Chichen Itzu Mayan Ruins. You take a 45 min. ferry ride to the mainland. Several people had sea sickeness. You need water for the trip & you can buy it for $2./bottle on the ship. I suggest you take 2 per person. The bus ride is 2 hrs. & very boring. We were given a bag with: 1 muffin, condiments, a banana, juice box & potato chips. Save the condiments for later. After seeing the ruins, we were handed a sub sandwich & a soda. The ruins were great! Take insect repellant just in case. There were acres of ruins. We were given time after the tour to wander around ruins & to shop. There were plenty of local vendors selling colorful t-shirts, blankets, etc. You can get a great price too! DON'T take swimwear! You won't be around water. There are plenty of iguanas at the ruins that don't seem to be scared of tourists. Get back to the bus on time or you WILL be left behind. There were at least 2 people that weren't back in time & we left them there. It was 92 degrees in Feb. so wear a large brimmed hat! SHOWS WE SAW: Ice Skate—Monopoly. This was our favorite show! Blue Planet—acrobats & singing. Loved it! OceanAria—diving, trampoline, water. Loved this one too! World's Sexiest Man Contest—laughed so hard! Bellyflop Contest—gotta see it! 2 comedians—my adult son had to see them twice! Tony Tillman—great singing & quite a dancer! Chicago—don't miss this! TV INFO: Channel 40 shows ship location, speed, current temp. & camera shows what is in front of ship. Channel 15 showed some info. About excursions (except Jamaica or the Mayan Ruins we went to). This channel is mostly about shopping for jewelry though. There are other channels that show ship info. Too. Also, a few regular channels.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
My wife and I have cruised Norwegian lines in the past. Friends have been telling us try Royal Caribbean "you won't go back to any other line". He was right, we sailed aboard Allure of the Seas so listen, from the moment we ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised Norwegian lines in the past. Friends have been telling us try Royal Caribbean "you won't go back to any other line". He was right, we sailed aboard Allure of the Seas so listen, from the moment we boarded on deck 5 I could not believe the beauty of the ship. Everything was there restaurants, shops, live trees, flowers, ice show, carrousel, pools, food, food, and more food. there were lights friendly staff, buffet was right on point. then the Stateroom w/balcony was just beautiful and the view from the balcony as we entered each port was just as wonderful. I could go on and on but YOU need to do this. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Ok so this was my first cruise ever but it truly was amazing. Embarkation took about 30 minutes (we started around 12). We toured the ship a bit and went to eat in the Windjammer. It was busy but no problems getting a table for six. We ... Read More
Ok so this was my first cruise ever but it truly was amazing. Embarkation took about 30 minutes (we started around 12). We toured the ship a bit and went to eat in the Windjammer. It was busy but no problems getting a table for six. We didn't check for our room until after 1 and it was ready when we did. The superior stateroom with a balcony would be perfect for 2 adults - unfortunately there were 3 of us and it was crowded. Not enough space for all of our stuff. Thank goodness for the balcony and for our room attendant Floyd !! There is always something to do on this ship, besides the pools, bars, shows, and restaurants. The zip line, rock climbing, table tennis, basketball court, library, card/game room, casino, etc. The extra's were fun, we enjoyed the sexiest man in the world contest, the belly flop contest, the trivia competitions, and took advantage of the flash sales on the promenade - a bit of a frenzy here but most times worth it. I have no complaints about the food, the MDR was excellent, Windjammer very convenient, some of my group enjoyed the boardwalk dog and the donuts as well as Johnny Rockets for Hamburgers. Giovannis Table is well worth the extra $25 make sure you go there HUNGRY, it's a lot of food and was fun to try everything, our waiter Alexo was wonderful! There is only one thing I have to complain about - the cost of the photos - I'm pretty sure you're target market here is not the working class from the Atlantic provinces.This is very unfair - $140 for 10 photos is ridiculous so we were unable to buy any of them and there were some really nice ones. RC needs to change this - you can keep your expensive packages but make something affordable for all classes of cruisers - not just those from more affluent areas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The pools were small so we chose our times there carefully for early morning or late evening to avoid the crowds and enjoyed a hot tub or two as well. We had no problem finding a seat at any time of the day, as long as you could stand the heat - that Caribbean weather is a lot more hot and humid than NS. My favorite excursion was by far the Jet Skiing in Labadee - amazing (I included more details in the excursion review). The parasailing was also very nice. Cozumel, Mexico has lots of shopping and yes they are very pushy but not rude. Although my mother left her clip-on sunglass at one of the upstairs shops and when I retraced our steps to try and find it they tried to sell it back to me for $20 - he eventually said he was kidding but I think someone else told him (in mexican?) to stop. So other than the incessant pushiness - there are some shops that aren't pushy at all and there are a lot of touristy items to buy here.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My wife and I were celebrating our 20th Anniversary. It was our first cuise. I did my homework and picked the ship with the most to do. It also had very good reviews. We were very impressed. The cruise was everything we dreamed it would ... Read More
My wife and I were celebrating our 20th Anniversary. It was our first cuise. I did my homework and picked the ship with the most to do. It also had very good reviews. We were very impressed. The cruise was everything we dreamed it would be. The Central Park balcony was perfect. The food was great. The service was outstanding. Antonio and Igor were excellent wait staff. Lena our stateroom attendant was incredible. They were geniunely concerned for our comfort and needs. They made our trip one to rememeber. I don't know why we waited so long to take a cruise. We will be back on the seas very soon with the entire family. We will definetly using Royal Carribean Cruise lines again. Do your homework and plan your cruise. This ship has so much to offer. In order to maximize your fun, pre-plan entertainment and excursions prior to the cruise. We did two excursions which added greatly to our fun. Carolynn Barett Adventures in Jamaica was outstanding ( Secret Falls and water tubing) and Resortsforaday in Cozumel. We did the all inclusive at Cozumel Palace for the day (100 dollars per person ). The snorkeling in Cozumel was outstanding ( right off pool patio). They offered a hospitality room which we did not use. Highly recommend both companies. The Allure of the Seas is awesome. We never felt crowded. The design makes use of every inch of the ship. The drink packages on the ship are expensive. We are light drinkers and chose not to buy. If you drink a lot, you should buy it. Drinks are expensive. We spent about $200 on drinks during the cruise including two bottles of wine bought at port prior to boarding. Ignore all of the up selling, They do a lot of it. Focus on all the fun you're going to have. Tom Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This was our first cruise ... and one of only a handful of real vacations we've ever had. I recently retired and booked this cruise - almost accidentally. I don't remember having much of a discussion about it ... it just sort of ... Read More
This was our first cruise ... and one of only a handful of real vacations we've ever had. I recently retired and booked this cruise - almost accidentally. I don't remember having much of a discussion about it ... it just sort of happened. I guess this too-long nasty winter affected my brain. Anyway, I was prepared not to like it because I abhor crowds and standing on line. I also thought that I would rather explore destinations in a less touristy fashion. But, overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Arriving at the docks (already difficult due to traffic congestion at the port) I was awed by all the huge ships ... and especially the Allure - which looked like two or three large apartment buildings stuck together. Embarkation was annoying. I think Royal Caribbean has done a lot to make the process smooth and I doubt that I could come up with any ideas to make it work better (actually, maybe I could) but it really is a massive crowd and we did stand on line for too long to be comfortable (probably more than half an hour). (How might I improve things? Maybe have a longer window of time for embarkation ... perhaps begin earlier. I understand that this might affect pre/post security inspections and sailing times and extend turn-around times. It really is a cattle drive. The first of a few.) Once on board everything was fine. There's lots to do before going to the cabin. The first thing I noticed was how good and plentiful and accessible food was. I had read reviews criticising the food and food service but my initial impression (which was confirmed throughout the cruise) was that the food was great and the food service exemplary and that great food was always available - free of additional charge! While we spent a lot of extra money beyond the initial cruise price on extras but we really didn't have to. One can have a wonderful vacation on the Allure without spending an extra penny on food or excursions - with perhaps a notable exception that I was going to address later but perhaps will now. One of my apprehensions about going on a cruise vacation (or a resort-type) involves social justice and character. I find it difficult to reconcile a luxury vacation made more affordable on the backs of people whose lot in life is the result of being accidently born in the wrong place. Clearly cruise companies (and patrons) take advantage of the fact that there is a plentiful supply of cheap labour in the world in order to save money. While the workers on the ship are surely lucky to have the jobs they get on these ships, they are (in my view) compensated at a level far below first-world standards. I stand to be corrected, but it seems that the cruise operators are able to operate outside of employment standards that would be regulated within countries such as Canada or the United States. So, this creates discomfort for me - that I could be treated like a king by those who are only in the position of serving me due to an accident of birth(place) and that they would be subject to harsher working conditions that would be acceptable for our own children. So, to assuage my guilt I tried to tip as generously as possible - well beyond the pre-paid or automatically applied gratuities. those who wish to make a contribution to third-world conditions have an opportunity to do so directly on these cruise ships. I am more than a little disturbed by some of the complaints I read in these reviews about gratuities. The people I met on this cruise (employees) were exemplary and perform well above and beyond what could be reasonably expected. Indeed, many of the patrons on this cruise would do well to take a lesson on manners and decorum from these wonderful people - and I'll have more to say about this later perhaps. But anyway, my advice to my fellow cruisers... tip until it hurts. It's the right thing to do. My advice to cruise operators ... continue to try and find ways of treating your staff according to the way we'd want our children treated. I understand that the 'profit motive' is a very powerful determinant of how the business is run ... but the world is what we make of it and those who can, should lead. Some of what I write here might be a little controversial and the wonderful people who looked after me on the ship might be uncomfortable being associated with my comments, so, without mentioning names, kudos to the waiters and assistance waiters and head waiters at Adagio! Wonderful (you even took away cutlery that was not needed - sparing me the agony of trying to figure out which fork to use :-) Thank you ever so much our wonderful stateroom attendant. If we dropped a hanky it seemed like you would be there to catch it! Outstanding. And thank you to all the restaurant workers (Kudos Windjammer!) and everyone else who went above and beyond to treat me like a king (while always smiling - even while some of us patrons could be rude and boorish). So, on with the cruise review... Let me say that my wife and I started to share a little catch phrase... "You know, we`re on a boat right?" We'd say this from time to time as we were often incredulous that the experience we were having was happening on a ship! I think the Allure is a couple of years old ... but it seemed brand new. Everything we saw or touched was clean and shiny and appeared new. (further testament to the incredible staff). Our stateroom seemed perfect. I guess when one is building a 1.5 billion dollar ship that we`ll take care to carefully plan details. Our stateroom was perfect. I sensed (throughout the vacation) that the profit motive directed everything and the stateroom, in my view, exemplified this. The owners have designed the stateroom to maximize space. It`s a pretty small room but the designers have cleverly created a comfortable and efficient accommodation. I never felt cramped (even though I over-packed). The bathroom was amazing! The balcony was just right (except it would have been better if it could have had lounge chairs - although it`s probably too small. Our stateroom attendant scrounged up an ottoman-like thing which made it possible to sit with our feet up. We didn`t ask for this ... I`m not even sure how he learned that we needed it.) And as I mentioned, he seemed to be cleaning and organizing our stateroom whenever we looked the other way. I have never experienced such attentive service! We had good weather the whole time. There was a bit of wind and chop as we were returning to Florida but it was always difficult to feel any rocking of the ship - and we were on an upper deck. It was a very smooth experience. I personally enjoyed spending time on the balcony enjoying the weather, the views and the sound of the water. (This was interrupted whenever our neighbours used their balcony - they were loud talkers. So whenever they were out - I went in :-( (Another note to cruisers ... please consider each other and our personal spaces.) All the free restaurants (and there were plenty) were fantastic. The food was a highlight for us. And all the entertainment venues were great. Sometimes it was hard to get into popular venues due to the huge population on the ship. But if one thing was full, it wasn`t hard to find something else to do. Crowds and standing on-line is the cost of making a cruise affordable I guess - so, one must tolerate this. (Are there more expensive options that allow for less crowded conditions while still being able to enjoy a large variety of entertainment options?) I think the company does an amazing job of balancing the number of cruisers with the number of venues. I sure couldn't do any better if I was in charge. So yeah, we are not uber-rich (by North American standards) but we are fortunate to enjoy a cruise - something that would have been a much more exclusive luxury in the past. So kudos to Royal Caribbean for making this possible. At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon or something I feel compelled to say that the 'luxury cruise' experience was, for me, diminished by the rude and boorish behaviour of some (some!) of my fellow cruisers. As I mentioned - some of us would do well to take a lesson from the staff, but here's some tips that if adopted, would make the experience better for all... 1) Don't reserve things like dining tables or lounge chairs by putting towels or personal object on them for more than just a couple minutes. It's rude and unfair. (I never got to use a lounge chair in a choice location even though MOST of them sat vacant for hours!) 2) Let people OFF the elevator before you try to barge on. 3) Don't jump the queues 4) Don't be LOUD - on your balcony, at dinner, in the theatres. PLEASE don't talk during performances. 5) Please follow suggestions regarding dress code. (for example, on formal nights in the restaurant - try to go with the theme as best you can ... or maybe skip the venue that particular time and eat somewhere else.) It's a little bit of dress-up play acting to wear a suit to dinner. The experience is diminished if the patrons at the table beside you are in shorts and sandals. (I know, I know ... "I paid for my cruise - I'll do what I want!" - it doesn't hurt to be considerate of others' enjoyment - it makes life better for everyone. After up-charge, wine and gratuities our special evening at 150 Central Park cost us almost $200. It was a special occasion for us and we dressed up for it. The experience was diminished because the ambience was changed as some patrons came dress... you guessed it ... in casual attire.) 6) Say please and thank you. Wait your turn. 7) Don't leave your garbage or dirty dishes lying around just anywhere... use the garbage cans, put your dirty dishes someplace appropriate. Yeah, there were around 6000 cruisers on the boat. The only thing that made this less tolerable is that some of us need to occupy our personal spaces with more consideration for others. Just a little. Please. Gawd ... I'm going on and on. I should stop for a minute and thank the majority of our fellow cruisers for being considerate and polite. Thank you! Regarding ports of call. I would encourage new cruisers to seriously plan for them ahead of time. If lounging on the beach is your thing, then there's not a problem (but in Jamaica and Mexico you'll be well advised to pre-book transportation to a beach) We only pre-booked one shore excursion - horseback riding in Cozumel. It was one of the highlights of our cruise. Labadee was fine ... although you are fenced off from the actual country and must remain in the Royal Caribbean compound. This isn't such a bad thing if a carefree park-like day is your thing - which it was for us on this day. But, there again, the nagging guilt of being in an exclusive compound - protected from the natives. I don't personally enjoy lounging in the sun so I spent hours in the ocean. There was good souvenir shopping - within the compound. In Jamaica you disembark into a port compound as well. There is shopping and restaurants there - very commercialized. We stepped out of the compound and for us, this was pretty awful. You exit into something of a trapper`s alley and are swarmed by sellers of trinkets, personal services, drugs and taxi rides/excursions. So, unless you are bold, don't do it. Pre-arrange something. We didn't and ended up booing a last-minute bus ride to a private beach (Red Stripe Beach). The beach was just okay. The bus ride (operated by the beach company) was like $30 dollars each return (10 minutes or so) and then when you got to the beach, if you wanted a chair - that was $5 more, each! And so on. So yeah, take care to plan your shore excursions. Or stay on the boat - which is kinda nice too - as it will be quiet. We saw Chicago (the musical), Mo5iac, Green Planet and the water show. All the shows were thrilling. Some of the feats of strength and acrobatics took our breath away! The Amber theatre is an amazing venue (more than once we leaned over to remind each other that we were on a boat :-) Disembarkation was uncomfortable. We did express disembarkation and while it was a zoo, I sense it was better that using the regular disembarkation ... but I don't know. We didn't plan our flight arrivals and departures well. I recommend arriving the day before and getting a hotel and perhaps having a hotel at the pother end too - or at least book your return flight well into the afternoon. We were fine, but the start and finish of the vacation was a bit hectic. PS. Taxis to and from the airport ran about $20-25 give or take a tip. It was tricky for us to get a cab from the hotel on the morning of the embarkation.... they were really busy - there's thousands of people going on board quite a few ships on the same day.. So, I hope this helps novice cruisers. For us, this trip represented excellent entertainment and vacation value. It is possible to have an amazing time within the prepaid itineraries and dining plan. It's a great value - so paying for a few extras, if you can afford them, is fair. For us, it was an amazing time and we may cruise again. I believe Royal Caribbean works very hard to provide the best cruise experience for patrons while also providing value for shareholders (a conflict that they manage well). Again, I cannot say enough about the amazing crew and service personnel - they make the difference between a good vacation and a GREAT one. We had a GREAT time. Please, please tip generously (PS 15% is not generous - it's the generally accepted MINIMUM) it's only fair.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Background: This was our honeymoon cruise, we are both 25 and live in New Jersey. This is my second cruise but first with RCI and his first cruise. We were married on Friday, flew on Saturday, and sailed on Sunday. Ship: It was huge but ... Read More
Background: This was our honeymoon cruise, we are both 25 and live in New Jersey. This is my second cruise but first with RCI and his first cruise. We were married on Friday, flew on Saturday, and sailed on Sunday. Ship: It was huge but because of my extensive research I did not have much of that surprise everyone talks about but it was fun to watch his face. We had an ocean view balcony on deck 9 and it was perfect!!! It was my first balcony (had an inside the first time) and I don't think I could cruise again without a balcony. We utilized our balcony a lot, we had breakfast on it, sat in the sun, watched the pier/port, and enjoyed the stars. Activities: We tried to do everything the ship had to offer, the zip-line, mini golf, rock wall climbing, ice skating. We never got around to the flow rider but the zip-line was my favorite. We saw all the shows offered, Chicago was good but I have seen it on Broadway, but I still think they did a good job. Blue plant was good with all the acrobatics but the theme was a bit eccentric. Ice games was cute and the talent was impressive. The Headliner was Earl Turner and he was very good at what he does, but his music was a bit old for us, a lot of Motown. But I did hear that he was a huge hit with the older crowd. The comedians were really funny, but definitely don't bring your kids! And my favorite show was the Aqua show, OceanAria. I could not believe they jumped from that high on a MOVING ship!!! It is a do not miss!Dinning: We had traditional dinning at 6pm. We were at a table of 4 and sat with another honeymoon couple who were very nice! Our head waiter was Joseph and got on the ship the same day we did, he knew the menu really well but not the ship. Our assistant waiter was also Joseph and he really stepped up to help out the head waiter with telling us everything around the ship. They both were very nice and helpful. We all thought the food was really good and found no need to pay for a specialty restaurant. For lunch and breakfast we tired as many free venues as possible. We did the free breakfast in Johnny rockets and it was really good, we did the dining room 3 times, once the buffet and twice the a la carte and the menu was better than the buffet. But the buffet is good if you are in a hurry. Also did the windjammer for breakfast and that wasn't too bad but the windjammer is always crowded. They make you stand in line and then take you to a table where you put your stuff down and then you go up to get your food. I guess its good so you don't have all your stuff when looking for a table. For lunch we tried the windjammer and the park cafe or room service. All were good! I purchased the soda package for him and he loved it, they only think is they need more free style machines. One in central park would be nice since it more mid ship then the others. He used the one in the promenade the most because the other two are way up on deck 15 in the food venues. Ports/Excursions: Labadee, Haiti was a beach day for us. They set up our chairs and a blue clam shell cabana for us at adrenaline beach. We stayed there until about lunch and then headed back to the ship. In Foulmouth, Jamaica we did river rafting down the rio bueno river. It was a blast. We had 6 people to a raft and the tour lasted about an hour then we stayed at a beach for about another hour where we could swim and bought some jerk chicken. Definitely would recommend this excursion to others. In Cozumel, Mexico we did an early excursion where we learned to ride a segway and rode them down the coast and then stopped at a Resort where you could swim and snorkel or get a drink and food from the bar. From there we headed back on our segways. It was really fun and really easy to use. Again highly recommend this excursion. Both excursions were booked through Royal Caribbean. Overall we had a great time and have no complaints. Yes I think we would do this ship again but I did miss the ocean views and the movement of the ship. I constantly forgot I was on a ship many times. I think I want to try a smaller ship before doing the big one again but definitely think everyone should try it!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We didn't know what to expect. We had never cruised before. The news lately had been very bad with cruises. Outbreaks of Norovirus, breakdowns at sea. Maybe cruising wasn't really for us. We took a leap of faith and went for ... Read More
We didn't know what to expect. We had never cruised before. The news lately had been very bad with cruises. Outbreaks of Norovirus, breakdowns at sea. Maybe cruising wasn't really for us. We took a leap of faith and went for the best. The Allure of the Seas has an excellent reputation. My first impression was of a very clean ship. I am an ICU nurse and know of the dangers of taking 6,000 people and putting them in a confined space. The rooms were spotless. The hallways were well maintained, vacumed frequently. There were Purell hand sanitizers outside of every resturant, boarding and departing station. The staff was present to remind guests to use at each location. We were also told to wash with soap and water. Purell does not kill Norovirus but soap and water will take care of it. There were a few who over indulged in alcohol and vomited in the hallway. The area was quickly corded off and a crew complete with masks arrived to clean the spot. Gusets were diverted away from the area immediately. The staff was exceptional. I have witnessed passengers having a bad moment and the staff went beyond what was reasonable and expected. I would never have the patience that they showed time and time again. I would never have been able to put up with the poor behavior shown by the passenger. We actually stayed close in case the staff member needed aid. The food was beyond expectation. Plentiful and given freely. My boyfriend fell in love with the Creme Brulee and asked for an additional serving. The Adagio staff went beyond and provided him one for later. We will be sailing again in the near future and will only sail on a Royal Carribbean ship. We loved the experience and can only say wonderful things about the line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Arriving at fort lauderdale international airport on saturday evening was the start of a dream come true.My husband and i flew from manchester in the uk,excited not only for a cruise on the biggest ship in the world but to see our son. We ... Read More
Arriving at fort lauderdale international airport on saturday evening was the start of a dream come true.My husband and i flew from manchester in the uk,excited not only for a cruise on the biggest ship in the world but to see our son. We were greated sunday morning at the hotel we had booked into for the night by our son who we had not seen since july 2012.Taking a taxi to the port we were greated by the most amazingly largest vessel we had ever layed eyes on thinking how on earth is this ship going to sail.We checked in and boarded wow what i sight to see,our son took us on a tour around this magnificent ship which was to be our home for the next seven nights. Our state room was big very comfortable extremely clean and very well equipped.we were amazed at everything this ship had to offer,the amount of passengers and crew was unbelievable but you never felt like it was crowded,there were a vast amount of bars restaurants pools deck chairs,things to do oh i could go on and on.We ate in some of the speciality restaurants and the windjammer,the food was second to none we couldnt fault it or the service.The shows well what can we say about these, Chicago,absolutley fantastic we watched each show and each time we did was amazed at how proffesional the cast were.Blue planet absolutley blew us away we have never seen anything like it and this show too we watched each one.Oceanaria another show which wowed us,every cast member from every show on this ship are very professional and fantastic.We went to watch How to train your dragon on ice,we joined in with Quest we watched the belly flop competition,pool volley ball between members of the cast and passengers,we played bingo inthe amber theatre,the parade the mob dance the cast do, everything just blew us away and that was just on the ship,we would wake early even when we didnt get in till 4;00am to watch the ship dock in Haiti,Jamaica and Mexico WOW awsome places to visit we climbed Dunns river falls what an experiance. We could go on and on and on about everything we did and enjoyed on this cruise and as for people saying its a relaxing way to holiday i dont think so,we never relaxed we wanted to do and see everything on board even though we didnt,but we will do next time bacause we will be sailing for two weeks this time in march 2014.We only have one complaint to make about the cruise and the ship and that was we had to disembark and go home.Royal caribbean you design and build the most amazing ships every little detail on board is second to none we thank you for allowing us to share the experiance.Tony & Caroline. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Our Allure experience from start to finish was truly amazing. We got married on her in the Chapel on the first day of sailing. 11/11/12. 1330. From Port check in to our wedding everything went perfect. The staff that assisted us at the ... Read More
Our Allure experience from start to finish was truly amazing. We got married on her in the Chapel on the first day of sailing. 11/11/12. 1330. From Port check in to our wedding everything went perfect. The staff that assisted us at the Port of Miami and then on board were fabulous. (Isis. Sandra. Leo. Anca.) On arrival on board 11.30 we put a notice on the ship message board to invite fellow cruisers to attend our wedding as we were getting married without family or friends. If any of those people are reading this review a big thank you for coming to our wedding..and making it special....We had about 20 people attend. The Cruise Director and his staff were amazing. Such a dedicated and talented group of people. The shows on board were exceptional. Especially the Blue Planet Show. From ice skating to diving to dance and song all shows were truly brilliant. All done on the high seas weather permitting as accidents could easily occur if weather was not favourable at the time of the shows. We were lucky enough to see some shows twice as we rebooked for a second week. We loved the ship so much that we ended up booking back to back cruises, thus we did Eastern and Western Carribean destinations. Our wedding dinner was at 150 Central and it was such a memorable night. Truly amazing food and great service. Food combinations were so interesting and proportionally sized as the courses just kept coming. A degustation menu which is the way to dine in this restaurant. All food on board Allure was of a high standard especially in the specialty restaurants. We are now home and have the post cruise blues and miss everything about Allure. Thanks Royal Carribean for making our wedding and honeymoon so special over the 14 days we cruised on her...Gayle and Christian Jordan. (Australia) Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We Left for our cruise early September a group of 48, celebrating some birthdays on board. I came on cruise critic where I found helpful information so I thought I should pay it back. Im new to cruises, but i am a frequent traveler, and ... Read More
We Left for our cruise early September a group of 48, celebrating some birthdays on board. I came on cruise critic where I found helpful information so I thought I should pay it back. Im new to cruises, but i am a frequent traveler, and frequently vacation to all inclusive resorts. BOARDING: Smooth process, arrived at 11:30AM, In the ship less than 45 minutes later, our entire group of 48 arrived by private bus. Everything was easy. Once on board, some went to the pool, some tried to eat at the WINDJAMMER, which was packed and not so good. ROOM: For a first timer, Our standard ocean balcony room was shockingly tiny. For 3+ persons i would recommend a junior suite. There is no tub, just shower head. The bathroom is about the size of an airplane bathroom. The balcony looking to the ocean is the way to go. The balcony is of good size. THe stateroom attendant was so helpful it was unbelievable. He deserves 5 stars himself, his name is Derry. Awesome person, provided the best service I have had anywhere in my travel; he was one of the highlights of the Allure. ELEVATORS: Full at most peak hours, sometimes waited 5+ minutes for an elevator, had to wait because we had a stroller for our child. If just my wife and I, stairs is the way to go at all times. DRINKING: I tried most of the frozen drinks and liquors on board. THe drinks are overpriced, especially the beers; but I expected that. Get ready to spend; this is one advantage of all inclusive high end resorts. EATING: WINDJAMMER- The windjammer is extremely packed for breakfast. Almost impossible to find a table for any party larger than two persons. The breakfast food is normal fare, nothing to rave about, nothing impressive, tired of it by the second day. For lunch, we ate here once, and again, nothing special, so I quickly grew to hate the place. For Dinner, we went here often because they had food our children liked. The food was unimpressive here. The deserts were disappointing, nothing special, did not want to waste my calories on average foods,average desserts. Service was not bad, and the workers were pleasant, the underwhelming food was not their fault. THE SUSHI RESTAURANT We had no reservations one night but were able to walk in. The sushi was good. I tried the lobster roll and the shrimp roll, and a couple of others and they were all good enough where I would recommend the place. I did feel that the prices were high; my Wife and I spent about $45 for 4 rolls, and a beer. This is what we pay while at home so there was not much value there as there was no discount from street pricing. The Chops Grille: It was not top Steakhouse quality, but it was better than eating in the MAIN DINING ROOM OR WINDJAMMER. The steak was a little fatty, but arrived at proper temperature. THe sides were good. The Desserts were excellent, the chocolate cake and the creme brule. I was expecting that quality of a dessert at the main dining room but that never happened. The appetizers were good, the crab cake and the tuna were both good, the portion of both items I felt were too small. The Main Dining Room (MY TIME): We went here on the LOBSTER night (Thursday) and the first night (Sunday). We never went back because the food was nothing to rave about. The menu sounds great, but when you try the food, it does not taste like what it is supposed to. An example I will give is the halibut, have had it many times, but this halibut tasted nothing like what Im used to. The same would occur with the other cuts of fish, it was always off taste. I also did not care for the dressing up every night; in my opinion its making a big deal out of nothing special. Some people dress in gowns to a dinner that is unimpressive at best; I dress in suits to go to work, so i do not see the fun in having to do it on vacation. The appetizers were just okay, nothing great. THe lobster was good, the desserts again were poor, service was always good or great. THe Solarium Restaurant: This is an awesome option to escape from the the WINDJAMMER for lunch and breakfast. There are less crowds at least The Park Cafe: THe roast beef sandwich saved me many a times, thanks to cruise critic reviews I knew about it, and it lived up to the expectations. The make your own salads were awesome. I ate here so many times, awesome place to eat at. Great wraps, and sandwiches. THE PIZZA SORENTOS: Some people on this forum hate on this place for no reason. I do not agree that it is microwave quality. They put it in the oven in front of you and you add your own ingredients to it. It saved me many times and the quality and tastes I felt were better than average. It is not the best pizza I have had, but it tastes better than average, definitely better than microwave, and they have good toppings (chorizo, pesto, fresh garlic, fresh mozzarella, spinach, ham, corn, peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and many more). From the ready made pies the florentine and the seafood pies were good. The cheese was average, the pepperoni was average. Other people in our group ate at the Italian and the 150 CENTRAL and they raved about both. THE POOLS: They are horrible; warm water in the summer, very cramped, over crowded. The ship wasted space on a mini golf course that gets rarely used, and a full court basketball court, space that should have been made pool area. Eliminating one of these two could have provided the biggest pool on the ship. There were plenty of chairs available, but again the pools were not that inviting. THE GYM: Excellent gym, every machine you could want. LABADEE: The place is beautiful, they have their RCL team on land so they take care of you well. The bars and drinks are there and the buffet barbecue was good enough. Eat early because some things run out early (RIBS especially). JAMAICA: I was able to get a tour operator to transport 20 of us to Montego Bay. Took us to an excellent place for JERK CHICKEN, PORK, SHRIMP, RIBS; to the Beach, and some light shopping. They stayed with us and offered us great service for about $20 per person for the entire day till it was time to board. The tour operator's name is WINDELL JOHNSON, PH# 18768456267. He has a lady partner that gave us the whole intro to JAMAICA, and she was so pleasant and cordial. They were a true gem in JAMAICA; Awesome people; If you need this type of service, this is your guy; Modern bus, and they give you all the tourist tips and avoid the tourist traps. MEXICO: Spent the day at PARADISE BEACH, took a taxi there ($8p/p). Had restaurants, beach, water games, etc. I preferred the JAMAICA port, but Mexico was okay. THE SHOWS: GOOD SHOWS, YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THEM, SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE THE CLUBS: Went to boleros a few times and had a good time. The DJ needs to upgrade his play-list to 2010+ songs. We had fun because we were 48 and made the best of it. PRIVATE PARTY: We had a private party at DAZZLES for 50 people, all drinks included, spent about 5k for premium drinks and frozen drinks for 4 hours for 50 people. We partied hard, the staff coordinator was a little rude at first but turned out better as it went, that or the drinks made him seem better. The DJ was a little clueless at first, but he finally figured we should listen to what we want and not what he wants, since we are paying; In the end I am thankful they granted us this beautiful space to hold the celebration. It was an amazing venue. In summary, I do feel the quality foods are pushed towards the paying restaurants (DUH!), so it is what it is, MAIN DINING ROOM, WINDJAMMER, serve second rate meals. I would cruise again. I know now what to look forward to. The allure is a beautiful ship. It is big. It does not always feel packed. I had a good time, I would recommend it, everyone should cruise at least once to say they did it, and they should do it in the bigger better ships, like the ALLURE. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
This was our very first cruise. I wasn't sure I could get my husband to go again so we went BIG on our first cruise. IT was myself , DH, DD (12) and DD (14) We had such a wonderful time on our cruise. We did my time dining and I ... Read More
This was our very first cruise. I wasn't sure I could get my husband to go again so we went BIG on our first cruise. IT was myself , DH, DD (12) and DD (14) We had such a wonderful time on our cruise. We did my time dining and I did reserve the shows before we boarded. I thought that everything on this cruise was outstanding. Room: Ocean View Balcony and Inside STateroom. Our girls were across the hall from us. This worked perfect for us. I don't think we could have all fit in one room. It wasn't much more, but we then could sleep in and had another bathroom! Our room was plenty big for the two of us. There is lots of cubbies to put your things away for the week. Food: We thought the food was great. There is something for everyone! Park Cafe was the best. WE often ate there for breakfast and lunch. We did Chops one night and it was SUPER. It was well worth the extra charge. We did Windjammer one night for dinner. It was fine, lots of choices. I wouldn't want to eat there every night, but for one night it was fine. Show: THe shows were great. Booking ahead of time was great. You could switch times when you board if you needed to. Chicago was the best. We also enjoyed Blue Planet and Ocean Aria. WE also went to the comedy show and it was hysterical. IF you are considering sailing on the Allure, don't delay and book today!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
I had taken an interest in the Oasis Class ever since they were calling it the "Genesis" project, and having never been on a cruise, I figured I couldn't go too wrong in starting here. As a musician, almost all of my ... Read More
I had taken an interest in the Oasis Class ever since they were calling it the "Genesis" project, and having never been on a cruise, I figured I couldn't go too wrong in starting here. As a musician, almost all of my 'co-workers' in the industry had done the cruise-ship circuit, so I had perhaps an overly negative or certainly cynical outlook going in. Once the crowds of the first few hours of boarding were dissipated throughout the ship, there were only a handful of times through the week where I was bothered by any crowding (as one might expect with 8000+ people on board), and there were plenty of spots on the ship where you could complete escape almost all human contact if you wanted. Sure, the elevators are an easy target for criticism following any major entertainment event, but my wife and I wound up taking the stairs almost the whole week, once we realized that the ship is a full-blown curated art gallery, with the stairwells being the primary gallery space. The maintenance of the ship is immaculate. You couldn't tell the ship had been inservice more than a month - I didn't see a single rust spot anywhere on the ship...no ripped carpet, no scratched wood panel...literally perfect. Same goes for our stateroom. Lots of room, balcony was great, room service was fantastic. The food in the main dining room was totally satisfactory (I've read a few reviews from people disappointed with the food, and felt that they were being pushed to the 'pay' restaurants on board). I didn't find this to be the case...yes, you could find some really interesting dishes at the Sushi Restaurant, or Rita's Cantina, or the Steakhouse, but I never felt disappointed with any of the meals in the Adagio Main Dining room. Entertainment was superb. As a musician, I have to say that the main showband was one of the tightest I'd ever heard, and both the Aqua Theatre and the main theatre had great offerings, well above what I was expecting, and only maybe one or two notches below a Vegas-level show. Only disappointment the whole week was the selection and price of the Jamaica excursions...way too expensive, and not very interesting. I'd rather have stayed on board and just enjoyed a quiet day. All in all, I really enjoyed the ship, and has given me interest to cruise again. Given that I figured this would be a one-time-thing to knock off a bucket-list, and someone who has travelled a lot, I'd say 'hat's-off' to RCLL and the Allure team. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We were first time cruisers. If I could do it again I think four days would of been perfect. By day five I was sick of the food, the tight quarters and was ready to get off the ship. Don't forget to print out the pre-boarding ... Read More
We were first time cruisers. If I could do it again I think four days would of been perfect. By day five I was sick of the food, the tight quarters and was ready to get off the ship. Don't forget to print out the pre-boarding papers. I forgot and it took a while to get through. We used birth certificates for the kids and there was no problem at all. Glad we didn't waste the money on passports. I wish I would of realized how small the room actually was. If we could do it all over again. A balcony room was too small for the four of us. However, the rooms were very nice and clean. The interactive options on the ship are impressive!!! It was great to get off the elevator and figure out what to do next. The options for kids are limited later in the night. Mostly just character appearances. We normally eat dinner at 6:00 to 6:30 at home so I was ok with the 6:00 dining time. However, onboard a 6:00 dinner time was too early. We did not attend dinner in the dining room at all because it conflicted with too much other stuff. If I could do it again, I would do my time dining. The shows were great!!!! The water show in the aqua theater was different each time we saw it. We only went twice by chance and we were glad we did. The malts and shakes at Johnny Rockets were $5.00 in addition to the surcharge. We left with double the bill than we expected. And Parks Cafe had impressive salads...the sandwiches didn't win me over like the salads did. Be prepared to spend money. Cotton candy is $3, popcorn a dollar, ect. We left with a $641 bill and did not drink any alcohol. We took one couples trip to the spa....which was great...dinner at johnny rockets and a bunch of little things really added up. Our shore excursion was prepaid so the 641 doesn't include tips or tours. We did the Captain Hook adventure in Jamaica. It was top notch!!!! Best time my daughter had on the whole cruise. The nonpotty trained area of the pool for kids is very small. It looks big but is actually limited to one little area. If you have a swimmer in swim diapers they are not allowed in deep enough water to show off their skills. Amazing ship but many times I often felt the 5K people. If I could do it all over again. I would of gone for a disney cruise, largely because we were on a family vacation. My four year old didn't really want to go to the kids club. The activities were top notch for the kids club it's just she wanted to hang out with us. We just didn't fall in love with cruising from this trip :( ....we will stick to the all inclusive resorts in the future if disney doesn't steal our hearts. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
After two cruises with Royal Caribbean, I have decided that cruising is not my bag. But rather than complain about it, I would rather like to offer some practical suggestions for anyone going on this boat - or indeed any other. 1. Do ... Read More
After two cruises with Royal Caribbean, I have decided that cruising is not my bag. But rather than complain about it, I would rather like to offer some practical suggestions for anyone going on this boat - or indeed any other. 1. Do NOT pre-pay gratuities. There are so many restaurants on this ship, you may find, as we did, that you end up not using the main dining room at all. Tipping a head waiter, a waiter, and an assistant waiter than you never used, makes no sense at all. Since you don't know ahead of time where you will eat, tipping ahead of time makes no sense - if it ever did! Of course, if you do not pre-pay the gratuities, you don't qualify for "My Time Dining" - but that is no great loss, as you should... 2. Avoid "My Time Dining" - as another reviewer noted, it is a fiasco. You end up eating basically at about one of the same fixed times anyway, after waiting in line. And while you are waiting in line, other cruisers will cut in front of you, arguing that as "gold members" they don't have to wait, or whatever. It is unpleasant. The lines are not well marked and it is, well, very much like being in a cattle yard. The dining room was very large and noisy. The good news is, there are so many other dining choices - Samabas, the Sushi bar, and Windjammers, for example, the latter of which had far better food than the dining room and was FREE - and was far less crowded. 3. Get an OUTSIDE STATE ROOM. This was the best part of the cruise - the outside staterooms are large and comfortable (compared to say, the Monarch of the Seas inside Staterooms) and the best time we had was just sitting on our balcony, watching the ocean and enjoying a glass of wine and room service. We are boating people, not cruise people, and the outside balcony was as close as you can get to boating, other than walking the cramped promenade deck. The inside balcony staterooms are noisy, and you have a view of someone Else's stateroom and central park or the aqua theater. The entire cruise, I saw barely 1 or 2 people using their inside balconies, whereas I could look over the side of the ship and see dozens of people using the outside ones. RC promotes the inside staterooms as they are harder to sell. But they are very noisy - particularly in the rear, where the aqua shows and midnight movies will force you to close your curtains all the time. BTW, the vaunted "loft" suites all face the rear and provide no great views. Save your money there and get an outside suite, if you want a suite. Better view and quieter and more private. 4. Get off the boat - even an inexpensive shore excursion can be fun. At Cozumel, we went to Playa Mia, and for $29, sat on the beach and had free drinks handed to us for several hours, and a nice, inexpensive Mexican lunch. That was what I was looking for! Labadee is the same way, although you have to pay for drinks. I did not go ashore in Jamaica, but wish I did! Many folks never leave the boat, which is akin to staying in a shopping mall for seven days. Ugh! 5. Ask your stateroom attendant to REMOVE all the mini-bar materials and return them after you leave. It was an ongoing battle with customer service over this - as they kept claiming I was using the mini-bar (bottled water) when I wasn't. I bought the bottled water package (a case of water) and wine package, and cleaned out the mini-bar, put all that junk in a drawer, and filled the fridge with water and wine. The stateroom attendant or whoever saw this and erroneously assumed we can consumed items from the mini-bar. It was a hassle, and vacations should not be a hassle. Mini-bars are cheesy and low-rent, in my opinion. But that is just me. Really high-end hotels don't have them. But casinos and wanna-be hotels use them. And I think their revenue stream is in charging people for things they DIDN'T consumer and assuming that most people won't check or contest the charges. Like I said, I am not a cruise person, and seven days on the "Hubris of the Seas" convinced me of this. But if you do decide to go, the five items above would be my suggestions - for what its worth! Good Luck! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
My husband and I (early 30's) traveled with my parents (early 60's) on the Allure of the Seas on the November 6th sailing. This was my second cruise, with the first cruise being last year on Oasis. This was my parents' ... Read More
My husband and I (early 30's) traveled with my parents (early 60's) on the Allure of the Seas on the November 6th sailing. This was my second cruise, with the first cruise being last year on Oasis. This was my parents' second cruise, with their first being 33 years ago on a small Norwegian ship. We found everything to be top-notch on the ship! We did not dine in any of the specialty restaurants that had a fee because we were more than pleased with the included options, in fact, there were venues we didn't even have time to try in our one week cruise. Shows were fantastic, facilities were wonderful, and we marveled all week at the amazing attitudes we saw from the staff. At least when they were guest-facing, the staff were always friendly, helpful, and chatty when engaged in conversation. Here are a few observations on entertainment for those debating between an Oasis and Allure cruise, since we love the entertainment aspect of these ships... Hairspray (Oasis) and Chicago (Allure) were both filled with phenomenal casts just bursting with talent. Chicago is a MUCH more adult show though, and for families and those who enjoy more upbeat entertainment, Hairspray on Oasis would be a better choice. I had seen Chicago on stage and knew what to expect, but after a long day in the sun, I must admit, the exceptional talent was not enough to hold my attention and I fought sleep through the performance. The high dive show on the Oasis and Allure are different also, (Oasis of Dreams and Ocean Aria.) Ocean Aria on Allure had more athletic dives in succession and less variety, where Oasis of Dreams had segments with synchronized swimmers, jugglers, etc and it seemed brighter and livelier and had more variety. One is not necessarily better than the other, but I personally preferred the show on Oasis. Both ships had a kid oriented diving show at the end of the cruise. I don't remember what the show was called on Oasis, but compared to Let You Entertain Me on Allure, the Allure show was better produced, contained more stunts and elements, and overall was a more enjoyable production in our opinions. While it is geared toward kids, I still found it enjoyable. For the ice skating show, I thought the Ice Games on Allure was more appealing than the Hans Christian Anderson production on Oasis. Ice Games was bright and high energy and generally was a crowd pleaser. The skaters struggled to stay on their feet on both ships. I'd attribute this to the small space and the moving of the ship. Perhaps the choreographers could remove some of the jumps because of the limitations the athletes face skating on a ship. I can't imagine it is good for the health of the cast to be falling frequently. My father uses a scooter for mobility and overall we found the ship to be VERY scooter/wheelchair friendly... We cannot say the same for many of the guests. I understand it is frustrating that a scooter takes up a good bit of room in the elevators, but it was really surprising how many times guests would arrive at the elevator lobby after us and then push in front of us and fill up an elevator not allowing my dad to get on. This didn't happen ALL of the time, but often enough that it really makes you wonder about people. I wish while you are waiting for the Muster drill, RCI could play a video regarding common courtesy... Remind people there is no beach chair or seat saving in shows, and to be mindful of the people who are waiting before you for an elevator and show some consideration for those who are physically unable to take the stairs. I wonder if it would be possible for RCI to ever make a staff elevator accessible to those with disabilities? Probably not since there are thousands of employees, but it would be nice for those in wheelchairs or scooters to be able to ascend and descend floors without stress. Overall this was a simply amazing vacation! We love the Oasis class of ships! Well done RCI! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Allure of the Seas Sept 11 -18 I took my first cruise the year on the Allure Of The Seas, embarking on 0911/2011. Pro: The ship is beautiful. We ate at 150 Park Avenue and Giovanni's, both were fantastic. There were ... Read More
Allure of the Seas Sept 11 -18 I took my first cruise the year on the Allure Of The Seas, embarking on 0911/2011. Pro: The ship is beautiful. We ate at 150 Park Avenue and Giovanni's, both were fantastic. There were numerous pools and Jacuzzi's, many of which were open 24 hours a day and featured great water views. Embarkation was smooth and easy. I enjoyed all of the excursions and had no difficulty getting of the ship or meeting the representative of each excursion. The excursions were one of my favorite parts of my vacation. Unlike the ship, every excursion was well staffed with cheerful, friendly employees. Con: The Allure of the Seas has one glaring shortcoming. It is understaffed. I have never been on a vacation where there were fewer employees watching over the property. The only employees I saw were the ones tasked with taking my money. Absolutely minimalist pool service. The unsupervised nature of the ship led to some troubling incidents for the women in my party. At one point myself and fellow passengers had to basically form vigilante vigilante groups to ward off unruly passengers. In general, the last place on earth a single person should be. I was thankful I came with friends. My travelling companions and I took excursions in Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We are planning to go back to Jamaica and stay at the Iberostar Rose Hotel in Jaimaica that was the site of one of our excursions. Disembarkation was a madhouse, as you might expect with no employees. We heard some voices over the PA system, but that was as close as we got to any organization. This was my first cruise. I found the positive aspects of the journey far outweighed any negative impressions. I plan on cruising again, but I will research more carefully next time to find a cruise line that avoids the glaring shortcoming of personal service that Royal Carribean exhibited. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I had never cruised before but was somewhat curious. For work and vacations, I have visited more than 50 countries. Except for business trips, I mostly traveled alone. I know good food but it is no longer a priority. For a couple of weeks ... Read More
I had never cruised before but was somewhat curious. For work and vacations, I have visited more than 50 countries. Except for business trips, I mostly traveled alone. I know good food but it is no longer a priority. For a couple of weeks when planning the trip and after booking, I read many postings on Cruise Critic. I am not in great shape, had a heavy carry-on. It is summer in South Florida and blisteringly hot. Because we arrived by taxi we had to walk from the middle part of the end of the cruise port, all the way along the side to the very front. I was hot angry, and exhausted by the time we got to the check-in entrance, only to be faced with more lines for security. The security agent did not like the half bottle of Lavoris Mouthwash. I commented that we were going on a ship not a plane w/a 3oz. maximum. Through there and then another line where the check-in agent needed more forms and a repetition of much of the information provided online. I am used to flying where you check your bags at the curb, walk into the air conditioned airport, go through security and walk to your gate in air conditioned comfort. So, be prepared if you are leaving from Port everglades, have someone drop you off in a private car, don't have any heavy carry ons or demand a wheelchair. The ship is stunning. There is art and sculpture everywhere. The staff could not have been friendlier, more polite or solicitous. The cabin w/balcony was nice, the TV great but the assortment of channels left a lot to be desired for a news junkie. At 88 cents a minute and a slow connection, I left my laptop in the bag. The extra charges for many little things were annoying, but other messages on Cruise Critic had prepared me. Our Internet Travel Agent got us an incredibly good price for the cruise and we prepaid gratuities. I suppose that being a FL resident and over 55 helped. The pastry chef is a genius. The breads, rolls and deserts throughout the trip were superb. The food was always beautifully presented, it just didn't taste all that good. The tables for 2 or 4 in the MDR were so jammed with chargers, plates, cutlery, glasses, silver sugar bowls, salt & pepper shakers and flowers made the table so crowded there was almost no room for the food and w/ all the waiters, captains, and assistants hovering around, no one ever removed the untouched glassware and tableware. I just felt it was so pretentious but many of the foreign guests seemed to really enjoy it. Again, the room was truly beautiful. Breakfast and Lunch in the MDR was much less of a production, uncrowded, fast service but the tables were still set for a royal wedding and there still was barely room for the food. The Onion Rings at Johnny Rockets were great and the extra fee was minor. The Spanish Tapas Bar on the garden deck was also great but it is hard to ruin olives and sausages. If your choices were judicious the buffet on Deck 16 was casual, fun and had a great variety of food. It wasn't a buffet like Sunday Brunch at the Hyatt Regency. It was more like a dining facility on a college campus with many food stations. In that restaurant, if you didn't like what you dished out, the waiters would toss it and you could try something else. I was only disappointed that it closed before 9 PM. The shopping lady (co-ordinator) had to be the most obnoxious and least sincere member of the crew. The Cruise Critic post that suggested going to her presentation so you could avoid her recommendations was spot on. I've lived in Asia and Brazil so I know a little about colored stones and commissions. Her comments about the guarantees, quality workmanship, and the ability to return merchandise is really a joke. Who in their right mind would mail jewelry to Jamaica or Mexico? Hong Kong has the best prices for colored stones in the world. If that is too far, the diamond district in NYC or even the Jewelry Mart in LA has better prices. Outside of the Disney-like dock they have built in Falmouth, the "real" Jamaica is a few steps away. After 30 years, I had forgotten how truly poor but truly friendly the people are. Cozumel was a joy. The water is crystal clear, the beaches beautiful and the people very friendly. It is not densely populated. The real Mexico is only a couple of blocks up from the shopping street for tourists with their t-shirts. caps, sombreros, serapes, Cuban cigars, International Diamond Brokers, etc. The Mexican versions of Costco (Mega) and Walmart are a kick. It was nice to see sodas for 4 or 5 pesos rather than the $2.50 on the ship and the $3.00 Mexican Marlboro's were cheaper than the numerous duty free spots. I'm glad I went and was able to experience the floating mall aspects of these new ships. Oh yes, my investment in Dramamine, sea bands and ginger chewing gum was a waste. You could not feel the ship move. Unless you were on out balcony or an open upper deck, there was no sensation that you were even on the water. It seemed that the majority of the passengers had a wonderful vacation. For me, I'm happier in my car or the plane. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was our first experience of cruising, and did we pick the biggest cruise liner in the world to start with. The allure is classy and beautiful thoughout. The attention to detail is second to none. The food in the adagio was beautiful ... Read More
This was our first experience of cruising, and did we pick the biggest cruise liner in the world to start with. The allure is classy and beautiful thoughout. The attention to detail is second to none. The food in the adagio was beautiful and the waiters nickolay, sudiwran and ted were great. The rising tide was a unique point on the ship, it was bar that went up 3 floors of the ship whilst your having a drink. The bow and stern was a great bar, and Melina the waitress was a joy. Theo was our room attendant, and made us laugh every night coming back to the room as he made different animals with towels which he used to place around the room. If you do want to see a show on the allure be sure to book online before you go as these were all booked up when we got on the ship, which was very annoying. Everything about the Allure was a joy, except for 1 thing which we were not informed about was that; YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR IRONING, THERE IS NO IRONING ROOM ON BOARD FOR YOU DO IT YOURSELF. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Just home from our first, and definitely not last cruise. We did the Allure Western 7/31 sailing. Pre-cruise: Stayed at the Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Beach. We got in late Saturday evening - hotel was clean and the staff ... Read More
Just home from our first, and definitely not last cruise. We did the Allure Western 7/31 sailing. Pre-cruise: Stayed at the Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Beach. We got in late Saturday evening - hotel was clean and the staff couldn't have been friendlier. It was even better that we were using Marriott points for the rooms!! Embarkation: Just as everyone says - a breeze! Grade - A+ The Ship: WOW!! So beautiful and the attention to detail was amazing - central park and the boardwalk! The only time I ever felt I was with 6,000 other cruisers was at the pool on sea days or during breakfast at the Windjammer. Even on sea days, there were chairs available at the pool, although it was hard to find ones in the shade. The biggest issue for me was that the pools themselves were quite crowded - if a pool had a group of people in it drinking and being loud, it wasn't enjoyable to be in the same pool. Something else mentioned frequently are the elevators - there were times when they were slower than I would have liked but for the most part we had no problems and we didn't run into any kids pushing buttons etc. We enjoyed the deck on the aft of deck 11. Very quiet - not too many people seem to know about it yet. A great place to read and relax. There was so much to see and do (I already have a list of things we missed but need to do next time!) Grade A+ Cabin: We had 2 Ocean View Balcony Staterooms - 11206 & 11208 (port side). My husband and I were in one room and our 4 daughters (18, 13, 12 & 10) in the other. Our room attendant was very nice and efficient - rooms were always clean and the girls loved the towel animals he left. He removed the partition on the balcony for us and it made for a very nice space. Having never cruised before, I have nothing to compare to but I thought the rooms were plenty big and very well appointed. The bed was VERY comfortable; there was plenty of closet space/hangers, lots of little cubbies and shelves/drawers to put things away and under the bed storage for luggage. The bathroom was small but had plenty of storage space. Although the shower was small, it was nice having a door that closed as opposed to a curtain and the ledge to put your leg up to shave was nice. The room was great for my husband and I but also was plenty big for the girls and all of their things! We had one room with the bed buy the door and one room with the bed by the closet - for me, I preferred the bed by the door (seemed a bit roomier). Grade - A Dining: Breakfast: We ate breakfast at the Park Cafe, Johnny Rockets, the Windjammer and the MDR. The windjammer was crowded each time - mostly trouble finding a table but no issues getting around the buffets. Did the buffet in the MDR a couple of mornings - not a big selection but a more quiet way to start the day. Lunch: We ate mostly at the Park Cafe - loved the Roast Beef sandwich and the make your own salads. The Panini's were also yummy. We did do lunch one day in the MDR - very nice and relaxing - and good food! We did hotdogs one day - they were also very good. The girls also really liked Sorrento's. Dinner: Again, nothing to compare to, but we found the dinners in the MDR to be very nice and the food was quite good (not excellent but good). We all enjoyed dressing for dinner, trying new foods (the kids), and having a leisurely meal. We especially enjoyed the formal nights. We did do dinner at Samba - it was ok but doesn't compare with any of the Brazilian steakhouses we have been to before. We also did Chops - very good. Grade B+ overall / some meals were an A. Entertainment: We went to every show and loved them all! Chicago was great - really enjoyed it. Oceanaria was amazing - really kept your attention and such talent! The ice show was fantastic - I wasn't expecting such high caliber skaters; really impressive. Blue Planet was beautiful! The Headliner was the Tribute to the Temptations - great show and the guys from Tribute were a lot of fun. The Comedy show was also great (Rondell Sheridan)! We saw the Love and Marriage Show too - funniest thing I've seen in a long time and Allen Brooks was a hoot (he was given A LOT to work with!) Grade - A++ Activities / Kids Clubs: The girls enjoyed the ice skating (be sure to bring socks and long pants), mini golf, the flow rider, rock climbing (a couple of times), and the zip line. Recommendation would be to start trying things early in the week as they get more crowded as the week goes on. My 10 year old really liked the Ocean Adventure Voyagers - the staff was nice, the games were fun and she met a few new friends. More importantly, she enjoyed the freedom of doing her own thing and staying out late (a couple of nights she stayed after 10 for the late night activities and thought that was great - it was worth the additional charge for us.) The 12 & 13 year old spent some time with the Teens 12 - 14 mostly enjoying the scavenger hunt activities. They didn't seem to care for the dances at night. My husband and I enjoyed a couple of the wine tastings at Vintages - very nice. We did not do any of the Dreamworks stuff (hopefully next time). Grade A+ Crew & Service: Everyone we encountered was just wonderful! Captain Johnny was a treat and very funny. Allen Brooks was our cruise director - again very funny and seems to really like his job. We loved all the photo opportunities - especially the formal nights and the gal with the white background taking the barefoot pix. We really liked our room attendant, Everton, as well as several of the servers we encountered - Patty & Khoulman in the MDR, Kumar in the MDR, Roger at Chops and Alan at Vintages. It is amazing how hard everyone on this ship works to make our experience so wonderful. Everything seems to run seamlessly - couldn't believe how they ushered over 6,000 people to the muster drill at one time! Everything had a system and was so organized! Just an amazing crew of dedicated and beautiful people! Grade A++ Ports: Labadee: We did the Haitian Cultural Tour. We took a small boat from the dock to a private island. Once there, we had a welcome cocktail and then went on the tour. It is set up to give you a glimpse of Haitian life - seeing how the people live, work and their trades. At the end of the tour, there are a couple of artisans selling their goods. Once we walked through the "village" we were able to spend time on the private beach. The tour is well run and our girls enjoyed it. The only thing that could have made it better was more time on the private beach. Afterwards, we went back to the main area of Labadee and enjoyed the RCI buffet (hamburgers, chicken, ribs, salads & fruit) and some more beach time. Grade A Falmouth: We did the Heartbeat of Jamaica Tour. We left the ship and went to a waiting area where, after a few of minutes, we got in our van. We took a 20 minute drive to the plantation for the tour. Our tour hosts, Tania & Bernard, were wonderful. We learned all about the Papaya plantation, planted a little papaya seedling, learned about sugar cane and some other things - all while riding an open air covered jitney. Then, we had a tasting of fruit (papaya, mango, jack fruit, pineapple) and jerk chicken followed by rum tasting. A really enjoyable morning - and the opportunity to purchase some Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. Once we got pack to the pier we did some shopping (the vendors are still out on the pier as most of the shops are not open yet). I have to say, we were not hassled by any of the vendors. They did ask you to see what they had but they never got pushy. All in all a good day and once the port is totally up and running it should be even better. Grade A Cozumel: We hired a driver for the day - Gerry. He picked us up for a 5 hour tour that turned into a 7 hour tour (and he only charged us for the 5 hours!). Very nice guy - personable and knowledgeable. He took us shopping, through town (history of the area), to the ruins, to Punta Sur and El Mirador. We had a wonderful lunch at Playa Bonita and then Gerry took us to Playa Planacar for some beach time and snorkeling. He also saw that one of our girls was into the iguanas so he brought us to this guy that would let us hold his large iguana and take a picture for a dollar - the girls really liked this. After the iguana pictures, the guy came out with a huge bull and wanted to know if wanted pictures on the bull!! We passed! Grade - A Disembarkation: Again, very easy. We were later getting off (group 60) so we had breakfast in the Windjammer and waited for our number to be called in the Amber Theater. Once we were called, our luggage was ready, the lines moved continually and we were waiting for the Avis shuttle in no time. Grade - A Summary: This will definitely be the first of many cruises for us. It was more than we could have hoped for! The Allure was an AMAZING beautiful ship with so much to offer. The entertainment was top notch and the crew was fabulous. My only worry is that it will be tough to find something to measure up - so I think next time we will just have to go really different to minimize the chance of having to compare! Over all Grade - A++ Ship / Experience! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I travelled with family and friends to celebrate my sister in laws 50th birthday, this cruise had been planned since dec 09 before the ship has even had its first voyage.8 of us flew from birmingham to miami all arranged by rci. hotel in ... Read More
I travelled with family and friends to celebrate my sister in laws 50th birthday, this cruise had been planned since dec 09 before the ship has even had its first voyage.8 of us flew from birmingham to miami all arranged by rci. hotel in fort lauderdale was great (sheraton).Now the cruise, what a ship, I was gobsmacked when i first embarked i had to pinch myself , i could not believe that i was on a ship.I cannot swim and was a bit apprehensive about this trip, but i had a great time and did not feel hardly any movement at all.8 of us had my time dinning at 8.30pm and we had Ramona and Rebecca as our waiters. The food was great in fact i had pre booked once evening with my husband to go to another restaurant but cancelled it as we where having a great time, service was excellent.Rebecca would tell us about the ports we where visiting and what to look for, she would ask us how was our day what we did etc.Our stateroom was good, as a smoker this was ideal we all had apartments next to each other so we where able to have the balcony unlocked , so we could walk to each others room via the balcony.Our stateroom attendant was Hemma, she was lovely, she was attentive and she seemed to always be at hand for anything. she made my stay very enjoyable, and every other night she would make animals out of towels.Hati was a great port we watched as the crew unloaded the supplies to the island which we had heard about and how rci sends about 40 tons of food on every ship that visits hati for the people who are effected by the disaster. well done to rci,costa maya was only put on the itenery as falmouth was not ready it was very small , no beach and well worth a miss.cozumel duty free shopping a the forum shops was great, we have been to cancun and cozumel was cheaper for cigaretts, drink and jewellery.The only thing i can say is that if it had gone to jamaica it would of been perfect but we have already planned to go on the allure next year for 14 days so that we can enjoy east and west caribbean for our 50th,If you are a first time cruise may i advise that you dont go on the allure as I cannot go on another ship once you have been on this, nothing can compare Read Less
Sail Date March 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

Find an Allure of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click