20 Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Holiday Cruise Reviews

We were looking for a Christmas vacation without any of us having to cook or plan events. This was definately the best family Christmas week for the 20 of us!! Our group ages ranged from 5-85 yrs old and every one of us had a fantastic ... Read More
We were looking for a Christmas vacation without any of us having to cook or plan events. This was definately the best family Christmas week for the 20 of us!! Our group ages ranged from 5-85 yrs old and every one of us had a fantastic time! Embarking was a breeze. We had checked in prior to boarding so the process was quite seamless. The ship itself is beautiful! We were just in awe of the size. Our 10 cabins were closely situated on the 7th level that was actually a very convenient location. We mostly walked to the different floors as it was great excercise and faster than the elevators. Impressed on how quiet the cabins were even though there would be alot going on in the main areas of the ship. Best way to communicate is with Post It notes. Just stick them to the doors to let your party know where you are or change of plans, etc. We brought walkie talkies but didn't end up using them as the channels would connect with strangers. The doors are metal so you may bring anything magnetic to decorate your door to make it more distinctive. Food was great with numerous choices...no complaints. With at least 7 teenagers in our group there was never a problem in this dept. We opted not to buy a drink plan. There was always plenty of water, lemonade and ice tea at all hours. Service was the best. The ship's staff are top notch. Waiters in the main dinning room were awesome for both our tables! They were very attentive and super friendly. The cabin cleaning staff always had a smile anytime of the day. Our cabins were always clean and we loved the evening turn down. Towels were replaced at least once per day. It seemed like we always had clean, dry towels. There is the option to buy bottles of wine that they will servce at dinner with the prices being quite reasonable. The liquor store on the boat is also very well priced. MaMaMia is definately a must see!!...they really put on a great show! It was so much fun to stand up and dance at the end of the show along with the actors up on stage. We used the fitness room nearly everyday. Quite busy in the mornings but a machine was always available. There was never a dull moment...always something to do regardless time of day. Memories from this trip will last a lifetime!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This is my DH's and my 7th cruise and my kids 6th cruise. We loved the ship and staff.....definitely one of the best. Now, Grandpa and Grandma like smaller ships, so for them this ship was too big. Pro's: Beautiful details (ie., ... Read More
This is my DH's and my 7th cruise and my kids 6th cruise. We loved the ship and staff.....definitely one of the best. Now, Grandpa and Grandma like smaller ships, so for them this ship was too big. Pro's: Beautiful details (ie., Central Park, Boardwalk, etc), a lot of activities to chose from (ie., FlowRider, Rock Climbing, Zip Lining, and more), Cleaniness (I was amazed how well they were able to keep this large ship with so many passengers spotless), Embarkation was super smooth and quick, lots of food choices (people recommended the "roast beef" sandwich at Park Café, it was very yummy and what I would call a "Prime Rib" sandwich-it was thinly slice prime rib not shaved roast beef). Con's: Elevators were always packed (no biggie if you are going a floor or two just walk but Grandpa has a bad hip so 7 flights need an elevator and it was hard to catch them), on board they communicated that we would stay on ships time not island time (I've never had that happen and messed up one of our individual Excursions.....We got in an hour late to St. Thomas and not changing time it was 11am ship time but Noon Island time so we missed the Sea Trek at Coral World....disappointing). We made reservations for all the shows in advance. Never had to do this before. Works out just fine if you are a planner...like me...but may be disappointing and frustrating if not. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Let me first say that we have cruised out of every cruise port in Florida on alomost every cruise line and I have to say that the embarkation from Port Everglades on this ship was one of the smoothest we have ever encountered. That does ... Read More
Let me first say that we have cruised out of every cruise port in Florida on alomost every cruise line and I have to say that the embarkation from Port Everglades on this ship was one of the smoothest we have ever encountered. That does not mean that there were not lines inside the terminal, but that things flowed quickly and efficiently. The staggered boarding times probably helped with this process. Also, with boarding after 2pm (as we did) our staterooms were all ready and our bags quickly arrived and put in our cabin by our cabin steward while we explored the ship and searched out the best places to grab a drink and a snack. I would suggest ignoring the urge to be one of the first to board the ship and either enjoy Fort Lauderdale in the morning or start your journey from your home distination a little later in the morning (in our case about a 3 hour drive). As a family traveling with two boys (18 & 9) we found that this ship provided lots of options for everyone. Although it is a large ship with lots of passengers, other than dining in the Windjammer buffet and the New Years party on the Royal Promenade, things were not what I would call "overly crowded". On the first couple of sea days the pool decks were near capacity with sunbathers but chairs were still available. There were some lines at the Flowrider, Zipline and on the Sports Court, but about what you would expect on any other cruise line. The "Neighborhoods" provided lots of different options during the day. - Decks 15 & 16 - sun, pools and sports - Royal Promenade - a a nice climate controlled place to people watch, shop, get a drink or a snack. There are a number of street parties that take place here in addition to the big New Year's Party that was on our sailing. - Boardwalk - a place where you feel the breeze and hear the waves and where you can to watch people on the rock climbing walls, watch the big screens (which had a lot of football games during college football bowl week and NFL playoffs) or snacks and drinks at Ritas or Johnny Rockets. It seemed to me that the surcharge kept people out of Rita's unless they were going there for food, although it was a nice place to watch all of the activities on the Boardwalk. Except for when events were going on at the Aqua Theatre (football or show) this was a quite place with lots of families with smaller children. - Central Park - a very nice, quiet location with a couple of boutiques and dining locations. During the day, the Park Cafe was a good location for a snack. Also a nice place to sit and read a book. The park like atmosphere is pretty unique to a cruise ship. Although open the the elements if it is raining the spot is pretty quiet during the day and then a bustling dining hotspot at night. - Solarium - a nice covered adult only area with its own pool, jacuzzis, bar and bistro. While this adult only ahea usually feels cramped on most ships, We did not feel that way on this ship. The area covered multiple decks and had several more different sections if you wanted away from most people. The upper area also became a dance club late in the evening on a couple of nights. Overall, we felt there was something for everyone. For example, out kids never saw Central Park until we took them for dnner there one night. We finally broke down on the last day and told them about the awesome prime beef sandwich that they have offer during the day. Our cabins were on deck 7. We found this as very convenient for everything except going to the pool and sports decks. Since we prefer to use the stairs instead of the congestion of the elevators most things are a short up or down from deck 7. - down 1 deck to to the Boardwalk - up 1 deck to Central Park - down 2 decks to the Royal Promenade - down 2 decks to dining in Adagio (My Time Dining Option) - down 3 decks to the Amber Theatre or Ice Theatre - down 3 decks to the Casino The only times that we utilized the elevators were trips up to decks 14-15. Let me just mention the dining time options. All but two of our dinner meals were in the main dining room, We chose the "My Time" option and set the reservations prior to departure according to our expected ports or entertainment options. The time varied each night but each night we started in the Adagio deck 5. When we ate early (arrive between 5:30 and 6:30) we were seated with the same waiter and assitant waiter and did not have to wait to be seated and dinner flowed smoothly over an approximate 1 1/2 hour period. When we ate late (after 7pm) we would have to wait for a table assignment and may have been asked to move to Adagio 3 or 4 for dinner. Not a problem, but the dinner seemed to be more rushed as they were trying to get you out before the late dinner seating. Ultimately I liked being able to set my own time for dinner. I did feel like I was being "nickled and dimed" a little bit with all of the premium charges. Even when we ate at Chops, the option for a dry aged steaks was an up charge, which seemed rediculous after paying $35 per person already (one of which barely ate anything other than the bread). The regular filets were great anyway. I also thought the prices for the photo's rediculous, but of course bought 1 or 2 anyway. I had a couple of trips to Guest Services, and there was always a line with a 10-15 minute wait. I found the staff as courteous and helpful. We had noticed that our RCI onboard credits had not been applied. As it turned out th problem was with the paperwork the travel agency either processed or failed to process and not necessariely RCI. Ultimately, the travel agency blamed us for not completing all of the paperwork (their job I thought), but agreed to refund the credit amounts to our credit card. I mention this only because I have never had it as my responsibility to "redeem" cruise line onboard credits so you may want to watch this on your own booking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our second Allure of the Seas cruise in the last 12 months. First as a Diamond Member. Our cruise left on November 23rd and was a US Thanksgiving cruise. Word of caution: anyone planning a cruise in the future, there were many ... Read More
This was our second Allure of the Seas cruise in the last 12 months. First as a Diamond Member. Our cruise left on November 23rd and was a US Thanksgiving cruise. Word of caution: anyone planning a cruise in the future, there were many multi-generational families with children of all ages. If you rather cruise with less children you may want to stay away from cruising during US Thanksgiving. I rather enjoyed the 3 Drink per Diamond passenger happy hour at any bar. I made sure to tip the servers for their hard work. If you enjoy people watching, the Bow and Stern Pub is great, service is fantastic. Embarkation was quick and efficient, disembarkation was same. Decided on this cruise to stay away from the dining room. Reserved 4 speciality restaurants instead and went to the Windjammer the other nights. The only restaurant that disappointed us was Samba. We seemed rushed and unappreciated. Giovani's, Izumi, and Chops were great. Saved the best for last (Chops). Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Recently, I was very fortunate to be able to do b2b cruises on Allure (18 May - 1 June), and have been asked to share my thoughts. My sons & I arrived at the Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, FL) cruise terminal about 2:30pm. I ... Read More
Recently, I was very fortunate to be able to do b2b cruises on Allure (18 May - 1 June), and have been asked to share my thoughts. My sons & I arrived at the Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, FL) cruise terminal about 2:30pm. I assumed most of the 6000+ passengers had already boarded, as the building seemed only full of security & embarkation staff. We completed the Check-in procedure, had our embarkation photos taken and headed for the escalators - passing an aptly worded sign "More WOWs ahead". We boarded the ship via the Royal Promenade, next to Sorrento's Pizza. Scattered throughout the Royal Promenade were crew members waiting to offer us drink packages, specialty dining packages, shore excursions, spa reservations etc etc etc. We made our way to our cabin (accessible after 1pm). I had chosen Central Park View Balcony cabins, because I wanted to experience something I couldn't back in Australia. The cabin was pretty much as you would expect size-wise, but at only 4 years old, it was more modern. We had inter-connecting cabins, but one thing we did notice was that all balcony cabins could basically become inter-connecting, with the balcony partitioning able to fold back. Camera in hand, I went off to explore. This ship is AMAZING! Never before have I wanted to try and find somewhere to "stow away" on a cruise ship. The garden beds and trees in Central Park had obviously grown since the maiden voyage, and were now lush and tall. Bromeliads, liriope, golden robinia, phalaenopsis orchids wired to trees .... just heaven for a garden enthusiast. This area also included 3 specialty restaurants and a wine bar, so at night, you really did get that feeling of coming out of a restaurant and walking down the cobbled street, as you decided where you were 'kicking on to'. During the day there was subtle audio of birds chirping. Other days I heard geese and frogs. The Boardwalk: all the fun of the carnival. Carousel, hot dogs of 6 or 8 varieties, then on sea days there'd be fairy floss & popcorn, hula hoop & ring-toss competitions etc. This area would bring anyone back to their childhood. The Royal Promenade hosted more shops and complimentary eateries and the first Starbucks at sea Parades were held in this area and intros for theme nights. Shore excursion desk, Guest relations, bars, etc. - a constant hive of activity. If you're an active person there's PLENTY to do. 2 flowriders (1 for surfing, 1 for boogie boarding), zipline over the Boardwalk, basketball court, ice skating rink, 6 table tennis tables, mini golf ..... A great H2O zone for kids to play in. (1 thing I learned about the H2O zone, is that it has multiple filtration zones, so if a child has an "accident" in one of the pools, they just close down that area/filter for cleaning, they don't shut down the whole kids area - good thinking!!) We loved the on board mexican restaurant "Rita's Cantina" (probably ate there 5 times over the 2 weeks). Also went to Johnny Rockets 3 times. There are all these specialty restaurants, but then you're almost made to feel bad when you don't turn up to the MDR - I guess everyone's vying for your gratuity... I booked Chop's Grille specialty restaurant for my birthday dinner, and was very disappointed. Definitely not worth the additional $35pp cover charge (IMO). We got a complimentary lunch at Giovanni's, along with all the other b2b cruisers, and that food was lovely. The Windjammers buffet was very well run. Crew asked pax to queue at the entrance and they had walkie talkies to assist finding you a table - no more wandering around hoping to find a table and racing someone else who had spotted the same table! Little details I noticed: There is no retractable laundry cord in the bathroom. The basin in the bathroom was small (very shallow), so if you're like me and try to do some hand washing during the cruise, you couldn't wash much more than 2 pairs of knickers at a time. The vanity height itself was quite low (I'm 5'5" and I noticed this). It's probably 800mm from the floor, so all the tall people will definitely notice this (my sons are 6'1" & 6'3" and they noticed it). When you turn off the bathroom light, there is a 'night light' that is permanently on. I thought this was a great idea, especially if you need to visit the loo during the night (or if your brother turns off the light while you're using the bathroom!) Some crew at bars and cafes, still asked you to swipe your card even if you were on a drinks package. This allowed the crew member the option of getting more gratuity from you. The screen would come up "Do you wish to give an additional gratuity? $1, $2, $5, Other, None." I had to remind myself that gratuity was already included in the drinks package price, and apart from getting great service throughout the cruise, why should the crew be prompting you for more on the first day?? I felt rather uncomfortable about this at first. I feel like I could go on and on and on, but basically this ship is AMAZING. You don't ever feel like you're on board with 6000 other pax (except for when you're released from the muster drill). Katrina :D   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Along with 6,190 other guests and some 2,800 crew, my wife, son and I have just completed a magical cruise aboard "the world's largest ship", the Allure of the Sea's. Only mention the numbers because we also spent ... Read More
Along with 6,190 other guests and some 2,800 crew, my wife, son and I have just completed a magical cruise aboard "the world's largest ship", the Allure of the Sea's. Only mention the numbers because we also spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Disney World with some 100,000 others on each day and could not move! When you then factor in the two days at Disney World cost me MORE than a week at sea, the "World's Largest Cruise Ship", (sorry, we were constantly reminded of this all week), wins my vote hands down!!! OK, firstly, the shows! My wife and I are regulars on both Broadway and the West End in addition to taking in numerous shows on annual Vegas trips and the Allure offers many that are at least the equal. Chicago and the special effects laden, Blue Planet along with two ice-shows, (How to Train Your Dragon and the superb Ice Games), Aqua shows, (Madagascar, (a must for the kids), and the unbelievably breath-taking OceanAria are just awe-inspiring! You then take all the other on-board entertainment, (zip-line, flow-rider, a host of other sports activities, the music, the comedy), and the week passes at a very unfair pace as within no time at all, it's all over! The Activities team is awesome, even if Ken Rush was a little tiring by the end of the cruise - sorry Ken, just tone it down a little and you will be as enjoyable as many of your other RCCL peers - oh, and there is no "I" in team! Albeit a little out of sequence, I wish we had had one or two US Congressmen or Senators aboard our ship who had to go through the same disembarkation process we did. As ever, RCL were superb the way they organised off-loading 6,300 people, but to US politicians, you should be ashamed as to the impression your hard-pressed Border Control folks left us with about the US. 6 poor souls who did their best to clear us, but given that they only looked at our passport photo-pages and then at us, why did it take 75 minutes from stepping off the ship to clearing immigration? OK, rant done, back to the positives. We had a well-appointed Junior Suite on Deck 9 mid-ship which despite everything that was going on, was remarkably quiet. It was kept wonderfully clean and tidy by our cabin attendant Hardier, despite our, (9-year old's in particulars), best efforts!!! My wife absolutely loved the walk-in cupboard and is already asking for one at home!!! The food, overall, was excellent. Chops Grille, 150 and Giovanni's were exceptional, with the staff and quality of food being way over and beyond at the first two. The Park Cafe is superb for lunches and the hot dog stand is super cool! Windjammer is as it is, given it caters to the masses and was not bad. Special mention however must go to both our waitress, Alison, and her assistant Leylani, in the Adagio restaurant - they're two VERY special RCCL people who went out of their way to help and get anything we wanted. Given Adagio caters for 4,500 to 5,000 people across two nightly sittings daily, there is a lot about quality and service many of London's supposedly finer 5-star hotels could learn about when they come to delivering charity events, weddings, bar mitzvah's and the like!!! Some cautionary words, and sorry about this Royal Caribbean, be very careful when "shopping" aboard. The prices are much higher than what you can get elsewhere, especially their "special offers". I looked at one watch which was retailing for $700 in their 25% off "promotion" that sells for around £300 in a regular jewellers back in London. The excursions are very expensive and with a little research and planning, can be done at a fraction of the price yourself. Yes, RCL will tell you the ship will leave if you don't get back on-time if you are NOT on their excursions, but just a little planning and allow yourself time to get back to the ship and you you will save yourselves a lot of money!!! Finally, special mention for Captain Jonny. This was our 5th RCCL cruise and 6th in total and never have a I met a more wonderful and hugely enthusiastic, (given his 38 years, 19 as captain), skipper. He just loves meeting passengers and going around his ship, he asked me THREE separate times during the week how the cruise was going and for comments. His "Ask the Captain" hour towards the end of the cruise was very I informative, not at all boring, (given the types of questions posed by some cruise "junkies"), and his routine was the equal of many a stand-up comedian - a truly, truly wonderful captain who so very obviously loves what he does and interacting with as many of his guests and crew, (you should watch his daily log on the in-room TV). To him in particularly, and to Alison, thank you for a very special and highly memorable vacation - we are really looking forward to sailing with you again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Just got back from the Allure and will post a review while it's all still fresh in my mind. This cruise was more about the ship than about the ports, in contrast to previous cruises we have taken. We had one ocean view balcony room ... Read More
Just got back from the Allure and will post a review while it's all still fresh in my mind. This cruise was more about the ship than about the ports, in contrast to previous cruises we have taken. We had one ocean view balcony room and 2 Central Park balcony rooms. Our young adult kids were in the Central Park rooms and they liked them better than ocean view rooms. They even spotted me having breakfast one morning in the park and came down to join me. My favorite spot on the ship was the Park Cafe for breakfast. Very peaceful, even on a crowded ship. Make sure to see Chicago, Blue Planet and Ocean Aria. We reserved Chicago about 2 months prior to sailing, however, once we boarded we accidentally discovered that the date of the show had been changed. This affected our dinner plans for two days. It worked out fine, but it was a good thing we found out and were still able to see the show. I mention this so that you will know to check your Personal Calendar on the tv menu in your stateroom. That's how we realized the date and time was changed. Dining room food wasn't great, but the my time dining worked very well. We were able to change our reservation time whenever we needed to without any issues. I felt like the ship was extremely crowded - over 6000 passengers for the Christmas cruise. It was sometimes tough to get an elevator. However, even with the crowds we never had trouble getting a lounge chair in sun or shade. You can always find at least a couple of chairs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I should first say that we love cruising with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed on Voyager, Navigator and now Allure. Embarkation: Super easy and fast at Fort Lauderdale, we arrived around 11am and by 11:30 where already onboard. It helps ... Read More
I should first say that we love cruising with Royal Caribbean. We have sailed on Voyager, Navigator and now Allure. Embarkation: Super easy and fast at Fort Lauderdale, we arrived around 11am and by 11:30 where already onboard. It helps when you have platinum or above. Food: We chose my time dinning and the first night was incredibly busy. The line for guests that has reserved a time was HUGE and the line for those who did not was double. However, the menu was really good compared to the previous selections (before menu change) and well the service was excellent. We were lucky enough to be seated with Roxana and Moises at the Adaggio dinning room and let's just say we ate with them every night. They where amazing. NOTE: The windjammer is SUPER small, well actually, we were told is is the same size, 800 guests, in all ships. This makes a HUGE difference when you think that there are 6000 people on board. The other dinning venues, the hot dog place, and the sports area dinner and the pizzeria and promenade cafe are great. The best overall is the park cafe. Specialty Restaurant (150 Central Park): Very expensive, but VERY nice for a treat. TIP: there is a regular menu of $40 p/p and another for $75 for royal wine pairing p/p. Now, this is NOT either or it is $40+$75 p/p. Just saying, dont be surprised. In the end it is worth it. Entertainment: Chicago was GREAT, the Aqua Theater show was amazing, if not heartstopping and the Blue Plannet show was also great. The ice skating show was the same as in previous RCI ships. The comedy show was excellent, however, it was already ALL booked even on the first day, so be fast. In case you dont make reservations, dont worry, just stand in line and you will get in, it is worth it. Excursions: In Labadee, the zipline is super expensive. Just beach and relax is good. In Jamaica, the river tubing and ziplinning is AWESOME. Great guides, includes lunch. The water is COOOOLD. In Cozumel, there is an excursion called Passion Island by Catamaran. There is NO catamaran, it is a regular ferry. But the excursion is AMAZING. For $75 p/p you get all inclusive drinks (alcoholic), lunch, and water sports. The cruise director ALLAN is super good, probably the best on RCI. Overall, I really enjoyed this ship, however it is tooo big and I prefer the Navigator/Freedom style ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Just came back from a wonderful holiday cruise celebrating the new year. Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas was fantastic. Traveled with 18 family members and had the best time. With kids ages ranging from 6-14, the ship met all our ... Read More
Just came back from a wonderful holiday cruise celebrating the new year. Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas was fantastic. Traveled with 18 family members and had the best time. With kids ages ranging from 6-14, the ship met all our expectations and then some. First Port was Labadee Haiti. I have to say one of my favorites. The ammenities that were offered and the location was absolutely perfect. Calm, warm, crystal blue water. Great activities for all ages. Though the weather could have been better. Mostly cloudy all day!!! For those of you going to Cozumel, I would really suggest Mr. Sanchos. This is an all inclusive beach resort, offering food, alcohol, tons of activities along with a water park, swim up pool bar for a reasonable price. The service was fantastic and our waiter, Marino, was always there. This is a must for all to visit. Anyone cruising out of Miami, Port Everglades or Ft. Luaderdale and needs a fanatsic transportation company, we found Jiffy Jeff Transportation. Fantastic service for a great price. 14 passenger Mercedes van. Jeff is so easy to work with. Look him up. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I wanted to payback all the tips and info I was able to garner from CruiseCritic so here goes ... Embarkation - smooth and quick - 20 minutes from taxi to on-board. Disembark - tedious waiting, but functionally smooth. Dining - ... Read More
I wanted to payback all the tips and info I was able to garner from CruiseCritic so here goes ... Embarkation - smooth and quick - 20 minutes from taxi to on-board. Disembark - tedious waiting, but functionally smooth. Dining - Windjammer is the typical buffet cafeteria food - so-so. MyTime dining in the Adagio was fine. Waiter (Ted) was fantastic and food quality was better than average but not great. Wipe-out cafe is great snack food and really appreciated the pretzel dogs and frozen yogurt. Promenade Cafe - good snacks and anytime food (24 hrs). Enjoyed my evening cookies before bed. Park Cafe - busy but food was good. Roast beef sandwiches are hard to beat. Johnny Rockets was great but I don't get the idea of $5 cover and I still have to pay for a milkshake. Doughnuts were very much appreciated every morning on the boardwalk. Specialty Dining - Chops Grille was outstanding and the value ($35/pp) was terrific 4 1/2 stars. 150 Central Park - OMG! Very unusual food selection but quality, presentation and taste were unrivaled Five Stars. Giovanni's was more food than you could possibly eat and the service was terrific. Food quality was four and a half stars. Shows - Chicago was great production, but needs an intermission. 90 minutes in those seats would be hard for anyone. Oceanaria was fantastic and to think they do this while the ship is bobbing and weaving around the seas is pretty impressive. Blue Planet was also fantastic. Comedy shows were very entertaining, although not necessarily appropriate for anyone under 18. DreamWorks shows at Aqua Theater were fun and kept the kids entertained. Excursions - Nothing booked for Labadee, Haiti, but the Dragon Zip Line looked fun. I was content to float around the private bay. The locals will hound you to buy their trinkets. In Jamaica we booked the combo Ocho Rios and Montego Bay trip. There really is not enough time to climb the falls, and make ti to Montego Bay for shopping and lunch. Cozumel was the Jungle Buggy and Snorkeling at Punta Sur - Fantastic and the guide (Adrian) was entertaining as well as informative. On-Board the ship only felt crowded at meal times and getting on and off. Otherwise, plenty of deck chairs, plenty of activities, and as with most cruises, more than sufficient opportunities to eat! The Zip line was fun, albeit short. Didn't use the Flow Rider pools but was entertained by everyone else that did. All-in-all a great experience. Beware there are a lot of things that are chargeable (cupcakes, milkshakes, Starbucks, etc.) but we still didn' spend an exorbitant amount. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This was a family cruise for us with myself, my wife our 15 year old daughter and my mother-in law. The cruise started on November 18 and ran through the week of Thanksgiving. We live in the Fort Lauderdale area so it was a short cab ... Read More
This was a family cruise for us with myself, my wife our 15 year old daughter and my mother-in law. The cruise started on November 18 and ran through the week of Thanksgiving. We live in the Fort Lauderdale area so it was a short cab ride for us to the port. My mother-in-law has some mobility problems so we bought a wheel chair with us but even with that getting on the ship on the first day and getting off on the last day was easy. It took about 30 minutes to get on board on the first day and about 45 minutes to an hour on the last day to get off the ship. It took longer to get off because we had to go through Customs. THE FOOD: The ship is certainly very impressive with its array of shops and restaurants and we really liked the variety we had when choosing where to eat. We had read a lot of reviews about how bad the Windjammer Cafe was, but that was not our experience. We ate at the Windjammer Cafe three times, once for breakfast and twice for lunch and we found that there was a good variety of food choices and we were always able to find a table. Is the food gourmet? No, but we found the food quality to be good and the service was also good. If my mother-in-law needed something (a drink or a food item) she would ask an attendant and they would get it for her. We ate at four speciality restaurants during the cruise. 150 Central Park, Chops Grille, Izumi and Giovanni's Table. 150 Central Park was absolutely awesome. We were served a six course meal and the staff would explain each dish and its ingredients. The presentation of the food as well as the taste of each dish was excellent. The size of the portions of each course are small, but after six courses you will not walk away hungry. I thought it was one of the best meals I had ever had. Chops Grille was also excellent. The steaks were of high quality and they were cooked properly. The side dishes were also excellent. The mashed potatoes were made from scratch and were great. The vegetables were seasoned well and not over cooked. Another great meal. Giovanni's Table was also very good. The meal was five courses and after three courses we were already pretty full. The food quality again was excellent and the service was very good. I personally liked Izumi, but two people in our group are not big sushi fans and they struggled to find something that they liked. We did try the "Hot Rock" and it was fun to cook your own meat. But if you are not into all that effort just order something that they cook for you. I think Izumi is a good restaurant choice but make sure the people in your party like sushi or Asian food. If they don't they may be disappointed. Overall I thought the speciality restaurants were well worth the extra money that they cost. The other restaurants that we liked and ate at often were the Solarium Bistro and the Park Cafe. We ate most of our breakfasts at the Solarium Bistro and loved it. They offer a lot of healthy choices and a lot of fruit selections and it was never too crowed. We also loved the Park Cafe for lunch because you could build your own salads and they had a good selection of soups and sandwiches. The panini sandwiches were great and I loved the famous roast beef sandwiches. I am a meat eater and I ate many of those roast beef sandwiches during the cruise. Here is a tip for all of you roast beef sandwich lovers. Tell them to put double meat on the sandwich. They don't care and will do it for you and you get twice the beef. THE ENTERTAINMENT: We went to all of the shows. Our typical schedule was to have dinner and then see a show. All of the entertainment was excellent and was far better than any of the shows we have seen on other cruises. Chicago was a true Broadway caliber production with excellent singing. Oceanaria is a great water show that is nearly on par with a Las Vegas show. Blue Plant is another great show with again excellent singing and an impressive stage and props. The Comedy show was also good and funny but it was R rated. Nothing too bad, but just know going in there is some sexual content and swear words. The Headliner show was good. It was four singers and dancers that performed Motown music. I liked it but some people did not and my 15 year old daughter had never heard any of the songs. It as a good show but maybe not for everybody. They also had 3-D movies every day throughout the cruise at different times and we enjoyed that. On Thanksgiving day they showed Rise of the Guardians that had just been released. We also had an absolute blast at "The Quest." The Quest is an audience participation game show where they split the audience into groups and ask for various items that the people may have. Each team gets points for who gets the item first. It sounds simple but it was very funny and a great time for everybody. There is something going on all the time and if you check the schedule you can always find something to do or some place to go. One week is not enough time to do it all. But you will have fun. THE ROOMS: We had two ocean view cabins that were side by side on Deck 11, cabins 11698 and 11700. Deck 11 was great, not noisy at all. We loved the ocean view rooms and we often would sit on the balcony and just enjoy the water. We found the room to be fine for two people with enough room. Once you unpack and put your suitcases under the bed there is plenty of space. If you put more than two people in the room it may be a little tight. Also I have a bad back and the bed was great. The mattress was firm and I did not have any problems. THE PUBLIC SPACES: The public spaces on the ship are great and you often cannot believe you are on a ship. Central Park is a lot of fun and you can hear birds chirping and singing all the time. Also at night they often had someone performing music in Central Park. Sometime it was classical music other times something else. It was great. The Royal Promenade on deck 5 is really amazing when you see it with the shops, bars and restaurants all in one place. It is a great place to have a drink or a cup of coffee and hang out and people watch. At times I felt like I was sitting in the middle of an upscale mall but it was all fun. ROOM SERVICE: We did a lot of eating on this cruise in many of the restaurants but we also ordered room service late on several nights. We got cheese plates to go with wine or sandwiches or extra desserts because we just felt like eating more. The room service was reasonably quick (within 30 minutes-they would tell us it may take longer but it never did). The food was excellent. One night I ordered a steak sandwich and it was literally a real steak on a bun-not just some meat thrown on a bun. The cheese cake from room service is also very, very good. It has excellent flavor and it was not too heavy like some cheese cakes. I ordered the cheese cake more than once. Also, they told us almost all the food is made from scratch no canned items. THE SERVICE: We had excellent service throughout the cruise from our room Stewart, to our waiters or anyone else we encountered on the ship. If we needed anything all we had to do was ask and we had what we asked for within a reasonable amount of time. THE CROWDS: We went on this cruise during Thanksgiving week so I assume the ship was at or near full capacity. But we never felt crowed on the ship. We did have a person using a wheel chair so sometimes we had to pass on an elevator because there was not enough room to fit the wheel chair. But that is to be expected and even then it was never a big problem. If we waited a little bit we would get an elevator. Even at the Windjammer Cafe that we had read many reviews saying it was crowed we did not have a problem. Was the Windjammer busy at times? Yes. But not so busy that you couldn't get your food or find a table. Crowds were never an issue for us on the ship. In conclusion, this cruse lived up to all of our expectations and then some. We had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat. We loved our cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Where do I start, there isn't enough space here to fill in all of the fantastic highlights of our Cruise on Allure of The Seas. We were a little apprehensive about what a cruise would entail but trusted our friends who have cruised ... Read More
Where do I start, there isn't enough space here to fill in all of the fantastic highlights of our Cruise on Allure of The Seas. We were a little apprehensive about what a cruise would entail but trusted our friends who have cruised with Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean before. From the start we were well at ease with the efficient and friendly check in and boarding process. We made the mistake of trying to check-in online on the day of departure but this facility was only available up to 3 days prior to departure but not day of departure. Once aboard we were amazed by the sheer size of the ship, the brochure and web site do not do it justice. You have to see it to believe it. We quickly found our state room which was conveniently located on Deck 7 Aft. Deck 7 was convenient in that a lot of activities we were interested in were on Deck 5 and Deck 6 and it was easy to walk up and down the stair cases. We soon found out that the lifts were very busy, particularly at peak times like breakfast, lunch and dinner and that you often had to wait 5 or more minutes to catch a lift go to higher floors. Highlights of the cruise for us were dining & bars, boardwalk, shows and fitness facility. Dining & bars: Adagio dining room which provided 5+ star meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner and a fantastic waiter and assistant waiter who went above and beyond to make our dining experience so special. The food was exquisite and couldn't be faulted. Our travel companions stated the meals were the best they had ever experienced cruising. We also enjoyed 150 Central Park (excellent fine dining) and Chops Grille (excellent steaks). Boardwalk: Shopping, snacks, pizza, music, coffee, cupcakes, champagne what more could you want and more. Shows: Chicago, Ice Games, Aqua Theatre, live comics, Blue Planet to name a few, don't miss them. Book online and book early, some of the shows were booked out 3 weeks prior to our departure which means waiting outside the show for 30+ minutes prior in the hope of getting a seat due to a no-show! Fitness: The gym facility was fantastic with a superior range of fitness equipment and classes. There is also a running track that is very nice as you can see the water whilst jogging or walking. You better head to the gym for a workout each day so you can enjoy the dessert guilt free. Some final tips to ensure you have a great cruise, make sure you do some online research before you go, it will make things much easier. Join the Crown & Anchor Society, there are many free benefits that come with being a member. If you enjoy some of the day spa services these are very good but staff will pressure you intensely to buy beauty products which are very expensive. As stated the variety of shows are excellent, book early (before you cruise) and make sure you check daily cruise planner in your room for extra events going on during the day & night, there are so many things going on you will never be bored. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We always arrive for our cruise a few days ahead of time and stay a few days after so we aren't rushed. We stayed at the Sleep Inn & Suites in Dania as we did last year on the Oasis. The staff are pleasant, the rooms okay and they ... Read More
We always arrive for our cruise a few days ahead of time and stay a few days after so we aren't rushed. We stayed at the Sleep Inn & Suites in Dania as we did last year on the Oasis. The staff are pleasant, the rooms okay and they have shuttle back and forth to the airport and port. Embarkation - A breeze just like it was on the Oasis. RCI seems to put their best customer relations and friendliest staff in the boarding area which really helps with first impressions. We didn't need to acquaint ourselves with the ship so we headed directly to the Solarium for a quiet lunch. Next we were off to the Flow-rider and were the first ones on it as soon as it opened. I had been on it back in 2006 on the Freedom and last year on the Oasis so I knew it filled up fast. The staff there were fantastic and gave my friend and I one on one attention. Orientation - We always visit the Dining Room to check our table assignment. It was next to the Captains table like last year so there are benefits to being repeat cruisers. There was one lady though who was upset with her seating and she really let them know it. She had no patience and staff did not deserve to be chastised the way she did (there are some people who should not cruise or even leave the house). Our luggage arrived shortly after we got back from a quick tour of the ship. The amenities on most RCI ships are located in much the same areas on the ship so navigating around for us is a breeze. They also have information screens on each floor for the uninitiated so nobody should have an excuse for getting lost. Sea days/shows- our itinerary had 3 seas days which is a must for this ship and even then you might not get to enjoy everything it has to offer. Having to schedule the shows in advance is a bit of nuisance. It also created problem when shows were cancelled or re-scheduled. There was an incident on our cruise in the dive pool which also created havoc in scheduling. There was often conflicts with show-times and they had to change venue locations a few times at the last minute due to private functions. The ship never seemed full although we spent most of the time in the solarium during sea days. We also ate in the solarium as the open hours for some of the other food venues was sporadic. RCI could do a better job of posting open hours for the venues. Dining - we pretty much kept to our late seating in the dining room. The staff there were not as attentive as we have had on other RCI ships and they seemed to be in a bit of a daze most of the time. They kept asking us to give them rave reviews which I suspect had something to do with the stress they were under to perform. We even tried Johnny Rockets one morning and it was very disorganized. We tend to avoid the Windjammer as it is a bit hectic in there. When we did venture in the selection seemed to be limited. I am sure the company is feeling the downturn in the economy and probably trying to do more with less like everyone else. As a repeat customer we do comparisons and the customer service on Allure was definitely not up to our expectations. Ports - Nassau looks a little tired and needs some attention. Even the walkway to the reception area is in need of repair. We were going to have a beer at Senor Frogs however the prices were crazy...we settled for a quieter place with reasonable prices. RCI could strike this port off their itinerary. St. Thomas was okay but is always a bit of a free-for-all to get a ride anywhere. We normally head off to St. John's for snorkeling but decided to do a beach on the island this time. It rained off and on all day so we were glad we stayed close-by. St. Maarten is one of our favourite ports. We for the afternoon. The ship could stand to stay in this port a little longer. All in the all the ship looks great. The entertainment staff were fantastic and the shows were awesome. We had Captain Johnny on the Mariner and once again he put on a show himself...RCI needs to scout out more captains like him. The only real negative we had on Allure was the service. I think the shear size of the ship has created an environment not unlike that of a huge all-inclusive resort where staff can get by on mediocrity. In future I think we will stick with the Freedom and Voyager class ships where the staff seem to be more attentive. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Foreword The Allure of the Seas is a rock star. Her arrival or departure at a port causes everyone to stop and stare. Whether they are millionaires on a yacht, dockworkers or fellow cruisers on another ship, everyone is impressed by ... Read More
Foreword The Allure of the Seas is a rock star. Her arrival or departure at a port causes everyone to stop and stare. Whether they are millionaires on a yacht, dockworkers or fellow cruisers on another ship, everyone is impressed by monumentality. The Allure is monumental to be sure. The fact that humans built something so gigantic, complex and magnificent is nothing short of amazing. If anyone would like to read this review and see my pictures, follow this link: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1513962 Pre Cruise My wife and I booked this cruise over a year ago while we were on Freedom of the Seas. At the time it was hard to fathom that any ship could be more impressive than Freedom. I could tell from pictures that Allure would be bigger. I could also tell that it had a park and a boardwalk. But the actual experience would prove to be much more impressive than viewing pictures could ever be. We drove down the day before the cruise and stayed at the Westin in North Ft. Lauderdale. The hotel was very nice and easy to find being right off I-95. We had a nice dinner at Southport Raw Bar followed by ice cream at Jaxson's. The next morning we drove to the port and parked at Park-n-Go. They have a nice lot near Port Everglades and offer shuttle service to and from the terminal. We only paid $5.99 per day, which is much lower than the $15 to park at the pier. I was surprised by how quickly embarkation went. The new terminal is huge and they have numerous security and check-in lines to handle the large crowds. Having arrived at the pier around 11 AM, we were checked in and waiting upstairs before 11:30. They began loading the ship soon thereafter and we were on board before noon. The Greatest Ship Ever Built I have written many reviews of cruise ships in the past, but this one is going to take quite a bit more effort. The only logical way to cover such a gigantic ship is break it into sections and take it piece by piece. Royal Caribbean has chosen to divide the ship into "neighborhoods", so I shall do likewise. Covering most of Deck 5 is the biggest-yet incarnation of the Royal Promenade. It is also the first neighborhood visited upon entering the ship. There are seven large anchor areas in the neighborhood along with numerous smaller shops. "Boleros", the Latin themed dance club. The "On Air", which is a mixed use sports bar and karaoke lounge. "Bow and Stern" is the ship's British pub. "Sorrento's Pizzeria" is directly across the street. Unlike its Freedom Class counterpart, most of the seating is outside in the Promenade. I think I prefer the setup on Freedom, it felt more like sitting in an authentic pizzeria. "Cafe Promenade" has a nice selection of pastries, cookies, coffees, teas and deli sandwiches. Guest Services is next door. The addition of self-serve kiosks allows guests to check their Seapass accounts and other functions without seeing a staff member. The "Champagne Bar" is across from Guest Relations, as well as the lower landing of the "Rising Tide Bar". One is immediately taken aback by the scale and openness of the space. Unlike the promenades on the Voyager and Freedom class ships, the Allure's has a second level with balconies for the Schooner Bar (above Guest Services), Focus Photo Gallery (above the Champagne Bar) and The Diamond Club (above Boleros). Aside from those balconies, the other venues have faux second levels that give an illusion of height even though Allure's Promenade is actually one deck shorter than those on the older ships. Large glass skylights let in natural light from Central Park above. Lower in the ship one will find Entertainment Place, situated mostly on Deck 4. First is the cavernous "Amber Theater", which is the ship's main show lounge. It seats well over a thousand people and is very similar to the main theater on the Freedom Class ships. The Amber Theater has been outfitted with 3D capable equipment and a great sounding audio system. The seating is comfortable, and they have added some poorly placed box seats along the back wall of the balcony. I say poorly because, while they seem enticing with their high top table and chairs, everyone seems to stroll into the theater during shows and stand right in front of them. We sat in one during Chicago (more on that later) and were constantly having to ask folks to move out of our way. Outside Amber Theater are the "Jazz on 4" club, and the "Blaze" dance club. Both feature nightly music and dancing. Next to Jazz on 4 is the ship's "Comedy Live" club. It features live stand up throughout the week, although reservations are required. "Studio B" is also on Deck 4, which is home to the ice skating rink. It's also where the ice shows take place. I like that they have hallways on either side of Studio B now, which allow transit around the rink. On earlier classes the ice rink spanned the entire deck, which means one could not traverse front to back. Allure's "Casino Royale" is a large and impressive gambling hall that spans the width of the ship. Smoking is allowed on one side of the casino. Occupying a huge piece of the ship between Deck 3 and Deck 5 is the gigantic Adagio Dining Room, Allure's main restaurant. Each level has a bar/sitting area in front of the entrance for waiting guests to congregate before meals. The restaurant is very nice, and pleasant to dine in. My only complaint is that they eliminated the staircases inside the dining room. This means that you have to walk out to the stairwells if you want to visit a different level of the dining room. I assume this was a space saving measure, but you really notice their absence each time you accidentally walk in on the wrong level. Allure has a large Vitality Spa and Fitness Center forward on decks 5 and 6. It features a full gym and spa area. The spa area has a very nice thermal suite (a surcharge applies) that my wife enjoyed thoroughly. Although the gym is no longer at the top of the ship as it was on earlier classes, it still has many extra large windows to let sunlight in. The spa area also has it's own café offering healthy alternatives to the ship's other restaurants. This is a feature I have not yet seen on a Royal Caribbean ship, although I have read that Celebrity has similar eateries in their spa areas. Deck 6 and The Boardwalk Prior to venturing outside into the Boardwalk I visited "Dazzles" dance club. It is definitely one of the nicest dance clubs I have seen on a cruise ship. The lower level has seating, a large dance floor, the bar and a small stage for live music. The balcony is all seating, but with its V-shape the dance floor is visible to most folks sitting up there. The good design and tasteful décor is certainly a plus, but the real jewel of the room is the fantastic view. The entire back wall of Dazzles is glass, and it looks out onto the Boardwalk. In the day you get a cool view all the way back to Aqua Theater and the ocean. At night, club goers are treated to the fully lit up Boardwalk area. The Boardwalk itself located on the aft area of Deck 6, and is totally open air above and to the rear. There are balcony rooms that look out onto it, giving what would otherwise be interior cabins a pleasant open verandah. As you enter The Boardwalk you get a sense of the Coney Island theme that the designers were going for. The walls of the entranceway have fun house mirrors and circus inspired panels. A Zoltar machine heckles guests to pay him for a reading of their fortunes. The centerpieces of the entrance are sculptures depicting the steps that the carousel horses go through during their creation. The real, full size carousel that calls The Boardwalk home then greets guests. You can really appreciate the detail and craftsmanship that went into it. One of the horses even sports a big Crown and Anchor logo on his saddle. The Boardwalk is home to several shops and restaurants. The first that one comes across is the Boardwalk Dog House. It has several gourmet hot dogs on the menu, and is free of charge. I ate there once but was unimpressed. It tasted fine, but the bun was stale and hard just like nearly every other cruise ship hot dog I have eaten. I don't know why they can't ever seem to stock fresh bread. Across the way is a little donut shop. They serve coffee, teas and donuts in the mornings. Other shops include an ice cream parlor, a candy shop, a build-a-bear store, a novelty photo booth and a clothing store. There are two large eateries on The Boardwalk. On the port side is "Rita's Cantina", a Mexican themed open-air restaurant serving tacos, fajitas and the like. They also have some pretty decent frozen margaritas. Across from Rita's is "Johnny Rocket's Diner". For those that aren't familiar, JR's is a 1950s themed diner serving burgers, fries and shakes. It has both indoor and outdoors seating. A surcharge applies to both Rita's and JR's. While the Boardwalk is impressive, the real stunner of the area is the "Aqua Theater". It is a huge amphitheater with permanent beach chair seating. The "stage" is actually a rigid mesh that can be lowered to reveal a large pool beneath. The theater's pool, when the stage is fully lowered, is over 14 feet deep. This allows high divers to jump safely into the pool from high up on the superstructure. Water jets that create a "dancing fountain" effect also surround the stage. Flanking the Aqua Theater are the ship's dual rock climbing walls. I did not spend a tremendous amount of time at The Boardwalk mostly due to its location on the ship. You have to mean to go there, it's not a place you walk through going from A to B. I strolled down the Promenade and through Central Park many times during the week while on my way elsewhere. Obviously there is no way to solve that issue, but it certainly seemed like the whole area was under used. Moving back inside on Deck 6 we find the nautical themed "Schooner Bar", a Royal Caribbean institution. Like its counterparts on other ships it features pleasant leather loungers and live piano music at night. A slight wood smoke aroma piped in to add to the ambiance, a feature I enjoyed on the Radiance Class thankfully carried over. Of course this is Allure, so it had to be taken a step further. This Schooner Bar also features a great view of the Royal Promenade and the Rising Tide Bar since it is open to the vast area below. Directly across from the Schooner Bar is "Focus", the ship's photo gallery. Unlike most other ships, you don't see endless displays of pre printed photos hung up for you to rifle through. Not on this ship! On allure you find large revolving drums containing hundreds of numbered folders. Everyone is assigned a folder, and this is where you will find most of your photos. This is achieved through a combination of facial recognition technology and the photographers swiping the Seapass before taking a picture. A few pictures are still printed, but they are mostly the port debarkation photos and other miscellaneous shots. Focus also has a small selection of cameras for sale, as well as camera supplies. Lastly on Deck 6, but certainly not least, is the Diamond Club. It is a private lounge for Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members of the Crown and Anchor Society. The lounge is located directly above Boleros, and has it's own balcony overlooking the Promenade. The lounge is very nice, as is the balcony seating. It has coffee and teas available at all hours, and they also serve a continental breakfast in the mornings. The Diamond event was held in Jazz on 4 each night, which I found to be a bit odd. The actual Diamond Club seemed like it would be plenty large enough to handle the crowds we saw in the Jazz club each evening. Central Park: Nestled in the very heart of the ship is its crown jewel, Central Park. Royal Caribbean could have just built The Boardwalk and hit a home run. With Central Park, they knocked it out of the park and into the next town. The first step into Central Park is nothing short of breathtaking. Living trees, shrubs, grasses and vines growing all around greet you warmly. The sweeping glass canopies look more like sculptures than functional skylights and overhangs. There are two areas in the middle of Central Park that don't have balconies. These areas are instead covered with ferns, vines and flowers that create a living wall. Bird sounds plays softly over hidden speakers, and a few real ones have even taken up residence. There are benches and seats tucked away all over, allowing visitors to sit and relax while in the park. The planning and execution of the park are stunning, and one forgets they are even on a cruise ship while spending time there. Along with the experience of the park, visiting guests also have many dining, shopping and beverage options. There is a Coach store, along with a Britto art gallery in the park. "Vintages" is the ship's wine bar. It has great lounge and couch seating that seems more like a living room than a bar. I'm not a wine drinker, but it looked like they had a very large selection. "The Trellis Bar" is an open-air pub located close to the middle of the park. "Chops" steakhouse is located in the park, as is "150 Central Park" which is the ships high-end supper club. "Giovanni's Table" is a family style Italian restaurant. Cover charges apply to all, and all have patio seating. My favorite place in Central Park is the Park Cafe. It is a free restaurant that serves sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads. They have a very good roast beef sandwich that I had several times. In the mornings they serve great breakfast sandwiches, the ham egg and cheese English muffin was my favorite. They also have a really nice "build your own bagel" station. My only complaint about Park Cafe is that it should have been bigger. After the first day, most folks figure out how bad The Windjammer is (more on that later). Park Cafe then gets very crowded, even with its' outside seating. Some folks even had to sit at the patio tables of Giovanni's Table. Deck 14: The ship's kid's area is located forward on deck 14. It has several colorful play rooms and activity centers for the little ones. They also have a small arcade and movie theater just for children. At the very front of Deck 14 is the "Sun Deck". It occupies the entirety of the roof above the ship's Bridge. They have stacks of lounge chairs out there for sunning. Guests can also walk out onto the bridge wings that stick out past the edges of the ship. Unfortunately this is as close to the bow of the ship as most guests can get. I really wish the guest accessible bow area had been incorporated into this class. I enjoyed that area a lot on the Freedom and Radiance classes. Deck 15: Pools, Hot Tubs, And So Much More! Deck 15 is where the ship's five guest accessible pools are located. All the way forward is the adults-only Solarium. A (partially) glass enclosed area with loungers, two hot tubs and a pool. It also has it's own restaurant, the Solarium Bistro. The food in Solarium Bistro fits in between the Windjammer and Spa Cafe on the healthy scale. They have a salad bar, soups and a variety of dishes. Almost all of the walls are glass, offering great views off the front of the ship. The upper level of the Solarium has more loungers and patio seating, as well as a full service bar. Just outside the Solarium (but still posted as adults only) are the two large cantilevered whirlpools, a feature carried over from the Freedom class. On Allure they are much larger and each divided into two sections. They have flat screen TVs above, and feature an "infinity" edge. There are four large pools in the middle of deck 15, each with a different style and purpose. The "Main Pool" is just a basic pool for swimming; it also has a tiered sunning area adjacent to it that stretches up to the next deck. The "Beach Pool" is the only salt-water pool on board. It has a sloped sunning area that allows the pool water to flow around the lounge chairs as if they were sitting in actual surf. The "Sports Pool" is used mostly for pool games, as the name would imply. I saw many games of pool volleyball being played in it, which looked very fun. The last pool is located within the children's water park area. Each pool has its own hot tubs. The "Living Room" teen club is located on Deck 15 aft of the pool area. It is a large lounge area with several TVs and video game systems. It also has a music room and outdoor seating area. I was pretty jealous of the outdoor teen area; it has big beanbag chairs and comfy looking couches. The "Fuel" teen disco is next door to the Living Room. It is nicer and larger than the adult dance clubs I have seen on other ships. All the way aft on Deck 15 is the sports area. It is home to the ships dual Flowriders. One is used for body boarding, the other for surfing. "Allure Dunes" is the ship's mini golf course. There is also a full size basketball court, and two ping-pong areas that are enclosed to prevent wind interference. All of those features are impressive, but the big draw is of course the Zip Line. It stretches from behind the "Wipeout Bar" all the way across The Boardwalk to a platform on the opposite side. The ride is only about 10 seconds long, but the view can't be beat! The sports deck has it's own restaurant, "The Wipeout Cafe" It has assorted items like tacos, hamburgers, soft serve ice cream and delicious pretzel wrapped hot dogs. Deck 16: Why you shouldn't visit the Windjammer on Allure,,,ever. Aside from open decks for sunning, the only big draw on Deck 16 is the "Windjammer Marketplace". It is the ship's main buffet area, just as it is on all other Royal Caribbean ships. On Allure though, the Windjammer is almost comically under sized for the population of the ship. I don't have solid numbers to back it up, but it seems smaller than the Windjammer on the Freedom Class (which carry much less people). I never ate there, but I did walk through Allure's Windjammer once and that was enough for me. The crowding was ridiculous and it seemed like every single table was occupied. Thankfully I already knew about the Windjammer issues from reading Cruise Critic, so I was prepared to steer clear. The ship is designed so that passengers will disperse and use all of the other restaurants. Unfortunately most cruisers are still hard wired into the idea that there are two places to eat on a ship, the buffet and the main dining room. It's not until a few days into the cruise that the herd of folks migrate into the others areas and discovers that there are more and better alternatives on board. The "Izumi" Asian restaurant and sushi bar is next to the Windjammer. It looked very nice, but we never ate there due to the surcharge. Deck 17: The highest deck of the ship is home to one of my favorite features of a Royal Caribbean ship, the Viking Crown Lounge. It has huge windows that look out onto the pool deck and the ocean. The VCL is a great place to sit, relax and enjoy its awesome views. The Pinnacle Chapel and Pinnacle Lounge flank the VCL; they are used for weddings and religious gatherings. The Loft Suites are also on this deck, but it's doubtful that I will ever get to stay in one. Day 1: After the quick embarkation and exploration of the ship we found our way to the cabins. We were lucky to get one of the interior cabins where the bed is against the rear wall. The other setup has the bed in the middle, with the couch closer to the back of the room. The former feels bigger even though they have identical square footage. The cabins are very well thought out with little touches that go a long way to increase guest comfort. The room had three outlet plugs, plus a hidden one under the desk. It has a dual IPod dock with speakers and a clock, ample closet space, flat screen TV, and a hair dryer. In the bathroom there is a good-sized shower with sliding doors and small shelves for storage. They also built in a low output night-light so that the main bathroom light does not need to be turned on at night. The only weird thing in the cabin was the counterintuitive light switches. There is one large "master switch" that has to be on for anything to work. If it is not on, nothing but the bathroom will illuminate. Aside from that there are two smaller switches, one for the main overhead lights and one for the indirect lighting that shine onto the pictures on the wall. There is also a switch for the bathroom light and the vanity light. As if that were not enough, there are duplicates of the two smaller switches by the bed, which will only work if the master switch is on. Confused yet? I was for a while. I was constantly hitting the wrong one, or forgetting to turn on the master switch. After a few days I got the hang of it, but it seems overly cumbersome. Even though the ship is tremendously huge I found it very easy to navigate through. They did an excellent job signing things and keeping guests oriented. I also enjoyed being on such a new ship with everything working as designed. We had our first meal onboard in the Park Cafe, the roast beef sandwiches were excellent. The eatery reminded me of the Seaview Cafe on the Radiance which was another favorite spot of mine. I headed to the Sun Deck and watched our departure from Port Everglades. After leaving the channel we were hit by some very high winds and the open decks were closed. Our serving staff at dinner was awesome. We were scheduled to see the Aqua Theater show that first evening, but the bad weather and high winds caused it to be cancelled. So we went to the Amber Theater and watched a 3D move instead. The audio and video quality was outstanding. Day 2, Nassau: I woke up around noon, no rush really. I don't even bother getting off the ship in Nassau anymore. Enjoying the sparsely populated ship is much more desirable than dealing with the crowds and junk peddling locals. My wife and I had lunchfast at the Wipeout Cafe. I love their pretzel dogs. I spent most of the day in and around the Solarium and the cantilevered hot tubs. The other ships in port seemed almost miniscule compared to our Allure. I watched sail away from Nassau at the Sun Deck again. There was an Aida ship parked next to us. Apparently their dress code is a bit different than ours. I saw two different women sunning topless, and no one seemed to think much of it. You have to love those relaxed European sensibilities. I can't wait for our Puritanical country to catch up. We waved goodbye to the Bahamas and set sail for St. Thomas. We all spent some time in the Viking Crown before leaving for the ice show. We all watched the "Ice Games" show in Studio B. It was well done, just like the other ice shows I have seen on Freedom of the Seas. It did seem a bit like a commercial as most of the sets depicted were locations around the ship. After the show we all went back to the cabins to get into our Halloween costumes. The crew did a great job of dressing the ship up for Halloween. They changed the Promenades lighting to orange and had cobwebs, balloons and other props placed about. We had dinner in our costumes, which was a new experience for me. They also converted the Blaze disco into a walk through haunted house. We waited in line for it, and it was okay but nothing spectacular. We missed the costume parade on the Promenade, but I saw it later on TV. Some of the costumes people brought were very impressive. After the haunted house my friend and I smoked cigars up in the suite guest sunning area. It is the only place on the entire ship where cigar smoking is allowed, and only after 7 PM. The whole situation is totally unacceptable since a cold, windy deck is no place for fine cigar smoking. It makes no sense that the smaller Freedom Class has lovely cigar lounges, but the gigantic Oasis Class does not. There should be some small lounge on the ship where folks can enjoy their stogies. That open deck up top is an insult. They even have two humidors on board selling sticks just to throw some more salt into the wound. Later that night we all went to the Amber Theater again and watched Saw 3D. The movie was terrible, but it wasn't Royal Caribbean's fault. The producers should be ashamed of themselves. It was obvious that they were just wringing every last drop of profit out of the franchise with no regard for quality. Day 3, At Sea: My wife and I began our first sea day at the Crown and Anchor reception in the Aqua Theater. They had free champagne and a few mixed drinks. Captain Johnny welcomed us on board and they also had a high diving demonstration. We had lunch in the main dining room. They have an excellent "create your own salad" bar. It has just about everything you could want in a salad, and it tastes fantastic. They also have regular menu items available. In the afternoon my wife had a fun time on the Zip Line, and I had a drink while riding the Rising Tide Bar. We stopped into the Diamond Lounge early, right at 5 when it opened. It is much more crowded at 5 than it is at 7 when we usually went. One of the crew told us that we were some of the youngest Diamond members they have seen who actually "earned it" (referring to kids of Diamond members). I'm not sure if this was a jibe at the new policy (which allows children into the lounge) or not, but thankfully no one brought any kids in there during our sailing. We went to see Chicago in the Amber Theater prior to dinner. It was very well done, but not really something I enjoyed. Not because of anything with the cast or musicians, I'm just not big on musical theater. We then had a nice dinner in the main dining room, and tried again to have cigars up in the wind tunnel. It was an early night in preparation of our arrival in St. Thomas the next morning. Day 4, St. Thomas: Unfortunately Allure does not dock at the Havensight. Pier, and instead ties up at Crown Bay. The area around the Crown Bay pier is much less appealing than Havensight, which has numerous shops, bars and the tram ride up to Paradise Point. There is only a small shopping area at the Crown Bay pier, and the area seems much more industrial. We planned to get a taxi over to Magen's Bay while in St. Thomas, but the weather turned bad before we could even leave the pier complex. So instead of wasting the cab fare, we just got back on the ship and enjoyed the hot tubs in the Solarium. I tried the Boardwalk Dog House for lunch. The hot dog itself was ok, but the bun was stale so we went to the Park Cafe instead. After relaxing in the room for a while I walked to the public deck the overlooks Aqua Theater at the aft end of Deck 12. They had just started a show so I took a few pictures. I didn't stay for the whole show since we were scheduled to see it later in the evening. I then went out to the front Sun Deck to watch sail away. BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! It blared over the PA system announcing an injury at the Aqua Theater stage. I walked back to the aft deck to see what had happened. Another passenger told me that one of the performers had been injured during the show. The ship remained in port late so that medical personnel could take the performer off the ship for treatment. We later learned that the performer was treated for a compound fracture and will make a full recovery. Unfortunately our Aqua Theater show was cancelled again. We went to Rita's Cantina for one of the special "Rita's Fiesta" they have during the week. It includes 3 margaritas, dinner, music and dancing. The whole thing is a lot of fun, and worth the $20 per person surcharge. I highly recommend it we had a great time! After Rita's we briefly went to the Headliner Show featuring Tony Tillman. He is a song and dance act, and I did not really care for it. We left shortly after it started and later went to Studio B for The Quest. The Quest on Allure was one of the best and funniest that I have yet been to. The cruise director just made each section of the audience a team and had two Team Captains out on the floor. This really got everyone involved instead of it just being a few groups taking part. If you aren't easily offended and like to have fun go to The Quest! Day 5, St. Maarten: After a nice breakfast at Park Cafe we left the ship and caught a water taxi over to the downtown area. We did a little shopping and then hit the beach for a few hours. Later in the afternoon we returned to the ship and went up to the Solarium hot tubs again. I watched our final sail away from the bridge wing, it was sad to think that our next stop would be Fort Lauderdale. It seemed like the cruise had just started. In the evening we went to the Crown and Anchor top tier event. They had the cast from Chicago perform a brief show for us. Bar staff were also serving free drinks. My wife and I each had a couple of drinks, and I felt that was sufficient. Some folks were not as restrained. I observed one couple taking several, (before they could have possibly been done with the ones they already had) stopping the waiters each time they walked by. I don't know why some folks feel the need to abuse the generosity of the cruise line, but its behavior like that that causes perks to be taken away. After a good dinner we went to Comedy Live to see the show. After many cruises I can confidently say that Dan Wilson and Ralph Harris put on the best show I have seen thus far. I think the venue should be a bit bigger to accommodate more people, but the show was hilarious. After the Comedy Show we stopped into Vintages so the ladies could enjoy the sangria special. We then finished the night at Dazzles for the Michael Jackson dance party. All in all, it was a very good day. Day 6, at sea: We began our second to last day with a visit to Studio B for the "How to Train Your Dragon" ice show. I actually thought that it was better produced than the main ice show. The sets were better looking, as were the costumes and props. After the show we had an excellent lunch in the main dining room. The salad bar they set up is top notch and delicious. Later we visited the sports and zip line. We also had some drinks in the Viking Crown lounge. My wife and I stopped by the loyalty desk and booked our cruise on Freedom of the Seas next year. They have a nice program that gives on board credit for future bookings made on board. We all went to the main dining room for the last of two formal nights. The meal wasn't very good unfortunately. The lobster was dry and flavorless. The pasta dish was okay, but the desserts were downright boring. I was pretty disappointed since formal night dinners are usually the best ones. After dinner we watched the "Blue Planet" show in the Amber Theater. The show was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend seeing it to anyone going on Allure. The sets were very well done, as was the acrobatic work. After the show we stopped by Park Cafe for snacks. Two obnoxious children jumped in front of us in line demanding cookies from the lady behind the counter. The same two continued running about making noise with no parents to be found. So we left and walked over to Sorrento's and ran in to still more kids running about. I don't know what it is about walking onto a cruise ship that causes parent's to turn their spawn loose on the rest of society, but absentee parents are becoming an all too common problem. Day 7, one last day at sea: Our last day at sea was a fairly busy one. We first went to the backstage theater tour for Diamond guests. It was interesting to see where the cast gets ready for the shows. It's much smaller than you would assume. We then walked to Aqua Theater and watched the Dreamworks Aqua Show. It was tailored to children obviously, but I still enjoyed seeing the high divers and acrobats do their things. My friends then took a trip up the rock-climbing wall before we hit Johnny Rockets for milkshakes. My wife and I used our free slot pull tickets from our Diamond books. I actually won something finally, a free T-shirt. We visited the Solarium hot tubs one last time before getting ready for our dinner at the "Samba Grill" Brazilian steakhouse, which is set up in the Solarium Bistro at night. The meal was good, but not up to par with other Brazilian steakhouses I have been to on land. The quality of the meats and salad bar was not in the same league as places like Texas de Brazil. But the price was much lower than a land based restaurant, so I wasn't upset. It's just unlikely that I will go again. We went early to dinner so that we could attend the Oceanaria Aqua Show, which had been rescheduled twice before (once for weather and once for the inured cast member). We made our way out to the Boardwalk and got in line. After standing around for about 30 minutes we were informed that our show was again cancelled due to the winds. Everyone was understandably let down since there would be no more showings. The only thing that bothered me was that they should have made the call sooner. The weather had not changed at all between when we arrived and when they cancelled it. I understand that the weather can't be helped; but they should have been quicker to decide rather that leaving us to stand around for so long. We all went back to our rooms to pack and put our luggage out. Debarkation: We had our final breakfast at the Park Cafe and set off to debark. From the point we left the café to when we got to the curb was around 25 minutes. Not the best I have seen, but far from the worst. We had some trouble catching our shuttle back to the Park-n-Go lot. The area for guests to wait for shuttles is not very well signed. Everyone basically waits in a big group with no discernable system. Whenever a shuttle pulls up, folks just sort of mob to it. We eventually got to our car and on the road. The cruise was tremendously enjoyable, and I hope to visit Allure or her sister again one day. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We arrived in Fort Lauderdale after a 6 hour drive from Orlando during a tropical storm, which was exciting for all the wrong reasons! You have seen those TV programs on 'storm-chasing', well we were living an episode!! The ... Read More
We arrived in Fort Lauderdale after a 6 hour drive from Orlando during a tropical storm, which was exciting for all the wrong reasons! You have seen those TV programs on 'storm-chasing', well we were living an episode!! The trip should have taken no more than 4 hours, but due to the horrendous weather it took longer, after a 9 hour flight from the UK, we were relieved to finally hit Fort Lauderdale, albeit in the midst of a storm instead of the expected glorious sunshine -â€" oh well! After an ok night at the Westin Beachfront Hotel we boarded the Allure. Embarkation was smooth; bags were outside the cabin by 4pm. Our muster-drill was painless at the Aqua Theatre. By now the tropical storm had subsided and it was now humid and cloudy- this set the weather pattern for most of the week on the Western route. We had an ocean view Balcony cabin on Deck 11 which was great and an improvement from our Inside on the Oasis the previous October. So glad we booked this, as it was really nice to sit outside -â€" rain or shine! As mentioned in other reviews, the Allure is so huge it is sometimes difficult to actually find a spot to just watch over the ocean. We found the cabin to be nicely appointed, I had picked out the location after studying deck plans and it worked out very well (11680). Housekeeping was excellent. The bathroom is slightly small and I agree with other posters, the sink is way too shallow and water does slop over. I won't elaborate on the various venues of the ship as these have all been rated and raved about previously, but we love the Oasis/Allure ships, so much thought has gone into the design and layout, there is also so much to do. We saw all of the shows and parades and thought these were very good; Blue Planet was spectacular. The aqua show was terrific, but I personally thought just a tad too long and repetitious. I would highly recommend making your reservations online as soon (prior to cruise) as you can as there were many folks in the standby line at all the shows. My fave spot is the Casino, which is huge. I only play slots and donated quite a large amount on this trip. For me the slots were fun, and I like to take a coffee down there on a sea-day prior to dinner and relax. There is a non-smoking side if you were wondering. Restaurants: We avoided the Windjammer for the most part, but had a late-ish (8:40pm) dinner one night when it was quiet. Food was nice. We had a MyTime Reservation in the MDR and this worked out well and we were accommodated quickly each night. Our waiter recommended dishes if we were stuck and overall the food was of good quality; hot and appeared without overdue delay. We were never rushed. My only slight negative comment would be on day 6, when it seemed every single member of wait-staff from the water/wine chap to the Head Waiter paid our table a visit. This was to tell us it had been a pleasure to have has us there and to encourage us to leave good feedback on the comment card that had been left in our room prior to cruise end. Just amusing really. As we had pre-paid our grats, this would have made no difference to us, but if we hadn't (paid grats upfront) may have construed these over-zealous visits to ensure grats were incoming! For lunch, the best option is the MDR (sea days only) where they set up a quick Bistro style dining service. They have a good main and dessert choice, but the best part (for us!) was the Tuti salad bar where you can choose items and have these prepped with toppings and dressings -â€" wonderful! We had been recommended to eat at Izumi, (Asian upcharge dining). The food was good, we had the self-cook hot rock option. However, although I have a small appetite, the portions were tiny, not man-size at all! I think this venue would be suited to larger groups. As we only had a table for 2, the atmosphere felt reserved. Not sure if I would bother to book there again. We felt the Starbucks coffee had the slight edge over the Seattle's Best concession! We are big coffee drinkers and so this is our daily treat (several times). We also enjoyed the complimentary coffee from Cafe Promenade, Park Cafe and Boardwalk (by ice cream stand) but it varied daily. One day weak, then strong then soapy! Park Cafe -â€" Roast beef ravings -â€" spot on. Great place for lunch. We always checked the electronic information board before choosing our breakfast/lunch venues and this was quite accurate with regards to crowd levels. I would urge you do this this -â€" fantastic technology; a great help. Ports of call: Labadee -â€" cloudy and some rain on our port visit. We did the Dragon's Breath Coaster which was fun. Relaxed on the beach and enjoyed the RCI BBQ. Food was nice, not great, but certainly adequate and plentiful. I am sure this little tropical beach haven would be better with the sun shining. Falmouth -â€" we didn't expect a lot here but actually, it was better than anticipated. We basked in the one day of sunshine. We took the open trolley-bus tour around some of the island, did a 10 minute stop at an old church. The overall trip was around 40 minutes, which was refreshing and gave a brief snapshot of Jamaican life. Everyone seemed to be smiling! We shopped within the Port confines and overall it was a pleasant day. Cozumel -â€" We arrived to drizzle which then turned to heavy downpour. We had booked an excursion by XTrail tours, (via the ship) which was a ride into the jungle on dune buggies (self-driven) and a stop off at the Jade Caverns. We learned Cozumel had had a lot of rain recently, so our trip was on bumpy, puddle filled dirt tracks. We knew we would get dirty, but we actually got absolutely drenched with mud. This was great fun for the first part of the trip, but on the way back, after a dip in the Jade caverns, or should that be brown caverns, we were getting cold and mozzie bitten. A great tour if the weather had been better. If you do this, make sure you take a clean set of clothes and any clothes you do take, realise that they will be virtually ruined! Interactive TV : We didn't turn on the TV much on our Oasis cruise last year, and actually this warrants a mention as we missed out on a lot of stuff! This time, we learned our lesson. As well as having 35 programme/movie channels, you can access your live 'billing' and track onboard spend. We also liked the 'ports of call' features and the daily blog with Captain Zini, which was very informative and concluded with a weather update. Also, some of the shows -â€" Love & Marriage, Belly-flop are recorded and shown on the TV, so this is good to see if you missed them. You can make dinner reservations too. Staff: Overall all staff we met were enthusiastic and courteous. Never had a problem with anyone. Not sure about Ken Rush, or 'work-shy Ken' as we dubbed him! Richard Spacey was our Cruise Director on the Oasis. To be honest, having cruised RCI before, we liked the personalities of the CD's but they didn't make or break our cruise, that is, until we experienced Richard, (who was one of the stars on the Oasis). So we had high hopes in enjoying the Belly-flop, Sexiest Man, Quest, Love & Marriage with a funny CD. MMmmmmm not quite so. Ken didn't appear at all of the events and seemed a bit jaded. His 2IC hosted quite a lot and Ken made a point at the 'Captains Corner' to mention his aim was to break into TV -â€" any takers out there etc. In summary: We had an amazing time on the Allure, bench-marked by our Oasis trip a year earlier. Comparing the ships, RCI have made some tweaks for the better on the Allure. I'm not sure which cruise I liked the best. Richard Spacey's presence was sadly missed this time. This is one amazing and beautiful ship. The artwork and small touches that are so easily over-looked only add to her magnificence. I like the Vegas. Disney-esque, OTT ambience of this ship and I realise that this won't appeal to everyone. Having taken our son and his friend last year (teens) this ship is perfect for families. It may be too hectic for some folks as you really have to look hard for a space to find some solitude, or a sea breeze and a view. Trouble is, where you go after the Allure? For us, she has definitely proved that bigger is better! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
From the time we arrived to the time we left this huge ship we had the best cruise vacation you could have, how could you not. We arrived at the port at 1045 am we parked at park and go great deals. The ship let us on around 11:15am. ... Read More
From the time we arrived to the time we left this huge ship we had the best cruise vacation you could have, how could you not. We arrived at the port at 1045 am we parked at park and go great deals. The ship let us on around 11:15am. First stop was Balleros to drink frozen mojitos best on any ship. The cabins were not ready until 1pm so we had lunch at windjammer. The food on this ship was so good any were you went but the windjammer. I would recommend the first day to eat at the park cafe on deck 8 central park. The ship is so huge and large your jaw drops as you walk on board. We checked out our table and had to change it to add 2 more people in our group. The cabin was so large and the view was perfect. We had dinner at chops and 150 central park in the week. Both were excellent. We had lunch at the Japanese restaurant and ritas mexican both also excellent. The shows and we saw all of them were the best shows we have ever seen. I have been on many cruise ships and shows and never were they as good as the Allure. The best show is the chicago and the water show. The bars and lounges always had great music around the ship. The restaurant food was also very good. The service on this ship is out standing. We had great weather all the way threw. I would recommend the rising tide bar its great for people watch. Every port we went to it was very easy to get on and off this ship. Cabin lady we had was very very good. The ship art is so different and has so much to look at all the time. I used the zip line that was such a thrill. debark was so fast and not in your face loved it. Labadee in Haiti was fantastic and hot. The dock is so much better then tendering. We lay out that day on the beach. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Travelled out on the 9/11 sailing on the Western Caribbean route. I did not intend writing a lengthy report repeating what everyone else has said about this wonderful ship. We sailed on the Oasis last year so knew roughly what to ... Read More
Travelled out on the 9/11 sailing on the Western Caribbean route. I did not intend writing a lengthy report repeating what everyone else has said about this wonderful ship. We sailed on the Oasis last year so knew roughly what to expect, and had a great vacation. Stayed overnight at the Embassy Suites in Boca Raton very good managers reception and breakfast, hotel good standard. Dropped our Hertz car off at the airport only to be told that there was not a shuttle to the port?? Employee took us to the port in the car and dropped us off Embarkation was a breeze. We were allowed in the staterooms at 1pm, and the luggage arrived at 1.05pm. Note: Alcohol checks in hand luggage were very strict. I noticed rum runners being confiscated, and we had 4, single glass sized bottles removed. (These were given back on the Thursday night - so we still drank them onboard) Ports of Call are what they are, orchestrated by RCI, with Labadee being our favourite, despite the flies getting to my bbq before I did. Falmouth - we went on the Martha Brae rafting tour. Had a wonderfull raft captain called Ray, who wore the biggest blue rasta hat. He sang to us most of the way down when not giving informative information. We called him "Rasta Ray". Cozumel - caught the Independance Day parade. Not often you get anything free in Cozumel. POSITIVES: MDR Staff were excellent, with special praises to our waiter SABIT from Macedonia, and JUNE from Philippines on the front desk. These worked like crazy to make sure we had a great time and always made sure we got our pre booked times. In my opinion, these two stand out from other cruises we have taken. Always a smile and a chat. COCKTAILS: The ones we had from the bars were always worth the money plenty of alcohol in them. CHEFS TABLE: Absolutely brilliant, and together with the 5 wines and 1 champagne, well worth the $75 a head. Worthy of several Michelin stars. We shared this experience with 12 wonderful and extremely sociable table mates.Just need to try the recipes in the cook book we received. PARK CAF: Love this place for breakfast and lunch can't stand the queues and mass produced food in the Windjammer. UNFORTUNATELY NEGATIVES: HYGIENE. Having been made to sign a declaration about my hygiene at embarkation, I found it unacceptable to find numerous examples of unclean cups in the Promenade Caf area. Having to pick up 6 cups with lipstick or food debris, before I found a clean one is unacceptable. This happened on more than one occasion. I have been involved in HACCP standards, and RCI should be reprimanded. I brought it to the attention of Guest Services, who went immediately into the kitchens. Later that night, G Services placed two bottles of wine in our stateroom with an apology thank you. I then noticed that only paper cups were available the next day!! The following night we had a knock on the door, and found room service delivering a tray with a dozen chocolate covered strawberries, as an apology from the Prom caf. The best is yet to come when I took a bite, I noticed that a long, thick black hair was encased in the solidified chocolate mine are grey!!. Trying to stop myself vomiting, I threw them in the garbage. RCI must do better!!. CRUISE DIRECTOR: Who was he? Conspicuous by his absence, someone told me his name was Ken Rush!! Worst cruise director so far - Bring on Richard Spacey. SHOWS: Adbacabera were billed as the Ultimate Abba tribute act whilst they were ok, I have seen much better in Europe. CASINO: I would like to know how RCI claim to have one half of the casino No Smoking!! The whole place smells of smoke, and so do your clothes after a visit. OVERALL: We met some great people,e and had a great holiday on board, followed by another great week in Boca Raton. The one bad apple did not spoil the barrel!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Ive went to the new years cruise , the embarkation process was very fast , it took 9 minutes , that compared to my last navigator of the seas cruise that took 2 hours was incredible , at the entrance complimentary champagne , and ... Read More
Ive went to the new years cruise , the embarkation process was very fast , it took 9 minutes , that compared to my last navigator of the seas cruise that took 2 hours was incredible , at the entrance complimentary champagne , and cocktails, incredible, we went to our room , a ocean view with balcony, the room was very nice decorated , considering that all rooms are generic , after that we went to the windjammer market place, the food wasn't bad really , compares to the oasis windjammer was greatly better we had paella with miso soup , strange mix but great, then we went to the pool zone which was nice, the service was speedy they were selling drinks premade every time and the crew was very gently , after that we went to ou first dinner at the main dinning room , the food was excellent , I ve ate at the best restaurants of the east coast and I was waiting to this food have the bad luck of the American food, that all tastes the same, but no the food , as a fried said, had its own personality, the next day we went to the park cafe, great sandwiches , in the night to 150 central park , good food , but dint let the gentle waiter avoid to tell you that the wine program that they offer to match your food is very expensive , a 70 dollar dinner for two ended costing 350 dollar, but i Worth's the money. the Incredible, CHICAGO , i have no words to describe this, it was A MUST SEE Blue planet GREAT ice game GREAT Chops , giovanni and Izumi were great also , there you eat great for a good price THE Bad The ridiculous drill they make you do the first day , the only show you the video that in your room you can see. The terrible The pizza from room service , it was like eting a sponge with fat and expired pepperoni , had to tell you guys avoid that. The surprise NEW YEARS PARTY OVER 12 ALL OVER THE SHIP GREAT TIMES!!! The dinning room , specialty restaurant , food in general was greaaat better that expected the service was from ok to great and the captain is a rockstar haha, In general the cruise was great they could do a better job with the windjamer but it was ok i hope you enjoy your cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
So just got off the World's Largest Cruise Ship with Royal Caribbean "allure of the Seas." We booked one year ago and there are simply no words to describe how amazing and incredible this vessel really is. She is absolutely ... Read More
So just got off the World's Largest Cruise Ship with Royal Caribbean "allure of the Seas." We booked one year ago and there are simply no words to describe how amazing and incredible this vessel really is. She is absolutely in a league of her own. I sincerely praise Royal Caribbean for the innumerable hours on designing this state of the art "gem". I will give you more or less as much description and recommendations and ideas that our family experienced. Embarkation A total of 20 minutes from the time we went through security and were in our stateroom aboard the ship. The only thing you require upon entering the check-in area is your confirmation sheet and passports. What we were really impressed by; was the security, everyone is thoroughly checked. We also liked that sea pass cards hard restrictions fro children under age, and allowed parents to include what they wanted on their child(s) sea pass cards. Unlike other ships, all children must check-in with the youth desk and receive a color-coded identification bracelet. Emergency Drill Like other ships, people ignore this procedure, however, Allure runs this extremely effectively. Every room is evacuated and tagged on the door handle, and you must go to your correct muster station where your sea pass card is scanned. All passengers must be accounted for, and if not you will be paged and hold back all passengers until you check-in. Short film to watch, and best part, no need to carry life jackets with you. Departure You can arrange the night before for self-checkout, this requires taking your own luggage. Otherwise is the same as most ships and lengthy at times, but be patient. This is not a Royal Caribbean issue, it is simply Immigration procedures and how fast "they" want to work and please the people. However, unlike most ships where there are never enough porters, there is abundance. Stateroom We were very fortunate enough to have stayed in an Aquatheatre Stateroom (10730). It is located at the rear of the ship, which initially we had concerns, but due to the size and width of the ship, we NEVER once felt we were sailing. Allure sails extremely smooth with very little to no vibration, we never once felt we were on a ship. This stateroom is an experience you will never have, it is very spacious, and generous with cupboard, drawer and shelving. It has a master bedroom with a king size bed, 2 night tables, mini bar and a large dresser full of drawers and a cupboard for hanging. The bathroom is small, but has a sink, toilet, and bathtub with shower inside; plenty of space to put all your belongings. The second room had 4 single beds, which were bunk beds; our kids loved it, great concept. The living area consisted of a small round table for two, sofa, coffee table and large counter area, which had a mini bar. All rooms had new HD Samsung plasma TV's. There is another small bathroom with a sink, toilet and stand-alone shower. The entrance area was large, and we were able to keep our stroller there open and all our shoes without having to worry about any space. The biggest bonus, you are able to see the Aqua shows all the time on the luxurious balcony this stateroom provides, it is immense, with tons of sitting options available. We ate our breakfast outside most mornings. The only few comments I would make, yes, it is a little further to the elevators; I feel that this type of stateroom should offer some sort of complimentary laundry service. The minibar was also sparse but we never required it, with the amount of food and beverage options you have. Room Service was also very good and easy to do through the TV set. Concierge Club All suites have this option you can use on Deck 8, it is very convenient if you need help to book specialty restaurants, excursions... They offer complimentary beverages and small snack items. It is very comfortable and beautiful and quiet to relax in. We never used it, other than getting a reservation changed for us. Food & Beverage Our only negative encounter was we were never assigned a table at Adaggio, but the problem was solved efficiently and the Dining Room Manager was extremely apologetic. We sat at table 203, but for only two meals. We booked mostly specialty restaurants through the recommendations of others. The Windjammer has a huge assortment and variety of food; this still always feels packed and always difficult to find a table, especially breakfast and lunch hours. A good alternative solution, which is much less crowded, is the buffet in the Solarium, which offers a healthy breakfast. Most juice is complimentary for kids; we also purchased a water package, which were big bottles of Evian, which you will find in your stateroom upon arrival if you purchase. Dining Areas (a) Park Cafe - Upon arrival this is the first place we ate, and highly recommend create your own salad or the amazing roast beef sandwich. The kids loved the grilled cheese sandwich; it is complimentary to eat here. (b) Sorrento's - You can create your own oven-baked pizza, which takes 5 mins, or try one the many delicious selections offered daily. It is complimentary to eat here. (c) Dog House Boardwalk - Make great hotdogs and make different state favorites (d) Promenade Cafe - Try the Caramel coffee, made with Seattle best coffee. Not complimentary. (e) Starbucks - Can find all your favorites and yes it is the "original" and only starbucks on a cruise ship. Not complimentary (f) Cupcake Cupboard - Great cupcakes with all sorts of cool decorations. We did not know but if you have kids, they have decorating sessions, you need to book these in advance as space is limited and this is the first thing that gets filled by bookings. We could not participate, but gives us something to look forward to next time. They also sell great nostalgia gift items. (g) Johnny Rockets - At lunch here, loved the complimentary fries and onion rings, onion rings amazing. Kids said hamburgers amazing, they do offer a healthy choice, I would recommend the tuna salad sandwich. Specialty Dining - Need to book in advance and your stateroom will be charged immediately, if you do not cancel within 24hours of showing, you will be charged regardless, so keep this is mind when booking. If you do not book in advance, extremely difficult to get reservations. (a) Chops Grille - Not a place to wear jeans. Delicious food had the 10 oz. filet cooked to perfection, mushrooms and asparagus side dishes, and asparagus yummy!!!!! We also tried Apple pie and mud pie, I am not a dessert person, but they did not need to wash the plate once my husband was finished. One recommendation not for kids under the age of 12. This is not complimentary. (b) Samba Grille - Can definitely dress casual - jeans. It is located in the solarium and all appetizers served buffet style. Meat on skewers is offered for entrees. If you were choosing among specialty dining, this would not be one of my picks. (c) Giovanni's - Can definitely dress as you wish, located in Central Park, and I would recommend dining outdoors. Food delicious, appetizers Carpaccio filet mignon, caprese salad for two. EntrEe Filet was scrumptious. Great dining experience, we ate here twice. Good dining place for children, have a kids menu. Kids loved chicken noodle soup, ask for extra noodles. (d) Izumi's - Can definitely dress as you wish. A great Japanese dining experience, everything is amazing. Good for kids too. Places for kids (a) Adventure Ocean - I can only say wish I was a kid again. Sponsored by Fisher Price and Crayola, so that alone tells you all the activities they can do. The play area is gorgeous, amazing and the schedule of activities is abundant and original. The kids are more than entertained, and the staff is awesome. There is a load to do; they provide a lunch from Windjammer if your child stays, however after hours and dinner there is small minimum charge of $6.00 dollars. They have 3 groups; 3 to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 11, and other places and lounge bars for teenagers, as well as a fully equipped arcade, which we never used. No diapers allowed, all kids need to be fully potty trained. (b) Royal Babies and Tots Nursery - We were concerned with a new environment and faces our 3 year old may be scared to be alone, she was so at home. She loved the staff, adored all the Fisher Price toys and fun films. They provide lunch, if you require special things they accommodate for such. They provide you with a bag which you need to bring each time you drop-off, which should have extra diapers or pull-ups, bottle, sippy cup and change of clothing. They will provide you with a telephone, so you can be reached, please note this phone does not work off ship, so if you are going to port, notify them. This is not a complimentary service and the cost is $8.00/hr. Note: They do change diapers and pull-ups. (c) DreamWorks - We kept this under the radar so our children would be surprised, but yes, Shrek, Fiona, Puss n' Boots, Alex, Gloria the Hippo, Owl, King Julien, How to train a Dragon and the Penguins are all aboard the Allure of the Seas. There are plenty of venues to meet such characters. They offer character breakfasts scheduled at 8:00am only on sea days, need to pre-book this, there is no charge for it, just ask which days which characters will be at the breakfast, they do not all come. You can take your own photos here. There are photo sessions, you cannot take your own pictures, Royal Caribbean photographers take them and you must purchase them if you want. Sail away DreamWorks Aqua show the first day in the aqua theatre, daily parade (times vary), How to train a dragon ice show and a Madagascar how to entertain me Aqua show. The characters also make plenty of appearances with the kids at Adventure Ocean where they participate in activities and they can bee seen on the Promenade and Boardwalk for photo ops many times of the day and evening. (d) H20 Zone - What a colorful and fun place for kids to run in and out of sprinklers, whom needs water slide. They also have a pool not too deep, and a fish bowl, which all the kids LOVE, it is a pool that swirls kids round and round. Hot tub for kids also available in this area. NOTE: There is no diapers allowed in any pools, and unlike other ships, there is pool deck control and they are very strict and will pull the kids out. There is one small-designated area for children in diapers available. All children's pools are chlorine filled. (e) Flowrider - A cool place to learn how to boogie board or surf. Children fewer than 52 inches cannot participate. You must be 52 inches to boogies board and 58 inches to surf. They are very strict and will measure all children before attempted to sign them up. We took a semi-private lesson and it is fun, we had a hard time grasping the concept. Remember to bring your sea pass card, as you need to sign a waiver. (f) Zip Line - Cool concept, a short thrill ride. Children under 75 pounds cannot participate. I was the only person who did it, you must sign a waiver so sea pass required and all loose items, including all jewellery must be removed. (g) Rock Climbing - Loved, they give you shoes, no need for socks if you do not want, also need to sign a waiver, so seas pass card required. Remember when you ring the bell at the top, grab rope and push off rocks with your feet, not like me who dangled and made twirls coming down. (h) Basketball Courts - We as a family never used them, but my son used them when he was at Adventure Ocean camp and loved them. (i) Ping Pong Tables - Never used (j) Mini Putt - Never used (k) Ice Rink - We never used it, but check times for age groups, it is never a general skate for all. Don't forget socks and long pants. Places for Adults (a) Pools -There are many to choose, we used one, all adult pools are filled with seawater and filtered. Chairs are abundant and under no circumstances can you reserve seats, they do not allow this. (b) Bars - We never used them, did notice Vintages, a wine place looked gorgeous. So plenty for us to do when we return again. Places to hang out (a) Boardwalk- coolest places with tons to do. Don't miss the candy store, tons of goodies as well the store sells crayola products and Hello Kitty items, as well as Royal Caribbean stuff. They have Smile, fun place to take your kids for a photo op with costumes, tons to choose from. Pictures start at $25.00 or you can buy packages. They have a Build-a-pet store and how can one forget the carousel. My kids loved this, and it is fun and the carvings of the animals on this carousel are spectacular. (b) Promenade - Regalia has not your ordinary junk jewellery like other ships, they sell very good quality items and a lot of beautiful stuff. There is a guess store, and of course your fragrance and duty free liquor store. They have a few apparel stores that sell beautiful designers items. They have really made shopping fun aboard this ship. Need to try the elevator bar that goes up and down, we never got into it, but looks cool. (c) Central Park - There are few words to describe this wonderful place that they have so elegantly and thoughtfully created. The live foliage, trees, plants and greenery are gorgeous. You can stroll through on the pave uni stones, and sit and relax on the park benches. You must go and check out Britto Gallery, and if you are up to a family picture session, a must is at Picture this with Victoria. She is incredible and we were fortunate enough to have spent time with her, and come out making a gorgeous and memorable album of our time on the Allure of the Seas. Reserve in advance. Also, don't forget to take a peek at the first Coach store on a ship. Shows - In order to see what you want, book in advance, otherwise you wait in stand by line outside. If you do have reserved seats make sure to get there 15-30mins prior to show time or they give your seats up to stand by (a) Chicago - Good production, 90mins, artists very talented, however found show time at 10:30pm was very late, and unfortunately a lot of people left during the show, or you had someone snoring next to you. All seats are good, we sat Mezzanine. (b) Oceanaria - A show you must not miss. The acrobats and divers are beyond talented and this show keeps you on your toes the entire time. A fantastic production, very entertaining. First 3 to 5 rows, you will get wet. (c) Ice Games - Based on the theme of Monopoly, costumes amazing, but overall it was an average production and found some of the skaters lacking in ability. (d) Headliner - This show stars Earl Turner and his son Anthony, and they are absolutely incredible and talented. You must make sure to get seats on the floor as close to the stage as he is interactive with his audience in a very good way. A definite see!!! (e) Comedy - Never attended (f) Let me Entertain me - A kids aqua show with the DreamWorks characters from Madagascar, check for times. No reservations needed, this is free seating. First 3 to 5 rows, you will get wet. (g) Casino - Never attended, still hate the idea in order to get to Studio B (Ice rink) and Amber Theatre, you have to walk through and they allow people to smoke. It smells!!! (h) Disco Party - Located on the Promenade, and fun, for everyone. Cool to see how they start the party and then gets a little boring. (i) Dazzle's - has a great disco party for all kids ages from 9:00-10:30pm most nights, it gives balloons to the younger kids, and play today's greatest hits and music. Also great for parents as they have a bar you can order alcoholic beverages. Ports - The ports are not what attracted on this cruise it was the boat, the ports we could have done without! (a) Labadee, Haiti - Beautiful Island. If you are a suite stateroom, you can rent a Cabana at their private beach. It is awesome. Royal Caribbean has created this place and it has all the amenities you need, so you do not need to bring water, towels and carry any stuff off the ship. They golf cart you over, definitely rent a waterfront cabana, comes with loungers, sofa, water cooler with Evian water. They give you chairs at the beach, snorkel gear and more towels if needed. Best part they serve you lunch too, and no need to worry about changing, the washrooms are very good to excellent. Makes you have a hassle free and strict fun in the sun day. (b) Costa Maya, Mexico - never got off, useless port (c) Cozumel, Mexico - We got off without our kids, you must take a taxi and insist to be dropped off at the Forum Shops, usually costs $7.00 by taxi. Stores not like they use to be. So a sum up of our "Allure of the Seas experience, is was extremely positive and hope to travel on her sister ship soon, to experience Oasis of the Seas, and the things we did not get around to doing. We had NO issues and really believe all the problems we have ever encountered Royal Caribbean has fixed and made it a positive factor on their ship. It was an amazing vacation, very relaxing. The staff is super friendly, you never once feel the size of the ship, and there are no places that there is overcrowding other than Windjammer as Breakfast and Lunch. Royal Caribbean you always seem to amaze us, but this time, we have no words, other than thanks for the best Christmas Holiday vacation, and hope to see you really soon!!!! Congratulations on such a successful ship, your competition will have lots to learn and prove to ever match what you have created. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We flew Southwest to Fort Lauderdale one day prior to embarkation via Southwest, and stayed overnight. We prefer this when possible to allow for a more leisurely morning. My husband and I, and our adult children, the "kids" are ... Read More
We flew Southwest to Fort Lauderdale one day prior to embarkation via Southwest, and stayed overnight. We prefer this when possible to allow for a more leisurely morning. My husband and I, and our adult children, the "kids" are in their 20's. We had sailed on the Oasis in May, 2010, so our expectations were high. We had a Boardwalk view balcony cabin. It had a phenomenal view of the Aqua Theater, and we ended up just watching the shows from our balcony. We also got to hear all the kid based activities and the noise from the Boardwalk. We were told there were over a thousand children on the ship, more than were usual, probably because of the Dreamworks tie in? Although we did like the concept, next time we will do a Central Park balcony, which we have been told were more quiet. The spa was, as usual, lovely. The new specialty restaurants were worth the added expense, particularly the Chef's Table. Although pricey for RCCL at $75/pp, it was well worth the experience, and we will definitely do this again. The Samba Grille was a fun experience, and the big meat eaters in our group were challenged to try everything. The Carnival dancer was alot of fun. Giovanni's Table was excellent as well. I am going to spend time trying to recreate the signature Martini, definitely try it! Rita's Cantina was a big hit as well for lunch, although we were not able to get tickets for the Margarita party. 150 Park was also nice, although I did not like the menu as much as on the Oasis. They did split the week into 2 menus, and if we had known that they did that (Oasis only had 1 menu) we probably would have tried both. Our only real complaint about the specialty restaurants was that the menus are limited. We also ate in the Dining room, but were disappointed by the placement of our table (near a group of several small children, noisy and poorly behaved, although that was obviously not our server's fault) and the crowdedness of the dining room. The tables seemed closer together than in other ships. It was not possible to get any reservations for dinner other than the ones we made prior to sailing, so definitely plan ahead. We tried the dining room, Windjammer, and Johnny Rockets for breakfast, and enjoyed all 3 places, although my husband liked the Asian breakfasts at the Windjammer. Johnny Rockets for lunch was as good as ever. One problem I think we had was the RCTV reservations only let you reserve for how many people are in your room, not for your whole party, so once we figured that out we realized why we were having trouble getting additional reservations in places that seemed to have open tables. The entertainment was the best part of the new experience. Chicago was on par with the Broadway version we'd seen before. The Blue planet was spectacular, and the Aqua shows amazing. We were not able to book tickets for the ice show. Some shows are clearly for kids and families, so make sure you book the one you actually want. Comedy club has adult showings, kids enjoyed those as well. Pool area was comfortable, although as usual the empty deck chairs were on top. Never at a loss for things to do. The Spa and Fitness center is first class. No problems booking our spa treatments. (Although my (adult) kids know the drill and head there to book as soon as we get on the ship!) My husband booked extra services throughout the week, and had no issues. They have enough staff that my daughter and I could get a manicure together, instead of one after the other. The Thermal suite was also a real treat, if you have muscle or back issues, it is probably worth the cost to relax on the heated chaises. The shopping is actually more limited than we expected. The jewelry store on the ship was very high end (like all diamond jewelry, thousands of dollars), which was a problem for my daughter who was used to being able to get a nice souvenir in the jewelry shop. They seem to have eliminated the mid range category for everything, The shops all carried either "kitch" or very expensive, not much in between. I'm not sure if that is usual, or just due to the fact we were a holiday cruise. Really liked the 5th floor walking/jogging track. They included little "Burma Shave" type encouraging sayings that you had to keep walking to read. On at sea days, there is a small area at the back of the ship off the walking track that has deck chairs, and is quite pleasant to sit with a book and coffee. The excursions were excellent.(see my port reviews) On Labadee, RCCL's private island in Haiti, 4 of us did the Jet Skis, and thought it well worth the price, and we also enjoyed just exploring the island. The marketplace is something to miss. Booth after booth of the exact same items, most overpriced. If you do go, take cash (small bills) as the vendors do not take sea-pass or credit cards. Our recommendation is to get a nice tropical drink and catch a hammock! The Holiday touches were fun. We work up one morning with the ship decorated for Christmas. On Christmas day, "Santa" and his elves rode the Wave rider, the zip line, and climbed the rock wall. Surreal. The holiday dinner menu gave a nod to all the winter holidays, and would have been excellent if we had not been comparing it to the Chef's Table. Casino is all electronic and takes only paper bills (USD) or seapass. No more quarters for the slot machine. There is a new 3% charge to get cash on your seapass card in the Casino. Lots of dancing, very good music for all types ballroom, salsa, etc. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Allure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 4.1
Entertainment 5.0 4.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 4.0
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 5.0 3.9

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