12 Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Holiday Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

I was on the Christmas 2017 Allure of the Seas cruise. My wife and I had a balcony room. We have done about a dozen cruises, the last several on Royal Caribbean. As a matter of fact, this was our second time on Allure. There were a few ... Read More
I was on the Christmas 2017 Allure of the Seas cruise. My wife and I had a balcony room. We have done about a dozen cruises, the last several on Royal Caribbean. As a matter of fact, this was our second time on Allure. There were a few good things about the cruise. But, there were several things I really found disappointing. The Positive 1. The room was nice – it’s always nice to have, at least, a balcony. We stayed in 12250. 2. Southside, the group playing a lot in Dazzle, was fantastic. We danced to them almost every night. We used to teach ballroom dancing so a great dance band is a must. 3. Ate at two different specialty restaurants – Japanese and Mexican. Both were great. 4. The show at the Aqua Theater was awesome. The performance of Mama Mia was first class. The Monopoly ice show was pretty good – except for the obvious commercials for the different venues on the ship. The Negative 1. Excursions. We wanted a catamaran ride to a snorkeling spot on St Thomas. We went to the Excursions desk and told the guy there what we were looking for – a boat with netting we could lay on while sailing, only about a dozen or so people on the boat. We showed him the excursion we thought would fit. He upsold us to a more expensive one. He told us the “fastcat” was exactly what we wanted AND it included a stop at a private beach and lunch. NOT! The boat was more a cattle car than a catamaran. There must have been 100 people on the boat. We had to walk through over 4 ft deep water (over sharp rocks) to get to the private beach – several people fell in the water because the rocks were so sharp. And, no, we couldn’t swim to the beach – we were holding towels and such over our heads. Then, if we wanted lunch, we had to buy it! This was the worst excursion I have ever had. Avoid the “fastcat” excursion in St Thomas. 2. Tips. Paying tips up front with a pre-designated price is a TERRIBLE idea. It was obvious that no one on the ship was motivated to go the extra mile to try for a better tip at the end of the week. They really need to go back to the envelope system where you determine the tip at the end of the cruise. I saw lazy service in our room, in Silk (where we ate every night), at the clubs, and around the pools. 3. Soft Drink Package. I bought this on my last cruise and it went great. This time, not so much. Using the little sticker on your card to get a soft drink in the clubs or the shows marked you as a second-class citizen. Several people would order soft drinks around me. Everyone would get a can of soda with a glass of ice. I got some sort of nasty tasting fountain drink. The first night, in Boleros, my wife ordered a glass of water and I ordered a diet coke. The water was free UNTIL the waiter saw the sticker on my card for pre-paid soda. Then, he tried to charge my wife for her water. 4. Cleanliness. The boat looked like it was maintained by slobs. In the Windjammer, there were times that a table would stay dirty for 5 or 10 minutes before cleaned. The bathroom in our room constantly smelled like an old bathroom in a rundown gas station. 5. Dining. I am used to having things move along at dinner – you finish one course and the next is right there. We always do early seating. This cruise we were in Silk. At our table, the service was so slow, I felt like ordering out between courses. There were times our plates sat for over 10 minutes between courses. Half way through the week they gave us new wait staff. Not much better. 6. Room Service 1. When did they start charging for room service? It used to be free. But, all you could get for free now was the continental breakfast. Everything else costs almost $8.00. It is starting to feel like they are nickel and diming us. 7. Room Service 2. We had a door hanger to fill out for room service. After the third day, the floor supervisor came to see us to tell us we needed to use the TV order system instead of the paper they provided. He was rude and condescending. But, we tried the TV system and it was terrible. You could not specify the quantity of items you wanted and there were real long menus to go through to get to the items you wanted. We have become loyal to Royal Caribbean up to this cruise. Now, we are seriously thinking about a different line next time. Bottom line, I expect to be WOWed on a cruise. This time, it was just a yawn. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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
We chose to do this cruise as it encompassed both Christmas (which also happens to be my son's birthday) and New Year's Eve--many other cruise options offered just one or the other. For such a big ship, I was surprised to have ... Read More
We chose to do this cruise as it encompassed both Christmas (which also happens to be my son's birthday) and New Year's Eve--many other cruise options offered just one or the other. For such a big ship, I was surprised to have to go looking for food when I felt hungry. I am an experienced cruiser, and couldn't believe that buffets and snack-style restaurants had very short hours throughout the ship on a daily basis. That being said, we went through a few things that we'd never experienced on a cruise and couldn't believe they happened to us: 1) On my son's birthday, December 25th, we visited the Central Park 101 restaurant to celebrate. The staff assured me that the table would be decorated, etc. While we were seated promptly, none of the promises were fulfilled. No decorations, and very poor service--as a matter of fact we even had to ask multiple times for the bread. This was also the day after we went to the Chops restaurant which was amazing and had set the bar very high. Being that we had such a positive experience the day before in Chops which has the same price tag as Central Park 101, we complained about the subpar service and the forgotten decorations. The manager was extremely rude and told us that we should just go back to Chops if we liked it better there the night before. After hearing how rude he was being, my son who never complains at restaurants spoke up and let the manager know that this was no way to be treating customers, specially on a holiday like Christmas! 2) Upon re-embarking the ship at port on the following day, the card scanner started going crazy when my son handed the security guard his card with the screen reading "security alert". Security made a huge fuss out of this and said that my son had to go to emergency services immediately yet didn't want to tell us what the issue was. Being that my son had just turned 23 and that I paid for the cruise, I wanted to know what was going on, so I went to guest services with him. I was worried that he wasn't telling me something because I never had to deal with something like this. Long story short, after treating us like criminals and putting us into a room in which they alerted us that they would be recording us with both "audio and video" (!), it turned out that on the first night of the cruise, my son got flagged in the system for "providing alcohol to minors". He recalled the event, and it was the first night at the Sushi restaurant when he gave his younger (18) sister a sip of his drink so she could try it. Having done a Costa cruise in Europe prior to this one, he actually thought the drinking age was 18+, and when the hostess went up to him to alert him that it was actually 21+ on the ship, he apologized and never gave my daughter a sip again. Apparently the misunderstanding wasn't resolved because they put us through hell for something unbelievably innocent. In the end they realized how ridiculous it was and even sent us a bottle of champagne to our room for blowing the situation out of proportion. What a stressful situation for no reason at all... Ridiculous. 3) New Year's Eve... We have done New Year's Eve on other ships before and had an amazing time. Expected nothing less on such a beautiful ship as the Allure. First, our cabin steward threw away a shopping bag containing various New Years hats, masquerade masks, noise makers, etc. that had already made it through the first 8 nights of our cruise thinking that it was trash. I don't know how you can possibly think all of that is trash when it is quite obvious what it is for. Additionally, the celebration party was subpar. Balloons were dropped from the ceiling to little fanfare, and made for a truly lackluster experience. 4) We asked for breakfast room service 6 times, via hanging the request card on our door before the cut-off time. It was only delivered once. Unbelievable. 5) While there were a few nice employees on the ship, it's noteworthy to mention that many were noticeably in a bad mood, which is very atypical of ship crew that are normally very nice to guests. I don't know if this was the end of a lot of crew's contracts or if management was mistreating them but something was definitely off. The ports of call were great, and the ship itself was very nice. However, on our overall experience we were truly let down as experienced cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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
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
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
Boarding the ship was a breeze and access to our stateroom was almost immediate. The room was beautiful and spacious. Getting lunch after we boarded was more difficult. The Windjamer buffet is simply not big enough for everyone who ... Read More
Boarding the ship was a breeze and access to our stateroom was almost immediate. The room was beautiful and spacious. Getting lunch after we boarded was more difficult. The Windjamer buffet is simply not big enough for everyone who wants to eat there. So, we had to search out other options. While there are several other "free" places to grab a lunch, these are quick food places--pizza or sandwiches and have very limited seating. Getting oriented to the ship and finding your way around was very easy because of the interactive screens on each floor. You simply "touch" for directions to a place or to find out what is going on. The technological perks on the ship were quite amazing. With 6,000+ on board it is easy to see why RCI incorporates the technology. The elevators do not seem to adequately serve the amount of people on board. Over 80% of the time we waited for more than 2 minutes for an elevator. There are plenty of free activities on board--ice skating, zip line, etc. and despite the number on board, the wait time was very short or non-existent for the activities. There also seemed to be plenty of deck chairs for everyone. But all that glitters is not gold. The food in the main dining hall was just awful. And I mean terrible on every night. We joked that RCI must want to force people to eat at the "for fee" places. I can understand if I was the only one complaining about the food--but all four of us in our party thought it was super awful. The starters are ok, but the main courses...well I hope you enjoy a sandwich late at night. We found ourselves roaming late at night for snacks because we were still hungry. Overall, the menu selection for dinner and breakfast was limited. The options simply were not there. The bad food includes the desserts and breakfast. I had biscuits and gravy one morning and couldn't stomach it. I can't emphasize how bad the food really was. The push to sell alcoholic beverages was non-stop. There is always someone with a tray of made drinks trying to sell one to you. And, for every single purchase (including alcoholic drinks) you have to sign a receipt. Naturally, that receipt prompts you for an additional tip. It gets irritating have to sign for every drink you buy. For the major entertainment, you have to have reservations. Most of the shows were full by the time we boarded. So, thank goodness I had made reservations two months prior to leaving. But the shows themselves were good and the costumes and scenery great. Overall, the ship is very pretty and many times I just felt like I was at the mall. Some of the neighborhoods RCI highlights, like Central Park, and the Boardwalk are really not as big as you think they are. My biggest complaint is that RCI sacrificed ocean views in order to fit in everything. Really, you have to be outside on the top floors in the pool/activities area in order to see the water. All sorts of people were on board and it's a very international crowd but it was also "Scooter Nation". Even Ken Rush, the cruise director, joked about the number of people who were on those scooters zipping around the ship. The area outside of the dining room looks like a scooter parking lot! I have been on lines that are known for a more mature crowd, but this was so much more that I would have expected. How many times did my toes get squashed? We paid more for this cruise than for any other we have been on. Yet, no nice soap/shampoo in the bath, no dressing robes in your room, fresh orange juice will cost you $2.25 (the other line gives it to you for free), the pastries are fresh on Monday but by Thursday they are all just hard, and then there's a few places that you can't even enter unless you are a "diamond" member. And, then there's the public spectacle of handing out the tips at the end of the cruise--just plain uncomfortable. The spa was also a huge disappointment. My husband and I were eager to book the room with the heated lounge chairs and steam rooms for the week. We had done that with another cruise line and loved it. Yet, this one was so disappointing. Only four or five lounges. No, hot tub/whirlpool and no views whatsoever. We felt so claustrophobic on the tour. It is not worth the money--other cruise lines have the lounges, steam rooms AND a hot tub with gorgeous views. Alas, as I have mentioned, there just are any views in the common areas and very limited in the dining room or Windjammer. Kids will love all the cute animals running around and teens will love the activities. I missed the perks that make this a truly relaxing, luxurious cruise. The service was fantastic and I loved our room, but I will not be sailing on the Oasis class ships again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Where do I start, there isn't enough space here to fill in all of the fantastic highlights of our Cruise on Allure of The Seas. We were a little apprehensive about what a cruise would entail but trusted our friends who have cruised ... Read More
Where do I start, there isn't enough space here to fill in all of the fantastic highlights of our Cruise on Allure of The Seas. We were a little apprehensive about what a cruise would entail but trusted our friends who have cruised with Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean before. From the start we were well at ease with the efficient and friendly check in and boarding process. We made the mistake of trying to check-in online on the day of departure but this facility was only available up to 3 days prior to departure but not day of departure. Once aboard we were amazed by the sheer size of the ship, the brochure and web site do not do it justice. You have to see it to believe it. We quickly found our state room which was conveniently located on Deck 7 Aft. Deck 7 was convenient in that a lot of activities we were interested in were on Deck 5 and Deck 6 and it was easy to walk up and down the stair cases. We soon found out that the lifts were very busy, particularly at peak times like breakfast, lunch and dinner and that you often had to wait 5 or more minutes to catch a lift go to higher floors. Highlights of the cruise for us were dining & bars, boardwalk, shows and fitness facility. Dining & bars: Adagio dining room which provided 5+ star meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner and a fantastic waiter and assistant waiter who went above and beyond to make our dining experience so special. The food was exquisite and couldn't be faulted. Our travel companions stated the meals were the best they had ever experienced cruising. We also enjoyed 150 Central Park (excellent fine dining) and Chops Grille (excellent steaks). Boardwalk: Shopping, snacks, pizza, music, coffee, cupcakes, champagne what more could you want and more. Shows: Chicago, Ice Games, Aqua Theatre, live comics, Blue Planet to name a few, don't miss them. Book online and book early, some of the shows were booked out 3 weeks prior to our departure which means waiting outside the show for 30+ minutes prior in the hope of getting a seat due to a no-show! Fitness: The gym facility was fantastic with a superior range of fitness equipment and classes. There is also a running track that is very nice as you can see the water whilst jogging or walking. You better head to the gym for a workout each day so you can enjoy the dessert guilt free. Some final tips to ensure you have a great cruise, make sure you do some online research before you go, it will make things much easier. Join the Crown & Anchor Society, there are many free benefits that come with being a member. If you enjoy some of the day spa services these are very good but staff will pressure you intensely to buy beauty products which are very expensive. As stated the variety of shows are excellent, book early (before you cruise) and make sure you check daily cruise planner in your room for extra events going on during the day & night, there are so many things going on you will never be bored. Read Less
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
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
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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