Sail Date: January 2010
Embarkation: We sailed on Allure on the 1st cruise of 2011 (6th cruise for the ship overall) Me 53, my wife 45, and our 19 year old daughter. We had driven to the Port and parked at Air/Sea Parking, 5 minutes for the ship. As we ... Read More
Embarkation: We sailed on Allure on the 1st cruise of 2011 (6th cruise for the ship overall) Me 53, my wife 45, and our 19 year old daughter. We had driven to the Port and parked at Air/Sea Parking, 5 minutes for the ship. As we were shuttled in we couldn't believe the shear presence of the ship. We had sailed on Freedom Class before and this ship made it look tiny! We arrived at about 12:30 and embarkation took less that 20 minutes total before we were on the ship. The ship was clean and beautiful. I never use the elevators and on each stair landing (4-sets of stairs) there was art work of high quality. As we waited for our room we went up to the Windjammer for lunch. Although busy we had no problem finding a place to sit. we were in our cabin (8212) by 1:30 and met our cabin steward Javier, who was excellent. Our bags got to the room long before our early dining time. The Ship: Where to begin. You'd think a 225,000 ton ship would be overwhelming, but after a day you find she's very easy to navigate. And if you had problems, 4-touch screens on every deck which allowed you to find out what was happening and gave directions to get there, as well as directions to the rest rooms and your cabins. They also let you know what restaurants were open, and how busy they were. The venues were fantastic. Flow Rider, Rock Wall, carousel, zip line, basketball, mini-golf, ice skating, many pools and hot tubs, and the best work out room on the ocean. The main theater was beautiful, and the smaller venues were as well appointed as the larger. You would be hard pressed to get bored! And if you like a rocking ship don't sail this one. The smoothest ship we have ever been on. Hard pressed to remember when we felt it moving. And the photo shop uses your sea pass card and facial recognition. No digging for pictures on big walls anymore! The entertainment: The shows were great. Chicago was as good as it is on Broadway. The Ocean Aria was "Cirque du Soleil" on the Ocean. The headliners were funny, the Ice Show as good as on shore, and Blue Planet was some great effects with the best props I have ever seen. One tree in Planet weight over a ton! The parades with dreamworks characters was cute, and the fountain show was "Bellagio light". We went to a different show every night and were never disappointed with what we saw. Make sure to attend the disco party on the promenade and watch the stage come out. Food: The main dining room food was well prepared and very tasty. The food was always prepared to our liking, and special orders were always provided. But there are so many places to eat for free on this ship, we only ate in the dining room for dinner. The Park Cafe had great breakfast sandwiches and made to order panini at lunch, not to mention the specialty roast beef on an onion roll that has to be tasted to be believed. Free breakfast at Johnny Rockets, hot dogs hamburgers and nachos in the wipe out cafe, two ice scream spots on the pool deck, the solarium bistro, the vitality cafe, sorrento's pizza and the promenade cafe. We didn't use room service or any specialty restaurant, but did partake of the best cupcake at sea at the promenade cupcake shop for only $2.50. Staff: Javier was our room steward. Excellent service with a smile and helped us out whenever needed. John and Tomasz were our waiters, and their service was fantastic. And Tahwnee, the best head waiter we have ever sailed with. Ken Rush was the Cruise Director. No need to say any more as he is the best RCCL has. Other notables include Maritza and the waitstaff in the diamond club who made you feel like you were somebody special and Trixy, the best photographer at sea. Summation: It will be hard to sail on any other ship after this one. Our 19-year old had a blast as well, and was never bored and made many new friends. It was the best ship we were ever on. Hopefully we can sail this class again some day. But as long as we stay on RCCL, whatever the other ships lack will be more than made up by the staff. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
Embarkation: Embarkation for the Allure was the smoothest and fastest we have ever experienced in over 20 cruises. They have put a lot of thought into the design of the building and to the process. Our bags were at our room by 1:30PM. ... Read More
Embarkation: Embarkation for the Allure was the smoothest and fastest we have ever experienced in over 20 cruises. They have put a lot of thought into the design of the building and to the process. Our bags were at our room by 1:30PM. Ship Overall: The ship was very clean. It is a phenomenal design with something to do for everyone. It is generally well laid out and there are a sufficient number of elevators. Despite it being a full cruise, we never found ourselves in a crowd except around the pools on a day at sea. There was a stench in the deck seven starboard hallway (worst between cabin 7600-7620) that smelled like rotting broccoli. When we asked our room steward about it, he said that there was a galley on the other side of the inside wall and that the smell does come out sometimes. Luckily it did not get into our room Stateroom: We had a D1 stateroom on the seventh floor. (7598) While it is a bit smaller than D1 staterooms on some of the other class of RCI ships, it was well designed and decorated. The room could use a little more storage space, but with a little thought we were able to place everything in a convenient location. Our bed was placed near the closet, but I did not find it difficult to get into the closet. The bed was comfortable, but the couch could be a bit deeper. We did enjoy the iPod/iPhone docking station. The D1 stateroom had a larger balcony (deeper) and we found this an excellent place to eat breakfast. The bathroom was also pretty small, but again it was well designed. The shower was small, but bigger than on the Radiance class ships and used sliding doors and not the curtain that would stick to you. Main Dining Room: We had requested a table for two, but what we got was a joke. On one side the person was right up against a large pillar and on the other side was a padded bench seat, with two large seams where you would sit. To top it off, the table was wedged between two tables for four, so it was really as if we were seated at one long table. Since there were so many other dining options, we elected not to try getting our table changed and just ate elsewhere all week. In talking with other Diamond Plus members they said that the staff had little interest in changing tables for them. I also heard many complaints on how slow the service was in the main dining room, so I feel we made the right call. Specialty Restaurants: We enjoyed the Park Cafe very much and ate there several times during the cruise. The roast beef sandwiches were great! My wife enjoyed the egg salad sandwiches and the salads. Samba Grill was outstanding! We ate there the first night and enjoyed it so much, we went back later in the week. The food was the best on the ship and so was the service. We did eat at Rita's Cantina for the fiesta and I must say we were disappointed. From reading the reviews, I guess I had high expectations and they were not met. The food and drinks (margaritas) were only average at best. During the entire fiesta, they only played three song of Mexican music. This was supposed to be a Mexican fiesta and we were bombarded with Michael Jackson songs most of the time. The hot dog stand was an excellent place to grab a quick bite. The Bratwurst and Coney Island dogs were the best. I had a chance to speak to the manager of Sorrento's and he stated that the quality of the pizza had recently improved, so we gave it a try. It may have improved, but it still has a long way to go. The best description is that it tasted like frozen pizza. The food in the Concierge Lounge was limited, but always very good. Windjammer: The food selection appeared more limited than on the Mariner OTS. The food quality also did not match that on the Mariner or Radiance. To top it off, service was non-existent. We ate in the WJ 6 times and only once were we ever approached by a server to see if we wanted anything to drink (and I think that was only because the Captain was sitting nearby) We also had to flag down someone to clear away old dishes. Again they could learn a lot from the Mariner or Radiance staff. Service & Staff: This is where the Allure could use improvement. Except for the specialty restaurants and the Coach store, the staff appeared lethargic and trying to do the minimum possible. It is not that they were bad; we were spoiled by such outstanding service on our last 4 cruises that we expected more. Not surprising, a couple of times we were speaking with crew members that did give excellent service and found that they had transferred from the Mariner. Captain Johnny is from the Mariner and I think it will just be a matter of time that overall service improves. The Staff did a great job of ensuring that cruisers used the hand sanitizer prior to boarding the ship at each port. This contributed greatly to making a safer environment on the ship and reducing illness. Concierge Lounge: The Concierge Lounge is the nicest on any of the ships. There were often two Concierges present (Luca & Fernando) and they were always helpful and pleasant. The alcohol selection was somewhat limited, but our two bar servers (Bozidahr and Benny) did all they could to accommodate us. While the food was very good, most of the food service staff (except for two that came from the Mariner) appeared to hate life and their service was minimal. There was a problem with children being in the Lounge between 5:00 and 8:30, when they are expressly prohibited. They were not well behaved and would touch all the food, stand on the furniture and drop food all over. The Concierge was reluctant to make them leave, even though many of the guests were complaining. On one day, it took a call to guest services to get this resolved. Shows: Chicago was outstanding. The talent of the cast was excellent as was the choreography. The comedy show was also very good with some excellent material about the ship. While we did not go to the Headliner Show, we received a lot of comments from other cruisers and that was excellent. Overall, we had a great time on the Allure and would not hesitate to sail on it again. It is a great environment for family cruising. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
Travelling during Easter week we thought would be a nightmare considering there were 1900 children aboard. We had a wonderful time as the ship is so large we never saw them, they were too occupied doing the wonderful things the ship ... Read More
Travelling during Easter week we thought would be a nightmare considering there were 1900 children aboard. We had a wonderful time as the ship is so large we never saw them, they were too occupied doing the wonderful things the ship provides for children during the day.The food was wonderful, the staff couldn't do enough for you . We had room 6192 near the gym and towards the center of the ship, we were one floor from the promenade, two floors up was Central park and the boardwalk was on the same floor but on the other end. The pools and hot tubs provided for Adults only was a special place to chill out and enjoy the company of fellow passengers. The show "Chicago" was better then the New york edition and is something to see, also Blue planet. The comedy show was also something to attend. We boarded the ship in about 20 minutes and went directly to our room, had lunch in Central park (Roast Beef sandwiches are wonderful and no charge).The Allure of the seas is a ship to go on and enjoy the ship, we never got off in Nassau as there is too much to do. Would we go again, you bet! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2010
We were lucky enough to win this preview cruise as the UK winners of the Reporters of the Seas competition and felt priveledged to experience such a wonderful ship. I must admit I had wondered whether the ship being so large would be crude ... Read More
We were lucky enough to win this preview cruise as the UK winners of the Reporters of the Seas competition and felt priveledged to experience such a wonderful ship. I must admit I had wondered whether the ship being so large would be crude and ugly but not at all. We felt that the Allure of the Seas is an attractive, well designed and spacious ship that has something for the whole family. In fact we thought it was a destination in its own right! Public Areas Location finders - The decks have touch screens showing where you are on the ship. You can select a cabin or entertainment venue and it will show you how to get to your chosen destination. It also provides information such as the Cruise compass. The Boardwalk. This a social area where you can ride the carousel, enjoy a show at the AquaTheatre, listen to the brass band and look up and see the adrenaline junkies on the zip line (yes that includes me!) The lamp posts have flags hanging from the top and circlar seating at the base which makes a great place to people watch. It is also here that you will find Johnny Rockets, the Dog House (with several varieties of sausages from around the world for hot dogs), Rita's Cantina (a Mexican restaurant)and the ice cream parlour and donut store and as well as shops including Pets at Sea (opening soon) and Pinwheels a sweet shop. Access to the climbing wall is from the back of the Boardwalk and there is a rock climbing wall on the port and starboard side. Central Park. A quiet peaceful area covered in vegetation which makes it very relaxing. Central park is the area where most of the speciality restaurants are located, as well as the Park Cafe a complementary cafe with cakes, pastries, muffins, salad, sandwiches as well as tea and coffee. There is seating inside and out as well as some comfy sofas in the middle of Central Park under a covered glass area. The Britto gallery is a retail gallery with some colourful items for sale and there is also a photographic studio. The Rising Tide Bar is a cocktail bar which moves up and down from the Central Park on deck 8 down to the Royal Promenade on deck 5. The Royal Promenade. This is bright and airy unlike how I remembered it on the Independence. I think that the extra width on the Allure and the light from the Central Park both contribute to the ambience. Here you will find many shops including Guess, the Cupcake cupboard, the champagne bar and complementary eating venues, such as the Promenade cafe for breakfast, sandwiches and cakes and Sorrentos a pizzeria. The Lifts - There are 24 guest lifts 12 at the front and 12 at the back. I loved the lifts at the back of the ship as they had beautiful sparkly ballerina dresses that turned as the ship moved and twinkled in the sunlight and lights. There are also glass lifts at the front with different decorated disks as you speed through the floors. The Sport Deck - The zip line is excellent fun as you fly above the Boardwalk. There are two flowriders on the port and starboard side. The operator was happy to ride alongside and give hints and tips as you ride the waves and I really enjoyed it. However, the sensor has not settled yet and he had to keep hitting the emergency cut off switch when it bubbled out of control. Fortunately I had seen it happen to someone else before it turned into a whirl pool for me and I was fine but it would have been very frightening for a nervous swimmer who does not go out of their depth. The mini-golf is a good little course and the miniature clubs and big balls for small children were great. There is also a basketball court that was very popular with Hollywood actor Adam Sandler. The pools - the H2O zone on the starboard side was a hit with my two children again. They love the water cannons, the Jacuzzis and the self serve ice-cream! On the starboard side of the H2O zone there is a normal pool and another Jacuzzi. Beyond the bars there is a beach area with more pools and beyond that are the cantilevered whirlpools (with TV screens) and the Solarium which are adult only areas. The cabin - This is the one area that let the Allure down compared to cruises on other cruise lines and Indy. We had a balcony cabin and when the sofa bed was made up you hardly had any floor space left and it was very difficult to get to the balcony. What made it worse was that our steward didn't put the sofabed away on the first day and we could barely move in our cabin. If there had been a bunk and a single sofa bed there wouldn't have been such a problem. Even when we got the steward to put the sofa bed away the cabin was still tight on space. The wardrobe is so close to the bed that you end up leaning backwards over the bed in order to get clothes in and out. We had just come back from a cruise on the Costa Serena and although the cabin was only an outside on the Serena it was much bigger than the cabin on the Allure which was a disappointment. One nice touch however was the dual ipod / iphone docking station. The entertainment The AquaTheatre was a real highlight for us and the high diving show is not to be missed. This is also the location for one of the sailaway parties which is a fantastic celebration with Dreamworks characters who invite everyone on stage to dance. The Ice show - How to Train your Dragon. Fortunately I watched the film on the flight over so it made perfect sense (they simultaneously play extracts from the film on a screen behind) and even if you haven't, the costumes and characters are very visual. The Move it Move it Parade - The Dreamworks characters are superb and the children absolutely loved the parade. Characters on board include the Penguins, Alex and Gloria from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and Shrek and Fiona. The theatre - our headline act was Ronn Lucas the ventriloquist who we have previously enjoyed on the Royal Variety Show in England. He was very entertaining although I admit I was familiar with quite a lot of his material. It may be because he wasn't expecting anyone from the UK in the audience. Our son was blown away with his act and it made an excellent end to our cruise. Food and Drink - As this was a preview cruise all the food and drink was complementary. The film crew for Jack and Jill block booked the speciality restaurants so we ate in the Main Dining Room and the Windjammer most of the time. The food in both was excellent. I was particularly impressed with the Windjammer as I hated it on the Independence but the food quality and choice was excellent. In the Main Dining Room we enjoyed escargots, lobster bisque, beef fillet, lobster tails, rack of lamb and scallop risotto. A word of warning for UK travellers, if you like your steak rare order medium on the Allure as the cuisson was always under what we were expecting. We were lucky enough to win this preview cruise as the UK winners of the Reporters of the Seas competition and felt priveleged to experience such a wonderful ship. I must admit I had wondered whether the ship being so large would be crude and ugly but not at all. We felt that the Allure of the Seas is an attractive, well designed and spacious ship that has something for the whole family. In fact we thought it was a destination in its own right! Public Areas The Boardwalk. This a social area where you can ride the carousel, enjoy a show at the AquaTheatre, listen to the brass band and look up and see the adrenaline junkies on the zip line (yes that includes me!) The lamp posts have flags hanging from the top and circlar seating at the base which makes a great place to people watch. It is also here that you will find Johnny Rockets, the Dog House (with several varieties of sausages from around the world for hot dogs), Rita's Cantina (a Mexican restaurant)and the ice cream parlour and donut store and as well as shops including Pets at Sea (opening soon) and Pinwheels a sweet shop. Access to the climbing wall is from the back of the Boardwalk and there is a rock climbing wall on the port and starboard side. Central Park. A quiet peaceful area covered in vegetation which makes it very relaxing. Central park is the area where most of the speciality restaurants are located, as well as the Park Cafe a complementary cafe with cakes, pastries, muffins, salad, sandwiches as well as tea and coffee. There is seating inside and out as well as some comfy sofas in the middle of Central Park under a covered glass area. The Britto gallery is a retail gallery with some colourful items for sale and there is also a photographic studio. The Rising Tide Bar is a cocktail bar which moves up and down from the Central Park on deck 8 down to the Royal Promenade on deck 5. The Royal Promenade. This is bright and airy unlike how I remembered it on the Independence. I think that the extra width on the Allure and the light from the Central Park both contribute to the ambience. Here you will find many shops including Guess, the Cupcake cupboard, the champagne bar and complementary eating venues, such as the Promenade cafe for breakfast, sandwiches and cakes and Sorrentos a pizzeria. The Lifts - There are 24 guest lifts 12 at the front and 12 at the back. I loved the lifts at the back of the ship as they had beautiful sparkly ballerina dresses that turned as the ship moved and twinkled in the sunlight and lights. There are also glass lifts at the front with different decorated disks as you speed through the floors. The Sport Deck - The zip line is excellent fun as you fly above the Boardwalk. There are two flowriders on the port and starboard side. The operator was happy to ride alongside and give hints and tips as you ride the waves and I really enjoyed it. However, the sensor has not settled yet and he had to keep hitting the emergency cut off switch when it bubbled out of control. Fortunately I had seen it happen to someone else before it turned into a whirl pool for me and I was fine but it would have been very frightening for a nervous swimmer who does not go out of their depth. The mini-golf is a good little course and the miniature clubs and big balls for small children were great. There is also a basketball court that was very popular with Hollywood actor Adam Sandler. The pools - the H2O zone on the starboard side was a hit with my two children again. They love the water cannons, the Jacuzzis and the self serve ice-cream! On the starboard side of the H2O zone there is a normal pool and another Jacuzzi. Beyond the bars there is a beach area with more pools and beyond that are the cantilevered whirlpools (with TV screens) and the Solarium which are adult only areas. The cabin - This is the one area that let the Allure down compared to cruises on other cruise lines and Indy. We had a balcony cabin and when the sofa bed was made up you hardly had any floor space left and it was very difficult to get to the balcony. What made it worse was that our steward didn't put the sofabed away on the first day and we could barely move in our cabin. If there had been a bunk and a single sofa bed there wouldn't have been such a problem. Even when we got the steward to put the sofa bed away the cabin was still tight on space. The wardrobe is so close to the bed that you end up leaning backwards over the bed in order to get clothes in and out. We had just come back from a cruise on the Costa Serena and although the cabin was only an outside on the Serena it was much bigger than the cabin on the Allure which was a disappointment. One nice touch however was the dual ipod / iphone docking station. The entertainment The AquaTheatre was a real highlight for us and the high diving show is not to be missed. This is also the location for one of the sailaway parties which is a fantastic celebration with Dreamworks characters who invite everyone on stage to dance. The Ice show - How to Train your Dragon. Fortunately I watched the film on the flight over so it made perfect sense (they simultaneously play extracts from the film on a screen behind) and even if you haven't, the costumes and characters are very visual. The Move it Move it Parade - The Dreamworks characters are superb and the children absolutely loved the parade. Characters on board include the Penguins, Alex and Gloria from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and Shrek and Fiona. The theatre - our headline act was Ronn Lucas the ventriloquist who we have previously enjoyed on the Royal Variety Show in England. He was very entertaining although I admit I was familiar with quite a lot of his material. It may be because he wasn't expecting anyone from the UK in the audience. Our son was blown away with his act and it made an excellent end to our cruise. Food and Drink - As this was a preview cruise all the food and drink was complementary. The film crew for Jack and Jill block booked the speciality restaurants so we ate in the Main Dining Room and the Windjammer most of the time. The food in both was excellent. I was particularly impressed with the Windjammer as I hated it on the Independence but the food quality and choice was excellent. In the Main Dining Room we enjoyed escargots, lobster bisque, beef fillet, lobster tails, rack of lamb and scallop risotto. A word of warning for UK travellers, if you like your steak rare order medium on the Allure as the cuisson was always under what we were expecting. Overall impressions - a beautiful ship that surpassed all our expectations. The staff were really friendly and helpful throughout. We were kept pretty busy recording our two videos for the Reporters of the Seas competition win, but we left the ship wishing we could stay on as there was so much more we still had to do (Blue Planet and the Ice games show) Jack and Jill filming took over large areas of the ship during the cruise making some areas out of bounds at times but for no longer than a day. Our highlight was going on the bridge and our 8 year old interviewing Captain Zini. I thoroughly recommend this ship, just make sure your cruise has lots of sea days!!! If you would like to see some pictures of the Allure of the Seas we have posted a selection on our thread on the Allure site: http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1311013 Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
I must confess to have been stressing big time prior to my cruise. Due to work circumstances I had to fly out the same day from the UK (something which I absolutely hate doing) on a flight that arrived in Miami at 520pm for a 0900pm ... Read More
I must confess to have been stressing big time prior to my cruise. Due to work circumstances I had to fly out the same day from the UK (something which I absolutely hate doing) on a flight that arrived in Miami at 520pm for a 0900pm departure. Did not leave much room for error, especially as we had to get across from MIA to FLL in the rush hour, nevertheless thanks to Virgin, RCCL and our coach driver we made it with time to spare...........PANIC OVER. First impressions from the outside were the sheer size of the ship compared with the Freedom and other class ships and its absolute beauty. Once inside, the vastness absolutely overwhelmed us. I say this not as a complaint, but to explain that we were so tired having already been awake for almost 24 hours, we found our way to our cabin which was a fairly typical Balcony cabin in size and lay out. Exactly what we were expecting. Effectively I will ignore any thoughts relating to the first night and start my brief story on the following day. (including our first night meal) #awake at 0630, brief walk around the Promenade/Broadwalk/Central Park area with no one around. Absolutely stunning architecturally and aesthetically. What struck us was how wide the Promenade was compared with other ships and how much more it had to offer. A brief lift up to the Windjammer where we were seated immediately. We were surprised at how small the Windjammer was as I guess we expected it to be a lot bigger. In truth was not overly impressed with the breakfast. We were in at opening 700am, the food was beautifully laid out, however, all the "hot" food was dry, and quite frankly not at all hot. I guess this was initial teething issues, and I am sure it is an issue that will be resolved........at least I hope so. After breakfast we waited about 15 minutes for our food to be digested (any longer than that would have been just plain daft) before embarking on our visitation to as many jacuzzis as we could manage in 2 full days. Temperature and everything was perfect, and it felt kind of decadent being in a jacuzzi at 0745 in the morning. After a period of sunbathing we thought that a proper exploration of the ship might be in order, and it was a true revelation, the casino was superb with a great variety of games, machines and a superb bar in the middle. Broadwalk was fun, and it was deemed absolutely necessary by Mrs House that we had a ride on the Carousel. Then had a wonder through to the Promenade to find and purchase the obligatory fridge magnet. Was a bit of a shame that cigarettes and alcohol could not be purchased on board due to Customs regulations, but hey ho!!! can't have everything. We wanted to go to Johnny Rockets for lunch but were told there was an hour wait (I guess that was due to the fact that it was free) so we decided to lunch in the Windjammer which was very nice with a great selection. More Jacuzzi's in the afternoon with our particular favourite being the one which has TV screens around it and sort of hanging out over the ocean. We were eating in the Main Dining room, and whilst I enjoyed the food (I had duck) it was not in the same class as the duck I had eaten on the Adventure one week earlier. The ambience of the MDR was very nice, with burgundy being the main colour and matcking carpet and plates, HOWEVER for me I prefer the Voyager/Freedom style dining rooms which are more traditional and more to our taste, however I guess it is a case of horses for courses. One thing they really will need to get right is queueing/planning/organising for the MDR. The ship was only 1/2 full but:- People were leaving the MDR after the time that we should have been seated, and we, along with many others we queueing right round by the elevators and potentially with a full ship problems could certainly have occurred. I guess that this is, in part the purpose of a pre-inaugural to iron out any of the minor glitches before it is actually "open for business". After dinner we discovered Rising Tide. What can I say, innovative, inventive, clever, exciting, brilliant in concept and design. Absolutely loved it. What is so clever is that once the bar rises to a certain level a mini-Bellagio type of display occurs where the bar had been. We then made a brief and relatively small donation to RCCL in the casino which was really busy considering the ship population. The following day we spent, at various times observing the sports deck, sampling more jacuzzis, sunbathing and generally enjoying ourselves. One clever thing is the location of some extremely high powered binoculars variously positioned around the ship. Got an absolutely stunning view of the moon. CONCLUSION As a travel agent, this ship is very easy to sell. It has something for everyone. As someone who appreciates cruise ships. It is stunningly beautiful with so many innovations it is impossible to think of them all, and I am sure that as soon as I press the SUBMIT button I will think of things I should have said. As a paying customer. This is not a ship I would cruise on. Personally I would find it too big, too impersonal and I guess I would best describe it as a Las Vegas hotel on the oceans, which is fine.......... if I am in Las Vegas, but a cruise is a different type of holiday. One thing that is a pity is that we did not go far, or at speed of any sort which meant it was difficult to actually feel any motion. The problem being I am unable to actually judge whether the lack of motion is because of the ship's size, or because of the lack of actually "sailing" that it did. One thing that was kind off cool was the following morning. We looked out on the balcony and could see the Equinox directly behind the Masdaam with another HA ship to the side. Made you realise how vast the Allure actually is. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Wow! Where do you begin? My pre cruise expectations were that Allure would just be an overhyped, scaled up version of RCL's other ships I had experienced (Mariner, Explorer, Independence). How wrong I was. It is as if RCL has taken ... Read More
Wow! Where do you begin? My pre cruise expectations were that Allure would just be an overhyped, scaled up version of RCL's other ships I had experienced (Mariner, Explorer, Independence). How wrong I was. It is as if RCL has taken all the best bits from the development of resort size ships and enhance them in a more sophisticated setting (I never imagined referring to Allure as sophisticated!). Allure has everything you expect but with the size and class to separate the varied areas making it a ship for a very broad range of customer. Everything was very tastefully presented and not as "tacky" as I thought it could have been. If you can't find your personal niche on this ship you should avoid taking a cruise altogether. Generally the organisation, given the sheer scale of things, was amazing. Prebooking for shows and activities works better than the free for all you can find on other ships and the wide range of such entertainments allows freedom of choice. Food, whilst not gourmet, was fine given the typical cost of a cruise but unfortunately I was afforded the opportunity to sample the numerous upscale restaurants - which looked fantastic. I would recommend that you try Allure - Whilst you may still have other personal favourite ships you will come away from this experience in complete awe. Allure is magnificent! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Adult son and daughter and son's girlfriend and I sailed on the maiden voyage of the Allure Dec 1-5. It was an incredible cruise and I loved every minute of it. My room overlooked Central Park. It was so lovely sitting on the balcony ... Read More
Adult son and daughter and son's girlfriend and I sailed on the maiden voyage of the Allure Dec 1-5. It was an incredible cruise and I loved every minute of it. My room overlooked Central Park. It was so lovely sitting on the balcony watching the activity while we discussed the activities from the cruise compass. If you misplaced your compass, everything was just a touch screen away. The computerized system with activities, maps, dining room waits, etc. was so advanced. The solarium was a haven. It had so many various lounge areas and was very lush with Palm trees and vegetation. It had its own dining area with healthy choices. There were so so many hot tubs (adult only), loved it!! Although the ship was at capacity, it never felt that way. There were so many options when it came to meals, even the windjammer never seemed overwhelming. I don't know where to begin regarding the entertainment. You do not need to go to Las Vegas or Broadway, you just need to book the Allure. Serious, who need Vegas Cirque de Solis' O, when the Allure has Blue Planet and Oceanaria. And just come on board the Allure to see an amazing 90 minute Chicago with all of the highlighted songs. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!! My kids and I just loved the shows. The comedy club as well was great, I just wish it were a little bigger. With all my compliments for the Allure, if you hope to sit in a lounge and watch the sea, its not happening. You barely know you are on a ship, unless you go to the pool level or have an outside balcony. all lounges face the inside, library, internet, all inside. The My time dining level did not have views of the water (only the lifeboats so the shades remained closed). But all that was fine, I kept so busy, too busy even, I'm sure I'll have to return to her (or her sister ship the Oasis) very soon. The most important advice I need to give you all, if you plan to go, make reservations for the shows in advance (supposedly you can do this); and/or try to make reservations as soon as you get on board. I didn't get this warning and although was on board by 1130, we didn't realize that all shows needed advance reservations. We were use to just showing up at the theater, but I guess with 5500 guests, you need reservations. Luckily, we were able to get reservations for some shows and for other got in by standby line. so we saw it all and it was all sooooooooooo good. Happy Sailing Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We have an unusual viewpoint because we have cruised exclusively on Regent luxury cruises. We love the all-inclusive concept, the level of service and the quality of the food and wine. We have eaten in outstanding restaurants around the ... Read More
We have an unusual viewpoint because we have cruised exclusively on Regent luxury cruises. We love the all-inclusive concept, the level of service and the quality of the food and wine. We have eaten in outstanding restaurants around the world, my wife is as wine expert as well and we love good wines, so we were not expecting to be wowed by Royal Caribbean. I saw an article on this new ship and we decided at the last minute to give it a try since the ship is so different from the small luxury ships we've been on. I'll try to give you as much specific information as I can but our overall impression of this ship is very positive. GENERAL OVERALL IMPRESSION: The ship itself is spectacular and they spared no expense to produce a cruise ship that is just an awesome physical creation. The second thing is, despite the fact this was the maiden voyage, there were literally no glitches at all and this was amazing. You would have thought this ship and its staff had been in place for years. Everything was extremely efficient, the staff was almost without exception very positive and friendly, the service was consistently very good. The other thing that surprised us was the general lack of lines and the feeling we expected to have of a huge ship with tons of people on it. There were only a few times when the crowds were even apparent. The ship was not cleared for boarding until 1 PM so there was a large line to get on board when it was cleared. But it still did not take more than 20 minutes to clear this whole line and get everyone on board. It was also a bit of a zoo after they released everyone from the mandatory lifeboat "lecture" when everyone was anxious to get on an elevator and go somewhere at the same time. But throughout the cruise you seldom waited for an elevator for more than a couple minutes and it really did not feel crowded with a series of waiting lines for everything. They had two banks of 12 elevators at each end of the ship and that was certainly enough. We only went to the main dining room twice (once for lunch and once for dinner) and walked right in both times without a wait (we paid our gratuities in advance so could walk into the dining room for dinner at any time without a reservation). I ate lunch once in the main buffet and walked though there 3 other times during breakfast and lunch. They have several "islands" and I never saw a line waiting to get into the buffet. You simply walked right in and, even though there were often plenty of people in there, there were no lines to wait in. ENTERTAINMENT: The shows are great and you should try to see them all. The one we didn't see was the comedy show. We had reservations but cancelled when we learned one of the comedians had too much "adult" material for our tastes - we learned that from another guest. They were careful to say on the ticket that there was adult content but we think they should have at least a couple of shows each week with nothing but "family friendly" material. I'd recommend you book as many of the shows as you can on line before you go. However, we also found that there seemed to be at least a few empty seats at most of the shows so I would think you would have a decent chance to get in at the last minute to at least some of them without a reservation. FOOD: We should be able to help you here since we took full advantage of the specialty restaurants and we have a pretty sophisticated palate. First, we only ate dinner in the dining room one night so the experience is obviously very limited. Our service that night couldn't have been better. However, the menu was pretty "basic". My wife had lasagna and I had surf and turf. The lasagna was fine but nothing special. The surf and turf was not what I expected. The surf was 3 meduium sized steamed shrimp that were overcooked. The turf was not a steak but a thick piece of roast beef filet(without the bone and fat). It was a little dry and not really top quality, flavorful beef. We heard from another guest that they did have rack of lamb the next night and it was very good but our experience was very limited so you may want to discount it. I ate lunch once in the main dining room and joined 5 other people. Three of the 6 people took one bite of their lunch and did not finish it. One was a quiche that the person said was dry and lacked any flavor at all. The second was a tastada and that man said it was far too hot (spicey) for him (could have been just a personal taste problem). The third had a piece of some kind of meat that he siad was just too tough to eat. I had a pita with lamb and it was not very good either. The buffet food is typical buffet food. I would say it was pretty much middle of the road in terms of overall quality and selection. I would recommend the Solarium small buffet on the 15th floor for breakfast or lunch. They concentrate on a healthy menu and do a good job at it in a smaller venue. Sorrentos -- I've seen some good reviews for this venue on the Oasis but we did not care for the pizza. The crust was a little thick and "doughey", the sauce was not distinctive and the cheese was thick. It reminded us of a frozen pizza from the grocery store. Park Cafe -- this little Cafe serves some nice sandwiches and salads (try the shrinmp salad over asian noodles). It is small and you will find a line at this one for probably the first 1/2 hour it's open each day for lunch. 150 Central Park -- We love the Cordon Blu restaurant Signatures on Regent so we were prepared to be underwhelmed. Forget it! Molly Brandt is one if the finest young chefs in America and I doubt she'll stay with Royal Caribbean for many years. We ate there twice ($35 per person surcharge) and it was outstanding both times, from the impeccable service to the presentation to the quality and taste. It is a six-course tasting menu and you may want to stop in and take a look at the menu first. She changes it once during the week so there will be two different menues available in a 1-week cruise. However, she is also very smart in preparing the menus because she has nothing that is "wild". You'll find no curry or hot and overly spicey items. But this restaurant is not to be missed for those who appreciate fine food and outstanding service. Samba Brazilian Steakhouse -- This is a new restaurant for Royal Caribbean. This is a great concept but the execution is lacking. It is patterned after the Brazilian steakhouses where they keep bringing you meat until you're stuffed. They also have a Brazilian dancer at Samba who entertains sporadically throughout the evening and this is a nice touch. It's a fun atmosphere but the problem is the meat quality. The meats are filet mignon, another beef selection that is a sirloin cut of some kind, lamb chops, chicken wrapped in bacon, pork roast and what they called a brazilia sausage. The filet. All of the meats come to the table on a big sword and the server cuts them off (pork, and steak) or takes them off the sword (the rest of the meats). The "filets" are small two-bite pieces that are just too small to be cooked properly and retain their flavor. They were dry even when rare. The lamb chops werevery good. The sausage was very pedestrian and dull, the other steak item was not very tender and I don't expect to eat small bites of chicken wrapped in bacon at a Brazilian steakhouse. We heard mostly negative comments from other guests as well so they may make improvements but right now, skip it and the $25 surcharge. Giovanni's Table -- This is another big winner for a $15 surcharge per person. It is an upscale Italian restaurant and everything is good. The service was also excellent and we ate here twice as well. Here's a tip. They have a filet mignon on the menu here and it was a big one. My wife ordered it one night. Now maybe this was a fluke but it was tremendous! We did not eat at Chops but there is no way their filet (a $25 surcharge for Chops) would be better than this one. Save the $10 and get the filet here along with all the other great things. By the way you can order more than one appetizer, pasta, etc. and they will also serve you family style if you wish. You cannot leave there hungry and this is another gem. Chef's table -- this is a small special dinner (14-16 people) and they will have 2-3 of them during each cruise, depending on the demand. It again is a 5-course fixed menu and it is held in a separate small dining area specifically set aside for this event. It is a $75 per person surcharge but includes 5 different wines paired with the 5-courses. The wines are premium wines and we thought the pairings were extremely well done. Again, the chef comes out and explains and presents each course and it is a great food/wine experience. You also leave there with a copy of the nice hard-cover Royal Caribbean cook book with some good recipes. This was an excellent experience and we would recommend it for those who appreciate good wine and gourmet food. Final thoughts: This ship can actually satisfy both the luxury cruisers and those who are looking for the mid-price cruise. We heard good comments on CHOPS (the steakhouse) so you could stick with the specialty restaurants and have outstanding dinners each night while still paying significantly less than luxury all-inclusive cruise prices. They also have a wine package which we bought (5 bottles). We bought the top Diamond package. There was some "junk" on the list but there were also 4-5 wines that are $18-20 retail that you would pay anywhere from $45-70 in a restaurant for a bottle. We found it a good value. We would take this ship again but the cruise is all about the ship and not the ports and I would think this will limit their repeat business some. They only have6 ports in the Caribbean they can get into and two of them are their own islands. So you'll get 3 stops in every 7 day cruise right now. That's fine for the first cruise on this wonderful ship but there are so many places to go and so little time to go there that it is certainly a drawback to continued repeat voyages. PS - I forgot -- the fitness center is fabulous and so big you will never have to wait in line for any piece of equipment Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Although the Oasis and the Allure of the Seas are in the same class in the Royal Caribbean fleet, there are a few sundry modifications which the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has made to distinguish them from one another. During our bridge ... Read More
Although the Oasis and the Allure of the Seas are in the same class in the Royal Caribbean fleet, there are a few sundry modifications which the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has made to distinguish them from one another. During our bridge tour, we were informed by the crew that the Allure is sleeker, faster and more beautiful than her Sister ship, but this came of course from jaundiced eyes. She can now be declared to be the largest cruise ship afloat in that she is five centimeters longer than the Oasis. Nonetheless, our overall comparison and hence this review casts a different light upon the similar vessels and their value in the Caribbean fleet. Of course, there are certain features which are common to most Royal Caribbean ships including the rock climbing walls, the Windjammer cafeterias, specialty restaurants, the libraries and card rooms, room service, excellent child care facilities and staff, the bars and of course many pools. In the Freedom Class we find further additions, but the Oasis and Allure offer many more selections from which both the avid and new cruiser can choose. The two flow riders are supplemented by a zipline and an additional higher rock climbing wall. Boasting seven "neighborhoods", Central Park, the Boardwalk, the Pool and Sports Zone, the Royal Promenade, the Vitality and Spa and Fitness area, the Youth Zone and the Entertainment Center, there is always something to offer any vacationer. Specifically, however, this review is designed to be one of the Allure of the Seas, but it most definitely finds itself comparing it to its Sister, the Oasis of the Seas. Our initial impression and one shared by countless others we met over the seven days who could compare the two ships was that the service and responsiveness of the crew was lacking on the Allure. For example, upon boarding, we were searching for the Concierge Lounge which we had found without difficulty on the Oasis last December. Two separate crew members were totally unaware of its location as well as even incapable of advising us as to which direction on the ship was forward or aft. The "hospitality staff", which on the Oasis had consisted of a number of young, energetic and dedicated crew members selected from the elite of the fleet to assist and encourage everyone to have a special time with their respective trips and interests, was basically nonexistent. The fanfare which accompanied the Maiden Voyage of the Oasis of the Seas seemed to be substantially diminished. This is in some ways explicable in that it was only one year ago that her Sister sailed on her long anticipated Inaugural. Nonetheless, a bit more flourish on Royal Caribbean's part would have made the Maiden Voyage of the Allure of the Seas substantially more exhilarating for all concerned in this Diamond Celebration. The entertainment on the Allure did not seem to be quite on par with that offered by the performers of the Oasis, though of course it by far surpasses that of other ships in the fleet. In the opinion of many of us who have seen the shows on each of the ships, "Chicago" was not as well produced or directed as "Hairspray" had been on the Oasis. "OceanAria" on the Allure was not as dramatic as an aqua production in that it did not include as much of the "Cirque du Soleil" style as had the "Oasis of Dreams". Similarly, the ice show was not as creative in its design, though the cast was as talented and possessed the same flair as that of the Oasis. However, "Blue Planet", the Allure's answer to the Oasis' "Come Fly With Me", was quite entertaining with scenes which astounded and intrigued all who attended the production. The 3-D Movies as well as the integration of Dream Works into the Entertainment Center appeared to be quite popular. The Boardwalk, unlike the same Neighborhood on the Oasis, was a prime site for both families and older cruisers alike to enjoy the party atmosphere, partake in a variety of hotdogs or burgers at Johnny Rockets or simply stroll as one would at a seaside resort. The Comedy Club was the most sought after venue on board with every show sold out from the first evening through the conclusion of the cruise. Innumerable bars, the Royal Casino, jazz clubs and Dazzles, a night spot, were comparable to those found on the Oasis. Central Park, which appeared to be better maintained than on the Allure's Sister, continued to be a space where one could just relax and enjoy the fresh air and a snack at the Park Cafe. When one thinks of cruising, the topic of dining and snacking inevitably arises. There are far too many locations on the Allure to mention where, at any time of the day or night, food could be found. This is not to say that everything was appetizing or at times even palatable. Room service, though rapid and responsive, was far below the standard of quality which Royal Caribbean usually maintains throughout the fleet. Certain specific restaurants are, however, worthy of note. 150 Central Park, much like its namesake on the Oasis, provided a unique five-course meal which many would find to be both savory and exceptional. One issue which many had at this specialty dining location was that, as an initial offering, a cucumber martini was touted as cleansing to the palate and most enjoyable. This might have been true, but the staff fails to mention that the cost of the simple drink is $15. This is automatically added on to the $35 cover charge for the meal. Though the cost of the experience is quite acceptable, this deceptive ploy is appalling upon receipt of the evening's check. Giovanni's, the Italian family style bistro, did offer a variety of specialties which were quite tasty. One of the major shortcomings of the Oasis was underutilized or unpopular food venues. On the Allure, the Solarium Bistro was replaced by the Samba Grill, the Seafood Shack by Rosa's Cantina, and the Donut Shop by the Dog House. These were most certainly positive changes. However, the Samba Grill, a Brazilian Meat eatery, did not live up to our expectations and was far from what one anticipates in any such restaurant on land. Rosa's Cantina, with a minimal cover charge, did have adequate variety offered on its menu. The Dog House was fantastic as a casual and most welcomed addition to the Boardwalk. Unfortunately, as we have cruised on Royal Caribbean throughout the years, we have seen a definite decline in the quality and preparation of what was once superior food offered in the Main Dining Room. This, however, is not unique to the Allure but appears to be a trend on each of the fleet's vessels. We would be remiss if we failed to mention the superior qualities of the Chef's Table. A once well-kept secret with a $75 cover charge is worthy at any price with its fine cuisine, elegant presentations and intimate setting as it seats only fourteen diners per evening. After the incomparable sous chef has enlightened attendees about his culinary creations, the knowledgeable sommelier explains in detail the wine offerings which accompany each of the five courses. The host for the evening and Concierge manager from both our Oasis and Allure sailings, Mr. Robert Espedido, must be congratulated for executing and maintaining the distinctive excellence of this once in a lifetime dining experience. As regular cruisers, we have attended the Chef's Table on four occasions (three times on the Oasis and once on the Allure), and none of the participants in this dining delight have ever been dissatisfied in any way with such a culinary extravaganza. As evidenced by the commentaries above, we are Diamond Plus members of the Crown and Anchor Society with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. After three cruises on the Oasis of the Seas to enjoy and learn about the class of ships, including her Maiden Voyage, and this one on the Allure of the Seas, we have found the Allure to be somewhat lacking in several aspects of the sailing experience. We have spoken with many of our friends who have now sailed either on the Allure, the Oasis, or both. Most state that they will not return to the Oasis class until the prices of the cabins are reduced. The ports of call are limited out of necessity due to the sheer size of the two ships. Once you have cruised on vessels of this magnitude when the ship and not the ports become the destination, one wonders why there would be any practical or monetary value in repeating the experience. We have done so solely as a means of educating ourselves, but this will most certainly be our last voyage on this particular class of Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Overall, the Allure is little more than a slight upgrade, refinement, and correction of flaws evident in our Oasis sailings. Perhaps, if one is inclined to spend significant additional funds to enjoy technological advances and the few extra benefits of taking a vacation on "the largest cruise ship ever to sail", the Allure or Oasis might be appropriate ships to select. Otherwise, booking a cruise on a smaller, less expensive ship with greater port offerings should be considered as a more viable option. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
My husband and I cruised Allure of the Seas from Dec 12-19th with my cousin and her husband celebrating our year anniversary of marriage. We had a wonderful time and I feel that since I read almost every review of the the Oasis to try to ... Read More
My husband and I cruised Allure of the Seas from Dec 12-19th with my cousin and her husband celebrating our year anniversary of marriage. We had a wonderful time and I feel that since I read almost every review of the the Oasis to try to get ready for our cruise I would write a review about our trip to see if it will help anyone else......so here goes...... First of all we flew to Ft.Lauderdale the day we cruised and got there around 1pm and to the port around 2 so it worked out great!!! The check-in process was simple and fast and we were on the boat in no time. Since we didn't get there until after 1 we could go straight to our cabin and drop off our bags which was great!!!! We grabbed a bite to eat and explored the boat!!!! I have to admit it felt sooooooo crowded the first day but after that got sooo much better!!!! We made all our show time reservations and dinner reservations even though we had my time dining online before the cruise and it worked out great. We got into every show we wanted to see and had no problem. Dinner in the main dining room was wonderful we had the best waitress Angelica!!!!!!! If you do my time dining and she is still there as for her she is great!!! The food was good I didn't feel like there was alot of selection but we tried new things and it all tasted great. I wasn't impressed with the desserts at all though. From our previous cruising with carnival we always had the option of the molten lava cake for dessert every night and we didn't have that once on the ship :(!!! Over-all the food was good and the service was amazing!!!!! We ate at all the free options on the boat and really enjoyed Park Cafe for lunch the roast beef sandwhiches are good!!!!!! We also enjoyed the main dining room for lunch also!!! SAVE YOURSELF A TUMMY ACHE DONT EAT AT THE WINDJAMMER IT IS HORRIBLE!!!!!! I woke up sick the next day after windjammer food and it was horrible!! Also for breakfast the main dining room has a breakfast buffet and also a menu to order off of go there you wont be sorry and its alot less crazy for breakfast then the windjammer!! If you are going to go to the main dining room for breakfast ask for the al a cart side and you can also get the buffet too but you get better service for your drinks and if you wanted something off the menu. Thats all i have to say about the food....oh sorento's pizza was good also the make your own was fun :). Our balcony was awesome it was the first time we booked that level of stateroom and I can tell you this family isn't going back to an inside cabin!!!! I loved going out on the balcony and just looking at the water!!!! Its really the only place you get a good view of the ocean since the boat is sooo big!!!! We loved it and found the room to be perfect plenty of storage and room for all our things. The shows were awesome don't miss any of the them mostly blue planet and Chicago and the aqua show!!!!!!! We also enjoyed the movies on board it was a fun break during the day!!!! BOOK YOUR SHOWS ONLINE BEFORE YOU COME!!!!!!! We did this and it saved us having to wait and hope to get into a show like many guests had to do!!!! Ok....let me give you some advice.....if you don't want to be cruise ship "famous" don't do the love and marriage game or the belly flop competition!!!! We did the love and marriage game and my husband did the belly flop competition and won so we couldn't go anywhere without someone talking to us. If you knew my husband you would know he loved the attention and meeting all the people but its just a warning!!! We were happy we did it because it was alot of fun but just know it plays over and over and over on tv for the entire ship to see lol!!!!! Ports: getting off the ship was simple we didn't get to stop in Nassau because of the weather so that was a bummer but we got one more day to explore the ship so that was fun. We have been to St.Thomas before so that was ok.....there were alot of boats in port so I didn't feel like we got very good deals I think the only thing we bought was me a watch and i feel like we got a good deal on it. We had booked a snorkel tour with the ship but it didn't work out because of the rain. Our next stop was St.Maarten and it was really pretty i think i like it better then St.Thomas. We didn't buy much there but we did participate in the first ever royal caribbean 5 k race there!!!!!! It was alot of fun and I hope we see more things like that in the future!!! ESPN was on the boat and got footage of the entire event and its going to air sometime in January I think!!! The best part was my cousin won the race for the first cruiser to finish the race!!!! Of course some of the staff (fitness staff) finished first but honestly if the didn't they shouldn't have their jobs right??? She did awesome she is a really good runner and her prize was awesome she got a ton of Reebok stuff and BCS bowel tickets!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a fun morning then we went back to the ship ate breakfast and went shopping....again not great prices considering we live in Oklahoma and stuff doesn't cost a ton here so maybe it was good deals if you live somewhere expensive but not great deals for us!!! Our cruise director Ken Rush was awesome you will enjoy him!!!!!! There is soooo much to say about the boat its hard to remember everything......we would go back on the boat in a second and pray for better weather but it was great always something to do if you wanted or you could do nothing if you wanted that was the beauty of it!!!!!! Go on the Allure I think you will love it!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Our family of eight spent our first few days in Orlando before driving the 200 miles to Fort Lauderdale and Port Everglades to join the Allure of the Seas. On arrival at the port I was struck with the sheer size, even though I had traveled ... Read More
Our family of eight spent our first few days in Orlando before driving the 200 miles to Fort Lauderdale and Port Everglades to join the Allure of the Seas. On arrival at the port I was struck with the sheer size, even though I had traveled on the Freedom of the Seas previously. The embarkation process was by far the smoothest I have experienced and we were on the ship within an hour of arrival at the port which was 11AM. You are given a map of the ship prior to boarding which we found useful. The decor and layout is what you would expect of RCI and it has all of our favourite venues and some additional ones. The crew were still finding their way around but in the main were knowledgeable. We explored until around 1PM when our stateroom was ready. The stateroom was excellent we had booked a balcony which was situated at the rear of the ship parallel with the boardwalk main entrance and one deck above it on deck seven. We were unable to dock in Nassau due to the wind being at around 40 knots which we were disappointed by. The Captain stated that he did not want to endanger the ship trying to get it into the port with the wind being this strong (apparently the ship cost 1.4 billion but no one factored in strong winds) The on-board entertainment was good with Chicago and Blue Planet being the best of the bunch Please ensure that you book shows prior to your cruise as lines of people who had not booked were quite long. We sailed on to St Thomas and St Martin before returning to Port Everglades Our dining room staff were great and I would say the best we have had with RCI Ross John our drinks waiter was the best and Jonalyn out waitress was fantastic!! very funny. Our cruise director was Ken Rush who did not appear to be that enthusiastic the first time he made contact with the passengers was on the third cruise day which I found unusual. I think he is coming to the end of his shelf life, the good news though is that he is handing over to Alan Brooks in January 2011 he will make it much more enjoyable in my opinion. I found that because the ship has so many passengers it was difficult to eat in the windjammer especially for larger groups wishing to sit together. The crew do their best to accommodate but with that many people it is bound to be difficult to please everyone on one occasion they were asking guests to come back later!! The ship has touch screens on every deck which allow you to find out where things are and what is going on and we found this a great help. In conclusion I am glad I tried the ship I think 6000 passengers is to many especially on the sea days I do like RCI and will be sailing on the the smaller Brilliance of the Seas next December in Dubai hopefully without it LISTING but that another story. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Sailed: 12-19 December, 2010 Cabin: Central Park Balcony (CP2) #11631 (aft, but closer to mid-ship) Overnight Hotel (pre-departure, 1 nt): Hilton Marina, ICW Ft Lauderdale Ft Lauderdale Restaurants (pre-departure): Bimini ... Read More
Sailed: 12-19 December, 2010 Cabin: Central Park Balcony (CP2) #11631 (aft, but closer to mid-ship) Overnight Hotel (pre-departure, 1 nt): Hilton Marina, ICW Ft Lauderdale Ft Lauderdale Restaurants (pre-departure): Bimini Boatyard; China Grill (Hilton) Pre-departure: Arrived Ft Lauderdale, by air, Saturday afternoon 1430. Able to check into hotel immediately; upgraded (Hilton Diamond Mbr) to lovely tower room overlooking marina. Beautiful property, but did not take advantage of any amenities except restaurant, China Grill, for following morning breakfast buffet. As Hilton Diamond Members, we had received 2 FREE continental breakfasts but had to pay a $6/pp upcharge for buffet, which was worth it (food was yummy!) but might not be such a good deal at regular menu price of $17/pp! Dinner Saturday night was at the Bimini Boatyard, chosen for it's close walking proximity to hotel. No wait (but we showed up at 1815) and the food and cocktails were wonderful! Together we had the Stone Crab Claws (appetizer), the Churrasco Steak (Brazilian style) w/ mashed potatoes and wood-grilled veggies, and the Blackened Wahoo w/ Basmati Rice and Brocolini. Large portions, fair prices and yum-O food...I found myself wishing I could take home the leftovers! Embarkation/ Disembarkation: These folks have got this process down to a science! We arrived at the ship early (1130) hoping to board, only to be told we couldn't until 1400. We were directed (and I mean this literally!) to a waiting area upstairs in the terminal but, surprisingly, waited less than 10 minutes before they started boarding the ship (although we were told we could not access our stateroom until 1300). They moved 1,500 waiting passengers onto the boat in under 15 minutes! 5-stars!!! Disembarkation was even smoother...we left our stateroom Sunday morning @ 840 and arrived at Ft Lauderdale International SEVENTEEN minutes later! Never have we experienced such an easy exit! (of course, we were faced with a lengthy wait at the airport due to this speedy exit, but that was not the cruiseship's fault.) Staff: Outstanding at every turn; although I did notice a hint of attitude on the parts of a couple Cruise Director staff members by the end of the week, but since it wasn't exactly directed toward me, no harm, no foul. ;-) I do have to give two shout-outs to folks who went above and beyond: first, our cabin steward 'Derique'(?) [pronounced Derek], and second to the bartender in the Viking Crown Lounge who made me those delicious 'Natural' Frozen Mojitos (I think his name was Roy...or was it Ray...or Bob??? Well, I did say they were delicious!) Cabin: (CP2 (Central Park Balcony) #11631 (Deck 11) Aft (but really more toward mid-ship)): While there is nothing like a new ship, we rank the stateroom at only 3-stars. Pretty standard in it's design and offerings; lovely 'overlook the Park' perk but overall poor design in placing the Kid's Aqua Zone directly above Central Park! During the day, you were forced to listen to screeching children if you wanted to enjoy your balcony (a closed balcony door DID extinguish noise!) Would NOT recommend this category to those who like to dine/ relax on their balcony!!! Dining: Cannot honestly speak to overall quality of MDR, as we only ate lunch there one day, but that experience was underwhelming. We arrived late and were told by our waiter they were shutting down the salad bar and we had only 5 minutes if we wanted to order from the kitchen! In a time-crunch panic, I ordered 2 meals (knowing if I didn't like what I had originally order, I would not be able to order a substitute meal): the quiche & salad combo (good, but the quiche was tepid) and a (supposedly) Mediterranean Lamb Pita...ACK! I took one bite which I had to spit it out in my napkin! I honestly cannot say what that was! Windjammer - eh, what can one say? If you are a fan of the twelve-dollar AYCE buffet, you'd like it...otherwise, not so much. The selection is good, the food is fair, and the floor service is almost non-existent...overall rating, 2-stars. Park Cafe, Boardwalk Doghouse, Johnny Rockets, Chops & Giovannis: Stellar, 5-stars!!! Izumi: Lovely dining experience...we did a couple 'Hot Rock' dishes and a sushi roll appetizer. But BEWARE, it could get pricey with their a la carte menu pricing! It wasn't too bad for just the two of us...including the $5/pp cover, we ended up with a $65 bill (1 highball, 1 beer, 1 Lobster Roll appetizer, and 2 Hot Rock entrees + additional 5% gratuity), but can't imagine what the family of six at the next table spent!!! Rating: 3-1/2-stars. Rita's Cantina: Save your money! Blah food, even at $7.95 for AYCE...1-star. Did not dine @ 150 Central Park, Vintages or try Wipeout Cafe (although I did check it out, seems adequate for non-picky kids). Entertainment: Blue Planet = AWESOME, 5-stars Oceanaria = highly entertaining, 5-stars Ice Shows = good (seen one, you've seen them all), 3-1/2-stars (sadly, Allure did not have the 'sand painter') Comedy = laughed a lot, so I guess they did their jobs! 4-stars General (Love & Marriage, Battle of Sexes, Trivia, et al) = 5-stars; Cruise Director Rush has a rapier wit, love him!!! The ship is beautiful, as you have all read a thousand times by now, the cleanliness factor was phenomenal considering the number of people constantly milling about. The overall layout design works great, most especially the 'You Are Here' touchscreen kiosks liberally placed throughout the ship, and the dual exit/ entry arrangement for port stops...an end to the long wait! Yea!!! Lots of speedy-lift elevators (6 fore, 6 aft, I believe) so the only times you had a wait was right after a show let out, or something similar. If you are a fan of the spectacular and over-the-top cruise experience, I'd DEFINITELY recommend this ship! If, however, you enjoy more the anonymity of a solitary deckchair coupled with a good book, perhaps you should search further. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2010
My husband and I were excited as can be to be on the maiden voyage of the Allure of the Seas. I made reservations back in March and could not wait to see how great it was. We flew in a few days early from the west coast and stayed at the ... Read More
My husband and I were excited as can be to be on the maiden voyage of the Allure of the Seas. I made reservations back in March and could not wait to see how great it was. We flew in a few days early from the west coast and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott by the beach. Good motel across the street from the beach and close to restaurants and shopping. A little over a week before the cruise I signed into the Royal Caribbean website to reserve specialty dining and show reservations. I thought it was strange that I couldn't book reservations for dinner at Chops at 6:00pm. on Sunday night. I also found it strange that the only show I could get reservations for was Chicago. I thought there was a problem with the website and figured I would make reservations when I got on the ship the first day. We never had problems getting reservations before so I thought I would be OK. Embarkation went quickly. We arrived shortly after 12:00pm and were on the ship within 20-25 minutes drinking a fruity drink with rum. We waited in the pool area till our cabins were ready at 1:00pm. Our cabin was on the 14th floor. This was a good location. Close to the pool area and the Windjammer cafe. Once in our room I quickly dropped off our carry-on luggage and set out to explore the ship. My first stop was Central Park. I found a nice quiet, free place to eat lunch away from the craziness of embarkation day. My next stop was Chops to see if I could make reservations at 6:00pm. I was shocked to find that all reservations for two people were sold out for the entire voyage. They put me on a waiting list for 6:00pm on other days but the only call I got was on the first formal night. They had a reservation at 9:00pm, much later than we usually dine, so I never made it to Chops. The next place I went was Studio B to reserve all the shows. I was really looking forward to seeing Oceanaria. Again, I was disappointed to find out that Oceanaria was sold out as well as most of the other shows. They told me I could go to the shows about 20 minutes before they start to be on a waiting list. While this would be OK for me, it would be very hard for my husband who has trouble standing for long periods of time. Thankfully, I was able to see Oceanaria by doing this. It is a must see show. I was surprised that Royal Caribbean didn't schedule more shows to accommodate the increase in passengers. Favorite places to hang out: Deck 15, pool deck. I always found a good spot. One end has the sports deck. A good place to people watch is the Wipeout cafe. You can watch the the zip liners, people playing on the sports court, and miniature golf. The Wipeout cafe also has frozen yogurt for a nice afternoon snack. Another favorite place is the boardwalk. There was always something going on. Occasionally the singers and dancers rehearse on the aqua theater stage so you can have some informal entertainment while you enjoy the fun boardwalk atmosphere. Overall, we had a wonderful time. The important thing to remember is to be flexible. Even though I couldn't get to see all the shows and we did not use the specialty dining, we had a great time exploring the ship and having a great time together. The only regret my husband mentioned is that he missed being able to see a new show each night after dinner. This is something we used to take for granted but cruising is not the same as it used to be now that cruise ships hold 5200 passengers. If someone from Royal Caribbean sees this, I hope they can improve the availability of seeing shows. They tried to convince me to see the late shows at 10:30 or later, but when since we eat dinner early, this did not work out. 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
This is not a review as such of the ship, it is a review of my experiences of being on the ship. I am not new to cruising, having sailed on various RCCL ships and I had sailed on the 12/1 & 12/5 sailings on Oasis last year so I knew in ... Read More
This is not a review as such of the ship, it is a review of my experiences of being on the ship. I am not new to cruising, having sailed on various RCCL ships and I had sailed on the 12/1 & 12/5 sailings on Oasis last year so I knew in some ways what to expect, or so I thought. The Allure is really beautiful even more so than her sister the Oasis, the Allure just has a different feeling about her in my opinion. Perhaps it is the dEcor or perhaps it is the different stores and eateries she has from her sister I can't really explain but I loved her from the first moment I stepped onboard.For the 12/1 sailing I was in an Owners Suite with 3 of my friends. I was rather surprised that as we sat in the suite area in the Terminal before boarding there wasn't even a cup of coffee to be had. Yes some nice seats with lovely cushions but coffee would have been nice while we waited but hey we are here for the ship and the fun with our friends.Embarkation was a breeze, no worries on that and soon we were able to actually board the ship and be amazed at the beauty of the Allure.Now to be honest I cannot remember what I first did when I boarded well apart from the fact I just stood there with my mouth open looking around at the Royal Promenade. This is my favourite area on Royal Caribbean's ships and the Allure RP did not disappoint.So to our suite, beautiful Owners Suite on deck 11, 11640. Fantastic suite but with 4 ladies sharing it, it wasn't ideal because there is actually only one bed. There was a sofa bed in the sitting room though. Having only one bathroom wasn't an issue at all for us as we had different times in the day/night when we liked to bath or shower. For the 4 nights we swapped who was sharing the bed and who was having the sofa bed, and who the roll away bed. We tried having two roll-away beds, it didn't quite work out, not comfortable or practical in our case but it was only 4 nights and I knew I was going to be in a D4 for the 12/5 sailing with my own bed.When I first stepped out onto our balcony I was delighted by the size of it, it was enormous. With a table and 4 chairs on one side and two chaise loungers on the other side it looked fabulous and I couldn't wait to spend some time out there with my friends.But wait what's this water coming down at the right hand side, ummm that's a bittie strange, och no worries probably maintenance is doing some cleaning above or something we thought.Wrong, this water coming down continued for the whole cruise. We could not sit out and enjoy our balcony as it seemed every-time we went out there the water started, very strange indeed.We peeked over to our neighbours balcony and low and behold they were having the same problem.We spent so much of our time on this cruise contacting maintenance, guest services, concierge, security, supervisors, housekeeping and stateroom attendant to let them know when the water started pouring down again. Our balcony and items on it were soaked through. From what we could gather it appears the problem was caused by the hot tub on the balcony of the Presidential suite above us. The children in that suite had a new game, "fill the hot tub-drain the hot tub"..."fill the hot tub-drain the hot tub". We also had to endure the noise from what sounded like chairs being thrown around, shouting, loud music, tempers tantrums, continuous jumping around on the balcony and worst of all seeing a lit cigarette being thrown overboard from their balcony.Apparently security had a problem contacting the parents to get this matter resolved, well that is what we were told anyway. We paid a lot of money so we could all sit out and enjoy our time together on our lovely balcony but we couldn't do so unless we had umbrellas and Wellington boots on, hey maybe we should have had a cruise shower or wet t-shirt party out there. But we didn't let the wet balcony get us down as we carried on with our plans,with my roomies being fun loving crazy ladies the fun was never ending. Two of the ladies wore head-boppers every day and night onboard the ship. On the night we went to Rita's Fiesta we had huge sombreros and black stick on moustaches, oh the looks of some folks in the Concierge Lounge that night was priceless but hey no worries we were having good clean fun. The CL on Oasis Class ships have the best views, right over the Boardwalk and a nice menu at lunch time with free wine or beer. I wish though they had more to nibble on before dinner as we were late seating and there wasn't a lot left by the time we went into the lounge at night.Service was great in the CL and we had a lot of fun there with the Maritza & Fernando and their assistants. I never had to wait long for a drink, after the first visit the same waiter always came up to me and nodded, I then nodded back and whoosh my vodka with coke appeared.Sadly the MDR was the not a good experience. The Maitre D had emailed me before I left the UK confirming that everything had been taken care of with regards to those who were linked to my reservation, ummm, no not true. We had to get this sorted out first before dinner and sadly the evening went downhill very fast because we had to all send back our main course, 3 times !! The seafood that should have been hot was lukewarm, the chicken marsala was the same and with two people it was covered in salt. The steaks ordered were either not cooked as ordered or were again lukewarm. I was so happy to get out of there that night although I was assured it all would be better the next night. Nope not the case. I gave up with the MDR after that on that sailing.My room-mates had lots of problems with getting their Dplus Amenities and OBC, we seemed to spend so much of this sailing at Guest Services that soon we would have our own personal path to the desk.We were though very happy with the gifts we received on this sailing, Allure Inaugural Towel, RCCL Tote Bag, Water bottle, Allure Hat & Lanyard. One of the ladies was delighted to receive her first Crystal Block on this sailing, although when it was delivered we had no idea who it was for as there was no name on the card and the stateroom attendant had no clue either who it was for. A few hours later we got the answer. Congratulations Marilyn.I was excited to go and see Blue Planet, as I had heard it was a fantastic show. I would go as far as saying it it the best show I have ever seen on a Royal Caribbean ship, truly amazing. I can't say the same about Chicago,yes the singing and dancing was good but it just did not appeal to me as the sort of show I want to see while cruising. Quite a few people walked out, I would have done so also but was in the middle of a row so just stayed and watched it. I didn't get the chance to see the Ice shows but did enjoy Ocean Aria at the Aqua theatre, amazing how this sort of show can take place on a moving ship.We had an unofficial Meet & Mingle on this sailing where everyone introduced themselves and said what was their favourite thing so far on the Allure. We had a raffle and a CC gift for everyone also.The Headliner on 12/1 sailing was a Temptations Tribute group. We didn't bother going to that, it just didn't appeal to us.At nights on this sailing I spent most of the late evening with some of the Critters, oh boy did we have some fun in Dazzles and Blaze, dancing the night away and having a ball.I remember though the first night we went to Blaze and we told the waitress we needed a table I could smoke at..no worries she put some tables all together and gave me an ashtray. Well, 2 hours later she came up to me and said I was in a no smoking area and either I had to move or stop smoking there!!! I was not amused but hey we carried on having fun and having pizza in the very early hours of the next morning.It was suddenly 12/5 and time for my roomies and some of the Critters to leave the Allure. Many tears were shed and there was a lot of hugging going on. I had not received the letter in the stateroom as a Consecutive Cruiser so headed off to Guest Services to get the details of where I was to go later.Time now to move all my clothes etc to my new stateroom. My stateroom attendant loaded up the trolley with my suitcases..oh and all the school supplies which the Critters had donated earlier that week after boarding. So with a very full trolley off we went to my new abode for the week. My new room wasn't ready, naughty attendant had forgotten he was meant to call ahead to new attendant to ensure room was ready for me but hey no worries I was allowed to unload everything into the room and head out to meet up with others who were doing the B2B.There had been a meeting held for those doing B2B (Consecutive Cruise) the previous day in Studio B, where we were told of a special benefit for those doing B2B...free laundry on day 3 of the 12/5 sailing. Nice one RCCL, thank you. We were also informed of the B2B lunch that would be held in the dining room for us also on turnaround day. If I remember correctly there was around 350 B2B's which apparently was a record amount. Perhaps this is why there was a mess when it came to our new Sea Passes on 12/5.No problems getting off the ship and back through to get our new Sea Passes but here is where there was a problem....there weren't new Sea Passes for some of us. So we sat there and waited and waited...oh here comes someone with Sea Passes...nope not all of them. There was in the end about 20 of us who didn't get a new Sea Pass. Finally we were led onto the ship and told to go to Guest Services and tell them we didn't have Sea Passes..umm hello why leave that up to us to do..grrrr. Eventually we got our new Sea Passes but then we were told we had to go back out to get our photos taken again. At this time the new guests were getting on the ship and we were trying to get off....sigh.At last we were sorted and my cell phone started to ring, it was Critters First Officer Donna calling me asking where the heck was I as she thought she would see me in the Terminal and was worried what might have happened. We ran towards each other and many tears and much hugging went on. This continued for some time as more and more of the Critters spotted us with our Critters Flags. Very emotional.So began a busy, fun filled week. The MDR though continued to disappoint, never again will I eat in there. Not worth the stress or embarrassment when sending back food which isn't hot or cooked properly. Heck one night the Head Waiter suggested that some of my table-mates choose their dinner the night before so he could ensure it would be hot and cooked properly for them...how nuts is that. So for the last few nights it was Windjammer or Sorrentos for me..much more relaxing and less stressful.For those who worry their cruise will be taken over by the Dreamworks characters I have to say this is NOT the case. The only time I saw the characters was during the Dreamworks parade and at the designated place for taking photos with the Characters, which was in Blaze, usually this was done for an hour each day around 11am.I enjoyed my D4, I loved sitting out on the balcony late at night just before bed, going over the day in my head. With a chocolate brownie and cup of coffee I would then sit in bed reading the next day's Compass and planning what to do and see.Usually I would have breakfast in Johnny Rockets or on a couple of mornings in the Windjammer.Lunch was sometimes at Park Cafe or Windjammer although one day we did have a "Ladies Do Lunch" in the MDR, it was good, so good Donna & I both had an extra serving of the pasta dish...yummy.The gifts I received on this sailing were, RCCL Tote Bag, Diamond celebration water bottle, Britto water bottle, Bottle of Allure champagne, Photo frame with ship photo and Maiden voyage certificate, small box of chocolates, commemorative coin voucher, bingo card, oh and a $10 "use at home" Starbucks card...ummm only problem with that is we don't use dollars in the UK. Apparently those of us who had been on the 12/1 sailing were not allowed to get the hat and lanyard that those who were doing 12/5 sailing received as we had been given it on the first sailing...ummm yea ok RCCL/C&A whatever.I did hear from Critters who were Platinum and Diamond that they did not receive some of the gifts that those of us who were Dplus were given. Last year on Oasis Inaugural 12/5 sailing the Diamond members received more gifts than on Allure.I loved walking around the Britto Store on Central Park. I adore the C&A painting that Romero Britto did but alas it was way out of my price range and so I only bought the Royal Britto Bear,which Romero Britto signed for me..oh and he signed my rhinestone boarding shirt. He had heard about the fact I had his C&A design on the shirt and wanted to see it. So I took it along to him and he added some pen marks to it and then autographed the shirt. I had to make sure when I got home this shirt didn't go into the laundry.One of the Dplus events was an Art Class with Britto. This was held in Studio B. The rink was covered in plastic and there were tables set up with bootees and gloves for us to wear. We were given a copy of a Britto painting for us to paint. Romero was there and came along and painted a little bit on everyone's painting and then signed it. A nice momento to take home.The Headliner on this sailing was Mosaic, an a-cappella group who I had never heard of before but I loved their show. Most of my late evenings were spent on this sailing at the Bow & Stern with some of the Critters including 70's party night, which was a whole load of fun, complete with our blinkie glasses.I didn't go off the ship for long at any of the ports except for Labadee as Donna & I had a special event planned that day. This was the day we would visit the new Labadee school and hand over all the school supplies that the Critters had very kindly donated on both sailings. It was a very emotional day and I would like to say thank you very much to all the Critters who donated and supported this special event. Also thanks to Labadee site manager David Southby and our translator Harry, for taking time out of their busy schedules to take us to the school. A day Donna and I will never forget.I did enjoy a quiet time in one of the Cantilever hot tubs one day and afterwards I went back to my stateroom and slept for over 2 hours. Got the fright of my life though when I opened my eyes to see a man at my door!! Darn I had forgotten to lock it this time and room service was delivering a plate of chocolates...good job for both of us that I had my robe on !!On day 3 which was the free laundry day for the Consecutive Cruisers, I had to go ask my stateroom attendant about it as I had not received the bag for the laundry. The attendant forgot I had been on the 12/1 sailing but quickly sorted me out a bag and I filled it and sent off my dirty laundry which I got back all nice and clean and folded the next day.I did try a Coney Island Hot Dog, I don't usually like Hot Dogs but it wasn't too bad. I was disappointed the Donut Shop was closed though, apparently they were waiting for a part to arrive so it had only been open a very short time on day one of the 12/1 sailing.Didn't try any of the Speciality restaurants so I can't comment on them.There was a Dplus event in the Viking Crown Lounge one morning where Mimosas etc were served.The Meet & Mingle for this sailing was scheduled to be held in Dazzles but as there were so many (325) registered for the event it was held instead in the Viking Crown Lounge on deck 17. The Cruise Director Ken Rush was busy elsewhere but Captain Hollywood...sorry Captain Zini, was there and chatted with everyone. He thanked the Critters for their special project this year for the Labadee school and was upset when Donna didn't have an International Critters name tag for him. Donna did say surely he had the best tag already with RCCL Captain on it but alas Capt Zini still wanted a Critters name tag and so we had to give him a Critters one without his name on it. We had on display at the M&M the beautiful Welcome Mats for the school for everyone to see.It was so nice to see some familiar faces within the staff, including Julie & Adrian at Guest Services who were a great help onboard with the Labadee school supplies project, also I must say thanks to Merina for her assistance also with this project. To Stacey in the Finance Dept. I would say keep smiling and I hope to see you again next year on Allure and we can catch up some more.Thanks also to Ricardo in the Cafe Promenade for getting me a brownie whenever he saw me sitting down and ensuring I didn't need anything else. Very polite and helpful young man.It was lovely to see Cindy Dangel the LA again and huge thanks must go to her and her team for all they did for C&A members onboard. On the day before we arrived back in Fort Lauderdale I was surprised(shocked) to find a letter on my door informing me that RCCL had looked at my past sailings record and noticed I settled my onboard account in cash....ummm wrong, so I was to call at Guest Services to pay my account.Actually I have used my Amex card every single cruise I have been on. Ok no worries off to Guest Services to sort it out. The queues at GS were enormous so off I went up to deck 11 to the CL. I was told my Amex card details were needed to sort this out and the fact that my account on the 12/1 sailing had been paid with the card didn't come into it, so off I went back down to Deck 6 to get my card from the safe and then back up to deck 11. My card was then added to my account and that was that, yea right.Now to the disembarkation mess grrrrrrr.I left my stateroom early to go look for breakfast taking my two carry on bags with me so this would let the stateroom attendant get into the room to prepare it for the next guests. I stopped a member of staff and asked where I could get breakfast and was told the Windjammer but I didn't feel like traipsing all the way up there with my bags and so asked where do the Dplus go and I was directed to go to Deck 3 MDR. So I went there and had coffee and orange juice and a wee pastry as there was no other food being served there and waited and waited.I did not have a flight to catch, thankfully, but was booked on the last transfer shuttle to the airport where I was staying in hotel overnight before my journey back over the pond.A while later the announcements began about the delay in getting off the ship so I waited and waited some more. Finally RCCL brought out coffee again as the guests were getting restless,especially when the person doing the announcements kept saying, "sit back, relax and enjoy your coffee while you wait", only problem being at that time there wasn't any coffee, it had all been taken away. Eventually though coffee did re-appear after many mutterings were heard of "what coffee?"So at last we were told all those remaining numbers, as in about 40 numbers of them, were told to all leave the ship, hurray..ummm. Getting off the ship as you know you have to hand over your sea pass well mine didn't do the normal sound it did the oh heck embarrassing "not getting off ship haven't paid bill sound" I was told to go to Guest Services and sort the matter out. Geez enough already,by this time I was like..let me off the ship please, I want to go home.Anyway off I go to Guest Services, again, and the matter was sorted out. This problem was linked to the problem of no new seapass on turnaround day and although the Concierge thought he had sorted it, he hadn't. My credit card hadn't actually been linked to the 12/5 sailing.At last I got the right sound when sea pass checked and into the terminal I went, found my suitcases easily and joined the enormous queue for Non-US to go through. Now there were lots and lots of people behind me but somehow I ended up being the very last person to go through customs..how the heck did that happen I wonder, perhaps it was the fact I was too tired to argue when folks jumped (pushed) in front of me in the queue, I don't know but at last after nearly an hour standing in that darn queue I was free to leave.Thankfully the last shuttle had to wait till all the guests had gone through customs before leaving for the airport, so with a last look back at the Allure, I left to start my journey home with tears in my eyes and many wonderful memories in my head and heart and a special message in my mind..."See you again next year Allure". There is probably a lot I have left out of this review but heck if I don't post it soon it will be time for our next Allure cruise, Dec 4th 2011, which will be the, Critters reunion/Allure 1st Birthday cruise/next project for Labadee school cruise. Maybe I will see you on it.p.s. Hopefully RCCL will have changed their toilet paper by our next cruise, 1-ply toilet roll just doesn't work well at all !! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
For anyone who has had more than 15 cruises within 5 years on RCI, you have noticed a decline in the quality and variety of food in Windjammers' and evening venues like Leonardo's, Adagio, Edelweiss etc. Those who are new to ... Read More
For anyone who has had more than 15 cruises within 5 years on RCI, you have noticed a decline in the quality and variety of food in Windjammers' and evening venues like Leonardo's, Adagio, Edelweiss etc. Those who are new to cruising will probably overlook this, because of the outstanding service and friendliness provided by the staff. Most of the reviews have sufficiently covered all of the wonderful and innovative features of RCI's new ship, "Allure of the Seas", and there are indeed positives. I will therefore concentrate on several areas that I found to be rather lacking. The gym was lacking the customary steam and sauna facilities that are available on other ships in the fleet. Of course, for an additional $150 (for 7 days) you were allowed use a sauna/steam-like room,.. that I found personally unacceptable. They have eliminated the Windjammer breakfast omelet stations, and replaced them with pre-made omelets, this eliminates one's ability to order eggs white or other specialty omelets,...and what is available, is fair at best. Finally the smoking situation in some of the dance venues is unacceptable, and can thus cause one to avoid them like the plague. The ventilation system does not provide adequate relief, and as such pollutes great evenings of enjoyment and dancing. If any of the aforementioned issues does not cause concern, then the trip aboard the Allure should be a wonderful and rewarding vacation. She is a beautiful ship, and must be seen and experienced. I do think however, once the newness and novelty wears off, experienced cruisers will opt for the "Freedom Class" amenities and itineraries. POST NOTE: If you entertain the notion of bringing contraband items, steam irons,liquor,vodka in water bottles etc.,,DON'T! It will be confiscated, and you will be inconvienenced. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
This ship has a lot to offer for people of all ages. FOOD: Giovanni's is a nice family style Italian restaurant. Great service and yummy food. I recommend the lasagna. You will not leave hungry. Windjammer was pretty much ... Read More
This ship has a lot to offer for people of all ages. FOOD: Giovanni's is a nice family style Italian restaurant. Great service and yummy food. I recommend the lasagna. You will not leave hungry. Windjammer was pretty much crowded for breakfast and lunch. We were always walking around carrying our food looking for a table. Most of the time we took our lunch pool side to dine with the kids who did not want to get out of the pool. The main dining room food and service was top notch. Our headwaiter and waitress, Russell and Claudia, were very personable. My 3 kids really took to them. Russell performed magic tricks for the kids that they really enjoyed. Sorrento's pizza was very good. The desserts in the Cafe were an added bonus. SHOWS: How to Train a Dragon Ice show was very good. Enjoyed Chicago and Blue Planet. Oceanaria was spectacular. The Headliner show wasn't really geared towards 20-40 year olds or for that matter kids. I had a few laughs. I really enjoyed the sailing and farewell shows preformed by the Dreamworks cast and crew. The Quest is a must to participate, for adults only. We tried the zip line and my eldest daughter tried the flowrider. I was a bit disappointed in the character breakfast(s). We got reservations for the Shrek breakfast but were unable to get for the Madagascar breakfast. We were told that we could go see the characters on the other side but we could not sit down for breakfast, which was fine. Our headwaiter took my kids over to see the Penguins for photos but the handlers of the characters did not even try to let our kids get near them. I'm sorry but if this is a cruise geared towards kids, the characters should be out to be enjoyed by everyone not who are just sitting for the breakfast especially if they are personally escorted by a member of the dining room staff. I think the availability of the characters could have more readily accessed. I know that they are crew members who have other responsibilities than just dressing up as Po or Skipper but be there for the kids. I had to tell my 3 sad faced kids that the penguins had to run off to their habitat when they didn't understand why they couldn't see them when they were standing right in front of them. As for the parade down the Royal Promenade, the crew members need to have a better way of stopping people (keeping the pathways clear) from trying to walk down the Pomenade at the start of the parade and during. Routes should be given before the parade for people needing to get through, there are 17 floors, pick a different one other than the Royal Promenade for less than an hour during this event! As for Labadee, Haiti, Costa Maya, and Cozumel , Mexico, they were okay ports of call. I wouldn't travel back to them if given the choice. I wouldn't recommend wasting your time getting off the boat in Costa Maya. It's a small shopping/tourist area, nothing to really see. We went to Tulun to see the Mayan ruins while in Cozumel. The ferry ride, forewarning you that it is pretty wicked going out, not for the weak stomach. My husband and I went down the zip line in Labadee, pretty cool. We liked the 'on-air booth' to send post cards via email. Internet service in the dedicated room(s) was very slow. It was nice to have Santa visit the kids on the ship Christmas day. They had gifts in our room almost every night for the Inaugural Season. Nice mementos. The kid's camps were fun for the kids. They liked going to 'school' (to their classes). It was well organized. It was nice to put the kids in a class to enjoy a few hours of alone time to walk around the ship or lay by the pool knowing that they kids were well taken care of and having fun. My 3 kids give the classes 2 thumbs up. (ages of my children 8, 6 and 4, girl, boy, girl). Captain Zini was very personable. There were 5800 guests aboard the ship but you'd never know because it never seemed over crowded anywhere on the ship at any time. I'd set sail on this ship again in a heartbeat and so would my kids! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
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
Even though the cruise document says that boarding time is 2pm, we arrived at the port just after 1pm because my roommate anticipated long line up (she cruised before with Princess to Alaska). Check in was amazingly fast. Got on the ... Read More
Even though the cruise document says that boarding time is 2pm, we arrived at the port just after 1pm because my roommate anticipated long line up (she cruised before with Princess to Alaska). Check in was amazingly fast. Got on the ship in no time. Quite a few passengers were already on the ship. After 30 minutes waiting in the Adagio dining room on deck 4 (Our party of 6 was split into 2 tables of 4 and 2 in two separate dining rooms), we got to our rooms and the suitcases were already waiting for us. Our balcony ocean view stateroom was bigger than I expected. Very well designed. Our stateroom attendant did a good job. Room is cleaned twice a day even though we did not see much of him. Food in the dinning room was very good. I enjoyed all my dinner in the main dining room. The staff was fabulous. Due to the problem with the seating arrangement, I got to meet 2 waiters and 2 assistant waiters. They worked so hard and so deserved the tips and addditional tips. The shows were magnificient! They are the highlight of my first cruise. I would love to cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
My family sailed the Allure Christmas week. When we finally arrived back in Ft Lauderdale, the Customs Agent asked what we thought of the ship. I told him RC should donate it to the City of Ft Lauderdale, who could take it a mile offshore ... Read More
My family sailed the Allure Christmas week. When we finally arrived back in Ft Lauderdale, the Customs Agent asked what we thought of the ship. I told him RC should donate it to the City of Ft Lauderdale, who could take it a mile offshore and sink it as part of their artificial reef program. He laughed so hard he just waved my family through. There is an air pressure problem on the boat, so none of the cabin doors close all the way unless slammed shut. I tried doors on multiple floors, all the same. They close, but do not shut. So make sure you lock up all your valuables in the safe. A thief would have a field day on this ship. I think the crew fixes the air pressure problem at night by turning off the a/c to the interior cabins. They are stagnant and stifling, almost cave-like. By the 3rd night, my kids moved their bedding to my balcony every night to sleep. The prepaid food packages provide institutional, mass produced food. There are NO special orders ("hold the sauce please. Sorry, we can't do that sir") Beef is prepared medium-rare or medium well, no other choices. 3 steaks on 3 nights were unchewable. The Dining Hall food was horribly bland, served lukewarm and rubbery. I couldn't bring myself to dropping an extra hunderd bucks to try one of the specialty restaurants. On the 4th morning, I asked the grill chef in the Windjammer Cafe to make me 2 well done scrambled eggs. He refused. Yes, he outright refused. He had an empty grill and a stack of eggs, but refused to make me anything special. "No" and "Eggs out there" was the only english he spoke, it seems. By the 4th night, the teens on the boat were bored stupid ("we've already done everything 10 times), so they devised variations of elevator tag. I swear each one took a blood oath to press every button every time they got off an elevator. By the end of the cruise, the waits for elevators were obscene. I feel sorry for one poor guy, and I use "poor" literally. I saw his teenage daughter 3 times, each time walking around texting her friends. I asked her about it, she was proud she texted "I'm so bored" 100 times to all her friends in 4 minutes. She probably sent and recieved 2000-3000 texts during the week. Roaming charges apply at sea, her unlimited plan doesn't. Verizon charges $2.50 to send and $.50 to recieve texts. Poor daddy is gonna be looking at a $10k phone bill when he gets home. Central Park really is like the actual place. Sitting there one night, I watched as the water from the pools 7 decks up sloshed over the railing and down into the Park. Just like being in the Park after a rain storm, and having a NYC taxi driver hit the puddle in front of you. Just poor design and planning. Did they not expect waves to move the ship? Lastly, leave your 18-20 year olds at home. There is nothing for them to do. Not old enough to drink, they can't go to the bars. They're also barred from all the teen venues. 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
I originally booked the inaugural sailing on the Allure of the Seas while I was on board the Freedom of the Seas last year. Once I got home, I received a call from Royal Caribbean that they had added a 4 night pre-inaugural sailing and ... Read More
I originally booked the inaugural sailing on the Allure of the Seas while I was on board the Freedom of the Seas last year. Once I got home, I received a call from Royal Caribbean that they had added a 4 night pre-inaugural sailing and would we like to change to that sailing. We decided to do both, turning it into an 11 night sailing. As it got closer to the sail date, I was lucky enough to get invited to a 2 night sailing pre pre inaugural sailing now turning my cruise into 13 nights. As with the Oasis of the Seas, the boarding process is a breeze. It took all over 10 minutes to go through security, check in, get the room key, take your embarkation picture and get on the ship. You do not want to miss the embarkation picture, as this ship has facial recognition and you can get your photo snapped anywhere on the ship and it will end up in your own photo album easily located for you to view or purchase. We were handed a welcome glass of champagne as soon as we boarded and were in awe of the beauty and design of the ship. At each elevator around the ship, there is a flat panel touch screen which has a room finder, things to do around the ship, restaurant guide, etc. If you type in your cabin number, it will give you directions with a map giving you the shortest route back to the cabin. There are many dining venues around the ship all with beautiful preparation and display. The staff has been extremely friendly and helpful in getting us acclimated to the ship. We went to the ice show called "How to train your dragon" and you are up close and personal with the skaters. My recommendation is always get to any of the shows about ½ hour prior to the start of the show to get your choice of seats. You are allowed to prebook your shows on line. 10 minutes before the start of the show, they open the seating up to the general public to let anyone that didn't make a reservation come in. You are only allowed to prebook the show once to give everyone a chance to see all the shows. Food in the dining room has been excellent. The chicken in the chicken Marsala was as moist as it could be and the fillet of beef was like butter. One afternoon we decided to eat a "Johnny Rockets" and there is a $4.95 cover charge which was well worth it. It is a typical old fashion diner with mouth watering burgers and the best onion rings I have ever tasted. When you first walk into the diner you are greeted with a shout out from all the waiters. While you are eating, the waiters breakout in a song production. Do not miss this. Tonight we decided to eat at one of the specialty restaurants called 150 Central Park. There is a surcharge of $35.00 per person. I did not realize that it was a fixed menu and there are no choices to be made. However it is a 6 course meal and it is displayed magnificently. I opted to have one of the specialty martinis which I saw Kathy Lee and Hoda have on their show. This is the only restaurant on board the ship that has this particular martini. It has basil, sour mix, cucumber and grey goose vodka. The drink was delicious but I should have asked the price as it was $15.00. Most martinis's cost around $7 to 8. The bread is served with sweet butter and 6 different types of saIt and I ended up eating too much bread. One of the salts taste like bar-b-que, one tasted like eggs, one tasted like sage. It was the first time I ever ate flavored salt and each course was delectable and the blend of flavoring was beyond belief. The courses were unusual with a sweet potato veloute soup, duck egg roll, sea bass and short ribs of beef with filet of beef and Swiss chard. The last course was a chocolate raspberry mouse, served with a caramel ice cream. I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the food however; my husband and our friends were not thrilled. Although they appreciated the tastes and the preparation, they thought it was over priced and they would have preferred to make their own choices. The bill for 4 people and 2 rounds of drinks was over $200.00. You really don't expect to get a bill that high on a cruise ship. I am glad that I went but I don't know that I would go back. During the week there is a parade called "Move it". The show is through the Royal Promenade. We did not get here early and although we were standing, we didn't have the best view in the house. However, since we are on this ship for 3 different sailings back to back, the 2nd time they did the show, I went about 1 hr 15 minutes early, got myself a table by Sorrento's Pizzeria, brought my book, had some coffee and had an up front and person view. The "street got crowded" but I had prime viewing. During the hour it is a fantastic time to people watch and this is the only time it felt crowded on the ship, as 5000 people want to see the parade. Dreamworks does it right and there were all the dreamworks characters including Shrek and Fiona. Fiona is the Godmother of this ship. You cannot even believe you are aboard a ship with the production of this parade. People young and old love this parade and were cheering. At the end there is confetti flying. One night we ate at Chops Grill specialty restaurant and athough my fillet mignon was delicious and tender my friends had a veal chop that was full of fat. They had many waiters however our drinks were slow in getting to us and the waiter didn't bring back the right drinks. They never put bread on the table and although we prepaid the meal($25.00 per person) we had to pay for our drinks. When we received the bill we were charged an extra $12.00. We had been drinking the same round of drinks every night and after 10 days of being on the ship, we knew what it should cost. I told the waiter the price was wrong and he insisted that it was correct. I was more upset at principal then at the price and I took it up with Customer relations who took the $12.00 off the charge. When we ordered 2 vodka martinis the waiter rang it up as two martinis and 2 shots of vodka. Chalk it up to getting the kinks worked out on the maiden voyage. The day that we were in Labadee,Haiti (Royal Caribbean's private island) we walked around and rented a float for $12 for the day and just bobbed around the water. Royal Caribbean puts on a bar-b-que for their passengers and not only did they have the standard franks and hamburgers, but they had lobster tails for 5,000 people. This was a real treat. On this Island you can ride a roller coaster or go zip lining ($90) and take a tram around the island. There is a little flea market area and the locals sell their crafts. Royal Caribbean is still brining in supplies to Haiti and takes up a collection on the ship to help the local economy. Due to the fact that we were on the inaugural sailing and maiden voyage, ever night we got back to our room when got a present. One night we got inaugural sailing towels, one night tote bags, one night baseball caps, one night a cookbook, just to name a few. We loved going back to our room at night to see what treat was on our bed. Speaking of bedding, the European bedding was so lush and luxurious; I never wanted to get out of bed. I loved getting into the bed at night. The mattress was like sleeping on clouds. The location of our cabin was near the rear elevator. This turned out to be a great location as the boardwalk and dining room is towards the rear of the ship as well as the sports deck. We were easily able to get to Central Park and the Royal Promenade so I definitely think cabins located near the rear elevator are much better than being midship. The spa, gym and adults only pool are located at the front. Although I did go to the gym and the spa I went to the dining room to eat a lot more. One of the very cool things to do on this ship is send a video postcard. They have a recording studio where you can go in and record yourself and send it to about 6 people. There is no charge and I recommend that you send yourself a copy and this way you can forward it to whoever you want to. I must have gone in there about 7 times. I was too chicken to go zip lining but thoroughly enjoyed watching other people do it. There was a 90 year old man who did it and I almost got the courage after seeing him do it, but I can't take the initial 1st step off with a drop of 10 floors. By the boardwalk area there is a full size carousel and a couple of times during the week they do a family festival for the kids, with clowns, balloons, face painting and all kinds of activities for the kids. Our friends who traveled with us have been on over 25 Princess cruises and the last time why had gone on Royal Caribbean was 13 years ago on the Nordic Empress. I finally got them to go on this ship and they were truly in awe of this ship. It is like nothing you have ever seen aboard a cruise ship. Every night in Central Park they had a musician playing and you can actually stroll through the park and sit on a bench with birds chirping. They just thought of everything. Several times during the week they had 3 D movies along with the usually things aboard a ship like a men's belly flop contest, trivia, name that tune, line dancing, salsa lessons, etc. The disembarkation process was so well organized that we were off the ship by 7:30am. You are assigned an area to wait in, and the flat panel screen tells you the actual time within 15 minutes that you will be called. It was very efficient. In closing, I would not hesitate to take the whole family on board this ship. It is a great ship for multi generations and I can't wait to go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
This is my second cruise that turn out to be Maiden Voyage. For those who travel by plane from cold weather area that predict snow in winter, Fly one day early then day of cruise. All other leave room for any trouble with plane, weather ... Read More
This is my second cruise that turn out to be Maiden Voyage. For those who travel by plane from cold weather area that predict snow in winter, Fly one day early then day of cruise. All other leave room for any trouble with plane, weather and so forth. We stayed at hotel the night before that offer free breakfast and shuttle. Do not buy the return trip from the shuttle( will explain later). Embarking Day We got to Port Everglade ok with the shuttle service from the hotel. We went in and check on according to deck number of your stateroom. We went upstairs and aboard the Allure thru the Royal Promenade. They ask to please use the alcohol hand sanitizer. The beginning amazed me. We went to pursers desk and ask for seasick pills. They are free and good to have on hand in case you do get seasick. We went o windjammer and pack to max. Seapass Card Make sure you have Seapass card all time even if you are walking with other. They ask for it during the Muster Drill and Show as well. They used the scanner system to see if you are on the list for the show. In Muster drill they will scan everybody Seapass to make sure you are there in right spot. Go to the website and line yourself up for all reserve entertainment and it will be on your sea pass card. the earlier you do it the better you will be on the list. Electronic Finder Alost everywhere on the ship there is a electronic finder and direction. It mostly located near the stair and elevator. It had all the activity list, restaurant, your stateroom, show and many more. The direction to get there is clear but it little flaws in certain way. There was one time we wanted to get form one deck in the aft area and wanted to go to another deck in the front. They told us one way straight thru but forget to include you need to go one deck lower to get to the other side to go one deck up and you are at that location. IE you need to go from deck 7 aft to deck 6 forward. The finder said go one deck lower and walk. Meanwhile there a open space promenade. You need to go to deck 5 and walk across and walk back up to deck 6. Food The food on the ship was good. The main dinning room food was good. Service on the first night was off in service. It got corrected the next day and never had a problem thru out the week. We did the Giovanni one night and it was to died for. Expect high price tab when you gonna order wine. Rita Cantina was ok but it wasn't expected when i saw the video on their website. Dog House was good since it was free. Free Ice cream by the pool on top deck. It located in the middle of the ship that you have to look for it. When doing breakfast in dining room ask for a la carte with your own table otherwise you will be stuck with people you don't know. Entertainment/ Activity We saw few shows and i did few activity. It was all good except for the Planet and Comedy. We saw Chicago and it was good. it same setup as it on Broadway in New York City. The Planet show was not good to us since we couldn't follow the story line. The only thing that was good was the acrobat. We got to see the Mosaic one night and it was nice and soothing. We saw the The Game on Ice but it was ok. To many high wall that could block your view. Also the game is nothing that i heard of. We went to Quest and it was little different then i saw on the Explorer. We went to Comedy on the last night and it stink. It also at same time as the good bye parade. I did the rock wall and it was tough for me since it my first time to conquer it. I did the zipline twice. I did the flo rider. The water was warm and the floor and wall was so cushy that can't hurt you. Make sure your bathing suit get tight grip around the waist. Those water can make your suit slide off. Also you need to be in push up position with your head over the anchor on the boogie board. We saw Belly Flop and wish the music turn down a bit. We also saw the Aqua show at night. It was amazing. WHEN YOU ARE SITTING THERE WITH TABLE NEXT TO YOU TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN. There was foreign who put his body on the table next to me when my mom was on the other end. Always arrive early so you can get a good choice of seat if your are on the reserve seating. When there 15 minutes left till show time it open to anyone. We was in the casino almost every night. Win some lose some. Didn't like it when they split the smoking section because it gonna stink the whole area of casino anyway. Stateroom We got balcony room facing the starboard side near the stairs and elevators. It was nice and comfy. The queen size was little to big for the room but we hardly spent the whole day in there. It was made so you can spend more time elsewhere. iPod docking station with radio in the room. Flat screen tv with Seapass balance board to review all the charges on your cards. All the past activity onboard like the belly flop contest, show all the activity for later on the day and the reminder which show and dinner time you reserve for. Bathroom is pretty decent size. Tell the attendant if you wish to keep curtain open at night time so you can be awake by the sun in the morning. If you don't ask you won't get it. We met the attendant the first day swiftly then we met him again when he was cleaning the room. He did gives us chocolate mint and towel display every night except the first night. Ports/ Excursion Labadee The ship dock not tender at 7 am We didn't do any excursion. We heard there was so many problem going on there from earthquake disaster and the cholera disease. We sat on the beach. We sat in one area and it was so rocky. We moved down a lot further where the food hut is(red color hut near the beach). It was good and comfy. We got food at the hut and ate near the water. Costa Maya We arrived around noon time. We did bus excursion to the MAya ruin. It was hour ride to the ruin that is near Cancun. It was nice but it could been better in some way. It was also hour back and we had walk quickly since dinner was getting served. Make sure you know what the other would like to eat so if one person make it to the deadline at least your order is in for yourself and other. Coumel We arrived 7 am We did excursion to do history and shopping shuttle. If you don.t mind the hop on hop off for numerous time, this is for you. This shuttle go around the big circle from museum, views, tequila and downtown area to get jewelry. Buy tequila at the factory down there. Shop/Spa/ Discount Book The shop had good variety of offer. The shop do get crazy on certain day and you need patience. Spa was nice place to go but i wait till end of the cruise time so you can get the special deal. Go for the hot stone massage that is offer in the morning hours. If you are Crown and Anchor members, look for the book to get discount in the shop, bar and three free slot pull. Take advantage of it and also read the small print how it work. The shop coupons is the only thing i hate because they said it for one time only. Disembark This is the hectic day to have patience. Our number was like 55 not color way no more. You need to listen to announcement and wait in certain area. We found our luggage quickly since most of the people are gone. The line thru customs was long but quick. Once we got outside we was looking for our shuttle to get back to airport. We waited and waited that it got into limbo. There was some people who paid for it but couldn't wait for it. They had to hail a cab. We waited little longer and finally show up. Our flight was later that day and we had plenty of time. This is the reason why you shouldn't buy the return trips when it free one way. It best to take cab back to airport not going there. We was on the only plane that could take off that afternoon due to country wide weather problems. Snow and rain was all over the country since Spirit was the only one to fly to NJ. For those who think Maiden Voyage is expensive. It not. We got few goodies out of it. We got the flags that said Allure of the Sea Maiden Voyage, chocolate, book that contain a thank you with captain signature, postcard, and dvd on how ship was built. They also did a free giveaway cruise by doing bingo. One per stateroom. They gave away a lanier with Allure of the Sea Maiden Voyage on it. So it like everyday it was free stuff, Try it one time of any cruise line doing the Maiden Voyage, you will never kn. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Some background information: I live in Florida and have traveled on several different lines, usually Celebrity and RCCL, On this cruise, I traveled with my 93 year old mother and my sister (who wound up traveling with a cast on her foot) ... Read More
Some background information: I live in Florida and have traveled on several different lines, usually Celebrity and RCCL, On this cruise, I traveled with my 93 year old mother and my sister (who wound up traveling with a cast on her foot) to see what the Allure of the Seas was all about. Summary: Pricey but worth it! We were sorry to get off. I am a Type A traveler and I think that the key to our enjoyment was a lot of preplanning. I booked with the wonder RCCL people and kept checking in regarding any price changes or added credits. I prebooked the entertainment online as soon as it was available, and also got hints from friends who had been on the longer Allure cruises. I also researched the deck plans vis a vis our staterooms- which made it possible to find the most efficient ways of doing everything. I would recommend a short cruise on the Oasis class, if you are unsure whether you will like a megaship or if you have time or budgetary constraints. i would definitely go again! Embarkation and debarkation: Very easy. I arranged with RCCL customer service for wheelchairs for my mother and sister and duties were shared between the Port Everglades Crew and the ship's crew. Everyone was courteous. With such a short cruise we had carryon luggage so I can't remark about the normal baggage claim line and the customs line. Once aboard the ship on day 1, we had a leisurely lunch at the Park Cafe in Central Park. Cabins and accessibility: My mother and I shared an accessible cabin which was comfortable and had easy accessibility to the elevators. Plenty of room to keep the wheel chair to use when necessary. My sister's cabin was booked prior to her foot injury and though it was well located, it was really difficult for her to stow the scooter which she had ordered for use onboard. However, the cabin steward was incredible in providing room services, and helping her maneuver the scooter out the door. For a Florida cruise, there were not many wheel chair and scooter passengers, but the ones I talked to felt that the ship was quite accessible. I do advise that if you have any mobility problems that you book cruises only where there is an accessible cabin available. As many have remarked, the TV offerings were not great, but I didn't have time for TV. The Ship: The ship is easy to get around, once you figure out the different neighborhoods and the best elevators to reach them. My favorite area is Central Park. I got up before 7 on day 2 and 3 of the cruise and pretty much had the ship to myself. Saw the rising sun on the way to Nassau, with a cup of coffee in my hand, and then down to the Boardwalk area for the donuts to be brought out. it is a beautiful ship. Meals: I would avearage the meals at 3 star. I thought our dinners at the main dining room were excellent- 4 star worthy, with good service and enough choices. We celebrated birthdays on board, and were presented with chocolate mousse cakes and happy birthday singing by the energetic staff. I was disappointed in the lack of variety of breakfast offerings and the slow service in the main dining room on the port day. As i wrote- the Park Cafe in Central Park is great for lunch - with paninis, sandwiches and salads - all without a supplement. I went to the Windjammer but never ate there, the variety was uninspiring. The pool deck has frozen yogurt at one location and soft service ice cream at the wipe out cafe. i did not try any of the specialty restaurants. Entertainment: Unbelieveable! We saw 3 shows- Ocean Aria, Ice Games and Mamma Mia. I have been on several cruises and never have seen such talent. Mamma Mia boasted Broadway and off-Broadway performers, and the production measured up to a Broadway production and certainly to national touring companies. I appreciate that RCCL provided such great entertainment for such a short cruise! note: book comedy shows as soon as possible as these are the first to fill up. Crew: I was impressed by the kindness and efficiency of the crew, most of whom had just completed a 12-day transatlantic cruise, and who must have been exhausted. They were all very helpful. Shipmates: Because this was a weekend cruise, the crowd was quite different from the usual crowd- lots of drinking and gambling and noise. There was no attention to the dress code, and i think that took away from the experience. This did not really affect us, as we avoided the bars and the pool areas where most of the crowding took place. Furthermore, the doors were thick enough so no noise in the corridors. My mother is a Diamond member thanks to many past cruises and the Diamond lounge provides a welcome escape from the noise. Connectivity: I didn't buy a wifi package- I go on cruises to get away! Seapass: Everything is coded on the seapass, including your reservations for shows. I miss the welcoming envelopes that we used to receive, but you can check your information on the television. The first day, the programming was off, but it was easy enough to check with customer service. Port: I have been to Nassau and Atlantis before, and just took a quick walk around. Ship activities. Minimal because of the port call in Nassau. I would have preferred a sea day instead of a port stop. Shops: Beautiful shops, but none of the usual "end of the cruise sales". Children's activities: Wonderful spaces for children. I did not have children with me, but I asked families with children, and they were all very satisfied. Next cruise reservations: Even with 4 staff persons, there was not enough personnel to take reservations for the next cruise. Very frustrating. Additional comments: I am used to smaller ships, but i was impressed by the staff's dedication to making this a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
I have to start by saying that we had a great time. This is an amazing ship, everything you heard about it is true. It is strikingly beautiful and to say that it is innovative is an understatement about how edgy and modern Allure is. So ... Read More
I have to start by saying that we had a great time. This is an amazing ship, everything you heard about it is true. It is strikingly beautiful and to say that it is innovative is an understatement about how edgy and modern Allure is. So the facts are in. It's time to make waves and rock the boat, and The Smart Traveler has the scoop about the biggest cruise ship ever built. "She is a man made wonder of the sea" that's the impression I had when I was driving to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and I saw the Allure of the Seas waiting for me that sunny Sunday morning. Ten ships were at the port that day and the traffic to get through the control gate took longer than the time that took us to unload the car, park, check-in and get to our cabin - 15 minutes! Impressive when you think that 6,360 people had to checked in on that day. Yes, there was 6,360 passengers on board plus 2,100 crew members bringing the total to the staggering total of 8,460 people on board of the Allure. When we first entered the ship, everywhere we looked we had the WOW factor. And we kept saying WOW until the day we left... sometimes for all the wrong reasons. After the safety drill, thousands of passengers headed to the Promenade and I heard a fellow passenger saying once he saw the mob roaming around that area: "This is like traveling on Wall Mart on a Black Friday! " And he was right. Several times during the cruise that comment came back to mind. Allure is great in every aspect, except that you can't hide 6,360 people confined in the same space with you for a week, even if that is a really big space! Beautiful neighborhoods, Promenade, Central Park, Boardwalk, everything is impressive. Videos coming soon at Thesmartraveler on Youtube. Don't worry about getting seasick - you will hardly notice that you are on a ship. You have almost two dozen places to eat, from pizza to sushi, from steak to caviar, and everything in between. If you want a special meal, you have to pay extra, but the average cruise ship food is included... nothing to write home about, just really average RCL food. From the array of specialty restaurants we tried the steakhouse Chops, best food and desserts, Italian food at Giovanni's, mediocre, and the fancy Central Park 150, pretentious overrated dinning experience And you will leave the place after almost three hours, hungry! If you have been in other cruises, you can't avoid noticing that they are cutting corners with the restaurant schedule. Remember the good old times when the buffet was open until 11:30PM and then they had the midnight buffet? Forget about that. The buffet closes at 9PM and the only thing you can eat at midnight is a piece of pizza at Sorrento's or a snack at the Promenade Cafe. Everything else will be closed until morning. To travel on the Oasis class ships you will have to pay premium price, so why Royal Caribbean is cutting back on dinning hours and options? My time dinning is a complete disaster. After a presentation of Chicago we went for dinner on the main dining room at 8:45PM, along with 1,500 people that left the theater with us. There was long lines, it took us half an hour to get into the restaurant (and we had a reservation) and another hour after that to get the food. The manager apologized saying that everyone was eating late that night and he sent us desserts from Chops. Nice, but the problem is still there and it happened to other guests in different nights. We are being used as guinea pigs by RCL to introduce something that NCL has being using successfully for years, my time dining, and after my experience I can say that RCL have a long way to go before they can make it work, especially on the Oasis class ships. The problem again is that they are charging premium rates but they are not providing premium service! There is something really innovative on Allure, the healthy food option. There is the solarium buffet that serves breakfast and lunch and everything is healthy... for those into healthy living like me, this is a great addition to the cruise ship industry. There is also the Spa Cafe where you can buy protein shakes, natural juices and smoothies. The cabins are comfortable, well appointed, tastefully decorated and with all the technologies you need - interactive TV, i-pod dock - really nice, just lacking storage. But nothing that you don't find on NCL, Princess or Celebrity. If your cabin faces Central Park or Boardwalk, sometimes you will believe that you are on a building complex. These pictures are from my cabin (9207) facing Central Park. You will never have to wait more than 5 minutes for an elevator. The glass elevators are beautiful and you can appreciate the amazing neighborhoods when riding in one of them. The Promenade - one of Allure's neighborhoods - it's wider and with a lot more stores and food venues than Royal Caribbean's Freedom and Navigator class ships. The area attracts a lot of people night and day. So if you don't like crowds and loud music, avoid this neighborhood and go to Central Park where you will find peace, on an open sky oasis in this very busy ship. The Boardwalk is a real treat with a carrousel and all the atmosphere of Atlantic City's boardwalk. The amazing Aqua Theatre is at the end of the Boardwalk where you will have the WOW factor looking the ocean from the open back side of the ship. Next week The Smart Traveler will talk about the Entertainment on the Allure and the ports of call. Stay tuned and safe travels! For pics and more info go to: http://www.thesmartraveler.com/2011/01/allure-of-seas-bigger-is-not-always.html Read Less
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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