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This was a family reunion cruise selected by the family member organizing the trip so I didn't have any input on which cruise line, boat, sail date, amenities, etc. However, with that said, she selected a cruise ship that I think worked for all. We had family members who couldn't walk due to a recent foot surgery or were very athletic and worked out every day. We had all ages and interests. There really is something for everyone on this ship. I had my three kids, (13, 12, 7) and they were busy the whole time. They loved the swimming, especially the whirlpool, the rock climbing, zip lining and wave rider. My daughter (7) was too small for the wave rider and the zip line. She did participate in the kids club but preferred to be with us vs. the club which felt a little more like day care service than I would have liked. The entertainment was great and offered a real variety every night. I especially liked that they had a comedy show one night for all ages. I liked the DreamWorks character touch. It makes it feel a little bit like a Disney experience without the Disney cruise price tag. Some tips that I would suggest - don't get the soda or drink package unless you plan to drink.... a lot. There was water, juice and coffee for free at all times in certain locations and even though we only purchased two soda packages, we had 3 cups in our room to fill soda from any soda machine on the boat. My kids don't drink enough soda to each have a separate package, so if your kids are the same, I would just get one for them all to share. Soda in the dining room is complementary. Also, we brought our water bottles with us and just refilled them vs. paying $2.50 / bottle water. They do have a refrigerator in your room, which is nice to keep drinks cold. Wifi - I would suggest purchasing just for one device unless for some reason you have multiple people that need to be on at one time. It's easy to log off one device and connect the other device so it doesn't make sense to pay for more than one device. Dinner Dress - when I used to cruise, dinner dress was a BIG deal. Everyone would get really dressed up - especially on formal nights (usually 2 during week long cruise). However, I was surprised on this trip to find most people in shirts and shorts in the dining room at dinner. I only saw one person wear a tux on formal night. I think in general, people are going more casual, but it was more casual than I even thought. Save yourself a whole second wardrobe and go more smart casual! Fitness - they have stretching and abs every day for free. Any other classes like spinning, zumba or yoga - you have to pay for. This was disappointing for me as it's just one other way to "cha ching". In my opinion, this should have been complementary. That being said, the gym on the ship is nice and doesn't smell. There is plenty of equipment to go around so no one was waiting for anything. The shopping on board the ship is just ok. They had a Kate Spade and Michael Kors for purses and a jewelry store and a couple generic shops for clothing. The selection was ok, the special items they brought out at night was typically purses and watches. One caution is to research before you buy. My son purchased a watch thinking he got it for a steal to only find out that it was $40 cheaper online. We went back and they honored the lower price, but I'm guessing most people don't know to look for this and they capture people making spontaneous purchases. The jewelry store was nice but I was surprised they didn't have any "cruise" type jewelry. I wanted a cruise ship charm for my daughter and they didn't have any charms... at all. So unless you want a watch, purse, or jewelry, there really isn't much for you there. One other nice thing is food allergy. My husband has a gluten allergy and they were very accommodating. In the general buffet area (Windjammer Cafe), they had an entire section of just gluten free foods. Although they didn't offer a gluten free version of everything on the ship, I was still pleased with the selection they did have. Also, the Udi's cookies that they had in the promenade cafe were better than the cookies on the boat. Even my kids were always dropping in there to get some because they preferred them over the ones they make on the ship. Sometimes it's not obvious that they offer a gluten free option so make sure you ask. We found that they can make a gluten free pizza, or have GF cookies, bread, etc available.. you just have to ask for it. Excursions - this was a bit of a frustration for me. I've been on cruises before and taken these excursions and they all typically are more of a let down afterwards considering how much you pay for them upfront. I wish that the cruise line would allow reviews for each of the excursions so you can get feedback on which ones are "worth the money". I also feel that they are way overpriced. One excursion for a family of 5 could cost me over $400 and last only 2 hours. RC needs to do a better job working towards volume vs. price point. People still purchased excursions but I am confident it was less than half of the people on the boat. They would make more on volume alone if they were priced more affordable. The one thing I will say is that it is cheaper to purchase beforehand. We purchased a couple excursions the day of and paid a few dollars more / person as a result. However, for me, I would rather pay a little more for something I know they want to do then to have purchased beforehand and it was something they later changed their mind and decided not to do. The only excursions we purchased were at their private island in Labadee. It was the water slide and the aqua sport. They aqua sport was worth the money, not so sure about the slide but mostly because they were only able to go down the slide a few times since the lines were so long. One other point to note, they tell you not to get off the boat early if you don't have excursions but in Labadee, if you don't, you may find yourself without a chair in the shade. We had to walk around for 30 minutes before finding one chair in the shade under a tree.

Great ship but excursions need work

Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by peckgr

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was a family reunion cruise selected by the family member organizing the trip so I didn't have any input on which cruise line, boat, sail date, amenities, etc. However, with that said, she selected a cruise ship that I think worked for all. We had family members who couldn't walk due to a recent foot surgery or were very athletic and worked out every day. We had all ages and interests. There really is something for everyone on this ship. I had my three kids, (13, 12, 7) and they were busy the whole time. They loved the swimming, especially the whirlpool, the rock climbing, zip lining and wave rider. My daughter (7) was too small for the wave rider and the zip line. She did participate in the kids club but preferred to be with us vs. the club which felt a little more like day care service than I would have liked. The entertainment was great and offered a real variety every night. I especially liked that they had a comedy show one night for all ages. I liked the DreamWorks character touch. It makes it feel a little bit like a Disney experience without the Disney cruise price tag.

Some tips that I would suggest - don't get the soda or drink package unless you plan to drink.... a lot. There was water, juice and coffee for free at all times in certain locations and even though we only purchased two soda packages, we had 3 cups in our room to fill soda from any soda machine on the boat. My kids don't drink enough soda to each have a separate package, so if your kids are the same, I would just get one for them all to share. Soda in the dining room is complementary. Also, we brought our water bottles with us and just refilled them vs. paying $2.50 / bottle water. They do have a refrigerator in your room, which is nice to keep drinks cold.

Wifi - I would suggest purchasing just for one device unless for some reason you have multiple people that need to be on at one time. It's easy to log off one device and connect the other device so it doesn't make sense to pay for more than one device.

Dinner Dress - when I used to cruise, dinner dress was a BIG deal. Everyone would get really dressed up - especially on formal nights (usually 2 during week long cruise). However, I was surprised on this trip to find most people in shirts and shorts in the dining room at dinner. I only saw one person wear a tux on formal night. I think in general, people are going more casual, but it was more casual than I even thought. Save yourself a whole second wardrobe and go more smart casual!

Fitness - they have stretching and abs every day for free. Any other classes like spinning, zumba or yoga - you have to pay for. This was disappointing for me as it's just one other way to "cha ching". In my opinion, this should have been complementary. That being said, the gym on the ship is nice and doesn't smell. There is plenty of equipment to go around so no one was waiting for anything.

The shopping on board the ship is just ok. They had a Kate Spade and Michael Kors for purses and a jewelry store and a couple generic shops for clothing. The selection was ok, the special items they brought out at night was typically purses and watches. One caution is to research before you buy. My son purchased a watch thinking he got it for a steal to only find out that it was $40 cheaper online. We went back and they honored the lower price, but I'm guessing most people don't know to look for this and they capture people making spontaneous purchases. The jewelry store was nice but I was surprised they didn't have any "cruise" type jewelry. I wanted a cruise ship charm for my daughter and they didn't have any charms... at all. So unless you want a watch, purse, or jewelry, there really isn't much for you there.

One other nice thing is food allergy. My husband has a gluten allergy and they were very accommodating. In the general buffet area (Windjammer Cafe), they had an entire section of just gluten free foods. Although they didn't offer a gluten free version of everything on the ship, I was still pleased with the selection they did have. Also, the Udi's cookies that they had in the promenade cafe were better than the cookies on the boat. Even my kids were always dropping in there to get some because they preferred them over the ones they make on the ship. Sometimes it's not obvious that they offer a gluten free option so make sure you ask. We found that they can make a gluten free pizza, or have GF cookies, bread, etc available.. you just have to ask for it.

Excursions - this was a bit of a frustration for me. I've been on cruises before and taken these excursions and they all typically are more of a let down afterwards considering how much you pay for them upfront. I wish that the cruise line would allow reviews for each of the excursions so you can get feedback on which ones are "worth the money". I also feel that they are way overpriced. One excursion for a family of 5 could cost me over $400 and last only 2 hours. RC needs to do a better job working towards volume vs. price point. People still purchased excursions but I am confident it was less than half of the people on the boat. They would make more on volume alone if they were priced more affordable. The one thing I will say is that it is cheaper to purchase beforehand. We purchased a couple excursions the day of and paid a few dollars more / person as a result. However, for me, I would rather pay a little more for something I know they want to do then to have purchased beforehand and it was something they later changed their mind and decided not to do. The only excursions we purchased were at their private island in Labadee. It was the water slide and the aqua sport. They aqua sport was worth the money, not so sure about the slide but mostly because they were only able to go down the slide a few times since the lines were so long. One other point to note, they tell you not to get off the boat early if you don't have excursions but in Labadee, if you don't, you may find yourself without a chair in the shade. We had to walk around for 30 minutes before finding one chair in the shade under a tree.
peckgr’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin
The cabins are nice and typical from what I remember from being on cruises previously. One tip - over the door shoe hanger. We saw this online and used it for the first time on this trip and it was perfect! A must have in a teeny tiny bathroom! We just purchased a really cheap one at Walmart for $5 and left it there when we were done. Also, there is a hairdryer on board - something I didn't know, so it would have been great to have saved bringing that!
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