As background information, my husband and I traveled on the Allure on November 5, on a 6-day Western Caribbean cruise. This was our 36th cruise each.
Embarkation at the new Terminal A in Miami was quick and easy. Because everyone had gotten off the ship the day earlier in Fort Lauderdale, everything was ready for us. The only glitch they had that day was getting the luggage onboard; I understand there had been a mechanical problem.
The ship is absolutely gorgeous and so easy to navigate. The neighborhood concept is fabulous. You do not feel as if you are on a ship! The Central Park and Boardwalk neighborhoods are wonderful places for a stroll. We did not feel as if there were 6,000 guests on the ship except for one day (a sea day) when we waited 20 minutes to be seated for breakfast in the dining room, as well as getting in the elevators when getting out to go to port and coming back to the rooms after being in port.
The room was as to be expected (Deck 11, veranda cabin 11624). There was not as much closet space or drawer space as on the Allure (which provided a wardrobe on either side of the bed) but it worked out fine.
As far as activities, there was always so much to do onboard that the daily program had a morning/afternoon page and an evening page -- with so many activities on sea days they needed to use teeny tiny type to print it all. There is something for everyone -- from trivia to The Quest, from the Love and Marriage game show to Dreamworks character appearances, from dance lessons to a lip synch contest, and much, much more! And yes, I did the zip line, which was fun and NOT scary!
The service was excellent -- with buffet waiters always there to clean up, room stewards always smiling and greeting as you walk down the hall, and front desk personnel always happy to help.
Port and shore excursions -- my husband did 2 scuba tours (one in Cozumel and one in Roatan) which he enjoyed, especially the one in Roatan, to Anthony's Key, which he said was his best scuba trip ever. In Costa Maya, we did the ATV Jungle and Beach Break tour -- a bit pricey but totally worth it!
Dining aboard the ship was not fantastic but better than average. The lobster tail on formal night was a bit small. The desserts were always excellent. Our dinner at 150 Central Park was delicious -- the entrees were special but they kind of ruined it by placing a plate of plain mashed potatoes and vegetables on the table to share as a side dish. Tip -- go to Johnny Rockets for breakfast (it's free) and go to the Solarium for the buffet as opposed to the Windjammer.
Entertainment was outstanding! Mama Mia was very entertaining and Blue Planet was creative and well executed. Ocean Aria (the aqua show) was a real WOW and the ice show was excellent, although I've seen more jumps and spins in other Royal Caribbean ice shows. The comedians in the comedy club -- Nery Saenz and Phil Tag -- were among the best I've ever seen on a ship or off. The featured entertainer, Joel Mason, and his comedy tribute show, was very entertaining. It's a real hassle to get tickets to all these shows online but I guess there is no other way with a ship of this size.
The Diamond Lounge was never crowded, and we got immediate bar service -- unlike other Royal Caribbean ships.
Disembarkation was as easy as embarkation was.
In summary, I had, for years, hesitated to go on a ship of this size -- and I would still return to a smaller ship -- but now that I've been on the Allure, I must say this is my new favorite ship. You have nothing to worry about, and I would highly recommend it!
Cabin is what we expected it be -- about equidistant between elevators and close to the Diamond Lounge. Could have a little more closet and drawer space, but good enough for a week-long cruise.
The new Terminal A is gorgeous and easy to navigate. Great job, Royal Caribbean. Yet another jewel in your Crown and Anchor!
My husband enjoyed this tour very much.
I went alone to Paradise Beach, which is gorgeous and private, and I would highly recommend it!View All 125 Scuba Reviews
My husband booked the scuba tour to Anthony's Key, which he said was his best dive ever.
I went to the Paradise Beach Club through a tour I caught at the pier. Would recommend this beach but know that every 20 feet, literally, another vendor will come along trying to sell you something.
My husband I took the ATV Jungle and Beach Break tour. Warning: The onboard shore excursion brochure (unless they have changed the typo) says it is for up to 4 passengers per vehicle. It is not! These are individual ATVs and you must also wear closed footwear. The ride is fun and muddy and bumpy! Also, they cover you with mosquito repellent because you will need it! We ended this tour at a beach club just 5 minutes from the ship with free drinks (plus the most delicious jicama tacos I have ever eaten). But, like in Roatan, they will come by, right up to your beach chair, trying to sell you stuff! Nevertheless, this tour is definitely recommended.View All 64 ATV Adventure Reviews