Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by cruisinwithtwins
- Sail Date: November 2018
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Grand Suite - 2 Bedrooms
We booked a suite, so embarkation was a breeze through the suite lounge. The Miami port is beautiful and unloading our luggage was easy! You just drive into the parking garage and go to floor 3. The porters take your luggage and off you go to find parking. We went at 10 and it wasn’t too crowded.
Once we got on board, it is a lot to take in. It’s a beautiful ship with so much to see. You enter into a promenade that has a bar, pizza parlor, other restaurants, and shopping. It really is stunning.
We proceeded to floor 14 where the Royal Babies and Tots were located. We were allowed to book 16 hours initially. There is just one main play room with a tv and toys. The ladies are very nice there and the kids enjoyed their time. After day 3, they opened up additional hours. They are open for port days and go through til midnight. It is $6 an hour before 6 and then $8 an hour after 6. They give you a phone so they can reach you or you can call. It doesn’t work off of the ship though. There is a wonderful play area for the kids from 10-9 every day. You can also check out toys to take back to the room. There was only a night or two that we weren’t able to get time.
We went and had pizza for lunch, which was actually pretty good. The cafe had sandwiches available also. The bar was easy to get to and we used our paper pass for drinks. The cards are on the door when the rooms are ready.
At 1 o’clock we went to our room. I thought the rooms would be a little more modern, but they were a little run down. The ac didn’t work in the room and we had to wait for someone to come and fix it. Our room steward was so nice and very accommodating. We tipped him extra at the beginning, middle and end since our boys made quite the mess. We didn’t get our pack n plays until late in the evening and one was broken. So we had to wait into the evening and had to call several times to get a replacement. The boys were unable to nap so we had a pretty miserable afternoon and evening.
We had a problem in that we didn’t get our in room purchases until 3-4 days into the cruise. We had ordered champagne, chocolates and other items that took several days to get and then it was also wrong. So it took quite a while to get that situated.
We went to the dining room the second night. It took them 15 minutes to seat us and then we had to stand in the middle of the dining room because the individual that was supposed to seat us left us standing there because he didn’t know what table to take us to. Then we had to wait for a high chairs. It was a huge mess. We had wonderful service once we sat down and had a very nice meal. The dining room staff is hit and miss. We were able to dine three of the seven nights. The staff was also hit and miss. Some were wonderful, while others were very abrupt and didn’t smile at all. The food was better than average. The portions depend on the meal. The prime rib was huge and the lobster tails were very delicious. The desserts were also yummy. We doin that people wore whatever they wanted in the dining room. We even saw sweat pants on formal night. Which we personally dressed up because you’re cruising and it’s fun!
We did dine at the Brazilian steak house and really enjoyed the food and the service. The service was really exceptional here and worth the price we paid. The food was hot and delicious. The roast beef sandwich at Park Cafe was everything we read about. Really delicious and the salads were good too! We definitely spent a lot of time at Park Cafe. The Dog house was a good pit stop for a delicious dog! I was disappointed that all of the food areas closed at 6. The buffet area was small so it was always hard to find a table at night. The food was pretty good at the buffet with lots of options. Again, the staff wasn’t very friendly. Finding high chairs was a bit of a challenge as well.
The amenities on board are wonderful. There are plenty of pools. Although the kids pool area was sub par. The fountains were rarely on so the kids got bored easily. They do have life jackets on board for kids of all sizes. You can use them free of charge. We tried all of the onboard activities and we were quite happy with them. The golf is fun and they even have small clubs for toddlers. The Flow Rider is oodles of fun!!!! We even ice skated. There are limited amounts of time slots, but we never had any issues getting some ice time. There were plenty of areas for the kids to run off energy.
We brought sweaters, but I would say that a majority of the ship was on the warm side. I never used my sweater on the ship or the dining room. On past cruises, I was freezing!
If you are a poker player, then you’ll have table time every night with limited wait times. The slots are super tight. Super super super tight. There are plenty of black jack tables, craps and some other table games.
The spa was wonderful and I really enjoyed my massage. Although I did pay for the additional time and didn’t receive it. So I paid for an additional 20 minutes that I never got. The massage was started late and I know what time we started because I texted my husband right before we began. So not too pleased about that. The upselling is rampant and so is the product push.
We both had beverage packages so never had to worry about drinks. I would definitely recommend buying it precruise on discount. It is not discounted onboard. All of the drinks are delicious and they are not skimpy with alcohol.
We did several excursions. The boys went to RB&Ts while we went ashore. The Secret River was amazing! We highly recommend it.
The WiFi was a bit sketchy and I definitely couldn’t stream movies. It was good enough to text and to google. The app was really great. We could see all of the dining, activities and communicate with other people onboard through the app.
The shows that we managed to catch were really well done. The comedians, not so much. We did have fun at the onboard games. They had movies every night wth lots of options and family friendly options. There are so many onboard activities!
The kids had fun at all of the Dreamwork events with the animals. The parades are a lot action and happen on a regular basis. It’s really great and quite the event. We also did the DreamWorks breakfast. Although for a child event they didn’t have high chairs readily available. We had to stand around while they found us a table...again. It wouldn’t have been bad had it been at the entry but we were left standing in the middle of the dining room next to other seated guests giving us stares. For $10 a person it was ok. There are 3 different characters that come around for a picture about mid way through breakfast.
We also did portraits in the Picture This studio. The photographer was super nice and our portraits turned out amazing. Expensive, but amazing! We pre-purchased the photo package, so we took advantage of that and had about 60 total pictures at all of the different photo stations.
The concierge was lack luster. We called several times and we were told to go to guest services or our message was never returned.
We did go to the suite lounge and they are pretty strict about children being well behaved as well as the dress code. We did not get to Coastal Kitchen this trip.
Overall, we enjoyed ourselves because we didn’t let all of the inconveniences mess up our vacation. We did book another cruise, which we were super disappointed in the NextCruise office experience. Luckily, we have a travel agent so we got the onboard credit from the NextCruise office. We booked on a smaller ship with the hopes that maybe they would have a more personable experience. The staff was either super friendly or grumpy on Allure. There didn’t seem to be an in between.
I would say that if you’re a couple with no kids, it’s probably a different experience. If you have super young kids, the options are much more limited. I would say if you have kids below the age of 3, save your money.
A - Activities
A - Royal Babies & Tots
B+ - Food quality - dining room is ok, other venues are much better
A - Embarkation/Debarkation
A - Entertainment
C/D - Friendliness of staff
D - NextCruise office
B - Food options, close too early
C - Guest services - always long lines
A - Room steward
B - Wifi
D - Casino - super tight slots and super Smokey but lots of fun (A for fun)
A - Photo studio
F - Upsellling is rampant and there’s always someone pushing something
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