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Pre-Cruise – We sailed out of Miami on a Sunday, so we decided to drive down the day before and stay within a reasonable distance of the Port. After checking hotel prices, we decided on Fort Pierce, approximately two hours away from the port and only seven or so hours away from home. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, ate dinner at a small Mexican Restaurant 10 minutes from the hotel, had breakfast at the hotel, and got donuts from a local donut shop before leaving for the Port. The drive down couldn’t have been easier I-95 south and follow the signs for the Port of Miami. Parking We normally cruise out of Port Canaveral and use off-site parking to save a few dollars. That did not look like a good option for us in Miami. We decided on Terminal Parking. Once at the port, we followed the signs for the Allure and went into the parking deck. A young man handed us our parking ticket – don’t lose or forget where you put the parking ticket (I forgot there was a ticket. Fortunately, my wife remembered and quickly found it) – and directed us to go up to the deck. Once we get to the right deck, there were a bunch of porters there ready to take our bags – before we even parked. We pulled up to the porters and dropped our luggage (tip the porters, they are the ones making sure your luggage gets where it needs to go), then found a spot. We arrived at 10:30 or so and parked on the third level. There were plenty of spots on the third level at that time. Embarkation Embarkation was smooth. We showed our Set Sail passes and were whisked upstairs. I know we went through the metal detectors, but I don’t remember when. It was very quick and painless. We each had a small bag with us. Once we arrived to the top floor, it was a bit crowded and I was looking for the lines to get our Sea Pass Cards. There weren’t any. Everyone (except suite and Pinnacle guests) was in a large room and we waited for instructions. Within 20 minutes, they started boarding by Crown and Anchor status. We are Platinum and we were on the ship by 11:15. We showed our Set Sail Pass to board and that was to be our Sea Pass card until we got to our rooms at 1:00. At 1:00 we got to our room and our Sea Pass cards were on our doors to let us into the room. Initial Impressions The ship was clean and nice. We had just been on the Oasis in March. Due to that, I can’t help but compare this cruise to it, especially since the Allure and Oasis are twins. Also, being Christmas time, I had expectations due to our trip on the Freedom at Christmas a few years ago. I remember the Freedom being much more decorated for Christmas. The decorations on the Allure seemed haphazard and sparse. As time went on, and the ship filled up, it seemed to be very crowded, much more so than I remember the Oasis being. With the weather being so nice, I expected more folks to be outside and near the pools, making the interior spaces feel more open. That was not the case. The Promenade, Park area, and Solarium were all very busy. One of the reasons I enjoy travelling the first week of December is that it is usually less hectic, due to folks not as likely to take children out of school between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That was certainly not the case on this ship. It was crowded and had a lot of families. We like to go to the Solarium for lunch. It generally isn’t busy and it is usually all adults. That was not the case on this ship. The under 16 rule was not enforced in any manner in embarkation day and was not strictly enforced through the week. Stateroom We had a balcony stateroom it was a standard balcony room. Everything worked and nothing was in disrepair. There was a small hot water issue, but that was handled right away. Our stateroom attendant introduced himself and brought us a pair of robes. There is plenty of storage for two people in the room. We way over-packed this time; due to the fact that we have new luggage that let us bring a lot more. We brought a full sized suitcase, two carry on size suitcases and a hanging bag. The hanging closet and shelves are enough for us. We didn’t even use the storage next to the mirror. I was surprised that our luggage fit under the bed. It is much larger than our previous set and it fit just fine. Next cruise is carry-on size only. I also like the bathrooms in the Oasis class ships. They have nice showers and I like the doors that close around. There is more storage near the sink for toiletries. Dining I will start by saying that I have long been a fan of the main dining room for dinner. I would like to go for other meals too; it just isn’t as convenient for us. We also like the late seating and that’s what we had this time. I think we have my time dining in May 2019, on a four day cruise, to give it a try. Our first night in the MDR was not as good as normal. First off, we were in the fourth floor dining area. That is the area that is across from the Casino. The dining room had a distinctive, unpleasant, smoke smell. Aside from that, the food was cold and the waiters we very unpersonable. I mentioned the smoke issues to the assistant head waiter and he apologized but didn’t offer any relief. The next day, I went to guest services and they gave us a table on the fifth floor. The next night, when we got to our new table, we found our table mates who also complained. I found out that he complained about the entire experience. I only mentioned the smoke. When I spoke with some of the other wait staff, they mentioned that the smoke is a common problem on the fourth floor and even some of the staff had to be reassigned. Our new waiter and assistant waiter were great and took good care of us. The new location was excellent and we didn’t have any more issues in the MDR. We tried two specialty restaurants and Johnny Rockets. The first was 150 Central Park. The restaurant is beautiful and we really like the huge chairs. The waiter was good and seemed knowledgeable, though in overhearing the other waiters I realized they all said pretty much the same thing and had the same recommendations. One interesting item is the variety of salts that come with the bread and butter. They have several salts from all over the world. Most do taste pretty much the same. There are two that had a distinct flavor. One was a smoked salt, which, as you would imagine, has a smoky flavor. The other was a salt from India that has a mild egg flavor. The flavor comes from its high sulfur content and it was very interesting. Our meals were OK. The waiter recommended the Black Cod. It was good. It is a mild fish. The downside is that it was served on mashed potatoes. Placing a mild fish on mashed potatoes didn’t do anything for flavor. My wife had the beet salad and the beef short ribs. She liked the salad. She was not happy with the short ribs. Our next specialty restaurant was Chops. I have been looking forward to Chops since our cruise on the Oasis; when I was out-voted and we went to Giovanni’s Table. Chops was nice inside and the waiter was OK. We each ordered the Petit Filet Mignon, medium. I ordered mine with a baked potato. My wife ordered the mushrooms and cheese tater tots. When our sides came out, there were four, in addition to my baked potato. The steaks were raw in the center. We were able to eat most of the meat around the raw part, but they were certainly more medium rare than medium. The baked potato was also under done and it was cool. It was cool enough that it wouldn’t melt the butter. The rest of the sides, other than the cheese tater tots were a little warmer than room temperature. We also tried Johnny Rockets. It was a great experience. The waiter was a lot of fun and was happy to serve us. He immediately served some French fries and onion rings, took our orders and even went out of his way to bring us Coke Zero instead of Diet Coke. Our burgers were hot and juicy and cooked to order. I would definitely recommend a trip to Johnny Rockets. Ports / Excursions We didn’t do any off-ship excursions through Royal Caribbean. We did do a private excursion in Sint Maarten. We went with Soualiga Destinations Boat Tours and had a full day on and in the water. We were concerned that the water would be too cool in December. It had a very slight chill at first, but not bad at all. The captain was great. Lunch was included and we made several Island stops and did some snorkeling in some nice clear water as well. It was a little cloudy in the turtle area, but we did se one on the surface. In Puerto Rico we walked through Old San Juan. It was nice and it took most of the short day we were there. I would have like to have had lunch there, but I filled up on pastries. The food was excellent. Labadee was our final stop. It was nice. We didn’t do any of the excursions there. It was a nice beach day. I was surprised at how good the lunch was on Labadee. On previous cruises, years ago, we stopped on private enclaves/islands and the lunch was hamburgers and hotdogs. On this trip, we had ribs, chicken, and several other choices. I really enjoyed the lunch. There was a great dessert selection as well. On our final sea day we had scheduled a behind the scenes brunch tour. I was very disappointed in it. It was disorganized from the start and didn’t get much better. They had us fill out release forms that very easily could have been completed beforehand or even when we signed up for the tour. Part of the disclaimer stated that young children would not be allowed. There were several people with young children there – infants in strollers to toddlers – and they complained and were able to take their children. There was a group of 70 or so for the tour. They took groups of 20 or so at a time in no particular order. Because we didn’t push and shove to the front or complain that we needed to go first, we were in the final group. The tour was supposed to start at 11:00; by 11:45, our group still had not been taken. Interestingly, when our group was done, the other groups were still in the dining area being served. This makes me think our tour was cut short. I think this could have been a much better experience had the crew planned and executed it properly. Disembarkation and the Trip Home We used express disembarkation. We lined up early and were off the ship by 6:45. There were a few people who probably shouldn’t have used express due to the number of bags they had versus the number they could handle. It slowed things up a bit, but it wasn’t bad. The port used facial recognition for exit and it worked great. I was surprised that there weren’t any porters around to help. We didn’t really need help, but would have accepted it because it sometimes allows quicker exit. I had even kept tip money handy. The trip home was a quick 9 hours. For lunch, we called in our order at Sonny’s in Saint Augustine about ten miles out. They had it ready when we arrived and we ate in the car. I would definitely do that again. We have stopped there in the past and lost a half hour.

Great Cruise - Avoid the extras

Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by Alaska06

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
Pre-Cruise –

We sailed out of Miami on a Sunday, so we decided to drive down the day before and stay within a reasonable distance of the Port. After checking hotel prices, we decided on Fort Pierce, approximately two hours away from the port and only seven or so hours away from home. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, ate dinner at a small Mexican Restaurant 10 minutes from the hotel, had breakfast at the hotel, and got donuts from a local donut shop before leaving for the Port.

The drive down couldn’t have been easier I-95 south and follow the signs for the Port of Miami.

Parking

We normally cruise out of Port Canaveral and use off-site parking to save a few dollars. That did not look like a good option for us in Miami. We decided on Terminal Parking. Once at the port, we followed the signs for the Allure and went into the parking deck. A young man handed us our parking ticket – don’t lose or forget where you put the parking ticket (I forgot there was a ticket. Fortunately, my wife remembered and quickly found it) – and directed us to go up to the deck.

Once we get to the right deck, there were a bunch of porters there ready to take our bags – before we even parked. We pulled up to the porters and dropped our luggage (tip the porters, they are the ones making sure your luggage gets where it needs to go), then found a spot. We arrived at 10:30 or so and parked on the third level. There were plenty of spots on the third level at that time.

Embarkation

Embarkation was smooth. We showed our Set Sail passes and were whisked upstairs. I know we went through the metal detectors, but I don’t remember when. It was very quick and painless. We each had a small bag with us.

Once we arrived to the top floor, it was a bit crowded and I was looking for the lines to get our Sea Pass Cards. There weren’t any. Everyone (except suite and Pinnacle guests) was in a large room and we waited for instructions. Within 20 minutes, they started boarding by Crown and Anchor status. We are Platinum and we were on the ship by 11:15.

We showed our Set Sail Pass to board and that was to be our Sea Pass card until we got to our rooms at 1:00. At 1:00 we got to our room and our Sea Pass cards were on our doors to let us into the room.

Initial Impressions

The ship was clean and nice. We had just been on the Oasis in March. Due to that, I can’t help but compare this cruise to it, especially since the Allure and Oasis are twins.

Also, being Christmas time, I had expectations due to our trip on the Freedom at Christmas a few years ago. I remember the Freedom being much more decorated for Christmas. The decorations on the Allure seemed haphazard and sparse.

As time went on, and the ship filled up, it seemed to be very crowded, much more so than I remember the Oasis being. With the weather being so nice, I expected more folks to be outside and near the pools, making the interior spaces feel more open. That was not the case. The Promenade, Park area, and Solarium were all very busy.

One of the reasons I enjoy travelling the first week of December is that it is usually less hectic, due to folks not as likely to take children out of school between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That was certainly not the case on this ship. It was crowded and had a lot of families.

We like to go to the Solarium for lunch. It generally isn’t busy and it is usually all adults. That was not the case on this ship. The under 16 rule was not enforced in any manner in embarkation day and was not strictly enforced through the week.

Stateroom

We had a balcony stateroom it was a standard balcony room. Everything worked and nothing was in disrepair. There was a small hot water issue, but that was handled right away. Our stateroom attendant introduced himself and brought us a pair of robes.

There is plenty of storage for two people in the room. We way over-packed this time; due to the fact that we have new luggage that let us bring a lot more. We brought a full sized suitcase, two carry on size suitcases and a hanging bag. The hanging closet and shelves are enough for us. We didn’t even use the storage next to the mirror. I was surprised that our luggage fit under the bed. It is much larger than our previous set and it fit just fine. Next cruise is carry-on size only.

I also like the bathrooms in the Oasis class ships. They have nice showers and I like the doors that close around. There is more storage near the sink for toiletries.

Dining

I will start by saying that I have long been a fan of the main dining room for dinner. I would like to go for other meals too; it just isn’t as convenient for us. We also like the late seating and that’s what we had this time. I think we have my time dining in May 2019, on a four day cruise, to give it a try.

Our first night in the MDR was not as good as normal. First off, we were in the fourth floor dining area. That is the area that is across from the Casino. The dining room had a distinctive, unpleasant, smoke smell. Aside from that, the food was cold and the waiters we very unpersonable. I mentioned the smoke issues to the assistant head waiter and he apologized but didn’t offer any relief. The next day, I went to guest services and they gave us a table on the fifth floor.

The next night, when we got to our new table, we found our table mates who also complained. I found out that he complained about the entire experience. I only mentioned the smoke. When I spoke with some of the other wait staff, they mentioned that the smoke is a common problem on the fourth floor and even some of the staff had to be reassigned.

Our new waiter and assistant waiter were great and took good care of us. The new location was excellent and we didn’t have any more issues in the MDR.

We tried two specialty restaurants and Johnny Rockets. The first was 150 Central Park. The restaurant is beautiful and we really like the huge chairs. The waiter was good and seemed knowledgeable, though in overhearing the other waiters I realized they all said pretty much the same thing and had the same recommendations.

One interesting item is the variety of salts that come with the bread and butter. They have several salts from all over the world. Most do taste pretty much the same. There are two that had a distinct flavor. One was a smoked salt, which, as you would imagine, has a smoky flavor. The other was a salt from India that has a mild egg flavor. The flavor comes from its high sulfur content and it was very interesting.

Our meals were OK. The waiter recommended the Black Cod. It was good. It is a mild fish. The downside is that it was served on mashed potatoes. Placing a mild fish on mashed potatoes didn’t do anything for flavor.

My wife had the beet salad and the beef short ribs. She liked the salad. She was not happy with the short ribs.

Our next specialty restaurant was Chops. I have been looking forward to Chops since our cruise on the Oasis; when I was out-voted and we went to Giovanni’s Table. Chops was nice inside and the waiter was OK. We each ordered the Petit Filet Mignon, medium. I ordered mine with a baked potato. My wife ordered the mushrooms and cheese tater tots. When our sides came out, there were four, in addition to my baked potato.

The steaks were raw in the center. We were able to eat most of the meat around the raw part, but they were certainly more medium rare than medium. The baked potato was also under done and it was cool. It was cool enough that it wouldn’t melt the butter. The rest of the sides, other than the cheese tater tots were a little warmer than room temperature.

We also tried Johnny Rockets. It was a great experience. The waiter was a lot of fun and was happy to serve us. He immediately served some French fries and onion rings, took our orders and even went out of his way to bring us Coke Zero instead of Diet Coke. Our burgers were hot and juicy and cooked to order. I would definitely recommend a trip to Johnny Rockets.

Ports / Excursions

We didn’t do any off-ship excursions through Royal Caribbean. We did do a private excursion in Sint Maarten. We went with Soualiga Destinations Boat Tours and had a full day on and in the water. We were concerned that the water would be too cool in December. It had a very slight chill at first, but not bad at all. The captain was great. Lunch was included and we made several Island stops and did some snorkeling in some nice clear water as well. It was a little cloudy in the turtle area, but we did se one on the surface.

In Puerto Rico we walked through Old San Juan. It was nice and it took most of the short day we were there. I would have like to have had lunch there, but I filled up on pastries. The food was excellent.

Labadee was our final stop. It was nice. We didn’t do any of the excursions there. It was a nice beach day. I was surprised at how good the lunch was on Labadee. On previous cruises, years ago, we stopped on private enclaves/islands and the lunch was hamburgers and hotdogs. On this trip, we had ribs, chicken, and several other choices. I really enjoyed the lunch. There was a great dessert selection as well.

On our final sea day we had scheduled a behind the scenes brunch tour. I was very disappointed in it. It was disorganized from the start and didn’t get much better. They had us fill out release forms that very easily could have been completed beforehand or even when we signed up for the tour. Part of the disclaimer stated that young children would not be allowed. There were several people with young children there – infants in strollers to toddlers – and they complained and were able to take their children. There was a group of 70 or so for the tour. They took groups of 20 or so at a time in no particular order. Because we didn’t push and shove to the front or complain that we needed to go first, we were in the final group. The tour was supposed to start at 11:00; by 11:45, our group still had not been taken. Interestingly, when our group was done, the other groups were still in the dining area being served. This makes me think our tour was cut short.

I think this could have been a much better experience had the crew planned and executed it properly.

Disembarkation and the Trip Home

We used express disembarkation. We lined up early and were off the ship by 6:45. There were a few people who probably shouldn’t have used express due to the number of bags they had versus the number they could handle. It slowed things up a bit, but it wasn’t bad. The port used facial recognition for exit and it worked great.

I was surprised that there weren’t any porters around to help. We didn’t really need help, but would have accepted it because it sometimes allows quicker exit. I had even kept tip money handy.

The trip home was a quick 9 hours. For lunch, we called in our order at Sonny’s in Saint Augustine about ten miles out. They had it ready when we arrived and we ate in the car. I would definitely do that again. We have stopped there in the past and lost a half hour.
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 4D 8060
We had a balcony stateroom it was a standard balcony room. Everything worked and nothing was in disrepair. There was a small hot water issue, but that was handled right away. Our stateroom attendant introduced himself and brought us a pair of robes.
There is plenty of storage for two people in the room. We way over-packed this time; due to the fact that we have new luggage that let us bring a lot more. We brought a full sized suitcase, two carry on size suitcases and a hanging bag. The hanging closet and shelves are enough for us. We didn’t even use the storage next to the mirror. I was surprised that our luggage fit under the bed. It is much larger than our previous set and it fit just fine. Next cruise is carry-on size only.
I also like the bathrooms in the Oasis class ships. They have nice showers and I like the doors that close around. There is more storage near the sink for toiletries.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews