I sailed on Royal Caribbean ten years ago on the Independence of the Seas.. and loved it. So when it came time to book a vacation this year I chose The Allure of the Seas based on the great time I had ten years ago sailing on Royal Caribbean. I like the bigger ships because there is so much to do. And I was hoping The Allure would be the right choice for myself and my two friends.
We had two Junior suites with connecting doors and one ocean view balcony. We also purchased two delux drink packages at 35% off. That let my friends drink all they wanted to without worrying about money….they had lots of champagne, good coffee, water, fresh juices etc. throughout the cruise.. overall it was a smart thing to do ahead of time prepurchasing the drink package.
We also purchased “The Key” a new program that is rolling out across the fleet. Basically for the price of streeming internet you get a bunch of extra perks like priority embarkation, carry-on bags delivered directly to your stateroom on the first day you board, a great lunch at Chops upon boarding, reserved seating for the shows, reserved slots for activiteis like the Flowrider etc, free internet, and al a cart breakfast in the main dining room on the last day when you leave the ship at your choosing . All in all we loved “The Key”.
I have to say that its hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t just love The Allure. It was simply amazing from beginning to end. We loved Moma Mia the first night even if it was a little long. We loved the Oceana water production in the back of the ship. Incredible!
We choose the first seating in the main dining room “The Grande”. I emailed ahead of time and requested a specific table under a porthole window and when we boarded I went up to check it out and sure enough Royal Caribbean had reserved the table I requested..amazing 6,000 passengers and they gave me the exact table I wanted considering there are only a few tables for three people under a porthole. It was nice to eat and see the sea.
Our waiters were a little quirky at first but overall they were fine and the food was served quickly and eficiently. The food in the main dining room was fantastic, fresh, hot and excellent. One or two things were not that great but I just sent them back and requested something else. It was immediately taken care of. I was very impressed how they served so many people so well. Amazing. On the second formal night the lobster tails were amazingly cooked to perfection.
We also ate at Chops, Giovanie’s Table, 150 Central Park, Vintages, Sabor Mexican, Windjammer Cafe and Park Cafe and Coastal Kitchen because it came with our Jr. Suite. and the character breakfast with Dreamworks. (this morning in about two hours from now!)
ALL the food on this ship was amazing with Giovanni’s being the overall best. We ate lunch a couple times at Windjammer on port days when the place was quiet and the variety and quality was just fantastic. Chinese, Asian, Caribbean, traditional American etc. The flavors and the presentation when it wasn’t crowded was impressive. Anyone who complains about the food on this ship has to be a babagonush.
We visited Nassau, Cozumel, Rotan and Costa Maya. The ports were just what they were…tourist traps.. and we basically just decided we liked hanging out on the ship during port days although we did take a taxi to West Beach in Rotan.
Now on to the crew: I’m not exaggerating when I say that this company is totally on the ball with how they hire and train their crew. It toatally blew me away. I’m not exagerating when I say that every single crew member that I ran into during the entire seven days was outstanding. Just amazing, friendly, helpful, engaging and overall a joy to encounter. They are from all over the world and they work like dogs for months away from their families and still week after week even having to deal with often times demanding and rude passengers…they keep their attitudes warm and friendly and seeminly genuine. How do they do that? And how amazing is it that Royal Caribbean hires and manages 2200 crew so well? Blew me away. Our cabin stewart, Dwight from Jamaica was unbelievable…he works all day seven days a week and has to turn over 11 cabins twice a day. He was the bomb.
I took the “All Access Tour” on day three and once again Royal Caribbean blew me away. It was three hours nearly and we explored nearly all of the ship that you would'nt otherwise see..we saw how all the food is prepared, stored, served etc. We went into the engine control room, the bridge, crews quarters, the laundry…all very informative and all led my the head of each department. I highly recommend this if you are interested in how they manage to pull off catering to 6,000 guests and 2,200 crew.
Ok now where are my complaints? I don’t have any. Yes there are things like the ship showing a little ware and tear, some chipped paint on some furniture, the fact that they don’t put chocolate on your bed at night anymore, no more Turner Classic Movies on the TV anymore, the pools closing at 11pm…none of that bothered me.
My friends and I are having (I’m still on the ship as I write this review at 4am on the last day) an incredibly wonderful vacation and we don’t want to leave Sunday. If I could afford it would do a back to back. Come on! who wouldn’t like to keep eating, drinking and relaxing like kings another week?
As for the overall make up of the passengers: People from all over the world. By and large not too many kids surprisingly…lots of families many well dressed on formal nights. I never really saw any nonsense or unruly or even any rude passengers during the entire week.
The ship never felt crowded...there is always a quiet place to chill. Central park is great!
We had the time of our lives and I am grateful and awe struck to Royal Caribbean for pulling off the kind of product they provide considering everything these days is about the corporate bottom line. I tip my hat to Roayal Caribbean. I would’nt sail on any other cruise line. We had a frekin blast!
cabins connect on the hump....needing some TLC..but soon they will refurb...great location off Central Park..easy access Forward/Aft...