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We were a family of four (2 children aged 11 and 9) travelling from Manchester (UK) to Miami. This may be a long review but I wanted to put something out there about how easy it is to do a cruise from the UK to Miami and it probably cost no more than a trip to the med. This was our 13th cruise and 4th to the Caribbean. It was our 3rd trip with Royal Carribbean and 2nd on the Allure (previous one was in the med). We decieded to do a few days in miami first and travelled from Manchester on the Thursday before. Unfortunalty Manchester dont do direct flights to Miami which meant we had to do a stop over to Paris. The overall journey time was 13 hours, which was a bit of a faff but worth it in the end. Like i said we did 3 days in Miami and stayed on Washington Avenue two blocks away from the beach, it was a great location with loads to do. Be warned it can be expensive to eat in that area and may be worth researching it a bit before you go, the average night time meal was around £100 for a family of four (just mains & drinks). In addition we did not get breakfast through the hotel and spent an average of S60 each morning. Embarkation Qucik taxi from the hotel to the port cost us $30 and we were there in a couple of minutes. The new port terminal fro RCCL is very impressive and embarkation took us less than 20 mins, with all there new technology which was great. Overview of ship There are no words to decribe it other than wow, as said before we had no idea that we were sailing it was that steady. its true you cant see all of it on a weeks cruise there is just so many things to do. Having been on it before you do notice things different and the reason you dont feel your on board with 6000 other people is that the segregation of not only the different neighbourhoods but the things in them area's mean you dont realise where people are.all the area's were fantastically clean and tidy Cabin We opted for an outside cabin this time and were on deck three. The rooms appear to be the same size of the balcony one's, but what we found was due to not having the balcony doors it felt you had more useable space. in addition our cabin steward was fantastic we saw her all the time and nothing was too much trouble for her. Daytime Activities There is so much to do you have to ensure you plan ahead if you want to do everything, because you will run out of time. All the activites we did were great (flowrider, rock climbing, zip line, ice skating, golf and pools), there was very little queues anywhere and the staff were really attentive. We have been on some of the newer NCL ships and always feel the top decks can be a little crowded and the pools small, but you dont feel like this on this ship, we never had a problem getting a deckchair and there were plenty of bar staff going round taking drink orders. Kids Club Now the boys are at an age where they dont really want to go into the clubs and had decieded from the offset that they did not want to go, however after three days in Miami, we were ready for a little break and asked them to go in on the first evening for a couple of hours, after some arguing they agreed (i threatened to throw their Nintendo's over the side...only Joking). When we went back to collect them after a couple of hours, they didnt want to come out (suprise, suprise). so for the rest of the week we had to force them out of the club so we could do things together, which of course they moaned. The kids club staff were great and there were a few brit staff, who were fantastic with them and made us feel very at home. Night time Activities Overall they were very good, but again you just didnt have time to see them all. We saw Mama Mia (again), the diving shows and the ice skating shows which were great. In fact my son wanted to go to the rink the next day and is now mithering me to become a contestant on dancing on ice (Sorry a brit joke). The bars were fantastic and the staff really attentive, escpecially the guys on the rising tide bar and in the pub. Food & Drink We mainly ate in the main dining rooms and buffet's for breakfast and lunch. They have a new way of controlling the buffet sections when busy and queue people outside until a table is free. This initially looked quite annoying, however the queue time was less than five minutes and it eliminated the need to find a table and walk endlessly round with your food until you got one, overall i thought this was a great idea. The food in the buffet was of a good standard. The main dining room again was good, we had my time dining and never really had to wait longer than 10 minutes for a table. The service was a little hit an miss at times, mainly really great service but on a couple of occassions really quite poor. The food was of a good standard but with the exception of the lobster, there was nothing really that wowed us. We also utilised the hot dog stand and serento's which was great and the kids loved them. We were fortunate to get the drink package as part of the holiday price and it really does make a difference as your not constantly checking your account. The drink availabilty was great, with loads of differnt things to try. Ports Saint Martin - We spent the day at Maho beach (The ones with the airport at the end). Getting there was really simple, we left the cruise terminal area and got in a taxi, not a long queue and we shared with others, it cost $16 per person return and the return taxi area is just next to the beach. The beach is not much to look at but seeing the planes come in was amazing. The sea was warm and kids had a great time, we got a couple of sunloungers next to the bar and I think these were $10 each for the day. The journey time was about 40 mins and the traffic was not that bad. The island is still a mess and its quite upsetting to see the damage from the storm a few years ago. San Juan - Bit of a strange one, we got off without the kids and just had a walk around, it was ok and the buildings looked very cuban in style. however the only thing was you didnt get a feel of the culture, but that could be just were we walked. Hati - We went RCCL private island, the good points were that the food and drink were included (as we had the drinks package). there is loads to do (if you want to pay for it) we let the kids do the water park area, we kept a close eye on them, however my little lad had to be rescued because we had fallen drop inbetween two of the inflatables, which got a little scarey. We also did the rollercoaster, which was worth it. Disembarkation and last day We had booked the return flight on the same day we disemarked, which is something we dont normally do if were travelling to the US. We had booked the hop on bus tour, that stored our luggage, something we were a little nervous about. We got off the ship at about 8am. The bus tour took around south beach, little havanah and downtown going back to bayside. We got off a couple of times and ended up back at bayside at about 1pm, we had a look around the shops had some lunch and then caught the 3pm shuttle back to the airport (all included) for our 7:40pm flight. The reason for the detail is that we were very nervous that there would be a lot of wandering/waiting around, however the day went really smoothly, we got changed in the airport ready for our night flight home.This trip is something i would reccomend. Overall Costs Just to give brits a little flavour of what it cost, overall for 11 days/10 nights we spent about £5300. The flights cost us £1300, we got a steal on the cruise at £2200 (including the drinks package). The hotel for 3 nights cost us about £500 and we spent about £1400, the majoity of this was in miami - £800, Trips - £200, cruise spend £400. Sorry about the long review, but if there are any brits out there, thinking about it, hope this helps

Brit Family in America

Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by lesmac24

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We were a family of four (2 children aged 11 and 9) travelling from Manchester (UK) to Miami. This may be a long review but I wanted to put something out there about how easy it is to do a cruise from the UK to Miami and it probably cost no more than a trip to the med.

This was our 13th cruise and 4th to the Caribbean. It was our 3rd trip with Royal Carribbean and 2nd on the Allure (previous one was in the med).

We decieded to do a few days in miami first and travelled from Manchester on the Thursday before. Unfortunalty Manchester dont do direct flights to Miami which meant we had to do a stop over to Paris. The overall journey time was 13 hours, which was a bit of a faff but worth it in the end.

Like i said we did 3 days in Miami and stayed on Washington Avenue two blocks away from the beach, it was a great location with loads to do. Be warned it can be expensive to eat in that area and may be worth researching it a bit before you go, the average night time meal was around £100 for a family of four (just mains & drinks). In addition we did not get breakfast through the hotel and spent an average of S60 each morning.

Embarkation

Qucik taxi from the hotel to the port cost us $30 and we were there in a couple of minutes. The new port terminal fro RCCL is very impressive and embarkation took us less than 20 mins, with all there new technology which was great.

Overview of ship

There are no words to decribe it other than wow, as said before we had no idea that we were sailing it was that steady. its true you cant see all of it on a weeks cruise there is just so many things to do. Having been on it before you do notice things different and the reason you dont feel your on board with 6000 other people is that the segregation of not only the different neighbourhoods but the things in them area's mean you dont realise where people are.all the area's were fantastically clean and tidy

Cabin

We opted for an outside cabin this time and were on deck three. The rooms appear to be the same size of the balcony one's, but what we found was due to not having the balcony doors it felt you had more useable space. in addition our cabin steward was fantastic we saw her all the time and nothing was too much trouble for her.

Daytime Activities

There is so much to do you have to ensure you plan ahead if you want to do everything, because you will run out of time. All the activites we did were great (flowrider, rock climbing, zip line, ice skating, golf and pools), there was very little queues anywhere and the staff were really attentive. We have been on some of the newer NCL ships and always feel the top decks can be a little crowded and the pools small, but you dont feel like this on this ship, we never had a problem getting a deckchair and there were plenty of bar staff going round taking drink orders.

Kids Club

Now the boys are at an age where they dont really want to go into the clubs and had decieded from the offset that they did not want to go, however after three days in Miami, we were ready for a little break and asked them to go in on the first evening for a couple of hours, after some arguing they agreed (i threatened to throw their Nintendo's over the side...only Joking). When we went back to collect them after a couple of hours, they didnt want to come out (suprise, suprise). so for the rest of the week we had to force them out of the club so we could do things together, which of course they moaned. The kids club staff were great and there were a few brit staff, who were fantastic with them and made us feel very at home.

Night time Activities

Overall they were very good, but again you just didnt have time to see them all. We saw Mama Mia (again), the diving shows and the ice skating shows which were great. In fact my son wanted to go to the rink the next day and is now mithering me to become a contestant on dancing on ice (Sorry a brit joke). The bars were fantastic and the staff really attentive, escpecially the guys on the rising tide bar and in the pub.

Food & Drink

We mainly ate in the main dining rooms and buffet's for breakfast and lunch. They have a new way of controlling the buffet sections when busy and queue people outside until a table is free. This initially looked quite annoying, however the queue time was less than five minutes and it eliminated the need to find a table and walk endlessly round with your food until you got one, overall i thought this was a great idea. The food in the buffet was of a good standard.

The main dining room again was good, we had my time dining and never really had to wait longer than 10 minutes for a table. The service was a little hit an miss at times, mainly really great service but on a couple of occassions really quite poor. The food was of a good standard but with the exception of the lobster, there was nothing really that wowed us.

We also utilised the hot dog stand and serento's which was great and the kids loved them.

We were fortunate to get the drink package as part of the holiday price and it really does make a difference as your not constantly checking your account. The drink availabilty was great, with loads of differnt things to try.

Ports

Saint Martin - We spent the day at Maho beach (The ones with the airport at the end). Getting there was really simple, we left the cruise terminal area and got in a taxi, not a long queue and we shared with others, it cost $16 per person return and the return taxi area is just next to the beach. The beach is not much to look at but seeing the planes come in was amazing. The sea was warm and kids had a great time, we got a couple of sunloungers next to the bar and I think these were $10 each for the day. The journey time was about 40 mins and the traffic was not that bad. The island is still a mess and its quite upsetting to see the damage from the storm a few years ago.

San Juan - Bit of a strange one, we got off without the kids and just had a walk around, it was ok and the buildings looked very cuban in style. however the only thing was you didnt get a feel of the culture, but that could be just were we walked.

Hati - We went RCCL private island, the good points were that the food and drink were included (as we had the drinks package). there is loads to do (if you want to pay for it) we let the kids do the water park area, we kept a close eye on them, however my little lad had to be rescued because we had fallen drop inbetween two of the inflatables, which got a little scarey. We also did the rollercoaster, which was worth it.

Disembarkation and last day

We had booked the return flight on the same day we disemarked, which is something we dont normally do if were travelling to the US. We had booked the hop on bus tour, that stored our luggage, something we were a little nervous about. We got off the ship at about 8am. The bus tour took around south beach, little havanah and downtown going back to bayside. We got off a couple of times and ended up back at bayside at about 1pm, we had a look around the shops had some lunch and then caught the 3pm shuttle back to the airport (all included) for our 7:40pm flight. The reason for the detail is that we were very nervous that there would be a lot of wandering/waiting around, however the day went really smoothly, we got changed in the airport ready for our night flight home.This trip is something i would reccomend.

Overall Costs

Just to give brits a little flavour of what it cost, overall for 11 days/10 nights we spent about £5300. The flights cost us £1300, we got a steal on the cruise at £2200 (including the drinks package). The hotel for 3 nights cost us about £500 and we spent about £1400, the majoity of this was in miami - £800, Trips - £200, cruise spend £400.

Sorry about the long review, but if there are any brits out there, thinking about it, hope this helps
lesmac24’s Full Rating Summary
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