We'd been on a Royal Caribbean cruise before and had a great time, but this trip we walked away with a few disappointments. If you want to lounge in the pool on sea days, then maybe the Allure isn't for you. Because of the open Central Park in the center of the ship, all the pools on board are quite small. During sea days when everyone is on board, the pools feel more like sardine cans with everyone crammed in and they were not at all enticing.
We are foodies, so we were excited about all the dining opportunities on the Allure. But my husband needs to eat gluten free, and that ended up being a pretty big problem. We filled out the special needs form ahead of our trip, and we were advised that we could just inform our servers and we'd be fine. However, we walked away with the impression that most of the staff on the ship had no clue what was and wasn't gluten free. There were a few meals my husband ate that should've been gluten free, and his body told him they were not. There was even an instance at Coastal Kitchen where an appetizer was marked gluten free on the menu, and our server came back to use and said the chef told her that item was not gluten free. It's marked as such on THEIR MENU! Those issues aside, if you have any sort of dietary restriction, I'd think twice about this ship. Even though there are multiple restaurants on board, the gluten free offerings were suspiciously the same for the most part (aka, shrimp cocktail as an appetizer and chicken with a thyme sauce for an entree).
That brings me to the beverages. If you order the same drink from three different bartenders, you'll walk away with three different beverages. The drink-making quality was very hit and miss. There were even times when I ordered a basic drink (ex, a mojito) and I couldn't even drink it it was so bad. Had I not had the all-inclusive drink package, I would've been upset and demanded they make me another one. My best advice — find a bartender you like early in the week and make him or her your bud. Our best bud was Charlie in the Schooner Bar. That bar had a wide variety of liquor and mixer options, plus bitters and other traditional bar ingredients. My husband works in the restaurant industry, so we know how to make good, classic drinks. With Charlie, we were able to explain what we wanted, and would make it exactly that way.
Our cabin was great, and our stateroom attendant (Lovelace) was wonderful!! Since we were traveling with three people in one room, we paid for the upgraded Junior Suite and that was a great decision. Our room setup had a curtain divider between the main bed and the sofa bed, which provided for a little privacy while sleep. But the extra square footage was definitely a bonus. It was also great to have a shower with a tub and a walk-in closet with plenty of room for us all to unpack. I had read online that the pullman beds were more comfortable than the sofa beds, but our pullman bed pulled down from the ceiling directly over the king size bed. We decided we did NOT want to have our 12-year-old sleeping directly above our heads. But she didn't have any complaints about the sofa bed, and it was pulled out for her and put away for us every day by our stateroom attendant.
Be prepared to pay for just about anything you want to do, except grab yourself a regular chair and sit in the sun.
We live in Miami, so Ft. Lauderdale wasn't really a port for us. It's home.