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This was our (a couple in early 50s) first cruise ever. Embarkation from Fort Lauderdale was quick and painless. If you use ride sharing to get to the port, I would advise against using Uber, they charge per minute and wait times can be long. Lyft has a flat fee per distance. I used the Royal Caribbean app to check in, and it gave us expedited boarding. RCL will give you a check in time but they don't enforce it. We showed up at the terminal around 10am, and were on the ship by 11am. We didn't realize that it would take so long to get our luggage -- we didn't get ours delivered until after 5pm on the embarkation day. Allure of the Seas is enormous, so even with 6000+ passengers, it never felt overwhelmingly crowded. Also, because the size of the ship, it did not rock or sway at all -- if you're worried about getting seasick, this is the boat for you. There are four large elevator banks and we never had to wait for a ride more than a few minutes. There are tons of secluded spots you can escape from the crowds. Our favorite was the stern part of the jogging track where there are some deck chairs and hardly any people. Service was prompt and courteous, but I got irked by the constant upselling of extra services. We couldn't finish a meal without a crew member trying to sell us the specialty dining package. We learned to tell them that we already have it, and it at least made them go away. The line to get to the Guest Service Desk on Deck 5 was ridiculous for the first two days. As the crew was mostly from East Asia and the Eastern Europe, some of them had really strong accents that made communication a challenge at times (not for the lack of effort, though, everyone did their absolute best). Also, the guests are from many different nationalities, and the concept of manners (or lack thereof) is different in other cultures. There are plenty of places to eat on the Allure, but finding out out what's open at any given time was a hassle. Even the 24/7 Cafe Promenade had sometimes pastries, sometimes sandwiches, and I could never figure out why. We went to the Windjammer Marketplace once for lunch and once for dinner and didn't enjoy either time much. Way too many people milling around and the layout was confusing. My travel partner saw a lady drop a spaghetti ladle to the floor and put it back into the sauce... blech. We mostly ate breakfast and lunch at the Solarium Bistro, which was never all that crowded and there was always a good selection of healthy foods. We chose the traditional dinner and enjoyed our table company a lot. Service was impeccable and the food ranged from quite decent to excellent. They would readily let us sample as many of the dishes as we wanted. One thing that concerned me was that hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere run out of soap towards the end of the cruise, and nobody was refilling them. We had the prepaid Refresh Drink Package which was a waste of money. There are only three soda machines on the ship, one on Deck 5 and two at the Windjammer Marketplace, and both are in the most crowded areas of the ship. We should've just taken our own bottles and filled them with free water and juices from the restaurants, and pay for an occasional few specialty drinks. Some of the specialty coffees and teas were okay but you can drink only so much Iced Chai Latte. We learned on the last day of our trip that shakes and malts at Johnny Rocket's are included in the Refresh Package! Another disappointment was the VOOM Internet. I got the "Surf & Stream" package, which was more like "Wait & Scream" package. Probably fast enough to check email, but I couldn't even pull up a YouTube video most times. Our cruise had only three stops, St Maarten, San Juan and Labadee. The day on St Maarten was outstanding, we joined a scooter/ATV tour by a local outfit called "ATV Island" and those guys were tremendous, I heartily recommend them. San Juan was a disappointment because the shore time was from 7am to 1pm, and most places didn't open until 9am. Labadee is just a cash cow for RCL, unless you want to join an overpriced shore excursion, there's not much there to do. We didn't even leave the ship. The entertainment crew on board was top notch. "Mamma Mia" was a super performance, and "Blue Planet" was quite enjoyable. They had karaoke every night and some surprisingly funny game shows we went to. There were quite good live bands every night as well. We avoided the Casino area because it reeked of stale cigarette smoke. We didn't spend a lot of time at the pools, but there were always available chairs. The music at the pool deck was blasting too loud for us, though. Overall, in spite of the negatives it was a fun and relaxing week on board the Allure. We wouldn't mind going back to Royal Caribbean, but will probably sample another cruise line next.

First timers

Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by oakwoody

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
This was our (a couple in early 50s) first cruise ever.

Embarkation from Fort Lauderdale was quick and painless. If you use ride sharing to get to the port, I would advise against using Uber, they charge per minute and wait times can be long. Lyft has a flat fee per distance. I used the Royal Caribbean app to check in, and it gave us expedited boarding. RCL will give you a check in time but they don't enforce it. We showed up at the terminal around 10am, and were on the ship by 11am. We didn't realize that it would take so long to get our luggage -- we didn't get ours delivered until after 5pm on the embarkation day.

Allure of the Seas is enormous, so even with 6000+ passengers, it never felt overwhelmingly crowded. Also, because the size of the ship, it did not rock or sway at all -- if you're worried about getting seasick, this is the boat for you. There are four large elevator banks and we never had to wait for a ride more than a few minutes. There are tons of secluded spots you can escape from the crowds. Our favorite was the stern part of the jogging track where there are some deck chairs and hardly any people.

Service was prompt and courteous, but I got irked by the constant upselling of extra services. We couldn't finish a meal without a crew member trying to sell us the specialty dining package. We learned to tell them that we already have it, and it at least made them go away. The line to get to the Guest Service Desk on Deck 5 was ridiculous for the first two days. As the crew was mostly from East Asia and the Eastern Europe, some of them had really strong accents that made communication a challenge at times (not for the lack of effort, though, everyone did their absolute best). Also, the guests are from many different nationalities, and the concept of manners (or lack thereof) is different in other cultures.

There are plenty of places to eat on the Allure, but finding out out what's open at any given time was a hassle. Even the 24/7 Cafe Promenade had sometimes pastries, sometimes sandwiches, and I could never figure out why. We went to the Windjammer Marketplace once for lunch and once for dinner and didn't enjoy either time much. Way too many people milling around and the layout was confusing. My travel partner saw a lady drop a spaghetti ladle to the floor and put it back into the sauce... blech. We mostly ate breakfast and lunch at the Solarium Bistro, which was never all that crowded and there was always a good selection of healthy foods. We chose the traditional dinner and enjoyed our table company a lot. Service was impeccable and the food ranged from quite decent to excellent. They would readily let us sample as many of the dishes as we wanted. One thing that concerned me was that hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere run out of soap towards the end of the cruise, and nobody was refilling them.

We had the prepaid Refresh Drink Package which was a waste of money. There are only three soda machines on the ship, one on Deck 5 and two at the Windjammer Marketplace, and both are in the most crowded areas of the ship. We should've just taken our own bottles and filled them with free water and juices from the restaurants, and pay for an occasional few specialty drinks. Some of the specialty coffees and teas were okay but you can drink only so much Iced Chai Latte. We learned on the last day of our trip that shakes and malts at Johnny Rocket's are included in the Refresh Package! Another disappointment was the VOOM Internet. I got the "Surf & Stream" package, which was more like "Wait & Scream" package. Probably fast enough to check email, but I couldn't even pull up a YouTube video most times.

Our cruise had only three stops, St Maarten, San Juan and Labadee. The day on St Maarten was outstanding, we joined a scooter/ATV tour by a local outfit called "ATV Island" and those guys were tremendous, I heartily recommend them. San Juan was a disappointment because the shore time was from 7am to 1pm, and most places didn't open until 9am. Labadee is just a cash cow for RCL, unless you want to join an overpriced shore excursion, there's not much there to do. We didn't even leave the ship.

The entertainment crew on board was top notch. "Mamma Mia" was a super performance, and "Blue Planet" was quite enjoyable. They had karaoke every night and some surprisingly funny game shows we went to. There were quite good live bands every night as well. We avoided the Casino area because it reeked of stale cigarette smoke. We didn't spend a lot of time at the pools, but there were always available chairs. The music at the pool deck was blasting too loud for us, though.

Overall, in spite of the negatives it was a fun and relaxing week on board the Allure. We wouldn't mind going back to Royal Caribbean, but will probably sample another cruise line next.
oakwoody’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 4D
We had a midship balcony cabin on Deck 7 which was in a great quiet location between the Promenade and the Central Park. The stateroom clean and in good condition, plenty of storage space for two people. However, the bathroom reeked of mold the whole time. The bed was excruciatingly uncomfortable for me, I had to ask for extra padding to be able to sleep. The A/C in our room worked well, but it cut off every time the balcony door was opened and it took a long time for it to cool the cabin afterwards. The bathroom had a night light that couldn't be turned off. Another small annoyance was that there were only three electric outlets for charging electronic devices. On the plus side, our stateroom attendant was awesome, she kept on cleaning up the cabin twice a day, and we got our cute towel animals as well.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins