My husband, 21 year old daughter and 18 year old daughter and I went on the Allure to celebrate Christmas together and once again, Royal Caribbean did not disappoint. This was our 20th cruise, 13th on Royal Caribbean. We arrived at the port at around 11:15 a.m. and we sat down for about 3 minutes then we boarded the ship. Embarkation was easy and quick. We have been on the Allure before and all of her sister ships so there was no need to orient ourselves. We went straight to lunch in the Windjammer. Although the food is always delicious and fresh, it is very crowded and the tables are too close together which makes it difficult to move around. All of the food that we ate on the Allure was very tasty, fresh and at the right temperature. We based our dining location choices on proximity to our cabin sometimes and how busy each place was. Our favorite breakfast place was the Solarium Bistro, lunch at the Park Cafe or Vintages (great wine, tapas and service, especially from Gemma!) and dinner in the dining room or at the buffet. We had a fantastic lunch in the Main Dining Room one day but we only went once because it took a very long time for the food to arrive. There was a salad bar there that we really enjoyed! We paid for Anytime Dining and although the staff at the entrance of the dining room tried really hard to keep our wait time to a minimum, we didn't understand how Royal Caribbean could charge for this. There is room for improvement in this area. Although the Allure is 9 years old, it has been kept very clean and well maintained. Our cabin was spacious and our bed was comfortable. Our stateroom attendant Marie (Deck 8) was super friendly and attentive. The entertainment on the ship was excellent. We saw Mama Mia and although it was 2 1/2 hours long, it kept our attention the whole time and was really well done. We also saw the skating show "Ice Games". It was ok but not our favorite. The comedy show is always entertaining and did not disappoint this time either. We went to morning trivia at 10 a.m. in the Schooner Bar every day and the crew always showed up on time and we enjoyed being challenged by their questions. Royal Caribbean went over and above with little extras to make our Christmas really special. Many passengers gathered on the Promenade deck to sing Christmas carols, we had a delicious Christmas dinner, there were beautiful trees and decorations and they even offered us eggnog! We never waited long for a drink at any bar and the service was always friendly. Alexandra at the Schooner Bar mixed the best drinks and was our favorite bartender!!! Our ports were San Juan, St. Maarten and Cococay. We stayed on the ship in San Juan since it was raining and our departure time was 1:00 p.m. so there really wasn't much time to do anything and we have been there before and did not enjoy our visit. In St. Maarten we walked to Great Bay Beach. The taxi drivers tried to get us to take a taxi (they told us it was a 20 min. walk) but we walked and it took less time than that. It was an easy walk and we felt safe. We spent $40 USD for 4 chairs, 2 umbrellas, and wifi (although it didn't work because too many people were using it!) and to use the washroom and spend the day in front of the restaurant "Oualichi". It cost us $10 for a bucket of beer. We had lunch there and the food was very good but a little pricey. The restrooms were clean. Our girls rented jet skis right on the beach where we were and that was very convenient and fun. We always have a great day in St Maarten and the weather is always perfect! Our last stop was at Coco Cay, Bahamas. Although it was windy and rained on and off all day, the island is so beautiful and there is so much to do. Royal Caribbean got this right! They thought of everything! Everything was just perfect! They even improved the shopping area compared to Labadee. The Labadee shopping is very unpleasant because the salespeople are super aggressive and almost scary but at Coco Cay there is no pressure to buy and the salespeople are friendly and welcoming. There were many little huts to choose from and the merchandise was quite nice. We have never been disappointed when cruising on Royal Caribbean ships and will cruise with them again. The Allure is an exceptionally well run ship with great service and food. I would highly recommend it! I am looking forward to seeing the changes that the few months in dry dock in the spring will bring!
Excellent cabin for a ship that is 9 years old. It was spacious and clean and everything worked perfectly!