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Allure of the Seas Review

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2994 reviews
64 Awards

Relaxing Cruise with Staff that went Above-and-Beyond

Review for Allure of the Seas to the Western Caribbean
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CleverCruisesKat
6-10 Cruises • Age 30s

Rating by category

Cabin
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment

Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2021
Cabin:
Allure of the Seas in Perfect Day at Cococay
Central Park Balcony Bedroom
Central Park Balcony 'living room' and storage
Central Park Balcony Bathroom

I booked this cruise because I wanted to try the Oasis class and research a lot about Royal Caribbean, including the upgraded 'Perfect Day at Cococay.' I also originally booked the itinerary for the stop at Labadee that was canceled. Regardless of my reasons, this is the best cruise ship I have ever been on by far even though it did not have any of the recent upgrades. The fantastic solarium made for an incredibly relaxing experience and the neighborhoods provided the perfect setting for feeling like I was living in a fantasy city. The always fantastic service I have experienced on cruise ships became absolutely impeccable with only 2300 passengers. I was so spoiled and treated with 5 star level service by absolutely everybody, like I was waited on hand and foot. However, I am not sure I would enjoy it as much at full capacity because I have always felt crowded on large ships beforehand but the spread-out layout on Oasis ships is absolutely perfect and is designed with crowd control in mind, which would probably help reduce any crowded feelings if the ship was at full capacity or almost at capacity. The dining and drinks were incredible overall and I must have gained ten pounds as a result, the specialty dining seemed even more high end than usual and top shelf liquors were everywhere. The solarium makes for the perfect relaxing experience onboard while the neighborhoods provide both quiet corners for the afternoon as well as evening thrills. Its almost impossible to see it all in a week without tiring yourself out. Even with research purposes in mind, I missed a few venues such as Johnny Rockets and Vintages Bar. There is something for everyone so you'll never feel as if you cannot create at least an 'almost perfect experience' for yourself and your family. While I did not find this cruise quite as 'fun' as some Carnival cruises I have been on, the facilities and shows were simply above-and-beyond anything else I have ever experienced on any other cruise and this made for a very relaxing vacation.

I never had a completely bad meal onboard. However, the onboard lunches in the Solarium Bistro and Windjammer were very bland and lacked variety in the meat options on some days. For example, one day virtually every meat option in the Solarium Bistro and Windjammer included pork. However, the MDR food seemed to be a little better than usual and Sorrento's Pizza was probably the best included option at lunch. The Windjammer was decent for breakfast, however, apart from the awful undercooked bacon. Although I ate at the MDR on formal night for research purposes, the specialty dining was absolutely worth frequenting in my humble opinion. While the service was probably even better in the MDR than in the specialty dining, the service was still exceptional in the specialty dining and the execution and quality of food was much better in the specialty dining and worth it for any foodies out there. While Sabor's guacamole was amazing and I found it to be the perfect lunch spot, it will be lost when they complete the upgrades. I tried Izumi Sushi, the MDR, Samba Grill, Sabor, 150 Central Park, Giovannis Table, the Solarium Bistro, the Windjammer, and Chops Grille... Everything except Johnny Rockets and Izumi Hibachi. Combining both food and service and ranking the top five... Izumi Sushi was definitely the best restaurant overall imho. Second best was Giovanni's, third was Chops Grille, fourth was Sabor , fifth was 150 Central Park. Giovanni's had incredible pasta dishes and solid entrees, particularly the filet. The dessert, however, was not memorable compared to other desserts I had onboard. Izumi Sushi had amazing service and the great ocean views from the windows provide a perfect atmosphere. The sushi was some of the best I've ever had on land or off land. Even the ramen was some of the best ramen I've ever had and so were the dumplings. The dessert was very unique as well and memorable. Chop's Grille had some of the best service outside of the MDR and also the best dessert onboard... I tried every dessert. They were all delectable... Particularly the red velvet cake and chocolate melting cake. my upcharge Maine lobster was perfectly prepared and the salads and soups were savory, particularly the mushroom soup and goat cheese salad. The steaks were a little inconsistent though and the sides were very disappointing apart from the gruyere tater tots. 150 Central Park's food was very forgettable for supposedly being the most fancy restaurant onboard. Dessert was my least favorite dessert onboard but the entrees were objectively impressive, particularly the lobster thermidor and the halibut.

While there was no waterpark and some shows or activities were limited due to covid as well as reduced capacity, all of the facilities and shows that were there made it to where those shows and amenities weren't missed very much. By the way, make it a point to see as many shows as possible. They were all worth seeing, even though I am typically not a fan of musicals, such as Mama Mia, which was the show onboard, I was very much entertained for the full 2.5 hours. Besides the service, food and incredible solarium with hot tubs that were actually hot, the shows were one of the most impressive things about the cruise. Every show was extremely entertaining, apart from the comedians that were very mediocre in my opinion, although it must be hard to get some entertainers onboard right now with the restrictions for employees. Best show was the Aqua show (incredible gymnastics and diving), second best show was the ventriloquist they had onboard that week, third best show was the Ice Games ice show, fourth best show was the Mama Mia musical performance, and the fifth best show was the headliner singer/dancer Tony Tillman. The comedians were OK but not great compared to the rest of the entertainment. I've seen much better comedians on Carnival for example.

Cabin Review

I stayed in a central park balcony on floor 11 starboard side. My cabin had a decent amount of space and the central park balcony was a nice option vs ocean view balcony if you can find a good price. However, the bed was rock hard as I have usually experienced with RCL. Therefore, I had to ask for extra pillows and a mattress pad in order to sleep ok, which is disappointing because I haven't had rock hard beds on Carnival. The couch was small and disappointing, not big enough for naps and not comfortable enough to bother sitting on much. I am very spoiled with the larger amount of space, comfortable beds and nice, big comfy couches Carnival has, which is one of the main things I miss when I cruise with RCL. There was a decent mini fridge but it wasn't really big enough to store any plates with leftovers in there without cramming it in. The bathroom was very nice and roomy for a cruise cabin and the shower had nice water pressure as well as a sliding door to prevent a lot of leaking water, unlike some older cruise cabin showers. The cabin steward was absolutely amazing though and went above and beyond for us a few times. The central park balcony was a nice extra but I wouldn't bother to get one again unless I got a great deal again since I barely went out there despite the nice ability to listen to music and feel like you were a part of the ship experience without leaving the cabin. You can't leave the curtains open much without losing any sense of privacy. However, it was also good to put wet clothes out there though and stretch my legs without leaving my room sometimes. If you can find these rooms without paying much more than you would for an interior or ocean view and don't want to splurge on an ocean view balcony, I would highly recommend it.

Port Reviews

Cozumel

The best thing about this port is that it has a lot to offer without having to book an excursion and the taxi stand is easily assessible with set prices. The water is gorgeous, the food and drinks are decent, and the snorkeling is great too at certain locations. I highly recommend visiting the beach at Mr. Sancho's, which I did during this particular visit, for a safe and beautiful beach experience, although the food itself left a lot to be desired in my humble opinion. I recommend visiting Skyreef or Chakanaab for snorkeling without an excursion like I've done on other visits. The people are pretty friendly but unfortunately they can be very pushy when it comes to shopping and even certain taxis can be pushy when it comes to suggesting certain venues for you to visit so they can get a kickback too. Head straight to the taxi stand and be very insistent about where you want to go and don't let them stray you away from that. The vendors have also gotten a lot more pushy and have gone up on the prices recently too in order to make up for the lack of visitors last year so unfortunately shopping in Cozumel isn't as pleasant as it used to be in any way.

Perfect Day at CocoCay

While the included beach, Chill Island, is definitely not the best private island beach I have ever been to, that honor goes to Half Moon Cay, the amenities are simple incomparable and are outstanding. The Thrill Waterpark slides and wave pools were definitely worth the price of admission if you want some entertainment and the Oasis Lagoon looked good too if you want the party pool experience. The food was hot, plentiful, and good for included food although not five star but considering it's so hot on the island and I am so active on the island, I wouldn't want a huge meal there anyway. However, I might try the Coco beach club next time to see if the beach experience is better on that part of the island next time but the waterpark was more than enough entertainment to me and was absolutely worth it unless you just want to sit on the beach or drink in a pool all day.

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