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Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas (Nov 2015)

Allure of the Seas
 Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas


2-Night Caribbean Escape
11/06/2015: Ft Lauderdale, Florida
11/07/2015: Nassau, Bahamas
11/08/2015: Ft Lauderdale, Florida



"DOES BIGGER MEAN BETTER?"


We finally have made it to the ship that we have been looking at (along with Oasis) since the day we first picked up a cruise brochure when we wen tot a wedding show back in 2010. Between Oasis and Allure the only real difference between the two is about 4 inches. We always went back and forth on the idea of going on this mega ship and finally as a surprise gift from my wife Christine we finally had the chance to experience this wonder of the world.

We did contemplate doing a 3-night on Oasis a month prior to Allure's 2-nighter but we decided to just stick with this sailing. Now anyone who has been on this ship before can tell you, two nights is just not enough on most ships especially the largest cruise ship currently in the world.

We did have some concern over trying to figure out what time we had to get to the port, mostly since the ship just came back from being in Europe for several months the ship had to go under a full Customs inspection which could mean we were unable to board until late afternoon or as early as 11am. We got to the port around 11:45am and went right through security and off to the upstairs waiting area where we could barely use the bathroom since they had already started to board. Again on the ship in no time, rooms however were not ready until 2pm and we had our luggage, they did stick by this and not allow any passengers to their rooms until that time.

Once we were on board we entered right into the Royal Promenade and were just blown away! The size compared to any ship we have ever been on was just impressive on it's own. From there we headed up to the Windjammer Marketplace for lunch. I (Patrick) walked around the entire buffet, which wasn't that big and came back with an empty plate. I had my wife Christine go and check it out and she came back with some options. Now don't get me wrong it's not that Allure had no options, I was just not in the mood for anything they offered, I came back with a burger and nachos which were both good. We heard that several areas throughout the ship also serve free lunch. Such as the Sports Deck, the Boardwalk, Royal Promenade and Central Park. So we suggest to check them all out at any part of your cruise.

We finally were able to get to our room at 2pm and we booked a large interior stateroom on deck 12. It had a lot of space and we both enjoyed it very much. Only thing that could have improved our room was thee position of the closet, we will explain below.

Food was for the most part good. The surprise protein on the ship was chicken. Now my wife never orders chicken when we go out to eat, however everywhere we had chicken it was cooked to perfection. From the dining room chicken marsala over to the Boardwalks chicken dog and right down to the room service chicken tenders. Every cooked perfectly and tasted great.

We spent a lot of time at guest services trying to figure out our on board credit that at the end of the cruise we finally got. Below has all the details.

The Allure offers several different types of entertainment options every night. From the shows in the Amber Theater in the front of the ship to the Aqua Theater all the way in the back of the ship. Before this cruise MSC Divina we felt had some of the best entertainment and shows at sea. Well Allure comes very close. Some shows even surpassed them. Our lineup of shows (which can be found at Guest Services on a paper, also you have to book for the shows) were Ice Games, Mamma Mia and OceanAria.

Our one and only port was Nassau....need I say more? We stayed on and hit up the pools and Solarium, which we spent hours in relaxing! The ship overall is just an amazing piece of architecture. Insane views from all over the ship. Decor was also very eye-catching. Even the hanging dresses in the atrium.

Disembarkation morning, something that is always insane. This was the first time in our 21 cruise that someone had done it right. We woke up and got ready and headed to the Royal Promenade and got off the ship. No lines, no yelling and no waiting around. Only waiting was by Customs, but even that was a quick process. Total breeze!

So overall the ship is amazing, something worth checking out. We understand it is not for everyone. It has something for everyone and is very family friendly. The ship wasn't too big for us, it was a lot of walking at times but we knew that going in. We don't recommend it for first time cruisers it will be too overwhelming and going on another ship in the future will not compare. However we can say that we've done the largest ship in the world! Would we come back to this ship or one in it's class? Absolutely, we have an overall great time and it was well worth it. It's been a long time coming to get on one of those mega ships.



Pros
- Embarkation and Disembarkation were both a breeze. Only hold up was coming back and waiting in line for customs and border protection, that also went smoothly and quickly.
- For a ship with over 8,000 guests and crew we did not once feel over-whelmed or  crowded, with the large variety of things going on it really did break up the amounts of people in one location at one.
- Loved the carousel on the Boardwalk, enjoyed it very much!
- A major plus was the amount of free places to each throughout the ship. Just about every neighborhood around the ship had something free for food.
- Crew was very friendly on the ship.
- Dinner dining staff was the best we had ever had on a cruise. First night we were in and out in no time at all, the second night the same. Very impressed.
- The only person we could say helped us the most on this cruise was a gentlemen named Carlos Acevedo, who worked at the Guest Services. He went above and beyond to help us with our OBC issue. He did not stop until he got an answer.
- Enjoyed the shows on the ship, the fact that their was several options to choose from made it even better.
- The best show by far was Ice Games at Studio B, unlike anything we have ever seen before.
- Pools were never packed, that we saw. Never had an issue getting chairs outside either.
- Always something going on around the ship no matter where you were.
- Our large interior stateroom was great only bad thing was the closet setup.
- Room Service was really good, enjoyed everything we ordered.
- Loved hanging out in the Solarium, the pool was a great size and so relaxing!
- Beds were so comfy, slept like a baby!
- The elevators were super fast, almost too fast. Never had to wait too long.



Cons
- Could never get anyone to answer the phone when calling for room service and guest services. Finally we got someone one time at guest services and never again. Finally we had to go down there and Christine made them call themselves and they realized that the phones were not working.
- For the largest ship in the world the Windjammer Marketplace (buffet) was too small. Not that it got crowded ever but just expected it to be larger.
- The temperature was mainly very warm on the ship. Could have put the a/c on more.
- The ship was always noisy, the place it wasn't was our room that was fine for a change. However the rest of the ship was always booming with noise. We were in Central Park in the afternoon of Nassau and all we heard was the loud music several decks above at the pool.
- The pools on the outer decks were very cold. We ended up in the solarium pool which still was a bit chilly but a pro.
- Didn't get to see any parties or parades.
- Daily guides was too large and spread out all over the place and on different papers.
- Sorrentos Pizza was a let down. We had better pizza from a Digiorno pizza than this pizza. Also we saw pasta stations but no pasta.
- Lack of food at night. Buffet closed early and we didn't like anything at the cafe's nor didn't want to go to Johnny Rocket's. However the savior was the Room Service menu.
- Seems like the CD under-did their shows. Reading about them afterwards it seems we missed out on some really good things. When we were on Carnival Breeze for the two nights, Butch the CD packed as much as possible into those two nights, even with a day at port.
- Broken Rising Tides Bar water fountains, was looking forward to that. Also many other little things here and there were not working, such as Guest Services kiosks and the kiosks at Focus.



Now off to the review of Allure of the Seas. We did this a little bit different this time since the ship is so large and is separated by the various neighborhoods in addition to other areas around the ship. Enjoy!



Adventure Ocean
This 29,000 square foot area is designed just for children. Which when walking through the area we wanted to join ourselves. It's broken up into different areas designed for various age groups. By the look of it the kids, no matter the age had something to do.

























Amber Theater
Being the largest cruise ship in the world the theater was not as big as we would have thought. Don't get us wrong it was still very large, just expected much bigger. Much like NCL Getaway we're guessing the concept of the theater is to build less to have more guests get a better viewing experience. No matter where you were there was not a bad seat. Keep in mind you have to book your entertainment prior, which we had done prior, but they never checked. Most of the show times overlap with other shows around the ship. Walking into the theater you enter into a two level lobby, which was a great addition to the theater. Our only show was Mama Mia, which is a 2 and a half hour showing, broken up by a fifteen minute intermission half-way through. We stayed for about 40 minutes before we left. The show was good, but the first day we are always beat up from the long day.















Boardwalk (Neighborhood)
One of the most visually impressive sites on the Allure of the Seas. Starting from the front of the Boardwalk as you walk past the Dog House and Donut shop all the way down to the Aqua Theater. Great place to chill out and have a drink or ride the Carousel around over and over. Usually after the shows the area cleared out a bit and never got too cramped.




















Boardwalk Arcade
We noticed a few areas that had arcades, one being here on the Boardwalk.





Boardwalk Dog House
They look like ordinary dogs, but these things are good. Now we thought based off the menu that all of the items were on the side, nope all inside the sausage with a limited selection of toppings.













Boardwalk Donuts
Across from the Dog House is the Donut spot. Did not get a chance to have any but if you're in the neighborhood dig in!





Carousel
As you walk on the Boardwalk you encounter large objects that as you go on resemble a horse finally leading up to the Carousel. The ride is only a minute or two but you can go on as many times as you want for free. Never any long lines and so worth trying out and getting that full Boardwalk experience!





Cups & Scoops
Next to the Donut Shop is the ice cream section. They serve Ben & Jerry's ice cream, but their selections are limited. It is a nice little place to sit and have a cup or a scoop of some tasty ice cream or any of their other tasty treats.







Johnny Rockets
For a small fee ($5.95pp) you enjoy some great food for both lunch and dinner. For breakfast it is free and we recommend trying  it, we heard its good and we always forget to go.







Pets at Sea
Build a Bear + Cruise Ship = Pets at Sea. That is basically it, simple explanation. Great for the kids.







Pinwheels
Here are spot pictures of the candy shop.







Rock Climbing Wall
On both sides of the Aqua Theater you will see two large 43 foot rock walls. The design isn't like most standalone rock walls Royal Caribbean actually have them built right into the walls of the ship to give it that extra power factor in the design of the Allure. Just maybe to show how ROCKSOLID she is!







Sabor & Sabor Bar
At the end of the Boardwalk (before the Aqua Theater) you come up to the Sabor Bar and to the right you will see Sabor, a Mexican-style restaurant that never seemed to crowded.













Central Park (Neighborhood)
That's right Central Park on a cruise ship. Wow, this area is very impressive. Nestled down on deck 8, with nothing above you but the stars and the sky this is another part of the ship that is very unique. Royal Caribbean did a great job with the design of this area. You are greeted with the sounds of birds and large areas of live plants and trees. Along with paths on both sides over looking the Royal Promenade. Now it does rain, but don't worry Royal has you covered. Literary before you go out you see umbrellas that you can use to get from one side to another. More areas here include shopping, dining and a bar in addition to the areas around where you can sit and enjoy the quiet sounds of a rare park at sea.
















150 Central Park
Now we did not try any of the specialty dining options on the cruise, we did briefly look at menus and read up on some of them and we are going off of that for this along with most of the other for-fee areas around the ship. The fee is $40pp and includes a six-course meal tasting. For $75pp you can add the wine pairing to enhance your overall dining experience.











Chops Grille
For $39pp you can eat all the appetizers you want and a choice of an entree per person. This is the main steakhouse on board the Allure of the Seas.















Coach
Well there truly is something for everyone on Allure. Even a Coach store with a great variety of purses.







Giovanni's Table
$10pp for lunch and $25pp for dinner this is your option if you're craving some Italian food. It does have the family-style feel so bring everyone and enjoy this. Also outdoor seating (weather permitting) for this restaurant along with all of the other restaurants in the Central Park area. 







Park Cafe
This place is great when you're strolling through the park looking for a quick bite. They have a good size section of sandwiches and wraps also their hand-carved "kummelweck" roast beef sandwiches which are great! A little too thick, but they can do it however you want with the cut of meat. This area did get a bit busy and stayed that way throughout most of the day. 











Picture This
One of the photo shops around the ship.





Trellis Bar
Right in the middle of Central Park is the Trellis Bar, a great little bar where you can grab a drink after eating at one of the many elegant restaurants nearby or if you're just in the neighborhood. We saw a lot of people here and there hanging out and relaxing. Never too crowded and a great little place to chill.





Vintages
In the mood for some wine? Check out the collection at Vintages.





Dazzles
One of the most visually impressive rooms on the ship has to be Dazzles. I have been waiting to see this for months in person. I was a little under impressed, we went during the day when several people where there but the view towards the Boardwalk was amazing, wish the glass wasn't so foggy looking. This is a two-level nightclub that you can hear from all around the venue, which can be a bad thing for guests around the area.













Entertainment Place (Neighborhood)
Tucked away on deck 4 was Entertainment Place, where you can find nightly entertainment and some throughout the day. Never felt too cramped with everything going on. Did not hang too much here with it being such a short cruise. We do wish that they would have taken this area and made it two decks high and possibly made the Promenade deck a deck lower.



Blaze
Here is another nightclub on board which we were not in at all through our short visit. Either it was closed or they had a private function. So here is a lovely picture of the outside!





Casino Royale
This was a pretty large casino which makes sense for the ship. It wasn't open due to our time in port.













Comedy Live
Largest ship in the world, smallest comedy club in the world. We did have reservations but just could not get to it. The small size might not have been a bad thing. Again can't really say since we did not attend a show.











Studio B
Wow! We were impressed with this area. We seen a lot of unique things on cruise ships, but a ice rink! Wow Royal, you did great. Get there a little bit early to get a front row seat for the show. We saw Ice Games which was a tribute to the popular boardgame Monopoly. Instead of using places on the traditional board Allure had their own spin and used places such as Giovanni's Table and their Boardwalk. Music and ice skating was beyond impressive. The entertainment here surpassed most of the incredible shows that we saw on MSC Divina. Also the best show on the ship, that we saw out of Mamma Mia and Oceanaria. You do have to book for the shows but the first night we just walked in the second night we had to scan our cards.

















Ft Lauderdale, Florida (Port Everglades)
So this is how it went to get on and off the ship here in Royal Caribbean's terminal 18 at Port Everglades. We got to the port and parked our car (closest we ever been to the terminal) and had a very short walk to the terminal. Got inside and went straight through security and to the main counter to get our room cards. Which there was our only hold up since they 3 people behind the desk had no idea that their camera was unplugged. Once we were done there we went to take a quick picture and upstairs to use the restroom. By the time we got out of the restroom the section we were going to already had started to board. Now the terminal is massive even with a small playground for the kids. So walking is involved. From the upstairs you are directed to the ship, before leaving the terminal you scan your card and walk through and get right on to the Royal Promenade on the Allure. Best part was not having to scan right at the ship's entrance. We were on around noon, that was getting at the port around 11:30am.

Now getting off the ship we expected hell, but not at all so far far from that assumption. We woke up at 7am and got dressed and ready and right off the ship, no lines, no yelling and no pissed off crew. Just off the ship and back home. Customs on the other hand had a wait, but it went pretty quickly. Very impressive!















Main Dining Rooms
Allure of the Seas has one main dining room, broken into three floors from deck 3 to 5. Each level being a different themed restaurant which previously was used for Royal Caribbean's Dynamic Dining. Which should be something they should have kept. We had anytime dining and going in and out was a breeze. Have to admit that dinner service was very, very, very quick. Our waiter on the first night asked us if we had show reservations we said yes. So less than an hour we were in and out of dinner. Dinner the second night was very close and very quick. Lunch was decent with time. Food was good, not great. Everything was cooked excellent. Every chicken dish we had was cooked to perfection! 





American Icon Grille
Probably the dining room with the less decor appeal and so we are here for lunch and dinner. This dining room was for anytime diners with and without reservations. Again we had lunch and dinner here as I mentioned above dinner was good, nothing over the top. The American Icon Grille is on deck 3.















Grande
At the top of the dining room on deck 5 you will find Grande.











Silk
Light colors and crystals make up the decor of this dining room located on the deck 4 in the middle of Grande and American Icon. 











Nassau, Bahamas
Does anyone still read this section when we say we been to Nassau or do you just keep scrolling down? Well our day here consisted mainly of hanging out in the Solarium and getting pictures for this blog. 















Pool Deck
Not once did we see the pools to be overcrowded. The outside pools were a bit on the cool side so we headed to the Solarium. Allure as four large pools on each side of the ship along with numerous hot tubs. All the pools with different decor. 















Royal Promenade (Neighborhood)
As soon as you walk on Allure of the Seas you come straight into the Royal Promenade. Always something new to see. Never too crowded, also not a lot going on. Didn't see any parades or anything else really happening, just more lights and flashes. Almost a let down, food was terrible and too much of the same thing every six feet with a new name attached to it.















Boleros
Drinks and Latin music is the theme here. Maybe one of the more relaxing areas on the Promenade.











Bow & Stern
English-style pub, minus the food. Did have a unique looking menu. Again minus the food. It would have been great to see some pub grub, just like NCL has on some of their ships. Really goes a long way.















Cafe Promenade
No options at all, looked better than it tasted. Always had people in and out, much like all of the other dining areas throughout the ship.





Champagne & Wine Bar
Probably one of the quieter bars in the area of the Promenade. We hung out in the two front chairs and watched people board.











Focus
Took forever for them to get our photos that we took in the terminal. Ended up getting them the last night of the cruise but not in our folder but on their 3rd kiosk. 3rd because the other two were broken. They do make it easy by having a number on your room card that has where to go for pictures.




Guess
Another purse store. Great selections here along with all of the purse stores on board.
  



Guest Services
We spent a lot of time here unfortunately. Main reason to find out where our on board credit was. We originally went on and they first said that it was going to be on within 24 hours of boarding. So we kept checking, and checking and checking. We went a few times on our first day and same answer. The next day we went in the morning and nothing. Finally the afternoon comes (24 hours after boarding) and they still gave me the runaround. We talked to about 10 people until finally late in the afternoon around 5pm we talk to a gentleman named Carlos Acevedo who we told the issue and he did everything he could to help us out. When we thought it wasn't going to happen he shined the light at the end of the tunnel and did not give up until we got the answer we been looking for. Finally at 10:30pm it showed up on our account on the last night of the cruise. Another complaint we have was the phones to Guest Services did not work, to the point we had to physically go down there and my wife picked the phone next to the manager and called the desk for him to realize it didn't work. 




Kate Spade
Another boutique store.







Michael Kors
It's funny to sit at the Schooner Bar and look over and point at the store and say to my wife "There's the purse that I got you for Christmas".




On Air Club
Area for the nightly karaoke singers.










Port Merchants
Here is the liquor store.





Prince & Greene
Another boutique store.




Rising Tide Bar
Very impressive only thing missing was the tide! Fountains were broken so it took away from the look of the bar. It was always packed and more of the rowdy crowd on it at times. The bar goes from the Royal Promenade all the way to Central Park.






Schooner Bar
A nautical theme to this bar that overlooks the Royal Promenade.






Solera
This little shop sells the beauty makeup and perfume/cologne.




Sorrento's Pizza
What a complete waste of space. Should be a sin for them to serve the crap that they do here. Royal Caribbean takes pride in this pizzeria. The pizza is frozen and it's just like eating a cardboard box with sauce. We saw pasta stations but no pasta. Also it was very funny walking past and seeing tables upon tables of people and not one slice of pizza on any table. The lines were never too long either, guess the pizza was that bad.












Starbucks
Best part of the cruise is when someone goes up to your wife and asks where Starbucks was. Seriously you just have to shake your head at people. Place had long, long lines at time but the crew moved quickly to get everyone taken care of.




The Shop (Logo Shop)
I love anything with a logo on it, usually where I can get another model ship to add to our collection, luckily they were not like Carnival Valor and had a ton of them handy! Bought a large one and a Christmas one, can't wait to hang that one up!
  



Running Track
A little under 2 1/2 times around will make one mile. The ship is massive and the length of this track shows it. Keep in mind people are there working out and getting their sweat on so be aware of the runners and walkers and stay with the flow of the traffic.








Solarium
Paradise! We honestly thought the pool would be too warm and not enjoyable at all. Well we were wrong, it was perfect, people complained it was too cold. Guess they never went to the outside pools yet. We spent our Nassau day here relaxing in the pool. Why not we needed some down time.
















Sports Area (Neighborhood)
This neighborhood is at the back on the top few decks. Includes a lot of things to keep everyone entertained, very impressive!




Allure Dunes (Mini Golf)
Not the largest, but no one will beat the views that these dunes will give you.
     









Flowrider
Looked very tempting, well so did the burger I saw at Johnny Rockets. Both I did not do/have. I would have just didn't have much time to.






Sports Court (Basketball Court)
Looking at the ship from a above distance in pictures it's insane to see a full size basketball court look so small.




Table Tennis
We did have time to play this. Well since neither of us know how to play we just kept hitting the balls all over the place.




Wipe Out Cafe
When you're enjoying everything else up here you will be working up an appetite. Come to the Wipe Out Cafe and grab some grub!






Zip Line
Pass..........I have a thing for heights, also for high ceilings which is another story. That's coming from the man who wanted the largest ship in the world. Wifey on the other hand said she had no problem doing it. Guess we will see next time.






Stateroom 12543 (Interior)
For an interior we had a good amount of space. Only major downfall of the room was the closet. It was large and had plenty of hangers but the cubby holes and safe were on the right side and hard to get to the other side of the closet because of the couch in the way. Other than that the room was very ample. Plenty of storage and space for things. Room service was actually really good, ordered it both nights. The chicken and the dip were both great but the steak was phenomenal. Our room steward was nice, no complaints there.

















Windjammer Marketplace (Buffet Area)
Finally we end our tour at one of the first places we went to and that's the Windjammer Buffet. Now for the amount of passengers on board we said we never felt it and out of every place on the ship we heard this was where we would feel it. Well that was wrong, the buffet is not huge by any means and actually on the smaller side, but we never felt crowded. No more than normally, maybe a bit less. Food wasn't great, they had choices just didn't care for most of them.






We hope you enjoyed this review of the Allure of the Seas, we know a lot of you been asking us to do this review for years and finally it is here. Don't go too far, we will have another blog up very soon once we get back from the Carnival Sunshine, another highly requested review!

1 comment:

  1. Wow what a ship you did all that in 2 days? Looks like a shopping mall.

    Maxine

    ReplyDelete