December 2014 - Allure of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
Cruise: This was the best cruise I've ever taken (my eighth, 7 on Royal, 1 on Celebrity). My prior experience was on Navigator, Liberty, and Independence of the Seas, all of which I enjoyed. The cruise ship was fully packed / booked but never felt crowded. The lines and atmosphere were similar to my past cruises. With so many things to do, I think the crowds were evenly dispersed everywhere. The mall is on deck 5, gym and Boardwalk on deck 6, Central park on deck 8, so I found deck 6 to be a great central room location within one to two flights of stairs to many attractions. The lifeboats do stick out from the side a little more, but do not obstruct the ocean view from the room balcony. The Boardwalk and Central Park rooms are directly across from one another, so this may be a privacy concern for some.
Tip: All shows on Allure get booked before sailing, so make sure to reserve them at least a month before you sail if you want to get in (Chicago, Aqua Theater, Comedy Club, Ice Show, etc.)
Food: The Windjammer buffet had less selection and was of lower quality over the other ships I've been on. The food in the main dining room could be compared to Applebee's, however, you can up-charge to a Chops Grille steak for $16 at any meal...an awesome steak at a much better price over actually eating at Chops Grille. The fee restaurant known as 150 was my favorite, it has a 7 course tasting menu that you can pair with different wines per course...very good. As for complimentary eateries, the café in Central park had my favorite breakfasts, while the coffee shop in the mall had great sandwiches and snacks. Johnny Rockets is a fee restaurant, but serves free breakfast. The main dining room has a limited breakfast buffet as well as a breakfast menu. The Wipe Out Café on the sports deck makes omelets to order. The Solarium Brazilian Steak restaurant (fee) serves free buffet breakfast and lunch.