August 2016 - Allure of the Seas to Caribbean
Right off i will admit that we expected to NOT like the Allure of the Seas. we were not interested in the mega Oasis class ship. we chose it for a couple of reasons. 1. we needed to sail from Fort Lauderdale due to post cruise plans. 2. The only other line sailing that day was Carnival and that was not an option. 3. Another royal Caribbean cruise gave us an opportunity to level up for RCCI loyalty program. When we fly to meet a ship we like to go a day early so we stayed nearby on Fort Lauderdale beach. Our first concern about Allure was the embarkation process. How do you get 6,000 people on a ship without chaos? We left the hotel in a taxi at 11:30AM and we were checked in and on board by 12:15. That was amazing. Our statement was ready, as promised, by 1:00PM. The stateroom layout was adequate meaning, pretty typical as was the balcony. One silly negative was the bathroom sink. It was extremely low. I'm a short guy and I brushed my teeth kneeling down. Our stateroom attendant was was efficient and very friendly. Another concern we had was the potential for huge crowds. Except for times in the Windjammer (buffet) and other places for breakfast and lunch and events in the Royal Promenade, we did not have much sense that there were 6,000 passengers. The Aqua show and Blue Planet show were both entertaining. The full production of Momma Mia was well done. We ate in two alternative restaurants, Giovanni's and Chops. Both were very nice with excellent service and food. We had "Any time dining" which was not our choice but standard dining was booked when we made our travel plans. We were able to choose between a table for two or sharing which we prefer. we never felt that the service was diminished since we might never have that wait staff again. Food in American Icon Restaurant was good and sufficient. Another minor negative was the availability of ice. There was none in the room unless specifically requested. We might not book another Oasis class ship right away but we won't hesitate to do it again under the right conditions.