Weighing in at 225 tons...
Sail Date: December 18, 2011
Reviewed: 5 years ago
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Room Type: Inside
This was my 10th cruise so not a newbie; I do have a few under the belt I can compare too. We traveled Dec 18-25 with 2 children ages 6 and 9. We had a promenade view cabin on Deck 7.
This was a holiday cruise. We sailed with 6300 of our closest friends of which 1800 were children!! I will admit I was a little worried about this but surprisingly we barely felt it. It is incredible that for a ship this size, it never felt too big or crowded. We were always able to get a seat by the pool (there are 4) dinner always went smoothly no waiting, we went on the zip line a few times each with maybe a 5 minute wait! The boys could ride the carousel to their hearts content! The one place that you could feel the congestion was at the Windjammer cafeacute; for breakfast and there it was mainly a seating issue.
The kid's zone otherwise known as the H20 zone is a large water spraying octopus Water Park. There are also 2 family friendly hot tubs and plenty of shade to go around for the little ones.
This ship class has a neighborhood concept, which divides the ship into distinct spaces.
When you board this ship you find yourself in the Royal Promenade, this space is A_M_A_Z_I_N_G!! It looks like an upscale shopping mall. It extends through three decks in height with shops, restaurants and bars. This is also where you will find the first ever Starbucks at sea and keep an eye out for a flash mob! (Not kidding!)
Continuing past the aft elevators to the back of the ship is the Boardwalk, featuring a full sized Carousel, Johnny Rockets, Ritarsquo's Cantina, a hot dog shop, donut shop, candy store among other clothing, and photo shops. Very Coney Islandish with clown visits and an animal balloon-making artist. At the aft of the ship the boardwalk ends at the water amphitheater. The Aqua Theater offers a spectacular performance of diving, fountains, and music. This show I actually saw twice LOVED it!
On Deck 8 is Central Park with live foliage, crickets chirping and birds singing, beautifully landscaped areas with winding walkways, restaurants, with outdoor seating and designer shops--and open to the sky some seven decks above.
The production of Chicago is very good and every bit as good as what you would see on Broadway. I think some of the audience didn't understand what the show was about as there were small children in the audience, though their numbers shrank as the show went on.
We enjoyed the "Blue Planet" this is similar to a Cirque show. It had the gymnastics and aerial work, but the songs and music were a more trendy collection that included music by the Black Eyed Peas.
The best techy thing on the ship I thought were the large touch screens throughout the ship. They look like large IPADS! They will help you navigate its 16 passenger decks and even tell you how full the restaurants are. If you want the info within reach you can opt for the WOW phone, which is an Iphone stripped of its outside calling abilities. The phones are loaded with deck plans a cruise compass and even a tracking device for locating your little one! The phone rate is $17.50 per phone for the week.
You may wonder if there is a quiet spot anywhere? No worries, there is! The glass covered solarium (16 and over). It has lots of space, cushioned chaises even a bistro and bar.
With all these options you may ask what additional stuff am I paying for? Well it is what it is and there is plenty you can pay for if you choose but all of these options are included mini golf, two rock climbing walls, the Carousel, an ice skating rink, two surfing pools, full size basketball and volleyball court in one that is surrounded by a wall of glass to keep the balls in the court. There are several Ping-Pong tables on the ship as well and a zip line.
My best tip would be to make sure to book all of your entertainment well in advance. They do book up quickly although I found in most cases you can stand by for them.
In closing it was an awesome cruise on an unbelievable ship. There are simply no other ships in the mass-market that can equal the experience that the ALLURE can offer. This ship is pricier than most of the competition (excluding Disney) but in my opinion well worth the extra cost. The experience has quality written all over it. A job well done Royal Caribbean!
Recommends Allure of the Seas? Yes!
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