Allure of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Second Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5

What’s Alluring About the World’s Largest Cruise Ship

Sail Date: May 25, 2014

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

What’s the allure of the world’s largest ship? In a word, entertainment. Of the four cruise lines I’ve sailed with, no one does it better than Royal Caribbean.


The fare served up on the stages of Allure of the Seas is a refreshing departure from the usual shipboard shows and are worth the effort of scheduling your trip around them.


Allure’s full production of the musical “Chicago” was great fun, and the voices were strong and clear. How neat is that—a Broadway-quality show for free! And if you get to the theater super early, you can even get the best seats in the house.


Then there was “Ocean Aria,” a diving and acrobatic show that’s so compelling you won’t want to take your eyes away for a second. Adonis-like acrobat brothers wrap their bodies around each other in poses where you can’t tell where one body ends and the other begins. Divers from 90 ft. high fly into the air and amazingly, land gracefully and securely into the Allure’s tiny theater pool.


Inside the ship, on the ice rink, professional skaters—one a veteran of “Disney on Ice”—twirl, jump, spin and lift, while on a moving vessel, no less. The “Monopoly” theme lent itself well to playful and colorful sets and costumes.


The singers from “Chicago” re-emerged in “Blue Planet,” which had everything thrown in—acrobatics, singing and dancing—all in a celebration of nature. I won’t give it all away, but it included a trampoline, large rings and a human tree.


This comes on top of onboard surfing, ice skating, zip-lining, rock climbing and miniature golf. And then there are the three “neighborhoods;” their personalities ebbing and flowing by the hour. There’s the Promenade, the hub of the ship and venue for parades, dance classes and the best people-watching; Boardwalk, where you can ride a full-size carousel over and over again for free or eat foot-high pink cotton candy for a cost; and Central Park, an oasis of real foliage and fake bird sounds.


Exciting, yes. But it does steal the show from the real leading lady—the mysterious, fascinating and ever-changing sea.


Not as Alluring

The Allure’s weak spot is the food. Some dinner dishes in the Main Dining Room were good (memorable was the shrimp on Italian-theme night), others were disappointing (Chicken Marsala was rendered as fried chicken with a nearly invisible sauce).


But what we noticed—and missed—was the absence of beef choices, particularly compared to competing cruise lines.


We found that among the free dining options, the Windjammer buffet was often the best choice. Not only did it have a wider variety (shrimp crackers, anyone?), but some standout spicy Asian choices. It was a nice break from the usually bland and unimaginative dining room dishes.


Aside from the food, the other area where the ship doesn’t compare well to, say, the Caribbean Princess, is the staterooms. While okay on size, the Allure’s cabins offered less in the way of storage space. The closets are tight and night tables have open slots, which make them minimally useful.


Another downside is that the balcony chairs don’t recline, which makes seaside napping a challenge (but nothing that a glass of wine can’t cure!).


The Bottom Line

But, hey, you can’t be good at everything.


This may seem heretical, given all that the Allure and Oasis have going for them, but Musing wouldn’t recommend these ships for first-time cruisers. Because you’ll be permanently spoiled, and forever searching for the carousel and ice skating rink on every other ship.


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Cruise Photos

Ship Quality
All you could ask for and more. This is where the ship really shines, with innovative activities and neighborhoods.
Food and Dining
Typical mainstream cruise food. Some standouts here and there--Asian food in Windjammer, pumpkin seed rolls at dinner, some desserts, salad bar at lunch in the MDR.
Cabin / Stateroom
Overall size is fine, but deficient in storage space. And porch furniture was substandard with chairs that don't recline.
Service and Staff
Friendliness and helpfulness abounded--from stateroom attendant through customer relations. We did have one problem, though, we had asked for a table for two at dinner and it took them two days and my nagging for them to finally deliver.
The best of the mainstream cruise lines. Broadway-quality and innovative shows. Great for all ages.
Children's Programs N/A no children, so can't comment
Onboard Activities
Great for the active set. This was our second Allure trip and the first time they actually had a lecture. It was on forensics and interesting. It's hard to imagine a ship of this size running out of space, but they had the lecture in one of the bars, so we strained to hear in between the blender running.
Destinations and Excursions
I imagine the ship's size is the reason it docks at Crown Bay in St. Thomas, but that's always a disappointment. Havensight is so much better.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
N/A We live in Florida, so we drive to the port, pick up the ship and drive home. We don't even spend the night before here anymore, preferring to avoid the traffic and high expense by staying in a nearby town.
Nassau, Bahamas
A colorful and interesting port. We just walk around and take photos of the signs, flowers and people-watch.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
We've enjoyed going up the long staircase to the pirate's castle and taking photos of the sweeping views of the harbor, as well as the old synagogue.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
A great port that has everything--beach right at the pier, once you tender to town, affordable and interesting shopping, casinos and myriad water sports.


Make reservations for the shows online before the trip. The standby lines were quite lengthy. Also, see the DVD of "Chicago" at home before seeing the production on the ship. It will help you with the story line and familiarize you with the music, which is quite good.

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