Allure of the Seas 6/3/12 - a picture review

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#1
Arlington, VA
527 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Hello everyone! I just got back from the Allure on Sunday and had an amazing time. Having spent so many hours researching the ship before hand on cruise critic, I became inspired (primarily by this review by LittleMissMagic) to write my own review from the perspective of a 26 year old. I also utilized reviews such as the following extensively in my planning: BrianAlt, DarthGrady, obsessedsc, PhoenixDawgCruising, BillOh, two by QTMichele, and Radio.

I have decided to write this review in a slightly different manner though as I'm not one to want to spend too much time during the trip recording everything I did that day. As such I'll break my review up into separate sections focusing on different aspects of the cruise, for example: planning, arrival, ports, food/restaurants (tons of food porn pics to follow), activities, entertainment, departure, etc.

So bear with me as I attempt to complete this review, which is my first one to be posted in the forums. Hope you all enjoy!

Up next: Cruise planning
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Navigator of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean (7/2004)
Enchantment of the Seas - Bermuda (8/2011)
Allure of the Seas - Western Caribbean (6/2012) Picture Review
#2
Boston Area
7,906 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Yeah! Pictures...cant wait!
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AZ Journey (Panama Canal) Photo Review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...7#post49290717
Adventure (S Caribbean) Photo Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2207747
AMAPrima (Danube to Black Sea) Photo Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...1#post44488254
Enchantment (Bahamas) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2002049
Jewel (S.Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1951547
Allure (E.Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1834584
Paul Gauguin (French Polynesia) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1729992
Galapagos Explorer 2 (Ecuador)photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1702506
Jewel (W. Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1582079
Oasis (E. Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1539995
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#4
Arlington, VA
527 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Since I forgot to add a little background about myself above, I am 26 years old from the DC area and am an accountant. So by nature I am very detail oriented and most definitely a planner. Continuing on with the review...My apologies for the lack of pictures and TONS of words in this post...I promise more of the former and less of the latter (I'll try on that one) in subsequent posts. Also ask any questions along the way and I'll be sure to answer them.

I don't know why but I've always been fascinated by cruises, well at least for the last 5-10 years. My first cruise ever was after graduating high school in 2004 and was on the Navigator of the Seas with my family, my first cousin's family, and grandmother. I had a great time on that cruise (we all did) but surprisingly that was the only cruise I would take until deciding to go on one with my girlfriend just this past August which was on the Enchantment of the Seas. Ever since I heard about the Oasis class of ships being built back when I was a college student, I've been amazed at the design and feature and knew that I wanted to cruise on one at some point in my life.

Anyway, my girlfriend Lindsay (see picture of us below from our Enchantment cruise last year) and I began to discuss vacation options for 2012 back in the fall of 2011. A cruise was definitely a consideration but I hadn't thought too much about the Oasis/Allure. I can't remember when it first occurred for me to consider those ships, but it probably had something to do with reading the above mentioned reviews. We eventually settled on the Allure of the Seas on June 3rd as it would be a few weeks after she graduated from grad school with a masters degree in speech language pathology. A sort of celebratory graduation cruise if you will.



I booked the cruise in the final days of December 2011 after getting a deal from an online travel agent for the particular sailing of $275 in OBC. Having experienced a balcony on my first cruise and an interior cabin on the Enchantment, I knew that I'd be perfectly content with an interior, especially on the Oasis class which had so much to do that I couldn't foresee spending too much time in my cabin. A few months after booking the cruise however I started getting the urge to upgrade if the prices dropped and started to see that the cruise wasn't selling too well. I began to religiously track the number of available cabins once a day which took about 5 minutes each day and monitoring the prices around final payment time.

Keep in mind throughout this time I was planning excursions, show reservations, and specialty dining...I will touch on that during my review for those areas of the cruise

Sometime in February I had a slight hiccup with the whole process. I had booked our flights on JetBlue through Chase Ultimate Rewards program using credit card points in early January. I had thought that the time of the flight said it departed from Washington Dulles at 7:55AM and arrived at about 10:30AM in FLL. I also must have ignored that on my confirmation email. In February I received a phone call from JetBlue advising me to call about a change in my flight's schedule. Upon logging into the website I saw that the flight time was now leaving at 1PM or so and arriving at 4PM in FLL. I freaked out and then was even more perplexed upon seeing that the flight was initially supposed to be after I needed to arrive in FLL!! Well I called JetBlue and the wonderful customer service agent was able to change my flight to whenever I wanted at no charge (the fare had risen slightly since I booked for the 8AM flight) since the flight changed by several hours. Phewwww thankfully crisis #1 averted. More on crisis #2 in a future post!

In late March after final payment prices dropped new guarantees opened. An oceanview guarantee (category Y) was the same cost that I paid, but I hesitated due to not wanting to receive a category I which is exclusively on deck 3. Then a few weeks later category XN and X opened up at $100 more total and $225 more total than I paid for my interior. Additionally category Y dropped in price so that it was actually $200 cheaper total than I paid. I knew I wouldn't get a refund or OBC but at that point decided to roll the dice with the oceanview guarantee and hope prices dropped a bit more on the category X and XN.

Anyway I called my TA to upgrade to the category Y and was astonished when she came back and said that I'd be receiving $200 back as a refund since the price was less (but that I'd get $100 less in OBC). I later learned from my actual TA rep that I got a refund because the TA had booked through a group rate. Never heard of getting money back after final payment but I was happy. (Has anyone else heard of this??) Well this caused the dilemma of now having to upgrade to a balcony and paying significantly more so I kept watching for the price drops. I was assigned a category I oceanview on deck 3 which I wasn't too excited by but figured I'd hardly be in the stateroom anyway.

I later learned upon seeing my credit card statement that I actually received closer to $400 as a refund (don't know why but guessing again due to the group rate). So at that point I pretty much gave up hope of upgrading as it'd easily cost close to $600+. Well sure enough prices on those two balcony guarantees never dropped below what they were at first and so I couldn't justify upgrading from my reduced fare. About five days before my sail date I logged in and noticed that I was upgraded to an oceanview balcony (category D5). I was very excited. An oceanview balcony in June on the Allure for a hair under $2,000?!? It was certainly my lucky cruise (unfortunately this didn't carry over to the casino)! I began to pack and get last minute things in the final few days and we were all set to go.

Up next: Flight to FLL, embarkation, and first impressions of the ship.
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Navigator of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean (7/2004)
Enchantment of the Seas - Bermuda (8/2011)
Allure of the Seas - Western Caribbean (6/2012) Picture Review
#6
Arlington, VA
527 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
It was Saturday night before the cruise when I was at my girlfriend's place for dinner and going to take her back to my parents house which is closer to the airport than my house. So we were going to stay the night there. Prior to leaving her house she grabbed her passport when it dawned on me that I had forgotten mine at my house. By that point it was 11:30PM so I had to drive to my house and then to my parents. We didn't get to sleep until about 2AM and had to be up at 5:45AM for the taxi which was to arrive at 6:15 for our 8:15AM flight. Needless to say we were exhausted when we took this picture on the plane.



The flight was uneventful and unfortunately we couldn't really get any sleep. We arrived in FLL at about 11:00 and could see the massive Allure docked as we prepared for landing.


We got our bags fairly quickly and were at the taxi stand when we saw another couple who asked if we were going to the Allure and if we wanted to share a cab. It was about a $15 fare that we split $20 with tip. We were at the pier in less than 15 minutes by about noon and I certainly couldn't contain my excitement!

I was really impressed by the terminal and at how efficient everything was, from the porters taking luggage to the checkin area. I loved the fact that each floor had its own checkin line and that there was even a gold C&A line. We waited in line for only a few minutes and were on the ship with no line at all by 12:15.

We did the usual quick walk around the main parts of the ship, the Royal Promenade, Boardwalk, and Central Park where we went to get the highly regarded lunch of roast beef sandwiches. It was moderately crowded by the time we got there and at that point it was almost 1PM so we waited around for the rooms to be open and dropped our carry on stuff in the room and then went to get lunch.


I got a salad and the famous roast beef sandwich which as everyone says is fantastic. I'm not a huge roast beef fan either! My girlfriend doesn't like to eat much beef so she stuck with a salad and some panini.




I also made the two specialty restaurant reservations during this time as we did the Dining Package which consisted of Chops, 150 Central Park, and Giovanni's. I'll cover this more in the post(s) about the food.

I love that all of the ships have the day in the elevator...just wish it wasn't a constant reminder of one day closer to leaving!
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Navigator of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean (7/2004)
Enchantment of the Seas - Bermuda (8/2011)
Allure of the Seas - Western Caribbean (6/2012) Picture Review
#7
Arlington, VA
527 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
I decided that I wanted to not live out of a suitcase this cruise and actually use all of the shelves. This was a great decision as I put our suitcases out of sight and it made it much easier. So that took up a good bit of time during the afternoon. I'll discuss our stateroom in the next post.

The pool deck that first day was pretty much empty, which was surprising considering it was nearly 90 degrees.


I was impressed by this man cleaning the windows from the outside. I give him credit as I'd be too chicken to be that high up in such a little box:


There were already some people doing the FlowRider...it was my first time seeing them in action and I will say they are pretty neat.


I loved that they had so many telescopes throughout the decks of the ship...here's Lindsay checking out the huge houses near the port:


After the muster drill we made our way to one of the secret decks on deck 11 aft. They were empty and were pretty much always that way. The Dreamworks sailaway party was not too exciting so we went to the sundeck on 14 for sailaway with our drinks in hand.




All in all my first impressions certainly lived up to my expectations of this huge ship. It was amazing to finally see all of the neighborhoods in person and I finally realized "there really is going to be too much to do everything on this cruise." The embarkation process was amazing, the best of my three cruises so far. We received our luggage fairly quickly too. Contrary to others, I didn't find the ship to be too crowded that first day.

Dinner that night was at Giovanni's which I'll cover when discussing the specialty restaurants.

Up next: Our stateroom and attendant followed by meet and mingle/cabin crawl and making new friends!
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Navigator of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean (7/2004)
Enchantment of the Seas - Bermuda (8/2011)
Allure of the Seas - Western Caribbean (6/2012) Picture Review
#8
Orlando, FL
307 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Off to a great start Jeremy! I'm interested in what you have to say in your upcoming posts! I had thought about writing a review, but I'm way too lazy so I will relive our fun through you! Keep it coming!
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Norwegian -
07/2015 - Getaway *1st cruise with our son*
Royal Caribbean -
07/2016 - Adventure of the Seas *5 Year Anniversary & 30th Birthday Cruise*
06/2013 - Oasis of the Seas
06/2012 - Allure of the Seas *Anniversary Cruise*
06/2011 - Mariner of the Seas *Honeymoon Cruise*
03/2010 - Grandeur of the Seas *Engagement Cruise*
03/2009 - Liberty of the Seas
03/2005 - Sovereign of the Seas
Carnival -
05/2008 - Sensation *Graduation Cruise*
12/2006 - Inspiration
Big Red Boat (1x) - ?!?!?
#9
Boston Area
7,906 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Great start!! Can't wait to see more of Allure! Love the difference between your tired Jet Blue photo and your happy relaxed ( Witt drinks in hand) sail away photo! Amazing what stepping on board can do, those two pics sum it all up!
#10
Greensboro, North Carolina
1,671 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Loving your review!!!
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Navigator – 7/2003 & 12/2010
Mariner – 9/2004 & 9/2007
Liberty – 9/2008
Freedom – 11/2008 & 9/2009 & 12/2011 & 9/2013 & 4/2014 & 9/2016 & 12/18/16
Oasis – 9/2010
Monarch – 12/2010
Allure - 9/2012 & 11/29/15
Independence - B2B 12/2012 & 12/2014
Legend - 12/2013
Jewel - 9/2014
#12
St. Charles Missouri
6,890 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
great start
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Navigator of the Seas Sept 7, 2014, Independence of the Seas Mar 29, 2014, Allure of the Seas Nov 17 2013, Oasis of the Seas May 25 2013, Liberty of the Seas Nov 25 2012, Liberty of the Seas Nov 29 2012, Liberty of the Seas March 2012, Carnival Freedom Sept 2011, Majesty of the Seas Jan 2011, Mariner of the Seas May 2010, Carnival Fantasy September 2009, Majesty of the Seas March 2009, Freedom of the seas May 2008, Carnival Triumph July 2007, Majesty of the seas July 2006, Explorer of the Seas May 2005, Carnival Destiny April 2002, Sovereign of the seas July 2001, Monarch of the seas January 1999, Sovereign of the seas Feb 1998, Viking Serenade April 1997, Big Red Boat June 1996, Song of America October 1995
R
#15
Toronto
3,667 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Nice review and you and your girlfriend look great together!

I'm counting down my own Allure cruise so this will definitely help. Please keep the pictures coming!
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Previous Cruises

Sept 2016 - 10 Night Greek and Adriatic Cruise (5th solo cruise - RCCL Rhapsody)
Sept 2015 - 7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise (RCCL Adventure)
Mar 2014 - 8 Night Bahamas Cruise (4th solo cruise - RCCL Explorer)
Sept 2013 - 7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise (3rd solo cruise - RCCL Jewel)
April 2013 - 4 Night Bahamas Cruise (RCCL Enchantment)
Sept 2012 - 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise (RCCL Allure)
Jan 2012 - 9 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise (2nd solo cruise - RCCL Explorer)
May 2011 - 4 Night Bahamas Cruise (NCL Sky)
Sept 2010 - 4 Night Bahamas Cruise (1st solo cruise - RCCL Majesty)
Sept 2009 - 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise (RCCL Liberty)
#16
Vintages
417 Posts
Joined May 2009
We're looking forward to your review. We are from Alexandria and sailed on Allure in November of 2011. Contemplating another Allure cruise this November but on an Eastern itinerary.
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Allure of the Seas - March 2017 LIVE REVIEW | NCL Getaway - January 2016 - REVIEW
Independence of the SeasJanuary 2015 - REVIEW| Freedom of the Seas - November 2012
Allure of the Seas - November 2011 | Radiance of the Seas - November 2009
Enchantment of the Seas - June 2001| Regal Empress - August 1998
#17
Gilbert, AZ
5,951 Posts
Joined May 2001
Gotta say that every time I saw you two you both always had a smile on your face. BTW the picture I took of ya all in the water at Barefoot didn't come out because I had it on Panoramic taking pictures of Nellie's Sorry about that.

BonVoyage
Dawna
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Up Next....
9/30/2017 - Carnival Miracle (9B 8237)
1/14/2018 - Oasis of the Seas (C2 10643)

Already Enjoyed..and now enjoying Diamond Plus Status!!
Adventure of the Seas 12/3/16 (D1 1388) Carnival Miracle 9/24/16 (8M 6333) Allure of the Seas 1/3/16 (D8 7676)
Independence of the Seas 5/24/15 (E3 6304 & Ben & Jerry's Sweet Suite PR 6305) Freedom of the Seas 10/26/14 (PR 6613)
Liberty of the Seas 2/1/14 (E1 7408) Corner aft, Yea! Freedom of the Seas 12/8/13 (PR 6577) Mariner of the Seas 2/24/13 (E2 6320)
Monarch of the Seas 9/28/12 (Royal Family Suite 1549) "Girls Only" Cruise
Allure of the Seas 6/3/12 (JS 6640) Monarch of the Seas 10/14/11 "Girls Only" Cruise (SOV-9032)
Liberty of the Seas 3/19/11(Ben & Jerry's Sweet Suite PR 6305 & E1 6304)
Monarch of the Seas 10/15/10 "Girls Only" (JS-1548) Radiance of the Seas 7/2/10 Alaska Cruisetour #2 (Hump GS 1556)
Monarch of the Seas 10/9/09 "Girls Only" (JS 1546) Mariner of the Seas 3/22/09 (PR 6289 & E2 6288) Mexican Riviera!
Monarch of the Seas 10/10/08 "Girls Only" Final LA 3 Night Cruise (JS-1542) Monarch of the Seas 2/22/08 (GS-1532)
Liberty of the Seas 12/15/07 (E1-7648) Enchantment of the Seas 2/22/07 (JS-7666 -Corner Aft) -
Freedom of the Seas 9/24/06 ** Crazed Cruisers (JS-9594) Monarch of the Seas 3/10/06 (JS-1054)
Majesty Of the Seas 2/25/05 (JS-1058 2nd time!!) Radiance of the Seas 3/21/04 (E1-8088, Favorite Balcony)
Majesty of the Seas 9/2/02 (JS-1058) Voyager of the Seas 2/3/02 (JS-9270)
Grand Princess 3/19/00 (Aft Vista Suite D736, Oh My, I am Officially Addicted!!!!)
#18
Paralowie, South Australia
2,384 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
PICTURE REVIEWS ARE BETTER THAN PORN!

And this one is amazing, MOOOOOORE please
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Rick
___________________________________



P&O Pacific Eden 3 night Easter cruise to nowhere! - 03/2016 Fifth Cruise Ever!

RCCL Explorer of the Seas 11 Night New Zealand - 02/2016 Fourth Cruise Ever!

Carnival Spirit 10 Night South Pacific - 04/2014 Third Cruise Ever!

RCCL Allure of the Seas 7 Night Eastern Caribbean - 04/2013 Second Cruise Ever!

NCL Epic 11 Night TransAtlantic - 05/2011 First Cruise Ever!
#19
Orange County, Calif
22,010 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Great review and wonderful pictures so far. Glad you had a good cruise. Can't wait for more of your review and pictures.
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Melodie

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#20
Fairfield, Ohio
6,935 Posts
Joined May 2007
Keep it coming. Can't get enough pictures of this ship.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh3_ZVpaFPw&sns=em

Port Canaveral Web Cam
http://www.portcanaveralwebcam.com/

http://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/

Allure web cam

http://www.royalcaribbean.com/multim...oyal+Promenade





Al
Plus Lifetime goal to sleep a year on the seas. Have enjoyed 355 evenings still have 10 nights to go. The second leg of my B2B on Oasis will do it.
A trip of a thousand miles begins with a deposit!