Posted March 29th, 2011, 02:07 AM
Last edited by QTMichele; March 29th, 2011 at 02:08 AM
Sunday, March 20, 2011
The first view of the Allure was limited, but quite impressive regardless. I couldn't wait to get on that ship!
The shuttle dropped us off at 11:26AM. We dropped our bags off with the porters and proceeded into Terminal 18. Through security, check in, and across the gangway we went. Time? 11:36AM - TEN MINUTES FLAT! WOW!!!!! Such a great experience from the friendly staff to the efficient use of my time.
We entered the Royal Promenade. This was such a familiar start to our cruise. It wouldn't be long before the famliar became new. And new again. And again. There are just so many extras that RCI has put in place on the Allure. Funny how this ship could feel so familiar and strange at the same time - in a very good way.
We started a mini-tour as we made our way to Central Park for lunch, but didn't get far. Instead, we took an elevator (what?! I thought we were taking the stairs this week in the interest of keeping our weight down?! Oh well, we're on vacation!) to the Windjammer. Our bellies were calling and the tour would wait until after lunch.
The elevator floor thoughtfully reminding us of the day of the week. It was very nice for the first day or two, then it was just plain rude by the end of the week.
My first meal on the Allure of the Seas
I've gotta tell you that my goal was to eat somewhat healthy (I caved by mid-week). If I would've known how good that apple pie-like dessert tasted, I would've caved on the first day. OMG - it was so good!!! I'm really not used to RCI making good desserts! The rest of my meal was decent too. No complaints from me, but, if you've read my other reviews, you'll know I hate to cook and rarely complain about food when others prepare it for me. Even buffet food.
A few notes about the Windjammer. The layout is different - there are two entrances, one on the port side and one on the starboard side. Both entrances lead straight to the buffet (mirror images of each other). We found seating along the sides and the back of the WJ. Although it feels smaller than on the Voyager and Freedom classes, we never had a problem finding a seat for the two of us. Personally, I like the setup better on the other ships - it just felt smaller and more cramped on the Allure. Not a big issue, just my observation.
As for selection, I was not impressed. Sure, there is plenty to choose from, but I think they've narrowed down the options, perhaps because there are so many other places to eat? Regardless, I expected just a little more from the Windjammer. The food was always warm and tasted at least good enough, but I wish there were just a few more options on the buffet. One example, there was syrup and butter next to the pancakes and waffles. I was looking forward to strawberries and whipped cream on my carb-induced-coma breakfast food - something I never eat at home, but they were no where to be found until later in the week. Maybe I just got there too late?
Another thought about the WJ, there were always plenty of staff walking around to clear the tables; however, they were not as helpful as the staff on the Freedom. The Freedom staff bent over backwards to get me a refill, give me a straw, etc. to the point of ad naseum. It was amazing service, and so unexpected, but very appreciated, from a buffet. This was not the case on the Allure. It was a pleasant environment with good service, just different than Freedom. Oh, and no table clothes for dinner.