Jump to content
QTMichele

Not so "LIVE" Allure of the Seas Review with PIX!

Recommended Posts

I love reading the LIVE reviews, especially the ones with pictures, but I just can't manage to take the time during my cruise. So, I'm going to pretend and post a "LIVE" review of my Allure cruise from last week (March 20, 2011 - March 27, 2011). I'll be posting tons of pictures too! :D And, if you hang in there for the long-haul, I'll be posting a final summary and will answer your questions. Thanks in advance for reading!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the beginning...

 

A few years ago, 2007 to be exact, my husband gave me a cruise on the Mariner of the Seas for my birthday. I fell in LOVE and became obsessed. That obsession led me to the Royal Caribbean VISA card... I use it for EVERYTHING I can!!! Last year it paid off and we earned a free cruise for 2. YIPEE! I booked this cruise with points for my DH and me during the WOW sale which added $100 OBC, then upgraded to a D8 balcony stateroom (#8560). After gratuities, upgrades and taxes/port fees, our cruise was definitely not free, but a great bargain, especially for the Allure. Thank you Royal and Bank of America - I continue to use your card and have earned almost 1/2 the points I need for another "FREE" cruise. :D

 

Back to the "Present"...

 

PRE-Cruise

 

I am currently 37 and DH is 38 - we're high school sweethearts. AW! ;) We left our three kids at home this trip - the girls had school and we needed some reconnecting time.

 

On the Friday before the Sunday departure, we flew into Orlando, picked-up our rental car (convertible - how fun!), then drove to DH's brother's home. After two days of visiting (and constantly thinking about my upcoming cruise on ALLURE!), we made our way to the West Palm Beach area to visit my grandmother.

 

190088_10150210042146164_502681163_9051230_6560912_n.jpg

 

We went to the beach to see the moon rise. Just beautiful - so much prettier than a grainy picture suggests.

 

199604_10150210349821164_502681163_9055373_8195931_n.jpg

 

After a great visit with family, we made it to Sunday. It's CRUZIN time!!!

 

We dropped off the rental car at the Ft. Lauderdale airport, then took the shuttle to the port (free from the rental agency). OMG - the Allure of the Seas is HUGE! Even after MONTHS (YEARS!) of reading about the Oasis Class, I was not quite prepared for the size of this lady. Just incredible.

 

199398_10150218999461164_502681163_9144633_6864264_n.jpg

 

196966_10150218999536164_502681163_9144634_6022414_n.jpg

 

 

Up Next: BOARDING!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love reading the LIVE reviews, especially the ones with pictures, but I just can't manage to take the time during my cruise. So, I'm going to pretend and post a "LIVE" review of my Allure cruise from last week (March 20, 2011 - March 27, 2011). I'll be posting tons of pictures too! :D And, if you hang in there for the long-haul, I'll be posting a final summary and will answer your questions. Thanks in advance for reading!

 

I'm so proud of you! ;)

 

Looking forward to it....we're doing a B2B this summer! Can't wait to hear what you thought of Chicago and the Samba Grill!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Carol! I'm so exhausted right now that I'm having second thoughts. ;) I forgot how much "work" it is to post pictures. <<Sigh>> But, someone's gotta do it, and it may as well be me. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

196865_10150219003061164_502681163_9144685_483409_n.jpg

 

My first meal on the Allure of the Seas

199924_10150218999951164_502681163_9144640_763823_n.jpg

 

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.

Edited by QTMichele

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bring on the "almost LIVE"!!! It makes waiting 11 months a little more bearable.

 

Thanks for taking the time to post this Michele!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay! Another picture review!!! I'm going on Allure in September and cant wait! I would love some info on the pre-paid resturants and the included ones. We have never paid for speciality dining and not sure we want to on this cruise either but we are not entirely sure what is included and what isnt.

 

Oh and i found when doing my picture review it was easier to upload to facebook and then in to CC ;)

 

Carly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michele,

 

Thanks for taking the time to write your review. Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts.

 

I'm with you as far as live reviews go. I have no idea where people (like Barbi from Australia) find the time during their jam-packed week to post live reviews. Love both versions, though, so keep those posts and pictures coming! Helps me with my post-cruise withdrawal, which sadly is already into its 3rd week. :(

 

Did you meet Barbi during your time on Allure?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good morning! I'm going to attempt to post some more comments and pictures before I go to the Y this morning. :) I've gotta work off my fat stores. :eek:

 

Yay! Another picture review!!! I'm going on Allure in September and cant wait! I would love some info on the pre-paid resturants and the included ones. We have never paid for speciality dining and not sure we want to on this cruise either but we are not entirely sure what is included and what isnt.

 

Oh and i found when doing my picture review it was easier to upload to facebook and then in to CC ;)

 

Carly

 

Hi, Carly. Hang around and you can read about our dining experiences - paid and free. For now, here's a link that lists all the dining on the Oasis Class ships: http://www.creative.rccl.com/Sales/Royal/General_Info/Flyers/10020614_Allure_Specialty_Restaurant_Flyer.pdf

 

I use FB for my pictures. :)

 

Michele,

 

Did you meet Barbi during your time on Allure?

 

No, we didn't meet. :( There's just so much to see and do that our paths didn't cross this time.

 

Okay, time for me to get busy posting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday, March 20, 2011 (continued)

 

After lunch, we tried to explore the ship a little more. I was anxious to see it all, but, for whatever reason, our exploration was a bust. We went to our stateroom instead. To our surprise, our luggage had arrived by 1:30! I have OCD tendencies and just had to unpack.

 

Our stateroom is 8560 - bed close to the balcony.

199501_10150219087366164_502681163_9145655_3555956_n.jpg

 

Our stateroom, view from the door to the balcony.

200183_10150219039151164_502681163_9145110_53287_n.jpg

 

 

Storage Area

198071_10150219038011164_502681163_9145074_5741106_n.jpg

 

View from our balcony towards the door.

197105_10150219038161164_502681163_9145077_4934090_n.jpg

 

Overall, our stateroom was great. It was smaller than our first balcony on the Mariner (we had a hump stateroom on Mariner, which offered space between the curtain and the balcony doors), but was quite comfortable. I felt the closet space was ample, and the shelving in the closet was good. (BEWARE: The safe was TINY! It held our wallets, passports and phones with little room to spare.) There were only 3 drawers, one of which was shallow and held a hairdryer. Cabinet space next to the mirror and below the desk was fine - good enough to hold toiletries and such. The nightstands were fine, but would be much better with drawers.

 

Our balcony was very roomy, and a great spot to read and relax throughout the day and evening. I loved the larger and higher table too. Great job, Royal!

 

Our Bathroom

196344_10150219004761164_502681163_9144710_1806588_n.jpg

 

Bathroom storage consisted of a few shelves large enough to hold toiletries. There were also two longer shelves under the sink counter. Although the bathroom was smaller than on other ships, it felt comfortable. The shower was roomy enough, and the shave bar was a nice addition. Overall, a good use of space. For ONE.

 

We met our stateroom attendant Joel - such a friendly, efficient man! He was GREAT and worth his tips and more. He called us by name every time we saw him, and always inquired on our well being. He even filled up Jason's cooler without being asked. He was attentive to every detail. THANKS, Joel! (rhymes with Noel)

 

A few thoughts about our cabin location... in one word: EXCELLENT! We booked a D8, forward, starboard side cabin near the elevators/stairs. The proximity to the stairs was great - so convenient. We were on deck 8 so we had almost immediate access to Central Park. WOW! It was wonderful to go from our cabin to Central Park and all its treasures (food, beverages, comfy seating, etc.). I would highly recommend this location!

Edited by QTMichele

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention, bathrobes were provided in our stateroom. I'm not sure if they were in all staterooms, but they were in ours. (We're Gold members, so not a perk that I'm aware of.)

 

After I unpacked, Jason took a cat nap while I explored the ship.

 

I found the sundeck above the bridge wings - great place for views!

 

198595_10150219005741164_502681163_9144722_5771302_n.jpg

 

Looking up towards the Solarium

196544_10150219005841164_502681163_9144723_2554452_n.jpg

 

200755_10150219005946164_502681163_9144725_6837760_n.jpg

 

This is where we spent our time during Sail Away - great views! We had plenty of company, but it wasn't crowded. "How did they get there?!" was the appropriate look from those looking down on us from the Solarium.

 

A few more pictures from my first few hours of exploring...

 

Our first drinks of the cruise. First of many. Too many. LARGE Sea Pass bill for us!

199696_10150219000551164_502681163_9144648_921946_n.jpg

 

The Beach Pool - my favorite!

196324_10150219000696164_502681163_9144650_7979772_n.jpg

 

View into the Solarium. Another favorite spot.

196590_10150219000971164_502681163_9144653_3228472_n.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Solarium

188569_10150219001131164_502681163_9144657_6786004_n.jpg

 

View at the start of SailAway

200459_10150219001241164_502681163_9144660_5450865_n.jpg

 

Dinner tonight was at Izumi. We pre-booked this for $10 per person which was to be applied towards the cost of our meal. However, upon arrival, we were told that the cost if now $5 per person plus the price of the food (al a carte). I had no problem paying the dining fee, but Royal really needs to do a better job at communicating this change or honoring their initial prices. Take note.

 

Dinner at Izumi

188792_10150219000236164_502681163_9144644_7839569_n.jpg

 

200344_10150219000161164_502681163_9144642_2300952_n.jpg

 

190768_10150219001381164_502681163_9144661_7490563_n.jpg

 

196619_10150219001451164_502681163_9144663_2269307_n.jpg

 

We enjoyed a few sushi rolls, but the Premium Izumi Izumi Package. Overall a nice experience, but I thought the hot rock was a try it once kind of experience. (We just prefer sushi over the hot rock novelty.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like from the picture of the bathroom that there were toiletries provided. If so, can you please tell me what they were? I have heard mixed responses to what is included. This is our first trip in a non-suite in a while, so I didn't think any were provided. Thanks very much.

Edited by kellyco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We found the video post card booth in On Air. We sent one to our family and friends via facebook. This is what it looked like:

 

199703_10150214224651164_502681163_9100265_5736089_n.jpg

200540_10150219062921164_502681163_9145454_4723408_n.jpg

 

196463_10150219063161164_502681163_9145456_4737579_n.jpg

 

189641_10150219063276164_502681163_9145458_7692674_n.jpg

 

197373_10150219063321164_502681163_9145459_6335547_n.jpg

 

 

After dinner, I went to Chicago. I was a little apprehensive about this as I'm not a huge Chicago fan; however, it was a great show. At 90 minutes, it's long enough to tell the story, but short enough for those of us (me) who were exhausted.

 

189447_10150219020861164_502681163_9144816_3552836_n.jpg

 

The Amber Theater was about 3/4 full by the time I arrived, approximately 25 minutes before the show. A certain reminder that getting to the shows early was the right thing to do!

Edited by QTMichele

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another "live" review!!! Thank you for taking the time to allow us to "sail away with you".

 

I am enjoying your story and beautiful pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It looks like from the picture of the bathroom that there were toiletries provided. If so, can you please tell me what they were? I have heard mixed responses to what is included. This is our first trip in a non-suite in a while, so I didn't think any were provided. Thanks very much.

 

Yes, we had toiletries. They included lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and.... um... a 4th bottle of something that I just cannot remember! We didn't use them, and I thought I'd bring them home for my girls to use (they get a kick out of the small bottles), but we left them there (no room in the suitcase!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! I'm wondering what car rental company you chose. I'm looking to rent a car to go around the day before the cruise. I'd like to return it to the airport the day of the crusie and get that free shuttle you mentioned. Do all the car rental companies have this? Did it leave early enough/frequently?

 

Thanks. I'm enjoying reading your review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi! I'm wondering what car rental company you chose. I'm looking to rent a car to go around the day before the cruise. I'd like to return it to the airport the day of the crusie and get that free shuttle you mentioned. Do all the car rental companies have this? Did it leave early enough/frequently?

 

Thanks. I'm enjoying reading your review.

 

We used National - picked up the car in Orlando, then returned it at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale. Very easy, and great price - $26/day for a convertable via Priceline.

 

We weren't aware of the shuttles, and asked for a taxi; however, they pointed us to the shuttle and it was ready to leave. Can't beat free, quick and easy!

 

There were several other rental companies with shuttles. I'd say the competition forces them to do this. My guess is that they provide the service for free with a rental contract. National had several shuttles coming and going, so waiting shouldn't be a major issue.They made one stop before going to terminal 18, but it was quick. I'd do it again, if the shuttle was there when I was ready to leave; otherwise, I'd take a taxi because I'm a get there on MY time kind of girl. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for taking the time to do the review! It's great so far!

 

Is there any fee for the video post card? We didn't notice that on the Oasis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Win a Cruise with the Most Highly-Awarded Small Ship Cruise Line in Alaska
      • Q&A with Daniel Skjeldam, CEO Hurtigruten
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×