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Nov 4, Allure of the Seas, Western Caribbean - A Review and Complete Pictorial Guide!

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AAAWWEEEEEE :( Its officially over. I guess it had to happen sometime. I cannot tell you how much I/my family has enjoyed your pictures and style of writing!


THANK YOU for the bottom of my vacation addicted heart:p


You rock!!!!:D

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I so loved the review!! We are sail her in April and can't wait. This was one the best reviews I have read on Cruise Critic!! You should consider doing this as an e-book and selling it. I would pay to have it all in one place with just your comments and pics. Maybe you should condense it and submit it to a travel magazine. I was wondering if I could get copies of the compasses?

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this for all of us!!! :D

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Hello everyone. I want to thank you for following my son's review and for all great posts. As I wrote before I am very proud of his review' date=' but withou all your support he couldn't do that.


Happy Holidays to all of you :).[/quote']


You should be very proud of your son!! He is a great writer and photographer!! You have raised a great son and person. Con-graduations to you!!:)

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Thank you for such a wonderful review and pictures that you posted I felt like I was back on board the Allure.


Thanks Again.

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Thanks for the great review.

If you don't mind I have bookmarked your review for future reference. As you can see in my signature I am scheduled to do another B2B on the Allure. On our threads I do a Weekly/Monthly count down. I always like to post a photo that is representative of our future cruise experience with each count down. I will be borrowing some of your great photos to show what we are waiting for.

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This has been the most amazing review ever. I feel like I was on the trip with you and your family. It brought back many memories of my trip on the Oasis. Thanks again.:D

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Gambee, thanks again so much, words can't express how much enjoyment you've brought to so many people here on CC, including myself. You never know what someone is going through in their own life, and being able to experience a cruise on the Allure through your review and pictures, probably means more than you'll ever know.


It would be great to have the pleasure of meeting you and your family one day onboard-I wish I could buy us all one of those martini's you like so much! Take care.

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Hello everyone. I want to thank you for following my son's review and for all great posts. As I wrote before I am very proud of his review' date=' but withou all your support he couldn't do that.


Happy Holidays to all of you :).[/quote']


Your son is a very special young man, and you are all very lucky to have each other! Hope you guys get to experience many more cruises like this one. :)

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as was posted before, STANDING OVATION, FABULOUS review! I feel I have a better grasp of this marvelous ship my husband and I will board in May.


Please, please do let us all know of your next adventure as I am sure you can tell, we all want to come along with you and experience it through your eyes.


I realize I am repeating myself here, but I am astonished at your ability to see the smallest item, such as the small birds and capture an amazing photograph. I wish you all the best and hope this is just the beginning of a career in travel reporting.


Best of luck to you, your mother and bf



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well remember I told you I almost had an anxiety attack?


I love snorkeling and I am fascinated by marine life, but there are two big problems. I have a fear of both sharks (Selachophobia) and open water, it is actually more of a phobia for both of them. It is really a shame because if I wasn't I could probably be padi certified by now and able to dive with my cousin every weekend here at home.


These two fears are really holding me back, last year I went snorkeling in Key Largo and for a few minutes I thought I was going to drown. My cousin and uncle have both made several attempts to educate me on shark attacks, but all attempts have been futile. I really don't know where these fears come from.


Anyway so I was snorkeling out there and I pretty much the only person in the water within 50 feet, the water was a little cold and most people stayed in the beach area. When I saw the statue I went closer to take pictures, once I got there I noticed how deep it was, so I dove several times to get different samples. Once the novelty of the underwater statute had wore off, I notice that I was pretty far away and there was a lot of open space around me. To make matters worse I was surrounded by little fish, I think people feed them because they were very friendly, you even touch them if you like.


So I had a decision to make, do I go back from there or go to the barge (it was closer) and wait for people to go there so I could go back with them. I tend to feel better if there are people around me, I guess it decreases my chances of being eating alive. I made a quick dash and climbed up the barge, I waited there for a few minutes and no one was even getting in the water, let alone coming towards my area. I was set on waiting even for an hour, for someone to go there, but two factors made me change my mind. First and foremost mom would be worried and second I was starting to get seasick. So I gathered up some courage, dove in the water, closed my eyes and started swimming as fast as I could. I never get far from the coast line, but this the time the curiosity of the statue and the desire to photograph it took over me.


Once near the coastline I opened my eyes, gathered myself and relaxed for a little while. They say all fears can be conquered, I have tried many times with this one and no good has ever come out of it. If anything I think each attempt makes matters worse. It is actually very funny how can you can be so passionate about something and at the same time so terrified about it.


When I got out of the water I went straight to our spot to relax for a little while. The sad part is that when you look at the barge in the pictures, it is really not that far away… I think what affected me that day was how deep the water was, maybe 15 feet at some point?




But overall chankanaab offers good snorkeling for those not expecting much variety, there are plenty of small friendly fish, but not a lot more to see. I am sure most will be very happy there, bring some cereal from the ship to feed the fish. I read that in another review once, too bad I forgot to bring some that day.




Gambee, I have the solution to your fears and you get another cruise out of it too. Take a cruise that includes Bonaire ( part of the Dutch Indies). While there, go out with the Woodwind. I have snorkeled in many places..Great Barrier Reef, Belize, Bahamas. NEVER have I had better instruction, better equipment ( they had masks with corrective lenses!), and better attention to those who were novices or fearful. I even saw one of the dive leaders hold someone's hand the entire time. They stop to explain what you are seeing and you will swim with sea turtles. They are passionate about preserving the reef too. It is "drift" snorkeling so it does not wear you out, either. I have never had such a wonderful experience. It may well be the answer to your phobia.:)

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Ok friends, lets see Jamaica. I need to mention some background here so you know why we decided not to do any excursions there. I am not sure if you are aware of this, but Jamaica is on of the most homophobic countries in the western hemisphere. There is a large amount of violence against homosexuals, that ranges from verbal to even homicide.




My companion and I are taking this cruise this coming Sunday, 2 December. This is why we won't be going outside of the dock gates. We may not even get off the ship. Plus, I have been to Dunn's River with my Mom on an excursion and I really don't like the aggressive sales tactics.


I am really loving your review and the great photos. Looking forward to finishing it before we sail. Thanks!


Roger & Les

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Your son is a very special young man, and you are all very lucky to have each other! Hope you guys get to experience many more cruises like this one. :)



Oooooooh nooooooooo, say it isn't sooooooooooooo! The End..No. No, it's the beginning! The beginning of many more Mom and Son adventures. Loved seeing the Allure from both of your eyes. Thank you for sharing this special time.

At some point, you should do a personal coffee table book about this trip. I have seen them advertised on some of the photo sites. How fun for both of you to be able to pick it up and reminise.


One quick question, is the supplied hair dryer adequate, or should I bring my own snazzy one (:


Hugs to you...friends! J

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OMG! Thank you so much for your review of The Allure Of The Seas! That was one of the ships that I thought I would have never have sailed on....but...you completely changed my mind about her! Thank you for entertaining me the last couple of weeks. I'm not sure if I missed it but did you ever post pictures of you, mom and bf? I would love to put faces together with your posts. Thanks again for the entertainment!



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I have the same feeling that I have after I have completed an outstanding book. Elated and satisfied, but with a tinge of sadness. We board Allure's sister ship, The Oasis on the 8th of December. Your photos have inspired me to find some of your creative angles for my own photos. I hope I can do as well. I have gathered many tips from you also. I hope my one other post might give you a tip for your snorkeling fears. Thank you, Gambee for sharing your amazing journey with all of us!

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Thank you(again) Gambee!


The only reason I am not quite as sad as others that this spectacular review has ended is I just happen to be leaving in 2 1/2 days for our first trip on the Allure!! :):) (spending 1 night pre cruise in FLL) Perfect timing for me!!


We did our first cruise for my 40th birthday, and this weekend will be my 5? bday, and we will be going on our 14th cruise. Can't wait!


I am one who really likes to know before hand all the details, and this review has most certainly provided them.


Best to you, your mom and bf. Thank you so much for all your time spent!

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By accident I forgot to thank Twinmommy08 in the initial thank you post, sorry, thank you very much for being part of my project


Thank you again for such a terrific and complete review. Your photography is absolutely fantastic. I have been on the fence about these large ships, now I have no intention of missing them. I just received my Sony Nex F3 yesterday and am starting to play with it, I know I'm going to love it and I thank you for being such a terrific inspiration to take more pictures. I look forward to reading more of your reviews in the future!!



You will love your new F3, she is a nice little camera and now they are releasing a bunch of new lenses for her. I just got another one :D. Thanks for following.



Thank you again for such an amazing review!


I am sad this review has come to an end, but I look forward to your next one!



You're welcome glad that you enjoyed. :)




All I have to say is WOW and I am so sad it is over, that was a fantstic review, truly enjoyed all of the work you put into it.. THANK YOU.



Glad you enjoyed, thanks for commenting.



I am so SAD to see this review come to an end. I have been a 'silent' reader of this thread from the very beginning, and I have enjoyed EVERY minute of it! My son and I are cruising the lady Allure in 2014, and your review is the best review I've read of Allure. Fantastic job! Your detail is incredible and your pictures, beautiful.


Thank you for taking us along with you and your family on your vacation, and thank you for the countless hours you've spent on this review. I appreciate all that you've shown us about the Allure and I can't wait to get my chance to sail on her in 2014!! :D


Thank you for posting, thanks to all my silent readers I managed to hit that 100,000 mark. You will love your trip with your son, enjoy a drink in Viking for me =)




I could go on and on about how much I loved this review, but I will keep it short and sweet........Amazing.....

Thank you so much and I will look forward to your next adventure and review.


BTW, you have one terrific Mom. You are blessed.


Gwen :)




thank you for following along our story. And I know my mom is the best, I love her very very much =)

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WOW!!!! I am so impressed with the list, what a great personal touch:). Thank you for all your time. I am sad to see it end...I feel like I'm losing my new BFF



Lol, no worries there will be more, I am almost done with the research to book the next one. Thanks for following. =)



Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!:D


You're welcome =), happy holidays!


. . . What he said!!!


I loved that comment. thanks for doubling it =), Thank you for following along.



Thank you for such a wonderful review and pictures that you posted I felt like I was back on board the Allure.:):)


Thanks Again.


You're welcome, thanks for following our adventure. =)


What an amazing review, Gambee! Loved every word of it! Can't wait for your next cruise:D


Next one is almost booked =), glad you liked it.


Gambee, I don't post often, but I appreciate the work that went into this review. I am a fan of the smaller ships, but booked the Allure because you made it look so wonderful. Thank you!


I appreciate very much when people that don't post often take time to post on my thread, thank you very much, so glad you enjoyed.



Wonderful review! You put it over the top when you included a picture of the toilet paper :D, lol. I don't believe I have ever seen that shot before. I will also be looking for your next review. Thank you for taking the time to take all these beautiful pictures and put them together.


I had to take the picture of the toilet, that way you know if you like the brand ;-)


Glad you enjoyed, thanks for following

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Great job Gambee. I enjoyed your review and I know many people will gain something in one way, shape, or form from this review.

Happy Cruising!!!!

Harold (Eng23)




Thank you for following from the beginning and being of support, I truly appreciate it. Thank you.

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Gambee, an excellent review I enjoyed it very much. Now I'll have to get a zoom lens for my nex camera when I go to Alaska :)


By the way, there is nothing wrong with getting a little teary eyed. I was the same way the last night aboard Oasis. Not just because of the incredible ship but the wonderful friendships I had made from our roll call. I can't wait till I'm on Allure in April 2014


Again, great job


I have to try to make some friends on my next cruise, that was the one thing I failed to do. Maybe I can do better on my next one =)


I think I just cried a little bit at the end of your review. :(


You have heard it before but I'll reiterate it again: you are a remarkable human being. To have gone through all this this effort, sharing your in depth personal experiences and complex feelings, your amazing photographic skills, opening up your life and introducing us to your mom and BF in a way that we all fell in love with your little trio - made this the best review I have ever read on any forum. Ever.


The only thing that makes this very sad event (the end of your review) OK is that I will be on her in 5 days.


Somehow I wish there was a way to make this review a 'Sticky' for another six months so that those coming in afterwards and may have missed reading this would still be able to experience a truly exceptional journey.


You have our highest respect and our sincerest gratitude. THANKS Gambee for everything.




I hope you have a blast on your cruise! Thank you for all the support you gave me in the process. I am blessed to have such supportive members in this forum. Have a martini for me in Viking ;-)



Gambee, you have amazed us all. I have never read a review with such universal endorsements from all the readers. And it's certainly the single most comprehensive cruise review of all time. Yet it is more than just a review of the wonderful Allure. I think we have all been seduced by your sweet and vibrant personality, and how giving you are--one little example is the time and effort to type in all the user names of those who posted during your review. You have taken a rather mechanical venue (writing on an internet forum) to new levels. The accolades and interactions on the thread make this review truly unique. I know you will write more wonderful reviews and I hope this will be a springboard for a new career in writing and photography. I think by now you must feel a least 10 feet tall! Enjoy! Thank you!


You're message touched my heart, thank you very much for taking the time write it. My mom loved this comment as well, thank you from her behalf. For now I do this out of pure pleasure, it would be very nice if it develops into something.


Once again thank you, thank you, thank you =)

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Gambee, just wanted to chime in along with everyone else and thank you for you wonderful pictures and review.


Had a great time reading it.


Also, it's really wonderful that you and your mom are so close. I keep thinking I'd love to take mine on a cruise- but then reality sets in and realize only one of us would make it back in one piece.. :eek:



lol, your comment cracked me up. I have a friend who is pregnant at this time and tells me everyday that she feels she wants to kill her mom. It is so funny, lol. We all have our moments, but we battle through them and move towards the better side =).



I am really happy you enjoyed my review.



Hi Gambee! I just want to add my appreciation to your host of fans on CC. I have waited impatiently for each instalment. Fantastic photography and it ain't the camera, it's your eye for a picture that makes it work! It also added to the review that you shared much of your personal life, this added some context to the review. On the negative side, you have set the bar really high for others here. In fact, I think you have ruined other reviews on here for me now:rolleyes:. Thank you for the tour of Allure and the Carribbean, some day I hope to visit, partly as a result of your review. Best wishes to you, your mum and boyfriend. CI:D

P.S. You really should consider pursuing the photography as or as part of a career!



Thank you very much for your awesome comment. The funny thing is that the bar is also raised for myself, I am not sure that I will ever be able to top this review. One thing is for sure, I try my best on my next one. I am so very glad you enjoyed my review so much. Thank you.



I think I replied all the comments, please if I missed yours tell me. For some reason I think I missed one of someone offering me a martini, I remember reading it. I try my best to reply all of them, but I think that one escaped me and I can't find it.


Yes, Gambee, you did reply to my posting, but didn't take me up on the offer of the Dirty Martini, were you to be aboard Oasis at the end of January. The offer definitely still stands, but you may not be cruising until April for your birthday? BOO HOO!!! I will, however, be in Fort Lauderdale for two whole days prior to my cruise - there must be some great Martini bars in town. (Oh my gosh, hope I don't sound like a stalker!!):eek:



I knew I missed something, yeah yeah. As long as I am not at work I would love to join you for a martini. Just send me an email to ccgambee at gmail dot com to remind me and I will look at my schedule then. Thank you =)


But yeah we wont be sharing one in the Allure, but Ill drink one to you on my birthday cruise =)



Gambee I must admit I got a little teary eyed reading your last post. I always get teary eyed leaving my cruises. I am so grateful I have a cruise booked on Allure in January. Thank you for all your time and energy you put in your review. Thank you for taking all of us on your vacation with you, and letting us get to know your wonderful mother and your BF. Your are a wonderful reviewer and an amazing photographer! Please try and find a profession that would utilize your skills. You are extremely talented. I will look forward to your post letting us know your next cruise. I look forward to that review. Take care and good luck with all your endeavours!:)



thanks, you were there all the way with me and for that I am grateful. I will let you know once I start posting my next review, hopefully it will be soon =)

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Like so many others have said.....Thank you so much for this review!!! Your attention to detail was great. I just booked on the April 21,2013 Allure cruise.


Honestly I think you have found a new career path!! Look into writing for a travel magazine. I would be a fan! :D:D


Can't wait to here what ship your going on next maybe NCL'S new ship. (Just a suggestion:) )



I thought of NCL getaway, but I believe she launches in november, I might join her there. But I want something sonner and I have another new ship on my eyesight ;-)



Dearest Gambee (I feel like I know you now!:p), Thank you so very much for allowing us to follow your every step on your soooo fabulous cruise. I've only joined CC not too long ago while researching for another cruise I already enjoyed. It is because of your generosity sharing your experience that this is my very first post reply on CC. There was no way I could possibly not pipe in for all the time consuming work you put into reliving your vacation and sharing it with all of us. I have spent many hours here just reading and waiting for more to follow!


You did an absolutely amazing measure of writing your experiences. The photography was/is INCREDIBLE!!!!! It's the person not the camera that takes such wonderful alive photography! I felt like I came along with you, your fantastic Mom and BF, on this voyage aboard the Lady Allure. One day I will be lured to her....you certainly made this an easy decision.


I felt like we have been friends for a long time, every spare minute I had I spent with you, enjoyed all the comments posted, many of which mirrored my sentiments towards the topics.


Can't wait until you finish another cruise so that we may join you...even though we don't get credit/points for traveling along :rolleyes: I hold up my imaginary martini glass to you with tears glistening in my eyes as I wish you many many Bon Voyages, my friend.


Smile! :)



P.S. Now what...Gambee has raised the bar....




1st post, that is amazing, thank you so much, I feel so blessed. I am happy that I helped made the decision to one day travel on lady Allure, I can tell you one thing, she wont disappoint. Your comment was great, I loved every word of it. Thank you very much, for giving me your first post, I am very grateful for it =)

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"The End", words we've all been dreading.:( What an absolutely wonderful read this was. Someday I hope to be able to sail either Allure or Oasis. Your wonderful pictures brought your story to life. Thank you for devoting so much time to this review and to us, your many fans.:)




Thank for following me Heather, glad you enjoyed =)



Absolutely fantastic! Im sorry to see it come to an end and look forward to your next trip almost as much as my own. Thank you for your time and effort!



you're very welcome, glad you enjoyed



Bravo Gambee on one of the best reviews I've read on CC. Thank you for bringing us along on your fabulous vacation!


You're welcome, Happy holidays :-)



BEST. REVIEW. EVER. I feel like everyone should stand up and clap!


shukles, blushhhh, thank you


Gambee, I'm so sad that your review has ended. I'm cruising on lady Allure in February, and your review has been inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, wit, and art.


You're very welcome, have a great trip on lady allure :-)



What a great review! I board on Sunday and can't wait! Thank you!


Yayyyyyyyy, enjoy =)



What am I going to read at lunchtime tomorrow? :-(. Simply outstanding review! I appreciated your thought and photos of 150 CP, I board Oasis Saturday and I will be trying it out there!!


I am sure you will like it, just ask for a friendly server when you make the reservation. What menu do you plan on trying?



What, the END! NOOOOOOOOO!!! Ok, fine I'll just start at the beginning. Seriously, thank you for this review. You put in a lot of time and effort and it shows!



You're very welcome glad you enjoyed =)

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I noticed your photos are copyrighted. Any chance I could talk you into selling me a few for my scrapbook??????


What a great review. Thank you for taking the time to do such a thorough job. Anyone debating a cruise on Allure will definitely be swayed by your positive review. I wish we had met on the cruise. Did you go to the meet and mingle?


Barb :)


Barb, email me at ccgambee at gmail dot com and Ill help you out with the ones you want. =)






I'm not a regular poster on cc, but do read it every day. I absolutely love to cruise and reading your review I've felt like I was on vacation along with you. I've been on this beautiful ship, but I think I've seen more of her beauty with your photos.


Thank you for taking all of us along on a wonderful trip. I, for one, feel like I just got home:(


Royal Caribbean, you NEED to hire this awesome photographer and writer. It would be a win - win hire for your marketing department!!



Thank you so much for being part of our story, I am very happy that you enjoyed it. Thanks for following.


Gambee, thank you so very much for a wonderful review. As a photographer, I really appreciated your photos. You have a great eye for composition. We will be sailing on the Allure the end of January and your photos have answered so many of my questions about the ship. Your review has been a fabulous fun read for me and I hope you have a blast on your next cruise.




Glad I could be of help, when I was planning mine I read hundredths of reviews and a lot of them lacked a lot of info. I just wanted to put it all in one place so it would be easy for others. Have a fun time in your cruise =)

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Dear Gambee, Count me among your 100,000 viewers! Even though I didn't post throughout your thread, I looked forward to coming here every day to see your new posts and wonderful photos!


We loved Allure, too, and didn't feel that the two weeks we had on her was enough. We're looking forward to sailing again with her some day soon.


Thank you for sharing your cruise with us!!


Thank you very much for being one of those 100,000 viewers, that was an awesome mark to cross. Glad you liked my review, I really had no idea that I had so many followers tagging along. I am seeing that just now.



Gambee, Thank you for this amazing review just doesn't seem enough. WOW is all I can say. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey you took us on, from the pictures to your comments. The fact that you took the time to also respond to every single one of our questions or posts says a lot about you.


I am so looking forward to being on the Allure at the end of April 2013. I will be having a drink in your honor.


A big hello to Gambee's Mom and Gambee' BF.





Thanks for the drink I appreciate it, make sure you have it in the Viking that was my favorite place for drinks =)



Have fun in your trip.



Thank you so much for taking the time out of your life to provide us with such an awesome review. I have taken so many ideas and tips from your review. I can't wait to use them! I never realized how important a good camera is as well. It's got us looking to buy a new camera so that we can have such great pictures as a reminder of our cruise on Allure in May 2013. I have truly enjoyed your review, pictures and commentary. I have a feeling that I'll be going back to this review often as the time goes by waiting for May 2013. Thank you again for sharing.



A good camera is a must for me, it is something I enjoy and I like making sure that I capture everything correctly. I hope you have a great time in your cruise. I am glad you liked my review and that it was of help.


Thank you

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