Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
mcgore83

Allure of the Seas! Our thoughts...

Recommended Posts

We recently disembarked the Allure (12/22/19).  We enjoyed our cruise very much.  After reading some many reviews before we left, I decided to share a few thoughts about our experience.  About us, we are 58 and 60.  We have both recently retired from the world of public education.  I was a school counselor for 33 years and DH retired as a school principal.  I know, bless our hearts, lol.  

 

We began cruising in 1988, Emerald of the Seas (Admiral Cruises), which was eventually sold to Royal.  We have cruised many times, alternating between Carnival and Royal.  However, this cruise was a first for us.  We had never sailed with just the two of us, as we always cruise with family and friends.  We decided to go on this cruise to celebrate our retirements, our 36th anniversary, and to reflect on all the blessings we have shared over the years.

 

We flew from Charlotte to FLL on the 14th.  We spent the day and night at the Hilton Marina.  I would highly recommend this hotel.  We stayed in the tower (room 310). It was very clean and updated.  We did some walking and sightseeing.  We ate our meals on the property which although hard on the purse strings, we enjoyed very much.  On the 15th, we had breakfast at the hotel and then on to the Allure!

 

For reference, our last two cruises were on the Independence of the Seas and the Carnival Vista.  I may make some comparisons, however, note, I do not have a preference.  We like both products.  So on to the Allure...Wow!  I knew what the expect as I have read hundreds of reviews and watched many videos, however, seeing this girl in person was an awesome experience.  Very easy check in.  We arrived about 11:15 got in a line with what I thought was 100 people and we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Very easy. We ate lunch at the Park Café, and yes, the roast beef sandwiches may be orgasmic.  Rooms were ready promptly at 1:00.  We spotted our luggage about 20 cabins from our stateroom, so we grabbed them and were unpacked with time for drinks before the mustard/muster drill.  Our muster drill was held in the theatre, not too painful, except for that dumb video.  It got on my last nerve, but okay, I'm on vacation, right.  Want to add, we were in an ocean view balcony cabin (8208).  Loved this cabin.  We also loved being on the Central Park deck, convenient to everything. Also, want the acknowledge our stateroom attendant, Mark, he was fabulous and so accommodating, extra tip-score!

 

Drinks.  We had the deluxe package and have no regrets.  I had two cold beverages (coke) each morning and DH specialty coffee. We each had at least 5 alcoholic drinks per day. One day my husband, who drank mostly grey goose with a splash asked a bar tender how much his drink would cost without the package.  The answer was $9.75 plus 18%.  Whew!  Glad I didn't have to micromanage that!  Of course, we each had several waters, and we took several waters off the ship,! so the package was a winner for us.  I especially liked the fact that if I didn't like something, like the Coco Loco (too much tequila, it was gross), I could easily get something else. Now the STRAWS are a different story.  I truly understand the need for conservation, but those straws do nothing for a frozen toddy.  I just gave up, drank from the glass and prayed the germ monsters did not win.

 

More in a minute.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The shows and crowding.  We attended Ocean Aria (do not miss, amazing), Momma Mia (great), and Blue Planet (good).  We had reservations.  When we went to Ocean Aria (day 2), at least 8 rows of seating were reserved for suite, D's, D+, and P's.  However, that section was opened 5 minutes before the show and we were able to get great seats.  The other two shows were no where near filled to capacity, so finding a seat was easy. When leaving the shows, we found the crowding no difference than a popular movie in a theatre at home.  The staff was very strict on checking reservations for the comedy shows, but we were able to find great seats both times we attended.  We thought the comedians were funny, one more than the other, but enjoyable. I must add, I would not pay to see either one.  Upgrade needed.

 

The casino.  It seems everyone worries about the smoke.  My experience.  The earlier you go, the less likely you will be bothered my it, unless you are highly sensitive.  The non-smoking side smelled like frebreeze air until late in the evening.  The smoking side, noticed the smoke earlier in the evening.  I enjoyed my time there, even if I only broke eve

 

The dining.  Okay disclaimer, I am a Southern girl who likes her grits.  I only found them in the Windjammer and the Solarium.  Okay, so I survived.  We ate breakfast at almost every venue and was only disappointed with Johnny Rockets.  Potatoes were hard and no flavor, maybe just an off morning, but I wanted to go somewhere else after that experience. I think the bacon was fried twice.  Waffle house is a serious upgrade.

 

Be back momentarily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We ate in dinner in the dining room every night with the exception of two.  I cannot write home about any of the dining room meals.  I feel the flames coming, but Carnival does this meal best.  It was food, that is all...  We did enjoy our meal at Chops.  I had the lamb chops and DH had the ribeye.  Very nice meal.  My husband, who let's me plan all things vacation, enjoyed this meal a lot.  His comment was it was a step above Outback and Longhorn, but a step below Morton's or Ruth Chris'.  This was one of my anniversary gifts to him, so I count it as a win.  The wait staff was very good.  

 

Okay, back to the dining room.  We were assigned to a 2 top.  It was beyond ridiculous.  Our table was so close to the next table, I had an intimate experience trying to reach my seat, and please note, I am an average sized female.  I hated one night I had to get up and use the restroom during dinner and my rear end had the rub the neighbors table to get out!  Again, this was not a table for two.  It is a good thing our tablemates were enjoyable as you had no choice to interact with them.  This was not a problem for us, as we are used to interaction.  But anyone who wants an intimate experience (I mean with your significant other and not a table), this is not the place for you!

 

As others have reported, the dress code is not enforced.  Jeans, shorts, baseball caps (turned backwards), shirts with offensive language were allowed. I even noticed a couple in pajamas on formal night. People, you cannot make this stuff up.  I was not disturbed by it, but husband put on his school administrators hat and commented several times that people were out of dress code.  I had to remind him to turn on his filter as the gentlemen at the table next to us worn jeans on formal night, lol. 

 

The hotdogs, pizza, sandwiches, etc. were all good.  No one will go hungry on this ship.  And the activities are endless.  Too much to do in one week.  If you bring your children, they will not be bored.  The gym is awesome.  I can say this because my husband is a personal trainer (his retirement gig), and he was beyond impressed with the space and equipment in the gym.

 

I did not experience any problems with the elevators.  I was always able to grab one within a minute or two.  Did not experience any children in the solarium and note I visited several times a day.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For Bob, if he is reading this.  The drink special showed up on day 4 at $79 for 10 drinks.

 

Hope you are not on the ship to watch any TV.  Numerous ship channels.  ESPN, one news channel, two additional tv channels, and that's about it.  They do have a good selection of free movies, which I enjoyed.

 

Now, my biggest complaint.  The cruise director!  Jimmy Rhodes absolutely sucked.  He was not visable at all! Saw him once getting on an elevator and after the Blue Planet show to announce the evening activities.  His assistant, Kim was great.  She attended the meet and mingle, led the Quest, Ocean Aria, pool activities, etc.  I don't think you would know who he was if you didn't watch the morning shows.  Even then, he gave inaccurate information about the weather and daily scheduled activities.  No words.  Jimmy, you are no Matt Mitchum (carnival).  That is all.a

 

I will try to answer any questions and will post more thoughts as they come to me.  Once again, I love the Allure and would sail on her again without reservation.

Edited by mcgore83

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, mcgore83 said:

For Bob, if he is reading this.  The drink special showed up on day 4 at $79 for 10 drinks. ...

 

Thank-you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@mcgore83

 

Love your style!

 

Your review mirrors most of my experiences on RC cruises.

 

A couple of notes.

 

That is good news about the drink card.  There have been a few recent reports of $89, which is too much for what you get, IMO.

 

I totally agree with the spacing of the two-tops.  UGH.  Butt contact is inevitable.

 

I am sorry that you didn't like Jimmy Rhodes.  I do.  I have to say that the Oasis class is a whole different animal, for a Cruise Director.  (I have talked with several about this).  Because the ship is so enormous, and the entertainment venues so numerous, they are little more than entertainment managers on those ships.  It's just not what you have experienced on the Independence, for example.  It's not really the fault of the CD.  It's the job.

 

Thank you for taking the time and effort to share your cruise experience with us.  I really enjoyed reading your posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mcgore83 said:

Now, my biggest complaint.  The cruise director!  Jimmy Rhodes absolutely sucked.  He was not visable at all!

 

Jimmy was great on Grandeur.  He was everywhere.  

 

Yes, Grandeur is a much smaller ship but Jimmy was worlds better than John Blair on Grandeur.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Another_Critic said:

 

Jimmy was great on Grandeur.  He was everywhere.  

 

Yes, Grandeur is a much smaller ship but Jimmy was worlds better than John Blair on Grandeur.

 

Anyone is.  😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for a very helpful trip report.

 

Concerning the 10 drink special ... it is purchased per cabin or per adult?  Gratuities included I would imagine.  I all ready know that in a moment of weakness I will purchase the Deluxe drink package.  Just fighting it for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, fallujahkid said:

Thank you for a very helpful trip report.

 

Concerning the 10 drink special ... it is purchased per cabin or per adult?  Gratuities included I would imagine.  I all ready know that in a moment of weakness I will purchase the Deluxe drink package.  Just fighting it for now.

 

Typically they add 18% to the listed price of the card.  The card can be shared with anyone, so per cabin or per adult does not make sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review!  I laughed out loud at your 2-top table descriptions.  And your husband putting on his school administrator hat discussing dress code.  😀

 

thanks for sharing your review. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were never approached to upgrade to specialty dining.  I was hoping we would be, as I was very interested if we could get a deal onboard.  Now, the drink package is another story.  Felt like I was at the straw market in Nassau, a version of hell on earth! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your insights on your cruise.   Congratulations on your retirement!

I so agree with the two top tables.   My husband had to request a change in table one night on Freedom as we were almost sitting in the laps of the people next to us.

We will be on Allure again in February of 2020.  I am looking forward to another cruise on her.  We are also looking at a Carnival Magic cruise in August of 2020.  It would be our first on Carnival after turning diamond on Royal.  Thanks for your brief inputs in comparisons.

 

Barbara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I normally dislike these reviews, but I'm digging this one.  Reads well and balanced.

 

I like your description of Chops.  One thing I really like about Chops is the venue.  We enjoyed sitting outside in central park, wine, nice dinner, etc.  Glad it worked out for your celebration.

Edited by BNBR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, mcgore83 said:

For Bob, if he is reading this.  The drink special showed up on day 4 at $79 for 10 drinks.

 

Hope you are not on the ship to watch any TV.  Numerous ship channels.  ESPN, one news channel, two additional tv channels, and that's about it.  They do have a good selection of free movies, which I enjoyed.

 

Now, my biggest complaint.  The cruise director!  Jimmy Rhodes absolutely sucked.  He was not visable at all! Saw him once getting on an elevator and after the Blue Planet show to announce the evening activities.  His assistant, Kim was great.  She attended the meet and mingle, led the Quest, Ocean Aria, pool activities, etc.  I don't think you would know who he was if you didn't watch the morning shows.  Even then, he gave inaccurate information about the weather and daily scheduled activities.  No words.  Jimmy, you are no Matt Mitchum (carnival).  That is all.a

 

I will try to answer any questions and will post more thoughts as they come to me.  Once again, I love the Allure and would sail on her again without reservation.

 

Enjoyed your review. We will be on the Allure in 3 1/2 weeks. Pretty excited. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2019 at 9:46 AM, ilovetotravel1977 said:

Great review!

 

We are still undecided on Allure or Symphony for February or April 2021.  Allure is much cheaper if we go in February versus April...

 

We were on Allure last April then again in early December. It was very crowded in April, lines everywhere. Couldn't get near the flow riders, climbing walls, zip lines etc.  Waiting lines out the door every evening at the Wind Jammer. If that means anything to you. We don't typically eat in the WJ but had to go by there on the way to the Coastal Kitchen (we had a Jr.suite in April).  Not too bad in December. In fact most of the time only half the WJ was open. We didn't eat in WJ in Dec either and didn't have a Jr. Suite,  but checked every night just to see if there was a difference from April.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mac66 said:

 

We were on Allure last April then again in early December. It was very crowded in April, lines everywhere. Couldn't get near the flow riders, climbing walls, zip lines etc.  Waiting lines out the door every evening at the Wind Jammer. If that means anything to you. We don't typically eat in the WJ but had to go by there on the way to the Coastal Kitchen (we had a Jr.suite in April).  Not too bad in December. In fact most of the time only half the WJ was open. We didn't eat in WJ in Dec either and didn't have a Jr. Suite,  but checked every night just to see if there was a difference from April.

 

April is typically Easter / Spring Break, early December is the [very] low season.

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
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • 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
×
×
  • Create New...