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Allure of the Seas

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on December 6, 2011

Allure of the Seas, Sunday, November 27, 2011

On Day 1 of our cruise onboard RCCL’s Allure of the Seas, we approached Port Everglades with eager anticipation. Allure is billed as the largest cruise ship in the world. Would it be too big? Would we feel crowded at every corner? She was a beautiful sight as we rounded a curve at the port, so large that it was impossible to squeeze in a photo of the entire ship.

Traffic was directed with precision, and we dropped off our luggage to be tagged and delivered to the ship. TIP 1: On RCCL cruises, you can print your boarding passes online but you have to request luggage tags via snail mail; be sure to allow enough time. If you don’t have them, the stewards at the port will apply the appropriate tags when you show your documents.

Parking is easy in an open lot opposite the terminal. We found a space without any trouble. Towing our luggage, we crossed the street and entered the terminal, showing our printed boarding passes and passports. The check-in lines were divided according to deck, and although we qualified for emerald status in the Crown & Anchor Society, there weren’t any lines for Deck 11. We checked in, had our photos taken, and received our key cards. These seapass cards gain you entry to the ship and act as a charge card, so you can lock your wallet in the cabin safe while aboard.

We entered the ship around noon but discovered the cabins would be available at 1:00 pm. We wanted to do lunch, but where to go? The Windjammer buffet was up on Deck 16, and the elevators were busy. We’d entered on Deck 5 which holds the Royal Promenade. Awed by the sight of the enormous indoor avenue lined with shops and bars, we decided to head away from the commotion to Deck 8 and the Central Park area.

Allure of the Seas, along with its sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, boasts an ingenious and original design. It has several distinct neighborhoods. Royal Promenade is one of them. Others are Boardwalk, Central Park, the Entertainment Center, and the pool and sports decks. Our balcony cabin overlooked the interior park.

Nancy on Promenade

Nancy on Royal Promenade

At the Park Café, we got in line for made-to-order salads. You can add chopped tomatoes, onions, black olives, baby shrimp, chopped hard boiled eggs, turkey, tuna and/or mozzarella balls. A server adds the dressing of your choice and tosses the salad before pouring it into a bowl. Seating is available indoors or “outdoors”. The park area is open to the air on top with a view of the sky. It’s very peaceful, with birds chirping during the day and crickets singing at night. A winding path amid greenery takes you past the Rising Tide bar, Vintages wine lounge, Chops Grille, and a couple of shops. We were able to get a table outside and relaxed until it was time to access our rooms.

Our balcony cabin on Deck 11 had limited storage space but it was enough to unpack our suitcases. The closets have adequate hangars. Our bed faced the wall, with barely enough room to squeeze by. But next to the glass balcony doors was a long couch opposite a console with a mirror and a TV. My husband felt a bit crowded in the cabin but for me it was okay. We could go outside and see the sky from the balcony, with Central Park below. The ocean balconies had all been taken when we booked the cruise. This is my single criticism of the ship: I really missed the ocean view. The Royal Promenade gives you a closed-in feeling. None of the lounges or shops or public corridors have windows with a sea view. The only way to see the ocean on Allure, if you can’t view it from your cabin,  is from the jogging track on Deck 5 or from the pool deck on level 15. Plus, noise penetrates the interior glass balcony doors. Fortunately, the park area quieted at night and we heard nothing. However, we could hear our neighbor’s TV through the locked adjoining door. So while the walls have good soundproofing, the doors do not. TIP 2: Request a room without an adjoining door unless the rest of your party is next to you. TIP 3: If you want to enjoy the ocean on an RCCL cruise, book an outside cabin.

Day 1 will be continued tomorrow and will cover dinner and the Broadway show we saw that evening.

Remember to check out my contest over at Fresh Fiction for a chance to win a signed ARC of Shear Murder, a deck of tropical drink playing cards, and a Virgin Islands cookbook.

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6 Responses to “Allure of the Seas”

  1. What fun, Nancy! I love cruising. Our last trip was in September, around the Mediterranean. Have a wonderful time.

  2. We already had a wonderful time, thanks. Stay tuned for more reviews and photos. You can also view all photos here: http://bit.ly/sMzkvk
    What ship did you travel on in the Mediterranean?

  3. You are the cruising Queen Nancy! I hope you had a ball! I loved the one we went on for FRW, this sounds just amazing.
    I love the balcony outside too. So I know what you mean about that part!! Cruise On my friend!!

  4. Thanks, Mary. Are you going on the FRW one? We are still deciding, but I had to wait anyway to get my points from this cruise. I think it bumped me up to Diamond level. Stay tuned for much more in the days to come.

  5. Sounds wonderful (although I like an ocean view outside the cabin, too). This ship sounds amazing. What did you think of it compared to other ships you’ve been on?

  6. Although the ship is very large, you don’t feel crowded. There are so many different places to go and to eat, that you are comfortable. You’ll even run into the same people over the course of a week. It’s a very exciting milieu and everyone should try at least one cruise on the Oasis or Allure. The only criticism I have is the lack of ocean views and the closed-in feeling of the public rooms.

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