ALLURE OF THE SEAS INAUGURAL
November 19-21, 2010
My husband and I had the opportunity to cruise on the new Allure of the Seas with Royal Caribbean. This was a two night cruise from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, out to sea and back to port. It was the inaugural sailing and offered to select agencies, Royal Caribbean staff and press. Filming of the motion picture “Jack and Jill” starring Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes and Al Pacino was taking place while we were onboard. It was a very exciting cruise!
The Allure of the Seas is the largest ship at sea. It is 225,282 tons, will carry up to 5400 passengers and 2384 staff. It is one huge ship! Looking at these facts prior to the trip we were a little overwhelmed by the size and number of people. Once onboard we realized how well Royal Caribbean has this figured out. They built a city at sea with a neighborhood concept which breaks the ship up into seven distinct neighborhoods. The neighborhoods are Central Park, Boardwalk, Pool & Sports Zone, Royal Promenade, Entertainment Place and Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center. The Allure also has information centers (similar to an Ipad with a touch screen) at each elevator giving you directions to different dining, entertainment and activity areas on the ship. The information centers also tell you how full each restaurant is. We found this very helpful and I am sure guests will as well.
There are 25 different dining choices onboard the Allure, 14 of which are complimentary. We really enjoyed the selection that the Allure offered. Some of the unique complimentary options are specialty hog dogs and brats at Boardwalk Dog House, My Family Time Dining allowing parents to stay behind and have dinner after their kids do – the kids are picked up by staff of Adventure Ocean about 1 hour into dinner and Boardwalk Donuts offering donuts, pastries and specialty coffees. Clients can easily cruise on this ship with out additional dining costs however if they are looking to try something new and different they can opt to pay a small surcharge for some of the other options. A few that we enjoyed were Starbucks, Mexican cuisine at Rita’s Catinas, cupcakes at the Cupcake Cupboard and tapas at Vintages Wine Bar. I think the Allure will surprise guests with the number of dining options, wide variety of options and how good the food is!
Just like with dining the Allure doesn’t disappoint when it comes to entertainment and activities. At the stern of this ship is the amazing AquaTheatre offering entertainment during the day and at night. Studio B offers ice shows at Sea! When we were onboard it was themed after the movie, How to Train your Dragon. We loved it and families will
too! At the Boardwalk you will find a full-sized Carousel and the Zip Line which is suspended 9 decks above you! At the Pool and Sports Zone the Allure offers Flow Rider which is a surf simulator, Allure Dunes Mini Golf, and H2O Zone for family fun, which also has an area for toddlers and infants. There are endless activities onboard; some others include a Sports Court, Table Tennis, Rock Climbing Walls, the Beach Pool, Card Room and Library. During the evening hours you will stay busy at the Casino Royale, Comedy Live, On Air Club, themed Street Parties on the Royal Promenade and the many different dining venues and bars. Another option for the evening is to head over to the Amber Theatre which offers three shows. Guests can choose from Chicago: The Musical, Blue Planet and Headliner Show. We went to Chicago: The Musical and I loved it! It was more amazing then the movie in my opinion and a great way to start the evening!
The Allure offers a lot of shopping options for those of us that love to shop. Some of the unique options are the Candy Shop offering more then 72 varieties of bulk candy. Pets at Sea which allows you to make your own stuffed animal pet and Pinwheels which offers childrens clothing and toys.
The Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center is on Deck 6. The Spa has 29 treatment rooms with a full list of options to choose from. The Fitness Center offers new classes to choose from, I think clients will enjoy the variety.
Royal Caribbean specializes in the family cruise experience. Onboard the Allure is the Adventure Ocean & Youth Zone. The youth program is for kids ages 3-11 and there is a separate teen program for kids ages 12-17. With in these two programs the kids are broken down into 5 different groups based on age. With in the area is an Ocean Theatre, Science Lab, Arcade and a nightclub called Fuel. The Allure also offers a Royal Babies and Royal Tots Nursery for children 6 to 36 months. Parents have day and night drop-off options and there is an extra charge for this. There are specific times during the day that are complimentary and offer free-time play for the kids.
There are 37 different categories of cabins on the Allure. They are broken down into Interior, Outside, Balcony, Balcony Suite and Loft Suite. This offers a wide variety of options depending on the type of cabin the clients are interested in, the number in their party and their budget. There are 17 decks on the Allure and we were on Deck 14. We had a Balcony Stateroom which was called a Central Park View Stateroom with Balcony. This actually faced the interior of the ship vs. out to Sea. It looked out over Central Park which is really beautiful; a street full of foliage, dining and shops. I wouldn’t suggest being on Deck 14 as we would hear the noise of the pool chairs one deck above us each morning. I would imagine this is pretty typical as they set up the pool area each morning.
We did tour a lot of the cabins and I liked how Royal Caribbean offers so many different family options with multiple baths, layout options and beds offering larger families to get just one cabin.
We had such a great time on the new Allure. I would highly suggest this to families as well as couples looking for a high energy experience with a lot of options. This is one ship we will go on again! I wouldn’t hesitate to say it is the best of its type at Sea!