Thursday, January 29, 2015

Flashback Thursday Allure of the Seas Review

Welcome aboard Allure of the Seas, the largest cruise  ship on the seas. How long it will retain the title of the largest ship remains to be seen. In case you think it is the same size as the Oasis of the Seas, you are wrong. It is actually about two inches larger. When it comes to amenities, they are equal but the extra two inches gives Allure the title.

We sailed on Allure out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. We stayed at the Embassy Suites which provides shuttle service to the cruise port. When we came back from our cruise, we stayed at the Hampton Inn in Plantation and they also offer shuttle service and have a much more reasonable price.

Carrying over 6,000 people, this behemoth is  in a class of its own. Surprisingly, you will not feel as if you are traveling with this many other people. The ship is so large that unless you are at the pool areas, you will never feel as if there are any more people than a normal sized cruise ship.  There are seven different and distinctive neighborhood on the ship and one of them will surely be to your tastes. They are the first ship to have a Starbucks on board which will make avid coffee lovers very happy. They also have a cupcake shop which is something you might not be expecting.

What makes these Allure of the Seas so different and exciting?  First, dining options. It is no longer just the Windjammer and the dining room for things like breakfast. On Allure add the Park Cafe, Johnny Rockets and the Solarium.  If you are a donut person, Broadway Donuts is for you. If you want breakfast in your room, just place the notice outside your room by midnight and breakfast or at least coffee can be delivered. Having a cup of coffee on your balcony is a wonderful treat.

The Solarium Café offers healthy choices. If you love papaya, it is served cut up and fresh at the Solarium which by the way is an adult only area  There are two large hot tubs here where you won’t have to fight the kids for a spot. It is quiet and peaceful, lovely really.

A fantastic selection of specialty restaurants is located on the ship. Italian, steak , Mexican and more are offered. Samba Grill is a Brazilian Steak House where not only will you get to dine on the finest  steaks and lots of other meat choices served in the  churrascaria  style but you will also be entertained by Samba dancers who roam through the restaurant. It is a very interesting evening for a small additional fee. We had the best evening in the restaurant and I would highly recommend booking it if you are sailing on Allure of the Seas.

The Shows

Entertainment is handled a little differently on this ship than on most cruise ships. You need reservations to see the shows. It should be one of the first things that you do as you book your flight. You can book all your shows online before you leave. There is an ice skating show called Ice Games, a water show called Ocean Aria and of course the Broadway show Chicago. All of the shows are offered several different times so you should be able to easily fit everything in.

Allure of the Seas has all the regular entertainment that you expect, a spa, swimming pools, casino, a state of the art gym and great shopping. Additionally, it has miniature golf, basketball , surf on the flow-rider and a zip line You can find as much excitement as you can handle or just find a deck chair and relax between meals. You can stroll and shop in Central Park, ride the carousel  on Boardwalk or visit the library.

I loved walking through Central Park in the evening and listening to the cello player. It was so peaceful and romantic. During the daytime, the Coach Store was a major attraction. 

The ship has a main dining room where you can book early or late dining or you can choose freestyle and dine when you feel like it. The buffet is always available as an option.

Allure is a floating city and even if you are a seasoned cruiser, a trip on this ship is something  not quite like any other. The ship has a high percentage of balcony suites both ones that overlook the exterior of the ship and ones that overlook Central Park or The Boardwalk.

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