Allure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)


Allure of the Seas
Maiden voyage: 2009
Class: Oasis
Length: 1,187ft

We were on board this ship in Jan 2011 during it's inaugural season, sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale. Due to manufacturing tolerances, the Allure is 2" longer than the Oasis of the Seas, making it the largest cruise ship ever built. It is hard to come up with the right superlative to describe this ship; Wow!, Amazing, or Magnificant is the best I can do. It is hard to believe that a cruise ship can be built larger; as it is, I don't think this ship can get into some ports due to it's size.

The week we were aboard, there were 5,990 passengers. Even with that many people, it didn't seem like it. The ship is so huge that there is more than plenty of areas to be in, and it actually seemed less crowded than other ships I have been on. For example, the pools and sun deck areas were never to capacity and you could always find a deck chair in the middle of the day. Typically folks tend to save their deck chairs early in the morning - although you are not supposed to do so - and if you go on deck at noon on a sea day, you won't find a deck chair anywhere near a pool. Not so on the Allure; we never had any trouble finding a place to sit by the pool.

I was originally a bit hesitant to book this cruise as I didn't want to put up with the crowds, but just the opposite was true. There were fewer crowds than typical on a fully booked ship. If I came away with any surprise, that was it.

 

 

Something like 80% of the cabins on this ship are balcony, and that is what we had. Our balcony overlooked the ocean. You can also get a cabin that overlooks Central Park (the forward area) or the Boardwalk (aft area). If you book on Central Park, you will not even see the Ocean, so it's up to you whether you want to pay balcony prices without an ocean view.

For the Boardwalk area, the further aft you go, the better ocean view you have. But you also have a view of the Aqua Theater, one of the more popular entertainment areas, so that might justify the cabin. Taylor Swift performed a concert when we were on board, and those that had a Boardwalk balcony were able to see the concert from their cabin.


Deck 8 balcony view cabin.

One noteable feature of the ship were flat screen information boards located throughout the ship. They provided a lot of information, such as where you were, how to get where you wanted to be, browse the Cruise Compass (activity schedule) to find out what was happening on board at a specific time, and real-time resturant capacity information as shown here.

There is something like 24 different resturants on board. You can get a Gourmet Hot Dog, Donut, Hand-dipped ICE Cream, visit Johnny Rocket's or Rita's Cantina on the Boardwalk, dine in fine fashion at 150 Central Park or Giovanni's, a quick meal at the WindJammer, or a host of other locations.

We also thought the entertainment was a cut above the standard fare. Chicago, a licensed Broadway show was probably one of the entertainment highlights, however Blue Planet and Oceania were also both must-see events.

Allure of the Seas WebCam       Allure of the Seas Website

Info Center

Ship Highlights

Boardwalk. Located on Deck 6, contains the major activity area at the stern of the ship. Included in this area are eateries including Boardwalk Donuts, Johnny Rockets, Boardwalk Doghouse, Ice Cream Parlor, and Rita's Cantina. The Carousel, rock climbing wall, and Aqua Theater are the major entertainment areas.

Central Park. A quiet and tranquil area on Deck 8, has Chops Grille, 150 Central Park, Park Cafe, Giovanni's Table, and Vintages. Also here you will find a Coach store and Britto Gallery. This area also has the upper boarding area for the Raising Tide Bar. There are also literally thousands of live plants in this area, including a live plant wall. A staff horticulturist maintains the health of the plants. The area is quiet almost all the time, and you can relax on a park bench and read a book if you wish. It is a real departure from the glitzy Las Vegas mood in other areas of the ship, and great for those that do not like that atmosphere. This ship has a bit of everything for everyone. An electronic cricket and bird chirps can be heard throughout the park.

Royal Promenade. Similar to the Freedom and Voyager class ships, the Allure includes a Royal Promenade on Deck 5. However this promenade has skylights to bring in bright sunlight into the area, which gives it an extra appeal. Here you will find Starbuck's Coffee, Sorrento's Pizza, Cafe Promenade, and the Cupcake Cupboard, where you can get a gourmet cupcake. Other areas on the Promenade include shops typical of the Freedom and Voyager class ships. Forward of the Promenade is the 3rd level of the Amber Theater.

Rising Tide Bar. A unique feature on the Oasis class ships (Oasis and Allure) is the Rising Tide Bar. It is a football-shaped capsule containing a bar that is essentially an elevator that rises and lowers once every 15 minutes or so... long enough to order your favorite beverage. The actual time it takes to tranverse from the Royal Promenade to Central Park is only a couple of minutes, but it stays at each location for around 15 minutes.

Aqua Theater. An outdoor-amphitheater style space has both water shows and other kinds of entertainment. The stage of the amphitheater can raise or lower depending on whether a water or non-water show is being performed. During the water shows, high-diver performers sometimes plunge some 50ft from a high dive tower into the water. Belly Flop contests and scuba classes are usually also done here.

Sports Deck. With two FlowRiders, a minature golf range, two enclosed table tennis areas, basketball court, and a zip-line, there is almost no end to the fun you can have during sea days.

Pools and Hot Tubs. Pools consist of a kid's pool area called H2O Zone, a Sports Pool, the Main Pool, a Beach Pool, and the Solarium Pool. If you count the Aqua Theater, that marks 6 pools. Since pool activities such as the Belly Flop contest are conducted at the Aqua Pool, there is no interruption of your use of the other pools as there are on other ships. Some of the pools are fresh water, and some are salt water. One of the pools we liked the best was the Beach Pool, where one side of the pool sloped into the water, so with the rocking of the ship, it gave the effect of waves coming ashore. You could get your feet wet while sitting in a deck chair.

Solarium. As is typical of other Royal Caribbean ships, the Solarium is an adult's only area, and has a fresh water pool, two hot tubs, and seating areas. Unique to the Oasis class ships is the layout of the Solarium; it is two decks high, and also features the Soliarium Bistro, which becomes the Samba Grill at night.

Entertainment Deck. Located on Deck 4, includes the Comedy Club, Jazz on 4 (jazz club), Studio B (Ice Rink), and Casino Royale. The ship is so huge that the Casino has both smoking and non-smoking areas.

Youth Activities. This ship has extensive areas just for kids. Including the H2O Zone water park, a Video Arcade, "The Living Room", and Adventure Ocean, there is many activities geared just for children. And with DreamWorks characters running all over the ship (Shrek, Fionia, Penguins, and other characters), it would seem to me that children would be quite well entertained. As my children are grown adults, I cannot provide a lot of detail here, but the venues seemed quite extensive.

Technology. Computer technology abounds on this ship, from the info centers to WiFi hotspots. One item that I was interested in is how they handle the photos from the photo shop. On other ships, when you get photographed, you have to find your photo from the literally thousands of photographs on display in the photo area. With the Allure (and presumably the Oasis), portfolio binders contain all of your photos. So how do they know what binder to put your photos in? Face recognition software!


Solarium - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

Beach Pool - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

 


H2O Zone - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

One of two FlowRiders - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

 


Minature Golf - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

Cantilevered Hot Tub - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

 


Rita's Cantina - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

Boardwalk and Carousel - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

 


Aqua Theater and Rock Wall - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

Cowabunga!      Zip line over the Boardwalk - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

 


Rising Tide Bar - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

Central Park Flowers and Fauna - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

 


Royal Promenade - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

Central Park at night - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

 


Comedy Club - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

Stateroom iPod Charger - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

 


Shrek in Royal Promenade Parade - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

Boardwalk - Allure of the Seas Jan 2011

 


Allure of the Seas next to the Voyager of the Seas

Cozumel, Mexico - Jan 2011

 

What I didn't like. Although this ship is incredible, there is one item I disliked, and that is the forward view. The Solarium offers the best forward view, but it is completely enclosed. You can access a Sun Deck below the Solarium, but you have to enter through the port side stateroom hallway on Deck 14. It took us a few days to find that entrance. There is also a Sun deck on Deck 17 that gives you a forward view, but it is only available to passengers that have booked Suites. I am a bit disappointed that some areas of the ship are blocked off for Suite guests only, but I suppose for the amount of money a Suite costs, there has to be some advantage. Unfortunately, the Suite-Only area is one of the best areas for viewing the ocean on the forward part of the ship.

Overall Experience. This was certainly a memorable cruise, and the ship was magnificant. It is literally hard to see or do everything on board in a week. If this ship doesn't hook you on cruising, I don't know what will.


Allure of the Seas WebCam
Allure of the Seas Website

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