Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by bestontop
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
We flew in the day before and stayed by the airport. Courtyard. Good hotel and location, walked to the Cityscape to eat.
Embarkation: took an Uber at 10:30. We unloaded at 11am and was on the ship by 11:10. I couldn't believe it. We had all of our travel documents done ahead of time, but what a breeze.
I will start with the bad of the trip, since I did give it 5 stars the good greatly out weighed the bad.
- Teen area. All the kids in our party hated it. The activities were boring. I know the kids that make up the cruise can help make or break this, but the directors did not do enough to engage them. They were really looking forward to this, but only spent small portions of the night here. 10-15 minutes max.
- The alcoholic drinks were the worst I have ever had on a ship. We did not get the alcohol package as we had our kids, but did purchase drinks. We tried a lot of the different bars over the last few days. Worst was the 2nd level pool bars, On air bar, boleros? (salsa bar). Best was the Pub (but worst service). I had 2 good drinks the whole time. They couldn't even make a good daquiri.
- Drink cards - they did offer the beer card on day 5, 10 beers for 49 plus gratuity. The problem is most of the bars remove their taps. At that point only the Pub, on air, and Sorrentos offers draft beer. 3 kinds you can get on the card then, Heinken, Castle? (dark beer), and cider beer (Strongbow). We did not even finish our cards. The drink package was offered day 6 for 79 for 10 drinks. We did finish that.
- Service is spotty all over the ship. Our room steward was the worst we have had. Calling for anything things he missed was either not answered, or answered but never fulfilled. ex (shampoo refill, pulling down the Pullman bed twice, towels). The comedians even joked that we don't need to go home because we outnumber the captains and that the crew would be on our side the way they acted. He was right.
- Windjammer was not good. My kids and I enjoy a meal or two where you have a ton of options. The windjammer is too small, crowded, which we knew the worst was the food selection was horrible for lunch. 1 freshly cooked/sliced station. No pasta bar, no fresh cooked burgers, no carved roast beef, VERY BASIC. Eat here twice for lunch and 1 time for breakfast.
- There are very little food options past 9pm. Only Pizza and Café Promenade which serves light sandwiches. The buffet should be open later. We missed this from Norweign.
- The APP is ALWAYs wrong. It does not update. We still tried to use it, but could not text each other on it (2 in our party could the rest couldn't). The times were wrong often. Most are correct, but this should be an easy fix by Royal.
- Best food I have had on a ship and this is the first time I never went to a specialty restaurant. Notable main dining room dishes, Beef tenderloin for 2 nights was the best steaks I have had on a cruise. Prime Rib on the last night, lobster, tiger shrimp. Desserts (warm cookie, apple pie), French onion soup, Escargot. Our servers Erik and Gabriel were beyond fantastic with our families. They were candid about the menu, gave good recommendations, very personable, but gave distance when needed. FANTASTIC!
- Breakfast- Ate at Johnny Rockets 2 times, it was very good, recommend the burger with eggs and French toast. You can get free hot chocolate here. Solarium was a little better than the windjammer, but a better atmosphere and fresher food. The main dining room (deck 3 American Icon) had both an order and buffet section (you can do both). Best option. Best French toast.
- Lunch- Kids like the Wipeout café, basic hamburger and hotdogs, ice cream. I liked the main dining room. They change their menu each day and have a menu and buffet portion. They had items like steak frites, lobster roll (both very good). Live stations included pasta bar with shrimp and scallops, live salad station (first I have seen this). Park Café had the good roast beef sandwiches, but only had it the first day.
- Sorrento's had very good pizza, we had some every night. Café Promenade had some good late night deserts. Tried a sausage from the hot dog stand which was very good. The donut shop was horrible. Love donuts and tried twice, but couldn't finish it.
- Entertainment was the best I have had on a ship. The EPIC is a very close second, but the sheer number of shows was amazing. Oceanaria was a great Cirque style show. Mixture of Mystere and O. The strongmen were more impressive than Mystere since they are doing the same tricks on a moving ship, in the wind, etc. Wow. Momma Mia was great. The two leads had great voices. High quality show. I loved Blue Planet. Yes it is different, but that is good. Sit towards the back for this show. The Ice show was very entertaining. The comedians on this cruise were great. The headliner Tillman was not great. He tried very hard and said he was going to sing songs that fit his audience, but unless you were 60 and above it was not for you, which the majority of the audience were not.
- Activities- We did the flowrider,which was a short wait. You can not sign the waivers ahead of time for kids anymore, and don't do it at the station on the first day. You can do it on your TV, easiest and fastest way. Zipline was a lot of fun, must be 75 lbs. Ping Pong was in a more sheltered area than other cruise ships. Mini Golf was fun, the balls are light but do not move around like another review said (we had 25 mph winds). Ice Skating is fun (short 20 minutes). Rock Climbing wall gets hot in the afternoon. The pools were all a good temp. The large, overhang hot tubs were never too busy. One of them is always open (24 hours).
St Marteen- We walked to Great Bay Beach. TIP- once you get past the shops by the cruise ship, you will walk down a sidewalk unitl you get to a ship parking lot. Take a left right after that for the quickest, safest route. We got a few of the 2 chairs, 5 drinks for 20 dollars packages. Keep walking until you can get the front row and for 20. Fun time and a great beach. A lot of vendors, but they take a no easy.
San Juan- So we kept hearing about the "fort" but did not know how to get there. First I HIGHLY recommend it, even if you just want great pictures of the city it is worth it. From the ship you will go straight 2 blocks and then 2 blocks to the right. You will see it right off the ship. 7 dollars for those 15 and older, free for everyone else. We also walked around old town which is fun. Found a road with a bunch of umbrellas hanging, cool for pictures. Short amount of time there. Cool city. Would like to go back.
Labedee- OK, I tried to do research on this place on which beaches to go to. I ended up on Adrenline beach which was wrong. Go to the beach with the inflatables right away if you have kids. The water and sand is perfect. To get there, you need to take a left off the dock and look for signs to go back right. It will seem like you take a right off of the dock, but it is a dead end. The inflatables were the highlight of the day for my kids. Do spend some money at the shops. The kids did like the bartering, but don't get too greedy, they could use your money. Food was good on the island, it was different than anything you eat on the ship, which was very welcoming at this point.
Things I would have wanted to know:
- Formal nights were Day 2 and 6. Most did dress really nice. A lot of suit jackets, but a nice button up long sleeve shirt was not out of place. A tie is nice, but not a must.
- Book all your shows as early as possible (90 days out), but for sure before you get on the ship. We did.
- Oceanaria got postponed on the first 3 nights and rescheduled. It overlapped with other shows and they could not fix it.
- Chairs are really easy to get on the 2nd level.
- You can bring on 2 bottles of wine 750 ml each per stateroom and up to 12 cans/bottles of non alcoholic bevarages each being under 17 ounces in your carry on. I brought a 12 pack of Mt. Dew. They serve Coke products on board. A lot of people brought a case of water. You can only do this on the first day.
- The menu for the main dining room is on the app. Day 5 is the worst meal by far. Day 4 is the 2nd worse (in my opinion) if you are looking for Specialty dining. Lobster is day 6.
- 15 minutes early for shows will still get you a good seat.
Have fun. You can always find negatives. I looked through a lot of reviews before going and love all of the feedback, but it seems some are never happy. This was my favorite cruise and I will be back on a big ship soon. We were on the Getaway last year. The Getaway was better for couples, but this was better for families.
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