Sunday, December 19, 2010

Allure of the Seas

I admit that I am a cruise addict! I love just about every aspect of cruising. I've been on countless cruises and still can't get enough. On November 29, 2010 I embarked on a 2 night pre-inaugural sailing of the Allure of the Seas. Travel Agents from across the globe were invited for this sailing to learn about Royal Caribbean's newest ship and spread the word!! I was in Ft. Lauderdale attending a NACTA (National Association of Career Travel Agents) convention and the Allure of the Seas sailing was the final two days. The ship catches your eye the moment you see her in port. Sailing out of Port Everglades, the Allure of the Seas can carry 5400 guests, has 16 decks and is 1187 feet in length.
The embarkation process was pretty easy. There are plenty of check-in desks to help ease the process. When I stepped onboard the ship I was on deck 5 in the Royal Promenade. I was impressed from the start. The Royal Promenade was beautiful and huge.

I then ventured to find my stateroom on deck 6, cabin 286.
It is a category D8 Ocean view stateroom with balcony. You can check out video of my cabin on the Travel Videos section of my blog.
Since our sailing was a "journey to no-where", my friend Linda and I had plenty of time to explore.
One of the first things we noticed was new to the Oasis class ship was the giant video screens just off of the elevators. They are touch screens that can help you locate anything on the ship as well as find out how busy the dining venues are at that exact time. It will even give you a map of how to get to your stateroom if you are lost.
There are 7 different neighborhoods on the Allure of the Seas. My favorite has to be the Boardwalk. This was on deck 6, just steps away from my cabin. I loved the feel of the Boardwalk.
It included a hot dog stand, carousel, Rita's Cantina (Mexican food), Johnny Rockets, several shops and the Aqua Theatre. Linda and I grabbed a hot dog for lunch instead of trying to fight the crowds up in the Windjammer Cafe. Rita's Cantina was already busy and had a long line, so we decided we would try it the next day.
Linda and I spent hours walking around the ship and all of the different neighborhoods.
Central Park is beautiful and breathtaking. The Rising Tide bar is located here as well as several of the other specialty restaurants such as Chop's Grille and Giovanni's Table. However, the Park Cafe does offer free food, such as sandwiches and salads.
We then started touring the different suites that were available to viewing. We started with the Royal Loft Suite. This two deck high stateroom has panoramic views, a grand piano, wet bar, 843 square foot balcony and is the largest suite onboard.
It can sleep six.
The suite itself is 1524 square feet. The balcony offers a great panoramic view of the ocean and sports deck. But it does not come cheap. It will cost more than $20,000 to book this cabin for a week. If you are looking for a much less expensive option there is every category from inside cabin to full suites. New to the Oasis class ships is the Boardwalk view balcony cabins. They do cost more than a regular balcony cabin that overlooks the ocean, but they offer a beautiful view of the greenery. They can sleep up to 4 people.
After touring the different cabins we decided to see more of the ship. We ran into one of the two arcades, visited several of the lounges and then changed for dinner. We ate in the main dining room.
The three story dining room is so elegant and our wait staff was absolutely fabulous!! I had the roast duck, which I have had before on other Royal Caribbean ships, but this was the best I have been served yet!! The skin was very crispy and the sauce was plentiful and complimented the duck and potatoes.

After dinner we took in two shows, first we watched a 30 minute performance in the Aqua Theatre. This combined high dives, swimmers on ropes, and a spectacular water show. We then went to the main theatre to watch "Blue Planet". This is a Cirque du Soleil type show. It was incredible to say the least. This was my favorite show onboard. The props and sets were breathtaking. I highly recommend this show above all others! You won't be disappointed.
There are so many activities on the Allure of the Seas that you won't be bored. I have to admit my favorite was the Zip-line. I was terrified to try it, but had an absolute blast. I was first in line for the day and after getting all of my safety equipment on and checked, was standing on the edge of deck 16-literally! I stood on the edge and pushed myself forward. It was only a 5-6 second ride down to deck 15, but I couldn't wait to get back in line again. For those willing to try, you zip-line over the Boardwalk neighborhood. So keep your eyes open, the view is great!

After my zip-lining adventure, Linda and I went to Rita's Cantina. We arrived 5 minutes after they opened and the line was already out the door towards the carousel. We got our pager and waited about an hour.. and I'm so glad we did!! I had some incredible Mexican cuisine. Linda and I shared the Party Nachos!! I had the Mango margarita and then Enchiladas for my entree. Wow, I'm still craving their food. The wait was worth it!! There is a service fee of $7.95, but you get a three coarse meal. Margaritas are extra. It's only open from 11-1pm each day, so make sure to get there early!

I wish I had more time to really share my experience onboard the Allure of the Seas, but I would literally be writing for days!
I enjoyed every second and did not want to get off the ship. It offers something for everyone. There are more than 20 dining options, lots of activities for kids and kids at heart. Amazing shows such as Blue Planet, Chicago, Ice Skating and a Dream Works character parade. I know that you will be as wowed as I was onboard the Allure of the Seas. She is an amazing ship and delivers a great vacation. If you would like more information on the Allure of the Seas, or would like to book your next vacation on her, please contact me at 800-249-7151 or email me at