Earlier this month I was privileged to go onboard the Allure of the Seas for a ship inspection. Allure was in port for her turn around day, last week’s passengers had disembarked, and the ship was preparing for a whole new set of guests. It’s a crazy day for a group of travel agents. We were basically running ahead of the guests to see their staterooms before they got there. The rooms we saw first were the upper suites because those guests get the privilege of boarding before anyone else.
The Allure has 18 decks, 16 of which were passenger decks. Wearing my Fitbit to log my steps, off we went like little ducklings following our mama.
The Allure of the Seas, and the sister ships that are her size and larger, are really for the family. Allow me to repeat that; large or small, multigenerational families or smaller family groups. Family reunions, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries would all be a great reason to choose this size of ships. These ships are created to entertain, amuse, amaze and keep everyone having fun and as happy as possible.
The variety of activities that are available are more than you can imagine. Not only that, but if you like this type of cruise, with the new ships being built, it’s going to be even more so. Coming on some future ships will be laser tag, Escape Rooms and more. My impression was that all guests interests are catered to on this cruise. The babies, toddlers, children, teens, adults, grandparents.
The FlowRider is a surfing simulator. If you’ve ever wanted to try surfing but being in the ocean was a bit overwhelming, try this more controlled experience. You might find a new hobby.
Rock Climbing Wall
Ice skating rink
Putt Putt Golf
4 Swimming Pools
6 Whirlpools – Two of the whirlpools are cantilevered out over the side of the ship. Sit in one of these whirlpools and you’ll be able to look down and see the ocean below you.
For those who love to be active by planning basketball, etc, there’s a full Sports Court.
There’s a complimentary Adventure Ocean program for Youth and Teens. These are programs where your kids will have fun and learn something too.
Large fitness center with everything you could think of to work off last night’s dinner.
Vitality Spa for those who want the fantastic treatments they offer. Have an entire SPA day to relax, recover and renew.
Restaurants, restaurants, restaurants. There’s an equal number of specialty dining venues ( for an extra charge) and Complimentary restaurants. I promise you won’t go hungry on this ship.
I’ve saved the best for last. Royal Caribbean was so nice to us when they fed us lunch in the specialty restaurant 150 CENTRAL PARK. They served what they called the Tasting Menu with a beet salad, choice of Short-ribs or something seafood and the desert was their signature dish: donuts with lemon and chocolate sauce. The Short-ribs were their specialty and that’s what I had.
But here’s the exciting and unique feature in this restaurant. They have a Salt Tasting while you wait for your salad. Never have I ever had a salt tasting. A Salt Tasting involves freshly baked bread, unsalted butter and a serving dish with six spaces for the six different types of salt. After buttering a roll with the unsalted butter, you sample each of the different types of salt. The different colors have very different flavors.
Where will you stay on this ship? It really depends on what type of stateroom you want the view. The older ships have ocean view rooms and suites with balconies and inside staterooms with no views. This ship has ocean view rooms and suite with balconies that view the ocean and also views toward the center of the ship – areas with names like Central Park and Boardwalk. There are also true inside staterooms also. Suite guests have their own dedicated restaurant called the Coastal Kitchen that is also a lounge, again only for suite guests.
Choosing the right stateroom on a ship this size can be difficult on your own. That’s where booking with a trusted travel advisor comes in. One who has seen the ship and knows the ins and outs of cruising.
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