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Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Caribbean


Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

Friday, October 4, 2013 – Day at sea

I wake up feeling much better. The cough is back to the level it was 24 hours ago – barely noticeable. Today is another day of rest. I have nothing planned except taking sea day pictures and perhaps a dip in the pool. I get my sea day pictures, but again the heat, the humidity, all the running around and my little cough have made me very tired. So after a shower I spend some time on this and just rest.

Most of the pictures I took today are of the four pool areas. There is a sports pool, a family pool, a "beach access" pool and the H2O Zone for the kids. The beach access pool does not really have a beach access to the pool. There is a long shallow slope where eventually the water level is up to your ankles. However, at this point there is a vertical drop off of more than four feet deep, so I would not refer to this as "beach access".

At least the pool in the H2O Zone is kid friendly. On the Freedom of the Seas the kid's pool is 69 inches deep (5' 9" deep). That is much too deep for children (and most adults). On this ship the kid's pool is 41 inches deep (3' 5"), which is much more kid friendly. There is even a pool just for babies in swim diapers (as there is on the three Freedom class ships). The baby's pool has a separate filtration and water source so that any accidents will not cause problems in the other pools.

I decide to have lunch at Johnny Rockets again today so that I can get my free shake. Well, there seems to be a catch. They only keep track of the shake purchases for the day, so I have to pay for the second shake. However, as I write this I now realize that I didn't get charged the $4.95 cover charge.

Well, since not much is happening today, I thought I would describe my cabin. I have an ocean view balcony cabin. Now on most ships all I have to say is I have a balcony cabin. But on this ship there are three broad categories of balcony cabins. The least expensive are the Central Park view balcony cabins. These cabins look down on the Central Park neighborhood. You will not be able to see the ocean at all. One level up is the Boardwalk view cabins. You will have an obstructed view of the ocean by looking aft. Also, more is happening on the Boardwalk than in Central Park. Central Park is a quiet place filled with restaurants and stores. Boardwalk has a merry-go-round and a view of the Aqua Theater. The most expensive balcony cabins are the traditional balcony cabins with a view of the ocean.

When I first entered the room it seemed a little smaller than I expected. However, my last two Royal Caribbean cruises in February 2012 and March 2013 were in junior suites and my last Royal Caribbean balcony cabin was in June 2009. So perhaps I have just forgotten what a typical Royal Caribbean balcony cabin looks like.

This is a connecting cabin and the place where the closet normally is has a door to the adjoining cabin. The closet was moved next to the couch and was facing the balcony. Thus the closet was taking up some of the main cabin space in the sitting room, which is the likely reason the cabin looked smaller. The cabin of course does not have separate bed and sitting rooms. It is all one area with the bed next to the balcony and the couch and desk between the bed and the bathroom and entry way. Other than looking smaller, the cabin worked out well for me.

I liked the lighting set up. There was a main switch near the entry door which would turn off ALL the lights (including the bathroom light). With the main switch in the on position there were three other switches that control the lights in the cabin. There was a switch for the main cabin lights, a switch for the lights above the paintings (one painting is on the wall behind the couch and one is on the opposite wall at the foot of the bed). I like using this switch when I wanted the cabin to be dark with some light. Finally there was a switch for the bathroom. Interestingly enough, even if the bathroom light was off, it still glowed, so if you left the bathroom door open, you could find the bathroom without turning on any other lights. There were two switches near the bed that would also control the main cabin lights and the lights over the paintings. Finally there were two reading lights with separate switches near the bed.

The balcony seemed to be a good size. It was as wide as the cabin but seems a little deeper (perhaps by only a few inches) than typical. The balcony furniture consisted of two chairs and a small table.

The bathroom was small, but well laid out. It had the clam shell door shower that I didn't like on the other ships because there was not enough room for me to raise my knee to a full ninety degree angle. However, this shower is a little wider and I could raise my knee past a ninety degree angle, so I was happy that I didn't have to open the shower door to wash my lower leg and feet.

The desk space was adequate and the mirror had side lights. The electrical outlet had receptacles for three 120 volt plugs. Royal Caribbean finally figured out that people bring a lot of battery powered things that need to be charged at night. That said, I have never had my extension cord or three plug extension confiscated (though some claim their power strips have been confiscated). I recommend bringing the short (six to twelve inch long) extension cords if the plug for your charger is integrated into the charger. The three plugs are at a 45 degree angle and right next to the mirror. So in one direction anything longer than a few inches will hit the desk, in the other direction it will hit the mirror. Anything longer than three inches might not fit which is solved with the short extension cord.

One thing that I have to deal with is the cabin stewards (from all lines) keep putting everything back where they want it and I then have to keep moving those items back where I want it. Typically this is the trash can under the desk which I normally locate with my shin. So I always move it under the table, only to have my shin discover that the cabin steward moved it back under the desk.

Well, in this cabin the trash can is under the table. But the need to move things back was carried to an extreme with a different item. You can play games on the TV (it is an HD TV with a open HDMI input and an open three cable AV input (one cable for video and two cables for the stereo sound). There is a wireless keyboard/game controller on the shelf above the TV. I moved the keyboard to the right side of the shelf and put something where the keyboard was. The room steward moved the keyboard back and moved what I put there to the right side of the shelf. I left it that way.

I did make it to the second formal night dinner. Lots of rest and drinking lots of water and I am feeling much better. So until tomorrow, good night.


Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

Saturday, October 5, 2013 - Day at sea

I have breakfast in the Solarium, which is in the front of the ship. Oh boy, what a view!

After breakfast I decide to get pictures of things I did not take pictures of yesterday. Mostly this consisted of signs (such as the pool rules for all four pools) and pictures inside the ship. The library on this ship is one of the smallest libraries I have seen on any ship. There were people in the library and given its small size, there was no way for me to take any pictures without being intrusive, so I didn't take a picture inside the library.

There is also no public access to the helicopter pad on this ship, as there is on the four Radiance ships, the five voyager ships and the three Freedom ships. That is twelve ships - more than half the fleet. However, there is a very nice sun deck above the bridge, if you know how to get to it (deck fourteen - port side only). In fact, you could get a Central Park view balcony near the front on the port side, then walk down the hall to a very large (public) forward facing balcony with two powerful binoculars (one on each of the bridge wings) and have the best of two worlds (inexpensive balcony overlooking Central Park) and a great forward facing balcony just one hallway a way. Or you could get an ocean view balcony near the front side of deck fourteen and have both a private ocean view balcony and a few steps away have a public forward facing balcony.

The three to five year olds, the six to eight years old and the nine to eleven years old kids have their area on deck fourteen near the front of the ship. There is also an arcade there. The teens (the twelve to fourteen year olds and the fifteen to seventeen year olds) have their area on deck fifteen near the back of the ship. There is another arcade located in this area, along with easy access to the miniature golf course, the covered and wind protected ping pong tables and the sports court.

The Rising Tide Bar moves between decks five (the Royal Promenade) and deck eight (Central Park). It makes the trip in three minutes and leaves thirty minutes from each deck. It leaves on the hour and on the half hour from Central Park and every 15 and 45 minutes after the hour from the Royal Promenade.

With some of the pictures (mostly inside the ship) you give the photographer your SeaPass card and the picture is put in a folder for your cabin, so you don't have to go looking for it. Other photographs are printed and displayed (such as the debarkation photos at each port). All the photos can be viewed on one of the several photo kiosks. The photographs are matched up using face recognition software.

Today I finally did go in the pool. I was going to give the beach access pool a try. However, looking around I realized that there was no room in the pool for me. As I was kidless, the H2O Zone did not seem real appealing. I walked through it, tried out some of the water cannons, but I didn't go in the pool. There was a volleyball game going on in the sports pool. Great under normal circumstances but I had done enough running around during the week and was looking for something a little more sedate. So I ended up in the family pool. The sports pool, the beach assess pool and the family pools are 57 inches (4' 9") deep. I spent about 45 minutes just relaxing and then went back to the cabin to shower, work on this, relax and get ready for Blue Planet, which is another production show in the Amber theater (the main show lounge).

Blue Planet had energy and I liked it more than Chicago the Musical. There were scene changes. No flash photography or video taping is allowed, but I recently purchased a fast lens for my DSLR and it was the perfect fit for taking pictures of the different scenes and colors in low light. Blue Planet is about one hour long.

After Blue Planet I headed back to the cabin to start packing and to dry out my wet bathing suit with the ship supplied hair dryer (it did the job while I watched TV).

Unfortunately today is packing day, so I started getting every organized. Most of my clothing is now in the laundry bag, so I knew I could do the actual packing after dinner and have my luggage out by 11pm as long as I had everything organized. Packing of course means the cruise is over, so I don't really enjoy it and thus leave it to the very end.

At any rate I am packed and I put my luggage out before 11pm. I still have a full set of clothes for tomorrow. So until tomorrow, good night.


Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

The pools (there are four) ...

The pool deck ...

The beach access pool ...



Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

Sunday, October 6, 2013 - Travel day

I sleep with the curtains open (who is going to see me other than a few fish), so I wake up once the Fort Lauderdale lights start to light up the cabin. It is about 6am.

I have luggage tag number one, but I am in no hurry. I have a 1:40pm flight out of Miami. I figure if I leave around 9:30 I should make to the airport by 11am. So I get dressed to have breakfast and can't find my socks. I am sure I put them out for this morning, but they are nowhere to be found. Oh well, I'll have to wear my shoes without socks until I get past customs (you are not allowed to open your luggage until after passing customs).

I decide to get out on deck in time for the sunrise and there are clouds on the horizon, which ruins the sunrise. In order to get good sunrise or sunset photographs you need a clear horizon and clouds overhead. If there are clouds on the horizon then the sun has to be higher in the sky before it "rises". The higher in the sky the sun is, the brighter everything is which washes out all the color. I take a few photographs just to prove I was up. And since I am near the solarium, that is where I have breakfast.

After breakfast I head back to my cabin to work on this. Finally around 9am I get ready to leave so that the cabin steward can prepare the cabin for the next lucky cruiser(s). That is when I found my socks. Note to self, don't put black socks on a black bag and expect to be able to see them with the lights off and the cabin window facing west while the sun hasn't risen in the east yet.

I go to Dazzles on deck eight, which is where those with priority debarkation are told to go. There are still people there and they are enjoying a continental breakfast. There is an electric sign just out side Dazzles showing which numbers have been called. Number one was called around 7:10am and now, a little after 9am they are in the forties, so I decide to just head down to deck five a depart.

I'm so late that my luggage has been removed from the number one staging area and is now in the unclaimed section. I claim it. By 9:45am I am in a taxi headed to Miami International Airport. I am expecting the trip to cost about $100 with tip and it comes to just under $90 with a 20% tip. I'm at the airport by 10:20am. Since I only paid $10 for the plane tickets I just write off the taxi fare as part of the transportation costs. Had my flight left after 3pm and could have taken a shore excursion for half the price that would have ended at the airport. There was another shore excursion that ended at FLL for those flying out of that airport.

As I said, for $10 I was taking what was being given to me. These are not the flights I would have chosen. Flying out of Miami American Airlines has several non-stops to LAX. But I am going to spend two hours in the air headed to Reagan Airport (Washington DC), spend an hour on the ground and then get a flight to LAX.

I'm at the airport early and Miami doesn't have enough electrical outlets. No problem, I'm prepared. I've got a short extension cord with three outlets. I ask permission to unplug someone for a few seconds and plug in my extension cord. Then I play some games and work on this until it is time to board. Then I reverse the procedure to unplug myself.

The flight to DCA is on time and uneventful. This is my first time to Reagan Airport and I know it is close to Washington DC. There are some clouds but I am able to spot the capital dome and the Pentagon. However, I didn't see anyone actually working. The plane that will carry me home is a little late arriving and as a result we leave the gate a little late departing, but we arrive at LAX on time. So far so good.

At baggage claim I turn on my cell phone. There is a message from American Airlines telling me to see a baggage claim representative before I try to collect my luggage. This can't be good. Sure enough, I'm in Los Angeles and my luggage is in New York. Seems my luggage made it to DCA with me, then took off for New York while I headed west. Next time I watch Home Alone 2 the luggage is going into the closet. This is why there is nothing very valuable in the checked luggage. My computer and cameras are in two backpacks that I carry on the plane. Both will fit under the seat or in the overhead bins, so I never have to check them.

At any rate, they know where my luggage is - sort of. One note says it is in New York and the other note says it arrived at 7:30 (which is when we arrived). But think about it. If I was only on the ground for one hour at Reagan and then took a non-stop to LAX, how could the luggage which also would have spent some time on the ground in DCA, then flew to New York and would need at least 45 minutes there before someone realized that it was not where it should be, get to LAX at the same time I did. At least this happened on the way home and not on the way to the cruise.

Well it is late (11pm my body time) and all I want to do is get home. So the baggage claim representative asks me to fill out a claim form. Okay, they know where my luggage is, they know enough about me to call me and tell me about the problem (okay, it was actually a computer that called me and left the message - but still, it was an American Airlines' computer), so how much more information do they need??? Well, the lady is typing and typing and typing - FOR ABOUT THIRTY MINUTES. What is she doing, typing out the following day's flight schedule??? She wants to know what is in the luggage. Why, you already identified it? I tell her it is mostly laundry. Not good enough. Is there a toiletry kit - yes. Shoes - no. My itinerary is in an unlocked zippered pocket - not good enough. Word to the wise, make sure you have three things in your luggage that you can identify in case it gets lost. God forbid that you only have one item in the luggage and it gets lost - you might not get it back, even if they find it!

Even worse, I can see out the window that the FlyAway bus has just left which means I'll have to wait another thirty minutes until the next bus arrives. I take my paper work and try to catch up to the bus. However, after traveling from terminal four to terminal six I still don't see it and decide to head back up to terminal four. This turns out to be a good move. Why?

The reason I don't normally take the bus back home is because the last time I tried to take the bus home the bus stopped at terminal seven (United), the driver opened the door and said he was full, I would have to wait for the next bus, and took off. Given this history I decide to walk back to terminal four. Lucky me, this is the busy time and there is another bus in fifteen minutes. After everyone gets on the drive starts counting empty seats. After his stop at terminal five he is full and doesn't even stop at terminals six or seven. Well, I finally made it home in one piece. I turned on the air conditioning (I had turned it off while I was gone) and went to sleep, waking up at 3am which was 6am my body time. The luggage was delivered to me at work, by a delivery service man driving a BMW. Perhaps I should look into a new line of work.

So, how would I sum up my experience on the Allure of the Seas? The ship is big and the experience is different. There is so much to do that either you need two weeks (back to back cruises) or you will need a vacation to recover from the cruise. Would I do it again? Yes, but with the idea that I've been to all the ports before and I'm going to stay on the ship. Basically the ship is too big. There were people I saw at the sail-away that I never saw again. There were things I didn't do because I didn't want to over do it. But if you are a young family with active children, this may be a good ship for you.

However, for a more traditional cruise experience, you have to recognize the short comings of such a big ship. Forget about sitting on the top deck, sunning yourself with a cold drink in hand and watching the wake disappear in the distance. There is no area for this. The closest you can come is to stand at the top deck between the two Flowriders with drink in hand and watch the wake disappear in the distance.

Other cons, you will not see this ship in small or tender ports, which means it will never be on a unique itinerary. Also, I think service suffers because of the size of the ship. Was the staff friendly - yes. But it could be that the distances involved just slowed things down.
On the other hand there are positives. The neighborhood concept works well. Other than the pool itself, it never felt crowded in any area. They do seem to be able to move six thousand people around very efficiently. You can do things on this ship that you can't do on any other ship. The personal schedule on the TV is a great help for keeping track of what you are going to do and when.

Well, I could go on and on, but I've got to stop somewhere. If you have any question, feel free to ask. I'll answer all the questions that I can. And for those that are wondering, I do recommend trying the Oasis or Allure at least once, because it is such a different experience.


Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

Here is where the cruise starts (and ends) ...

Rising Tide Bar ...

Schooner Bar ...

The Loyalty Ambassador is to the left, the Schooner Bar is to the right ...



Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

The Royal Promenade ...

The interactive signs found near the elevators ...

Take a peek, there is a scene in there ...

This machine dispenses drinks to those that bought the all you can drink soft drink package (there are several of these machines through out the ship) ...



Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

Sorrento's (pizza) ...

The sports deck ...

The Viking Lounge ...

The end ...


Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

Bravo! Another wonderful review! :clap: I went thru all your photos yesterday after your heads up that they were posted; a belated thank you for that. The ship is ABSOLUTELY ASTOUNDING. I do not think I would want to cruise on a ship that big. I was anxious to hear your thoughts as we have both cruised on many of the same CCL ships, so your observations were interesting. Like you, I think the only way I would want to cruise on this would be for longer than 7-8 days and stay on the ship the whole time. I much more enjoy "bumping into" the same people during the week and scoping out my favorite areas to return to. But truth be told, I could probably spend a few days straight in that solarium! :eek:k:
A bit OT, but I had a lot of trouble reading this as I could not get from page 1 to page 2, then page 2 to page 3, page 3 to 4 without getting out of C@'es, logging back in, going to RCI board, clicking on your review, then clicking on whatever page I wanted, THEN I had to wait about 5 minutes for the page to "load." This is not your fault but the website, and I have had one problem after another for the past year here and am getting a bit tired of it. :doubledown: :bbbat: But it was worth the "extra trouble" to read this! Congrats on the Explorer booking. I actually am looking at that also as we live right near Bayonne, so maybe I will see you on the ship! :thankyou: for an enjoyable read.


Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

Thank you Karry. :thankyou:

I just realized, I forgot to post my videos. Here they are ...

The Flowrider ...




Proof that the world is flat ...


Rising Tide Bar ...



The Zip Line ...


The whirlpool in the H2O Zone ...



Sunset ...


The wake ...



The Euro Connection Special Contributor
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

Thank you for a great review and great photos!
Done b2b with both, Oasis and Allure and would do it again.


Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

Thank you for a great review and great photos!
Done b2b with both, Oasis and Allure and would do it again.
Try it on different ships. Do Oasis Saturday to Saturday, and Allure Sunday to Sunday.


The Euro Connection Special Contributor
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

That's not a bad idea at all, there is of course one thing that is not so nice if you compare it to a b2b cruise, packing/unpacking in-between the cruises and the hotel stay:biggrin:


Well-Known Member
Re: Review with photographs of the Allure of the Seas - Sept/Oct 2013 - Eastern Carib

Thank you for the detailed information on the Allure. I just booked this cruise for December of 2014 and the information you provided is very valuable to me. Also, you photo's were fantastic!