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The title holder for being the world’s largest cruise ship for six years (before it was grabbed by Harmony of the Seas), Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas can carry a maximum 6,452 passengers when every berth is occupied. Similar to Oasis of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas, Allure features a novel neighborhood concept that divides the ship into seven spaces, each completely distinct from the other. Other unique amenities include an inward-facing balcony cabins, the biggest kids program at sea, an ice rink, a bar that rises between three decks, simulated surfing, rock climbing walls and an outdoor high-diving AquaTheater. Allure of the Seas has ambitiously beautiful public spaces, from the Royal Promenade shopping centre to the Coney Island-inspired outdoor Boardwalk to the Central Park filled with 12,000 plants. Most nights are casual, but at least two nights in a week-long cruise are formal. Gratuities can be prepaid or will be added on a daily basis to cruisers’ SeaPass accounts during the cruise, at $13.50 per person, per day ($16.50 for suite passengers).

Accommodation

One of Allure of the Seas’ accommodation highlights is be the inward-facing balconies, with a view of the sky and either Central Park’s greenery or the Boardwalk’s carousel or the AquaTheater. There is a wide variety of categories, generally distinguished by location and size. The standard fare of in-cabin amenities includes two twin beds that convert to queens, small sitting areas and interactive flat-screen TVs (guests can use this to book shore tours, order room service, make reservations and check bills), iPod dock with speaker, and three US and one UK socket. Storage is sufficient, with shelves, cabinets, cubbies and bins to stow away belongings. Bathrooms have shampoo dispensers, hair dryers, footrest for leg-shaving, and showers enclosed in clear glass. Suites are further categorised into seven classes and all share a number of perks including a nightly cocktail “hour” with free drinks from 5pm to 8.30pm; priority check-in; reserved prime seating in the main theatre; access to full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus for in-cabin dining; luxury bathrobes and complimentary pressing for formal nights; access to a private sundeck with loungers and cabanas; an exclusive reception with senior officers; and free dining in the Suites-only Coastal Kitchen.

Food

Allure of the Seas has three main dining rooms onboard – Silk, The Grande and American Icon. Royal Caribbean’s Dynamic Dining program, a concept to be rolled out in the future, gives flexibility for guests to choose their seating times or table. At the moment, the three main restaurants will feature exactly the same menu. Passengers can dine at 6pm or 8.30pm with the same group and waiters each night in either Silk or The Grand, or choose My Time Dining from 5.30pm to 9.30pm in American Icon. Cruisers can try several other free dining options like the 24-hour food stalls in the Royal Promenade, late-night Sorrento’s Pizzeria, Austrian-style wunderdog or German brat at Boardwalk Dog House, healthy alternatives at Vitality Spa Cafe, or the self-service buffet. Guests are still spoilt for choice with the wide at-fee dining choices – have hibachi at Izumi, steak at Chops Grille, wine and tapas at Vintages, or an exclusively unique dinner at Chef’s Table.

Activities

Vitality At Sea Spa is a large pampering facility with 29 treatment rooms; couple rooms; and a thermal suite with herbal steam, saunas and rainforest showers. Basic services include massages, facials, waxing, acupuncture and cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening and Botox. YSpa, specifically designed for teens, has services like acne attack facial, Beach Babe deep conditioning hair treatment and Sole Mate pedicure on their menu. The fitness centre is well stocked with ellipticals, Stairmasters, treadmills, free weights, a Kinesis wall and private training rooms. Classes like yga, Body Sculpt Boot Camp, Pilates and personal training are all available at a fee. On deck 5, a running track wraps around the ship – 2.4 laps is about 1.6 kilometres. Other outdoor recreation includes Allure’s three main pools on deck 15 – main, beach and sports, and the kids-catered H2O Zone aqua park; rock climbing walls; surfing simulators; basketball court; mini-golf course and an indoor Ping Pong area.

Families

Allure of the Seas offers a very attractive onboard children’s program. Through Royal Caribbean’s partnership with DreamWorks, the deck is graced with the presence of trademark characters that are all ready to strike a pose or perform during dining times. The 2,700 square-metre Adventure Ocean is the heart of Allure’s youth program. Deck 14 is split into age-appropriate areas and activities. During port days, free drop-off camp programming is available for kids aged three years and older from 6.30am to 10pm. Late Night Party Zone for children aged three to 11 opens from 10.15pm to 2am and costs $7 per hour, per child. Royal Caribbean has recently become “autism friendly”. Allure of the Seas offers toys that can be borrowed for in-cabin use, movies, games and activities that are suitable for kids with autism. Choices for family-friendly cabins are wide – from inside, oceanview, balcony to suites. Several rooms have bunk beds, sofa beds, or pullmans to accommodate more guests.

Verdict

Allure attracts families with its excellent kids’ club and exceptional onboard activities, but still appeals to couples in their 30s to 50s.

– Cruise Passenger 

– Cruise Critic 

“Allure of the Seas is packed with innovative design elements such as Central Park, taking urban greenery to sea.”

– Berlitz

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