My Cruise On Board The Allure Of The Seas
So what is it like to cruise on one of the BIGGEST cruise ships in the world? One of our Cruise Specialists Lucy Cameron was fortunate enough to fly to Fort Lauderdale and board the biggest cruise ship in the world for a seven day Western Caribbean cruise. Here is her review of Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas.
How would I describe my experience on Allure of the Seas? Amazing, that’s what! And some other words to describe it? Efficient, clean, modern, gorgeous and with incredible service!
This incredible beauty holds an astounding 6,000 passengers (not to mention a massive crew to take care of everyone) but you would never know it. Our cruise was full to capacity, but everything ran like clockwork.
The journey started at the Qantas Club in Brisbane – lucky me! Morning cappuccino followed by a glass or two of bubbles with my colleagues got us happy and ready for the long flight to Miami on Qantas. A great flight, good movies, but no sleep for me (the curse of the unlucky travel agent!). A quick and seamless connection in Los Angeles and finally a few zzzz’s on the leg to Miami.
Once in Miami we were met by our stretch Hummer limo for the transfer to the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. This amazing hotel on the beachfront was funky and fabulous, with big and beautiful rooms, and a very groovy, dimly lit lounge to have our welcome drinks – very Miami!
The next morning we headed off on the short journey to the port, with our gorgeous ship sitting high in the water, towering over all the other ships! Off the bus, luggage tagged and taken at the curb, then into the departures hall, where we were greeted and checked in by the very hilarious Larry who made everyone smile and feel like their holiday had really begun.
Once onboard we went to our cabin – a fantastic ocean view with what turned out to be the most comfortable beds I had ever slept on. The cabin layout was incredibly well thought out, with a place for everything to be stored; lovely, compact and well designed bathroom, and a big picture window to look out at the port (or ocean!).
Up to the pool deck for the first cocktail of the cruise, and I was very glad I had read the pre-cruise checklist – I had packed sunscreen, a hat and my swimming costume, so I was the only one in the group who was able to enjoy my cocktail in one of the many onboard pools, while we waited for our luggage to be delivered to our staterooms.
The next day or so were spent at sea, exploring the SEVEN amazing neighborhoods onboard the ship, and tucking into incredible food at some of the 25 different food outlets. An amazing hosted cocktail party up in the Pinnacle lounge on Deck 17 (yes, you read that right) topped it off! Play, Eat, Sleep and repeat – fantastic!
On day three we woke up to see the approach to the dock on the island nation of Haiti. Royal Caribbean have a private resort facility set up here at Labadee, and some of the group indulged in the Jet Ski excursion, raving about it for days after. I opted for the more leisurely option of a deck chair, a cocktail and a view over the turquoise waters. Perfect!
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Another day at sea, and this time we enjoyed another amazing specialty degustation dinner at 150 Central Park – right in the middle of the only real park I have seen onboard a ship! While we are talking dining (and drinking) experiences – let me say there was not a single let down on the ship – but favourites would have to be the Champagne Bar (where the servers knew my name and drink by the second night, and never forgot it!), the Rising Tide Bar (an amazing intimate cocktail bar that goes up and down several decks, along with the best martinis I have ever tasted), and Rosa’s Mexican Cantina for the hilarious service from our Turkish waiter Babo!
Next port of call was Jamaica and after a short and not very comfortable stroll around the local port town, I opted to jump onto one of the shore excursions heading for the famed Montego Bay. An interesting commentary, then a small fee to enter the private beach with some glorious pristine blue waters, and little fish that nibbled at my toes as I swam – a glorious beach day!
Back on board, and more amazing experiences - the calibre of the shows on board ship was of a Broadway standard – the Aqua Diving show (the only one at sea) was truly awe inspiring – former Olympic divers delivering a hilarious, terrifying display of high diving and high jinks. Other entertainment highlights included the singers in the Crown Lounge, the incredible shows in the Amber Theatre, an amazing Ice Show and the parade of Dreamworks characters, which the kids just loved.
The final port of call was the Mexican island of Cozumel – a much bigger place than I had imagined, but fantastic opportunities for a bit of retail therapy, followed by massive margaritas and nachos in an authentic local bar. What a great finish!
A final sea day to soak up the last of the amazing weather was spent at yet another one of the pools (this time in the Solarium – the adult’s only area). One last look around this massive ship, and then it was time to disembark and begin the long journey home.
Many thanks to Royal Caribbean International and our fabulous hosts – this was an amazing experience and one that will live in my memory for years to come.
If you’d like to experience this incredible ship, call one of our amazing Cruise Specialists today on 1300 954 661 and book a trip of a lifetime. Our consultants can also help you organise flights, accommodation & shore excursions!
Lucy Cameron is a team leader at Cruiseabout Caloundra.
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