My week on the Allure of the Seas…..

Before Oprah picked the Allure of the Seas as one of her favorites, I already booked a week onboard.  Nothing against Oprah (who doesn’t love O?), but I knew the Allure was going to be fabulous.  I put my deposit down when it was still just a sketch of a ship!  After waiting a year to set sail, my family & I boarded the ship last week for a week of sun, fun, and of course, memories (MOM – I do not want to take one more picture).

The week went like lightning, and we are back home to grey skies and rain.  I shut my window blind so I do not have to see the weather, and I am so excited to share my experience with you!  The week was extra memorable for me because I officially ditched my cel phone except for my once-a-day email check.  This was an awesome way to enjoy spring break with my family (a separate blog post on the ups and downs of unplugging to follow).  Although, I should note that if you need to be connected on the Allure – it is no problem, mon!  There is wi-fi available to purchase and cel signal (check with your carrier for rates).  Enough with that….Without waiting anymore, onto our week on the Allure of the Seas.

The four of us (the big guy, the 2 little guys, and me) along with my mom travelled to Florida the day before the ship sailed.  This is always best practice because you never know the flight status, and if you miss the sailing, you miss it……So, we woke up on Sunday morning, and we were ready to board as soon as the Allure was ready for new passengers.  It is absolutely incredible with 6000+ passengers, how the Allure turns the boat around and is ready to sail again within a few hours.

We checked our luggage at the dock, and had our swimsuits & sunscreen in our carry-ons.  After a slice of pizza at Sorrento’s Pizza Shop onboard for the boys and a salad for the adults in the Windjammer Cafe, we spent the whole afternoon at the pool!  I did swing by the fitness center, and put myself on the list for spinning.  If you want to sign up for fitness classes, I recommend doing it upon getting onboard.  The classes do fill pretty quickly, but no worries again – the Allure added extra classes during the week to accommodate more fitness fanatics.

After sailing away in a little rain, I am happy to report that our weather was awesome!  We had no rain and smooth sailing for the rest of the week. The trip had so many highlights.  First of all, the pool deck on the Allure is amazing.  There are 5 swimming pools to choose from (one is exclusively for adults) and too many hot tubs to count.  My favorite pool is the beach pool with salt water lapping over the edge at your feet.  My boys give two-thumbs up to the H2O Zone!  At the front of the pool deck, there is mini-golf, the zip line, 2 flow-riders (surfing simulators), basketball court, and ping-pong!  We spent most of our day on this deck!  The boys were in heaven with all there is to do! 

Continuing with the onboard experience, there are a ton of dining options from casual to  formal.  You can grab breakfast at the buffet in the Windjammer, the Main Dining Room, and a million places in between like the donut shop!  Lunch is also available at many locations, and there is something for everyone at Johnny Rockets, Hot Dog Shop, Wipe Out Cafe, or my fave, the big salad bowl at Park Cafe, to just name a few.  There is also a beautiful breakfast and lunch buffet in the adults-only Solarium.  We took My-Time Dining, which is a relatively new feature of cruising.  Instead of being tied to a specific dining time, we went to the dining room at our convenience.  We could either make a reservation each day or just show up.  We never waited, and were always seated right away (and the boat was FULL)!  There are many specialty restaurants, and we dined one night in the steakhouse, Chops.  One little tidbit, the Allure urges you to book these in advance, and I guess if you have a really big party or a very specific time to eat, you should.  We did not have an advance reservation, and we were able to walk right in!  My mom and the boys opted for a casual dinner that night, so we were able to have a date night on the ship!  A little added bonus…

I am not always a “show person,” but I loved the entertainment on the ship. We did reserve some of our shows in advance (you can do this online or when you get onboard).  The Aqua Show is a must-see!  The fact that these performers are HIGH DIVING on a moving ship, blows my mind.  The Ice Show is another one that is incredible, and hard to believe that you are watching ice-skating on a ship.  There are also Dreamworks Characters, like Shrek and the Madagascar cast, around the ship.  This was a highlight for many of the young passengers, and even though our group is almost out of this stage, we still enjoyed seeing them…..As for the islands, we stopped in Nassau, St Thomas, and St Maarten.

We are not organized excursion people, but we did grab a taxi in St Thomas and St Maarten and head to the beach.  The boys loved this….the water and sand was gorgeous, and we rented a paddle boat in St Thomas.  The water was very calm and we were able to paddle out in the ocean. This was not only spectacular to see, but quite a workout!

I have to say that our favorite part of the ship were the neighborhoods, the Boardwalk and Central Park.  There is a gorgeous carousel on the Boardwalk and the landscaping in Central Park makes it unbelievable that you are on a ship…..there is so much more to say, but I think that I will stop here for today!  I need to get on with my list of things to do (which is frightening and also another blog post), but I will say that I am sun-kissed and smiling from the awesome time with my boys which is a great way to start the day!  Thanks for letting me share – RB

{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Haralee April 25, 2011, 11:13 AM

    Sounds great. You need to get something from Allure of the Sea for such a great recommendation!

  • Rachel Blaufeld April 25, 2011, 1:05 PM

    Thanks Haralee — that would be nice! hahaha Rachel

  • Hollee Temple April 25, 2011, 1:09 PM

    Wow — sounds amazing! We missed you, but I’m so glad you got some rest. You’ve been working so hard!

    • Rachel Blaufeld April 26, 2011, 7:51 PM

      Thanks Hollee….I feel as though I never left already! RB

  • Nicole Fende April 26, 2011, 6:21 PM

    I second Haralee’s comment that you should get a reward from Allure. I finished reading and was ready to call an agent and book a trip! Unfortunately we’ve already planned out the summer vacay.

    I’m impressed at your ability to turn off for a week. Kudos to you.

    • Rachel Blaufeld April 26, 2011, 7:52 PM

      No matter where you go, Nicole, you will have fun!

      Stay tuned for my SUN blog post on the ins and outs of ditching the phone….RB

  • Lezlee (Love) Rutchka April 26, 2011, 6:22 PM

    Loved your review of the Allure…I am going on the same Eastern Carribean cruise on the Allure in 19 days, and I was really excited about going… I CAN’T wait! I love RC, been on the Mariner and Liberty on previous cruises.

    Thanks so much for your review and tips on the ship!

    • Rachel Blaufeld April 26, 2011, 7:53 PM

      Thanks for stopping by the blog! I have also been on the Liberty, which was great, but you are really going to love the Allure! Pop back in and let me know how your trip was when you get back! Rachel

  • Keith Kendall April 26, 2011, 7:23 PM

    Sailed many times, always on RCI and have booked a trip on Allure. Had to put it off a bit as one of our party is having their daughter get married, so that sort of trumps a vacation, but are so excited to sail on this ship. Sailed on all of RCI classes of ships, and they do just keep getting better, so this should be great, as you have stated so well. Thanks for the insights.

  • Rachel Blaufeld April 26, 2011, 7:54 PM

    Keith – no matter when you get to go, it will be amazing! My family is ready for another week! Rachel

  • karen April 27, 2011, 10:27 AM

    we are going in June and have a room onerlooking central park, cant wait.

  • Fiona Stolze April 27, 2011, 11:00 AM

    Perfect. This was fun to read and I’m so pleased you have such a fabulous time with your boys. It just shows you – we can do when we try. You sounded as though you were in your element.

    Fiona Stolze
    Inspired Art and Living

  • Denisse Marie April 27, 2011, 10:16 PM

    How fun! So happy for you getting fun in the sun. We are planning our first cruise for next summer and after reading your post I will not think twice about it any more!

  • Rachel Blaufeld May 3, 2011, 10:46 AM

    Karen –> you will have a blast!
    Fiona –> unplugging is so hard, but yes worth it!
    Denisse –> start crossing off the dates, you will have a fab time!

    Thanks for all the great responses – Rachel


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