Royal Caribbean’s newest ship
ALLURE OF THE SEAS, A Passenger’s Perspective
A Case of Bigger really was Better!!
In November of 2010, I was invited to participate in RCCI’s Inaugural Sailing of their newest (and biggest) ship, the Allure of the Seas(click here to see video). At a mere 2 inches bigger than her sister (and virtual twin) the Oasis of the SEAS (which I also sailed on in April of 2010), which was put into service in December of 2009. ALLURE now gets to boast the title of largest passenger cruise ship in the world. While on this most recent sailing aboard the ALLURE we (wife Angie, and I) occupied one of the Balcony Staterooms on Deck 10, situated roughly at mid-ship.
SO WHATS THE BIG DIFFERENCE? It appears that RCCL has implemented some genuine improvements in their latest version of a 6600 passenger “mega ship”. The first difference we noted was in the shipboard artwork. Very much a nautical, as well as a plethora of worldwide cultural themes (while very imaginative yet tastefully done) BRAVO RCCI! The art was actually a variety of different styles and feelings, so neat that I found myself having to stop, in order to take a closure look at some of the exhibited works. The next thing we observed was the friendliness of the crew/staff in the Windjammer Dining Room. Definitely a better response with everyone (that we interacted or observed) being as helpful as they could, and they were very helpful and approachable with and towards the guests. It actually seemed as if management had hand selected the crew on this ship. Like the best for the best. It certainly showed!! A definite good foot forward. Once again, Kudo’s to RCCI!
We also found some neat improvements in the stateroom areas as well. From items like the carpet, to cabinetry, to the privacy dividers between balconies (all of) which featured a different but distinctive wave pattern. I would also say that the staterooms seemed more refined and tastefully appointed. It’s obvious a great deal of thought has gone into this latest version of Supership! The outlets are more conveniently located near shelves and ledges, not to forget the really cool ipod docking/charger stations (complete with easy to read LED clock) which definitely make for a marketable improvement.
While I had heard of some complaints regarding the lack of adequate storage space, and problems with the closet slider doors, I have to say that neither my wife nor I felt short changed in the least. I would tell you the bathroom shelves have been raised making them much more functional, as well as the shower doors, which were two bi-directional sliding type, which made it quite easy for me to get into and out of(as I am full sized). And dare I fail to mention the bedding. The mattresses were far better than most, while the duvets were just to die for, and I am really not the duvet dying type, but I know quality when I see and feel it. Nicely done RCCI!!
Ok, now that we have dropped our bags, and filled our belles we made our way through some other parts of the ship. The Boardwalk area was the same as Oasis with one change which was Rita’s Cantina, and the only negative (if you could call it that) was that the food portions were larger than I really needed to eat. Now while there was a Sorrento’s Pizzeria, (complimentary custom pizza by the slice) on the Oasis, I didn’t remember a coke machine capable of dispensing over 160 different flavor combinations. There is also the Boulevard Café (Café Promenade on Oasis) both open 24hrs, with Seattle’s Best Coffee and scrumptious treats (Also Complimentary). These are but the enhancements and improvements which we observed, and doesn’t even begin to describe the total experience of RCCI’s Oasis Class of ships. You definitely need to experience either of them for yourself. I can certainly say I would gladly sail them both again.
NOW FOR SOME SIMILARITES
Not even having left port, (and speaking of the Terminal 18) with a whopping 96 checkin stations which is the largest cruise port terminal in the world, their goal is 15 minutes from curb-side to check-in (check out the video here). OK, back on board the ship was the Parade on the Promenade where we were met by not only the entire DreamWorks cast of characters, but with the very Godmother of the ship herself, Princess Fiona. While the entertainment for the kids was terrific, I am most happy to report that ALL of the adult entertainment especially the Blue Planet Presentation was absolutely awesome. These two amazing ships are a definite MUST SAIL, for anyone who fancies themselves as avid cruisers. As you can certainly argue that either of these two ships are destinations unto themselves, who really cares where the ship is heading? With so very much to see and do on these wonderful cities at sea, you can easily spend your seven day cruise, just getting familiar with all of the marvelous offerings and venues, let alone trying to attempt to take it all in, on either of these Oasis Class of Ships. Oh yeah, be sure to check out the virtual locational “touch-panel” directional screens which not only let you know -you are here- but show you how to get to what you are looking for. With things like the fabulous Aqua Theatre, Zip Line, Rising Tide Bar Lounge, Ice Skating Facility, and the fun and amazing Boardwalk Venues, and the supherb “can’t believe I’m on a Cruise Ship”Central Park…. its just an amazing seagoing funderland. All said, it has been a job Very Well Done Indeed by Royal Caribbean International!!!
Check out all my “Oasis and Allure” photos on flickr
For more information on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class of Ships, or Cruise Industry breaking news and recent innovations, you can contact Mike via email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . To “Join” our Travel Club go to http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com . Follow Mike’s blog (or subscribe to it) at http://www.cruisewithmike.com (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruisewithmike/ . Mike also edits his own twice daily e-newspaper called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at http://paper.li/CruisewithMike
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