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Cruising the Allure of the Seas

SmarterTravel

Author: Marina B.
Date of Trip: March 2011

I was very excited when I received an invitation to attend a Seminar at Sea onboard the new cruise ship, ALLURE OF THE SEAS. I also felt a bit of trepidation, knowing that there would be about 5,500 other passengers cruising with me. Those numbers give the impression that the ship could be very crowded. That could not have been further from the actual scenario.

With seven neighborhoods, cruise guests are dispersed so well that the only time I felt crowded was using the elevators; and then only occasionally.

My husband and I sampled the 150 Central Park Restaurant on the first night at sea, for an upcharge of $35.00 per person. As the name implies, it is located in the Central Park neighborhood, which offers visual treats such as trees with twinkling lights, park benches scattered throughout the park, and about 12,000 different plants – including trees, flowers and other plant species too numerous to mention here.

The menu at 150 Central Park offers you an eight-course meal; which was a bit overwhelming for me, since I am not a big eater. For about $90.00, you can have the wine pairing, a different wine for each course of the meal. Everything we ate was superbly prepared, and absolutely delicious; but we couldn’t make it thorugh the entire eight courses…we had to quit at seven!

We chose a Balcony suite overlooking the Boardwalk neighborhood; and in retrospect, would probably have liked the Central Park Balcony better. When we looked out over the Boardwalk and realized we were directly above the Carousel, we had some concerns about noise; but we needn’t have worried. The cabin was soundproofed; and once the sliding door to the Balcony was closed, we didn’t hear a thing.

The entertainment onboard was the best we have ever experienced; and we’ve cruise more than thirty times. We saw the Broadway play, CHICAGO; which was of very high quality; another show called Blue Planet, which was excellent; and there are aquatic shows nightly on the Boardwalk at the Ocean Aria Theater, which were very entertaining. These shows feature high divers, cirque-like acrobats, and an underwater stage that rises to the surface of the water, much like the “O” show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. We thought all the shows were unlike anything we had ever seen onboard any cruise ship; and all were totally delightful.

We watched cruise guests experiencing the zipline course that’s nine stories above the deck; rock-climbing wall; flow riders (there are two on this ship); and mini-golf. There was no shortage of things to do and experience on the ALLURE.

On the Promenade Deck, there is a COACH store; and also a GUESS boutique, along with a Romero Britto Gallery; and one boutique that featured jewelry made of Murano Glass, and a huge selection of amber and silver jewelry. So there are plenty of shopping possibilities on the ALLURE, if shopping is your thing.

Time and space do not allow me to list all the exciting features and possibilities on board the ship; not to mention the huge selection of shore excursions that are available. Suffice it to say, the ALLURE OF THE SEAS was our best EVER cruise experience, and we look forward to cruisng on her again some day in the not too distant future!!

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