This was my second time on the Allure of the Seas and yet again she lived up to expectations.
On one of the largest cruise ships in the world you have access to a veritable cornucopia of things to do.
From spending your sea days relaxing on your balcony, by the pool, or in a quiet nook or cranny on one of the many open decks; to getting physical in the gym or at one of the fitness classes on deck, in the pool, on the climbing wall, or zip wire.
Or you can let the Allure does what she does best and entertain you. From a full stage version of Mama Mia to spectacular high diving in the diving show, to magical ice shows, you are bound to find something to tickle your fancy.
And then there’s the food……!
From the Windjammer buffet, bursting at the seams with a huge range of dishes from the four corners of the globe, to the Park Cafe, or Sorrento’s Pizza. If you are willing to pay a little extra, there are a number of speciality restaurants, you certainly won’t go hungry or thirsty.
My particular favourite, available to anyone who has booked a suite, is the newly created Coastal Kitchen, with it’s excellent service and mouth watering menu.
This voyage took us down to St. Maarten, along to San Juan and finally to Royal Caribbean’s own private beach, Labadee at the tip of Haiti.
For plane buffs, ‘Airport Beach’ St Maarten, is a must see destination. You can take a bus or a cab there and marvel as the planes come over so low you feel you could touch them. Or there are numerous sandy beaches within easy reach.
Royal Caribbean offers a range of excursions including tours of the Island, water sports, snorkelling, or boat trips. I’m a sucker for snorkelling at every opportunity so did my own online research and booked with Captain Alan, for an unforgettable day swimming with turtles and along spectacular reefs with a myriad of fabulous tropical fish.
The harbour at San Juan is so picturesque, and as we discovered when we interviewed Captain Ron, his favourite in the Caribbean. Sadly this was a short stay, and although the ship offered excursions into the rain forest, city tours and more I decided to spend the time exploring the pretty streets and squares – ending in Starbucks for a well earned iced mocha and a chance to catch up with email.
Our last stop at Labadee was one I knew well, so had already decided what I would do – get out early, take a book and my snorkel gear and head for Nellie’s beach. Here you can snorkel along the rocks on the left of the bay and be sure to see a good number of fish, this time I spotted 12 different species.
The ship lays on a sumptuous barbecue at lunch time and you can try the speciality Labadusa cocktail at any of the bars. For the more adventurous there is Dragon’s Breath zip line, or a range of water sports.
All in all it was a wonderful, relaxing and refreshing experience on an iconic ship offering so much for the whole family.
Review by Linda