Five Things to Know About Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas Cruise Ship
Best for: Adrenaline junkies and families looking for non-stop action
Sails: The Caribbean
At a Glance: Still one of the largest cruise vessels in the world, this 5,491-passenger Oasis Class ship has everything an active cruiser could want, including an ice rink, surfing simulators, and more than 20 restaurants.
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It’s Divided Into Neighborhoods
When Allure of the Seas made its debut in 2010, it was the biggest cruise ship at sea. To help passengers find their way around, the vessel is divided into “neighborhoods”: Central Park, an outdoor space with 12,000 plants and trees; the Pool and Sports Zone, where four pools and high-energy activities like surfing live; Royal Promenade, lined with bars, pubs, restaurants, and shops and home to dance classes and tastings; Boardwalk, which has a carousel and an old-school amusement park vibe; Vitality Spa and Fitness, home to the ship’s spa and fitness center; Entertainment Place, where the comedy club, ice shows, and Broadway musical Mama Mia are located; and the Youth Zone, a space dedicated to kids and teens.
The Activities List Is Mega
Passengers who don’t like to sit still will be in their element. The ship has two FlowRider surf simulators, an ice-skating rink, a zip line, and rock-climbing walls. There’s also ping pong, mini golf, a nice long jogging track, and a full-size basketball court. At the fitness center, you’ll find lots of classes (yoga, Pilates) to help you work off that buffet.
The Best Show Is Outside
The deepest pool at sea is also the setting for one of the cruising world’s most spectacular shows. Located on the stern of the ship and flanked by two diving platforms, AquaTheater is almost 18 feet deep. Passengers can take SCUBA classes there during the day, but by night, the pool deck becomes an auditorium where synchronized swimmers and acrobats leap and twirl while colorful jets of water shoot into the sky. It can be tough to score a seat, so book ahead or stay in one of the AquaTheater Suites. These two-bedroom, two-bathroom pads have a huge wraparound balcony overlooking the AquaTheater—consider it the best seat in the house.
Kids Have Plenty to Do
As part of Royal Caribbean’s Dreamworks Experience program, kids can join Fiona, Shrek, and Puss and Boots in a parade, head to the AquaTheater for the Madagascar Aqua Show, or catch the How To Train Your Dragon Ice Show. And when they need to cool off, they can splash around at the children’s water park, H20 Zone. Parents who want a little time to themselves can hand their charges over to the nursery or the Adventure Ocean club, which keeps kids busy with scavenger hunts and science-themed activities. As for teens, they get their own place to hang out, the Living Room, where they can play video games or learn how to spin during a Scratch DJ Class. After dark, they hit Fuel, the teens-only disco.
You Won't Go Hungry
With more than 25 dining options on this ship, trying every one is almost impossible, so prioritizing is key. For lunch, skip the buffet and try one of the other fun, free options: Wipe Out Café serves up hamburgers and soft-serve ice cream that you can eat while watching passengers on the FlowRiders, well, wipe out. The Park Cafe in Central Park has paninis and salads; and Boardwalk Dog House dishes out chicken sausage, bratwurst, and beef dogs with all the fixings. Passengers with a Grand Suite or higher can sample caramelized scallops at Coastal Kitchen, a Mediterranean-California restaurant that spotlights fresh, healthy ingredients. For dinner, you can head to one of the three main dining rooms or a for-fee specialty restaurant: Try Izumi, Samba Grill churascarria in the Solarium, or Vintages, a wine and tapas bar. If you’re curious about molecular gastronomy, make a reservation at the Alice in Wonderland-inspired Wonderland restaurant for quirky dishes like liquid olives and tempura caviar. Or treat yourself to a night at 150 Central Park, created by James Beard award winner Michael Schwartz. The highlight of the menu? A 28-ounce aged ribeye for two carved tableside.