Cruise Ship: Allure of the Seas
Cruise Destination: Eastern Caribbean Cruise
Cruise Dates: January 23 – 30, 2011
Guest Contributors: Mary & Vincent Finelli
Every year Vincent books our wedding anniversary cruise and this, our 42nd, we sailed on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas. He chose the terrific Allure because we had taken a 3 day trip-to-nowhere cruise in November, during which we decided three days was not enough to even tap the Allure's possibilities, for she is a floating City. On this cruise she was filled to capacity with 5,400 guests and a crew of 2,384 from all over the world. The passengers of all ages were poised to enjoy everything from riding the Zip Line to attending Broadway shows like "Chicago." However, being individualists, we spend a lot of time avoiding crowds and touring the ship on our own. What a delight the Allure is with her eclectic and spectacular art work, such as the "Eclipse 2 " by the English artist Terry New, a fantastic work in cast iron that evokes thoughts of wood and harmony. At least to us, but perhaps not to the bather who used it as a hanger for his beach towel. This piece is located near the cantilevered whirlpool on deck 15 portside forward. There are also a group of mixed media photographs in the main stairs by Jose Davila "Buildings you have to see before you die." The buildings themselves are removed from the photos and become for the erudite an interesting game to identify the silhouetted building.
There is so much aboard that there is very little chance for boredom. We were warmly welcomed back by Hotel Director Richard Nentwich, also part of Allure's start up team. We first met Richard in 2004 on the Mariner of the Seas and sailed with him several times since. Each time we find him looking younger and healthier. It must be the sea air!
Allure of the Seas Embarkation
Since we live in Boca Raton, FL, Port Everglades is only a 30 minute ride from home. Ft. Lauderdale is the home port for the Allure. We arrived at the pier 12:30pm and using the Suite/wheelchair line, we had only 2 minutes wait and check-in was another 5 minutes. Superb! However there was a slight glitch since only one of the two gangways was operational, but we were assured that the second gangway was to be back in use soon. Thus, we were in Crown Loft Suite #1742 only fifteen minutes after our arrival. Considering the size of the ship and the multitude of passengers, this was one of the easiest and fastest embarkation procedure we have ever had.
Allure of the Seas Ship Tour
The passengers who came aboard without any knowledge of the Allure had a bit of a problem in orientation, since no ship plans were given at embarkation. However, there were deck plans on every deck at the elevators and with a quick check one could orient oneself easily. Also available were touch screens showing exactly where you were. A simple aid was the knowledge that stateroom locations were divided into quadrants as follows: Pink quadrant is portside-forward; blue quadrant is portside-aft; green quadrant is starboard-forward; and finally, yellow quadrant is starboard-aft.
The Allure is only two inches longer than the Oasis, but that is enough to give her the title of "Largest Cruise Ship Afloat." She was built at the STX Europe shipyards in Turku, Finland. Her dimensions are 225,282 gross tons, 1,187 ft (360 meters) long, 208 ft (64 meters) wide, 213 ft (65 meters) high from the water line and 30 ft (9.1 meters) draft. She has a total of 2,706 staterooms, of which 1,956 are with balcony, 254 outside and 496 interior. There are 46 wheelchair accessible staterooms.
We have received from our friend Richard Nentwich an interesting gift, "Wonderbook – the Art on Allure of the Seas," describing the vast collection of art pieces on the ship. This book was a guide for us to visit the various art work throughout the ship. It made us more appreciative in opening our eyes to the diversity of media, style and artistry: Most of the art work aboard, paintings, sculptures, photographs, etc. is modern in style, but a few in traditional style. There are a total of over 9800 art pieces aboard of which 1200 are in public areas. One dramatic sculpture that impressed us is that of the Korean artist Keysook Geum which fills the enormous aft elevator lobby, from the lower decks to deck 17, "Dream of Utopia," a wire and bead work consisting of 36 dresses in 4 different styles. This is a really impressive view from any of the panoramic elevators which were our main means of transportation, since we don't do stairs! We also were very pleased with some of the traditional sculptures seen on the Royal Promenade, such as "A Magic Kiss" or at the pool area, such as "Swimmers."
There are seven neighborhoods on board, which are very similar to the Oasis of the Seas, on which we reported in 2009. The following insert repeats that information with only some updating of personnel.
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