Royal Caribbean has always been big on the “WOW” factor. From the moment you step onboard, you’ll be blown away by the incredible amenities that make sailing on the “Allure of the Seas” such an amazing experience. Add in flexible dining options, exciting shows, and thrilling ports, and you’ve got a 7-day cruise that will create lasting memories.
Make no mistake, the “Allure” is big, holding more than 5,000 passengers and 2,000 crew. But it’s also big in size, which means fellow guests are spread out across 16 decks, 20 restaurants, 15 bars and lounges, four pools, theatres, shopping and more.
One look at the “Cruise Compass” and you’ll find tons of things to do day and night. Whether you’ve brought along family and friends, or you’re a couple, there are more than enough things to keep you busy or just relaxing by the pool.
If you’ve brought family along, “Allure of the Seas” offers an award-winning Kids Club and it’s complimentary. The clubs are divided by age groups. Aquanauts is for kids 3-5 where they do arts and crafts, play games, and enjoy musical activities. Explorers is designed for those 6-8 with science projects, talent shows, and ice cream parties. For tweens 9 – 12, there’s karaoke, video games, and backstage tours. Teens get to play in sports competitions, flow riders, and ziplining over the boat or just hang out in the teen lounge. Hours vary from Sea days to Port days. Extended babysitting hours are also available for a fee.
Download the FREE Royal Caribbean APP
The RCCL APP allows you to do so many things like plan your port excursions, reserve activities like Cupcake Decorating or Sushi-Making classes or make show and dining reservations. You can actually plan each day of your cruise even before you set sail. Find it on the APP store.
Set Up Your Onboard Chats
If you’re bringing extended family or friends onboard, you need to communicate with them. “Where are you? What time are we going to dinner? are destined to be your most common questions. The APP allows you to set up a chat with the members of your group by connecting to the free Wi-Fi.
When in Port, Stay on Ship Time
Some of the ports we visited were in a different time zone, either an hour ahead or behind. Keep your watch on ship time, so you don’t miss the boat on departure. This is especially important if you’re on an excursion not sponsored by the cruise line.
Other Places to Dine
My favorite place to eat was Park Café located in Central Park with soup, salads, and sandwiches, along with great desserts. Once I discovered it, we had lunch there every day. I particularly enjoyed the make-your-own salad bar and prime rib sandwiches.
Choose Your Shore Excursions
Part of the joy of cruising is discovering new experiences in port. The Allure stopped in British Honduras, Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Snorkeling, diving and visiting the Gumbalimba Park Nature Reserve to hang out with monkeys and parrots was the highlight of Roatan, Honduras. Costa Maya is a little more laid back and we went ashore to buy artisan crafts. In Cozumel, we stopped at a chocolate factory to watch them being made and brought a few delicious bars home.
Find out more about sailing with Royal Caribbean International.
Spend The Night In Galveston Before You Depart
As a travel writer, I always arrive at the departure port a day before the ship sails. With challenging weather conditions, canceled flights, and possible lost luggage, you need a full day to assure smooth sailing. I shudder when I hear someone is flying out the same day the boat leaves. Come the day before and don’t miss the boat.
My hotel recommendation is the Tremont House, located just a few blocks from RCCL’s new port terminal. Located in the heart of Galveston’s historic district, the hotel offers a range of luxurious accommodations with art-deco design, lovely antiques to admire, and an exquisite view of the lobby from their 4-story atrium.
The hotel itself is filled with Galveston history. Have a drink at their Toujouse Lobby Bar, which came from the saloon at the Grand 1894 Opera House. Try one of their Prohibition Era cocktails like a New York Sour or the Bees Knees.
We dined at Blum & Co, an urban bistro, wine bar, and market which had a curated menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and flatbreads. The best part is they’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with grab n’ go options.
Since we were there during the holidays, we enjoyed the festive atmosphere with their Christmas decorations, live music, and Christmas carolers. We joined in the lively holiday sing-along. Be sure to take a selfie or family photo inside their wreath display.
When you’re ready, take the hotel’s complimentary shuttle to the RCCL port.
Discover Moody Gardens at Christmas
With its 3 and 4D movies, Tropical Rainforest, and Aquarium, Moody Gardens is the place to play. But come the holidays, Moody Gardens turns into winter wonderland. We walked through the mile-long “Festival of Lights,” delighted with its spectacular colors and carvings in “Ice Land.” Listen to the holiday music as you gaze out to Galveston Bay. Or take a magical train ride through the trail, ice skate or slide down the Artic Slide. There is so much to discover, your best bet is a Value Pass, which gives you access to multiple venues.