Allure of the Seas
Big Ship With Cargo for the Whole Family
Sharon Sweeney Keech
Is there a more thankless job than planning a family vacation? You're caught
between the wishes of those who believe a vacation should consist of nice
scenery, a chaise lounge, and a good book and those who believe that it isn't a
vacation if you're not touring new places, seeking adventure and packing action
into every minute.
Make it more complex and try planning a trip for a multi-generational or
extended family. Grandma can't walk too far and your sister-in-law has an
infant. Your teenage niece and 'tween nephew are not going to be happy hanging
out all day with your four and six-year-olds. The solution is simple –
Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship The
Allure of the Seas.
If you're familiar with cruising as a vacation, you are probably aware that the
competition among cruise lines centers around which company has the biggest
ship with the most activities. Sorry, other cruise lines…Royal Caribbean wins
this round. With capacity for 6,000 passengers and a crew of 2,300, the only
other vessel that can compete is Allure
of the Sea's sister ship, Oasis of
the Seas, also a Royal Caribbean ship.
So what will you find on this floating resort? Well, you can stroll through the
trees and grass in the park in the center of the ship until you get to a
full-sized carousel. In the mood for some water sports? Take the elevator up to
the 16th deck to visit any of the 11 pools. If you have the kids with you, head
to the H2O Zone where you'll find wading pools, current pools, and a giant
colorful octopus spraying water from its tentacles. If you managed to get away
for some quiet time, there's an adults-only pool. Let the teens head to one of
the two FlowRider surf simulators, where they can practice their surfing
skills, or to the Sports Pool, where they'll find water team sports or lap
Tired of swimming? Play the nine-hole miniature golf course, basketball,
volleyball or soccer on the Sports Deck. Or take a quick aerial tour of the
ship by a zipline suspended over nine decks that will transport you 82 feet
across the ship.
If that's not enough activity for you, try one of the two climbing walls, the
ice skating rink, or the fitness center, bigger than my local YMCA, with 158
exercise machines. Of course, you're going to need some time to relax after all
that activity, so head to the Vitality Spa for a massage, a facial, or a sauna.
While you're at the Spa, why not get a makeover? Complete salon services
including haircuts and color are available, but the Spa goes a step further
with teeth whitening, botox and restyline treatments, and acupuncture.
So where are the kids while you're visiting the Spa? They're being cared for by
the Adventure Ocean staff in one of the most beautiful child care facilities
ever constructed. Divided by age (infants-36 mos., ages 3-5, ages 6-8 and ages
9-11) each group has its own room. All age groups share an art room where kids
can play with supplies provided by Crayola, a science lab where a staff member
helps them cook up some splashy experiments, and the Adventure Ocean Theater
where kids put on shows, watch movies, and participate in interactive puppet
and stage shows.
Teen-only spaces help young people find each other so they can hang out in The
Living Room, a lounge space or dance at Fuel, the teen disco, which is open
well into the night.
And where will you be while you're teen is dancing the night away? You could
see Chicago: The Musical, visit a
jazz club, laugh the night away at the comedy club, or bust a few moves
yourself at the nightclub. But you'll want to keep the kids nearby for the
entertainment, that features Dreamworks characters, including a parade
featuring Shrek and Madagascar stars, ice shows, 3-D movies, and water shows.
Could there be more? Yes, and there is. There are 26 dining options onboard
that range from fast food to fine dining. There's shopping, there's art to view
all over the ship, there are classes, sports competitions, arcades, Wii
tournaments, festivals, dance parties…oh! did I mention that they actually dock
the ship in a port and you can leave the ship to visit a Caribbean island?
But who would want to leave such a place? If you love an action-packed
vacation, you're going to have to get up early and go to bed late to try
everything on this ship. If you're more the lounge-chair type, you'll have no
trouble finding a quiet corner to read, nap and dream. Best of all, if you're
the vacation planner in your family, you won't hear any complaints.
For more information, photos of the ship and pricing for cruises, visit www.royalcaribbean.com/allure.
© Baltimore’s Child Inc. January 2011