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Is a short cruise on one of the biggest cruise ships in the world a crazy idea?

08 Nov 2023

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class cruise ships are among the biggest in the world, but is a 3-night cruise worth it?

Allure of the Seas

When these mega ships were designed, Royal Caribbean wanted to pack them with more to see and do than any other ship before it.  To the point, they offer a floating array of choices and activities.

In late October, Allure of the Seas became the first Oasis Class ship to begin offering regular short cruises, with 3- and 4-night sailings from Port Canaveral.

Allure of the Seas

Next year, Utopia of the Seas will enter service and will begin by offering 3- and 4-night cruises, which is equally unheard of because traditionally new cruise ships start off with 7-night cruises.

This change lead to a lot of questions about what it's like to sail on an Oasis Class ship for just the weekend, and is it worthwhile to do so.

Read more: Guide to weekend cruises

Allure of the Seas in Perfect Day at CocoCay

I went on the first 3-night sailing of Allure of the Seas, which began on November 3, to see for myself.

More activities packed into the sailing

Allure of the Seas ice skating show

One of the top questions people have about going on a short Oasis Class cruise is if all the shows are still available.

Like her sister ships, Allure of the Seas has three primary theaters onboard: the Royal Theater, the AquaTheater, and Studio B ice rink. There's shows in each venue, along with comedy shows, live music, and more.

Royal Caribbean's entertainment team consolidated the show schedule to fit into a 3-night cruise, but the difference between a 3- and 7-night cruise schedule is there will be more than one show each evening.

Allure of the Seas AquaTheater at night

On a longer cruise, you can afford to skip the first show time and catch it later. With the short cruises, there may be just one evening to see it.  Luckily, there are still multiple show times for each of the shows.

Like other short cruises that Royal Caribbean has offered on other ship classes, you'll find lots of activities throughout the day. The difference is that Allure has more venues than smaller ships, so there's more competing choices.

Read moreHow different is a 3-night vs 4-night cruise?

A short cruise is like a trip to a city

View of Central Park at night on Allure of the Seas

At first I also struggled with how to best see everything on such a short cruise, but then I questioned why I had to in the first place.

When I take a trip to New York City, I don't aspire to see every major attraction in Manhattan, let alone the surrounding boroughs. I prioritize a few very important attractions, hope on seeing a couple of others, and understand that I need to come back to do more.

In the same vein, why should we feel compelled to try to see everything on a cruise ship?

Royal Promenade on Allure of the Seas

If you talk to someone that has taken a 7-night cruise on an Oasis Class ship, they'll probably admit a week wasn't long enough to "do it all", but that didn't stop them from trying it.

A short cruise is fleeting, but this is true on Grandeur of the Seas as much as Allure of the Seas.

Matt in Coco Beach Club

It reminded me a lot of going to Walt Disney World, because you could spend a week in that resort and never come close to seeing every ride.  

Wanting to return to have the chance to sail again on cruise isn't a downside, it's an indication that you had a really good time and want more.

Once I came to this realization, I felt much better about going on a ship as big as Allure for just 3-nights.

Where to eat?

Arguably the most difficult choice may be where to eat dinner on a short Allure of the Seas cruise.

Oasis Class ships redefined the cruise experience in so many ways, including how many restaurants could be on one ship. Before Oasis of the Seas was built, if a cruise ship had two specialty restaurants, that was a big deal.  Today, a ship with two specialty restaurants is disappointing.

Negotiating with my family which three meals we would have may have been the toughest aspect of such a short cruise.

Specialty dining has become extremely popular, and when we sail on an Oasis Class ship, we'll lean heavily into the extra cost restaurants because of the sheer variety.

Even though I'm lucky enough to cruise a lot, it wasn't easy being limited to just a few restaurants. Ultimately, we narrowed it down to 150 Central Park, Izumi, and Samba Grill.

I think we made a good choice overall, and when we return again next year for a 3-night cruise, we'll change up which restaurants we visit.

Sushi at Izumi

Having too many choice is still better than not enough.

Cheaper out the door price

Allure of the Seas gangway

Something else that jumped out at me with a 3-night cruise on Allure of the Seas was the price.

On average, a 3- or 4-night cruise will cost less than a 7-night cruise overall.  Longer sailings may cost less per night, but the "out the door price" is usually cheaper.

This is a really attractive prospect, and it actually lead me to upgrade my cabin choice and try a suite because the cost was a lot less than I was used to.

Royal Loft Suite living room

The suite program on Oasis and Quantum Class ship is significantly better than the rest of the fleet.  By booking a suite on a weekend cruise, I could afford to splurge.

We booked the Royal Loft Suite, which had two levels to it, a giant wrap-around balcony with jacuzzi, and access to the services of the Royal Genie.

We never booked such an opulent suite before this because longer sailings made the price difficult to reach. But with a short cruise, it made more sense.

Royal Loft Suite

Even if you don't jump at a suite, it's quite likely you will find lower prices for a cabin on a 3-night Allure of the Seas compared to a 7-night cruise on Oasis of the Seas.

This means more people can try an Oasis Class without the premium price tag associated with a longer cruise.

Short cruises are aimed at new cruisers

View of cruise ship at CocoCay

Something else to think about is the strategy behind offering short cruises on Royal Caribbean's biggest ships.

Allure of the Seas' debut in this role, followed up by the brand new Utopia of the Seas undertaking it in 2024, is about attracting first-time cruisers.

All cruise lines covet new cruisers, because they are the single largest source of new customers and growth in the cruise industry. It's because the majority of the public has never cruised before, that's who Royal Caribbean wants to attract.

Utopia of the Seas night render

The problem is someone that has never cruised before may be leery of spending a week on any ship, even the brand new Icon of the Seas. So they tend to gravitate towards short cruises to give it a try.

So by offering cruises on their best cruise ships, Royal Caribbean is hoping to convert them into cruise fans with vessels that have all the latest and greatest features.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean's plan to dominate short cruises with a new ship and private destinations

Was a 3-night cruise on Allure of the Seas worth it?

Allure of the Seas at night

Without a doubt, I was glad to go on Allure of the Seas for just the weekend.

I would have certainly preferred to have more time and go on a longer sailing, but that isn't always in the cards. The school calendar and work obligations curtail most people's ability to cruise, and a short cruise is better than no cruise at all.

I like to work in weekend sailings as a way to augment my longer cruises. I don't plan weekend cruises as our primary family vacations, but they are great for "let's get out of the house for a few days".

Allure of the Seas aft

Going into the cruise, I knew I wasn't going to try everything, and I found myself liberated without that burden. Plus, it gave me a good reason to come back and do it again. I'm never one to shy away from a compelling reason to book another cruise.

We had a really nice time on Allure of the Seas for just 3-nights, and I think this will introduce the Oasis Class ships to a lot more people who will fall in love with cruising.

My family stayed in a $7,000 suite on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas for a 3-night cruise, and it was the perfect weekend binge

06 Nov 2023

We love taking the family on weekend cruises as a quick escape, and when we got the chance to try the Royal Loft Suite on Allure of the Seas, it seemed like a great opportunity.

Royal Loft Suite

This is one of the biggest suites on Allure of the Seas and a cabin that has Star Class benefits, which means it has some of the best perks on the ship.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean Suites Guide & Review

Ordinarily, a suite of this size would command a gargantuan price, but Allure of the Seas just shifted to doing short weekend cruises from Port Canaveral and that brought the overall price down to something more affordable.  For my family of 4, the price came out to $7,388.32 for the 3-night cruise.

I booked this cruise right when the itineraries were announced back in March of 2022, and that proved to be a good decision as the prices then were much lower than they later became.

Take a tour of spacious my hotel room at sea complete with two bedrooms, a jacuzzi on the balcony, and some of the best views from any cabin.

My suite was located on deck seventeen, which is deck reserved exclusively for suite cabins.

Coastal Kitchen on Allure of the Seas

On this deck there are many other suites, along with the Suite Lounge and Coastal Kitchen, an exclusive restaurant for guests staying in a suite (and Pinnacles too).

The layout of this deck is a "U-shape", and we were located on the aft facing port side.

When I tapped my room key card and opened the door, I walked into the living room.

Royal Loft Suite

The Royal Loft Suite has two bedrooms, a dining room, and large living room.  Let's start with the master bedroom.

Given that this suite has a loft configuration, there are two levels, with the master bedroom and bathroom being entirely located on the upper floor.  A staircase is how you access the second floor.

Royal Loft Suite living room

There is a king size bed, tv projector, and more closet space than you can possibly use.

Royal Loft Suite

There is no door to the master bedroom, but there is a remote controlled curtain that completely encompasses the upper bedroom to provide privacy and darkness.

Royal Loft Suite
Royal Loft Suite

The one noticeable feature missing compared to a newer cruise ship are power or USB outlets near the bed. The closest outlets were by the office desk closer to the staircase.

The office desk has a chair, and faces the balcony so you can have a view to enjoy.

Royal Loft Suite

Behind the bed is where all the storage space is located.  There are drawers and closets, and there seemed to be much more space than I could possibly fill.

Royal Loft Suite
Royal Loft Suite

The safe is also located in this area, long with a seating area with mirror.

Royal Loft Suite

The master bathroom is also enormous, with a toilet, bidet, two sinks, two showers, and a jacuzzi tub.

Royal Loft Suite
Royal Loft Suite

The showers have two adjustable heads, along with a rainforest shower.  All three can be used at the same time, or one at a time.

Royal Loft Suite
Royal Loft Suite

The second bedroom is located on the main floor, near the entrance to the suite.  It can sleep two people, and the beds can be separated if needed.

Royal Loft Suite

The second bedroom has its own door, which makes for better privacy for anyone sleeping here.

Royal Loft Suite second bedroom
Royal Loft Suite second bedroom


Royal Loft Suite second bedroom
Royal Loft Suite second bedroom

It also has its own television, along with desk and mirror.


Adjacent to the second bedroom is a full bathroom.

Royal Loft Suite bedroom

Each shower has upgraded shower toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

Royal Loft Suite bedroom

In the foyer is a piano, which you can play on your own or use an autoplayer feature.

Royal Loft Suite
Royal Loft Suite
Royal Loft Suite
Royal Loft Suite

There's also a library of books you can borrow for the duration of your sailing.

Royal Loft Suite

In the living room, you will find chairs, ottomans, sofas, and comfortable seating.

Royal Loft Suite living room
Royal Loft Suite living room

There is also a large television in the living room.

Royal Loft Suite living room

Behind the living room is the dining room, which is a very large table to enjoy meals delivered by room service.

Royal Loft Suite living room

The in-room coffee maker can make a quick cup of coffee anytime you want.

Royal Loft Suite living room

Stepping onto the balcony, there are three doors you can use: two from the living room, and one from the second bedroom.

Royal Loft Suite living room

The Royal Loft Suite has a wrap-around balcony that provides views of the ocean and Sports Deck below.

There is a wet bar outside that you can use, along with another dining table with lots of seats. When having food delivered to the suite, you have the choice of dining indoors or outdoors.

Royal Loft Suite balcony
Royal Loft Suite balcony

There are two giant loungers on the balcony that face the sports deck.

Royal Loft Suite balcony

There are also comfortable loungers that face the ocean.

Royal Loft Suite balcony
Royal Loft Suite balcony

The "pièce de résistance" of the Royal Loft Suite is the private jacuzzi hot tub on the balcony, which faces the ocean.

Royal Loft Suite balcony

The hot tub is available day and night, and is one of very few suites to have this feature.

Another compelling feature of this suite is the Royal Genie services, which provides VIP privileges to everyone staying in the cabin.

Of course, the Royal Loft Suite was far from cheap, but it's designed to offer one of the most luxurious accommodations you can find on Allure of the Seas.

I felt the suite delivered on the promise of a luxurious cabin for our family to enjoy on a short cruise.  We prioritized spending more time in the cabin and taking advantage of what the in-room amenities, along with the Royal Genie services.

If your family wants a lot of space, the absolute best perks, and are willing to spend a lot for it, then the Royal Loft Suite is a great choice for you.

More information:

Allure of the Seas Guide & Review

10 Dec 2022

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class cruise ships are some of the most innovative and popular ships in the world, and Allure of the Seas is no exception.

Allure of the Seas aerial rear

Allure of the Seas is a destination within itself that offers more than enough to do, experience, and eat for guests of all ages. From adrenaline-filled activities like surfing and zip lining to enjoying world class, diverse cuisine, there’s no shortage of ways to keep busy onboard.

If you’re considering a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, be sure to read through this planning guide to ensure your cruise vacation is off to a great start. Let’s jump in!

Allure of the Seas overview

Allure of the Seas boardwalk view

Allure of the Seas is the second ship in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class, and her inaugural sailing was on December 1, 2010.

She is currently the fifth largest cruise ship in the world, with a length of 1,187 feet and gross tonnage of 225,282. Allure of the Seas has a capacity of 6,780 guests and 2,200 crew, bringing her total capacity to 8,930 passengers!

Allure of the Seas neighborhoods

Like all Oasis Class ships, Allure of the Seas is split into neighborhoods, each with their own activities and amenities. These neighborhoods help spread out crowds and provide unique experiences around the ship.

Central Park on Allure of the Seas

Here are the neighborhoods found on Allure of the Seas:

  1. The Boardwalk, an outdoor neighborhood with a carousel, arcade, candy and ice cream shop, hot dogs, Johnny Rockets, and Mexican restaurant
  2. Pool & Sports Zone, the top decks of Allure of the Seas with pools, hot tubs, and signature activities on the Sports Court
  3. Central Park, a quieter, outdoor oasis with plants, trees, and flowers. Central Park is also home to three specialty restaurants, retail stores, and bars
  4. The Royal Promenade, the main indoor thoroughfare on Allure of the Seas with bars, lounges, shopping, and dining venues
  5. Entertainment Place, the hub of entertainment venues with an ice skating rink, theater, casino, comedy club, jazz club, and nightclub
  6. Youth Zone, home to Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean kids programming
  7. Vitality Spa & Fitness, a spa, salon, and fitness center

The distinct neighborhoods on Allure of the Seas mean there is something for everyone onboard, whether you're looking to relax at Central Park or get your adrenaline pumping on the Sports Court.

What makes Allure of the Seas different from other Oasis Class ships?

Aft of Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas is the only “original” Oasis Class cruise ship left, meaning she has not received her amplification and therefore does not have several features and activities found on other ships in the class.

Other Oasis Class cruise ships have features like water slides, the Ultimate Abyss dry slide, Royal Caribbean’s newest restaurants, and escape rooms.

While Allure of the Seas may not have these activities and amenities, she offers plenty of unique opportunities not found on other Oasis Class ships, including a Brazilian steakhouse, champagne bar, Sabor Mexican restaurant, and more.

Related: The Oasis Class features that are only left on Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas dining & beverage

Sorrento's Pizza on Allure of the Seas

Like all Oasis Class cruise ships, there is no shortage of places to eat on Allure of the Seas. Everything from hot dogs to hibachi and tacos are available, and you’re sure to find something to please everyone in your travel party.

Complimentary restaurants are available onboard, but there are also several options for specialty restaurants. Specialty restaurants come at an extra charge, but they offer cuisines and cooking styles not found elsewhere on the ship, and can offer a more upscale dining experience than the complimentary venues.

Giovanni's on Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas complimentary dining options:

  • Main Dining Room
  • Windjammer Cafe
  • Solarium Bistro
  • Park Cafe
  • Cafe Promenade
  • Sorrento’s Pizza
  • Boardwalk Dog House
  • Wipeout Cafe
  • Vitality Cafe
  • Coastal Kitchen (suites only)
  • Room service (continental breakfast only)
  • Johnny Rockets (breakfast only)

Allure of the Seas specialty dining options:

  • Chops Grille
  • Giovanni’s Table
  • Izumi Hibachi & SUshi
  • 150 Central Park
  • Sabor
  • Samba Grill
  • Vintages Wine Bar
  • Cups & Scoops (cupcakes and ice cream)
  • Starbucks
  • Johnny Rockets (lunch and dinner)
  • Chef’s Table
Allure of the Seas dessert

You may want to consider purchasing a dining package if you plan to eat at specialty restaurants on Allure of the Seas.

Related: How to know if you should buy a Royal Caribbean dining package

Allure of the Seas has two restaurants found on just a few Royal Caribbean cruise ships: Samba Grill and Sabor. Because these restaurants are only found on one or two other cruise ships, they can offer a unique dining experience for those who cruise frequently with Royal Caribbean.

Related: I tried Royal Caribbean’s least well-known specialty restaurant: here’s what I thought

Allure of the Seas Bars & Lounges

Champagne Bar on Allure

Just like dining venues, there’s no shortage of places to find a refreshing drink on Allure of the Seas. Whether you’re in the mood for a soda, cocktail, smoothie, or glass of wine, you’ll find plenty of places to get a drink onboard.

One unique feature on Allure of the Seas is the Champagne Bar, which offers a selection of martinis. One of the most popular is the Cucumber Martini, made with cucumber, basil, Monin lemongrass syrup, Sweet and Sour, and Grey Goose vodka.

Martini on Allure

Another classic bar on Allure of the Seas and other Oasis Class ships is the Rising Tide Bar. This bar travels up and down 3 stories from the Royal Promenade to Central Park, making for a unique drinking experience.

Other bars on Allure of the Seas include:

  • Pool & Solarium bars
  • Wipeout Bar
  • Trellis Bar
  • Vintages Wine Bar
  • Dazzles Lounge
  • Schooner Bar
  • On Air Club
  • Bow & Stern English Pub
  • Sabor Bar

If you plan to enjoy several drinks every day of the cruise, it may be worth purchasing a beverage package. Royal Caribbean’s drink packages are unlimited, so you can enjoy as many drinks as you’d like without worrying about the cost per beverage.

Related: Royal Caribbean Drink Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

Shows & Entertainment

Aquatheater show on Allure of the Seas

All Royal Caribbean cruise ships are known for offering top-notch, complimentary entertainment, but Oasis Class ships take entertainment to the next level. With diving performances, ice-skating, a Broadway show, and endless live music choices, there’s plenty of ways to keep busy on Allure of the Seas.

In the AquaTheater guests can enjoy Oceanaria, an undersea-themed production combining aerialists, acrobats, and high divers. From acrobats standing on each other’s heads to jumping off a diving platform 30 feet in the air, the show is sure to impress all guests.

Mama Mia

One of the best entertainment features on Allure of the Seas is the full-length Broadway musical, Mamma Mia. This 2.5 hour production is included in your cruise fare and is a highlight of the cruise for many passengers.

Ice show

There’s also Ice Games, the signature ice-skating show in Studio B, which features a talented international ice cast who spin, dance, jump, and flip on the ice. The show is inspired by Monopoly and is a “game” in which cast members roll a dice, taking them to different areas onboard Allure of the Seas.

Outside of signature production shows, you’ll find live music and other events happening throughout the cruise, including:

  • Guitar music at the English pub
  • Piano music at Schooner Bar
  • Jazz band at Jazz of 4
  • Live music in Central Park
  • Game shows
  • Trivia
  • Karaoke

To find out more about what is happening onboard each day of the cruise, be sure to download the Royal Caribbean app and check the daily schedule. Making reservations to signature production shows is important, too, and it’s recommended that you do so as soon as you get onboard on embarkation day.

Related: 30 Do’s and Don’ts for the first day of your cruise

Pool deck

Pool deck

With a capacity of nearly 7,000 guests, it’s important to have plenty of pool space on Allure of the Seas, and you’ll find several areas to keep cool on warm Caribbean days.

The pool deck on Allure of the Seas has three main pools, one pool area for kids, and several jacuzzis.

Couple at the pool

Parents with young children will enjoy the H20 Zone, a splash park featuring water geysers, a small whirlpool, and hot tubs.

H20 Zone on Allure

The main pool areas are open every day of the cruise, although they may occasionally be used for activities like the belly flop competition, pool volleyball, fitness classes, swimming laps, etc.

Related: Everything you wanted to know about Royal Caribbean’s pools

Also on the pool deck are four bars, a suites-only sun deck, and an area for live bands to play reggae, rock, and contemporary hits throughout the day.


Solarium on Allure of the Seas

In addition to the main pool deck is an adults-only Solarium for guests aged 16 and above. Inside the Solarium is one pool and four hot tubs, two of which cantilever over the side of Allure of the Seas. Padded lounge chairs and other comfortable seating are also available.

Related: Everything about Royal Caribbean’s Solarium

The Solarium is also home to the Solarium Bistro, a complimentary dining venue open for breakfast and lunch, and Samba Grill Brazilian steakhouse in the evenings.

Signature activities on Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas rock climbing wall

Oasis Class ships offer fun for all ages, and there are a variety of signature activities included in your cruise fare, including:

  • The FlowRider, a surfing simulator for boogie boarding and standup surfing
  • The zip line, soaring guests over the ship’s Boardwalk neighborhood
  • Allure Dunes mini golf
  • Sports Court for activities like soccer, basketball, pickleball, etc.
  • Ping pong tables
  • Ice skating in Studio B
  • Carousel

There are also two arcades located on Allure of the Seas, but these come at an extra cost.

In addition, you’ll find a variety of activities throughout the day such as scavenger hunts, pool games, Boardwalk carnival, Royal Promenade parades, and more.

Adventure Ocean

Adventure Ocean

Allure of the Seas offers Adventure Ocean programming for kids aged 6 months to 17 years. Kids are split into the following age groups:

  • Royal Babies & Tots (6-36 months)
  • Aquanauts (3-5)
  • Explorers (6-8)
  • Voyagers (9-11)
  • Teen club (12-17)

Adventure Ocean programming is complimentary with the exception of Royal Babies & Tots, which has an hourly fee, and childcare after 10 PM.

Science Lab

Each age group has their own room for activities, and there is also an Imagination Studio for arts and crafts and a science lab for educational experiments. In addition, child-friendly movies are shown throughout the cruise at the Adventure Ocean Theater.

Teens have access to their own private lounge, The Living Room, and the Fuel Teen nightclub. There is also a private outdoor deck space for teenagers to enjoy.

Allure of the Seas staterooms

Balcony room

Allure of the Seas offers both traditional cruise ship cabins and a few alternatives only available on Oasis Class cruise ships. Each category offers a different layout, size, and experience, and there’s a stateroom to fit any budget.

Before picking a stateroom category for your cruise on Allure of the Seas, it’s important to consider your budget, what you’re looking for in a cruise experience, and which cabin will fit your family best.

Take a look at a few of our tips & tricks on picking the best stateroom for your cruise:

Allure of the Seas suite

On Allure of the Seas you’ll find interior staterooms, oceanview rooms, balcony cabins, and suites.

Interior cabins are the most budget-friendly option, meaning you can save money on the cruise fare and put it toward excursions, drink packages, dining packages, spa treatments, and other pre-cruise add-ons.

Related: I tried the best inside cruise ship cabin hacks to see how well they worked

Oceanview cabin

Oceanview cabins have a porthole looking out toward the ocean, and they can be another budget-friendly option while having the benefit of a window view.

Balcony cabins are the most common choice for cruisers, and Allure of the Seas has three types of balcony cabins:

  • Ocean View Balcony cabins
  • Central Park Balcony cabins
  • Boardwalk Balcony cabins
Boardwalk view cabin

Central Park and Boardwalk Balcony cabins are unique to Oasis Class cruise ships. Unlike an ocean view balcony, they don’t offer a full ocean view, but they look out into their respective neighborhoods.

Central Park balconies allow guests to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the ship’s park and listen to live music in the evenings. Boardwalk balconies, on the other hand, offer a more lively atmosphere and come with a partial ocean view.

Related: Are Boardwalk balcony cabins too loud?

Junior Suite on Allure of the Seas

A variety of suites are also available on Allure of the Seas, from a basic Junior Suite to lavish AquaTheater and Loft Suites.

Allure of the Seas offers the Royal Suite Class, an upgraded suite experience featuring a suites-only restaurant, Coastal Kitchen, suite sun deck with daybeds, suite lounge, and access to a Royal Genie (in select cabins).

Related: Royal Caribbean suites guide & review

Allure of the Seas itineraries

Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas sails from Port Canaveral until until July 2024, where she will offer 3 and 4-night cruises to Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Oasis Class cruise ships rarely sail itineraries shorter than 6 or 7 nights, so having regularly scheduled short cruises on Allure of the Seas makes for an excellent getaway on one of Royal Caribbean’s most impressive cruise ships.

What’s “missing” on Allure of the Seas?

Sports deck

Most comparisons of Allure of the Seas to other ships in the Oasis Class revolve around the fact that the ship is “missing” several activities, bars, and dining venues found on other ships. These include:

  • The Ultimate Abyss, Royal Caribbean’s dry slide which plummets guests 100 feet from the Sports Court down to the Boardwalk neighborhood
  • Waterslides
  • Bionic Bar, the futuristic bar serving cocktails made by robotic bartenders
  • Escape Room
  • Laser Tag
  • Wonderland, an eclectic specialty restaurant
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade

Personally, having these features missing does not make Allure of the Seas any less desirable to me. I rarely use the onboard waterslides or Ultimate Abyss, and while an escape room is fun, I can keep busy with other activities onboard. Plus, you can still find a zip line, sports court, 2 FlowRiders, Adventure Ocean programming, a carousel, and other kid-friendly activities on the ship.

That being said, not having waterslides could be considered a downside of Allure of the Seas for some passengers. Whereas other Oasis Class ships have three waterslides in addition to small slides at Splashaway Bay, Allure of the Seas does not have even one.

While there is more than enough to keep kids entertained on Allure, if your kids can’t wait to check out the waterslides onboard a cruise ship, it’s probably best to pick another ship in the Oasis Class or spend the day at Thrill Waterpark if your Allure cruise visits Perfect Day at CocoCay.

As far as dining and lounge venues are concerned, I did not have any complaints with what was available on Allure of the Seas. Being an Oasis Class ship, Allure of the Seas has a ton of places to eat and drink onboard even if she hasn’t been amplified.

Related: The Oasis Class features that are only left on Allure of the Seas

Brazilian steakhouse

As someone who cruises frequently, it was refreshing to see a range of dining options on Allure of the Seas not found as commonly on other Royal Caribbean ships. I preferred my meals at Samba Grill and Sabor on Allure of the Seas much more than my dining experience at Wonderland (which can be found on other Oasis Class ships).

Related: I tried Royal Caribbean's least well-known specialty restaurant: here's what I thought

So perhaps we shouldn’t look at Allure of the Seas in the context of what’s missing, but what makes the ship unique.

What I loved about Allure of the Seas

Diamond Lounge location

Allure of the Seas diamond lounge

One of the best perks of being a Diamond member in Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society is access to the Diamond Lounge.

Related: Crown and Anchor Society loyalty program info, tips & secrets

On every other Oasis Class ship, the Diamond Lounge is tucked into a room on Deck 4 with no windows. It’s not somewhere I enjoy spending time, as I’d rather be hanging out somewhere with an outside view.

On Allure of the Seas, however, this space has massive windows overlooking the Boardwalk neighborhood and ocean. 

Sabor Mexican restaurant

Food at Sabor

Something else I loved on Allure of the Seas was Sabor, Royal Caribbean’s Mexican specialty restaurant.

I didn’t have the highest expectations when I made a reservation at Sabor. Not only do I live in an area of the US with wonderful, authentic Mexican food, but I was on a cruise visiting Mexico. Surely the food at Sabor couldn’t compete with the food I enjoyed in port, right?

Sabor Food

In reality, Sabor exceeded my expectations and I was kicking myself for waiting until the last day of the cruise to dine there.

We savored a meal of guacamole (customized to your spice preference!), pico de gallo, quesadillas, fish and chicken tacos, and queso fundido.


Despite feeling completely stuffed after way too much guacamole, I made room for a mouthwatering dessert of cinnamon churros, banana and chocolate chimichanga, flan, and cafe con leche.

Endless guacamole, tacos, and churros? Yes, please!

Entertainment options

The ship’s AquaTheater show, OceanAria, may have been the best AquaTheater show I’ve seen yet. It had a huge focus on acrobatics, including an insanely impressive acro yoga performance. I wish I had seen the show more than once! While all AquaTheater shows on Oasis Class ships are entertaining, I enjoyed OceanAria the most.

Additionally, the ship’s Studio B show, Ice Games, was one of my favorite ice skating shows to date. I have a hard time understanding the plot of most ice skating shows, but Ice Games was easy to follow. The show revolved around a Monopoly game in which the cast members (or guests!) rolled a die that would transport the set to an area of Allure of the Seas.

The ice skating rink changed from Giovanni’s Table to the Boardwalk and Arcade, and the whole show was beyond fun to watch!

Central Park

Central Park

Something I love about sailing on the “older” ships in the Oasis Class (Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas) is that the plants and trees in Central Park have had over ten years to grow. The park is full of tall, lush trees and massive plant walls that are much more impressive than on the newer Oasis Class ships.

As someone who loves spending time in Central Park, I liked how the space felt more integrated with nature on Allure of the Seas compared to the newer ships.

Related: Top 10 Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas insider tips & secrets

Cheaper pricing

Perhaps the best benefit of cruising on Allure of the Seas is that prices are often the lowest of any Oasis Class ship. Because she has not been amplified and thus lacks activities like waterslides and new dining venues, Royal Caribbean prices her itineraries at a reasonable cost.

My 6-night cruise, for example, was $1152 for two guests in a Boardwalk balcony cabin including gratuities. At $192 per night ($96 per person, per night), I felt it was a great deal for sailing on one of Royal Caribbean’s biggest cruise ships.

Considering a cruise on Allure of the Seas? Check out more of our advice for planning the best cruise vacation:

Top 10 Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas insider tips & secrets

27 Sep 2022

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas offers passengers nearly endless activities to choose from onboard. As one of the largest cruise ships in the world, it’s easy to overlook some of the ship’s features and amenities.

Knowing the “hidden” spots to discover on Allure of the Seas can make your cruise more enjoyable, whether it means skipping crowds at the Windjammer or relaxing in a quiet spot with an ocean view.

Here’s our list of the top 10 hidden secrets (and one bonus) on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas.

Secret sun deck

While the Solarium is located on deck 15 of Allure of the Seas, a secret outdoor sundeck can be accessed from deck 14.

If you take the forward elevators to deck 14 and walk all the way forward through the hallways, you’ll reach a large, outdoor sun deck that not many passengers know about.

In addition to the large deck space are two bridge wings that jet off the sides of Allure of the Seas. This might just be the best place to watch sailaway and sunsets onboard. Beware of the wind, however, as this part of the ship can get extremely windy!

Small wonders

Hidden all over Allure of the Seas are small wonders, small art pieces that are easily overlooked by those who don’t know they exist.

Small wonders look like a periscope/telescope and rise from the ground to eye-level. If you look through the “eyes” of the sculpture, you’ll find tiny, cool art inside to enjoy.

Finding small wonders is a lot of fun for kids and adults, and there are over twenty of them all over Allure of the Seas.

Hint: If you give up and cannot find them all, Guest Services can provide you with a list of them to help!

Central Park secret deck

Just outside the elevator lobbies on deck 9, aft of Allure of the Seas are two small balconies overlooking Central Park.

Each of these balconies has a table and two chairs, and it’s a relaxing spot to enjoy a drink, play cards, or simply relax with a view. It’s also one of the best spots to get your photo taken with Central Park in the background.

Carnival games

Cruising with kids? Open your Royal Caribbean app, click on the “Games” tab at the bottom of the screen next to the Excursions button, and head to the Boardwalk.

Located across from Sabor Bar on the Boardwalk are three posters that, at first glance, appear to be solely for decoration.

These posters actually lead you to a game within Royal Caribbean’s app, and can be a fun activity for kids to try while onboard.

There are three games to play: Splish Splash Soak, Duck Duck Bear, and Go-Go Gopher. You can activate the game by first selecting the game on Royal Caribbean's app and then pointing your phone at the poster on the Boardwalk.

Shuffleboard and viewing area

Walking all the way through the Boardwalk will lead you to the AquaTheater. If you circle around the AquaTheater, you’ll find a path along the aft of Allure of the Seas.

This viewing area offers not only phenomenal views of the ship’s wake, but you can also play shuffleboard here and look in the ship’s direction for a unique viewpoint of the Boardwalk neighborhood.

If you’re looking for one of the best selfie spots on Allure of the Seas, this is it.

Adirondack chairs

Allure of the Seas has a jogging/running track outdoors that wraps around deck 5 of the ship, but did you know there are seating areas on this deck offering unbeatable views of the ship’s wake?

If you walk all the way to the back of the ship on the running track, you’ll run into several comfortable Adirondack chairs near the railing. This makes for a quiet, peaceful spot to enjoy an ocean view without the crowds you’ll find on the pool deck or in the Solarium.

Aquatheater show viewing area

Did you forget to make reservations for the AquaTheater show and your showtime of choice is fully booked? If so, there’s still a way you can enjoy the show without a reservation.

Deck 7, aft on both the port and starboard sides of the ship is used for rock climbing during the day. At night, however, these decks can be one of the best places to watch AquaTheater shows in the evening, and you won’t need a reservation to watch the show from there.

You can access these decks by walking to the AquaTheater on the Boardwalk and up a flight of stairs (follow the signs for “Rock Climbing Wall”). If you don’t have a reservation, walk all the way aft through the hallways on deck 7. A door is found at the end of the hallway that will take you to the outdoor deck.

Best breakfast spot: Johnny Rockets

If you want one of the best breakfast spots on Allure of the Seas that will not be nearly as crowded as the Windjammer, head to Johnny Rockets on the Boardwalk.

On Allure of the Seas, Johnny Rockets is open for breakfast and offers some great traditional breakfast items, such as pancakes, omelettes, French toast, and more.

The best part? It’s free! Johnny Rockets is complimentary for breakfast on Allure of the Seas (lunch and dinner still cost extra).

Embarkation day lunch spots

The Windjammer buffet can get pretty busy on embarkation day since so many guests head there for lunch immediately after boarding Allure of the Seas. Instead of the Windjammer, there are some good alternatives to consider that will be far less crowded.

Sabor, Park Cafe, Boardwalk Dog House, Wipe Out Cafe, and Johnny Rockets are all open on embarkation day on Allure of the Seas and you will find great food without the crowds.

Exit the Amber Theater on deck 5

Whether you’re watching Mamma Mia or the Love & Marriage Game Show, you’ll probably find yourself in the Amber Theater at one point or another on Allure of the Seas.

Imagine this: you just finished seeing another great show in the theater and it’s time to leave. The problem? There’s a huge crowd of people all trying to exit the theater at once and the line doesn’t seem to be moving.

Your best bet is to head up to deck 5 (the upper level of the Amber Theater) and exit on that deck.

Why? Deck 4 (the main entrance) empties into a narrow elevator lobby and the casino, whereas deck 5 opens up into the Royal Promenade. There is physically far more space for guests to exit on deck 5.

BONUS: the best drink you don’t know about: Cucumber Martini

There are so many drinks to try on any Royal Caribbean cruise, but if you are on Allure of the Seas, you should go out of your way to try a drink unique to this class of ships: the Cucumber Martini.

The cucumber martini has reached cult status with many Royal Caribbean fans and is available at two bars onboard: 150 Central Park and the Champagne Bar.

This drink is light, very refreshing, and is also quite tasty!

Planning a cruise on Allure of the Seas? Check out more of our best tips & tricks:

The Oasis Class features that are only left on Allure of the Seas

23 Aug 2022

Royal Caribbean has steadily updated each of its Oasis Class cruise ships, but Allure of the Seas is the last ship that has features from the original design.

Allure of the Seas aerial with sunset

When Oasis of the Seas started sailing in December, 2009 it was the largest, most innovative cruise ship in the world. Thirteen years later it is still a marvel in the industry.

Four other Oasis class ships have come along with different features including new restaurants, dry slides, water slides and escape rooms.

Read moreWhat was added to each Royal Caribbean ship during its Royal Amplified refurbishment

Due to the global pandemic, Allure of the Seas has had her scheduled upgrades suspended for at least the next three years (according to the current Hotel Manager).

While I’m here on my favorite Oasis class ship for the next eight days, I thought I’d share some classic features of the ship you either can’t find on the others or are slowly being phased out.

Royal Promenade

One of my favorite venues is the Champagne Bar. I’m always looking for a good martini and the Champagne Bar consistently delivers with my classic favorites. The bar staff also is great at coming up with new flavors I’ve never thought to try.

That space has been replaced with the Bionic Bar on the other Oasis Class ships. This is where you can get your drinks made for you by the robotic bartenders. I, myself am not a fan of the Bionic Bar which obviously puts me in the minority or Royal wouldn’t keep adding them to their ships. I miss the personal connection to the bar staff and the inviting ambiance of the Champagne bar. The Bionic Bar always seems to be very bright and stark in contrast.

Deck 5 is also where you’ll find the On-Air Club. It’s here that karaoke and some visual trivia takes place. While it still exists on other ships, Oasis and Wonder have re-named it “Spotlight Karaoke” and it is now a designated karaoke bar.

Pool Deck

The biggest difference between Allure and the other Oasis class ships is the absence of the water slides.

The other four ships have “The Perfect Storm.” They consist of two twisting slides, The Typhoon and The Cyclone along with a separate bowl-style slide named Supercell. In this area on Allure you’ll find three hot tubs.

Another missing feature is the Lime and Coconut bars that are found on Oasis and Wonder. The Sand Bar and Pool Bar are in these locations but they don’t deliver the Caribbean theming that the Lime and Coconut brings to those ships.

The Solarium Bistro is available on all ships for breakfast and lunch however, Allure is the only one that turns the restaurant into the Samba Grill in the evenings. Samba Grill is Royal’s take on the Brazilian Steakhouse, with gauchos serving meats tableside.

Deck 15 on Allure is also where you’ll find the last of the Wipe Out Café’s. This outdoor restaurant serves breakfast daily. You can find hamburgers and sandwiches during lunch hours. It has been replaced by El Loco Fresh on Oasis and Symphony.

The Living Room is the onboard club for teens. I wouldn’t say it’s being phased out, as there will always be an area for the younger cruises, however, that space on Oasis has been replaced by Port Side BBQ and on Wonder by their expanded Windjammer Café.

Deck 14: No Escape!

The card room on Deck 14 (named Seven Hearts) has board games and computers; along with plenty of tables.

This area on Oasis and Wonder has been replaced by Escape rooms Apollo 18 and The Observatorium, respectively.

Diamond Lounge

Allure is the only ship that still has their Diamond Lounge on Deck 11, overlooking the Boardwalk. It is, by far, my favorite location in the fleet. The lounge is for Crown and Anchor members, Diamond and above.

Here, you have access to a specialty coffee machine. Food includes continental breakfast in the morning, some snacks during the day (cookies, fruit etc.) and hors d’oeuvres in the evening, with cocktail service.

There is also a dedicated concierge to help you with things like dining and show reservations.

There are stairs leading up to Deck 12 that used to be part of the lounge but is now reserved for Chef’s Table dinner.

On the other Oasis class ships, the Diamond Lounge (and the Library next door) has been replaced with the Wonderland specialty restaurant or in Oasis’ case, additional staterooms.


The other major difference between Allure and the others is the absence of The Abyss, the dry slide. You will not find the two purple tubes at the end of the Boardwalk blocking your view to the ocean. I happen to love that, especially if you have Boardwalk balcony room.

Sabor, the Mexican specialty dining venue has been replaced on Oasis, Symphony and Wonder with Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.

Allure’s Boardwalk Donuts, Cups & Scoops ice cream parlor and the Arcade also occupy the space that has been taken over by Playmakers on the other ships.

In addition, Sabor has a separate bar in the center of the Boardwalk that on the other ships is the landing area of The Abyss slide.

Comedy Club

Deck 4 is where you’ll find the dedicated comedy club on Allure.

On her sister ships, that has been turned into the Diamond Club lounge.

No need to fear, comedy lovers. You can still find the comedians in Blaze, The Attic or even in the main theater.

Specialty Suites

Allure and Oasis are the only ships in the class that feature the Owner’s and Grand Panoramic Suites.

These suites are pretty much the same layout with the Owner’s being approximately 160 square feet larger. They are on opposite sides of deck 17 (1701 and 1758).

What makes them particularly unique is the private hot tub on their balconies.

Final thoughts

There hasn’t been an official date for Allure’s amplification beyond a vague three year timeline. No word on what she will receive but you can pretty much bet it will include the Abyss and Perfect Storm slides. In fact, I noticed that in the gift shop, the ship ornament for Allure already has the addition of the Abyss.

This winter Allure will be leaving Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale and moving on to Galveston, Texas. In the fall of 2023, she’ll be back in Florida doing three and four night sailings from Port Canaveral. I look forward to sailing on her many more times in these next three years to enjoy the venues I love before they’re gone forever.

Royal Caribbean will offer short cruises on an Oasis Class cruise ship for the first time

08 Mar 2022

For the first time ever, an Oasis Class cruise ship will offer regular 3- and 4-night cruises.

Royal Caribbean unveiled its 2023-2024 Short Caribbean cruises on Tuesday, and Allure of the Seas will begin offering short sailings in late 2023.

Traditionally, Oasis Class ships sail 7-night cruises.  These are the biggest cruise ships in the world, and by offering so much to see and do onboard, Royal Caribbean always sailed them on the longer sailings.

In recent years, Royal Caribbean has steadily improved the vessels offering weekend cruises from Florida, beginning with amplified Voyager Class ships, and more recently the slightly larger Freedom Class ships.

Allure of the Seas transitioning to short Caribbean voyages will open up a new enticing option to the getaway cruise market.

Allure of the Seas will sail from Port Canaveral, Florida beginning on October 31, 2023 and alternate between 3- and 4-night cruises that visit Nassau, Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The new short sailings run through at least April 15, 2024.

Allure of the Seas had been deployed to Galveston, Texas since late 2022, but Harmony of the Seas will take over so that Allure can move to Florida.

In an interview with Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider, he indicated the idea of having short cruises on an Oasis Class ship is an exciting new plan, "We've loved our our three or four short program. It's been tremendously successful.

"We've never piloted that with an Oasis class ship before. So Allure of the Seas will be the first pilot of a three or four night short program."

Other short Caribbean sailings

In addition to the Allure change, Royal Caribbean released 7 other ship deployments.

Adventure of the Seas will sail from Galveston and offer 4-, 5- and 6-night Western Caribbean cruises.

Freedom of the Seas will continue to offer 3- and 4- night cruises from Miami that visit CocoCay & Nassau.

Granduer of the Seas

Grandeur of the Seas will also sail from Miami, and run primarily Southern Caribbean voyages that are as long as 12 nights in some cases. She will also offer 4- and 5- cruises to The Bahamas and Western Caribbean.

Independence of the Seas will sail 3-, 4-, and 5- night cruises from Miami to CocoCay & Nassau.

Liberty of the Seas will call Fort Lauderdale home, and offer 3-6 night cruises around the Caribbean and Bahamas.

Mariner of the Seas will also sail from Port Canaveral with more varied 4- and 5-night Caribbean cruises.

Radiance of the Seas will move from Vancouver, and initially offer one west coast cruise down to San Diego, before embarking on a Panama Canal cruise to Tampa, where she will sail 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean cruises.

Next deployments

More cruises will be announced over the course of the next few weeks.

Royal Caribbean's deployment schedule is as follows:

  • Week of March 14: Los Angeles
  • Week of March 28: Barbados & Panama
  • Week of April 4: Australia
  • Week of April 11: China
  • Week of April 18: 7-night Caribbean
  • Week of June 6: Singapore

Keep in mind that the deployment schedule is subject to change.

Planning on booking a 2023 cruise? These stories will help:

Royal Caribbean gets CDC approval for Allure of the Seas to sail

06 Aug 2021

Another Royal Caribbean cruise ship has gotten approval to sail from the United States.

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas has received its Conditional Sailing Certificate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which means the ship can offer cruises with paying passengers onboard.

This certificate is the final phase of the CDC's phased approach, known as the Conditional Sail Order (CSO), to allowing cruise ships to resume operations from the United States, and is yet another ship in the fleet to get approval by the U.S. government to sail.

Allure of the Seas had her 2-night test cruise conducted on July 27.

The cruise line shared the good news on social media, although it has not always shared publicly which ships have gotten approval to sail following a test cruise.

Allure of the Seas is scheduled for her first sailing this weekend when she departs Port Canaveral on August 8.

Allure joins Freedom, Serenade, and Odyssey of the Seas as ships able to restart cruises after getting CDC approval.

Test cruises are part of the CSO that the CDC implemented as a way for cruise ships to resume operations.

Since Royal Caribbean will not require at least 95% of its cruise passengers to be fully vaccinated, test cruises are needed to demonstrate to the CDC that the onboard health protocols work.

All of the crew members will be fully vaccinated on Allure of the Seas, and any unvaccinated guests (mainly children, according to the cruise line) will be subject to additional testing requirements and specific health protocols. 

Sailings on Allure of the Seas will require all guests to get a pre-cruise Covid test up to 3 days before the ship sails, and to bring the negative test result to the ship.

The new test requirement of all guests is a new protocol recently introduced due to the Delta variant and Covid cases subsequently rising across the country, especially in Florida.

Once onboard, Royal Caribbean has new health protocols for guests depending if they fully vaccinated or not.

All guests must wear face masks while indoors, but the mask can be taken off when in a fully vaccinated area, and/or while actively eating or drinking. Masks are also not necessary when outdoors or at the cruise line's private island.

Vaccinated guests also wear a wristband to easily identify themselves as vaccinated, while unvaccinated guests have no such wristband and have a hole punched in their SeaPass card.

Allure of the Seas to begin her test cruise today

27 Jul 2021

The first Oasis Class cruise ship to potentially restart operations will give it a try later today when Allure of the Seas conducts her simulated voyage.

Allure has been docked in Port Canaveral for a few days in preperation for the test sailing.  

The two-night test cruise will depart today and visit Perfect Day at CocoCay before returning back to Port Canaveral on Thursday.

Simulated cruises are part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) phased approach to cruise ships restarting in the United States.

While the State of Florida has won its lawsuit against the CDC, and test cruises from Florida are no longer required, Royal Caribbean said it will continue to follow CDC cruise ship recommendations.

Required or not, the purpose of a test cruise is to demonstrate to the CDC that the onboard health protocols can work, and keep crew members and passengers safe.

All the passengers onboard are volunteers, who are a mix of travel agents, top tier Crown and Anchor Society members, and cruise line employees.

So far three other Royal Caribbean ships have successfully conducted test cruises: Freedom of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas & Odyssey of the Seas.

If all goes well for Allure of the Seas on her test sailing, she could be ready for her first scheduled voyage on August 8.

What happens on a test cruise?

There will be CDC officials onboard Allure of the Seas to observe and critique the various new changes and health protocols onboard.

There is a list of activities that any cruise ship doing a test cruise must complete in order to pass the test.  The CDC gives cruise lines the option of completing these requirements over one or multiple sailings, but thus far, Royal Caribbean has opted to complete test sailings over the course of a single voyage.

Test cruises are necessary for any ship sailing in U.S. waters that will carry more than 250 passengers and crew.

The test cruises are designed to test new embarkation and disembarkation procedures, medical evacuation procedures and procedures for transferring symptomatic passengers and crew to isolation rooms set up on board the ships.

There are also requirements for testing what happens during meals, entertainment onboard, and the pool deck.

Why is Royal Caribbean choosing to do test cruises?

Some cruise fans wonder why Royal Caribbean International does test cruises instead of requiring 95% of its passengers be fully vaccinated and skip test cruises, similar to what Celebrity Cruises has done.

The answer is Royal Caribbean sails with so many families, there are simply too many children that are ineligible for a Covid-19 vaccine.

As a family brand that traditionally has over 1 million children sailing onboard, leaving kids out (and subsequently their parents and extended family) was not an option Royal Caribbean ever considered.

Royal Caribbean International's senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Mark Tamis, called the decision "obvious" given how many kids sail with Royal Caribbean, along with the cruise line's dedication to remaining a family brand. "A good 20 to 25 percent of our guests are kids."

Live test cruise coverage

RoyalCaribbeanBlog will be onboard this Allure of the Seas test cruise, and I'll be sharing what it's like on a test cruise right here!

There will be daily live blogs to read, as well as live broadcasts on FacebookYouTube, and Twitter.

Royal Caribbean gets CDC approval to start test sailings on Allure and Symphony of the Seas

03 Jun 2021

Two of the world's largest cruise ships have gotten approval to start test cruises.

Royal Caribbean confirmed on Thursday Allure of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas have received permission from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to start test cruises.

These two ships the second and third Royal Caribbean International ship to get approval for test cruises, following Freedom of the Seas.

Both ships are the first Oasis Class ships to get test cruise approval, and are the largest ships to date with approval from the CDC to conduct simulated voyages.

Read moreHere's how to sign up to be a volunteer for a Royal Caribbean test cruise

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley confirmed the news on Facebook, along with sail dates.

Allure of the Seas will start her testr cruises from Port Canaveral on July 27 to July 29.

Symphony of the Seas will conduct her test sailings from PortMiami on August 1 through August 3.

Read moreEverything you need to know about Royal Caribbean test cruises

"Yippee," Mr. Bayley added with the news. "Just got approval from the CDC for our simulated sailings."

Royal Caribbean issued a statement confirming what Mr. Bayley posted, "We are encouraged to see our ongoing work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to progress on all fronts. Allure and Symphony of the Seas, two of the world’s largest cruise ships, are the latest in Royal Caribbean International’s fleet to be approved for simulation cruises. The ships will follow Freedom of the Seas and embark on their simulation sailings on July 27 and August 1, respectively. "

Simulated voyages (also known as test cruises) are when cruise lines can operate ships with volunteer passengers in order to prove their new protocols work.

These are not cruises you can book, but rather, are limited voyages where a cruise line invites certain unpaid volunteers to help go through all the necessary steps and procedures to ensure cruise ships can be run safely.

Each cruise ship needs to be approved by the CDC in order to conduct test cruises.

During these test cruises, Royal Caribbean will go through a variety of scenarios to prove to the CDC that the ship can conduct sailings in a safe manner. Specifically, the new protocols aimed at preventing Covid-19 from getting onboard the ship are at the heart of these dry runs.

Each ship must conduct at least one simulated cruise, and each voyage must be between 2-7 days in length with a least one overnight stay, including through embarkation, disembarkation, and post-disembarkation testing.

According to the CDC, passengers and crew must meet standards during the simulated voyage for hand hygiene, use of face masks, and social distancing for passengers and crew, as well as ship sanitation.

Royal Caribbean must modify meal service and entertainment venues to facilitate social distancing during the simulated voyage.

Royal Caribbean will base Allure of the Seas in Galveston beginning November 2022

02 Mar 2021

Royal Caribbean is set to announce Allure of the Seas will sail from Galveston.

According to the Port of Galveston, Royal Caribbean will announce on Wednesday that Allure of the Seas will begin sailing from Galveston, Texas in November 2022.

The information was divulged at a meeting of the Wharves Board of Trustees on Tuesday. More than likely, Allure's sailing from Galveston will be in tandem with the opening of the new cruise terminal that Royal Caribbean intends to build.

"Royal is going to announce tomorrow that sales will begin for the Allure of the Seas in November 2022," said Galveston Port Director Rodger Rees.

"So they're going to start selling for the Allure of the Seas, I got the email yesterday."

Back in December 2019, the plan was to have Allure sail from Galveston, but the delayed cruise terminal construction meant those plans had to be deferred.

It now appears those plans were deferred, but not denied.

The anticipated official announcement by Royal Caribbean tomorrow will likely coincide with Royal Caribbean's release of 7-Night Caribbean & Northeast (Phase 2) sailings.

Royal Caribbean plans to partner with Ceres Terminals Management to manage the new terminal and provide stevedore services at the pier.

Ceres would have 50% ownership in the terminal and Royal Caribbean would have the other 50%. Ceres is already approved to provide stevedore services at Galveston and provides similar services for Royal Caribbean at Port Canaveral, Port Everglades (Silversea), Tampa, Baltimore, and New Orleans.

Read moreHere are the two port projects Royal Caribbean intends to complete

Royal Caribbean is ordering two new gangways for the new terminal with a 2-year delivery time. They did not discuss whether the gangways would be available for the November 2022 terminal opening but some alternate method of embarkation would possibly be needed during the first few months of operation.

The new Galveston cruise terminal has been by a year due to the cruise industry shutdown, but Galveston officials claim Royal Caribbean has informed in February 2021 that they intend to begin construction in April 2021.

Galveston Port Director Rodger Rees said in that February meeting, "April 1, we're slated for construction to begin on the new cruise terminal."

The new Terminal 3 in Galveston will be built on 10 acres of land at Pier 10, and will be used exclusively by Royal Caribbean.

The new cruise terminal will be big enough to handle Royal Caribbean's largest cruise ships, including an Oasis Class ship or the new Icon Class ships.

The facility will feature state-of-the-art technology, including mobile check-in and facial recognition to expedite guest arrival. The terminal will be designed and developed sustainably to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental) certification standards.

Many thanks to RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Galveston Steve for helping with this post.

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