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Royal Caribbean resumes visits to private destination of Labadee

26 Jan 2016

Royal Caribbean was able to resume stops at its private destination of Labadee, following three cancelled scheduled stops due to local protests.

Allure of the Seas was able to dock in Labadee earlier this morning, and its guests were able to disembark and enjoy the activities onshore.

Good morning Haiti #royalcaribbean #labadee #haiti

A photo posted by Brittany (@_brittnaynay_) on

Royal Caribbean has been working closely with local and government officials in Haiti to monitor the situation and ensure the safety of its guests.

7 surprising facts about Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas

07 Jan 2016

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas is among the cruise line's most popular cruise ships, and for good reason.

She is the largest cruise ship in the world (as of the writing of this blog post) and offers guests so much to do onboard.

Here are some quick facts about Allure of the Seas that you might not have known about!

7. Her godmother isn't human

Every cruise ship has an honorary godmother, that attends the ship's naming ceremony and officially welcomes the ship into the fleet, but for Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean did something unusual by making an animated character her godmother.

Princess Fiona, from the Shrek films, was named Allure of the Seas' godmother on November 28, 2010.

Princess Fiona appeared in 3-D on the screen in the ship's Amber Theater to preside over the festivities, interacting with Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO, Richard D. Fain.

The decision to have Fiona be the godmother is another part of the tightly knit deal between Royal Caribbean and Dreamworks to integrate the characters into the ships of the Royal Caribbean fleet.

6. Allure of the Seas is longer than Oasis of the Seas by accident

When Royal Caribbean was building Allure of the Seas, they wanted to make sure she was very close to sister ship Oasis of the Seas, because Oasis had been performing so well that the company did not want to ruin a good thing.

There is one key difference between the two and that is Allure of the Seas is 50mm longer than Oasis of the Seas.

Interestingly, the shipyard where she was build maintains this difference was not intentional.  

STX Finland Project Director Topivo Ilvonen said, "Indeed this is a curiosity only.  In a ship that is 360 metres long such small differences may occur due to the temperature of steel."

5. Allure of the Seas does not "squat" when going faster

Those that remember Allure of the Seas' delivery from the STX Finland shipyard may recall as she passed under the Great Belt Bridge, a story came out that by traveling at a higher speed in a shallow channel, the ship will be drawn deeper into the water.

The fact is, that is just not true.

The shipyard builders contend it is a myth that the "squat effect" would have any significant effect on the draft of the vessel when passing the Great Belt Bridge because the water is too deep.

4. Allure of the Seas offered the first Starbucks at sea

These days, many Royal Caribbean ships offer Starbucks beverages onboard their ships but the Royal Caribbean and Starbucks connection first began with Allure of the Seas.

The Starbucks at sea is operated under a license between Starbucks and Royal Caribbean and was first launched on Allure of the Seas.

3. Restaurants have been replaced and moved on Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas is just five years old, but has seen quite a bit of change onboard, including restaurant changes.

Rita's Cantina used to be on the Boardwalk for guests to enjoy, but in a recent refurbishment, Royal Caribbean replaced Rita's with another Mexican cuisine offering, Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar.

Japanese restaurant Izumi is still available on Allure of the Seas, but it was moved from its small location on Deck 16 all the way down to deck 4, and now includes Teppanyaki cuisine.

Coastal Kitchen, the restaurant open exclusively to guests booked in suites, took up residence on Deck 17, which used to be the location of the Viking Crown Lounge.

2. Electricity for the shopping district is provided by solar energy

The next time you do some shopping onboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, you can feel better about the ship's footprint on the Earth because all the electricity in the ship's shopping district comes from the sun.

Royal Caribbean partnered with United Solar to install laminates that provide electricity for the ship's shopping district.

The 80kW system, which covers a floor area of 2,000m2, is listed to generate 111,108 kilowatt hours of energy a year.

1. Clarissa Parish designed many of the interiors aboard Allure of the Seas

Anglo-Italian muralist Clarissa Parish designed many of the beautiful decorations found around Allure of the Seas.

If you walk around Allure of the Seas, you will see her work without ever knowing one person was largely responsible for the art.

In fact, Parish also created a number of murals again for Royal Caribbean on the Freedom class cruise ships.

Photo tour from Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas arcade

12 Sep 2015

We love checking out photos of Royal Caribbean cruises to get a quick "virtual trip" and today we have photos of the arcade from Allure of the Seas.

The arcade is in a new spot in the Boardwalk neighborhood, and it's located next to the Pets at Sea store.

The photos are from this week's sailing, taken by our awesome blog reader Rich Freudenberg.

All photos by Rich Freudenberg.

Spotted: Cups & Scoops on Allure of the Seas

10 Sep 2015

You may recall when Royal Caribbean completed the drydock for Allure of the Seas, the Ice Cream Parlor in the Boardwalk neighborhood was transformed into Cups & Scoops and we have some new photos to show you of this venue.

When Allure of the Seas underwent her refurbishment, Cups & Scoops was created by combining the ice cream parlor and the Cupcake Cupboard into one new storefront.

All photos by Rich Freudenberg

Here are some photos of the new exterior.

Royal Caribbean describes Cups and Scoops as a 1940s-style shop featuring fresh-baked gourmet cupcakes, plus private decorating parties and cupcake design classes.

Interestingly, the old name of the Ice Cream Parlor remains on this column.  The name was generic enough that it still advertises what Cups & Scoops offers without adding any confusion.

Inside the store, Cups & Scoops now offers cupcakes and Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Will you be visiting Cups and Scoops on your next Allure of the Seas Cruise? Please let us know with a comment!

Spotlight: Cabanas on Allure of the Seas

08 Sep 2015

We love to discover new changes aboard Royal Caribbean's cruise ships and today we have a look at the cabanas that were added to Allure of the Seas.

Photo by Rich Freudenberg

These cabanas are located on the Suite sun deck, up on deck 17.

The cabanas have no additional cost for guests to use them, but guests must be staying in a suite stateroom (Grand Suite or above) to get access to the cabanas.  

Photos by Photo by Rich Freudenberg

Cabanas are available on a first come, first served basis.

Royal Caribbean recently added a shower to the cabana area and according to the ship's Hotel Director, they are planning to add a Jacuzzi on the Suite Sun Deck to enhance the Royal Suite Program.

Would you like to spend the day in a cabana on the Suite Sun Deck? Let us know in the comments!

What first time cruisers need to know about Oasis and Allure of the Seas

12 Aug 2015

All this week, we are helping first time Royal Caribbean cruisers with all aspects of the cruise vacation.  Check back every day for a new post aimed at those who are new to Royal Caribbean!

Royal Caribbean has a large fleet of cruise ships and quite often new cruisers are attracted to the world's largest cruise ships, the Oasis class.  

Whether you are sailing on Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas, here is what you need to know about these ships if you are new to cruising.

The ship is big but easy to navigate

Yes, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are the two largest cruise ships in the world (as of the writing of this blog post) but that does not mean these ships are impossible to navigate.  

Despite their size, Royal Caribbean designed these ships to be easy to get around.  Each ship has 7 distinct neighborhoods that have their own look and feel.  The neighborhood concept makes getting around easier because areas of the ship do not blend into each other.

One of the best things you can do once onboard these ships is walk around and explore.  There is a ton to see and do on the Oasis class ships and beyond just knowing where everything is, there is lots to discover.  Art, activities, live music, decor and more are in all the neighborhoods.

Embarkation day is a great time to just walk around the ship and explore because it is the one day of the cruise where there is not a ton of activities going on. 

Here are some areas you will definitely want to explore early

  • Central Park
  • Boardwalk
  • Take a spa tour
  • Walk the Royal Promenade
  • Find Adventure Ocean (if you have kids)

You will discover a lot more but just finding these handful of areas onboard will be a good starting point.

 Also be sure to explore these areas at night too.  Places like Central Park and the Boardwalk literally transform when the sun goes down and can be great spots to sit and enjoy the view.


Don't miss the shows

The entertainment on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are really hard to beat and Royal Caribbean has put on them some of the best shows you will find across Royal Caribbean's fleet.

Even if you aren't "a show person", Royal Caribbean puts on some impressive entertainment that caters to a lot of tastes.  You will find Broadway shows, ice skating, water shows and a whole lot more!

Speaking of Broadway, each ship has their own Broadway show.  Oasis of the Seas is showing Cats and Allure of the Seas is showing Mamma Mia!.

By far the Broadway shows and the shows in the Aqua Theater stand out as must-see entertainment on either ship.

One important tip if you are new to cruising is on Oasis class ships you can book your entertainment in advance from the comfort of home.

Select shows offer the ability to book reservations in advance via Royal Caribbean's web site.  Don't worry, there is no cost to do this, but we recommend booking any entertainment you can in advance to avoid lines at show time.

All you have to do is go to My Cruises and then log in (register an account if you have not done so already).  Then find your cruise reservation and go to the Cruise Planner.  A few clicks later and you should be able to reserve your entertainment.

Keep in mind that reservations for entertainment is usually available for booking 64-60 days in advance of your cruise.  Check our planning timeline for more information on when things like entertainment can be reserved.

There are a lot of specialty restaurants (and you should try some of them)

There are plenty of complimentary restaurants to eat at on your Royal Caribbean cruise but you should really consider dining at some of the specialty restaurants available onboard.

Specialty restaurants are restaurants where there is an additional charge to dine there.  Usually, there is just a cover charge that includes the cost of the meal and gratuity, although some restaurants are priced a la carte too.

The reason you want to try some of these specialty restaurants out is because of the wide variety of really good food they offer.

Sushi, Italian, American, Mexican and more are available at these restaurants on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.  Either browse their menus online or walk by the restaurants during your cruise and check out what they offer.

Remember there are some good ways to save money off the cost of specialty restaurants, so there is no excuse to pay full price!

What would you recommend to someone going on Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas? Share your tips in the comments!

Photos of newly refurbished areas on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas

27 May 2015

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas wrapped up an 18-day drydock revitalization last week and we now have photos of some of the changes made to the ship.

The drydock session added some new specialty restaurants, suites and made changes to its main dining rooms in preperation for Dynamic Dining.

Here are some photos of the changes made to Allure of the Seas, provided by Royal Caribbean.

New suite lounge on Allure of the Seas for suite guests and Pinnacle members

New Michael Kors boutique

Allure of the Seas' main dining room

Allure of the Seas' main dining room

Allure of the Seas' main dining room

Allure of the Seas' main dining room

Coastal Kitchen specialty restaurant for suite guests only.


Kate Spade New York store

Exterior of Kate Spade New York store

Regalia in the Park shop

Main dining room

Izumi Hibachi & Sushi entrance

Inside Izumi Hibachi & Sushi

Inside Izumi Hibachi & Sushi

Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar

Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas finishes ship-wide refurbishment

21 May 2015

The largest cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas has finished an 18-day drydock revitalization just in time to begin her European cruise season.

The drydock refurbishment added some new features to the ship, including new restaurants.

Royal Caribbean also added 10 new suites onboard Allure of the Seas. In total, there are two Royal Suites, six Grand Suites and two Royal Family Suites.

Also new for suite guests is a Suite Lounge, where suite guests can go to relax onboard the ship just for them.  There's also a new Sun Deck that gives suite guests a reserved spot to catch some rays.

For all guests, there will be new merchandise locations to checkout on, including Kate Spade New York and Michael Kors shops.  Over in Central Park, there's a new luxury timepiece shop, Regalia in the Park.

Through October 2015, Allure of the Seas will be homeported in Barcelona, Spain and offer cruises in the Mediterranean.  In November 2015, Allure of the Seas will return home to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to resume Caribbean cruises.

Allure of the Seas will have drydock at Navantia shipyard

17 Apr 2015

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas will have its upcoming drydock session take place at Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain.


Cruise Industry News reports that the dry dock work will provide ship-repair, revitalization, upgrading and related marine services for Allure of the Seas, as well as other future work on the fleet.

Royal Caribbean first started working with Navantia back in 2011, when when Navantia won the bid to refurb Splendour of the Seas. Since then, the yard has worked on ships across Royal Caribbean’s brands.

The agreement runs through 2016 and includes the current drydocking of Explorer of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas this May, as well as other ships.

Tip of the hat to Cruise Industry News for getting the information first.

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