The Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas is more than just a cruise ship. It’s like a floating city at sea. With every type of food imaginable, shows, activities and even a boardwalk complete with free carousel rides, it is a great option for a family who loves adventure and entertainment.
The Ultimate Guide to Cruising with Family on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas
I recently went on a 7-day Royal Caribbean cruise aboard the Allure of the Seas. I traveled with my sister and my 4-year-old son. Before our trip, I did my research and looked up all of the possible things we could do as a family on our cruise. I read the Royal Caribbean website, Cruise Critic reviews, and even articles from other travel writers. With a ship that has 18 decks, 26 restaurants, and seven unique neighborhoods to explore, I wanted to make sure I knew about every little detail before getting on board. I didn’t want to miss a single thing!
Even with all of that research, nothing prepared me for the sheer massiveness of the ship. We had seven full days to explore. But that wasn’t enough to eat in every restaurant, see every show, or experience all the activities onboard. We sure tried; it just wasn’t possible. There is something for everyone and always something else to do or see, regardless of your age. That makes the Allure an ideal ship for families.
Why Families Will Love the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Entertainment
Allure of the Seas offers shows and entertainment created specifically for families, as well as shows that are geared toward adults that kids will still enjoy. I took my 4-year-old son to all of the family-friendly shows, and he loved every minute of them. His favorite? How to Train a Dragon on ice, although he was asking me all day before the show when he was going to get to train a dragon. Poor kid. Don’t miss these family favorites:
- How to Train a Dragon on Ice
- OceanAria (reservations required)
- Blue Planet (reservations required)
- Let You Entertain Me
Traveling Mom Tip: You can reserve seats for shows online from 180 days up to 4 days before your sail date. If you’re picky about show times like we were, book shows as early as possible.
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Amenities
The Allure of the Seas’ amenities are where the ship really shines. Kids and adults alike can try surfing on the two Flow Riders or testing out their muscles on the two climbing rock walls. You can even zip across the ship on one of the only zip lines at sea. These activities are geared toward elementary-school aged children or older, so make sure to check the age and height requirements before you go.
For children who don’t meet the age or height requirements, there is still plenty of fun to be had. Think: four pools, a huge splash pad area, enclosed ping pong tables, an ice skating rink, and a miniature golf course. If that’s not enough, there is also a free carousel and a playscape. Seriously, there are plenty of place for young kids to play. We spent many hours at the playscape, where my son was constantly meeting new friends.
Traveling Mom Tip: If you’re planning to ice skate, make sure to pack long pants and socks. They are required for anyone ice skating.
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Adventure Ocean
The Allure of the Seas has a kids club called Adventure Ocean where kids can play, supervised by Royal Caribbean staff members, while parents enjoy a bit of free time. Adventure Ocean is broken into three age groups, Aquanauts (ages 3-5), Explorers (6-8), and Voyagers (9-11). I loved that the groups were split up by age so my son wasn’t overwhelmed by all the older kids.
Each day we were provided with an Adventure Ocean programming guide that included themed days like “Under the Sea,” “Cooking up the Fun,” and “Kung Fu Panda Training School.” The one night my son went to Adventure Ocean he came home talking about how much fun he had with his two new friends doing outer space activities.
Traveling Mom Tip: While it’s fun to go through the Adventure Ocean planner with your kids, I recommend not dwelling on the specific activities listed. The programming can change depending on how many kid are in the kids club and can be a letdown if your kids were excited about one particular activity. Focus more on the theme than the individual activities.
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Family Activities
Included in the daily planner is a list of activities specifically for families to do together, including science experiments, festivals, and scavenger hunts. My son loved making volcanoes and space mud, and I loved being able to do these activities with him. The family activities were definitely our favorite part of the Adventure Ocean programming.
Traveling Mom Tip: Head to the family science experiments early to make sure you get space in the class. Both of the sessions we attended filled up quickly.
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Dining Options
With 26 different dining options on Allure of the Seas, you could eat at a different restaurant for every single meal and still not try them all. While there are quite a few restaurants on board that are speciality restaurants or have a la carte pricing like Starbucks, we mostly stuck to the free restaurants. These are some of our favorites:
- Windjammer Marketplace
- Johnny Rockets (only free at breakfast. Lunch and dinner have a cover charge)
- Wipeout Cafe
- Main Dining Room (all three have the same menu)
- Park Cafe
- Cafe Promenade
- Boardwalk Donuts (only available 7-10:30 a.m.)
- Boardwalk Dog House
- Room Service (additional $3.95 fee between midnight and 5 a.m.)
Allure of the Seas My Time Dining
When you book a cruise, you choose from three main times to eat dinner in the main dining room. Dinner is served at 5:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., or My Time Dining. With My Time Dining, you choose what time you want to eat each night of your cruise. You can make reservations ahead of time or walk up without a reservation and wait until a table is available.
My Time Dining gave us the ability to have a more flexible schedule on the cruise. On the days we were in port, we could eat early for an earlier bedtime. The days we were at sea, we could eat late after my son took a nap. The My Time Dining seemed to be less formal than the regular dining as well, which any mom with kids can appreciate.
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Stateroom Options
The Allure of the Seas offers four different stateroom categories – suites, balconies, ocean view, and interior. Within each of those categories are a plethora of stateroom options, from balconies over the Central Park, balconies over the Boardwalk, family suites with private bedrooms and more. You can find more detailed information about all of the staterooms available on the Royal Caribbean website.
We were in a deluxe balcony stateroom that included a king-size bed and a sofa that folded into a full-size bed. The room would have been spacious with the two of us but was a tight squeeze anytime we had the sofa folded out into a bed. Luckily the bathroom was actually quite large, unlike some other cruises I’ve taken in the past, so my sister could get ready in there while I was getting ready using the vanity in the room.
Traveling Mom Tip: If you’re traveling with young kids, I recommend bringing some sort of sound machine to help drown out the noise. The room we were in did not have any sort of divider, so the sound helped my son go to sleep while we were coming and going.
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Dreamworks Partnership
Royal Caribbean has transformed their partnership with Dreamworks into experiences onboard the Allure of the Seas that families will love. Children can meet their favorite Dreamworks characters during meet and greet times, interact with them in Adventure Ocean, watch them perform in shows, and enjoy a Move It Move It parade featuring their favorite characters.
In addition to the free experiences, the Allure of the Seas also offers a variety of paid experiences including a Dreamworks Character breakfast and excursions such as the Dreamworks Photo Safari, which we did on our day in Labadee. The character breakfast is free for children with just a small fee for accompanying adults. Make sure to reserve before the cruise or as soon as you board because the breakfast does sell out.
Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Additional Activities
The Allure of the Seas has a plethora of all-included options. But if that’s not enough, never fear! Activity options requiring an additional fee are available. On board, families can choose from learning how to decorate cupcakes, playing arcade games, making stuffed animals, and more.
Last but not least, Royal Caribbean offers guided excursions in every port. We did a Dreamworks Photo Safari in Labadee, a dolphin encounter in Jamaica, and rode in a semi-submarine in Cozumel. Booking our excursions through Royal Caribbean simplified the process as we were given our tickets and instructions right on board.
My family loved our cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas. We can’t wait to return! After all, we need to try out all of the restaurants and activities we didn’t have time for this go around.
More Tips for Cruising with Royal Caribbean:
- Cruising with Family on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas
- Royal Caribbean’s Revitalized Vision of the Seas
- Tips for Packing for a Cruise Like a Pro