Nightlife on Allure of the Seas

L&R on Allure of the Seas – Focus on Nightlife (Sailing Dates 9/4/2011 – 9/11/2011) Eastern

Hello to everyone who is curious about the Nightlife on the Allure!

This is the third report of three (We have written separate reports for Allure Overview and Specialty Dining).

All cruises are not equal as it depends on who you are, what your budget is, what you like to do, etc. So in order to set expectations a bit about us (Lori & Rick) we are empty nesters 40-50 years old, like fine dining and love the nightlife. Children are a lot like kittens to us at this point, we occasionally look at them and smile but we would not want one in the pool or restaurant with us.  We have raised ours and do not want to participate in raising yours. We are platinum on Disney and quite frankly felt the Dream was a huge step backward in terms of satisfying adult cruisers. This led to our exploring other lines and RCL is one that we like quite a bit. We had a balcony room 11282 Port this trip. For us morning occurs around 10AM on a sea day and bedtime is about 3AM. Booked and paid for Diamond wine package, all specialty restaurants and excursions in advance. Total out of pocket expenses once on board $2K for the seven days at sea, in ports, gambling.

An Overview – It turns out this cruise answered the age old question of how many bars are enough for a 7 night cruise (the answer is 28 on the Allure) this is not counting the three crew bars which of course we could not get into (try as we might).  Across the board we have never met such a high quality, friendly and enthusiastic bunch of folks at sea. The staff comes from all of the RCL ships that have come before and are all selected because of their high performance and customer rating. We hated to leave but we have made several new friends who we will hunt down mercilessly on future trips!  Most of the bars start to close around 1:30 AM but usually remain open till 2:15 AM or so. The late night bars are Blaze and Dazzle and they finally close around 3:00 AM or so.  Most of the bars are open again at 10 AM for that early morning Bloody Mary (or just to start over with another Jagermister).  The bar teams on the Allure are broken into three groups; Winetenders (these folks rotate through Vintages, Champagne Bar and Back of House Dining Room); Bartenders (these folks rotate through the various bars) and Barservers (these folks are on the floor in the bars doing table service and they rotate as well).

Bow & Stern – This was one of three bars that we kept finding ourselves in each and every night. They had Jimmie Blakemore (an RCL favorite) on the guitar singing all the songs you know every word to.  Behind the bar was a group we lovingly dubbed “the Three Stooges”… Brian, Gregory and Rom.

These guys kept us laughing and well supplied each evening.  On the floor waiting tables was the lovely Ms. Cheryl.  Brian is the guy that carries booze bottles around on his head all night (I swear if I worked with him I would super glue a bottle before he picked it up).

Bow & Sern has 6 beer taps, a respectable number of non-mainstream beers and a marvelous supply of the hard stuff (especially nice selection of Bourbon and Scotch). I have to tell you it actually brought a tear to our eye the last night when Rom presented us with two figures (constructed of plastic tooth picks and sitting in champagne cap chairs) that looked remarkably like us. These are great folks, find them and spend time with them!

Champagne Bar – This bar is well reviewed on other boards (it’s how we decided to go there).  It is very classy and your beverages will be accompanied by chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolates.  They have a killer selection of Champagne based drinks (try the Champagne Mojito).  Lots of couches and comfy chairs and a great place to watch the various parades without getting into the “staked out territory wars” with the unwashed masses (I kid, I kid). The real reason this place is so popular is that there are three very knowledgeable, courteous, and funny folks who will make your drinks and make you laugh.  Michelle, Gemma and Xavier are boat favorites and after a couple of drinks you will know why we made it a nightly stop.

Schooner Bar – We think we can sum this up in short order, this where Matt Yee plays nightly. If you are not familiar with Mat,t shame on you! If you must chose just one evening to see his show make it one of the “Divas Live Show”.  Rick considers Matt to be the Hawaiian Devil and if you think you are going to go to one of his shows and not participate you are sadly mistaken!

Pool Bars – As we recall there are 6 on deck 15 & 16. Nice folks and such, we just would rather stay in the pool and have our drink runners bring us the goodies in the pool.

Special Event – So, one early morning (around 11 as I recall) we were watching the morning show and our cruise director (Alan “pink bathrobe” Brooks) mentioned that there was going to be a “special” event limited to 50 people but he really could not talk about it, the cost would be $30 per person and then he gave an extension number to call after saying that “I probably should not have mentioned this”.

Lori & Rick are adventurers so we pick up the phone and call the number. The lady answers in a hushed voice and asks “are you friends of Mr. Gold? Only friends of Mr. Gold are allowed” we say yes and she says “we will be in touch”.

Later that evening an officer is knocking at our cabin door. We open it and he steps in the room asking “are you friend with Mr. Gold?” we say yes and he hands us each a matchbox that has a password written on it, inside is a very nice pin.  He says that we are to be on deck four by the crew doors adjacent to the jazz club at 10 PM Thursday. We must wear the pin on our lapel and we are to tell no one the password unless asked.

So Thursday finally arrives and we do as instructed. A crew member dressed like a gangster opens the crew door, looks at our lapel pin and asks for the password. When we reply he lets us in and gives us $200 bucks in “old money” and a racing form.  Bear in mind that there are only 50 of us in this line and it is causing quite a stir as everyone walking by is asking “what is going on” and the crew keeps them moving along if they are not wearing a lapel pin.

We are escorted into the jazz club through the back hallways and when we enter the club we see that it has been redecorated to be a speakeasy of days gone by… we are at a prohibition party!  There are showgirl “flappers”, gangsters, old time press photographers, a jazz band and an old time radio broadcasting horse races (you use your $200 to bet on the races during the band breaks).

You are greeted with gin “shots” presented in egg cups, all of the Hendricks’s gin drinks are served up in coffee cups and saucers and everybody stays in character for the entire 2.5 hours.

There is an MC keeping us in line till Mr. Gold arrives.  Appetizers are delivered to your couch, drinks keep flowing, the show continues and dancers keep at it until Mr. Gold arrives.  Of course there is more but that is for you to find out!  You will get great pictures from this and suffice it to say that you will know when it is over (have you ever been raided?).   Anthony (Jumpin’ Joe) puts on a bar flair show that you will not believe. This was the best night event we have done on any cruise on any line. The staff made it work by staying in character for days and many thanks to them!

Rising Tide Bar – It’s kind of like a glorified elevator that runs up and down three decks (top point is Central Park, bottom Point Promenade). It is snug seating and there are always way too many people (and quite frankly midgets… opps, sorry children) for Rick to tolerate it for more than a one way trip. I know it sounds like a neat concept but it is not where we wanted to spend the night.

Blaze – Does a 2 for 1 each drink each night for an hour and our advice is stay out of the madness.  We would rather be comfortable and pay for that second drink than be a part of this scene (some folks are trying to get their nightly consumption done ASAP and you do not want to be in their way).  Other than that time period this venue does a lot of the special event stuff (70’s night, white night, etc.). It is OK but a little warm every evening.

Dazzles – This is the disco / dance club and worth going in just to people (and outfit) watch. It is also the last bar to close on the ship.

Casino Bar – This is usually an afterthought on most ships but there is actually a nice lounge here with some couch seating, etc. It is great place to meet your party to start the night when all of the other bars are busy.

There are more but these were the highlights for us… The Allure is the best ship on the water for our money and I suspect we will be frequent travelers on it.  Hope to see you all there as well!

 Editor’s Note:  Thank you Lori and Rick for your reviews of Allure of the Seas! 

Travel On A Dream is putting together a group sailing on Oasis of the Seas, sister ship to Allure of the Seas.  We hope you will join us!

If you have a review you would like to see in print, email tracy@travelonadream.com.  As a thank you, you will receive a ToaD cinch backpack (while supplied last)!

 

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