Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Allure of the Seas: Deck 5 Overview

One thing that Royal does well is "branding".  All the ships have a "Windjammer Cafe" at the top, the main drag is called "Royal Promenade", etc.  On both the "Freedom" class and the "Oasis" class, the Royal Promenade is on deck 5, and is very similar in feel. This is the deck you enter on, in the other class, but sadly, I don't recall which deck it is on this ship!

From the stern, we start with the top layer of the dining room.  Again, no pictures, but it looks like all the other dining rooms and I'm sure a quick Google search will show you how lovely it is.

One nifty thing on the Allure is the interactive touch screen displays.  You can have it tell you the closest washroom, what the menu is, how long the wait is at various restaurants, etc.  It was great for passing time while waiting to enter the dining room!

Up from the dining room is the Champagne Bar, and "Regalia" which I think is a store.  Next to that is Guest Services. Service is usually very good on Royal, but you do hear the odd story about poor service (like our room stewart).  They're there 24 hrs/day, so if your need isn't urgent, go at an off time.  This is also where you can get motion sickness meds, a hole punched in your SeaPass to put it on a lanyard, or a new SeaPass when yours has worn off due to the salt water pool.

In front of Guest Services is "Rising Tide Bar".  This spaceship like bar has scheduled trips from deck 5 up to deck 8.  Apparently I don't have a picture.  It's hard taking pictures inside, there's just so much visual clutter and people, and whatnot.  Plus, having been on two cruises before, I didn't want to look like a newbie :)  Google Rising Tide Bar and you'll find lots.

Going towards the bow is the Focus and Willow....stores...and on the other side, Cafe Promenade.  This is where you can get little sandwiches and treats, as well as gourmet coffee (fee).  I think there is also cold water and the regular (gross) coffee for free at the back.

The Cupcake Cupboard (the store on the left with the pink awning) is capitalizing on the current cupcake craze.  You can take cupcake decorating class (for fee) or buy a number of different flavoured cupcakes.  I don't recommend buying on the first day if you think you might like them, as they're not free, and it could get costly!
 Sorrento's is where to go for pizza.  This ship even allows you to have the counter staff make you a custom pizza.  However, their lack of English might cause some issues, LOL.  There's also a British pub,  and another Guest Services/Explorations counter, a few more shops...
 Close to the entrance to the theater is the "On Air Club" and "Boleros", another bar.  In between is "Mondo Coffee Bar" which is actually Starbucks.  I waited till late in the week to try it out, and I wish I had splurged right from the start (because of course, it's not free).  Getting a "real" coffee was wonderful finally.

Right at the bow is the Vitality at Sea spa.  On this deck, there is access from the jogging track.

Ah, yes.  The jogging track.  I had been jogging that fall, and wanted to continue on the ship.  On other ships, the jogging track is on the upper decks, totally open to the sun.  On this ship, it's on deck 5, and is the only outside access until deck 15.  So, a lot of people want to use it for strolling.  Sightseeing.  Working off breakfast.  There are plenty of signs that say to keep to the right if you're slow, but they're not always followed.  There is a seating area at the stern of the ship, and it's fun to see the AquaTheater's stage from behind.  This is a popular deck  when the ship is coming into port, so keep this in mind (I didn't realize this at first, and did not enjoy threading my way through staff and passengers).  It's also still quite hot down here and you only get breezes on one side usually. 
You can see the open jogging track at the back of the ship. 
I appreciated the jogging track being lower down--on other ships, the open deck is deck 4, and there is not supposed to be jogging, but sometimes people do use it for fitness since they'd rather not be up top.  However, having this deck serve both as the "free air access" for the bottom 14 decks, AND the fitness track meant that there was compromises for both types of people.  But I'm still glad I made the effort!

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