As you might expect with one of the biggest cruise ships in the world, you'd be hard-pressed to find enough time in a week to take part in every activity offered. Active cruisers can zip-line, surf or play basketball. Foodies have their pick of more than 20 eateries, from upscale dining to comfort food. Families have it great -- with one of the biggest kids clubs at sea, a dedicated Splash Zone for little ones and, every night, a parade of some kind along the Royal Promenade. At night, watch the jaw-dropping OceanAria at the AquaTheater, a spectacular ice-skating show or the straight-from Broadway-musical Mamma Mia, featuring hits by Abba. It can seem overwhelming at first, but follow our top Allure of the Seas tips, and you'll be making the most of it in no time.
Tip 1: Pre-Book "My Time Dining"
Sure, My Time Dining means you can turn up for dinner when you want, but it doesn't mean you can eat when you want. Our recommendation? Pre-book (just a matter of picking up the phone), sail past all the other My Time diners milling about in the foyer waiting to be seated, and go straight to your table.
Tip 2: Eat Free, Eat Well
You do not have to follow the herd to the main buffet for free food. Head instead to the Solarium Bistro on Deck 16 or Johnny Rockets on the Boardwalk for breakfast in calm surroundings. Park Cafe in Central Park offers free build-your-own salads and sandwiches at lunchtime. For dinner, mix it up with delicious free pizzas at Sorrento's on the Royal Promenade and, opposite, sandwiches and great coffee at Cafe Promenade.
Tip 3: Don't Miss the Aqua Show
Take in the Aqua Show -- the most heart-stopping, breathtaking, jaw-dropping show you'll see at sea -- where audience members literally watch open-mouthed as divers dive from the height of a three-story house into what looks like a kiddie pool. Top cruise tip: Avoid (or head to, if you're with kids) the front three rows, as they're where you're most likely to get wet.
Tip 4: Get Away From It All Onboard
The wonderful thing about Allure of the Seas is its neighborhoods: separate areas, each with a completely different character. If the relentless pace of the Royal Promenade or the pool deck gets to be too much, you can almost always find sanctuary in the calm surrounds of the foliage-full Central Park, with its park benches, piped-in birdsong, upscale eateries and low-key bars.
Tip 5: Choose Your Cabin Wisely
It pays to research your cabins, in particular the inward-facing ones that give you a view of the Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade or Central Park, as some have privacy or noise issues. If you don't mind someone zip-lining past your balcony or staring up from the Royal Promenade, then they're ideal. If not, opt for a traditional balcony or oceanview.