The cruise line is doing something it has never done before and passengers are going to be very happy.
Royal Caribbean (RCL) – Get Free Report has made the quick 3 or 4-getaway cruise a major part of its operations for its ports sailing out of the east coast of Florida. Those sailings let people who have never cruised before get a taste of it and they capture people looking to put an exclamation point on a theme park trip.
The cruise line generally sails the same 3 and 4-day itineraries from three ships with one sailing from Port Canaveral (Orlando), another from Ft. Lauderdale, and a third from Miami. All the ships, which have been from the mid-size (by modern standards) Freedom and Voyager classes make a stop in Nassau and one at the cruise line’s private island Perfect Day at Coco Cay.
It’s a sort of perfect way for experienced cruisers to get away for a few days while new cruisers have more than enough to do on the Freedom and Voyager-class ships making these trips. Those ships — Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, and a mix of Mariner of the Seas and Independence of the Seas that are currently making those trips — offer a sort of sampler of what Royal Caribbean has on its biggest (for now) Oasis-class ships.
You get a handful of specialty restaurants, water features, and world-class entertainment, but you don’t get the overwhelming amount of choice the largest ships in the world offer. Voyager and Freedom-class ships have fewer restaurants, no outside spaces equivalent to Central Park or the carnival-like Boardwalk, and they don’t have anything like the Aquatheater.
On a shorter voyage that’s actually fine, maybe even a positive, as trying to experience an Oasis-Class ship in 3 or 4 days would be a lot, but now, Royal Caribbean plans to give passengers that chance.
Image source: Daniel Kline/TheStreet
An Oasis-Class Ship Taking on Short Sailings
Up until now, aside from some random short cruises offered when a ship changes homeports, you had to sail at least a six-day itinerary to get to experience an Oasis-class ship. That makes sense as it’s hard to do everything on an Oasis-class ship in seven days, let alone 3 or 4.
Now, however, Royal Caribbean has decided to move Allure of the Seas into sailing 3 and 4-day itineraries out of Florida beginning in Nov. 2023. First, the ship will sail from Port Canaveral and then, moves to Miami in April 2024 making the same Monday through Friday 4-day trips and Friday through Monday 3-day sailings.
This will mark the first time an Oasis-class ship will be used for those short trips. That could allow the experienced Royal Caribbean passengers who know the class well to experience their favorites while also letting new passengers get a taste of the best the cruise line has to offer.
Royal Caribbean shared some info on what passengers can expect in a press release.
“Everyone in the family can make memories on board with a lineup of adventures, from a nine-story-high zip line and twin FlowRider surf simulators to ice skating as well as showstopping entertainment like theatrical hit Mamma Mia! and original shows across four stages — air, ice, water and theater. To refuel between adventures, there are 30-plus restaurants, bars and lounges, including the new-to-Allure Wipeout Cafe featuring El Loco Fresh that serves up grab-and-go Mexican delights like made-to-order quesadillas, tacos, nachos and more,” the company shared.
Why This Makes Sense for Allure of the Seas
Allure of the Seas, like all its sister ships, was once the largest cruise ship in the world. It’s currently the fourth-largest ship in existence, but you would be hard-pressed to notice where it’s smaller than Wonder of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas, the three Royal Caribbean ships that are technically bigger than it.
Unlike one of its sister ships and some Freedom and Voyager-class ships., Allure has not been “Amped,” meaning that some new features have not been added. On an Oasis-class ship, that designation is tricky because Harmony of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Wonder of the Seas have Perfect Storm waterslides and Ultimate Abyss dry slide that’s considered an amplification from the original design of that class as part of their construction.
In the case of Allure, the ship’s Amplification was delayed, meaning that it’s lacking Ultimate Abyss, the Perfect Storm waterslides, and the kids’ splash area. It also still has the old branding on the pool bars instead of the cruise line’s current “Lime and Coconut” branding.
In addition, Allure of the Seas still has the Sabor sit-down Mexican restaurant on the Boardwalk while “Amped” and newer ships have the Playmakers sports bar concept (which does make Allure a less desirable ship when major sporting events are on). Allure also has a Brazilian steakhouse concept that takes over its Solarium Bistro buffet night, which some would see as a positive as no other Oasis-class ship offers that dining choice.