Sail Date: December 2018
We chose the Allure of the Seas because we wanted to usher in 2019 on a cruise ship. The Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas was the perfect choice. They hosted an awesome New Years party. Will do it again in 2020. Everything was ... Read More
We chose the Allure of the Seas because we wanted to usher in 2019 on a cruise ship. The Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas was the perfect choice. They hosted an awesome New Years party. Will do it again in 2020. Everything was perfect, the embarkment and the disembarkation was perfect as well. Royal Caribbean did a great job moving all their guest ( all 6,000) of us onto and off the ship. We were not herded onto the ship, but was allowed check-in at our leisure and treated as guest. The check-in and the disembarkation process was smooth and easy. We had a suite with a balcony. Our suite size was reasonable for two people. Kudos to our room steward; she was excellent. She was attentive to our needs. I'm an early morning person so I loved being greeted every morning with a heartfelt "good morning" with a smile. In fact, all the stewards on our floor would always greet you with "good morning" and a smile. Loved it. Dinning was excellent. We had 5th floor first seating. Our Servers were very attentive and quickly learned what we liked to eat. They were knowledgeable of the foods on the menu so they could help you order if needed. The food was excellent and the service was impeccable. In fact, we hope to get the same Servers on our next cruise. There was a variety of entertainment every night...there were all day entertainment for both adults and children. I enjoyed the play Mamma Mia, the comedians, Jazz and the Aqua shows. All of the ports of call on this cruise are listed on my favorite ports list. Everything about this cruise was perfect for me. The one recommendation that I would like to make for Allure of the Seas is that I never saw the Captain of the ship. We are your guest on your ship. We need to meet you in a setting thats not so big and busy. I would recommend that you take the time to greet your guest at dinner. Come to our tables to say hello. SAW Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Our New Year’s Cruise on the Allure of the Seas 12/30/18 thru 1/6/19 I would like to begin this review by elucidating to all readers that we are absolutely not the type of Cruisers that believe we are above and beyond any other ... Read More
Our New Year’s Cruise on the Allure of the Seas 12/30/18 thru 1/6/19 I would like to begin this review by elucidating to all readers that we are absolutely not the type of Cruisers that believe we are above and beyond any other person on a cruise ship regardless of what room they stay in or their status. We are a very humble couple and feel very blessed to be able to enjoy these types of vacations. However, regardless if you stay in an inside cabin or the owners suite it still costs money and the agreeably there is a standard set “By the Company” you are cruising with, and quite frankly if they cannot live up to their Standards then it is something that should be shared with other travelers. With that I will begin our review of the Allure of the Seas. First and foremost I have similar reviews of the Big Ships and ironically it seems to be the same all the time – RCCL and others have these big beautiful ships and unfortunately they don’t have to correct amount of staff to keep up with their “Standards”. We have been on a total of 13 Cruises since 2012 and have sailed on the Vision, Radiance, Voyager, Freedom and Oasis Class ships at least once. It is not hard to figure out that service levels from Vision and Oasis are worlds apart. If I had to scale these in order of service and standards I would say Vision (80-90%) Radiance (80-90%) Freedom (75-80%) Oasis (65-75%). Again this based on number of Passengers to the number of employees. The Oasis class ships have a passenger compliment of 5400 with 2165 crew members which is 2.49 crew members to every passenger. With 18 Categories of Officers the equation greatly reduces the total of number of crew members to guests in the rating of less than 1 per passenger. Overall the statistics may or may not be of any significant to most people however it does illustrate the point that just because their bigger doesn’t mean their better, and it Segway’s into my review as it may hopefully give a better insight on the “Standards and Service Levels” that we were engaged with. Overall the cruise was awesome however when it came to specific one on one details about service and standards it was a little below average. I have broken this review down into categories to save some reading. Boarding We boarded in Miami and although there are some changes and rebuilding in effect it could still use allot of help. We still don’t understand why they haven’t built this Embarking / disembarking the same as Port Canaveral that is a beautiful port. RCCL has streamlined there process by having your Sea Pass Cards delivered to your stateroom – you will not receive one prior to boarding – This did cause allot of confusion if you went on board and wanted to get a drink and or if you showed up to your stateroom and there was no sea pass card available which means you get to spend time in the Customer Service Line (Which we seen allot of passengers doing) – I cannot 100% say for sure that was the issue however I have never seen that many people at a Customer Service Desk before leaving port. Disembarking Allot of issues here – First off if you’re a smoker we can assure you that if you’re not up at 6am – there will be no place to light up with your coffee. The Allure shut down all smoking areas at 8am – so if you’re one of the lucky ones who have to wait last to leave it will be a long morning. There is a long walk to the Final Inspection gate but customs has a new system in process that will get you right out the door unless you’re picked out by CBP officers. Pool Decks / Bars Little to no service from mobile bar service, regardless if you have a drink package or not rest assured you will be spending more time waiting in bar lines getting your own drinks. We both had a drink package and I am not above getting my own – however when there is 10 people in line and only two bar tenders that doesn’t make for happy passengers. It got so bad that the passengers in line were ordering 5 or 6 drinks at once for their parties just so they wouldn’t have to wait. Which inadvertently caused bigger wait times and longer line shuffles. When there was mobile service it is not like the smaller ships – You would literally have to yell out for the person to hear you, which in my opinion is rather rude. Nonetheless after 2 days of lines we cancelled our drink package. It was much easier for us to go somewhere else on the ship if we wanted something. Dinner at the Dining Rooms Unbelievably the service at our Main Dining room Tanked our first dinner night. We actually sat for 25 Minutes before getting water to the table. And another 10 minutes before finally seeing a waiter. We felt very uncomfortable and almost not existent while sitting there. My wife finally said lets go, so we ate at the Windjammer most of the trip. The Mgmt. Staff advised a “Few” people called off. I am not sure what “Few” meant but if 3 people called off and it caused that much disruption – I can’t imagine if 10 or 15 called off. Overall I think the dining room service experience was less than average. It is a shame because our cruise one year ago was off the chain in the dining room – But again it was on a Freedom Class Ship. Casino Drinks and Service My wife and I like I am sure many others have reached Primary Status with Casino’s which will allow you to drink for free. Well without getting into allot of detail, the bar service was really nonexistent in the casino. We were playing cards at a table with 4 other people. On 3 separate occasions we asked for a Waiter from the Dealer to the Pit Manager. And after 2 hours of waiting we and another couple finally left. On another occasion when we did get service we got charged for our drinks, even holding a prime membership and then spent over an hour at Customer Service getting it removed off our billing statement. Casino Betting The Oasis Class Ships raised their Bet Limits on their tables to $15 which is Ludacris in itself. We are avid 3 Card poker players and in theory (for those of you who know the game) each minimum hand bet would cost you $45 on the Ante – Play and Pairs Plus – The Dealer Hand bet stayed at $5. – We were told there were high rollers on the ship and that’s why the min. was raised. I am not an expert on the, who and why but how silly is it to raise the tables on a handful of High Rollers when I am sure they were outweighed by 90% of the other passengers. Seriously RCCL Casino Royale your marketing team needs some attention. We also had the pleasure of having a dealer who made a mistake during the Betting who decided to call out the Passengers for making an error when cleating bets. (I was dumbfounded by that whole experience) Shows / Entertainment The headliner shows were great, as were the comedians. RCCL does need to work out a new routine of the 70’s Disco etc.. Theme days. We have seen the same thing over the past 7 years. It’s about time they mix it up a bit. How about a Sock Hop / 80’s Theme or Motown – Something new needs to be created. Parents For the love of God Parents – If you bring your children Please – Please be responsible and watch them, it is not the responsibility of any company to watch your kids (Unless of course you use the day care service – if provided). We witnessed a couple at pool side drinking and on their phones while there young (between 7 and 9) swim in one of the adult pools. Granted there is a life guard standing there but their job is not to baby sit – If you want to enjoy your vacation and no kid watch – leave them home or use the Day Care Service. Also letting your kids run Free in 35 Mile an hour winds on the top deck of a ship is probably not a good move either, these children weigh maybe 40 lbs. it would not take much of a cross wind to send them out to sea. – Seriously it is very concerning when you’re a spectator watching this happen. Overall It may seem like allot of negativity on this review however my hope is to convey that although the Allure is a beautiful ship – please don’t assume you will get the same service levels as the smaller class ships. These crew members work a min of 12-14 hours a day, and to service a ship this size back to back day after day has to be draining at some point and time. Bigger isn’t always Better but it is a beautiful ship. We love RCCL and will continue to cruise with them – although our expectations won’t be as high as they usually are on the Voyager or Freedom Class ships. Thanks for the Time and the Read Steve Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise based on dates, ship, and itinerary, with NYE 2018 being the target day, then looking at the ships and Itineraries next. We chose the Allure as we had already sailed on her sister ship Oasis and very much enjoyed it ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on dates, ship, and itinerary, with NYE 2018 being the target day, then looking at the ships and Itineraries next. We chose the Allure as we had already sailed on her sister ship Oasis and very much enjoyed it and wanted the family to experience the big ships. This was a very similar experience as the Oasis and the ship layout felt very familiar. A few things were updated and there was music, live and recorded, on the pool decks most of the time this time!!! That was one of our biggest complaints last time. Our Central Park View room was more spacious than expected. The bathroom was small, but I think the bathrooms are pretty much the same on most cruise ships. Room for one person at a time! LOL. We had an early dining time and the service was excellent. Those in our group were mixed on the overall quality of the food. Some thought RCCL was much better as do I, but others thought Carnival was better. This is an individual preference in the end, but I think the food is a step above carnival in taste and presentation. The ports for this Eastern Caribbean cruise, Sint Marteen, San Juan, and Labadee, were probably one of the better itineraries we have ever sailed. And we definitely want to revisit the first 2 again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We wanted to celebrate our 55 anniversary with my daughter, her husband and two teen age boys. We took three cabins on the same floor and were able to have dinner together every night. The service on the ship was outstanding. The staff ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate our 55 anniversary with my daughter, her husband and two teen age boys. We took three cabins on the same floor and were able to have dinner together every night. The service on the ship was outstanding. The staff was cheerful and helpful. Our room stewardess was funny and hard working. Tess could not do enough for us. The servers we had in every restaurant, whether specialty or buffet style were professional, polite and efficient. We only used the ship's excursions in two ports since we are very familiar with the places we stopped. Our grandchildren were very happy with the choices. Being teenagers, they liked the freedom to roam the ship and choose their activities. The food, for the most part was better than we expected, although the steaks and "prime rib" were not up to the rest. The furniture in the dining rooms shows their aging and needs replacement. Chairs have slits and cracks in the seats and the stuffing is coming out. The shows were fabulous and we had no problems getting seats even though the ship was at capacity. There was one negative. I had an UL approved surge protected extension cord because the cabin did not have enough outlets for us to recharge our phones, watches, Kindles and Ipads. The ship confiscated the cord and did not return it until we disembarked. I have used that same cord on a number of other cruises including 2 with Celebrity and Regent, Oceania and Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Had credit to use. Food was mediocre. Nickel and dime for everything. Did not enjoy my experience, however, the entertainment was very good, especially Mama Mia. Ship is very well laid out and staff excellent. I did not like that you ... Read More
Had credit to use. Food was mediocre. Nickel and dime for everything. Did not enjoy my experience, however, the entertainment was very good, especially Mama Mia. Ship is very well laid out and staff excellent. I did not like that you had to make reservations for everything instead of first come first served. Balcony cabins are extremely small with limited amenities. Specially restaurants are over priced and average. Chops Christmas special meal was so so and nothing to write home about. Have had much better meals on other cruise lines. The fitness center is wonderful and complete. Embarkation was easy and Uneventful as was Debarcation. All in all this was a cruise better served for large families or reunions. The excursions were well designed and we enjoyed the few we took. Bottom line, we probably will not book another cruise on a ship this size. We prefer the smaller ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We are Diamond Plus Crown and Anchor Members. We have sailed with RCCL 26 times and Celebrity 2 times. We had sailed on the Oasis of the Seas in November on a holiday cruise and were greatly disappointed. Our main issue was the quality of ... Read More
We are Diamond Plus Crown and Anchor Members. We have sailed with RCCL 26 times and Celebrity 2 times. We had sailed on the Oasis of the Seas in November on a holiday cruise and were greatly disappointed. Our main issue was the quality of the food on the Oasis and we had booked the Oasis because it WAS our favorite ship and had great food in the past. OK! That all being said we decided to take another Holiday Cruise and chose the Allure of the Seas. It was the right choice as everything was almost perfect! We had the opportunity to leave from Terminal A at Miami. Miami is not our favorite port but the new terminal A was impressive. There is a parking lot associated with Terminal A but I caution you, it cost us $154.00 to park for a week! Not sure if it was RCCL's parking lot or the Port of Miami's but it was more expensive than other parking lots in the Port. Going from our car we took an elevator to the Terminal. As we got off the elevator there was someone waiting near the door to take our luggage. The luggage showed up at our room BEFORE we did!! Really impressive. The check in procedure needs some streamlining but it seemed to work ok. We soon had our paperwork done and going on board. I might point out that we did not receive our sea pass/room key until we got to our room where they were in an envelope waiting for us. The room was the standard balcony sea view room. We are not big on the Main Dining Room but decided to try it once. It was OK but the menu seemed to be old and one that we had seen over and over. The food was pretty good as was the service. Here is what blew us away...the food in the Windjammer had to be one of the best were have experienced on a cruise ship!!! I mean every meal we ate there it was just great. The selection was better than the MDR, the presentation was excellent. The crew was fantastic! Everyone had a smile on their face and asked us how we were doing, was everything ok or can I get something for you. This at every meal! There were meats at lunch and dinner. On a recent Oasis trip it was Ham at almost every meal! The desserts were super on the Allure. I just cannot say enough good about the food on this ship in the Windjammer. If you choose this trip please look for a crew member that dresses up like Michael Jackson, a Pirate or an Egyptian. He is fabulous and a great dancer! Great double for Michael Jackson, the kids (and we) loved him. Speaking of kids, yes there were plenty of them but they seemed very well behaved over the kids we saw on the Oasis! Being a Christmas cruise, the ship was decorated for the holidays very nicely with Christmas music throughout. Crew members wore Christmas decorations and added to the festivities. Our room attendant was just great, Alejandro. He learned our schedule and adjusted his cleaning to fit our schedule. Really nice touch and I hope you may one day have him as an attendant. He has sailed with RCCL for 28 years!!!! One thing we noticed is that some folks that use a scooter to get around are now parking them in the hallways next to their rooms. We see this as a safety issue in an evacuation. Guess my years as a commercial pilot are showing up here but it does not look safe to block any portion of a hallway! Our travel agent included a meal at Chops for us. We were sorry we did not eat in the Windjammer as we went there after dining at Chops to look around. At Chops, my wife had the lamb chops which she said were tough and only about two forks full of meat! I had the Rib Eye which was just OK. Chops is usually a hit but this time it took a back seat to the Windjammer! We took the express departure from the ship on our last day. The line starts to form around 6.15 am. They finally let us debark at 6.40 and it was a snap getting off the ship and through customs. I have to admit that we do not take advantage of all the many things there are to do on board but we do enjoy resting up and dining. The Allure hit the mark on our cruise vacation 100%. It was great. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship because we wanted to experience ship this big. But mainly it has been dissapointment. Stateroom was Ok, we had an oceanview balcony. We ate our breakfast and lunch mainly in Windjammer, and the service was not good, ... Read More
We chose this ship because we wanted to experience ship this big. But mainly it has been dissapointment. Stateroom was Ok, we had an oceanview balcony. We ate our breakfast and lunch mainly in Windjammer, and the service was not good, tables were not cleaned very fast. There was enough people doing that but to me it seemed that they did not know what they were supposed to do. Dinner we ate at Amerikan Icon Grill and service varied a lot. For example having coffee were asked 2-3 times but no-one actually brought the coffee. Worst things in the ship were the constant selling of something and music at the pool area. I hate the selling, selling, selling... even in the dinner table the head waiter came to sell the tour to the kitchen. The promenade was like cheap market place. Then the music at the pool. Why does it have to be so loud that you can’t hear your own thougts let alone concentrate reading a book. I know there are areas that are more quiet but my kids were at the pool too and I wanted to be available to them. People were also holding the pool chairs by placing their bags or huge Coke mugs to the chair next to them as if it would be taken. These were mostly Americans. We took western Carribean cruise and most excursions were poorly organized. For example the excursion to Chizhen Itza. When we booked that, it said that it takes 6h but in reality the travelling time was 6h and then 1hour in the ruins. Furthermore the gathering at the pier was a mess so the whole trip took us 9h without food, just a small packed lunch. Also the other excursion in Mexico, beach break was huge dissapointment. Small, small beach where you could not swim because the water was so dirty. Toilets were in seacontainers, drinks available for free but no food. We did not participate the dolphin swim excursions but serioiusly, who does that and why they are still available. For example in Costa Maya the dolphins were in small pool and people actually wanted to go swim with them... to the same place where the cruise ships were docked. In all other parts of the world keeping dolphins in a pools is considered unethical but cruiselines supports this kind of action. All and all this Christmas cruise was dissapointment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Background: I am a recently retired unmarried Federal employee in my early 60s to celebrate my retirement and recent move to a bigger home. I wanted to take a cruise during the post-Turkey Day period just before the holiday season drove ... Read More
Background: I am a recently retired unmarried Federal employee in my early 60s to celebrate my retirement and recent move to a bigger home. I wanted to take a cruise during the post-Turkey Day period just before the holiday season drove fares through the ceiling. Other reasons for choosing this ship included: o It had the Solarium, the Samba Grill (inside the Solarium Bistro), the familiar Royal Promenade, and some speciality restaurants I had not patronized before, like Izumi and Samba Grill. o I chose the ship because it had the balcony cabins overlooking Boardwalk; and o I chose the ship because it visited familiar ports: St. Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee. Hotel Info: I decided to do a two-night pre-cruise hotel stay at the JW Marriott hotel in Downtown Miami, along with a Viator Miami City and Boat tour aboard a double-deck bus. In addition to this tour was a planned steakhouse experience at StripSteak by Michael Mina at the Fountainbleau Hillton. The staff at the JW Marriott were very good at their jobs and eager to please their guests. One thing that bothered me was that somehow the charging things to one's room account did not get communicated to Drake's Bar in the Lobby: I had to use cash to pay for my beer. Another thing was that I thought the breakfast was included in the hotel package--apparently not, because the cost of the buffet was over 30 buck per day. My room looked on several condos, the pool (which I couldn't use because of limited time and the awful weather on Sat., 12/15/18), and other buildings in the area. As previously mentioned, I did the Viator Miami City and Boat Tour, for which I had to take a 30 buck taxi ride to Miami Beach to get to the tour operator. I took my walker along w/me to help walk the streets w/o falling and/or getting leg cramps (two thing to avoid on a walking tour). The tour guide and the bus driver were very accommodating to mobility-challenged folks--even if I'm ambulatory most of the time. I climbed the steps to the top deck of the bus and enjoyed a birds-eye view of the sights of Miami. The tour included a boat ride around Biscayne Bay, and I wanted to see celebrity homes. The boat departed in the downpour that came after exiting the bus at Bayfront Marketplace. The tour operator had an arrangement with a restaurant there to feed its members quickly and efficiently so that by the time diners had finished their meal, they could go aboard the vessel. I just wish the tour operator had mentioned this little thing at the outset so that if people wanted, they could choose their own venue in the mall. Anyway, I boarded the boat and climbed to the top deck under the awning to better enjoy the sights. The tour lasted 90 minutes and the pretty lady guide kept up the pace of her narration with an occasional "Woo Hoo". Following the tour, I found my way back to the bus stop and prepared to re-board the bus for the trip back to the origin. Then I took another 30 buck taxi ride back to the hotel to get ready for my steak dinner at StripSteak by Michael Mina. Readers note: Any restaurants operated by celebrity chefs like this guy is going to be expensive, so be prepared for sticker shock when the bill comes. Embarkation: The next day was Embarkation Day to board the Allure of the Seas. Apparently, I was the only one boarding the ship from the Marriott so I had the minivan all to myself to ride to PortMiami for Terminal A for Allure. The embarkation and check-in process went pretty quickly, but I wish the Welcome Letter had mentioned that the key cards will not be given to guests until they boarded the ship and they were handed over by the room stewards. I had to pose that question to the terminal staff about why the key cards were not handed over at check-in. Anyway, I used my walker to climb the ramp to board the ship, and then went to visit Central Park to visit Park Cafe for their roast beef sandwich. Delish! Fortunately, there were many tables available at that time. Then I went to Deck 14, where my cabin was located, and waited until the cabins were available--at 1 PM, so that I could enter and drop off my carryon stuff. A few minutes later, the room steward-Nita--came by to give me the key card and introduce himself. Dining: I had the late sitting in the Grand Dining Room on Deck 4, table #428, with no other table mates. I decided to clip this troublesome situation in the bud ASAP by asking for a bigger, shared table. Did I get a bigger table? Yes, but was it occupied by other folks? No. It was also located in the Silk Dining Room on Deck 5, and there I suffered the humiliation of being the only diner at a table that seated 6 people. Food and service was great though. I also liked the decor of the MDRs, regardless of where I dined. To avoid that the humiliating feeling of dining alone, I had previously booked three specialty restaurants: Izumi on Deck 4, adjacent to the Grand DR; Chops Grille in Central Park on Deck 8, and Samba Grill on Deck 15. All meals were great, especially the ones at Izumi and Samba Grill. I ate lunch either in the buffet, the Solarium Bistro, at the Boardwalk Dog House, a free uncrowded breakfast at Johnny Rockets (no waffles, though), and Johnny Rockets for burgers. As previously mentioned, I patronized the Park Cafe for those yummy roast beef sandwiches. Too bad I didn't return for more of them during my cruise! I had several room service breakfasts. Two were complimentary (the Continental) and the other one was a la carte American, which carried some prices. Entertainment and Activities: I attended two shows while aboard Allure: "Mamma Mia" in the Amber Theater on the first formal night and the midnight show at the Comedy Live on the 2nd formal night. Readers: If you have a broad behind like I do, your butt will take a beating for sitting in narrow seats for 2.5 hours to watch Mamma Mia. After this show, my butt was in considerable pain. Fortunately, the seats at the Comedy Live show were more accommodating. One other thing about this venue: the decor featured a map of the London Underground on the ceiling w/various stops named for previously booked comics along w/the known ones, e.g., Green Park, Hyde Park, Marble Arch, etc. If you wanted popcorn, it was available for a small fee for a box. I bought a box after the Mamma Mia show. I liked the music, which had a nice beat, and some of the costumes were sexy on the female performers. I wasn't familiar w/ABBA's songs, but that didn't detract for the beat. The comics were great, too. My primary entertainment came from visiting the Casino Royale. I did pretty well on one of the penny slots. Regarding bar service, it could be improved upon by speeding up the travel time between ordering a beverage like a Coke Zero and its arrival 5-10 minutes later. Why exactly a soft drink order takes 10 minutes to fill when the bar is in plain sight is beyond me. Cabin: My cabin, 14297, was on Deck 14 overlooking Boardwalk. It was a wheelchair accessible cabin I booked because I needed space to stash my walker and walk around w/o bumping into furniture. The bathroom was nice and big, with a walk-in shower and a pull down seat. The balcony was nice and big, too, but I have to caution readers that they have to be careful about stepping outside: there's this device that flips down to complete the ramp to the balcony, and if you're not careful, you can easily hurt your foot by stepping on the thing when it's flipped up. The TV had OK channels, mostly dedicated to RCCL shows and a few network shows. I had two phones: one in the cabin and other in the bathroom! Another cautionary note to readers: if you're looking for outlets to charge your late model iPhones, you'll be disappointed because the charging docks in the clock had the old type of charging cable port: they were wide, not the new Lightning cables for the newer models of iPhones and iMacs. There were many outlets for plugging in your devices, but they weren't USB outlets. Ports: The ports visited were St. Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee, Haiti. In St. Maarten, I had the Royal Family Food Tour, which included stops to sample Dutch cheeses, a BBQ lunch, and gelato making and tasting. For San Juan, I had booked a 1-hour chopper ride of the city, but the day before, I had been notified by the Shore Excursion desk that the tour had been cancelled for "operational reasons". Fortunately, I was refunded my $. For Labadee, I had booked the Luxury Yacht Experience, but I wasn't feeling too well for taking that trip, and notified the Shore Excursion Desk. They refunded my money too. I didn't feel as though I was missing anything by not going ashore, and stayed aboard to relax at the main pools instead. I did the same for the previously day, but at the Solarium instead. Disembarkation: The disembarkation went OK, until I got to the warehouse or hangar-sized room for the luggage claim. I couldn't find my bag under the numbered sign, and I flagged down a porter who found in another section of the cavernous space; it was there because the el-cheapo tickets had somehow fallen off. RCCL, please explain to me why you can build Terminal A with lots of bells and whistles to deal w/embarkation, but somehow did not take enough moolah from your construction project to install a luggage carousel. I suggest that you consider doing so because you have such a facility in another terminal down the pier. Another issue that bothered me was the disorganized means of finding one's coach for going to the airport. This should have been part of the planning for the Terminal A project, and here you barely passed muster. The trip to MIA was uneventful until you get to the queue for checking in at American Airline: it was a long queue! Service: Service aboard Allure was great, especially in the specialty restaurants. The chef at my hibachi table in Izumi was very funny and he was entertaining, too, along w/his work colleagues. Ditto for Nita's cleaning of my cabin. I gave him extra $ for a great job there. Ditto for the dining service in the Silk DR: I may have dined alone, but the service made me feel like Bruce Wayne at a big unoccupied table attended only by Alfred. I'm sure readers will ask, why not take the rest of the family? Why not eat only at the buffets or choose Anytime Dining? Answers: a: I had no immediate family--I'm a solo cruiser. Most of my extended family are not cruise people: they're hikers, campers, travel by the seat-of-the pants folks; b. Buffets do not offer controlled portions: you only get that in the MDRs or on the specialty venues; c. i tried Anytime Dining on Oasis three years ago, and it was a disaster: the first two dinners I had shared tables, the third and fourth dinners I dined alone at shared tables. Never again! I escaped this fate by dining at specialty venues and at the buffet so that I could watch the Aqua Theater show from my balcony. Bottom line: Would I go again on Allure? Yes, but w/a group to avoid the humiliation of dining alone at big tables. Would I book the same hotel? Maybe, but I might choose the Courtyard by Marriott instead because of its proximity to the People Mover train. Would I choose the same cabin type? Yes, but in the Central Park neighborhood to get the serenity of this area. I also might choose a hotel in Miami Beach or closer to the Bayfront Marketplace, even if wasn't on the list of selected RCCL hotels for their cruises. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to fit college break schedules. We had previously taken a 3 day "starter" cruise many years ago so this was a new experience. First lesson: Put a lot of thought into packing. You probably don't need all ... Read More
We chose this cruise to fit college break schedules. We had previously taken a 3 day "starter" cruise many years ago so this was a new experience. First lesson: Put a lot of thought into packing. You probably don't need all those clothes. Second lesson: Have all your paperwork ready and accessible,including passports, photo id,etc.This makes embarkation simple along with very helpful Royal Caribbean staff. My wife did a ton of research and we had an outside balcony cabin. It was Awesome! I would highly recommend it. You can sit on your balcony and always see what's going on. This ship has everything we wanted and then some. Lesson #3 : Prior to the cruise, sign up for the dining room in advance for all nights. While you're at it, sign up for shows, specialty dining and activities you are interested in. This makes things very easy and you aren't locked in if you change your mind later. We generally ate breakfast at the Windjammer buffet. The food is very good but choose your times wisely, it's a zoo during prime time. We also snacked at the Dog Haus (excellent brats and dogs),Sorrento's (excellent pizza) and the Cafe Promenade (Coffee, finger food and sweets). We missed a few spots but others in our group said all the venues were very good. The food in the dining room is absolutely OUTSTANDING! From appetizers (escargot, crab cakes) to main courses(prime rib, lobster tails)to desserts (baked Alaska, cheesecake) all were great! There were core menu items that didn't change and a few specialty items each night in each category. The staff is very good and very attentive. We had a snafu one night and it was quickly and thoroughly rectified.Our specialty dining night was at Samba Grill (Brazilian style) and it was also excellent. You can't affordably eat like this on dry land. We had a drink package that included everything but alcohol. My wife got it on pre sale for $18/day/person. If you drink 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day in addition to soda,water and coffee, I'd buy the all inclusive package if you can get it for ~$50/day. Alcohol is expensive! $9.50 beer and $13 Sangria! I spent a lot of my time reading and relaxing while my 20 yr olds enjoyed the sport court, zip line,pools, track, and flow rider. There's plenty to do! We went to the Mama Mia show and it was fabulous! My wife said it was better than Vegas. The rest of the group also did karaoke a few nights and loved it. Central Park is a quiet oasis in the midst of 6000 people. The shore days were in St. Martens, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Labadee. St. Marten's was a perfect spot to have some cold beer while the ladies went shopping. A beautiful place! San Juan was an interesting place for a good walk.Some friends took the Fort tour and loved it. Labadee is RC's private beach and it's beautiful! We didn't pay for any shore excursions on this trip because they were expensive and we wanted to look before we bought. Next time. Another aside, my wife thought she broke her toe so we went to the on-board clinic. It was well staffed and reasonably priced including an x-ray. She's a nurse and she was satisfied. All in all, this was a fantastic experience. The crew and staff were friendly,helpful and available.We had pre-paid tips (recommended) but left some extra for the dining and housekeeping staff. We will definitely cruise with RC again and hopefully explore the parts of the ship we didn't get to on this trip. We embarked at Miami and stayed at 2 motels very nearby (The Holiday Inn and the Sheraton which were very helpful and provided affordable accommodations). They contracted cruise shuttle services from Fantastic Tours, who did an excellent job getting us to the gate. We left a deposit and Lily the driver picked us up 15 minutes after we called upon return. I highly recommend them also. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Was a 50th anniversery gift we had an excelent time, the dinig was superb. The upscale restaurants went above and beyond with their service and quality. The room maid was very happy to assist in any and all of our needs. Boarding and ... Read More
Was a 50th anniversery gift we had an excelent time, the dinig was superb. The upscale restaurants went above and beyond with their service and quality. The room maid was very happy to assist in any and all of our needs. Boarding and debarker were made very easy with the compitent stap. I would cruise with Roayal Carribean again. Cabin was exquisit with more than enough storage, bath room facilities were very good. Bar fridge in the cabin was an extra bonus. The staff provided distilled water for my CPapmachine and call to see that every thing was working fine. The entertainment was first class enjoyed MAMA Mia the Aqua Show and blue planet all were fantastic.The staff on shore visits were extremley helpfull and asked me several time if I would like a wheel chair to help with my mobility proplems, I prefered to try to walk and the helped me up all the ramps even when I went up the crews ramp by error they were graciou and guided me bak to the elevators. In closeing it was a first class experience for a first time cruiser and would certainly cruise again. Read Less
Allure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 4.1
Entertainment 5.0 4.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 4.0
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 5.0 3.9

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