By itself, the Allure is packed with a great variety of venues for its guests. In combination with a crew that clearly strives to deliver the opportunity for happiness and relaxation to each individual, our visit was enjoyable. Captain Johnny's log is delightful as is his sense of humor.
Having programs to aid "make a wish" and the Royal 5 K are the reason we are looking already to book our next cruise on RCCL. By the way having crew members participate was fantastic!
Naturally, while we were delighted, there are a opportunities for some modest improvements. Alas, this reviewer is an Engineer, and we always see such opportunities.
Audio in Amber:
In particular, the audio delivered in the Amber theater is challenging to adjust to avoid excessive bass notes delivered to the main floor and at the same time offer adequate bass in the balcony. This could be caused by headliner acts asking for specific sound profiles, yet many of us still have hearing, and would enjoy retaining it for our future. We did enjoy and appreciate the talent of these folks (in this case Mosaic) but know they would have been even better with a bit of moderation on the volume level. In the same venue and at the same location in the theater, Chicago had exceptionally good acoustic reproduction. the Chicago performance was utilizing the truly outstanding Allure of the Seas Orchestra, and there was much less bass in their audio profile.
A relaxing place with very nutritional food offered in the breakfast and lunch, of a lighter fare. The seating was often packed to 90% but usually one did not have difficulty finding a lounge chair.
Seeing real plants thriving and a combination of specialty shops as well as accommodating refreshment venues with the rather unique "rising tide" bar is quite memorable. The musicians provided excellent ambiance for folks enjoying the somewhat serene atmosphere.
With more activity and aggressive music venues, an excellent area to observe unique sculptures and art objects, opportunities to meet and enjoy friends both new and old as well as the central hub to plan offshore excursions. Locating the 24-hour snack venues and the guest services in this venue seemed very effective. the second floor of the area seemed to have opportunity for expansion or addition of some gaming tables for cards and/or individuals wishing to observe performances without being on the main floor. The Jog/Walk track is outstanding!
As we are all aware, one can now purchase a camera capable of high resolution photography at a fraction of the cost for only a few images captured by the professional photographers on-board ship with the current pricing strategy. If anything could be done to enable one to receive these images at a reasonable price instead of the current rather constricting option of only one price based on the "type of event" it is likely sales would skyrocket as folks would value the capabilities of these artists. It is felt they are probably the least effectively utilized team on the ship. The effort to reduce the number of prints and move toward images to select prior to printing is commended as it demonstrates a concern for waste reduction by the team. Hence, if one could select the images to consider solely from the video display or possibly from one's room video display unit and then review a smaller number of "proofs" of the desired size at the Photo spot on demand, things could be far superior in this cruiser's opinion.
we took a very long excursion to Chichen Itza and discovered that getting a breakfast was not trivial for that specific event as we did not want to eat at 7 to arrive at a meeting to start at 7:30. Possibly a buffet or something a bit more nutritional than a cheese blintz from the Cafe Promenade would be nice to invoke. It is possible we did not know where to find such a venue.
It would be nice to have would be TV channel with the ship's course and identification of visible land forms and possibly including passing cruise ships, on a google map giving one an estimate of the ocean profile would be wonderful. How about a map set? How about a library....the spot on the ship isn't yet a library..it is very meager. Science/Oceanography experience?
we did not find a pool that we could actually swim in, but the decision to not have it and have more "wading" pools was a good compromise, likley afforded due to the open "central park" environment. After all, there was plenty of swimming opportunity at the ports of call in that other thing around us, the Caribbean Sea....
Overall experience was both memorable and fantastic!
Remember, I'm an engineer, so I can aways find things to improve...it's my job and I'm just lucky my wife can stand my focus of that nature.
The acrobats, swimmers, skaters, dancers, musicians, "strong men" all were amazing.
In closing, the crew were outstanding in every aspect. Captain Johnny, with his wit, openness, and exuberance set the stage for a exceptional voyage. One does not need to always be stern and serious when conversing with people. His expressions make us believe he truly trusts his crew and loves the seas...this infects us all aboard the ship. The ability of the crew to remember that we were on a cruise the previous week with them amazes me. They are all very attentive and greatly appreciated. We already hope to return! My Chinese friend tells me that: "man without wit is.... witless.