DW and I Just returned from the Allure 4/22/12 sailing.
A little history first, I did not originally book the CL. I booked a JS on deck 8 hump. The cabin looked great, we got double points but not the suite perks. I really wanted the GS but did not want to pay the additional upgrade cost.
After final payment the cabin prices began to fluctuate. I caught a sale on the GS where I could upgrade for about one-third of the original difference. I called my TA and she was told this price was for new bookings only. After a little persuasion, she got RCL to agree to give me the reduced price. WOW, I got the GS for a great price.
Friday before the cruise, I checked the website one more time and saw that RCL had changed our GS for CL 1726. I had never even been in a CL before so we were thrilled. It turned out there were some issues with the cabin/location but they were minor. We had a great cruise.
Embarkation for suite guests is slightly different. We had a separate entrance and had to show our documentation to a guard in order to gain access. We were then escorted to the sign in kiosk and then escorted directly to the ship. This was at 11:15 AM. All the rest of the passengers were still waiting to board when we got on.
Since we had been on the Allure the previous April, we knew what to expect and went directly to the Park Cafe for the roast beef sandwiches. They were as good as I remembered them. At 1:00 PM we finally got to go to our cabin. The Crown Loft is fabulous. There was only one issue -- it has stairs!
Now DW and I have lived in Florida for the past 15 years or so and I have a slight mobility problem with my Achilles. Florida does not generally have stairs. At least we have not had to climb them for years. It turned into an ordeal trying to get the suitcases up those stairs. It was funny after, but not fun during.
The other issue we had with the CL was its location overlooking the Boardwalk. Even though we were on deck 17 we could still hear the noise from deck 6. This did minimize the time we normally would have spent out on the veranda. The good part is we were able to see Ocean Aria twice more from our balcony. So I guess it was a fair trade.
I do have to mention one of the high points of the CL -- the upstairs bath. Not only is it made for 2 -- with separate shower heads on each end, but it has a "rain" shower in the middle. It is great!!!
There is also a second TV upstairs over the bed that drops down from the ceiling. Neat but we didn't really use it. The two-story drapes work electrically from both upstairs and down. Several other perks -- fruit baskets, petit fours, special reception, suite sun deck, better robes and slippers, etc.
Because of my mobility issue, I rented a scooter for use on the ship. I encountered no problems with it. No rude people either on the elevators or on deck. In fact, most people blocked the elevator doors so I could get on/off.
After shows, ect, when the crowds all tried to use the elevators at the same time, I usually found people to be in good humor and joked about the crowding (hold your breath type of humor). I did find interesting a comment I overheard that others did not feel welcome on the 17th deck. The Viking Crown Lounge is open and available to everyone. Not sure why the comment, I know I have never felt this way in the past when we were not in a suite. As I said, interesting.
We tried as many of the restaurants as we could. We ate in the MDR for 5 dinners and 1 breakfast. Chef's Table was great (the Black cod was to die for), Chops was also very good, I like wet aged beef better, but the dry aged was cooked perfectly and was delicious. We had Johnny Rockets for both a breakfast and a lunch. We tried the CL for a breakfast -- I had the pancakes and they brought chocolate syrup instead of the maple type. Not good for me -- but fun.
Personally, I felt the CL crowd was a little stuffy. We heard many pontificating about their D or D+ status. We very much like RCL but have traveled on 5 or 6 other lines. All are good -- some are better. I for one cannot get hung up on gaining "status". IMHO
One other observation, this was the first cruise we have been on where it rained. Not so much that it was an issue, but it was still a first. That made it a little uncomfortable while we waited for the bus to take us back home to Fort Myers. But I am VERY glad I didn't have to drive in it to get home.