My wife and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on-board the Allure of the Seas. For the most part, the vacation was absolutely great.
We had one issue when we arrived in our cabin. (which was a balcony) The smell of cigarette smoke was horrible. I started having an asthma attack within 5 minutes of being in our room. We found the cabin that was one cabin forward had chain smokers and we could smell the smoke in our cabin. After calling guest relations, we were told nothing could be done. Smokers drink more alcohol and Royal Caribbean is not going to tell drinkers they can't smoke on their balconies. Not good enough. We asked to be moved, we asked to have them not smoke on the balcony. Simply told no. As my wife and I were preparing to muster (drill for lifeboats), I decided I'm not going to pay big money for asthma attacks as I don't do well with cigarette smoke. I found a first officer and told him my problem and told him I want off the ship that I'm not going to pay this much money to be having issues with smokers. Wow! That took care of it. The first officer called guest relations and told them move us now! I've learned a great lesson, if you have a SERIOUS problem, the captain and first officer have the right to override hotel services. Mind you serious issue, i.e. health issue. I don't think we would have been moved if we said the colors in the room are not satisfactory. When we arrived at guest services, they had 6 rooms for us to look at that were in the same category we purchased. So, why were we told "no" in the first place. We found a room we loved. Our original stateroom attendant helped me move our luggage (he was pissed he was loosing the tip, but I tipped him $50 for helping me and having a positive attitude, plus he was great!).
Interesting fact, any time I was near guest relations, the manager came out and greeted me (big brother is alive on-board!). She was outstanding!
Both our Stateroom attendants were out of this world. They work hard, don't piss them off. Tip them well. We usually give them $20 extra than the recommended amount. In fact, of the 7 cruises we've taken with Royal Caribbean, we have never had a stateroom attendant that was less than outstanding.
So much to do, we didn't have time to enjoy everything. We did see all the shows, and all of them were great, the best I've seen on Royal Caribbean. Even the comics were really funny and not too dirty. Make your reservations online prior to leaving. You can reserve your shows online in the two months prior to departure.
I don't like crowds. You would think with 6,400 passengers and 2,400 crew that it would be crowded or at least feel crowded. It is not crowded. Yes, chairs poolside are a little hard to find but not impossible. I think our longest wait for an elevator was a little over 2 minutes. Restaurants did not feel overly crowded; yes they were busy, but not "get me out of this crowd" busy. We were off the ship faster than "Freedom of the Seas" when at port.
Our waiter and assistant waiter were not good. They worked a set of 4 10-seat tables, and they were new. Not good. Needed more training. Never saw Head Waiter. I was always out of water at our table. I finally got up and grabbed a pitcher of water. The next night it still didn't get through to them.
Our excursion on St. Marten was messed up, but we took a cab to the location we wanted to go and Royal Caribbean guest relations re-reimbursed us. We weren't the only ones messed up.