Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by langil: Allure held none for me
Overall Member Rating
Allure held none for me
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
I have cruised about 50 times in the last 25 years. This one, on the Allure for 7 days was to celebrate a special anniversary accompanied by my children ( in their 50's) and grandchildren (teens and twenties). We took 6 cabins. Some of us drove to Port Everglades and some flew in to FLL. The plane was very late and 7 almost missed the boat. The port people were very nice and held check-in open just past the last minute. Check in for the earlier arrivals was quick with almost no lines and plenty of stations. The latecomers had no waiting, but were whisked aboard without delay.
The ship is enormous, over 6000 passengers, but was beautiful and for its size well laid out with 2 central courts, one park like and fairly quiet and the other with specialty restaurants and an activities area. Surprisingly, getting off and on in ports and disembarkation was very fast and easy without any delays. Even the baggage was ready for us.
The staterooms were very good with plenty of More storage. We had 4 with roomy balconies and 2 overlooking the interior Central Park. Steward service was adequate and cabin makeup prompt throughout the cruise. Unfortunately the ship has only 2 banks of elevators near either end and the walks were long.
The ship is the largest and feels it with passengers crowding the public spaces and long waits for meals at the buffet and even in the main dining room in spite of reservations. The same for entertainment venues and guest relations and photographers. The passengers were pushy and jammed and in groups unfriendly and rude. Ships officers were not outgoing and did not greet passing passengers. With the exception of the Guest Relations staff who were efficient and knowledgeable and friendly, the service personnel were indifferent and offhanded.
The food in the main dining room was fair at best without any flair nor flavoring. Half the menu was the same every night and the other half did not have much variety. The buffet was less than ordinary but had enough variety to keep us fed, including the vegan and vegetarians with us. The specialty restaurants were very good and for the most part worth the extra charges. We ate at 3 of them - Mexican - food good and inexpensive, Brazilian steak house - food very good, service excellent and Italian - food pretty good, but service at a table for 12 was haphazard. We were given no special consideration for the large number of us nor for the anniversary. In fact when we ordered a cake for the dinner, we were charged for it. A word about the bars. Most service was good (we were at a number of them), and prices fair and pours substantial.
We had 3 days at sea and 3 ports.
We took no ships excursions but hired a bus and driver and guide for the stop at Falmouth. Not happy with our choice (Daina Taxi) but went to Dunn's River Falls (jammed and not a great adventure) and Green Grotto Caves -Most interesting with a good guide. I recommend it. The private island was good, with lots of activities and beach and a good barbaque and salad lunch. Cozumel was fine and 3 of our women went to a salsa and tequila event which was well done.
The entertainment was the best I have seen. The main show was spectacular, the other in the big and comfortable theater was just as good. The comedians in the club had some of us back a second time. The cruise directors staff was average for a big ship which means they were pretty good.
Getting on and off for ports and disembarkation was a breeze. It took no time at all and our luggage was waiting for us. Port parking was at the pier, convenient although expensive.
Summary: Highlights: entertainment, cabins, activities, specialty restaurants, guest relations. Minuses; Food, most of the staff, waiting lines, crowds. I give it a 3 out of 5. There are better for the same price. Less
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