We had 2 adjoining veranda cabins on deck 8. There were 6 in our group: 2 geezers, 2 late-30s parents and 2 kids (ages 9 and 6). It was the 13th cruise for the geezers (Seabourn, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, Norwegian and Commodore) and first for everyone else. We found the embarkation to be easier and faster than every line we have sailed on except Seabourn. From the time we arrived at the port until we were in our cabins was no more than 30 minutes. The cabins clean but were small, very little storage space and the furniture was cheap compared to other lines. The sink and counter in the head was tiny - very little space for personal items. The verandas opened to provide a large common space for both cabins. This is something that we have not seen on other lines. Similar to other reviewers, we objected to cigarette smoke from other verandas. For goodness sakes, RCCL...BAN SMOKING!
The Muster Drill appeared to be a CYA stunt rather than a time to convey important information.
The Dining Room was beautiful, and while the service and food were good, it failed in comparison to all of the other lines that we have sailed on. We did like the program where the kids, after eating, were escorted to the Children's Area, so that the adults could linger over dinner. We have not seen that on other lines. We ate 5 dinners in the Main Dining Room, one in Park 150 and one Room Service. The Park 150 was good, but certainly not worth the $250 charge per couple.
On all of our cruises, we have had one romantic room service dinner on our balcony. That was not the case on this one. Allure has an extremely limited Room Service Menu. Entrees are limited to a fried chicken breast, a baked fish and two pizzas. All other lines served what was on the Dining Room Menu for the evening.
We had breakfast in the Main Dining Room twice. When we attempted to order Eggs Benedict, which was a featured item on the breakfast menu, we were told that they were too busy to make that!. How can they be too busy to prepare a featured item on the menu? The waiter was one of the worst that I have encountered in 13 cruises. The second occasion for a kids' breakfast where Characters posed for pictures with the kids. It was OK but not spectacular.
The rest of the mornings, we ate in the Solarium Restaurant or had coffee and toast from Room Service. At lunch, we either ate in the Solarium or in the Park Café. We liked both.
The entertainment on board was excellent; however, we found the required reservations to be tedious. Even with reservations, you had to be at the venue 10 minutes before the show started or your reservation was forfeited. Also, even with reservations, seating was allocated by your status with RCCL. If you weren't Gold Status, you were put on the front or back rows.
Arrival in port was good news and bad news. Since the ship is gargantuan, there is no was they could efficiently tender the passengers to shore. Therefore, docks were built specifically for the Allure and her sister ship. Because of this there is a lengthy walk to the shore excursion area. St Maarten provided golf cart type transportation for those with mobility problems, the other two ports did not.
There are a lot of diverse activities on board, which we enjoyed. However the ship is so large, it is difficultif you have a mobility problem, to get from one place to another to enjoy the activities. In addition, several areas were bottle necks which caused delays. While the ship didn't appear to be as crowded as I thought it would be (5,400 passengers), it was still an ant hill.
Departing the ship was easy. If we had know it was so easy, we would have scheduled an earlier flight home.
In summary, we had a great time. In future, if the grandkids want to go again, we certainly will. Otherwise, we geezers will choose a smaller, more service and culinary oriented ship.