The only other cruise we took was 15 years ago with two young sons on a Carnival ship. It was to the Eastern Caribbean as was this trip We weren't fans of that cruise. Things sure have changed. We (my husband and I in our 50's) were actually apprehensive about the size of the ship. It IS huge but very easy to navigate. There is clear signage everywhere. Embarkation was swift and smooth. Our stateroom was ready right after we grabbed lunch. We usually went to the buffet for breakfast and lunch. The stateroom had a lovely balcony overlooking the water. Our cabin was definitely spacious enough. Our cabin attendant was very friendly and helpful in answering our questions. We were on deck 8 which is where Central Park is located . There was shade to be found there and a lovely breeze. The Boardwalk level was warmer and more active. We were always able to find seats poolside, sun or shade even on days at sea. All staff members were very helpful and hard working. The waits to be seated in the dining rooms were never excessive. There was healthy food for all dietary needs.
I found the photographers aggressive in the beginning of the cruise but after day we were never approached again. In all dining areas we were asked for feedback about service and quality of the food. We were happy with all. The only thing I had trouble getting used to was being called by our first names by the staff.
During a lifeboat drill one of ours had a small electrical fire. This delayed leaving Nassau and and made us reach St Thomas very late. Our one shore excursion had to be cancelled. I think the Captain and the cruise line dealt with this very nicely. Ou excursion fee was returned and we were given an additional on board credit. Most importantly Captain Jonny and RC kept all safe.
We enjoyed all the shows offered but I felt the comedy show was the weakest. The first comic was too bitter and mean spirited for my taste. The second was much more likable. Chicago was well done as were the Aqua show and the Blue Planet show. The Abba cover band show was my favorite and I was never a fan of the original group. We were very surprised that folks start to line up for the shows 45 minutes before show time. All were well attended.
We ate at the specialty Italian restaurant one night and found it to be the best meal of our cruise. It was well worth the extra charge. Service and food were really outstanding. Jonny Rockets was anther specialty we tried at an additional fee. Not our usual fare but very good.
The guests on the cruise ranged from infants to elderly. It was a nice mix of folks from all over the world. We would definitely sail with RC again and loved Allure of the Seas.