This was our 4th cruise, sailing on Dec. 1 from Ft. Lauderdale. First time with Royal Caribbean. The process for getting on and off the ship seemed very organized and quick which was surprising. We traveled with another couple who takes frequent cruises and they said RC was the best in this area out of all the cruise lines they had been with.
There were plenty of activities and a wide variety of things to do. Our waiter, Suriawan and his assistant, Igor Jefremov (table 735), in the dining room were absolutely fantastic. The diving show was pretty spectacular for cruise ship entertainment. Central Park was a nice change of pace, but the boardwalk was like walking through the state fair. The comedy show was hysterical - I hadn't laughed that hard in a long time!
The ship is beautiful but obviously, it was crowded. The open spaces were crowded, the elevators were crowded, the dining rooms were crowded (and loud), the pools were crowded. At one point I thought it was More
like a floating mall, with stores, bright lights, and a frenetic type of energy as though people were just determined to party because they were "on vacation." If you want to unwind and relax, this is not the place to do it.
We did not see our room steward for the first couple of days although the room was serviced. Cabin service was adequate but nothing outstanding. We could not get our room cool enough and she volunteered to call maintenance. We think they came but although it was slightly better, we still got hot and ended up sleeping just using the sheet. The cabin layout itself made it nearly impossible to use the closet - the bed was parallel and very close to the sliding doors. Another issue is there are no electrical outlets near the bed which was difficult for medical equipment.
From the moment we stepped on board, it seemed there was always someone trying to sell us something or upgrade what we had already purchased, and that got old. "Seminar" really means "sales pitch." Although we saw the cruise director frequently as he kicked off various shows, we did not see any activity staff available for questions or help and there was always a line at guest services as well.
Labadee's zip line was great; however, the shopping was terrible and the people seemed somewhat bitter as we walked by a stretch of open market-type stalls to get to a beach area. We didn't leave the ship in Jamaica - it appeared as though it was just diamonds, watches and jewelry shops. We did take a taxi to the end of the shopping strip in Cozumel and enjoyed a meal at Pancho's Backyard. But again - hectic, crowded, and busy. The Fury Catamaran snorkeling excursion was disappointing. We love to snorkel but there was only 30 minutes allotted for snorkeling, and started "the minute the first person goes in the water" according to the host. It felt like we had been in the water for about 10 minutes when they loaded us up to take us to a private beach. I would rather have had no beach time and more snorkeling time.
Overall, I would cruise again but not on that large of a ship. I would research the excursions a little more in depth to make sure it is a closer match to what we wanted to do. Less
Allure of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean