My family sailed the Allure Christmas week. When we finally arrived back in Ft Lauderdale, the Customs Agent asked what we thought of the ship. I told him RC should donate it to the City of Ft Lauderdale, who could take it a mile offshore and sink it as part of their artificial reef program. He laughed so hard he just waved my family through.
There is an air pressure problem on the boat, so none of the cabin doors close all the way unless slammed shut. I tried doors on multiple floors, all the same. They close, but do not shut. So make sure you lock up all your valuables in the safe. A thief would have a field day on this ship.
I think the crew fixes the air pressure problem at night by turning off the a/c to the interior cabins. They are stagnant and stifling, almost cave-like. By the 3rd night, my kids moved their bedding to my balcony every night to sleep.
The prepaid food packages provide institutional, mass produced food. There are NO special orders ("hold the sauce please. Sorry, we can't do that sir") Beef is prepared medium-rare or medium well, no other choices. 3 steaks on 3 nights were unchewable. The Dining Hall food was horribly bland, served lukewarm and rubbery. I couldn't bring myself to dropping an extra hunderd bucks to try one of the specialty restaurants.
On the 4th morning, I asked the grill chef in the Windjammer Cafe to make me 2 well done scrambled eggs. He refused. Yes, he outright refused. He had an empty grill and a stack of eggs, but refused to make me anything special. "No" and "Eggs out there" was the only english he spoke, it seems.
By the 4th night, the teens on the boat were bored stupid ("we've already done everything 10 times), so they devised variations of elevator tag. I swear each one took a blood oath to press every button every time they got off an elevator. By the end of the cruise, the waits for elevators were obscene.
I feel sorry for one poor guy, and I use "poor" literally. I saw his teenage daughter 3 times, each time walking around texting her friends. I asked her about it, she was proud she texted "I'm so bored" 100 times to all her friends in 4 minutes. She probably sent and recieved 2000-3000 texts during the week. Roaming charges apply at sea, her unlimited plan doesn't. Verizon charges $2.50 to send and $.50 to recieve texts. Poor daddy is gonna be looking at a $10k phone bill when he gets home.
Central Park really is like the actual place. Sitting there one night, I watched as the water from the pools 7 decks up sloshed over the railing and down into the Park. Just like being in the Park after a rain storm, and having a NYC taxi driver hit the puddle in front of you. Just poor design and planning. Did they not expect waves to move the ship?
Lastly, leave your 18-20 year olds at home. There is nothing for them to do. Not old enough to drink, they can't go to the bars. They're also barred from all the teen venues.