We just stepped off the Allure this morning, so memory serves then experience quite well.
Cheers - the shows, as you've heard, are the best at sea. The venues serve the experience as well. The Amber theater is as elegant as any modern opera house. The aqua-theater, OMG! I still cant believe I saw 50 foot divers on a moving boat! Plus, the acrobats, ice skaters, dancers, and actors - all were so talented! Ice dancers flying kites while pair skating on a 1/4 size ice rink at sea? No way!
Jeers - find a new Broadway show other than Chicago. So many more positive shows that showcase your cast's talent. Actors great, storyline - not so much.
Cheers - I heard many people say or write that the coffee was horrible unless you bought Starbucks - hogwash! It's almost all Seattles best - which IS Starbucks! (compare the address with a bag of star bucks next time you are at the grocer - its the same coffee from the same place). Anyway, good hot coffee all over
Jeers - price of the soda package has gone up, and its ridiculous. $50, really RCCL?
Cheers - the wait staff and cabin attendants were terrific. World class!
Jeers - Guest services - I had THREE horrible interactions with these folks. Rude, rude, rude! They need a total overhaul, or change the name to guest irritants. We struggled to find good or polite service from anyone not working off tips. Now, looking for the bright side, this was the end of tour for many employees (including the captain), who had worked 6-8 months straight, 7 days a week since the ship was afloat. Maybe they were just tired?? RCCL should keep this from happening, though, as I heard many guests complain about staff (usually non-tipped staff, or guest services)
Cheers - the ship - wow! The neighborhoods, the detail, the decorations, the excitement! 2 flow riders! I provided plenty of comic relief to the teenagers waiting for me to wipeout!
Jeers - the port stays - a little too brief, especially Nassau (about 6 hours)
Cheers- technology - wow! From 3D movies, to interactive touch screens all over the ship to the highly complex aqua theater, which have levels that appear and disappear underwater, up to 17.5 feet deep- this ship takes the cake on technology
Jeers - technology - wifi came and went all week, making it difficult to communicAte with those at home when you could find time. Also, checkin day their cameras were down, so took much longer to inboard than I've read is normal
Cheers - food was excellent. Almost Every place I ate, especially the healthy solarium grill. Very impressive.
JEers - the cupcake store- Blech! They make their icing with crisco, not natural ingredients, and the cupcakes weren't fresh. I was anticipating much better. Improve the food or close it down! I overheard several guests saying the same... Again, the only negative dining experience on board.
Cheers - schedule - if you can't find something to do, you ain't trying! Plenty of disparate activities at all times, until 11pm the last night.
Jeers - nickel and dimin' - here's a crazy idea for RCCL - GIVE AWAY the $30 commemorative video. Only costs $.20 a piece to copy, then you would have 6000 guests showing their friends and families the video, not 400 or so. Cheap marketing, and it would leave a better taste with your guests as the final memory. You can't buy that kind of advertising! Also, you confiscate liquor onshore so we have to buy your $7 drinks aboard. Really, RCCL? Poor taste. Then, they post an ambiguous ad to go find "your free" photo in the photo place, only to say "well, not EVERYONE gets a free photo" when you arrive to claim it. So, you'd rather tick me off and throw away thousands of pictures than to honor your crafty promise and give them away. Really, RCCL?
In conclusion, the boat is spectacular, but only people can make it run. I am embarassed for RCCL that a sterling vacation was tarnished by avoidable foolishness. If RCCL learns to act as top notch as the vessel itself, they could become untouchable in the cruise wars.