We enjoyed our cruise only because of the “ship”. The food was spotty (lots of bad), the price/value for 7 days was poor and the cabins for the price you pay are small. Again it is the ship.
The ship is huge we especially enjoyed Central Park and the Boardwalk as we did on Oasis. One thing that did bother us is the elevators. During peak times we had to either go the wrong direction or wait 3 or 4 elevators because they were so full. Seems like the design needs to be tweaked a little to get this right.
One item you have to praise is the embarkation process at Port Everglades. RCL has this down to a science for both Allure and Oasis. Time from when we stood on line until we were aboard was under 15 minutes. RCL has separate lines for each deck plus separate check-in for suited and platinum and above C&A members.
For what we paid the stateroom was a severe disappointment. Barely enough room to get from one side of the bed to the balcony door. The TV is located in a bad location – above the desk, making it hard to view from the other bed (even if you pivot it to the extreme). The sofa is extremely small. I understand why (the room is so tiny) – but it is also 1/3 narrower, making it truly uncomfortable.
Bathroom is small but adequate and there is plenty of storage for a 7 day cruise. Our suitcases even fit in the closet.
Our stateroom attendant was super. Knew our names and conformed his schedule to ours. The best thing about the service on Allure seems to be the housekeeping staff.
Bottom line --No concerns the service was first rate.
The Captain was the infamous Captain Johnny – which mean a skilled Captain with a sense of humor A+
Our Cruise Director was Allan Brooks. He was very good, full of energy and always visible smiling and full of energy.
The Allure likes to pride itself on the specialty dining. Well I must say – stick to the main dining room. You will SURELY be disappointed in the food and the coast for the food. Let’s take each that we tried on the ship –
Chops -- the 2nd worst meal we ever had on a cruise was on chops (the first was also on Allure and was the Samba Grill). OK I know they say be prepared to spend 2 hours in the restaurant. But in the past we never came close. The 2 appetizers came out lightning quick. We finished them in 20 minutes. So now came the wait for the main course -- 30 minutes – 45 – 60 minutes went by. After 1 hour and 10 minutes we were finally severed. The table next to us who came in before us, waited another 10 minutes. So we complain to the manager who dismissed us with a very curt answer. In addition the menu has changed and they have removed Lamb. RCL has gone cheap on us, and I would expect that they would have lamb at least in specialty restaurants (As you may know – lamb prices have doubled because of the New Zealand Earthquakes.
Samba Grill – The meat was inedible --overcooked, dry and just plain terrible. Save your money – you will have better luck in the Casino than getting a good mean in the Samba grill.
Izumi – What an overpriced restaurant. We had the hot rock and some Sashimi. Dinner ran to $130 for 4 with two glasses of Saki and NO desert.
Giovanni’s – While Chops, Izumi, and Samba are for the dogs (my dogs eat better), Giovanni’s was superb. The Osso Bucco was excellent; the appetizer with the prosciutto ham was superb. The waiter and manager were excellent.
Wind Jammer. I have nothing good to say. Overcrowded, cold food and a menu that is uninspired.
Room Service. We had room service twice once for a late dinner and breakfast. The dinner was fine; the breakfast was cold eggs and soggy toast.
Main Dining Room. As I said, stick to the main dining room. The food was great and so was the service. No bad meals here.
Johnny Rockets/Hot Dogs: Yes the hot dogs were actually very good. Johnny Rockets was the usual RCL fare also very good with great service. We went there on the embarkation day instead of the overcrowded zoo called wind jammer. There were only three couples there for lunch which made it very cozy.
Ports: I won’t go into the ports. Unfortunately both Allure and Oasis are restricted as to where they can go. I do not know why we stop in Nassau since we only get 4 hours of true port time. St Maarten and St. Thomas are OK ports. We did some shopping in St. Thomas and spent the day at Orient Beach in St Maarten.
Very quick – however we did the express at 6:15AM. As others have noted, the queuing for leaving needs to be improved. Our short queue (less than 50 people) wrapped around and blocked the elevator. What about the other 5000+ passengers??
The Ship and the numerous things to do
The ports – unless you like St Maarten, St Thomas.