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Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by RobertPlattBell

Home > Reviews > Member Reviews > Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by RobertPlattBell
Allure of the Seas
Allure of the Seas
Member Name: RobertPlattBell
Cruise Date: November 2011
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category: D1
Cabin Number:
Booking Method: Local Travel Agency
See More About: Allure of the Seas Cruise Reviews | Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Royal Caribbean Cruise Deals
Member Rating   2.0 out of 5+
Dining 3.0
Public Rooms 3.0
Cabins 5+
Entertainment 3.0
Spa & Fitness 3.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 3.0
Embarkation 4.0
Service 1.0
Value-for-Money 2.0
Rates 3.0
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Ship Facts: Allure of the Seas Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Allure of the Seas Deck Plans
Some Practical Suggestions
After two cruises with Royal Caribbean, I have decided that cruising is not my bag. But rather than complain about it, I would rather like to offer some practical suggestions for anyone going on this boat - or indeed any other.

1. Do NOT pre-pay gratuities. There are so many restaurants on this ship, you may find, as we did, that you end up not using the main dining room at all. Tipping a head waiter, a waiter, and an assistant waiter than you never used, makes no sense at all. Since you don't know ahead of time where you will eat, tipping ahead of time makes no sense - if it ever did! Of course, if you do not pre-pay the gratuities, you don't qualify for "My Time Dining" - but that is no great loss, as you should...

2. Avoid "My Time Dining" - as another reviewer noted, it is a fiasco. You end up eating basically at about one of the same fixed times anyway, after waiting in line. And while you are waiting in line, other cruisers will cut in front of you, arguing that as "gold members" they don't have to wait, or whatever. It is unpleasant. The lines are not well marked and it is, well, very much like being in a cattle yard. The dining room was very large and noisy. The good news is, there are so many other dining choices - Samabas, the Sushi bar, and Windjammers, for example, the latter of which had far better food than the dining room and was FREE - and was far less crowded.

3. Get an OUTSIDE STATE ROOM. This was the best part of the cruise - the outside staterooms are large and comfortable (compared to say, the Monarch of the Seas inside Staterooms) and the best time we had was just sitting on our balcony, watching the ocean and enjoying a glass of wine and room service. We are boating people, not cruise people, and the outside balcony was as close as you can get to boating, other than walking the cramped promenade deck. The inside balcony staterooms are noisy, and you have a view of someone Else's stateroom and central park or the aqua theater. The entire cruise, I saw barely 1 or 2 people using their inside balconies, whereas I could look over the side of the ship and see dozens of people using the outside ones. RC promotes the inside staterooms as they are harder to sell. But they are very noisy - particularly in the rear, where the aqua shows and midnight movies will force you to close your curtains all the time. BTW, the vaunted "loft" suites all face the rear and provide no great views. Save your money there and get an outside suite, if you want a suite. Better view and quieter and more private.

4. Get off the boat - even an inexpensive shore excursion can be fun. At Cozumel, we went to Playa Mia, and for $29, sat on the beach and had free drinks handed to us for several hours, and a nice, inexpensive Mexican lunch. That was what I was looking for! Labadee is the same way, although you have to pay for drinks. I did not go ashore in Jamaica, but wish I did! Many folks never leave the boat, which is akin to staying in a shopping mall for seven days. Ugh!

5. Ask your stateroom attendant to REMOVE all the mini-bar materials and return them after you leave. It was an ongoing battle with customer service over this - as they kept claiming I was using the mini-bar (bottled water) when I wasn't. I bought the bottled water package (a case of water) and wine package, and cleaned out the mini-bar, put all that junk in a drawer, and filled the fridge with water and wine. The stateroom attendant or whoever saw this and erroneously assumed we can consumed items from the mini-bar. It was a hassle, and vacations should not be a hassle.

Mini-bars are cheesy and low-rent, in my opinion. But that is just me. Really high-end hotels don't have them. But casinos and wanna-be hotels use them. And I think their revenue stream is in charging people for things they DIDN'T consumer and assuming that most people won't check or contest the charges.

Like I said, I am not a cruise person, and seven days on the "Hubris of the Seas" convinced me of this. But if you do decide to go, the five items above would be my suggestions - for what its worth! Good Luck!

Publication Date: 11/18/11
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