The Allure is a big ship, and much of what RC does they still do right. The food, for example, is still rather good compared to other cruise lines. For the most part, the service was also good. And while we did not have terrible seas, it did seem to handle rough weather fairly well, so even at our suite near the stern the rising and falling of the ship was hardly noticeable.
The main problem with the ship is its architecture. With the exception of the Jazz and comedy lounges on the fourth floor, and a Gold Card and above area on 17, there were no areas of the ship which felt like a traditional cruise ship, where you could simply relax. Everything simply felt too busy, often opening into other even larger areas, like the Boardwalk. To make matters worse, the Jazz and comedy lounges were seldom available. I was only able to spend about 1 hour in each due to scheduling (or lack thereof).
This ship has more pay areas than any other ship I've been on. Other ships More
have had a steak place or an Italian place that you would pay extra for. This ship has Starbucks, Johnny Rocket, a Mexican place and many others. Not so coincidentally, the hours at the buffet areas is very short (e.g. close at 9:00 p.m.), or despite the ship's size, they might not open up both sides of the buffet. That said, the quality of the food at the buffet areas was generally a step above other cruise ships. My steak at Chopp's Grill was not that good, but the others in my party enjoyed theirs.
A few more things about the size. Despite presumably having a larger budget, the entertainment on the ship was really not a step above other cruise ships, with the exception of the show Chicago. After seeing the same cast in Blue Planet, was probably good due to its material rather than the performers. The two comedy performers were loved and hated by the four in our group, two loving one of them, and the other two loving the other one. The musicians were below average for a cruise, in some cases much below average.
Finally, we had a suite at the end, it it was only marginally affected by the noise of some of the activities, such as the water show. Some of the inside cabins would be greatly affected, except perhaps those overlooking the Boardwalk. There though one passenger complained that too many other rooms could look into their room. Thus, like other cruise ships, an exterior balcony would be far superior.
I'm glad I took this cruise, but all future cruises will be on much smaller ships. Less
Allure of the Seas Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean