November 20, 2012 sail date. Had to do the Allure once to see what all the fuss was about. The ship is a virtual city. The best entertainment of any cruise. You must order tickets in advance for all the important shows, which is all of them, or be very early on the ship and wait in line at the box office. I's not like other cruises, where you eat dinner and then make your way to the theater. The key shows each night are in different venues. Box office lines can be long for people who didn't get tickets/reservations in advance of the cruise. There is also standby line before the show starts and may get in that way as many did. The Aqua show with high divers was phenomenal. Chicago was very good. The cast production of Blue Planet was also excellent. The bands around the ship were very good and dancing to rock, salsa, big band etc etc . The karaoke, the pub singer with sing along, all very good and entertaining.
never a problem getting beach chairs at any pool; great jacuzzis too. The ship never feels crowded. it's a behemoth
There is so much to do for children and teens and they all appeared to be having a great time and making new friends...better than Disneyworld and the Nick parks we were told..and parents get to have their own time without worrying about children. No family vacation can match this, especially for what you get for the money. The 20-40 somethings also were having a great time
Labadee is great and much fun for families, with beach, BBQ, Waterpark, zipline, coaster, littler shops etc. RCI did a great job with Falmouth, Jamaica. Lots of shopping right off the ship. we did Dunns river falls also, which was unique and a fun excursion. missed the trolley which takes you out of the shopping compound to the real Falmouth--$18 person i think ..will get it next time..dont have to book this on board , i believe..almost like a ho ho trolley. Cozumel is always great..did the unlimited snorkel which you walk to from the ship..next time will do paradise beach on own..shopping is great and fun in cozumel, as usual.
Dining highlight was the specialty Italian restaurant in Central Park, as people said it would be. Food and service was extraordinary.
The touch screens around the ship are a tremendous and very helpful improvement.
Things we missed were : it almost didn't feel like you were at sea. There is a lack of personal aspect, it is so big. There is no wrap around deck on the 4th or 5th level, like with all other ships. There is a jogging track on 5th level , but no deck chairs for people to read and be close to the sea. At night that is one of my favorite aspects of the cruise--- to and feel and hear the ocean , and/or smoke a cigar [I am a cigar smoker]. Also, there is no collection of tables outside of the windjammer to eat breakfast or lunch outdoors--another favorite aspect of ours.
There are serious over indulgences, like some developers who went wild when money was easy to come by. Like a levitating bar, which seems hugely expensive for the return--a silly extravagance. Central park was overdone, and many of the restaurants seemed mostly empty many times. The last days of Pompei.
The food in the Main dining room, dinner was so mediocre to poor, we were surprised and did not expect it on RCI. Service was very slow. The first night they served prime rib, which was such a cheap, poor cut of meat, I was very disappointed in RCI. So we started eating dinner in the Windjammer...not too bad, and interesting variety. and no long waits. Service was very good in the windjammer. The MDR has a salad bar for lunch on sea days, as do other RCI ships which is great.