What an impressive ship! However, definitely not for us!!! We love cruises, but of all of our cruises this one ranks lowest to date. Particularly for the money we paid for a junior suite on the Allure! For us, it was not worth the extra cost for the Allure, and we have no interest in another cruise on the Allure or a cruise on the Oasis.
Service: Patchy. Good in some areas, not so good in others. First RCI ship on which we have cruised (5th RCI cruise) to have less than very good service throughout...
Shows: We don't cruise to see shows. If we want to see shows, we go to see them on land. We have interests in other activities... (perhaps we are a minority...).
Boarding: Amazingly fast and easy! No stress or waiting! We prepaid everything and bought our airline tickets through the RCI website. RCI folks handled our big luggage once we got to the bus, and though we had a bit of a wait for the bus transfer, it was still completely stress free. We arrived at the ship by 2 PM, went right to our stateroom and our luggage was already in the corridor waiting for us! (that's a first!)
The ship: As others have stated, the Allure is beautiful and has a lot of activities, entertainment, and restaurants (free and additional cost). It was pleasant to walk around and see all that the ship has to offer, at least initially. We loved the interactive display that enabled us to monitor what was going on at any given time (an automated Cruise Compass...sort of), the capacity of the various restaurants, information about the ship and other good information. We also liked the fact that we could review and manage our individual schedules and make reservations on the TV in our room.
Stateroom Service: Our stateroom attendant was fabulous! He kept us supplied with ice and anything else we needed, and when someone stole the anniversary door decoration that came with the anniversary package we purchased through gifts and gear, he replaced it for us!!
Music: The music in the Viking Crown Lounge (Bogart and Boyd (Betsy and Wayne)) was one of the very few highlights of our cruise!! They are fabulous, and we watched them make personal connections with the audience, which is quite an accomplishment and something few performers have the talent, personality and desire to do! They played many different varieties of music, and when different groups of folks arrived in the VC Lounge, Betsy and Wayne talked with them, asked where they were from and/or what the new comer audience members would like to hear, then played music the audience would like. The trio in Jazz on 4 was amazing, the band that played almost every night at Dazzles was fabulous, and the orchestra was great, as well. All of the musical performers were willing to play requests, if they had the music. We also enjoyed watching the 70's disco performance with the cruise director as the lead.
Specialty Restaurants: 150 Central Park - Wow!! Wonderful experience, especially for a special occasion (for us it was Valentine's Day and our anniversary). Great gourmet food, great service, and if you drink, definitely try their special martini! We also loved Itsumi and well worth the extra cost. The vegetable tempura appetizer (starter) was great but larger than expected. The miso soup is much better at Itsumi than it is in the Solarium Bistro... The sushi rolls are unique but very good.
Pools/Jacuzzi: Jacuzzi have stronger jets than any of the other ships on which we have cruised to date, but still not warm enough for us...
General comments: For us the ship is too big and too crowded with too many people! The only way to get away from the crowds is to spend a fortune at the spa, spend much of the time in the Viking Crown Lounge, or your stateroom (I definitely recommend a balcony stateroom). The only positive aspect of our stateroom (and what made it different than other suites) was the blackout drapes and the TV (as discussed above). We thought our balcony would have lounge chairs, but it didn't... Why pay the extra money for the Allure... Oh, one more thing, WiFi connectivity is not free (.65 a minute for the Western Caribbean cruise). Texting is not cheap either, depending on your carrier...
Pools/Jacuzzis: In general, the pools are not as deep as on other RCI ships. The pool in the solarium is only 3 ft deep and small, but there were not lot of folks there or in the solarium hot tubs when we were there.
Dance floors: Serious dancers -- Don't expect to be able to actually dance. None of the dance floors are big enough for one accomplished couple, let alone the many that seemed to want to dance!!!
Adagio dining room (main dining room): We were disappointed with Adagio food and service. It was by far lower in quality than the other RCI ships on which we have cruised. We were even disappointed in the bread available. Even breakfast in Adagio, the only place we found to order eggs/egg beaters and/or omelets freshly made, left a lot to be desired.
Windjammer: Small!!! Choices were more limited than other RCI ships and the hours seemed to be more restrictive. We were also very disappointed with breakfast. Even at the Windjammer we could not get a freshly made omelet or freshly made to order eggs/egg beaters/egg whites.
No charge restaurants: Park Cafe is good -- we particularly enjoyed their egg muffin sandwich at breakfast. Promenade Cafe has good sandwiches, particularly for an after midnight snack. We were not impressed with the hot dogs at the hot dog house.
Specialty Restaurants: Samba was okay, had plenty of food, and particularly a lot of meats and chicken (too much for us), but for us, not worth the extra cost. We may have been better off to have gone to Chops (if as good on the Allure as other RCI ships). Rita's: Okay. Nothing special.
1920's Speakeasy special event -- For us, not worth the extra money we paid... We weren't able to choose the drinks that we wanted, the food was nothing special, and the dance floor in Jazz on 4 is so small it's a joke (not sure why it's even there -- why even have it -- not appropriate for any music let alone 1920's music...). However, the trio was fabulous, and the crew members playing their speakeasy roles did a goo job and were entertaining.
Debarkation: We purchase valet service whenever available, and purchased it on the Allure. What a nightmare and waste of money!! We actually experienced better, easier and smoother debarkation on ships when valet service was not available! The entire process was difficult. Even with a suite, we initially were not allowed in the concierge lounge, as they told us we would be.