6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
As a first time cruiser, I cannot compare my experience to any other ship or company. That being said, I am not a first-time traveler. Here we go! Initially, we were extremely excited about this trip because upon purchasing we knew we ... Read More
As a first time cruiser, I cannot compare my experience to any other ship or company. That being said, I am not a first-time traveler. Here we go! Initially, we were extremely excited about this trip because upon purchasing we knew we were purchasing exactly which countries we wanted to visit prior to the changes (Bahamas, St-Kitts, St-Thomas). However, soon after our cancellation deadline passed Royal changed one of our ports (as they hold the right to change ports at any moment for absolutely any reason). The reason for the change...it was too far and the boat would not have enough gas. What?! I am pretty sure this could have been determined prior to the package being set in motion and claiming sales. Nevertheless, we rolled with the hit and St-Kitts was changed to San Juan. Hurricane season hit and St-Thomas and San Juan were no longer available (this we could understand as no one can do anything about changes to nature). Royal decided to send us to Bahamas, Cozumel, and Costa Maya. For those that have never been to Mexico these two ports may sound pleasant, but for someone that has been twice before... not pleased. Considering an all-inclusive trip to Mexico is much cheaper than a cruise, we were extremely upset and disappointed and made our displeasure known to our agent and Royal. This is where things go more displeasing. Royal basically threw Policy at us stating that they have to right to change ports and so on. They were very short in their replies and did not seem interested in trying to come to resolve in the matter (NOTE; Royal faced a class action lawsuit soon after Hurricane Harvey due to the policies they keep to). We asked for a credit, they said no, we asked for a refund but were told us no, we asked for some kind of compensation for all this inconvenience which ultimately turned our honeymoon into an overpriced trip back to Mexico. Royal finally provided us with a second dining voucher (60$ value) as well as a Spa voucher (119$ value). They stood by their policies and stated that although the ports changed for our safety we would still have access to the many amenities the ship had to offer. We were not and are still not impressed with the way things were dealt with on a customer service level. I know this may sound as though we are spoiled/privileged and demanded that they give us everything we asked for but this is not the case. It is not being told "NO" that is the issue, it is how you are told "NO" that determines one's experience (for the purpose of this review I have not gone into detail about our communications with Royal Customer Service). Now let's get to the actual cruising experience. FIRST IMPRESSION: The Allure of the Seas is... breathtaking! driving to the port and seeing this monster of a ship is definitely a site to see. We were very impressed with how smoothly embarking and disembarking was (granted there were lines and a waiting period but that would be the case when 6000 people are all going to one place). We immediately reserved our specialty restaurants and activities, or in other words, we mapped out our week upon arrival. This allowed us to wander around and familiarize ourselves with the boat. For those that do not wish to wait in line to reserve your restaurants or activities, no worries, you can do it all from your stateroom TV. We found this extremely convenient. There is also the option of calling restaurants from your stateroom (the phones have a one-touch dial for various departments or press "0" for a directory). Another great thing with the stateroom televisions is that Royal has a number of channels dedicated to your onboard experience (Navigation, Shopping, Recorded seminars/talks that you may not have attended, Competitions, Itinerary, Etc). Needless to say, great idea and very helpful. DISCLAIMER: this is a very, VERY BIG BOAT! there is a lot of walking and elevator rides to be taken. This is not a bad thing to us, and the boat has some beautiful sites that make the walk worth the while. OUR STATEROOM; Walking into our stateroom for the first time was very pleasant. We expected a much smaller cabin with a tiny window but it was quite the opposite. The ocean view window was very large with a perfect amount of exposure to the sea. The bed (2 doubles pushed together to make a King, which we could not feel the split) was very comfortable and clean (no bed bugs or stains). The stateroom attendants did a great job prior to our arrival. Our stateroom was located to the front of the boat which meant that we could feel the rougher moments more than those in the middle of the ship. For those wondering if you feel the boat moving a lot, there are moments that the ship does sway and you do feel yourself swaying left to right at a very slow speed, aside from those moments you do not feel a thing. We recommend either sitting down or making your way to the middle of the boat. DISCLAIMER: If you plan on staying in your room throughout your voyage, take the hit and get a large room with all the amenities you desire. This does not mean that our room was bad, on the contrary, this just means that we have heard people complain about the room size (not on this trip) but never spent a moment in the room. Your room should be for sleeping, showering, and getting changed. It should also be used as a meeting point for families because we cannot stress enough...THIS IS A VERY BIG BOAT. DINING AND FOOD; We all know the deal with all you can eat vacations, so be prepared to eat to your heart's desire. The ship has many dining options, from specialty restaurants, fine dining, complimentary dining, anytime dining, and buffet. It also has a Starbucks if you just gotta have your Bucks. We did not try every restaurant on the ship so we cannot review them all. That being said, here is what we can say about the food and locations we did try. -The WindJammer: The WindJammer Buffet was absolutely perfect, my wife is a vegetarian and had all the options she could ask for. The food is always fresh and quickly changed if the quality or quantity changes. If seating becomes issues they kindly remind guests to make room once they are done (guests can also leave with their foods and eat elsewhere if they so choose). The buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. -American Icon: This complimentary dining experience allows you to either reserve for a private table or show up at will (for breakfast or dinner) and sit at a table with other guests you may or may not know. We reserved the two times we ate there. The dining room itself is very nice and pleasing for those that enjoy a warm ambiance. However, in the spirit of honesty, we did not enjoy the food. The issue is that due to the size of the room (big) and a number of people they can serve at once, the food is very similar to what you would find at a large catered wedding. Good but not great. We both experienced moments with several of our dishes which left us with one word "bland". Another guest mentioned that the food on this ship was not as good as other ships he had been on and after eating at this restaurant we can understand. Luckily we always have the WindJammer. The service was okay. Friendly waiter and staff, however, it can take some time for the food to arrive or to be greeted as they seem overwhelmed. DISCLAIMER: If you have a show or event to make let the waiter know immediately, order everything you wish to eat at the start and the service will be much quicker as they do not want you to miss your reservation. - 150 Central Park: Dining done right. There wasn't a moment that we did not enjoy. From our very knowledgeable waitress to the decor and ambiance, and finally, the delicious food, 150 Central Park is a must. If you are given a voucher for dining upon purchasing your trip, use it here, and if you did not receive one then pay the entrance fee to eat here. 5 Star experience is all we have to say. -Giovanni's: We avoided all pasta or Italian dishes prior to eating here and we were right for doing so. Giovanni's has a beautiful environment, as though you were going back to Italy and dining with the dearest of friends. The staff was very helpful with their recommendations and provided great insight on the menu based on your preferred flavors and dishes. Another great experience was having the Chef come to your table and get feedback on your dining experience. If you enjoy Italian cuisine then you have to stop by Giovanni's. DISCLAIMER: be prepared to eat when you come here. Traditionally, you have multiple courses in one sitting. They encourage you to try multiple dishes as you are welcome to as many as you so chose (it is an entrance fee and not pay per item. All Specialty dining works this way). We cannot stress how many other dining options can be found on the ship, so many that we could not try them all and others simply because of dietary restrictions and choices. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES; Hats off to the people that make all of these fantastic shows and events happen. If enjoying yourself on what some call a "family" boat is a concern it should not be. The variety of entertainment is mind-boggling. A daily itinerary is left on your stateroom door which will give you the hourly play by play of what is happening on the ship and where. The ship also has user-friendly touch monitors on every deck with a "what to do" button and a map of the ship for easy guidance. We highly recommend reserving your shows the moment you step foot on the ship as most specialty shows can sell out quickly, leaving you on standby ("reservation" simply implies that you can enter the hosting room and choose your seats prior to others. you do not have reserved seats). The aqua theater is home to some absolutely phenomenal acrobats, divers, and entertainers. Great for everyone on the ship. The headliner, Travis Ledoyt, is a splitting image of a young Elvis and could not have done a better job captivating an entire theatre. He is extremely humorous and backs it all up with an incredible voice. Mama Mia was done justice by it's energetic and talented cast.The ship also holds the daily team and individual sporting competitions which allows guests to walk away with a potential medal. As marketed, the wave rider, wall climb, and zip line are all complimentary after signing waivers and receiving your access bracelet. TIP: save these events for sea days if possible. DISCLAIMER: The activities and shows change on a daily basis. Much like the restaurants, we did not have the opportunity to try everything. ONBOARD SERVICE: Due to the experience, we had with Royal Customer Service we were very concerned that we would experience the same treatment onboard. This was not the case. The staff were all so friendly and welcoming. We loved the diversity that is experienced on the ship. Our stateroom attendant, Ethel, made every day special in some form of way. She always took a moment to speak with us and not always about our cruise experience, but as though a friendship was being formed. we could not express how important this was to us. She deserves all the praise in the world. Every dining experience began and ended with a smile and some form of appreciation. At guest services, we were always dealt with in such a way that was courteous and helpful. Surprisingly, one guest mentioned this was her second voyage on the Allure, her first time was in 2013. She claimed that the service diminished since then. If this is true then we can only imagine how much further the staff went to appease the guests. DISCLAIMER; We did overhear and witness moments when employees were spoken down to by superiors or supervisors. The employee's demeanor and spirit were instantly altered for the worse.They seemed more deflated and demoralized. We truly hope that Royal reminds their management teams to respect their employees as they work hard and are the front line of our overall experience. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS As we previously mentioned, we had been to 2 of our 3 ports before. I, on the other hand, have been to all 3. Was it what we wanted, absolutely not. Here is a summary of the Ports. -Bahamas: The best water you can ask for. Friendly locals. Highly recommend seeing the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island. Leave early to beat the lines if you venture there alone. -Cozumel: By far the most Excursion options provided by Royal. Not the biggest fan of this port but can still find some good gems here and there. Worth choosing a full day excursion. DISCLAIMER; Always remember, when in Mexico, don't forget to tip. Not to worry though because they will always remind you to... -Costa Maya; much like the Bahamas, choose your excursion based on the amount of time spent at this port. It is a very nice port with a lot of things to see. We did prefer it to Cozumel as it was built for cruises. There are no beaches close to the port so be prepared to take a cab ride out. CONCLUSION; We made the most of our trip and are grateful that we have the privilege to experience such vacations. We thank every staff member that helped make our week memorable and enjoyable. We are looking forward to cruising again in the future, however, our takeaway here is to always read the policy prior to signing anything. Would we voyage with Royal Carribean again? Maybe but not an easy buy. As a company, they did not win us over. Luckily, their employees made up for their policies and lack of rapport. That being said, The Allure of the Seas is a great ship and should be experienced by both avid and new cruisers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This was my first ever cruise and I can honestly say, I'm hooked. I can't believe I haven't cruised before. I want to say thank you for all the help from cruise critic forum and reading these reviews. Prior to the cruise, ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise and I can honestly say, I'm hooked. I can't believe I haven't cruised before. I want to say thank you for all the help from cruise critic forum and reading these reviews. Prior to the cruise, our itinerary changed multiple times. This was due to the hurricanes but also to do with the ship having a fault which made it run slower. The itinerary changed three days before we left to Bahamas, Cozumel and Costa Maya. I wasn't happy with this change but by this point I felt I had no choice but to go with it. I arrived at the port around 12:30-1pm. I got out of the taxi and someone offered to take my bags. I had the luggage tags attached and before I even had the chance to tip, I was asked for money. I'm not used to the tipping culture (I'm a Brit) so I did find this rude but let it go. Checking in was so simple. Straight up to the desk, gave my credit card and had my picture taken then I was given my SeaPass and off I went. On-board, I headed straight to sort my wifi out. After having to wait 20 minutes and for three different people, I was told I'd have to come back as they didn't have my details listed. The wifi was included in the price of my cruise and I had evidence of this. I went back several times and it was finally sorted about 7pm. I wasn't happy with the service as the person helping me was very rude. I had cabin 14279. When I first opened the door, I understood the meaning of cabin fever. It seemed tiny! I did have a queen sized bed, table and chairs, tiny wardrobe (although fine for one person), shower and toilet. I was so impressed with the shower water pressure and heat of the water. Also the little bar to put your leg on whilst shaving was perfect. After unpacking and putting my suitcases under the bed, the space was fine for one person. Two people would have been tight. There is so much I could comment on but I'd be here all day. I loved how many activities were on-board. I tried the rock climbing, flow rider, I watched Mama Mia, Blue Planet (literally the best show I've ever seen!), comedy show (saw it twice as it was so good) and the casino was fun. I bought the drinks package onboard, wish I'd bought it before as it was cheaper. I did however make great use out of the package and tried lots of nice cocktails. The food was great on-board. I enjoyed Central Park Café for breakfast and lunch. They had yummy little breakfast burritos and the best caramel latte. Lunch had a great salad selection and fresh fruit cups. I looked at Johnny Rockets for breakfast but I didn't like the menu. Michael who greeted me at American icon was lovely. So friendly and happy. I always asked to be seated with other people. I met some lovely people at dinner. I had an incredible time. I found all the staff wonderful. The only issue I had was with someone form Guest Services who was very rude when I asked to buy a travel adaptor. Overall I highly recommend this ship There's so much to do if you love a big ship. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
this was our first royal cruise our waitress were great we were on Table 444 in the Grand room they could not do enough for us food was good the only thing I did not like was we we to the Italy restaurant part of the package we were ... Read More
this was our first royal cruise our waitress were great we were on Table 444 in the Grand room they could not do enough for us food was good the only thing I did not like was we we to the Italy restaurant part of the package we were given a different menu than the one outside the place just because it was not dinner there part of package was lunch only but the menu should have been like the one out side.Getting on and off the ship was great no problem they have it all under control..I would have like more food to be open at night. the place had little to chose from. The shows were great if was like being on NYC the ice skating was also good. I think the parade was cute. we watch it too. You could have more games around the pool. there was no problem finding a chair near the pool. We had room service 3 times I like the idea they called to make sure you are awake .the staff in the buffet were good we forgot something they got it for us. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My mom and I took the Allure of the Seas as our very first cruise and were awe-struck by its size! The service was impeccable and the staff were all just amazing and friendly. I read another review on here and can't help but agree ... Read More
My mom and I took the Allure of the Seas as our very first cruise and were awe-struck by its size! The service was impeccable and the staff were all just amazing and friendly. I read another review on here and can't help but agree that the nickel and diming is a bit aggregious. For the cost of what is essentially a 4 or 5-star hotel on water, I would expect more things on the ship to be included in the price. You constantly had to check to confirm what what was and was not included. Also, while it is great that the cruise offers drink packages, there was a huge difference in the ulitimate package and the basic sodas package. There needed to be one in between for just wine and beer or something similar. A cost of $58 per day per person for drinks included came out to $1K for 2 people for 7 days with tax. Even at $13 for the highest price cocktail, you still had to drink 4.5 to break even each day. I felt like I ended up spending a lot more money than I should have because of being on the ship. I was also a bit frustrated with the amount of "travel" and exceptions I encountered. The Ft. Lauderdale airport or perhaps just American Airlines there won't let you check a bag more than 4 hours before your planned departure. Having departed the ship at 11:00 AM, I had to sit in baggage claim for 2.5 hours before I could go through security. There was nothing to eat or do and I had no choice but to wait. You would think due to the number of people who are coming off of cruise ships that they would at least allow you to check your bag then go through security and wait at a restaurant. Overall, we had an amazing time full of memories and were happy we went but I am not so sure that another cruise is in my future--I may just need to go back to all-inclusive resorts where I can find a spot and stay there. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was my first cruise. There were 14 in our group sailing together, with 3 of us sharing one stateroom. Definitely get a ocean balcony room. It made the room feel larger. We were on the 7th deck and we didn't feel much of the boat ... Read More
This was my first cruise. There were 14 in our group sailing together, with 3 of us sharing one stateroom. Definitely get a ocean balcony room. It made the room feel larger. We were on the 7th deck and we didn't feel much of the boat moving. You could feel it on the promonade deck though and in the theaters. The ship was clean and didn't feel too crowded despite having about 6,000 people on board. Entertainment was great. Solarium section was great, much more quiet than the other pools which got crowded very early. Lots of rude passengers though so be ready. Had a big issue with the ultimate beverage package which was supposed to include Starbucks, but it didn't. Had to spend 2 days and several hours arguing with a service manager to fix it. Very annoying so read the fine print on everything before you buy. Food: Food was very good. We mostly dined in the main dining room for dinner and Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. We dined at Giovanni's, which was excellent. Izumi was very good as well. Both were worth the extra money. Didn't go to Chops but ordered the Fillet twice from the main dining room and it was wonderful. Entertainment: 70's night was the best. The game shows were fun as well. Ports and excursions: Snorkeling with the turtles in Cozumel was crowded but we did see turtles. Jamaica was overrated and very poor. I was surprised at Labadee and how much I actually liked it, except for the harassing shops. We did the Safari Snorkel excursion and it was a lot of fun. The beaches were crowded. Disembarking: Amazing how fast and efficient the ship was at getting everyone off at port. Got off the ship, got my bag, and through customs in about 45 minutes. Packing: I packed way too much. I only used about half of what I brought but definitely bring an extra back or extra room if you plan to shop. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Exceptional service! Crew members seem to genuinely enjoy their job and make the passengers feel like family. I was very impressed with Royal Caribbean's approach to cleanliness. Handrails, counter tops, etc. we're ... Read More
Exceptional service! Crew members seem to genuinely enjoy their job and make the passengers feel like family. I was very impressed with Royal Caribbean's approach to cleanliness. Handrails, counter tops, etc. we're constantly being sanitized and their was a hand sanitizer dispenser located at the entry of every dining facility and numerous other locations throughout the ship. Onboard entertainment was excellent and well suited for the variety of passengers. The sheer size of this ship is impressive. I'm concerned that this, being my first cruise, has set a standard that will be difficult to beat, or even match, on a ship of smaller dimensions and amenities. My wife, who is a veteran cruiser, and prone to motion sickness, said that she could barely detect any movement on this ship and went the entire cruise without the use of any Dramamine (which she had stocked up on). Will definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again! Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Where to start... Royalcaribbean promote their ship experience as "premium", and "all inclusive", but neither is true. The food in the complemtary restaurants is mediocre, at best. And to not have soda included in ... Read More
Where to start... Royalcaribbean promote their ship experience as "premium", and "all inclusive", but neither is true. The food in the complemtary restaurants is mediocre, at best. And to not have soda included in "all inclusive" is just pathetic. I've had better food and beverages in cheap holiday resorts than I had on this cruise. Also, everything, and by that I Mean e v e r y t h i n g on this ship is about squeezing more money out of the passengers. I have never in my life had as much spam as in all the communication channels on this ship. Television, state room inbox, state room telephone, PA announcements - It was like living in the spam folder of an email account. Buy this, buy that. All the time! There's no doubt this ship is too crowded. Prepare to wait in line... And if you need an elevator, good luck with that. They are either full, or not coming at all. The sports court is nice, but trying to be a "family" cruise, it's strange that there are no slots reserved there for kids sports activities. This is pretty common at other resorts we've been to. The only ones I would give some credit on this ship are the waiters and the state room housekeeping. They did a great job, despite the poor performance of their superiours. So to sum up, it's a total waste of money. Save it for something better. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was a family vacation of 10. The best 7 days we had and the first time we all did not want a vacation to end. We highly recommend this ship and cruise (Allure of the Sea). From the room attendants to the wait staff. They knew your ... Read More
This was a family vacation of 10. The best 7 days we had and the first time we all did not want a vacation to end. We highly recommend this ship and cruise (Allure of the Sea). From the room attendants to the wait staff. They knew your name at dinner or if by chance they were working the buffet, they would address you. The ship was big and had a lot of fun things to do. There was something for everyone. The staff, especially our waiters (Aleksandra, Hector and Boss, table 140, Deck 3) and stateroom attendant gave us excellent service - we felt like we were treated like royalty! We are planning another cruise this winter thanks to the pleasant experience we had. Royal Caribbean exceeded any expectations I had for this cruise. With 5000+ guest on the ship, we always had clean bathrooms, toilet paper, soap and paper towel. Not once did we walk in to a messy bathroom or messy dining facility. No waiting in line and plenty of food. We were treated special and had all our needs met. It takes great organization and communication skills to compensate so many people. We wished we would see that kind of working skills in other businesses. The personal was just unbelievable. From the first day until our last day we continued to be impressed by the professional, hard working staff. The daily gratuity we were charged where well deserved and we tipped more after the end of our cruise! All of your needs are met on a 24 hour basis. We are done with “land vacation”, on the sea is where we will be :) !! Thank you Royal Caribbean! P.S. One bad thing I have to say about this vacation .…. I gained weight :( Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We were very excited to cruise on Royal Caribbean for the first time on one of the biggest ships with friends. We had been on other cruise lines in the past, we had excellent service ad experience so we were very excited. The check in ... Read More
We were very excited to cruise on Royal Caribbean for the first time on one of the biggest ships with friends. We had been on other cruise lines in the past, we had excellent service ad experience so we were very excited. The check in process before boarding was great, it went very fast and I was grateful, because the friends we were traveling with were crown and anchor members and went through a different line. It only took us about 15 minutes longer so not a big deal! We were excited to get on the ship, but instead of happy faces greeting us, we experience people pointing us to the anti-bacterial gel. No one really directing at the door, you had to walk in the main area and look around for someone. A little strange for such a big ship. Our cabin steward was not very helpful and not really around much. It took 2 days before we actually met him. It was very different from our previous experience on cruises. In fact, our past cabin stewards were so fantastic it made our trip. We also had problems getting help to fix our tv, your ship account was supposed to show up there, our tv remote wouldn't work and our account wasn't available. To get the TV fixed I called 3 times and had to go down to customer service before it was finally fixes. We had ordered the soda beverage package, but didn't have the souvenir cup in our room like we should have, when I called about the tv I also checked on the cup. No one helped us until the next day all of a sudden we had 3 cups in our room instead of 1. Our first night dinner was very chaotic and uncomfortable. There so many people walking back and forth by our table that it we couldn't focus on our dinner, we were avoiding get hit by carts and people. In addition, our servers were not really available because there were so busy. Because the first night seems to set the mood for the remaining part of the trip, it wasn't all that impressive. Our cabin was fine, but we only had the fun towel animals 3 times during the week which was a bit disappointing. The one last thing that needs to be changed on the ship, is the casino is a smoking area and it leaks into the halls so much, I couldn't stand in the halls by the doors or walk through the casino because I couldn't breathe. All in all we determined that the ship was too big for a normal cruise. It doesn't allow the same type of service that we have experienced in the past. Everyone was very nice, but it wasn't the same level of greatness! It would be a great boat for across the ocean because there was so much to do. We will not sail on this ship again. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
The Ship itself is well kept and beautiful. The Stateroom was nice and the State room attendant was very nice. The bartenders ...............some were snobs and others were nice ! However, you need to be prepared to spend a lot more ... Read More
The Ship itself is well kept and beautiful. The Stateroom was nice and the State room attendant was very nice. The bartenders ...............some were snobs and others were nice ! However, you need to be prepared to spend a lot more once on board the ship as a lot of stuff is not included and its extra ..............a lot extra. Six of us went and we had an "okay" time compared to other destinations. The food at the Windjammer buffer is mediocre at best and its the same thing every day. The bread tastes like cardboard and there is no omelette station which is standard at most other resorts. Plus there is no pre-listing of what themed night it is so you don't know what you are getting I..e Chinese or Mexican or Asian or what ? Its go and see for yourself ! Waiters in buffet are very unattentive. Main dining hall was good but again repetitive after a few days............they just rotate around the menu. Staff is much better there and go out of the way to make you feel comfortable. Still rate it a 7/10. The food overall is bland and tasteless and had to keep adding salt and black pepper to everything ! Kids club for my 4 year old was excellent...........no complaints there ! Activities were good i.e. shows etc. but by no means out of this world............seen better ! Most venues to see shows such as karoke and games etc. were full capacity so you had to end up leaving if you didn't get there about 15-20 mins prior to start. Too many people.............................try a smaller boat like Norwegian Epic ! This is a "pay extra" for everything cruise so if you don't like that then you have a problem ! We spent about $800-1000 extra per person on board including drink package and excursions and starbucks etc. That just seems like a lot of money when you can pay to go to a 5-star resort like Sandals or Riu for less ! Would I recommend it .............................sorry but no..............won't be using Royal Carribean again ! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
The difference between RCI and others: Great ships - and you need to take what they offer. So out of 80 cruises only 4 were with RCI: Sorry - but their service level is just not ours. Once in a lifetime I wanted to the the largest ... Read More
The difference between RCI and others: Great ships - and you need to take what they offer. So out of 80 cruises only 4 were with RCI: Sorry - but their service level is just not ours. Once in a lifetime I wanted to the the largest ship in the world. But honestly spoken I do not need it. The shows are the best (after Disney) which I saw but that is not enough to keep me loyal with Royal. I want good food. I do not want to hear the word "no". And even if you pay extra like with us in 150 Central Service I want an outstanding food and service experience which I can compare with NORWEGIAN or CARNIVAL. Even simple things like Egg Benedicts: Standard with other cruise lines even in the self-service-restaurant. But not available in the Windjammer: only fried eggs, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, omelette (not prepared as you want). If you want your omelette made to your desire you need to move down to an OUTDOOR-Café and sit outside. With reaching a certain age I do not mind to have public rooms which are more calm. A European Café where you get service at the table and not along the Royal Promenade with Starbucks is something I want and what I missed on the ship. We had a great cabin since we had an aft cabin at the boardwalk facing directly to the Aqua-Show. But after seeing the show I must not have it again: Balcony to the Boardwalk / Central Park and I need a cabin closer to the elevators. Such a large ship and only two stairways. I appreciated very much the service of our cabin attendant Nina who treated us like we were Suite-guests. I appreciated the full baggage-service on embarkation and debarkation which other lines do not provide if you are going on a short cruise. Beside that baggage delivery did not work as they do not see the difference between 10329 and 10293 where I found our bags. After that cruise we went on NORWEGIAN ESCAPE. I did not like the ship either. But service, crew and food were a difference between night and day compared to RCI. If somebody came by with a pot of coffee and asked if you want coffee and you said no: the next question came: can we get you something else, tea or hot chocolate. Here on RCI they just accept your no and ran away. Same with juice etc.. O.K. ALLURE OF THE SEAS was supposed to have Dynamic Dining. I was on the first TA of QUANTUM OF THE SEAS. I never booked a fixed table - I hate it. When I learned on QUANTUM OF THE SEAS that they put me fixed dining in The Grande with every night formal and the same menu every day I was more than shocked to learn again: they put me again in fixed dining in The Grande although I never wanted it. All my booked tickets did not fit anymore because they did not put in flexbile dining although 1 1/2 years earlier booked. 150 Central Park was a Speed Dining or Fast Food Restaurant: 4 courses in 50 minutes and even on request they did not slow down the service. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was to be a very special trip for us. A 25th celebration, 25 years in the making to travel to Europe and experience a great ship, which was our first cruise and I had hoped a start to several cruises in the future. I had heard from ... Read More
This was to be a very special trip for us. A 25th celebration, 25 years in the making to travel to Europe and experience a great ship, which was our first cruise and I had hoped a start to several cruises in the future. I had heard from several on Cruise Critic that it was a great ship; we were starting at the top. I don't come away with that 100% certainty to book future cruises I had hoped. Cruising the Western Mediterranean was a great way to experience a little of various places in Europe. The ports and our experiences in the ports were AMAZING! Definitely the highlight to our trip and the main reason we booked the cruise. The dining (My Time) was very nice. It was great to come back from a long day on shore to a nicely prepared and serviced meal. Loved the variety of food and the great service. The shows were good. Mamma Mia was a great one and I wish I had been able to watch it a 2nd time! Our experiences in the WIndjammer were average & Park Cafe was a disappointment. We luckily were up and at breakfast early because of our full shore days so we didn't get the full scale of issues that others have mentioned; however, the masses we experienced and their rudeness was a disappointment. I was not expecting that from a cruise of this caliber. Why does a person have to squeeze in between 2 others in effecting pushing them; to get to the food they are wanting - and can't wait till the others are done? Why does a person have to push others in line so that they make sure they get some BQ Short RIbs? Why do people have to push on to an elevator before letting others off? I know RCI can not control the people on their ships and issues will be encountered but I was not expecting them every time I went out of my cabin and if RCI is to have a large group; why couldn't they have chartered their own cruise? What's disappointing is that I know from experienced cruisers that a full ship is not necessarily this way. We also met lots of other international people outside the corporate group that were as I was expecting (Polite, friendly, courteous). It's a shame though because from the efficiency of embarking and disembarking, the shows, the quality of the food, the efforts of the cabin attendant to make our trip special... I know the ship & RCI can be what I was expecting. Now it's just the decision if I should spend the large amounts of money to take a chance again? Luckily, there was only 1 sea day here. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise and we had a great time. We booked a balcony cabin and ended up on the 14th floor, mid-ship on the port side. Our room attendant was a treasure, friendly and helpful and most of the staff on board went out of ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we had a great time. We booked a balcony cabin and ended up on the 14th floor, mid-ship on the port side. Our room attendant was a treasure, friendly and helpful and most of the staff on board went out of their way to make our cruise a pleasant experience. The ship was massive but even with more than 5000 passengers and over 2000 crew it did not feel crowded. The ship is kept very clean and we found the amenities to be very good. We used the hot tubs but I found the pools too cold for comfort. If you want a lounge chair in the sun, you need to claim a spot early or get a spot near the smoking section which was disgusting. Dining : Breakfast, ate every morning at the Solarium near front of ship (15th deck). I'm sure it did not have the selection that Windjammers did, but it was quiet, quick and efficient. Lunch, almost all of our lunches were off ship during excursions, but there was plenty of selection at Windjammers. Dinner, we ate every night in the main dining room and did not pay for the specialty restaurants. The menu had selection for all tastes and the food was delicious. If you do MyTime dining, book all your times when you embark. Alcohol : We ordered 2 glasses of red wine on our first night and after realizing that the cost was 35$US, we did not order any more during the rest of the trip. We would have wine or beer on shore and content ourselves with water on board. The cost of the alcoholic drinks is frankly ridiculous! Entertainment : All booked online before we boarded and most was good (Mamma Mia and Ocean Aria were excellent), skip the ice show and the Blue Planet. If you didn't book a ticket, no worries, they let people without reservations grab available seats 10 min before show time. Port & Shore excursions : Save your money and do your own thing. The cost of the cruise line excursions are about 5 to 10 times the travel cost to the destination. The tour groups are made up of senior citizens who move slowly and complain about every little thing. Day 1 (Sun) - Barcelona We boarded in Barcelona around lunchtime. We took a taxi and waited in a very long row of taxis to get to the terminal. Word to the wise, wait until 2 or 3 when most of the traffic clears for those who are boarding. Embarkation was fairly smooth, and even though there were tons of people, the wait was not very long. We went to Windjammers for lunch, then went down to the main dining room to book all of our dining times for the remainder of the week since we were on MyTime dining. The ladies who do the booking always looked stressed, but as long as you were friendly with them, they attempted to be pleasant. Had an early dinner then went to see Mamma Mia which was fun. The theatre is huge, hard to believe it all fits into the ship! Day 2 (Mon) - Palma de Mallorca After a few hectic days of touring Barcelona, we wanted an easy day so planned to find a beach where we could relax. We ended up taking the shuttle from the cruise port to the city center for 5 Euro each. From there we walked to Ca'n Pere Antoni beach (about 20 min at a decent pace). Got there about 10:30 and just hung out on some beach chairs. We didn't bring towels so we just got our feet wet and soaked in some sun. We were getting ready to leave about 12 when a big brute of a fellow came demanding money for the use of the beach chairs and parasol. There was no sign anywhere! We paid the 20 Euro and got ready to leave. We sold our tickets to a Polish couple who were arriving. I think they only enforce the rentals of the chairs when the restaurant is open which is at noon. Had a nice dinner then went to see Ice Games which was a disappointment. Though some of the individual skaters were quite talented, the costumes were gaudy and ridiculous. The storyline for the show made no sense and there was no continuity between the individual numbers. Day 3 (Tues) - Marseilles to Aix en Provence After much pre-cruise research, we decided to forego any tours and made our way to Aix en Provence on our own. We were amongst the first to disembark and then walked about 5 minutes to the free shuttle that the Port provides to get you to downtown Marseilles. The cruise line tries to sell a 23 Euro (each!) shuttle to downtown and tries to scare passengers from using the free one, but no worries, it works great (nice, new clean bus). Took the metro to Gare St-Charles (2 stops) and then quickly bought tickets and took a 40 min train ride to Aix (10am, arriving 10:40). We followed the directions in the Rick Steves book to do a walking tour in Aix. We were lucky to come on a market day. This is definitely the place to buy macarons (we bought some back to the ship to eat onboard!) and bread, and just about anything else foodwise. Took the 2:20 train back to Marseilles, walked our way down the hill to the shuttle point by 3:45 and then back to the ship. Total cost to get to Aix and back for 2 people : 36 Euros. Another nice dinner then down to the aquatheatre for Ocean Aria which was really neat. Incredible to see them dive and do all sorts of tricks on a moving ship. Day 4 (Wed) - La Spezia to Florence Prior to the cruise, we booked a Royal Carribean excursion when we realized how far La Spezia is from Florence (2 hrs) and we didn't want to chance missing the boat. We made our way to the meeting point and then the bus. Our tour guide was absolutely charming, unfortunately most of the rest of the passengers on our tour bus were not. One woman almost went into hysterics when we were told the air conditioning on the bus was not working (and it wasn't even that hot on the bus) and made the whole bus stop for her to use the bathroom on the way back even though all the rest of us had made sure to go before hand. The drive was pretty and watching all the Carrera marble quaries by the road made me want to bring some back. We had to stop at a leather factory apparently to use the free toilets (big waste of time where the lady made sure to delay us all by taking her sweet time shopping) and then we witnessed a car accident right in front of the bus. We were only delayed 5 min, but several buses behind us must have been delayed quite a bit more. So, then we finally made it to Florence around 12:30 (docked at 9 but with gathering the group, bus ride and toilets, 3.5 hrs to Florence). The excursion included 2.5 hrs with the guide and 2 hrs to explore on your own. We started off at the Duomo (the exterior is all you need to see) and came to the conclusion that we would be better off on our own for the rest of the afternoon since the rest of the group moved at a glacial pace and we could barely hear the guide through the headset. We used the Rick Steves book to head to San Lorenzo church, seat of the Medici family. The church is interesting, but what you really want to see if the Chapel of the Princes at the back (where all the Medici family are buried) and the museum. It is fascinating and has terrific pieces of art (admission is reasonable, a few euros if I remember correctly). We then stopped for lunch and then headed to Ponte Vecchio. It was packed! Hard to move around, then we went to the Galileo museum which I highly recommend. All sorts of interesting artefacts regarding the scientific knowledge of the renaissance. Met up with the tour group about 4:30 and headed back to the ship. A late dinner. Cost of cruise line excursion 150$Cdn each Day 5 (Thurs) - Civitavecchia to Rome We ordered room service so we could have an early breakfast and be ready to leave the ship as soon it docked. Unfortunately, even though we docked at 7am, they did not let anyone off until 8:15am. More and more people just kept coming down to the gangway and it was packed and uncomfortable. They should have made an announcement that there had been a delay opening the gangway. We boarded a free shuttle to downtown Civitavecchia which brings you to the port gate. From there it was a 20 min walk to the train station and we caught the 8:44 train to Rome. Note if you are using the Rick Steves book, he says 3 blocks, but it was more like 10 blocks as it wasn't the same stop as he was using. Got to San Pietro at 9:30 and walked to the Vatican (10-15 min) and the security line took about 20 min. We did a self-tour using the Rick Steves book. After mailing off a post-card to the kids, we walked over the Tiber river on Ponte San Angelo into Rome and made our way to the Pantheon on foot. We stopped to have a fantastic pizza and caprese salad lunch (the mozzarella was light as air) and then back to the Vatican Museum to meet up with our private guide (booked ahead) for a 3 hr tour. It was packed and we really got our money's worth out of our private guide (Agata - Blue Italy Tours) who answered all our questions and tailored her tour to meet our interests. Ran back to San Pietro having just missed the 4:45pm train, and caught the 5:02 train which was late and ended up coming at 5:25pm. Standing room only until near the end of the ride back. Got to Civitavecchia at 6:10 and back on the ship at 6:45. Late dinner Cost : Travel to Rome approx 30 Euros, + 170 Euros for the private guide (3hrs) Day 6 (Fri) - Naples to Sorrento and Pompeii Hot, humid day where we took a non-cruise line tour (Can't Be Missed Tours) to Sorrento and Pompeii. It was also supposed to include Positano but there were forest fires and the roads were closed so it had to be skipped. It's recommended in the Rick Steves' book, but I wouldn't recommend it. The bus was old and smelled and the tour guide tried to steer you towards shops and restaurants where he obviously got a cut. We started off in Sorrento and did another self-walking tour from the Rick Steves book. Bought some souvenirs and had lunch before meeting back with the tour group where some people were invariably late. Made our way to Pompeii and our guide brought us through the ruins. It was sweltering but at least it was built to maximize the cross winds as there was always a breeze. Make sure to bring a water bottle and you can refill it at will at fountains throughout the site. It was packed so it was hard to see the famous plaster casts behind the throngs of tourists. Cost : tour 156 Euros for 2 Day 7 (Sat) - at sea We grabbed a few deck chairs right at the front of the ship and lounge while we sailed between Corsica and Sardinia. You want to be out of the wind as it's quite cold even if the sun is hot. We took part in various ships activities and had dinner before going to the Blue Planet show which can be skipped. Day 8 (Sun) - Barcelona Disembarkation was easy as we just walked off with our luggage. The cab ride to the airport was frankly terrifying when we saw the dial notch past 140 km/h. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My wife, myself and our two teenage daughters (13 and 17) embarked on our first ever cruise on Allure of the Seas, The boat is amazing and as first time cruisers a little daunting at first. It probably took us a couple of days to ... Read More
My wife, myself and our two teenage daughters (13 and 17) embarked on our first ever cruise on Allure of the Seas, The boat is amazing and as first time cruisers a little daunting at first. It probably took us a couple of days to "tune into" the cruise experience but once we did the amount of free you can find is amazing if you know where to look!! Best thing to do assume its free as someone will soon tell you if its not. I didn't find the upselling a problem at all as when you say no they just walk away with no more questions or arguing.(you just have to say no convincingly) The biggest issue for us where the ports, Florence is 3 hours + from the port and the paperwork guides on board don't make it obvious how far you are away from the places they advertise. As a first timers guide i would say Mallorca - an easy walk to cathedral and centre and there's enough to see in the limited time ashore to keep you happy really. Marseille - We got a taxi from the port to the beach (you have to get a taxi somewhere really as they are lined up at the port) we found a nice small beach (prado) and had a lovely relaxing day. (there are many other things to see but beaches are good) Pisa - Florence - There's a shuttle bus off the port but literally off the port no more than that. Florence is 3.5 hours away from the port so we didn't bother, even Pisa is an hour train ride but it was nice to see and quite laid back, good day out with nice restaurants and bars once you've done the obligatory pushing the tower up photos. Rome (Civitavecchia) - There's a shuttle bus into Civitavecchia but its another hour and a half train ride into Rome from Civitavecchia and some tips, firstly no shoulders or knees on show for the visit St. Peter's Basilica or you wont get in. As of August 2015 the trevi fountains are closed for work not sure for how long, Colosseum was very worthwhile and you can get the metro back to train station (roma centro) from right outside the Colosseum. Naples - Pompeii - As you walk off ship and to the end of the taxi ranks you will see a pompeii tour bus on your left 15 PP euros to pompeii round trip then 9 euros PP in and its really worth it. Really amazing place. Theres also a boat which takes you round capri for 15 euros just follow the signs off the port. Take passports / ID for under 18's if your looking at reduced / free admission into any attractions very worth while as you'll save a fortune. The day on the ship is fun as you can explore all those areas you haven't got to so far, We played crazy golf, did hotdogs, aqua theatre, climbing wall and alcohol free cocktails. Last tip!! don't buy anything till the last few days as EVERYTHING goes on sale and there are some good deals to be had. We did really enjoy the ship but the ports are a drag and you need to be confident at independent travelling or you will get ripped off!! having said that the holiday was varied, fun and a real adventure!! If that's what you're into you will love it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My 18 year old daughter and I just got back from our cruise on the Allure of the Seas. The ship is big, but it never felt overwhelming to us. We loved all the interactive signs to help you get around easily. There was always something ... Read More
My 18 year old daughter and I just got back from our cruise on the Allure of the Seas. The ship is big, but it never felt overwhelming to us. We loved all the interactive signs to help you get around easily. There was always something going on and we had fun exploring the many things there were to do. We only felt the ship move once the whole week. I'm not sure if this is because of the ship, or the conditions of the water, or both, but no sea sickness at all. It felt like we were on land the whole time. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Couldn't have been any smoother. I was nervous, not knowing what to expect, but it was smooth sailing. No waiting... no line ups. We also brought our own lanyards, and had guest services punch a hole in our sea pass cards. This made life much easier on the ship. Wearing the card around your neck made it easier to access it and also not lose it. Cabin: It was actually bigger than I expected. We had room 9293, a boardwalk balcony room. It was a bit noisy at times, but it was on the other hand fun to sit out and watch all the action down below. Our room attendant was lovely and made sure our room was always spotless and a few towel animals as well. Activities: We took Italian lessons, laid by the pool in the Solarium, did karaoke, rode the carousel, window shopped, went to every show on board, danced at the parties, played at the casino one night, went on a few excursions, oh and did I mention.... ATE and ATE. All in all, such a fun time. We thoroughly enjoyed the solarium. The staff were really good at making sure only 16 and up were in there, which made it more relaxing and quiet for those of us without children. The view from here is lovely as well. The only day it was super busy, was the at sea day. Dining: We did the my time dining, as we were not sure how we would be able to eat at the same time each night, given the different times we arrived back from shore excursions and the times of our show reservations. We just wanted the flexibility of being able to eat in the dining room when it best suited our schedule. 90% of the time, this worked out perfectly well, as given the choice, we are early eaters. What we noticed was that given that the cruise has many Europeans on board... it seems to us that they like to dine later and treat it as an event and take their time. That's all well and good... the problem arises when huge numbers do this at 8 pm and their are only so many tables and people are still using those tables when you arrive at 8 pm. The only night we had to line up for a table for quite a while was the night when we could not get to the dining room until 8:30 due to our lengthy excursion that day. Many were angry and causing a fuss... feeling like their cruise was "ruined" because of the fact that they had to wait for a table (oh the drama). We took it in stride... yes we were tired and hungry and wanted to eat ASAP, but it wasn't the end of the world. We learned from this experience and always went to the dining room for an earlier time and NEVER waited for a table again, and always got to sit in the section of the most wonderful server on board Mary Lee. (If you get the chance to have her... I totally recommend it. Everyone in her section adored her. She went out of her way to make your meal special. She was always cheerful, funny and attentive. It was amazing to see that at restaurant opening, her section was full, when all other sections around were empty. That says something. Great job to her and her adorably sweet assistant server Isabela.) We never ate at the extra restaurants, as we enjoyed our experience in the main dining room and thought the idea of paying extra was silly. We ate lunch and breakfast mostly at the Windjammer. As with the main dining room, if you go early, you will get in no waiting and there are plenty of tables. If you wait til later, then you will probably have to line up. The food in the buffet, was great. Lots of choices, a little salty at times, but still good for a buffet. I am vegetarian, and although there was a little repetition because of my choice to not eat meat, I still enjoyed the food choices on board and easily found lots to eat (too much to eat as my tight jeans will tell you). We also enjoyed the lunch at the Solarium. Smaller buffet, but less crowded than the main buffet. We did Jonny Rockets for breakfast a couple of mornings. It wasn't bad... the toast was always pre made and served as cold and hard as the butter it came with, not a good combination. Drinks: We didn't get a drink package, as we are not soda drinkers and not big alcohol consumers to make it worth our while. The drinks are maybe a little over priced but we enjoyed a few glasses of Sangria (two for one in Vintages from 7-11 pm each night) and some wine with dinner most nights and that was sufficient for us. Shows: We went to Ice Games, Blue Planet, Oceanaria, Mamma Mia, Comedy show (twice), belly flop and sexiest man competitions. All were at least enjoyable. Some were better than others. I thought that the talent in these shows was top notch. I thought that the choreography and concepts of 2 shows were a little cheesy (Ice Games and Blue Planet). Excursions: We only did excursions in the 3 Italian ports. We really enjoyed them for the most part. As with anything, there were good and bad parts to each. We did the excursions through the ship, as being green to the whole cruise experience, we wanted the ease of finding our way around, as well as the guarantee that the ship would wait for us should we be late getting back. It all worked out well. The process of getting everybody to their appropriate bus was well organized and efficient by the cruise staff. Made for a good and relaxed start to each day. Negatives: We didn't like all the upselling on the ship. We get pestered all day in port by pan handler and trinket sellers, only to come back to the ship and be bombarded by photographers, those trying to get you to eat dinner in their restaurant etc. I would like to see that done away with.... cheapens the feeling of being on a luxurious ship.... staff shouldn't have to pan handle. If we want to eat in a restaurant or have our photo taken... we will seek you out... I promise. The line ups were annoying at times, but there were ways to avoid them if you didn't mind going early. The only other thing that was a surprise to me, was how hard it was to meet others (not the cruise ship or it's staff's problem per se). I thought we would meet and talk to lots of people and get to know them, but I found that most people just wanted to keep to themselves. There were so many different languages being spoken on board, which was so interesting to be around, but I think added to the isolation of groups of people. As extensive travelers, we know that no vacation is perfectly smooth. We had a great time and would recommend this cruise to anyone. After reading all the less than glowing reviews on here prior to going, I was worried. After experiencing it and seeing some people's behaviour on the ship, I realize that some people want things to be perfect and have tantrums when something little goes wrong. I saw a lady LOSE it on a staff member when her reservations for the show didn't come up when her card was scanned. I turned to my daughter and said, do you realize what would have to go wrong for me to act that way... they pretty much would have had to have thrown my daughter overboard for me to blow up at someone the way this lady was acting. In the end, the lady and husband were in the show with good seats and all was well, but seriously some people need to learn to relax and treat others with respect and kindness. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our family's first cruise. We went because we wanted to give our kids a sampling of Europe and a cruise was a good way to easily hit a lot of locations. Overall we were very happy with the trip and it was gave us what we ... Read More
This was our family's first cruise. We went because we wanted to give our kids a sampling of Europe and a cruise was a good way to easily hit a lot of locations. Overall we were very happy with the trip and it was gave us what we wanted. The ship was nearly perfect for us, the excursions were not. Our worst experience with the ship itself was just getting on board. We hadn't even boarded when we were stopped by a pushy representative of Chops Grille who made us feel uncomfortable and pressured. If this had been my second cruise, and not my first, I just would have ignored him. Now I know. After that bad start, I was worried about what we signed up for, but everyone on the ship after that was wonderful. We stayed in two interior rooms. They were in good condition, except for the mattresses which felt a little saggy. The staff kept things very clean and Leo our stateroom attendant was very helpful. We spent as much time as we could off the ship touring Europe during the day. After that we'd eat dinner on the ship and then our teenage boys would play soccer, mini-golf, ping-pong or other games. This was exactly what we had hoped for. We were able to see Europe during the day, but then allow the kids to run around in the evening. They got to play soccer/football with kids from at least four continents. That alone was a great experience for them. The food on the ship is a mixed bag and varies greatly on the location. The Windjammer has a fair amount of selection, is casual, and has a some great views. Just don't expect anything much above cafeteria food. We also ate at Johnny Rockets and Giovanni's - both were fine, but nothing special. The experience at the American Icon dining room was very nearly perfect each time we dined. If I could do one thing differently on the boat I would have eaten there every night. The food was at least great and sometimes spectacular. The service from Dennis and Mickey was the best I'd ever had in any restaurant. We looked forward to dinner there at the end of each day. While the ship was a good experience, the shore excursions were a mixed bag. Majorca - We did our own thing here and walked to the a beach, Cala Major. It is the first beach to the west of the port. A long but do-able walk, if you don't mind walking. It has a bathroom where you can change, but it can get a bit rank as the day goes on so go early. After that we took a cab to Bellver Castle, then walked back down to town and took a cab to the cathedral. All of the sites were interesting and we had a good time on our self-made excursion. Marseille - We took the RC excursion to Cassis. It took us up some spectacular cliffs that offered amazing views of the town. We then drove to a drop-off point and took a smaller train/shuttle into town. The guide provided some interesting info while on the bus, but we were on our own in the town. It is pleasant, but there isn't much to do there except to stroll around and look for something to snack on. The tour left at an odd time, just after noon when the restaurants opened. Since you won't have time to get a full lunch, grab some bread and cheese to enjoy while you admire the view. La Spezia/Florence - We took an RC excursion to Florence. I wish the ship stopped in Livorno because it is about 30 minutes closer to Florence and Pisa. It is at least a 90 minute ride to Florence from La Spezia. Once in Florence we were on the Worst Tour Ever. The guide knew she was horrible and told us where to meet up in case we wanted to drop out - which we did. We had a great time going around Florence on our own, but the tour is worthless. Just take the transfer if you are going to Florence. If you go on your own, my recommendation is after you've seen the Duomo walk across Ponte Vecchio and then head east on the south bank of the Arno. You'll eventually get to a large tower at Piazza Guiseppe Poggi. Take the stairs behind it and climb all the way to the top to Piazzale Michelangelo. You'll be out of breath but rewarded with a wonderful view of Florence. Then come back down and tour Santa Croce - which is interesting, beautiful, and far less crowded than the Duomo. Rome - we booked a private tour in Rome and it was our best tour experience on the trip. Also the most affordable. I wish we had done private tours elsewhere too. Naples - We did the RC excursion to Sorrento and Pompeii. The guide here was much better than the one in Florence. I enjoyed the stop we had at a farm in Sorrento where we learned about cheese making and had a wonderful snack. Unfortunately, we only had an hour in Sorrento to eat lunch. Having been to Sorrento before, this was a painfully short amount of time to have there. I suggest getting some food on the go rather than sitting down so that you can enjoy as much of the town as possible. The tour of Pompeii was well done, although it also felt a little too short. In all of the ports there were better, more affordable options for transportation and excursions than what RC offered. For example I think the transfer to and from Marseilles was going to cost about $30 a person, but we took taxis instead that did the round trip for less than $30 for all four of us. The one exception might be La Spezia since it is so far out of the way and not oriented for tourists like Livorno. The last night we were on the ship we went through some rough seas. The information screen on TV said we were experiencing winds over 105 kph - a little under hurricane strength. The ship was rocking, but I have to commend the crew and designers of the ship because I was shocked at how relatively stable it was given the conditions. We were simply able to sleep our way through it. We took the RC airport transfer in Barcelona. This worked well, but there were also many cabs lined up as we disembarked that could have been options (if your luggage will all fit in a cab). Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Having heard so much from family ad friends, we got a good deal and decided to have a shot at this cruising experience. The ship is huge! With 5000 people on board, its amazing how good the dining staff are and the individual are we ... Read More
Having heard so much from family ad friends, we got a good deal and decided to have a shot at this cruising experience. The ship is huge! With 5000 people on board, its amazing how good the dining staff are and the individual are we received with our request for vegetarian meals. The kids could decide which starter to have- the waiter brought us both! The same with dessert! The service made the restaurant equal to any Michelin starred eaterie in London. The variety of things to do meant you were never bored - in fact I resented having to go on shore as that meant early starts and missing the peace of the Solarium! As a first time cruiser, I would say the following: 1. Formal means ' dress nice' - you don't have to take a tux! 2. Don't expect to see the ports in depth - its more of a taster for a longer shore holiday n the future 3. If you haven't got a package for it, check the prices! A couple of things that I found annoying on this 'all inclusive' trip - not all restaurants are included. We booked the Italian, realised they could only offer a limited menu for us as vegetarians , for the pleasure of which we would be paying $25 PLUS 18% gratuity PLUS 10% tax = $32 per head plus drinks - an expensive pasta indeed! I bought the Royal Replenish drinks package, and ended up complaining to the F&B department - the price was $19 per day on my invoice, but then they add the inevitable 18% gratuity and 10% tax the end price ended up almost a third higher than I had been told. To add insult to injury, we couldn't use the pack at Starbucks, and fresh juice was only available at Park Cafe, The Vitality bar in the Fitness area, and the Windjammer - all only in the daytime. Fancy teas only at dinner time and premium teas and coffees only in the Main cafe on Promenade deck. Not in room service or other bars! On the second day my daughter was tasting my punch and I got told very rudely by the barman that it was 'illegal' to allow people other than the holder of the drinks package to have a drink - even a taste!! I politely told him what I thought of his customer service skills! Good cruise, but watch out for the hidden extras - in Europe we see an all in price, but the ship uses its American roots in how it advertises prices. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
My husband has always wanted to go on a cruise but with myself, a non swimmer with a fear of deep water, have never fancied the idea. After years of thinking about it I reluctantly agreed and within eight weeks we where on are way. On ... Read More
My husband has always wanted to go on a cruise but with myself, a non swimmer with a fear of deep water, have never fancied the idea. After years of thinking about it I reluctantly agreed and within eight weeks we where on are way. On arrival at Barcelona port the ship was very impressive, gigantic! The embarkation ran very smooth with ice cold water and biscuits for refreshments. Our cabin was a balcony one on deck six. It wasn't the biggest space but more than adequate. Your only in the cabin to sleep, wash and dress not have a party so any bigger would be wasted space. The only downside was no UK electric sockets, I asked at guest services for an adaptor which they did not have, so on the first stop in Mallorca I nipped off the ship and bought a couple. This was a bit annoying as I had read on previous reviews that UK sockets where in the cabin, if knowing otherwise I would have packed some I already have from home. The restaurants on board where great with fab service, mainly ate at the American Icon, the beef rolls at The Park Cafe deck 8 where to die for! We also ate at the non inclusive Chops Grille, the food was wonderful. The only eatery we did not like and only went to once was the Windjammer, it was like a cattle market. The on board shows where very entertaining, Mamma Mia was fantastic as was the Aqua show (Oceanaria). My 11 year old son took full advantage of the flow rider, surf, pool and hot dogs! We went on a tour of Pisa and Rome. Pisa was arranged through RCC which was ok, Rome by ourselves which was better. I have travelled near and far in my life but this holiday was the most stress free, relaxing holiday I have been on. Royal Caribbean certainly know their stuff, staff are so warm and welcoming, service was second to none from beginning to end and the ship was fantastic. I loved this holiday so much and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone thinking of cruising. Within a week of being back off this cruise we booked another RCC 10 day Western Caribbean cruise for April 16, beginning with a 3 night stay in New York. I am counting the months, weeks, hours and seconds! cant wait!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
So...this was my first cruise...on any cruise ship...I normally sail on sail boats...so a bit of a change. I must say that this experience was for me so good that I have already booked my next cruise on the Indipendence of the Seas for ... Read More
So...this was my first cruise...on any cruise ship...I normally sail on sail boats...so a bit of a change. I must say that this experience was for me so good that I have already booked my next cruise on the Indipendence of the Seas for a transatlantic cruise next year. I organized my own transport to the ship from the airport. I would suggest not to use RCC transport as more expensive than a taxi. The boarding to the ship was an extremely pleasant process...very friendly people at the check-in and the luggage got delivered perfectly on time in front of my Oceanview Cabin. The room was clean and had enough space for both myself and my girlfriend luggage so content. Under the bed it's also easy to store your luggage. Our room attendant was great! Overall I found the food good with a particular quality level at the speciality restaurants. In particular I can suggest the Mexican restaurant on the boardwalk...great guacamole and margaritas. Also Izumi was a very nice and funny experience. The rest of the restaurant and the windjammer buffet were also good. The shows were entertaining and well organized. Mamma Mia was maybe a bit long...2 hours...but the singing was at a very good level. The only negative point was the tendency of people to reserve too many sun chairs near the pool not to have neighbors...one family of 4 reserved 9 chairs...and the pool attendants were not really helpful. So as said...I would recommend the ship and the cruise we took in the western Mediterranean. Read Less
Wow
Sail Date: June 2015
First time cruising, what a fabulous holiday one of the best ever. Beautiful ship , you would never know that we travelled with 5000 people never felt crowded. Food and service was fantastic in main dining room, windjammer great for ... Read More
First time cruising, what a fabulous holiday one of the best ever. Beautiful ship , you would never know that we travelled with 5000 people never felt crowded. Food and service was fantastic in main dining room, windjammer great for breakfast and lunch. We had cabin overlooking Central Park , don't waste money on a sea view cabin it was great we had a balcony fresh air and sun. Drinks are expensive , and not happy that you can buy from duty free and drink in your cabin , drinks packages very expensive. 30$ for a bottle of average wine We had a meal in chops fantastic Staff are amazing friendly and efficient. We are now hooked on cruising , but think we would struggle to find another ship or company as good as royal Caribbean Thank you royal Caribbean for making our 40th wedding celebration so memorable Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
Boarded Allure of the Sea on June 7th from Barcelona. The harbour and facilities are very well organized, this is a great gateway. Being our first cruise as a family of three, a tour of the western Med. seemed like a great 7 day ... Read More
Boarded Allure of the Sea on June 7th from Barcelona. The harbour and facilities are very well organized, this is a great gateway. Being our first cruise as a family of three, a tour of the western Med. seemed like a great 7 day adventure. The ship and cabin were new, slick and impressive. Our balcony state room was neatly designed and very functional. The balcony option is certainly a good upgrade for 3 or more persons. Our experience on the boat was pleasant and engaging. Staff were plentiful, polite and accommodating. Each day was filled with novel activities to keep things moving, although our main focus was making the most of our daily shore excursions (Cinqa Tera, Rome, Marseille, Capri and Mallorca). Most of our issues related to shore access and excursion operations, a few of the misadventures are highlighted below... Strike 1. Took a non-negotiable excursion in Marseilles to visit the city and was left out in the sun - an open parking lot queue, for 1.5hrs while they organized coaches. 3,000+ shore trips and only 2 or 3 buses initially showed up! Strike 2. We had pre-booked Island of Capri from Naples harbour on our last day. Our guide steered the majority of our group into his "most suggested" restaurant, where we proceeded to be charged 77 Euro for a light lunch for three people! The tour guide had been quite careful to mention that many of the vendors on Capri are dishonest, and that it would be wise to stick with merchants that he had previously vetted. Most of the "ding" was taxes/service charges and drinks...none of which was published or posted for $. Upon raising some concern, our tour guide blew us off, surprised we might be upset about what amounts to a $107 ($Can) lunch. Royal Caribbean customer service patiently took our complaint upon re-embankment and past that, nothing useful happened. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
This was the best holiday iv ever been on in my life, it was me and my boyfriend that went on this cruise, This was our first cruise, We got flights and cruise package from dublin to Barcelona, when we got to the ship it was fast getting ... Read More
This was the best holiday iv ever been on in my life, it was me and my boyfriend that went on this cruise, This was our first cruise, We got flights and cruise package from dublin to Barcelona, when we got to the ship it was fast getting on it, the staff where lovely and friendly especially our stateroom attended Carl he was very helpful and friendly always smiling our room was fabulous, the ship was spotless clean, the food was lovely, I loved the windjammer fresh food every day, it was lovely walking around the ship, I loved Central Park, we went to see the show blue planet it was brilliant. I got to meet captain Johnny and got a picture taken with him. We didn't do any shore Excursions we just got off at each port and traveled in to the towns and walked around witch was nice, I loved the little ice cream machines in the pool decks, It was the most beautiful ship iv seen in my life I loved everything about it, I couldn't fault 1 thing it was the best experience I had in my life and my boyfriend felt the same, I hope to go again, I hope the Allure will come back to the med some time in the future. Over all it was a fabulous ship, Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I have never written a review before but this forum was so helpful to me that I want to help someone else. My husband and I chose Allure of the Seas because it is the largest cruise ship out there. I was a little hesitant about cruising ... Read More
I have never written a review before but this forum was so helpful to me that I want to help someone else. My husband and I chose Allure of the Seas because it is the largest cruise ship out there. I was a little hesitant about cruising with so many passengers but there are only certain times you realize there are so many people aboard, like when a show is getting out and you are using the elevator. We arrived at the port around 1:45 pm and our shuttle was able to drive right up, no wait and inside we had no wait either. I understand 1 hour earlier was a different story, much more crowded. Our cabin was deck 10 near the back of the ship, overlooking the Aqua theatre and Boardwalk. We loved the location, we could watch shows, people and see the beautiful ocean as well. Be forewarned that things can go on in the Aqua theatre until 11:00 so you will hear it but we were not often in bed before that and if we were we were exhausted and had no problem going to sleep. Our room was great and our room steward excellent. All the shows were great, make your reservations as soon as you book your cruise though because there are 5,000 people vying for a seat, especially the comedy club as it is a small venue. We ate are Park Cafe (have their roast beef on a bun, delicious!!), Johnny Rockets breakfast (okay), solarium bistro breakfast (was not good). Our best meals were in the dining room, including breakfast. Great, great service and delicious food. Next time I would probably eat all my breakfasts in the dining room (need to be up a bit earlier but worth it). We were not as concerned about the ports as the ship itself is a destination so my only comment would be the water taxi to St, Marteen is a great deal and the beach right there where you get off is beautiful. Rent two chairs, umbrella and a bucket of five beers/soft drinks for $20., fantastic! Overall we loved pur whole experience, don't be afraid of the size of the ship. We would definitely do a cruise on this ship again, the staff were fabulous, good food and great fun!! Also the excursion in Fort Lauderdale while waiting to go to the airport was fabulous as well. They loaded up our luggage, had a tour of the city and then from the water and were dropped off at the airport. Fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Supposedly the Allure is the largest cruise ship. Let me explain why that isn't great. 5200 passengers means over crowded and annoying. I have to wait in long lines from coffee, elevators , re boarding . Screaming kids everywhere. ... Read More
Supposedly the Allure is the largest cruise ship. Let me explain why that isn't great. 5200 passengers means over crowded and annoying. I have to wait in long lines from coffee, elevators , re boarding . Screaming kids everywhere. It has four pools which are the size of glorified hot tubs. Crammed so full of people you can't even get in. The food is terrible. Everything decent is an up charge. Bigger isn't better in this case. It just means frustration and a lot of time in your state room to avoid the crowds. I'm Frustrated Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
The Allure of the Seas was truly amazing. Great ship with amazing staff. All of the shows are top notch. Chicago was great and Blue Planet was wonderful. We had over 5,700 on the ship and it never felt crowded. Our cabin Stewart was ... Read More
The Allure of the Seas was truly amazing. Great ship with amazing staff. All of the shows are top notch. Chicago was great and Blue Planet was wonderful. We had over 5,700 on the ship and it never felt crowded. Our cabin Stewart was awesome. Great job RC this was our first and hopefully more to come Our stateroom 10226 was in the perfect location. Middle of the ship and very quiet. Central Park 150 is a specialty restaurant. Great food and atmosphere for the six course dinner. The explain each course during the two hour dinning experience. We did My Time dinning but made reservations each night. Never had to stand in line and had the same table each night. The food was great every night. The pizza restaurant was okay. Not the best pizza in the world but free and fast was good. We got to the pools early with no crowds At noon when the pools got packed we went to lunch then explored the ship and shops. The best port was St Marteen. Loved both sides. In the morning took a water taxi for $7 and shopped befor it got busy. Then in the afternoon took a tour by bus and boat to the French side. Loved the entire experience. will take my entire family next time. Looks like lots to do for all ages. Read Less
Allure of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 4.1
Entertainment 5.0 4.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 4.0
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 5.0 3.9

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