1 Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Group and Theme Cruises to Mediterranean

Allure of the Seas 9/13-9/20/2015 After so many months of reading everyones reviews, comments and ideas, it was finally our turn to cruise the Med on the Allure. Having never done the itinerary or such a large ship, I had to rely on ... Read More
Allure of the Seas 9/13-9/20/2015 After so many months of reading everyones reviews, comments and ideas, it was finally our turn to cruise the Med on the Allure. Having never done the itinerary or such a large ship, I had to rely on the research and CC members didn’t let me down. Stayed 2 nights pre-cruise in Barcelona at Hotel Jazz. Highly, highly recommend! It’s in the perfect location- central to most sights. The rooms were spacious, (spring for the Junior Suite if you can), but it’s not necessary. We didn’t eat breakfast at the hotel, so no comment on that. I have done free walking tours in other cities in the past, so after reading about Runner Bean free tours, decided to give it a try. Did 2 tours with them on 2 different days. The Gaudi tour was great, even though we didn’t go inside buildings, it was extremely informative and fun. The perk to this tour is that you use the Metro twice, with a guide. So you kind of get familiarized with all aspects of Barcelona City. I found the Metro easy to use, inexpensive and fun to observe the real people going about their daily lives. The second tour with them was Bari Gotic, which again, we wouldn’t have seen half of what we saw, and certainly wouldn’t have any idea of what we looking at without them. Both tours leave right from Placa Reial, a 10 minute walk form Hotel Jazz. The square itself is fun, so come a little early and sit at a cafe and just observe. The easiest way to get to port is with a taxi, around 15 euros. The quickest on and off the ship ever. The Allure is an amazing ship! It sparkles! Rarely felt crowded, and it was a sold out sailing! Food was great! We ate most of our evening meals at the main dining room, and really enjoyed every meal. If there was something we didn’t like, we got something else. If there was something we liked, we asked for more. The service at the dining room was efficient and friendly. I just don’t understand the food complaints I read before going. We also tried Izumi for Hibachi and enjoyed that very much. Tapas at Vintages were also amazing. We saw Mamma Mia and Oceanaria, both were extremely enjoyable. The comic at the Comedy Show was also very funny. Tried the Rising Tide Bar for the experience- it was ok. We didn’t do a lot of shopping or nightlife, other than stopping by the Casino in the eve. The one complaint I have is that we had the worst cabin steward and that our cabin had a musty smell all week. We didn’t really have any specific needs beyond keeping our stateroom clean. But felt we shouldn’t have to ask for basic things like cups, etc.. And they did try to rectify the smell, without success. So we opened the cabin balcony door a lot. None of that prevented us from enjoying our trip at all. Ports Palma de Mallorca- very easy to see on own. We took the 5 euro ship shuttle into town, walked around on our own and then decided to rent some chairs and a an umbrella and have lunch in Palmanova Beach at the Nassau Beach Club. Took a very short and inexpensive ride to Palmanova Beach. Could’ve walked it, but were too tired. Marseiiles- don’t take the very expensive ship shuttle into town. 23 euros pp, totally not worth it! 7 of us took a van/ taxi right outside the port. We got in the van and told the driver we wanted to hire him for the day. He gave us a price of 50 euros pp for 5 hours. He took us to Aix en Provence, Cassis ( drove us through the National Park first so we can take some spectacular pics) and then back to Marseilles and Notre Dame de la Garde. It was perfect. Being a group of 16, we decided to do 3 private shore excursions through RomeinLimo for our next 3 Italian stops. La Spezia- Pisa/Florence. This was probably our least favorite excursion. Partly because it is a 2 hour drive to Florence, which doesn’t afford much time for sight seeing. Partly because our driver was not very good and got lost 3 times, which cut into our time for sightseeing. She recommended a restaurant that had fantastic food, but horribly slow service, which further cut into our time in Florence. If you are stopped in La Spezia, I would do Cinque Terre instead. Civitavecchia- Rome Highlights. This was a great tour that everyone enjoyed. I had pre booked the Colosseum tickets and Vatican tickets per recommendation. We also had a private guide for the Vatican, which was key in having us see the highlights and give us a tour of St Peters Basilica as well. We had toured the Vatican previously, with the Vatican Guide, and I felt this time it was much more informative. The prior Vatican Tour didn’t include St Peters Basilica either, but having a guide there is helpful. Again, the recommended stop for lunch was very inexpensive and enjoyable. Naples- Pompeii, Sorrento and Positano -- Getting into port and meeting up with our drivers we found out that 2 of the 3 roads to Positano/ Amalfi Coast were closed due to a brush fire. So we had to make some last minute changes, since we didn’t want to sit in traffic with all the big buses from the other 4 ships that were there along with us. So we quickly decided to change plans and go for an olive oil tasting, which was wonderful and spent a little more time in Sorrento, had lunch, before heading to Pompeii. We still saw some wonderful scenery had a delicious lunch and rested a bit. In Pompeii, we had a private guide, who quickly purchased our tickets and led us though Pompeii. We didn’t see everything, Pompeii is pretty big. Difficult to navigate on cobblestones, especially in the blazing heat. But everyone enjoyed it nonetheless. I have seen many debates regarding ship excursions vs. private. I have to say, not once, in any port, did I feel that I was in danger of missing the ship. People who cater to cruise passengers, know the time limitations and will not risk having anyone miss the ship. I felt comfortable at all ports to either strike out on my own or have a private excursion. The convenience, the price and the flexibility make it all worth it. 3 people from our group chose to do the ship shore excursion to Rome. They paid double the price, and didn’t get to tour the Vatican or the Colosseum. I was very glad that we bypassed the ship excursions after hearing that. All in all we had a fantastic time!. This is the perfect cruise for anyone who would like to do the highlights of the Med and the Allure is a great venue to do it with. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
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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