2 Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Holiday Cruise Reviews

I was on the Christmas 2017 Allure of the Seas cruise. My wife and I had a balcony room. We have done about a dozen cruises, the last several on Royal Caribbean. As a matter of fact, this was our second time on Allure. There were a few ... Read More
I was on the Christmas 2017 Allure of the Seas cruise. My wife and I had a balcony room. We have done about a dozen cruises, the last several on Royal Caribbean. As a matter of fact, this was our second time on Allure. There were a few good things about the cruise. But, there were several things I really found disappointing. The Positive 1. The room was nice – it’s always nice to have, at least, a balcony. We stayed in 12250. 2. Southside, the group playing a lot in Dazzle, was fantastic. We danced to them almost every night. We used to teach ballroom dancing so a great dance band is a must. 3. Ate at two different specialty restaurants – Japanese and Mexican. Both were great. 4. The show at the Aqua Theater was awesome. The performance of Mama Mia was first class. The Monopoly ice show was pretty good – except for the obvious commercials for the different venues on the ship. The Negative 1. Excursions. We wanted a catamaran ride to a snorkeling spot on St Thomas. We went to the Excursions desk and told the guy there what we were looking for – a boat with netting we could lay on while sailing, only about a dozen or so people on the boat. We showed him the excursion we thought would fit. He upsold us to a more expensive one. He told us the “fastcat” was exactly what we wanted AND it included a stop at a private beach and lunch. NOT! The boat was more a cattle car than a catamaran. There must have been 100 people on the boat. We had to walk through over 4 ft deep water (over sharp rocks) to get to the private beach – several people fell in the water because the rocks were so sharp. And, no, we couldn’t swim to the beach – we were holding towels and such over our heads. Then, if we wanted lunch, we had to buy it! This was the worst excursion I have ever had. Avoid the “fastcat” excursion in St Thomas. 2. Tips. Paying tips up front with a pre-designated price is a TERRIBLE idea. It was obvious that no one on the ship was motivated to go the extra mile to try for a better tip at the end of the week. They really need to go back to the envelope system where you determine the tip at the end of the cruise. I saw lazy service in our room, in Silk (where we ate every night), at the clubs, and around the pools. 3. Soft Drink Package. I bought this on my last cruise and it went great. This time, not so much. Using the little sticker on your card to get a soft drink in the clubs or the shows marked you as a second-class citizen. Several people would order soft drinks around me. Everyone would get a can of soda with a glass of ice. I got some sort of nasty tasting fountain drink. The first night, in Boleros, my wife ordered a glass of water and I ordered a diet coke. The water was free UNTIL the waiter saw the sticker on my card for pre-paid soda. Then, he tried to charge my wife for her water. 4. Cleanliness. The boat looked like it was maintained by slobs. In the Windjammer, there were times that a table would stay dirty for 5 or 10 minutes before cleaned. The bathroom in our room constantly smelled like an old bathroom in a rundown gas station. 5. Dining. I am used to having things move along at dinner – you finish one course and the next is right there. We always do early seating. This cruise we were in Silk. At our table, the service was so slow, I felt like ordering out between courses. There were times our plates sat for over 10 minutes between courses. Half way through the week they gave us new wait staff. Not much better. 6. Room Service 1. When did they start charging for room service? It used to be free. But, all you could get for free now was the continental breakfast. Everything else costs almost $8.00. It is starting to feel like they are nickel and diming us. 7. Room Service 2. We had a door hanger to fill out for room service. After the third day, the floor supervisor came to see us to tell us we needed to use the TV order system instead of the paper they provided. He was rude and condescending. But, we tried the TV system and it was terrible. You could not specify the quantity of items you wanted and there were real long menus to go through to get to the items you wanted. We have become loyal to Royal Caribbean up to this cruise. Now, we are seriously thinking about a different line next time. Bottom line, I expect to be WOWed on a cruise. This time, it was just a yawn. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose to do this cruise as it encompassed both Christmas (which also happens to be my son's birthday) and New Year's Eve--many other cruise options offered just one or the other. For such a big ship, I was surprised to have ... Read More
We chose to do this cruise as it encompassed both Christmas (which also happens to be my son's birthday) and New Year's Eve--many other cruise options offered just one or the other. For such a big ship, I was surprised to have to go looking for food when I felt hungry. I am an experienced cruiser, and couldn't believe that buffets and snack-style restaurants had very short hours throughout the ship on a daily basis. That being said, we went through a few things that we'd never experienced on a cruise and couldn't believe they happened to us: 1) On my son's birthday, December 25th, we visited the Central Park 101 restaurant to celebrate. The staff assured me that the table would be decorated, etc. While we were seated promptly, none of the promises were fulfilled. No decorations, and very poor service--as a matter of fact we even had to ask multiple times for the bread. This was also the day after we went to the Chops restaurant which was amazing and had set the bar very high. Being that we had such a positive experience the day before in Chops which has the same price tag as Central Park 101, we complained about the subpar service and the forgotten decorations. The manager was extremely rude and told us that we should just go back to Chops if we liked it better there the night before. After hearing how rude he was being, my son who never complains at restaurants spoke up and let the manager know that this was no way to be treating customers, specially on a holiday like Christmas! 2) Upon re-embarking the ship at port on the following day, the card scanner started going crazy when my son handed the security guard his card with the screen reading "security alert". Security made a huge fuss out of this and said that my son had to go to emergency services immediately yet didn't want to tell us what the issue was. Being that my son had just turned 23 and that I paid for the cruise, I wanted to know what was going on, so I went to guest services with him. I was worried that he wasn't telling me something because I never had to deal with something like this. Long story short, after treating us like criminals and putting us into a room in which they alerted us that they would be recording us with both "audio and video" (!), it turned out that on the first night of the cruise, my son got flagged in the system for "providing alcohol to minors". He recalled the event, and it was the first night at the Sushi restaurant when he gave his younger (18) sister a sip of his drink so she could try it. Having done a Costa cruise in Europe prior to this one, he actually thought the drinking age was 18+, and when the hostess went up to him to alert him that it was actually 21+ on the ship, he apologized and never gave my daughter a sip again. Apparently the misunderstanding wasn't resolved because they put us through hell for something unbelievably innocent. In the end they realized how ridiculous it was and even sent us a bottle of champagne to our room for blowing the situation out of proportion. What a stressful situation for no reason at all... Ridiculous. 3) New Year's Eve... We have done New Year's Eve on other ships before and had an amazing time. Expected nothing less on such a beautiful ship as the Allure. First, our cabin steward threw away a shopping bag containing various New Years hats, masquerade masks, noise makers, etc. that had already made it through the first 8 nights of our cruise thinking that it was trash. I don't know how you can possibly think all of that is trash when it is quite obvious what it is for. Additionally, the celebration party was subpar. Balloons were dropped from the ceiling to little fanfare, and made for a truly lackluster experience. 4) We asked for breakfast room service 6 times, via hanging the request card on our door before the cut-off time. It was only delivered once. Unbelievable. 5) While there were a few nice employees on the ship, it's noteworthy to mention that many were noticeably in a bad mood, which is very atypical of ship crew that are normally very nice to guests. I don't know if this was the end of a lot of crew's contracts or if management was mistreating them but something was definitely off. The ports of call were great, and the ship itself was very nice. However, on our overall experience we were truly let down as experienced cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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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