Sail Date: September 2015
We started out in Rome for 4 days and travelled to the cruise ship via RomeCabs doing a 4 hour tour through the Italian countryside and touring Castle Odeschali in Bracciano, eating lunch at a nice Italian restaurant afterwards. If you ... Read More
We started out in Rome for 4 days and travelled to the cruise ship via RomeCabs doing a 4 hour tour through the Italian countryside and touring Castle Odeschali in Bracciano, eating lunch at a nice Italian restaurant afterwards. If you get a chance, take that tour with RomeCabs...awesome! Arrived and boarded Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas to celebrate our 37th anniversary. Yes, the ship is a Mega Ship, but there is so much room on this ship that we rarely felt crowded. There were plenty of places to eat...the dining room with exceptional waitstaff had set dining times or "my time" dining, the Buffett style dining on the upper decks had 2 large areas and we always found nice seating even during the most crowded eating times. The food was prepared well and there was a huge assortment to choose from. There were smaller "restaurant" style eateries that were included in your paid price which you could eat at, too. There were plenty of extra dining places at which you would pay to eat at, although we felt we had such great experiences in the other places, we never used those. Bars and gathering places were everywhere. The Amber theater was clean and the Mama Mia show was very good and the comedy shows were fun. There is a huge Aqua Theater on the ship, but the two different nights we had reservations for, were cancelled due to technical difficulties and then bad weather, so we were not able to see it, but heard it was great....so, try to see it early in your cruise if you can. This was a split boarding cruise, passengers got on/off in Barcelona and in Rome, but it was handled so smoothly we couldn't even tell it was going on...we actually think it made boarding and disembarking less crowded this way. We did not book tours through RCI, but booked private tours. There was only 1 day at sea and the rest of the days we were in great ports....Naples, Barcelona, Palma De Mallorca, Marseilles, La Spezia...so much to see and do! On ship, you could stay busy "surfing" the waves , rock climbing, playing putt putt, swimming, hot tubbing, zip lining or working out. There is an adults only nice, quiet area called The Solarium which also serves healthy type foods/drinks...great place to read and relax. We opted to purchase the "Zoom" wifi service and it worked well with our IPhones and IPad and there was a business center with computers and printers, if needed. When disembarking, we chose to self disembark and walk off with our luggage. It was handled smoothly, certain elevators were set up to drop directly to the floor we disembarked from and went pretty quickly. We hired RomeCabs , for the third time, and they were waiting for us at 8 am to drive us to the Rome FCO Airport, which took no more than an hour...can't say enough good things about the service provided by RomeCabs on this trip. We would definitely book a cruise on this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
The Preliminaries. TA booked us into a hotel in the Barcelona suburb of Poblenou, 15 Euro taxi from Las Ramblas. Melia was uber modern and very comfortable. The area had two malls for last minute shopping, H&M, Zara, Burger King ... Read More
The Preliminaries. TA booked us into a hotel in the Barcelona suburb of Poblenou, 15 Euro taxi from Las Ramblas. Melia was uber modern and very comfortable. The area had two malls for last minute shopping, H&M, Zara, Burger King etc. wife was spoiled for choice. Had a lovely meal in a local street restaurant on Saturday evening with local families, local food well cooked and at local prices. A cut above the fare on Las Ramblas, which can be a few ashtrays of oily sausages and greasy potatoes bravas. Getting Onboard. After the absolute horror show of Bayonne and Port Canaveral last year it was with considerable trepidation that we approached the terminal building on the Moll D'adossat. Could not have been further from the truth, on board within 10 minutes of leaving the taxi. Take a bow Port of Barcelona. Allure of the Seas. First impressions of the Allure was somewhat spoiled by being berthed ahead of the Norwegian Epic, which is also a bloody big ship and almost stole the thunder of Allure. Big ship, big ship; big is best, big is best, shout all the bean-counters in Florida and probably there is no going back to the minnows of the Freedom or Voyager Class. There was a sort of linear progression from Majesty through to Freedom then a step increase to Oasis We will all have to come to terms with these flawed ships and at the same time Head-Office will have to tweak and fine tune nearly all aspects of the guest (Passenger) ship interface to keep everyone happy. Does Head-Office embrace the Balanced Scorecard? Needless to say the core requirements of a cruise holiday were in place and operated quietly and successfully, good bright cabins, excellent cabin steward's, first class musicians and music, plenty of alcohol, interesting itinerary. It must be interesting, we chose it. The minus points were My Time Dining, never any dining slots after 19.45 hrs, just turn up and queue, and queue..... up to 20 minutes, absolutely not acceptable on a ship bristling with technology. Perhaps two dining rooms should be devoted to My Time. Once you managed to get in and seated everything was fine (Except your blood pressure). Windjammer also suffered from long queues but this appeared to be as the result of poor table management and only the Starboard servery being open? As usual the food quality and variety was well above average but displayed at random. Potatoes were never near the beef/pork, rice was never near the curry/dahl and guests were wandering about like lost souls trying to achieve a balanced plate of food. Really second class or 3 Star. Having to book shows/jazz/comedy removes a lot of the spontaneity of the cruise experience and the guests spread over the various neighbourhoods does not lend itself to a proper feeling of belonging. The ship is just too big. But if its bringing in the dollars and is more economic to operate than previous classes then the bean-counters have won, but ROG2's jury is still out. Marlene Arden and her Jazz band were 5 star, as was the Ships band, we missed a band with a caribbean flavour at the pool; i know, if you want such then cruise out of Florida. Getting Off. Guests debark, passengers disembark and people get-off. A hobby horse of mine but the experience in Barcelona could not have been bettered. Off ship, luggage collected, into taxi and dropped off at Ramblas hotel within 20 minutes. It is felt that if the Port of Barcelona put their mind to it they could put a man on the moon. Reflection. As with Operation Market Garden where the airborne troops in Arhnem went a "Bridge too Far" my personal feelings is that the Oasis Class is stretching the envelope a deck too far. Many guests may appreciate the "Neighborhoods" but I feel the ship is just too large. Not to labour a point but our next trip will be on the Freedom Class. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
We sailed on the Allure in January around the Caribean and were so impressed that we booked again for August sailing out of Barcelona which was ideal for us with only a 2 hour flight this time from Manchester. Embarkation and ... Read More
We sailed on the Allure in January around the Caribean and were so impressed that we booked again for August sailing out of Barcelona which was ideal for us with only a 2 hour flight this time from Manchester. Embarkation and disembarkation was the quickest we have ever experienced. The ship is lovely. Yes it's large but it easy to find your way around with the monitors. We found 90% of the crew to be friendly but as always you get a few who don't seem to want to be there as its getting near to the end of their contracts and they are tired and a little homesick which reflects in the service you receive. I will say that the staff in The On Air bar were the friendliest on the whole ship and are a credit to RCCL. As Diamond members we had use of the Diamond Lounge between certain hours and the staff that served us were friendly and efficient. We opted for my time dining and were placed in the Americin Idol restaurant the food was ok, not bad but mediocre. We seemed to be given the worst table in the whole restaurant and I felt that we were in the way of customers and waiters but we only ate there on 3 occasions as being in the hospitality trade we like to try out the speciality restaurants which we did and Samba Grill was my favourite, excellent food and service. Room service breakfast was good as was Jonny rockets and Central Park. We only ventured into the Windjammer once for breakfast and that was on the only sea day and although we had to queue we were seated within 5 minutes of doing so. Our cabin was kept spotless by our very friendly and efficient steward Everton....lovely man always had a smile and would always take time to chat and to enquire how everything was. Would advise British travellers to take American adaptor plugs as there are more sockets for these and only one for an European adaptor. We didn't do any shore excursions as we have done the ports before so we just did our own thing and came back onboard to explore the ship which was one of the reasons we rebooked. Entertainment was good. Enjoyed Mama Mia and the Aqua theatre shows, although we did think that maybe a few more quizzes or game shows later on in the evening would've been enjoyable. Didn't seem to connect with the cruise director and in my opinion his Italian assistant had more personality and was more visible around the ship. Also officers walking around the ship seemed few and far between. We were spoilt in January with Captain Jonny and Ron Goodman the cruise director who were always visible and had time to stop and chat. So to summarise we had a good time. We did feel the standard of food and service wasnt as good as in January. I can understand how it's hard to connect with crew members when there are so many different bars and restaurants to go to you don't get the same personal service. The Allure is a lovely ship. I don't think we would sail on her again as we do like to try out different ships, however I would recommended the ship to first time cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
This was my 3rd experience with RCCL and my 1st on such a large ship. I had read other reviews that indicated that the ship never felt crowded and I would have to agree. there are so many venues to visit that you never really feel like ... Read More
This was my 3rd experience with RCCL and my 1st on such a large ship. I had read other reviews that indicated that the ship never felt crowded and I would have to agree. there are so many venues to visit that you never really feel like you're in a crowd. The ship is very grand and beautifully decorated. I would probably not go back on a ship this large though, as I prefer the more intimate Radiance Class of ships. Here's a breakdown: Stateroom: 12230, a Junior Suite. We typically travel in a Grand Suite but none were available for this trip. I didn't get to take advantage of the usual suite perks but we still managed. The Jr. Suite is plenty big enough and has a very spacious walk-in closet. Counter space is a little lacking, as are the electrical outlets. I had to move the coffee pot from the half-table over to the vanity area in order to plug it in. Dining: We avoided the Windjammer all but one time. We went for a late lunch and were asked to wait in a line before being seated. I didn't like this so I skirted around and went in on my own to find plenty of tables readily available. The food was typical cafe fare but filled a void. We ate most of our breakfast and snack meals in the Solarium bistro. this was never crowded and the food was great! At night, we ate there when it was turned into the Brazilian steakhouse. It was very nice and the food was great. We had this meal comped because it was on Formal night and the lines were so long in the main dining room. Someone from the main dining came through the line looking for people who were willing to eat elsewhere at their expense. We also ate in chops and Giovanni's Table. Both places offered us a dining discount...but I had to ask. Don't be afraid to ask for a discount because they want to fill their tables. Chops was nice but wanted an additional fee for some cuts of meat above the usual up charge. We opted for the 8 oz filet and it was great! I have no real complaints about the food. There was plenty of it! Entertainment: Very good when it was available. two of our shows, Mama Mia and Oceanaria were cancelled due to illness of technical difficulties. Rumors on ship were that the actors were striking...at any rate, they pulled it together and offered additional viewings for those guests who were cancelled earlier in the week. Mama Mia was great! Stand up comedy was typical cruise ship...a British guy whose humor was a little lost on us Americans. My only negative run-in with any ship personnel occurred on the Rome day. I purchased a bottle of olive oil while in the city. I had it in my backpack and put it through security. I was stopped and asked to remove the alcohol I was trying to bring on ship. I told them that it was not alcohol but olive oil. They told me that most people lie about what's in their bag and they had to check to be sure. I told them I didn't lie and allowed them to tear open my wrapped package to prove I had olive oil. I was not happy with being called a liar and became somewhat belligerent..much to my husband's dismay. Oh well. We did not book any shore excursions with the ship. I recommend using VIATOR.com instead. They have very good excursions at a fraction of the cost. We toured the Colleasueam and the Forum both inside and out for a fraction of what the ship was charging. Transportation from all ports was user friendly and much cheaper by train or taxi. Overall, we enjoyed our trip very much and would use RCCL again in the future. 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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