1. The ship is beautiful. Cabins are better than on any major lines (larger, well designed, without external noise). The neighborhoods across ship are great: very nicely decorated.
2. Super clean on every step.
3. The biggest shows are super. This includes the show Chicago, Ice Skating Games, Aqua show, Blue Planet. Comedy is OK.
4. Food in the main dining room was exceptional (comparable to Celebrity, which also tends to have superb food). Food in Solarium Cafe and Windjammer was very good. The choices on Boardwalk tasted surprisingly well.
5. We did not run into any major lines: embarkation was very fast, no wait getting to ports, some small wait sometimes for dinners (worst case was once 15 minutes)
1. Lack of positive attitude, Everybody is "just doing their job." Very different from Liberty, Serenade, Voyager, or Princess cruises, where positive attitude was obvious.
2. While the big shows were spectacular, other types of entertainment were not exceptional: first-time cruisers tended to like the cruise director, but those that have been on other cruises uniformly described him as below average. Quality of music across ship was not exceptional, singers in the bars not exceptional, some just poor.
3. The fitness activities comparable to Celebrity, but below NCL or many other RCI ships: very limited number of free classes (only 3 classes and they took place at 7 am). No more competitive fitness spirit, earning vitality stars. Yes, the ship has water surfing and rock climbing (like Freedom, Liberty, and Oasis), but total lack of excitement from the staff made these less attractive.
Altogether, this felt like the most beautiful ship, but without the soul/spirit that other ships have. We would rather repeat Liberty, Serenade, or Voyager where enthusiastic attitude of the whole crew makes the whole experience so memorable, rather than repeating Allure.
Our heuristic is now: for shows/entertainment, it is difficult to beat NCL.
Service is best on Princess, followed by some Celebrity and some RCI ships (Serenade, Liberty, Voyager).
Cabin was great. Very functional with big balcony.