Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by justluv2cruisewithhubby
- Sail Date: May 2015
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
This is our 13th cruise and 4th cruise with RCCL. Embarkation was smooth and fast in Rome. We boarded around 11:30am and went straight to the Park Café to get the roast beef sandwiches which were just as good as I remember. Afterwards we checked to see if our cabin was ready and all hallway doors were open not closed so we went to our cabin with no issues at 12:30pm. We noticed our safe was locked and could not open it; tried to call customer service and the phone kept ringing then would hang up on you. Went to customer service and noticed there was already a huge line. When I informed the rep that I need to put items in the room safe he stated normally the room steward would leave it open but since she didn't start work till 4pm he would have maintenance open it for me. So we had to wait for him to arrive and open the safe.
We confirmed our first seating but saw the time changed from 6pm to 6:30pm which caused some glitches with our shows that were reserved for 7:30pm so we missed several shows. If you are not in line by 7pm to get a seat then when the show starts at 7:30 the room is already packed and there are no seats available even if you made online reservations
The only way to see a 7:30pm show was to eat at the Windjammer or try My Time dining which starts at 5:30pm. The largest show venue room is the “Amber Theatre” and the Air conditioning was not working all week; when we had to pile into the Amber theatre for our shore excursions it was so warm and when I mentioned this to three different employees they told me they were aware of the issue and were working on it.
The service on this cruise was lacking; in the two decades that I’ve cruised I’ve never experienced a room steward who was not attentive. First issue was she never left the safe open for us; she would leave us material with other passenger names on it. We never rec’d our laundry bag to take advantage of the special; she would shut off our A/C when we left the room. Our shampoo was empty and it seemed every day I was asking her to replace or change something that normally would be done by the steward. I asked where our excursion tickets were as we always get them on day one of our sailing she said she never got them. After three days our steward told us she was moving to the other side of the ship and that someone else was taking over she stated all stewards where changing cabins due to the inter-porting changes. When we met our new steward she was very attentive and much better than the first one (thank goodness)
This cruise was an inter-porting cruise where they embarked passengers in Barcelona on May 19th and then new cruisers from Rome May 21st and this is happening all summer long where they have two sets of passengers which causes much confusion with the help as they personally told me it makes it harder for them.
The crew seemed very confused and when I would ask a question the answer most of the time they were passing the buck and trying to send you to another department to fix your issue. Ex: We never received our shore excursion tickets; I tried to call customer service to ask and their was no answer. I had to walk to customer service as our tour was the next morning and they send me back to my cabin stating our room steward would have it. Surprise she didn't have them. Then back to customer service again ....huge lines and I informed them the rooms steward did not have our tour tickets then he stated he could just print them for me.
Two days later when we were preparing for our next tour I noticed the other 3 tours we had purchased the tickets had no meeting place listed only a time to meet. I tried to call customer service again and no answer. I had to go back down to customer service (more huge lines) I showed them my tickets and they said they couldn't help me and that I would need to go to the excursion desk. The excursion line was 40+ people deep and I was not going to wait in that line so I went back to customer service he then escorted me over to the excursion supervisor. She apologized and printed me new tickets with the time/location of where to meet. These sort of inconveniences happened throughout the entire week; so much time was wasted trying to get issues resolved waiting in long lines.
Another example was the daily compass showed what time and location of the Dream Work characters would be available for photos; several times they just didn’t show up at all. When I saw the cruise director I asked him if he knew where the characters where located as we had been waiting for over 20 minutes for them to appear for photos. He called someone and basically told them get the character down for photos as they must follow the Compass. I heard them giving him a hard time as they were not going to show up.
I noticed that the times listed on the shore excursions where constantly changing where the start times where later and return times where earlier which cut into our tours. The boarding times returning from ports where constantly changing as we were supposed to be in Barcelona till 7pm then it changed to 6pm then it changed to all aboard at 4:30pm.
There was such confusion during the day we ported in Marseilles; that morning we met in the Amber Theater the shore excursion reps (only 2) people working, they were passing out stickers to the tours and the line went from the stage all the out the door in the hallway with over 60 people deep. The tours were delayed; people received the wrong tour stickers and were getting on the wrong buses. There were no escorts to bring the groups to the bus until passengers started taking the paddles themselves at that time is when they started to call for extra help from RCCL reps to take passengers to the buses.
Most of the tours that day were delayed resulting in late arrivals back to the ship so the next day in Pisa was impacted as they had tours cut short to make sure they returned early as all aboard times changed again from 8:30pm to 7:15pm
Photo issues; their facial recognition tool was not working; when we tried to look for our photos it kept telling us at the Kiosk there were none. When we went to the photo desk the clerk told us this happened to several passengers where the photos are lost and you manually have to find them. It is like a treasure hunt we spend over an hour trying to find our lost photos. Once we found them he stated it was now fixed and all new photos taken would go into the profile folder. That was not accurate; all photos taken after that day never showed up and I didn’t want to spend another hour searching thru hundreds of other peoples photos to find mine.
We had dinner at 150 Central Park twice; Chops and Giovanni’s all were very good. My favorite is 150 Central Park as the pairings are excellent. I did notice a change where they had 6 pairing menu for $40pp and then when the menu changed it was only a 4 pairing meal for $30.00. I asked the waiter why it changed and he stated based on customer feedback they felt less food was better as previous passengers complained it was too much food. I personally like the 6 pairings. Service was excellent in all specialty restaurants.
We ate in the dining room 2 nights the food was just ok. We only had 1 Formal night for this 7 day cruise and I noticed on Formal night several men walked in the dining room with shorts; sneakers and one even had flip flops and a t-shirt. There was a passenger that complained to the head waiter about the dress code and why they allowed those men to come into the dining room dressed that way on Formal night, the head waiter did not respond.
The coffee in the Promenade Café was very good and much better than the Windjammer coffee in the morning.
The ports of call where all very good and we enjoyed our time offshore. 3 out of 4 tour guides were very good.
Disembarkation was not too smooth as embarkation as the RCCL reps outside had no idea where to send people if they needed a cab or had private drivers picking them up. They were sending passengers to the opposite side of the pier which was the wrong side so those passengers had to walk all the way back to the other side to find their taxis or private transfers.
Overall I give this cruise a 3 out of 5 star. Due to just coming out of dry dock and new personnel on board, I am hoping once they figure out all the quirks that any future cruisers will have a better experience.
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