This was our fifth cruise and all the RCI. We have previously sailed on the sister ship in the Caribbean and new just what an awesome ship this was to be. Here is a summary of our experiences: -
Cabin - internal cabin on the 10th floor near the front. The ship had been recently refitted and all was as expected. Just about right for a seven night stay.
Trips - We pre-booked trips prior to boarding and booked a last day in Barcelona trip whilst on board. We had trips cancelled for no good reason - including a sistine chapel trip. We had paid in sterling for these on our credit card whilst on-line at home. The cost was credited back to our on-board account in dollars - with a fair old discrepancy in their favour! This has still yet to be addressed!
The trips were on the whole pretty dull affairs and I've now had enough of looking at ruins in 37 degrees C heat, only to be told what is on Wikipedia and then taken shamelessly around the tour operators' mates' businesses to pay for greatly inflated goods. One trip was out of the blue and superb and that was in the villages and towns around Rome, with an Italian living English guide.
Dining - the main dining is,a s ever, decent pub food dressed up! Having waters constantly talking to you even when you are eating drove us up the wall - one guy was so obviously pitching for tips and so over the top that we ditched the main dining option and instead decided to bite the bullet and pay for the upgraded dining. Sabor (Mexican) was tremendous and as was Giovanni's Table (Italian) really were worth the extra spend. As much as we dislike the crush of the Windjammer - it's a brilliant option compared to the main dining.
The drinks package - what a waste of time. Guinness disappeared on day two or three. The wine was bloody awful stuff and the Crown & Anchor (we are Platinum) discounts were free drinks that we got on the drinks package! In fact, what is the point of the Crown & Anchor Society. Other than a faster embarkation and a nice room to disembark, are there any other real and measurable benefits?
Living in a pretty cool country - opportunities to dine outside, in a relaxed atmosphere are few. Being able to eat at Giovanni's on the amazing Park Deck and Sabor on the aqua-theatre deck was superb - however, being expected to pay extra is, when you think about it, crazy. We did the whole ship behind the scenes trip (amazing) on the Oasis, so we know where the food is made and it doesn't justify the difference. We also noticed that the waiters in the speciality restaurants seems to know when to leave you alone - much better.
Shows - if you've ever cruise on RCI and had the director of entertainment - Joff - you will know just how good he is. The team on the Allure were massively over-shadowed by the captain, who appeared to be doing their job for them. Shows were constantly cancelled during the cruise and it wasn't until the last few days of the cruise that things started to get anywhere near what we had experienced on the Oasis. Very strange.
You have to watch the internal channel where the captain has his teeth whitened - very funny.
The gym - $25 per session to use the spin bikes! Crazy!!
Flowrider - superb staff and great fun!!
Ships' doctors - I boarded the ship with stitches and needed them removing whilst on-board. I had a letter from my doc and on day 5 saw the ships doctor who told me that they were infected and would not touch them. A nurse there intervened and gave me some anti-biotic cream to rub on them. When I arrived home I saw our GP and was told that they were perfect and appeared never to have been infected and showed every sign of being healed. The stitches came straight out and the cut was healed! Being told that you have an infected wound with a sea day in front of you was pretty stressful - I would sum up the ship's doc facility as a big fat ZERO!
We stayed in the Hotel W in Barcelona before the cruise and on the whole, we wished that we had just stayed there. Amazing food, the world's comfiest bed, amazing views, awesome staff and a tremendous city.
Just about right. Recently refurbished. A superb room attendant.
Used the red open-topped bus and got on and off - really good value.View All 284 City Tour Reviews
A lovely place that we have visited before.
We've been there before. There is a very good reason why spy and crime novels are based here - stay not he ship ;o)
Boat ride up the river - seeing not a lot and for not very long. Then walked into the main square with just about enough time to get some food, to try and walk through packed streets in 37 degrees C to then spend another 2 hours on the coach.View All 136 Florence Walking Tour Reviews
Our Sistine Chapel trip was inexplicably cancelled by the tour operator, however, we booked this at last minute and it was great! A British born guide with a passion for Italy. The visit to the lake was amazing. A non-tourist area that was totally beautiful and unspoiled.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Late arriving at Pompeii and an hour late bak at the ship. The heat was at about 40 degrees C. Pompeii is best seen from a BBC documentary - you will see a lot more and in comfort. The guide wanted to trying and flog us stuff at various mates places on route - very poor.View All 505 Pompeii Walking Tour Reviews