I've been on several RCI ships, including Freedom, Majesty, and Brilliance. My wife before joined me on Freedom of the Seas, and that turned out to be our favorite ship. We had high hopes for Allure, so maybe that's why our rating isn't that great here. Don't get me wrong, this ship is very good, with many high points. But some things disappointed us that we felt are important on any cruise.
1) Embarking and debarking = EXCELLENT.
- Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Never felt like we were in line for anything.
Nice room at the end of the ship which makes for a long walk. Gives you a view of the boardwalk to people watch, the aquatheater to get a preview of shows or watch performers practice, or watch the ocean. The balcony is covered overhead by a bridge, so you won't get a lot of sun on this balcony. The room itself is nice, enough room for me and my wife to be comfortable. It was clean and up to date.
One of our favorite ports. This was unexpected. We went on our own because none of the excursions really excited us in the brochures. Glad we did. Just roaming around this clean, beautiful city, finding shops and places to eat was a joy. We want to go back.
We took a private tour that took us from the port to Florence. The drive was long, but worth it. Florence is beautiful. Full of art, culture, and architecture that will amaze. I liked it better than Rome.
Yawn.... I had the lowest expectations for this port, and I was right. We got off the ship and had to pay to share a taxi to get us to town. The city center was 8km away, and so basically you were forced to pay something to get off the ship here (taxi or shuttle). Once we got to town, we took the le petit train for small tour and a ride to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The train ride was pretty boring and the audio was difficult to hear, however it was cheap at only 8 eu per person. The city is a standard working port city, so its not that clean. The view though from Nortre Dame was excellent, but the church itself inside isn't more amazing than the old churches in Detroit where I'm from. Insider tip-There is free and fast wifi inside the church only. Not sure why, not sure how, and not sure if checking your email is acceptable, but for some reason, the internet works in there and only in there.