I was on the Christmas 2017 Allure of the Seas cruise. My wife and I had a balcony room. We have done about a dozen cruises, the last several on Royal Caribbean. As a matter of fact, this was our second time on Allure.
There were a few good things about the cruise. But, there were several things I really found disappointing.
1. The room was nice – it’s always nice to have, at least, a balcony. We stayed in 12250.
2. Southside, the group playing a lot in Dazzle, was fantastic. We danced to them almost every night. We used to teach ballroom dancing so a great dance band is a must.
3. Ate at two different specialty restaurants – Japanese and Mexican. Both were great.
4. The show at the Aqua Theater was awesome. The performance of Mama Mia was first class. The Monopoly ice show was pretty good – except for the obvious commercials for the different venues on the ship.
1. Excursions. We wanted a catamaran ride to a snorkeling spot on St Thomas. We went to the Excursions desk and told the guy there what we were looking for – a boat with netting we could lay on while sailing, only about a dozen or so people on the boat. We showed him the excursion we thought would fit. He upsold us to a more expensive one. He told us the “fastcat” was exactly what we wanted AND it included a stop at a private beach and lunch. NOT! The boat was more a cattle car than a catamaran. There must have been 100 people on the boat. We had to walk through over 4 ft deep water (over sharp rocks) to get to the private beach – several people fell in the water because the rocks were so sharp. And, no, we couldn’t swim to the beach – we were holding towels and such over our heads. Then, if we wanted lunch, we had to buy it! This was the worst excursion I have ever had. Avoid the “fastcat” excursion in St Thomas.
2. Tips. Paying tips up front with a pre-designated price is a TERRIBLE idea. It was obvious that no one on the ship was motivated to go the extra mile to try for a better tip at the end of the week. They really need to go back to the envelope system where you determine the tip at the end of the cruise. I saw lazy service in our room, in Silk (where we ate every night), at the clubs, and around the pools.
3. Soft Drink Package. I bought this on my last cruise and it went great. This time, not so much. Using the little sticker on your card to get a soft drink in the clubs or the shows marked you as a second-class citizen. Several people would order soft drinks around me. Everyone would get a can of soda with a glass of ice. I got some sort of nasty tasting fountain drink. The first night, in Boleros, my wife ordered a glass of water and I ordered a diet coke. The water was free UNTIL the waiter saw the sticker on my card for pre-paid soda. Then, he tried to charge my wife for her water.
4. Cleanliness. The boat looked like it was maintained by slobs. In the Windjammer, there were times that a table would stay dirty for 5 or 10 minutes before cleaned. The bathroom in our room constantly smelled like an old bathroom in a rundown gas station.
5. Dining. I am used to having things move along at dinner – you finish one course and the next is right there. We always do early seating. This cruise we were in Silk. At our table, the service was so slow, I felt like ordering out between courses. There were times our plates sat for over 10 minutes between courses. Half way through the week they gave us new wait staff. Not much better.
6. Room Service 1. When did they start charging for room service? It used to be free. But, all you could get for free now was the continental breakfast. Everything else costs almost $8.00. It is starting to feel like they are nickel and diming us.
7. Room Service 2. We had a door hanger to fill out for room service. After the third day, the floor supervisor came to see us to tell us we needed to use the TV order system instead of the paper they provided. He was rude and condescending. But, we tried the TV system and it was terrible. You could not specify the quantity of items you wanted and there were real long menus to go through to get to the items you wanted.
We have become loyal to Royal Caribbean up to this cruise. Now, we are seriously thinking about a different line next time.
Bottom line, I expect to be WOWed on a cruise. This time, it was just a yawn.
The room was nice - it had a balcony. However, the bathroom smelled like the bathroom of an old gas station.
Getting on and off the ship was SO easy. We drove and parked right next to the terminal.
Nothing really to see in San Juan.
Fastcat - worst excursion in all of our years cruising. Crowded, expensive, had to pay for a lunch we were told by RC would be free.View All 369 Snorkeling Reviews