This cruise was a combination 40 year wedding anniversary and birthday present for my husband and I. We were not as concerned with the ports as we were with the activities on the ship and spending time together. We are also both big foodies, and were looking forward to trying new and exciting dishes. We are both veteran cruisers, having sailed on more that 15 ships, most of them in the RC fleet. Our last cruise was on the Oasis, 2 years ago, and it was a blast, as were our other sailings on RC. We never had an issue. THIS cruise, however really showed just how much standards at RC, at least with this ship, have fallen. While embarkation was a breeze, it took 5 times of standing in the long line at Guest Services before I had a sail pass that would work. It either wouldn't open the door, wouldn't enable me to charge on it, or wouldn't work at all!! In the end, I ended up with TWO cards, one for the door, and one to charge on?!! We had booked a Central Park balcony room, that was supposed to come with a free lunch and a bottle of wine, neither of which we ever saw. Called Guest Services, they are still trying to fix it I guess, as we have still not heard from them. Be sure to watch your accounts closely on this ship, as we were overcharged or double charges several times on items we purchased, and basic math skills seem to be lacking at Guest Services as well. Food in the main dining room was HORRIBLE!!! First night I ordered steak and crème Brulee. The "steak" , ordered medium rare, looked and tasted like it had been cooked on a prior cruise and reheated. The crème brulee was watery, and the custard tasted burnt. We ended up eating at the Windjammer for the rest of the cruise, which was not much better but at least palatable. Izumi, however was great, as was the service. Another thing that really p****d my husband and I off was the fact that while the LGBT community had a well advertised get together every night in their own private room, the military veterans on the ship, and there were many, only got one meeting, advertised the morning of, and held in the Schooner bar of all places. My husband, who served 24 years, really enjoys listening to, and telling "war stories" with other vets, but sadly, he and the other vets who basically heard about the meeting via word of mouth, had to compete with the loud music coming from events on the promenade one deck below, other conversations goin on in the Schooner, as well as having to call their meeting short because the cruise staff had to set up for a trivia game! Now we have no beef with the LGBT community, to each his own, but we and several other military families aboard the Allure felt this was disrespectful to veterans, whether they be U.S,, Canadian, or whatever country. Hell, even Carnival, the suckiest cruise line, does a daily vet get together, and depending on the ship, has even had snacks and drinks on hand for them while they reminisce. I digress. Other issues with the Allure included bars and entertainment venues closing up to early, nothing to do on ship on port days if you did not want to take a "spa seminar" or lay out at the pool, and overly pushy spa employees who don't understand the word "no". While slipping in standards, there were a FEW good things about the Allure. The prohibition event was a blast, and the orchestra was great. Manuel in the Schooner bar was great, my glass was never empty. Buy the drink package, it will save you money. Need more country music events, but this time, how about a band that doesn't have a thick accent, and knows some modern tunes. I mean come on, NO GARTH BROOKS in their repertoire? We love to cruise and are in the process of booking our next trip. Unfortunately, think we are going to skip RC this time and try NCL.
Cabin was clean and roomy, nice view of Central Park area. We we on the 11th deck. Cabin steward was OK, did not go out of her way for anything, had to ask for ice. We introduced ourselves to her. Not overly friendly, towel animals were a joke, we only got 2 on a 7 night cruise, and I am still trying to figure out what they were. Balcony with room was great, but be sure to pull the blinds while dressing or undressing, as the rooms are situated so that you can look right across into your neighboors room, or they into yours. I don't think some folks realized this, as I got several shocks when opening our blinds in the morning to let the sun in!!