This was my 8th cruise, 2nd with RC. This was my first time on a mega ship and have to admit that I have mixed feelings. The ship is very impressive both size and condition. It was one of the smoothest sailings that I've had. Most of the time there was no movement at all. We had a balcony room on deck 11, mid ship. The room was nice, balcony was an adequate size and really like the RC shower that you don't have to deal with a shower curtain. Service, on the ship was fine, food was good generally. No complaints there. Since I didn't sail 20 or 30 years ago,I don't expect fabulous gourmet food and people waiting on you hand and foot. To be perfectly honest, in 8 cruises on 3 different cruise lines, I've noticed only marginal differences.
The staff was generally friendly and competent. The things that I noticed as being different than any other ship that I have been on; the cruise director, who is normally omnipresent, I saw twice in 7 days. I didn't know who he was until day 4. There are virtually no announcements. Didn't know when the ship was cleared to disembark in ports. I heard the captain twice, I still don't know his name. Keeping you informed was not a high priority. Not sure if all this is good or bad, just very different. The way they presented shows was also different. They had 4 main shows that played multiple times, rather than a different show or shows each day. Again, not bad, just different. The shows were generally very good.
The ship has a lot of activities, such as a flowrider, zip line, rock wall etc. These are great for 20 somethings, not really important for a 60 something like me. It's fine that they are there, just not necessary or useful to me.
1. Embarkation was amazing. I am not a patient person and I told my wife that I was mentally prepared for a very long process. It took 15 minutes curbside to ship. How they do that with 5400 people is magic.
2. The ship is large, well maintained and the seas were very smooth.
3. Room was very nice, balcony was great and loved the shower.
4. The Casino, had one full side that was non smoking. It worked very well, no smoke smell, at all, on the non smoking side.
5 Food and entertainment were both above average.
1. There is not enough elevator capacity on the ship. Sometimes had to wait way too long to get into and elevator.
2. Venues for things like trivia and karaoke and games were far too small. Seldom if ever was the space adequate. Have been on ships half the size with twice the space.
3. Even more high priced shops than a normal ship. I have no idea who buys the Rodeo drive merchandise, on a cruise ship, but seems like a huge waste of space.
4. Many free eating places were open at odd hours . One day we wanted a hot dog at noon and it was closed, we went for pizza instead, also closed. Seems like a pretty normal time to eat, but not on this ship.
5. The buffet had a good variety but it had no organization at all. No normal flow and nobody to herd the patrons. People were going in 10 different directions and excuse me was the word of the day.
It was generally a good cruise. The ship was nice. I generally choose a cruise by price and where the cruise sails to. I have little loyalty to a specific cruise line. Would I cruise RC again? Sure. Would I sail on the Allure again? Probably not. It was an experience, I've done it, now time to move on. If I was 30 and had children to bring, I'd have a different answer. I'm looking forward to a September cruise on a smaller ship, not small, just smaller.
Cabin was very adequate, clean, nice balcony, nice bathroom. Didn't like the position of the closet. Too close to the bed to have adequate access.