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We were a little apprehensive about this cruise ship having previously been on the Oasis and concluded that these ships are just too large and the ratios of staff to passengers is poor generally resulting in a somewhat underwhelming overall experience. However it was a celebration cruise and the itinerary was the reason for joining this particular cruise. We only started cruising 8 years ago, with this being our 5th cruise, all of which have been with RC, and whilst we have overall been reasonably satisfied with the cruises, the standards and quality have certainly deteriorated over the years particularly in the dining room. The dining room experience on this cruise was certainly the standout disappointment. In comparison to our first RCI cruise on Independence it was now far from a fine dining experience and could only be considered no better than the average type of fayre received at any mass catered hotel type event. Basically very bland and basic food, certainly not inspirational menus and continual lack of any real choice. Cold bread rolls now sitting waiting for you on your table as opposed to choice of a good variety of warm rolls served by your waiter. Attentiveness of staff is minimal, basically due to them all being clearly overstretched. Essentially if you want a fine dining experience now - you need to pay for it. Throughout the cruise it is now becoming more and more apparent everything is a constant up sell and the ships are increasingly adding more restaurants and services that are not included in the basic cruise price. The main issue with this particular cruise was the mydining option. There was a whole floor of the restaurant dedicated to this and it can only be described as complete carnage. It remains unclear if there are always waiting times of between 30 and 55 minutes that we experienced to get a table on multiple days of our cruise [certainly not experienced anything more than 5 minutes when used on previous cruises], or if this was a direct consequence of the large Armenian society group of 1000+ guests that were on the ship that appeared to monopolise the dining room from beginning to end of service. The groups were very large, very noisy, constantly moving around between tables and generally disrespectful of other dining room guests and certainly led to a somewhat unpleasant dining experience throughout our cruise. I understand RC hosting such large groups, but they need to also be very considerate of the impact on other guests as not only did this affect the dining room but also many venues around the ship that were closed for private functions again at the expense of other customers. This will certainly be our last cruise on RC until we have at least experienced some other companies' ships, and will be very surprised if we do return. The standards and quality have been on a continual decline, costs of the basic cruise significantly increased [not helped by the strength of the dollar] and only see RC now as nothing more than a money grabbing commercial enterprise. They have done their best to drive us away as customers, but I will miss their entertainment as this has always been top class. One tip would be to contact RC and make sure there are no large groups on board for the dates you decide to travel with them - and certainly avoid 3rd week Jan 2020 as the Armenian Society will be back - probably bigger than before.....

Fifth cruise with RCI - will be the last

Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by nostrarobus

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
We were a little apprehensive about this cruise ship having previously been on the Oasis and concluded that these ships are just too large and the ratios of staff to passengers is poor generally resulting in a somewhat underwhelming overall experience. However it was a celebration cruise and the itinerary was the reason for joining this particular cruise.

We only started cruising 8 years ago, with this being our 5th cruise, all of which have been with RC, and whilst we have overall been reasonably satisfied with the cruises, the standards and quality have certainly deteriorated over the years particularly in the dining room.

The dining room experience on this cruise was certainly the standout disappointment. In comparison to our first RCI cruise on Independence it was now far from a fine dining experience and could only be considered no better than the average type of fayre received at any mass catered hotel type event. Basically very bland and basic food, certainly not inspirational menus and continual lack of any real choice. Cold bread rolls now sitting waiting for you on your table as opposed to choice of a good variety of warm rolls served by your waiter. Attentiveness of staff is minimal, basically due to them all being clearly overstretched. Essentially if you want a fine dining experience now - you need to pay for it. Throughout the cruise it is now becoming more and more apparent everything is a constant up sell and the ships are increasingly adding more restaurants and services that are not included in the basic cruise price.

The main issue with this particular cruise was the mydining option. There was a whole floor of the restaurant dedicated to this and it can only be described as complete carnage. It remains unclear if there are always waiting times of between 30 and 55 minutes that we experienced to get a table on multiple days of our cruise [certainly not experienced anything more than 5 minutes when used on previous cruises], or if this was a direct consequence of the large Armenian society group of 1000+ guests that were on the ship that appeared to monopolise the dining room from beginning to end of service. The groups were very large, very noisy, constantly moving around between tables and generally disrespectful of other dining room guests and certainly led to a somewhat unpleasant dining experience throughout our cruise. I understand RC hosting such large groups, but they need to also be very considerate of the impact on other guests as not only did this affect the dining room but also many venues around the ship that were closed for private functions again at the expense of other customers.

This will certainly be our last cruise on RC until we have at least experienced some other companies' ships, and will be very surprised if we do return. The standards and quality have been on a continual decline, costs of the basic cruise significantly increased [not helped by the strength of the dollar] and only see RC now as nothing more than a money grabbing commercial enterprise. They have done their best to drive us away as customers, but I will miss their entertainment as this has always been top class.

One tip would be to contact RC and make sure there are no large groups on board for the dates you decide to travel with them - and certainly avoid 3rd week Jan 2020 as the Armenian Society will be back - probably bigger than before.....
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 4D
Do not usually bother with outer deck rooms, let alone ones with a balcony but we decided to upgrade as part of a celebration. Room was a good size but not much bigger than standard inside rooms we have had before, but the balcony does make a significant difference when open and floods the room with light. However still did not spend much time in the room so will again revert to basics here in the future as the significant additional cost is simply not worth it.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins