September 2015 - Allure of the Seas to Europe - Western Mediterranean
The Allure of the Seas was an impressive cruise, very large, nicely decorated. You do not even know that you are sailing at sea. The space in the cabin was fair, considering that cruise cabins are small. General bathrooms, restaurants, décor, atriums, gym, pool area, etc, were in excellent conditions. My overall concern with the cruise experience was the dinning experience, the room service, the shops and the port of calls. Food was average. If you go to the general dinning room where the food is included, the service and the food quality is average. My expectations were very high considering I made a few cruises several years ago. This time considering Allure as the biggest ship, I was expecting a nice well dinning experience. I can compare the food with TV dinner, or a fast food chain. If you want to get the full dinning experience and quality you will have to pay around $30-$70. The room service was average as well. The maid did what they need to do, but I did not see them going above or beyond in order to get that extra tip. The port of call where good, however, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca which were two of the most beautiful one, we left pretty early, compared to Naples, which we left past 8pm. Shore excursions with the cruise were very experience, and not worth it. We took one in La Spezia, which was average. The tour was to Cinque Terre. It was a full day tour, which I think with 4 or 5 hours would have been enough. We visited three of the towns that composed Cinque Terre, and by visiting one you get the whole picture of the rest. Overall, the experience was way better because I made this cruise with several friends, but the cruise itself was OK. We booked the rest of the tours by ourselves. This is a good option if you do not like what the cruise offers. There are plenty of "shore excursions" that people may book without the cruise line that will guarantee arrival at the cruise on time, and that are cheaper, and better.