April 2014 - Allure of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
this is a fantastic ship and even though there are between 5 and 6 thousand people on board there are very few times when you feel any congestion or realize that there are that many people on board. On the plus side of the cruise the entertainment was excellent and we saw most of the shows that were offered and enjoyed all of them very much. The food and staterooms were also very good. We had an inside balcony stateroom 7 rooms from the back of the ship and were able to see things going on in the Aqua theatre without even having to leave the room if we didn't want to. The down side of this is that you have to almost go up to the top deck to see the ocean to know that you are at sea and what the current conditions are. If I went again I would want an outside stateroom with balcony. The ship is so big that you do not even feel that you are at sea and do not have to worry about getting sea sick. On the down side the things that I did not like were that the cruise line does not allow you to pre-book a bottle of alcohol to be able to have in your stateroom so that you can sit on your balcony and have a cocktail if you so wish. Holland America allows passengers to do this and we really liked having an evening cocktail either before dining or before turning in for the night while sitting on our balcony. The other thing that I did not like was that Royal Caribbean seems to nickle and dime their passengers by charging for things like popcorn if you are wanting to watch a movie, Also they have frozen yogurt machines up by the pools that are no charge but if you want ice cream you pay for it. They set up a candy floss machine a few times for the kids but again you had to pay. They also have two restaurants Rita's Cantina (Mexican) and Johhny Rockets (Hamburg and Fries) which you have to pay for. We ate at Rita's one night and did not find the food worth having to pay extra for. We did not eat at Johhny Rocket's but why should you have to pay for a burger and fries with the amount you already pay for the cruise and the quality of food that comes from the dining room or buffet.
When we returned I went on line to fill out the form to become a member of the Crown and Anchor Society for Royal Caribbean and when I finished filling out the form and hit enter I received a message saying that it would not accept the information. I sent their customer service an e-mail explaining the difficulties that I was having enrolling and received an automated reply that all customer service reps were currently busy and I would hear back from someone when they were available. It has now been over 48 hours since I sent this e-mail and am still waiting to hear back from them. All in all there are a number of good thing about Royal Caribbean but there are also a number of things that they could use to improve.