February 2016 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Allure of the Seas
I was somewhat reluctant to cruise on Allure of the Seas, but wanted to join other family members on the cruise, so agreed to sail for a week on the largest ship in the fleet of cruise ships. I was impressed with the efficiency and friendliness of the staff. They seem very well trained to handle such large numbers of passengers. Often the dining rooms did not seem crowded, but most remarkable was getting on and off the ship for shore excursions. We have sailed with Princess 3 times and there are always long lines and inefficiencies particularly in setting up the excursions. Often my wife and I felt like we were the only ones going on the excursion until we reached the meeting point. The library was small and had very few books in contrast to the Princess Cruise Ships; there were also fewer lectures and self-enrichment programs except in the exercise area than we had on Princess, but we deducted that Princess caters to an older population, whereas Royal Caribbean seems to cater to all ages and has an excellent program for kids which is why my daughter and her husband booked with Royal Caribbean. The meals in the formal dining rooms were not the quality of Princess, but were still very good. We had a table of 10 and got to sit together all but one evening, which bordered on being a debacle. Our waiter that evening was curt and seemed angry to be serving us (I'm sure we interrupted his routine when we were put in his dining room rather than our usual place). That was the only unpleasant experience during the 1 week cruise. I applaud Royal Caribbean on efficiency and friendliness of staff (with the exception of that one waiter). I was very impressed overall with what I anticipated was going to be a cruise that I would have had to endure.