March 2016 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Allure of the Seas
Family spring break with college student kids
Got 2 balcony staterooms in back of ship. No frills - no bathrobes, bath items, or welcome amenities but surprisingly quiet on 14th deck. Room thermostats didn't function cotretctly-the AC could only be switched off if balcony door was ajar- so kept sliding door open each night to avoid waking up frozen.
Mediocre Meals in main dining room compared to other cruises we've taken on celebrity, Princess & NCL. Service was excellent however several main courses were inedible - tasted frozen & nuked - returned for a different dish. Timing was swift and dinners were completed in an hour.
The best meal was Giovanni's specialty restaurant. The service, food quality & ambiance was top notch and provided the most celebratory mood for our family, We were all smiles. The worst food and service on the ship, oddly, was another specialty restaurant- serving Japanese cuisine IZUMI where we dined the next evening after Giovanni's. What a stark difference. We were thrown in a dark corner with minimal service and not a single smile from any wait staff. After long wait we were forced to flag down staff who were short tempered & rude. They forgot about our appetizers when they served the entrees, and brought it out anyway though they were ruined after sitting around. Wine was brought at end of meal. Truly the worst dining experience ever after 9 cruises - never go to Izumi. A waste of precious vacation time, not to mention they charge unreasonably for everything.
The ship was pretty clean for such a huge passenger vessel.
The shore excursion to chitzen itza in Cozumel was long but worthwhile, but the Dunns River /reggae hill in Jamaica was a disappointment as we spent 5 hours with a clueless guide waiting in lines. After the falls, reggae hill experience was an enclosure full of tourists sitting on lawn chairs, trapped with nothing to do but listen to recorded reggae music. Food was served on miniature plates. Live performers dancing was the last 15 minutes at the grounds. 🙁 We wished to see the Jamaican people and places rather than being segregated and trapped in tourist enclosures.
All in all, our family had a good time on the Allure but food & service did not measure up to other cruise ships, including RCI's Independence of the Seas which we last sailed - better food, staterooms and specialty restaurants.