The Best of Big Ship Cruising - Outstanding Selection of Dining and Entertainment, with Great Service

Allure of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 6
Helpful Votes: 93

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Allure of the Seas

7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 26, 2017

Ship: Allure of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 9196

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

There are Superior choices for dining, entertainment, and activities on this Superior sized ship. Since RCCL has not let the service slip, the size of the ship offers opportunities for so many more entertainment and dining options than you'll find anywhere else at any price. We still enjoy the slightly smaller ships in the RCCL fleet, but the quality and variety of entertainment on Oasis class is more like visiting a city optimized for enjoyment than being on a cruise ship.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Embarkation was very fast. We knew that times between 10:30 and 11:30 might be before RCCL actually started the final step in the on-boarding process but our hotel shuttle schedule was full at 11:30 and 12:30 so we had to schedule the 10:30 shuttle. We arrived at the ship at 11:05. It took less than an anxious minute to find where we were to drop off our luggage, there is just a lot happening on any large ship’s embarkation day. In the security line, divided into two queues by deck, after maybe 2 switch backs and 5 minutes, we presented our passports and our completed set sail passes and then went through the scanners for passengers and their carry-on luggage. After that we barely stopped walking until we were at the final check-in counter where we filled out that last health form and then got our sea pass cards and a brief explanation, places to eat, when luggage will arrive, etc., so that was only 5 minutes. From there it took another couple of minutes to go up the escalator where we did hit a brief wait at the doorway to the big hallway that parallels the ship. This apparently was the wait for the all clear to board. Within 5 minutes we were scanned through and headed down the hallway and then the zigzags ramp onto the ship. So with some delay perhaps for the ship clearance, we arrived at the pier at 11:05 and were on board at 11:26. Compared to the first 100,000+ ton ship on the Caribbean, which was a good model for what we see today, I think RCCL has done a marvelous job in making the Embarkation process so smooth on Freedom, Quantum, and Oasis class ships.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The Main Dining Rooms and Specialty Restaurants delivered or exceeded the food quality we expected and always exceeded the level of service we expected. As expected, the Windjammer is not a great choice on embarkation day and during later peak periods due to the volume, but Oasis Class has many casual dining options that provide good alternatives to the Windjammer. That said, dining in the Windjammer is still a great option for its service and outstanding selections. Of course we enjoyed the specialty restaurants and they too delivered outstanding and personal service, romantic ambiance, comfort, and a leisurely pace, to go with outstanding food.

Chop's Grille

5 out of 5

Our go to specialty dining choice on every RCCL cruise met our lofty expectations. Great service and outstanding food matched our expectations, heightened by months of waiting for the cruise and the growth or our expectations for this wonderful meal.

Solarium Bistro

5 out of 5

Wonderful location for Breakfast and Lunch. Always comfortable and with a million dollar view.

Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar

5 out of 5

On Allure, Giovanni's is more of an upscale Italian restaurant and less of that 'Family Style' experience from some of the other RCCL ships. We preferred this and really enjoyed the excellent menu selections and excellent service.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
The welcome aboard and loyalty events may seem like old hat, but we recommend trying that hat on for the loyalty event. Held at the AquaTheater, it included additional entertainment, plentiful libations, and an opportunity to meet the crew in a large attractive space.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
The quality and variety of entertainment definitely sets Oasis class apart; so many good choices, so little time:-) We agree with this comment about a lot of things on Allure of the Seas, but in particular we had so many good entertainment choices that we missed some excellent performances in the Jazz Club on deck 4. We did see all of the big shows, Oceanaria, Mama Mia, Blue Planet, Ice Games, the Headliner and thoroughly enjoyed all. 2 decades ago, we were impressed that shows such as Pirates of Penzance could be done on a ship. On Oasis, I think they are exceeding land-based shows perhaps even rivaling shows in of Las Vegas for the production capability, lighting, sound, etc. I will repeat the tip, but you must schedule these shows in advance, preferable weeks before the cruise and you must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the show to be in the line of guests entering the venue first.

Theater

5 out of 5

The main theater is a marvel of entertainment capability with equally marvelous performances. RCCL bolsters the technology with 14 full sized training stages in Florida so that the performers can hone their art on the matching stage that they will use on the ships. The fine quality and outstanding complexity of the performances show this preparation is effective and probably the finest on any group of ships at any cruise price range.

Jazz on 4

5 out of 5

The fine musicians were a wonderful match for this beautiful, comfortable, and classy venue. It felt almost like we were in an elegant Victorian Drawing room with the finest musicians performing. This venue did not have reservations, but it could. Based on other shows, perhaps, there were a few times when you could walk in, but mostly it was standing room only as the start of the show approached.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
This can make or break a cruise and for this cruise they made it great. Of course our MDR Head and Assistant waiters Renaldo and Damien were excellent, but we also received excellent service in many places. Kenny Melanie in Customer Service was outstanding in assisting us. Not all things were possible on embarkation day, but all possible was done efficiently and quickly with a smile. Our Room Steward Ricardo George was excellent and always there. We identified items and introduced ourselves on embarkation day and Ricardo did the rest. There were many others that provided great, attentive, and personal service like Tatiana in the Solarium Bistro and Jennifer and Carole Stapleton in the American Icon MDR Breakfasts we enjoyed.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
We expected an amazing Promenade and unmatched Boardwalk and Central Park and Allure delivered these. What amazed us was that it is not really that hard getting around on this ship. With the Entertainment Neighborhood at the bow and the Boardwalk and AcquaTheater at the stern, there is not that much distance to the areas of interest between those 2 ends. And since the Windjammer is only one choice for casual dining, the other choices are easy to get to from any end of the ship. The ship was mostly spotless with the only exception being a messy area in the Park Cafe that was specifically an issue with a family with unruly and messy children. The staff did what they could until this family left and they could recover the area.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Cleanliness was excellent. Size in the cabin was adequate. Storage through the cabin and the size of the bathroom are adequate. The bathroom sink would be small for a wet bar, and the surrounding counter space was very shallow. The shower head was only useful as a handheld since its height was not adjustable and its angle was limited. Our balcony was very nice as it is on a bump out and therefore a "Large Balcony". This is not a major issue, but, we cannot give it a 5 star rating in-spite of the excellent service and efficient layout of the cabin.

Ship tip

Unfortunately, the Windjammer is no longer the go to location for casual dining. Announcements by the Captain and signs during on-boarding point out your other choices. We would add that you should turn around, from the Windjammer if you see a line coming in. Also, if you enter the Windjammer and see that the food islands are crowded then also leave. The other choices are great and you will not miss the Windjammer once you break the habit of ONLY going to the Windjammer.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

5 out of 5
No excursions, but impressive capacity for several large ships, and the many options for passengers for pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel and transportation.

Nassau, Bahamas

4 out of 5
No excursions, but we did do quite a bit of walking on our own. There were many closed shops, perhaps due to the hurricanes interrupting supply, but we will do the same again on our next cruise visit to the Bahamas.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

3 out of 5
It is sad to say that St. Thomas is still a mere shadow of what it was. We expected this, and were still dismayed ad the lack of items for purchase. We wanted to contribute by patronizing the local merchants but could not find places with inventory for sale. We normally dock at the Havensite pier where there are more ships and more shops, but we noticed passengers coming back from Havensite without bags of souvenirs, electronics, and liquor.

Basseterre, St. Kitts

5 out of 5

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Disembarkation was fast and efficient; it did take about 15 minutes to go from ship to the luggage area, so that might be a negative, but this was not a surprise. We did use the Mobile Passport app, a misleading name, for customs declaration; there is no change in your need to have your passport at the ready. Since we had 4 suitcases, we started with 3, we did use a porter. The Mobile Passport app use will cut down the total time going through Customs and get you into lines with a half dozen families instead of those switch back lines with 100's of passengers. I highly recommend using this if you are in a port where it is available.

Traveler Photos

Beautiful and Elegant, the Jazz Club is a treat for all of the senses. Second floor of the Solarium, a great place to relax after Breakfast or Lunch. His Steak Warm comfortable setting. Her Seafood Carpaccio with Pesto and shaved Parmesan Always wanted to say, "Don't Forget the Cannolis" Silk - Main Dining Room Smoked Duck Breast - Silk MDR Breakfast on the Balcony - Room Service
Was this review helpful? 11

6 Comments

Leave a comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Other reviews of this sailing