Jury is Out
Allure of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)
Sail date: November 18, 2018
Ship: Allure of the Seas
Cabin type: Balcony
Traveled as: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 2 years ago
Review summaryWe sailed on the Allure over Thanksgiving, as a family of six; parents, two teens (15 and 16), and grandparents. We had three balcony cabins, that we had connected, and two of our cabins connected from inside. This was the first time we had sailed on such a large ship, and the ship was full. We embarked through the new Miami terminal, and having the app with the Set Sail pass on it, embarkation was seamless. Of all the cruises we had ever done this embarkation, on the biggest ship we had ever sailed, was by far the easiest and most pleasant. Once we boarded, we headed to Windjammers for lunch, and fortunately we boarded early, because shortly thereafter it was packed! One of my pet peeves about RCL is the lack of attention to detail, and it especially shows in the cabins. Our cabin had a broken soap holder on the basin, and in the shower, the back of the toilet was icky, the overflow on the basin grubby, and there were some mysterious hairs behind the basin (I washed them away.) Our closet door also stuck, and even though my white socks were clean after walking on the carpet, the carpet had dirty marks on it. The air-conditioning in our kids adjoining cabin broke toward the end of the trip, and even though we reported it nobody came to fix it. And the cabins get hot without air! Food on the ship was our biggest let down. The food in Windjammer and the main dining room was mediocre at best. I still find it odd that for dinner the servers take the appetizer, entrée, and dessert all at one time. Windjammer had a good selection of different foods for all the different nationalities on board, but toward the end of the week the choices became repetitive. Also, the ongoing announcement in Windjammer at breakfast to leave if you had finished was intrusive (and rude). We had dinner one night at Johnny Rockets, and it was just okay. Same with breakfast there. My favorite for breakfast was Park Café. The choices are limited, but it was quieter, and I preferred the food. The kids had donuts a couple of times and said they were good. We had lunch at Chops and the food was outstanding – the tator tots were delicious. Like all the RCL ships, iced tea, lemonade, tea, coffee, and water (not bottled) were free. We used the Starbucks several times too but be aware it is more expensive, and they do add the 18% gratuity to every order. My usual $4.25 drink onboard was $5.75; significantly more. Entertainment was a mixed bag. We saw Edge Effect (acapella), which we have seen before and enjoyed. However, there were long pauses between songs (and sets) which seemed to confuse people, and we heard people complaining how they had butchered popular songs; but we enjoyed the show. Ocean Aria was, as my son described it, interpretive dance with diving. The high dives had me on the edge of my seat, but it irked me that the dancers were often noticeably out of sync with each other. Hubby and daughter saw this show twice, but once was enough for me and son. Blue Planet was a show that really did not appeal to any of our party. We all came out questioning what we had just seen. The backgrounds to the show were outstanding, but the song interpretations were awful, and again the acrobats were out of time with each other. Games on Ice (based on Monopoly) was boring. The most exciting parts were when the skaters kept falling (I lost count how many times), and again everyone was out of sync. The two comedians (Long and Grey) were both very good; in the adult and family shows. Of course, the highlight was Mamma Mia. I’d seen Mamma Mia three times before this production, and this production was as good as all the theater shows I’d seen. It was however, the first time I’d seen it with British actors and it took me by surprise at first. We participated in the trivia in the Schooner Bar several times. The bar is not an ideal location for the trivia. One end is completely open to the shopping deck below, and with the noise it is difficult to hear. Four of us did the zipline, which was short but fun. We stopped at Philipsburg, St. Maarten and we just walked around. You can still see some of the after affects of the hurricanes, but the main shopping area is mostly rebuilt. It was mostly jewelry so did not appeal to us. We took a taxi back to the ship, and at $20 for six it worked out cheaper than the water taxi. The tourist areas in San Juan in Puerto Rico were beautiful, even though you could still see some minor hurricane damage. In addition to the main tourist area, we walked to the Old Fort, but didn’t go in. Labadee, as it turns out, is not an island, but a part of Haiti. Who knew! We reserved a bungalow here, and it was well worth it. We got bottled water and two floaties included. There is no doubt the Allure is a beautiful ship, but we missed not being able to see the ocean at all times. Sometimes it felt more like we were in a mall than on a ship. I did enjoy the neighborhood concept, and Central Park was my favorite. It was so peaceful with all the live plants and chirping birds. I also loved the nostalgic feel of the Boardwalk neighborhood. Allure does a good job in catering for families – there is something for everyone. Overall, we had a wonderful trip, but the jury is out on whether we’d sail on the Allure again.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
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