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Our cruise with Allure was a part of a group of 10 friends for a birthday celebration. The selection of the ship/itinerary/dates were the choice of the birthday person. We actually moved cruises from MSC to RC after doing a bit of research on the two vessels and opted for Allure. There was no issue with the booking of the cruise and we were kept well informed and updated on payments/excursions etc. Unfortunately we were on the cruise on 12th -19th May that had the ports schedule moved due to mechanical issues with the ship, so St Thomas was dropped off and San Juan added. I understand a couple of our group were particularly looking forward to St Thomas and notification of this change was late and poorly done by RC - as we had pre-booked excursions at St Thomas and had only short notice. For my part the change in ports turned out to be a positive as San Juan turned out to be the best stop. I understand this was the first return visit to San Juan by Allure since the hurricane damage. EMBARKATION: On-boarding was hassle free and although the port at FL was very busy, it was an easy bag drop at the designated areas and a short stroll to the main terminal. There was a bit of confusion upstairs waiting to sign on but only a short wait inside and out of the heat. Once things were moving it flowed well and we were on board quite quickly - not the best we've experienced but very good. As you'd expect it was busy at the dining options as it was around lunchtime but we managed to grab a bite at the Central Park Cafe level 8 before heading off to our cabins. Some of the luggage was already waiting - so that was terrific. SHIP: Allure is an impressive vessel from any angle and it dwarfs anything else we have experienced. The ship's over all condition throughout I would rate as excellent, it has been well maintained and presents well. The split design with inside balconies is different and nice to try. The massive capacity of 6200 guests takes some getting used to. We did find this a bit of an issue and along with the ships design we were not fans of the overall product. That's not to say it was not good but after this experience we think a smaller vessel 1800-4000 capacity is preferable and I think we like the older traditional layout. This is a personal thing - we found on this ship we were unable to find a nice tucked away comfortable place/lounge/bar/cafe were we could go after a show or during the day to sit and chat and have a bite to eat. There are the boardwalk/promenade offerings but they tended to be bustley, crowded and not quiet. Maybe we missed something on board but did find the same type of places we've found on other boats. Unfortunately for this and a few other reasons would not be looking at taking a cruise on this type of vessel in the future. DINING: Mixed bag - we eat almost exclusively at the on board main dining areas and not Windjammers (tried to avoid as much as possible-not fans) and we were on Anytime Dining. This proved to be problematic for our group of 10 and we had ongoing difficulties with securing a table every evening almost without fail - we were informed you cannot pre-book a table on anytime dining so when we rolled up there were problems. It seems some other were able to book tables-don't know how. We chose anytime mainly because of the entertainment/shore excursions and wanted to pre-book as many of the shows as possible and eat around that schedule. This problem was particularly bad on formal nights or Lobster night, when it was very busy. This issue was not managed well by RC and caused a bit of angst for us, to the point of speaking directly with the American Grill's Maitre-d about the matter. He offered the company's view and provided an explanation about difficulties with accommodating these sorts of numbers. We understood but it did not alter the experience - I would definitely not opt for Anytime Dining unless with a group 6 or less, too difficult and not worth the hassle. In general the food and menu were overall very good and up with our previous experience with RC and Princes - far better than Norwegian and Carnival. The lobster night was a bit hit across the boat. We opted to try one of the additional cost restaurants for a special dinner, having tried these previously on RC. This was Giovanni's Table - we got a discount off the usual cost when we booked. Unfortunately this was a waste of money - this was a bad experience; we were jammed in on a long table that just fitted the 10 of us; the service was nowhere near the usual service as one waiter seemed to be left to manage himself and unfortunately he wasn't great; the menu was very disappointing and the food was pretty ordinary for an extra cost. We have tried Giovanni's before and it was outstanding and more than worth the extra cost but this fell short and i think we all left pretty disappointed. Windjammers - okay the “on the spot Asian/wok” was a nice extra - but generally much the same as any of the buffet style offerings - seemed popular with many guests - just not for us. Dog House - okay for a hotdog on the run - condiments pretty ordinary when compared to what you get at a football match in Germany. Sorrento’s - busy, not too much in the way of seating but pizza's pumped out quickly and not bad, was a go to place for a snack/late bite. Central Cafe - just okay - not a big fan of the fare on offer. Cafe Promenade - was handy and pretty much the only 24hr place you could get a cup of tea/coffee. Point to note - RC uses the big urn type of dispensers for coffee/hot water but the water is often not hot enough unless you are lucky enough to be on the spot when it has been topped up. ENTERTAINMENT: Winner!! Winner !! Winner !! Easily the best onboard entertainment we have been lucky enough to have experienced on any vessel, just terrific. Needed to book for some of the shows but definitely worth it; first night Mama Mia - terrific show (just glad i didn't pay to see the stage one) informed by friends pretty much up to or better than the stage show; WATER SHOW - again just fantastic; ICE SHOW - same again; COMEDY SHOWS - great two terrific comedians and went twice. Overall could not fault. Additional - the two cruise directors and staff were fantastic throughout both very talented/funny/entertaining - big asset for RC. The staff/cruise directors put on an absolutely fantastic/fun 80's show on the promenade deck - after one of the other shows, this was a good as the main shows - big clap to all the staff involved and RC. Enough said - 10/10 for entertainment. SERVICE: As is usual for RC we had terrific service across the ship, almost unfailingly - there were a couple of times the staff/waiters may not have been quite as good but they are human and they all work exceptionally hard. So overall - excellent. PORTS: Yeah - not great - did not have high expectations with a Caribbean cruise - understand seem to be very popular with Europeans and Americans but did not hold great interest personally- given we have the pacific islands nearby. ST KITTS - interesting and overall very third world feel - some historical interest but generally pretty tired run down sort of place. We had a booked shore excursion Island History and Rum Tasting Tour - this was pretty good value and the tour of the distillery/sugarcane plantation was enjoyable - the tour guide and the tastings very nice. The drive out and back and around the island was okay. Had a look around the port area and entertained by some costumed dancers. NASSAU - 5 ships including ours docket at Nassau - Essential Nassau - booked and again it was an okay sort of tour - port area has a lot of shopping nearby but just the usual tourist trap stuff - jewellery, t-shirts etc. The place is very run down for a major cruise ship port and I wonder where all the monies are going from the boats because its not going to the port area that is very run down, tired looking. The tour was okay trip out to Atlantis resort and a quick look around the accessible parts of the hotel - nothing more. SAN JUAN - best port stop and a nice city from our experience - we had quite a nice tour through the old section to the fortifications and cemetery, lovely old streets and Columbus square for a walk up the main tourist shopping street and popped in for a pastry at one of two recommended by our driver, where we had interesting service experience, food was pretty nice. Would have been happier to have spent more time in San Juan and did enjoy the short visit. Apart from San Juan - was not overly impressed with Caribbean - not much of a beach/swimming/snorkelling person and given we live on coast at home with some fantastic beaches etc did not hold much fascination- understand may have for other; also generally a bit to rough/ready - we can get similar and likely better experience in Fiji, Bali, Noumea etc and have visited those places. DISEMBARKATION: Again RC provided a hassle free experience, pretty well organised, bags out night before, get some breakie, wonder down to designated meeting point and stroll off the boat. Bags were ready to be collected and a bit of a wait/line up to clear customs etc. Very busy outside the terminal for taxi, uber, shuttle pick-ups but no problems as such. Overall - as outlined RC Allure is a marvel of a ship, has some great things going for it and would suit lots if not most tastes, superior entertainment, pretty good food, terrific amenities, fantastic staff. Even with all this (not sure how you could ask for much more) probably wouldn't go on this or similar size/class/design of ship and opt for smaller more intimate boat. We had already booked another RC to NZ later this year but unfortunately due to health reasons with one of our group will miss out. I would use RC again, do fixed/set dining.

Lovely ship - but not a fan.

Allure of the Seas Cruise Review by Scoop368

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Boardwalk View Balcony
Our cruise with Allure was a part of a group of 10 friends for a birthday celebration. The selection of the ship/itinerary/dates were the choice of the birthday person. We actually moved cruises from MSC to RC after doing a bit of research on the two vessels and opted for Allure.

There was no issue with the booking of the cruise and we were kept well informed and updated on payments/excursions etc. Unfortunately we were on the cruise on 12th -19th May that had the ports schedule moved due to mechanical issues with the ship, so St Thomas was dropped off and San Juan added. I understand a couple of our group were particularly looking forward to St Thomas and notification of this change was late and poorly done by RC - as we had pre-booked excursions at St Thomas and had only short notice.

For my part the change in ports turned out to be a positive as San Juan turned out to be the best stop. I understand this was the first return visit to San Juan by Allure since the hurricane damage.

EMBARKATION:

On-boarding was hassle free and although the port at FL was very busy, it was an easy bag drop at the designated areas and a short stroll to the main terminal. There was a bit of confusion upstairs waiting to sign on but only a short wait inside and out of the heat. Once things were moving it flowed well and we were on board quite quickly - not the best we've experienced but very good.

As you'd expect it was busy at the dining options as it was around lunchtime but we managed to grab a bite at the Central Park Cafe level 8 before heading off to our cabins. Some of the luggage was already waiting - so that was terrific.

SHIP:

Allure is an impressive vessel from any angle and it dwarfs anything else we have experienced. The ship's over all condition throughout I would rate as excellent, it has been well maintained and presents well. The split design with inside balconies is different and nice to try. The massive capacity of 6200 guests takes some getting used to. We did find this a bit of an issue and along with the ships design we were not fans of the overall product. That's not to say it was not good but after this experience we think a smaller vessel 1800-4000 capacity is preferable and I think we like the older traditional layout. This is a personal thing - we found on this ship we were unable to find a nice tucked away comfortable place/lounge/bar/cafe were we could go after a show or during the day to sit and chat and have a bite to eat. There are the boardwalk/promenade offerings but they tended to be bustley, crowded and not quiet. Maybe we missed something on board but did find the same type of places we've found on other boats. Unfortunately for this and a few other reasons would not be looking at taking a cruise on this type of vessel in the future.

DINING:

Mixed bag - we eat almost exclusively at the on board main dining areas and not Windjammers (tried to avoid as much as possible-not fans) and we were on Anytime Dining. This proved to be problematic for our group of 10 and we had ongoing difficulties with securing a table every evening almost without fail - we were informed you cannot pre-book a table on anytime dining so when we rolled up there were problems. It seems some other were able to book tables-don't know how. We chose anytime mainly because of the entertainment/shore excursions and wanted to pre-book as many of the shows as possible and eat around that schedule. This problem was particularly bad on formal nights or Lobster night, when it was very busy. This issue was not managed well by RC and caused a bit of angst for us, to the point of speaking directly with the American Grill's Maitre-d about the matter. He offered the company's view and provided an explanation about difficulties with accommodating these sorts of numbers. We understood but it did not alter the experience - I would definitely not opt for Anytime Dining unless with a group 6 or less, too difficult and not worth the hassle.

In general the food and menu were overall very good and up with our previous experience with RC and Princes - far better than Norwegian and Carnival. The lobster night was a bit hit across the boat.

We opted to try one of the additional cost restaurants for a special dinner, having tried these previously on RC. This was Giovanni's Table - we got a discount off the usual cost when we booked. Unfortunately this was a waste of money - this was a bad experience; we were jammed in on a long table that just fitted the 10 of us; the service was nowhere near the usual service as one waiter seemed to be left to manage himself and unfortunately he wasn't great; the menu was very disappointing and the food was pretty ordinary for an extra cost. We have tried Giovanni's before and it was outstanding and more than worth the extra cost but this fell short and i think we all left pretty disappointed.

Windjammers - okay the “on the spot Asian/wok” was a nice extra - but generally much the same as any of the buffet style offerings - seemed popular with many guests - just not for us.

Dog House - okay for a hotdog on the run - condiments pretty ordinary when compared to what you get at a football match in Germany.

Sorrento’s - busy, not too much in the way of seating but pizza's pumped out quickly and not bad, was a go to place for a snack/late bite.

Central Cafe - just okay - not a big fan of the fare on offer.

Cafe Promenade - was handy and pretty much the only 24hr place you could get a cup of tea/coffee.

Point to note - RC uses the big urn type of dispensers for coffee/hot water but the water is often not hot enough unless you are lucky enough to be on the spot when it has been topped up.

ENTERTAINMENT: Winner!! Winner !! Winner !!

Easily the best onboard entertainment we have been lucky enough to have experienced on any vessel, just terrific. Needed to book for some of the shows but definitely worth it;

first night Mama Mia - terrific show (just glad i didn't pay to see the stage one) informed by friends pretty much up to or better than the stage show; WATER SHOW - again just fantastic; ICE SHOW - same again; COMEDY SHOWS - great two terrific comedians and went twice. Overall could not fault.

Additional - the two cruise directors and staff were fantastic throughout both very talented/funny/entertaining - big asset for RC. The staff/cruise directors put on an absolutely fantastic/fun 80's show on the promenade deck - after one of the other shows, this was a good as the main shows - big clap to all the staff involved and RC.

Enough said - 10/10 for entertainment.

SERVICE:

As is usual for RC we had terrific service across the ship, almost unfailingly - there were a couple of times the staff/waiters may not have been quite as good but they are human and they all work exceptionally hard. So overall - excellent.

PORTS:

Yeah - not great - did not have high expectations with a Caribbean cruise - understand seem to be very popular with Europeans and Americans but did not hold great interest personally- given we have the pacific islands nearby.

ST KITTS - interesting and overall very third world feel - some historical interest but generally pretty tired run down sort of place. We had a booked shore excursion Island History and Rum Tasting Tour - this was pretty good value and the tour of the distillery/sugarcane plantation was enjoyable - the tour guide and the tastings very nice. The drive out and back and around the island was okay. Had a look around the port area and entertained by some costumed dancers.

NASSAU - 5 ships including ours docket at Nassau - Essential Nassau - booked and again it was an okay sort of tour - port area has a lot of shopping nearby but just the usual tourist trap stuff - jewellery, t-shirts etc. The place is very run down for a major cruise ship port and I wonder where all the monies are going from the boats because its not going to the port area that is very run down, tired looking. The tour was okay trip out to Atlantis resort and a quick look around the accessible parts of the hotel - nothing more.

SAN JUAN - best port stop and a nice city from our experience - we had quite a nice tour through the old section to the fortifications and cemetery, lovely old streets and Columbus square for a walk up the main tourist shopping street and popped in for a pastry at one of two recommended by our driver, where we had interesting service experience, food was pretty nice. Would have been happier to have spent more time in San Juan and did enjoy the short visit.

Apart from San Juan - was not overly impressed with Caribbean - not much of a beach/swimming/snorkelling person and given we live on coast at home with some fantastic beaches etc did not hold much fascination- understand may have for other; also generally a bit to rough/ready - we can get similar and likely better experience in Fiji, Bali, Noumea etc and have visited those places.

DISEMBARKATION:

Again RC provided a hassle free experience, pretty well organised, bags out night before, get some breakie, wonder down to designated meeting point and stroll off the boat. Bags were ready to be collected and a bit of a wait/line up to clear customs etc. Very busy outside the terminal for taxi, uber, shuttle pick-ups but no problems as such.

Overall - as outlined RC Allure is a marvel of a ship, has some great things going for it and would suit lots if not most tastes, superior entertainment, pretty good food, terrific amenities, fantastic staff.

Even with all this (not sure how you could ask for much more) probably wouldn't go on this or similar size/class/design of ship and opt for smaller more intimate boat. We had already booked another RC to NZ later this year but unfortunately due to health reasons with one of our group will miss out.

I would use RC again, do fixed/set dining.
Scoop368’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Boardwalk View Balcony
Cabin 1I 10717
I have to say our cabin - a inside balcony overlooking rear pool and boardwalk area was fantastic. The cabin is cabin design and fit out were excellent and whilst still not a big space it is easily the nicest cabin we have experienced to date.
The cabin was well appointed and en-suite very good, the overall presentation was of a high standard and it did not show too much in the way of wear/tear. The bed was comfortable.
Room service throughout was excellent and the cabin staff terrific - could not fault.
Nice as the inside balcony was - i would recommend and opt for an external balcony if able to do so. Didn't see much advantage with the inside balcony.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins