Just back from the Allure, Feb 17th sailing to the Western Caribbean. I wanted to provide some quick thoughts and observations for anyone sailing in coming days or months....
First, these boards continue to be a wealth of information. Thank you to everyone that posts details or answers questions when asked. You all helped make this trip a huge success. Thank you!
Boarding: Quick and easy. Arrived curbside at 10:30, thru check in and onto the Promenade, it was 45 minutes. Lunch at Park Cafe was uncrowded. Rooms opened promptly at 1:00.
Shows: We did them all and enjoyed them all! Momma Mia was excellent. The singers are awesome. Ocean Aria and Blue Planet were as advertised. Worth the time and very enjoyable.
Entertainment: Too much happening all over the ship. Can’t see or do everything. Highlights were Piano guy in Schooner was fun. Lots of sing along stuff. Pub guitarist was awesome too.
Service: First off, these people work their @$$ off to make you happy. Respect that!
Bar service at the pool was unbelievably excellent. How they learn your name and favorite drink I’ll never know. Never had to go without for more than minutes.
Main dining was also excellent. We had 16 people with Anytime dining. We ate together several nights and they accommodated without issue, and on fairly short notice. Service was spot on. Nothing went back for correction. Food quality was good. No complaints. Even picked up the pace when we had show reservations.
Specialty Dining did not disappoint. We did the 3 night plan at Chops, Samba and Giovanni’s. Food and service at Giovanni’s was BEST. Chops a close 2nd.
Ship Shape: All in all, still a beautiful ship. Very clean and well maintained. She is showing wear & tear in some areas, but that’s being picky. All is good. Do not fret.
Excursions: All I can say is do your homework and use Cruise Critic.
Nassau - We walked around town and to The Fry. Stopped at a very crowded Junkanoo Beach and went back to ship.
Cozumel - Researched on CC and TripAdvisor and decided on the Cozumel Bar Hop. Excellent day!!! The tour is everything as advertised. Well run, entertaining, and the bar stops are picturesque and everything you would imagine a paradise beach bar to be. Never felt unsafe. Nobody got sick from the water or ice. No worries about getting back to ship. They know your ship schedule better than you do and drop you pier side.
Roatan - Went with ship tour to Sol Y Mar Beach Club (adult only, all inclusive). We picked this in hopes of it being an uncrowded getaway, staying away from the West End crowds. Not so much. But, the area is wonderful, well equipped and the staff is amazing. They met us in the water with trays of drinks without asking. Awesome service all day. In the end, the crowds weren’t bad and it was a great day.
Costa Maya - Bummer! Due to high winds/seas, our scuba tour was cancelled. Nobodies fault, but a disappointment nonetheless. Tour was credited without issue. We made the best of it at the port bar/pool/restaurants. Was a good day.
Departure: Just like boarding, it went quick and smooth. Running ahead of schedule. Out of room, off ship, grabbed luggage, thru Customs and standing at the cab stand in 30 minutes. Royal clearly knows how to handle large volumes of people.
Side Note: Departure details used to be on a separate sheet delivered with the Cruise Compass. Answering the questions would result in tags and assigned times. Now they have a small paragraph in the Compass that refers you to a survey on TV. Old school me missed that (my fault) and required a visit to Guest Services to ensure a safe departure time. Problem solved.
Suggestion: With increased use of the Royal app, you use the paper Compass less, missing important info like departure set-up. I would suggest going back to paper to force the point.
By the way, the app worked well for calendar events, show times, reviewing your bill and making reservations. Texting worked, but was spotty and doesn’t provide notifications of new messages. You need to constantly look at your phone.
Last thing, we had the dreaded “Alpha, Alpha, Alpha” call on Saturday afternoon. Captan announced later that we would be sailing full speed back to Miami and arriving approximately at 1:00 am. We did so and the ambulance promptly took the person away. No info on who, what happened or extent of injuries. Hoping for the best. As a result, there were no noticeable changes to service. Since most sleep thru arrival anyway, no issue.
It was a great trip. No complaints or turn offs. Wonderful ship and crew.