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Just off Allure yesterday and felt compelled to post a bit about our experience.  It was somewhat of a last minute cruise, just booking a month in advance. Our first grandchild was born in May and we were going to wait a few months but he’s doing well and thought “why not”?  We’re fairly active cruisers (diamond plus) but tend to sail for the destinations which tend to be on the smaller ships and usually avoid the summer.  We sailed on Oasis a couple of years ago and didn’t really like the mega ship but decided to try again.  Glad we did.

 

Day one on the ship was chaos; wall to wall people.  There were tons of family reunions and it seemed like one group wanted to be louder than the next.  At one point, I had to cover my ears because the decibel level was so high.  At muster, no one seemed like they had a clue what to do.  There may have been a lot of new cruisers but I kept wondering why they didn’t just listen.  5 people would be on an elevator and not move back so 10 more could enter.  Of course, I started to say to myself “here we go again.  Why am I on a mega ship”?  But this is where the problems ended.

 

I don’t think I’ve ever been on a cruise where the staff was nicer and more accommodating.  I try to avoid Guest Services because they seem to never be able to answer my questions.  Not so on this cruise.  She made a couple of show reservations for us and actually refunded an excursion after it had already left.  I honestly never thought she’d do it so was pleasantly surprised when she did.  It was a RT bus trip to Maho Beach in St Maarten and we decided not to go because it was raining.  Not really a cancel/refund issue.

 

On day one, we talked with one of the guys who walk around trying to get you to make specialty dining reservations.  I asked if we could use our buy one get one free on day 4 at Samba Grill because we we celebrating our anniversary and he surprisingly said yes.  The dinner was absolutely fabulous, even better than the one we had on Radiance last year.  They surprised us with a little cake and candle and sang to us which was a nice touch.  When we got our bill, the total was .00, with a note saying Happy Anniversary.  What a wonderful surprise!

 

The entertainment was excellent.  We went to a different show every night and loved every one.  My husband went to see MamaMia and loved it which really surprised me since I can’t get him to go to any musical with me.  I especially enjoyed the diving show.  This was his first cruise probably after vacation for our Cruise Director and the Quest was outstanding!  I’ve seen it probably 20 times but he switched up the questions a bit that made it fresh. He was hysterical!

 

I spend a lot of time in the casino; it’s one of the reasons we’re able to cruise so often because of the free cruises we’re given.  With only a couple of exceptions, the dealers were really friendly and a lot of fun.  I did REALLY bad and didn’t hear many announcements about big slot jackpots but maybe announcements weren’t made.  

 

I was really worried about the elevator crowds (I remember the extremely long waits on Oasis) but they honestly weren’t any worse than any other ship.  There were large crowds on the day 7 but not enough to negatively affect my cruise.  

 

We ate in the MDR every night but one (5:15 service) and overall, the food was good.  One meal (chicken Parmesan) was really bad but it could have been an exception rather then the norm.  I’ve never seen this on a RCI menu so I was interested. Service again was fabulous. Unfortunately, one of my pet peeves continues; passengers arriving for dinner up to an hour after their set dining time.  The compass says that the doors would be closed 15 minutes after the start of dinner but it didn’t happen.  Wish they’d enforce that. 

 

The only thing that I missed was the noon Captain announcements.  I’m not sure if they don’t do these on mega ships but I really missed them.  He really didn’t update us at all.  About an hour and a half after leaving Ft Lauderdale, we looked out the window at dinner and noticed we were headed back.  We all figured it was because of a medical emergency but nothing was ever said.  This really warranted some type of update.  I went to the casino after dinner and the casino host updated us on when he thought they’d open.   Internet was also not very good but we’re used to that.

 

Overall, this was a great cruise.  We’re on basically the same ship, Harmony, in 7 weeks and I hope it’s just as great.

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Thanks for the review! We are sailing on the Allure and are thinking about Samba for our one specialty dining night.  Do they usually offer the buy one, get one free or was that just a special situation? 

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3 hours ago, sellwingri said:

Just off Allure yesterday and felt compelled to post a bit about our experience.  It was somewhat of a last minute cruise, just booking a month in advance. Our first grandchild was born in May and we were going to wait a few months but he’s doing well and thought “why not”?  We’re fairly active cruisers (diamond plus) but tend to sail for the destinations which tend to be on the smaller ships and usually avoid the summer.  We sailed on Oasis a couple of years ago and didn’t really like the mega ship but decided to try again.  Glad we did.

 

Day one on the ship was chaos; wall to wall people.  There were tons of family reunions and it seemed like one group wanted to be louder than the next.  At one point, I had to cover my ears because the decibel level was so high.  At muster, no one seemed like they had a clue what to do.  There may have been a lot of new cruisers but I kept wondering why they didn’t just listen.  5 people would be on an elevator and not move back so 10 more could enter.  Of course, I started to say to myself “here we go again.  Why am I on a mega ship”?  But this is where the problems ended.

 

I don’t think I’ve ever been on a cruise where the staff was nicer and more accommodating.  I try to avoid Guest Services because they seem to never be able to answer my questions.  Not so on this cruise.  She made a couple of show reservations for us and actually refunded an excursion after it had already left.  I honestly never thought she’d do it so was pleasantly surprised when she did.  It was a RT bus trip to Maho Beach in St Maarten and we decided not to go because it was raining.  Not really a cancel/refund issue.

 

On day one, we talked with one of the guys who walk around trying to get you to make specialty dining reservations.  I asked if we could use our buy one get one free on day 4 at Samba Grill because we we celebrating our anniversary and he surprisingly said yes.  The dinner was absolutely fabulous, even better than the one we had on Radiance last year.  They surprised us with a little cake and candle and sang to us which was a nice touch.  When we got our bill, the total was .00, with a note saying Happy Anniversary.  What a wonderful surprise!

 

The entertainment was excellent.  We went to a different show every night and loved every one.  My husband went to see MamaMia and loved it which really surprised me since I can’t get him to go to any musical with me.  I especially enjoyed the diving show.  This was his first cruise probably after vacation for our Cruise Director and the Quest was outstanding!  I’ve seen it probably 20 times but he switched up the questions a bit that made it fresh. He was hysterical!

 

I spend a lot of time in the casino; it’s one of the reasons we’re able to cruise so often because of the free cruises we’re given.  With only a couple of exceptions, the dealers were really friendly and a lot of fun.  I did REALLY bad and didn’t hear many announcements about big slot jackpots but maybe announcements weren’t made.  

 

I was really worried about the elevator crowds (I remember the extremely long waits on Oasis) but they honestly weren’t any worse than any other ship.  There were large crowds on the day 7 but not enough to negatively affect my cruise.  

 

We ate in the MDR every night but one (5:15 service) and overall, the food was good.  One meal (chicken Parmesan) was really bad but it could have been an exception rather then the norm.  I’ve never seen this on a RCI menu so I was interested. Service again was fabulous. Unfortunately, one of my pet peeves continues; passengers arriving for dinner up to an hour after their set dining time.  The compass says that the doors would be closed 15 minutes after the start of dinner but it didn’t happen.  Wish they’d enforce that. 

 

The only thing that I missed was the noon Captain announcements.  I’m not sure if they don’t do these on mega ships but I really missed them.  He really didn’t update us at all.  About an hour and a half after leaving Ft Lauderdale, we looked out the window at dinner and noticed we were headed back.  We all figured it was because of a medical emergency but nothing was ever said.  This really warranted some type of update.  I went to the casino after dinner and the casino host updated us on when he thought they’d open.   Internet was also not very good but we’re used to that.

 

Overall, this was a great cruise.  We’re on basically the same ship, Harmony, in 7 weeks and I hope it’s just as great.

Thank you for the review!

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46 minutes ago, depot72 said:

Thanks for the review! We are sailing on the Allure and are thinking about Samba for our one specialty dining night.  Do they usually offer the buy one, get one free or was that just a special situation? 

 

It's a benefit for Diamond Plus and PInnacle members of C&A.

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Thanks for the review.

 

Glad you enjoyed.

 

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY.

 

Take care.

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Thanks for the review, on the Allure in October. Great tip about asking to use our BOGO on a night other than first or second night. We have never done Samba so I think we will try that restaurant. 

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Glad you guys had a good time. My wife, 6-year old daughter and I were on that cruise, too; I hope to get around to a review eventually. Long story short, had a good trip. Finally made it on an excursion to El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico. The Allure is such a huge ship that even though it was our 3rd time on it (a blessing!), I saw plenty of art I didn't remember seeing before. There was too much to do to do it all. 

 

We really enjoyed Ocean Area, Blue Planet and the Ice show. Left Mamma Mia quite early; God's name taken in vain 3 times, 1 'bastard' and 1 'ass' all within the first little bit convinced me it wasn't appropriate for us. 

 

I, too, found the staff good, especially MDR and special restaurant folks. 

 

Found getting confirmation Luggage Valet went thought a bit nerve wracking (supposedly between 6 to 9 p.m. last day of cruise!), but it did, and was an excellent value to basically have 5 big checked bags put outside our door for practical purposes 'teleport' to our final airport with no further hassles. Went through customs after the cruise perhaps as fast as we've ever done it, and no long, slow line getting there! 

 

The pizza at Sorrentos was fairly good; better than we had on Adventure of the Seas last year. 

 

Thanks for reminding me about the rain in Sint Maarten; it rained quite awhile that morning. Made me seriously consider buying a cheap, compact poncho for future cruises (I've also managed to be rained on in Curacao and Aruba in the past; maybe I'm a water magnet?), just in case (mostly for my camera). We did a beach 'rendezvous' break. I'm coming to think Labadee's a bit under-rated; yeah, it's not much on authentic native cultural exposure, but it's got a good variety to things to do, and the performers jumping through hoops and landing in a roll on concrete flooring during lunch...wow! Good stuff. 

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Thanks for your review, will be on the Allure in 3 weeks, for reasons stated about the MDR, I now eat my evening meal in the Windjammer.  

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Thank you for that. Very reassuring as we are on Allure for a B2B this October and my first time on a mega ship!

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Thanks so much for your review. Can you comment on disembarkation? I was on the Symphony 4 weeks ago and it was extremely quick. We had to stand in the rain for the Budget office downtown to open at 8 AM! We are going on the Allure in 3 weeks and trying to determine the earliest flight time we can make out of FLL. Thanks so much

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6 hours ago, JamesEM said:

Thanks for your review, will be on the Allure in 3 weeks, for reasons stated about the MDR, I now eat my evening meal in the Windjammer.  

Not quite sure what you mean since I said the MDR food was really good.  I am NOT a Windjammer fan and this cruise was more of the same.  That being said, I understand some do like that food.

17 minutes ago, twinsmomzj said:

Thanks so much for your review. Can you comment on disembarkation? I was on the Symphony 4 weeks ago and it was extremely quick. We had to stand in the rain for the Budget office downtown to open at 8 AM! We are going on the Allure in 3 weeks and trying to determine the earliest flight time we can make out of FLL. Thanks so much

We did Valet so it was basically walking off the ship, going through customs, and getting a cab.  Probably 15 minutes in total.  We were in no rush but we were still at the airport at 8:30 and had to wait 4 hours for our flight home.

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Thanks sellwingri. We sailed the Allure back in her first season and were similarly impressed. We found service to be better than that on a lot of the smaller ships we've sailed.

 

Glad you enjoyed your cruise.

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IMO, Luggage Valet is the best deal going... wish it were available on EVERY sailing!  Such a stress-free way to end your vacation.

You just have to do a bit of pre-planning for liquids (making sure anything you are carrying off the ship in the morning meets the requirement for the 3-1-1 rules), but you can always ask your room steward for extra glassware (or grab a couple from an eatery) and decant any toiletries you may need the last morning and pack the larger bottles in your checked/Valet bags.  

After doing it once, you'll never want to go back to the old way!

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Luggage valet is a great benefit but it’s not great that Royal Caribbean started charging for it.  In the past, you only had to pay the airline baggage fee but no RCI fee.  It surprised us but still worth the $25.

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I am doing luggage valet for our Aug 18 cruise on Allure.

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38 minutes ago, sellwingri said:

Luggage valet is a great benefit but it’s not great that Royal Caribbean started charging for it.  In the past, you only had to pay the airline baggage fee but no RCI fee.  It surprised us but still worth the $25.


It's "free" for people in a suite.  

Considering the benefit you get from it, I think $25 is a great value, especially since you get two bags for that price.  I wouldn't expect it to be free -- they have to pay personnel, vehicle, fuel, and insurance costs associated with the program.  

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Thank you for the review and Happy anniversary! We are on Allure in November. 1st time. Our only specialty dining will be Samba and really looking forward to it.

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Posted (edited)

We were on the Allure in April. It was very crowded. Couldn't get near the rock climbing wall or the flow rider the whole week. Food/service in the MDR was 'meh.  Didn't care for Mama Mia either but the ice/water shows were very good.  Having said that we are booked again on the Allure the beginning of Dec. Got a very good price and it included Roatan where we've never been.  Roatan was just taken off the itinerary due to the propulsion issue so that's a bummer but we are sticking with the cruise. A cruise is still a cruise after all 😀 and we'd already bought airfare.

Edited by mac66

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On 8/6/2019 at 8:46 AM, twinsmomzj said:

Thanks so much for your review. Can you comment on disembarkation? I was on the Symphony 4 weeks ago and it was extremely quick. We had to stand in the rain for the Budget office downtown to open at 8 AM! We are going on the Allure in 3 weeks and trying to determine the earliest flight time we can make out of FLL. Thanks so much

 

We were on the same cruise. We left the main dining room at 815 and were to the park n go in Fort Lauderdale at 856 (I happened to look at my watch on the way in and was amazed that it was handled so quickly). 

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Thanks for the review, enjoyed hearing about your experience.  We will be on the Allure next month.   We are staying in a Boardwalk Balcony at the end.  We wanted to enjoy this cabin one more time before they do the renovations and add the slide to the back.  

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On 8/6/2019 at 4:09 AM, Esprit said:

Thank you for that. Very reassuring as we are on Allure for a B2B this October and my first time on a mega ship!

 

We did a b2b with this sailing as the last week- the service was AMAZING! That was probably the best part of the b2b was getting to really know some of the staff. 

 

I would also also agree that Samba was awesome. The filet is second in my mind only to Chops. 

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