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Spiritfilled 02-29-2012 06:43 PM

Ok guys, help me out here, I went to Cruise Critics and read some reviews on the Allure ship and wow so many negative reviews, what gives?

They are saying the Windjammer is way to small for the size of the ship no matter what time you go you may not be able to get in there, they are saying the cabins are smaller than other cruise lines, the service on the Allure is questionable, the alcohol drinks are watered down and the Chicago show was slow and boring.
It is just not worth the money that it cost to cruise on this ship, so many reviews have stated this.

I did read that embarkation was great. I guess I need to know from you guys here exactly what you felt about this ship. Please be brutally honest for I am taking some first time cruisers with me and I have raved about RCCL and this ship ( even though I have not been on it ). Thanks, help me.....

Sandy 02-29-2012 08:19 PM

Spirit, I know that for every bad review written, there are 50 people who had a great time but didn't come back and write a review. I've heard people say their whole cruise was terrible because their coffee was cold at dinner one night. Please take these reviews with a grain of salt. Are they comparing Allure with ships that cost four times as much? You don't know where they're coming from with the reviews. You're smart to come here to check it out.

I sailed the Allure and had a fantastic time. It stands out as one of the best and the most fun cruises I've been on. I've never experienced not being able to get into the Windjammer on any Royal Caribbean ship. Yes, it gets crowded, but there are always seats, and waiters who can help you find seats if necessary. There are about 24 different places to eat on the Allure, about half of which are included in the price of your cruise, so it would be hard having trouble finding a place to eat. I found the service to be fine. If you know a few "tricks," such as reserving shows in advance online, it makes the experience even more enjoyable.

Speaking of which, Allure's entertainment was the best I've ever seen on any Royal Caribbean ship, and better than many other cruise line's ships as well. You will not be disappointed.

I would not hesitate to sail the Allure again, and would rather sail Allure or Oasis over many other ships.

Dave 03-01-2012 01:38 PM

The cabins on Allure and Oasis are the same size as comparable category cabins on the other RCI ships, except for their two oldest ships (Monarch and Majesty) which have tiny standard cabins. Some people like to dwell on a few square feet difference, but is it really that important? Is having a standard outside cabin with 185 square feet (the Carnival standard) that much different than having one with 179 square feet on the Allure?

I've often wondered what the people who claim drinks are 'watered down' on cruise ships are comparing them to. I think they pour themselves doubles at home and expect to get the same on a cruise. Every drink I've ever had on any cruise has been poured using the designated amounts of booze for the particular drink, and frankly a little bit more when the bartender knew me. If people want a double then they'll have to pay for it.

The Windjammer is smaller than those on the Freedom class, but as Sandy noted that is because there are so many other casual dining choices that Royal Caribbean planned the ship based on passengers not relying on the Windjammer as the sole buffet/casual spot. Go forward to the Solarium and you'll find another buffet area. Go to Central Park and you have the Park Cafe. Go to the Boardwalk and you have the hot dog stand. And of course you have the cafe and the pizza place on the Promenade.

I've been on both Oasis and Allure and the service was excellent. Everywhere.

Chicago is a great show! Want to know why some decided to pan it? Because unlike other cruise shows, the Broadway productions RCI does on Oasis and Allure are full length meaning it won't be done in 60 minutes like the usual revue song and dance acts. You'll be watching a show that lasts 90 minutes. People not used to this start fidgeting in their seats after an hour and some think they will be missing something outside the theater. The actors, staging, lighting, all of it, had to be approved personally by the original Broadway producers of the show. I met the performers last summer. They each had to interview with the Broadway people in order to get hired, plus they had to sign one-year contracts which is highly unusual for cruise ships.

I've been on a lot of cruises and I have to say our Allure cruise last summer was the best of them all. I remember thinking that I wished we had booked back-to-back cruises as the last day at sea wound down.

Stop over-analyzing your decision. You know, it is possible to read and study too much about a purchase. You and your new cruiser friends will be blown away by the Allure.

poormom 03-01-2012 03:38 PM

I think some of the negative comments come from people who fail to plan ahead. The Allure holds 6000 pax, so some things do get crowded. The parades on the promenade can be fairly congested. If you don't like crowds, just avoid that area of the ship for that hours.
I found many of the other shows less crowded. The ice show and the comedy show I went to had many open seats.
I had an inside cabin, and I had plenty of space. The bathrooms are the same as most of the rest of the fleet. I found the crew to be first rate.
I find the drinks to be fairly strong. My solution to this...have beer, wine or Smirnoff Ice...always the same. No bartender medling.
You will be amazed and you'll have the time of your life.

Spiritfilled 03-01-2012 06:02 PM

Thanks guys whoosh I knew you all would be a great source of info. Can always count on you.

AdmiralKirk 03-15-2012 07:48 AM

Where bad reviews can come from
People who are at their financial limit when they book their trip and don't have extra coin for fun and extras, will be setting themselves up for disappointment if their expectations are great.
I think that bad reviews come mostly from this crowd. A few coworkers have done RCI cruises and have only good things to say.
What concerns me about Allure and Oasis is how the ports of call are able to handle 5000+ tourists disembarking. These ships are on my to sail list but I will wait until the ports of call have all the wrinkles out.

Dave 03-15-2012 04:06 PM

I've been on both Oasis and Allure and there are no wrinkles with the ports that I can see. Getting off these ships, and returning to them, is actually speedier than on smaller ships. Remember that the ports they visit have established special processes for handling the passenger loading. If the port can't handle it, these ships do not go there.

It is an excellent point about those who write bad reviews likely going on their cruises with champagne expectations but on a lite beer budget.

MCPayne 03-15-2012 07:27 PM


Originally Posted by Dave (Post 292935)
It is an excellent point about those who write bad reviews likely going on their cruises with champagne expectations but on a lite beer budget.

I can't help but laugh at that, Dave, but that's a good point. Personally, I've been on 3 RCI cruises, and have yet to be disappointed. Although, nothing against RCI, but I may try another cruise line just for comparison for my next cruise. I'm still trying to decide on an itinerary for my next one. I think I'm debating between the Eastern Caribbean or Alaska. If I do Alaska, then that's going to have to be either Princess or Norwegian because of my schedule (need a Saturday or Sunday embarkation, although preferably Sunday). If it's the Eastern Caribbean, I may try Carnival (specifically the Carnival Dream).

We'll see what I decide on when the time comes. I'm thinking financially I may not be able to do a cruise until 2013.

robertp 03-24-2012 09:48 AM

could anyone prebook the shows online or do you have to be a special "colour" on the crown and anchor group. if anyone can do it would someone be able to give me some tips please?

Dave 03-24-2012 12:05 PM

Any booked passenger can do online reservations for shows, specialty dining, and so forth. You have to access your booking at the RCI website and reservations will be one of the choices. Online reservations normally are available within 90 days of the cruise for some things, 60 days or so for other things, but it can vary. It is rare that you can't book everything within 45 days of the cruise. You just have to access the booking and check to see if reservations have been opened for your cruise.

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