Dec 2012 Allure of the Seas Eastern Caribbean Review
Not trying to be too critical, since my only experience with RCCL is not one
of their monster ships....
The dining room menu had a good selection of items but when delivered to
the table the portions were small, with poor cuts of meat and prepared
"The food here is terrible, and the portions are too small"?
Dining Room Menu: A practice by RCCL is to place additional food
selections ($fee) on the menu. At a table with many guests this creates a
tiered system of those who pay extra for better cuts of meat and those
who choose the regular cuts. This is a “tacky” practice by RCCL and
several passengers expressed dissatisfaction and embarrassment of the
I'm not big on it myself, but that's been common practice for a few years
now with RCCL.
Entertainment: Where RCCL’s food is abysmal their entertainment is
superb. There are so many shows and activities on the ship that we were
kept busy for the entire cruise. Having reservation for each venue made
getting a seat easy. But to get a reservation in the time slot you want,
you must do so well in advance of your cruise online on RCCL’S website.
One show, the Comedy Show was booked solid months in advance for the
earlier shows and we had to settle for the 11:30 p.m. show. Passengers
new to cruising who are not aware entertainment can be booked months in
advance may find themselves shut out of prime time slots.
I knew about the advance ticketing thing but wasn't aware they did their
reservations way out like that. Hmm. Reminds me of one of the reasons I
don't like going to Disney World much these days; obscene amounts of
structuring for my vacation.
Tipping: During previous cruises we had changed from cash tipping to
I'm on the opposite side of the equation from you. I understand your concern
for the staff of the ship with automatic tipping, but my attitude as someone
who often prepays gratuities is that it is the responsibility of the cruise
line to let their staff understand and be aware of who is in the boat of
auto-tipping and who isn't. I to often add extra cash on top of those
automatic gratuities when the service deserves it. However, pushing the
envelopes and slips of paper in front of me seems arcane and obsolete as a
practice. The entire process of automatically tipping for me is to avoid
Because of the steep increases in shore excursions, we choose only one and
made our own arrangements for others while in port at considerably less
It is a revenue generator for the cruise ships and we accept that. I don't
know what there is to do about it.
We are also starting to look again to Princess and other cruise lines,
though we have not booked them as of yet.
FWIW my last experience with Princess wasn't much different than what I've
encountered on RCCL in terms of service, quality of food, et al. Differences
lie elsewhere and are more aesthetic than concrete.