Nightmare on the Allure Trip Report
This was by far a very interesting cruise. The ship was huge and fantastic, the cruise was my worst ever.
My girlfriend red about the ships and wanted to go on one of them, to be on the biggest ships in the world figuring everything would be so much better than on smaller ships. Instead I found the least experienced crew, horrible customer service, extremely long wait times for food that was even sometimes cold. Everything on the ship is over priced. Prices for some of the specialty restaurants are higher than on other ships, sometimes with less of a selection.And the a la cart restaurant concept on a cruise ship defeats the purpose of the cruise. The ship is full of technology and none of it seems to work.
It all started with excursions. First of all we went to three islands (Haiti, Jamaica and Cozumel). As a scuba diver I am well aware of these destinations, as they are well known for diving, yet only one of the three offers a scuba diving excursion. This is not too much of a surprise as there are many Scuba hot spots that do not have scuba excursions on Royal Caribbean (St Kitts and San Juan being a couple I am going to next that are requiring me to book them directly with local dive shops, which while cheaper is much more of a hassel, especially in places where other cruise lines off scuba dive excursions).
To start off we first tried to book our excursions. We were sent from the excursion desk up to SeaTrek, who then sent the front desk who sent us to the excursion desk and back to the front desk, and back to excursions, etc. Eventually causing us to get very fed up (and tired, it is a big ship). To finally ask for the front desk manager. The Manager was not available instead the assistant manager Shawn came to hinder us, i mean help us (not really). Shawn began the conversation by lying to me, which I caught him in and pointed out that he was not only lying but what the truth was and how I knew. He then did not admit he was lying but changed his story, to which I caught him in another lie and explained how I knew again. And this went on for some time. This got to the point which I actually called Corporate Guest Relations from the lobby of the cruise ship to complain about Shawn and ask how we leave the ship even before it set sail.
Eventually we got out excursions booked (a couple for more than they cost online before boarding). And I was able to talk with the front desk manager Samantha, who was very nice and helpful to which I complained about Shawn. This was only the first of many issues on the ship however.
We stayed on the ship and turned off our cell phones. My girlfriends being an iPhone we simple set to airplane mode so we could use it with the charger and radio in the stateroom for music. Mine I apparently should have set to airplane mode as well, because sometime between the time I checked my phone in the morning on Monday (cruise departed on Sunday) and when I got back to my stateroom a few hours later my cell phone had been turned on. No apparently calls has been made but it was turned on and had a couple missed called (which I found out later my cell phone company charged me for the minutes used in leaving voice mails). I only noticed this however because while laying down for a few minutes deciding what to do next, my cell phone rang, to which I immediately jumped up grabbed the phone off the desk and rejected the call, looked at the phone saw i missed several calls and had new voicemails and shut the phone off again.
And this is less than 24 hours from boarding so far.
The list goes on and I have complained about each and everything to corporate guest relations after leaving the ship, to which they rushed me off the phone and I did not hear back.
The list includes:
- Horrible waiter in main dining room (mytime dinning) had to request a different waiter every night after and would need to check who it was before being seated and more than once refuse the waiter as our request for a different waiter was ignored the first time.
- Waited over a half hour for the assistant waiter to ask us what we wanted to drink.
- Waited longer to give our orders
- Received our appetizers after almost an hour but still before receiving drinks.
- Waited even longer for our main course, which the waiter then hit my girlfriend in the head with her plate his arm, and didn't acknowledge it let alone apologize which would have been nice. And this could have been avoided if he served her from the side of the table like he did me instead of from behind her, but then maybe we wanted to look down her shirt.
- To add insult to injury my order was not correct, i had ordered extra portions of my main course that I did not receive and was forced to comment to the waiter about this. He then made an excuse and stated he would get me more, to which I had to wait more than 30 minutes for and I was done with the small portion I received in less than 5.
- Many things on the ship were closed during hours they had listed as open, excuse I received we operators of the activity (one being zip line) were in a parade or doing some other sort of activity they were double booked for apparently.
- Waited obscenely long time for breakfast in Johnny Rockets to first get the wrong order then get cold food as it is just left out without heat lamps.
- Used an iPad on the cruise ships wifi, to which it does not leave a tab open to log out of the internet an no instructions were available. Had to call the front desk who insisted I was wrong, and finally fought with them enough to get the internet support staff who told me what i needed to do, then longer to fight to have the additional internet charges for the previous half hour or so removed, as I had only used the internet for less than 3 minutes (i watched the clock due to how expensive it is and I had a 5 dollar coupon from my crown and anchor book that I didn't want to go over). The irony is this ship has iPhone / iPod chargers and docks in the cabins, and they rent iPhones for use onboard the ship. But another apple product that uses the same operating system of the iPhone is not properly supported via wifi, and the issue I had is a known issue by the internet support staff but not by the front desk and isn't posted anywhere, like maybe the computer room where you must go to sign up to use the wifi onboard.
- Worst spa treatment ever.
- Called in cabin 15 minutes before start asking if it can be pushed back 5-10 minutes.
- Had to wait over 45 minutes after the updated start time of the appointment (an hour after the original) so was eventually led to the thermal suite to wait, which is wonderful while fully clothed to let you sit on a hot lounge chair sweating all over your cloths.
- Extremely slow and low quality hair cut (super cuts quality, i know i have been to super cuts), then had to reschedule the rest of my treatments as I had another activity planned.
- Came back for the reschedule and had to wait an extra 10 minutes for the person.
- Recieved worst shave I have ever gotten anywhere and only professional shave with an ultra cheap safety razor that dulled almost instantly and spa person missed large areas with large hairs, and would keep going back and touching up areas even after cleaning off shaving oil. In the end face and neck were really irritated and needed to go back to my room and shave before diner.
- Lines were overly long as ever activity seemed to be very disorganized.
- Trivia was well below average than other cruise ships and cruise lines, with some "official" answers to questions being wrong.
- Casino placed an incorrect and inconsistent bet for me because I dropped extra money to cover the bet as it could not be done with only one chip, then dealer fought me on it.
- No Pit-boss at craps table in center chair making sure mistakes don't occur and that game is fair.
- Had multiple coupons for free bingo shirts that they never seemed to have at bingo to receive but had to throw out in the audience during game play.
- 99% of pools and hot tubs are closed every night, usually leaving the only hot tub that needed to be serviced as the water was far from hot.
- Digital Postcard booth, replaces the karaoke booths on the freedom class, though not well labeled. Digital post cards sent first and second day of the cruise both arrived the same day over two weeks after the cruise ended, though sign says it will be delivered within 24 hours. (Both arrived Sept 14th, both were sent in August).
- Went to Japanese restaurant twice while onboard, order hot rock both times, second time had to wait over an hour and a half to be allowed to cook my own food. First time was under 20 minutes.
- TV in stateroom had different persons name for first half of the cruise preventing me from booking anything on the TV.
- Two Ice Shows, but only appeared to be one showing of one of them.
- Filled out all activity wavers before boarding but still needed to sit and wait for an extended period for each activity as they ran the seapass through the system before clipping the wrist band that you cant remove even for formal night pictures.
- On one of the earlier nights of the cruise a guy was pushing rums for sale (trying to sell them before we got to the islands and found the cheaper), hounded me and my 20 year old companion until we stopped and tried some, never asked for ID, though in international waters the drinking age on ship is 21 for everywhere else in the ship if she can drink there why not everywhere on board?
- While looking for something in our stateroom that the stateroom attendant had moved, found clear plastic bag and other trash under the bed, commented to stateroom attendant to clean up and was still there after we left the room for the last time.
- Never got to have a doughnut as they only put them out once early in the morning at the stand and once they were gone they were gone even hours before the stand closed (which it closed at like 10 or 11 am, and no explanation was given why they were not available all day).
- Flash Mob lessons occurred for hours every day on the promenade right outside the pizza place with lots of shouting and using all speakers on the promenade, providing one more reason to avoid deck 5. Otherwise a headache and ear pain quickly followed listening to 5678 every 10 seconds. Mostly annoying because the only good pizza onboard is on deck five and the rest of the ship serves the same worse than dominos pizza.
The list goes on but that is twenty things not including the more descriptive things I mentioned above. Now been writing this for over an hour and need to head out. After a couple months though I did call back the Corporate Guest Relations who apologized and offered me a booking credit if I would go on board. I did book again because my girlfriend is nervous about going on the smaller ships of NCL, so we are going on Voyager class at the end of December. But the credit couldn't be applied because it is holiday sailing so not it is being changed to an onboard credit. Though 110 bucks of credit for two cruises each costing multiple thousands isnt much of an offering but it was the most management would allow her to give. I am just hoping this is not as much of a disaster. Only cruise on Royal Caribbean three times and each time has ended in a complaint. Never filed a formal complaint for any other cruise line. I guess I am gluten for punishment, but I have told my girl friend if this one goes bad we will never again sail RCCL.