ED Magedson – Founder
Royal Caribbean International1050 Caribbean Way Miami, Florida United States of America
Really looked forward to escaping winter on Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas - icy weather delayed our flight - we missed the shuttle we pre-arranged - hailed a cab to the ship - Fare $94! (Not what this Rip-off Report about - maybe should be!)
Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas - even bigger than I imagined - I imagined battleship.
Port embarkation stations arranged by deck - we missed initial crush - check-in was quick - suitcases scanned and searched for security -safe thing - andto confiscate alcohol, sodas, juicesand bottled water - RCI stingy thing.
On board we found jaw-dropping places - innovations I predict to influence many future cruise ships designs.
Nothing prepares you for the sheer number of guests aboard. Glad we made show reservations way ahead of time. People who had not reserved Chicago, Blue Planet, the ice show or the water show were usually disappointed. But things happen. Computer issues postponed Blue Planet show - rescheduled same time as the ice show. Bummer, but no rip-off. Guests cuing long lines hours before comedy show in small place - we nevergot to seeit - played twice per night.
That's the big difference about the cruising experience on Allure. Just like a city - entertainment theaters, restaurants and clubs have very limited seating. Not everyone who wants to get inside will be able to. Amber Theater and Windjammer not much larger than Freedom class ships carrying fewer passengers. Experienced long lines - waits for most everything including elevators and public restrooms. Touch screens in stateroom and around the ship display wait times for events - other guests checking too - hike through milling crowds of people to destination - lines have grown from 10-minute wait to 30-minute wait. Maybe 400 Diamond Plus members aboard - Concierge Lounge too packed to enjoy. Most everywhere - for most everything - long cues like for major theme park rides. No surprise - organized and directed shore excursion departures had longest cues and waits. No exaggeration - anticipate waiting in a 15-minute cue, 6 times a day on Allure. We saw several ugly confrontations - people who no patience for line-breakers or those holding spots to let 5 people into line. RCI really needs to enforce rules better. Selfishly reserving poolside seating for hours with towels caused a lot of friction - so many are competing for the same spaces on Allure - RCI not enforcing rules to maintain order and civility. The other side - RCI employees reluctant to act - can't afford any negative comments from a guest.
Experienced Royal Caribbean cruisers will be very familiar with the cuisine on Allure. In main dining, Indian cuisine is usually one menu choice - Asian or pasta usually makes another menu choice - had duck and veal. Steak cost extra. Served minuscule, butterfliedlangostino tail on Fisherman platter "lobster night" - didn't order it - planned surf 'n turf (lobster & fillet mignon) in premium restaurant later in cruise. Menu cutbacks designed to Allure gueststo premium restaurants. Beverage cards needed for sodas, fruit drinks and bottled water.
First time in our cruise experiences, a suitcase was lost. Dadgummit, Royal Caribbean! - did it have to be my wife's suitcase? Mine got delivered - bad for me - she is furious about it - has not failed to remind me of it - everyday - several times a day - since it happened. She packed formal dress, casual outfits, good shoes, intimates and bathing suit in lost suitcase - thank heavens she had makeup, medicines, jewelry, camera and one casual outfit in her carry-on.
Reported the missing suitcase right away - left our suitcases with port handlers - had personal ID tags on both suitcases - had RCI stateroom tags on both suitcases - had tipped the port handler - had receipt. Royal Caribbean promised to do a search - we completed a loss form - next day RCI informed us the suitcase could not be found - they had no record of it coming aboard Allure. Then the really bad news - RCI claimed my receipt was ONLY for my suitcase! RCI carefully explained - port handlers were not RCI employees! We would need to discuss our missing suitcase with port handlers when we returned to Miami - classic "their fault, not ours" story - I cannot prove the suitcase ever got aboard Allure - we are supposed to witness porters loading our luggage onto the ship? Now for the Rip-off - since RCI was not negligent for the loss - they could not authorize the $300 lost luggage credit!
Ladies can tell you - $300 not enough for a lost formal, casual outfits, good shoes, intimates, etc. or the quality suitcase itself. Incredibly, Allure apparel shops do not sell intimate wear - except logo undies - the outfits Allure shops do sell are overpriced - a $300 credit won't replace much - the wife bought clothes at our first port of call. She felt no small degree of satisfaction wearing her new rainbow tie-dyed dress formal night! All night it was a springboard to tell her RCI Rip-off story - seemed most guests had their own lost-by-cruise-line Rip-off tales of woe. So luggage lost-by-cruise-line happens enough to take precautions.
I guess you can predict the responses we received from the port handlers in Miami - in short, their story is all luggage on the cart makes it aboard the ship - the last time we saw the suitcase was when it was piled onto the cart - any luggage they found after Allure left would have been turned over to RCI - receipt meant nothing - classic "their fault, not ours" story again - I smell a rat! Whatever - some chick in Miami area has my wife's formal. Whatever the inconvenience - from now on we will be packing only carry-ons -faultport handlers or RCI - either way, I'll be "thanking" Royal Caribbean International every step I take.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/05/2011 11:22 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Royal-Caribbean-International/Miami-Florida-/Royal-Caribbean-International-Luggage-Mystery-Allures-RipOff-Warning-Miami-Florida-691241. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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