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Old June 2nd, 2013, 01:34 PM
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In all fairness, the Allure is a completely different ship than anything else you'll encounter. It's an amazing ship with alot of amenities and it's definitely one of those ships you have to try at least once. But it is a huge ship! And depending on when you go, it can be quite crowded. And because it has such a large number of passengers, I feel the food in the MDR is okay, but not that great. It's hard to feed that many people in a 3-hour period and make mass produced food taste that great. So while we really enjoyed our cruises on the Allure, Freedom, Voyager, Navigator, and Adventure, I still have to say the Radiance-class is our favorite - overall, we just prefer that size of ship in the RCCL fleet and felt we got a better experience compared to the mega ships. We're anxious to try the Quantum-class to see how that size fits in the scheme of things even thought that's still a huge ship.

While the mega-ships are a real hoot to try because of all the amenities, to us, they're just too big and we feel you don't get the intimate feel and attention that you get on smaller ships. Plus, it seems to us the food on the smaller ships is better because it's not quite as mass-produced. Our current favorite (at least so far) is the Solstice-class in the Celebrity fleet. I would have to say our all-time favorite is the Paul Gauguin - perfect size ship, awesome staff, and fantastic food. But for the mass-market lines, we really loved the HAL Rotterdam. Again, just the right size for a more intimate experience. Doesn't have all the amenities of the bigger ships, but sometimes that's a good thing.

As I said, there's something out there for everyone. Some people love the gigantic mega ships with all their amenities, which are especially great for families, while others love the smaller ships with a more intimate relaxing experience. But what's interesting is how you can do both within the same cruise line and get entirely different experiences.

So when people try one ship in a cruise line and formulate an opinion, I don't think it's fair. I always say you have to try something at least twice to be fair. We did the same ship three times and got two entirely different experiences. (The third time it had been refurbished and had a new crew, so it was much better than the first two cruises.)

Pete
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Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
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