We stayed for two nights in Venice before transferring to the port by taxi (18 euros). We could have got the People Mover (1 euro per person) from Piazzale Roma but having investigated the day before decided against it as there is a long walk from the People Mover to the ship. Arrived for embarkation at 11.10 am and we were on board by 11.30 am.
Had a meander around the ship before heading to Windjammers around 1.00 pm when it was fairly quiet as the cabins were ready at that time. Our cases didn't arrive until later in the afternoon but no big deal as there was plenty to do in the meantime.
We were quite pleased with the size of the ship and what it had to offer in comparison with the Adventure and Freedom of the Seas. Ok there was no Royal Promenade but the Centrum on the Granduer was quite impressive and there was plenty of room to relax and have a drink.
We had an outside cabin on Deck 3 at the front of the ship - two small portholes rather than windows but it was OK. Cabin had recently been refurbished so was really nice. Only downside was a curtain on the shower but it was manageable. The area was quiet but oh my when the ship docked or anchored the noise was awful especially at 6.00 am in the morning. It didnt last long though and we quickly went back to sleep.
Foodwise we thought the Windjammer had a great selection of quality food at breakfast and lunch, we didn't use it for dinner. We normally found a table quite quickly as the staff were clearing them as people left.
We had MTD for dinner which went fairly well although the guy on the desk was a bit of a jobsworth. The menu was more or less the same as the other two ships we cruised on previously but again it was good quality, well presented and hot. Service was a bit hit and miss but nothing to complain about really.
We booked a meal in Chops Grill pre cruise and it was fabulous. Well presented, excellent quality (I had porterhouse steak) and the service was great too. For dessert I had creme brulee and my husband had the Mississippi Mud Pie which thankfully he needed help in eating. Yummy, yummy, yummy.
I must also mention the Park Cafe on Deck 9. What a great idea. Fabulous build your own salads, pre-packed salads and sandwiches, hot beef rolls and cakes and cookies.
Coffee, tea and cold drinks were available here all day as well.
No problems with finding a sunbed or somewhere to sit but we were flexible with location. Also when it got too hot in the afternoon we took ourselves up to the Viking Crown Lounge to chill out and read.
The exursion we booked to Herculaneum from Naples was cancelled which I was really disappointed about and when we went to talk to someone on the excusion desk they really couldn't have cared less not did they apologise. The other grey area we found was that whilst an information sheet was put in your cabin about the ports there was no information as to how far the town was from the actual dock e.g. Marseille was a good 8km or 20 minute bus ride from the port but people were trying to walk and once you got out of the port area you were on a busy dual carriageway.
The entertainment was a bit hit and miss. We saw Zoots who were a group covering sixties music who went down a storm and we also saw the hypnotist (Chris Caress - that was his name I kid you not). Also there was a talented violinist who was also good if you like that sort of music. The aerial performers in the Centrum were also good. Kareoke was well attended (room was packed) and was also good. Rico the cruise director was a bit boring and when he was doing his spiel on the TV kept flicking the program with his fingers -- very annoying. Susan McColl the Entertainment Manager was very quick witted and made sure everyone had a good time.
We had a wine package which we were thankful for as drinks were expensive. I am sure if the prices were more reasonable people would drink more and I can't understand why RCI doesn't appreciate this. We were continally being asked if we wanted a drink and would like to have said yes more often.
There seemed to be plenty of room on board and it never seemed busy or crowded so from that point of view it was quite relaxing.
Disembarkation was a nightmare with long, long queues for taxis at Palma.
Realistically we only had minor niggles so overall we enjoyed the cruise and we would definitely go on the Grandeur again or a ship of a similar size.