Our first Royal Caribbean experience was on the Oasis of the Seas, and it was a fantastic ship with great facilities. Our subsequent Mediterranean cruise on the Grandeur was nothing short of a let down. Our waiters, and attendants were all very conscientious and personable, and I can only say positive things about the way they treated us.
Our cabin, a junior suite with seaside balcony was worn. The mattresses were sunken in the middle, and our mini refrigerator did not work properly. Despite efforts to rectify these problems, they plagued us for the entire cruise. Halfway through the cruise, the toilets started working intermittently. You would sometimes wait for 20 to 30 minutes for them to flush, great when you really have to go. We were located immediately below the pool deck, so all night, the sounds of furniture and carts being moved were transmitted through our ceiling. Our balcony was often unusable because of all the cigar and cigarette smoke that drifted down from More
the pool deck.
Our dining room waiters were excellent. Too bad the kitchen was incapable of more than mediocre food. Some items on the Vitality (healthy) menu appeared day after day without any change. You can do a lot with a chicken cutlet, so why not create some variety by altering the preparation? There were nights when we felt like we were selecting the lesser evil rather than a favorite from the menu.
We thoroughly enjoyed days at sea on the Oasis, but on the Grandeur, the facilities were so lacking that sea days were boring. Small pools, no supervision to keep kids in line, hot tubs with underpowered jets, and a lot of deck chair reserving (against the rules but not enforced). On the Oasis, the ship was three times the size with 6,000 passengers, but we never felt crowded. On the Grandeur with 2,000 guests we did.
Our cruise stops were excellent except for Kotor, Montenegro, which was a total waste of time. The crew did an admirable job, but this ship lacks the facilities of newer ships, and after a major refit, you would think that some of the obvious problems would have been eliminated. They obviously "missed the boat". Less
Grandeur of the Seas Cruises to the Western Mediterranean
Actually didn't go to Florence. From the port city of La Spezia, we took a boat ride to a couple of towns in Cinque Terre, walked between a couple of them on an elevated seaside walkway. Then took the train back to La Spezia, jumped on another and saw Pisa. A lot accomplished in a day.
Another walled city, but pales in comparison to Dubrovnik. Totally forgettable, not as clean, nor as charming. We struggled to spend 2 hours here before heading back to the ship out of boredom. Many of our shipmates felt the same.
We decided to see Rome on our own terms, walk the streets, see what we wanted. The shuttle bus took us from the ship to the gates of the port city of Civitevechhia, and we took a train from there to the San Pietro Station, near the Vatican. The trip was less than an hour each way.