Hello: We just came back from a 10 night cruise in the Mediterranean, Greek Islands on board of the Grandeur of the Seas. We are first time cruisers and did not know what to expect. The ship was recently renovated, June 2012 and it looked fantastic!!
We got an ocean view room, on Deck2 on the back. Room was big enough for two people, no more than that. It had a security box, a flat screen TV, a sofa, dresser and the bathroom was bigger than what I expected. Shampoo and soap is provided, but nothing else. People recommend rooms in lower decks to avoid seasickness. You do feel the rocking of the boat from time to time, so be ready. My girlfriend has really bad motion sickness, even on a bus...she wore a patch for preventing getting sick and it worked beautifully. In addition, we were close to the engines, and some reviews say that you may get extra vibration in the room; however, we did not feel it at all. The boat vibrates from time to time, which you would feel regardless where you are.
You will not starve!!! Three options are included: Buffet restaurant, snack coffee place, and main dining room. The buffet is good always for breakfast. Lunch and dinners are good only for meat eaters; however, if you are a vegetarian you would be disappointed, since the veggie options were very limited. Thankfully the main dinning room was amazing. We had dinner there every night. The food is fantastic, many options for vegetarians, lactose intolerance and meat eaters, do not limit yourself to order only one dish, order as many as you want. They are very flexible with the dress code, so if you do not feel like dressing up during the Gala nights, you could get away with it. The snack place is good too, great salads and a good option for late "lunch", if you came back to the boat after 3 pm. There is a menu for room service which is good too, especially for a late night snack. They charge after midnight for room service...There are specialty dinning options, which we did not try since we were happy with was what included.
We live in Canada, and drinks here are very very expensive. Most of the prices of alcohol on the boat are similar than what we are used to, so we did not feel that much difference. Be ready to pay 5.5 dollars for a beer bottle, 6-8 dollars per cocktail. They had a 750ml beer can, for 8 dollars which to me was the best option. Wine is expensive. RC has an all you can drink package for 45 dollars per day, but you have to buy it per cruise and for all the members of the room, so this option could become really really expensive, if you do not drink that much. Also, we were told this option does not include the wine at the main dinning room. The all-inclusive option was too much money for us, so we paid per drink. Each drink has an extra charge of 15% tip. Water, coffee, tea, lemonade, and flavoured water was included. You had to pay for pop/soda, specialty coffees, and natural juices.
The cruise amenities:
We were there as a couple celebrating the anniversary. We are a young couple and were looking for a quiet, romantic, and childless cruise experience, and we FOUND it!!!!! These particular Mediterranean cruise was very couple oriented. There were almost no kids, because it was late September, and the crowd had an average of 50-65 years old. The cruise offers many activities for all kinds of tastes: casino, shopping, shows, programmed activities, bars, etc. We specially enjoyed the sauna, gym, and solarium. They have a spa you had to pay for. The ship has a Centrum, where they had live music and it looked beautiful. Despite the fact that there were 2000 people, it would never feel crowded (maybe sometimes on the main pool). The music on the pool was OK and not loud, and you could not hear it, even if you were in the solarium!!! GREAT :)
Ports and Shore excursions:
You get a seecard pass which works as your passport. Be sure to be back to boat on time for departure, we were told they will not wait for you!! Shore excursions were ridiculously over priced for us. You could do most of their tours for a 1/3 of their price on your own. Our recommendation is to do a research of each port before hand and choose the option that suits you better.
This cruise and the Mediterranean route are highly recommended, especially for couples looking for a romantic and relaxing get away. The service was excellent and the experience unforgettable. Do not hesitate to try.