My husband and I just returned from spending three weeks in Europe and while there we took an 11 day cruise on Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas. The ship has recently been renovated and was lovely. Our balcony cabin was very nice and we enjoyed the new furniture, the decor and the layout of the furniture in the cabin.
The crew - the dining room staff, My Time Dining, the Guest Services crew, our cabin steward Louis Clovis were all outstanding and made the trip for us. They treated us like family and if we had any concerns they were addressed immediately. Louis, our cabin steward, was so kind to us and we appreciated his care and friendliness. Our "My Time" dining staff on the 5th deck were 100% and it was a pleasure going to dinner each evening. We always looked forward to seeing them each evening. Each day we ate our breakfast in the dining room on Deck four and Brenda and John looked after us. Again they were great and offered us personal care and the greatest of service. Each morning we would go to their table as we knew we were going to be greeted with a smile and well looked after. The entertainment on the ship was very good and the theatre was lovely. We loved the ports of call and have no complaints. However we do have one major complaint and that is the fact that Royal Caribbean allows passengers to SMOKE on their balconies. It was totally unbearable to have a couple right next to you smoking at all hours of the day and night. We always book a cabin with a balcony because we enjoy the fresh air and do not like and are allergic to air conditioning. When smokers are right next to you their second hand smoke drifts over to you and also comes right into your cabin - you cannot get away from it. Just because you are sailing does not mean that the smoke is not bothersome.
It is very disappointing that we pay the same amount of money for our balcony cabin but due to the smoke cannot use and enjoy it as much. My husband and I enjoy sitting out early in the morning and also during the late evening hours but these passengers were always there puffing away with no consideration for us. I am allergic to smoke so my only avenue was to go in the cabin and close the door - so much for having a balcony. Royal Caribbean has to change their rules and band smoking on the balconies. If they do not want to do this then they should put all the smokers on one side of the ship. Smokers are selfish - they are not allowed to smoke in the cabin so they come out on the balcony and smoke non stop. Passengers should be asked when booking if they want smoking or non smoking. That is an easy question and saves the non smokers a lot of headaches. This is 2012 and everyone knows smoking causes cancer as well as many other health problems. Come on Royal Caribbean lead the way and band smoking on the balconies. The staff at Guest Services wanted to make a courtesy call to our neighbours in the next cabin but I did not want that to happen so I put up with it. Our other neighbours were in the same situation - both of them were non smokers but they had to put up with two smokers on their other side...so here you had two cabins of non smokers and we both had smokers right next to us - how crazy is that. Think about it.
We have done most of our cruising with Royal Caribbean - we like their ships, we like their service and think their crews are outstanding but we hope they soon realize that smoking on balconies has to go. I look forward to the day when this become a reality. I have no problem with those who want to smoke but I do have a problem when it involved me, my husband and my family. Our family is booked on the Allure of the Seas in November and we are travelling with our 12 year old granddaughter - I hope we will be lucky enough to have non smokers on each side of our cabins. We will be keeping our fingers crossed.