This was the second half of our B2B...with even more unruly minions of the teenage category. Again, I did really well not throwing each and everyone of them overboard! One of the worse things RCCL has done was to introduce a drink package. We figured that you have to drink at least EIGHT drinks a day to make the package worth it. Have you ever been confined to a small ship with what felt like HUNDREDS of drunk 18 year olds???
Since we were on the previous week, I am using much of the same information with changes where necessary. We had sailed the Grandeur several times before she left Baltimore several years ago...we loved her then, and we love her now. The renovations had many good points and only one or two not so good. Let's start with what we thought was good. We really like the open Centrum. It is open, pretty and there is no gaudy artwork hanging from the ceiling. Many functions, for instance the Captain's corner, was held here allowing for easy viewing, easy questioning...seemed more personable. The 70's party was very cramped in the Centrum, but the partying was on all decks! The aerial shows were good (there were only three) but they were not what I expected...and generally very short.
We liked the bright white bathrooms...and we even liked the new bowl sink. The cabinetry was much more spacious than the glass shelves in the previous bathrooms. One of the bad points, the shower curtain issue has not been totally resolved. One side has a ribbing that is tucked into a track leaving only one side to deal with. Two clothes pins at the bottom worked well for us. We also had clothes pins to hang wet suits rather than just draping them over the line.
The new Diamond Lounge is VERY NICE! We were served cocktails as well as wine/beer...and really nice nibbles...something different each night. We had fried wings, shrimp, scallops, various cheeses/crackers, veggie crudite, chocolates...something for everyone. Diane LOVED the coffee machine. For breakfast there were pastries, cheeses, cereals, bagels/lox...again, something for everyone.
Two of our new friends who are D+ (and about to become Pinnacle) took us into the CL. Very small, odd shaped (it is one former corner of the Viking Crown). Many of the D+ came down to the DL because it's layout is much better for conversation. The service was impressive in the DL! A huge shout-out and thank you to Abraham and Melecia!!!
The specialty restaurants offered a deal that we decided to do (food in the MDR really didn't appeal to us). For $55pp you can visit Chops, Giovani's Table and Izumi. It is about a $15 savings per person. I will be happy to explain how it works if anyone wishes to email me with a question. By far, Izumi was our favorite. Neither of us have ever tried sushi...it just didn't appeal to us. Izumi offered a crispy shrimp sushi that was heavenly!! We also got to cook our entree on lava rock. The wait staff and the chef were and incredible. It was an experience well worth the $$. The MDR did have a couple new items that were good...a smoked fish rillette as an appetizer and the horseradish crusted fillet of salmon.
The Park Cafe became our favorite spot for lunch. The roast beef on weck and the Cuban Pannini were our favorites. We rarely ventured into the WJ because of the monumental crowds that had the unruly minions attached to them.
Unfortunately we only got to see one movie and that began at 9:30pm. Generally, the movie started at 7pm while we were at dinner...go figure!
Captain Tron and his staff were wonderful. John Perry, the Cruise Director, was no Richard Spacey...but I suppose he thought he did his best. Darryl, the Activities Director was OUTSTANDING and adopted us as his American sisters (he is from Canada). He will out due Richard one of these days!!
Even though our stateroom (4551) was located far away from public areas, both the smaller and larger minions managed to use the main hallway (runs from one end of the ship right into the Centrum)as a race track...and they must have thought they knew everyone on the deck because they knocked on every door as they ran by. The room was quite the same as the ocean view we would normally book only without the window. I liked it better than our first room (8511). We don't usually do inside cabins but when we booked this was all there was. Our attendant, Terry, was outstanding!
Since this was our first B2B and not familiar with the process, the Hotel Director (John Rae) invited us to lunch in the MDR to explain the process. It was extremely easy. We met at the RBar at 9:15a.m. Then we were led off the ship thru customs then right back on again. Since we had to change rooms, all we had to do was pack up what was in the drawers/bathroom. Our attendants moved everything out of the closet and our luggage. Since we got our keys the night before, we were allowed to enter our rooms as soon as we reboarded.
The stop in Cape Canaveral is just a pool day for us which is fine with me. CocoCay (not my favorite stop) was met with extremely hot/humid weather. By noon it was pouring, therefore, everyone came in droves back to the ship...so much for a quiet pool day. We had planned to go to a beach somewhere in Nassau but the threatening skys changed our plans. We walked up to the Straw Market just to look around and before we could get to cover, the sky burst open and it rained for hours! We were absolutely soaked by the time we got back onto the ship...but it was fun nonetheless. The ride home was very calm compared to previous trips.
My favorite activity is the Quest. For the first time since I have been sailing, I was unable to play! The Quest was scheduled to start at 11pm. When I came into the Lounge at 9:15pm, it was packed with screaming, screeching, drunk minions...with a handful of adults sprinkled around. I couldn't take the noise and the closest seat was practically in the Schooner Bar. Very disappointed in the fact that there was no adult supervision present...except the ones that were just as bad as their charges.
There are so many good memories made on this trip, including dinner with the Hotel Director at the Captain's Table. We met wonderful people and hope to cruise with them all again!