This is my 6th cruise. I have been on Holland America Nordam, NCL Pearl, Carnival Glory and now RCI Grandeur.
SUMMARY: After sailing other cruise lines, our family did not feel that Royal Caribbean was better. I find it ironic that Royal Caribbean jokes about Carnival's reliability, but this ship actually had a FIRE in May 2013. Norwegian & Carnival had much better entertainment and activities for children & teens. I was so upset the first day after touring the Grandeur. I said I can't believe that we are stuck on this ship for 7 days, with 4 days at sea. BUT it got better and we had a good time overall. Will we sail with RCI again? IF the price is comparable and on a bigger ship with more amenities.
RATING FROM MY BOYS (AGES 17 & 12): #1 Favorite Cruise: Norwegian Pearl rated 9.5, #2 Carnival Glory rated 8, #3 RCI Grandeur - rated a 7.
GRANDEUR SHIP: 17 years old and too small for us. Refurbished in 2012, but due to the size, missing major amenities. Only one pool for kids (very crowded), no putt putt course, no sports court, smaller eating areas & smaller buffet options (including cook to order), smaller deck and lacks chairs, small kids club. The Grandeur is clean and nicely decorated. We chose this ship because it was driving distance, but now wish we would have spent the money on airfare to have a bigger ship with better ports.
CREW: Wonderful! The Cruise Director John Perry is the best we've ever had on any ship. This guy is entertainment alone. Daryl, the Activities Manager was also very good and took time to greet & talk to passengers. This is where RCI shines. RCI needs to pay these guys anything they want because they deserve it.
Cabin stewards and waiters were good. I should note that they were not better than the other cruise lines though. I would rate them the SAME.
FOOD: Good. However, my husband and sons thought Carnival and NCL had even better food. My opinion: dining room food comparable to other lines, but the Grandeur's buffet is lacking compared to other cruise lines. Maybe it was just this ship. The breakfast buffet offered everything you could possibly want.
SHOWS: DISAPPOINTING! Other passengers we talked with agreed. We are in our 40's and felt the entertainment was geared for RETIRED people. Mediocre singing and dancing. However, the Motown group Spectrum was the best & we enjoyed them. The Unexpected Boys FAIR to almost good. Royal Caribbean's Singing & Dancing Entertainers FAIR to almost bad. And they performed 3 of the nights - ouch! 1st Comedian: Good 2nd Comedian (Carl Banks) FAIR.
Carnival and Norwegian shine with entertainment. They both had magic shows, fabulous Broadway and Acrobat shows and great comedians.
ENTERTAINMENT W/PASSENGER PARTICIPATION: This was good. The passengers made better entertainment than the paid entertainers. Love & Marriage show (funny), Sexy Man Contest (funny), Belly Flop Contest (funny), Line Dancing Fun, Battle of the Sexes Game (funny), Trivia games (too hard but fun).
THE QUEST: This was the highlight of our cruise. Adult only, teams of 10. We were laughing so hard the whole time. John Perry & Daryl do a fantastic job with this.
CABINS: We had 2 inside cabins. They were clean and beds are ok.
IRONING: RCI charges to iron. With 2 formal nights we had to iron a few things. We had a garment bag, but some things still were too wrinkled. Carnival lets you go to a designated area and iron for free. Pack a small steamer.
PORTS: The Grandeur did not give enough time at each stop. Other ships arrived before our ship and left after us.
Port Canaveral: We did Kennedy Space Center good. It's a rip off if you go to Disney or Universal Studios. You only have about 6 - 7 hours at the park and will pay $100 ticket & $35 transportation per person + food & drink. It's one hour each way.
CoCo Cay: Rained for hours. Glass Bottom Boat ride VERY GOOD
NASSAU: This city has nothing but Atlantis. It rained for 4 hours. We took a bus tour Boring. It stopped for 40 minutes at Atlantis. Atlantis tickets are $164 per person. A lady told me that it is no better than waterparks we have in the USA.
We went to the Straw Market what a joke. These people will hound/stalk you. Lots of booths having the same things mostly junk. I usually love flea markets, but not here. I responded to one sales lady a said that I was just looking, she said Well I'm looking for a customer!
MY TIME DINING: You still have to choose a specific time each night to dine. So we changed to Main Seating dining. We had fantastic table mates and exchanged contact information. They made our trip even better.
KIDS CLUB: I personally heard many kids say they were BORED (all ages). There were 600 kids on this ship and Royal Caribbean really lacked with activities for them.
OVERALL: There were times when we were bored. We had wonderful family time together and met some great people.