Unfortunately, the most memorable part of the cruise were the disappointments. I have sailed before on the Jewel and the Oasis. Both of those cruises exceeded by expectations. This one was a letdown.
For this cruise, we booked a Grand Suite to have more room for our family (two adults and a teen). The room was very spacious, with a nice sized private balcony. However, there were problems. The room looked a little tired, with cracks on the walls and ceiling in the bathroom. One of the built in bedside sconces was broken and the light constantly flickered. The air conditioning in our room didn't work properly, even after being serviced. The temperature during the day was in the high 70s in our room. It wasn't quite the deluxe experience we had hoped for.
One of the other issues, which others have also indicated, was the plumbing problems on board ship. Our toilet suffered from an intermittent problem where it was unable to flush. This is a recurring problem due to the vacuum system used on this ship. Other seemingly had worse problems. There was a smell of sewage in some hallways several days during the cruise. Also, the public restrooms smelled and were not clean when the plumbing system was malfunctioning. This occurred on a couple of different days during the cruise. It's just gross.
The selection in the shops aboard was very limited. I was very fond of the shops aboard the Jewel and the Oasis. The Grandeur just didn't compare. On our last cruises there were souvenirs available from the ports of call, which I enjoyed browsing and buying. They did not have any selection like this onboard for this trip.
On this cruise, we (two 40-somethings) were accompanied by our 14 year old daughter. She was not interested in most of the teen programming. Her main complaint was that the events were geared towards younger children. This cruise had a combined program for preteens and teens, due to the ow amount of kids aboard. It didn't work very well. Another complaint was that they didn't feature current music for dance events. She did make a couple of friends her age, which was nice.
The food in the dining room was excellent. They were very attentive to our special dietary needs (gluten free for me, fish/vegetarian only for my husband). The food in the Windjammer was very good, but the layout was a little awkward to me. The variations of the Windjammer on other boats seem to have better flow. The buffet area in the middle being a big circle seems to cause a lot of congestion. We didn't do any specialty restaurants on this trip. However, we enjoyed the Starbucks onboard and paid extra to get out lattes and mochas!
It rained for at least part of the day at each port of call. If you want sunny weather in the Caribbean, don't go in August! Our last Caribbean cruise, in December, was absolutely beautiful weather.
The problems of plumbing and a/c and general wear and tear, as well as the lack of amenities we enjoyed on the larger ships, ensure this is the only cruise we'll take on the Grandeur.
We rented a private cabana for the day. We had a beautiful view of the ocean from our waterfront chaise lounges! Amazing service from the staff and a delicious buffet lunch. It began to rain in the early afternoon, but we all had a wonderful experience. My husband was disappointed that his snorkeling experience was cut short.
Comfortable coach bus. We had enough time to explore one park very well or a smattering of both parks. Harry Potter was a highlight!