It was fun but...: Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by 1890sgirl
Overall Member Rating
It was fun but...
The onboard entertainment was really good, we liked it all - the music (everything from modern to 50s, 60s, 70s, even Big Band), the More shows, the comedians, everything was quite enjoyable and our cruise director was wonderful. We definitely felt that the entertainment on this ship was the best of any of the cruises we had been on.
My one complaint about some of the onboard activities is that they are all sales pitches. For example, we went to a cooking demonstration and it wasn't really a cooking demo but a means of trying to get you to go to one of their signature restaurants. And, the galley tour (which I did enjoy), was a way for them to promote their cookbook. They even had our waitress (who was wonderful) try to get us to buy the cookbook and pay for a special brunch. I paid for the cruise, I don't want to be bombarded with sales pitches constantly. That was a bit annoying.
I thought for the most part that the food was good. But, their room service offerings are limited, especially for breakfast. Not sure why you can't order the same things for breakfast that they offer in their restaurant. And, they closed their lunch buffet just about 3 p.m. so that as you were getting back on the ship from a day in port, there was little available to get to eat. If you ate lunch in port or had the early dinner seating that might be OK, but if you had an 8 p.m. seating then it would have been nice to have the buffet (even if it was limited) still open.
Our first destination was Port Canaveral and I must say to me that's a big waste of time. I would not want to go there again. The shore excursions there were OK but I'm not interested in the space program or going to Disney World or Universal. To me, you could skip that port all together. We were supposed to go to Cocoa Cay but couldn't because of the weather so we went directly to Nassau. Nassau was fine but to me it's a bit seedy and poorly maintained. There's plenty of shopping and if I go again, I would definitely want to go to Paradise Island instead of spending time in downtown Nassau. Went to some of the historic sites in Nassau and they were fine but everything looks like it needs a good coat of paint and some TLC. But most things are in easy walking distance or a short taxi ride from the cruise ship so that's a plus. My favorite port was definitely Key West - it has a little of everything - nice beaches, history, interesting places to tour, shopping, good food and drink. It's a shame we didn't get to spend more time there; that's a port you could definitely spend several days at. The big drawback there is that we were docked at the Navy Yard and couldn't just walk into town. You had to use a trolley and go through security. Also, the other BIG drawback was we had to spend time going through immigration. Apparently since we had come from Nassau back to the U.S. we had to show immigration our passports and documentation before we could leave the cruise ship! That was not handled well, was disorganized, and there were huge lines to get off the ship. Since we had a shore excursion lined up, we were allowed to go through immigration first (and we still had to stand in line over half an hour!) but if you didn't have a shore excursion you might have to wait up to 1 1/2 hours before you could go through immigration and leave the ship. There were a lot of complaints about how that was handled.
Disembarkation was not bad; pretty much like any cruise ship. We docked at 7 a.m. and were off the boat and thru Customs by 10 a.m. We even had time for a leisurely breakfast in the dining room before departing. So all in all, we had a good time on the cruise, there were just a few things that could have been better. Less
Our cabin was as I expected it to be; certainly not large but roomy enough for the two of us. I noticed that on their website they show a sofa in the ocean view stateroom cabins but our cabin only had a chair, not a sofa. There was plenty of storage space but the bathroom was small (would it really hurt to give 6 more inches of space in the bathroom?). Our cabin steward was less than stellar, however. Didn't even leave her card with her name and contact number until the last day of the cruise! And, one day we even found her cleaning rag in with some of our personal belongings that we had stored in the nightstand. There was nothing in there of value (we locked up those items in the safe) but still you don't like to think that someone is going through your stuff.
Port and Shore Excursions
We loved this trolley tour, it was fun, informative, and the guide was great. Not only did we see different areas of Key West, but learned some of the history, too. Of course, much of it is devoted to ghosts so if you don't like that sort of thing you won't care of this particular tour. Everyone on our tour really seemed to enjoy it. After this tour we still had time to visit (independently) the Audubon House, the Aquarium, and the Shipwreck Museum. All of those things are located near each other so it's easy to get to all of them in a short amount of time (about an hour or less for each). And, we liked all three of those places very much. In fact, of the three ports we were at, Key West was easily our favorite and we would definitely go there again.
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