We embarked on the Grandeur of the Seas from New Orleans on St. Patrick's Day. We boarded the ship with no real problems. I was traveling with my husband and my son who is eight. None of us had ever been on a cruise before. We boarded at about 1:00 p.m. and we had to wait a few minutes before we were allowed into our cabins. When we were allowed into 2536, an oceanview cabin, we were a little taken back at the smallness, but we we quickly adapted and it wasn't much of a bother.
We enjoyed our meals in the Great Gatsby and the Windjammer. My son is loves milk and it was always available. He also loves chicken fingers and by Wednesday night, they were out of them for the rest of the week. I attribute this to the abundance of spring break students sailing with us. That is my only complaint about them as they were unfailingly polite and pleasant every time we encountered some of them. My son did not care for the pool but he was thrilled with the Ocean Adventure program. He also loved the arcade, but the cost of playing a game, usually $1.50, made us decide to limit that activity.
At Grand Cayman, we paid a taxi driver $20 a person for a tour of the island that only took one hour. She let us out at a public beach that was too crowded to be believed. The guys who rent snorkel equipment told us that we could also rent equipment about a half a mile down the beach. On the hike down, we received the worst part of our sunburns. My advice would be to take that sun very seriously. When we got there, we realized that this was an exclusive resort hotel. They were willing to rent the equipment to my husband and son, so I tried to blend in with the ladies on the beach since I don't snorkel. I'm not sure that I was fooling anyone, but at least they didn't run us off. Later, the doorman got us a cab. Back at the pier, the line was so long for the tender, that we went to an upstairs restaurant across the street for a light lunch. We assumed from the prices on the menu that the lunch would be about $40. Well, that was in Cayman dollars. In U.S. dollars, it was $64. Then we still had to wait 45 minutes for a tender back to the Grandeur. At Costa Maya, we went on the Mayan ruins tour in the jungle. The ruins were spectacular. During the 50 minute bus trip, it was a sobering to see the homes and lifestyles of the local people. The houses were mostly cinder block with no glass in the windows. The ship docks there, so there was no waiting to get back on the ship. At Cozumel, we had to tender again, but things went much better both times. We went to the Playa Mia beach for a $15 cab fare and then returned to the city for some lunch and some shopping. Of the three ports, Cozumel is definitely the best place for shopping. There were 4 to 6 cruise ships docked at every port.
Sometimes we enjoyed the nightly entertainment in the Palladium. Sometimes we became bored and left. We enjoyed Jerry in the Schooner Bar. The funniest thing that happened on the trip was what transpired after the Love and Marriage game which is similar to television's Newlywed Game. The young couple who won the game seemed to be honeymooning with about 50 of their Georgia Tech sorority and fraternity friends. This couple, John and Ashley, beat another young couple and a couple who had been married for 54 years. As the week wore on, we noticed Ashley around the ship and we saw John. But we never saw the two of them together. On departure day, we saw John traveling with 3 other guys. Some girls from Georgia Tech admitted to me that they were not married. They fooled us for awhile! Bingo seemed pretty expensive to us. $25 for 3 cards per 5 games.
I loved the Grandeur and would sail again in a heartbeat. My husband on the other hand was quite ready for a bologna sandwich--although he had a great time too.