: Date of cruise was 1/3/08. Compare previous review of Emerald Princess on princess reviews. Two 60 y/o with 30y/o son for a quick getaway. Embarkation: We live 80 miles north of Tampa. Drive down was a snap, directions off Route 4 were excellent. Arrive at channelside garage and parked. Charge is 12 dollars per day. As we only had carry-on luggage just walked in for security 2minute wait got right through. As a Diamond Crown and Anchor member had separate line, waited 2 minutes, then separate line to get picture and get on ship. Total time 15 minutes, which was excellent.
Ship: grandeur is 12 years old with a recent re-furbish. Centrum is really beautiful with white marble tile and is several stories tall. There was live music during the day and it was very pleasant to sit and listen to it. The dining room was 2 stories and very elegant. The rest of the ship was in very good shape for 12 years old. Lots of light wood paneling gave a very rich feel.
Dining: My only complaint is that because we travel with RCCL so much the menu is getting tiring. When we see the color of the menu we know already what is on it. It would be nice if there would be some new entrees. That said the food was very good with a very nice presentation. Our waiter, Gilbert, was excellent. We booked a 10 day for Dec 2008 on the Grandeur and after talking to Gilbert, he expected to be working at that time so we requested to be at one of his tables. Megan our assistant waiter was also one of the best we have had, this made for a most enjoyable cruise.
Cabin: We had booked class M because this was a short cruise and not planned for until a few months before. The standard inside is 140 square feet. This tight, if you want the bed as a queen there are isles on either side, but the bed comes right up to the couch and desk, so you would have to climb over to get out of bed. Had the beds separated so it was much easier to get to the head. Bathroom is small, the shower is a tight squeeze for us large people so just be aware of the tightness. However for a 12 year old ship the bathroom was in pretty good shape. Our state room attendant was one of the best we have had. Anthony is his name and he greeted us by name from the start always had a smile on his face and had a great sense of humor. One night instead of the usual towel sculpture, he took one of our robes put the robe over two pillows, used a towel over a small pillow for a head, put shower cap on the head, sneakers by the feet and my sunglasses on the face. It was a scream, we got the best laugh in a long time.
Crew: Maybe because we sail so much with RCCL the staff seems much friendlier than some other lines. Everyone was pleasant to us and helpful. Guest services usually was able to speak to you very quickly without long lines. They were very efficient and friendly.
Weather: Unfortunately there was very cold weather for the area and very high winds. This created quite rough seas for this time of year in the Gulf and Caribbean. I must say the ship gave a very smooth ride for the rough seas. Captain Rob, kept us abreast of weather and did his very best to keep the ride smooth.
Overall: This cruise was fully booked with many families travelling with 3 generations or more. So the capacity was stretched to the limit. Travelling with our adult son, I was happy to see so many families the children were well behaved and made me wish for when I could be travelling with grandchildren. Some people might not enjoy seeing so many children but this was over Christmas break and it is only when families can get together. If there were too many children, you need to do your homework before you book. We booked a 10 day on the Grandeur for Dec of 2008 and are looking forward to that time.
Disembarkation: As a Diamond member we could get off the ship at anytime. Had nice breakfast and walked off the ship around 9:30 took 15 minutes total which is not a long time getting through customs. The bad part was the weather was the warmest on the cruise when we got back to Tampa.