Grandeur of the Seas June 10-14, 2010
Let me first start off by saying that I was very-very recently on the Oasis with my husband. I sailed May 29th-June 5th and then I proceeded to go on the Grandeur from June 10th-14th. I am going to be honest- this was a difficult transition!!! I like to consider myself a Radiance class fan and because Vision is similar (in some ways) to Radiance, I figured I would enjoy Grandeur.
My Grandeur trip was with my mom, a gift for mother's day (yes a little late, I know, we had to schedule it when it worked for both of our schedules!) Boarding was quick and easy. I had to work 1/2 a day on June 10th, so I left work at 11, went home and got to the port around 12ish. In all it took us 15 minutes to get from Porters to Ship. Quick & Easy!
Strangely, sail away was empty! It seemed like nobody was interested in the party on deck and watching us leave Ft Lauderdale. We were fine with this because we didn't have to fight for rail space or chairs.
We had an amazingly relaxing and fun time onboard. There were a lot of partiers (I am thinking it is ½ because it's now summer and ½ because there was a group of 80 singles onboard) which made for good entertainment.
The Ship- The Grandeur is showing her age. It is in good condition, but it's quite clear that she is an older ship. Some rooms are kept very modern & clean. Others look very dated and show a bit of wear (South Pacific Lounge). A few of the restrooms had a very strong septic smell; however they were kept very clean in all other aspects. I hope that when they DryDock her in 2012, they give her a nice facelift. She is a great ship, just in need of some work. I was on the Enchantment in 2008- they are very similar ships, with the exception of Enchantment's stretch & second pool along with a few other things. I was able to easily navigate my way around because it was so similar.
Stateroom- We had an interior room on deck 2 at the very front of the ship. No issues with movement or rocking. Some sound issues with the 4 boys next door, but never late at night. Some of the light fixtures were worn. There was plenty of storage space. We unpacked our belongings completely. The bathroom is small; the shower had a curtain, blech L
Dining- Windjammer- We at lunch in the Windjammer every day. It was very busy but we had no problem finding a table. A good variety of foods, some I had not seen before. Breakfast gets old very quick. This has always been the case for me. Thankfully it was only 4 days, so I was able to eat a wide variety without getting bored of it.
Dining Room- We had My Time Dining. I chose this option because it was wonderful on both the Jewel & Oasis. I think the Grandeur still has to work out its kinks. We showed up on day 1 and were told that they had no reservation for us at 6:45 and we needed to come back in an hour. I was not going to wait an hour for dinner; I was hungry and had a reservation. We got a bit snippy with the maitre d and turned and walked off rather upset. He came running after us and had us sit in the chairs by the entrance to the dining room. Within 2 minutes they found a table for us.
We had a great wait staff- Edgardo (waiter) from the Philippines and Robert (asst. waiter) from India. They bust their butts for people and did an excellent job all week. They were friendly, helpful, and remember which drinks we prefer and what breads we like. On Day 4 Robert kept piling savory bites onto my plate, and of course I just kept eating them! I did notice that some of the same dishes I ate on the Oasis tasted different on Grandeur. Sopa de Tortilla (one of my fav soups) was EXTRA spicy on Grandeur. Of course I know it's because they have different chefs. I also encountered different menus on each ship. I wish I had taken a picture of the menus because I found it interesting that they swapped certain dishes on a menu, but kept MOST of a menu the same.
On day 2 we came back to our room after the day in Key West and found Chocolate Covered Strawberries with a note from the Head Waiter apologizing for the confusion at dinner the night before. He ensured us that we would have a table for 2 by a window with the same waiters every night (we hadn't asked for all that). It was a very nice gesture and we're glad to see that they want to keep everybody happy.
We followed the dress code. Most other people did not. I understand that some people do not want to dress up and that doesn't bother me. BUT Please don't wear your bathing suit cover on formal night!
Room Service- I am very disappointed that they have changed the room service menu. There is now an insert sheet in the guide book in the room. I believe they are eliminating the drumettes and other tasty treats from all the ships in the fleet. I knew about the Oasis having a new menu, but not Grandeur. Thankfully my cheese plates are still listed!!
Solarium Cafe- Pizza, Hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries during the day. On Day One we walked by and some man was shouting "This is bull****, these hot dogs are cold!" There were a ton of kids around (not sure why because this was a 16+ area) Somehow this became a running joke with my mom and I all week. I tried a hot dog and it wasn't cold. So every time we walked by the Solarium Cafe we would repeat this man's line. My mom enjoyed her hamburger, and we just LOVE RC's fries!
Spa- We went on the spa tour & raffle. They only give out ONE prize. I was slightly disappointed in this format of raffling. I like when they give out a few prizes rather than one GIANT one. The ONE winner was a man who didn't seem very enthused with his $500 certificate L We booked "Happy Hour" packages for the afternoon of Day 2- we were in Key West. It was $109 for a scalp massage, back/shoulder massage, foot massage, and aromatherapy facial. It was well worth it. It felt amazing and it relaxed us before getting ready for formal night.
Activities- There was always something to do on board. A lot of pool activities, towel folding, ice carving, trivia all the time, a couple karaoke sessions, game shows, etc, etc, etc. We kept busy every day & night. We were able to see the Adventure Ocean Pirate night. We were in the Centrum Shops when they came by. VERY cute. They sang and danced in their custom decorated bandanas. I think Adventure Ocean does an excellent job keeping the kids occupied.
Shows- We didn't go to any production shows. We did however see the comedian twice. Al Romero. He was pretty good at feeding off the audience. I think its talent when someone can take a situation and make jokes on the spot with it. Some lady kept shouting "DC" at him during the first comedy show. It became a running joke throughout his skit because she was pretty wasted and wouldn't stop shouting. At the end of the show he thanked the audience for making most of the show and it gave him less work to do!
Cruise Director- John Blair. Well, let's see. I generally could not care who the cruise director is. Each one that I have experienced did a great job and knew how to run his activities well. Unfortunately, it seemed as though John had better things to do and just wanted to be done with everything as soon as possible. Every event I went to- he was on fast forward. During the Quest he was talking a mile a minute and rushing the game. I think it lasted 30 minutes! During Love & Marriage he was interrupting the contestants and moving on to the next questions before they finished answering. I don't think he really has a passion for what he is doing. He seemed very disconnected. His wife Katrina works for the Cruise Director Staff as well and was at every event with him. She was rather quiet. The young man from the UK who hosted the Majority Rules Game Show did a great job. He was full of energy and fun.
Crown & Anchor- I am now Platinum!! I was Gold on this sailing though. We received the "old" Coupon Books. A letter and attachment were delivered to our stateroom on the first evening with two additional "new" coupons. 1. Buy One, Get One 50% photos. 2. 10% off an internet package. I am not sure what the "new" Platinum ones are. I will find that out in November on the Liberty.
Key West- Being that my mother and I both live in South Florida, we have been to Key West many times. Our only goal was to head over the to the Coach store. We went back on to the boat and hung by the pool. There were plenty of loungers open and lots of people in the pool. There were some pool activities staring at 1:30 because sail away was at 2pm. Leaving Key West was nice. We watched from the Solarium. We even got to see the Pilot climb down the ladder and board the Pilot boat, once we reached safe distance from shore.
Cozumel- We took an RC excursion. We went on the Segway & Snorkel Tour. We had a blast. When we first got off the boat it was thundering and lightning. They tour conductor told us we might have to cancel because the Segways are sensitive and cannot ride over wet terrain. They put on the safety video in hopes that the weather would clear in time. The video was scary, every other minute was a video showing a computer modeled mannequin falling and hitting its head. The Safety video makes you believe it is very unsafe! We had 15/20 minutes of practice and training at the facility. I was very nervous because I could not get mine to stay still. After about 10 minutes of riding I felt very comfortable and wanted to experiment with it. We went down to Festimericana Resort on the Segways and snorkeled offshore. We then dried off and rode back to the training facility (right near the pier really).
We finished by 2pm and didn't have to be back onboard until 6:30, so we went downtown and ate at Casa Denis. The food was delish and it was truly authentic because we were the only tourists there, everyone else eating were locals. We had tacos, nachos, Coke, and Tecate. It came to $13 USD. We left the guy a $20 and he was thrilled! I don't know anywhere back home that we can get food and drinks for $13, so we didn't mind leaving him a $7 tip.