Sail Date: November 2012
The was a Transatlantic repositioning cruise from Barcelona to Miami. The ship is freshly out of drydock after a major overhaul much touted by RCI. Overall the ship looks pretty nice with fresh carpeting, new furnishings and new ... Read More
The was a Transatlantic repositioning cruise from Barcelona to Miami. The ship is freshly out of drydock after a major overhaul much touted by RCI. Overall the ship looks pretty nice with fresh carpeting, new furnishings and new plumbing. Which leads to the first problem. The smell of fresh sewage was a problem in the lower decks forward and wafted into the centrum and onto the open upper decks from time to time. It was pretty ghastly. The Captain who seemed an avuncular sort delivered homey little chats every noon hour but never addressed the problem. The entertainers joked about it and the cruise staff made rueful little comments but officially the problem didn't exist. Which annoyed people even more. The transatlantic crossing set are generally a pretty worldy, experienced and tolerant lot and we would have understood it the Captain had just said the the sewage system was new, the seals were improperly installed, the crew were doing their best and nothing major could be done until the Grandeur got to a shipyard. But no... nothing. Not well handled at all. Other gripes? They took out the library to make room for more cabins. For shame! The trapeze act in the centrum is pretty hokey unless you've never been to a circus before. Entertainment generally was pretty humdrum especially an awful ABBA act and not helped by the horrid new Joe Farcus style furnishings. And while the new cabin carpeting and fittings are very nice not much of the refit money went to the mattresses which are just acceptable but nothing special. HAL has much better. So, they tell me, has Celebrity. Now for the good tuff. The ship is a good size with excellent open deck areas. The old style teak wrap around promenade deck is a treat. Embarcation and diembarcation were organized and well handled. The dining room operation was very crisp. RCI is not a gourmet line but mostly the menues had variety and interest and some of the food was really good. The Windjammer buffet is a good operation with excellent curries at lunch and reasonable variety throughout the cruise. The Park Cafe, part of the conservatory, was justifiably popular for light breakfasts and lunches. My cabin steward was experienced and never left me wanting for anything. The various bartenders were affable provided prompt service. In general the Grandeur seems to have a happy crew. We had some rough weather and the Grandeur has good sea keeping manners and rides well. All in all I enjoyed my cruise. Bur I was aft on deck 7 where there was no smell. If I had been forward on a lower deck I would not have been a happy cruiser at all. They need to fix this fast - or a a previous reviewer suggested rename her the Odeur of the Seas, Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
First thing upon entering the ship, we encounter a sewer smell. The kind of smell that comes from a sanitation plant. The captain tells the passengers on the last day of our 2 week cruise about why they have a sewer problem. The comedians ... Read More
First thing upon entering the ship, we encounter a sewer smell. The kind of smell that comes from a sanitation plant. The captain tells the passengers on the last day of our 2 week cruise about why they have a sewer problem. The comedians were making jokes about the smell. I felt sorry for the staff. They could not wait to get off the ship. The toilets had a 30% chance of flushing in all areas of the ship. Boarding went smooth. We enjoyed resting on the upper deck until our luggage arrived. Into the evening, we went to the guest relations to get assist with the computer wifi and asked about our discount for the computer. They weren't very knowledgeable in that area. It would have been helpful to have an assistant in the computer section of the ship to help. While standing in line, a few passengers got into a verbal fight. The counter staff just stood there. It was over somebody being helped but stepped away then back to the counter. Somebody thought they were cutting in line. Too many people were complaining on the ship but a few of us enjoyed the activities that were offered. The lecture series were interesting. I tried bingo once and had to hear all the bickering. I felt bad for Carlos, the activities director. He was suggesting that certain passengers need to save their fighting until they get back home and to enjoy the cruise now. That should tell you how cranky a few passengers were. No bingo for me again ,o) We enjoyed the ports. Getting excursions with fellow cruise critic passengers was wonderful. We didn't have to deal with mass amounts of passengers. We met good friends and enjoyed ourselves with them throughout the cruise. Unfortunately, I wasn't notified of the Cruise Critic party and missed it. The time I had from the forum was different. It was wonderful to have a dedicated area for smoking. I have to give the ship a high five for that. Entertainment was decent. The last show was the best, awesome Tango dancers. Having three specialty restaurants on board was a little ridiculous. We did enjoy one night at the Chops Grille for our anniversary. The dining area had good food and the staff were very friendly. RCCL supports repeated cruisers with happy hour and separate enclosed area for "better" food? I can understand the private parties but segregation went out a long time ago. I am looking forward to our next cruise and most likely it will not be with RCCL, even with a 15% discount that some claim that we will get on our next RCCL cruise. If you are booked for this ship, you may want to double check and see if the sewer smell is gone before boarding. RCCL should take this seriously and not allow passengers on board until it is fixed. I heard that they had a fuel spill and needed to clean the ship when they arrived to Miami. Hopefully, EPA will be made aware of this incident.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
We boarded the Grandeur in Barcelona after a 25 day visit to Spain and Portugal. We had never cruised transatlantic before. When we entered the ship we smelled a very bad odor. We didn't know what it was so thought it would go ... Read More
We boarded the Grandeur in Barcelona after a 25 day visit to Spain and Portugal. We had never cruised transatlantic before. When we entered the ship we smelled a very bad odor. We didn't know what it was so thought it would go away. Well the smell stayed with us the whole 14 days. Something was wrong with the sewer system and had been since the ship left Venice in Oct. Some of the passengers had put up with the stench for 28 days. We never had an explanation or any compensation from anyone. We even called customer service and had someone come down to our room to see what they could do about the smell. They sprayed some stuff and said everything was ok. Well it wasn't. We even could smell the ship when we approached from the port in the Canary Is. Getting away from the smell was impossible and it enveloped us one night when we were sleeping. The smell was hard to put up with, but the lack of sympathy for the fellow passengers was the worst. We were hoping that the problem would be looked into when we reached Miami. But they sailed that same afternoon without any obvious repairs. We had to pre pay our gratuities when we made our reservation. The reason given was there was no room in the dining room at the fixed seatings. This was not true as we found out when we were at dinner. They had plenty of room in the dining room. This way they could make us prepay the $12.00 per person per day, so they got all the tips allowed. We will probably never sail with RCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
Since the beginning of the cruise at Barcelona we had start the problems..... the discharge of the toilet has never worked properly and were not able to make it work for 14 days. a real ecological disaster, with an obvious smell of ... Read More
Since the beginning of the cruise at Barcelona we had start the problems..... the discharge of the toilet has never worked properly and were not able to make it work for 14 days. a real ecological disaster, with an obvious smell of sewage in the cabin and in the common areas. No comments and no apology from anyone in 13 days ...... just the last day the captain and other officers decided to have public meeting with all passengers for F.A.Q., and before the meeting began the Captain decided to let us know what was the problem..... the problem with the system exhaust and of course they blamed a passenger who probably threw something in the toilet that clogged the system. make advertising on all television in Italy to travel with Royal Caribbean, but then once on board can't have any type of communication in Italian, everything happened on board, shows, daily boardingnews and navigation info are strictly all in English language??? I would suggest to all Italians not to travel yet with this company, at least something they will change on onboard system of communications. Food quality mediocre as well as range of variety, I expected from this company the quality much higher than that obtained but not going to change my idea and let them another chance. Complaint to Italian office, never had reply, customer service so far very poor. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
I very much agree with the other reviews of this transatlantic cruise! This was my first transatlantic and I was excited to see if I would like spending so much time on the ship. Ironically, my first experience was on a ship that smelled ... Read More
I very much agree with the other reviews of this transatlantic cruise! This was my first transatlantic and I was excited to see if I would like spending so much time on the ship. Ironically, my first experience was on a ship that smelled like a sewer. Yikes! It was absolutely horrible at times. I thought it was a smell in the port, but it turned out to be on the ship. It wasn't uncommon to see people with their hands over their nose and/or whole face. It was that bad!! I especially felt bad for the crew members who told us that it was worse on the lower levels where their cabins are. I can't imagine how they could live in those conditions. 14 days was long enough to deal with it, and they had been dealing with it even longer than that. Anyway, I think jack champion said it best when he said that the lack of sympathy for fellow passengers was the worst. That is what disappointed me so much. I have cruised on multiple cruise lines, and I had just pretty much decided to stick with RCI for most of my future cruising so that I could build up my loyalty status. Now, I have no idea how much I want to cruise with them since they didn't seem to care at all how we felt about this problem. If they had offered ANYTHING AT ALL (free internet time, a free drink, etc.) it would have helped a little. It was just unbelievable that they ignored the whole issue! The comedians made jokes about it and the crew certainly talked about it, but RCI never even acknowledged the inconvenience to us much less apologized. That is what amazed me so much. Guest Services told me that they couldn't offer onboard credit and that was it. I think I would have wanted to jump overboard if the smell would have been in my cabin. At least that was not the case for us. We were in an inside cabin on deck 4, and it was fine. We talked to a couple at lunch one day, however, who weren't so fortunate. They said that the smell was in their room, and they had to wear surgical masks to sleep. I have no idea how they could stand that! That is absolutely unacceptable!! As always, the staff was fabulous on the ship. Our steward was great along with the dining room staff. That is what actually made the cruise enjoyable in spite of this big problem. The toilets only flushed when they wanted to, also. So it was obvious that the problem was with the sewage system. They obviously didn't put their money into the right things when they re-did the ship only months before this. I would say that their 60 million dollars invested in the refurbishment wasn't worth it since this problem pretty much overshadowed any improvements that were made. The final straw was when a gentleman on the ship told me about an experience he had with RCI earlier this year on another ship. He said that they had just left Baltimore when the captain got on the speakers and told them that they were going to have to slow down the speed of the ship. He apologized immediately for that inconvenience. The man told me that they were offered onboard credit right away. Then they ended up missing a stop at a port, so they were refunded their entire cruise! I don't understand how there can be such a discrepancy in the responses of each ship. I think having a sewer smell for 14 days is much worse than just missing a port and yet we were offered NOTHING and they had their whole cruise refunded. That just doesn't make any sense. I was on the Allure of the Seas after this cruise and asked several different people on that ship if this was typical of RCI that they would ignore such a big problem and not offer any type of an apology. They all just refused to comment which didn't surprise me. I just don't know if I dare cruise with them again, especially on their older ships, if this is what we can expect. Overall, I would definitely take another transatlantic cruise at my first opportunity. It really gives you time to get to know other passengers and I just loved the relaxed atmosphere being at sea that long. I also agree with Riknpat that the ship did quite well in rough weather. If they could just solve the problem of that horrible smell and get the toilets to work right, the ship would be quite enjoyable. I truly hope that RCI does a better job of taking care of their guests in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
We had the pleasure to sail on the Grandeur of the Seas in its very first sailing after its month-long dry-dock. This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean and also our first time to Europe and the Mediterranean. This was also our ... Read More
We had the pleasure to sail on the Grandeur of the Seas in its very first sailing after its month-long dry-dock. This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean and also our first time to Europe and the Mediterranean. This was also our first booking in a suite -- and it likely won't be the last now that we know what we've been missing! CHECK-IN -- Our check-in was swift, but part of that is that we were in the priority line for suite guests. We boarded quickly after bypassing the annoying photo op on the gangway and headed straight to our room. We met our cabin steward, Robert, right away and were blown away by our suite. The bathroom was huge with double sinks and a full shower/bath. What a welcome sight after cramming into TINY showers on past cruises where we could hardly turn around. We had our two kids with us to there were two queen beds ready to go with a curtain between if we wanted to close it. We had a bar area inside the door and lots of closet space and drawers for clothes, etc. FOOD -- We had the 6PM seating in the main dining room. Overall the food in the dining room was very good. I was happy with the selection every night and always found something enjoyable to eat. We ate in the buffet several times and the food was decent, but I was a little disappointed in the buffet quality overall. We did get the opportunity to sample two of the new specialty restaurants, Izume and Giovanni's Table, and loved them. I especially enjoyed the sushi in Izume. We ordered room service 3 times for breakfast in order to enjoy dining on our balcony and were pleased with the quality there as well. SERVICE -- Overall I was very impressed with all of the people I came in contact with -- wait staff, bartenders, front desk, room stewards, and everyone else. I have to specifically single out the concierge club staff -- Raj and Patricia -- for AWESOME service, way beyond any expectations we had. Also our Maitre D' greatly exceeded expectations. He stopped by our table every single night and also interacted with our children every night too, which is more than I've seen on past cruises. COMMON AREAS -- I can't compare to how the ship looked pre-dry dock, but all of the common areas looked wonderful, especially the new centrum space. I did see a few pictures in the photo gallery comparing some of the spaces before and after and the change is breathtaking. You'd think it was a totally different ship. The pool areas were nice and the rock wall was definitely fun! ACTIVITIES -- We booked all of our excursions on our own so I can't comment on those, but we did participate in a few trivia and games and they were generally fun. ENTERTAINMENT -- We're not huge on shows, but we did see several and they were good. Most impressive is the aerial show in the centrum, which we got to see on the last night of the cruise. The dancers were actually practicing throughout the week in the centrum since it was their first time on the ship, so we got to see them rehearsing various times as well. I imagine the centrum act will get even better as time goes on. KIDS ACTIVITIES -- Our kids are 16 and 12 and they were in the teen club most evenings from after dinner to bedtime. We used radios to communicate and I felt comfortable leaving them alone with their friends. Both kids loved all the activities and they also had plenty of "hanging out" time too. MY FEW MINOR QUIBBLES -- Just so you don't think this is a fluff piece... - The Wii in the teen club didn't work. The story my son told me was they couldn't figure out how to get it hooked up? He was able to play Wii in the Schooner Bar on our sea day though. - The hot tubs didn't have jets. I've never heard of such a thing. OVERALL -- I've been on 8 cruises now with 7 different lines and I have to say that this was my favorite experience of all of them. I know part of that can be contributed to being in a suite for the first time and the perks that come with it. Still, for a family cruise, Royal Caribbean and Grandeur of the Seas GREATLY exceeded expectations and we're already planning another Royal Caribbean cruise. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to book the Grandeur again if we find an itinerary we like. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
Before the Cruise we stayed in a nice hotel in Barcelona, we searched Trip Advisor for the best locations/price. Any hotel on La's Rambles will be great and offered my son (13) and I (47), a great place to walk,people watch and eat. ... Read More
Before the Cruise we stayed in a nice hotel in Barcelona, we searched Trip Advisor for the best locations/price. Any hotel on La's Rambles will be great and offered my son (13) and I (47), a great place to walk,people watch and eat. We purchased a double Decker bus ticket(On and off type for the entire day), from a vendor on La's Rambles. We had the best meal of our entire trip at a small restaurant on this strip (I wish I could remember the name, sorry). Embarkation was very smooth, at most 15 minutes. I was fearful handing over our passports for the cruise line to hold but it truly was necessary due to the number of ports being visited (to my son's dismay France and Greece are not stamped on our passports). We had an inside stateroom which was extremely clean,the cleanest I have ever had on a ship....I am a clean freak and have cruised several lines before.We had ordered water and juice as well as a surprise cake for my son-all of which were waiting for us.The room was mid ship and very quiet/little rocking or ship type movements were noted Our Attendant was very kind and courteous, provided anything we needed. The food in the main dining room was good/not excellent.We only attended dinner once-opting for Chops or Giovanni's the other evenings (both were very good)< the best cruise dinner food we had was Azumi. The place I did not pre- reserve prior to our trip because I was not much of a sushi fan...It was wonderful...I had a filet/lobster sushi with champaign sauce that I absolutely loved. My son enjoyed the filet he cooked himself on a lava rock brought to the table...I can't say enough for the staff there and in all of the dining rooms. The shows were better than any of the cruise lines I had been on- but we were so tired from the port intensive tours we didn't see all of them. They had an acrobatic team perform high above the main ship deck a couple of evenings which was exciting to watch. The ports.Because this was a trip of a lifetime for my son and I, I purchased every intensive excursion from Royal Carribean pre cruise. As I investigated (Trip Advisor), via a few of the posts on Cruisecritic, I realized there were some options which would not only save us money, but keep our group small.In Italy only, we used Share a Tour (Trip advisor). It was fantatstic, much cheaper than the cruise line, only 6-8 people with a tourguide or "driver". One example was Pompei- our driver had set up a tour guide at the Pompei site which bypassed every line (even the royal carribean ship tours). Having done both the ship tours and the seperate tours I would definately use the "Share a Tour" again. They were fantastic and much less expensive. Disembarkation was very smooth-it took us some time to get our bearings as there is no one to help you figure out where to go once off the ship- luckily there were signs to help in Venice and we were staying in St. Mark's square- which was easily accessed via water bus. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
As this was our second cruise with Royal we kind of knew that it will be very good holiday with royal standards, but I was little worried as I read bad reviews and critics here ...If you are worried as well , dont be, this cruise is ... Read More
As this was our second cruise with Royal we kind of knew that it will be very good holiday with royal standards, but I was little worried as I read bad reviews and critics here ...If you are worried as well , dont be, this cruise is fantastic and ship is in very good condition in my opinion, yes you can see signs of time here and there, byt overall, it looks fab and I really enjoyed it with my husband and it was firt cruise for my parents and they liked it as well very much. Service was excellent, very nice, smiling staff, they really do what they can to make your holiday nice for you. Food was fantastic, most of time we were in Windjamer cafe but service and food in main dining room was also very good. one thing that i didnt like was the price of shuttle bus, so we did not used it, ussually we went for taxi or just had a nice walk... Malaga - again, lovely city , we visited house where Picasso was born, very nice, and also city centre, very clean , and beach with palms as well. We also get some very good massage on the beach for 5 euros :) I will sure book my next cruise soon as I just love being every morning in different place and see all this beautiful cities. :) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean which we chose because of it's itinerary, starting at Palma on Majorca. We have travelled previously with four smaller companies so we were interested to try a market leader. Before I ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean which we chose because of it's itinerary, starting at Palma on Majorca. We have travelled previously with four smaller companies so we were interested to try a market leader. Before I continue, I should point out that there was nothing dramatically wrong with the experience, but we found it to be a disappointment compared to our other cruises. We lost count of the times we said to each other "it's not like this on the Thompson Spirit" etc. The big, major disappointment was the amount of time the Windjammer self-service restaurant is closed.....there were not even token attempts at elevenses, afternoon tea, or supper for instance (standard items on our previous cruises). Food there was lacklustre at best. In addition we thought this restaurant to be badly laid out and unable to cope adequately when it was open. There are two round-the-clock tea/coffeee stations (and a small pizza counter) around the deck, but one of these failed to dispense properly hot water which was obviously irritating a number of people. Checking in at Palma was straightforward and we were made to feel welcome at the terminal. However, we've always been escorted to our cabin in the past, so it was noticeable that we were left to find our own way there. No big deal I suppose, but it's the little things isn't it? We were pleasantly surprised by our nice cabin with balcony. The bed was exceptionally comfortable. Our cabin's soundproofing was quite remarkable.....we couldn't hear a thing from the corridor outside The waiter service in the Main "Gatsby" Restaurant is exemplary and is well up to the highest standard. The actual food there however is merely OK; nothing special. Wine was expensive. We didn't see any of the evening shows, but the various attempts at daytime entertainment seemed half-hearted to us. We shunned the shore excursions because it was more convenient to do our own thing, but shuttlebuses at $10 per head at some ports did prove quite useful. One thing I noticed was that there were often isolated puddles of water on the uppermost deck creating a slip hazard All in all we'd give Royal Caribbean a seven-out-of-ten for effort. As I said; nothing disastrous, just a bit disappointing after our previous cruises. Would we use them again? Probably not. They'd certainly need to increase the opening times for their self-service restaurant before they see us again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
Myself and 3 other friends have just returned from 7 nights on the Granduer of the Seas. We left from Palma and visited Cannes visiting Monaco and Monte Carlo (we done this trip on our own) we then went on to Florence/Pisa. On the ... Read More
Myself and 3 other friends have just returned from 7 nights on the Granduer of the Seas. We left from Palma and visited Cannes visiting Monaco and Monte Carlo (we done this trip on our own) we then went on to Florence/Pisa. On the Thursday we took the organised trip to the Collesuem and the Vatican City (wonderful experience) and well worth the long trip. Our last port of call was Sicily then sailed back to Palma. The Granduer maybe the smaller of the Caribbean fleet but it still rates high for service, cleanliness and the attendance by all the staff was first class - they just cant do enough for you. The food was wonderful (Windjammer along with the Great Gatsby Dining Room) We took the drinks package (middle one) this was 49$ per day and was well worth it. It saved you having to worry about what you were spending on drinks ete so, if you like a "wee tipple" during the day and a few cocktails along with your wine at your evening meal it is definately worth the money. We were on Deck 4 just down from the Champagne Bar! The Schooner Bar was great and we usually ended up there at the end of our evening. The entertainment programme during the day is good along with the resident band on deck (Coco Loco) nice to listen to when you are sitting in the sun on the comfy sunbeds and sipping a Mia Tia Cocktail (all in with the "package")!! We can honestly say we had a great holiday on the Granduer of the Seas and would definately return.Bubbles and Friends Read Less
Grandeur of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 3.5 3.8
Public Rooms 3.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.5 3.9
Rates N/A 4.2

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