28 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Background Information: Repositioning cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Panama Ship Info: First time on this ship and it was outstanding. The ship itself is dated but the captain and crew make up for it. Activities: We created our own ... Read More
Background Information: Repositioning cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Panama Ship Info: First time on this ship and it was outstanding. The ship itself is dated but the captain and crew make up for it. Activities: We created our own activities within the Cruise Critic roll call and had tons of fun. Service: Dining room service was phenomenal. My stateroom attendant was fine. Nothing above and beyond although I didn't require that. Port & Shore Excursions: Cozumel I stayed on the ship and they were filming a TV commercial so that was entertaining. Costa Maya I went to the Maya Chan resort with several Cruise Critic members and we had a blast. I had a massage on the beach which was awesome especially for $45.00. Costa Rica went on a tour with Charlie Soto/Okey Dokey Tours. It was okay. We had a good time, did the banana plantation, Bonita Beach had a Costa Rican lunch. In Panama I took the My Friend Mario tour of the city and although that was interesting I don't really think Mario is my friend. Summary: Great cruise! It was dirt cheap and tons of fun. Great people on board and the crew was friendly and happy. Travel To Port of Embarkation: Flawless. Stateroom: First time for me in an inside cabin. It was okay. I'm used to a balcony but the only thing I really didn't like was not knowing if it was light out and what the weather was doing. Dining: Dining room was very good, service excellent (Eko and Anthony). Awesome salad bar during lunches. Buffets were fine. Entertainment: The two brothers from Argentina were hilarious. The singer with 1000 voices was a train wreck. The tango show at the end was good. Others thought it was outstanding. Disembarkation: Piece of cake. Waited in line for Panama security to check bags with their canine unit. Laughed when a lady in line got busted for having a boatload of food in her knapsack. Wish Royal would do this itinerary again. It was an absolute blast! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
I had not cruised on a smaller ship. This changed my mind. The ship size seems to suit my needs better than larger builds. Why? Well I liked the fact that dinning option were limited to the main dining room and the buffet. This makes a ... Read More
I had not cruised on a smaller ship. This changed my mind. The ship size seems to suit my needs better than larger builds. Why? Well I liked the fact that dinning option were limited to the main dining room and the buffet. This makes a more affordable cruise. I have spent countless dollars on up sells to a special dinning experience. The Gatsby did all the same type of foods without the up-charges with just one exception a filet mignon. Food quality was exceptional and the service was prompt and the food always came out the way it was supposed to. The size of the ship did limit the number of passengers (only 1600) which seemed rather manageable. The public areas were fashionable and not over the top or garish. All of the amenities were in the right place and with only nine floors the ship was real easy to navigate. Room accommodations were what i expected and even the inside room was well lighted and appointed quite well. Here is the one negative thing I will say that RCCl should take into consideration. They consider the ship to be a smoke free environment. Not so fast RCCL! Smoking is allowed in bars and lounge areas. Nothing can turn me off as fast as the smell of a cigar in Viking Crown room. Balcony rooms are allowed to smoke outside on the patio. Now I don't care who smokes. Heck I worked for a tobacco company. Most societies have adjusted to the ban on indoor smoking Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We had a very nice experience on Granduer of the Seas. We were a group of six adults. Embarkation was a breeze! The only problem one couple had was the cab from the airport--make sure they take you to the correct ship. Do not get out of ... Read More
We had a very nice experience on Granduer of the Seas. We were a group of six adults. Embarkation was a breeze! The only problem one couple had was the cab from the airport--make sure they take you to the correct ship. Do not get out of the cab until you are at the right place. Cab driver took them to Oasis--cost them $10 to get another cab to take them to Granduer. I actually think it's a scam. Be cautious! We all met at the pool bar. The party began!! The bartenders were great!! Shout out to Randall, Rosario and Guiome (sp?). The pool party as we set sail was a blast! We were having so much fun, we almost missed dinner the first night. I'm glad we didn't though. Our waiter, Amel from Bosnia, was awesome. (I was supposed to friend him on Facebook, but lost the paper with his last name :( Bummer) We had a great time with him all week. The assistant waiter was Amin from Indonesia. He was so sweet!! The drink guy, Jorge, was cool too. Dinner was good every night. I had no complaints, nor did anyone in our group. We made it to a couple of shows. They were ok. The games were fun. We played Majority Rules. That was funny. Good for everyone to play. We went to Quest. First time I haven't played that. Wow...is it getting wild!! Glad I was just a spectator. It was hysterical!! We also played some music trivia games. It was all good! The Love and Marriage show was funny, as always. Such a cute couple won, married over 50 years! We had breakfast at the Windjammer everyday. It was fine. Had an omelette everyday! Yummy! We went to the gym a couple of times. Depends on when you go. I went one morning and there were no machines available. Yet, other mornings it was basically empty. They offered some additional classes like yoga & pilates. No Zumba, so I wasn't interested! Our cabin was in perfect location for meeting everyone. The cabin was definitely roomy enough. I didn't even use all of the drawers!! Our attendant was Miguel. He was very nice. We hardly saw him. Our cabin was always very well taken care of though. Only complaint (that most men had), it seemed like most of the men's public restrooms were out of service. Some were being renovated. Some were just being cleaned...but...just as an example....during the midnight pool party, one bathroom on that deck was out of order and they were cleaning the other one. That made no sense!! Clean it when there isn't a huge party going on!! That was just one example... Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
On October 28th I had the please of sailing with 45 members of my non profit organization on the Grandeur of the Seas. I was pleasantly surprised by the swift embarkation at Port Everglades. On board the ship the service in the dining room ... Read More
On October 28th I had the please of sailing with 45 members of my non profit organization on the Grandeur of the Seas. I was pleasantly surprised by the swift embarkation at Port Everglades. On board the ship the service in the dining room staff showed true concern for their guests.On many ship you never see the Maitre D. On this ship we saw him nightly and he was double checking continually that our group was well served and we were happy with our meals. The food was very good except for Steak(if you are a major steak eater). I would suggest that at the late evening they have a healthy snack in addition to Pizza, hamburger and Fries. I was very happy with mix of their nightly entertainment. The shows covered all age groups including the younger generation. The entertainers were very professional with the quality of a Broadway show. There was plenty of activities to do both day and night. The staff from the Purser's office, to the Captain and even the cabin stewards were very involved with the passenger which made for a pleasurable cruise. Our group had all different type of cabins from interior cabins to the Royal Suite where we joined together for drinks and to listen to our group play the Piano. I believe this ship is lovely but needs to update their curtains, bedspreads and telephone which need to have a more contemporary look. The beds were extremely comfortable. Spa services were very good and comparable to prices on land. Disembarkation was very easy and so was locating the luggage. All in all a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
We flew from the U.K. to Florida, spent the day with Harry Potter in Orlando then drove to Fort Lauderdale in order to spend 5 nights at sea. Ports of call were Grand Cayman and Cozumel and we were VERY UNLUCKY with the weather ... Read More
We flew from the U.K. to Florida, spent the day with Harry Potter in Orlando then drove to Fort Lauderdale in order to spend 5 nights at sea. Ports of call were Grand Cayman and Cozumel and we were VERY UNLUCKY with the weather RAIN, RAIN and more RAIN!!! (Hurricane Richard nearby...) We stayed at the Best Western Hallendale Beach in FLL, booked via Hotwire which gave us an EXCELLENT rate. Hotel was fine for the night, next to I95 (some traffic noise) and 10mins from the Airport/Port. Car Parking at FLL Port was Park'n'Go - FANTASTIC!!! Very easy to find, pickup from your car, drop off at the side of the ship and... sitting, waiting for us as per our requierd pickup time when we got off the ship!! Great service, $5.00 a day for parking, we will use them again. Grandeur of the Seas is one of RCI's smaller cruise ships. We docked next to OASIS of the Seas in Cozumel, we looked more like a Private Yacht than a cruise ship. OASIS is BIG!! GOS is however a very nice size, not too BIG, not too SMALL... we missed the Ice Rink of Navigator, Mariner etc... but everything else was standard RCI. The crew were very nice, we met 2 charming families for dinner each night. Pavol was our waiter in the Dining Room, Dinner was a delight. FOOD - In general we have started to notice (and agree with our fellow Critics) that much of the food on RCI no longer lives up to the billing! Presentation is good but often TASTELESS, too bland - especially cakes and deserts which look mouth watering BUT "tastes like soap!" as described by my Darling Daughter! The Windjammer was the usual Rugby/Football Match with everyone assuming the ship would shortly run out of food!!! (Always makes me smile...) SERVICE: We agree with previous reports, the crew appear inexperienced. We encountered delays with Breakfast and Lunch. At Breakfast I was informed that I could not have a poached egg because the Chef will only cook whatever is on the menu. Having told the story to our Dining Room Waiter that evening, he shook his head in shame and asked who it was, which table etc... The following day I received a poached egg!!! ENTERTAINMENT: Our Cruise Director was Rico (who had also just joined GOS)Rico 'warmed' during the week however, his sidekick Abel (Entertainment Manager) could easily be a Cruise Director. Abel was quite entertaining. The Captain was visible around the ship. Previous posts remarked about the "Work in Progress..." at this time on GOS. This is true, we experienced decks roped off and dust flying around from the deck sanding process. Paint was splashed everywhere on Deck 10. Allowing for the Maintenance Work, the 'Workers' were MESSY!! so be warned. RCI Singers and Dancers were a FLOP! Worst we have seen, one night everyone looked as if they were falling asleep in the Theatre. Rico has his work cut out! The Impressionist, Comedian and Root / Berry are very entertaining. Our Cabin was very nice however as we had an inside Cabin on Deck 3 we did not spend much time there. We did notice that the goodnight chocolate has gone (as reported in other critic posts) this is a shame and we hope RCI will have a change of heart. Our Daughters always looked forward to their bedtime chocolate and Towel Animal suprise! We were also informed that the Towel Animals are only provided twice a week instead of daily due to a new RCI Policy. No Chocoholic/Death By Chocolate Buffet again... however, the Midnight Buffet returned which had disappeared on our previous 2 RCI cruise holidays. We boarded the ship in minutes and disembarked with ease. Overall we had a very enjoyable cruise, Grandeur of the Seas is a fine ship! DUNKINDONUT Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This was our second cruise ever, first was 10 yrs ago- we waited way too long!We went to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary and decided to take our 2 kids, 11 & 14. We booked on the Grandeur of the Seas for 5 nights to Western ... Read More
This was our second cruise ever, first was 10 yrs ago- we waited way too long!We went to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary and decided to take our 2 kids, 11 & 14. We booked on the Grandeur of the Seas for 5 nights to Western Caribbean. We stayed pre-cruise at the Hyatt Place North near the cruise port, as recommended by so many reviewers, was well worth it! We took advantage of the complimentary hotel shuttle from the airport- that went well. We were a bit surprised how busy the hotel was by other cruisers there-lots of early partying going on, didn't really bother us though. Staff at the front desk were excellent, super efficient and friendly! Hotel was clean and nice, would stay there again. When we got dropped off at the port the morning of our cruise, it was already close to 1pm and seemed very busy. Pleasantly surprised, we were boarding the ship in no time. Only took maybe 15mins total process- we must have missed the early crowd! Our stateroom was ready and we went directly there as kids were excited to see it. There were the 4 of us sharing one room. It was not too bad space-wise! We had 2 single beds and 2 beds that pulled down from the ceiling. The kids didn't mind them at all- even our teen daughter. Only complaint was that the bathroom smelled musty like old wet towels, think it was coming from under the plastic shower surround (flooring where water was bubbling around drain). But otherwise room was well kept for it's age, as well as the ship itself. We were also disappointed that our room steward never bothered to stop by and introduce himself, as I had seen others do to nearby rooms. Lucky he got the full tip! We did have excellent service by our evening dining waiters and they took time to remember out favorite drinks & greeted us by our names and said "Hello" as we seen them around other areas of the ship. That was well appreciated!Food was great in the main dining room. Breakfast & lunch in the Windjammer was not very appetizing after the 2nd time, same old items. Strange selections we thought. Stick to make-your-own salads and fresh deli sandwiches and that was enough for me. Kids enjoyed the "unlimited soda pass" was definitely worth it for soda drinkers. Could get anytime you wanted, was not limited at all!! As for the "rockiness" of the ship, we had experienced large waves coming from Hurricane Richard. Put it this way, each evening during the nightly shows in the Palladium theater, the movie screens and stage curtain were swaying back and forth. And it was not the amount of cocktails, everyone was commenting on the movement. The shows performed by the dancers and singers were fantastic! We were impressed how well they performed and enjoyed everyone of the shows! Loved the dancer Josh, he was exceptional!!The impressionist was hilarious! The motion of the ship was unbelievable!One evening we had gone to the pool deck after a show, and noticed WHITECAPS IN THE POOL! Could not believe there were actual waves in the pool!! And the bathroom in the stateroom was challenging to use in the evening/bedtime. As you know they are very small areas,the shower curtain was swaying and you had to brace one arm against vanity counter top when on the toilet! The kids were a little freaked by that. I was the only one in our family that took constant Dramamine, but seen and heard many others effected by the rough evenings! I would probably not book another cruise during hurricane season again. We were turned off by Key West after seeing so many weirdos and freaks just wandering the streets! We were there on a Sun. morning. They must have been left over from the night before! That was a big turn off in Key West! We did rent jet skis at the booth right when you got off the ship. We had a fantastic time! The 4 of us did the 30 min. tour. Loved it and would highly recommend it for those who like to jet ski. We also toured the Key West Aquarium, was neat for the kids. We did not get to snorkel in Cozumel, as it was predicted to rain all day and we figured the water would be too rough. Then it turned out to be just beautiful during the afternoon which was too late to do an excursion. So we decided to book a Catamaran Snorkel tour in Costa Maya the next day, only for that to get cancelled due to dangerous rough high waves! We did the Jungle Beach break instead, but were not able to use kayaks or boats, just swam and enjoyed cocktails and kids loved relaxing in the hammocks provided. We did not buy an food there because we only had planned to bring enough $ to tip the driver. We were not able to go back on ship to get more money as tour left 5 mins later. So we divided the $ we had and tipped everyone that catered to us. We felt sorry for the people of Costa Maya, very poor area with little to no jobs.The 45min drive to the Beach area was eye-opening to our kids. Small shacks for homes made out of scrap wood. Made us appreciate just being able to go on a cruise. We did not expect Costs Maya to be as a 3rd world country! Back to the ship, we really met some great people and enjoyed the friendliness of everyone we encountered! The ship is an older and smaller than most, but it was just perfect for us! The newer mega ships we heard from other guests that they are too crowded and too many reservations required, long lines, and schedules to follow! Would recommend this ship, but sounds like it may be dry docked in the next few years. Had a great time and will NOT wait another 10yrs to do it again!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Let me start out by saying I love RCCL and have been on 17 cruises just off the Oasis in July and booked the Serenade in May 2011. That being said this was a nightmare cruise from the minute we checked in to going thru customs. 1st when we ... Read More
Let me start out by saying I love RCCL and have been on 17 cruises just off the Oasis in July and booked the Serenade in May 2011. That being said this was a nightmare cruise from the minute we checked in to going thru customs. 1st when we booked it was a month prior and did so because after the Oasis where everything is on a schedule we just wanted to relax by ourselves no children. Our friends wanted to get to diamond before our next cruise so they booked junior suite to get 2 credits and they also got upgraded two weeks before sailing to the Royal Family suite.(I'll about that room later). We were told by crown and anchor the day before sailing there were 6 suites left and ask at the check in desk to be upgraded, something we have never done and thought we would try. When we got to the check in desk a very rude man stopped us mid sentence and said you can't do that here you have to go on the ship and ask the Hotel manager Eric. My husband was very mad that the run around had begun and this man was so rude .We were not accustomed to this on RCCL. We boarded the ship went straight to the main desk and were greeted by yet another rude man named Keith who said there is nothing left but I could come back at 6 and see if there were no shows.When we asked to speak to Eric the manager we were told he was busy but that he would go ask him. We later found out he was never informed we asked for him. We returned at 6 and were told nothing was left by Keith who then just walked away. We went to our room and just figured we would call when we got back. Our friends checked in to there Royal suite 8518 and even though it had two bedrooms the 2nd one which has twin beds and 2 upper bunks I can't imagine 4 people in that room with no floor space but a 12 inch by 5 feet strip. The living room was nice with a queen size couch and a big plate glass window that was old and rusted all around the frame and moldy. The second bathroom also had mold in the shower.The main master bath kept backing up with water when the shower was used. We went to shower for dinner in our room when we discovered there was no hot water only very cold. Our Room attended Albert who was fantastic said he would call maintenance ,we went to our friends to shower and we all shared there one smaller bathroom because the master one was full of water. That night after returning from the late comedy show we saw still no hot water. The next day we told our room attendant again and he called in front of me and we went to the pool. When we came back at 5 to shower NO hot water . We called the main desk and were told they would call needless to say it took 3 nights with no hot water for them to finally change the facets. Only after Eric the hotel manager called me himself did it get done and that's when I found out he never knew we had ask for him and that Keith had lied about it. If you book a suite with the intentions that you will be first for everything and priority seating for shows forget it ,every show we went to and arrived 15 min early was full and the seating set aside for suites was open to everyone. When we asked the attendant she said she wasn't comfortable asking people to move.There were other suite owners with us very upset also. The person who they have book future cruises was by far the most unpleasant woman I have ever encountered on RCCL. As I sat and read my emails on my computer she blew off at least 5 couples one day and 3 the last day saying she was booked up and the couple she was with said she was 20 minutes late. We were at table 80 floor 4 8:30 seating MDR with Peter and Freddie and they were the best waiters we have ever had and honestly saved the cruise from being a total wreck. They were happy and friendly and genuinely enjoyed there job .Our bar waiter Gerard was also wonderful and a pleasure to see everyday both in dining room and by the pool he made a point to find us and make sure we got drinks. Freddie worked the windjammer for lunch and always found us and got our drinks. I think the ship really needs to be modernized our TV was 12 inches old fashioned and worked on and off. Our phone was the old princess style so you got no messages.I will say this compared to the Oasis which had no storage drawers but 3 little ones and a little closet , There was plenty of storage and drawers in both rooms. Also on every ship we have been on there was always a place besides the windjammer to get coffee free but no on here its $3 and the windjammer closes in the afternoon before dinner. This ship is under staffed in so many areas that getting help is very difficult. Very relaxing I will say that. lol In Grand Cayman we only got off and got cigars and then came back on and enjoyed the pool to ourselves. We have been there many times and love the swimming with the stingrays and the 7 mile beach In Cozumel once again we didn't get off but we went deep sea fishing in July and very nice. The shopping is not worth it or cheaper and restaurant's are very dirty and just want you to get drunk Embarkation is very very slow it took 20 minutes to get thru the line we got a porter yet there is no separate porter line however you do get to watch all the people the police dogs caught with drugs from the Carnival ship we got to see a mother with a baby with cocaine in the cane. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We just recently finished a wonderful five night cruise aboard the Grandeur of the Seas. Visited ports included Key West, Cozumel, and Coco Cay. This was Capt Rob's last sailing aboard GOS. Embarkation - Port Everglades. We flew in ... Read More
We just recently finished a wonderful five night cruise aboard the Grandeur of the Seas. Visited ports included Key West, Cozumel, and Coco Cay. This was Capt Rob's last sailing aboard GOS. Embarkation - Port Everglades. We flew in the night prior because AirTran adjusted our flight schedule three times prior to departure and we didn't want to take any chances. We stayed at the Hampton Inn north cruise port which was nice and comfortable and included free breakfast. Friends on the cruise with us drove down from Tampa so we had use of their vehicle and used the parking garage at the port ($15/day paid on exit). Upon arrival (early around 10:30) we were in a line with probably less than 50 people and they had only two security screening points operating. After the crowd size started picking up they opened a larger waiting hall /security area but we had been screened already so they directed us directly to the cruise agents and after the obligatory photo were on board. The total time was probably 30 minutes from curbside bag drop off to parking and on the ship. Only hitch was enroute to the port a train was stuck in the crossing by only feet and the gates were down. I had to jump out, add some additional counterweight to the gates to lift them up and allow us to pass. Always an adventure it seems. We were able to bring a case of water aboard in roller soft sided cooler without problems. Food Windjammer - Okay to good. We ate lunch embarkation day in the windjammer and then ate here only for breakfast. Tried the honey-stung chicken everybody raves about but it was dried out and lacked any taste. There wasn't much variety at least from what we saw at breakfast from day to day. The omelet station was the best part of breakfast and they also always had fresh fruit. Pastries/doughnuts seemed like day old bakery stuff you'd get at your local convenience store. MDR - Outstanding. We chose MTD and had a party of 7. We made sure to make reservations in advance and this was good because there were limited large tables. We got the same roundtop everyday and had the wonderful waitering team of Romar and Ruell. We loved the bread and Ruell made many trips over with his basket. We had a 6 year old with us and they made every meal special for him. His favorite was the plate of cookies they brought over for him every night. He also needed soy milk which was specially requested through the special needs department. They didn't have any the first night dinner and said they did not get any with their provisions, but I think Ruell made a special trip into Key West to get it by the second night's dinner. One of our friends told our head waiter how much they liked shrimp cocktail and he made sure to have a special stash waiting for all of us every night. Hope I don't get him trouble! The food was always hot and cooked to perfection and everything was so delicious. We had no problems ordering seconds (just place the order in the beginning) or making changes to things we requested. I also have to give a shout out to "Shorty" the dining room bar server. He was everywhere I turned on this cruise - dining room, poolside, we even went about as far down barefoot beach on Coco Cay as one could go and he seemed to magically appear from behind some coconut trees with his tray of drinks. I honestly thought he was my shadow. Last thing to add was they had a special Brasserie lunch in the MDR on the sea day. This had a wonderful salad bar and great entrees. Definitely beat anything in the WJ. Entertainment - Good. Did not really care for either of the production shows with the RCI singers and dancers. I don't know if it was a technical issue or if they just had problems singing but the vocals were nearly inaudible on some songs. The guest entertainers (Wilde and James, Rick Corso and Etta Mae) were very funny and appropriate for young ones - at least during the normal show times. Ports Key West - First time. We took the Old Towne Trolley tour which allowed hop on/off. Bought tickets online at discount and ticket booth is near Mallory Square. This was a great way to see the sights and we stopped and checked out the lighthouse museum. The ship was only in port from 8-2 so not much time to do anything. Everybody in Key West was asleep since this was Sunday morning , it seemed like a ghost town in spots. Cozumel - First time. Booked a private excursion through Cozumel sailing - Toucan. Amazing A+++++. We were the only ones booked so we had a catamaran sailing/excursion to ourself. Jamie, Juan and Jorge kept the drinks flowing and cooked up an amazing steak fajita/wing lunch. We sailed to some great snorkeling and over to a private beach. Absolutely the best excursion ever. Sailed from Puerto di Abrigo on the north end of town. Coco Cay - First time. Really liked it. Weather was a little windy and there was a bit of a current but no jellyfish like some others have reported. We saw a few stingrays but they were very friendly. Overall we had beautiful weather, comfortable chairs/hammocks and it was just a wonderful day to spend the day just relaxing. Food was pretty decent. Stateroom - we chose an inside cabin on deck 8. We're penny pinchers and would rather splurge on activities than a place to sleep. It was clean and comfortable but smaller than other insides we've been in. Water from the sink was either hot or scalding. Glad we brought the water. Our stateroom attendant kept our cooler topped with ice the whole cruise. She was wonderful attentive and friendly. Other - CD John Blair - OK he was present to introduce shows and such but other than that we didn't really observe him in public. Other cruise director we've had seemed to interact more with guests. Captain Rob Hempsted "Ladies and ...........Gentleman I've got good news and bad news" He was funniest captain I've ever met but he needs to improve on his baking skills. They has a cook off between him and the chef and he poured an entire bottle of liqueur on his first layer of a black forest cake. Needless to say the rest of the layers had a problem staying up on this foundation. Boy did it taste good though. The Ship - I thought it was beautiful even in its age. Public areas were well maintained and clean. The stateroom furnishings were a bit dated and worn but definitely not a deal breaker. We enjoyed this smaller sized ship as it seems more intimate and cozy. I don't need the specialty dining or basketball courts. Oh, personally glad there are no more art auctions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Did the smart thing and got into Ft Lauderdale a day early. Arrived at 1:00 and went to Bahia Mar. Older hotel, but very nice considering it's age. DH and I spent the remainder of the afternoon at the pool. Went out to dinner away ... Read More
Did the smart thing and got into Ft Lauderdale a day early. Arrived at 1:00 and went to Bahia Mar. Older hotel, but very nice considering it's age. DH and I spent the remainder of the afternoon at the pool. Went out to dinner away from the tourist areas at an Irish pub that locals frequent. I used to live there for 10 years, so it helps to still know where to go when you don't want something on 17th street or the strip. Embarkation: arrived @ 11:00. From bag-drop to Windjammer in about 30 minutes. When it's that short of a wait, I don't think I need to say more. Food: So-so. I knew it would be. I'm not huge on food. If my steak is cooked right and the nachos eaten by the pool are to the satisfaction of the wife, then we're happy enough with it. Food is fuel for fun. It all tasted really good. I did miss a visit to Chops like on our trip on Enchantment a couple years ago, but that's no big deal. We'll go the next time we head to sea. Cabin: Starboard side toward the rear (7622). Very clean, plenty of storage, had a balcony which was used quite a bit, and our cabin steward Oscar was really friendly and helpful. Every time we saw him he was nothing but smiles and laughs. Great Job! Ports: Key West: Again, really familiar with the island since I used to drive down every couple months. We decided to go to the Hemingway House. Informative, laid-back tour. Man...was it hot out. I came really close to jumping in the pool. Did the usual t-shirt shops and then spent an hour at Captain Tony's having a couple Pirate Punches. Nothing says Key West like the Captain's place. Cozumel: did an Island tour that took us to a rocky beach on the Caribbean side, a little village in the interior, then Playa Mia for a couple hours. Loved Playa Mia. The food was really good and the facilities were more than adequate for the time we spent there. Coco Cay: Soft breezes, naps in a hammock, and met a nice sting ray who happened to be swimming around us when we went swimming. I've read good and bad reviews of the island and I have to say that I was very happy. It's a great place to relax, and that's what we did. Entertainment: Sorry to say that we didn't catch any shows. We really werent' interested. Captain Rob was as funny as everyone said. I'd love to have him as my captain again. Compliments to bar staff...all of them. They remembered my name after the first day and were great. JR in the Schooner had some bar puzzles that were great. Debarkation: Sad, and over too quick. We carry our own bags off. Overall, it was a wonderful time. I wish we had the time and funds to do this more than once a year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
This will be a short review because there is nothing to say but what a great cruise. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale around noon and after dropping our bags parking the car and all, we were on board by 1245. We weren't in the terminal ... Read More
This will be a short review because there is nothing to say but what a great cruise. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale around noon and after dropping our bags parking the car and all, we were on board by 1245. We weren't in the terminal any longer than 10 minutes before we were waiting for the elevator to deck 9 and the Windjammer. We had a quick bite to eat, which was pretty good for buffet food. Our room was ready at 1300 and we have no complaints. As we were walking toward the room our luggage was sitting in the foyer of deck 8 so we grabbed them and went to the room. We were unpacked and ready to explore the ship by 1400. We especially liked the layout of the Grandeur, there are plenty of elevators and the flow throughout the ship was excellent. Unfortunately, we didn't explore the ship like we do most cruises and by day 4 we found new places we didn't know existed. It had nothing to do with the ship but we just didn't go exploring this time. We changed from fixed dining to My Time Dining and are happy we did. There are few places to eat on the Grandeur: Main Dining Room, Windjammer, and the Burger Bar in the Solarium. They are all good venues and the food was very good. The Main Dining Room (Great Gatsby on Deck 5)was well organized and the food was again very good. The lamb shank and escargot were absolutely delicious and well prepared. We had breakfast in the Deck 4 Gatsby dining room and the breakfasts were very good. No complaints about the food or service at breakfast or dinner. We had a JS and there is plenty of storage once you find it it all. The suit cases didn't quite fit under the beds without lifting up the bed but once underneath, no problems. The beds were comfortable. Just a word of warning, the safe is smarter than we were. We had a hard time getting the combination to take and they had to reset the electronic lock so we could recode the thing. Once set it was fine unless you put too much in and block the locking actuator and then it jams and you have to have maintenance come up and open it again for you. Oh well, very minor issue. The casino is a bit tight but I did hit $250 on video poker and the DW did well on the last night at 3-Card Poker. Enough said, we donated enough to the crew party fund there. We didn't do any of the shows but we didn't hear any complaints from other passengers at breakfast or dinner. There was a couple of catty ladies whining out in the deck 9 smoking area about how this was the worst cruise they had ever taken and would never do RCL again. My thoughts were: what ship were they on? The one lady was whining because the Captain didn't come to her table on formal night and the waiter didn't pullout her chair every night. And of course the food was horrible (while she is shoving 2 plates of buffet good in her crawl), the ship was a wreck, blah, blah, blah. We didn't have any such problems. The Head Waiter, waiter, and assistant waiter were always around in the MTD area and were very professional and courteous. Our waiter or his assistant were always pulling out the chair for the DW, the food was hot and tasted very good. I really don't expect the Captain to visit my table. From what I understood the Captain's formal night dinner table was at 6 pm, I suspect he wasn't going to wait around for me to show up at 7pm just to introduce himself. The Captain was readily available at other venues on board. He was on the pool deck for crew intros and pictures Friday afternoon, he was at the returning cruisers meeting and was more available than most captains we've encountered over the years. He was also kept his announcements brief and light-hearted. After leaving Key West, he announced our next port of call would be South Africa instead of Cozumel. You had to be there! We made all our ports on-time or early and didn't lose a soul in port. We had a great, relaxing cruise and we couldn't have asked for a better ship than the Grandeur to do cruise on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
This was our 13th cruise. We left on 9/11 and traveled through the Bermuda triangle during hurricane season and used a credit card that expired on Sept 2011. It's a good thing that we're not superstitious. We left Michigan on ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise. We left on 9/11 and traveled through the Bermuda triangle during hurricane season and used a credit card that expired on Sept 2011. It's a good thing that we're not superstitious. We left Michigan on the morning of the cruise and arrived in Fort Lauderdale about 11:30. A short cab ride past the Oasis and Carnival "Irritation" (as Captain Rob called it) and we were at our ship. The check-in was a breeze and we were soon on board. We booked this cruise as sort of a last minute get away to use up some free air that we had and we got a great deal. We had a great time and this isn't a complaint, but RCCL clearly cut back on a number things on this cruise. The first port was Key West. We docked at 7:00 AM and the dining wasn't open until 7:00. We weren't in a hurry, but I thought that was a little odd. We took the trolley around the island, did a little shopping and we were back on the ship by about 11:00. The ship left Key West at 1:30 so we didn't have much time there. The next stop was Cozumel and the "Irritation" joined us in port. It was extremely hot in Cozumel so we just did a little shopping and headed back for a relaxing day on the ship. Day three was at sea. The pool area was packed so we spent most of the day at the Solarium. There was a group that got a little out of hand with cannonballs and security tried several times to get them to stop, but it got a little rowdy for about an hour. The last day was at Coco Cay and we loved this stop. The snorkelers told us that they saw several barracudas in the three foot range and lot of other fish. We spent our time on beach and just relaxed and people watched. The food was decent in the Windjammer, good in the dining room and not so good in the Solarium. There were several complaints about not having any food options (other than room service) open before 7:00 A.M. or after 9:00 P.M. That really wasn't an issue for us, but I can understand how it could be for others. Our room was adequate. We did have some mold in our shower and, at times, we could hear people moving chairs on the deck 5 above us. The safe in the room required a credit card to open and shut it - that meant that we either had to carry the credit card around or hide in the room someplace. The highlight of the cruise had to be Captain Rob. This was his last cruise on Grandeur. He is the only RCCL American born captain and his announcements were hilarious. He's now on the Enchantment of the Seas. All in all, this wasn't the best RCCL cruise that we've ever been on, but it was a good value for what we paid and it great to just get away from the office for a few days. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
First, let me premise this review by stating we did not choose this ship. My in-laws were extremely generous in taking us on a family cruise, but we did not have the chance to participate in the planning. The travel agent recommended Royal ... Read More
First, let me premise this review by stating we did not choose this ship. My in-laws were extremely generous in taking us on a family cruise, but we did not have the chance to participate in the planning. The travel agent recommended Royal Caribbean because of their "amazing" children's programs. She was not a good agent . . . she also told my in-laws (and us) about things on the ship that were not even on the ship (an ice rink, for example) and constantly gave us the wrong information (telling us we couldn't bring any food onboard, including baby food, that all of the snorkeling boats have "viewing boards" for our preschooler to use, etc). We also found out through talking to friends that a crib was not going to fit (or would be a tight fit) in an interior stateroom with the sofa bed pulled out, so we decided to upgrade to a junior suite. (Great decision after seeing the rooms!) The horrible travel agent also lied to my in-laws and said we were upgrading to get away from the family!!! She created a lot of unnecessary tension and problems for our family because of this lie. Lesson? Don't use a travel agent! You can book a cruise yourself online with fewer problems and less money, and you don't have to go through an agent every time you have a question. (I especially wouldn't use one like this lady, who tells her clients NOT to take their kids to Disney World, that cruises are better. I have not talked to a SINGLE person who felt a cruise was good for kids at all, let alone a better idea than Disney World!) Anyway, enough about our horrible travel agent.......don't use one.....take a little time and book your own vacation. Onto my review of Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas.... STAFF: The staff was absolutely terrific, especially our room attendant (Sandra). She went above and beyond to make us comfortable, and was great with the kids. She even got us some slippers since our travel agent said we were supposed to get some! We didn't interact with many other staff members, just at dining. We did "MyTime Dining," so dined in the Windjammer Cafe for every meal. We pretty much had the same staff each meal and they were all incredibly helpful and interacted well with our kids. ALSO - during the mandatory emergency drill, they were very kind and didn't make us stand in lines with the rest of the guests, since we had little ones and they didn't want us to stand in the sun. They also let us leave before all of the other people, so that we didn't get caught in the crowds going back to their rooms. FOOD: The food was sub-par....pretty bland. The food at the "snack bar" in the solarium was especially bad......no flavor and greasy. We stopped there the first night and never went back. The Windjammer had a good variety of foods, including fruits and salads/vegetables, breads, and desserts. We didn't feel any of it was anything to rave bout. The main dishes didn't have a lot of seasoning, looked undercooked some of the time (especially the eggs), and were fatty. The desserts weren't very sweet and were often dry. My daughter (3 ½) who LOVES dessert didn't want any of it after one bite, not even the cookies. (They DID have soft serve one day, and she loved that! So did our 9 month old son.) We were also told by the travel agent that we could get soda and juice at meals, but this is not true - you HAVE to buy a beverage package if you want soda or juice! W were really craving soda by the end of the week. (We don't drink a lot of soda, but enjoy one with dinner.) GIFTS IN ROOM: We ordered a few things to have in our room when we arrived. Water was a must, and it was nice having the mini fridge to keep it cold. We also ordered some wine and wine truffles. The truffles were delicious! The wine was good, but overpriced (about 4x what you'd pay in a store). I bought my husband a birthday package with breakfast in bed one morning, but that was a total waste of money. We had the breakfast delivered the day of our excursion, so that we wouldn't have to worry about getting food from the dining room (trying to save time). They delivered the breakfast 45 minutes late, so we didn't have time to eat it before we had to meet for the excursion. The birthday decorations were stupid, too.....a lot of money for a cheap banner. We also bought a beach chair with sand toys for our daughter.....the chair wasn't a real chair and fell over when she sat in it, and there were just a few toys. She loved the Crayola Glow Station, but again, it was overpriced. POOLS: Only one pool was open, the main one. We were confused by the size....extremely size for the number of people on board. It was also strange.....one side had a very small area of an actual pool........not large enough to swim AT ALL, and deep - 5'6", so we couldn't go on that side since I'm 5'4" and couldn't stand in order to hold/help the kids. The outside of that was just about 6" deep (if even that), as well as the other side. The kids did enjoy sitting in the water, but our daughter would have preferred being able to actually utilize her swimming skills. There are four hot tubs surrounding the pool, but they were full every time we went out there. There are signs that say kids who are not potty trained are not allowed in the pool (even with swim diapers), but we brought our baby in with swim diapers on anyway. No one said anything. (Royal Caribbean really needs to invest in a filtration system to allow babies in the pools!) We brought an inflatable baby pool (as suggested by the goofy travel agent), but there was NO place to put it, as the pool was completely surrounded by chairs. ROOMS: We would not stay in an interior state room, even if it was just the two of us. We upgraded to a junior suite, and boy were we glad.....the interior rooms were TINY! We heard tons of people onboard complaining about the size of their rooms. The suite had a bathtub (instead of a teeny tiny shower), which was really nice for bathing the kids, and for shaving legs. Because there was not much for us to do on the ship, we ended up spending quite a bit of time in our room. (And because we have an infant who takes 2 naps a day, we had no choice about staying in our room during the day at times.) With the balcony and couch area, we had plenty of room and didn't feel claustrophobic. The ONLY negative about our suite: we couldn't enjoy the balcony. The people next door constantly smoked on their balcony, and the smoke blew right at us. Smoking isn't allowed in the rooms, but apparently it's allowed on the balconies, which we find disgusting. KIDS' PROGRAMS: The Fisher Price playgroup is a joke.....it's just a 4'x4' rubber mat in the middle of a lounge area with some toys.....it wasn't even in a separate room. The staff member there didn't interact with the kids at all. The Adventure Ocean program was also ridiculous. The travel agent REALLY talked it up. The room for preschool-aged kids was only about the size of 2 junior suites (if even that). There was a tunnel and slide (like at McDonald's), and a few toys, and again, the staff didn't interact with the kids at all. It's a glorified day care....you get a pager and drop your kid off. We only used it 3 times for about 1 hour each time. You have to pay to have your kid in there during lunch, at night, and I think at other times. Our daughter didn't enjoy it unless her cousin was in there at the same time. I see that Cruise Critic gives this ship a rating of "5" for family/children, which seems ridiculous considering actual cruisers give it an average of "2" for family/children. ACTIVITIES: We didn't feel there was a lot to do during the day. Even if there was something we were interested in doing, our daughter wouldn't have wanted to go into the kids' room long enough for us to do something. Besides the pool, there really wasn't anything for us all to do together as a family. We DID have a family member babysit while we attempted to see a movie, but that didn't work out. (We thought they were showing the newest Twilight movie, but when we got there it was rescheduled for a later time, then when we went back it turned out not to be the most recent one. It seems they could have shown more recently released movies, and they didn't show ANY kids' movies which would have been nice.) Since we already had a babysitter, we wandered over to the casino, spent 5 minutes in there and left. Smoking is allowed in the casino, and boy were people smoking! It was hard to breathe in there. We wandered a bit more, then went back to the room since there nothing left to do. It looked like there were some fun activities and shows at night, 8pm and later, but since we have to get up in the middle of the night with an infant and then early in the morning with both kids, we didn't see the point in even having someone babysit to do anything "adult." SPA/FITNESS: The fitness center didn't have much of anything, and the spa was SO overpriced that we certainly didn't utilize any of those services (I think about $200 for a one hour massage!!) PORTS/EXCURSIONS: We chose the turtle farm and dolphin encounter at Grand Cayman. We were told our baby would not be allowed to participate, but when we got there they gave him a life jacket and said that he could. (Royal Caribbean needs to get this information corrected....were totally unprepared to have him in the water with us!!) Our daughter loved everything....feeding the large sea turtles and picking up the small ones, then getting to kiss and touch the dolphin was amazing! The DVD and pictures are RIDICULOUSLY overpriced, but we bought some anyway since we weren't allowed to take pictures and this was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. We chose not to do an excursion at Cozumel, just took a taxi (expensive) to a tourist restaurant (Mr. Sancho's) and beach. The food was okay, the service was terrible. It was outdoors, so we were sweating profusely and felt miserable. My daughter loved the swings next to our table...that kept her entertained and kept her from complaining. After lunch we walked down to the water (right there), and set our stuff down. Right after we set our bags and towels down, we were told that part of the beach was only for people who'd signed up for an excursion and that we had to walk down to a different part of the beach. No problem....we walk down and get in the water, only to discover it's ALL rock and there's no way to enjoy the beach and water there. It was horrible! It was tough finding excursions we could even bring our kids on. We would have loved to snorkel, but many wouldn't allow our kids (even though the travel agent told us they "all" have snorkeling boards), and then there was a fear of whatever excursion boat not having shade for our infant to stay in. We've never been to Mexico, but we hated Cozumel. Grand Cayman was better, but both were horribly hot and humid.....our kids' heads were soaked with sweat! The taxi drivers in Cozumel were NUTS......we were very much afraid for our children!! BOTTOM LINE: This was our first cruise, and we have certainly decided cruises are for adults, and MAYBE older kids if the right cruise ship is selected. (We didn't feel this ship was right even for older kids.) Royal Caribbean nickel and dimes you for EVERYTHING! If we ever do a cruise again, it will be a Disney cruise, but I doubt we'd ever do another one at all (partly because of the vertigo we felt for several days afterwards, too). If you have kids, take them to someplace with a beach or Disneyworld/Disneyland! Don't do a cruise. (Unless you prefer leaving your kids in day care all day and get sitters at night to vacation separately.) Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Selected this cruise for the price and ports. The ship was in really nice shape for it's age and the crew was excellent. The shows were nothing to write home about with the exception of the Beatlemania show which was REALLY good. ... Read More
Selected this cruise for the price and ports. The ship was in really nice shape for it's age and the crew was excellent. The shows were nothing to write home about with the exception of the Beatlemania show which was REALLY good. Embarkation was really easy and quick. Kudos to RCI. Food in the Windjammer was good, not exceptional, but the service in WJ was excellent. The crew were attentive and helpful. Meals in the main dining room were again good but not exceptional. The menu was fairly diverse. Good appetizers but I found the beef selections not as good as previous cruises. The duck was also nothing special, and I was wishing I had gone with something different. On a bright note, whether it was the class of passengers or the class of the ship, formal night in the MDR was a joy with the VAST majority of cruisers dressed up for the event. Nearly all had at least nice shirt and pants, dresses, or suits, and an occasional tux and very, very few persons who I would consider sloppy dressed ( no shorts, tank tops etc) I know this can be a sensitive point for many but it was just a refreshing formal night. As a Crown and Anchor member I was disappointed. We got coupon books with coupons we couldn't use. No Johnny Rockets etc. And there was no loyalty gift. I think RCI could revamp the loyalty program a little and change up the coupon book. Overall we had a great time and great Service. Not exceptional but very enjoyable. We visited beaches at Gr. Cayman and Cozumel. Snorkeling was great at Playa Mia on Cozumel. Again this was a relaxing cruise, not an activity filled cruise for us. I will probably not sail on this class of ship again, but really enjoy the Voyager class for things to do and the Freedom class for family activity. We docked next to Oasis in Cozumel. WOW !!! We will probably cruise on the Oasis class someday, but it may be just too big to thoroughly enjoy. I will have to check some Oasis reviews. Royal Caribbean has been my preference, but with the noticeable lack of some sort of better customer loyalty program or pricing, I find that Carnival offers some better deals price wise with just a little lower level of service, and they are probably going to get some more of my return business. Viking Crown Lounge was a great location for before dinner drinks but we were amazed how few people visited there. The old small TV's in cabins did not allow for interactive review of your account, or booking of excursions etc. A real negative in my opinion. Otherwise the cabin was very adequate and well serviced. Debarkation was breeze with the self carry express debarkation process. This was a good cruise for the price we paid, and I would not discourage anyone from this ship or itinerary. Just not a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Booked this cruise b/c saw it on the web for a great price. Board at noon, have bathing suit and suntan lotion in carry on; it is almost a full day minus the breakfast, with lunch, then swimming then activities once the ship takes off. ... Read More
Booked this cruise b/c saw it on the web for a great price. Board at noon, have bathing suit and suntan lotion in carry on; it is almost a full day minus the breakfast, with lunch, then swimming then activities once the ship takes off. then 2 ports, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, with 2 full days at sea. Just right for a week [almost] getaway. Flew down from dc area night before, though you could fly in the am of the day of departure. Just don't want to chance a flight mess up, and missing the cruise. Royal Caribbean has the best all around entertainment, by far, which is what they are known for. excellent reggae band poolside. wonderful band in the centrum for dancing before and after dinner--i think they were called the teddys--brass, keyboard, guitar, great drummer who was the singer..they were terrific with a huge repertoire. The nine piece orchestra for the shows was terrific--there is nothing like good live music and rc spends the money and makes a real effort to assure they have it. The cruise director, John was one of the better ones you will find and has a terrific singing voice and sense of humor, without being forced The production shows were very good--dancers and singers were quite good and the themes were good and not contrived..musical reviews basically. activities going on all over the ship for all age groups and all interests. And, the grandeur is one of RC's smaller ships, but they have everything you need, and nothing you dont. Covered pool [solarium] in case of bad weather, which we did not have--adults only. The service all around was excellent, cabin, waiters, bars, everyone, as was their attitude. Lots of families on board--all age groups in fact. Many 20-30 somethings--enjoyed playing texas hold em with some of them. They were a high energy, well mannered group..and, there was enough of over 50 crowd too [us included--make that over 60], and it is good to be around the 20 to 30's -this was definitely not a nursing home ship or cruise. We usually eat dinner in the windjammer--will be a diamond member with nest cruise, because of the variety and it takes less time, and the view, and we eat whenever we want to , rather than on a schedule. The windjammer was such a disappointment, that we went to the main dining room, where the food was very good. Other cruise lines usually provide the same food in the windjammer as is served in the main dining room with some exceptions. As for the windjammer, however, I never knew that pork and chicken--the regular staple--could be made to appear in so may different ways, and leftovers could be cooked in so many ways, and without much flavor. If it were ordinary that would be an improvement. I understand that the new chef is from the Caribbean. If I want to eat as they regularly do in the Caribbean, I'll move to the Caribbean, complete with live pigs and chickens wandering around the house and yard. One night they served beef wellington which is supposed to be fillet wrapped in pastry dough. The pastry dough was there, but underneath it was pot roast, not fillet. In the main dining room, they actually had fillet, I was told by guests. If you are going to serve pot roast just tell me it is pot roast wrapped in pastry dough, but don't tell me it is beef wellington. In any case, in Grand Cayman we did the seven mile beach break..this was excellent--the water clear blue and warm--wonderful to swim in --we have done other excursions in GC before such as stingray city with snorkel, and the beach break was just right for us this time. Cozumel is about shopping--snorkeling or diving if you like also--but we have done that before also, so just did shopping and lunch--great fun to shop and haggle. The foregoing being said, if you want a getaway, and like entertainment and activities, this 5 day cruise, which feels like 7, is wonderful thanks to Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: My hubby and I had cruised twice before, once on the Celebrity Summit and once on the Mariner of the Seas and our two main concerns were that a 5 day cruise would be far too short and that the smaller ship would ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: My hubby and I had cruised twice before, once on the Celebrity Summit and once on the Mariner of the Seas and our two main concerns were that a 5 day cruise would be far too short and that the smaller ship would detract from our vacation. Of course we found the cruise to be too short (but that's true of any cruise, no matter how long) but found the smaller ship to provide for a much more low key and relaxing vacation than we had anticipated. TRAVEL TO PORT/EMBARKATION: We live in Orlando, so we simply drove down to the port the morning of the cruise. Traffic wasn't too bad but tolls were a little more expensive than we thought they would be (about $12 each way). Embarkation was much easier than we thought it would be. We walked right up, checked in, and were on board the ship eating in the Windjammer in less than half an hour. STATEROOM: Our stateroom was about the average size of an interior stateroom and was nice and clean with a little bit more closet space than I had on previous cruises. The bed was comfy and, thanks to the curtain that divided the bed from the rest of the stateroom (and succeed in blocking out all light), we slept soundly almost every night of the cruise. My only complaints about the stateroom were that the phone was bolted onto the dresser and we had difficulty finding our way to it when our wake-up calls came and that the thermostat had broken on our last night, leaving the stateroom sweltering. SHIP INFO: The Grandeur of the seas was beautiful. Being a theater nerd I particularly loved the design of their theater and my hubby spent a great deal of time enjoying the casino. The pools were nice and well maintained and the 16 and over solarium provided a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the main pool, we also never had a problem finding a lounge chair. The only concern I had with the Grandeur was that the majority of the casino allowed smoking. Although there is a non-smoking section of the casino, it is quite small. There was also a non-smoking night in the casino, though it was not very well enforced. DINING: The food was amazing, we never encountered an entree we didn't like. The Windjammer was a bit too small with limited seating however, with some patience, we were always able to find a table, even in the lunch rush. We also loved the main dining room. We requested a table for two and I was a bit disappointed that we were assigned a table for six. That being said, though, the other two couples we were sat with were interesting, fun, and I was glad I decided not to try and switch for a different table. Our wait staff was amazing. They were very engaging, always brought our favorite drinks to the table, and had no problem bringing us a second dish (appetizer, entree, or dessert) if we had difficulty making up our minds on what to order. One of the few ways I missed being on a larger ship, however, was the fact that there is no specialty dining on the Grandeur. However, there is the option to add a Chops Grille steak to your dinner for $15.00. ACTIVITIES: I felt that the activities on the ship were somewhat limited and seemed to consist mostly of the same activities day in and day out. Fortunately we brought some cards and had no problem relaxing and finding ways to entertain ourselves when there was nothing going on. Although I felt that the activities themselves were lacking, the cruise director and his staff were amazing and fun to interact with. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was a little disappointing and, in my opinion, not quite up to the standards of the previous cruises we had done (possibly because the Grandeur is so much smaller). That being said, we did have an enjoyable time at the shows. SERVICE: The service was amazing. We had our anniversary on board the ship and our stateroom attendant actually left an anniversary card in our stateroom which was a pleasant surprise. Also, as previously mentioned the cruise director staff and the waitstaff were always friendly and helpful. PORTS: We chose this cruise mainly for the three ports it visited which were Key West, Cozumel, and Coco Cay. We didn't book any excursions because we wanted to explore the areas on our own and had an amazing time in all three. The port where we spent the least amount of time in was Cozumel because the ship didn't dock near the main city and we would have had to pay $10 each way to get downtown. However there were shops and bars over by the cruise ship and we did enjoy walking around, having a drink or two, and (of course) shopping. Coco Cay was so relaxing and it was nice to just laze around on the beach and enjoy the buffet (that was included with the cruise). Our favorite of the three ports, by far, was Key West mainly because just about everything was within walking distance. We walked over to the lighthouse, climbed up the stairs, and were rewarded with the view of the ship, the island, the Hemingway house, and the ocean. We also walked down the the Southernmost Point and had to get a picture in front of it. All in all the ports were absolutely beautiful and the hubby and I would consider cruising to them again. DISEMBARKATION: The disembarkation process was relatively painless. We could have carried our luggage off the ship and been among the first to get off, but since we were driving and had nowhere we needed to be we decided to go the traditional route of leaving our luggage in the hall and picking it up on the way out. There was a slight delay at customs but other than that we were able to get back to our car rather quickly. All in all we had a wonderful vacation and are already looking forward to our next Royal Caribbean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
I will start this review by covering two topics that are not addressed frequently on these boards but do happen on cruises. The first topic is shore excursion scuba diving. We pulled into Cozumel on Aug 16, 2010 and docked at the ... Read More
I will start this review by covering two topics that are not addressed frequently on these boards but do happen on cruises. The first topic is shore excursion scuba diving. We pulled into Cozumel on Aug 16, 2010 and docked at the International Dock. We got off the ship and near the very nice mall (this mall is underrated) at the dock were a series of tents. Each tent would have a sign. Isla de Pasion (Passion Island) for example. Then everyone would wait under the tent and out of the sun for the tour guide to get the group together. We had a meeting time of 8:30 AM. The shore excursion documents state things like "You must have documentation of diving in the last 12 months, etc." But here is how it works. The cruise line makes statements but it is the dive operator who does ALL the documentation. We were never asked on the ship or beforehand to produce certification cards or dive logs. The tour guide examined all of our certification cards and we then filled out a form stating when our last dive was and how deep. They did not ask to see a dive log. It is rare for any dive operator anywhere to ask to see a dive log nowadays. I was diving with my fifteen year old son. There were about twelve of us and we got into the dive boat. We then went about twenty minutes to the dive shop "Sand Dollar Water Sports". We traveled south (going to the right when facing from the ship to shore). The water was about 88 degrees so my son and I only went with swim shirts and trunks. The swim shirt was perfect. It kept the BCV from scratching but it also was perfect for the temperature. Usually I will wear a wetsuit but it was not needed. An advantage for diving in August. They had good equipment and outfitting us was low key. They also took all the equipment to the boat. We then had a dive to "Santa Rosa Wall" 80 feet deep. It was great. We then got back on the boat. Then instead of us having surface time sitting in the boat we headed back to the dock. Up at the shop we were given water to drink. They also pitched us to get a video for sixty dollars. There had been a cameraman with us the whole time. We are all so scared of getting ripped off that none of us went for it at first. They were going to mail it. If it was not mailed then how were we to get our money back? Then I decided that it was not that much money to risk and paid for it. We then went on another dive "San Clemente Reef" at forty five feet. Because it was shallow the light was much brighter and there were more fish. We got back to the dock and turned in our equipment. They had an outdoor fresh water shower at the shop. My son and I stayed in our swim shirt and trunks and got rinsed off. We got back on the boat and they took us back to the dock in twenty minutes. I put forty dollars in the tip bucket for my son and myself. The service had been as spectacular as the dives. All of the people working there were very friendly and low key. The dive was August 16 and I got the DVD in the mail September 7. It was from "Sea Star Underwater Video" in Colorado, USA. They must upload the video to the United States for production and distribution. The dive video is 28 minutes long with nice music. There is some video onshore and on the boat in addition to the dive. None of the video was stock footage and it was all shot that day. I have gotten dive videos from other places where most of it is stock footage but this had none. It had equal screen time for all the divers. This was a great purchase and I think that any diver on these excursions may want to get it. In conclusion, scuba diving on a shore excursion is very easy. All of the documents appear to be handled by the tour operator and the cruise line did not ask to see any of them. The outfit Sand Dollar Water Sports is great. We just showed up with swim trunks and shirt and they gave us the rest. And the video from Sea Star Underwater Video was first rate. Now onto the not so secret secret for families. We really enjoy the shows on the ships. Because of our lack of energy we do not go to see any live performances when we are at home. But the ships have great singing, dancing and we always like a magic show. But the shows for the early dining seating are at 9 PM which is when we start going to bed. We will eat at the 6 PM seating. Then if the show looks like it is going to be good we tell the waiter to get us out of there by 6:45 PM. We are decisive when it comes to picking out menu items. We rattle them off to the waiter and he gets the machine in motion. We have a great dinner and still make it to the early 7 PM show. Forty five minutes is about how long we can keep our kids from going stir crazy anyway. Eating in the main dining room beats the Windjammer always. So the secret is you can pack it all in and get back to the room by 8:30 PM. When I was pricing out the cruise I compared getting two regular cabins versus an owners suite and the price was about the same. They also put a roll-away in it. So we had a queen bed, couch foldout (which was excellent) and a roll-away for the four of us. We also had lots of room. The only problem was that we only had one bathroom. This became a sore point between my teenage son and daughter. Our cabin attendant was Mary Joy from the Philippines. She worked very hard and did a good job. Our waiter was Amel from Bosnia. Superb. Also it was nice to hear him talk about how life on the ship was good. I have grown tired of hearing from some workers how they cannot wait until their contract is up and they can go home. The assistant waiter was Barbara from Chile. She was good but it was easy to see why Amel was a waiter and not an assistant. They got tuned into what we wanted very quickly and had us squared away. They have an extremely nice Ben and Jerry's/Seattle's Best counter in the main atrium. Even though this cost extra it was wonderful and the prices were good. Condition of Grandeur of the Seas. We have been on this class of RCL ship many times. Here is my impression. It is the same old ship but the attention to cleanliness is far better. I encountered stern looking inspectors in my cabin and in the Ben and Jerry's. These were ship managers and they had gloves on and were white glove testing all the surfaces. They also had flashlights to look in crevices. Excellent! Tipping: We did the prepay tips. The people do not know if you tipped them until the last night of the cruise. They were so good that I wanted to put more tips on my account. But this is not possible. Prepay is just an automatic thing and they cannot alter it. So I put forty dollars each into the envelopes for the waiter, assist waiter and cabin attendant. In hindsight, I should have given more since I was actually tipping for four people. Ten dollars for each passenger is not much considering how hard they worked and what a great job they did. The main pool was absolutely disgusting. It was packed wall to wall with sweating bodies. Even the kiddie part had grown men in it. It was August in the sweltering sun. You can only imagine how nasty it was. The pool in the solarium was very nice and not crowded. If you want to get into the water then do it on the shore excursions. CocoCay This was very nice. We had been here in 1999 and it has improved a lot since then. The snorkeling was excellent. Way out into the water was only four feet deep. They had a floating platform to lie on and nearby was a sunken plane in six feet of water. Also lots of beautiful fish. The four of us thought that snorkeling here was a family highlight. We had liked Castaway Cay more but this really was as nice. Lots of chairs by the water and a very calm atmosphere. The food was very nice. But they shut down the drink stand and that got me riled up. Plenty of good food but I had to go to the bar and pour water out of a small thermos to get something to drink. We looked at the water playground. You have to pay for this. Very few people were using it. It looked like fun but the rest of the island was so much fun that it was not needed. The giant slide is about one hundred feet from the water on dry land. It is very tall. Again, not many people were using it so lines would not be a problem. There was also some sort of race course for those tiny cars for kids. The cars go at walking speed. These three activities require an extra fee. It is easy to pay at each site so go check it out first and see if you like it before you pay for it. Key West This was our first stop. We had gone deep sea fishing with RCL in 2005 and liked it so much we signed up for it again. But all the boats were in the gulf helping out with the Deep Horizon Oil Spill so the trip was cancelled and our money was refunded. Instead we went on the conch train and saw The Truman White House. We have done both of these before and cannot wait to do them again. Kids Activities. There really is not too much for teens to do in the activities. But that is a problem at home also. The ship tried hard but the attendance was feeble. My son played "Assassin". This was sort of a hide and seek around the entire ship. But calling it "hide and seek" would not be cool. I do not think that it was arranged by the ship. I think that the male teens just thought it up at one of the get togethers and did it on their own. My daughter did not have much to do with the program. All things considered, most teens are self-conscious and trying to get them to "go have fun" in a new group is easier said than done. We used to be able to check them in and check them out of ships activities when they were young. But the ship does no accounting for teens. They are free to come and go in spite of the fact that we may want to tether them into an activity. But my kids also did not seem to mind just hanging out and reading in the room during down time. The gym. This was all Cybex machines and was pretty crowded. I did not workout like I had intended to do. Finishing the cruise. We did the Express Departure where we did not check any luggage. (We had checked the luggage when coming aboard.) We had breakfast, went back to the room and then just left the ship and were in the parking lot in minutes. I have never had such a nice return. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
This was our second cruise with RC. The first was out of Miami aboard the Magesty of the Seas. To begin I have to say that everything was outstanding! Lessons were learned from the first time around, and even more this time around. We got ... Read More
This was our second cruise with RC. The first was out of Miami aboard the Magesty of the Seas. To begin I have to say that everything was outstanding! Lessons were learned from the first time around, and even more this time around. We got to the the airport in Fort Lauderdale at around 11:30, expecting to be waiting for boarding to start at 2pm. This wasnt the case. A rep was waiting for people who booked transport to the port and told us that she was boarding already. We got to the terminal and waited less than 5 minutes in line. The check in process was a breeze. I was worried that we did not have passports but a phone rep informed us that we needed birth certs and marriage certs so everything was good. Once on board, they invited everyone to the windjammer for lunch (around 12:00) and then we walked around untill the room was ready at at 1 pm. Lesson learned, pack a bathing suit in your carry on so you can get into the pool. Our room was a bit dated and you can tell it was either a former smoking room or someone in the past didnt care about the rules. There were cigarrette burns on the top of the tv, and on the bathroom sink. The room was about the same size as our outside room on the Magesty so that was pleasing. There were mirrors everywhere to give it the appearance that it was bigger. The bed was comfortable, the tv was kind of small but right in front of the bed when you pulled it out so no big deal. The bathroom was cramped but how much space do you need? It was always clean and the only noises heard where when people let the doors slam shut a few doors down. The food was ok in the Windjammer. Typical buffet selections but the variety was amazing. There were selections from many different cultures and the place was never crowded except for the one night we ate dinner there. It was a madhouse and I would guess that the people that were not in the mood to have a formal dinner were all there. The formal dining was excellent. The service was great and both the waiter and assistant knew our names every time we went back. We got a note from the head waiter on the first night saying our table was changed. It was a table for two. At first I was dissapointed because we were moved to a table for four. It all worked out as we made great friends with a couple from Columbia. The free beverage selection is limited to coffee, unsweet tea, water, lemonade, watered down orange juice and your standard milks etc. The alcohol... unlimited selections and the pool bar keep took GOOOOD care of the drinks. These arent cheap but when you dont have to get up to get a tastey adult beverage.... what more do I need to say? Aboard the Magesty you couldnt go five minutes without someone asking if you wanted bar service. Kind of annoying when you havent finished your drink. On the Grandure they seemed to pay attention and not long after you finished someone would ask you if you wanted another. The on board entertainment was ok. There was indeed something for everyone. The Broadway show wasn't my cup of tea so we left early. There was a comedian that absolutely had the entire theater crying with laughter. The casino made a bit of a profit from us but that's to be expected. The port stops were kind of short key west was 7am to 2pm, Cozumel was 10 am to 6pm and Coco Cay was 7 am to 4pm. Key west has a lot of history and you cant possibly see it all. Coco Cay is a great beach resort that RC owns. Once again, people running around asking if you want COCO LOCOs. (awesome drink btw) There is a lot to do such as snorkeling, para sailing, scuba, swimming, relaxing in a hammock and other things. I opted for the snorkeling. Its in an area that's only a few feet deep. There are two sunken planes, bow cannons, an anchor and other things to observe. Cozumel is another port where there is more to do than you have time for. We opted for the jungle hike and there were only four others with us. This made for a great tour. Most people went for the water sports and things like that. Like any other port, when you get into the shopping area, every merchant along the way is trying to get you into their store. The debarking day went quite well. They have added a time for those who wish to carry their own luggage off before everyone else. This is great if you have a flight before noon. You don't have to wait on ground transportation and you can get a cab right away instead of fighting the masses. Overall a great experience. The ship is a bit dated but still looks great. We weren't there to look at the boat, we were there to have a good time and according to our bill at the end, we sure did. Lessons learned: Settle your sea pass account (this is like a charge account if you want to purchase anything on the ship) in cash. Call the cruise line and ask if there are any special groups booking. There were a group of autistic kids on the ship (no complaints here) and some college kids on their last hurrah before school started. Those guys were a bit obnoxious but tolerable and certainly fun to watch when security cut them off from drinking in the pool. Point being, you may end up on a cruise with a large group of people you may or may not like. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Anniversary cruise.. Granduer of the Sea. Thursday, day 2 before cruise. I spent the day working, but at 4pm, freedom happened, and I set out for home. Arriving just 15 minutes later, finished checking all the list, we were onour way to ... Read More
Anniversary cruise.. Granduer of the Sea. Thursday, day 2 before cruise. I spent the day working, but at 4pm, freedom happened, and I set out for home. Arriving just 15 minutes later, finished checking all the list, we were onour way to Arcadia to spend the night at my sisters andleave mom there for the next 2 weeks. Friday, day 1 before the cruise. Woke up about 7 am, and was on the road by 7:30. Stopped at Dennys for breakfast, and then it was on to the long leg of Alligator Alley. Stopped along the way, but never saw any alligators. Saw one lonely wood stork and a dragonfly. Found Smokey Bones and had lunch there. Arrived at our hotel about noon, settled in and decided to go exploring. First it was off to Jimbo's Sandbar and then Dania Beach. Nice waves, warm water, but very few shells. Driving back we found Paxton's Ice Cream.. home of the Kitchen Sink sundae that was featured on the food network. Back at the hotel for some afternoon swimming, relaxing and then out to eat at Church's Chicken, Paxton's Ice Cream and then on to Hard Rock Casino to donate some money. Back to the hotel and time for one last sleep before the cruise. Day 1 of cruise. Woke up, had a great breakfast at the hotel, went and saw the wooden rollercoaster, and went to Barnes and Noble. We left the htel about 10:30 for the port, and after signing in, photo's and such.. we were onboard by 11am. Lunch in the Windjammer, feet in the pool.. looked around, relaxed, saw the Oasis, had muster drill, dinner and a Welcome Aboard show. Dinner was fantastic.. Onion tart, Prime Rib, watermelon soup.. couldn't ask for anything better. Day 2 of cruise... went to the Diamond only area for breakfast.. not many people there, but nice. Then it was off to Key West. We arrived at 7 am but had to be back onboard by 1:30, so it was a short day. Mostly walked around.. had to get Gelato, go to Keno's, and bought me a Key West bracelet. One of the problems of key West on Sunday is the fact that most the bars do not open until noon. Really hard to get trashed in an hour (but it could be fun trying)! Came back on the ship and spent time around the pool. Tonight is Formal night, so it's time to get cleaned up and get ready. Pictures taken, dinner done, and the show was Rhythm and Rhyme. This show was about the same as last time, except that the music overpowered the singing, and really made for a bad performance. Day 3.. Cozumel. We arrived about 10am and took the taxi into downtown to pick up a few gifts needed and were back on ship in about an hour. This is not our favorite port of call, so the time spent by the pool was wonderful as it was an empty ship. Spent the day relaxing until dinner, the saw the show "Team Root Berry" A juggling, comedy act and not of my favorites. Off to see Johhny and the take 4. They were awesome.. and then it was the Quest. This version seemed toned down compared to others. After that it was the late night buffet. Day 4.. A Day at Sea. This day started off with a huge downpour that lasted about an hour, but after that it was smooth sailing. Breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer was normal.. good, hot and plentiful Dinner was Lobster and Prime rib.. Oh and our Waiter Arnold is fabulous as is our stateroom attendant Barbara. The show was "All Access" that we have seen before and really didn't care for it. After that it was a Ventriloquist names Greg Cummings. Not near as good as Terry Fator or Jeff Dunham, but ok. The Captain said coco Cay doesn't look promising, but he will try. So we will see' Day 5.. Now a sea day, no coco Cay. It was beautiful outside, but the seas being way too rough to navigate the tenders, Captain rob chose a Sea Day, and we made the best of it. Most of the day was at the pool.. and Yes, we did still get Coco Loco's. Tonight it the farewell show and late night comedy. Saying goodbye The show was wonderful.. not your typical CD's top ten list. This was well planned and very good. Day 6.. disembarkation. Had breakfast in the main dining room (not very good), but we were off the ship at 7:30, back at the hotel by 8am, and on our way to Key West. Would we do this trip again? YES, IN A HEARTBEAT!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Our party included myself (57), DH (60) and DS(27). This was DS and my fourth cruise and DH's second. We flew into FLL on Jet Blue the day before and stayed at the Hyatt Place North. The hotel provided a complimentary shuttle from the ... Read More
Our party included myself (57), DH (60) and DS(27). This was DS and my fourth cruise and DH's second. We flew into FLL on Jet Blue the day before and stayed at the Hyatt Place North. The hotel provided a complimentary shuttle from the airport to hotel and from the hotel to the port. Embarkation was quick and painless. Although this is an older ship, it was meticulously maintained and tastefully decorated. It looked somewhat worn in places, but still very attractive. We stayed in an aft junior suite on deck 8, directly below the spa. We found the cabin to have ample space for the three of us with a large balcony. It was a very quiet location. Our cabin attendant (Judy) was very friendly and kept our room spotless. We don't usually participate in the typical cruise activities preferring to just relax, read and spend time with each other. The Solarium is a very peaceful location and I particularly enjoyed sitting there and reading. Service throughout the cruise was outstanding. I have never encountered a friendlier or happier crew. We did My Time Dining and I made reservations online for 7:15 every night. We all enjoyed the food very much. It was not 5 star dining but still good. Again the service was outstanding. We ate lunch in the dining room on sea days and particularly enjoyed their salad bar. We also ate breakfast in the dining room on 3 mornings. We usually prefer the dining room to the Windjammer as it is more peaceful. We docked in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. DS arranged scuba dives in both locations through private vendors. DH and I arranged private excursions as well. In Grand Cayman, we had reservations through Stingray Sailing for a sting ray encounter, snorkel and sail back to shore. It was a wonderful excursion and I would highly recommend them. This was a tender port and we had no difficulty getting on a tender soon after we docked. In Cozumel, DH and I had reservations at Nachi Cocom, an all inclusive beach area where the number of reservations is limited. This was a beautiful beach and very peaceful. Well worth the money, especially when considering the number of cruisers in port that day. However, the only negative of the entire trip was our experience in disembarking the ship in Cozumel. The Oasis was also docked there and the port was packed with people. We had to wait in a hot crowded line for 45 minutes before we could get a taxi to the beach. Next cruise, I will check on other ships in port and avoid a day when a mega ship like the Oasis is there. RCCL should plan better than this. In summary, this cruise was a relaxing vacation that gave us some good family time. We would definitely consider cruising with RCCL again, especially on the Grandeur. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Updated Review (09/2010) ------------------------ Although I referenced both good and bad details in my original review below, I certainly focused on those parts of the cruise that did not meet our expectations. Since posting the ... Read More
Updated Review (09/2010) ------------------------ Although I referenced both good and bad details in my original review below, I certainly focused on those parts of the cruise that did not meet our expectations. Since posting the original review, our travel agent contacted Royal Caribbean with our concerns, and Royal Caribbean responded with what seemed to be general empathy on their part. After learning that this was our first and only experience with Royal, they also went as far as to provide certain incentives for us to give them a try again. I was impressed that they took the time to contact us, addressed our concerns, and made a concerted effort to try to get us back on one of their boats in the future. The issues I documented below are still a concern, but I was impressed enough with Royal's willingness to make things right that I wanted to take a moment and update our review. I do believe we will sail with Royal again within the next 12 months, and I will post another review of that experience at that time. Original Review (08/2010) ------------------------- Our family of 8 cruised on the "Grandeur of the Seas" from 8/9 through 8/13, with stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We had two cabins, the "Grand Suite" # 8510 and the "Junior Suite" # 8576. My wife and I are 39 and 41 respectively, our kids are 15,13,12,10, and 5, and we brought my father-in-law who is 65. This was our 5th cruise, with two previous trips on Disney, and one each on Celebrity and Carnival. We will definitely cruise on Disney again, and most likely on Celebrity. We will never cruise on Carnival again, and we are lukewarm about Royal Caribbean. I've divided the review into three parts - the good, the so-so, and the bad. First - the good: • I thought our assistant waiter - Ronald - did a great job, as did our cabin stewards - Mary Joy and Judy. The head waiter - Roger - also made it a point to be available during the week. • I thought the food was very good most of the time, and the waiters were very accommodating. My father-in-law asked for some additional escargot one evening as an appetizer - and the waiter never stopped bringing additional plates to him. It was a bit overkill - but a very nice gesture. • The size of the suites and the size of the balcony was very good. • I thought the cruise director and activities director - John and Katrina - both did a very good job. They were pleasant and accessible throughout the cruise. • I thought all of the evening entertainment options were very good, and unlike Carnival, the entertainment was very appropriate for kids and young adults (no g-string dancers, no cursing, etc). • The magic "class" that the magician Levent put on for the kids was amazing. Even more impressive was that he wasn't contracted for that class, he happened to see the abundance of kids on the ship and he asked the cruise director John if he could put a class together for the kids. That was a great gesture and he did a great job. A few things that were "so-so", but not enough for us to say we had a bad time: • The grand suite was large, but not so "grand". The exterior to the bathtub had rust stains all over it, the tile floor was all cracked, the grout was cracked on the tile floor so sometimes when you walked on it in bare feet small pieces of grout would stick to your feet and be pulled up. • The suite was located right underneath the buffet restaurant, so every morning around 3:00am I would wake up to the sound of the tables and buffet stations being dragged across the floor so they could clean, and then around 5:30am to 6:00am or so it sounded like they were starting to bring the food out to the buffet stations. • The balcony door was "loose" so even the slightest motion would cause it to "bang" against wall. Most of the evenings at sea it sounded like someone spent the night on the balcony knocking to get inside. • The bed in the suite was horrible. I spent part of first night sleeping on the rollaway cot and putting one of the kids in the master bed. This was however something that they attempted to correct. I mentioned it to our steward Mary Joy, and she loaded up the bed with additional mattress pads which made it a bit more bearable after the first night. It still wasn't great, but I was up a lot in the evening anyway because of the noise, so the bed was no longer the biggest issue. • The exterior door of the suite (to the hallway) was severely "bent". The door would be closed at the top, but open about an inch or two at the bottom. If you looked at the door when it was open, you could see that it was severely deformed. I'm sure it was simply as a result of the ship "settling" over time, but at first glance, it almost looked like someone tried to pry open the door at the bottom. Other than letting in some of the light and noise from the hallway, the mangled door wasn't a huge issue, as the security of the room wasn't compromised. That said - this wasn't an interior cabin on deck 1, it was supposed to be a "grand suite". • The dress code in the dining room was not enforced at all. We are far from snappy dressers, but the cruise materials specifically state the definition of "cruise casual" and "formal" for the dining room. There were even signs stating that shorts were not allowed in the dining room, and yet there were plenty of people wearing t-shirts, sports jerseys, baseball hats (even while dining), and a handful of adult men with shorts/sandals, etc. We had one table for ourselves, so it wasn't too big of an issue, but it does bother me to know we were packing all of these additional clothes for us and the kids that were not necessary. If they are going to publish rules, they should make a reasonable attempt to follow them. If they don't plan on following them - they should change the rule so other passengers can plan accordingly. It would have been a lot easier if we went to dinner each night in shorts and a t-shirt. And now the issues that might cause me to pass on any future Royal Caribbean cruises: There were a whole bunch of additional amenities that were supposed to be available to guests of the grand suites. We received almost none of them. • The biggest amenity we were looking forward to using was the "Concierge Lounge". I received an e-mail from the concierge a few days ahead of the cruise talking about some of the special amenities for suite passengers. When we arrived in the room, there was a letter from the concierge talking about the lounge - but there was no information in the suite about where the lounge was. We checked the maps of the ship - and it is not listed on the map. We asked a steward in the hall (not our own cabin steward) where the lounge was, and they didn't know. Monday came and went and we never found it. On Tuesday we didn't think about it again until later in the day, because there were supposed to be appetizers and drinks served in the lounge. • My wife found the lounge on Tuesday afternoon (deck 7), but her key didn't work. I went down to the lounge and my key didn't work. I went back up to the room, and the letter we received from the concierge said that she would be available in the lounge from 5pm to 8pm every day. I went back down around 5:15pm and knocked on the door - no one answered. I continued knocking and another passenger let me in. The concierge was not in the lounge during her posted hours. I waited for a few minutes, and there were no staff members in the lounge, so I took a can of Sprite and a bottle of beer (complimentary) and headed back up to the room. The concierge happened to be coming down the hall at that time and reprimanded me in the open hallway for bringing beer out of the lounge, literally holding her hand out to take the bottle back. She had a pleasant demeanor, but it was no less embarrassing. I went back to the room. • The information in the suite stated that kids were not allowed in the concierge lounge between the hours of 5pm and 8pm because they serve alcohol during those hours, which is understandable. After dinner that evening we went to the lounge as a family, arriving at approximately 8:10pm, thinking we would get some soft drinks for the kids. When we entered the lounge we were met by a staff member who said that kids are not allowed in the lounge. I looked at my watch, and I told him it was 8:10pm, and that the materials said kids were only prohibited from entry only between 5pm and 8pm. He said no - kids were never allowed in the lounge - it was off limits 24 hours a day. I protested a bit, because I had just read the rules before making the trip down to the lounge. We started to leave, and the concierge I met in the hall earlier in the evening came into the lounge. She also said kids were not allowed, so I mentioned the materials in the suite and she corrected herself telling me that we could all come back at 8:00pm. I told her that it was already well after 8:00pm. At that point she asked "are you all staying in the grand suite" (remember we had two rooms). I explained that my father-in-law and two of the kids were in the junior suite, and she told me that they would have to leave. I should point out that there were a total of just two other guests in the lounge at that time. It was not as if there were 50 people in there and I was parading in another group of 50. At that point I became frustrated and said we would all leave. She had embarrassed me once in the hallway earlier that day with the beer, and now she was telling me in front of my family to effectively leave two of my kids in the hall. As we started to leave I think she sensed that it was a bad decision, and at that point she invited us to stay, but the damage had already been done. I should also point out that this was all done with us standing in the entranceway to the lounge - we never even made it all the way in to sit down. To be fair, the concierge that kicked us out did call our room later that evening and apologized to my wife, but she never spoke to me, nor did she make any effort to invite us back or reach out to us on the other days we could have potentially used the lounge. • The lounge was supposed to have a continental breakfast available every day, and the kids wanted to go to it, but after the two embarrassing episodes on Tuesday we never went down there again. I didn't want to run in to yet another staff member who would might give us trouble with kids being in the room. • The same day as the two concierge lounge issues, I had an issue at the pursers desk. It might seem like a little thing - but it occurred 30 minutes after we were kicked out of the lounge - so it was the exclamation point on what was already a very bad day. The daily cruise schedule for Grand Cayman was posted Tuesday evening, and it stated that the ship would arrive at 7:30am, which we knew. What we did not know - and was not posted anywhere on their website or in our cruising materials - was that unless you were on a ship-sponsored shore excursion, you wouldn't be able to leave the ship until between 8:30am and 10:00am. We had previously booked a private excursion that we had to meet at 8:30am. We assumed that if the ship was arriving at 7:30am, that an hour would give us plenty of time to get to shore. On any other trips or at hotels we've stayed at, the concierge would have been the first person I would look to with an issue like this. In our situation, we effectively had no access to the concierge given the way we had just been treated, so I went to the pursers desk. I explained our situation to the staff member, and he said that there are tenders that leave before 8:30am (typically reserved for ship-sponsored excursions), and that I should just "show up" at the tender station at 7:30am. I was thankful for his suggestion, but I told him I was a little nervous about just "showing up", because it seems like we never get the same answer from two staff members. He left the counter and went in the back and said he double checked and it would be okay. I then said "so I should just show up and say I spoke with you and they will know what I am talking about", and he said "just tell them you checked at the pursers desk". I said okay, and I wrote down his name, and I said I'll tell them I spoke with you. He said no -just tell them you stopped at the desk. I said okay - but if they question me, I don't want to be running around the ship at 7:30am looking for you, I want to tell them whom I spoke with at the desk. He then said "tell them the pursers desk manager approved it". I said "great - what is his name". He told me "he's my boss in the back - but you don't need his name - just tell the tender people the manager said it was okay". I then asked him directly - so are you telling me you aren't going to give me your bosses name? The staff member said - "it just isn't necessary". At that point I got upset, and I reminded him that as a passenger I've been told the captains name, the first officers name, the cruise directors name, the chef's name (they are all published in the welcome materials), and I was shocked that as a passenger I wasn't allowed to know the name of the pursers desk manager. At that point the staff member relented and told me his name. Why was such a simple request so difficult? In the end, everything worked out fine, as we showed up at the tender station at 7:30am and nobody asked us anything. We simply got on the boat with no questions asked. • The welcome letter from the concierge said that we had access to "business services such as copying and faxing", but there was no information anywhere in the room about how to gain access to those services. • The welcome letter said that as suite passengers we would be invited to a "Special Cocktail Party hosted by the Captain", and that "invitations would be sent". No such invitations were provided to us - in either cabin - for the entire trip. • There was supposed to be a "complimentary" bottle of wine provided in the suite by the concierge - and there was one there upon our arrival - but we literally stared at it the entire trip without opening it. After so many problems and misinformation, we feared that we were given the wrong information again, and that it wasn't complimentary. I know this may sound silly, but it seemed like no one understood the various amenities promised to the suite customers, and I wasn't in the mood for another altercation, so the bottle sat unopened all week. • The issue of staff members not understanding the suite amenities was apparent within 15 minutes of our arrival on Monday. Our keys were "gold" in color, to identify us as suite customers. The very first time I presented the key for something (it was at a bar or a shop - I don't remember), the staff member said "that's interesting - why is your key gold when all of the other keys I see are grey". In any other situation, this would have been typical small-talk between a guest and a staff member, but as the week went on I remembered that conversation as being indicative of the problems we were facing. I think Royal Caribbean promises a lot - without backing it up with proper training of their crew. • The final issue happened the morning we were checking out. Our bill was slid under our door, and there was a $22 "mini-bar" charge for the last day of the cruise. I knew we didn't use anything from the mini-bar, so I checked with our other cabin, and they didn't use anything from the mini-bar. I found our cabin steward, Mary Joy, who was shocked and said "she never entered that charge". She felt bad, and she showed me her "papers" that proved she never entered that charge. She said that it was obviously a mistake, and that I should go to the pursers desk to get it corrected. I went up to the pursers desk at 6:55am, and the person who helped me was none other than the concierge we had all of the issues with on Tuesday. She didn't recognize me, which was not surprising. She said she corrected it on the computer and she told me I was "all set". I then asked her if I could get a new print-out of the bill for my records. She went into the back room, and when she came out she said that it would " take about 15 minutes" to print it out. Why it would take 15 minutes to print a document I don't know - but what choice did I have. I said I would come back in 15 minutes, but I asked her if they could have it ready for me so I wouldn't have to stand in line again. Approximately 20 minutes later I went back to the pursers desk, and there must have been 10-20 people in line by then. I kept trying to get her attention, but to no avail. I stayed in line and finally made it up to the front again. I told the staff member waiting on me that the concierge had printed out a new copy of our bill. The staff member looked through a bunch of papers, then went over to the concierge, and finally came back to me and said it's not here - but I can print it out for you now. It took 20 seconds to print (versus the 15 minute estimate provided earlier), and I had wasted another 15-20 minutes waiting in line. • One remaining item to mention - although it did not affect me. The reason there were 10-20 people in front of me during my last visit to the pursers desk is because the day before, in Cozumel, all of those people had purchased liquor on shore. The ship is supposed to hold on to the liquor and deliver it back to the staterooms on the last evening of the cruise. We were docked in Cozumel next to the Oasis of the Seas. The liquor for all of those passengers was loaded on to the Oasis of the Seas at the port - it was never brought back onboard the Grandeur. Those folks were pretty ticked off. In closing, the bulk of these issues were related to our status, or lack thereof, as suite customers. As I mentioned previously, we still had a decent time, primarily because this was a last minute decision for us and the only reason we booked the suites was because that was all that was available to us when we booked the cruise. That said, had we planned it months in advance, and had we purposely been looking to utilize the suite amenities, we would have been severely disappointed. If we had booked a "regular" room, and therefore had no expectations of additional service, we probably would have been just fine. Despite the lack of service, the overall ship was nice, the food was good, the shows were good, and we had a nice time. It just bothers me that we paid for an additional level of amenities as suite customers that simply were not provided. Because this is an older ship, perhaps Royal has placed their more customer-service oriented crew on the newer flagship boats. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
13 of us ranging in age from 6 - 70 went on the cruise to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. The cruise worked great to allow everyone the ability to enjoy different activities while still enjoying group time. This was by DH & I ... Read More
13 of us ranging in age from 6 - 70 went on the cruise to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. The cruise worked great to allow everyone the ability to enjoy different activities while still enjoying group time. This was by DH & I second cruise and everyone else's first. We were in inside cabins below the casino which concerned me, but I never heard a thing. I did miss not having a balcony to get away from the crowds but still enjoy the view. Probally would have been more important if the cruise was longer than 5 days. Embarkment: This was a piece of cake. Cabs were the cheapest and easiest way to get to the port. We arrived around noon and there was less than a 5 minute wait to check-in. Activities: The fitness center was very nice, but crowded if you arrived after 8:30. I enjoyed both the complimentary fitness classes and the running track. The pool wasn't huge, but a good part of it was very shallow and perfect for reading a book or sipping on drink. There also was a pool in the solarium that was never crowded because most people wanted to be outside. Probably would have been nice if it rained, but I would have preferred a 2ND outdoor pool. Besides the pool there was shuffle board, ping pong and bags (corn hole) games, and rock climbing. The never seem to be long waits for anything. We never used the casino, so I can't comment on that. The kids used the kids club and really enjoyed them. They mainly went after dinner, although there were activities during the day too. Food: The breakfast buffet was fine. Pretty much the usual. I wished they had a few more healthier options at lunch. Besides the salad bar and deli sandwiches most of the food seemed heavy or greasy. I kept hoping for grilled chicken breasts, but none were to be had. The frozen yogurt machine was great. Our only complaint was that it closed by 8. It would have been perfect for a late night snack. The main dining room dinners were a little hit or miss. For the most part they were very good. The lamb shank, and a couple of the pasta dishes were not good at all. The wait staff very friendly and accommodating. The dress code was not enforced at all. The table next to us wore muscle shirts, baseball hats, and shorts most nights. Although, I'm not a fan of having to get dressed up for dinner, I thought they should have sent people that casual to the buffet. Why bother to have a dress code if it isn't enforced? Entertainment: The staff singing & dance shows were not very good. The comedian and ventriloquist that were brought it in were very good. The band Johnny & Four (or something like that) was excellent. Ports: We did not take excursions offered by the ship as I prefer to get away from the crowds. Be prepared to wait for the tenders in Grand Cayman. I would allow an hour. We cut it a little close for our excursion. We did a Sting Ray tour with Captain Crosby. The boat was perfect and only 17 people. However, it was a little bit of pain to get there because transportation from the port was not provided. $12 pp round trip. All taxis in Grand Cayman seemed to charge by the person. We enjoyed the stingrays, the second snorkel stop was ok. We went scuba diving in Cozumel with Erik from Scubadogs. I could not recommend him more highly. It was just our family of 4 on the boat. Erik did not let my 13 yr daughter out of his sight since it was first time. Be prepared for mass chaos in the taxi line. 3 boats were in port including the Oasis of the Seas and it was a zoo. Overall: I'm sure the boat didn't have the wow factor that some of the newer boats had, but it was perfect for us and our groups needs. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
This was our first cruise with our three children, ages 3, 7, and 12. We were a little nervous as to how the kids would fare being on a boat for 5 nights, and except for a few minor issues, everyone had a great time! Embarkation was a ... Read More
This was our first cruise with our three children, ages 3, 7, and 12. We were a little nervous as to how the kids would fare being on a boat for 5 nights, and except for a few minor issues, everyone had a great time! Embarkation was a snap! We were allowed to check in shortly after 11:00AM. The kids loved the cookies and lemonade in the terminal. We had our sea passes, on-board picture and we were walking on the ship within minutes! We looked around, had lunch in the Windjammer, and waited to get into our room a little after 1:00PM, then changed and hit the pool. The dining room staff was amazing! Our head waiter, Jeffrey, was great! The assistant waiter had remembered we asked for chocolate milk for the kids the first night, and had glasses waiting for them every night thereafter. The food was great every night, and the kids sat through 1 hour 40 minute dinners for 5 nights. We had adjoining rooms (4047 & 4049). This worked well with the kids. They were interior rooms, but we were there so infrequently, it didn't make much difference. It was hard getting an idea of what time it was in the morning with no sun to go by, but we got used to it. This was our third cruise, and I can honestly say that I never felt the boat move or rock: ever. It was wonderful! Cat. Rob is a hoot! His announcements were always funny and interesting. Try to find a way to get around one of the events he attends, he'll crack you up! The kids are asking when we are going back already. They really enjoyed the private island, Coco Cay, and can't wait to play on the beach again. Now we have to figure out which cruise to take next! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
This was our sixth cruise on RCCL, plus we have two on NCL. I also have a couple each on Carnival and Celebrity. Our traveling party was just two people, my boyfriend and I; forty-ish; no kids. Overall, we really enjoyed our time on ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise on RCCL, plus we have two on NCL. I also have a couple each on Carnival and Celebrity. Our traveling party was just two people, my boyfriend and I; forty-ish; no kids. Overall, we really enjoyed our time on Grandeur. It is a very nice, well maintained ship and we particularly liked the five night itinerary - just enough time to relax but not gone so long that there was a ton of stuff to do at the office and the house when we got back. If I remember my facts from the Captain's reception correctly, Grandeur was built in 1997. Our sailing in mid-June had 2,265 passengers and seven hundred plus crew. There were only two areas where we thought the ship felt a bit crowded: Lunch in the Windjammer and the main pool on both sea days. We advise being patient at lunch and doing your sunbathing at the beaches on the ports instead of at the pool. Despite the couple of minor inconveniences I'll cite in this review, don't let me dissuade you from going out on Grandeur before it relocates to Spain later in 2010. We really did have a great time and I'd highly recommend the ship and itinerary. If she was going to be in Florida longer I'd book another cruise on her in a second. I just like to know what to expect so detailing the few minor negatives will help you know what to expect on your cruise. We live in Florida, so we did not have any pre- or post-cruise arrangements other than an easy drive on Florida's Turnpike. This was the first cruise we've taken in and out of Fort Lauderdale and it was by far the easiest, quickest embarkation and debarkation we've had on any voyage. The only minor trick was that we left from one dock (21) and returned to a different one (25), so that threw us for a minute when we were trying to locate the parking garage. Parking for Monday - Saturday at the pier was $75; credit cards accepted. Be aware that when entering the port area the guard asked for ID for everyone in the car, so be sure to have that handy when you are arriving. After stopping at the guard gate you head for the dock to drop your bags, then park in the garage. We were waitlisted for My Time Dining (which meant we couldn't make reservations online before departure), so our first stop once on board was the My Time Dining desk where we were able to switch from main seating. We prefer My Time Dining so that we can get a table for two rather than sitting at a big community table. This is where we made a mistake - we only made our reservation for the first night, not subsequent nights. Turns out the My Time Dining desk has very limited hours, which we kept missing since there was other stuff to do on the ship. I don't see why RCCL can't keep the My Time Dining phone staffed all day, but they don't so be sure to make your reservations online or onboard first thing (what we considered to be the prime dinner hours from 6 - 8 fill up quickly). Once we finally caught up with Alexi, the My Time Dining guru, we made reservations for the rest of the cruise. On the first night we had TJ and Eiki (pronounced Achy). They were very good so we asked for them every night. I'd highly recommend asking for their section if you're doing My Time Dining. We took all of our dinners in the main dining room and found the food comparable to any other RCCL voyage - the menu and the quality are very consistent, providing an overall enjoyable experience. Once first night dinner reservations were taken care of we headed for the cabin, a Category N inside cabin on Deck 3 (3623) towards the rear of the ship. We were very pleased with the location as well as the amount of storage available - tons of drawers and I love it when the mirrors have the side compartments with shelves. We had ample room to store everything, especially since the closet came with plenty of hangars. As it was the smaller cabin it only had a single seat chair, not a love seat, and no coffee table. The bathroom was very tiny, with the toilet at an odd angle that required some interesting contortions since we're both pretty tall. The shower is the now old-school curtain kind, not the newer photon torpedo tube kind, so the curtain moving in on you is a little annoying. There is a laundry line in the shower for hanging things to dry. Minor complaints: The safe does not use a numeric combination; you have to swipe some personal card of yours with an electronic strip. The directions say not to use your ship card. Having read a prior review that mentioned this, we brought along a gift card from a local store that seemed to work fine until about half way through the cruise. Then the safe quit locking. We just gave up on locking the safe at that point. The TV is very tiny. I mean tiny. Really. RCCL needs to upgrade these to some larger flat screens. On our voyage movie selections included "Invictus," "Avatar," "It's Complicated," and a few others. Attire in the main dining room was very casual. Every night, except formal night, we saw multiple folks wearing shorts and t-shirts. I wore a nice top and casual skirt every night; my boyfriend wore khakis and a polo shirt. We inquired and were basically told they didn't really care what you wore except for formal night. We did see a couple of folks in tuxedos and fancy gowns on formal nights; I wonder what they thought of the casual attire. I hesitate to tell you not to bother packing the business casual clothes in case RCCL decides to crack down on this, but we wondered why we bothered to pack the extra clothes. We panicked a bit the first night when we got back to the cabin around 8 pm and still didn't have any luggage. I called the front desk and was told our bags were being held in security due to "suspicious items." The suspicious items turned out to be bottled water that they were convinced held alcohol. They also were on the look out for clothes irons and had several confiscated models on the table. After inspecting the water to verify it was all sealed we were allowed to take our bags back to the cabin. While I don't mind them holding the bags for a security search, it would have been nice if they had left a voicemail or a note card in the room telling us that rather than scaring us with the lack of luggage. First port - Grand Cayman! On our first trip here last year we booked an island tour through the cruise ship, which I highly recommend for first time visitors to see a lot of the island. We really enjoyed the limited time we had at the turtle farm when we were on the overview tour, so we decided to go back. I bought tickets for the day online and we figured we'd catch a quick taxi there. That was our second mistake. All of the taxi drivers at the pier were only interested in booking all day tours of the island. Nobody was interested in a quick drop at the turtle farm. We finally made our way to the "bus" (to the left as you go out of the pier, across the street, and down a couple of blocks) which is really a mini-van. For $2.50 a person they apparently cover the whole island. If you want to catch the bus you just wait on the side of the road - we stopped and picked up a couple of people that way. One family got off at the beach, another couple got off with us to go to the dolphin swim place across the street from the turtle farm. The turtle farm was great fun. I had a blast taking pictures of the birds in the aviary and then holding a gazillion different turtles that tried to smack me with their cute little flippers. We had planned to hit the on property lagoon for some swimming, but decided instead to head back to town for a little shopping. We were headed to the side of the road to wait on the bus when a taxi stopped, so I gave him thirty bucks to take us straight to the pier instead of cruising around for more passengers. We shopped a bit then headed back to the ship and hit the pool since it wasn't crowded on a port day. Second port - Cozumel! On prior trips to Cozumel we've done everything from cooking school at Playa Mia (great fun!) to the Segway tour (more fun!). This time we took a taxi downtown for $10 ($7 + tip) to Los Cinco Soles to have some authentic Mexican food and do our souvenir shopping. We then strolled the main drag shopping, sightseeing, drinking tequila (offered free whenever I was considering buying jewelry), and high fiving people when Mexico scored a goal in the World Cup until we were shopped out and then flagged down a taxi for another ten bucks to get back to the pier. This was a nice relaxing day, but it was hot, so if the heat bothers you (we're from Florida) you may want to consider other alternatives. Again, I'd highly recommend this ship and the five night itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Just returned from a 5 night cruise on RCI's Grandeur of the Seas. The cruise was to celebrate a graduation and 80th birthday. We were four woman and the ages travelling together were 23, 24, 53 and 80. Everyone had a wonderful time. ... Read More
Just returned from a 5 night cruise on RCI's Grandeur of the Seas. The cruise was to celebrate a graduation and 80th birthday. We were four woman and the ages travelling together were 23, 24, 53 and 80. Everyone had a wonderful time. Had recently cruised on Celebrity Summit and found the Grandeur to be a bit more relaxed and a lot more action. There were lots of families with children. Activities staff kept the kids occupied and they always looked like they were having so much fun. The food was excellent on the Grandeur, however Windjammer Cafe was always quite crowded at breakfast and lunch.....the noise level was extremely high during these periods. It was a quieter more relaxed dining experience in The Great Gatsby dining room. Service was always incredible. We had one oceanview cabin and one interior cabin across the hall from each other and our stateroom attendant Kurt was always there whenever we needed anything. The entertainment throughout the ship was very good and the timing of the shows seemed to work well. Embarkation and disembarking went smoothly however we did opt for early walkoff as we had a plane to catch. My only complaint about the Grandeur of the Seas was the swimming pool. Too small for the number of people using it. It wasn't clean and too warm. You felt like you were in a warm bathtub with a hundred people crammed in at any given time. The water was murky and when the younger children swam under water is was difficult to see them. There was always a film of sunscreen floating on the top of the water with hair strands mixed in. It was really awful and we avoided swimming other than to just sit on the edge to just try and cool your feet off. The inside Solarium pool was closed for repairs on one day and it was a little too hot to sit inside that area. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
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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