6 Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

As a first time cruiser, although I asked experienced cruises and read a lot about cruising. There are many things that you are not sure if until personally experienced. First, getting on the ship, a lot of unknowns. Felt a little cattle ... Read More
As a first time cruiser, although I asked experienced cruises and read a lot about cruising. There are many things that you are not sure if until personally experienced. First, getting on the ship, a lot of unknowns. Felt a little cattle hurdled to the buffet area since the cabins and many other areas were not ready. The buffet was very crowded and difficult to find seating. We had a large group, 6 with a handicap. There were many large tables, a lot occupied by a small group. People will sit and keep their seat even after done eating until the cabins are ready. Once the initial rush over, and cabins open, it was much easier to move bout the ship. Booked a window cabin. The cabin and bathroom was nicer than I expected except the sink. It was a bowl sitting on top of the very small counter and the faucet was very close the the edge of the bowl, making it virtually impossible to get both hands under the running water to wash at the same time. The beds are two singles pushed together. They need to be replaced. Used and uncomfortable. When you looked at the beds, it was like two "U" next to each other as they were very worn down and sagged in the middle. There seemed to be plentry of storage for our clothes and personal items. I did get the over the door shoe organizer which was great. Dinned in the main dinning room, cafe, Starbucks, and the buffet. The food was average. The buffet selection was huge for all meals. More over quantity than quality. There were a few dishes that I felt were very good. The "catch" of the day everyday in the main dinning room was salmon. It was very did, but everyday? Did not enroll in an shore excursions. Planned our own and was able to do many things and felt it was a cheaper way to go. Exiting and returning to the ship was very easy. Our group was part of 82 fellow cruises for a line dance cruise. It was great, we danced everyday. One room that was reserved was great, hardwood floor and could accommodate everyone. The other was too small with a slate foor. Only about 1/4 of the dancers could dance at the same time. Did not attend many activities on the ship because of dancing. However, did get lured into the shopping events and information sessions to get a free item. Found out it was just a money maker for the ship and will not waste my time again. Be aware of "information sessions". The ship has a few designated smoking areas. I am not a smoker. One area is on an outside deck under the top deck, so the smoke lingers in the area. It was disgusting at times, want to go for a walk outside and sell the sea breez and end up coughing on smoke. The other area is in the casino. I'm not a gambler, however, would have tried a few games if it was not so smokey. The casino is adjacent to the open atrium. At times, you could smell smoke on any floor the open atrium area. It was very disappointing. Especially since it was a nice p,ace to sit and chat, look outside and watch the entertainment on the lower deck. Disembarkation was a little misinformed. Yes, they ensure you have the information about the process. Luggage outside your room by 11 pm, however, if your trying to sleep, after 11 for a few hours the staff are moving the luggage and walking up and down halls bumping walls and doors. Morning of, is similar to boarding, crowds running to same place. Understand, the ship is now closed for you in all areas since they are getting ready for the next customer. After the rush for breakfast and the initial scampering around, there seems to be some confusion and unexpected waiting. So, you sit in your designated area and wait to be called. Impressed with the patients and helpfulness of all staff. They always had time for a smile and a quick chat to make you feel welcome. It was evident that customer service was an important part of the training for them. Overall, for a first cruise, I enjoyed the trip and felt it was a good value for the price. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was a nice long cruise that we did in 2016 as well. A great one for the money which makes it an exceptional value. My only real complaint was the absence of heat in the room on the last day when the ship returned to Baltimore. It ... Read More
This was a nice long cruise that we did in 2016 as well. A great one for the money which makes it an exceptional value. My only real complaint was the absence of heat in the room on the last day when the ship returned to Baltimore. It was also freezing in the Viking Crown Lounge and Concierge Lounge. We're booked on the same sailing for 2018 so I hope the ship corrects the problem. Food in the dining room was mostly adequate and seldom exceptional, although we had no complaints about the service. The Grandeur is a mass-market ship and we do not expect exceptional. Chops Grille was better than average and Giovanni's Table excellent. We love the breakfasts in Giovannis to which we were entitled, a suite-class amenity very much appreciated. We absolutely covet the Concierge Lounge and spend a lot of time there, including every happy hour. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I am overall extremely happy with my cruise vacation with royal Caribbean. I am extremely happy with my service provided by my stateroom attendant Arya Prasetya. Arya went above and beyond the call of duty. Arya recognized us by name ... Read More
I am overall extremely happy with my cruise vacation with royal Caribbean. I am extremely happy with my service provided by my stateroom attendant Arya Prasetya. Arya went above and beyond the call of duty. Arya recognized us by name by the first evening. Arya always said good morning and was generally interested in our plans for the day. Arya provided his card and advised us we could call him at any time if we had any issues. Arya even cleaned our room more than once in a day! The room was spotless other than the clothing and luggage mess we had made ourselves. Even though we left our belongings all over the place, Arya was still able to make our room look clean! I have not had any other comparable experiences in any travel setting with room attendants including hotels in which I can say were close to my experience with royal Caribbean (last year we had Gloria and she was also great). As far as bar service goes, I received EXCEPTIONAL service from Bipul Arya. As soon as I got to the bar, Bipul recognized me and would say "rob how are you I will be right with you". I knew that if Bipul was at the bar, I would not have to wait long. This was not favoritism on Bipuls part, he was just that good of a bar tender. He was fast, efficient and entertaining. In the time that most bar tenders could make 1 drink, Bipul would have already helped 4 other customers. Bipul also did fun tricks as he was making drinks and would keep everyone at the bar in a great mood. Each morning I would find Bipul and ask him what bars he would be working at that day and when. I would base my bar selections on where he was working as I had bad experiences with other bar tenders. From watching others at the bar I found that not many people tip the bar tenders. I make it a point to tip with every drink. I would like to think that the bar tenders would remember the people who are actually tipping and try to provide them with a little faster service but that was not the case with most tenders. Even if I got crappy service I would still tip, and I spent a LOT of time at the bar (over $300 in tips alone). Most tenders did not care that they were being tipped and seemed to come to expect it. I also did not find it acceptable that on a Bermuda cruise, the bars would not have goslings rum, and most bar tenders did not know how to make a dark and stormy or a rum swizzle. Goslings was not the only thing in short supply. On two separate mornings I was unable to get a Bloody Mary on the deck due to the fact that they did not have Bloody Mary mix. I believe that royal needs to employ someone to restock the bar constantly with essential items such as Bloody Mary mix on the deck bar in the morning where most of your guests are enjoying the weather and drinking. Some of the bar tenders need to be taught the basic drinks, such as a mudslide as they often had to be told by people at the bar what kind of drinks they needed. In my experience at the bar I had 4 bar tenders whom I have NO complaints about and received exceptional service. Obviously Pibul was by far the best of any bar tenders I had experiences with. There was also two bar tenders on the deck, KT (unsure of the rest of his name) and Allan belliso. These two gentlemen knew their drinks and knew to make them fast. They did not delay in helping people and making them happy. I also had great experiences with Jason who works in the casino bar. Jason was off to a rough start with my first order of drinks on the ship. I joked around with Jason that he got the order wrong and he made sure to correct it even though I did not really care, I was going to drink the drink anyway. From that interaction on, Jason remembered me and my usual order and always made a good drink and I did not have to wait long at all. I did not get to experience ALLof the bar tenders and I'm certain they are all great, however, most of my time was spent at the deck bar or the schooner bar. While at the deck bar, some of the bar tenders were very slow moving (I watched one take 7 minutes to make ONE Bloody Mary and nothing else). The good bar tenders were able to multitask and make two three or four drinks at once, but some would make one drink at a time and it was a very slow process when the bar was busy. I was very satisfied with all of the bar tenders as they were walking around taking drink orders so that I would not have to get up from my seat. This is a great service to provide. I was upset that each time I was in the South Pacific, the bar was not open. I remember this bar being open all the time last year, especially during karaoke and the adult game show, but not this year. I am also upset that the bars do not stay open later. My group consisted of several people who work nights and we are up very late. We were unable to find any drinks late at night as the Viking and casino closed too early. I also think that there should be more deck activities later in the evening for those people who are not up at first light. I understand that most of your clientele is over 90, but throw us young people a bone and do a belly flop at 5pm or a sexy man competition at 7pm. Upon arrival to the ship my group was Immediately dissatisfied right offf the bat. The muster drill. Something needs to be changed about this. If the muster drill is supposed to be at 5pm, them give a 5 minute leeway and start at 5:05. There is no reason we should all have to wait 45 minutes just because some idiots think they don't have to attend. I'm not going to stand huddled in a group for 45 minutes while you search an entire ship for 2 people who did not want to attend. If the muster is THAT important then add a stipulation in the contract that if you miss the muster, you're off the ship. Goodbye. Furthermore, is the muster really that important? Nobody learned anything at the muster drill other than the fact that your employees are unorganized and need a megaphone since they cannot yell loud enough. My suggestion, end the muster, I'm sure every other guest that was on that ship will agree, it was ridiculous. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I like cruising out of Baltimore for the convenience of not having to fly. Grandeur is great, but would love to see a new pier on the other side of the bridge so that larger ships could dock. Grandeur needs some refurbishing as it is ... Read More
I like cruising out of Baltimore for the convenience of not having to fly. Grandeur is great, but would love to see a new pier on the other side of the bridge so that larger ships could dock. Grandeur needs some refurbishing as it is very worn, but I love the ship. The food, though very good, has been downgraded, not the selections we used to have. The cabin was fine, but the mattress needed to be replaced, very lumpy. The staff couldn't be better. They've been downsized, but still work very hard to please all passengers. The dining room staff was outstanding. Loved the islands, od course. The zip line safari on St Kitts is the best! Didn't care for Antigua at all. St. Thomas is always a favorite. Embarkation and debarkation went extremely well. Customs was also a breeze. All in all, it was a great winter break and will continue to sail with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We just completed our cruise on Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, along with several friends. Our previous cruise experience had been on NCL and Cunard, and while it is difficult to make a comparison between lines based on the ... Read More
We just completed our cruise on Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, along with several friends. Our previous cruise experience had been on NCL and Cunard, and while it is difficult to make a comparison between lines based on the experience of one ship, I did come away feeling that the NCL options in the Mid-Atlantic (Mainly NCL's Breakaway and Gem) were better suited for families due to their on-board amenities and the Freestyle Dining system on NCL. That said, we did enjoy our time on Grandeur. If you're considering a cruise on Grandeur, you'll probably hear people mention that it is an "old" ship, however everything on-board is just as new/modern as most ships afloat. The staterooms are a good size and there are some great lounges on the ship. The only notable difference between this ship and most newer cruise ships today is its size. We found the food to be good, though the dining options are somewhat limited, especially if you want a mid-afternoon or late evening snack/meal. The only place one can go to is the "Park Cafe," which is a small stand where you have to wait in a line for a server to hand you food (mostly pre-made sandwiches, pre-made salads, hot dogs and chips). As far as kid's options, there is one pool for all ages, as well as a small area for teens and young children and a rather small arcade. The crew we encountered were largely friendly and helpful, though the crew to passenger ratio on this ship is rather high. As a result, the wait times in bars/lounges for a bartender or waiter can be rather long. Also, while I wouldn't go so far as to say the ship was "dirty," I did notice the ship was not kept as clean as past ships I've been on (mainly because there aren't enough people to stay on top of clearing tables, vacuuming carpets, polishing handrails, keeping restrooms in order, etc.). Regardless, we found that the activities crew does an amazing job of keeping people active throughout the day (you'd see them running from event-to-event), so there is PLENTY to do on this ship, even on a rainy day. One other nice thing about this ship is the pool area is not as crowded as other cruises I've experienced, so it is possible to find a seat near the pool throughout the day. All-in-all, I would say this is a nice ship that is super-convenient for people in the Northeast considering a cruise with a wide range of activities geared more towards adults (than families). Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
With a few exceptions our time on the Grandeur of the Seas was truly grand. We were part of a group of about eighty passengers from the Baltimore-Washington, DC area that went on the two week repositioning cruise from Baltimore to Tampa ... Read More
With a few exceptions our time on the Grandeur of the Seas was truly grand. We were part of a group of about eighty passengers from the Baltimore-Washington, DC area that went on the two week repositioning cruise from Baltimore to Tampa aboard the Grandeur of the Seas. Embarkation was unfortunately slow and exasperating because there was a large proportion of foreign passengers and another large proportion of older, slower passengers. Our group had been told not to arrive before noon but by then the wait was almost two hours to get on board. Once on board our cabins were ready and our luggage arrived before dinner. The Windjammer was open and lunch, although later than expected, was good with plenty of menu choices. The mandatory muster drill went better than our previous drills because this time we did not have to wear our life vests. Dinner on the first night gave us our first ever experience with poor service on RCCL. We had the early (6:00) seating in the main (only) dining room. Our waiter appeared to be somewhat unsettled, speaking quickly and moving rapidly from table to table. All of us at our table indicated that we were not interested in wine and after that he seemed to spend more time at the tables that ordered wine with their dinners. Our appetizers were not served until seven and our entrees did not come out till after seven thirty. Orders for dessert were taken at eight and they did not come till eight thirty. The waiter said it was not his fault. He said that there was a new kitchen staff aboard that was not familiar with this ship's kitchen layout. He promised that the next night would be better. It was, but by only ten minutes. Saturday night was worse. He served the wrong appetizers to our table, disappeared for an extended period and returned without any explanation. Our 'drink of the day' order was taken before the appetizers but by dinners end I had not gotten my ship pass returned. We told him we would not be returning until Thursday (Thanksgiving). The head waiter tried to make up for his lack of attention but she was unable to fill in and do her regular duties.  Tuesday we came back to our cabin after lunch to find a plate of chocolate dipped strawberries and an invitation to return to the dining room. I returned for the veal shanks but my wife still waited till Thursday. In the mean time we found the food at the Windjammer to be excellent. There was plenty to choose from and the desserts were excellent. We were able to get larger salads with our choice of ingredients and more vegetables than were available in the dining room so it was actually better for us to eat at the Windjammer. It should also be noted that the cheeseburgers at the solarium grill were great for lunch. When there was food on the pool deck it was too good to pass up. The food in the dining room (when we did go) was excellent. Lamb, veal, lobster, and prime rib were standouts. Desserts were to die for. We would take two different ones an share because we could not decide which was more enticing. Our cabin was an Ocean view, mid-ship on deck three. It was clean when we arrived and well kept by our cabin stewardess, Valerie. At our request she got us extra hangers, extra pillows and found my wife a hair dryer as it seems that the previous occupant took the one meant for our cabin. We kept irregular hours and Valerie was very accommodating, changing her schedule to match ours. The bed was extremely comfortable, we slept like rocks every night. Captain Rob's daily navigational announcements were entertaining. His participation in several activities endeared him to us passengers. We enjoyed his appearances and conversations at several venues. The cruise director, John Blair, was outstanding, a memorable presence throughout the fourteen days. Not only tireless in his activities but also extremely talented as an entertainer in his own right. His wife, Katrina (activities director) and her staff were all over the ship from sunup till well after everyone was retired for the night. They ran the usual trivia games, bingo, karaoke, and dance lessons. There were jewelery making, scrapbook, and I even saw a knitting class. There were port lectures, health and fitness talks, and cooking demonstrations. There was always something going on for everyone. On Sundays a lounge was set up for football watching, including hot dogs. On the other hand, if you wanted to do nothing, there was plenty of space to do that and the solarium was quiet and a great place to read or just relax.  Nightly entertainment was excellent, especially considering that John had to get 12 acts for this cruise. The ship's singers and dancers were excellent. The guest performers were engaging and none disappointed. John himself did a great job dong the Neil Diamond tribute. The usual RCCL Battle of the Sexes, Love and Marriage, and Quest were well done as were a Liar's Game and a Country Western Hoe Down. Excursions for this cruise were an exasperating experience for me, not because of the choices or the content but because of the repeated cancellations I encountered. Compared to our previous cruises, this assembly of passengers was in general, older, heavier, and less ambulatory than what we had encountered before. As a result, the more strenuous or active excursions were more often cancelled due to a lack of interest. Four of my six planned kayak trips were cancelled and I had to replace them with more sedate trips to the beach with my wife (so not all was lost). Ports were busy but not overly crowded even though there were up to three additional ships in with us at some places. Disembarking at Tampa was annoyingly slow. The announcement said that the port authority had not cleared us but you would think that would have been prearranged and that it should not have taken two hours to straighten out. The Grandeur is a fine ship although if you look closely she is showing some signs of aging. Her size appeals to a more traditional, older cruiser and as a result the activity slows down noticeably earlier than on other ships. We thoroughly enjoyed our selves despite the disappointment with our dinner service. Overall it was a memorable cruise that all at our table would repeat without hesitation. If ever we meet up with John or Katrina on another cruise we will be anticipating another great time at sea.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
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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