29 Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Spring Break Cruise Reviews

My mother, husband and two 17 year old twin boys and myself just got back yesterday from this cruise. The ship was supposedly given a makeover in 2012, but there were many things that shouldn't have been an issue if this was the case. ... Read More
My mother, husband and two 17 year old twin boys and myself just got back yesterday from this cruise. The ship was supposedly given a makeover in 2012, but there were many things that shouldn't have been an issue if this was the case. The first thing we noticed was, the large outdoor screen that they used for evening movies and daytime entertainment had large blackout rectangular bars in it, obscuring the picture. It made watching a movie very annoying--like a block of pixels were dead, only it moved around the screen. The second bit of inconvenience was, the top deck had railing that was missing, so a large section of it was blocked off. This made trying to use the track to jog very inconvenient. The windows looked like they'd never been cleaned since the ship was launched, and the dining room carpet looked as though it rarely got vacuumed. For the first three days of the cruise, the Windjammer restaurant was very crowded and it was difficult to get a table. If I did manage to procure a table from another family leaving, I could not get anyone to bus the table, even though the crew were sanding around not doing anything. In fact, one guy I asked, who was just standing at the dirty dish station gave me a dirty look as though I had some nerve asking him if he would bus the table. Halfway through the cruise, this changed because 600 people had come down with norovirus. Gee, go figure. Then dining did a complete 180. We were no longer allowed to take ANYTHING for ourselves, not even a box of cereal. They had people handing out everything, including butter, salt, pepper, creamers, everything. It was so annoying, because if they'd been more diligent to begin with, it wouldn't have happened. For that reason alone, I will never sail on that ship again. That was not the only place the crew was a let down. Organizing the port of call tours was a disaster. On the first port, people were lined up at the stairs, and the girl working that station would not let anyone off, even when the captain came over the intercom and announced we could disembark. I can't count how many people called her names, and then she wondered why. People just unhooked the rope and walked around her while she called us rude. We wondered if she was deaf, or did not speak english. In either case, she shouldn't have been stationed at that job. When we took a cruise several years ago on the Navigator, people just got off, and found their groups once off the ship. This ship attempted to organize people on the ship and let them off according to group. It was complete chaos because there simply wasn't enough room. It was a ridiculous way to handle this. In Key West, they assigned us times to get off the ship, according to tour. We utilized this procedure and found our group neglected once outside for almost an hour. No one knew the correct times for restaurants either. We had a suite and supposedly could dine for breakfast in the Italian restaurant. However the hours for this are not posted anywhere. And when we asked, not once, but three different occasions, we were told the wrong times--BY THE RESTAURANT STAFF. The last time was the return to Baltimore yesterday, and I think they just opened late. We were told 6:30, but when we arrived, they were not set up, and claimed they opened at 7. The food in the main dining room, the Great Gatsby, was fair. It was what I expected, not fantastic, but not bad either. I was promised a private table for 5, but when we showed up were seated at a table for 10. This would have been fine, had it not been for the one single traveler who was so obnoxious that both our group and the other party of 4 showed up the next morning asking for separate tables. We were accommodated with a separate table, but the service at that table was AWFUL! It was consistently 2 hours for every dinner. We were always the last to get a menu, the last to have their order taken, and the longest for it to be delivered. The last evening in the main dining room, we watched as the waitress spent 15 minutes laying out dessert spoons and serving water before entering the meal orders in the computer. She had three tables, and all three tables received poor service. It was only the second to the last night when the waitress and the guy that is supposed to handle refilling water and passing out butter that they became super friendly and eager to please. When she asked how we would rate her service when we received our email review did it become clear why she suddenly cared. Too little too late. The other issues were the amount of effort they put into trying to sell us extras. One day at lunch were were pressured to buy a cookbook and a tour of the galley, and I saw similar tactics at dinner as well. This was not a simple, "here is our cookbook, and a tour if you'd like," it was high pressure, stand over your table not taking no for an answer. It was truly obnoxious. The same thing happened when we got a massage. High pressure sales for massage oils for 200.00. Ridiculous. The gym is very small, which make the out of commission jogging track even more sorely missed. The other thing I don't get is, I had read that the entertainment was very good on this cruise, yet it was almost non existent on our sailing. I think there was one comedy act the first or second day. Other than that, it was mostly contests, and showing movies. It was quite dull. My other complaints don't really have anything to do with the cruise line; the weather was chilly most of the time--I think there were only 2-3 days that were actually warm enough for a bathing suit, the water is very rough sailing until you get down to Port Canaveral. I think it's the wrong time of year for these destinations--Key West, Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Coco Cay. The water was so cold at Coco Cay the boys asked to come back to the ship--and they can tolerate pretty cold water. Spending the day at Atlantis was probably the best day, but that was a little chilly as well. The Chops restaurant, and the Italian Restaurant, Giovanni's is ABSOLUTELY WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY. The service is very good, and the food is just fantastic. If you book as suite, I would take the extras with a grain of salt. They will tell you how worth it it is to pay the extra for a suite because you get all the extras, but the fact is, there really aren't much in the way of extras. If you need the space it's nice to have, but don't be lured into thinking you're going to get something for it in return. The whole, you have your own butler. Personally I don't think it's that big a deal (I mean why does anyone need their own personal valet anyway), I just don't like being told it's a perk when it's a lie. He did bring us a cheese plate on the third day, and filled our ice bag from coco cay for two days after. He was efficient, but twice forgot to leave a compass of the next days activities, and twice did not replenish the shampoo and soap. All in all, I would not do that itinerary again, nor that ship again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We have just returned from the Medeterainan week with the ship.Firstly let me start by telling you that we had a great time...... Yes the ship is slightly dated and is showing its age in certain areas but hey that can be said for ... Read More
We have just returned from the Medeterainan week with the ship.Firstly let me start by telling you that we had a great time...... Yes the ship is slightly dated and is showing its age in certain areas but hey that can be said for 90% of hotels also!! The staff are amazing and always served you with a smile and most went out of their way for you if you asked for something. The food in the main resturant definatly got worse as the week went along,this is a view held by all people that we spoke to.Although it was still not terrible it certainly wasnt as good as the begining of the week.The menu was dominated by fish or beef.Again the staff were great. Now coming onto the "drinks package" this is something that Royal Carribian dont go out of their way to advertise.Yes its there but you have to ask for it. They offer 3 packages- 1 beer and wine, 2 beer,wine and spirits or 3 beer,wine spirits(all brands) Prices start from 234 dollars for the beer/wine package(which if you like a drink is DEFINATLY worth taking out) Included in the packages are most brands of beer including strongbow newcastle brown,corona.etc which makes a pleasant change to "house" beers. The sun decks got VERY full on the 2 days we had at sea and by 8.30am most sunbeds have vanished.We did see pool attendents taking towels off unused sunbeds at times by not often enough. The indoor pool is ADULT only(slightly unfair when they charge FULL PRICE for children) On the days in port we found the shuttle services a total RIP OFF AND REFUSED TO PAY THE 10 DOLLARS PER PERSON to be shuttled into the towns.(how they can charge this is beyond me and left a sour taste in our mouths!!!) Instead we made our own way which was VERY VERY easy..... In Barcelona the public bus stops outside the terminal building and runs every 10 mins COST 3 EUROS RETURN In Ibiza taxis pull up at the gate every other minute COST TO IBIZA TOWN 7 EUROS PER TAXI. In Malaga the public bus runs every 10 min and COSTS 3 EUROS RETURN(dont belive Royal Carribian when they tell you there is NO public transport) In Gibralter its a nice pleasant 10 min walk into town or shuttle mini buses charge 5 Euros. We also noticed that the ship docked as far away as it possible could from ALL ports(is this to save money???) most other cruise ships docked a lot closer. All in all we think the ship represented value for money on the offers that seen and if the price was right we would go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We booked this cruise for my son's spring break from High School. We sailed with another family who has two girls who are in Elementary School. There was a nice mix of young and old on board and there were a lot of families! We had ... Read More
We booked this cruise for my son's spring break from High School. We sailed with another family who has two girls who are in Elementary School. There was a nice mix of young and old on board and there were a lot of families! We had priority check in so we didn't have to wait long at all during the boarding process. For sail away we met on the top deck and enjoyed the views and music as we set sail at 5PM. We had the early dinner so we all got ready and met in the dining room. We were thrilled to discover that we had a great table right next to the window looking out over the water...perfect! We had a fabulous view of the Skyway Bridge as we sailed under it during dinner! The food each night was very good and there was always a good variety with healthy choices available each night as well! Juvi was our waiter and Jorge was his assistant, they were great! They learned our names and our likes/dislikes quickly. We ate all of our dinners in the formal dining room and ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer Buffet. The food there was very good as well and there was a nice selection. We spent our days at the pool and the kids enjoyed taking part in some of the Adventure Ocean activities. The teen activities on the first day were great, but as the trip continued the number of kids showing up was inconsistent so some events were cancelled. We had a great time playing bingo and also in the casino. We went into port in Cozumel for about an hour just to walk the shops. We have been there before and didn't really feel like doing anything else. We got back on the ship and enjoyed the pool as there was hardly anyone on board. We also visited the spa while in port. $149 for a top to toe massage and facial....so relaxing!! We saw all of the shows on board and all were really good. We arrived back in port on Monday morning and we had a check out time of 9:10 so we took our time and had a nice breakfast at the Windjammer before heading down to the Palladium to wait for our color to be called so we could disembark. This also went very smoothly and we were off and on our way home in no time. To be honest I found this cruise so much more relaxing than our 7 day Freedom of the Seas trip because we were not rushing to get off in a port everyday! Thanks Grandeur for a great spring break!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Embarkation We embarked the ship after flying from Washington Regan Airport to Tampa on March 27 and visiting with family in Punta Gorda for two days. Embarkation could not have been easier. Since we rented a car from National, we were ... Read More
Embarkation We embarked the ship after flying from Washington Regan Airport to Tampa on March 27 and visiting with family in Punta Gorda for two days. Embarkation could not have been easier. Since we rented a car from National, we were expecting to have to give back the car, go to the airport, and get a taxi to the ship. As it turned out, National provides a taxi straight to the port, which was very convenient. Out of my cruises, this was the quickest embarkation. We jumped off the bus to the port, gave our luggage to a porter, and walked in. After filling out the compulsory CDC sheets, we got into the priority embarkation line, which had one other group in it, and got our SeaPass cards immediately. This was a great perk of being in a junior suite, since most other lines don't offer priority boarding to their minisuites. We stopped to grab refreshments on the way into the SeaPass picture line, got our pictures taken, and walked right onto the ship. Cabin The cabin that we were staying in was a junior suite on the eighth floor right next to the main staircase. This turned out to be an amazing location. After getting on the ship, we actually came up the main stairway and then took a bit of a roundabout path to it, only to find that the cabin was about 10 steps from where we came up. Naturally, due to the Grandeur's size, the cabin was a bit on the small side, but it was nice enough, had a good sized balcony, and fit the four of us comfortably. On the first day during departure, it was a bit worrying because the balcony doorway seemed to creak while the ship moved, but it went away that evening and never came back. It seemed like the shower had a bit of a problem keeping a constant temperature, but otherwise the bathroom was good. Our stateroom steward was nice, though less personal than the one on Princess. Towards the end of the cruise, some cool towel animals started showing up. The location was one of the best parts of the cabin. Being right next to the stairs, we could get anywhere on the ship in just a matter of seconds, with the pool deck being just one deck up. In regards to this, we could hear some clomping and very light music from upstairs every so often, but normally not at night, and certainly not enough to be a bother. The Ship The ship was great, even despite being by far the smallest that I've ever sailed on. There was nowhere that I noticed any signs of the ship's age. Certainly Royal Caribbean has been doing a great job of maintaining it. One area that I especially liked was the Viking Crown Lounge. During the daytime, there were almost never any people there, except for when teen activities were hosted there, making it a great "secret" place to just relax, play cards, or watch the ocean go by. A couple members of our family made frequent trips to the gym while on the ship, which they seemed to enjoy well enough. There were no fitness classes in the gym, since there was no instructor aboard the ship, but I assume that this is temporary and it wasn't a problem regardless. Unfortunately, even with how small the ship was, none of us managed to make it to the rock wall at all during the cruise. I guess that's something to do in the future . At some times, the forward part of the top deck got windy, especially on sailaway and during the sea days, but the aft of the ship was well protected from the wind, as was the "observatory." The front of the ship was a great place to watch the departure from Tampa, and it was surprisingly not crowded at all. Three of the four of us stayed out there all the way until we passed under the Skyway Bridge about two hours into departure. Food After cruising on Princess and NCL, I was very pleasantly surprised by the buffet. The layout of it was certainly much better than either of my previous two cruises, and the food tended to be very good as well. I only ate there a couple times, and never for dinner. Of these times, a waiter came by to get us drinks only during the first lunch. Not a problem at all, since there was a bar just outside and the buffet offered some drinks like lemonade, water, and orange juice. The pizza in the Solarium was good, and the fries got very good reviews from many. Breakfast in the Great Gatsby Dining Room (the only one aboard the ship) was excellent, so I ended up eating there most of the time. Unfortunately I made it to the Great Gatsby for lunch only one time during my five days on the ship, which was certainly not enough. The lunch that I had there on the final sea day was by far the best lunch I had eaten on the ship, especially the dessert, for which I had an orange flan. Service during this lunch was great, making me all the more disappointed that I didn't come to eat this meal there earlier in the trip. On the morning of our stop in Cozumel, we had breakfast delivered to our stateroom. As usual for this cruise, the food was nice, especially the pastries. By now, you can probably guess what I'm going to say about dinner. This was the first time that we had tried traditional dining on a cruise, and we were not disappointed. 8:30 served as a very nice time for dinner. Dinner ended every day between 9:45 and 10:15. We enjoyed the service each night in the Great Gatsby Dining Room, especially our assistant waiter, Arnold. There were no disappointments among the meals that we ate, although I heard some not so great things about the sea bass on one of the earlier nights. I didn't try it myself, but I talked to more than one person who was disappointed by this dish. Ports The first stop on this cruise was at Costa Maya, where we took the ship's excursion to the Mayan ruins. We had a good guide on this trip and it was a nice excursion. At first, we were disappointed when our time was moved from the afternoon to the morning, but as it turned out it was hot enough in the morning when we went. The bus rides on either end of the excursion were a bit long, but the guide was very informative on the way there, while on the way back we had time to relax and watch Mexico go by. Besides this, we didn't do anything else at Costa Maya. The next morning we arrived at Cozumel and enjoyed breakfast on our balcony before leaving the ship to go snorkeling. Once again, this was a RCCL tour. At the end of the pier, the herded us onto a small boat with everyone else who was going snorkeling and we headed out. The boat ride to our snorkeling location was a bit long, which was compounded by the fact that they hadn't managed to put enough snorkel masks on the boat for everyone who was snorkeling. As a result, the guides spent a little while going up to other snorkel boats and asking for masks. Once in the water, we were following one of the guides who frequently pointed things out, but only the few around him were close enough to hear what we should be looking at. Regardless, we all had a great time snorkeling and we thought it was pretty cool to see the stingrays (we saw two), a couple big grouper, and the ocean dropoff. When finished with snorkeling, they herded us over to Playa Mia, where we had surprisingly good sandwiches for lunch and then relaxed on the beach for an hour. When this hour was up, the boat took us back to the pier, and we headed back onto the ship with a few hours left until sailaway. Overall the activities that we chose to do at the ports were great, but we didn't manage to see any of Mexico besides just the excursions we took. It seemed like both of the ports were just tourist traps, with shops and whatnot all around and not a whole lot to see or do. This meant that on our Mexican vacation, we didn't see much at all of Mexico, but we had fun with what we did see. Other Comments Overall we all felt that this was a great vacation. The family as a whole couldn't come to an agreement on what we liked best about it. Some said the ports while others said that everything was great. I certainly agree. We would certainly recommend this ship and this itinerary, because we had a blast even with the smaller size of the ship and it not offering all of the amenities that RCCL is known for. As for if we'll sail RCCL again in the future, we did sign up for Crown and Anchor, but much to the dismay of the kids we checked the "12+" box for when we plan to sail again. Maybe a cruise will come our way again sooner, and we wouldn't hesitate to book it on RCCL if that's what worked out. Read Less
Sail Date March 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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