6 Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

The was a Transatlantic repositioning cruise from Barcelona to Miami. The ship is freshly out of drydock after a major overhaul much touted by RCI. Overall the ship looks pretty nice with fresh carpeting, new furnishings and new ... Read More
The was a Transatlantic repositioning cruise from Barcelona to Miami. The ship is freshly out of drydock after a major overhaul much touted by RCI. Overall the ship looks pretty nice with fresh carpeting, new furnishings and new plumbing. Which leads to the first problem. The smell of fresh sewage was a problem in the lower decks forward and wafted into the centrum and onto the open upper decks from time to time. It was pretty ghastly. The Captain who seemed an avuncular sort delivered homey little chats every noon hour but never addressed the problem. The entertainers joked about it and the cruise staff made rueful little comments but officially the problem didn't exist. Which annoyed people even more. The transatlantic crossing set are generally a pretty worldy, experienced and tolerant lot and we would have understood it the Captain had just said the the sewage system was new, the seals were improperly installed, the crew were doing their best and nothing major could be done until the Grandeur got to a shipyard. But no... nothing. Not well handled at all. Other gripes? They took out the library to make room for more cabins. For shame! The trapeze act in the centrum is pretty hokey unless you've never been to a circus before. Entertainment generally was pretty humdrum especially an awful ABBA act and not helped by the horrid new Joe Farcus style furnishings. And while the new cabin carpeting and fittings are very nice not much of the refit money went to the mattresses which are just acceptable but nothing special. HAL has much better. So, they tell me, has Celebrity. Now for the good tuff. The ship is a good size with excellent open deck areas. The old style teak wrap around promenade deck is a treat. Embarcation and diembarcation were organized and well handled. The dining room operation was very crisp. RCI is not a gourmet line but mostly the menues had variety and interest and some of the food was really good. The Windjammer buffet is a good operation with excellent curries at lunch and reasonable variety throughout the cruise. The Park Cafe, part of the conservatory, was justifiably popular for light breakfasts and lunches. My cabin steward was experienced and never left me wanting for anything. The various bartenders were affable provided prompt service. In general the Grandeur seems to have a happy crew. We had some rough weather and the Grandeur has good sea keeping manners and rides well. All in all I enjoyed my cruise. Bur I was aft on deck 7 where there was no smell. If I had been forward on a lower deck I would not have been a happy cruiser at all. They need to fix this fast - or a a previous reviewer suggested rename her the Odeur of the Seas, Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
First thing upon entering the ship, we encounter a sewer smell. The kind of smell that comes from a sanitation plant. The captain tells the passengers on the last day of our 2 week cruise about why they have a sewer problem. The comedians ... Read More
First thing upon entering the ship, we encounter a sewer smell. The kind of smell that comes from a sanitation plant. The captain tells the passengers on the last day of our 2 week cruise about why they have a sewer problem. The comedians were making jokes about the smell. I felt sorry for the staff. They could not wait to get off the ship. The toilets had a 30% chance of flushing in all areas of the ship. Boarding went smooth. We enjoyed resting on the upper deck until our luggage arrived. Into the evening, we went to the guest relations to get assist with the computer wifi and asked about our discount for the computer. They weren't very knowledgeable in that area. It would have been helpful to have an assistant in the computer section of the ship to help. While standing in line, a few passengers got into a verbal fight. The counter staff just stood there. It was over somebody being helped but stepped away then back to the counter. Somebody thought they were cutting in line. Too many people were complaining on the ship but a few of us enjoyed the activities that were offered. The lecture series were interesting. I tried bingo once and had to hear all the bickering. I felt bad for Carlos, the activities director. He was suggesting that certain passengers need to save their fighting until they get back home and to enjoy the cruise now. That should tell you how cranky a few passengers were. No bingo for me again ,o) We enjoyed the ports. Getting excursions with fellow cruise critic passengers was wonderful. We didn't have to deal with mass amounts of passengers. We met good friends and enjoyed ourselves with them throughout the cruise. Unfortunately, I wasn't notified of the Cruise Critic party and missed it. The time I had from the forum was different. It was wonderful to have a dedicated area for smoking. I have to give the ship a high five for that. Entertainment was decent. The last show was the best, awesome Tango dancers. Having three specialty restaurants on board was a little ridiculous. We did enjoy one night at the Chops Grille for our anniversary. The dining area had good food and the staff were very friendly. RCCL supports repeated cruisers with happy hour and separate enclosed area for "better" food? I can understand the private parties but segregation went out a long time ago. I am looking forward to our next cruise and most likely it will not be with RCCL, even with a 15% discount that some claim that we will get on our next RCCL cruise. If you are booked for this ship, you may want to double check and see if the sewer smell is gone before boarding. RCCL should take this seriously and not allow passengers on board until it is fixed. I heard that they had a fuel spill and needed to clean the ship when they arrived to Miami. Hopefully, EPA will be made aware of this incident.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We boarded the Grandeur in Barcelona after a 25 day visit to Spain and Portugal. We had never cruised transatlantic before. When we entered the ship we smelled a very bad odor. We didn't know what it was so thought it would go ... Read More
We boarded the Grandeur in Barcelona after a 25 day visit to Spain and Portugal. We had never cruised transatlantic before. When we entered the ship we smelled a very bad odor. We didn't know what it was so thought it would go away. Well the smell stayed with us the whole 14 days. Something was wrong with the sewer system and had been since the ship left Venice in Oct. Some of the passengers had put up with the stench for 28 days. We never had an explanation or any compensation from anyone. We even called customer service and had someone come down to our room to see what they could do about the smell. They sprayed some stuff and said everything was ok. Well it wasn't. We even could smell the ship when we approached from the port in the Canary Is. Getting away from the smell was impossible and it enveloped us one night when we were sleeping. The smell was hard to put up with, but the lack of sympathy for the fellow passengers was the worst. We were hoping that the problem would be looked into when we reached Miami. But they sailed that same afternoon without any obvious repairs. We had to pre pay our gratuities when we made our reservation. The reason given was there was no room in the dining room at the fixed seatings. This was not true as we found out when we were at dinner. They had plenty of room in the dining room. This way they could make us prepay the $12.00 per person per day, so they got all the tips allowed. We will probably never sail with RCL again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Since the beginning of the cruise at Barcelona we had start the problems..... the discharge of the toilet has never worked properly and were not able to make it work for 14 days. a real ecological disaster, with an obvious smell of ... Read More
Since the beginning of the cruise at Barcelona we had start the problems..... the discharge of the toilet has never worked properly and were not able to make it work for 14 days. a real ecological disaster, with an obvious smell of sewage in the cabin and in the common areas. No comments and no apology from anyone in 13 days ...... just the last day the captain and other officers decided to have public meeting with all passengers for F.A.Q., and before the meeting began the Captain decided to let us know what was the problem..... the problem with the system exhaust and of course they blamed a passenger who probably threw something in the toilet that clogged the system. make advertising on all television in Italy to travel with Royal Caribbean, but then once on board can't have any type of communication in Italian, everything happened on board, shows, daily boardingnews and navigation info are strictly all in English language??? I would suggest to all Italians not to travel yet with this company, at least something they will change on onboard system of communications. Food quality mediocre as well as range of variety, I expected from this company the quality much higher than that obtained but not going to change my idea and let them another chance. Complaint to Italian office, never had reply, customer service so far very poor. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
I very much agree with the other reviews of this transatlantic cruise! This was my first transatlantic and I was excited to see if I would like spending so much time on the ship. Ironically, my first experience was on a ship that smelled ... Read More
I very much agree with the other reviews of this transatlantic cruise! This was my first transatlantic and I was excited to see if I would like spending so much time on the ship. Ironically, my first experience was on a ship that smelled like a sewer. Yikes! It was absolutely horrible at times. I thought it was a smell in the port, but it turned out to be on the ship. It wasn't uncommon to see people with their hands over their nose and/or whole face. It was that bad!! I especially felt bad for the crew members who told us that it was worse on the lower levels where their cabins are. I can't imagine how they could live in those conditions. 14 days was long enough to deal with it, and they had been dealing with it even longer than that. Anyway, I think jack champion said it best when he said that the lack of sympathy for fellow passengers was the worst. That is what disappointed me so much. I have cruised on multiple cruise lines, and I had just pretty much decided to stick with RCI for most of my future cruising so that I could build up my loyalty status. Now, I have no idea how much I want to cruise with them since they didn't seem to care at all how we felt about this problem. If they had offered ANYTHING AT ALL (free internet time, a free drink, etc.) it would have helped a little. It was just unbelievable that they ignored the whole issue! The comedians made jokes about it and the crew certainly talked about it, but RCI never even acknowledged the inconvenience to us much less apologized. That is what amazed me so much. Guest Services told me that they couldn't offer onboard credit and that was it. I think I would have wanted to jump overboard if the smell would have been in my cabin. At least that was not the case for us. We were in an inside cabin on deck 4, and it was fine. We talked to a couple at lunch one day, however, who weren't so fortunate. They said that the smell was in their room, and they had to wear surgical masks to sleep. I have no idea how they could stand that! That is absolutely unacceptable!! As always, the staff was fabulous on the ship. Our steward was great along with the dining room staff. That is what actually made the cruise enjoyable in spite of this big problem. The toilets only flushed when they wanted to, also. So it was obvious that the problem was with the sewage system. They obviously didn't put their money into the right things when they re-did the ship only months before this. I would say that their 60 million dollars invested in the refurbishment wasn't worth it since this problem pretty much overshadowed any improvements that were made. The final straw was when a gentleman on the ship told me about an experience he had with RCI earlier this year on another ship. He said that they had just left Baltimore when the captain got on the speakers and told them that they were going to have to slow down the speed of the ship. He apologized immediately for that inconvenience. The man told me that they were offered onboard credit right away. Then they ended up missing a stop at a port, so they were refunded their entire cruise! I don't understand how there can be such a discrepancy in the responses of each ship. I think having a sewer smell for 14 days is much worse than just missing a port and yet we were offered NOTHING and they had their whole cruise refunded. That just doesn't make any sense. I was on the Allure of the Seas after this cruise and asked several different people on that ship if this was typical of RCI that they would ignore such a big problem and not offer any type of an apology. They all just refused to comment which didn't surprise me. I just don't know if I dare cruise with them again, especially on their older ships, if this is what we can expect. Overall, I would definitely take another transatlantic cruise at my first opportunity. It really gives you time to get to know other passengers and I just loved the relaxed atmosphere being at sea that long. I also agree with Riknpat that the ship did quite well in rough weather. If they could just solve the problem of that horrible smell and get the toilets to work right, the ship would be quite enjoyable. I truly hope that RCI does a better job of taking care of their guests in the future! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Cabin: This was one of the smaller inside cabins we have been in. Only about 136 sq feet and room for a chair and not a sofa. Having said that, there was plenty of storage, the bed was very comfortable, and the air conditioning was ... Read More
Cabin: This was one of the smaller inside cabins we have been in. Only about 136 sq feet and room for a chair and not a sofa. Having said that, there was plenty of storage, the bed was very comfortable, and the air conditioning was whisper quiet and very effective. This was the last cruise before the dry dock, so the TV was an old-school 15inch set which was a little disappointing. The stateroom attendant, Rolando, kept the cabin very clean and was friendly. The bathroom was tiny, but good enough for dealing with brushing teeth and putting in lenses. The shower area was very restricted so we always headed up to the spa area and showered in the spacious sauna and steam areas in the locker rooms. Food: Before the refurb, there was no speciality restaurant on the ship, so the choice was buffet or dining room. As on previous cruises, the service in the dining room was very slow, so we ate most of our meals in the Windjammer cafe. On the whole the food was good quality with a nice selection. We soon became jelly addicts, and despite my resolve to avoid all cakes, I quickly started adding a slice of anything chocolate onto my fruit salad! The staff were efficient and friendly, and there was good coffee (Seattles Best) always on hand. Pool area: Flimsy, uncomfortable loungers by the outside pool, and not much better cushions on the solarium chairs either. As there were many germans on the ship, all good deck chairs had been reserved by 9am, despite signs prohibiting this. The two swimming pools were always cold, and I picked up a chest cold and cough from this after about 5 days, then only went into the jacuzzis. Getting pool towels from the attendant and giving your cabin number is a complete nonsense,as you can go to the spa and walk out with 5 towels if you want to pad out your chair and no one will stop you. Gym: Basic and good enough, but very small by other ship standards and limited equipment, work out area. Also, the gym was always too hot with pockets of air-conditioning reaching only some parts of the room. The god send was the free saunas and steamrooms in the locker rooms which were excellent and very well utilised in the men's room. Great showers and lots of huge towels. Entertainment: The trivias were poorly attended and the questions very repeated. Also, the staff seemed always embarrassed to explain how poor the prizes were if you won. They tried hard to make them fun, god bless them. The evening entertainment was very poor, and probably the cheapest acts I have seen at sea. The show room, the Palladium was a beautiful room and the RCCL shows were well choreographed with some excellent singing. Deckside activities were something out of a bad 1970's sitcom, and poorly attended and repetitive. Ambience: This was a friendly and intimate ship and the Captain was always around to make you feel welcome. He was funny and charming and the best asset of the ship. Overall experience: Despite the niggles above, the cruise was fun and I put on weight, so the food can't of been that bad! Yes, everything could have been better, pools heated, chairs more comfortable and more dining choice, but it did the job at an amazing price. We may be put off the smaller ships, however, because of the size of the cabins and the limited entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
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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