Sail Date: August 2004
This was our second cruise ever for my husband and myself (55 and 54) both cruises taken this year. We chose Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas because it was leaving out of Baltimore, 30 minutes from our home, and we did not have ... Read More
This was our second cruise ever for my husband and myself (55 and 54) both cruises taken this year. We chose Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas because it was leaving out of Baltimore, 30 minutes from our home, and we did not have waste time and money flying to Florida. Our destination was Grand Bahama Island, Florida Keys, Cocoa Cay, and Port Canaveral Florida. (Our first cruise was last April on the brand new Caribbean Princess to Jamaica, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel, Mexico). We knew it was hurricane season, but didn't let that worry us. Well, guess what happened? STATEROOM: We had booked an inside room but were delighted to be upgraded to a larger outside room with picture window. (On the Princess we had splurged for a balcony room, so we cut back this time). There was adequate storage, but we could have used a few more hangers. Bathroom small, but adequate. Flushes were not as noisy as on Caribbean Princess! Lots of medicine cabinet space. In the main area there was a dressing table with side mirrored shelving up either side, good storage. Desk with drawers. Queen bed with nightstands on either side. The sheets and mattress were very comfortable, but the blanket was scratchy. No bedspread at all -- I guess because of summer. Our room attendant left us cute animals made from twisted towels, which was fun. SERVICES: There is no self-laundry or ironing like on the Caribbean Princess. The rates for getting shirts, suits, pants done are reasonable. Internet is 50 cents/minute, which adds up quickly. It is hard to get on and off for less than $3.00. Usually $5-6 if you write anything. On the Caribbean Princess it was 35 cents/minute. SHIP: First of all, the ship is very nice. The Centrum area is lovely with many curved marble steps with silver and gold lighted railings and appointments. The centrum was 8 decks high with visible elevators. The casino is very large, I believe larger than on the Caribbean Princess -- and I loved the entrance floor which looked like buried treasure under glass with coins, jewels, strings of pearls, crowns, and even a skeleton! Hubby lost $40 and I won $50, so we came out ahead! Public areas are very nice, roomy, with nice comfortable furniture in wonderful fabrics. The South Pacific room is where they had most of the dancing and it was very impressive, very large, with great sofas and chairs on different tiers, tables, beautifully decorated and comfortable. We enjoyed the Duxbury Cadillac band there, usually 50s-70s music, and they were excellent. They did country music one night too. They also held their "game shows" in this room. WARNING: If you are a private person, DO NOT volunteer for Newlywed Game or QUEST....the audience loved these, but questions and challenges tended to be on the racy side and were definitely PERSONAL. FOOD: The Windjammer buffet is good, with most everything you could ask for, and out of this world desserts -- but they weren't always open -- when they were closed you could get pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries from the grill in the Solarium (aft). The coffee and tea was pretty good (Seattle's Best coffee) everywhere. The dining room covered two open decks and was lovely. The food was excellent, with many choices. If you didn't like what they listed, ask for something else! Want two lobsters? Ask for it and you get it. Want one steak and one lobster, as you wish! Our waiter was from Slovakia. He was maybe 25-33 and a little crazy....in a fun way. We joked with him a lot. His name was Tomas (pronounced Tow-Mass). He aimed to please and worked hard for his tips. The waiters sang and danced on certain nights, and it was fun. We had a GREAT bunch of people at our table and laughed a lot. ENTERTAINMENT: The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers put on a fantastic musical show. Two of the girl singers were OUTSTANDING. One show was 50's music, one 40s Swing, and one called The Beat Goes On -- 50s - 80s? They had a comedian we did not see, and a juggler we did not see. Lance Ringold, gold medal olympic gymnast was there on Friday, and did a show featuring films of him in his heyday, then came out dressed as an old man with a walker, then proceeded to show us he still had the goods. He also surprised us by playing piano and singing and by doing an ariel hanging silks routine, ala Cirque de Soleil. PORTS OF CALL: Our first stop was Grand Bahama Island. We took the party boat/shopping trip. The boat was fun, music, dancing, beverages. The shopping excursion was bad -- nothing I was interested in. Overpriced junk or high-faluting expensive stuff. A bus "tour" brought us back -- "On the left is our oil refinery, here is our used car saleslot, here is our Winn Dixie...." Bleak. bleak. Bleak. Our next stop was Key West... this was great. I wish we had skipped Grand Bahama and spent two days in Key West...but as we got there, we heard they were beginning to evacuate for Hurricane Charley. Key West is beautiful with LOTS to do. We took a Catamaran Sail and Snorkel and it was very nice. We walked the streets and loved seeing all the culture and shops and quaint scenes. Not enough time. I bought lots of lotions and bath products at Key West Aloe, GOOD STUFF! Our next stop was Cocoa Cay, Royal Caribbean's private island. I was disappointed. The water was not clear, too many people? The snorkeling was hazy, not pristine like we had before. Our kayak trip was canceled due to high seas expected. The beach barbecue was nice to have, but nothing special tastewise. Our next stop was to be Port Canaveral, FLa, but the hurricane was headed right that way, so we went out to sea instead. Charley hit Florida hard...we spent one day at sea avoiding it and then started up the coast toward Baltimore. Charley started getting closer, so the captain turned us around south-east to let him pass, and then we followed him up the Chesapeake Bay to home. We did not hit bad weather, we did not have any seas higher then 4-8 feet....Captain Sven kept us out of harm's way. Sorry to miss Sea World in Florida, but it was closed anyway! We had fun watching Shrek 2 movie, having dinner with new friends, and enjoying dancing and music on the ship. All in all, we had a fun cruise. The ship is lovely. The staff was geat and aimed to please. Key West is a great town. Grand Bahama Island I could have done without. Cocoa Cay was too crowded and the swimming area was so small, I wondered about sanitation with that many people -- you know what I mean. We enjoyed the dancing on the boat and got some nice pictures on formal nights all duded up in gowns and tuxes. We even found a quiet little place high over the Centrum where the band music from down below wafted up so we could dance privately...hubby gets nervous dancing in front of people. Royal Caribbean is a very nice line on which to sail, and the Grandeur of the Seas is a lovely ship with great staff and a captain who puts safety first. I would have liked to see other activies offered, like swing dance lessons, or ballroom lessons, but only saw country line dance lessions offered. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2004
Well, What can I say! This was our first time cruising. We had our almost 11 year old daughter and 15 year old son with us, as well as my mother-in-law (Who I adore!). We all had a fabulous time and can't wait to go back. Really, we ... Read More
Well, What can I say! This was our first time cruising. We had our almost 11 year old daughter and 15 year old son with us, as well as my mother-in-law (Who I adore!). We all had a fabulous time and can't wait to go back. Really, we thought we'd rather stay onboard than go back to our reality... We loved the style of the ship. It was amazing that at no time did it ever really feel crowded. I know there were lots of kids onboard, but it was never really very obvious. My daughter spent some time up in the Teen side of the Ocean Adventure club, but if you ask her, she was rather bored as they did not have enough arcade games, or other such things to entertain her for long. She did participate in a few of the activities and enjoyed them. My son is not very social at this awkward age, and preferred to stay with the grown ups. He did check out the teen lounge, but was not impressed. I think he watched "Sea Biscuit" about 7 times while ensconced in the Junior suite room 8068 that he shared with his sister and grandma. Speaking of the 8th floor, we heard chairs scraping the floor at Midnight-plus and Tile work at 7:30 or 8am as we found out we were right under the Solarium. Next time we're on the 7th floor to get away from all the noise! Food wise, we had the late seating, which worked for us as with normal activities in our reality we usually eat late anyway. The food was very good in the Main Dining room and service was impeccable. We loved the staff assigned to our table, and enjoyed the little shows they put on for us. We had a long table for 10 and met a very nice couple and their daughter, who hit it off with mine, so that problem was solved. We did find that the food service was a bit fast paced for us as we like to sit back and relax and talk at the table, not rush through our meal. We ate lunch and breakfast once on the lower deck of the dining room, and quite frankly were not impressed. We spent the remainder of the cruise eating those two meals at the Windjammer cafe, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We had fun watching the pool deck activities and our cruise director was hilarious! My Dh and I snuck out one night for the 70's Disco up in the Viking Crown Lounge and had a blast, although the dance floor was rather small for the crowd that was there. We did watch the first Show in the Palladium Theater, but it wasn't really our thing. I do love broadway, but not a romp through "Broadway Rhythm and Rhyme" which was too "Vegas" for our tastes. The Comedian, Al Romas, who was on board did a great show the first night that was family entertainment. His Midnight show, however, was adult themed and very very funny. The shows in the South Pacific Lounge were Hilarious. Catch there is if you want to participate or get a seat you have to show up early! Most nights we were either having a nightcap - love my Bailey's over Ice - in the Champagne bar listening to Dance sounds with the Music Makers, or in the Schooner Bar either signing along with Fred or listening to his brilliant playing and loungey act! Are favorite band was Roots Vibrations. We always have a fondness for Claypso and Reggae music. They often played on the pool deck as well as Coco Cay. Excursion wise, we did the Freeport shopping and beach. "Biggie" drove our bus and gave a really amazing talk. Everything from politics to how each Island supports the other to school uniforms so the island people can pick up the kids if they are truant and return them to school(HA. The International Market was not worth it in my mind. Lucaya market was a bit better. Everybody but my daughter and myself bought watches there. We did buy some things on board - wait until the last sail day - things are really reduced! We loved Coco Cay. It was very hot, and we did manage to find some lounge chairs between two palm trees for some shelter. Here is the place I would definitely advise anybody like me who really shouldn't be in the sun to get on the tender early. All the good shade ares were full by the time we took our tender over around 10am. We snorkeled, which was exhausting. The fish near the lifeguards were fun, but not much else to look at if you've ever snorkeled around Beautiful reefs, brilliant in color with plentiful fish of all types as we saw in St. Thomas. I guess all the people who go there have done some damage as most of the area under the water was boring beige. There were a lot of little rocks underfoot around the main floating area. My kids had a great time with their dad at Caylana's Cove, the water fun area. They were bummed at first that they had to wear life vest, but as dad said, it became very clear why they were needed as he saw some crazy almost frightful things happen when bouncing on the water trampolines. Next time, I think we'll do the wave runners. Key West, well it is different, but on my list of "once seen/experienced" is enough. Rather crowed when we were there. But, rather entertaining street scenes like the black man painted in silver sitting still like a tree. Lots of characters there. DO take the Trolley tour - our guide told us neat things we did not know- and that was worth it. Ripley's was gross, unless your into that kind of thing. The aquarium was ok. We left too early to see the festivities on Mallory Dock. We did not get off ship at Port Canaveral this time, but will definitely make the effort next time to see the space area behind the scenes. Our table mates went and were blown away - even their youngster! However, we were tired from the back - to - back stops, and the heat, and the many late nights we had. The only bothersome thing was that we had to get up at about 7:45 to check through onboard customs. Everyone who stays onboard still has to go through tat procedure. Finally, you can't beat leaving from a local port, which for us was Baltimore, which is about a 1.5 hour dive for us. Park and go! I would definitely get there earlier next time to avoid the lines for check in. Our ship docked back in Baltimore around 8am, wasn't cleared by customs until 9:30, and our color wasn't even called until 10:30. It was one of the last colors called - even though we had an 8th floor Junior Suite. We next sail on the Voyager of the Seas out of Cape Liberty, NJ In May - but will have to change it to June as my Daughter will have SOL tests (State Standards of Learning)and her principle suggested it would be beneficial to her as well as a great way to end her years at elementary school! So In final, I would recommend this ship, and will most likely occupy it again! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2004
The ship was somewhat smaller then I expected but that just made it a little less overwhelming. The cabin attendant we had was very helpful and attentive and made the trip a delight. I would suggest packing your own snacks, bottled water ... Read More
The ship was somewhat smaller then I expected but that just made it a little less overwhelming. The cabin attendant we had was very helpful and attentive and made the trip a delight. I would suggest packing your own snacks, bottled water and sodas. If you have kids, a $1.50 per can soda will add up. The food was okay but nothing out of the ordinary and the portions were small on some meals. I would suggest not getting a cabin on the 8th deck unless you don't mind the scraping of chairs and tables from the 9th deck pool area. Shops were fair on board but not that great. Not much for an older teenager to do. My son expected a better video arcade. (they only had 3 games) Suggest you bring a portable DVD player. The room we had did have a VHS and a CD player. Shows were fair; had more fun with Bingo although that could add up. The excursions were the best part of the trip. Suggest doing the Dolphin Encounter and the Key West Butterfly Conservatory is awesome. Be prepared to shell out money for your onboard photos. I was disappointed that they didn't shoot more candid shots. Everything is posed. All in all it was enjoyable. We've already booked a cruise for next June to Alaska one Serenade of the Seas. This is a newer ship with more amenities Be prepared for a long Disembarkation. You need to be out of your room by 8am and you get to sit for ar least 2 hours in the lounge before they start letting passengers off. The fire drill is also long..one woman almost passed out. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2004
The ship is nice, but not spectacular. The food was very mediocre and disappointing compared to a previous RC cruise!! I recommended they fire the chef. Very little choice, only had lobster one night in 11 nights, offered very little ... Read More
The ship is nice, but not spectacular. The food was very mediocre and disappointing compared to a previous RC cruise!! I recommended they fire the chef. Very little choice, only had lobster one night in 11 nights, offered very little seafood. The dining room had the same menu every day, with the exception of a daily special; the food was quite repetitive and boring. There never seemed to be enough tables in the Windjammer Cafe; it was always busy. The shows were okay - some were mediocre, a few were quite good. Marty Allen and his wife were quite good, as were the comedians. Many cabins had no bedspreads, just sheets covering the blankets, and the love seats did not match in color. Overall, rather disappointing furnishings. The purser's staff did not have much information on how to get to public beaches if you did not want to take a very expensive excursion. They did not generally have a map of the island, as I was given on a previous cruise each day. I suggest you always ask whether the beach you are going to is on the Atlantic side or the leeward side of the island - rough surf on the former, beautiful calm beaches on the latter. Suggest Isla Verde public beach in San Juan, Divi Resort beach in St. Martin, Magens Bay in St. Thomas, and Port Lucaya beach (Westin hotel beach) in Freeport. All can be reached by taxis ranging from $4 to $16 each way (San Juan was longest distance). All beautiful beaches. Isla Verde did not have concessions on the beach, but had little shops/restaurants half a block away. Cabs run routinely down the main street of the beach. Would not book on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
We just returned from a cruise aboard the Grandeur. The food was fabulous, the service was splendid, and the shows were very good. I found that the daytime activities were a bit lacking (in number and interest). We had a suite on the ... Read More
We just returned from a cruise aboard the Grandeur. The food was fabulous, the service was splendid, and the shows were very good. I found that the daytime activities were a bit lacking (in number and interest). We had a suite on the eighth level (the balcony was nice but not worth the extra $600 per couple). RCCL does a good job of running a cruise ship (this was my second time with RCCL). Room service was a bit slow, but always good when it finally arrived! Debarkation is not the best in the world. There is a set color sequence (based on the color of your luggage tag). We were way down the line so we sat and sat and sat. People with flights before 1 p.m. were allowed to exit first, so they basically went to the airport at 8 a.m. and sat and sat and sat till their 1 p.m. flight!!! Give me a break!! One last complaint - smokers rule the ship! They smoke in the casino, the elevators, the hallways, the lobbies, the lounges, the open decks, just outside the entrances to the main theater, in the restrooms, wherever they please!!! Parts of some areas are designated "Smoking" while across the room is designated "No Smoking!" It's sort of like having a "NO PEEING" section in the pool!!! Get real RCCL !!! Considering everything, I will give RCCL a good score based mainly on the quality of food, the food service and friendliness of the entire staff. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
Embarkation - New Orleans Embarkation could not have been better....It literally took 5 Minutes from stepping out of the cab to walking on the ship. AWESOME! We arrived at around Noon and had no problems getting right on board. Sea ... Read More
Embarkation - New Orleans Embarkation could not have been better....It literally took 5 Minutes from stepping out of the cab to walking on the ship. AWESOME! We arrived at around Noon and had no problems getting right on board. Sea Days - We found most days at sea to be fun. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, but our biggest complaint was that several activities were scheduled at the same time, which prevented us from doing some things we would have liked to. The game show activities are a lot of fun if you are outgoing and like to participate. DON'T MISS the game called QUEST. YOU WONT BELIEVE WHAT YOU WILL SEE!!! lol! There were lots of Bingo games, but they didn't push you to play like I've read in other reviews. The Casino was nice and we did see some people hit some decent jackpots, but we didn't have any luck. Cabin - We loved our cabin. We had a balcony room on deck 7 and without question liked it better than our Carnival room. The Balcony was worth the price. We thoroughly enjoyed it. We were in a group of 9 couples and our rooms were side by side. We were able to open our balconies up and make one huge balcony for everyone to hangout together. Our room also had a fridge which we kept stocked with beer from the pool bar and we then could just grab one and enjoy the balcony with friends. Some great views out there as well!!! Dining - This was our second Cruise and first with Royal Caribbean. Our first was with Carnival. We all agreed that the food in the Main Dining Room was excellent and better than our previous cruise. The WindJammer Cafe offered similar foods in a buffet style. It seemed average. The Solarium had a snack bar which served Burgers and pizza. The Pizza was not very good and the Burgers just average. Carnival definitely had the better of the snack foods with their 24 hr pizzeria and serving breakfasts and lunches by the pool. Service - We found our service to be very, very vanilla and average compared to what we experienced on Carnival. We didn't see our steward for the first 2 days and when we did, he had very little personality. He never called us by name or went out of his way for us like our Carnival steward did. We found the same in the dining room. Our waiter was adequate, but nothing special. Put it this way...our Carnival Cruise was 3 years ago and I remember Rudi, my cabin steward and Mugni, my waiter by name still. I've forgotten these guys already. Not that they were horrible, they just were nothing special. Entertainment - The Singers and Dancers in the cruise presented shows were very good and we enjoyed them a lot. They had a juggler the last night that was simply amazing. The comedy shows were so-so. The bands that played in the various lounges were also decent. The Cruise Director Tom and his staff were lots of fun and always put a smile on our face. Ports - Cozumel BY FAR our favorite port in the entire caribbean. This was our second trip there and we chose the catch the wave BOND adventure. Folks....don't miss it. IT WAS AWESOME. We rode around on what amounts to scooters, 15 ft. under water with divers swimming in front of us pointing out things for us,bringing up starfish and porcupine fish for us to hold. He took our underwater camera with him and took numerous pics for us and of us. The tour included OPEN BAR when we were finished as well as use of a glass bottom boat and all the snorkeling you want with free equipment. IT WAS AWESOME!!! BOOK THIS EXCURSION!!! After it was over, the boat dropped us in town and we trekked down to world famous Carlos n Charlie's and had an absolute Blast. COZUMEL RULES!!! Grand Cayman - This was our second trip to Cayman also. I highly recommend the island tour and Stingray City. We really enjoyed it last trip here. This trip I elected to golf at the Links course. I found it to be a fifty dollar US course, but it had some great scenery and all in all I was glad I went. We saw a huge Iguana on one hole and got some great pics. We then went to the Hard Rock Cafe for wings and beers. The wings were hot and the beers were cold, so we were plenty happy!! Costa Maya - We elected not to take a tour here. This port really needs help. It is owned by the cruise lines, and let me start by saying that the area they have built where the ships dock is great. Bars, restaurants , plenty of shopping and a great pool with a swim up bar. Next, let me say ....don't bother leaving this area. The beach and fishing village nearby is horrible and a complete waste of time. This port really has nothing to offer beyond shopping, swimming in the pool and drinking. The food served was very good in the restaurant here. Just take my advice, there is nothing worth leaving the ships dock area for that we could find. Some friends took a 40 minute ride up to Uvero beach, but said it wasn't much better and they felt like they wasted 2 hours riding up and back. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2004
While not one of the larger or newer of the Royal Caribbean fleet, the Grandeur of the Seas is clean, attractive, and relatively comfortable. The itinerary of this cruise took the ship to Cozumel, Georgetown, Grand Caiman, and Costa Maya. ... Read More
While not one of the larger or newer of the Royal Caribbean fleet, the Grandeur of the Seas is clean, attractive, and relatively comfortable. The itinerary of this cruise took the ship to Cozumel, Georgetown, Grand Caiman, and Costa Maya. I must preface this review by saying that this was my first cruise vacation and that most of my criticisms of this cruise could probably be applied to cruises in general in contrast to other travel experiences. Having said that, I must say that my enjoyment of the experience was diminished by the hidden costs (over $300.00 in tips alone for a family of 5), the constant queuing for one thing or another (the line to board the tender to return to the ship in Georgetown wrapped around the block) the rushing to get off the ship for excursions, the insufficient time to enjoy those excursions, and the rush to get back to the ship after the excursions. Our original excursion in Grand Caiman were cancelled, which was bad enough, but when we got a replacement excursion and had been tendered to the quay, that was cancelled as well. The excursion that we had purchased in Costa Maya was delayed by two hours due to some problem docking and getting the gangway set, and the duration of the port call there was reduced by 5 hours without any explanation. I suppose there may have been some mechanical problem with the ship which made it necessary to leave early. As it was, the return leg was traveled at 11 knots according to the captain. I would hate to think that it was just to save on fuel. I would hate to give the impression that the experience was all bad. The staff were very kind and efficient, for the most part, and the food was good, if not stellar. Don't expect a lot of fresh seafood. If all you want is a party experience with all the food you can eat, cruising is a good choice. For my part, I found it confining. Read Less
Grandeur of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 3.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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