We chose this cruise because we wanted to get out of the winter weather for a couple of weeks. We hit a "sweet spot" on the price, very low cost, so we booked it. Although we had cruised quite a few times before, we had never ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to get out of the winter weather for a couple of weeks. We hit a "sweet spot" on the price, very low cost, so we booked it. Although we had cruised quite a few times before, we had never been to the Southern islands, and had never been on Grandeur before.
Room: We had a "guaranteed cabin", very small cabin (inside, deck 2), it had an adjoining door which was a problem because our next door neighbors had a baby that cried at night. We could hear it screaming loudly through the thin door and it woke us up a few times each night. The cabin steward was excellent and kept the room very clean. There was not a refrigerator in the room, but we asked for an ice bucket and ice, plus wine glasses for the wine be brought onboard. We always had fresh ice.
Common areas: Elevators were sometimes slow and crowded. Other times no problem. Centrum has comfortable seating. Most of the times we got seating, but some evenings it was full. There was music and dancing in the centrum area most late afternoons and evenings, as well as some games. The dance band and singer were good. There was also a calypso band, a violin-guitar duo, and a piano player. The dance floor was nice. They also had some line dance classes during the day.
Pool deck was nice. Outdoor pool was closed during cold weather and rough weather, I didn't use it. Lots of chairs and chaises, but sometimes not enough (in good weather).
Solarium (adults only) was good but crowded. Indoor pool was very nice, heated. Hot tubs were good. Very hard to find a chaise or even a table and chairs on sea days. Had to get there early or get lucky that someone was leaving. There is a restaurant in the solarium which was complimentary and pretty good. Salad bar and great sandwiches, a few desserts, fruit, etc.
Dining: We wanted early seating, but that was full when we booked, as was any time dining, so we were assigned late seating. We ate in the dining room the first night and one of the formal nights (lobster and prime rib). It was ok. The timing didn't work for us, as we don't like to eat at 8 P.M. We ate most of our meals in the Windjammer (buffet). There was a good variety and they had most of the same dinners as in the dining room. Only complaint was that the food was all lukewarm, nothing hot or cold (except the ice cream). It was also very salty, sugary, or fried. Very hard for a person to eat healthy.
They did have a good salad bar. Each night they also had a different ethnic food area, but again, not healthy choices. Service was excellent in the Windjammer. Coffee was brought, tables quickly cleared, dirty dishes quickly cleared. Service with a smile. Tables had a great view of the ocean.
Windjammer is only open during certain times. They close the entire place after breakfast, then after 3 p.m. lunch, then after dinner. You have to time your eating to when they are open. When they are closed, the small restaurant in the solarium is usually open.
We did not eat in the specialty restaurants.
Activities: We like to dance. There were complimentary ballroom dance lessons on sea day mornings. The instructors were excellent and we learned a lot while having fun. Sea day evenings there was recorded dance music for an hour or two with the instuctors to help us practice. We enjoyed that. There was also dancing in the Centrum most evenings.
There were the usual games and sales talks which we didn't attend. We did attend a talk by the cruise director about his life on ships. It was very interesting and entertaining.
We went to most all of the evening shows We really liked the cruise director, he is very good. The shows were a variety of genres. We enjoyed most of them. A couple of them were excellent, a couple of them were lame.
:St. Thomas--we walked across a parking lot and across a street, then around the corner (ask someone how to get there) to Water Island ferry (a tiny boat) $10 each round trip about a 20 minute ride. There was an open bus to take us to Honeymoon beach (not far but up a hill). Free bus, but tip the driver. The beach was excellent and we were surprised that the chairs and umbrellas were free to use. Not very crowded. There was a small restaurant where we got local beer.
Antigua--We took a crowded van taxi to Valley Church Beach. We were there 5 hours. We rented chaises and umbrella for $20. Not bad, but not as good as honeymoon beach. Crowded beach with lots of vendors.
St. Lucia--Island tour in a van with 4 others. Very good tour. St. Lucia is a beautiful rainforest and jungle island. Beautiful mountains. Banana plantations.
St. Kitts--Island tour with 2 others. Excellent tour. Sugar mill ruins.
St. Martins--Island tour with 4 others. Excellent tour. We saw a lot of hurricane damage. Beautiful island. Sad to see such damage. Starting to recover.
All tours--we got off the ship and found a small van tour. Did not want to go on a big bus or an expensive ship tour. Our drivers were all excellent and gave us a lot of history. Very good value, as well.
Sea days coming back, seas were quite rough. We brought a couple of games to play on sea days. Recommend bringing things to do like games, crafts, books, etc.
People on board were very friendly and nice. Read Less