Recently took a 9 night Canada and New England Cruise out of Baltimore on Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas. This was the September 1 to the 10, 2016 and included ports in Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, St John and Halifax. I ... Read More
Recently took a 9 night Canada and New England Cruise out of Baltimore on Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas. This was the September 1 to the 10, 2016 and included ports in Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, St John and Halifax. I originally wrote to Royal Caribbean about this experience as it had to be one of the worst trips I have ever taken.
Let me start with a couple of good points. We did enjoy two specialty restaurants at our own expense and for the most part the experience in the specialty restaurants was good. The chefs table in fact was a wonderful experience. The main dining hall, however, was not. I know times are bad for some cruise lines but to offer chicken as the main entry fours on four nights and Turkey as the main entry for three nights was a bit too much. Given the fact that there was no offering for prime rib, Chateaubriand or even a NY Strip was a true disappointment.. In fact, if you wanted a steak in the main dining hall, there was a $10 surcharge. On our last night on the ship, they offered a seafood medley. We ordered it not knowing it was a very thin sliver of fried fish. Really, fried fish! No one ate it as it was something typically served at a fast food restaurant. We did not eat it as no one wanted to see our cholesterol count climb fifty points. When we questioned the quality of the food with our main server, we found out that the ship did not have a chief on board. No Chief on a cruise ship. The main server told us that he had an argument over the food quality and refused to work on it again. There were plenty of Sue chiefs but no primary chef. I have never been on a ship where there was no chef.
As far as our room accommodations, one of the drawers did not open properly as the rails were defective. In fact the hardware to hold the draw in place was sitting in the drawer. When we called to room steward to bring this to his attention, he removed the drawer and we found pair of ladies underwear inside the drawer as well as dust and grime that looked like it was never cleaned in the 20 years this boat has been floating. .
In addition to the [poor food and the dirty accommodations, we also experienced a unique situation which I have never seen in the 20 years I have been cruising. One of the service people decided to defect and not return to the ship after disembarking in Boston. The result of this was that all of the staff had to give up their passports and could not leave the ship for the duration of the cruise. This action really upset the staff and the service was noticeably worse upon this action.
While having breakfast on the ship as we were entering the harbor in Portland Maine, Royal Caribbean decides to carry on a drill that included the sounding of a very high pitch siren. During Breakfast? Could they not do this after we made port and many would have been off the ship? Once again, there was no respect for the passenger.
The safety of the people on this ship was in jeopardy and Royal Caribbean could not care less. Upon our arrival at Bar Harbor, we were told that we had the take the local tenders as there was no actual Harbor. No big deal. We have taken tenders before however, in this case, tender groups 1,2,3 who had left prior to us (we were Group 5), upon landing at Bar Harbor those who were on the first tender were not allowed to disembark and were told that Royal Caribbean had to use their own tenders as they did not pay for the use of the local tenders. This caused a major back up with the people form tenders 1,2 and t3 returning while people like us and others were forming a long line in the hall. We waited over two hours for this mass confusion to resolve itself. Many people of this trip were elderly and required walkers or wheel chairs. They were all subject not only to this confusion but had to stand in a line for over two hours so that the people on the original tenders can return and re embark on the ships tenders. Needless to say, many had to rebook planned excursion and lost a couple of hours. All of this could have been avoided, however, Royal Caribbean did nothing even have the courtesy to provide an apology and simply decided to ignore it as if it never happened. .
Upon our return to the ship from Bar Harbor, we got on the Royal Caribbean tender (aka life boats) and waited for the “captain” to leave the port and return us to the ship. I am not sure how experienced the so called “captain” of the tender was as he took off before the front rope was removed and almost took the dock with the tender. Everyone screamed to warn him but he gunned it in reverse.
On a brighter note, we did find the entertainment to be good, however, it did not really get started till the third night. Yes they had a going away “party” but no nightly entertainment for the first three nights even when we were at sea for the first two full days. For these first two nights we were at sea, there was no entertainment other than a piano bar. We went out on the deck at for a walk on the first two nights and it was like a ghost ship at 9:30.
All in all, I have been sailing for 20 years on several other cruise lines. I have never sailed on Royal Caribbean prior to this experience so I cannot compare it to other Royal Caribbean excursions, however, when I compare it to Norwegian, Celebrity, Princess and Carnival, Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the seas was by far the lowest and worst experience I have ever had.
This cruise for a ocean view room was $3,500 which I thought was high but given it was Royal Caribbean we thought it would be a notch above our recent trips on NCL and Princess. Honestly, I thought I would have been better served on a Carnival cruise and would have paid half the cost of this mess.
I wrote to Royal Caribbean as they requested our comments upon arrival home. They never responded. So much for Customer service. If they offered me a couple of days free on a future cruise, I’d tell them to keep it as I would never go on another Royal Caribbean cruise again. Needless to say, Royal Caribbean has lost me as a customer. We are booked in an NCL trip in January out of Miami on the Epic. Really looking forward to this trip as it will be a fun time with a staff of professional people who know how to ensure a wonderful time for its customers. Read Less