127 Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Reviews

My husband and I just got off our honeymoon cruise on Grandeur of the Seas. We're both experienced cruisers with Diamond status on RCCL. We'd never sailed out of Baltimore before. I didn't keep day-to-day notes, so ... Read More
My husband and I just got off our honeymoon cruise on Grandeur of the Seas. We're both experienced cruisers with Diamond status on RCCL. We'd never sailed out of Baltimore before. I didn't keep day-to-day notes, so let's do things by topic instead: BALTIMORE PORT/EMBARKATION: Small but effective. This was by far the least busy port I've ever embarked at. It hosts only two cruise ships, if I recall correctly, and as a result the facilities are small and streamlined. We hopped out of our shuttle, dropped off our luggage with some very helpful porters, and were on the ship ten minutes later without ever having to wait or sit down. As usual, the staterooms were closed off until a bit after 1pm. When we arrived at our room then, two of our four suitcases were already waiting for us, but by dinnertime that night, we still only had two suitcases. A call to guest services informed us that they were holding our other two suitcases in the "naughty room" behind the purser's desk; though we didn't have any contraband, they required us to come down, open our suitcases for them, and demonstrate that the wine-bottle-shaped things in our suitcases were indeed the two bottles of wine RCCL allows us to carry onto the ship. The staff handling this were all very nice and the matter was handled quickly and with no accusations, but we found it a bit odd - the only thing I can think of is that perhaps the padded sleeves our bottles were in made them look enough *not* like wine bottles that they needed to verify it. STATEROOM: We booked an interior guarantee stateroom and were put in 3519, deck 3 forward. Sadly, if this were my first RCCL cruise, I'm not sure I'd be returning to the line, solely because of how unpleasant our stateroom - especially its bathroom - was. I'm not particularly room-snobbish, and I'm quite used to the usual kind of "you can brush your teeth, pee, and shower at the same time" cramped bathroom on cruises, but this bathroom was nearly unusable. Let's talk about the shower first. The shower was, to my eye, half the size of a comparable stateroom shower on ships like Explorer or Allure; rather than a circular or curved stall with sliding doors, Grandeur's shower was a narrow rectangle about 4 feet long and two feet wide, with the shower head on the narrow end and one corner chopped off, all edged by a shower curtain (oh, yeah, Grandeur still uses shower curtains, some of which are six inches too short and some of which are six inches too long, none of which appeared to be waterproof or hung on a curved curtain rod and all of which *really* wanted to get up close and personal with you). Area-wise, imagine cutting a circular-style shower in half, then shaving off the rounded part. It was physically impossible for me to wash my hair inside the shower's boundaries because raising my elbows made me wider than the shower, and I heard the same thing from every woman I spoke to onboard. Most of us eventually hit on the same solution: pushing aside the fabric shower curtain and using the entire bathroom as a shower stall. Luckily for us, the non-shower portion of the bathroom has a drain. With a few days' practice, one perfects the art of leaning sideways to wash your hair or shave your legs, then using your towel and the bathmat to squeegee the pool of shower water down the outer drain when you're finished showering. There was nothing about this shower that made me think a human had been put into it at any point along the design line, to see if it was actually usable. And now, the toilets. Yes, those famous Grandeur toilets did not disappoint, as long as "did not disappoint" means "were every bit as bad as I'd heard." My husband described our stateroom toilet as a random-number generator. You would close it, push the flush button, and then at some random time point ranging from immediately to five minutes afterward, the toilet would flush. The average time seemed to be about 45 seconds between button pushing and actual flushing. Our room steward told us about this on day one, and we assumed she meant that there was a problem that was being fixed and she wanted to warn us in the meantime. Nope, this is normal on Grandeur. When I advised guest services the next day that our toilet still seemed to malfunctioning, Cara (a lovely woman who worked hard to help people out in any way she could!) replied that unfortunately, that was just how the ship was, due to low vacuum pressure. Cara did promise to ask maintenance to take a look, and it seemed like the flushing got a bit more reliable after that, but at no point during the week did the toilet flush normally. The bathroom sink, like many in the fleet, has a tap that sits too low to the sink bowl to actually fit hands under, and the water pressure in it (oddly, given how blastingly strong the shower pressure is) is very low. Not the hugest deal, but in combination with everything else it rendered the bathroom essentially useless for all three of its main functions: shower, toilet, sink. In contrast, toilets and sinks in public washrooms on the ship had none of these problems - their toilets flushed on command, and their sinks had adequate pressure and hand room. All bathrooms on the ship, both in my stateroom and in public areas, were prone to exuding unpleasant odors at random times, ranging from stale urine to "I could swear there's raw sewage flowing across this floor right now, if the smell is any indication." The bedroom portion of the stateroom was less terrible, though I wouldn't go so far as to label it adequate, either. The room was cramped, which is par for the course, but I did find it a bit odd that it was *so* cramped that there wasn't enough room to walk alongside the bed without dodging protruding furniture. I had assumed these rooms were designed so that everything fit alongside each other, but in this case it didn't quite work, and more than once either my husband or I got up during the night and bodyslammed either the television (which is on a swivel arm) or the corner of the dresser (which projects into what would otherwise be the walking space next to the bed). The bed itself was little more than two cots; the mattresses were about an inch thick and dipped in the middle, funneling both people sleeping in it toward the center of the bed, where we had to fight it out for sleeping space (I usually won!). We asked for a mattress pad, which we got, but it was a scant improvement. I woke up most mornings with serious back pain. Our larger suitcases did *not* fit under the bed for storage. There was adequate closet/drawer space and plenty of hangers for our clothes, but there was extremely limited shelf space for smaller items. Two cabinets alongside the vanity mirror looked promising, but one was occupied by the contents of our minibar, which our room attendant "took away" by putting the stuff inside it (it had started out sitting on the desk, taking up about half the space there). This left one cabinet of four small triangular shelves for everything else we owned (the bathroom had one shelf next to the sink, entirely taken up by the ship-provided drinking glasses), which didn't work out terribly well. Our stateroom attendant was friendly but slow - about half the days we were on the ship, our stateroom wasn't made up in the "morning" until 1-2pm after we left it around 8:30am. Multiple days, we were unable to get room service lunch because the room hadn't been made up yet and we didn't want to be there and prevent her from making it up when she did come around. DINING/BARS: Here, things improve significantly. Let's start with what I can't talk about: the Windjammer. Other than sticking our heads in one day to see the Coke Freestyle machines there, we didn't use the Windjammer the entire week. We ate most of our breakfasts and lunches in the Main Dining Room, where the staff during those periods ranged from absolutely fantastic (we had one lunch waiter during the week who saw us on Day 2, then not again until Day 9 and somehow remembered our drink and bread preferences from the first time to the second) to solidly adequate (the worst thing I can say is that service was slow). Dinners were also in the main dining room, where we got lucky enough to have what must have been the best team in the dining room. Our headwaiter, Denise, blew us away with her attentiveness. We had previously joked that we didn't know what headwaiters did, if they did anything at all, but Denise made it her job to make our week as comfortable as possible. When she found out that we had wanted a two-person table for dinner but hadn't been able to get one (they were in such heavy demand that week that we waited in line for a table change for more than an hour the first afternoon, only to be apologetically told there was nothing left), she made sure that any time she saw us for breakfast or lunch in the dining room, a 2-top was prepared for us. When we mentioned that we were thinking about doing dinner in specialty restaurants, she took care of making the reservations for us at the best time she could talk out of the restaurant staff, and got us a 10% discount on the restaurant cover charges because they were booked through her dining room. Our assistant waiter, Wilson, was also fantastic - I had begun to think that the days of waitstaff memorizing guest preferences were past, but Wilson nailed it every time, from my nightly Diet Coke to the onion rolls I adored to the new San Pellegrino water that appeared in front of my husband every time one was finished. He also entertained our section with magic - I'm still trying to figure out how he got the chain to loop around the ring in one trick! The MDR food was quite good; while it didn't rival the transcendent experience we had at Giovanni's Table (husband is *still* raving about their steaks - even better than the ones at Chops!), the food was tasty, hot, and as we requested it. The waitstaff didn't bat an eye at special requests or our habit of ordering multiple items from each course. We particularly enjoyed both lamb dishes (lamb shank one night, lamb chop another), and the banana creme brulee dessert (offered every night) is a great addition to the menu. Every pasta I tried throughout the week was overly salty; I suspect they were salting their water too much. All dining room service was far from speedy, but it wasn't the worst we've had. If you don't mind slow meals with spaces between courses, you'll be fine. Giovanni's Table was a great experience. We loaded up on appetizers, then regretted it when we got to the entree/pasta course and realized we had almost no room left! My advice is to believe the waiter when he tells you that most people do either a pasta *or* an entree; while you're allowed to get both, you really want to leave as much room as you can for that entree, especially if it's the steak (char-grilled on the outside, perfectly cooked on the inside). The olive ciabatta and the aged balsamic vinegar Giovanni's offers as its pre-appetizer bread is simply to die for. We could eat it all day and never get tired of it. Chops was good but not nearly as good as Giovanni's; we both had to send back our steaks for being cooked wrong (he ordered rare and got medium-well, I ordered medium and got medium-rare), and mine was still more rare than not the second time around. The sides and desserts were good but not superior. Husband and I both agree that we would do Giovanni's Table on another cruise in a flash, but would need to get a particularly good offer to bother with Chops a second time around. The waitstaff at both restaurants were entirely competent but didn't make us feel particularly special or catered to. We ate in the Park Cafe a handful of times, but its hours were surprisingly inconvenient for anything resembling meals - it didn't open until 2pm for "lunch" most days, which meant that on port days (when the MDR doesn't serve lunch), the only real lunch options for passengers staying on board were Windjammer or room service. What's the point of having a Windjammer alternative if you don't open it during prime food hours? That said, the roast beef sandwiches at Park continue to be worth the trip there. I enjoyed the tossed salads Park Cafe made on Allure of the Seas a few years ago, but I was disappointed that on Grandeur there was rarely anyone staffing that area of the Cafe, and the salads were no longer chopped or tossed to order (instead, the server just plops everything you ask for in a bowl and dollops some dressing on top). Still good, just not quite as worthy-of-a-special-trip. We got two different beverage packages (Premium for me, Royal Replenish for husband). These were relatively new plans (added in December or January, I think), and it was clear that not all the bar staff quite knew how they worked, nor had procurement totally ironed out the kinks of how the plans affect demand. When we bought the packages on day 2, we had to insist to the very confused bartender who sold them that yes, the price was pro-rated based on how many days were left on the sailing. After speaking to his supervisor and his supervisor's supervisor, he found out that yes, that was the case. By day 6, nearly all the bars had run out of half-liter bottled generic-brand water (the only size/brand included in the beverage packages) and were having to give us liter bottles by charging us for them, then reversing the charges back to zero. The Coke Freestyle machines are a cool innovation, but even when carrying my purse, the bulky, handle-less, RFID-chipped cup that works in the machines was a pain to tote around. Bartenders only sometimes thought to point out when I tried to order a drink worth more than my package covered, as a result I had a few small charges on my bill that I would have avoided had I noticed the cost beforehand (we got receipts to sign for our drinks about 25% of the time; some places always gave them and some never did). We do still think the beverage packages are worth it, in general, but I'm hoping Royal works out the kinks soon. Getting a bottle of water shouldn't be a huge production that requires you to read fine print about exclusions and the bartender to do fancy point-of-sale footwork. We rarely visited any bar other than the Schooner Bar, since the casino bar was impossibly smoky and the R Bar was always packed full of ballroom dancers using the Centrum dance floor (until the entire area shut down at midnight - we saw them literally turn out all the Centrum's decorative lights one night at 12:01). We loved Abraham in the Schooner Bar/South Pacific; he always greeted us by name and he did a great job of continually surprising us with tasty drinks we hadn't thought to try that fit within our beverage packages. Oddly, the South Pacific's bar never opened for service, even when events were being held in that lounge (Quest was in there, as was Bingo). Because we were Diamonds, we spent a lot of time in the Diamond Lounge (which, on this sailing, expanded to encompass the entire South Pacific lounge in the evenings), where the staff was also eager to do whatever they could to make our week enjoyable. The nightly Diamond Event was one of the high points of each day; we had about 600 passengers on our sailing that were diamond and above, but with the expanded Diamond Lounge in the evenings, it managed to never feel crowded. Nibbles and drinks in the evenings took on a homey feel as the same passengers and staff showed up each evening, which we really loved. ENTERTAINMENT: We didn't attend most of the headline-type entertainment events on this cruise. Our sailing was very, very heavily skewed toward older passengers (I've never seen so many walkers/scooters in one place!) and the entertainment was similarly aimed toward them; we're not particularly into big band music, ballroom dancing, or do wop musicians, so we didn't bother with those. I had high hopes for karaoke and the Schooner Bar's pianist after experiencing rollicking times with those on other cruises, but due to passenger demographics the performances both those places were also heavy on the Tom Jones and Sinatra and light on the music-made-after-I-was-born. We attended only one production show, the Broadway one, and I can honestly say that it was the most solid cruise-ship production I've ever seen. I'm used to either the singers, the dancers, or both, being, well, a little iffy, but on Grandeur both companies were spot on and they *killed* those show tunes. Performances at the aerial show (which also used the singers and dancers) were similarly solid, though the show was a bit short and the musical selections were less to my taste. As trivia buffs, we showed up to the thrice-or-more-daily trivia challenges regularly. Darryl's progressive trivia competition was a fantastically good time and about as hard (in a good way) as you could hope for cruise ship trivia to get. Darryl himself was just wonderful; we loved him and would happily sail on any ship he was working on in the future. The trivia rounds led by other members of the cruise director's staff (Freida, Jimena, and Roberto all hosted at various times) were somewhat less organized and sometimes re-used questions or insisted on obviously-wrong answers (Jimena almost had a revolt on her hands one day over a complicated math question). Nevertheless, the trivia was always worth showing up for - those dinky plastic key chains aren't going to earn themselves! The Quest was not as much fun as it's been for me in the past. While I obviously can't go into detail here, I will only say that under Ricky's direction it focused heavily on a single kind of thing that stopped being funny about twenty years ago. The casino was a big disappointment. While I don't go on a cruise ship expecting to profit from the slot machines, I've never had them eat my bankroll quite as quickly and steadily. Payouts were horrible, even on the first and second days, and most of the slot machines looked like they might have been original to 1996 - only some of them had bonus games or the extra features that are common on newer slots (though some of the new ones here did have cool 3D screens). The entire room stank of smoke; since the casino is now one of the only places on board where smoking is permitted, smokers would come to the casino just to sit and smoke, even if they weren't gambling. Even the "no smoking permitted" nook smelled. And as usual, the casino is amidships, which means you will, at some point, *have* to walk through it to avoid detouring. SHIP: Grandeur is a small ship, and after sailing Freedom, Independence, and Allure over the past few years, I found going back to an older-style ship an interesting experience. Rather than a dozen themed lounges and food venues open at all hours, Grandeur had a scant handful of generalist ones that closed early or only opened sometimes to begin with; rather than acres of deck seating, Grandeur had a few dozen chairs by each pool. On the other hand, rather than "I need to run back to my room" being a half-hour, mile-long experience, it could be accomplished in ten minutes from any place on the ship, and rather than staff being anonymous, they were familiar faces who remembered us as well as we remembered them. The ship was decently-maintained; I regularly saw staff cleaning windows, patching up paint and deck surfaces, and cleaning everything (there had been Noro on the sailing before ours, so they were being extra careful). Waitstaff whisked away used glasses and plates quickly and smoothly, and other than with room attendants, I got the impression the ship was well-staffed for its number of passengers, which has not been the case on larger ships. On the other hand, it's clearly a twenty-year-old ship, and there are rust and dated features in places. Our stateroom still used a corded, touch-tone phone that looked like something out of 1994; the only way to know if you have voicemail is to listen for the phone to ring. The internet center used computers that looked about ten years old and a browser that was so heavily outdated that some websites wouldn't even load properly on it and it is almost certainly vulnerable to serious security issues; swiping your seapass on the keyboards for internet access only worked about 5% of the time, giving an error message the rest of the time. PORTS: Since we'd been to all these ports before (Labadee, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, San Juan), we only got off the ship each time to poke around dockside. No real commentary to make here. DISEMBARKATION: Smoothest I've ever experienced. By the time we'd finished breakfast and tossed the last of our stuff into our carry-off suitcase, our disembarkation number had been called. We were off the ship by about 8:45 in the morning. OVERALL: It's hard to say that any cruise where someone else is cleaning your room and cooking your food is a bad experience, and we didn't entirely *dislike* our Grandeur vacation, but this is the first time I've flatly put my foot down about going back on a ship: I would not go back on Grandeur. Period. The staff was great, but they just couldn't make up for the ship's own limitations. No ship whose toilets don't flush reliably should be taking on passengers, and while I get along with older-demographic passengers just fine, in a ship that's small enough that it only does one type of entertainment as a time, the risk of landing among a demographic whose entertainment doesn't entertain you is just too high. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
It was not the best cruise ship. First, embarkation is always fast and smooth going out of Baltimore. They know what they are doing especially if you are prepared. The cruise ship itself when boarding nothing to write home about. No ... Read More
It was not the best cruise ship. First, embarkation is always fast and smooth going out of Baltimore. They know what they are doing especially if you are prepared. The cruise ship itself when boarding nothing to write home about. No pictures were taken because it was very plan decor. The lunch was horrible. The beds were so uncomfortable we couldn't sleep. The safe and toilet didn't work but they jumped on that immediatly. The only good food was the dinner. Also, the description should have that the guests are pretty much over 60 which we didn't mind we met a lot of wonderful people but the limited amount of shows they did have were geared for that age and it was unfair. I spent$3800 for this cruise because everyone kept telling us to t ry RC they are better, well I am sorry they arn't. There were literally no activities throughout the day unless you wanted to do scrapbooking and making ribbons into roses. The dancers were great but only had one show towards the beginning of the cruise. They also had a couple of acts in the centrium which should be changed to the theatre. There are limited seats and everyone had to stand and not be able to see. The theatre was only used for koreokee. It would make more sense to move things in the theatre so everyone can partake in teh enjoyment of the shows since they are so limited. All I can say if you plan to sleep or stay in your cabin then this is the cruise for you. The food choices are limited even late night.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I have cruised before 9 times. This was my third cruise with Royal Caribbean and I regret having spent so much money in this cruise. The check in procedure was ok, but we had previously checked in online. I was travelling with my ... Read More
I have cruised before 9 times. This was my third cruise with Royal Caribbean and I regret having spent so much money in this cruise. The check in procedure was ok, but we had previously checked in online. I was travelling with my husband, my daughter and her husband and 20 other passengers who were part of the family of my son in law. Most of us had previously taken cruises. We arrived at lunch time, so we decided to go and have something for lunch, so we went to the Windjammer which is the cafeteria. The variety of food was very scarce, but the drinks were terrible: the coffee was undrinkable, the orange juice was half water and half juice, the fruit punch was even worst. The only drink which was very good was tea. Then we went to the pool which was crowded. This ship has only two swimming pools: one that is exclusively for adults and other who is for children and adults. The floor surrounding the swimming pools was always wet and dirty and we never saw anyone from the staff cleaning or drying the floor. The same thing happen in the cafeteria and the restaurants, they only cleaned when they closed. Our steward was a Costa-Rican man, we didn't know his name because he never introduced himself. He did his job OK, the cabin was always clean, but he didn't offer to do anything else. Once we sent some clothes to the laundry, and he never replaced the laundry bag. He was disturbing us all the time even when we had the "Do Not Disturb" sign. He only spoke to my husband because he was travelling with his American passport, he never spoke to me. As I mentioned before, the food was bad at the cafeteria. They only have one or two varieties of meat. Almost daily there was a roast beef which was greasy and they didn't know how to cut it because they usually cut very wide slices, the same happen at another cafeteria were they served snacks. The only thing which was good was pasta. At the main dining room, the Great Gatsby food was OK, sometimes they have very good dishes and sometimes they were just acceptable. We were very lucky to have a very good waiter who was from the Philippines; we believed he was the only one from the staff who deserved a tip. The land excursions were just acceptable. The shows were not very good and the music was basically Latin music, although at the Crown bar they had modern music for young people. One day there was a show exclusively for women where there were five strippers, but one of them was Rico, the entertainment director of the cruise, which we think was not appropriate for such a show. Overall we believe that something is happening with royal Caribbean or that they believed that since most of the passengers were of Latin Origin, we do not deserve the quality of service they give to American and European people, and they charged us much more than other cruises in the region. Of course all the group agreed that this is our last cruise with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Another couple, my husband and I initially enjoyed a one day cruise (for Travel agents) which was satisfactory, one day prior to an adjoining cruise. We had decided to purchase an immediate next day cruise on the same ship (a day ... Read More
Another couple, my husband and I initially enjoyed a one day cruise (for Travel agents) which was satisfactory, one day prior to an adjoining cruise. We had decided to purchase an immediate next day cruise on the same ship (a day following the travel agents cruise) We were able to remain onboard for a three day (one way cruise) to Colon, Panama. We had not experienced any problems during the one day cruise; perhaps, it was because Royal Caribbean were doing their best to impress the Travel agents from the dining experience to entertainment (which was flown in for one night). First I want to mention that all four of us that traveled together were all seniors (well over the age of 60) Problems began when we remained on board, and we actually watched our luggage being removed from the Pursers desk (area) on the same luggage rack at 10 am enroute of immediate delivery to our rooms (3 decks up). However, my husband and our friends (whose suite was next to ours) was delivered within 15 minutes. My luggage was not found for over 11 hours. The pursers desk staff continually out and out lied to us that my luggage was being delivered to my room within moments to even lying that they had just spoken with housekeeping to locate the luggage. Finally, after numerous inquiries about the luggage, a supervisor became involved; only after his involvement was there really a search for my luggage. We assumed that it probably was delivered to an incorrect room, but eventually it was located and delivered (with no apologies) 11 hours later. Additional disappointments: were that we discovered in our suite that the toilets would not flush from time to time. Along with occasional sewage stench smells throughout the ship (no explanation given) The entertainment on the ship was nile to none and what was offered was merely horrible to include on one of the nights an imitation "Village People" group performance of men that were not only horrible dancers but several of them did not know the lip-synced words of the songs that they were performing too. The Royal Caribbean performers were not good at all, and the Royal Caribbean aerial performers were not in sync. The daily activities were a total waste of time- ranging from "how to fold napkins to animal towel folding". The activities Director should be fired! Then upon disembarking from the ship- we had a Royal Caribbean excursion waiting for us. As we were leaving the ship, my husband and our friends were told that we had to return to the Pursers desk as there was a message that needed to be cleared up. We had to push through the crowds of people disembarking from the ship and finally made our way to the pursers desk to only be asked, if the credit cards that we had provided them was correct. We had been charging purchases all three days of our time on this ship, with no one questioning our purchases or the card. If there were concerns, a block should have been applied or the least that should have happened is that they should have contacted us. This was quite upsetting and when we asked if there was a concern, why weren't we notified in advance? Again, the staff lied and said that they had sent a message to our suite to come to the pursers office (which no message was ever received or sent too us) along with we did not even receive a statement of purchases. What was even more upsetting was that they only wanted all of us to simply say "yes" that this was our credit card. The card had nver been refused because they never processed it for payment. Again, no apologies for this waste of our time and effort. As we had to begin the disembarkation process all over! Finally, we paid for a six hour Royal Caribbean excursion Panama canal tour once we arrived in Colon, Panama, which was suppose to include a movie film about the Canal locks; which was not provided to us; instead this $60 pp excursion only included a tour (more like a drive enroute to the airport drop off) through the impoverished city of Colon, a view of a cemetry ()which no one onboard, understood why this very small cemetry was pointed out to us, as an attraction), a ticket to the watch tours of the Canal (no ships and not much to look at) and we were only allowed to remain there for 1 hour; then a hour of shopping to a mall; then, we were dropped off at the airport. This was hardly worth $120 which we paid (for two people) in advance. So to summarize, this was one of the worst cruises that we've ever experienced and we cruise often. Royal Caribbean should have reimbursed everyone- as the Grandeur ship was simply a horrible experience Just beware should you choose the Grandeur as your next cruise! 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
Arrived in palma and smooth embarkation allowed on ship earlier than stated time. Had lunch in windjammer food really good ,got access to cabin at time stated, everything good so far. On my time dining and arrived at dining room at time ... Read More
Arrived in palma and smooth embarkation allowed on ship earlier than stated time. Had lunch in windjammer food really good ,got access to cabin at time stated, everything good so far. On my time dining and arrived at dining room at time selected got seated and then things went downhill. Service in Gatsby level 5 was very slow it took almost 2 hours to have our meal thanks to waiters service! On a different evening my husband asked for beer with his meal and it still hadnt arrived by time he had finished his sweet, on the last evening we left dining room without having our sweet as we wanted to do other things. Having said that food was really good and couldnt fault any of the meals we had it was just service in main dining room but it all depended on where you were sitting , 1 night we were on left hand side of room and service was excellent but with my time dining you dont have the option where you sit. The toilet in out stateroom starting causing problems on day 2 it wouldnt flush we contacted maintenance and later that day it was ok but first thing next morning same problem this time i reported it at desk and there was queue of people with same problem on all diferent decks this went on for 4 days not able to use toilet in stateroom, its not good getting up in morning and having to go looking for functional toilet on a different floor. problem was then intermittent 1 time it flushed then next time not. The complaint i have is after speaking to fellow cruisers some got moved to other staterooms some had maintenance come to try to fix problem others like ourselves nothing. Having said all this we still had a great holiday the ports we visited were really good. Last year were on voyager of seas and couldnt fault anything, service was excellent, if booking another cruise with royal carribean would definitely not choose this ship Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
The Grandeur of the Seas Vision Class is a nice attractive ship but tired. From Malaga May 1st the ship goes into Cadiz for a complete refit. They are to add more cabins. Where more people will sit I don't know. Every inch of deck ... Read More
The Grandeur of the Seas Vision Class is a nice attractive ship but tired. From Malaga May 1st the ship goes into Cadiz for a complete refit. They are to add more cabins. Where more people will sit I don't know. Every inch of deck space is covered with plastic sunbeds. The fitness centre is well equipped but far too small, its always full. The restaurant --only one, is massive. Table service is good at 7/10. Food is mid market and very good. The Self service buffet also has a good selection of food daily. Food and service is not an issue. Formal nights are a waste of time, for it's the same routine, nothing special. It's largely ignored with only about 5% dressed in Tuxedos/cocktail dress, Another 10% in jackets. Last night which was formal -- we dressed in dinner dress as usual for such occasions, and were sat next to a poorly dressed woman with her husband who dressed in a donkey jacket, jeans and t shirt, one of the worst granted, but smart dress is not how we would describe the pax complement. Well what do we think of Royal Carib big ship cruising? Overall aimed at the lower middle class market. We took an owners cabin to cushion. Thank God, it's the best thing we did, we can dance in it. However in a major way it's the worst choice, for we didn't sleep the first 5 nights ! All passengers & cruise agents should be aware that the 5 most expensive suites are located directly below the cafeteria, which in part has tiled flooring --right above the suites, upon which they trundle heavily laden metal/hard plastic wheeled kitchen carts between dining areas and kitchen- ALL NIGHT LONG. Imagine living under a metal railway bridge where you can experience the thunderous rumble and trembling. You've seen it in films from New York. Well you've got the picture. This ship with all RCCL Vision class suffer the identical problem. Ships management report they've fended complaints from pax for 17 years without rectifying it! The simple expedient of fitting soft rubber wheels to the carts would remedy it in minutes. Sleep was impossible, and as I pointed out sleep deprivation is an effective form of human torture. 5 days of staggering around in a semi comatose daze was enough. Letters of complaints were ignored. My eventual meeting with Mr Tony Curtis the hotel manager, during which it was unfortunately painfully necessary to overtly threaten him and management with personal exposure on the internet to get a result, eventually persuaded them that acceptance and acquiescence was the better part of valor. I had tried to arrange a meeting with him all us affected suite passengers who had complained. He said that wouldnt be allowed and he's have to call security as that would be considered incitement to riot. I cautioned him that at sea that was called Mutiny. Instantly embarrassed he apologised retracting his threat. On night 7 peace finally reigned, and we slept throughout for the first time. Note they have no plans to insulate the floor nor address the noise issue. Careful assessment of deck plans are essential to avoid noisy cabins. Ashore we bought many bunches of flowers needing large vases. It must be a unique event judging by the fuss the staff made. It took 2 days of asking, pleading and eventually a stand up argument with the hotel manager to get them. The result ? 4 small jam jars! Eventually we got the vases. From which you should judge the standard. Ask for a map of an island, and the answer is indicative of the style. No frills airlines EasyJet and Ryanair & Southwestern come easily to mind. A map of 'recommended ' shops and tours they sell is the only one available. Island information -- same map. Haiti -- we'd decided not to get off for the place is disease riddled. But ha. This company transports its pax to the special paradise of Labadee. In effect an enclave cleverly commercially owned and exploited by Royal Caribbean, designed to give its special pax that special island experience. Visit the traditional authentic tourist market where you can buy junk from Haiti, and no doubt even Chinese made' Haitian' junk specially selected for their pax. Of course passengers can buy drinks, buy food. Buy a boat trip, buy another boat trip. Buy a ride to a beach (wonderful beaches). Buy a drink. Buy a paraglide ride. Buy a snorkel experience. Buy a jetski ride. We laid on deck and enjoyed the empty ship. Perfect. Internet at almost $0.85 a minute! And so conveniently sloooooooow. The crew are OK but a mixed bag where the Indians & some south Americans are the best. The advertised 'suite personal butler' .. a misnomer, they don't exist. Our cabin cleaner turned up staggering drunk one night, and in common with the standard of the ship, cleans superficially. We asked "Why are the windows and tables salt stained"? "Oh" was the response. Guest services tell us they should be cleaned twice a week, but that doesn't happen. We're used to having them cleaned daily or as necessary when we cruise. Yep this is a different and much lower standard. And speaking of standards, our narrative should be moderated by the fact we have the top class of suite. And afforded VIP status through the recommendation of another captain of the fleet; who kindly sent us a special gift, delivered with a note from this ships hotel manager, so they were aware, but makes no difference. Their advertising promises exclusive seating areas and bar areas reserved for suite guests, they don't exist and asking for them is met with blank looks. No special menus. Room service never get the order correct. They promise gold, but have nothing but copper to offer. The entertainment is very good, presented in an attractive theatre. Theres good live music in many areas most of the time. The cruise director is inconsequential. Overall the only similarity to our usual level and standard of cruising on small ships with Seabourne , Silver Seas or SeaDream, is they float, feed one and arrive safely and on time. Finally les pieces de resistance my new wife on honeymoon, was bitten and found a bed bug. That was positively reacted to with the attention it merits. The bites were treated swiftly by the Dr. whilst they dismantled the cabin and treated it, they parceled us off on a free limo private tour for the day. Returning 6 hours later it hadn't been done! Bad management again, obliged us to stay out of the cabin for hours whilst it was completed. The suite needed to be treated twice more, and as they refused to move us to another cabin to sleep, (the ship isn't half full) we were obliged to breathe in the insecticide, which we are assured is safe and non toxic. Whatever the insecticide prospectus states, breathing any insecticide within a small compressed airspace for 12 hour periods must be unhealthy. It's to be hoped we don't suffer any long term consequences. Despite their disinfectant attempts, Louise has been bitten 4 times more. They said they'd deep cleaned the suite. In fact they didn't even vacuum the carpet. It took numerous meetings to make them clean properly. Bugs love dirt, which is probably why theyre infesting the place. Worried that the bugs or at least eggs may be carried home, we asked for our clothing to be laundered. Expressing their deep concern, their response was immediate in removing and laundering and dry cleaning everything in hours, whilst re treating the suite. The toilet overflowed, it took 4 hours with 2 reminders to appear and repair it, and another 5 hours with constant reminders to clear its contents from the bathroom floor. It overflowed its contents on the floor twice more. Similar delays to clean it. They repaired it, but it continually noisily flushed in the middle of the night . Another day whilst they fixed that problem, common on this ship. It's occurred almost daily since now. The guest service managers profuse apologies for all our troubles, were bolstered by sending us, as he described "A lovely bottle of excellent champagne" to help you sleep through any noise remaining. Expecting Dom Perignon or Crystal, you won't be surprised to know we have a bottle of Californian sparkling wine instead -- unopened! After many days of wrangling, the management have accepted and apologized profusely for the noise problems and by replanning, have for this cruise at least, mostly resolved the noise issue. We are only woken twice a night! They are really trying their best to make the rest of the cruise acceptable. A new cabin attendant with supervision has resolved the cleanliness issue. Its clearly a management issue which may be better on another ship. The noise however will be the same. The staff are helpful but the management is overall poor, but theyre humble enough to eventually admit it, and have thanked us for indulging them in what they now a consider a re training process. They admit and openly discuss their failings which have now been addressed. Habitually they leave the heavy cleaning carts in the passageways 24/7 . this is a serious safety hazard for in the event of the ship lurching, a cart could roll into a person causing bodily injury. worse in the event of an evacuation, a cart would effectively block the passageway preventing free passage. The US Coastguard and ships insurers should be appraised of this. The Guest services manager said he hadnt noticed them . Eventually they moved the one in our passageway, but not others. Do we really need to feel like unpaid ships management consultants --badly needed-- whilst actually paying for our trip? This year we will be travelling transatlantic east west again, and notwithstanding this bad experience will consider a large ship again, but taking great care to select the right cabin and cruiseline. Disembarking in Malaga we felt tired, disgruntled and extremely dissatisfied. Finally I discussed compensation with Mr Sam Murdoch, team leader customer services UK. He explained they were fully aware of the unacceptable experiences we'd suffered, which they were appraised of through the many communications between the ship and UK management. Apologising for the ruined cruise, he offered a maximum discount of 25% off a future cruise. Our honeymoon was ruined, for which a 100% refund would be the least expected, plus consideration for damages. He outrightly refused to consider anything more. I wonder what would provoke a refund. A ship sinking maybe? Sadly we can only recall this trip as poor, sleepless, and a disturbed transatlantic ferry crossing. Never to be repeated with any Royal Caribbean Cruise, unless of course the CEO was in the next cabin. hope this helps you choose a decent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Well I'll start at the beginning. I had expected that my luggage would be checked in at Manchester airport and then the next time I would see it would be outside my cabin (stateroom). Not the case. Like every other passenger ... Read More
Well I'll start at the beginning. I had expected that my luggage would be checked in at Manchester airport and then the next time I would see it would be outside my cabin (stateroom). Not the case. Like every other passenger heading for the Grandeur I had to wait at the Palma baggage carousel with the club 18-30 crowd. After getting my luggage we made our way to the transfer coach where the driver had decided it was too much hassle to load the cases and told each passenger that they had to load their own. Not that much of a problem for a 30-something man but the very nice older couple (sorry but you are) behind me had to be helped and that wasn't coming from the driver for sure. We reached Palma port in no time at all and left our luggage on the coach for the port baggage handlers to load onto the ship. We were on the first coach to reach the port and my case was outside the cabin in no time at all. However it took another 5 and a half hours for my partner's case to turn up. Okay, I know that Royal Caribbean are obliged to carry out the muster drill. Does it really need to be in the scorching heat and take so long? The captain took this opportunity to introduce himself over the tannoy. I think we got his star sign, shoe size, family history and many other superfluous details we really didn't need to hear whilst being held in a sweaty mob on deck at our muster point. Would have been much more comfortable to hear this in the lounge with a cold beer in hand. Am I letting my imagination run riot when I say I found it far too coincidental that a passenger had taken unwell during or shortly after the muster drill??? No cruise for them then. Moving on to drinks now. The pricing for the drinks was crazy. Depending on what bar you went to a pint of weak lager cost $5-6.50 and a wine went from 7-11 dollars. On the second day I went to the bar to purchase the beer and wine package. Like the poster stated it was unlimited beer or wine for $40.99 per day. I asked for the package for that day because we were at sea all day. Only to be told that I could only buy the package for a week and that it was not (despite the price indication) available to purchase per day. And here's the kicker.... they were going to charge me for the 1st day too. After much discussion with their useless Guest Services I received a call in my cabin to say that they were able to sell me the rest of the week without charging me for the 1st day. This encounter was pretty typical of the staff attitude. Happy to serve but not to assist. TAX?? exactly who was I paying 15% tax to? at one point I was told it was Spanish tax. Now despite being somewhere off the Italian coast the staff advised it was spanish tax because we had left from palma. Considering the ship is registered in the Bahamas and were in international waters the least I could have expected the staff to come up with was Bahama tax (if that exists). Photographs. For the love of god, I don't want any more photos taken while I'm on the ship, leaving the ship or getting back on the bloomin thing!! Absolute rip off for the photos. Starting at $20 for one print taken with my eyes shut all the way up to something like $400 for all the prints. Entertainment. The cruise director Anna was rubbish. She was determined to make a catchphrase stick but unfortunately it didn't and it just sounded like she was saying the same old thing she had said every day of every week that year. The live shows (all 3 of them on a 7night cruise) were okay. What was disgusting was that the in-house dance troupe managed to get seats in the front 3 rows on their night off whilst paying passengers had to stand at the back. If I go to a standard hotel holiday with standard entertainment then I would expect the same old rubbish that I got here. I mean c'mon Mr & Mrs, Battle of the Sexes, Miss Royal Caribbean????? Bingo was just a rip-off. $16 for a 3 game card. A bit expensive I thought but heho I'll give it a go. Once everyone had purchased their game card we were then told that we were only going to have one game for one pattern that night because the lounge was needed for the captains reception. Not even 15 minutes of bingo for $16. This exact thing happened again a couple of nights later, another excuse as to why we were only getting one very quick game. Of course this was only made knowledge to passengers after purchasing the game cards. Karaoke, now that's a matter of taste. I might get up if I'm really in the mood and I appreciate those who get up come what may. But there is an age-old equation for karaoke. For karaoke to work you need drink and plenty of it. At the prices on board you stifle the (lets call it artistic talent). The night draws to a close quickly at sea. Come 2230hrs if you don't want to go disco on deck or listen to easy jazz in the piano bar then you better go to your cabin cos there's nothing else. There was a daily quiz. I enjoy a good pub quiz but this was ridiculous. Sometimes as little as 10 questions so the quiz could take as little as 10 mins to complete. It was also held in the schooner bar which was far too small and unsuitable. Talking of bars, what is the point in the Singin' in the Rain bar? Loads of seats, two nice big televisions showing sports/news etc but not one single waiter serving. Food: Couldn't fault it. It was superb and the dinner service was excellent. Ports of call: Okay, close enough to the main cities such as Rome, Monte Carlo and Palermo. No where near Pisa or Florence though. When we booked we were told it would be Livorno which is very close to Pisa and about an hour from Florence. We actually had a tender transfer into La Spezia which was over an hour to Pisa and over 2 hours to Florence. Excursions: didn't go on them as they are way overpriced and the transfer times to the cities were way more than the public transport times. Be sure of one thing though, if you are not on an excursion then they will tell you nothing and you are on your own. The map of Pisa supplied in the cabin cruise compass even had the train station and bus routes missing!!!. Cleanliness: Never had an issue, the ship certainly appeared clean and there seemed to be enough staff working away. One thing is they should have made sure passengers used the available hand gel on entry to the eateries. Cabin: Cabin was well maintained and serviced with excellent efficiency. The attendant had a knack for knowing when you were popping out and was able to refresh the room in time for your return. I never once felt that he was in my way or visa versa. Poolside: There is allegedly a 30min rule on the sun loungers. No reserving of loungers and if you are away more than 30 mins then your belongings are removed and the lounger freed up for another guest. This was nonsense, it was never enforced and loungers lay claimed but unused for hours on end. Kids were not supposed to be in the pools unsupervised and under 16s should not be in the whirlpools. Neither of these rules was adhered to and the staff couldn't care less. Thankfully no kids were injured, because remember there is no lifeguard on duty. Departure: All you had to do was stick your pre-numbered luggage tag on your case and put it outside your room on the last evening. Mine was Green-6. All I had to do on the morning of departure was walk off the ship into Palma port terminal and my luggage would be there for me in column Green 6. Nope, after hunting all over a terminal the size of a football pitch with nearly 5000 pieces of luggage I found it in Green 15. I certainly didn't feel like I had value for money by any means. The next holiday we are planning is likely to be our honeymoon and there is no way I would trust Royal Caribbean with that one. Some friends and colleagues told me that I hadn't really been cruising because I went with the company who did cruises for people who don't do cruises. They said try someone like Royal Caribbean and get the full cruise experience. I can tell you that with the exception of dining, Royal Caribbean failed to match up on any level. Overall score 4/10 Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We have previously cruised with Princess and P&O and expected Royal Caribbean to be equally as good. What a disappointment!First the good points 1) the ship although relatively old was clean, well furnished and comfortable and the ... Read More
We have previously cruised with Princess and P&O and expected Royal Caribbean to be equally as good. What a disappointment!First the good points 1) the ship although relatively old was clean, well furnished and comfortable and the cabin stewards and waiters were excellent always polite and very helpfulNow the bad points-1)The check-in at Palma was chaotic, - although the majority of passengers had booked in on-line it still took over an hour to book onto the ship standing in-line in a very hot,sticky dockyard shed. The few passengers who had not booked in on-line were directed to a separate area and were on the ship in 10 mins.2)The cabin was smaller than equivalents on P&O, but well equipped. No toiletries were supplied and there was no refrigerator. The small box TV would have been considered modern 20 years ago.3)There were 2 dining areas on the ship,the main formal dining room which was only open for breakfast and dinner on port days,but also open for lunch on sea days.The other dining area catered for buffet dining and because of the number of passengers it always resembled a football mob fighting for tables. The food in either could only be described as fair/good. WE eat mainly in the formal dining room and the selection and quality of the food was not as good as P@O and the evening meal was slow normally taking over 2 hours. We also like 'freedom dining' but on this ship there was only limited availability and were forced to choose between dining at 6pm or 8-30pm. The former was too early,the later too late. To change from one seating to the other required high level discussions.4)The entertainment was appalling. The large theatre was very comfortable but totally under-used. There were two poor 1-hour shows each evening, and beyond that the theatre was never used. No talks,no lectures, no films etc. At the other end of the ship was a second theatre lounge, no professional entertainers but instead we were offered 5 nights of karaoke and 2 nights of party games. Again the area was totally under-used. Entertainment around the pool was even worse, a belly flop competition, Mr Sexy competition, and Miss Grandeur of the Seas hardly seems the entertainment associated with a 4/5* cruise ship. Overall the kindest description of the entertainment would be unimaginative.Overall despite the above comments : Did we enjoy the cruise? Yes of course. Would we cruise again? Yes of course. Would we cruise again with Royal Caribbean Doubtful Would you cruise on this ship again No Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Arrived at palma airport on early flight from manchester was directed by RIC rep to make my way to coach number four spent ages looking for non existent coach with kids in tow, went back to rep informed her there was no coach number four ... Read More
Arrived at palma airport on early flight from manchester was directed by RIC rep to make my way to coach number four spent ages looking for non existent coach with kids in tow, went back to rep informed her there was no coach number four she said sorry i meant coach with PIER FOUR on it.Arrived at check in SHED and it took an eternity to be seen to no one seemed to no what they were doing and chaos was the order of the day. my daughter had booked a four bedded cabin and when she arrived there was just one double bed stuck in the middle of the cabin and no bunks for the kids. our baggage arrived at seven in the evening. To add to the calamity we had booked as a family of five on a fixed dining and were told when we arrived for dinner that we were three on one table and two on another, it was one problem after another.it is also standard on most ships to have a complimentary tea and coffee tray, not here though, however you can have a choice of six cans of coke four bottles of water at four dollars plus for a botttle and four boxes of biscuits all chargeable to you should you avail of them. There is also an ongoing problem on this shp with the toilets and some days you could smell it all over the place. Kids clubs are free up to ten at night but are then charged at six dollars per child after that so a couple wanting to watch a late show,you guessed pay again sam. also be sure to remind your kids to return towels as should they forget you are charged 25 dollars per towel. Also please note there are no bar prices displayed in any of the bars and you have a 15% gratuity and a further 8% Spanish vat charge on all bar bills. Entertainment was of poor quality, karaoke, bingo, fat blokes belly flopping into the pool. You don't get your bill while the morning of departure and should there be mistakes they are nigh on impossible to rectify as the entire ship is disembarked by eight thirty, i went to try and query my bill but could no longer wait as i was being called for my airport bus at ten to seven. The chaos continued as again we were split up for our journey to the airport three on one bus two on another, when we arrived at palma airport we were not told which check in gates to go to and had to find out ourselves from the thomas cook office all in all very unprofessional. Wine lovers beware also as they charge around fifty five dollars for a bottle which you could get in a supermarket for a tenner in the uk. if you drink a lot there are good packages available and good soft drinks deals for kids but other than that drinks are quite expensive made worse by the Spanish vat and fifteen per cent tip, which is a double whammy as most people pre pay their tips, all in all for our family the tips and bar charges were well in excess of £250 that's not including the tip i always give to the cabin maid,nattalie who was wonderful. Food was reasonable i have had better and worse, the best laugh though was when the menu said roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, all the brits were ordeing it and the yorkshires were a well known brand of tiggies about the size of a fifty pence. Would i travel again with RCI, most certainly not they seem to be totally disorganised and only after your money all the time. they give very little information if any at all to the independent person who may wish to make their own way as opposed to their very very expensive excursions, in one port the authorities had laid on free shuttle buses to the town but they never announced it as you would have found out that you could have caught a train to rome for fifteen euro return as against their 80 dollar trip. they even had a poor girl trying to flogg you orange juice on your way into the windjammer restaurant, even the daily bulletin they shove through your cabin door is all a sales pitch they don't miss an opportunity oh no, the skull and crossbones would be a very appropriate flag for them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
First, let me premise this review by stating we did not choose this ship. My in-laws were extremely generous in taking us on a family cruise, but we did not have the chance to participate in the planning. The travel agent recommended Royal ... Read More
First, let me premise this review by stating we did not choose this ship. My in-laws were extremely generous in taking us on a family cruise, but we did not have the chance to participate in the planning. The travel agent recommended Royal Caribbean because of their "amazing" children's programs. She was not a good agent . . . she also told my in-laws (and us) about things on the ship that were not even on the ship (an ice rink, for example) and constantly gave us the wrong information (telling us we couldn't bring any food onboard, including baby food, that all of the snorkeling boats have "viewing boards" for our preschooler to use, etc). We also found out through talking to friends that a crib was not going to fit (or would be a tight fit) in an interior stateroom with the sofa bed pulled out, so we decided to upgrade to a junior suite. (Great decision after seeing the rooms!) The horrible travel agent also lied to my in-laws and said we were upgrading to get away from the family!!! She created a lot of unnecessary tension and problems for our family because of this lie. Lesson? Don't use a travel agent! You can book a cruise yourself online with fewer problems and less money, and you don't have to go through an agent every time you have a question. (I especially wouldn't use one like this lady, who tells her clients NOT to take their kids to Disney World, that cruises are better. I have not talked to a SINGLE person who felt a cruise was good for kids at all, let alone a better idea than Disney World!) Anyway, enough about our horrible travel agent.......don't use one.....take a little time and book your own vacation. Onto my review of Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas.... STAFF: The staff was absolutely terrific, especially our room attendant (Sandra). She went above and beyond to make us comfortable, and was great with the kids. She even got us some slippers since our travel agent said we were supposed to get some! We didn't interact with many other staff members, just at dining. We did "MyTime Dining," so dined in the Windjammer Cafe for every meal. We pretty much had the same staff each meal and they were all incredibly helpful and interacted well with our kids. ALSO - during the mandatory emergency drill, they were very kind and didn't make us stand in lines with the rest of the guests, since we had little ones and they didn't want us to stand in the sun. They also let us leave before all of the other people, so that we didn't get caught in the crowds going back to their rooms. FOOD: The food was sub-par....pretty bland. The food at the "snack bar" in the solarium was especially bad......no flavor and greasy. We stopped there the first night and never went back. The Windjammer had a good variety of foods, including fruits and salads/vegetables, breads, and desserts. We didn't feel any of it was anything to rave bout. The main dishes didn't have a lot of seasoning, looked undercooked some of the time (especially the eggs), and were fatty. The desserts weren't very sweet and were often dry. My daughter (3 ½) who LOVES dessert didn't want any of it after one bite, not even the cookies. (They DID have soft serve one day, and she loved that! So did our 9 month old son.) We were also told by the travel agent that we could get soda and juice at meals, but this is not true - you HAVE to buy a beverage package if you want soda or juice! W were really craving soda by the end of the week. (We don't drink a lot of soda, but enjoy one with dinner.) GIFTS IN ROOM: We ordered a few things to have in our room when we arrived. Water was a must, and it was nice having the mini fridge to keep it cold. We also ordered some wine and wine truffles. The truffles were delicious! The wine was good, but overpriced (about 4x what you'd pay in a store). I bought my husband a birthday package with breakfast in bed one morning, but that was a total waste of money. We had the breakfast delivered the day of our excursion, so that we wouldn't have to worry about getting food from the dining room (trying to save time). They delivered the breakfast 45 minutes late, so we didn't have time to eat it before we had to meet for the excursion. The birthday decorations were stupid, too.....a lot of money for a cheap banner. We also bought a beach chair with sand toys for our daughter.....the chair wasn't a real chair and fell over when she sat in it, and there were just a few toys. She loved the Crayola Glow Station, but again, it was overpriced. POOLS: Only one pool was open, the main one. We were confused by the size....extremely size for the number of people on board. It was also strange.....one side had a very small area of an actual pool........not large enough to swim AT ALL, and deep - 5'6", so we couldn't go on that side since I'm 5'4" and couldn't stand in order to hold/help the kids. The outside of that was just about 6" deep (if even that), as well as the other side. The kids did enjoy sitting in the water, but our daughter would have preferred being able to actually utilize her swimming skills. There are four hot tubs surrounding the pool, but they were full every time we went out there. There are signs that say kids who are not potty trained are not allowed in the pool (even with swim diapers), but we brought our baby in with swim diapers on anyway. No one said anything. (Royal Caribbean really needs to invest in a filtration system to allow babies in the pools!) We brought an inflatable baby pool (as suggested by the goofy travel agent), but there was NO place to put it, as the pool was completely surrounded by chairs. ROOMS: We would not stay in an interior state room, even if it was just the two of us. We upgraded to a junior suite, and boy were we glad.....the interior rooms were TINY! We heard tons of people onboard complaining about the size of their rooms. The suite had a bathtub (instead of a teeny tiny shower), which was really nice for bathing the kids, and for shaving legs. Because there was not much for us to do on the ship, we ended up spending quite a bit of time in our room. (And because we have an infant who takes 2 naps a day, we had no choice about staying in our room during the day at times.) With the balcony and couch area, we had plenty of room and didn't feel claustrophobic. The ONLY negative about our suite: we couldn't enjoy the balcony. The people next door constantly smoked on their balcony, and the smoke blew right at us. Smoking isn't allowed in the rooms, but apparently it's allowed on the balconies, which we find disgusting. KIDS' PROGRAMS: The Fisher Price playgroup is a joke.....it's just a 4'x4' rubber mat in the middle of a lounge area with some toys.....it wasn't even in a separate room. The staff member there didn't interact with the kids at all. The Adventure Ocean program was also ridiculous. The travel agent REALLY talked it up. The room for preschool-aged kids was only about the size of 2 junior suites (if even that). There was a tunnel and slide (like at McDonald's), and a few toys, and again, the staff didn't interact with the kids at all. It's a glorified day care....you get a pager and drop your kid off. We only used it 3 times for about 1 hour each time. You have to pay to have your kid in there during lunch, at night, and I think at other times. Our daughter didn't enjoy it unless her cousin was in there at the same time. I see that Cruise Critic gives this ship a rating of "5" for family/children, which seems ridiculous considering actual cruisers give it an average of "2" for family/children. ACTIVITIES: We didn't feel there was a lot to do during the day. Even if there was something we were interested in doing, our daughter wouldn't have wanted to go into the kids' room long enough for us to do something. Besides the pool, there really wasn't anything for us all to do together as a family. We DID have a family member babysit while we attempted to see a movie, but that didn't work out. (We thought they were showing the newest Twilight movie, but when we got there it was rescheduled for a later time, then when we went back it turned out not to be the most recent one. It seems they could have shown more recently released movies, and they didn't show ANY kids' movies which would have been nice.) Since we already had a babysitter, we wandered over to the casino, spent 5 minutes in there and left. Smoking is allowed in the casino, and boy were people smoking! It was hard to breathe in there. We wandered a bit more, then went back to the room since there nothing left to do. It looked like there were some fun activities and shows at night, 8pm and later, but since we have to get up in the middle of the night with an infant and then early in the morning with both kids, we didn't see the point in even having someone babysit to do anything "adult." SPA/FITNESS: The fitness center didn't have much of anything, and the spa was SO overpriced that we certainly didn't utilize any of those services (I think about $200 for a one hour massage!!) PORTS/EXCURSIONS: We chose the turtle farm and dolphin encounter at Grand Cayman. We were told our baby would not be allowed to participate, but when we got there they gave him a life jacket and said that he could. (Royal Caribbean needs to get this information corrected....were totally unprepared to have him in the water with us!!) Our daughter loved everything....feeding the large sea turtles and picking up the small ones, then getting to kiss and touch the dolphin was amazing! The DVD and pictures are RIDICULOUSLY overpriced, but we bought some anyway since we weren't allowed to take pictures and this was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. We chose not to do an excursion at Cozumel, just took a taxi (expensive) to a tourist restaurant (Mr. Sancho's) and beach. The food was okay, the service was terrible. It was outdoors, so we were sweating profusely and felt miserable. My daughter loved the swings next to our table...that kept her entertained and kept her from complaining. After lunch we walked down to the water (right there), and set our stuff down. Right after we set our bags and towels down, we were told that part of the beach was only for people who'd signed up for an excursion and that we had to walk down to a different part of the beach. No problem....we walk down and get in the water, only to discover it's ALL rock and there's no way to enjoy the beach and water there. It was horrible! It was tough finding excursions we could even bring our kids on. We would have loved to snorkel, but many wouldn't allow our kids (even though the travel agent told us they "all" have snorkeling boards), and then there was a fear of whatever excursion boat not having shade for our infant to stay in. We've never been to Mexico, but we hated Cozumel. Grand Cayman was better, but both were horribly hot and humid.....our kids' heads were soaked with sweat! The taxi drivers in Cozumel were NUTS......we were very much afraid for our children!! BOTTOM LINE: This was our first cruise, and we have certainly decided cruises are for adults, and MAYBE older kids if the right cruise ship is selected. (We didn't feel this ship was right even for older kids.) Royal Caribbean nickel and dimes you for EVERYTHING! If we ever do a cruise again, it will be a Disney cruise, but I doubt we'd ever do another one at all (partly because of the vertigo we felt for several days afterwards, too). If you have kids, take them to someplace with a beach or Disneyworld/Disneyland! Don't do a cruise. (Unless you prefer leaving your kids in day care all day and get sitters at night to vacation separately.) Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We just got back from our first cruise ever and were greatly disappointed with RC's Grandeaur of the Seas. Where do I start? I did not realize the "large inside cabin" would be so darn small. Wow, my bathroom at home is ... Read More
We just got back from our first cruise ever and were greatly disappointed with RC's Grandeaur of the Seas. Where do I start? I did not realize the "large inside cabin" would be so darn small. Wow, my bathroom at home is bigger than this thing. There was ample closet space, but good thing I brought more hangers and an alarm clock (serious, no clock??). The only high point was the Great Gatsby Dining Room. We had nightly dinners there that were amazing and the service was excellent. We felt like they were there to wait on us and only us. The Matre d' was amazing as well. Otherwise from the other food options, to the cleanliness, to the attitudes, I was horribly disappointed. The lack of dance floor for the "dinner music", the $7-$10 drinks, the obnoxious and rabidly aggressive pool bar hands who harrassed you about getting something from the bar, the pool being closed numerous times, the horribly loud music by the pool all lead to a very poor vacation experience. The food in the Windjammer (buffet) was like bad cafeteria food. Same food every day. No mustard other than hot deli mustard. I expected over-the-top amazing food and received bad-hospital-steamtable-food. Even the rolls for the hotdogs/hambergers/sandwiches were stale (because they were left on the steamtable as well). Service in the Windjammer was also atrocious. I chose RC because I thought it would assure me a wonderful vacation, but I was wrong. I'm not sure I will cruise will RC again. What a let down! Also, the communication was poor. We were first-time cruisers and had to go to the pursers desk numerous times to ask questions that we otherwise would have been left in the dark about. And then, were answered with an attitude, "well you need to...." Wow, amazing that i paid that much money to be talked down to. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
I'm a strong believer in the rule that your attitude can pre-determine how much fun you'll have on a cruise.  So I was determined to have a good time and it helped.To provide perspective, this was my fourth cruise in recent ... Read More
I'm a strong believer in the rule that your attitude can pre-determine how much fun you'll have on a cruise.  So I was determined to have a good time and it helped.To provide perspective, this was my fourth cruise in recent years (although I had taken many transatlantic and trans-pacific trips in the past).  Recent trips were on the QM2 (twice) and Celebrity.  And while this is my preferred standard, the RCI trip was too good to pass up. Great fare, the right duration, the right departure port and the right timing.  Now, on to the review.The embarkation was a total disaster.  The ship was scheduled to depart at 4 PM.  We arrived at 2:15.  We boarded at 3:30.  Others, who had arrived before we did, waited over three hours.  The only reason our boarding took less time is that I overheard someone mention a special line for suites.  No one from RCI alerted suite guests to this benefit.  Our table mates, also suite holders, were in line for 3 hours.  A very bad job all around by RCI.  I heard that the Baltimore harbour master was partly responsible, as was a "computer crash".  But from the horror stories, RCI was definitely not blameless.Disembarkation was much better.  A bit of a jam at the gangway, but we were off in about 20 minutes.  We always self-disembark and this made it easier.  But the lifts didn't seem to work very well, disgorging everyone in the same space.  RCI should not have insisted that passengers using the center set of lifts.Now don't get me wrong.  The trip was fun.  The crew really tries to please.  Nydia in the gym was a good instructor spinning, pilates, yoga, etc.  Captain Rob is a riot very funny noontime announcements.  We enjoyed the entertainment.  The comedians were funny and the shows entertaining.  Certainly as good if not better than Cunard and Celebrity.  And the best part of the ship is the Solarium.  A quite oasis from the typical chaos of a cruise ship.  A nice place to read, enjoy the sun, spa and pool.Unfortunately, there are many lowlights, due in large part to the age of this ship.  RCI needs to either retire her, or refurbish her.  The rooms are small (even the Junior Suite that we had).  And by the way, don't get a room under either the pool area or the Solarium if you want to avoid the noise of shuffling deck chairs or rolling carts.The bathrooms are tiny, the fixtures corroded with age and use, the lighting poor and there was always a slight odor.  There is very little water pressure.The wood work is worn lots of stains and warped wood from water damage.  There are permanent stains on the furniture and torn carpeting.  Our table mates had furniture that didn't even match.  TVs are ancient and falling apart.  The hangers are the type you would find in a Motel 6.  Not enough light to read by at night.  Basically, it isn't what you would expect for paying suite prices.  I cannot imagine what the other rooms were like.Our cabin steward was fine.  He kept the place clean and he was creative with his towel artistry.  But he wasn't particularly friendly, even when I mentioned that I had lived in his home country for many years and spoke his native language.  The gym is small and the weight training equipment limited.  There are about a dozen aerobic machines (bikes, elipticals, treadmills), but these too are aging.  And people don't follow the 20 minute courtesy rule.  Also, if you miss the one or two classes scheduled for the particular day, you are out of luck.Generally, the food was fine.  The Windjammer had a decent breakfast omelettes and lots of fresh fruit.  We never ate breakfast or lunch in the main dining room and never tried room service, so cannot comment on either.The food in the main dining room was forgetable.  Not bad just not very good.  My wife's pasta was not hot.  All the fish tasked the same.  In short, it was a great deal like a restaurant you tried for the first time but would never go back.  Our first night back home we both remarked how much better our home cooked meal tasted!Our waiter and assistant waiter were fine.  They tried hard, but were real amateurs.  They would be very attentive at getting you dinner rolls, but forget to refill your wine glass.  Service on the last night was particularly slow.  And they didn't seem to pay much attention.  By the luck of the draw, everyone at our table for 6 was a vegetarian (or at least didn't eat meat or chicken).  Yet, every evening after the meal the waiter would announce with great enthusiasm some meat or chicken dish that was being served the following night.  Hello?  Anyone at home?And one thing that drove us nuts is that they would start to clear and re-set the adjacent tables during our meals.  We had the late seating so there simply wasn't any need for this.  It was very distracting and not what you would expect from a first-class operation.The wine list was fairly extensive and most sold under $40 a bottle.  They could have used a sommelier because our poor waiter didn't have a clue.  As for our head water, he really showed up only on the last night (coinciding with the time to hand out the gratuities, no doubt).I title this as the "Aging Lady", because this is what the Grandeur is.  I mentioned the evidence of its age in the description of our cabin and the gym equipment.  There were other signs as well.  Like the chair in the Champagne Lounge that collapsed right under this elderly gentleman.  We pointed out to him the fact that the supporting legs were missing a bolt to assure him that it was not his fault.  I got the distinct impression that the waiter know about this.  There were cracked and chipped glasses served at dinner.  Cracked and leaking cups served in the Windjammer.  Lots of rust and worn furnishings throughout the ship.  It reminded me of some of the famous old hotels that are well past their prime.  Fine if you like that sort of thing.You will find a fairly broad range of fellow passengers age, activity level, and experience.  If you are the type that likes to dress for dinner, RCI isn't for you.  If you want a basic cruise, it is.Now, only 5 months to our "Circle Hawaii" on Holland America.  Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
Ok first the bad!!! This was going to be a first cruise experience; we got pet sitters, took time off from work, left early to hit Norfolk terminal on time - everything was going well and then we were told we owed $800 more. Imagine our ... Read More
Ok first the bad!!! This was going to be a first cruise experience; we got pet sitters, took time off from work, left early to hit Norfolk terminal on time - everything was going well and then we were told we owed $800 more. Imagine our surprise since we had paid in-full when we booked in February for a May 2 trip. What is worse - no one could tell us why. Just pay up or don't board. We had to stand there for over an hour while they even tried to get there machines to show we paid (at one point it doubled the $800 to $1600!) - which we did since we were told we would lose the $1381.22 we had already paid for the Ocean view room if we didn't pay the $800. We were then told see the finance/accounting controller on board and to go to the Guest relations desk. We get there and are told nope you can't see him because he doesn't see guests. Throughout the trip we received many shrugged shoulders for questions related about this or even as simple as "is the pool 24 hours? or "will buses take us back to the parking lot?". I can understand if they are unsure but they just shrugged off our questions and sent us on our way.  The $800 was a gloomy cloud that ruined it for us. To make matters worse the last full day of the cruise they claimed that $400 didn't go through even though we had checked our credit card accounts. They made us pay that too after they made us come back to the desk several times because most of the guest relations folks had no idea what we were talking about when we came up. The guest relations desk folks were polite but by design very, very unhelpful. Finally we got to call RCI Customer office to be told our travel agent had mistakenly taken a discount we shouldn't have. A discount by the way that should have only cost us $300 to make up for the difference (if you go by our date of booking) and no one at RCI called to tell us was in error - I mean, we gave our date of birth when we did the on-boarding almost two weeks before sailing but they said we were marked for a senior discount and never told us! Therefore Royal in my eyes will always be the pirates of the sea. They went for an extra $500 that we probably would have spent on the boat anyway but with happy, relaxed grins on our faces. Remember RCI - happy people spend more.  Instead I spent the bare minimum I had to on the ship and was sad about the sudden upcharge and lack of help. It was sad that my happiest moment was getting off the ship and coming home!  We couldn't even hear over half of the announcements in our room during the day without running to open the door to hear them. The food was the same all the time everywhere - no variety! Always Asian or mediterranean, which is fine for  a night but not the whole trip. The toilet wouldn't work half the time, the bed curtain was missing and several drawers kept getting stuck out and wouldn't go back in without a lot of effort.  When it is all said and done it is obvious Royal didn't want the business of us two 25-45 somethings, and we are now happy to oblige by taking our future wedding plans and wedding guests elsewhere.  GOOD Stuff still happened: The only fantastic persons was Wendy and Haimi (sorry if we got the name spelled wrong). They were always friendly, helpful and made us feel like we were welcome. They even gave us a quick towel folding lesson! The two Bermuda excursions were also fantastic. We did Hartley's helmet dive - Greg H. himself took our group out and even if you can't swim and don't like to go under water or get your hair wet you will enjoy this! BTW - you won't get your hair wet because the helmet you put on to go under is perfect, plenty of oxygen and no water gets in the helmet. We loved him and Rolf (sorry again if named is wrong!) Greg obviously loves the marine life and what he does. We love our CD with pictures. A few young ladies were scared to go under and he showed a great deal of patience and superb customer service trying to balance everyone's experience and ensuring we all had a chance for this great adventure. He saved our cruise trip from being a complete unhappy disaster!  The cave tour to the Prospero caves at the Grotto hotel was also fantastic - we even swam in the underground cave lagoon; a little cold but a fun experience to brag about!  It is amazing to hear about its formation but sad to see that previous tours had left trash...so please don't.  On our own we went to Alexandria Battery beach to pick up tons of sea glass (it isn't much of a beach but what fun we had picking up the glass) and Dorey snorkel park. Both very lovely - the water is so blue! It is obvious that the Bermudians care about their home and keep it very clean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
As I said, the service was excellent, servers friendly, loved our dining room staff, they went above and beyond. Had a problem with a bottle of champagne that we purchased as part of a package, we brought it to the table to share, but the ... Read More
As I said, the service was excellent, servers friendly, loved our dining room staff, they went above and beyond. Had a problem with a bottle of champagne that we purchased as part of a package, we brought it to the table to share, but the wanted to charge a corking fee, this was quickly rectified by a visit to the front office, but we shouldn't have had to take time out from our cruise to do this. The cruise director and his staff were outstanding! Cabin Steward and cleaning staff good. There was a terrible sewer smell affecting a dozen or so rooms at the beginning of a long hallway from the dining room to our rooms. This got better at times by the smell of febreeze, but an hour later, the sewage smell was back. There was not enough room for everyone on the ship to enjoy the things that only have one showing, suggest several karaoke, several quest games, etc. The flowers for our honeymoon package were not delivered until the end of the next day (after several calls from us) - the champagne not delivered until midnight the next day and several days later (again after repeated calls from us) our robes were delivered to the room. The stores set sail with 4 medium t-shirts in one style and limited sizes in other styles, most of the merchandise on the ship was caribbean themed and we were on a Canada/New England cruise. The food was awful - nothing was that great, the desserts tasted like Little Debbie cakes, the steaks were tasteless, the best thing on the whole ship was a breakfast banana/fruit bread. Embarkation was delayed, tedious, the cruise terminal was hot. We were delayed getting off the ship at one port because several passengers couldn't be found The "adult only" areas had teens in them, no one did anything about the kids running all over the ship pushing elevator buttons, or the kids who brought their guitars and solicited "tips". This was the worst cruise we have been on, we have sailed several times with Celebrity, Holland America and Disney. The best thing about this cruise was that it left from Norfolk, VA (which is a 15 minute drive from home). We will be driving to NJ and FL to catch future cruises on Holland America, Celebrity and Disney - too bad..... Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
We have sailed on Royal Caribbean before, and have recommended the cruise line to others. We thoroughly enjoyed our previous cruise with them. We just came back from a 5 day Western Caribbean cruise on the Grandeur Of The Seas. We live ... Read More
We have sailed on Royal Caribbean before, and have recommended the cruise line to others. We thoroughly enjoyed our previous cruise with them. We just came back from a 5 day Western Caribbean cruise on the Grandeur Of The Seas. We live in the Tampa Bay area, so just drove to the port. My husband is in a power chair, and they are quite helpful to us. They whisk us through the handicap area and we are onboard the ship in a matter of minutes. We have always sailed on all the cruise lines in an outside cabin. This time we decided to try an inside cabin, since you don't spend much time in your room. Being a handicap room, it was nice and roomy. The ship has been refurbished and we found the ship to be very pretty with all the art and statues, plus all the windows keep the ship light. The port of Cozumel is always fun. Royal Caribbean uses the dock a couple of miles from town, but they do have venders and some duty free shopping at the pier, plus a small Senior Frogs and Carlos and Charlies. It you are not taking a tour, you can always take a cab to the main downtown area. Our other stop was Belize, where you have to tender ashore. We took a bus tour and saw Altun Ha the last time we were there, so this time we stayed on the ship and relaxed. The service onboard was great, but our big disappointment was the food. We were saddened that the trip we looked forward to was spoiled by such lousy food. We could not believe that Royal Caribbean food could be so bad. In the main dining room, the food was barely passable, and the steaks were all very thin and dry with no flavor. We heard several people complaining about the steaks. The Windjammer Cafe is the buffet area on the ship. That was really terrible. The food was the same every day. It mostly was Asian and Mediterranean (they had their own stations) with some American food thrown in. The food was not good at all. The only meal you could get that was decent was the breakfast. Even the deserts were not very good. All the cheesecake type deserts were very spongy and did not taste like cheesecake at all. I could not find much that was good, so I lived on the pastries and cookies for 5 days. The solarium offers burgers, fries, hot dogs and pizza, and they were decent. My husband had several burgers, etc. from there and I tried a burger and fries, and they were pretty good. We have another cruise booked on the grandeur Of The Seas, in November. We were so disappointed with the food on this trip, that we have cancelled our trip with Royal Caribbean and rebooked the trip on Holland America. We were not about to spend 10 days on the same ship, knowing that the food is lousy. Sorry Royal Caribbean, but you have lost 2 passengers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2008
Hello. I have a lot to say, so please read only if you have a lot of time. Day One: Dining: Terrible, we waited for 30 minutes to get a freaking coke, my seapass was lost with the waiter, people were unfriendly, it was a family cruise, ... Read More
Hello. I have a lot to say, so please read only if you have a lot of time. Day One: Dining: Terrible, we waited for 30 minutes to get a freaking coke, my seapass was lost with the waiter, people were unfriendly, it was a family cruise, and we were split among 3 tables! That night, the headwaiter, could not put the tables together when we asked strictly to be together. Youth: Closed Pool: the freshwater was disgusting and burned your eyes and felt terrible! Overall: I found it as a lackluster ship (as I have been on Enchantment of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas and seen much better) Day Two: Dining: Better, but still negative. The food was nothing but desirable, still with bad (and slow) service. Youth: The people were nice, but we cruised on Enchantment, like we said and it was the same time, so I heard the same things from my kid about what he learned. Pool: Luckily, there was an ice cream machine around the pool to keep the kids happy Issues: Kids were in the casinos and adult only area, and were playing in the elevators Day Three: This is what brings my rating of the ship down to a 1. Youth: Kids were throwing up all over the place! IT was a rocky day at sea, and everyone was throwing up, and getting sick! Dining: Drinks were spilled on my lap that night (and yes it was formal night) Food was good, but I couldn't relax Day Four: Luckily were are in bermuda, no complaints, but it took a while to get off of the ship Day Five: Bermuda still Day Six: Sea day (and we are over with our cruise) Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
Let me start by saying that although this cruise was the worst cruise that I've been on in recent years, I will still have some very fond memories from it. I will probably never sail aboard the Grandeur of the Seas again, but ... Read More
Let me start by saying that although this cruise was the worst cruise that I've been on in recent years, I will still have some very fond memories from it. I will probably never sail aboard the Grandeur of the Seas again, but that's simply because I don't feel that the ship offers the amenities that I enjoy and expect. I had booked one of the Grand Suites, as I have on the Radiance Class and the Vision Class of RCCL's ships, and I was extremely disappointed in the service (or lack thereof) afforded to us. Let's Begin: Embarkation/Disembarkation - We're from Maryland, so the opportunity to take a cruise from our home port without having to worry about airlines, luggage restrictions, transfers, etc., was the 2nd most important reason why we chose this cruise. The first most important reason was the fact that I simply wanted to get away for 9 days and not think about work - that mission was accomplished. The port of Baltimore was very easy to access, and parking was more than adequate and convenient (even at $10 per night). Embarkation, at least for us, was a snap. However, we were the very first passengers allowed to board, so I cannot comment to anyone following us. The obligatory welcome aboard pictures that were offered had terrible backgrounds that had nothing to do with this particular venue. One was of the MardiGras, and the other was just as off base. The Windjammer Cafe was not open when we arrived on board, but that was typical of the ship's spotty service. We ate across from the Captain and his wife who seemed interested in our conversations, but did not wish to join in with us. It was unfortunate that Captain Rob was not commanding this vessel, rather the Captain was Captain Remø (referred to by most guess as CPT Nemo from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.") Also unfortunate is the fact that Captain Remø does not represent his line very well. On more than one occasion, when the Captain was asked a direct question, he skirted the issue and provided a blunt, unfriendly response. As an example, one guest asked the captain what were the thoughts of putting a concierge lounge or service aboard the Grandeur. His response was that the concierge lounge or service was offered aboard their ships running in Europe and that satisfactory. Disembarkation was uneventful and smooth. Many guests took advantage of the "Self Assist" program in which they were responsible for carrying off ALL of their own luggage. They were the first to disembark. One oddity was the fact that the order of disembarkation (by luggage tag) was not published in the Cruise Compass; so we had no idea if we were going to be called first or last. This presented a minor issue when trying to arrange a pickup at the port, since you had no idea how long the process would take and where you stood in the order of things. The ship was OLD, though its decor was still in fairly good shape. However, the rooms are significantly smaller than their counterparts aboard other classes of ships. The room service was also limited. Normally the refrigerator in the room provides a cash bar for sodas, beer, water, snacks, and miniatures. This refrigerator had only soda and water. Furthermore many rooms did not have refrigerators at all. Guest Services - Room Service was spotty at best. One of our travel mates needed milk (la leche) each evening to take her medicines; try as they might, they could not get the milk delivered to them. This same couple could never get their breakfast room service ordered. They put their selection card out in plenty of time, and it was simply missed. The Grandeur went through dry dock in April '07, and we had anticipated a number of upgrades. However, aside from new linens, we saw very little account of the dry dock. Even the "Day of the Week" placards were missing from the elevator floors. The in-room TV was still old technology; interactive TV was not available. Passengers could not view their charges online, excursions could not be ordered on line, no webcam available, etc. Consequently, the lines at both the Excursion Desk and the Customer Service Desk were always quite long. Speaking of Customer Service, I received an e-mail from the Guest Services Manager two days prior to boarding the ship stating that she was "available to assist with any special needs". This service was not available. I e-mailed her prior to departure requesting specific assistance in making some off-ship arrangements in Halifax, CN on day-6 of the cruise. During the entire voyage, I never saw her, and no assistance was provided. I inquired as to her whereabouts, and I was informed that "she was leaving the ship after this cruise, and she was training her replacement." We found that this was true in many cases; either the experienced crew had taken their vacation from the ship or they were leaving the ship in a cruise or two. Dining - There were no Specialty Restaurants (Chops or Portofino) from which to choose. It was either the Main Dining Room, the Windjammer (limited hours), the Solarium (hot dogs and pizza), or room service. I had sent in a request for a table for 12 and provided names and booking numbers for each of the passengers. When we got to the dining room, they had accommodated 8 of us, but the other four weren't to be found. Being able to let them know that in advance would have been a simple courtesy. Dining Experience - initially our table service was so bad, that the head waiter had to step in and serve as our waiter. Meal Preparation - Nothing Fancy. If anything, RCCL's standard fares need some tweaking. To serve what they called "Maryland Crab Cabs" to Marylanders was a huge mistake. Absolutely no resemblance. Excursions - Lackluster. Consequently we did not schedule any of the RCCL-provided tours. Rather we made our own plans. Personally disappointing was the fact they did not offer any golf-related excursions. Onboard activities - with three days at sea, we had expected a little more variety in the onboard activities, even some historical perspectives. Unfortunately we also experienced some onboard activities that were canceled for no apparent reasons or announcements. Even the Meet & Mingle was poorly orchestrated. Normally the M&M is attended by the Group Coordinator and either the Cruise Director or the Loyalty Ambassador. In this case it was attended by only the Group Coordinator, and she did very little to facilitate the activity. No introductions, no recognition of the Roll Call originator, only the raffles and some stale canapés. She didn't even volunteer to take our picture, so we had to do so ourselves. Entertainment - The nightly entertainment was actually a highlight of the cruise. The Cruise Director, Simeon Baker, was one of the best we've encountered. One of our table mates described him as "insipient", and his use of the expression "funtastic" became a little tiresome. However, he did appear to love his job and his motto is, "we are here for a good time, not a long time, so get out there and start your cruise vacation now." The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers were excellent. The nightly entertainment was geared to the more elderly passengers aboard (the average age of the passengers had to be close to 65-70 - out of 2,300 passengers, there were only 16 youth aboard). One of the entertainers, Billy Fellows, has been entertaining audiences since 1949 (he was very funny). I could continue, but any more would simply be bashing. RCCL is still my favorite cruise line, and to the uninitiated, this may still have been a great cruise. However, I expected a lot more. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
My husband and I selected this cruise in hopes of seeing some fall colors. we were a bit early. In retrospect, found that perhaps a month later would have been perfect. Starts in Baltimore, a great city with wonderful sites if you are a ... Read More
My husband and I selected this cruise in hopes of seeing some fall colors. we were a bit early. In retrospect, found that perhaps a month later would have been perfect. Starts in Baltimore, a great city with wonderful sites if you are a walker or have time to get there a few days early. The pier is easy to locate. The cruise line will try to sell you one way port/airport transportation for $39 each. A cab was $35 for two of us and convenient. Same type bus the ship uses. This was my husbands 13th and my 15th cruise. Each of us have been on RCCL 11 times. However, with a computer problem, they seemed to have "lost" records of 5 of our cruises and remain unwilling to provide credit for them based on the year and season. So we are "Platinum" level members. This supposedly gave us a huge advantage and special gifts. Now this we found actually insulting. It would have been better if they had given us nothing at all. Instead, we got a note about how valued we are, along with a 49 cent key chain. ...what a slap in the face that was! It also set a bad tone for the 9 day cruise. The ship was in fair shape but showing its age. We found most of the crew to be very friendly and very attentive, however did have one waiter during open dining who was outright rude. The ship was a nice size for us, but we had some issues with the size of the showroom,The Palladium, where all the shows occurred. The room was much too small to accommodate those wishing to see the shows. If you wanted to get two seats together, you had to be there and seated 45-50 minutes before the show, so take a book/crossword puzzle. The bartenders did well because people got there early and just drank for an hour. A few times we couldn't get in. We had arrived 20 minutes before the show one time and were 'stacked' 2 deep standing room only, with some elderly people sitting on stairs and others on the floor. I was a bit upset that the crew made no attempts to accommodate those wanting to attend after all, we all paid for the opportunity. Two of the three "Guest Shows" were repeat visitors from cruises with RCCL 10-12 years ago. The jokes were the same…not too fresh. Production shows were fabulous. Almost no kids on the ship, so quiet. The weather was cold and overcast, so there wasn't much gong on at the pool. The dining room and food experience was very disappointing. Of all the cruises we have taken, we had expected something grand. The appetizers were heavily geared toward seafood, so if one had allergies, it left little to choose from. The entrees were a true disappointment. Presentation was great but taste was mediocre at best. Food selections were poor. a Few standard choices at the end of the menu, over cooked and over seasoned. The new York steak was a whopping ¼ inch thick at best and very tough.We had great company at the dinner table and it seems that is what we enjoyed most about the meal experience in the dining room. Desserts were so so. Dining room alternative, Windjammer was jammed all the time. Amused by the name we found that every time it was windy outside(always)the place was jammed. The ports were ok, but not great. Book on line. Stood in line for 95 minutes to book alternate tours. Two of three were a true waste of $. Happy to send you the details on all tours off line. Don't miss the small town of St. Martin, at the Halifax stop. Shared a cab in Halifax to see Peggy's Cove, five of us split the $135 +tip, cost of the trip. The Cab proved to be better than a tour, as he took us places that the busses would never have been able to access. On the ship, I was most disappointed by the significant decrease in activities offered. Most of the 'events' were for the financial benefit of the ship. There was supposed to be a fitness advisor, but he/she never showed up. Went to hear a lecture on Herbal/Chinese medicine for pain management, but the speaker never showed up. Piano lessons only offered 5 keyboards. Back in Baltimore the opportunity to take our own luggage off allowed exit before 8am. Overall, we felt the trip was a huge disappointment and waste of our hard earned dollars. Next time we will try a different cruise line. No advantage to stay with RCCL….already have two key chains ? Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
Here's a short review...and a little background. We're in our early 40's, and we are frequent travellers. We own a timeshare, and typically take week-long vacations, at a single destination. Our favorite island is Grand ... Read More
Here's a short review...and a little background. We're in our early 40's, and we are frequent travellers. We own a timeshare, and typically take week-long vacations, at a single destination. Our favorite island is Grand Cayman. Our favorite vacation spots are Grand Cayman, Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. Each year, we spend a week at one of those destinations. I Scuba and snowboard, and my wife skis. This is our 5th cruise,(our 2nd on Grandeur), and we travelled with our 17 yr old son. Bermuda was beautiful. It was the 2nd time we sailed the Grandeur, and it has definitely slipped. I have mixed feelings on this cruise. Overall, the service was pretty good, especially the bartenders, and the dining room staff. They also kept the ship sparkling clean. Embarkation and debarkation were excellent. The port of Baltimore has definitely stepped up in that regard. The pool band, (Rhythm Section), was good, and the shows that Fran & her sister attended, were pretty good. They especially enjoyed the comedian. This was our 5th cruise, and I would rate this as the least enjoyable sailing. It was a very uneven experience. I was really surprised, and very disappointed, that the food was the worst that we've ever had on a cruise. While some of the food was pretty good, (we don't expect 5-star dining), most of it was mediocre to bad. With the exception of a couple of desserts and appetizers, they served the identical food in the Windjammer, as they did in the main dining room. It kind of makes dressing up and going to the main dining room seem pointless. The ship was refurbished, but there were still signs of wear. Our stateroom was kind of shabby, the little bedside tables were well worn and scratched up, and there were cigarette burns in the sink. The beds and bedding, however, were excellent...nice firm mattresses and crisp clean, new sheets. One evening, the stateroom attendant even left a soap-filled sponge next to our drinking glasses on the table. That was gross. We didn't let it ruin our vacation, and it sounds nit-picky, but it's those little things that add, or detract, from a cruise experience. Unfortunately,(as we had one of the best cruises ever, when we sailed her back in '01), I cannot, in good conscience, recommend the Grandeur of the Seas to anybody. When we cruise again, we'll try a different line or ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2007
I was very much looking forward to this cruise but as soon as the cruise began, I realized this ship was nothing like the Grand Princess that I sailed on in October. The food was mediocre, the daytime activity choice poor, and although the ... Read More
I was very much looking forward to this cruise but as soon as the cruise began, I realized this ship was nothing like the Grand Princess that I sailed on in October. The food was mediocre, the daytime activity choice poor, and although the evening entertainment was good, there was a lack of choice. If we wanted to dance, it had to be very late, past our bedtime. In Boston, there were long lines taking almost 2 hours to get off the ship. The ship's staff did little to help and should have known about this problem (a labor union dispute) before we came to Boston. The cabin had less square footage than the HAL Statendam or the Princess Grand that we had sailed on previously although we did manage to get everything in except our suitcases didn't fit underneath the bed. RCI doesn't give little goodies like at any 3* hotel like shampoo, lotion, shower cap. I had to ask for one. Also, you can't do your laundry onboard and have to pay high prices to get it done. The first day we boarded, we were directed to the buffet as our cabin wasn't ready (not yet ready at 12:30 pm?)and once there, there were few workers there and dishes piled up high on tables. It went downhill from there. I will never again sail on RCI. I heard that they now own Celebrity but I think Celebrity is of a higher class. Supposedly, RCI has "fun" on it's cruises as they advertise, but we had lots more fun on Princess with Reggae parties, 50's and 60's night. On this ship, there was the art auction (a big ripoff), Bingo (costs $35 minimum to play), the casino(which we didn't use), and one lecturer who lectured on very uninteresting topics. No tour of the ship's galley either. The same daytime activities over and over, little variety. Read Less
Sail Date June 2007
Embarkation from the Port of Baltimore is smooth. Parking is directly adjacent to the terminal and if you have preregistered online you are onboard 10 minutes from the time you park your car. The ship is easy to navigate. We arrived ... Read More
Embarkation from the Port of Baltimore is smooth. Parking is directly adjacent to the terminal and if you have preregistered online you are onboard 10 minutes from the time you park your car. The ship is easy to navigate. We arrived shortly after 3:00 pm, joined in the muster drill at 3:30 pm and pulled away from the dock at 4:00, looking over the skyline of Baltimore. We traveled with our two children, 3 & 5, as many of the other passengers did. We had two adjacent oceanview cabins on deck 3 which afforded us double everything, 2 bathrooms, 2 closets and privacy which worked very well. The ship is VERY well maintained. You witness the crew continuously painting, sanding, recarpeting throughout the trip. The size is both easy to get around and large enough that allows you to get away from crowds near the pool. We ate both in the Windjammer on deck 9, and in the dining room. Both were a major disappointment. The food in the Windjammer was often inedible. Large chafing dishes filled with meat in sauce which resembled the plate scrapings from the dining room the previous night. Most seemed content with the food offering, we did not. The service was consistent, friendly and helpful. Our room steward did a wonderful job working around our erratic schedule, our rooms always perfect when we returned from a long day. The dining room staff was also consistent and thoughtful, suggesting what we should order, and bringing us special treats they thought we would enjoy as they got to know us. they were particularly kind to our children, which they appreciated. Each night they took their order prior to the rest of the table's so they wouldn't have to wait. We enjoyed Miami as we have been there often and know our way around. We enjoyed a nice dinner in South Beach, and returned to the ship for a dip in the pool prior to bed. Key West was wonderful. We took a tour on the Conch train and thoroughly enjoyed it. The guide was well versed and funny. We shopped and ate by the water, finishing the day with a piece of Key Lime pie. Cozumel was a disappointment other than out lunch at restaurant at the end of the strip. Great food, margaritas and entertainment. There is a shop adjoining the restaurant with lovely things. I highly recommend shopping in Cozumel vs. Costa Maya. the prices are much better and they were aware that it was the last Mexican port in Costa Maya, they had you over a barrel if ou wanted some specific things. I bought a charm in Cozumel for my charm bracelet for $8.00, they asked $42.00 for the same one in Costa Maya. When I told the gentleman what I spent in cozumel, he said "If you want another one for that price you'll have to go back to Cozumel". As we walked back to the ship we dropped into small stores and bought Coronas for $1.00 each. Costa Maya-we took two cabs and spent a few hours at a resort, Maya Palms. We had the entire place to ourselves for $100. Beach, lounge chairs, pool, food and drinks. It was perfect for our family. Costa Maya is a sad place with desperate people. Port Canaveral-We stayed on board which was perfect. Most people ventured off the ship leaving us to enjoy the pool. The children enjoyed the Adventure Ocean program. We were provided with a beeper so they could contact us if our duaghter needed anything. Overall I was disappointed. The majority of the passengers left their manners, appropriate attire and their ability to read basic rules at home. Although I hold the passengers accountable for their behavior, I rarely witnessed crew members enforcing dress code etc... We will not sail Royal Caribbean in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2006
We sailed on the Grandeur of the Seas sailing from Baltimore on May 26, 2006 for a 9 night cruise to the Western Caribbean. We drove to Baltimore the day before and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore. They had a cruise and snooze ... Read More
We sailed on the Grandeur of the Seas sailing from Baltimore on May 26, 2006 for a 9 night cruise to the Western Caribbean. We drove to Baltimore the day before and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore. They had a cruise and snooze package that included keeping our car for the duration of the cruise. We arrived at the hotel early and were allowed to check in right away. The hotel is beautiful but is now a non smoking hotel. The day of the cruise, we arrived at the port about 11:15 am. The port is very well organized. The taxi dropped us off; we were assisted in getting our luggage tags, filling out the Bahamas entrance form and directed to the check in line. By 1130 am we were on the ship eating lunch. We were not able to get into our cabin until 1:00. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean but we have sailed many times on other cruise lines. The cabin was much smaller than we were used to. There is plenty of drawer space but the closet space is very limited. This is the first time our luggage would not fit under the bed so we had to constantly move it around throughout our cruise. That was very annoying. The beds in the cabins definitely need to be replaced. I became a great fan of Motrin throughout the week. Our cabin steward did what was needed during our stay. We had Main seating dining. We were at a table for 10 which we enjoyed. Our waiter was attentive and by the end of the cruise became personable. The food in the dining room was typical cruise food. Not bad but nothing to write home about. On the seventh day of our cruise, they started running out of various items on the menus. On the eighth day of our cruise our port of call was port Canaveral. At this port they restocked the ship. The shows were not the standard that we have become accustomed to. There was only one show the entire cruise that was enjoyable. The ports of call were Freeport, Key West, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Port Canaveral. We had been to Freeport and Cozumel many times so we just walked around the shops. Key West was a very enjoyable stop as was Costa Maya. At Costa Maya, at the end of the pier was a shopping area, a beach and pool area that was very nice. At Port Canaveral we stayed on the ship. Debarkation was just about as easy as embarkation. The ship arrived in Baltimore around 7:30 am, our luggage tag was called around 9:30 and by 10:00 we were on our way home having gotten a taxi back to the Hyatt and retrieved our car. Overall the cruise was enjoyable but if we cruise Royal Caribbean again it will be in a Balcony cabin and on a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
The ship was scheduled to leave Baltimore on Friday, Sept 16, but because of Hurricane Ophelia, delayed one day. Before our departure, two ports - Bahamas & Coco Cay - were eliminated from the trip. No alternate port was offered. No ... Read More
The ship was scheduled to leave Baltimore on Friday, Sept 16, but because of Hurricane Ophelia, delayed one day. Before our departure, two ports - Bahamas & Coco Cay - were eliminated from the trip. No alternate port was offered. No explanation as to why TWO ports were dropped from a ONE day delay. Because of Hurricane Rita, port of Key West was also eliminated from our trip. Spent an extra day in Cozumel, Mexico, but no additional ports were added. Expected a 10-day, 5 port cruise. Instead had 9-day, 2 port cruise with two hurricanes. Knew to expect "alterations" due to possible hurricanes during this time of the year, but was extremely disappointed that Royal Caribbean didn't add at least one other port of call. RCI did provide a $250 per stateroom credit to compensate for the delayed departure. Nothing else was offered by RCI. Didn't expect a free cruise, but perhaps a discounted rate on the next cruise would have helped to alleviate some of the hard feelings that most passengers had about the "cut short" cruise that visited only Cozumel and Port Canaveral. Food on board was plentiful, but bland. Entertainment was OK. Dining room staff was good, Windjammer Cafe staff was excellent. Cabin steward was good. Had only one opportunity for a shore excursion in Mexico - it was excellent. Very easy to navigate around Cozumel, well-organized tour. Additional excursions had to be cancelled when other ports of call were eliminated. Overall, would rate the ship OK, would rate the staff better than OK, but would rate RCI less than OK for not providing passengers with the full cruise package expected. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
We took this same cruise (slight change in stops) last year and should have stopped while we were ahead. The same boat, same embarkation port, drastically different results. EMBARKATION: We did the Set Sail Pass paperwork online ... Read More
We took this same cruise (slight change in stops) last year and should have stopped while we were ahead. The same boat, same embarkation port, drastically different results. EMBARKATION: We did the Set Sail Pass paperwork online beforehand and we were able to use the special line set aside for the Set Sail holders. There was no one in front of us and the whole check in procedure took about 5 minutes. Definitely a plus! CABIN: From the time we stepped into our room (on deck 2, midship) there was a nasty sewage odor the was everywhere in the cabin, but interestingly, not in the bathroom. We talked to the cabin steward about it and she said she'd look into it. We learned that meant she'd spray deodorizer! For the next 9 days we complained to anyone who would listen (cabin steward, maintenance, pursers desk, guest relations, loyalty ambassador) with absolutely no result! The guest relations staff were rude and didn't seem to really care one way or the other if we had this problem and in fact, they didn't seem surprised to hear it. Our steward continued to try her best to help where she could. The plumbing people blamed it on the air ventilation and the ventilation people blamed it on the plumbing (even though there was no smell in the bathroom). Once home I called headquarters and spoke with yet another rude uncaring person who finally offered a 25% discount on our next RC cruise. I don't find it adequate compensation for having to put up with 9 days of migraine and sleepless nights, but I guess I have to take what I can get. FOOD: The food was okay, though not exceptional. The portions were at least decent and I didn't leave hungry. Our wait staff (Randy and Eli) was the only exceptional part of our trip. They gave us the quality the rest of the ship's staff lacked. Thank God for these guys! PUBLIC SPACE: While most of the spaces are in good repair (though slightly gaudy) the jogging track is worn thin with no cushion left, several badly placed patches, and even more places where the regular deck is visible right through it. The pool deck is okay though the chairs are sandwiched together. The pool deck band was so-so and played the same songs everyday. EXCURSIONS: We were late docking in Grand Bahamas, Key West, and Cozumel and as a result two of our excursions were cut short which annoyed me to no end, but the excursions themselves were very good and the tour guides (who were also annoyed) tried hard to get us our money's worth. OTHER: The onboard entertainment was pretty good. The comedians left a bit to be desired but "El Gaucho" was amazing. The dance troupe was good with tasteful costumes that didn't leave their assets hanging out to embarrass small children! The Kid's Club for the 12-14 group didn't seem to have any supervision other than a group leader, but the kids could come and go as they please... and they did, at all hours. The same groups of adolescent monsters ran in between people, banged on doors, jumped repeatedly into the overcrowded pool, etc all week. It was a nightmare... some parenting would have been nice, but most of their parents were busy making drunken fools of themselves on the pool deck. OVERALL: I couldn't be more disappointed with RC's management on board or on land. The cruise/dining room/cabin staff was excellent but they deserve better upper management. The cruise was miserable each moment we were in our cabin, which was more often since we had our daughter with us. Unfortunately, we already booked another RC cruise (different boat) so hopefully it will be better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2005
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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