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Grandeur of the Seas Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1835 reviews
46 Awards

Grandeur in the Med.

Review for Grandeur of the Seas to the Western Mediterranean
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johnboy2
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Cabin

Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2012
Cabin: Junior Suite

Booked late; just needed some sun after the awful UK weather. The late evening flight with EasyJet departed and arrived on time but seating (perhaps as expected) was cramped and uncomfortable, however it got us there. We stayed at the Garibaldi Hotel in Venice (actually in Maestre on the mainland) which was no more than adequate but with exceptionally helpful and pleasant staff. It had the big advantage of being right by the bus stop (No.2) for Venice which was very useful. The next morning, despite some good instructions about getting to the Cruise Terminal via bus and the new People Mover we took the lazy option of a cab.

Check-in was very smooth and speedy so that we were on board for lunch in the Windjammer buffet restaurant. It was interesting to note that the multitude of drinks waiters trying to sell "Cocktail of the Day" which we had previously experienced on RCI had completely disappeared. Our mini-Suite was spacious and the bathroom lived up to its name by having a proper bath! There were coffee making facilities in the room which was nice. The balcony was, however, a bit disappointing being much smaller than those on Princess, our favourite Cruise Line. Lifeboat drill was done in port which seemed a very good idea but without life jackets which seemed a bit strange.

We were booked into 2nd sitting (8:30 pm) for dinner which suited us, but again would much prefer to be able to arrive when we want for our meals as in Princess "anytime dining". RCI are trying with their "mytime dining" but one still has to book a specific time which seems to defeat the point. There were fewer courses available since our previous RCI cruise on the Mariner (a great ship) but this seems to be in line with many other cruise lines that are cutting back The food was not as varied as expected and the special menus for formal days (lobster and baked Alaska) which we are used to never appeared. The waiting staff tried hard but seemed to be under pressure and the one wine waiter we saw on our first day disappeared when we declined to buy a drinks package, leaving the table waiters to deal with wines as well. They coped with this well and our wine (we bought bottles) was always ready for us at the table. We ordered hot chocolate instead of coffee after dinner on our first evening which was at no extra cost, unlike Princess who now insist on charging for it. A special word of praise should be given to the assistant waiter who thereafter brought us our hot chocolate every evening without our having to ask for it. We did not try any of the "Speciality" restaurants.

Cabin Review

Junior Suite

Junior or Mini-Suite was very good and excellent value. Plenty of room and storage space. Bathroom was what it said and had a reasonably sized bath. Balcony was a bit small.

Port Reviews

Venice

Very easy to access and boarding was very smooth and quick.

Split

Interesting Town but does not compare with Dubrovnik

Corfu

Have bee there before but still enjoy the Town with its Cricket Pitch. Visited the Old Fort; a good climb giving access to a great view.

Crete (Heraklion)

Chania was interesting and pleasant but no great shakes.

Mykonos

Small but charming Town with interesting old (non-working) Windmills. Octopus drying in the sun and nice looking restuarants.

Santorini

Just loved this place, perched on the hilltop, with its steep winding donkey track accessing it. We chickened out and took the Cable Car up; as ver quick and smooth ride and well worth the money. Fantastic views from the Town and even with 5 Cruise Ships in Port it did not seem that crowded. Lots of fine restuarants and some very individual shops. We were going to come down that way but the queues were utterly horrendous and so decided to walk down the 600 (numbered) steps. Quite tiring on legs unused to such things. Allow plenty of time at the end of you visit or be prepared for the experience of sitting on a smelly donkey.

Katakolon (Olympia)

Avoided the expensive Ships Tours and jumped on a much cheaper local Tour Bus to Olympia. There is not much to do in the Town of Katakolon except buy the odd leather goods but Olympia was well worth the visit. Do get a picture of yopurself starting a race from the original marble starting blocks.

Athens (Piraeus)

Always an interesting place to visit but do take the local Tour Bus from outside the Port Gates rather than the very overpriced Ships Tours.

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