The was a Transatlantic repositioning cruise from Barcelona to Miami. The ship is freshly out of drydock after a major overhaul much touted by RCI. Overall the ship looks pretty nice with fresh carpeting, new furnishings and new plumbing.
Which leads to the first problem. The smell of fresh sewage was a problem in the lower decks forward and wafted into the centrum and onto the open upper decks from time to time. It was pretty ghastly. The Captain who seemed an avuncular sort delivered homey little chats every noon hour but never addressed the problem. The entertainers joked about it and the cruise staff made rueful little comments but officially the problem didn't exist. Which annoyed people even more. The transatlantic crossing set are generally a pretty worldy, experienced and tolerant lot and we would have understood it the Captain had just said the the sewage system was new, the seals were improperly installed, the crew were doing their best and nothing major could be done until the Grandeur got to a shipyard. But no... nothing. Not well handled at all.
Other gripes? They took out the library to make room for more cabins. For shame! The trapeze act in the centrum is pretty hokey unless you've never been to a circus before. Entertainment generally was pretty humdrum especially an awful ABBA act and not helped by the horrid new Joe Farcus style furnishings. And while the new cabin carpeting and fittings are very nice not much of the refit money went to the mattresses which are just acceptable but nothing special. HAL has much better. So, they tell me, has Celebrity.
Now for the good tuff. The ship is a good size with excellent open deck areas. The old style teak wrap around promenade deck is a treat.
Embarcation and diembarcation were organized and well handled. The dining room operation was very crisp. RCI is not a gourmet line but mostly the menues had variety and interest and some of the food was really good. The Windjammer buffet is a good operation with excellent curries at lunch and reasonable variety throughout the cruise. The Park Cafe, part of the conservatory, was justifiably popular for light breakfasts and lunches.
My cabin steward was experienced and never left me wanting for anything. The various bartenders were affable provided prompt service. In general the Grandeur seems to have a happy crew.
We had some rough weather and the Grandeur has good sea keeping manners and rides well.
All in all I enjoyed my cruise. Bur I was aft on deck 7 where there was no smell. If I had been forward on a lower deck I would not have been a happy cruiser at all.
They need to fix this fast - or a a previous reviewer suggested rename her the Odeur of the Seas,