GRANDEUR AIN'T GRAND
We just got back from a cruise on the Grandeur, and we were disappointed. This was our 14th cruise on 12 different ships and this takes the place as the worst. If we never took a cruise before it would have left a better taste in our mouths, but there were numerous problems that when you compare them with other ships, they stand out.
The main problem that we had was the staff and their dedication to service. There were some people who were extremely nice and helpful, including our waiter and Head waiter, but that was about as fair as it went. The assistant waiter was a psycho who was more interested in gabbing with the other passengers. We constantly had to ask for ice tea, or a straw or lemon or bread. At first we thought they were under-staffed, but we noticed all of the other tables were getting the usual service. The other staff members were busy, while ours was providing us with world views and criticism of other passenger nationality issues. The head waiter and our waiter noticed us with empty water glasses and other short comings and had to pick up the slack. On every other cruise, we had our ice tea on the tables before entering the dining room, just like we wanted it with a straw and lemon. The other service in the Windjammer was worst. We asked for cream cheese one day and the person standing nearby told me they didn't have any more. Another member who overheard me, went in the back and got it for me. My wife noticed there wasn't any chocolate donuts out, and asked and got a response, "check the other side". This was never the treatment we experiences before on RCCL or other cruiselines. The staff always made you feel like you were the owners of the ship. One night we went to Windjammer for dinner at 8:40 and at 9pm they started busting up a marble counter on one side of the room with a masonry saw. The air in half the room was filled with a cloud of dust not to mention this shrill sound of the saw. At 9:10 I walked over to the dessert station, and they removed all of the desserts. The dining room manager was standing right in front of the area and didn't ask me if he can get us anything.
We asked the port and shopping person who was on duty, where we can go to in Aruba to lay on the beach at a hotel, by paying a day fee. She barely knew her name. She was absolutely no help at all. Our fellow cruise critic passengers knew much more information. This type of service was typical.
As for the food, the Windjammer food was like a typical cafeteria. Some stuff day after day with a slight variation. The food in the dining room was better, but not by much. The used to have a strip steak every night for those that didn't like the selection. Now they have something referred to as a ranch steak which doesn't taste so good.
In the Solarium, I walked in one morning and slipped and fell on the floor. Two women sitting there, mentioned that someone spilled coffee over an hour earlier and the staff who handed out towels walked past there and didn't clean it up or put a wet floor sign there. The floors when wet from people by the pool sometimes had signs, but this didn't.
The smells of sewage that were mentioned in previous critic reviews were noticeable in our cabin and the hallway and elevator area (Deck three). When we mentioned it to the cabin steward, we got a "what smell?". We asked for an air freshener and he sprayed the cabin, that masked the smell for a short time. The room was nice and it didn't show much wear as other people have mentioned.
We had a nice time, just being away, the people in the cruise critic group were great and always love cruising. We were on the Serenade in December, and it was much much nicer than the Grandeur.