1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Grandeur of the Seas
This is my first review of my first cruise - Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, departing Norfolk, VA, July 19, 2008, sailing to King's Wharf/Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda, a delightful 5 night cruise for our summer family vacation! What a fun adventure! This was a terrific experience for our first cruise! Prior to departure, we completed our preboarding information online at the RCCL website, and we printed out our SetSail passes, which paved the way for a smooth check-in process at the pier. Being new to cruising, we were not familiar with some of the onboard options - purchase of a soda package and limiting the dollar amount of charges allowed on our son's SeaPass cards - we were told these could not be completed online or by phone prior to boarding, but once onboard, we could visit the Purser's Office to make arrangements. Once onboard, the soda package was easy to purchase, and well worth the investment for our teenagers; we never were able to clarify that a maximum dollar amount could be imposed for onboard charging for the teenagers' SeaPass cards, but fortunately this did not cause any problems for us. A month prior to departure, we signed up for two land excursions online at the RCCL website; these included a bike tour of Bermuda and a snorkeling excursion. Our party of four included myself, my husband, and our two teenage boys, ages 14 and 16. We actually live in Virginia Beach, VA, and so we had to "travel inland" to depart from Norfolk, VA! A neighbor volunteered to drop us off at the pier at 2 p.m., and we quickly caught a taxi home upon return, creating for a smooth departure and return with no airport or hotel hassles. Wait time in line at the pier for check-in was minimal; the line moved quickly, although there was quite a crowd checking in. We opted for "self check out", where we carried our own luggage on disembarking, which went smoothly. We used the envelopes provided for staff gratuities, and delivered these personally with a big "thank you" to the fantastic RCCL staff for the wonderful personalized service provided to us during our cruise. We sailed on RCCL's Grandeur of the Seas; the description of the ship on the RCCL website is very accurate. In the weeks prior to departure, we "explored" the ship using the virtual tour and deck plans on the RCCL website. We chose adjoining staterooms on Deck 2, which were nicely furnished and always spotlessly clean! The room safe and nightly chocolate mints were nice! Our room steward introduced himself immediately, as we arrived, and always made himself available should we have need for him throughout our cruise. The Grandeur of the Seas offered two choices for dining - seated dining in the Great Gatsby Dining Room or casual dining in the WindJammer Cafe; snacks/ice cream were available in other locations. The food was outstanding, with multiple choices for every palate! We opted out of the "formal night", choosing instead to enjoy the casual atmosphere and wide array of foods in the WindJammer Cafe, as we continued to do for several meals. We chose the late seating in the Great Gatsby, and we did enjoy meeting our table mates. There were plenty of activities for all of us! The teenagers enjoyed the rock climbing wall, the outdoor swimming pool, shuffleboard, and pingpong, but didn't seem to want to participate in the ship's organized teen activities. The daily printed announcement of ship's activities provided up to the minute choices of things to do for all ages. Quiet time can be enjoyed in the stateroom, the Library, or the Card Room. The ship's channel on TV provided more details on the day's activities. We tremendously enjoyed the shows; we attended a fun wine tasting class. The boys participated in several contests poolside, and enjoyed the Teen Lounge. The "port shopping class" provided information on local shops, along with maps, and the live presentation was taped, then replayed on the ship's TV channel throughout the day prior to arrival in Bermuda. The exercise equipment in the Fitness Center was well maintained and readily available. The jogging track was my favorite place to be at 6 a.m. - wonderful to jog or walk and watch the sun rise and feel the ocean breeze! Bermuda - We arrived in Bermuda about 7 a.m. All locations in the Royal Naval Dockyard are within walking distance of the pier - be sure to take comfortable walking shoes/sandals. Our shore excursion on our first day in Bermuda was a snorkeling trip which we had booked through the RCCL website prior to departure. The boat picked us up at the pier on time, and provided drinks to and from the reef where we snorkeled. The equipment was well maintained and the staff were very helpful! We snorkeled for a little over 1 hour, then returned via a "scenic" route to the pier. The water was very clear with many fish to see! This shore excursion was fantastic - we all enjoyed it tremendously!! By the time we showered, changed clothes, and ate lunch onboard, it was late afternoon. We opted to go shopping/exploring in the Royal Naval Dockyard for a couple of hours, and then ate dinner at the Frog and Onion Pub to celebrate our son's birthday. This was fun, but by doing so, we missed lobster dinner onboard!! Ooops! A country music festival was held that evening in one part of the Royal Naval Dockyard; we stayed for awhile, then returned to the ship. Our second day in Bermuda started off with breakfast onboard, then a shore excursion of an electric bike tour of the island - this was fantastic! A real close up view of Bermuda, along with a knowledgeable guide to provide background history of the island, it's people and places!! The bikes were great - the electric motor provided enough assistance to make the ride moderately strenuous, but not intolerable for those of us who are not in tip/top physical shape!! We returned to the ship about 1:30 p.m., ate lunch, and decided to stay onboard. We didn't spend a lot of time in Bermuda, but it seemed to be just enough! We had a couple episodes of light rain throughout the cruise, but no rough water. My oldest son did experience some "seasickness" enroute one day going, and one day returning, but dramamine seemed to control it. I think he had to become accustomed to the motion of the ocean! A few tips - it's great to watch the departure from Norfolk from a window seat in the Viking Lounge!! As for shopping, there are some fantastic onboard deals the last day at sea!! Be sure to check them out!! Plan to visit some of the other cities in Bermuda, in addition to the Royal Naval Dockyard. Be sure to stop by Snorkel Bay for a refreshing dip in the ocean - it's within walking distance of the pier at Royal Naval Dockyard, and you can provide your own snorkel equipment or rent it!! This was a wonderful cruise for our family, and we will gladly travel with RCCL again!!

Bermuda in July!

Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by frugalspender

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2008
  • Destination: Bermuda
This is my first review of my first cruise - Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, departing Norfolk, VA, July 19, 2008, sailing to King's Wharf/Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda, a delightful 5 night cruise for our summer family vacation!
What a fun adventure! This was a terrific experience for our first cruise!
Prior to departure, we completed our preboarding information online at the RCCL website, and we printed out our SetSail passes, which paved the way for a smooth check-in process at the pier. Being new to cruising, we were not familiar with some of the onboard options - purchase of a soda package and limiting the dollar amount of charges allowed on our son's SeaPass cards - we were told these could not be completed online or by phone prior to boarding, but once onboard, we could visit the Purser's Office to make arrangements. Once onboard, the soda package was easy to purchase, and well worth the investment for our teenagers; we never were able to clarify that a maximum dollar amount could be imposed for onboard charging for the teenagers' SeaPass cards, but fortunately this did not cause any problems for us. A month prior to departure, we signed up for two land excursions online at the RCCL website; these included a bike tour of Bermuda and a snorkeling excursion.
Our party of four included myself, my husband, and our two teenage boys, ages 14 and 16. We actually live in Virginia Beach, VA, and so we had to "travel inland" to depart from Norfolk, VA! A neighbor volunteered to drop us off at the pier at 2 p.m., and we quickly caught a taxi home upon return, creating for a smooth departure and return with no airport or hotel hassles. Wait time in line at the pier for check-in was minimal; the line moved quickly, although there was quite a crowd checking in. We opted for "self check out", where we carried our own luggage on disembarking, which went smoothly. We used the envelopes provided for staff gratuities, and delivered these personally with a big "thank you" to the fantastic RCCL staff for the wonderful personalized service provided to us during our cruise.
We sailed on RCCL's Grandeur of the Seas; the description of the ship on the RCCL website is very accurate. In the weeks prior to departure, we "explored" the ship using the virtual tour and deck plans on the RCCL website. We chose adjoining staterooms on Deck 2, which were nicely furnished and always spotlessly clean! The room safe and nightly chocolate mints were nice! Our room steward introduced himself immediately, as we arrived, and always made himself available should we have need for him throughout our cruise.
The Grandeur of the Seas offered two choices for dining - seated dining in the Great Gatsby Dining Room or casual dining in the WindJammer Cafe; snacks/ice cream were available in other locations. The food was outstanding, with multiple choices for every palate! We opted out of the "formal night", choosing instead to enjoy the casual atmosphere and wide array of foods in the WindJammer Cafe, as we continued to do for several meals. We chose the late seating in the Great Gatsby, and we did enjoy meeting our table mates.
There were plenty of activities for all of us! The teenagers enjoyed the rock climbing wall, the outdoor swimming pool, shuffleboard, and pingpong, but didn't seem to want to participate in the ship's organized teen activities. The daily printed announcement of ship's activities provided up to the minute choices of things to do for all ages. Quiet time can be enjoyed in the stateroom, the Library, or the Card Room. The ship's channel on TV provided more details on the day's activities. We tremendously enjoyed the shows; we attended a fun wine tasting class. The boys participated in several contests poolside, and enjoyed the Teen Lounge. The "port shopping class" provided information on local shops, along with maps, and the live presentation was taped, then replayed on the ship's TV channel throughout the day prior to arrival in Bermuda. The exercise equipment in the Fitness Center was well maintained and readily available. The jogging track was my favorite place to be at 6 a.m. - wonderful to jog or walk and watch the sun rise and feel the ocean breeze!
Bermuda - We arrived in Bermuda about 7 a.m. All locations in the Royal Naval Dockyard are within walking distance of the pier - be sure to take comfortable walking shoes/sandals. Our shore excursion on our first day in Bermuda was a snorkeling trip which we had booked through the RCCL website prior to departure. The boat picked us up at the pier on time, and provided drinks to and from the reef where we snorkeled. The equipment was well maintained and the staff were very helpful! We snorkeled for a little over 1 hour, then returned via a "scenic" route to the pier. The water was very clear with many fish to see! This shore excursion was fantastic - we all enjoyed it tremendously!! By the time we showered, changed clothes, and ate lunch onboard, it was late afternoon. We opted to go shopping/exploring in the Royal Naval Dockyard for a couple of hours, and then ate dinner at the Frog and Onion Pub to celebrate our son's birthday. This was fun, but by doing so, we missed lobster dinner onboard!! Ooops! A country music festival was held that evening in one part of the Royal Naval Dockyard; we stayed for awhile, then returned to the ship. Our second day in Bermuda started off with breakfast onboard, then a shore excursion of an electric bike tour of the island - this was fantastic! A real close up view of Bermuda, along with a knowledgeable guide to provide background history of the island, it's people and places!! The bikes were great - the electric motor provided enough assistance to make the ride moderately strenuous, but not intolerable for those of us who are not in tip/top physical shape!! We returned to the ship about 1:30 p.m., ate lunch, and decided to stay onboard. We didn't spend a lot of time in Bermuda, but it seemed to be just enough!
We had a couple episodes of light rain throughout the cruise, but no rough water. My oldest son did experience some "seasickness" enroute one day going, and one day returning, but dramamine seemed to control it. I think he had to become accustomed to the motion of the ocean!
A few tips - it's great to watch the departure from Norfolk from a window seat in the Viking Lounge!! As for shopping, there are some fantastic onboard deals the last day at sea!! Be sure to check them out!! Plan to visit some of the other cities in Bermuda, in addition to the Royal Naval Dockyard. Be sure to stop by Snorkel Bay for a refreshing dip in the ocean - it's within walking distance of the pier at Royal Naval Dockyard, and you can provide your own snorkel equipment or rent it!! This was a wonderful cruise for our family, and we will gladly travel with RCCL again!!
frugalspender’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email