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Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,835 Reviews

Solo Traveler's Review

Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by Talionis

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2016
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom

A great cruise, despite the fickle weather that put a damper on some of the would-be highlights of the cruise. The space in my inside stateroom was great - granted I was the only one in the cabin, but I needed less than half of the storage space available, so there was certainly room for a second person who packs relatively lightly, like I do. I ordered the Evian water package - solos beware, the water bottles are the huge 1 qt size, and you get 12. Brought two home with me.

The shore excursions were dampened, not only by the persistent rain, but by the very aggressive hawkers, especially on Labadee. As a single woman traveling alone, I seemed to be their special target, and I didn't appreciate the taxi driver who both proposed and tried to convert me to his religion over a 5-minute ride in St. Thomas. I still had fun on the Dragon zip line in Labadee, though, and enjoyed Magans Bay in St. Thomas.

Dinner was a blast, with interesting tablemates, two of whom shared my interest in the ballroom dance classes. I appreciated the loan of the husband so that I could participate in the classes, to. Argentine Tango was a particular highlight. Lunch in the Great Gatsby dining room seemed rushed and disorganized - a great deal of bustling, but slow food delivery and smallish portions.

I drank as much as I wanted, and ended up with a bill about $150 less than an unlimited drink package would have cost. I wanted to try all different drinks, including the higher end ones, so anything less than the most expensive package wouldn't have covered the drinks I wanted. I wasn't sure how the math would work out, so I was pleased to discover that I'd made the right choice.

There were get-togethers for solo travelers available - a small, eclectic mix this time around that made for a couple of interesting lunches headed by staffer Big Mac.

This time around, the cruise skewed old, with lots and lots of senior citizens. Apparently the following week was scheduled to have 500 kids and over 750 college spring breakers. No way to know in advance, so your mileage may vary.

Overall, the Grandeur was a good size for a solo trip - by the end of the voyage I was being greeted by name by all kinds of fellow travelers that I'd met in various activities. I definitely didn't feel anonymous. The major downside, of course, is having to pay double for a single ticket. Other cruise lines are experimenting with reduced single supplements or studio cabins - I hope Royal Caribbean follows suit. It's nice to earn double points towards the next Crown & Anchor level, but I'd rather earn the same number of points over two cheaper cruises in single cabins.

Overall, it was an excellent cruise, just what I wanted for a last-minute getaway. Not a life-changing experience, but certainly an enjoyable vacation.


Talionis's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom
Cabin M 3053

Very clean cabin, squeaky closet door, but no rattling, even in rocky seas. Very quiet location.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Baltimore

Excellent displays, but overpriced at $40/ticket, not including movies

Labadee

Fun, if short and rainy. Staffers were excellent.

San Juan

A circus festival and dog show added lots of local color, but also clogged the streets and made it difficult to see anything. After a quick stop at a drug store and a short stroll through the festival, I returned to the quiet of the ship.

St. Thomas

Shared a taxi to Magans Bay in the morning, then shopped in the afternoon. Beautiful beach, not crowded since we went first thing in the morning. Absence of street hawkers was very refreshing.

St. Maarten

Very good excursion to Orient Beach. Well organized and entertaining transport to the beach, a free drink on arrival and another with the lunch provided. Beach chairs included, and umbrellas for $3. Only downsides were the ubiquitous aggressive hawkers, including a drug dealer, and a bit of crowding in the beach chair area.


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Talionis
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