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We chose this cruise to go to an area we hadn't visited before and were disappointed at how the towns were all about selling to cruise ship visitors. I was expecting to be able to visit some historic sites, but there was nothing to see beyond the shops in the port towns. We should have organized ourselves better, I admit, for the first two ports of call, as we had a great time with the organized visits for the last two ports. I was also surprised to realise that boat size is important for me. The Grandeur is a smaller boat and as such has fewer activities to offer. I had not expected this to have an impact on my enjoyment of my trip, but I found myself wishing there was more to do during our sea days. However, I did enjoy myself. The crew was professional, the weather was wonderful, the food was okay (we spent most of our dining time at the Windjammer since we were with friends and they preferred eating at the buffet), our cabin was quiet and in a central position which was good. The entertainment quality varied (unfortunately, due to participating in other activities, I missed the tango dance presentation which my husband informs me was the best entertainment of the whole cruise). If you don't mind smaller boats and either really enjoy shopping or are willing to go on tours at all of the ports, you will probably enjoy this cruise. St Thomas Virgin Islands We had not expected it necessary to book a tour at St Thomas, as we thought we would visit the city and enjoy historical buildings. The cruise bus left us at the downtown area which was only shops shops shops. Very disappointing. We walked back from the downtown area to the cruise ship. It took us about an hour and there was nothing interesting to see on the way, so I wouldn't recommend doing this unless you want the exercise. Antigua Again, we had not booked a tour at Antigua. As we were there on Sunday, everything was closed except for the shops aimed at the tourists. Our friends, who got off the boat later than we did, were able to take a local tour of the island. It cost them 20$ each, and they said it was very interesting. St Lucia Having learned from our errors, we decided to book a ship-based tour of the island. Our guide was very funny and we saw a lot of the island that way. My only regret is that at the batik boutique they took us to, I spent more time waiting to use the bathroom than visiting the place. St Maarten/St Martin We had booked in advance a local birdwatching tour (Seagrape Tours). This was, for me, the highlight of our cruise. Our guide was an experienced birdwatcher and she took us to areas where we were guaranteed to see birds. Both my husband and I were able to add over a dozen new species to our life lists. If you are an avid birdwatcher, i definitely recommend her. Unfortunately, due to a bad storm, the time we had for St Maarten was cut short so we had to go back to the boat right after our birding tour. We had hoped to get some beach time in, but it was not to be. Disembarkation We decided to do the early self service disembarkation as we had an 8-9 hour drive in front of us. Things went smoothly apart from the fact that we had to take our suitcases down a flight. This wouldn't have been to bad except our suitcases were heavy and I have arthritis so this kind of activity is difficult for me. My poor husband had to manipulate two heavy suitcases down stairs.

Vendor of the Seas

Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by eisfaerie

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Trip Details
We chose this cruise to go to an area we hadn't visited before and were disappointed at how the towns were all about selling to cruise ship visitors. I was expecting to be able to visit some historic sites, but there was nothing to see beyond the shops in the port towns. We should have organized ourselves better, I admit, for the first two ports of call, as we had a great time with the organized visits for the last two ports.

I was also surprised to realise that boat size is important for me. The Grandeur is a smaller boat and as such has fewer activities to offer. I had not expected this to have an impact on my enjoyment of my trip, but I found myself wishing there was more to do during our sea days.

However, I did enjoy myself. The crew was professional, the weather was wonderful, the food was okay (we spent most of our dining time at the Windjammer since we were with friends and they preferred eating at the buffet), our cabin was quiet and in a central position which was good. The entertainment quality varied (unfortunately, due to participating in other activities, I missed the tango dance presentation which my husband informs me was the best entertainment of the whole cruise).

If you don't mind smaller boats and either really enjoy shopping or are willing to go on tours at all of the ports, you will probably enjoy this cruise.

St Thomas Virgin Islands

We had not expected it necessary to book a tour at St Thomas, as we thought we would visit the city and enjoy historical buildings. The cruise bus left us at the downtown area which was only shops shops shops. Very disappointing. We walked back from the downtown area to the cruise ship. It took us about an hour and there was nothing interesting to see on the way, so I wouldn't recommend doing this unless you want the exercise.

Antigua

Again, we had not booked a tour at Antigua. As we were there on Sunday, everything was closed except for the shops aimed at the tourists. Our friends, who got off the boat later than we did, were able to take a local tour of the island. It cost them 20$ each, and they said it was very interesting.

St Lucia

Having learned from our errors, we decided to book a ship-based tour of the island. Our guide was very funny and we saw a lot of the island that way. My only regret is that at the batik boutique they took us to, I spent more time waiting to use the bathroom than visiting the place.

St Maarten/St Martin

We had booked in advance a local birdwatching tour (Seagrape Tours). This was, for me, the highlight of our cruise. Our guide was an experienced birdwatcher and she took us to areas where we were guaranteed to see birds. Both my husband and I were able to add over a dozen new species to our life lists. If you are an avid birdwatcher, i definitely recommend her. Unfortunately, due to a bad storm, the time we had for St Maarten was cut short so we had to go back to the boat right after our birding tour. We had hoped to get some beach time in, but it was not to be.

Disembarkation

We decided to do the early self service disembarkation as we had an 8-9 hour drive in front of us. Things went smoothly apart from the fact that we had to take our suitcases down a flight. This wouldn't have been to bad except our suitcases were heavy and I have arthritis so this kind of activity is difficult for me. My poor husband had to manipulate two heavy suitcases down stairs.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4745
Small but centrally localised. Very quiet despite the fact that we were basically underneath the casino (or at least its entrance).

We had to get the bed separated into two singles as there was not enough room on my husband's side of the bed for him to get in and out (as the desk was in his way).

Husband found the cabin too small for his liking but I was satisfied. Of course, I am a short woman, so tiny spaces are okay by me :)
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