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We have cruised about 20 times before—mostly ocean cruises with a variety of cruise lines and also 4 river cruises. While there were some good aspects of cruising from Baltimore on Grandeur of the Seas, the negatives outweighed the positives. Boarding—went smoothly until we reached the Windjammer for lunch. They were out of silverware and food was running low. We found out—a day or two later—that there had been a sanitary inspection of the ship that caused the problem—but nothing was mentioned about that when we went to lunch upon boarding. Then when we reached our cabin, the bed had been made up as a double when we requested two singles. In talking to the cabin steward we were told very emphatically that we had requested the double—obviously RCCL had not gotten our request for two singles to the ship. We were traveling with two others—while not handicapped, they had been assigned to a handicapped room. Their room was large (and very impersonal). The main problem they had was that the emergency system was accidentally set off (a shortage in the wiring?) five different times and they were disturbed once in the middle of the night and another time while one of them was taking a shower. They do not believe they set the system off. The ship itself: The ship is older (being built in 1996) but fairly well maintained. The biggest issue we found was (1) the lack of quite space (sometimes the Viking lounge was free, but not always), (2) the very loudness of the atrium/Centrum (when they had a loud music group, had loud dance classes, or had loud exercise classes), and (3) the lack of indoor movies (there were very few and often they were on shore days—and thus unavailable if you went ashore). In general, any available spaces were filled up with art auctions, spa activities, trivia, shore excursion talks, dance classes, selling bamboo sheets, etc.)—and hence it was almost impossible to find quite spaces outside of the cabin. It appears there are no elevators for the crew (or they were inadequate or out of order). To move much of the luggage to the cabins, 4 of the mid-ship passenger elevators were employed. The molding around the elevators was dented/scarred and the elevator doors were marked—this occurred on decks 2, 3 and 7 and 8—where there were cabins. It was not possible to enter the exercise facility directly from deck 10—you had to go through the day spa on deck 9 and then walk up stairs to get to the exercise facility. Very limited options for eating unless you went to the specialty restaurants. The Windjammer seemed more cramped than we have experienced on other ships—even other RCCL ships. The cabin itself: Had plenty of storage space; more than on most ships. The air-conditioning/heat in our cabin was very sensitive—if you turned the system up slightly it got hot quickly (felt like heat coming out). A couple of times we turned the heat down (once when we were going to dinner) and when we got back to the cabin it was much hotter they when we left. One drawer would not close all the way. The beds were set up so it was impossible to put our luggage underneath them. (This is only about the second time we have not been able to store luggage underneath the cruise ship beds.) We ended up putting our luggage in our companions handicapped cabin. Food: We found the quality of the food to be very uneven—some was very good and some was horrible. We were assigned to the early seating, but ended up eating more meals than normal at specialty restaurants because we wanted a table for four and were assigned to a larger table. The other factor was that the food in the main dining room was average—at best. One of us had a good beef tenderloin, but rest of food was only adequate. I tried fish twice, and was disappointed both times—they both had “toppings” that masked any of the fish flavor. Also tried two breakfasts in the main dining room. The first time a couple of us had omelets—that were nothing to write home about. Second time (on disembarkation day) the omelets were better. The Windjammer for breakfast was fine—plenty of fruit, good omelets, sausage not so good, fairly good bacon, and the potatoes were okay some days and less than that on other days. The Windjammer for lunch. About all most of us had was salad—it was fine. One of us tried pizza—it was awful. (Some other cruise lines do much better with pizza than RCCL.) The Windjammer for dinner—very poor food. On Italian night one of our group commented that “everything looks left over.” I tried fish—it was cold and tasteless. (In general, we often found the food was warm, but not hot.) Tried to order a bottle of wine one night—it was like they had never done that for passengers before. Took at least 30 minutes and finally having to get a “manager” to get it accomplished. Room service—tried once for breakfast. Toast was soggy, etc. Did not try again. Park Cafe—we did not try it—it was located in a very “out of the way” place on the ship. Chops Grille. Went one night and it took 55 minutes from the time we sat down until we got any food—except bread. The service throughout the dinner was very slow. The filets were very good, but the sides were only average. We complained about the slow service and were offered a free lunch in Chops—which we took advantage of. Good hamburgers and filet at lunch. Izumi. Went there much more than expected—three times. This food was the best of any we had on the ship. Chef’s table—We had never done a chef’s table dinner before, but decided to try it (when it was offered at half the normal price). Best tomato soup any of us had ever had. Very good filets. Nice experience. (Note: The four of us do not eat a lot of meat, but the filets and tenderloins on the ship were very good.) Entertainment: We went to three of the evening shows in the Palladium Theatre. Why are the evening performances scheduled at 7 and 9 PM when the “fixed” dining times are 5:30 and 8 PM? We left all three shows before they were over. Music/entertainment was loud and one night out of 9 songs we recognized 2 of them. The Classical Strings and Mr. H (at the piano) were good. One of our party entered the slot tourney. Entering the last day she was in 3rd place (or so she thought) when she found out there were two “boards” listing the order for the “finals.” According to one she was in 3rd place, while on the other she was in 8th place. Is it that difficult to make sure the same information is presented in both places? Another time we went to go to a movie—it was cancelled at the last minute since the singers and dancers needed more time to rehearse. Finally, an announcement was made over the loud speaker about the cancellation. In fact, the first show of the singers and dancers was put off for two days since they still weren’t ready by day six. Disembarkation—went very slow and sometimes they would call only one group, then the next time they might call three groups We were toward the last, so they finally called “all of the rest of the groups”—which were numbers 22 through 28. We started down the enclosed walkway (disembarkation started on deck 4) at 10AM and it took 30 minutes of being enclosed in a slanted walkway until we reached ground level. Finally got through customs about 50 minutes from the time we had our cruise card scanned as we were leaving the ship—this is probably the slowest disembarkation we have experienced in all of the cruises we have taken. It ended up that when we got to customs there were only 2 agents working—when it was down to about 100-150 passengers still left to process a third agent finally started working. (We understand the customs agents are not hired by RCCL, but RCCL obviously has some input to trying to make sure their passengers get off the ship in a timely manner.) Also, I saw a number of passengers—including one with a walker, who definitely did not need to be standing in the enclosed walkway for 30 minutes. The crew should have made the effort to divert some of the passengers to the elevator and take them directly to deck 1 for disembarkation. One final comment—it seemed that the ship had trouble making sure items were correct in the daily Cruise Compass. Two examples: (1) One time a movie was show for 11 AM—went to the assigned location and there was an art auction underway, and in looking further there was something else scheduled in that location at 11:30. (2) Going into Nassau, the Compass indicated the shops and photo gallery were only open that night—but since we did not get there until after lunch, they were—in fact—open some that morning. We commented—more than once—that the ship didn’t seemed well managed and they had a hard time “getting it all together.”

Disappointed

Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by AmigoOklahoma

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Spacious Ocean View Balcony
We have cruised about 20 times before—mostly ocean cruises with a variety of cruise lines and also 4 river cruises. While there were some good aspects of cruising from Baltimore on Grandeur of the Seas, the negatives outweighed the positives.

Boarding—went smoothly until we reached the Windjammer for lunch. They were out of silverware and food was running low. We found out—a day or two later—that there had been a sanitary inspection of the ship that caused the problem—but nothing was mentioned about that when we went to lunch upon boarding. Then when we reached our cabin, the bed had been made up as a double when we requested two singles. In talking to the cabin steward we were told very emphatically that we had requested the double—obviously RCCL had not gotten our request for two singles to the ship.

We were traveling with two others—while not handicapped, they had been assigned to a handicapped room. Their room was large (and very impersonal). The main problem they had was that the emergency system was accidentally set off (a shortage in the wiring?) five different times and they were disturbed once in the middle of the night and another time while one of them was taking a shower. They do not believe they set the system off.

The ship itself:

The ship is older (being built in 1996) but fairly well maintained. The biggest issue we found was (1) the lack of quite space (sometimes the Viking lounge was free, but not always), (2) the very loudness of the atrium/Centrum (when they had a loud music group, had loud dance classes, or had loud exercise classes), and (3) the lack of indoor movies (there were very few and often they were on shore days—and thus unavailable if you went ashore). In general, any available spaces were filled up with art auctions, spa activities, trivia, shore excursion talks, dance classes, selling bamboo sheets, etc.)—and hence it was almost impossible to find quite spaces outside of the cabin.

It appears there are no elevators for the crew (or they were inadequate or out of order). To move much of the luggage to the cabins, 4 of the mid-ship passenger elevators were employed. The molding around the elevators was dented/scarred and the elevator doors were marked—this occurred on decks 2, 3 and 7 and 8—where there were cabins.

It was not possible to enter the exercise facility directly from deck 10—you had to go through the day spa on deck 9 and then walk up stairs to get to the exercise facility.

Very limited options for eating unless you went to the specialty restaurants. The Windjammer seemed more cramped than we have experienced on other ships—even other RCCL ships.

The cabin itself:

Had plenty of storage space; more than on most ships.

The air-conditioning/heat in our cabin was very sensitive—if you turned the system up slightly it got hot quickly (felt like heat coming out). A couple of times we turned the heat down (once when we were going to dinner) and when we got back to the cabin it was much hotter they when we left.

One drawer would not close all the way.

The beds were set up so it was impossible to put our luggage underneath them. (This is only about the second time we have not been able to store luggage underneath the cruise ship beds.) We ended up putting our luggage in our companions handicapped cabin.

Food:

We found the quality of the food to be very uneven—some was very good and some was horrible.

We were assigned to the early seating, but ended up eating more meals than normal at specialty restaurants because we wanted a table for four and were assigned to a larger table. The other factor was that the food in the main dining room was average—at best. One of us had a good beef tenderloin, but rest of food was only adequate. I tried fish twice, and was disappointed both times—they both had “toppings” that masked any of the fish flavor. Also tried two breakfasts in the main dining room. The first time a couple of us had omelets—that were nothing to write home about. Second time (on disembarkation day) the omelets were better.

The Windjammer for breakfast was fine—plenty of fruit, good omelets, sausage not so good, fairly good bacon, and the potatoes were okay some days and less than that on other days.

The Windjammer for lunch. About all most of us had was salad—it was fine. One of us tried pizza—it was awful. (Some other cruise lines do much better with pizza than RCCL.)

The Windjammer for dinner—very poor food. On Italian night one of our group commented that “everything looks left over.” I tried fish—it was cold and tasteless. (In general, we often found the food was warm, but not hot.) Tried to order a bottle of wine one night—it was like they had never done that for passengers before. Took at least 30 minutes and finally having to get a “manager” to get it accomplished.

Room service—tried once for breakfast. Toast was soggy, etc. Did not try again.

Park Cafe—we did not try it—it was located in a very “out of the way” place on the ship.

Chops Grille. Went one night and it took 55 minutes from the time we sat down until we got any food—except bread. The service throughout the dinner was very slow. The filets were very good, but the sides were only average. We complained about the slow service and were offered a free lunch in Chops—which we took advantage of. Good hamburgers and filet at lunch.

Izumi. Went there much more than expected—three times. This food was the best of any we had on the ship.

Chef’s table—We had never done a chef’s table dinner before, but decided to try it (when it was offered at half the normal price). Best tomato soup any of us had ever had. Very good filets. Nice experience. (Note: The four of us do not eat a lot of meat, but the filets and tenderloins on the ship were very good.)

Entertainment:

We went to three of the evening shows in the Palladium Theatre. Why are the evening performances scheduled at 7 and 9 PM when the “fixed” dining times are 5:30 and 8 PM? We left all three shows before they were over. Music/entertainment was loud and one night out of 9 songs we recognized 2 of them. The Classical Strings and Mr. H (at the piano) were good.

One of our party entered the slot tourney. Entering the last day she was in 3rd place (or so she thought) when she found out there were two “boards” listing the order for the “finals.” According to one she was in 3rd place, while on the other she was in 8th place. Is it that difficult to make sure the same information is presented in both places?

Another time we went to go to a movie—it was cancelled at the last minute since the singers and dancers needed more time to rehearse. Finally, an announcement was made over the loud speaker about the cancellation. In fact, the first show of the singers and dancers was put off for two days since they still weren’t ready by day six.

Disembarkation—went very slow and sometimes they would call only one group, then the next time they might call three groups We were toward the last, so they finally called “all of the rest of the groups”—which were numbers 22 through 28. We started down the enclosed walkway (disembarkation started on deck 4) at 10AM and it took 30 minutes of being enclosed in a slanted walkway until we reached ground level. Finally got through customs about 50 minutes from the time we had our cruise card scanned as we were leaving the ship—this is probably the slowest disembarkation we have experienced in all of the cruises we have taken. It ended up that when we got to customs there were only 2 agents working—when it was down to about 100-150 passengers still left to process a third agent finally started working. (We understand the customs agents are not hired by RCCL, but RCCL obviously has some input to trying to make sure their passengers get off the ship in a timely manner.)

Also, I saw a number of passengers—including one with a walker, who definitely did not need to be standing in the enclosed walkway for 30 minutes. The crew should have made the effort to divert some of the passengers to the elevator and take them directly to deck 1 for disembarkation.

One final comment—it seemed that the ship had trouble making sure items were correct in the daily Cruise Compass. Two examples: (1) One time a movie was show for 11 AM—went to the assigned location and there was an art auction underway, and in looking further there was something else scheduled in that location at 11:30. (2) Going into Nassau, the Compass indicated the shops and photo gallery were only open that night—but since we did not get there until after lunch, they were—in fact—open some that morning. We commented—more than once—that the ship didn’t seemed well managed and they had a hard time “getting it all together.”
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