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We booked the Royal Suite 8500 and two additional staterooms - 4054 (oceanview) & 8513 (interior.) The Royal Suite was great and was a terrific value. The fact that this 5 night cruise left and returned to Baltimore was another big benefit, as we could drive the 45 minutes from DC and just get on the boat. Beyond those two factors - the value of the Royal Suite and roundtrip from Baltimore - there is little to recommend this cruise. I was impressed when the suites concierge - Francis - emailed the week before the cruise. His email detailed the additional benefits of being a suite guest, and gave us a way to contact him. This was a very nice touch. However, much of what was detailed did not work out as it was supposed to. For instance, Francis called us on the morning of the cruise to arrange to meet us when we dropped off our luggage. He gave us his cellphone number, so we could call him once we arrived. We arrived when we expected to and called Francis. Despite trying to call several times, Francis never answered. The embarkation process was then confused at best. We told the RC person sending people to the registration lines that we were in a suite, but she insisted that our seapass card said we must go to the “gold” line not the “suite” line. Once we got to the “gold” line another woman sent us to the “suite” line. Not a big deal, but a real let down, when we were told we’d have someone escorting us through the process. Once we got to the right registration area, Francis found us and escorted us up to our suite. The suite was awesome. While a bit outdated, it was large, comfortable, well-maintained and impeccably clean. I would highly recommend any large group to book the suite as it is an awesome, private space to spend time together. Additionally, it has a queen sized sofa bed, that our 10 & 13 year old boys were able to sleep in very comfortably. When compared to the cost of booking two separate rooms - the suite was not much more expensive, but added a ton of value and extra enjoyment. The Royal Suite sits just aft of the the Bridge on deck 8. From the balcony you can watch the captain and senior officers maneuver the ship out of and into port. The main room of the suite features a double-door entry, a doorbell, a wet bar with refrigerator and barware, a baby grand piano w/ self-playing function, a dining table with seating for 6, two couches (one a queen-sized bed), two comfortable occasional chairs, a coffee table, and an entertainment center with tv, dvd player and sony play station. The balcony comfortably fits a cafe table with 5 chairs, two loungers and a side table. There are large, sliding glass doors separating the balcony from the living room. When closed the doors are quite sound and weather proof. There are also mechanized drapes, but the electronic function wasn’t working for all of them, but they can be opened and closed manually. The bedroom features a very comfortable king sized bed, a large dressing area with 4 closets, a desk, large tv and another sliding glass door leading to the balcony. There is also an enormous bathroom with a sliding door that separates the toilet, sink and bidet from another part of the bathroom that has a jetted tub, large walk-in shower/steam room and double vanity. This is a smart design as it allows the toilet/bidet/sink portion to be used as a powder room when entertaining. There are also two additional linen closets in the bathroom. The only strange design flaw is that the bathroom lights are only operable from a panel in the powder room portion, and you can’t have lights on in one portion without them being on in the other. There is tons of extra storage in this room. Lots of closets and drawers everywhere, There are not, however, enough plugs for most modern travelers. There are no useable plugs near the bed, and only a few on the far side of the desk. The living room area has almost no normal plugs. The plugs for lamps and other in-room accessories are european plugs. had i known this (and my suggestion to others) i would have brought a european adapter and a few extension cords, so that i could have made better use of those plugs. In other reviews some people have complained about noise from the Windjammer Cafe above the suite. I am an extremely light sleeper, and while there was about 5 minutes of noise at around 6:30 am on a couple of mornings, the disturbance was short-lived and really pretty muffled. I think the sound insulation in this suite is excellent. If we hadn’t had this suite - well worth every penny - I would have been very disappointed with this cruise. This is my 18th cruise, and my third on Royal Caribbean. This cruise line is getting cheaper and cheaper with each passing year, and if the trend continues, cruising with them will be unbearable for me. They nickel and dime you at every opportunity, and there is a constant effort to upsell you. Menus in the main dining room now feature items you can order for an additional charge. During our first tour of the ship we were approached no less than 3 or 4 times to be sold drink packages, alternative dining and spa services. At dinner we were interrupted with offers for upsell items, alternative dining and a brunch buffet. Enough already! While all cruise lines do this to some degree - Royal Caribbean is upselling on steroids, and it really diminishes every experience on board. As most alternative dining venues were empty, I think they will discover that it actually hurts profits and is a bad use of ship square footage. Service - while friendly - was haphazard at best. There were lots of missed opportunities to better serve guests. There were long lines to enter the dining room because there was only one hand sterilizer setup. there was plenty of room to add a second or third sterilizer to move people in more quickly, but no one thought of it. Public bathrooms were often unclean and out of paper towels or other supplies. Sliding glass doors do not open automatically and require a touch of a hand to open - which seems strange on a ship that had a recent Norovirus issue. Even as a suite guest, I found lots of lapses in good service. I had emailed prior to boarding that I had wanted each of my guests - three different staterooms - to have keys to the Royal Suite, so that everyone could come and go as they pleased. The suite concierge - Francis - apparently could not do this for me. I had to go down to guest services to request the additional keys. No problem. The folks at guest services were very friendly and helpful. However, no one mentioned that the printing of additional cards would somehow adversely effect my onboard “folio” account. After I had waited for twenty minutes on line at the photo gallery to pay $100 for 6 photos (standard cruise ship pricing) I was told my onboard account came up as invalid. He suggested I go down to guest services to correct it. I suggested he call down to guest services to correct it. He did, although it wasn’t his initial inclination. I thought the issue had been corrected. However, after again waiting in a long line to buy Bingo cards ($40 more!) I was told again that my account was invalid. I told the gentleman from the Cruise Director’s staff that there had been some problem, but had been corrected. He said it hadn’t and that it was because I changed keys. I told him the key he had was my original Sea Pass card. He insisted it was my fault for getting additional keys for my suite. Not great customer service. If your guest gets additional cards for his suite, and it somehow screws something up in your company’s accounts system - it is not your guest’s problem. Your guest should not be required to jump through additional hoops to correct it. You should offer to make sure it gets corrected. The staff on this ship need better customer service training and need to be empowered to act as agents for their ship and take responsibility for what goes on there. Everything on the ship was terribly overcrowded and over-programmed. The two pools are small and are filled with salt water and chemicals (they said bleach.) My eyes have never stung so badly after a swim - and I had swum in the real ocean the day before. There was never a chair available around the pool, and there were often loud, programmed events in the pool, meaning there was no space or time for a casual dip. We ate in the main dining room each night. In comparison to other similar ships from similar lines, the food was not very good. Most dishes were bland and completely uncreative. Service was friendly, but again very haphazard. I favor competence over friendliness, and on this ship service’s focus is the opposite. Royal Caribbean still claims to adhere to a dress code each night, but does almost nothing to enforce it. On formal nights many passengers were dressed in t-shirts and shorts. We enjoy dressing for dinner, but it’s hard to justify the additional effort when so many others do not. Again, it is another degrading of the experience. I avoided the Windjammer buffet to every extent possible, due to the sheer number of people, noise and chaos there. The food was typical of big cruise ship buffets, but again was more bland and uncreative. Strangely, the senior staff there allows one of it’s buspeople to carry her own personal music speaker as she picks up dishes. The music plays from her speaker despite the other music that plays through the dining room’s speakers. This seems so strange to me as it only adds to the cacophonous noise and chaos. Imagine if many guests or other staffers did the same. The shows were just bad. Standard cruise ship schlock. How these shows win anything is beyond me. I can only guess that RC’s guests aren’t getting out to see much live entertainment. Our disembarkation was also mishandled. We were told we would be the first off the ship and that we had to report to the Concierge Club at 7:30am. We all trudged across the ship and up to deck 11 where we were told to find a seat and wait until we were told we could disembark. Francis (the suites concierge) said we needed to do this so that he could take us in a private elevator down to the first floor and escort us off the ship. When it came time to disembark, Francis disappeared and we waited in a long line for the one elevator to take big groups of people down to the first floor. There was no guidance, nor any apparent benefit to being a suite guest as we were promised. We would have preferred to hangout either in our suite for the last 20 minutes or in a more convenient lounge on the ship to disembark. Couldn’t they have just given us a card or tag that gave us permission to disembark on deck 1? We were off the ship quickly, but certainly not as conveniently as we would have liked. Again, RC’s policies and processes do not seem to put their guests comfort first. Again, we loved our suite, leaving from Baltimore, and the Bermuda itinerary. And again, while the suite is a terrific value - and I may return because of it - the rest of the cruise experience makes it an unnecessarily tough call. And were I only able to book a standard cabin, I would never consider sailing Grandeur of the Seas again.

Royal Suite Great! Baltimore & Bermuda Great! Cruise Not So Much.

Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by edcarp

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Royal Suite - 1 Bedroom
We booked the Royal Suite 8500 and two additional staterooms - 4054 (oceanview) & 8513 (interior.) The Royal Suite was great and was a terrific value. The fact that this 5 night cruise left and returned to Baltimore was another big benefit, as we could drive the 45 minutes from DC and just get on the boat. Beyond those two factors - the value of the Royal Suite and roundtrip from Baltimore - there is little to recommend this cruise.

I was impressed when the suites concierge - Francis - emailed the week before the cruise. His email detailed the additional benefits of being a suite guest, and gave us a way to contact him. This was a very nice touch. However, much of what was detailed did not work out as it was supposed to. For instance, Francis called us on the morning of the cruise to arrange to meet us when we dropped off our luggage. He gave us his cellphone number, so we could call him once we arrived. We arrived when we expected to and called Francis. Despite trying to call several times, Francis never answered. The embarkation process was then confused at best. We told the RC person sending people to the registration lines that we were in a suite, but she insisted that our seapass card said we must go to the “gold” line not the “suite” line. Once we got to the “gold” line another woman sent us to the “suite” line. Not a big deal, but a real let down, when we were told we’d have someone escorting us through the process. Once we got to the right registration area, Francis found us and escorted us up to our suite.

The suite was awesome. While a bit outdated, it was large, comfortable, well-maintained and impeccably clean. I would highly recommend any large group to book the suite as it is an awesome, private space to spend time together. Additionally, it has a queen sized sofa bed, that our 10 & 13 year old boys were able to sleep in very comfortably. When compared to the cost of booking two separate rooms - the suite was not much more expensive, but added a ton of value and extra enjoyment.

The Royal Suite sits just aft of the the Bridge on deck 8. From the balcony you can watch the captain and senior officers maneuver the ship out of and into port. The main room of the suite features a double-door entry, a doorbell, a wet bar with refrigerator and barware, a baby grand piano w/ self-playing function, a dining table with seating for 6, two couches (one a queen-sized bed), two comfortable occasional chairs, a coffee table, and an entertainment center with tv, dvd player and sony play station. The balcony comfortably fits a cafe table with 5 chairs, two loungers and a side table. There are large, sliding glass doors separating the balcony from the living room. When closed the doors are quite sound and weather proof. There are also mechanized drapes, but the electronic function wasn’t working for all of them, but they can be opened and closed manually.

The bedroom features a very comfortable king sized bed, a large dressing area with 4 closets, a desk, large tv and another sliding glass door leading to the balcony. There is also an enormous bathroom with a sliding door that separates the toilet, sink and bidet from another part of the bathroom that has a jetted tub, large walk-in shower/steam room and double vanity. This is a smart design as it allows the toilet/bidet/sink portion to be used as a powder room when entertaining. There are also two additional linen closets in the bathroom. The only strange design flaw is that the bathroom lights are only operable from a panel in the powder room portion, and you can’t have lights on in one portion without them being on in the other.

There is tons of extra storage in this room. Lots of closets and drawers everywhere, There are not, however, enough plugs for most modern travelers. There are no useable plugs near the bed, and only a few on the far side of the desk. The living room area has almost no normal plugs. The plugs for lamps and other in-room accessories are european plugs. had i known this (and my suggestion to others) i would have brought a european adapter and a few extension cords, so that i could have made better use of those plugs.

In other reviews some people have complained about noise from the Windjammer Cafe above the suite. I am an extremely light sleeper, and while there was about 5 minutes of noise at around 6:30 am on a couple of mornings, the disturbance was short-lived and really pretty muffled. I think the sound insulation in this suite is excellent.

If we hadn’t had this suite - well worth every penny - I would have been very disappointed with this cruise. This is my 18th cruise, and my third on Royal Caribbean. This cruise line is getting cheaper and cheaper with each passing year, and if the trend continues, cruising with them will be unbearable for me. They nickel and dime you at every opportunity, and there is a constant effort to upsell you. Menus in the main dining room now feature items you can order for an additional charge. During our first tour of the ship we were approached no less than 3 or 4 times to be sold drink packages, alternative dining and spa services. At dinner we were interrupted with offers for upsell items, alternative dining and a brunch buffet. Enough already! While all cruise lines do this to some degree - Royal Caribbean is upselling on steroids, and it really diminishes every experience on board. As most alternative dining venues were empty, I think they will discover that it actually hurts profits and is a bad use of ship square footage.

Service - while friendly - was haphazard at best. There were lots of missed opportunities to better serve guests. There were long lines to enter the dining room because there was only one hand sterilizer setup. there was plenty of room to add a second or third sterilizer to move people in more quickly, but no one thought of it. Public bathrooms were often unclean and out of paper towels or other supplies. Sliding glass doors do not open automatically and require a touch of a hand to open - which seems strange on a ship that had a recent Norovirus issue.

Even as a suite guest, I found lots of lapses in good service. I had emailed prior to boarding that I had wanted each of my guests - three different staterooms - to have keys to the Royal Suite, so that everyone could come and go as they pleased. The suite concierge - Francis - apparently could not do this for me. I had to go down to guest services to request the additional keys. No problem. The folks at guest services were very friendly and helpful. However, no one mentioned that the printing of additional cards would somehow adversely effect my onboard “folio” account. After I had waited for twenty minutes on line at the photo gallery to pay $100 for 6 photos (standard cruise ship pricing) I was told my onboard account came up as invalid. He suggested I go down to guest services to correct it. I suggested he call down to guest services to correct it. He did, although it wasn’t his initial inclination. I thought the issue had been corrected. However, after again waiting in a long line to buy Bingo cards ($40 more!) I was told again that my account was invalid. I told the gentleman from the Cruise Director’s staff that there had been some problem, but had been corrected. He said it hadn’t and that it was because I changed keys. I told him the key he had was my original Sea Pass card. He insisted it was my fault for getting additional keys for my suite. Not great customer service. If your guest gets additional cards for his suite, and it somehow screws something up in your company’s accounts system - it is not your guest’s problem. Your guest should not be required to jump through additional hoops to correct it. You should offer to make sure it gets corrected. The staff on this ship need better customer service training and need to be empowered to act as agents for their ship and take responsibility for what goes on there.

Everything on the ship was terribly overcrowded and over-programmed. The two pools are small and are filled with salt water and chemicals (they said bleach.) My eyes have never stung so badly after a swim - and I had swum in the real ocean the day before. There was never a chair available around the pool, and there were often loud, programmed events in the pool, meaning there was no space or time for a casual dip.

We ate in the main dining room each night. In comparison to other similar ships from similar lines, the food was not very good. Most dishes were bland and completely uncreative. Service was friendly, but again very haphazard. I favor competence over friendliness, and on this ship service’s focus is the opposite. Royal Caribbean still claims to adhere to a dress code each night, but does almost nothing to enforce it. On formal nights many passengers were dressed in t-shirts and shorts. We enjoy dressing for dinner, but it’s hard to justify the additional effort when so many others do not. Again, it is another degrading of the experience.

I avoided the Windjammer buffet to every extent possible, due to the sheer number of people, noise and chaos there. The food was typical of big cruise ship buffets, but again was more bland and uncreative. Strangely, the senior staff there allows one of it’s buspeople to carry her own personal music speaker as she picks up dishes. The music plays from her speaker despite the other music that plays through the dining room’s speakers. This seems so strange to me as it only adds to the cacophonous noise and chaos. Imagine if many guests or other staffers did the same.

The shows were just bad. Standard cruise ship schlock. How these shows win anything is beyond me. I can only guess that RC’s guests aren’t getting out to see much live entertainment.

Our disembarkation was also mishandled. We were told we would be the first off the ship and that we had to report to the Concierge Club at 7:30am. We all trudged across the ship and up to deck 11 where we were told to find a seat and wait until we were told we could disembark. Francis (the suites concierge) said we needed to do this so that he could take us in a private elevator down to the first floor and escort us off the ship. When it came time to disembark, Francis disappeared and we waited in a long line for the one elevator to take big groups of people down to the first floor. There was no guidance, nor any apparent benefit to being a suite guest as we were promised. We would have preferred to hangout either in our suite for the last 20 minutes or in a more convenient lounge on the ship to disembark. Couldn’t they have just given us a card or tag that gave us permission to disembark on deck 1? We were off the ship quickly, but certainly not as conveniently as we would have liked. Again, RC’s policies and processes do not seem to put their guests comfort first.

Again, we loved our suite, leaving from Baltimore, and the Bermuda itinerary. And again, while the suite is a terrific value - and I may return because of it - the rest of the cruise experience makes it an unnecessarily tough call. And were I only able to book a standard cabin, I would never consider sailing Grandeur of the Seas again.
edcarp’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Ages 3 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
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Cabin Review

Royal Suite - 1 Bedroom
Cabin RS 8500
The suite was awesome. While a bit outdated, it was large, comfortable, well-maintained and impeccably clean. I would highly recommend any large group to book the suite as it is an awesome, private space to spend time together. Additionally, it has a queen sized sofa bed, that our 10 & 13 year old boys were able to sleep in very comfortably. When compared to the cost of booking two separate rooms - the suite was not much more expensive, but added a ton of value and extra enjoyment.

The Royal Suite sits just aft of the the Bridge on deck 8. From the balcony you can watch the captain and senior officers maneuver the ship out of and into port. The main room of the suite features a double-door entry, a doorbell, a wet bar with refrigerator and barware, a baby grand piano w/ self-playing function, a dining table with seating for 6, two couches (one a queen-sized bed), two comfortable occasional chairs, a coffee table, and an entertainment center with tv, dvd player and sony play station. The balcony comfortably fits a cafe table with 5 chairs, two loungers and a side table. There are large, sliding glass doors separating the balcony from the living room. When closed the doors are quite sound and weather proof. There are also mechanized drapes, but the electronic function wasn’t working for all of them, but they can be opened and closed manually.

The bedroom features a very comfortable king sized bed, a large dressing area with 4 closets, a desk, large tv and another sliding glass door leading to the balcony. There is also an enormous bathroom with a sliding door that separates the toilet, sink and bidet from another part of the bathroom that has a jetted tub, large walk-in shower/steam room and double vanity. This is a smart design as it allows the toilet/bidet/sink portion to be used as a powder room when entertaining. There are also two additional linen closets in the bathroom. The only strange design flaw is that the bathroom lights are only operable from a panel in the powder room portion, and you can’t have lights on in one portion without them being on in the other.

There is tons of extra storage in this room. Lots of closets and drawers everywhere, There are not, however, enough plugs for most modern travelers. There are no useable plugs near the bed, and only a few on the far side of the desk. The living room area has almost no normal plugs. The plugs for lamps and other in-room accessories are european plugs. had i known this (and my suggestion to others) i would have brought a european adapter and a few extension cords, so that i could have made better use of those plugs.

In other reviews some people have complained about noise from the Windjammer Cafe above the suite. I am an extremely light sleeper, and while there was about 5 minutes of noise at around 6:30 am on a couple of mornings, the disturbance was short-lived and really pretty muffled. I think the sound insulation in this suite is excellent.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins