Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by ThomasEdwardPeters
- Sail Date: January 2019
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Interior
Pier check-in at Baltimore was bizarre; like it was the first time a cruise ship had ever docked to pickup passengers(!?). Staff were confused, lines were created and collapsed at random, people were visibly upset throughout the process.
Unbelievable waste of money. Upselling everything, everywhere, all the time. Bait and switch tactics; everything is made to be inconvenient to pressure you into spending more money (don’t like the crappy food, pay for better; don’t like the lack of seating in the buffet, pay for better; don’t like having to go to the 9th deck for crappy ice-cream, here’s Ben & Jerrys in the best location for $3 a scoop!)
Room service costs extra for hot breakfast but not continental. Understand what I am saying, they would bring you a cold breakfast for free but charge a $8.95 ‘delivery fee’ for your similarly free hot breakfast.
Ship is designed to be inconvenient and pressure more sales. It’s like living in a 3D infomercial. The only way to get from one end of the ship to the other was either through the topside deck (with the smokers; more on that later), through the shops/photo sellers or through the casino. We found ourselves holding our breath and making the run across the cold and wet deck to get from the buffet to the auditorium. There are only 40 interior padded lounge chairs in the adults only section of the deck (for the 1850 passengers!), so you can forget lounging or lying down anywhere outside of your room. The outside pool was only open for 3 days of our 9 day cruise, so the 18+ ‘quiet’ rooms was opened up for kids as well. There are 6 hot tubs (4 outside in the cold/rain); so you can hold about 36 people at a time total (again, for the 1850 passengers!) So you can forget about that as well.
The ship is falling apart everywhere. They had to continuously reschedule the shows due to mechanical issues with the stage / rigging / electronics. One night they gave up and just have the house band play some terrible jazz for 40 minutes. The comics were terrible and the two ‘shows’ were sub-high school drama class level. The whole ship stinks badly; the main areas, the bathrooms and the staterooms. Everywhere the ship was falling apart. The interior of the central areas were covered in leaks when it rained.
Cigarette and Cigar smoke is everywhere. You smell it as soon as you enter the ship and it wafts throughout the halls and main spaces of the ship. They allow smoking in the casino (which is of course located in the most central and open part of the ship. All outside areas are also smoking areas (although it seemed like people would smoke everywhere). The stink is in the carpet and the furniture.
Ports of call were OK, but transportation to and from the port was too expensive and difficult.
In Charleston there was a simple bus but $20 per person for a shuttle from the pier to Ron Jons is entirely too expensive. I’m sure the Ron Jon’s kickbacks pay for the bus; this was just petty.
The pier in Freeport is in an industrial wasteland with oil refinery sink and black smog. Freeport bus tour included stops at a free nature reserve and tourist trap where they make the junk they are selling. This should have cost half of what it did ($59 each) and been a whole day tour with a much longer stay at the beach. They first shuttle from the beach left 15 mins after we arrived.
In Nassau, Pearl Island was beautiful for the 3 hours we were there. They didn’t have a full day option and the cost too much for what it was (chicken and rice buffet and a boat ride for $109 each; $4 for a bottle of water or a can of coke).
The food was really hit and miss. The main dining hall was virtually empty for the 8pm dining experience; do you know why… because most people don’t eat supper at 8pm (which is really 8:45 before your main course arrives). Also, you will miss half of the evening activities because it will take them about 90 mins to feed you. Most will just opt for the buffet. Good luck getting a seat at the buffet; they seat about 200 and there are 1850 passengers. If you don’t lineup of arrive within the first 10 minutes you will be standing to eat or eating outside with the smokers.
Also, the show times were at 7pm and 9pm with the earlier show designated for the later dining crowd. This was not enforced in any way so the early shows where standing room only with the late diners not being able to catch the second show. They would doo just about anything to ensure that you didn't;’t actually get any of the service or food that you paid for.
I was extremely disappointed in this trip and I would not recommend it to anyone.
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