This was our 5th RCCL cruise and 2nd on Grandeur. We chose this sailing due to the price and convenience as we spent 2 days at Disney and were looking for a short cruise to round out our 7-day vacation. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, one day prior to the Monday departure. Overnight stay was at the Hyatt Pier 66 and whereas we got a great rate for the room ($119), we were not prepared for the prices of the food and drinks in the dining areas. We ate lunch at Pelican's Landing which was good, but very pricey, but chose to venture out for dinner. We took a cab (about $10) to the port the next morning, arriving at the pier at 10:20. Embarkation was fast with the exception of a computer network problem that they quickly resolved in less than 10 minutes. We set foot on the ship at 10:50; exactly 30 minutes from curb to ship. We were told that lunch would be available at 11:00AM in the Windjammer so we explored the ship until then. They also told us that our cabins would be ready at that time due in large part to the fact that the ship had just repositioned from Tampa the night before where the last cruise passengers disembarked. Lunch was predictably good and we were off to our cabin.
We had a "larger" interior stateroom, but it was hard to find the additional 6 square feet! It seemed the same as the std. interior cabin. Call me crazy, but we do not mind the size of these cabins. There were 3 of us (2 adults and 14yo daughter), but rarely were we ever "in each other's way". There was ample storage for all of our clothes. Our luggage arrived within 2 hours and we immediately unpacked.
Observations of the ship: Yes, she is nearly 14 years old, but it is VERY well maintained. Yes we saw very minor wear-and-tear issues, but none of which took away from the beauty of this vessel. About the worst thing was the sliding doors that lead out on to the outer decks. Some worked slowly, and others didn't work at all and were taped off. Not big deal. Service was exceptional. In particular, our stateroom attendant Amelia was very friendly and VERY thorough. Our room was immaculate twice per day. Also, our wait staff was very good. Our waiter Supryadi was very accommodating and our assistant waiter Asar was good and even brought candy bars to our daughter on two occasions. Our Head Waiter Lenon was good. The most impressive thing about our staff was the exceptional service that they provided to the other guests at our table, one of which had strict dietary restrictions. Supryadi and Lenon both went to great lengths to ensure proper meals were provided to them. The quality of the food was very good in the dining room. We especially enjoyed the Tutti(sp?) salad bar in the Great Gatsby dining room. For those not familiar: you select from over 20 items as a chef adds them to a large stainless bowl. You then select a dressing and the chef chops everything together. You can then add things like chicken, tuna, prosciutto, etc. after. What great lunch option. We also liked the Granola Bar in the main dining room for breakfast. Windjammer food was good. It was usually quite crowded at "typical" dining times though.