We were so looking forward to our cruise on the Grandeur of the Seas and on the whole, were not disappointed. The ship was clean and the facilities very good.
After a delayed flight, where we spent 2 hrs on the tarmac at Manchester Airport due to an 'administrative/paperwork' problem, we finally arrived in Palma and began our transfer to the ship. The staff then informed everyone on the coach that there was a 'queue at the terminal' and we found ourselves dumped in a hot car park with very little shade for 30 minutes, being given a cup of warm water to drink. Everyone was tired, hot and getting a bit grumpy. This was not a good first impression and a totally unacceptable way to be treated. I later found out that this experience had been shared by many other people flying in from different airports at varying times of the day too. Check in was quite quick, if a little chaotic!
On board the ship, we had a comfortable seaview cabin, the food was good (especially the breakfasts), lunch choices were fresh and tasty and evening meals in the dining room were generally good, but sometimes the choices were a bit limited.
There is no 24hr restaurant (unlike other ships we have been on), the Windjammer buffet closes at 9pm. Room service is available though and you can get chips, burgers, pizza etc from the Solarium till about 11pm. We were a bit disappointed with this.
Drinks were expensive (cheapest bottle of wine $23). In addition, you get hit with a quite significant service charge on all drinks. We thought pre paying gratuities would cover this, but they only apply to your cabin steward and waiters in the main dining room. This is not made clear when you opt to pay them up front - so be aware.
We spent most of our time on board in the Solarium - adults only section, with nice sun beds, pool and 2 whirlpools. It was good to see that staff removed towels etc from guests who tried to reserve sunbeds and then cleared off for more than 30 mins at a time. They also checked the ages of youngsters and politely asked them to go to the other areas if under 16.
We were a little disappointed with the entertainment choices. There are many theatres, but these were often not used and we sometimes found ourselves at a loss to know what to do. Comedian on the last night was excellent though.
The staff were extremely pleasant and could not do enough to help, especially in the dining room. Our cabin steward was also excellent. There was less service than we have previously experienced on other ships, from staff around the pool areas though and there seemed to be a bit of a staff shortage there. If you wanted a drink, you usually had to go to the bar to get it yourself.
We didn't go on any organised trips, as we were happy to explore on our own and they were quite expensive for what you actually got (having spoken to others who did go on them).
Overall, though, I would recommend this cruise to other people and would go on the ship again.
A bit small, but comfortable. Nowhere to store the cases, so they had to be put on the sofa. Nice and clean - tended 3 times a day. Bathroom small, but functional.
Bedlinen was divine.
We have been here many times before, but it is always nice to wander up Las Ramblas, look at the fountains in the main square, then chill out with a coffee and watch the world go by. It was an easy transfer to and from the ship (cost $20)and then spent rest of day relaxing on board where it was very quiet.
Highlight of the cruise. An easy walk from ship to the main street. Went up The Rock in the cable car to see the apes. This was really interesting and lots of fun. We saw many apes from mothers with tiny babies, to naughty youngsters to elderly. You are very close to them and it's great to see them in their natural habitat. Well worth a visit. The main street has lots of nice shops and the goods are cheap, but do barter, as the prices can be vastly reduced. Highly recommended.