Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by Kevvyg
- Sail Date: October 2011
- Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Large Interior Stateroom
This cruise on the Grandeur was also excellent (if a little hectic!), but as we started off on the Freedom, the Grandeur obviously seems like a slight step down (the Grandeur is much older than the Freedom, and we heard that it's due for a major refit very soon). Having said that, the ship is still in excellent condition, and the staff are still helpful and friendly, although we found the service not quite as good as on the Freedom, probably due to the fact that the Freedom was predominantly full of Americans and they demand immediate service otherwise they complain loudly (Good for them!), whereas the Brits just moan to themselves and put up with it. Our first room service order for tea took an hour whereas on the Freedom it took all of 5 minutes. I did, however, point this out, and thereafter room service took around 10-15 minutes - so a result.
The facilities on the Grandeur are also not as plentiful and varied as on the Freedom, but, once again, the Freedom is newer and bigger, so hey.
Our stateroom (7557) was next to a service room (as was our stateroom on the Freedom), and in both cases, when the towel racks where shoved into the room or the door was slammed shut (always!), our adjoining stateroom wall, which our bed was against, did a lurch, which was a little annoying at 6 in the morning. I intend to make sure our next stateroom (hopefully on the 'Allure'!!), is NOT next to a service room!!!
The Windjammer restaurant is at the front of the ship instead of the rear in the case of the Freedom, and although we found the food (almost!) as good, it was never piping hot, just warm, so it had to be eaten quite quickly before it went cold. As it happens, my girlfriend was ill one night (I think she ate too much acidic food followed by wine - it definitely wasn't food poisoning or sea sickness...), so a member of staff took her down to medical where the doctor took a look at her and put her on a saline drip for an hour, which did the trick. Beware though that this treatment costs, which we were unaware of..$200 for the drip. I assumed that anything on a cruise ship was free - including a bit of medical attention. I'm pleased to say that I think they took pity on us, as the charge wasn't applied to our account - thank you RCI!!!
Also, due to the fact that my other half was poorly, we had to cancel our excursion into Palermo, but the ticket prices were refunded without a problem.
All in all, apart from a few minor niggles, the ship and staff were fine.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
CannesWe anchored off Cannes on the Monday and tendered ashore. The coach trip to Monte Carlo was pleasant and Monte Carlo was nice, but extremely busy, as would be expected. Two coffees were 11 Euros which is a little expensive, but again, expected. Took photographs of the Casino and posh people with sunglasses perched on top of their heads, and headed back to the coach. The tender back to the ship was VERY choppy and water was pouring in through the faulty seal around the glass door at the front where we were seated, as the boat lurched up and down like a roller coaster. Had to remind one or two people that we were aboard a LIFEBOAT, so sinking was probably not an option. It was actually quite an exciting ride!View All 408 Cannes Cruise Port Reviews
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Florence (Livorno)Another excursion found us up at 6am, in the Windjammer at 6.30 for tea and cornflakes (no semi skimmed milk by the way!), down to the theatre for 7.00, and on the coach for 7.30. Quite a lengthy journey to Florence which then consisted of a walk around for an hour with a guide, lunch, which was excellent, then half an hour free time. After this, back on the coach to Pisa.View All 933 Florence (Livorno) Cruise Port Reviews
I have to say at this point, that Pisa is NOT like it appears on the TV programmes about the leaning tower. These programmes do not show the surrounding area which looks like a run down council estate with graffiti everywhere, litter blowing around in the wind, tacky shops everywhere selling leaning towers of all descriptions (I bought a small one for 6 Euros), leaning tower fridge magnets, leaning tower pens and leaning tower mugs, etc etc. Worst of all are the hordes of Africans flogging cheap fake 20 Euro D&G handbags. They literally fight over each other trying to get to the female tourists - one woman made the mistake of actually buying one, then was surrounded by about 6 Africans who followed her the rest of the way to the coach trying to sell her more handbags. Would she need more than one? If you want my advice, give Pisa a miss and just get pictures of the Cathedral and Tower off the Internet. It's less hassle.
Back to the tender by coach...wait for the four Germans who got lost in Florence...back to the ship.
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Rome (Civitavecchia)Another excursion...this time Roma!!View All 1,881 Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Reviews
Coach was supposed to take around an hour and a quarter, but due to the jet black skies, lightning, both sheet and forked, it too three and a half hours.
Cars were stranded and the traffic was horrendous. Eventually we got to the coach park. Tour around with guide, take pictures of St Peter's square etc, including the queue for the Basilica which was about 20 miles long. Needless to say, we skipped that one.
We made the fatal mistake of going for a coffee in the large Piazza next to St. Mark's, where we were duly ripped off, being charged 20 Euros for 2 coffees. Yes, you read that correctly. 20 Euros. The World's most expensive coffee. Don't let it happen to you.
By the way, did I mention that it rained the whole day in Rome? Everywhere you looked were dripping wet tourists and umbrellas. Also more Africans selling umbrellas. We had no choice but to buy one for 10 Euros. 10 minutes later, the handle dropped off. Like I knew it would.
Rome is very nice though, what we saw of it, and I'll definitely go back. When it's sunny. Got some good pictures of the Colosseum. In the rain.
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