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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
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 ... Read More
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 While a bit outdated, it was large, comfortable, well-maintained and impeccably clean.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. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Sailing into Chesapeake bay on the evening, 4th of July 2018 was magic. Firework displays were to be seen at multiple locations across the horizon from our balcony. The darkness on the water enhanced the romantic visual experience. This ... Read More
Sailing into Chesapeake bay on the evening, 4th of July 2018 was magic. Firework displays were to be seen at multiple locations across the horizon from our balcony. The darkness on the water enhanced the romantic visual experience. This was a five day cruise to Bermuda from Baltimore on The Grandeur of the Seas. The limestone fort at Kings Warrf and turquoise waters of Bermuda are amazing. The specialty dining onboard the Grandeur is outstanding. A sushi making course at Izumi capped by a luncheon dinning of your handmade sushi was a highlight. There were fair winds and following seas the entire voyage, and the service and cuisine at specialty restaurants such as Chops and Giovanni's was superior. The breakfast in the main dining room was an amazing experience with 2 identical twin brothers, Yogi and Bubu cheerfully providing outstanding service. This 5 day cruise on the Grandeur of the Seas is a great value! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Very enjoyable. Service was exception. Every aspect was the highest in quality. Dinner service allowing “my time” dinning was an exceptional feature on Royal Caribbean’part. Our waiter Yogesh, was exceptional an ... Read More
Very enjoyable. Service was exception. Every aspect was the highest in quality. Dinner service allowing “my time” dinning was an exceptional feature on Royal Caribbean’part. Our waiter Yogesh, was exceptional an “over the top” in the service he provided. He went beyond what would be expected in addressing our concerns. Food quality was exceptionsl. If an item was not on the menu, the dining staff would go out of the way to accommodate us. Entertainment, the shows, were “over the top” in quality, far exceeding what we expected. The comedian show was the best I ever seen. The quality exceed many of the shows we have attended on broadway. The two Shore excursions offered by Royal Carribean that we took were of exceptional quality. The entertainment in the Centrim was exceptional. The Embarkment and did-embarkment process was far more efficient that we had experienced on prior cruises with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Bermuda was beautiful, but would not suggest cruising on this ship grandeur if seas, if you like late entertainment or plan to hang out late there is limited choice of food/entertainment, restaurants closed early which left no food choice ... Read More
Bermuda was beautiful, but would not suggest cruising on this ship grandeur if seas, if you like late entertainment or plan to hang out late there is limited choice of food/entertainment, restaurants closed early which left no food choice besides terrible pizza and stale nachos basically, self serve soft ice cream was put up by 9-930 fir example, if traveling with family of 4 DO NOT GET CABIN OF 4, suggest trying to get 2 rooms, May be an inconvenience but the room for 4 posed safety hazard, if you left ladder for bunk bed up u could not watch tv, as a matter of fact the person on that particular bunk couldn't see the TV with the ladder up or down, if you move the ladder you have to remember to put it back in order for your child to get off the bed or a jump down which was not the best choice, regardless it was not what was expected nor paid for the bathroom from had little bit of mold around the ceiling, all of this was three point to guest services but no other room choice was available would not recommend this line Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was my first cruise. I knew this wasn't the biggest or newest ship in their fleet. Before getting on the ship I felt like the cruise line was nickle and diming me for things like upgraded beverage packages, mandatory gratuity, wifi ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I knew this wasn't the biggest or newest ship in their fleet. Before getting on the ship I felt like the cruise line was nickle and diming me for things like upgraded beverage packages, mandatory gratuity, wifi access, etc. I tried to keep an open mind. The line in the parking lot to embark was long and tedious due the bottle neck of stopping to drop off luggage before parking. That was unexpected and frustrating. When i first stepped into the ship my reaction was "wow this ship's decor is seriously outdated" i felt like i was back in the 1990s. BUT the staff on the ship made up for my first impression. They were friendly, courteous, quick, and attentive. The ship was always clean and they worked hard. The staff made the experience very enjoyable. And in the end i got accustomed to the decor. :) i had an ocean view cabin on floor 2. There were 4 of us. 2 adults and 2 teens. It was tight but we managed. We stuffed empty luggage out of the way. The bathroom although small was bigger than i expected. I ate bfast and lunch at the Windjammer buffet. The food was good and there was tremendous variety. I ate dinner at the main dinning room and the wait staff were very friendly and attentive. The food was very good. One thing that i think RC could do better (besides upgrading the decor) is to email guests ahead notifying them of special dress nights. There was a formal night for dinner and if i hadn't called the cruise line ahead of my cruise i wouldn't have known that and wouldn't have packed for it. Overall it was a good trip. My teens had fun doing their own thing and hanging with the family and new friends. I felt very comfortable letting them explore the ship and make friends. In the end, i would consider cruising again on RC. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The cruise itself was exceptional. Very friendly and helpful staff, very clean and great entertainment. Good food choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Windjammer and enjoyed our 'dress up' nights and service in Great Gatsby. July ... Read More
The cruise itself was exceptional. Very friendly and helpful staff, very clean and great entertainment. Good food choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Windjammer and enjoyed our 'dress up' nights and service in Great Gatsby. July 4th celebration was a lot of fun and a nice tribute to veterans and first responders. Boarding and departure process went smoothly. Wasn't impressed with area off the ship in Bermuda as compared to ports throughout the Caribbean we've visited on previous cruises. People in transport area were friendly and accommodating, however, there was very little to do without incurring expense of excursions. Just walked around for an hour or so and walked back to ship. Took the Fantaseas glass bottom boat excursion the second day which turned out to be educational and enjoyable. Will definitely cruise Royal Caribbean again but don't plan on returning to Bermuda (unless it's to book directly for a resort stay). Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We just returned from a 5 day Royal Caribbean cruise from Baltimore to King’s Wharf, Bermuda. The entire experience was exceptional. The food, drinks, service, cleanliness of the ship and onboard activities were above and beyond. Our ... Read More
We just returned from a 5 day Royal Caribbean cruise from Baltimore to King’s Wharf, Bermuda. The entire experience was exceptional. The food, drinks, service, cleanliness of the ship and onboard activities were above and beyond. Our family and friends who joined us were spoiled rotten by the amazing staff. We chose Royal Caribbean because of s superb previous experience on a similar cruise. If you haven’t cruised with Royal Caribbean or visited Bermuda you have no idea what you are missing. This trip was vacation perfection!!!!!!! The entertainment on the ship was fantastic. We haven’t laughed so hard in years! It was SO much more fun than simply flying to an island and staying there. You have got to try a cruise if you never have .... and Royal Caribbean is the best!! I promise you won’t be disappointed. It truly is the most fun and relaxing trip you could ever take. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I like to write my review right away so everything is still fresh in my mind. I was travelling as a single parent with two friends who are also single parents. Our kids are different ages (12, 15, and 18.) There is something for everyone ... Read More
I like to write my review right away so everything is still fresh in my mind. I was travelling as a single parent with two friends who are also single parents. Our kids are different ages (12, 15, and 18.) There is something for everyone on this cruise. It’s a small ship, so no big climbing walls, zip lines, etc. We all had an amazing time. Our cruise was over the 4th of July and the ship was at full capacity. I did the same cruise a couple of years ago with less people in late August. Although it seemed crowded at times around the pool, it was amazing. I learned a few things that I would do differently next time we go. We signed up to go again with a great program Norwegian has because we loved it so much. We did not get the internet package – no phones, no internet, no snapchat, Instagram, Facebook. So, if you travel with other families (on not) it’s great to bring a small white board to stick on your door so you can leave messages the old fashion way. When you’re in port there are plenty of places to get free Wi-Fi to update friends and family. The Bermuda Information center has free Wi-Fi, you can sit on the bench outside and access it. We found it nice to be “off the grid for a couple of days.” DINING: There is so much food. I did not go to any specialty restaurants, but my friend went to some and said they were great. I made reservations for our party of 6 at Aqua and Venetian online for our days at sea. Once you are on the ship the main dining times are not open to make reservations at the complimentary restaurants. We did not have to wait in line for any of our dinners, and were seated right away b/c we had reservations. If you plan dinner reservation online you can only schedule Aqua and Venetian. Bamboo (Asian Fusion) says no reservation required. However, you can make a reservation the day you want to dine there once you are on the ship. It usually has a big line so make a reservation in the morning on the day you plan to dine there. Make sure to go to the Venetian for breakfast at least once. It’s mostly the same food as the Garden Buffet, but so nice to have five-star service, and some special menu options. ENTERTAINMENT: Go to every show. The performances are great. If you’re not that interested, at least make sure to go the Elements performance. It is the best show you will see at sea. It’s Broadway meets David Copperfield, and Cirque du Soleil in one amazing show. EXCURSIONS: Book most on your own. You can get to Horseshoe Bay on bus or shuttle. Public bus is great way to see island if you want to see lots of places in one day. Or buy tokens at the Bermuda Info. Center. The cruise excursion to Horseshoe Bay is $45/pp. – Just walk off ship and you can get $7 one way or $14 rt. (per person.) You must see Horseshoe Bay - there are tons of shuttle buses, so pay one way and when you are ready to leave pay the other $7. Most everyone on the Norwegian Dawn does everything they can to make sure you have the best vacation. Of course, there may be things you are not 100% happy with; overall you make what you want of your vacation. We loved it. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was a family reunion trip planned by parents 1 year in advance. We live in Westchester and the cruise departed from NYC, so you could not beat the convenience. No planes! When we embarked, we were able to eat immediately and the ... Read More
This was a family reunion trip planned by parents 1 year in advance. We live in Westchester and the cruise departed from NYC, so you could not beat the convenience. No planes! When we embarked, we were able to eat immediately and the depart from NYC party on deck was fun. The kids immediately wanted to get in the pool to go on the kid friendly water slides. The kiddie area with the water fun games was a good place to feel comfortable that the kids were not going to get hurt. The pool was nice and warm and very clean. The all inclusive drink package was nice in that you did not think about the cost of every drink. The food at Cagney’s and Tepinyaki were one of the best restaurant experiences I have ever had. The room attendant and all of the staff were incredibly friendly. I was put in a good mood everyday. The Splash academy was also something that made the trip feel like a real vacation as it gave us time to relax away from the kids. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My wife and I love cruising to Bermuda, its an excellent way to experience the island and gives lots of flexibility to explore and get on and off the ship on your own terms. It also substantially reduces the daily expenses as Bermuda is ... Read More
My wife and I love cruising to Bermuda, its an excellent way to experience the island and gives lots of flexibility to explore and get on and off the ship on your own terms. It also substantially reduces the daily expenses as Bermuda is rather expensive for tourists. One notable change since the last time we cruised to Bermuda is that NCL has procured their own Ferry providing free service to St. George from the Dockyard. This provided an extra cost savings which was enjoyable, but also seemed to push a greater number of cruise guests to the town, and Tabacco Bay than we previously experienced on an October trip to the island. We chose the Escape because it was a newer ship, a larger vessel than we had cruised on before. We've experienced Bermuda on the Dawn out of Boston, and cruised many other times on the smaller class of ships. After cruising on the Escape, there was a clear difference in the cruise experience as the crew to guest ratio was a bit lower which definitely impacted service. Bar service was normal, with quick and attentive bar tenders, but the sheer volume of people made for less enjoyable experiences in specialty dining and entertainment venues. Main dining rooms proved to be staffed well, and produced a good pace of service. The Maderno Brazilian Steak House had excellent and quick service, but some of the meat was slightly over cooked, which is not out of the ordinary for the style of restaurant. Bayamo produced slightly overcooked seafood, and some of the prawns that I had were quite fishy in taste but the rest of the meal was good. La Cucina was good, but the food wasn't stellar - it just met expectations though the service was less attentive later in the dining experience than in the first half. The overall meal times for some of the specialty restaurants seemed to be extensive (2-2.5 Hours in length). This wasn't bad, but certainly could have been faster. We loved the District Brewhouse for entertainment, specifically Beau Tahana, who was amusing and fun to experience. We also enjoyed the dining at Food Republic. The service and food there was fantastic, we ate there three times because each time we went, we saw other menu items we wanted to try on another visit. One of the primary differences of this ship and its size was the impact it had on our choice of entertainment. We had high expectations for Howl at the Moon in the comedy club, but once we seated ourselves prior to the show, the entire room filled with more guests, standing to exceed capacity. Our seats were in the back, so the standing patrons blocked our view of the show - we promptly left and went to the District Brew House. Additionally, the experience of having to reserve your seats for the shows was a bit ridiculous. All the show times filled up with reservations, but you can always get in because some people never show - this was something we found out about halfway through the trip and would have been nice to know that you can always go standby for the shows. On other ships, it was always first come first serve to shows, a format that we enjoyed better than this ship. We went to Choir of Man, which was excellent. Absolutely one of the best shows we've seen while cruising NCL - if you get a chance to see their show while they're in the US touring 32 states, you should. The pool deck experience for days when the ship was at sea was crazy busy. The pool size for the volume of people on the ship was definitely not sufficient, and the deck chairs were always 100% reserved. We tended to avoid the pool deck as it seemed over crowded on most of the sea days. Our balcony stateroom on the ship was better than the staterooms on some of the smaller ships, simply because the bathroom was laid out better and provided more room so as not to make it seem like a closet with a toilet and shower. Our stateroom steward was excellent, very friendly, always prompt and courteous. We've never had a bad stateroom experience on our cruises, so this was no different and upheld the high quality standard we've come to expect. The only negative that we have for the stateroom experience is generally that the mattress could have been a little softer - but overall we did get good sleep in the room. We enjoyed the cruise, and especially Bermuda, but the lower quality of service at restaurants, lower food quality, and the crowded / fully booked entertainment options knocked this rating down from Very Good to Average. Read Less

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