78 New Orleans to Caribbean - Western Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Reviews

This was my fifth cruise - third with Royal Caribbean - and after a not-so-wonderful cruise with Sovereign, my faith in RCCL has been restored! Embarkation- Trouble getting the bus transfer. We waited over an hour at the bus stop thing ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise - third with Royal Caribbean - and after a not-so-wonderful cruise with Sovereign, my faith in RCCL has been restored! Embarkation- Trouble getting the bus transfer. We waited over an hour at the bus stop thing at the airport, in the freezing cold, to catch the bus. However, embarkation itself was very smooth - no wait in lines! Food-The answer is....it depends. Some things in the Windjammer unnerved me a little bit ---smoked salmon in every form, I swear it was leftover from breakfast the day prior. And vegetable curry? I love the stuff, but was it fresh daily, or the same batch??? Yikes. And the dessert police, too....somewhat of a bummer. However, the dinners in the dining room were surprisingly good with the exception of the infamous steak and some broiled cod thing I had. The duck, the escargot, the shrimp cocktail, and some beef thing my honey had on formal night were all wonderful and quite a surprise. Hey, the wings offered by room service (not the ones at snacktime) were pretty good too! Adventure Ocean - my eight year old was okay with it, but not thrilled. I do not think this was an indicator of the quality of the program as there were many activities going on ---my son is just a quiet type. Cabin - small shower, but you know that going on a cruise. Very clean. Bars- I swear whenever I went to the Schooner Bar it was closed. Now, the bartender in the casino was fabulous- learned our names immediately, and occasionally gave us free drinks too. Yum! Behaviors-Some smart alecky teenager types were in the solarium and were just being loud and obnoxious - but boy, security came after them. Lots of kids on the cruise, but man, anything inappropriate or loud was addressed pronto! Service- Absolutely fabulous. OUr cabin steward, Basil, was just yummy. The waiters in the dining room were all wonderful. Activities: art auction - I was stupid and missed the meet and mingle because I was so convinced I would win something in the art auction. Stupid, stupid. shows - can't help you there....didn't go to any. trivia games - I'm a junkie and did those. Some were hosted by "Erky from Turkey".....a little nerdy man, but quite hilarious and very popular...even to the point where he offers "Dollar Bill Origami with Erky" and a huge crowd shows up. Bingo - hey, I didn't win. Ports: Grand Cayman - we got off the boat early so we spent a LOT of time on the island, then did the land and sea tour. The submarine thing was nice, my son LOVED it. I was disappointed in the turtle farm, and Hell is certainly nothing to write home about. However, we left feeling like we had really seen a lot of Grand Cayman, between the tour and our exploring earlier. Costa Maya - very crowded, but definitely a place to have fun. Can buy inexpensive Mexican souvenirs, also. We were signed up for the Mayan Reality Tour ---and the bus broke down in the jungle. Waited for an hour until we were "Rescued". Our tour guide obviously felt bad but handled it so well....gave everyone beers while we waited. RCCL refunded all of us. In spite of that, it was a good day..lots of fun with people on the bus, and we did get to see Costa Maya. Cozumel - took our son to Tulum - the Express tour, which worked out perfectly with our schedule. On the way back, went to Cozumel for shopping and had THE WORLD'S BEST MARGARITAS AND GUACAMOLE at ...oh crap, I can't remember, it's like PEdro's Porch or something. Great souvenir shop there and made a bunch of purchases. It was our second time there and definitely remains our favorite place in Cozumel. New Orleans - we did the city tour the last day and saw how the city is bouncing back from the hurricane - even though so much damage is still evident. Made us thankful for what we have. Hand sanitizers are everywhere. I wish people would USE THEM! I was leery about going on this cruise - especially it being the week before dry dock ---but everything was in perfect order. No complaints, other than I wish I was still on it. This definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite cruises. Rachel Fantasy 12/00 Imagination 6/01 Splendour 6/03 Sovereign 12/04 Grandeur 4/07 Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary, and the Grandeur of the Seas did not disappoint! We spent two nights in New Orleans prior to the cruise and took in the Jazz Fest on Friday. What a great way to kick ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary, and the Grandeur of the Seas did not disappoint! We spent two nights in New Orleans prior to the cruise and took in the Jazz Fest on Friday. What a great way to kick off our vacation! On Saturday, a short taxi ride from the Drury Inn & Suites brought us to the port, and check-in was swift; we were in our cabin before 2 p.m.! A friendly greeting from our Cabin Steward, Marvlo, set the tone for a great week. In fact, each and every staff person we met throughout the cruise was warm and welcoming. We particularly clicked with our dinner staff: Motie (our waiter), Eslyn (our assistant waiter), and Teddy (our bar server). They, along with our delightful tablemates, made our dining experience most pleasant. The food in the Great Gatsby dining room was very good. We enjoyed the variety of offerings. For example, I was always able to find a healthy and tasty vegetarian option. And on our anniversary, the staff treated us to a dessert and song, and our tablemates made it extra special by buying a round of yummy shots of Baileys. Breakfast in the Windjammer was filling and delicious: lots of fresh fruit, cereals, baked goods, eggs, bacon, omelets made to order, and more. The ship is easy to navigate, and the public rooms are sparkling and pretty. We took in the art auctions, wrote postcards in the library, swam in the Solarium, spent a little time in the casino, and enjoyed entering and leaving the ports of call. Our oceanview stateroom was spacious, comfortable, clean, and convenient. We slept well! The entertainment was most enjoyable all week. The entertainers worked hard to keep us coming back for more. Mosaic is not to be missed; they were truly exceptional! We also enjoyed the two production shows by the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers, as well as the Beatles cover band, the gymnast/juggler, and the illusionist. We chose to hire taxi drivers to show us around Cozumel and Aruba. In Cozumel, we toured Mayan ruins and hung out at a "rasta bar" on the eastern side of the island. In Aruba, we went to Casibari rock, the ruins of a gold mine, and the California Lighthouse, seeing beautiful birds and iguanas along the way. In Grand Cayman, we simply ambled about and enjoyed the relaxed ambience of Georgetown. The captain had recommended rising early to witness the ship’s entry into San Juan on Saturday morning, so I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. and was on Deck 10 by 5:00 a.m. Being on the ship and passing El Morro at the crack of dawn really was one of the highlights of the cruise! Disembarkation was a bit slow for us, as we were not flying home on Saturday, but we found a great seat on the deck to watch the comings and goings in the Port of San Juan. Two more nights at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan rounded out our vacation, where we hired a driver to point out the highlights of Old San Juan and even took in the AARP Convention. We heartily recommend the Grandeur of the Seas for a relaxing, enjoyable cruise vacation! Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
Background I am 28 (2 previous cruises) and my DH is 26 (1 previous cruise). All previous cruises were 7 nights on Carnival and this was our first with RCL. I was lucky enough to find a one day sale that got us an amazing rate for the ... Read More
Background I am 28 (2 previous cruises) and my DH is 26 (1 previous cruise). All previous cruises were 7 nights on Carnival and this was our first with RCL. I was lucky enough to find a one day sale that got us an amazing rate for the cruise. Neither one of us are big partiers/drinkers. We were both looking forward to a relaxing vacation full of afternoon naps, beachside lounging and generally taking it easy. Pre-cruise Stay in New Orleans This was a repositioning cruise so we flew into New Orleans the day before the cruise. Our flight was uneventful and we checked into the Embassy Suites (right on Julia Street, down the road from the terminal) around 10PM. We missed the complementary happy hour early in the evening but enjoyed the free breakfast buffet the next morning. We were pleased with our room (11th floor regular hotel room) which was very clean and had a balcony with views of downtown. When we woke up in the morning, we went to the hall balcony and were able to see the Grandeur ready for us to come aboard. We decided to check out the ship by the Riverwalk mall early thinking we would not be able to board until 2:00 (according to our docs), but were pleasantly surprised when we ran into a crew member who said embarkation would start at 10:30/11:00. Embarkation We took a cab from the Embassy to the terminal (somehow we were charged $15 to go 3 blocks- I think we were scammed) around 10:45. Porters took our luggage and we were quickly whisked into the terminal to get our set sail passes. There was no line and were processed in less than 5 minutes. We then had to wait about 15 minutes before they started letting passengers go through security and board the ship. We were on the ship and exploring by 11:15. The majority of the people on the ship were 40+ and not many people were around our age. There were also very few children on board- I didn't see more than 50 total and they were all very well behaved. The lifeboat drill was excruciatingly long and forced us to face the hot sun. The Captain (Remos I believe) droned on after the drill and did not dismiss us until he had given us every fact he could about the upcoming voyage (very unnecessary). Several passengers commented throughout the cruise how painful the Captain's updates were when he would drone on in monotone for long periods of time. Ship The ship had just come out of dry dock and it was evident that major refurbishment had occurred. The most obvious improvement was that the gigantic dent in the side of the ship had been repaired and painted. Apparently, not all of the work was finished in time for embarkation so we did see crew members painting and varnishing during our first 2 days. The pools were also being painted/grouted on the first day so they were closed. The ship itself was sparkling clean. It appeared that carpeting had been replaced in some areas (around the pool deck and in some rooms). The buffet was also completely redone with new furnishings and a new configuration (more on that later). I was nervous booking Grandeur (as a smaller and older ship) that we would not have enough to do during sea days or that she would be worn out. I was pleasantly surprised with all the facilities onboard. We enjoyed the Library (a decent book selection) and visited its balcony when pulling out of port. We also made use of the Card Room which had a great selection of games to kill time with. The dining room was very classy and we enjoyed our 10 person table in the corner by the window (I guess we were stereotyped as the loud, young crowd table). The main Pool always had chairs available (no chair hogs in sight). The Solarium Pool was a nice respite for the windy sea days. The chairs are very comfortable although it can get hot like a greenhouse with all the glass. The gym was in great shape and highly used on our cruise- looked like a couple new machines. I was disappointed with the "sports deck"- you had to weave in and out between sunbathers. The climbing wall wasn't used that much- it seemed too close to the edge of the deck for me to dare attempting it! All in all-there was plenty to do to stay active and plenty of places to escape. My favorite places were the Viking Lounge, the Library balcony, the Promenade Deck and the Relaxation Room in the Spa. After getting too much sun, the Viking Lounge was a great, quiet space to people watch over the pool deck during the day. It was also pretty packed at night with a DJ. The Promenade Deck was a quiet place to just sit and watch as we sailed down the Mississippi. Hidden away, the Relaxation Room in the spa was a great escape and had amazing views! Cabin We had an inside cabin (4547)- opting to save money for this cruise. During the drydock, the crew replaced all the mattresses and linens. The furniture remained the same, but it appeared that they had reupholstered the walls to match the linens (right next to the beds). The bed was not as comfortable as we were hoping for. Even with an egg crate, we found it fairly hard. The duvet, while it looked nice, was very "stiff" and heavy (I prefer fluffy blankets). It was still nice to know we were the first to have the fresh sheets (which will probably soften with more washing). We still had an old, small TV that tilted out so you could watch from bed. Our cabin attendant, Natalia, was the consummate professional and kept our tight space (plenty of storage) spotless throughout the trip. She also mentioned that the threatening letter about pool towels is all bark and no bite- just meant to discourage abuse of passengers stealing towels. In fact, we regularly grabbed additional towels from the pool deck and never had to sign them out. One minor annoyance was that the bathroom toilets also stopped flushing for a couple hours at 2 points during our stay. The inside cabin is really dark. I don't usually use an alarm clock (and didn't think to bring one) and found my internal clock completely messed up by the lack of light. Our room was also right below the Casino and we were awoken more than once with the sounds of something being dragged above us. However, it was an incredibly convenient location (right near the Atrium lobby and Dining Room) and was worth the noise. Food The dining room food was fantastic! We ate in the dining room every night and once for lunch. I could go on for days about the menus (I took pictures of some of them). There was only one night when I had a meal that I wasn't thrilled about and my waiter was quick to suggest a replacement. The desserts were also very good, but not as good as the main entrees and starters. We had purchased soda cards and our glasses were waiting for us every night and never went dry. Our waiter (Nichmedin) and Assistant Waiter (Dwayne) were quite the characters- they managed to provide 5 star service while entertaining us at the same time! The main seating time allowed us to watch the sun set during dinner. I work for a university where buffets are standard cuisine so I am used to all levels of quality and did not have high expectations. This is our personal opinion (and others may disagree), but the buffet was pretty bad. The new layout sounds great in theory (separate salad, Asian food, breads, sandwiches, hot dishes, dessert stations), but was poorly executed. The highest traffic areas (hot foods and desserts) were located in the center of the buffet which really only had space for 2 people deep. I was constantly elbowed or bumping into someone. The dessert station (which had a staff member serving you) did not have space for a crew member to stand so they took up precious aisle space. The lunch buffet food was ok but had a lot of fish items or dishes with heavy sauces. The sandwiches were pre-prepared which would not be very attractive to those that want to build their own. The salad bar had a decent selection. We only had lunch 2 times at the buffet and went for the Solarium grill instead. The burgers were adequate but the fries were fantastic. Service was a bit slow. The breakfast buffets were the worst. The food often looked gelled over and was cold. The eggs tasted like powder and the sausage was undercooked. The French toast was consistently soggy and the pancakes dry. The doughnuts tasted like they weren't thawed out. On the good side- the fruit selection was very good/fresh and they had a decent selection of dry cereals. Since the point of a buffet is to quickly get food, I was not willing to wait in line for the omelet/egg station. I never did understand the logic surrounding what items you can/can not serve yourself on. Service Whether it was in the spa, in our room, at the dining room or in the buffet, I have to rave about the service we received on this ship! I constantly felt like staff went above and beyond to accommodate any request we had. We thought we would run into resentment from bar staff about having soda cards but were also greeted with a warm smile when we placed our orders (unlike on Carnival). Our experience with the exceptional level of service enticed us to sign up for our next cruise on RCL while on board! Entertainment We are not much for organized pool games, trivia contests or Bingo (still haunted by the non-stop annoying reminders over the PA from Anna Banana). The Cruise Director, Simeon, did his best to entertain the mostly older crowd who seemed to like his overly cheesy jokes. Our favorite act, by far, was Mosaic. They are a group of 6 men who perform a variety of songs using no musical instruments besides their mouths. They really were amazing and play Vegas regularly (notaboyband.com is actually their website). We also saw the Beatles Tribute Band which was ok, but probably appealed more to the older crowd (no offense). We did try out one production show (something like Music Across the Decades) but decided to leave 15 minutes into it...the ship was rocking a lot and it just wasn't very good. Ports of Call Cozumel We took a cab ride over to Playa Mia ($14 each way for 2 people). We got there before the park opened (they officially open at 9) and had first pick of location amongst the sea of beach chairs. We paid for the basic package ($19 each) that included admittance and use of all facilities and non-motorized sports. They had 100s of beach chairs lined up by the beach and more comfortable chairs available by the pool (where we chose to spend our time). The beach was decent but had a quick drop off. A water trampoline, igloo climbing wall, kayaks and paddle boats were included in admission. I saw several people snorkeling and there were jetskis available for additional charges. There was some construction underway but it was not too loud. They also offered all inclusive packages to include drinks and a buffet. There was also a Mexican cooking class going on under the tent. Overall, it was a decent location with a lot of activities to keep active people busy. We also visited downtown to walk around the shops but did not find anything that was that great of a deal. Grand Cayman We went to the Royal Palms Beach Club on Seven Mile Beach. The taxi ride was $4 per person from the dock. Admission was free and we paid $5 each for beach chairs. The location was pretty packed with cruise visitors (I counted 5 ships in port that day). We stayed in the crystal clear water for the majority of our visit. The bar had great drinks and reasonable prices on food. One annoying thing was that the jet ski rental and parasail rental company kept driving their boats/jet skis directly up through the water filled with swimmers up to the beach- seemed dangerous to me. Aruba This probably would have been our favorite port had we chosen the right excursion. We booked the Half Day Jeep Safari. Neither of us can drive a stick, so we had to negotiate to get a working automatic. The tour took us through the rugged landscape of the north coast. The scenery was very pretty, but got old after awhile when we were baking in the desert sun. We made stops at the Boulders, the fallen Natural Bridge, the Gold Mill Ruins, drove by a chapel and the Lighthouse. The description of the tour advertised a beach break and we were disappointed to learned that the "break" consisted of a 30 minute stop at Abashi Beach. We quickly jumped into the water and to cool off and wash off all the dust/dirt. The tour would have been a lot better if we did not spend so much time at each of the stops and instead stayed at the beach longer. We plan to return to Aruba on a future cruise and check out Baby Beach which our tablemates raved about. The shopping was also supposed to be pretty good, but we did not have enough time to explore as we got back to the ship rather late. Puerto Rico Since our flight did not leave until 3:30, we decided to book the Old San Juan Walking Tour through the ship (they stored our luggage for us). The bus picked us up at the terminal and dropped us off at Old San Juan (about 10 minutes from the terminal) for our tour. Our tour guide (a former junior high history teacher) was very knowledgeable about Puerto Rican history and went on in depth about each of our sites (I had some flashbacks to my school days where I dreaded history lessons). Her English was not very good and she talked very fast so it was hard to follow her. We visited the El Morro fortress, saw the outside of La Fortaleza (currently used as a palace), the Cathedral of San Juan (a wedding was going on) and several Plazas. The streets were very narrow and paved with unique blue cobblestones. We walked past several high end shops but we did not have time to stop as the tour was bringing us to the airport. Old San Juan was beautiful with varied architecture (gothic, French, art deco, etc.) and pastel buildings. There was a lot of construction going on through out the island and it sometimes reminded us of South Beach. We look forward to returning to Puerto Rico for a future extended vacation. Debarkation We had an excursion booked with the ship after debarkation and waited in the Theatre until called (around 10:00). We were off the ship and had cleared customs by 10:30 and loaded onto the tour van by 10:20. The wait was pretty long to get called but the actual processing was very quick. Travel from Puerto Rico We arrived at the airport at 12:00 for our 3:30 flight. The line for US Airways was a 2+ hour wait to check bags. After we finally checked our bags, it was another hour to get through the tightest security I have ever witnessed at an airport. I spoke with a USAir staff member and apparently there were 2 cruise ships (ours and a Princess ship) debarking that day and the airport has difficulty handling the volume of passengers all departing at once. He said it is always like this on Saturdays and Sundays. US Air also lost one of our 3 bags and 3 days later I have little hope of getting it back! Bottom line- consider staying an extra day in Puerto Rico or give yourself extra time (at least 3.5 hours) to catch your flight! Overall Thoughts We really enjoyed our vacation on Royal Caribbean and took advantage of the on board credit program to reserve a spot on a future cruise. The service was spectacular and the ship is a beauty! I highly recommend Grandeur as a ship that offers enough variety to accommodate everyone's needs! Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
2nd cruise for my wife and I. Both with RCI. We are in our early 30's Flew from Toronto to New Orleans early Saturday morning. $30 cab ride to the port. Checked our luggage and went to the French Quarter for Lunch. Had reservations at ... Read More
2nd cruise for my wife and I. Both with RCI. We are in our early 30's Flew from Toronto to New Orleans early Saturday morning. $30 cab ride to the port. Checked our luggage and went to the French Quarter for Lunch. Had reservations at NOLA (Emeril's restaurant) Very Tasty and prices were reasonable. Went to the port terminal around 3pm. We were on the ship within 5 minutes. Very quick and painless. Went straight to our stateroom. It was a junior suite. The bedding was new, but the rest of the furniture was original. The last time my wife & I cruised, we had an Oceanview room, so the suite seemed huge. The balcony was great and we spent a lot of time on it. Our stateroom attendant was Alexis and he did a good job (although he did forget our bedtime mints the first 2 nights!!) The bedding was new, but I don't think it had been washed, so the first night the bedding was a bit stiff. We asked it to be washed, which it was and much more comfortable. Although the ship just came out of dry dock, there was still many repairs, etc. that needed to be completed. First off, the balcony divider between us and our neighbors was broken and flapped around in the wind. We asked our stateroom attendant to have it fixed, but all they did was tie it off with yellow poly rope. It still banged around in the wind, so we had to fold up a facecloth to keep it from making noise. It was never repaired during the cruise. Also, the pools were empty the first day, since they were re-painting them. Some of the steps around the pool were raw plywood instead of teak. No big deal, but our expectations were a bit higher. The Windjammer was also re-done and looked nice. Food: The dining room food was great (although the portions seemed smaller than our last cruise) However, with appetizers, entree and dessert, we never left hungry. We had a great table of 8 with great people. The table was long and rectangular, which made hearing some conversations difficult. Our waiter, Willy was very good and kept us entertained. The buffets were disappointing and the room service was a bit cool. The solarium cafe was our favorite lunch spot. Entertainment: We went to a few shows, Mosaic and the comedy was the best. There was an ex-Olympic gymnast who seemed more interested in tight fitting clothes and preaching how great Gymnastics are, than entertaining us. Although is it impressive what he can do. The casino was our nightly hang out, and it was actually fairly kind to us both. Dion on the craps table was great. Ports: Cozumel...did the Mexican cooking class, which was great, as it wasn't just fajitas and burritos, it was authentic mexican food. The bar was open and we hung out on the beach afterward. It was great. Grand Cayman...just walked around town, not very impressive. Aruba...went diamond shopping. This was my wife's favorite port, but it was hard on my pocket book. Do not go to Carlos N' Charlies. The service was horrible and the music WAY too loud. It would have been fine at midnight, but a bit much for lunch. Overall: Although the buffet food was disappointing and some repairs were still needed, we had a good relaxing cruise, which is exactly what we wanted. The balcony is definitely the way to go if you spend anytime in your room. At the price we paid, there is little to complain about. The Grandeur is a good ship, but our next cruise will likely be on a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
Background: My husband and I have been on 2 cruises before. One on the Grand Princess and one on the Carnival Victory. We enjoyed both cruises before so our expectations were high. This was our first cruise taking the children. Hotel: ... Read More
Background: My husband and I have been on 2 cruises before. One on the Grand Princess and one on the Carnival Victory. We enjoyed both cruises before so our expectations were high. This was our first cruise taking the children. Hotel: Stayed the night before at the Holiday Inn Westbank. Rooms looked to have been recently remodeled. Outside not as nice. Embarkation: Very smooth! We arrived about 11:15. We were on the ship within 10 minutes. Ship: We stayed on Deck 2 in two adjoining rooms. This worked great. We had a connecting door that we left open all the time. Beds were surprisingly good, but not near as good as Carnival. No real amenities like Carnival either. If you have children definitely get the adjoining rooms. We thought the ship was in very good condition. The dining room was beautiful. My favorite deck was the promenade deck, we would always go out there before dinner. Dining: We had early seating. This works very well if you have children. They have a children's menu. My oldest who was 8 chose to eat off the adult the whole time. My youngest fell asleep at the table 4 out of the 7 nights. Singh was our waiter, he was great. So was our assistant waiter Jesse. I never had to cut up any of my childrens food. My favorite soup was the potato and jalepeno soup. Yum. The grill food was average. Carnival's pizza is a thousand times better. Breakfast was very good at the buffet and the dining room. Activities: My husband and DD tried the rock climbing. I participated in the morning walking. It is very hard to walk that top deck when it is so breezy. We went to a few shows. They were okay, but just too tired by the late evening. Adventure Ocean: The staff is superb. My oldest loved it. Youngest did until it was dinosaur night. Both of them still talk about the Pirate parade. My oldest had a hard time choosing whether to stay with us and dance by the pool or go to AO. We loved the deck parties. The pool is also great, especially for the younger kids. There is an area that is shallow to play in. They also loved the pillowcases and bandanas. Ports: Grand Cayman: Much better than last time. We hired a taxi. He took us to Hell, Rum Cake Factory and to seven mile beach. There is still quite a bit of damage from the hurricane 2 years ago. Costa Maya: Our favorite! We took the bus to the town. Ate at the Cat's Meow. Food was very good. It was picturesque sitting there by the water. After lunch we went down the beach farther and played in the water. The beach and water area was so soft and sandy. Great for kids. If I could spend the whole vacation at this beach I would have. $5 per person to get to the town and back. Cozumel: We took a cab to Paradise Beach. My husband and kids didn't like this beach near as well. There were big boulders out in the water. It was still fun, but the kids were a little scared. You can't walk out very far before you can't touch. They had the iceberg, trampoline, kayaks and snorkeling. We liked the kayaks. The trampoline was a ways out. By the time you got out there you were tired. Food was very good. Overall: We would go back in a minute. Kids loved it. They keep asking when can we go again. Any questions feel free to email. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
We embarked on the Grandeur of the Seas from New Orleans on St. Patrick's Day. We boarded the ship with no real problems. I was traveling with my husband and my son who is eight. None of us had ever been on a cruise before. We boarded ... Read More
We embarked on the Grandeur of the Seas from New Orleans on St. Patrick's Day. We boarded the ship with no real problems. I was traveling with my husband and my son who is eight. None of us had ever been on a cruise before. We boarded at about 1:00 p.m. and we had to wait a few minutes before we were allowed into our cabins. When we were allowed into 2536, an oceanview cabin, we were a little taken back at the smallness, but we we quickly adapted and it wasn't much of a bother. We enjoyed our meals in the Great Gatsby and the Windjammer. My son is loves milk and it was always available. He also loves chicken fingers and by Wednesday night, they were out of them for the rest of the week. I attribute this to the abundance of spring break students sailing with us. That is my only complaint about them as they were unfailingly polite and pleasant every time we encountered some of them. My son did not care for the pool but he was thrilled with the Ocean Adventure program. He also loved the arcade, but the cost of playing a game, usually $1.50, made us decide to limit that activity. At Grand Cayman, we paid a taxi driver $20 a person for a tour of the island that only took one hour. She let us out at a public beach that was too crowded to be believed. The guys who rent snorkel equipment told us that we could also rent equipment about a half a mile down the beach. On the hike down, we received the worst part of our sunburns. My advice would be to take that sun very seriously. When we got there, we realized that this was an exclusive resort hotel. They were willing to rent the equipment to my husband and son, so I tried to blend in with the ladies on the beach since I don't snorkel. I'm not sure that I was fooling anyone, but at least they didn't run us off. Later, the doorman got us a cab. Back at the pier, the line was so long for the tender, that we went to an upstairs restaurant across the street for a light lunch. We assumed from the prices on the menu that the lunch would be about $40. Well, that was in Cayman dollars. In U.S. dollars, it was $64. Then we still had to wait 45 minutes for a tender back to the Grandeur. At Costa Maya, we went on the Mayan ruins tour in the jungle. The ruins were spectacular. During the 50 minute bus trip, it was a sobering to see the homes and lifestyles of the local people. The houses were mostly cinder block with no glass in the windows. The ship docks there, so there was no waiting to get back on the ship. At Cozumel, we had to tender again, but things went much better both times. We went to the Playa Mia beach for a $15 cab fare and then returned to the city for some lunch and some shopping. Of the three ports, Cozumel is definitely the best place for shopping. There were 4 to 6 cruise ships docked at every port. Sometimes we enjoyed the nightly entertainment in the Palladium. Sometimes we became bored and left. We enjoyed Jerry in the Schooner Bar. The funniest thing that happened on the trip was what transpired after the Love and Marriage game which is similar to television's Newlywed Game. The young couple who won the game seemed to be honeymooning with about 50 of their Georgia Tech sorority and fraternity friends. This couple, John and Ashley, beat another young couple and a couple who had been married for 54 years. As the week wore on, we noticed Ashley around the ship and we saw John. But we never saw the two of them together. On departure day, we saw John traveling with 3 other guys. Some girls from Georgia Tech admitted to me that they were not married. They fooled us for awhile! Bingo seemed pretty expensive to us. $25 for 3 cards per 5 games. I loved the Grandeur and would sail again in a heartbeat. My husband on the other hand was quite ready for a bologna sandwich--although he had a great time too. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
Summary First off Id like to say of the 3 cruises ive been on this one has been the best overall. Ive been on carnival and costa and they do not compare to royal caribbean. Some of the reviews Ive read have nagged on the Grandeur for being ... Read More
Summary First off Id like to say of the 3 cruises ive been on this one has been the best overall. Ive been on carnival and costa and they do not compare to royal caribbean. Some of the reviews Ive read have nagged on the Grandeur for being old and run down but honestly this ship is in better condition than the newer ships I have been on before. Workers constantly clean the entire ship each minute of the day and whomever said that it looked bad must just be a rich old fart who thinks everything has to be filled with diamonds. If your looking for an amazing overall cruise experience this ship is for you Embarkation The process goes very fast and smoothly. It is best if you go online before your cruise and fill out all your information online because it makes things go super super fast. All you do is print out the setsail pass and your basically good to go. As soon as we got on the ship lunch was already prepared so we started to eat a ton which was a trend throughout the week. It was about 12pm when we boarded the ship. We had an inside cabin on the 7th deck toward the back of the ship which isn't bad but an ocean view would have been better. Within a couple hours they had the muster drill which we missed but had to hide in the closet to do so since they come into your room to check if you left. Basics After this the ship setsail and we began to explore the decent sized ship. It is filled with many quiet lounges as well as loud ones for great places to drink and party. They have a dance club on the very top of the ship which we didn't make it to but heard very good things about. The pools were usually kind of crowded but you could still get in whenever you wanted. The indoor pool is reserved for guests 16 and older which is nice at night time. Even though many consider the ship to be small, there wasn't an overcrowding of people any time during the 7 nights. Dining The Great Gatsby dining room was pretty large but not as fancy as I would have thought. Most of the same food is served in the buffet so we went there more than the dining room. We seemed to establish a better relationship with one of the bus boys in the buffet than our waiter so it was more fun to go to the buffet. Over 6000 meals are served daily and for that many meals to be produced it still tasted very good. Some of the stuff was a little bland but the deserts were always amazing. Food can be found on this ship basically 24 hours a day whether it be sandwiches, steaks, pizza, hotdogs, there is always something for everyone. Also if you like a variety of food the buffet is very good because it serves the same stuff as the dining room but has a lot more. The nice thing about the dining room is you can order as much as you want. They had NY Strip steak and I did order 3 of the so more than 2 pounds of meat. I am only 180 pounds and don't normally eat a lot but the food is just that good I couldn't stop eating. There isn't much more to say except you will gain weight and will love doing so with the food on the Grandeur. There are also 2 midnight buffets that are absolutely gorgeous. Many different kinds of foods as well as ice sculptures. There was also a Mardi Gras party during one of these buffets on the pool deck. Entertainment The entertainment was exceptionally good throughout the cruise. We had many headliners such as the Nelson Brothers (Ricky Nelsons kids) Jim Colliton and Troy Thirdgill Comedians from Comedy Central and also a magician whose name I forgot. The Nelsons show seemed to go over the best with the majority of the audience and they sold a lot of cds after the show for $25 a piece. They did many Ricky Nelson songs as well as their own which were pretty good. They were also joined by the guitarist from Lifehouse if you know the popular band who played the guitar like Ive never seen before. Both comedians were funny but kind of toned down because of the many children on the boat but were better at the late night comedy show that was held another night. The only bad thing Id say about the entertainment was the cruise director. He was a nice guy but there was just something about him that many people didn't like and it just made us feel a little uneasy when he was around. Bingo was also a fun activity yet kind of costly if you didn't win. The time to play would be the last day when the jackpot had to go and it was over $4000. Anna Banana was our cruise activity person she was very friendly and had a sweet english accent. There were also many activities throughout the day such as the sexy legs competition, belly flop contests, love and marriage game, trivia, game shows, all sorts of stuff for all ages. You will not be bored on this ship they do a fabulous job entertaining everyone. Also the casino is pretty fun although it wasn't busy most of the cruise. The slot machines seemed to hit a lot since I did win $1000 on the wheel of fortune one. Karaoke superstar was also fun and all the winners compete on the last day for a trophy. Overall the Entertainment was excellent Islands We stopped in Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, and Cozumel All of the islands were beautiful as you would expect. We have been to Cayman and Cozumel before but still found many new things to do. The stingray excursion was cancelled at grand cayman but that is definitely the best one to do if you go to this island. We have done it before and wanted to again. Since we didn't get to do an excursion there we did a little shopping and had some drinks at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville. I don't recommend shopping for anything major at Grand Cayman since the US dollar is only worth 80 cents there. Margaritaville was awesome a little costly though but its vacation don't worry about that have fun. Grand Cayman was also one of the islands we had to tender in. They had 3 boats going so it went very fast and didn't have to wait long. Also take a cab and go to Seven Mile Beach the water is sooo clear and a great place to just relax. Next Stop was Costa Maya, we have never been there so we were excited for this island. THe ship docked and as you walk down the dock there are many new shops that have all the usual gifts as well as many jewelry places. There are great picture opportunities here also the excursions can be booked at little stands in the shopping area. I suggest using Mayan excursions and do the waverunners at tequila beach because you can get a package to get unlimited drinks and food for only 25 dollars for the entire day. The waverunners were newer and were 70 for an hour which is very good compared to other islands. There is also another good thing to do if you want to explore the islands by yourself. If you get there early you can rent a golf cart for 4 people for only 25 dollars for 2 hours. You can go wherever you'd like and can explore the island at your own place. Finally we got to Cozumel which is like another cancun but with more to do. We shopped for some of the day and this is the only place ive ever been to where you can basically get waisted by shopping. Free margaritas in basically every store. We ate at a mexican restaurant called tiki tok which had amazing tacos and wasn't too costly so id recommend going there. If you want to shop for jewelry do so in cozumel everything is pretty cheap. Disembarkation Your luggage is taken the night before with tags put on them with an assigned color to your floor. We were on the 7th floor and were called at about 930 am which was toward the end of everything. We were off the ship with all of our luggage by 945 ready to go home unfortunately. Summary Sorry to keep rambling on like this but I wanted to cover everything so basically this is a great cruise for everyone in the family whether old or young there is a place for everyone. All of the staff is very friendly and you will have a bond with a least a couple of them. The tipping is very easy with the set guide but you will want to tip more people these people are just that nice. New Orleans is still a nice place to start your cruise from French Quarters is well maintained do not be scared to go there. Also parking for your car is only 10 bucks a day in a well secured garage so don't worry about your car during your cruise. If you want the overall best value for your money you will be please with the grandeur of the seas. If you have any more questions you can email me at twolves671@aol.com Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
As a first time cruiser, I was very please about the ship. It was small but comfortable. We enjoyed the trip very much. First off, about the gratuity, guys, don't be stingy about it. Even if you have scraped every penny you have to ... Read More
As a first time cruiser, I was very please about the ship. It was small but comfortable. We enjoyed the trip very much. First off, about the gratuity, guys, don't be stingy about it. Even if you have scraped every penny you have to get on this cruise. We got to talk to some of our servers, really made us appreciate what they have done. They all provided good service. In case you don't know, they have to sign a 6 months contract at a time. That means working ONLY, they don't get any time off until their contracts are up. Most of them don't get to see their families for those time. I feel for them! We were very pleased about the children's program. We have two young boys. They could not wait to get back to their clubs. The teachers were very energetic and fun. Also, on port days, you can leave your kids with them ALL DAY if you decide not to take them with you. The bottom line is that I will not hesitate to take the kids to this cruise. Hubby and I got to see all the shows at night and enjoyed lots of adult activities during the day. My kids loved the Ocean Club! Our most favorite shore excursion was the Sting Ray City at Grand Cayman. If you don't have time to do anything else, this is a MUST have tour. You will not regret it. I wouldn't waste my money on the Turtle Farm, Hell, and the Rum Cake Factory. I thought it was a rip off for the price to include all those. They are not worth your time to visit. Go swim with the Sting Rays, it was awesome!! By the way, the swim is about 45 minutes. Don't worry, that's about all you can handle anyway. The Rays will leave after about 45 min. Try to feed them, it's a lot of fun. Oh, for non swimmers (me), the water was very shallow, about waist deep. So go out and enjoy. There were lots of people just sat on the boat and observed. Too bad, they missed a once of life time fun. These Rays are so gentle. I just can't say enough about this tour. At Cost Maya, I visited the Chacchobean Mayan Ruins. If history and culture are your thing, this is a good tour. It takes one hour bus ride each way to get there. Our guide was excellent on explaining the Mayan culture to us. I enjoyed it very much. Kids at school age are appropriate for this trip too. Don't forget to put on some bug spray before you go. The Ruins are in the heavy tree covering areas. Also, this is a walking tour. Make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes on. Don't wear sandals or flip flops. The road is not very smooth. A few words about the food and our cabin. We didn't expect gourmet food but had to admit that the food at the main dinning was very good. We went with our waiter's recommendation every night and had enjoyed the dishes very much. Have your kids eat from adult menu, forget about the kids menu. My kids enjoyed the food too. Casual dinning at Windjammer was not bad. We never had to wait in line. The food was always ready. Expect the average American food. Don't waste your money on the soda package, unless you can't survive without Coke. At breakfast there are milk, juice, coffee and tea. Lunch and dinner there are ice tea and lemonade. Main dinning room the ice tea is free. I felt these choices were good enough for my kids. Grandeur has the BEST fires. Don't leave without trying some. We had a balcony in our room. It was very nice but didn't use it as much as we intended to. Book one of those rooms if you can. It is much more spacious than the inside cabins. So far I have only said good things about the Grandeur. Now if you expect to go to the pool everyday, you will be very disappointed. The pool is very very small. We didn't care for it at all. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
Some Background: This is our third cruise, we started on the Jewel in 2005, then the Explorer last year and now the Grandeur. This is our favorite ship size wise. My DH is 56 and I am 46. We have our DS who is 15, but he was not on this ... Read More
Some Background: This is our third cruise, we started on the Jewel in 2005, then the Explorer last year and now the Grandeur. This is our favorite ship size wise. My DH is 56 and I am 46. We have our DS who is 15, but he was not on this cruise. New Orleans: We went to NO a few days ahead to enjoy the sites and pour some money into the economy. It's really starting to come back, but you can tell there is a lot of work still to do. We will continue to visit there when we can arrange it. Getting to the port from the hotel was simple and we were on the boat by 12:15 pm. We decided on this cruise we would take the advice of fellow CCer's and pick a bar to hang out in the whole cruise (well, at least when drinking indoors!) and we picked the Scooner Bar. Errol and Cameron were the bartenders and they were just the best! We went down nightly for a Martini and it was up before we sat down. If we stopped in during the day for any activities - the Campari and the Mai Tai were at the ready. But it was more then the service, it was also how nice and friendly they were - it really made the difference. But we saw that all over the ship - really great service, rom really nice people. The piano player was Jim Brookhart and he was just fabulous! He is leaving the Grandeur soon, but will be on other ships. He is a load of fun and will try to sing almost anything - we stayed out late many nights closing up the bar with him. I also want to mention Jame on the Cruise Entertainment staff. She was so fun and friendly (Happy Birthday again!) and all of her events were great - especially the morning trivia. Ask her to do Fran Drescher (The Nanny) - it is pitch perfect. Ports - We enjoyed shopping and sightseeing in Grand Cayman and Senor Frogs was fun (all those spring breakers are crazy), my DH loved, loved the Mayan ruins tour in Costa Maya and we never left the ship in Cozumel - there were seven other ships in port that day, plus they were all loaded with spring breakers - we stayed on the quiet ship and had a great relaxing day. Ship Activities/Entertainment - The Nelson brothers were a nice surprise, very professional but they were all over the ship, and it was nice to interact with them when possible. Very personable and willing to talk or take pictures. And they sang Ricky's songs - which was very good. We did not go to many other shows - there is so much to do that unless it is a headliner we tend to pass. But we do participate in other things - trivia, anything for Ship Shape dollars (this time I finally earned a visor) and we go to the Karaoke shows - any dancing - lessons or not - we really enjoy that. Dining - We really enjoy the dining on the ships. I know that people have high expectations, but we thing the Dining room is wonderful every night. The food is very good quality and if you don't like something - you can get something else. It's that easy. Our wait staff, Vivck and Roy were wonderful and our head waiter Gokan was the most visible one we have ever had - he even peeled my shrimp and deboned my duck. Now that is good service. We had a table for six, but only Debbie and Edie (HI!!!) were there each night and they were great company. We spent many an evening dining with them until 10:30 (they threw us out the night of the grand buffet) and then gambling in the casino after. Speaking of the casino - we did great - won at roulette regularly, the nickle slots were paying and my husband won at the craps table. So that was a nice benefit. The public areas were all nice and clean and always being worked on. The hand sanitizers were in full force and being used (thanks folks!) and even the Windjammer was enjoyable for a easy breakfast or lunch and a lite dinner option. Disembarkation was easy - with priority we were off the ship by 8:30 am. Getting home was a nightmare due to the weather - but that's a story for another time and not any reflection on the cruise. We met some really wonderful folks this time - Hello to Brick (he knew the story of the cruisers that missed the boat in Costa Maya - because they were his roommates) and to our Canadian friends - Lou and Bev. The meat and mingle was fun - even if one family won most of the gifts. Dennis the cruise director spent about an hour with us talking about the line and the changes in itineraries, plus why they searched the luggage more thoroughly this cruise (spring breakers!) Would we sail the Grandeur again - YES! I am disappointed that it is moving out of NO, but maybe another ship will go there soon. As for us, we are already planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
Wow - what a cruise. This was the first time my 12 year old daughter and I had cruised and it was amazing. I had heard on several previous reviews this was an older ship and was concerned. After seeing how well it was kept up there was ... Read More
Wow - what a cruise. This was the first time my 12 year old daughter and I had cruised and it was amazing. I had heard on several previous reviews this was an older ship and was concerned. After seeing how well it was kept up there was absolutely no reason for concern. Getting on the ship was extremely easy and we were checked in and on the ship within 1/2 hr. I would suggest online checkin. Meals - Again fabulous. We ate in the dining room each night at dinner and although I was concerned when I saw we had been seated at a table for 10 we have a great dinner group. Met some fabulous people and had a great time. The food in the Windjammer was also good we ate there for lunch on several occasions. Shore Excursions - We took the trip to Hell in Grand Cayman, The Land/Sea in Costa Maya and just shopped in Cozumel. I only wish there had been more time when at the ports - they were a lot of fun and the excursions were great! There is only one complaint that I do have and that was the billing and check out procedure. It took me over 2 days to have a charge removed from my bill that I was absolutely sure wasn't mine. I would also assure if you have transfers back to the airport that you confirm where you can be picked up as I was told any taxi in New Orleans could take us back to the airport and this was not correct we ended up having to pay for a taxi back to the airport because we had not been picked up that morning. But all in all the cruise was wonderful and I'll be excited to see how the Grandeur comes when it comes out of dry dock and is updated. -Kay- Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
Where to start. This was my second time to cruise on Grandeur of the Seas, my husband's first and my children's first cruise period. My husband and I have cruised before. Grandeur is just that Grand. She is an older ship showing ... Read More
Where to start. This was my second time to cruise on Grandeur of the Seas, my husband's first and my children's first cruise period. My husband and I have cruised before. Grandeur is just that Grand. She is an older ship showing some wear but scheduled for dry dock in April, 07 which will improve her grandeur! I booked our cruise directly thru Royal Caribbean with absolutely no problems. Prices seemed to compare to other places. Spring break was the right time for us since our children are out of school. We chose to drive from Oklahoma to New Orleans. Although we met with a little bump in the road being a car wreck on the interstate outside of Baton Rouge. We were able to get a rental to finish our journey to port. We chose to stay across from the port at the Marriott Convention. I booked with the Marriott online and received the cruise special where our rental car remained parked for the cruise. When time to go to port, my husband drove us there, we unloaded our luggage with the porters and he then drove the car back to the Marriott to be parked. It was then just a short walk for him back to port. We were able to see a little of New Orleans before we embarked. The city is back with people everywhere!! Embarkation was easy. There seemed to be quite a few people but it went rather quickly. We soon had our sea passes and were headed aboard to check things out (time approx 1:00 p.m.). The ship is a great ship but is showing some wear. However, the staff were constantly cleaning. It was easy to find our way around and there were plenty of employees ready to help if we needed it. I booked us an inside cabin (one must try them all). It was small for 4 people but who spends much time in a cabin anyway. We had 6:00 p.m. dining and it took till about 4:30 to get all but 2 of our bags. We were able to get ready and head for dinner. During dinner an announcement was made that if you were missing luggage to go to a certain area. Since we were missing 2 bags my husband went. All luggage with any liquid in it was being held because it was spring break and people smuggle alcohol onboard. We had only brought some water. So after a quick check by Royal Caribbean, our bags were released to us. After dinner, we unpacked. For such a small room, we were able to find a home for everything (8 bags worth). By the way if you don't have room for your empty suitcases, your cabin steward will store them for you. I personally don't think I will ever stay in an inside cabin again unless it is just my husband and I. Two is fine but four a little much. Dinner every night was great. Our waiter and assistant waiter were more than kind each night. The dinner food was wonderful in the dinning room. We ate one night in the Windjammer because of a shore excursion mix-up and it was good but I prefer the dinning room. We ate breakfast and lunch (most days) in the Windjammer. The thing about the Windjammer is that it is small and often crowded. When Grandeur goes into dry dock, they are going to fix that problem. The food was mostly good, hot and there were quite a bit of choices. We ate hotdogs and pizza one day by the solarium pool which was a nice change. The fries there were great! Each time you enter a dinning facility, there is hand sanitizer which is a great comfort. Our ports of call were Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. Each had something different to offer. In Grand Cayman we did the sting ray swim. The seas were a little rough but all had a good time. Costa Maya is a port I would just assume skip. We went to a beach there (Playa Maya) and it was very dirty (lots of trash). In Cozumel we went to Passion Island. We booked that thru Royal Caribbean. While I am glad I went, I feel it was a little overpriced. The beach was beautiful and very very clean. The food was included too and it was very good as well. Since this was our children's first cruise, we weren't sure about the Adventure Ocean program for them. Well let me tell you once they went, we could hardly drag them out. The staff was awesome and the kids had a ball. My kids loved Slojam and his wife. Keep up the good work guys! We watched as much entertainment as we could. Our most favorite being the Nelson brothers. They were so wonderful and very friendly. They were traveling with a guitarist friend, Ben Carey, who was great too! That is a show I would watch over and over. We made it to as many activities as we could and really enjoyed Karaoke. It is fun to see ordinary people being stars! There are so many things to do each day, sometimes one has a hard time deciding what to do. Soon we realized the time had come to disembark. What seems like a long process, has in my opinion gotten shorter over the years. We were up early and out of our cabin by 7:30. After a great last breakfast in the Windjammer, we disembarked by 9:00 a.m. We found our luggage quickly and were soon loaded for our trip home. In closing, I would recommend this ship to anyone. It will only be better after dry dock. I am in awe with the staff of the Grandeur. There are so many people from all over the world and they work beautifully together. If only the world could take notice, they could learn something. Royal Caribbean rocks! Stephanie Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
A group of three of us sailed on the March 11th cruise. We are all college aged guys and had an oceanview cabin on Deck 2. I will describe the cruise by day. Saturday - Boarding was fairly simple. We drove, dropped our luggage off at the ... Read More
A group of three of us sailed on the March 11th cruise. We are all college aged guys and had an oceanview cabin on Deck 2. I will describe the cruise by day. Saturday - Boarding was fairly simple. We drove, dropped our luggage off at the terminal, then parked our car in the parking deck. We were onboard by 1:00, bought the soda card, and went to eat in the Windjammer for the afternoon buffet. The muster drill was not bad at all, and took very little time. We quickly rushed back to our room to leave our life jackets and hurried to Deck 10 for the set sail. We were able to watch the ship leave from the front of the boat. We had the 6:00 dinner, so we didn't have much time to watch as we sailed out of New Orleans. All of our luggage was to our room before the muster drill at 4:30. We attended the Welcome Aboard Show that night as well as Family Karaoke in the South Pacific Lounge. I was surprised how long it took us to finally reach the Gulf of Mexico (around 2 AM). Sunday - The weather was nice so we mostly laid around the pool and on Deck 10. It was fairly crowded, but the back of the ship was a great place to find a chair. We thought our dinner time was too early so we swapped to the 8:30 seating with no problems at all. Lunch at the Windjammer and the Cruise Critic Meet n Mingle filled the afternoon. The Snack Buffet at 3:30 is one of the best kept secrets (also another reason to have the late dinner). That night we saw the All Access show featuring the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers, who we thought were pretty good. We also attended Karaoke Superstar in the SPL. It was one of the more popular things to do on the ship. The Late Night Comedy with George Cantor was much better than his early show. The Disco Party on Deck 9 was great, as the staff did ABBA and the Village People. Monday - Another at sea day was spent on the pool deck and deck 10 laying around. Lunch and afternoon snack at the Windjammer were very good; always plenty to choose from. The Captain's Welcome Aboard Reception was that evening. It was really nice, and they give free champagne. (Captain Rob Hempstead was very enjoyable on this cruise...he always was very witty on the intercom). The first formal dinner was nice and the food didn't let us down - Filet, Lobster Bisque, Shrimp Cocktail, etc. Superstar Karaoke and the Beatles Tribute Band - Revolution ended the night. Tuesday - In Port - Grand Cayman. We got up around 6:30 to eat breakfast and watch as we sailed into the port. We got our tender ticket as early as possible (7:00) and were on the tender by 7:30. We booked a stingray city tour through Captain Marvin's. The tour was wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone. It's very affordable and there are two chances to snorkel as well as swim with sting rays. The boats are smaller than the ones through the cruise ship. There's not a lot of shopping here, but we did find free internet and phone calls to the US in a shop on the main street. We went back to the ship to eat lunch at the Windjammer around 3:00. That evening we attended the magic show. This magician was very entertaining, and his assistant was extremely beautiful. After dinner we attended Karaoke Superstar and then the Mardi Gras Party and Midnight Buffet on Deck 9. Wednesday - In Port - Costa Maya. We docked around 9:15. We grabbed a quick breakfast in the Windjammer then headed into the port. There's not much to do here. We had booked a day at Tequila Beach Resort online, so we proceeded to the back of the port for a taxi cab. We got to Tequila Beach and realized it was a mistake. They had way overbooked for the day and the lines for drinks were extremely long. I think we waited over thirty minutes for a drink. We decided our time would better be spent on the boat, so we went back to enjoy the nice weather at the pool. That evening there was a piano-style Las Vegas entertainer Glenn Smith. After dinner they had The Quest game show in the SPL. This is hilarious and you must go. It's an adults only scavenger hunt type game. We also enjoyed some time in the Viking Crown Lounge late that evening. Thursday - In Port - Cozumel. We were actually able to dock on the International Pier (we were originally supposed to tender). We woke up around 8:00 and had breakfast in the Windjammer then went to the shore. It was a $2 cab ride to downtown, and that's where we heard the best shopping was. We shopped for a while for souvenirs; don't be afraid to bargain. We left one store three times before they finally gave me a price I wanted. We had lunch at Pancho's Backyard which was great. The margarita was really good and so was the food. We explored the town a little more and ended up at Carlos n Charlies. It was crowded but we were still able to get a drink. We then walked back to the pier; didn't end up being that far, and it was a nice day. The entertainment that evening was a Broadway Revue by the Singers and Dancers which was once again very entertaining. The last formal dinner was this night and I ordered two entrees: prime rib and lobster. The Battle of the Sexes game and the Love & Marriage Game Show were this night. Love & Marriage was hilarious. A couple from Mississippi really kept us rolling. Friday - We spent this day at sea and it was really too windy and cold to sit on Deck 10. We had lunch at the Windjammer and then went to the Captain's Corner Q&A about the ship which was very informative. We then bought some things in the duty free shops and watched the sunset. The Farewell Show included a Juggler and the Cruise Director Staff as well as the Singers and Dancers again. That evening there was a Superstar Karaoke Finale. Overall this was an amazing experience. It was all of our first cruise. The ship might be older, but we couldn't tell. There are always staff members cleaning every moment of the day. Our stateroom attendant, Roberta, was great. She was very friendly and often stopped to chat with us. The Cruise Director Staff did a great job having plenty of things for every age group. Special props to Sarah and Jamie. Our Waiter Warren was very nice and always provided us with whatever we wanted, as well as our Asst Waiter Kwesi and Head Waiter Erich. There is no other vacation where you can get this amount of entertainment, gourmet food, facilities, and relaxation for the price you pay. I can't wait to book another cruise with RCI! Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
Since this was about the last sailing out of New Orleans for the Grandeur, I will post info about the ports at the port boards. This was our 8th cruise, 3rd on RCCL. We have also been on Celebrity, Carnival, Holland, and NCL. We have found ... Read More
Since this was about the last sailing out of New Orleans for the Grandeur, I will post info about the ports at the port boards. This was our 8th cruise, 3rd on RCCL. We have also been on Celebrity, Carnival, Holland, and NCL. We have found RCCL is a step or two above Carnival. We were in a midship balcony on the starboard side on deck 7. We have had balcony cabins on the last few cruises and would have a hard time going back to just a window, though, this trip, we did have to leave our balcony and close our door occasionally when the upwind neighbors went out for a smoke. The balcony doors can be locked open in any position with the handle. No bungee cord is needed. We used 3 small chip clips to weight the bottom of the shower curtain. The shower is a tight fit even when the curtain is pulled out. Our toilet stopped working one afternoon, but was fixed within an hour of our call to maintenance. Our tablemates also said they had the same problem one day. That is probably something that will be taken care of in drydock next week - along with the installation of new bedding and linens. They are also planning a complete rebuilding of the buffet area. Our cabin attendant was a very cheerful, friendly, Chinese woman named Zcheng. We would have liked to take her home with us. Our dinner servers, Alan and Oswald were equally friendly and marvelously efficient. The service we have received on RCCL has always been exceptional. We were determined to relax on this cruise rather than trying to make it to all of the activities, but we did get to a few of the games, including the quest game. I've seen some comments on the boards about the quest game. If you are bothered by others who do not seem to be at all modest, you should stay away - and children certainly should not be in a place where adults are behaving in a sexual and provocative manner. I really appreciate the announcements and printed notices we received just after boarding reminding parents to monitor their children. For a spring-break cruise, the children and teens seemed to be well managed. I might also mention that on the 2 formal nights, at late seating, only a handful of men wore tuxes. Also, the captain I've seen others mention as very personable and humorous left the ship a few weeks ago. Captain Remo is the current captain. He is very professional and rather stoic. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
February 25, 2007 Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 17, 2007 Western Caribbean Cruise This was my 34th cruise overall and my third on the Grandeur. The last time I was on the Grandeur was Christmas three years ago and I was amazed at the ... Read More
February 25, 2007 Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 17, 2007 Western Caribbean Cruise This was my 34th cruise overall and my third on the Grandeur. The last time I was on the Grandeur was Christmas three years ago and I was amazed at the difference three years makes in appearances on a ship that has not been well cared for. The ship was filthy especially in the pool area where there was mildew, dust and rust everywhere. The undersides of the cushions on the pool table chairs were black with mildew. The pool bar glasses were streaked and dirty. The carpet was torn and worn. If one looked carefully, all open areas were dirty and rust was very pronounced in most places. Embarkation was well run and I was on board by 11:30. After a quick tour of the public spaces on the ship I had lunch at the Windjammer Cafe. The food is good but what one might expect in any large cafeteria. At 13:00 Hrs. we were allowed in our cabins. Mine was a Junior Suite on deck seven at the stern of the ship. The cabin is quite spacious especially for one person and was priced the same as an ordinary balcony cabin. The bonus is the balconies on the stern cabins are twice as deep as those elsewhere. But here again, RCCL's insistence on intense cash flow by keeping the ship moving shows up. The carpet on the balcony was worn through to metal. It has been painted and you can see mildew and holes throughout the entire balcony floor. I had trepidations about going out there barefooted. Also rust was rearing its ugly head in many spots. The beds in the cabin were lumpy and sagging. Another greed area is the cabin mini-bar. In fact, it is a small fridge with two waters, cokes, and sprites. No beer or liquor or snacks. This brings me to another subject. RCCL strictly enforces their no alcohol from ashore policy. A friend of mine with whom I travel with extensively had two liters of liquor in his bag and they confiscated his bag and the liquor and he was told if he made an issue of it they would put him off the ship at the next port. He did get his bag back but not the liquor. My bottle of scotch came through fine. I will not reveal how I sneak it on but if you write to me and ask I will divulge my secret. I understand any company wanting to maximize profit but most adults like a drink in their cabin from time to rime. RCCL should either allow one to purchase liquor in their onboard stores (At street prices) and have stocked mini bars or both. Holland America does this and I don't have to sneak it on. Dining in the Great Gatsby Dining room was good. The food was VERY good and the service was done very well. We had some wonderful table mates and looked forward to our meals. The only distraction is RCCL makes their dining staff march and sing and put on some show almost every evening. I am sure I am in a minority as others seem to enjoy it. I find it most distasteful. My favorite spot on the ship was The Schooner Bar on deck six. It is centrally located and almost everyone on the ship passes by there at one time or another. I met some wonderful folks there and it became a nightly gathering place for us all. The service in that bar is superlative! This brings up another issue. This cruise had 649 children onboard. In order for them to maintain their sugar highs they are permitted to purchase their cokes etc. at any bar. Most of these children were rude and ran in packs. They would descend upon the bar like hoards and disrupt all conversation. It would be much nicer to insist that children be banned from adult lounges and be confined to drink in their designated areas. The ports of call were Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and San Miguel Cozumel. Unfortunately the cruise industry has oversaturated the market. There were six ships on Grand Cayman. There were three ships at Costa Maya and there were seven ships at the island of Cozumel. Considering each ship had an average of about 2800 passengers the volume of people onshore was staggering. I used to love going to Costa Maya and Grand Cayman but the quieter times there are now but a good memory. I did not go to the shows nor did I utilize ship sponsored shore excursions. Therefore I have no comment. I did go the onboard lectures and in particularly enjoyed the lecture regarding prostitution in New Orleans by Mrs. Pam Arceneaux. She also gave two others that concerned Voodoo and the ethnic background of the culinary foods of Louisiana. RCCL would be wise to book her more often. Disembarkation was easy and no problem. I was off the ship by 8:30 and home in Fairhope, AL by 11:15. Overall the cruise was fun and enjoyable. I was disappointed in the condition of the ship and some of their policies. I now know I'll never cruise the Western Caribbean again and I doubt if I'll cruise RCCL again. For me it's back to the clean and extremely well run Holland America Line. There was a small outbreak of the Norwalk Virus onboard. One crew member told me there were sixteen cases. (Cleanliness?) I will be happy to elaborate on any issue regarding this cruise by sending me an email to peterc6@bellsouth.net. Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
We booked our air through Royal Caribbean and were impressed with the flights they were able to offer, and the price. The only annoying part of the travel was that the transfer from the airport to the ship took forever (more than 2 hours) ... Read More
We booked our air through Royal Caribbean and were impressed with the flights they were able to offer, and the price. The only annoying part of the travel was that the transfer from the airport to the ship took forever (more than 2 hours) because we had to wait for buses and the wait was in the parking garage where we were exposed to fumes from the various shuttles. We originally booked an ocean view room but when we got to the boat, found that the bathroom had been used and were upgraded to a balcony. The room was larger than I expected, though definitely not what I would consider comfortable. I was hesitant to sit on the couch as it looked as though it had been on the ship since its inception more than 10 years ago. The balcony was great and I would never go on a cruise without one- being able to get fresh air in the room was great, as was the ability to enjoy the sounds of the water and watch the ports from the privacy of our own room. Service was very good and our room attendant was friendly and attentive. The gym was impressive and better than I expected. There were also a variety of classes offered which we did not take, but sounded of interest. The food was disappointing. The menus offered a variety of entrees and appetizers, but the quality was only mediocre. We also did not enjoy having to eat dinner with the same boring family every night. By the second or third meal, we had run out of things to talk about and wished we could simply agree to ignore eachother the rest of the trip. We also never understood the desire of our dining companions to order multiple meals - to make sure they "got their money's worth??" I have a feeling they don't do that at restaurants so do not understand the need to do it aboard a ship. The ages of the guests varied, which was nice. Not too many spring breakers and we were relieved to see that. The ports were nice and we enjoyed the excursions we booked (not through the cruise line). We felt we had enough time at most ports but were anxious about making it back to the boat before it left us behind. Getting on and off the ship was well-organized and efficient. The entertainment varied. We enjoyed the a capella group and Star search venues. The ship entertainers were ok and varied in terms of how well they performed. We wished there were more classes offered - no cooking or other things we would have enjoyed. Lots of bingo (not our style). We had the late seating option and all of our shows were "pre-dinner" shows. We would have preferred to see the entertainment after dinner. The karaoke was fun. On our last day at sea, I became sick and was able to see the doctor on board free of charge. He thought I had caught a virus. I was told to remain in room for the remainder of the cruise which was fine because at that point I really didn't feel like being anywhere else. The room service we ordered that night was very accommodating. All in all, an ok experience, but probably will not go on another cruise again, or if we do, would probably go with freestyle cruising options or with a bigger group of friends. Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
We just returned from the February 24th sailing of the Grandeur of the Seas. This was our ninth cruise and our third on RCI. Overall, we had a great time. Embarkation: We arrived at the port in New Orleans at 11:00 and got on the ship by ... Read More
We just returned from the February 24th sailing of the Grandeur of the Seas. This was our ninth cruise and our third on RCI. Overall, we had a great time. Embarkation: We arrived at the port in New Orleans at 11:00 and got on the ship by 1:15. We were delayed due to the incidence of the Norwalk virus and the extra cleaning that needed to be done. Cabin: We booked a last minute deal via the cruise line's website. We took a gamble and did not get to pick our cabin. We ended up with cabin #7619, an inside on the 7th deck. The cabin was just enough space for the 2 of us and very quiet. The bed was hard, more like a deluxe cot. The pillows were firm and the blanket coarse. My suggestion, if you have enough space in your luggage, would be to bring your own pillow and soft blanket. That being said, we slept fairly well anyway due to exhaustion from all the fun activities. Our room steward, Wayu, was excellent and kept our room spotless. We did bring food back to our room on the second night, but after seeing one of the largest cockroaches staring at me from the wall opposite my side of the bed, we quickly stopped all food items being left in our room. The location of our cabin was great! Central to almost everything and I rarely needed to use the elevators. Ship: Although I agree with others it is a little worn in places, The crew was constantly cleaning and appeared very clean. The artwork hanging on the walls and marble floors made the ship seem very elegant. The Solarium was especially beautiful. Entertainment: A wide range of activities were offered. I did climb the rock wall which was more challenging than it looked and that was on the easiest level. It was a blast! They offered various lectures about New Orleans which I didn't attend but seemed like they would be interesting. Many other classes and demonstrations were offered as well as games and contests. Our cruise director Dennis was very personable and did a great job! We liked the production shows but felt they were missing some of the pizzazz of shows we have seen on other ships. The comedian/juggler Charles Peachock was really funny and entertaining. I thought the Bingo was overpriced $25-$35 for the card packages and with a couple hundred people playing; the odds were not in your favor. The casino was also a disappointment which is really a good thing for me since I don't want to spend much time there anyway. There was a poor selection of slot machines and it was very smoky. I did win a little and came out ahead, probably because I didn't spend much time there. Dining: We ate most of our dinners in the Great Gatsby Dining Room. Our servers Anil and Dario were fantastic. They anticipated our every need and were very efficient despite the large number of people they were serving! The food in the dining was very good. The bread and desserts were some of the best we ever had. The entrees were sometimes flavorless, but the servers would bring something else if desired. The Windjammer buffet was disappointing. Because of the Norwalk virus, they have people dishing out your food and during busy times it seems chaotic. Once again, the entrees weren't real flavorful. The pizza in the Solarium wasn't very good; the cheese had a strange texture to it. My husband loved the burgers and fries! Fitness Center: The gym, had a great selection of exercise equipment and offered many fitness classes. The spa has a nice steam room and sauna one can use free of charge. For an inexpensive spa treatment I brought some spa products from home, one of which was a mud mask. I lathered it on and then laid down in the steam room and my skin felt very soft afterwards. The spa also has private treatment rooms which appeared quiet and relaxing with some great in port specials. Highlights: The overall elegance of the ship, with many quiet corners such as the outside area on the fifth deck, the many clubs and bars, the library, the atrium, the Solarium provided many places to just sit and relax. The service of all personnel was kind, courteous, and professional. Captain Rob was also very entertaining which a first was for me. I found myself looking forward to his Navigational update at noon everyday. He was very funny. Having an inside cabin, it was nice to get to experience the balcony in the library. We appreciated the newspaper "The New York Times" synopsis that was provided every day for free. We appreciated the free photo frames and coupon booklet we received for being previous cruisers and belonging to the Crown and Anchor club. Miscellaneous tips: You can buy a soda package for $42 per person which seemed like a good deal if you are a big soda drinker. We brought on a 12 pack and some bottled water to save a little money and have drinks available in our cabin. We brought a collapsible cooler which our room steward filled with ice when requested. We also brought our own thermal mugs since the coffee cups available never seem to keep the coffee warm for very long. Although this wasn't offered as an option, during disembarkation, you may want to carry your own luggage off the ship. I saw a few people doing this and they were able to get off the ship right away. We were stuck waiting for our luggage tags to be called, and when our color was called, we were unable to locate one bag which was eventually found but took about an hour to locate. Ports of call: Grand Cayman: We rented a scooter for $45 for the day. The traffic was horrendous in Georgetown, but better once we got out of the city. We drove to Rum Point. This was an absolutely beautiful place with turquoise water which was crystal clear and calm. The beach had many shaded spots for relaxing! I would definitely go there again. Costa Maya: While my husband went shopping, I went off exploring. I wanted to see if I could get to that beautiful beach area to the right of the port area. I eventually found the "hole in the fence" as written about in other reviews. I was all by myself with no one else in sight so I was a little nervous, but determined to get to the beach. I did find the trail and the beach. There was a little beach bar nearby and probably about 30 people on the beach. What a beautiful place! I ended up staying there the whole day. I rented a horse for $25 and rode along a pretty path to the beach and the ruins of a lighthouse. My guide, Miguel, was fantastic! He can lead up to groups of ten, and I would highly recommend his tour. Cozumel: We rented scooters again (2 scooters for $60) and drove to the Mayan ruins of San Gervasio. The drive to get there was interesting, but the ruins are definitely overrated! They are in poor condition, and it reminded me of a big tourist trap! We continued on to the east side of the island which is very beautiful. However, today the wind was terrible, and as we drove our scooters along the scenic road, we were sandblasted. It turned out to be a very painful ride. We stopped at a couple of Beach clubs for refreshments. I would rent a scooter again in Cozumel, but on a less windy day! I thought this was great vacation value for the price and would definitely cruise with RCI again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
Hello! Since I was beginning to hijack the other Grandeur review thread, I figured I'd start my own. Quick background, hubby and I are 32 and 30, have previously cruised on Carnival once, Princess twice, and RCI once. Princess had ... Read More
Hello! Since I was beginning to hijack the other Grandeur review thread, I figured I'd start my own. Quick background, hubby and I are 32 and 30, have previously cruised on Carnival once, Princess twice, and RCI once. Princess had always been my favorite of all three. As far as RCI went, we had only been on the Sovereign and were wary about going on another "smaller" RCI ship. We were cruising with another couple around our age and the Grandeur was really just a perfect price! I was also hoping to get back to New Orleans after Katrina and give them as much tourism money (see: liquor) as I could! Ok this may get long. But I always love the long reviews so I hope you do also! We arrived that Friday the day prior to leaving. Hubby and I stayed at The Inn on Bourbon and it was great. Literally right on Bourbon street. I won't get into the fiasco of our Jet Blue flight. Let's just say our luggage was purposefully left at JFK along with about 50 others because it "couldn't fit" and we had to go back to the airport Saturday morning to retrieve it because they weren't sure how late it would be delivered. Anyhoo, that Friday night we went to a casual dinner, met our friends at Pat O'briens. We had a good time. Picked up a bottle of VO and a bottle of Crown to bring onboard. Yes we are one of "those". Made it through no problems. Embarkation was a mess. While I understand that boarding was delayed due to Noro on the previous cruise, the organization and communication could have been better. I kept asking where suite check in was and they'd point to a mass of people and say over there with a general wave of the hand. If I asked them to elaborate they waved again. Gee thanks. After fighting through a crowd of annoyed security waiters we found it. And luckily having the jr. suite we could go through security first as well, because the line at that point was LONG! Our friends were staying in an interior but saw a "crew" security line that a few passengers seemed to be in. Our friend said "can I go in this line as well?" and they said, why not. So they snuck in right away! Totally unorganized. It's no Pt. Canaveral set up, that's for sure. Got on at about 1:30, hung out a bit til our room was ready at 2. We got an aft JS, 7652. Of course being an older ship the rooms were not the "wow" factor, but I expected that. It was very roomy and perfect for our planned pre dinner happy hours. The balcony was the HIGHLIGHT!!! I am addicted to afts as of now. Roomy, 2 lounge chairs, peaceful. AWESOME! Spent lots of time here in the late afternoons, reading, or eating breakfast. I never thought I'd be one of those aft obsessed cruisers, but here I am! Room steward was Fertinand, nice guy, good worker. I have to say, RCI has the absolute worst muster drill of all lines I've been on. Lining people up like cattle in the possible heat just seems silly. Princess and Carnival bring you to a lounge and let people learn in a comfortable, spacious, environment. And that is where you will meet in case of issues. It is just so much more relaxed and sensible, I think. Ship was in AMAZING condition I thought for being the age that it was. It was just so much nicer then the Sovereign. Obviously I knew it wouldn't have the bells and whistles that the Carib Princess or a Voyager ship would have. But what people keep saying turned out to be true. What a wonderful staff on this ship. I can't explain what it was! The whole ship had a happy, wonderful vibe. Solarium was nice, although I wish they'd open the roof more, a lot of times it was quite warm. I did enjoy the hot tubs there every afternoon. I tended to lay out on deck 10 aft, much more peaceful and an abundance of chairs. Only problem was that the drink servers didn't frequent this area. It was EXTREMELY windy the first 2 days so that's probably the reason. Typical pool games, men's sexy legs, belly flop, etc. It always kills me when people on the RCI board bitch about Carnival and their trashy games. Royal clearly has em too! I didn't watch them but my friends got a chuckle. The muster deck is a quiet, peaceful place to watch the sea and read. I walked on this deck almost every day. Dennis the cruise director was not our cup of tea. To be honest, we rarely like them...the cheese factor is way too high. Our Sovereign cd was the best by far. Actually funny! This guy just got under our skin. The CAPTAIN on the other hand was wonderful. Great sense of humor. I loved his announcements every day. Ron Hemstead was his name I believe. Some of the entertainment we really enjoyed. This group of men, Mosaic, did a whole concert with just sounds from their mouths and singing. I thought it was absolutely awesome. Best thing I've ever seen on a ship. The juggler was funny as well. I felt the late comedian was lacking a bit. We didn't attend most of the shows because we prefer happy hour before dinner, show after, and we had late seating. RCI tends to have most of their late seating shows before dinner. Now's when I get yelled at I'm sure...are the four of us the only ones that find Quest sophomoric and not that funny? I'm sure it varies from ship to ship. I just felt that you could only see men change into women's clothing so many times. I was disappointed because I was so looking forward to finally seeing it! I think I was picturing something much raunchier! ;) Love and Marriage game was cute, as usual. Casino treated my husband right, but not me. Nothing unusual. Deck party was THE most attended and fun I've ever seen. Granted I think I've skipped it a few times in the past. Didn't attend any art auctions. Our entire table of 10 at dinner felt the food was good, not excellent. There were some good dishes. Desserts seemed quite lacking. I felt that the last time, also. I still managed to gorge myself. Our waiter Mr. Small was funny, he grew on us. He had kind of a "too cool" attitude. We got used to it. He screwed up at least one order a night. Now Danny our Asst. waiter ROCKED! Wonderful, happy, funny guy. Always remembered my tea each night. Our tablemates were also great. We had a great time with them. Lunches are worth mentioning because a lot of times I felt the food was better at this time then dinner. We always try to make it to the dining room lunches if we can. We were a bit disappointed that they didn't do dining room lunches when we were in port. Princess has it every day and we love it. Yes we enjoy eating, we spend months NOT eating so we can overeat on a cruise! ;) Room service breakfast most mornings. I'm not a buffet fan. I didn't really use the spa. I spoke to a few people that had multiple problems with their appointment times. Who knows. The relaxation room was nice, I often got tea there to take with me. I'm trying not to leave things out but it's getting crazy long! I won't talk about what we did in port, I will write separate reviews for that on the corresponding message boards. I will say that we were VERY happy to dock in Cozumel! Go Captain Ron for making it happen! Tendering is just simply a pain. I need to give a shout out to our favorite staff member on the ship, "Chicken" Richard, the wonderful drink server. If you met him, you'll know what I mean. He was QUITE the ladies man! He was funny, flirty, friendly, and so memorable. We tipped him quite a bit extra each time he brought us drinks. He remembered our names after meeting him once! True cruise employee. Can't say enough about him! Disembarkation was a bit crazy as well, everyone's annoyed and fighting to get a cab. Yes there was a line, but not clearly marked, and it caused a bit of insanity. I think the NOLA port needs a bit more organization. They didn't even LOOK at my customs card OR passport. A little scary. Ok, let's wrap it up. Final thoughts. I loved the Grandeur so much more then I ever thought I would. In fact, I would love to go on this ship again as a "side cruise" being that the price is so right! While I do prefer the larger ships I thought this was a gem of a ship, and staff. With that being said, Princess still remains our favorite line, large or small ship. Personal reasons, like the fact that the second seating shows are after dinner, more dining room time, we feel the food is MUCH better, I prefer the spa pools to the solarium, etc. But again, subjective. I will say that I honestly don't see a huge difference between Carnival and RCI. People like to say that the clientele on RCI is much classier...and maybe it's just my experience, but it seems pretty darn similar to me. Again, just my opinion. I think I'll be back on the Grandeur! Thank god we have a Crown Princess cruise already booked WITH aft balcony in October or I think I'd cry from post-cruise depression! Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
Had a great cruise. Never sailed out of New Orleans before. I was surprised at how long it took to get out of the Mississippi river. The ship and crew were great. Had a delay at the airport when boarding the buses. They said it was ... Read More
Had a great cruise. Never sailed out of New Orleans before. I was surprised at how long it took to get out of the Mississippi river. The ship and crew were great. Had a delay at the airport when boarding the buses. They said it was because of an outbreak of a virus and that they were sterilizing the ship. We had an ocean view stateroom which was nice. The only time we were in the room was usually sleeping or getting dressed. The cabin attendant was great and so were the wait staff. The food was good. I was not wowed, however, I don't expect to be with that large of a group of people. I think the food is what you would find in a good restaurant. The wait staff was very attentive and accommodating. The last night I did not like the fish selection and they went out of their way to make sure I chose something else. The shows were entertaining. I had never cruised this long before without the frequent stops. I really enjoyed being out to sea. I think they had enough diversions and also quiet places to enjoy the cruising. I appreciated their effort to have a safe environment for the tourist. The downside of the cruise was the way my luggage was handled. I thought that it looked like it had been beaten up when I received it at my room. However, it was totally beaten up when I left the ship. One of the wheels on my suitcase was completely torn off. Also, our excursion was canceled at Costa Maya because of weather. So we had to spend time in the port. It felt like a penal colony that was entertaining a spring break. The other ports were beautiful and made up for this one. Sorry that they are not going to cruise out of New Orleans again next year. Really enjoyed the experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
Overall we felt this cruise was an excellent value. The Grandeur of the Seas is an older ship but is well-run and fairly well-maintained. This was a common Western Caribbean itinerary with stops in Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Georgetown Grand ... Read More
Overall we felt this cruise was an excellent value. The Grandeur of the Seas is an older ship but is well-run and fairly well-maintained. This was a common Western Caribbean itinerary with stops in Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Georgetown Grand Cayman. Background: my wife and I are in our early 50's and this was our 20th cruise. We arrange our own port activities; we like beach days and we are scuba divers. We traveled with additional family including our 16-month old grandson. 1. Cruise Itinerary. (We never take the ship's excursions; we arrange our own port activities. We like beach days and we are scuba divers.) - Georgetown Grand Cayman. Spent a beach day with our family at Royal Palms Beach; a nice clean beach that was reasonably priced. Bus was $4 per person each way. You can get 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella for $20. Very nice place to sun and swim. Bar with snacks and drinks. Clean bathrooms. No need to reserve; just get off the ship and grab a bus. A bit crowded this day as there were 6 ships in port. - Costa Maya. Weather was very rough so decided not to dive. Just spent the day in and around the shopping plaza. Visited a few of the shops but my wife found no good deals. (Save your shopping for Cozumel) We grabbed a Palapa by the beach and hung out all day enjoying the ocean view and breezes. - Cozumel. Did a 2-tank boat dive with "Dive with Martin". As usual the diving was spectacular and the folks at the dive shop were great......safe, fun, and inexpensive. IMHO best dive shop in Cozumel. We dove the Santa Rosa Wall and Yucab reef; both were wonderful. Glad to see the island (the people and the marine life) are recovering well from Wilma. 2. Crew/service. Overall, good. The whole crew was professional. Our cabin service was outstanding. Our table service was OK; they were stretched a little thin with too many tables and customers. The crew did an excellent job taking care of our little grandson. Everyone will feel pampered. 3. Food. Overall, good. There were good beef and seafood options every night. Appetizers and desserts were also good. Breakfast and lunch buffets were so-so. Breakfast and lunch were excellent in the dining room. The room service food was good and was delivered quickly. Note: there are five casual nights and two formal nights. For those guys who like me HATE to dress up......a sports jacket, dockers, and old tie works just fine on the two "formal nights". 4. Entertainment. My wife is a musician and I depend on her for this evaluation. Entertainment was good overall. The guest musicians and the juggler were excellent. The evening shows are worth going to. The singers/dancers were so-so. 5. Cabins. Ours was a standard outside cabin with window. It was small but it was clean and well-maintained. 6. Kid's programs/babysitting. These services are well organized and greatly appreciated. The Aqua Babies program was nice. 7. Embarkation/Debarkation: Embarkation was disorganized. If you drive to the pier either get there very early (11-12) or don't arrive before 2p.m. We arrived by car at the pier just after noon and there was a very long line of cars and a long wait. Next time I would wait until 2 or 3 to board. Debarkation was very smooth and everyone was off the ship by 10 a.m. 8. The Ship. Well maintained, clean and in good repair for an older vessel due for dry-dock. Good gym, with a fair amount of equipment, whirlpool, and saunas. Public areas were kept clean. I wish the smoking areas were better enforced; had to move a few times to escape the stink of cigarette/cigar smoke. I do not hesitate to recommend this cruise to anyone: either newcomers to cruising or "old hands" like us. I would take this cruise again and I am personally very disappointed to hear that the Grandeur is leaving New Orleans. Feel free to email questions to Bill Grier at skpr9354@hotmail.com Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
Just returned from a nice sunny and warm cruise to the Western Caribbean. What fun to leave the February snow behind and within a couple of days to be basking in the hot sun as you lounge by the pool and sip a cold margarita! This was my ... Read More
Just returned from a nice sunny and warm cruise to the Western Caribbean. What fun to leave the February snow behind and within a couple of days to be basking in the hot sun as you lounge by the pool and sip a cold margarita! This was my lovely wife and my 15th cruise and 12th with RCI. We have sailed on the Grandeur three times before. So you might ask why sail on the same ship over and over, the answer is simply that it is a great bargain, with a convenient port location, and a ship and crew have always exceeded our expectations. We drove from Middle TN to New Orleans on Friday and spent the night at the Hilton Riverside which is adjacent to the pier. We booked the Hilton through Priceline.com and received a great rate for a 4 star hotel. Be aware that the parking garage for the night is quite pricey at $25 per night (I remember when you could get a good hotel room for $25). We boarded the ship at 10:30 a.m. the next morning. The embarkation process was quick and efficient. Since we are Diamond Level members of the Crown and Anchor there was a special line for us, but we opted to stay in the regular line with my sister and BIL with whom we were traveling but it didn't matter since we were through in less than 5 minutes! The condition Grandeur was just as we had left when we sailed a couple of years ago. The brass was shiny and carpets clean. Sure there is a little wear but she is aging with grace. Our cabin was about the size of a postage stamp but we knew it would be that way when we booked it at an embarrassingly low rate. It was an inside cabin that was located on deck 2 forward. However, the cabin size was worth overlooking when we met our cabin attendant. Her name was Arlene and she was the best we have ever had. She was punctual and efficient. She always had a wonderful smile and nice greeting. When we left the ship at the end of the cruised we all hugged and I think we got a little misty eyed. Dining was a pleasurable experience. We did have one snafu when we noticed on our seapass cards that my sister and BIL were not seated at our table. We went down to the dining room on the day of embarkation at 1:30pm and got the situation rectified. We did end up sitting at a table that was very near the kitchen door but it wasn't a problem. The dining service was good however our wait staff although friendly was not very personable (no jokes, magic tricks or ability to address us by our names). The head waiter Mary was very good and came by our table every night to see if were satisfied. To be honest we did not participate in many activities except bingo a couple of times and the casino more than we should have. There was plenty to do on the ship however this was a vacation to relax and that is exactly what we did with lots of reading by the pool. The entertainment was good on the ship. We did the shows every night after dinner and enjoyed all except one. The RCI singers and dancers were very professional and fortunately RCI has come up with some new shows and we were glad since some of the older ones were have seen many times. There was a comedian one night, a juggler/comedian another night, and a group called Tribute that did all the Temptations songs. All were enjoyable. We had been to all the ports several times before. We did get of off the ship in each port but only took a tour in the Grand Caymans. We tender to shore and then just hooked up with one of the locals for a tour of the island. The tour guide/driver was a native of the island and was very informative about the customs of the island, the government and even told about some of the local favorite recipes. I think we paid $20 per person and it was well worth it just to meet her. We went to "Hell", the Turtle Farm, the Rum Cake Factory (It was extremely crowded but our tour guide-an she was no small lady- wormed her way through the crowd and was back on the porch with samples of all the cakes for us in a matter of seconds!). Costa Maya and Cozumel was pleasant but mainly just the same Tee-Shirt, Onyz, and liquor shops. So we just strolled around for an hour and then got back on the Grandeur and found our way to the Windjammer for lunch and then to the pool for more reading and the "drink of the day". Disembarkation was a breeze although we were a little delayed since some of the non US citizens were slow about reporting to US Customs for clearance. We were off the ship and on the road headed home by 9:30 a.m. In summary, it was a great cruise and to be honest a great bargain. I'm a little sad that the Grandeur (or any RCI vessel) will not be sailing out of New Orleans after this spring. New Orleans needs the tourist dollars to help with their recovery efforts. You can't beat RCI for consistent value for your cruising dollar. I'm sure we will cruise again before the end of the year. Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
Just returned from the Grandeur of the Seas. We had an EXCELLENT, WONDERFUL, GREAT time. I will use a number grade for each topic I review. The following is my number scale. 5 equals an Excellent 4 equals Good 3 equals Average, ... Read More
Just returned from the Grandeur of the Seas. We had an EXCELLENT, WONDERFUL, GREAT time. I will use a number grade for each topic I review. The following is my number scale. 5 equals an Excellent 4 equals Good 3 equals Average, actually the lowest I expect 2 equals poor not acceptable 1 equals total disgust totally not acceptable. I will review the ship in 5 areas. Food, Service, Cabin, General Ship Condition and Entertainment. FOOD would receive a 4 rating. The quality was OK the portions were good. Everything came with some kind of sauce which could of been left off if requested. Each evening there were alternatives like steak which were offered. Food was equal to a good quality banquet. Desserts were the biggest disappointments; very small selection and rather strange in taste. The Windjammer buffet was a different story. Food was extremely uninteresting. Service was lacking. My wife noted how they would allow our table to remain cluttered with dirty dishes. Egg station was good. The only oatmeal at breakfast they never had cream of wheat. Of course they had all the other normal fare on a breakfast buffet. We never ate anyplace except the Gatsby dining room for suppers se don't know of any other places. Actually I never heard mentioned a pay restaurant. Coffee was so so. Fruit was good. Solarium food was pizza, OK but have had better, hotdog, hamburgers and fries. Only had one hot dog it was good. Fries were very good. SERVICE would receive a 4 rating. If our cabin steward would have been better this rating would have been a 5. I will tell you about our cabin steward first. He was not very friendly at all. It took a few days to get him doing what was expected. I don't expect much but I do expect enough towels for two people and adequate drinking glasses. He did make towel animals and such. He did keep the cabin clean but lacked in keeping us supplied in towels. I shower twice a day. He would take my towel from the morning shower and didn't leave a towel for my afternoon shower. I bought my wife a rose. She put it in one of the drinking glasses. The cabin steward assumed we still only needed 2 drinking glasses. I had a talk with him on day three thing got slightly better. Dining room service. This was my 20th cruise and I must say I have never had any better service in the dining room. All of our wait staff were from India. My 9 year old grand daughter was with us and the head waiter, Signiy, refused to allow her to cut her own meat. He spoiled her all week long. Osben our waiter was excellent. He never got an order messed up. He was extremely attentive and very friendly. We sat at a table for 10 which they but 1 extra chair at, I will explain later, and he served us with great ease. Our assistant waiter Jenna was very good not very talkative but very attentive. Once she learned, the first night, our drink and bread selections they were waiting for us when you sat down. CABIN would receive a 3 rating. We had 3555 and 3557 these were connecting cabins on the 3rd deck between the centrium elevator and the forward elevator. They were standard inside cabins, 140 sq ft. Enough space if you are neat. Bathroom was a normal too small for big people. Beds were good. My wife said they were great she like a soft bed. Storage was good. We didn't even use all our drawers. If we had had a better cabin steward I would said the cabin were a 4. Ships General Condition I will rate this as a 5. If you consider the age built in 1996 the ship was in very good condition. They were constantly cleaning and repairing the ship. ENTERTAINMENT will be rated the highest. We were blessed on this cruise, the lead girl singer had her evening meals with us 5 of the 7 nights. Her family of 5 were sailing and were seated at our table of our family of 5. She was allowed to eat with her family so we were blessed to share her company. Her name was Kristin, she wears the blond wig in the show. She is quite good. She is in her 3rd contract with RCCL. She shared some of the interesting facts about shipboard life. Beside the production shows which were very good we had the Coasters which did a good show. The others were really good also. The juggler was excellent. Some general comments. The Captain is an American by the name of Rob Hempstead he is from Seattle. He is very funny and friendly. His briefings were excellent. The cruise director is Hamish Davis he has been on ships for 3 years and is a CD already and after sailing with him for 1 week I know why he is really good. If you have read many of my post on this board you know Costa is my all time favorite cruise line. With RCCL second. But after this cruise I see Costa and RCCL as neck and neck for my favorite lines. I still like Costa for the activities but general overall cruise experience I will say RCCL is number 1. By the way our family won the Quest and my son-in-law won the belly flop contest. Any questions just ask. Don Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
My name is Kelly, 23 years old, and I reside in Clear Lake, TX. This is my third time cruising, second time to cruise with RCCL, but the first time on Grandeur of the Seas. I guess you can say that my hobby is to research cruises. I ... Read More
My name is Kelly, 23 years old, and I reside in Clear Lake, TX. This is my third time cruising, second time to cruise with RCCL, but the first time on Grandeur of the Seas. I guess you can say that my hobby is to research cruises. I traveled with my boyfriend and parents. We drove up Friday night and stayed in Baton Rouge. I do not recommend that because the area was not safe and I recently found out that the crime rate there was horrendous. Saturday morning, we headed to New Orleans, arriving around 1 p.m. I actually have cruised out of New Orleans the previous year (pre- Katrina), so I was familiar with the area. Unfortunately, since Katrina the parking situation had changed. We followed the directions to Terminal 2 parking (which is where you park for the RiverWalk Mall) located in your cruise book. That parking lot has NO SECURITY or FENCING. I DON'T ADVISE PARKING THERE. When we called RCCL, they could tell us if there was another parking garage (very disappointing) so we drove around for an hour. Take my advise and park in the new parking garage ($97) off of Julia St., to the right of the port and convention center. You'll be happy you read my advise because someone's car was broken into in the other parking lot. BUT before you drop your car off, you have to drive up and drop your luggage off at the terminal. I was very angry at the point because the previous year, when you parked there was a parking attendant to take your bags for you. Then, you just hopped on a bus and they took you to the terminal. NO ONE informed us that it had changed. SO, after we dropped off the luggage and parked the car, we walked about 2 blocks to the terminal to check in. Before leaving Clear Lake, we completed the online check-in process and printed out our Set Sail passes. I highly advise doing this because it will make the check-in process go faster. Another aspect that cost me was the fact that RCCL told me I HAD TO HAVE a passport, but when I got there and $100 later, I find out I don't until 2008. Next, once on board we proceeded to our cabins: third floor, interior room. The rooms were a lot smaller compared to my last cruise on Carnival Conquest. The service was excellent and I always enjoy the towel animals!! Only had a few problems with remote and safe not working, but they fixed it right a way. FOOD: the food was excellent in the dining room. The service was great and the entertainment was hilarious. I have no complaints about the dining room. The Windjammer was good, but nothing compared to the dining room. I ate there for breakfast and once for dinner. It's a buffet so there wasn't much service. The Solarium was interesting. I only ate there after our long night in Cozumel (I'll get to that), but when you are exhausted from drinking and dancing, food is food. ACTIVITIES: Unfortunately, there weren't too many hot sunny days. I don't advise going in January if you like to bake in the sun all day. I think I had one full day to lay out and the rest of the time was WINDY and cloudy. If you love to laugh or be laughed at, don't miss the poolside games like Sexy Legs Contest. ITS GREAT! The comedy show was funny, but I did not enjoy the dancers. I have been dancing since I was 6 and from an experienced dancer perspective, they were no professionals. For the older crowd, but young at heart, you should definitely check out the 70's night in Viking Crown Lounge. As a younger woman, I did not fully enjoy the Viking Crown Lounge because they played music that I am not into. Ever so often they played hip hop music from this decade (ha).I was disappointed that the Calypso band (which I love ) only played for an hour or two a day. The Teddy Band played in the Centrum in the evening romantic time for ballroom dancing or snuggling up on a couch and enjoying the music. GRAND Cayman  This was my third time to the Cayman islands. My parents have been on the Tour of Cayman and Seven Mile Beach Break. They went to hell (the town) and the turtle farm. They said it was okay but very long. My boyfriend and I went shopping in town (VERY EXPENSIVE) and of course MARGARITAVILLE. It's fun for all adults (have to be 18). The margaritas were $12 and the shots were $10. We actually ran out of money. There is a slide and pool inside the rest./bar. The d.j. and games they play are a little sexual, but all in good fun. After that we took a taxi ($4 a person one way) to Seven Mile Beach where we laid out for a few hours. Definitely worth seeing! Later, we went PARASAILING!!! I got a little sea sick because the water was rough, but we had a blast. You can see the entire island from 450 ft in the air. COSTA MAYA  We did not get to dock there because the water and waves were too rough. We actually had like hurricane winds. That was a bummer! We spent that day on the ship inside gambling and sleeping. The cruise staff was not prepared for that to happen and did not compensate AT ALL for it. There was nothing really to do during the day ( since we were supposed to be in Mexico), but they did refund our excursions for Costa Maya. COZUMEL (at night) Since we didn't dock in Costa Maya, we continued that day to Cozumel. We ended up docking there around 6pm. I was actually excited about that because I had never been to Cozumel at night. They let us stay there from 6pm to 5 pm the next night. If this happens to you, take advantage of Carlos and Charlie's. CHEAP MARGARITAS, FREE SHOTS, GREAT music from every era, and FUN STAFF. I bet you can guess what we all did that night. BE AWARE of the TEQUILA Congo Lines , and if you don't like to get your boobs grabbed by random ladies (most don't), don't take a shot from the shot lady with the whistle. COZUMEL (next day)  After a long night, we woke up at 8 am to get breakfast, then tender to the island. We took a taxi to Playa Mia Beach Break -- $15 for the taxi ride one way, the taxi drivers cruise at about 90 mph (YIKES). Playa Mia was beautiful!! There were so many activities going on like paddle boats, volleyball, swimming in the pool or ocean, water trampoline, kayaks, and so much more. We laid out for two hours and then did the paddle boats. If you're a beach person, definitely go to Playa Mia. The only complaint I have is the cost of the taxi ride. We ended up spending about $30 to get around. We went shopping in Punta Langosta after the beach. Bargaining is fun and if you are into fashion, check out Tara Moss (jewelry store). She is an up and coming designer from Mexico and the prices aren't too bad. OVERALL- It was the least amount of fun I've had cruising. There wasn't enough to do and the (ship) size does matter. I don't advise anyone to go in January. I went in August for my other cruises, which was awesome, but also hurricane season. I think I'll try May next time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
We had a great time on the 1/6/07 sailing of the Grandeur. We took the whole family wife, me and 3 kids 8,7,4. The kids had an adjoining room which worked out great. If you are taking kids the adjoining room is the way to go. The Grandeur ... Read More
We had a great time on the 1/6/07 sailing of the Grandeur. We took the whole family wife, me and 3 kids 8,7,4. The kids had an adjoining room which worked out great. If you are taking kids the adjoining room is the way to go. The Grandeur had a great small town feel. We had excellent service in all aspects of the ship. We were especially impressed by the Adventure Ocean staff, Windjammer staff and the activity staff. We went on the cruise as part of a friend's wedding so getting on the ship at the same time some folks were still leaving was a bit harried getting to the drop off point but once inside the terminal we were on the ship and in our staterooms in about 20 minutes. The staterooms were both ready although the tux I ordered was not there. After speaking with the tailor on board(who did not get the measurements apparently for anyone in the wedding party) I received the tux within about 30-45 minutes. A small glitch that really did not have anything to do with Royal Caribbean. The wedding seemed a bit rushed and the photographer really did not seem to be taking a lot of pictures nor orchestrating anything very well. Although I must mention the group shot he took after the ceremony was fantastic. We had the second seating and had the pleasure of Ron as our waiter. He was excellent. My wife has many food allergies and we were very impressed when the head waiter came up and knew the allergies and explained the menu for us. I must mention he did this every night. The kids ate in the Windjammer each night and then we took them to Adventure Ocean. Most nights I ate twice once in the Windjammer and once in the Dining Room. The food was fantastic. The presentation was excellent especially in the Windjammer which we did not remember being so good from our last cruise. The only item that did not meet our expectations was a Reuben my wife ordered for lunch in the dining room. Otherwise we did not have a bad meal at all. The ship was very clean although signs of wear could be seen. The staff was happy and attentive to our needs. We especially loved Anna Banana and the Bingo crew. She even picked me to be Bingo Commissioner on the last day. What a thrill!!! I got the T-shirt and the keychain!!! Our youngest daughter got sick in the Adventure Ocean and the staff was wonderful to her. They gave her new clothes and washed her off before we got there. They told us we had to get clearance from the ship's doctor before she could come back. They had the incident all written out by the time we got there and it was very professional. We went the next day and got the necessary clearance from the ship's doctor and he wrote us a note and did not charge us for the visit at all. It was all done with the kids safety in mind. I cannot say enough positive things about the Adventure Ocean Staff. We also used one of the ships babysitters for our youngest each evening and that worked out great as we could catch a late show or go to the casino or just hang out with the other adults. It was a real pleasure. On the destinations we went to Grand Cayman, were not allowed to dock at Costa Maya due to rough seas so we spent an extra night at Cozumel. We booked a Swimming with the Stingrays through Sotos Cruises and it was the way to go. We had less than 20 on our boat and got great service for half what the cruise line charges. We had friends who were on the cruise ship tour and they were disappointed as the boat broke down and they spent all day waiting. They did get a refund but lost the day. The tendering at Grand Cayman was excellent. The tendering at Cozumel was slow. At Cozumel we took a taxi to Paradise Beach which was nice and then did some shopping. We went to Senor Frogs the night before. A great place to stop and we would like to go back there. The day heading into Costa Maya and the night leaving Cozumel the boat was rocking but none of us got seasick. Otherwise a very smooth ride. We were very impressed with the ship and her crew. The Captain made daily announcements that were full of info and his talk on Friday afternoon was well worth attending. We had white baggage tags so we were in our car loaded up and heading out of New Orleans at 8:39 am on Saturday. So easy. We definitely hope to sail on Grandeur again soon. Recommendations : Buy a wine and dine package. Even if you don't finish it you can take it home. Try all the bars they each have something special to offer. The Activities on board were always high energy and loads of fun. Say hi to everyone on Grandeur they will say hi back and remember your name the next day!!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
for starters, the flight from new york to new orleans on delta was great.. got to the airport, which was empty, and by the time we went to collect our bags, they were already rounding the carousel. now for one of my few complaints.. the ... Read More
for starters, the flight from new york to new orleans on delta was great.. got to the airport, which was empty, and by the time we went to collect our bags, they were already rounding the carousel. now for one of my few complaints.. the royal caribbean reps were very hard to find.. you are supposed to meet them by baggage carousel 8.. when we arrived there, there was no one there... no signs, no nothing... after standing there for o few minutes trying to figure out what to do, i noticed someone walk into the area with a RC nametag, who just sat down on a bench.. if you were never on a royal caribbean cruise before, you would have no idea who she was... anyway, that was about the biggest mishap on this cruise... the cruise terminal was great... my wife and i are platinum members.. we were taken to a special line which was empty, and checked in immediately since we had earlier filled out the seapass online... we were then taken right to the front of the security line.. membership has its privileges.. all in all, we were on the ship in 5 minutes from when we entered the terminal.. the ship itself.. the exterior looks a bit worn.. what do you want for an 11 year old ship... there is a big dent in the front on the starboard side from its mishap in costa maya last year, but no big deal... the interior is very nice.. and very clean.. it was hard to believe that it was 11 years old... if you look hard enough, you can spot some wear, like scratches in wood or a cracked tile, but very few and far between... food.. i am a very picky eater and i thought that the food was great... especially in the dining room... the staff were very attentive and tried very hard to make your trip memorable... my complaints there were that the desserts weren't very good and the bar service was extremely slow.. i ended up waiting at least 15 minutes each night to sign for my bill. the windjammer buffet was a typical buffet... the food quality was very good... but could have been hotter..... the burgers, hotdogs and pizza in the solarium were just ok. we had a standard inside cabin which suited us fine... it was a place to sleep and shower... it was very clean... and our cabin steward, elvis was great... we were in the extreme front of the 4th floor.. which was very lucky, because in the middle of the fourth floor, there was a definite almost sewage smell which wasn't pleasant.. if you have a room in that area, try to switch it to somewhere else. the entertainment was the best ive seen yet... the coasters headlined the rock and roll night and were very good.. the juggler was great... his light show was very good.... the 3 comedians were very funny... the singers and dancers were ok, but that really isn't my kind of thing... overall, i would recommend this cruise to anyone looking to simply relax... the ship wasn't as active as the eagle class, but that was a nice change of pace.... if you have any specific questions, feel free to email me.... hope this helped.... Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and was our third time on the Grandeur. This is our fifth cruise, our first time on a western caribbean itinerary and our first time driving to a port. We drove from TN and stayed with ... Read More
We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and was our third time on the Grandeur. This is our fifth cruise, our first time on a western caribbean itinerary and our first time driving to a port. We drove from TN and stayed with family in Baton Rouge. Packing was simpler since we didn't have to worry about airline weight restrictions and carry on restrictions. That was nice. My sister and brother-in-law then took us to the port on Saturday, parked in the Hilton lot and walked around the Riverwalk shopping complex. The ship was docked just outside the food court where we ate lunch. I was disappointed that few of my favorite restaurants had reopened their places in the Riverwalk. It was still nice to sit on the balcony and look at the Grandeur. At 2pm, we drove down to the Julia street pier and off we went. The signage is good for the cruise ship docks and it was no problem, just a little congested at the drop off point. We had completed the online check in and were directed to a separate line, showed our passports and credit card to the check in clerk, received our boarding cards and were passing through the security line in less than 10 minutes. We bypassed the photographers and boarded the ship where we went directly to our cabin to drop off our carry-ons. Our Cabin: 3092, deck 3 outside mid ship. Perfect location as the stairs and elevators were just steps from our door and just one flight below the main dining room and Champagne bar. More on that later.LOL We never heard our neighbors or fellow cruisers in the stair wells. It was a bit of a shock to see the condition of the beds, though. They are really sagging and when you put two sagging twin beds together it makes for a rather comical looking humpy lumpy queen bed. I would be embarrassed if I were the hotel manager. BUT, I slept great, sort of cradled by my side of the bed, since you couldn't do much cradling otherwise. Wink. The ship: Yes, she's aging. But I think (other than the mattresses)she has been well cared for and it was a joy to be sailing her again. The crew: I think this was the BEST CREW we have ever had. Everyone was friendly, personable, gracious, smiling and welcoming. We had a great time getting to know some of the crew, you just have to engage them in conversation, and you'll have a great time. Captain Rob was very entertaining as well. Hamish the CD and Anna Banana and the rest of the activities crew were so much fun. Entertainment: We missed the first night as it was only one show and by the time we got out of dinner, it was SRO and we didn't feel like staying. The next night we saw Spectrum, a group who sings Motown and they were fantastic. If you have the opportunity to go to their show, don't miss it. We also saw some of the other production shows, but Spectrum was the best. The best entertainment though, is the participation ones. The karaoke, love and marriage, battle of the sexes, and quest. If not participating, it is still loads of fun to watch. The casino: Yes, it's small by comparison, but fun and it didn't eat too much of my money. There are some very funny slot machines and there is also video black jack with minimum $2 bets, if the real thing makes you nervous. I came out about even for the week. That's unusual for me!! The food: We had main dining, a fabulous table, first floor center, just in front of the musicians. A round table for 8, all married couples and experienced cruisers. Our wait staff were fantastic and I knew from previous cruises to always chose the recommended dishes. I never was disappointed. We chose to eat in the dining room a few times at lunch and breakfast to take a break from carrying around food and looking for a table at Windjammers. The buffet is scheduled for a major overhaul when she dry docks this year. It does get a little crowded the way it is set up now. There was always a crew member at the doors to the dining areas to make sure that everyone used the alcohol gel dispensers before entering. I thanked them for doing so. Ports: We tendered to Grand Cayman, rented scooters (against the recommendation by RCCL) and toured around the island with our new friends who had done this before. We went to Hell and back, a public beach that had restrooms, showers and bar and limited restaurant. The water was somewhat cool, but it was clean and a beautiful blue. We missed Costa "Maybe", as Captain Rob referred to it, as the weather made for dangerous docking. We instead traveled north to Cozumel and docked just about supper time, allowing us to go ashore and shop if we wanted. The shops stayed open for us and it was nice, as there were 8 ships in port the next day and the shops were then very crowded. We chose to eat dinner in port and went to La Mission. We had a wonderful lobster dinner with our new found friends and we had a great time. The next day we had to leave our berth and anchor offshore then tender back in. The Grand Princess took our place. We took a Taxi to San Francisco Beach Club and spent the day lounging around drinking Modelos. It was a $13 taxi ride and it was free to get into the beach club. 2 rental chairs and an umbrella only set us back $10. Food and drink were available from an extensive menu and we spent about another $40 on that. There was a freshwater swim-up bar, clean bathrooms and very friendly service. The beach sand was clean and the water clear. Additional services, such as banana boats, jetskis, etc. were nearby. This was a nice day and loads cheaper for us than the excursion offered by RCCL to a VERY crowded Playa Mia. The Bars: Our favorite became the Champagne Bar on the 4th deck. They have a Happy Hour on the Martinis and was a fun place to meet with friends before or after dinner. A great place to watch the action of docking was in the Viking Crown lounge where they had Margarita Madness a few nights. Meet and Mingle: RCCl sponsored an M&M for Sunday afternoon. We had a fairly good turnout and my DH and I won RC baseball caps that came in handy later in the week. Overall: A great cruise, a great ship and a great crew. I'm in exile here until I sail again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
Grandeur of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 3.5 3.8
Public Rooms 3.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.5 3.9
Rates N/A 4.2

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