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7 Norfolk to Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

First run fresh from the yards, Norfolk was easy on, just don't get there before your boarding time because you will wait. We had the aft balcony stateroom, nice large balcony. The ship looks great for a 20 yr old vessel. Food was ... Read More
First run fresh from the yards, Norfolk was easy on, just don't get there before your boarding time because you will wait. We had the aft balcony stateroom, nice large balcony. The ship looks great for a 20 yr old vessel. Food was better than we expected, steak house knocked it out of the park. Seafood shack was very good as was the Bbq and of course the burgers, deli and pizza also good.Service was a little confused in the dining room the first few nights but did come together, We do not eat sushi on cruise ships so we passed on this and we did enjoy thr italian restaurant. All in all the ship did seem a little crowded at times, 3008 on our 7 day run to Grand Turk, Half Moon and Freeport, we have visited these ports before and feel you only need to see these ports once so we stayed aboard and we enjoyed the ship on these days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We thought of taking a Royal Caribbean cruise out of Baltimore, but doing so costs us a whole day at sea. I would rather take that day in a foreign port than at sea. Being from Tidewater, I truly appreciate the convenience of leaving from ... Read More
We thought of taking a Royal Caribbean cruise out of Baltimore, but doing so costs us a whole day at sea. I would rather take that day in a foreign port than at sea. Being from Tidewater, I truly appreciate the convenience of leaving from Norfolk. Plus, Grand Turk and Amber Cove, DR are new ports for us, another reason to take this cruise. We cruised last year on the Carnival Splendor so I would like to make some comparisons. One factor I noticed which was much different, in a very positive way, was that there was a marked decrease in the attempts to push liquor, jewelry and photographs. This created a more relaxed ambience. There was much less rowdiness on this ship, in fact, my fellow passengers seemed friendlier and more pleasant to be around. The engineering on this ship was much better as the Carnival Splendor had a sewer odor that could be quite pungent and unappealing. In fact, things like our showers and sinks, seemed to run perfectly. On the negative side, I really missed the live band and dedicated singers ( I think there were only five entertainers, as opposed to the twelve on the Splendor. Also, the service in the main dining room ( Sunset Restaurant) was good but not superior as it was on the Splendor. No problem with embarkation. Smooth and friendly. QUARTERS: Our cabins was outside window, Oceanview. Carnival ergonomics are excellent and we had plenty of room. We lacked a refrigerator but that did not bother us. However, one is allowed to bring on 12 soda cans ( no water bottles or green tea), so it would have been helpful to have them cold. It was my birthday and the decorations were very nice. Plus, a wonderful couple I know, left us a bottle of sparkling cider. The cabin was kept immaculately by our Steward. He was friendly and helpful. Only complaint was that the outside window was a bit dirty and should be cleaned. FOOD: Generally, I liked the food. I admit it is not nearly as good as it was 12 years ago when we took our first Carnival cruise, but there are highs and lows. Breakfast is fine The omelets are excellent, with short lines. Made to order. Oatmeal is well prepared. I love the soups, especially the cold soups. Their famed chocolate volcano melting cake is very good, though my wife does it better. I liked Guys burgers. Service is quick and friendly. The fries are similar to Five Guys, although appropriately about 1/5th as many since this is only One Guys. Burgers a bit greasy but I like greasy burgers. The Deli is very good. Real, non-pressed turkey. They also serve bagels and lox there. Another tip is the 4 cheese pizza. There is 24 hour pizza and this was a favorite of mine. Tips I learned about late: the Mongolian Wok and Cucina del Capitano, serve excellent food and are free for lunch. The lobster was good and one could eat as many lobster tails as one wants. Some of the meats less so. The Indian food choice at dinner is below mediocre. The desserts rather bland except the tropical fruit plate. Be sure to order this early in the cruise. For some reason, the fruit is super for the first few nights and then becomes less generous and more over-ripe later. The sea bass is very good. ENTERTAINMENT: As mentioned earlier, I miss the live band and dedicated singers and dancers. The dancers are very good dancers but average singers. Also, the first two nights the production shows, Playlist Productions, were a repeat from two years ago when we sailed on the Carnival Glory. The performers were better and I liked their vibrancy and enthusiasm, but the shows are a bit short and I do not like repetition. The best show was the Studio VIP production. The Epic Rock show was very good, but since my wife is a former Disco Queen we liked the Studio VIP show more. The visuals on the Epic Rock show are imaginative and stunning. The other two shows were a Latin show and a Motown show, but since we had seen the same shows two years ago, we would rank these below the others. I enjoyed the Cruise Director, Emma's enthusiasm and friendliness. Reading other reviews that found her "Hello lovlies" greetings irritating, I found it quirky and airy. She was not all over the ship and as funny as the previous Cruise Director on the Splendor, Kevin, but I think she handled her chores well and did a very good job. My wife and I like the trivia contests; if you like trivia contests this is the cruise for you. Musically, I think that the group Deja Vu was very good. Talented and a nice selection which matched the music of the Production show. A couple duo, Two of a Kind, was also very good. One major suggestion would be to PLAY CARIBBEAN MUSIC. If Carnival does not want to hire a reggae, soco or steel drum band, at least play this type of music when heading and traveling in the Caribbean music. We hear plenty of the usual American music back in the United States. I attended the Military Appreciation Gathering and thought this was very well down. There were a few WW II vets and it was interesting to see them. Some of the heart felt remarks by my fellow Vets were inspiring. We went to a number of the shows in the Punchliner Comedy Club. Get your seats early as the club fills up fast, though there always seems to be a seat on the sides. But better to see the comedian rather than view it on the TV's. Al Romero was our favorite and had my wife laughing hysterically. Chris Wiles and Spike Davis were also funny but not quite as funny as Mr. Romero. Two other shows in the Liquid Lounge included a hypnotist, Rich Gazzi, and a singer Consuela Ivy. Mr. Gazzi, who will be performing at the Funnybone in Virginia Beach. Is very amusing and his show was a of fun. He got the participants to do some amusing things. Some of the subjects seemed to be acting, and it seemed they really were not hypnotized, but otherwise, we enjoyed his show. Ms. Ivy is a dynamic and enjoyable singer with a great stage presence. We enjoyed her show. My only complaint , which is true with a number of entertainers, is the ceaseless efforts to get the audience involved.. I am a static sort of person, who comes to shows to be entertained; not to be a part of the show. She is immensely likable and and easy lady to listen to otherwise. My wife and I took a group dance class from Laura, one of the dancers. She taught us the cha-cha and was an excellent and friendly teacher, since I am not particularly graceful. Since it was my birthday, I indulged myself in a spa treatment. I signed up for the men's only package ( 60 minutes). The spa staff was gracious. The treatment included a Deep Cleanse Facial,Scalp, Neck and Shoulder Massage, a double shave and a Pressure Point hand and arm message. I was somewhat taken aback when the masseuse was a male, but it turned out to be better than my initial reluctance justified. My skin felt like a baby's when he was finished with me. The gym was more than adequate and never seemed crowded. However, it may take an effort to find a machine with a working television. Do not forget your headphones. EXCURSIONS: We took three excursions. All three I would recommend. Since we had been to the Bahamas and Atlantis, we chose the Sea and See Tour. We boarded a van which took us past a number of sites in Nassau, and viewed Parliament, the Governor's Mansion, the Supreme Court, Heffer's Sporting Good Store, and then to the famous Queen's Staircase, and Fort Fincastle. We then boarded a boat for an interesting tour along Pleasure Island. The tour was informative and humorous. We were taken to the Seaworld Explorer. The coral formations and interesting and beautiful schools of fish were astounding. The windows could have been clearer and cleaner though. Our second excursion was the best. CRYSTAL CAVE EXPEDITION AND CABARETE BEACH WITH LUNCH. We took an hour long trip to the Caves of Cabarete. The guide was excellent and re-assured my reluctant wife that she could descend into the cave. with a railing on one side and a rope on the other. The cave is small and difficult to navigate. Our flashlights helped us see some fascinating formations...our imaginations ran wild. We then were led on a tour of the flora of the area with a number of interesting medicinal trees. We then visited the world famous Cabarete Beach. The beach is gorgeous. The meal we enjoyed was the biggest surprise of the cruise. It was prepared gourmet style and far exceeded our expectations for lunch. I ordered sea bass which was a large and tasty portion. I would highly recommend this tour. The final excursion on Grand Turk, Coast to Coast Grand Turk Safari.This is a very thorough and enjoyable tour. However, though I regret not doing one of the snorkeling tours. ( My wife does not snorkel). There is a very nice free beach on both sides of the port. I noticed that many of the resorts were open but for sail. Grand Turk is a very nice island, the people are friendly so hopefully the economy will do better. It is English and is more like Bermuda than the other Caribbean islands. DEBARKATION: The ship was already badly delayed. There was a medical emergency which necessitated that the ship return to Nassau rather than head directly back from Grand Turk. Debarkation was very slow. Perhaps, this was due to terrorist fears since Virginia, New York and Texas were dubbed as targets the day before elections. All in all we enjoyed the cruise very much. We thought the ship seemed to be in good condition and we noticed the ship was constantly being cleaned. We hope other lines will use Norfolk as a port to increase our choices, but until then, we will stick with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My family and I just got back from cruising on the Enchantment Of The Seas 6/12/10. It was a good time, food was good, shows were ok, service was good, cabin was clean, BUT it had it's issues. I would not recommend sailing in and out ... Read More
My family and I just got back from cruising on the Enchantment Of The Seas 6/12/10. It was a good time, food was good, shows were ok, service was good, cabin was clean, BUT it had it's issues. I would not recommend sailing in and out of Norfolk. Although downtown Norfolk is great with a lot to do within walking distance, the problem is the pier location to the parking. IT CAUSES MAJOR DELAYS. Boarding, I dropped the family and luggage off at the pier and drove the couple of miles to the cruise parking lot only to find out once I got there it was $15.00 per day VS $10.00 per day as advertised on RC web site. I had a long wait there as people were unloading their luggage, which had to be loaded onto the buses and transported down to the pier on the same buses, so this was not a quick process, as the family stood waiting for me at the pier for 40 minutes. The debarkation process was a complete disaster. We were supposed to disembark at 9AM, but we were not able to disembark until 10AM. Once we were able to get off the boat the luggage staging area was a mess with the disembarkation numbers butting right up to each other, people were practically walking on top of each other. And then again all luggage loaded on buses then a 2 mile drive to the parking lot and then unloaded. Needlessly to say this was why there was an hour delay getting off the ship. I have no royalty to Philadelphia (I'm from Ohio), but I sailed on Empress Of The Seas out of Philly and it went VERY SMOOTH. On the ship the Windjammer was over packed at breakfast time, with peak times not having enough seating. Deck 4 reeked of sewage smell the first 4 days, but after that I didn't smell it at all, our dining room table (412) was located in a bad spot where my shoulders got @ss rubbed all week by people passing by, and lastly I felt the shore excursions through the cruise line were way over priced for what you got in return. I know, I know, I have dwelled on the negatives with the glass half full. BUT AGAIN the food was good, the service was good, the shows were good, and the cabin was clean. Overall it was a good trip and everybody had a good time, and other than the shore excurions the cruise was a good value. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Just a little background on my self and family, we are experienced cruises with RCCL and other companies. One cruise away from platinum on RCCL but have been on Disney, NCL and Carnival. So we have seen it all and this review is my opinion ... Read More
Just a little background on my self and family, we are experienced cruises with RCCL and other companies. One cruise away from platinum on RCCL but have been on Disney, NCL and Carnival. So we have seen it all and this review is my opinion but little things go a long way. Embarkation, Norfolk, VA, Well we have driven to many ports before, Miami, Baltimore and Port Canaveral and this was just awful. The price on the website for cruise terminal parking said 10/day well it changed to 15/day when we arrived, and we checked the day before. We could have parked across the street for the same price if we would have know, or stayed at a hotel for cheaper too. Check into that if you come to this port as there are cheaper options. We were in line out to the street at 1130am and were not parked and luggage offloaded until about 1230. Once parked we were on the shuttle quickly and this is where the fun began. The shuttle was about 1.5 blocks away with mediocre AC and just sitting in traffic. The terminal drop off was having issues getting cars and busses in and once in we were the 4 or 5th bus in line and instructed to stay on. At this point we were on the bus for 45 mins to go about 6-10 blocks and just talked our way off to go get in line for check-in. Check-in was quick and easy, but this was eased as we are plat. cruisers so front of the line pass. We were on the ship about 2pm and were able to get to the room and drop off the luggage since the delay getting on. Dining: We had requested early seating on booking through RCCL and were given late so we went straight to the DR to get this changed. Well we were not alone as we saw the list had us about 20 in line so far for a table change. The first night we were asked to eat late and then they would try and make a change. Well on day two we were notified that we were indeed moved so we made the change. Well this probably was not the best option as the room was way to crowded and noisy as the room was packed with extra tables. One thing I know they don't want to do but sometimes RCCL needs to is not facilitate the moves. Crowding the early seating had a snowball effect on other issues like show seating. We normally eat in the MDR for all meals but dabble in the WJ as well just to try other options. First thing I noticed was that having early seating was service was very slow, and I think this was to so many people being in the MDR. Waiters couldn't walk around the table because we were sitting back to back at some locations so this slowed things down too. Food was OK, but not great and some days just plain awful. There was a cod catch of the day and 4 people got it at the table and nobody finished, and my fathers had bones still in the fish. One other thing was the menu had cannelloni on Italian night yet they were out of the noodles so they substituted for tortellini. That is fine, but the very next night tortellini was on the menu and it came out as ravioli, were they not aware of the next days menu and shouldn't ravioli substituted instead. Just little things that can be corrected to make a better experience RCCL has done this same trip many times out of Baltimore so they have an idea of what is needed. Lastly by day 4 they were out of V8 juice, just not really sure how that can happen too, seems to be a staple to me. Also on the last lunch in the WJ they ran out of food items too. Entertainment: Was good and normal cruise fare, some comedy, jugglers, magician, musicians and cruise line dancers. Nothing was bad they were all good and a variety of shows so you can get whatever you like. One thing that we noticed was seating was packed every night and you needed to be there 30 mins before to get a good seat and 10mins before you were standing. I think this was brought on because they packed the early MDR and thus packed the theater with all these guests. So if you are a late person getting to shows this could be a problem, you will know the first couple of days. On to the pool entertainment was very good. The band that they have on deck was good, only wish they started earlier. They would come out around 1230 for 30 mins and would break until 4-430 and play again. Just think they should have been out there more earlier instead of after 5 as most people were getting ready to eat after 5pm. But they were very good and could play almost anything with a reggae flair. lastly the Casino was nice and as always the staff were superb. This is one department that never lets me down. Ports/Excursions: I go into this in more detail below but for us the ship is the destinations and sometimes we get off and sometimes we don't. The stops we have been to before so knew what to expect when it came to getting off the ship. There was only one tender stop in Samana and this was a little disorganized. If you have a ship excursion you meet in the spotlight lounge and get your tender ticket, normal for all cruises. But everyone on a ship excursion goes there and no matter when you tell them to go up there people will be early and crowd the room or entrance. So this caused a little trouble which the ship could change and say have half go to the theater and half to the spotlight lounge, but I think they will get this as time goes on. Even though we were anchored early there was trouble getting going and non ship excursions didn't begin until 12-1230p. So be aware, but I think they had trouble with the ships water doors and once fixed it was fine, so maybe this was isolated. Ports that we went to were nice, enjoyed the beach at St Thomas (sapphire) and Labadee. Labadee is my favorite stop and if the ship just stayed here for 4 days I would be happy but private stops are not for everyone. Disembarkation: Did the express check off and went smooth with no issues was off the ship at about 8-9am not sure on the exact time, but was smooth. They asked passengers with express to wait in the rooms until called but that didn't happen people started lining up at 730 but otherwise was smooth as checkout could have been. Once through customs loaded bags on shuttle and waited until the bus was about half full and were off to the parking. Was quick and were to our car quickly and off to our 3.5 hour drive home. Ship: Enchantment is an older ship, but we enjoy this class ship as it is not too big but has almost everything the bigger ships do as well. The ship was expanded about 5 years ago and maybe this added to some of the crowding issues but not so sure about that, we were on the Grandeur in Oct and never any crowding issues on that one so maybe so. The ship just came out of dry dock and the pool deck was all new with teak and imitation teak so that was nice, but no new pool chairs. Couldn't really tell on many other changes in dry dock as I think most occurred below the water line. Lastly there was never an issue with getting deck chairs as everyone was respectful and not many chair hogs on this cruise. Overall: Well we enjoyed the cruise and it is just little issues that can be fixed to make a great cruise. I enjoy cruising and want everyone else to enjoy it too, so when I see small things rubbing people it bugs me, because I know this isn't always the case. I don't like to hear people say they will never cruise with RCCL again, so just little details could change peoples opinion for a positive one. We will cruise again and since this ship is coming out of Baltimore permanent we will probably be traveling her again in the future. I know the review seems negative, but seems we always remember those. But there were good things as well, stops love them all, you get a nice variety and different things to do at all of them. The length and price cant be beat and that is why we like this 9nt cruise so much and the ship really is our destination when we take this cruise. Food was ok, but would like to have a variety of lunch menu, it was the same everyday in the MDR. Overall I give this cruise a 3.5/5 so not bad but room for improvement. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
The boarding process in Norfolk was clearly the worst part of the trip. It took us about 3 hours from the time we entered the parking lot (sat there for 1 hour) until we got to our cabin. It was a long, painful process! Although, as I ... Read More
The boarding process in Norfolk was clearly the worst part of the trip. It took us about 3 hours from the time we entered the parking lot (sat there for 1 hour) until we got to our cabin. It was a long, painful process! Although, as I understand it, Royal Caribbean will no longer be going out of Norfolk. Next cruise we plan to try Baltimore. Enchantment of the Seas, although clearly an older ship, was very comfortable and we enjoyed it. We ended up in the Champagne Lounge when we finally got on the ship. It turned out to be our favorite hang out in the evenings -- our waitress, Carol, knew our name from the first day on -- she was great. Our room was comfortable and clean. We had previously always requested a balcony, but this cruise elected to try an outside room with a window. We didn't regret our decision at all -- didn't miss the balcony at all. For dining we chose the "My Time" dining. It was great. We do not like to have to eat at an assigned time and this really worked well for us. We would clearly do this again. We also purchased the "wine package" which is much cheaper that buying wine by the glass in the bars. Be careful, however, because the only place you can order your bottle of wine is in the dining room or the Windjammer Cafe. The only real complaint that we had was the casino. It was so smoky that we didn't go back after we walked through on the first day. The ventilation system was terrible. You could smell the cigarette smoke in the hallways long before you got to the casino entrance. They did have a couple of non-smoking nights but the smoke was so heavy it didn't matter that no one was smoking at the time. We were a little disappointed because we enjoy the slots. The entertainment was good on the ship. Our favorite of the week was the "Tap Dancing Grannies" from Colonial Heights, VA. They were AWESOME! The food was good but not wonderful. We notice some subtile downgrades since our last cruise (6 years ago on Navigator). The deserts were dramatically less impressive. The menu for dinner seemed to have a lot of strange items -- at least strange to us. The lobster and prime rib, however, was excellent. Overall, Enchantment of the Seas is a nice ship. We will definitely go on it again. We love being able to drive to our port and not have to worry about planes, etc. We had a very relaxing trip and look forward to next summer when we plan to do it again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
My boyfriend and I traveled on the Grandeur of the Seas with RCI in May 2009 to the Eastern Caribbean. This was our first cruise and it a fun experience with a few setbacks. Norfolk Cruise Port: Easy. I believe parking was $10 per day, ... Read More
My boyfriend and I traveled on the Grandeur of the Seas with RCI in May 2009 to the Eastern Caribbean. This was our first cruise and it a fun experience with a few setbacks. Norfolk Cruise Port: Easy. I believe parking was $10 per day, secure lot less than a mile from the dock. Tour buses run between the two free of charge. We arrived at noon to the parking lot and were on the ship at 1pm. Overall ship experience: My boyfriend and I are in our early 20's and we felt this ship didn't have a lot to do on it. I know it is an older ship in RCI fleet, but with 4 days at sea there were not a lot of activities that we were interested participating in. We did however enjoy the ballroom dancing class that was held daily. The ship seemed worn, but still modern. Food was great. Stateroom: We had an interior stateroom on deck 2. Plenty of space for two people. Itinerary: San Juan, Dominican Republic, St. Thomas and Haiti. We did not purchase a shore excursion for San Juan. Dominican Republic: We purchased a horseback riding tour to a waterfall. Please do not purchase this excursion if it is still offered. I feared for my life the entire time. We were placed on mules, not horses and traveled on very dangerous paths. I could not relax the entire trip. The animals looked like they had not been fed in months. A very stressful experience. St. Thomas: We had booked a 1pm snorkel tour that never showed. We found out our trip had been canceled since it was not full. This was after we waited 45 minutes for the tour to show up. We wasted a lot of our day in St. Thomas. After leaving St. Thomas the excursion desk told us we should have received a letter telling us to join the 9am snorkel tour. At this point they walked back into their office and gave us the letter that we should have received. So why did they have it and not us? We were refunded our money and told to book a snorkel tour in Haiti. We asked if we could get some type of discount for the inconvenience they caused us in St. Thomas. The excursion desk could have cared less. (Note: I emailed RCI after the cruise about this situation. They never responded to my complaint) Haiti: Beautiful, private area for RCI. We booked a snorkel tour and had fun in the aqua park. Our favorite port. Our eastern Caribbean cruise was good, even with a few setbacks involving the shore excursions. My boyfriend and I plan to travel on larger ships from here on out that provide more activities. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
Hello, this is a review of our 9-night, Eastern Caribbean cruise, from May 7th-16th, aboard The Grandeur of the Seas. My wife and I booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary. This is our third cruise on the Grandeur, but first time ... Read More
Hello, this is a review of our 9-night, Eastern Caribbean cruise, from May 7th-16th, aboard The Grandeur of the Seas. My wife and I booked this cruise to celebrate our anniversary. This is our third cruise on the Grandeur, but first time doing the current Easter Caribbean 9-night run. We are in our late 20's and early 30's. Embarkation- We had nearly a 4-hour drive to the Norfolk terminal, from central Virginia. This is nothing when you consider the fact that drive was going to get us to the Caribbean, we like homeport cruising. I was very skeptical of the park here, take bus, arrive at cruise terminal approach Norfolk has setup. Overall this worked quite well and we arrived at the Norfolk Half Moone terminal about a half hour after arriving at the parking lot. Our previous Grandeur cruises was from Baltimore, which allows you to park right at the cruise terminal, but charges you about $5 more a day to cruise from their facility. Once at the cruise terminal the biggest hold up was only having two metal detectors for everyone to be screened with, one or two more and the lines would have moved much quicker. All things considered, from the actual time we pulled onto the Parking lot, got bused over, cleared security, checked, and walked on the ship wasn't much more than an hour. Overall I did not think this was very bad. Day 1- We got our luggage within the first couple hours of being on board, about the same amount of time as our other cruises. We missed lunch in the Windjammer, as we got to busy showing the ship to several others that traveled with us. Muster drill was at 3:30 and lasted about 20-25 minutes. Sail away was just a few minutes past 4:00, we stayed on deck 10 and watched until we sailed past VA beach into open Ocean. I enjoyed sailing past some of the industrial areas and Navy ships along the way. Once the ship speed picked up on the ocean, the top decks were very windy and a little cold for most. Day-2 This was a full day at sea. We spent most of it between the pool deck and solarium. It was still cool today, as the ship was only as far as Cape Hatteras, NC. This was also the first formal night of the trip. We took pictures, since we were all dressed up; we usually take at least one picture worth $20 during the trip. Day-3 This was another full day at sea. We again spent our time between the pool and solarium, with some time on deck 10 lying out and reading. Today, I lost my XM radio signal, so just the pre-recorded stuff and mp3's I loaded onto my Inno radio. We stayed up late and partied the night away in the Viking Crown. Day-4 We slept in some from the late night partying. We hit the gym for a while, since two solid days at sea had us feeling we needed some exercise. I got an awesome salad in the main dining room, from salad station set-up in the middle. We made sure we was up on the top deck about 45 minutes prior to arrival in San Juan, this way we could take pictures of El Morro from the ship.  We arrived at San Juan right at 2 p.m. and people actually started getting off about 2:30. I needed to check e-mail, since we had data in port I did this until around 3:00 pm. By then we only waited in line to exit the ship for about 10 minutes. Since our ship arranged shore excursion of San Juan was canceled due to Mother's Day, we did our own. Once off the ship we found a tour driver that charged us $10 per person for a small tour of old and new parts of San Juan. At the end of the tour he dropped us off at El Morro. El Morro closes at 6 p.m. on Sundays, which still left us plenty of time to get off the ship, see parts of the city, and make it here. We spent about an hour and a half walking though the fort and taking pictures. I really enjoyed this; it was one of the highlights of my cruise. With the tour of El Morro complete, we decided to walk back into the part of old San Juan that was closer to the ship. All of this was more or less downhill, so we walked it. We looked in shops and browsed for cool things we might want to take home. Originally, we thought about eating ashore in old San Juan, however we found most restaurants' very busy. This may have been due to at least partly by it being Mother's Day. So, we decided to head back to the ship and grab dinner in Main Dining room. We thought we may have had time after second setting dinner to head off the ship for a little bit, but we didn't. Instead we stayed up on the upper deck for sail-away and pool party. As a side note the Carnival Victory left at 10:00 for anyone wanting to watch it sail away. Day5- Our Anniversary, spent in St. Thomas! Ship arrived very early at 7:00 a.m. to a light mist or rain. We had breakfast, and headed off the ship around 9. We had already decided we wanted to do the Paradise Point sky ride that looks over the harbor. It was still a little cloudy, but the rain had stopped. My wife looked in the shop; while I watched the cloudy skies give way to a bright blue sky. We drink several drinks out on the patio and took some amazing pictures. My wife, found out she loved the 'Bushwhacker' frozen drinks from here. About lunch time we headed to Megan's Bay to enjoy the beach. We had a nice day swimming and relaxing at the beach. We headed back to the ship around 3:30. Once back on the ship we had a snack in the Windjammer and watched sail away. The Carnival Victory followed us to St. Thomas, and sailed right after we did. I got several good pictures of her leaving. Even though this was our second time in St. Thomas, we can't wait to go back, maybe even for a week. Day6- Samna, Dr  We arrived to dark overcast clouds. However by mid-morning these where gone. We booked the RCCL shore Excursion, beach break on Cayo Levantado. This was very nice with a beautiful beach and water. I like this beach because it had waves, not monster ones but much bigger than Megan's Bay. The worst part about this island was the appearance of flies, they would come and go, and when they came around would drive you made. This was not enough to ruin the trip, but something you should be aware of. Mixed drinks and beers ranged from $3 -7, Hot dogs, and burgers from $4 and up. You could get grilled lobster for $20. Day 7- Labadee This was our first trip to Labadee, we had heard so much about it. Lots of construction going on here, the new pier, beach expansion, and new buildings, all of which we are told is to be ready for Oasis. This really did not impact our time here, no loud noises from machines, just an occasional hammer in the back ground. The BBQ lunch here was good; the burgers taste much better grilled. One note here is, the Haitian flee market is filled with so many people wanting you to buy their items. We tried to tell them just let us look, but this did not work. We left when we got tired of being haggled. Also, if you decide to walk all over Labadee, be sure to wear shoes that you don't mind getting dusty. My sandals had totally changed colors when I got back on the ship. Also, take some money off the ship if you want to buy anything from the local markets, they are not taking your sea pass card 'yet':) Day 8- Was at Sea, we spent the day by the pool sipping on assorted mixed drinks. Tonight was formal night, so we took some more pictures. Day 9- Our last full day of our cruise, spent by the pool and solarium. We ate lunch in the Main dining room to avoid the crowding at the windjammer. We sorted thought the pictures we had taken during formal night and packed our bags. Disembarkation- This was our first time trying the 'new' disembarkation process. On paper I could not see much that had really changed, except for a few extra 'relax' and 'enjoy' added to the process. We got up early enough to do breakfast in the windjammer. Then proceeded to our stateroom until 8:30, when we was to head to the Theater for our group number to be called. We must have got lucky; as soon as our elevator arrived at deck 5 they were calling our group number. We never did have to wait in the theater, and was off the ship in less than 10 minutes from leaving our stateroom! Once off the ship we collected our bag on our own and headed out. The line for porter service was fairly long, but lots of porters were available and being put to use as fast as the line could move. Once out of the facility we caught the bus over to the Cedar Grove packing lot. The worst part about this was during our drive over it started to rain heavily. Once we arrived at the parking lot, the porters started taking all the luggage off the bus. However, before the bus driver would allow us to get off the bus, they had to have the luggage unload first. Our luggage was one of the first off, and got SOAKED. I could have taken it to our vehicle and saved it from five minutes worth of rain if the bus driver had allowed us off sooner. This was the biggest flaw in this system I saw, and think a canopy could have fixed this. Food- Since this was our third time on the Grandeur, I had a good idea what the food would be like. I did feel that many of the main dining room dishes were a little better. We particularly enjoyed several of the soups like the onion soup and lemon grass with shrimp. The Windjammer had a new layout since we was on the ship the last time and seemed to have a little more variety, although I didn't think that was the case for breakfast. Our main dining room waiters were very good and always professional. I would like to think Sijeit our main waiter and Roderick our assistant waiter for the good service. Ship- Well, we know the Grandeur pretty well by now, and she did not disappoint. Even though this is now one of the smaller ships in the RCCL fleet, we think it's still a very nice size with most amenities we needed. We did think the cosmetics of the ship have gone a little south. Examples include the deck 10 matting, tile work in solarium, and some of the carpeting. Did this mess our trip up? No, just things we noticed. On a positive note the dent repair to her side look good. We also thought the staff did a much better job cleaning after people that left plates and cup all over the ship, especially the pool area. During our last cruise, we had to often move plates and cups to use an area. We also were lucky enough to have the humor of Captain Hempstead on our cruise once again. Many enjoy his dry humor and easy to understand American voice. Thanks for reading we had a great time aboard the Grandeur. We have already started looking at the Enchantment Itineraries out of Norfolk and Baltimore. RCCL keep up the home port cruising. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009

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