1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Royal Caribbean International
  4. Royal Caribbean International Cruise Reviews

87 Royal Caribbean Baltimore Cruise Reviews

Underwhelmed by Royal Caribbean - Grandeur of the Seas 8 night Bahamas, January 31 to February 8 2014 I have to say that I don't really know why other people would have given this ship anything above a 2 star on their reviews. I rely ... Read More
Underwhelmed by Royal Caribbean - Grandeur of the Seas 8 night Bahamas, January 31 to February 8 2014 I have to say that I don't really know why other people would have given this ship anything above a 2 star on their reviews. I rely a lot on reviews before making purchases. I know that there are many people out there that do the same and so I would like to include as much information here as possible with the intention of providing helpful information for others. Reviews are mainly based on opinions but I will be providing facts here that are just plain basic that you can form your own opinions. I don't know if we ended up on the sacrificial cruise ship or that maybe our cruise was a fluke but there are other reviews from previous cruises that reflect what we have seen and experienced. I'm just not sure about the other cruise reviews that highly rate the Grandeur of the Seas. I wonder how overly frozen spongy fish, the lack of attention to details and the lack of consideration for sanitation and the health of the passengers - things that are a matter of FACT and not OPINION - would be anywhere near acceptable to anyone. Overall, we had a good time at Coco Cay and Key West. We were able to spend time as a family and get away from the daily routines. We loved that we escaped the snow and ice storms that hit PA that week. Our lives were not totally ruined by this cruise. We made the best of our time and had the relaxing vacation that we hoped for. However, that still does not negate the facts about the issues that we had with the Grandeur of the Seas. RCL still has the responsibility to their passengers to provide them with good food and good service. First, let me give you a little BACKGROUND about us: - Family of 4 - are in our late 30's and our children are 9 and 14 - Working middle class family, we like to find the best deals and are interested in the value that we receive back. - This is our second cruise, the first one was on the Carnival Pride 7 night Bahamas cruise in March 2013. We are new to cruising and are trying out different lines at this stage. This is our first RCL cruise. - I wouldn't say our Carnival Pride was the best cruise, but we enjoyed it overall (here is the link to my blog review of our Carnival Pride cruise last year, http://familysmarttravel.blogspot.com/2013/04/carnival-pride-cruise-from-baltimore.html) - What we liked the most about our first cruise was the food and the service that we received from our dining room team. This is the main draw for us to go on more cruises. - Prefer to leave from Baltimore or nearby PA ports, don't want to fly anywhere - not ready to spend a ton of money on a Disney cruise, we would rather stretch our dollar and go on more cruises for now - We enjoy relaxing vacations, we don't drink except occasional wine or mixed drinks, we don't party, we don't really gamble. - We like traveling, exploring, and learning about different places EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS CRUISE We really liked the dining and enjoyed the food on our first cruise, which was the most important aspect for us for this cruise. We enjoyed Nassau and Freeport on the first cruise but wanted more beach time and looked forward to the Coco Cay and Key West ports of call with RCL. And that's pretty much it, we didn't really get to go on a lot of shows and events on our first cruise because we'd rather relax and not have to run around too much like we normally do everyday. We were not too concerned about: - activities, shows, and events - excursions offered by RCL (we prefer to do our own thing and booked our own excursion on the first cruise) - demographics of passengers (I guess Carnival has a reputation for being a party ship). It didn't matter if the ship was full of old people or young people, as long as people were not rude and inconsiderate. Below is our experience on this cruise: ISSUE: WATER WAS YELLOWISH-BROWN FOR ABOUT 5 HOURS My daughter came back to the room around 12:30 and took a shower. The water turned yellowish-brown on her while she was still in the shower. I didn't believe her at first but then saw it for myself. I called the front desk and was told that they were aware of the issue. I asked if this was safe (thinking that this could be contaminated water that my daughter just took a shower in) and was not given a yes or no answer, only that they are working on the issue. We were told to use the bottled water in the room to rinse my daughter off. I called later on to ask for more water because the ones in the room were not enough and was given some resistance to have more of the $3.95 bottled water sent to our room. The water was still brown around 6 a.m. and black particles were then present in the water after they told us that the problem has been fixed. EXPECTATION: I think that this could have been handled more professionally. There also should have been an announcement made about it so that passengers could take their own precautions. I surely would not have wanted to use the water to brush my teeth until an hour or so later when the system has been flushed through more thoroughly. ISSUE: TOILETS DIDN'T WORK A COUPLE OF TIMES The toilets would not flush a couple of times. At one point, it was not working for several hours. We called the front desk and were told that they would send maintenance down, but no one ever came. Our steward even called maintenance because he would not clean the bathroom and he couldn't get a quick response from them either. EXPECTATION: Maintenance should have been sent down to fix the problem as promised. ISSUE: NO INDOOR POOL FOR KIDS There are only 2 pools and one of the pools is in the Solarium that is supposed to be for adults only. What are kids supposed to do when we are still in the colder areas? The Carnival Pride at least had a retractable roof that they closed in the pool area so that the kids were still able to swim when it was cold outside. I was told by other people that there were kids swimming in the Solarium pool the night before. I didn't want to cause trouble and so I went to the front desk to ask. I was told that children are allowed in the Solarium pool as long as they are supervised by their parents and that they were more concerned about babies in diapers in the Solarium, which was not the case for my 9 year old son. I asked if this was only for when it is cold outside but was told that this was all the time. (this is of course a bit confusing since their info and the signs in the Solarium state that kids under 16 are not permitted in the Solarium pool). With permission from the front desk, I supervised my son while he swam in the Solarium pool. I made sure that he didn't splash anyone or caused any issues and he was well-behaved the entire time, just enjoying swimming in the warm water. He received a couple of looks from adults there, some of them purposely stood in front of the 'no children under 16' signs and shook their heads. No one approached me to say anything about it, which I would have preferred so that I could explain to them that my son is permitted to be there. It was still uncomfortable. I think that it is very poor of those who were standing in front of the signs and not wanting kids to be in there (when barely anyone was really in the pool). Would these adults, I wondered, want to go swimming outside in the cold? Would they want their children or grandchildren to be outside in the cold pool just so they can have their adult pool to themselves? EXPECTATION: The fact that children are permitted to swim in the Solarium pool with supervision should be clearly communicated to all guests so that people don't get dirty looks from some cranky adults. Or provide an alternative for children to have some pool time while we are in the colder areas. We are at sea for 4 days and most of those days are cold in the winter time. Children are paid passengers too. ISSUE: DRESS CODE RULES SHOULD BE APPLIED TO ALL PASSENGERS AND HANDLED IN A PROFESSIONAL MATTER No shorts, barefeet, tank tops, or hats are allowed in the dining room. We were in Nassau and my husband was wearing shorts when we went to dinner (totally forgot about the shorts). We got to the hostess desk and one of the host staff just stared at us from a distance and did not acknowledge us. He proceeded to go towards the back of the dining room where the main hostess was to fetch her. She told us out loud that there are no shorts allowed in the dining room, in front of other people in the line. My husband did go back to the room and hanged and then went back to have dinner at the dining room. He called the front desk to politely complain about the way the hostess handled the situation. The front desk took his information and assured him that it will be communicated to the dining room manager. We never heard anything back from anybody. A couple of nights later, we noticed two other people in the dining room, sitting at their tables, wearing hats. My husband addressed this to the dining room manager, Denice and also told her about the earlier incident about his shorts. Denice apologized and told him that she wished he would have told her about it then so that she could have addressed it right away. Apparently, the front desk never said anything to Denice. She explained that the hostess should have sat our family, instead of sending us away, and then privately let my husband know about the dress code so that he may change and come back. This would have been a more acceptable approach. EXPECTATION: I would have expected the host staff to be more professional. I also would expect the staff to apply the rules to all guests. Rules are rules and we respect that, but it needs to apply to everyone. ISSUE: DISORGANIZED MEET AND MINGLE We received an invitation to the meet and mingle that had the wrong date on it. We went to the Viking Lounge on the day printed on the invitation but the outside door was locked and no one was in the room. We went to the front desk and was told that they made a mistake on the date and were sent back to the Viking Lounge to check to see if anyone was there. We went back and the room was still dark with the outside door locked. We received a call from the coordinator who told us that they moved it to another room. She apparently waited by the elevators to let everyone know and since we only checked the outside door, we never saw her. She told us that they did the prize drawing but not to worry about it because we didn't miss anything. The price was a bottle of wine, which she didn't think was great anyway. EXPECTATION: They should have sent another invitation or called each of us (there were not that many signed up) to let us know about the corrected date and place. They could have also put a sign up on the outside entrance to let us know where they were, and let the front desk know so that they can inform everyone when they stop by there. There were so many ways to correct the error, if only they tried. ISSUE: UNTRUTHFUL SECURITY STAFF AT COCO CAY Our kids collected some seashells and found some really cool corals washed up the shore. When we were leaving the island, the security staff told us that we cannot take seashells. The reason for this, they said was that they do not know if Baltimore would allow us to take these seashells into the US. They are concerned, they said that we could possibly get fined for bringing shells in from outside the US. My daughter found a tiny block of coral with 3 shells attached to it, it was so unique which is why she loved it so much. She was obviously upset that she could not take this tiny piece of memento home. It was inconsiderate of the security staff to do this to kids. It's not like they are bringing home some exotic things that are rare to the island. One of the passengers who also got his stuff taken away joked that we'll probably see these in their gift shop. EXPECTATION: Just tell us the truth that you just don't want us to take seashells, don't make up some story about your concern for us because it's obviously a lie. They are seashells, it's not that important, but it is important to the children because it was connected to their experience of walking around the shoreline and finding them. Why? - we took home two gigantic conch shells and a ton of seashells from Nassau on our last cruise without any problems - how could Baltimore officials distinguish between seashells from Coco Cay vs. seashells from Key West? they are seashells for goodness sake! - so if we purchased these seashells from markets in the Bahamas or from RCL, we would be allowed to bring them in to the US? ISSUE: POOR ORGANIZED (AND SANITIZED) BUFFET AT COCO CAY We got to the buffet about 5 minutes before 11:30 when it opened and were able to get food. The line was super long within 10 minutes and it took forever for everyone else to get their food. My husband went around 1 and turned right back around without getting food after seeing how nasty the buffet was. There were no utensils on most of the stations and he watched people scoop rice out with their bare hands onto their plate because there were no utensils, as the RCL staff stood there and watched. EXPECTATION: Would it be so much trouble to maintain the buffet and replace the utensils? There should have been several stations and separate lines for them instead of making guests wait for so long just to get food. These are your customers, they paid for the food and the service, give them the food and service that you promised in a timely and clean manner. ISSUE: ICE CREAM MACHINE CONSTANTLY BROKEN The ice cream machine was constantly out of service throughout the cruise. There were also times when one of the two flavors was not available. My daughter pulled a cone from the dispenser and the first 2 or 3 fell into the catching tray so she got a new cone. She said a staff yelled at her (although she couldn't understand what he said), but he was clearly upset that she did not pick up the cones that fell into the catching tray to use one of them instead of getting a new one. EXPECTATION: There are not that many choices of treats on this cruise, really it's only the ice cream machine, this should have been maintained and stocked appropriately. Staff should not be yelling at guests, no matter how old they are. The catching tray is not that clean, don't expect guests to pick up dropped cones to use them. ISSUE: DRINK DISPENSERS AT THE WINDJAMMER DID NOT WORK, CUPS WERE DIRTY Staff filled drinks and laid out the cups on trays. The drinks in the cups got watered down by melted ice after sitting there too long. You couldn't not taste the iced tea. We have also gotten drinks in dirty cups several times. EXPECTATION: Fix the drink dispensers. Guests prefer to get their own drinks fresh and not watered down. Please wash your cups and mugs. The coffee mugs are all stained brown on the inside. If you can't get the mugs cleaned, then replace them. ISSUE: TABLES AT WINDJAMMER NOT BEING CLEARED We can see staff walking around but the tables were not being cleared. This happened several times, even when the area was not crowded. We have had to clear our own tables many times just so we can have a place to sit. EXPECTATION: Tables should be cleared when people are done. ISSUE: STAFF WIPING TABLES WITH DIRTY RAG AT WINDJAMMER We watched staff going around and quickly (and I mean quickly, 1 or two light swipes) wiping tables. When we brought this up with the dining room manager and how we expected more precautions in the dining room areas due to the recent norovirus issues, she was surprised. She said that they do have sanitizing sprays and that staff should be using them all the time to wipe tables. EXPECTATION: Dining rooms should be clean and sanitized. ISSUE: BUFFETS CLOSED DOWN 30 MINUTES EARLY We usually ate our breakfast at the main dining room. However, we had to get breakfast from the buffet one morning when the schedule said it was open until 11. We got there at 10:30 and they were already closing down one of the stations and closed down one of the two drink stations. ISSUE: UNSANITARY PRACTICES AT THE MAIN DINING ROOM We watched staff wiping up what appeared to be a very crusty fork, with a dinner napkin. It must have been really crusty because he was going in between the spaces to scrape the crust off. He then dropped something on the floor (either the napkin or fork), picked it back up and continued on with the "cleaning". EXPECTATION: Just wash your flatware if it's that dirty. ISSUE: POOR QUALITY/PRESENTATION AND UNDERCOOKED FOOD SERVED UNDERCOOKED. My husband ordered fried eggs that arrived undercooked (the top was still clear). He told the waiter and just opted to get something else. The fact is that that undercooked egg should not have even left the kitchen. It passed the person plating it and even the waiter serving it, without anyone even saying, "wait a minute, this is unacceptable" BOILED HAMBURGERS SERVED IN MEAT JUICE. The hamburgers appeared boiled and were in a tray with meat juice. All the toppings were separate and there is no way to melt the cheese on the burger because the patties are not hot. At Carnival, they grilled the burgers in front of you and melted the cheese on top. Burgers are pretty easy to make and should be grilled. MEAT CHUNK STEAK SANDWICH. My husband ordered a steak sandwich for room service. It came 40 minutes later and was a sad looking, pale and fatty chunk of meat on bread. A steak sandwich is not a piece of steak on bread. If anything, entertaining difference in interpretation, it should at least be a piece of steak, not a cold fatty meat chunk. WILTED LETTUCE.Our shrimp cocktails were served on brown, wilted lettuce one of the nights. Now, shrimp cocktails generally are never hot to wilt lettuce. The lettuce was either reused from another appetizer or they actually cut up wilted lettuce for the bedding instead of just throwing it out and using fresher lettuce. We got old smoked salmon several times. We eat smoked salmon a lot and know what it looks like and how it is supposed to taste. When smoked salmon is very dark orange and dry looking, it is because it is old. It should not be served to guests. At one meal, my daughter and I got smoked salmon and her's was fine but mine was dark orange and dry. That was a fact to see them side by side and how different they looked. That's a fact and not an opinion. SPONGY FISH. Fish was spongy at dinner. Fish should be flaky and moist. When fish is spongy and watery, it is because it has been frozen way too long. That was the first night when most of the food was horrible. It seemed that the food was all unwanted leftovers from the last cruise. TASTELESS SEAFOOD PASTA. Pasta was al dente AND overcooked at the same time. How is that even possible? We go the seafood pasta the first night, it didn't have much sauce and the texture of the pasta was off. All that we can think of was that the pasta was previously cooked, then frozen (probably left over from another night), then blanched or boiled again to heat it up. When pasta is rinsed off too many times, the sauce does not stick to it, which is why the dish did not have flavor (and also because the sauce that they put on was not enough). The seafood was rubbery. MYSTERY SAUCE. The hollandaise sauce on the eggs benedict did not taste like anything. The gravy didn't taste like anything several times. All we could think of that they used the same mystery base (probably flour and water) and put food coloring in it. This was towards the beginning of the cruise (although we didn't dare try them again afterwards). Did they run out of supplies from the last cruise and had to make do with what they had available until we got to Port Canaveral to get more supplies? BLAND OR SALTY. The food was either bland or too salty. I like salty foods, so it takes a LOT of salt for me to even think that something is salty. I even put fish sauce in my food and so when something is too salty for me, it is salty. FOOD SELECTION LEFT MUCH TO BE DESIRED. The items on the menu was a joke. The part of the menu that was supposed to be different (not the classics, which are offered daily) were pretty much the same thing, only shuffled around and rotated different days. They had pretty much the same entree, only with different seafood (bay scallops, crab, escargot), prepared the same way swimming in butter. They really all tasted the same with the only difference being the texture from the different seafood items. When you have "SWEET & SOUR VEGETARIAN CHICKEN CHUNKS" on the menu, it leaves much to be desired (yes, that was a real menu item at dinner one night). I don't care that it's not supposed to be real chicken, but "chunks" is not an appetizing word to put on a menu. The pizza at the Park Cafe was horrible, the dough, the sauce, the amount of basil, the cheese were just all wrong. We had 24 hour pizza on Carnival and the pizza was made to order. We enjoyed doing late night pizza and playing cards at night as a family on Carnival - those little things make a difference. RCL did not come close to the food selection on Carnival. We actually had a brunch menu on Carnival, which included pastas, fancy French toast, and steak (real steak) and eggs. We even had tea time on Carnival, which was really just having tea and desserts, but it was still something different and fun. Our waiter was surprised (and impressed) when we told him the choices that we had on Carnival. He told us that they actually beefed up the menu recently because of all the complaints that they have been getting about the food selections. Presentation of the food was overall blah, especially compared to Carnival's dining room presentation. EXPECTATION: I really expected for the service and food to be excellent. We were so disappointed after our first meal and could not believe it. The food was like an upgraded version of senior living facility cafeteria food - and yes, I have spent many meal times as a volunteer at a senior living facility. I have seen the food there. The difference is that the RCL food is a bit more 'solid' and not pureed. We talked to the front desk about this and explained to the staff that this was our first cruise with RCL and we wanted to understand what we are missing. Is the quality of food the same for all RCL cruises? He said (although he is not even supposed to say it) that the Grandeur is really not the ship that would impress guests. He advised us to choose the Oasis class ships next time. LAYOUT ISSUES. He explained that the layout of the ship has a lot to do with the issues with the food. The galley is in the back of the ship and on the lower level but the Windjammer is on the front of the ship and on the higher deck. The staff, he said must then bring the food from the galley all the way up to the 9th deck on the other side of the ship. They also cannot cart the food in the public areas and use the elevators so staff must be creative and use the staff area and crew elevators to transport the food. Food cannot be cooked at the Windjammer because there is no kitchen on that part of the ship. By the time they transport food from the galley to the Windjammer, the food would have inevitably cooled down. SUMMARY We really expected a lot more from RCL. At the end of our Carnival cruise, we thought okay we would go on Carnival again. At the end of our RCL cruise, we felt that we would not go on RCL again. We could try another ship, but would that be a guarantee that the food would be better? I don't know if I want to spend a couple of thousand dollars just to find that out. We ate at Chops and Giovanni's Table. The food was great and the service was wonderful. It's sad that several of the items at the specialty restaurants and the overall quality of the food there were actually what we got at the main dining room on Carnival. Our waiters on Carnival were very professional and experienced. They joked around with us, but were still highly professional. Totally different from the RCL atmosphere. We also ate at the specialty restaurant on Carnival, which was still a couple of levels better than the specialty restaurants on RCL. I went to the Captain's chat where they explained things about the ship and introduced the officers. The hotel director is apparently new to the ship. He has been with RCL for almost 30 years but this was his first time (his actual first cruise) on the Grandeur. I wonder if there had been issues and if they fired the former hotel director and he is the replacement to save this ship. I hope so, I guess. Although when one of the passengers asked what they did with all the leftovers, he responded that there were not much leftover. The lady actually said that there really was a lot of food that she sees being left on the plates every day. She was trying to be polite instead of saying that the food sucks and there is a lot of food being wasted because people can't eat it. Some people on the cruise said that it's still better than cooking and cleaning after yourself at home. But if I'm paying for the food and service that a cruise should offer, then I would expect that and more. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I actually would rather cook my own food at home if I had to choose between RCL dining vs. home. We are not chefs but we can cook food on our own. The point is that I am going on a cruise to get something different - and better because they should have real chefs on a cruise ship. I don't want to go to dinner wondering how the food would be like this time (and hoping not to be disappointed again). I don't want to wonder whether or not the dishes, cups, and flatware are properly cleaned and sanitized. The last straw is that when my husband called RCL to let them know of the issues, they really didn't care and just told us that they would forward it along to management. That's a pretty poor way of handling customer issues for a service industry company.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Our first cruise on Royal Caribbean was this past November, sailing to the Bahamas out of Baltimore. Check-in went fairly quickly, and we were on the ship about 30 minutes after being checked in. We travelled with another family who also ... Read More
Our first cruise on Royal Caribbean was this past November, sailing to the Bahamas out of Baltimore. Check-in went fairly quickly, and we were on the ship about 30 minutes after being checked in. We travelled with another family who also never sailed with RCL and all were curious to see the ship. Once onboard, we were taken back on how dirty and old the ship looked. We read it had undergone a renovation not long ago, but not sure what was renovated, as everything looked old. Only certain elevators worked and the wait for them was always long, only to find that when the doors opened, it was entirely full. There definitely is not enough elevators to handle the amount of passengers. We walked on the top outside deck before we sailed and saw a cup of spilled red juice that was dried up and the cup was stuck in it.....this cup remained there for almost the entire cruise, until one night it rained and it was gone the next day. The spa area was a joke, the steam spa in the women's spa was broken the entire cruise, we were told they were waiting for a part. The men's steam spa broke during the cruise and was never fixed. The rooms were just ok, sort of like a Motel 8 look. Crooked pictures hung on the wall and shabby, old looking curtains. We had a port hole room and, the caulking around the window on the outside was dried up and cracked, with pieces missing. The pillows were comfortable, but the mattress was very thin and uncomfortable, similar to sleeping on a cot. Room looked clean, but not sure if/how they sanitize their rooms. Our friends had a verandah stateroom and the curtains were the same old looking curtains. Their verandah door had a broken lock, so the door to the verandah could not be locked. They called maintenance to let them know, but no one ever came to fix it. This is a major risk factor if young children were to stay in this room. The shows were awful, we walked out on all but one of the shows. The speakers in the theater were crackling and you couldn't understand what was being said. Windjammer Buffet: Now for the worst...when we were at the buffet in the morning and afternoon, there was a male officer who would go around and clean the tables (it was always very over-crowded in the buffet area), and he would remove the dishes and then use the peoples dirty napkins to clean off the table!!! I find this to be totally disgusting and a sure way of spreading germs. There was an elderly gentleman who had coughed and sneezed into his napkin, when he left his table, this officer came over and wiped the table with the same napking that this man had sneezed and coughed into. One afternoon we were at the Windjammer buffet standing in line, and there were 2 crew members talking to this officer and they were looking at a female passenger and talking in another language; it was obvious that they were talking about this female passenger and they were laughing and talking back and forth to each other....very rude and uncomfortable feeling standing there and watching this take place! The melamine coffee cups were all stained brown with coffee, they needed to either be scrubbed clean or they should buy new cups. My husband brought me a cup of coffee and it still had red lipstick on it....disgusting! The Solarium: The white tiles in the solarium were filthy, never washed the entire cruise. There was coffee spills on the tiles that were there from the day we got on until the morning we got off. One evening, toward the end of the cruise, we all went to the solarium to get a drink and potato chips, but we were told they ran out of potato chips. While sitting there having our iced tea, I watched a woman fill up her "used" water bottles by putting the top of her bottle right into the spout of the water dispenser. There was an officer standing there watching her fill this used Deer Park water bottle and not saying anything to her; I went up to him and asked him of RCL allows this to happen...He replied "no." I told him it was a health hazard and a primary way to spread germs. This woman came back with a second bottle and started to refill it, and she must have heard me talking to this officer, as she said it was an "unused" bottle of water. Regardless if it was used or unused, it is an opportunity for other passengers to see this happen and for them to refill their used water bottles. This officer didn't comment to the woman as she was standing there filling her second water bottle....I looked at him and shook my head and walked away. I also noticed that they have hand sanitizer stations at the entrances to the restaurants, but do not enforce passengers to use it. Throughout the entire cruise, none of us saw any pride of ownership either with the officers or the crew staff! All in all, we couldn't wait to get off this ship and will NEVER sail with RCL again....if only for their lack of cleanliness and upkeep of their ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
BERMUDA 7 NIGHT CRUISE 10-25-2013 First and foremost let me say that the staff that we interacted with were fantastic. Our Room Steward George Cayasso, Waiters Mark Brown and Fredrick Pecson, and Guest support staff Ricardo Sanchez, ... Read More
BERMUDA 7 NIGHT CRUISE 10-25-2013 First and foremost let me say that the staff that we interacted with were fantastic. Our Room Steward George Cayasso, Waiters Mark Brown and Fredrick Pecson, and Guest support staff Ricardo Sanchez, Lourdes Mendoza, Tiela Hagan, and Luz Maria Lucana. They were always cheerful and helpful in all respects and need to be recognized for their superior performance by Royal Caribbean International. As far as our personal opinion of the ship goes, that is a whole different matter. The Grandeur Of The Seas is a 916-foot-long, Vision-class ship that was was built in 1996, refurbished in 2001, and again in 2012. It is the Oldest and Smallest in the RCCL fleet. It is approximately 50 feet shorter than the Millennium class Celebrity ships. During its revitalization, the Atrium which is a six story venue in the center of he ship is used for an Aerial Acrobatic show nightly during which some of the elevators are disabled. No matter where you want to go on the ship you probably have to go past the atrium and contend with people trying to watch the acrobats and deal with the ships photographers around it. The sound level of the music or public announcements in the atrium as well as everywhere on the ship is up around 150DB (Jet engine noise). If I turn my hearing aids off it is still too loud. When we go aboard Celebrity Ships we are handed a glass of champagne and a warm greeting. On the Grandeur we received a nod and a "Welcome Aboard”. We were told we could board at 10:00 AM and we had to wait in the terminal until 11:00 and told we could ho to our staterooms at 1:00. The fire doors to the stateroom passageway was locked until 1:30. The shows were very good with the exception of the first night. There was only one show and it was at 7:15 which was in the middle of the dining times and it was full and Standing Room Only. I guess it cut down on the main dining room guests. The Elevators were never all operational at the same time. Various elevators were constantly inoperable, slow, or locked out of operation during the entire cruise. The food in the Windjammer Buffet was sub par in every sense of the word for all meals. Unless you consider Tater Tots and McCain Ore Ida hash brown potato patties standard cruise ship items. The lunch hot dogs were boiled to within an inch of their life and became 6 inch rubber sticks. A Chef would have grilled them, a cook boils them. The traffic flow is an abomination with everyone wandering everywhere. There is no rhyme or reason to the layout of the stations. Just a confused mess. The desserts such as cookies are store bought as are the rolls. In the Main Dining Room, The Great Gatsby Escargot is no longer served and only has French Onion soup on the last night, but is inferior to any I have had elsewhere. My Medium-well steaks were VERY WELL DONE and dry. Lots of consume and the cream soups taste like thick watered soups, not cream soups, The rolls appear to be store bought and are just heated prior to being served. I had Fettuccine Alfredo one evening and the Alfredo was a white sauce that did not appear to have even gotten close to Parmesan cheese. The Eggs Benedict one day were runny with a teaspoon of what someone thinks is a Hollandaise Sauce and the next time were like hard boiled eggs. Neither serving was remotely acceptable to be served anywhere, let alone on a cruise ship. .....It does not matter if you are going on a first time cruise for a 2 night inside cabin at $122 each or a diamond member for a 17 night cruise at $12,230 each, The cruise should be outstanding in all respects. I booked a Junior Suite Stateroom for the Cruise. I was booked into 8576 and told by RCCL that my stateroom was a Handicapped Accessible Suite with a roll in shower and grab bars, which I require. It did not appear to have that designation so I contacted RCCL again and asked specifically if it was indeed a handicapped accessible suite. I was emailed a reply that stated again that it was handicapped accessible, with a roll in shower.. When I boarded the ship and went to the stateroom it was a standard bathroom with a bathtub and a small tub height grab bar. I immediately went to Guest Services and spoke to a Guest Services Officer. I showed him the copy of my confirmation for the Accessible Stateroom and he made a copy to send to RCCL . He informed me that all staterooms were booked and that there were no shower only staterooms available. I stayed in the stateroom and with extreme difficulty and in a perilous manner, was able to at least get clean when I tried. If I had known a few days before boarding, that I would have to contend with a tiny bathroom and a BATHTUB I would never have accepted the booking. Cancel for any reason travel insurance will allow that.. That was not the case on our recent Grandeur OTS cruise. The cruise was unremarkable in almost every aspect. Everyone always raves about the food that is served on a cruise ship. HOW ABOUT ORDERING ONE OF THESE IN THE MAIN DINING ROOM? Some menu items were: COLD SOUPS.... Watermelon Raspberry Soup, Banana and Rum Soup, Chilled Mango Soup, (They should be served with a swizzle stick and a little umbrella) HOT SOUPS.....Lamb Broth, Chicken Consomme, Asian Coconut Seafood Soup, (Bullion Cube Short Cuts) ENTREE.....Soft Shelled Tortilla with vegetables and Soy Chili, Pork Scaloppine Oscar with Veal Reduction (NO Hollandaise Sauce) DESERTS.....Low fat Panna Cotta, Low Fat Mango Pudding, Sugar Free Chocolate Charlotte,Low Fat Ice Cream, Low Fat cookies, Sugar Free Chocolate Terrine. Royal cheese plate of assorted cheeses and crackers. Those were some items from just 3 of the 7 nights and the other 4 nights were just the same abysmal quality and selection. The wines are served by the waiters, not a sommelier who knows the wines and can offer suggestions based on knowledge, not guesses. The menu for the entire cruise is something that should be addressed by an Executive Chef, not a Cook. The Diamond Lounge is not a lounge. It is a small corner of The South Pacific Lounge with a few dining tables separated from the main area by a free standing wall that goes up about 8 feet. The Captain's welcome aboard party was held from 4:45 to 5:30 on an in port day. Probably not that many attendees. Maybe it was on purpose that way. There were two formal nights and other than myself, on the first formal night I saw Five other men in tuxedos, a few in suits with a tie and the rest in a coat only or just a sport shirt. At the Captain's table when the First Engineer hosted dinner there was at least one man in a short sleeve sport shirt which showed disrespect for who he was dining with. If you do not want to enforce a Dress Code, do away with it. Then you can advertise Casual Sloppy sailing. In the Suite, the hair dryer was furnished, but no outlet in the bathroom to use it. The only accessible outlet was at the writing desk. The mattress was thin and bed was very low with no storage underneath it. The laundry service had individual items for 'wash and iron', 'iron only', and 'dry clean' as the only options. No wash and fluff dry for 20 lbs. The carpet looked like it had seen better days and appeared to be very dirty. We were on the port side and even though no smoking is allowed the stateroom next to ours was furnished with a ships ashtray and smoking was allowed at the Verandas as well as in the stateroom. Smoking was rampant over the ship, not in just the designated areas. The medical office is open from 8 to 12 and 4 to 7. No band-aids or medical items were for sale in the shops. There was a dispenser outside the medical office but the $ .50 each band-aid portion was empty as well as most other items. Extremely poor upkeep. However there was a hard sell on the ship through out the cruise except when in port where everything is prohibited from being sold except drinks. All in all, the Grandeur Of The Seas is a very old and tired ship that needs to go through a through renovation, not another refurbishing. Or better yet, let Pullmantur Cruises have it. I think they could do wonders with it. Upon Disembarcation the Port people were as discourteous as they could be. Not the ships people or the customs people, but the port people. If Baltimore goes the way of the other ports that have been abandoned by the cruise companies for other reasons it will not be a great loss. If this were my first cruise ever, I would more than likely would have thought it was a good cruise. However I have sailed on Azamara, Celebrity, and RCI so this review is in relation to the RCCL family of ships and no other cruise lines. All of our other cruises were absolutely fantastic. The food, accommodations, the venues, the entertainment, the staff, from the Captain to the most junior person on board have always been superior and the staff officers were always visible during the cruise. I rarely saw any officers on the Grandeur. Since the cruise I have received two discounts of $250 each with an explanation that "Although the request for an accessible stateroom was received, your sailing did not have any accessible staterooms available. While our onboard staff did all that they could to assist you, we truly apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced  during your vacation. However well prior to the cruise I received this: We have gone ahead and made the appropriate notations in the reservation. Kindly note that you are confirmed in an accessible cabin. Will I cruise again, yes, just not with Royal Caribbean International. It will be with the classy Cruise line Celebrity and not out of Baltimore. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We've been on the Enchantment 6 times and loved every minute of it! Our first cruise on her sister ship, the Grandeur, was more than even I anticipated. Embarkation in Baltimore is effortless...the only way it could be easier is if we ... Read More
We've been on the Enchantment 6 times and loved every minute of it! Our first cruise on her sister ship, the Grandeur, was more than even I anticipated. Embarkation in Baltimore is effortless...the only way it could be easier is if we were able to park our car in our stateroom. Your photo is now taken at the sign in station so the stop for card photo prior to boarding is eliminated. The Grandeur is beautiful, sparkly clean, spacious in all the right spots and so inviting. The staff seems to have an unusually tight bond, which the hospitality capt attributed to bonding during the recent fire.....clearly emergencies are great levelers. The result is the happiest ship we've ever cruised upon. The centrum aerial performances were breathtaking. The comedian and pefomers way more than expected. The cruise director,John, and entertainment director, Darryl, were a show by themselves...absolutely loved them! We ate late seating in the main dining room and the food was excellent. Our servers Terry Ann and Ding Ding were flawless...My husband was given an extra shrimp cocktail at dinner every night because they spoiled him so much. We were seated directly in front of a violinist and guitarist...pure heaven. Soft music brought tears to my eyes more than once. I commented I loved the song "Meditation" so they made a point of playing it every single night! We were on the 2nd floor...smallish room but plenty of storage....bathroom small but if one cruises based on bathroom size..one doesn't cruise. Definitely comfortable and our stateroom attendant, Maria, would of flown from the ceiling had we requested it. There were over 500 children on this fully booked cruise. Being a retired couple who have raised 4 children....a shipful of unruly kids does not spell relaxation. Adventure Ocean must be awesome because we never saw anything other than nice families and a few children here and there. In short..one of our best of 18 prior cruises. We felt as if we were "adopted" in every venue we frequented....greeted by name...choice of food, songs, drinks etc remembered by the second day. Don't hesitate to choose the Grandeur....you will NOT be disappointed.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
All I can say is that I can totally NOT relate to anyone giving the Grandeur of the Seas good reviews! Our experience on this May 24th, 2013 FIRE Of the Seas cruise out of Baltimore was FAR from a vacation or good time to say the least! If ... Read More
All I can say is that I can totally NOT relate to anyone giving the Grandeur of the Seas good reviews! Our experience on this May 24th, 2013 FIRE Of the Seas cruise out of Baltimore was FAR from a vacation or good time to say the least! If you have previously cruised on the Carnival Pride out of Baltimore then you will be thoroughly disappointed with this ship in comparison. Here are some comparisons of our experience on RC's Grandeur vs Carnival Pride: STATEROOMS: Grandeur - you get a mini bar stocked with super tiny bags of peanuts, snickers, other tiny candies and a few bottled waters. Liquor is not stocked nor allowed in the rooms. You can only order beer and wine to your room via room service. Carnival Pride - you get a mini bar stocked with assorted sodas, large bottled waters and liquors in your stateroom that get replenished everyday during daily room service cleaning or at your request. STATEROOM SERVICE: Grandeur - Where do I start...we never formally met out stateroom attendant until about Day 2 when we happened to bump into him in the hallway on our way to dinner. We had no way to contact him directly, so anytime we needed anything we had to call the Information Desk (they were even worse in the service department because they NEVER followed through on any of our requests as they stated). They would frequently forget to replenish our toilet paper and never would replace our towels/rags after removing used ones during the daily room service cleaning. It got to the point that I had to actually roam the hallways to find our stateroom attendant and ask for toilet paper, towels, rags, etc. My husband and I had to actually share a hand towel to wash up because we had no rags for a full day. We also never received our daily cruise itineraries on time, so a majority of the time we never knew what was going on, where we were, lunch times, etc. Overall extremely unorganized and poor communication. Carnival Pride - Our stateroom attendant came and introduced himself minutes after we checked into our room on Day 1. There was a direct number to contact the stateroom attendant anytime you needed something. They were extremely efficient at replenishing toiletries and never once did we have to ask for any standard toiletries or towels. They were great about ensuring we had our cruise itineraries the day prior so we knew what was going on. STATEROOM AMENTIES: Grandeur - We were advised by Information Services that only people with Suites could order movies to their rooms. Even though it's advertised as being an amenity in the stateroom pamphlet, you cannot view your SeaPass charges on your flat screen TV. You actually have to trek to Information Services and stand in a long line anytime that you want to review your charges. The TV's were not interactive at all as advertised, so you also cannot book excursions from your room. Also the USB connections on the TV to watch our own movies via our devices did not work. The only weather station they have only includes the temparature in Celsuis, so you never know what temparature it is if you are from the U.S. Also on all of the interactive screens on the ship only show Celsuis. Big oversight on their end! Carnival Pride - although their TV's are not flat screen, they are all interactive. You can check your charges, book excursions, and even order room service from the luxury of your room. We never had to go to Information Services for this reason. Had a station to show what the wind speed was, tide information and the weather was in Fahrenheit! ENTERTAINMENT: Grandeur - If you are under 35 or like to have fun in general, stay away from this ship. The entertainment on this ship is clearly geared towards a more senior crowd. There was little to nothing going on other than constant Bingo, a non-impressive performance of YMCA by a group of unimpressive men, a few Oldies themed dance nights (and I mean REALLY Oldies nights) and a few gymnastic rope performers. I don't know about the kids programs but I can tell you that I was constantly witnessing Terrible Two tantrums and babies crying everywhere, so I'm assuming they may not have had many activities for kids either. Carnival Pride - has entertainment for all ages. You rarely saw kids on the ship other than playing in the pools and on the pool slides. There were shows all day (literally) everday. Between comedians, game shows, etc. We witnessed all ages having fun - from seniors, 20 somethings, middle ages, to kids dance clubs. No one feels left out. ONBOARD STAFF/ATMOSPHERE: Grandeur - generally not very friendly and seemed like they almost never knew the answers to anything (Info Services, Food Services, etc), which became frustrating. We witnessed and personally experienced a number of staff members being rude or short to cruisers asking questions. Carnival Pride - you almost have to run from the nice people bc they are so open and ready to have a friendly conversation with you. Staff was always super nice and if they didn't know the answers would always research and get back to you within seconds. There is so much more, but these are the important highlights. Overall the Grandeur is not worth the 42 Million Dollar renovation, nor is it worth the higher rates than Carnival Pride. Save yourself the money and don't cruise on this ship!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
I place Royal Caribbean in the mid point of cruise lines but this cruise exceeded my expectations. The Good - We had a group of 11 and the staff at the MDR handled us extremely well each night. Kudos to them! We also found the food ... Read More
I place Royal Caribbean in the mid point of cruise lines but this cruise exceeded my expectations. The Good - We had a group of 11 and the staff at the MDR handled us extremely well each night. Kudos to them! We also found the food in the MDR to be better than the buffet - not my usual experience. Maybe it was because they did not share a kitchen, not typical. Found the prime rib, lamb shank, and other dishes to be first rate. Again, the service was excellent. Did not eat in the specialty restaurants, did not think the price was worth it. - Lunches in the Windjammer buffet were OK - good variety of food but nothing special. - Our veranda room (7012) was clean and organized well. We had an adjoining room with our daughter and her husband and toddler - not too many of these. Dan, the cabin attendant, was excellent. We were on deck 7 which is ideal because you can walk down two flights of stairs to the MDR or walk up two flights to the pool. Avoid the elevators, they are slow. - They have an adults-only Solarium sunbathing deck - sliding roof when its warm - nice cafe there - super! - Fitness room was small but good equipment and we could always find a piece to work on. Francis, the exercise instructor, was good. None of the equipment had TVs so bring your MP3 player. - Entertainment was OK - the Temptations Tribute band was great - comedian got raves - others were good. Lecture on the dogs of the Titanic was good. - Participating activities were mixed. The trivia games were fun. The Bingo was awful - only 24% return and they had those darn machines that allow players to use 30 cards. Please outlaw those. The odds in the casino are stacked against you. Their Ultimate Texas Holdem is a license for them to steal. - A nice adult hideaway is the Viking Crown lounge - nice and quiet. - Docked on the west end. Easy to take the fast boat to Hamilton, a nice town to stroll around. You can also find taxis and scooters and bikes. There is shopping which (IMHO) is the usual port crud. But, there are two really nice attractions. The Bermuda museum is GREAT - spend three hours there and you will learn a lot about the island. The beach (next to the museum) is a nice sandy beach to relax - bar - restaurant - water rentals - very nice. For a nice bite and brew, try the Frog and Onion. One of our party rode a scooter for two days and had a blast. Two others took the ferry to St. Georges and had a good time. - Took the ferry to Hamilton one day and walked around - a very nice and clean town. Shops were a cut above the shops near the dock, but pricey. The Spinaker had nice T-shirts. Flanagan's Pub got good reviews. - Previous reviews mentioned foul odors on the ship, but we experienced none. - For a visual treat, go topside when leaving Baltimore: you can see Fort McHenry, the Key bridge, and other landmarks. Coming into Bermuda on a sunny day is awesome. Our Captain took us south of the island and all the way around to our NW dock. - Internet service on the boat is slow and intermittent. When we docked, there was a dockside ISP that charged $10 for 24hrs. It was faster than the boat's service but barely adequate. On land, we did not find many places that offered Internet service. The Bad We got off to a rough start when it took us two hours waiting in line to board. Heard lots of excuses: ship was late, new destination, etc. Not good. Once on the ship, things went more smoothly, although we had the usual mad dash to eat with 2,000 other guests. - Liquor policy is penal. Although they allow you to bring on two bottles of wine, they confiscate your luggage and make you go to deck 2, open up your luggage and show that it is not liquor. Folks felt like criminals. Should be a better way. If you have liquor, they will confiscate it and return it to you around 6pm the last night. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
If you don't care what you eat and like all your food overcooked, you will love this ship. We took the Oasis of the Seas back in February. I sent an 8 page review to the executive offices. I got a form letter and some girl who read ... Read More
If you don't care what you eat and like all your food overcooked, you will love this ship. We took the Oasis of the Seas back in February. I sent an 8 page review to the executive offices. I got a form letter and some girl who read from a script, called me. TAKE THE CARNIVAL OUT OF BALTIMORE. We had an owner's suite, no less. Furniture looked like it was from a second hand store; outside door whistled, soap dish was broken, toilets were broken for 2 days for our entire section. WHY DID THEY NOT CALL US ??? Mattress was hard as a rock. There are too many bad things to list. If they don't care, neither do we. Like I said before " How can a company that also owns Celebrity, a top of the line operation, run a disaster like this. Lastly: The buffet is on the 9th floor, IN THE FRONT OF THE SHIP !! As most of you cruisers know, the kitchen is in the back of the ship. EVERY PIECE OF FOOD IS ROLLED OVER THE 9TH FLOOR TO THE BUFFET. ( Over the Royal and Owners suites). Starts at 6 AM and goes to 12 PM. Now for the rub: All the food is rolled in 3 shelf, open carts. These same carts are also used as bus carts !! Most dishes are covered in cellophane. This means food sits out for about 15 to 30 minutes on just the trip upstairs. Actually, I would guess twice that. It then is put into warmers underneath the serving tables. THAT IS WHY EVERYTHING IS COOKED TO DEATH IN BUFFET !! They should put BLAH on all the menu items.A funny thing: They overcook everything except the bacon !! The staff is very friendly. Take Celebrity or Carnival folks. You will be thankful you did. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Went on a 7 day cruise out of Baltimore to Bermuda. The trip progressively got worse to the point we finally got off in Bermuda and flew home. Started with cold hot dogs and burgers with 40+ mile per hour winds on the top deck. The buns ... Read More
Went on a 7 day cruise out of Baltimore to Bermuda. The trip progressively got worse to the point we finally got off in Bermuda and flew home. Started with cold hot dogs and burgers with 40+ mile per hour winds on the top deck. The buns were hard on the edges and you could hit them against the table top like a hockey puck. Went to arcade with nine year old to play video games at $2 per game. After spending about $200 decided that was enough. Activity club for kids was ok, but nothing to rave about. Forgot son's bathing suit. No bathing suits for children in gift shop. None for women either, so if you forget a suit, you're pretty much screwed. Food overall was pretty poor. Worst part was the logistics of food service. Limited locations for food at differing times of the day and night. Would have to travel all the way to the 9th deck to get food at night. Limited beverage availability always. Always felt like we were in the way of the staff who were quite rude, always refilling the coffee machines and hovering around, and in our way. For some reason, they were handing out cups already filled with ice. Fresh squeezed orange juice onboard that you had to pay for. Really?!?!? The orange juice that you didn't pay for was watered down. Late night room service between 12 and 5 a.m was an up charge, plus gratuity. Really?!?!?!? Casino layout sucked as well. Crammed in the middle of the boat and very small. Not friendly for non gamblers. Gathered in the Bolero to watch Ravens Cowboys and endured several technical signal difficulties. Wanted a coffee drink at the bars. Get this, no coffee behind the bar. Really?!?!?!? Went to gift shop to get wife a gift. Bought a ring and was told to return for certificate. Returned next day and no one was even in the jewelry store to assist. Stood around for 15-20 minutes no one ever came in or offered to assist. The gift shops sucked as well. Selling Nautica watches and Citizen watches. Very limited selection of jewelry. Nothing high end, which was just shocking. No Rolex, Tag Heuer, etc. The best it got was Tissot. Never did get the certificate, as the shops closed when in port. Room was ok but nothing great. The last straw was finding my son wrapped up in a blanket with blood stains, fecal stains and urine and perhaps semen. Booked flight on my smart phone for wife, myself and son to fly from Bermuda Hamilton airport to Baltimore. Went to guest services to advise I was disembarking in Bermuda. Advised I was simply done and wanted to get off, not to mention the fact that we were now turning around, after one day, due to hurricane approaching. No freakin way was I going to deal with 4 more days on the ocean on this ship. Then had to print itinerary for flight to give to guest services in the internet cafe and pay $35 for internet access to print flight details. Insult to injury. Wife, who paid for trip, as a 10 year anniversary gift, took blood stained blanket down to guest services, asked for refund of the balance of what was paid for trip. They said no, bacause they said I had mentioned I wanted off the ship due to weather. Presently challenging charges with credit card company. Got home on Monday night. Best thing we ever did. Spent the balance of the week off from work doing day trips with family. Probably will never cruise again. Just not worth it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We were really looking forward to this cruise. It was the first one for our 4yr old and our first one on RCI. We came with a VERY large party, reserving 6 cabins for our group alone. All in all we paid 1.5 times the amount we normally ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise. It was the first one for our 4yr old and our first one on RCI. We came with a VERY large party, reserving 6 cabins for our group alone. All in all we paid 1.5 times the amount we normally pay with Carnival per person but thought we were getting a better experience with RCI since we had done all the Carnival cruises by now. Baltimore was beautiful and enjoyed the night we stayed there but the vacation quickly went downhill once we boarded the ship. The ship really shows her age and smells it too. The carpets were dirty, chairs looked very worn and overall just very aged. Even on the pool deck things weren't much better. The staterooms were smaller than we were used to but seemed to be the cleanest place on the ship. We were on the ship 9 days and not once did we see anyone cleaning the common areas. There was a handout in our rooms warning us of the signs of Norwalk virus or "Norovirus" but from past experience we had never had any issues with this. I guess that should have been a warning sign right there. Within the 9 days, 15 of our 17 members with our party alone had contracted Norwalk including our 4 yr old, 2 got pneumonia/bronchitis and 3 got pink eye. If you haven't had or heard of Norwalk, google it now. You can't kill Norwalk with hand sanitizer. The virus is only killed by bleach and washing your hands. It's VERY contagious. RCI's solution to cleaning was to place hand sanitizer stations in front of the common dining room areas and to have a person standing there telling you to sanitize. During the trip, we noticed the only people cleaning were in the Windjammer (which I have complaints about that later) and they were taking a dirty rag and going from table to table without bleach or any other cleaning agent. You can guess what they were spreading from table to table... and it for dang sure wasn't good cheer. Speaking of staterooms, our room attendant was awesome! Seriously only person on the entire ship that wasn't rude. He was interactive and friendly with our children and was very accommodating. He was definitely one of two good parts of this ENTIRE cruise. We decided with such a HUGE group all together we would use the "My time dining" feature. To do so you had to prepay all your gratuities which we did. On the first night we just hung out and ate at the windjammer but the second night we decided to check out the dining room. We called to get reservations that morning for dinner that night and were denied. We did get in the next night after complaining to the customer relations who turns out have NO customer relations at all. Dining crew was nice after we finally got to see them. Food wasn't that great though, had better on Carnival. We ate in the dining room a total of 3 times in 9 days and were not satisfied with the quality of food any of those days. Now to the Windjammer. My BIGGEST complaint about it is that it closes. Who has EVER heard of a cruise line without 24 hour, eat all you want, stuff your face style food?? I mean, most jokes about people who cruise are based around lines at the buffet! However, we found ourselves hungry at 6pm waiting for the windjammer to open. Try explaining that to two 4 yr olds who are used to eating dinner around 5pm. The food was boring and tasteless unfortunately. We generally ended up getting hot dogs which were sometimes cold or hamburgers which were just bland. The drinks were non-existent unless you were buying alcohol at every meal. They served o.j. from the beverage stations yet offered to SELL you fresh squeezed o.j.? No thanks.. I'll just stick with the free stuff. Every beverage station had broken ice machines and they were few and far between to start with. The staff couldn't decide if they were going to serve you drinks or allow you to get your own. I left this cruise being more thirsty than I have EVER been in my entire life. There wasn't enough seating for everyone who wanted to use it and with the food quality in the main dining room... I think the entire ship wanted the windjammer. Leaving out of Baltimore during November didn't help this problem because it was VERY cold outside the ship so everyone on board was bunkering down in the windjammer or the formal dining room IF they got in! So your dining choices were VERY limited which leads me to the solarium which was advertised as your 3rd included dining option or your late night dining option but even that was closed before windjammer was open or after. We found it open a few times when we were very hungry and just took the food to our room. Room service charges a fee after midnight and if you called 2 hours before midnight you didn't get your food till after. Sneaky sneaky. We waited 2 hours for food several times and ended up falling asleep before it even came. The other times we just hung up and didn't bother because they kept you on hold for almost half an hour. The entertainment staff was great and the shows were nice. The children's program, Adventure Ocean is the second of 2 good things on the ship. They were great. Both my kids wanted to be there the entire cruise and came back with crafts or faces painted almost every night. We even watched them come through the casino in a giant chain making faces at the casino patrons and screaming their little heads off. They made everyone laugh and really seemed to be having a good time. If you have the misfortune of going on Royal Caribbean, I definitely recommend Ocean Adventure. If I could change things around, I would put them on Carnival Cruise Line and the world would be right. The ports of call are honestly what you make of them with any cruise line. We had been to San Juan before with Carnival and docked in practically the same spot. Best thing to do there is walk around a bit to see the city then go back and eat dinner on the ship to reduce costs. After dinner we visit Senor Frogs for a bit of fun. We generally stumble back to the ship, retrieve our children from the kids program and sleep the night away. The next port was St. Thomas which again we had been to before. Nice shopping, beautiful island, no complaints. There is a beach if you like beaches, there are shops if you like shops and there are of course excursions if you are into that. After that was Samana, D.R. That one was special. While some would see it as dirty and poor or not your typical tourist style port, it gives you an honest view of the world outside the U.S and was a very good teaching tool for our 10 yr old who is the typical American kid. We toured around and sampled the local fruits and vegetables, ending up at a beach that was beautiful with the ship in the background. Lastly was Labadee, Haiti. This was RCI's leased area and was beautiful of course. The beach itself was quite dirty with trash and very rough sand/shell but is still a beach. Has all the amenities of the ship right outside. The local shop area is confusing and a bit pushy but is typical of any shopping you do off a cruise ship. We purchased the roller coaster excursion there and really enjoyed it. Would recommend this to anyone. In all honesty, the entire cruise just felt like a chance to up sell you. They weren't satisfied with your cruise admission, they wanted more and more at every turn. I expected to pay for alcohol and extra dining services but was very disappointed to feel like I was getting sub par service because I wasn't shelling out an identical amount of the over priced admission ON the ship as well. On previous cruises we have always left feeling like we had just stayed at the nicest hotel you've ever seen and eaten the finest food anyone has ever made and that was not the case with RCI. In conclusion, this was honestly the worst cruise ever and our party of 17 wasn't the only one with this lasting view. We will NEVER use RCI again and will tell everyone we know to use another cruise line. You shouldn't leave a vacation with trips to the emergency room for Norwalk Virus or Pneumonia or pink eye for that matter. We needed a vacation from our vacation. After getting off the ship and visiting hospitals and doctors offices for our children it took us two additional weeks to get everyone healthy and back to normal. So I'd like to say thanks to RCI for warning us about Norwalk but not being knowledgeable enough about it to correct the issue or take steps to combat it and to tell the people who were boarding the ship 2 hours after us that we are so very sorry. I'm sure they contracted Norwalk too due to not having the ship clean and sanitary for the next cruise. If you are looking for a first time cruise line and just want to enjoy the experience without worry or sickness or rude staff, go with Carnival. We sure will. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
For the second week in a row, the Enchantment of the seas had gastrointestinal viruses among passengers and crew. As a result, we were told the night before our cruise to not arrive before 12:30 p.m. When we arrived, we were greeted by ... Read More
For the second week in a row, the Enchantment of the seas had gastrointestinal viruses among passengers and crew. As a result, we were told the night before our cruise to not arrive before 12:30 p.m. When we arrived, we were greeted by workers on shore wearing tyvec suits, breathing masks and industrial gloves wiping down every surface including the door handles, poles holding the webbing for passenger lines, the webbing, and every surface including the walls of the restrooms in the terminal. With a weather delay of 11 hours, the cruise literally got off to a rocky start at 3 a.m. on Tuesday. The next morning, the Captain announced that because of the weather delay, the ship would not be going to Key West, a major destination for most adults without children on the cruise. Embarkation POSITIVES: • Good luggage drop-off process • Good check-in process NEGATIVES: • Bottleneck when ship photographers placed themselves between passengers and the ship, harassing people for pre-cruise photos. • Families with children not given ID wristbands when parents picked up ship cards. • Pictures of passengers not taken at check-in but just before going on board created last bottleneck. Debarkation POSITIVES: • Tags to group bags worked well. Took less than 10 minutes to find all bags off the ship. • Grouping of passengers also worked well. • Off ship, loaded, and out of parking in half hour. NEGATIVES: NONE Baggage to Staterooms POSITIVES: NONE NEGATIVES: • Best description of baggage service on board was absolute chaos! Bags were not delivered to stateroom. Room stewards who were to deliver bags were pre-occupied with getting rooms ready after disinfecting program. • Most passengers had to find their bags, and then drag them over the hundreds of other passenger bags that clogged hall and stairway entrances. Since boat still docked, Baltimore fire marshal should have been called because of blocked hallways and stairs. • Adding frustration to chaos was the fact that many bags were "impounded" because of items prohibited by RCL but allowed by other cruise lines. It took hours before people realized that their bags were impounded by security and were being held on Deck 1 aft. None of our bags were delivered to our stateroom. Food Service Windjammer POSITIVES: • Omelet station crowded, but chefs fast, cheerful and good! • Fruit was fresh-cut and plentiful • Orange juice was not fresh-squeezed like other cruise lines, but good nonetheless. NEGATIVES: • The so-called quick, casual dining option was a nightmare. When RCL removed the buffet lines and installed the separate, themed food venues, it created absolute chaos. Everyone tried to go everyplace at the same time—a lot of jostling and pushing, spilled plates, etc. Adding to the chaos was the fact that 2,400+ people descended on this restaurant when coming on board. There was no place else to go. Finding a place to sit was impossible unless someone befriended you, as happened for us with a wonderful couple from Alberta Canada. On days at sea, this situation was repeated. • Fresh-squeezed orange juice cost $2.50 per glass, plus 15% gratuity. Other cruise lines do not charge for fresh-squeezed. Room Service POSITIVES: • Early morning coffee and juice delivered on-time. Coffee strong and hot! NEGATIVES: • No room service menu in stateroom. Room service staff referred us to channel 28 with a scroll of very basic, limited offerings. Other big negative was that RCL only allowed suites to order from dining room daily menus. Dining Room POSITIVES: • EXCELLENT in all respects—from staffing to prompt filling of orders, to food quality. In our opinion, the dining room and its staff "saved" the cruise. Annoyances • Being notified by letter that we were to be out of our stateroom for four hours for "refurbishing of the furniture." We later learned that this was to replace a section of mirror in our bathroom, not to refurbish furniture. Furniture was orange and was tattered. • Destination staff continued to list tours at Cape Kennedy that were cancelled because of the shuttle launch two days later. • Ship staff continued to try justify why we couldn't go to Key West, when the reason was obvious—1,300 kids on board headed for Walt Disney World. In sum, the Enchantment of the Seas should be dry-docked next week, not next year. It is ill-equipped for the additional passengers, based on the casual dining configuration presently. Unless it is, the hope for a positive cruising experience will be dashed on the rocks. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
We have sailed for over 30 years - on numerous cruise lines, some good some so-so. This was our first on RCCL -- alas, it will be our last as this may be the worst line we have ever sailed. The good: Embarkation was fine. This ship is ... Read More
We have sailed for over 30 years - on numerous cruise lines, some good some so-so. This was our first on RCCL -- alas, it will be our last as this may be the worst line we have ever sailed. The good: Embarkation was fine. This ship is well maintained and clean. The crew tries hard. The entertainment was good to fair. The public rooms were pleasant. The bad: Obviously RCCL is cutting corners. The ship is woefully understaffed, most noticeably in the food service areas. In the buffet, don't expect your table cleaned up or your beverage refilled. Instead one must hunt around for a clean table and make the best of it. They also dod away with wine stewards in the dining room -- now your serving staff is the wine steward. The cabins are small (140 sq ft) and suffer from 2 major design flaws. First the beds are too low preventing one from storing suitcases under the bed (you must find a place in the already undersized cabin to put them). Second there are no hooks anywhere in the cabin to hang things. Also do not expect any toiletries in the bathroom. You get one bar of soap and one bath and face towel for each person. There's a toiletry stand, and towel rack in the bathroom, but they're empty. Don't expect a pen or any writing paper or post cards in the cabin either. The dining experience in the buffet and dining room is uninspiring. In the buffet you get one plate, one knife and one fork (no tray) as you march down an overcrowded buffet line. The menu is always the same the standard breakfast and for lunch lots of chicken, a few poor cuts of beef, mashed potatoes and vegetables (don't expect any seafood, veal, or other creative dishes). If you desire salad or soup you must find a seat, put down your plate and return to the buffet line. If you lunch in the dining room, the menu never changes (a first for us). Dinner's pretty much the same. Cheap tableware and a bland menu. Again lots and lots of chicken, poor quality beef and maybe every 3rd day a fish entree, even the deserts are cheap. The only thing RCCL seems to be have fully staffed and be efficient at is hammering passengers for drinks, pictures, fake art, fake jewelry, bingo, etc. The announcements occur hourly reminding you when the next art auction or bingo is. It was a decidedly unpleasant experience. You're better off on Carnival (and that's saying something)! . Read Less
Sail Date August 2006
There are only three good things I can say about this ship..our waiter Sean, our room steward and the band Horizon. We were on this ship in April and it was below my expectations then. However, since we live in MD, we decided to try ... Read More
There are only three good things I can say about this ship..our waiter Sean, our room steward and the band Horizon. We were on this ship in April and it was below my expectations then. However, since we live in MD, we decided to try leaving out of Baltimore. Unfortunately, the only ship going was the Grandeur. I could not believe how the service, quality of food and condition of the ship had deteriorated more since April. Here is an overview. Boarding - not bad although the drop off procedure is pretty slow. Room - Safe was not working, dirt and stains (? hmmm) on chairs and couch. I would love to know who takes the brochure pics. Must use some kind of wide angle, optical enhancement device. Would love them to take a pic of my diamond ring so I can send to all my jealous friends. Dining - Food was nothing short of disgusting proven by the fact that I gained 1 lb (water weight) on this 9 day cruise. I believe you should be able to pierce your Caesar salad, not scoop it up and have the lettuce wrap around your fork. When I went off the menu and ordered a steak ( in an attempt to eat something good) my table guests thought it was a hamburger. Let me just say that for 8 dining days, I enjoyed white rolls and water. Dessert - was a good thing. This quality of food extended to the Windjammer. Hint...get your table first then get your food otherwise your lunch becomes dinner. There are never any tables available. The floor was always sticky, the warming dishes were not filled, coffee machines were out of service much of the time as were the juice machines. Dessert - was a good thing. Pool deck - Simply put...dirty. Ask the staff to wipe a table and you would think you asked for their kidney. They are rude and totally ignore requests. Also, just in case you are a smoker, (like me), I would suggest you bring your own ashtray. I figured out that there are 20 ashtrays to every 200 smoking guests. I have even seen people "stealing" an ashtray from someone's table when not looking. It was ugly. I think if I had my suitcase filled with those tin disposable things, I could have sold enough to pay for the cruise. Entertainment - The Palladium - My six year old granddaughter's dance recital had more talent. Need I say more? Tiny Tim (rest his sole)was a better singer than the so called professionals on stage. The band Horizon in the South Pacific lounge was enjoyable until they did their heavy metal set. This is when most of the over 60 crowd cleared out which basically left the room completely empty. The band in the Centrum were OK except that they projected themselves as having eaten bad Sushi. Maybe they too were just tired of smiling and having their picture taken. Cruise Director - WHO? We saw him a total of 12 minutes during the entire cruise. He appeared to introduce the shows for exactly 3 minutes each performance. During the last show, he informed everyone that this was his last cruise since his contract was up. Guess he figured why do anything for the nine days. What was RCCL going to do...fire him? Scheduled events never occurred with no explanation. Gee, and I was looking forward to the belly flop contest. Drinks - Normally, I do not drink because just one would have me crawling under a table singing the "Sponge Bob" song. However, I had 4 highballs in a row one night..what the heck...I needed to get happy. After the drinks...I could still re-apply my eyeliner. When I arrived home, I had one glass of cheap wine before dinner. Yep, I was singing the song. I also found out that my grandson found a place to put his gum. Go figure. Facilities - I have been in gas stations that had cleaner restrooms. Also, most times they were out of order. All those poor people who had their daily dose of prunes were pretty distressed. I think I already spoke about the over 60 crowd. I was amazed at how fast those scooters can really go. ATM - On the second day it was not working. Since I had not stopped at the bank before leaving to get cash for my secret casino mad money, I had planned on using it. I was told that I would have to use the ATM in Key West. Well...that was not working either. The bottom line? Total take from me by the casino - a grand total of nine quarters. Ports - Freeport - Pass by it...unless you enjoy riding in a cab and seeing nothing. Coco Cay - Good swimming and great beach. Too bad the food was gross. Thank goodness I brought some apples and bananas from the ship. Key West - nice but expensive. Lots of walking. Cozumel - Usual shopping and negotiating with the vendors. Senior Frogs was the highlight. OLAY OLAY The Cape - never got there. Captain decided to pass it by since we were just ahead of a storm. Sissy! We did the muster station thing didn't we? Overall - I will not sail on this RCCL ship ever again. It needs total renovation and a change of staff especially the chef. I considered RCCL a first class line until the Grandeur. Finally - Many of the "first time cruisers" that we met thought that the ship and everything that goes with it was outstanding. Those of us that have cruised a lot had a totally different opinion. If you are planning to cruise on this ship, I can only hope that you got a great price deal that just might justify overlooking our experience. Also, if you are a "sea lover" as I am and enjoy relaxing and gazing out over the beautiful blue ocean........BRING WINDEX. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click