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Sail Date: September 2012
we travelled with my son and his new wife for their first cruise.the embarkation queue was lengthy but moved quite fast and within 30 mins we had boarded.we were impressed with the centrum a rea and after signing up for the drinks package ... Read More
we travelled with my son and his new wife for their first cruise.the embarkation queue was lengthy but moved quite fast and within 30 mins we had boarded.we were impressed with the centrum a rea and after signing up for the drinks package we had our first of many cocktails consumed over the 5 days. i had arranged for the wedding celebration decoration package as a surprise laa we were excited to accompany our son and wife to their stateroom. imagine our disappointment to discover a birthday decoration in their room. i was very disappointed and went to guest services to complain. the very nice lady apologised and offered to refund our money and as a gesture sent some chocolate covered strawberries. i realize that mistakes happen and nothing can be done to rectify it but it was a major disappointment. however,it did not spoil our trip.we had a great time.i found the food in the main buffet to be good,if a little cool at times.we much preferred the garden cafe.the salads were exceptional and the sandwiches and paninnis very good.i used room service for breakfast to avoid the throngs. best service by a mile was the dining room. we used my time dining and were lucky to get the same table and waiters,mauritio and vicky.they made our dining a wonderful experience.they were attentive,great fun and went the extra mile for us.they arranged a special meal for my son who is allergic onions and mauritio made wonderful balloon animals. the shows were good and the the piano bar great. while on a trip to split a thunderstorm broke out and everyone dashed to the harbour to get a tender back to the ship. within seconds torrential rain and a strong wind drenched everyone.the tenders bobbed and rocked and it took approx 20 mins to get on board. it felt a little scary but on our tender was a group of women from dublin who sang and joked and calmed nerves and made a bad experience fun. disembarkation was straightforward.we had an early flight and requested express disembarkation.we left the boat at 7:30 and found our car from venice shuttle waiting to whisk us to the airport.if you need transfers at venice use venice shuttle.they are reliable courteous and prompt. we had a great time on the grandeur of the seas and converted my son and his wife to the cruising experience Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2011
This was our 3rd cruise and we sailed early October from Palma Majorca our flight was early out of Manchester and we were on board by 11:00 am, we booked an inside state room as wanted to see what it was like as our previous 2 cruises ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise and we sailed early October from Palma Majorca our flight was early out of Manchester and we were on board by 11:00 am, we booked an inside state room as wanted to see what it was like as our previous 2 cruises we'd had balcony rooms and was surprised when we got on board as given the key to an outside room we queried it at guest relations and were told that we had been given an upgrade FOC. We enjoyed our cruise and thought the ship was very nice (first time on RC)our room attendant was very friendly and did a good job. We requested a large table for our late dining option and were placed with 3 other couples all in their 70's, we are both 50 so although our fellow guests were lovely to be with we felt that we could have been placed with people of similar ages who may have had more in common with us, we noticed that many tables were mixed languages and one English couple we met had been placed on a table of 4 with a German couple and really struggled to understand each other. Perhaps more thought could have been put into the allocation of tables by RC. The food was of a good standard but we felt that the presentation could have been better. The buffet restaurant had a variety of options but did seem to be muddled up with no continuity. There were many elderly people on board with walking problems who did hold others up which we found to be frustrating and many complained about nothing. The good thing about this cruise was the trial of the All Inclusive Option offered once you were on board you could have either $39 beer package, $49 Beer Wine, Spirits and soft drinks Package or the $59 everything including top brand names, we chose the $49 package and it was sufficient for us and we thought it value for money this included service charge but not the 8% tax All in all we enjoyed our cruise but are unsure whether we will do another one Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
We flew from Newcastle to Palma, and arrived just after 11am, however it took us over 4 hours to actually get on the boat, even though we were last on the coach at the airport it still sat there for another 30 minutes.Then they took us to ... Read More
We flew from Newcastle to Palma, and arrived just after 11am, however it took us over 4 hours to actually get on the boat, even though we were last on the coach at the airport it still sat there for another 30 minutes.Then they took us to this castle at the top of Palma overlooking the bay and finally the port which took over an hour to check us in. Why don't they have more people taking your photo for your sea pass card? We finally got on board and flung our hand luggage in the cabins and went for a very late lunch as the kids were starving. We had early dining at 6pm which was just a bit too early we were always rushing(when i booked the cruise i was told it would be 6.30). We dined in the Great Gatsby every night along with our 13 year old triplets. We all thought the food was excellent and the service from both our waiters was the best i have ever had, and I know people say they don't see the head waiter,however he came and spoke to us all at least twice every night. We had breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and we loved it the food was fresh especially the bread pudding with the vanilla sauce-magic. Plus the 2 sailing days the Bar-B-Q which was very delicious. Entertainment was average the comedian was good, the Beatles tribute amazing and the magician on the last night not that good. The violinist Gary Livini was very entertaining, the orchestra very good, singers and dancers ok- need to update their dancing routines.We went to the quiz most nights and watched the Karaoke final was good laugh and so was Mr and Mrs and the Quest game. We only saw our kids at dinner time, bedtime and when we were off the ship, they had a ball and learned new games, rock climbing and made many new friends who they now chat with on Facebook daily. I would cruise again though RCI should avoid Palermo, dirty everybody is in your face when you get off the ship. A lot of dodgy people, the ship should have had another day in Palma as this is a lovely city and if you were only doing a weeks cruise you never got time to see it. We had adjoining cabins that were kept lovely and clean by Astor. I had the wine package and my husband the soda package as he does not drink, which worked in well plus the occasional cocktail. Drinks as you all well know were a rip off!!!!!!! We done all our own trips though Rome was a nightmare with the flooding and no Metro, Monte Carlo nice to see very clean, Cannes is also a nice place for a wander. We went to Pisa had a nice wee half day and got lots of photos, didn't like Palermo though i did get a nice new jacket Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
I had concerns about travelling with a full time wheelchair user but the staff could not have done more, airport transfers, room access, facilities and trips were all superb. My partner and I stayed in room 7565 a large interior ... Read More
I had concerns about travelling with a full time wheelchair user but the staff could not have done more, airport transfers, room access, facilities and trips were all superb. My partner and I stayed in room 7565 a large interior stateroom, not sure about the use of the word 'large'but we were only in the room to sleep so not an issue. My mum was allocated 7606 which was an accessible balcony stateroom and was massive. We ate in the Great Gatsby every evening and our waiters Luciano and Rufo were first class, nothing was too much trouble and they would happily substitute anything on the menu for you. The windjammer had a massive selction of foods too but was a little busy for my liking. We went on organised trips in Florence (easy florence) which was not that successful, a 2.5 motorway bus trip for just an hour in Florence which was very cobbly and tough for a wheelchair. Rome (Panoramic Rome) was a more successful trip and many of the sights were seen from the bus, with an hour at the Basilica which was lovely. Cannes we did ourselves and the main town is quite easy to get around with a wheelchair. We did enjoy the evening entertainment most nights, some of it was a little cheesy but how adventurous can you be at sea?? There was a group called Soul Sensation who were amazing if you like the hits of motown. If you go looking for faults in the ship you will find them, and there are a few signs of wear and tear but nothing that would interfere with your holiday. My partner and I purchased the soda package and it was well worth the money, with a souvenir cup to bring home. I would have no hesitation in recommending the ship and wish everyone who sails with her Bon Voyage.. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We went from Majorca on the Grandeur of the sea's down the Spanish coast to Gib and back on 25th September. I must say that after reading a number of reviews about this ship and it's age etc. which were not very positive, I was ... Read More
We went from Majorca on the Grandeur of the sea's down the Spanish coast to Gib and back on 25th September. I must say that after reading a number of reviews about this ship and it's age etc. which were not very positive, I was pleased with what I saw and in general, experienced. Also, the food on board was great and plenty of it. I suppose it all depends where you are coming from ie. what class of ship's you've experienced in the past! This was our 14th cruise (mainly consisting over year's of Ocean Village, Thomson, Star and Sun cruises) and as far as we're concerned this ship's facilities and catering were as good, it not better than most of the one's we've experienced. We eat in the Windjammer most of the time as we like to see and pick what we'd like to eat and found plenty to choose from throughout the cruise. The gripes I do have are: The drinks package, I wanted the the beer and wine package and my wife who is Tee-total wanted the soda package (which is great value when purchased online before you cruise), so my wife phone up RCI and asked if it was possible to have two separate packages of this nature because she doesn't drink alcohol. The nice lady on the phone at RCL said yes that would not be a problem just go to the Guest Relations desk on board and explain this and they will arrange for a single beer and wine package for me! She even said she had the same problem as she didn't drink alcohol either and her husband liked a drink and it was all sorted for her by Guest Relations when she went for a holiday on this ship! Great we thought, so we purchased the soda package online, which is in £ sterling (so no exchange rate to worry about or 15% tip and 8% Spanish tax), good value! When I got on board I was told this was not the case, both of us would have to purchase a beer and wine package if we wanted one! I went to Guest Relations but no joy there either, so I asked to speak to the Manager. The Bar Manager came down to see me but again no joy, I was told RCL rules are fixed on this issue. I stood my ground and demanded to know why we were told differently by RCL UK Head Office? In the end he agreed to e-mail the UK Head Office the next day (Monday) as nobody of importance would be at the UK office on a Sunday. He said he would leave a message the next day on our cabin phone. Guess what, no message so I went back down to Guest Relations who in turn paged the Bar Manager only to be told the answer from RCL UK Office was no, rules are rules! The moral of the story is, don't believe anything RCL tell you verbally before you go!The 2nd gripe I have like many others is the gratuities, I was always brought up in believing I pay for the service I receive when I book and yes if someone exceeds that service I'm only too happy to reward that person with a tip of my choosing, not to be pressured into pre-paying a set amount up front for a service I haven't yet received and this as many have commented in the past, continues throughout the cruise! RCL pay your staff the going rate for he job and stop pressuring your customer's! The 3rd and slightly lesser gripe was what seemed to be the amount of unnecessary time this cruise spent at sea. I know we knew the itinerary before we booked but I didn't realise how slow the ship would travel between ports. We even came to a floating stand still on the evening between Malaga and Gib. and we must have gone well past the island of Ibiza from Barcelona to kill time as on in the morning the sun was on the opposite side of the ship that it should have been if we'd have sailed direct (yet we didn't pull into port 'til 1.00pm!), are these cost cutting measures ie, saving on fuel and port berthing fees! Also on reflection, I don't think I'd pick another 7 day cruise which has it's last day at sea. But overall, even with my gripes we had a good holiday and if this is RCL's oldest ship, I'm still very impressed and if the there was another RCL cruise which went to where I wanted to go I would certainly not rule them out. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Was not sure what to expect from our 1st cruise but need not have worried everything was more than acceptable. Read a number of reviews which gave the impression the ship was shoddy but in my opinion only if you went looking for fault ... Read More
Was not sure what to expect from our 1st cruise but need not have worried everything was more than acceptable. Read a number of reviews which gave the impression the ship was shoddy but in my opinion only if you went looking for fault could you find it, the overall ship has a great look / feel. The staff on the ship are very friendly and helpful. The only real grumble is that RCL seem to try and extract money from you at every opertunity the worst case being the shuttle buses a 10$ a head we never paid more than 10euros in a taxi so for a family of 4 it's a big difference, also most are walkable if you're ok with a 20min stroll. Excurions if you don't go on the expensive organised tours it's worth seeing what's on offer at each port we did a couple of taxi tours which were well worth it. Drinks packages if you drink more than 5 drinks a day then it's probably worth doing as the drinks are expensive. Overall a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We are a family who have just returned from our 1st ever cruise. We travelled with 2 teenage daughters, one who is 14 and our 17 year old daughter is a wheelchair user. We booked our cruise through a TA whom we cannot praise enough. Right ... Read More
We are a family who have just returned from our 1st ever cruise. We travelled with 2 teenage daughters, one who is 14 and our 17 year old daughter is a wheelchair user. We booked our cruise through a TA whom we cannot praise enough. Right from our initial enquiry they advised us of availability of disabled cabins and reassured us my daughter would have no access problems and would have assistance when required, they even arranged airport and port assistance, we even had our own private transfers between airport and port where the staff were waiting for us and could not do enough to help. Both check in and departure was well organised with plenty of staff waiting to help and offer assistance and took no time at all. As soon as the RCI staff saw my daughter Amy in her wheelchair they took control of getting her onboard with no fuss and ease ( We would of struggled with the ramps). As promised lunch and snacks were available from the Windjammer. The staff were very welcoming and we were pleasantly surprised with the hygeine rules of hand sanitisation every time you entered the Windjammer. Our stateroom was once again available at 1.00pm as promised and agsin did not disappoint. We had a family disabled cabin with a balcony. The room was very spacious and had a wet room making access no problem for Amy. Even the balcony was ramped making all areas accessible. Very importantly the stateroom was spotlessly clean as was all areas of the ship. All of our luggage arrived at our stateroom very promptly, we were all able to unpack before Sail Away, there was no shortage of storage space. Every aspect of the cruise did not disappoint. Both Amy and Emily were well catered for. Food was amazing. We dined in the Great Gatsby for dinner, the staff were very attentive and if you did not like anything it was immediately replaced with an alternative. We chose to eat breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer as we liked the flexability again food and choice was excellent. Our stateroom attendant Chris was just briiliant. Nothing was too much trouble. He kept our Stateroom immaculate, cleaning twice a day, Leaving compasses and any information we needed. We all particularily loved our towel animals. Looking forward to returning to our stateroom to see what animal we had today and who's glasses would it be wearing. We did not book any shore excursions through RCI but chose to explore ourselves. This was very easy even with a wheelchair, once again staff assisted and all buses and taxi's were wheelchair friendly. To sum up our holiday, It was the best holiday we have ever had. Cruising is definately for us. The Grandeur, it's staff and RCI definately did not disappoint. Cruising is suitable for all ages young, old families and those less able. If you are considering a cruise for the first time 'Go on Go For It'! We are now planning our next cruise this time on the Liberty of the Seas! We are a very happy, well rested, relaxed Slocombe Family. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
What can we say? We loved it! We had a great time - the service was everything we could have expected (and we have stayed in some fabulous hotels and have very high expectations!), the ship was spotlessly clean despite some other reviewers ... Read More
What can we say? We loved it! We had a great time - the service was everything we could have expected (and we have stayed in some fabulous hotels and have very high expectations!), the ship was spotlessly clean despite some other reviewers commenting on the need for a refit. While there were very odd spots that possibly could have done with touching up, it wasn't an issue and certainly nothing to comment on for us. We did our own thing at every port and to be honest, it was much easier and cheaper than the tours organised by the ship - our advice: find the train station and go local! We managed to see Monte Carlo and Nice, Pisa and Palermo and the most expensive was the train to Pisa which was 27 Euro for 2 returns. The trains were really easy to negotiate - there were loads of other people from our ship, with prams and older (possibly less mobile) people, and they all agreed it was much better to go alone! We took the drinks packages as well - we worked out that the most expensive package was working out as the equivalent of 2 G&Ts and 2 glasses of wine each day, and we'd definitely drink more than that each day on our holidays! It meant that we could have a glass of wine at dinner and maybe even the odd sneaky strawberry daiquiri! Overall we had a fantastic holiday and would love to do it again - definitely worth checking out! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
GRANDEUR OF THE SEAS WE HAVE JUST BEEN ON THE G-O-T-S Spanish med cruise,a genuine report follows. Lovely grand ship,friendly staff,clean,good food and entertainment,tea/coffee,lemonade,ice cream available 24hrs outside ... Read More
GRANDEUR OF THE SEAS WE HAVE JUST BEEN ON THE G-O-T-S Spanish med cruise,a genuine report follows. Lovely grand ship,friendly staff,clean,good food and entertainment,tea/coffee,lemonade,ice cream available 24hrs outside windjammer cafe (help yourself). room service good but staff are vying for tips,we were in an inside cabin deck 3,lovely cabin quite adequate,do not pay more for window or balcony. ship berths quite a long way out of main towns but shuttle bus available for 10 dollars each person each time. Drinks are expensive,Spanish VAT 8% and15% service charge,example cocktail of the day-8-95 dollars(£11-16) plus and you keep the glass. Tips do not prepay these,four envelope's are provided and left in your cabin at end your cruise,you pay who you want what you want. Cheapest way to pay your bill is cash(dollars). Overall we had a great time and would go again if the price was right. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
When we booked our cruise we were a bit weary with all the negative comments especially about the comments regarding the condition of the ship. We found it to be in good nick considering that it is due to go in to dry dock for a refurb. ... Read More
When we booked our cruise we were a bit weary with all the negative comments especially about the comments regarding the condition of the ship. We found it to be in good nick considering that it is due to go in to dry dock for a refurb. The food was excellent,we ate in the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch and dined at the Great Gatsby in the evening which was a lovely experience thanks to Debra and Raul. We could not fault the service. The barbeque was good on the sail days. Our stateroom was small but functional and very clean. The entertainment was very good especially the resident entertainment team. There was a great scottish female vocalist on the first week and Jonathan Ansell a vocalist from G4 on the second week he was fabulous, we managed to get are photo with him at the end of his performance. There was always something going on in the day and at night. We enjoyed most of the ports of call, we didn't get off at Palermo as we have walked in to the town before and found it un-interesting as there is not much there. The only negatives were that the ship docked quite a long way from each town and was quite along walk if you choose not to take the RCI shuttle that charges 10$ per person return or 25$ each for three trips. There are port buses that are about 3-4 euros each which works out a bit cheaper, we personally have never had to pay with other companies, the shuttles have always been complementary. Another negative was teen club with regards to my teenage daughters who were a little disappointed that there wasn't a separate room for the younger children,they had to stay away certain times so that the younger children could use it for certain activities. The teen club was closed for maintenance few times and were not told were to go when activities were meant to be running in here. Also the public toilets were often closed for maintenance so e often had to go to a different floor. There was a terrible smell in the evening by the stairs on deck 2, I think this may be due to blocked toilets. I am sure that once the ship has had it's refurb all these problems will be rectified. The drinks are rather expensive after the additional spanish of 8% vat and 15% gratuity is added. If you get the soda package you can have tonic water and ginger ale in addition to the sprite and coke. We would sail with the Grandeur again if we got it for the right price. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
I have been spoiled for holidays for life! Nothing is ever going to compare to a cruise! From start to finish everything was absolutely amazing. I honestly couldn't fault anything. As first time cruisers, Mum & I had no ... Read More
I have been spoiled for holidays for life! Nothing is ever going to compare to a cruise! From start to finish everything was absolutely amazing. I honestly couldn't fault anything. As first time cruisers, Mum & I had no idea what to expect. And as a poor traveller, I was more than slightly concerned about sea sickness to say the least. Total waste of worry! Very rarely did we ever feel any movement at all! The food was amazing. The choice in the Windjammer was astounding. If anyone whinged that there was nothing for them, then they are born whingers! There was everything you could think of. The Great Gatsby was wonderful. Our waiter, Roberto, was one of the nicest and most helpful people I have ever met. Always a smile when he saw you. We had an oceanview large stateroom which was great. Everyone kept telling me to be prepared for how small the rooms are, but I can honestly say that I have stayed in smaller hotel rooms in London! And our Stateroom Attendant, Steven, was fab. Such a nice guy, and the room was always spotless and tidy. And he defo made the best towel animals I've ever seen! lol! Every member of staff we came across on the boat was fantastic. Always happy and ready for a chat with a smile. It makes such a difference to a holiday. The entertainment was great too. The shows weren't West End shows by any stretch of the imagination, but who's complaining?! They were still great, and a lot of hard work and dedication went into them. We went and saw something different every night, and it defo kept us entertained! I honestly can't fault one thing from my experience. If I was going to be very picky, the only thing would be that I gained a few dress sizes whilst I was there! lol! ;) Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
Well! I am a cruise-convert! My first ever cruise was a wonderful trip around the Western Mediterranean, taking in Palma de Mallorca, Cannes, Cinque Terre, Rome and Sicily. As this was my first time on a cruise, I was unsure of what to ... Read More
Well! I am a cruise-convert! My first ever cruise was a wonderful trip around the Western Mediterranean, taking in Palma de Mallorca, Cannes, Cinque Terre, Rome and Sicily. As this was my first time on a cruise, I was unsure of what to expect. Luckily my friend is a veteran at this stage and was able to inform me of what cruising entails. Now, having experienced the joys of travelling by ship, I'm not sure how I'll ever go back to a 1-destination holiday!So to start; we booked our trip with only a few weeks notice and got an excellent deal through the RCI website. We organised our own flights to Palma de Mallorca and boarded Grandeur of the Seas on Sunday 12th June 2011. Our stateroom was a large interior room, which we believe may have been upgraded from the small interior room that we paid for because my friend is Gold Member of the Crown & Anchor club. Note to self: must join! Embarkation and security couldn't have been more straightforward, so we found ourselves lying on the pool-deck in the glorious sun within an hour of boarding.The stateroom was small, but perfectly adequate and pleasantly decorated. There is lots of storage so it never felt cramped for 2 people. I don't think the photos of the staterooms on the RCI website do them justice, they are much nicer and brighter in reality. Our stateroom attendant was a lovely jolly lady called Korinne who was extremely nice.I loved the effort that she made decorating the room when I celebrated my birthday on board.The food on Grandeur was delicious and I was very impressed by the variety of dishes served in the Windjammer and in the dining room every night. Though some might have found the portions in the dining room to be on the small side, I found them adequate - particularly considering the amount of food we grazed on throughout the day! I would recommend purchasing one of the wine packages if you enjoy wine with your meal. The price per glass is exorbitant, particularly compared to the very reasonable price of the cocktails. We chose a 7-bottle Gold package, which worked out at approximately $30/bottle, when you consider that a glass of wine is $9 + tax - you can see how this is the better option! Cocktails were very affordable and delicious.Our first day on board was a cruising day, which I loved. The activities by the pool were entertaining (if somewhat cheesy...), and you couldn't help but laugh along. The cruise director Rico and assistant cruise director Abel were excellent. It is a pity that the pool is quite small. A disproportionate amount of space is dedicated to a children's pool, which I found frustrating because the children preferred to play in the "adult" pool - leaving the kid's end unused. On very hot days the pool was too full and I was very conscious of how dirty the water must have been... I also would have liked to see some supervision of the use of the pool to prevent the more boisterous children from ruining other people's enjoyment of the pool facilities. We attended a very well-run pub quiz a couple of times but didn't partake in many other activities. The shows in the Palladium Theatre were hit & miss. The team of dancers were clearly very talented and you could tell that a lot of effort had gone into the choreography of their dances. I found the singers mediocre, but this may have been in part due to the poor sound-quality on certain microphones. The first night's show was a good idea but the production quality was poor; costumes and stage design were not good. We found the last night's show particularly bad; a magician/mime act struggled to impress the crowd and the result was a cringe-inducing shambles. I felt it was a bad note to leave guests with on their last night and the week really should have ended with a bang.Service across the board was fantastic and very consistent. I really liked that all the staff were super obliging and always incredibly polite. You really got the impression that the staff enjoyed their work and this is a rare thing to see these days.I have heard that Grandeur of the Seas is due for a refurbishment next year. This surprised me, as I found the fittings and fixtures to be in reasonably good condition. Particularly the beautiful atrium; the Centrum, and the stairwells were very nicely finished with lovely artwork and panelling.My friend and I booked a hotel in Palma for the day that we were due to fly home on an evening flight - as we knew we would be docking in Palma early in the morning. We were disappointed to learn that we could have stayed on board the ship until 15.30 on the final day, by paying an additional $35 late-check-out fee. This would have been well worth our while and something we would definitely have done if we had been made aware of this facility. Maybe this is an option the company would prefer not many guests to avail of and therefore fail to bring it to their notice?I will go into more detail on the various Ports that we stopped in (Cannes, La Spezia, Civitavecchia & Sicily) in my port reviews. However one top tip that I would urge anyone going on this trip to consider is: go it alone! Don't book the over-priced tours, but explore the beautiful coastal regions for yourself. We found this method not only much cheaper, but very enjoyable as it gave us a much better feeling for the local area and its people.In conclusion, the Western Med cruise with Grandeur of the Seas is a fantastic holiday which I would highly recommend to anyone. What a fab way to see some beautiful places!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
Having been persuaded by members of our family to take an RCI cruise we decided to dip our toes in the water with a cruise aboard what appeared to be the baby of the RCI Fleet. And what a baby (in our opinion) she turned out to be. ... Read More
Having been persuaded by members of our family to take an RCI cruise we decided to dip our toes in the water with a cruise aboard what appeared to be the baby of the RCI Fleet. And what a baby (in our opinion) she turned out to be. We were delighted with the reception we received while boarding and the ship itself was in out eyes a joy to behold. The overall layout, cleanliness and facilities were excellent. The staff were very attentive and helpful. The cabin girl was a gem. The food both in the windjammer and the main restaurant were of a high quality and because the ship was 500 short of capacity we never experienced difficulty in obtaining seats at Pool side, Bars etc. Our cabin was kept spotless and with an array of animals appearing each day made from the towels which were always fresh. The on board entertainment was very good with the Beatles tribute Band "Beatlemaniacs" being very good. Overall we found the cruise excellent value and would return again to RCI, or recommend her to friends and family bearing in mind we have nothing to compare her against. The only adverse comment I would make is that the coast of drinks on board were very expensive due to the fact that a Gratuity (which we had paid for up front ) did not include the payment to bar staff along with an additional Spanish tax increased the prices dramatically. We are not heavy drinkers so we had opted not to take the Drinks packages offered but never the less felt the prices a bit steep. However it did not retract from an excellent cruise which gave us access to areas of the Med we had never visited. Excursions a bit pricey and we only took advantage of the one to Florence due to the time factor. the other Ports and cities we visited on our own and therefore saved a considerable amount of money by doing so. Overall 9 out of 10 for the cruise and we look forward to the next one with RCI. Why go elsewhere. Better the devil you know. John Turner Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
This was our first cruise and we thought we would try it with an American company and heard that RCI GOS was coming to Western Europe for the first time in May.Amazing price we only paid £460 inc Gratuities...! Plus flights for an ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we thought we would try it with an American company and heard that RCI GOS was coming to Western Europe for the first time in May.Amazing price we only paid £460 inc Gratuities...! Plus flights for an outside stateroom with balcony!! It was a bit of a faff checking in, but really not much different to an airport so can't complain, however I think there is a great assumption that you have been on a cruise before... (are airports any different? We got to our cabin, chilled out for half hour and then decided to check out the ship... Surprised that the ship was smaller than we thought it would be.... however this turned out to be a nice thing as everyone on the ship seemed to be great fun apart from a select few. The Windjammer restaurant is my worst nightmare, apart from the amazing views!! I hate buffets and the mad rush you have fighting over food, cannot be dealing with it!! To be fair you could have in room dinning for free so it was our choice! That evening we were shown to our table which was 8.30pm seating (which i prefer, although the earlier seating do seem to benefit slightly better for the entertainment (however didn't really rate it so suited us fine!) The people on our table were fantastic, great fun, telling jokes and stories about their travels and experiences.... i think this made our trip more than the ship/excursions. One of the people on our table won the Karaoke prize!! Simply outstanding she was!Enjoyed the trips we had out, very well organised, some of the places you visit are stretching it a little in terms of whether you would want to visit or not!!... however in Ibiza we did old town and that was nice. Barcelona we had been before and walked all the way up Pasieg De Gracia to Gaudi's houses and then up to Park Geuill *excuse spelling* and the segrada!! Amazing place. Then Malaga we visited Marbella and Puerto Benus which were nice. I quite enjoyed Gibraltar although i do understand the ENGLISH, comments!..Food was OK, its like comfort food, its not amazing its not awful its just average... Alcohol isn't overly cheap at $40 a round for 5 people.... however if you do like to drink a lot then go for the packages as they pay for themselves pretty quickly. My Wife and I drink a lot of diet coke so we bought the soda package and stuck to that for most of the time....Great Atmosphere in the evenings in the Schooner Bar... fully recommend it and Steve Zakin (i think his name was) was great fun and very good... some people even joined in or did solos... All in all thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
This was the Grandeur's first trips in the Mediterranean after Panama and to be honest it showed. Many of the ship literature, notices etc. and senior staff were Spanish speakers with only the (albeit) few leisure staff newly ... Read More
This was the Grandeur's first trips in the Mediterranean after Panama and to be honest it showed. Many of the ship literature, notices etc. and senior staff were Spanish speakers with only the (albeit) few leisure staff newly appointed native English speakersSo on to details - first the pros. OK it's not the biggest ship on the seas but we really liked it. It was clean, lot of chrome, mirrors and well laid out. The centrum with its glass lifts and sweeping stairway was a good focal point of the ship.We had an outside cabin the first week and upgraded to a mini suite the second. Both were good and kept clean and sparkling by the cabin steward, especially Ida on deck four. We liked the kettle, fridge and bath in the suite - but none of those in the outside cabin!The dining room and cabin staff were excellent and so friendly. In fact most of the general staff always smiled and spoke as they passed you by. Only some of the bar staff weren't so friendly (or efficient).Now the cons. Embarkation was a nightmare. Transfer to the ship had been arranged by Cruise1st - never again! We had to find the bus ourselves. RC had their own staff at the airport for their transfers and we would use them next time. (Coming back we gave up the fight for the bus and had a taxi- there's plenty of them waiting. Our large cab cost E27 to the airport which we split with another couple). In the arrival hall we joined the huge queues standing for an hour or so before we got on the ship. Much of this was possibly because it was the first time for many of the staff so it may improve.Activities onboard were poor. Major highlights being the Belly Flop competition (honestly!), Mr & Mrs Show (passengers again), Karaoke (passengers again), Bingo - get the pattern? The ship's 12 piece main band were good and the 8 singers and dancers were obviously talented but they only did 2 real shows which were reasonable - the choreography seemed too frenzied to us. Two visiting acts - Motown group and Journey South (from The X Factor) showed how it should be done.Excursions - we booked 4. One was cancelled Ibiza. The Monte Carlo trip was OK but unknown to us all part of it was by public transport. Imagine 40 of us crammed into a service bus, strap hanging and not knowing where to get off. It spoilt it a bit for us. City tour of Barcelona was OK. Pisa trip was not good - many disabled passengers and a double decker bus was provided! Due to delays on the transfers we only had 15 mins in Pisa - our guide couldn't extend the time as she had to get back to the harbour to take another wine tasting trip at 1.30. As we didn't get back until 2.10 or so we suppose they were a bit rushed too. After all this we did our own thing each time and enjoyed it more. Other cruises we've done give port talks the day before arriving, explaining transport, shopping, suggested thing to do - not on this cruise. They didn't even tell us if there would be shuttle buses or not - must do better RC. Most of the problems seemed to revolve round the organisation and senior staff. The queues at the pursers counter towards the end of the week had to be seen to be believed. It's not rocket science to realise that people would be paying their accounts or pointing out mistakes (lots of these!)and increase the usual 3 slow staff up to say 5 for the last two days.Another example of poor management occurred when we tried to talk to the excursions manager about Pisa trip. We left a message - he didn't get back to us. When we eventually cornered him he said he was going to a meeting so didn't have time to see us. We put in a letter of complaint and finally on the last day received a letter (not signed by him)agreeing that the trip was not up to standard and refunding half our money. We were satisfied with this but it could have been handled so much better and by the way, people who didn't write and complain about this "unsatisfactory" trip got nothing!!So overall, did we enjoy the trip? - yes we did - nice boat, nice friendly (junior) staff, good food, interesting ports, blue sea, sun. Pity about the poor management and organization but it wouldn't stop us trying RC again. Read Less
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