9 San Juan Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Very happy with the refurbished Grandeur of the Seas. All the areas are in great shape, the colors and the decorations pleasant. This never felt like a small ship. We only smelled an odor once and that was when we were next to another ... Read More
Very happy with the refurbished Grandeur of the Seas. All the areas are in great shape, the colors and the decorations pleasant. This never felt like a small ship. We only smelled an odor once and that was when we were next to another ship, so am blaming the smell on them. The crew was very pleasant and efficient, always cheerful and helpful. Jimmy the cruise director was fun and engaging without being over the top. Food was very good. We enjoyed the Windjammer, the MDR still was serving the old menu and we both prefer the new menu but preparation and presentation were still delightful. We went to Chops for our anniversary and felt that the $30 per person was well worth it. We always enjoy the shows, there was always space on the pool deck (not so by the atrium pool). We are not group activity people but all the activities seem to be well attended and people seemed to enjoy participating. We loved the itinerary and wished we could do this same cruise again. It is hard to understand how the GOTS can be year round in Baltimore, as it was very chilly for the last 24 hours of the cruise. First time interior cabin was okay but very small for two people, cannot imagine more than that in the tiny space. Minor issues were noticed and fixed quickly without our having to report them. Beds were very comfortable. I did have to jump over the end of the bed each time as bed was against the dresser. I took a nightlight which helped with the profound darkness of an inner cabin. Embarkation in San Juan and disembarkation in Baltimore were smooth and easy. Labadee was our favorite of the 6 ports and would go there again in a heatbeat. It would be nice if we could overnight there and have two days! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
My husband and I flew out of Baltimore to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We found an excellent small hotel, the Chateau Cervantes, in the heart of Old San Juan. It was immaculately clean and beautifully decorated. Our room had tall French ... Read More
My husband and I flew out of Baltimore to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We found an excellent small hotel, the Chateau Cervantes, in the heart of Old San Juan. It was immaculately clean and beautifully decorated. Our room had tall French doors which opened onto a small balcony overlooking the colorful streets. We allowed an extra day to do a self guided walking tour of this old, gorgeous history rich town. Forts, flowers, blue cobblestone streets, oceanside walkways, and numerous cafes and restaurants thrilled us both over the next 24 hours. The next day our hotel attendants hailed a taxi which delivered us to the Pan American pier in about ten minutes. Embarkation was a breeze, and in less than one hour we were onboard the Grandeur of the Seas. Our two Royal Caribbean cruises have been perfect beyond description. The cabins are nice, the food is great, the crew is amazing, and the shore excursions are wonderful. We would like to especially mention the crew members who staff the Park Cafe. We spent many wonderful hours in this adult retreat topside, glass enclosed area. The breakfasts,lunches, snacks, and dinners were just delicious. Also the staff members went out of their way to interact in a hospitable and friendly manner. Victor was so kind to my husband , and we made a Tunisian friend who taught us a little about card games in his home country. These crew members, all of them, are so pleasant and patient. The days passed too quickly , and we found ourselves back in Baltimore. Debarkation was smooth and easy. We are left with memories of a relaxing yet thrilling vacation. Thanks to all! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
This review contains the opinions of both myself and my mother. We're cruise buddies and while we usually share the same opinions on most things cruise wise, there are some areas where we differ on occasion. I will make the ... Read More
This review contains the opinions of both myself and my mother. We're cruise buddies and while we usually share the same opinions on most things cruise wise, there are some areas where we differ on occasion. I will make the difference in opinion (where applicable) as clear as possible so as not to create a confusing experience for the reader. Summary (TLDR): Overall the Grandeur of the Seas itself is an okay ship that is in need of some minor TLC. The on-board activities, while not lacking so much in number, were for the majority, painfully uninteresting. The food in the dining room was barely acceptable, however the dining room service was good, not great. All specialty restaurants were fantastic in food quality and service. Windjammer Cafe was exactly how it always is, average. Bar service and quality of drinks served was absolute top notch at any location we utilized on-board. Musical entertainment was so-so with the exception of one show (Tango Buenos Aires) which had a cast of well-trained and talented musicians. Common areas aboard the ship left much to be desired with the exception of the Solarium which was just right. Ports of call were all very enjoyable with the exception of Samana (Dominican Republic) which was absolutely awful in every regard. Transport to and from the ship at all locations including initial embarkation and final disembarkation was very cheap and easy to secure. This entire cruise experience gets a 3 out of 5 stars and at this point becomes our worst cruise experience to date. --End of Summary-- Background: My mother and I have been cruising for years. Originally as I was a youngster and now with both of us as adults. The majority of the cruises we have on record are with RCI (all of my cruises have been with RCI). My mother recently took a cruise with her best friend on Norwegian Cruise Line. We have sailed aboard the Monarch, Majesty, Grandeur, Freedom, and my mother sailed aboard the Norwegian Star. Between the two of us, the Monarch has been sailed upon multiple times and we absolutely loved it. This was our first Vision Class cruise and it will likely be our last. This particular cruise was a 9 Night World Cruise for the repositioning of the Grandeur of the Seas from San Juan PR to Baltimore MD. The Grandeur had previously been operating out of Panama. Embarkation: We've done this before so we knew that as long as we were there before all aboard we'd be okay. Getting a taxi from the San Juan airport is simple enough and cheap. Once we arrived at the port we checked our bags and headed inside expecting to wait in line. We were greeted with a big empty room with a long counter fully staffed and only a few other guests at the counter. There was zero waiting. We walked right up to the counter, handed over our documents, filled out a medical questionnaire, got our pictures taken, received our seapass, and walked onto the gangway for boarding. It was the same situation there. The gangway was completely empty aside from the officers at the checkpoints. We had our cards scanned twice and we're on board in no time. From leaving the taxi to being aboard the ship, the total time spent was less-than five minutes and not a single line was stood in. Our take on the ship as an object: The Bad: -The Grandeur of the Seas is rather dirty when compared to any other ship upon which we have sailed. There is literal dirt around the frames of many of the windows. The windows themselves are dirty and kept the same dirt patterns throughout the entirety of our cruise from what we noticed. Chrome and brass remained completely unpolished until the last 2 days at sea in most of the common areas, though it was always kept pretty neat around the staircases. -An elevator (one out of the two available that go to the viking crown lounge) broke down a couple of times during the cruise. -Certain lounges and quiet areas including the library which used to be around the Centrum have been removed and replaced by more cabins making for a rather claustrophobic upper centrum area. -The layout of common areas is illogical and leaves much to be desired. There are far too many dead ends with too many areas closed off during certain parts of the day (something we've never come across on any cruise). -Some of the stateroom bathrooms have a very strong mildew odor that apparently seeps up from the drains. -In our room, the mattresses were extremely uncomfortable. They were very hard and bouncy and half of my mattress was seemingly crushed which for the first night made me feel as if I was falling out of the bed. The pillows offer the absolute minimum in terms of support. -The bathroom is tiny. If you need to sit on the toilet, you must sit diagonally. Cruise ship bathrooms are always pretty small in normal cabins but this was really something quite different. -There was more vibration on the Grandeur than any other ship I've been on. Chandeliers in the Viking Crown rattle. If you have an adjoining room, the door between the rooms will rattle all through the night. Your drinks on your table in the dining room will look like a stampede is brewing off in the distance. The Good: -The Solarium was more private and overall more enjoyable than the solarium aboard the Freedom of the Seas. -The entire pool deck is very well laid out. Additionally, the pools are saltwater which makes for a nice natural feeling swim. -All public restrooms aboard were kept in pristine condition -- even those on the pool deck. It was like walking into a completely sterile environment. -Floors 4,5,and 6 of the Centrum area are very pretty and open. They did a nice job with the renovations in that regard. -The Schooner Bar is in an outstanding location with massive windows overlooking the sea, not a deck. There's plenty of seating all around and it makes for a great place to sit and think/read. -The art seen around the staircases is really something special. It makes for a great activity to just go around and see it all while exploring the ship. -The design and layout of the Viking Crown Lounge aboard the Grandeur is really special. If you take the elevators up after 11 PM, when the door opens, you're right at the dance floor of the most happening night club on-board. I mean, right there. Walk out of the lift and you're dancing. Very very cool design element. Izumi is in the rear of the Viking Crown on an upper terrace and has massive windows looking aft across the Crystal Canopy that covers the solarium while another area of the restaurant overlooks the dance floor. It's a pretty neat sight. -At the bow of the ship, the mooring lines and winches are all visible and uncovered. This may be a bad thing for some as they may see it as ugly, but it is quite interesting to see the activity down there as the ship pulls in or away from the various ports of call. To me, it makes everything more of a nautical adventure as it brings the reality of everything about docking into plain view. The area itself is kept pretty tidy. -Rust, which is a constant issue with any ship, is very well taken care of aboard the Grandeur. Spots and areas that we saw when we first boarded, were gone by the time we left our very first port of call. -The Grandeur of the Seas is generally a very pretty ship and it looks great in port even when docked right next to the enormous and beautiful Freedom. It has very nice lines and you can tell that whoever designed it externally, had an eye for looking ahead. Stateroom: We caught a deal this time that involved us getting a room on the third deck in an inside cabin. The room was small even by cruise ship standards but it did its job well by serving as a place to sleep and change. It was all we needed and we were overall quite happy with it. The lack of natural light makes for an extremely dark room at any time of the day. It's very easy to grab a nap or to oversleep if you don't set an alarm of some kind. We were in room 3125 which is port-aft and not far from the rear staircase and main centrum lifts. When looking at the deck plan we were a bit worried because we had no idea what the large blank area was beside our cabin. It turns out there's a crew area there where the housekeeping carts are stored. With the exception of the occasional carts hitting each other, it made for a nice quiet out-of-the way area for our stateroom. The TV is a decent small Samsung flat panel. The channel offerings were garbage. The entire cruise the Hobbit was playing on 5 channels. Each channel had a different language and none of them were English. For the first few nights Adult Swim (the late night channel that replaces cartoon network) came on at the proper east coast time so that was a relief because that's pretty much the only TV I ever watch. By the the 3rd night, however, Adult Swim was never aired. The TV room aboard the ship apparently set it to replay daytime cartoon network shows through the night in place of where [Adult Swim] would be. Why they did this is a mystery to me. I could understand if there were a bunch of children on board but on the entire cruise, all we saw were 2 babies and 1 child of about 10 years. Other than that the ship was loaded with the elderly or upper-middle aged. That was a pretty big letdown as I always love to watch Adult Swim shows to help me come down from the day and it's something I've been able to do on every cruise. As I stated above, the beds were downright awful. Both of our mattresses were extremely hard (not mattress firm, but legitimately HARD) and mine in particular seemed to be crushed on one side to the point where it felt like I was falling out the the bed when I would lie down. I jokingly said that some huge whale of a man must have died in the bed though when I woke up one morning I noticed the comforter had become unwrapped from it's cover and there were a few large stains on it. I was pretty grossed out but our room steward exchanged my comforter and flipped the mattress which helped to get rid of the slope for the most part. If anything the slope then pointed towards the wall which I was okay with. The room (as with many areas on the ship) had its fair share of constant rattles. Some came from the closet, the adjoining room door, and the furniture. If not for the constant rocking, the rattling may have kept me up as I'm usually a very light sleeper. The bathroom is tiny, the tiniest I've ever seen anywhere. To sit on the toilet requires one to sit diagonally, which is quite uncomfortable. The water pressure from the sink faucet was a trickle. The shower is small but powerful and it gets the job done and has a detachable shower head to boot! Activities: We did not participate in any of the activities aboard as many of the activities offered were uninteresting at best and nothing more than sales pitches at worst. We did observe a few as we do enjoy watching people be people. The Quest is always good fun and watching karaoke makes for an entertaining (sometimes painfully so) time. There were the art auctions which we didn't attend, nor did we attend any of the spa seminars. There were a few cooking demonstrations and the staple of any cruise, the Belly Flop Contest. Trivia contests were available daily as were Sudoku challenges (something my mother and I have never seemed to gain an interest in). Apparently there was a sushi demonstration on board but I missed it as I was completely down and out with a cold for a couple days though I would have liked to attend that one. The Miracle Mile took place as did the Parade of Flags. The parade of flags was particularly enjoyable as it's always nice to see where the crew calls home and watch them express their love for their countries. Overall many activities are offered but it's like cable TV, you have to sift through so much crap that doesn't interest you in the slightest to find something that may satisfy your activity needs/wants. It leaves a lot of time where after a couple days aboard you find yourself wondering what you're going to do with your time as it can all get so very repetitive. Service: Overall the service was okay. It was different from all of our other cruises but not bad, just okay. -The bar service (be it at the bar itself or from one of the roaming servers) was excellent 100% of the time. No complaints there. -The stateroom attendant was average. Unlike other cruises, he never formally introduced himself, and never referred to us by our names (just sir and ma'am). For this cruise we had a cheap inside cabin on deck 3 so that may be the explanation for the difference in service though I cant say I agree with such a practice. -The dining room service was stellar some nights and other nights left much to be desired. Every night after dinner I would order a coffee with my dessert, and every night I would have to re-order my coffee, and then ask once more for my coffee while everyone else would have theirs right away after they first ordered. I would always be asked like it was an afterthought "sir would you like coffee as well?" This continued straight through to the final day even though I ALWAYS ordered coffee right after dinner. I didn't make a big deal out of it as the people who work on these ships work so incredibly hard as it is. I didn't really mind being the guy they forgot about, but it was just very odd and the first time anything like this has ever happened to either of us in the dining room aboard a cruise. The night before my mother's birthday, I reminded the staff of the fact and I was told some of the waiters would come and sing for her and offer her a cake as is generally tradition. The next evening, nothing happened. They completely forgot about the occasion and it wasn't until we were walking out that the hostess took me aside realizing that the staff had done nothing and she asked me what could be done to fix this. Overall, it was a very odd situation. -The service in the specialty restaurants was stellar and without comparison. Nothing more needs to be said. -I went to the spa for one treatment and my mother skipped the spa for this cruise. I had a 50min Swedish massage which was very well done especially considering my masseuse was a very, very petite woman from Spain and I am a rather large man at 6'2" 295 lbs. She had strong magic hands and was very professional. The level of service in the spa was excellent. At the end of the massage there was a one-on-one sales pitch where the masseuse tried to sell the items used during the massage as well as products she recommends for ones individual needs. I found this very awkward as I paid a fair amount of money for a massage and was not expecting any sales pressure at the end. I don't know how to explain it, but it just felt wrong. It ended up stressing me out to an extent as I wasn't sure if by me not buying anything, it would look bad on my masseuse. I just wanted my masseuse to be a masseuse and not a saleswoman. She was a fine masseuse and I gave her a decent tip, I just hope they don't have her tied to some kind of quota for sales because if so, that's a bad practice. Getting a massage should be about getting a massage. The masseuse themselves should have nothing to do with sales of product. This is the first time I've ever had a massage where I was greeted with sales pressure at the end. This was also my first massage on a cruise ship so maybe that's just how it is. I don't think I'll be doing it again, however, if I do, I'll be sure to make it clear that I want no sales pitch at the end now that I know what to expect. Ports of Call: This was a repositioning cruise from San Juan PR to Baltimore MD. The first 6 days were full of ports including St Maartin, St Kitts, Antigua, Tortola BVI, Samana (Dominican Republic), and Labadee (Haiti), and the final 2 days were at sea en-route to Baltimore. -St Maartin: We did our usual and hung out at Maho Bay and watched all the airliners come in from the Sunset Bar. It's a really nice place to just chill out, take a dip, and watch as planes come in ultra close to the beach, and blast people on the beach as they take off. It's an entertaining time as well as a great opportunity to catch some cool footage that will have your friends jaws dropping. The food at the bar is always great. It comes out hot and fast and is bursting with flavor. I particularly enjoy the Grouper Fingers. Their onion rings are perfect. The burgers are cooked exactly to order. I can't recommend this place enough. Maho Bay is not a shore excursion that you'll find on the cruise sites or aboard the ship itself. RCI doesn't want people going there but it's simple enough to get a taxi that will take you, and there are always plenty of cruisers in the loop that will be there with you. -For St Kitts, Antigua and Tortola BVI we did simple taxi tours. We're not ones to go lay out on the beach all day, rent jet skis, go snorkeling, or take boat rides because we can pretty much do all that stuff at home as we live right on the coast in Virginia Beach. We enjoy taking tours of the islands and learning some of the history along the way. Among the three islands we got to see a massive botanical garden at an old sugar mill, a park that was originally used for slave auctions, forts at the top of mountains with breathtaking views of rocky cliffs overlooking large sailboats which looked like tiny bath toys from where we stood. We saw volcanic beaches, massive cotton trees, old-world churches, a 400 year-old fully operational rum distillery, an equally old dockyard that is still in use, tons of chickens running about, cute island children who would wave excitedly at the taxi as it went by, fruit vendors, burning sugar fields, sugar mills, and legitimate local neighborhoods and towns. -Samana (Dominican Republic): This place is absolutely awful and should be slashed from every cruise itinerary. As soon as your finish your tender to shore it is already very noticeable that this location differs quite a bit from other locations you may have visited. To get to the center of town you can walk or take a taxi (moped with a carriage) for $5. The walk is about 10 minutes if you take your time and just walk at a leisurely pace and don't get caught up in the street vendors. The street vendors are very similar to pan handlers and are extremely pushy about their practices. The best thing you can do is keep walking and ignore them completely. They will have their kids come up to you and try to hand you shells or flowers in some cases grabbing for your hand so they can put it in it, if you accept it, they will expect you to pay for it. Most of the vendor items are your average Caribbean tourist fare -- wooden carvings, costume jewelry, shells, shirts and sarongs -- but some is legitimate art made by the locals themselves. Look for the people who are actually carving, painting, or making the jewelry and not the ones who are just selling it. You can see a big difference in product and in the way you are treated. The artists are more laid back while the vendors are extremely pushy and do everything they can to play on your emotions. Once in town, there's nothing to do. Well, you could grab a bite to eat, but that's about it really. A person we met on the cruise took an excursion that was supposed to take them to a locals trading post, a beautiful waterfall, a large beach, and a rum tasting establishment. The trading post ended up being a village in the jungle that was all residential and no trading, the waterfall was a trickle of water from one stream down a few feet of rocks into another smaller stream (not a big rushing waterfall as was advertized and pictured), at the beach they were told they could not swim, and at the rum tasting facility they were served a bit of rum that amounted to the volume of a thimble, when at least 4 full-sized shots of different flavored rum were what was advertized. They got their entire amount paid for the excursion completely refunded by the cruise line. Another couple had an "adventure" when their taxi driver ended up driving them past town and essentially kidnapped them by taking them to shops on the outskirts of town. They believed the driver did this because he was either paid to do so by the shops, or was some kind of underling involved in some kind of Dominican mob as he had to get permission from the shopkeepers before he could even LEAVE the shops. I will avoid any itinerary that stops in Samana and if I must take a cruise that will stop there, I will not step foot off the boat when we arrive there ever again. It is a disgusting, dirty, and very unfriendly place. -Labadee: Your average cruise line "private island" experience. Just another spot for the line to squeeze a few more dollars out of your wallet. I had fun with the Dragons Trail alpine coaster. It is short but pretty rough and fun if you're real light with the brakes. I didn't do the zip-line but it was funny noticing how all the ladies who did do it, all seemed to "air out" their lady areas on the way across. I'm talking spread-eagle hilarity. The bar-b-cue was okay and they had a band that set up right at one of the eating shelters that played a song and then went on for 5 minutes trying to sell their CD and maracas, then played another song and then spent another 5 minutes trying to sell stuff again. It was more of a nuisance than entertainment. On one side the beaches are rocky but perfect for sunbathing, on the other side the beaches are sandy and the water wave-less. Great for getting a little swim in. There are trails you can walk if you feel more like a nature hike. They're all heavily shaded and mostly made of stone paths and they all lead to areas like overlooks, or gardens. The day was short and thankfully so, and afterward we were off to be at sea for a couple days. We got to see the Freedom pull away first (very cool to see while aboard a ship right next to it) and then we followed suit. Honestly, I could take or leave Labadee and my mother shares that sentiment. Dining: -The dining room: As mentioned in the service section above, the service was okay. The food, on the best of nights, was average. The portions on this cruise were some of the smallest I've seen. The appetizers are like bites and the entrees are like appetizers. For example, one entree for a formal night meal was a seafood ravioli. My entree came out and it consisted of 5 (five) very thin and small ravioli in a seafood sauce. Not only were the portions small, the quality of the food was rather poor. Everything was absolutely loaded with salt. Nothing came out hot and you were lucky if it was even still warm. On the night where lobster tail was served, I had the disgusting pleasure of experiencing a mushy lobster. Everyone else that we talked to had lobster that was overcooked, tough, and generally flavorless. No escargot was served at any time during the cruise. I'm used to having escargot available every night aboard RCI ships and this cruise there was none. They tried to substitute bay scallops one night but they had a very metallic taste and just didn't go as well with the buttery garlic sauce and were not seen again for the rest of the cruise. Most of the nights I found myself not really wanting anything from the menu so I would end up choosing the item I felt I could probably actually eat. This has never been the case. I've been on cruises where I have such a hard time deciding what I want that the waiter just brings me a few of the entrees so I can try them all. A couple nights I ended up making meals out of multiple orders of appetizers. The desserts left much to be desired and were often more gross than appealing. There was NO creme brulee. There was no Tiramisu. There was sugar-free ice cream, ultra-sweet chocolate cake, a cappuccino cake (which was actually quite good), a lemon cheese cake, an attempt at flan, and a few fruit items. The one thing that was of consistent quality in the dining room was the iced tea. They kept it very strong, very fresh and very cold. The Thai shrimp dish was the only dish I would actually consider good with the pad Thai almost hitting the mark. -Izumi: This place had great service and above average sushi. My mom got one of the hot rocks which is where they bring you a hot lava rock (500-or-so degrees Fahrenheit) with some raw meats and veggies of your choosing depending on how you order, and you cook your meal at the table. I found it to be a rather self-defeating concept for a restaurant to make you cook your own food but I suppose it's the experience that matters. I had the deluxe sushi platter and a spicy crunchy tuna roll. The fish on rice type sushi is very good and the particular roll I had was okay but very salty. I would definitely return to Izumi on my next cruise if it is available as it was a fairly decent value and had good quality offerings in general. -Giovannis Table: Holy God. The portions that this place -- well let me clarify first, we came to this one for lunch not dinner. Everything with the exception of your main course is served family style which means it's placed in the middle of the table and you share it amongst the table. Two people dining at Giovannis Table are going to have an absolute feast as my mother and I found out. First each person can order up to 3 appetizers. Between me and my mother we could have had 6 but the waitress told us that it would be too much food for the two of us and we'd have no room for the pasta and main course. We took her word for it and decided to order 3. We got the Antipasti (Fantastic), the Frittura Mista which has fried calamari, shrimp, fish fillets, and zucchini (also fantastic), and some sort of eggplant dish which gave me instant heartburn but it was delicious. We weren't able to finish any of the three appetizers but we put a decent dent in all of them. Next came the pasta of which I ordered their mushroom risotto which was to die for, and my mom got something that resembled beef stroganoff but tasted like something completely different. Both were delicious but again we were unable to finish either. Next came the main course. I got a grilled shrimp dish with roasted stuffed tomatoes and my mom got a chicken dish with ricotta cheese and mushrooms. I actually was able to finish my main course and my mom came close to being able to finish hers. We both thought they were excellent. Then, the dessert cart came around. We both got the Zuppa Inglese which is layers of italian custard with brandy-infused berries and a traditional sponge, and the Tiramisu. Both desserts were heavenly. In addition to the food, the service was outstanding. Everything was done professionally and to a T. The waitress kept perfect pacing so that you never felt rushed nor did you ever feel like you were waiting for the next course too long. Overall it was a fantastic experience, with far more food than one could ever wish to eat for lunch. -Chops Grille: We went to Chops Grille for dinner. I don't think I can do this place justice in this review as I feel I lack the descriptive vocabulary with witch to do so. Simply know this; You NEED to go to Chops Grille on your next cruise with Royal. Stop making excuses; it's not too expensive, it's not just better prepared dining room food, it's not just for special occasions. This is by far the best meal you will ever have on a cruise (at least with RCI) and dare I say it will rival your favorite place to eat on land if not blow it completely out of the water. Some suggestions: Dungeness crab and shrimp cake, sauteed green beans in butter sauce, steamed asparagus, Fried onion rings, and the full 10oz Filet Mignon. For dessert, their Creme Brulee is unbeatable and comes to your table covered in blue flame. The quality of service is right up there with the food and is the absolute pinnacle level of food service you can find. Entertainment: Bands: -Pool Deck band: Your average RCI pool deck Caribbean band with a drummer, bass player, keyboardist and occasional vocalist. They were okay and did exactly what they were supposed to do. They play at a level that is loud enough to provide the right type of atmosphere but not so loud as to be intrusive. You can easily hold a conversation across a table for instance without having to yell or even raise your voice. Generally the talent is basic but this bass player was surely a fingermaster. - Centrum Bands: There were a couple of cover bands that could be seen regularly in the centrum. One played mellow rock that spanned many decades with the drummer as the main vocalist. This guy could really sing and the band as a whole had a great smooth energy about them. The keyboardist was fun to watch. The other band seemed like a bit of a thrown together idea. The drummer always played too loud and used the ride cymbal at inappropriate times. It was like he was just tapping cymbals just to look like he was doing something. He seemed like one of those drummers that needs to have all the attention and he took a lot away from the whole ensemble in doing so. Pity really as the lead singer was good and even sang some traditional Italian songs. -Schooner Bar Pianist: Usually these pianists are young, fun, and extremely talented and they'll bring the crowd into whatever they're doing. This was far from the case on this cruise. Remember back in elementary school how you would sometimes go to a music class and the music teacher (usually an older woman) would plunk away some simple chords on the piano and sing a song. Yeah, that's exactly what was happening on this cruise in the Schooner Bar, every night. One of our friends on the cruise believed that she may have been a lady of the red hat society who purchased her cruise ticket and then got permission from RCI to entertain guests in the Schooner bar by playing piano for them. There was nothing fun about it. No flirtatiousness, no joking, no audience involvement, no games, just a lady plunking away singing old-time tunes as if she were entertaining a nursing home. I guess it fit well seeing as though the ship was absolutely packed with guests aged over 70. This particularly threw me off as the Schooner bar is usually where I hang out at night and wind down before going to bed. It was impossible to do so on this cruise. SHOWS: We didn't see many shows as they didn't really interest us, but the ones we did see, we enjoyed quite a bit. The Love and Marriage game show was entertaining as always especially since one of the female contestants gave the most bizarre answer I think I've ever heard. Nobody in the room got it and it was funny seeing her embarrassed reaction to the crowd being utterly confused. The Quest Game Show was fun but not quite as risque as previous cruises. The "beauty pageant" at the end made for a good photo op as always. The battle of the sexes was mildly entertaining but ended up being way to short and ended very abruptly. Tango Buenos Aires was fantastic! The special guest dancers were amazing and the whole show had a very sexy feel to it. The musicians for the show were outstanding, very professional and extremely talented. If you see one show on this ship, let it be Tango Buenos Aires. The centrum show was interesting. We caught the acrobats practicing all through the cruise and on the last night they put on a show that was quite dazzling yet somewhat clunky in execution. Overall it was entertaining and the music selections went well with the seasons that were represented in the show. Disembarkation: Awful. Absolutely awful. Baltimore has got to be the lousiest port I have ever had the displeasure of visiting. Not only that, but when we arrived, the computer systems at customs suddenly went down and they stayed down for the entire disembarkation process. Everything had to be done by hand so the wait was beyond unreasonable. Our disembarkation group was 2 hours late being called to even get off the ship. Once we were off the ship, we were greeted with an extremely slow moving line through a thin gangway that zig-zagged its way down to ground level. Every few minutes a guest in a wheelchair and their entire entourage had to squeeze through to go ahead of the crowd (guests with wheelchairs were supposed to be the first off the ship) which just made everything worse and got under a lot of peoples skin. Tempers were flaring up and the entire experience has me going right back to DIY disembarkation from now on. Transport to the airport from the dock was easy to secure and cost around $30 by way of taxi which was much more reasonable than what RCI wanted for their shuttle service. In Summary: This was a vacation experience where we felt like we needed a break after everything was said and done. We enjoyed ourselves for the most part and everything dealing with the ship itself was okay. Just the experience as a whole left much to be desired and was very different from anything we've ever experienced while cruising. Having just sailed on the Freedom of the Seas in August of 2012, we found it hard to believe how much of a difference there was in terms of standards of service, quality of food, entertainment, and upkeep. We have come to the conclusion that it must be the Grandeur itself and not all of RCI that is experiencing all of this. Even then, this was an odd cruise as it was a re-positioning cruise and there was a change of staff happening as well so perhaps the Grandeur isn't always this bad. It is hard to tell but it wasn't enough to ruin our vacation or turn us away from RCI. Not even close. We already have a transatlantic booked aboard the Independence of the Seas for the 4th of May 2014, 10th floor cabin 1234 and we cant wait! Perhaps we'll see you there! No matter what vessel you next board, happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
This cruise was our April school vacation week in New Hampshire. We liked the idea of this repositioning cruise because it stopped in Bermuda where we spent our honeymoon. We flew into San Juan a day early and hung out at the Conando ... Read More
This cruise was our April school vacation week in New Hampshire. We liked the idea of this repositioning cruise because it stopped in Bermuda where we spent our honeymoon. We flew into San Juan a day early and hung out at the Conando Beach. Its was nice to warm up after our cold New England winter. We took a taxi to the new ( 5 yr old) Pan American pier. Checkin began at 11.30, went smooth, and was in the Windjammer for lunch at noon.  This was our seventh cruise and second time on the Grandeur.  Looking around, the ship hadn't lost its luster as bad as some other folks said.  The central Atrium  is quite bright and sound quality for the musicians were excellent.We are in our mid fifties now and wanted a good mix between relaxing and action.  The Solarium was definitely the quieter of the two pools but sometimes a bit crowded.  The sun was really effective at the outdoor pool and the reggae band did many tributes to Bob Marley.We ate breakfast and dinner in the dining room and lunch and evening desserts at the Windjammer cafe.One comedian said it is your God given right to eat as much as you want ... so we kind of took him up on it and really ate well on this cruise. The food was 4 to 5 star and the desserts were incredible. If you see Campanos at the dessert bar in the Windjammer, have a dance with him before you chow down.The shows at the Palladium Theater were pretty standard cruise ship fair. The singers and dancers really performed well and the Broadway show numbers they selected were quite appropriate. John and his wife Katrina did a good job on their respective parts of cruise direction and activities. Neither of us drink alcohol, so we were quite pleased that our table mates also didn't drink. It certainly made for a more relaxing cruise. Our waitstaff did not "push" any booze on us  nor did they hurry us along. Dinner usually took from 6 - 7.45 (main seating).RCCL has a pre-pay gratuity option. It bothered us at the beginning, but we decided to use the option.Check out was not as efficient because it was the first time the ship had been to Norfolk so customs was a little slow. Besides, we didn't really want to go home anyway.  Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
This is part two of my Grandeur B2B review. Please see part one for background info, precruise, and the first week on the ship. Cabin- As I wrote before, we moved from Deck 7 in a balcony, to an inside on Deck 4 for the second week. For ... Read More
This is part two of my Grandeur B2B review. Please see part one for background info, precruise, and the first week on the ship. Cabin- As I wrote before, we moved from Deck 7 in a balcony, to an inside on Deck 4 for the second week. For the record, it wasn't that inconvenient, but I would do it again, I'd book one cabin for the whole B2B. The second week cabin was great. Insides on deck 4 are very convenient to the forward elevators, Centrum, Gatsby DR and aft elevators. They are also quiet, dark, comfortable, and relatively spacious. There are no refrigerators in inside or ocean view cabins below deck 7. The TV's are standard televisions, not flat screens, and you can't access your sea pass account from the TV on Grandeur. We enjoyed the cabin well enough that we booked it for our two week repo on Grandeur in Nov. 2009. Dining- We were at a table for 6 very close to where we were before, but overlooking the first deck of the DR. We were seated with two lovely sisters and their husbands who treated us like family. They had an extensive sailing history, and told us we'd thoroughly enjoy our Century cruise in February. Our waiter and assistant waiter were great. The head waiter took care of our wine from the first week for us with no corkage fees. Entertainment- Pretty much a repeat of the week before, we didn't go to any shows. They had the Coasters both weeks, and I'm told they were great. The production shows were very good from what I'm told, as were the other shows. The quartets were the same, and played about the same schedule as week 1. We danced a lot again, and danced in the Ballroom Dance Competition as well. I asked the CD if we were going to have dance instructors on the second half of the cruise, and he said no. He had seen us dance, so he asked if we'd be interested in teaching a class, we said yes, and taught a rhumba and cha-cha class. We had a blast and I think the folks in the class enjoyed it as well. Least they said they did! Ports- St. Thomas- Beautiful port, I always enjoy going there. We left the ship, and did some shopping. Bought rum, of course, and walked up to K-Mart to get some sundries we needed. Back to the ship, to enjoy having everyone ashore. St. Maarten- Went ashore long enough to buy some cigars and gifts for family and back to the ship! Tortola- About the same as the other Caribbean islands. Bought myself a shirt, and wandered around a little while, then back onboard. Bermuda- We were a little late getting to Bermuda, so it cut into the limited time we had on the island even more. We walked around the dockyard area, and bought gifts and such. Loyal2Royal- The ship did many things for us on the second week to make us feel special. We had a special gift just for doing the B2B, chocolate covered strawberries from the hospitality staff, a signed picture of the ship from the senior officers and Captain. The strawberries went really well with the champagne from our wine package. The room steward chilled it for us, and it went down very well. Adventures- A coupling failed on one of the generators which slowed us down as we left Bermuda headed for Baltimore. The coupling weighed 3000 pounds and they replaced it at sea. They went way out of their way to accommodate people, allowing free telephone calls home from the purser's desk, free internet, $100/person to redo flights, and eventually another $100/person to redo flights, and $150 for people to stay overnight in Baltimore if they needed to. They also let us keep our luggage until 09:00 a.m., stay in our cabins until 11:00 a.m., and fed us lunch from 11:00 to 14:00. We finally docked about 14:30, started disembark and were off the ship about 16:00. Disembark- Considering what they were dealing with, Baltimore did a very good job on the disembark. We found Ed with Corporate Sedan service easily, he quickly put us on a shuttle van that dropped us off at the hotel and we packed the car and headed home. By 22:00 we were back in the house and missing the ship. Overall- I can't say enough good about the Grandeur, and RCL. I'm very happy with our B2B cruise, and I'm impressed they thought enough about the B2B'ers to do a lot of nice things for us. Hopefully, we'll meet up with some of the folks we sailed with again, and I look forward to being on Grandeur again in the Fall. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
This was my 25th cruise and my friends first. My guest and I arrived on different flights and I had to wait in the baggage claim area for about two hours until her flight arrived (I was not aware that once you were down there you could ... Read More
This was my 25th cruise and my friends first. My guest and I arrived on different flights and I had to wait in the baggage claim area for about two hours until her flight arrived (I was not aware that once you were down there you could not go back upstairs). Once she arrived, it was only a few minutes before the next bus to the terminal. Embarking in San Juan was a breeze, from the time we arrived at the terminal we were onboard in less than 15 min (there was no one in line plus completing the set sail pass online help). We stayed in Balcony Cabin 7098 and since this was a reposition cruise we got a great deal (plus by using Corporate Perks I got a 3% rebate upon return). We found the ship to be very well maintained with a great staff. The cabin was very nice. However, there were no bath robes or complimentary toiletries. Our cabin steward Milton was great and there was never an issue with our cabin. We had main seating at table 27 (table for two) in the Great Gatsby dining room. Our head waiter was Anthony and he made a point to visit us every night to ask about our day and to make sure we were enjoying our cruise. Our waiter, Jorge, had quite the personality and quickly learned our likes and dislikes and went out of his way to please us. Our assistant waiter, Torrington, was also quite attentive and worked very hard. We found the food to be above par and enjoyed our meal every night. For breakfast, we alternated between the dining room and the buffet. We found both to be outstanding. Lunch was also very good. Overall we had no complaints with our food or service. For entertainment, the Broadway Revue was outstanding as well as all the shows the ships dancers and singers performed in. The headliners were good but could have been better. The Beatles review (cant remember which lounge) was also outstanding and there was standing room only. Since this was a smaller ship, the Viking Crown Lounge had to basically alternate different styles of entertainment every night so we did not have the luxury of a dance club every night. The other Lounges were nice also and were great for relaxing sounds. The port visits were as expected for cruise ship visits. However, in Freeport in addition to being late the tour we were on, the bus had mechanical problems and we had to turn around. We ended up with a modified tour (still got to see all the sights with less time) unlike other guests who were quite upset; I still had a great time. When we got back, I reported the problem to the Explorations Desk and received a full refund. As a past guest of RCCL, received the typical past guest invitation for the reception but since my guest was not a past cruiser did not attend. However, still received a couple of RCCL tote bags for being a past guest and my guest was quite pleased to receive one. Disembarking in Baltimore was an experience in itself. Since this was a reposition cruise this was the first day the new terminal in Baltimore had to operate. I can only hope they improve on the service. The ship was late arriving and nothing went smoothly. I understand some people in the lower level cabins were asked to leave as early as 8 AM. We did not have this problem and I convinced my guest we should stay in our cabin as long as possible (especially since she had too many bags for us to self-assist debark). Once off the ship, immigration was a snap. However, the bag collection area was too small and it was hard to move around (hopefully this is a problem that can be corrected for future sailings). Many people were quite upset (many miss flights) with the fact not many taxi-cabs were allowed in the port area. I live in D.C. area and my car was parked at the airport and I had made arrangements with Blue Van. My guest had a flight out of Regan National and we were able to make it to BWI to get my car and made it to National in time for her to catch her flight. Except for the Baltimore experience it was a great cruise. As long as you know what to expect cruising is the best vacation there is for the money. Everything will not be perfect or go according to plan but it is still possible to have a great time, there is always something to do and you can be as active or relaxed as you want to be. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
This was our 3rd RCCL Caribbean cruise and have not been on any other cruise line. This was the smallest ship we have been on. There were some features we liked more and some less. We stayed in cabin 2605 and paid only $350 per person ... Read More
This was our 3rd RCCL Caribbean cruise and have not been on any other cruise line. This was the smallest ship we have been on. There were some features we liked more and some less. We stayed in cabin 2605 and paid only $350 per person and the value was excellent. We liked the double seating (bench seats) in the theater, the pool bar was much nicer than on Voyager and Explorer, and the dining room staff was the friendliest yet, and checking in and getting on the ship in San Juan was the smoothest we have had. The ship itself was beautiful. For a ten year old ship it looked as good, if not better than the Voyager and Explorer. We didn't go to every show this time but of the 3 we did make, we enjoyed. That being said. I got food poisoning after the 1st Windjammer breakfast. As a result, I ended up missing the first formal dinner. I know a lot of it has to do with dirty guests and not dirty food (But one has to wonder what role the food played). Fortunately, the sickness was short lived and I started to feel better by dinner the 3rd night. Being CONSISTENTLY 1 hr + late to every port of call was unacceptable. Especially when one of the stops we were only scheduled to be ashore for 5 hrs (We were almost 2 hrs late getting off at this port). Again, I realize that some of this has to do with getting cleared by local authorities. But when the ship is supposed to be docked at 11 AM and it isn't docked until noon, you lose an hour. And this happened at EVERY stop. from a customer service standpoint, A drink voucher would have helped. This was very frustrating to say the least. Disembarking in Baltimore was a NIGHTMARE. We were evicted from our room at 8 am. The ship was supposed to be docked by 9AM. Normally no big deal. But the ship didn't get in until closer to 10 AM. They didn't call the first tag until after 11 AM. Once your tag was called you then waited in a cramped hallway and stairwell for nearly another hour. Once off the ship, immigration was smooth. However, bag collection was a CIRCUS! They had your bag down a narrow corridor. Once you walk down the corridor, you were almost stuck down there because the corridor was to narrow to accommodate all the people and equipment. Once outside, getting a taxi was a very inefficient, frustrating, and lengthy process. A method that is generally very easy was again delayed by poor planning. Rather than utilizing 2 of the 3 available lanes for people to hail a cab, the port was using one lane. Rather than letting people just get their own cabs they were assigning numbers. They were only allowing a handful of cabs into the pickup area at a given time and their were several times where several minutes passed when there were no cabs at the curb picking up people. Meanwhile, I could see a line of dozens of cabs stopped at the gate fro no apparent reason. Without fail EVERY SINGLE PERSON around me had missed their connecting flight due to the ridiculous and what would seem to be mostly preventable delays. We did not get a cab until after 1PM. That is a 5 Hr process to walk 200 yards??? As previously stated this was the smallest ship we have been on. It had about 1/2 the number of guests as the other ships we have been on. But it literally took twice as long to get off. Again, this is my 3rd cruise with RCCL and the cruise itself was enjoyable, the details above definitely dampered my overall experience. I am still a fan of RCCL and for the value believe that it can't be beat. However, I think my Alaskan cruise later this year will be a great opportunity to explore other cruising company options. And I will avoid any cruise that begins or ends in Baltimore. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
I was a first time cruiser and let me start by saying I had a great time! There were a few minor glitches but nothing terrible. We embarked on a one way sail from San Juan to Baltimore. Embarking was easy and took about 20 minutes. The ... Read More
I was a first time cruiser and let me start by saying I had a great time! There were a few minor glitches but nothing terrible. We embarked on a one way sail from San Juan to Baltimore. Embarking was easy and took about 20 minutes. The Ship is absolutely beautiful. Like a floating luxury hotel. We went up to check out our cabin which had a small balcony. We were both happy we paid the extra money for the balcony. It was relaxing to sit there in the morning while the ship docked and have your coffee and room service breakfast. Dining: The Prime Rib on the first night was tough and had no taste. After my wife and I had heard so much about how great the food would be we were both surprised by this. It got much better! We ate dinner in the dining room every night. The food after the first night was fantastic. As good as any restaurant we have ever eaten in. Our wait staff was incredible. Now we understand why cruising is addictive. You are pampered like a king. Thank You to our Waiter Saji for all the wonderful service! All you first time cruisers don't let anyone tell you how these ships are so big you never feel them move. It was very rough the first 3 days of our cruise. We were getting swells from a big storm in the North Atlantic and the ship rocked up and down constantly. I was told by a crew member that we were in 15 foot seas and that it is not normal for this time of year. There were many sick people and the crew stationed barf-bags on all of the stairwells. We didn't get sick but we both felt dizzy and lightheaded. If you get sea sick, bring some medicine with you!! Entertainment: The comedians were great. They had us laughing for hours. The "Broadway Style" show left a lot to be desired. I think the dancers were having a hard time with the ship moving all over the place. Overall the entertainment was very good. We had heard bad things about the Cruise Director Tom. But we both found him funny and very nice. He kept you informed with a comical twist and was never pushy about anything. Cabin: The cabin was small but had plenty of storage room we unpacked 3 large suitcases and still had plenty of room for all of the stuff we bought on the islands. That balcony was really wonderful. I don't think we would cruise in the future without one. Service: The best service we have ever received on any vacation, period. Every person in the crew was friendly and bent over backwards to make sure you had the time of your life. We decided we will cruise this ship again and request our same Waiter. Saji was great. Our room steward kept the room clean but was inconspicuous. He never bothered us when we wanted to be left alone. A+ service all around. Now for the worst thing that happened. We left our Children home with family for this trip. We needed a break! When we docked in Baltimore at 8:00 A.M. We called them and stood on deck 5 and waved and yelled back and forth. Then we waited and waited and waited to debark. We did not get off of the ship until 12:30 P.M. Now I don't know if this is RCI's fault or Customs. If you are going to make your passengers wait for 4 and a half hours to get off of the ship at least leave the restaurants and bars open. sitting on a chair for 4 hours with nothing to drink was uncomfortable. Its not a good thing to remember as the last thing about a wonderful vacation like this. RCI needs to work on this!!! Overall: We will Cruise again. We will most likely cruise with RCI again on this Ship. In my opinion cruising is the best deal for the Money. Congrats to the crew of The Grandeur. You should all be proud of your excellent service! Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
After a long long day of shuttling from Vancouver Canada to Seattle, our flight landed us in San Juan at approximately 1 PM - just in time to board the ship. I was travelling as a single parent with my nine year old son. I would always ... Read More
After a long long day of shuttling from Vancouver Canada to Seattle, our flight landed us in San Juan at approximately 1 PM - just in time to board the ship. I was travelling as a single parent with my nine year old son. I would always try to make a point of flying in the day before. This was our second cruise, so live and learn. Emabarkation was smooth, both my son and I were extremely tired and wanted to ditch our bags as soon as possible. Our last cruise out of Seattle saw us waiting in line for embarkation for over 2 hours. Our short 10 minute wait was a godsend. My son and I went straght to our cabin and decided to stay onboard and enjoy a light lunch, check out the ship and relax after travelling for over 24 hrs. The regular drill went smoothly, with all the staff being highly professional. It was great, as our ship was doing the drill in port, one of the larger Carnival ships was leaving. All the excitement from their ship rubbed off on ours and made our journey that much more memorable. The first night, the ship hosts a meet and greet for the children to be aquainted with the Adventure Ocean program. The staff were GREAT. Starting with a brief overview of the program, followed by rules, and waiver signing. This program is fantastic, I found myself wondering what to do with my time. My son, was begging me to let him join in the activities. They host everything from interactive talent shows, scavenger hunts to arts and crafts. The staff were very good with the children and went out of their way to be nice to me too! I had a cabin on deck 8 inside category K. I work in the tourism industry, so I didn't get to choose. Our cabin was 8023, I had the pleasure of hearing the calypso band in my room afternoon, our cabin was directly under the pool deck. After the first two days, you get used to it, but it was alarming at first. The location of the cabin was great, very convenient to get to most areas of the ship. Inside was great for the days when our tummies were a bit queasie. The bedding does need to be updated a bit, but, overall, I would have NO complaints. Our housekeeper was Simon, and we loved the towel creatures he made for us each day. Dining I missed the Grand Buffet - was just too pooped from being on shore in Cozumel. I heard in the dining room the next morning that it was fantastic. The chef on the ship has an Indian background, so most things have a lovely exotic twist! The fellow that does the carvings is from the Phillipines and he does amazing things with fruit and vegetables! The chocolate buffet was on the second night and that was great too! My son and I loved our waiter Tomas to death and he treated us very well. I have a weakness for sweet things, he was very accomodating! Along with his assistant Marcell, we had a great dining experience. I will say that the food is average, in my job, I eat in really great restaurants, but, if you consider the amount of food these guy put out in a day, I think they do an outstanding job. They did do a surf and turf on the menu, but not a big Seafood 'focused' menu. They offered a great variety of seafood each night, salmon, shrimp, lobster, and a variety of whitefish. If your watching your wasteline, they also offered a lighter menu each night. Rice was use far too often...I really hate to think of how much rice they throw away! Kudos to the ships dining crew! The solarium was great - I prefered the outdoor pool - they had a really great band that played in the afternoon. Was the type of band that reminded me I was in paradise and not at work! Never a problem to get a deck chair. Our cruise I felt was quite empty. Several empty tables at dinner as well. The classes at the gym were always packed though. Entertainment Day One - casual - depart San Juan Comedy by Phil Tag, Dance Affair and the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers. Our dinner partner said it was a great show, he didn't like the singers to much. Sail away party at the pool deck Day Two - Formal - At Sea The Original Drifters - they were AWESOME! Adult Karaoke Talent Show Comedy show in the Lounge with Phil Tag Day Three - Smart Casual - Montego Bay Jamaica Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers - "Jump Jive and Swing" This was a super high engery show. Colorful costumes (I thought the singers were great) The Quest - an funky adult game 50's and 60's rock and roll party with Chuck Roast and the Mashed Potatoes (cute) Day Four - Casual - Grand Cayman Variety Show - Comedy of Max Docelli - I missed this but his show was similar to the first comedian apparently. Caribbean dance party on the pool deck with Flare a Caribbean band Dance affair in the South Pacific Lounge - Latin American and Ballroom Dancing - this was supposed to be very good Day Five - Smart Casual - Costa Maya Steve Shaffer Comedian - he was very funny Murder Mystery - this was put on by the Cruise director and cruise staff - really cute. Day Six - Formal - Cozumel The Royal Caribbean Dancers did a show called Beat Goes On - it was a revue that went through music from the 50's - present. It was done very well - lots of energy The theme for the disco was 70's - I didn't go, but the video looked like everyone has a great time - this was the second formal night as well. Day Seven - Casual - At Sea The farewell show - it was okay - they showed the cruise video and made a plug for the sale - it did look good - almost got me! The had a magician Charly Frye - he was quite funny, different, but funny and a Battle of the Sexes in the Lounge. All of these activities were well organized. There were a load of other options every day. My favorite was the trivia - it was a great way to meet others on the ship. Bingo was expensive, Casino was fun - I did win, but, it all went back to the house eventually! Ports of Call Montego Bay - Jamaica We started off with our first day in Montego Bay. Having always wanting to visit Jamaica, I was really looking forward to this port. Overall, this was the most disappointing stop on the entire cruise. Had I planned correctly, I would have done the shore excursion to Ocho Rios, Dunns River Falls. Being Canadian, I could not justify the cost of the trip of USD $120 pp (did I mention I work in tourism!). We opted to take the taxi to the crafters market - bad idea, we were taken as soon as we entered the market. My son was guided by a Jamaican fellow, and brought to his 'store' where I felt oblidged to purchase a cheap necklace for 10.00 USD. I bought a beach wrap for myself, only to discover when I returned home it was actually made in Singapore, hmm, really disappointed. From the market we went to Dr. Cave Beach - it was really great, white sandy beaches, and clean clean clean. I will visit again, but, I think with someone from the area, or at a resort of some sort - will not spend time in this port ever again in the future. Grand Cayman Following the recommendation of several cruise critic people, we did the Captain Marvins trip to Stingray City. Our reservation was booked and we went out on a Charter boat with approximately 25 others. The guides were great, they took us to the Coral Gardens, Barrier Reef and Stingray City. It was amazing to be with the Stingrays, unfortunately the water was very rough that day, my son and I ingested a great deal of salt water. I was very sick :(. The skipper went right in the waters and fed the fish so we saw a great variety of fish, and brought us right smack in the middle of the stingrays, away from the masses - it really was amazing. The dock where the boats leave from is great too - Bill Gates and Sylvester Stallone both have homes very close to Captain Marvin's dock - I can only dream. Following the tour we were returned to downtown and received free rum cakes! We had lunch at a small restaurant where I enjoyed conch fritters and cold beers - it was great! My favourite port. Costa Maya This day, we arrived in the port, I had this great idea that we would rent bikes. Costa Maya's port is built for the cruise industry. The city has done a great job of catering to the tourists in this port. When we arrived, they did not have any child size bikes, so we enjoyed the free cultural show, swim up bar, shopping and beach area. We were given a task by the Adventure Ocean people to find some items in Costa Maya - sand, flower, shells and rocks. We had fun collecting these items, plus, I was able to find some lovely sea glass - I can turn this into a cute picture frame to remember our vacation by! Cozumel Shopping in Cozumel was great for Mexico. Now it depends what type of shopping you will do, but there is everything here - prices are not too bad,and you can get most handicrafts that I have seen in a Mexican city. Here my son and I took a taxi out to the San Gervasio Ruins, it was $45.00 for the taxi and 5.00 to gain entry into the San Gervasio Ruins. I would highly recommend doing the ships tour or planning a tour before you arrive. The taxi driver did not add to our experience at all - we made the most of it and had fun exploring the ruins. We spotted lizards of all sorts and monkeys here - it was fun. The trip back was good too, the taxi does have to drive around the city so you do get to see a fair bit of the area. He dropped us off downtown, where we enjoyed the city square and the shopping. We returned to the ship via horse and buggy - it was a relaxing end to a good day - we spent the rest of the day sunning on the pool deck which we enjoyed very much. If you are not a Crown and Anchor member, sign up - I did get a few freebies - nothing to write home about, but free all the same. I loved our cruise, next time, I want to bring another adult, but, my son & I had a great time (kids program is better than the adults!). I'm busy thinking about the 5 pounds I put on and how I'm going to take it off!!! Time to start that running club I've been talking about for a year! I hope this was informative - not as formal as other reviews, but, how I remember it. I loved this ship, loved the staff and really enjoyed RCCL overall - I would love to go on Grandeur of the Seas again, but, want to explore new territory next year - maybe Hawaii! Cheers Read Less
Sail Date November 2003
Grandeur of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 3.5 3.8
Public Rooms 3.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.5 3.9
Rates N/A 4.2

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