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Deb

Age: 51

Occupation:Home Dutiess

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Grandeur of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2011-07-16

Itinerary: Western Mediterranean

Chose this cruise for itinerary and departure date. Being a family of four booked two cabins - stateroom suite and internal double across the hall for 2 teenage children. Overall the cruise - facilities, food, entertainment, family friendliness excellent. Shore excursions were extremely difficult to book on board (you would need to pre-book on-line), however, we had no trouble arranging excellent private tours on shore. Whilst our Statement room/suite was spacious and offered all the necessary ammenities we were unaware it was directly under the outdoor restaurant - heavy furniture being moved (dropped from what must have been a great height) from 5.30am (presume cleaners) until 1.00am - not pleasant. We opted to pre pay our 'tips' prior to departure, which includes stateroom attendant, dining room head, head waiter and assistant waiter, but found that all extras incurred a standard tip charge, we found the 'eagerness' for a tip to be quite off putting, we had not encountered this before.

Food and service excellent - the variety offered at the casual "Windjammer" restaurant certainly made travelling with teenagers easy. We had trouble with our dining times and table - each room was on a separate table, and could only be combined on a shared table. The dining times in the formal restaurant were awkward for us either 6.00pm (too earlier) or 8:30 (not available). We did, however, find out about another formal dining area on our last day, which required a first in first served booking each day - probably would be the best option if you are looking for a private table and a time to suit.

Our stateroom was spacious, well attended, but as mentioned above extremely noisy - the noise from the deck above made it impossible to have an afternoon nap, with the noise commencing at 5:30am - and we are NOT light sleepers!

The activites were all there - we did not participate in the many poolside activities. One of our children used the rock climbing wall and enjoyed that. We used the gym regularly and took part in the spin classes (extra charge). Be warned children under 16 are not allowed to use the gym. The nightly shows were great. The casino was spacious and well staffed. The pools were happy and busy - the solarium pool (no children) was generally peaceful, there was a casual dining area at the rear which meant children had to 'sneak' through. The usual fight for a sun lounge on cruising days, we managed to snag ours both sailing days and only had them taken once while we were at lunch - had enough sun by then!

All our stops Barcelona, Malaga, Ibiza, Gibraltor were great - we chose not to do long 4 hour tours rather shorter and then stroll around the towns - a favourite of ours is visiting the local food markets, dining in that area. From our past experience the larger groups tend to move more slowly - you can probably tell we're speed tourists!

Overall a good cruise - would NOT recommend the Staterooms directly under the restaurant.

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