Occupation:Mechanical Engineer (Aircraft)
Number of Cruises: 8
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Grandeur of the Seas
Sailing Date: October 12th, 2002
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
We sailed on the Grandeur of the Sea from Port of New Orleans. Embarkation was very smooth. The wait was no longer than 45 minutes from terminal arrival to actual gangplank boarding. Compared to other lines, that was very acceptable. When we boarded, the most striking impression to me was the splendor of the ship. She truly is Grand. Every corner was cleaned, swept and polished to perfection.
Our suite was smaller than most, but my activities in my suite are limited to washing, showering, and sleeping. All remaining time spent on the ship was somewhere else. In addition the room steward kept our room impeccably tidy to include the towel menagerie.
The Windjammer dining room was good, but not great. As an alternative to the Main Dining area, it proved to be sufficient. However, the deserts were exceptional. Kudos to the desert chef and crew. The Main Dining area was good. Service was as good as most other ships but I've seen better. The lunch menus were exceptionally good, while breakfast and dinner were acceptable, with some outstanding exceptions. By the way the alternative choices were as good if not better than the daily dinner choices. And don't be to shy to ask for additional steak/lobster tails/desert/salad…. The pool deck was as on most ships the hub of daily activity while out to sea. The area was very well maintained but towels were hard to come by at poolside. Bring some from your room attendant. The Solarium is a great place for hot tub and/or pool activities. It has a no children allowed policy and most of the noise and distractions are elsewhere. We found solitude and tranquility under a veil of elegance and class. The health club is adequate, and the sauna or steam bath is among the best at sea. We did not participate in any organized health activities, having established our own program. There is however an overabundance of organized activities and weeklong programs that were very popular and seemed well planned.
We normally do not participate in ship organized excursions, preferring to venture on our own. There were some complaints about a snorkeling excursion that had our fellow passengers in a boat without available shade for the entire 4 hour boat ride and water dive. This has a potential for some serious personal injury. Instead I would like to recommend a short taxi ride ($10 per cab) to Chankanaab State Park. The area has a $10 entrance fee, but the cost is well worth the investment. A short walk to the beach through palm groves and botanical gardens gave a true tropical perspective. At the beach , snorkeling gear is available for rent at $5.00 for all day. Lockers for personal valuables are available, and if you talk to Pedro at the first dive kiosk, he will provide a Discover Scuba, or for certified divers a wonderful underwater adventure to include caves and a venture to the underwater Christus statue. Another tip, sneak out a few small loaves of bread from the Windjammer to use to feed the reef fish. I had 4 baseball-sized buns and while snorkeling crushed the buns and watched as hundreds of small fish engulfed me for a free meal. Truly a wondrous experience. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, but consider ourselves veterans at sea. This cruise was well worth the money and will most likely return soon.