Number of Cruises: 11
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Grandeur of the Seas
Sailing Date: December 31st, 2001
Itinerary: Circle the Caribbean
I did have one massage and one reflexology treatment at the Spa. Both treatments were well done and relaxing. To my great surprise, I was not given a hard sell after the service either time. My wife had her hair cut, and the stylist did a very nice job on her hair as well. A good job by the Steiner folks on this cruise.
Ports of Call
We had a good selection of ports on this cruise. Since we had been to all of them before, we did not do any shore excursions, but did our own thing instead. On Key West, we walked all around the island, making a long stop at the Hemmingway house, as well as walking the length of Duval Street. That made for a fun, but tiring day. Considering the fact that we were there on New Year’s Day, we were surprised by the amount of shops that were actually open. Our next stop was Cozumel. When we docked, an announcement was made that most of the water excursions were cancelled due to high waves. We took a taxi to Chankanaab Park anyway, and even though the waves were choppy, I did get in some good snorkeling. Afterwards we strolled along the shops before heading back to the ship. The high waves followed us to Grand Cayman, and unfortunately, we couldn’t get in to port. The waves were actually higher than the tenders. Five ships were diverted away from Grand Cayman that day. Our next stop was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We had been to Jamaica before, so we decided to stay on board and relax all day. We did get off briefly to walk and stretch our legs, but that was it. Aruba was our next port and we had great weather and a great day. We hired a taxi for a two hour tour, and he took us to a couple of spots we hadn’t been to before, such as the California Lighthouse, as well as a couple of familiar spots such as the Natural Bridge. We did a little shopping in town then came back to the ship for dinner. After dinner we went back out and went to the Crystal Casino where after two hours I was $5 ahead. The next and last port was Curacao. We took a taxi to the Seaquarium, and stayed there for a couple of hours; it was very enjoyable. Then we went back into town, walked around, had lunch, did a little shopping and finally walked back to the ship. We were expected back on board at 4:30 PM and made it back at 4:27 PM. We had another great weather day and enjoyed our time at Curacao.
The entertainment was very good. The ship left on New Year’s Eve, and there were parties at various locations on board ship. We celebrated with most of the ship in the Centrum area (it was raining outside) and had a fun night. The champagne was definitely flowing. We enjoyed both comedians that we saw as well as the stage shows. My wife actually won a game of bingo, but had to split the prize with four other lucky winners. We were not as lucky in the casino; our money seemed to go awfully fast in there. The on board entertainment is always one of RCCL’s strong points.
We thought that debarkation was handled well, especially for a ship the size of the Grandeur of the Seas. Our color was one of the first to be called and we were off the ship and had our bags by 9:00 AM. One of the things we appreciated was the baggage carousel. It was much easier than searching through mounds of similar black bags spread around a warehouse. We got a taxi and were at the Miami airport at 9:20 AM.
We had a fantastic cruise experience. It was nice to be spoiled by a longer cruise, and we have to give lots of kudos to the staff of the Grandeur for spoiling us as well. Would we take Royal Caribbean again? In a heartbeat. Even though there are some things about the line that annoy us, (the singing waiters, for example), we are usually pleased with their overall product and greatly enjoy their ships. We look forward to another cruise with them one day soon.