Age: 21 to 30
Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Grandeur of the Seas
Sailing Date: January 6th, 2001
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
We booked our flight through RCCl as this was recommended for us since we were flying during the winter and delays and cancellations are numerous. We felt comfortable with that there were twenty or so other passengers on our flight with us. The flight-er airline-is one of the main problems we had with the trip. We were booked on Continental and had requested a vegetarian meal for both flights. Yet we did not get this. I have had this problem with Continental in the past so I don't know who to blame for this. We were picked up in san Juan with 30 or so other passengers and put on a bus to the ship.
I had read reviews that talked about the lines of embarkment and we really only waited 25-30 minutes. We then proceeded to board the ship. We had heard that you couldn't bring any drinks onboard but saw lots of people carrying on cases of beer, soda, and water, and asked the cruise staff who were welcoming us onboard if we could do so-they said yes, so we turned back around and went to the duty free shop and bought beer for about 5 bucks a six pack, some water, and some soda. Finally we entered the ship again to find our room. We were very pleased with our stateroom-it was on the 7th floor a category D with a balcony. VERY NICE. We read the Compass left on our bed and found out we had only a few minutes left for the open lunch in the windjammer. After our lunch-we noticed they did not stop at the time the compass said they would, I think because a lot of flights were delayed-we toured the ship (or at least some of it). The ship is huge, I know not as big as the explorer or voyager, but it is still large enough that we found ourselves discovering new lounges and areas each day.
Meals - we ate breakfast and lunch (sometimes a midday snack) in the windjammer which was nice and casual and for all those people who claim the windjammer is cafeteria food-when was the last time you ate in a cafeteria??? Going from high school, to college, and now in law school I can tell you that the windjammer is more like hotel food than cafeteria food. Being a vegetarian I also appreciated the signs on almost everything letting you know what things were. Also, the staff there was very nice and pleasant, coming around to refill your beverages, etc.
The dining room was amazing. At first we were in the 1st seating, but got switched on request to the later seating. We were put at a table for 8 and the other six people were all family AND they didn't really speak English. This did not bother us because we were here to have a good time and we wanted to be in the later seating so we did not complain, etc. Anyways, the family was part of another table and between the whole family there were 6 kids I think, so that was the only night they ate in the dining room anyways. We were at a table for 8 but it was only the two of us. Our head waiter Daniel, our waiter Khalfi, and our assistant Butch always came over to talk with us, made us feel comfortable even though we were fine with each others conversation. The food was amazing and Khalfi always went over what he recommended for Patrick and then went over what he recommended for me since he knew I was a vegetarian. Butch always had our sodas waiting for us. We thought it was kind of funny because if you order a drink one night or in a special way you are going to get it like that from then on unless you ask for a change. For instance the first night I had a regular diet coke, but the second night I asked for it with a lemon and then on Butch put a lemon in it before giving it to me. Also I ordered a mint tea one night and when we were getting ready to order desserts the rest of the nights butch would have the mint tea ready for me.
Activities - We went to three of the shows, the ones done by the royal Caribbean singers and dancers and the farewell show because we are not really familiar with the guests (we know them but are a little young for them)-Peter noon for Herman and the hermits (?) and the Osmond brothers. Also there was so much else going on-like the newly and not so newlywed game, battle of the sexes, and novel quest (not to be missed-bring your camera!) We also went to the disco a couple of nights, the casino, and the pool parties.
Ports -we went to Aruba, Curacao, St Maartin and St Thomas. We didn't want to be bothered, etc so we took excursions in each of the ports. In Aruba we went on the off road adventure. I had been to Aruba before and took a regular bus tour-this is a whole other experience! we really liked it, although it is not meant for those with back, neck problems, or weak stomachs!!! We later took a taxi to Palm Beach and chilled out there for a couple of hours. After dinner we went to Carols and Charlie's (part of senor frogs), conviently located next to the ship-it was a blast, everyone was so wasted, including a bunch of the cruise staff! In Curacao we did the canoe safari which was amazing. I was not too impressed with the town-I don't know if that was because it was so hot or because it wasn't as nice as Aruba. In St Maartin we went on the beach rendezvous to Orient Beach. Very lovely-good if you just want to relax on the beach plus they give you a really good lunch and two free drinks. Some people went to Orient Beach on there own, but they had to lay on their towels instead of padded lounge chairs because there are more people than lounge chairs and they also charge for the lounge chairs if you are not in the group. Our sections was sort of fenced off for our excursion so only people on our excursion were in our area of the beach which prevented it from getting over crowded. Beware, Orient Beach has a Nudist section and when they go on walks, etc. you definitely get a view! In St. Thomas we went on the kayak eco tour which we decided to do after we went on the canoe safari-this was pretty cool especially the snorkeling, we saw a octopus and a really big barracuda.
We were really sad to leave and are already contemplating another cruise-we heard from people on our ship Bermuda is really beautiful. Besides not getting the vegetarian meal again on the return flight-we came home only with happy memories, tan/burnt skin, and sand in all of our suitcases! Of course there were little things that could have bothered us, but we wanted to have a good time so we didn't let them bother us-people saving chairs at the pools and shows (and I am not talking about one or two-but like 15-20), rowdy young people who drank too much (very few and mostly late at night), and parents who don't watch there kids-hello they have a program on board (we saw them once in the windjammer for ice cream) if you don't want to watch your kids send them to the program. this was a problem especially by the solarium pool where there were no parents in sight but a number of kids. It didn't really bother us but I could see it annoying other passengers. The staff is really nice and helpful, if you have ANY problems or complaints, let someone know and they will remedy the situation and fast and as best as they can. Have fun and email us if you have any questions!