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Mark Houltzhouser

Age: 33

Occupation:Sales

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Grandeur of the Seas

Sailing Date: April 24th, 2004

Itinerary: Western Caribbean


Embarkation-New Orleans

Embarkation could not have been better....It litterally took 5 Minutes from stepping out of the cab to walking on the ship. AWESOME! We arrived at around Noon and had no problems getting right on board.

Sea Days-

We found most days at sea to be fun. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy,but our biggest complaint was that several activities were scheduled at the same time,which prevented us from doing some things we would have liked to. The game show activities are a lot of fun if you are outgoing and like to participate. DONT MISS the game called QUEST. YOU WONT BELIEVE WHAT YOU WILL SEE!!!lol

There were lots of Bingo games,but they didn't push you to play like I've read in other reviews. The Casino was nice and we did see some people hit some decent jackpots,but we didn't have any luck.

Cabin-We loved our cabin. We had a balcony room on deck 7 and without question liked it better than our Carnival room. The Balcony was worth the price. We thouroughly enjoyed it. We were in a group of 9 couples and our rooms were side by side. We were able to open our balconies up and make one huge balcony for everyone to hangout together. Our room also had a fridge which we kept stocked with beer from the pool bar and we then could just grab one and enjoy the balcony with friends. Some great views out there as well!!!

Dining-

This was our second Cruise and first with Royal Caribbean. Our first was with Carnival. We all agreed that the food in the Main Dining Room was excellent and better than our previous cruise. The WindJammer Cafe offered similar foods in a buffet style. It seemed average. The Solarium had a snack bar which served Burgers and pizza. The Pizza was not very good and the Burgers just average. Carnival definately had the better of the snack foods with thier 24 hr pizzaria and serving breakfasts and lunches by the pool.

Service-

We found our service to be very,very vanilla and average compared to what we expirienced on Carnival. We didn't see our steward for the first 2 days and when we did,he had very little personality. He never called us by name or went out of his way for us like our Carnival steward did. We found the same in the dining room. Our waiter was adequate,but nothing special. Put it this way...our Carnival Cruise was 3 years ago and I remember Rudi,my cabin steward and Mugni, my waiter by name still. I've forgotten these guys already. Not that they were horrible,they just were nothing special.

Entertainment-

The Singers and Dancers in the cruise presented shows were very good and we enjoyed them a lot. They had a juggler the last night that was simply amazing. The comedy shows were so-so. The bands that played in the various lounges were also decent. The Cruise Director Tom and his staff were lots of fun and always put a smile on our face.

Ports-

Cozumel

BY FAR our favorite port in the entire caribbean. This was our second trip there and we chose the catch the wave BOND adventure. Folks....don't miss it. IT WAS AWESOME. We rode around on what amounts to scooters ,15 ft. under water with divers swimming in front of us pointing out things for us,bringing up starfish and porcupine fish for us to hold. He took our underwater camera with him and took numerous pics for us and of us. The tour included OPEN BAR when we were finished as well as use of a glass bottom boat and all the snorkling you want with free equipment. IT WAS AWESOME!!! BOOK THIS EXCURSION!!! After it was over,the boat dropped us in town and we treked down to world famous Carlos n Charlies and had an absolute Blast. COZUMEL RULES!!!

Grand Caymen-

This was our second trip to Caymen also. I highly recommend the island tour and Stingray City. We really enjoyed it last trip here. This trip I elected to golf at the Links course. I found it to be a fifty dollar us course,but it had some great scenary and all in all I was glad Iwent. We saw a huge Iguana on one hole and got some great pics. We then went to the Hard Rock Cafe for wings and beers. The wings were hot and the beers were cold,so we were plenty happy!!

Costa Maya-

We elected not to take a tour here. This port really needs help. It is owned by the cruise lines,and let me start by saying that the area they have built where the ships dock is great. Bars,Restaraunts,plenty of shopping and a great pool with a swim up bar. Next,let me say ....don't bother leaving this area. The beach and fishing village nearby is horrible and a complete waste of time. This port really has nothing to offer beyond shopping,swimming in the pool and drinking. The food served was very good in the restaraunt here. Just take my advice,there is nothing worth leaving the ships dock area for that we could find. Some friends took a 40 minute ride up to uvero beach,but said it wasn't much better and they felt like they wasted 2 hours riding up and back.

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