Number of Cruises: 10
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Grandeur of the Seas
Sailing Date: July 3rd, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
My family and I just returned from the July 3rd 2005s ailing on the Grandeur of the Seas to Bermuda out of Baltimore, Maryland. RCCL has some issues with this vessel and it would most likely be in the best interest of all future passengers if this ship was taken out of service and refurbished.
On our sailing, the ship had engine troubles. There is visible evidence of the damage she suffered after hitting the pier in Costa Maya on a previous sailing.
We were delayed leaving Baltimore and were informed that we could not sail at maximum speed to Bermuda because of the engine issues. This mechanical problem reduced our time in Bermuda greatly. We were scheduled to arrive in Bermuda at 8am on Tuesday and set sail at 5pm on Wednesday. Due to the engine problems, we docked in Bermuda on Tuesday at 2pm and set sail at noon on Wednesday.
In all fairness to RCCL, they did a great job of quieting passengers by refunding 50% of the cruise fare if you choose to still sail knowing that the island time would be shortened. We decided to sail because we had been planning this family vacation for a year and days at sea are great way to pass the day!
With all of that said, let me comment on some of the more common items people generally look for in a review. The Port of Baltimore is an industrial port, nothing scenic there at all. But RCCL does a great job getting you on and off the ship. Check-in went smoothly for us once we got to that point.
When we disembarked in Bermuda, it seemed as though this was the first time RCCL had been there. There was no one at the pier initially to guide you on ferry and bus schedules. Because we were in port late, everyone was anxious to get out and explore. It was a little unpleasant for a while until an RCCL employee came out with a bullhorn and started providing information.
We booked a Junior Suite on Deck 8. The room was plenty spacious enough for our family (2 Adults, 2 kids). The balcony was a nice size. The beds were the most uncomfortable beds we have ever slept in. The mattress on our bed was so thin and the bed squeaked every time you tossed or turned. The mattress on the pullout sofa the kids slept on was worse. I peeked in an interior room that pull down bunks and the mattresses on those beds seemed ten times thicker than what was on our beds.
The room was clean enough, but the sliders didn't look they had been washed down in a while. For the amount of money charged for a Junior Suite (or any suite for that matter) you would think these cabins would be on a different deck. There is a tremendous amount of noise from the pool deck, which is right above. Our cabin attendant did a good job.
In Bermuda, we did the Don't Stop The Carnival excursion and the Restless Native Catamaran snorkeling tour. Both were excellent and I would recommend either one.
Service was pretty good all around the ship. Food was ok. Dining room staff really did a great job, especially with the kids. They brought them all types of food to try for dinner, which was great, because our 9 year old discovered he liked salmon. Bar service was good, although they had no Coors Light on board, even though they continued to advertise they did. Also, there were no limes for Coronas or any other mixed drink that required a lime. We finally got limes when we left Bermuda. Kind of odd.
Spa service was good. We did a couples massage class and that was really great. Activities for the kids seemed to be geared for the younger group. The 6-8 year olds seemed to have a blast. Our 9 year old went to the evening activities, but preferred to hang out with us during the day at the pool. One thing I absolutely did not like was the $5 an hour charge for the nighttime party zone for the kids. It is completely supervised, but you must pay in cash.
Our airline lost our bag with all of our formal wear, so this is just an informational tip, but you cannot rent a tux or buy a dress shirt for a child on this ship. They could have accommodated our 15 year old, but we opted to not go as formal as we had planned.
Overall, we made the best of this trip. I would not rule out RCCL for future cruises. This was our 5th cruise with them and they really did a lot to ease the pain on our sailing. I wouldn't do this ship again. I would opt for a newer ship in the Voyager class. We sailed on the Explorer last year and it is a beautiful ship.