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Mark Similey

Age: 38

Occupation:Educator

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Grandeur of the Seas

Sailing Date: December 17th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I took this cruise with my 2 teenage kids as a Christmas present. Overall we had a good time, but I guess I am not a RCCL kind of person.

EMBARKATION: Simple fast and very easy. The longest line was 20 min to get our picture taken for our sail and sign card. Tampa is a nice port and was very well laid out.

ROOM: Outside was good enough size with a small couch and extra bunks that were tucked away into the ceiling. Overall the room was smaller than a similar room on Carnival lines, but clean, and well taken care of. It met our needs rather well.

TEEN PROGRAMS: My kids liked the activities that were avaiable, and made use of the ones that they were interested in.

DINING ROOM: Overall very disappointing! Very slow service, food quality was very poor. Sent multiple deserts back to the kitchen uneaten because of their quality. Dry and crunch chocolate cake, poor taste and texture for the cheesecakes. Soups were just "weird". Meats were sometimes cold and overdone with no flavor. We were usually one of the first ones in to dinner and due to the service one of the last ones to leave. We sat at a table for 6.
The Windjammer food was hit and miss. Some was great, and some was not. Breakfast was always good, other meals it just depended on what you chose. Some was overdone, or had little flavor, and other items were great. the hotdogs were fantastic and the solarium grill. 1/4 lb deli style, the pizza was frozen, and the burgers overdone.

SHIP: Very well appointed but the layout was very confusing. I spent 12 years in the Navy and sailed on 5 other cruises and every where I went I seemed to be lost on this cruise ship. Just very confusing and not well designed. The artwork and furnishings were very nice.

PORTS: Cozumel was great, really enjoy this port and had a great tour with Pelicanos Tours. 4x4 island tour and off road with a beach lunch and snorkeling. We booked this with the ship and it was expensive but we had a great time. I love the mexican people on Cozumel and we enjoyed spending some money there to help with the Wilma restoration. The island was hit hard and they are recovering but it will still take some time.

Grand Cayman, we scheduled our own island tour and had a private tour for the 3 of us. We went to "HELL" and the Turtle Farm and had a good time. Tried to shop but GC is very expensive, save it for Mexico, unless you are shopping for jewelry or things like that.

ACTIVITIES/CRUISE STAFF: Excellent. Play the game "QUEST" it is fantastic and lots of fun. The entertainment was good, (I prefer Carnivals shows) entertaining and worth the time since they were free.

SUMMARY: I will try RCCL once again but this was my second cruise and I am not sold on them. Overall my experince with RCCL is far below my experiences with Carnival. I am going on my 3rd with Carnival next week. This cruise ranks #3 our of 6 cruises, and it will most likely be lower after next week. It was fun and we had a good time and got our monies worth, but the food was poor and the dining room service was slow and bumbling. The one bright spot in the dining room was the head waiter, she was fantastic, this is the first time I have tipped the head waiter in all my cruises. This was a 5 day cruise and the price was good, but next time I will try a larger newer ship, and if it isn't any better, it will by my last time on RCCL.

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