Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Grandeur of the Seas
Sailing Date: February 10thth, 200
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
The ship itself is older, but well kept. It was very clean and everything was in good working order. They were always cleaning the ship, there were the occasional odors in the halls that had you rushing through, but you would be hard pressed to find a speck of dust. They also have the anti-bacterial hand sanitizer in front of all eateries and someone there making sure everyone "washes up" which was very nice.
The overall age on this cruise was 60+, so the energy level wasn't what others we've been on has been. It was also kind of a bummer for my brother in that there weren't many (if any) his age for him to mingle with, but there were plenty of activities and things to do so its impossible to not have good time.
If you are an art person and looking forward to the art auctions, however, this is not the cruise for you! I don't remember the head auctioneers name, but she was not interesting, the art she chose (repeatedly) was not well received, instead of interest growing through the cruise it dwindled... we were not impressed and walked away without buying a single piece. The bingo games were lively but the cards are rather expensive. The Adult Quest is a must, it was so much fun, we just watched and still laughed through it. The entertainment was good overall, their were a couple of acts that weren't great, but all in all it was very enjoyable! The gym has a meager weight selection and what they do have isn't in the best shape (plates were sticking, etc.), but there were plenty of cardio machines if that's what you are looking for. The casino was nice, we didn't win big, but how many really do? The shops were nice as well, you have to check out the daily specials, that's the best value.
The food was very good! The wonderful thing about cruising is that if you order something that doesn't suit your fancy or just isn't quite up to par, just order something else, they are there to please and don't mind bringing you what ever you want... and will cut it up for you, too, if that's your wish. The Windjammer was great as well, plenty of selection to keep all of us happy.
Our ports of call were Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. We chose to do the Cayman Pirate Adventure excursion in Grand Cayman, we were really looking forward to this, ready to have a wonderful time. We even went prepared with our very own eye patches and hooks! The experience was a bad one from beginning to end. Our family was the youngest on the excursion, there were a couple of other kids there with their grandparents, but mostly older people. This wouldn't matter except the entire entertainment they have planned for the ship is literally torturing its younger passengers. Our family was chosen for this torture! We supplied the "scrubbing of the deck while getting doused with 5 gal. buckets of ocean water" entertainment, our son was less than impressed with the dousing, but did survive. Then they decided to do the "pirate trial" where both my husband and brother were the trial victims. In this, they tie your hands together and have you hold ice through the trial's long winded entirety. They also put a neuse around your neck and pour 5 gal. buckets of ice water over your head repeatedly while publicly accusing you of all kinds of sexually perverse things. This successfully had our son in my lap in fetal position and me covering his ears. After the trials were completed, they anchored the boat and those who wanted to swim could, this was the best part. They allow you to jump off the top deck of the boat and walk the plank, and the water is beautiful! This is also when they open the bar to all for sodas and rum punch. About a half hour before it was time for us to go back to the dock, our son finally relaxed and played for a bit. Anyway, what could have been very impressive with a little work and acting on behalf of the crew ended up being something unbelievable and disappointing.
Costa Maya was very nice, it is a small port with a free beach (just chairs, hammocks and sand, no playing in the waves), 2 free swimming pools, a hand full of shops and a couple of restaurants. It is a low key, beautiful island with lush forest that I'm sure is amazing if you go exploring. After Grand Cayman we decided we were done with excursions. So after quickly browsing the shops, we claimed our hammocks, got some drinks, laid back and enjoyed the good life!
Cozumel has its great shopping, which is a must if you're a shopper, but once we were done with that we hopped in a taxi and, for $12 each way, we enjoyed Paradise Beach! It is a very clean beach with very clean changing rooms, bathrooms, and lockers. There is a 1-2 drink minimum but no cover charge or charge to enjoy the chairs, umbrellas, great ocean swimming complete with rafts, water trampoline, and climbing glacier. There are lots of boating things you can do, parasailing and such, for additional charges. It has a restaurant, shop, and bar as well... for the price I don't think you can beat it!
Our overall experience was great! Excellent service, great food, great entertainment, plenty to keep you busy if you so desire, and excellent kids entertainment! The ship itself is nice, though older, it is well kept. The ports of call were good, just avoid the Cayman Pirate excursion! We loved being able to leave out of New Orleans, this worked out especially nice in that we didn't have to fly! We are addicted to cruising and will definitely cruise with RC again! We would not mind another on the beautiful Grandeur of the Seas, it was a low key cruise experience, very enjoyable!