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Don Foster

Age: 40

Occupation:Hospital Administrator

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Grandeur of the Seas

Sailing Date: March 17th, 2007

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This is my third cruise and first with Royal Caribbean. I took this cruise with my 12 year old son for spring break. We had a great time. The ship was older but clean and well maintained. We had an outside cabin with a window, but really did not spend much time in our cabin. The cabin was average size for a cruise ship and everything was clean and in working order. Our cabin steward did a fine job of cleaning up after us and keeping us loaded with fresh supplies.

My son is not much for joining in with the adventure activities so we took advantage of the many relaxing activities that we could do together. We hung out around the pool, played multiple games in the arcade, played chess in the game room and attempted the rock wall on multiple occasions.

The food was good (better than I expected after reading some of the other reviews). We ate our dinners at the early seating (6:00 pm) in the Great Gatsby Dining Room and sat with a pleasant family of four. We enjoyed talking with each other about our days on ship or shore. The other family’s children (two girls) spent a lot of time with the adventure club and seemed to truly enjoy it. There were multiple selections each night for dinner and I frequently had a difficult time choosing between them. More then once I ended up with two entries based on the recommendation of our waiter. In addition, we ate most of our breakfasts in the Windjammer buffet. There are plenty of options and most every thing was very good. We ate frequent lunches at the Solarium bar where we had pizza or burgers and fries. I must say that I found the fries to be very good…and I typically try to eat healthy and stay away from the fried foods.

We went during peak spring break week and I was somewhat concerned that we would have to deal with excessive spring breaker and the issues that can bring. There were plenty of younger adults on board that did a lot of heavy drinking but mostly this was contained to the pool bar or the adult bars in the evening. We were not bothered by this at all during our seven days. In fact Royal Caribbean made it very clear that they expected appropriate behavior. This was broadcast repeatedly as we boarded and reviewed each day in the daily newsletter. We heard rumors of some “kids” being sent home after becoming too rowdy/drunk/inappropriate. I do not know if this is true or not.

We attended the production show each night and enjoyed them immensely. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers are very impressive and they provided entertainment on a couple of nights. There was a magician one evening that was very good and left us talking about how he accomplished his illusions for an hour or so after the show. The Nelson Brothers preformed one evening and sang some of their original songs as well as some of their father’s hits. This was an enjoyable show.

We enjoyed each port…once we got away from the tourist shops. We spent the day on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman ($10 taxi ride for the two of us each way). The water was beautiful and was not as crowded as I expected it would be. We did walk through some of the shops and even bought a few souvenirs to take home. In addition, after walking out of town and down the beach I took some great pictures of our ship from the shore. One timed picture of my son and I in front of the ship turned out especially well…this is framed and in my office.

Costa Maya was pretty and the only port where the shipped actually docked. There is not much at this port aside from flea market type shops and the public pools and beach. We took the four hour tour to Chacchoben Mayan Ruins and thoroughly enjoyed our time on this tour. Our guide (Jesus…or “Papa” as he liked to be called even though he was at least 15 years younger then I) was very knowledgeable and indulged our many questions. My son had written a report on the Mayan culture and had many questions for him after the group had been released to explore each area on our own.

Cozumel was a very busy port and we decided to rent a jeep to travel around the island and spend time at the beaches on the ocean side. We had a great time traveling around the island and made many stops to play in the surf and enjoy the sunshine. One very large word of caution…if you plan on renting a vehicle at this port and probably any other foreign port make sure to see the vehicle before you rent it. We negotiated our rental on the pier where the tender docked thinking that it would be easier to start from there and work our way around the island. I negotiated a good rate and paid our deposit. We were lead a few blocks away to the storage area where we were provided the jeep it was older and had high mileage (much more then the many others we saw around the island). Due to this or maybe poor upkeep the battery died while we were stopped at one of the beaches. Luckily there are tourist assist trucks that drive around the island assisting tourist with just these types of issues. They got our jeep running but encouraged me to drive directly back to the rental office and replace the jeep. I did drive back to the office and returned the jeep. The rental operators were somewhat reluctant to renegotiate my rate due to my troubles but eventually cut the price in half…which I felt was reasonable for the amount of time that we actually had the jeep. We spent a couple hours in town purchasing souvenirs for the rest of the family back at home.

Overall I would definitely recommend this ship and Royal Caribbean to anyone interested in a nice vacation for a reasonable sum of money.

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