Grandeur of the Seas
February 17, 2007
This was my 34th cruise overall and my third on the Grandeur.
The last time I was on the Grandeur was Christmas three years ago and I was amazed at the difference three years makes in appearances on a ship that has not been well cared for.
The ship was filthy especially in the pool area where there was mildew, dust and rust everywhere. The undersides of the cushions on the pool table chairs were black with mildew. The pool bar glasses were streaked and dirty. The carpet was torn and worn. If one looked carefully, all open areas were dirty and rust was very pronounced in most places.
Embarkation was well run and I was on board by 11:30. After a quick tour of the public spaces on the ship I had lunch at the Windjammer Café. The food is good but what one might expect in any large cafeteria.
At 13:00 Hrs. we were allowed in our cabins. Mine was a Junior Suite on deck seven at the stern of the ship. The cabin is quite spacious especially for one person and was priced the same as an ordinary balcony cabin. The bonus is the balconies on the stern cabins are twice as deep as those elsewhere. But here again, RCCL's insistence on intense cash flow by keeping the ship moving shows up. The carpet on the balcony was worn through to metal. It has been painted and you can see mildew and holes throughout the entire balcony floor. I had trepidations about going out there barefooted. Also rust was rearing its ugly head in many spots. The beds in the cabin were lumpy and sagging. Another greed area is the cabin mini-bar. In fact, it is a small fridge with two waters, cokes, and sprites. No beer or liquor or snacks.
This brings me to another subject. RCCL strictly enforces their no alcohol from ashore policy. A friend of mine with whom I travel with extensively had two liters of liquor in his bag and they confiscated his bag and the liquor and he was told if he made an issue of it they would put him off the ship at the next port. He did get his bag back but not the liquor. My bottle of scotch came through fine. I will not reveal how I sneak it on but if you write to me and ask I will divulge my secret. I understand any company wanting to maximize profit but most adults like a drink in their cabin from time to rime. RCCL should either allow one to purchase liquor in their onboard stores (At street prices) and have stocked mini bars or both. Holland America does this and I don't have to sneak it on.
Dining in the Great Gatsby Dining room was good. The food was VERY good and the service was done very well. We had some wonderful table mates and looked forward to our meals. The only distraction is RCCL makes their dining staff march and sing and put on some show almost every evening. I am sure I am in a minority as others seem to enjoy it. I find it most distasteful.
My favorite spot on the ship was The Schooner Bar on deck six. It is centrally located and almost everyone on the ship passes by there at one time or another. I met some wonderful folks there and it became a nightly gathering place for us all. The service in that bar is superlative!
This brings up another issue. This cruise had 649 children onboard. In order for them to maintain their sugar highs they are permitted to purchase their cokes etc. at any bar. Most of these children were rude and ran in packs. They would descend upon the bar like hoards and disrupt all conversation. It would be much nicer to insist that children be banned from adult lounges and be confined to drink in their designated areas. (Especially smoking areas)
The ports of call were Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and San Miguel Cozumel. Unfortunately the cruise industry has oversaturated the market. There were six ships on Grand Cayman. There were three ships at Costa Maya and there were seven ships at the island of Cozumel. Considering each ship had an average of about 2800 passengers the volume of people onshore was staggering. I used to love going to Costa Maya and Grand Cayman but the quieter times there are now but a good memory.
I did not go to the shows nor did I utilize ship sponsored shore excursions. Therefore I have no comment. I did go the onboard lectures and in particularly enjoyed the lecture regarding prostitution in New Orleans by Mrs. Pam Arceneaux. She also gave two others that concerned Voodoo and the ethnic background of the culinary foods of Louisiana. RCCL would be wise to book her more often.
Disembarkation was easy and no problem. I was off the ship by 8:30 and home in Fairhope, AL by 11:15.
Overall the cruise was fun and enjoyable. I now know I'll never cruise the Western Caribbean again and I doubt if I'll cruise RCCL again. For me it's back to the clean and extremely well run Holland America Line.
There was a small outbreak of the Norwalk Virus onboard. One crew member told me there were sixteen cases. (Cleanliness?)
I will be happy to elaborate on any issue regarding this cruise by sending me an email to email@example.com.