Just got back from the Grandeur. (I’ll post this on the review board also). Having just got off the Sovereign a month ago I was anxious to escape Michigan’s cold winter yet again.
Embark: The facility at Tampa is in a great location and is very modern and attractive. The booking agent did have some problems with our reservation so this delayed us about 20 minutes while this was fixed. Otherwise we boarded smoothly and fairly quickly.
First Impressions: Compared to Sovereign the Grandeurs atrium is lighter as that it has floor to ceiling windows on most of the floors overlooking the lobby. This is not a dig on Sovereign though, it was just different. The area was clean and well laid out. The staff was very courteous as always.
Stateroom: We were in 2598, (ocean view). We weren’t aware but this room turned out to be an adjoining room so we had a chair instead of a loveseat to allow use of the door. (I would have preferred a loveseat). Room was in good shape, and had more than adequate storage room for our clothes. The only bad news was there was a sewage smell in the bathroom, sometimes more prevalent, but not to the point of being overly bothersome.
Ship layout: I loved that the ship had a solarium, as others have stated this is a peaceful area void of children (including mine). I also liked the fact that the library and card rooms were enclosed rooms overlooking the ocean. Each was very peaceful. I thought that there were two things that this ship needed, #1-I felt that “Singing in the Rain” lounge was underused, an should be split to make a smaller lounge and a Johnny Rockets, #2- I also think that they should try to fit at least a half-court basketball area somewhere on the ship.
Activities: I tried to get a Euchre tournament together on our sea day, unfortunately I forgot to list the time on my posting so it was a light showing. I do think that RCI should take full advantage of these card rooms by scheduling various card parties. I must say the activities on this ship seemed fewer than the Sovereign. Oh, this is the first time we did “Quest”, I won’t give it away to anyone who hasn’t done it, but what a blast !!.
Fellow cruisers: It was definitely spring break. The first night I saw a few hundred spring breakers most of who were doing what spring breakers do, I did see a smattering of people who looked like they were possibly trouble. And what do you know the next day they (troublemakers) were all gone, kicked off in Key West. WAY TO GO RCCL, this is why you have loyal followers, you grabbed the bull by the horns and removed the problem. Needless to say the rest of the trip was filled with college kids just having fun, without offending others.
Teen facilities: My son loved their teen room, it kept him busy throughout the cruise and thoroughly exhausted once he got home.
Key West: We went Parasailing, we did the “Fury” parasailing that was on B-pier. Scary but a blast.
Cozumel: We took a cab to Paradise Beach, but ended up walking next door to San Francisco beach. I will caution parents, the inflatables and trampolines are all in deeper water. I didn’t feel that there were adequate lifeguards looking after the kids who were on these beaches. I will point out in fairness to RCI, this is not one of their excursions so I can’t say how the RCI beach (Playa Mia) would have been. Both Paradise & San Francisco were otherwise great, and the inflatables only “look” easy to climb.
Food: I preferred the Windjammer over formal dinner. Our formal dinner was good though, although breakfast in the dining room wasn’t as good as breakfast in the Windjammer.
Last evening note: I’m not sure what was going on, but at about 2:30 A.M I was woken by what sounded like the crew cleaning, or flushing out a system under our room, unfortunately this noise lasted for about 30 minutes.
Debarkation: No rapid debarking for people who carried on their own bags (us), but none the less we were off the ship by 9:30.
Overall: Another great cruise. I’m looking forward to my next one which I anticipate will be a 1 week on the Freedom/Liberty or the Jewel.