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  1. Hello everyone. Following is a list of Junior Suite perks from the RCI stateroom online reservation page. This is specifically from the Junior Suite category, not just the general suite category. Priority check-in and departure lounge Concierge Services Priority tender tickets Complimentary luggage valet service Luxury spa bathrobes to use onboard The first item clearly shows Priority check-in and departure lounge, but during a tel/con with a RCI rep, I was told these perks are not included with the Junior Suites on the Grandeur out of Baltimore. Has anyone had any first hand experience with the Junior Suite perks on the Grandeur, specifically the check-in and boarding perks? Thanks in advance!
  2. I fly to Miami Saturday evening and will board the Empress for a 6 night getaway to Key West, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. This was (for me) something of a last minute booking, just a couple of months ago. My style is a bit different than many, I will normally post just once a day unless something unusual, and my style tends to be narrative more than pictorial. This thread will be a companion to my blog (http://getawaysfrom21044,wordpress.com) which will also be the hosting site for my photos, and at the top of the page are tabs to pages with Compass and menus. A bit about me. I’m pretty much an out of control, sailing on several lines, but mostly Crystal, Cunard, Holland America, and to a lesser extent Royal. My totals for this year will be 94 days HAL, 33 Crystal, 26 Cunard, and 6 Royal. My Royal activity has been mostly out of Baltimore (Enchantment and then Grandeur), but I’ve also sailed Allure, Anthem, Monarch, Jewel, and Radiance (not yet on the mid-size ships). I tend to prefer smaller ships although amenities and service are also important. I’m a bit unsure of the Empress as although my 3 favorite ships (Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony, and Prinsendam) are roughly the same size the Empress carries more people than any 2 of them combined. I hear she isn’t crowded and hope that will be true; I really like her Bermuda itineraries next year. This will be my first cruise as D+. I welcome questions although it may take me a little while to respond. I also invite any of my roll call members to add their perspectives to the thread. Roy
  3. I finally finished and uploaded my journal of our 5-day cruise on Grandeur of the Seas. It is in two parts and here are the links. Part 1 - http://susancrow.blogspot.com/2019/06/cruising-to-bermuda-part-1.html Part 2 - http://susancrow.blogspot.com/2019/06/cruising-to-bermuda-part-2.html For some background, I traveled with my husband, my mom and my older sister. This was the first cruise my mom has taken since my dad died almost two years ago. She said she wasn't going to cruise again without my dad, but we invited her anyway because I knew she wanted to see Bermuda. I was very happy she decided to go! I think she had a good time, even though she wasn't feeling well part of the time. I'll write up some general comments in a bit and post more pictures. If anyone has questions about the ship or what we did in Bermuda, I'll be glad to answer if I can.
  4. For tendering, and getting off at port we were told it was full suites or pinnacles. Since that included us, we didn’t ask about other groups. You are correct, the concierge lounge does include D+. I have limited experience on Grandeur so if I reported incorrect information, and diamond plus do get priority tendering, I apologize. I will sail Grandeur again at the end of the month, and perhaps I can verify the information. M
  5. Does Izumi do Hibachi (cook in front of you).
  6. rotation on Harmony. I also included Allure but need verification. When is Anthem's next turnaround date? That should be a rotation date for her as well. Adventure OTS - Capt Krzyszthof Szymkarczuk (started rotation 7-20-19) Adventure OTS - Capt Shawn McDuff Allure OTS - Capt Tore Grimstad (started rotation 8-18-19) Allure OTS - Capt Ron Holmes Anthem OTS - Capt Henrik Loft Sørensen (started rotation 6-10-19) Anthem OTS - Capt Felix Srecko Ban Brilliance OTS - Capt Ole-Johan Gronhaug (started rotation 6-19-19) Brilliance OTS - Capt Ante Cavala Empress OTS - Capt Carl Graucob (started rotation 8-12-19) Empress OTS - Capt Diego Lombardic Enchantment OTS - Capt Toni Tomljanovic (started rotation 8-2-19) Enchantment OTS - Capt Nils-Petter Hoeydal Explorer OTS - Capt Malvin Bardsnes (started rotation 6-30-19) Explorer OTS - Capt Kjetil Gjerstad Freedom OTS - Capt Thomas Busto (started rotation 8-11-19) Freedom OTS - Capt Frank Martinsen Grandeur OTS - Capt Thordur Thorsson (started rotation 7-6-19) Grandeur OTS - Capt Patrik Jukes Harmony OTS - Capt Johnny Faevelen (started rotation 8-18-19) Harmony OTS - Capt Gus Andersson Independence OTS - Capt Teo Strazicic (started rotation 8-15-19) Independence OTS - Capt Iv Vidos Jewel OTS - Capt Anders Ingebrigtsen (started rotation 6-16-19) Jewel OTS - Capt Trym Selvag Liberty OTS - Capt James MacDonald (started rotation 8-11-19) Liberty OTS - Capt Dustin Catelsky Majesty OTS - Capt Per Kristoffersen (started rotation 7-6-19) Majesty OTS - Capt Daniel Budzelewskiis Mariner OTS - Capt Tobias Oster (started rotation 8-12-19) Mariner OTS - Capt Toni Calne Navigator OTS - Capt Angel Oviol (started rotation 8-5-19) Navigator OTS - Capt Mattias Persson Oasis OTS - Capt Göran Peterson (started rotation 8-4-19) Oasis OTS - Capt Claus Andersen Ovation OTS - Capt Sverre Ryan (started rotation 7-12-19) Ovation OTS - Capt Henrik W Loy Quantum OTS - Capt Erik Standahl (started rotation 6-28-19) Quantum OTS - Capt Sindre Borsheim Radiance OTS - Capt Espen Been (started rotation 8-9-19) Radiance OTS - Capt Marek Slaby Rhapsody OTS - Capt Trond Holm (started rotation 8-10-19) Rhapsody OTS - Capt Kjell Nordmo Serenade OTS - Capt Stig Nilsen (started rotation 8-11-19) Serenade OTS - Capt Aris Medina Spectrum OTS - Capt Flemming Nielsen (started rotation 6-27-19) Spectrum OTS - Capt Charles Teige Symphony OTS - Capt Rob Hempstead (started rotation 7-21-19) Symphony OTS - Capt Rick Sullivan Vision OTS - Capt Juan Luis Caranti (started rotation 6-15-19) Vision OTS - Capt Michael Lindberg Voyager OTS - Capt Pehr Pehrsson (started rotation 7-28-19) Voyager OTS - Capt Huimin Wu
  7. We were on Grandeur in April, and I agree that John & Katrina's Quest was...unique. They did not keep score, and the winning team (mine 😄 ) only won because of the teenager who could hula hoop like...10 hoops or something ridiculous like that. She was given a crown to wear the rest of the sailing. It was more like a "business" event than crazyness. They did say if you have kids here don't blame us for the questions you'll be asked afterwards, but then there was nothing I'd consider inappropriate. Especially after some of the others we've attended.
  8. We were in a JS on Grandeur in April. Here is the departure information: No priority when leaving the ship.
  9. Hello, I am so happy to say that we will be returning to Royal Caribbean in January! We were Carnival-Turned-MSC cruisers, but found a good deal on a 9 night cruise on the Explorer of the Seas to all new ports that we could not turn down. However, by the time we board the ship, it will be nearly 4 years since my last RCI cruise (which was on the Empress of the Seas, which obviously does not reflect the grandeur of the Royal ships), and 8 years since my first RCI cruise, a Hurricane Sandy cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas. For the other two people in my party, it will be their first RCI cruises. Either way, I am very excited to not only make it back to RCI, but to give them a fair try and see if they can win me over in 2020. I just booked this cruise and I have some questions, so I'm grateful for any help whatsoever! 1) We are booked in a Panoramic Oceanview Stateroom (very excited!), which is above the gym and next to the Vitality Spa. Will there be a lot of hallway traffic specifically for the Spa, or is the spa entrance by the elevators/stairs? Will there be noticeable noise from the gym and/or spa? Obviously, the gym will be closed at night, but will a morning yoga or spin class wake us up? 2) We will have a 19 year old with us, a college freshman. When he was younger, he loved going to the teen clubs and making friends, but now that he's over 18, he's struggling to make friends on cruises. Does Royal do anything for the 18-20 age group since they can't drink? Or will he just have to hope for a lonely straggler his age at night and just strike up a conversation? 3) Does Royal have any special restaurants included in the price of the cruise? Carnival has Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana Cantina, etc, does Royal have a similar concept? Or are all the specialty dining options for an upcharge? 4) Are there any "secret decks" or special areas to note on the Explorer like Carnival has on many of their ships? We are trying to get the local tips before we sail so we can try to blend in 😉 5) Since we take vacations the same week each year, we typically board a ship with that week off and try to use the specials onboard for booking a future cruise. What will the onboard special be for booking onboard? If we like RCI/want to give it another chance, we may want to just book onboard. 6) What are the drink options in the Windjammer without the drink package? 7) What are the lunch options on embarkation day besides Windjammer? And when will our stateroom be available? Can you carry suitcases onboard, or will you need to leave them with the porters? We will be embarking from Port Miami. I can also assume that embarkation will begin around 11AM? 8 ) What machines/appliances are in the gym/spas? Are there saunas and steam rooms for regular passengers? Does it usually get crowded? 9) Any excursion or day trip recommendations for Labadee, Aruba, Bonaire, and/or Curacao? All of them will be new ports for us, so any tips would be greatly appreciated! 10) Any general RCI tips/notable differences between MSC and Carnival? We really want to like RCI, and I'm hoping now that we're trying one of their new ships, we will have a great experience that propels us to book with them again in the future, so any general tips on how to maximize either the Explorer specifically and/or a Royal cruise in general would be greatly appreciated. Again, thank you in advance so so SO much to anyone that can help, happy cruising!
  10. That depends on the sailing. Our last cruise, around 75% not first timers. 34 Ps. And this was on Grandeur. I do agree with others, that they need to mix up the tasks. To prevent people from bringing stuff. Make the list of tasks large enough they would have to bring a large rolling suitcase. Even mix it up a little. Not a bra, but a black/blue/red/etc one.
  11. We are looking into a cruise leaving from Baltimore on the Grandeur of the Seas. Has anyone sailed on this ship recently? What was it like? I tried looking for some reviews, but was mostly finding things from a few years ago. What was your favorite parts? Anything go wrong? So far I've been on the Celebrity Solstice to Alaska and Regal Princess to New England & Canada, Looking forward to seeing what RCL will be like 🙂
  12. Does anyone have photos of the Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Compasses for their 9 day Bahamas run? We are going on October 17 out of Baltimore!!!!
  13. First time on RCI. We’ll be on the Grandeur O. S. out of Baltimore on March 3, 2020. I know the buffet will be open for lunch on embarkation day. Does anyone know if the main dining room will also be open? Thanks in advance.
  14. Hi. We are in a JS aboard the Grandeur in April. My son lives getting room service late at night. Does it end at a certain time or a charge at a certain time. If there is room service, does anyone have a picture of it Thank you!
  15. We will be sailing on Grandeur of the Seas in October. We would like to make our My Time Dining dinner reservations. It would help us to know the timing of Traditional Dining and Show Times. Can anyone help us with those questions? Thanks, Sandie
  16. Have 3 (hopefully quick) questions about Grandeur. 1. I know that the standards of dress in the MDR is a constant source of frustration for some, but I just called RC and they said that ALL HATS, even women's hats which might go with their evening outfits, are not allowed in the MDR. I know that I've seen both men and women wear hats or headwear on formal nights, but has anyone seen women wearing hats on other nights and getting into trouble for it? Just need to know how much of a risk I might run if we try to do something with hats. 2. Has anyone done the Bottomless Galley Tour? One of our group is interested, but she is also the one that is in a motorized scooter. (Between you and me, I think she's most interested in the bottomless drinks part, not so much the Galley tour but what can you do? 🙂 ) Again, called RC and they said that the tour is accessible, but wondering if anyone who has actually gone on it has more info or insight; didn't feel confident with RC's answer. 3. Does anyone know/have an idea on how many tables are in the Specialty restaurants? We have the 3 night package, but we're trying to figure out how much of a hassle it might be to book them, especially if they only seat like 30 tables or something. Thanks in advance!
  17. Hi everyone! My name is Missy and this will be my first cruise. I want everyone to weigh in on the best things to do! There are so many choices so I want to know the good and the bad!!!
  18. Adventure OTS - Clo O'Connor July 6 for 2 months. Then who? Allure OTS - Jimmy Rhodes March 11 for 4 months, then Mitch Merucciis scheduled to return August 12 for 2 months. Anthem OTS - Dennis Charles May 12 until September 6, then Chris Brown starts September 6 for 4 months. Brilliance OTS - Mike Szwajkowski July 3 (for 2 or 4 months?) Empress OTS - WHO is the current CD? Enchantment OTS - Bobby Broughton April 6 until early-September. Then who? Explorer OTS - Topi Ylönen returns June 8 until July 27. Then who? (Graham Seymour may return as regular CD again for the rest of 2018, or Dennis Charles is also rumored to be joining Explorer). Freedom OTS - Drew Devine March 17 until July 28, then Topi Ylönen returns July 28 until September 29, followed by Drew September 29 for 4 months. Grandeur OTS - Bob Leininger June 2 until October 6. Bobreturns December 1 for another 4 month contract. (Mitch Merucci is unsure if he is joining GR in October as planned. It may be Mike Szwajkowski instead.) Harmony OTS - Dru Pavlov April 21 until early-September (need handover date) then Abe Hughes returns early-September for 4 months. Independence OTS - Joff EatonMay 28 until September 22, then Tim Connor returns September 22. Jewel OTS - Simona Ferraiuolo June 16 until August 19, then Andrea Olivieri returns (for 4 months?) Liberty OTS - Jeff Arpin May 27 until July 22, then Marc Walker starts July 22 for 4 months. Majesty OTS - Patricio Honores late-June (for 2 months). Mariner OTS - Ricky Matthewsuntil July 9, then Carlos Torres joins July 9 for 2 months, then Ricky returns in September for 4 months. Navigator OTS - Rob McNally May 6 until late-August, then Cuddy Cudworth returns in late-August. (need handover date) Oasis OTS - Dan Whitney early May for 4 months. Then who? Ovation OTS - Mike Hunnerup March 23 (until late-July? then who?) Joff Eaton returns November 28 for the Australian season. Quantum OTS - Is Fang Lixin is the current CD? Paul Rutter returns in the Fall (Sept/Oct) for a few months. Radiance OTS - Cuddy CudworthJune 15 for 2 months followed by John Blairin August until January. (need handover date) Rhapsody OTS - Tim Connor June 23 for 2 months, then Elvis Pinto returns mid-August for 4 months. (need handover date) Serenade OTS - Jamie Fentiman May 13 for 4 months. Then Who? Symphony OTS - Michele Scarpato March 11 until late-July (need handover date) then Bobby Brown returns through the TA November 9 Vision OTS - Steve Davis April 6 until August 6, followed by Ken Jones for 2 months. Voyager OTS - Michelle Oliveira began late-May (for 4 months?). Jerome Sueur is reportedly joining Carnival and getting married soon. Keith Williams has been cleared to return from medical leave, but does not currently have a ship assignment. Casey Pelterworks shoreside for Celebrity as Manager of Entertainment. Graham Seymour is semi-retired but fills-in from time to time as needed Rich Edwards sadly passed away in June 2017. RIP Rich. John Perry is Operations Manager at Hyatt Hotels (per LinkedIn) Ken Rush works at corporate in Miami as RCI's Director of Entertainment, and occasionally fills-in as CD Amy Fickert-Southgate works shoreside Luke Aerowsmith is working at the corporate office in London Gordon Whatman is retired, but fills-in from time-to-time if needed. Allan Brooks works for Celebrity in their corporate office. Richard Spacey is a CD with Celebrity Becky Thompson works for Celebrity Cruises in their corporate offices in Miami. Dave Chapman is a CD with HAL James Andrews is a real estate agent in Sydney Leo Papa is a Product Manager at Tauck Corp in Connecticut Anna Bass is a make-up artist João Pereira is the Cruise Sales Manager on the Liberty of the Seas. Kirk Detweiler is now CD with Silversea cruises. Simeon Baker- is a sales exec at a Porsche dealer in Saskatchewan Matt Baker - Sim's brother - is a radio presenter. Kieron Buffrey - CD with Viking River Cruises Tom Canosa - teaching 6th grade science in North Carolina Peter Benfield and Johnny Osborne have emigrated to Thailand Anthony Richards is working for Royal Media Partners as Manager Port Revenue Operations Rico du Breil is a CD with SilverSeas out of Italy Paul Lancaster is no longer with RCI, and resides in England Abel Jeney is with The World - Luxury Residence at Sea Parker Cristan is living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - staging/choreographing for local theater Ashley Kerr - married and living in Vancouver BC, working as a marketing rep for a PR firm Karen Maybury - has a consultant/pr/entertainment agency Jannie Cloete - leading expeditions on small ships Warren Allen (aka Warren Melhuish) lives in Ontario, Canada. He has retired from ship-life but still works on the stage Thomas DeCell is no longer with RCI Leigh Xuereb and his AM Frankie Portera are CD's for Carnival
  19. Anyone who has been on Grandeur lately, does it have the coke freestyle machines? If so, do you remember where they were located? Second, does Park Cafe still close at 1am and does it have some type of pizza late night? Thanks in advance!
  20. I thought about doing a live from the Grandeur, because I had not seen one from one of the small, older ships for quite a while. Then, @DragonOfTheSeasdid a “Live” for the 21 day B2B just before this one. So, just consider this as a continuation, of sorts, but this time the ship is headed to Bermuda. It has been 9 years since we sailed Grandeur, so we will see what shape she is in. So sit back, and follow along for the next 7 days, as we are Bermuda bound. A photo from our last sailing on Grandeur. Any guesses where she was?
  21. Much of this depends on crew and fellow passengers which can change from cruise to cruise. I love the Pride as that's the ship I got married on. I intentionally chose Carnival for the more upbeat atmosphere. Carnival in general, I believe have better cruise directors overall than Royal Caribbean. They do a better job stirring and connecting the passengers together. If you like group fun with your fellow passengers, Carnival is the line to do it on. I also LOVE the decor on Pride because I like Renaissance art. I was actually on it before the refit and after, and surprisingly, they toned it down. I was not as happy with the new layout because well, it was too bright. One of my favorite lounges was destroyed. Before, the lounge was kind of like a medieval castle with faux candle lights. They destroyed it and put in the Alchemy Bar and white furniture. Totally not the same anymore. Food is good on both, but I found Royal Caribbean edges out slightly here. Maybe the escargot every night on Royal won it over, but its close. Service, i have to give it to Carnival here. Grandeur is great, don't get me wrong. However, Carnival is consistent across the board, but Royal can be up and down. I've gotten better service from some on Grandeur but at the same time, I've gotten worse. The crew on the Pride seems to genuinely engage the passengers a little better, but that's my experience, crew can vary. Shows, I would give a slight edge to Grandeur, but both are good. Pride has a dedicated comedy venue, which is awesome, but then it depends on the skill of the comedian. Some are great, and others, are okay. Grandeur stands out with their itinerary. Pride will only consistently do Grand Turks/Bahamas, Bahamas/Florida or Bermuda. The Grand Turk stop is always short which i hate. Once or twice a year, Pride has a 14 night voyage cruise. Grandeur varies between Canada, Caribbean, Southern US and Bermuda and also varies between 5 nights and 12 nights. I like that variety. I think they are more similar than they are different.
  22. Leigh Xuereb made Quest what it was. He is now with Carnival and I sailed with him and Quest was every bit as wild and crazy as it ever way. Very VERY adult themed and insanely funny. It was this way it was when I did it on Royal when Leigh was there. I recently did Quest on Grandeur with that married couple (CD and AD......cant remember their names but they were TERRIBLE). There was no adult warning and they had transformed the game into something that was completely boring. They allowed children in the Quest, and the hunts were not at all what previous quest had been. We were seated totally opposite of the door, or we would have walked out. It was a complete waste of time. If Quest on all Royal ships is done this way now I have no doubt that it is not well attended. 6&8
  23. I noticed there were a lot of older folks on our Northern cruise to Boston, Maine, and Canada. There were not as many there and I assumed it was because of the large number of seniors on this cruise. Our next cruise was on Grandeur out of Baltimore and there were definitely a lot of people there. So maybe it depends on the demographics of the crowd. I always participate and I'm usually a runner, however, I'll have to sit the Quest out for my cruise next week because I had knee surgery. It will be a much different view just sitting back to watch!
  24. Correct, we are just of Grandeur and priority tendering was specifically for full suites and pinnacles only. They even allowed full suite and Pinnacles a priority off at ports with no tendering. Edit to add - Can't comment on check-in or boarding as when we arrived, boarding had already started. After we checked in, we simply walked to the ship. M
  25. Wonderful Review, great photos and thank you for the Compass. We will be dong the 5 Day to Bermuda on the Grandeur at the end of the month. We have sailed Grandeur a couple of times before. We are super excited...
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