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Just Back From the Grandeur - May 27 to June 5

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What a blast!! My very first cruise, and I don't care what anybody says about the food, the service or whatever, I have no complaints whatsoever.


Getting onboard and going through security checks, and having officials check paperwork, passports, boarding information did take a while, but I was not one to complain, I was patient with the waiting in line. It has to be done.


I LOVED Freeport - we did the dolphin encounter and it was fantastic, very interesting. I wore a t shirt so I wouldn't get burned. I heard that the Port Lucaya shopping area only had a few stores open because of damage from hurricanes. Parts of the island looked like it still had damage from the hurricanes last year, and I may be mistaken, but it looked like palm trees may have been replanted and were starting to grow where they may have been destroyed.


But it was interesting on the bus ride to see what kind of houses people lived in and all.


Coco Cay was pure paradise. I had never snorkeled before, so I did a beginner thing on my own and had help from a family member to do it just off of the shore line. I found out the "new" dry snorkel I bought from Ebay was defective and had a leak. Luckily, someone let me use their snorkel.


I never saw so much food! and the ships caribbean band, the Vybes were really great. I should have brought more film with me.


We had to do an immigration check with passports and our ship pass and driver's license before entering Key West because we were re-entering U.S. soil. We got there very early. Boy, when they say you better have all your proper identification, they mean it. One lady tried to get by with showing only a COPY of her birth certificate. The immigration officer didn't even bother listening to her arguments and ranting. She was originally from Israel, and was now a u.s. citizen. She couldn't have got onto the ship in the first place without an actual birth certificate with a raised seal, so maybe for some reason she left her good copy in her safe.


They would not let anyone off the boat until everyone had cleared through immigration whether they were going off the boat or not. It took over 2 hours. That's 2 less hours of doing what I wanted to do on Key West.


Key West was so beautiful and interesting. We just did the place on our own. We saw the 90-miles from Cuba marker, the butterfly conservatory, passed by Ernest Hemmingway's House, saw Mel Fishers Treasure Museum and saw some interesting sights on Duval Street.


Cozumel was really interesting as well. I did the combination dune buggy snorkeling excursion, and I'm glad the snorkeling was basically for beginners, because they made us jump right into the water which was over my head. I was a little panicky at first but then realized all I had to do was relax, float, breathe through the snorkel. So I got to really enjoy it after a while, but I wished we could have snorkeled for a longer period.


Then we took this really long ride to another part of the island where they served fruit, nachos and cheese and something that looked like a 7-11 taquito, but it was the real mexican deal and tasted soooo much better.


I had my camcorder with me, so I have some nice footage of the countryside, the "pharmacias" (pharmacy), people and stuff. What an experience Cozumel was. I really enjoyed that.


Port Canaveral we had nother immigration U.S. re-entry check, not so bad this time. Weather was not so cooperative, but rain held off enough for us to enjoy the alligator airboat ride. Got back to the ship early and then there was this hellacious rain storm with what looked to me almost hurricane force winds. The wind was howling and the rain was blowing sideways. But I was glad we got back to the ship in time before we got caught in that mess.


The food was great. The head waiter, the waiter and assistant waiter and Elvis the drink boy was great, and Skippy the bad Bingo Boy was corny but still good, "Karaoke Idol" was fun, the slots were fun, even though I lost. Every evening there was music at the champaign


I hope I will be able to go on another cruise in the future. What a wonderful time I had.

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Thanks, CaptJack, for the review! We're going on the Grandeur with the same itinerary on July 8th and was concerned about Freeport (what to do) after hearing many negatives. I have a few questions...


...concerned about ship movement, how was it? We're in a quad on Deck 3 midship...


...how was formal night received...tuxes/gowns VS suits?...


...we were hoping to see the butterfly conservatory and hemmingway house...will we have enough time. Was thinking about doing the conch train to get a first overview...


Thanks for answering, glad to hear you had such a great trip:) !

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You can wear jackets with ties and slacks, you don't have to wear a tux. I didn't really pay attention to how many were wearing tuxedos - you can rent tuxes on the ship if you want. We actually saw one gentleman dressed quite handsomely with a black jacket and tie and then he had his dressy kilt on instead of slacks. It may sound strange, but it actually looked quite nice. The other nights my husband wore Izod or a nice knit shirt with good khaki pants and stuff like that.


Being a lady, on the first formal night I wore the gown I wore to my daughter's wedding and the second night I wore a really nice cream colored silk beaded pantsuit with jacket and on the formal casual night, I wore a nice black dress. The other nights I wore a skirt and sleeveless blouse, nice slacks and shirts.


Ship movement - well, you can feel the ship bobbing sometimes but the first part of the week it was like nothing. It was not bad at all, we were on the 8th deck. Saturday was rough and it bobbed a bit more that day than the whole week. It just depends on what weather systems are going through at the time. At night time there were thunderstorms and one night was a pretty good storm, but I didn't feel the ship rock anymore than usual.


They always told us the higher up on deck you were, the more bobbing you could feel. I never had any problem dealing with whatever movement there was.


We didn't do the Conch Train, but I think that's a great idea. We paid $8 for all day shuttle service with something called Bone Shuttle Service, even though we only used it twice, it was worth the price. You pick up the bus anywhere around Key West.

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If you see Simone, Albert, Gabor, Kirk, Curtis, Svetlana, Elvis, Jerry (the head waiter) - and I'm sure I'm forgetting some people - you will love them.


I think Skippy the bad Bingo Boy said he was changing ships in two months, so he might not be there when you take your cruise.


The piano guy in the Schooner Bar was good and does requests, be sure to drop a dollar in the glass. The Vybes and the Teddys (?) are great.


The Teddys perform all night in the champaign lounge and bar and people like to dance.


There were so many frail elderly people and people on oxygen tanks, riding those "rascals" and using walkers that I wonder how they ever got permission to go on a cruise in their condition. But maybe they are like many other people, they just go and say to heck with it.

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Thanks for the quick response!


We've decided to rent tuxes for the men (formal pics, never know when I'd get them so handsomely dressed up again lol).


Your info has been really helpful. There are just so many decisions to make about excursions, clothing. I'm trying not to fret, keeping in mind that it's our vacation and to make sure to take time to RELAX too!


I can do that as the "kids" are older 22/16. I don't mind the geriatric crowd on scooters, at least you can hear them coming!

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Where there any new additions, as the Grandeur recently was drydocked in November 2004 ?I heard there was a new Ben and Jerry's and Coffe Lattitudes....Anything else new ?


I will be sailing Grandeur again on July 22, 2005





;) ;)

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I'm doing that itinirary in August. Was the 2 hours for immigration into Key West after you docked at 7? Were you not allowed off the ship until 9 or so? I guess I'm glad I've booked a ship's excursion instead of doing it on my own.


Was your verandah a clear railing and are they all? Is it plexiglass or exposed rails that kids could climb? :eek:

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