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Lokip53

Gremlin of the Seas -- Review of the 8/23 Bermuda Sailing on Grandeur

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Let’s get this out of the way early—I loved Grandeur. I’d roll the dice and book on her tomorrow if I could. But in fairness to the many members here who use these reviews as a part (however small) of their decision matrix, I’ll set aside my RCI Fanboy card and discuss a few of the recurring Gremlins that seem to exist on this ship—the Odor Gremlins and the Plumbing Gremlins.

 

First and foremost I’d like to cover the biggest concern we had before boarding—the smells. If you peruse the reviews and threads regarding Grandeur you’ll see numerous references to various smells. The two most often mentioned are a sewage type smell and a diesel fuel smell.

 

When I first read reviews and posts where people were repeatedly mentioning this, I was hesitant to book. After some consideration, though, my prevailing thought was that RCI is a good company and that there’s no way they would allow a condition such as that go unresolved for nearly a year. So with the faith in RCI that they have certainly earned from me over the years, we booked.

 

The reports continued right up until we embarked. There really seemed to be no rhyme or reason. Some people reported smelling things, some didn’t. Some only smelled it in halls, some in cabins, and some in the Centrum. There were reports from various areas on various decks. Several cruises had numerous reviews posted with no reports of smells at all or cruisers adamantly declaring that there were no bad odors to be found anywhere during their sailing.

 

So it was with a little nervous anticipation that we embarked nice and early on August 23rd. Upon making our way through the Centrum we immediately smelled the unmistakable odor of… diesel fuel. In less than a minute onboard, we had smelled one of the two variously reported gremlin odors.

 

A few hours later after some food and exploring, we headed to our cabin (4046) on the portside of Deck 4. Immediately upon entering the portside hallway of Deck 4 just forward of the Centrum we smelled that oft reported smell. Kind of a Mr. Bob-faint-odor-of-sewage smell. But a few seconds later as we traversed the hall, it was gone. We made it to our cabin where we were very relieved to find no smells whatsoever.

 

At that point I decided that I would do my best to narrow down exactly where and when the smells could be detected so I could at least try to have some definitive answers for the members who were either already booked or considering booking this ship.

 

After many purposeful test walks conducted in many areas throughout the week, here’s what I can tell you:

 

The smell of diesel, I believe, was associated with fueling while at the port in Baltimore. We never smelled it again at any point for the duration of the cruise. It was only during that first day prior to sailing.

 

As for the sewage smell, we narrowed it down to Deck 4, port side of the ship, in the immediate area forward of the Centrum. We didn’t smell it in the Centrum, and we couldn’t detect it forward of cabin 4060. It really seemed to be concentrated in that area.

 

I never detected the smell on the starboard side of Deck 4. I walked Deck 2, Deck 3 and Deck 5 on both sides of the ship multiple times throughout the week and couldn’t detect it there either.

 

But it was there on the portside of Deck 4 between the Centrum and 4060 virtually every time. Sometimes it was very faint, sometimes a little stronger—but we smelled it every time. It was never overpowering. It was usually just enough that you realized it was there, but we never found it unnoticeable.

So, at least for this sailing, that’s where it seemed to be centralized. There are some utility looking rooms in that area, so I imagine that’s where it’s coming from.

 

The plumbing gremlins made several appearances throughout the week, but, fortunately for us, never in our cabin. On Day 2 (iirc) my older daughter walked out of the theater to use the bathroom in between the casino and theater and was stopped before entering by a woman who told her not to go in because it was flooded. She looked down to see water beginning to flood out of the bathroom. I’m not sure what the issue was that time. It could have just been a single toilet issue as opposed to a systemic plumbing issue.

 

The next morning I left our cabin to find two industrial blower/dryers in the hall of Deck 4 and a large wet spot on the carpet near the Centrum. I didn’t learn until reading another member’s review that a pipe apparently broke and flooded several cabins (two badly enough that the passengers needed to be relocated to other cabins). It also seems from a few members’ posts that several people had hot water problems during our sailing. We also talked to several cruisers who reported toilet issues (not flushing at all, delayed flushing). We were fortunate and didn’t have any plumbing or hot water issues in our cabin.

 

Hopefully that portion of the review is helpful for some people.

 

My next observation of interest was the food. We ate in the MDR and forewent the specialty dining. Having just sailed Freedom of the Seas last month, we found the new menu to be wonderful and had really enjoyed the food on Freedom more than on any of our previous sailings.

 

Needless to say, we had high expectations going in to this cruise. This was our first lesson in the variations between ships. Despite having the same exact menu, we found the food on Grandeur was not as good as Freedom. We ordered all of our favorites from the Freedom sailing and found that it just wasn’t as good.

 

While taste is certainly subjective, we found that where everything on Freedom came out perfectly cooked, our food on Grandeur came out a little undercooked here, a little overcooked there. Occasionally a little too much flavor here, a little too bland there. I guess what I’m trying to convey is that the food on Grandeur was inconsistent. Some things were great, some were meh. On Freedom it was all great.

 

Please don’t misunderstand; we enjoyed our food on Grandeur. We certainly ate it all. We just felt like there was some unrealized potential there. Again, this only applies to the MDR.

 

That ends my constructive criticism.

 

My RCI Fanboy card is back in hand. Grandeur is physically in wonderful shape. She looks beautiful after her planned (and unplanned) revitalizations.

The crew was among some of the best we’ve had the pleasure of sailing with. Captain Holm was wonderful. Remember this name—Darryl Dyball is by far the best Activities Manager we have ever seen. This guy is electric. He will be an epic Cruise Director someday (and outshined the Cruise Director on this sailing, imo).

 

Our stateroom attendant Mauricio was one of our favorites from any cruise, and our waiter and assistant waiter Gershom and George were wonderful people and we really enjoyed their service.

 

As always, the entertainment was top notch.

 

The wifi coverage was great (and fast).

 

I also want to mention that our embarkation and disembarkation from the port in Baltimore was quick and flawless for the second year in a row. Even though I prefer sailing out of Florida for weather, seas, and vacation feel, if you’re anywhere near Baltimore it is a port well worth considering.

 

So after all that gremlin talk I’ll reiterate—the whole family loved Grandeur and had a wonderful cruise (as soon as we got home, we were online seeing if we could sneak back on this fall and get on one of the last Bermuda sailings of the year).

 

She is a wonderful ship and has a wonderful crew. My hope is that RCI will give her the last little bit of TLC that she and they deserve to chase away the gremlins.

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Thanks for taking the time to explore and give us your honest feedback about the smells and the food. This will be our first cruise exploring the new menu.

 

I am wondering if you wrote feedback on your survey card about the sewage smell on the 4th deck? I just wonder if many have and if so, what the deal is. I'm on the 8th deck on our upcoming grandeur cruise so I'm grateful for that, but I would hate for anyone to have to experience that if they had to walk through there.

 

As for the embarkation/disembarkation, thanks for that feedback as well. Can you tell me what time you got to the pier? We live near Baltimore so we could pretty much get there any time we wanted. Thanks again :-)

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Thanks for taking the time to explore and give us your honest feedback about the smells and the food. This will be our first cruise exploring the new menu.

 

I am wondering if you wrote feedback on your survey card about the sewage smell on the 4th deck? I just wonder if many have and if so, what the deal is. I'm on the 8th deck on our upcoming grandeur cruise so I'm grateful for that, but I would hate for anyone to have to experience that if they had to walk through there.

 

As for the embarkation/disembarkation, thanks for that feedback as well. Can you tell me what time you got to the pier? We live near Baltimore so we could pretty much get there any time we wanted. Thanks again :-)

 

I didn't mention it on the survey form, but I thought about emailing RCI. I'm not the complaining type but it makes sense that they're more likely to address it if people repeatedly bring it to their attention, so I'll likely do that now.

 

We got to the pier at about 10am (we left from south jersey early to allow for any traffic issues). We waited about 30 minutes before they let us in to unload baggage and park. We were on the ship right around 11am.

 

We hit the Windjammer, had lunch, and were sitting poolside before noon.

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Thanks for your nice, honest, fair, and informative review!!

 

Thanks-- my pleasure!

 

Nice review ;)

 

Thanks!

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great review! and thanks for the smell update :p happy it sounds like it won't be near my cabin on deck 3. can't wait for November

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great review! and thanks for the smell update :p happy it sounds like it won't be near my cabin on deck 3. can't wait for November

 

Thanks! You should be perfect on 3.

 

Have a great cruise!

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We sailed the first week if aug and had sewage smells in our cabin 3579

 

we loved the grandeur and I agree Darryl needs a promotion!!!!!

 

It seems like the smell really can pop up anywhere on this ship. Amazing reading the different reports from cruise to cruise.

 

Did you smell it in the hall on 3 as well, or just in your cabin?

 

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4

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Thanks for the review! And all the research onboard!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk... Please excuse punctuation, spelling, nonsensical thoughts and brevity.

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Thank you for taking the time to write up such a detailed post. Since the bulk of the passenger cabins are on the lower decks, it's disconcerting that people have to deal with this on-going issue.

 

So happy to hear the consistent reports that the staff and crew are so good on the Grandeur. It's one of the things we feel is so central to the smaller ships and we are anxiously awaiting our turn to experience another cruise on the Grandeur (15 weeks ... and counting).

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Thanks for your review and in-depth investigation!:p:D

 

Thanks for the review! And all the research onboard!

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk... Please excuse punctuation, spelling, nonsensical thoughts and brevity.

 

Welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read it.

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Thank you for taking the time to write up such a detailed post. Since the bulk of the passenger cabins are on the lower decks, it's disconcerting that people have to deal with this on-going issue.

 

So happy to hear the consistent reports that the staff and crew are so good on the Grandeur. It's one of the things we feel is so central to the smaller ships and we are anxiously awaiting our turn to experience another cruise on the Grandeur (15 weeks ... and counting).

 

It's definitely disconcerting. I hate to think that some people will cruise RCI for the first time on Grandeur and be turned off should they have bad luck with the smells/plumbing.

 

Fortunately, the ship and crew are good enough that they easily overcome the negatives, imo. It would just be nice if they could get on top of the problem.

 

Have a great cruise!

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Thanks for your review.

Checked to see where our cabin is on deck 4 and it is on the starboard side. Hopefully there will be no smell, if it is, we will not let it interfere with our cruise.:D

Thanks again.

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Thanks for your review.

Checked to see where our cabin is on deck 4 and it is on the starboard side. Hopefully there will be no smell, if it is, we will not let it interfere with our cruise.:D

Thanks again.

 

My pleasure.

 

Deck 4 is a great place to be. It was a very convenient deck with regards to Centrum and MDR proximity.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

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And to quite literally put my money where my mouth is...

 

The wife is on the phone right now with Costco getting pricing details for the November 1 Bermuda cruise. :D

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Hi everyone ! This was my first cruise and I really enjoyed Bermuda. The staff kind of left a lot to be desired, however. I was on deck 7 and I don't recall seeing our stateroom attendant too much. I think I saw her 4 times in all..the room had a sulfur smell but nothing too overwhelming. Overall, I liked it but next time I may try a different ship. I heard wonderful things about Enchantment.

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Thankfully Darryl has been around for years, he makes a great bingo Host and Quiz Master, I agree that he would make a great CD. Hope his time comes soon :D

 

[quote name=Lokip53;39765325

 

. ......The crew was among some of the best we’ve had the pleasure of sailing with. Captain Holm was wonderful. Remember this name—Darryl Dyball is by far the best Activities Manager we have ever seen. This guy is electric. He will be an epic Cruise Director someday (and outshined the Cruise Director on this sailing' date=' imo).

 

 

 

.[/quote]

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how was Bermuda

 

Bermuda was wonderful. It remains our favorite cruise destination.

 

We love how clean and safe it is. The public transportation is wonderful, the beaches and water are gorgeous, and the residents are friendly and helpful.

 

This trip we did Tobacco Bay, Elbow Beach, and Sea Glass Beach. We used both the ferry and buses to get around.

 

The snorkeling was great at both Tobacco and Elbow. Tons of beautiful fish.

 

We were also fortunate in that we had beautiful weather all three days.

 

Looking forward to getting back there.

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Immediately upon entering the portside hallway of Deck 4 just forward of the Centrum we smelled that oft reported smell. Kind of a Mr. Bob-faint-odor-of-sewage smell.
So, basically it smells like New York City in the summer?

 

 

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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So, basically it smells like New York City in the summer?

 

 

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

 

LOL! Yep, that would be about right!

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Well, can't post up any better endorsement of this ship than this.....

 

Check the signature ladies and gents. :D

 

Yep, we're that crazy.

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