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wolfcathorse

Live from Grandeur 2-6-06

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Won't say much until I get home.

 

Embarkation 2-6: Wished there was another route to the port, I-4 traffic is terrible! Arrived at port at 12:30, had signed SetSail, was on by 12:45. Had to wait until 1 pm for access to JS #8544. Ship clean, pretty (usual for Vision class) but showing signs of wear 'n tear. Not a problem. Entire crew seems tired, they pride themselves for being voted the friendliest ship but they are tired and it shows. JS closet smaller than I expected, but overall lots of room. Had 2 tables and 2 chairs on balconey. Hoisted a JD (purchased in Schooner) for Rubbrick, it was strong, only costed $5.75!!!!! Had no problem smuggling a Fifth of Bacardi and a Fifth of Canadian Mist aboard (Jack Daniels, take a hint, put it in plastic), more later....

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Wish I were there, too! Will be on the Grandeur 3/11/06 - Can't wait. It will be interesting to see how your tenders go in Coz and Cayman. I hope it all goes well for you and the weather is perfect. How was dinner tonight? The shows? Smooth Sailing!

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SISTERS CRUISE!!! :D Can't wait to hear all about it! My sister and I will be doing a sisters cruise next month... in a JS... on Grandeur! Have a fantastic time! :D

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Dear hubby and I sail on the Grandeur Feb. 20. Would love to hear all about your cruise and the ship. I am a bit jealous. All we got was an oceanview and would kill for a stateroom with a balcony.LOL

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I guess this is the year for the Sisters Cruise! I am going with my 3 and my Mom,,,and 18 other friends and family....should be a blast!

We also have a JS, that I am sharing with only 1 of my sisters!

Can't wait to hear more!!! Keep it coming!!

Ollie:)

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Is the crew saying anything about a possible drydock for the Grandeur later this year to fix the dent, and/or a possible stretching of the ship?

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Won't say much until I get home.

 

Hoisted a JD (purchased in Schooner) for Rubbrick, it was strong, only costed $5.75!!!!! QUOTE]

What is this?

Looking forward to your review. We're on the 3/30 - 4 nights out of Tampa...our first time...have not found too many others on this trip. We've booked a balcony for our maiden voyage. I'm so interested in everyone's hints.

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Here it is folks

 

Day 1 - as I mentioned I-4 traffic terrible. Our cabin steward was Hudson and it was his last trip before a 5 week break. I tipped him $10 to start and gave him a little gift bag I had put together, 1 for him and 1 for his assistant, St Clair. He wasn't sure if he was coming back as RCi no longer pays for transportation for the crew. He said it's hard on them if tips are low and they have to pay their own way home. He did a good job, had ice in the bucket whenever I looked, room always taken care of. C & A Gold member coupon book delivered later that night. He wouldn't take the stuff out of the frig, so we stowed it and put our own in it. Safe is the credit card swipe type, we had JS 8544. It had shampoo, lotion, conditioner, lip balm, cotton balls, Q-tips. I was disappointed with the size of the closet, just barely bigger than an Oceanview. Beds were comfortable, fell (or passed out) into them easily. Temps were cool so we were hardly out on the balconey, I did keep the door open 2 nights to listen to the waves and watch the moon set in the west into the gulf. We had late seating, so we checked for our table location and left. When we went back for dinner, the table number had been moved to a different location. Well at the end of our dinner the Maitre'D came around and switched them again so instead of sitting by a window, we ended up by the interior. The coffee and dinner the first night was terrible. Our waiter was Balazs (nickname is Bally), ass't was Mate, both men were from Hungary. Mary is our Head waiter, saw her working her butt off helping in her station. Balazs was very good (boy, can he whistle), Mate was only 2 months into his second contract, so he hasn't worked a year yet on Grandeur. Mate was younger and like a puppy, still learning, but he was efficient and able to take care of requests. Gave them both gift bags with money and they were so thankful. I had the Shrimp Ravioli (OK), Onion Tart (so-so), and apple pie a la mode (pie terrible). The coffee was bitter road tar. CD is Jill Tasker, she was good, but it was her ass't CD Skippy that had the energy. Watched Who Wants to Feel like a Millionaire, got the feeling the whole thing was scripted. Seas calm and sister screamed as we went under the Skyway bridge around 8 pm (?), soooooooo close!! Looks like we only had 10 ft to spare. Before going to bed I was out on our balconey and the lady in the JS next to us was complaining on her cell phone to her Mom. She was _itching that they forgot her coffee (she doesn't know how thankful she should have been) and I quote "so Mom, I'm thinking, well if that's the way it is...**ck you mister, you just lost your tip". Oh brother, chill, and get real. No towel animal 1st night. Al Ramos was comdien for 1st night, he was good. Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers are terrible. We went to Schooners to listen to a jazz combo (sis favorite), I had a Jack 'n Coke for a total of $5.75 and it was strong. Waiters came around with 2 snacks trays, selection was good. Got to bed early (1 am).

 

Day 2 - Sea Day and formal night. Walk-a-Mile at 9 am and 4 pm. Hudson gave my sis a canvas tote bag that had Grandeurs name on it and told her to give it to me. She ended up getting nothing, later C & A members got post cards, so I gave her the bag for her first cruise. Watched the Belly Flop and Sexy Legs contest. Skipped the RCI singers/dancers show. Only 7 of us at the wine tasting seminar with Lito, the sommelier. Got a new friend now! Bought the Discover Shopping guide, kind of regretted it (more later) and I caught some color change nail polish that the shopping host threw out into the crowd. All day RCI TV ran a tape of Jill interviewing Capt Haakan etc, if everyone would watch it then he wouldn't have to answer the same questions at his table tonight. He's wound up tighter than an 8 day clock. Keep wringing his hands in the interview and during his Nautical Notes later in the cruise he couldn't keep his legs still. I almost thought the guy had Parkinson's. Poor thing, no wonder Capt Klaussen had a heart attack, these guys are stressed. Capt Haakan was just back 5 weeks from holiday. His talk during the Welcome Aboard Reception seemed scripted also. Cocktails at Capts Reception were furnished by 1 of his officers. He also announced that RCI had signed the contract with Aker for Genesis. Sis and I had our pic taken with him. Menu for formal night was Roast Duck (skipped it), I had the orange lime Salmon and Lobster bisque. None of the desserts interested me but since orange sherbet was available I had Bally bring me some with choc syrup on it. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy, but hey folks, it tastes like those Terry's choc oranges you buy at Christmas. Half of our table left early and Bally literally went running after them to tell about tomorrow night. Table mates were polite and funny. 4 of them were yuppies and a riot to watch. 2 worked at John Hopkins Hospital (human resources and an anesthiesologist doctor), my sis and I were the oldest (48 and 51).

Day 3 - Costa Maya. Jewel of the Seas already here (BIG ship!), Compass said to keep our watches on ship time as Costa Maya time is 1 hour behind. Tonight is Kenny James (13 time Star Search winner) and Love and Marriage Game, didn't go to either. Took sister on David and Ivans Chaccoben Mayan Ruins tour, we had David. WE left before RCi did and got back before they did. David's grandmother was the midwife for the village so he'd run off into the rain forest and bring back leaves from vines for us to try. One smelled like garlic, one like anise, and one like cloves. He said they were used in cooking. He gave us more info about the ruins that I can remember. The port of Costa Maya is cruiseline property and the vendors were pushy, we went to Majahaul to catch our tour. Typical poor country Mexican village. Men of Culture pool band and they are good. Tonight was Italian night, I had Chicken Marsala and it was good. The waiters sang (not lip synced) Ole Sole Mio. This is where we saw some personality come out. 2 waiters in our station grabbed pepper mills to use as microphones. Bally hid a wet towel in his fist and first he stuck his hand under his vest and made it thump like a breaking heart, then when he pretended to cry, he would squeeze the towel so "tears" gushed out. Very funny. The kids from the kids program also came in made up as little pirates and did a little show. Tonight there's a poolside buffet at 11:15, it was good. Seas a little rougher tonight, very windy. Towel animal was a dog.

 

Day 4 - Cozumel. Upper 60's, very choppy waters, later Captain said we were borderline for tendering as there were high winds in the wrong direction and a strong undercurrent. They had to run the thrusters full power all day. Elevators were messed up so everyone had to walk down the stairs to the tenders. Knee held up well going from deck 10 down to deck 2. Already here is a Carnival and Princess ship 3 miles down at the international pier. The Princess ship is huge and looks like its been rearended. Legend pulled in just after us at the Punta Langosta dock. When we tendered (only stood in line at 8:30 for 15 minutes) we could see Navigator coming on the horizon. When we got back Navigator was there as well, my goodness...Navigator is H-U-G-E, why do they need bigger???? No problems tendering, time wise that is, water very rough.OK here's the deal on those Discover Shopping Guides. Most of the stuff is free with purchase. If you go for just the free stuff I found many of the stores will tell you they don't have any left. Tried to get free earrings from Tanzanite Internationsl in Costa Maya and was told to get them in Coz. Free CD music wasn't there at 9 am but when I stopped again at 2 pm on my way back it was there. Free gem stone was a garnet the size of a grain of sand. The free diamond and free tanzanite earrings were set in yellow something and you needed a magnifying glass to see the stone. My garnet I traded back plus $21 to get genuine period stud earrings (larger stone too). Color change tote bag cost $18 in store w/o purchse, free with $5 purchase. Nothing less than $15 in whole store, so I bought a $24 T-shirt to get a free bag. Got a free glass blown swizzle stick. Dickered with a native for some vanilla off the beaten path then later found out I could have gotten it cheaper still in the tourist trap stores down the strip. But they are poor so I don't begrudge it. Lots of buildings still being repaired. I did use my VIP card at Rachat & Romero for a .75 cwt oval Tanzanite that I have to get appraised if I want to keep it. manager ended up at $298 when they started at $600. Dunno, I haven't taken it in yet for appraisal. We ate at an authentic mexican restaurant in the plaza behind the main drag. For $22.50 my sis and I had chips with 2 hot dips, 2 Pina coladas, 4 chicken enchiladas, and 5 chicken fajitas. It was good. On the tender they were selling silver necklaces and I got one for $30 (down from the $40 asking price) and he gave me a bracelet to go with it. He says it was .925 silver and since it looked right i got it. i sat by the pool for an hour when we got back and Godfrey kept checking in on me (by name of course). Towel animal was a rabbit. Tongiht was the lobster night (had 2). The yuppies were at Carlos and Charlies all day. AND THEY LOOKED IT! The oldest brother kept telling me I was such a DIRTY girl (how'd he know?) and he could hardly keep his eyes open. They hadn't eaten all day, just drank, so he ordered 3 appetizers and 2 entrees. Bally just kept bringing him plates of food, it was so funny. Coffee was better so I drank it the rest of the cruise. We reminded Bally that the day before he had promised us he would sing for us again. he blushed and said, well he'd whistle instead. It was like a nightengale singing, he whislted the theme from the "Godfather" and it was stunning. Tonight is Gala buffet, don't know how I got it in. The headliner was David Dimuzio, world champion juggler, YOU HAVE TO CATCH HIS ACT. Period. Enuf said. Also tonight my eyes saw the glory of Quest. Amen.

Day 5 - last sea day. Went to towel folding, sister went to cooking demo. Turned in shipshape bucks for a t-shirt. Went to Captains Nautical Notes were he said RCI had 4-5 female staff captains and that he expected by the end of the year (if not sooner)they would be full captains for RCI. They'll be needed if the pace of retirements continue. Did Battle of the Sexes, and us girls smoked the men. Handed out tips tonight with extra cash. Crew did the Friendship parade and we had a little sing a long. Departure tomorrow, feel sad, but since I got a B2B coming up, I can deal with it. LMAO. Got brown 2 tags and there's no set call schedule. Just leave your cabin by 8 am and listen for your color.

Disembarkation - very smooth, very quick, found luggage with no trouble. Ship docked early (6 am) and customs cleared us at 7:25. At 7:30 they called self assist off. Called self assist again at 7:50. White was called at 7:58, Beige 1 called off at 8:00 and any Beige called at 8:15. Orange was called at 8:23 and brown called at 8:30 (us). I saw Red still sitting there and they were hoping to have everyone off by 9:30 (I think they made it). Walked up to customs gave him my card and was off. Pick up is across the street. Documents said Grandeur would be at Terminal 2, Legend is at Terminal 3, Holland America was at Terminal 1. Grandeur was at Term 3 and Legend was at 2, NO SIGNS posted for this. We can read, a banner on the side of the terminal was hanging anounning the ship so we went to the correct spot.

 

Overall, I like Vision OTS better (friendlier captain and crew). But getting to the port, embarkation/disembarkation was better than Vancouver. I participated in activities more on Grandeur than on Vision so I still had a great time. I would go again...anyone need a guide?

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wolfcathorse - great review and very informative! Thanks! My friend and I (49 and 59) will be on the 3/11/06 sailing with her 19 yo dd and 3 of her friends! Should be fun. I was on the Grandeur 4/04 for a 7 nite out of NOL. We really enjoyed that sailing. I do like the voyager class ships better, but this one is great also. Will make sure we see the shows you liked. How many ship-shape dollars did you need to collect to get your ship-shape T-shirt? Did you have to get tender tickets for either Coz or GC?

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Thanks for your review--very good. I've been looking forward to it all week. We are leaving on the same ship 4/22--I can't wait.

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Thanks for the review.

We sail THIS THURSDAY!

I wonder if I can bring on my own coffeemaker?

Love our Starbucks. Do they have a coffee bar?

I do have a question about C&A perks. Did they offer a coupon book for the freebees?

So glad to hear we get LOBSTER!!!!

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How many ship-shape dollars did you need to collect to get your ship-shape T-shirt? Did you have to get tender tickets for either Coz or GC?

 

It takes 9 Shipshape dollars for a T-shirt

Our trip only had Costa Maya and Cozumel as ports of call. NO TENDER TICKETS were used for Cozumel.

 

Suzcruz - the coffee bar is the little one next to the Ben & Jerrys. I was Gold and my cabin steward delivered the coupon book the first day. The only "freebie" seemed to be buy 1 cocktail get 1 free. The rest were for percentages off purchases (25% off any coffee specialty drink, 25% off Ben & Jerry's Peace Pop, 10% off 2nd wine bottle when you purchase 2 at 1 time, etc). You can bring your own coffee maker, but the plug is located under the mirror on the desk.

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Thank you so much for the review!

 

I also will be taking this ship tomarrow but out of Tampa port. Been trying to find a live webcam , but no luck as of yet.

 

Tomarrow is the big day! I think its the first cruise out of Tampa Port Authority. Hope there is no delays!

 

Thanks again for the great review!

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Suzcruz - the coffee bar is the little one next to the Ben & Jerrys. I was Gold and my cabin steward delivered the coupon book the first day. The only "freebie" seemed to be buy 1 cocktail get 1 free. The rest were for percentages off purchases (25% off any coffee specialty drink, 25% off Ben & Jerry's Peace Pop, 10% off 2nd wine bottle when you purchase 2 at 1 time, etc). You can bring your own coffee maker, but the plug is located under the mirror on the desk.

 

Also in the Gold book is a coupon for the wine tasting. If I recall I think they charge non C&A member $10.00 or $20.00 dollars.

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wolfcathorse: The "rule you have for living with husbands" has been my #1 motto for EVERYTHINGin life! I use it FREQUENTLY!

 

We're sailing the Grandeur on 3/30 -- thanks for the review!

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Also in the Gold book is a coupon for the wine tasting. If I recall I think they charge non C&A member $10.00 or $20.00 dollars.

 

In my book there was NO coupon for wine tasting. My sis and I both paid $9.95 to participate. The only alcohol related coupons we had was 1 for buy 1 cocktail get 1 free and 1 coupon for 10% off the second bottle of wine when you purchase 2 at the same time. I also left the unused coupons in the safe (casino coupons and photo purchase coupons). I'd like to know if a CC member went 2-11-06 in cabin #8544 and found them in the safe. Then we'd know if the cabin steward threw them out during turnaround.

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I saw a thread from you about your stateroom on the Grandeur. I have just put on hold staterooms 8544 & 8546 on the Grandeur. Could you tell me if you had any problem with your stateroom? Location, Privacy, etc.?

 

Thank you so much!;)

 

Whoops! I don't know how I ended up posting on the end of this thread or where it came from. I thought I was posting a new question. I will go read this thread and see if I can answer my own question.

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