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HERDFAN

Back from Grandeur 4/10 cruise........A few quick thought and opinions

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We arrived home last night and I wanted to post this review while still fresh in my mind.

 

We flew down to NOLA on friday morning so we could spend some time there as we had never been before. Book a hotel on Priceline and was given the Marriott on Canal St. Very nice hotel and a great location. Close to the French Quarter and Harrah's casino. We checked into our room at noon and were off to do some shopping, bar hopping and sightseeing. We ate lunch at a great little place on St. Peters st. called "The Gumbo Shop". Great creole food. I highly recomend. Took a walk down Bourbon st. What a riot!!!! Happy hour on Bourbon st. is 3for1! Had several. After an afternoon of walking around the quarter, went back to hotel to clean up for dinner. I had previously made reservations at K Paul's Louisianna Kitchen. This is the restaraunt owned by renowned chef Paul Pruhdomme, and is highly rated. It did not dissapoint. The food and service were superb. Be aware, this is not a cheap place to dine. Dinner and drinks for two was in excess of 100$ with tip but worth every dime!! After dinner we went back to the hotel to meet up with Ed and Sue, another couple from cruise critic who were staying precruise at the Marriott with there two boys. If you read this we hope you made it home safe and sound. We had a great time and hope to see you again.

 

Saturday morning we packed up and headed off to the port which was very close by. We could see the ship from our hotel room window.

I must say that the embarkation at the port of NOLA was the easiest we have ever been through. We arrived at the port at about 10:45, had a 30 min. wait, went through the express line for Platinum and Diamond C&A members and was on the ship by 11:30. SMOOTH!

 

We had a cat. D stateroom (7072) with a small balcony and our room was nicely appointed with plenty of storage space. Our cabin attendant, Clement, was the consumate professional in every respect. He may well be the best we every had.

 

The ship looked to be in fine shape. Staff members were constantly cleaning. I am sure there were some rough and worn spots, but you know, I did'nt walk around with my head down looking for them.

 

One of the hot topics of conversation on this board lately seems to be the declining quality of the food on RCL. Well, I cant say that was my observation on the Grandeur. The food was good to very good in most areas and pretty consistant with what we have been used to on our previous 7 RCL cruises. Even the infamous "Ranch Steak" was not that bad. It certainly was'nt a prime cut of beef but it was edible. If you order your beef med. well to well done and then complain about eating shoe leather, get over yourself. You reap what you sow!

Our ports of call were Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Cost Maya being the only one we had not been to before.

In Belize we did the Shark Ray Alley and Beach excursion that we booked through the cruise line. We had done this before on a previou cruise and it was wonderful so decided to go again. This turned out to be a big dissapointment and the only time I have every had a big issue with any aspect of any RCL cruise that we have taken. The sea swells were very rough that day and the other two cruiselines that had ships in port that day cancelled there watersports excursions. I guess RCL decided to put greed ahead of good sense and sent theirs out anyway. What a waste of time and money!! The swells were 3 to 4 foot and snorkling was all but impossible. I feel I was ripped off and filled out a comment form for the excursion desk and told them so. I recieved no satisfaction from them and will never book an excursion through the cruiseline again. I have better luck on my own.

In Costa Maya we walked around the pier area briefly, then took a taxi to the nearby village. This turned out to be a wonderful day! We found a nice little beach bar with lounges right on the beach and layed there all day drinking 2$ beers and margaritas made with fresh squeezed limes. Ate a lunch of grilled lobster and shrimp cocktail, pretty much got sloshed and my tab for the day including the cab fare was around 70$! This beach bar was across the street from the "Tapas Bar". It is a palapa bar with tree trunks for stools. Never did find out the name of the place but it is easy to find. If you are looking for a fun beach day, this is the place to go.

 

In Cozumel we did an excursion with "Eagle Ray Divers".Chellie and Antonio, the operators, are wonderful people and run a first class operation. We will definitly do business with them in the future.

 

Debarkation was as painless as the embarkation and we were off the ship and to the airport by 9am for an 11:45 flight home.

 

Now for a few final thoughts.

 

This was our third cruise aboard the Grandeur and so far it is our favorite ship. Except for the shore excursion deal, I have never had a bad experiance with the quality or service that I have recieved on any RCL ship.

 

It is sad to say that all this may change.

Many of you members have been posting and reading about the cutbacks in quality and service that are being tested aboard certain ships. These range from the number of peices of silverwear at your dinner place setting to the number of rooms each cabin attendant is responsible for. While onboard I had a very informative conversation with one of the bar staff about the coming changes and I learned about a few more. The night cleaning crew that is responsible for hosing down and cleaning up the pool deck is to be eliminated. This responsibility will be taken on by the rest of the housekeeping staff. Dont be suprised if your on a late night stroll around the sun deck and look down and see you cabin attendent by the pool with a hose or mop in his/her hand. Absolutle ridiculous!!!! Also, when a member of the bar staff was assigned to serve at a function wher complementary alcohol was served, ie Repeaters party, C&A functions, Capt. cocktail party, they recieved a 30$ bonus. Not anymore. RCL seems to need that 30$ more than the hard working members of their staff!!! You would think that a company with the reputation and experience of RCL would know that happy crew members = happy customers. It seems that the bean counters have taken over in Miami and I fear it is going to effect the quality of the product as much or more than it effects the bottom line. If anybody at RCL reads this review, kmow this -I have two more cruises booked on your ships. One on the Grandeur out of Baltimore in July and one on the Brilliance next March. If the quality of food and service that I have come to expect from RCL suffers in any way from these cutbacks, I willtake my business elsewhere!

 

Well, thats about it. If you have any ?'s, post them here and will do my best to answer them.

 

icon_biggrin.gifHERDFAN icon_biggrin.gif

 

"LET THE WINDS OF TIME BLOW OVER MY HEAD, I'D RATHER DIE WHILE I'M LIVING THAN LIVE WHILE I'M DEAD" - J. BUFFETT

 

 

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HERDFAN,

 

Thanks for the info. Have wanted to sail on the

Grandeur but we're closer to Galvatraz and have

had lots of fun on the Rhapsody. Sailed on the

Rhapsody once when she was in NO and loved that

port. Ditto staying at the Marriott. If the Rhapsody ever leaves our home port, we'll zip over to NO.

 

I love walking on the upper deck very early in

the a.m. Would be most unhappy if the usual

cleaniness of the area suffers. Sailed on Princess a couple of decades ago, once. The entire week there were dishes left out on deck,

the same dishes, the same table. Some folks were

filming this squalor to back up their complaints.Have read lots of glowing reviews since of that line and may try Princess again

once a ship comes to Gal. All this to say, if

that problem appears on RC, we're history.That's

a deal breaker. In general, the service and attempts to rectify problems are of an earnest

and caring nature, in my experience. Do hope

the staff don't get burned out if duties are

being consolidated. That's hard to mask.

 

CSW

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hello, really enjoyed your review, we are sailing on the Grandeur 7/18/04 , was wondering if you were sailing with us?

Pam & David Seaford, DE

 

counting the days! Grandeur

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=FFA000&cdt=2004;7;18;17;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500

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We were on the Grandeur for our last cruise and loved her. I agree with the OP completely.

 

We also fell in love with the Enchantment. I thought the crew was EXCEPTIONAL, and we've been with RCI for many years, and have a lot to compare them against.

 

Peggy - RCI since 1973

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Very nice review, the Granduer is one of my favorite ships. Glad to hear the food was good.

Hope RCI goes back to the class of service we are accustomed to. We saw the same type of services on the Brilliance.

You're absoutly right....

happy crew = happy passengers! icon_wink.gif

 

Soveriegn 92 E. Caribbean

Majesty 95 W. Caribbean

Granduer 97 E. Caribbean

Rhapsody 00 Mexico

Vision 02 Alaska

Radiance 03 Panama Canal

Brilliance 3/29/04

 

 

 

Radiance of the Seas/Panama Canal 10/18/2003

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff00ff&cdt=2003;10;18;20;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800Are we there yet?

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff00ff&cdt=2003;10;18;20;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800

 

My bags are always packed!

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=800080&cdt=2004;3;29;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500 Brilliance 3/29/2004

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I loved the review.

I am distressed by the warning of the further overburdening of the service staff.

I have loved all 6 of my RCCI cruises, but - -

RCI, are you listening?

Cut the corporate executives' golden parachutes or whatever. BUT do not take from your service staff. The quality of the cruise is only as good as they are. Whatever you do to them, you do to the quality of my cruise. I would love to sail with you again, but I am waiting to see what you will do.

 

Work like a dog. Live like a pauper. Save all your money. Then Cruise!

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P&D,

 

Sorry, 7/11 for us. We will try not to use up all the fun, drink all the booze and eat all the food. icon_cool.gif

 

"LET THE WINDS OF TIME BLOW OVER MY HEAD, I'D RATHER DIE WHILE I'M LIVING THAN LIVE WHILE I'M DEAD" - J. BUFFETT

 

 

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Hey Herdfan - I'm impressed! This is the first minute I've had to spend on-line. After we left you folks at NO airport we spent 3 1/2 hours in Minn/St Paul airport and then a couple of hours on one of those little planes that flies by flapping it's wings - not fun. Got home about midnight. I plan to post a review myself later tonight but for now suffice it to say that I agree with you 100% about both the food and the service! We would definitely cruise the Grandeur again, and it would be great if we happened to be on the same cruise again!

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Thanks for posting a review so soon after your cruise Herdfan.I'm even more excited now about our upcoming Grandeur cruise April 24th. I was happy to read your positive comments about the quality of the food; I was beginning to get concerned after some of the recent comments on this board. Can you give us a quick recap of the entertainment/entertainers onboard? Any "must see" shows or "don't miss" performers?

 

Boatwht.gif

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Sorry yuyi,

 

Don't much go in for the shows and performers.

 

However, we did go see a comedian onboard by the name of Hank McCauley, at least I think that was his name. He was an absolute riot! He did a show the first night and then did an adult comedy show late one night at 12:30 am.

 

If he is onboard don't miss him.

 

"LET THE WINDS OF TIME BLOW OVER MY HEAD, I'D RATHER DIE WHILE I'M LIVING THAN LIVE WHILE I'M DEAD" - J. BUFFETT

 

 

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Herdfan, we're 7/11 also!

This is our (my 14 yo DD and I) 2nd RCL cruise and hope it continues to keep up the standard set last time.

Hope to meet up and party on!

 

Alberta

Granduer of the Seas 7/11/04

Majesty of the Seas 8/18/03 #9516

SS Oceanic - Big Red Boat 7/93

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Just commenting regarding the original posters comments on the Belize excursion. We booked a private tour with Coral Breeze. The day we were there 4 ships, including ours, cancelled their watersports excursions due to high wind.

 

Coral Breeze went ahead as planned. Once in the water the waves were thrashing us about. I am a confident swimmer/snorkler but even I out of control at times. I would not want to do that type of excursion when there is a high wind advirsory.

 

2/2004 Carnival Legend/Exotic Western Carribean

4/2003 HAL Statendam/Sea of Cortez

9/2002 CarnivalHoliday/Western Caribbean

4/2001 Carnival/Western Caribbean

4/2000 Carnival Paradise/Southern Caribbean

5/1999 RCCL/Alaska

4/1998 NCL/Pacific Coastal

10/1997 Carnival/Mexican Riviera

11/1995 Carnival Holiday/4 day Baja Mexico

6/1992 RCCL Viking Serenade/4 day Baja Mexico

6/1981 Pacific Princess/Pacific Coastal

 

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My wife and I were on the Grandeur 4/10 cruise (20th anniversary). It was our first cruise ever, and we thoroughly enjoyed it! Although I have no previous baseline, I found all of the service to be outstanding, and the food delicious.

 

As for shore excursions, I must highly recommend the Lamanai ruins in Belize. 25 miles up the New River on an 18 foot boat was a beautiful trip. The ruins at the end were breathtaking, as were the views.

 

I went to three of the evening performances in the Paladium. The comic on Sunday night was a riot. Knight Magic was oustanding. The juggler on Friday(?) night was wonderful as well (can't remember his name). I also thoroughly enjoyed the pianist in the Schooner Lounge (Fred Potkin?).

 

I thought the "Who Wants to Feel like a Millionaire" game was pretty much a waste of time, but enjoyed the Newlywed game.

 

Overall, it was a great week. It was our first cruise, but definitely won't be the last!

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