Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by pghflyer
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Bermuda
The ship is very small and was built in the mid-90s, so well past her prime. However, there is something quaint and nice about such a small ship that you get to know quickly and can get to places without a real effort. Nice large open walking promenade on the lower deck. But, overall, it is old and while still maintained and pretty clean, it feels old too (thin and discolored bed sheets, rust on edges of areas, ragged carpet/ window corners, etc). There were literally 2 total outlets in our Junior Suite, and they were nowhere near the bed. I suppose getting a bathtub is an "upgrade" in the JS but having to step over the shower and dodge the curtain was more of a pain than a perk. Inconsistent towel animals, ice had to be requested, and the kleenex/ tissue slot in our bathroom was never filled at all in the whole cruise (same for our other cabins, who also said their soap was often not replaced). The JS size was nice and wide with a big balcony (on which they stuck the world's tiniest 2 little chairs on.....so small you couldn't stretch out or lean back). Our Junior Suite (but not our other rooms) also had a weird and large Pillar in the middle of the room, right by the end of the bed - what I would call an obstruction. Also, we were on the 8th floor, so every night from about 10PM-midnight people and staff would rearrange the chairs and tables on the pool floor (9) and raise such a racket (ever heard of chair pads for the legs? - get a hundred for $10 at Amazon!) that all of our cabins had to wear earplugs ever night to get to sleep.
The food was below average. The buffet had decent options but the area is small and there is very little outdoor dining on the whole ship. The main dining room (GREAT servers, very friendly and helpful) had a small menu every evening, half of which never changed - probably half the size of menu of every other ship we have sailed. Probably because they have advertisements and table fliers all over the ship trying to get you to buy "premium entrees" with your meal or upgrade to specialty dining. All of the appetizers and desserts arrived cold to lukewarm (seriously, how can you have a LAVA cake if it is cold?). The drink package was a pretty good value at the discounted rate of $49 per person/ day (plus gratuity) rate we got since it was good for all alcohol but also coffee (at Cafe Latte-tudes which serves Starbucks) and sodas and bottled / sparkling water. The Schooner bar and staff was great but all the others were slow and often made drinks that weren't even close to what was ordered.
The gym was OK but definitely small for the number of people interested (all treadmills were always full). The pool was an OK size, but it was hard to stay out there very long because they blare the music so loud we couldn't talk to each other. The entertainment options are limited and the quality of performers was definitely the worst we have seen (I guess the talent scales with the ship size). This is definitely not a partying ship as not much is happening after about 9PM and most bars are closed by 11PM. The adult pool area has a nice and quiet Park Cafe (which curiously has no coffee) with small snacks/ sandwiches, as well as a bar that is often less busy but was staffed by one of the grumpiest bartenders I have encountered. Multiple times after asking him how he was doing, or how his day was going, his response was "What do you want" or "Are you ready" - and this was with no one else in line at the bar. Also, they broadcast next to nothing into the cabins - the bulletin said we would dock in Bermuda at 1PM and could disembark at 2PM so we waited to be called down. Finally we went outside at 2PM to see what was happening and they told us that they started letting people go at 1:30PM and you need to stand in the public areas to hear the announcements because they don't announce in staterooms (which was proved consistent upon return to Baltimore, where they also did not announce anything either).
Cruising is great, and we had an overall good time on this ship, but for the premium that this ship is priced, I expect a whole LOT more. I guess they can charge this premium because people would rather drive to Baltimore than fly to Florida....but paying such extravagant premium rates for subpar amenities isn't for me. I do see the attraction of the smaller ship and should they ever start pricing this ship more in line with the experience on board, I would definitely consider it again.
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