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Royal Caribbean International: Grandeur of the Seas

Grandeur of the Seas Review

Insider Take

Overview

Newly renovated to make it one of the nicest small Royal Caribbean ships afloat.

Best For People Who Want

Plenty of windows for ocean view in the public rooms and dining room.

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

Balcony cabins; mega-ship sports facilities, huge casinos.

Decor

All of the ships of the class have public rooms full of large expanses of glass to let in glorious sunshine and sea views. She was hailed in her day as a large ship that still preserved the sense of being at sea. Today, she's an older ship, and actually considered small, but still elegant and classy enough to attract a younger clientele looking for sea escapes and action at night.

The 2012 upgrade was a complete makeover for the ship with new colors, carpet and furniture throughout. The small but formerly somewhat simple ship is now opulent and commodious with little treasures to be discovered throughout.

Public Rooms

You'll find the Champagne Terrace at the bottom of the the Centrum, where live palm trees and a string embellish the ambiance of brass, marble & glass. This is also the shopping area, where three large duty-free stores offer plenty of browse time. There are light woods and marble set fountains throughout the ship, which along with the live foliage and open expanses of outside windows, give the entire ship a feeling of aliveness.

High atop the Centrum, on deck 11, is the ever popular Viking Crown Lounge, perfect for watching the scenery go by (a near 360 degree field of vision near the very top of the ship) in Alaska or the Panama Canal. It is also the place to be at night when it becomes the ship's late-night disco. There's more dancing in the evening in the Anchor's Aweigh Lounge, albeit at a less frenetic pace, while another popular bar is the nautically-inclined Schooner's. Vegas-style floor shows are presented in the That's Entertainment Theatre with generally good sight lines from all seats. And as if all that is not enough, Casino Royale has all the table games and slots a non-professional gambler could ever need.

There is a library as well as The Crown and Anchor Study, with computer assisted visual aids to show the ship's position and more information from the bridge. Nearby is a card room and conference center.

There is a new Diamond Club for Crown and Anchor members, as well as a Concierge club for suite guests.

Cuisine

Breakfast in the Windjammer Lido cafe includes cooked to order omelets, or scrambled eggs at the buffet, but fried eggs are not available. Lunch in the Lido is equally pleasing albeit a simple selection. More interesting is the afternoon tea bread pudding or cobbler along with sandwiches, cakes, cookies and ice cream. Overall, passenger satisfaction ratings for the dining room meals are good, as well as for the Windjammer buffets for lunch and and afternoon teas. The option for a late night snack seems to vary on a nightly basis.

Service

It's obvious that the multinational staff and crew enjoy watching their passengers enjoy themselves. They're uniformly cheerful, knowledgeable, and eager to help. The wait staff in every restaurant is noticeably solicitous and conscientious.

Cabin service staff is efficient but unobtrusive. The purser's desk is notably responsive, especially in view of how much troubleshooting they must have to do on a ship this size. Room service, though, can be pretty slow.

Tipping

Royal Caribbean suggests a per person per day gratuity of $3.50 for the stateroom attendant ($5.75 if sailing in a suite); $3.50 for the waiter; $2.50 for the Assistant Waiter; .75 Head Waiter. These gratuities may be paid in cash or charged to your onboard account. For children sailing as third or fourth passenger in the stateroom, tipping is at the parents' discretion.

A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Gratuities for room service, spa, casino and other staff are at your discretion.

Onboard Experience

The third of what are now called the Vision-class ships, also including Legend, Splendour, Enchantment, Rhapsody, and Vision of the Seas. These ships are all nearly identical with many things in common, the only difference being that each iteration gets a little bigger and carries more passengers. The all have the distinctive Royal Caribbean "Centrum", seven decks high on these ships, atop of which one finds the Viking Crown Lounge. The decor is light and contemporary, and mostly in good shape because the Royal Caribbean keeps it that way, though it isn't unusual to see some wear and tear in pockets.

The extensive 2012 upgrade gave the ship:

Outdoor movie screen

Centrum aerial entertainment

R Bar

Viking Crown Lounge

Park Cafe

Chef’s Table

Chops Grille

Giovanni’s Table

Izumi Asian Cuisine

Digital Signage

Pervasive Wi-Fi

Restaurants

The two-story restaurant, amidships, with great views, features a raised platform for pianist or small ensemble. While large enough to handle a thousand people per seating, tables are far enough apart to preclude a feeling of crowdedness. The Windjammer, forward end of Deck 9, also has floor-to-ceiling windows.

New restaurants added in 2012 include:

The Windjammer Cafe, pizzeria, Seaview Cafe with sandwiches, soups, and snacks, and room service.

Royal Caribbean signature specialty restaurant Chops Grille steakhouse where for one low cover charge you can choose any items off the menu from appetizer to dessert.

Cafe Latte-tudes, a specialty coffee house.

Complimentary Park Cafe for sandwiches, wraps, soups and carry away desserts like cookies and cannoli.

Chef's Table intimate dining experience.

Giovanni's Table Italian restaurant.

Izumi Asian-fusion cuisine, featuring a la carte sushi selections

The Izumi, Park Cafe and Latte-tudes are within the new Centrum for a hospitable open seating and relaxation environment. The Windjammer lido area was remade with "action stations to make food service faster and more a la minute.

Entertainment

Royal Caribbean is one of the few cruise lines to offer "name" performers, and comedians. Lounge performers are also seasoned and polished.

This is a small ship and so the entertainment is on par with its side - no Broadway or DreamWorks shows here. This is a small ship and so the entertainment is on par with its side - no Broadway or DreamWorks shows here. But the new Centrum features are worth the time.

Cabins

Grandeur's cabins are cleverly designed to make them feel larger than they actually are; even the smallest feature a small sitting area, and there's a lot more storage space than you'd have any right to expect. Inside cabins start at a tiny 135 sq.ft up to 172 sq.ft. while Oceanview staterooms measure 154 sq. ft.. Family Ocean View Staterooms (237 sq.ft.) can accommodate up to six people. Standard amenities include TV with pay-per-view movies, CNN, safe, lighted vanity, individual temperature control, hair dryer; bathrooms have showers and medicine cabinets; minibars and tubs are found in the highest category stateroom.

Superior Oceanview with private balcony are 195 sq. feet plus a 41 sq.ft. balcony. The five categories of suites include the Junior Suite (241 sq. ft. 64 sq.ft. balcony) and the Royal Family Suite, accommodating up to eight people, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms (463 sq. ft., balcony 55 sq. ft.).

With the 2012 upgrade all of the staterooms received:

Flat-screen TVs

iPad in staterooms

Updated decor

Fitness/Spa

The gym's awfully small for a ship this size. The main pool on Sun Deck is adjacent to the Solarium, a stunning glass- enclosed second pool with whirlpools and comfortable lounge chairs. In the "ShipShape" fitness center, you'll find a spa operated by Steiner's of London (they of the notoriously pushy staff). A rock-climbing wall has also been added to Vision.

Children's Facilities

In addition to separate play areas for kids aged three to 12, there is also a teen lounge that converts to a disco, making Vision an excellent choice for families with children of many different vintages. The "Adventure Ocean" youth program has age-specific facilities and programs supervised by youth counselors for Aquanauts (age 3-5, must be toilet trained), Explorers (age 6-8), Voyagers (age 9-11), Navigators (age 12-14) and Teens (age 15-17). The program runs year-round in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas, Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska. Parents can leave their children at Adventure Ocean while they take shore excursions. For this purpose, the facilities open 30 minutes ahead of morning shore excursion departures. Otherwise, organized activities are offered from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with group babysitting from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for a fee. Teen centers are now open past 2 a.m. Teens will find their own private coffee house and disco.

A new program for infants and toddlers 6 months to 3 years, in partnership with toy maker Fisher-Price, offers 45-minute playgroups for children accompanied by an adult, involving storytelling, creative arts, music and a variety of Fisher-Price learning toys and games. Aqua Babies are six months to 18 months old while Aqua Tots are 18 months to three years old.

The 2012 upgrade brought:

The new Royal Babies and Tots Nursery comes with specially designed Fisher-Price activities. Other kids features include:

Complimentary Adventure Ocean Youth Program.

Expanded teen-only hangout areas.

Splash Deck with interactive play fountain.

Bungee trampoline area for kids of all ages.

Family-friendly activities including games, contests, enrichment classes and lectures.

Private babysitting is offered from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., provided sitters are available, for children from one year old. The rate is usually between $8.00 and $10 per hour depending on the number of children in the family. Cash payment is made directly to the sitter. Arrange through Guest Services at least 24 hours in advance.

Attire

There are two formal nights per cruise. Maybe it's this ship's particularly festive reputation that induced most men to don tuxedos for formal nights, even though a dark suit would work fine. In general, though, this ship offers so much to do that you're likely to see fellow passengers dressed every which way.




Ship Overview

The third in Royal Caribbean’s Vision-class, Grandeur of the Seas launched in 1996. In addition to new staterooms and a new family suite, upgrades to the ship in 2012 have included an outdoor movie screen poolside, the casual Park Café, Asian, Italian, and steak-house specialty restaurants, digital signage, lounges for elite past passengers, and a new nursery.

The first Royal Caribbean ships to offer balconies in a number of categories, these Vision-class vessels, named for sister ship Vision of the Seas, have acres of glass skylights that allow sunlight to flood in and windows that offer wide sea vistas. The soaring central atrium at the heart of each ship is anchored by a chic bar that fills with music after dark and is the ideal spot for watching the daring aerial performances overhead.

Big, bigger, biggest! Royal Caribbean has the largest modern mega cruise liners in the world, as well as some of the most innovative technology on its newest ships, from robot bartenders to the fastest Wi-Fi at sea. Its fleet of 25 and counting are all-around favorites of passengers—arguably the most multigenerational (and Millennial) crowd at sea—who enjoy traditional cruising ambience with a touch of daring and whimsy. Each ship in the fleet has action-packed activities such as surfing pools, rock-climbing walls, and on the newest ships, skydiving simulators, and 10-story slides.

Expansive multideck atriums and promenades, as well as the generous use of brass and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, give each vessel a sense of spaciousness and style. The action is nonstop in casinos and dance clubs after dark, while daytime hours are filled with poolside games and traditional cruise activities. Port talks tend to lean heavily on shopping recommendations and the sale of shore excursions.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Open, light-filled public areas offer sea views from almost every angle
  • Each vessel now offers numerous dining options, both free and for a fee
  • Daring aerialists offer a new wow-factor high above the central atrium

Cons

  • Some lounges serve as a thoroughfare and suffer from continuous traffic flow
  • Except for premium suites, accommodations lean toward the small side
  • There are no self-service laundry rooms
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 760
  • Entered Service 1996
  • Gross Tons 69,130–78,491
  • Length 916
  • Number of Cabins 996
  • Passenger Capacity 1,800–2,000 (2,076–2,435 max)
  • Width 106 feet
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Mar 1, 2017

Review of Grandeur of the Seas

Jeff Porr Age: 55 Occupation:mechanic Number of Cruises: 5 Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean Ship: Grandeur of the Seas Sailing Date: 2015-11-22 Itinerary: Western Caribbean We started out with no hot water in our shower or sink for 3 DAYS. After complaining to the service desk multiple times, they finally fixed the hot water in the shower, but they never fix the hot water in our sink, we had no hot water in our bathroom sink for the entire cruise! I

had purchased the soda package since we do not drink alcohol we only drink diet soft drinks. They had 5 soda dispensers on the ship, one on deck 6 and 4 in the Windjammer cafe on deck 9 (our cabin was on deck 2). We boarded the ship Sunday afternoon, by Sunday evening the soda dispenser on deck 6 was out of soda. By day two the only soda dispenser that had diet soda was the one in the Windjammer cafe (starboard side) by the smokers. By day 3 there was no diet soda in any of the dispensers and none for the rest of the cruise (we were on a 10 day cruise). After complaining to the service desk several times we were offered a 6 pack of warm diet coke for our inconvenience! After several more attempts, we were finally able to get the soda package removed from our bill as this should have been a no-brainer and offered by from Royal Caribbean from the start. Our cabin was filthy! There was hair all over the bathroom sink and floor from day one. I had asked our cabin steward several times to please clean the bathroom, I finally cleaned it myself on day 3. Our cabin floor was also filthy and I don't think our cabin steward vacuumed our cabin the entire cruise (there was a piece of dental floss and paper on the floor by the chair from day one and were still there the last day. The only thing our cabin steward did was to make our bed ONCE a day and put out a few towel animals. The bed was like sleeping on a piece of plywood – The cushion on the bed was literally 1 inch thick, it was HORRIBLE. We asked if they could put some foam or something to make the bed a little softer, that request was ignored and nothing was done. The service in the Great Gatsby Dinning room was terrible. The attention span of the servers was about two steps from your table, if you ask for something and the server had to walk more than two steps away you were not going to get it! We had asked for chocolate milk for breakfast and were told they did not have any chocolate syrup to make chocolate milk. When we asked if there was no chocolate syrup on the ship, how are they able to make chocolate Martinis and Mudslide drinks, they just said there was no chocolate syrup and walked away. On day three we went for breakfast and asked for chocolate milk (it was a game by now) our server was Vanessa, she asked how much chocolate we would like in our milk and brought us chocolate milk (what a surprise a server who actually cared about the passengers). Vanessa got our WOW card, thank you Vanessa! We had four destinations with four excursions - one at each port. The disembarkations were a total debacle! There was no organization what so ever! It was like this was the first time they ever tried to disembark!!! There were so many people waiting to get off the ship on decks 2,3 & 4 you could not even get in or out of your cabins! It was absolutely ridiculous!!! The staff was like this was the first time they were ever on a ship! Our excursions were early for each stop and because of the disembarkments debacles, we were 45 minutes or more late for our excursions. Which in turn cut our excursion 45 minutes short so they could be on time for the next group, we were rushed through each stop. Some stops were rushed so much we had as little as 5 MINUTES! Thanks Royal Caribbean! The activities were few and not family oriented. The activities were either casino, shopping or alcohol related (what ever they could do to suck more money out of you)!!!! This was by far the most disappointing and disgusting vacation we have ever had. This was our 5th cruise (our 4th with Royal Caribbean) the quality of Royal Caribbean cruises has fallen to an extreme low. This ship, this crew, this staff, the service on board this ship and the total lack of attention to detail or to resolve any issues has convinced me to NEVER cruise Royally Screwed Caribbean again!!! The food was good but not great.

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Nov 22, 2015

Western Caribbean

We started out with no hot water in our shower or sink for 3 DAYS. After complaining to the service desk multiple times, they finally fixed the hot water in the shower, but they never fix the hot water in our sink, we had no hot water in our bathroom sink for the entire cruise! I had purchased the soda package since we do not drink alcohol we only drink diet soft drinks. They had 5 soda dispensers on the ship, one on deck 6 and 4 in the

Windjammer cafe on deck 9 (our cabin was on deck 2). We boarded the ship Sunday afternoon, by Sunday evening the soda dispenser on deck 6 was out of soda. By day two the only soda dispenser that had diet soda was the one in the Windjammer cafe (starboard side) by the smokers. By day 3 there was no diet soda in any of the dispensers and none for the rest of the cruise (we were on a 10 day cruise). After complaining to the service desk several times we were offered a 6 pack of warm diet coke for our inconvenience! After several more attempts, we were finally able to get the soda package removed from our bill as this should have been a no-brainer and offered by from Royal Caribbean from the start. Our cabin was filthy! There was hair all over the bathroom sink and floor from day one. I had asked our cabin steward several times to please clean the bathroom, I finally cleaned it myself on day 3. Our cabin floor was also filthy and I don't think our cabin steward vacuumed our cabin the entire cruise (there was a piece of dental floss and paper on the floor by the chair from day one and were still there the last day. The only thing our cabin steward did was to make our bed ONCE a day and put out a few towel animals. The bed was like sleeping on a piece of plywood – The cushion on the bed was literally 1 inch thick, it was HORRIBLE. We asked if they could put some foam or something to make the bed a little softer, that request was ignored and nothing was done. The service in the Great Gatsby Dinning room was terrible. The attention span of the servers was about two steps from your table, if you ask for something and the server had to walk more than two steps away you were not going to get it! We had asked for chocolate milk for breakfast and were told they did not have any chocolate syrup to make chocolate milk. When we asked if there was no chocolate syrup on the ship, how are they able to make chocolate Martinis and Mudslide drinks, they just said there was no chocolate syrup and walked away. On day three we went for breakfast and asked for chocolate milk (it was a game by now) our server was Vanessa, she asked how much chocolate we would like in our milk and brought us chocolate milk (what a surprise a server who actually cared about the passengers). Vanessa got our WOW card, thank you Vanessa! We had four destinations with four excursions - one at each port. The disembarkations were a total debacle! There was no organization what so ever! It was like this was the first time they ever tried to disembark!!! There were so many people waiting to get off the ship on decks 2,3 & 4 you could not even get in or out of your cabins! It was absolutely ridiculous!!! The staff was like this was the first time they were ever on a ship! Our excursions were early for each stop and because of the disembarkments debacles, we were 45 minutes or more late for our excursions. Which in turn cut our excursion 45 minutes short so they could be on time for the next group, we were rushed through each stop. Some stops were rushed so much we had as little as 5 MINUTES! Thanks Royal Caribbean! The activities were few and not family oriented. The activities were either casino, shopping or alcohol related (what ever they could do to suck more money out of you)!!!! This was by far the most disappointing and disgusting vacation we have ever had. This was our 5th cruise (our 4th with Royal Caribbean) the quality of Royal Caribbean cruises has fallen to an extreme low. This ship, this crew, this staff, the service on board this ship and the total lack of attention to detail or to resolve any issues has convinced me to NEVER cruise Royally Screwed Caribbean again!!! The food was good but not great.

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Oct 20, 2012

Eastern Mediterranean

Great itinerary and we were very happy with every aspect. We ate at The Windjammer throughout as it was situated on Deck 9 and overlooked the bow of the ship with a 180' outlook. It was a perfect viewing situation - especially when entering a port! We thought the variety and presentation of food was excellent and we were very satisfied with our whole experience. After several days at sea the Main Dining Room staff phoned us to invite us to

dine there because they had realized we hadn't been to that dining room at all. We thought that was a very good service. The officer in charge of dining in The Windjammer was present and checked on diners and their opinions at almost every meal. We felt that every possible effort was being made to ensure all guests were happy. We were very pleased with our stateroom which was a Balcony one just a bit towards the bow from the main forward staircase on Deck 7. The space was about a metre longer than the stateroom we had had on a previous cruise (with another cruise line) and the extra space meant that there was a full sized settee in the stateroom as well as the bed. The linen was of a very high quality and we thought the bed was very comfortable. The stateroom was kept in an immaculate condition by our steward. There seemed to be plenty of activities to suit most tastes. We attended most of the shows but apart from that we usually spent our time on board reading, eating and generally relaxing as we wanted to save our energy for the ports that we were visiting. The swimming pools were a good size and there were plenty of deck chairs for all. Many of the passengers spent most of their time there. Travelers should make sure that they read the descriptions carefully and pick excursions that suit their physical ability and their level of interest in that particular site/sites. We went on shorter tours in Athens, Kusadasi, Santorini and a longer one from Split. I found that comments on cruise review sites were helpful in deciding which tours would suit us best. If I went again I would spend more time exploring Split. Passengers who went on the excursion which included a river cruise said that it was a great day and they loved it. My husband and I wanted to visit Dubrovnik, Santorini and Mykynos and this was the only cruise at this particular time of year that included all three places. As we expected these ports proved a great experience but we also really enjoyed just wandering around the shops in Bodrum and also thought Split was definitely well worth a return visit at some stage in the future. We began the cruise in Venice and it was an amazing experience. We sailed very slowly along the channel between the islands and right past the entrance to the Grand Canal. It was an absolutely perfect way to begin the cruise and we will never forget such a wonderful sight.

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Nov 3, 2011

mediteranean

HAVING SAILED WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN BEFORE I WAS DISMAYED AT THEIR PENNY PINCHING WITH REGARDS TO THE PRICING OF SHORT BUS RIDES FROM THE SHIP TO JUST OUT SIDE THE PORT AREA. THE COST OF BOTTLED WATER ABOARD THE SHIP WAS DAYLIGHT ROBBERY. THE COST OF ALCOHOL ABOARD SHIP WAS UNBLIEVABLE. THE FOOD WAS JUST MEDIOCRE. IF THE SHIP HAD BEEN IN THE CARIBBEAN AND SERVED THE SAME FARE I BELIEVE MANY MORE PEOPLE WOULD OF COMPLAINED. MY STATE-ROOM

WAS FINE AND EVERY THING WORKED BUT THE BEDS DIPPED IN THE MIDDLE BECAUSE THE MATTRESSES WERE WELL WORN WITH NO RELACEMENTS AVAILABLE. APART FROM LYING IN THE SUN EVERY THING ELSE WAS EXPENSIVE. ARRANGE YOUR OWN AND MISS OUT THE MIDDLE MAN (ROYAL CARIBBEAN). WEATHER WAS GREAT ITINERY GOOD SHIP NEEDS A REFIT.

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Oct 30, 2011

Palma to gibraltar

There seems to be a huge variety of differing views on this boat but I can only say how we found things. Firstly the food was superb. Both Windjammer buffet, breakfast and lunch and tea, and Dinner in the formal dinignrooms. Service excellent. The only downside was that there often seemed too many folks trying to get into bars or areas where entertainement was happening. The cruise director was invisible. Planning of entertainment was poor. Examples

being a great 70's evening dancing event which suddenly finished after an hour at 10 pm leaving families with children, like 11 yrs, with little to do. Often there were gaps in the scheduling and on balance the cruise director must be to blame. Other than this all was great. Large cabinss Excellent. Minor critisicism was that the buffet closed late evning and was not 24 hours. Larger than expected. Minor critiscism was nowhere to put cases. Not good. Poorly planned but when they happened they were good. Not enough areas to drink and relax. Dolphin Safari in gibraltar is a must. Go at 3.30 for best sightings. We saw over 100

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