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Grandeur of the Seas (New to RCL)


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Looking for honest opinion on the RCL Grandeur of the Seas.  Have never been on a RCL ship.

 

We are a 60-something couple and have previously sailed with Holland America, Queen Mary 2, and a ton of times on Norwegian. The bride found a great price on the Grandeur for a 2023 Caribbean cruise.   With the pricing so good (too good???) we are leaning towards a suite cabin.

 

With the price so good, I started to research the Grandeur.  Note that is a smaller & older ship. We are not interested in wall climbing or daredevil pool slides.  Can somebody who was been on the Grandeur comment on the conditions of such an older ship, specific suite benefits found on the Grandeur, the beverage package, quality of food etc?  Thank you in advance.

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Posted (edited)

Cruised on Grandeur 7 times.  If you fit the typical 60-something profile, you should fit right in.  🙂

 

P.S.  Grandeur was my last cruise (Feb 20 to 28, 2020), before the world shut down.

 

Edited by Another_Critic
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You sound like an experienced cruiser so you understand that ships of this vintage on any cruise line do not represent the modern experience of a newer ship of that line.

 

Like the NCL Sky it wouldn't be fair to compare her to Royal's newer ships and it wouldn't be fair to compare Grandeur to NCL's newer ships.

 

If you were new to cruising having watched marketing hype showing go karts and zip lines you'd probably be underwhelmed with those expectations upon boarding Sky or Grandeur.  Assuming a ton of cruises on NCL included some cruises on the older ships in the fleet then you have an idea what the ship will feature and be like in general.

 

There is nothing to scare you away from Grandeur if you have the proper expectations.  She had a dedicated following in Baltimore and was known for great service typical with smaller ships.  I've cruised her before and I have a future cruise booked on her.  I'm rather looking forward to returning having done a bunch of mega ship cruising before the shutdown.  However I have an affinity for small ships and I don't need the flashy new stuff to enjoy a cruise.

 

She is one of four in this class remaining in the fleet, now the smallest ships that Royal Caribbean International sails.  Her sisters are Vision, Rhapsody and Enchantment who is the only one in this class that was stretched.  If you are looking for reviews or general impressions they are pretty similar although Grandeur does have more specialty restaurants for an extra cost than some in this class.

 

My biggest gripe would probably be the shower curtains in the bathrooms.  Darn things love to cling to you.  

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I have been on the QM2, Grandeur, and Oceania Insignia.  Never on NCL.

 

I like the Grandeur, I tend to like smaller ships.

 

Of the 3 I have listed I prefer the food on Insignia best. Grandeur the least.

I like the drinks, ambiance, and on-board activities best on the QM2.  My second choice would be Insignia.  Personal taste of course.

 

Personally, overall I would put Grandeur at the bottom of those 3, however, with the right itinerary and price I definitely would sail on her again.

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Grandeur or " Lady G." was our last cruise too, sadly two and a half years ago.  It was our fifth vacation on this ship and we were fortunate to book a corner aft cabin with walk in closet, perfect for 12 days.

 

Wonderful crew and hotel staff.  Friendly to Meet and Mingle gatherings.

 

One of the oldest ships in the fleet still has very sexy lines and has proven she can take a beating.

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Something that Grandeur has, like QM2 and HAL ships, is a full promenade deck, perfect for walking in the fresh sea air.  It's one of our favorite Grandeur features.

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Posted (edited)

Grandeur was our very first RCI sailing ever in 2012. Transatlantic. Classic shows on this ship if you like them (none of the Broadway stuff) see below and what other ships the same shows are on. You cannot know how they will handle the buffet set up (it had an odd entry with food right as you were walking in and I'm sure  they will change it). Giovannis and Chops and Izumi shushi and Park Cafe were on this ship and it had an odd 2 level Palladium theatre instead of three levels.  It had a 2 lounges for the guests Diamond to Pinnacle and the Viking Crown Lounge above the pool. The gym was the smaller Vision Class type where you have to go downstairs to the restroom but it has a great view. The public areas are pretty . Old wood not pressboard look of Anthem, etc.  Really the classic not made for teenagers and kids ship although they have probably beefed up some of those areas. Mini golf, slides, hair salon and spa,  casino, never had a cigar lounge. No promenade but a centrum . A huge lounge at the back of the ship with a ballroom and   the Diamond lounge in the corner . We used to sit and do crosswords in this area as often during the day nothing was going on there until night (Bingo, events, the art shows). The solarium is SPACIOUS compared to Brilliance. They took the room from the gym and gave it to that pool area. It has a cover that may or may not be used over this area. 

 

FOOD - all depends on whether you are a dining room, a "buffet room" or specialty restaurant person. So no comment as you didn't specify where you normally eat. As a big vegetarian salady person I could always get what I liked. The meat eaters have more of a problem on all of these ships because pure proteins in dining room and the buffet windjammer are limited in scope! 

 

We cannot wait to get on it now that it is sailing out of Barbados in 2022. we hope that works! We thought we lost our chance as it was to be sold. We are the older cruiser type. No kids. 

All Access (Grandeur of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas)

A song-and-dance revue with past hits from Sly & the Family Stone; the Everly Brothers; Blood Sweat & Tears; and Earth, Wind & Fire.

and

 

Broadway Rhythm and Rhyme (Grandeur of the Seas, Vision of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas)

A retrospective of several Broadway's shows, including West Side Story, Dreamgirls, Chicago and a medley of favorite tunes from the Pajama Game, The Music Man, Oklahoma and My Fair Lady.

Edited by Sirlancelot
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On 3/19/2021 at 1:22 PM, Captain_Cruising said:

Looking for honest opinion on the RCL Grandeur of the Seas.  Have never been on a RCL ship.

 

We are a 60-something couple and have previously sailed with Holland America, Queen Mary 2, and a ton of times on Norwegian. The bride found a great price on the Grandeur for a 2023 Caribbean cruise.   With the pricing so good (too good???) we are leaning towards a suite cabin.

 

With the price so good, I started to research the Grandeur.  Note that is a smaller & older ship. We are not interested in wall climbing or daredevil pool slides.  Can somebody who was been on the Grandeur comment on the conditions of such an older ship, specific suite benefits found on the Grandeur, the beverage package, quality of food etc?  Thank you in advance.

Oh, I wanted to add that the suite benefits are not like the Oasis and big ships. If you are on a higher up than Junior suite (Grand suite on up) you have access to one of the lounges and can order from the dining room to be brought to your room. You have a priority seating area in the theatre way at the back where it is a nosebleed seat. But you get that bigger room. All the rooms will seem tired vs the new ships so be ready! 

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Grandeur was our very first sailing with Rcl several years ago.  The standard of cabin is a tad smaller than newer ships.  If you get a JS I recommend one near the aft on deck 8 below the spa.  Unless you can get a corner aft, then go for that.  

I find the service to be more personable than larger ships.  Food quality is usually better too.  

We typically buy the 3 night speciality dining pig if doing a 7 or 8 night sailing.  We love Chops, steakhouse and Giovannis, italian restaurant.

My only complaint with her is the location of the windjammer (buffet) is at the front of the ship.  If you get  a rocky sea day gets a little difficult to carry food from buffet to table.  But they are personable and I have seen them help carry people's plate to avoid having to clean up.

We are booked for a b2b feb 2022 out of barbados.  Out of the 8 future cruises we have booked, it is that b2b that I am most excited about.  

 

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I had to chuckle about the comment one poster made concerning the clingy shower curtain. You said you're thinking about the suites. That is not a problem in the suites. 🙂 

 

I've had a grand suite and a junior suite on the Grandeur. I loved them both. The Grandeur is a wonderful size ship. And I agree that the staff on the smaller ships seem to be so much more personable.

 

My favorite memory of the Grandeur was the last night aboard. It was December 23rd and we were approaching Chesapeake Bay. I stood on one of the upper levels of the Centrum  listening to the passenger choir concert of Christmas carols. Below was the beautifully decorated Christmas tree and the railing were strung with colored lights. Meanwhile, outside through those wonderfully expansive windows, you could see the lights on shore, as well as the blinking red and green channel markers. It was magical. That's the thing about the smaller ships. You can see the sea!  

 

And I'm eying those itineraries out of Barbados. They look amazing. Once I'm certain they are going to sail I'm strongly considering another cruise on Lady G.

 

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14 hours ago, emeraldcity said:

I had to chuckle about the comment one poster made concerning the clingy shower curtain. You said you're thinking about the suites. That is not a problem in the suites. 🙂 

 

I've had a grand suite and a junior suite on the Grandeur. I loved them both. The Grandeur is a wonderful size ship. And I agree that the staff on the smaller ships seem to be so much more personable.

 

My favorite memory of the Grandeur was the last night aboard. It was December 23rd and we were approaching Chesapeake Bay. I stood on one of the upper levels of the Centrum  listening to the passenger choir concert of Christmas carols. Below was the beautifully decorated Christmas tree and the railing were strung with colored lights. Meanwhile, outside through those wonderfully expansive windows, you could see the lights on shore, as well as the blinking red and green channel markers. It was magical. That's the thing about the smaller ships. You can see the sea!  

 

And I'm eying those itineraries out of Barbados. They look amazing. Once I'm certain they are going to sail I'm strongly considering another cruise on Lady G.

 

Do you have experiences on cruises start from Barbados? As the ship leaves at 10pm, can we get off the ship after check in?

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1 hour ago, hellopuppies said:

Do you have experiences on cruises start from Barbados? As the ship leaves at 10pm, can we get off the ship after check in?

That is unknown now with different Covid Protocols and the fact that Royal has never homeported from Barbados.  As a comparison, pre Covid out of San Juan where there was 8pm departures you could check in and then leave the ship.  We will most likely have to wait for the first few sailings have occurred.

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We would not sail Grandeur again. The ship is rough around the edges. I remember thinking she should be renamed, "Cheapeur of the Seas".

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I will offer a word of caution regarding the full suites on the Vision class ships.  Most of the full suites are jammed all the way forward and are directly under the Windjammer (buffet).  I will never again pay for a full suite on a Vision class ship unless I can get one of the few full suites that are midship or aft. 

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I've been on her quite a few times (even including a time where she had a hole in the bough of the ship!) and enjoyed her very much.  She doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but is a charming ship and very well maintained.

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1 hour ago, RFerrington said:

I will offer a word of caution regarding the full suites on the Vision class ships.  Most of the full suites are jammed all the way forward and are directly under the Windjammer (buffet).  I will never again pay for a full suite on a Vision class ship unless I can get one of the few full suites that are midship or aft. 

ImO, Deck 8 Aft is the place to be.  Under the spa is nice and quiet.  Midship can be noisy with pool deck above you.

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16 hours ago, broadwaybaby123 said:

I've been on her quite a few times (even including a time where she had a hole in the bough of the ship!) and enjoyed her very much.  She doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but is a charming ship and very well maintained.

I sailed her several times when she had a break on the running track (deck 10) above the towel station.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Nado44 said:

We would not sail Grandeur again. The ship is rough around the edges. I remember thinking she should be renamed, "Cheapeur of the Seas".

Well, the ship is 25 years old.

 

Heck, I sailed the maiden voyage (SOU to CL) on Quantum and the ship was falling apart!  

 

Edited by Another_Critic
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20 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

That is unknown now with different Covid Protocols and the fact that Royal has never homeported from Barbados.  As a comparison, pre Covid out of San Juan where there was 8pm departures you could check in and then leave the ship.  We will most likely have to wait for the first few sailings have occurred.

Thanks for your input, Ken.

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3 hours ago, Another_Critic said:

Well, the ship is 25 years old.

 

Heck, I sailed the maiden voyage (SOU to CL) on Quantum and the ship was falling apart!  

 

 

Funny, we were on the same voyage. Quantum, being brand new and despite the technical glitches, didn't feel cheap. 🙂

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