Review of Grandeur of the Seas
A Royal Caribbean Cruise
Grandeur of the Seas has a capacity of 2446 passengers. It's one of the smallest ships from Royal Caribbean and started its operation in 1996. It is one of the contracted and regular cruise ships calling Bermuda. For its voyage to Bermuda, it usually leaves from Baltimore and docks at Royal Naval Dockyard
. There are 11 passenger decks in the ship and 975 cabins or staterooms.
The Cabins or Staterooms
Out of 975 cabins, there are 576 with ocean views and 399 are interior. 212 ocean view cabins have balconies. All the standard cabins have twin beds that can convert to queen-size, phone, TV, hair dryer and AC with temperature controller. Cabins with balcony have refrigerators. Bathrooms are basic and only suites have tubs.
Grandeur of the Sea
Photo: C Watts, flickr, cc by 2.0
Inside cabins are about 140 square feet in area. Ocean view cabins are 154 square feet. Balcony cabins are 190 square feet with a private balcony of about 53 square feet in area. The Junior Suit is 245 square feet and has a larger living room and balcony. The Grand Suite is about 345 square feet with a fairly large balcony. The Owner's Suites are 511 square feet and have some more facilities like a bathroom with tub and separate shower, separate bedroom and living areas and of course a larger balcony. The Royal Suite is 1,119 square feet in area and comes with all the amenities of an Owner's Suite plus a baby grand piano and a 148 square feet balcony.
Restaurants and Dining Options
There are two traditional seating at 6 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. times with pre-assigned tables during dinner. However it's open seating for breakfast and lunch.
Here are all the restaurants and dining options:
Main Dining Room – It spans across 2 levels connected by a magnificent staircase. At breakfast and lunch you can wear casual clothing. During dinner, the dress code varies. On a five night cruise, there is usually one formal night. The sea food is particularly excellent. some of our favorites include pan-seared sea bass, broiled lobster tail and shrimp with garlic, and herb-crusted fillet of Atlantic cod.
There are also nice vegetarian food available like chilled watermelon gazpacho, ziti with marinara sauce, eggplant with plum tomato sauce and balsamic glaze. There are light low calorie items or even desserts like sugar free cakes and such.
Windjammer Café – It serves full-buffet continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and late night snacks. No reservations required. Food here is included within the cruise price except for specialty food or beverages.
Ben & Jerry’s – Ice cream parlor.
Room Service – Has a 24-hour menu.
The Centrum – This is the main open air atrium and the hub. There are number of shops, cafe and sitting areas here. Around this area, you will find a well stocked library with a balcony, a card room, conference centers, boutiques and photo gallery. At the base of the atrium, there's ballroom dancing and easy listening music through out the evening hours.
There are cooking and ice carving demonstrations, and a backstage tour of the Palladium Theater.
Palladium Theatre – This is where the main events like comedy shows, magic shows, acrobatic performances and many other types of acts are held. It can accommodate 870 persons.
Casino Royale – This is on Vegas theme with 192 slot machines, blackjack tables, Stud tables and roulette wheels.
Viking Crown Lounge – A lounge on Deck 11 with spectacular views, offers recorded tunes and dancing well into the night.
South Pacific Lounge – Live music and karaoke in the evenings.
Schooner Bar – A marine-themed bar with live piano play.
Singin’ in the Rain Lounge – A dance lounge.
Champagne Bar and Terrace – Offers varieties of wines and champagnes.
Art auctions and bingo are held daily. There is an internet cafe on deck 8.
If you are still looking for more options, check the community bulletin board next to the guest services desk. You'll find invitations for almost everything from veterans' and Red Hat Society (women over 50) meet and dominoes get-togethers, and such.
Pools and Spas: Two jumbo-sized pools. Solarium is the adults only pool with retractable roof and 2 whirlpools. The day Spa has comprehensive menu. There are nine treatment rooms along with a steam room and sauna. ShipShape fitness center has 7 treadmills and exercise machines. Open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., the gym offers complimentary stretching and firming classes.
Sports: There is a rock-climbing wall rising 30 feet. On Deck 5, there is a walking track.
For Kids: An excellent Adventure Ocean Youth Program divides the kids into three age categories, 3-5 get story times, 6-7 play backwards bingo, pirate nights and such, 9-11 play foosball and others. The activities are mainly held at Fantasea Teen Center and Adventure Ocean Kids' Center, located on Deck 10.
Cost that are outside the cruise deal
Watch out for these extra charges which are not covered in your basic cruise deal package:
There is $12.95 per day per person gratuity recommended by the cruise line. It can be pre-paid in advance, added to shipboard account or paid in cash at the end of the cruise.
An 18 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar tabs.
Internet access cost is 50 cents a minute, or you can buy a wireless card for $10 a day.
Spinning, Pilates and yoga classes cost $10. You can buy an unlimited fitness class pass for $50.
Spa massage is very expensive. To give you an idea, a 50-minute deep tissue massage at the day spa costs $129.
Late-night group babysitting in the kids' areas (for ages 3 to 11) is available from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for $5 per child.
There are no self-service launderettes and laundry charges are extra.
Our overall review and opinion
This Royal Caribbean cruise is meant primarily for an affordable and active cruise vacation. So there are lots of singles and couples other than families and children. The average age can be in the low 40's. In the summer season, Grandeur can attract more than even 600 kids on board.
The ship is now getting a bit old and some signs of wear and tear have now started showing in some places. However, some of the big positives include:
The multi-storied atrium is really the center point.
The dining is excellent along with the gorgeous decor of the dining rooms. It offers innovative kids programs.
It's one of the smallest in the fleet.