The Yorkshire Evening Post sent writer Rod McPhee on a seven night cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas to take a look at how good an offering this cruise is. McPhee was looking to erase the notion that cruises are "the preserve of old couples and newlyweds, or perhaps husbands and wives who suddenly find they’ve some spare cash now the kids have grown up".
His seven night cruise departed from Mallorca and visited Barcelona, Ibiza, Malaga and Gibraltar before returning to Palma.
McPhee found himself impressed by Grandeur of the Seas and all that it had to offer, "Even though it’s not Royal Caribbean’s biggest vessel it boasts a huge array of rooms, ranging from inside staterooms without windows to large suites with balconies. Of an evening you can spend time wandering from one end of the boat to the other, either as an observer or a participant."
Of all the port stops McPhee made, he found Malaga to be the most surprising and his favorite, "Malaga is the biggest surprise. Though not as famous as other destinations in the corner of the Mediterranean, it is a city with an authentic atmosphere. Yes, there are many tourist attractions, such as the cathedral and coastline, but there is the sense that this place services the lifestyle of ordinary Spaniards, rather than holidaymakers."
Interestingly, McPhee (who is from the United Kingdom) was sure to point out some nuances of cruising that his readers should be aware of.
You will be expected to pay tips to crew, not just to your cabin cleaner but the head waiter, table waiter and deputy table waiter.
The management will send you letters in which they suggest how much each staff member should receive from each guest, per day and give you the chance to remunerate them by credit card.
There are no irons available for use. Instead you must pay the laundry team to press your clothing.
Also be aware of the fact that, if you’re coming from Britain, you’re likely to change your pounds into Euros only to discover that you’ll then lose more money by being forced to change your euros into the ship’s currency, which is US dollars.