Grandeur of the Seas

Norovirus outbreak forces Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas home early


Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas returned home to Baltimore today a day early after a number of passengers became sick on the cruise.

Royal Caribbean spokesperson Cynthia Martinez said 193 guests(9.91 percent) and nine crew members(1.15 percent) experienced the illness, thought to be norovirus.

"Those affected by the short-lived illness are responding well to over-the-counter medication administered on board the ship," Martinez said.

The ship will undergo a ship-wide cleaning and disinfection after the guests disembark.  The terminal will also be sanitized.

When the ship was in Falmouth, Jamaica, two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers boarded the ship along with two epidemiologists.  They collected samples for testing and evaluated the outbreak and response activities.

About 100 cruise passengers sick on Royal Caribbean ship from Baltimore


Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas is dealing with a gastrointestinal sickness that has broken out on the ship for the second time in two weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting almost 100 passengers on the Grandeur of the Seas cruise that left Baltimore on April 5th.

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman commented, "Those affected by the short-lived illness have responded well to over-the-counter medication being administered onboard the ship."

A cruise that departed Baltimore March 28 on the same ship also had an outbreak of viral illness that the CDC said was caused by norovirus. During that cruise, more than 100 passengers became ill. Fewer than a dozen crew members were sickened. 

Grandeur of the Seas is expected to return to Baltimore as scheduled Saturday morning. 

Upon its return to Baltimore, the ship is expected to be thoroughly sanitized. In addition, "two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and an epidemiologist will board the ship," as part of the ongoing investigation, according to disease control officials.

Royal Caribbean expands "kids sail free" promotion to include Grandeur of the Seas


Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean announced a very popular promotion offering third and fourth passengers on a Royal Caribbean cruise would sail free on select cruises between May and December 2014 but it excluded Quantum of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas.  Until now.

Royal Caribbean has now expanded the offering to include the Baltimore-based cruises on Grandeur of the Seas.

The details of the deal remain the same: Royal Caribbean is giving free cruise fare to third and fourth passenger of any age sharing a cabin with two paying passengers on sailings departing from May 1 to December 15. Bookings must be made by March 31.

The deal is advertised as "kids sail free", but the reality is there is no age restriction on the offer so any third and fourth passenger

Royal Caribbean passenger flown from Grandeur of the Seas to hospital


A woman was taken by helicopter from Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas due to being in "medical distress" according to the United States Coast Guard.

Star News Online reports the unidentified woman was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina at about 6:00am while off the coast of Florida early this morning.

They left the Coast Guard Air Station in Elizabeth City aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, according to the commander center.

Coast Guard officials arrived at 6:20 a.m. and took the woman to the Wilmington hospital for medical attention. When they got to the ship it was about 225 miles southeast of the Bahamas.

The woman is in stable condition, but there is no word as to what her medical emergency was.

Royal Caribbean warns Baltimore port strike could affect Grandeur of the Seas cruise


Royal Caribbean issued a warning today for guests on the October 17 Grandeur of the Seas cruise out of Baltimore, Maryland that their luggage service may be affected.

The longshoremen’s union at the Port of Baltimore is currently on strike. If the strike continues tomorrow, there will be a delay in moving guests’ luggage on and off the ship. 

As a result, Royal Caribbean is asking guests guests scheduled to sail on Grandeur of the Seas on October 17, not arrive at the port before 1:00 p.m. Check in for this sailing will take place between 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The sailing’s departure time will be delayed until 7:00 p.m. to accommodate this event, but it will not impact the scheduled itinerary. 

More details on cause of Grandeur of the Seas fire


The exact cause of the fire on Grandeur of the Seas that occured in late May 2013 is still unknown but during yesterday's congressional hearing into cruise ship safety, we got some more details.  

In his testimony, US Coast Guard Rear Admiral Joseph Servidio spoke to why the fire became as large as it was.  Admiral Servidio said a deluge system vale, which is a piece of firefighting equipment, was inaccesible because of the fire's location. In addition, an open deck hatch allowed the fire to spread.

Servidio also mentioned that the Coast Guard will be investigating the entire class of Vision-class ships that Grandeur of the Seas is part of, to seek more information.  This includes Legend of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean pledges to continue to cruise out of Baltimore


Royal Caribbean is reiterating that it plans to continue to offer cruises out of the port of Baltimore one week after Grandeur of the Seas returned to service.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Royal Caribbean's executive vice president of operations, commented on the company's commitment, "We're sticking with Baltimore.  We're back, and we're ready."

Royal Caribbean added a flag to Grandeur of the Seas that reads "Don't give up the ship", which is a famous quote from the War of 1812, and the line says it will keep the flag flying on Grandeur of the Seas as long as she's based out of the city.  Royal Caribbean says the flag means Grandeur of the Seas is back and that vacationers shouldn't "give up the ship as a vacation option."

Recently competitor cruise line, Carnival Cruise Line, announced it was pulling its cruise ships out of Baltimore in 2014, so Royal Caribbean's statement is good news for a city worried about the future of the cruise ship business in their port.

Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas photo update


Royal Caribbean allowed select travel agents and members of the media to tour Grandeur of the Seas before she resumes normal service for guests tomorrow.  The ship is fresh off over a month of repairs after a fire broke out on the aft of the ship in late May.

Grandeur of the Seas is not 100% repaired but enough of it is good to go that the cruise line feels ready she can sail.  Annette Owens from MEI-Travel provided some of these photos exclusively for Royal Caribbean Blog and we've also included some other photos as well to show you how the ship is.  All work on Grandeur of the Seas is expected to be complete by July 19.

Public areas of the ship that we know are closed are

  • Diamond Club Lounge (re-opens July 19)
  • South Pacific Lounge (re-opens July 19)

Rear of Grandeur of the Seas showing no signs of fire damage (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Chart detailing which areas have been repaired and updated. (Photo courtesy of Cruise Critic)

Sections of the rear deck are closed off to passengers to complete repairs. (Photo courtesy of MEI-Travel)

Crew working on a muster station near aft of ship. (Photo courtesy of MEI-Travel)

Royal Caribbean forced to remove some passengers from Grandeur of the Seas


Grandeur of the Seas first cruise back since it's fire last May is June 12 but unfortunately a few passengers have been forced to not go on the cruise because of unfinished repair work stemming from that fire.

Royal Caribbean confirmed to Cruise Critic that some passengers have been forced to "re-accomodate" to another sailing because of the repairs that are still needed.

Royal Caribbean spokesman Harry Liu commented on the action, In the past weeks, Grandeur of the Seas staff and crew and many others have worked tirelessly to restore the onboard spaces that were affected by a fire in May."

"Every member of Grandeur of the Seas' staff and crew demonstrated a heroic response that night and has since been dedicated to bringing the ship back into service. "

"We unfortunately had to re-accommodate some guests on the July 12 cruise to later sailings so that additional needed workers may stay onboard in order to complete these remaining tasks as quickly as possible." 

Grandeur of the Seas photo update


Royal Caribbean posted a new photo from the aft area of Grandeur of the Seas, showing the work being actively done on the ship to prepare her to return to service this weekend.

Other than the photo, Royal Caribbean reports is looking good and finalizing repairs.  The work being done is to repair fire damage that occurred over a month ago in the aft area of the ship at a dockyard in the Bahamas.  Grandeur of the Seas is expected to arrive back in Baltimore on July 11th and be ready to sail on July 12th.