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  1. Hi all. I am due to sail on Grandeur on 1/23 from Barbados. I know Royal have the cruise with confidence policy but for me there is a potential worry. We are travelling from the UK and Flights, pre cruise hotel, transfers and cruise have all been booked as a package through Royal. Once we are on the ship I am not worried as Royal will look after all our arrangements etc. but due to stay for 2 nights in Barbados before the cruise. My understanding is that if we turn up at the terminal and test positive then we get a cruise refund but have to claim from insurance for quarantine costs etc. Its a long way to go just to quarantine My questions are Will Royal still help with flights home if we don’t board as booked as a package with them? is it worth the risk going as I have heard a few rumours re positive tests at the terminal? What would you do if you were in my shoes? Thanks in Advance.
  2. Does anyone else think Grandeur may never sail again? I'm booked on her final sailing next March, but I fear with the Pullmantur bankruptcy and the expected staggered restart of cruising that she might not come back for those last 6 months at all. Tell me I'm crazy! ? ? ?
  3. I haven't seen a lot of Grandeur (or Vision class) in the live blog section so I've decided to do this recap blog from my trip nine moths ago. I sailed on Grandeur of the Seas out of Baltimore at the end of August 2017. This would be my 3rd cruise with Royal so I was gold level in the Crown and Anchor Society. This would be my first solo cruise with Royal and with the double C&A points for cruising solo it would be my platinum cruise. Itinerary: Day 1 - Depart Baltimore Day 2 - Sea Day Day 3 - Bermuda Day 4 - Bermuda Day 5 - Sea Day Day 6 - Nassau Day 7 - Cococay Day 8 - Sea Day Day 9 - Sea Day Day 10 - Disembark Baltimore I booked a guarantee inside cabin and was assigned cabin 2053 a few days after booking. Flying in the day before I stayed at a hotel close to BWI airport that had a free airport shuttle and took Lyft over to the cruise terminal in the morning. Lyft was $15.
  4. I am hoping for some information. I heard that Grandeur's casino doesn't open on the first night when leaving Baltimore and closes the last day at 4. I have been on a cruise out of Baltimore on another line and their casino was open. Is this true? If so, my husband is NOT going to be happy. Any information would be appreciated!
  5. Does the spa on Grandeur have smoothies? I heard Allure had this when I sailed in April and we could have used the Refreshment package to get them. But I didn't think of that during that trip. So I'm wondering if this just exists on larger ships.
  6. I am not going to promise lengthy entries but I will try and provide some daily observations. 5 night Bermuda cruise. Deluxe drink packages for both of us and also Ultimate Dining Packages. We were able to have lunch at Chops on embark day using our UDP. While there, (BTW we were the only ones in the restaurant until just minutes before we left when 1 other couple came in. It was a wonderful “private” lunch) the maiter’d made all of the specialty dining reservations for us for the rest of the cruise. Very nice. Good news for Sweety - they still have red velvet cake at Chops on Lady G ! Yippee. Dan and I shared a slice. More than that would have been decadence and an obvious exercise of “cruise privilege”. I’ve already reported the delay in leaving port (5 PM vs 4 PM) due to Fleet Week activities. Cruise Director is Bob Leininger. I don’t know yet who the AM is. Will report if/when I find out Capt is Thordur Thorsson. We’ve sailed with him many time. Very good Capt HD is Adriana Tibaudo. Don’t recall her name so no opinion yet Diamond Concierge is Carlington Berry. We’ve had him as our Concierge before. Suites/D+ Concierge is Francis Calimag. While the casino is officially closed tonite (til we get out of Chesapeake Bay) there are “free” slot and BJ tournaments at 8 PM tonite First time I’ve seen this. I guess they will just be for “fun”. The casino hostess (Joyce Ndubane) was the asst casino hostess on our Liberty cruise last month. Near the end of that cruise, she left Liberty and we knew she was coming to Grandeur so it will be nice to see her again so soon. Dan’s suitcase has not yet been delivered. He is already gun shy since Liberty lost our luggage last month (never been recovered, either) so he’s a little “concerned “. Actually , he’s napping at the moment so I guess he’s not THAT worried. The planes have quit zooming overhead so I guess his interest has waned. More later if anything of interest pops up.
  7. Just saw a Tweet from James Van Fleet ..... The September 8th sailing (tomorrow) is now going to Nassau instead of Bermuda for the 5-nighter.
  8. I'm on the 9 night New England\Canada Cruise out of Baltimore on the Grandeur next month. My mother and I fly in (separately) early in the morning (around 7:30 am). According to the website, the cruise terminal opens at 8:00 am, but is it frowned upon to arrive way earlier than your assigned window (Set Sail pass says 11:30)? We are planning to either Uber or taxi, and wouldn't mind getting a bite to eat first, but we'll have all of our luggage in tow. So right now I'm thinking that we retrieve our bags, get a quick bite at a place that is outside of security, then head to the cruise terminal, but I'm guessing it still would be a couple of hours before our assigned window. Will this be a problem?
  9. Hi everyone! My husband and I are trying to decide which cruise to take this summer (July) and would love any help in the decision. The three choices: 1) Anthem OTS- 9 night Bermuda- only 1 day in Bermuda, then off to San Juan, St. Marteen, and Labadee. 2) Grandeur OTS- 9 night Bermuda- overnight in Bermuda, then off to Nassau and Cococay 3) Freedom OTS- 7 night Southern Caribbean- St. Marteen, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Johns, and Barbados. Other information: * We love Anthem, but will be doing the Bahamas itinerary in just a few weeks in April. *We haven't been to Bermuda or St. Lucia and both are appealing to us to visit. *I am not sure if we would regret not having more time in Bermuda on Grandeur if we went on Anthem. *I'm not sure if the Southern Caribbean itinerary will be unbearable weatherwise. We did Greece last year and Italy the year before and survived :) The Freedom itinerary has the most adventure of them all. *We are diamond members, but would likely be staying in a balcony for anthem and possible grandeur and a suite for Freedom. As you can see, I am quite conflicted! Any recommendations or feedback would be great. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE! :)
  10. Booked a Royal Family 2 bedroom suite (now called 2 bedroom Grand Suite) on Grandeur. Does anyone have any photos of the AFT suites...either 8584 or 8084? I saw one youtube video but wanted to also get thoughts on suite perks....reserved seating, concierge lounge, etc?
  11. Very interesting conversation going on within the Grandeur of the Seas fan page .... Apparently some folks are being charged Sales Tax on drinks purchased while in the Chesapeake Bay (in Maryland and Virginia). And yet, I've never paid sales tax on either one of my past cruises on Grandeur. The only common denominator that I've been able to figure out is that those that pre-purchase a drink package won't be charged the tax since the act of purchasing is occurring in a different state, however, those that purchase their drinks a la carte style will be charged sales tax while in the Chesapeake Bay. Can anyone provide any insight into this? Is it true/false? Have you seen this? My wife and I always get the combo package (drink and voom) so apparently this doesn't apply to us (I guess this makes one more reason why a drink package makes sense). Mark
  12. When I went on to look at the pricing for my already-booked cruises, I found that the cost of the 3 night dining package on my April 8, 2018 Grandeur sailing has gone up by $10. The price I paid a number of weeks ago for this package was $75/pp. Today's website shows a price of $85/pp for this 3 night package. I don't know if the price has increased for any of the other packages or not. We were only interested in the 3 night package so I don't know what the cost for the others had been in the past.
  13. Has anyone stayed in Cabin 7144 on the Grandeur of the Seas or one in a similar location? It's a Superior Ocean View with Balcony and we were assigned this cabin a few weeks ago after we booked a balcony guarantee in October. We'll be in it for our 9 day next month, and I'm really curious since it's all the way aft, but not directly a rear stateroom. It's the last balcony cabin in that side, but also has a connecting door to the next cabin. From some pics I can see, it looks like it's an unshared balcony, but then others it looks like that very last balcony is perhaps a "false" balcony and we're really in the next one over, which is shared. It's no big deal of course, and I'm just excited to finally have a balcony, but it has just piqued my interest to find out. I'd also love to know if we'll be able to see any of the wake of the boat like those lucky true aft cabins. (Not being an experienced cruiser, I don't know how much wake the boat puts off from the side or if it's contained completely behind the boat?) Thanks all!
  14. Never were truer words spoken than what I typed in the title ...... My wife, Tyna, and I did the exact same cruise last week, that we did last year --- A 5-nighter to Bermuda, in September, on Grandeur OTS out of Baltimore. Expecting the same experience as last year was our first mistake -- even though the ship, cabin, itinerary were identical, the cruise experience was completely different, yet, so much fun..... First off, I must give a "Shout Out" to the Cruise Maryland staff ...... We pulled in the parking lot at about 9:45 and were on the ship by 10:45 ..... had our first Bloody Mary in hand by 11:00 ---- The perfect way to start and enjoy our "Breakfast of Champions" Now mind you, we, along with others that we had made contact with, were watching The Weather Channel like a hawk..... we knew it wasn't going to be easy thanks to Jose, and we were right (I scoped the water splashing out of the swimming pool - who needs a Flowrider? Right?) ---- I must give a lot of credit to the Captain ..... normally, as you come out of the Chesapeake, you go south towards Cape Hatteras, then a track SE to Bermuda ---This time, we came out of the bay, we went due east to stay ABOVE the storm, then arrive at Bermuda from the north ---- Then, on the way back, we stayed to the south of the storm all the way west, then went north to the Bay...... as we were in Bermuda, Jose passed to our west ..... we did a sort of loop around it...... Perfect. NEVER DID WE EVER THINK OUR SAFETY, OR THE SHIPS STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY WAS IN ANY JEOPARDY!!! Fortunately, through all this planning, my wife bought every conceivable seasickness remedy she could find "Just in Case" --- People got sick on this cruise because of the motion (luckily, we weren't two of them) ---- I'd file that under the category "Proper Planning" .... Now, to get to the fun ---- the vision my wife had was to enjoy relaxing around the pool, enjoying some frosty beverages and listening to the calypso music ....... yeah, outside of Sail-Away in Baltimore and again as we left Bermuda --- that just didn't happen (in fact, they drained all pools and shut down the top outdoor deck AND the Promenade Deck that wraps around the ship under the life boats because of the wind and the rocking....Plus, in Bermuda, many excursions were canceled due to rough seas ..... Fortunately, again, knowing what the weather was going to be like - we rescheduled our snorkeling excursion to instead, visit the Crystal Caves (I highly recommend) For us, we took what many considered to be lemons, and turned them into lemonade..... We just let each day "happen" and see where it takes us ..... Tyna caught me on video ATTEMPTING to dance to Thriller on the Centrum Stage night one ..... It was as ugly as you can imagine (Thanks Bud Lite) --- even as I type this, I'm chuckling ...... so much fun. On another day, we did the Sushi Making Class in Izumi (I tolerate Sushi at best -- she loves it) --- it was so much fun, hers looked it was done by a professional, not to be gross, mine looked like a turd --- We laughed so hard for hours over that. One evening, we watched Beauty and the Beast (the new version) on the big screen ..... Yes, my "man card" got taken away on that one, but so did a lot of others ....incredibly peaceful. We met some amazing people, saw some people that were on with us last time, that not only joined us this time, but also will be sailing with is in April of 2019. Once again, I'm shown how, when you're on a cruise, you're amongst family. Here are a few pictures --- including Tyna during the Sushi making class .... and .... us doing a little smoochie, smoochie in one of Bermuda's famous Moongates (with Grandeur in the background) --- a stunning shot if you ask me. Anyhow, lessons learned .... be prepared for the weather, don't expect your next cruise to be anything like your prior cruises, and go with the flow and let yourself be stupid and have fun --- even if that includes attempting to dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (I'm laughing again as I type this) Oh, and next time we go to Bermuda -- and yes, we are, it'll be October of 2018 --- still in Hurricane season , just not at its prime. Mark
  15. Hi All I have just been on my first Royal Caribbean cruise and loved it. I had an amazing deal around the Med which included a free deluxe drinks package, free wifi, all gratuities and a BOGO deal, booked 9 months before cruise date! Was a steal! I am now looking at my next cruise to Bermuda and Bahamas on the Grandure of the Seas in May 2018. However, when i phoned for a quote there were no inclusions just the standard 20% off deal which seams to be on most of the time anyway. So to seasoned Royal Caribbean customers my question is how much sway do the agents have? If i push them will they give me freebies or am i best to wait for a better promotion to pop up? Thanks
  16. I am looking at booking a room and Grandure of the Seas for 1 person. Does anyone have any tips on keeping the price down, at present i am looking at a full 2 person price with just port taxes reduced?
  17. Just returned from a 5 night Bermuda cruise on Grandeur. This was a "free" cruise for us courtesy of Club Royale so we only paid taxes, port fees and gratuities. While certainly not free, the price was greatly reduced. Grandeur has the Coca Cola Dispenser machines (sorry....can't remember what they are called. We never use them) I noticed the 10 drink punch card on day 3. It was $79 + 18% grat. It may have been offered earlier. I didn't see it in the Compass until day 3. Confirmed that Diamond Plus receive 30% discount on premium drink package onboard. It was noted on the D+ amenities page in our stateroom plus got a printout from Guest Services that showed it Stayed at the Best Western Hotel & Conference Center on O'Donnell street the night before the cruise. While not the greatest hotel or location, it was clean, the room was very large and the price included RT transport to the port, a nice breakfast and parking for the duration of the cruise. Total cost for 1 night around $220. I cannot recall the exact amount (this includes all the MANY taxes that are on top of the advertised $179.99 price). Completely acceptable. We drove to Fell's Point for dinner; lovely. Grandeur is still using the "old" dinner menus. Out of character for us, we purchased the 3 night dining package for $75 each (total of $150). We had to eat at one of the specialty restaurants on either night #1 or night #2. We chose to eat at Izumi on night 1. The Izumi package proved to be very cost effective. We each got $50 credit each time we ate there, meaning that we could spend $200 total on food at Izumi with this package (2 nights. $100 total each night). We ate there twice (nights 1 and 4). So, essentially, we ate more than the equivalent total cost of the complete package, just at our 2 visits to Izumi. I think we spent $96 on our first visit and $97 on the second. Bill each time ? $-0-. Basically, Chops (night #3) was free ! Drinks are not covered with this package. While eating at Izumi on night #1, Dan was convinced that we needed to purchase a special lunch deal on Day #3 at 11:30 AM. It was advertised as a buffet - the receipt we got even said "buffet". Dan's greedy eyes were aglow with the idea of a smorgasbord of endless sushi options. The price was $30 PP. I am not the sushi lover that he is but he was convinced that this was going to be an epic WIN, so we purchased it. Needless to say, whenever anyone gets that much anticipation rolling, it is bound to be a disappointment. There was NO buffet. It was a sit-down, 5 course meal, which may have been ok for a considerably LOWER price but the very idea that we could not choose our own menu was absolutely devastating. We certainly voiced our disappointment and the server made us each a nice plate of nigiri and sashimi (especially after I flashed the receipt which indicated that this would be a buffet) but it was overall a very big disappointment. I would NOT recommend it to anyone at the price they charged. The 3 night package. Absolutely. This Izumi special lunch option - no way ! To my great surprise, they did offer the Fisherman's Platter (lobster, etc.) on formal night - night #2. I thought that they did not serve lobster on less than a 7 night cruise so it was a surprise. We did not eat in the MDR that night b/c we had intentionally left our formal type duds at home. We ate dinner that night in the WJ (as most of you know, I am not a huge fan of the WJ) as I had been convinced (from the postings on this site !) that the evening fare would be much improved over what they serve during the day. To my great chagrin, I did not find this to be the case. It was just more of the same - certainly no lobster ! That will, most likely, be my last trip to the WJ for dinner. I was very disappointed. Chops on night #3 was good. It was Chops. Nothing spectacular. Food was good, not great. Completely worth the $-0- that we paid ! Of course, we left a nice tip so it wasn't completely free, but basically, it was free. We did not eat at Giovanni's this trip. The only evening meal we ate in the MDR was the last night. This was the night for the lamb shank, which is Dan's absolute favorite. It was as good as it always is (I don't eat lamb so I will just have to take his word for it). I was glad he got to have it. For the first time, we did the self assist walk-off early disembark. The return transportation was exactly where they said it would be and we were back at the Best Western to retrieve the car right about 8AM. I dropped Dan off at work on the way home and our trip was successfully completed. This was the first time we have been in an inside room in over 10 years. I was dreading it since I have been living the suite life so fully, lately. It was not nearly as horrible as I thought it would be. Certainly, the room was small and we didn't spend much time there for that reason. I find, the bigger and nicer the cabin, the MORE time I want to be there. It was on deck 4, which is WAAAY lower down than I have ever been. It was probably the most convenient location I have ever had. It was absolutely central to every activity we were interested in. It had been a while since I had sailed on a Vision class ship and I was afraid I would be bored with no Promenade or Boardwalk or Central Park. I was pleased to find that I was NOT. It is absolutely amazing how small the Vision class ships are, compared to the O class....but that was a GOOD thing on this trip. You can literally stand in the Centrum and SEE the dining rooms and almost see the theater from there ! You are never more than a few steps away from either end of the ship which is NOT true on the O class ships. I did not miss the bigger casino. The casino on the Grandeur had everything I wanted with the possible exception of a full sized poker table. Table minimums for 3 card poker and Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em were $5. I didn't play blackjack but I think the minimum was $10 at the regular BJ tables. Not sure about craps, either. The blinds for no limit hold 'em were $2 and $5 b/c I didn't get to the dealers the first night and get the blinds lowered to $1/$3. I have done that successfully on many cruises but once they start at $2/$5 they will stay there for the rest of the cruise. I will have to be faster next time ! It's just a way for the house rake to be more profitable for them. They had 1 UTH table, 2, 3 card poker tables, 1 craps table, 1 roulette table a number of variations of BJ, no Caribbean Stud or Mississippi Mud or any other poker variety table. While I don't play slots, the slot machines seemed old to me. There were a few newer ones but basically, I think they need to refresh some of those old machines. The water system did shut down twice that I know of. The first night it was out when I got up around 2AM to visit the washroom. Then, on day 4 it was out for about an hour in the middle of the day. No explanation, really. Not sure what the problem was, but it was apparently resolved quickly both times. There were only 3 Pinnacle Club members on this cruise ! I'm sure the PC's prefer the longer cruises. I believe there were only 12 D+ on this one, too. Dan and I received our 280 crystal block and got our pix taken with the crew that were present for the Top Tier event. Normally we skip that event (we refer to it as the cattle call) but since we were getting a block, we attended. Both the Diamond Lounge and Concierge Lounge are very small on the Grandeur but both have nice views which is unusual. Most of the CLs these days have no windows at all. The CL on Grandeur is located on the port side of the rear of the Viking Crown Room and the DL is in a corner of the South Pacific room in the aft. We were happy to see that we knew the DL Concierge (Rahul) as we had sailed with him numerous times before. It was his first day on the job on Grandeur ! The CL Concierge was Carlington, whom we did not know. He was very nice as well. The Cruise Director was Paul - can't remember his last name. Good, I'm sure. We didn't have much interaction with him. The Hotel Director was Keith Murphy (Ireland). The man was EVERYwhere. Every time we turned around we ran into him. Dan even ran into him off the ship ! What a great guy. He was our "celebrity" dealer in the Casino one night. Really, really nice and biiiiizzy. The best HD I have sailed with. He had some interesting stories (told privately, of course) of his epic journeys on both the Quantum and Ovation during their 56-whatever day global odyssey cruises to Asia. While we were in Bermuda, they were holding the America's Cup races. I am not a yachting fan so I really don't know much about them but it was, apparently a VERY big deal. We could see the yachts out in the harbor practicing. Dan went out and watched 2 races on Tuesday. Sweden vs New Zealand (NZ won) and US vs France (US won). I barely got off the ship as Bermuda is not my favorite port of call but the weather was nice and I got out for a few hours on Tuesday before we left. I rode the tram around for a bit just to say I got off. Very nice cruise. We enjoyed it very much and were happy to re-discover the virtues of the small ships. Glad we decided to do this one.
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