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ThyriC

The Suite Life on Grandeur of the Seas to Bermuda 10/26-10-31 (live-ISH)

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Ok I guess I'll jinx myself like @Matt and start the live-ish blog early.  

So this cruise was many things to my husband and I.  First, it was a yolo black friday sale and I had been eyeballing cruises to take my husband on for a while.  He's not really the vacation-y type and I adore exploring and vacationing.  I've been very comfortable travelling solo but I really wanted him to experience a cruise.  He's a Marine so his idea of a cruise is hot bunking, doing fire fighting training onboard a carrier and being miserable while the Navy got him where he needed to go.  Vacationing to me is at least 4 star hotels, gourmet meals, relaxation, spa visits, etc.  We're like night and day when it comes to travelling.  His last experience with "Thyri Style" travel was our honeymoon in the Poconos doing the whole champagne glass whirlpool thing.  He needs to get out more.

I adore cruising, I adore the water.  I'm not married to any cruise line in particular but Royal does give us the option to sail out of Baltimore, which is a 20 minute drive from our house.  

So when the price was right on black friday, I asked hub, "can I book this PLEASE?  I need a vacation, WE need a vacation"  mega SWMBO guilt trip pouring on and he allowed it.

5 nights to Bermuda.  But it has to be "Thyri style".  So I debated for about 20 minutes between the Grand Suite and the Owners Suite.  I knew I didnt want or need the Royal Suite because well, my logic is I dont play piano.  The price difference wasnt too much, and the larger balcony just sealed the deal for me.  So I booked it.  

Then I found this blog and these forums and learned about MEI travel.  I was considering being my own travel agent for this but Pam Richter at MEI really has been a godsend.  She sorted me out on a name discrepancy on our tickets and our travel documents.  Hub's last name has a III at the end.  That wasnt on our tickets.  Pam to the rescue!  She also helped us sort out travel insurance.

I kind of was excited, relieved, and nervous at the same time.  I've wanted to go on a cruise with hub for a very long time.  I also must be the only woman on the planet who cant remember her anniversary to save her life.  I realized at the time of this cruise, it would be 15 years of putting up with each other.  

 

Fast forward to tax time.  I had expected my work bonus as well as my tax refund (YAY), and I just said the heck with it and paid off the cruise.  I wanted it done, I wanted it to be "complete".  I wasnt planning on changing cabins or ships.  I knew I could get the time off of work because I always book my time off so far in advance before anyone else can take it.  So now what else.

I decided to completely splurge and do the "as close to all inclusive as you can get on a cruise" method.  So there was a WOW sale that happened with a deal of $52 for the deluxe beverage package and the voom internet.  Ok that was a no brainer, I wanted a beverage package anyways.  I'm not a huge drinker, but I do like the convenience of being able to have that extra drink after dinner, or at a show, or a latte with breakfast.  I also wanted that convenience of knowing that was all taken care of before the cruise.  And the price was nice for both the drink package and the voom.  Then I started looking at specialty dining.  I knew I wanted to do that.  I kind of like doing a "pre dinner" at a place like Izumi and then go to Chops or Giovanni's for the real dinner.  Or have the option to go to the windjammer for pregame, go to Chops for the main course, and then maybe have dessert by room service.  Again this was more about the flexibility than it was "getting the most" out of specialty dining.  I'm sure my hub and I wont come close to making the ultimate dining package worth it, but its the flexibility for us.  Also I can devour a lot of sushi.

Ok with drinks and food taken care of.  I pivoted to excursions.  I really wanted to show hub the beauty of Bermuda, the history.  And about 24 hours to do it in, it would be challenging but I'd use this as a teaser to go on more cruises.  So I booked a snorkeling excursion and a glass bottom boat ride for our first day, and a history bus tour on the 2nd.  Well unfortunately the history bus tour got cancelled, so our 2nd day has become a free day.  Personally I want to explore more of the Dockyard this visit.  I really REALLY wanted to go to St George but with all of the activities booked on day 1, it just wasnt going to happen.  I figured that the first day it would give us something fun, and then something relaxing while really taking in the sights of Bermuda.  

I also decided to "treat yo self" and get a few things for the room as well.  I got the anniversary decorations gift thing, I got a bottle of champagne, 2 beach towels, a tote bag, rum and coke, and some sodas.  Since hub is a bit of a homebody, I didnt want him missing out if he didnt feel up to going out and about with me.  I wanted things to be as absolutely smooth as possible for his first cruise.  Excessive?  Possibly.  But that's just my kind of style.  

And that was it for the planning phase.  Then it was 10 months of waiting.  Stalking the cruise planner for better deals (except on the intern mistake day of course).  Reading the blog, chatting with other cruisers.  I was in full cruise planning mode and 10 months felt like forever.

 

Now its 10 days and I'm starting a blog.  I'll do my best depending on the Voom to post as many photos and details as I can.

At 10 days out I have not heard from my concierge yet.  But I'm expecting to hear from them in the next week to book dining reservations.  I do tend to be a little cavalier with my dining on a ship though.  So I just want to book Chops on the first day because hub desperately wants the seafood tower and I promised I'd get him one.  We even say to each other now "seafood tower?" and give a thumbs up.  I fear our little inside joke will happen onboard when we actually get it.  

But I'll do my best to share the suite life on a Vision class ship.  

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We are on Grandeur now on the 5 night Bermuda itin so I guess you will be on the next Bermuda run after us !  

Our Concierge is Dudley but I think I heard him telling one of the guests that he’s leaving after this cruise so I don’t know who will be taking his place. I will try and find out for you.  Whoever it is, you will most likely hear from him/her at 5 days out.  That seems to be the magic number these days.

I love Grandeur but I am not overly in love with the location of the full suites on the Vision class ships.  They are all bunched up at the very front of the ship and are directly beneath the Windjammer so it’s very noisy.  But a noisy suite is better than no suite so I still book them.  I didn’t understand from your post whether you chose the GS or the OS.  Unfortunately, the OS are even MORE up front.  We are in a balcony room on this cruise and it seems incredibly small - especially the bathroom.  Can’t wait to get back into a suite !

There is quite a bit of remodeling going on in and around the Centrum.  Hopefully it will be completed by the time you board.  It isn’t particularly problematic but is somewhat unsightly and a bit of a traffic impediment.  I believe it has something to do with flooring but Dan said they were welding yesterday which doesn’t seem like a flooring activity.  Whatever...

The weather in Bermuda was as close to perfect as it gets.  Simply beautiful. We did not go in the water (matter of fact, we never left the ship) but those who did said that the water was warm and enjoyable.  I think it will still be nice when you get there.

Enjoy your cruise.  This is a very common cruise for us as it’s driving distance and with a a Federal holiday incorporated, we gets the biggest bang for our vacation buck.

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You are definitely going to love Bermuda! And it's so easy to get to that you don't have to worry about not "getting it all done"; just book another cruise to see what you missed the last time! 😁

Have a great trip, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that your hubs comes back impressed and ready to cruise again!

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Well I got my concierge email for Grandeur.  It looks like my concierge is Ilona.    Oh and @WAAAYTOOO  I picked the Owners suite.  I have a tendency when I get to rambling to not get the actual point.

 

This was my letter in case anyone was curious what the letter looks like and what the perks on Grandeur are.

 

Dear Suite Guests,

Its my pleasure to welcome you onboard via e-mail the beautiful Grandeur of the Seas. We are honored that you have selected Royal Caribbean International for your cruise vacation.

My name is Ilona Tsyhaniuk, your Suite Concierge onboard. I am available to assist you with any special requests you may have throughout your cruise vacation. My desk hours in the Concierge Club are daily from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

As a special VIP guest you are offered exclusive amenities and services not available to other guests onboard Grandeur of the Seas. For your convenience, here is a brief summary of those services:

  • Access of the Concierge Club, located on Deck 11 just right beside the Viking Crown lounge. ( Using your GOLDEN sea pass card ).    
  • Upgraded amenities for the bathroom.
  • Continental breakfast and special coffee served in the lounge daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 am
  • Lunch on Boarding day in The Great Gatsby Dining Room Deck 4 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
  • Hors d’oeuvres, petit fours and complimentary bar setup served in the lounge every evening before and after dinner from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
  •  Daily menus displayed at the lounge and pre-ordering for your dinner wine.
  •  Full Dining Room room-service  privilege (available when Dining Room is open times only)
  •  Reservations for our Specialty restaurant, sports activities, Shore excursion! Spa appointments.
  •  Arrangements for private parties.
  •  Spa Bathrobes for use onboard.
  • Business services such as copies, statements and any print outs, boarding passes, etc...
  • Reserved VIP seats for production shows.(Please show Cruise Director’s staffs your Gold Sea Pass card at the entrance).      
  • Exclusive Suite private breakfast at CHOPS GRILLE from Day 2 onwards at Deck 6 Aft 7:30 am to 9:30 am, Including departure morning (6:45 AM to 8:00 AM).

    The Concierge Club is a private area accessible on a 24-hour basis, with your golden suite key you will have access. For grand suite and above guests and the top tiers that have access to the lounge.

    The private lounge has been designated a smoke-free area. We respectfully request that guests observe a Smart Casual dress code when visiting the lounge (no swim or pool attire is allowed, footwear is required at all times). To ensure all our guests are able to enjoy this exclusive lounge we require that all guests 20 years and younger must be well behaved and accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

    Please come and visit me in the Concierge Club or contact me by dialing 4446 from any ship phone. If there is any way I can be of assistance to make your cruise vacation more enjoyable, please do not hesitate to ask. We hope you will have the vacation of a lifetime onboard the Grandeur of the Seas.


Salon & Spa appointments, shore excursions and some of our other services often get sold out. Therefore, it is recommended that these be booked in advance either through the Royal Caribbean website at http://www.royalcaribbean.com/home.do or if you prefer, by emailing me and I will make the reservations for you.  
Once the reservations are made, I will send you an email confirming the details. If you have any further requests please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the below menu for the SPA.



If you have any dinning room request with regards to timing, location or if you are travelling with friends or family and would like to be seated together, please let me know via email at your earliest convenience. The 1st seating is at 5:30 pm and the 2nd seating is at 8 pm.

Kind Regards,

Ilona Tsyhaniuk
Suite Concierge | Grandeur of the Seas®

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ThyriC, I’m so sorry that I never got back to you with the name of the new Concierge.  The last day of the cruise was SO rough that they closed the outer decks to pax and disabled the elevators that go up to the CL. I am assuming that they CL was closed but don’t know for sure. 
I’m pretty sure that Ilona was the DL concierge last week. I guess they moved her up.  Not sure who is in the DL now.

Are the cruises back on schedule ?  

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Not to get too sidetracked, but since you went there...

2 hours ago, Matt said:

I'm not the early blogger...it's @Lovetocruise2002 that began that tradition.  I believe @twangster can confirm I'm right about this.

I seem to recall a certain Brilliance live blog starting a month or so before departure.  

Let's see...

On 1/3/2019 at 11:04 AM, Matt said:

In the weeks left until this cruise, I will take some cues from some of the awesome live bloggers here

January 3 blog start for a February 14 sailing.  

42 days!

Now let's compare with the other candidate with early blogging syndrome...

February 2nd blog start for a March 10 sailing.

36 days!

Not even close @Matt

Not only did you start way earlier before the sail date, you also started your blog a full month before @Lovetocruise2002 started hers.    

Fortunately there is a little blue pill for early blogging syndrome... 

562033163_chillpill.jpeg.3feaedc1eea7b94989c69a973d40685b.jpeg

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Waaaytooo, Ilona has been wonderful to me thus far.  Within 12 hours of receiving my reservation requests since I'm on the UDP, I'm booked in to my preferred times and she told me to book what I wanted and if my schedule didnt look like it was going to agree, she could always cancel.  And the spa menu she sent is a real godsend, it was something I was curious about all of the offerings that werent on the cruise planner.     Looks like they're back on schedule though coming back from the caribbean she might be dodging the remenants of Nestor just a little bit but it doesnt look like something that could cause delays, at this point Nestor's just a low.  

I dont know why I didnt follow Tampa's weather in the past far more than I have recently.  That weather is so darned accurate and it shows the tropics.  It showed that low coming off of Africa that was starting to spook me but they're like, naw, we got you, its not coming anywhere close, dont panic.  

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SUCCESS!  Through persuasion from mother in law and myself.... Hub's bringing his suit for formal night!!  He was going to do a button down shirt and nice pants, but... I got jacket and tie and dress shoes from him!!

I did promise him though that he only had to wear it for dinner and once dinner was over he could run back to the cabin to put on his jeans again.

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