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Grandeur Perfect Day Thanksgiving sailing - Nov 23-30, 2019


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Day 3 - Port Canaveral! 

On Day 3 since we had such a slow experience in the MDR for breakfast we decided to go with the Windjammer for breakfast and boy was that the right choice. The WJ on Grandeur is probably the freshest food I’ve come across in a Windjammer on any ship I’ve been on. We have found that going around 8am is the best time to go because as we were leaving closer to 8:45 it was really starting to get crowded. I went with an omelet which was way better (fresher) than the one in the MDR and some yummy, crispy hash browns. There was also this unpictured sweet bread I got that was pretty good on its own, but amazing if you added a sprinkle of cinnamon from the container next to it. The cinnamon roll was meh though. I’m picky about pastries. CFDB202C-2A95-47A7-B230-F8765FF1D4F6.thumb.jpeg.68175d0ac3c3a5f590df413586a2d5b7.jpeg

After breakfast you will be SHOCKED to learn that it was.........SOLARIUM TIME!!!!! I DID warn y’all when this blog started that this would be a Solarium heavy cruise. We got there around 8:45 and scored prime loungers near the bar and the pool entrance where we had a great seat to watch the lifeguard drills. The doll they used was delightfully creepy. 


As I was reading I could tell that we were getting vaguely close to land since I had a little friend join me! 

Around 10am which was about half an hour before we were supposed to arrive in Port Canaveral, the Captain (I think) came on the speakers to tell us that we were going to be delayed getting into Port Canaveral but that they would extend when we had to be back on board. It went from something like 10:30-6ish to 2-10. This didnt affect us at all since we were treating it like a sea day and staying on the ship, but I felt bad for people who wanted to go to Disney for the day. I had originally planned to walk off the ship and get lunch and some drinks at Fish Lips or Grills or whatever the restaurants right next to the pier are, but then I did some research and found out that we would be docked in terminal 10 across a bridge that didn’t have pedestrian walkways since Mariner was launching that day and using RC’s main terminal. 

At some point after noon I relocated my seat in the Solarium since it suddenly was directly under the sun and thus very hot. Luckily because the pool deck was open it wasn’t as crowded today and I could easily find another lounger. A quick dip in the pool helped me cool off before I got settled to read some more. The salt water in the pool was good and bad. Bad for the eyes, but nice in that I barely had to tread to keep myself floating. It was mostly to keep myself upright. I felt like a cork just bobbing there in the water lol. 

I went back to the room around 4:30 to take a little rest before dinner in hopes that I could stay up later than 9 since I apparently turn into a grandma on cruises. Lounging is so exhausting. WOE. Dinner was nice, though I was really longing for my spice rack when my spaghetti bolognese came. It desperately needed some garlic, Parmesan and red pepper flakes. The royal chocolate cake was surprisingly good though. YUM. 

After dinner we went to the Pacific lounge to watch this show called “60 seconds or less game show” and it was really cute. People volunteered in sets of 2 to go up and try and complete various tasks within 60 seconds or left and one of them was declared the winner which was just bragging rights since everyone was given a little prize for participating. People of all ages took part and the host was good about matching up ages so it’s not like a 50 year old was against a 10 year old. Some of the tasks included blowing up a balloon and using the air to knock over some cups, throwing a paper ball into a trash can and the best was one where they tied a pair of tights that had tennis balls in the feet around their waist so it dangled between their legs and had to knock over some bottles. It was.....quite a sight. I think some of the kids didn’t understand why the adults were laughing so hard. It was one of those things that sounds silly and dumb, but ends up being a lot of fun. I’m really glad we went. 

After that though it was bed time because the next day (aka today in real time) is Coco Cay day!!!!! 

- this post brought to you from inside a chill island cabana. 😀

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After a yummy breakfast in the Windjammer, it was time to get ready to go to Coco Cay. The delay in Port Canaveral slightly pushed back our Coco Cay time from 9-5 to 10-6. We wanted to be some of the first off the ship since we had a Chill Island cabana and I wanted to spend as much time as possible there. We were super super lucky and Grandeur was the only ship docked there that day so only like 2,100 people on the whole island. There were TONS of free chairs and umbrellas all over. I’m super glad we had the cabana (especially for the price we paid) but if we didn’t, it wouldn’t have been an issue at all. The weather was GORGEOUS, calm seas, clear skies, and a high of low 70s. 


People dressed up in junkanoo costumes were hanging around for pictures and a live band was playing “Perfect Day” as we walked down the pier. 


We made a bee line for Chill Island to drop off our stuff at the cabana and get settled. We could have taken the tram, but decided to walk since I wanted to take in the sights on our way. I’m really glad we did because we got to see some stuff a tram ride would have missed. 





Hammock grove 


Both sand wheelchairs and strollers (I had heard of the wheelchairs but not the strollers) C71FBB78-3B46-4FFD-88FB-6E856703F77D.thumb.jpeg.c63080483706f90370341eb675cfd28a.jpeg


And we finally got to the cabana concierge! They had fruit flavored water and cold eucalyptus scented towels waiting for us when we checked in. Heaven. 

We had cabana number 2 in the front row of cabanas which I was super happy about. Even though there were cabanas on either side, it felt very private the whole time. I also noticed a wheelchair ramp up to all of the cabanas that I hadn’t heard people talk about. Not sure if these are new or just not mentioned as much. 






And the drink and food menus: 



Our cabana attendant was Silver and she was amazing. Super attentive and nice and had suggestions if you were waffling between things. I also lucked out because at one point I ordered a watermelon margarita and the bartender accidentally made a watermelon mojito first. Well both made their way back to me but I was only charged for the one I ordered. BONUS DRINK! 

You can see the NCL Island from the cabanas


Around 1 I decided to take a little stroll around the island and check things out. 







Directional signs are already up for South Beach and Coco Beach Club


Some of the construction that I could see. Pretty sure this is the beach club


And I think this is the portion of South beach that is still open through construction. There was a sign that there was no WiFi there. 


Around 1:20 I got a message in our family Whatsapp chat that lunch had arrived. I was almost back anyway so I was only 5 mins or so late to the food. We got crispy chicken sandwiches (we could specify if we wanted things like tomato or lettuce omitted), fries and mozzarella sticks. No pictures of the fries because they were demolished too quickly. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the food traveled. 


At one point a seagull came to visit, but he didn’t come closer than this so the food was safe. About an hour after lunch came, Silver brought over some fruit skewers and a bunch of cookies. Again, no pictures of cookies because they died an honorable death before I could snap one. 

There was WiFi on the island and it was amazing compared to Grandeur’s. My mom took the opportunity to download a bunch of shows to her iPad and I watched the latest episode of His Dark Materials on HBO (armored bears!) The WiFi acted like you needed a login, but if you tapped on “use without internet” from the login screen, you still had access to the internet. No clue how long this will last. Middle test is Coco Cay. Others are from our room on deck 2 on board and the Solarium. In general, I’ve noticed the WiFi is best early in the morning in public places. It was like 2.5 down on the deck 5 chairs around 7am. 

Anyway, all aboard was 5:30 and we started packing up around 4:50. We were one of the last cabanas to leave so we got to chat with Silver a bit before we left after tipping her thank you. She said she’s been with the company for 2 months and came from working at Atlantis. She lives in the housing they have on the island and she said she works something like 6 weeks on, 1 week off. If people live farther away like her coworker from Kenya, they work longer but have longer off. It was funny hearing how they have different impressions of the various ships. They were really happy today was just Grandeur because first of all fewer people, but also apparently Grandeur guests tend to be more laid back and not as demanding. I complimented her in how she was tactful in keeping people out of the cabana area since I had seen her greeting a man without a wristband with a huge smile and a “hello sir! Are you staying in a cabana with us today?” Knowing full well he wasn’t. She said that really meant a lot to her because that’s one of the toughest parts of the job. Apparently some people very very confrontational and aggressive about it which is a shame. 

We were able to catch a tram back to the ship and I saw that the sun was setting. It was so pretty that I had to stop like 10 times to get pictures. I’m sure I annoyed those around me lol 






When onboard and back to our room I went to go check the MDR menu for the night to see if we wanted to go there or WJ. Guess who I happened to see when I was there? CRUISING DUCK! I left it there for someone else to find after taking pictures



I recognize those names and I think they might be in the FB group for this sailing. So fun. We ended up settling on WJ for dinner and it was nice and quick but filling. We returned to a cute elephant in the room and then it was some more reading and passing out. 


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Day 5 - Nassau 

I woke up quite early today so around 6:30 I went up to grab some hot chocolate from Cafe Lattitudes and brought it out to the outdoor seating on deck 5 to enjoy the weather and sunrise. 


My little set up with my hot chocolate, flip flops, and kindle


We were set to arrive in Nassau around 8am so pretty soon I started seeing land 


and our little pilot boat 


I also spotted our destination on Nassau


In past cruises we have done, Nassau has always been treated as another sea day. I wanted to switch this up this time so I booked us day passes at the British Colonial Hilton that is a really straightforward 10 minute walk from the pier. I think the price was something like $82 pp and that included a pooled $40 food and drink credit. People have mentioned that the food and drink credit can’t be used for the tax and gratuity, but that wasn’t the case for us. We were enough under the amount that the $120 we had total could be applied for those things and we didn’t owe anything further. Didn’t even have to sign anything since we were under. The day pass also included a code for free WiFi. It wasn’t as fast as Coco Cay, but it was still better than the ship. 

They have a beach (excuse the deformed shapes of people walking through the panoramic shot)


And a pool 


And the pool was surrounded by shaded day beds that were included in the day pass. These replaced the hammocks that used to be in the shaded tree grove. An employee told me too many people would hurt themselves on the hammocks. 

It is on one of these that I camped out for the day. Because I need shade for survival. I somehow still managed to get burnt though. Talent! The view from the day bed and my little set up. 


We brought some towels from the ship and I’m glad we did since the day pass only comes with 1 towel each and my family lives by the “1 towel to lay on, 1 towel for drying” rule. 

We ordered lunch sometime around 11:30 or so and it came quite awhile later. I will say this. The server was very nice and quite friendly, but she was a bit slow. I don’t think it was necessarily her fault though since she seemed to be the only server helping everyone and she can only be in so many places at once. 


I ordered the jerk chicken quesadilla and while the tortilla wasn’t anything special, the chicken was amazing. It really hit the spot. 

They also had a little plaza where you could play ping pong or giant chess. 

Overall, I really liked it and it was a nice change of scenery. According to our server, the work on the condos next door are almost done and could be completed as early as the end of this month. I thought it was unrelated, but she was talking about it like it was owned by Hilton and would also be included in the day pass. She mentioned it would have a lot more servers and let them spend more time with those they are helping. 



We left the resort around 3:20 and all aboard was 4:30. There was quite a bottleneck at security and I was surprised at how little help they had to manage it for what a big port it is. We finally got through after about 30-40 mins. Def dont head back last minute! Looking at the time stamp of something in my phone, we made it to the gangway at 4:04. Way too close for comfort. 
We all went up to the Solarium to hang out some more and unwind from our very strenuous day of lounging. I was a bit annoyed since there was a big family up there with kids and they were being VERY noisy and no one said anything to them. Some employees did a double take but no one asked them to leave. After about an hour, we went over to the Windjammer to grab some food and were greeted with some sort of demonic Disney melons. 

After dinner, went back to the room to crash and found that Derique left us with a....dolphin??? I think? Maybe a seal upon closer examination.  


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry guys, I definitely dropped the ball on finishing this live blog. Honestly, part of the reason I let it die was because the internet speed on Grandeur at night in my 2nd floor room was ATROCIOUS. As in could not even connect to a text based website let alone upload pictures, etc. I don’t regret getting internet, but if you are going on Grandeur, definitely adjust your internet expectations. Hell, the fact that it can’t even cope with the app should be a sign. Love the ship and crew, but it is NOT very tech savvy. 

Anyway. Day 6: Thanksgiving and Sea Day! 

I had a vague memory of sort of this time the other leg of the cruise (aka on the way down) that the weather meant the Solarium was SUPER crowded due to the pool deck closure. So that meant early morning Solarium stakeout and thus breakfast in Park Cafe vs Windjammer. Breakfast was an egg and Canadian  bacon sandwich and a breakfast burrito. Honestly???? I love the WJ for breakfast, but this rly hit the spot. The fact that it was put through a panini press helped matters greatly. 

Honestly, my solarium stakeout wasn’t necessary because I think I was thinking of the 2nd day down/tomorrow in liveblog time for pool deck closure and solarium crowded level. At some point I realized that “oops” I forgot my yeti cup in the room and I really was missing it because it makes a huge difference in how long my drinks and ice lasts in my solarium bumming around. So I decided to pop down to the room to grab it. Normally this isn’t an issue because everything is hella close on vision class ships and in normal circumstances I can go from aft solarium to forward 2nd floor stateroom and back in 6ish minutes. Except today. When I boarded the elevator I realized belatedly that some (hopefully) small children decided that pressing every button on the elevator was a great life choice. 

I was alone in the elevator when I took this picture after the 8th floor. When I say I abused mashing the “door close” button. I mean it. Anyway, after that, I was able to retrieve my yeti cup with minimal interference. Once back up there,  I stayed camped out in the Solarium for quite some time until it started getting to the point of dinner time. It was formal night, but also thanksgiving night. One annoying thing was a lack of lobster for the second formal night. I’m sure this isn’t normal for a standard sailing. 

For dinner I ordered ham with normal mashed potatoes substituted for roasted sweet potatoes and a side of the beef Wellington so I could give it a try. I also decided to try the pumpkin pie.  In the interests of full honesty about the MDR experience, there were multiple disappointments. 1. The mashed potato instead of sweet potato substitution was ignored. 2. The beef Wellington side didn’t include its sauce so it was weirdly dry 3. As a pumpkin pie aficionado I was legitimately OFFENDED by the pumpkin pie offered. It most closely resembled yam baby food. There was no spice.  I had no taste of the cream cheese angle of it. Please. I beg of you. If you like pumpkin pie in anyway. Don’t order it on RCI. Anyway. Despite my complaints, im still glad I tried the MDR for thanksgiving bc it was a nice experience and made me appreciate the food of other MDR nights and Coastal Kitchen. When we got back to the room, Derique had made us an adorable turkey towel animal!



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Day 7: Sea Day! 

I woke up pretty early this morning feeling a little queasy. The following video was taken at 7am and was from the  seating area near the deck 6 Cafe Lattitudes. The outside decks were closed due to weather.

That noise you hear in the background is the ship creaking. The hot chocolate was amazing but the banana muffin I didn’t bother taking a picture of was again, offensive. I have to believe that Royal is allergic to cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, and ginger judging by the banana muffins and pumpkin pie. 

That muffin didn’t do quite enough in settling my stomach. I could tell I needed carbs and grease. Aka hash browns and sweet raisin bread with a sprinkle of cinnamon on it. This called for Windjammer.  That really hit the spot. Post- WJ, I went to the Solarium where there were a bunch of spots. But many of them were in direct wind blow of the doors and thus VERY chilly. I went to the back to camp out and it worked out really well. The return trip was a bit turbulent. This was the pool. Shockingly it was quite vacant for most of the day.  

I wonder why. Anyway, I read in the Solarium for quite some time until it was dinner time. Because of the thanksgiving disappointment, we went with the WJ and it was much better. Nice little cheese wheelbarrow display 


A food officer came around to our table while we were eating to semi subtlety fish for top marks on the post cruise survey. We expressed to him that it was our best WJ experience across the fleet. That was not ass kissing. Grandeur has an amazing WJ IMO and except for the first night and formal nights, we went there for dinner and had no regrets. 

After dinner, I realized that it  was the last night on board and I hadnt visited the casino yet. This had to change. Now I’m a roulette gal. I know the rules of blackjack, but it requires math and I despise when I get dealt my hand and the others react before me to my hand. No ty. I’ll take random chance over feeling like an idiot tyvm. Anyway, I went down to the casino and there was only 1 roulette table and it was packed. I did a couple of laps to see if anyone would move or if there were any video roulette machines. Nay to either of those. I then remembered the primary rule of cruising. If you don’t ask, they can’t help. So I approached the casino host and mentioned that I was looking to play roulette but the open table has been packed and I couldn’t find a video roulette machine. Was another table going to be open at some point? I was told to wait at an empty table and it would have a dealer in 5 minutes. I gladly did so. Now this request didn’t require me to be some high roller. I have a superstition where my buy in for roulette is $60. It has never served me wrong. I went to that table and I was alone for some time until some some adorable teenagers came over to join me. I really liked them because they made me feel like a high roller. When they were buying in at $5 total, me playing the inside and outside in the same turn felt like some sort of Monte Carlo nonsense. My buy in superstition served me well and at some point I had more than doubled my money. Right when I was a bit more than doubled my buy in, the dealer changed and I followed my golden rule. Give the new dealer 2 rounds. If you lose both, walk. Anyway, no one cares about my winnings, but I mainly wanted to share that if you want to give Royal money and the tables are full, talk to the casino host. It can’t hurt. 

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