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5 Night Bermuda on Grandeur (27 May - 1 June 2017)


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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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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

Did you by chance figure out how much the package would be on a daily basis after that discount is applied?

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21 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

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.  

I've had similar thoughts and then you get onboard and realize, "Oh, this isn't so bad." 

Obviously the larger rooms are nice, but nothing wrong with an inside room (especially not the price)!

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