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Old 12-26-2018, 03:20 PM   #1
Lamima
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Default 9 night cruise trip report

what: Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas cruise
who: DH and I plus our twin DDs (almost 20)
where: Out of Blatimore and stops at: Charleston, Port Canaveral (PC), Miami, Nassau and Cococay (private island)
when: January 3-12

This will be my 12th cruise (DH's 11th) and 2nd on Royal (been on Disney once and Carnival 9 times). Will do a comparative review as we just did a Carnival Horizon cruise in Oct. It was a bit of a let down after 8 good-great prior Carnival cruises. DH and I did only one 3 night Royal cruise in Sept 2017. It was alright and pretty comparable to Carnival. But it was a short weekend cruise so we booked this long one to see if it's any better. I did a compare of Royal and Carnival back then and Carnival came out only slightly better than Royal but this last (Oct) cruise slid Carnival down a few notches in our opinion. Main example is MDR...we rated Carnival as a bit better food and service in the MDR but this last cruise the MDR had slipped in our opinion. So we shall see how we feel after this cruise. We tend to be folks that stick with same thing (ie: all the Disney trips...and we also liked Carnival cruises). So we may switch lines and become loyal royals....if this cruise is better than our Oct cruise.

Now this ship is a smaller older ship too so no bells and whistles but we tend to prefer that (hence maybe why we were disappointed with the Carnival Horizon cruise). But one thing we realized we liked on Horizon was the pay extra dining venues so we booked a 3 night dining package to try this ship's 3 pay extra venues (steak house, sushi place, Italian place). We got it on a sale that was $60pp (so $20 per place). We also got the drink package though we did not like having it on our Oct cruise (felt the need to drink more than we wanted and then felt like crap a lot). But Royal had an excellent sale on the drink package and it was $44/day pp. So I booked it as DH's Xmas present. And Royal lets you use it on Cococay.

We will walk around Charleston and Miami. We booked the cruiseline shuttle to Disney at PC. It was also on a sale and way cheaper than getting an Uber or even booking a towncar service. It was $33pp for roundtrip. But it means we will have a shortened park day because that shuttle will pick us up way early (and it drops off and picks up at transportation center so we will have to jump on monorail to Epcot). And my 3 family members all REALLY want to have lunch at Biergarten (blah). So we likely will only do that and ride Soarin (booo). In Nassau we like to do our own bar crawl. DDs will be able to also get drinks there. They aren't big on that so we'll see if they try a drink. Maybe Fat Tuesdays or Senior Frogs. Cococay we booked a 2 hour swimming pigs tour since it likely will be too cold to swim ourselves.

After we get off the cruise DDs have to go back up to college in PA. We live in NC but our family is all in MD so we will drive up on the 1st to stay at my mom's and she can take us to the port (and pick us up when we get off the ship).

My elderly dog is having health issues. Been having them for several months (since he had a dental with 9 teeth pulled back in the spring). I am boarding him at our vet in case anything goes south. Seems like we have had lots of pet issues right before our trips, Though, when you do 4 trips a year it is hard to avoid such problems 100% of the time. We even had parent health issues prior to recent trips (still a concern too actually but not as alarming as a few months back). I suppose that's going to be par for the course now at this stage in our life. I can tell you that this will be the last dog we have. Between our trips and our DDs being in college 9 hours away, we are just on the road too much. Luckily, this cruise is in the states most of the way so we can get calls/texts in case there are any emergencies. We also got an internet package so we can do FB (to keep up with family).

Now that I've blabbed and blabbed...time to go. Hope everyone had a happy holiday and best wishes for the new year to you all. I will try to do a live report. I think I will have plenty of time, at least on the 4 seadays (which aren't our favorite). And I will keep a running tally on which we like better (our Oct Carnival cruise or this Royal cruise). So see you guys next year...on embarkation day.
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Last edited by Lamima; 12-26-2018 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 12-26-2018, 03:37 PM   #2
BWV Dreamin
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Thanks for your review. I have been wanting to cruise out of Baltimore but just cant fit it in! Ive been wanting to sail to Bermuda. Canít decide if we should sail on Carnival or Grandeur of the Seas (RC). Seems like RC is a bit more expensive than Carnival for the same length of sailing.

Glad you had a good time.
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:29 PM   #3
Lamima
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Originally Posted by BWV Dreamin View Post
Thanks for your review. I have been wanting to cruise out of Baltimore but just cant fit it in! Ive been wanting to sail to Bermuda. Can’t decide if we should sail on Carnival or Grandeur of the Seas (RC). Seems like RC is a bit more expensive than Carnival for the same length of sailing.

Glad you had a good time.
Haven't gone yet...in 8 days. Went on Carnival cruise in Oct. So keep reading and I will tell all about the Grandeur out of Baltimore. And, for what it's worth, went on the Carnival Pride out of Baltimore (twice) and really enjoyed that ship (maybe close to our Fave, if not our fave). I will say, though, we don't like the port of Baltimore so much (very slow and long lines and delays). We have been on cruises out of Miami, Balt, PC, Jacksonville and NY and like PC most and Miami least with Balt second least. Jax and NY are our 2nd faves.
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Old 12-26-2018, 03:38 PM   #4
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Enjoy. And best wishes to the doggy, hopefully no issues at all.
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Old 12-26-2018, 03:51 PM   #5
Joeli
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Very much looking forward to your cruise line comparisons to continue our conversation from the last trip report.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Bon Voyage!
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2020 (Mar - PVB, Apr - PVB, May - AKV, AKV, Jun - PVB, Jul - PVB, Aug - PVB, Sept - DCL Fantasy, Oct - BWV, Nov - BWV, Dec/Jan - PVB/BWV)

Done:
2020 (Jan) - Swan
2019 (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sept, Oct, Dec) - DCL Magic - Miami - Marvel day at Sea, BRV, PVB, Swan, Swan, BWV, Swan, BWV, BLT, BWV, RCCL - Allure of the Seas
2018 (Jan, May, June, Aug, Sept, Nov, Dec) - DCL Fantasy - Orlando - Star Wars day at Sea, BLT, Swan x 2, Hilton Bonnet Creek, BWV/AKV (Kidani), Swan, SSR
2017 (Jan, May, Oct) - VGF, BLT, BRV
2016 (Feb, May) - PVB, BRV/BWV
2015/2014 (Sept) - BCV, AoA (Little Mermaid/Nemo/Lion King)

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Old 12-26-2018, 04:33 PM   #6
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Very much looking forward to your cruise line comparisons to continue our conversation from the last trip report.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Bon Voyage!
Thanks. And keep posted...will do a good comparison. (I am so excited for this cruise)
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:05 PM   #7
BWV Dreamin
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Ok, thought you just returned Well good to hear about the Carnival Pride. Any particular deck and room location you prefer?

Canít wait to hear all about your cruise....
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:13 PM   #8
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Looking forward to the report. Do let us know what you think about Grandeur.

And good luck with boarding the dog. That has to be rough leaving with those concerns. Fingers crossed it all goes well for everyone.

Dirk
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:12 PM   #9
Lamima
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Originally Posted by BWV Dreamin View Post
Ok, thought you just returned Well good to hear about the Carnival Pride. Any particular deck and room location you prefer?

Canít wait to hear all about your cruise....
On the Pride, both times, we had a balcony on a deck that had a cabin deck above us and a cabin deck below us. Really liked it. One was mid aft portside and other was forward mid starboard side. On all my cruises my fave cabin was an aft extended balcony. Also had a Havana cabin on the Horizon and LOVED the Havana section but hated our inside cabin as it was right above the Havana bar band stage. This Royal cruise we are in 2 connecting inside cabins right below the atrium lobby area so we'll see how noisy that is. We had to move cabins after DS dropped out (we had 3 kids in a cabin down the hall from us and they made me move to a 2 person cabin and it had to be next door to us since DDs are only 19). I had a quiet location initially booked, I think with cabins above and below, but DS backed out about 3 months ago and not much was left that met Royal requirements. We don't tend to do oceanview anymore as it's a waste of extra money. If I can't talk DH into shelling out for the balcony then I just do an inside. Though on our 1 Royal cruise we had a neat window cabin that looked out on an outside deck that went all down the side of the ship and had chairs out there. We could got out our cabin and walk a few steps to a door that led out on that deck and could sit right under our window, in the shade as it was covered, and read with glass of wine. I liked that.
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Next cruise(s): July 11, 2020 HAL Amsterdam, Oct 31 Carnival Sunshine & March 8, 2021 Celebrity Reflection
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:32 PM   #10
Lamima
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Enjoy. And best wishes to the doggy, hopefully no issues at all.
Thanks Brian...hope your Xmas Disney trip was (or is...are you still there?) a blast!
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Next cruise(s): July 11, 2020 HAL Amsterdam, Oct 31 Carnival Sunshine & March 8, 2021 Celebrity Reflection

Last edited by Lamima; 12-26-2018 at 04:40 PM.
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