Grandeur of the Seas Gallery
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Ship Gallery

Grandeur of the Seas departs Harwich in 2003
They called this the Vision-class of cruise ships, when they launched Legend of the Seas in 1995, because of the unparalleled 2 acres of exterior glass in their design. After Splendour in early 1996, they enlarged the design from 69,130 to 74,137 grt and made some improvements. Built in Finland, Grandeur of the Seas entered service in December 1996. See also the Splendour of the Seas Gallery >>

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Deck 4 view astern The aft-facing
South Pacific Lounge
The 7-deck high Atrium The Atrium
With a nicely rounded stern and wrap-around promenade, she has (rather unusually) a beautiful aft-facing dance lounge, the South Pacific Lounge. She also boasts a 7-deck high Atrium, flooding the ship with light and providing fantastic views of the sea.

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Viking Crown Lounge
& Lido Area
View from the Viking Crown Lounge Aft Sun Deck The Solarium
She has Royal Caribbean's trademark Viking Crown Lounge, set high atop the ship with spectacular panoramic views over the sea, and an impressive Solarium, covered with a sliding glass roof.

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Crown & Anchor Study The Sleeping Reader Singin' in the Rain Lounge Film Camera Sculpture
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Sumptuous Art
on the stairways
Palladium Theatre The Great Gatsby Dining Room
Throughout, her interior is richly decorated with beautiful materials, including polished woods and some very imaginative works of art. Befitting her name, she has a grand and sumptuous atmosphere without being intimidating or tacky. Her Dining Room, has a modern stylised 1920's theme, just sufficiently restrained to avoid being "camp".

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The Card room Facing forward
The Windjammer Cafe
View of the Bows Touching-up the paintwork

The Windjammer Cafe forward is large, spacious and well-designed, with 180-degrees of windows all around the front of the ship overlooking her raked bows. The layout is less cluttered than on Splendour of the Seas and a vast improvement, while the relocation of the South Pacific Lounge aft and the 2-deck high Palladium Theatre are also improvements enabled by the enlarged design. Now, at 74,000 tons and 1,950 passengers, she is just the right size; big enough to have everything you could want, without being frightening or intimidating. She is richly comfortable and, so far as any modern cruise ship can be, I think she is really rather beautiful. See also the Splendour of the Seas Gallery >>

But it would be 8 years before we would get the chance to return to this lovely ship.

Having been impressed with this ship on our Transatlantic Voyage in 2003, we had since then been on many more, even larger ships and we had most recently enjoyed a number of years experiencing the exceptionally high standard of RCCL's sister company, Celebrity Cruises. So it was always going to be interesting, going back 8 years later, to see if our impression of the ship was still the same.

Things got off to a promising start when we were told that we had all been upgraded!

Our Upgraded Accommodation
It was a pity we all had so little luggage because the suites we had been upgraded to were really rather nice; mine seemed particularly lavish, especially for one person!

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Welcome Back!
I like being a Diamond!
Junior Suite 8520 (Deck 8) My Bathroom

My Junior Suite on Deck 8 came with a flat-screen TV and coffee-making tray, as well as a large balcony and far more wardrobes and drawers than I had "stuff" to put in them! Apart from a strange column in the middle of the room though, the decor was perhaps a little "tired" and I was reminded that the ship is now 15 years old and it had been 8 years since Andrew & I had last been on board.

Show Picture Full Size Having enjoyed the loyalty privileges of Celebrity & Cunard in recent years, it was nice to still be a "Diamond", although on Royal Caribbean, this didn't include my usual bottle of bubbly!

A Grand Suite (Deck 8)
The others though, had been upgraded to Grand Suites, with even more "extras" - including that missing bottle of bubbly!
(left) Grand Suite 8512 on Deck 8 and its spacious, marble-topped bathroom (right)
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"Swan Lake"
by Yolanda Sonnaband
(Main Stairway)
Where the heck?
by John Clinch
(Card Room)
by John Clinch
Mural & Cinematic Art
(Singin' in the Rain Lounge)

Having cruised on her in 2003, the ship seemed quite familiar and it was reassuring to note that all my favourite features still remained. While she lacks some of the facilities of the newer giant ships of Royal Caribbean, she's big enough to be impressive and spacious, without being intimidating.

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The 7-deck high Centrum
Suspended "Dragonfly" sculpture & "Wallclimber" lifts
Schooner Bar
(Deck 6)
A stylised 1920's theme
"The Great Gatsby" Dining Room

The "Great Gatsby" Dining Room
With a 1920's theme to its decor, this is suitably understated but elegant. Set on 2 levels with a "Grand Staircase" at one end, the upper level of the room faces onto the glass-walled Promenade, bringing light into the room and affording spectacular ocean views.

"My Time Dining" in the Main Restaurant
This is a kind of "Open Sitting" option for those not wishing to be bound by the times of either of the two main sittings. We chose it this time because we had been led to believe that on this cruise, 2nd Sitting would be at 9pm, which was too late for us. However, it soon became clear that 2nd Sitting was actually at 8.30 (as is more usual) and we had earlier been misinformed.
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"My Time Dining" is not really suitable for those who, like us, prefer to have the same stewards each evening; although with persistence learned from experience, we managed to get what we wanted most nights, our stewards, Roshmann and Luciano, providing us with excellent service.
(left) Two Typical Dinner Menus and (right) An alternative typical "Healthy Option" Menu
(NB. Although "Black Angus Top Sirlion" was on the menu, there was none on board all week!)
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Show Picture Full Size The Windjammer Cafe (Deck 9 Forward)
I am no lover of self-service cafes on board ship, so I expected the usual crowds and mahem. At breakfast however, I was pleasantly surprised with the relatively quiet and well-organised nature of this well-designed cafe with its spectacular 180-degree view forward over the bows.
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The food here is nothing special though, and being adjacent to the open lido deck, it does get very busy and unpleasant at lunch-time; but that, as I discovered, can easily be avoided!

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For those preferring not to run the gauntlet of the self-service cafe for lunch, there is this more dignified alternative.

The concept is built around serving a good quality 3-course brasserie-style lunch in 30 minutes. The menu is surprisingly extensive and the quality very good, although I confess that I enjoyed it so much that I failed to check how long it took!
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(above left) The 1920's elegance of The Great Gatsby Dining Room & (above right) A surprisingly extensive Royal Brasserie 30 Menu

The Viking Crown Lounge
While we did not feel that Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's on-board reward programme adequately reflected our membership level in sister company Celebrity Cruises, one of the few "perks" we did enjoy from our Diamond Membership was a free glass of Champagne every evening in the impressive Viking Crown Lounge at 5pm; something which Andrew & I tried hard not to miss!

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A stunning view forward Multiple levels From the upper Disco-Bar The aft Sun-Lounge

Show Picture Full Size High atop the ship, with multiple levels and stunning views all-around, this lounge has become Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's "signature lounge" on all its ships. Often a quiet haven by day, its Upper Bar and aft Sun-Lounge serve as the Late Night Disco and can also be used for private parties.

(left) Keeping Watch: The various life-size Viking scultures are by Walenty Pytel (b.1941)

The Solarium Pool (Deck 9 Aft)
I am particularly fond of an early morning swim when on board ship and this is a very attractive space in which to do so. The pool is a good size & depth and is sea-water, which is excellent. However, on this trip, it was constantly being drained and re-filled and was extremely cold. Indeed it appeared not to be heated at all, which I do not recall from 2003. I trust this was not an economy measure!
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Throughout the ship, food and service were generally very good, but as always, it is the little things that speak volumes: the unheated pool; no canape service at the main cocktail party; cardboard cups for the special coffees sold in Latte-tudes; poor stock control & inconsistent availability between different bars and no Aberdeen Angus Steak all week, in spite of it being on the menu!

The truth is that Grandeur of the Seas, lovely though she still is, is very much a 4-star ship these days. She is now 15 years old and while I still found her attractive in many ways, she feels oddly dated and tired in places. Perhaps it is time for a refit? See also the Splendour of the Seas Gallery >>

Total Mileage on
Grandeur of the Seas: 4,748 n miles

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