Guest Blog: Jordan Bailey – Grandeur of the Seas Review

Hey blog readers, it’s Mikey and I just wanted to give you a quick background on Jordan and RCI Fans! Jordan Bailey, a fellow teen cruiser, has built an incredible and amazing website with tons of information on Royal Caribbean International, from cruise advice to actually booking a cruise with them, they have it all! So check out RCI Fans before going on your next Royal cruise!
You can visit his website HERE. It’s all yours Jordan…
I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise onboard the wonderful Grandeur of the Seas. First impressions of the ship were very surprising. The ship looked much bigger than I was expecting. After being on Independence and Oasis of the Seas, I thought Grandeur would be dwarfed by the bigger ships. It was noticeably smaller, but standing next to her at Palma Port made the ship look huge!
 
 
As we boarded the ship, it was clear straight away that Grandeur was in need of a major refurbishment. Luckily though, Grandeur of the Seas is expected to have a full refit in the New Year. There were no speciality restaurants onboard such as Chops Grille and Portofino’s. The only restaurants onboard were the two deck Great Gatsby Dining Room and the Windjammer Marketplace. We explored the ship while waiting for our suitcases to arrive. The Centrum is a wonderful area. It is a place where all the decks are connected together and alcoves of little seating areas and bars, such as the Champagne Bar, are located. I would say I prefer the Centrum than the Royal Promenade on other Royal Caribbean ships because of the spirit the place holds. It makes it a lovely spot for catching up with friends and family. The pool deck is also a lovely place on the ship. You can relax in Solarium or sunbathe near the main pool.
 
 
The Palladium Theatre is one of the grandest theatres in the fleet. I loved the ‘sofa seating’ arrangement where you can have a private sofa for 1, 2 or 3 people. In my opinion it is better than the seating on the Freedom and Oasis class ships. On the more newer ships they seem to cram as many people in as possible, whereas this theatre was much nicer to sit in.
We spent the next day in Barcelona. We visited the Segrada Familia, walked along Las Ramblas and had a trip on the Metro. We boarded the ship just in time as when we got through security, the heavens opened and there was a thunder storm which lasted the remainder of the day!
 
 
The next day we docked in Ibiza, where we would be docked until 11.00pm so some guests could have a taste of the Ibiza nightlife. There isn’t much to say about it really. We had a relaxing day on the beach in the nearby town of Playa de Bossa.
The next stop for the cruise was Malaga. Jason and Joan boarded their cruise here on Adventure of the Seas in November last year, so they knew what to do.
 
*RCI fans Tip*
Don’t buy Royal Caribbean’s coach transfers for this port of a call, as a local service bus picks up in the coach bays next to the terminal and drops you off at the same point as the coach transfer does. Royal Caribbean charge $10 per person for the transfer, but it is around €1.45 per person return, so you do save quite a lot. You should only buy the RCI transfer if you plan to make several trips to and from the ship.
 
The next day we arrived in the British town of Gibraltar! This port of call was by far the best place out of the cruise itinerary. Royal Caribbean do not run a transfer into the town, as it is within walking distance of the town centre. I was also shocked when I heard there were no taxi’s in Gibraltar apart from the ‘Rock Tour’ minibuses which do drop you off in the town for €2 each. As I am from England, I loved walking down the Main Street and seeing English shops such as BHS and Marks and Spencers. Alcohol and Tobacco are also very cheap here, but you are only allowed to bring 1 bottle/packet back onboard. We walked to the Cable Car station to go up the Rock of Gibraltar. We waited for around 10 minutes. You will see companies outside the Cable Car entrance trying to get you to go on a tour with them. I would advise you not to go with these people. Although they are legitimate tours, it is easier and cheaper to do it yourself on the cable car. Plus it is a great experience! The monkeys were adorable, yet dangerous. If you follow the rules posted around the site, they shouldn’t bother you. When you go up you should try and keep all bags closed and do not carry and plastic bags as the monkeys love them! (Watch our video on YouTube!) We spent about an hour up there laughing at the monkeys play around and taking in the views of the coastline of Africa, before heading back down the rock. We decided to have a meal in a restaurant called ‘Mamma Mias’ it is situated next to the cable car station and they serve delicious Italian pizza’s cooked over a stone baked oven. I would highly recommend you visiting.
 
 
Day 6 was spent at sea. The most interesting thing happened that day, as a ‘medical emergency’ happened. The captain informed us that we would have to make an abrupt detour to the nearest port, so that a passenger could get air lifted to hospital. The ship went ‘full throttle’ to get just off the coast of Cartagena, where we saw a glimpse of Mariner of the Seas! 9We were eating at the dining room when all this happened, so we took no photos, which was a disappointment.) The ship stopped and dropped its anchor all outside decks were closed off and sunbeds were stacked away. We then waited for the helicopter to arrive. A man was airlifted onto the ship to attach the ill passenger. We were never told what was wrong with the passenger, but it must have been serious for this to happen.
The food onboard was fabulous each night. There was a good selection of food on the menu. We had a fantastic waiter called Idege who served us every day.
 
 
I would definatly like to go back on this vessel sometime in the future. It would be intersting to see what it would be like after the ‘revitalization’ has been done. I highly recommend you cruise on this ship!

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Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.