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Grandeur of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas begins year-round service from Baltimore


Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas arrived today at the Port of Baltimore, Maryland to replace Enchantment of the Seas.  Grandeur will offer six- to 10-night cruises year-round and will offer passenger cruises to Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Eastern and Western Caribbean, as well as Canada and New England.

This is the second time Grandeur of the Seas has been based out of Baltimore.  She previously was deployed to the port from 2004 through 2009.

To celebrate Grandeur of the Seas' return to Baltimore, Governor Martin O'Malley declared May 3, 2013 as "Royal Caribbean Cruise Day" in Maryland.

Grandeur of the Seas is fresh from a $48 million bow-to-stern revitalization, which incorporated six new specialty dining options, technological upgrades and new entertainment features, as well as a refresh of all furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms. Families with toddlers can take advantage of the newly installed Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, which caters to the cruise line’s youngest guests, ages six months to 36 months. Guests can also enjoy a 220-square foot poolside movie screen and take in a new high-flying experience whereby aerialists glide through the ship’s six-story atrium.

 “Royal Caribbean International thanks Governor Martin O’Malley and the Maryland Port Administration for their ongoing support of the cruise vacation industry in the great state of Maryland,” said Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Maryland’s rich history and diverse cultural attractions make it an unmatched destination to pair with a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation. We are delighted to mark the beginning of Grandeur of the Seas’ year-round service from Baltimore on ‘Royal Caribbean Cruise Day’ in Maryland.”

Royal Caribbean is offering a variety of  itineraries to Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Eastern and Western Caribbean. In the summer, the itineraries alternate between seven-night Bermuda sailings, featuring a two-night call at Kings Wharf, and seven-night sailings to the Bahamas, calling at Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island paradise in the Bahamas. In the fall, Grandeur of the Seas will alternate between six-night Bermuda and eight-night Canada and New England sailings. The winter season will consist of rotating 10-night sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, as well as eight-night sailings to the Bahamas.

Three Royal Caribbean ship spas make Top 25 Cruise Ship Spa list


Condé Nast Traveler released its list of the top spas around the world and in the case of the best spas for cruise ships, three of Royal Caribbean's onboard spas made their Top 25 list.

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas (9), Grandeur of the Seas (16) and Allure of the Seas (20) all ranked in the top 25.  The list of the best spas ranked them by treatments, staff & facilities.

The polls results came from Condé Nast Traveler readers who shared their findings with the web site over the course of the year.

Royal Caribbean cuts cruises to Bermuda in 2013


The island of Bermuda is seeing cutbacks of cruise ships stopping there across the board, including Royal Caribbean.  Royal Caribbean will cut back the number of calls they will be making to the island in 2013 by 11.

At the end of 2012, Explorer of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas will have visited Bermuda a total of 55 times between the two ships.  Next year, however, Grandeur of the Seas will replace Enchantment of the Seas and make ten less stops to Bermuda, for a total of 15 calls.

A spokesman from the Bermuda government commented on the change, "We had early discussions with Royal Caribbean to include additional Grandeur of the Seas calls from Baltimore, with a weekend stop in Bermuda and continuing to Maine and other locations in New England."

“Royal Caribbean decided that these cruises were not selling well, and decided not to include them in their 2013 itinerary."

“However, we will still have 15 calls from the Grandeur of the Seas in 2013. We will also have 29 calls from the Explorer of the Seas in 2013, compared to 30 Explorer calls in 2012. "

Royal Caribbean looks back on one year in France


July first marks the one year anniversary of Royal Caribbean adding a subsidiary in France.  For months, Royal Caribbean has been marketing to support sales and now they are seeing those efforts taking shape with the first cruises to French ports.

On June 3rd, Liberty of the Seas made her inaugural visit to Marseilles and Toulon harbor.  Liberty of the Seas is the largest ship operating in Europe and this summer will offer 21 cruises from France.

On July 5th, another Royal Caribbean ship, Brilliance of the Seas, will make its first stop at Le Havre and head for the Norwegian fjords.  Following her will be the recently refurbished Grandeur of the Seas, which will begin with a stop in Marseilles.

Frederic Martinez, CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises France, is happy with the progress the company has made, "We are very happy because ships arrive, they can be seen and tested by customers."

Overall, this year, the company will offer 27 cruises from French ports for a target of 30 to 35,000 passengers. This is less than the expected 40 to 45,000 customers at the launch of the French subsidiary, but Royal Caribbean was forced to reduce the estimates because of a difficult environment and the impact of the Costa Concordia disaster.

"We had one year in the form of a challenge because of the events he was forced to cash. Our growth has remained strong because we are still small, we have established a subsidiary in France there are less than a year, compared to the previous situation, our offer is much stronger because of departures from French ports. Nevertheless, we still felt a slowdown from February to early April. Also noteworthy is that the economic context is not famous. The crisis in the euro area can be felt in all European markets and, like others, the French are watching their budget. But now the market is very strong, although it has been boosted with blows of promotions, which is good for customers but not so good for owners, whose margins are reduced. This also causes a visibility problem because many customers wait until the last minute to book, hoping to get a better price, "says Frederic Martinez.

Royal Caribbean's boss in France believes, that the very aggressive pricing policy practiced in recent months by different companies, which forces Royal Caribbean's hand, should not last: "It's a real issue. We had an exceptional year and it was therefore necessary to sustain demand by offering very attractive. But we must not repeat this indefinitely and make reference price. Because this approach is not economically viable, at least maintaining a high level of quality, what we want. " 

Royal Caribbean completes Grandeur of the Seas refurbishment


Royal Caribbean has finished the $48 million refurbishment to Grandeur of the Seas at the Navantia ship yard in Cadiz, Spain.

The complete overhaul of Grandeur includes the addition of five new dining venues, technological upgrades, a pool side LED screen, a refresh of all furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms as well as new entertainment offering including a spectacular aerial displays in its six deck Centrum.

In addition, the ship received a new Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty guests, a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top-tier loyalty guests, a Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, as well as a transformed Viking Crown Lounge.

Now that Grandeur has been returned to service, she will spend the summer offering cruises on the Mediterranean from Venice, Italy and Provence, France. 

Video: New Features Added to Grandeur of the Seas


Royal Caribbean bringing Grandeur of the Seas back to Baltimore


Royal Caribbean is planning on bringing Grandeur of the Seas back to Baltimore to offer year-round cruises in the spring of 2013 after she receives a $48 million renovation.

Grandeur of the Seas had previously sailed out of Baltimore from 2004 to 2009 before being replaced by Enchantment of the Seas.  Once Grandeur arrives, it will replace Enchantment and offer cruises to the Bahamas, Bermuda and New England and Canada..

Baltimore officials are happy with the change since the makeover Grandeur will receive should be an upgrade in terms of ship and it will offer people sailing out of Baltimore similar amenities that can be found in Royal Caribbean's larger ships.

Grandeur of the Seas is set to receive as part of her makeover new dining options, lounges, nursery for children, Wi-Fi service and an outdoor video screen overlooking the pool deck.

Royal Caribbean plans to have the first cruise out of Baltimore on May 3, 2013 to Bermuda.  After, Grandeur will offer six-, seven-, eight- and 10-night cruises.

Royal Caribbean to send Grandeur of the Seas for five-week renovation


Royal Caribbean is planning on sending Grandeur of the Seas for a five-week upgrade that will cost $48 million to the Navantia ship yards in Cadiz, Spain.

The changes coming to Grandeur of the Seas include

  • technological upgrades
  • new entertainment offerings
  • a new Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty guests
  • a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top-tier loyalty guests
  • a transformed Viking Crown Lounge
  • an overall refreshment of furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms
  • new dining venues including
  • Addition of Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for children ages 36 months to six years old
  • Ship-wide WiFi
  • Outdoor video screen overlooking the pool deck

The renovation is part of Royal Caribbean's planned fleet revitalization and is the third of six Vision-class ships that will be fully renovated.

Grandeur of the Seas will finish its refurbishment on May 31, at which point she will embark upon an 11-night Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona, Spain.

Navantia Cadiz shipyards will upgrade Grandeur of the Seas


As part of its ongoing effort to revitalize its ships, Royal Caribbean has confirmed that Navantia at Cadiz, Spain will be the shipyard that will upgrade the facilities aboard Grandeur of the Seas.

This is the second Royal Caribbean ship to be upgraded at Navantia, following Splendour of the Seas which received similar upgrades.  All of these upgrades are part of Royal Caribbean's Royal Advantage program.

The work will consist mainly of jet and paint, pipe, steel scaffolding, improvements in propulsion systems, rudders, bow thrusters, anchors and chains, plus many odd jobs in the engine room. The duration of the work will be about four weeks, during which some 350 people will work at Navantia and its subsidiary companies.

Cruise review of Grandeur of the Seas in Spain


The Yorkshire Evening Post sent writer Rod McPhee on a seven night cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas to take a look at how good an offering this cruise is. McPhee was looking to erase the notion that cruises are "the preserve of old couples and newlyweds, or perhaps husbands and wives who suddenly find they’ve some spare cash now the kids have grown up".

His seven night cruise departed from Mallorca and visited Barcelona, Ibiza, Malaga and Gibraltar before returning to Palma.

McPhee found himself impressed by Grandeur of the Seas and all that it had to offer, "Even though it’s not Royal Caribbean’s biggest vessel it boasts a huge array of rooms, ranging from inside staterooms without windows to large suites with balconies.  Of an evening you can spend time wandering from one end of the boat to the other, either as an observer or a participant."

Of all the port stops McPhee made, he found Malaga to be the most surprising and his favorite, "Malaga is the biggest surprise. Though not as famous as other destinations in the corner of the Mediterranean, it is a city with an authentic atmosphere. Yes, there are many tourist attractions, such as the cathedral and coastline, but there is the sense that this place services the lifestyle of ordinary Spaniards, rather than holidaymakers."

Interestingly, McPhee (who is from the United Kingdom) was sure to point out some nuances of cruising that his readers should be aware of.

You will be expected to pay tips to crew, not just to your cabin cleaner but the head waiter, table waiter and deputy table waiter.

The management will send you letters in which they suggest how much each staff member should receive from each guest, per day and give you the chance to remunerate them by credit card.

There are no irons available for use. Instead you must pay the laundry team to press your clothing.

Also be aware of the fact that, if you’re coming from Britain, you’re likely to change your pounds into Euros only to discover that you’ll then lose more money by being forced to change your euros into the ship’s currency, which is US dollars.