In short, great food, great staff, nice but small ship, and lots and lots of very old people with walkers, and scooters. And 10 days (9 really) with 5 at sea is just too long. Having been spoiled on the newest and largest ship of 2010 (Oasis of the Seas) we were in for a shock on Grandeur.
Grandeur is a SMALL ship. There is only one theater with rotating shows. Most activities are in the "Centrum" which is sort of like a nice hotel lobby and not terribly big. The dining rooms were nice and spacious. There is one small pool on deck, and another in the adult only, covered Solarium. There is no central promenade or courtyard. Only a few small shops, and one Starbucks-like venue. Unlike the bigger ships, YOU WILL FEEL THE MOTION OF THE SHIP, and even in 9 foot seas many people complained of seasickness.
This particular cruise was populated mostly be seniors. Literally only a handful of children on board, and it seemed like only a dozen or so families age 50 and under. Accordingly, things tended to shut down early. Except for one bar (Viking Crown Lounge) playing club music with a DJ for about 6 dancers, the place became a ghost town after 11 or so. Early dining times were packed.
Very small, but functional, as expected. Biggest complaint: the bed was NOT comfortable. It felt like a sofa bed, complete with the bar across the middle and very thin mattress. Asked steward for the egg crate foam top, which helped, but still made too many hours in bed a painful experience. There was a persistent smell in the hallway outside our room, somewhere between fuel and sewage. Inside the room was fine, however.
On our previous cruise (Oasis of the Seas) we interacted a lot with our cabin steward, and he was always helpful and fun, and the towel animals were amazing. On Grandeur our steward barely spoke English. We almost never saw him. I think we received 2 rather lame towel animals on a 10 day cruise. Don't get me wrong, it's not about the towel animals. :) But this was definitely a lower class vibe than on Oasis. The steward only left fresh towels in the evening for the first few days of the cruise. Despite all this we were generous tippers every day, but the service never improved.
Nice little village shopping, but a bit boring if you're not interested in jewelry. Also, beware scams. Don't let jewelry proprietors put a ring on your finger, and tell you to walk around the store with it. Even if you give it back, they will chase you out of the store and accuse you of stealing it.
RCI provides a little manufactured village for shopping and a few restaurants, surrounded by a big high fence. It feels kinda like a theme park. We were advised by the crew not to venture out into the city at large, and didn't. A small shop/stall in the back near the entrance to Margaritaville had the best prices and a proprietor who was helpful rather than pushy.
AMAZING. Although this is another RCI owned and Manufactured resort, it is still breathtaking. Tons of adventurous stuff to do. And the beaches are breathtaking. Whether you like ocean waves or a gentle bay with the cruise ship visible in the distance, this place is a gem. Find your spot, either secluded or with others, and enjoy. All food and drinks (and staff) are brought from the ship and are excellent.
Shopping in the one building was ok, with decent prices and nice people. If you venture up the road the shop owners (in brown) are much more aggressive (though nothing like Jamaica). You'll get no peace to simply browse here.
Our advice: Bring a towel from the ship, pick a beach, order a drink or two and relax. The best beach days ever await. And then there's lunch. Enjoy! :)
Also, as RCI owns and operates everything, there's no fear that you'll be left behind and miss the ship. They usher everyone out when it's time to go.
RCI: Please offer a cruise with multiple days at Labadee.
Departure port. Nothing to review.