The GRANDEUR is a smaller ship; therefore, it is easy to get to know the passengers and make many new friends.
Getting in and out of the Port of Baltimore is Easy; per night parking: $15. Couldn't be easier, w/friendly & helpful personnel. Get into car line by 10:15A - gates open around 10:30A. Cash will help expedite your parking experience; you can use a CreditCard (sometimes their computers are slow which delays the process). Embarkation/Debarkation Quick and Efficient.
WJ was serving lunch, whilst we waited till 1P when the cabins were ready for occupancy.
Cabin 7077 was an excellent location. We had issues with the toilet, but since the toilet plumbing is Now Brand New, there should be no further issues and would book this cabin again. Expect it to be cramped - it is. Expect to hear the nightly Centrum shows which end around 11P - you will. Knowing what to expect eliminates anxiety. Don't over-pack and you will have room for everything. Separating the beds gives each pax floor space and makes the room feel more spacious. Removing the stuffed chair was necessary so we could move around. The cruise had 2 formal nights - approximately 1/4 of the MDR were dressed "formal" - otherwise, men with or w/o jacket and/or ties were prevalent - saw one tux on either evening. So, it's whatever goes for your personal enjoyment. The Bahamas dictate Relaxing - the theme carries over to any dress code. Definitely No Hats or Shorts for evening dining in the MDR. Definitely don't try to bring any alcohol on board. Definitely No Irons or Candles or other fire-inducing items. Hair dryer provided in cabin. Good lighting and good mirrors. Don't forget your clothes pin to hook on the bottom of your shower curtain. Good storage in tiny bathroom. If you typically require extra moving around space, you would be well advised to book a D2 or higher category. Cat L is small by any definition, but it was very ok for us and we were happy. Our Stateroom Attendant was courteous and efficient. Kudos to the Facilities Team for totally replacing the toilet plumbing.
CONCIERGE LOUNGES: Deck 6 for the Diamonds and Deck 11 for D+, above (but D+ and above can use both lounges). Francis on Deck 6 was a pleasant host and worked hard to make the experience of his Lounge the WOW experience. Ruth Ortiz on Deck 11 is credited for keeping us happy and helping us throughout the first 4 days of cruise w/a non-functioning toilet. We hope to cruise with Ruth, again - she is deserving of higher recognition. WOW WOW WOW! Gratuity in these Lounges is optional, at your own discretion. We enjoyed breakfast in the morning and hearty snacks in the evening. The coffee machine is WOW.
Thanks to Jimmy Rhodes and his staff for all they did, around the ship, to make everything a good cruise experience.
We had the good fortune to be cruising the same time as JAZZ IN PINK were cruising. They were a Private Group that opened their nightly gatherings to the ship's passengers. If you don't know who they are, check out www.jazzinpink.com We are still on a musical high because of the nightly concert experience. However, we did see two theater shows - COMMENT: unauthorized pax sat down in the VIP seating prior to the ropes going up and were not chased away when the ropes finally were in place. Therefore, they got the best seats and those who were authorized, were left to sit where they could find a seat. Didn't appreciate the lack of enforcement for authorized seating. 1st nt comedian was a hoot; walked out of the Temptations, but others thought it was excellent. 5nts, we were in the South Pacific Lounge for the JAZZ IN PINK performance. Wish RCI would employ this group so we could cruise w/them again. WOW!
POOLS/SOLARIUM: well maintained; don't forget to pick up your towel from the Towel Station (you need your card to do this) because if you are going to the Solarium, it is a schlep to back track for the towel. The Solarium is salt-water and heated. No underage issues. The outside pool entertainment was always good.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE:
Why the Chef didn't serve drawn butter w/the lobster was a mystery to me. I didn't care for the herbs w/butter, but others didn't find it objectionable. Nobody goes hungry on a cruise. We appreciated our MDR table location and service - WOW - table-mates keep pleasant conversation going, throughout the week. Ate at the Park Cafe, also the WJ - surprised to find bag chips at the Park Cafe - wish they had offered "Baked Chips" for the calorie-conscious.
PRE-PAID for My Time Dining. Otherwise, you are charged, daily, the amount collected. Envelopes are still provided for the chance you care to tip extra monies to anyone. Bar service continues to add the 15% with each order.
They could eliminate the MDR pictures and I'd be glad. Otherwise, large photos cost $19.95 each. plenty of great backdrops to have your family/friends photo taken by talented photographers, around the ship.
CROWN AND ANCHOR DESK: those folks really do care about you. WOW to Terry for being so helpful and pleasant.
It does pay to be Loyal to Royal. Anxious to deposit the QUANTUM, but will be cruising GRANDEUR again. It still holds surprises, even for the seasoned cruiser or first time cruiser. Great ship for families and friends.