We booked this cruise the beginning of June for the July 12th sailing on the Grandeur. We had no idea about the fire when we first started our search. I wanted to cruise without flying, and Baltimore is less than 2 hours from our home. So the Grandeur to Bermuda it was. I was a little worried that the ship wouldn't be ready in time, but we were lucky and and she was back and ready to sail!
We traveled with our daughters, 7 and 8 (turning 9 the week after vacation) THis was our first cruise with RCI, my oldest was only 11 months on our last cruise and this was the first for my youngest. They were just as excited as I was for this vacation. If only I had a camera on them when we pulled off 95 South....their faces/reaction when they first caught a glimpse of the ship was priceless. I had no idea what to expect since we hadn't cruise in 8 years...I was just excited to get away and spend a week in the sun with my family.
The port in Baltimore was so easy to get to and we arrived a bit early, so we had to wait in a line of cars for a bit. Once we were able to move (around 10:30am) we were on the ship in under an hour. We had to give our luggage, park ($15 a day), fill out some health forms, take pics and register. We boarded the ship and went straight to Windjammers for lunch. The rooms weren't ready until 1pm. Unfortunately it was raining so we hung out in the Solarium for a bit. Our luggage was already at our room at 1pm....very easy! The ship was very pretty, the Centrum was beautiful, and it was kept neat and clean. Although she is an older ship, the Grandeur was beautiful all around.
We were in room 7526 with a Balcony. This was our first cruise with a Balcony and I don't think I could every sail without one again. We sat out on it when we sailed away....spending time on it everyday. Although the rooms are a bit on the smaller side, it definitely gave us more space and didn't make it seem so tiny. We had more than enough room for the four of us. Plenty of space and storage in the room and bathroom. THe shower is sooooo tiny but I knew that from our past cruises. Since the ship has been refurbished, we had a nice flat screen TV and the bathroom was redone. The kids slept on the pull out couch and said it was quite comfy. Our room attendant Jose did a great job and kept our room neat and clean and made a few towel animals for the kids. We were very pleased with the room and the service.
We had a few days at sea and typically had the same schedule each day. We woke up early and ate at the Windjammer. There was always a great selection of fruit and oatmeal, eggs and pancakes. It was probably my healthiest meal of the day. Always fresh and no complaints. The kids enjoyed the different pancakes they offered every day, eps when it was chocolate chip! We would head to the pool and the kids had a blast swimming for hours. They would take breaks to play ping pong or the bean bag game. Although there was only one pool for families with young kids, we always had a seat and the pool was only crowded when they held the Belly Flop contest or Sexiest Man contest (which were hysterical). We would eat lunch in the Windjammer cafe as well. Nice assortment and always something for the kids. I must say that my oldest didn't have one burger all week. She really enjoyed the variety that they had to offer. My youngest had one hotdog on the first day and after that she tried the soup every day, always had some salad and a mixture of the other foods. I feel as though they ate very good for having breakfast, lunch, and dinner out for 7 straight days.
Later in the afternoon my kids would go to Adventure Ocean for an hour or two while my husband and I would run on the running track or hit the gym. The kids loved going and were upset when we picked them up so fast. They had a lot of games and activities for them and they were never bored. It was pretty neat to run on the ship, esp when it was in the opposite direction that we were going. The gym was small but I never had to wait for a treadmill or the weight machines....maybe b/c it was the middle of the afternoon.
We ate dinner at 6:15 every night with My Time Dining. Our table was always ready and we sat just the four of us. We had the same waiters every night and they were amazing....Remembering our drink orders every night and they even remembered the kids' names. We sat next to some very nice older couples who were always complimenting us on our children's behaviors (made my night!!!). The food was very good. I ordered extra appetizers when I couldn't decided and one time they brought an extra of something just for my husband to try. My favorite night was when they served the Italian food but I didn't have one bad meal. We also ate at Chops and it was delicious. Even my girls ordered steaks and ate them (they love steak) It was worth the extra money but I was happy with the food in the MDR so we really didn't have to book a specialty restaurant....but we booked it before sailing and it was already paid for. Glad we went though.
We went to the theater almost every night and the entertainment was good. Our favorite was the comedian the first night and the juggler on the last night. It was a great way to end the week.....so funny!
Bermuda was absolutely beautiful. We have never been there before and was happy to cruise to a place where we could have so much time exploring. We stayed around the Naval Yard the first day. We walked around and in and out of shops, watched some Glass Blowing and played Miniature Golf. It was a beautiful course overlooking the ocean and they let the girls play for free. The weather for the entire week (besides leaving Baltimore) was awesome...nice and hot. PERFECT!!! We ate at the Frog and the Onion and it was so good. We shared a bunch of apps and shared entrees as well. A little pricey but so yummy.
We bought a two day bus/ferry pass so we spent the second day at Horseshoe Bay and Hamilton. What an awesome beach! It was a little crowded but we walked a bit and took some great pics. The fish swimming around us were very cool and the sand felt like baby powder. The water was warm but still refreshing. The bus ride there was a bit scary. The roads are so narrow and the turns/bends are wild. The bus drivers have a heavy foot and the entire bus to Horseshoe Bay was kissing the ground when we got off. Quite an adventure, the rest of the drivers weren't as bad....but I was scared lol
Hamilton was very pretty. We walked in and out of shops and walked through a park for bit. We ate at the Pickled Onion for lunch, very good food. (pricey but good)
We took a ferry on the last day to St Georges and went to Crystal Caves, very cool place and history behind it. We also at the at the Swizzle Inn for lunch...if you go there you have to get their drink, the Swizzle, very tasty. We walked around St Georges and took pics, lost of history there and cool buildings. I would love to go back to Bermuda as there was so much to see and do.
I would like to add that we ordered room service a few of the nights and got some last night snacks....a cheese plate, fruit plate, mini pizza, etc..... We had so much fun with the four of us sitting on one bed in a circle, talking about our day and enjoying some food.
Looking back, I can say that this was one of our best vacations. We talked to a few people that were disappointed with this, and disappointed with that. I had no complaints, we were all together with our phones turned off for a week. No interruptions and seven straight days with out daughters....nothing could have ruined our vacation.
I'm just glad that the seas were calm........
We have a video posted on youtube if interested..... search fourringers and you will find our Bermuda Vacation!