We just returned from or 7-night Baltimore to Bermuda cruise on Grandeur OTS. Here's my thoughts on what was a really great cruise.
Who are we? We are an active 60'ish couple who love traveling (I love cruises, DH prefers land trips, but cruises to keep me happy. Smart guy. A trip to Bermuda has been on our 'must do' list for years, and this was the year we decided to do it.
PLANNING: I book our cruises directly with RCI. I'm one of those people who prefers to be in control of my bookings, and am happy with the OBC I get from either our shareholders benefits, or from booking on board. A few extra perks is not enough to entice me to hand over my booking to a TA.
EMBARKATION: Without exception, this was the easiest and fastest embarkation to date. We left our house at 10:05 a.m. and were parked, checked in, and on the ship at 10:55 a.m. Wow! There is something to be said for sailing from Baltimore. They know what they are doing.
THE SHAPE OF THE SHIP: As most of you know, the Grandeur went through a $48 million reburbish about a year ago and she looks wonderful. It's easy to see where the money went'the main theater, additional eating venues, spruced up cabins, and I'm sure other areas I didn't see. However, maintenance problems continue to prevail. We had minimal hot water in our cabin the entire week. I only had one really hot shower, with the majority of our showers being anywhere between luke warm to moderately warm. Not fun. Maintenance came and did an adjustment that helped, but not by much. The toilet in our cabin was finicky. Sometimes it flushed, and most of the time there was a delay (up to maybe 30-45 seconds.) I did notice some sewage odors, but it was minimal. I noticed it around our cabin (Deck 4 mid-ship) and also in a few public spaces.
A water pipe in a utility closet on Deck 4 broke in the middle of the night early in the cruise and 10 cabins were affected. 8 of those cabins required minimal effort to clean up, but 2 cabins were badly flooded and the people had to be relocated. One of those cabins belonged to our friends, and after a stressful overnight and following day, they were moved to another cabin.
ENTERTAINMENT: Very good. We went to most shows in the theater and enjoyed everything. The music venues around the ship were fair to good. There is a very talented couple singing in the Schooner Bar, but they leaned very heavily to Country music, which is not our favorite. When they did popular and oldies, they were outstanding.
FOOD/DINING: We did MTD and, as always, they did a great job managing it. We had the same table, with the same wait staff each night, and they were great. They quickly learned everyone's preferences, and worked hard to provide a wonderful dining experience every evening. The food was good each night, with some nights better than others. We went to Giovanni's Table one night, and the food was excellent. My only complaint was there was too much food!!! Even with just tasting all the dishes they brought out, we were full before we finished tasting all the appetizers! The Windjammer was fine. The best thing about it was there never seemed to be many crowds, and it was always easy to find a table. We also tried the Park Caf'. The roast beef sandwiches there are excellent.
DEBARKATION: We did early walk off, and we never got off a ship so quickly, or get through Customs so fast. The Port of Baltimore does a great job.
THOUGHTS: This was a wonderful and fun cruise. The time on board the ship was relaxing, and our 2.5 days in Bermuda was wonderful. It's an easy island to get around. We purchased a 2-day transit pass for $25 pp. The kiosk to buy them was located just as you get off the ship'.very easy. We had enough time to see everything we wanted to see. The Grandeur's staff is outstanding. Daryl, the Activities Manager, and Efren, the Diamond Concierge, are wonderful and friendly people who go out of their way to ensure the guests have a great time. Kudos to them both!
This was a great cruise. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!