My husband and I drove to Baltimore and boarded Grandeur on Oct. 3, 2103. Parking was a breeze, close to the entrance, not crowded. Boarding was easiest of any of our 11 cruises, even though security made us empty our water bottles, and yes, it was only water. However, we found the ship a bit dingy. Cabin 2510 was at the far front end of the ship. Very noisy when the anchor was dropped, lifeboat/tenders were lowered, and when the thrusters were operated each time we docked. Promised ocean view was not quite. There were 2 portholes above a 4 foot ledge, so ocean was only visible if we stood up. Cabin attendant Cliff kept the cabin very clean, and brought our requsted twice a day ice and made us a towel animal every evening.. He was very pleasant. It a surprise that we could not get water brought in a pitcher with the ice.
Lack of sanitation in public areas was glaring. No insistence on hand sanitizing when entering eating venues, rest rooms frequently out of paper towels and low on toilet paper. Rarely saw anyone cleaning rest rooms and never railings in public areas.
The casino allows smoking, and you could smell the smoke 10 feet out, so we were not able to visit the casino at all.
Wait staff in the Windjammer buffet was very helpful. Food was mediocre with not a lot of variety. Head waiter Denise in the main dining room is wonderful. She took orders, checked food, etc. Again, the food was mediocre and lacked imagination, variety, and flavor. Assistant waiter was quite entertaining and remembered to bring special requests every evening without having to be asked daily. Other cruises have the buffet open late night, Grandeur does not. Café has only light snacks at late.
Piano bar entertainer was fabulous.dance band very good, comedians very funny and clean. . Entertainnment staff excellent.
Solarium is very relaxing, a nice quiet place to read and just hang out. Water in pool was a bit chilly, hot tubs were just right.
We took bus and trolley tours in each port, Portland, Bar Harbor, St. John's & Halifax. Tour guides were knowledgeable, helpful, and entertaining. Harbor tour of lighthouses in Portland was beautiful. Enjoyed the Maritime Museum in St. John's, as well as a visit to Fundy Bay. The pink double decker bus was a lot of fun.
First cruise we have been on where you have to sign out a pool towel. Other cruises have had plentiful towels, which we used at the pool and returned to our room and put with the dirty towels for the cabin attendant to collect.
Disembarkation was relatively easy, although took a bit longer than usual due to government cutback and fewer customs agents. Finding luggage was a snap. Maybe to due to it being a smaller ship?
All in all, would do this cruise again to see what else the ports have to offer that we didn't have time to explore but with lower expectations of the ship and food.