So, this is at least my 7th cruise with Royal Caribbean. Grandeur of the Seas is the smallest ship I have sailed in a long time. We arrived to the port around 10:45 and we were on board in about a half hour. We did notice that the regular check in line was MUCH longer so I can see it taking them maybe 45 minutes or an hour? We were emerald members and got into the express check in line for emerald, diamond, etc and there were very few people in that line. We booked a panoramic ocean view cabin (8039) and that was a new experience for us. Nice cabins right outside the centrum.
We headed to the windjammer around 11:30 (after we checked out a couple of things) and there was not a place to sit. We around twice and still couldn't find a place so finally a staff person helped us find a place as soon as he saw folks getting up. We actually offered our table to another couple who were looking for a place to eat as well. I only noticed this because I am assuming MOST folks were not on board and boarding didn't even start until 10:45. So 45 minutes in and every table was taken. Just be prepared for that.
It was pretty cold when we left Baltimore (50s) and it remained pretty cold for a couple of days until we pulled into Bermuda. I was glad for the Solarium which kept the cold air out. Many folks were there and I'm pretty sure no one really hung out by the main pool.
By the time we got to Bermuda, it was perfect, sunny weather near 80 degrees. Bermuda is really a beautiful island. We rented a boat for several hours on our second day and it was perfect way to see a good part of the island. The weather was absolutely perfect. The following day was rainy and we visited the crystal caves. It was definitely interesting to see. We ended up going into Hamilton a little later to do some shopping. The buses and ferries are the best way to transport yourself around the island. It's super easy and many are available to tell you the best way to get to where you are going.
As for Grandeur, the ship, and activities, we had a great time. The only negative thing I have to say about the ship is the shower curtains in the cabins. LOL! It was mentioned by several on board. Most of the newer ships have plastic sliding doors. The showers are small enough and the shower curtains would stick to you when showering. The ship showed a little wear and tear, but overall it was a very clean ship. We found the staff to be very friendly. I will admit, I noticed maintenance folks were not as friendly when you asked a question, but everyone else from bar staff to guest relations, cabin stewards, dining staff, cruise director staff...all super friendly.
The cruise director is Ricky Matthews and I have to say, he is our FAVORITE. I know some others are more popular, but I love how friendly, how energetic he is! We sailed Serenade with him two years ago and he remembered us. Just a great guy that just added to our cruise experience. His staff were fantastic as well.
A lot happens in the centrum, deck 4. That was the hub of activity. We enjoyed the aerial show there as well. There was usually something to do in different places on the ship.
We enjoyed dinner in chops grille one night. The filet mignon was delicious as were the appetizers. We took the red velvet cake to go and enjoyed that a little later. We also visited Park View cafe for breakfast, lunch, and late night snacks. Breakfast offered breakfast sandwiches, fruit, yogurt cups, bagel station where they have different toppings. Lunch had their "make your own salad" and panini sandwiches, and regular sandwiches as well. In the evening, they had hot dogs, nachos with cheese and other toppings, and cheese or pepperoni pizza.
The dining room food was good. I still can't get over how chewy the steak is though. I only tried the NY strip steak on day 4 or 5. I didn't try the one they have available every night. Chops has great steaks but they still can't seem to get it right in the dining room...at least for me. There wasn't much taste either. The other meals, appetizers, soups, desserts were spot on...at least for us. YUMMY!
Overall, we had a wonderful cruise. We always have wonderful vacation with Royal Caribbean and a smaller, older ship was no exception.