We just returned from a week on the Grandeur and a wonderful sail to Bermuda. For all those negative reviews you might have read, i say disregard them. Yes this ship is older, yes it is not the party ship like Carnival that attracts many young people, Yes it does not have all the bells and whistles of the newer ships. However it is a lovely ship, a bit updated with great food in the dining room and specialty restaurants and wonderful customer service.
We only have two complaints, one being the poor quality food in the Windjammer buffet. RCC really needs to step up and correct this problem especially for those that love the buffet atmosphere and want to go casual while eating their meals. The other issue is their any time dining offer. We signed up for any time dining when we booked the cruise, our sea pass card had it printed on it and yet when we boarded they were quick to say they were over-booked and we had to settle for dinner at 5:30 :o(
They offer daily drink deals and in general drink prices were quite reasonable and never watered down. The dining room food and service were superb. Many changes to the daily menu included filet mignon night and lobster night and quality and quantity were spot on. We ate one night at the Chops Grill and the filet and service were on the level with Ruth Chris. If you tell them you are celebrating a birthday they will give you a coupon for 20% off your dinner and a very yummy dessert.
We were in an outside cabin on the third floor. It was small but comfy. Sheets were super soft, towels not so good so we used the pool towels which were much softer. Ask up front for an egg crate topper on your bed. This mid-ship location is quiet and very little movement in the cabin. Bathroom is tiny but you learn to adjust or there is an option to use the large showers at the spa at no extra charge.
The activities and entertainment were great. Loved the 60's and 70's dance parties and all the activities in the Centrum (atrium) are quite impressive. House band is almost ok but the orchestra was wonderful.
I never thought i would sail out of Baltimore since you waste so much time sailing down the Chesapeake but i think i would take this cruise again and go back to Bermuda in heart beat.
A cruise is what you make it. You need to take your bottle of "patience" with you, remember that you are on vacation, relax and enjoy every moment.
Bermuda is a wonderful place to visit. There are not people trying to sell you something on every corner and its clean and pretty safe. However, dining prices are high as well as taxi service. There is a good bus/ferry service that is reasonable so be sure to buy the day passes. There is a lot to see and do and the beaches are just wonderful. This is my second cruise to Bermuda and i would go again.
I would recommend taking the excursions that the ship offers. If it rains, you can get your money back.