This was our eleventh cruise and our first on the Royal Caribbean. It was splendid. There has been lots of discussion about the Grandeur of the Seas. Some say the ship is old, worn out and should be junked. Nonsense. The ship is of optimal size, very comfortable and easy to navigate. It may not have all the bells of whistles but it has enough, and the crew is outstanding. We have never had a bad cruise. Our all-time favorite was the first of our two cruises on HAL's Noordam (before it moved out of New York). But the Grandeur certainly is among the top three. Great food, good variety and plenty of it; excellent and personable waiters (Gordon and Robert from India) and a hardworking cabin attendant (Lincoln from Jamaica). The more we have cruised, the more we have come to realize that the ship is our destination. We aim at interesting itineraries but booked this as a ho-hum Caribbean getaway.
Of the four stops, we had been to St. Juan and St. Thomas several times. They are always nice. Samana was nothing to write home about, with nasty, money-grubbing sharks. Labadee was wonderful. We didn't take any excursions. We have seen enough of the Caribbean not to bother. We have never had the money for a suite but have had several balconies; these days we go for an inside. Cabin No. 4521 was pretty far forward but we never had any problems. We truly liked the location a straight walk to the dining room on the same floor (for breakfast and lunch). Dinners were served on the floor above. I was afraid that the Grandeur's inside cabin (at 140 sq ft) would be claustrophobic; it wasn't. It was a basic cabin but very adequate. We found the food to be first-class. Choosing My Time Dining, we dined the first two nights alone but then joined another couple from the next table for the rest of the cruise. We'll keep in touch. Good company makes food taste even better. Anyone who skips dining room lunches is a fool. Excellent selections, including a first-class salad bar, where the staff mixed the ingredients we selected. The Grandeur's production shows at the Palladium were quite pitiful. They were mostly a collection of songs, without any connecting plot. The dancers did an adequate job, but just barely. Amplification was ear-shattering. The shows were the only downer. The resident orchestra was excellent and so were many other music providers around the ship. Baltimore check-in was the easiest and quickest we have experienced; disembark took longer (because of a shortage of immigration personnel) but was painless.
Would we do it again? Yes. In fact, without mentioning it to my wife, I was debating whether to continue to the next destination because Bermuda is a favorite of ours. We had things to do in Baltimore (where we live), so that didn't happen. In all, I highly recommend the Grandeur.