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3 Baltimore to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Well....(with 7 cruises already under our belt ), we just came back from a 9 day cruise on The Grandeur of the Seas, sailing out of Baltimore Nov.5th-Nov. returning on Nov.14th. What a wonderful, elegant and well appointed ship, ... Read More
Well....(with 7 cruises already under our belt ), we just came back from a 9 day cruise on The Grandeur of the Seas, sailing out of Baltimore Nov.5th-Nov. returning on Nov.14th. What a wonderful, elegant and well appointed ship, truly, truly GRAND. We had a large interior stateroom on deck 8, while Trevor our stateroom attendant tended to every detail. We had all our meals in the Windjammer Cafe, because we like the freedom of eating whenever we like. The food in the Windjammer was outstanding in variety, taste, and presentation. Imagine sitting at a table by the giant windows surrounding the entire Windjammer Cafe, overlooking the ocean before your very eyes. It was magical. The shows in the Palladium Theater were outstanding, SRO on all nights. The lounges were a joy to spend time in, like the Schooner Bar, the Vking Lounge, the tinkling of the piano keys, the ambiance...aaaaaaaaaaah how we long to get back. The ports of call, San Juan, St Thomas, Samana, and Labadee, were breathtakingly beautiful. The crew of the Grandeur of the Seas are all smiles, and very professional, respectful and helpful in every way. Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Hope to sail you again soon Grandeur of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
There are only three good things I can say about this ship..our waiter Sean, our room steward and the band Horizon. We were on this ship in April and it was below my expectations then. However, since we live in MD, we decided to try ... Read More
There are only three good things I can say about this ship..our waiter Sean, our room steward and the band Horizon. We were on this ship in April and it was below my expectations then. However, since we live in MD, we decided to try leaving out of Baltimore. Unfortunately, the only ship going was the Grandeur. I could not believe how the service, quality of food and condition of the ship had deteriorated more since April. Here is an overview. Boarding - not bad although the drop off procedure is pretty slow. Room - Safe was not working, dirt and stains (? hmmm) on chairs and couch. I would love to know who takes the brochure pics. Must use some kind of wide angle, optical enhancement device. Would love them to take a pic of my diamond ring so I can send to all my jealous friends. Dining - Food was nothing short of disgusting proven by the fact that I gained 1 lb (water weight) on this 9 day cruise. I believe you should be able to pierce your Caesar salad, not scoop it up and have the lettuce wrap around your fork. When I went off the menu and ordered a steak ( in an attempt to eat something good) my table guests thought it was a hamburger. Let me just say that for 8 dining days, I enjoyed white rolls and water. Dessert - was a good thing. This quality of food extended to the Windjammer. Hint...get your table first then get your food otherwise your lunch becomes dinner. There are never any tables available. The floor was always sticky, the warming dishes were not filled, coffee machines were out of service much of the time as were the juice machines. Dessert - was a good thing. Pool deck - Simply put...dirty. Ask the staff to wipe a table and you would think you asked for their kidney. They are rude and totally ignore requests. Also, just in case you are a smoker, (like me), I would suggest you bring your own ashtray. I figured out that there are 20 ashtrays to every 200 smoking guests. I have even seen people "stealing" an ashtray from someone's table when not looking. It was ugly. I think if I had my suitcase filled with those tin disposable things, I could have sold enough to pay for the cruise. Entertainment - The Palladium - My six year old granddaughter's dance recital had more talent. Need I say more? Tiny Tim (rest his sole)was a better singer than the so called professionals on stage. The band Horizon in the South Pacific lounge was enjoyable until they did their heavy metal set. This is when most of the over 60 crowd cleared out which basically left the room completely empty. The band in the Centrum were OK except that they projected themselves as having eaten bad Sushi. Maybe they too were just tired of smiling and having their picture taken. Cruise Director - WHO? We saw him a total of 12 minutes during the entire cruise. He appeared to introduce the shows for exactly 3 minutes each performance. During the last show, he informed everyone that this was his last cruise since his contract was up. Guess he figured why do anything for the nine days. What was RCCL going to do...fire him? Scheduled events never occurred with no explanation. Gee, and I was looking forward to the belly flop contest. Drinks - Normally, I do not drink because just one would have me crawling under a table singing the "Sponge Bob" song. However, I had 4 highballs in a row one night..what the heck...I needed to get happy. After the drinks...I could still re-apply my eyeliner. When I arrived home, I had one glass of cheap wine before dinner. Yep, I was singing the song. I also found out that my grandson found a place to put his gum. Go figure. Facilities - I have been in gas stations that had cleaner restrooms. Also, most times they were out of order. All those poor people who had their daily dose of prunes were pretty distressed. I think I already spoke about the over 60 crowd. I was amazed at how fast those scooters can really go. ATM - On the second day it was not working. Since I had not stopped at the bank before leaving to get cash for my secret casino mad money, I had planned on using it. I was told that I would have to use the ATM in Key West. Well...that was not working either. The bottom line? Total take from me by the casino - a grand total of nine quarters. Ports - Freeport - Pass by it...unless you enjoy riding in a cab and seeing nothing. Coco Cay - Good swimming and great beach. Too bad the food was gross. Thank goodness I brought some apples and bananas from the ship. Key West - nice but expensive. Lots of walking. Cozumel - Usual shopping and negotiating with the vendors. Senior Frogs was the highlight. OLAY OLAY The Cape - never got there. Captain decided to pass it by since we were just ahead of a storm. Sissy! We did the muster station thing didn't we? Overall - I will not sail on this RCCL ship ever again. It needs total renovation and a change of staff especially the chef. I considered RCCL a first class line until the Grandeur. Finally - Many of the "first time cruisers" that we met thought that the ship and everything that goes with it was outstanding. Those of us that have cruised a lot had a totally different opinion. If you are planning to cruise on this ship, I can only hope that you got a great price deal that just might justify overlooking our experience. Also, if you are a "sea lover" as I am and enjoy relaxing and gazing out over the beautiful blue ocean........BRING WINDEX. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
This review is being submitted by three Cruise Critic Members (LetsParty, Max's Mom and TedHain). Personal comments from all of us will be listed as well. ORIGINAL CRUISE ITINERARY 9-24-04 ~ Baltimore, Maryland 9-25-04 ~ At Sea ... Read More
This review is being submitted by three Cruise Critic Members (LetsParty, Max's Mom and TedHain). Personal comments from all of us will be listed as well. ORIGINAL CRUISE ITINERARY 9-24-04 ~ Baltimore, Maryland 9-25-04 ~ At Sea 9-26-04 ~ At Sea 9-27-04 ~ Key West, Florida 9-28-04 ~ Cozumel, Mexico 9-29-04 ~ Belize City, Belize 9-30-04 ~ At Sea 10-1-04 ~ Coco Cay, Bahamas 10-2-04 ~ Grand Bahama Island 10-3-04 ~ At Sea 10-4-04 ~ Baltimore, Maryland UPDATED ITINERARY DUE TO HURRICANE JEANNE 9-24-04 ~ Baltimore, Maryland 9-25-04 ~ At Sea 9-26-04 ~ Kings Wharf, Bermuda (Arrived at 12:00pm) 9-27-04 ~ Kings Wharf, Bermuda (Departed at 1:30pm) 9-28-04 ~ At Sea 9-29-04 ~ Labadee, Haiti (8:00am - 6:00pm) 9-30-04 ~ At Sea 10-1-04 ~ Nassau, Bahamas (7:00am - midnight) 10-2-04 ~ At Sea 10-3-04 ~ At Sea 10-4-04 ~ Baltimore, Maryland PROS OF CRUISE • Meet and Mingle Party. • Spending time with our new friends. • Ship had a nice layout and beautiful dEcor. • Two pools (Main Pool ~ party pool) (Solarium ~ relaxing pool for 16 and above only). • Calm seas and decent weather. • Great entertainment. • Excellent bar service in the Champagne Lounge. • Numerous activities to keep the energetic person busy. Extremely fun and friendly staff. • Ports we visited were enjoyable. • Entertainment in the dining room was pleasant. • Nice cabins with plenty of storage. • Towel art was really cute. • Snack bar at the Solarium Pool was good. • Windjammer had a decent selection of food (breakfast, lunch and snacks). • Midnight snacks were very good. CONS OF CRUISE •Changing a 10 day cruise from 5 ports to 3 ports was inadequate. At times we felt like we were just wandering around looking for somewhere to go. • Bathrooms (especially the shower) were extremely small in the standard cabins. • The smell of raw sewage in the center areas of the ship; especially on decks 2 through 4. This lasted throughout the entire cruise. Some days were worse than others. • Ship had continuous water and toilet issues. Water was slightly yellow and public toilets were backing up or not flushing. Water was turned off twice for service. • Excursions were expensive and some of them weren't worth the price. A few of them were extremely unorganized or people couldn't go on them due to lack of space. • Insufficient bar service in the Viking Crown and Schooner Bar. • No more drink cards (alcohol). • Adult soda cards were expensive. • Dining Room food was good but some portions were very small. • Service in the Windjammer was slow at times (cleaning tables). • Started to run out of food/beverage items toward the end of the cruise. • Lack of motivation from many crew members (bar service, dining room, stateroom attendants). PERSONAL COMMENTS FROM LETSPARTY: This was my seventh cruise with RCI and the second time on Grandeur. We observed a lot of changes with RCI since our cruise on the Nordic Empress last year and we were disappointed. You could tell that there were a lot of cutbacks and a change of attitudes with a good portion of the staff. Some of them had an "attitude" and were not friendly whatsoever. Not sure if we will cruise again with RCI due to this. Our cabin (3134) was located on Deck 3 near the cabin attendant's storage room. We were woken up every morning around 6:30am since they were setting up for the morning cleaning. We heard them talking, ice buckets being filled, carts clashing into each other, etc. We also think this was an area that the food service came through since there were a lot of dropping of plates throughout the cruise. The M&M party was a lot of fun and meeting those that attended was very nice. We spent a lot of time with Max's Mom/Max's Dad as well as Ted/Harriet. The Solarium Pool was our hang out during the day and we enjoyed each other's company during the cruise. Thanks to them, their friendship and plenty of laughs, our cruise was more pleasant and entertaining! DH/I kept busy with the activities on the ship and collected enough Ship Shape Dollars for two t-shirts. I climbed the Rock Wall and made it to the top which I was thrilled about. Being 190 feet above the sea was a remarkable experience. Not sure when we will cruise again but hopefully in the near future and maybe with a different company. PERSONAL COMMENTS FROM MAX'S MOM: I keep waiting for someone to cook my dinner, clean up after me twice a day, and turn down my bed - not happening here! Despite the disappointing itinerary change, we had a great time, sewage smells and all. Meeting fellow cruise critics was great. Wish we could have met up more often. We really hit it off with the Let'sParty duo and Ted and Harriet. Thanks for the tour of the Junior Suite, Ted! Our dinner partners were also fabulous. We had a great time with them all week. Our favorite spots on the ship were the Solarium Pool and the Champagne Bar. We booked another cruise on board for March and hope to do another in June. We suggested on our comment card that ALL RCI ships needed to have concierge service. We really missed that on this ship. Can't wait to cruise again. PERSONAL COMMENTS FROM TED HAIN: • Embarkation was fast and friendly. • No direction to cabin once onboard. • Junior Suite was clean but furnishings were old and tattered. • Bathroom amenities were nil. • Cabin attendant's (Marvin and Hernan) were excellent. • Found most hotel staff helpful. • Room service was timely, food quality wanting. • Luggage delivery to the cabin was slow; we found our last two bags by the elevator. • Breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer was adequate. • No assistance given to the seniors or the physically challenged in the Windjammer (spoiled on Celebrity). • Great Gatsby main seating was very good. Waiters, service and entertainment was excellent. • Entertainment in lounges was very good. • Cruise Director and staff were excellent. • Production shows, dancers and themes were good. The singers were poor. Guest performers were excellent. • Would have liked to have more time with the M&M members during the cruise (my fault, should have arranged more). • Dancing, games and parties were great. • Disappointed in not having a priest onboard, we were told there was. • Disembarkation went smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2004

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