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12 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from Baltimore

12 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from Baltimore

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Grandeur of the Seas
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Baltimore
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    St. Croix
  • Day 6
    St. Maarten
  • Day 7
    St. Lucia
  • Day 8
    Barbados
  • Day 9
    St. Kitts (Port Zante)
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Cruising
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Baltimore

Grandeur of the Seas

Grandeur of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Pros

Smaller size, veteran crew and repeat clientele give the ship a homey feel

Cons

Cabins feel old; ship lacks line's newest bells and whistles

Bottom Line

Affordable ship in Baltimore draws families, seniors and everyone in between


Cruise Reviews

We've previously cruised on Carnival, Princess and Celebrity. Our last two Celebrity cruises spoiled us for any other line, I am afraid to say. We took this cruise because we live 1.5 hours away from Baltimore, my boyfriend hates ... Read More
We've previously cruised on Carnival, Princess and Celebrity. Our last two Celebrity cruises spoiled us for any other line, I am afraid to say. We took this cruise because we live 1.5 hours away from Baltimore, my boyfriend hates to fly (I love flying) and it stopped in Charleston where my son is stationed in the military. We were the cruise after a norovirus breakout and embarkation was a nightmare. We got to the port later (1pm) thinking that the rush was over and between the traffic in the parking lot and the line in the port, didn't get onboard until 3:15pm. By then the muster drill had started so we were not allowed to go to our rooms to drop off our bags. Yes we sent our big suitcases with the luggage cart but we had our wine/cooler/medical equipment/medication/emergency stuff on us and we had to drag it to the muster station after dragging in through the lines for two hours. So the drill is over and I am desperate for some lunch (diabetic) and the Windjammer is closed. So we go to the Park Cafe. WELCOME TO THUNDERDOME. The line was 50+ people long, people cutting in line, they're running out of food, no plates, no silverware, no place to sit, I'm walking around and carrying around a cheeseburger IN MY HANDS. I guess that RC did not care we boarded late even though it was not our faults in the least. Then I want to fill my water thermos so I go to the Windjammer after it opens for dinner. I was filling my water bottle with ice and water, using a cup (not holding my bottle under the spout) and I was screamed at by two different head waiters in suits. Literally screamed at me. Even though I was using a separate cup. No, the staff has to fill the cups for you and then you can use them to fill your bottles. So if it takes 4 glasses to fill your bottle, take 4 glasses. Whatever. I should have just brought along bottled water. So much for trying to cut down on plastic waste. I found out later that there is a water station outside the Windjammer that is not staffed by screaming meemies where I could get water 24/7. But it tastes like rust. Disgusting. Park Cafe water was slightly better but still had a hint of metal taste. Might as well drink your cabin water. Yes, the ship is old. Yes, it smells like sewage in some places. It was pretty clean though. We had an inside cabin - yes they are TINY when you're used to a Celebrity balcony, but we made it work. Our Steward kept our ice chest full of ice at all times. I do like RC's Procedure of using a door magnet to indicate to your Steward if you are in your room or not in your room. I hope Celebrity picks up this procedure. I don’t need to interact with my Steward everyday so we stayed out of his way. Ok, food. Windjammer at breakfast, welcome back to Thunderdome. I would search for an open table for over a half hour each morning while my boyfriend was at the gym. Got me some steps on my fitbit though. Once I would find my table for two, I’d put my coffee/book and thermos on the table to claim it and go get my food. Would you believe people did not care one bit and would sit down at the table with my coffee/book and my thermos like they owned the place? And then act SHOCKED when I asked them to move?? SUPER FRUSTRATING. There is a clientele on this ship that think they own it and all of the crew as well. Anyway, back to the food, the Windjammer was the same every morning but I finally got down to a routine of what I liked each morning so that was good. It was tasty. We did one lunch in the MDR, not impressed. And now they set up a buffet in the MDR, say what? Confusing. Soon everything is going to be a buffet! We did dinner every night in the MDR. We requested a table for two and ended up in a table for 10. Frustrating because my boyfriend eats slow and I’d rather not hold up everyone else. The food and service was hit or miss. I thought most of my beef dishes were ok. My boyfriend was disappointed most nights that he had fish. There was a table next to us that was SUPER demanding of the wait staff, maître d AND the chef so they really had no time for our table because they were always rushing around to accommodate them and their demands. Squeaky wheel gets the grease, and all that. The head waiter and our waiter were both super pushy trying to sell specialty restaurant deals. Uncomfortable. Speaking of specialty restaurants, I took a sushi rolling class at Izumi. It was so great! One of the highlights of the trip. We had lunch there the last sea day and it was expensive but VERY GOOD. I’m not a real fan of cruise entertainment, I just want to read, drink Pina Coladas and maybe see a comedy show. There are rabid fans of this ship that are also rabid fans of the house band, The Rockport Band. Oh my god, they are horrible. So bad, watching them is like a comedy show in itself. The two different comedians were ok – we only went to the adult shows. We stayed for most of the Beatles show, it was kind of hokey and they were off key. Cruise director Clo has a super shrill voice and I found her annoying. Activities director Cian would probably make a good cruise director someday, he was entertaining during the Belly Flop contest. Not going to talk much about the weather (you’re leaving from Baltimore in January, what do you expect?) but the stabilizers on this ship are not equipped to handle the Atlantic in the winter (or don’t exist at all, who knows with a ship this old). We don’t get seasick but many around us did. Our dresser drawers would open and close all night long and we were almost flung out of bed twice. It became funny after awhile. Not going to talk much about the excursions since we’ve been to all of the ports before except Coco Cay. I would say the lunch offerings on Coco Cay were much tastier than the Windjammer. It was cool and overcast/showers but again, it’s January, we expected this. I still went swimming in the lagoon. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I will go in chronological order: (We are seasoned cruisers - first time on any RCI ship) CHECK IN - No one to guide us where to go. Stood in line for 30 minutes before Security suggested we check our bags and directed us where to go. ... Read More
I will go in chronological order: (We are seasoned cruisers - first time on any RCI ship) CHECK IN - No one to guide us where to go. Stood in line for 30 minutes before Security suggested we check our bags and directed us where to go. After that stood in line for 45 minutes to Check In and Board ship. STATE ROOM - Smelled like sewer as we walked in. Room was not well maintained. Rust in windows, carpet worn, not a pleasant experience. DINING ROOM - Service was excellent. Joe, our server at breakfast and dinner was awesome. FOOD - All the food on the ship was very disappointing. The Buffet (Windjammer) was configured in a very strange way, making it difficult to know where the lines began and ended. Tables were not cleaned in a timely way, so hard to find a seat with a clean table to eat on. Food Example at Breakfast in Dining room - My husband ordered Cherry Crepes - The cherries were Maraschino cherries-UGH. Eggs were undercooked every order. If you wanted cream with your coffee, it was taken from another table, and once you used it, returned back to that table. Salt and Pepper shakers were always EMPTY. ACTIVITIES on ship during Cruise Days- Many had additional fees added to them. $3 to $12 depending on Activity. I have never paid additional fees for Activities on a cruise ship (Excluding SPA) $25. per towel to use for swimming! I said "Many" the Activities were very limited. Origami, Towel Folding, Bed Making, Hip/Hop lessons (that's great when most of the people sailing are over 60!!!) FlashMob lessons for Thriller and Footloose. The last cruising day there was not a posting for a movie in the Newsletter or Announcements. I was surprised as there had been a movie everyday before. By accident, we were walking by the theatre and there was a movie playing. The performers on the evening SHOWS - their costumes were not fitted and they looked like they had been to Goodwill to get them. Dancers and Singers were ok. Not in unison during performances. The Cruise Director was very irritating and we only saw her on the morning show telling us about all of great activities of the day. PRIVATE ISLAND - Most of the island was closed due to construction. We planned to sit by the water- but the seating was so limited we could only find a chair 5 rows BACK from the water. Many people who has been there before said it was a mess and they had never seen it like that. The interior of the ship had BROKEN TILES, RUST EVERYWHERE, DIRTY AND UNKEMPT, WORN CARPET. It was not a good experience. HEALTH - While they have hand sanitizer everywhere...I did not that all DISPENSERS used to get Water or other Drinks did NOT HAVE GUARDS on them to prevent people from taking their personal container and putting them into the dispenser. This is appalling as we are ALL trying to make sure no illnesses are spread person to person. I was sitting at the Peak View Cafe and a man walked up to the water dispenser, took a big sip of water from his personal water bottle, and then placed it on the dispenser to fill it up with water. THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE. This was our First RCI cruise and it was also our LAST! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Can you really complain when you’re on a cruise to the Bahamas? Well, just a little bit when sailing on Grandeur of the Seas. Embarkation: Due to an outbreak of a virus on the previous sailing (great start I know) they delayed ... Read More
Can you really complain when you’re on a cruise to the Bahamas? Well, just a little bit when sailing on Grandeur of the Seas. Embarkation: Due to an outbreak of a virus on the previous sailing (great start I know) they delayed embarkation to 12pm. Luckily, we purchased the key which allowed us to receive priority boarding. But people were very grumpy waiting in line. The lines were long and full of angry people. Ship: this ship is old-fashioned. It does not have a modern feel. It almost feels like being in a funeral home in many parts of the ship. The majority of it also smells stale and like cigarettes. There is also a lack of seating... very frustrating experience.also we experienced a lot of seat hogging by the pools: nobody was monitoring the seats on the deck to make sure people weren’t just leaving towels for hours on end. Cabin: we had an ocean view cabin. I was actually impressed with it. It was very clean and our stateroom attendant was fantastic. I even came back to my clothes folded one day. Wow! Dining: main dining room was so disappointing. I thought it was going to be the best part of the ship. But it was the worst. They will not allow you to sit at a table for two. I get they are trying to build a sense of community. However, my fiancé and I like dinner to unwind and relax. That’s not something I can do when I sit at a table with a group of people I don’t know. I even asked to sit by ourselves but they said no. That really angered me because vacation should be fun for everyone and it won’t be when you have to sit with huge groups at breakfast lunch and dinner. However, we greatly enjoyed Chops Grille and Giovannis. We also really enjoyed the buffet for dinner! Entertainment: let’s be honest, this ship is targeting an older demographic. And that’s perfectly ok. But the entertainment is awful. Now, let me say, we had a hilarious comedian. But he only performed two nights. And the shows filled up quickly. However, most of the time, we had no idea what to do. The cruise compass activities were just not appealing. They were stuff like trivia, Random movies, disco parties, and art auctions. But even if you wanted to do any of these things you had to get there early for a seat. Or you were left standing and uncomfortable. There was also a bad attitude on this ship. we noticed it in the lobbies. Guests/ repeat cruisers are very territorial over their spots in lobbies and act as if you are invading their space when you search for a seat. It’s crazy! Look around the centrum, you’ll see people napping, playing cards, and people on their phones. Also, we noticed, most of the time it was complete silence or really bad music. If there was music, it was someone playing the violin. Which was beautiful. But the energy was so low! We fell asleep before 10pm on most nights. When you’re on a cruise you expect to hear the cliche songs like hot, hot, hot but we didn’t hear anything like that. Service was hit and miss. Many of the crew members were so nice. However, some could be very short and rude with you. All in all, the grandeur is only okay. Maybe if you’re looking for a quiet cruise where there isn’t much happening but with pretty good food, this is a fine choice. It was also nice to leave out of Baltimore. After this cruise, we booked a different ship. So that should tell you something. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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