I chose this trip as an opportunity of leaving from near my home and visiting the N. E. Islands - Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Cuttyhunk, Block Is, plus Newport RI. I had never been on a "small ship" before. Grande Caribe, ... Read More
I chose this trip as an opportunity of leaving from near my home and visiting the N. E. Islands - Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Cuttyhunk, Block Is, plus Newport RI. I had never been on a "small ship" before. Grande Caribe, and her "sister", Grande Mariner are, I am told, similar to many river cruise ships. Limited passenger numbers - max here 84, on this trip 54, small cabins, limited menus and entertainment.
We left from Warren RI, Blount's "home". There was basically no "security", no hassles, no invasive X Ray machines etc. as we left from, and were only going to American ports on an American flagged and crewed vessel. At the end no Immigration, CDP, etc. just walk off, pick up your luggage arranged alongside the ship and onto your onwards transportation, which for many was a bus to Providence RI (TF Green) airport. For me, I had left my car at Blount's, the attendant brought my car up, loaded my luggage and I drove away.-how nice!
Cabins are quite small - I was in the largest size category and it was only 10'8" by 8' including the small bath and separate shower compartment. Showering reminded me of my Navy Shower days - get wet, turn off water, soap up, then rinse. Why, because each cabin has its own tiny hot water heater that only can make 4 gallons at a time. Room contained two twin beds - which could be combined into a double - a small closet, drawer space and a side table - no chair. Rooms are serviced in the morning and towels replaced as desired.There ae really only three "public spaces" aboard - the Lounge, Dining Room, and top deck "Sundeck" (partially covered by an awning.
Food was good I thought but with limited choices. Unfortunately meats/fish were frequently overcooked, vegetables TOO al dente for many, and served lukewarm. Problem is that the Galley is only the size of a small bedroom and so preparing and serving for 80+ at one time is taxing for the limited space available.Breakfast began with a fruit and cereal buffet, eggs etc. and a meat were placed on tables of 8 Family Style. Lunch was a Soup and Sandwich affair. At breakfast you were asked to select your dinner choice - one meat, one seafood choice available. Lobster was served in one form or another each day, and one night there was a "Lobster Bake".
The ship, being as small as she is, was able to dock in every port except Nantucket where we anchored out and transferred by water taxi. A Water Taxi was also used in Newport to transfer pax from our berth at Ft Adams to downtown. Blount offered additional cost tours in each port. Evenings aboard there were either local lecturers/entertainers or a movie in the lounge.
Blount has a BYOB policy during the day providing mixers, soft drinks, snacks etc,and serves beer/wine at all lunches/dinners - all complimentary.
Unfortunately as Blount has a All America crew and is registered here, her fares are in the same rather expensive category of other American flag vessels, and thus are 100-150% higher than comparable "main stream" foreign flagged vessels, e.g. Carnival, RCI, NCL etc. At 77 I was perhaps the youngest passenger, most being in their 80's and some in their 90's. Children are not allowed. Read Less