Sail Date: November 2018
Holiday sailings can be expensive but reasonable rates do surface from time to time apparently. About a year ago we were successful in locating this incredible 12 day Southern Caribbean itinerary for less than what we paid for a 7day ... Read More
Holiday sailings can be expensive but reasonable rates do surface from time to time apparently. About a year ago we were successful in locating this incredible 12 day Southern Caribbean itinerary for less than what we paid for a 7day Oasis of the Seas cruise last fall. This is good news for those looking to escape the conventional holiday routines. Ship The Grandeur of the Seas is showing some age, but only a little and really only if you look for it. For the most part the relatively small ship holds its own for those of us who just want the sea, great food, good entertainment and beautiful ports of call. I often eschew the traditional, but old fashioned cruising minus the dress codes is exactly what I need a couple times of year. My cruising tastes were formed on Carnival Fantasy class ships and Grandeur fits that mold perfectly. Food I was impressed at times with the Windjammer selections. Dinner buffets often mirror some highlights from the main dining room (MDR) and usually had theme of some sort like Italian, Mexican, etc. Breakfast and Lunch selections were more routine but still abundant. Quality wise the food was very good. I enjoyed nearly everything I had there. The only real disappointment at Windjammer food wise is the desserts. It was a little surprising to see these selections, while attractive, didn’t pack much punch taste wise. MDR food and service were outstanding as evidenced by our attendance 11 of 12 nights. The only off night being New Years Eve, which was apparently like a formal night on steroids. Our waiter and assistant waiter couldn’t have taken better care of us and anticipated our every need. Park Cafe was a nice venue in the Solarium that provided great sandwiches and salads during the day with sandwiches and bagels at breakfast time. Its definitely not the equivalent of the Park Cafe on Oasis class but still a perfect place to grab something during a sea day on deck. If you like an Egg McMuffin, Park Cafe can set you up all morning. It’s also the late night food spot, its actually the only late night food spot, on the ship, which is more than a little puzzling to me, but I don’t make the rules. So on Royal Caribbean they like to close things and limit availability as much as possible. I don’t get it, but thats how it is. With Windjammer split into two sides you might think that would allow for two during heavy traffic and one during off times. But chunks of time go by where you have one food option on the whole ship, thats all. Windjammer doesn’t open for breakfast until 6:30 even though a lot of folks are out and about by then. The inanimate soft serve machine even has limited hours, along with the ice water at the Park Cafe. Ice water needs limited hours? The biggest head scratcher in this vein to me was New Years Eve. Keep in mind its ultra-formal night and most of the ship is likely up and roaming around until midnight at least. So you might think a thing of the past, a midnight buffet perhaps, would be in order. Or you might think with several parties going on throughout the ship, food would be abundant. Nope. Same selection of late night burgers, hotdogs and pizza at Park Cafe. I guess, the coffee shop snacks were available until 11, but they dwindled quickly. The most surprising food spot for me was the coffee shop, Latte-tudes. It provides the same sandwiches as a Cafe Promenade on larger ships along with the Starbucks offerings of the Starbucks on larger ships. While its usually a nice variety, food wise, there isn’t much in the way of quantity so things go quickly. You can count on it nearly always being busy though. People want their Starbucks. Entertainment Our entertainment this cruise may have been the best yet. Maybe 5 nights were comedy, which was great for me. All comedy would be great, but that’ll probably never happen. And I’m not talking the ridiculous practice Carnival has going, I mean main theatre headliner comedy acts. We saw a comedy/magic show, a few straight stand up comedy acts and also Alfred and Seymour which made me laugh more than I’ve likely ever laughed on a cruise ship. I can’t remember everyone and wish I would have kept notes. I may be mistaken, but it seems only 2 or 3 nights were production shows. Nothing against the talented dancers, but those shows don’t do it for me. The musicians, like the Lionel Richie tribute (sorry, I forget the name) and David Klinkenberg, amazing on the violin are immensely more enjoyable for me. The ship’s orchestra was outstanding all week as well. All in all, Royal Caribbean’s entertainment is far and away the best out there, among the lines I’ve traveled anyway. Embarkation/Disembarkation Cruising from Baltimore is smooth unless the ship is late, which can happen due to the several hour long trek up the Chesapeake Bay. Our embarkation was perfect. The line at security was long, but we were there at peak time 10:45 or so. Once through security it wasn’t 10 minutes until we were on board (11:15). Cabins aren’t ready until 1pm so the public spaces are a little crowded before then. We did self assist and carried our own bags so it wasn’t difficult at all. Of course an inexplicable line formed on Deck 4 before we were cleared by customs. By the time we were ready the line had dissipated and we were off in a matter of minutes. If there is an advantage to being on a low deck, 2 for us, it’s disembarkation. We were in the car headed home by 7:40. Conclusion I know I’ve neglected some important topics, but I need to wrap this up since it’s time to get back to real life at least for a little while. It was a nearly perfect cruise and I’m sorry for the those who are used to doing it every year since Royal is discontinuing the 12nt holiday sailing. Next year Grandeur sails 7nts for Christmas and 7nts for the New Year. As is the case anywhere, if there is money to be made, rest assured they’ll chase it. I’m happy to answer any questions. spridlewv@gmail.com or @spridlewv on Twitter. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because Baltimore was within driving distance. It was our first cruise. People said that the food would be great but....it wasn't. We typically eat at fine restaurants and so we were prepared to see similar ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Baltimore was within driving distance. It was our first cruise. People said that the food would be great but....it wasn't. We typically eat at fine restaurants and so we were prepared to see similar fare. Not even close. The Windjammer Buffet was a feeding frenzy with people acting like they never saw food before. It quickly looked like a feeding trough for barnyard animals. The Windjammer desserts looked amazing but they had no taste. The MDR service was great however the food and menu choices weren't very special. The menu got worse as the week progressed. I'm thinking of one of the last nights there was an appetizer: "Chilled Strawberry soup with Mint foam" The last few days seemed like they were trying to get rid of leftovers. I'm thinking of the Smoked Salmon cut up and scrambled in with eggs. Our cabin steward, Joseph, was the best part of our trip. He kept everything clean and orderly. Many other floors had a sewage smell but ours was kept odor free. There were some warm days however, the wind and rain kept us from enjoying the outside pool and the one day we could...some kid pooped in the pool and they closed it until the next day. (at sea, they dumped it and refilled it) The Adults Only Solarium permitted children during certain times because of the weather however, The Solarium resembled a nursing home by 10 am everyday. There were scooters, walkers, and canes. Older guests took up all the indoor poolside seating most laying there fully clothed, asleep, not even using the pool. The one man was so slack-jawed, I wondered if he might be deceased. The outer seating was filled with older guests playing cards, dominoes, scrabble and the like. The older guests never left. They would sit, sleep etc until it was time to eat again. Some people were cruising back-to-back-to-back. One lady said she'd be there for another 115 days! We only get one vacation a year. The full-time cruisers could not care less. This was their cruise ship and we were the interlopers. The Charleston Historical tour was great and very informative. The RCI provided tour guides in Miami were not the best. We felt man handled as we were quickly forced onto a double decked bus. I was concerned that we were being kidnapped. We didn't go to Cococay. We didn't even know this was a possibility. We had our most special excursions planned for that port. It didn't ruined our time together but I was devastated. This was a special day planned especially for my husband. Excursions were reimbursed but we took the whole cruise without ever getting to see a beach. We may try cruising again but not on this ship. Read Less
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
The Grandeur is a smaller older ship with none of the bells and whistles of the new bigger ships, but there is not a better crew on any ocean in the world, we cruise for ports and relaxing if we wanted to go to a theme park we would have, ... Read More
The Grandeur is a smaller older ship with none of the bells and whistles of the new bigger ships, but there is not a better crew on any ocean in the world, we cruise for ports and relaxing if we wanted to go to a theme park we would have, being on a floating city is not our idea of cruising it may be to some. We prefer interior cabins so we can cruise more often, most the dining room for dinner unless excursion or menu related we head to the windjammer, there is always something good and the theme nights are interesting. Headliner shows we check out, the production shows no big deal we have seen most being they don't change them very often. Service on the Grandeur is awesome smiling friendly faces everywhere you go.The port of Baltimore is so easy to come and go from and easy to navigate weather you drive or fly. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Embarkment and disembarkment in Baltimore is smooth and awesome. They are truly a wonderful port to cruise out of. As for the dining experience, the wait staff go above and beyond. BUT.....the food choices need to change. It is the same ... Read More
Embarkment and disembarkment in Baltimore is smooth and awesome. They are truly a wonderful port to cruise out of. As for the dining experience, the wait staff go above and beyond. BUT.....the food choices need to change. It is the same mundane food every day. They need to have someone in charge of the menus who can change things up. Most of us decided to eat in the windjammer instead of the dining room. They really need to step it up with the food. We were not impressed. It has really gone downhill. The itinerary was perfect. St Croix, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Martel and St Johns Antigua. We met a lot of awesome people, did excursions at each port and visited some awesome beaches. In St Croix we did an outside excursion with Caribbean Adventure to Buck Island. They were the perfect tour guides, teaching you the right way to snorkel and going above and beyond and Turtle Beach was pristine and awesome. We were the only people on the island. Picture perfect. In St Johns Antigua we went to Ffryes Beach. This beach was beautiful, no rocks cushiony white sand and turquoise water. Calm waters, complete serenity. In St Lucia we went on a pirate ship to the Pistons. The trip on the ship was outstanding,along with the crew. As far as the mineral and mud baths it was a waste of time and I would not recommend that part. But the pirate ship trip was a blast and jumping off of the ship into the caribbean was a true experience. In St Kitts, we went to the Carambole Beach Club on South Friars. This place is awesome, no fee to get in only 10.00 for beach chairs and umbrellas. Beautiful clear water and the fish swim with you. In St Martin we took a Rhino Rider Adventure. It was fun driving these when you were in the coves but as you went out further and the water was a little wavy it beat the he'll out of your button. Then we went to Maho beach where the planes take off and land over the beach. It was an awesome experience and the beach and water are beautiful. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This ship has one the highest return rates in the RC fleet. The A++ service is just one reason. The activities and entertainment are superior. Fellow passengers are friendly. My wife and I traveled alone, but we easily made friends. ... Read More
This ship has one the highest return rates in the RC fleet. The A++ service is just one reason. The activities and entertainment are superior. Fellow passengers are friendly. My wife and I traveled alone, but we easily made friends. Our cabin had plenty of room. Food quality was not always perfect. The breakfast and lunch at either the main dining room or the buffet was almost always praiseworthy. The lunch salad bar at the main dining room is not to be missed. The ham at the breakfast buffet melts in your mouth. The quality of entrees at dinner missed my high expectations. All "Fish of the Day" were frozen. The pork tended to be tough; I had to pray for a steak knife to cut a chop. Chicken breasts needed more marinating. On the other hand, the beef dishes were outstanding. My wife gave pasta dishes a high mark. Drink prices are very high and then RC adds an automatic 18% gratuity tax on your bill. Sailing out of Baltimore gives mid-Atlantic cruisers a real cost saving, rather than flying to and from Florida. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Fantastic ship, wonderful crew, and lots of fun on the ship. Overall, great experience! A few specifics: Ship: Very well cared for, always clean, and we always saw people dusting cleaning, and keeping up with the wear and tear of use. ... Read More
Fantastic ship, wonderful crew, and lots of fun on the ship. Overall, great experience! A few specifics: Ship: Very well cared for, always clean, and we always saw people dusting cleaning, and keeping up with the wear and tear of use. It's a very small ship that doesn't require a lot of walking to get places. That's one of the things that attracts the much older crowd. I think the median age of the clientele was about 75. Lots of scooters and walkers! It will never be updated to include all the newfangled things on the newer, larger ships. VERY loyal clientele coming out of Baltimore. Cabin: Had an inside cabin on 8 under the Serenity pool area (which was sometimes referred to as God's Waiting Room). Very quiet, didn't hear anything in the hall, above, below, or next to us. Hard to hear the announcements in the cabin, so you have to open the door when they start. The only thing I was annoyed about in the cabin was that the bed (as a king) and the dresser touched corners, which made a great place to keep laundry hidden and separate from the rest of our stuff, but annoying to get out of bed on the one side. Dining: Every time I told someone we were trying Royal for the first time, they told me just how amazing the food was. "So much better than the other cruise lines!" they'd say. It wasn't. It was about on par with every other line we've been on. Tried Giovani's Table, which was excellent, but they just kept bringing food after we told them we were full. A lot of wasted food. And whoever the pastry chef was should be fired for thinking that galaktoboureko was somehow a dry, semolina dough ball instead of a custard layered onto phylo dough. Overall the food was good. Very wide variety in the Windjamer for both lunch and dinner. Breakfast was standard fare, dining room breakfast was useless. Lunch in the dining room was also useless. Both had fixed menus that rarely changed. Dinners in the Dining Room was pretty good on most nights. Don't even try the coffee. Just go to Starbucks every morning. Sometimes they forget and brew 2 vats of coffee per 1 packet of coffee grounds. Entertainment & Activities: If you're into trivia, you'll be sorely disappointed. Why? Because people ruin everything. On our sailing was a group of about 12 people who had sailed so many times that they knew every answer. Maybe change up the questions, trade with another ship, whatever. Shows were adequate, as were the other things to do. But god help you if you don't get there early - you will NOT get a seat. Oh, and if you want to rock climb, don't even thing about doing it with slightly damp clothing! They'll send you away. Service: OUT-gorram-standing service! Every crew member we met was fantastic! This is the one thing that really saved this ship from being tedious. Ports & Excursions: 3 days out and back from Baltimore was long, but it's OK. Just have to make sure to plan more indoor activities for people other than gambling on the colder days. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Recommended by travel agent, this was to be our first cruise, and had great expectations. On joining the ship my case was withheld and I had to muster in the lower deck to retrieve it, to be told that the £48 bottle of whisky was to be ... Read More
Recommended by travel agent, this was to be our first cruise, and had great expectations. On joining the ship my case was withheld and I had to muster in the lower deck to retrieve it, to be told that the £48 bottle of whisky was to be taken and "destroyed"! in New York I had had a small glass from the total of one litre. On asking to witness the destruction of my whisky, I was informed that It wasn't possible; and that the security would deal with it. I bet they did, no doubt shared around. It should be policy that any confiscated drink if not kept as an unopened bottle, should be poured down the sink in font of the owner. out of order RC. This sadly set the tone for the rest of the cruise, with gratuities added daily; and not informed that no one needs to pay this, but one can pay those in the tips envelopes to those you choose at the end of the cruise. I was charged for a treatment in the spa I did not request or receive. The staff were superb and the waiters in the Great Gatsby made our cruise, the young guy who daily did our cabin was also top notch. We have decided cruising is not for us, great if you like a Butlins at sea. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our 4th time on the Grandeur and the 3rd time taking her to Bermuda. We sailed with another couple that we met on the 2016 cruise to Bermuda, We chose this date specifically for the 7 nights and cruising for Halloween. This ... Read More
This was our 4th time on the Grandeur and the 3rd time taking her to Bermuda. We sailed with another couple that we met on the 2016 cruise to Bermuda, We chose this date specifically for the 7 nights and cruising for Halloween. This was our 10th overall cruise with RCCL. We booked an OV guarantee and we given cabin 2054, deck 2, port. It was a noisy cabin, sounded like a blender going on and off and a metal door banging throughout the night, Our stateroom attendant, Stephen, was excellent. Cabin was always clean and well stocked, We mainly ate in the main dining room and found the food quality to be on par with previous cruises. The staff were very attentive, keeping our glasses topped off and our bellies full. We did lunch in Chops on embarkation day, meh. I ordered a medium rare filet, and it came out raw. The waiter argued with me that it was medium rare. I ate what I could. We did Giovanni;s for dinner one night, still not impressed by the food. Loved the crew, from Captain Thor to Mike S (the cruise director) everyone was very friendly and professional. Great Halloween party in the Centrum. Would definitely cruise again on the Grandeur, Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Third Cruise this year, Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean Not all bad but Royal Caribbean was in 3rd Place Embarking & Disembarkment was extremely smooth & quick Grandeur of the Seas is an older ship but some ... Read More
Third Cruise this year, Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean Not all bad but Royal Caribbean was in 3rd Place Embarking & Disembarkment was extremely smooth & quick Grandeur of the Seas is an older ship but some things could be improved.... options/channels on the TV should be updated with OnDemand Movies & Shows and Interactive options, some things really showed the age like drapes felt dry Rotted..... Cabin #7046 Great location !!! Nice up graded bathroom Lots of storage Mini refrigerator Best Room Attendant Ever !!! Oliver Rellama....made us feel like we were valued & special Always there with Happy greetings Room well attended and Ice And wonderful Towel Animals :-) Food was really NOT that good except specialty dining rooms Room Service Fee is Terrible! Felt disappointed and at $7.95 + 18% gratuity felt Nickeled & Dimed Dining Room & Buffet variety not very good and food was often cool/cold and blahhh Drink package was worth the cost Entertainment was ok Activities in Kids Zone was a winner with my 10 year old grandchild Activities Director was wonderful Glass Bottom Night Tour wasn’t worth the money or time Aquarium/Zoo excursion was very nice and a good morning activity *error below Only traveled with one child Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We selected this cruise because of the date. Wanted a place to celebrate a milestone birthday for hubby that departure was close to home. So we sailed out of Baltimore - destination was not important - but none of our 3 had been to ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the date. Wanted a place to celebrate a milestone birthday for hubby that departure was close to home. So we sailed out of Baltimore - destination was not important - but none of our 3 had been to Bermuda so an added bonus. We did connecting rooms - and my 93 yo dad was with us so we selected cabins close to an elevator. We did outside cabins on deck 2. The door between the rooms made it simple to chat - but took away precious floor space. There is one arm chair and moving it from the door made maneuvering around a little interesting. We do open seating for dining and the first night we were near a couple families that do not know what inside voices are - and dress as if they are at a break from yardwork (shorts - hats ...) If I heard the one man say one more time that he was going to find a person that looked at him funny and punch him I was going to scream. The next evening we asked if we could be in a different section - but making sure that the waitstaff was excellent - so happily we moved over. They even came to check a few times to see it was better - nice touch. I am not sure why Royal Carib puts rules in the Cruise Compass that clearly says 'no hats in the dining room and no shorts for dinner' if they are not going to enforce it. I don't know how difficult it is for someone to leave their ballcaps in the cabin. Having been with many people that have lost hair to cancer I understand when some people want to cover their heads - this was not the case with these people. We also could not understand why the music needed to be so loud in the rooms when there was not an event. We did go to the Viking Crown Lounge to read and that music was a lower level - but otherwise it was difficult for my father to hear us. My father is a Navy veteran (WWII & Korea). There was a veterans gathering early in the cruise. They mentioned that later in the cruise there would be a veterans celebration. On the last night of the cruise they did this in the Centrum. They asked all the veterans to come on the staircase and celebrated them all. After a few words they also invited any first responders and a few more joined. Later asked for any Gold Star families. It was a lovely presentation - and my dad loved it - I believe it was his favorite part of the cruise. Read Less
Grandeur of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 3.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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