This is our second cruise out of Baltimore, and I will mention one word of caution if you’re driving to Baltimore. Rush hour on interstate highways into and around Baltimore begins at about 12:01 A.M and ends at about 11:59 P.M, so be prepared for some traffic slowdowns at just about any time of the day or night. Boarding and disembarking in Baltimore was probably the easiest of any cruise ships’ “home ports” we have used. The RCCL shore-side staff were most courteous and very helpful.
The ship’s staff were always friendly and many went out of their way to accommodate our needs and wants. One example of these folks going above and beyond: During our first dinner in the MDR, my wife asked for bread sticks. She was informed that they did not serve these. However, the next evening at dinner, and every day thereafter, a plate of bread sticks appeared at our table. I can only guess that our waiter had these specially prepared in the on-board bakery. The bread sticks themselves were insignificant. However the fact that they were served at all speaks volumes about the wait staff’s commitment to customer service.
We usually ate dinner in the MDR, and breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer buffet. Although we never left hungry, the meals in the MDR ranged from “very good” to “adequate”. Some of our dissatisfaction stemmed from the meals we selected, (trying new & different foods), but there also seems to be a definite lowering of the quality and in some cases quantity of food. One example is the size of the lobster tail, which over our 16 years of cruising has diminished in size to the point that the one served on the Grandeur seemed no bigger than a large shrimp. The Windjammer provided enough of a selection that no one should have left dissatisfied. Instead of one long serving counter, there were a number of different islands serving various dishes. So one could go directly to, for example, the soup section, or the hot food section without waiting in a long line.