My wife and I first cruised the Grandeur of the Seas out of Baltimore in 2005. It was our very first cruise ever! We met some great people onboard (late dining companions), had a lot of fun at all the ports and never found ourselves lacking for something to do while on those "sea days".
You know in ten years it really has not changed that much. We me a great group of people on the roll call forum on Cruise Critic. Some of those people brought games to the table (pun intended) and made the experience all the more enjoyable. Sure, the boat is older, the furniture a bit worn, the elevators a bit slow, and the food uninspiring (I have a hard time with vegan options normally, but more so on Royal ships), but the people and attitudes make up for it all! The crew was fantastic; Dan, the cruise director was crazy-energetic, getting off and on the ship at ports was a breeze; entertainment was very good, especially the comedian and the Quest game! Now, keep in mind, I'm very active and enjoyed the climbing wall, shuffleboard, the pools, hot tubs, games, music, cornhole (bean bag toss), and just about anything else the ship had set up to keep us busy. If you add to that the slot pulls (2) organized by Rose from our Cruise Critic community and the LRC game organized by Lynn and Ed (I think) we could not have had much more fun without being in danger of person injury due to exhaustion.
Went snorkeling in St. Thomas at Coki Beach and took lots of fish pictures, laid about on St. Marten (Orient Beach, both sides) and in Labadee, and explored Old San Juan with friends. This was such a wonderful break from our terrible winter that we did not want to come home.
Getting on and off the boat was a breeze, also! We decided in all things this cruise to just take our time and that attitude really paid off. When we did not feel like participating in events, we did some reading. If we were really tired we took naps (not many of those, though).
I do have to mention that in the speed climbing contest, this 63 year old took second out of the field of 9 participants (all significantly younger) Jeff did a great job with managing the climbing wall and some of the other sports activities, thanks!
Would we do it again? Certainly, after we explore other cruise opportunities to places we have not yet visited we would love to come back to the Grandeur!
Cozy, clean, plenty of storage although our suitcases were almost too deep (thick?) to slide under the beds (needed to lift the bed to get them to fit). Love the balcony! Had a difficult time explaining to the cabin steward that a sliver of soap is not enough to use in the shower.
It's interesting to note that many people, us included did not know about the quieter beaches beyond the "gold card" beach on the right as you got into Labadee. I went there when we were just about to leave and it was so calm and sandy. The vendors, though, were no fun at all in the shopping area at the end of the path onto Labadee.
Love the Old Town, Fort and little street cafes! We had been to SJ before and enjoyed it almost as much this time. Weather was perfect, cars were having a rough go of it, but that's always the case, I think.
We live about an hour outside Baltimore so it was easy to get to/from the port. That is one of the more inviting things about cruising out of Charm City.
Took a "Godfather's Taxi" to Coki Beach. Drank local beer, snorkeled, took pictures of the fish, had a great time. Weather was a bit rainy for a bit, but not bad enough to leave!
We rented a car with friends, went to Marigot then to Orient Beach. Hit both the clothed and Naturist sides of the beach. the business with all the stalls on the clothed side were fairly annoying trying to get you to pay for their chairs, etc. Offers of "Clean changing rooms" really were not true. Check them out before you pay and sit down. We changed in the naturist part of the beach to avoid the smelly dirty restrooms (without toilet seats).
Still enjoyed the beach and the blue water, though!