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Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,835 Reviews

Surprised by Sunny Weather in the Fall in Canada

Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by HAWKSBY

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2016
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean View Stateroom

We took a chance sailing in mid-October from Baltimore to Canada and New England, but we hoped to be in the area at the height of fall colors. It really paid off- Weather was beautiful- warm and sunny at each port. The trees were colorful. We packed for cold and wound up with a tropical-feeling cruise after the first two days.

Embarkation at Baltimore was efficient. We took Elite Transportation to the pier and their driver was helpful and friendly. There was no long gangway climb, but RCCL provided a gentleman to push my wife's wheelchair, which was appreciated.

The ship itself is smaller than most ships today but it was entirely large enough for our taste. The weather was a bit cold the first two days and it made staying on deck uncomfortable. My wife and her sister, who accompanied us, are smokers and the pool deck was the only place smoking was permitted, other than the casino and there were very limited areas there where one might smoke. Nevertheless, people complained about the smoke. It was an overwhelmingly "retirement" age crowd. I saw three children the whole cruise.

We didn't attend any of the shows and I heard no comments one way or the other about them. there was a nice musical performance every night in the "atrium" area.

We visited Boston, Portland, ME, Bar Harbor, ME , St. John New Brunswick, Canada and Halifax, Nova Scotia. There was not a great deal to see in any of the cities unless you took a shore excursion, altho Halifax has a nice waterfront area with shops etc.

We had to tender into Bar Harbor, but the city itself was pleasant and there were a number of places to shop and eat along the waterfront. We had a magnificent fish dinner at Stewman's in Bar Harbor and a nice cruise of the harbor area, looking for wildlife. the whales had left for warmer waters. Tendering was well done with minimum problem, despite the large number of elderly persons. Boston was the only port with a large number of excursions available but they were expensive. We just took a shuttle to Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market.

We took a train ride in St. John to look at the "Reversing Rapids" of the Bay of Fundy. the guide on the train was a woman who had been thru her spiel so many times it came oft "canned" and boring. They stopped the train for quite a while to watch a truck of pulp being unloaded. The train was neither heated nor air conditioned and when we stopped it was unventilated and uncomfortably hot. Aside from that, not much to see in St. John. In Portland, I went on a bus tour of the city and visited Portland Head Light and Fort Williams- interesting but not worth the money. Halifax was my favorite port. I like Canada.

Disembarkation was easy- we just walked off at our appointed hour and picked up our luggage, and again we were provided with a wheelchair pusher.

Overall, the ship showed its age, but it is well maintained. There were the usual signs- peeled wallpaper here and there- rust, areas in need of paint but the service, especially in the dining room was excellent at late seating.


HAWKSBY's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean View Stateroom
Cabin F 3606

We booked a "handicapped" stateroom due to my wife's walking difficulties, and while it was roomy, the storage space was limited. The lifejackets stored under the beds made storing our suitcases difficult. The fact we had three in a cabin seemed to confuse the steward at first, but he got it together by the third day. There was a "sofa" which apparently did not make into a bed, and the steward brought in a folding bed.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Boston

Just a shuttle to the marketplace - restaurants and shops.

Acadia National Park

My wife took this excursion and she enjoyed it fully- She didn't want to go on a boat ride.

View All 236 Acadia National Park Reviews
Whale Watch

A nice boat ride around the outer harbor but the whales had gone south. The naturalist was very knowledgeable and they told us all about lobsters.

View All 15 Whale Watch Reviews
City Tour

The train was slow and hot and the guide was not very good. There was really not much to see.

View All 35 City Tour Reviews
Lighthouses of Maine Tour

This was a city bus tour and a stop at Portland Head Light- It was interesting but a long walk was involved which was quite a task for many of the elderly participants. I'd have liked to have more stops along the route. It was expensive for the extent of the tour at $60 or so.

View All 29 Lighthouses of Maine Tour Reviews
Baltimore

As we boarded and sailed, there was a Fleet Week going on in Baltimore harbor and we had a couple hours of a free Navy Blue Angels air show. Once, all five aircraft came directly at the ship as we were at lifeboat stations and flew over us with a thundering noise.

Pretty spectacular. Thanks, Navy.


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HAWKSBY
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