Since we're empty nesters we decided to avoid the whole turkey hassle and run off to sea for a week. This was our second cruise on Grandeur and it was just as enjoyable as the first. Boarding and disembarkation in Baltimore were very smooth, as on previous =X= and RCI sailings from Baltimore, as was the under 90-minute ride from home.
Despite its age, the ship is in great condition and was always being cleaned and maintained, including some underwater hull cleaning while in Port Canaveral. The staff were outstanding and very friendly, which we've learned is typical on this small ship. Despite a warning of high seas and the potential for some seasickness on one of the sea days, we never felt anything out of the ordinary, something I'd not expect on a small ship.
We decided to have all of our dinners in the Great Gatsby dining room this sailing and the food, while not adventuresome, was well presented and tasty. Our only complaint about the food was that some items were not hot when they were served and a couple of the chilled soups were not as cold as they should have been, problems I'd ascribe to the kitchen prep and the use of plastic containers for the chilled soups. Our servers for dinner were very attentive as were the maitre d' and headwaiter.
Cabin 8036 is a Junior Suite, slightly larger than the regular balcony cabins but not as luxurious as the larger suites. These cabins also have a bathtub instead of a shower stall, providing a bit more turning-around room. Our cabin was one of about 10 that are forward of the atrium, putting us between the two elevator/staircase banks and making it very easy to get around the ship. For those who care, this was also one of the JS class cabins with a pole at the foot of the bed, although we never had a problem with it. The plumbing worked fine and our only problems with the cabin were the overhead noise and the air conditioning. Despite two attempts by the crew, they were never able to get the thermostat to work properly, but they did manage to make it comfortable for us. This was our second cruise in a JS cabin (the previous was a few doors down) and we seemed to notice more noise overhead at night, possibly because this was a holiday week sailing with more kids running back and forth past the pool on the cold at-sea nights. We'll try for a different location next time we book a JS.
Great embarkation/disembarkation process. No problem parking, finding luggage, or getting porter assistance.