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The purpose of this cruise was to be a inexpensive getaway from our Canadian winter. Having read many negative reviews about the ship I did have some concerns. We drove to Baltimore and stayed overnight at Best Western O'Donnell St which offered included parking and two-way transportation to and from the ship. A large bus was used for this and it was very organized. Loaded the luggage on the bus and didn't see it again until it was in our cabin ....Great... My first impression of the ship as we arrived at the pier was it was small. Embarkation was smooth and painless and we were on the ship about 11:30. Had lunch at the Park Cafe at the stern deck 9 in the enclosed pool area. Very busy and we could not find a table. Great salad and was surprised that bags of potato chips were available. First time on RCCL and first time I've seen them. Booked an inside cabin near the front of the ship on Deck 8. George our cabin steward was amazing. After 25 or so cruises I can honestly say he was the best. The room was always made up promptly and it was spotless. No indication that the ship was old. Yes the shower curtain was a nuisance. Our room was extremely quiet. FOOD. I have read lots of comments about quality of food on this ship and how the food on cruise ships has declined over the years. Personally I believe it has remained almost the same. They are cooking for thousands and have to remain middle of the road when preparing it. From our first cruise until now I have always said that it is impossible for a cruise line dining room to compete with a decent onshore restaurant. All the meat starts from frozen and right there they cannot compete. A lot of the complaints come from the higher end cabins (suites etc). It you are accustomed to eating in Quality restaurants onshore then you are certainly going to find this a step down. I found the dining room food to be good and at a par with my previous cruises. My expectations do not put the bar too high. Our waiter Aji was great. He genuinely tried to make our dining experience good and his assistant Mohammad was great (always smiling). The head waiter Eduard was at our table each night to confirm that all was well with our meal. We had late dining 8:00 pm. I would highly recommend the late dining for several reasons. First it is less busy than the early dining and the anytime dining. You are not rushed at all and the waiter can make meaningful recommendations about what is good or not. It also helps is you have good table mates and ours were great. There was 8 of us at the table. I did not see that our waiter was over worked. He had 2 tables for 8. and his assistant had about 5 tables to look after. We did have a bit of a problem one night. I ordered a steak and it was forever coming to the table. The next table had the same problem with 2 of the guests. Clearly an issue in the kitchen. The head waiter got involved and was very apologetic and offered wine for the table for our next nights meal. They did make it right. The deserts were good. I have to say I'm not a buffet person so the Windjammer was not my favourite place. The pizza looked unappealing and I must say I really missed not having a place where they are cooking burgers and fries, Those burgers on the buffet looked lacking. Lunch and breakfast in the dining room was great. Only real downside was the last thing you want to do is sit with bunch of people bitching about the food. I'm hoping the cruise line actually reads these reviews. A small complaint is the PEPPER SHAKERS. They have course ground pepper in them with small holes. Almost impossible to shake any out. Actually saw people opening the bottom of them. An electric drill would solve that problem. The cruise director was great. All of the venues started onetime and you could actually set your watch by them. The Tango Buenos Aires show was fantastic. Best show I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The crowd loved it. The comedian "mudflap" was great. The female piano player was lacking. The Caribbean Band with Robin was great. Port and Shore excursions. We have been to all four ports before and we simply got off and did a little exploring near the ship. Disembarkation went smoothly. Summary..... I really don't think we would take this cruise again. Three sea days down and three back with cooler weather make for a cramped ship for several days. Trips out of Florida offer almost instant good warm weather. We did have a couple days of rough seas which I actually enjoy but I am confident others would say never again for cruising. Overall I did have a good time.

Met Our Expectations

Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by donh1

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
The purpose of this cruise was to be a inexpensive getaway from our Canadian winter. Having read many negative reviews about the ship I did have some concerns.

We drove to Baltimore and stayed overnight at Best Western O'Donnell St which offered included parking and two-way transportation to and from the ship. A large bus was used for this and it was very organized. Loaded the luggage on the bus and didn't see it again until it was in our cabin ....Great...

My first impression of the ship as we arrived at the pier was it was small.

Embarkation was smooth and painless and we were on the ship about 11:30. Had lunch at the Park Cafe at the stern deck 9 in the enclosed pool area. Very busy and we could not find a table. Great salad and was surprised that bags of potato chips were available. First time on RCCL and first time I've seen them.

Booked an inside cabin near the front of the ship on Deck 8. George our cabin steward was amazing. After 25 or so cruises I can honestly say he was the best. The room was always made up promptly and it was spotless. No indication that the ship was old. Yes the shower curtain was a nuisance. Our room was extremely quiet.

FOOD. I have read lots of comments about quality of food on this ship and how the food on cruise ships has declined over the years. Personally I believe it has remained almost the same. They are cooking for thousands and have to remain middle of the road when preparing it. From our first cruise until now I have always said that it is impossible for a cruise line dining room to compete with a decent onshore restaurant. All the meat starts from frozen and right there they cannot compete.

A lot of the complaints come from the higher end cabins (suites etc). It you are accustomed to eating in Quality restaurants onshore then you are certainly going to find this a step down.

I found the dining room food to be good and at a par with my previous cruises. My expectations do not put the bar too high.

Our waiter Aji was great. He genuinely tried to make our dining experience good and his assistant Mohammad was great (always smiling). The head waiter Eduard was at our table each night to confirm that all was well with our meal. We had late dining 8:00 pm.

I would highly recommend the late dining for several reasons. First it is less busy than the early dining and the anytime dining. You are not rushed at all and the waiter can make meaningful recommendations about what is good or not.

It also helps is you have good table mates and ours were great. There was 8 of us at the table. I did not see that our waiter was over worked. He had 2 tables for 8. and his assistant had about 5 tables to look after. We did have a bit of a problem one night. I ordered a steak and it was forever coming to the table. The next table had the same problem with 2 of the guests. Clearly an issue in the kitchen. The head waiter got involved and was very apologetic and offered wine for the table for our next nights meal. They did make it right.

The deserts were good.

I have to say I'm not a buffet person so the Windjammer was not my favourite place.

The pizza looked unappealing and I must say I really missed not having a place where they are cooking burgers and fries, Those burgers on the buffet looked lacking.

Lunch and breakfast in the dining room was great. Only real downside was the last thing you want to do is sit with bunch of people bitching about the food.

I'm hoping the cruise line actually reads these reviews. A small complaint is the PEPPER SHAKERS. They have course ground pepper in them with small holes. Almost impossible to shake any out. Actually saw people opening the bottom of them. An electric drill would solve that problem.

The cruise director was great. All of the venues started onetime and you could actually set your watch by them. The Tango Buenos Aires show was fantastic. Best show I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The crowd loved it. The comedian "mudflap" was great. The female piano player was lacking. The Caribbean Band with Robin was great.

Port and Shore excursions. We have been to all four ports before and we simply got off and did a little exploring near the ship.

Disembarkation went smoothly.

Summary..... I really don't think we would take this cruise again. Three sea days down and three back with cooler weather make for a cramped ship for several days. Trips out of Florida offer almost instant good warm weather. We did have a couple days of rough seas which I actually enjoy but I am confident others would say never again for cruising. Overall I did have a good time.
donh1’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8521
Typical cruise ship cabin. Great setup for the TV. Small sofa. Shower curtain was a nuisance .... nice quiet room with a door out to a less traveled hallway
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