1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Grandeur of the Seas
We're a couple in our mid- to late-30's, have cruised Royal 5 times now and have been on Norwegian, Princess, and Carnival in the past. This ship leaves the Baltimore cruise port, one of my favorites. It's so easy to get in, park, and get on the ship in a short time period. We showed up around 11:30, and didn't have to wait at all to park and only waited about 20 minutes for security and checking in. The port staff are friendly. The ship is old, one of the oldest in the Royal ships. You can see this in the rust and wear on the exterior, the creaks of the ship in the waves, and the maintenance issues that arise. However, the size is quite nice where it doesn't take long for you to get from one venue to another, and it has lots of glass everywhere with wonderful views of the ocean and the signature Centrum. Biggest complaint about this ship is that, as it is small, there's really only four lounges: Viking Crown (at top), South Pacific (looking out back), Schooner Bar, and the Centrum. On our 12-night cruise, the Viking Crown was closed at least 8 times for a special event, and the South Pacific was closed each early evening for Diamond Club overflow. Then there were many activities in the Schooner and Centrum, leaving no lounge to just sit and read and chill in peace all day. Cabin review is separate. We have My Time Dining, and had no problem getting a table, though we normally eat at 8 which is late for many people. It was great that we could sit down to dinner at 8 yet still make the 9pm show. The dining room was also good for breakfast and lunch. The food isn't anything to write home about, but it's a bigger quality than I get at home or local restaurants. The Windjammer buffet was pretty good, too. I wish they had a little bigger variety on the breakfast buffet, but it was still okay. I liked that the dinner buffet had a special theme each night with special food, but again, wish there was a little more variety overall. I only did room service once, and it was delivered so quickly and was nice and fresh. We also did the Chops and Izumi specialty restaurants; as you expect with the extra fee, you get better food, service, and ambiance. Presumably because of the drink packages, the prices of the bar drinks have gone up significantly in the past 4 years. Normal drink prices were $10-12 and $6-7 for a beer. Specials were still $9+. Royal created some "10 drink cards" and other specials to try to encourage you to drink, but it was just crazy how much they are. And I watched the drinks being made - the alcohol content has decreased in the mixed and blended drinks. However, the ship does have the Freedom soda machines, so you can get a great variety of sodas if that's your thing. We were really impressed with the headliner shows on this cruise. Such a great variety of performers, and great quality for such a small ship. The Royal dancers and orchestra are also quite better than I've seen on other Royal ships. The cruise director, Paul Rutter, was very entertaining and made sure to reach out to all of the guests and be part of most all activities. We're trivia fanatics, and Danny's progressive trivia was run so well. The other trivias were generally good (but as always, depends on the staff member running the trivia). Beyond the trivia, there was a good dance class given daily (while at sea), and the traditional guest game show and guest vs. crew activities during the day and evening. Always wish for more variety of activities, but that's always a wish of mine. In addition to the traditional 70's dance, they had other fun dances in the evening. One note: the aerial act wasn't done in the Centrum - there is a rumour that the act was canceled after an injury and won't be given on this ship again. The staff on the ship are top-notch, what I expect from Royal, and the best of any line I've been on. Doesn't matter if you're in the buffet or at a bar, friendly, efficient and a pleasure. We ordered room service just once, but it arrived quickly and correct. We stopped at St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and St. Martin. We did independent shore excursions at all but the last as we prefer the active adventures with small groups. There was no problem getting off the ship and getting to independently arranged excursions, and no problem getting back to the ship on time (though we did leave one couple on Antigua who made it back too late). We would sail on Grandeur again if it goes to different ports. We wouldn't go just for the ship (we prefer the Radiance class most).

Great staff and shows, the ship shows its age though

Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by MDtechiecruiser

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We're a couple in our mid- to late-30's, have cruised Royal 5 times now and have been on Norwegian, Princess, and Carnival in the past.

This ship leaves the Baltimore cruise port, one of my favorites. It's so easy to get in, park, and get on the ship in a short time period. We showed up around 11:30, and didn't have to wait at all to park and only waited about 20 minutes for security and checking in. The port staff are friendly.

The ship is old, one of the oldest in the Royal ships. You can see this in the rust and wear on the exterior, the creaks of the ship in the waves, and the maintenance issues that arise. However, the size is quite nice where it doesn't take long for you to get from one venue to another, and it has lots of glass everywhere with wonderful views of the ocean and the signature Centrum. Biggest complaint about this ship is that, as it is small, there's really only four lounges: Viking Crown (at top), South Pacific (looking out back), Schooner Bar, and the Centrum. On our 12-night cruise, the Viking Crown was closed at least 8 times for a special event, and the South Pacific was closed each early evening for Diamond Club overflow. Then there were many activities in the Schooner and Centrum, leaving no lounge to just sit and read and chill in peace all day.

Cabin review is separate.

We have My Time Dining, and had no problem getting a table, though we normally eat at 8 which is late for many people. It was great that we could sit down to dinner at 8 yet still make the 9pm show. The dining room was also good for breakfast and lunch. The food isn't anything to write home about, but it's a bigger quality than I get at home or local restaurants. The Windjammer buffet was pretty good, too. I wish they had a little bigger variety on the breakfast buffet, but it was still okay. I liked that the dinner buffet had a special theme each night with special food, but again, wish there was a little more variety overall. I only did room service once, and it was delivered so quickly and was nice and fresh. We also did the Chops and Izumi specialty restaurants; as you expect with the extra fee, you get better food, service, and ambiance.

Presumably because of the drink packages, the prices of the bar drinks have gone up significantly in the past 4 years. Normal drink prices were $10-12 and $6-7 for a beer. Specials were still $9+. Royal created some "10 drink cards" and other specials to try to encourage you to drink, but it was just crazy how much they are. And I watched the drinks being made - the alcohol content has decreased in the mixed and blended drinks. However, the ship does have the Freedom soda machines, so you can get a great variety of sodas if that's your thing.

We were really impressed with the headliner shows on this cruise. Such a great variety of performers, and great quality for such a small ship. The Royal dancers and orchestra are also quite better than I've seen on other Royal ships. The cruise director, Paul Rutter, was very entertaining and made sure to reach out to all of the guests and be part of most all activities. We're trivia fanatics, and Danny's progressive trivia was run so well. The other trivias were generally good (but as always, depends on the staff member running the trivia). Beyond the trivia, there was a good dance class given daily (while at sea), and the traditional guest game show and guest vs. crew activities during the day and evening. Always wish for more variety of activities, but that's always a wish of mine. In addition to the traditional 70's dance, they had other fun dances in the evening. One note: the aerial act wasn't done in the Centrum - there is a rumour that the act was canceled after an injury and won't be given on this ship again.

The staff on the ship are top-notch, what I expect from Royal, and the best of any line I've been on. Doesn't matter if you're in the buffet or at a bar, friendly, efficient and a pleasure. We ordered room service just once, but it arrived quickly and correct.

We stopped at St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and St. Martin. We did independent shore excursions at all but the last as we prefer the active adventures with small groups. There was no problem getting off the ship and getting to independently arranged excursions, and no problem getting back to the ship on time (though we did leave one couple on Antigua who made it back too late).

We would sail on Grandeur again if it goes to different ports. We wouldn't go just for the ship (we prefer the Radiance class most).
MDtechiecruiser’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Cabin 2059
Noise: Deck 2 is a complete cabin deck (unlike other ships), so no noise from crew activities and spaces. Even though it's a connecting cabin, we never heard any noise from adjoining cabins. Being the lowest deck, you don't often have traffic through the halls.

Space, furnishings, and storage: The cabin is well arranged and has lots of storage. It was easy to walk around the bed on the right side (but very tight on the left side between the bed and desk) and had a big open space in the middle. Even for a 12-night cruise, we didn't use but 3/4 of the available storage space. The closet had more than plenty hangars and it's easy to put your suitcase under the bed. The bed was comfortable to us both and the linens soft. You do get two pillows each, with different firmness levels. Because it's a connecting room, you only get a chair (instead of a loveseat) and a small side table (instead of a coffee table) and there's no reading light at the chair.

Bathroom: There is only a shower curtain, not the hard doors. We bring extra-large binder clips to weigh the bottom of the curtain down, but not as effective as the hard doors. The bathroom has 3 storage shelves, a drawer, and a cabinet that often has extra supplies but you can reapportion. I don't have a lot of makeup, but we never felt we needed additional storage there.

Ship quirks (not just this cabin): There is no minibar or fridge (you ask the room steward for minibar items). There were less TV channels available than on other ships, and no channel for ordering room service or seeing your current Sea Pass account. The Space channel was great for action movies, and also watched TCM, TBS, and TNT (no Dreamworks channel). However, we couldn't find a way to turn on subtitles when needed.
  Grandeur of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Antigua
    For a short tour, we got to do and see so much! We had three stops, including snorkeling or caving, a lunch and nature hike, and a reef snorkel, but many more spots where we boated to a spot to learn more about Antigua culture and history. The guide was good, and balanced the tour for the different capabilities of the group. It's great that the group was small, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to do so much. On our tour, the normal boat was broken so we got to ride in the speed boat - that was fun!

    We made it back less than 30 minutes before all-aboard, but the tour operator was very conscientious about getting us back to our boat in time.
    View All 13,002 Antigua Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Antigua Cruise Port Review
  • Baltimore
    Great cruise port to start from. It's cheap to park (compared to other ports), and easy to drive to. It takes less than 30 minutes to park, get through security, and check in.
    View All 348 Baltimore Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Baltimore Cruise Port Review
  • St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    Great value and better than the cruise-based excursions! We took this excursion while our ship was in port. Roosevelt is great and very knowledgeable, and the small bus ensures everyone gets to participate and the tour flows at stops. The tour starts slowly, when trying to get out of the main tow, but picks up once we were in the country. It was great all the stops we had, the main tour spots. The tour allows you to end at a beach stop, or go back to the ship. Our only complaint is that we didn't realize the tour would be over 5 hours, with no good lunch break. If we had realized how long it would be, we would have brought snacks or gotten food at one of the stops. At least the tour provides water.

    We still made it back to the ship well before all aboard time, even if we had done the beach break.
    View All 13,002 St. Kitts (Port Zante) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Kitts (Port Zante) Cruise Port Review
  • St. Lucia
    This tour takes you to some of the usual tourist spots, but many more that you don't normally get to see. The guide, Shaggy, was very knowledgeable, and the boat captain was very skilled with the power boat. It's exciting to get close to the rocks, or to blow past the typical tour boats going twice the speed they are. I liked that the tour consisted of a boat tour, then a land [taxi] portion to the mud baths and an excellent handmade lunch, then back to the boat. Beautiful views of St. Lucia from the water and land, great beach/snorkeling. I can't believe the value you get for this tour!

    We got back well before the all aboard time; had plenty of time to relax at the Antilla Brewing Company in the cruise port.
    View All 13,002 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Lucia Cruise Port Review
  • America's Cup Regatta
    Don't be fooled - you are really crewing and racing a real sailing yacht! This was the most exhilarating, exerting, and incredible activity we did as a cruise excursion. They make it seem optional, but there are many crew positions (at least 10) where you're actively operating part of the boat. What makes it even more exciting is that you're really racing against another guest-crewed boat, using the same tactics I remember from my sailing racing days. Even if you lose, you're a winner in having a memorable experience with great staff. One big caution: if you're at all susceptible to sea sickness, this is likely not the excursion for you - you focus so much on what you're doing, you often lose track of the ocean and the boat is moving _a lot_
    View All 48 America's Cup Regatta Reviews
  • St. Thomas
    We took this trip as an excursion when our cruise ship stopped in port. The guide, Sven, is great! He told us a lot about the islands, turtles, and more, and was very sensitive to the turtle environment and made sure we left no traces. Sven is also a great photographer and shares underwater pictures of your turtle experience. I loved the small group, and that we were at the beach early, before the cruise-sponsored excursions dropped off loads of people. The hot lunch was so delicious!

    Note: the kayaking can be strenuous. The guides are sensitive to the weather and ferried us over to Water Island and had us kayak back, rather than wear us out. Even with the current, the kayaking was a workout.

    We were able to start the tour shortly after the cruise ship docked, and made it back in plenty of time for all aboard
    View All 13,002 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Thomas Cruise Port Review