We chose this cruise as it was closer to our home in Tennessee than many of the others we have been on. The port of Baltimore was close to our hotel (Best Western Plus on Belle Grove Road in Brooklyn, MD) and we were able to leave our car parked with them while we were on the ship with a free shuttle to and from the port. We have had several friends who have sailed on The Grandeur before and always gave the ship and their cruise rave reviews. We were not disappointed... it was marvelous cruise!!
Although the ship is older and smaller than others we have been on... the experience was wonderful. We got to know many of our fellow passengers and exchanged home addresses to stay in touch in the future. Cruise people love other cruise people!! The ship is scheduled to go into Dry Dock soon and I am sure it will even be better after this "touch up" that all ships go through from time to time. That said, the ship was clean and we found all of the venues on the ships to be very nice. We were very impressed with the Grandeur of the Seas Singers and Dancers who did three Production shows during this cruise. They are very talented performers just like the ones we have found on the "bigger ships". The Cruise Director was delightful as was his "sidekick"... "Tornado Tonya"!! We loved their Morning Show each morning. We saw them many times around the ship making sure everyone was not only having a great time but also making sure that everyone was having the BEST time possible!! Bravo to Paul Rudder and his staff for an outstanding experience on Grandeur of the Seas.
Due to a "threatening storm" that made our planned stop at Cococay not possibe,... I was thrilled to have the added time in Nassau. It was a "trade off" that I personally was very VERY happy with. We finally had enough time to really get to see much more of Nassau that we have in prior trips. Having two full days in Nassau was excellent. We loved Atlantis without having to keep check on our time since we did not leave until late the next day!!!
The entertainment was all top notch and the performers were excellent. The three main singers for the Grandeur of the Seas Singers and Dancers were so talented,... they could be Broadway bound soon. The dancers displayed a level of high energy and amazing dance moves. The tango dance team who performed one evening were also outstanding and were supported by the Grandeur cast of dancers who added a lot to the overall show. Again... BRAVO.
If you want an enjoyable cruise and Baltimore is a convenient port for you... I highly recommend that you take a cruise on Grandeur of the Seas. You will not be disappointed!! One of our table mates at dinner has been on Grandeur many times before and has already booked another cruise on Grandeur for this next November. Obviously.... Grandeur of the Seas is doing a LOT that is RIGHT that keeps people wanting to sail again and again on this ship. We certainly plan to as well!
Our Preferred Ocean View stateroom was on Deck Eight and "mid-ship" near the elevators. Although The Centrum was nearby, we did not have any noise coming into the stateroom. (We couild only hear some of the singing if we were in our bathroom area which was not a problem at all.) We could hear some noise coming from Deck Nine as that was the pool deck and we were directly below the rolling bins used for the used beach towels. This noise was not terrible and did not bother us at all. The only outlets in the stateroom are near the Vanity area in the room so I needed a long extension cord which was provided to me very quickly by our Stateroom Attendant in order to plug in my cpap machine next to the bed for sleeping. The cord was long enough to go behind the couch and along the edge of the room such that it did not stretch across the room floor. There was adequate storage for all of our clothing and other items. The bathroom is small but again we had no trouble storing our toiletry items.
Charleston is a lovely and very historic city. We walked from the ship and went to the "City Market" which was wonderful with many great things to see and buy from local artisans. We also enjoyed an entertaining and informative "tour of the city" on one of the many Horse and Buggy rides located near the end of the City Market. The City Market is only a walk of about three blocks from the ship and was very easy to do. The ships offered many excursions as well for those who wanted to purchase those special trips while in Charleston.
In Port Canaveral, we again just got off the ship and walked to a nearby beach. The beach was not crowded and it was a delightful time. From the beach we walked through a nearby community and enjoyed seeing a lot of wild peacocks!! They were beautiful although they did make a screaming sound that resembled a cat in great distress. There were close to a hundred of these beautiful birds in the yards of the homes in this community. Residents here were also very friendly and answered our questions about the peacocks. They said we could "take one home" if we wanted to.... Even though my wife would have happily done so... we left the birds there for you to come and see them too.
Freeport, Grand Bahama was devastated by hurricanes in the past year and are still recovering. We did not take a taxi to the town area and instead just shopped the local Straw Market area and were successful in finding a few items that were handcrafted by local artists that were reasonable in price. The port area is not particularly "attractive" for picture taking so I did not take many pictures. Thepeople did appreciate the business from the passengers from the ship as they attempt to recover from the devastating hurricanes of the recent past.
Our stop that was planned at Cococay was cancelled due to a very bad storm. Since the conditions were not good for us to be "tendered" to shore, we went directly to Nassau which was out next port of call and enjoyed a full 32 hours in Nassau. I was delighted with this last minute change... it gave us the time we always wanted to really be able to see and do Atlantis and still also see the city and shop the nearby stores in Nassau.
We were delighted to have added time to our stay in Nassau due to the cancellation of our planned stop at Cococay the day before. The Captain was successful to make it possible for our ship to dock in Nassau on Thursday morning and stay straight through until a 6pm departure on Friday. We did not have to "watch the time" as we privately toured Atlantis and enjoyed seeing that resort and shopping at the amazing stores there. We made it back to the ship and enjoyed a late lunch onboard before going out again and "doing " the city and the stores near where the ship was docked. We had extra time to just stay on the ship while other passengers were off and the pool and other activity areas were not "busy". It was terrific!!
Having lived in the Washington D.C. area for more than fifty years, we were very familiar with the Baltimore Harbor. We did not venture out on this trip but if you have not been to Baltimore previously,... there is a lot to see and do in this port prior to or following your cruise out of Baltimore.