Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by slowpoke123
- Sail Date: May 2018
- Destination: Canada & New England
- Cabin Type: Interior
This is an overview of my May 2018 cruise and my second cruise on the Grandeur. First – embarkation and debarkation is fast and the port of Baltimore has this process down. The ship is old but the crew is constantly cleaning or painting something. However, on the promenade deck 5, the metal ceiling panels are pretty rusty and showing its age. For us walkers the ship is always being roped off with them pressure washing the deck, cleaning windows or painting making it difficult to navigate where or when to walk. The food is consistently good and the wait staff mostly attentive. The entertainment ranges from satisfactory to very good (one night we had the 50’s / 60’s vocal group - The Platters).
The ship has many Royal Caribbean selling TV channels but only a few watchable entertainment channels. The only news channels are CNN and HLN (HLN is a CNN affiliate). Last year we had the Fox News channel but now it’s gone. The self-serve soft ice cream machine on deck nine actually has pretty good ice cream.
The ship sailed Thursday evening at Four. I like that the new muster drills no longer requires you wear your life preserver. We chose “my time” dinning at 5:00PM. Seems that the first dinner night is always a little crazy making it appear like the waiters have never done this before. However, we (a couple) sat at a large table and had wonderful (interesting) table mates for nine days.
Day 1 – (Friday) first full day at sea. This is a formal dinner night. We were tired so we missed the first show although we later heard it was good. Our room was cabin 7049, which is an inside cabin. The cabin is small but comfortable (but the furniture was showing its age). The beds were pushed together to make a queen size but kept separating in the middle so you could not lay in the middle of the bed. The inside dimensions of the shower are 24” to 28” inches, so it’s small. Hopefully the larger cabins have larger shower stalls. The water pressure is good but their shampoo is pretty bad. We brought our own hand soap and hand sanitizer.
Day 2 – First stop was Boston and we took the Old Town Trolley (not Hop On & Hop Off like we thought we signed up for) bus tour of down town Boston. This was the most popular tour and had 5 full size buses. Getting off the ship and to our bus was somewhat difficult (seemed like it was RC first time doing this) as after you got off the gangplank you had to figure out where to go, what to do, and what line to get it. We had what looked like 500/600 people trying to catch their tour bus at the same time all within a very small condensed congested area. Also, having it raining slightly added to the confusion and discomfort. The tour was ok, our tour driver just ok (whereas another couple said their tour guide was excellent).
Day 3 – Our second day was Portland Maine. We decided to walk the town ourselves without any excursions. We found the ocean walk path (next to the railroad) fun and the locals were friendly and easy to talk to. We saw a fair amount of homeless people when we headed "downtown" but never felt like we within a dangerous area.
Day 4 – The island of Bar Harbor Maine (the stop is tendered). Hey but what a beautiful clean island. We took the Intimate Look at Acadia National Park small bus tour. Susan, our guide, was very good and would stop or pull over so a few of us could hop off and take photos. The view from the top of Cadillac Mountain was obstructed by fog (amazing watching it roll across the top of the mountain) and the wind was really blowing. The island is very lovely and interesting and a wonderful experience. After our tour we had a lobster roll lunch special at a local in-town restaurant (recommended by Royal Caribbean) and then we walked around, finding an ocean inlet path along the shore. The granite rock formations were absolutely stunning.
Day 5 – We were at St John Nb (Canada). We took the Bay of Fundy Coastal Photography Tour of the Bay of Fundy and the reversing rapids and falls. The area was so different from what I see around my home in Maryland. I found the area, plants and trees very interesting and quite spectacular. Our tour guide was very passionate about photography making for a very good tour and scenic experience.
Day 6 – Halifax NS. We took the Historic Halifax Walking Tour of the city starting at the Halifax Public Gardens. Next we walked to the fortress - Citadel Hill (which is all up hill). It was a long walk up but our tour didn’t grant us access to the fort (strange). We also looked at the outside of several old churches then our tour guide walked our group down to the water (and to our surprise that was the end of are tour). We had to find our own way back to the ship which was (best guess) a mile or more away. I would not recommend this tour. We left Halifax around 5:00PM and right into a thick fog bank.
Day 7 – At sea (very dense thick fog, high winds and rain). The Grandeur used its fog horn which blasts every two minutes, making it near impossible to walk around the top two decks, 9 & 10, that is - unless you didn’t mind risking losing your hearing. The other outside deck, Deck 5, was partially closed down for maintenance. Very frustrating.
Day 8 – At sea (more very dense thick fog, high winds and rain). I think everyone on board was looking for things to do. It would have been well received if the ship would have shown a movie in the Palladium theater. They had the new movie “Black Panther” and showed it on the 9th floor deck screen – which is outside in 40 degree weather with high winds, rain and the fog horn blasting every two minutes. They scheduled the movie for viewing at 6:30 and 9:00 on the Pool Deck in the thick fog, rain, fog horn and high winds. We really wanted to see it but couldn't due to the conditions. I realize these things are scheduled and planned in advance but they should be able to adjust to move the movie inside (or on the TV) when the conditions do not allow for being outside. During the day the adult pool area, the Solarium, was packed. I wish people would not place towels on the chairs in the Solarium (indoor pool) to hold them. We went into the Solarium at 9:00AM and 99% of the chairs had towels reserving the chairs with no people around. Although it is a heated pool they don't turn the heated water on until after 9 AM. It takes about an hour to warm up the pool water. The Solarium was pretty chilly and an amazing number of people, staff included, leave the doors open which chills the area further by bringing in the cool outside air.
Day 9 – Back at the port of Baltimore on a rainy, dark morning. We used the option to carry off our luggage between 7:30AM – 8:00AM. People were already starting to line up their luggage at the gangway at 5:45AM so they could be the first ones off. They drop off their luggage then go off to do whatever. The Windjammer opens on the last day at 6:00AM and it is already crowded at 6:00AM, but it offers a full compliment of food, just like every other day. Once the debarkation starts it moves pretty quickly. Customs should have had more than 2 lines open.
We enjoyed ourselves, in part due to meeting some wonderful people.
- Read more Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Reviews
- Read Cruise Critic's Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Review