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We picked the Grandeur because it sails out of Baltimore, about an hour drive for us, and we liked the itinerary. Having most recently been on Harmony of the Seas which is massive, I appreciated the walk-ability of Grandeur; I felt I could walk the ship end to end easily and quickly. We often used the stairs. At the same time the ship felt spacious and uncrowded. The only place I had trouble getting a spot was the adults-only indoor solarium, and right before show time in the Palladium theater on one-show nights. Otherwise there were always spots to sit and lounge, especially outdoors there were always seats, from the sunny observatory on deck 10 to deck 5 shade under the life boats. -Solarium pool is open 4-6pm for kids, sometimes extra hours if weather is bad. This is great on a February cruise out of Baltimore, first and last days were too cold to swim outside. -The main pool feels a bit small, more room for wading than swimming. With beach days and a winter cruise it wasn't much of a problem, but I'd plan my pool time accordingly. -We were glad we brought water wings, my son didn't like the full body life vests provided -Solarium Park Cafe had nice snack options, especially nachos bar after 8pm -The cruise director was wonderful, we enjoyed the game shows like Love & Marriage and Weakest Link -bingo was disappointing, the smallest option was maybe $30, I couldn't just play one round. -Lots of trivia offerings, get the the Schooner Bar early as the place filled up most times -Food at Windjammer was better than I expected, especially their "ethnic corner" which changed each day. Service there was a nice surprise also, staff will bring you drinks so you have less to carry. They can also get you straws for the kids. -Main Dinning room food was average. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. On par with the quality in the buffet. Service there was very good. We aren't big on group dinning, and after the first night I asked if we could have a table to ourselves. They couldn't accommodate us that night, but the next night the Matride called us the next day saying he'd made an arrangement. I really appreciated that he took that extra step, and we enjoyed dinning room meals most evenings after that. -Blue Lagoon was excellent. Even the ride on the tender was fun, though the wait to departe was disorganized and long. We paid for a buffet lunch (one trip to the buffet only!) which was worth it. Water was calm and beautiful, it was easy to get a spot in the shade. We were able to walk around and see dolphins even though we didn’t sign up for an animal excursion. -I had a great massage at the spa -We had a lovely lunch at Izumi, at a discount because we signed up when someone was soliciting in the main dinning room. Great view up there, also uncrowded saw people eating alone which I would consider next time. My son and husband got skewers cooked on a “hot rock” table side (a lava stone according to a server, acted like a grill), steak and salmon, because they don’t like sushi, everyone was happy. -We brought a 12 pack of water bottles on board, and lots of ziplock bags. Both came in handy. -Staff overall were wonderful in engaging with my 4yo. -ADVENTURE OCEAN: The best part was that he LOVED Adventure Ocean, the kids programming. We went to the open house and registered him the day we came aboard. They have an indoor play structure with a slide and enclosed tunnel. They have books and TV. There were themes for each morning and afternoon session. Memorable themes were Wild West, Superheros, Sea Creatures. My son isn’t shy, but isn’t outgoing either, he usually takes a little time to warm up in a new place or even at a friends house. Not so with Adventure Ocean! We checked him in and he was excited to be there, barley said goodbye. We hoped to get him there once or twice during the vacation, but he ended up going almost every day, sometimes twice, he loved it so much. It ended up giving me and my husband the most relaxing vacation since he was born! We got in line about 15 minutes before each session to make sure he’d get in, as it is first come, first served. There is a cap of about 15 kids for his 3-5 Aquanats age group. Keep in mind kids have to take off their shoes when they enter the area. Most days there is a break from 12-2 between the morning and afternoon session, and from maybe 5-7 before evening session. Some days they have Adventure Dinning for lunch or dinner. The day my son was signed up, per his request…turns out he was the only kid doing it that night, so it wasn’t as fun as he hoped. We found him in a corner of the Windjammer with two staff and a whole pizza to himself! We were so happy that our son had a great time at Adventure Ocean, we left tips for the staff for his age group. I don’t know what magic they’ve got going on in there, but I hope they have it going every cruise!

Right Size for family with 4 yo

Grandeur of the Seas Cruise Review by freakinandpeakin

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
We picked the Grandeur because it sails out of Baltimore, about an hour drive for us, and we liked the itinerary. Having most recently been on Harmony of the Seas which is massive, I appreciated the walk-ability of Grandeur; I felt I could walk the ship end to end easily and quickly. We often used the stairs. At the same time the ship felt spacious and uncrowded. The only place I had trouble getting a spot was the adults-only indoor solarium, and right before show time in the Palladium theater on one-show nights. Otherwise there were always spots to sit and lounge, especially outdoors there were always seats, from the sunny observatory on deck 10 to deck 5 shade under the life boats.

-Solarium pool is open 4-6pm for kids, sometimes extra hours if weather is bad. This is great on a February cruise out of Baltimore, first and last days were too cold to swim outside.

-The main pool feels a bit small, more room for wading than swimming. With beach days and a winter cruise it wasn't much of a problem, but I'd plan my pool time accordingly.

-We were glad we brought water wings, my son didn't like the full body life vests provided

-Solarium Park Cafe had nice snack options, especially nachos bar after 8pm

-The cruise director was wonderful, we enjoyed the game shows like Love & Marriage and Weakest Link

-bingo was disappointing, the smallest option was maybe $30, I couldn't just play one round.

-Lots of trivia offerings, get the the Schooner Bar early as the place filled up most times

-Food at Windjammer was better than I expected, especially their "ethnic corner" which changed each day. Service there was a nice surprise also, staff will bring you drinks so you have less to carry. They can also get you straws for the kids.

-Main Dinning room food was average. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. On par with the quality in the buffet. Service there was very good. We aren't big on group dinning, and after the first night I asked if we could have a table to ourselves. They couldn't accommodate us that night, but the next night the Matride called us the next day saying he'd made an arrangement. I really appreciated that he took that extra step, and we enjoyed dinning room meals most evenings after that.

-Blue Lagoon was excellent. Even the ride on the tender was fun, though the wait to departe was disorganized and long. We paid for a buffet lunch (one trip to the buffet only!) which was worth it. Water was calm and beautiful, it was easy to get a spot in the shade. We were able to walk around and see dolphins even though we didn’t sign up for an animal excursion.

-I had a great massage at the spa

-We had a lovely lunch at Izumi, at a discount because we signed up when someone was soliciting in the main dinning room. Great view up there, also uncrowded saw people eating alone which I would consider next time. My son and husband got skewers cooked on a “hot rock” table side (a lava stone according to a server, acted like a grill), steak and salmon, because they don’t like sushi, everyone was happy.

-We brought a 12 pack of water bottles on board, and lots of ziplock bags. Both came in handy.

-Staff overall were wonderful in engaging with my 4yo.

-ADVENTURE OCEAN: The best part was that he LOVED Adventure Ocean, the kids programming. We went to the open house and registered him the day we came aboard. They have an indoor play structure with a slide and enclosed tunnel. They have books and TV. There were themes for each morning and afternoon session. Memorable themes were Wild West, Superheros, Sea Creatures. My son isn’t shy, but isn’t outgoing either, he usually takes a little time to warm up in a new place or even at a friends house. Not so with Adventure Ocean! We checked him in and he was excited to be there, barley said goodbye. We hoped to get him there once or twice during the vacation, but he ended up going almost every day, sometimes twice, he loved it so much. It ended up giving me and my husband the most relaxing vacation since he was born! We got in line about 15 minutes before each session to make sure he’d get in, as it is first come, first served. There is a cap of about 15 kids for his 3-5 Aquanats age group. Keep in mind kids have to take off their shoes when they enter the area. Most days there is a break from 12-2 between the morning and afternoon session, and from maybe 5-7 before evening session. Some days they have Adventure Dinning for lunch or dinner. The day my son was signed up, per his request…turns out he was the only kid doing it that night, so it wasn’t as fun as he hoped. We found him in a corner of the Windjammer with two staff and a whole pizza to himself! We were so happy that our son had a great time at Adventure Ocean, we left tips for the staff for his age group. I don’t know what magic they’ve got going on in there, but I hope they have it going every cruise!
freakinandpeakin’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7108
I want to stay in this room again! Excellent location on desk 7, convenient to elevators, but far enough that noise didn’t reach us (and music from Centrum was quite loud at night) Loved being able to go quickly up to Park Café for a snack, and bounce down to Schooner Bar for trivia. Size and storage worked very well for two adults and a child, with room to spare, on 9 day sail. Felt more spacious than other cruises (Harmony and Carnival Pride). The couch is near the window and I I liked the view out the balcony from the couch. Lots of storage in the desk across from the couch, and in nightstands either side of the bed. Closet has drawers and shelves. The couch pulled out into a full bed, but with the cushions off it's about the size of a twin bed. Steward put sheets on and my 4yo slept there without pulling it out, saved us some space. The bed is low, couldn’t store anything under it but that wasn’t a problem. We were able to fit a folded stroller between the desk and the balcony, for example. The minifridge in the room was empty so plenty of room for snacks. The temperature in the room adjusted quickly and worked well, great as we like it colder to sleep. Only complaint is that the only power outlets are on the desk…plan ahead if you usually keep a phone charging by your bed at night!
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Charleston
    We walked to the aquarium, it's about a mile. We took the shortest route there, along the port, which was not scenic. On the return we meandered through old town which was prettier. The aquarium was a nice manageable size, we spent about 2 hours there with our 4 year old. There are a lot of activities for kids, not just looking at the sea life though that in itself was fun. Look for lego creations of the sea creatures too. They have a big sting ray pool, for a fee you can touch and feed them (we did not). There were divers in an enormous fish tank...there are sea turtles. There is a soft play area for babies and toddlers, and what I can only describe as a wall of machines for older kids that simulates aspects of how animals move; my son was fascinated with this. Very happy we did this on our own instead of buying an excursion.
    View All 248 Charleston Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Freeport
    None of the excursions seemed right for us. Wish they had a simple beach transfer. We strolled around the tiny market, then just hung out on the ship and were happy.
    View All 1,343 Freeport Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Everglades Tour
    We did an airboat tour. They provide earplugs because it is loud, I was glad we brought our son's noise cancelling headphones as they were more comfortable for him. The weather was overcast so we didn't see many gators in the habitat, but we saw birds, enjoyed the ride, and the guide had interesting facts to share. There is a show after the boat ride; a guy shows you the difference between a baby croc and a baby alligator, does some activities with an adult alligator, really cool. You could also walk to a fenced area and look at gators. Probably 45min bus ride either direction.
    View All 113 Everglades Tour Reviews
  • Blue Lagoon Island Beach
    Calm shallow water was great for my 4 year old. We brought water wings. There were inner tubes and some other water floaties around for free. The lunch was good. Able to walk through where the dolphins and other sea creatures were without buying the excursion, that was enough for us.
    View All 252 Blue Lagoon Island Beach Reviews
  • Walt Disney World
    We did the WDW transfer, so it just provided transportation to and from. We were dropped of at the transportation center and took the monorail to the magic kingdom for the day. We used our fast passes wisely, caught the parade, and had a magically time! They had three different times you could catch a bus at the end of the day, and we were on the last one. It was easy and fun. We have been to WDW before, knew we were not going to see everything, and it was a very satisfying "taste" of WDW.
    View All 93 Walt Disney World Reviews