Last year we decided to plan a family cruise to include extended family. We chose Grandeur because most of our family lives in Maryland and we loved the idea of sailing out of Baltimore. We read lots of reviews on Grandeur and watched several YouTube videos. We have cruised several times before and we knew that this would be the smallest ship that we have experienced.
It was a breeze getting on the ship! We arrived T the port at 9:45 AM. We checked our luggage, paid for parking, checked in, and were walking onto the ship before 10:30! We didn’t have to sit and wait so that was fabulous. Best embarkation we have ever experienced.
We walked right onto the 4th floor Centrum area. All of the staff greeted us warmly. We had drinks in our hands by 10:45! The Windjammer buffet opened shortly after 11, which was great.
We had access to our rooms around 1:00 PM.
Balconies are limited on the Grandeur and are priced at a premium, so we had an ocean view stateroom. Then ocean view windows are a nice size. We had lots of storage space and the bed was super comfortable. The room was small and so was the bathroom. The decor is dated and could definitely use a refresh. The sofa was very worn out. However, the room was clean and the bathroom was also clean. The shower had a curtain and no door, which resulted in lots of water on the bathroom floor. Be sure to keep the shower curtain inside the shower to minimize this issue.
Clean and well-maintained...two elevators did not work for the entire cruise. Definitely showing signs of rust and carpets could be replaced. Public bathrooms were always clean!
Specialty dining is definitely the way to go on this boat. We went to Chops twice for dinner and the food was excellent. Our server took care of us and he did an amazing job. We also paid for the Chops brunch and it was really good as well (we enjoyed dinner more). We visited Izumi once for lunch and it was so good! Starbucks was great. Giovanni’s table was okay.
The food in the main dining room was truly just average...some good, some gross. Our server was nice but very slow. Since there were 13 of us in our group they split us between two tables. The other table had an excellent server. She was so personable and efficient. To illustrate the contrast...we would order at the same time. The other table would be finishing up dessert when we were finishing our appetizer. They were in and out in 45 minutes while ours took 90 minutes. We only ate there three times and skipped dessert the third night because it was just too slow. Breakfast and lunch were faster. Try the chopped salad at lunch. It’s really good!
The windjammer had a nice selection. Good burgers, good brunch selection, good omelets. Indian night and Greek night were both good. The place gets pretty crowded so we tried to avoid peak times.
Park Place in the solarium provided snacks in the afternoon and later at night. Burgers and hotdogs were fine. Not a fan of the pizza (think undercooked frozen pizza) or the nachos (the cheese sauce has no taste). The fruit and fruit cups are good. They also offer cookies and chips.
We ordered room service for breakfast and dinner...they charge a nominal fee, but the food isn’t worth it.
The cruise director, Cory, was fantastic!
We really enjoyed the shows! The singers and dancers were great. We had a magician, comedian, and guest singers. Everybody was great. All of the shows took place in the Palladium. The seats are comfy but be careful with the cup holders. They don’t hold all of the glasses, which results in spills.
Trivia and karaoke were lots of fun. The 4th of July celebration was fantastic. They decorated the boat so nicely.
Coco Cay is amazing! Truly a game changer for Royal. We loved the pool and swim up bar. The food was great and there were plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas. We would have loved to have more days there.
The pools and whirlpools were great. We used them in the mornings and on port days. They were crowded on sea days so we avoided them.
The arcade is really small, so my daughter was disappointed.
The gym is equipped and adequate, but small, so it was usually packed in the mornings.
The big screen was out of commission and was replaced during our cruise. It worked the last night. Should be great for future cruises!
The bartenders were great. We loved the Schooner Bar and Viking lounge.
Everyone was friendly and willing to help. Our room steward was great. From other reviews, Grandeur receives high marks in this area. I agree that they deserve it, but I have been impressed with the customer service on every single one of my cruises.
Would I sail on Grandeur again?
I enjoyed my cruise (I always do). I most likely will not sail Grandeur again. I prefer newer, larger ships, where the activities overwhelm me. I know that’s not for everyone. If you prefer an older, smaller ship with nice staff and without all of the bells and whistles, then Grandeur is for you! You will definitely have a good time.