1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Royal Caribbean International
  4. Royal Caribbean International Cruise Reviews

731 Royal Caribbean Baltimore Cruise Reviews

Great value for all it offers. The entertainment is really good. The crew as well as the guests are some of the friendliest at sea. Love the smaller ship atmosphere. The Great Gatsby Dining Room is staffed by great waiters and is elegant ... Read More
Great value for all it offers. The entertainment is really good. The crew as well as the guests are some of the friendliest at sea. Love the smaller ship atmosphere. The Great Gatsby Dining Room is staffed by great waiters and is elegant in decor. The CD on this particular cruise was Mike (Polish name) and he was awesome. Our room was very clean and very nice, but wish the beds were higher to slide our luggage under. I still wish they had better hair dryers. I also feel that they should make the showtimes 7:30 and 9:30 instead of 7 and 9. We always seem to be rushed through early dining to get to the first show and even if we make it seats are pretty much gone by the times we finish dessert. We rarely can stay up for the later show as we have busy days and tire easily. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ My employer closes for the holidays every winter, providing a ... Read More
You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ My employer closes for the holidays every winter, providing a great opportunity to take a longer-than-usual cruise spanning both holidays plus a few days on both ends. The holiday sailing on Grandeur of the Seas met our needs as it aligned perfectly with my break at work and we like the Baltimore port’s proximity to our house. We pulled out of our driveway at 11:45 and were in our cabin by 1:30. This was our fifth time and our second holiday sailing on the Grandeur, the first being last year on a slightly different itinerary. This year we went to St. Croix (last year was St. Thomas), Antigua, St. Lucia (Martinique last year), St. Kitts, and Sint Maarten. As in previous experiences with the Baltimore port, everything went very smoothly – only a few cars ahead of us to check our bags, no line inside the terminal for the metal detector or to check in. And right up the back-and-forth gangplank and onto the ship. There was the usual boarding day elevator delay as some elevators were being used for luggage transport. We got to our cabin, took the standard photos of our cabin to post on the web, and went off to Park Café for our traditional embarkation-day roast beef sandwich lunch and our first food disappointment of the cruise – they had turkey instead of roast beef!!!!! We were told they alternated among turkey, roast beef, and pork, but we found roast beef only once so we must have forgotten to check every day. Cabin: We were in cabin 8548, a mid-ship Junior Suite on the starboard side. This cabin (and its port-side equivalent, 8048) has the advantage of being opposite a right-angle passage from the mid-ship staircase lobby, avoiding corridor traffic and lobby noise. Like all cabins on Grandeur, it feels dated with its blond wood and green upholstered furniture (which actually is quite comfortable). The Junior Suite has more storage than most other cabin classes, with three drawers in the triple door closet, six drawers in the desk area, plus a few more drawers and cabinets opposite the closet. There are also two chairs and a convertible sofa with a coffee table and two ottomans (with removable tops for more storage). The bathroom had a bathtub, harder to get in and out of than a walk-in shower, but with the trade-off of more space for showering. We also had a balcony with two chairs and a table. This is a very comfortable cabin for the two of us and has plenty of space for company to come visit. Food: We ate most dinners in the Great Gatsby main dining room or Windjammer, my go-to spot for breakfast as well. (The continental breakfast options on the free room service menu are limited but sufficient. Delivery was often before or after the half hour selected; a few times they called before delivery. We didn’t get any coffee or tea since the Junior Suite has coffee/tea service in the cabin.) The dining room food was good, but the selection options were a major disappointment from previous sailings on Grandeur. The MDR dinner menus no longer offered a daily chilled soup and the only salad offering was Caesar Salad – EVERY NIGHT! (There were a very few other salads offered during a few of the 12 nights but generally, they were specialty salads and there was no garden greens salad option.) Last year, the “every night starters” consisted of Caesar Salad, Escargot, Shrimp Cocktail, and French Onion Soup. This year, they added a Seasonal Fruit Medley every night as well. But the trade-off was the loss of a different salad and chilled soup each night, and a reduction in the other appetizer selections from three to two. The main course options were reduced as well. Last year we had five “every night” options, reduced this year to three, and the varying options were reduced as well. Desserts also had only two or three changing items each night plus the standard chocolate cake, apple pie, cheesecake, ice cream (always vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry), and crème brûlée. The appetizer fruit plate served as a nice dessert if nothing on the dessert menu was interesting. We found the menus so boring that we occasionally ate dinner in Windjammer just to get some variety. Service was slow the first night but improved when the maître ď suggested that all the waiters serve the smaller (two-person) tables before the larger groups. We ate dinner in the Windjammer three times because of the international offerings those nights – one was Indian and another South American. The Indian food was excellent and varied, the South American not so much. Windjammer at night is a nice place to eat as it is usually quieter and the large windows all around provide nice views of passing ships. And there often are sightings of officers and their families in Windjammer. Ship overall: Grandeur is a lovely ship with artwork in all of the stateroom corridors and in all of the stairway landings. The ship is very bright and open feeling with lots of glass in almost every venue. I could usually find a chaise in a quiet shady spot on deck, my preferred spot on a cruise. The Solarium indoor pool area was crowded most days, but seemed to empty out around 4 PM every day, when I would go for a swim in the indoor pool. Entertainment: We tend to skip most ship entertainment because the volume level hurts our ears. Some of the music sounded like something we might enjoy but not enough to justify the hearing damage. Ports: St. Croix: We have been to St. Croix several times and in the past have gone to Sandcastle on the Beach resort for some beach time. We decided to try Rainbow Beach this year. The beach seemed larger than Sandcastle, but had many more people. We did not try the food in the restaurant. We will return to Sandcastle on our next visit to St. Croix. Antigua: We went with a group to BeachLimerZ on Fort James Beach, a ten-minute taxi ride from the port. The beach was very nice and the food and service were excellent. We might go there again – or try another of Antigua’s 365 beaches. St. Lucia: We took the water taxi across the bay to town and went to the Cathedral and Derek Walcott Square, attractions we enjoyed on previous visits. (Restoration of the Cathedral continues, though there is still quite a way to go.) St. Kitts: We had nothing planned for St. Kitts, as we have been there several times and toured the entire island. This turned to be an accidentally wise choice as it rained on and off almost all day. Sint Maarten: We took a ship excursion to the beach at The American Greenhouse on Simpson Bay. This was a lovely beach with water sports and a nice restaurant with good food. Overall experience: We lucked out with great weather for most of the cruise, with the only rainy day being on the port day at St. Kitts. The seas were calm for the entire trip, making things even better. As always, the staff and crew on Grandeur were friendly and provided great service. The only complaints we had were about the dinner menu selections, addressed above, and that RCI has decided not to offer the 12-night itinerary for at least the next two holiday seasons. But we’ll be back for another cruise at a different time of the year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We stayed overnight at La Quinta, in BMW and it was nice, $159 for a room and parking for up to 14 days included. Shuttle to port included. We got picked up at 10:30 and were at the port by 11:00 and on board by 11:30 . In our rooms by ... Read More
We stayed overnight at La Quinta, in BMW and it was nice, $159 for a room and parking for up to 14 days included. Shuttle to port included. We got picked up at 10:30 and were at the port by 11:00 and on board by 11:30 . In our rooms by 12:30 ish. Family of 8 went for the holidays, the ship was beautiful, and we never felt over crowded. Embarking was quick and we were on board within 30 minutes of arrival at port in Maryland. The ship was fully decorated, we had Santa on Xmas morning, and NYE was so festive. Balloons from the ceiling, great music, champagne all around!!! We all had inside rooms one with 4 people, it was definitely a bit crowded for 2 adults and 2 teen boys, but manageable tho they would book a bigger room in the future. Our room , we separated the beds and had plenty of room, I was amazed at all the space to put things, drawers on the vanity were pretty deep, three on the right 3 on the left, the right ones were full size, the left were half size. There was another set of full drawers in the closet( I put my shoes here). Two mirrors on either side of the vanity had shelves for toiletries, and a huge mirror, a center drawer was also in the vanity /desk. There was no refrigerator and we thought it would be an issue, but we never missed it. The bathroom had plenty of storage too. shelves and drawers and a lower shelf. Shower took some learning to not have it come on too strong, and once in a while hot water was a bit scarce. we just learned when to shower around it. We really liked the room for 2 people, and even 4 did okay. We three decorated our rooms and doors....many did. The room was plenty cool when we adjusted the air conditioning. Our room steward Emerson Thomas was so personable and kept our rooms immaculate. He was in there after every visit to be sure things were perfect. Of course we had towel animals, always fun!! Always a smile and a hello in the halls, knew our names in one day. Always asked us about our days. We went to the windjammer for most breakfasts and lunches, most day we were able to get a large table to fit us all around, and enjoy our start of the day. Food was aplenty, with many delicious choices, even the omelet station was over all fast. most I waited was 5 minutes. Pool was not crowded, plenty of chairs to sit, didn't really see a lot of hogs. Hot tubs were busy but still could get in if you chose to. They opened the solarium on the colder days for children within certain hours, which was nice. The pool bar was a bit slow compared to the other bars, but it was always busy too. For dinner we all met at the MDR we had the 8 pm seating. Our head waiter was Amlan, and his assistant was Joe. There were a re few glitches on the first nights, but they did their very best to please us. Both were new and did a great job. Brought us extra bread baskets every night always had our drinks to serve, brought us some extra plates of cheese and fruits and extra butters. One night there was no escargot on the menu( my favorite) and Amlan got one for me anyways without me saying anything, which was very nice. We enjoyed the foods we had, we enjoyed our servers, and the little shows they had a few nights. We ordered a bottle of champagne for Xmas, and it was at our table chilling, we also won a bottle of champagne and it was there another night waiting in a chill bucket. Cannot say enough great things about both servers. The two teen age boys with us enjoyed the teen group, we had many many children on board being a holiday cruise and only had a few behave a bit naughty. Had adults behave badly as well. We didn't go to shows as we were busy, eating, at the time they were happening many times. Only big complaint I would have is 8 pm sitting and singular activities in the centrum at 8:15 pm. So all us missed all that. Should be after both meals like 9:00pm. Lots of fun there in the day times. Egg drop contest, corn hole games, dancing, music. This is where the chair hogs showed up. They would sit for hours and wait for each show. We did some trivia games in the south pacific area, went to play bingo, decided $40/pp was a bit rich so found trivia fun. The Schooner bar was always pretty fast with drinks. The centrum bar was slow and some times rude. If you asked for a drink from that bar that you had in another bar, they told you you had to go back to the other bar for it. Never heard of that. We went to the viking lounge one night to watch karaoke, it was nice but again getting a drink was a 15 -20 minute wait. We learned to get it else where and bring it along. Karaoke was a bit pre- planned. Seemed if you dressed in skimpy clothes you were in. 50's night was fun!! We brought poodle skirts and saddle "shoes" and did the dances. The dancers were excited that we came dressed in 50's gear. My daughter who is a pinup girl here at home did a duet with "Elvis" of summer lovin'. It was quite fun!! There was a 70's night but they did mostly 80's songs. Again we came prepared and had a good time. Other nights there was always a small band or a duet of violin and guitar, both were good!! Day 5 we stayed longer for the day which was nice. We went to buck Island and Turtle Bay in St Croix, had a great crew with Grace from Carribean Sea Adventures. We had to get to the other side of the island and we were getting ab it worried about taxi rates and getting there on time. But we disembarked earlier than they expected, and found a taxi at the end of the pier for $16 round trip pp, which was great. The ride to Christenstad was hot as this Taxi decided not to use his AC. A 30 minute drive in a closed in taxi, no windows to open and hot air blasting through the vents, fortunately the ride back he used full air and it was delightful. The excursion was terrific. We snorkeled on our own and also followed a trail. Word of warning do not use reef safe sunscreen, it doesn't work. Tow different brands and multiple applications and we all still burned. Grace told us regular sunscreen is fine as long as you apply it 30 minutes before the water then it doesn't leach. embarking was quick and easy, but the alcohol collection was a disaster. Day 6 we were in St Johns Antigua, we did the stingray city tour via rccl. Disembarking was again easy. We were promptly on our way to the boats to take us out. We liked that the rays are free to come and go and we are corralled in instead. They were magnificent. So beautiful. Got to feed them squids, and they were not afraid of us at all. Nothing as soft as a stingray massage!! W will be back!! Nothing shy of amazing. embarking was again slow only because of he alcohol situation, The man had no clue what he was doing sadly but was trying hard. Day 7, we were in St. Lucia, disembarking was a breeze. We booked an trip to Splash Island on our own. We ran into miscommunication of pick up but once we found them behind Diamond International, we ere off and on our way in a lovely AC taxi that you pay $10 pp round trip. If you are at all weak ankles, or overweight, this is not the place for you. It is large floats and they are difficult to get up on in the water, the "ladder" is also a float. I stayed on land , and they graciously refunded me. The others in my family had lots of fun on the floats. My Teen age grandsons had a blast. The taxi came for us on time and we were whisked back to the port, with time to shop around a bit, and of course get some nice purchases of alcohol that is very expensive here. Embarking was easy but still a cluster mess around the alcohol table. Many didn't wait and took their purchase up to their rooms, no one said stop. Day 8 we were in St Kitts, disembarking was again easy, some of us did the chocolate tour via rccl to St Kitts chocolate factory. The owner is very nice and we had samples of various chocolates and then we made some of our own to take with us. It was very nice. Seema was very knowledgeable and patient with the young 6 year old even when she asked silly questions... sadly people behind me were impatient and made mean remarks about this 6 year old. I don't know what the rush was. We still had plenty of time to do some shopping and get a bite to eat,which is a good thing because my husband and I stopped at a little stand that served chicken a fries. We ordered that and an almost an hour later we finally got our food after reminding them three times that we were waiting. Embarking was the same easy on but bottle necked at the alcohol collection table, they ran out o f tape, then told my SIL who had a $150 bottle of Johnny Blue that it was no a big deal, he waited a bit then took off for his room, who is going to assume a $150 bottle will be just fine unlabeled with the room number? Day 9 , we were in Sint Maartine, disembarking was quick we did some early shopping with my favorite jewelers the off to Maho beach. Hubs and me already had been but it was still lots of fun and a first for the other family members. Taxi was $16/pp round trip. Beach was free, bathrooms were not. $1.00 to use. Gave you a voucher to use in the hut for beers, but most of us didn't drink beer... St Maartine has come a log way from hurricane destroying it, still has a ways to go , but was lovely none the less. Spoke to our friend the jeweler, he was broken into and looted three times, as were many there he said. His cousin who was in the clothing store was looted 5 times. Sad that people do that. Embarking was easy but again the hold up a the alcohol table. We had high waves that night and deck 10 was closed. Day 10 was warm and NYE. We relaxed at the pool, enjoying our drinks after breakfast. We hung around and just chilled until dinner time, we got no pictures done as the 6 oclock seating was in line for that, so we gave up. We had lobster tails for dinner, which made 7 of us delighted, me I had a yummy dinner sans that. NYE in the Centrum was fun, and we drank champagne and toasted in the new year. Day 11 was NYD, we relaxed, watched games in the Centrum, Drank lovely drinks ( after a late breakfast) , Chilled by the pool, grabbed lunch in the windjammer, did a little trivia about xmas movies, did oragami in Schoorner. Dinner was in the MDR, we dressed up and had lots of pictures done as there were 5 different places. Then off to dinner. We ordered a seafood tower to be brought down to us ($39) and enjoyed the ooos and ahhs. After dinner we relaxed and had a few drinks before going off to bed. Day 12 We had breakfast in the windjammer, it was a bit more crowded but still found a large table. then just relaxed and enjoyed the ship and drinks!! It was too cold for the pool and they didn't open it to kids the last colder days. Got an announcement that Mike our cruise director had man flu as they called it. Seems many got sick after they left the ship, none of us in our party did. Packed up and placed suitcases out a 8 and they were promptly picked up but they shut off a bank of elevators to use for that and it made for long waits for elevators, we mostly used stairs, unless we were on floor 4 and going to floor 8 or 9. We chose 8:15 disembarking, but it was delayed due to the government shutdown had begun. Once we were called, it was a fast look at our passports and no declarations and we were off and running. Kudos to RCCl for having people with red Flashlights alerting porters to where they are needed, this is a nice addition since we last sailed with them. ( 2009). We had a hard time getting back to our hotel with their shuttle, people who had just come off from a later time were running to the shuttles meant for earlier people. Thought there was going to be fisty cuffs.... people were just rude about it not being their shuttle but would get in anyways and defy anyone saying they had to get out. La Quinta needs a better system. Over all we had a fabulous time. It is sad that Grandeur and RCCl has now split this cruise time up. You cannot go for both holidays unless you do B2B for lots more money. Many people made it a yearly trip and many knew each other from previous years. I am glad we booked it before that change. I would do it again as a full 12 days. Hopefully they will listen and change it back. We bought the drink packages ultimate for adults, refreshment for the teens. We got a great price and got more than our monies worth. Starbucks coffees were included on this ship. The only other thing that was rather slow was the cafe with food in the later afternoon, understaffed, salad side he would take off most of the time, and the selections went quick, when we did get food it was quite good. Hot sandwiches, soups, and the like. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Wife & I have done this 12-day on Grandeur 3 times now (2016, 2017, and now 2018); with 2 other couples this time. Only new port was St Croix, others were Antigua, St Lucia, St Kitts, and St Marteen. Plus: We like the smaller ... Read More
Wife & I have done this 12-day on Grandeur 3 times now (2016, 2017, and now 2018); with 2 other couples this time. Only new port was St Croix, others were Antigua, St Lucia, St Kitts, and St Marteen. Plus: We like the smaller ships. GoS is well maintained, never dirty, and has a very friendly crew. We're OK with the inside cabins, better light and sound control (usually) and we don't need a huge amount of space for 2. 1st time we had Mike as CD. Excellent job, I like his bad puns and he had some neat magic tricks (I want to know how he pulled off the last one on the last night). His asst, CC, is also good and has an enthusiastic staff. Lots of programming and games, and Mike was very creative at making sure there was at least one show a night, even when performers got (sea) sick. Dancing: Wife & I are big dancers, Real Time Band came through (again), and they've expanded their playlist and take more requests. Their Rock-a-Rockie (Karaoake with them) were fun. The calypso band was also good, and we enjoyed the ship band when they played. Recorded "ballroom" in South Pacific was just OK - too many really old slow tunes. We gave the DJ some suggestions, so did the couple providing the dance lessons on the at sea days. The strings duet suffered an injury mid-cruise, they were easy to listen too but not playing anything danceable. We didn't see any of our dance friends from the '16 and '17 trips, made some new ones. Entertainment: We have seen several of the acts before, still enjoy them espec when they add new material. The Motown singer (and his son) and the Beatles tribute band were excellent. I heard that the piano player/singer in the schooner bar was quite good, and very entertaining. Service: Ship crew generally provides excellent service. Cabin and Windjammer were particularly attentive. R-Bar never hassled us for ordering ice water all the time (dancers do that). At Sea: Lots of activities, and there were ballroom dance lessons from an excellent husband/wife pair each day as well as line dancing and other activities from the cruise staff. Mike (the CD) and CC (AD) and their team were very creative. Ports: Excellent weather all 5 days. Just windy in St Kitts. St. Croix was OK to disappointing, the town is small and still recovering from 2017 hurricane damage. Beach near the pier is very rocky, wear water shoes or sandals. If we go again, I'd want to take an island tour or maybe intro to scuba (the scuba shop mentioned that they must work through the ship, no walk ashore and schedule your own session). Antigua: Took cab to Valley Church Beach. Quiet, VERY scenic. Well worth the extra time and $. Shopping in St Johns is OK. St. Lucia: We tied up at the old pier again (a German ship was at the other pier). Good island for cheap stuff and t-shirts. Went to Marigot Bay (private cab) for a few hours. WELL WORTH IT (even if the roads are terrifying). St. Kitts: I like this island. We did some shopping, has better liquor prices IMO vs. Antigua. Wife found a lovely ring and bracelet at one of the jewelers. Better price than we saw for similar the next day in St Marteen. Too windy for beach (same as we experienced in '17). St. Marteen: Lots of recovery vs. what we saw a year ago (GoS was one of the 1st ships in post-hurricane). But still a ways to go. We were told French side is still in bad shape. We stayed in Phillipsburg, did some shopping and had lunch in town and then just hung out on the town beach. Liquor prices have come down vs what I recall from '17. As good as what I saw in St Kitts. Excursions: Didn't take any, just cabs as noted above with our travel companions. Kids: Only about 36 aboard on this trip (between holiday breaks). The ones I saw were well-behaved. Note the Solarium was open to kids on several at-sea days dues to weather. Other passengers: We're in late 50s/early 60s and felt like we were under the median age of the passengers. Not an issue for us, and I am impressed at how well the ship and crew could accommodate passengers with limited mobility. Weather: 1st and last days were indoors (temps), although last day was bearable and not too windy. Several at sea days were windy and decks 5 & 10 (the track) were closed. Day 11 was ROUGH. We were coming in behind a storm and dealing with what I was told later were 20 ft seas; ship pitched a lot with frequent spray up to Deck 9 & 10. Lots of people got sea sick and main dinning was maybe 1/3-1/2 missing that night. Wife & I were Ok but 3 of our 4 friends with us spent day/night in bed. Dinning: This was a mixed bag, I'll explain: MDR Breakfast: OK, not much change in menu (various pancake options and special omelettes). Service can be called "sedate", be aware if you are in a hurry for an early morning tour or activity. Windjammer Breakfast: Decent selections, some nice surprises (smoked salmon for omelettes!). MDR Lunch: We like the Tutti salads, and decent selections usually. Windjammer: About same as breakfast. VERY attentive service. Only a zoo on Day 1 (as usual). And now, Dinner: What has happened to MDR service? I know RCL has been economizing on food and service in the MDR, but table service for 5:30/1st seating dinner has become ATROCIOUSLY SLOW. In 2017 & 18, we had great service, and never felt ignored or rushed if we were trying to make the 7:00 show. Our companions agreed with the assessment, we think it is an understaffed MDR and less experienced staff (the experienced ones are in My Time and specialty?). Our waiter and asst were not incompetent, they were overworked and rushing a lot. Noted that they often had to make extra trips for condiments that should be pre positioned at waiter stations (mint sauce, horseradish, even ketchup, syrup at breakfasts). Service did improve to adequate when one of the MDR captains pitched in. They should not have to have done so. Also the MDR coffee at dinner consistently sucked and I'd go to WJ or Park for something tolerable. At least they figured out quickly we all drink a lot of iced tea. MDR Food: Decent if somewhat repetitive selections. The menu has been paired down and you now order dessert with dinner instead of ordering later. Food was well prepared and presented. EXCEPTION: Be prepared to get undercooked beef; either be very specific about what you want, order it 1/2-full grade more done, or send it back. Lobster tails on 2nd formal night are ok, they get smaller each year. Order 2 or 3 to save time. Windjammer Dinner Food: Reasonable selections and a special theme each night. Decent desserts, sometimes better than MDR. Specialty Dinning: EXCELLENT. After some discussion with our friends and the MDR management and THEIR management, we went to the 3 specialty restaurants. CHOPS: My favorite. Order beef. It will be prepared PROPERLY and well presented. Lamp chops are OK but much smaller portion. If you order the 16 oz ribeye, come HUNGRY. Giovanni's: Very good, better for lamb or veal (I loved the veal). Larger sides/portions, we definitely over-ate here. Izumi: Ala cart pricing, reasonable for what you get. EXCELLENT sashimi. The rolls dishes are good for table sharing. The ship ran several promotions for specialty dinning, and might be worth doing once aboard. We did not use My Time. Embarkation/Disembarkation: By far the easiest (as usual) we ever experience. Check in was hampered by only one working scanner. Quickly onboard after we got thru that. No longer have a carry on bag check. Staterooms open at 1:00, wife's bag arrived soon thereafter. Mine showed up during dinner. Go figure. At end, exited ship at the 'everyone please go home now" announcement at 9:15 and were in the Uber with our bags at 9:45. Customs was fully staffed and the line moved well. Going again: We love this ship and are likely booking the early December (11/30 actually) 2019 cruise. We already have a cruise in late January, we shall see if the MDR is a train wreck or has improved. Other than the service in MDR I noted above and the slightly less than perfect cabin, it was a great trip. Captain and crew handled weather well, you have to expect it this time of year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I are avid cruiser and usually plan our cruises in advance but in this case we decided to book this one at the last minute. We just couldn't pass up the great deal we got to be able to sail on a Thanksgiving cruise, and we ... Read More
My wife and I are avid cruiser and usually plan our cruises in advance but in this case we decided to book this one at the last minute. We just couldn't pass up the great deal we got to be able to sail on a Thanksgiving cruise, and we had a wonderful time. Being 2 hours aways in Fredericksburg, Va., we decided to leave for Port Baltimore far enough in advance to make sure we arrived on time and fourtonately traffic was wonderful. Port Baltimore: We arrived at the port around 10:20am, entering the port was easy but manuvuring through the port parking lot was confusing because of the directions given by the Allied Security team. But after getting the correct directions, dropping of the luggage was simple then we were directed to pay for parking ($135) ($15 a day) in the long term parking lot! We were blessed to park very close! Embarkation: Now Im sure it was because we were ealy but this was the quickest we have ever went through the process to get on the ship. We enter the building around 10:30am, went through security, was directed to the desk, recieved our Sea cards, took our picture and was sitting in the Centrum by 11:15am! Cabin: We were located on Deck 3, mid-ship Oceanview # 3102, located close to the stairs and elevator. ( See review below ) Dining: When we arrived on board, we purchased a package giving us access to the specialty dining rooms on board: Izumi's, Giovanni's Table and Chops Grille. So 3 out of the 9 dinners we were at one of the speciality dining rooms and we were not disappointed. The service and the meals were wonderful, and we highly recommend all three of the specialty restaurants! The other nights we were in the MDR, we had two wonderful servers and the meals were excellent. Now for lunch and breakfast we went to the Windjammer on the 9 deck in the back of the ship. They had a larger variety of food and it was pretty good, the ONLY issue I had with it was the size of the buffet area is to small for the number of people trying to utilizes it at ant giving meal. You could also tell that the poor crew was overwhelmed trying to meet the needs of the impatient cruisers, it was very frustrating at times to see. Entertainment and activities: Evening Entertainment: I have to admit that we were truly impressed with the headliners that the cruise line provided for this cruise, they were truly amazing, from the comedian, to the "Man of a Thousand Voices' to the comical juggling of Mike Price. I will also say that the cruise line singers and dance team did a great job for this to be only their 2nd week on board. Centrum Entertainment: They had three groups that would rotate through out the cruise to provide music for dancing during the day and in the eveings. All three were wonderful from the Carribean band to the violinist! Acitivies: There were several actvities on board and I have to admit we did only a few of them but the ones we were invovled in were very impressive. The cruise director and his team do a wonderful job to make sure there is alot to do. Service: There is nothing negative I can say about the service on board the Grandeur of the Seas. Every member of the crew that we enteracted with was just wonderful, they went out of their way to make sure our cruise was enjoyable! Ports and Shore excursions: Charleston, South Carolina: When we arrived in Charleston that day the weather was a little unpleasent and the streets were partially flooded, and it was an adventure in itself to make around town without stepping into a 6 inches of water or more. We made are way to the City Market, which is full of some wonderful vendors. Afterwards we decided to have lunch at the Noisy Oyster, the food was fantastic! After lunch we made are way over to the park which is right next to the port and on the edge of the water allowing a great place to take pictures of the ship and of Ft. Sumter. We then proceeded back to the ship after a wonderful SUNNY day in Charleston! Port Canaveral: Being Disney fans and annual passholders, we took the ship excursion providing us transportation to the Transportation & Ticket Center. We left the ship on the charter bus around 10:40 and arrived at the TTC at 12:00pm. We decided to take the monorail over to Epcot then around 3:00pm made are way back to the Magic Kingdom so we would be near by to make our way back to the bus by 6:30pm, returning to the ship by 8:00pm. Some may say its not worth the time but we had a great time!! Miami: We arrived in Miami and decided to explore on our own. We were blessed to port at Terminal F giving us closer access to the free trolley from the port into the city. The trolley stop is located directly across the street from Terminal F under the blue tarp, it is the Coral Trolley. We explored on our own and enjoyed the sights, then made our way back dropping us off at the terminal. Nassau: We booked an excursion on board for the Pearl Island and lunch. When we disemabarked we were informed that it may be canceled due to the rainy weather were experiencing at the time. Fourtinately the weather did clear allowing us to go. We boarded our transportation boat around 11:00pm and made our way over to the the private island. It was beautiful! There had been another ship that was supposed to have a tour group there but due to the weather it did cancel allowing our group to be the only group there at the time, which was about 20 people! The beach was small but clean and beautiful, it had a wind board you could try along with a water trampolin. There were more then enought covered and uncovered chairs, beach beds and cavanas to rest in. We had not planned too but we decided to jojn the snorkeling group and it only cost us $15 per person more there on location which I believe the excusion with snorkeling was a little more. We had a great time and the guys leading the group were great in showing and explaining the best spots to explore. Afterwards we had a lunch of baked fish, barbecue chicken, brown rice and cole slaw, it was delicious! Since we had left late they extended our stay by 1/2 hour, so we departed the island at 3:00pm. On the way back the crew gave us a tour and brief review of the stars that homes along the shore on the way back. We got to see Elvis Presleys home which is now owned by his daughter Lisa along with a few other celebritie such as Nicolas Cage and the home of Charlie Chaplin. After we reutrned, we cleaned up and went back out for a few hours of shopping before dinner since the ship did not leave port until midnight. It was a great day! Coco Caye: Unfourtinately we did not get to experience their private island due to the rough waters around the island the captain felt it would be unsafe to tender us out so we ended up having 3 Sea days back instead of two, which i felt the cruise director and his team did a fine job making up missing the port in the actvities they provided in place. And as always, you cant please everyone on board so there were you whiners BUT we didnt let it bother us. Safety comes first! Disembarkation: We arrived in Baltimore early. We went to breakfast and awaited in the Centrum for our to turn to disembark, we were luggage tag #5, 8:15 to 8:45?. We actually got off the ship at 8:20 made our way down to customs to the luggage area and was in the car by 8:45 and on our way home by 8:51am! The only thing I was discouraged by was that one of the wheels on my luggae was broken and is irrepairable. I'm not sure if it occured on board after they took it from our stateroom or if happened after it was turned over to the port. Ship: This was our first time on the Grandeur of the Seas, it is the smallest ship that we have cruised on with RCL and any other cruise line. I have to admit at first I thought she was very small but as each day went by I started to enjoy her more and the fact it did not take forever to get where we wanted to get too. She also allows you the opportunity to get to meet more of your fellow cruisers, because there is no doubt that you will definitely see the same faces more then once. We were very pleased with our cruising experience and will definitely be cruising Lady G again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Holiday sailings can be expensive but reasonable rates do surface from time to time apparently. About a year ago we were successful in locating this incredible 12 day Southern Caribbean itinerary for less than what we paid for a 7day ... Read More
Holiday sailings can be expensive but reasonable rates do surface from time to time apparently. About a year ago we were successful in locating this incredible 12 day Southern Caribbean itinerary for less than what we paid for a 7day Oasis of the Seas cruise last fall. This is good news for those looking to escape the conventional holiday routines. Ship The Grandeur of the Seas is showing some age, but only a little and really only if you look for it. For the most part the relatively small ship holds its own for those of us who just want the sea, great food, good entertainment and beautiful ports of call. I often eschew the traditional, but old fashioned cruising minus the dress codes is exactly what I need a couple times of year. My cruising tastes were formed on Carnival Fantasy class ships and Grandeur fits that mold perfectly. Food I was impressed at times with the Windjammer selections. Dinner buffets often mirror some highlights from the main dining room (MDR) and usually had theme of some sort like Italian, Mexican, etc. Breakfast and Lunch selections were more routine but still abundant. Quality wise the food was very good. I enjoyed nearly everything I had there. The only real disappointment at Windjammer food wise is the desserts. It was a little surprising to see these selections, while attractive, didn’t pack much punch taste wise. MDR food and service were outstanding as evidenced by our attendance 11 of 12 nights. The only off night being New Years Eve, which was apparently like a formal night on steroids. Our waiter and assistant waiter couldn’t have taken better care of us and anticipated our every need. Park Cafe was a nice venue in the Solarium that provided great sandwiches and salads during the day with sandwiches and bagels at breakfast time. Its definitely not the equivalent of the Park Cafe on Oasis class but still a perfect place to grab something during a sea day on deck. If you like an Egg McMuffin, Park Cafe can set you up all morning. It’s also the late night food spot, its actually the only late night food spot, on the ship, which is more than a little puzzling to me, but I don’t make the rules. So on Royal Caribbean they like to close things and limit availability as much as possible. I don’t get it, but thats how it is. With Windjammer split into two sides you might think that would allow for two during heavy traffic and one during off times. But chunks of time go by where you have one food option on the whole ship, thats all. Windjammer doesn’t open for breakfast until 6:30 even though a lot of folks are out and about by then. The inanimate soft serve machine even has limited hours, along with the ice water at the Park Cafe. Ice water needs limited hours? The biggest head scratcher in this vein to me was New Years Eve. Keep in mind its ultra-formal night and most of the ship is likely up and roaming around until midnight at least. So you might think a thing of the past, a midnight buffet perhaps, would be in order. Or you might think with several parties going on throughout the ship, food would be abundant. Nope. Same selection of late night burgers, hotdogs and pizza at Park Cafe. I guess, the coffee shop snacks were available until 11, but they dwindled quickly. The most surprising food spot for me was the coffee shop, Latte-tudes. It provides the same sandwiches as a Cafe Promenade on larger ships along with the Starbucks offerings of the Starbucks on larger ships. While its usually a nice variety, food wise, there isn’t much in the way of quantity so things go quickly. You can count on it nearly always being busy though. People want their Starbucks. Entertainment Our entertainment this cruise may have been the best yet. Maybe 5 nights were comedy, which was great for me. All comedy would be great, but that’ll probably never happen. And I’m not talking the ridiculous practice Carnival has going, I mean main theatre headliner comedy acts. We saw a comedy/magic show, a few straight stand up comedy acts and also Alfred and Seymour which made me laugh more than I’ve likely ever laughed on a cruise ship. I can’t remember everyone and wish I would have kept notes. I may be mistaken, but it seems only 2 or 3 nights were production shows. Nothing against the talented dancers, but those shows don’t do it for me. The musicians, like the Lionel Richie tribute (sorry, I forget the name) and David Klinkenberg, amazing on the violin are immensely more enjoyable for me. The ship’s orchestra was outstanding all week as well. All in all, Royal Caribbean’s entertainment is far and away the best out there, among the lines I’ve traveled anyway. Embarkation/Disembarkation Cruising from Baltimore is smooth unless the ship is late, which can happen due to the several hour long trek up the Chesapeake Bay. Our embarkation was perfect. The line at security was long, but we were there at peak time 10:45 or so. Once through security it wasn’t 10 minutes until we were on board (11:15). Cabins aren’t ready until 1pm so the public spaces are a little crowded before then. We did self assist and carried our own bags so it wasn’t difficult at all. Of course an inexplicable line formed on Deck 4 before we were cleared by customs. By the time we were ready the line had dissipated and we were off in a matter of minutes. If there is an advantage to being on a low deck, 2 for us, it’s disembarkation. We were in the car headed home by 7:40. Conclusion I know I’ve neglected some important topics, but I need to wrap this up since it’s time to get back to real life at least for a little while. It was a nearly perfect cruise and I’m sorry for the those who are used to doing it every year since Royal is discontinuing the 12nt holiday sailing. Next year Grandeur sails 7nts for Christmas and 7nts for the New Year. As is the case anywhere, if there is money to be made, rest assured they’ll chase it. I’m happy to answer any questions. spridlewv@gmail.com or @spridlewv on Twitter. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This ship has one the highest return rates in the RC fleet. The A++ service is just one reason. The activities and entertainment are superior. Fellow passengers are friendly. My wife and I traveled alone, but we easily made friends. ... Read More
This ship has one the highest return rates in the RC fleet. The A++ service is just one reason. The activities and entertainment are superior. Fellow passengers are friendly. My wife and I traveled alone, but we easily made friends. Our cabin had plenty of room. Food quality was not always perfect. The breakfast and lunch at either the main dining room or the buffet was almost always praiseworthy. The lunch salad bar at the main dining room is not to be missed. The ham at the breakfast buffet melts in your mouth. The quality of entrees at dinner missed my high expectations. All "Fish of the Day" were frozen. The pork tended to be tough; I had to pray for a steak knife to cut a chop. Chicken breasts needed more marinating. On the other hand, the beef dishes were outstanding. My wife gave pasta dishes a high mark. Drink prices are very high and then RC adds an automatic 18% gratuity tax on your bill. Sailing out of Baltimore gives mid-Atlantic cruisers a real cost saving, rather than flying to and from Florida. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The Grandeur is a smaller older ship with none of the bells and whistles of the new bigger ships, but there is not a better crew on any ocean in the world, we cruise for ports and relaxing if we wanted to go to a theme park we would have, ... Read More
The Grandeur is a smaller older ship with none of the bells and whistles of the new bigger ships, but there is not a better crew on any ocean in the world, we cruise for ports and relaxing if we wanted to go to a theme park we would have, being on a floating city is not our idea of cruising it may be to some. We prefer interior cabins so we can cruise more often, most the dining room for dinner unless excursion or menu related we head to the windjammer, there is always something good and the theme nights are interesting. Headliner shows we check out, the production shows no big deal we have seen most being they don't change them very often. Service on the Grandeur is awesome smiling friendly faces everywhere you go.The port of Baltimore is so easy to come and go from and easy to navigate weather you drive or fly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our 4th time on the Grandeur and the 3rd time taking her to Bermuda. We sailed with another couple that we met on the 2016 cruise to Bermuda, We chose this date specifically for the 7 nights and cruising for Halloween. This ... Read More
This was our 4th time on the Grandeur and the 3rd time taking her to Bermuda. We sailed with another couple that we met on the 2016 cruise to Bermuda, We chose this date specifically for the 7 nights and cruising for Halloween. This was our 10th overall cruise with RCCL. We booked an OV guarantee and we given cabin 2054, deck 2, port. It was a noisy cabin, sounded like a blender going on and off and a metal door banging throughout the night, Our stateroom attendant, Stephen, was excellent. Cabin was always clean and well stocked, We mainly ate in the main dining room and found the food quality to be on par with previous cruises. The staff were very attentive, keeping our glasses topped off and our bellies full. We did lunch in Chops on embarkation day, meh. I ordered a medium rare filet, and it came out raw. The waiter argued with me that it was medium rare. I ate what I could. We did Giovanni;s for dinner one night, still not impressed by the food. Loved the crew, from Captain Thor to Mike S (the cruise director) everyone was very friendly and professional. Great Halloween party in the Centrum. Would definitely cruise again on the Grandeur, Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife and I just got back from a cruise to New England and Canada. This was our first trip there, our 3rd on Grandeur and our 7th cruise on Royal Caribbean. Itinerary had us on a 9-night trip, but Hurricane Michael ended up tweaking ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from a cruise to New England and Canada. This was our first trip there, our 3rd on Grandeur and our 7th cruise on Royal Caribbean. Itinerary had us on a 9-night trip, but Hurricane Michael ended up tweaking that schedule. This is a little long, but hopefully helpful … First, due to the storm, we were directed to report early to the ship for a 2 pm departure (vice the normal 4 pm) as they were hoping to beat the storm out of the Chesapeake Bay. However, the storm was moving faster than originally expected, so we sailed at 4 pm, stopped just outside of Annapolis, Maryland for the night, and then got underway the next morning after the storm had passed. That meant we'd miss our scheduled stop in Boston but having ridden through Hurricane Matthew last year on Grandeur, it was definitely the right decision. So we ended up with an extra sea day on our way to our first port of call....Bar Harbor Maine. (The crew did a great job laying on a lot of extra activities, mostly inside since the winds were high and the exterior decks were closed at times. This was true for much of this cruise.) Other thing I'll note....almost no kids on this cruise (less than 100 I'd guess) and the average age was probably the highest we've encountered. That's fine, but there were lots of wheelchairs and walkers. Also, this crowd was more of a main dining room crowd than a Windjammer crowd...so lines for breakfast and lunch in the main dining room, Windjammer less crowded than usual. OK...on to a regular review: Embarkation: We live 30 minutes from the cruise terminal so the drive is super easy. We arrived around 9 am ...dropped our bags, paid to park ($15/night), parked and walked back to the terminal. Virtually no lines at TSA or to check-in (we're Platinum Crown and Anchor)...they had us wait in the lobby for maybe 20 minutes and we were on-board by 10 am. We're very familiar with the ship and we were just on her in May so we wandered around a bit and waited for the lunch venues to open. We basically skipped lunch and just grabbed a couple of sandwiches from Cafe Latitudes, the coffee shop that offers free pastries in the morning, sandwiches at lunchtime, and cakes and sweats almost all the time. Meals: We love RCI but hate My Time Dining, so were fortunate to get 5:30 pm main dining room. That's a little early for us, but it worked out great. Food is fine considering how it's prepared and how many people they're serving. Each night there is a chef's recommendation and that's probably your best option. Waiters work very hard and seem to have less time to “get to know you,” but they do their best. Ours were Buyung and Ronald and we couldn't have been happier with their service. We don't normally make special requests, but this time we made two and they accommodated both. First, we were at a table for four but only my wife and I were there on the first two nights. We made friends with a couple during trivia and they noted they were the only two at a table for six. We asked if they could be moved to our table and after some discussion between the head waiters, they made the switch. Second, we told our section's head waiter that we would be at the main dining every night except for two. One for Chef's Table and the one other night when we wanted to go to the Windjammer for Indian food (Windjammer has a “Chef's choice” theme each night on a rotating basis (i.e. Italian one night, Mexican the next, British another, etc)). Our head waiter said, “no need to go up there, I'll bring you something." And he did. Every night. It was really good and my wife loved it (as did our table mates). In fact, my wife had that for dinner most nights. It really made the trip special for us. The head waiter's name is Sudhir Pillai and I noticed he took great care of his section and I'm pretty sure we weren't the only table he made special accommodations for...so it never hurts to ask. One night we did Chef's table. We signed up on the ship on embarkation day and they offered us a discount (about 20%), which we appreciated, but probably would have done it anyway. This was our 4th time doing Chef's table. We had a great group, the food is always good, and the wines are excellent. If you haven't done it, I highly recommend it despite the price tag. They seat no more than 14 people, it's 4-5 courses with each course explained to the group, usually by the chef, and paired with really quality wines (like $60-$70 bottles of wine), and it's all delicious. It takes 2-3 hours for the meal (which is fine as the company was good). I recommend doing it at least once if you like good food/wine and they offer the 30% off...take it. I believe it's offered almost every night. The only other specialty restaurant we did was Izumi. First, we signed up for the “make your own sushi” class (which you then get to eat afterward). Learned a lot and it was a lot of fun. That came with a 25% off coupon which we used for lunch on the last sea day. Izumi is up in the Viking Crown lounge area, so the views are nice and the seas were calm so it was very pleasant lunch. We like the “hot rock” which is kind of like a mini-hibachi. Highly recommend that. Breakfast most mornings was in the Windjammer. Lots of choices and seating was never a problem except for one morning, but we just walked across the pool deck into the Solarium and found a table there. The Park Cafe in the Solarium also has breakfast stuff (bagel bar, cereals, fruit, and breakfast sandwiches...it's a great option if you want less stress or to grab a quick breakfast.) The Shows/Entertainment First...Grandeur continues to have a great Activities staff. Because the ship is smaller, you really get a chance to interact with them, especially if play the games/trivia. This was cruise director Bob's next to last trip on Grandeur so there will be a new team soon, but we've always been happy with the Activities staff on Grandeur. The folks that ran bingo and line dancing and trivia and the game shows and..and..and...were great. Fritz from Philly (i.e. the Phillipines) and Katie from Australia were super funny and energetic...all the time. I couldn't do it. The featured performers were...pretty good. Pretty standard "off-Broadway" kind of thing. Becasue it was a 9-day cruise, they did two “big production” shows. Both were good and really featured the dancers as more than just back-up to the singers. The other nights had guest performers (a Celine Dion tribute singer, a couple of comedians, a male singer/impressionist, and one other that I'm forgetting). The ship's singer/dancers also did a show called “Seasons” in the Centrum that used to have a Cirque-de-Soleil-style (suspended from cables) component, but they removed the rigging so it was just singing/dancing...but still good. During the day we did trivia, the game shows, bingo etc....Lots of fun. Casino...pretty standard. Pretty lively. My wife won $250 on slots so were pretty happy with that. It is smokey as it's the only indoor smoking spot and since the weather was a bit off, a lot of folks went in there just to smoke. Outdoor pool was closed for most of the cruise or no one was in it due to the air temp. The hot tubs mostly stayed open. Solarium was busy but never overcrowded (we could always find seats) and we actually used the hot tubs almost daily on this trip. Room: Port side, 3rd deck, room 3084. Big window, fairly spacious (had the bed and a two-seater couch). No mini-fridge. Storage was pretty good...we had to get a little creative, but it works. At night, we could hear music from the Centrum fairly loudly, although that ends at 11 pm. If that bothers you, recommend staying more towards the aft end of the ship. Bathrooms are small but they made great use of space. Shower is a bit small and has a curtain vice the door on newer ships, but even still...I had no issue with the shower size. Toilets worked fine throughout the ship. Room steward Juana was great though she was that elf you hear about (you rarely see her, but you come back and your bathroom is clean and bed is made...). Departure: Departure was super easy. We carried off our luggage. We lined up around 6:45 am. About 7:15 we started debarking. Immigration and customs took less than 2 minutes. We were back to our car and on the road by 7:30. Excursions: Boston – canceled due to Hurricane delay. Bar Habor, Maine – Used the lifeboats as tenders (very cool, first time for us); max 10 minute ride from ship to shore. Drops you off right downtown. The town is small, easily walkable...very cute with tons of interesting shops and bars and restaurants. Beautiful views. We did a RCI sanctioned tour that was a 2-hour guided bus tour through Acadia National Park and ended with a lobster lunch (or steak) at the Bar Harbor Yacht club. Wasn't exactly what were expecting but it was sunny and relatively warm and we got some great views. We stopped at two spots for photos for about 20 minutes each. Guides were great. Wouldn't do this particular excursion again, but loved Bar Harbor and hope to go back. We were there about a week after peak color and after a storm had blown a lot of the leaves off already, but the colors were still wonderful. Portland, Maine - Docked pier side, again, right down town. We did a Foodie walking tour organized through RCI with a local guide. About 11 people in our group, all very nice. The guide took us to a number of local restaurant/shops while telling us about the town. First, we went to an organic food store that does amazing soups, all sourced locally. Then to a store that specialized in seaweed products (from tea to bath soap), very nice local owner and very interesting. Next was a family run Italian market with unique pizza. We took the pizza up to Shipyard Brewing Company for a flight of beers to sample, and then down to a local bakery for a chocolate chip cookie. Highly, highly recommend it. After that we walked around downtown for awhile but headed back to the ship a bit early as it began to rain. St John's Canada – canceled due to high winds (pilot couldn't get aboard the Grandeur to guide us in to the pier). That was disappointing but you can't control the weather. Halifax, Canada – Great pier facility, less than a half-mile from the main downtown area. We didn't book an excursion but chose to wander around on our own. We walked the length of the boardwalk (which has great views). Tons of interesting shop and restaurants there. Then walked up the hill to the Citadel, which we really enjoyed. There is an entry fee (about $5 US) but then everything is free inside. You can join a guided tour inside or explore on your own. As we walked back down, we wandered up and down the side streets (it's really nice) and found an outdoor food court on the boardwalk. I had fish and chips (about $15 US) and wife had a lobster roll (same price). Both were super good. We then wandered over to a local rum distillery (Halifax Distilling Company) that advertised tours. They weren't doing tours on the day we were there as a group had booked the whole restaurant for a private affair, but we did do a sampling at the bar and even bought a couple of bottles to take home as they don't currently distribute outside of Nova Scotia. Cool day! We absolutely loved Halifax as I think we just scratched the surface and hope to make it back again one day. I think that's long enough. Enjoy Grandeur of the Seas! We're going to try this route again, but go earlier in the season. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked this NE and Canada 9-night cruise (as well as the following 5-night to Bermuda) because the Grandeur is our favorite ship. We sailed on it in Oct. 2015 and again in Feb. 2016, but with other cruises booked this was the first ... Read More
We booked this NE and Canada 9-night cruise (as well as the following 5-night to Bermuda) because the Grandeur is our favorite ship. We sailed on it in Oct. 2015 and again in Feb. 2016, but with other cruises booked this was the first time that we'd had a chance to sail on it since it'd gone to drydock in 2016. Although we could not see many changes (except for the seating in the Great Gatsby Dining Room), it's still a great ship. While some guests may complain about its age (22 years old this December) and its lack of WOW activities, it remains our favorite. On both cruises, we had an outside stateroom on deck three: port side for the Oct. 11 cruise and starboard side for the Oct. 20 cruise. The cabins were mirror images of each other and offered a king bed, small sofa, typical bath and plenty of storage space for two adults who had packed for two weeks each. As to the ports, we missed Boston because of Hurricane Michael delayed the ship leaving the Chesapeake Bay until Sunday morning and we missed St. John due to rough seas kept the pilot boats on shore. In Bar Harbor, we booked and Acadia Park tour (3 hours) through the National Park Service - great tour at a great price. In Portland we booked the Foodie walking tour through the ship and in Halifax a food tour booked through Local Food Tours. The one in Halifax far exceeded the one in Portland in price and food quality. On the tour in Portland four locations and had soup, pizza, beer and cookies. On the Halifax tour, we visited eight locations and had chicken shawarma, fresh-pressed juice, beef donair (gyro) spring roll, pizza, fresh croissants and coffee, French chocolates and local candy. The Halifax tour was also $10 less per person! On the cruise to Bermuda, we took the sunset cruise on a glass-bottom boat. Very good tour. What we enjoyed the most about the cruises this time were: Cruise Director's Staff and their activities: various trivia and games, dance lessons, games of chance, etc. Variety of activities: shows, headliners, Real Time Band Dining room staff - especially XingXing our assistant both weeks who has now been promoted to Waiter (well deserved) Room Attendants Joseph and Enrico - we never saw them much, but our rooms were always clean and orderly Neil on the bar staff who always had a smile on his no matter what job he was assigned We have three other cruises booked at the moment, but hope to return to the Grandeur soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My husband and I have been to Bermuda and the Caribbean so many times, this was our first to Canada and New England. Since it was our first, we were so looking forward to this cruise. Imagine our disappointment when the cruise was ... Read More
My husband and I have been to Bermuda and the Caribbean so many times, this was our first to Canada and New England. Since it was our first, we were so looking forward to this cruise. Imagine our disappointment when the cruise was ultimately changed from 9 nights and 5 ports to 5 nights and 1 port. Many people cancelled and took Royal Caribbean's generous compensation package. But we really wanted to cruise and go north so we stuck with the cruise. Embarkation in Baltimore was so easy and fairly quick. We live very close to Baltimore so we didn't explore the city at this time. This time, due to the itinerary change, RC wanted everyone on board early and we left port 2 hours earlier than usual. The ship was clean and the crew was friendly and organized the whole time. Throughout the cruise, the officers and crew were apologetic about the weather delay and made every effort to provide a clean, comfortable, and entertaining vacation. Having the ship barely 1/2 full was a huge benefit. No lines, no waits for an elevator, deck chairs aplenty, and everyone was relaxed and happy. (And the price was right - we got 50% discount for this cruise and a 50% credit for a future cruise.) Even with a ship only half full, the activities and entertainment were full on. Bob, the entertainment director, introduced talented and entertaining shows/comedians every night. We really liked having dinner time shows and late night entertainment too. We ate in the dining room most nights and in the Windjammer most days. Also visited the Park Cafe for afternoon and late night snacks and occasionally went to Cafe Lattitudes. Always had service that was friendly and efficient. When we arrived in Halifax, we just got off the ship and wandered around. Did some shopping and ate lobster. This was exactly what we wanted to do on our first trip to Canada. Next, probably because of the time of the year, there were very few children on this cruise. Actually, I saw no kids at all. Maybe they were super-busy in the Adventure Ocean Club, and I just didn't notice them at all. Disembarkation was so quick and easy. No waiting at all. We had a great time on this cruise and would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were going on a five days cruise from Baltimore to Bermuda. The day before we left we got a text and e-mail that due to Hurricane Florence the ship was now going to the Bahamas. We were given the option to cancel. If you went on the ... Read More
We were going on a five days cruise from Baltimore to Bermuda. The day before we left we got a text and e-mail that due to Hurricane Florence the ship was now going to the Bahamas. We were given the option to cancel. If you went on the cruise they refunded 50% of the cost less taxes to your onboard account to use. Whatever you did not use was refunded back to your credit card. They were also giving us a voucher for 50% less taxes to use towards another cruise. They did a great job of getting us to the Bahamas in a short time. After our first day there we were informed that our cruise was extended to 8 days due to the hurricane. We got extended time in the Bahamas and then got two night in Port Canaveral. They got excursions set up, gave us phone numbers to local pharmacies in case you needed more medication, one day provided, free of charge, a bus to run to the pharmacies/beach. They offered drink packages for the extra days at 50 % off as well as that same discount on laundry, specialty restaurant etc. The trip back took 2 1/2 days because they went so far out to sea to avoid the really large waves and wind. They did a great job. They also got luggage people to come to the Baltimore port and help out. I can't say enough about how wonderful they were. It was not my first time cruising with Royal Caribbean and it will not be my last. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were looking for an inexpensive getaway before school starts back up. I had been watching pricing on this date since March and pulled the trigger the end of June. We have been on the Grandeur 4 times including this intinerary last year ... Read More
We were looking for an inexpensive getaway before school starts back up. I had been watching pricing on this date since March and pulled the trigger the end of June. We have been on the Grandeur 4 times including this intinerary last year with friends. Embarking took about 20 minutes. They keep getting more and more efficient at the port. Loyal Grandeur cruisers rave about the ship and we could really see why. We had exceptional service from all staff on board. Our room steward had my shirts back from pressing with plenty of time to spare for formal night. Our experience is usually getting it back just in time to go to early seating. He also made sure our ice bucket was filled twice daily. Plus our room was always clean Dining was excellent! Our servers Lulama & Harjo we excellent and worked well as a team. The menu featured 3-4 staple offerings for each course with 2-3 changes every night. We really enjoy the staples so this worked well for us. We also had a chops steak a few nights when the menu didnt suit us. Well worth the added cost. We enjoyed breakfast in the dining room as well. We had several lunches in the solarium. The roast beef was excellent There were 2 comics, one at the beginning (we missed) but the second one was funny. Missed the juggler, but went to the majority rules game show and the love & marriage show. L&M has always been our favourite but was at 3pm on day 8 and kind of felt like it was missing something being that time of day We loved Bermuda. Rented a kayak one day and went to horseshoe bay the next. Stayed on the ship in Nassau. Coco maybe was coco yes! Beautiful beach day and snorkeling. Special mention to KK and Marcus! Very helpful in solving our one minor hiccup. On the last sea day, there was a fellow outside the dining room loudly complaining about the cruise and how terrible it was. Felt like telling he was free to get off anytime he wanted. Disembarkation was the smoothest it has ever been. Took maybe 15 minutes from ship to car. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We loved the ports! But the wait staff and crew were amazing. Food was excellent! Greeeeaaaat foood Omg! Service was definitely an A+. I would recommend these ports and this trip. Also disembarkation was so easy and smooth. My dad is ... Read More
We loved the ports! But the wait staff and crew were amazing. Food was excellent! Greeeeaaaat foood Omg! Service was definitely an A+. I would recommend these ports and this trip. Also disembarkation was so easy and smooth. My dad is handicapped and we had no issues at the ports except one which was bar harbor, because there were tenders. But a great trip overall. My family and i enjoyed thoroughly! The kids enjoyed also. We took a 1 and 2 year old. I had my concerns about safety originally because they are so active. However, that proved to be unnecessary worry as there were no hiccups. As soon as we boarded, my mind was immediately at ease. Kids enjoyed their time, in and out of the pool also. Lifeguards always in duty. I could be worry free. Great food! Great service! Great staff! Great trip! Loved and enjoyed soooo much! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We signed up for this cruise a year in advance. We wanted this particular destination and the price was right. We were also happy to try a cruise from Baltimore so we could just drive to the port. Ten of our family members traveled ... Read More
We signed up for this cruise a year in advance. We wanted this particular destination and the price was right. We were also happy to try a cruise from Baltimore so we could just drive to the port. Ten of our family members traveled together and we had a blast. Leaving from the port in Baltimore is so easy and organized. We are seniors and had no problems at all. Some of our family signed on to the cruise and we had five adults and five teenagers. The ship is not huge so it can fit under the bridges but it was well maintained. The young people in our group found plenty to do and we barely saw them. The food on board was good and all staff members were pleasant and friendly. We had great (hot) weather and spent a lot of time in the pools. We especially loved the children’s pool which you can sit in on hot days. The drinks kept coming and the snacks, ice cream and food were good and plentiful. The only thing I would change is the quality of the beds. Considering this was a ten day cruise, a less than great bed was not a huge problem. Our teenagers were well entertained and we barely saw them all week. I had purchased a drink package but really used it very little. There was complimentary iced tea and flavored drinks (sugar free mango/pineapple) that I drank almost all week. I did enjoy the big cup with the lid but could easily have brought one from home. We had such a great time and plan to do another cruise on this ship-maybe to Bermuda. Thanks Royal Carribean for helping us gather wonderful memories on this trip-we’ll be back :) Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise for the ports in New England. We had not been to this area of our country and wanted to see several with the bonus of Canada. The ship is nice and entertainment was great. I would have liked to see more arts and crafts ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports in New England. We had not been to this area of our country and wanted to see several with the bonus of Canada. The ship is nice and entertainment was great. I would have liked to see more arts and crafts besides scrapbooking ?? because I do not gamble. 9 days is a long cruise so we need more entertainment during day time for the arts. Room was comfortable and staff at bars, restaurants, and spa are fantastic. The menu for gluten free folks is basically the original menu without gravies, sauces, and breadcrumbs....so a bit bland but I still managed to gain some weight. hahahaha Evening entertainment and Dancing was awesome. The DJ was great. We really enjoyed ourselves. Our favorite port is Bar Harbor and recommend the Pedego bicycles and you must do the loop road in Acadia National park.....fantastic! Please indulge in some lobster and blueberry pie....I didn't get pie but I heard some ooos and ahhhs with each order. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Pros: Awesome experience for our first RCL cruise. Service, food, accomodations, staff and ports of call were excellent and would highly recommend. Arranging shore excursions was easy. Those excursions and guides were extremely ... Read More
Pros: Awesome experience for our first RCL cruise. Service, food, accomodations, staff and ports of call were excellent and would highly recommend. Arranging shore excursions was easy. Those excursions and guides were extremely knowledgeable about their content. Entertainment /shows was "top shelf". We chose this cruise for two reasons: first, our 44th wedding anniversary and second because it was going north in cooler waters and a cooler daily temperature. Had some rain enroute but had no impact of our plans or excursions. Boarding and diembaration was the easiest and most organized of any cruise we have been on. RCL can stick a feather in their hat for such planning and organization! Cons: Avoid their internet. Very pricy and a hassle to logon and stay on. Once connected, it drops signal. In addition, slower than dial up (1200 baud) phone modem. Ship needs to add an "app" for daily acitivity with a reliable internet. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My husband and I are “empty nesters” now, so we decided to treat ourselves to a cruise. We chose Royal Caribbean because we had cruised with them once before and had enjoyed it. This cruise did not disappoint. It was smaller than the ... Read More
My husband and I are “empty nesters” now, so we decided to treat ourselves to a cruise. We chose Royal Caribbean because we had cruised with them once before and had enjoyed it. This cruise did not disappoint. It was smaller than the ship we sailed on last time, so there weren’t quite as many activities, but we had plenty to do for the five days of the cruise, considering the fact that almost two days we were able to go ashore. (We went to Bermuda.) What struck us the most was how friendly and helpful all of the staff were. The food was amazing as well... consequently, we indulged far too much! We didn’t love the musical productions, so we ended up going to the Casino instead. Our favorite activity was the trivia games in the Schooner Bar. We teamed up with other people there, which was a fun way to meet other cruisers. We chose to get a suite and were very happy we did. The room was comfortable and reasonably spacious, with an awesome private balcony. Again, the staff went out of their way to get us anything we asked for. We have already decided to take another cruise on Royal Caribbean next summer. Can’t wait! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I have never done a cruise and I was so nervous I wasn’t going to like it. I was afraid I’d get sea sick or have a feeling of being trapped. I was nervous about being in the middle of the ocean for days. We arrived at best western in ... Read More
I have never done a cruise and I was so nervous I wasn’t going to like it. I was afraid I’d get sea sick or have a feeling of being trapped. I was nervous about being in the middle of the ocean for days. We arrived at best western in Baltimore the night before. They had transportation for us and we were able to leave our car at the hotel. I loved everything about this cruise. The staff was remarkable, the shows were like Vegas and the food was unreal. I was nervous about it being a smaller and older ship. I thought it was going to be outdated. It was a beautiful ship and very up to date. I was very happy with Bermuda and coco cay. It was so much fun and a lot of memories were made on that ship. There were so many different places to eat on the ship. Each place bringing its own unique foods. There was a lot of variety. My children were able to find things they love and Enjoy. There is always something to do on the ship. There’s a show or game happening somewhere on the ship at all times. You can never get bored. I was nervous about leaving my child in the childcare area. When I got there and saw how secure and dedicated the staff was, I felt at ease. My children begged me to take them there each day. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Staff was amazing, Steve was a magician our room was always clean. Traveled with family who is vegan and they had amazing vegan options in the windjammer. Grant in the Dining Hall made sure there were vegan options for my uncles. The beds ... Read More
Staff was amazing, Steve was a magician our room was always clean. Traveled with family who is vegan and they had amazing vegan options in the windjammer. Grant in the Dining Hall made sure there were vegan options for my uncles. The beds were comfortable, we had an ocean view room. I did experience some sea sickness and the "hospital" on the ship did provide medication for that. There were always newer movies being played and the Palladium Theater was my go-to spot. The DJ in the club could have a better variation of music. I went to the "club" about 6 or 7 days out of the 9 day cruise and the music was often repeated. Overall the cruise was wonderful and I plan to go on another cruise in a year or 2 with friends and possibly a bigger ship. The shops were great and everyday was a new adventure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted something for our family. Our boys are 12 and 14. Our departure was easy and fast. We love that the ship leaves from Baltimore, as it is a short drive from our home. We arrived on board at 1:00 p.m., ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted something for our family. Our boys are 12 and 14. Our departure was easy and fast. We love that the ship leaves from Baltimore, as it is a short drive from our home. We arrived on board at 1:00 p.m., and it was the easiest check in ever! When our boys first entered the ship their eyes lit up and bugged out! They could not believe how beautiful it was everywhere around them! Our cabins were below decks because we like not only the quiet and the darkness, but the cabins below are always much less in cost than the higher decks. If you don't have a problem with no windows, it is the way to go. We spent so little time in our rooms, it really did not matter. Our cabins were managed by Reginald, who did such an amazing job at taking care of our "family circus". He was kind, patient with all of us, and would have our rooms immaculate in the blink of an eye! The dining..ohhhh..the dining! This is where the Granduer of the Seas set itself apart, not just the amazing food in the Great Gatsby, but the SERVICE...oh my..the service was stellar!!! Andro and Akeil became our friends over our 9 days cruise. Our boys thought they were the nicest waiters in the world (not just on the ship), but the WORLD! Again, patience, kindness, information about next-day activities, excellent food, we never wanted for anything. I would barely think "I would like coffee", and it would be delivered!. They knew our names within one day, and we truly felt pampered by them each and every night. The only thing about dinner seating, is I wish that there was a way to ensure dinner could be a bit earlier to accommodate the shows. One show is at 7:15 and the other is at 9:15, and when you are eating at 8, you either miss the last few minutes at 7:15 or the beginning at 9:15. This is not a huge deal, just something that we noticed we would like to be different. Our teens hung out with us most of the time, they did visit the arcade, but at a $1.25 a game (limited), they lost interest pretty quickly. They didn't hang out for the tournaments, which would have probably given them more of an opportunity to do more games for free. The did have a lot of programs for teens and there seemed to be a handful that were involved in the activities, but our boys were more interested in the pool and playing table tennis. We loved Bermuda, it is such a beautiful place, with rich history and lovely people. Our excursions (through Royal Caribbean were nice, but very pricey for the experience). Our first night we went on a Pirate Ship Glass Bottom Boat Excursion, which was very nice, but should not really have been billed a Pirate Ship (we expected more "swashbuckling"), but it was more a tour with two gentlemen (both very nice and knowledgeable), but this trip was really a "glass bottom boat tour", and really did not need to the schtick of Pirates. I only say this because if you had young children expecting a "Pirate Adventure", it may not meet their expectations! The tour, however, was amazing!!!! We saw beautiful sea turtles, many beautiful fish, fed hundred of fish, saw a shipwreck and enjoyed delicious rum punch! I would recommend it, but would just a take a regular glass bottom boat tour. In Bermuda we also did the Zoo/Aquarium Excursion. It was lovely. A bit smaller than what we thought it would be but very nice just the same. I would say that if you are watching your money, to simply take a Taxi and purchase tickets into the Zoo/Aquarium. We paid almost $400 for this excursion for our family, as it included a water taxi, however, we could have just taken a taxi for about $21.00 each way and then entered the Zoo/Aquarium for $35.00 for the whole family. That excursion COULD have cost us $77.00 instead of $400, and we did leave scratching our heads at the cost. In Nassau, we had already booked an excursion through our Travel Agent at a much less expensive venue. We did a dolphin excursion at Balmoral Island that was not through Royal Caribbean, and it was fantastic! We had the best time on this beautiful island, where we learned, played, laughed and completely enjoyed our time! The one and only hiccup, was the ship came in at a later time than what our excursion time was, however, after working with a very nice person at Guest Services, who let us call the company we straightened it all out. I do have to comment that the Royal Caribbean Excursion Desk people were not only not helpful with this issue, but the man that we spoke with was downright rude. He basically stated..hey..you didn't book it through us, so there is nothing I can do for you. Guest Services, though, saved the day. Our final excursion was in Cococay! Such a pretty little island! The lunch was amazing as well and provided by Royal Caribbean. I would warn parents with young children, however. We booked a Snorkeling Adventure through Royal Caribbean, that was described as "children the age of 5 would be comfortable with this excursion". They did recommend that they should be able to swim, however, it seemed more "tame" and "family friendly" than other snorkeling adventures, and that is why we chose it as it was our first snorkeling adventure. We were provided with life jackets, and for $10.00 they give you a new kind of snorkeling equipment, that quite frankly, it pretty terrible. My mask would never seal correctly. Long story short, we were in about 30 feet or more of water for the experience, which may have been ok, but they forgot to tell us about the jellyfish (while not harmful) can sting, and it can hurt for a few minutes. My oldest son, had two land on him, and he grabbed on to me in a total panic because he didn't know that they were not going to cause him harm. Unfortunately, the seal on my mask did not hold, he jumped on me to avoid being stung and I had water in my mask, up my nose, down my throat etc. Two lifeguards, thank goodness, heard my son yelling for help and came quickly to our aid, but this could have gone sideways very quickly if I had not been wearing a life jacket of my own. My suggestion, ensure that you know before you go, how deep the water is, whether or not you need to watch for jelly fish, and if they are safe or not (just be prepared, so you don't freak out). There was another lady on this trip that came out of the water crying for the same reason that we did..she was unaware that we would be around so many jelly's. The story has a happy ending, though. We ended up on a sand barge, where the kind staff showed my boys jellyfish on the deck to reassure them. We had some lovely drinks and relaxed on the barge for quite a bit. We even saw a Barracuda! Our boys finished out the day having lunch with us (terrific lunch provided by RC) and then utilizing the floating playground in the water. FYI, this is another $22.00 per person, but you can use your Sea Pass. Please remember that when you are on Cococay, if the "beach package" isn't included in your excursion, your are going to pay extra for umbrellas, floats, etc.(floats were an extra $18.00 a person ) The people ON Cococay, who were booking the floating playground and selling mats to lay on were also not very nice. They seemed as if they really, really...REALLY did not want to be there. The playground time was for 50 minutes, and the boys did have fun while they were there. The rest of the cruise was relaxing and lovely! Again, great staff, great food, wonderful service. Fun things to do all over the ship..you won't be bored! We would recommend Royal Caribbean, and have! Just a few FYI's for Newbies - Make sure you check and double check excursion information, and put aside some extra money for the "extras" that are not included. It was a fantastic cruise, and we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to have this family vacation! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This is our 3rd cruise in 4 years with Royal Caribbean. Great staff, food, activities. Like the smaller ship - quieter atmosphere if you want to get away and relax. We didn't travel with any other family members. We have done ... Read More
This is our 3rd cruise in 4 years with Royal Caribbean. Great staff, food, activities. Like the smaller ship - quieter atmosphere if you want to get away and relax. We didn't travel with any other family members. We have done this cruise two years in a row. We really like royal Caribbean. Staff is friendly and always willing to help. Loved the performers and they had good entertainment. Food was very good and there was plenty. We enjoy going out of the Baltimore port since it's an easy drive. Would love to catch some other destinations leaving from this port. We booked our next cruise on board. We have really enjoyed royal Caribbean and feel that it's an older more reserved crowd although there is plenty to do for the younger crowds and those who like more of a night life. There is a large variety of excursions available Entertainment is good - GREAT COMEDIAN MIKE MARINO, and some other shows. Entertainment also in main center on shop. Also plenty of trivia and other activities including ballroom dancing lessons and zumba. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We decided on this cruise because Bermuda is my favorite island destination. Also, Baltimore is fairly close to 3 of us. This was my first RCCL cruise, though I have enjoyed several on other cruise lines. I was quite pleased with ... Read More
We decided on this cruise because Bermuda is my favorite island destination. Also, Baltimore is fairly close to 3 of us. This was my first RCCL cruise, though I have enjoyed several on other cruise lines. I was quite pleased with the experience. Embarcation was painless . Cabins were ready at 1 as promised. We dropped carry ons and explored the ship. Luggage was delivered later. We had 2 additional cabins, ocean view on deck 2. Adequate and nicely maintained by Stephen. Dining room meals were tasty but even better was the service by Robert and the rest of the staff. Robert is entertainment himself. We ate occasionally at the buffet and small venues. Pool very small. 11 year old grandson did not partake of offerings in kids club. Ship is well maintained and clean. No rough seas going or coming. Bermuda!! Yes!! We splurged on a private van for the 5 of us and lucked out with Marilynn Smith. Very expensive but worth every dime. She took us to all the places I wanted to share with the family. I love Bermuda! The men played golf at Port Royal Club the morning of the second short day. They loved it. Close to the port. Next time we will take a cruise that docks in Bermuda for more than 24 hours! We did a little shopping on the ship and at the port (disappointing). The art auction was not our favorite either.... We did not see any shows because we were lazy and enjoyed our cocktails and nice dining experience at night. Straight to bed after dinner!! Very relaxing cruise. Ready to go again as soon as possible. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Best employees, best main dining food and service, best cruise director. Our cabin attendant was the sweetest lady ever !!!! Very helpful and kind. Also loved the on-board activities .... favorites were the 'Belly Flop' ... Read More
Best employees, best main dining food and service, best cruise director. Our cabin attendant was the sweetest lady ever !!!! Very helpful and kind. Also loved the on-board activities .... favorites were the 'Belly Flop' competition at the pool and the water polo game ... crew vs guests, also at the pool. Ship had a full service spa and pool area, which was more quiet and laid-back, if that's what you wanted. Casino was brightly lit and had a wide choice of slots and game tables. Ship even switched ports of call to get better weather .... because Hurricane Chris was chasing us. As it turned out we had bright sun every day of the cruise !!!! Everything ran very smoothly. Loved all of the ports of call. Excursions were plentiful and varied. Looking forward to my next cruise on Royal Caribbean. It is helpful to leave from Baltimore, as then we don't need to fly/go thru an airport. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click