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286 Royal Caribbean Baltimore Cruise Reviews

this cruise included stops in Boston, Portland Maine, Bar Harbor, St Johns, and Halifax. My daughter and I have never been to these ports. However, we didn't realize that probably about 75-80% of the passengers were in their mid ... Read More
this cruise included stops in Boston, Portland Maine, Bar Harbor, St Johns, and Halifax. My daughter and I have never been to these ports. However, we didn't realize that probably about 75-80% of the passengers were in their mid 70's and 80's. entertainment other than the shows in the early evening were non-existent. After about 10:30 in the evening, there wasn't anything to do. Karaoke lounge was packed and no seats available. During the day since the weather was cool, the Solarium lounge chairs were all taken by 8:00am and by the elderly people who were there sleeping. In Halifax, we took a 7 hr tour for a winery that we actually stayed at for maybe 45 min. There were 33 of us on this bus and the winery squeezed us into a very small gift shop to taste the wines. We had a taste of 2 whites and 2 reds which didn't even total 1 glass of wine. It took us a approx 1-1/2 hr to get to the winery, after that we went a little town called Wolfville, Nova Scotia where we stopped to have lunch and do some shopping. However, there were only two restaurants, and none of the shops were open. After we left there we went to a Farmers Market store which was to have THE best ice cream. After spending too much time there we headed back to the ship. The cost of this excursion was $119 per person which was a TOTAL rip off. We wasted an entire day for nothing. I would advise everyone NOT to take this excursion Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because it was the only one that would fit with the dates that I could get away from work, and the port was close enough to home that we could use award points for our flight. We should have spent more money and taken ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the only one that would fit with the dates that I could get away from work, and the port was close enough to home that we could use award points for our flight. We should have spent more money and taken a different cruise. The ship is old and showing her age. Is needs to go in dry dock now, instead of waiting until April 2017. There is a ton of rust; the carpet is in bad shape, and the bathrooms in the cabins are just awful! When I read other reviews I thought people were just overly critical; they weren't! It is true that the shower curtain is about six inches too short and that you literally flood the bathroom every time you take a shower. I have to be clean and normally take two showers a day. I dreaded taking a shower on this trip because of the mess it made. They try hard to keep it clean, but with her age, the carpet is old and looks nasty and dirty. My husband got a stomach bug the last day at sea, and we both came home with colds. The ship is very small, and there is not room for a kids pool section. Therefore, one side of the pool on the main pool deck it a kids pool, and the other is the adult pool. If you are looking for a kid-free zone, you will have to go to the Solarium to the indoor pool, but it is miserably hot in there. The dining in the main dining room was fantastic! We had excellent service from Melroy and Alexandsar. They made our 21st Anniversary special and tried very hard to get to know us and please us during our 9-day cruise. The food in the Windjammer was cold, and the oatmeal was soupy. The coffee was way too strong and never hot. They biggest problem was they ran out of chocolate soft serve ice cream! How in the world do you let this happen? They ran out while we were in port in Nassau and didn't bother to restock the ship. You should never run out of any food, especially the ice cream. The food in Chops was amazingly good as usual. It seems like this is being done on purpose to force you to spend money on the specialty restaurants. The entertainment was not the best we have ever seen. We only went to one show, and it was just ok. We spent the bulk of our time in the casino but were disappointed in the selection of games and payouts. The slots were very tight. We enjoy Norwegian's casinos much more. We have to get up early for work, and it is hard for us to change our schedule on vacation. The evening activities that I would like to participate in start way too late for us. Why not have something earlier for the folks that eat dinner early and go to bed a before 10:00? The service was lacking. I am not sure what has happened to RCI, but they have gone downhill since my last cruise with them in 2014. I purchased the drink package when I booked my cruise in February. My cup was supposed to be in my stateroom when I arrived, but it wasn't there. I went to guest services and inquired about my cup. I was told that the shipment of containers had not arrived, but they were hopeful that they would be delivered before we left port. They knew there was a chance that the cups wouldn't get there on time, but they continued to sell drink packages to passengers that had not pre-ordered them. You would think that the folks that per-ordered their packages would receive their cups first, right? Wrong! After we had set sail, I inquired again about my cup and was told it would be delivered within two hours. After two hours had passed, I called Guest Services again, and they said I misunderstood and that I wouldn't be getting a cup until we reach Coco Cay (7 days into our 9-day cruise). I told them that was completely unacceptable and after raising my voice, they just happened to find me a cup. The rest of the passengers received little Slurpee cups. To add insult to injury, they ran out of ice a lot and ran out of the most popular types of soda's before the cruise was over. This issue along with running our of ice cream has made me question what sets RCI apart from Carnival and Norwegian. I can cruise cheaper with them, get better itineraries, get my beverage package when promised and all the ice cream I want! On this trip, you arrive in port during the middle of the day instead of first thing in the morning. We decided we like coming into ports in the morning instead of the afternoon. Bermuda was beautiful! However, we felt rushed while in port. We arrived at 2 PM on Saturday. All of the stores in Hamilton and Kings Warf closed at 6:00 PM and only the stores in Kings Warf were open on Sunday. If you cruise to Bermuda make sure you dock on a weekday instead of the weekend. We wanted to go to Horseshoe Bay, but the cabs and buses didn't start running until 9 AM, and our ship was scheduled to leave at 3 PM. We opted for Snorkel Park. It was $5.00 a person to get in, $10.00 for lounge chairs and $15.00 for an umbrella. It's not the prettiest beach I have ever seen, but it was a nice relaxing day within walking distance to the ship. Beware that drinks cost a lot at this beach park. I paid $6.00 for a bottle of water and diet coke. Take your drinks and food from the ship to save you some money. Nassau was not my favorite, and I can't for the life of me figure out why the straw market is so famous. It is nothing but a bunch of junk and the same thing over and over again. No one sales anything different at this place. Market Street is way overpriced shops, but we enjoyed walking around and seeing the area. We would have gone over to Atlantis, but again we were in port from 2 PM until 12 AM. A little late for us, and we didn't feel safe walking around Nassau after dark. We got back on the ship and enjoyed a lovely dinner in the less crowded dining room. Coco Kay would be a fun place, and I hope to visit one day again. We only had a couple of hours to enjoy ourselves before the rain hit. It rained the entire day, so we ate a nice lunch and got back on the ship after trying to wait out the rain. I can say we will not take a cruise on this ship again. As for RCI, I'm not sure. Never say never, but they are not the same cruise line that were two years ago, and that is a real disappointment to us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because it was close to home, not getting on a plane is the way to go if possible. We also chose it because it was our anniversary. Overall this was disappointing. The Grandeur is probably 20 years old, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was close to home, not getting on a plane is the way to go if possible. We also chose it because it was our anniversary. Overall this was disappointing. The Grandeur is probably 20 years old, and although it has been refurbished you could definitely tell it's age. The only outstanding features about this cruise was embarkation and disembarkation, and the Diamond lounge. Being a Diamond member, mainly because of our loyalty to Celebrity because both lines are owned by the same company, did come with perks. Three free drinks were loaded onto our sea pass every day. In addition they offered a "happy hour" if you will, with hors deurves. The ports of call were also excellent. Food, entertainment, on board activities, and cabins were below what we have experienced on other cruise lines. Granted that many of these short comings might been attributed to the fact that the ship was older and smaller, and could not offer a wide range of amenities. We would not consider Royal Caribbean again unless it was a newer ship Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
1) The good parts of this cruise were the ports and the food! We loved all the stops (Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, St. John, and Halifax). We also loved the food. We never ate in a specialty dining room because the food in the main ... Read More
1) The good parts of this cruise were the ports and the food! We loved all the stops (Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, St. John, and Halifax). We also loved the food. We never ate in a specialty dining room because the food in the main dining room was so good! The food in Windjammer was OK. The food in the Park Cafe was good and was healthier than the food in Windjammer. so we mostly ate breakfast and lunch there. Also, the ship offered a sushi making class on one of the sea days that was the best deal of the whole cruise! The class was $30 PP and included lessons on sushi-making, 18 pieces of sushi that we each made then got to eat, miso soup, and all the bellinis we could drink! Hubby and I met some fabulous people, ate sushi, and drank bellinis for several hours. It was an awesome afternoon. 2) The "OK" parts of this cruise were the entertainment and the ship itself. Some of the shows were great (there was a comedian on the last night, Jeff Nease, who was hilarious) and some were OK (the Royal Caribbean salute to Broadway show was just so-so). The movies were good, but they were not shown very often. It would have been nice to have had a couple of showings of each movie every day. As for the ship, she looks her age and needs to be updated. We saw huge rust stains on the hull that made it hard to find a "clean" place to take a picture! Also, the toilets didn't flush very well and had an odor toward the end of the cruise. The ship has a central location called the Centrum where there were a couple of shows using aerialists. There isn't "theater" seating in the Centrum, so it was hard to find a place to watch these aerial shows. We got yelled at once for blocking someone's view! We were just trying to find a place to stand and watch the show. 3) The bad part of this cruise was our room! Our travel agent (whom I will NEVER use again) helped us pick a room since we had never been on this ship before. He put us in a room that we later learned was right next to what the ship staff call a "pantry." This is a place where dirty dishes are taken. We heard rolling cart and dish noises coming from that room from 6AM-ish until midnight-ish. It was impossible to sleep with all the banging and clanging coming from that room! Also, the staff sometimes just piled the dishes in the hall outside the pantry. It was gross and unsanitary. Overall, the cruise was nice, but this is probably not a ship I wold go on again. We have had better experiences on other ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was my first cruise so I have nothing to compare it with. Overall, it was okay. Not spectacular, not awful. The water was thankfully smooth, the weather cool. We had a cabin on deck 2 in the center and it was very quiet and we barely ... Read More
This was my first cruise so I have nothing to compare it with. Overall, it was okay. Not spectacular, not awful. The water was thankfully smooth, the weather cool. We had a cabin on deck 2 in the center and it was very quiet and we barely felt the movement of the ship. I was surprised at how tiny the cabins are and the bathrooms are about the size of a airline bathroom. Crazy small. For the cost, I would think they would be bigger! The room was clean and kept this way by a good attendant who visited at least 3 times a day. The space had a small loveseat that we piled things on because we had no place to store our bigger luggage. The space under the beds is too low. The ship uses the room space well, little storage cubbies everywhere and a decent sized closet. I found the small area a bit claustrophobic and spent as little time in the room as I could. The activities on board are simple little games like bean bag toss and themed trivia lists. RC would do better if they had an explanation of the activities in the paper they leave in the room each evening for the next day. I didn't understand that "family trivia" was for everyone. I thought it was for those traveling with families. The same with the line dancing. I figured a partner/spouse was required. Basic explanations might have made my leisure time more enjoyable. A first timers orientation, announced well and given more than once would be helpful too. Entertainment: As mentioned, some simple games going on much of the time. Music performers in the center atrium each afternoon and sometimes beside the outdoor pool on deck 9. Island music. Classical piano/violin. And the cruise line's band that featured a bored girl singer with a decent voice who looked and sounded as though she'd rather be anywhere but there. Each night, the theater has some sort of show--magician, comedians a couple of times, the cruise lines performers/singer/dancers, a wonderful violinist who surprised me by keeping my attention the full time. The ship is older and a bit dated looking but clean and pretty well kept. Any problem was immediately taken care of. I discovered the walking track on deck 5 about halfway into the cruise. It's a bit more sheltered than the open air track on deck 10. Not being a person who likes to sit or lay around much, I spend a lot of time walking the decks, wishing we weren't at sea for 2 boring days! A favorite place is the Solarium on deck 9 that is adult only. It's a large area with lounge chairs, two hot tubs and a pool. Heated and covered for all types of weather. Food: There are three "free" eating places. Two of them are on deck 9 and open much of the time. One is a buffet and the food is well prepared, the lines kept clean, and I always found new things to enjoy. A small Park cafe is a soup and sandwich kind of place at the other end of deck 9 and open except for about four hours in the middle of the night. Tea, coffee, lemonade, water and soft serve ice cream are available all the time for no cost. The free main dining room is on deck 5 and requires reservation you make when booking the cruise. White linen, nice table settings, very, very attentive wait staff, and a menu of assorted higher end foods with three courses. There were two formal nights where people dressed up a bit--mostly church clothes--and the rest of the nights were casual. There are several specialty restaurants that cost extra. With all the food provided, we never tried them. The ship has a spa and shops and there is a soft up-sell at every turn. The spa is the worst. They daily offer "free" treatments that last five minutes or less and then they try to sell you a costly treatment. If there prices were more in line with onshore prices, I would have jumped on a massage! The shops had sales on certain nights so for $10 you could pick up a duty free souvenir--scarves, bags, T-shirts. On this particular cruise to New England/Canada the stops were Boston, Portland, Maine, Bar Harbor, St. John and Halifax in Canada. Boston is full of things to do but plan well. We didn't and missed so many things because everything in Boston closes at 5! . In Portland- we took the lighthouse tour. It was okay but a bit disappointing that two of the lighthouses are tiny, the third was being remodeled and none of them allowed us inside the tower itself. Bar Harbor is beautiful little town though the weather was foggy/misty. We took Ollie's Trolley into the National Park which is lovely but were disappointed not to go to the top of the mountain because of the weather. They made a big deal about taking us to Jordan's pond which is not as nice as the pond in my back yard! Still, we enjoyed the day and the lovely town. We walked out on the sandbar to Bar Island at low tide. Shells and drift wood everywhere. At high tide, the bar is covered with water. St. John - nothing at all to do here. The people are friendly and trying so hard to make it a tourist destination but have little to offer. We did the hop on hop off pink bus tour and eventually got off and walked to a Jewish Museum which was quite informative. Their claim to fame is the Bay of Fundy and it's reversing falls/ tides but you have to be there at a certain time of day to catch that. The buildings here are quaint and could be wonderful with some paint and sprucing up. Halifax-we took a 6 hour tour that was marvelous. Loved Halifax. The tour took us to Peggy's Cove, a picturesque fishing village with a big lighthouse. This day a man in kilt played the bagpipes nearby. What a treat! From there, we saw a Maple Syrup "factory" and sampled many maple products. Lovely place and people. Then back to Halifax to tour their spectacular park and then the Titanic Cemetery. The guide was so respectful and did a marvelous job here of telling stories of the people buried there. We also had some shopping and eating time on their main street. McDonalds had "McLobster" on the menu which my companion said was good. Demographic of the cruise was an older crowd with only a handful of younger families. Many are frequent cruisers. The cruise team works super hard to make the trip pleasant. Kudos to them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My first cruise - sort of a trial run to see if this sort of vacation is for me. Turns out, I think I'm ready to book another. But probably not on this boat. I booked the five-night cruise to Bermuda out of Baltimore because it was ... Read More
My first cruise - sort of a trial run to see if this sort of vacation is for me. Turns out, I think I'm ready to book another. But probably not on this boat. I booked the five-night cruise to Bermuda out of Baltimore because it was convenient and value priced. Live and learn. Departing Baltimore means a significant portion of the trip is transiting the Chesapeake Bay: a bit of a snore. The Baltimore Port feels rudimentary and cumbersome to get through, and during the span of time we were at sea, another ship took out the gangway, which made disembarking a tedious process. Not the cruise line's fault, to be sure. I was surprised to see that Royal Caribbean gave the ship a facelift as recently as 2012. If so, they concentrated on kitschy public spaces rather than the staterooms, because the cabins feel tired and dated. For that matter, so does much of the rest of the ship. Clean, to be sure, but basic and not especially current. My stateroom was adequately appointed, with decent storage, but shows the ship's 20+ year age. Entertainment was alright: the musicals had strong dancers and strong singers - in two distinct camps - but apparently the choreographer is AWOL. It becomes more entertaining with cocktails. Service staff were unfailingly efficient, friendly and helpful. Dining was good, particularly in the Gatsby Dining Room, with excellent service. The menu is value oriented and a bit retro. The wine list is hit and miss, and very overpriced for its selections. The specialty restaurant we dined in had a nice ambience, but the food didn't seem appreciably better than the main dining room. Be alert to the cost of extras aboard the ship. Costs in the duty-free shops range from high to laughable, and sale item prices are still well above what a smart shopper can do online at home. If you avoid some of the excesses of the extras, then this cruise represents a good value. Not particularly glamorous, but a relaxing short trip, well targeted to the majority of its passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We are regulars on Grandeur because of high prices in Bayonne. Food in the dining room is uninspiring and came out just warm every night. Service was very good. The Windjammer is abysmal. We call it "Golden Corral of the Seas" ... Read More
We are regulars on Grandeur because of high prices in Bayonne. Food in the dining room is uninspiring and came out just warm every night. Service was very good. The Windjammer is abysmal. We call it "Golden Corral of the Seas" although it is even a step below that. A high school cafeteria offers better food. Chops and Giovanni's table were excellent. RCL is almost forcing you to go the specialty restaurants to get good meals. The ship is badly in need of dry dock but that is not coming until 2017. You can not access your Seapass account from your room. Unacceptable with today's technology. Show quality is getting old and tiring. They will not attract young people with this entertainment. Cabin was well maintained by staff but very average accoutrements. RCL is dedicating their financial resources to their new ships like the Quantum class which is spectacular, however pricing for them is double that of Grandeur, thus the reason we still go on Grandeur. I am a shareholder and a Diamond Plus Member. We are booked 2 more times on Grandeur including May. We would have canceled May had we not already made final payment. We will be looking at a Celebrity or Princess cruise. The one thing that is hard to turn away from is our Diamond Plus perks. That keeps us coming back to RCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I chose this cruise because of the destination and recommendation from someone who had sailed with Royal Caribbean. We were very disappointed. It wasn't the worst cruise we have ever been on, but it certainly didn't rank near ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the destination and recommendation from someone who had sailed with Royal Caribbean. We were very disappointed. It wasn't the worst cruise we have ever been on, but it certainly didn't rank near the top. It seems that RC has invested so much in its new giant ships that it has forgotten about the older, smaller ones. The cabin was so tiny that there was no place to put our luggage except for on the nightstands. The bed was like sleeping on plywood with a rock for a pillow. This had nothing to do with which deck we were on. Same complaint from many others. The ship was noisy. Loud banging could be heard on all decks at all hours of the day and night. One person was told it was cargo shifting. How would you hear that on the 8th deck, which is the top level of staterooms. Activities are poorly planned, with so much time left with nothing to do on board. Entertainment features (a very bad pianist in one bar, a so-so group in the centrum, etc.) ran for about 30 minutes, and then there was nothing for an hour. Maybe we were supposed to hang out in the casino. Since we don't gamble and couldn't stand the smoke, that was out. At every meal, which was mediocre to say the least,and sometimes very odd (how do you make lasagne without cheese?), they were constantly trying to get us to upgrade by paying for a meal from one of the specialty restaurants. The constant buzz around the ship was that they nickel and dime you to death. There will not be another RC cruise in our future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My hubby and I just returned from an eight day from Baltimore aboard the RCCL Grandeur of the Seas. Embarkation was very smooth because we are Crown & Anchor society members. We were on the ship by 11 am! The Windjammer Cafe left a ... Read More
My hubby and I just returned from an eight day from Baltimore aboard the RCCL Grandeur of the Seas. Embarkation was very smooth because we are Crown & Anchor society members. We were on the ship by 11 am! The Windjammer Cafe left a lot to be desired, however. There was not enough indoor seating so we were forced outside in the cold March weather. The food was just average. Our cabin was number 3000 which is the first room in the very front of the ship. The first and second nights we heard a very loud banging noise just outside our room to the front. We complained to the cabin steward. He said that maintenance was called and would check into it. We heard it again on the third night and called Guest Services and they sent maintenance to our cabin. The maintenance guy said he is unable to fix the noise and it has been occurring in this cabin on many occasions and the cruise line continues to sell this room. I then called Guest Services and was given two other options for rooms - both immediately below room 3000. These rooms were unacceptable because we would still hear the noise. I finally spoke to the Manager of Guest Services who gave us a more acceptable cabin - 3108. MUCH nicer with no noise! It was a bad start to our cruise so I was worried about the vacation. After we moved the cruise improved considerably. We had a wonderful waitress - Kimmette - the best we've ever had in over 25 cruises! The food was just average however, The shows were first rate. the weather was great - 80 degrees and sunny. The seas were very calm. Coco Cay was beautiful and lots of fun. The food was not very good though. Key West was perfect and beautiful. There was a maintenance issue near the pool and we heard a lot of loud drilling and could not enjoy the rear pool for very long. All in all a good trip because of the weather and the wonderful people we met. Lots of good memories, but the ship is old and I don't think we would sail it again. Debarkation was very smooth as was immigration. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Chose this cruise a year ago in order to visit Key West and the Bahamas for the first time. Booked a Junior Suite on Deck 8 and My Time dining as early sitting was sold out. Took the chance that flying to Baltimore from Seattle would ... Read More
Chose this cruise a year ago in order to visit Key West and the Bahamas for the first time. Booked a Junior Suite on Deck 8 and My Time dining as early sitting was sold out. Took the chance that flying to Baltimore from Seattle would work in Feb. Overall, a good cruise experience in many respects. The Grandeur is an old ship which is clean and in pretty good shape but will really need its overhaul next year. Check in and departure from the port was very simple and expeditious. Transportation from the port to the airport was easy and inexpensive. Our Junior Suite was plenty spacious enough for two with an adequate sized balcony. Due to the size of the ship, our 8th deck suite was directly under the solarium so there was noticeable noise in the mornings and throughout the day. It was still pretty quiet after 10 or 11 at night. If you want complete quiet, book on deck 7. We were nicely situated near the elevators, but not too close to get any noise. The ship conducted the muster drill at the lifeboat muster stations instead of inside as we have experienced in most of our other cruises. Unfortunately, it was 20 deg outside and the crew kept us for an extended period of time beyond what was absolutely necessary. It was an omen, as there were numerous times throughout the cruise where avoidable delays occurred getting off the ship in port and into town from the piers. The ship desperately needs a technology upgrade as there are no interactive functions in the staterooms to review your bill or purchase shore excursions, etc. The internet service is extremely slow, but was pretty stable throughout the trip. The food quality, choices and service in my time dining was outstanding with breakfast and lunch in the main dining room good as well. Lunch at Izumi was a nice treat and exceptional. The gym was well equipped and never a problem getting a machine to use. My wife used the spa but was not happy getting a massage with the running track above the treatment room and the constant pounding on the overhead during her massage. The times in port were exceptionally short except in Port Canaveral. There were additional delays in getting off the ship in both Nassau and Key West, which cut the short days even more. Getting off the ship in Key West was severely delayed for those who purchased shore excursions and were supposed to get priority disembarkation. We moored at the Navy Base pier and the shuttle system to get us into town was a mess with no priority for shore excursions or reasonable organization by the ship at all. The Coco Cay stop was a complete disaster. There were two ships in for the day and one tender broke down so only one was available to move everyone and all the food to the beach. We were assigned a later group number which ended up keeping us from going ashore at all when the weather turned bad and the ship cancelled all trips to the beach before we could get off the ship. It did save us the trauma of trying to get back to the ship, which took up to two hours in overcrowded tenders in very rough seas. Our balcony was right over the offload point and we watched the crew struggle to get passengers off the tenders and onto the ship. They were extremely disorganised and had serious trouble managing the transfers. As the trip occurred during a school break in many areas, there were a surprising number of families and kids on the ship, but it did not cause any issues. The entertainment throughout the ship was outstanding for the size of the ship and the cruise director was exceptional. Overall, the cruise was good and we enjoyed ourselves. It would have been nice to have more time in Nassau and Key West. The crew and service throughout the trip were fine and we were pleased with most aspects of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The port in Baltimore had organized embarkation and debarkation. I was not prepared for the VERY long uphill walk to the ship. Using a cane, it was difficult. The up-selling began before the long walk to the ship and continued throughout ... Read More
The port in Baltimore had organized embarkation and debarkation. I was not prepared for the VERY long uphill walk to the ship. Using a cane, it was difficult. The up-selling began before the long walk to the ship and continued throughout the cruise. That was a huge turn off. We came out on the 4th floor about 11 AM and had lunch later at the Park Cafe near the Solarium on deck 9. Our suite was ready around 1 or 1:30. Our luggage arrived shortly thereafter. Lots of elevators were being used by the crew for luggage so it was hard to find one to get to deck 8 with carry on case and a cane. We had suite 8014, which was spacious and lovely with a big balcony that had table, chairs and 2 padded chaise lounges. Our cabin attendant was Dennis P and he was extremely attentive for the duration. We had dinner nightly in the dining room except for one night when husband was seasick. I found the food to be uninspired. Taste is very subjective and some might have loved it, but I cook well and, in my opinion,the food was not spiced well with herbs. I am used to being wow'd on cruises by food and this was a disappointment. The food in the Windjammer for lunch at least had some tasty choices. Even the hamburger and fries were a nice change. The desserts were nicely prepared and presented. Our waiter in the Gatsby, Ronell, was great. The casino paid me nicely. Shop prices weren't too bad. We skipped Grand Cayman due to rough sea. Refunded a little over $10 each in port fees. Ship is perfect size. Nice selection of entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We were in the Royal Suite. Pro: large space, clean, handsomely done. Cons: electrical switches did not turn on the stated lamp, ceiling light, bathroom light. Faucets in bathroom leaked. Large space with baby grand piano. And, the ... Read More
We were in the Royal Suite. Pro: large space, clean, handsomely done. Cons: electrical switches did not turn on the stated lamp, ceiling light, bathroom light. Faucets in bathroom leaked. Large space with baby grand piano. And, the point of that is? Bathroom had bidet and steam in shower. Again, why? Gut the bathroom and turn it into a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite. Food: Great in specialty restaurants (for extra money, of course). Dining room food was mediocre, at best. Examples: no potatoes in potato soup - warm and broth like; beef stroganoff had no noodles and inedible beef; ice cream wasn't ice cream; Bananas Foster was fake ice cream, cut up banana and some sweet syrup; Xmas day waldorf salad was a shredded mess; turkey was turkey roll; xmas pudding was burned and hard; and so on. Need I say more? Oh, and the "Tiger shrimp" were meager little shrimp - "shrimp" being the best that could be said. Room service food was the from the same kitchen. Poor quality pastries/bread. "Real" OJ cost $5.00 a glass. Mimosas cost extra (reminder: Royal Suite and un "Ultimate" beverage package at $585/person). At Captain's Table, we actually had to pay for dessert port wine! Give me a break! And, methinks that the Maker's Mark bourbon was watered-down. Seriously! And, the cap on a glass of wine was $13 so limited choices. We were at 8pm seating so most of the entertainment was over by the time we finished eating. And, at xmas, no traditional holiday movies (e.g, Scrooge, Wonderful Life). TV stations were very limited (most RC ads). Tons of paper - receipts for drinks; daily bulletins; notices...put it online, guys. Staff was friendly and courteous (although I hate being addressed by my first name unless I tell the person to do so. I was either Mr. Ed or Sir Ed. Now, REALLY?) Overall, despite my comments, we enjoyed the trip - perhaps because of the weather, getting away and returning to Key West. But, for almost $13,000?? Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We traveled from our home on Long Island to Baltimore by Amtrak, which wasn't bad, total time about 4 hrs and, stayed overnight at the Residence Inn Marriot ,than took a cab to the pier , I little bit of a pain because of hauling the ... Read More
We traveled from our home on Long Island to Baltimore by Amtrak, which wasn't bad, total time about 4 hrs and, stayed overnight at the Residence Inn Marriot ,than took a cab to the pier , I little bit of a pain because of hauling the luggage ,but doable. Since we were cruising in a suite and are diamond members embarkation was painless, no waiting in line we were on the ship in 10 minutes. This was our 34th cruise ,so I guess you can call us veteran Cruisers. 2nd cruise on the Grandeur ,which I consider an elegant ship ,but it's getting time to be refurbished ,as a lot of the areas appear dirty and or faded . The quality of the food in both the main dining Hall and the pay extra restaurants was good to excellent . One thing I can say that they go out of there way to make sure your satisfied ,more so than most of the other cruises we've been on. Our junior suite at the back of the ship was really looking worn ,stained carpet ,worn looking furniture ,and one of the worst room attendants that we've experienced in our previous 33 cruises . I don't know weather he couldn't understand or just didn't care ,daily forgetting to refill my Ice bucket ,,one night he forgot to service our room, not to mention a few other problems, I felt bad, but had to complain to the Hotel manager ,hopefully he'll get his act together . Not to sound like a snob but when I pay for a suite or a junior suite we expect a certain level of service ,which we didn't receive on this cruise . We still like this ship and have another cruise booked in early 2016 on the Grandeur. A few things I didn't like ,Black Jack played with 8 Decks ,lost every night ,but ended up coming in 2nd in the black jack Tournament ,recovering some of my losses . Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
In short, great food, great staff, nice but small ship, and lots and lots of very old people with walkers, and scooters. And 10 days (9 really) with 5 at sea is just too long. Having been spoiled on the newest and largest ship of 2010 ... Read More
In short, great food, great staff, nice but small ship, and lots and lots of very old people with walkers, and scooters. And 10 days (9 really) with 5 at sea is just too long. Having been spoiled on the newest and largest ship of 2010 (Oasis of the Seas) we were in for a shock on Grandeur. Grandeur is a SMALL ship. There is only one theater with rotating shows. Most activities are in the "Centrum" which is sort of like a nice hotel lobby and not terribly big. The dining rooms were nice and spacious. There is one small pool on deck, and another in the adult only, covered Solarium. There is no central promenade or courtyard. Only a few small shops, and one Starbucks-like venue. Unlike the bigger ships, YOU WILL FEEL THE MOTION OF THE SHIP, and even in 9 foot seas many people complained of seasickness. This particular cruise was populated mostly be seniors. Literally only a handful of children on board, and it seemed like only a dozen or so families age 50 and under. Accordingly, things tended to shut down early. Except for one bar (Viking Crown Lounge) playing club music with a DJ for about 6 dancers, the place became a ghost town after 11 or so. Early dining times were packed. DINING was the HIGHLIGHT of the cruise. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the dining room were always great experiences. We loved our wait staff, and the food was always EXCELLENT. A new full menu was offered for every meal with some favorites (e.g., Steak, escargot, creme brûlée, etc.) always available. Lunch has a wonderful full-service salad bar. Portions were generous and the waiter encouraged us to order multiple appetizers, entrees, etc. For example, one night when lobster was on offer, he ordered two entrees for everyone without asking, just to make sure everyone had all they wanted. I can't say enough good things about the food and dining experience. Entertainment was both sparse and weak compared to our previous cruise. Lots of seniors enjoyed ballroom dancing in the Centrum in the evenings. Live entertainment was good, but frequently a lively party of dancing and happy people were interrupted by the staff who would stop everything for an "official" dance party, where everything was turned into a line dance. A few people got into it --the same people throughout the cruise. But most of us got so tired of the same refrain of "left foot, right foot, shake it, shake it..." that we would leave. The piano bar singer (Graham) was enjoyable, though his repertoire seemed a bit weak (he's young). Broadway and dancing performances were good, though we were not fond of the song choices or arrangements --very unrecognizable for a collection of songs and dances from hit shows. We noticed a larger than average ratio of very large people on this cruise, many of them on scooters. Our hearts went out to them, as we have no idea how they managed in the tight stateroom accommodations. And clearly none of the chairs around the ship were comfortable for anyone beyond average size. The usual Western Caribbean ports were nice, with Labadee Haiti being the highlight. Cozumel was nothing special. We did the Playa Mia beach day excursion and I would not recommend it even if the weather were sunny (which it was not). Although it has a nice water-park area for kids, the beach had a run-down feel. The lounge chairs were hard, uncomfortable plastic. And don't bother paying extra for the open bar. The open bars are few and have only a small selection of unpalatable local spirits. Any name brand or halfway decent liquors are only available at the "cash bars", which are prevalent, and not covered by the prepaid package. Having visited Cancun several times, I have seen nothing in Cozumel that comes anywhere close. Falmouth Jamaica offered a fenced in shopping town, feeling very much like a theme park. Which was fine. But we were encouraged not to venture outside into the city at large, as the locals were "aggressive". Seeing the shanty towns just outside the gates, it's no wonder, as the very poor local people see all the (relatively) rich Americans invade their town. The shore excursions were not terribly appealing to us. We had walked Dunns River Falls before, and the local drivers were crazy and people were aggressive, begging, and constantly trying to sell something. Guides complained if tips were too small. Better to do a little shopping and spend the day in the sun on the ship. Georgetown, Grand Cayman was OK. At least you could walk around the town and visit the hordes of tacky souvenir shops and jewelry stores. There were a few restaurants. Beware of low end jewelry shops. Not only are salespeople aggressive and there's lots of fine print in all the "free" offers. But in one instance the proprietor put a ring on my wife's finger as she was looking in the glass cases. He said walk around the store with it and see how it feels. She smiled and after a few seconds took it off, placing it on the counter in front of him. As we left the store a few minutes later he came running out claiming we had left with the ring. After some threats (his) and shouting (mine) we walked off, and the threatened police were never called. But clearly there are scams to avoid. Labadee, Haiti however was AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL, even if it is an RCI owned, manufactured haven, with a much more depressing Haiti just out of sight. Tons of interesting shore excursions, from zip lines to downhill coasters were on offer (but obviously not heavily used by our geriatric compatriots). Several picturesque beaches, both on the ocean side and the bay side were available (free), so it never felt crowded. Everything was staffed by people from the ship, and the lunch buffet (free) was provided by the ship. Bar inventory and staff were also from the ship. We enjoyed this so much we wished the entire cruise had been spent here, with the ship acting as our hotel. It helped that the weather was beautiful, even a bit hot for the first week of December. A side note: If you're a fan of frozen drinks on the beach (e.g., Pina Colada, Daiquiri, etc.) don't get your hopes up. We never saw a blender at any beach bar, and ice drinks were the norm. Embarkation was smooth and easy. Disembarkation was a bit clunky. Make sure you have your bags outside your room by 11PM. Don't think you can go to the final 10:30 show and get back in time to put your (hopefully packed) bags out. If you snooze, you lose. The ship docks early and you're encouraged to go to your waiting point (e.g., the Palladium Theater) to wait for your number to be called. Coffee and danish are available, but the wait can be long as the line through customs is not very speedy, so it seems to take about 15 minutes for each group to be called (we were group 19). In summary, we are big fans of Royal Caribbean. And if you are older and move at a slower pace, this is a great cruise for you. If you have a family, or are 50s or younger, or want a romantic getaway, choose one of the newer, bigger ships. And come hungry. :) Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Let me start by saying that I have ben on 38 cruises and this was not a bad one at all,,however it had some issues. The embarkation and disembarkation was excellent. Can't say enough good things about the Port of Baltimore. After we ... Read More
Let me start by saying that I have ben on 38 cruises and this was not a bad one at all,,however it had some issues. The embarkation and disembarkation was excellent. Can't say enough good things about the Port of Baltimore. After we were checked in we went to the Windjammer for lunch.. It was so crowded that you had to walk around with your hands full for a while to find a seat. The food was not warm or hot and was not very good. Royal caribbean has discontinued lots of amenities. There were no flowers on dining room tables, no chocolates on pillows and we never got any luggage tags for disembarkation. We never got the invitations for the Diamond Club functions. Had to go to Guest services for customs forms. It took over 1 hour to be served in the main dining room for lunch one day. The food was usually just warm. The entertainment was another story,,, It was some of the best we have ever seen. The Tango dancers were Fantastic. Royal caribbean does a big business out of Baltimore and I don't know why they don't bring one of the newer ships there. This ship ever though it has been refurbished, is old and showing it. Since we had our daughter with us I thought it would be nice to have a picture of her. We get one free since we are Diamond Club members. But since we were not in it with her we couldn't get it. What a rip off. From now on I think we will stick with Celebrity and Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Ok, Here goes, this was my 4th cruise, been on Freedom of the Seas (Royal), Spirit (Norwegian), Pride (Carnival) and this one....Im going to be descriptive so YOU know what to expect, no biases. This was not a bad cruise, but for some of ... Read More
Ok, Here goes, this was my 4th cruise, been on Freedom of the Seas (Royal), Spirit (Norwegian), Pride (Carnival) and this one....Im going to be descriptive so YOU know what to expect, no biases. This was not a bad cruise, but for some of you, it wont be for you. If this is your FIRST cruise, or if you are a young couple, I do not particularly recommend this particular ship. Its a nice little ship, however the itinerary and amenities are geared towards the older crowd. If you are older than say 40, and Trivia, Bingo and casino games/deals are your thing then this may be the cruise for you. However, if it is your first cruise, or you are younger, I think your expectations may be a bit high for this particular cruise. The staff was very friendly and nice, so absolutely no complaints on that front but the entertainment and other events are geared more towards the older crowd. For instance one night, there was a 3 man tribute to Michael Buble, bleh..Im 28, I dont care...yes I know hes not that old, but hes more of an older person entertainer. There was a broadway show, eh....again, more so older people. the singers and dancers also tended to be more geared towards older people. The late night comedian was pretty funny so Ill give that a +. Lets move over to food...If you are a TV/sports watcher, this is not a great ship to do so as the bars really dont have too many TVs..Schooner Bar has one and casino has several but all are small and space is limited...the big screen on the pool deck showed Primetime football games and movies but not the Sunday day football games or the baseball World Series. The dining room was okay, however, not much change in menu throughout the week. In my opinion, the specialty restaurants (Cost $20-$30) were worth it...there are 3, Chops Steakhouse, Giovanni's table (Italian) and Izumi (Asian, sushi)....All were pretty good. The ports were pretty solid, for this one, they were Port Canaveral (shuttle to Cocoa Beach recommended), Nassau (Senor Frogs if a drinker, Atlantis), Coco Cay (private island beach) and Key West (just bar hop if a drinker). Boarding the ship and getting off this ship was VERY easy and convenient being from Baltimore myself. So to recap...IF you are older and an experienced cruiser and live in the Baltimore/Mid Atlantic region, I would recommend this cruise because of it being convenient travel wise, and activities geared toward the older crowd. IF you are younger or a first time cruiser, spend the extra cash and go on a larger and more extravagant ship with more things to do...If you are a family and have kids, this is probably average but again Id recommend the bigger ships...it really is a difference in the larger ships if you want to be WOWED. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and not sure I want another. Even though the ship had been upgraded, it looked old. Never did see an aerial show in the Centrum and none was posted in the compass. Did get to see them rehearse ... Read More
This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and not sure I want another. Even though the ship had been upgraded, it looked old. Never did see an aerial show in the Centrum and none was posted in the compass. Did get to see them rehearse once, but not an actual show. The limited closet space is reduced more by a set of drawers within it and a pile of life jackets. The beds are ridiculously low making it a must to store luggage in the closet which again reduces space. The mattresses were bellied and lumpy in our cabin. The bathroom was one of the smallest I have ever encountered on a cruise ship.One night we rushed through dinner to make a show, got there and was told the entertainer missed his flight, so they would show a movie. A complete lack of communication on RC....they should of made an announcement stating the act was cancelled. I've been on cruises where the captain made announcements everyday giving how far we traveled and still have to go, weather reports, ship speed, etc etc....on this ship nadda. No way of getting your account info on the TV and no kiosks to view and print your sail and sign info either. The MDR menu had limited choices and the food portions very small. We had 2 dinners and one breakfast there....the rest of the time we ate at the buffet. Hated the fact that in the buffet the drinks were pre-poured and not very full, I prefer dispensing my own beverages. They allow baby strollers to stay parked in the hallways the whole cruise which should be a hazzard for emergency evacs and made it impossible for me to pass while in my wheelchair. They flood you with papers along with the Compass most of which is like getting junk mail at home. One of the papers I overlooked was one they wanted filled out and turned in by a certain time...it was for disembarking scheduling. I found it and turned it in a day late, and got a disembark number of 23 the last night of the cruise. We had no idea they expected EVERYONE on ship to wait in the small Palladium Theater for their disembark number to be called, so we waited in the Centrum and never heard any numbers announced since they only did that inside the theater....why could they not have put it out over the speakers on ship? We spoke with people that had the number 32, they knew nothing about the form to fill out for disembarking, they did not see it either. That is totally stupid. Carnival and Norwegian do not make you fill out a form so you can get a number to leave ship. The crew was great, and the entertainment they did have was outstanding. The cruise director was the best ever.....funny man and very entertaining. I heard people talking about how unhappy they were with the ship, and I personally talked to at least 3 couples that felt like me about the experience. I guess if I found a great price on another RC cruise I'd take it....but it won't be on the Granduer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our second cruise on Grandeur (plus two prior on Enchantment), all out of Baltimore. The big plus for us is being able to drive just ninety minutes to the port of departure. We're both in our mid-sixties, and over the past 38 ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Grandeur (plus two prior on Enchantment), all out of Baltimore. The big plus for us is being able to drive just ninety minutes to the port of departure. We're both in our mid-sixties, and over the past 38 years we've cruised 21 times on several cruise lines: RCI, Oceania, Windstar, HAL, and Uniworld (in Europe). Embarkation, as we've experienced in Baltimore before, was quick and efficient. You drop off your heavy/checked luggage by driving right up to the longshoremen who take it out of your car, and then you drive to the line to pay for parking. It's not far to park your vehicle, and walk back to the terminal building. There are several security lines inside the terminal, so there wasn't a long wait, and then there are lots of RCI check-in desks beyond. Grandeur still looks good inside and out. Our cabin and everything we saw around the ship looked very clean and in good order. Wireless Internet service seemed to work well wherever we tried it, either with our smartphone in our cabin or down on deck 4 just off the Centrum where the ship passenger PCs were set up. Our first two days outbound found Grandeur in a really active Nor'Easter storm. (We missed Hurricane Joaquin altogether, but we didn't know that until several days into the cruise). Two days of heavy waves and swells, drenching rains, howling winds, and all outside decks off-limits. Cabin drawers and cabinet doors slamming open and closed with every rise & fall & roll of the ship. Saw several passengers take hard falls trying to walk down corridors and in public spaces, and also (unfortunately) saw folks getting sick. Reduced staff and crew we saw were really working extra-hard trying to take care of us passengers and still do their jobs, as well as pick up the slack from other crew members that weren't able to work until the weather improved. Luckily, my wife and I slept well and never missed a meal. :) (Since food and service are quite individually subjective, please take my comments as such. We're not "foodies", and we think we have average expectations for food and service). We ate all of our breakfasts and lunches in the Windjammer Marketplace buffet. It was usually quite crowded, and difficult to find a vacant table, especially on our four at-sea days. Most of the clean-up staff was efficient, so that helped with table availability. Lots of hot and cold choices for breakfast, (omelets made to order were my favorite), but we noticed there was less variety and availability of pastries and breads at breakfast. The coffee was average, but better than on some of our other cruises. Lunches had a good variety of hot and cold selections, but we did notice salads and their sides weren't always available or as nice as we remembered. The freshly-baked cookies at lunch were usually excellent, and our favorite dessert. Our main dining room ("MDR") service for supper was very good. We opted for "My Time Dining" on this cruise, so we ate supper at different times each day based upon when the ship left the day's port. We enjoyed our cordial and efficient waiter, assistant waiter, head waiter, bar/wine server, and host. Entree variety wasn't as good as we remembered from our other RCI cruises, but the hot food was always hot, and the cold food always cold. Soups were delicious. If you couldn't find an entree in the MDR that interested you, there were always the stand-by beef, chicken, pasta, and salad offerings. We felt the desserts in the MDR were only average. We ate supper in all three specialty restaurants this cruise. This was our first experience at Giovani's, and we thought the food and service was okay, but nothing special. Chops was a bit of a letdown compared to our other dinners in Chops on our other Grandeur and Enchantment cruises. The beef was excellent as always, (at least as good or better than what we get at the best steak places ashore), but the accompanying side dishes' portions were smaller and not dressed well. The desserts were nothing special this time. This was our first time at Izumi's, and it was nice. My sushi was fresh and well-prepared, and my wife's beef/chicken skewers cooked on a hot rock at our table were good. Service in Izumi's was excellent. On this trip we didn't attend many of the production shows, mostly because either the ship was rockin' and rollin', or our My Time Dining and suppers at the specialty restaurants didn't align well with the start time of the shows. The shows that we did attend were average. The stage band sounded better and seemed more active than we remembered from our last Grandeur cruise. We enjoyed the aerial show in the Centrum, and the band that played there in the evenings on deck 4 was nice, with an excellent singer. As for our daily stops on this itinerary: Portland, Maine - The challenging (cloudy, overcast, blowy) weather forced a 4-hour late arrival, which changed (or cancelled) some of the ship-hosted excursions (including ours). We liked the afternoon excursion to Kennebunkport, although the drop-off time in town was too short to both walk around and also get something to eat in one of the many little restaurants. Bar Harbor, Maine - The town itself is Norman Rockwell-worthy. On our beautiful sunny Sunday morning, it was easy to walk around, with lots to see, some good places to eat, and several nice town parks to enjoy. We took the ship's afternoon excursion to Acadia National Park, which was beautiful, and shouldn't be missed. Saint John, New Brunswick - We're sure there are lots of things to do here on a blue-sky day like we had, but we opted for the pink Hop-on-Hop-off bus to see for ourselves what might be available. We got off the bus at the reversing falls bus stop, walked halfway across the bridge to get fairly up-close-and-personal with the falls, but that was the extent of our outing. Saint John has several heavy industries (a large paper mill, power plants, and the oil industry, all spewing plumes of something into the beautiful blue sky), and of course the huge Bay of Fundy port. Halifax, Nova Scotia - On this drizzly grey day, we (and sixteen others) were bumped off of our original ship's morning excursion to Peggy's Cove with a whole afternoon to ride the Hop-on-Hop-off buses. While in line for the coach we found out the ship's excursion staff over-sold tickets for the size of the pre-arranged coach/bus. We waited around for almost an hour in the cold drizzle while staff figured out that they'd put us on the pink Hop-on-Hop-off bus in the morning instead, and then we'd join another coach to Peggy's Cove later in the afternoon. Because we now had a shortened time in the morning, we just rode both pink bus routes to see some of the touristy sites, ate lunch, and then joined the afternoon coach ride to Peggy's Cove. Even with overcast grey skies and a brisk wind, little lobster-fishing Peggy's Cove was scenic, and worth the trip. It's perhaps someplace we'd like to return to sometime in the future. We had a wonderfully-smooth, blue-sky, lower-60s temps two days cruise back to Baltimore from Halifax. Everyone finally got to enjoy the outside decks for exercise or just relaxing sitting in the sun. Some were even brave enough to get in the outdoor pool, but there were more in the hot tubs. Disembarking was the usual very-early-morning hassle, but the staff was well organized, and we were off the ship and on our drive home pretty easily. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise north, and now we have great stories to tell about surviving our first two at-sea days. Note: We're hoping RCI regains its senses for Grandeur's 2017 itinerary out of Baltimore to Bermuda. Why? For 2016, Grandeur is reduced to only spending 25 hours, (from one o'clock the first day until two o'clock the next afternoon), actually tied up at King's Wharf in Bermuda. That's just not enough time there to justify a "Bermuda" cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Let me start by saying that I am not hard to please....most of the time I can find a silver lining in any experience. This cruise had a few silver linings, but really was mostly disappointing. Embarkation and Debarkation could not have ... Read More
Let me start by saying that I am not hard to please....most of the time I can find a silver lining in any experience. This cruise had a few silver linings, but really was mostly disappointing. Embarkation and Debarkation could not have been smoother or easier.....room was ready as soon as we arrived and our luggage arrived quickly. Our room attendant, Ida, could not have been any more helpful. He responded quickly to all of our requests. We were frustrated, however, that our average size suitcases would not fit under our bed. In a small and already cramped room, this was a major issue. The water in the sink was a dribble at best and the toilet took up to 5 minutes to actually flush after you pushed the button. Actually, this often seemed to be a problem in the public bathrooms as well. Our room was nicely appointed and Ida did a great job of keeping it stocked and tidy. The weather was more than awful on our journey, and waves often lapped our window. It was common to get moisture inside the window that ran down onto our pillows beneath the window. That was annoying. Food was average at best. I can eat most anything, so I never went hungry, but the food lacked pizzaz and good variety. It lacked seasoning and was only served warm, never hot. Our assistant server, Oskars, and team worked diligently to keep us satisfied but requesting extra rolls, or an extra serving of anything seemed to be a strain on the kitchen. Interestingly, the same food served in the dining room was also served in the Windjammer and temperature there was much more pleasing. Breakfast in the dining room was a waste of time. They would not honor any special requests and I asked for iced tea and was rudely told that Iced Tea was not served at breakfast. On another day I asked for Iced Tea and it was delivered to me immediately. We found it far more preferable to eat in the Windjammer for breakfast. That was not true when we sailed on the Allure. Park place served great paninis and salads and pretty good late night snacks. They always seemed understaffed however. We only had room service one morning and it was fine. We sailed on very rough water/storms and much of the entertainment we were expecting didn't happen. We only had aerial entertainment in the centrum on the night we were docked in Bermuda. (understandably) Pools were drained and movies continued on deck but who wanted to sit in the rain and watch? Why weren't they moved? Shows were ok - I was really impressed by a salute to the military during the farewell party. That was pretty neat. There was a great violinist and good comedian/dancer. We didn't make the farewell show because there was only one showing at 7 and we were still in the dining room when that started. The farewell party afterwards was fun. I just really found that there was no back up for bad weather and that it was hard to find ways to entertain yourself when there was no pool, no pool activities, no movies, etc.... We did get a massage in the spa and that was nice but there was a hard sell in the end for skin care products that cost over $400 total. Cruise director and team did stay upbeat and helpful though during some rough days at sea and kept apologizing for something they had no control over. Our time in Bermuda was shortened by the weather to one full day and that was it. We immediately knew that without beach time we would need to book an excursion. We were treated VERY rudely by the man in excursions who refused to answer our questions and wouldn't give us any information on public transportation options. He really was terrible, and the young lady working with him sought me out and apologized for his behavior. I wish I had gotten his name...he should not remain employed....it was THAT bad. We ended up booking a private van with 2 other couples and our driver, Sam, was AWESOME. We literally saw every inch of the island, he stopped upon request for picture taking, had excellent commentary, knew all of our names by mid day, and left us in Hamilton with great instructions on how to catch the Ferry back to port, where to eat a good lunch, and tips on good shops to browse in. We found our excursion to be the highlight of our vacation. The ship, itself, was nice enough. Because of weather, there was much of the ship that went unused. I am bothered by the entertainment in the centrum as there is not enough room for everyone and chairs are pulled along the edge, blocking view for those having to stand. It is a very long time to stand, particularly on a rocking ship, so chairs are scouted out and reserved hours ahead of time. The ship is kept clean and most all of the crew are nice and attentive to your needs. Shopping area was extremely crowded, particularly during special events and sales, but I suspect this was amplified by the fact that there really was not anything else to do to occupy our time. The Palladium is nicely appointed and seating is comfortable, dining room is tight but bright and comfortable. Lounges are comfortable but $9-14 for drinks is steep in my book! Overall, a bad day at sea is better than a good day at work...staying optimistic despite the weather was hard. I hope to return to Bermuda again one day, but it probably wont be on this ship. (Although I think this is the last season for the Grandeur to go to Bermuda anyway) We were blessed to be traveling with good friends and sat around and talked most of the time. If we had been by ourselves, I probably would have lost it out of boredom. My husband liked not having to travel long distances between dining room and entertainment venues, but I, by far, find the larger ships more appealing. It was nice not to have to fight for an elevator all of the time and because there were only 3 main floors for everything, stairs were always a quick alternative. Overall, it was a nice getaway from the every day but if it had been my only vacation it would have been terribly disappointing...both from a service standpoint and a weather standpoint. Weather is not something the cruiseline had any control over but they do need to have alternate activities and plans to entertain when this happens. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Baltimore was a very nice city, would visit again. The port was tricky to find especially when going through a tunnel and your gps looses signal, but we got there none the less and on time. The Embarkation Port was clean, parking was ... Read More
Baltimore was a very nice city, would visit again. The port was tricky to find especially when going through a tunnel and your gps looses signal, but we got there none the less and on time. The Embarkation Port was clean, parking was simple and reasonably priced compared to New York The Cruise it self was really good, the ports of call really nice and the duration was great compared to other cruise lines that offer only 6 hrs to visit an island. Room Service, Waitering Service was excellent. Rooms: slightly smaller than Carnival but was ok Food: Dining Meh ! had better: Buffet: I think I should tried more often, sometimes a better variety compared to the dining room. Now for the not so good part: The MC was constantly bashing NCL and Carnival, he forgets that RCL had their own misfortunes as well. His jokes not the greatest. Food was for the most part average, I and my company had found the main course salty at times. I complained to the Manger who made excuses for the reasons being, when presented to the head chef, I also mentioned the same. He at least did not make excuses, but did state that it was difficult to taste every dish. Fine I let it go since I was able to make alternative choices. What really bothered me was the room service, I ordered chicken noodle soup, what I received was some dark broth with a few strands of spaghetti noodles, it looked more like hot water with soy sauce and some noodles ! OMG Lipton makes a far superior cup of soup!. late nite snacks, was very limited at best, chili every nite with left over stuff not eaten from the dining room. I was very disappointed considering all the hype with NCL. Activities on the ship was decent, ie rock climbing, weight room. entertainment only has one (1) showing, so if your supper coincides with the show, then you have missed it, there are no 2nd showing as a result the theatres are crammed with guests. The MC made a comment about this stating that they could not justify having two showings when they can't pack the theater. Overall: Ship: 8/10 Cabin: 7/10 Dining: 6/10 Entertainment/Activities: 6/10 Service: 10/10 Ports and Excursions: 10/10 Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our 14th cruise on RCI, and our second one this Summer. We sailed on Liberty of the Seas in June to Bermuda as a family of four (two adult children joined us for that cruise). My husband and I decided to take a cruise as a ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise on RCI, and our second one this Summer. We sailed on Liberty of the Seas in June to Bermuda as a family of four (two adult children joined us for that cruise). My husband and I decided to take a cruise as a couple in August, and we chose the Grandeur because of her size, and itinerary. We had booked a cruise on her 2 years ago but it was cancelled due to the fire on Grandeur that year. Anyway we chose the Baltimore - Bahamas itinerary. Embarkation: Embarkation was quite easy as we were ushered to the front of the line because we are Emerald Club at this point. Lunch at the Windjammer was the first nightmare. Even though we were fairly early to board, there were already no seats available in the Windjammer and very few deck lounge chairs either. We were lucky to find two regular chairs (no table) outside and balanced our plates on our laps. All we were able to get was salad, as all the other stations were way too crowded. Cabin: We had a Junior Suite (8088) at the far aft of the ship. We had chosen this cabin because we had read that the balconies of the aft cabins are larger than those on the sides of the ship. The fitness facility was directly above our cabin. Indeed we had a nice large balcony which we both enjoyed VERY much during this cruise. The cabin was very well maintained by our cabin steward, John. However, this Jr. Suite was MUCH smaller than the Jr. Suite we had on Liberty only a few weeks earlier. This Jr. Suite did not have a walk-in closet, and the bathroom was far smaller than the one on Liberty. The cabin itself was MUCH narrower. The furnishings looked quite worn. The sink and tub drains were often clogged, and the toilet refused to flush on several occasions. While we were sailing at night, the odor of diesel fuel often woke me up. While we had expected this cabin to be very quiet as it was at the end of a hallway, we did get a lot of thumping noise from the fitness center above us. A family of five was in the cabin next door to ours, and a baby cried for hours and hours. Since I work at a school this didn't bother me all that much, but we were surprised at how much we could hear through the walls. Dining: We ate 6 of our seven dinners in the main dining room, at early Seating. Our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent. The head waiter made an appearance at our table every night and was extremely friendly and nice. We had requested a table for two, even spoke to a representative by phone to confirm this before sailing, but we were placed at a table for six. Two of the six people didn't show up all week. The two women we sat with were pleasant enough, but since we were taking our first trip alone together as a couple in 27 years, we had really hoped for and expected a table for two. The food was much better than cruises in the past few years on RCI. The desserts were out of this world for the most part. We paid extra for filet mignon one night, and it was not any better than the regular menu option of beef. Also the baked potato was pathetically small. The portions have REALLY gotten smaller on RCI in the past few years. One night we ate at Giovanni's, and we were extremely disappointed. The choices were very limited on the menu, and the veal I ate was worse than anything I had eaten in the dining room. However our table for two by the windows was so very nice and intimate, and our server was very accommodating. Entertainment: If you wanted to attend a show, you had to get there over a half hour early, or you would risk not being able to find a seat. Several nights there was only ONE show for both dinner seatings, and there was no way the entertainment venue could hold that many passengers at once. As a result we most often watched the show on the in-room TV the next day. The entertainment was average. Pubic Areas: The Centrum was beautiful, but many activities were held there, and again crowding was a big issue. We never actually made it into the swimming pool, as it was quite small and we could never find a pool lounge chair, so we sunned ourselves out on our private cabin balcony, which was nice, but it would have been nicer to be able to get in cool water as well. The schooner bar was a pleasant place to get a quiet drink most nights, and we were grateful for that. Bar service at that venue was average; my husband often had to go up to the bar for service rather than wait at length for a bar waiter to provide service to our table. The shops were very nice, if a bit small, and service in those was very good. The jewelry making workshop was the only "enrichment activity" we attended, and it was nice, but it was advertised as "adult only." No doubt RCI was trying to keep small children out of this activity, but certainly older children and teenagers would have enjoyed it too. As a result of the age restriction on this activity, only a handful of people showed up, and most of them were over 65. I heard several passengers later complaining that their daughters would have liked to attend this activity as they have in the past. Shore excursion: The only shore excursion we had pre-booked was the Nature Walk at Coco Cay. We had pre booked it for 9 a.m. The tickets we received were for 11 a.m.?! As it turned out by that hour we were both too hot to consider taking a 1 1/2 hour walk, so we skipped it. We did not use the Fitness and Recreation facilities. Service on this ship was hit or miss. It was much better on the Liberty. Our cabin steward and dining room service was very good, but bar waitstaff was often just goofing around with each other, or totally absent. Unless you added an additional gratuity to the 18% already included per beverage, you rarely saw the bar waitstaff again. Beverage service in the large showrooms was nearly non-existent. Ports: We did not get off the ship at Port Canaveral, as we have been to Florida many times. There were over 600 children on this cruise, and I assume that may have been because Disney was a shore excursion as was the Kennedy Space Center. We did get off the ship in Nassau, and found that more native Bahamians were bothering passengers as soon as we got off the ship, than five years ago when we went there. We did some nice shopping in the town however, and the mainstream stores were very pleasant and the staff helpful. Coco Cay was a beautiful island, but the island seems to be made of rock and is hard on your feet, even at the beach area. The little shops there are all so commercialized now; with most trinkets from China instead of locally made as they were just a few years ago. Debarkation was a hassle as usual. The public area we were assigned to was overcrowded (no surprise there, as the entire ship was such), and we had to stand while we waited to be called off the ship. RCI should take a page from Celebrity and let passengers stay in their cabins until they are called for debarkation. Being made to feel like a herd of cattle at debarkation is not a very pleasant way to treat passengers when it CAN be done in a more pleasant manner, as seen on other cruise lines. Going through customs was easy, and we got our luggage as soon as we entered the luggage area. It took some time to get the attention of a porter, even though several were just standing around doing nothing. Parking was convenient and leaving the parking lot for home was no trouble at all. Value for the money: This cruise was fairly priced due to the local ports of call, but the value for what we received was not up to what we paid, especially for a Junior Suite. Our cruise to Bermuda on Liberty was a better value, with better service, accommodations, and a nicer port than the Bahamas. It appears to us that RCI is taking much better care of their newer ships, and letting these older ones go when it comes to maintenance and service. We were very surprised that nearly everything was a step up on the Liberty just six weeks prior. This was a disappointment, as we have been planning on sailing on Grandeur for over two years, and had thought since she was refurbished somewhat after the fire, things would be nicer. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Background information: My husband and I, both 31 years old, no kids We love cruising for relaxation (on most cruises we do not get off the ship) We have been on 6 cruises (2 Carnival, 3 Disney, 1 Royal) and was married aboard the ... Read More
Background information: My husband and I, both 31 years old, no kids We love cruising for relaxation (on most cruises we do not get off the ship) We have been on 6 cruises (2 Carnival, 3 Disney, 1 Royal) and was married aboard the Disney Magic in 2011. We chose the Grandeur because it was cheap and we didn't have to fly but wanted to go somewhere for vacation. Ship information: The ship was small but it was a very beautiful ship However, some parts of the ship were under construction - for instance there were two automatic doors that did not work the whole time we were there. On the 10th deck they had some of it blocked off for renovation, however, it did not cause any issues, some of the jogging track was covered but it was not unable to be used. The adult only area was nice because it was enclosed, the sun still shined through but there was no wind which was really nice. Activities: The ship offered a lot of small activities; trivia (constantly), movies on the pool deck and in the theater, table tennis tournament, karaoke, etc... They offered a lot of activities in the all ages pool area, however, we prefer the adult only pool since we don't have kids and would prefer to be in a quiet area. Port: We are ship people and prefer to stay aboard the ship while others port because the ship is nice and quiet when others are on shore. However, we did get off on Royal's private island Coco Cay in the Bahamas. Unfortunately this island fell flat for me. The beaches were covered in large rocks and I didn't have any water shoes so it was hard to walk around. Since I was married on a Disney Cruise ship on their private island Castaway Cay-Coco Cay was very disappointing for me. Travel to embarkation Port: Embarkation was fast and went with ease. We had no issues and it did not take too long to get on the ship! Cabin: We had inside cabin 3055. I enjoyed how it was in the middle of the ship and there wasn't too much swaying. It was also very quiet which I love! Of course it was small - but it's a cruise and that goes without saying. Our phone didn't work but we didn't need it anyways. They didn't have any small refrigerators either, it would have made that a bit better so I could keep my water bottle cold or bring snacks down or leftovers to keep in my fridge until later. Dining: This was a let down. Some of the food was good - I enjoyed the tempura mahi mahi and tiger shrimp, but like I said before, sailing on a Disney Ship makes my expectations pretty high. However, since I paid way less for this cruise I will say I got what I paid for. The dinners were not spectacular but they were edible and far better than anything I would have prepared for myself at home! The ship had three additional PAY dining restaurants and before you even board the ship they are pretty much in your face forcing you to pay for dinners. I didn't understand that because we paid to have our food all inclusive but they still wanted me to buy three more dinners in their pay restaurants? Anyways, we did get one dinner at the Chops Grille. It was $48 and the dinner did not disappoint at all. I got the filet/lobster tail, crab cake, goat cheese salad. Yes it was VERY good. Dessert was a hit with the Red Velvet Cake however the Chocolate Lava Cake was a dud. Also, service was extremely slow. We spent almost 2.5 hours in there eating dinner. The view was nice though - the table next to the window was perfect, if it wasn't cloudy outside we would have seen a beautiful sunset. Even after stuffing our faces the server was pressuring us to join the buffet luncheon the next day at $30 a person. (we declined). The Windjammer - was exactly that - JAMMED. Every morning and lunch time it was so difficult to find a table to eat at. And employees took forever to clean off tables so it was difficult to know if someone had actually left their table or were coming back. One time we went outside and ate at the bar because there was literally NO WHERE to sit. The food offered there was pretty average, however, I will say I did enjoy their 'healthy section'. I was able to get hard boiled eggs and scrambled egg whites which I have not been able to do on other ships. I would have loved a fresh omelet but the line was always so long I didn't want to wait for it. We went to the Windjammer for dinner after our sit down dinners almost every night because we didn't like our food selections that much in the main dining area. It was easy to find a table during dinner time. I enjoyed the ice cream they put out with toppings but did no like how the ice cream was always a melty mess. The Windjammer was just average - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Park Cafe at the same selections every day and every night. No variation. It was just OK. Service: Let me tell you - the service aboard the Grandeur was terrible. Almost everyday I felt like an inconvenience to someone. I jog at 4am and obviously that is when the crew wakes up to get the decks ready for the day. I got so many dirty looks from the crew on Deck 10 and the one day the guy throw the lawn chair across the deck. It's my vacation and I felt like I was in their way. I have never felt that way on a cruise before. The service at dinner was not good either. There was no pleasant interactions with the servers. One day they had pistachio ice cream, I had asked the server the next day if they had any left from the night before. Usually, from my experience the servers go out their way to at least CHECK to see if they have anything you request. This guy said "No". That was it. He didn't even LOOK. I was not happy with dining area service. We hardly saw our stateroom attendant and while walking through the halls all the other stateroom attendants didn't even acknowledge us, no hello's, good morning's, nothing. Again, I felt like I was an inconvenience for this people just walking in the hallway. On the Disney Cruise Ships you can't go by ANY of the crew without getting a "GOOD MORNING!!" "HAVE A GREAT DAY" or a simple "HELLO!". Entertainment: One thing I did enjoy was the cruise director, Mitch, and his staff. They kept things fun and lively during the day and night. The entertainment on board - magician, comedians, and a variety act was just pretty average. The variety act - el gaucho was the best out of all of them. Everything else just eh. I wouldn't recommend the Grandeur of the Seas to anyone, do some more research or save your money and do a Disney Cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I haven't cruised with Royal in a while....they have definitely lost my respect as an elite cruise line. The main buffet restaurant ran out of cheap plastic drinking cups six times while I was there.....how do you run out of cups? ... Read More
I haven't cruised with Royal in a while....they have definitely lost my respect as an elite cruise line. The main buffet restaurant ran out of cheap plastic drinking cups six times while I was there.....how do you run out of cups? Americans are coffee snobs....I being among them. Not only was the coffee below par, there was no half and half...they served milk...not good. At dinner we asked for half and half and the waiter assured us it was cream. After sampling the "cream" we all agreed it was milk. The quality of the food has dropped of markedly since my last cruise with them. They seem to be lowering their standards to meet a more robust bottom line....at the expense of the passengers. This will no doubt bite them in the behind as it did with me. I would have a hard time booking with them again. If I want the Carnival experience I can get it with Carnival for a lot less. This was disappointing to say the least. The wait staff was average at best. When you go on a cruise you expect a great dining experience....they did not deliver. I brought four young children with me and there was both good and bad. They loved the kids club "Ocean Adventure". Every night they had a great late night program...problem was it cost a lot extra after 10:00pm. I paid full fair for all of the kids and felt this should have been included. My kids were really looking forward to the self serve ice cream on board and I was looking forward to the 24 hour coffee and iced tea. What a disappointment. The ice cream was very poorly maintained at best. Usually only one side worked (chocolate and vanilla) and the ice cream was very watery when it can out and melted immediately. Most of the time it was never refilled and the cones ran out very quickly. When I asked about it they told me they would be taking care of it. They never did. The drink/coffee station was dismal as well. Ice was out of service 50% of the time, the coffee was harsh and almost undrinkable (needed a lot of "cream" to be palatable) and the "cream" was of course milk. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I've been on over 20 RCL cruises and I'd rate this the worst that I've been on. There were more rude employees on the ship starting with the man in shore excursion and most surprisingly the concierge in the Diamond Plus ... Read More
I've been on over 20 RCL cruises and I'd rate this the worst that I've been on. There were more rude employees on the ship starting with the man in shore excursion and most surprisingly the concierge in the Diamond Plus Club. The concierge and staff in Diamond Club were great, though. Our JS had a pole at the end of one of the beds. Really tough to navigate at night! However there was lots of storage & space in our cabin & we had a balcony & tub. The ship is small and since this cruise goes to very few ports, it is crowded all of the time. There are very few shops on board. The dining room staff was good but the food choices were repeated.....I think escargot was on the menu every night. I guess that's OK is you love snails. Entertainment was mostly comedians. Also they had 1 show on 2 nights. Because of our dinner schedule, we had to stand by the time we got there. Aerialists were great. Singers & dancers were good but not the best show I've seen. It is a good value for those that live in the Baltimore area & can understand why they'd like it for a quick get a way. But for anyone flying in, I'd definitely recommend another ship or destination. We also did not get our booking credit onboard but the people on ship did try to find out why not, but with no luck. All in all, I don't plan to revisit this cruise even though I will stay with Royal Caribbean Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My husband and I have taken this trip to Bermuda on the same ship on the same week for the last 3 years in a row. We have always thoroughly enjoyed this trip until this last one. We loved Andre and Gizzy as well as our room attendant but ... Read More
My husband and I have taken this trip to Bermuda on the same ship on the same week for the last 3 years in a row. We have always thoroughly enjoyed this trip until this last one. We loved Andre and Gizzy as well as our room attendant but over all the staff seemed uninterested and a bit cool and aloof. They were not rude or unhelpful but something was definitely off and it made a big difference. The song and dance show was just awful. We walked out and I can't recall ever walking out on a show. Don't get me wrong it was still a great trip. Baltimore is a super convenient port and getting on and off the ship could not be easier. We adore Bermuda and we love that this ship does not go to any other ports of call so we get plenty of island time. Drinks are great and Izumi never gets old with the delicious hot rocks cooking. There was a comedy action show that made me laugh until my ribs hurt. I had 3 massages from Demi and they were dreamy. You cant beat this cruise for relaxation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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