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731 Royal Caribbean Baltimore Cruise Reviews

Traveled via Amtrak from Boston to Baltimore. Bright sunny day to match our hopes. Some stunning views from the train during our seven hour trip. Arrived at Penn Station right on time. A short $7 taxi ride to the Holiday Inn Express on ... Read More
Traveled via Amtrak from Boston to Baltimore. Bright sunny day to match our hopes. Some stunning views from the train during our seven hour trip. Arrived at Penn Station right on time. A short $7 taxi ride to the Holiday Inn Express on North Gay St. Gorgeous, brightly lit lobby with stately corinthian columns leading to the desk. Check in went smoothly. Staff were friendly. Room was more than adequate and clean. The laundry facility was appreciated after our lengthy train trip. With the morning came the snow. It accumulated slowly but accumulate it did, up to three inches by the time we boarded the Grandeur. The hotel comp breakfast had good variety and the seating was in a wing of the lobby which allowed us to appreciate again its stateliness. The hotel van took us and a second couple directly to the cruise port. Tip was expected since this was beyond the one mile range of its regular service. The check-in went smoothly enough, though we had to walk back into the cold to board the ship. First impressions weren't good. The ship was cold and no effort was made to remove snow from the decks. The Windjammer cafeteria was packed so we had to eat our lunch on the cold deck - we ate quickly. Our cabin on deck three was available a few minutes late, and was small but adequate. At last we began to warm up. As the temperature rose so did our opinion of the ship in general. The broad wooden Promenade circles the whole deck leaving plenty of room for lounge chairs. The colorful Centrum was impressive, beginning amidships on deck four and towering up to deck nine. Much entertainment takes place in the Centrum which fine except that it is really not the best venue for music and dance, rather, the South Pacific Lounge at the stern seemed a better area for events of this nature. Unfortunately, its lovely panoramic window views and extensive seating and dance floor were dedicated to bingo, art shows, and part of it was usually reserved for the exclusive use of Diamond Club members (85+ cruise points). The Schooner lounge, with its lovely starboard side ocean views, was used for various activities during the day and the piano lounge in the evening. The pianist was so-so, best with his Elton John songs. High praise for the main dining room, the two level Great Gadsby Dining Room. Fixed seating on the first level at which there was live music during meals. The center of the dining hall was open so the music could easily be heard on the second level as well. The service was excellent. Seating was rapid and so were the courses. Our assistant waiter seemed to anticipate my needs before I even voiced them. The variety of choices was excellent, the quality and temperature of meals was good. If something wasn't right or pleasing, the wait staff was eager to correct the problem. The entertainment receives a split evaluation. The performers brought on board for a single day were excellent. They included singers, a comedian, a pianist among others. Production shows by on board performers are uneven at best. Performances seems to merge into one another. This is no reflection on the individual staff performers who are energetic at the least, and often quite talented. It's the shows that lack originality and, often, focus. There were three main singing ensembles that performed throughout the cruise. Of those, one shone above the others, the Rosario Strings, two performers from the Philippines. The violinist is a virtuoso and often had to perform an extra tune because of the standing ovations. He was personable and very talented. The ports of call included Labadee, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten. Labadee is the RCCL 200 acre leased peninsula in northern Haiti. This must be a good profit center for the cruise line, there's a fee for almost everything. Labadee boasts the longest over water zip line ride (5 lines). Cost is almost $100 for a 90 second thrill down a hill and across the water. It was fun to watch and experience, I'm sure. We camped out on Adrenaline Beach. Upon entering the water, the first few yards were covered with chunks of coral which were a little tough on the feel. Once in the water, though, it was delightful for swimming and floating about. At the entrance to San Juan harbor stand the centuries old El Morro fort. Imposing and picturesque. Walking the streets of the old city is a treat and a taste of the old world. St. Thomas for us meant a delightful water ride to St. John and Truck beach. Touted for its fine snorkeling we were disappointed on that score because the wave action stirred up too much sand. But the beach and the water provided a wonder water experience. The drive to and from the beach was gorgeous. St. Maarten has a delightful boardwalk along the shore for more than a mile. Restaurants servicing cheap beer to full dinners line the street. The streets just behind the beachfront area feature jewelry and assorted tourist fare. The three sea day trip back to Baltimore was quiet enough, no storms and relatively quiet water according to the captain. The third, and final, sea day saw conditions deteriorate. Temperatures dropped quickly and we endured a rainy period which, surprisingly, lifted before the end of the day. Departure went smoothly and quickly, right on schedule. All in all, we enjoyed the experience enough to book it again next year - on the Grandeur again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Photos of the ship, ports, dailies, and kid schedules can be seen at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/snjnova/collections/72157648010589874/ This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean since December 1990, after over 90 nights on ... Read More
Photos of the ship, ports, dailies, and kid schedules can be seen at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/snjnova/collections/72157648010589874/ This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean since December 1990, after over 90 nights on Celebrity. We were looking forward to sailing from Baltimore, little more than an hour drive from home, and avoiding the airline hassles. Getting to the ship: Driving to Baltimore from Northern Virginia is about an hour ride and only a block from the I-95 exit. Luckily for us, we were able to delay our departure from home until about 11 AM, missing the morning rush traffic, which was worsened by an unexpected 3” snow. Embarkation: Baltimore’s port is a breeze to access and use. After a short wait to get through the entrance, we dropped our bags (no line), paid for parking (one car ahead of us), and parked the car very close to the terminal. There was a substantial line in the terminal, which we easily bypassed by showing our Diamond status (thanks to our Celebrity Elite). We went through the metal detector and watched our carry-on luggage get scanned. In a first for us, we were asked to show our one wine bottle to the security attendant. After completing the health check form, we waited about a minute to see one of the people doing registration, signed the forms, and walked onto the ship. Since it was after 1 PM, we were able to go directly to our cabin. Ship: Grandeur looked to be in excellent condition – no sign of carpets or furniture looking worn out. Ship staff were constantly vacuuming the stairs and cleaning the handrails. I did not notice any of the reported odors in the bathrooms nor did we experience the no-flush toilet problem (except for once in the middle of the night when there was no water for about an hour). For non-smokers, Grandeur recently flipped the smoking side of the ship – the pool and promenade now allow smoking on the port side, a change we were told was made because of wind patterns on deck. Cabin: We were in 8032, a Junior Suite on the port side, about a third of the way forward from the Centrum. On a few occasions, we could hear the music from the Centrum faintly in our cabin. We were impressed with the amount of storage in the cabin and there was room in the refrigerator for a wine bottle and some water bottles. The safe was on the small size and not large enough for my laptop, which has fit in other ship safes. We had a pull-out sofa plus two chairs. People: Our cabin attendant, Dennis, was amazing. We spent a lot of time in our cabin, enjoying the large JS balcony, and he managed to get in to clean our cabin during our brief meal breaks or to work around us sitting outside. He even found a chaise to put on our balcony, which was a treat. Other ship staff members were equally friendly and helpful. Food: We had booked MyTime Dining and reserved a 7 PM slot, as that time seems to be best for us. However, we wound up eating in the Windjammer all but three dinners to avoid exacerbating some back pain from sitting for extended periods. Two MDR meals lasted two hours, which was too long for us to sit. The variety in Windjammer was more than we expected, with two hot and one cold soup, lots of salads and entrée selections. Each meal seemed to have a different theme including Indian, Chinese, and Mexican food nights. Breakfast in Windjammer had two stations for omelets or fried eggs and I rarely saw more than 5 or 6 people in line. I think breakfasts were the only meal for which I had to sometimes hunt for a free table. Entertainment: I got scared off years ago by crowds and volume levels for the big shows but usually look for something quieter. There was usually something going in the Centrum that sounded good and not overamplified. I wandered down to the Schooner Bar to check out the pianist, about whom we had heard some good reports. He sounded good (although his voice was a bit too loud unless you sat clear of the speakers) and his repertoire was too modern for my 50’s & 60’s tastes. Ports: We took our time disembarking and missed the crowds. Labadee was a bit crowded with Independence of the Seas in port with us for about 6-7,000 total passengers and the trams were crowded towards afternoon. We were scheduled for a 2:30 arrival in San Juan, but still had time to wander around the old city walls. Magens Bay in St. Thomas was more crowded than I recall from other visits, probably because there were two other ships in port. St. Martin had a couple of mid-day cloudbursts and the beaches on the Caribbean side of the island had higher surf than normal. Disembarkation: We were asked to be in the Palladium Theater by 8:00 and our number was called in under ten minutes. We took our time to avoid the elevator lines, walked down the ramp, waited in a short line for customs, found our luggage and a porter, and were pulling out of the parking lot by 8:45. Overall comments: We had a relaxing vacation in warm weather with no hassles anywhere. The seas were relatively smooth with some rarely noticed rolling some evenings and we look forward to more opportunities to sail Grandeur from Baltimore again.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We were aboard on the first of two back to back cruises when there were some episodes of probable norovirus ultimately affecting 200 of the 2000 passengers. The crew reacted immediately doing double duty serving food instead of self ... Read More
We were aboard on the first of two back to back cruises when there were some episodes of probable norovirus ultimately affecting 200 of the 2000 passengers. The crew reacted immediately doing double duty serving food instead of self service, singers, dancers, even ships officers. Hand sanitizers were everywhere. When you got up from eating, no one could use the table until it was washed and allowed to air dry. This was all done with a smile. Some events had to be cancelled. The walls in our corridor were washed every 30 minutes. the cruise ended a day early with credit given for a day on our the next cruise. Since we were back to back, we were put up in a very high end hotel in Baltimore's inner harbor while the ship was fogged. When we got back on the next day, it was cleaner than when it was new. Kudos to the crew and Royal Carib in general. Otherwise, the food was excellent, particularly in Giovanni's table and the Chef's Table experience was worth the extra cost in our view. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was our 15th cruise with RCL and our 2nd time on the Grandeur of the Seas. The ship is in great shape and we really like the small size, never felt crowded, elevators were easy to get, and even the Windjammer wasn't overly packed ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise with RCL and our 2nd time on the Grandeur of the Seas. The ship is in great shape and we really like the small size, never felt crowded, elevators were easy to get, and even the Windjammer wasn't overly packed with people. Upon arrival in Baltimore boarding was delayed by a few hours as the prior cruise was very late in getting back to port due to very rough weather. But otherwise check in was quick with Diamond priority boarding. Our cabin was a panoramic ocean view, very large with plenty of storage in both the cabin and bathroom. Absolutely loved it and the location which was close to the Centrum. Wayne, our cabin steward was extremely efficient and super nice. The food in both the Windjammer and main dining room was very good, overall would give it a B+. Some of the highlights were the scallops, rack of lamb, Osso buco, all the chicken entrees, and all of the desserts. We did eat one night in Giovani's specialty restaurant and everything was very good. RCL even offered a discount of $37 for 2 people, instead of the usual $50. Maybe trying to get more customers there as it wasn't very busy. RCL also allows you to bring 2 bottles of wine on board with no corkage fee, a good value. There were plenty of staff in the windjammer who did a good job of clearing tables for fast turnover. Probably the only disappointing thing we found was the smaller number of waiters in the various bars/pool area. Usually we had to just go up to the bar in order to get faster service. Overall, the other service around the ship and in the dining room was very good. We did go to most of the evening shows which were pretty good. We also did a 3 hour beach excursion at St. Marten, but in hindsight not worth the $94 for 2 people. Leaving the ship was very easy. The luggage is picked up after passing through customs, which made the process easier and faster. This was a very nice trip; would love to cruise again the the Grandeur of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Overall, our third RCI New Year's cruise out of Baltimore was very good. The Grandeur crew is very good. Our Main Dining Room Waiter, Jorge, and Assistant Waiter, Vladimir were excellent. Stateroom Attendant Oscar was excellent. ... Read More
Overall, our third RCI New Year's cruise out of Baltimore was very good. The Grandeur crew is very good. Our Main Dining Room Waiter, Jorge, and Assistant Waiter, Vladimir were excellent. Stateroom Attendant Oscar was excellent. Better ventilation is needed in the casino. Even with non-smoking areas, there was no way to escape the smoke. It was also very bad just walking from one end of the Grandeur to the other through the casino. We did the Ultimate Dining Package. The Chef's Table and Giovanni's Table were both excellent. I was extremely disappointed in Chops Grill. For what is advertised as the best steaks available, my main course was totally flavorless and practically inedible. Main Dining Room food was good with a varied selection each night. Breakfast in the Main Dining Room was always good. The Park Cafe was great for lunches. The Windjammer Buffet leaves a lot to be desired. Although there is a wide selection, quality is lacking. We had booked the Tulum Mayan Ruins Express (CZ02) about a week prior to departure. The online description listed it as a "Moderate" activity. Luckily, I read the Shore Excursions brochure onboard, where it was not only listed as a "Strenuous" activity, but unlike the online description, it specifically stated "This tour requires considerable walking". As I occasionally use a cane, had I not looked at the brochure onboard, I would have relied on the online description and probably been in distress. This was inexcusable. On the first Sea Day (December 28), along with one of my traveling companions, I booked Golf at White Witch in Jamaica (FY65B). Three days later on December 31, we received notice that this golfing experience was cancelled. At that point, we had no opportunity to book another golfing experience. This was very disappointing. The Production Shows were mediocre at best. It was disappointing as I had been very impressed with the Production Shows during the past two holiday cruises. Lounge and Centrum performers were very good. The Headliner Shows were very good. Eric Sage's Ultimate Rock Concert was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This is our sixth cruise, first on Grandeur of the Seas. We stayed the night prior to embarkation at local hotel with park n stay package, they shuttled us to cruise port. The check in process was fast and easy before we knew it we were ... Read More
This is our sixth cruise, first on Grandeur of the Seas. We stayed the night prior to embarkation at local hotel with park n stay package, they shuttled us to cruise port. The check in process was fast and easy before we knew it we were on board and ready to have a great cruise. Dining room was great, food wonderful and service outstanding. Ricky R. From India our waiter was a perfect host and always anticipating our needs and tastes. Activities were okay. We Had to keep remembering that Smaller ships have less activity offerings at any given time. Absolutely loved the the ball room dance instructors Tara and Savas. My only complaint is all the dance bands were in the centrum on the marble floor. Why not in the South Pacific lounge where there is a beautiful stage and wooden dance floor. Also cruise director/cruise staff would bring large amount of passengers to centrum use paper streamers, pop balloons then leave all the junk on the dance floor and party for a while then would move on to another part do the ship. The people who had been dancing in the centrum with Ballroom Band then had try to dance on the debris on the floor, clean it up themselves, or just stop dancing for evening. The solarium pool area was clean, but ship shows it's age with the missing tiles and cracked plaster work. We were always able to find a seat even with sold out cruise. The shows we attended were very good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
As usually we had a wonderful time. Love departing from baltimore as we live 40 mins away. Easy in and out. The ship looked lovely! Our cabin was great. All in all the trip was wonderful...the only complaint we ever have with RC is the ... Read More
As usually we had a wonderful time. Love departing from baltimore as we live 40 mins away. Easy in and out. The ship looked lovely! Our cabin was great. All in all the trip was wonderful...the only complaint we ever have with RC is the FOOD! The FOOD IN THE WINDJAMMER IS JUST HORRID! Not bad for breakfast n lunch...but DINNER is just plain YUCK. The specialty restaurants are much much better, though u would skip the Steak House next time. The steaks were just average and you have to pay an up charge for a Porterhouse so the only cuts included are fliet and strip, in Lamb Chops! Which I was truly bummed about. We love the itilain place n ate there twice and at Izumi 3 times! The food in the main dinning room is ok...hit or miss...some items are great others are just meh! We also wish RC would follow Norwegian and allow 19 and up, wine and beer, with parental consent. Our 19/20 yr olds were disappointed not to be able to enjoy wine with dinner with us... Already booked for next year! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Having just read some awful reviews of the Grandeur, I don't know what ship they were on, but it couldn't have been the same one we sailed. We have sailed in Dec., Jan. or Feb. every year for about the past ten years and this ... Read More
Having just read some awful reviews of the Grandeur, I don't know what ship they were on, but it couldn't have been the same one we sailed. We have sailed in Dec., Jan. or Feb. every year for about the past ten years and this was the cruise with the least amount of turbulence we have ever experienced. It was our first time aboard the Grandeur and our first time in an inside cabin. My husband loved that it was so dark at night, but I found it a little dark during other times. We were in a "large" inside and other experienced inside cruisers told us that these were the smallest inside cabins of almost any ship in the RCI fleet. Doing a back to back and driving to the port caused me to greatly over-pack, but we found room for everything in the various drawers and by hanging things in the closet. Our room attendant, James, made sure we had plenty of hangers. One criticism is the fact that suitcases don't fit under the beds on this ship although someone later told us that if you lift up the bed, they will go under. We just stowed them in corners around the room which made for a bit of clutter. We were fortunate that we did not have a chair besides the vanity chair. We just had a small table in the room which was perfect for our ice bucket. We had a great location just forward of mid-ship convenient to the elevator and centrum. Entertainment on board was not great. However, having been on so many Royal cruises (we are Diamond members), we skipped many of the shows. There seemed to be a dearth of music in the evenings; the Crown Viking Lounge was turned into a disco because most of it has been converted into a pay restaurant. It would have been nice to have one more music venue other than the Centrum and piano bar because most evenings, the South Pacific Lounge was used for Karaoke. The seventies night was fabulous as it has always been on all of our Royal cruises. During the day, we kind of fended for ourselves with bridge and Mah Jongg. They did have many line dancing classes which were led by Gizzy of the cruise staff and he did a great job teaching the steps. Even klutzy me was able to learn the moves. Being a Diamond member entitled us to access to the Diamond Lounge where there were drinks and hors d'oeuvres every evening. We met lovely people there and we even arranged to dine together next year for the same New Year's cruise. We pretty much avoided the Windjammer. It was noisy and the food was not to our liking. If we didn't eat breakfast in the main dining room, we ate in the Park Cafe or the Diamond Lounge. The chop salad at lunch in the dining room on sea days was great and I often only ate a salad and soup (which was always delicious). The only thing I really missed was the "snack" in the Windjammer in the afternoon. On other ships, they offered tacos and wonderful scones which were no where to be found, not even in the Park Cafe. Also, on port days, it would have been nice if they kept the Wndjammer open a little later because it was crazy crowded in the Solarium (Park Cafe) when everyone came back on board around 4:00. Dinners in the main dining room were fine; if you didn't like the main offerings, you could always get a steak, chicken or salmon. Royal seems to have cut corners by offering a "NY" steak as a main course and a "Manhattan" steak as one of the alternatives so there was one less entree on some nights. They also put in a salad entree in lieu of a hot entree every night so the variety was not as much as it could have been. Quality was decent and we didn't see the need to go to any of the 3 specialty restaurants although friends said they were excellent. My husband is not much of a foodie and he says if we are going to spend $80 on dinner, we can do it in a nice restaurant at home. Staff throughout the ship was wonderful. This included everyone from the Diamond concierge, Diamond waiters, regular dining waiter and assistant, head waiters, cruise staff (although the CD was not really around the ship very much), activities director and our cabin attendant. All in all it was a wonderful, relaxing vacation. What could be bad...they fed us throughout the day, someone came in and cleaned my room and made my bed twice a day, they entertained us and they took us to warm locations. That is why we did back-to-back and will be doing it again next year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We are avid RCCL cruises, and this is our 10th cruise with them. First time for Grandeur of the Seas. We drove to Baltimore and stayed at the Best Western Plus the night before. We used their park and cruise option that included transfers ... Read More
We are avid RCCL cruises, and this is our 10th cruise with them. First time for Grandeur of the Seas. We drove to Baltimore and stayed at the Best Western Plus the night before. We used their park and cruise option that included transfers to/from the port, parking. The hotel also had a free breakfast. The cost for the hotel was a great value compared to parking at the port. Port of Baltimore: Easy on and Easy off. Great port to sail from. The cruise ship is small ,but nice. This ship was upgraded recently, and it seemed like it was much needed. There are other maintenance items on the ship that need to be addressed, but it is an older ship and its showing its age despite the upgrades. Dining options: Windjammer was terrible, not enough seats and the food was mediocre at best (even compared to Windjammers on other ships). After the first couple days we started using the dining room for lunch. Dining room was nice (as usual). We had main seating for dinner, but we should have done My Time since the ship comes into ports so late. Most of the tours take you past the main seating time. Park Cafe was great! We like the options of getting a sandwich or snack here. We did not use any of the paid dining options. Activities: Great job by cruise director Mitch and his staff. The Disco party and other dance parties were at 10:15pm, which I liked a lot. I could take my kids without having to stay up all night. We did not get to port in Key West this trip, and they did a great job rescheduling the day so there were many activities to do. Adventure Ocean was small since it was such a small ship. My kids usually like it alot, but this time they weren't impressed. There were a lot of kids on this ship since it was a Thanksgiving sailing, and it was hard to get into Adventure Ocean at times. Great job by the staff though, they had their hands full this sailing. Overall, we had a good time, and we would go on this cruise again.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I had an awesome time on the cruise. I only had a few minor issues. One night room service never showed up, but when I reported it to guest services - they more than made up for it with juice (they offered wine), fancy chocolates, nut-free ... Read More
I had an awesome time on the cruise. I only had a few minor issues. One night room service never showed up, but when I reported it to guest services - they more than made up for it with juice (they offered wine), fancy chocolates, nut-free chocolate muffins, and free bottled water. The second was a canceled shore excursion (got refunded), and the third was a really rude lady (some people are just jerks). For it being a smaller ship, there was always something to do. I don't think I was bored (or hungry) the entire time. They know how to feed a person. I tried so many new things - Gnocchi, macerated cherries, stuff I've never heard of, and some favorites made in new ways. I won the cake decorating contest, lost money in the casino, swam with turtles, met tons of people, dressed fancy, took tons of photos, danced, and had a blast. The live shows that I saw in the theatre were awesome. The people they get for the shows are really good. The comedians were funny. My favorite show was the salute to Broadway. I didn't go to every show. The food. Oh my goodness - the food. If you are ever hungry on a cruise - it is your own fault. We ate a few times in the buffet and the Park Cafe, but mostly in the Main Dining Room. The best thing about breakfast at the buffet was the mountain of bacon. Sometimes we ate in the main dining room first (we had a 530 early dinner), then the park cafe around 10 or 11, or room service. The food sometimes wasn't what I like, but there are so many other alternatives. Our Assistant Waitress kept me hooked up with the cheese rolls and my grandmother with shrimp.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Well this time we had a great trip again and it proved to be quite exciting on the 2nd last day coming back from Labadee. Embarkation was great. We stayed in a hotel the night before after a leisurely drive from Canada through Buffalo. ... Read More
Well this time we had a great trip again and it proved to be quite exciting on the 2nd last day coming back from Labadee. Embarkation was great. We stayed in a hotel the night before after a leisurely drive from Canada through Buffalo. Got the shuttle to the dock took only a few minutes and we were there. Desk personnel were great, but as we are a little older now getting up the gangplank proved to be challenging, but we made it and to our pleasant surprise the Centrum was magnificent and took our breath away. All personnel were great. Our room 3557 and 3555 Steward was named Stewart and right from the first day he was top notch. Our room was inside and thankful we were for that, as the last day proved to be a challenge with a big storm with 30ft seas. Waves were coming right up to the Windjammer and we were glad for our sea legs. The Captain recommended that if you had a problem with sea sickness it would be advisable to stay on deck 3 or 4 as the motion, higher was quite extreme. It was really exciting to say the least. This was the first time for us in Cozumel and we really enjoyed the banter with the locals there and had a great deal of fun and the even gave us some Tequila sample to drink while shopping, which I think made the ladies we were with shop a little longer. Our table 312 for dinner ion the Main Dining Room was served by Nathaniel and he and his assistant did an outstanding job looking after us, so I say again THANK YOU Nathaniel. Breakfast was great each morning, but here I have to mention something that I think has been a problem with all RC dining rooms for breakfast and that is the TOAST or what they try to pass off for toast as the lady across the table from us broke a tooth off it was so hard. EVERY day was the same and I mentioned this to the Head Lady in Resources that in order to remedy this problem was to serve it to the Captain every morning for a week and then it might get better because he would not put up with it if he knew what they were passing off as toast. Here is a humorous note, maybe this is just me but when the Captain gave his report each day I hardly understood a word he said so I ask one of the crew members about this and he said We don't quite understand him either. Had to leave Labadee early due to the storm but we were still 3 hours late in landing but this is a vacation and time has to be planed and prepared for as circumstances change. To the Lady behind me who was so miserable and pushy and wanting to rush off I have this to say GET A LIFE this was a 10 day vacation and it was really great to be on board. So great I might add that we booked back to back next November for 20 days. Whooooope again. We are going on the Liberty in May of 2015 for 10 days again and we are looking forward to this as well as we haven't been on the Liberty yet, even after being on 23 cruises. So thanks to RC for taking us older ones into consideration coming from NY and Canada at this time of year as the Explorer is being taken off and we loved that ship. To those of you who have had a less than exciting time at sea and are a bit critical I have to say this if you had a problem with your ship go direct to the company with your complaint these cruise companies really try to make everyone happy and by and large do a great bang up job. So see you some time. I am the one who is having so much fun that I can hardly restrain my 79 year old body.thames barge from Canada Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Thanks for the opportunity to tell you about our Cruise. We cruised with another couple who we have sailed with since 2006 so needless to say we are very compatible. We started from Canada and took a leasurly time to get to Baltimore. ... Read More
Thanks for the opportunity to tell you about our Cruise. We cruised with another couple who we have sailed with since 2006 so needless to say we are very compatible. We started from Canada and took a leasurly time to get to Baltimore. Staying in a hotel that we had stayed at before which was the Days Inn Quinto the night before gave us time to prepare for embarkation leaving our vehicle in their parking lot and taking their shuttle in the morning. This hotel was comfortable but lacks many of the newer hotel amenities but we went cost effective and the people were very good to deal with and very efficient. We will stay there again next Novmber when we again do the Eastern Caribbean. We arrived at the dock and were on board within a few minutes. I must say that going up the ramp was a bit difficult as we are seniors and found climbing it quite a challenge but we managed. Our check in was speedy and the reception area was very efficient which again was stress free. Upon getting into the Centrum area we were very pleased to find a bright refreshing area and immediately felt like we were being treated like family. As we traveled on her before (2008) it was a real pleasure to see the changes that were done since we last boarded her. We went directly to the Windjammer and were treated to a great buffet and renewed some old acquaintances. We were assigned room 3557 and 3555 which although somewhat small were adiquite for our needs as we spend very little time in our room. The one small complaint was the beds. They were too low to get our luggage under and the mattresses were a bit too hard and thin to our likeing but were ok. Our steward was named Stewart and he went out of his way to be of service to us. Thanks Stewart!!! During the week the entertainment was very good both in the small venues as well as the theater. The ports of call were exceptional. Cozumel was a great place to shop and your ability to bargain is really put to the test but when we left the shop owners got together and said that they had a great time and allot of fun. On our trip to Grand Cayman we decided to stay on board rather than be tendered and had the whole Solarium To ourselves. Going to Falmouth was a real treat as it had been some 15 years since we had been to JamaIca. Royal Caribbean has done a great job of building up the shopping area and including a large artisan craft area. If you want to shop be prepared for a great experience here. Leaving Jamaica we went to Labadee and renewed old friendships there. The captain reported that due to an exceptional storm front we were having to go through we would have to leave early. But in reality we would have to go through a storm to remember. WOW a few 30. Ft waves reaching right up to the Windjammer which we were told to avoid if we were subject to sea sickness. The sea turmoil lasted 24 hours and made us 3 hours late getting back to Baltimore. This caused a real problem for those who had to catch flights but again for us going back to Canada was not a problem. Getting off the boat was a problem though as there were a few ignorant and impatient people. I understand that 3/4 of an hour is really hard to take but ! Say to these ones, Get A Life! You had just been on a beautiful 10 day cruise on a really stable ship, good crew good food that you didn't have to prepare yourself, beds you didn't have to make, etc etc. One thing I really object to though is some of the ones that had to use mobile devices pushing or trying to push ahead in line at some of the events. To these ones I say I am glad that you were able to go on a cruise despite your limitations in mobility. You will always be welcome on any cruise I go on , but please be patient, some of the ships areas are not really good for getting around in and when the ship was built it was not built with mobility devices in mind and are not accessible for some devices. I was sorry that your device had to be stored under the stairs but in the interest of safety it is not safe to keep it stored in the hallway overnight. Again patience is a virtue and this applies to disabled as well as able bodied. We really enjoyed our cruise and if we met you and enjoyed our time together we look forward to being with you again. A funny thing to be added here, when the Captain spoke at the daily noon break, or any other time I found him very difficult to understand and when I asked one of the staff to tell me what he said they said, "they were sorry but they didn't understand him either" but it made for a humorous moment on board. Thanks Royal Caribbean for a great job of turning the Granduer into a greater ship. We love her and her crew. May she sail for a long time out of Baltimore as this is really a very convenient port for us Canadians to sail from! Looking forward to becoming diamond shortly I leave you with just one thought. For some this was your first cruise and if someone or something upset you don't worry the next one will be a lot better and you might meet someone you like or better still you might meet someone that aqua toy like you. Bye all. See you in May and November.     Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Traveling with two toddlers always tempers expectations a bit. We decided that as we both love cruising we would try our fall family vacation aboard the Grandeur. As I dont have a ton of time(parent of two toddlers) to write this I will ... Read More
Traveling with two toddlers always tempers expectations a bit. We decided that as we both love cruising we would try our fall family vacation aboard the Grandeur. As I dont have a ton of time(parent of two toddlers) to write this I will give you the quick breakdown. I like so many others who come to cruise critic was immediately fearful based on a certain number of reviews. Having gotten off the boat this week I can honestly say I think some people just will never be happy lol. Is this ship the cutting edge of the cruise industry? of course not. What it is however; is knowing its place and doing little things well. The crew on this ship was fantastic. I had thought having sailed HAL with our infant two yrs ago that there could be no better crew. Grandeur was right on par if not exceeding. They went out of their way to make my wife and kids feel special. The child care facilities although not as large as the mega ships did a wonderful job as well. We are already thinking about going again next yr! PM if you have kid questions on board as we learned a lot over 10 days with a 2 and 3 yr old! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
While the Grandeur of the Seas may not have all of the bells and whistles of the newer ships, it is beautifully appointed and nicely maintained. My mother and I did a back-to-back on Grandeur and were delighted with everything about the ... Read More
While the Grandeur of the Seas may not have all of the bells and whistles of the newer ships, it is beautifully appointed and nicely maintained. My mother and I did a back-to-back on Grandeur and were delighted with everything about the ship. The food in the MDR was delicious. The service was extraordinarily fine from Veldine at Guest Services to Emilia, Housekeeping supervisor to Dennis our cabin attendant to Dwaine, the assistant resataurant manager to Erclan and Tuncay Head waiters to waiters Sharon and Antonio Lawrence to assistant waiters Nathaniel and Taryn everyone took such good care of us. Baltimore is not quite as efficent for embarkation as Bayonne, but disembarkation went very smoothly. We rent a wheelchair for my mom. She is 92, and the wheelchair makes it easier dfor her to get around on and off the ship. Everyone takes wonderful care of her. We were invited to dinner at the Captain's Table hosted by Hotel Director Clunis Daley. It was an elegantly presented evening--nicer than that on Queen Mary 2. One of the highlights of the cruise was seeing manatees along side the ship in Port Canaveral. That was so exciting. Key lime pie in Key West was a treat. We are already booked for another cruise on Grandeur. They make you feel like family. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We did a ten day cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Labadee. Overall it was very enjoyable. We thought that the staff was very helpful, in general. Food was mediocre. We ate in the Dining Room for a number of nights but it just ... Read More
We did a ten day cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Labadee. Overall it was very enjoyable. We thought that the staff was very helpful, in general. Food was mediocre. We ate in the Dining Room for a number of nights but it just takes too long. It tries to be pretentious in its descriptions but maybe that is common to ships. On formal night, they let men wear football jerseys. So why did I bring a suit? We ate in the Windjammer for the other nights. It was not crowded and the food was comparable to the DR except there was no lobster, fopr example. Understandable. One night, it was not good but the others it was. The activities staff was very good and positive. I thought the Cruise Director and the Activities Drector were very good.. The gym had new equipment and was the best of all the cuioses that I've been on. The enmtertainment was very good. I didn't care for the first dance show but the other was spectacular. They work very hard. The comedians and musical acts were also very good. We loved 'DAN BENNETT' and saw his show twice. The shopping person was annoying- of the top ten things to do in Grand Cayman, nine were shopping and the other was Margaretaville. Really? We had a negative experienme on our Ocho Rios shopping/beach excursion but were refunded half our cost. The beach at Labadee was filthy that day. The food was very good, hopwever. The ship was a comfortable and manageable size and the staff kept one busy. The Centrum acrobatic show was terrific. One suggestion is to have more staff coordinating those who are departing on their own. People like to cut lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
The food in the MDR and the Windjammer were great. Enjoyed almost every meal. The Service was perfect! The entrainment was stellar! Loved the shows!! Only did one excursion this trip to the Mayan Ruins. It was a long day, but worth the ... Read More
The food in the MDR and the Windjammer were great. Enjoyed almost every meal. The Service was perfect! The entrainment was stellar! Loved the shows!! Only did one excursion this trip to the Mayan Ruins. It was a long day, but worth the time. Notice a mechanical smell on deck 7 where our room was. Not sure of the cause, but others commented on it as well. It didn't seem to be in our room - just in the hall way. We found plenty of room to relax and enjoy the "ride" - Since we are not much for hanging around the pool, we found our piece and quiet on deck 5 where we could see the water. The lounges were pleasant as well. I know that the Grandeur has recently had some updates....but it could use a few more.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I was on this cruise as part of a larger convention group. Having a convention at sea is a WONDERFUL idea as we had our educational sessions while at sea but only for a few hours each day allowing us to fully enjoy our days in port as well ... Read More
I was on this cruise as part of a larger convention group. Having a convention at sea is a WONDERFUL idea as we had our educational sessions while at sea but only for a few hours each day allowing us to fully enjoy our days in port as well as days at sea. This was my first time on Grandeur but I had been on Enchantment last March so the ship was basically exactly the same. The ship, while older has been refurbished and our cabin as well as the public areas was clean, tastefully decorated, and did not show it's age. I had an inside cabin on deck 4. Very convenient location, quiet, and our cabin attendant was fantastic. Actually the service by all members of the crew was excellent. I don't think anyone ever said no to anything. The activities on the ship were okay. Nothing to write home about. This was a much older crowd than I have experienced before. I am 60 but I think the average age probably was mid 70's. Lots of folks sitting in the solarium playing cards and/or reading. The solarium was more crowed than the open pool area. There were only 13 children on this cruise. Ricky the cruise director was excellent. He was always visiible, friendly, funny and just a hoot. His side kick Andre, the activities director was also excellent. The entertainment was not as good as on the larger ships but still enjoyable. The best entertainer was Ronn Lucas, the ventriloquist. He was so funny, wish he performed more than once. The aerial show in the Centrum on the last night was also very good, but only 17 mnutes long so way to short. Food in the dining room and Windjammer was good. Typical of other RCI cruises I have been on. In fact the menu was pretty much the same as my last cruise in March on Enchantment. I liked the Park Cafe for a easy breakfast or lunch more than the Windjammer. The Park Cafe has the best roast beef au jus sandwiches. Embarkation and disembarkation was easy and fast. We arrived at the port around 1030 and we were sitting up on the Lido Dec pool by 11AM. Windjammer did not open however till 12N or so, just it was warm, sunny and a nice day so we didnt mind sitting around and waiting. Our cabins were not ready till 1:30. Since this was a convention we had our educatiional sessions either in the main theatre or South Pacific Lounge. Both were very comfortable and it was easy to hear the speaker and see theiir slides. The ports are ones I would not have personally selected but since it was the convention, I went. I really enjoyed our private tour by Dave's Taxi tours in St. John. Our driver was excellent and his knowledge of the area outstanding. We toured for over 6 hours and still didnt see it all. Bar Harbor was very pretty and we toured Acadia National Park via Oli's Trolleys. Again the tour was good. Peggy's Cove in Halifax was very pretty but I kept thinking "that's it?". Not much else there except to walk along the boardwalk which we did to get back to the ship. In Portland a friend picked us up and we went to the Shaker Villiage at Sabbathday Lake. Had a wonderful time there and it is worth going to. It will require a rental car however because the tours don't take you there. All in all this was a fun time. Met some really nice fellow passengers and the Meet and Mingle was well hosted and attended. Andre the activities director has us introduce ourselves and it was really nice to put faces with names. Then for the remainder of the cruise we could greet each other by name when ever we ran into someone from the rollcall. I would cruise on Grandeur again, though once to NE/Canada is enough. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our first cruise ever. The Grandeur is an older ship that was refurbished 2 years ago. Nice job. For the 8 days the only complaint was the SLOW elevators. Sometimes they just skipped a few floors altogether. Then had to wait more ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever. The Grandeur is an older ship that was refurbished 2 years ago. Nice job. For the 8 days the only complaint was the SLOW elevators. Sometimes they just skipped a few floors altogether. Then had to wait more for it to come back. The Great Gatsby dining room was really nice. The maitre'd was fabulous. Knew our first and last names by the second night. All dining staff was super. Food was terrific, especially the escargot, steak and desserts. I'd eat in the dining room as much as possible. Breakfast and dinner. The buffet was just edible. Nothing REALLY good. Lots of mediocre food. In the dining room everything was hot/cold as should be. Served quickly with each course in it's own time. No rushing. Had "My Time" and reserved the night before according to which excursion we were taking. Plenty to do if so inclined. Most music was aimed at the older crowd who liked to show off their Ballroom dancing lessons. 2 Specialty nights were fun. 60's and 70's.Shows were very good. Had 2 a night. Good variety. Our room attendant was very attentive. Straightened the room at least 3 times a day, made swans from towels, kept the ice bucket full. Drove from SE Penna to Baltimore. Easy drive, left luggage w/porters in lot, paid for parking ($15.00 a day) Parked the car & walked short way to gangplank. From house to room took about 1 1/2 hours total. Getting on & off each time for excursions was a breeze. Only wish we could have had more time in some ports. Final exit in Baltimore was fast and easy. Porters took luggage straight to our car. ONE IMPORTANT thing....Mark your luggage with something big and colorful. All the luggage is put in a warehouse. About 6-8,000 pieces. Most all dark colors. We had huge pink pom poms on every piece. Saw them immediately in the sea of black. One of the first ones out! All in all we had a wonderful first cruise. We are already saving for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our third cruise; our first on Royal Caribbean. There were five adults in our party. The trip was a wonderful experience. It surpassed all of my expectations. There were intriguing activities available all day. In fact, the days ... Read More
This was our third cruise; our first on Royal Caribbean. There were five adults in our party. The trip was a wonderful experience. It surpassed all of my expectations. There were intriguing activities available all day. In fact, the days were full of possibilities. We particularly enjoyed the ballroom dance lessons which were scheduled almost every day. There was a wide variety of live and DJ music available presenting many dance styles. The decades parties were amazing. The activities director, Ricky Mathews, was full of energy and a very talented MC and dancer. His second in command, Andre, and the rest of the staff were also full of fun and charm. The cruise took place during the school year in mid October with a Northern itinerary. The majority of the passengers were over 50 and travelling without children. We loved the demographics. It was our first cruise without our children. The mature atmosphere on this Royal Caribbean cruise was a nice change and preferable to the younger vibe on the "fun ship" cruises we took on that other cruise company. The ports of call were very welcoming and getting on and off the ship was painless. Food was abundant and delicious. The Windjammer Buffet was full of variety. Low calorie, gluten free and lactose free were available at all times. The Great Gatsby Dining Room was elegant. We enjoyed our nightly meals and the wait service made each experience a pleasure. We ordered a wine package and were happy with the variety and quality available. I also ordered twelve bottles of water which was the perfect amount for us. I was not looking forward to our position on the ship - Deck 2 - very forward and no balcony, but that was a non-issue. Our steward treated us like royalty, and it was too chilly and rocky to think about using a balcony! While active weather might sound bad for a cruise, we only had two days with overactive seas, and Dramamine and Scopolamine took care of any discomfort. In fact, the motion made dancing an adventure!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
It has been several weeks since I have returned from this cruise. I wanted to give myself time to let it all sink in and not rush to judgement. So here it is....my first review on Cruise Critic. My first rule is that I am not going to ... Read More
It has been several weeks since I have returned from this cruise. I wanted to give myself time to let it all sink in and not rush to judgement. So here it is....my first review on Cruise Critic. My first rule is that I am not going to name any crew member (good or bad)...I will just give their work area. Arrival: Super fast...Royal Caribbean has the Baltimore Cruise Terminal down to a science....I was just being dropped off...dropped bags for porter....got out of car and walked into the front door of the terminal and since I am now a "Diamond" cruiser I was moved to the short security line which I passed through in 4-5 minutes.....filled out my health form ...and went to the Diamond check-in line in which I was No.1. Got my Sea Pass card and picture taken and on my way. By the way if you are traveling in a group for a stateroom and everyone has their own credit card for on board charges then you do not have to check-in together. Since it was only 10:15 AM and it was not time yet to board we were seated in check-in order until boarding started. Around 10:35 AM boarding started and my group was called around 10:40 AM. I was on the ship by 10:50 AM and in the Solarium by 11:00 AM. Saves a table in the Solarium until the rest of my group arrived and got my first roast beef sandwich of the cruise...it did not disappoint me. With my group safely taking care of the table I went to the MDR to check out our dining table and the location was great...next to a window. I went back to the Solarium and talked and ate until the announcement was made that the staterooms were ready for occupancy. We waited for 20-30 minutes to check-out the cabin (give the mob time to clear the elevators a little). When I got to the stateroom (outside Deck 4) our luggage was already there. This was my 10th cruise and the first time that the luggage had arrived this early. The room was clean and well supplied....when the steward came to introduce herself we asked for ice on a daily basis and extra bath towels...which appeared twice a day every day. Food.......MDR for dinner late seating, Service Great, Food Above Average Entertainment ....only went to one shown in the theater and he was an Elton John impersonator and he was very good.. Activities ...Activity Director (to me at least) seemed MIA and the less I saw and heard from him the better. Did play Trivia a lot in the Schooner Bar . Ports 1) Portland Maine....did the best of Portland and Kennebunkport Tour...it was pretty good but too long 6 hours 2) Bar Harbor..........did a nature cruise....saw some great wildlife and natural scenery ...boat was large and heated. 3) St. John N.B. ....just walked off on my own and bought some things to remember the cruise by...windy and cold this day 4) Halifax, N.S......did the Halifax Titanic Connection Tour....I've been a Titanic "fan" since I've been 12 years old and it was great to be so close to the history of this disaster...the grave yard and museum were nice stops. 3 hours and did not leave the ship until afternoon. Departure....our bags were tagged for the third group to be called the depart the ship. We were called right at the estimated time and it only took 15 minutes to depart the ship, go through U.S. Customs and claim luggage. I was back at my house by 9:30 AM....that is one advantage to live 15 miles from the cruise port. All-in all it was a pretty good cruise....the bad part was fellow travelers who acted as if RCCL employees had to kiss their butts....you are paying for cruise...you have not been made king or queen for a week! Bad manners were in evidence ...especially the people with the electric scooters speeding and just ramming the things onto crowded elevators just so that they do not have to wait for the next one. The crew and staff did the RCCL and Grandeur of the Seas proud...I can not wait until my Feb. 3 cruise to the Eastern Caribbean!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
As others have said, embarking and disembarking in Baltimore is a breeze. The port is literally right off interstate 95 and so easy to get to it.Within minutes of arriving we were onboard and after a walk around to familiarize ourselves ... Read More
As others have said, embarking and disembarking in Baltimore is a breeze. The port is literally right off interstate 95 and so easy to get to it.Within minutes of arriving we were onboard and after a walk around to familiarize ourselves with the Grandeur, we headed to Park Cafe for our first lunch onboard - those who recommended the roast beef sandwiches were right - they are delicious! And the Park Cafe is a nice way to miss the hustle and bustle and open platters of foods handled by others like what happens in the buffet at Windjammer. After lunch we could go to our room, change to swimsuits, and hit the pool. This was the plan, and we did get ready to swim, but this was a special occasion in Baltimore - the 200th anniversary of the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. In honor of the occasion the Blue Angels were doing an air show, and we figuratively had ringside seats, with the jets flying right over our ship. I have never seen the Blue Angels perform before and it is truly amazing. Before you know it, its time to sail away, and it is a great port to sail from. The views along the Chesapeake are punctuated with great sights, including passing under the Key Bridge, then a little later under the Bay Bridge. Soon it was time for dinner. We had any time but favor an early dinner. Then close to midnight, over the tunnel portion of the bay bridge-tunnel. Its fascinating to see the lights of the bridge disappear into the waters over the tunnel.. This cruise only had one port- Bermuda. CREW This was my first experience on the Grandeur, and I was impressed! The crew is super. I can not possibly say enough great things about this crew. These are the most friendly, competent, terrific crew I have ever sailed with. FOOD As an Elite loyalty program member of Celebrity I have always heard and believed Celebrity had the best food - but our experience was the best ever on Grandeur. Each meal was a delight. I even liked the coffee. On our last cruise on the Celebrity Solstice we drank tea with every meal because the regular coffee was awful. this was pretty good on the Grandeur. Other than a galley tour/brunch we did not eat at any specialty restaurants, because we were so pleased with the staff and the food in the MDR. And that Galley tour/Brunch was spectacular! Lobster tail, huge shrimp, seafood skewers with shrimp and scallops, inch thick veal medallions were highlights, Mimosas and Bellinis were unlimited during the buffet brunch. I loved this brunch. ENTERTAINMENT The cruise director was always present, and there was a nice mix of activities. My only criticism is that the music is so loud at the pool deck that it is painful. And with the volume so high, when someone is talking on the mike, you can not understand anything that is said. The shows were pretty standard, though the second night, there was a singer, whose name I was sure I would remember but can not recall now except first name Zach. He was excellent, and my favorite show of this cruise. The production shows were okay, but nothing special. BERMUDA the 6 day itinerary is promoted as 3 days in Bermuda, but we really had only one good port day. We arrived at 4pm on sunday, when public transportation stops at 6pm, so if you didn't use an excursion or a cab, you couldn't go to a beach other than the little snorkel park at the docklands. I heard several people say the glass bottom boat was a waste of time and money, but since we did not do this (or any other) tour I couldn't speak to this. Our full day in Bermuda was wonderful. We had bought our 1 day transportation pass for $15 sunday afternoon, so we just walked over to the St Georges Ferry for the first run at 9:15. Arriving in St Georges we walked around the town to see the local sites, then walked by the Unfinished Church, to Tobacco Bay. Although it includes a hill, its an easy .8km walk to the beach - and its a beautiful beach with easy snorkeling in protected calm waters. We were enjoying the beach so much that we stayed longer than originally planned and were in the water for well over 90 minutes. I overheard a couple discussing an excursion they took and that there were more fish and better snorkeling experience at this beach than they saw on the snorkel catamaran tour to the reef. My personal experience, this really was a great place to snorkel. The facilities include a rest room and changing room, but no shower. We were able to rinse hair and face in the sink, and change into dry clothes. We were also able to refill our water bottles for free at the concession stand. they also sell bottled water, snacks, and drinks and have umbrellas and chairs available We walked back to town just in time to catch the hourly bus #1 back towards Hamilton, passing the Swizzle Inn and The Caves. We got off at the stop for the Botanical Garden (I'm an avid gardener). We didn't see the entrance so missed it, circling around the hospital looking for the gardens. Finally found it, and spent about an hour walking through the gardens. It was HOT, and even though the gardens are lovely, we felt drained by this walk. Exiting the gardens helpful locals showed us where to get the #7 bus towards the Dockyards - this bus runs every 15 minutes. This is the bus that passes all the South Beaches including Warwick and Horseshoe Bay. But we were so drained from the heat that we just stayed on the bus, and went back to the ship. Altogether our self-guided day in Bermuda was a successful 6+ hours, but if I had it to do over I would have skipped the gardens in the heat, and stopped at either Warwick or Horseshoe Bay. Our last day in Bermuda was short since we needed to return to the ship by 11am for departure at noon. We stayed in the Dockyards, exploring the shops. Its a pretty area, but not much to do with such a brief time before departure. Overall, we loved this cruise, loved the ship, loved Bermuda...Our next time in Bermuda we will probably look closer at itinerary to chose a cruise with more time in port, maybe look for a 7 day. Definitely want more time than we had in Bermuda. But would definitely do more Baltimore to Bermuda on Grandeur Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We had a great autumn trip to Bermuda from the Port of Baltimore. It was a bit chilly but that didn't stop us from using the pool as much as we could on the first day! Cruise Director Ricky was fantastic, as was the activity director ... Read More
We had a great autumn trip to Bermuda from the Port of Baltimore. It was a bit chilly but that didn't stop us from using the pool as much as we could on the first day! Cruise Director Ricky was fantastic, as was the activity director and the rest of the staff. Grandeur, though older, is a great ship with lots of fun and activities on board. Bermuda was wonderful in September and not too hot. We did get some rain while we were there but were still able to enjoy Horseshoe Beach and some other local attractions. On the second day, we took the bus excursion to the zoo, aquarium, and Crystal Caves. I must not have read the description very well, because the bus ride was very long with lots of stops, though it was just chartered for the cruise passengers. The driver was pleasant and told us lots of great tidbits about Bermuda, its culture, and the daily lives of the people who live there. I really found it all quite interesting but with two small children in tow, they were only interested in getting to the zoo and aquarium. The zoo and aquarium were fun, and though it's a small zoo, we only had about 40 minutes to go through the whole thing. I would have liked more time there. Then we went to Crystal Caves, which was very nice and interesting. However, if you've been to any caves already, I would recommend skipping the trip. I've been to Crystal Caverns in Pennsylvania, Shenandoah and Luray Caverns in Virginia and I think at this point I don't think there are many more interesting caves to see. For an adult or teenager I think this was a great trip and very informative and fun. For small children, I'd recommend getting an all-day bus pass to go at your leisure. The tour also said it would be three hours, but we had to be there before the 9am departure and did not get back to the ship until after 2 because bus drops you off in Hamilton and you have to get yourself back to the ship via ferry - again, this would have been GREAT for just the two of us because we could have had a leisurely shopping trip and return to the ship, but with small children we really needed to get back because the kids were just done after all that bus riding. So I guess to sum it up, it was a great excursion but I would not recommend it for families with small children, and maybe I should have read more into it. The craft market was wonderful, as were many of the shops in the port area. They have a cute little train you can take around the area but there's so much you can do in the immediate area. I must say I really love the little snorkeling beach and mini golf place right by King's Wharf and would even happily spend all my time in the port area. Bermuda is beautiful and we plan to take a Grandeur cruise there again and see all the things we didn't see this time, and maybe just take a day and relax on the beautiful pink beaches. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our third trip on this general itinerary, and the fourth time on the Grandeur. The ship is not a megapolis but has just the right ambience and amenities to make for an enjoyable cruise, especially for senior cruisers, although all ... Read More
This was our third trip on this general itinerary, and the fourth time on the Grandeur. The ship is not a megapolis but has just the right ambience and amenities to make for an enjoyable cruise, especially for senior cruisers, although all age groups would find lots of activities. As usual, the staff at Royal Caribbean has been well trained in customer service and performed above and beyond expectations in all categories. Friendliness and caring seem to emanate from everyone, from the food/wait staff to the cabin staff and people who walk around maintaining the ship and doing things behind the scenes. Although the food was a little disappointing at times, no one will starve on this ship, and some items were outstanding. The activities and cruise directors were so full of energy and pizzazz that you were always tempted to participate in whatever activity they were involved in. We generally do our own off ship port activities, and I feel I would be remiss in not mentioning the great time shown to our group of ten travelers in Halifax by Mr. Jim Currie (www.tours bytowncar.ns.ca) Jim was enlightening, knowledgeable, engaging, and despite our having been in the area before, provided a unique experience in an affordable, comfortable package. We are planning to be in this area again, and we will definitely seek him out in advance. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We had reservations about sailing on Grandeur as everyone we knew, who had sailed her previously, and many reviews we read warned us that, although nice, she was an “older and smaller” ship. However, we live in southern Maryland and ... Read More
We had reservations about sailing on Grandeur as everyone we knew, who had sailed her previously, and many reviews we read warned us that, although nice, she was an “older and smaller” ship. However, we live in southern Maryland and the thought of cruising minus the airport turmoil was very appealing. So we booked a sailing on the New England itinerary, keeping low expectations of the ship to avoid disappointment. Our group included myself and my husband, both mid-50’s, and my father who is upper 80’s. When we boarded the ship, we were very pleasantly surprised. We found Grandeur to be in great shape and beautifully decorated. Although considered small by today’s standards, we rarely felt crowded in any of the public spaces. Getting a chair alongside any of the pools was never a problem. We could always find a great spot on the outdoor decks if we wanted shade or sun. The only issue concerning crowds that we encountered was a shortage of tables in the Windjammer at breakfast. Fortunately the weather was good, so we opted to eat outside on the pool deck most mornings and went to the Main Dining Room on sea days. One of the things that I loved best about Grandeur was the abundance of windows in the public spaces. You could watch the world pass by from just about any location on the ship! This was our 12th cruise (Holland, Celebrity, Carnival and RCI) and I have to say that Grandeur has, by far, the best food of any ship that we have experienced. We selected My Time Dining in the Main Dining Room. We went at different times each evening and never had to wait for a table. The staff there is exceptional. We also dined at Giovanni’s and Chops Grille. The selection and quality of the food were well worth the surcharge. We enjoyed Giovanni’s so much that we returned for the brunch that was offered there on the last day at sea ($15/pp). We loved it and would highly recommend it. The biggest surprise for us was dining in Windjammer. We were tired after some long shore excursions and didn’t feel like dressing for the Main Dining room; so we opted for a quiet dinner in Windjammer. The selection at the buffet and taste of the food was just great. They also have a very attentive wait staff here. We had dinner in Windjammer twice while seated by the window, watching the ship depart from Portland and Halifax. My husband and I had an inside cabin and Dad had an ocean view, both on Deck 2 (forward). Both cabins were very small but had plenty of storage space. The bathrooms were tiny and it was difficult to move around in the shower. We were in cabin 2043 which had an access door to some kind of crew space. We experienced a lot of noise at night in our cabin. Doors were slamming within that space and we could hear the crew talking and singing. We also felt a lot of vibration from the ship in our cabin. Dad’s cabin was across the hall, 2038. His was much quieter and there was very little vibration. The cabins were located near the forward elevator but we found that many of the venues we used, and also embarkation for ports, were near the aft area of the ship. I recommend booking a cabin near the Centrum elevators. We loved this cruise and especially, the wonderful staff on board. We enjoyed Grandeur so much, that we have already booked another cruise on her for next spring – this time to Bermuda.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I just arrived home today from taking the Grandeur OTS from 8/8-8/15 to the Bahamas. This was my first time taking a trip out of Baltimore and when compared to Port Canaveral, it was about 30 minutes faster from the time you arrive to the ... Read More
I just arrived home today from taking the Grandeur OTS from 8/8-8/15 to the Bahamas. This was my first time taking a trip out of Baltimore and when compared to Port Canaveral, it was about 30 minutes faster from the time you arrive to the time you actually board the ship. I would estimate it was about 25 minutes from parking to boarding. I was traveling with a group of 8, including some first time cruisers and a 1 year old. I had balcony 7072, and as this being my first time with a balcony, I will never go back to any category less. The room was bigger than the standard ocean view room with a decent sized balcony and plenty of storage space. I found the room to be functional and just big enough for two adults and a pack n play set up for the baby. The state room attendant was friendly and efficient, as expected on RCI. The food was definitely a highlight for all of us on this trip. We ate most meals in the MDR, the Great Gatsby, and found our waitstaff excellent. Both were interactive and friendly and were very playful with our 1 year old daughter as well. I had lunch one time in Izumi for an upcharge and found that to be excellent as well. However, the MDR food was great at just about every meal. I also found the Park Cafe to be a hidden little gem that served more deli style sandwich's etc. The Windjammer is your standard cruise buffet. The food was good, but it is focused more on quantity than quality. This is an older and smaller vessel, as such, the entertainment was good, but the production shows not spectacular. The consensus of my group was that we enjoyed the bands, the piano entertainer, and the trivia games the best. After being on this ship for a week, it seems we saw and experienced all the ship has to offer and as such, we would be seeking future cruises on the more newer and bigger ships for more options. This is especially so with young kids. Other than the nursery, there was no place for our 1 year old to go or do. The newer ships have baby pools and more activities for them, but on the Grandeur, kids under three have no pool to use nor entertainment. If we had to rank the port of calls, it would be Coco Cay, Port Canaveral, and then Nassau. Coco Cay is always a delight and simply beautiful. You can literally plop in a lounge chair for six hours and not move if you choose to. My only gripe was that another ship was tendered at Coco Cay the dame time, and thus, twice the amount of people on the island. Having been there before with just my ship, we were a bit disappointed to find it so crowded compared to the last time. I really wish RCI would stop having more than one ship stop at their private destinations at the same time. While it's great for business, its a disservice to its guests. We went to Cocoa Beach in Florida, and while it did rain later in the afternoon, the beach is very wide and the wave action was awesome. For $15 bucks, not a bad deal to enjoy some sun, sand and water. To me, I am done with Nassau as a stop on a vacation. I will write more about this under the port review section, but needless to say our excursion group got split up due to the sheer chaos of disembarking at the port, waited an hour for a shuttle bus to Atlantis in 90 degree heat, and then be told the excursion got cut an hour short on top of it. Basically for $85, we sat on an Atlantis beach for 2 hours. After complaining, we got 20% taken off our excursion bill. Overall, we all had a really great time on this trip, except for the issue in Nassau. For those that are seeking the more personable and comfort atmosphere of a smaller ship, than you will have a great time on this trip for sure. We were definitely sad when the trip was over! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
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