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We wanted a small ship that was within driving distance and found Blount. They have two older very small ships that are identical. We knew it was a small boat but weren't prepared for just how spartan that meant. It's a very seniors oriented setup, max of 84 passengers in 40 cabins. The others on the boat were all born in the 1940's. The ship has no real amenities to speak of. It was very clean but badly in need of refurbishment. The dining room is downstairs and the living room is on main deck. The cabins are on either of those two decks. Living room has uncomfortable chairs and a large TV which showed a movie on one evening. A local author spoke on another night. Nothing else in way of entertainment is offered. Bring your own books. Or load movies on the iPad first. The young crew is very sweet and helpful. You can walk the outside of ship and sit on top deck. The excursions are reasonably priced at each stop. Usually just a bus tour except for Newport where you visit a mansion. The wifi is abysmal at port and nonexistent at sea. Your phone gets better service than ship's system. Yes it's free and they assume the seniors don't need internet connection. Food is very typical buffet quality. The big night is lobster bake, other nights are choice of fish or meat/ chicken. The real issue is that this isn't a very cheap cruise. For the ship you are on, the value just isn't there. I had researched American Cruise line and others seemed to like them better. Or just go with a larger cruise line unless number of passengers is really your priority. Yet over half of the passengers were repeats! Why? I think it's simply due to the very small number of passengers and non-intimidating small ship. People want small and pokey since it's very simple and easy to deal with. Less confusion all around. They ring a bell and you head downstairs to dinner, not complicated at all. Don't expect to sleep late. Breakfast is 800am and it's all gone by 830. Lunch is 1230 and dinner is 630. No assigned seating used. I won't be returning but please investigate all other options before buying this trip. Compare the price per day per person and especially consider the lack of a real cabin here, plus zero entertainment / amenities. See my details on the room below.

Small older ship, good crew, not much else to recommend. Better values elsewhere

Grande Mariner Cruise Review by Richard-Maine

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: USA
We wanted a small ship that was within driving distance and found Blount. They have two older very small ships that are identical. We knew it was a small boat but weren't prepared for just how spartan that meant. It's a very seniors oriented setup, max of 84 passengers in 40 cabins. The others on the boat were all born in the 1940's. The ship has no real amenities to speak of. It was very clean but badly in need of refurbishment.

The dining room is downstairs and the living room is on main deck. The cabins are on either of those two decks. Living room has uncomfortable chairs and a large TV which showed a movie on one evening. A local author spoke on another night. Nothing else in way of entertainment is offered. Bring your own books. Or load movies on the iPad first.

The young crew is very sweet and helpful. You can walk the outside of ship and sit on top deck.

The excursions are reasonably priced at each stop. Usually just a bus tour except for Newport where you visit a mansion.

The wifi is abysmal at port and nonexistent at sea. Your phone gets better service than ship's system. Yes it's free and they assume the seniors don't need internet connection.

Food is very typical buffet quality. The big night is lobster bake, other nights are choice of fish or meat/ chicken.

The real issue is that this isn't a very cheap cruise. For the ship you are on, the value just isn't there. I had researched American Cruise line and others seemed to like them better. Or just go with a larger cruise line unless number of passengers is really your priority.

Yet over half of the passengers were repeats! Why? I think it's simply due to the very small number of passengers and non-intimidating small ship. People want small and pokey since it's very simple and easy to deal with. Less confusion all around. They ring a bell and you head downstairs to dinner, not complicated at all. Don't expect to sleep late. Breakfast is 800am and it's all gone by 830. Lunch is 1230 and dinner is 630. No assigned seating used.

I won't be returning but please investigate all other options before buying this trip. Compare the price per day per person and especially consider the lack of a real cabin here, plus zero entertainment / amenities. See my details on the room below.
Richard-Maine’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 70A
If you have gone camping or lived in a RV trailer, this cabin will suit you perfectly. Largest is 8x10, including two small twin beds, bathroom and shower stall. You won't spend much time in here at all, it's just too claustrophobic. The HVAC sounds like a 747 when it's on, so bring ear plugs. I was afraid to move in bed since I would end up on the floor. You have 4 gal water heater so don't shower too long. Bring rubber shoes to wear in the cabin since it's a bit funky on the floor. Daily room cleaning is offered.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews