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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first trip out of Baltimore and aboard RCL. The ship, though rather old now, appeared to be well maintained and about as large as we would like. Crew were all very friendly accept for one of the guest service clerks who must ... Read More
This was our first trip out of Baltimore and aboard RCL. The ship, though rather old now, appeared to be well maintained and about as large as we would like. Crew were all very friendly accept for one of the guest service clerks who must have been having a bad day when we asked him to help in describing a charge on our account. It ended up being a DVD that we purchased. The charge statement could use some more detail on it to avoid such requests. Entertainment was really good and the food in the main dining room ended up being quite good after a couple of days of being less than steller. Our waiter helped us out by recommending some choices and having us avoid others which was much appreciated! The shore excursions were managed pretty well but varried in value for the money. We ate at two out of three specialty restaurants and Chef's Table all of which were top drawer. Over all we rated this cruise 4 out of 5. It would have been a 5 if the main dining room food had been more consistant throughout the cruise and St Thomas (probably damaged by the storms) replaced St Croix. We plan to go again on this cruise but not every year like many guests do apparently. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
the ship is a smaller, older ship but still has all the basics, our inside cabin was somewhat smaller than others we have been on but for the time spent in the cabin it was ok. It has been a while since we have sailed with RCCL but it ... Read More
the ship is a smaller, older ship but still has all the basics, our inside cabin was somewhat smaller than others we have been on but for the time spent in the cabin it was ok. It has been a while since we have sailed with RCCL but it seemed that dining was not quite what I remembered it to be but I definatly did not go hungery There was no access to the ice cream machine during bad weather or after 8:30 pm. The cabin did not have a refer which was a first for us. Entertainment was hit or miss, with all of these sea days there was only one guest lecturer, would have like more and even he was cut short on time. Crew was very friendly and helpfull with exception of the staff person in the internet area who was doing his own thing and did not want to be bothered with questions. activities in these ports were somewhat limited but still things to do if you took excursions. having to travel from Montana to Baltimore I probably would not do it again in the winter. overall a good trip. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the destinations. We book travel every year during the winter months. This was a very good cruise. There were only two things that would have made this cruise better. A hard closing shower door vs the old ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations. We book travel every year during the winter months. This was a very good cruise. There were only two things that would have made this cruise better. A hard closing shower door vs the old and not secure curtain. Every day we would have to fight with it and I'm a small woman. There's no reason to know a shower curtain that intimately. Secound was the hamburger quality. My several attempts to eat it were disgusting. There was gristle & fat all through out it. I've gone on other cruises that have (Guy Fierri) burger places on them and they're STELLAR! With hamburgers, then lasagna, meatballs, and the many other dishes that had hamburger in them, they SERIOUSLY need better quality beef. The shows were Amazing. Our cabin steward was AWESOME!! The one day I was sea sick and he told me that he's around all day long in the hallway if I needed anything. Would I go on Royal Caribbean again, Yes but probably closer to my destination (like out of Florida). Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This is our 3rd cruise out of Baltimore, 2nd on Grandeur and once on her sister ship. We were on deck 7 in a spacious ocean view cabin and had Cornelius as an excellent and skilled cabin attendant. Most of the reviews have already ... Read More
This is our 3rd cruise out of Baltimore, 2nd on Grandeur and once on her sister ship. We were on deck 7 in a spacious ocean view cabin and had Cornelius as an excellent and skilled cabin attendant. Most of the reviews have already described the friendliness of the crew (which I thought had actually declined since our last cruise), great job by Mike the cruise director and the good food in the MDR and buffet so I will leave it there by agreeing wholeheartedly. Entertainment: We had a great magician (Jamie Allan) and comedian (Naster) on our cruise who were both very high quality and very talented. However, the cast shows were really low quality and particularly the singers. Male vocalists on the ship sang dated songs and were not special in any way. Finally, if you like team trivia and various game shows, THIS is the cruise for you. Daily entertainment is abundant and fun. RCI is starting to economize and various changes are evident. On our last cruises on Oasis and Grandeur, Diamond members got a few hours of complimentary internet time. Now that is gone along with per minute plans to use the internet with the substitution of an exorbitant daily rate or whole cruise package as the only choices. I saw few people using the internet terminals unlike our previous cruise and myself and others getting free internet in our port stops. I love to have smoked salmon as part of breakfast on cruises but that was present in the Windjammer only once or twice that I noticed during a 12 day cruise vs. every morning previously; the quality was pretty bad in comparison to other ships we have been on. Beef used to prepare some of the various stew-type dishes in the Windjammer was frequently so tough as to be inedible. Hamburgers and meatballs were made with ground beef that often had inedible chunks of gristle. Other than those items most food was quite good in all of the restaurants including the MDR, Chops and Giovanni's. Major Negatives: The Centrum on the Grandeur is used for musical entertainment and dancing and for other things like dance and exercise classes. In the evening particularly, the sound level of the band and screaming singers and DJs was often well above 125dB (decibels) on the OSHA sound meter app. on our smart phone. At 100dB that can cause permanent hearing damage, OSHA recommend less than 15 minutes of exposure MAXIMUM to level of 100dB.............so you get the picture of how loud that Centrum "entertainment" is on the Grandeur and similar ships when the "entertainment" starts cranking (earplugs anyone???). Smoking is allowed in the Casino that is connected with the Centrum by a short hallway. The smell of smoke drifts into the Centrum and was often detectable at various times. Obviously the air circulation in the Casino is not adequately exhausting the air from there and it is thus forced into the adjoining hallways and entertainment spaces.......GROSS for non-smokers like us. The mattresses on the Grandeur as showing their advanced age as is the ship. Mine had a distict "valley" in it that I just lived with for 12 nights. Finally, we were on Deck 7 and endured constant sewer gas smells in the bathroom presumably coming from the floor drain in the backside of the toilet. Complaints to our room attendant mollified the smells for a few days but they returned so I had to routinely run the shower hand nozzle into that drain and cover it with a towel. I see another review on CC where the same problem was reported for a cabin on Deck 7on the same side as our cabin so this may be a system problem on this ship on this deck on the port side. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We booked this cruise (OK - I booked this cruise) after watching too much beachfront bargain hunt and seeing a piece on St. Croix. Our daughter lives 15 min from the port, so we thought it would be an easy to/from. Then she threw a ... Read More
We booked this cruise (OK - I booked this cruise) after watching too much beachfront bargain hunt and seeing a piece on St. Croix. Our daughter lives 15 min from the port, so we thought it would be an easy to/from. Then she threw a curveball into the mix and told us she was pregnant and due 12 days before out sail! But she delivered early (our grandson was born on Christmas morning) and we went on the cruise and spent a few days after with them to give them a bit of a break. We have cruised a total of 5 times prior to this, including RCI, Celebrity, and Princess. And that was spread over 20 years. So we are not big cruisers. If you are reading this to get info on pools, bingo, or trivia you can get out now because we did none of that. Our cabin was 2618 - the lowest deck we have been on. It was perfect. It was quiet, easy on/off when in port, and we had an awesome cabin steward - Dean. Very little movement even when the cruise was hitting rougher seas. We did my time dining and loved it. We made reservations only the first night. Typically we would go to the early show (7) and go to dinner after that and we were always seated without a wait and with the exception of the last night - when we went to dinner early - were seated with the same wait staff. Always at a table for 2. Food was good to great, and we enjoyed the dining room for dinner. We did the Windjammer one night when hubby was feeling a bit punk, but other than that all dinners were in the dining room. We did 2 breakfasts in the dining room and enjoyed the company and the service, but typically did the Windjammer. Other than lunch on embarkation day and one day with a later excursion we did the Windjammer. Those 2 days we did lunch from the Park Cafe. We enjoyed most of the shows, opted out of a couple. We arrived at the theater about a half hour before the show and few were there. About 15 min before it started to fill up. All shows we attended we enjoyed. Our fave quite space to read was deck 5 on a lounger. Our favorite place for a drink was the Centrum where Deborah from the R Bar took great care of us. We attended a couple of daytime activities, my primary one being learning the Thriller Dance which we performed the last night. Very fun! The crew - amazing!!! I get why people go time and time again on this ship. Yes, she is old, and she shows her age in places but so do we! We loved not only the crew but the passengers whom we found to be so very friendly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
The staff was amazing and went out of their way to make everyone happy ! We will definitely sail with royal Caribbean again ! It is a small ship but that is what we love about her. Everything went very smoothly ! Our 30 year old son and ... Read More
The staff was amazing and went out of their way to make everyone happy ! We will definitely sail with royal Caribbean again ! It is a small ship but that is what we love about her. Everything went very smoothly ! Our 30 year old son and his gf were with us and they had a wonderful time even though most of the guests are elderly . Can't wait to sail on her again ! Our room attendant Ida was great . Also loved our waitstaff Johannes Salmen and Erhon. We always ate in the dining room . Didn't step one foot into the windjammer. The food was excellent ! We enjoyed being waited on so always went to main dining room ! Will definitely sail with royal Caribbean again ! Loved that we could just drive to the terminal in 2 and half hours. Stayed at a hotel for one night and they supplied a shuttle to the port and left our car in their parking lot till we returned. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our third time on th Grandeur the first time being in January 1999. Three years ago we also were on in January. We had breakfast every morning in the windjammer and Salmen our waiter was usually there taking my omelet order. We ... Read More
This was our third time on th Grandeur the first time being in January 1999. Three years ago we also were on in January. We had breakfast every morning in the windjammer and Salmen our waiter was usually there taking my omelet order. We had lunch in the dining room a few days for the wonderful salad that was prepared. We only dined in the main dining room every night. We had Salmen, Johannes and Ehron who all excelled. We clebrated our anniversary and my birthday onboard. Everyone was very friendly and outgoing. Never had a problem with anyone. I spent almost every evening in the Schooner Lounge when the piano play Ross Leadbeater entertained the young and old alike. He was very well received by all and did an amazing performance every night. We did not attend a lot of the shows as we like to do our own thing. On the islands we would get off and usually just walk around ourselves without taking any excursions. We enjoyed sitting in the Centrum and listening or watching the shows. We met a lot of nice people on this trip. We stayed at Fairfield Inn in White Marsh that provided shuttle service. We were onboard by 10 AM easiest embarktion ever. We walked off at 740 AM and was met by the shuttle. This also was the easiest disembarktion out of 12 cruises. Only negative was we had to return to our cold weather again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The whole crew was very friendly and helpful. It took a while to get our luggage to our cabin. The dinning room food was the best that we’ve had so far on a cruise line! There was so much to choose from. Ev3n the items they had ... Read More
The whole crew was very friendly and helpful. It took a while to get our luggage to our cabin. The dinning room food was the best that we’ve had so far on a cruise line! There was so much to choose from. Ev3n the items they had offered everyday was fantastic! The only major downfall was that it was too rough to go to CocoCay. We hauled all our snorkeling equipment for nothing. This was a smaller ship, which I liked. There was only a couple times it was hard to find a table at the buffet, but was able to take our food to the adult area to eat. The cabins were bigger than I thought they would be. There were plenty of drawers, we didn’t even fill them all. The movie screen in the pool area wasn’t the best, kinda hard to watch. I wish that they had a more affordable water package like other cruise lines so we wouldn’t have to carry it on. My husband uses a cpap machine and they had a gallon of distilled water and an extension cord waiting for us in the cabin. I wouldn’t think twice about doing another cruise with Royal Carribean. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our 3rd cruise on the Grandeur. The crew is great across the ship. Our first Jr suite and aft to boot. Our stateroom attendant, Ikomang? was always around when needed and kept our ice bucket full and our room tidy. We spent ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on the Grandeur. The crew is great across the ship. Our first Jr suite and aft to boot. Our stateroom attendant, Ikomang? was always around when needed and kept our ice bucket full and our room tidy. We spent more time in the specialty restaurants than the MDR. The food was very good at all. We went twice to Izumi, twice to Giavannis and once to Chops. Casino staff was friendly, the tables not so much. We enjoyed the daily evening entertainment, particularly the singer, Kenny James, the comedian Naster and, as always, the singers, dancers and orchestra. We saw all 3 shows for Naster, He was very funny and had a great message. There was constantly something going on in the Centrum also. We like the Baltimore port due to it being nearby to us. Stayed again at the BW+ on O'Donnell which allows parking and KD Elite shuttle each way. It was a great stay and there were no issues with the parking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was a 10 year Anniversary cruise for me and my husband. We had an ocean view cabin and it was wonderful! Our room attendant Jay was very attentive. He kept ice in our ice bucket the entire cruise. We did a few excursions through ... Read More
This was a 10 year Anniversary cruise for me and my husband. We had an ocean view cabin and it was wonderful! Our room attendant Jay was very attentive. He kept ice in our ice bucket the entire cruise. We did a few excursions through the cruise company. They were all great. We were expecting more wear on the ship from other reviews we have read about her. We thought everything looked great! The dining in the main dining room was something we looked forward to every night! Our waiter, Vincent, and assistant waiter, Manoj, were both very attentive and kind. The entertainment exceeded our expectations. We enjoyed a show or comedy act each night after dinner. We also joined in on a few games, which were equally exciting. We will definitely be going on another cruise in our near future. We would love to sail on the Grandeur of the Seas again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Great value for all it offers. The entertainment is really good. The crew as well as the guests are some of the friendliest at sea. Love the smaller ship atmosphere. The Great Gatsby Dining Room is staffed by great waiters and is elegant ... Read More
Great value for all it offers. The entertainment is really good. The crew as well as the guests are some of the friendliest at sea. Love the smaller ship atmosphere. The Great Gatsby Dining Room is staffed by great waiters and is elegant in decor. The CD on this particular cruise was Mike (Polish name) and he was awesome. Our room was very clean and very nice, but wish the beds were higher to slide our luggage under. I still wish they had better hair dryers. I also feel that they should make the showtimes 7:30 and 9:30 instead of 7 and 9. We always seem to be rushed through early dining to get to the first show and even if we make it seats are pretty much gone by the times we finish dessert. We rarely can stay up for the later show as we have busy days and tire easily. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the sailing date and the itinerary. The departure city was Baltimore Maryland, a place we had never visited before and looked forward to exploring, along with Washington DC, its close neighbour prior to our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the sailing date and the itinerary. The departure city was Baltimore Maryland, a place we had never visited before and looked forward to exploring, along with Washington DC, its close neighbour prior to our embarkation on 22nd December 2018. This went very smoothly. In fact, the most seamless we have ever encountered. Filling in all the paperwork does make such a difference. From the outside, the ship looked fine, however, the same cannot be said for the interior. Everything looked dated, some parts shabby. The Christmas decorations at least added some brightness and cheer. Our 'stateroom' was on Deck 4 forward. I cannot believe as a seasoned cruiser that I`booked this. I was convinced I had booked midships, knowing only too well that you feel movement more at the front of the ship and as we were sailing from a cold to a warm climate, from the Atlantic to the Caribbean, I thought there might be some rough weather...and there was. The rolling was dreadful and both my husband and myself suffered with sea sickness. Also, the noise in this cabin became unbearable. As the seas rolled, the banging of who knows what became louder and louder and was repeated all night long. But this wasn't the worst bit. I complained bitterly to the deck manager, the cabin steward and the hotel manager about the cleanliness or lack of it in the cabin. It was disgusting. Dirty fingerprints and hand marks on the door, wardrobes, mirrors. Glazing on the mirror was so badly marked it wouldn't clean. There was a broken glass shelf in the vanity unit and the wooden furniture had surfaces so badly damaged that they could never be cleaned properly. The inside of the drawers were dirty so you wouldn't put anything in them. Of course we asked to be moved but the cruise was fully booked so there was no chance of that. The mattresses had to be changed because they were so sunken they nearly touched the floor...I could go on! The menu standards continue to deteriorate with a repetitive menu that you are sick of well before day 12. Christmas dinner was all disappointing with a lack of atmosphere. No Christmas crackers anymore...something else you have to take on board yourself. There was no sommelier, the head waiter was serving water when the assistant waiter was helping to serve meals. It makes you think that the rumours may be right. Royal Caribbean lets a lot of staff have annual leave in order to free up more cabins for paying guests. I suspect that may have happened in our case. Having said that, I cannot fault our waiter, assistant waiter and head waiter. They were all fantastic and gave first class service throughout. We are diamond level guests so we are able to have some drinks for free. Thank goodness for that, they were so expensive! Cocktails seemed to be lacking in alcohol and again, very few bar waiters on deck. Smoking in the casino? Didn't like that. Teenagers congregating in adult areas after midnight. Wasn't keen on that either. I don't think the ship had much for kids so it was probably the wrong ship for that run. They took over hot tubs, the pool and the lifts! The saving grace? The Cruise Director. I think he was the best we've ever sailed with. The entertainment was good too, Some very funny comedians. I'm not a fan of all that show stuff, I think thats dated too but lots of people seemed to like it.The ports were good too. Nowhere we hadn't been before but we enjoyed our self directed excursions. We also enjoyed the Christmas Carols around the Centrum but its not big enough for the activities that go on there and so many people couldn't get a place. There weren't enough carol sheets to go round and they took them off you when they finished. Personally I think we could have sung more and made the moment last a bit longer it was so nice. But...theres always a schedule to stick to! So, we made the most of a cruise that could have been so much better but also so much worse. Would I go again? We will certainly cruise again but definitely not on the Grandeur and we will have to think about RCI again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise due to port proximity and cruise length. We live in North VA. The Grandeur seemed to rock and sway more than previous ships we have cruised, the weather did not seem bad enough most of the time to cause the extreme ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to port proximity and cruise length. We live in North VA. The Grandeur seemed to rock and sway more than previous ships we have cruised, the weather did not seem bad enough most of the time to cause the extreme rocking. The Grandeur staff was friendly, other than the French lady at the excursion desk, she seemed to be tired and irritated every time we spoke to her, but she still took care of us every time. Parking: Baltimore cruise terminal was awesome! Easy to find and reasonably priced at $15 a day. There was a lot of friendly help to get u around to where we needed to go. Boarding: Boarding was also fast, although a bit unorganized. Everyone was friendly and helpful. Disembarkation: Fast and awesome! Gym: We did not use the gym since the elliptical I normally use were in the back with no sea view. Other than that, it was small and clean. Food: The food at the buffet was great, and we only ate once at the main dining room. It took us about two hours to have a lackluster meal at the main dining room with a bunch of unfriendly and rude people. Chops Grill: This restaurant was mediocre. Great service by the staff but the steaks were meh! We ate here three times hoping we would like it more the next time, but no luck. Izumi: This was our favorite restaurant on the ship. Great food and service. We ate here three times. Excursions: Only want to mention that we did several beach/restaurant excursions that were not the best for the money paid due to local harassment and poor facilities (chairs, Sun shades). You will do best and save a ton of money if you go on your own, we’ll research more next time. We used Bernard Tours in St. Marten, we have used them before and really liked them. This time it was horrible, the company has grown tremendously and they no longer take great care of cruisers. They never came to meet us at the pier as in past trips, and we had to run around asking where to find them. We were the only cruisers on the excursion, probably for good reason. We will not use them again. Teen Center: Our 13-year-old girl loved the teen center and spent considerable time there. Internet: We bough WIFI for two devices. It was ok, but very slow. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was probably my 12th time on Grandeur, but my partner's very first cruise. I always wanted to go on a holiday cruise and this was the perfect opportunity. It has been about a year and a half since I last sailed on RC, and some ... Read More
This was probably my 12th time on Grandeur, but my partner's very first cruise. I always wanted to go on a holiday cruise and this was the perfect opportunity. It has been about a year and a half since I last sailed on RC, and some changes weren't for the better. The dining room menus have changed a great deal, and the food was not of the quality I have come to expect and appreciate. We listened to a talk with the Captain, Hotel Manager, and Chief Engineer, and it was said that the new menus are something they are trying...I hope things go back to the way they were. I am sure they won't, as it is obviously a cost cutting maneuver, but one can dream... Service is wonderful, as it has always been on this ship. My daughter and I mistakenly took a Carnival cruise last fall and it made me appreciate the service on RC all the more. My only real complaint for the trip is one that I should have anticipated from the time I booked....I thought a 12 night trip would not be full of children, but I was so wrong. The holidays brought many, many children on the trip, and between small ones whose parents let them run wild, playing on the stairways and dance floors so that people could hardly pass or dance, to teenagers who daily seemed to band into large foul mouthed groups...well, it was not a great atmosphere. But again, I should have anticipated this and only have myself to blame for choosing a holiday cruise. I always spend most of the ship time in the Solarium, but that wasn't to be, as the cold weather for the days at sea caused them to open up the pool to children...there were posted times for them to be there, but parents ignored it for the most part and the area was full of shrieking children most of the time. The other problem was the large groups of teenagers (with their foul language) who gathered for hours in there. I finally found a place to read up in the Viking Crown...just wish I had thought of it earlier in the trip. So it was a good cruise, with a lesson learned for the future, which is that I like ships with a much older group and while I will still go on the Grandeur, I will be much more careful in choosing my dates! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ My employer closes for the holidays every winter, providing a ... Read More
You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ My employer closes for the holidays every winter, providing a great opportunity to take a longer-than-usual cruise spanning both holidays plus a few days on both ends. The holiday sailing on Grandeur of the Seas met our needs as it aligned perfectly with my break at work and we like the Baltimore port’s proximity to our house. We pulled out of our driveway at 11:45 and were in our cabin by 1:30. This was our fifth time and our second holiday sailing on the Grandeur, the first being last year on a slightly different itinerary. This year we went to St. Croix (last year was St. Thomas), Antigua, St. Lucia (Martinique last year), St. Kitts, and Sint Maarten. As in previous experiences with the Baltimore port, everything went very smoothly – only a few cars ahead of us to check our bags, no line inside the terminal for the metal detector or to check in. And right up the back-and-forth gangplank and onto the ship. There was the usual boarding day elevator delay as some elevators were being used for luggage transport. We got to our cabin, took the standard photos of our cabin to post on the web, and went off to Park Café for our traditional embarkation-day roast beef sandwich lunch and our first food disappointment of the cruise – they had turkey instead of roast beef!!!!! We were told they alternated among turkey, roast beef, and pork, but we found roast beef only once so we must have forgotten to check every day. Cabin: We were in cabin 8548, a mid-ship Junior Suite on the starboard side. This cabin (and its port-side equivalent, 8048) has the advantage of being opposite a right-angle passage from the mid-ship staircase lobby, avoiding corridor traffic and lobby noise. Like all cabins on Grandeur, it feels dated with its blond wood and green upholstered furniture (which actually is quite comfortable). The Junior Suite has more storage than most other cabin classes, with three drawers in the triple door closet, six drawers in the desk area, plus a few more drawers and cabinets opposite the closet. There are also two chairs and a convertible sofa with a coffee table and two ottomans (with removable tops for more storage). The bathroom had a bathtub, harder to get in and out of than a walk-in shower, but with the trade-off of more space for showering. We also had a balcony with two chairs and a table. This is a very comfortable cabin for the two of us and has plenty of space for company to come visit. Food: We ate most dinners in the Great Gatsby main dining room or Windjammer, my go-to spot for breakfast as well. (The continental breakfast options on the free room service menu are limited but sufficient. Delivery was often before or after the half hour selected; a few times they called before delivery. We didn’t get any coffee or tea since the Junior Suite has coffee/tea service in the cabin.) The dining room food was good, but the selection options were a major disappointment from previous sailings on Grandeur. The MDR dinner menus no longer offered a daily chilled soup and the only salad offering was Caesar Salad – EVERY NIGHT! (There were a very few other salads offered during a few of the 12 nights but generally, they were specialty salads and there was no garden greens salad option.) Last year, the “every night starters” consisted of Caesar Salad, Escargot, Shrimp Cocktail, and French Onion Soup. This year, they added a Seasonal Fruit Medley every night as well. But the trade-off was the loss of a different salad and chilled soup each night, and a reduction in the other appetizer selections from three to two. The main course options were reduced as well. Last year we had five “every night” options, reduced this year to three, and the varying options were reduced as well. Desserts also had only two or three changing items each night plus the standard chocolate cake, apple pie, cheesecake, ice cream (always vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry), and crème brûlée. The appetizer fruit plate served as a nice dessert if nothing on the dessert menu was interesting. We found the menus so boring that we occasionally ate dinner in Windjammer just to get some variety. Service was slow the first night but improved when the maître ď suggested that all the waiters serve the smaller (two-person) tables before the larger groups. We ate dinner in the Windjammer three times because of the international offerings those nights – one was Indian and another South American. The Indian food was excellent and varied, the South American not so much. Windjammer at night is a nice place to eat as it is usually quieter and the large windows all around provide nice views of passing ships. And there often are sightings of officers and their families in Windjammer. Ship overall: Grandeur is a lovely ship with artwork in all of the stateroom corridors and in all of the stairway landings. The ship is very bright and open feeling with lots of glass in almost every venue. I could usually find a chaise in a quiet shady spot on deck, my preferred spot on a cruise. The Solarium indoor pool area was crowded most days, but seemed to empty out around 4 PM every day, when I would go for a swim in the indoor pool. Entertainment: We tend to skip most ship entertainment because the volume level hurts our ears. Some of the music sounded like something we might enjoy but not enough to justify the hearing damage. Ports: St. Croix: We have been to St. Croix several times and in the past have gone to Sandcastle on the Beach resort for some beach time. We decided to try Rainbow Beach this year. The beach seemed larger than Sandcastle, but had many more people. We did not try the food in the restaurant. We will return to Sandcastle on our next visit to St. Croix. Antigua: We went with a group to BeachLimerZ on Fort James Beach, a ten-minute taxi ride from the port. The beach was very nice and the food and service were excellent. We might go there again – or try another of Antigua’s 365 beaches. St. Lucia: We took the water taxi across the bay to town and went to the Cathedral and Derek Walcott Square, attractions we enjoyed on previous visits. (Restoration of the Cathedral continues, though there is still quite a way to go.) St. Kitts: We had nothing planned for St. Kitts, as we have been there several times and toured the entire island. This turned to be an accidentally wise choice as it rained on and off almost all day. Sint Maarten: We took a ship excursion to the beach at The American Greenhouse on Simpson Bay. This was a lovely beach with water sports and a nice restaurant with good food. Overall experience: We lucked out with great weather for most of the cruise, with the only rainy day being on the port day at St. Kitts. The seas were calm for the entire trip, making things even better. As always, the staff and crew on Grandeur were friendly and provided great service. The only complaints we had were about the dinner menu selections, addressed above, and that RCI has decided not to offer the 12-night itinerary for at least the next two holiday seasons. But we’ll be back for another cruise at a different time of the year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We stayed overnight at La Quinta, in BMW and it was nice, $159 for a room and parking for up to 14 days included. Shuttle to port included. We got picked up at 10:30 and were at the port by 11:00 and on board by 11:30 . In our rooms by ... Read More
We stayed overnight at La Quinta, in BMW and it was nice, $159 for a room and parking for up to 14 days included. Shuttle to port included. We got picked up at 10:30 and were at the port by 11:00 and on board by 11:30 . In our rooms by 12:30 ish. Family of 8 went for the holidays, the ship was beautiful, and we never felt over crowded. Embarking was quick and we were on board within 30 minutes of arrival at port in Maryland. The ship was fully decorated, we had Santa on Xmas morning, and NYE was so festive. Balloons from the ceiling, great music, champagne all around!!! We all had inside rooms one with 4 people, it was definitely a bit crowded for 2 adults and 2 teen boys, but manageable tho they would book a bigger room in the future. Our room , we separated the beds and had plenty of room, I was amazed at all the space to put things, drawers on the vanity were pretty deep, three on the right 3 on the left, the right ones were full size, the left were half size. There was another set of full drawers in the closet( I put my shoes here). Two mirrors on either side of the vanity had shelves for toiletries, and a huge mirror, a center drawer was also in the vanity /desk. There was no refrigerator and we thought it would be an issue, but we never missed it. The bathroom had plenty of storage too. shelves and drawers and a lower shelf. Shower took some learning to not have it come on too strong, and once in a while hot water was a bit scarce. we just learned when to shower around it. We really liked the room for 2 people, and even 4 did okay. We three decorated our rooms and doors....many did. The room was plenty cool when we adjusted the air conditioning. Our room steward Emerson Thomas was so personable and kept our rooms immaculate. He was in there after every visit to be sure things were perfect. Of course we had towel animals, always fun!! Always a smile and a hello in the halls, knew our names in one day. Always asked us about our days. We went to the windjammer for most breakfasts and lunches, most day we were able to get a large table to fit us all around, and enjoy our start of the day. Food was aplenty, with many delicious choices, even the omelet station was over all fast. most I waited was 5 minutes. Pool was not crowded, plenty of chairs to sit, didn't really see a lot of hogs. Hot tubs were busy but still could get in if you chose to. They opened the solarium on the colder days for children within certain hours, which was nice. The pool bar was a bit slow compared to the other bars, but it was always busy too. For dinner we all met at the MDR we had the 8 pm seating. Our head waiter was Amlan, and his assistant was Joe. There were a re few glitches on the first nights, but they did their very best to please us. Both were new and did a great job. Brought us extra bread baskets every night always had our drinks to serve, brought us some extra plates of cheese and fruits and extra butters. One night there was no escargot on the menu( my favorite) and Amlan got one for me anyways without me saying anything, which was very nice. We enjoyed the foods we had, we enjoyed our servers, and the little shows they had a few nights. We ordered a bottle of champagne for Xmas, and it was at our table chilling, we also won a bottle of champagne and it was there another night waiting in a chill bucket. Cannot say enough great things about both servers. The two teen age boys with us enjoyed the teen group, we had many many children on board being a holiday cruise and only had a few behave a bit naughty. Had adults behave badly as well. We didn't go to shows as we were busy, eating, at the time they were happening many times. Only big complaint I would have is 8 pm sitting and singular activities in the centrum at 8:15 pm. So all us missed all that. Should be after both meals like 9:00pm. Lots of fun there in the day times. Egg drop contest, corn hole games, dancing, music. This is where the chair hogs showed up. They would sit for hours and wait for each show. We did some trivia games in the south pacific area, went to play bingo, decided $40/pp was a bit rich so found trivia fun. The Schooner bar was always pretty fast with drinks. The centrum bar was slow and some times rude. If you asked for a drink from that bar that you had in another bar, they told you you had to go back to the other bar for it. Never heard of that. We went to the viking lounge one night to watch karaoke, it was nice but again getting a drink was a 15 -20 minute wait. We learned to get it else where and bring it along. Karaoke was a bit pre- planned. Seemed if you dressed in skimpy clothes you were in. 50's night was fun!! We brought poodle skirts and saddle "shoes" and did the dances. The dancers were excited that we came dressed in 50's gear. My daughter who is a pinup girl here at home did a duet with "Elvis" of summer lovin'. It was quite fun!! There was a 70's night but they did mostly 80's songs. Again we came prepared and had a good time. Other nights there was always a small band or a duet of violin and guitar, both were good!! Day 5 we stayed longer for the day which was nice. We went to buck Island and Turtle Bay in St Croix, had a great crew with Grace from Carribean Sea Adventures. We had to get to the other side of the island and we were getting ab it worried about taxi rates and getting there on time. But we disembarked earlier than they expected, and found a taxi at the end of the pier for $16 round trip pp, which was great. The ride to Christenstad was hot as this Taxi decided not to use his AC. A 30 minute drive in a closed in taxi, no windows to open and hot air blasting through the vents, fortunately the ride back he used full air and it was delightful. The excursion was terrific. We snorkeled on our own and also followed a trail. Word of warning do not use reef safe sunscreen, it doesn't work. Tow different brands and multiple applications and we all still burned. Grace told us regular sunscreen is fine as long as you apply it 30 minutes before the water then it doesn't leach. embarking was quick and easy, but the alcohol collection was a disaster. Day 6 we were in St Johns Antigua, we did the stingray city tour via rccl. Disembarking was again easy. We were promptly on our way to the boats to take us out. We liked that the rays are free to come and go and we are corralled in instead. They were magnificent. So beautiful. Got to feed them squids, and they were not afraid of us at all. Nothing as soft as a stingray massage!! W will be back!! Nothing shy of amazing. embarking was again slow only because of he alcohol situation, The man had no clue what he was doing sadly but was trying hard. Day 7, we were in St. Lucia, disembarking was a breeze. We booked an trip to Splash Island on our own. We ran into miscommunication of pick up but once we found them behind Diamond International, we ere off and on our way in a lovely AC taxi that you pay $10 pp round trip. If you are at all weak ankles, or overweight, this is not the place for you. It is large floats and they are difficult to get up on in the water, the "ladder" is also a float. I stayed on land , and they graciously refunded me. The others in my family had lots of fun on the floats. My Teen age grandsons had a blast. The taxi came for us on time and we were whisked back to the port, with time to shop around a bit, and of course get some nice purchases of alcohol that is very expensive here. Embarking was easy but still a cluster mess around the alcohol table. Many didn't wait and took their purchase up to their rooms, no one said stop. Day 8 we were in St Kitts, disembarking was again easy, some of us did the chocolate tour via rccl to St Kitts chocolate factory. The owner is very nice and we had samples of various chocolates and then we made some of our own to take with us. It was very nice. Seema was very knowledgeable and patient with the young 6 year old even when she asked silly questions... sadly people behind me were impatient and made mean remarks about this 6 year old. I don't know what the rush was. We still had plenty of time to do some shopping and get a bite to eat,which is a good thing because my husband and I stopped at a little stand that served chicken a fries. We ordered that and an almost an hour later we finally got our food after reminding them three times that we were waiting. Embarking was the same easy on but bottle necked at the alcohol collection table, they ran out o f tape, then told my SIL who had a $150 bottle of Johnny Blue that it was no a big deal, he waited a bit then took off for his room, who is going to assume a $150 bottle will be just fine unlabeled with the room number? Day 9 , we were in Sint Maartine, disembarking was quick we did some early shopping with my favorite jewelers the off to Maho beach. Hubs and me already had been but it was still lots of fun and a first for the other family members. Taxi was $16/pp round trip. Beach was free, bathrooms were not. $1.00 to use. Gave you a voucher to use in the hut for beers, but most of us didn't drink beer... St Maartine has come a log way from hurricane destroying it, still has a ways to go , but was lovely none the less. Spoke to our friend the jeweler, he was broken into and looted three times, as were many there he said. His cousin who was in the clothing store was looted 5 times. Sad that people do that. Embarking was easy but again the hold up a the alcohol table. We had high waves that night and deck 10 was closed. Day 10 was warm and NYE. We relaxed at the pool, enjoying our drinks after breakfast. We hung around and just chilled until dinner time, we got no pictures done as the 6 oclock seating was in line for that, so we gave up. We had lobster tails for dinner, which made 7 of us delighted, me I had a yummy dinner sans that. NYE in the Centrum was fun, and we drank champagne and toasted in the new year. Day 11 was NYD, we relaxed, watched games in the Centrum, Drank lovely drinks ( after a late breakfast) , Chilled by the pool, grabbed lunch in the windjammer, did a little trivia about xmas movies, did oragami in Schoorner. Dinner was in the MDR, we dressed up and had lots of pictures done as there were 5 different places. Then off to dinner. We ordered a seafood tower to be brought down to us ($39) and enjoyed the ooos and ahhs. After dinner we relaxed and had a few drinks before going off to bed. Day 12 We had breakfast in the windjammer, it was a bit more crowded but still found a large table. then just relaxed and enjoyed the ship and drinks!! It was too cold for the pool and they didn't open it to kids the last colder days. Got an announcement that Mike our cruise director had man flu as they called it. Seems many got sick after they left the ship, none of us in our party did. Packed up and placed suitcases out a 8 and they were promptly picked up but they shut off a bank of elevators to use for that and it made for long waits for elevators, we mostly used stairs, unless we were on floor 4 and going to floor 8 or 9. We chose 8:15 disembarking, but it was delayed due to the government shutdown had begun. Once we were called, it was a fast look at our passports and no declarations and we were off and running. Kudos to RCCl for having people with red Flashlights alerting porters to where they are needed, this is a nice addition since we last sailed with them. ( 2009). We had a hard time getting back to our hotel with their shuttle, people who had just come off from a later time were running to the shuttles meant for earlier people. Thought there was going to be fisty cuffs.... people were just rude about it not being their shuttle but would get in anyways and defy anyone saying they had to get out. La Quinta needs a better system. Over all we had a fabulous time. It is sad that Grandeur and RCCl has now split this cruise time up. You cannot go for both holidays unless you do B2B for lots more money. Many people made it a yearly trip and many knew each other from previous years. I am glad we booked it before that change. I would do it again as a full 12 days. Hopefully they will listen and change it back. We bought the drink packages ultimate for adults, refreshment for the teens. We got a great price and got more than our monies worth. Starbucks coffees were included on this ship. The only other thing that was rather slow was the cafe with food in the later afternoon, understaffed, salad side he would take off most of the time, and the selections went quick, when we did get food it was quite good. Hot sandwiches, soups, and the like. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
WHAT a disappointment!! The 12-night, December 1st, Grandeur of the Seas Cruise from Baltimore was everything you would not want!! ** On the sea days, the ship smelled like an ash tray, especially on the rough sea days. Reported to ... Read More
WHAT a disappointment!! The 12-night, December 1st, Grandeur of the Seas Cruise from Baltimore was everything you would not want!! ** On the sea days, the ship smelled like an ash tray, especially on the rough sea days. Reported to "Melvin" as the Customer Service Desk.... only received smiles. ** Poor Breakfast Service in the Great Gatsby Dining Room. 20-minute wait for a placed HOT meal order with COLD food being delivered to the Table. ** NY Strip Steak dinners were tough to cut. ** Dining Room Management was very slow to clear Tables for 2. They seemed to want a 6-8 table filled. Possibly, more cost-effective for RCL. But, the Server had to wait for all meals to be ready BEFORE anyone at that table could get their meal. ** Dining Room French Onion Soup with cheese and a broth that had NO Flavor. Whole Wheat bread under the cheese in the FRENCH ONION SOUP. No French Bread. ** A female Comedian with offensive comments about minority groups. ** Jugglers were not entertaining. Their comedy was not comic!! ** Ever since RCL went with pre-paid Gratuities, the Service from the Staff has dipped. ** Unless you watch the Bartenders, the mixed drinks are LIGHT in taste and watered-down. ** St. Croix, USVI, was a terrible Port-of-Call. The Island's ACTION is on the OTHER-side of the island. Certainly NOT like St. Thomas, USVI. ** Cabin Staff was great. ** Pinnacle Level RCL "Patrons" were a rude clique. They seemed to 'love' their little-gold badges to identify themselves as the RCL Elite!! ** Apparently, the past itinerary for this 12-Night was St. Thomas and not St. Croix. Those on this cruise who enjoyed St. Thomas were not going again on Grandeur. ** Apparently, RCL is raising the cost of this 12-night by $400pp. ** The "Next Cruise" Office offered the same prices as RCL has on their website. The only difference was the Deposit Amount. If you are thinking about the Grandeur of the Seas ....think twice!! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
this was wife and mine 20th cruise and the seventh on RC. First time sailing on Grandeur. Both of us in mid 60's. We had a balcony room on deck 7. We did no shore excursions from ship. Itinerary was good. My rating of average was ... Read More
this was wife and mine 20th cruise and the seventh on RC. First time sailing on Grandeur. Both of us in mid 60's. We had a balcony room on deck 7. We did no shore excursions from ship. Itinerary was good. My rating of average was because of the food. Without a doubt, the food on this cruise was the worst we ever experienced which was surprising as we had had no prior complaints on RC or the other 5 cruise lines we have sailed on ( including Celebrity in January where the food was excellent). In the main dining room the food was hit or miss but with more misses. some nights the selections were blasé. Wife tried fish 5 times and me once and not one good one. All were too fishy tasting. Soup selections were unappealing. Twice we had to order a second dinner because the first one just wasn't any good. Ate one night at Chops (good) and one night at Giovanni's(excellent). Didn't eat dinner at Windjammer as breakfast and lunch didn't inspire any confidence that dinner would be better. Unless you order fresh eggs, the rest of the breakfast foods were lukewarm at best. Not much variety as everyday is pretty much the same food. Lunch had more variety but again almost all foods are lukewarm. Did eat 3X in MDR for lunch. Food was better but service really slow. You can have a made to order salad which is the way to go. Did grab coffee, fruit and pastries at Café Park in the Solarium some mornings. The Ship- mostly an elderly crowd. Many people have sailed the Grandeur many times. They obvoiusly love it. Over 500 Diamond members on board. Ship is small and easy to get around. Lots of activity takes place in the Centrum- music, dancing, games etc. Did notice a sewage smell in places esp on deck 4 right side of ship. PROS- small ship; Sails out of Baltimore so almost everybody could drive there. Cruise Director Mike. Activities. Itinerary. Balcony. Long Pirate Ice Tea.(3 rums- Yum). Bartender Antoinette. Happy crew. CONS- small ship so lack of bars and other places to hang out. Lack of variety in theatre productions- how many comedians are too many? no nightime event at outdoor pool. Only one device can be on wifi at one time. .........Bottom line is we wouldnt sail on this ship again. We like the bigger ships with more options and better food. We'll sail RC again but we're on Celebrity in July. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Baltimore is close to home. Saving airfair allows $$ for massages and a suite. The extra room and balcony was great. A quiet place to relax. Room service was great on a rocky sea night. After a busy day on excursions it was wonderful to ... Read More
Baltimore is close to home. Saving airfair allows $$ for massages and a suite. The extra room and balcony was great. A quiet place to relax. Room service was great on a rocky sea night. After a busy day on excursions it was wonderful to have some room to stretch out and relax. I want my vacation to be relaxing. For excursions we go snorkeling so a lack of physical activities on board are not missed. Yes the clientele does tend to run older. I guess I am beginning to fall into that category in my mid 50s. The older crowd did seem to have fun. Many have sailed multiple times on this ship and many have many friends they meet on board. This is my 2nd sailing. Many guests seemed to have bonded with their servers in the main dining room. Our head waiter took very good care of my party of 3. I like the food in the windjammer. Give it an 8. The main dining room is my favorite for dinner. Last cruise we tried the specialty dining and only return to Izumi. Luckily there was not the hard sell for specialty dining this year. I am not a big one for shows, eating at 8 made it hard to see any. Watched them a day later on ship tv. Not much for line dancing and ballroom,swing, etc but those who did join seemed to have a good time. It is hard to find a seat in common areas with the older crowd but with a suite we could find seating in the concierge lounge. The cruise director had a good time and many of the activities were humorous. Perhaps it was due to my first cruise or it being over the Christmas holidays for last year but the presence of the cruise director was non-existent last year while he was everywhere this year. I don’t have kids and appreciated the lack of kids on the trip. Last year for Christmas they were running around unchecked. We picked some beach escape excursions and they are just not worth it. Love the catamarans and snorkel. The best of beach, sailing and swimming -no more beach escapes for us. The rum tours on St Croix was great. St Kitts to Nevis Fan2Sea catamaran is a favorite. The biggest issue and it’s a problem we have seen for the last two years are the vendors who really won’t take no for an answer and return repeatedly to sell trinkets, massages etc. When all you want is to soak up some sun. All in all a good trip.have booked again for next year. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Wife & I have done this 12-day on Grandeur 3 times now (2016, 2017, and now 2018); with 2 other couples this time. Only new port was St Croix, others were Antigua, St Lucia, St Kitts, and St Marteen. Plus: We like the smaller ... Read More
Wife & I have done this 12-day on Grandeur 3 times now (2016, 2017, and now 2018); with 2 other couples this time. Only new port was St Croix, others were Antigua, St Lucia, St Kitts, and St Marteen. Plus: We like the smaller ships. GoS is well maintained, never dirty, and has a very friendly crew. We're OK with the inside cabins, better light and sound control (usually) and we don't need a huge amount of space for 2. 1st time we had Mike as CD. Excellent job, I like his bad puns and he had some neat magic tricks (I want to know how he pulled off the last one on the last night). His asst, CC, is also good and has an enthusiastic staff. Lots of programming and games, and Mike was very creative at making sure there was at least one show a night, even when performers got (sea) sick. Dancing: Wife & I are big dancers, Real Time Band came through (again), and they've expanded their playlist and take more requests. Their Rock-a-Rockie (Karaoake with them) were fun. The calypso band was also good, and we enjoyed the ship band when they played. Recorded "ballroom" in South Pacific was just OK - too many really old slow tunes. We gave the DJ some suggestions, so did the couple providing the dance lessons on the at sea days. The strings duet suffered an injury mid-cruise, they were easy to listen too but not playing anything danceable. We didn't see any of our dance friends from the '16 and '17 trips, made some new ones. Entertainment: We have seen several of the acts before, still enjoy them espec when they add new material. The Motown singer (and his son) and the Beatles tribute band were excellent. I heard that the piano player/singer in the schooner bar was quite good, and very entertaining. Service: Ship crew generally provides excellent service. Cabin and Windjammer were particularly attentive. R-Bar never hassled us for ordering ice water all the time (dancers do that). At Sea: Lots of activities, and there were ballroom dance lessons from an excellent husband/wife pair each day as well as line dancing and other activities from the cruise staff. Mike (the CD) and CC (AD) and their team were very creative. Ports: Excellent weather all 5 days. Just windy in St Kitts. St. Croix was OK to disappointing, the town is small and still recovering from 2017 hurricane damage. Beach near the pier is very rocky, wear water shoes or sandals. If we go again, I'd want to take an island tour or maybe intro to scuba (the scuba shop mentioned that they must work through the ship, no walk ashore and schedule your own session). Antigua: Took cab to Valley Church Beach. Quiet, VERY scenic. Well worth the extra time and $. Shopping in St Johns is OK. St. Lucia: We tied up at the old pier again (a German ship was at the other pier). Good island for cheap stuff and t-shirts. Went to Marigot Bay (private cab) for a few hours. WELL WORTH IT (even if the roads are terrifying). St. Kitts: I like this island. We did some shopping, has better liquor prices IMO vs. Antigua. Wife found a lovely ring and bracelet at one of the jewelers. Better price than we saw for similar the next day in St Marteen. Too windy for beach (same as we experienced in '17). St. Marteen: Lots of recovery vs. what we saw a year ago (GoS was one of the 1st ships in post-hurricane). But still a ways to go. We were told French side is still in bad shape. We stayed in Phillipsburg, did some shopping and had lunch in town and then just hung out on the town beach. Liquor prices have come down vs what I recall from '17. As good as what I saw in St Kitts. Excursions: Didn't take any, just cabs as noted above with our travel companions. Kids: Only about 36 aboard on this trip (between holiday breaks). The ones I saw were well-behaved. Note the Solarium was open to kids on several at-sea days dues to weather. Other passengers: We're in late 50s/early 60s and felt like we were under the median age of the passengers. Not an issue for us, and I am impressed at how well the ship and crew could accommodate passengers with limited mobility. Weather: 1st and last days were indoors (temps), although last day was bearable and not too windy. Several at sea days were windy and decks 5 & 10 (the track) were closed. Day 11 was ROUGH. We were coming in behind a storm and dealing with what I was told later were 20 ft seas; ship pitched a lot with frequent spray up to Deck 9 & 10. Lots of people got sea sick and main dinning was maybe 1/3-1/2 missing that night. Wife & I were Ok but 3 of our 4 friends with us spent day/night in bed. Dinning: This was a mixed bag, I'll explain: MDR Breakfast: OK, not much change in menu (various pancake options and special omelettes). Service can be called "sedate", be aware if you are in a hurry for an early morning tour or activity. Windjammer Breakfast: Decent selections, some nice surprises (smoked salmon for omelettes!). MDR Lunch: We like the Tutti salads, and decent selections usually. Windjammer: About same as breakfast. VERY attentive service. Only a zoo on Day 1 (as usual). And now, Dinner: What has happened to MDR service? I know RCL has been economizing on food and service in the MDR, but table service for 5:30/1st seating dinner has become ATROCIOUSLY SLOW. In 2017 & 18, we had great service, and never felt ignored or rushed if we were trying to make the 7:00 show. Our companions agreed with the assessment, we think it is an understaffed MDR and less experienced staff (the experienced ones are in My Time and specialty?). Our waiter and asst were not incompetent, they were overworked and rushing a lot. Noted that they often had to make extra trips for condiments that should be pre positioned at waiter stations (mint sauce, horseradish, even ketchup, syrup at breakfasts). Service did improve to adequate when one of the MDR captains pitched in. They should not have to have done so. Also the MDR coffee at dinner consistently sucked and I'd go to WJ or Park for something tolerable. At least they figured out quickly we all drink a lot of iced tea. MDR Food: Decent if somewhat repetitive selections. The menu has been paired down and you now order dessert with dinner instead of ordering later. Food was well prepared and presented. EXCEPTION: Be prepared to get undercooked beef; either be very specific about what you want, order it 1/2-full grade more done, or send it back. Lobster tails on 2nd formal night are ok, they get smaller each year. Order 2 or 3 to save time. Windjammer Dinner Food: Reasonable selections and a special theme each night. Decent desserts, sometimes better than MDR. Specialty Dinning: EXCELLENT. After some discussion with our friends and the MDR management and THEIR management, we went to the 3 specialty restaurants. CHOPS: My favorite. Order beef. It will be prepared PROPERLY and well presented. Lamp chops are OK but much smaller portion. If you order the 16 oz ribeye, come HUNGRY. Giovanni's: Very good, better for lamb or veal (I loved the veal). Larger sides/portions, we definitely over-ate here. Izumi: Ala cart pricing, reasonable for what you get. EXCELLENT sashimi. The rolls dishes are good for table sharing. The ship ran several promotions for specialty dinning, and might be worth doing once aboard. We did not use My Time. Embarkation/Disembarkation: By far the easiest (as usual) we ever experience. Check in was hampered by only one working scanner. Quickly onboard after we got thru that. No longer have a carry on bag check. Staterooms open at 1:00, wife's bag arrived soon thereafter. Mine showed up during dinner. Go figure. At end, exited ship at the 'everyone please go home now" announcement at 9:15 and were in the Uber with our bags at 9:45. Customs was fully staffed and the line moved well. Going again: We love this ship and are likely booking the early December (11/30 actually) 2019 cruise. We already have a cruise in late January, we shall see if the MDR is a train wreck or has improved. Other than the service in MDR I noted above and the slightly less than perfect cabin, it was a great trip. Captain and crew handled weather well, you have to expect it this time of year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because Baltimore was within driving distance. It was our first cruise. People said that the food would be great but....it wasn't. We typically eat at fine restaurants and so we were prepared to see similar ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Baltimore was within driving distance. It was our first cruise. People said that the food would be great but....it wasn't. We typically eat at fine restaurants and so we were prepared to see similar fare. Not even close. The Windjammer Buffet was a feeding frenzy with people acting like they never saw food before. It quickly looked like a feeding trough for barnyard animals. The Windjammer desserts looked amazing but they had no taste. The MDR service was great however the food and menu choices weren't very special. The menu got worse as the week progressed. I'm thinking of one of the last nights there was an appetizer: "Chilled Strawberry soup with Mint foam" The last few days seemed like they were trying to get rid of leftovers. I'm thinking of the Smoked Salmon cut up and scrambled in with eggs. Our cabin steward, Joseph, was the best part of our trip. He kept everything clean and orderly. Many other floors had a sewage smell but ours was kept odor free. There were some warm days however, the wind and rain kept us from enjoying the outside pool and the one day we could...some kid pooped in the pool and they closed it until the next day. (at sea, they dumped it and refilled it) The Adults Only Solarium permitted children during certain times because of the weather however, The Solarium resembled a nursing home by 10 am everyday. There were scooters, walkers, and canes. Older guests took up all the indoor poolside seating most laying there fully clothed, asleep, not even using the pool. The one man was so slack-jawed, I wondered if he might be deceased. The outer seating was filled with older guests playing cards, dominoes, scrabble and the like. The older guests never left. They would sit, sleep etc until it was time to eat again. Some people were cruising back-to-back-to-back. One lady said she'd be there for another 115 days! We only get one vacation a year. The full-time cruisers could not care less. This was their cruise ship and we were the interlopers. The Charleston Historical tour was great and very informative. The RCI provided tour guides in Miami were not the best. We felt man handled as we were quickly forced onto a double decked bus. I was concerned that we were being kidnapped. We didn't go to Cococay. We didn't even know this was a possibility. We had our most special excursions planned for that port. It didn't ruined our time together but I was devastated. This was a special day planned especially for my husband. Excursions were reimbursed but we took the whole cruise without ever getting to see a beach. We may try cruising again but not on this ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Like many mid-Atlantic cruisers, we booked the Grandeur out of Baltimore because it sailed from Baltimore! For a Thanksgiving holiday cruise, it was also relatively inexpensive, even for our junior suite. We also love the smaller ships. ... Read More
Like many mid-Atlantic cruisers, we booked the Grandeur out of Baltimore because it sailed from Baltimore! For a Thanksgiving holiday cruise, it was also relatively inexpensive, even for our junior suite. We also love the smaller ships. Parking was a bit high at $15/day, but oh so convenient. Embarkation at 12:30 pm was a breeze (because we had priority boarding) and debarkation was a bit slow with long lines going down the ramp from the ship. Let’s start with some good. Our cabin was quite good. We had plenty of storage, a nice balcony, a good sized bathroom with a full tub, and one of the best cabin stewards we’d had on any ship. Mark went above and beyond to ensure we were comfortable in our cabin and had everything we needed. We were on deck 8, and sometimes late at night or early morning we heard them arranging the deck chairs on the deck above ours. It never stopped us from falling asleep nor did the noise wake us up. The only negative of our cabin (which had nothing to do with the cabin itself) was the lack of room service! Room service was available for breakfast only, and the only FREE room service breakfast was simple continental fare. Anything else was extra. Speaking of breakfast, it was a challenge in both the Windjammer café and the Main Dining Room (MDR). If you bothered to go to the MDR (where the breakfast menu did not change once in 11 days), once you were seated and ordered your breakfast, the wait was usually around 30 minutes, more if you ordered eggs benedict. And it was lukewarm at best. In the Windjammer, by the time you waited at each station to get what you wanted, and then struggled to find a seat at a table, your hot food was cold. I saw wait staff carrying trays of drinks, but not once did anyone of them offer to get me juice or coffee. If you got up to get your own, you were at risk of your food disappearing and someone else taking your seat. Suite guests (not junior suite guests) were able to get breakfast in one of the specialty restaurants, but the menu was still the same. The advantage was that you were seated right away and your breakfast was cooked there and delivered to you hot. We opted not to try any of the specialty restaurants. We ate all our dinners in the main dining room. Service was good; we had an especially attentive head waiter. Our tablemates were a hoot and we enjoyed their company! I would say the food was average for cruise lines. I did have duck l’orange one night which was excellent. My husband said the prime rib was good, also. The night they served the petite lobster tails, I ate three! There were some nights, however, where I found none of the menu choices particularly appealing or tasty. I love ice cream for dessert, but the only options for 11 nights were vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Even during the day, unless you wanted to pay extra at Ben & Jerry’s, your only ice cream option was self-serve, soft-serve vanilla, chocolate, or v-c twist cones. There were plusses and minuses to the on-board entertainment. The production and headliner shows in the main theatre were quite good. As long as they had two of those shows each night (for late and early seating diners), you were likely to get a seat. The cruise director opened each show and he was delightful. A unique highlight for us was watching the very animated sign language interpreter. I don’t know if she was a cruise employee or not, but she was a show unto herself! The nights where there was only one show for all guests, the 800 person capacity theatre could not handle 2000+ guests. Entertainment after 9:30 was sparse; not because there was none, but because most of it was held in the Centrum atrium where seating capacity around the dance floor maybe accommodated about 40 guests. There was a bit more seating further away, and while you could hear, you could not see. Or you could hear and see if you were standing on the decks above overlooking the atrium, but you could not participate. There were standard fair activities during the day: Trivia, bingo, pool games, art auctions, “free” seminars in the spa, casino jackpots, and shopping. I suppose this is no different than on any other cruise ship, but we were able to price their 75% off designer watch for considerably less on the internet. The same was true for some of the jewelry and watch stores in Nassau. On cooler days the solarium was great. On the downside, on those cool and windy days, kids were allowed. Seating in the solarium was at a premium. Despite signs stating that reserving chairs was not allowed, people still reserved chairs unchallenged. I’d advise anyone who wanted a lounge chair to get there early and put your towel down. Speaking of towels, this was the first ship I’d ever been on where you had to show your key pass to get towels. If you did not return a towel, you would be charged $25.00 each!! A word about the spa. On a port day, my husband and I both booked advertised specials -- a combo massage and facial. The treatment room I was given was so cold, that I cancelled my appointment. There was no way I could stay there unclothed for any length of time. Lastly a word about our ports of call. For us, they were ideal. We were able to visit old college friends in Charleston, a beautiful southern city; tour the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral (we took the ship’s shuttle and unguided tour which worked fine for us); and spend the day with our family who met us in Miami. We window-shopped in Nassau. (Okay, I did buy one or two trinkets for myself.) Unfortunately, windy conditions did not allow us to visit Coco Cay. It might have been nice even just to sail around in warmer waters for a day instead of sailing back north right away, but I’m sure there were reasons for those decisions. We love cruising, and booked two future cruises while onboard, but not on the Grandeur and not with Royal Caribbean. We booked on Celebrity, one of our more favored cruise lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and I are avid cruiser and usually plan our cruises in advance but in this case we decided to book this one at the last minute. We just couldn't pass up the great deal we got to be able to sail on a Thanksgiving cruise, and we ... Read More
My wife and I are avid cruiser and usually plan our cruises in advance but in this case we decided to book this one at the last minute. We just couldn't pass up the great deal we got to be able to sail on a Thanksgiving cruise, and we had a wonderful time. Being 2 hours aways in Fredericksburg, Va., we decided to leave for Port Baltimore far enough in advance to make sure we arrived on time and fourtonately traffic was wonderful. Port Baltimore: We arrived at the port around 10:20am, entering the port was easy but manuvuring through the port parking lot was confusing because of the directions given by the Allied Security team. But after getting the correct directions, dropping of the luggage was simple then we were directed to pay for parking ($135) ($15 a day) in the long term parking lot! We were blessed to park very close! Embarkation: Now Im sure it was because we were ealy but this was the quickest we have ever went through the process to get on the ship. We enter the building around 10:30am, went through security, was directed to the desk, recieved our Sea cards, took our picture and was sitting in the Centrum by 11:15am! Cabin: We were located on Deck 3, mid-ship Oceanview # 3102, located close to the stairs and elevator. ( See review below ) Dining: When we arrived on board, we purchased a package giving us access to the specialty dining rooms on board: Izumi's, Giovanni's Table and Chops Grille. So 3 out of the 9 dinners we were at one of the speciality dining rooms and we were not disappointed. The service and the meals were wonderful, and we highly recommend all three of the specialty restaurants! The other nights we were in the MDR, we had two wonderful servers and the meals were excellent. Now for lunch and breakfast we went to the Windjammer on the 9 deck in the back of the ship. They had a larger variety of food and it was pretty good, the ONLY issue I had with it was the size of the buffet area is to small for the number of people trying to utilizes it at ant giving meal. You could also tell that the poor crew was overwhelmed trying to meet the needs of the impatient cruisers, it was very frustrating at times to see. Entertainment and activities: Evening Entertainment: I have to admit that we were truly impressed with the headliners that the cruise line provided for this cruise, they were truly amazing, from the comedian, to the "Man of a Thousand Voices' to the comical juggling of Mike Price. I will also say that the cruise line singers and dance team did a great job for this to be only their 2nd week on board. Centrum Entertainment: They had three groups that would rotate through out the cruise to provide music for dancing during the day and in the eveings. All three were wonderful from the Carribean band to the violinist! Acitivies: There were several actvities on board and I have to admit we did only a few of them but the ones we were invovled in were very impressive. The cruise director and his team do a wonderful job to make sure there is alot to do. Service: There is nothing negative I can say about the service on board the Grandeur of the Seas. Every member of the crew that we enteracted with was just wonderful, they went out of their way to make sure our cruise was enjoyable! Ports and Shore excursions: Charleston, South Carolina: When we arrived in Charleston that day the weather was a little unpleasent and the streets were partially flooded, and it was an adventure in itself to make around town without stepping into a 6 inches of water or more. We made are way to the City Market, which is full of some wonderful vendors. Afterwards we decided to have lunch at the Noisy Oyster, the food was fantastic! After lunch we made are way over to the park which is right next to the port and on the edge of the water allowing a great place to take pictures of the ship and of Ft. Sumter. We then proceeded back to the ship after a wonderful SUNNY day in Charleston! Port Canaveral: Being Disney fans and annual passholders, we took the ship excursion providing us transportation to the Transportation & Ticket Center. We left the ship on the charter bus around 10:40 and arrived at the TTC at 12:00pm. We decided to take the monorail over to Epcot then around 3:00pm made are way back to the Magic Kingdom so we would be near by to make our way back to the bus by 6:30pm, returning to the ship by 8:00pm. Some may say its not worth the time but we had a great time!! Miami: We arrived in Miami and decided to explore on our own. We were blessed to port at Terminal F giving us closer access to the free trolley from the port into the city. The trolley stop is located directly across the street from Terminal F under the blue tarp, it is the Coral Trolley. We explored on our own and enjoyed the sights, then made our way back dropping us off at the terminal. Nassau: We booked an excursion on board for the Pearl Island and lunch. When we disemabarked we were informed that it may be canceled due to the rainy weather were experiencing at the time. Fourtinately the weather did clear allowing us to go. We boarded our transportation boat around 11:00pm and made our way over to the the private island. It was beautiful! There had been another ship that was supposed to have a tour group there but due to the weather it did cancel allowing our group to be the only group there at the time, which was about 20 people! The beach was small but clean and beautiful, it had a wind board you could try along with a water trampolin. There were more then enought covered and uncovered chairs, beach beds and cavanas to rest in. We had not planned too but we decided to jojn the snorkeling group and it only cost us $15 per person more there on location which I believe the excusion with snorkeling was a little more. We had a great time and the guys leading the group were great in showing and explaining the best spots to explore. Afterwards we had a lunch of baked fish, barbecue chicken, brown rice and cole slaw, it was delicious! Since we had left late they extended our stay by 1/2 hour, so we departed the island at 3:00pm. On the way back the crew gave us a tour and brief review of the stars that homes along the shore on the way back. We got to see Elvis Presleys home which is now owned by his daughter Lisa along with a few other celebritie such as Nicolas Cage and the home of Charlie Chaplin. After we reutrned, we cleaned up and went back out for a few hours of shopping before dinner since the ship did not leave port until midnight. It was a great day! Coco Caye: Unfourtinately we did not get to experience their private island due to the rough waters around the island the captain felt it would be unsafe to tender us out so we ended up having 3 Sea days back instead of two, which i felt the cruise director and his team did a fine job making up missing the port in the actvities they provided in place. And as always, you cant please everyone on board so there were you whiners BUT we didnt let it bother us. Safety comes first! Disembarkation: We arrived in Baltimore early. We went to breakfast and awaited in the Centrum for our to turn to disembark, we were luggage tag #5, 8:15 to 8:45?. We actually got off the ship at 8:20 made our way down to customs to the luggage area and was in the car by 8:45 and on our way home by 8:51am! The only thing I was discouraged by was that one of the wheels on my luggae was broken and is irrepairable. I'm not sure if it occured on board after they took it from our stateroom or if happened after it was turned over to the port. Ship: This was our first time on the Grandeur of the Seas, it is the smallest ship that we have cruised on with RCL and any other cruise line. I have to admit at first I thought she was very small but as each day went by I started to enjoy her more and the fact it did not take forever to get where we wanted to get too. She also allows you the opportunity to get to meet more of your fellow cruisers, because there is no doubt that you will definitely see the same faces more then once. We were very pleased with our cruising experience and will definitely be cruising Lady G again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Holiday sailings can be expensive but reasonable rates do surface from time to time apparently. About a year ago we were successful in locating this incredible 12 day Southern Caribbean itinerary for less than what we paid for a 7day ... Read More
Holiday sailings can be expensive but reasonable rates do surface from time to time apparently. About a year ago we were successful in locating this incredible 12 day Southern Caribbean itinerary for less than what we paid for a 7day Oasis of the Seas cruise last fall. This is good news for those looking to escape the conventional holiday routines. Ship The Grandeur of the Seas is showing some age, but only a little and really only if you look for it. For the most part the relatively small ship holds its own for those of us who just want the sea, great food, good entertainment and beautiful ports of call. I often eschew the traditional, but old fashioned cruising minus the dress codes is exactly what I need a couple times of year. My cruising tastes were formed on Carnival Fantasy class ships and Grandeur fits that mold perfectly. Food I was impressed at times with the Windjammer selections. Dinner buffets often mirror some highlights from the main dining room (MDR) and usually had theme of some sort like Italian, Mexican, etc. Breakfast and Lunch selections were more routine but still abundant. Quality wise the food was very good. I enjoyed nearly everything I had there. The only real disappointment at Windjammer food wise is the desserts. It was a little surprising to see these selections, while attractive, didn’t pack much punch taste wise. MDR food and service were outstanding as evidenced by our attendance 11 of 12 nights. The only off night being New Years Eve, which was apparently like a formal night on steroids. Our waiter and assistant waiter couldn’t have taken better care of us and anticipated our every need. Park Cafe was a nice venue in the Solarium that provided great sandwiches and salads during the day with sandwiches and bagels at breakfast time. Its definitely not the equivalent of the Park Cafe on Oasis class but still a perfect place to grab something during a sea day on deck. If you like an Egg McMuffin, Park Cafe can set you up all morning. It’s also the late night food spot, its actually the only late night food spot, on the ship, which is more than a little puzzling to me, but I don’t make the rules. So on Royal Caribbean they like to close things and limit availability as much as possible. I don’t get it, but thats how it is. With Windjammer split into two sides you might think that would allow for two during heavy traffic and one during off times. But chunks of time go by where you have one food option on the whole ship, thats all. Windjammer doesn’t open for breakfast until 6:30 even though a lot of folks are out and about by then. The inanimate soft serve machine even has limited hours, along with the ice water at the Park Cafe. Ice water needs limited hours? The biggest head scratcher in this vein to me was New Years Eve. Keep in mind its ultra-formal night and most of the ship is likely up and roaming around until midnight at least. So you might think a thing of the past, a midnight buffet perhaps, would be in order. Or you might think with several parties going on throughout the ship, food would be abundant. Nope. Same selection of late night burgers, hotdogs and pizza at Park Cafe. I guess, the coffee shop snacks were available until 11, but they dwindled quickly. The most surprising food spot for me was the coffee shop, Latte-tudes. It provides the same sandwiches as a Cafe Promenade on larger ships along with the Starbucks offerings of the Starbucks on larger ships. While its usually a nice variety, food wise, there isn’t much in the way of quantity so things go quickly. You can count on it nearly always being busy though. People want their Starbucks. Entertainment Our entertainment this cruise may have been the best yet. Maybe 5 nights were comedy, which was great for me. All comedy would be great, but that’ll probably never happen. And I’m not talking the ridiculous practice Carnival has going, I mean main theatre headliner comedy acts. We saw a comedy/magic show, a few straight stand up comedy acts and also Alfred and Seymour which made me laugh more than I’ve likely ever laughed on a cruise ship. I can’t remember everyone and wish I would have kept notes. I may be mistaken, but it seems only 2 or 3 nights were production shows. Nothing against the talented dancers, but those shows don’t do it for me. The musicians, like the Lionel Richie tribute (sorry, I forget the name) and David Klinkenberg, amazing on the violin are immensely more enjoyable for me. The ship’s orchestra was outstanding all week as well. All in all, Royal Caribbean’s entertainment is far and away the best out there, among the lines I’ve traveled anyway. Embarkation/Disembarkation Cruising from Baltimore is smooth unless the ship is late, which can happen due to the several hour long trek up the Chesapeake Bay. Our embarkation was perfect. The line at security was long, but we were there at peak time 10:45 or so. Once through security it wasn’t 10 minutes until we were on board (11:15). Cabins aren’t ready until 1pm so the public spaces are a little crowded before then. We did self assist and carried our own bags so it wasn’t difficult at all. Of course an inexplicable line formed on Deck 4 before we were cleared by customs. By the time we were ready the line had dissipated and we were off in a matter of minutes. If there is an advantage to being on a low deck, 2 for us, it’s disembarkation. We were in the car headed home by 7:40. Conclusion I know I’ve neglected some important topics, but I need to wrap this up since it’s time to get back to real life at least for a little while. It was a nearly perfect cruise and I’m sorry for the those who are used to doing it every year since Royal is discontinuing the 12nt holiday sailing. Next year Grandeur sails 7nts for Christmas and 7nts for the New Year. As is the case anywhere, if there is money to be made, rest assured they’ll chase it. I’m happy to answer any questions. spridlewv@gmail.com or @spridlewv on Twitter. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Fantastic ship, wonderful crew, and lots of fun on the ship. Overall, great experience! A few specifics: Ship: Very well cared for, always clean, and we always saw people dusting cleaning, and keeping up with the wear and tear of use. ... Read More
Fantastic ship, wonderful crew, and lots of fun on the ship. Overall, great experience! A few specifics: Ship: Very well cared for, always clean, and we always saw people dusting cleaning, and keeping up with the wear and tear of use. It's a very small ship that doesn't require a lot of walking to get places. That's one of the things that attracts the much older crowd. I think the median age of the clientele was about 75. Lots of scooters and walkers! It will never be updated to include all the newfangled things on the newer, larger ships. VERY loyal clientele coming out of Baltimore. Cabin: Had an inside cabin on 8 under the Serenity pool area (which was sometimes referred to as God's Waiting Room). Very quiet, didn't hear anything in the hall, above, below, or next to us. Hard to hear the announcements in the cabin, so you have to open the door when they start. The only thing I was annoyed about in the cabin was that the bed (as a king) and the dresser touched corners, which made a great place to keep laundry hidden and separate from the rest of our stuff, but annoying to get out of bed on the one side. Dining: Every time I told someone we were trying Royal for the first time, they told me just how amazing the food was. "So much better than the other cruise lines!" they'd say. It wasn't. It was about on par with every other line we've been on. Tried Giovani's Table, which was excellent, but they just kept bringing food after we told them we were full. A lot of wasted food. And whoever the pastry chef was should be fired for thinking that galaktoboureko was somehow a dry, semolina dough ball instead of a custard layered onto phylo dough. Overall the food was good. Very wide variety in the Windjamer for both lunch and dinner. Breakfast was standard fare, dining room breakfast was useless. Lunch in the dining room was also useless. Both had fixed menus that rarely changed. Dinners in the Dining Room was pretty good on most nights. Don't even try the coffee. Just go to Starbucks every morning. Sometimes they forget and brew 2 vats of coffee per 1 packet of coffee grounds. Entertainment & Activities: If you're into trivia, you'll be sorely disappointed. Why? Because people ruin everything. On our sailing was a group of about 12 people who had sailed so many times that they knew every answer. Maybe change up the questions, trade with another ship, whatever. Shows were adequate, as were the other things to do. But god help you if you don't get there early - you will NOT get a seat. Oh, and if you want to rock climb, don't even thing about doing it with slightly damp clothing! They'll send you away. Service: OUT-gorram-standing service! Every crew member we met was fantastic! This is the one thing that really saved this ship from being tedious. Ports & Excursions: 3 days out and back from Baltimore was long, but it's OK. Just have to make sure to plan more indoor activities for people other than gambling on the colder days. Read Less
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