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Just back from Grandeur 6/11 sailing out of Baltimore - can we answer any questions for you?
Just returned from an awesome 9 day sailing out of Baltimore on the Grandeur. Will try to answer any questions for anyone.
A few comments - Parking at pier is $10 per day paid in cash only in advance. This is uncovered, but a shuttle bus will drive you to the terminal. Luggage is loaded onto a cart similar to the airport or into a container & delivered to the ship.
We arrived about 12:45 in the parking lot & were on the ship around 1:30. Those arriving earlier had a long wait, I hear, as they did not allow anyone on until around 1:00.
Today for disembarking, we had green tags & were called about 11:30. We were off the ship in the terminal by 11:45, collected luggage & on shuttle bus by 12:00, out of the parking lot by 12:15. Ship arrived in Baltimore just after 8:00. Interestingly, I watched the harbor pilot board the ship at Cape Henry last night at about 10:50 so it took 9 hours to travel the Chesapeake Bay.
Ship condition - while we did note some stained carpet and other signs of minor wear, there was nothing to prevent our enjoyment of the surroundings. While we waited to disembark, the solarium pool was drained & it's interior painted today. We also noticed other painting going on during our travels.
Food - Solarium Cafe had the best burgers & fries we've had in a long time (but we've been on South BEach since Feb) We did not eat in dining room for breakfast or lunch so no comment on those meals, but dinner each night was quite satisfactory. We could find something on the menu we liked each evening or we ordered from the alternative menu. My son ordered the steak several nights & never complained. I had one meal that I didn't enjoy, but I wasn't very hungry that night anyway so it didn't bother me too much. (it was the sweet & sour Mahi Mahi). Our waiter, Kaya from Turkey, & asst waiter, Arped from Hungary, were excellent. The Windjammer had the usual fare - some items tasted better than others, but I cannot be convinced that anyone could not find something they liked in there. We didn't care for the "pod" arrangement of the Windjammer as it was difficult to navigate & difficult for the staff to service, but we certainly managed to enjoy several meals there despite the crowding.
Cabin service - we had 2 adjoining cabins, but 2 different attendants. Service from both was excellent. We were the last cabin for one steward & the first for the other so service was not completed at the same time each day, but that was no big deal. I referred to our steward, David, as "the invisible steward" as we only saw him once during the trip - the day of embarkation. However, our room was always serviced to our satisfaction including the twice daily filling of a collapsable cooler we brought on board.
Entertainment - we had 3, I think, comedians and a magician. I didn't care for one of the comedians, but the others were better than the entertainment on our 2 prior RCCL cruises. I don't know about the last entertainer as we missed the Farewell show due to packing. We skipped all the RCCL production shows because we had already seen them twice. We attended "Battle of the Sexes", "Who Wants to Feel like a Millionaire?" and "The Quest". The lounge was overly crowded for all of these & the first two were pretty lame. The Quest was fun, but it was difficult to see what was going on due to the layout of the lounge where it was held.
Debbie, thanks for the info . I am leaving in two weeksssssssssssss so excited its my first cruise. what was your itinerary. do you get seasick and if so how was the movement on the ship(never say boat right?). what cabin did you stay in . we are on level 8 near the elevator. i think that will be good for seasickness. How were the formal nights. thansk again . rachael
First time cruise for our twentieth anniversary
Grandeur of the seas 7/4/04
"now thats what I call independence day!"
We (myself, my husband and two teens, 17 & 18) are sailing 7/11, and I've been reading the boards since we booked. I've learned so much from everyone, including great tips and ideas.
VaCruzers, thanks so much for your review! I'm curious about the formal nights. We plan to go with long evening gowns, and either very formal black suits, or tuxedos, but the feedback I've seen suggests that not many cruisers get this dressed up anymore. What was your experience? What did you see?
Also, could you point me to a "collapsable cooler"? I've seen them mentioned several times here, but I'm not sure what they are.
rabrijumo - Our itinerary was 2 sea days, Key West, Cozumel, Belize, sea day, Freeport, & another sea day. I've never been sea sick, but I do get motion sickness in the car sometimes. Therefore, I usually take Bonine before flying or cruising. In the past I have just gone ahead & taken it everyday, but this trip I only took it the first day & was fine the rest of the trip. We had some moderate seas (4-8 ft. waves) & you could definitely feel the boat move, but I was never queasy. One night I was awakened by the sound of water & looked out to see water splashing higher than our porthole as the bow of the ship broke thru the waves. We were on level 2 near the forward elevator. The formal nights were quite elegant. Some folks stayed dressed after dinner, but we switched to casual attire for the rest of the evening since we usually walked up on deck where it was quite windy & high heels were not appropriate. I'm not sure exactly what you want to know about formal nights...
Robinob...I believe it was mentioned in the Captain's cocktail party or C&A party that next summer Grandeur will alternate between Bermuda & Caribbean, but I could be inaccurate on that recollection so don't hold me to it.
Radiohead...There was a variety of attire on the formal evenings including long gowns and short cocktail dresses as well as tuxedos and suits for the men. There was a small minority who were not quite this dressed up, but I think you will be quite in line with the attire you described. A collapseable cooler is one which is basically a padded nylon type material which folds flat to go in your luggage. When you arrive, just unpack it & fill it. I also keep extra ziplock bags for ice which not only keeps the ice clean for drinking, but also helps further insulate & prevent any leaks. I've had mine so long I don't recall where we got it, but I'm sure Walmart, Target, etc. would be a good place to start.
Also, about the meet & mingle....we had over 60 sign up & maybe about 30 show up. RCCL provided name badge holders which are suspended on a lanyard, a cruise critic pin, fancy appetizer-type snacks, coffee & tea. There was a raffle for a couple of prizes. The cruise director, loyalty ambassador, & a couple others from the cruise director staff stopped by, but there was no formal presentation. We were just encouraged to visit with each other and chat with the ship's staff as well. I encourage you all to sign up & go.
Forgot to mention the crown & anchor gifts - we are gold. We each received a RCCL toiletry bag and post cards along with the coupon book. Coupon book 1st day (we had to sign for it), toiletry bag a couple days later & postcards a couple days later so not all at the same time.
We had 2 adjoining outside cabins on Deck 2. We had plenty of storage space, but it was a tight turn getting around the end corners of the beds without banging your shin. In hubby & I's cabin, the bed was a queen & the head of bed was underneath window so we had to navigate past chair on one side at the end of the bed & the built in furniture for the TV on the other side. Our kids next door had the twin bed arrangement with each against a side wall with the head against the outside wall. Their cabin seemed more spacious due to the open area in the center, but they are actually the same size.
My husband took quite a few pictures, but I am not technologically advanced enough to know how to post them. He's out of town on business this week, but maybe he can do something with them when he returns.
Hi Guys. I am thinking about taking this cruise. There are just so many choices out there! I like the idea of not having to fly anyway. I am wondering if the parking is worth it, or if we should just stay in a hotel the night before, where they will let us park for the week, and then take a cab to the ship. Either way, I guess it doesn't matter - there is really no reason to stay in a hotel overnight since we are an hour or so away.
Since I have only sailed on new ships, do you think I would be disappointed with the Grandeur?
Carnival Conquest - 4/12/09 (W. Caribbean)
Carnival Liberty 02/12/06 ( W. Carib.)
Carnival Valor 2/06/05 ( W. Carib.)
Carnival Pride 4/27/02 ( W. Carib.)
Sitmar Fairsea 4/ 1983 ( Mex. Riviera - I was just a little kid!!)
Rabrijumo, my family is sailing out of Baltimore on the 4th. We are celebrating two July birthdays and an early 20th ,too. We are also 1st time cruisers. Did you sign up for the Meet and Mingle? I just signed up and I'm new to posting messages. I can't seem to find anyone in the Meet and Mingle.
Hi dmnace, I am rachael and we have a group chatting in the roll call area http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=44503
i just used the link and it worked . if not just go to roll call then royal caribbean then grandeur-july4th started by rchol glad you signed up for the meet and mingle we are confirmed on the list but no date and time yet.
First time cruise for our twentieth anniversary
Grandeur of the seas 7/4/04
"now thats what I call independence day!"
Hi Debbie. We are sailing out of Baltimore on August 15th. Since we sailed Royal Caribbean before, was there a past guest party? Also, which nights were the formal nights? Where there any special activities for the kids (my tow boys are 18 and 4)? My wife would also like to know if there were laundry machines accessible for use. Thanks so much for the information.
8/15/2004 Grandeur of the Seas
8/14/2005 Enchantment of the Seas
Hi, Do they have mini refrigerators in the cabins? Also, are capri length pants and flat sandles okay for casual nights? I'm a little concerned I'll be under dressed. Is 1:00 p.m. the earliest you can board the ship? We have always been able to board by 11:00 a.m. out of Miami. What was the name of the cruise director? Thanks for the information!
Days Until Our 25th Anniversary on Navigator
VaCruzers, nice review. Actually, the two links you gave to photos are Feb 2, 2003 for the great Bart de Boer photos (which we have), and of course the Cruise-Addicts Picturepost Photogallery link (which we have in alpha sequence so you can find the Grandeur easily). The Picturepost gallery has Grandeur of the Seas photo albums taken during the life of the Grandeur of the Seas. Some are older than Bart de Boers & a few are newer (I could only find one which was 2004). The same is true for our webshots photo album links and the other galleries (11 albums of which are 2004). We try to include all of the photos we can find on a ship (taken by regular cruisers) whatever their age. We have links to 1000's of Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship pictures, and we continue to add new links all the time:
Happy Cruising, Buil, http://cruiseclues.com Our Personal Cruise Website
Sitmar, RCCL, Costa, HAL, Princess, Royal Cruise Line, Celebrity, Renaissance, Disney, MSC, Carnival, Carnival Glory Feb 17, 2013, Carnival Breeze Feb 24, 2013, Grandeur of the Seas Oct 25, 2013, Upcoming MSC Divina Jan 24, 2015
"We cannot change the direction of the wind... but we can adjust our sails"
Cruising is the Best Vacation!
Littlegoo75 - You will notice a difference in this ship & the voyager class as far as amenities, but if you have an open mind & accept this ship for what it is, you will not be disappointed. It is well maintained & the staff was friendly & we had good service. There are not as many options for activities or choices of facilities, but as long as your expectations are in order, you would be pleased.
cnb0817 - There was a past guest party. On our 9 night sailing, it was about the 4th night, I think. Our formal nights were Day 2 & Day 7. Your 18 year old is too old for any of the "kids" activities, but there are lots of fun activities by the pool during the sea days. Your 4 y/o can attend the Adventure Ocean program. I didn't note the activities for that age group, but a schedule is provided each day. There was a "pirate night" when the kids dressed up & "took over the ship" by comming up on stage prior to the show & performing a little skit. Be aware that your 18 y/o will be able to consume beer & wine. There are no self-service laundry facilities onboard any RCCL ships. You can send items to be laundered for a fee.
Marsha, some cabins do have mini-fridges, but ours did not on Deck 2. Perhaps it is balcony, JS & above?? In the absence of a mini fridge, a collapseable cooler works great! Our steward kept ours filled with ice for us. Capris were very prevalent on casual nights so you should be fine. It seems that the Baltimore terminal facility and/or staff is not quite as advanced as Miami so it seems to take a bit longer to get people off the ship causing the boarding of the "new" sailing to be delayed. (This is not intended to be derogatory, just that Baltimore sees far fewer cruise ships than Miami.) Perhaps by the time you sail in August, things will have improved somewhat, but I would not expect to board before noon. The cruise director was Warren (I don't remember his last name), but he had been on several ships. He is Canadian.
We are sailing on Grander out of Baltimore on Oct. 14,2005. I was wondering about the size of the state rooms. Are they adequate for two people? We have a ocean view. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary while we are on board. Have you ever received a up grade? What tours off the ship would you recommend? Thanks.