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  1. Grandeur was doing "Meet the Crew" events a few years ago. I remember one in the Centrum where the Aerial Show cast did a Q&A session that was very interesting (back when they were doing the Aerial Show). There were a few others involving different crew specialties. I just got off of Grandeur last month on a B2B and did not see anything like this in the Compasses. /Greg
  2. On 11 July they had a sign on the port side entrance of the Deck 4 MDR inviting Key holders for lunch. The starboard side entrance had a sign for Suites and Pinnacles. We were B2B returning on board and had been told in our turnaround documents that we could also have lunch in the MDR, and sure enough when we asked at the podium they welcomed us in. The menu was largely Chops lunch items (fillet mignon, sea bass) and seemed much nicer than standard MDR fare. /Greg
  3. Just finished a B2B on Grandeur. In addition to the new pool screen, a major project is underway to refurbish the elevators with new controls and interiors. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, and the staff treated us great. Even got a nice picture with the senior officers just to present us with our next crystal block. Lots of real deal offers for Specialty dinners. Both the off-going and on-coming Captains (Patrick and Thor) stated that Grandeur will be home ported in Baltimore for many years. /Greg
  4. The new screen was put into service this morning, final sea day of the cruise. It is the same basic technology as the old system, using LED elements with the same resolution, but the screen is far brighter than the original system even when it was new. The new system also uses plug in panels rather than the clumsy box system of the old display. I saw the technicians calibrating the system swap out the approximate 12 inch square panels in just a couple of minutes. Hopefully that will support easier replacement over time and keep the system looking sharp. Looking forward to sports and movies (I am staying aboard on a B2B). /Greg
  5. The long awaited replacement of the poolside video screen on Grandeur of the Seas is now underway. A team joined us yesterday in Port Canaveral who took down the old LED box system. This morning a much larger team boarded at Miami to load numerous crates via a large crane. Parts of decks 9 and 10 were closed off during the lift. The attached photo shows scaffolding being erected for installation of the new screen. While no announcements have been made as to when the screen will be ready, there is a team of about five technicians on board who appear to be the actual video installers. It does look like this will be a new technology solution rather than just replacement of the LED box screen elements as they have removed all of the older mounting hardware. The crates are marked "Daktronics", who are a U.S. based provider of large outdoor video displays. Hopefully this will be a much brighter and sharper system. /Greg
  6. Been out of NJ many times, including several in June. In general, the seas are fine. You can check on wave forecasts at available weather sites, including http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display.cgi?a=natla_height. At the moment, seas out of the Sandy Hook New York area are around 2 to 4 feet, which is next to nothing for a large cruise ship. There will be times when weather fronts roll off the eastern seaboard and bring the seas up a bit. You can see an example of that in the above forecast. These do not tend to be that significant, especially if your course is keeping you close to the coast. Cruise ships handle 8 foot seas without a lot of problems, depending on the angle of the waves striking the ship and the performance of its stabilizers. You also may experience some roughness as you cross the Gulf Stream about 200 miles out from Cape Liberty. Occasionally this can rock the ship enough to notice. Of course, tropical weather can present completely different impacts. Personally, I like a little slosh in my pool. /Greg
  7. We had Grandeur 8510 right off the elevator lobby. No hallway noise was noticeable. We did hear occasional scraping overnight from above , but not a real bother. My DW reported a bit more noise while I was out on my morning ship inspection (A.K.A coffee run), but I think she needed to wake up then anyway. By the way, 8510 is a great room. L-shaped sofa set, no adjoining cabin door, with easy access to WJ and pool deck. I expect it is a mirror to 8010. /Greg
  8. Our 12 night Serenade re-positioning cruise at the end of October still has the 5 Night Dining package. Your experience convinced me to go ahead and book it while it remains available. While the 3 Night package is claiming a 40% discount, the 5 night is still less per meal that the 3 Night. /Greg
  9. I was on Enchantment (Grandeur's sister, out of Baltimore at the time) during the 2013 Superbowl. They put the game up on every available venue, including pool screen (way cold weather) , the main theater and Boleros. They put out game fare including nachos, hot dogs and team colors. Of course, the Ravens were in that game, so they seemed motivated to show us a good time. /Greg
  10. I was on in December. The Diamond Lou ge was open 24/7, and self serve coffee was available every morning. This included pre-brewed pots of regular and decafe along with the coffee machine. We did have a couple of mornings when the machine was out of milk. /Greg
  11. Anthem's four MDRs are smaller than any traditional MDR, even looking at a single floor. Think of each as half of an Oasis MDR floor. They are not necessarily quieter, and can seem a bit tight at times, but the wait staff does a good job of keeping things smooth. The menu is now the same in all four MDRs. We have not done an Ultimate package on Anthem (except for once in Star class where it was included). I would say it is probably worth it, as Anthem always seems to maximize your flexibilty and address your requests when you splurge for these higher end offerings. Izumi is the only al'a carte that exists on Anthem (unless you count Johnny Rockets). I understand that Izumis is now headed towards a $49.99 fixed charge with a set list of choice categories and items, but that some al'a carte is still available. Izumis is the only sushi I have seen. I was not as impressed with Anthem"s Izumis as I have been on other ships, as the venue is crowded and the food was just okay. The other specialties were all fine. /Greg
  12. On Oasis now... the deck plan signage displays show Wonderland on decks 11 and 12, in place of the DL. They show the DL on deck 4 aft, starboard side, opposite Izumi, in a narrow spot that is currently part of The Grande. At least a DL there might have a few windows like Izumi does. /Greg
  13. I am on Oasis now. I have seen one drinking fountain on the deck 5 track, starboard side aft. There may be others, but what I thought might be one in front of Park Cafe turns out to be an odd hand wash station. /Greg
  14. We had Jay in Star Class on Anthem this past June. We were hoping for exceptional treatment, and we were not disappointed. He did things that were above and beyond the listed perks, and gave us a fantastic experience. Meals, shows and activities were all smoothed out and things we really liked were repeated. Most of the time, he was ahead of our even thinking about what could be accomplished.
  15. Actually, Grandeur's Solarium roof does open. I was on a 12 night "Saints" cruise last year, and they opened it several times. They only moved the forward half that goes under Izumi's, because the aft half was blocked by on-going scrubber construction. /Greg
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