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cliftoncruiser

Semi-Live Review: Grandeur of the Seas 13 - 22 June 2019

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Day 9 - 2nd Sea Day and final day of cruise:

Today was a relaxing day.  After breakfast at Chops, we roamed the ship some and hung out in the centrum for a bit.  We had a galley tour headed by Ryan - one of the executive sous chefs.  He did a nice job walking us through the kitchen area and explaining how the kitchen chores are divided, how the food is processed and disposed of, and how they manage to feed thousands of people a day.  They make it look so easy. After the galley tour, we had 30 minutes to roam some more before lunch.  We decided to eat at the Windjammer and the selection was nice.  I stuck with salad since we had reservations for Giovanni’s and I wanted to try the tiramisu (friends we met had told us how delicious it is and tiramisu is my favorite desert so I knew I would indulge) and I try to eat low carb.  I walked up to the spa with my daughter so she could redeem a scalp massage she had won earlier in the week.  She said the massage was very relaxing and that they use oils on your scalp and hair.  The massage therapist was very friendly and the service lasted about 30 minutes.  Next came the dreaded packing.  I wanted to have everyone packed by dinner so we could enjoy the last night and not worry about getting the luggage out by 10:30pm. Mission accomplished (whew) without an inch of room to spare.  In fact, I had to carry a bag of stuff that wouldn’t fit in the suitcase. After packing, I had a latte and bumped into and than chatted with my new friends Gary and Melissa (who we were meeting for dinner).  By than, it was time to change for dinner and head up to the concierge lounge for our last happy hour.  The bar  staff and bartenders up there are all so friendly I wanted to make sure I said my goodbyes and tip them out.  We tip after drink orders daily but had two people, in addition to Carlington, that we wanted to recognize with a bit extra.  Maria was my favorite as she is such a happy person that really enjoys people and always had a huge smile on her face.  Happy hour lasted an hour and a half and than it was off to dinner.  As I mentioned above, we ate at Giovanni’s with friends and had great conversation and food.  As an added bonus, Alberto (our favorite waiter from Chops) paid us a visit with a surprise.  He always went above and beyond at breakfast getting my husband hash browns from the Windjammer every morning as he likes the patty type better than the shredded potatoes.  Alberto also got us a hot sauce we liked.  He was quick, friendly, professional, and hopefully gets promoted soon.  I ordered the shrimp dish but subbed the mash potatoes for fresh veggies so I could have my dessert.  The tiramisu was everything I had anticipated.  It was worth cheating on from my low carb diet (all week but the tiramisu was a conscious over the top cheat).  The four of us shared a bottle of champagne and had a great meal.  We than went up to the deck to watch us go over the Chesapeake tunnel.  It was right at sunset and the sky was a brilliant red.  I did not go to the farewell show as it coincided with dinner.  The final show aboard the ship was an adult comedy show with Mark Cordes.  I watched the show and than did my last leisurely stroll of the ship. I decided to get a few night pictures as I had not taken any of the ship lit up.  And than it was off to the cabin to turn in for the night at 11:30pm.

 

Next up:  Disembarkment

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1 hour ago, hogwildcruzers said:

Enjoying your great review and photos....thanks for sharing!

 

I glad to hear you are enjoying the review.  This is the first time I’ve ever written a review and it has been kind of fun.  🤣

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Day 10,   Debarkment: We arrived in Baltimore sometime around 7ish (I wasn’t paying attention so the time is estimated).  I woke up at 6:30am and we were still moving, albeit slowly.  I got dressed and made my final trip to Cafe Latte-tude for a latte and cappuccino.  I went back up to the room and woke everyone else up.  Meeting time in the concierge lounge was 7:30am.  We got up there, grabbed some seats and had some pastries.  At 8:00am the Captain made the all clear announcement and Carlington began escorting us off the ship using both sets of elevators which were reserved.  We went down on the second round and went directly through security, no line, and we were off of the ship.  At the bottom of the gangway, suite guests were directed to the custom line for suites.  Again no line and within 1 minute the four of us were past customs and headed to our luggage.  Surprisingly, the luggage was in the first row as we entered the terminal.  We grabbed our bags, spotted a porter, and headed to the car. From the concierge lounge to my car took 10 minutes.  Amazing!!!  That is why I love The Port of Baltimore!!!  I cannot think of an easier port to get in and out of.  The port is run so efficiently.  And it is literally two minutes off of I-95.  Parking is safe, plentiful, and $15 a day.  You pay when you entered so exciting is a breeze.  

And with that, my vacation was over.  It was a fantastic vacation aboard a wonderful ship, and an enthusiastic crew.  Every single crew member we came into contact with was friendly and helpful but there are always a few standouts.  Special shout-outs to my crew favorites:  Maria from the Viking Lounge/Concierge Lounge, Santi from Cafe Latte-tudes, and Alberto from Chops. I enjoyed learning about them, their cheerful personalities, and how much they seemed to love their jobs.  They are truly gems!  Close behind were bartenders Kel-vile (Kel) and Ben, both in the Viking Lounge.

My one dislike was the paper straws.  I know they are environmentally friendly but they get soggy very quickly and I felt like I was drinking paper.  They do have a taste.  Also of note is that two of the centrum section elevators were closed for maintenance the entire cruise.  I don’t know if they need to be repaired while docked but the sign was on the elevator at boarding and never came down.  

Now I am left dreaming about my next cruise.  When, where, and what ship?  Ahhhh, I can’t wait!!!  🛳 😊

I hope you all enjoyed my review and it provided information that helps.  Any questions, feel free to ask.  

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Welcome back!  I loved your review and allowing me to "cruise" along with you and your family.  Thanks, too, for all the very helpful info.  Have never cruised out of Port of Baltimore and all your details about customs, parking, etc are great!  Have a good week!!  😀

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Thank you for cruising along.  I’ve sailed out of Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami and Baltimore is my favorite port due to the ease.

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I have been reading the Grandeur reviews here on Cruise Critic and I see many comments regarding the ship being worn, dirty, smelly.  Any comments or observations?  I have come to take many of the reviews with a grain of salt, maybe sea salt haha.  Years ago we cruised a Carnival ship 2 cruises prior to dry dock and noticed alot of things needing repair: scratches on elevator doors, carpet tears, etc.  However, it in no way deterred us from having a great cruise.  Your thoughts?  Thanks!!  😃

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14 minutes ago, Love PalmTrees said:

I have been reading the Grandeur reviews here on Cruise Critic and I see many comments regarding the ship being worn, dirty, smelly.  Any comments or observations?  I have come to take many of the reviews with a grain of salt, maybe sea salt haha.  Years ago we cruised a Carnival ship 2 cruises prior to dry dock and noticed alot of things needing repair: scratches on elevator doors, carpet tears, etc.  However, it in no way deterred us from having a great cruise.  Your thoughts?  Thanks!!  😃

I have read many of the same comments and actually heard a couple comment about her age as we we walking past the ship in Portland.  In my opinion, the ship is clean and well maintained.  A good comparison would be to a new car versus an older car.  Both can be cleaned and maintained but the new car is shinier.  During my 10 days, not once did I stop to think that something looked dirty, worn, or had a smell.  The only thing I noticed was the elevator being out of service that I mentioned above.

I think there are the people that love the big newer ships and hate the ‘smaller’ ships and vice versa.  I personally think the smaller ships are more personable as you see the same people, crew, and quickly learn your way around.  I like that I am recognized and greeted by name after a few days (without them having my sea card).  I think the crew and the Grandeur are like family to one another.  I see them joke, laugh, and enjoy themselves while being attentive to the passengers.  

I am pretty picky with cleanliness but don’t care about all the bells and whistles.  I enjoy going to a show without reservations on vacation and having flexibility.  This is s long was of saying the ship is clean 😀.  

To get another opinion, I asked my husband and my 18 year old daughter.  Both thought it was clean.  My 18 year old said if you searched you could find a stain on the carpet but nothing that jumped out.

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Thanks!  I agree.  There is always something that you can find if you try, but I don't let that ruin my cruise.  We have never sailed the huge ships, but Grandeur may be the smallest in a long time.  (Our honeymoon cruise ship had only 800 passengers.) Thanks again for all your very valuable insights and the wonderful photos!!!!

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I'm hoping there are a bunch Grandeur experts on here.........where in the morning can you get an Irish coffee?  Thanks!

 

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10 minutes ago, biomedbob said:

I'm hoping there are a bunch Grandeur experts on here.........where in the morning can you get an Irish coffee?  Thanks!

 

I would imagine Windjammer or Cafe Latte-Tudes.

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Thank you so much for this helpful review. I'll be on the late July sailing of this itinerary. It will be our third cruise on Grandeur. We have also sailed on Enchantment (from Baltimore) and Vision. We love the Vision class ships.

 

I have two questions, which you may or may not be able to answer.

 

1. Last time we were on Grandeur (about a year and a half ago?) the WJ offerings at dinner paralleled the MDR menu. We made friends with a group of frequent Grandeur cruisers who said they never went to the MDR because they got all the same choices in the WJ, but more quickly and flexibly. 

 

On Vision in January, this was most certainly NOT the case. I was wondering if circumstances have changed for the worse in the WJ on Grandeur as well, or might we encounter the same very pleasant situation we found on our last Grandeur cruise?

 

2. You mentioned the wifi was an issue. Did you happen to notice how much of the time you had cell service? So much of the itinerary is in US ports. I'm thinking we could forgo wifi if our phones are working most of the time! I mostly want to be able to text others in our party to coordinate meeting up, etc.

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3 hours ago, Love PalmTrees said:

Thanks!  I agree.  There is always something that you can find if you try, but I don't let that ruin my cruise.  We have never sailed the huge ships, but Grandeur may be the smallest in a long time.  (Our honeymoon cruise ship had only 800 passengers.) Thanks again for all your very valuable insights and the wonderful photos!!!!

If you cruise on the Grandeur, I would love to know your thoughts.  My honeymoon was also on a small ship.  I think 79 people (it is so long ago, I can’t recall).  We would take the floats and sleep on the deck under that stars.  We visited small islands like Virgin Gorda, Peter Island, Norman Island, etc. It was quaint but fun!

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1 hour ago, biomedbob said:

I'm hoping there are a bunch Grandeur experts on here.........where in the morning can you get an Irish coffee?  Thanks!

 

Cafe Latte-tudes does have cordials they add to coffee drinks (I know Bailey’s for sure) but I do not recall them listing Irish coffee.  There was a place that had delicious dessert coffee (Irish coffee being one of them) but I cannot think of it right now.  I will post if I do remember.  I know it was not the MDR.  Maybe Chops?

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43 minutes ago, schlimazel_traveler said:

Thank you so much for this helpful review. I'll be on the late July sailing of this itinerary. It will be our third cruise on Grandeur. We have also sailed on Enchantment (from Baltimore) and Vision. We love the Vision class ships.

 

I have two questions, which you may or may not be able to answer.

 

1. Last time we were on Grandeur (about a year and a half ago?) the WJ offerings at dinner paralleled the MDR menu. We made friends with a group of frequent Grandeur cruisers who said they never went to the MDR because they got all the same choices in the WJ, but more quickly and flexibly. 

 

On Vision in January, this was most certainly NOT the case. I was wondering if circumstances have changed for the worse in the WJ on Grandeur as well, or might we encounter the same very pleasant situation we found on our last Grandeur cruise?

 

2. You mentioned the wifi was an issue. Did you happen to notice how much of the time you had cell service? So much of the itinerary is in US ports. I'm thinking we could forgo wifi if our phones are working most of the time! I mostly want to be able to text others in our party to coordinate meeting up, etc.

The easiest answer first.  With all of the US ports and Canada we had service through Verizon.  I think that all Verizon plans cover the US and Canada with no roaming but I would verify with you individual plan so there are no surprise charges.  At sea, I put my phone on airplane mode.  That is when I used the WiFi.  The speed varied throughout the day but was slow all of the time.  Text did not work with the WiFi but email did.  Could have just been me.  We went old fashioned use posts-it’s to keep in touch if we didn’t plan ahead of time.  They stick easily to the room door.

 

As far as the Windjammer, I only ate there twice, both times for lunch.  The food was good and there was probably more variety, but buffet style and not as fancy.  My teens liked it more than the MDR.  I prefer the MDR, not necessarily for taste as both were good but I hate searching for a seat.  I find the pace in the MDT more relaxing and conducive to conversation.  Lunch in the MDR is limited.  I think it was five choices plus a salad bar.  WJ definitely had more choices.  

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Walked thru wj last night after dinner. Just out of curiosity. And on the menu that night was lamb and it was there in the wj. They also had jonah crab claws that wasn't on the menu. The lighting was dimmed also, for a more restaurant feel. 

Our tablemates at mdr, went there every evening for dessert. 

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Thanks for taking us along on your cruise.  I agree about the straws.  That is why I have started bringing my own.

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Posted (edited)

Loved your review.  I would love to hear how your 18 year old enjoyed it over all.  Easy to make friends since no longer able to go to the teen club?  We will be on her next June and my DD will be 19.  We will also have younger teens who can do the club.  My parents love this ship, and this will be a big family group.  Mom is worried the kids/teens will be board, I don't think they will.

Edited by mzhibbs

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Great review! I enjoyed it. Thanks for posting. We are going on the Grandeur in February and really looking forward to it.

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Great review!  We sailed on Grandeur late April, first time on that class of ship.  I had no problems with the Surf & Stream Voom, was able to periscope using it whenever I wanted.  Only time I had issues was on my aft-facing balcony.  The farther out I walked, the harder to keep the connection.  But...when I stood on the dock in Bermuda outside the ship, looking at my aft-facing balcony, I had great Voom service.  Go figure. LOL

 

Lady G definitely shows her age in places, like rust, etc, but she's a great ship.  I agree the crew was amazing. Best bartenders we had in a long time.  We had MTD and the wait staff wasn't that great.  One night, we didn't even see the waiter until he brought our dinner.  The Asst. Waiter took our order after being surprised we hadn't seen the waiter yet and brought the apps out when they were ready.   We missed out on the 50th birthday cake as we didn't know there was another dessert coming, and at that point we were done and ready to go, both waiters having been MIA for awhile.  

 

Not sure that we'll seek out Vision class again, miss things like the Pub.  But, we'll see.  If the price and itinerary are right, we may do it.  We really enjoy Radiance class the best - lots of windows, extra areas to hang out (pub, Vintages, etc) but still get the more classic cruising experience that's missing on the large ships.

 

P.S. Viking Crown was DEAD our week. We also did sushi making class, no handouts.

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On 7/10/2019 at 3:33 PM, mzhibbs said:

Loved your review.  I would love to hear how your 18 year old enjoyed it over all.  Easy to make friends since no longer able to go to the teen club?  We will be on her next June and my DD will be 19.  We will also have younger teens who can do the club.  My parents love this ship, and this will be a big family group.  Mom is worried the kids/teens will be board, I don't think they will.

My 18 year old had mixed reviews.  She loves cruising and enjoyed the cruise but thought the NE itinerary did not attract as many young teens/adults compared to the Caribbean.  Even so, she had fun.  We traveled with friends so she didn’t head out to meet people as she has done on past cruises.  Being 18 she could go into the bars and adult shows but she could not order alcohol.  I bought the refreshment package and she ordered mocktails which suited her fine.  The 18-20 year olds do need to take a drivers license (or proof of age) to get into the Viking Lounge in the evening.   Neither of the kids were bored (16 and 18) and I am sure if my 18 year old wasn’t with a friend she would have ventured out more and met people.  The were plenty on board just no prearranged meeting places like the under 18 areas.  I did see some posts on the community board near Ben and Jerry’s for that age group to meet at the pool but it was near the end so I don’t know if there was a turn out.  

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2 minutes ago, cliftoncruiser said:

The 18-20 year olds do need to take a drivers license (or proof of age) to get into the Viking Lounge in the evening. 


Why?  Didn't they have Security scanning SeaPasses for entry?  

The only place I've seen an under-21er need proof of age was the casino, because they don't have the security scanner there that shows age, just the POS to charge the room folio.

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Thanks so much for your review, @cliftoncruiser -- glad you had a terrific cruise! Maybe I missed this, but do you mind saying what kind of suite you were in? And how was it space-wise for the 4 of you?

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On 7/10/2019 at 10:51 PM, CruisinCons said:

Great review!  We sailed on Grandeur late April, first time on that class of ship.  I had no problems with the Surf & Stream Voom, was able to periscope using it whenever I wanted.  Only time I had issues was on my aft-facing balcony.  The farther out I walked, the harder to keep the connection.  But...when I stood on the dock in Bermuda outside the ship, looking at my aft-facing balcony, I had great Voom service.  Go figure. LOL

 

Lady G definitely shows her age in places, like rust, etc, but she's a great ship.  I agree the crew was amazing. Best bartenders we had in a long time.  We had MTD and the wait staff wasn't that great.  One night, we didn't even see the waiter until he brought our dinner.  The Asst. Waiter took our order after being surprised we hadn't seen the waiter yet and brought the apps out when they were ready.   We missed out on the 50th birthday cake as we didn't know there was another dessert coming, and at that point we were done and ready to go, both waiters having been MIA for awhile.  

 

Not sure that we'll seek out Vision class again, miss things like the Pub.  But, we'll see.  If the price and itinerary are right, we may do it.  We really enjoy Radiance class the best - lots of windows, extra areas to hang out (pub, Vintages, etc) but still get the more classic cruising experience that's missing on the large ships.

 

P.S. Viking Crown was DEAD our week. We also did sushi making class, no handouts.

I missed the 50th birthday cake too.  😒. My DD did not get anything immediately after the sushi making class but a few days later a certificate  

was left in our cabin along with step by step instructions so she can replicate at home.

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