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Grandeur Live! New York to Barcelona Transatlantic Crossing


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While we had a fabulous trip on the Grandeur a couple months ago, there were several aspects of the ship that were disappointing. Our cabin was terribly noisy in active seas and the self slamming pocket doors were the worst.

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April 19, 2024–cruising the Atlantic

 

There was slight rocking of the ship through the night, but not the loud noises,so we slept well.  We moved the clock ahead yet another hour.

 

I got up to go to Yoga.  The instructor never showed up.  He was putting out sign up sheets the first couple of days of the cruise but stopped that, and has been showing up progressively later and later for class and making excuses that the seas are too rough.  I am about done with him.  So I did some yoga and Pilates on my own, then went to Coffee Connection to do some work.

 

Sun was shining outside.  I decided to walk outside.  At first, I was the only person up there.  It was windy but a perfect temperature in the 60s.  Soon others joined me.  Then it clouded up all of a sudden and started pouring rain.  I was at the opposite end of the track from the door to inside, and by the time I got to the door, the sun was out again and the rain had stopped.  So I continued my walk.

 

We had special lunch in Compass Rose with the guest chef.  THe salad and fish were perfect and totally delicious.  Chocolate lava cake decadent.

 

I cross stitched in the afternoon.  Trivia was again very hard with only one science question and no medical or geography questions, so we came in 4th again.

 

We decided to give Prime 7 a do over.  My lamb was perfect as was george's steak, so they have redeemed themselves.

 

The show was Josh Henderson who sang a variety of rock, everything from Aerosmith to Rolling Stones, and a bunch in between.  Not particularly my preference in music, but he is clearly very talented and did a good performance.

 

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28 minutes ago, RachelG said:

Dessert in Prime 7 is a work of art

 

That fruit dessert at Prime 7 is a real treat! Light, not too sweet, exactly what one wants after a heavy meal.  What a great picture!

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April 19, 2024–Funchal, Madeira

 

After a nice QUIET month might’s sleep, we awoke alongside in Funchal.  We were docked in a crescent shaped bay.  There were some very large sailboats in port as well. To the left of the ship, there were what appeared to be some large hotels.  To the right, the city on the slopes of a fairly steep small mountain.  The sun was rising, and it really was very pretty.  High temperature for the day was expected to be in the low 70’s.

 

We were on a tour that first took us to the cable car.  It is relatively new, very modern, and goes basically straight up the side of the mountain.  The sun was shining, and no  clouds, so we had good views of the city.  I think there are very few flat surfaces in this place.  Everything goes up and down with lots of stairs and very steep streets.

 

Once at the top we climbed 70+ stairs to an old church.  Then the excitement-we came down in wicker toboggans, steered and braked by 2 fearless strong men.  It was great fun.  George couldn’t believe I had signed us up to do it.  They would never allow such a thing in the US.—too much liability.

 

We then went downtown to an embroidery place.  I am an embroiderer, so I really appreciated the work that goes into these items.  Some exquisite, but we didn’t buy anything as I lots of embroidery done by myself, mother and grandmother, most which I never use.

 

Then we drove to the botanical gardens which is on the side of a very steep hill.  One thing both George and I love is a good garden, and this was particularly outstanding with plants from all over the world which are well labeled.  Lots of varieties we aren’t familiar with, plus a topiary garden and large collection of succulents and cacti.

 

We returned to the ship and took off in search of lunch.  For some reason, neither of our phones were working properly, so we just walked until we found a place that looked good.  Il Vivaldi was very good and not expensive.  George had fresh caught grilled tuna and I had an asparagus pasta dish, both great.

 

Back to the ship, we went to trivia and won, along with several other teams as it was really easy today, and we had a perfect score.

 

We took a post trivia nap because we had to prepare for dinner in chartreuse.  I again went with the crispy escargot, but the had the beet salad and rack of lamb.  All really good.

 

The show was Talents of Grandeur which was a showcase of all the individual performers.  It was really good and topped off by a song performed by Lorraine.

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Madeira is an attractive island, not well known  in the USA, maybe, but much loved by lots of Brits.  A bit more 'posh' than the Canaries, if I am allowed to say this, though slightly lower temperatures in the winter, which is one of the reasons Brits. like the Canaries in the winter months so much.

 

Love your pictures; the fruit and veg and fish market towards the far end of the town from the cruise dock is interesting and attractive too.  Some ship shuttle buses go that far.

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Posted (edited)

April 21, 2024–final sea day—sailing the North Atlantic

 

We had another good nights sleep and awoke around 9 am, having had to move the clock ahead a final time.  It was bright and sunny outside with temperatures around 68F and a bit windy.

 

I did a little work, then had a very pleasant walk out side on the walking track with George joining me for a bit.

 

The pool deck lunch was Seafood extravaganza.  Again no crab, lobster, or oysters anywhere.  The only mussels were in a curry type soup which was quite good and spicy.  They had cocktail shrimp and salmon en papillote and a few other grilled fish, but nothing like the seafood extravaganza in the old days.

 

Trivia was much Arden today, and we came in 3rd, but no one got a perfect score or even close.

 

George and I had bought some local cheese in the Azores, so we invited a bunch of friends for a little wine and cheese party.  It was a huge success.

 

We had dinner outside at Sette Mare.  The food was outstanding, but the bright light from the sun was intense.

 

The show was Duo Esencias, a Spanish flamenco dancer and a Hungarian violinist.  We first enjoyed them last year on a regent cruise.  They are very talented and entertaining.

 

Edited by RachelG
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On 4/16/2024 at 3:54 PM, RachelG said:

Trivia was particularly difficult today, and we came in 3rd with 10 out of 15.  No one in the room got the mountain range that K2 is in correct.

 

I just asked my husband the K2 question and he knew the answer.  He is so good at geography! 

 

We were recently on the Grandeur and were doing quite well at Trivia the first few days until blatant cheating began.  We were quite surprised one group used a cell phone right in front of the crew member, another team had eight people a couple of times, and by the end of the cruise the majority refused to let another team grade their answers.  No surprise that we suddenly no longer came in 2nd or 3rd.  Why do people do that?  Surely the points and trinkets aren't worth cheating for. 

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NDOMA:

 

Your negative experience is not a one-off.  Back in the day--participants utilized more subtle, clandestine methods of communication to circumvent decorum.  That decorum was to assume folks would rely on in-person brain power (or, luck) to come up with an answer.

 

So-many petty, sophomoric modes of deception. As opined in an old SNL "Weekend Update" skit:  "Really, really?"  Yes, really.  How can about 10% of your fellow passengers caste a bad vibe?   

 

Thus, spouse and self eschewed joining this venue a year or two before the Pandemic.  Have had no reason to consider further Post-Pandemic participation.  

 

But, whatever floats your boat.  

 

GOARMY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 4/10/2024 at 7:51 PM, GMIAC said:

We boarded Grandeur for our transatlantic New York to Barcelona sailing this morning. Check-in couldn’t have been easier, and we’re poking around the shop and bumping into crew we remember from December. 
 

The weather is overcast, but no rain. Lunch was in La Veranda, with a view of Captain Sullenberger’s landing strip. 
 

Sail away at 4PM!

 

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I hope you had a great cruise  , sorry I was not there for the trivia

was on another ship on another company - our team was able to win several times with some of my European contributions 😁

but was not aware that peace between the UK and the US was signed in Belgium Ghent 1812- despite i was aware in some mansion some treaty was signed ... 

but experience was of such a kind I will not go back to that company for sure ! 

 

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Posted (edited)

April 21, 2024–Malaga, Spain

 

 

Another good nights sleep, and we awoke at the pier in a huge port, Malaga.  For the first time there was another cruise ship in port, Carnival Glory, a monster of a ship.

 

It was very overcast with temperatures in the mid 60s.  It looked like rain would pour at any minute, though the forecast said only a 3% chance.

 

We had originally been signed up to do the King’s Gaze Hike, a hike we had done several years ago on a land trip.  It is a very steep mountain trail, and we received notice 2 days ago that the trail was closed due to maintenance issues.  We looked at the remaining excursions, and none really appealed.  We had been to Granda and the Alhambra, and to Ronda previously, as well as to Malaga itself.  So I got online and found a guide to take us on a different hiking tour.  I was a little worried as this was very last minute, and I usually spend hours researching before booking.

 

We were to meet our driver outside the terminal at 11 am, and he was there right on time in a nice big van.  We set off through town with him pointing out various sites—a beautiful park, the bullfight ring, the old market, a new soccer stadium.  Soon we were out of town and driving into the countryside on a very nice freeway.  It started raining a little, and I was worried.  Fortunately the rain stopped quickly. 

 

We got off the freeway onto a narrow winding road which went up and up with olive groves on each side.  Thousands of trees.  As we went higher, we drove into a thick bank of fog.  Finally we reached El Torcal, a world heritage site, 3500 ft above sea level.

 

We couldn’t see more than about 2 ft in front of our faces.  We met our hiking guide.  He was worried by the dense fog, but we set off.  The trail was VERY rocky and steep in some places.  He was trying to tell us what we would have seen had the fog not been so dense.  

 

After about an hour of hiking, all of a sudden the fog lifted and the sun came out.  It was spectacular with huge rock formations all around, reminding me of places in Utah.  The remainder of the hike was wonderful, with magnificent views in all directions.  

 

Our guide did tell us that the trail for the hike we had originally booked through the ship was just fine.  He had been on it a day prior as he normally guides there..  He said either not enough people signed up for the hike, or the operator failed to buy the tickets ahead of time, and it was totally sold out for today.

 

On the way back to the ship, our driver stopped by a place that sells local products. We bought a couple of bottles of really good olive oil and some great cheese.

 

Back to the ship, we came in 2nd at trivia.  George’s Apple Watch heard one of the questions and announced the answer to the room.  We were NOT cheating.  No idea why his watch did that.

 

Since we didn’t have lunch, we broke out the cheese and some wine for a nice snack.

 

Dinner was in Compass Rose.  I had a great salmon dish while George had spaghetti bolognese.  Both perfect.

 

The show was the grand finale as it is the end of the 6 month contract for the singers and dancers.  They did a great performance, and had a well deserved standing ovation.

 

Edited by RachelG
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We just completed a wonderful transatlantic on Splendor and pleased to see that yours on Grandeur went fine. I have read about lack of good sound insulation between cabins on Grandeur. Obviously different than creaking sounds from the ship itself. Did you have any issues with "thin wall" noise from your neighbors?

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2 hours ago, RachelG said:

Foggy start of the hike in El Torcal

 

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It looks very mystical, though I know in a practical sense could be concerning if you can't see where you are going.

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On 4/16/2024 at 3:01 PM, GMIAC said:

This is just our second Regent cruise. We were invited to a special event this morning wherein we were tasked with removing lounge hogs’ belongings.  

We haven't heard from you for nearly a week. I hope you weren't thrown overboard whilst dealing with the lounger hogs!

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