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Thread: Grandeur of the Seas 9/21/07 9-Night Canada/New England

  1. #1
    CruiseLineFans Officer/Administrator Cruise Planner's Avatar
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    Grandeur of the Seas 9/21/07 9-Night Canada/New England

    We just got back from a 9-night Canada/New England cruise on the Grandeur of the Seas out of Baltimore.

    Thought I'd pass along a few observations; the Grandeur now leaves out of Locust Point Terminal, which is much easier for those south of Baltimore and is much nicer than the old terminal. This made it very nice for us as we left our house at 1:00pm (near Dulles Airport) and arrived at the pier at 2:00 to find absolutely no lines whatsoever.

    The Grandeur was refurbished earlier this year - it was in bad need of refurbishment and has changed alot since our last trip on her two years ago. They replaced all the carpet, painted, etc. They also replaced the beds, but they are still not very comfortable - heard that complaint many times.

    The food has improved a little, but not very much. It use to be bad, now all our meals were just 'okay' - nothing worth writing about one way or the other except to say they were disappointing. Perhaps our expectations for RCCL was higher, but it appears they have declined overall in the last couple of years. We heard many complaints about the food. Room service has gotten worse since our last cruise on the Grandeur and is not only very limited in the choices, but the food was not very good.

    The service was 'okay' - again, nothing bad, but then it wasn't as good as it could be or should be for RCCL.

    Overall, the ship, the food, and the service was rather bland compared to the other cruises we've taken. The shows were good, comedians were good, and the other acts were good. The TV shows were terrible and very poor selection - many repeats, old shows, and often poor reception.

    The only saving grace was the itinerary. We had not thought about doing a Canada/New England cruise, but when this opportunity came up, we decided to give it a try. It was wonderful and I highly recommend it to those who haven't done it. We went to Bar Harbor, Halifax, Saint John, Portland, and Boston.

    In Bar Harbor, we purchased a trolley tour for $29 that took us around the area and up to Cadillac Mountain - absolutely beautiful! Would love to spend some time in this area.

    Then it was on to Halifax where we did a tour of the Alexander Keith's brewery. We were awarded our Bachelor of Beer Arts degree following completion of a very interesting course in beer. And all the free samples were highly welcomed! We were then taken to the Citadel, which was equally as interesting.

    In Saint John we were given a free shore excursion of our choice. We chose the wine tasting and lunch at a local restaurant that was great. Then 6 of us hailed a van and were given a quick tour of the city with a stop at the Reversing Falls.

    In Portland, six of us rented a van and drove up to Freeport to shop the L.L. Bean flagship store as well as other stores. Then we drove south and went to Kennebunkport for lunch and shopping. We stopped by the Bush's estate and took the obligatory pictures.

    In Boston, we took a trolley around the town ($28 per person) and got off at several stops to see Paul Revere's house, the Old North Church, the USS Constitution, etc. Took about 4 hours with all the sightseeing around the city and was very interesting and educational.

    I would definitely recommend the itinerary, but I am still not impressed with this ship. This is our third time on the Grandeur and we were hoping that things had changed following a much needed refurbishment. Although the ship's appearance is much nicer and we like the size and layout of the ship, we were still not very impressed with the food and service. This ship is also about 11 years old and the cabins are very small. A junior suite on this ship is about the same size as a regular balcony cabin on the new ships, with the inside cabins being ridiculously small. I would recommend the Explorer of the Seas out of New York if anyone is interested in this itinerary.

    The one thing that we really liked was that they offered Self-Assist for those wanting to take off their own luggage. These people do not have to wait for all the luggage to be off-loaded so they can disembark much sooner than everyone else. We arrived at the pier at 7:00am this morning and they started calling the Self-Assist numbers by 7:30am. We were off the ship by 7:45am and home by 8:45am, so that was wonderful.

    My comparisons are obviously subjective, but they are based on what we've experienced on 29 cruises with all the major cruise lines and a total of 25 days on this ship. In fact, this year we've been on the Crown Princess, the Liberty of the Seas, the Holland America Zaandam, and the Grandeur of the Seas. Of all these ships, the Grandeur was definitely our least favorite ship. And because it is currently the only ship going out of Baltimore, they are getting much higher fares than this ship should demand.

    Send me an email or give me a call if you'd like additional information on the ship or any of the ports we visited.

    Pete

    Awarded American Express Vacations 2013 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD!! (Best of the best!)
    Pete & Nancy Peterson, Land & Cruise Specialists
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  2. #2
    Almighty Cruiser LuLu's Avatar
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    Thanks, Pete, for your time to post this review!

    While our NE/Canada cruise is on Eurodam, your port info will apply to us as well! Much appreciated!

    Bad LuLu! While for you hate the food and service were not up to par on your cruise, I'm glad to hear that we aren't the only ones who were not happy with these on GrandeurOTS. ( No joke ... I'm not overweight and I lost 5 pounds on our GOS cruise....) Very hopeful our upcoming cruise on MarinerOTS will be more of what we expect from RCCL.

    Did you have Lobster Rolls at any of your port stops? Had the leaves started changing color?

    Thanks again for the good and honest review!
    LuLu ...
    Visit SOUTH CAROLINA!

    1/16/13 Emerald Princess (20 Days)

  3. #3
    CruiseLineFans Officer/Administrator Cruise Planner's Avatar
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    You will thoroughly enjoy the Eurodam! I'm very jealous!! Love their food and really love their beds!

    As for the GOS, we've been on several RCCL cruises and all have been fine. You will have fun on the Mariner of the Seas and the food is better than on the GOS. However, and obviously this is just my opinion, but I think that RCCL's food overall has been declining in quality over the last couple of years. Whereas Carnival has been improving, but still not up to Princess and especially not up to Holland America.

    As for the ports, we had lobster in several of them and a couple in our group had the lobster rolls. They definitely range in price, so shop around. Average about $12.95 - $14.95. Some put alot of mayo on them and others put very little, some stuff the bun and others use less meat. We found the best deal in Kennebunkport, if you can believe that! But overall the prices in Canada were much better than in the States.

    Here's the jealous comment; we entered a drawing and won 10 pounds of lobster!! We hope to get them next week in time for my wife's birthday.

    As for the leaves, yes they are starting to change - in some places more than others. Looks like they will peak in the next week or two.

    But I know you will really love this itinerary - it was a very pleasant surprise and I would love to do it again. Next time we'd like to do a one-way up to Montreal - think that would be awesome.

    Pete

    Awarded American Express Vacations 2013 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD!! (Best of the best!)
    Pete & Nancy Peterson, Land & Cruise Specialists
    Open 9:00am to 1:00am EST 7-days a week!! ---- 703-858-9898 ---- 866-786-7926
    www.storybookcruises.com ---- dreams@storybookcruises.com

  4. #4
    JLT
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    Well, things are subjective but here goes:
    I have only been on 5 cruises. One was Carnival a million years ago, it was fun but I don't remember enough about it to be fair. Three have been on Grandeur, the most recent this past July. And, we did the Queen Mary 2, which is supposed to be the deluxe of the deluxe. Well, we love GOS. We especially liked it this past July, it has been spruced up since previous trips. We have developed very deep affection for a number of the crew people, and we have had nothing but great experiences. I don't know how the food can be complained about, but I have not been on the other liners except for QM2. I did not think the food on QM2 was any better and in many ways I think GOS's food is better.

  5. #5
    Cruising Machine Asil65's Avatar
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    I just saw this post Pete. Ouch , what a bunner. About 20 of us are going on a Bermuda cruise this July to celebrate my inlaws 50th wedding anniversary. My dh and I recommended this trip becasue we love to cruise and we loved the location. We live here in Virginia too. Man will we have some ticked off people on our hands if this cruise isn't great. Sounds like we should have stuckl with Princess.

  6. #6
    Cruising Machine Asil65's Avatar
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    I just saw this post Pete. Ouch , what a bunner. About 20 of us are going on a Bermuda cruise this July to celebrate my inlaws 50th wedding anniversary. My dh and I recommended this trip becasue we love to cruise and we loved the location. We live here in Virginia too. Man will we have some ticked off people on our hands if this cruise isn't great. Sounds like we should have stuck with Princess.

  7. #7
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    i cruised on granduer of the seas last july it was really nice, we loved the windjammer buffett and we love the pool side hamburger and pizza and fries buffet, also the adults only pool was nice but sometimes kids would sneak in that pool and no one did nothing, the jacuzzi's were nice because they had a cabana like thing over them and sorta private for couples and all, the gym was so nice to i love the gym and our cabin was nice but the bathroom was small, and the inside of the ship was very nice lovely looking.
    and the shows rocked

  8. #8
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    to me the service was nice and excellent i guess it depends on the waitress you get and your attendent but trust me the food is excellent and the staff was nice and very patient

  9. #9
    CruiseLineFans Officer/Administrator Cruise Planner's Avatar
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    We've been on 30 cruises, three of them on the Grandeur of the Seas. While the first two were very disappointing, the last one was an improvement. The ship underwent a much-needed refurbishment early last year and it is alot nicer than before.

    Don't get me wrong, I think this is a nice ship now that it has been retrofitted and the food is not bad at all. I just think over the last many years that overall RCCL food seems to be declining from what it use to be.

    While the food on the Grandeur is good, I think they can do better. The service is very good, never had any complaints about that.

    As for going on the Grandeur to Bermuda, you will have a good time and you'll enjoy the ship, the food, and the service.

    As the old saying goes, "Opinions are like bellybuttons - everyone has one." And what's funny is that 6 of us who are Cruise Planners went on the Grandeur a few years ago. Between us we have over 100 cruises and all of us thought it was one of the worse cruises we'd been on. But even with that, it wasn't all that bad. Yet I read a cruise review written by someone who had been on 50 cruises and he was on the same sailing. He said this was the best cruise he'd ever been on and this ship was now his all-time favorite.

    Food is always a very subjective topic; some people love McDonald's, while others prefer Burger King. Yet others hate them both. Cruising to me is like pizza; some are better than others, but I've never really had a bad one.

    Bottom line, everyone has an opinion and what one person loves, another will hate. The fun part about cruising is trying all the different cruise lines, ships, and itineraries, and finding something you thoroughly enjoy.

    Pete

    Awarded American Express Vacations 2013 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD!! (Best of the best!)
    Pete & Nancy Peterson, Land & Cruise Specialists
    Open 9:00am to 1:00am EST 7-days a week!! ---- 703-858-9898 ---- 866-786-7926
    www.storybookcruises.com ---- dreams@storybookcruises.com

  10. #10
    Cruiser cruiseclues's Avatar
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    Thanks for your frank review.
    Happy Cruising, Buil, http://cruiseclues.com

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