February 2014 - Grandeur of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern
The ship is relatively small compared with today's megaships so it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that you might expect but that was OK with me. The thing that really got me was the age of the passengers. Now, I'm no spring chicken at 48, but I'll bet you there were fewer than 100 passengers (out of 2,100) that were younger than me on that ship. So if you're considering a Baltimore-based 10-day cruise, think hard and long on whether you want to walk around a ship that smells like a nursing home because of that "old-person smell" and dodge mobility carts on the way to dinner. There was also an annoying tendency for the elderly folks to come up to the pool deck at 7 a.m., put their towels and a beach bag on a lounge chair and then go eat breakfast, lunch, and maybe return to the chair around 2 p.m. for an hour or so and then give up that chair after that.
The food was fine and I highly recommend the 4-hour, 5-course Chef's Table experience.
The ports of call were OK but nothing to really write home about. Labadee is just a Royal Caribbean created theme park for the ocean with a lot of annoying vendors that stick crafts in your face and try to drag you into their little shops to buy a trinket. That gauntlet is exhausting. The Sandbar Beach (adults only) excursion was fun though. San Juan on your own walking around town is nice. St. Thomas is just another annoying diamond store after diamond store but if you get a cab to the Marriott about 10 minutes away, there is a lovely beach and bar you can hang out at for the day. St. Martin was blessedly low-pressure sales on the French side and we actually enjoyed shopping over there. The Dutch side was more aggressive but the main beach is nice and you can get beers for a buck.
The entertainment was pretty mediocre. This was my eighth cruise so I've seen a little of everything.
Overall, I'd recommend a different ship.