The best of the best Caribbean
Sail Date: October 01, 2009
Reviewed: 7 years ago
Traveled As: Couple
Room Type: Oceanview
Well get the bad out of the way first. RCCL, and the Port of Baltimore should look at Philadelphia and model an embarkation that would have lines of chairs (lounge style) with refreshments for the several thousand mostly senor cruisers to wait and be called to the check-in desks row by row rather then a 2 hour stand in a long, long, grueling, winding, single file line. Ideally we should be dropping off luggage and walking up the gangway SeaPass in hand all pre-arranged via the inter-net and mail.
Now the ship For me the Grandeur of the Seas is a throw-back to the days of the great liners a wonderful teak promenade deck with a highly varnished cap-rail encircling the ship. She has the grand dinning found on the SS United States in the days of old, and that that massive Centrum (open atrium) luxury and marble. Sail on her now because I believe the RCCL Vision Class is the end of an era. Enchantment of the Seas, a Vision Class will also be ported in Baltimore next year. For those with a concern for sea travel the Grandeur is a very sea kindly ship with an easy roll in roughest of seas and a rock steady, quiet ship that you would never know was moving a joy to sail aboard.
The crew the RCL folks are the most polite, helpful, engaging people in the cruise industry, from the maintenance staff fixing plumbing and scrubbing down that teak, the housekeeping, the dinning wait staff, the entertainers, right up to the captain. Captain Rob Hempstead and his Rhode Island humor kept us in stitches. It isnt the usual to have a US captain. He even did a cooking show better stick to commanding the ship.
The food myth no, I didnt gain on the cruise. I sampled - and what sampling! RCCL matches the finest restaurants and feeds a thousand guests simultaneously, amazing. And it feels as it you are the only guest they have that is how you are pampered.
The itinerary of our 9 day luded great destinations and the best were St Thomas for touring and Samana for just plain relaxing. I enjoyed the warmth (San Juan was a bit too hot) and the breezes. If I were planning, Id just have 2 stops and more time - St Thomas and Samana.
Future in the 1890s my great grandfather captained the SS Cienfuegos, Ward Lines New York, Nassau and Cuba run. She carried about 40 passengers and had 2 passenger decks. I can image those folks amazement had they viewed the Grandeur of the Seas. We are now amazed by the new Oasis of the Seas - may we always enjoy sea travel.
Pros: 1- Great Liner-like ship 2- easy from Rt 95 access no airplane
Cons: Embarkation most of this could be done on-line and by mail.