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Dave

Age: 53

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 26

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Grandeur of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2009-07-1

Itinerary: Canada and New England

This was a very pleasant cruise which exceeded my expectations in many areas. The ship, while going on 14 years old, is still quite fresh and well maintained. The itinerary was something different from the typical summer cruise to the Caribbean or Alaska. The crew was superb in every way. Truly of the highest caliber. The food was the big surprise - generally excellent in all venues. This was easily one of the best cruises I've taken in recent years.

I was impressed by the quality and taste of the food - both in the dining room and in the Windjammer buffet. Recent cruises on Royal Caribbean have left me a bit disappointed with the food but on the Grandeur it was simply delicious and well prepared and presented. Great duck, prime rib, steak, tempura, fish....even the cruise ship lobster was tender and full of flavor. Windjammer offerings were quite good too. Typical buffet fare but at a very decent standard.

Service in the dining room was outstanding. Perhaps the best waiter we've ever had. Ditto the assistant waitress.

Junior Suite 8086 is located on the aft port, overlooking the stern. I prefer balconies on the stern since they are usually larger than those along the sides and also are not buffeted by winds which can make them unusable. This cabin is really not a suite, just a larger standard balcony cabin with a bathtub. Still it was in good order and comfortable with lots of storage space. A foul odor did come wafting out of the floor drain when the water in the bath tub was first turned on, but this dissipated quickly.

This cabin still has an ancient 13" Sony Trinitron TV set. Upgrading to LCD screens might be a good idea.

Very good. The Cruise Director John Blair, and his wife Katrina - who serves as hostess - are wonderful both as a team and as individuals. Entertainment was mostly decent. Very good bands. The Rosario Strings team on this ship (there are many Rosario Strings ensembles floating around out there on various ships) was superb.

Captain Rob Hempstead is quite humorous and took an active role in many onboard activities. The same goes for Hotel Director Michael Prasse. Their exuberance and outgoing personalities have obviously cascaded through the entire crew as evidenced by how much fun everyone had. The crew really made this cruise special.

Nothing memorable but when in Bar Harbor going to Acadia National Park is "the" thing to do. I do wish to advise people booking the Ganong Chocolate Experience in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, that they might wish to do their homework first. This tour takes you 70 miles away to the border with Maine to tour a rather smallish and mundane chocolate museum. A four hour tour where 75% of the time is spent in a bus going to the tour and then back to the ship. If you take this tour you won't have time to see any of Saint John. It is also quite expensive for what you get.

This cruise went out of Baltimore with two sea days, Saint John, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, and a final sea day on the return to Baltimore. It was an 8 night cruise with a decidedly older clientele. This meant the ship was often quiet and not much was going on in the lounges after 10pm. Seas were mostly calm with a couple nights of choppiness but nothing terrible. It was foggy and cool often - again not unexpected given the itinerary. The cruise was uneventful until the last morning. Engine problems sometime after midnight caused us to slow and as a result the ship was a couple hours late in returning to Baltimore. This caused some angst for passengers with early flights but the crew managed it as best they could. In my case I was supposed to leave the ship at around 8am and we ended up leaving at 10:40am. Even with this glitch, I still won't let it detract from a great cruise experience.

The crew of the Grandeur Of The Seas deserves accolades and a hearty Well Done!

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