Just a few more days before we fly to Baltimore and board the Grandeur. I just realized today that the ship won't have any debarking passengers. The current cruise for the Grandeur ends at Norfolk on Thursday and the ship deadheads to Baltimore overnight. That is good for several reasons: the cabins should be ready as soon as we board, less congestion at the port, and most importantly the crew should be refreshed after having a day without passengers.
And how proud I am to see the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! I was talking to my son a little while ago and mentioned that the ship will be similar to the Rhapsody, which we cruised on last summer in Alaska. His reply was "yup, they are the same class".
I haven't written many reviews in the past few years - instead opting to do daily reports from the ship. Not this time. I am going to make a concerted effort to minimize my computer time while aboard and wait until I get home before I write.
Once again it will be refreshing to be on a ship where there are no extra-fee restaurants, and where there are places I can stand on the centerline and see water on both sides just by turning my head.
The C/NE cruises are so port-intensive that there isn't too much down time. I'd advise taking notes, yet much of the cruise is going to involve balancing the sightseeing (both onshore and from the ship) with that down time. I'd much rather be on deck than in a computer center.
I really think you're going to enjoy this cruise, Dave. You've also selected a good ship on which to travel this itinerary.
I have this neat little recorder I bought several years ago at Havensight. It is about the size of a half deck of playing cards. I used to carry it around and make observations during cruises, but haven't used it in years. It still works and I think I'll use it to keep my notes again. Sometimes returning to the old ways is a good thing to do.
Just a bit of trivia: I attended an open house at the Baltimore cruise port last month, and a question was asked about when the casino was allowed to open on cruises out of Baltimore(it's about an 8-hours cruise before you clear the Chesapeake Bay).
It was explained that the rule states that you have to be "at sea" before the casino is allowed to operate. However when sailing out of Baltimore, there's a provision that states if you "intend" to go to sea, you can declare when "at sea" occurs.
The cruise lines have therefore "declared" that the moment the "at sea" condition occurs is when the ship passes under the Key Bridge (aka The Francis Scott Key Bridge) which is about two miles from the pier!
Have a great trip, Dave. Can't wait to read your notes and observations.