Going to Baltimore Pier was easy and parking was $15 a day VS Manhattan Pier at $35 a day. We parked the car at about 11 AM and we were on the ship at 11:45 AM. Our cabin was a D2 Superior Balcony. I have to say it was very nice, plenty of storage. We did not use a lot of the drawers. We were happy with our balcony, not as larger as others we have had but you could have a breakfast or lunch out on the balcony. It had a nice size table to allow that. I was a tad disappointed in the bed, it was very low and not as comfortable as I would have liked it. No way to put suitcases under the bed but it posed no problem for us. Bathroom was very nice, I just hate those darn shower curtains! This was our first time sailing with Royal instead of Celebrity.
The first night we did go to the Diamond Club it was so crowed we could not get in the door and I was thinking this isn’t going to be fun. Ruth our Loyalty Hostess told us to seat where ever we wanted outside the Club and they would take care of us. They were wonderful every single night and we had a wonderful time. We never did sit in the Club it was too small but did not matter. The over flow just sat near the windows in the South Pacific Lounge and we had great service. I loved the special coffee every morning and it was always pretty empty. Nice continental breakfast there too. I did ask Ruth a question I could not get a straight answer to after calling Royal myself a few times. In June I wanted to try Royal with my friend who is not Diamond was told she could not use the Diamond Lounge, another call I got a different answer and was told she could come but she would have to pay for her drinks even though she was in my cabin. I decided the heck with Royal and took her on Celebrity so she could enjoy the Elite Club every night with me before dinner. Ruth the Loyalty Hostess told me, absolutely anyone in my cabin may join me and have free cocktails, wine or beer.
We only used the Windjammer when we had too. I didn’t really care for it, but we don’t really care for buffets anyway. I was surprised that there was no Grill by the pool for hot dogs and burgers. The burger in the Windjammer was cold and the cheese wouldn’t even melt. Dining room was great, I love the fact that they have the nice salad bar at lunch and they make it for you. Mornings they had a breakfast bar that was nice as well. Of course they had the regular menu items too. Chops Grill was so wonderful, I loved it! Giovanni’s Table was also fantastic! We also had the best 2 waiters at My Time Dinning. We asked for them so every night they sat us with them. My first time using My Time and we both loved it.
The ship was beautiful. They were working on a few things like welding on new doors on deck 5. We did have problems with our air in our cabin for 3 days. At times we had heat coming out of our vents and other times no air or heat. We called maintenance several times but could never get a straight answer. On the third day we come back to our cabin to find condensation all over the closet doors and mirrors and it was about 95 degrees so that was it for us. I hate to go to the desk to complain but I knew I would not be happy if it continued. The manager was very nice and did offer to move us (a big hassle) she told us she did believe everything was fine so we decided to stay and if it happened again we would move. I asked for nothing but a cool room but was surprised with a nice bottle of wind and a future cruise credit. That was so nice of them to do that, we were both shocked.
Celebrity VS Royal well yes we feel there is a difference for us anyway. We loved Royal but we do love Celebrity a bit more! I will defiantly sail with Royal again. We are not snoots by any means but I missed the nice soaps, shampoos lotions, cotton balls and Qtips in the cabin. I missed the really nice beds with the rounded corners. I missed 180 min of internet time VS 90 min. Oh, and the one big bag of free laundry! I guess I also assumed we would have a tote bag, umbrella and binoculars in our cabin but no. All in all WONDERFUL ship, crew, food, service and entertainment!! Wow we have nothing out there in the future, we need to start planning and book something so we can plan and dream away!!!
Thanks for posting your cruise review; sounds like you had a great time despite a few set backs that can be encountered on most any vacation. We have cruised both RCI and Celebrity and enjoyed both but always preferred RCI over the three lines we have experienced.
A problem with the older ships being upgraded is they have to work with the existing space, hence the small diamond lounge.
You ought to try Oasis or Allure sometime. The Liberty Of The Seas had the clam shell shower doors when I was last aboard. Someone told me RCI was removing them and going to curtains on all showers, fleetwide. Not sure if it is true. Seems like it require a lot of work on each shower.
Dave, I forgot something, where is the Pizza? We couldn't find pizza for my pizza loving husband and finally asked. We were told always on the room service menu and sometimes in the Solarium Café, I forget the name of the café. That surprised me as popular as the Pizza Bars are on other ships. I think we would like to try the Oasis or Allure. Hard to believe they would remove the glass doors. On the second day I must not have closed the curtain correctly and stepped out to a flood on the floor, oh good grief, I was mopping and wringing out towels for 20 min, I was in a panic! That never happened again LOL
The Park Cafe replaced the original Solarium grill which always had pizza, burgers straight off the grill (the cheese was melted), and hot dogs. I'm not sure why they kicked pizza to the curb on Grandeur. In many ways I think they should have left things alone and not installed a Park Cafe. I guess I am in a minority but I am not at all impressed by the Park Cafe on the Oasis/Allure, which is where the concept started. It's a confused mess at times with no clearly laid out service lanes for the stations. I also found the roast beef sandwiches to be so-so. But to each his own.
On the newer ships, Sorrento's Pizza is a stand alone place with pizza, salad, antipasto. I had a great antipasto plate one day on Liberty Of The Seas last December.
Brilliance OTS also has shower curtains in place of the clamshell doors. Our first few cruises on Mariner all had the doors. Takes away the joke of rubbing soap on the walls and spinning around inside the shower to get clean!
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Maybe too many complaints about claustrophobia from the clam shells being closed? People getting stuck because the clam shell got out of it's tracks? I'd think they are easier to clean than a curtain.
When we book a suite they've had curtains for the bathtub. We had Owners Suites a couple times on the Serenade and the Enchantment and they have a separate shower stall with a glass swinging door, and a bathtub.
My husband is still talking about the best pizza was on Celebrity Galaxy back in 1998 ! That was before Celebrity went to RCCL ! He compares every pizza to that cruise..LOL I keep telling him to just let it go or maybe take me to Naples !!!! ;OD
Interesting that they may go to curtains on all RCI ships. I forget which one of my RCI cruises had the doors. I think it was the Freedom, but I'm not sure. I know it definitely wasn't the Majesty, so either the Enchantment or the Freedom. Seems like doors would make more sense to me also.
I also had the problem with the curtain of a little water on the bathroom floor after I showered, but nothing like you experienced. I'm trying to remember if there were drains on the bathroom floor for that very reason, but can't remember off hand.
I thought Royal did give you one bag (plastic) to put stuff in to take ashore. I know I had one, and put a towel, and some other things in there. I know all cruise lines are different, but the lines I've been on (Royal Caribbean and Princess) did not provide umbrellas or binoculars, like you stated.
I also don't have any cruises planned in the near future. Guess I'll have to start saving so I can plan one, maybe for 2015. I found out today we may have a long term project at work I'm going to be a part of, so if that's the case, I probably can't take any vacation until that's done.
2007 - Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas)
2009 - Enchantment of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2010 - Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2013 - Golden Princess (Alaska, roundtrip from Seattle)