Vivian M. Webb, MCC
(434) 237-3832
(800) 854-0500
  Grandeur of the Seas - At least my 6th cruise on her  
 

 

 

At least my 6TH experience on the Grandeur of the Seas

 

Go here:  Only 230 Pictures.

 

Wow, it was a 9Night cruise, and truly lasted a long time.  It’s something about, getting past a 7Night cruise, that most definitely adds to your relaxation !

 

This cruise just took us down the east coast.  Was it cold to & from our stops ?  Yep.  Did that mess up the cruise for me ? Nope.  Other than not being able to sit on the deck & read my book, like I love, doesn’t actually bother me ! (began the 1st book, never touched the 2nd).

 

Not normal, I didn’t sleep so well at night.  Could have been the espresso drinks I had each night (smile), or it was the fact, that I kept something worrisome on my mind, the 1st ½ of the trip.  When I finally let this bothersome go (literally pretending it was there), it was truly a mind boggling relief !  Whoot Hoot !  

 

Of course, Jann & I made up for sleep, during nap time.  It was great.  Some heavy sleeping going on.  We both hope we can break this habit, once home.  Heheheh.

 

Few extra ordinary dining room experiences.

 

The maître’d alone, was worth going to the dining room each night.  Most nights, dined with Jann’s friends (Starla & Jeff, kept us all in stitches; and Patricia brought a lot of sentiment to our table & her husband Gary, smiled a lot) … Some sharp dressing going on … Everyone looked great.

 

Another night, dined alone (Jann & her friends, opted for quick eating at the Lido café, so they could go off ship in Nassau, on the town; crazily, about everything was closed) … Another, Jann & I invited our friends, Barbara & Rhonda, for an enjoyable experience … And on the last night, I joined Barbara & Rhonda, and met some nice new folks, to include Pat, whom I had met last May on the Grandeur.

 

We did have one frightening experience at dinner, about the 3rd night.  One of Jann’s friends (won’t mention name), got chicken, lodged in her windpipe (?).  Didn’t realize anything was going on, till I saw her husband, do the Heimlich across the table, and she was basically a rag doll. I couldn’t help but stand up and start yelling in the dining room for help … Need a Doctor … a Nurse.  Not  till I said, Heimlich, did everyone seem to get the jest of what was going on.  This sweet little girl, 2 tables over (later discovered, this whole table, were life guards), came running & began working on her & kept saying, talk to her, to see if she’s alert.  When the maitre’ds got to the table, they let me know they had alerted 911.  Until she actually became back alert, it wasn’t looking too promising !  Thankfully, for the benefit of the dining room experience, this couple, all the folks at our table, this sweet little girl, and the crew, our cruise was able to continue on a pleasant note.  She was released from the medical facilities, by 10:30pm, given a clean bill of health.

 

This ship.

 

It’s truly my speed.  When I’m not looking for a lot of noise/action, but more relaxation, this is the ship for me.  My ideal relaxing vacation is doing nothing.  Other than, sit on the deck & read.  Or take in a movie.  And yes, nap … Revitalize !  Oh of course, a little shopping !

 

It’s only 73,000 tons, with 2 elevators.  But if you sit on the deck, between the 2, it’s not far to either !  And you can get where you need to be, in no time.

 

The food.

 

  • Their chopped salad bar in the dining room, on sea days, for lunch, was still fabulous.  Due to missing CocoCay, we actually had 4 of these days !  I also had the tilapia 2 days with mash potatoes, and it was fabulous as before !  One day, I had the steak sandwich – was good – Actually it was the bread used, which gave it the great taste.
  • Their mash potatoes … To die for.  Even Jann ate lots.  You couldn’t help yourself, getting these, when at Lido, or in the dining room.  RCI has always been known for their mash potatoes !
  • Carving table on Lido & in the dining room 2 days, & in the snack area, were the best cuts of carving meats I have ever had, on any ship, or on any land buffet.  Everything was moist & tender.  Even had turkey one day (made up for the turkey I didn’t have for Thanksgiving nor Christmas this year).
  • Steaks.  Only one night, one was a little tuff, 1st couple bites; then it was fine.  Otherwise, they were mouthwatering.  One person told me, theirs was tuff one night, but I didn’t experience that !  The prime rib on the carving table in the dining room, on the last day, was the best ever (today, most folks dry the prime rib out, even if it is solid pink).
  • Raw beef/arugula salad – One of my favorite dishes - So grateful RCI knows how to make this.  My last experience on Norwegian (over Thanksgiving in Giovanni’s) and on MSC Cruises (last March), the meat was thick & rubbery & I believe they used something else, other than beef.  DOUBLE YUK !
  • Jann & I, and even Rhonda & Barbara, on the last day, went to the dining room for breakfast.  Actually good.  Like Norwegian, the bacon was real good.  Their hash browns even good (more like Waffle house).  Their muesli, not as good as Norwegian (RCI also adds bananas – YUK).  We did go to breakfast on Lido, one morning, for a little snack (I got a bacon bagel), only because we were late getting up, & Jann wanted a little something before our salad @ dining roomn lunch.
  • Soft Serve ice cream – In general, not as good as Carnival or Norwegian.  However, one day, they must have used something different (yogurt ?), and it was as good as Carnival/Norwegian.  Strangely, soft serve was only available (on the pool deck), from 11:30-2:30 & then again, 5:30-9pm. 

So no afternoon ice cream snack (sad).

  • Crème Burlee.  One of my most  favorite desserts … Norwegian has them out beat, by far !  Though it’s even better, than the regular dining room, if you go to the Le Bistro, on Norwegian.
  • Soufflé – sorry, not as good as Princess.
  • Lava Cake – can’t say it’s as good as Carnival or Norwegian.  But when I mixed the ice cream & cake together, the taste was really good.
  • Desserts.  At 1st, they really weren’t doing a lot for me.  One bite was enough.  But they did have a few I liked, during the week: Coconut cup on Lido 2nd day; Hot cookie for dinner one night;  white chocolate mousse for dinner one night; banana cake, which taste like banana pudding, one day for lunch in dining room.  There were others.  There tiramisu, folks put too much mousse these days – However , the one bite I took, had the right amount of coffee in it for me – Yum.
  • Coffee.  Awful !  Even with 3 creamers.  They use to serve Seattle’s Best.  No idea what they serve now.
  • Hamburgers.  Didn’t look like much.  Norwegian and Carnival have great hamburgers !

 

 

Lido Café @ 3pm.  Closed.  All the food removed, even if you got in there at 2:45pm.

So unlike Carnival & Norwegian, the only thing available was snacks in the ‘snack area’ in the solarium, from 3-5:30pm.  Yes, they had meat carving and yes, sandwiches, cookies, some dessert, etc.  But there was only 2 folks serving, with all those people coming back from tours, after 3pm.

 

Seafood & other buffets. 

The 1st sea day, we contemplated paying $40 for unlimited filet and as much lobster was we wanted & champagne.  But you had to be there, 10:30am & lasted @ 1 ½ hours.  Was too early.  Another day, an early buffet was offered in Giovanni’s Italian restaurant, but we didn’t opt for this either.

 

Chops Steak House.  Apparently folks were NOT signing up much. 

At breakfast, folks in our table, 2 times, were offered $25each (instead of $39), along with 2 bottles of champagne for the table.  Jann went to one; I didn’t go to either.  We were already eating a lot of great red meat in the dining room, and my steak house experience, has never turned out that great (whether RCI or Norwegian).

TIP: If this is for you, remember to ask in the dining room for breakfast, if they have any offers.

 

Entertainment onboard.

I didn’t go to many.  Usually, I try to go to at least 10 min of any show, to say I saw it, but I didn’t even do that.  Fortunately, Jann’s friends went, all but one night, so this gave me an out, to enjoy the Diamond Plus lounge longer each night !  I did go to comedy 3 times, saw a production show, and saw a magic show.  All good !  There was also a lot of entertainment in the atrium, on different nights, like 70’s night & Michael Jacksons thriller song/dance.  And Karaoke in the Pacific Lounge, select nights after dinner.

 

Movies onboard.

 

The few they had, I didn’t like the choices.  Winnie the Pooh, Ant Man, etc.  My last 2 cruises on Norwegian, had great options.  Of course, maybe had I gone, I may have discovered they were better than I guessed.  Such as Venom, I did go.  Though I don’t those fake hero type movies, like spider man, it did have a lot of action, to keep me entertained.  But often the movies were on the deck, at 8pm, during dinner.

 

And in the room, like Norwegian, there’s no ‘menu’, to figure out what is on.  However , at least Norwegian has a set English speaking movie channel, whereas, RCI did not.

 

Sports broadcasting onboard.

There were a lot of the games, for folks not to miss.  Mostly on the deck, but they were also showing at the Casino bard.  No, that’s not me (smile).

 

Shopping onboard.

Every ship has become expensive.  I truly don’t look at much of anything, except the $10 sale.  They had this twice.  I did buy 2 items.  A hat (so when I need to run to the post office/store, with no makeup, etc) and I needed a new LARGE, per say, pocketbook tote bag for travel.

 

WIFI onboard. 

In general, RCI has the fastest internet a-float.  Fortunate for me, my Royal Caribbean Rep, gave this to me, all week, complimentary – Thank you.  For the most part, it worked fairly well, except when docked in Nassau, some late evenings, but the power was seldom strong enough for me to scroll down more than 4-5 posts, at any given time (sad).  So Yes, I stayed on facebook posting pictures of some of our ‘funs’ and ‘guess this food, for charity donations’.  This cruise, I think was the most facebook participation ever.  Thanks to all who played.

 

Ports.

 

Charleston, SC.  Was my 1st time, spending a little time here.   Jann, my roommate & I took, took a walking tour, and ended at the market.  Yes, expensive market.  Yet, our little walking tour was nice.  Reminded me lots of New Orleans.  Would I go back ?  Yes.  Need to see more !

 

Port Canaveral, Fl.  Jann & I took the Cocoa Beach day.  Not a lot here.  We walked around a little.  Shopped at Beals Outlet.  Stopped for a drink.  Took a look at the beach.  And that’s about it.  Probably don’t need to do this again.

 

Miami, Fl. This was my most favorite day in port.  Naturally, I’ve been here many time, to leave on cruises, and I have taken several tours over the past.  Jann & I did the South Beach & Art Deco.  Been years since I had been to South Beach.  Weather was great !  1st, it was a walking tour, and then we had time on our own.  We did stop at Burger King, Jann for a little snack, & me for something to drink.  This day seemed to last  real long, giving us the opportunity to enjoy Miami, from onboard, after tour.

Check out the pictures.  My drink was black.  And though, this Burger King sold beer, no it was not beer.

 

Nassau, Bahamas.  Jann took a dolphin tour, and I just went into port, after lunch.  My original plans, were to stop at a drink counter & wait for Jann’s tour to be over.  Little too expensive.  When other friends, Barbara & Rhonda, came off ship after lunch, we walked in town a bit.  No, no one wanted to go to the straw market.  Been here too many times, and prices have become outrageous !

 

CocoCay, Bahamas.  We missed this port.  Captain had told us, night prior, a cold front was coming thru.  And when he got to CocoCay, it was too dangerous to tender in.  In the spring, the dock should be finished, along with the new ‘play park’, and water should no longer be an issues, for just docking there.

 

Our Train experience.

 

As usually, it was great.  Yes, we had to wait @ 5 hours on the return, at the station, till our 3:30pm departure.  And yes, everyone who drove, was already home.

TIP:  Next time I sail out of Baltimore, we’ll either …

1)      Goo into Penn, but out of BWI.  This way, more options for lunch !  Why have I never thought of this before.  

2)      Or … leave earlier, but stop in Union Station for lunch (I believe I’ve done this before).

3)      Or … Find a tour, they would pick us up at the ship & take us to the train when over (ship had nothing, not even to the airport).

 

 

Experience.  I‘m sure you’ve had this before … The more you think of the memories, the more you enjoyed your getaway !  As soon as I got in my house, I was relieving the experiences, and grateful for them !

 

Another shout out thanks to Barbara & Rhonda … Along with Jann …

Our pictures together … I felt like we were the ‘Quad Squad’ … The dynamic quad !  Could truly master anything together !  Like Sandra Bullock & her team on Miss Congeniality 2Remember, when Sandra Bullock almost fell in her shoes, when she was acting a little cocky (tuff).  Well, that’s what it had me thinking of … hehehehe.  I could most definitely do this same adventure again !

 

What so I miss not doing most ? 

Not booking the next 12Night cruise to the Caribbean (I did this itinerary for Thanksgiving 2017, and it was great !). 

But this is Wave Season in cruise business, so naturally, I need to get back home to my customers (smile).

TIP:  If you’re retired … Check the price on the cruise, before & after !  You’ll thank yourself !

 

 

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