Cruising, cruising, cruising. I always heard people talking about how great cruising is. It sounded okay, but I was not entirely convinced. How great can being stuck on a boat really be? I mean the rocking of the ship, the crowds, it didn’t sound like paradise to me. Sure, the idea of only unpacking once and visiting multiple destinations sounded great, but that was all I was willing to budge on. Then the day I turned 27 my mind changed. Okay, so my age had nothing to do with my decision to like cruising, but my birthday happened to fall on the same day as my first cruising experience.
I was given the opportunity to go on a one day “cruise to nowhere” aboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas. I was a little tentative to go, but my sister and I decided we could use a mini vacation and if we decided cruising wasn’t for us, it would be better to find out on a one day trip than a seven day trip.
Working in the travel industry, I have read tons about cruising and seen more pictures than I could probably ever count, but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience.
We arrived at the Port of Baltimore and I started to get a little nervous. The cruise terminal reminded me a lot of an airport, but thankfully the lines moved much faster and we were quickly headed toward the ship. (The picture was taken after we returned and the weather was a little rainy.)
Every employee we saw from the time we entered the terminal was very friendly and super helpful and they were no different when boarded the ship. It was very comforting and though I was still a little anxious (since I had never been on a ship before) I was starting to feel much better about this little journey.
Once we dropped our bags in our cabin, we were off to explore. Since this was a cruise to show off all that the newly renovated Grandeur has to offer, we were given a map highlighting the must-see attractions around the ship. Obviously the specialty restaurants made the top of our own must-see list (they were giving out samples) and we tried those first. Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table and Izumi were all gorgeous and the food was most definitely worth waiting in the sample line. (At this point we hadn’t even left the port and I was already planning a full-length cruise in my head just for the food.) Then we toured the rest of the ship including the lounges and got accustomed to getting around our new home for the evening. It didn’t take long before we were comfortable getting around without our map. (There are interactive maps through out the ship just in case though.)
After visiting the specialty restaurants and lounges, we took a detour through the main dining room on our way to the pool deck. The Great Gatsby dining room was definitely more than I had imagined a main dining room would be. It was absolutely gorgeous and more ornate than most “fancy” restaurants I’ve seen.
Now I was excited to see what dinner would be like. Until then, I would have to wait… poolside.
Between the relaxation of the pool and the entertainment provided by the staff dancing their hearts out poolside and on the giant outdoor movie screen, I thought “I could really get used to this”, but we were still docked and hadn’t started moving yet so I still wasn’t totally sure cruising would be my ideal mode of vacationing.
Between pool time and dinner we attended our muster drill and got ready to start moving. By the time we dressed for dinner we were headed out into the bay. (YAY dinner time!)
Dinner was quite the experience. We got a seat near a window which was nice so we could watch the scenery change as we set sail. The incredible waitstaff was very personable and gave great suggestions for every course as the meal progressed. The food… oh how I love food and this food was no exception. It was amazing and there was so much of it! Appetizers, entrees, desserts… as many of each as we could handle.
Now that my stomach was full and I realized that I could only tell the ship was moving when I looked outside, it was time to kick the fun into full gear. First stop, the Centrum Show.
The show was called Four Seasons. All four seasons were depicted by not only an aerial show, but also a singer. It even snowed in Winter.
The show was amazing and I didn’t think the entertainment could get any better. Then it was time for the main stage show.
Could whatever was hiding behind this very fancy curtain top the Centrum show? It seemed highly unlikely. But Royal Caribbean did not cease to amaze me even when everything already seemed to be over the top amazing.
Mo5aic (yes the 5 is on purpose) is an very talented and entertaining vocal band. What is a vocal band? I asked myself the same thing. Very simple, they make all of the sounds of a band, drums, bass, guitar, and of course vocals, all with their mouths. Listening to them, you would have thought that there was a band hiding somewhere back stage, but they assured the audience that was not the case. Now the entertainment for the evening is over for sure right? Wrong, the party feel goes on with, you guessed it, a party! A poolside party to be exact. There was fun planned all night long. I however did not last as long as the party.
Back to my cabin I went after the pool party and fell easily into my comfy bed with cruising on my mind. After my “cruise to nowhere” a cruise to somewhere (anywhere) is definitely on my to do list.
To try cruising for yourself or to book your next cruise, contact your local Boscov’s Travel Specialist by calling 800-755-8020 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.