Blount Small Ship Adventures (River Cruises)
Grande Mariner Review and Specifications
Specifications of Grande Mariner
|Year built||1998 / Age : 20|
|Builder||Blount Boats Inc shipyard (Warren RI, USA)|
|Operator||Great Lakes Cruise Company|
|Speed||11 kn / 20 kph / 13 mph|
|Length (LOA)||56 m / 184 ft|
|Beam (width)||12 m / 39 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||829 gt|
|Passengers||88 - 96|
|Decks with cabins||3|
Review of Grande Mariner
MV Grande Mariner cruise ship was launched in 1998 as an USA-built and flagged passenger ship with max capacity 118 people. The vessel is owned and operated by the US travel company "Blount Small Ship Adventures" and was specifically designed for coastal and river cruising. Just like the sister-ship Grande Caribe, Mariner features a retractable pilothouse (navigation bridge) which allows passing under low bridges. The ship's shallow draft (just 2 m / 6 ft) allows it to operate on canal and river cruises, as well as near-shore cruising expeditions.
The cruise ship also features an underwater camera, aft-located swimming platform (for deploying watersports equipment), bow ramp (for beach landings), observation lounge (with single-seating capacity) and dining room restaurant (single-seating capacity, open-seating arrangement, serving all meals). Food is traditional American fare, with special dishes in the menu reflecting the itinerary's ports of call. Various dietary restrictions can be easily accommodated upon request.
The open-air sun deck has shaded seating and is furnished with 4-seat tables and deckchairs. The stairway connecting the dining room with the above decks has a stair lift assisting disabled passengers.
Blount's small ship cruising experience emphases on sightseeing, socializing and (itinerary depending) leisure activities, such as sunbathing, snorkeling, swimming, glass-bottom boating. Evening lounge entertainment is usually a themed lecture, followed by reading, watching movies and videos, playing cards. In some call ports the ship is boarded by guest entertainers and music bands for live performances.
The cabins (passenger staterooms) sizes range between 70-95 ft2 (7-9 m2). They are in two types - inside and outside. The cheapest are interior cabins with a double bed. Outside (oceanview) staterooms are with either portholes or opening windows. Some cabins open to the deck's central corridor or on promenade deck (outdoor deck space).
The vessel is fully air-conditioned.
The ship's flat-bottomed hull is the reason for the relatively uncomfortable motion in rough waters. This is why most Grande Mariner cruise itineraries are on routes in protected waters - Great Lakes, inland waterways and harbors (during summer and fall). Departures are offered from Boston MA, Chicago IL, NYC New York, Rockland ME and Warren MI.
Blount cruise deals
Blount Small Ship Adventures Grande Mariner ship cruise deals are inclusive of:
- shipboard accommodations and all meals
- open bar cocktail hour, 2 formal dinners (Captain's Welcome and Farewell)
- 24-hour complimentary beverages (tea, coffee, juices, mixers, soft drinks, mineral water) and snacks
- onboard enrichment program (including activity workshops, themed lectures, video presentations, music parties)
- complimentary beer and wine (with all lunches and dinners)
- Shore excursions are at additional cost. They can be booked onboard or as pre-purchased package deals.
Passengers are allowed to bring their own bottled alcohol (wine and spirits) on the ship, which is an unusual policy, especially on smaller cruise ships.
Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All companies and their fleets are listed there.