Embarkation went fairly smooth. I live in NY so I just drove to Cape Liberty. Royal Caribbean gives cookies, coffee, tea and water in the terminal which is always nice. The lines look long but we were on the ship in no time.
This was my first time in an inside room and, to my surprise, it was very nice. I slept wonderful in the dark room, the stateroom was a good size for two people,it had a flatscreen TV, was always very clean, towel animals were made, etc. My stateroom was aft but I did not feel much movement. My faucet did not work very well and I did have a sewage smell coming out of the sink but this only occurred once. Overall, it was a nice room but I did not spend much time in it.
I am a vegetarian and a very picky eater but I have NO TROUBLE enjoying my dining experience on the Explorer. I am never disappointed on this ship and I do not understand how anyone can have issues with the food. I had a Main Seating in the dining room. I requested to have a private table with my family, but to my dismay, we were placed at a table with 5 other cruisers. I always check my seating arrangements when I first arrive on the ship so I can make any necessary changes. After complaining to the present dining staff, my table was automatically switched to a private one in a beautiful location. My dining staff, Cristopher and Aykut, were both attentive and friendly. The only disappointment was no Baked Alaska dessert. I used to love that! Windjammer is not as good as the dining room but still high quality food. Always love the french toast, pizza and sandwiches. Also, the Cafe Promenade has some of the best sandwiches, scones and cookies on the ship.
This IS the friendliest ship! EVERY employee that I encountered smiles, waves, says hello, etc. They really make you feel special and welcomed. The service is a HUGE plus and it makes me want to return on the Explorer again. All the workers from the Maintenance to the Guest Relations were perfect!
We docked in Bermuda for 2 days. The weather was awful which really affects the cruise negatively. My first tour was cancelled due to the weather. My second tour, a Glass Bottom Boat, was nice but would have been better in sunshine. King's Wharf is nice but there is not much to do there. The beach nearby is mediocre and the shopping is okay. I did go to a glass blowing show in town which was wonderful! It's nice to walk around but difficult to find things to do here in the pouring rain!
ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT:
The ice show is a must-see, one comedian/juggler was funny but the other was not so great, the singing/dancing shows are good but I have seen them before on past cruises on the Explorer. The Love and Marriage Show is a MUST-SEE (I have not laughed that hard in a while), Quest, parades, live music, Chamber Nightclub, Basketball court, Mini golf, etc. I could go on and on but the activities were wonderful and entertaining and there was more than enough to keep me busy. In fact, I was so busy I could not even finish my book!
Disembarkation was quick and painless. Woke up at 7, ate a leisurely breakfast and was off the ship and in the terminal by 9:30.
Overall, this was a great cruise. Explorer still looks good even though it is getting old. I still love the Explorer and I will be back!!!!