Embarkation : cape Liberty, had to be the easiest check ever!, we hand Gold check in and where give # 12 , so right away we figured had to wait for the 12th bus, but no, i asked and was told they start with 12, and they sure did at about 1130, you must take a shuttle bus from the terminal to the boat,they have this down pat, we where on the boat by 1150 and eating windjammer at 1200, and believe me that was the one and only time this cruise, and that was the freshest i saw it all cruise.
we ate and went to the solarium , which would be our spot ,went to the cabin at 200 pm and all the luggage was there that was a nice treat! saw the amazing view of NYC and the Statue of Liberty right from our balcony! went to muster drill which was very professional and well handled, than back to room and than to upper deck to watch sail away and pass under the BRIDGE! Wow that was close!
we chose MY Time Dining, which was a great choice, and we can control what time we ate, this turned out to be one of the best dinning plan ever! The waiter and assistance was very good, the waiter was very in control of everything and pleasant as well!
the ship itself was in great shape ,yes their are spots on the carpet and some lights out here and there but not enough to ruin a vacation, the crew was always hard at work sprucing up the ship.
food was very good in the MDR, we skipped all but 1 meal in the windjammer as that food just was not very good, we ate every other meal in the MDR, including the Brasserie (sp) 30 for lunch on both sea days , which was excellent as they had a huge salad bar that was not self service and had just about everything any wanted along with a full menu as well.
the cruise directer was very funny as well Richard Spacey, he was one of the best we have had, a must is the Quest (adult game show) it was roll on the floor funny,he and his staff also put on 2 great parades and a fun 70's night on the Royal Promenade, they had the whole boat rocking.
we did not do Portofino as the food was just as good in the MDR, we did however get snacks and pizza in the cafe, we ordered room service for snacks one sea day and had them on the balcony.
WE also did the wine package platinum which we thought was a very good option for having wine at dinner, 5 bottles,1 a night and we where able to choose from an extensive menu.
The cabin was great,E Balcony 6244 right across from the elevators, this was a concern,but the noise i read about was minimal at best, this was a forward cabin and did feel the waves,but it really was not to bad.when we docked we where facing king's wharf and had a great view of the dock yard.
it was quite easy to come and go to ship , they had a small courtesy shuttle like the "conch" train in key west that took you around various stops thru the dock yard, and the ferry service to Hamilton was spot on (except on Monday am, they had a ferry go down and was a little behind,no worries tho, as the bus service was also spot on! and everyone is very friendly , in Hamilton we shopped the various stores and got a bite to eat and some beverages at the Pickled Onion ,(try their version of a swizzle..umm) also had great iced mocha at the coffee shop at the ferry terminal, despite the rain Hamilton was very nice and a lot safer than any other Caribbean port we have been too.
on Tuesday (day 2) at the dockyard the weather did not start out good, but i went and booked a snorkel excursion on the Aristocat, a catamaran that went to a secluded coral reef for a snorkel that could not be beat , i felt that i was in an aquarium with the fish that i saw, WOW,and that crew had some great stories about Bermuda and pirates, as a matter a fact one of the girls on the crew spoke about her heritage as great granddaughter of a pirate(maybe / maybe not) hard to dispute tho...all things considered this was one of the best ports and safe too, would take the kids next time for sure and would like to try a different cruise line that spends an extra day...
LAST SEA DAY
JUST BEAUTIFUL...WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT! SUNNY AND PERFECT, the way a cruise should end! every square inch of the ship had sun worshippers on the deck, as everyone was making up for the cloudy weather! WE will be back to Explorer very soon and we recommend it to anyone!
Disembarkation---WOW we did walk off and believe me we where so impressed , Carnival 2 years ago took almost 2 hours to get off the ship, RCCL has mastered this 2 elevators dedicated and run by staff to get people down to deck 1 to leave, we where thru customs and at the car before 800am....just tremendous!
Thank YOU RCCL and Explorer of the Seas...Great Ship and still in Great ship even after we got married on her 11 years ago!!!!