Returned from a family cruise today onboard RCCL'S Explorer of the Seas. I'll break down the review day by day.
DAY ONE - CAPE LIBERTY:
Left home 10:00am with car service to terminal, arrived there shortly before 11a:00am, dropped off outside the large tent, left suitcases with porter, went through security, then get SeaPass cards, have group photo taken, then sat in the priority embarkation area, and by 11:20am, boarded the bus to the ship Explorer of the Seas, on the ship by 11:30am, went to Windjammer Cafe for first lunch onboard the ship which consisted of: salad station, fruits, vegetables, soups, and hot items including carving station which offered something different each day for lunch and dinner. They also offer beverages which include, water, flavored water and lemonade. The food was very good and all of us enjoyed it very much. Windjammer Cafe can get busy during peak times, so if you come just at right time, you get your food and find table quite fast.
After lunch, sat in Windjammer Cafe to pass time since the staterooms were not ready until 1:30pm. When we got to our staterooms, everything looked good, met our Stateroom Attendant, Daniel, very nice man if you needed anything, he was always there. Shortly after arriving, our suitcases arrived, so we unpacked, then it was time for Muster Drill on Deck 4. No life jackets were required. When you went to Muster Drill, you needed to show your SeaPass card to staff on deck, then they checked off your name and stateroom number, this was done quite well and everyone cooperated and drill was completed withing less than 10 minutes then it was time for sail away on Decks 11 and 12. Since the weather cleared up on deck they had music and dancing if you wanted to join in. I danced a little then returned to stateroom to get ready for first night's dinner in Windjammer Cafe. I don't recall entire menu, but they had the usual items you find at most buffets. There was also a Jade station which offered Asian food such as Thai and Chinese, I would have the Vegetable Fried Rice when they offered it and the Stir-Fry items were also very good. After dinner, walked around then off to sleep after a busy first day, first night at sea.
DAY TWO - CRUISING:
Slept in and up around 8:00am, went for breakfast buffet in Windjammer Cafe, very good food. Then walked around the ship, went to Cafe Promenade on Deck 5 for Coconut Ranger Cookies, my favorite cookies on this ship. They had them last year and I couldn't wait to have them again on this cruise. I actually went to lunch in Magellan Dining Room Deck 3 for steak sandwich which was good. Dinner in Windjammer Cafe, walked it off, then sleep to get ready for our first port Bermuda.
DAY THREE - BERMUDA:
Arrived in Kings Wharf also known as Royal Naval Dockyard 8:00am, breakfast then departed the ship, walked around the town, went to some stores, then to a museum which had a dolphin exhibit that was nice to see for $10 admission charge per person, the weather was good so it was a fun day to walk around Bermuda. They have shore excursions offered by the ship that take you there, but were did our own thing. Then lunch and dinner on the ship then to sleep after another fun-filled day of exploring.
DAY FOUR - CRUISING:
This day was spent the same as the first sea day just relaxing, enjoying the ship and all of the buffets, not much to say.
DAY FIVE - ST. MAARTEN:
I stayed on the ship, the family departed the ship to go into town to shop for watches and then look around. Then returned for lunch and just relaxed most of the afternoon, then off to another dinner and enjoying the ship and all it offered. I also went up to the pool when the ship was not full since people were off exploring the island.
DAY SIX - SAN JUAN:
I stayed on again, the family walked around San Juan, stopped at CVS store to pick up some items for the ship.I also went to pool for a bit more and enjoyed it. Then lunch and dinner as usual.
DAY SEVEN - LABADEE:
This is Royal Caribbean's private island, weather was great for a nice beach day, so we departed the ship around 8:30am, went to the beach, had a private cabana which was the highlight this trip, just sitting there watching the water and our ship off in the distance was the best way to spend the day there, then lunch on the island which consisted of: salad, steaks, and burgers, good food, then I went back to ship to go pool one last time before everyone returned and family returned ship little later to relax and get ready for dinner and other things taking place on ship.
DAY EIGHT - CRUISING:
Slept in late and then breakfast, walked around the ship, then lunch, relaxed then dinner and another evening of fun then sleep.
DAY NINE- CRUISING:
Slept late since this was our last day of the cruise, then lunch, packed up, relaxed, enjoyed the last dinner, then one final night of sleep before end of the cruise.
DAY TEN - CAPE LIBERTY:
Up around 5:30am, then down to the Screening Room Deck 2 by 6:00am, waited there until ship was cleared during our arrival around 7:00am, by 7:15am, we were one of the first groups departing the ship, on the bus to terminal and cleared customs and got car service around 7:40 am and returned home around 8:30am, disembarkation was handled in a good way. When onboard earlier in the cruise we booked exact same ship and itinerary for May 2013, now counting down the days until the next cruise.
Customs cleared the ship quickly.
Explorer of the Seas is a very well maintained cruise ship. It is 12 years old, but the staff were cleaning a lot and everything looked like brand new, keeping the ship in good condition,
The age group of passengers ranged from very young children to seniors and even few people in their 80s and even 90s on this cruise. Few passengers had power chairs.
This is my fifth cruise on Explorer of the Seas and I will cruise with her many times to follow, she is a great ship to cruise on. I recommend it to all my friends, its one of my favorites, I hope you enjoyed this review.