Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by northcove: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Overall Member Rating
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Emabarkation was perfect. We arrived about 10:30, checked in right away, and were escorted to the waiting area. There were coffee and drinks available while you waited (free).
Around 11:30 we got on the bus that took us to the ship.
No issues at all.
Once on the ship, everyone headed for the WindJammer. They weren't opened yet and it started to get crowded so we went down to the Promenade Cafe (which Starbucks and Ben&Jerrys is a part of) thinking we'd get some pizza. But that wasn't ready either. We hung around, had coffee and about 12:30 had pizza.
After a "quick" lunch we headed to our room. My husbands luggage was there, mine wasn't. Apparently they were short workers as people took the day off (July 4th was the day before). I did get my luggage a few hours later and this really was not an issue. But, it would of been nice had we been told when checking in that there may be a delay.
Our room: We had a JS. Perfect More amount of space for two people. If anything, even a bit too big. We didn't need that much room but totally appreciated it. Especially the walk-in closet.
Our room attendant Kenny(beath?) was a sweetheart. I loved the towel animals. We're pretty low maintenance so didn't make any requests, but it was obvious she would of done whatever she could to make our trip comfortable.
The Ship: We thought it had a great layout, lots to do, good shows. You'll never be bored. Also, I found they keep it very clean which I totally appreciate.
Bermuda: Loved it. In fact, we're going back for a few days. It's such a clean, gorgeous and relaxing place. I'm mad at myself for not going there sooner.
We went to Horseshoe bay beach (along with everyone else) and rented chairs and an umbrella. Bring cash as they don't take credit cards. Spent a few hours there then took a cab to Hamilton. Had a great lunch, then caught a ferry back to the ship.
St. Maarten: Maho beach was the best. Had a blast watching the planes land while eating and drinking at the Sunset Beach Bar (get the Mahi Mahi, delicious).
Make sure to stand directly in it's path as it's landing too. Amazing watching the plane fly so low over you. Wen then took a cab downtown. The stores there are pretty much the same- liquor and jewelery. If you don't plan on buying anything, you might as well skip it. There's really nothing going on there.
Labadee: We rented an over the water cabana and that's where I spent most of my time. I read, slept, had a great lunch at Barefoot beach and just relaxed under the cabana fan. Was a great, slow day.
But, if it wasn't for the cabana I would not have loved Labadee.
I went swimming at Nellie's beach and found the water dirty. I mean really people, do you need to drop cups into the water?? What the hell.. just so wrong when you're snorkeling and see plastic cups instead of fish/coral.
My husband wanted to try the zipline but they had nothing available.
So if you're interested, be sure to book in advance.
The food. Well, what can I say.. Based on my previous two cruises (with different lines), I wasn't expecting much but was still disappointed. We always found something we could eat but the only thing we enjoyed was the barefoot beach buffet in Labadee (the shrimp skewers were delicious).
I don't know if it's the quality, or the cooking, but I'm betting on quality.
Even the Chopps steaks we ordered ($15 surcharge) were bad. And I didn't think you can go bad with a Filet Mignon.
Johny Rockets was a wate of money. The chicken sandwich I had was so disgusting I wouldn't feed it to a dog. It looked like various pieces of chicken, thrown together to make some kind of fillet with some gelatenious substance holding it together. Just terrible.
My husbnad got the burger. He said it was ok but later tasted WJ's burgers and said it was the same.. lol..
We had My time dining and never had to wait for a table, but we only ate in the MTD 3 times.
Portofinos was fine. Nothing special, but not bad either. Ate there twice.
The rest of our meals were at Cafe Promenade. Lived mostly on the pizzas and sandwiches from there.
The servers in MTD and Portofinos were wonderful though. Very nice and helpful and genuinely felt bad that were didn't love the food. They were the best part of our dining experience.
Puerto Rico: Only left the ship because my hubby has never been. We walked around the fort, stopped off at CVS then back to the ship. It's pretty much what most people do as you only get a few hours early in the morning.
Most stores open too late, and there really isn't that much to do around the port.
I spent a week there before I was married and didn't like it. Too many reason to list and pointless as you only get a few hours in port anyway.
The hoggers- From the chairs by the pool, to the seats at the shows.
I don't care if your party of 8 just simply needs to sit together all day, everyday, at the pool and at the shows. That's just ridiculous. I had a woman who hogged the 5 chairs to the right of me all day. But there were never more than 2 people from her party using those chairs. Just soo wrong. Same with seats at shows. Your whole gigantic party does NOT need to sit together.
And you sir, the one who just had to stick out his arm while stretching over 4 seats to indicate they were taken as I was walking down the steps and simply looked over.. wow, just wow.
All in all was a fun cruise and I'd recommend them if you don't care much about food. Less
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