Quick & Easy! Drove to Cape Liberty from CT arriving about 11am. Dropped off family & bags, swung around to park, zipped right thru security and check-in and jumped right onto waiting bus to take us to ship. We were in the Windjammer having lunch less than an hour after we parked.
We had adjoining promenade rooms on Deck 7, 7561 & 7563(family of 4 w/2 teenage girls) we have had promenade rooms before and like them, a more affordable option for us than adjoining balcony rooms. I don't feel closed in since we have the bird's eye view of the Promenade right below us. A good location, not too far from front elevators, (about 6 rooms down hall)Our room steward (Claude)was wonderful.
We have cruised before and do not even bother to look for chairs around the pool itself, the chair hogs are alive and well! We prefer to be up on Deck 12 anyway just to the side/behind the Skybar, you can still hear all the pool music/activities but it is a little quieter and not as crazy/crowded feeling, never had a problem finding chairs together there, even on sea days and we like to gaze out at the ocean rather than the people around the pool, we can do that anywhere! We did not use the Solarium, too closed in for us and it always seems hotter in there, and hard to find chairs. The first sea day the bar service was slow and there did not seem to be very many waiters, so we opted to get our own from the Skybar. The returning sea day they were better staffed and service was much better.
We really like this gym, beautiful views while working out. It never seemed crowded.
Leigh the Cruise Director is hysterical! Loved him and Frank "The Tank", the Activities Director, lots of fun. We attended the Welcome Aboard show, hosted by Leigh, enjoyable. The comedian (forget his name) was good, we also went to his adult late-night show which was ok. Leigh also hosted the Love & Marriage show which is a must see, very funny! We went to the Finish the Lyric with Frank, a game-show type show, also very fun. Did a Michael Jackson trivia game at the Schooner bar before dinner one night, those are always fun with a large group. The teenagers in our group (we were on-board with our family group of 23) got a kick out of the pool contests, (the belly-flop & most handsome man), again made fun by Leigh & Frank. We did not attend the ice-show or the dancing shows, since we have seen them on prior cruises, but others in our group did and said they were very good. All in all, a good variety of shows/activities for all.
Shops on Board: We are not big shoppers on vacation but good variety, good prices on liquor, and the $10 sale on the return trip is always a big hit!
Good variety offered for breakfast & lunch in both the Windjammer and MDR. We had a late seating in the MDR each night for our large group. I took this same cruise last year and have to say the food was definitely not as good. The variety in the MDR for dinner was not so great and while the food was good, I was a bit disappointed. But that being said, our dinners were made enjoyable by our waiters(we had 2 tables) Amanda and Martin were wonderful! Martin wound up with our group of "kids". 9 of them ages 3 to 23, dinner with Martin became the highlight of their day!
This is a ship review, so I will not get into Bermuda here, just to say we wished we had more time there. I think I saw somewhere that RC will be doing 7 day cruises to Bermuda soon...I hope so! We were off the ship both days by 8:30/9 and no lines or wait.
Disembarkation was just as easy, once our # was called, in 15 mins we had collected our bags, went thru customs & were in the car, home 45 min later!
All and all a good relaxing voyage on the Explorer!