Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by chartma2: Pleasant vacation but not awesome
Overall Member Rating
Pleasant vacation but not awesome
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary(bermuda and Puerto Rico, plus 9 nights). The embarkation process was smooth, although the cruise port of Bayonne is run down and disappointing compared to other Florida cruise terminals we have seen. Coming from AZ we got a red-eye flight and hung out in airport before taking a relatively short taxi to the terminal. Arrived on the boat around noon and the lunch buffet was a madhouse which is typical of all cruises we have been on including Disney.
The ship is still beautiful and we were pleasantly suprised since it is 12 yrs old. We did standard dining, since my time dining on the Allure was not enjoyed last year. The food was ok, but the menu choices on some evenings were lacking, so we did a few nights at buffet, johnny rockets and specialty. The specialty restaurant took over 3 hours and was disappointing with undercooked rice and less than attentive service. Our main dining room server was wonderful as was our cabin steward. The More entertainment shows were sub-par, but at least accessible (unlike the Allure which was so crowded you couldnt get a seat). There were gaps in the evenings with no entertainent options other than drinking and music at the bars, but that could be because of the older crowd on board (I guess school doesnt get out in the east until mid june or so?). The teenagers enjoyed the activities but several were cancelled due to lack of interest or low participation numbers.
The ports were amazing and some of the best that we have seen. Bermuda is awesome and St Maarten is always a favorite. Segway excursion in San Juan was well worth the $100, especially since such a short time in port.
In St Martin, We got a taxi and went to simpson's bay beach on our own, saving a bundle from the excursion price. Labaddee was a nice relaxing day as usual with the same old BBQ. The new slide looks like it will be fun for the kiddos upon completion.
We had 2 adjoining promenade rooms which worked out well with teenage girls, but we certainly missed a balcony view! We must have been against a freight elevator because the noise was loud all night, but we managed.
Aside from the lack of typical cruise entertainment on all nights (karaoke, trivia, etc), we had a pleasurable vacation and enjoyed the extra days and great ports. We have however booked our next trip on Carnival Breeze as that is about the only summer itinerary out of Florida to hit the southern caribbean. I am anxious to see their new ship, and compare the different cruise lines! Less
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