We are a family of 5 my kids are 15, 19 & 23 and my FIL took this cruise. We had a great time. I was so worried reading some bad reviews before going. However we found everything to be great!! Except the lady in guest relations who was the most unfriendly person I ever meet.
We live in NJ so getting to port was great. Port is a little confusing with drop off and pick up in same area and only 2 lanes getting in. We got there early and were check in without lines. Waited in the holding area about an hour and was on board by 12:08. Went to WJ for lunch.
Dinning - We found the WJ food to be ok. The dinning room food we thought to be excellent. My oldest is a Chef and was pretty surprised that the food in dinning room to be good and flavorful. He knows how hard it is to cook for that many people. Lunch in the DR is excellent with the salad bar. We ate in Portofino's one night and was disappointed. The food was not as well seasoned as it was in the dinning room. However, it was good and the portions were bigger than in the DR. Service was excellent could not do enough for you both in Portofino & DR. The WJ service was not as good. Mostly breakfast and lunch we ate there. Was asked only once if I wanted a drink in all the times we ate there. Cafe promenade was nice to have would get my tea at night. Pizza wasn't bad. Lines could get long at times.
Entertainment - Thought shows were good. 70's night was great. We went to do the scavenger hunt one day we were the only ones who showed up :(! I only got to see 1 comedy act due to having to pack on last night, kids said second guy was funnier. I liked the first guy so was sorry I didn't get to see other guy. Casino was fun. My daughter won $107 so she was happy. My FIL who has never played a slot machine hit for $181. We saw lots of people winning some nice amounts which I was surprised about. The kids did rock climbing and had fun.
Bermuda - Love it!! We had been to Bermuda 25 years ago for our honeymoon. More cars this time. Took ferry to Tobacco Bay to snorkel kids loved it. They saw some big beautiful fish such as Parrot fish. Only negative was my younger son slipped on a rock and cut open his back pretty bad. If you want to snorkel it's a great beach to do it at. Also, it's calm shallow water is great if you have small children. Horseshoe beach is my kind of beach - beautiful! Small waves and soft sand. We notice the sand to be very soft (easy to walk in) and didn't get hot. On this beach at the end were rocks and caves. I did see a women who like my son fell on the rocks. She was crying and holding a towel to her face her hands were bleeding. So be careful around the rocks they are very sharp if you fall. The bus however is ride at your own risk. lol We took the bus back from Horseshoe and had to stand that was a mistake. They drive so fast and the turns are so sharp trying to stay up is very difficult. If you don't get a seat get off.
So as I stated in my opening the guest relations lady to be the most unfriendliest person I ever meet. My daughter got 5 towels on first day in Bermuda when she returned them the computers were down. They said they would write her name & room number down. Well on last morning her billed showed $125 for towels. So now down to wait in line with others who were also missed charged. She started to explain what happened to the lady at desk. Lady says nothing walks away into back room comes back hands my daughter a new bill. We say thank you walk away only to realize she gave my daughter my bill. Have to go back she is now on the phone we wait she gets off looks at us I explain she just gave my daughter my bill. She prints my daughters bill less towels without ever saying one word to us. Weird!!! Please put people in guest relations who like to relate to people.
We had a great time! Would like to thank Mike & Lucy in the dinning room who were great to all of us and remember all our names. My sons room attendant (don't know his name they were in room 7639) was wonderful and so friendly remember their names. One night he made them an alligator towel animal they loved it so creative!! We would recommend the Explorer, we thought she looked great for her age. My oldest was worried about coming with his family thought he would be bored with us. He loved it and said he would do another cruise. He did go off at night on his own when we went to bed. lol