August 16th we went on a "No Fly Cruise" on the RCCL Explorer out of Bayonne, NJ. What a mistake!!
We drove to the port and parked in the adjacent lot. Embarkation was fairly quick and easy.
It was the worst cruise we had ever experienced. The itinerary was ok, 9 nights to Bermuda, St Martin, PR and their private beach in Haiti. The weather was ok and we got out of the area before hurricane Isaac arrived.
Now for a description of the cruise: We had a balcony cabin. The only amenity in the cabin was a bar of soap. There was a shampoo dispenser in the shower. The was no ice bucket nor ice supplied. Our fellow passengers consisted of mostly from the New Jersey and other local communities. There were also about 900 kids aboard! The children started the week mostly well behaved but by mid-week it was mayhem on every elevator and staircase. One night midweek I had to call security after 1 AM to complain about noise in a neighboring cabin.
Food: The lunch buffet consisted of pasta with sauces, baked pasta, hamburgers, franks, pizza, sandwiches and some "slop" left over from the previous night's dinner. The best thing on the buffet were cookies and I am not exaggerating. We chose "Anytime Dining" which was anything but anytime. The 1st night we approached the dining room at 7:15 and asked to be seated. We were told to come back at 8. No beeper to call us back. When we called for a reservation the following evening we were told each day the dining room choice was seating at 5;30 or 8 PM. Great anytime dining! One night it took the servers 2 hours to serve us dinner. The dining room food was terrible. Each night we would order 2 entrees because we knew there would be something we didn't like. The 2nd formal night they served lobster and shrimp. Sounds good but they even ruined the lobster. It was so over cooked the lobster was mushy. We ate in the specialty restaurant 1 night and the food was good. We ate breakfast each morning in the dining room.
The staff appeared to be working hard and trying to please but the product left much to be desired.
Entertainment aboard was fair to average.
Disembarkation was also terrible. We were given a number for disembarkation with an approx time of 9:30. Since we had to vacate the cabin at 8 we had been sitting in a waiting area for almost 2 hours and our number still had not been called.
This was my 4th RCCL cruise and my 13th overall. This cruise was definitely at the bottom of my list and I will not take another RCCL cruise.