My wife and I left Cape Liberty on the 23rd of September. This was probably the best cruise we have ever taken. Since we live about a hour away from Bayonne it was nice not to have to fly somewhere and deal with the airport experience. We left our house and within in 1 1/2 hours we were on our cabin balcony over looking the skyline of NYC. Of course being in a Grand Suite the priority check in was a plus. There was no line, just show your passport and boarding pass. The room was plenty big enough for the two of us, with two sinks, plenty of closet space, comfortable bed and a double sized balcony which included two chairs a table and a chaise lounge. We took full advantage of the concierge service that was offered. VIP seating for all shows, the concierge club along with it's no charge cocktails from 5 - 8:30 having the concierge book our massages etc. The best part was having breakfast in the Portofino restaurant every morning, excellent white table cloth service, all of your food was made to order, it was so nice not having to deal with lines in the Windjammer. I real treat was that we sat next to the captain on three occasions while having breakfast, he was extremely friendly and would answer any questions that we had plus let us in on a few other facts.
The average age of this voyage was about 45 - 65 very few kids and teenagers. That was our thinking to go on a trip when kids are in school. The food was outstanding, prime rib twice to die for, plenty of seafood and the lobster was much better than on previous cruise ships I have been on. The service was excellent although the first night it took awhile to get our coffee after dinner but the remaining six night's it came out promptly.
Over all I thought the staff was excellent, very friendly, accommodating and would bed over backwards for you especially Mario our concierge. We enjoyed all of the shows except for the comedians we thought they were a little weak, the ice show was done very professionally and captured your attention throughout the show.
Of course we were blessed with excellent weather, both in Bermuda and the days at sea. While in Bermuda we climbed Gibbs lighthouse, hit Horseshoe bay twice and found a most interesting sea glass beach in St. George. The bus and ferry service was excellent as what usually is the case in Bermuda.
One big treat is staying in port for two night's. This way your not rushed to go and see everything and get back on the ship by 4:00. We were able to relax and do things at our own pace. Bottom line we got detached from the outside world. One little tip is to take advantage of the Spa, the giant jacuzzi rarely had anyone in it as opposed to those by the pool and the steam room felt great.
We plan on going again if not once year twice a year from now on. The captain told us the Explorer will be taking a voyage to Canada in September 2013 and over night in Quebec City. We will surly look into that.