Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by anglerted: Nine Nights on the Explorer of the Seas
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Nine Nights on the Explorer of the Seas
The sailing was in late November for 9 nights from Bayonne, NJ with ports at San Juan, St. Thomas, Samana, DR and RC's private island Labadee, Haiti. Embarkation was a nightmare with traffic backed up at the approach to the luggage drop off and check-in so that it took about an hour from entry to the port to the counter. The counter check in process was easy and fast.
The ship itself is an "old girl" in need of a facelift (a refit is scheduled for 2014) with rather small public rooms and a Windjammer buffet area, which looked more like a cafeteria. The Windjammer buffet had no outside seating area. We took all our meals in the dinning room except for a lunch at Johnnie Rockets cafe for which there was an additional charge. As a matter of fact, it appeared that almost everything on the ship was a "profit center", e.g. for the first time in our 35+ cruising experience there were prices on the dinner menu to order special items like lobster. Our balcony stateroom was comfortable More and roomy with plenty of storage. As Diamond Club members, we were able to take advantage of a cocktail bar area reserved for members from 5:00 -- 8:30PM for complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks. A really nice perk. Mixed drinks were discounted in this members lounge.
The ports were fine except for Labadee where everything but the food and swimming were at an extra charge. On sea days there were plenty of lounge chairs for all. One oddity was the "gangster RAP" music played continuously at the pool area, which received many complaints but went on non-stop. Music and entertainment (especially the ice show) had to be the highlight of the cruise although the room with the largest dance floor was underutilized for other activities. All the service personnel and crew were outstanding. The debarkation process was another nightmare in so far as busses are used to transport guests from the ship to the baggage/customs area, which extended the debarkation time to hours. We will never sail again from the Bayonne, NJ port! Less
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