Hi, I just got off of the Explorer of the Seas 7 night Western Caribbean. Before I go into too much at first, just to let every one know i am a 24 year old male traveling with some family and some friends. Bottom line, we had a wonderful time!
Embarkation - We got to the pier at about 11am, however due to norovirus on 2 previous cruises, we had to wait until 1pm to board, which was fine, except the only thing that would have been nice is if they had a way to make announcements that you could hear (I.e a loud speaker or PA System instead of an agent trying to yell over 1,000 people), we boarded at 1:15. Life boat drill was 4:30, with sailing at about 5:10.
Other Passengers: There were 3, 560 people on board this week! 850 of them were kids under 18. The ship didn't seem too crowded except for sea days in the afternoon around the pools.
The ship was in great condition for being built in 2000, and seeing over 3000 people a week, except for the hot tubs. A lot of them wouldn't fully turn on, they were barely ever hot (Except for the solarium ones) which we spent time in because the ones by the main pool were overrun by kids on the sea days. This was the first cruise that I saw the Deck Patrol actually pulling Towels and stuff left by chair hogs! NICE WORK!
Food - It was good! Great service. The Windjammer was weird being served instead of serving our selves the first 5 days, but I am assuming that no one - or not a reportable amount got sick because starting friday we served ourselves!
We did not go to Portofinos -so can't help there.
Ports - Belize is a waste of time - period. The ship (As well as every other ship there) is anchored about 45 minute tender ride from the shore, there is a very small shopping area where the tenders dock and that's it. I didn't talk to anyone who was too happy with it.
I'm not going to go into the other 3 because there are so many reports about them already!
Entertainment - Clo was the cruse director - AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!!!! Very Nice, Very Friendly. She puts a lot into her work and it shows!!!!!!! She said she will be on until april 9th and then off until August 4th when she will return to the Explorer.
Love and Marriage was Wednesday night, Quest Thursday. Formal nights Monday and Friday.
Debarkation - Extremely well!!! They will let you carry your own luggage off at 630 am, and they started calling general colors at 6:50! Customs and Immigration were a breeze, and then everything came to a screeching halt! We are at the Holiday inn across the bridge from the pier. No cab would take us here due to how short the fare would be (About 10 bucks) they all wanted airport fares, so we had to walk across the bridge after waiting for an hour trying to get a cab!
I do have to say one thing before I end this review! Hi to the Firefighters I met from Connecticut!
Anyway, if anyone has any specific questions about the ship, itinerary or anything, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I just tried to keep this as short as I could!