Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Matey3: Bayonne, Bahamas, and Back. Brrrrrr!
Overall Member Rating
Bayonne, Bahamas, and Back. Brrrrrr!
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Cruised out of Bayonne to Port Canaveral, Nassau, Coco Cay and back. This was our first time on Royal Carribean. Departure at port Liberty was smooth. Our balcony room on deck 9 was typical. Storage was adequate and the bed firm, but comfortable. All staff were pleasant and accommodating throughout.
The central atrium was impressive; we had never been on a ship this size before. We were overwhelmed by the crowds and the young kids, but it was Spring Break, and as the weather was so cold, and the seas so rough, we were limited to indoor activities. I would have appreciated more adult oriented daytime activities. We took our books and tried to find a comfortable area with an outdoor view, but each indoor area was freezing. Given that this ship sails in cold weather, there should be a protected outdoor area and the ship lounges should be warmer.
The ship's entertainment consisted of the typical production shows. I highly recommend the backstage tour conducted by a More singer, a dancer, and technicians. The ship's band was amazing. they played everything, dance music, jazz, and accompanied the stage shows.
We throughly enjoyed the cruise director, Richard Spacey, the most hyperactive adult I have ever seen. He is not beneath wearing a plastic tushie on stage. 'Nuff said?
There was a Dominican band that played great Latin music. We also enjoyed the Silent Party where everyone wore headphones and danced to different music. Fun to see.
The ship has an ice rink and although I detest ice shows, I was curious enough to go. It was enchanting. The skaters, music, choreography and costumes were impressive; all on a surface that was about 25' x 50'.
I was also impressed by how visible and accessible, the captain was. He posed for pictures, sat in on Q and A sessions and was charming. He was very forthcoming about the rough seas and kept us on time. Fortunately, seas on the return trip were calm.
The ship was scheduled to arrive at Canaveral and Nassau mid day, which didn't leave much time for touring. This was a major shortcoming of this itinerary. Too much indoor time on the ship and not enough to do. I now know the meaning of cabin fever.
The food was variable. One night, top notch, the next, mediocre. The buffet had enough choices that it was possible to have a very nice breakfast or lunch. We ate at the specialty restaurant one night, but I have to say that I've had better experiences on Princess.
Departure was quick and well organized. Bayonne is convenient for us, but it's the ugliest port ever. It's a minefield and for the second time, I destroyed the wheels on my luggage.
With our on board credits, we didn't have sticker shock at the end, so i consider this cruise a good value. However, I would not recommend this itinerary during the cold weather months. Not sure I would do RCL again. Less
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Cabin review: D19364 Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony
Typically sized balcony. Quiet location, convenient, mid ship. Relatively comfortable during rough seas.Read All Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony (D1) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
It was a bright sunny day and the views were breathtaking. However, it was cold! But that was Mother Nature's joke on us for this whole cruise. Although I wore my bathing suit, I kept my long sleeve shirt and shorts on all day. We should have followed the advice of other Reviewers and walked further down the beach. We did that later in the day. It was less crowded and there were some shallow mud flats that went way out, where one could wade and find conch and hermit crabs. The kids in that area had a blast even though it was really too cold to swim. Many were in the water and had the blue lips to prove it!
Plenty of lounges were available either in the sun or the shade.
It's hard to ruin barbecue food, but it was cold and unappetizing. I ate one cold spare rib and that was plenty for me. Plenty of juice and water was available, as well as beer and bar drinks. We enjoyed Coco Cay, we just wish that the weather had cooperated.
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