The Explorer of the Seas was a pretty ship and was kept very clean. We didn't have the best weather for a vacation. Bayonne was cold and everyone was bundled up for departure. The check-in/departure process went smoothly even though the Cape Liberty port is not necessarily the nicest place to set sail. We really enjoyed the Cruise Director, Richard Spacey. He has to be the best cruise director EVER! Check out his YouTube videos. He is a riot and really should have his own TV show. He made our cruise. Unfortunately for the Explorer of the Seas, our cruise was his last and it was announced he was moving on to the Freedom of the Seas. The production shows were OK, the usual cruise ship fare. The comedian was Rondell Sheridan and he was very funny. The magician was the Amazing Puck from "America's got talent'. He had a very amazing trick at the end of his show. The ice show was good. I heard past cruisers stood in line to get tickets but they improved the process by scheduling your show by muster station. The 'Love and Marriage' show was funny...made even funnier by the cruise director. Also 'The Quest' was great. Because the "fun days at sea" were always cold, the entire ship of 3000 people were wandering around inside the ship trying to find things to do (instead of being outside in the pools, etc). I didn't enjoy their itinerary for those days. Lots of SPA activities and BINGO so that you could spend money. I can tell you my husband (or me, really) were not up for "How to have a good hair day", or "How to look 10 years younger", or "Acupuncture facts". Really lame activities. And people we spoke to were bored, too. They said just STEP ON THE GAS and get where we're going!
The food was OK. Nothing great. We ate in the main dining room twice. Shout out to Anthony and his assistant waiter (Monica?). The other days we ate at the Windjammer Cafe. Pretty repetitive food there. We had a very nice cabin attendant, Duba. We were in a Promenade Room and it was fine. I expected to hear a lot of noise, but we heard nothing at all after 11PM. All employees were friendly and helpful. No complaints about them.
We did the Everglades Air Boat tour in Port Canaveral and saw an eagle and many, many alligators. It was fun. Coco Cay was nice but bring your water shoes! The ocean is very rocky and it's hard to stand or walk. I heard more than a few people complain that the cruise line should have told him about the water's rocky condition so that they could bring water shoes. Since they aren't telling you, I am! Over all, we enjoyed the cruise but the "days at sea" were brutal in terms of having nothing enjoyable to do, in our opinion.